Thursday, June 14, 2007

“Christianity or Churchianity - Which are You a Part of?”

Looking at the title, some may say, “What’s the difference?” That is exactly what concerns me. They THINK they are part of Christianity when, in truth, they are really only part of a church. Today, we are going to briefly look at both and make sure we are part of Christianity, and not just part of a church (churchianity). You can find people who are a part of churchianity in any denomination (including yours)!!!

This devotion has been inspired by the answer I have often heard when this subject comes up. I’ve heard this answer when I lived in the North and in the South. It is sometimes worded a little differently, but basically the same answer. The typical question I ask when I am told about a dying person or a serious situation in a person’s life, “ARE THEY SAVED?” The typical answer I get is, “Oh yes, he goes to church every week.” My question back to them is, “BUT IS HE SAVED?” Often the person I’m talking with thinks I’m nuts for asking, after all they just told me this person goes to church. I then explain that just because someone goes to church doesn’t make them a Christian anymore than swimming makes me a fish.

May you also understand there is a vast difference between a churchgoer and Christian. I believe EVERY Christian should be part of a church and not be in disobedience to the Word of God (Heb.10:25). To be a church, doesn’t mean you have to meet in a building with a steeple on it, it could mean that you are meeting in a home or storefront as a newly planted church. Christians should go to a local church, but just because you go to church doesn’t mean you are a Christian.

What is Churchianity? - It is when someone is a part of a church, may even be very active, sing in the choir, or be an elder or deacon in the church. He is likely proud of his church (and likely his denomination). He may have mastered all the “Christian lingo,” yet he has not ever personally accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior.

What is Christianity? - Christianity is made up of individuals who have come to a realization individually that they are a sinner in need of a Savior, who is Jesus Christ. They repent of their wretched sinful state before God, and accept the Death/Burial/Resurrection of Jesus on the cross to wash away their sins and to make them a new creation. They also give Jesus control of their lives as LORD and SAVIOR. Christians are followers of Christ (Christlike). That’s a basic overview of what makes one a Christian and, thus, part of Christianity.

Many today are saying, "I'm of this ministry" or "I'm of this denomination," sounding a lot like I Cor. 1:12,13 - "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. v.13 - Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?" To be a part of a ministry or denomination is fine (most of us are) UNLESS IT'S ABOVE JESUS IN YOUR LIFE. In that case, you are part of churchianity and NOT Christianity.

I would like to close with what I consider a very sobering passage of scripture. Matthew 7:21-23 - "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

A person can say the right thing, even say “LORD, LORD,” and yet NOT be SAVED (a Christian). Christianity involves obeying our Heavenly Father!

It says that MANY will say, we "prophesied," "cast out demons" and "did many wonderful works (i.e., miracles)" all "IN THY NAME." God’s answer to all this will be, "I NEVER KNEW YOU." Never in the Greek means "not even at any time." These were people who were NEVER saved! Sobering thought!!!

In closing:

I believe there are some out there reading this who have been part of churchianity (maybe all your life), but today God is calling you to receive Him as your Lord and Savior and become part of Christianity. Others of you who are reading this know people who are not true Christians, they may even go to church but they are not saved. I pray God will help you to minister Christ to them. We have a mission field in and outside of the Church walls, may the deception of churchianity be broken in lives of many church goers, so they can truly come to a true knowledge of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

If you are a Pastor/Minister, I urge you to do your part in breaking the power of churchianity over many that may be sitting in your own congregations.

We really are living in critical times, no time to waste!

Please take this message seriously,
and may we be used of God to make an
eternal difference for the Kingdom of God!

May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all,
Jim (