Followers of Jesus Christ were first called Christians at Antioch. (Acts 11:26) Unfortunately, the term now has negative connotations, thanks to some who call themselves Christians but may, in all actuality, be not.
Sadly, one of the main reasons people do not come to Christ is because of these so-called Christians.
It is because of these sorts of Christians that I call myself a believer in Jesus Christ, not necessarily a Christian.
So many times I have heard people complain about Christians because many behave as hypocrites, setting a bad example for others.
ARE YOU TRULY COMMITTED TO OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST?
I have experienced the behaviors, actions, words, and judgments of those other so-called Christians. I have been judged, falsely accused, slandered, hurt, and insulted by many who profess to know Christ. Yet it is hard for them to utter a word against me when I pray for someone who suddenly gets healed. Their words fall flat then, and their lies against me are revealed.
Most recently, a new minister of a local church came to my home to introduce himself. He had mistaken me for someone else. I am quite ordinary, so this happens all the time. But I introduced myself and instantly felt his snarl when I told him of my ministry. When I left him a moment to get him a business card, I heard him immediately say something nasty to his comrade, a kinder, gentler man.
I was invited to attend their church but, of course, because of what the minister had said behind my back, I decided not to waste my time, because of this so-called Christian. Sadly, the fact that the man is a minister makes this even worse for those truly seeking God.
The question is: How are people supposed to know our Lord if we act like unbelievers?
Granted, none of us are perfect. (Romans 3:10) That is impossible. But if one is fully and completely sold out to Jesus Christ (in Hebrew, Yeshua), totally committed to Him, then we may not be mistaken for an unbeliever.
Some label believers as hypocrites because they may not measure up to what an unbeliever thinks a true believer should be like. I often find this to just be an excuse for them to avoid God altogether. People who prefer living in sin use the word hypocrite freely and may not truly understand the meaning of the word or know what a true Christian really is. Again, it is just an excuse for them not to believe. Believers can just as easily label unbelievers as hypocrites or Satan worshippers, when even that may not be the case. Some unbelievers have just never been shown the way or even heard of Jesus Christ. And yes, this is possible, even in the 21st century. Believe it or not, there are people in remote parts of China who have never even heard of America before. So don’t think this isn’t possible.
THE LORD WILL GIVE US HIS GRACE FOR OBEDIENCE AND SELF-CONTROL
I am a sinner. I admit it. All of us stumble at one time or another, but if we confess our sins, God is willing and able to forgive us, if we are truly repentant. (1 John 1:9) However, I spend time with the Lord each day, trusting Him to help me, through His grace, to overcome all that besets me. This is the way to behave as a true believer. When one is saved, baptized with water and with fire, the Holy Spirit dwells in that person. It is He who gives us the ability to walk as God would have us to walk with Him. Not as evil sinners who choose to walk in our own way, as in the spirit of Self, but in the Spirit of God. It is God who will give us the self-control to behave as He would have us to, to walk as He would have us to, to live as He would have us to. To follow Him in true obedience, to the best of our ability. We must study His Word and pray daily, to learn the Truth of what He expects from us and to learn about Him.
Going to church on Sunday, just for appearances sake, is the mark of an unbeliever, one who has not truly given his or her life to the Lord Jesus Christ. Some may attend church because they were raised to this, never really learning about salvation. Churchgoing is just a habit to many.
Going to church, being active in all aspects available to a person, just to make oneself feel important, is also the mark of an uncommitted person. One who is truly committed and loves the Lord will desire to serve in any capacity to which God leads him or her, not for how it makes him or her look to others, but because s(he) want to obey and to please God.
Inviting fellow believers in Christ to your home, worming your way into their good graces, pretending you are sincere in your walk with God, is also a mark of an unbeliever. Are you truly interested in befriending a brother or sister? Or are you more interested in getting all the dope on that person so that you can use it against that person later, for whatever your motive is, or so that you can judge and spread rumors about the person later, whether true or false against that person? Is the itch to gossip burning away at you and you need fresh blood to slander or accuse because you love to do it? Clearly, this is the mark of an uncommitted person and is all too common in the churches today.
ORGANIZED RELIGION WAS NEVER WHAT GOD INTENDED
Yes, Christians throughout the centuries have done their part in turning away others from the Truth of Jesus Christ. With the help of the Adversary.
From the beginning, Jesus made it known that His followers were to assemble regularly with other believers, to support, uplift, and encourage our fellow brothers and sisters. To help them in any way they needed help. (Hebrews 10:35) Today, churches still carry out this command, to a point, but, unfortunately, not always in a way that is pleasing to God. Some only help the biggest tithers or those who follow the ‘buddy system’. If you aren’t in somebody’s clique, then you may just be out of luck. Sorry. You’re on your own, kid.
Satan has always been against God. That is common knowledge. But did you ever once realize that he is behind the initial dividing of God’s assembly of believers?
The Church was to be a unified group of believers, of one mind, one Spirit, one Body, one faith, one Lord, one baptism, and one God (and Father of all). (Ephesians 4:4) Satan, however, divided everything. Now, there are untold numbers of different faiths: Lutherans, Catholics, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc. There are different gods worshipped by many varied sects: Buddhists, Muslims, Satanists, etc. And because of these divisions, caused by the enemy of Christ, even His Truth, His doctrine has been distorted, mostly for man’s benefit, because man did not like what God’s Truth demanded from him. Man wanted to do what he wanted to, not what God told him to. Man is into Self. God is of the Spirit. True Christians will walk in the Spirit of God and follow His statutes, laws, commands, and precepts. Unbelievers follow their own paths and may practice evil or do good works. Either way, neither will get you into Heaven come Judgment Day. Only a personal relationship with Jesus Christ will do that.
