Discerning Unbiblical Churches
One of the most apparent errors in unbiblical churches is that they try to teach individuals to live like they have received Jesus who have not received Him. I was part of and visited a number of churches like that before I received Jesus. In them I never heard a mention of John 1:12, much less a whole message.
John 1:12: But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
The Bible teaches no other way to become the children of God, therefore the above verse is one of the most important passages in the Bible. As many as received him is a very precise number. Not one more and not one less. We don*t know what the number is but God knows. And, of course, the number grows whenever someone receives Jesus.
Some of those churches spoke about faith. But they didn*t speak about the faith in John 1:12. They didn*t tell me that those who believe in Jesus will receive Him and those who receive Him believe in Him. Those who believe AND receive are the same individuals. There are exactly the same number of individuals who have received Jesus as there are individuals who believe on His name.
Individuals cannot live eternal life who do not possess it.
1 John 5:11: And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
Some have testified that they gave their life to Christ or that they gave their heart to Christ or used some other words of commitment or surrender. When those individuals bear the same fruit as one who says that he received Christ and say that is what they did, I don*t doubt them.
Before I received Christ I was more than 99.9 percent ignorant about what it meant to be a Christian. When I received Him it was the beginning of that knowledge.
Proverbs 1:7: The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
The first passage I found that gave me assurance that God had done a saving work on me, my heart and my life was this one:
1 Corinthians 5:7: Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
I actually got a vanity plate for my car that said: Nu Lump. After two or three years of discovering better definitions in the Bible for what it means to be a Christian I bought a different car and did not renew that vanity plate. It took a few years of explaining to people who asked what nu lump meant, that the nu lump was not my car, it was me, I had become a Christian, I got saved, I had given my heart and life to the Lord etc. I would sometimes quote 1 Corinthians 5:7 to those folks. Over the years the Lord has given me many more and much better definitions of what He did for me. I learned that I had been born again, born from above, a new creature, got saved, converted, become a child of God etc.
The second passage I found that defined for me what God done to me and for me was this one:
Psalms 55:19: God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.
I knew that I had some changes and that God had made them and given them to me. I actually considered entitling this article A Nu Lump and I shall upload it into the website under both titles.
Care to discuss Discerning Unbiblical Churches with Ron?