The Bible Answers Short Questions From Our Readers
Plain Truth Staff
Should You Join a Church?
From Illinois: "I have been listening to your program on the air for about two years, and have gotten a lot of good from it. I have been converted since I first heard you and I give you most of the credit for it. We listen to you most every night... When I was converted I joined the ( — a popular denomination — ) church. I am like you; I don't believe in denominations, but I felt I had to join someplace so that I could have someplace to go to church. Do you think I should keep my membership there?" ANSWER: While we are instructed, in Heb. 10:23-25: "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching" yet, notice carefully we are not instructed to assemble with blinded, deceived people in the denominations — the instruction is to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together — that is, true Christians who have the TRUTH, who are filled with God's Holy Spirit, truly converted, and WALKING IN THE LIGHT, living by every Word of God. The fallen "woman" of Rev. 17 is clearly identified as the Roman church, which ruled over the kings of the Roman Empire from 554 until 1814. Her doctrines and practice, falsely called by Christian names, are actually the same identical "Chaldean mysteries" of the ancient Babylonian Baal worship, denounced in the Bible as the most idolatrous of all false worship. Notice, Rev. 17:5, she is called "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS." She is a MOTHER church. She has daughter churches. She calls the Protestant denominations her wayward daughters. They came out of her, in protest, calling themselves "Protestant." They, like their mother church, participate in the governments and politics and affairs of this world. Thus they reject the Government of God! This (verse 2), is the cause of her fall from grace. All protestant denominations contain a certain mixture of false Roman doctrines which have been handed down from the ancient Babylonian idolatry. It is an ORGANIZED SYSTEM, even tho divided into hundreds of sectarian organizations. Shall the true Christian JOIN, and thus become a part of this apostate system? Notice, "the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication." (V. 2) They are spiritually drunk on her false doctrines, until they are unable to see clearly Bible TRUTH — their spiritual eyesight is blurred. They are spiritually BLIND. The truth is, GOD DID NOT PLANT THESE CHURCHES. And Jesus said "plant. which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." (Mat. 15:13-14). This listener feels, and rightly, he should HAVE FELLOWSHIP with Christians — meet with them, study with them, worship with them. But the point is, we must be sure it is with those who are CHRISTIANS — those in the Truth — those living by the directions in the Bible — those keeping God's Commandments — those filled with His Spirit, those in whom Christ is living His life. Not those merely professing to be Christians; professing to know God, but in works denying Him (Titus 1:6), being abominable. If you are converted and made righteous by the Spirit of God, "what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" (II Cor. 6:14). No, God commands us, "Have NO FELLOWSHIP with the unfruitful works of darkness." (Eph. 5:11). If God has opened your understanding to His TRUTH, it is precious beyond price. "If there come any to you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him Godspeed; for he that biddeth him Godspeed is partaker of his evil deeds." (II John 10). When the disciples asked Jesus if MANY were being saved, he explained that the many turn into the broad way that leads to destruction — but FEW find the straight and narrow way that leads to everlasting life. Those in His true fellowship He called the "Little Flock." He said He would hardly find any faith at all in our generation today, when He is to come again. So the matter of where to find those truly converted, in a right spirit — God's Spirit — and IN THE TRUTH, with whom to fellowship, is indeed a difficult problem today. It is our hope that Ambassador College will in another two to four years supply called, trained ministers who will be able to help gather some of God's true sheep together for fellowship and worship in various communities over the country, and provide shepherds to feed these little flocks. Remember, our fellowship is WITH THE FATHER, AND WITH JESUS CHRIST first of all, and with one another only in and thru Christ (I John 1:1-7). You can have communion and fellowship with Him wherever you are. Withdraw at once from all other fellowship, except that of CHRIST, and those who are IN CHRIST, and Christ IN THEM.