Looking for a church?
I am sometimes told by people that they are looking for a church. When I ask what they are looking for, the responses vary. Some look for warmth and friendliness, for others the criteria is close to home and service time. However, the Lord reveals to us what he is looking for in His church and it is the characteristics that we need to be searching for in the church where we worship.
In the book of Revelation, Jesus addresses seven churches. In that address to the churches, Jesus points out two main areas of concern for Him in His judgment of each church. As you read Revelation 2-3, Jesus is reacting to the congregation's deeds and their teachings. To the churches at Ephesus, Thyatira, Philadelphia, and Laodicea, Jesus specificly says "I know your deeds" and then goes on to either commend or condemn them.
Therefore, we to need to look at the deeds of the congregation. Are they doing the "good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."? Are they worshiping the Lord as He has asked? Are they serving and meeting the needs of the saints and the lost? Are they preaching the gospel to the world?
As Jesus responds to the churches in the book of Revelation, He is also judging them on their teachings. Pergamum, Thyatira, and Sardis are warned about their response to false teachings. If they do not repent they will face judgment. We too then must place a priority on teaching when looking for a church. Is the Word being taught? Are the scriptures viewed as the inspired word of God? Is the Bible the sole authority for the wisdom and instruction of God?
Teachings and deeds: These are the items that Jesus is concerned with in His church, they are the items we should be most interested in as we look for the church in our lives. At the Norfolk Church of Christ we are striving to be a church that Jesus will be pleased with in our teachings and our deeds. We pray you will be successful in your search for the Lord's church.
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