Apparently the Christian church has turned off many people and
membership is dropping dramatically. Studies suggest that millennials
(people ages 18-30) are turning away from traditional church service
right behind a large amount of Gen-Xers, who started abandoning the
church a decade before. The reason behind this decline is because people
see more hypocrisy in the church, more abuse of leadership power, and
the rise in a love for money.
Despite this decline, people need to understand that simply because the church has failed God does not mean God has failed people. God remains to be real; the problem is the concept of God is not being taught correctly by man. The Bible, also, has not changed but respect for the Bible has because church leaders lack a full, spiritual understanding of its precepts and use it to further their own agenda instead of God's agenda.
Being able to distinguish between the false teachings of man and the actual concepts of God is where people have to draw the line of reality and legitimacy. The Bible itself warns of false prophets and doctrines and that the church will fall prey to the seductions of the world. It even talks about the people themselves wanting false teachers who teach them false doctrine because it satisfies what they want to hear.
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;" 1 Timothy 1:1.
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;" 2 Timothy 4:3.
However, there is still a way to know and worship God without going to the church and spending a percentage of your income to make the preachers wealthy or become a part of a hypocritical congregation. Below is a 5 step guide to finding God and securing your soul's salvation. In order to succeed in this effort, the person must first believe in God and that He will reward them according to their faith. Also, the basic purpose of being saved is to escape the coming destruction of this world and life as we know it today.
Many people do not believe in God for a number of different reasons. Some do not believe because they consider the church a joke. Others do not believe because they choose not to believe in Christianity, and still others do not believe because they reject religion and the concept of a Supreme Being all together. Regardless of either reason, God still exist. But without a guidebook or blueprint on how to reach him, people do not know where to start their search and where to find the truth.
1. You must first believe there is a God - Begin by getting on your knees to open a dialogue with God. If you do not know what name to call him, start with Our Father, Lord, or just God. This eliminates any cultural names such as Jesus, Allah, Jehovah, or any other names pinned to the All Mighty by various religions. When you pray, ask Him to teach and lead you to the truth about Him and protect you from any and all false doctrine and teachings of men. Ask Him for mercy, deliverance and protection from evil, and to humble you so you can learn. Pray every day the same prayer in sincerity and you will begin to see subtle changes around you and in your life.
2. Add in fasting with your prayer - God is a spiritual being and in order to experience the spirituality of God, you must deprive your flesh and carnal being of the things it craves, such as too much food, alcohol, and other worldly, lustful pleasures like sex (unless with a spouse), television and socializing. You can do some of these things but only in moderation. In other words, not as often as you would normally do them. Eventually, God will take many of these things away and you will not miss them. This is called sanctification. God can more easily communicate with people who choose him over other things of the world. The idea is to sanctify yourself for the purpose of worshipping God only, and continue to pray daily.
3. Ask God for His Holy Spirit - During prayer and fasting, you must ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit. Do not be discouraged if He does not fill you the first or second time you ask, or even days sometimes months after you ask. But you must ask and continue to ask. What God is doing is preparing your mind and heart to receive it. He literally wants to know how much you really want it and He searches the sincerity of your heart to know. You cannot be led astray by discouragement of others or misleading doctrines of other teachings, or by negative things that happen during your prayers. You have to believe in God, trust Him, and continually seek His Spirit. As you seek, you will begin to see things differently, feel things you have never felt, and your understanding of life and the world will become clearer in ways you never thought possible. Then at some point, during a quiet and sincere prayer to God in your bedroom, car, or the most sacred place of your prayer life, the Holy Spirit will drop down on you and you will know that God has filled you. Afterward, you will learn things about life, YOUR life, and society that no church preacher could have ever taught you.
4. Read the Bible - You should read during your search for the Holy Spirit and especially after you receive the Spirit. In fact, the Holy Spirit will drive you into the Bible and point you to scriptures that will help you grow strong. The New Testament is a starting point for beginning believers. The Old Testament is a collection of stories that help on the road to spiritual perfection and is to be read only when God leads a person to read certain parts. The New Testament is for those who need to learn how to sanctify themselves, how to grow a stronger relationship with God, and how to avoid a worldly mindset.
NOTE: During your time of your reading and either before or after you receive the Holy Spirit, you must be water Baptized. Water Baptism is a symbolic deed that fulfills the new birth by washing away your old sins or transgressions and begins the symbolic life of being born again. Regardless of what you learn from any religion, no one is perfect in their own being. We all fall short of God's perfection and He has given us all a chance to start again. Furthermore, it is written that a man must "be born of water and of the Spirit" St. John 3:5. You do not have to be water Baptized if you do not believe in the words of the Holy Bible, but after you receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, it will lead you to become water Baptized eventually.
5. Read and pray constantly - After you receive the Holy Spirit, the only thing required of God is that you read His word and ask for understanding and pray while embodied in the Holy Spirit, and He and the Spirit will take care of the rest. You will learn how to use the Spirit in your life and for the lives of others. You will learn how to defeat evil spirits and how to grow stronger in the powers of God that He has given you. Seek out teaching from the Bible, not from the church. Many churches have limited knowledge of the word and the Spirit. It is ok to visit churches but not to get too deeply involved because too many have been corrupted from the things and ideologies of the world. It is also ok to seek out knowledge from other religions and from historical text but you will learn that God requires your complete attention through the worship of Him using the Holy Spirit.