Newsletter
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Newsletter

I understand the Church hurt you, and now you may be a home-alone Christian. I have a message entitled, 'If you are disillusioned about the church, it is because you have an illusion of the church.' The Church is not always a safe place. If you come to Church, you will get wounded sooner or later. But we are wounded no matter where we go, to Church or somewhere secular. So why not return to Church, where healing also occurs? It is better to be injured by a friend than kissed by the enemy. And the comfort you are receiving by staying away from a body of believers is the enemy of your soul, not your friend. Come back to the body of Christ and get healed.

The Church is both religious and relational. Yet, we get to choose which one we are. The Church will always have rulekeepers who lack grace and relationship. The Church will also have the grace healers found in relationships who know pain ensues when boundaries are not respected. To be in a relationship with Jesus means to also be in a relationship with His Church. If you live longer than the thief on the cross, more is expected of you. Don't die at home alone.

I know that the Church has lost her salt for many. Churches of our day are irrelevant to our culture because we have lost our unique identity to solve the hopelessness of society. We are another cog in the system that doesn't give a way out. So, the Church is disdained. People have an illusion of what the Church is thus are disillusioned when it does not conform to their expectation. For many reasons, people don't know the value of the church and its local body.

One reason people have left the Church is thinking it is an educational institution. Why attend and go through useless traditions when we can streamline knowledge through a book or podcast?

Another reason people have left the Church is because it doesn't meet their social service needs. Government and secular services do a better job of meeting temporal needs. People have flipped the major and minor commissions of the Church. The primary function of the Church is to make disciples. Secondary care is for people's natural needs. Even Jesus said you follow me because I gave you bread, not because I offer signs of eternal life. Most people don't want spiritual help. They want their natural needs met. The Church cannot meet the insatiable demands of the flesh. Neither can the government, but that is another lesson.

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Newsletter

We are saved by grace through faith and not works, lest we boast. Everything from God is by grace. If it is by work, then it cannot be by grace because work earns a payday. Again, everything in the Kingdom of God is paid for by the grace of God and not the works of men. There are works, the privilege of being a citizen in the Kingdom of God. We are rewarded for excellence but not payment for work rendered. We cannot add anything to the finished work on the cross.

I do not believe a person can lose their salvation like you do a set of keys. I do, however, think we can neglect the gift of salvation as if it has no value to us, thus opting out or surrendering all the benefits that come with the death and resurrection of Jesus.

We don't lose our free will at the new birth. We must live a lifetime of surrendering our will to be done in so much that the Father's will is done. Around 1948, the church age changed seasons from the Philadelphia church age to the Laodicea church age or, as I call it, the Lackadaisical Church. Like the year's seasons, Spring is scheduled for March 20th, but it may come early or late, and both winter and Spring coexist for a while. So has the Church of Philadelphia and Laodicea.

In the last few generations, we have transitioned from a brotherly love church to a self-loving church. We went from the greatest generation who laid down their life as a sign of greater love to a generation of self-love. We saw a generation who shed their blood for freedom in WWII and today's generation who are shedding their freedom for blood in the streets of America.

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Newsletter

Now, onto what discipleship and age-appropriate Lordship are. How many disciples did Jesus have? You answered short if you thought twelve like many people would answer. It is written that the resurrected Jesus appeared to five hundred-plus disciples. Remember, Jesus chose the twelve apostles of the Lamb from a group of many disciples.

In simplest terms, a disciple turns away from leading himself to surrendering leadership to Jesus through the Holy Spirit.

Every time we go to church, we are discipled, at least for those with ears to hear. Every time we read the Bible, listen to a biblical podcast, or read a gospel post on the internet or magazine, we are discipled.

Some believe that discipleship is relinquishing control to another person or establishment. A falling in line with the doctrine or traditions of certain religious men. Some bring up fear with accountability and shepherding. Accountability and leadership are important, but it should not violate free will and conscience. The fear is legitimate but shouldn’t stop us from discipleship in the way God intended.

People shy away from discipleship because of experiencing an out-of-control pastor or teacher. I once had a pastor calling people awol or MIA if they didn't notify him when they would miss a meeting. I find it respectful to tell leadership whether I can make it, but it is not owed and must certainly not be demanded. Also, I am not talking about leadership roles or breaking commitments. I mean, the pastor wanted control of people's lives. He wanted Lordship. Lordship only belongs to the Lord and not a man. I can't even be Lord in my own life if I am going to follow Jesus, so why would I choose another flesh and blood person to lord over me? God set up authorities that we are to submit to but not as if they are Lord, owners of our souls.

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