The First Century Christian Community

How did the early Christian communities operate? How did they live as one Body in Christ? The early Christian community was called The Way, a sect of Judaism. This community had Gentiles (few in number) in it even before Paul was sent out and were mostly Roman Soldier families and aristocrats who were transformed by Christ and the Apostles. This final part on the Way to Life talks about community living and the breaking of social status.

Didache 4
[My child, remember day and night him who speaks the word of God to you, and honor him as the Lord. For wherever his lordship is spoken of, there he is.]
Seek each day the faces of the saints, in order that you may be refreshed by their words. Do not initiate divisions, but rather bring peace to those who contend against one another. Judge righteously, and do not take social status into account when reproving for transgressions. Do not waver in your decisions. Do not be one who opens his hands to receive, or closes them when it is time to give. If you have anything, by your hands you should give ransom for your sins. Do not hesitate to give, and do not complain about it. You will know in time who is the good Rewarder. Do not turn away from one who is in want; rather, share all things with your brother, and do not say that they are your own. For if you are sharers in what is imperishable, how much more in things which perish! Do not remove your hand from your son or daughter; teach them the fear of God from their youth. Do not give orders to your servants when you are angry, for they hope in the same God, and they may lose the fear of God, who is over both of you. God is surely not coming to call on us according to our outward appearance or station in life, but to them whom the Spirit has prepared. And you, servants, be subject to your masters as to God’s image, in modesty and fear. You should hate all hypocrisy and everything which is not pleasing to the Lord. Do not in any way neglect the commandments of the Lord, but keep what you have received, neither adding nor taking away anything. In your gatherings, confess your transgressions, and do not come for prayer with a guilty conscience. This is the way of life!

Notice that right away social status does not matter, a sin is a sin and all face the same consequences. Also, sharing in material needs, nourishment, and services is seen as a normal way of life. Little money changed hands between believers.
Does anyone see the Scripture in the next part? Proverbs 22: 6 anyone? This goes without saying. The parent is responsible for the child until he or she is old enough be on their own. This is true for today’s world because it is actually a basic rule of life. The problem is outside influences but if the parents do right by their children, the outside will not be the teacher.
The servant and master dialogue is also found to be spoken by Jesus. One of the Apostles, Thomas, was a servant. He was given up by his master to follow Jesus. The master understood that the Spiritual debt was more important than any earthly debt and let Thomas follow his heart.

You should hate all hypocrisy and everything which is not pleasing to the Lord. Do not in any way neglect the commandments of the Lord, but keep what you have received, neither adding nor taking away anything.
This last part was held to a high standard in that there was always someone who tried to pervert the Word. This is a warning against False Teachers. These early Christians were still with Jesus and the Apostles teachings fresh in their minds so they could tell if there was hypocrisy being taught.
Look into the Old Testament and what Jesus reiterated of the Father and you will find what displeases them and what abhors them. We are to keep the Commandments they are God’s Law not recommendations. Also keep the Scriptures as they are without adding or taking away anything. Man’s thinking does not override God’s Word.

Brothers and sisters, this was not just a grouping of believers in a building, it was a community of believers that worshipped together daily. They shared meals and material goods. They prayed together, sang as one, took care of each other as family because they were the new definition of blood related (blood of Jesus). Each person had skill or trade to bring to the community that helped others. These were not communes, these were a people group that studied God’s Word and did their best to live a Christ-like life.

Correction over Judgement

Correction Not JudgementCorrection of a fellow Christian is something Jesus definitely tells us to do. But He warns us to be careful not to judge, especially openly, but when correcting make sure you are not doing the same nor have anything that needs correction yourself. If you are in the practice of judging someone while knowingly having something against you, your judgement may be worse. There is a difference between judging and correcting. Judging is something we should not do but we are told to correct even though we have conditions given by Jesus in order to correct someone. Jesus tells us this. It is recorded in Matthew while Jesus was speaking to a large crowd.
“Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.  Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:1-5
We all have something that we have done wrong that either we continue to do or has been something in the past that still has not been forgiven. In order to be forgiven we must be able to forgive others for wronging us. Jesus takes it a step further when discussing personal sinful attacks and the consequence of disobedience.
“Moreover, if your brother commits a sin against you, go and show him his fault — but privately, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother. If he doesn’t listen, take one or two others with you so that every accusation can be supported by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to hear them, tell the congregation; and if he refuses to listen even to the congregation, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax-collector. Yes! I tell you people that whatever you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven. Matthew 18:15-18
Paul, when traveling to the different towns where both Jew and Gentile lived, took the issues of the city and brought the teachings of Jesus. For the Jews this was not just a reminder of the Torah but an expansion to better understand what it means now that the Messiah has come.
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load. Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Galatians 6:1-8
Paul takes the Word given by Jesus and makes it understandable to all. Because of His background in the Synagogue, Paul new what the Law and Prophets said and with Jesus he now truly understood what it meant for the world.
In the passage above, Paul warns against falling into the trap of being tempted to sin while correcting someone of the same. He also warns against being fake, or pretending to be someone else and turning that into a common lifestyle. We do not need to pretend to be someone else nor compare ourselves to others.
If a person sows ungodly things then the individual will suffer the consequences. If a person sows the Word through thought, speech, and deed, then that person will see rewards in heaven.
Be of the Good Spirit and do not let someone else’s ungodliness turn you away. Do not judge but with compassion and humility, correct the sinner. That is one of the many ways God desires of us to live a Christ-like life. Have faith and do not waiver though it is easy in this day and age to be tempted.
May God’s Grace and Mercy be with you.
Love and Blessings to you all.

