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Looking For A New Church? Keep These 4 Things In Mind!

And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers… And all who believed were together and had all things in common. – Acts 2:42, 44

When trying to find a good local church, it's good to remember that, just like the people in them, no church is perfect. However, there are many important issues that should be considered when choosing a church. Be sure to pray about the churches you're considering, to be sure you're following the Lord's leading as you search. Be especially sure to read a church's doctrinal statement or statement of belief to find out about their stance on important issues. Listed below are some important things you should consider in your search to find a church.

1. What is being preached and taught?

The Bible is clear that we should only listen to those who preach the true gospel of Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:6-9). If any other message is being given in its place, then it is not a Christ-following church and you should move on to another one (Ephesians 1:22; 4:15; Colossians 1:18). The church should be speaking God's truth as given to us through His inspired Word, the Bible (2 Timothy 3:15-17). Besides the message of salvation, churches vary when it comes to their views on the Trinity, the authority of the Bible, eternal security, free will, God's sovereignty, election of the saints, eschatology (beliefs about the end times), and other theological issues. These are all important issues that we should seek to understand, and, as much as we are able, we should choose a church based on the convictions we have about these and other church doctrines.

If you don't know where you stand on these issues, you should try to find a church that emphasizes and teaches that the Bible is God's inspired word and that believes in God's sovereignty. God's sovereignty is seen in the fact that God is lovingly and powerfully in control of all of history, and working in all our lives to ensure His plan is carried out in every detail and in His perfect ways (though often not understood by us). Avoid a church where you're told that God only wants happiness, good health, success, and wealth for you; the Bible says that, as Christians, we should expect persecution and suffering for the cause of Christ (Matthew 5). God uses our pain to encourage others and to grow us. While God desires us to be happy, He is more concerned with our holiness than our temporal happiness.

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