What Is the One True Church?

Pat Robertson

The one true church is the universal body of believers everywhere who have given their hearts to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. That is the only true church (see Ephesians 1:22-23Colossians 1:18).

The Bible teaches us that we must maintain the unity of the Spirit (see Ephesians 4:3) until we come into unity of faith (see Ephesians 4:13). In other words, spiritual unity is something that all Christians can have. Complete unity of knowledge is something for the future.

The fact that there are many different denominations reflects a lack of knowledge in the church. In many instances, it also reflects pride. People are unwilling to meet together with others and submit their concepts to the body of Christ. And many denominations have come about because of doctrinal error. What begins as a beautiful and fresh revelation of God often degenerates into lukewarmness and then into fighting what God is doing.

Many times those who claim to know God persecute those who really do. It becomes necessary for the Lord Himself to come back with a fresh revelation to break through the solidification of the orthodox believers. This happened in Israel. Israel had lost sight of the Lawgiver in their exaltation of the Law. They killed Jesus, who was the manifestation of God, in the name of their law.

In the Middle Ages, when the church had gained political as well as religious power, it began to grow corrupt. Then a reform movement came about through Martin Luther and others, who were persecuted severely by the church. Later on, Lutherans began to persecute Calvinists. Then Calvinists began to persecute Anabaptists, who brought out truth from God on baptism.

Still later, Baptists persecuted Pentecostals, who brought out a different truth about the baptism in the Holy Spirit. There have been succeeding waves of truth that God wants to restore to the church. These revelations of truth have been the seed for some of the major denominations which many times began as despised and persecuted sects.

The new Christian needs to find a fellowship of believers who love the Lord and who believe the Bible. There are Episcopal priests who love God with all their hearts, who are filled with the Holy Spirit, who serve Jesus, and whose churches are beautiful places of worship. In some Catholic churches born again Christians could feel at home. There are Baptist churches where members love God, Presbyterian churches where the members love God, as well as Methodist, Assemblies of God, Nazarene, and Holiness churches and many others where the members love God.

When you are looking for a church home, the first thing to do is to ask the Lord to guide you. Ask Him where He wants you. Find a church that is true to the Bible, one where the people love Jesus Christ and serve Him as Lord. Are the doctrine, teaching, and practice of that church in accordance with the Word of God? Do the members try to live out the doctrine they profess? If you find those characteristics and a warm fellowship, the church may be for you.

Excerpt taken from Answers to 200 of Life’s Most Probing Questions by Pat Robertson. Copyright 1984 by Pat Robertson.

https://www1.cbn.com/questions/what-one-true-church

Let the Dead Date the Dead

THE MATCHES SATAN LOVES TO MAKE

Article by Greg Morse
Staff writer, desiringGod.org

My dear Globdrop,

I am pleasantly surprised to see that you have recovered so quickly from your former negligence, and made up precious time you had lost. Just this afternoon, I was about to report your blunders when your letter happened upon my desk. Brilliant, nephew, just brilliant. I would say that I knew you had it in you, but as you know, we do our best not to lie to one another. Fortunate for you, I have decided to hold my report to see how you manage this recent progress.

You write that your man has lately become friends with a girl who, on the face of it, is “tenderhearted, funny,” and of course, “not bad on the eyes.” His voice gives way in her presence. His palms cry. She makes him “smile until it hurts” and “challenges his intellect” like no female he has ever met. This is good.

You report that he has even come so far as to think — independent of your suggestions — that she really is just about perfect for him (minus that other small matter, of course). He doesn’t admit it, but he finds her exciting, refreshing, authentic. Against his better judgment, surrounded by hundreds of the Enemy’s young women, he has started to like one of ours. Our hunters have bagged many fawns like this before (they far outnumber the men), but you, Globdrop, have lured a buck. My mouth waters.

