I'm just wanting some insight into the reason that so many Christians ignore Jesus commands to "love one another" and to "feed MY sheep." How can you claim to follow someone and not do the things that HE did, or at least try? What makes a person think that just going to a building full of believers for worship, fellowship, and teaching will save them? I mean, worship is essential, but what about fruit? Am I wrong, or wasn't JESUS out helping those that needed it? Maybe I'm just frustrated by the lack of LOVE I see given by my brothers and sisters... help me out!
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Why do so many Christians behave in such an "un-Christian" manner? In many ways, we are our own worse enemy. We are bearers of the image of Christ. Yet, by our words and actions, we often come across as hypocrites. As Christians, do we have to "shape up" or "clean up" before we're allowed to go to Church? Or do we go to church in order to shape up and clean up? Tim Keller's book, "The Reason for God", says it best. The mistaken belief that a person must "clean up" his or her own life in order to merit God's presence is not Christianity. This means, though, that the church will be filled with immature and broken people who still have a long way to go emotionally, morally, and spiritually. As the saying has it: "The church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints." Let me give you an example. Let's say you see a man worship God in Church. The next day you see him walking by a homeless person and brushing him off. And you think to yourself, here is an unloving and uncaring "Christian", unworthy of Christ's name. Yet there may be more to the story than meets the eye. What if this man endured beatings from his father when he was young? All his life he was told he was worthless. He found relief in drugs and alcohol. He tried committing suicide but God saved him. And now here he is on Sunday, singing and proclaiming Christ as his Lord and savior. He no longer drinks or takes drugs. And in his journey, he has broken the circle of hate and gives generous love to his children. He still has a long way to go. But as a patient in God's hospital, he is experiencing Christ's love and he has left the intensive care unit. Yet we may only see this man for that one event, judging him, not understanding where he came from. But God sees him completely, and LOVES him even in his imperfection. Such is God's grace. Your fellow Christian brothers and sisters, who attend church with you every Sunday, are broken, just like you. Many are still recovering patients, needing love transfusion instead of being able to donate love. The answer is the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law Therefor as God has given you grace by suffering for your iniquities, give grace to your fellow Christians. Help them to experience the Holy Spirit in a deeper and more fulfilling way, that they too will heal from their brokenness, and experience overflowing love, joy and peace.
I believe the main two reasons are: 1) Many "Christians" have been wrongly taught the erroneous doctrine of "once saved - always saved". Scripture completely repudiates this idea - "He that endures to the end will be saved..." Do the research and you will find this to be true. God's grace is applied to those who are in active relationship with Him (Seek first the kingdom of God...). See: http://www.remote-world.com/2007/05/17/can-a-christian-lose-their-salvation/ 2) Many Christians do not fully understand that they, having been bought with a price, are not their own. If they belong to Christ, then ALL of their things and TIME is His. Thinking that we can do what we will with our lives is NOT seeking FIRST the kingdom of God. Such people are likely the "tares" Jesus spoke of - they are not allowing Him to change them. I have started using the term "Christ-follower" rather than the bandied-about term "Christian" for these very reasons.
I have to say I agree more with John. It's absolutely baffling the level of ignorance when it comes to scripture. People in church claim to know Jesus, yet they rank knowing His word with legalism, a lethal spiritual mistake. Unfortunately, I've started treating churches like mission fields since there are so many unsaved people attending. Even more heart wrenching is how much pastors support this total ignorance of scripture and feed the bad misunderstandings that fool people into thinking they are saved. We can say what we want, but Jesus made it clear we are to bear fruit and what that fruit is. And any Christian, despite any circumstances they are in or may come from, should be taught to get on this narrow path right away. If they do, they will be healed of their other issues. Remember, when we come to believe the gospel, we are made new creations, and although our walk is a process, if we haven't experienced a serious renewing of our heart and mind, something's wrong...
Even though it is clear...very clear in the Bible about the eternal security of the believer, especially as seen in the doctrine of justification There is too much sentimental preaching that makes the believer feel that all the promises are theirs regardless how they live. They eqate once saved always saved with the inheritance. They dont understand the serious import of the judgment seat of Christ for believers. They qoute the verse which says that God shall wipe away all tears with the judgment seat not understanding that verse comes 1000 years after the judgment seat. It comes after the 1000 year reign of the Lord Jesus on this earth, referred to as the Millenium Kingdom. It will during that period that Christians who live unfaithful unfruitful non overcoming lives and who deny Christ will suffer loss. Not the loss of salvation but that of reigning with Christ and the joys that go with it. Paul in 2 Tim. 2:12 says If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us : It is those who suffer will reign. Those who like Paul suffer the loss of all things for Christ. Those who press towards the Mark for the prize... Many Christians deny Christ by they way they live. Remember Peter was a Christan and yet He denied Christ. Dont get rejecting Christ...that which the unsaved do...with denying Christ...that which the saved do..yea even those mentioned in Peter who deny the Lord that Bought them...or redeemed them. There are many many passages that deal with this judgment especially most of the parables. But 1 Cor. 3:11-17 gives some good information as to the results of the judgment seat. Most preachers stop at verse 15. But verses 16,17 are in the same contextand it is obviously referring to believers for only they can be referred to as the temple of God. Oh there is much more that can be said about this but I hope this opens up your box a little that will cause you to persue this matter of the judgment seat..bema seat..more. God bless you
Not only do people have to have a faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, but it has to be an ACTIVE faith. This sounds like a double standard because we are taught there is nothing we can do to save ourselves, which is true. However, the Book of James explains it in a very understanding way. If one believes in Christ and all He did, it stands to reason that ones heart would change the way they live. Faith without works is dead. Even the Bible says that the Devil and demons believe in God, and they shudder. Just going to Church won't cut it. Many go to church on Sunday and live their lives totally different for that one hour a week than the do for the rest of the week. I believe one has to read God's Word on a daily basis because it is food for the soul. May are C and E church goers; Christmas and Easter. Does this make them a Christian? I highly doubt it. I am just about at the end of my journey of reading God's Word from beginning to end. I have learned so much and have had automatic changes in me. I notice them in my daily life. Yet, when I am finished reading the entire Bible, I will not stop reading and studying because there is so much in the Bible that one can not take all the good from it in one reading.
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