 

The Apostles ‘ Creed (12th Day of Christmas)

Apostles CreedThe Apostles’ Creed does not mean the Apostles wrote it, rather it states the fundamental truths of Scripture as given to us through the apostles. It is said to have been formalized by the Second Century but began to take shape with the Apostles as a Baptismal Confession of Faith. This is reverently spoken in many denominations which hold traditional values. It is however becoming a rarely spoken Confession in most Baptist churches today which is odd considering it was a Confession of Faith spoken by those about to be baptized.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic (some use Christian) church, the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

Twelve Tenants of Faith

  1. I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth;

We have a God that has a personal relationship with us. We are His Creation, His Children by heavenly adoption through His Mercy and Grace. It is He who created us, judges us, and saves us.

  1. and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

We believe in Jesus Christ as the Only Begotten Son of God. He is God Incarnate, Immanuel Savior, Redeemer. Jesus is fully God and fully man and the Way into heaven. He is our lawyer and our substitute who receives our punishment for our sins.

  1. Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary;

The seed by which Jesus was conceived was not of this world but of the Holy Spirit, God’s Breath. Born of a sexually pure young woman (translated to Virgin), Jesus was born without sin.

  1. suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried.

Christians teach that the death of Christ was for the purpose of making propitiation for our sin, reconciling us to God, and paying the price for our sins in our place. This is essential to the understanding of how Jesus is able to do what He does in our lives. He had to be sacrificed to make amends for our sin.

  1. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead;

So is the final mission of Christ while on earth. To defeat death’s hold over us due to our sinful nature. It is crucial to the understanding of the nature of Christ, the importance of His death for our atonement, and what will happen to us after death. It is because He rose from the dead in His physical but elevated form, the Spirit in the flesh.

  1. He ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;

Just as the Death and Resurrection are essential, the Ascension is vital to the faith because He returned to the Father to take His place at the witness stand next to God’s judgement throne. This is where He will witness us to the Father and erase our sins by speaking in our place. 

  1. from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

AS Jesus continues to watch over the flock we are judged. Jesus judges the living in matters of the heart (repentant heart) and of our faith activity after we die. The final judgement spoken here is upon Jesus return to earth He will reward the faithful and destroy the wicked.

  1. I believe in the Holy Spirit,

The Holy Spirit, Breath of God, Third Person of the Trinity is the Helper, Comforter, Savior, that dwells within us. He is revealed by our faith through the regeneration of our soul. The Holy Spirit grants us the Gifts/Fruit by which we are known as Believers. There is no peace within us without the Holy Spirit.

  1. the holy catholic church, the communion of Saints,

The One Church Body of Jesus Christ. In other words, all Believers are part of the same Body IN Christ. The catholic spoken here is non-specific to the Roman Catholic Church but the people, the Believers, the One Church with One Mission, and Many Gifts to accomplish it. The word catholic means “universal. The church is not the “New Israel” and we did not take the place of Israel as the nation is still God’s chosen. We are, however, an extension of Israel through our faith and belief in Jesus Christ who took over the mission that the Jews could not do.

The communion of Saints has nothing to do with the sacrament. It is the coming together in one accord as Believers in Jesus to worship, fellowship, and conduct the work of the Kingdom here on earth. When God created Adam and Eve, He had communion with them. Meaning He had a close personal relationship with them and worked with them to learn more about Him. When we commune with each other, we develop relationships, learn from one another about God’s relationship in our lives.

