| Re: Your Opinion: Whats wrong with the church?|
I know I'm a little late in responding to this thread, but I would like to say a few words on this subject. I do not have scripture to back up my opinion, but I do believe I have heard from God. Ya'll excuse me while I speak from my heart what I believe is a word from the Lord:
I believe what's wrong with the church (in America), I say in America, because I do not believe it is wrong in the church all over the world, is a spirit of religion. I believe a spirit of religion(I'm talking about a demonic principality of the highest rank) has had a stronghold over the church in America for 400 years. I believe God showed me that this spirit was given permission to dominate the people by Him. When the first Pilgrims came to this country in 1620, they came in search of religious freedom (supposedly). They were fleeing persecution and government enforced religion. But what is the first thing they do when they arrive but begin to force their religion onto everyone they came into contact with. They even killed some indians because they would not convert to Christianity! The people cried for religion, so God gave them what they asked for. Religion is the opposite of Christ. It is anti-Christ. I believe that this spirit has been allowed by God to oppress the church in America for 400 years, but its reign is over. This religious spirit has quenched revival on numerous occasions. God has issued the decree to "Let my people go." God's spirit has begun to blow across the north American continent to bring about three things: 1. Those who are lukewarm will become either hot or cold. 2. Those who are evil will become more evil. 3. Those who are on fire will experience the Latter Rain as promised in Joel. This "revival" will cause the remnant church to rise up. The false church will persecute her ruthlessly, but this will only cause her to grow and those who are truly seeking will be able to recognize the true church because of her fruit.
| 2004/10/2 22:54||Profile|
| Re: Your Opinion: Whats wrong with the church?|
We are called, no, commanded to love, and THE GOOD NEWS is we are EQUIPPED!!!
But it takes using it and practicing it.
The Love of God IS shed abroad in our hearts. FACT. Everything is in place. (Romans 5:5) Like a little baby that has all the right muscles to move and eventually walk, we have all the right equipment to begin to walk in love. And with exercising it, and practicing it, we get stronger and stronger in our walk of love UNTIL we are able like our Precious Jesus to love those who hate us unto death. That is maturity.
We practice each day. Starting on someone easy! Not the most difficult person around. The practice strengthens our "heart loving muscles" and gets us to a place when it is our habit, our lifestyle!
Respond with the LOVE GOD HAS ALREADY PUT INSIDE. Not with our own love - that will fail. He shows how when we determine to obey him in this area.
IT IS BY FAITH. It doesn't matter what our mind says about the person. It is a decision of the will to love God's way. We are to pour mercy on those who do us wrong, not judgment, because we cry out for mercy as we deal with everyone in our imperfection. Who wants God's judgment! We want His mercy! So if we want mercy, we must give it. Can't have it both ways: Requiring justice in a situation and asking God for mercy for when we miss it.
We love one another and that love begins to grow and perfect and then manifestations of Jesus begin to function and thats what the world is looking for.
(1Jo 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. )
They hope that what we believe is true and real. The world will put pressure on us to see if it is real.
BUT WE WILL DO IT BECAUSE WE ARE HIS WORKMANSHIP!!!!!
God bless you all my brothers and sisters. We have chosen to take the High Road and He will complete what He has begun. Hallelujah!
| 2004/10/3 1:48||Profile|
There is some great and truthful discussions here. I want to share one problem that is going on, and will only be corrected by individuals who seek after God and truly desire and seek to know God: it is BIBLE READING!!!
I discovered a couple years ago to my dismay, and something my mom just recently discovered is that most churchgoers barely ever read the bible except the tiny bit on the radio and church (and there are too many who are twisting Scripture for selfish reasons). My mom was involved with my brother and sister's youth group. She was allowed to talk to everyone, the leaders encourage that, and she asked "who reads their bibles? Who reads them every day?" Only my brother and sister raised their hands. She told them if they follow Jesus and are Christians, they have to learn His ways and we do that with time in the bible every day, not just at church. The next week she asked the same questions. Again, only my brother and sister raised their hands. The next week, same thing, by this time, even the leaders were smirking and giving my mom dirty looks. My mom asked them "Don't you believe reading the bible is important? What do you think?" The leaders said, "no, it's not important. church activities is good."
This is not uncommon!!! A lot of people don't care at all about reading the Bible. That just shows they don't have the desire to know Him. We must keep ourselves trained and growing in the knowledge of our Lord!
