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girls cheering on

I attended some of my nieces softball games the past two weekend, loved watching those girls play (10 to 12 years olds) , they are so amazing, the sills and abilities they posses at such a young age.

One of the things that caught my attention was that when they make an errors, mess up, strike out, drop a ball their teammates still say good job, you’ll get it next time and high five them, the coaches yell out good try, way to try, sake it off. As well as all of us in the stands, cheered for them just as if they hit a home run even when it was a pop fly out, shout out good hit! Not one of those girls is allowed to feel like they failed, no matter how badly they messed up.

That made me think of the verse Heb 12:1  "Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us," And how we have our own cheering section in heaven, but we should have one here to. When we mess up, make mistake, the body of Christ should be like my nieces teammates there to high five us, say good try, you’ll get it next time when we strikeout. But I do not see that happening very much at all in the church today, and that saddens me.

We the church, the body of Christ must, need to learn from girls softball, learn to be a team that supports each other no matter what, how bad we mess up. I saw how much it effected those girls, their spirits, them emotionally, made them what to do better next time. It keep them in the game with high spirits no matter the score, because they new they were winners no matter what the scoreboard said, glad to be on the team and in the game with them, and so should every member of the body of Christ.

Baptize someone, nearest lake, stream or pool.

The second command of the great commission to all followers of Christ is to baptize new followers of Christ, most certainly referring to someone whom the Lord revealed Christ to during your sharing the gospel with them. This is the duty of every follower of Christ to do, if you have not done so ether you have not been proclaiming the gospel as Jesus command you to and have no need to, or you have been passing the duty on to someone else, like maybe your pastor. But it is your duty, the is one of the greatest joys and experience in your walk with God you can have is to to baptize someone into the Kingdom of God, why would you not want to do this! Why would you not want to be part of this glorious event, the induction of someone into the new life in Christ?

For every follower of Christ this should be a common occurrence in your life. It is according to Jesus something that is to be a action performed by all of His followers. If you are not doing part 5, sharing Christ, the gospel with others, then get busy doing what Christ called you to do, thus creating the need to baptize others in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” Mat 28:19

Like I said in post 5, Chose this day to live, be like Philip in Act 8: 26-40. We read in Act 8:38 “And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.” Only you can chose to live like that, be like him. Go and baptize in the name of Jesus.

Part 6 in the series

Preach the Gospel, To All the World.

Jesus told His followers in Mark 16:15 “And He said to them, Go into all the world, proclaim the gospel to all the creation.” despite Satan’s influence on people in the church who introduced the doctrine in the 90’s of Not sharing the gospel with others. That people by simply by being around you through osmoses will become followers of Christ. Even thou all references to witness or witnessing in the book of Acts are public, verbal proclamation of the gospel outright. Jesus never taught or instructed His disciples to anything other than out right proclaim the gospel. There is never the concept in Scripture that witness can be private or simply lived out, but rather something to be proclaimed, shouted from the house tops.

Romans 10:14 tells us “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without preaching?” It is the job of every follower of Christ, to proclaim the gospel of Jesus to all of the world. With words, with the actual gospel of Jesus. Do not listen to others, people who tell you not to share Christ, not to proclaim the gospel, just live a “good” life and others will get saved with out a word spoken. (Note, in order for your life to be an actual witness as they say, to reveal Jesus and the gospel, you must be living a life of obedience to Christ, and imitating His life. Which means you must be verbal sharing, proclaiming the Gospel, just as Jesus did and said to do. It’s a catch 22.)

In Luke 15:10 Jesus says ““…I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” how can anyone who is a follower of Christ not want to be part of that. Be part of an act that brings so much joy to all of heaven. This is what the Gospel is all about, why Jesus came and walked among us, what He sent His followers to do, Preach the gospel, so Go and proclaim the gospel to the world!

Chose this day to live, be like Philip in Act 8: 26-40. We read in Act 8:35 “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.” Chose this day to live like him, to Go out into the world with that intent, to share on purpose. Only you can chose to live like that, be like him.