Flirt into the Dirt

Globdrop, get him to “fall for her” and they shall both fall to us. Unlike their delightful romance movies, his kiss cannot rouse her from her sleep. In real life, kissing corpses causes Prince Charming to become one. The Enemy told them to leave the dead to date the dead. He told them not to be bonded with one of ours. We are less intolerant. Let them hold hands together, fall in love, and stare deeply into each other’s eyes as we slowly lower the coffin.

Now, to avoid making another dreadful mistake, follow my instructions to the letter.

The first thing to do in this matter is to lure him in with her lostness. Few things rouse the evangelistic zeal in the youthful vermin like romantic interest. Do not despise this outright. Here — and only here — allow your man to care about her soul. “Flirt to convert” they call it. It works out brilliantly. He justifies enmeshing his heart to hers and crossing the Enemy’s boundaries because he means to save her. Allow this Noah to jump from his ark to rescue the girl. Most who go overboard never return.

As the relationship ripens and our game gets fat, you will have a new task: Convince him that she is nearly a believer. By not sleeping around, cussing, or getting drunk on the weekends, we can pass her off as practically the Enemy’s. Always just a few more inches to go.

To keep up this lie, you will need to embalm her. Color her cheeks with kindness. Groom her with worldly goodness. Animate her with familial affection. Make her look so close to living that she seems but one church attendance, one Bible study, one more deep, heart-entangling conversation away from finally stumbling into the Enemy’s arms. Make her “so close he can feel it.” We have but to hide the toe-tag.

Their Love Can Overcome

By this time, he will be more ready to listen to reason. Tell him that godliness is important — just not essential.

I know, I know, I border on blasphemy with this point. Tell him godliness is important? Yes, dear nephew, yes. It is a vile thing to tell him. But, remember, we must concede worms to catch fish. If we began with the real truth of the matter, he would never bite. Tell him godliness in a spouse is important. Tell him — all things considered — it is even to be desired. But while you gnaw your tongue while whispering such abominations, never let him conclude (with the Enemy) that it is a nonnegotiable. That is the point.

Hide the countless examples of us ruining their forefathers through spouses who worshiped foreign gods. Hide the plain instruction that he must only “marry in the Lord.” Obscure their General’s reasoning: What does dark have to do with light? Our Father with theirs? The Enemy’s son or daughter with one of ours?

Tell him, should he happen upon it, that such black-and-white thinking is outdated — it is the twenty-first century, after all. No one believes the world is flat and no one should believe that religious difference should determine whom someone loves. They can coexist.

Besides, she isn’t against his faith — she said so herself. She admitted that the Christian religion has some good teachings — see, she is open-minded. She even agreed to go to church on occasion. She isn’t dangerous to his faith. Besides, their love can overcome anything. As you tell him these things, nephew, beware not to give yourself away with laughter.

Final Touches

The older your man gets, the more susceptible he becomes. He is lonely. He has given more best-man speeches than Churchill during wartime. It’s his turn. He has held up his part of the bargain: He has not been sleeping around, partying too hard, or indulging in much pornography. But remind him what it has gotten him: lonely Friday nights. What has the Enemy to say for himself? He is finally discovering what our Father did so long ago: the Enemy over-promises and under-delivers.

He is drawing so near, nephew, I begin to smell him. At this crucial time, you must not let others interfere. Isolation, nephew, isolation. Leave him no one to defend him from himself. Whisper that others just won’t understand. They don’t know her like he does. Oh, and discredit the advice of most of the men in his life who discourage the relationship, because (easy for them to say) they are married.

When alone, even their strongest can fall — Samson and David defeated armies, but not eyelashes. Your trap shall catch this pigeon just as it did those eagles.

Your hungry and expectant uncle,
Wormwood

VIDEO How Should Christians Respond to the COVID-19 Crisis?

I think we should be the most balanced, the most stable, the most sane, the most reasonable, and the most rational. Even beyond that, of course, we have a living hope. We know where we’re headed. Eternity is settled for us. It’s far better to depart and be with Christ (Phil. 1:23), so the worst that could ever happen to us would be the best that could ever happen to us.

