Answers to Bible Questions
Scriptures are from the KJV of the Bible
(Q) A question for all my readers. Are you playing “Church?”
(A) My name is John. I write all the articles published on Grace Bible Times. Today, 2-14-2014, I have a very serious question for all my readers. “Are you playing Church?”
I am bringing up this question because from my own experience I know that a lot of people attending Church services every week are not what they seem to be. God has put it on my heart to talk about this important subject, because time is running out. I am not setting any dates, but God is going to intervene in the affairs of mankind very soon. Are YOU ready?
God wants to save all of mankind, but YOU also must want to be saved, and must know what God requires for salvation. God does not play games with people’s lives. But, are YOU playing games with God?
I am not writing this article to judge or condemn anyone, but my desire is to help anyone who IS “playing Church” to wake up and make a real commitment to God before it’ too late.
So what do I mean by “playing Church?”
In Church services all across this nation, people gather and go through rituals and traditions and sing songs and listen to sermons trusting that those “sermons” are God’s truth out of His Word the Holy Bible, but sadly many of those sermons are just nice stories about how God is love and that’s all we need to know.
People get up and “go to church” and do this Sunday after Sunday believing THIS is the high calling of Christianity (hearing a sermon) and that they have fulfilled their duty, but this is soooo far from the truth.
The following is a fictional story to make a point:
Bob has been going to Church all his life. His parents had Bob water baptized as a small child and when he was old enough they enrolled him in the Church confirmation class. He passed all the requirements, so he was confirmed in front of the congregation with the rest of the children who were also being confirmed. Bob and the other children were now members of the Church.
Bob continued to attend Church on a regular basis and he became involved in a lot of the activities. He was well liked by the pastor and Bob helped out around the Church with many odd jobs when he had the time to do so.
Every Sunday Bob was there. He was there for all the Church holydays and always gave 10% of his income to the Church and supported all the special offerings as well.
He would help out the widows when he could and visited those who were sick and lonely. Bob seemed like such a nice person to everyone. Eventually he was asked to be on the Church council and became president one year later. Bob was full of enthusiasm and always had good ideas to help increase revenue for the Church. He was very well respected by the other members of his Church.
Bob never married, so he had more free time than most to help others. Even at his job Bob was a hard worker and strived to do the best he could, and he would go above and beyond the call of duty.
Bob was leading an exemplary life and he was proud of all his accomplishments. One day much later in life Bob became very sick and was told he only had a few more weeks to live. Bob was sad to think about his coming death, but he believed he was right with God for having lived such a productive and helpful life.
Bob was always busy helping others, doing a good job at whatever he did, but when it came to the Bible, he was woefully ignorant of what it said. He did not read or study the Bible because he believed his pastor at church was teaching all that was necessary for his salvation.
However, like most Churches today, his pastor shied away from preaching about heaven, hell and salvation, but was teaching a message of love. The minister himself was not certain about what was required for salvation, because there seemed to be different ways referred to in the scriptures about how salvation was received. The pastor did not understand how to rightly divide the Word of truth according to II Timothy 2:15: 15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. However, the pastor did know that some of the scriptures said that all people were sinners and were deserving of hell fire, but he did not want to offend anyone or drive them away from his congregation. The Church membership was already dropping off and the pastor wanted to increase the membership, not lose any.
Bob never read the Bible for himself. He was putting all his trust in his pastor and all the good works he did during his life time. Bob “played Church” all his life, but never made a true, one on one commitment with Christ Jesus for salvation. Bob never heard or read that the only means of salvations is to trust completely in the shed blood of Christ for the forgiveness of sins just by Faith alone. No works!!
When Bob died he could not go to be with God in heaven, but to the place where we do not like to talk or think about, the place called Hell. Why! Bob was such a good person according to man’s standards. But Bob was still in his sins when he died. Anyone still in their sins at death cannot go to, or be in the presence of God in heaven. Like most people today, Bob never thought much about his eternal destiny.
