Why go to Church?

church

By Pastor Jeff,

Hebrews 10:24-25, “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.” I recently read some statistics that should send a loud alarm to the church. When it comes to millennial’s those from the ages 18-29; we find that nearly 40% do not have any religious affiliation and that number is growing significantly.

We have many reasons some of which have been around for decades such as hypocrisy, greed, fallen stars in the religious circles, and we just don’t have time to spend going to church every week.

But I want to address a growing complaint that I hear from young people, “The building is not the church, we are the church!” The word church in the Greek is ekklēsia”  a calling out, that is, (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both):—assembly, church.

No where in there does it talk about the building; so we would tend to agree that the focus that is put attending a church building is way over emphasized in the modern religious circles of today! If you look at the verse in Hebrews 10 it talks about the importance of the gathering together of like believers, so is that in a building? Not necessarily but it does not say we should not gather ourselves together as well. The early saints did gather together in houses, Acts 12:12, “And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying.” They also gathered in the temple, Acts 2:46, “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,”

The main problem I see with those that state that they won’t go to a building is that many are just using that as an excuse to do what they please and avoid having to be accountable to anyone! I need to have fellowship with others, I need to be accountable, I need other prayers, to avoid fellowship is dangerous and unbiblical.  If you gather together at a home, at a building, or in the open air, I’m all for it. But to use that as an excuse to do as you want to do with no time spent connecting with our Lord Jesus Christ you are setting yourself up for failure. It doesn’t take a big crowd to have church Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” You do however need to have more than yourself, ponder this, maybe you don’t think you need others but others may need you!

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No Such Thing as a SuperPastor!

SuperPastor

By Pastor Jeff,

Recently I saw a post of a very young pastor with a beautiful wife and three young children that committed suicide. The article went to say that he was suffering depression which prompted a thought which I will share here.

I believe the modern day church especially what has become “Super Churches” doesn’t really match up to the description of how the pastor/bishop and the church is to operate according scripture. Titus 1:6-9, “If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.”

In the church today we have senior pastors (never mentioned in scripture) who are appointed according to credentials rather than calling. I find it reproachable that churches have to take out ads, then go through an arduous process to replace or hire a pastor in said church. No wonder we have pastors leaving the ministry and even the faith as a whole when they find themselves under scrutiny from “The Board” and the never ending watch of those sitting in the pews. Pastors find themselves many times on the outside looking in when it comes to fellowship with anyone outside of leadership which leads to isolation and sometimes depression.

I ask you are pastors super human or are they sinners saved by the Grace of Jesus Christ? Ephesians 4:11-12, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Who is the giver? the board?, the congregation? No, Pastors are called and chosen by our Lord. The only one we need to please is Jesus, the only one we should be following is Jesus, the only one we should answer to is Jesus! That’s pressure enough, the church has become more of a business that a ministry. Who hasn’t watched old shows that have portrayed the Pastor as more of a friend who was invited over to dinner, family functions, respected as the Shepherd but treated as a fellow human being, rather than a CEO who can be fired and hired if he ever offends a member of the board.

I’m a servant, first of Jesus Christ, then my fellow man, the Apostle Paul put it best when he said in 1 Timothy 1:12-15, “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” AMEN!

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Revival Isn’t About Numbers!

revival4

By Pastor Jeff,

When you hear the word “Revival” what is the first thing you think of? Huge numbers of people repenting, getting baptized in Jesus Christ name and receiving the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, right? Well if that’s the answer you came up with you would be wrong.

A good definition of revive is found in Merriam-Webster as1. to make (someone or something) strong, healthy, or active again 2. to become strong, healthy, or active again 3. to bring (something) back into use or popularity

Psalms 85:6, Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?” Isaiah 57:15,For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”

Revival is not about numbers but is about getting our hearts right with God Almighty, James 4:9 says, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”  If we as a church draw closer in our relationship with Jesus Christ with no real growth in numbers, I will say, hey everybody, our little church in Janesville WI is having “Revival!”