This is a time for us to make manifest our faith. Yesterday was Sunday. We weren’t allowed to have anybody here, but I preached anyway on Matthew 6, where Jesus three times said: “Stop worrying. Why are you worrying about your life, your food, your drink, your clothing? Your heavenly Father knows you have need of all these things” (Matthew 6:31–32). And the Psalms are just full of divine promises that God is our refuge and our strength.

This is an opportunity for Christian people who say that they trust in the Lord and that they put their faith in Jesus Christ to demonstrate it by being stable, and even hopeful, and even joyful. The kingdom of God is joy in the Holy Spirit, and this is a great time for that joy.

This isn’t like the Black Death. As I told our people, seventy-five million people died in the Black Death. One Italian writer said that the bodies were stacked like lasagna. It was a horrific time. Of course, every year, sixty million people die around the world. Death is not new to us.

We should be the people who have no fear. We should be without fear because our trust is in the Lord. This is an opportunity for us. All people have fear when it comes to controlling their life and particularly their death, so this is a great time for us to be a living testimony of what true faith in the Lord looks like.

This is a transcript of John MacArthur’s answer from The Gospel, the Church and This Present Crisis from our Made in the Image of God event and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, just visit Ask.Ligonier.org or message us on Facebook or Twitter.

https://www.ligonier.org/learn/qas/how-should-christians-respond-to-the-covid-19-crisis/


 

 

Curbing Our Complaints: Lessons for the Church in the Desert

By Jonathan Cruse -May 18, 2020

If the nation of Israel thought that they were going to step foot immediately from the shores of the Red Sea into the lush boundaries of the Promised Land, they were sorely mistaken. Instead, they are met with decades-long of suffering in the wilderness. God tells them repeatedly during this time that His purpose is to “test” them—to prove their faith in Him, deepen their reliance on Him, and wean them from confidence in this passing world. Israel repeatedly fails the test, and their exuberant song of salvation quickly turns into the bitter cry of complaints (Exodus 15). And yet, again and again, God gives them every reason to rest and rely on Him; indeed, even to be content with His gracious provision. We are to do the same.

The Rev. William Taylor, a preacher in New York City in the late 19th century, said, “We may learn that we are not done with hardship once we have left Egypt.”[1] Just as Israel is not immediately transported from Egypt to Canaan, so we are not immediately transferred from justification to glorification: there is a lifetime of sanctification in between, a lifetime of God testing us to prove our faith, deepen our trust, and focus our gaze on the things that are above. While at times more keenly felt, the entire age of the church is one of wilderness wanderings and sanctified sufferings. We are members of the church militant, which implies there will be conflict and trouble.

How will we respond? As we look at this particular period in Israel’s history, consider these few reflections to help us curb our complaints and instead be filled with joyful contentment.

The Problem of Pessimism

We must be cautious to define our lives based on our present circumstance. After three days without water, the Israelites are understandably discouraged and shaken up where the first source of water they come to turns out to be unfit for human consumption. They thought they had found the solution to their thirst, but their hopes were dashed. The water is “bitter,” and so immediately the people name the area “Bitter” as well (Exodus 15:23). Because the water was bitter, everything was viewed through the spectacles of bitterness. To put it bluntly, their sin was a severe pessimism. Pessimism is where one takes the worst perspective on a situation and then from that perspective extrapolates out their entire disposition, their worldview, and even their understanding of God. For Israel, bitterness not only defines the water or the region, it defines them.

Yet pessimism has no place in the heart or life or behavior of a Christian. I’m not saying that there are never disappointing moments in life. Of course there are. Writing in the midst of the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic, there are any number of reasons to be discouraged: Health concerns, financial worries, social restrictions, in-person worship limitations, to name just a few. How do we reply to these things? With complaints?

It seems as though nearly every day I am reading headlines from the media that our defining our present day and age in dire terms—the economy will never be the same, professional sports as we know it are over (!), can higher education ever recover, and so on. The church should put no label on this crisis other than that of Romans 8:28, “We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Right now, our great failure as a church would be to respond to our trial in the desert the way that Israel did, with absolutely no categories for how something bitter might be made better. Pessimism says nothing can ever make this better. But we have the Bible, we have the whole story, and we know that things can only get better.

