Matthew 12:38-39 says, “Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, ‘Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.’ But He answered and said to them, ‘An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.’” Just as the generation in our Lord’s time was looking for something wrong, so it is today. An issue of Focus on the Family Magazine states that Baby Boomers (someone born between 1946-1964) expect six items in a church: “good music, social groups, big meeting rooms, a quality kitchen, ample parking, and clean restrooms.”
What do most people seek? Did you notice that none of the items the Baby Boomers seek are what God Himself requires? This reminds me of the principle of Isaiah 55:7-8. What man wants is often different than what God wants. One has to make the decision as to what they will seek. You might immediately think that looking for ample parking is lot better than looking for the opportunity to commit immorality. However, this is not how God operates. If what you are seeking is not in God’s will, it will not please Him, no matter how morally good you may decide it to be.
Instead of those items which satisfy fleshly desires, you should seek a church with the correct characteristics. Some of which are as follows: Foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11; Matthew 16:18); law (1 Corinthians 14:37; 2 Timothy 3:16-17); name (Acts 11:26; Romans 16:16); organization (Acts 14:23; Philippians 1:1); worship (Acts 2:42; Ephesians 5:19; Acts 20:7); love toward one another (1 Peter 1:22; Hebrews 13:1; John 13:34-35); and, membership (Acts 2:38, 47; Galatians 3:26-27). Some consider the different denominations to be the different branches that Jesus spoke of in John 15. But this can’t be correct because that illustration would demand a tree which bears different kinds of fruit. Not only is this impossible based on natural laws, but it is also impossible because the context indicates that individuals are the branches (John 15:5).
We are not on a hunt for a church “close” or “just about like” the church of the New Testament; we are looking for the church itself. The same can be said for the gospel. I don’t want to obey the gospel in a way that is “close” to the New Testament; I want to obey exactly what people obeyed in the New Testament. Just like Matthew 12, we’re still living in an evil and adulterous generation. You need to seek the simple gospel of Christ. God said, “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).