Look, we really can’t save anyone, its only the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanses a soul of sin, it’s our job to spread the gospel, but Jesus Saves! I do believe without a doubt that if the church does have true Holy Ghost revival in its midst. It will see growth in numbers, it’s just a natural occurrence, but let’s not put the cart before the horse. We see many groups that are seeing increase in numbers but have no real growth in Christ. Jesus had a name for these, Matthew 23:27-28, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” 

Let’s strive to revive the inside, then the outside will show true “Revival!”

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Distractions

enemy-distractions

By Pastor Jeff,

Distractions! The world we live in currently is full of them and it seems that when you make a commitment to God the distractions come at you ten-fold! Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Recently as the title of this website declares, we have set about to seek for Revival at our church in Janesville WI. It must of really ticked the devil off because we have witnessed an all out attack on several of those that attend services here!

1 Peter 5:8-9, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” The world we live in has enough distractions all by itself such as work, family, friends, just life in general that can mess with our time with God.

Then we have Satan, his imps messing with us, and I’ll give you an example. We all know if we are to see genuine revival we will need to commit ourselves to prayer. So, we set apart every Tuesday for this purpose and Friday nights have dedicated to worship and prayer as well. It seems that every event outside the church that can occur has been scheduled for you guess what night? Right, Tuesday or Fridays! Well to be fair the other nights can easily fill up with family events as well but it does seem that on these two nights it occurs more often that it did before we made the commitment.

Another distraction that affects our time is how the devil likes to attack ones family (I can attest that we have other families that are coming under serious attacks as well). I think he knows that if he tries anything with me I will just point out that the bible makes it clear that in the end of all things, he LOSES! But family, especially our children can really throw us for a loop. Though I am troubled by what the devil has done in my family, I still can stand and declare the marvelous works of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and declare this scripture found in Isaiah 50:7, “For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.” AMEN!

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The Devil isn’t the only liar! (part 3)

Lies

By Pastor Jeff,

John 8:44, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” This scripture pretty much sums it up, the devil is a liar and because of mans fall we also have the nature to do likewise.

In this section I probably won’t make any friends but I promise in the next part I will give out some good news. I now want to zone in on the church or more aptly religion as playing a large role in “Lies”. In the verse we just read, who was Jesus talking to? If you said the Jews or the religious ones of the day you would be correct. Jesus didn’t seem to have a problem with those that were outcasts, the social misfits, the sick, and such. But He often had issue with those that considered themselves higher than others, that wore the collar as you might say.

That hasn’t changed, it burdens me that we have so many “churches” but the truth is being taught in so few. The bible says in John 3:3, “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Jesus then follows it up in John 3:5, “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Pretty clear cut! So why are so many churches not obeying this but rather are putting forth a doctrine of Salvation that is not biblical by any means. They like to take what Paul wrote in his Epistles, which are written to the already “Born Again” believers, and make it become the mode of salvation, It’a lie folks!

The Apostle Peter makes it clear in Acts 2:38, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” If anyone tells you differently it’s a lie!

Salvation is not the only lie that religion has become responsible in deceiving many, the early church was transforming the world and it didn’t matter how much persecution was being placed on Christians. So, Satan just changed his tactics in that he decided to team up with the church. Soon false doctrines such as baptism in the names of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost took place of Jesus Name, infant baptism was instituted, purgatory, indulgences, and many other lies were pressed unto the church. Many of these were overcome during the reformation period but some still are adhered to.

Nowadays we have a new type of deception happening as media has become a source to deceive, steal, and promote false teaching. I love the word of God and will be honest that many times I have misspoke mainly because of some of the things I was taught by taking a scripture or two out of context and forming a thought that is not really promoted in God’s word. Preachers are saying things that are just not true, the doctrine of tithing is one of them, I encourage you to study this yourself and you will find that it is not scriptural. I have sat at funerals of those that have never been born again and have heard that they are in heaven with Jesus at this very moment, sorry I cannot be party to that. I know we hate to hurt others with the truth but are we helping or hurting them? I’ve read and heard especially of when a child has passed how God needed another angel, sorry that is not biblical, in fact for us that have been born again, heaven is a far better place for us than the angels. I could go on and on on how the so called church is lying to those that follow a leader other than Jesus Christ and His word but I must stop for length sake. God Bless you and always reject lies as you pursue “Truth”!

Romans 3:4, “God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.”

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