That small church with a handful of cars that I mentioned earlier, is probably 9/10 times that small because the pastor in his way guided by God preaches that message. At the same time 9/10 times the big churches are big because they have taken all of that out and don’t even open their Bibles for a sermon unless it’s to abuse the message on stewardship when their PowerPoint presentation on giving money to the mission field crashes in the middle of a Sunday morning service. No, I’m not making that up sadly. First there is nothing wrong with PowerPoint presentations on a Sunday night service. Second, there is most definitely nothing wrong with giving money to the mission field, these people use the money to reach out and help communities all over the world, even in the States. Third there is nothing wrong with stewardship. Fact of life that churches have bills to pay too. But to have all of this abused on a Sunday morning means that the church is not founded on prayer and it does not put God first. Always put God first.
The Bible is not user friendly for people looking to feel good about life. Life sucks. It truly does, but life is precious. First there is never a situation that God will allow you to be in that you cannot handle. Ever. Second I have learned to love my life even when I am currently being bombarded by drama no one should “have” to go through or “deserve.” I don’t deserve salvation either but I have it. Life is not an entitlement program. If you are breathing, enjoy it. You are guaranteed one life but never guaranteed tomorrow. The Bible describes the only deity worshipped by man that gave cause and effect for any given situation and describes only two possible outcomes for the hereafter. There is only one way into heaven and only one way into hell. And it’s not about what you do or how good you are because you are not perfect and you can never make up for your sin or live a life that reaches God’s standard. And ignorance is never an excuse. I did not condemn you by writing this if you’re reading as a nonbeliever right now. You are already condemned and judgment is only to show you why you are after you die. Be grateful God is kind enough to do that. The purpose of the Bible and the gospel is to show you that you can go to heaven not based on what you do. But based on what He did!!! Christ is the only way into heaven. Rejecting Christ is the only way into hell. The only unforgiveable sin is blaspheming the Holy Spirit. And you have opportunities to accept Him no matter how bad you think you are, He takes all that away.
August 1, 2014 Post Modernism and Nihilism
Responding to the sentiment that the church is irrelevant.
You mentioned churches today don’t carry any weight. While this is true there are churches that do. Consider that the majority of people that call themselves Christian think they are by going to church. The big super churches in my opinion for the majority have put their buildings before God. They want to grow only so they can keep up with their debt in their building funds. Great for evangelism but it dies with getting the gospel across without watering the crop. So you have people that think they’re okay hearing the same message over and over again and spiritually they’re babies. Then you have that and the Internet. Not satisfied with their mega church, again different for everyone but only talking majority, they look online and see different hot topics that shake them in their faith. They get upset over something that’s happening and they start doubting God and not understanding that their faith isn’t based on what they do, but rather what God does for us, they give up. Maybe an atheist challenged them on something they weren’t ready to answer and they crumbled. They can’t blame the church though. Being a Christian is having the desire to know more about the Bible and what God wants us to do. A good church will offer studies to expand on something the sermon can’t cover. Not everyone has that desire and they starve themselves. If heaven had a caste system these Christians would be poverty to homeless. Only above the deathbed confessionals. You want to be rich now, I’d be more worried about what you’ll be for an eternity. But that’s postmodern thinking, go to God and He’ll make you rich, don’t think, just do, try to be happy and make everyone happy, don’t offend people over anything, forgiveness is condoning what’s wrong and letting people do what’s wrong because it makes them happy. Churches started preaching this mess because it’s what people want to hear.
Nihilism. Common core is teaching a poor math standard that doesn’t allow for the correct answer to be given, may include teaching the Gettysburg Address without teaching the Civil War, or that socialism is a good idea. Take that plus the Internet and you will have a generation of idiots that have no understanding of anything and won’t know that they’re wrong because that’s what they’ve been taught since childhood. I can see parents losing their children to the state more frequently for sneezing.
But without God guiding us with discernment, no one would stand up to this because no one would know what truth was. So yes me saying that Satan is out to deceive people is not an evasion because I can tell you what tactics he uses to be effective. Find a plan of salvation in any religion where the deity died for us to be saved other than Christianity. Cults that have spun off of Christianity have even taken salvation out in exchange for works. Catholicism says you have to go to mass and you have to do this and that but says you’re not allowed to have a personal relationship with Christ which is what Salvation is. I don’t worship a man or an icon, I worship Christ directly and He hears me.
Go to church. Any church. I’m working a double at work with an 8 hour turnaround as I’m writing this, so be grateful you can go to church. I have learned not to care what other people do as it’s none of my business. For the love of goodness, forget what other people are doing and find a decent preacher that opens his Bible at the pulpit and reads from it in his sermon and gives you a message from it explaining it the best as he can. All I can honestly say that if it has a Starbucks in the foyer and you couldn’t find a parking space then look for one that has a handful of cars here and there. I’ll explain in a later post. Church is worshipping God but it’s for you to grow spiritually. It only benefits you to go and keeps you aligned with His word and keeps you accountable to others. It is the best tool to keep you from drifting.
Never be afraid to say I don’t know. No matter what people tell you or ask you. Someone told me that if a preacher ever said “I don’t know” then he wasn’t worth listening too. For me, that’s someone looking for a precanned religion with a god in the box that pops out on Sunday just to make people feel good. There is no one on this earth as a human that knows everything and thank God for that. This allows us the free will to pursue and learn the truth. The beauty of God is that we don’t and could never in our lifetime fully comprehend everything about Him and yet He created us and gave us that gift of finding Him on our own.
Be honest with God. He’s an all powerful entity we can never comprehend in our entire lifetime. If you’re still hung up on something you haven’t turned over to Him and you’re mad at Him, let Him know about it. Praise God always, but know that this isn’t some djinn in a bottle you can summon up to get you out of a fix or give you everything when you want it. This is not some thing in your imagination that you created to cope with life. He is what He is and there is nothing you can do to change Him into what you want Him to be. And to understand love, you start by loving Him regardless of what He is unconditionally.
I’m sure theologians have written libraries about the different types of witnessing and given them names and descriptions and how-to’s. I am not a street preacher. My insides go cold at the thought of grabbing a microphone and yelling at the masses as they pass by. I have participated with one and held the flag looking for an opportunity to help someone with their luggage or something heavy and I had that opportunity. I find my ministry is different as all of our ministries are different. I would rather help a random stranger that I will never see again than plant the seed of the gospel without watching it grow. I witness to family, friends and coworkers and only if they’re receptive to it. Be prepared for rejection. The Bible prepares us for tribulation including being outcast for our beliefs. Know when to walk away, you are not going to “win” people over all the time and your best witness are your words and your actions. God doesn’t need you to prove that He exists.