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← So many Denominations, which one is true? - Tim Conway

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Showing Revision 2 created 10/13/2017 by Carrie Spradlin.

  1. This one comes from Matthew.

  2. "Denominations.
  3. There's lots of them today.
  4. It's frustrating finding the truth.
  5. Is everyone wrong?
  6. There's only one truth.
  7. One interpretation.
  8. One right answer.
  9. How on earth do you find it?"
  10. Think that's a good question?
  11. The thing I would say to Matthew,
  12. is Matthew, for one, I'll tell you this,
  13. you don't find it in denominations,
  14. and you don't find it in men.
  15. Basically,
  16. what is the source of truth?
  17. Jesus Christ says, "Sanctify them...
  18. by Your truth.
  19. Your Word is truth."
  20. That's where we have to go.
  21. John 8:31, "Jesus said
    to the Jews who had
  22. believed in Him,
  23. 'If you abide in My Word,
  24. you are truly My disciples.
  25. And you will know the truth,
  26. and the truth will set you free.'"
  27. How does anybody come
    to know the truth?
  28. I mean, if you don't
    know what the truth is,
  29. how do you come to know it?
  30. You go to God's Word.
  31. What happened?
  32. You go to Acts 17.
  33. Who was noble?
  34. You know what I would have
  35. Connie put on the calendar?
  36. That this is called the
    Berean Bible Study.
  37. You know why I wanted
    it to be called that?
  38. Basically people that searched
    the Word of God;
  39. they were noble and they
    searched the Word of God
  40. to see if these things were true.
  41. That's how we're going
    to find truth.
  42. Listen,
  43. the reality is that you can come across
  44. Methodists, Lutherans,
  45. you can come across Presbyterians,
  46. you can come across Brethren,
  47. you can come across Congregationalists,
  48. EV Free people
  49. that have truth.
  50. And you can come across a lot
  51. of Baptists who don't
    have much truth.
  52. You know, we can get all
    hung up with denominations.
  53. And of course, the Catholic church
  54. likes to say, "Well, they
    all broke away from us.
  55. That's why there's
    so many of them.
  56. We were the true church
    in the beginning
  57. And there's all this multiplicity
    of denominations.
  58. We're only one.
  59. And then you have all
    these denominations
  60. because they broke off from us."
  61. That's not true.
  62. And basically what
    all the denominations
  63. prove to us, is that you've got
  64. a lot of different people
  65. interpreting a lot of different things
  66. in the Bible, in a whole lot
    of different ways.
  67. And you say,
  68. well, how am I supposed to know?
  69. If you've got these
    people over here
  70. that interpret it that way;
  71. and these people over here,
    that interpret it that way.
  72. These people over here,
    interpret it that way.
  73. Well, I can tell you this.
  74. There are some basic essentials
  75. to the Gospel that if you believe,
    you'll be saved.
  76. Even if you're off on other parts.
  77. Folks, wouldn't we agree,
  78. there are Presbyterians in heaven
  79. that got it wrong on baptism.
  80. Right?
  81. Congregationalists.
  82. We might say there that
    they got it wrong over here.
  83. But there are those that
    got it right enough.
  84. Folks, I'm reading right now
  85. about some Lutherans that
    had a whole lot right.
  86. And I've read before about
  87. some Methodists that have
    a whole lot right.
  88. And bottom line,
  89. how do we determine right and wrong?
  90. It's not by the denominational label
  91. that somebody holds.
  92. It certainly isn't,
  93. you drive down the road
    and you see a sign
  94. that says "Baptist"
    and you can say,
  95. "Oh, well, they've
    got the truth."
  96. How do you know?
  97. The Apostle John said this,
  98. he says "test the spirits."
  99. How in the world do you test the spirits?
  100. Paul speaking to the Thessalonians
    said the same thing.
  101. Test everything.
  102. Hold fast to what's good.
  103. Or, hold fast to what's true.
  104. How do you know?
  105. How do you know
    what to hold fast to?
  106. You've got to be like the Bereans.
  107. What happened?
  108. What was it that the Bereans did?
  109. They searched the Scriptures.
  110. But what did they search the
    Scriptures to do?
  111. What in the world even possessed
    them to search the Scriptures?
  112. Well, they had heard teaching, right?
  113. They sat under teaching.
  114. They'd heard somebody preach,
  115. and then they went
    to the Word of God
  116. to see if it was true.