Bob was responsible for his own salvation, and should have read and studied the Bible for himself and not trusted in what his pastor was teaching. Anyone who is truly searching the scriptures about salvation will find it. Bob never had the time to do that. He did not realize that there is only one way to heaven, (not many way’s like some teach) and Christ Jesus is that only way: Acts 4:9-12: 9 If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; 10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Wake up people!! You need to stop “playing Church” and get serious. Good works cannot ever get you into heaven!! Only Christ can do that!! All good works you do before salvation will get you nothing, zip, zero!! Works only count “after” salvation. Many in our Churches are asleep, and have no idea where they will go when they die. Most think they will get to heaven because they are good people. False, False, False. It will never happen!! What will “good” people hear from Christ when they die? Look at this scripture in Matthew 7:22-23: 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Bob never sincerely went to Christ admitting he was a sinner, dead in his sins, with no hope for salvation because he was thinking his good works would pay for his sins. But his works did nothing for his salvation. But, the very simple solution for Bob would have been to put his complete and total trust in Christ Jesus by faith alone, for the forgiveness of his sins. Bob did not do this, and he died in his sins. Bob now will spend eternity in the lake of fire, paying for his own sins, which can never be paid for by him. Christ Jesus is the only one who was worthy to pay for the sins of mankind. Why! Because He was God in the flesh, our very Creator, he became human so He could take our sins upon Himself and die our death.
Men commit sin all the time, but NO man can pay the penalty required for the forgiveness of his sins. Again, only Christ can forgive sins.
Read all of Romans 1, but verse 23 tells us what we need to know about how to receive eternal life or salvation: Romans 6:23: 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
It’s so simple most will not believe it. Christ did all that was required for salvation, all we need to do is BELIEVE IT BY FAITH.
Nothing wrong with going to Church, but go for the right reason, stop “playing Church” and find a Grace Church that teaches that the whole Bible is true and the Word of God.
Do you go to Church to practice traditions and rituals? Do you go to Church to help with the potluck after Church? Do you go to Church to sing in the choir? Do you go to Church to be ushers? Do you go to Church to help babysit the children? Do you go to Church to see all of your friends? Do you go to Church to hear the latest gossip? The list could go on and on. Then you go home feeling like you fulfilled your obligation once again. You feel God is pleased with you for all you did to help out at Church. But if you just went to Church for any of the above reasons, then you are “playing Church.”
Now don’t take me wrong. “Some” of the things I said above are good and right, but they should not be the most important reason you went to Church. Why do you go to Church? Do you think because you go to Church and do some good deeds, or good works you will go to heaven and be with God when you die? You are fooling yourself if you believe that!
The main purpose of going to Church should be to Worship and Glorify God. Your Church needs to have Bible studies to help you grow in grace and knowledge of the truth. Do you like Bible studies? Do you want to know all you can about God and learn what His will is for you? Do you like to be with other people who also want to learn all they can about God and His ways? The only way you will want to do and know these things, and enjoy them, is “if” you are a true Christian believer. If you are not saved you are “playing Church” and wasting your time. Put faith in God alone and He will save you.
The following describes the Gospel of Grace and all the wonderful benefits you will receive if you quit “playing Church” and put your complete trust in Christ Jesus alone, by FAITH:
THE GOSPEL OF GRACE
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 2:8-9
The gospel is explained in I Corinthians 15:1-4: 1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
A key part of this explanation of the gospel is that we must believe. This has always been the case throughout the ages. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him,” Hebrews 11:6. “He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not, is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God,” John 3:18. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him,” John 3:36. We must believe the gospel; appropriate the finished work of Christ as our own. We must put our trust in Him, for He alone is trustworthy. Where does this faith come from?” So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God,” Romans 10:17. We are to accept what God tells us in His Word and believe it.
