Some of those who receive these messages are not attending any church, but some tell me that they are searching for the right church. Maybe some of you do not have a church but sense the need to find a place so you can grow and develop Godly relationships. Or, maybe, some of you are already in a place but find it filled with gross sin, and the leadership is more concerned with the color of the carpet than developing disciples.
Okay, so let’s talk about that. Those of you who are dissatisfied with what is happening in your life, are you searching for a fellowship? My recommendation is that you find a fellowship that adheres to the Scripture; that can minister to your kids (if you have any), and are committed to seeking and honoring the Lord. That’s basic stuff.
Now I want to give you the proverbial “good news” and “bad news.” Which do you want first? Oh yeah, I can’t hear you. Okay, so I will give you the “bad” news first. The bad news is that you will never find a perfect church. Yeah, it’s tough, but the perfectly righteous church isn’t out there.
Ah, now for the good news: the Word of God is where you will find this holy, blessed church. Honest. In fact, I am going to show you specifically where you can go to find it.
I first looked to Jeremiah. “While he was still being held in the courtyard of the prison,” he found what he was looking for(Jeremiah 33:1). No, I don’t expect you to go to jail before you find the right church. Although, while Jeremiah sat in prison Jerusalem (which represented the center of worship for the Old Testament), was in ruins. Oh, there was a time when it was a Holy place — filled with the Glory of God — and served by Holy and Righteous people.
But sadly, Jerusalem had deserted the Truth of the Lord and became full of sickness and death. False prophets and the spiritually dead filled the city. If you had been one of the holy remnants at that time, you would have been hard-pressed to find one single person who was seeking the Lord, and certainly a righteous and honorable Pastor. Everything that was once Holy and Blessed had been ruined.
Jeremiah’s heart was crushed. In fact, he became so focused on the ruin around him that he lost sight of God’s promises to His people. He could have continued in despair, wasting his days brooding and sinking further into hopelessness. He might have thought, “It’s no use; God has hidden His face from us. There is no true house of worship left!”
But suddenly, the Lord spoke to Jeremiah and said, “Get on your knees, Jeremiah! Set your heart to pray to Me. You believe there is nothing left of My Church, but I’m going to show you the mighty things I have planned for My people. I will tell you great and mysterious things that you do not know” (see Jeremiah 33:3).
Is that what is happening in your life? I’ll tell you what, though, if you are out there looking for the right church, you better start with prayer! Quit judging every church, claiming they are all a bunch of hypocrites. That won’t help you any. And quit trying to convince yourself that you don’t need a church: “Oh, I don’t need one of those pew-sitters to teach me! I can worship God anywhere!” Well, you won’t. And you are a fool if you think you will. You do need other believers! If for no other reason, we are told never to neglect our assembling with other believers!
But my friends, you will never find the right Church racing around trying to find it. Turning to the “Yellow pages,” or spending hours with Google won’t do it either. The only reliable map you are to find will be while you are in that secret closet of prayer!
So, start there and see where the Lord will lead you. I will warn you, however. It will not be perfect. Yes, the Spirit of God will take to the perfect place for you to be, but it won’t necessarily be a perfect church — but that’s the point. Trust me on that.
With these Morning Messages, I take you on guided tours to, as Bunyan described, the Celestial City. At times we linger at corners familiar and unseen. And explore the depths of our faith along the way.
The trail is long, but there’s no hurry. Though we do need to stock up on supplies for the way, and that’s where I need your help. If you enjoy these messages, please consider becoming a contributing member of this tour group. It will be very much appreciated.