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RC S5 Ep 1150 180731

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Americans Lost Passion for the Gospel

Americans Lost Passion for the Gospel
In response to:
Francis Chan has called out the Western Churches, he says that American Church has gotten “goofy”. He says that Christianity in America and church has people that show up depending on the band, a lightshow, or speaker.
We have moved away from sound Biblical teaching and moved to a showmanship mentality. It’s not about the Biblical accuracy of the speaker but how relevant his presentation is to the people’s lives. We’ve moved away from teaching Godly living to spectacular light show and production numbers. The church service has become about the production.
It’s more about a good show than the Good News;
It’s about a moving production than moving us to repentance;
It’s about producing a good feeling than producing Good Fruit
Do you remember the WWJD (what would Jesus do) wristbands? Those were given away by churches by the thousands. You could purchase them and it became the fashion wear of the Christian. It was to remind people to think before acting. Look towards what their Savior would do and how their decisions could affect them or others. I think a lot of people really wore them as a badge of honor. Something like jewelry to set us apart, to show how great we are. Instead of reminding us to think like Jesus, we think about how good of a friend we are to Jesus.
I have heard many speakers and preachers ask a question. What would you do if Jesus was standing before you? How would you act? When Francis Chan called out the church and how it is acting, he spoke about John. Chan told of John preaching in the wilderness, warning others about the coming of Heaven. How he (john) is not worthy to tie His sandals. Then about Jesus standing before John telling him to baptize Me. John’s answer is telling on how he respected and honored Jesus. John tried to prevent this by saying I need to be baptized by you but you come to me. Jesus says what you say may be true but let this be so for now for it is fitting.
This is not how we the Church react today. We are more persuaded to think that we are friends with Jesus. How special we are to be “in the fold” or “family of God”. We don’t see that our actions, our life means absolutely nothing. In fact all that we do is grieve the His Spirit every day. gives a great overview of how we fall short. is another. But then again is that really our fault. When we sit in a church that preaches feel good sermons, instead of Biblical awareness, how are we going to think? How do we respect Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit if we are not learning about them from God’s word but getting only a paraphrased version.
Be careful when picking a Church
Many churches today do not wait on God. You can look at their vision and mission statement and many times you see something along the lines of the church being relevant, up to date, culturally important. Many times you never see scripturally accurate, Biblically sound, Spirit filled or Spirit lead. Instead of waiting on God to perform the growth, we have meetings about how to draw more people. How to entertain and retain the ones we have. Most of these conversations are never about scripture but production and showmanship.
But that is what the people want. The vision of the church is about hype, excitement, inclusion and disillusion. I have heard a few pastors that say when they felt the call to preach, they told God ok but I am going to do this my way. That they could not preach the way their daddy does. But preaching without the word of God is success without Christ, success without sacrifice.
When I hear a comment from a pastor like this I think of Jesus in the wilderness. says:.....
Now what is being offered here to Jesus is the kingdom without the work, without the pain and without the sacrifice. The shortcut to success without putting in the work. How many of our Churches have done this through contemporary services? Responding to the wants of the people instead of the direction of God. Seeking their desire and admiration instead of caring for their needs, reviving their spirit and leading to a place of repentance and repair which only comes from God. There is not shortcut to God. Jesus says that I am the way, the truth and no man enters except through me. We have to get to know God, to know Jesus to have a relationship with Him.
Social media allows for you to have many friends, acquaintances and followers. But that doesn’t really mean you have relationships with these people. Do you really know them, the true them or just what is in their timeline? There is no relationship without getting to know the people. Understanding what makes them tick, what their real interest are and what drives them. Either we don’t want to take the time to know someone or we have a twisted view of what a relationship is. I think this is why porn is such a destructive tool of satan against families and relationships. It gives and teaches a distorted view of a relationship, love and commitment. It builds a relationship on shifting sand, when one one thing is no longer exciting then we can easily jump on to something else.
Our Churches have become similar in ways. We do church our way. Picking a church is very much like ordering from a smorgasbord. Most people have seen those home DIY programs where you pick from three homes to find your fit. Is it contemporary or traditional flare; small group, home groups or no groups. Wooden or metal podiums, bench or pew seats, or individual chairs. Choir, orchestra, or worship band. Does the speaker wear jeans or slacks, holes or no holes, is the shirt tucked or untucked, blazer or not.
Choice is not a bad thing. People do worship in their own way and should as long as it is honoring to God. However when you look at the choices above, and many of those are what people use to choose their church, you don’t see anything about Biblical teaching. You see more about production than about preaching the word. But don’t worry, we are in good company. And more importantly, we serve a loving and forgiving God. Revelation chapter 2 and 3 tell of the plight of the Church and where we stand today. It gives us great insight on how to change and truly serve God and His people. We need to repent and turn from our ways, strengthen what remains, encourage our brothers and sisters, be faithful, be zealous and the the works that we did first. Those are God’s words to the church, harsh, hard but truth. God is patient and does not want any to perish.

