5 Ways to Build the Church of Your Dreams & 5 Ways to Destroy It

5 Ways to Build the Church of Your Dreams & 5 Ways to Destroy It

I know a man who is aware of and openly admits that he speaks both the wisdom of God and foolishness.  (And don’t we all?)  Yet any time I try to give him feedback about the difference between the former and the latter, he always falls back on traditionally accepted views.  He believes that the institutional church, the structure of authority within it, the hierarchy, the doctrines, and the usual way of doing things is the only way.  Yet he also makes a habit of pointing out how the institutional church is failing miserably and asking why no one is doing anything about it.  He publicly prays for the Spirit of God to raise up people who will challenge the status quo, who aren’t influenced by money or status in the church, who are filled with passion and purpose, but when God answers this man’s prayer, he is right there, along with all the other leaders, who feel threatened by the people God raises up, agreeing that this new “troublemaker” is overstepping bounds, rebelling against authority, causing division in the church, etc.

It breaks my heart that the thing he longs for most is also the thing he strongly opposes.  Go figure.  This blog is intended for both the leadership in the institutional church and for those who have transcended the system, although I am almost certain that the former are too proud and entrenched in fear to be put in their place as a sheep among equals.

For the leadership in the institutional church who are like the man I mentioned:

1. Appreciate, protect, approve of, and learn from the explorers, inventors, and risk takers in your midst.  Challenge those who oppose transformational ideas.  That opposition can take many forms but usually involve some type of threat.  “If he/she doesn’t _____, then I/we will _____.

2. Trust the Spirit of God to protect you should #1 backfire.  Don’t create expectations about what the Spirit’s protection looks like.  You may think that the Spirit of God doesn’t intervene to protect the flock because that is your job as pastor/deacon/elder, but what if the Spirit of God doesn’t intervene because the Spirit of God is orchestrating the upheaval? (Sometimes God tears down before He builds up – remember the patched garment and the old wineskins?)

3. Be aware that what you view as “backfiring” (see #2) may actually be an answer to your prayer.  Remember that Jesus answered the prayers for healing offered up by Lazarus’s loved ones by allowing Lazarus to first die and then resurrecting him!  The church of your dreams could never be as good as the church of God’s dreams.  Go ahead!  Dream big!  I guarantee that God dreams bigger.  You must be open to the idea that He accomplishes His purposes differently than we expect.  Your dream is about here and now and the not-so-distant future, His dream is for all creatures in every time period in every space.  If it seems as though God is sitting back and allowing the church to decline, remember that He accomplishes apocatastasis through DEATH.  Too often Christians label God’s deconstruction of us (an ultimately redemptive act) as the power of darkness, the work of Satan.  Do not fear.  Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble (thlípsis – pressure. Especially internal pressure, feeling there is no way to escape).  But take heart!  I have overcome (nikáō – conquer.  The verb implies a battle.”) the world.”  This is pressure that comes from within, trouble that happens inside of a person who feels trapped and helpless.  The battle is “not against flesh and blood, but against principalities (arche – beginning, authorities, prominent positions) …of darkness.”  Don’t you think that if your prayer is that God will protect you from negative consequences associated with letting spiritual “nobodies” with no expert training and no official credentials have a voice in the church, that if He strips the power from people in authority or prominent position, He is doing exactly what you asked Him to do?  After all, the negative consequences of nobodies becoming somebodies is that the somebodies are probably going to be angry.  Suddenly they aren’t so special any more.  If you are in a position of authority, it follows that you should… (see #4)

4. Be willing to lose everything.  The more intertwined your life is with the institutional church, the harder this will be.  Are you willing to see some of your closest friends turn against you or silently stand by and do nothing as your feet are in the fire?  Are you willing to risk a pay cut because attendance numbers and offerings decline as you make amazing but unpopular decisions?  Are you willing to lose your respected position of influence and become an outcast?  Are you willing to lose your job, your house, or your car?  Are you willing to do the right thing, even if people in your own family turn against you?

5. If you are considering whether to actively discipline the “troublemaker” or approve of and support such discipline, examine your motives.  Are your motives fear-based?  If so, refer back to #2.  Are your motives control-based?  If so, refer back to #4.  Before you make your decision to act or to support those who act, remember that Jesus’s strongest rebukes were given to religious leaders who disciplined “troublemakers.”

To believers who transcend the system as God’s spies infiltrating enemy territory or God’s global visionaries:

1. If you notice there is a practical problem to be solved, this is likely an invitation from the Spirit of God to flex your creative spiritual muscles.  He is calling you to become an inventor.  Don’t worry about trying and failing, because each time you fail, you learn what doesn’t work. When you try again, you are more likely to find a solution.  Another thing to consider is that He may be calling you to collaborate.  That’s the beauty of operating outside the religious system – you don’t have to wait on approval from a committee to get busy.  The naysayers who, in the past, have always had the power to quench the Spirit and suck the life out of amazing new ideas have no more power over you.  Their mighty opposition has become a little gnat buzzing around, so insignificant that it isn’t even worth your trouble to squash it.

