Church of God, New World Ministries

What Do Churchgoers Believe - And Why?

A very large segment of American and British life attends church on Sunday mornings. Why do they go? What do these churchgoers believe, and why? The plain truth is a little shocking, and illuminating!

Nothing is so astonishing as the truth! It is often stranger than fiction. Most people who attend church regularly, or even occasionally, would be really surprised if they should probe into their own minds far enough to ask why they go, and just what is their religious belief and why?

Do you have a definite religion? What do you believe? The truth of the matter is, you probably had no deep-rooted convictions. You just believe those things you heard most often in church. You, like me, supposed there is a heaven and hell an ever-burning hell. You were taught you had an immortal soul. You believed in Sunday, and Christmas, and New Year’s and Easter and heard such religious terms has Pentecost, grace, sanctification, justification, dead in trespasses and sins.

You have probably said I have heard of these terms from the Bible, but I just can’t understand the Bible.

Speaking of the Bible, what does the average churchgoer think about the Bible? Years ago, it was referred to as the “Good Book,” and you probably, in some way, regard it with a certain superstitious awe but it was just beyond your comprehension.

You probably assume that the church gets its beliefs out of the Bible. You might look at the minister as a person different from the rest of the people around you. He was a sort of holy man, not tempted by sin or to enjoy worldly pleasures like other people. The Bible was the Book people had their hands on when taking the oath of office. The Bible was a Book that you would be too embarrassed to carry down the street.

Do you look on the Bible as “the Word of God”? Probably so, but you probably didn’t think of it in specific terms as the message, the instruction of God, to give man the explanation of what he is, and why he is here, and where he is going, and how he ought to live, and how he can be happy, and prosperous, and enjoy life more.

Somehow “religion” was for Sunday morning it was a sin to dance, or smoke, go watch movies at a theater, or to swear, or drink at any time. Just what is it that your church teaches and believes?

Religion was for Sunday morning and had no connection whatever with your life otherwise. Religion? Well, you vaguely heard that Adam was the first man, and the he sinned and “fell” whatever that meant. You were on a one-way trip on a train, because of Adam, the switch in the track at the end of life is thrown to shoot us all down to hell. So we need to “get saved.”

When one is “saved,” the switch in the track at the end of life’s journey is then thrown so that, when he gets to the end of the line he will be shot instantly up to heaven, “to be with the Lord” in mansions above, “over the river,” or “ on the other shore,” wherever all that was. Anyway, it was “up yonder” and when they called the roll, you took it for granted you were going to be there.

What is your idea of God and of Jesus Christ and of the devil? Was it that God was One to fear and be appeased, in a way and yet, if we pleased Him, He could make things break our way for us. If we faced a frightful tragedy and possible death, crying out to Him might save us. Did you take it for granted that God didn’t want us to be happy and enjoy life, He certainly frowned on all worldly pleasures, but Christ was more kind and loving, He was our Saviour. Maybe above all, neither God nor Christ was real to you, they were in reality “far off.”

Now maybe these things are not definite, concrete beliefs or deep-rooted convictions. They were just ethereal, vague assumptions, we just took for granted, supposing everybody believed these things. Maybe your mind was focused on the material interests of the moment things close at hand. After all, religion was for Sunday. It had no relation to or connection with the rest of life as a whole your school, fun, play, hobbies, and, as we grow older, business, philosophies and beliefs.

How many have taken God for granted, never proving that He really does exist. How many have put the Bible to the test, proving whether or not it is the Word of God!

Once you have proven the Bible is the Word of God, and what you have been taught and heard from others is wrong, your pride will be wounded and you will have to admit that what you believe is wrong. It will be a bitter pill to swallow.

Once you have swallowed your pride, admitted defeat, and humbled, and repented and accepted the Christ of the Bible, a different Christ that you had previously pictured, you will find the true source for your belief.

What a difference there is between professed “Christians” who are just churchgoers, and the true Bible Christian. People who make up the true Church of God knows the difference, because they have been both.

Regardless of whether one has been angered into an honest study of the Bible, or whether he has never been to church or heard anything else in the first place, or why he looks into the Bible for himself, he will find the same thing members of God’s true Church found, he is honest and willing.

A person who is born and reared on a faraway uninhabited island in mid-ocean, having never heard any religious belief, if he had a Bible and was able to read, would be a total stranger to many of these things taught today on Sunday morning he would see, in the Bible, just what everybody else does who looks into it honestly.

What’s wrong then? When today’s “enlightened” clergy, and its theological seminaries where young ministers are educated, spend more time trying to determine how much of the Bible they wish to classify as myth, and how little is truth - when only 1 or 2 percent of theological students, by actual survey, believe in a “second coming” of Christ which is stated and affirmed repeatedly in the Bible. When theologians and the professional clergy “interpret” the bible to mean the very opposite of what it plainly says, in order to pretend that it supports their pagan teachings then you may know what is wrong.

If you will read Jeremiah 23, Ezekiel 13 and 34, which are prophecies of conditions now, in our day, and of Christ’s statement of Matthew 24:4-5, 11, 24 of the false preachers that would deceive the many; and of the many statements in the Bible that the whole world would be deceived, you will begin to understand. It is indeed, hard for one born, reared, and steeped in this world’s education, religion, customs and ways, to realize that his is not God’s world, but Satan’s. It comes as a jarring shock! (Send for our enlightening DVD set “Babylonian Mystery Religion Parts 1 & 2 to learn how this world was deceived and is presently being deceived.)

The Bible ought never to be interpreted. It means what it says, and it says what it means. Taken as it is, it makes sense.

Don’t be a spiritual coward. Look into it for yourself! It’s full of surprises it’s full of truth its full of the way to a positive peace of mind, to happiness, to prosperity, abundant living here and now, and to salvation in joyous eternal life forever. God’s world is soon coming, the peaceful, happy New World of tomorrow.

(Enroll today in our Mini-series “Traditional Christian Doctrines” to learn the truth about traditional Christian beliefs and their origins).

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