Drowning in small sin

In Response to:
I think that many or most has heard the saying that there is no big or little sin, just sin. There are those that would argue that there is a difference in sin. Some claim that Jesus taught this difference in the Sermon on the Mount. That there is a difference in the act of adultery and just thinking about it. That murder is killing someone but it is not a s bad to just hate someone. I can understand why someone would like to think about these teachings in this way. The Old Testament does teach the punishments for different crimes. Today, law and order still follows along the same lines. That different crimes deserve different punishments.
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.
The New King James Version. (1982). (). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
The ESV says insult instead of Raca. Are these two different teachings? No, not really. Hate and anger in your heart is still putting you in the path of God’s judgement. Insults or Raca is also putting you in jeopardy of judgement here in the courts. Raca is defamation, slander blasphemy tarnishing someone’s good name, or better yet False Witness (the ninth commandment). There is no difference in the action of murder or anger and hate in the heart. Anger itself is not a sin, we all get angry. But what you do with or how you handle that anger is the issue. God told Cain control your anger, rule over it and if not it will rule you.
How we view sin can lead to hypocrisy when we don’t properly acknowledge the teachings of Christ. Christians tend to minimize their sin and highlight the sins of others. We become like the Pharisee that Jesus taught about in - The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. Or like the two men taught about in Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
As Christians we tend to judge others more harshly than we do our own actions. There really is no distinction between the severity of sin. Sin really is sin. We would be good to remember Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? A little goes a long way. Before you know it we are denying that we sin, or minimize the sin which prevents us from repenting of the sin and then henders our sanctification process.
But what of the argument of differences in sin. I look at the law and how it magnifies our sin. The law cannot save us but it does show us the sin and punishment. In reality the little sin issue actually shows something that many would not look at, the severe depravity of man. We say we follow Christ, that He is our Savior, our King. But we don’t obey the smallest of rules. We “roll” our eyes at God because we are defiant.
Children tend to do the same thing. It could be a simple chore, like collecting the garbage, or cleaning their room and you get the “eye roll” and an aspirated breath of disgust. The younger the kids the more likely you’ll get the “no” and a temper tantrum ensues. These are defiant acts by our children to our rule over them. This is no different than when we are defiant to God’s rules and authority over us. Any defiance is seen clearly as rebellion by God and it should because that is exactly what it is.
So while we ignore the “little sin”, we are blind to the fact that we are sinking further and further away from God. And if we are not careful, God will give us the desires of our heart which will be separation from Him and we will truly drown in little sin.
So how do we avoid this? First, humble ourselves. We have to realize that He is and has all authority. When we humble ourselves, we will submit to this authority. It’s not our work but His work that provides salvation anyway.
16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
When we humble ourselves, we can see our faults and our sin for what they are. We look inside ourselves rather than looking in judgement on others. Which leads us to the second action, Repent. Everyone has sin and fall short of the glory of God.
Thirdly, we have to walk a walk worthy of the calling ; We are going to walk in the characteristics of Jesus Christ. He gave (or cloaked) us His Righteousness, and we are to mirror His walk and character. We will fall short but we are to humble ourselves daily, worship, grow in faith and repent daily. This is why our private time with God and His word is so important.

Does God Speak to Us?

There is a debate today. This started as a flicker but has grown into an all out wildfire. Does God still speak to us today? On social media, there have been attacks by Christians on other Christians for making claims such as “God woke me up at 4 AM for the last few days to pray” or “God has placed this person on my heart to…(pray for, call)”
Some take issue with these types of comments. They say God does not speak audible to us any more. That is proof that God no longer speaks to us.
2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
My question to this gentle that proclaims himself a Baptist preacher/ evangelist Does God not guide you? Where do you get your sermons from? And since we all know that a good Baptist preacher will always have an alter call, who is speaking to these people hearts that give their life to Christ?
There are many instances in the Bible that God or His representative has spoken directly and audibly to people. Adam, Eve, Cain, Moses, Abraham, Samuel, Nathan, Job, Isaiah, Elijah, Elisha and Ananias in the New Testament. These are just a few but there are many more. There is no Biblical stance or scripture that says God does not or will not speak again. Yes we do have scripture that says prophecy will be no more, 8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
Paul didn’t say it was gone but that it will go away, because it will not be needed. All of these gifts Paul was using, even the people of Corinth possessed the gift of tongues. Many even went as far (like some denominations today) that it is the only sign for salvation. But that’s another subject for another day. The fact is, scripture does not back up the statement that God does not speak today.
I do think that we have to be careful in our discussion. Do I think or believe that one day we will hear an audible trumpet blow, absolutely. Do I think or believe that one day we will hear a booming voice from Heaven giving us directions? Not likely, but I will not put God in a box and say it can’t happen. Do I think that we are indwelled with and led by the Holy Spirit? Absolutely
In Acts we promised us the Holy Spirit, In tells us that if we do not have the Spirit of CHrist (the Holy Spirit) then we are not of Christ. explains how we are sealed by the Holy Spirit and we are not to conform to this world and that through discernment we will know what is right by God. Our salvation, our sanctification, our guidance and our collection of our inheritance is all through the work of the Holy Spirit. If He is not speaking to us, how do we know what to do.
I think the main issue is word semantics. I think and truly feel that as Christians we are grieving the Spirit when we carry on and behave like this. Few Christians would have an issue when someone says “they are led by the Spirit”. Because we are led to repentance or acceptance of Christ through the tugging on our hearts. The Spirit placed this person on my heart to pray for, or the Spirit guided me and another person to a certain place at the same time. Some would say or that’s a God thing.
says If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. This is not a past tense example. But a promise that still holds true today. Through the Holy Spirit we are guided, we are given direction and help. One person may say God said this or showed me this, or another will say The Spirit led me to understand this. These are all acceptable and Biblically accurate statements. I do believe that we have to be careful, I do think that we have to verify all through scripture. If something we feel is from God and cannot be backed up by His word (scripture), then we may want to reconsider where it is coming from.
You don’t see past tense, these are present tense encouragement.
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