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Is Hyperactivity Real Discipleship?
Written by Josh Winslett   
Friday, 25 May 2012 20:26

 

 

Recently I have noticed a disturbing trend among Christianity. I have been guilty of the trend many times in my life and did not necessarily even know I was guilty. The trend will be detrimental to Christianity in America. The trend is replacing personal discipleship with hyperactivity. You may ask what the last statement means. Replacing personal discipleship with hyperactivity means that although a person may be very active in many church activities, they have almost completely ignored personal discipline and self control. We can easily be active in every church event on the calendar and not walking close to our Savior. People can seek their self fulfillment from religious hyperactivity and not through repentance towards God. A person can be involved in evangelism, feeding the poor and widows, bible studies, and other church events; yet not be pleasing God with their words, actions, ethics, and intentions of their heart. Always remember, we are not just disciples when we are at formal worship or other church functions. We are the Church all the time. When we cuss, steal, fornicate, make sinful jokes, we are displeasing to God even if we are hyperactive in different church activities.


American Christianity is stepped in non-biblical auxiliaries that can often distract the believer from the primary goal of penitent service towards God. I fear that these auxiliaries are more mind numbing distractions then growth mechanisms. Nevertheless, that is a topic for another day. Continuing on, we often equate hyperactivity with true discipleship by quoting many passages from James 1 and 2. Whereas repentance and conversion should always lead to action (faith without works is dead), actions must always first come from a penitent person. Works only come from a person that is self aware and actively trying to conform their lives to emulate that of Christ’s. Yes we often fail but that should not be a crutch for apathy to sin. Notice Christ’s admonitions to two of the seven Churches at Asia; Ephesus and Laodicea.


To Ephesus: Revelation 2:2-4, I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”

Ephesus seemed to be a very hyperactive church. I dare say that any church would wish to have the description given in verses 2 and 3. Yet Jesus tells the church at Ephesus that they were doing all the right things without the proper motivation. They had left their first love. Instead of serving God from deep love for him, every action was done out of necessity and repetitious tradition. If they would not take heed to Jesus’ words they would have their candle stick taken from them. Hyperactivity without the proper motivation seems to be very serious.


To Laodicea, Revelation 3:14-17, And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:”

Laodicea was a church that I believe best describes general Christianity in America. This church was complacent and didn’t even know it. They were not self aware or self disciplined. The church at Laodicea felt, well, comfortable. God relays to them through John that if they fell to repent, he would vomit them from his mouth. God considers complacent Christians the same as vomit; quite sobering.


You may say, "I am not complacent, I attend all the church functions." As I stated early, actions without proper motivation and/or situational ethics are not true service. This is not passing judgement on anyone. We are our answerable with are own conscience to God. Yet, there is a continually theme of God’s disapproval of sacrificial action without a penitent heart. Study the following verses; Ezekiel 33:31, Isaiah 23:19, Matthew 15:8, Mark 7:6-7.


Take note of these verses for what God truly desires from his children.

Psalms 51:16-17, "For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.


Dear reader, repentance and discipleship are more than just hyperactivity. Christianity is more than just a show. True service starts from the heart and is self aware, penitent, and ever seeking to glorify the Lord in EVERY action; not just the ones “at” church. God desires more than just lip service. He commands more than an outward show of Christianity. He deserves more than mediocrity. Whether at work, in your family, with your friends, at school; He deserves our ALL. This subject is of a serious nature. It is serious enough that God has taken away the identity of churches and nations over this issue. So, what is the cure? I will step off my soap box, stop rambling, and leave you with Joel 2:12-13.


Joel 2:12-13, "Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil."

 

 
Are You Saved?
Written by Ben Winslett   
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 22:12

 

I attempted to speak tonight at Union PBC near Woodville that there are two types of salvation, or deliverance, found in the Bible. One is the unconditional, eternal, everlasting salvation wrought by Christ on the Cross. The other is conditional, occurring in time, and is based upon our obeying Christ.

However (here is my point), while we know this and believe it to be true, merely understanding temporal salvation on a cognitive level is not the point. Actually saving yourself from the "untoward generation" is the point. There are two roads in this world - one broad and destructive and one narrow which leads to life.

Points to consider about the strait gate:

1. Devote yourself to Christ. Proverbs 3:5 (This is of chief importance, without Christ even Bible based religion is vain - see the Pharisees.)

2. Devote yourself to His Word. Psalms 119:9-12

3. Devote yourself to His Church/Kingdom. Matthew 6:33

 

 
Family Integrated Worship - God Ordained and Safe
Written by Ben Winslett   
Friday, 27 January 2012 11:43

 

Today I received the monthly Newsletter from Family Talk, the radio ministry of Dr. James Dobson. I receive this newsletter and have made good use of Dr. Dobson's books in the past. He has a very Biblical view of parenting, especially concerning discipline, which I appreciate.

 

This month's newsletter reflected on the tragic allegations of child abuse against former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky and urged parents to keep a watchful eye on their children. Dobson shared that the danger was not just in sports, but anywhere that adults are alone with children, including church.


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The Olivet Discourse
Written by Michael Gowens   
Monday, 16 January 2012 13:05

Excerpt from 'A Study of the Life of Jesus from The Gospel of Luke' by Michael L. Gowens

Chapter 41

Lu 21, together with Mt 24 and Mr 13, records our Lord's prophetic sermon to His disciples on the Mount of Olives. The variations in the three accounts of the Olivet Discourse are complementary not contradictory. Each records different parts of the same sermon and a comparison of the three reveals a comprehensive picture of Jesus' message. Luke's account is arguably the most conducive to a Gentile audience.

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The Two Functions of the Holy Spirit
Written by Michael Gowens   
Tuesday, 27 December 2011 12:39

It is important to distinguish between what old preachers called "the two functions of the Holy Spirit."

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Comments on Various Disputed Passages 1 John 5:4-5
Written by Michael Gowens   
Saturday, 24 December 2011 09:45

1 John 5:4-5 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 

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Bible Study or Entertainment
Written by Josh Winslett   
Saturday, 17 December 2011 16:03

This era of technology has give many advances in multiple areas. We are certainly blessed too have such an abundance of resources and commodities. Whereas this is certainly a blessing, I fear that often it takes our minds away from growing in grace to being entertained. Many times when in fellowship with brothers and sisters I have observed that my conversation has often been on secular things.

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To YOU is the Word of Salvation Sent
Written by Ben Winslett   
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 08:54

To whom was the word of salvation sent? "Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent." - Acts 13:26

Notice what happened on the following Sabbath from the same chapter: "And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed."

This shows that salvation is necessary BEFORE one can receive the preached gospel. God must first give life. This evident by the fact that these people were:

1) Already God-fearing people, which unregenerate men are NOT. - Romans 3:18

2) Ordained to eternal life. They were elected, or chosen, by God from before the foundation of the world.

Now, how did Luke, the writer of Acts, know that these men were ordained to eternal life? Was a giant "E" stamped on their foreheads?? No, he knew because they received the word with gladness! While the gospel does not bring eternal life, it does bring life and immortality TO LIGHT. - 2 Timothy 1:10

 

 
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