  117. You know what?
  118. I call this Berean Bible Study,
  119. because I hope that you folks
  120. are going to be folks that
    are going to know the Bible much.
  121. Jesus Christ said,
  122. "You will know the truth, and
    the truth will set you free."
  123. How do people know the truth?
  124. They know the truth when
    they're taught of the Spirit.
  125. They know the truth when
    God opens their eyes to realize
  126. that certain things are true.
  127. I suspect that God gave us
  128. enough difference
  129. to test our love.
  130. To test our graciousness.
  131. You know what Jesus Christ said?
  132. You know, some of the disciples
    came to Him one day
  133. and said, "Lord, we told these people
    over there to stop."
  134. Why?
  135. Because they weren't with us.
  136. In other words, another denomination.
  137. Right?
  138. It's just like that.
  139. They went, Lord, they weren't with us.
  140. We're the in group.
    We're the in crowd.
  141. And see, we tend to think that.
  142. Most people think,
  143. we've got the truth.
  144. Very few others do.
  145. And what did Jesus say?
  146. He said look, if they're not against Me,
  147. then what?
  148. If they're not against us,
  149. they're with us.
  150. It is a sad fact
  151. of those who do bear witness to the truth,
  152. now that's not to say there's a whole lot,
  153. but it's interesting how we
    write certain things up.
  154. Can I tell you something?
  155. When George Whitefield preached,
  156. anybody know what denomination
  157. he was affiliated with?
  158. Whitefield never sought to start
  159. a denomination.
  160. He pretty much pledged himself
  161. to the Anglican movement
  162. Whitefield and Wesley
  163. came out of Anglicanism.
  164. Now Wesley made definitely
  165. more of a concerted effort.
  166. And you know we have
    the Wesleyan Methodists,
  167. the Arminian Methodists that came
  168. more out of Wesley's efforts;
  169. and then more of the Calvinistic
  170. Methodist movement came out of
  171. those that God raised up in Wales,
  172. like the Daniel Roland's,
  173. the Howell Harris's.
  174. And then also the George Whitefield's.
  175. You know, Anglicans. Anglicans!
  176. Do you know that the Baptists
  177. would discipline their members
  178. if they went to hear Whitefield preach?
  179. I had a man that I highly respect
  180. tell me he would not allow
  181. George Whitefield in his pulpit.
  182. Why?
  183. You know what?
  184. Can I tell you something?
  185. In the first and second
    Great Awakenings,
  186. the Calvinistic Baptists were
  187. largely passed over.
  188. It's historical.
  189. You can read about it.
  190. Why?
  191. For that very reason right there.
  192. They would discipline their members
  193. if they'd go listen to Whitefield preach.
  194. The Spirit of God rested upon Whitefield.
  195. Multitudes were being converted.
  196. The Spirit of God rested upon John Wesley,
  197. as much as a lot of Calvinists
    don't want to admit it.
  198. And the Baptist churches
    were disciplining
  199. members if they'd go.
  200. By and large,
  201. in the first and second Great Awakenings,
  202. the Spirit of God passed
    over the Baptists.
  203. Isn't that shameful?
  204. And you know what's likely to
    happen today?
  205. If revival breaks out in this land,
  206. I'm not going to say it might not happen
  207. among Calvinistic Bapists,
  208. but what if it broke out among Lutherans?
  209. What if it broke out with Methodists?
  210. Would we even know?
  211. What if true revival broke out
  212. among the charismatics?
  213. Would we even know?
  214. I just watched a video -
  215. just a little part of it last night,
  216. like the first five minutes.
  217. Some guy did a message on
  218. charismatic Calvinists.
  219. Just bitter and hateful.
  220. You can see it.
  221. It's one of the most popular videos
  222. on sermonaudio.com right now.
  223. You see that kind of thing.
  224. If revival broke out among charismatics,
  225. I can tell you that guy
    preaching that message
  226. wouldn't even know.
  227. Brethren, bottom line,
  228. if we see something that seems to be
  229. a move of God;
  230. we see something preached out there,
  231. we need to test the spirits.
  232. Not by the denominational label,
  233. but by "thus sayeth the Lord."
  234. Go to the Word of God.
  235. You know what, if they love Christ,
  236. I think we should be stand,
  237. I think we should be willing
    to spill our blood for
  238. our convictions regarding baptism
  239. and the Lord's Supper.
  240. We ought to be willing
    to die for our convictions.
  241. But the fact is,
  242. we'd have to admit,
  243. that people have
    had different ideas
  244. about the Lord's Supper
  245. and about baptism
  246. that are in heaven now.
