In my former church there were some things in the New Testament, that were basic teachings to the new church, that were completely ignored the last couple of years that I attended there. One thing that really bothered me was that no one could get baptized at the church. It was just not important to the pastor. OH, he may say it was or is important to him, but what is important to you, you give attention to. Let me tell you, there was never a service that the TITHE wasn't paid attention to. But baptism was not mentioned in over two years.
In the New Testament, everyone that got saved got baptized. Jesus was baptized. Not only could you not get baptized at this church, if you were someone who was unschooled in the Bible or had no knowledge of Christianity, you could have attended this church for over a year and you would have no knowledge that there was even such a thing or what it was, much less why it is done or what it symbolizes.
In looking back to when there were baptism services at this church I remember that there were very few people baptised at the last couple of services.
I realized that without baptism services there is no evidence of how few people are being saved and making a real commitment to Christ at the church. I remember it got to where there were so few people being saved in the services and of the few that came forward hardly any ever came back more than once or twice. I realized that the absence of baptism services kept the evidence of this from being apparent to the congregation.
When the service closes and the pastor gives an invitation it is usually for more than just to get saved and give your life to Christ. There may be several other invitations, healing, recommitting your life, being filled with the Holy Spirit and other things. In this way, people in the congregation just see people come forward and then when they are told that so many people are being saved they just believe it and with the absence of baptism services there is no evidence of the truth.
There was also no evidence of the poor being helped by the church, widows being helped by the church, people being taught to live holy lives, or peoples' individual needs being ministered to.
A healthy, New Testament church should have EVIDENCE of these things.
James 2:14-18 (Amplified Bible)
14What is the use (profit), my brethren, for anyone to profess to have faith if he has no [good] works [to show for it]? Can [such] faith save [his soul]?
15If a brother or sister is poorly clad and lacks food for each day,
16And one of you says to him, Good-bye! Keep [yourself] warm and well fed, without giving him the necessities for the body, what good does that do?
17So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead).
18But someone will say [to you then], You [say you] have faith, and I have [good] works. Now you show me your [alleged] faith apart from any [good] works [if you can], and I by [good] works [of obedience] will show you my faith.
If you are attending a church and your pastor claims to teach FAITH, claims to live by faith, hear from God by faith, claims he is the one to teach you faith, then look at his WORKS. Not his works of standing in a pulpit and claiming to know it all but his works in the community, his works among the congregation, his works SHOWING his faith. There should be EVIDENCE. Evidence of his faith by his works, his actions, evidence of what the church is doing and accomplishing.
Pay attention to the evidence. If you can't see any, then you are being deceived. You need to find a church that it is evident what they are and what fruit they are producing.
A Reflector of His Bountifulness
10 years ago