Part 5

A note for church planter, I read a post that got me thinking about the definition of Church, as it should be key for church planting, so I am doing my own rendition the other post, of what the word church means, my own tweak, lets start he did with how that Miriam-Webster defines Church:

1: a building for public and especially Christian worship

The number one usage Webster is listing is simply defining church according to how the word church is used by people, defined, by churches themselves. Just ask the typical Christian to define church and you will here things like, A building, A place you go to on Sunday, and institution you belong to, something you attend. And ask the people what part do they have in church and they will tell you, attend. And sadly the leader put more importance on, money, time, planing, care and into the buildings than the do the people, really giving even more credence to the fact the definition is right, the church is a building.

But, when Jesus used the term “church” He had a very different meaning in mind. The word in the Greek text is ???????? (ekklesia) a word that is defined as “those called out” or “a called out assembly of people”, this is the original definition of the word used in the Greek text, quite different from Websters. But even more different is Jesus’ usage of the word though implied something much more, He described “church” as those people walking in allegiance to him, living a certain way, people who were following Him, living with a Kingdom purpose. A people that would ultimately be known by their love for one another, as His followers called out for a purpose, His purpose. Not as a building, nor was it in His definition of church that it is something that you simply only attended, especially not a country club you come to be entertained at.

Although Jesus did not really say much about how it was to be organized or how to do meetings. But rather His focus was on a lifestyle of loving others and obeying Him: saying things like “Go into all the world…” ” Heal others…. “Let your light shine…” “Wash the feet of others…. “Do what you see the Father doing…” “Love one another…” “Make disciples….”My house shall be a house of prayer… “Preach the Gospel… Church, as defined by Jesus, was simply His followers living life for and with Him. “For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.” John 13:15 The things that obvesly were core to what church was about, what matted most to Him.

I believe this is why the Apostle Paul chose not to use the word “synagogue” a word he was most familiar with, and had used his whole life. Synagogue was the word used by Jews at the time to define where they gathered for study and worship outside of the Temple. But the word by definition referred to a building used for an assembling together. Synagogue (1) always was used to refer to the place, building where they gather together, not the people themselves or even what went on inside because the building was used for so many other things. So I can see very well why Paul used a different word, because church to Jesus, to the disciples and Paul was never to be a building or a place, it was a people so he used a new name for it, based on the what the real definition of church was according to Jesus. A called out people with a purpose, to follow the Life of Jesus on God’s mission.

But today only a minuscule number of churches embrace Jesus’ definition of Church, with the these things I list above as the core of what they are about, why they exist. This I do not get it, one can simply read the scriptures as to how both Jesus and the Apostle Paul define church, pick up a Greek dictionary and lookup the word ekklesia and read the definition, and find Church is not a building or an institute or even a set place or time. Because the place and time are fluid, it can be anyplace and any time two or more gather together, and it does not require a building or paid staff or set of programs to happen ether.  We must read everything Jesus said and did, read the description of the first church gatherings and read what they where doing. Read all of Paul’s instructions to the church and body telling us what it is all about. And get our definition from Jesus, the scriptures Not Websters or even the American Christian church for that matter.

So how did we ended up with this thing we have and are trying to pass off as church? Why can’t church planters simply pick up the owners manual, the blueprint of what church is, that is the Bible and do, plant what it says church is.

1. Dictionary of Judaism in the Biblical Period, Macmillan

My post inspired by a post in the simplechurchjournal titled: Defining Church Websters has it wrong.

We must think of everyday activities of our life through the lenses of Gospel, Community, and Mission. Seek to live in such a way to apply these three elements to every aspect of our lives.

The gospel must be and is most effectively proven by it being lived out in everyday life, its effects on us lived out. Community life cannot be simply restricted to a Sunday morning service and/or a mid-week gathering. It must extend radically beyond these events to accomplish all the “one another passages” and what we see in passages like Acts 2:42-48, just as it is true that evangelism (mission) cannot be accomplished through programs nor by only a hand full of “professional evangelist”. Our missionary methods must expand into the ordinary everyday activities of our lives if we are to follow the scriptural models we read of, and Jesus’ life example. We must purposely form our everyday lives around the gospel and Christ. We’ve must move away from the program-based way of “doing” the Christian life, and doing church, move to a more ordinary, real and organic everyday way of life.