2. Be in the world.  Don’t let the time, talents, and resources God has given you be monopolized by the local religion factory.  Many Christians quote, “Be in the world, not of it,” and place special emphasis on the “not of it” while forgetting that “in the world” is crucial to the world understanding God’s love.  We share in the glory of Christ for a reason.  Jesus prayed:

I do not ask that Thou mayest take [believers] out of the world, but that Thou mayest keep them out of the evil.  Of the world they are not, as I of the world am not; …as Thou didst send me to the world, I also did send them to the world; …And not in regard to these alone do I ask, but also in regard to those who shall be believing, through their word, in me; that the world may believe that Thou didst send me.  And I, the glory that thou hast given to me, have given to them, that the world may know that Thou didst send me, and didst love them as Thou didst love me. (John 17: 15-23)

3. If you notice there are contradictions in two truths, this is likely an invitation from the Spirit of God to use your imagination, dream big, and discover in the contradiction some overarching theme – it has been my experience so far that contradictions that are apparently unresolvable are like sign-posts marking the very areas where we lack knowledge.  I’m not saying that we should invent truth to satisfy our own desires.  God invites us to act according to what we know by faith, and faith, as the most elusive form of evidence, requires child-like wonder.  With our minds, we find partial answers.  With the faith of Christ, we understand that God sees the end from the beginning and has intimate knowledge of everything in between.  He sees exactly how our lives intersect, how our choices produce certain outcomes, how those outcomes influence the world view and choices of others, like a huge, complex mathematical equation that ultimately produces His desired outcome.  We are learning from quantum physics to discard normal expectations and embrace all possibilities, to explore with humility and expanded imaginations so that, perhaps, we will better understand the Observer of the Universe.

4. Live a life of joy as you become who He created you to be.  There is no one else on the planet who can be you.  Of all the billions of years past and yet to come, God has chosen to create you right here, right now, for a reason.  Discover that reason, not by becoming inwardly focused, but by getting caught up in the work He has given you.  Perhaps that work is raising children, being a performing poet, painting double yellow lines in the middle of the road, providing legal defense, manufacturing paperclips, or loving others as they care for you (because you are unable to care for yourself).  Do what you do to the best of your ability, as if you were doing it for God Himself.  If you are dissatisfied, then you are probably not doing the work He has given you, but the work you have given yourself.  In that case, welcome to the joy of discovery – all things (including spending a long time on the wrong path) work together for good when God gives purpose to His called-out ones.  There is a certain satisfaction in participating in difficult activities compared to easy ones.  A life of hardship, well-lived, is more inspiring than a worry-free life of ease.  There will come a day when there is no more crying or pain, but right now, we have the opportunity to share in His glory – fulfilling our purpose, no matter how wonderful or terrible that purpose seems to be in the limited, human view of history.

5. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.  Perhaps you have no idea how to solve problems, you have yet to discover your talents, resources are limited, it’s all you can do to function with migraines and using your imagination would probably put you in bed for two days. God seems to be resigned to surrounding you with hardship.  We are all works in progress.  I think that’s why Jesus simplified the commandments for us in what could be further simplified into merely four words: Love God.  Love others.  There you have it.  If you don’t feel much of anything for God, let alone love, ask God why.  He will demonstrate to you that your idea of Who He is doesn’t jive with Who He really is.  Anyone who even remotely understands Who God is will fall in love with Him very easily.  So you are in that stage of spiritual maturity where He is still clearing away misconceptions, still destroying the old wineskin.  Don’t despair.  It’s all part of the creation process – destroying in the first Adam and creating in the second Adam.  When you are able to love God, then loving others will come naturally – it will be pure pleasure to reign with Him, victorious in loving even the most unlovable people.

Comments
  • Mary Vanderplas August 7, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    I love what you say by way of advising and challenging leaders to get on board with what God is doing in the church and in the world. I think you’re right on in urging leaders to welcome risk-takers and to oppose the opposition to new and Spirit-inspired ideas. I love what you say about not assuming that trouble and unrest in the church are signs of God’s absence, and agree that these things, as difficult as they are to cope with, may well be signs of the Spirit’s working to bring radical renewal. I agree, too, that a negative reaction on the part of power-brokers to a more egalitarian way of doing things may well be an indication of answered prayer. I think you’re right on in challenging leaders to be willing to give up everything for the sake of what God is calling them to do and be – and in urging them to examine their motives if they find themselves opposing those who voice alternative (and threatening-to-the-status-quo) viewpoints.

