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What Does It Mean To Be Saved

Will The Real New Testament Church Come Forward

In the 1950's there was a game show on TV (black and white in those days) and I forget the name, but the contestants (usually three) would try to fool a panel of four people (two men and two women) into who the real person was - one of the three was the real person.  Each of the panelists would wear a blindfold where they could not see, but only hear the contestants. The anchor person of the show would moderate the game and would start off by giving some background of the real person then invite the three contestants to come and in and be seated while the panelists had on their blindfolds. Each panelists would get two attempts to guess who the real person was by asking questions. Their success ratio was about 50-50.  

For the past three years Deb and I have been visiting Churches in our area in an effort to unite with them in worship and fellowship. We have visited several Baptist, Bible, and Non-Denominational Churches and had decided to unite with a medium to large size Bible Church. However, we discovered when we attended the New Members Enrollment Class, they were hyper-Calvinists. We are not so our membership was rejected. First time in over 40 years of ministry I have been told I could not be a member of a so-called Christian Church.  

For those who do not know what a hyper-Calvinist doctrine is, it is that God is sovereign in all matters including salvation and it is He who chooses those He elects to receive salvation while others are not included and have no choice in determining their eternal state. If they are not of the elect, their destiny is hell and the Lake of Fire. In other words they have no free will to either accept or reject God's offer of salvation through Jesus Christ. That is a total heretical doctrine and cannot be supported by the whole context of Scripture. Is God sovereign?  Certainly, but His elective grace is in the locality of salvation, namely that He chooses those to salvation in the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ. His offer of salvation extends to all mankind if they will obey the gospel and accept the Lord Jesus as Lord and Savior. That is the meaning of the Scripture that says "Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life and no one comes to the Father except through Him (Jesus)". You can see that God's election is centered in the finished work of Jesus on the cross. This is the way God has elected to save those who will believe. It is what Jesus called the "narrow road" and few be that find it.  God's message is "whosoever will may come and be saved", but you have to do it His way - the cross and resurrection of Jesus. If someone does not want to accept that truth and the way, then they will not be chosen to salvation. It is that simple. 

We were not upset the Bible Church rejected our membership for we could not worship there anyway.

Continuing our efforts to find a New Testament Church that is true in worship and practice to New Testament doctrine, we visited another Church this past Sunday. It is a non-denominational congregation whose pastor is a former Baptist Minister. When we arrived for the 11:00 service, we noticed very few and I mean very few people were carrying Bibles as they entered the sanctuary. That usually means the pastor is not a Bible teacher or the emphasis is more on so-called praise and worship (emotional electronic rock sounding music) and less on sound biblical preaching and teaching. 

When we sat down we observed people coming in dressed in shorts both men and women (some of the young girls had on tight short-shorts) and bringing coffee and snacks in the sanctuary. 4.5 out of 5 people had no Bible. The rock band on stage was warming up to start the praise and worship service. There was no choir (a Church choir is becoming a rarity in the Churches these days and the sacred hymns have been replaced by rock lyrics, which I can never remember).  Deb leaned over and said she had bad vibes about the service. I agreed.  

The rock band started their music and of course everyone had to stand while they sang the same lyrics over and over - a commonality of Charismatic non-denominational so-called Churches. I detest this kind of music for it does nothing but excite the soul not the spirit. We decided we had seen enough and left. This has happened to us several times in the past three years since we moved to our presence residence in North Texas. As we were walking out I remarked to Deb, "where is the true Church of the Lord Jesus Christ?"  We drove to a restaurant and had lunch. 

The point I am making is the modern Church has determined the traditional Church that focused on Bible preaching and teaching as the principal and most important part of Sunday worship coupled with an excellent Music Director, choir, orchestra and the singing of the sacred hymns is no longer in sync and outdated. Christians used to gather for worship with Bible in hand eager to hear a message from the man of God as well as congregation singing accompanied by a pianist or organist and they dressed modestly and appropriately.  

What started this or what brought about the change?  That is not hard to answer. It began with Christian youth attending secular rock concerts where they sway and swoon with the soulical rock beat. Christian adults got caught-up in this rock culture also and no longer wanted to hear and sing the old sacred hymns or even the moving music specials by a talented choir.  They wanted to be moved by the rock beat that stimulated their fleshly souls not their born-again spirits.  The pastors and elders realized that to attract the soulish youth they had to have an order of service that appealed to their appetite for rock music. Thus was born the so-called "praise and worship" emphasis. Instead of mature godly men and women leading the music program, immature youth became the "worship leaders" and set the tone for the worship service. Not long afterward, Churches starting having two services - one for the older senior adults called the traditional service and a contemporary service for the rock-swinging youth that craved rock bands.  A so-called Christian Rock concert is not much different than a secular Rock concert in terms of the music. The beat is the same - ROCK!  Who is the winner in this situation? Satan is for he has divided the Church between the Youth and the adults. You end up with two Churches not one unified body.  Now I realize many adults now prefer the praise and worship rock churches over the traditional Word-focused congregations. However, we now have a large number or Christian babies that are shallow in the Word of God.  The Church is supposed to be a "Bible College" so to speak, that is, where they are fed the meat of the Word and can grow in knowledge and wisdom and rightly divide the Word of truth. 

So as the title of this article asks, Where is the real New Testament Church where the saints hunger and thirst for the Word of God rather than to be swooned and swayed by loud rock music that does absolutely nothing for the spirit? Where is the Church that understands the House of God is the habitation of the Holy Spirit and dresses decently and modestly in honor of His presence?  We cannot seem to find one in our area.  Most of the pulpits are nothing but shallow sermonnetts or motivational speeches that offer the saints baby pablum instead of strong meat.  The Churches need revival and to get back to the fundamentals of the faith - strong preaching and teaching and music that honors the Holy Spirit and moves the spirit not the soul.