Begin by looking at all your daily ordinary activities through a tri-fold lens of community, mission, and gospel, things like going out to dinner, grocery shopping, going to the mall, taking the kids to the park. You want to seek out how you can take these activities and infuse each of these three elements.

Lets take going out to dinner, to add the community element you invite a Christian friend, someone from your church gathering. The gospel element can be added in a natural but intentional way as you converse throughout dinner, by partaking in the breaking of bread and the cup of the new covenant. Community is achieved by the very nature of coming together and have a meal together, you intentional engage in the one another’s of Christian fellowship. The mission element is accomplished by your intent of being there with a mission purpose, to reach, take the gospel to the world around you. By engaging your servers and possible those around you with the gospel.

Lets change up the situation a little: To add the mission element to your dinning out would be to invite a non-Christian friend, neighbor or co-worker to join you and your Christian friends. The community element is added in by both having community with the Christian as well as the non-Christian friends, but also the non-Christian getting to experience first hand real Christian community happening before them between you and your Christian friends. Allowing them to see a glimpse of the Kingdom life lived out by you. The gospel element can be added in again in a natural way as you converse throughout dinner. By you and the believers partaking in the breaking of bread and taking the cup, and explaining what is happening and why, and how this effects you life and who you are. And by them hearing how God and the gospel effects and directs your daily lives. And of course the mission element is also accomplished by the fact you are proclaiming the gospel through natural conversation and community with the intent to expand the kingdom by making disciples. And you still add in the active mission element of reaching out the your servers and others around you.

See how easily this way of living where we think of everyday activities through the lenses of Gospel, Community, and Mission, can be applied to basically every activity of everyday life, everything we do. Perhaps the element of community cannot be always applied to every situation but the gospel and mission can be applied to every thing we do in life.

Christianity is a set of truths, facts about God, Jesus, Sin and Salvation to name a few, it is an exact science, NOT an open dialog, a philosophical dialog, not be debated like some Greek philosophy open form as to what is true, like some pagan religion, but that is exactly what the Emergent movement is, is based on, no truths other than what you except as truth. But true Christianity is a set of dogmatic truths that are not open for debate, truths about God, Jesus, Salvation, what is Sin and how we are to live that are established by God, recoded in the scriptures, the bible for us to know. It is not a ‘Your OK I’m OK’ philosophy with what every we believe individualy to be true about God, Jesus, Sin and Salvation is truth.

The Emergent movement is based on Christianity being an open dialog, open debate as to what truths you as a individual hold to be true, and what ever that is, is OK.

Now I say this lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of me, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according the Christ. Col 2:4 & 8

The leaders of, and churches that are part of the Emergent movement pray on three kinds of people, the unsaved of course, and week Christians who do not study the word of God, and ones who chose to follow men, make men their god in stead of being grounded in the word of God, letting it establish their beliefs and set of truths or a plumbline as God calls it in Amos 7:8, defining all things, And not following Jesus over man.

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2Pet 2:1

For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Mat 24:24

I heard Chuck Smith a long time ago say during a teaching session, “If I or anyone every says something that does not alien up with the word of God, you must both disregard it and call them on it.” And when I heard that, the Holy Spirit branded that in to me, made it part of my foundation. The word of God in my foundation for all truth, I judge all things by it. I have never and will never follow a man or a church, or make my own list of what is sin and what is not. I follow Jesus, the Jesus reveled in the scriptures, who is God come in the flesh, who said if you love Me you will keep my words, commandments, and He wrote them all from Gen 1:1 to Rev 22:21.

I do not care if someone boast a church of 20,000, has written a dozen best sellers, the bible stands as the final authority on all things with me. I will not stand before any man on judgment day, I will not be judged according to the gospel of Rob Bell or Brian McLaren or Doug Pagitt or even my own, but rather the Gospel according to God in Jesus who is God and will judge all men according to the written word of God.