Why there are so many Christian sects?

Joined
Dec 27, 2017
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#81
How to Choose a Church?

"And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching" (Hebrews 10:24-25).

You can be a Christian without joining a church: if you can be a bee without a hive, if you can be a soldier without an army, if you can be a salesman without customers, if you can be a politician who is a hermit, if you can be a football player without a team.

A man who was raised in Russia came to the United States in hopes of becoming a citizen. In his desire to blend in and be a good American, he tried to conform to as many customs as possible.

"What do Americans eat for breakfast?" he asked a friend one day.

"Well, most people eat cereal," the friend responded.

So, the Russian immigrant headed for the nearest supermarket and asked the clerk where he could find the cereal. The clerk directed him to an aisle longer than an airport terminal and said, "Take your pick!"

Endless stacks of cereal of all descriptions and colors lined both sides of the aisle. Hot cereal, cold cereal, big boxes, little boxes, children's cereal with cartoon characters on the front or athletes advertising prizes inside. Some cereal was almost pure sugar, some had no sugar. There was instant cereal, multigrain, and fiber flakes.

For over an hour the man wandered aimlessly up and down the aisle not knowing how to choose a box of cereal or where to begin. He was completely dazed by the vast selection of just cereal!

You see, companies like Kellogg's and Post make dozens of different kinds of breakfast cereals that appeal to as broad a spectrum of society as possible. In that way they hope to capture a larger share of the consumer market.

Likewise, the devil has created many different religions and many different churches to capture a larger part of the world worship market. Some people think the devil is against religion. Wrong! He is all for it, as long as it is counterfeit. He has tried to trap man by introducing false systems of worship telling him it doesn't matter how a person worships, just as long as he is religious. By having a kaleidoscope of confusing counterfeit churches, Satan is hoping to camouflage the true church. It's like hiding a diamond in a pile of broken glass.

More Than a Good Name

"I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead" (Revelation 3:1).

A visitor in a strange city was returning from supper when a sign in a store front window caught his eye. It read "Chinese Laundry." He made a mental note of the location because he had been gone long enough to have need of a good laundry. The next morning he arrived at the store with a bag full of soiled clothes. He piled the clothes on the counter before a shocked attendant.

"What's this?" the attendant asked.

"My laundry," came the reply. "I've always heard that Chinese laundries do excellent work." The baffled clerk quickly informed the visitor that the establishment was not a Chinese laundry.

"But what about the sign in the window?" asked the bewildered visitor.

"Oh, this is not a laundry, it is a sign shop" the attendant replied.

Some people struggle with disillusionment because they chose a church based on a good name on the building. But that is like picking a good breakfast cereal by virtue of a pretty picture on the box. Lets face it, some churches have great names but once inside you might find bingo, bazaars, and potluck social gatherings instead of a soul-cleansing program. The church sometimes sends out false signals about its purpose. Needy people bring in their dirty laundry only to discover that the cross of forgiveness is nothing more than a sign in the window and that the attendants are not equipped to handle soiled lives.

The Truth Is What Matters

From the time of the Garden of Eden, Satan has known that mankind was created with the inherent desire to worship, and many have accepted his counterfeit forms. Cain fell for Satan's trap. He made an offering according to his own creation and then killed his brother, Abel. The men who crucified Jesus were extremely religious. The Bible tells us that even those who receive the mark of the beast in the last days will be worshipping.

Satan is not against religion. That's why he even invited Jesus to worship him, but he is furiously opposed to the truth of Christ's religion which exposes his devices and the people who do God's will.

The devil heard Jesus say, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). That is why he is working frantically to cloak the truth and confuse people as to how they should search for the true church.

I took an unofficial personal survey as to the most popular reasons why and how people join a church, and here are some of the common answers I received:

It's the church of my parents.

It's close to our home.

The people are friendly and loving.

The music is beautiful.

The preacher is handsome or dynamic.

They have a good children's program.

The building architecture is impressive.

The important or influential people attend this church.

The services are exciting.

The church needs me.

Now catch this. Though each of these elements might be good in and of itself, none-not one of them-is the right reason to join a church. That means that the majority of people in the this country join churches for the wrong reason.

There is only one right reason to join a church, and that is because the foundation teachings of the church or denomination are the teachings of the Bible and of Jesus, and you are committed to following truth.

In light of this, you would be amazed how few people can tell you about the specific teachings of their church. Even regarding basic doctrines about God, the law, baptism, salvation, death, the second coming, heaven, and hell, most Christians have only a superficial knowledge of their church's positions on these foundational truths.

Sadly, most people shop for a church the way children choose breakfast cereal. They like the picture on the box or they want the prize inside while missing the most important criteria-reading the ingredients.

The first and most important test question to ask of any church is, "What are their beliefs?"

Are the teachings of this church consistent with the teachings of Jesus? If the doctrines of that denomination are the teachings of Christ and the Bible, then that is God's church, and you should become a member and hang in there even if: the people are cantankerous and crabby, the singing sounds like feeding time at the zoo, the church building is a renovated hamburger stand, the pastor's sermons are so boring that the bats leave the belfry at 11 o'clock every Sabbath morning, the members are so divided that there is a fluorescent line painted down the middle of the sanctuary, the people come to church driving army tanks.

The Object of Satan's Rage

"And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Revelation 12:17).

