Tag Archives: Church

Contentious Christians

August 4, 2014

Comments Off on Contentious Christians

Church divisions hurt the Lord's church

Church divisions hurt the Lord’s church

The thing that weakens the church the most is the people being people.

Paul’s opening comments in 1 Corinthians deal with members grouping up according to who baptized them. The person who immerses us into the water is probably the least important thing about this step toward salvation, but we see that they found a way to make it an issue. (1 Corinthians 1:10-13) Paul taught Christians to unify the church by focusing on the single source of faith. (Ephesians 4:1-7) We often forget to do that.

Paul also gave us a pretty good standard to follow to help us avoid similar situations.

He named names (1 Corinthians 1:11)

Paul told everyone where he heard about the divisions that were forming and showed us the key to avoiding rumors and gossip – Never say anything you wouldn’t want quoted. Paul goes on to deal with their specific problem, but we can use his pattern to solve our own issues.

The only way we will ever come together on divisive situations is to return to God’s word. More and more, we hear language such as “I think,” or “I believe,” or “In my opinion.” In the Dale Carnegie classes about conflict resolution, the participants are taught that these kinds of words never have a place in an argument. The class teaches the students to lead with factual sources.

This is doubly true when it comes to discussing God’s word.

There is only ONE Lord …

The only thing that matters is what HE said.


Continue reading...

Why We Need the Church

June 4, 2014

Comments Off on Why We Need the Church

Would others in the congregation notice if your pew was empty?

Would others in the congregation notice if your pew was empty?

Do you like knowing there is someone you can call when you have need?


Do you feel like there is no one you can call when you have a need?

In my article Why We Stick to a Plan, I mentioned the church as part of the framework that can provide for the kinds of support we need. Acts 2:42-47 is an excellent demonstration of what I was talking about.

The group of new Christians found themselves at a place where they wanted to stay and keep learning but weren’t financially prepared. As far as we can tell, no one even blinked when asked to help provide for everyone.

Our situation today is probably not that dire, but there are still needs among Christians that the church membership could easily help with. Two things have to happen for that to work:

  1. The members need to know about it
  2. The individuals need to be known by the group

Too many members fail to connect with the church. Often, even when they do connect, they never really let others know what they need.

Too many congregations fail to connect with the individuals. Often, when there is someone in need, it fails to notice because it keeps moving forward like a machine.

No matter where our congregations are on the spectrum of possibilities, we can call look to the first church group in Acts 2 as an example of what extremes we should be willing to go to for each other.

Question: What is something you need to contribute to help your group be that kind of church?

Continue reading...

Pulling Together

July 7, 2013

Comments Off on Pulling Together

Did you ever notice how small special interest groups gain momentum and eventually get what they want? They don’t really need to be in a majority, they just have to have plenty of support. They eventually are able to withstand all opposition and over power it.

Solomon compares this to a three-fold rope. (Ecclesiastes 4:12) A length of rope is made from a number of smaller strands twisted together. The total strength of each small strand is less than the strength of all of the strands working together as a unit.

Good rope has many small fibers twisted together to make it strong and flexible

Good rope has many small fibers twisted together to make it strong and flexible

  • Rope works as a unit – The weight a rope bears is distributed across all the strands
  • Rope is strong. – The weakness of each small strand is hidden by the others
  • Rope is dynamic – it can be stretched and the it returns to its original state
  • Rope is dependable – Mountaineers rarely attribute falls to their rope. When they do, the rope was often not maintained properly.

God gave us a gift that operates just like a rope. He gave us the church.

Your attendance, participation and contribution to the work of the church is how it grows (and therefore growing God’s kingdom.)

Just like the fibers that are wound into strands, that are wound into rope, your small contribution becomes huge to the group at large. That little bit of weight you bear could be enough to keep the whole operation running well.

If you are trying to decide whether or not to go to church today, I hope you’ll think about that.

Daily Bible reading for July 7

Ecclesiastes 4
Joshua 5
Jeremiah 1:1-10
Matthew 16

Continue reading...

Growing Tomorrow’s Church

May 27, 2013

1 Comment

It doesn’t feel like we are all teaching our children to be the best they can be in God’s kingdom anymore. We need more people that can proclaim the word of God and we need more examples of how great life as a Christian can be.

In 1 Timothy 3, the qualifications of elders are deacons are laid out and are pretty straight forward. We appoint men that have attained these qualities, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t all supposed to be trying to attain them! These aren’t a list of qualities directed only at local church leadership – these are qualities of Christians in good standing.

These qualities will give us:

  • Patient and loving fathers
  • Strong families based on God’s pattern
  • Well-grounded teachers
  • Respect from the communities we serve

I wish we were all teaching our children to desire to become elders in the Lord’s church. I hope we can begin to teach them all to preach a gospel sermon. We can begin by making them all young Timothys by taking an interest in teaching the young ones in Bible class and being sure to always honor the leaders, preacher and other hard working men in the church.

Daily Bible reading for May 27

Psalm 146
Numbers 32
Joel 1
1 Timothy 3

Continue reading...

Serving the Kingdom

May 6, 2013

Comments Off on Serving the Kingdom

I heard a sermon yesterday that was full of error. The speaker talked about the Kingdom of God like it was to come in the future.

If one is a Christian, that is to say, he is “in Christ” then he is a member of the Kingdom of God. Today.

The Kingdom arrived on the day recorded in Acts 2.

In Mark 9:1 Jesus told the group that was with him “there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.” In Acts 2:1-4, we have the account of that prophecy coming true. We can also see upon Jesus’ arrival in Mark 1:14-15 that the prophecies of the Kingdom were fulfilled and it was “at hand.”

If the Kingdom is not here and complete, either there are some really old guys running around or Jesus is a liar.

Here are some other references to God’s kingdom to help reinforce my point:

  • The church and the kingdom of heaven are used interchangeably in Matthew 16:18-19.
  • Paul spoke of him and the Colossians being in the kingdom (Col. 1:13)
  • Jesus said the Lord’s Supper was given to be observed in the kingdom (Matt. 26:29), Paul said it was given to be observed in the church (1 Cor. 11:23-30)
  • We can also read the parable of the tares (or weeds) in Matthew 16:24-30. Jesus’ explanation in Matthew 16:36-43 is his placing the “sons of the kingdom” into the world (v38). At the end, all causes of sin will be removed “from the kingdom” (v41)

This is a quick listing of proof presented for your personal study. We are in the last days serving in God’s kingdom right now. The next event is the judgment.

Daily Bible reading for May 6

Psalm 125
Numbers 6
Isaiah 42
Philippians 2:12-30

Continue reading...