I Can’t Find A Church. What Should I Do? :: By Grant Phillips

About two years ago I wrote an article called “Can’t Find A Church.” If you would like to read that article first you can find it on the Rapture Ready site at Featured End Time Writers, then under my name, Grant Phillips.

It has been drilled into many of us that if we don’t “go to church,” we will go to hell. For some reason, that always coincides with a physical structure that is commonly “church like” and is used for worship services. In these buildings are pews, a pulpit, musical instruments and a name over the door. It is the one place we meet with fellow believers and worship for about an hour. The remaining 167 hours are spent in the “real world.”

Apparently, one can only be saved in the structure we call the church, and our salvation is only guaranteed upon our faithful attendance at this special place.

At this point, I’m out of breath and hardly know where to start in responding to this fallacy, so let’s begin with our salvation.

What is the Gospel?

“Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-5)

What must I do to be saved?

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” (Romans 9:10)

Can I lose my salvation?

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

It can be readily seen that our attendance at a local structure neither saves us nor keeps us saved. Our salvation is totally dependent upon Jesus Christ, and the security of our salvation is also totally dependent upon Him as well. Jesus is the only means of salvation and once we are saved, nothing can undo the salvation we received through Him.

Should I go to church?

First of all, if you are a true Christian, a legitimate child of God, you are the Church. So wherever you go, you are there.

Should I worship with other Christians?

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)

The answer is obvious. We should not be hermit Christians. We need to share company with other Christians and encourage each other, especially as we see the Day of Christ’s return drawing closer. However, there are no specifics given about where we meet.

When I was growing up our local church was the only one in the hollow (holler, for some of us) where we all lived. They actually taught, often, that we should not go to another church out of our area. We had to attend locally. Even as a teenager, that made no sense to me, and quite plainly, it made no sense because it was nonsense.

Yeah, but they say I can’t worship at home. I must go to the local church, you know, the one with the name over the door.

“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20)

No matter how you slice it, I see nothing there stating anything about not being able to worship at home. We may worship God alone in our private time, and we can worship God publicly with one or more other Christians. We may worship at home, at the local church with the name over the door, in the back of a cab, on a mountain top, in a parking lot, in a prison cell, wherever we happen to be with another Christian. We are the Church. We are like a MASH unit in war. We are mobile.

It is sad that so many of our churches today have become apostate. Most, and sometimes all, of those attending are Christians in name only. These churches are near replicas of Old Testament idol worshipers that neither knew God nor worshipped Him. They served only their false gods, and were Israel’s kryptonite.

The true Church today is being attacked by Satan’s false prophets just as Israel was years ago. The world has come into most churches and set up their idols while true Christians are being pushed out the door.

That’s okay. Let them have the building. God will deal with that, but we should never forsake our worship, wherever we are. Just as Daniel was faithful to God as a slave in Babylon, we should be faithful to Him.

It isn’t important where we worship the Lord, but it is important that we continue to worship Him wherever we are.

If your local church remains faithful to the Word of God, then praise Him because you are blessed. If your local church is denying God’s Word, it is between you and Him what you do next. Pray about it. Then do as Joshua.

“…But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15)

Grant Phillips

Email: Phillip5769@twc.com

Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com

Rapture Ready: https://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html

Sift You Like Wheat :: By Grant Phillips

If you have ever looked for shark’s teeth at the beach you may have used a sifter. The idea is to sift out the sand and other items you don’t want and hopefully find a shark’s tooth. Sometimes it works. Often it doesn’t.

Crime investigators sometimes have to sift ashes in order to find the human bones of someone who was murdered.

Maybe you are one who has sifted for gold in Alaska. I understand folks still do that.

The main idea with sifting for something is to find that one thing you are looking for after everything else has gone through the sifter and been eliminated. Jesus had something to say about “sifting” to Simon Peter. Just before Jesus was arrested He said the following to Peter.

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32)

Notice first of all that Jesus twice called his name. In saying, “Simon, Simon,” Jesus was figuratively grabbing Peter by the arm and looking him straight in the eye and then He adds to that, “Behold.” He wanted Peter to pay close attention to what He was about to say to him.

Secondly, the name “Simon” means “to hear, to listen.” Perhaps this explains why Jesus called him by Simon instead of Peter. Peter means “a small stone.” Peter wasn’t even a pebble at this point, and he was never the rock that some claim from Matthew 16:18. Only Jesus is the rock or foundation stone of His Church.

So Jesus grabs Peter by the arm, looks him straight in the eye and says twice, “listen to me.” He tells him that Satan desires to sift him, and that He, Jesus, is praying for him.

Jesus could have used many names for Satan. There are many listed for him in the Bible, but He chose to use the name “Satan,” which means “adversary.” Obviously, He is telling Peter that his enemy, Satan, is out to sift him and by doing so; destroy him and his witness if possible. In other words, Peter has an enemy, a very powerful enemy, and he is right on Peter’s heels, so close you could smell his foul breath.

Looking ahead we see that Satan began some serious sifting at Jesus trial. What resulted was Peter’s denial, not once but three times, of even knowing Jesus.

If you are a Christian you are on Satan’s hit list. He desires to sift you and me. He looks for a way to defeat us, and that old rascal has had a lot of practice. He knows our weaknesses. He knows what will trip us up. He does not want us to grow spiritually and he does not want us to succeed in anything the Lord has called us to do.

I have also noticed that the more serious a child of God is about growing in Christ, Satan’s attacks intensify. If you are just a lackadaisical Christian, you are no threat to him. To the contrary, you help his cause. However, the more on fire you are for serving Jesus Christ, the more he attempts to sift you. He looks for that weak spot that will bring you down and make you ineffective.

Let me pause here for a minute. Some are probably thinking, “How does Satan sift me?” Maybe I can provide some examples.

  • He may bring up your failures.
  • He may cause your mind to roam from your appointed task.
  • He may cause interruptions in your life.
  • He may attack you or a loved one with sickness.
  • He may entice you to sin (again, he knows your weaknesses).
  • He may stoke your pride.
  • He may instill fear.

These are just a few examples, but maybe they will help in our understanding that Satan is no choirboy. Putting it simply and plainly, he will hit us where it hurts.

In Peter’s case Satan worked on his pride, and then brought him to his knees with fear and cowardice, but Jesus prayed for Peter (“but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers”). When we turn to Acts chapter three and hear him preach to the crowd or turn over to Acts chapter four and listen to him, as he and John stand before the Sanhedrin, we immediately recognize that he isn’t the same man we saw in Luke 22:54-62.

Many Christians today are fearful to stand up for Christ, allowing Satan to sift them and make them ineffective. Don’t think so? How many Christians today will bow their heads in public and ask God to bless the food they are about to eat? For that matter, how many will do so in their own home? Peter knew he could be crucified if he admitted he was one of Jesus’ followers. What do we fear, a little embarrassment? If something as inconsequential as publicly asking the blessing over our food embarrasses us, does that mean we are ashamed of Jesus? Let us pray that is not so, because Jesus had strong words to say about that.

“If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:38)

If we are a child of God, as Peter certainly was, let us never forget that Jesus intercedes for us just as He did with Peter. He loves us very much and wants us to trust Him.

If you or I make any honest effort to stand up and be counted for Jesus you can rest assured that Satan will notice. Peter said it so well.

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

Don’t allow that evil creature to win. Remember that Jesus, our Savior and our Lord, is praying for us. Instead, we will proclaim along with Joshua:

“…But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15)

Grant Phillips
Email: Phillip5769@twc.com
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready: https://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html