How to be a 'Growing' Christian
Is the prayer of salvation really enough?
The Bible says no. Jesus Himself seems to definitely imply that repeating a few lines is not the guaranteed entrance into Heaven that many seem to believe. Many people will probably disagree with this, but that is why we will bring proof out of the pages of the Bible to show the real Truth. The Truth that even your Pastor may not be explaining to you. In fact, many preachers today, because of their lack of knowledge or lack of willingness, have created a massive generation of deep fried Christians! Not to bash anyone, but a lot of our Christian leaders today are looking for numbers instead of hearts. It is not only the preachers fault this is happening. It is also ours, and considered a sign of the times. We tend to want to hear fables and "half truths" rather than the Truth in its' entirety, because that might just interrupt our lives and cause us to have to make a change in our lifestyle.(2 Timothy 4:3)"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; But after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;" The sad part about this is there are plenty of teachers of Christ in today's society that are willing to entertain us, maybe even all the way to the gates of hell while their pockets fatten up.
Becoming a Christian has a lot more to it than just saying a few words or repeating a couple of lines. Again, we're not here to judge, because we have fell into this same trap, rather, we are here to dig into the Truth together with you.
For He is Humble...
What does it mean to be a Christian?
The word Christian derived from, of course, Jesus Christ. However, let us look at the ending of this word. It is the affix "-ian" we need to look at a little closer. This affix means to be engaged in a certain art or profession, or in this case, a person. That person being Jesus Christ. Lets take a look at this affix being used.
Politic-ian: Someone who is intensely involved in politics. One who knows their politics and has dove into that profession. A person active and engaged in politics. They live for politics.
Physic-ian: Someone who is active and engaged in the practice of medicines. They live to heal others with their practice.
Music-ian: Someone who composes music as a profession. Someone who cannot and would not live in a world without the art of music. They are active and engaged in music.They live for music.
Christ-ian: Someone who adheres to Christ. Someone who does as Jesus Christ does. Someone who follows the teachings of Jesus Christ. They are active and engaged in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They live for Jesus Christ?
The Bible tells us in (Galatians 2:20) that because Jesus Christ gave up His life for our sake, we are to live for Him. Really, how many of us "Christians" are truly Christians living for Jesus Christ? Acting as He would act, talking as He would talk, doing as He would do.
video by Finalcall77
Preachers today, not all but many, love to tell you as long as you repeat the sinners prayer, show up to church every Sunday, be kind to others and give your tithes regularly, you will be exempt from hell. These are all things that can help, but it misses the point of being a Christian. It is much more than that. A lying preacher will teach you how to worship yourself, how to become a better you. He may even teach you how to potentially get more blessings from "God" by giving more money to "God." You can even find these so called preachers of God telling you if your poor, you must be a sinner.
God, thankfully, does not care about what is in our money bags. He only cares about what is inside of us.
It is in a Relationship with Christ that we are re-created. To understand what Christ wants from us, we must seek Him ourselves. We must desire what He desires, we must become active and engaged in His righteousness. It is time for "Christians" to stand up and fight the good fight of faith. It is time to show Jesus Christ to the world. They have seen enough "Christians", let's show them Jesus Christ! (Matthew 5:13) We are the salt of the Earth. But if the salt has lost his savor, how will Earth be salted? It is then good for nothing, but to be cast out and to be rendered useless under the foot of men.
What are Christians standing for anymore? Why are we hiding our light? Why are we hiding the Truth? Millions upon millions are falling into hell. Just because we do not want to offend them, we are hiding Jesus Christ from them. But before we can reach anyone, we must tend to our own wounds. We must reach the world, but before we can do that we must wake up in a fresh relationship with Jesus Christ.
The Church has been crippled by 'denominational separation'. We have been in the little boxes too long, finding comfort in the fact that we are saved, thanks to our salvation prayer and church attendance. Maybe it is time to meet Jesus again, and see what He has to say about us church going religious folk. Church is a wonderful thing, but it can also be a blinder to the purpose God has for you. It is a place for believers to join together and consult with one another about their own walks with God. A place of safety where one can tell another of his struggles, and find prayer and help to bring him closer to God. Now, though, so many churches are no different from a bar, except for alcohol. There is gossip, UN-righteous judgment, envy, pride and jealousy. All that mixed with a little prayer and sports talk. We show no difference to the world. We appear to be the same as the world. We have become scribes and pharisees. We do not practice what we preach. We struggle to find faults in others, not to help them, but to justify our own sins. Then we all leave the building, shaking hands, smiling and feeling above the rest of the world.
