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Does it matter where I go to church?

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Radio transcript for March 29, 2008

Ricky Berger answers the question "Does it matter where I go to church?" on Seeking the Lost - International Radio.

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"I often hear people say; go to the church of your choice. Is it okay for me to choose where I go to church? Does God care which church I go to?"

Sadly, we all too often hear the words uttered, "go to the church of your choice." If this should be the case, then it shouldnâ??t matter where we go or what we do at church. There would be no regulations to how we worship God. What if the church of your choice took part in animal sacrifices? Who could say it is wrong? What about a human sacrifice? There again, it is "your choice." The truth of the matter is we do have a choice where we go to church. As far as that goes, it is our decision to even go to church or not. However, if the desire is to please God, the choice isnâ??t ours. Clearly, the right choice would be to obey God. In the book of Matthew chapter Sixteen verse Eighteen, Jesus told Peter, "I will build my church."

We first notice that it is Jesus who built His church with His own blood (Acts 20:28). He is the head of the church (Ephesians 5:23), which is also called the body (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:22-23). This same Jesus has "all power (or authority) in heaven and in earth" (Matthew 28:18), and He says He "is the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). When you obey His way, He will add you to His church (Acts 2:47), not a denomination. Next, we will carefully consider different passages that refer to the church in a singular sense. These following passages give Biblical proof that Christ established only one church: Matthew 16:18, My church: Acts 2:47, the church; 1 Corinthians 1:2, the church of God; Ephesians 1:22, the church; Ephesians 1:23, His body; Ephesians 4:4, one body. The inspired apostle Paul used a husband/ wife relationship to explain Christ and the church in Ephesians 5:22-33. Notice in this short reading, how the word church is referred to in the singular form twelve different times.

Not only did Jesus establish one church, the Bible also condemns the dividing of it. Could a warning be more clear than that of 1 Corinthians 1:10? The church at Corinth had many problems, but the first one mentioned is that of division. "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be NO divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (1 Corinthians 1:10). Not only is unity commanded, but Jesus prayed for it (John 17:20-23). If you are going to a "church" that is doing something that cannot be found in the Bible, you are not going to the Lordâ??s church (Galatians 1:6-9; Revelation 22:18-19).

It does matter where you go to church. It must be one that is doing Bible things by Bible ways. The Lordâ??s church is one that follows Godâ??s plan to save man (John 10:9), and worships Him properly (John 4:23-24; Matthew 15:7-9).

It is our prayer that you will study the Bible, apply it to your life, and be added to the Lordâ??s church; the only one that will matter on the great judgment day (1 Corinthians 15:24).

And now let's listen to what the Bible says about how to become a Christian

Is there something that I must do to become a Christian? Has this thought ever cross your mind? You are not alone in your search for the Truthâ?¦many others have asked the same question today and even in Bible times. After hearing the gospel in Acts chapter two, a group of people asked â??Men and brethren what shall we doâ?? (Acts 2:37). So it is likely that you today are asking the same question! The answers are given in the Bible. We are taught by the gospel of Christ that we must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17-â??So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of Godâ?); We must also believe in Christ (Mark 16:16 â??He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damnedâ?. We must repent of our sins (Turning away from sin and turning to God) Luke 13:3,5. We must confess the good name of Christ as the only begotten Son of God (Matthew 10:32, 33; Acts 8:37) and we are to be baptized for the remission of our sins (Acts 2:38). When we obey God through obedience to the gospel, we have obeyed that form of doctrine (Romans 6) and Jesus adds us to His church, the church of Christ. We have become a â??Christianâ?. We become a Christian the same way that others did so in the book of Acts. The same process that makes us a Christian makes us a member of the body of Christ, the church of Christ. We must live a faithful Christian life even if we must die for Christ (Rev. 2:10). What a great life it is when we become a Christian! We become a new person with new goals. Paul described it as a â??new creationâ? (II Cor. 5:10). We would like to study with you more in your search for Truth and desire to become a Christian. We would like to mail you our free Bible Study lessons so that we can study the Bible together. Please write down our contact information that will be given in a few seconds.

Thank you for studying the Bible with us today.

We want to send you our free Bible Study lessons to help you in your study of the Bible and search for Truth. The Bible Study lessons are non-denominational and a simple way to help you as you study more about Godâ??s will for us today.

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Todayâ??s program is a joint evangelistic effort and has been financially brought to you by the Clinton church of Christ, Clinton, Ms and the Sixth Avenue church of Christ in Jasper, Alabama.

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