    I love, too, what you say to believers who for whatever reason are outside of the system, though I think that at least some of what you say applies equally to those of us who remain in the institution. I love your challenge to take the initiative and get busy in response to the Spirit’s leading, to “become an inventor,” as you put it, disregarding those who would hinder what God is seeking to do through us. I think you’re right on in what you say about our being in the world instead of withdrawing from it into a holy conclave or investing our resources in preserving the system. I like what you say about wrestling with contradiction, with paradox, even as we trust God, who sees the big picture and who is working to bring the world to his desired end. I like your invitation to discover God’s unique purpose for our lives – and to live it with gusto, even when it entails struggles and challenges that are hard to understand from our limited perspective as human beings. I appreciate your climactic challenge to love – and the encouragement you give not to despair in the face of our lack of love but to recognize that we are growing toward the complete humanity of Christ.

    Thanks for the beautiful blog – a gem of spiritual wisdom.

    • admin August 8, 2012 at 9:54 pm

      Mary, you and Mom give me hope that people can “transcend the system” from within. I know for sure that God called me out of the system, but I also realize that He could, at any time, call me back into it, and that there are those who He has not called out of the system.

      • Stephen Helbig August 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm

        “Transcend the system” ~ to rise above ~ go beyond ~ exceed ~ go above ~ excel ~ surpass .

        Yes, truly to excel within, ~ where we are, is a gift of the Lord and a work to be admired and strengthened. Mary, be steadfast always abounding in the work of our Lord. I know I can speak with Alice on this; We (myself and Alice) just as Aaron and Hur held up Moses’s hands,~ we lift up yours and Mom’s–one on one side, one on the other–so that your hands remain steady. And the battles are to victory.

        As long as Moses (“Mary and Mom”) held up his (her) hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. God always has His witnesses to His truth and His purpose. God wants His government to so increase in us that we change the complexion of all things about us to His Glory. Amalek represents the flesh, the flesh wars against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh. But the victory is won with the love of our Lord Jesus. Our prayers remain with you, ~and we lift up your hands… (Ex. 17 :11)

  • Stephen Helbig August 7, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    To understand the Observer of the Universe is indeed a worthwhile pursuit ~ … According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, … And finding the “overarching theme” amongst the contradictions of life that are “apparently” unresolved is a true source of Peace and Joy. These contradictions will and must be overcome by childlike faith and the process of His death producing LIFE in and through Our Lord Jesus Christ. That is why the message of Ultimate Reconciliation and the Restitution of all things, (apocatastasis) is so important for our paths “in the world”. There are indeed many great and exceedingly precious promises, and that by seeing the sights of these in true understanding, we become one and partakers of His Divine Nature for each of us . God is not a respecter of persons and His Creation is indeed precious to Him so much that God manifested Himself through our Lord Jesus Christ ~ Savior of all men.

    p.s.s.t ~ You are special to God in Christ …
    YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL ~ Ps. 45:11
    YOU ARE UNIQUE ~ Ps. 139:13
    YOU ARE LOVED ~ Jer.31:3
    YOU ARE SPECIAL ~ Eph.2:10
    YOU WERE CREATED FOR A PURPOSE ~ Jer. 29:11
    YOU ARE CARED FOR ~ Eph. 3:17-19
    YOU ARE LOVELY ~ Dan. 12:3
    YOU ARE PRECIOUS ~ 1Cor. 6:20
    YOU ARE STRONG ~ Ps. 68:35
    YOU ARE IMPORTANT ~ 1Pet. 2:9
    YOU ARE FORGIVEN ~ Ps. 103:12
    YOU ARE A NEW CREATION ~ 1Cor. 5:17
    YOU ARE PROTECTED ~ Ps. 121:3
    YOU ARE EMPOWERED ~ Phil. 4:13
    YOU ARE CHOSEN ~ Jn. 15:16
    YOU ARE FAMILY ~ Eph. 2:19
    YOU ARE MINE ~ Isa. 43:1

    • admin August 8, 2012 at 9:39 pm

      Stephen, your comments are such a pleasure to read, like a breath of fresh air.

      • Stephen Helbig August 9, 2012 at 8:03 am

        Alice, ~ But thanks be to God, for He has made us his captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession, and He manifests to us, ~ and through us the sweet aroma of THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIM in every place. It is truly His fragrance that fills the air, ~ with His sweet aroma by the breath He gives, and who is worthy of such things but by His LOVE.

        Song of Solomon 1:3 signifies ~ JESUS CHRIST~ “Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes; your name (JESUS CHRIST SAVIOR OF THE WORLD) is like perfume poured out. No wonder the maidens love you!”

    • Lanny A. Eichert August 9, 2012 at 8:34 pm

      Stephen, your comments are such an horror to read, like a breath of stinky air from the pit of hell itself. The fragrance of them is beyond the most unpleasant imaginable. The same applies to all the commenters’ comments who favor Alice’s Amazing Hope.

      If you all truly want to breath God’s perfume you all must believe God will destroy the wicked in eternal fires, so that you truly repent of your heresies, and trust only the One Who delivers from the eternal Second Death in the eternal Lake of Fire. Anything short of that is playing with Satan’s lies. Smarten up and fly right.

      Don’t you people believe in the WRATH of God? Have you taught yourselves right out of fearing God and His wrath?