Have you ever wondered if God's true church really exists? Suppose that God does have a special church somewhere that holds the truth in it's foundational teachings. Would it look like the "perfect" church? Would all the members wear halos and pious smiles? Would the building have a Christmas star hovering overhead each night and angelic music emanating from each window?

On the contrary, it would be the supreme object of Satan's rage and attract his concentrated attention. The devil would try to introduce as many problems and conflicts into the church as possible to discourage the members and newcomers. He would probably inspire the world to accuse them of being a cult in the same way people living in Jesus' day said He had a devil (John 7:20). He would try to entice them to jump ship, to throw in the towel or to stop fighting the fight of faith.

Remember that when Jesus was on earth His disciples represented the true church, yet they were fighting for the highest position, stealing funds, and denying Him under pressure. Yet they were the true church at that time because they had Jesus, the truth in their midst! You have heard it said, "A church is not a hotel for saints, it's a hospital for sinners." And sometimes even the hospital staff get sick. (I guess that's what you call a staff infection.)

When because of their lack of faith, murmuring, complaining, and lusting after Egypt, the children of Israel had to leave the borders of the Promised Land and were forced to return and wander in the wilderness, they did not go alone! Faithful ones like Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and Caleb did not break off by themselves, but stayed with their weaker, faithless brethren. Not only did Moses stay with them, God stayed with them, too! In spite of their frequent failures, the children of Israel were Gods' church. Why? "Because that unto them were committed the oracles of God" (Romans 3:2).

They were the true church because they were His people of prophecy and had the truth of His word. "This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sinai, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us" (Acts 7:38).

Should I Ever Leave a Church?

Two teenage brothers, Bo and Joe, decided to take advantage of the warm weather one Sunday afternoon and drove down to the ocean pier to go swimming.

"I can't wait to dive in," said Bo.

"Me either," answered Joe as they parked the car.

They changed into their swim trunks and headed toward the pier. It stood high above a rocky shoreline and led out into the water where the waves crashed on the pilings below.

"Last one in is a rotten egg," yelled Bo, as he ran down the pier and dove off the end.

"Hey, wait for me," Joe answered, running to the end of the pier and stopping.

Being a little more cautious than his brother, Joe paused to look over the end of the pier before diving off. There, to his horror, was the body of his brother, floating in the shallow surf, his neck broken by the rocks that hid just below the surface of the water. A young teenager lost his life by diving at low tide when the waves were out. He didn't know when to jump.

You may think Bo was less than brilliant for not stopping to look before he dove, but, like Bo, many today are diving out of the church like lemmings running blindly off a cliff into the sea. They never stop to look before they leap; to think about whether or not there are rocks below. They just see a problem in the church and follow those who say, "last one out is a rotten egg."

It is easy to get discouraged when you consider all the potential problems one may encounter in a church. There are so many voices out there constantly reminding us of all the hypocrisy and failures. Some independent ministries are ever providing tabloid information, regurgitating present and past scandals, the squandering of money, lack of the Holy Spirit, the famine of real Bible preaching, etc., as reasons to leave the church.

Some ask, "Can't I be part of God's church without being part of a denomination or the organization? Must I endure pathetic preaching and spiritless fellowship from one week to the next? Is there a time to leave the church?"

Yes, there is a time to leave the church! And the criteria and principles for leaving a church are the same as those for joining.

When the official church doctrines are no longer the teachings of Christ, when you are no longer allowed to teach and practice the truth within its fellowship, then obviously you have no choice but to go somewhere else.

Now, I realize that church membership is not an elevator to heaven, and that many-maybe even most-of those whose names are on a church membership roll here on earth may not be citizens of God's kingdom in heaven. At the same time, Satan knows that "united we stand, but divided we fall," so he is working with a frenzy to divide God's people and scatter the army until our power evaporates. If you really love Jesus and are committed to truth, you will want to be a part of His body, and He wants you to join His family, faulty though it may be.

Focusing on some of the challenges that threaten our churches can leave a person with the idea that church membership must be a negative experience. But in reality God has designed His church as a very positive and loving environment. But this article is to remind us that even if it is not, we will remain committed to God's movement.

This is why it is so important that we glue our hands to the plow, squeeze until our knuckles are white, and never look back or let go (Luke 9:62)!

"Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me" (Ruth 1:16-17).

https://www.amazingfacts.org/news-a...rt/magazine/id/10700/t/how-to-choose-a-church
 





Joined
Jun 29, 2017
Messages
1,654
Likes
2,887
#82
You can be a Christian without joining a church: if you can be a bee without a hive, if you can be a soldier without an army, if you can be a salesman without customers, if you can be a politician who is a hermit, if you can be a football player without a team.
To follow Christ i don't need army, customers or beehive...It would be nice, sure, but you making it sound like it's impossible otherwise. It's not...
 





Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Messages
1,640
Likes
2,464
#83
How to Choose a Church?

"And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching" (Hebrews 10:24-25).

You can be a Christian without joining a church: if you can be a bee without a hive, if you can be a soldier without an army, if you can be a salesman without customers, if you can be a politician who is a hermit, if you can be a football player without a team.

A man who was raised in Russia came to the United States in hopes of becoming a citizen. In his desire to blend in and be a good American, he tried to conform to as many customs as possible.

"What do Americans eat for breakfast?" he asked a friend one day.

