It's important to find and worship at the right church, a church that has sound teaching and practices that shows true fidelity to scripture.
Since the first century, churches have been challenged by false doctrine. One in particular was the church at Corinth. The apostle Paul wrote a letter to admonish the church to get back on track with God and followed up on his message: "I am not sorry that I sent that severe letter to you, though I was sorry at first, for I know it was painful to you for a little while. Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There's no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death." -2 Corinthians 7: 8-10
In the book of Titus, we read of the young pastor on the island of Crete who faced two main problems in the church. One faction said that because God's grace was sufficient for salvation, that sin could increase and immoral behavior was OK. The other group believed in salvation by works in that simply slavish obedience to rules justifies us with God. Paul addresses the former in Romans: "Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?" -Romans 6: 1,2. That we are justified by faith is reflected in Romans 4, 4,5: "When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners."
Corruption in the church continues in various ways through the 21st century. It’s amazing that so many churches today have caved in to the world. Research shows that that support among Americans for same-sex marriage has grown from 31 percent in 2004 to 55 percent in 2016. This support is growing about the same for churches – for the progressive ones. There is a cultural divide in our country, over this and other sinful issues, as reflected in the modern church.
Christians must hold themselves accountable for learning for themselves the truth about God. They can do this by earnestly studying scripture, descerning who God really is, not what we think he is or what we would like him to be. To borrow a lyric from an old Motown song, when seeking a church or any other form of fellowship, "You better shop around!"
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