What I am about to say in this article may not make you happy and you may disagree totally. However, this is something that has been on my mind for a long time and I want to address it here because I believe it may help you reach out to those lost souls you encounter and try to teach the truth too.
First I want to point out that the church is not the building it is simply where we as Christians choose to gather to worship God in spirit and truth to the best of our ability. We the people that make up the congregation are the Lords church. I was speaking with a dear friend the other night and I said I just want to be know as a Christian I don't want to be known as a church of Christer or any other name that may be above the door or on the sign outside the building.
We all know that in the first century Christians met where ever they could. We are told in Mat_18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. I believe that we as Christians sometimes simply lose focus of our real goal which is to spread the Gospel. We are good at showing up for services and doing our due diligence in worship yet we get so tied up in showing others where they are wrong and always pointing out to others how bad it is for them to believe false doctrine that we don't build them up and give them reason to obey the gospel.
We are good at pointing out the faults of others when we should be doing like Philip with the eunuch in Acts.
Act_8:29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, Go near and join yourself to this chariot.
Act_8:30 And Philip ran there to him and heard him read the prophet Isaiah, and said, Do you indeed understand what you are reading?
Act_8:31 And he said, How can I unless some man should guide me? And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him.
Act_8:34 And the eunuch answered Philip and said, I beg you, of whom does the prophet speak this? Of himself or of some other man?
Act_8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth and began at the same Scripture and preached the gospel of Jesus to him.
Act 8:36 And as they passed along the way, they came on some water. And the eunuch said, See, here is water, what hinders me from being baptized?
Act_8:37 Philip said, If you believe with all your heart, it is lawful. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
Act_8:38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still. And they both went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch. And he baptized him.
Act_8:39 And when they had come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more. And he went on his way rejoicing.
If we will start where those we meet are and lovingly teach them Christ and him crucified we can then work with others to help them understand what and why they have been taught wrong. But, when we just go on the attack right off the bat we push those we would teach the truth away.
We are quick to say this is the truth believe it, but we fall short when we don't get results right away. What if God gave up on us as quickly as we give up on each other. Yes, there may come a time when you need to say I have told you the truth and shown you by scripture that truth, you then have to leave the decision to the person your trying to help as to whether they want to accept it. But you will know in your heart that you planted the seed of truth.
I use the example all the time that you can't beat others over the head with the bible and expect them to be responsive. The confusion between the name on the door and what the church really is has to be taught to everyone. We as the body of Christ in our local areas must show others the truth not just in word but in deed. Do people see you as just another so called church of Christer or as simply a Christian.
Since the very beginning it has been a struggle to get people to understand that the Lord setup one church and that the one church he setup is made up of those who believe and worship Him in the manner He and the apostles set forth for us.
Mat 16:12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
Mat 16:13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
Mat 16:14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
Mat 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
Mat 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Mat 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
When we help others open their eyes to the fact that the church was built on the basis of Christ being the son of God we do well. Often times though this can be difficult since Satan has been roaming to and fro deceiving men since time began. Satan himself knows the scriptures and for those who are looking for the easy way out he uses the same scriptures to twist the minds of men enough to draw them away from God.
We as Christians need to realize that it may take a good amount of time to teach others the truth once they have been taught a lie and been indoctrinated into the denominational world we have today. We all need to remember the parable of the sower.
Mar 4:3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
Mar 4:4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
Mar 4:5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
Mar 4:6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
Mar 4:7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
Mar 4:8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.
We want to be sure to sow the seed of salvation on as fertile soil as possible so we need to tend the hearts and minds of those we teach in a loving and gentile manner. Even if we don't see the fruits of our labor we never know who might come along and water the seed we planted but we know for sure if we plant in the fertile soil God will surely give the increase.
So now to conclude my thoughts let me say this. Yes we know the truth, Yes we are charged with spreading the good news, these are facts but I believe we need to start where each person is and in a loving manner teach them the truth as set out in the scriptures. Doing so in a manner that we are planting in good ground, and instead of just pointing out where everyone is wrong find the things they know right and build on that setting a proper foundation for the word of God to grow and bring forth fruit.
Remember you are a Christian not a church of Christer do not give others the chance to accuse you of "believing that because of the name on the door your the only one going to heaven." Rather teach them Christ and him Crucified and teach them to be Christians.
May God Bless