God On The Net
Romans 3:23 All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.
1 John 1:8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Isaiah 59:2 Your sins have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you.
Romans 6:23 The wages of sin is death.
DO NOT BE DECEIVED! "Death" does not mean you cease to exist! After physical death our spirit lives on forever. Romans 6:23 is talking about spiritual death. If you have not accepted Jesus before you physically die, God gives up on you -- He stops trying to get you to be just, fair, loving, righteous, etc., and just punishes you forever in a Lake of Fire.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God--not because of works, lest any man should boast.
Romans 5:8 God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.
Romans 4:25 He died for our sins and rose again to make us right with God.
Romans 10:9 If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Acts 2:38 Repent and be baptized, everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
We have to realize that God is perfect. "Holy" means "perfect." God hates sin -- all sin. If you ever gossip, if you ever say mean things to someone out of spite, if you ever put other things ahead of God in your priorities, God considers it sin.
Consider this: more than 99 percent of the time, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and John Wayne Gacy were fine, law-abiding citizens. The other 1 percent of the time they were serial killers!
Within Christianity and Messianic Judaism there are various denominations. The various denominations share a core group of major doctrines but disagree about interpretation on some points. Messianic Jews hold to the same doctrines -- see Major Messianic Jewish Beliefs.
It is important to realize that all Christian and Messianic Jewish denominations share core beliefs. Any group that denies even just one of these core beliefs IS A FALSE RELIGION! For instance, Mormonism claims to be the only true Christian religion but teaches that there are millions of gods.
The practical reality is that pretty much every major denomination has some teachings or practices that are somewhat questionable from a biblical perspective. (Baptists prohibit dancing and consuming any amount of alcohol. Methodists use grape juice for the Lord's Supper instead of wine. Baptists, Lutherans, and many other Protestant denominations teach "Once saved always saved," although that directly contradicts Hebrews 6:4-6, and Colossians 1:21-23 among others.)
Hebrews 6:4-6  It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit,  who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age,  if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
Colossians 1:21-23  Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.  But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation --  if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
In practice, the best you can do is try to find a denomination that follows the Bible pretty closely, that stresses Bible study and does not insist on following teachings that seriously contradict the Scriptures.
Protestants and Catholics have different and contradictory teachings. Plainly put, they can't both be correct. See the following on this issue:
I highly recommend the booklet The Facts on Roman Catholicism, available from Ankerberg Theological Research Institute for about $5 U.S.
Joining a church is not required to be saved. But you definitely should join a church. Understand that participating in a Bible study group, etc., is not a substitute for church participation.
Hebrews 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Christians should "fellowship", "commune", gather together. Being together with like-minded people provides support and encouragement. We also get the benefit of experience, learning and spiritual insight that others have obtained over the years.
There are several churches in particular you should avoid, because they are not Christian, despite their names or claims:
If you come from a Jewish background, check out Messianic Judaism. To find a Messianic congregation near you contact the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations, however, many Messianic congregations are not members of UMJC. Look in the Yellow Pages under Churches and Synagogues. Check for a sublisting named Messianic, possibly "Churches - Messianic". Call the Congregational Leader, explain your background and tell him you would like to talk to him about Yeshua, (the name "Jesus" in Hebrew, pronounced yeh-SHOO-uh, which means, appropriately, "Salvation" or "Savior"). However, generally Messianic congregations are only located in large cities. Baruch HaShem Messianic Synagogue in Dallas, Texas, www.BaruchHaShemSynagogue.org, streams their Shabbat morning service live in English and Spanish each Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Central Time and also has videos of past sermons on-line. (10 a.m. Central Standard Time in Dallas is 11 a.m. in New York (Eastern), 8 a.m. in California (Pacific) and 4 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time. Dallas uses Daylight Savings Time, which can change the relative time by one hour. Time Zone Charts)
(c) 1998-2000 by Rick Reinckens