To believe is to be persuaded, to rely upon, and to trust in someone. God alone is trustworthy. “If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful (trustworthy): He cannot deny Himself”, II Timothy 2:13. We can depend on God when He states He will save us upon believing.
GRACE AND MERCY
Scripture Reading: Titus 3:4-7
The gospel of the grace of God is that we are saved by grace through faith, alone. We are not saved because of who we are or what we have done. We are nobody and we have done nothing worthy of God’s salvation. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast,” Ephesians 2:8-9. “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness,” Romans 4:5. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, renewing of the Holy Ghost,” Titus 3:5.
Grace is receiving from God that which we do not deserve. “For by grace are ye saved through faiths and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God,” Ephesians 2:8. Mercy is not receiving from God that which we do deserve. God in His great grace sent His son to die in our place, so that He might freely give us salvation. He gave us that which we do not deserve. This is grace. We do deserve judgment, wrath and Hell. However, because of Christ’s finished work, we will not receive what we deserve, because Christ bore this judgment in our place. That is God’s mercy. We appropriate all of this by faith alone.
What are some of the results of salvation? Let’s find out: Scripture Reading: Ephesians 1:3-7
Upon belief of the gospel, we are saved from condemnation and assured of eternal life in heaven. However, there is much more that a believer has upon salvation. Just as salvation is given by God’s grace, so the accompanying blessings are bestowed by God’s grace. He has indeed “blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ,” Ephesians 1:3.
Look at what the Scriptures state that a believer is:
1. A part of God’s, eternal purpose– The moment we are saved we are made a member of the church, which is the Body of Christ, “that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us through Christ Jesus,” Ephesians 2:7.
2. Reconciled to God– As far as God is concerned all barriers have been eliminated. We have been drawn nigh to God because the Lord Jesus has taken away the obstacle between man and God. That obstacle was sin, See II Corinthians 5:18-21.
3. Forgiven– All sins, past, present, and future have been forever forgiven. “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven all your trespasses,” Colossians 2:13.
4. No longer condemned– The unbeliever is condemned already, John 3:18. However, the believer has all condemnation removed. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,” Romans 8:1.
As a result of being saved, the believer is:
5· Justified– To be justified is to be declared righteous in God’s sight. The moment we believe we are justified before God. We have been “justified by faith,” Romans 5:1. This justification was procured by the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. We have been “justified by His blood,” Romans 5:9. All of this was made possible by God’s amazing grace. We have been “justified freely by His grace,” Romans 3:24.
6. Sanctified– We have been permanently set apart unto God in our Lord Jesus Christ. He purchased us and we belong to Him, I Corinthians 1:30.
7· Made fit for heaven– In ourselves we are totally unfit for heaven. Only God could make us fit for heaven. He has “made us meet (fit) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light,” Colossians 1:12.
8. Made accepted– Our own righteousness is as filthy rags, Isaiah 64:6 and is not acceptable to God. But by His grace we are made acceptable in the Lord Jesus Christ, Ephesians 1:6.
9· Made the righteousness of God– “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him,” II Corinthians 5:21.
10. Sons of God– We have been made the sons of God with all its privileges through our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Galatians 3:26.
God love’s everyone, God is love, but God’s love will not, and cannot allow the sinner into heaven without his sins being paid for. Christ has already pain for all sin when He died at Calvary some two thousand years ago, but each individual must come to Christ of his or her own free will and accept by faith what Christ accomplished at Calvary as payment for their sins. God hates sin and it must be paid for by His Son, our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus, there is no other way, Galatians 2:21: 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Christ does ALL the saving, we do ALL the believing!
If you insist on “playing Church” you will die in your sins, you will have no hope of ever being with God in heaven.
Please think seriously about what was said in this article, your eternal destiny is at stake. You have free will to do what you want, but God wants you to choose life, not death.
NOW IS THE TIME TO STOP “PLAYING CHURCH.” Christ will help you IF you sincerely seek Him.
Maranatha (Lord come)