"Well, most people eat cereal," the friend responded.

So, the Russian immigrant headed for the nearest supermarket and asked the clerk where he could find the cereal. The clerk directed him to an aisle longer than an airport terminal and said, "Take your pick!"

Endless stacks of cereal of all descriptions and colors lined both sides of the aisle. Hot cereal, cold cereal, big boxes, little boxes, children's cereal with cartoon characters on the front or athletes advertising prizes inside. Some cereal was almost pure sugar, some had no sugar. There was instant cereal, multigrain, and fiber flakes.

For over an hour the man wandered aimlessly up and down the aisle not knowing how to choose a box of cereal or where to begin. He was completely dazed by the vast selection of just cereal!

You see, companies like Kellogg's and Post make dozens of different kinds of breakfast cereals that appeal to as broad a spectrum of society as possible. In that way they hope to capture a larger share of the consumer market.

Likewise, the devil has created many different religions and many different churches to capture a larger part of the world worship market. Some people think the devil is against religion. Wrong! He is all for it, as long as it is counterfeit. He has tried to trap man by introducing false systems of worship telling him it doesn't matter how a person worships, just as long as he is religious. By having a kaleidoscope of confusing counterfeit churches, Satan is hoping to camouflage the true church. It's like hiding a diamond in a pile of broken glass.

More Than a Good Name

"I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead" (Revelation 3:1).

A visitor in a strange city was returning from supper when a sign in a store front window caught his eye. It read "Chinese Laundry." He made a mental note of the location because he had been gone long enough to have need of a good laundry. The next morning he arrived at the store with a bag full of soiled clothes. He piled the clothes on the counter before a shocked attendant.

"What's this?" the attendant asked.

"My laundry," came the reply. "I've always heard that Chinese laundries do excellent work." The baffled clerk quickly informed the visitor that the establishment was not a Chinese laundry.

"But what about the sign in the window?" asked the bewildered visitor.

"Oh, this is not a laundry, it is a sign shop" the attendant replied.

Some people struggle with disillusionment because they chose a church based on a good name on the building. But that is like picking a good breakfast cereal by virtue of a pretty picture on the box. Lets face it, some churches have great names but once inside you might find bingo, bazaars, and potluck social gatherings instead of a soul-cleansing program. The church sometimes sends out false signals about its purpose. Needy people bring in their dirty laundry only to discover that the cross of forgiveness is nothing more than a sign in the window and that the attendants are not equipped to handle soiled lives.

The Truth Is What Matters

From the time of the Garden of Eden, Satan has known that mankind was created with the inherent desire to worship, and many have accepted his counterfeit forms. Cain fell for Satan's trap. He made an offering according to his own creation and then killed his brother, Abel. The men who crucified Jesus were extremely religious. The Bible tells us that even those who receive the mark of the beast in the last days will be worshipping.

Satan is not against religion. That's why he even invited Jesus to worship him, but he is furiously opposed to the truth of Christ's religion which exposes his devices and the people who do God's will.

The devil heard Jesus say, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). That is why he is working frantically to cloak the truth and confuse people as to how they should search for the true church.

I took an unofficial personal survey as to the most popular reasons why and how people join a church, and here are some of the common answers I received:

It's the church of my parents.

It's close to our home.

The people are friendly and loving.

The music is beautiful.

The preacher is handsome or dynamic.

They have a good children's program.

The building architecture is impressive.

The important or influential people attend this church.

The services are exciting.

The church needs me.

Now catch this. Though each of these elements might be good in and of itself, none-not one of them-is the right reason to join a church. That means that the majority of people in the this country join churches for the wrong reason.

There is only one right reason to join a church, and that is because the foundation teachings of the church or denomination are the teachings of the Bible and of Jesus, and you are committed to following truth.

In light of this, you would be amazed how few people can tell you about the specific teachings of their church. Even regarding basic doctrines about God, the law, baptism, salvation, death, the second coming, heaven, and hell, most Christians have only a superficial knowledge of their church's positions on these foundational truths.

Sadly, most people shop for a church the way children choose breakfast cereal. They like the picture on the box or they want the prize inside while missing the most important criteria-reading the ingredients.

The first and most important test question to ask of any church is, "What are their beliefs?"

Are the teachings of this church consistent with the teachings of Jesus? If the doctrines of that denomination are the teachings of Christ and the Bible, then that is God's church, and you should become a member and hang in there even if: the people are cantankerous and crabby, the singing sounds like feeding time at the zoo, the church building is a renovated hamburger stand, the pastor's sermons are so boring that the bats leave the belfry at 11 o'clock every Sabbath morning, the members are so divided that there is a fluorescent line painted down the middle of the sanctuary, the people come to church driving army tanks.

The Object of Satan's Rage

"And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Revelation 12:17).

Have you ever wondered if God's true church really exists? Suppose that God does have a special church somewhere that holds the truth in it's foundational teachings. Would it look like the "perfect" church? Would all the members wear halos and pious smiles? Would the building have a Christmas star hovering overhead each night and angelic music emanating from each window?

On the contrary, it would be the supreme object of Satan's rage and attract his concentrated attention. The devil would try to introduce as many problems and conflicts into the church as possible to discourage the members and newcomers. He would probably inspire the world to accuse them of being a cult in the same way people living in Jesus' day said He had a devil (John 7:20). He would try to entice them to jump ship, to throw in the towel or to stop fighting the fight of faith.

