Friday 25 August 2017

Jesus said, ‘I will build my Church’.
When Jesus said those words He meant that His Church would have those people who were committed to follow Him and His teaching.
In many parts of the world the church is growing very rapidly, but in the United Kingdom attendance is falling dramatically with less than a million people attending Church regularly. This is in direct contrast to Eastern nations where there is faithful bible teaching, as opposed to here where so many want to amend and re-interpret the Bible to meet the morality of our time.

A study of the Scriptures reveals that Jesus was not so much wanting quantity as quality. He said, Jesus said, ‘íf anyone does not take up his cross and follow me, he cannot be my disciple.’ He also condemned what He called lukewarm faith, and we can find much of that in our Churches. If attendances continue to fall however, we are faced with the prospect of the Church becoming a total irrelevance in this country. A lot of people are put off by disunity, for if we in the Church cannot agree what we believe in, what is right and what is wrong, we are not a credible body to lecture to others.

Jesus always made it clear that following Him would mean suffering of some kind; He said there would be a cost. This has meant minor suffering from being isolated or mocked by friends, even family, to the intense kind experienced by our brothers and sisters in Christ living in non Christian lands, where facing real hardship of beatings, imprisonment and even death are regular occurrences.

It is in such places that being a Christian really demands commitment and devotion beyond our comprehension in this country. Here we have been inclined to be unaware of hardship in being identified as Christian and felt able to express our faith if we so inclined, but since the premiership of David Cameron this is becoming more hazardous, with numerous prosecutions for merely quoting Scripture, which a judge recently stated might hurt the feelings of sensitive men. True Christianity means you stand up for Jesus even when things become hard. A Christian is someone who follows Christ no matter the cost. Christians in Africa have had to demonstrate that far too often.

In the Creed we say we believe in one Apostolic Church, which in many cases nowadays is incorrect, for to be an Apostolic Church, the teaching should be as given by the Apostles which God has preserved for us in the New Testament, and we know that teaching is often far removed from that left by the Apostles. So, if we want to see people added to the Church, we must get back to the teaching of the Apostles to seek and obtain God’s blessing upon us. The Apostles were taught by the Lord Himself, so we are in effect hearing the words of Jesus.

The Bible states, ‘all Scripture is inspired by God’; the Bible calls on preachers to ‘preach the Word’. The Bible does not say, as many try to imply, preach what you think applies to society today and leave out any controversial moral issues. We should all ponder quietly and sincerely, does my faith measure up to what God calls for in His Holy Word?
When the Word is based on Bible preaching in the power of the Holy Spirit, it produces deep conviction in the hearts of the hearers and people become convicted of their sin and their need for a Saviour, and accept Jesus as that Saviour who died on the Cross that they be forgiven of all sin. The Articles of the Church of England call for the preaching of the pure Word Of God, and to banish all false doctrine.

Recent cultural changes have destroyed the moral landscape to such an extent that anyone who holds views based on bible teaching on sexual ethics, one man/woman marriage, abortion, biological gender, will find them isolated.
When the Church abandons the truth in an effort to accommodate society it ceases to be the Church of Jesus Christ and will be little more than a social club. It has been stated, ‘Whereas Christ turned water into wine, the visible church has succeeded in doing something more difficult; it has turned wine into water."

Every Church should be like a family of brothers and sisters coming to meet with their (heavenly Father) just as children visit their earthly parents. You have to come with mind open so God can enter your heart, and strive for the fruits of the Spirit, namely love, joy kindness peace and gentleness, faithfulness and self control. I have seen too many who have the opposite characters and do not reflect any credit on the Church

So often a Church becomes like a dysfunctional family. A Jesus based Church is where we come together in harmony to enjoy fellowship

We all owe it as a duty and a privilege to be able to do something in the cause of evangelism in however small a way. Remember Jesus told one man to go to his own town and tell what the Lord had done for him. This can be done by simply letting friends know you attend Church, ordering your life in a way which clearly demonstrates you are a Christian, and you don’t have to go to the other end of the earth to do so.

We just start living for Christ in our daily lives to show others what a difference He makes. Having responded to Gods’ Word, you live it on a daily basis and others will notice.

So let us pray that we will always hear sound doctrine preached, and pray for the Holy Spirit to be upon us, and then we must depend on the Lord to give people the grace to respond with saving faith, and so that we may be true Christians worshipping in a truly Christian Church.

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