Bitterness to Blessings

And of course, that’s exactly what happens in the early wilderness wanderings episodes. God proves His faithfulness by transforming their bitter experience into one of abundant provision. Nature is upturned as Moses, heeding God’s commands, performs a miracle by throwing a log into the waters which make them become potable and refreshing (v. 25). Should we be surprised? After all, as God Himself declares, “I am the LORD, your healer” (v. 26). God’s intentions toward us, His precious people, are never to hurt or to harm, but always to bless and to heal. Knowing this heart of God in heaven towards sinners on earth will radically transform the way we think about our difficulties, our trials, and the things that make us want to complain. So let us learn this remarkable truth from this remarkable event: There is no bitter providence that God will not turn sweet for those who call upon His name in faith. Yes, He gives us a bitter cup at times, and we must drink it down to the dregs—yet somehow we learn afterwards that the bitter cup has become sweet.

The reason for all of this is the cross. Just as that tree was thrown into the bitter water, the cross was thrust into a bitter world. And for those who believe, it is the cross that transforms bitterness to sweetness. Christ and all of his sufferings and death transform our suffering and death. What would otherwise be unbearable now is the means by which we come to know God better, we come to love Jesus more, we come closer to heaven—and that is sweet indeed.

John Newton reflects on this in a long-forgotten hymn:

Bitter, indeed, the waters are
Which in this desert flow;
Though to the eye they promise fair,
They taste of sin and woe.

But there’s a wonder-working wood,
I’ve heard believers say,
Can make these bitter waters good,
And take the curse away.

The cross on which the Savior died,
And conquered for His saints;
This is the tree, by faith applied,
Which sweetens all complaints.

When we, by faith, behold the cross,
Tho’ many griefs we meet;
We draw again from every loss,
And find the bitter sweet.[2]

Can you imagine coming upon that bitter lake, not having drunk anything in three days, and there is no God, no servant of God, to throw in the log for you and make the water palatable? That is the reality for all who do not know Christ. The conversion of our bitterness to sweetness comes through faith in the bitter pains of Jesus Christ. His pains bring all joy, life, and sweetness to those who believe.

Content in Christ

This lesson is brought out even more clearly just a few passages later. At the beginning of Exodus 17, Israel finds themselves again without water, and again they begin to complain at a seemingly bitter providence. But Moses strikes a rock and from there God produces streams in the desert for the people. So too Christ was struck for us by the wrath of God on the cross, and for us there are now only “streams of mercy, never ceasing.” So Paul writes, “the Rock was Christ” (1 Cor. 10:4).

The rock was Christ, and this Rock is our Christ. And since that’s true, how could we ever murmur complaints about our circumstances? Even during these trying times, may the church’s testimony be that of trust in a Savior who does all things well. The current crisis is spiritually challenging, no doubt. But that fact does not excuse our complaining. If we are prone to complain during these times, it really is revealing that we have never been perfectly content in Christ to begin with. A. W. Pink puts it quite memorably when he says that “testings reveal the state of our hearts—a crisis neither makes nor mars a man, but it does manifest him.”[3]

How will the church be manifest, to the world in particular, during such a time as this? We have Jesus, therefore we have every reason to be content.


Notes

[1] Quoted in James Montgomery Boice, The Life of Moses (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R 2018), 124.

[2] John Newton, “Bitter, indeed, the waters are” from Olney Hymns (1779).

[3] Quoted in Richard D. Phillips, Hebrews (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2006), 99.

 

Original here

A Prayer for Military Families Remembering D Day

Let us remember that there are men and women far from their families and the comforts of home today – missing hugs and kisses, birthday parties and baseball games, praying for a safe return to the country and the people they love.

These are United States soldiers; some are our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, parents, neighbors, classmates, friends. Others we have never met, but they risk their lives daily for our freedom, and there are so many who have risked their lives for our freedom in many years past.

