What or whom, led you to the church and your convictions (belief in God, or, as an the case of an Atheist - "No God")?
When, and how often do you attend church, and for what reasons? Is there any in particular reason - Is it purely for social purposes? Some of you might be familiar with the reasons of some...that are known for their sole purpose of coming to church that are in the habit of spreading rumors about the community, in essence, gossiping.
Do you agree with what the Pastor of your church's doctrine is?
If you've changed churches, or used to go to church, and are now not going to church or are attending a new church, for what reasons did you change, and likewise, for those of you who aren't going any longer, why did you stop going?
If you don't go to church, and/or stay at home to listen to a minister on television, is there any Pastor or Pastors in particular that you identify with that agree with your convictions, if so, for what reasons?
Regardless, if you are in regular attendance, or don't go at all, there's definitely a great deal that can be said of the degeneration that is taking place in America, simply because many people have their convictions in the wrong places, instead, using their time in the church and God's time of worship for a time to satisfy their own selfish desires, and squander this time for God's devotion and prayer into a worldly pleasure, that, while God has used the many Pastors all across America to do His Will....for the people in attendance, it's just another ordinary day like any other....Go in the church praising the Lord, and come out blaspheming and cursing as they would any other day.
In truth, every day should be the same, as Holy and devoted to God Our Creator on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday as it is on Sunday. Going to church is not meant to be used as an excuse to keep going on sinning, but that we might strenghten our day to day walk with the Lord, and to direct us to keep ourselves from giving into temptation.
While on the point regarding people using the church as an excuse to go on sinning, I want to add with greater emphasis on the larger issue concerning those of you who are more attentive to what is being preached to you by your Pastors, and how you apply those teachings to your everyday living.
There are many different doctrines and beliefs being taught out there to try to get people to heaven, what may not be realized by many, however, is that what many Preach... it is not consistent with the Scriptures...take for example, Joel Osteen, who has a congregation of about 25,000 members, the largest congregation of church-going members in the United States today. Mr. Osteen is always smiling, and always giving words of encouragement, trying to create a positive image for one's self, but one basic thing that he is neglecting to do, is by not warning the people about the consequences of not accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, in which he makes it seem as if....if you're always smiling, always believing in yourself, always saying kind words to others, that everything's going to be alright and that God is going to take you right in without even as much as asking you a single question before He let's you into those big pearly gates. In this, Mr. Osteen is embracing unbelievers (Atheists), to think that their belief system is "ok".. all is "fine", just as long as they believe in "themselves" and relay a positive message to everyone they meet....in essence, he is denying the only true God, and the only way to heaven, through our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Jesus said, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father except through Me.
I hate to say this, folks, but Mr. Osteen is preaching a dangerous message, and is leading many people to hell.
So, the important point here, is that, believing in yourself will not get you to heaven, but a dedicated relationship to Jesus Christ, and constantly keeping of the Faith through study and reading of His Holy Word so that we can know His Will for our lives. I can't stress to you enough, how important it is for you to do this, simply because of the snares and false doctrines that Satan will place in your pathway through this one time life journey, we are appointed with only one body, but an Eternal Spirit.
There is also the faction of Pastors in America who preach hate speach, by hate the sinner and not the sin...it may seem hard not to hate the sinner because of what they do, I know I'm guilty of it as are probably many other people who struggle with this dilemma, but it can be done, through God's help, it can be done, I assure you...Just pray and ask for God's direction to lead and speak through you when the opportune time as God has appointed for you to speak to that certain individual person, whomever that may be, but I can assure, God knows who that person is, and if God can use you to minister as a witness to that person, then God can use you for that purpose. There are a number of areas God can use you for His kingdom, and as our body has parts to functino and move about, so to does the Church, in which we, as Christ's followers are the body, and Christ is the head...
Colossians 1:13 -
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgivenss of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or prinipalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it please the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in (or by your mind in) your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; Who now rejoice in my suffering for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you , to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
Colossians 2:18-23 - Let no man therefore beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministere, and knit together, increaseth with the increaseth with the increase of God. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
In this, we should let nothing get in the way, that would seperate, or shake us in the firm foundation which is our Faith in the One True God of Creation, removing ourselves from all foolish arguments that would deviate from what God's Word states. In joining ourselves to the body of Christ, we put off the old self and on with the new, and depart from those things that were our former self, such as - anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication and gossip from our mouth. And when you do this, then you can distinguish between what the world (sinners) are like, and the institution which is Christ, walking in wisdom, and fully equipped to correct any man that should try to deny that only sound truth that perfects and makes clear the pathway to Eternal Glory in Heaven, with Christ Jesus, of which we gain true freedom.
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