No wonder the lost remains lost. No wonder our prayers for our neighborhoods to be changed goes unanswered. We, the Church, have got to get it together. We must meet Jesus again, allow Him to search us, and take away anything in our lives that is hindering us to do His will.
Knowing the time is now, it is high time to wake out of our sleep: For now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand! So now, let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the Armour of Light! Let us walk honestly, before man and God, not in rioting and drunkenness, not in wantonness and not in strife and envying. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ! (Romans 13:11-14)
It is supposed to be our ultimate goal to reach as many as we can with the Truth of having a relationship with Jesus Christ, but how can we do that when we have no clue on who He really is and what He really wants from us. The Church is in a time of healing right now. We have a beam in our own eye, let's pull it out, so we can truly see how to pull the splinter out of the worlds' eye. We may have said the prayer of salvation, but that is only the beginning. The day we accepted Christ in our life, we accepted His grace, mercy and blessings....but one thing we didn't count on was adopting His trials. The cross isn't as light as one may think, if we are carrying it by ourselves.
Let's meet Jesus...again
Who is Jesus Christ? A non-believer would say he was a magician. A prophet who was killed by the Jews.
Some might say He is the leader of a religion called Christianity. You might even hear the answer..."I don't know" sometimes. If you were to ask a Christian, they would most likely say that He is their Savior, their God, their friend. Some would say He is King of kings, Lord of lords. Christians seem to always have the answer to that question, but out of shame... some would never admit to not knowing who He truly is.
But that is the sad fact, many Christians don't know who Jesus Christ really is, or what He really wants from us and for us. They know what they sing about Him, and what other Christians call Him. But some Christians, probably most, have no clue. They have a religion, but not a Relationship. They think that their religious beliefs are enough to get them to the ultimate goal of Heaven, but this may not be true.
What does Jesus say?
Jesus says in Matthew 5:20..."For I say unto you, unless your righteousness exceeds the 'righteousness' of the scribes and pharisees, you shall in NO case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven."
Righteousness - In right standing with God; Of conformity to Gods' will, thought and deed.
The scribes and pharisees were in right standing with themselves, but far away from God. These scribes and pharisees are ramped in today's' society. They sit in the pulpits and preach a false gospel. Their churches swell into mega churches, where they sell goods and make more money than the sneakiest lawyer could ever dream of. The worst part about these false teachers is that they are not only going to fall into the depths of hell after their heart refuses to pump blood through their body...but they are sending many to that very same place. People are coming to these false preachers and are seeking God, yet they are being led to hell instead, even though they surely said the prayer of salvation! They are creating false followers worse than themselves.
Also in Matthew, Chapter 27; vs 21-23...Jesus says..."Not every one that says to Me, 'Lord, Lord', shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven; but only he who does the will of My Father which is in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day...'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name, and in Thy name cast out devils, and in Thy name done many wonderful things?" And then Jesus will say unto them..."I never knew you. Depart from Me, you that work iniquity."
Jesus Christ, in the above scriptures, is speaking specifically to us Christians who have refused to grow in His Spirit. We profess Christ, yet we live an alternate life. In the scriptures, the people are saying.."Lord, Lord".. These are without a doubt Christians. When we first discovered these verses, they changed our view on Christianity...it was no longer a religion to us, but a Relationship.
John 3:16 says this..."For God so Loved the people of the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever BELIEVES in Him should not perish, but have eternal LIFE!" That is Great News! However, look at what Revelation 3:16 says..."So because you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth!"
People today are missing the point of one specific word in John 3:16. Believe. To believe in Gods' Son, Jesus Christ, is not only to believe He died for our sins and was raised by The Father on the third day, but believe also means to Trust in Him, Rely on Him and cleave or cling to His every way. Stick so close to Him that Jesus Christ becomes a part of you, literally! Sadly, this does not describe the majority of "believers" today. It is a church that is hiding their light, defeating the purpose of having it lit up in the first place.