  1. the forgiveness of sins,

Christ pardons the sins of His people by His free grace. We are forgiven by the Blood of Jesus but we must Repent of our sins. That is, we must recognize that we are filled with sinful nature, admit to our sins and the lack of being able to rid ourselves of them eternally without the sacrifice of Jesus. Without Repentance there is no forgiveness. Another piece of this is:  “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”

(Mark 11:26 NAS) Meaning, if you cannot forgive, you will not be forgiven.

  1. the resurrection of the body,

Not the Physical body as we see each other right now but a Spiritual body that leaves the flesh yet in the form of the flesh and either goes to heaven or damnation. Resurrection of the “Spiritual” body is at the instance of death. We are not held in waiting as the ancient Hebrews believed but taken up upon the earthly shells death. Yes, Sheol is real as those before Christ could not truly save themselves and they awaited the Messiah to bring them to the Father for their reward. Yes Hell is real as the place of eternal torment. The Spirit goes the direction of the Judgement.

  1. and life everlasting. Amen.

The Spirit body, once again, is eternal and lives forever either in peace or in torment dependent on how the life was lived in the body. If repentance was made truthfully then the Spirit lives with God, If there was no repentance then the Spirit suffers in the darkness away from God.

The Apostles’ Creed is an important extra biblical document that should not be overlooked or forgotten as it has been part of the faith since the beginnings of the church. Saying it is one thing, believing the basis behind it is another. This Statement of Faith should be on all Believers hearts upon Baptism and spoken as a reminder of the tenants of faith.

So ends the 12 Days of Christmas and Epiphany begins tomorrow. This celebration begins with the Wise Men visiting the Christ Child and not reporting back to Herod thereby saving Jesus life.

This coming week we will begin looking into the Didache, the teachings of the Apostles and an early guide to presenting the Gospel to the masses. God Bless you all.

Living For Christ in the Devil’s World

One of the hardest things to this day and age is to be a Christian. People in the past 80 years have perverted the Word so much. They created ungodly doctrines, changing Jesus and Scripture to fit their needs and desires so that their sins are ok to continue living in. Some pastors have fallen victim to the idol of money and are in the constant state of asking for it to the point that their assets are worth more than the church building they preach in. One pastor took the Commandments and said that they are suggestions on how to live and no longer relevant, he even changed them.

There are Bibles that take gender out of the equation and theologies to fit the needs of the people. What God abhors has become a common way of life making right wrong and wrong right. What was once morally correct has been questioned and immoral behavior has become a norm.  

We were warned about this in Scripture but no one really paid attention. We have become numb and have let the Prince of Darkness completely rule the land. Christians and Jews are being persecuted on a daily basis by suffering financial/personal ruin and even killed for their beliefs. Even families are fighting against each other resulting in death. 

What can we do as Christians in this hateful world? The only thing we can do is to keep strong in the faith and continue the Kingdom Commission Work that we were instructed to do. Follow the Commandments, moral codes, and laws that were given to our Hebrew anscestors as they are the right and proper way of living. We cannot give in to the love of materialism nor fall into the trappings of the transgrssions and sins of our fellow man. 

We also need to correct those who reinterpret Scripture to meet their needs. God warns us through John not to change Scripture period. We need to help people understand that the Old Testament is just as important as the New because without the Old Testament histories and teachings we would not know the reason Jesus came to us.

This is our time to fix the immoral misguidance that has occured. No bandages this time we need to fight the infection at the heart. Keep fighting the good fight and do what is right in God’s eyes not our own. The more of us there are the stronger our voice so that the wilderness is set fire because the heat from our light shines and burns through the hearts of man. Be safe let go and LET GOD.   

 

And God Did

One way to bring Christ to the masses is through a presentation with prayer surrounding it. Questions people have on why we Worship a God we cannot see can be answered by showing what we can see. In this 2:24 video we go from Creation to Ressurection and have a slide with this website for further curiousity. Please share this with those who are wondering about God and the true reason for this season, Jesus Christ.

Have a Joyful and Blessed Day

God First

In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest: “Thus says the Lord of hosts: These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord.” Then the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.

“Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the Lord. You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? Declares the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house. 10 Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce. 11 And I have called for a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the ground brings forth, on man and beast, and on all their labors.” Haggai 1:1-11 ESV

Reading this passage what is the first thing that pops into your mind? Did you think about the poor Israelites who just can’t catch a break? Did you think that this has nothing to do with me so why are we studying this? Did you think that the Jews were being selfish and are being tormented? Did you think about God and the fact that these people put themselves before the creator? Well, for the most part that is how many different people view this passage. Yes, God is a jealous God but He is also the provider of all things. They were literally biting the hand that had cared for them and put God off as a secondary thought. This is not the right thing to do as they found out. So what does this have to do with us?

