The Bible says, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
Anyone who knows anything about the Bible knows that the literal church of the living God made up solely of those who’ve repented of their sins and put their faith in Jesus Christ alone for the salvation of their soul, is not going to hell.
So why then did I say that the church is going to hell? When I use the term church in this instance, I am not referring to the saved, the legitimate church of Jesus Christ, but to the religious crowd that gathers on the many occasions to participate in what takes place at a church building. These heavily churched and religious but lost people with all the correct answers about church doctrine but who’ve never personally experienced salvation will wake up in hell one day, if they don’t get saved.
Many that attend church regularly and have their name on the church roll cannot say they are certain they’ve been saved and know Christ as their Lord and Savior. Many of them say, “I hope I’m saved” or “I’m trying to be saved” but they don’t have the certitude, the assurance of salvation that God gives to those who sincerely put their faith in His Son Jesus Christ and His finished work of redemption. They don’t have the Spirit of God’s Son in their heart that cries “Abba Father” or “My Father” (Galatians 4:6).
A person can spend their life in church and never miss a service but if they’ve never been born-again, they’ll miss the rapture and not spend one split second inside the New Jerusalem. Some people think that going to church makes them a Christian. “But going to church doesn’t make a person a Christian no more than standing in a garage makes them a car.”
It will be the rapture that separates the true-believers from the make-believers. The true-believers who are members of the true church will at the rapture be taken out of this world to go to heaven. The make-believers that had their name on the church roll, but not in the Lamb’s book of life, (the church roll and the Lamb’s book of life are not synonymous) will be left behind to face the horrors of the Tribulation Period.
If the rapture should take place during a Sunday worship service the many make-believers will be left sitting in their pew after the Christians, the true-believers, have been taken away. And since they’ve heard the gospel but rejected it their eternal destiny in hell is sealed (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).
Playing church and pretending and acting like a Christian while all the time assuming on God and hoping that church membership, baptism, or good works will save them, is a game Satan has many people playing. Those who play this game ultimately lose along with Satan. The reasons there are so many “show boats” and so much show business in the church is because of the lost people in the church trying to act like Christians.
There are members of a church that are not saved and who therefore, are not members of The Church, the body and bride of Christ.
Christians should pray that God would revive His church; that is the born-again believers, for revival is for the Christian that is backslidden, and has become worldly.
Christians should also pray that God would save the church; that is the lost person that has their name on the church roll and goes to church every time the church doors are open, but cannot tell you that they know for sure they would go to heaven if they should die today.
James H. Cagle lives in Ray City, Ga., and is a former Hamilton County resident.