How Do I Find the Right Church?
The Bible uses two terms to describe what happens when people say Yes to God and join His family. This experience, which was explained earlier, is being born again. New Christians are part of God's family just as certainly as they are part of their earthly parents' family. He is their Father, and they are His children. (See John 3:3-8.) The other term used to describe this relationship is adoption. Even though all humans are born in a condition that inevitably leads to death, Christians are adopted into God's family and given all the inheritance rights of God's Son. Because Jesus rose from the dead, those who trust in Him will, too. Because Christians are part of God's family, they can feel completely secure. He will not disown them or rewrite His will. He has promised to be faithful to His children, and God always keeps His promises. As children of God, Christians can have power to follow Jesus even when the way is hard, power to make Jesus known to others, power to love and to serve. His children also have hope. No longer will they fear that death will ruin their plans and destroy their relationships. Instead, they have confidence that God will raise them to life in a new world where all is life and peace and joy.
Since Christians have opened the door to Christ and have come home to God, they have acquired a new set of spiritual brothers and sisters-God's other children on earth. It is important for God's family to meet together regularly. As God's church with God's power, we can expect miracles.
Time to Grow
People begin life in God's family just as they began it in their parents' family — as babies. Baby Christians need to be nurtured, protected, taught, and loved, and the church is the best place for them to gain the support they need to grow tall and strong.
Baby Christians need rich nourishment, and no source is better than God's Word. The Bible, a collection of 66 books, is a portable library that contains enough nourishment for several lifetimes of rapid growth.
- To learn more about God's love for His children, read the short book of I John, near the back.
- To get better acquainted with Jesus, your Savior, read one of the Gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke or John.
- To understand more about how Jesus' death means life for you, read Romans.
- To praise God for inviting you into His family, read some of the Psalms (start with Psalm 100).
To help you grow
To help you grow in this new life, here are some suggestions.
- Tell a friend. Is there someone you know who would rejoice with you about what you just did-perhaps a pastor or Christian friend? Tell him or her (through a visit, call or letter). Share the excitement of your new commitment with someone else!
- Read the Bible. Do you have a Bible or at least the New Testament part of the Bible? If not, buy one in a modem translation. You can also receive a free Bible from Focus on the Family by writing, Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, CO 80995 or (in Canada) P.O. Box 9800, Stn Terminal, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 4G3. The Bible is God's Word, His message to mankind, and so it is important to know what it says. Begin by looking up and reading the verses listed in this article. Then read about a chapter a day beginning with the book of Mark. Next you could read Philippians, then James and I John. A pastor or Christian friend will be able to help you in your Bible study.
- Talk to God regularly. Make prayer a habit. This means talking to God about anything, at any time of the day or night. It also means spending a "quiet" time with Him where you meditate on His Word, tell Him of your love and devotion, and talk to Him about others and their needs. In any relationship, communication is vital.
- Get involved in a church. Churches are where God's people gather to worship Him together, learn from the Bible, encourage each other, and welcome new believers into God's family. Find a church near you that does these things, and get involved. Your church should believe that the Bible is the accurate Word of God, that Jesus Christ is God's Son, that He is fully God and man, and that only through faith in Jesus Christ can a person have eternal life.
You will still have many questions as you begin your new life with God and His family of believers, but now you know the One who has the answers.
For a complimentary copy of the Gospel of John, visit www.pocketpower.org.