When I was a brand new Christian, I had read tracts that said we had to read the bible daily, so I thought it was common knowledge. I went around asking "Christians" "what are you reading in the bible?" I had made up my mind only to make friends with people who sought God's wisdom and who esteem His word and read it often. Well, by that criteria, I lost friends. They all told me lame reasons why they don't care about reading the bible, and some told me they NEVER intend to read it. Church is good enough. Readign just a little bit here and there is not enough. The real bad ones are the ones who think they know the bible and are "know-it-alls" but don't obey it. We don't know it all, we have to keep in the bible because we forget, Satan will even try to steal it away from us without us knowing.
We have to keep in the Word!!! Keep perservering and learning of Jesus, growing in the knowledge of our Lord!!! Read the Bible more and more!!! Ask God to give you a love of His word and then continue in it!! Force yourself if needbe!! Get tapes, movies, even cartoons of the bible if you have to, just learn and keep growing in God. So many are falling away and don't even know it because they go to church and the goats are running the whole show now. The sheep are mocked and the goats are flattering each other.
Reading the bible is not the entire Christian life, but since we are so blessed to have an abundance of bibles around, we should esteem His word and keep His words in our hearts and minds at all times. And continue to look into the Bible every day to learn more and more of His ways. There is always something else to know of Him.
It is so sad that with 10 bibles in our homes, people are so lazy that they never read them. How wicked that is.
This is one big problem, the disobedience is another problem, but READING THE BIBLE, studying it right, with His Spirit and a spirit of obedience must be done!!! How do we learn Jesus and know what He teaches unless we take the time to learn!!! Read the bible and obey it, and your whole life keeps changing and loving God more!!! We don't read it to puff ourselves up, to be know-it-alls, but to get to know God better. I continually learn new things from God through the Bible. Then we must obey.
| 2004/10/3 1:58||Profile|
We are what is wrong with the church. It has become a social gathering, focussed on ourselves and what we can get out of it. It is about what we need.
What about what God needs, what about what is in it for Him? We are here for His pleasure. We are here to worship and minister to Him. We are His stewards. What do we do for Him out of love for Him?
Just a thought!!!
| 2004/10/3 6:53||Profile|
I love what was just said about Bible reading, however, I'd just like to say that I was someone who did alot of Bible reading and very little obeying the Word. Now, I do alot less reading and alot more meditating, meaning, I focus on the particular scriptures that God is ministering to me from and I meditate on them day and night till my heart and my mind are conformed to follow them. I once knew a man who reads the Bible thru 6 times a year and he was soooo carnal. He could teach and preach with great eloquence but his life was full of rotten fruit. He advised me to leave my husband at the time. My own mother can quote scripture with the best, but her life is full of rotten fruit. I'd rather know and be a doer of 5 scriptures than memorize the whole Bible and be full of lawlessness. I'm not saying we shouldn't read our Bibles often, I'm just saying it's easy to substitute reading for meditating, and not really be changed.
| 2004/10/3 7:02||Profile|
United States Of America
THIS ISN'T A QUESTION THAT REQUIRES SOME "GREAT THEOLOGICAL ANSWER"!!! THE GREATEST REASON IS SIN IN THE HEARTS OF "SO-CALLED" MINISTERS OF THE GOSPEL: MEN AND WOMEN OF GOD WHO HAVE NEVER TRULY FOUND VICTORY OVER SIN, YET TRY TO LEAD OTHERS INTO VICTORY WITH THEIR FOOLISH DOCTRINES OF DELIVERANCE BY OTHER MEANS...WHEN IN FACT THEY HAVE LEFT THE PREACHING OF THE CROSS (CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED) WHICH IS THE WAY OF DELIVERING A SIN-SICK SOUL FROM THE POWER AND DOMINION OF SIN! THAT OLD SIN NATURE NEEDS TO BE PUT TO DEATH. OUR LIVES AND EVERYTHING WE DO SHOULD BE CENTERED AROUND CALVARY(THE CROSS)AND THEN WE WILL SEE A TRUE REVIVAL AND OUTPOURING OF GOD'S SPIRIT IN THESE LAST DAYS!
REVELATION 2:2-5 REFERS TO THE CHURCH OF CHRIST LEAVING THEIR "FIRST LOVE"...TALKING ABOUT A DEPARTURE FROM THE CROSS OF CHRIST. HE TELLS US IN VERSE 5 TO "REMEMBER THEREFORE FROM WHERE YOU HAVE FALLEN AND REPENT AND DO THE FIRST WORKS" WHICH MEANS THEY FELL FROM GRACE AND HAD STOPPED DEPENDING ON CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED AND CHRIST WAS CALLING THEM BACK TO THE CROSS. HE THEN SAID "OR ELSE I WILL COME QUICKLY, AND WILL REMOVE YOUR CANDLESTICK OUT OF HIS PLACE, EXCEPT YOU REPENT." WHERE IS THAT REVIVAL POWER THAT SO MANY ARE YEARNING FOR? IT'S CHRIST (THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT) WHO IS OUR LIGHT, AND THE CROSS IS THE MEANS. IT'S ALL ABOUT CHRIST AND WHAT HE HAS ALREADY DONE...NOT ABOUT ANYONE ELSE. CHRIST IS OUR VICTOR, AND THE CROSS IS THE MEANS BY WHICH DELIVERANCE IS AVAILABLE. GOD BLESS!