Will you join us in lifting up these troops and their families? We may honor them on specific days, but their service makes a difference in our lives every day.

Dear Lord,

Our hearts are filled with gratitude for the men and women who serve our country now and in the past, and for the sacrifices their families make so that we can all enjoy the blessing of freedom.

We praise you for calling them to help protect us, and for giving them the courage and ability to do their jobs well.

Guide their choices and their actions, Lord. Help them to see you working in their daily lives, whether in the field, at home, or abroad.

Surround them with your mighty angels; protect them in your mercy; cover them with your grace.

Guard their hearts while they are far from loved ones, and bless them with moments to cherish when they are together.

Hold these families close, Lord. May they look to You for the strength and peace that only You can give.

In Jesus Name we pray,

Amen.

While we continue to lift these brave men and women in prayer, why not take a moment (or two) to share your gratitude for their service and for their sacrifice. Below are a few ideas on how to reach out to U.S. soldiers as well as military families in your community or abroad:

Create a large banner with the words “God Bless You” and invite your group to sign it with their favorite Scripture. Send the banner to a deployed soldier and ask him/her to hang it up where it can be seen by many. Here are a few powerful verses to consider: Joshua 1:9Psalm 46:1Psalm 139:9-102 Corinthians 9:8Psalm 27:1

Set out markers and paper for kids (and kids at heart!) to color pictures for veterans, and then deliver the pictures with some cards of encouragement and thanks.

Find a military family in your community, invite them over for dinner and find out how you can help them. Deployed military members leave behind spouses, children and parents who must try to maintain life as usual while their loved one is away. In addition, they are often left to settle into a new community without the support of local family and friends.

Reach out to a soldier who has recently returned home – pray for them and their family during their time of transition.

Take a few moments to visit a Veterans Hospital, share some loving care, and pass out thank you cards with Scripture shareables.

Even if you don’t have a personal connection, consider asking neighbors, friends or family members if they know someone serving our country today. There are also many websites dedicated to coordinating correspondence with U.S. troops who need encouragement. Whether they’re across the street or around the world, they’ll be blessed to know how much they are appreciated.

https://www.dayspring.com/articles/a-prayer-for-military-families


Rescue Is Coming

May 12, 2020 by Kerry Cook

“The Lord said, ‘I have indeed seen the misery of My people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them …’” Exodus 3:7-8 (NIV)

After 10 weeks of sheltering at home you may be wondering when this will all be over? Will we ever be able to get out? What will the new normal look like? I’m not one much for comparison, but my complaints about confinement made me wonder how Israel survived over 400 years as slaves in Egypt? I can’t help but imagine they must have wondered where God was? Did He care? Had He forgotten them? Doesn’t He even see what we are going through? Can He hear our cries for help?

When you read the verses today in Exodus 3:7-8 did you notice the three things God said to Moses from the burning bush? They describe the heart of God for His people and help us understand how God works and what God is like. God is like what He does. He said to Moses, I have seen the misery of My people … I have heard them crying out … I am concerned about their suffering.”

After some 80 years when Moses had given up his rescue mission for Israel and fled to another country, God awakens a dream in his heart, and He reveals something about His character to Moses. God said …

  • I see their misery.
  • I hear their cry.
  • I care about their suffering!

God’s compassion for His people led Him to action. “So I have come down to rescue them!”

We say we believe in God, but what kind of God do we believe in? The God revealed in the Bible is a God who knows us. He is a God who cares about what we are going through. There is nothing too small for His concern or too great for His power. He is a God who can rescue us! God has the power to change me! Sometimes God changes my circumstances. Other times He lets the circumstances change me. His goal is to reproduce the likeness of His character in me because He created me in His image and after His own likeness. I was made by God and I was made for God.