When we are in communion with God we are taken care of but the second we try to do things on our own and not give God the time of day or the glory which is rightly His, we are in trouble. Life can be pretty difficult without God in the forefront of our lives. Think about this…when you forget to talk with God about the positive and negative things happening in your life, is there not a sudden hole and matters seem to get worse? When you don’t spend time reading His Word and get a daily dose of His love and devotion towards you, where does your love and devotion go….to things of the world? Do you not realize that God is in everything, He is everywhere and knows your every move? How much do you have to lose before you go back to God?

We need to always remember to put God first. After all, He is our creator and His name is imprinted in our DNA. Like an artist who signs the painting, God signed us. We do not belong to anyone including ourselves so everything we do is for His glory, not ours, His.  When we wake up in the morning our first thing should be thanking God for our life. I know that most will say that God is not always the first thought especially as we get old and have a full bladder, but God is already waiting for us to wake. He speaks to us if we listen but even the most devout sometimes have trouble opening their ears in the morning. Once we have our faculties about us (when we feel more awake) then we can speak to God without mumbling and bumbling through our thoughts and can hear Him clearly. Recognizing God when we wake before getting on the phone, tablet, or computer and plugging into the world supplies us with the right mind to do God’s work He has planned for us. We are, after all, His temple.

The best part of waking up is knowing that God is with us and has us in His hands. Yes I know, but not all people can have coffee in the morning but they can have communion with the creator.

How Do We Measure Success

How Do You Measure Up

It is said of the measure of a man, If there be any truer measure of a man than by what he does, it must be by what he gives.” Robert South

Even more true is what Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

Thing is, are these ways that God measures us? Does God even measure us at all? Is measuring more important than remembering? Success is not truly measured by what we did, it is by how it was accomplished. Accomplishing success through fame and fortune gets us nowhere but being successful as a parent, friend, and a person who lives in his/her faith, that is the measurement of success in God’s eyes.

Today I want to speak about how we want our kids to remember us and be remembered ourselves. When we are remembered do we want to be remembered for our fame and fortune, our accomplishments, or our person as a whole. In a list of 20 Bible Verses about success this one was missing:

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:7-9

Sure the other verses (some of which will come up in this and later discussions) are great but why was this one not on the list? Of the twenty verses mentioned only two were even close to mentioning staying in the Word and obedience to the Laws and statutes given by God to His people. To me, staying in the Word, meditating on it daily and teaching the children to stay in the Word and finding comfort there are only part of being a success. Joshua that section above to, ”be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” God is telling Joshua not only to read/meditate and stay in His Word but also to “be” in His Word by acting upon it. That, Brothers and Sisters, is how God measures success.

Teaching children in the way they should go (paraphrased Proverbs 22:6) is our way of showing our youth how God desires of us to live. Scripture tells us these basics, study hard and use what you have learned to become better servants. In this day and age; wealth, power, and fame are a measure of success. Show me that in Scripture and you can have my job. Nowhere in Scripture does it say to make tons of money so you can live a life of luxury and be comfortable in the world.

Having a source of income is necessary for living but too much of it leads to greed and a distortion of the reason for being here. Jesus tells us:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:25-27.

And:

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:28-34

So we are not to worry because God will provide us as long as we stay in His Word. For:

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3

And observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go.” 1Kings 2:3

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

“But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.” Deuteronomy 8:18

If we so desire to stay in the world and forget what God has placed in our hearts, Scripture gives us these warnings from Jesus:

“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.” Matthew 16:26-27

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?”

Luke 16:10-11

Paul reiterates Jesus Teachings by saying:

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

Look at all the wealthy people in the world and see how few actually claim to know God. Some had a relationship with God and lost it when popularity and fame took over their lives (Katy Perry for instance). Some misinterpreted Scripture and have made money from others desire for God (certain televangelists and mega church pastors). We cannot be judgmental, we must carefully consider them as lost Christians who desire money instead of pleasing God.

Worldly wealth truly leads you nowhere especially if that is what you depend on. So many people have gone back to the basics of life while holding on to certain technologies out of necessity for staying in the world. They are building houses on their own using the land and some man made materials to avoid mortgages and staying in debt. Planting their own gardens so that they only have to buy certain meats. Some even make their own clothing. God desires great things for us but in His way not ours of the world.