Preachers! Humble yourselves before God and man! You are meant to be servants for Jesus Christs' purpose. You are not to be high minded of yourselves. None of us Christians are. We are no better than any other person. Don't look down to people, who do we think we are? We need the grace of God, (Jesus Christ), as much as they do now. God is no respecter of persons. He sees none better than the other. So, Church, stop waiting for the preacher to teach you on Sunday. Ask the Father what He would want you to learn...NOW! The preacher is not supposed to be our shepherd, they are human beings like you and I that are supposed to be servants for Christ, a very important part, but many are too high minded to serve Christ fully. We are all together as ONE CHURCH supposed to reach the world with The Good and True Gospel. Maybe, just maybe, the reason many,(Not All), of our preachers are falling today is because we are putting a lot of extra burdens upon them that they are not meant to carry. We come in every Sunday and lay all our troubles on the preacher, and praise him for his goodness. Church! Carry the load together! It is not the preachers job to be the salt of the Earth...it is all of ours. The preacher is not to be our shepherd. We are to lay our troubles at the feet of Jesus Christ, the True Shepherd, and praise His Goodness!
What does God want from me?
Jesus says in John10:11-15, "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But he that is hired and not the shepherd, whom the sheep do not belong to, will see a wolf coming, and leave the sheep. The wolf will then capture them and scatter the sheep.The hired one will flee, because he is a hireling and cares not enough for the sheep. I AM the Good Shepherd and I know My sheep, and they know Me. As The Father knows Me, even so I know The Father, and I lay down My life for the sheep."
It cannot be made any clearer on whom we are supposed to seek for Gods' leading, it is not a man, for man are imperfect and can lead us astray, but we are to seek the guidance of the only one we are to call "Father", through Jesus Christ. Love your preachers, do not disregard them, but maybe encourage them to humble themselves, if it is required, and sometimes they need reminders of how to truly serve Christ. It is so easy to forget sometimes, especially on the pulpit.
Preachers...it is so important, because of the task you have taken on, to do an inventory of yourselves each and every day. So important for all Christians to do this, but preachers, more so. Put yourself to your congregation as a servant, one that is not high minded. Remember the Be Attitudes! Matthew 5, 3-13 Your purpose is to remind us of the spiritual war that is currently effecting our lives and changing our world today.
Remember what Jesus said to us in Matthew 10, 34-39 To all of us He said "Think not that I come to send peace on Earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I come to set man at variance against his family. And a mans' enemies shall even be those of his own household. He that loves their mother or father more than Me is not worthy of Me and he that loves their children more than I is not worthy of Me. And the one that does not take his cross, and follow after Me is also not worthy. The person that finds their life will lose it, and the one who loses their life for My sake shall find LIFE!"
Jesus is telling us this...Matthew 6,33- "Seek first, the Kingdom of God, and all His righteousness, and ALL things will then be added to you."
This is All God wants from you. That is just how light His burden truly is upon You.
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A church building is a great place to reach others for Christ and to reconnect with our faith. However a church building is not the place where you should be meeting God each week. That is not where God lives. The Bible tells us that we are the Temples of God. Inside of us is where Jesus first knocked..on the doors of our heart.
A few paragraphs above this one, we spoke about John 3:16 and Revelation 3:16. Now lets take a look at 1 Corinthians 3:16...."Do you not know that you are the Temple of God and that The Spirit of God Lives in you?" Who or What is The Spirit of God? Well, let's take a look at another 3:16...Luke 3:16..."John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire."
We once attended a Nazarene Church several years ago, but it was a religious experience that really left us empty. We began going to church for a closer relationship to Christ and thought that Hebrews 10:25 was telling us we must attend a church.
However, after 2 years in that church, we found ourselves lost, even more so than when we first began. We came out worse. People became critical, including us. They were pointing fingers, and threatening to kick some out for not attending every service. The clothes some wore to church were not good enough. It seemed as if everyone showed up just to impress the preacher, there was no searching for God.
Now, we are not saying a church building is a bad thing, because it is not. It is a great place to find a possible purpose. That is our hardest struggle with not attending a building. Since looking for God on our own, we have grown so much in a relationship with Jesus Christ.
God doesn't want just a few days out of our lives a week, He request that we give every day to Him. We have learned this since seeking God without the assistance of a church building. The fellowship is an everyday thing now. We think it is very important to first seek God, then allow Him to add everything else to your life, even a church. The True Church is a people searching for a very personal relationship with Jesus Christ, not a religion.
Shocking Video Warns Today's Christians!