Remember that when Jesus was on earth His disciples represented the true church, yet they were fighting for the highest position, stealing funds, and denying Him under pressure. Yet they were the true church at that time because they had Jesus, the truth in their midst! You have heard it said, "A church is not a hotel for saints, it's a hospital for sinners." And sometimes even the hospital staff get sick. (I guess that's what you call a staff infection.)

When because of their lack of faith, murmuring, complaining, and lusting after Egypt, the children of Israel had to leave the borders of the Promised Land and were forced to return and wander in the wilderness, they did not go alone! Faithful ones like Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and Caleb did not break off by themselves, but stayed with their weaker, faithless brethren. Not only did Moses stay with them, God stayed with them, too! In spite of their frequent failures, the children of Israel were Gods' church. Why? "Because that unto them were committed the oracles of God" (Romans 3:2).

They were the true church because they were His people of prophecy and had the truth of His word. "This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sinai, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us" (Acts 7:38).

Should I Ever Leave a Church?

Two teenage brothers, Bo and Joe, decided to take advantage of the warm weather one Sunday afternoon and drove down to the ocean pier to go swimming.

"I can't wait to dive in," said Bo.

"Me either," answered Joe as they parked the car.

They changed into their swim trunks and headed toward the pier. It stood high above a rocky shoreline and led out into the water where the waves crashed on the pilings below.

"Last one in is a rotten egg," yelled Bo, as he ran down the pier and dove off the end.

"Hey, wait for me," Joe answered, running to the end of the pier and stopping.

Being a little more cautious than his brother, Joe paused to look over the end of the pier before diving off. There, to his horror, was the body of his brother, floating in the shallow surf, his neck broken by the rocks that hid just below the surface of the water. A young teenager lost his life by diving at low tide when the waves were out. He didn't know when to jump.

You may think Bo was less than brilliant for not stopping to look before he dove, but, like Bo, many today are diving out of the church like lemmings running blindly off a cliff into the sea. They never stop to look before they leap; to think about whether or not there are rocks below. They just see a problem in the church and follow those who say, "last one out is a rotten egg."

It is easy to get discouraged when you consider all the potential problems one may encounter in a church. There are so many voices out there constantly reminding us of all the hypocrisy and failures. Some independent ministries are ever providing tabloid information, regurgitating present and past scandals, the squandering of money, lack of the Holy Spirit, the famine of real Bible preaching, etc., as reasons to leave the church.

Some ask, "Can't I be part of God's church without being part of a denomination or the organization? Must I endure pathetic preaching and spiritless fellowship from one week to the next? Is there a time to leave the church?"

Yes, there is a time to leave the church! And the criteria and principles for leaving a church are the same as those for joining.

When the official church doctrines are no longer the teachings of Christ, when you are no longer allowed to teach and practice the truth within its fellowship, then obviously you have no choice but to go somewhere else.

Now, I realize that church membership is not an elevator to heaven, and that many-maybe even most-of those whose names are on a church membership roll here on earth may not be citizens of God's kingdom in heaven. At the same time, Satan knows that "united we stand, but divided we fall," so he is working with a frenzy to divide God's people and scatter the army until our power evaporates. If you really love Jesus and are committed to truth, you will want to be a part of His body, and He wants you to join His family, faulty though it may be.

Focusing on some of the challenges that threaten our churches can leave a person with the idea that church membership must be a negative experience. But in reality God has designed His church as a very positive and loving environment. But this article is to remind us that even if it is not, we will remain committed to God's movement.

This is why it is so important that we glue our hands to the plow, squeeze until our knuckles are white, and never look back or let go (Luke 9:62)!

"Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me" (Ruth 1:16-17).

https://www.amazingfacts.org/news-a...rt/magazine/id/10700/t/how-to-choose-a-church
A 501(c3), a building with a pulpit, and a pastor do not make a church. I don't have to "join" a denomination, or be on the roll call or membership of a 501(c3) organization, to be part of the church, the body of Christ. As long as I have fellowship with other believers and don't live as spiritual hermit, I am part of the true Church of God.
 





Joined
Dec 13, 2017
Messages
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#84
God gave us methods to test and discern if something was true. Surely he expected us to test anything that was claimed to be His word and would expect it to pass.
God has the responsibility to inspire compile and preserve His words for us.

So when someone comes along and starts to cut and paste in God's own book... it is sacrilege !
 





Joined
Jun 1, 2018
Messages
729
Likes
778
#85
LOL! Okay....
For 25 years I’ve witnessed the results and fruit of the mystical (what your are calling spiritual) doctrine of Christ as taught by Paul. I am know beginning to experience the fruit of the gospel as taught by Jesus and his disciples (the gospel you are claiming is carnal) and it is proving to be a much greater blessing and expresssion of God’s great love, mercy and grace. Psalm 38:4

I pray you get to experience the same thing someday.
We will see, I just know your teachings don't fit the profile of the Teachings of the Church. And no wonder, Satan can make himself look like an angel of light. There is nothing funny about the Truth, Your LOL does not fit Spiritual discussions. Explain to me your theology of the NT Church?
 





Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
1,288
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1,948
#86
So is it enough only to believe in Christ or not? I am confused about Jesus' will and words. What are some concrete things people who comply with His will and words do? And believers aren't immune to sin so if you sin, you don't really believe?

