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I once counseled a woman who said that God told her to divorce her husband. I pointed out to her while there are some Biblical justifications for divorce, there isn't one instance in Scripture where God commanded anybody to divorce anybody.
The same parallel can be said for fellowshipping with a local body of believers. While we are called to distance ourselves and even shun believers who are clearly not following the Lord, the Lord did prescribe a way we are to conduct ourselves regarding this. And in application of this teaching, the apostle Paul and others showed great mercy. So much so that the Corinth church was full of sexual immorality, idolatrous practices, and even denying core truths like the resurrection of the dead. Let's not even begin to talk about the seven churches of Asia minor in Revelation. I would venture to say that these churches were far more corrupt than your typical evangelical church in America.
Yet nowhere in all of Scripture does the Lord call anybody to cease fellowshipping with an intentionally gathered local body of believers in their locality. There are zero instances of this. Period.
And if for whatever reason you find yourself in a town where there are zero born again Christians, and you are the only truly saved person where you live, then it is incumbent upon you to go make some disciples and form a local body of believers. And if you are failing to do such, flee to the next town. But some of you aren't doing such, and you've not made a disciple in years, because frankly, you aren't where you need to be in the Lord. It's a Biblical fact: Christians make other Christians.
If you are alone, you shouldn't be alone long. Those who have the life of Christ always bear fruit and multiply themselves. If you are not, then you are dead.
| 2012/5/13 10:13||Profile|
| Re: |
Beware the root of bitterness...........bro Frank
| 2012/5/13 10:17|
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Let the dead bury their dead. The churches of America are filled with dead mens' bones.
In my neck of the woods we refer to churches as mausoleums.
Christ is outside the church of this time knocking on the door, to really get to know Him you are going to have to come outside.
| 2012/5/13 10:40|
| Re: |
In my original essay, and most recent post, I only have in mind here only the individual who has done nothing more than gone rogue, and has virtually declared anathema over every church in the towns and cities in which they sojourn.
I resemble that remark! :-)
| 2012/5/13 10:52|
| DO YOU FOLLOW THE LAMB?|
"Let the dead bury their dead. The churches of America are filled with dead mens' bones. If you have found one that is not, good for you. Hip Hip Hooray! But don't anyone DARE judge me or others who are not members of an "official" religious building created by organized religion. You don't know my circumstances or where i live or anything whatsoever about me and ANY attempt to judge is nothing but pious self-righteousness."..Trekker.
" Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.
As it was then, so it is today. This is the nature of the Religious spirit, which is the spirit of the Priest Class, or Ministry Class.....who deem themselves alone qualified to exert power over God's people; The Priest Class. Add to this, the fact that this is how they make a living, and the fact that they will fight to the death to preserve their chosen profession. Jesus called them Hirelings.
Most [ not all ] Pastors today operate on this level. All Pastors in the New Testament are unpaid and PLURAL, to escape the tyranny of the One Man Show. The only place that this heresy is found is in 3JOHN:
"I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say.
For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this,
He himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church."...The Apostle John
Either his way, or the Highway; the little kings, the dominators of God's people, the Nicolaitan......
"Yet this you do have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate."...Jesus.
and.... "So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth."...Jesus
Some things Jesus hates and wars against, and this is the issue paramount in the modern church, and their numbers and finances are dwindling. Why?..for reasons Old Joe, Trekker and others have outlined. When the Spirit of God no longer rules, but man does, He is quenched, and man is glorified; Jesus leaves the room, grieved.
God made an equal body where all are equally honored and loved, and USED as they are gifted, and as they have learned to love. The Pastors [ plural] are instituted to assure that the Holy Spirit is not quenched, and that is ALWAYS to the least of each brother or sister.
How do you know in advance just what the Lord is about to do and say in the average church?
READ THE BULLITIN, SILLY!
After a while the pew sitter gets used to it, I guess, and either starves to death and becomes one of the system, or flees to greener pastures where there is real LIFE.[ "I am the Life...Jesus]
In this those remaining in power frustrate themselves as they behold the GREAT DRAIN of the rivers of life, and yes, there is a remnant who survive and prosper in the wilderness.
"AND THEY FOLLOWED THE LAMB WHERE-SO-EVER HE WENT."
| 2012/5/13 12:02|
| The Assembler!.....Amen. |
"Sure, at this time we are not seeing that quite yet. The home churches themselves have not yet become assembled the way God has in mind. But they are going to be.