      It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. {Hebrews 10: 31}
      He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the WRATH of God abideth on him. {John 3: 36}

      Such basic knowledge and you don’t have it?

      For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. {Hebrews 6: 4 – 6; & 10: 26 – 31} For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

      • Stephen Helbig August 10, 2012 at 2:28 pm

        a fragrance of life ~ unto life (i.e. “breath of fresh air”)
        a fragrance (odor) of death ~ unto death (i.e. “stinky air from the pit of hell”)

        The words written above by 🙂 were not words of life for one group and a words of death and judgment for another. They were the SAME WORD ~ It is the SAME WORD, but is falling on different ears. ~ It is the same rain ~ but falling on different ground. The same Word that blesses one, will become a curse to another because of the difference in the heart that receives it.

        Note this TRUTH ~ It is the same with the WORD OF GOD ~ ‘We are a fragrance of life ~ unto life, but we are a fragrance (odor) of death ~ unto death. (2 Cor. 2:16)

        ~ There is no need to judge Babylon, because ‘He is already judged. ~
        BUT ~ Thanks be to God who gives us, (ALL OF US), the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ, our sufficiency is from God

      • Stephen Helbig August 10, 2012 at 5:41 pm

        Lanny, I also agree with your comment ~ “If you all truly want to breath God’s perfume you all must believe God will destroy the wicked in eternal (AEON) fires, so that you truly repent of your heresies, and ‘TRUST ONLY THE ONE WHO “DELIVERS” FROM THE ETERNAL(AEON) SECOND DEATH IN THE ETERNAL (AEON) LAKE OF FIRE’ . Anything short of that is playing with Satan’s lies. Smarten up and fly right.”

        The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

      • Mary Vanderplas August 11, 2012 at 7:00 am

        God’s wrath is a loving wrath, an expression of God’s love. It is the wrath of a parent who loves his or her child too much to let the child continue in his/her self-destructive ways, who disciplines the child in order to help him/her. It is not the wrath of a vengeful tyrant who punishes in order to get even, in order to hurt and destroy. In the death of Jesus Christ, God demonstrates his loving wrath, taking upon himself his just judgment against us, bearing the consequences of our sin. (As Paul Dafydd Jones contends, compellingly, in an essay entitled “A hopeful universalism,” the wrath of God is “exhaustively articulated by way of the cross.” The “fire of God’s holy love,” he says, “concentrates itself in Jesus’ own suffering and death” and is therein “burned out.”)

        This is basic knowledge, indeed, about the God who the Bible tells us is love (1 John 4:16).

      • Lanny A. Eichert August 12, 2012 at 6:21 am

        “loving wrath”, Mary? You need to read the contexts because they are far from corrective. There is no correction beyond physical death and the Final Judgment. Also don’t confuse God’s wrath applied nationally for that applied individually.

        How could God’s wrath upon Jesus be loving to Jesus?

        Don’t you all see how you must minimize the consequences of sin to enable universalism?

        • Mary Vanderplas August 12, 2012 at 12:19 pm

          Christianity 101: God identifies himself with Jesus. The death of Christ is about God bearing our sin and its consequences. It is not about Jesus being sentenced to death by an angry God.

          • Lanny A. Eichert August 13, 2012 at 12:38 am

            Mary, do you mean Jesus did NOT suffer God’s WRATH which is against us because of our sins, the sins of the whole world, in one FULL act of justice?

            Stephen quoted 1 John 2: 2 below, but neither of you mean the WRATH of God against the sins of the whole world?

            You don’t believe Jesus stood in judgment in our place? You don’t believe in full SUBSTITUTIONARY propitiation?

            • Mary Vanderplas August 14, 2012 at 5:41 am

              I mean that there are only two parties here, not three. Because Jesus is God with us, it is God who makes the sacrifice; it is God who takes the deserved punishment upon himself. It is not Jesus standing between us and an angry God, satisfying the justice of a God who is against us.

        • Stephen Helbig August 12, 2012 at 12:51 pm

          Lanny states ~” Don’t you all see how you must minimize the consequences of sin to enable universalism?”

          Stephen states ~ “Lanny, can’t you see that by continuing with your Eternal torment doctrine, YOU ARE THE ONE who actually minimizes the effectual work and blood sacrifice of Jesus. It is the sacrifice that satisfies our debt and the sins of the world”. ~
          Where sin abounds ~ grace much more abounds

          1 Jn 2:2 ~ He (JESUS) is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

      • Lanny A. Eichert August 12, 2012 at 6:35 am

        “burned out”, Mary? Then why is there any wrath of God AFTER the cross? Why in the Epistles and the Revelation if it is “burned out” in Jesus’ own suffering and death? Shouldn’t there thereafter be no more mention of the wrath of God?

