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by Charles (Chuck) Robey
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Have you ever heard the old idiom, " does it pass the smell test' ? What does this mean ? And how is it associated with Christianity.? Simply put, to pass the smell test” is “to be morally acceptable”

The Smell Test simply asks whether the situation ‘smells’. Does the individual ‘feel in their bones’ that there is a problem, but cannot pin it down? Does the individual’s instinct tell them that something is wrong?”

For example, it might have been years since losing touch with a friend who always wore one particular brand of perfume. One day, while wandering through the mall, someone passes you adorned in that exact long-forgotten fragrance. As it gently wafts past, you are without delay jolted back to a vibrant, dynamic, long-forgotten recollection.

So, does your Christianity, your church, your doctrine, pass the smell test ?

You see, only the sense of smell transports us so fully. Photos bring back images. Recordings make us nostalgic, smell stands alone in its ability to transform. So, how does this old cliché' relate to your Christian world ?

For starters, let us look at the buzz phrase, " full gospel church'. Before leaving earth, to return home to the father, Jesus promised He would send the comforter, interpreted as the Holy Spirit, to establish the new age of the church, ( Acts 1:3-8 ) by given His followers power to spread the gospel throughout the earth. This well know event was known as the :day of Pentecost" ( Acts 2:1-4 )

As a result of Pentecost, the Apostle Peter preached his powerful message, in which thousands were saved. ( Acts 2: 14-41 ). As a result of this sermon, the church was established, whereby thousands were baptized into this new age of the church.
Thus came the full gospel, which was summed up by the Apostle Paul. ( 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 ) This new doctrine remains the pillow of the church, until this day.

There have been many churches that have expanded on this doctrine. However, if the intent is not compromised, then the "smell test' will pass. However, if this doctrine is indeed compromised, the "smell test will fail".( Revelation 22:18-19 )

Next came the "practical application" of this "full gospel" , as put to use by the early church. ( Acts 2:42-47 )
• They received the word, was baptized and joined the church.
• They continued steadfastly in the apostles teaching and fellowship
• They continued in the breaking of bread and the prayers.
• They that believed were together and had all things common.
• They sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, according to the needs.
• They continued, day by day, steadfastly with one accord in the temple
• And breaking of bread at home, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart.
• They praised Gog and had favor with all people.

And guess what, the Lord added to them day by day those that were saved. In other words, as a result of the "full gospel', the church grew in sound doctrine.

What about today's 21st Century church ? Is the church alive and well ? As God promises, the church will endure forever, for God will always remain true to His word. (Matthew 16:18). In this promise of God, is the true meaning of the church. Here, God is not speaking of "bricks and mortar", but of human souls. For you see, the church is actually the redeemed " body of Christ'. Those individuals, who, by their personal faith in the finished work of the cross, have excepted God's free grace ( Ephesians 2:8-9 )

God's church will always survive. It will always past the "smell test'. Not because of the physical structures or manmade human doctrines, but will survive based on the hearts of mankind. For its God who lives and reigns in our hearts and souls. And you can never take that away.

However, as Christians, we should take the advice of the early Christians as they continued to learn the gospel. What if the early church just sat back, by letting the apostles do all the studying, and never learned or matured in Christ ? ( Hebrews 5:13-14 ) Where would we be today ?

As Christians, we must never become complacent .( Hebrews 6:4-12 ) ( Proverbs 19:5 ) But we must be active, in sharing God's word, as did the early church. You see, it's not the mega-churches nor the differences in our theology. It's not the modern day drama or flashy big sounding contemporary rock bands. It's the fact that we just seem not to take time to bring others with us to church, to hear the gospel. How many of your family, friends and neighbors have you ask to join you in church ? I don't mean just inviting them, I mean picking them up and taking them with you. Each Sunday, as we get in our vehicle, dressed in our Sunday best Bible in hand, we just smile and wave too our neighbor across the street as we drive off, who may be out washing the car, or cutting the grass. Yes, I am very guilty of this. May God forgive and give me the wherewith to get busy for Him.

There are many scriptures, concerning our witness for Him.( Psalm 66:6 ) ( Proverbs 11:30 ) ( Matt 5:16 ) ( Mark 5:19 ) ( Acts 1:8 ) ( Romans 1:16 )

However, before we can witness to others, we must be sure of our own salvation experience. In other words, we must know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we are a "Christian".

We must understand what God's "Holy Spirit" is doing in our life. And be able to present the gospel in plain and simple terms. In other words, just tell what Jesus means to you and what He has done for you. What has He ( Jesus) delivered you from. Read ( John 4:4-32 )

You can't live tomorrow today .So, don't heavy today with yesterdays witnessing regrets or associate today with tomorrows anticipated troubles. Fill your day with God. Give the day a chance. Go witness for Him ( Philippians 4:6-7 ) ( Matt 28:20 ) ( Isaiah 35:4 ) ( Colossians 3:2 ) ( Psalm 130:7 ) ( Hebrews 12:1 ) ( Romans 8:38 )

Now, after examining your relationship with God and the church, do you pass the " Christian" smell test? Always remember, the Lord God, is standing ready to help you, in this matter. ( Revelation 3:20 ) ( Psalm 138:7 ) James 4:8 ) ( Jeremiah 23:23 )

Amen !

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