If the God truly wants everybody to be saved, shouldn't he make this clearer?
Forget about “denominations” and sects for a moment.......Salvation from Hell is EASY.

We are ALL sinners. We know we have committed sin & the Bible says it:

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”......Romans 3:23 KJB

God states there is a PENALTY for sin:

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”....Revelation 21:8 KJB

.....maybe you aren’t a sorcerer, but you have lied at least once. I certainly know I have, and all of us have, so just being guilty of telling a single lie means we are on our way to Hell.

So even though you may not be a murderer or someone really “bad”, the fact that you’ve lied means you deserve to go to Hell.

Sobering thought, right?

But God DOES love us, and does NOT WANT us to go to Hell:
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 KJB

Jesus Christ, because he loves us, came to this earth. The bible says he was God manifest in the flesh. God basically took on human form. He lived a sinless life.
He did not commit any sin, & yet, they beat him, and spit on him, and nailed him to the cross.

The Bible says that when he was on that cross he “himself bare our sins in his own body on the tree.” (1 Peter 2:24 KJB)

So every sin you have ever committed , and every sin I have ever committed: it was as if Jesus had done it. He was being punished for OUR sins. Then they took his body when He died, and buried it in the tomb, and his soul went down to Hell for three days and three nights, according to Acts 2:31.

Three days later he rose again, bodily from the dead. He showed the disciples the holes in his hands.....PROOF that He that died was He that is risen.
(Also, the Bible is very clear that Jesus died for EVERYONE)

It says that He died “not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world” 1 John 2:2 KJB.

In Acts 16, it is asked: “What must I do to be saved? And they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

That is all.

He did NOT say, “Join a church, and you’ll be saved. Get baptized, and you’ll be saved. Live a good life, and you’ll be saved. Repent of all your sins, and you’ll be saved, NO. He said “believe.”

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” ......John 3:16 KJB

“Everlasting” means everlasting. It means forever.
Jesus said, “I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” ........John 10:28 KJB

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” ......John 6:47 KJB

So if you believe on Jesus Christ, the Bible says you have everlasting life. You are going to live forever.

You CANNOT lose your salvation.
It’s eternal, it’s everlasting.
Once you’re saved, once you believe on Him, you’re saved forever, and no matter what, you can NEVER lose your salvation.

2F0D78C9-3C2B-496D-BD7D-67BC3F48964B.jpeg
 





Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Messages
1,640
Likes
2,464
#87
God has the responsibility to inspire compile and preserve His words for us.

So when someone comes along and starts to cut and paste in God's own book... it is sacrilege !
He has complied and preserved his word and given us the tools to discern the Holy from the profane. It is clear from studying Deut 18 and Numbers 12, that God himself said there are different levels of authority among the prophets. Miriam was reproved for thinking her prophetic voice had the same authority as Moses. God specifically says that only one other prophet would speak the direct words of the Father like Moses. All other prophets received God's word through dreams and visions and did not carry the same weight or authority. Moses was the only prophet that God spoke to directly face to face. Jesus was the only prophet that spoke the actual words of God directly as the Father dwelled in him.

Even Moses acknowledged there was times when he was only interpreting what God spoke directly to him and that his interpretations did not have the same authority as the Words God spoke to him directly.

Even if we assume that the "Jesus" in Paul's conversion story is really Jesus Christ, his conversion experience would be at best considerd a reproof of Saul's actions of presecuting Christians. Everything Jesus says to Paul in his vision is negative and a rebuke or reproof. Their is no calling or proclamation from Jesus that Paul will be a prophet or an Apostle. Just like Miriam was reproved with temporary leprosy for her rebellion, Saul was reproved with temporary blindness.

Even when Saul meets Ananias, he is only told that he should be a witness, not a prophet or Apostle. In the same way Miriam's leprosy was a witness of God's reproof for her thinking she had equal authority as Moses, Paul's blindness was a witness of God's reproof for his presecution of true believers.

Peter's affirmation that Paul's words are hard to understand is only further proof that Paul was not a prophet on the level of Moses or Jesus. For Paul did not speak directly the words of God. Peter says that Paul's writings were born out of Paul's wisdom, so they could not be the words of God himself.

If we accept Jesus' description of the ministry of the Holy Spirit in John 14:26, we cannot accept Paul as being lead by the Spirit Of God either. Jesus said the Holy Spirit would remind the Apostles of Jesus' words. Paul showed zero interest in thge ministry of Jesus Christ in the flesh or the words he spoke, instead promoting the mystical Jesus of his conversion. The Apostle John laid out the denial of Jesus in the flesh as evidence of the anti-christ spirit. (1 John 4:1-3)
 





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#88
God gave us methods to test and discern if something was true. Surely he expected us to test anything that was claimed to be His word and would expect it to pass.

You are putting a lot of trust and faith in the councils of man to tell you what is the Word of God. That is your prerogative. I myself used to believe the same way, but I have found that method lacking.

Since rejecting Paul and embracing the Torah and the words of Jesus, I have experienced great blessing in my life. I’m not going back to the frustrating double mindedness of Pauline doctrine.
No offense but this whole discussion kind of highlights the problems I was talking about. I was born Lutheran and even though my family wasn't religious, I learnt religion and it's history in school. I have also always been interested in religions. But still all this makes me confused. The basic message: "believe in Jesus as your personal savior and you are saved" is simple but it doesn't seem to be enough. And people don't agree what then is enough. What are the rules you are supposed to follow. How can you claim that you know the truth if it's difficult to find even two people who agree about something?

