The one question you MUST ask your pastor. If you currently have a church home, I pray that this is a question you already know the answer to. If you don't know for certain, you need to find out right away. If you are not in a church, this is the most important question to ask your potential new pastor. This question should be answered by an immediate and emphatic YES.
If you get a long pause, if you get a "yes but," or get anything other than a resounding YES, this is NOT a church you should be part of or a pastor you should have in spiritual authority over you. The question is, "Do you believe the Bible is God's inspired, inerrant Word, representing Absolute Truth, and our final authority in all matters."
Why that question? God's Word and God's Word alone is the foundation on which our faith is based and all that we believe flows from it. Listen to me very carefully. It is IMPOSSIBLE for anyone to be in spiritual authority that does not believe the Bible to be God's inspired and inerrant Word, to represent Absolute Truth, and our final authority in all matters.
IMPOSSIBLE! If a person does not hold the Bible to be God's Word, then they have denied the very faith they claim to hold and represent. When you deny the Bible is God's Word, it opens up the door for every kind of sin and perversion to enter into the church since it is now up to each person to determine what "truth" is.
Now you can understand why some churches condone blatant sins like homosexuality and abortion. Now you can understand why some churches refuse to preach on sin and hold people accountable for their choices.. Now you can understand how some "pastors" can make a mockery of God's Holy Institution of Marriage by marrying two people of the same sex. Now you can understand why some churches hold on to man made traditions. When you deny the Bible is inspired and inerrant, represents Absolute Truth, and is our final authority in all matters, it allows each person to determine for themselves what is right and what is wrong.
Can you see what chaos that becomes? The world says that there is no such thing as Absolute Truth. Truth is not black and white but gray. That my friend, is a lie from the pits of hell itself. What may be right to me, is wrong to you. What may be right to you is wrong to me. It is what the Bible calls, "everyone did what was right in their own imaginations."
Never forget that satan is a liar (John 8:44). God is truth. God did not create us and leave us to figure out life on our own. Even in the Garden of Eden, God told man what is right and wrong.
Once man chose to rebel against God and sin was introduced into the human experience, his relationship with God was broken. Man was now separated from God his Creator. That is why it became necessary for God to give man the Bible. Many have said incorrectly that the Bible is man's search for God, when in reality; it is God's search for man. It is in the Bible that God reveals Himself to man. It is in the Bible that God helps man gain an understanding of who He is, what He expects from man, as well as providing us with all that we need during this brief journey here on earth.
As I have shared with you in the past, this is why those who choose to live their lives in rebellion to God, MUST deny the Bible, since it is the very book that condemns them. Those who deny God, reject His Son Jesus Christ, MUST reject the Bible for what it is since it is the Bible that says they are wrong. That is why those who have chosen to live their lives in rebellion to God are so offended by God's Word. They are like a little child when their parents are telling them something they don't like, putting their fingers in their ears and yelling so they can't hear what their parents are saying. In Acts 7, in the account of the stoning of Stephen the word says, "When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him," and "at this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him."
I love you and care about you so much. While this may seem like such an elementary question, I hate to say that in today's culture it must be asked.
The decline of the many mainline churches can be traced back to the '60's when they required their pastors to have a Masters of Divinity degree. The problem was many of these pastors were getting their seminary education in liberal seminaries that denied the inspiration and inerrancy of God's Word. They literally taught that the Bible is not to be believed for truth, but is simply a guide for good living.
When you have pastors standing in the pulpit on Sundays that do not believe God's Word to be inspired and inerrant, it opens the door for every kind of error and perversion you can imagine. We see that today in "churches" that condone and accept sin and compromise the truth of God's Word by preaching and teaching the parts of the Bible that won't offend people. This is why so many of these "faux churches" flourish today since people do not want to be confronted with their sin. They want to hear about the grace of God and the love of God, but not the judgment of God.
Let me tell you, the Bible is a book of personal accountability. From Genesis to Revelation the message of God's Word is that one day we will all be held accountable by God. That is why so many people in this world reject the Bible, since they do not want to be accountable for their actions. A big reason the false religions of the world like Buddhism, Hinduism, and so many others are popular is because they don't hold people accountable for their actions, there is no judgment. I am here to tell you that just as real as today is, will be the day you die and stand before God. Those who reject Christ will be judged for their sin and cast into everlasting darkness, while those who know Christ will be judged on their life and works since they accepted Him.
Jesus said, "if you love me you will obey me." I will be praying for you today. Praying that unless you are certain, you will confront your pastor with this critical question, "Do you believe the Bible is God's inspired, inerrant Word, representing Absolute Truth, and our final authority in all matters." For the man and woman of God, the true follower of Jesus Christ, there is only one answer, YES!!!
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