Is God real? and Does God have a true Church?

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Is God real? and Does God have a true Church?

Q: When the church is full of pomposity and secularism to the point it makes me weep during the worship service; when I walk away half-filled because I don’t feel His presence in the house of worship, I wonder, is God real? You are the president and a servant of God. Tell me the truth and why I should not give up.— Lydia, from Kenya

A: Lydia, you have asked a very important question. It’s a question that has been asked down the centuries, and it is one of the most important, life-changing questions that a person can ask, because the answer makes all the difference.

Yes, I believe God is real, as do millions of others around the world. However, He is not real to everyone—not because He doesn’t want to be, but because they are not open to Him. Often, seeds of doubt have been planted that have grown up and blocked God from their view and experience.

There are many ways to know that God is real—through answered prayer, experiences, worship, etc., but the most important (and reliable) way we can know God is real is through His Word, the Bible.

Jesus is our example. He based the faith of the disciples regarding who He is on fulfilled prophecy, rather than on experience, or even a personal encounter with Him. You can read about this in Luke 24, where, on the road to Emmaus, He gave His followers a Bible study, rather than immediately revealing Himself.

This method supports what the Bible tells us in Romans 10:17—“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

As you have indicated, it can be discouraging to see secularism and other serious challenges affecting the church, and this is one of several reasons why our faith must not be based upon what we see or how we feel. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1).

While feelings contribute to our relationship with God, faith must not be based on feelings alone.

Here is some inspired counsel: “Many do not exercise that faith which it is their privilege and duty to exercise, often waiting for that feeling which faith alone can bring. Feeling is not faith; the two are distinct. Faith is ours to exercise, but joyful feeling and the blessing are God’s to give. The grace of God comes to the soul through the channel of living faith, and that faith it is in our power to exercise” (Christian Experience and Teachings, p. 126).

So, is God real? Yes. By faith, as you study the Bible with prayer, He will most certainly reveal Himself to you if you are open to His leading. Look to Jesus, not to others, for your faith. I also highly recommend reading (or re-reading) the marvelous little book, Steps to Christ, to grow your faith in a living, real God. And, of course, the classic, The Desire of Ages, speaks volumes about the reality of God. You may download these and many other inspired books by Ellen White from this website:https://egwwritings.org/

Regarding the state of the Seventh-day Adventist Church today, and why you should not give up, I highly recommend watching the sermon, “Every Wind of Doctrine,” that Pastor Mark Finley gave just this past week during the Spring Meeting at the world headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. I believe you, and many others, will find it very encouraging! You may watch it by clicking on this link: http://bit.ly/WatchPastorFinleynow

Q: I received Jesus as my Saviour a number of years ago and am still in the faith. I don’t worship on Saturday, but on Sunday. I have heard that since I do not keep the Sabbath, I’m not a “true” Christian. My question is: Are the Adventists the only true church and are they the only ones that will share in the new Kingdom? — Karen, from Bermuda

A: Karen, thank you for your question. The answer is, no, Seventh-day Adventists are not the only true Christians. There are many genuine believers in various denominations who are living up to the Bible truth that they currently know, and more people than just Seventh-day Adventists will be in heaven!

This does not mean, however, that all churches are true. God has never left Himself without a witness. He has always had a true, visible “church” or people (sometimes called a “faithful remnant”) down through history (think of Enoch, Noah, Abraham and the nation of Israel, the early Apostolic Church, etc.).

The book of Revelation gives us important insights into God’s true church, through history all the way to the end of time. Chapter 12 symbolically portrays this history in terms of a pure woman, clothed with the sun. This is in contrast to the harlot of Rev. 17, which symbolizes an apostate church, and who is called “the mother of harlots” meaning she gave birth to other churches that also eventually fell into apostasy.

At the very end of the history of the world, Rev. 12:17 refers to “the remnant” of the woman’s seed. Unlike the harlot, this woman’s seed is faithful to the very end as indicated by their keeping God’s commandments (including the Sabbath) and having the testimony of Jesus, which Rev 19:10 refers to as “the Spirit of Prophecy.” Rev 14:12 also describes this same, last- day church as God’s true people who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

It is clear that the commandments will be a sign of God’s true people just before Jesus comes because the next event of the chapter is the coming of Jesus (v. 14).

So, from what we read in the Bible, the “true church” of God will be those who keep all of God’s commandments, including the Sabbath, and have the faith and character of Jesus.

If you would like to learn more on this very important topic, I recommend a free online Bible course from the Voice of Prophecy, titled, “Focus on Prophecy.” Visit https://www.voiceofprophecy.com/study/focus-prophecyto get started!

You may also enjoy reading a book that millions of others have found helpful in understanding this topic. Titled, “The Great Controversy,” it is available for free download at https://www.e-booksdirectory.com/details.php?ebook=6449

src: Pastor Ted Wilson