The church faces problems from many different sources. Most problems the church faces are from external sources. The apostle John said, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world” (1 John 2:16). These things are of the world and have no part in the church. However, the problems that really bring unrest in the church come from within. They arise when those who are proclaimed Christians allow these worldly problems to come into the fold of the church. The problem this article will center on is the idea of pleasing self.
Sadly, many in the church think along these lines. While it is not uncommon for people to desire things to please themselves, it should not become the most important desire in their lives. There are countless times that people have said, “I want a church that satisfies my needs; I am looking for a ‘quote’ church that pleases me.” For example, some people will leave and seek another church home, if the congregation they attend teaches against some action of which they are involved, regardless of what Scripture says on the subject. This being just one of many examples of why people will leave a sound congregation, and look for one that will accept them and their beliefs. The truth is they need to seek and understand what the Bible teaches, not what they want it to teach.
When considering this, questions may come to mind. Are all churches equal or are all churches correct? When a person examines the teaching of the Bible, the conclusion that is drawn is that they are not. Without doubt there is but one church/one body (Ephesians 4:4). Jesus Christ expressed a singularity when He said, “I will build MY church” (Matt. 16:18) and He purchased only one with His blood (Acts 20:28). If a person is not seeking the one church that Jesus spoke, then it is a case of the desire to please self.
People need not be so concerned about a church that pleases them, as they should be about it pleasing God. God made man in His image (Genesis 1:26). Man is His special creation, and there is no other creature on this earth that is made like him. What gives man the right to search for a church that pleases him? Jesus said, “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24). The church is not all about pleasing self, it is about pleasing God. The apostle Paul said, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Notice the writer says that we are not our own, but we are God’s. Therefore “whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (Colossians 3:17).
People need to be concerned about finding the one true church, the one that is spoken of in the Bible, the ONE that Jesus promised to build (Matthew 16:18). Jesus said, “Every plant which my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted” (Matthew 15:13). The Proverb writer said, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12). People should strive to please God not-self.