Monday, July 21, 2014
Christian community the reason this is important when available is for many reasons, I used to roll my eyes at going to church because often the sermon didn't seem applicable to me, oftentimes it seemed to me the pastor/preacher would randomly read a couple bible stories and often (not when my papa would preach mind you) the two+ stories wouldn't even tie in together. I still see this today with many church services.
In the Old Testament we see in many books talking about the importance of the Israelites sticking to community. often they were told not to marry outside the camp/12tribes, they were told not to take up the teachings of the heathens (not that they were all terrible people) but without knowing God they are inevitably going to practice ignorant practices/ false teachings such as witchcraft and pretty much any form of thought that doesn't point towards the one true God YHWH). We even can see the instructions of quite strong discipline/punishment for those who wandered ocutside the camp and lost their ways with God. In the New Testament we can see many times where the true believers knew not to eat/integrate/mix with the non-believers, hence why when Jesus would commune with sinners the pharisees and sadducees would point and scoff and question, and Jesus would often reply with something along the lines of I have come not for the righteous (self-acclaimed righteous that is) but for the sinners so that they may repent and find everlasting life.
We need to remember Jesus could and would mingle with the non-believers because He is God..He can do so without losing sight of Truth. Why? Because He is Truth! We can see in the New Testament Paul correcting those who follow Christ some of the time but when no other followers can be found would intermingle with the non-believers. I'm not saying we can't have non-true believer friends, I'm saying true believer community is important.
Oftentimes one can find a verse in scripture that states 'let us edify one another/eachother'. How can we bounce messages/dreams/visions from God to one another if we do not have community? How can we help one another through faith without having a community of faith? It is written and was said by God 'for where there are two or more believers together so am I' [being Jesus/God]. Surely God is everywhere, as can be read in Psalms 139, but to know that He has come down to join you and your fellow believer(s), well, that is something special!
Anyhow, the reason I'm typing this verbose message is because it is important that we true believers of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, our Yeshua HaMessiach, our God, our Saviour, our salvation, our Holy Trinity, made of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit help one another, preach to one another, edify one another, love one another. Faith is easily lost when not practiced; James chapter 2 states 'faith is dead without works' If you're not being called to minister to the non-believers and luke-warms/etc then preach to another believer! This doesn't mean you have to be able to throw out verses left and right (though it helps and comes naturally after reading scripture often). It just means be real with one another, remind one another that we have a loving God that cares for us and that prayer is communication with God. He heals the sick, and diseased, and weary. Life can be hard but we do not have to carry the burden of sin, take up His burden. Jesus said "it is much easier to carry"!
For those who are wondering the reason i'm harping this message, it is because Alisha & I often find ourselves sinfully blaming the lack of true believer commmunity here locally for the troubles/temptations/back-slides/etc. Sure we blame demons and most importantly we try to recognize our faults in the matter, for even if it is demonically introduced and due to lack of true believer community we find it difficult, there is no excuse, we are to come to Him ANYtime we are struggling. When we sin we must acknowledge our part, in the least the action of the sin.
So it is with this long message I also reach out to you all suggesting to love each other within and outside of your Christian community. If you do not have one, seek one...For months we have heard many say they want to hold Bible study with us, but for months we've found ourselves typically studying together without anyone else. I've had an old friend claim to want to, and for months keep telling me "next time" and would whine saying i need to pick his day off (which i did for many weeks in a row) and then would exclaim that i needed to give him more time in advance.
I understand there's jobs, hobbies, family/etc but it kept coming off that he didn't want to make time to study Gods word, let alone in a group.even though he lives within walking distance. This is the same individual that told me he would only be able to meet up if he lied about his destination/activity. This is a "man" near 30, living in a self-acclaimed Christian household.
We've had a Bible study group invite us once, and it went well we had fun and even got to play some frisbee afterwords with the group. We were told by the leader of the group to keep the whole "endtimes ministry" to a minimum. Folks all that we said on that subject is that we've been receiving messages from God almost daily saying it's end times. We didn't get to mention any of the messages, nor how we get them, nor did they care to even ask what scripture or signs could back up such thoughts. They just told us to keep it to a minimum, which was extremely offensive. I mean is this NOT what God told us to do? To have a bible study group who doesn't want to hear it. I posted some Christian music and testimonies on their Facebook group page (which they deleted us from without explaination lol) and they then told us to keep spam off their sites and to not post such material considering it's a Heartland Community Christian group. They also messaged us saying that if anyone within their group was interested in hearing what we had to say on endtimes they'd come to us, even though we weren't allowed to talk to them about what we had to preach. Talk about controlling the group! Anyhow my point is we've gone to churches/bible study groups/family/friends and alas we find ourselves lacking Christian community.
I've had pastors and elders say they'll discuss things but to no avail. They refused each time to come through with their promised visit/email/discussion/bible study. These are the supposed bodies of the Christian churches here in Illinois. Folks these people who freak out and run away or roll their eyes when we say it's endtimes ALWAYS refuse to hear us out before they write us off. They ignore the fact we carry Bibles and notes with us. They ignore the fact we have plenty of scripture (because of the Holy Spirit) that we tend to throw out rapidly. The fact is we actually want to study scripture. Folks the meanest and deafest ears almost always claim to be Christian, which is why it is hard for the non-believers to think that Christianity is Truth, because anyone can claim to believe in God, but if light can not be detected, if Gods love can not be felt through them..then they do not have a relationship with YHWH
Submitted by Ian F. Used by permission.