  247. And I know there
    are some Baptists
  248. that don't like to admit that.
  249. Folks, look, there are a lot
  250. of different ideas out there,
  251. but I'll tell you this,
  252. who's the pillar and ground of truth?
  253. The church is.
  254. And so you know what?
  255. Even though there's
    a lot of differences,
  256. there are good churches out there,
  257. and they are
    few and far between,
  258. as I've told people lately
  259. that I've counseled to,
  260. and people over the Internet and by phone.
  261. Look, I think behind
    any decisions you make
  262. about receiving Christ,
  263. I think next to choosing
    the right spouse in life,
  264. the third most important decision
  265. you can make in life
  266. has to do with what church you go to.
  267. I believe that you should choose
  268. where you live, where you work,
  269. based on what church
    you're going to go to.
  270. Where you're going
    to raise your children,
  271. based on where a good church is.
  272. Because I'll tell you what,
  273. it will have a lot to do with your life.
  274. It will have a lot to do
    with your fruitfulness.
  275. But we need to be testing them.
  276. Listen to this,
  277. you know this - Revelation 2:2
  278. Jesus said this of the Ephesian church,
  279. "I know your works; your toil,
    your patient endurance;
  280. how you cannot bear with those
    who are evil,
  281. but have tested..."
    Look at that.
  282. "...but have tested those who
    call themselves apostles
  283. and are not, and found them
    to be false."
  284. How do you test?
  285. How do you test somebody and
    find them to be false?
  286. I'll tell you what Jesus said
  287. about false prophets.
  288. You've got false churches;
    you've got bad doctrine.
  289. Jesus says this,
  290. "Beware of false prophets.
  291. They come in sheep's clothing,
  292. but inwardly are ravenous wolves."
  293. How did He say we'll recognize them?
  294. By their fruits.
  295. I'll tell you this,
  296. where you find unholy living,
  297. you've got bad doctrine.
  298. Guarantee you.
  299. You want to know what's
    most important?
  300. What are the doctrines that
    are really essential?
  301. Let me just throw some off the top.
  302. Listen, the devil attacks
    primarily in two places:
  303. The person of Christ.
  304. And the work of Christ.
  305. Guarantee it.
  306. And it's Christ.
    He is always the issue.
  307. So you want to look for good doctrine.
  308. You want to look for good church.
  309. I don't care what the denomination is.
  310. You're looking for a church that
  311. is really a pillar, a ground,
  312. a buttress of truth.
  313. You're going to go in there,
  314. and you're going to look at
    these two things.
  315. What do they do with Christ?
    His person?
  316. What do they do with Christ - His work?
  317. Guarantee - the devil
    attacks in both places.
  318. You've got false doctrine?
  319. What are they doing?
  320. Oneness doctrine:
  321. The Father is the Son.
  322. Rejection of the deity - the JW's.
  323. He's not God.
  324. There will be some rejection
    in His person.
  325. The devil always goes after
    the glory of Christ.
  326. He wants to chop it down somehow.
  327. And then the work.
  328. What about the work?
  329. Anywhere where there's works?
  330. Run for your life!
  331. Because it's damnable.
  332. Because the only Gospel that saves,
  333. is the Gospel that is 100%
  334. based on the merits of Jesus Christ.
  335. That doctrine of justification
    is essential.
  336. We are justified by faith
  337. aside from any works of the law.
  338. And anytime people want to add to it,
  339. whether it's - you've got to be baptized;
  340. you've got to speak in tongues;
  341. they add anything whatsover,
  342. no matter how pretty it might sound,
  343. if they're adding anything
  344. to the merits of Jesus Christ,
  345. run from it like the plague.
  346. But I'll tell you this,
  347. where they make much of Christ,
  348. and much of the work of Christ,
  349. though they may go
    wrong in many things;
  350. they're with us.
  351. They're with us, folks.
  352. Where Christ is the sole basis
  353. of our acceptance with God.
  354. Where Christ is made much of,
  355. where He's exalted,
  356. and where what's said of Him
    in the Scriptures
  357. is said of Him by that church
  358. or by that preacher,
  359. they may go wrong in things like baptism;
  360. they may go wrong in things like
    the Lord's Supper;
  361. they may go wrong
  362. and their ecclesiology may be off
  363. and they may have problems
  364. with regards to their cessationist views
  365. or non-cessationist or various
    works of the Spirit...
  366. Test the spirits, brethren.