        • Mary Vanderplas August 12, 2012 at 12:36 pm

          Humanity hasn’t ceased sinning since God in Christ acted decisively to defeat sin. Therefore, there is still the reality of divine judgment in the form of corrective punishment. But our sin has been dealt with once and for all on the cross. We no longer stand under the just judgment of God; we are no longer estranged from God because of our sin.

        • Stephen Helbig August 12, 2012 at 1:32 pm

          I happen to know Mary’s analogy of “burned out” is very accurate one. ~ When the refiner’s fire refines silver and gold, one doesn’t keep the silver and gold in the fire once it has become pure. ~ You now utilize the silver and gold for its intended purpose. ~ The judgments of the lord are to make us “meet for the master’s use” (2 Timothy 2 :21), ~ for the intended purposes of God, and truly allow us to manifest who we are in Christ.

          Isa. 26:9 says this ~ “for when thy judgments are in the earth (the earth is us), ~ the inhabitants of the world WILL LEARN righteousness” ~ every man in his own order.

        • Mary Vanderplas August 12, 2012 at 3:43 pm

          The wrath referred to in Revelation and elsewhere is the wrath of the Lamb, the wrath of the One who loves us so much he gave up his life for us.

  • Lanny A. Eichert August 12, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    All of you universalist ignore the fact that the Christian population is a very SMALL portion of the world’s population even two thousand years after the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. How is it that your god who saves every soul in the world has left the majority of the world’s population outside Christianity? Don’t you think your god is at least INEFFICIENT and his salvation is inefficient?

    WHY ARE “THE MANY” OF THE WORLD NOT CHRISTIANS? Since your god is a loving god why are the world’s many going to suffer fiery torture before they believ? Why does your god save “the few” from torture and not the rest? Does your god like torturing most of the people, because he saves only a few now, but most after first torturing them. Can’t you see how wrong your picture of universal salvation is?

    If your god of universal salvation were real, wouldn’t you expect well more than fifty percent of the current world’s population would be saved today if he were a loving god as you say? Where is your loving saving god?

    Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. {Matthew 7: 13 & 14}

    Face the reality of Jesus’ words in the world today. There is no Christian majority now nor ever will there be. God’s saints will always be a very small minority. Jesus said so. The Epistles and the Revelation prove it so. Two thousand years of church history prove it so, also.

  • sherry October 8, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Lanny,
    I have to say loving in God’s eye’s is alot better than fearing.Yes I fear God because I respect Him as my eternal father through Jesus Christ.Just as I fear and respect my earthly father but my love for him is greater than fear, and the love I have for God is even greater than that, because He saved my very soul and opened my eye’s to who He is in my life now, and the the life to come.All I know is love cast out fear.If I had to fear the way you say,I would never be good enough or do enough because as long as I have a fleshly body I will have sin to deal with.I am to strive for Christ righteousness not my own.God has a way of correcting His own by the power of His spirit within me.He will tell me when I’m wrong so I will repent and to do what’s right.There is an enter twinning relationship within me that is more powerful than myself and I chose His power to lead me to the Promised Land not my own.Everything you said in this post is fear based and relying on self not Jesus.If I were to beat myself over the head with self righteousness I wouldn’t need the saving power of Jesus Christ.The two commands that surpassed the others is “LOVE GOD FIRST AND WITH HIS LOVE IN US WE CAN LOVE OTHER’S”.So in other word’s we are called to LOVE.There would be no hope of our eternal resting place if we thought we could loose our salvation based on our own merit.Like I mentioned before I’m choosing to follow Jesus to the Promised Land of my inheritance and not trying to get there on my own.My prayer for you,is that you will find the Love of God and rest in Him ***.

  • Lanny A. Eichert October 10, 2012 at 2:15 am

    Sherry says, “Everything you said in this post is fear based and relying on self not Jesus.”

    No, Sherry, all I’ve done is quote Hebrews 10: 31; John 3: 36; Hebrews 6: 4 – 6; & 10: 26 – 31.

    Don’t you people believe in the WRATH of God? Have you taught yourselves right out of fearing God and His wrath? Have you taught yourselves to ignore Hebrews 10: 31; John 3: 36; Hebrews 6: 4 – 6; & 10: 26 – 31?

    You accuse Hebrews 10: 31; John 3: 36; Hebrews 6: 4 – 6; & 10: 26 – 31 of being fearful Scriptures, but they are God’s words, dear Sherry, and if they are fearful to you, they must be fearful to you because God is the One Who made them to bring fear to your heart. If God made you to fear these Scriptures, then that is a “good” thing. It is the goodness of God toward you.

    Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? {Romans 2: 4}

    ***

  • sherry October 10, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Lanny,
    No, I have not talked myself out of fearing God,but I don’t fear Him the way you say I should.You are picking certain scripture that makes your voice to be heard as hostile.I feared God like you said when my sin was not repented of. I had no relationship with God.My sinful nature would have been my death in hell’s fire.The Lord saved me from myself and gave me new life.I have no reason to fear Him any longer like I did when I didn’t know Him.I have been born again into God’s Holy Kingdom.My love for God, because of my Savior Jesus Christ, surpasses fear of darkness or not knowing where my resting place in Him is.This is very hard for me to explain what God has done for me.All I can say again is that His LOVE in me is greater than me fearing Him in an unhealthy way.I pray “all come to repentance so they can know the Love of the Father”.You also keep saying you people.I am not you people,I am a child of the only Living God,my Savior,MY KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS for ever more,and if you know Jesus Christ as Savior you are my eternal brother.It hurt’s me to think my brother would think of me as you people,like I’m an outcast or something.God loves me and that’s all that matter’s to me and I love Him back because He first LOVED me.

  • sherry October 10, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Lanny,
    I want to say I appreciate your concern for lost souls as we all should.I am also taken back at your striving to put the fear of God in people that don’t know Jesus as Savior.Your message should be taken to the streets,cities,courthouse lawns,bar’s,etc.There may even be people on this site that don’t know Jesus as Savior, and your message would be good for them,but from what I since in my spirit those on this site know’s the Lord as Savior.You should be greatful that those on this site including myself know’s the Love of God and we are at peace with Him.Again your motive’s are in the right place,but probably not to God’s children who are already saved and have security in their salvation.Those who are saved are not going to deliberately walk in unconfessed sin because God won’t allow it.I do understand you mission though.

    • Lanny A. Eichert October 11, 2012 at 7:12 pm

      Sherry, your sinful nature would have been your death in hell’s ETERNAL fire which would never be quenched and you would have been in eternal torments and there would have never been any hope for you in the after-life: isn’t that correct? Don’t you see these people don’t believe that? They don’t have the God Who eternally punishes all the souls who are disobedient to His Gospel. These people have a god who lets the disobedient burn in the after-life until “they come to their senses” and say “enough” and decide to obey the gospel. At that point their god saves them in the after-life removing them from the fires and placing them in the new earth. The point of these people on this site is that their god saves everybody and nobody is ever eternally lost. Such a story contradicts the God’s perfect literal Holy Bible which He has preserved throughout the centuries and cultures for His saints. Don’t you see, Sherry, that everybody who disagrees with God’s Holy Bible even on this score has adopted a god who is different from the true God, making their supposed salvation and hope pure fiction and leaving themselves subject to His continuous wrath as it says in John 3: 36.

      he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him

      Abideth is present tense and carries the idea of continuous wrath: as long as he is unbelieving, God is always full of wrath toward him. Now, Sherry, this is not me speaking: it is God’s words that I am showing you. It also says the same sort of thing in Psalm 11: 5 & 6.

      The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.

      The unbeliever and the wicked are all the same person. If you’re one, you’re also the other. God’s soul hates the unbeliever, dear Sherry. Do you understand the seriousness of the situation inherent on this site?

  • sherry October 14, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Lanny,
    You do have a good argument when it comes to love and nothing else.When I say loving God and loving other’s,I’m not saying that’s it.There is obedience to God along with love.
    From this post, here is what I have taken from it.I will first write out the false and then I will follow it with truth from my understanding of God’s word.
    *False-A christian being in the world and seeking worldly positions.
    *Truth-When God said to be in the world but not be of it,He meant it.We have to stay away from everything that’s worldly and how the world live’s and get’s involved in.
    *False-Be in the world so people will understand God’s love.
    *Truth-I believe the benevolence that we do and caring for the less fortune they will see God’s love and concern for their basic needs,but God’s word is sharper than a two edged sword and when it’s delivered properly by disciple’s God has put in the world, people will look at their need for the saving power of God through Jesus Christ and Him alone.I believe Hell is real and God want’s none to parish but for all to come to repentance and to walk uprightly seeking after Jesus,but the way to Him is very narrow and few there be that will find it.The power of the Holy Spirit will lead the true body to the Promised Land not through the way’s men choose to get there.
    *False-Use our imagination if it’s not in the Bible.
    *Truth-There is no way God would allow such a thing, because man’s way’s are sin and death.This is the very reason the institutional church of the modern world is in the shape it’s in.The church we see today for the most part is the Church of Laodicea.They have chosen imagination instead of God’s word.I believe if it’s not in scripture on how the church is to live or be led by leadership in the church,it’s better to sit still and wait on God,because His word is not to made something it’s not.
    *False-Embrace all possibilities for the kingdom.
    *Truth-We cannot do anything we want in hopes of reaching the lost.If people are not reached with all truth of God’s word there is not truth of true salvation in Christ.If the truth is preached today like it was in the early church and the time Jesus was giving the people the Sermon on the Mount,the world would scatter and there would only be a few remnant left to hear the truth.
    *False-Discover the reason and purpose of this life.
    *Truth-The reason and purpose of this life is to accept Jesus as savior,obey God and seek out the lost sheep that were scattered in the day’s of old and to make disciple’s to carry on the work of the CROSS.This truth is not accepted by the world,because they have to die to self and pick up their own cross,which is a carrying that’s impossible without the Holy Spirit.Man’s strength cannot carry the cross.
    *False-Love other’s always
    *Truth-There cannot be a mingling with sinful people unless we are there to help them see their sin according to scripture and they begin to have a repentant heart.When God’s people are around sinful unrepentant people the sinful people don’t really want us around them because they know there life is darkness compared to the Light a repentant Christian walk’s in.God’s word say’s we are to flee from sin lest we become that sin.We as christians have to see sin as stench in the nostriles of God.
    *False-God is still destroying the old wine skins.
    *Truth-God destroyed the old wine skin at Calvary,Jesus is our new wine skin and everything the old covenant was not.Jesus Christ is the completion of all thing’s old and all thing’s to come.He is THE ALPHA and THE OMEGA,THE BEGINNING and THE END.There can be nothing added to or taken away from His word or His plan.
    *False-Creation with the first Adam is still being done with the second Adam.
    *Truth-The new Adam is Jesus Christ,He is the completion of the second,no one can compare to Him on this earth.We are to strive to be like Jesus,but it won’t happen until we see Him in heaven,and we are perfectly conformed to His image.Jesus the second Adam came to earth in the flesh to redeem what the first Adam messed up.Sin was so vile that God had to remove His Holy and only Son from heaven who is God to become sin for the sinner to have a Holy Blood covenant with God for remission of sin,for without the blood shed of Christ there is no remission of sin.God require’s blood to be shed for the saving of sinful people from the Old to the New covenant.Jesus’ blood shed is the New Covenant,a New Priesthood,the finished work of Jesus,IT IS FINISHED!

