Wherever you are going, you can find a church. But, no church can take you to heaven. There are many roads leading somewhere but there is only one way to earthly joy and then to heaven. Many think they have found a way but God stated, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." (1)
Jesus said, "Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction,
and many there be which go in there at:"(2)
An Old Testament writer stated, "O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." (3)
The problem: each person is born with a wicked nature. This is easy to see in others but difficult to admit about one's self. The Bible says, "The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9)
The Bible states, "There is none righteous, no, not one:" (Romans 3:10) Also, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (Romans 3:23)
Every person born into the world is on the broad road which is not the road to heaven.
The person must decide to change roads: to repent.
The first message by Jesus, as recorded in Matthew was, "Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4:17) Jesus later said, "I am the way' the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me."
This sin nature is evident but is denied by many. It is natural and easy to do wrong. Why are people afraid to see or read the 10 Commandments? Each Command is an indictment of the sin within the person. "Thou shalt not steal." Thou shalt not bear false witness." (Don't lie.) "Thou shalt not commit adultery." and "Thou shalt not covet." All human beings are filled with sinful thoughts and wickedness. The statement, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" is verified by the daily news and other events. Also, each person's life history evidences sin. To have broken even one commandment in one's lifetime brings a guilty verdict of sin to the individual. Actually each has transgressed God's law, almost daily. "All have sinned." "So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." (Romans 8:8)
The result is God's condemnation; God said, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." (4) and "... the wages of sin is death. (5) Also, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:" (Romans 5:12)
"And there shall in no wise enter into it (heaven) any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." (Revelation 21:27)
The Bible does not leave mankind with a message of helplessness. God goes on to say, "But God commendeth (shows) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
The same passage that states, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God," goes on the say, "but the gift of God is eternal life (including heaven) through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
Jesus, himself said that He had, "come to seek and to save that which was lost." (6) He told a very religious man, "Ye must be born again." (John 3:) He also said, "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)
He also said, "That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:15, 16)
No one can earn his/her way to heaven. "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us." (7) Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3) (When the Bible uses the word, "man" in these and other similar passages, it means, "any person.")
One man in great need prayed: "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." (8)
The Apostle Paul wrote, "It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." (9) God wants to help people.
Each person must come to God, via way of Jesus, because of His death on the cross. He/She must see himself/herself as a sinner, want to turn from sin, and accept that Jesus death was for him/her personally.
God, because of Jesus Christ's death, forgives the person's sin and The Holy Spirit of God makes him/her a new person. The sins are forgiven and the person is born into the Family of God (born again). The Bible states: "Therefore if any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature, old things have passed away,
behold all things are become new." (10) This is the beginning of a new life here on this earth and the promise of heaven, hereafter. ("To be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.")
Three days after Jesus' death, he was raised from the dead. He is now in heaven. He told His disciples, "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2)
This is a promise of heaven. Repeating 2 Corinthians 5:8: "To be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."
Where does a church fit into the picture? No "Church" can transport a person to heaven. A church that teaches the Word of God is to help people find the road to heaven. That "road" is actually the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself. He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, except by me." (John 14:6)
God has ordained that believers assemble together for worship, for hearing the Word proclaimed and taught,
and for friendship with God's people. The believer is to hear God's Word taught accurately,
and to be supported by people who also want to hear the Word and keep it.
The church provides this fellowship with God's children; it is to teach the Word of God
for encouragement and for knowledge of God's will, from His Word.
When choosing a church, ask these questions: Is it made up of people who love God? Does it proclaim His Message that all have sinned and need a Savior?
Does it encourage the believers to follow God's will? Does it reach out to the needy? (Especially to those who need Jesus.)
The early apostles and believers assembled the first day of each week.
If you are asking or have asked God to forgive your sin because Jesus died for your sin, you need to find a church that clearly teaches God's Word.
The churches listed with FindChurch.net can help with a better understanding of what God has done for you and wants to do for you in the future. The Bible says, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together;" (11)
(1) Proverbs 14:12 (2) Matthew 7:13 (3) Jeremiah 10:23 (4) Ezekiel 18:4 (5) Romans 6:23
(6) Luke 19:10 (7) Titus 3:5 (8) Mark 9:24 (9) Philippians 2:13 (10) I Corinthians 5:17 (11)Hebrews 10:25