For we must all appear and be revealed as we are before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive his pay according to what he has done in the Body,(Church), whether good or evil considering what your purposes and motives have been, what you have been busy with, and giving yourself and your attention to accomplishing. Therefore, being conscious of fearing The Lord with respect and reverence. We seek to win people over and persuade them of the Love of God, but what sort of persons are we? It is plainly recognized and thoroughly understood by God. We hope also that it is plainly recognized and thoroughly understood also by your consciences,(your inborn discernment). (Second Corinthians 5:10-11)
So, therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses who have borne testimony to The Truth, let us strip off, and throw aside every unnecessary weight, that very sin that so readily clings to and entangles us. Let us run with patient endurance and steady, active persistence! Stay focused on the appointed course of the race that is set before us. We are to look away from all that will distract us from Jesus Christ, who is the Leader and the Source of our faith, nothing else! He is also the Finisher of our Faith, bringing our faith to maturity and perfection. He, for the joy of obtaining the prize that was set before Him, endured the cross despising and ignoring the shame of the cross, and He is now seated at the right hand of God.
Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility. Compare that to your trials so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds. You have not yet struggled and fought against sin. Neither have you yet resisted and withstood to the point of pouring out your own blood.
You have completely forgotten the divine word of appeal and encouragement in which you are reasoned with as My children. My children, do not think lightly or scorn to submit to the correction and discipline of The Lord, nor lose courage and give up when you are corrected by The Father. The Lord corrects and disciplines all those that He loves. He purifies and even corrects EVERY person He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes. You must submit to and endure correction and discipline from The Lord. God is dealing with you as His children! For what child is there that is not trained, corrected and disciplined by their father.
Now if you are left without correction and discipline, in which all of Gods' children share, then you are illegitimate offspring, and not His children at all. We have had earthly fathers who have corrected and disciplined us, and we yielded to them and respected them for training us. Shouldn't we be cheerfully accepting Gods' chastisement that yields LIFE! Our earthly fathers disciplined us for only a short period of time, and chastised us as seen proper and fitting to them, but He disciplines us for our certain good, so that we may inherit the Kingdom of God and His holiness. The Fathers' Chastisement creates in us the fruits of the Spirit that we must all obtain. The Fathers Will is engaged into our lives as we submit to Him. The chastisement of The Lord does not feel good when happening, but is what we all need.
So, brace up and set right your slacking and weakened hands! Strengthen your feeble knees! Make straight paths for your feet! Strive to live in peace with everyone and pursue The Holy Spirit, which without, no one will ever see The Lord.
Describing The Church....
What leads to strife, arguments and feuds? How and why do conflicts originate among you? Do they not arise from your own fleshly desires that are always at war in your bodily members? You are jealous and covetous of what others have! Your desires go unfulfilled, so you then become MURDERERS! To hate is to murder, as far as your heart is concerned. You burn with envy and anger towards one another. You are not able to find the happiness that you seek. So, you fight and create war amongst yourselves. You do not have because you do not ask...or you do ask God for them and yet, fail to receive because you ask with wrong purpose and evil selfish motives. Your intention is when you get what you desire to spend it on fleshly desires and pleasures. You are like unfaithful wives having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow with God! Do you not know that being the worlds friend is being The Fathers' enemy? So, whoever chooses to be a friend of the worlds ways takes his/her stand as an enemy of God. Or do you believe the Scriptures lies when God says..."The Spirit whom He has caused to dwell in us, yearns over us, and He yearns for The Spirit to be welcomed with a JEALOUS Love." (Jeremiah 3:14)
But, He still continues to give us more and more grace. That is why He says He sets himself against the proud and high minded, but gives grace continually to those who are humble enough to receive it. So, be subject to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and He will come close to you.
We need to recognize that we are indeed still sinners, get our dirty hands clean, realize that we have been disloyal, wavering individuals with divided interest, and ask God to purify our hearts of spiritual adultery.
As we draw nearer to our Father, we should be deeply sorry for what we,(The Church) has done. We should even weep over our disloyalty. Let our laughter be turned to grief, and heartfelt shame for our great sins! Humble ourselves in the presence of The Lord and He will lift us up, and finally our lives will truly mean something more....not just a trip to the holy box once a week. We need to, instead, engage ourselves with The Holy Spirit every day!
There is, however another option....We could, instead, become the devils' delight...A DEEP FRIED CHRISTIAN! Our Decision.
May God bless you and your family's' adventure in LIFE!
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