Doug Johnson: Attending a live church has its benefits

Published 5:31 am Sunday, July 17, 2022

A poll was conducted by Gallup in 2021 asking the question: “Which institution do you have the most confidence in?”

According to those that were polled, 70 percent expressed “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in small business, putting it at the top of a list of 16 institutions.

The military came in 2nd with 69 percent.

Email newsletter signup

It also stated the church ororganized religion was more trustworthy than the U. S. Supreme Court, banks, public schools, newspapers and Congress.

I’m glad that so many people trust the church and what it stands for.

I’m also glad to see so many people still believe in going to the house of God on a weekly basis.

But what troubles me is what many of these people are receiving once they’re inside some of these churches.

A 2020 study conducted by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University showed that only 43 percent of born-again Christians still embrace absolute moral truth.

If that statistic is correct, it is no wonder our country is in moral decay!

Jesus prayed to His Father in John 17:17, “Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.”

To say that there is no absolute truth is the same as calling the Bible a book of fairy tales.

In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father but by me.”

To say there is no absolute truth is to deny Jesus’ existence!

And if the Holy Spirit’s job is to lead us and guide us into all truth, then to say there is no absolute truth is to declare the Holy Spirit is just a figment of our imagination.

I know many pastors who spend more time reading books and magazines than they do reading the Bible.

They say they want their sermons to be “relevant” to their congregations.

However, they have forgotten that for 2,000 years the message of the Bible has been saving the lost, healing the sick, delivering captives and empowering believers.

You can’t get more “relevant” than that!

When we abandon the Bible as our source for instruction, Ephesians 4:14 tells us the end result is “Children that are tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of (false) doctrine.”(Emphasis mine)

You may be wondering: “What are the signs that a church is spiritually alive, vital and active?”

Here are a few answers to that question: spiritually alive churches have many people who bring their Bibles and read them… dead churches don’t.

Live churches are filled with sounds of joy and thanksgiving…dead churches are apathetic and lifeless.

Live churches usually have parking problems…dead churches never have to worry about parking.

Live churches center on serving people…dead churches focus mainly on problems.

Live churches are filled with love…dead churches are filled with suspicious, critical, and bickering people.

Live churches emphasize evangelism, discipleship, and involvement… dead churches ask for little and get it.

Live churches have lots of children and young people…dead churches don’t.

Notice that the size of a church is no indication that it is alive.

You see, size doesn’t matter to God.

What matters is whether or not people are hearing the true Word of God and being taught how to win the lost.

Remember: Jesus came to seek and to save the lost—and that’s the absolute truth!

Rev. Doug Johnson is the senior pastor at Raven Assembly of God in Raven, Virginia.