When sin entered the world, it separated us from God and led us into slavery. Harmful habits enslave us. We cry out for deliverance. We want to be free. So God sent a deliverer “who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age …” Galatians 1:4 (NIV)

We no longer have to live under the dominion of darkness bound by our sinful habits. That’s the good news! It’s why God sent His Son, Jesus. The Bible puts it this way, “For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13-14 (NIV)

I don’t know what you are going through, but I know this – God sees you, God hears your cry, and God cares. He’s already come to rescue you. Receive His forgiveness and grace and enter into the Kingdom of His Son!

Original here

VIDEO Tips for Conquering Anxiety & Have a Calm Household for Children During COIVD-19

Licensed Professional Counselor and Girls Minister, Julia Jeffress Sadler, shares tips for conquering anxiety and how to have a calm household for children during COVID-19.

“Many of us know that the Bible says we aren’t supposed to be anxious, but we still secretly struggle with anxiety. By taking key principles from Scripture and looking at how God made our minds and emotions, we can experience the true peace that surpasses understanding.”

https://www.firstdallas.org/blogs/covid19tips2


 

How Did Jesus Reveal God’s Righteousness?

Date: February 17, 2020 hepsibahgarden

A very simple answer to this question is — Jesus revealed the righteousness of God through OBEDIENCE!

Obedience through Water Baptism

Water Baptism is an outward sign of Salvation and it is the will of God for us to fulfill His righteousness. When we obey God in this regard, we are delivered from the nature of sin. Jesus, after He was come of age, also fulfilled this aspect of God’s righteousness by being water baptized at the hands of John the Baptist. And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. Matthew‬ ‭3:15‬ ‭

Obedience through suffering

Though Jesus was the Son of God, He went through a life of suffering when He came on earth. Jesus didn’t have it easy here on earth; nevertheless knowing this He did come down for us. He regularly offered prayers, when not preaching, because He had to fulfill the plan of God concerning His life — to be the ultimate sacrifice for mankind. Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; Hebrews‬ ‭5:7-8‬

Obedience through doing God’s Will

This is one area, children of God find it very difficult to follow. I say this with me included in it as well. Most of us know what our Heavenly Father likes and dislikes. He has made it pretty easy for us by handing over His Word to us. However, Jesus was very particular in obeying and fulfilling His Father’s will right from His childhood. Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. John‬ ‭4:34‬. Jesus loved His Father dearly, He knew His Father was always with Him, so He was willing to do His Father’s will.

OBEDIENCE IS POSSIBLE ONLY OUT OF LOVE.

Dear brother/sister, when you love God, obeying God will also come easy to you. Take out time to read and explore the Word of God. You will be amazed to see how God speaks to you through His Word. There is a big blessing in obeying. Obedience is better than sacrifice. May God help us!

Be blessed 💕

 

Original here

Groomed by pimp, girl rescued from anxiety by God

April 17, 2020

anxieties

 

MySpace, Heather found just the sort of compassionate older friend to whom she, at age 12, could confide her troubles, things she couldn’t share with her own parents.

Then, he showed up on the evening news under arrest for intent to prostitute a minor. Heather’s profile popped up as one of his top eight on MySpace, a now virtually defunct social media.

“I felt like talking to him was a rush because it was a secret,” she recounts in a CBN video. “I saw the red flags on multiple occasions, but I ignored them because it was not what I wanted to believe. I could talk to him about school. I could talk to him about family. He was this unbiased person I could bring in. He was kind. He was someone I could confide in. I enjoyed talking to him.”

online stalkersWhen the man was arrested, Heather feared she would be raped. She had no idea if he was in jail or released. All she knew was that he lived in her town.

Her fears grew into gnawing anxieties that dogged her for most of the rest of her life.

As a teen, she discovered anorexia and bulimia — and this gave her a sense of control.

“I was so anxious and afraid that I remember I wasn’t hungry,” she says. “I remember thinking, oh this is a great distraction. I felt powerful.”

Next Heather turned to “cutting” — the practice of slitting your wrists to toy with suicide and express desperation.

“There was an overwhelming release of tension with cutting,” she says.

During her sophomore year of high school, 11 loved ones died within eight months.