Etagloc has an advantage in this discussion because he is the only one here who is trying to convince people about the truth of Quran. At least his message seems coherent. Of course there are different views within Islam but they are somehow less discussed than the differences of Christianity.
Believing IS enough.
If you don’t “think” it’s enough, it is because you do NOT really believe it.
And yes, it is simple.
 





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#89
Believing IS enough.
If you don’t “think” it’s enough, it is because you do NOT really believe it.
And yes, it is simple.
John 6

28Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
 





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#90
We will see, I just know your teachings don't fit the profile of the Teachings of the Church. And no wonder, Satan can make himself look like an angel of light. There is nothing funny about the Truth, Your LOL does not fit Spiritual discussions. Explain to me your theology of the NT Church?
Please accept my humble apology for the LOL! It was not meant to offend. I've learned to laugh instead of getting worked up or upset when other believers accuse me of being carnal, heretical or a false teacher. It does not mean that I am not taking the discussion seriously.

As for your question I see two different churches in the New Testament. I see the church lead by Peter, James and John and the church lead by Paul. Peter, James and John made every effort to include and accept Paul, but stood their ground even asking Paul to perform a cleansing ritual in the temple when they tried to correct him. Paul on the otherhand shows disdain and contempt for the leadership in Jerusalem, likely becuase they remained focused on the words Jesus spoke in the flesh versus Paul's mystical interpretation and theology of Jesus.

The church in Jersualem was called "The way" while the churches that Paul lead were the first to be called "Christians". Peter, James and John expected Gentile converts, whom they preached to and gladly received, to learn the Torah in the synagogues that taught Moses. They meet at the temple in Jerusalem and expected believers outside of Jerusalem to meet in the synagogues as a sect of the the religion of the Torah. They saw Jesus as the living embodiment of the Torah (I am the way, the truth and the life) and had no inclination to abandon the Torah, but to understand it fully as the prophetic picture of the work of Jesus Christ and continue to follow it as God's perfect guidance and instruction as interpreted and clarified by Jesus himself. This means discerning the difference between the true guidance and instruction of God and the doctrines and traditions of the elders and the scribes. I am not an active member of the hebraic roots movement that tries to marry christianity and judaism.

After the first century, the teachings and theology of Paul became predominant among the church. The predominantly gentile churches under Paul's leadership grew and spread his version of the gospel throughout the Roman empire with little knowlege or revelation of the true Torah.

Many would argue that Paul's version of Christianity survived because it was the true version. But extending that logic would mean one would have to conclude that the Roman Catholic Church of the dark ages was also the true church of God. For 25 years I was a "Pauline" Christian and I was ordained and pastored in the Church and followed and taught from the pulpit, mainstream orthodox "Christianity". I no longer believe the Pauline version of the gospel is the same pure gospel that Jesus and his disciples preached. I am currently studying and learning more and more about this gospel and seeking what true Torah observance means for me as a sojourner.

I still consider and accept anyone who trusts in the crucificixion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the lamb of God who takes away the sins of world, as my brother or sister in Christ. God knows who the true believers are, regardless of our doctrine or sect. Our salvation is not dependent on perfect doctrine and beliefs. If you love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself you are my brother or sister in Christ. So I can disgaree doctrinally with someone and still acknowledge the work of God in their life, if they have evidence of the love, forgiveness and mercy of God in their lives.

The true Chruch of God is not contained in a denomination, creed or any other formalized instituion of religion. Yes, even though I no longer choose to be a part of the institutionalized church, I believe there are many true believers who are. I have no issue with fellowshiping and co-laboring with those who are.
 





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#92
To follow Christ i don't need army, customers or beehive...It would be nice, sure, but you making it sound like it's impossible otherwise. It's not...

I used to think like you and never attended Church for years but the Bible is clear that we should congregate with people of the same beliefs. Jesus and the apostles did it whenever they could. In the days of Jesus, Synagogues had been established where people would congregate together for worship. Jesus endorsed such gatherings by attending and participating Himself. "And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read" (Luke 4:14-16).

In the days of Jesus, the centres of worship were synagogues. It was Jesus’ custom to go and worship there. After His death, the apostles continued attending the synagogues, preaching and teaching as is written in the book of Acts. At the same time Christian Churches were being established. (Acts 2:47, 11:26, etc…) But when the persecution against Christians began, the synagogues were no longer safe for them, and the Churches became the central place for congregational worship.

Paul wrote extensively to the different churches, counselling them on how to worship, handle differences, instructing them in doctrines, etc... In several passages and especially in 1 Corinthians 12, the apostle strongly emphasizes the importance of Church members to be working together and helping each other to work and to grow. Too often church members suffer from "going to church to receive" and forget that they must also "go to church to give." Paul's entire arguments of being part of the body was that all must work together, he makes clear the importance of regular Church attendance for corporate worship and evangelism.

God never intended that Christians practice their faith by themselves. Church is part of God’s gift, so Christians should do their very best to find a biblical church in which they can grow into mature members of God’s family. Worship as part of a community is expressly commanded in the New Testament too. Believers are told to “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching,” as we read in Hebrews 10:25.