IF ORGANIZED RELIGION IS OF GOD, THEN WHY IS EVERYONE CONFUSED AND GREEDY?
Many today, in the 21st century, are against organized religion. Because somewhere along the way, people have become hurt, confused, or angry at other so-called Christians or at the lies and hypocrisy prevalent in the Church today.
Since most churches and denominations and ministries have only one motive and one only – money – it is no wonder that people who are seeking God and His Truth are turning away from those who should be sharing it and demonstrating it.
In this day and age when millions are out of work and struggling to survive, to feed their families, etc, it is difficult for anyone to expect others to give money as freely as before. Granted, that does not mean we are not supposed to tithe. We are. But frankly, churches and ministries (who are also struggling to stay afloat) must not in anger or with wrongful motives turn away those seeking help from God and His Truth. Jesus Christ is a God of love, not greed.
I was sitting in a restaurant one day and overheard a shocking, hurt-filled conversation.
A man was sharing with a colleague that he was on the road for days at a time, earning a living. He told his friend that when he was in town, he attended church and always threw twenty bucks into the collection plate. But one day the minister came up to this man and told him that since he couldn’t be in church every week that he was no longer allowed to attend.
My reaction? One of shock and outrage! This was not a church of God, but clearly of Satan. Now, since the enemy has clearly divided God’s true Church, he is working on trying to turn people away from the churches, too. He is trying to convince people that there is no God to help us in times of need. That if we don’t give money to the church, then we are no longer welcome there and can no longer be a part of it. That we are not to assemble with other believers. Satan wants people to flounder and be lost, to die without God. Can you understand what I am saying? Satan does not want God in your life. And if you want Him, you have to give money, or suffer the consequences.
My friends, my heard bled for that man that day. This happened in my home town, and I could not believe what I had just heard. I went away wondering how many others had been shafted by a church they had probably attended their entire lives. Heaven forbid, people. This is NOT the way of Jesus Christ. God is NOT about money. And God casts NO ONE away who is seeking Him and His Truth.
JESUS CHRIST IS A GOD OF LOVE, OUR ONLY HOPE IN AN EVIL WORLD
I am not saying that every church professing God as their Source is walking in disobedience and is only out for money. But in this day and age, I am warning you to be careful because “your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour…” (1 Peter 5:8) Not all churches preach salvation and God’s Truth. Many denominations are preaching man-made doctrines that are confusing to people, asking ridiculous things from them, based on twisted lies from the enemy, who is intent on distorting the Truth of Jesus Christ. Cults do this as well.
If you are fed up with organized religion and tired of the hypocrisy among so-called believers, I suggest you seek God as to what true Christians He would have you assemble with, whether in your or another’s home, or in some other safe place, as a cell group, in these last days. The churches of the world are now open to government spies who are seeking to get information that can be used against you later, when the AntiChrist comes to power. You must be careful who you associate with.
SATAN HAS CORRUPTED THE TRUTH AND IS BEHIND ORGANIZED RELIGION
Americans would be shocked, perhaps ashamed, at how organized religion has corrupted the true Church of Jesus Christ here. We have tried to impose our twisted, sometimes corrupted ways upon other cultures, too, when, in fact, many of those cultures practice their faith in Jesus Christ in true fashion, based on the Truth of Scripture.
Many countries throughout the world, places like China, Korea, Pakistan, where true believers are persecuted and killed regularly for their faith in Jesus Christ, follow God’s Truth as it was meant to be obeyed. Underground churches are widespread in many places, and the body of believers in those countries, where the Bible and open worship of the true God of Heaven is illegal, can definitely show us a thing or two about assembling with other believers in love and harmony. Those people care for one another the way God wants us to. They share what they have to those in need, expecting nothing. They live the best they can as followers, true believers of Jesus Christ, based on their study of Scripture. And the numbers of believers in those countries are growing by leaps and bounds, unlike in America. Organized religion has turned many away from the Truth because of the disobedience and confusion prevalent in many churches and ministries in America today.
I am not against any of these religions. I grew up a Catholic and attended other denominations as I grew up and sought the Truth. The lies of the enemy are mixed with Truth. And there are always tares among the wheat. Most believe their hearts are in the right place. But we need to be sure we are walking in all Truth and doing all the Lord would have us do. If you are not being fed the Truth and leave church each week feeling lost, alone, misunderstand, sad, or hopeless about your life, then believe me, you are definitely in the wrong church. You need to assemble with true believers who are committed to serving Jesus Christ in all Truth, with true compassion for your fellow man, with humility and a heart for service. You should feel uplifted and joyful in spirit upon leaving church each week. Not miserable.
Even if you meet with two or three other faithful, committed believers in Christ, then you are assembling properly. “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20)
I pray you will seek God and all of His Truth. Forgive those who have hurt or wronged you and put the past behind you. Commit your life to following Jesus Christ, and trust Him to guide you in the way that you should go.
He does love you and has never once given up on you. In fact, He is knocking at your door right now…for those of you who choose to answer it.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32 KJV)
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