Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. – Galatians 1: 10 (NLT) This was the question posed to me this morning by a friend of mine. Is there any church you like? I have written before about the unpopularity of writing in a discernment ministry. No one likes their tree shaken. I get that; I really do. But the calling I have been given is a burden and that burden is for people who are unsaved, sitting in church pews across this country. People who are taught to play church. Who are fed a steady diet of rotten spiritual milk. I know the Scriptures that clearly show there will be people on the last day stunned that they are not in Christ. People who may have spent a great portion of their time here on earth thinking they were serving Jesus, only to discover in the end that He never knew them. That is frightening to me. Realize this has nothing to do with me. Of these I am the least. I write all the time about the bar God found me in. I am amazed that God uses me for anything. I am nothing but a sinner saved by the grace of an unbelievably forgiving God. Whatever I have, I have because God allowed it. Whatever success I enjoy, God has provided. I do not view blessings in the future tense. God could do nothing else for me the rest of my life and He still would have done everything for me. Also, this is not about seeking perfection in the church. No church will ever be perfect because men run them. But there is a stark difference between imperfect and apostate. There is a stark difference between imperfection and heretical teaching that undermines the Gospel of Jesus Christ and sends people on the broad path to destruction; singing kumbya and thinking they are saved. I am not the one that said many will say Lord Lord only not to enter the Kingdom – Jesus said it. I am not the one that said the path to heaven is on a narrow road that few find – Jesus said it. I did not say that many will arise from within the church system and lead the elect away – God did. I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. – Romans 9: 1-2 (NIV) What was upsetting Paul so greatly here was the rejection of Christ by his own people, the Jews. Likewise I feel great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart when I think about my people, Christians, and their own rejection of Christ for the systems of man made logic that so many of our churches have become. I gain nothing for this here on earth but as the key verses always remind me, it is Christ that I must seek to please and not man. I am not a servant of the church – but rather a servant of God. So is there any church I like? Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of Godwhich He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. – Acts 20: 26-31 (NKJV) There were so many Scriptures I could have turned to but these are from Paul’s farewell to the leaders of the new church he had formed in Ephesus. It was far from a perfect church but here we see some key characteristics for what a healthy church is supposed to be. Paul declares that he is innocent of the blood of those in Ephesus because he has not hesitated to declare the whole counsel of God. So is there a church I like? Yes – a church that recognizes that blood is always on the line. That this is serious business when we deal in the eternal destination of the souls of men. A church that takes its responsibilities seriously before God. A church that refuses to compromise the whole counsel of God. That means the entire Gospel. Not just the seeker friendly parts. Not just the ear tickling parts. Not just the parts that lead someone to be purpose driven to build a church building. That means love and wrath, heaven and hell, sin and repentance. Not self help nonsense. Not how to improve your marriage or how to become significant in your community. Neither an improved marriage nor community significance will lead you into eternal life; sorry. Secondly, I like a church that tends to the entire flock. We are not called to shepherd just those we like or those that agree with us – but all the sheep. The parable of the 99 and 1 could not be clearer. I once heard a pastor tell a congregation that if they had a problem with someone in the church they were unable to resolve they needed to leave! And two weeks later he preached on the 99 and 1! The Purpose Driven Church model actually teaches pastors how to get rid of people who may not agree with the model. We do not get to pick the sheep. Additionally here, I like a church that recognizes and never forgets the purchase price of our salvation. The church does not belong to me or you or any pastor but to God. He owns it because He purchased it with His own blood. Yet you rarely hear anything from seeker friendly pulpits anymore about the blood of Christ. A bloodless Christianity has no power to save anyone because the blood is what covers our sins. Lastly, I like a church that understands the spiritual war we are in. A church that understands that we will be attacked by wolves from both the inside and the outside. Notice that in these verses? We will have savage wolves from the outside coming into the church and not sparing the flock. Additionally however, Paul warns us that people will arise from within our own numbers, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples to themselves. Not for the cause of Christ - but for their own cause. Perverse is anything deviating from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Prosperity heresy is perverse. Seeker friendly and purpose driven are perverse. False signs and wonders and demonic “testimonies” about hanging out in the throne room of God are perverse. These are not my words beloved. They are the Words of God. I did not write the Bible – I only preach it. Some have asked why point out the heresy? Why not just preach what is right? Because like the Laodicean Church in Revelation – we have become pitifully blind yet we think we have 20-20 vision! We have become destitute but think we are rich beyond measure! We have become naked in our shamelessness yet think we are clothed in splendor! So I thank my friend for his question. I love the church of Jesus Christ and I abhor what it is becoming. I stand like Paul before me and have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. It is of no earthly benefit that I say these things. But the blood of the lost is at stake and I know God does not want to see any perish. Is there any church I like? Yeah, the one that serves Jesus Christ. Rev. Anthony.