DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I get confused by all the different beliefs among churches (which is why I’ve never joined one). Shouldn’t they all believe the same things if they’re sincerely following Jesus? — C.P.
DEAR C.P.: Admittedly, churches do differ to some degree from each other, and I’m afraid churches and Christians sometimes even argue among themselves about these differences. When we do, we may have forgotten the Bible’s command to “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).
But these differences are usually over minor issues, and they shouldn’t divert us from a far more important truth: Jesus Christ is the center and foundation of our faith. Every church that sincerely seeks to follow Jesus affirms, with all believers, that Jesus alone was God in human flesh, sent from heaven to save us from our sins. Because of him, the Bible says, “we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:14).
By his death and resurrection, Jesus conquered the forces of evil, sin, death and hell. And because of him, we can have hope, hope for our lives right now, and hope for eternity. Churches may differ in their styles of worship or the way they’re organized or in other secondary matters, but if they are seeking to follow Christ, they are spiritually united with him.
The real issue for you, however, is this: What does Jesus Christ mean to you? Have you faced honestly your need for God’s forgiveness and new life, and have you opened your heart and life to Christ? Don’t let another day go by without him. Then ask God to lead you to a church where you’ll not only feel at home, but you can grow stronger in your faith and your service for Christ.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.
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