Jesus said, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:20). The Church is the assembly - it is the gathering of the people of God no matter how many they are.

If this was customary for Jesus, and later, the apostles, it should be no less important for us to make every effort to gather with fellow believers for worship and evangelism.
 





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#93
The true Chruch of God is not contained in a denomination, creed or any other formalized instituion of religion. Yes, even though I no longer choose to be a part of the institutionalized church, I believe there are many true believers who are. I have no issue with fellowshiping and co-laboring with those who are.
I agree with this as I do not believe in denominations...But only Christ adds to His Church. My calling and election is pastor/teacher, but I'am not ordained by man. I have talked with and have been taught by the Father, but that puts no special position or privilege to me above anyone else. I asked the Father one time as a young Christian, as I was driving to work about 2:00 am., Who is most important, Jesus or The Father. And while I was driving...all of a sudden I was standing outside of what looked like an Army barracks. I was looking through the window, and inside, I saw all these people in beds that were dying of a disease. There was no cure, If you are old enough to remember the Legionaries disease and the panic because there was no cure at the time, It was that kind of panic I felt for these people. As I looked to the right of the barracks inside, In walked this tall doctor in a long white coat and said, "I have a cure for your disease", and het set a bottle of medicine on the table. Some of the people who had the disease had just gotten it, but others were ready to die. Those who could, got out of bed and got on their hands and knees and began to praise the doctor. They would turn to those that could not get out of bed and said....look at what this doctor has done for us, and they went on continually praising the doctor on and on and on. The Father asked me what do you see, and as I looked, the medicine was still on the table, and no one was taking it. But still praising the Doctor. And He said to me, this is the way it is, I'am the Father and the medicine is Jesus The Christ. Few take the medicine. The cure for death, the medicine must be taken inside to make the body well. Then all of a sudden I was down the road 20 miles or so.
 





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#94
A 501(c3), a building with a pulpit, and a pastor do not make a church. I don't have to "join" a denomination, or be on the roll call or membership of a 501(c3) organization, to be part of the church, the body of Christ. As long as I have fellowship with other believers and don't live as spiritual hermit, I am part of the true Church of God.
Its never about a building with a pulpit. Stephen the Martyr told the Jewish people who accused him of blasphemy in Acts 7:48-50, "“However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says: ‘Heaven is My throne, And earth is My footstool. What house will you build for Me? says the Lord, Or what is the place of My rest? Has My hand not made all these things?’" Its about Jesus being in the midst of us as He says in Matthew 18:20.

In God's Church there are always leaders. We read about them in both the Old and New Testaments. The apostles were leaders and then later realised they had need of deacons, elders and overseers. Sadly many Pastors, deacons and elders have never understood what leadership meant biblically. Some of them are/were in leadership positions for all the wrong reasons. They've destroyed the faith of Christ in many because of their deeds that misrepresent Christ. Jesus said in Matthew 20:24-28, "And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."

The Church is to be organised/structured, but that organisation must always be subordinate to the authority of Jesus, the true Leader of our church. The Church doesn't have to be part of a denomination but it should have leaders as we see in the early Christian Church in the book of Acts. Deacons, Elders and Overseers are some of the leaders we read about. They needed certain qualities to be chosen. They had to be "men full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom" (Acts 6:3). Paul writes more on the subject in 1 Timothy 3:8-13, "Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus."

God chose able men to be heads of the Church to deal and judge small cases, but God is the ultimate judge. We need to remember who the ministry is for, and what our ultimate goal is. God uses people to further His kingdom. The elder or leader doesn’t make change, it is God that is acting through people that makes change.

I edited this post as I thought more about leadership in the Church.
 





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DavidSon

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#95
...Some denominations emphasize slight doctrinal differences, but more often they simply offer different styles of worship to fit the differing tastes and preferences of Christians.

http://www.wbfmfamily.com/why-there-are-so-many-christian-denominations-part-1/
I liked this quote. I don't think the masses who choose to be identified as Christian are flawed- it's that we have different visions, simple as that. It's a marvel that in the US churches stand not just on the same block, but across the street from each other. One could be the House of Emmanuel, next is Church of the Living God, etc. They have a unique focus of attention, or styles of worship as you say, and I'm cool with it. At least faith and spirituality are being kept alive in a generation of such rampant materialism.

I'm a little surprised within the threads at VC that a few of the "Christians" seem to have this energy of desperate shouting while communicating their personal faith. You can't force others to share your experience. I feel Jesus was challenging his followers to search within and illuminate themselves. Fast and pray. Focus on spirituality, stillness. Become your own religion. There has to be the experience of the divine or else the shouting becomes redundant dogma, which tunes others out. Jesus was the exact opposite. People came by the thousands to crowd in and hear his discussions. Because he was brilliant, wise, and enlightened. (I'd also add with a great sense of humor). In the reasoning, especially with the apostles, Christ is sparkling with wisdom and clarity. I think that's why some of the teachings can appear contradictory or confusing, because different situations display different truths. A rich man might benefit by giving away his wealth, but the poor guy need to get out there and find a job!

Let's not be like the scribes and pharisees who the Almighty curses. Judging others on the basis of their faith and quibbling over doctrine can cross the line of respect. It's unproductive. There are some amazing individuals who post here and IMO there could be more thanks for the intelligent dialogue each other brings, no matter what tribe they're from.


