Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The simplicity of the church

By Terry Worthan, Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church, Winston, Georgia
     The Church began in an upper room, waiting patiently for the promise of its Sovereign and Sacred Head.  That promise made immediately before His ascension – the promise had been of the Father, that He would send them the Holy Ghost.  That little assembly consisting of only one-hundred-twenty souls, what kind of church was it?  What was its character and disposition?  It was a living organism (not an organization) manifesting one spirit, one attitude, one ambition, and one life.  It lived only for its one single commitment--a commitment that could be expressed in three words, “Glory to Christ.”
     It sought only to exalt His honor; it would receive only His praise.  When the lame man at the temple would be healed at the word of Peter, the people rushed upon Peter with amazement, as though by his power this man was made whole.  Peter declared “The God of our Fathers hath glorified His Son Jesus,” and “In His name through faith in His name hath made this man strong.”
    That church was distinct in that its whole ambition was to spread the fame of Christ.  They went everywhere preaching the Word of the Gospel until the whole known world was turned upside down.  It was distinct in its absolute commitment to King Jesus, to the Gospel of His Kingdom, and yes, to each other, for they were together, and had all things common, devoted to that one common purpose of glorifying their Head.
  Therefore do not attempt to denominate it, or to distinguish it with the title ‘Christian’, for that name has been too deeply stained with the contamination of apostate religion.  Just say it was a blood-bought, sold-out society of people, who believed all the way down to the joints and marrow of their souls that Christ was the only thing worth living for, and if need be dying for.

And then – in the dawn I saw Him
He whom my heart loveth so.
I found Him, held Him and told Him
I never could let Him go.


Darrel said...

A far cry from what passes itself off as a "Christian church" today. The professed importance of the "local church" has gone far beyond what Scripture dictates by supplanting the Sovereign Savior with all manner of men's designs and ideas of how things ought to be. It has become not only the means to an end, but the end itself. The 'local church' has become the object of the worship offered, it justifies it's own existence by citing it self as being the ultimate supreme with only an occasional and deceitful mention of the One who is responsible for it's existence and survival. All denominations claim to be autonomous either tacitly or outright, as many of the LCs do the same. The underlying fact is that such autonomy---not subject to another's authority---is away from or out from under the authority of God. As such, their rules, doctrines, and proceedings are from their own imagination and not from Scripture. Some twenty years ago I attended a catholic service. Only recently did I realize the shocking similarities between their 'order of service' and that of so-called protestant churches. It is virtually the same in every respect no matter the flavor of church displayed on the marque outside. So much for genuine autonomy. This 'autonomy' claimed by churches and their leaders is nothing more than a smokescreen for out and out rebellion against their Creator and is a useful hook to deceive those gullible souls into continued subservience (and financial contributions) to their wickedness while the guilt for even questioning their leaders is laid on thick.

I do not recall ever reading or hearing a sermon about the church that did not stress the importance of the 'local church' and excluded the fact that the real Church is the Body of Christ, His Bride, made up of all the redeemed since His resurrection. This post makes a clear distinction and does not cloud the facts with wishful thinking---that we and our 'church' are of more importance to God than those who do not adhere to out tenants; if that were the case then God would be showing partiality.

lyn said...

My thoughts are like yours Darrel. The last church I attended was about 3 years ago. The pastor harped for three Sundays in a row on 'tithing' - which is an O.T. principle for Israel. I never went back.

I also do not know where these 'churches' get the idea you must become a 'member'. They insist you go through classes, or meet with the deacons and give your story, then they will 'accept' you into their fellowship. All the while, those already in the fellowship are more often than not goats.
I recall attending classes at Gary Gilley's church, the deacon who headed the class kept saying 'when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior'. I took issue with that and he and I never really got along after that....I left that church shortly after. Gary and his son used the pulpit as a means for open mike comedy hour, inserting more humor in their message than they did expounding biblical truth.

It speaks volumes when the elect cannot find a place to gather and worship because the goats and their hirelings have overtaken 'religion'.

Darrel said...

I am becoming increasingly convinced that the Lord is removing His chosen ones from the 'church scene' on a wholesale basis. It was 2-3-15 that I received a letter of "excommunication" from the last and final church in which I was afforded membership. The meeting was with the "elders" who needed to 'hear my story'---a very uncomfortable time some two years prior. In the end they all turned out to be turncoats, traitors to Christ that opted for the ecumenical route in lieu of the Gospel. I don't remember being asked any questions, I seriously doubt they could have fielded one of any merit. In late 2014 I dared raise a question about the group known as "Perspectives" being invited to this church. They are a highly ecumenical group, void of Christ and His Gospel. As I exposed the roots of this evil group (John Stott and Billy Graham) one of these esteemed 'elders' would have nothing to do with truth but insisted that BG was a man of God. The more I exposed BG's wickedness the more angry he became until he exploded in my face with "I DON'T CARE" shouted at the top of his voice. Another 'elder' attempted to use flattery to sway my thinking by putting his arm around my shoulder and tell me 'how valuable I was to that church' even though repeated efforts on my part to be of some use other than a pew warmer were rejected. Another 'elder' tried to act as a 'peace maker' by saying there was 'some merit' to what I had said, but that the elder board had the final say and that I should be quite. Then there was the last 'elder' who was also 'pastor' (read hireling) who compiled what he claimed to be a dossier on me that stood about a half an inch high of staked paper. In the end, this same elder/hireling/pastor tried to turn my wife and her mother against me. I almost pitied him when he was put in his place by my wife in short order.
Such is the "character" of the leaders of a "local church" whose door I will never step through again.

I cannot reconcile believers being saddled with the likes of such demonic men all for the sake of some "local church"---such is expressly prohibited in 2 Cor. 6:11-18. To be more precise, we are to separate ourselves from these evil men, and perhaps if we are somehow ignorant of our surroundings God will intervene on His child's behalf and remove him whether he likes it or not. Thank God that He intervenes on our behalf and for His glory.

lyn said...

There are brethren with similar stories everywhere. IF you do not attend a local 'church', they will attempt to guilt you into changing that. Those of us who are in Christ know the true church is NOT a denomination, or a brick and mortar building. We are the called out ones, from every tribe, tongue and nation, and we needn't listen to goats who want to shame us so they can control us, sway us, and take our money. Satan cannot harm the true elect of God, for we are kept by Him who is the praise and glory of God almighty--sovereign, holy, righteous, merciful, faithful and true.