Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How Does Your Church Measure Success?

"Now I beseech you, brethren, **mark them who cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which you have learned; and avoid them**. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the innocent."
- Paul the Apostle
(Romans 16:17-18)

Jesus answered them, and said, "My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me. If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaks of himself seeks his own glory: but He that seeks His glory that sent Him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him."
(John 7:16-18)

Doctrine, but not just doctrine, sound doctrine is of the utmost importance. Paul the Apostle even declared that believers are to avoid those who walk contrary to the doctrine we received from Christ. Well, what about a "church" that doesn't preach doctrine at all? What about a "church" that even mocks and has a contempt for believers that do? Do these "churches" really care about God's will or do they care more about having a large number on their attendance roll? These are vital questions that must be asked and the answer understood by anyone who is wondering about a particular place of worship. God didn't intend for believers to stay on milk, but to later graduate to solid meat. (1Cor 3:1-3; Heb 5:11-14) Some "churches" are so concerned with being esteemed highly in the among men by boasting about their numbers that they neglect even the milk in the fear that they may lose a person on their attendance sheet.

You may be surpised to know that Jesus Christ did talk about numbers and converts in His ministry, however ...and the amounts may shock you:

What woman having ten pieces of silver, if she loses one piece, does not light a lamp, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and her neighbors together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over ONE sinner that repents.
(Luke 15:8-10)

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