So where does this all lead. Get back into the Scripture and really see how God is telling us we will be successful. If we open our hearts and mind to His Word (OT Scripture and most of all, Jesus) we can be the people God desires in His creation. Remember the difference between believing in and being in then you will have Spiritual and mortal success which will lead to a better, happier life as will your descendants. Be the caretakers (or better put care givers) of this current home and we will have a seat at the table in the Kingdom. Be blessed this week and bless others with God’s Word as you go about your day living for God.

God Bless you and may your light shine brightly on the earth.

PRAYER:

Father God, Creator Parent, bringer of joy, we thank You for giving us the guidance needed to live on this place and not in it. Thank you Father for giving us guidance so we have the opportunity to shine for You as we do our best to live for You. Teach us, oh Lord, and chide us as needed to stay on the right path that leads to Your loving and compassionate arms. We lift up our arms in Your praise as You have taught us to give to others what You have given us. Continue to guide us, oh Lord, that we may light the world through the darkness and direct those onto Your path. Thank You God for the things You have done, are doing, and will do in our lives and continue to bless us with Your ways. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, AMEN.

Connect Reconnect Follow-up

Those three Words are very important for Christians

How many young Christians do you know that you have followed up with after they left the church to go to college or start a job in another area where they have had to leave your congregation? Of that number, how many have you followed-up with? If the answer is even just one then you are doing the right thing. If there are many and you have chosen a few and other adults share in the responsibility with the rest then the church is doing real good. If the answer is none, do you not care for the well-being and spiritual fitness of the soul you let out to the wolves?

The problem we are running into these days is that of epic proportions. Every child that has grown up in the community of the church no matter how old must maintain a connection with someone they can trust within the bounds of the community. But the problem is that many fall through the cracks and are seduced by the extremes of society. Think of the prodigal son on a grand scale but this son does not come back even in his/her lowest. That is what happened.

How many times have you heard it said of a youth that they are in a real bad way and just talk without any kind of action? WHAT IS WRONG? Have we forgotten that the college/young adult years are actually the most vulnerable? This is the time the Adversary moves in quickly unless they are firmly grounded and had a good healthy upbringing.

Then there are those who are in the church try to do their best and still have people downgrading them instead of guiding them including their own parents. For one, BAD Parenting. For two, bad congregation for not seeing the truth of it. What happened to guide and protect the youth, letting them explore but with the knowledge they can come home. If the situation is bad at home they will want to escape and maybe find the straight and narrow or be pushed into the Devil’s arms.

If we do not care for those who are in those very tumult years, the Devil wins and takes us with. You want to know what is wrong with society today, look into your own church first then look at those young adults sent out into the world from your church. Then look at the dangerous attitudes outside the church and you will see why this country is suffering from a Romans 1 type destruction. Churches lose people from 18-35 because they get lost to the world. They grow into bitter and lost adults when they are left from any kind of follow-up.

The distortion of the Christian world-view is also at fault. Yes, some traditions are archaic but we must keep God at the center. Everyone sins and there are some that God abhors more than others but everyone still sins. The issue should not be who is allowed in the church and who isn’t, all who sin and seek forgiveness and have faith in Jesus are allowed. Of course they must (as we should) be the same in and out of the church. The basic tenants of the Bible and the church need to be firmly stated, affirmed, and adhered to in all facets of life. We must stop separating personal and church lives.

People who see Christians doing as they say, living a Christ-like life the best possible way, will begin to understand how good it is and how hard it is to truly be Christian. When brothers and sisters in Christ become lost in the world and stay lost, there was a lack of Christians doing good follow-up. We are to check up on each other and remind ourselves of the oath of faith and the reason for the baptism. Remember, it was not, “I’m baptized, I got Jesus, I’m good and can go on sinning” (the Sola Jesu thinking of post-modern Christians). It is, “Jesus is my Lord and Savior and accepting Him means taking up my cross daily, doing my best to live in accordance with the teachings of Christ, emulating Him in my daily life”.

Are you ready to reconnect and follow-up?? Are you willing?

Heavenly Father Gracious Lord,

Please help us reconnect with the forgotten generation, they have lost Your teachings and need to come home. Shower us with Your Holy Spirit and revive us so that we may live a more Christ-like life. Grant us the desire once again to share Your Word no matter where we are or whatever situation in which we find ourselves. Teach us to love all people no matter who they are. Thank You Father for giving us Your Son as the ultimate sacrifice for our salvation.