AN OLD-TIME PENTECOSTAL,
| 2004/10/3 9:40||Profile|
Yes, Spitfire, we cannot read the bible and then go off and disobey it. I mention that in my post. God will not at all reveal Himself to people who do that, and that person is kidding themselves, even if they read the bible and can pass bible college exams on facts and figures. That won't help. Our obedience to the Bible is very important, with His Spirit to guide us into all truths and help us handle His word correctly. I have met way too many churchgoers who don't ever bother reading the 10 bibles they got at home. There are some who study it at their convenience and by their lives, it is obvious they aren't giving God their whole mind, soul, and strength, because there are obvious selfish things going on, very common is the pursuit of selfish ambition and money. I only wanted to bring up this one point, that one small step but vital step is spending time in God's word with a surrendered heart to obey Him.
Because there have been more than enough churchgoers who have ended up killing loved ones, saying "God told me to kill my children and poke out my eyes, etc" and end up in mental asylums, that is enough evidence for me to see we cannot solely rely on other things, our flesh and minds, etc, without also knowing God's will as He has already revealed to us in His word through Jesus Christ. Superficial Bible reading can bring results like this, and superficial bible reading can be twisted into all kinds of perverse things,
I am not talking about superficial Bible reading.
Bible reading with a heart of obedience should not be a legalistic work, and that's not what I mean. But we need to know the REAL GOD, not a made-up idol god of our imagination. There is only one God who made the sun, who made all things, the Lord who offers salvation through Jesus. With the abundance of bibles around, we should esteem His word and keep reminding ourselves what He says for ourselves, not how someone else interprets it necessarily.
For people who memorize Scripture and live in disobedience to what they know, the bible says that person is going to punished much worse than someone in ignorance. For those who don't handle God's gifts properly, woe to them.
| 2004/10/4 18:01||Profile|
Being that SI is built around great preachers of the past, men who knew God, I will offer this passage:
Jdg 2:7-13 ASV
(7) And the people served Jehovah all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work of Jehovah that he had wrought for Israel.
(8) And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Jehovah, died, being a hundred and ten years old.
(9) And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the hill-country of Ephraim, on the north of the mountain of Gaash.
(10) And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, that knew not Jehovah, nor yet the work which he had wrought for Israel.
(11) And the children of Israel did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, and served the Baalim;
(12) and they forsook Jehovah, the God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the peoples that were round about them, and bowed themselves down unto them: and they provoked Jehovah to anger.
(13) And they forsook Jehovah, and served Baal and the Ashtaroth.
At least that's what I've seen in my own life, personally and corporatly. :-(
| 2004/10/4 20:08||Profile|
Another reason to know the actual Word of God, to study diligently and not just rely on things outside of the Holy Bible is because Jesus did it and was trained this way also. 1 John 2:6 tells us to copy Jesus. Jesus and Jewish youths were thoroughly educated in Scriptures as children, research that for yourself in Jewish ways of Jesus' day (http://www.jerusalemperspective.com/articles/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=1453 is one link, there are many many others). This knowing the Scriptures along with obedience and loving God and having the Holy Spirit is all included.
Jesus was in the Word of God, and we should copy, because the Bible tells us to copy Him. Another friendly encouragement to keep in the word. There are many resources to help you study the life of Jesus, I encourage everyone to research Jesus' life to know Him better and copy Him more. I know training my son the same way Jesus was trained, by teaching Him the word and by my own love and obedience to God is a privilege and delight to my own soul.
"Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did." 1 John 2:6
Jesus studied and knew God's written commandments, not just divine revelation, we have to do the same if we are to be like Him.
| 2004/10/4 20:09||Profile|
| Re: Where are the overcomers|
All of the churches in Revelations were encouraged to be overcomers.
Jesus told the church of Ephesus "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." To the church of Smyrna he said "He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death."
Jesus told the church at Pergamos "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it." He told the believers at Thyatira "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:"
Unto Sardis he said "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." Jesus told the church at Philadelphia "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name."
Even to Laodecia (what is believed by many to be the current age of the church) Jesus said "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne."
What's the secret to overcoming? Revelations 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
As to which of the three things that are problematic in the church today, I'll let you think about that.
| 2004/10/4 21:27||Profile|