When a Church Isn’t a Church

A church must be built on Jesus, just like our lives must be centered around Him. If a church is grounded on something other than Jesus, it might not really be a church.

6 For it stands in Scripture: See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and honored cornerstone, and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.

7 So honor will come to you who believe; but for the unbelieving, The stone that the builders rejected— this one has become the cornerstone,

8 and A stone to stumble over, and a rock to trip over. They stumble because they disobey the word; they were destined for this.

1 Peter 2:6-8

God builds the true church on no other foundation than Jesus Christ. That doesn’t mean there aren’t imposter churches built on other things, though. You can often tell what an individual church is established upon based on what they give the credit for their success.

  • “You’ve never heard a preacher like ours!”
  • “Our worship music is better than what you watch on YouTube.”
  • “We have the best programs for people like me.”

It doesn’t take investigative skills to discern that churches like that are built on people and programs rather than Jesus.

So, what happens when the pastor retires, the music falls flat, or the program is defunded? If that church falters, it might indicate a lesser foundation. Any church that does not have Jesus as the cornerstone will fall.

Many build a church on flashy features or magnetic ministries because they don’t believe Jesus is enough. 

Many people reject Jesus. Our culture today stumbles over Him, unaware of what to do with Him. People today want a Jesus that is a simple, historical teacher who only showed love and never gave warnings.

You can’t have a church if you get rid of Jesus.

People who are openly defiant to the Word of Christ cannot constitute a real church, no matter if they claim to be one.