089 Sample THIS!

If I were a preacher, I'd tell my congregation at every opportunity that just coming to listen to me and whatever I'd have to tell them would be no substitute for finding out what God has to tell them personally through His Word, both recorded and living. Let's be honest, how many people think that they don't have to read the Bible on their own, as long as they attend church on Sundays? And that's why you've got all those millions of Christians believing the false doctrines of "eternal insecurity" (that you can lose your Salvation at any moment you sin), the "Pre-Tribulation Rapture" (that Jesus will come to take them to Heaven before the Great Tribulation), and supporting political leaders in mass murder, pledging their allegiance to an earthly nation, instead of finding out personally how God really thinks about these things. They're putting their faith in the words of men, instead of the Words of God.

I'd tell them that their personal relationship with God is more important than going to church. Faith in God comes through hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17), and if you want faith - the only thing that can save us by His Grace - then you'd better listen to what God has to say, and not anybody else, unless you can be 100% certain that what they're saying is inspired by God, and there is no way you can be 100% certain of that unless you personally know the Word of God, and know how and where to find the gifts of the Spirit, such as the gift of discernment.

In fact, if I were a preacher, I'd probably quit preaching, and rather tune in on one person or a handful of individuals at a time, instead of delighting in the sound of my own voice as it rang through the halls of my church, because neither Jesus, nor any of His closest followers were ever "preachers" nor into mass evangelism, if you carefully read the Bible. The so-called "Sermon on the Mount" wasn't a sermon at all. Jesus left the multitude behind, went into a mountain (not a hill!) and only His disciples came to Him to hear what He had to say. The "Sermon on the Mount" was a revolutionary instruction talk given by the greatest Revolutionary of all times to His closest followers only, and thankfully, one of them - Matthew - formerly of the utterly despised occupation of collecting taxes from the Jews for the Roman invaders - had the skill and brains to write it down!

There are a few occasions in the Book of Acts where Peter or Paul address a larger crowd of people, but those are exceptional. Most of the time they were too busy hiding from the authorities, because true believers were persecuted for 300 years before the Roman empire "converted" and "legalized" Christianity according to the motto, "If you can't lick'em, join'em!" The result was the death of Christianity and the birth of Churchianity, and God is calling His true believers today out of that mock-up, to get ready for the Real Thing. Most Christians today probably don't know that the only places where early Christians worshiped for 300 years - before they converted the pagan temples into Christian "churches" - were the houses of believers and the catacombs beneath Rome, and - weather permitting - the great wide open.

Most Christians probably don't even know the true meaning of the word "church" itself, coming from the Greek "ecclesia," meaning "the called out ones."

God is calling His believers to step out of the false religious Systems of their day, to trade in the Big Lie for the truth, and that simply doesn't (usually) happen in large scale "revivals" and "awakenings" which most preachers in the U.S. dream of happening. What they call revivals are usually short bouts of electric shocks infused into the dead body of the church, making it look alive for a few moments before it sinks back into its sepulchre, worse off than before.

I'd really make an effort to be more politically correct, just like your average preacher, if I thought there was enough time for that. But I don't. The Devil is rapidly taking over, and his flood of lies in which the vast majority is drowning certainly seems overwhelming, compared to the relatively few voices of truth out there. The neat thing is, that God doesn't rely on numbers. If one of His voices can chase a thousand of enemy forces, then 2 can chase ten thousand, His Word says, and He is not limited to save by many or by few.

See, there's really a lot of wonderful stuff the Bible has to say that you might not even beware of, because you're relying too much on what somebody else has to say about what God has to say.

If I were a preacher, I'd tell you today, tomorrow and everyday: "For God's sake, don't listen to me! Listen to God!" Perhaps I'd give each member of my congregation a Bible in their hands and tell them, "Read!" And perhaps after a while they could share with everyone what they discovered... That's what I'd call "church." A group of people obeying God's call to come out of the box of conventional worship and trying to find out what He has to say to each of them. And there'd be no way of stopping there, of course, until we had put into practice what He'd just shown us...

But, as I say, these sort of things usually don't happen on a large scale. We can be happy if they happen at all. Even if once in a single life-time.

If I were a preacher, I'd ask you to tell me to "Shut up and let's get down to business getting the real job done for Jesus & win those who don't want to go to church because what they need in their life is not a sermon but a sample of the real thing." - Just give'em Jesus & tell'em to "Sample this!"

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