Organized religion displays more interest in drawing you to organized religion than to God. Therefore, if you are interested in God you have to be cautious about organized religion.
God is everywhere. He doesn’t need a building or shrine or official group. In fact, He doesn’t even want those things. Instead, He wants to be enthroned in your heart. Someone will say, “Didn’t God tell the Israelites to build Him a tabernacle in the wilderness after they were delivered from slavery in Egypt, and didn’t King David build Him a temple in Jerusalem to replace it?” Indeed these things are so, but those were temporary arrangements foreshadowing the day when He would dwell among us all as the resurrected Christ.
The last religious grouping we saw God supporting were the Jews and Gentiles of the church we read about in the New Testament. That New Testament church was different from any church we see today. For one thing, it was not a divided church. Today we have thousands of Christian denominations, each of them claiming to be the one true church. How could that be of God?
God wants you to relate to Him, not to a church. God wants to make you a better person and redeem the relationships you already have – not distract you with a whole new set of relationships with a new group of people. Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead so that He could have a very personal relationship with you. There is no need for an intermediary between you and Him. In fact, wouldn’t the insertion of a third-party only distance you from Him?
If going to church regularly drew people closer to Jesus then churchgoers would be the most righteous people on earth. However, we can plainly see that churchgoers are subject to the same human failings as the rest of us. To the extent that churches preach Jesus Christ and help the poor, they are doing good; but there is much they do that doesn’t have anything to do with either of those two activities.
The church does not have redeeming power, but the Christ it preaches – He does have redeeming power!
Thus, there actually is a true church today, one that truly belongs to God, but it doesn’t have a building and doesn’t post meeting times. The true church consists of all those people who love the Lord Jesus and serve Him. The Lord Himself keeps its membership roll. This church has no hierarchy of leadership because He is all the hierarchy it needs. It doesn’t go to church; it is the church – the church of the living God.
Are you in His church? Is He your pastor? The word pastor means “shepherd” so when Psalm 23 begins, “The Lord is my shepherd,” it can have particular meaning for you. This is the one true church. Join it…and never leave: How to Be in the One True Church.
For more context, see this overview.
The purpose of this blog is to provide information about Jesus to those who want to hear about Him without having to join something.