Howdy folks; I am sorry for the delay in getting new posts up. I have been pretty lax in the last year, but I am going to try to turn over a new leaf and post at least twice a week from now on. I would like to address some "issues" that I have been seeing and hearing about in a lot of the local churches around here, and from what I hear from friends and relatives around the Good Old U.S.A., in the churches all over the country. There seems to be a big push for building "Newer", "Bigger" , more modern churches! What is that all about? Now if your church is really growing and seeing a great revival and y'all NEED a bigger church building then God bless you! BUT, if your church Pastor, Elders and Deacons think that building a bigger, newer, more "modern" church with a fancier worship hall or altar or family center is going to make your church "better" and will make it "look" successful or make it "look" like it is growing or undergoing "Revival" then you are in some deeply troubled and muddy water. What a church "NEEDS" is not a fancier building or a bigger fellowship hall with a bigger dishwasher or anything else like that. What it needs is the Spirit of Almighty God to move through the church!! Churches don't need any of those fancy accoutrement's. The church needs a pastor and elders and deacons who have the Spirit of God in their hearts and they need to preach the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. Some of the fastest growing, spirit filled churches I have worshiped in, heard about or seen have been simple little country churches. Some that didn't even have a fellowship hall or even airconditioning or plumbing for that matter. But what they did have was a church (and by church I mean the people or members of a congregation) that were all filled with the Holy Spirit and believed and preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The message of Jesus Christ or His "Commandments" for the church is that of; "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and spirit, and to love one another like He loved us"! Jesus stood up against the Pharisees and Sadducee's because they had all become too involved and tangled up in the "Law". Jesus said; " I have come to fulfill the law." and to free us from the law so that we could have; " . . .life, and to have life more abundantly." Jesus Christ was born, lived and died for all of us so that we could be freed from the sinful lives and sinful natures we all have. It almost smacks of blasphemy to even think that the size of the buildings that you worship in and fellowship in is important to God. What have you done for God and His Kingdom? Has your congregation, or you personally, feed the hungry?, clothed the poor?, or given shelter to someone who was homeless? That, my dear ones, is what matters to God. I really believe in my heart that God isn't going to care what kind of car you drive, or how big your house is, or how much "bling" you have on your fingers or around your neck. God is a gracious God, and the grace He gives is freely given to all believers. You can't DO anything to earn it, but by the fruits of the spirit you will be able to BE recognized by others, and will work to provide for people those things mentioned above; food for the hungry, clothing for the naked and shelter to the poor and needy.
( James 3:17
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.James 3:16-18 ) and (Matt. 7 -15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.)
God is also a judgemental God and God will not be mocked. He knows there will be false prophets and there will be those who "preach" His word for personal gain and personal recognition.
(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!’
God will separate the "sheep from the goats", and ALL who choose His only Son Jesus Christ, and all of those who preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ "rightly" will be judged by their "fruits" and what they have done to LIVE the word of God and not just speak it or preach it and DO nothing. So, as mentioned above, Grace of God is freely given, and that is grace by faith, and we all have read in scripture that faith without works is dead. And a body of believers (a Church) can also be judged by it's works. Not by how big the building is or how new it is. Growth in a church is good. At times it can be proof that the Gospel is being preached and that the church body is doing the work of God. Building a new building like a bigger worship hall or fellowship hall because you really need it is wonderful. A church usually will not grow IF it is not having the Gospel (good news) message preached in it. . . . Usually . . .,but at times it can happen, but just because a specific Church is growing doesn't mean it's blessings and growth are coming from God. Satan is just as able to "grow" a church for his own motives and desires. We are ALL the church, but if you are looking to join a specific Church congregation, think about it, PRAY about it , watch it for a while, look at it's record in the community, What is it doing? Is it doing God's work? Is it 's message one of God's love and the message of Jesus Christ and the "Good News" about Jesus? And that is the message that Jesus was born, lived, suffered, was crucified , died and was resurrected for the redemption of ALL sinners. The greatest and most wonderful day in my life was the day that I accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior and asked Him into my heart. I have never known such love, such peace and calm inside. I had read the scriptures many times "cover to cover" in the past, but when Jesus saved me all of a sudden the "Word of God" came alive for me. I began to crave reading the Word. I carried my Bible everywhere I went and read it every chance I got. Jesus filled me with the Holy Spirit and nothing was ever the same ever again! It was wonderful! One of the next most wonderful days was when my wife accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. Man, how my soul soared! I felt like I was ten feet off the ground and was the most blessed man in the world. If you haven't accepted Jesus do it now. All you have to do is ask Him to forgive you. Tell Him you believe that He is the Only Son of the Living God and that you repent of your sins. Ask Him to send the Holy Spirit to fill you up! If think you need help ( you don't need it really, but if you think you do) find a good solid Bible believing, Gospel preaching Church and ask a member, an Elder, a Deacon or the Pastor to help you. They will help!