38. Now John answered Him, saying, "Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us."
39. But Jesus said, " Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me.
40. For he who is not against us is on our side." -MARK 9



"Signs and symbols rule the world, not words nor laws" - Confucius
 





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#96
He has complied and preserved his word and given us the tools to discern the Holy from the profane.
God has not given you the tool nor skill to read and understand simple Bible verses which don't even contain prophecies.


Even if we assume that the "Jesus" in Paul's conversion story is really Jesus Christ, his conversion experience would be at best considerd a reproof of Saul's actions of presecuting Christians.
No wonder you can't even understand simple Bible verses when you treat the Bible as your own personal color book.


For Paul did not speak directly the words of God. Peter says that Paul's writings were born out of Paul's wisdom, so they could not be the words of God himself.
2 Peter 3 15"Consider also that our Lord’s patience brings salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom God gave him. 16He writes this way in all his letters speaking in them about such matters. Some parts of his letters are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction."

Peter says that Paul's writing were born out of God's wisdom ! God gave Paul the wisdom to write what he did.
 





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#97
Believing IS enough.
If you don’t “think” it’s enough, it is because you do NOT really believe it.
And yes, it is simple.
Matthew 7 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.
 





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#98
God has not given you the tool nor skill to read and understand simple Bible verses which don't even contain prophecies.



No wonder you can't even understand simple Bible verses when you treat the Bible as your own personal color book.



2 Peter 3 15"Consider also that our Lord’s patience brings salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom God gave him. 16He writes this way in all his letters speaking in them about such matters. Some parts of his letters are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction."

Peter says that Paul's writing were born out of God's wisdom ! God gave Paul the wisdom to write what he did.
Thanks TokiEI for contending for the faith.
 





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I liked this quote. I don't think the masses who choose to be identified as Christian are flawed- it's that we have different visions, simple as that. It's a marvel that in the US churches stand not just on the same block, but across the street from each other. One could be the House of Emmanuel, next is Church of the Living God, etc. They have a unique focus of attention, or styles of worship as you say, and I'm cool with it. At least faith and spirituality are being kept alive in a generation of such rampant materialism.

I'm a little surprised within the threads at VC that a few of the "Christians" seem to have this energy of desperate shouting while communicating their personal faith. You can't force others to share your experience. I feel Jesus was challenging his followers to search within and illuminate themselves. Fast and pray. Focus on spirituality, stillness. Become your own religion. There has to be the experience of the divine or else the shouting becomes redundant dogma, which tunes others out. Jesus was the exact opposite. People came by the thousands to crowd in and hear his discussions. Because he was brilliant, wise, and enlightened. (I'd also add with a great sense of humor). In the reasoning, especially with the apostles, Christ is sparkling with wisdom and clarity. I think that's why some of the teachings can appear contradictory or confusing, because different situations display different truths. A rich man might benefit by giving away his wealth, but the poor guy need to get out there and find a job!

Let's not be like the scribes and pharisees who the Almighty curses. Judging others on the basis of their faith and quibbling over doctrine can cross the line of respect. It's unproductive. There are some amazing individuals who post here and IMO there could be more thanks for the intelligent dialogue each other brings, no matter what tribe they're from.


38. Now John answered Him, saying, "Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us."
39. But Jesus said, " Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me.
40. For he who is not against us is on our side." -MARK 9



"Signs and symbols rule the world, not words nor laws" - Confucius
Sorry, I've only seen this response today.

We have to be careful as Christians not to compromise on the word of God. There is one truth in the Bible. The Bible tells us that when we search for the truth with our whole heart, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32. The promise is, that when we seek for God with all of our heart we will find Him. And once we find Him, His truth will set us free. The Bible also tells us Jesus said, “I am the truth.” When we follow the truth we are obeying Jesus Christ.

Nowadays many people place a high premium on unity and crossing racial and denominational barriers, and so often this is at the expense of sound doctrine. “Ecumenism” is the aim of promoting unity among the Christian churches of the world. While some organizations, like the World Council of Churches, have made positive contributions in the world and promoted clearer dialogue among different faith groups, there are various aspects of these movements that are not in harmony with Scripture and God’s purposes for His church at the end of time. Doctrinal differences are minimized, and a push for one giant church is encouraged. Such a view is held in contrast to Scripture. The Bible not only describes God’s end-time church as being a remnant, but it also describes true believers as those “keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17). Even Christ’s prayer for unity is set in the context of the disciples who “have kept Your word” (John 17:6).

The basis for true unity is not simply conformity, but a call to faithfulness to the Bible. Many in the ecumenical movement do not see Scripture as authoritative; experience is held above sound theology. Prophecy is almost completely absent as is any focus on the second coming of Christ. There is a push to see evangelism strictly in terms of saving people from social ills, but not pointing out sin or judgment. The movement also pushes strong involvement in political issues.

The Bible rejects pluralism of belief and practice. It rejects the notion that conflicting or contradictory theological views are legitimate and must be allowed to cohabit in the Church. In contrast to today’s counterfeit unity, the Bible teaches that members of God’s Church should uphold a unity of faith and practice.

God’s people believe in unity based on Scripture and following “the Lamb wherever He goes” (Revelation 14:4). They have one doctrine.