    This is my heart Lanning,nothing added and nothing taken away.This is why my Love for God and other’s is so strong and powerful.It’s He that dwells in me that does it all.

    • Lanny A. Eichert October 15, 2012 at 2:23 pm

      Sherry, have you read their comments on David Will Live Again and not recognized these people do NOT believe in eternal torment and have made themselves a false god. They failed to realize when God converts a sinner, that sinner KNOWS he’s beeen converted and wants his world to know it.

      Kurt Kaiser in 1969 wrote a song titled It Only Takes a Spark in which one stanza reads: I wish for you my friend, this happiness that I’ve found, You can depend on Him, it matters not where you’re bound. I’ll shout it from the mountain top – I want my world to know; The Lord of love has come to me, I want to pass it on.

      This son, David, is an “unknown” to them regarding salvation and yet they insist on hoping he is saved contrary to all indications. They let their emotions get the better of themselves than the truth of God’s perfect literal Holy Bible. The author wrote: “How could anyone live with that thought and even worse, how could we ever enjoy heaven while many of our children suffer in hell; our heaven would become hell.” Don’t you see how they refuse to believe that “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” as it says in the Revelation 21: 4? Instead they manufacture the idea of a false god who eventually saves everybody. What a wicked idea they promote and that’s why I asked you, “Do you understand the seriousness of the situation inherent on this site?”

  • sherry October 16, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Lanny,
    I agree with you that God’s word is eternal and will have the final say for man kind.As you read my last post I mentioned what I didn’t agree with based on scripture,not my opinion.I have to say the Lord saved my soul April 2003 and I became a new creation.The Holy Spirit is so powerful in my heart,thought’s, life.There is nothing about my life that’s the same.I am completely transformed to a brand new being.My walk with Christ get’s stronger every day as I depend on Him always.I could just weep thinking about His Glory.I imagine when he came to the temple in all His Glory like a bolt of fire after Solomon prayed.The O.T. SCRIPTURE’S are something the church need’s to consider to see the Majesty of God.I don’t consider God,Jesus or the Holy Spirit to be different,all three entities are God as ONE SPIRIT.When I see God in scripture I see His Son Jesus,and I see His Spirit all at once working together.It’s hard for people to understand that Jesus is God and The Holy Spirit is God,and all have the same power.I believe that the one’s that have commented on this post heart’s are in the right place when it comes to Gods love and love for others.I disagree that one can go out on their own and do what they want and using God’s name to reach people in hopes God will be OK with self reliance or using ones imagination to do the work of the Lord.This is where worldliness has crept into the church from years ago.I also don’t think I’ve read in scripture that believers have talents,I believe we have gifts of the Spirit that have been ordained by God when He chooses to use us for the benefit of others in the church.I believe as long as we obey God and love others The Spirit will lead us where he wants us to go and what to do when we get there.I have not read about there is no eternal torment from this site.I do believe in hell’s fire and eternal torment is real for the unrepentant sinner and the one that Does Not Believe Jesus is God and He came to save sinners from eternity in hell if they don’t choose Him as savior and His blood for the remission of their sins.I believe Jesus has been raised from the dead and is seated at the right hand of God making intercessions on my behalf.Like I said before their are things said on this site that goes against scripture.Maybe it wasn’t intended on the writers behalf to be misleading.I do believe like the story of Lazarus that God at times has to tear down to build back up.It’s like dying to self and allowing God to bring us back from the dead and giving new life in Christ Jesus.This vision reminds me of what Baptismal obedience is.I believe according to scripture that one can not be ashamed of the full Gospel of Christ and it is to spread like a Glorious Fire.I could go on and on,but you get my point.I just believe yes we are to fear God and His wrath if we don’t belong to Him,but after the saving Grace of Jesus Christ what fear I had has turned to a magnificent Love for Him,a greatfulness.I agree that those whose eyes are completely blind and ear’s completely deaf to the truth of who God is are already dead.I have run across people like that who are cold and hard hearted.I do agree its the wolves in sheep’s clothing that we should watch out for.

