Which church to attend?

Dear Pastor: Thank you so very much in being so kind to respond to my inquiring about 1John 1:9. For a few months I have been listening on am 560 radio at 4:30 p.m. to a program which basically espouses God’s total grace. The program is called “People To People”. Their website is informative also: realanswers.net. It is from that I am mailing the webpage. Along with what you wrote and other referrals and this site as well and praying for wisdom in understanding I have to agree with you and the others over what this independent Baptist church believes. Now this church doesn’t believe occasional sin diminishes salvation at all, simply fellowship with God. When I first heard it my spirit couldn’t quite take it in as being correct. Pastor doesn’t mention the “short accounts” and “losing fellowship with God” often but when he does I sort of shrink inside because he does state how grateful he is to God for this cleansing. I hate the idea of leaving this church. In every other way they are edifying, and I appreciate the humbleness I see in the children as well as the adults. The location is close to my home; only approx. a ten minute drive. I’m in a pickle and really cannot figure out how much concern I should have. However, I’ve spent so much time trying to discover truth this last couple of years and so desiring to discern truth in God’s Word I’m not quite sure if I can ignore this particular stumbling block. Any input would be great if you ever get a chance. Thank you. I remain in Him.

I have mixed thoughts on how to advise you myself. You know that I believe the path of truth is where a Believer needs to be following. It is sound doctrine that builds us up and also produces the life of Christ in us. On the other hand, humility is a great attribute. To see this in the Saints where you fellowship says there are some good things being taught there. I would know no other place for you to go in this area. Pauline, mid-act, dispensational Bible study is the only way to accurately understand the Bible and purely be grounded in grace. Our church is not perfect. We surely have many characters in our fellowship. But we are the only church in the area that teaches “right division.” I do not say this to tell you to come here. I said this to tell you if you like where you are going, stay there a while yet until you get more uncomfortable with the doctrine, because wherever you go, if they do not teach God’s Word “rightly divided” there is going to be a mixed message of law and grace.

I have been watching Forgotten Truths for some time now. I live in Tifton, GA and am searching for a church that rightly divides the Word of Truth and uses Paul’s Epistles as our church doctrine for today. The problem is that I have been looking online at all the church websites for this area and I haven’t found a single one. I would like to raise my small children in a church setting, so should I just be satisfied with, say a Baptist church, even though my beliefs differ so much from their beliefs.

Thanks for writing and for watching our program “Forgotten Truths.” Your question is a tough one many are faced with. It is hard to know where all the “grace” churches are or even “grace” home studies are seeing that each one is independent. You may know how to search for them better than I do but the two places I know to look is the directories of either: www.enjoythebible.org or www.dispensationalberean.com/links.

If you cannot find a local assembly that teaches the Bible from a Pauline dispensational viewpoint, then I would look for a church that at least preaches clearly the gospel of grace and believes that the “Body of Christ” is distinct from Israel and that God will in the future full literally his promises to Israel.

Then I would try to find one that is more Bible oriented than denominational. If possible one, that still holds to the KJV and would allow you to have a different view of the beginning of grace than they without attack or condemnation. Sometimes an independent Baptist church that is Bible and local church oriented will be that way and if so it is better to be with the Saints than alone.