“I felt more out-of-control having people being ripped away from me, people dying too young,” she says. “I started cutting a lot more, a lot deeper.”

By now, she was receiving professional counseling — to no avail.

“I kept punishing myself for the mistakes that I had made,” she admits. “It distracted me from the sadness I felt. But more than anything, it helped with my anxiety.”

She attended college a few hours from home. The change of scenario did nothing to help her. Without her family watching out for her destructive tendencies, Heather indulged her coping mechanisms.

“I felt like there was nothing left that even the world could offer me and I was not going to get better,” she says. Read the rest: Grooming online of girls.

https://mustardseedbudget.wordpress.com/2020/04/17/groomed-by-pimp-girl-rescued-from-anxiety-by-god/

Are you stuck at the Cross?

March 18, 2020  Nehemiah Zion

The Cross is the starting point for every new believer. Either they get a clear vision of the Cross, or the Word of God convicts them. The transformation is supernatural. They are born again – a personal encounter with God that radically changes their outlook to life.

This is not the same as being born into a Christian family. A personal encounter with God is essential. Jesus is not a religious tradition; He is THE way and life.

The Cross represents a victory. A victory over sin, sickness, fears and death. A repentant sinner receives a new lease of life that gives him hope, the perfect reason to live.

Here’s where the problem is for many Christians; they remain in their sins, even after knowing what Jesus did. They believe, but have not begun the process to know Him yet. He is risen. He is alive and well to take you on a journey of a life-time. Actually, an eternal journey.

I want to share three reasons why we often get stuck, unable to move on. To grow and live the resurrected lifestyle daily.

Remembering Sins

The Bible, Isaiah 43:25, teaches us that God does not remember our sins. Once repented of, He forgives and forgets them. Sadly, many hold on to their past mistakes in their heart, condemning themselves and unable to grow in the new way. Despite repenting of their sins, the fear of having gone against God keeps them in religious strongholds. They live each day hoping not to sin again. The burden of which, drives them to sin again.

What must one do? In prayer, place all your burdens before the Lord. Know that nothing can snatch you away from His love. Believe, and move ahead with the burden Christ gives you. (Matthew 11:8-30)

What burden did Christ give? We need to walk in the love of God, and love others like Jesus. (Matthew 11:30/ 1 John 5:3)

Still desiring old ways

The Israelites were in bondage for over 400 years in Egypt. They never had to fight any battle; they laboured, ate and slept. After God led them out through Moses, they complained and murmured and preferred the life in Egypt.

There are many Christians who prefer their life before being saved. Why? They realise that the real battle starts after they are free. Just like it happened with the Israelites who had to battle 7 nations and 31 Kings and more…

James 1:15 reminds us that while we are attacked, temptation tries to draw us to sin. We must be disciplined in our walk to overcome these temptations lest we fall back into old sinful ways.

How should we walkColossians 2:2-23/3:1-17.

Fear the unknown future

A man of this world is clear about his priorities in this world. He expects to live long and build himself a life that is all about him, his reputation. He creates his own plan to achieve in life, for himself and his near and dear ones. His primary needs being food, clothing, shelter, and a reputable position.

The Christian on the other hand, is called to seek God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). To set his affections on things above and not on the things of the earth (Colossians 3:1-3)Why? Because God already knows our earthly needs, and He who promised to provide will fulfill His will in our lives. That sounds totally scary to the unsaved man! Also, to those Christians living in fear.

Today, Christians are constantly challenged by the lure of money. Most decisions are being made by the strength of their wallet. The ability that Money brings in, giving you a perception of security, is too tempting for a casual Christian. Pastor’s who have gotten comfortable with their ministry get enslaved as well.

Doing the Father’s will is not just for Full-Time Pastors, it is for every believer. Every Christian must understand that their future belongs to God; money should never take precedence over the Truth in the Word of God. The boldness to give up a job that directly impacts your faith can come only from Christ, the author and finisher of our faith. To know an action goes directly against the word of God, one needs to live the Word of God. Be an active Christian, living the resurrected life.

 

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