    • Lanny A. Eichert October 17, 2012 at 8:03 am

      Sherry, you wrote that you have not read about there is no eternal torment from this site. You will find it as you read and I just don’t want you sucked into their falsehoods. Read Mary’s 8:08pm 16Oct in David Will Live Again “pursuing every last person until all are drawn by his triumphant love” by which she means every person that dies without confessing Christ. The subject of discussion is Louis Soto’s 16 year old son, David, who died without confessing Christ according to all humanly observable indications as described by his dad. Mary said she’ll “leave it to God to work out how and when” He saves David. Sherry, David is physically dead and the Bible says he is incapable of being saved in the grave, sheol, hades, hell because the gospel is just not preached there because they refuse to hear it. See the undisputed ten Bible verses I quoted 2:45 pm 15Oct in David Will Live Again plus there’s not a single record in the Bible of anybody getting saved after they physically died. Keep your eyes open, Sherry, and you’ll see they preach that their loving god saves every moral creature including the devil and his demons, the fallen angels. Their god saves all fallen creatures, not just mankind. Watch what you read: it is all in here. Above in this two 5 Ways blog Mary and Stephen try to make the Lake of Fire “corrective loving” punishment denying it is punitive from the wrath of God. You will find that thread often on this site: loving wrath !!! Their lake of fire burns out when its corrective action is completed.

      BEWARE, Sherry.

  • sherry October 17, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Lanny,
    I will go back and read Mary’s post on what you are describing as false.I believe everything you have said when it comes to Gods saving grace.I believe one has to surrender to Christ and repent of sin while they are still living.I always say that a person goes to one of two places when they leave the earth and their spirit never dies,so a mans choice is heaven or hell.God gives us free will to accept his call of salvation through His Sons sacrifice and blood covenant for remission of sins and Jesus is there only choice of hope and eternal rest.I don’t believe Gods Love is so great that none will parrish,I believe Gods Love is so great He gives us a way to be with Him in heaven.All a person has to do is grab ahold of Jesus Christ and never let go,its life or death.God may have sheltered my eyes to such blasphemy that I didn’t see what she wrote clearly.I would not have believed it anyway because God reveals all truth to me by the power of His Spirit.I have been studying for 2 years on false doctrine,false teachers,wolves in sheeps clothing.My studies have been in Jeremiah,Isaiah,Daniel,Ezekiel,and the NT that reveals these issues in the body of Christ.The Lord has given me a gift of discernment and He has made me to search His word for proof of the messengers message.I have left the only fellowship I’ve ever known because of false doctrine and wolves in sheeps clothing
    and I have a feeling its only going to get worse before the Lord calls us home.Our churches have sacrificed themselves to the world and all her idolatry and she mingles with the government that I believe will be her demise.We may all be going underground before the Lord calls us,so we better be studied up and ready.Thank you for your insight Lanny and your dedication to God and His word.

  • sherry October 18, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Lanny,
    I read again what you were describing as false on Mary’s post about eternal torment.I believe in eternal torment for those in hell and for those going if they don’t turn from their wicked ways and accept Jesus to save them from hell’s fire and torment.Mary also said something about God took punishment just as Jesus did at the cross and I TOTALLY DISAGREE with what she said.God can’t be in the presence of sin,He is Glorious,Holy.God sent His son Jesus to the earth through the virgin Mary as a mortal man to become a blood sacrifice for man kind,He stayed a man the whole time He was on this side of heaven.God did give Jesus power to prove He was the Messiah,the living,breathing Son of God.Jesus was both God and man equally.When Jesus was on the cross God in all His glory had to remove himself from Jesus when Jesus took sin upon Himself.Jesus even ask the Father”Father,Father why have You forsaken Me?before He said it is finished.God’s glory could not be in the presence of sin even when His only son was dying on the cross.Jesus suffered terrible agony for the sinner to have remission of sin.I myself hope Mary is still following on this sites comments,I believe she may be confused on what scripture really means,from the days of old until scriptures completion.

  • Lanny A. Eichert October 19, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Sherry, thank you for sharing your discernment of Mary’s words. We all must discern what is wise to discuss as a priority; and what to leave to ignorance. God give you wisdom if she chooses to engage your comments. We rejoice in the Truth of God’s perfect literal Holy Bible always without adding, changing, or subtracting from it.

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