More and more as we learn to give the ASSEMBLER His Lordship in our midst, we are going to see a beautiful -- and fearsome -- manifestation of the living CHRIST in the midst of His people... I mean in every single one of them from the least to the greatest!"..Jimdied2sin
AMEN AND AMEN!
| 2012/5/13 12:11|
| Re: "Don't forsake the Assembly!" |
May I inject what I believe to be of some help into the "Don't forsake the Assembling" One can have a room which contains individual bins of automobile parts enough to make one complete car. But that does not make it a car that can function as a car until they are assembled together each in its appropriate place. What I see in the local churches are bins of parts, not an "assembling" as the Word admonishes. Until we lay down our lives as we said we would when we were Baptized and allow the "assembling" to take place by the direction of the Holy Spirit we will only be a group of people with similar understandings. That is the reason why we have denominations.
I long for the day when other Brothers are willing to allow the Holy Spirit to function in molding by the Masters hand in the remaking of the clay that is marred.
I see no point to fellowship with those that insist that their assembly function by democratic means with a CEO who is to be called the pastor.
Looking for those who are also willing to come out from among them.
| 2012/5/13 15:34||Profile|
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"Where two or more are gathered in MY Name, I am in the midst of them." Jesus Christ
The primary phrase is "IN MY NAME", not two or more. Two or more is dependent on whose name they gather in.
Sadly, many gather but not "in His Name" which is more than just a phrase, it is true heart orientation producing fruit in your speech and actions.
When men boast about their "spiritual accomplishments", they do so to gather others around them and in their name and they do so because Jesus Christ is not exalted in their hearts.
Psa 34:2 My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.
Psa 44:8 In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.
Boast in Him and He will stay in your midst.
| 2012/5/13 17:45||Profile|
| Re: |
Don't let your romantic ideals about what church is, and what it means to assemble together in the name of Christ keep you from the actual practical application of gathering together. There is nothing spiritual about sitting at home, and blogging on Sermon Index, and being a cynic.
| 2012/5/13 17:54||Profile|
| Re: C|
I have been following this thread closely and I feel so condemned. Brother Jimmy not every person who is in the wilderness is proud, or schmistic ( not too sure of the spelling). There are seasons whereby the Lord may lead us out in the wilderness.
As a babe in Christ I have done my wandering from fellowship to fellowship both IC and home churches. What my experience has been is I have often ended up feeling like a stranger amongst other believers. My joy is often quenched. After an orderly service or bible study of about an hour to an hour and a half everybody stops talking about Jesus. Once the music stops it's social time. The talk is now about work, politics etc. I look for someone who is bubbling over and wants to talk about Jesus and the word preached/ discussed that day but no one seems interested after all they have just given their hour to Jesus and that's enough right. I have been to churches were fellowship time is time to sell or boost one's business , some selling shoes,perfume,handbags etc.
I have sat through many services because I did not want to forsake the fellowship yet my heart was grieved, my spirit being quenched and I felt I was dying of hunger for the pure word. I felt withered inside I try to share the truth but the false accusations come oh you have a divisive spirit, you are being used by the devil etc. This is when you point out biblical truth.
It's very difficult to explain how it feels to find no place or saints in your area who are passionate about the word or Jesus. To sit under deceived and apostate pulpits. It is so hard for the Lord to willfully lead you out of fellowship for a season and have your brothers and sisters look at you with contempt. Sometimes the Lord does pull his people out of the church and believe those who are in the wilderness are longing and crying in their hearts to find someone nearby or even one person in their town who really loves the Lord with all their heart and is a berean who searches the scriptures to see if the things they have heard from the pulpit are true.
I am in tears now and the Lord knows I long so much in my heart to find even one such person in my town. Believe me I want to find that church where I can truly belong and grow in the Lord and in faith. A church where CHRIST is the centre of worship and HIS SPIRIT dwells. I occasionally attend services in the church I grew up in. It teaches some biblical truth but does not promote the gifts. Nothing is ever taught about gifts of the Spirit. There is a Pastor General and all sorts of hierarchy in there. Again the word preached rarely ever cuts deep or feeds your hungry spirit but just for the sake of gathering together I still attend occasional services. I have friends in other cities I spend time talking to on the phone and it's often hours sharing the word , burdens, encouraging ,exhorting one another. We visit each other once in a while.
Though I am not a regular attender God has been ministering to my friends and family through my life. I have seen friends growing closer to the Lord. God brings people to Himself he ministers to people through the life we live in Him. Just wanted to share my experience through His Grace for I am nothing without Him. He alone is worthy to be Praised. He loves His Children and He extends His grace to all whether in weekly or spar odic fellowship.
| 2012/5/13 21:41||Profile|