Jesus Discipleship Model vs What Actually Happens in many Churches Today
His call to future disciples was, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” This involved leaving everything and entering a personal relationship with Him.
Our call is, “Bow your head and repeat after me.” This involves quietly whispering that Jesus is your Lord, admitting you’ve made mistakes, and little else.
Jesus taught His disciples to avoid anger, lust, pride, selfishness, divorce and revenge while loving the unlovable and giving to to the poor.
We teach our attendees to come Sunday mornings, own a bible, and give a small percentage of their income to the organization.
He taught His disciples to pray regularly to their Father in heaven about all things with faith.
We teach people to pray over their meals, long car rides, and before they sleep.
Jesus told His disciples that not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord” will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
We teach that as long as the word, “lord” comes out of someone’s mouth they will be fine.
Jesus said that the Harvest is plentiful, and they should get involved.
Churches today are designed for large audiences to watch a show.
He trained 12 disciples in 3 years to change the world.
Many churches haven’t seen 1 person change in 30 years.
He warned His disciples about suffering persecution.
We warn our people not to be too “preachy”
He told His disciples to go make disciples everywhere .
We tell people to come back next week, and hear the next part of this amazing sermon series.
But then again, what does Jesus know.
Don’t let the gift of His righteousness to you detract you from His desire for Holiness for you.
Can the grace of God be resisted? I think it can. I see people resisting God all the time. If I was God, thankfully I am not, people would be dropping like flies all of the time. The second a child is molested flesh eating bacteria would consume the molester. The instant a woman is battered a rabid great white shark would devour the abuser. When somebody spreads hate and ignorance, their tongues would swell, their faces would explode, and their lips would shrivel. I wouldn’t even be able to survive myself. These are some of the many reasons I am glad I am not God.
What is grace? Grace can be thought of as “the supernatural assistance of God” In classical Greek, the language of the New Testament, it means, ‘that which brings delight, joy, happiness, or good fortune.’ It carries the idea in the Old and New Testaments of the Divine mercy of God, and His unearned favor.
Can we resist God’s help? Can we resist delight, joy, and happiness? I have.
What does the Scripture say? Maybe, we should read the bible before we make a decision. (#justsaying) It’s not like we should, actually, base our beliefs on scripture or anything.
Titus 2:11-14 ESV
1 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. #
Who has grace appeared for? Does everyone experience salvation? Does everyone live upright self-controlled lives?
2 Corinthians 6:1 ESV
“Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.” For the same verse, the Message says, “Companions as we are in this work with you, we beg you, please don’t squander one bit of this marvelous life God has given us”
Why would Paul ask them to make grace meaningful if it was impossible to make worthless? Can someone squander their lives?
Galatians 1:6 ESV
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—”
Were the Galatians actually turning from Him who called them in Grace or was Paul lying?
2 Peter 3:18 ESV
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”
Why would Peter ask someone to grow in grace if it was out of their control? Do you tell your kids to grow physically? No, because that is automatic. But, do tell them togrow up emotionally or spiritual because that is a choice.
Hebrews 12:15 ESV
“See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;”
Why warn against failing to obtain the grace of God? Does God just like to hear His own voice?
I Corinthians 15:10-11 ESV
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed. The Message says, “But because God was so gracious, so very generous, here I am. And I’m not about to let his grace go to waste.”
Why does Paul mention working according to the grace that was given him? If it was all grace and nothing of Paul, then Paul is clearly deceived in this verse.
Or, maybe He did work with that grace. Maybe, we can fall short of that grace through bitterness. Maybe, we can turn away from Christ. Maybe, the grace of God can be meaningless in our lives. Maybe, more people could experience salvation if they turned to Him.
Some believe that God forces Himself on some and ignores others. But, I don’t think that’s what scripture teaches. I’m not sure how our free will intermingles with God’s perfect will. I don’t understand how the verses that speak about God’s predestining things work with these verses, but I don’t want to fall short. I don’t want God’s grace to be meaningless in my life.
- Ephesians 2:8 A Free Gift- I Love Grace (darrellcreswell.wordpress.com)
It’s called the New Exodus.
An 85% drop in church attendance during the last two weeks is emptying America’s churches and has left church leaders from every denomination scrambling to figure out why the pews are empty. A recent study of those who have stopped attending church services sheds light on the New Exodus.
Overextended families are hardest hit. “My family and I are too busy for church. We had to stop something. Between fishing, American Idol reruns, soccer practice, renting movies, and Facebook, we don’t have time to focus on God.“ Mike Weinberg, Gary, IN.
Some have cited “lack of motivation” and the “desire to chill” as the reasons he wouldn’t be coming back. “I still believe in God and everything. It’s just that I’ve got a lot going on, and could really use some down time on Sundays.” Rajam Prasheed, Litchfield, IL
“It’s really hard to pay attention on Sunday anyway” remarks Jill Haskins of New Orlean, LA. “I spend most Saturday evenings watching reruns of Hoarders on TLC until 3:30 am, and don’t have the energy for ‘church stuff.’”
Others have stated an inability to focus during long sermons that have no relevance to their actual lives. “12 minutes into the average sermon, I’m fading. It takes all myself control not to fall asleep or get up and walk out on most Sundays. 20 minutes in, I’m white knuckling the armrests on the pew. Last week, I decided, I’m not doing it anymore. I’m not coming back. If it wasn’t for Facebook, my weather app and ESPN on my Iphone, I’d have left a long time ago.” Jim Guest. Watercreak, MS.
Tom from Fresno, CA said, “I can’t take it anymore. I’m sitting there listening to some guy talk about the goat herding practices of ancient Syria, and all I can think about is MY WIFE IS LEAVING ME. I mean sure, those goats are important and all, but what can I do to save my marriage?”
Other Christians have decided to stop faking the front. Jane Wotham, from Lansing, MI, says she’s not going back because, “I’ve been going to church for the last 20 years, and haven’t really changed anything in my life. I’m basically the same bitter, self-involved jerk I’ve always been. Let’s be honest. I’m not doing anything else the Bible teaches so it’s only logical that I ignore those parts about gathering together.”
Redundant worship music is the reason Sandra Wheeler is leaving the Pew to the Few. “If I hear one more chorus of “How Great is Our God.” I swear, I mean, I promise, I’m going to rip my own ears off with my bare hands.”
“I can’t take it anymore,” explains Dale Chandler, “I know I serve an Awesome God, but doesn’t He deserve a new song once in a while. Don’t get me wrong. I love God and enjoy music, but after 49 minutes of Oh How He loves us, I start to question my faith.”
The nation’s pastors and parishioners are adjusting to the change.
Surprisingly congregational giving has remained stable. “Our offerings haven’t really gone down. “The 15% of the people who’ve stayed have been carrying the financial load for years.” Pastor Bill Frye of Seabring, FL
Heather, someone who is still going to church, likes the change, “it’s kinda nice, I mean, everyone there on a Sunday actually wants to be there; people are signing and stuff, and the pastor is able to actually talk straight with us. He isn’t watering it down to keep those other guys happy.”
“If you think about it, it’s really great. I’m spending my time helping people who actually want help instead of trying to be the spiritual cheerleader of the walking dead. Though, It’s kinda hard to preach now that everyone is paying attention. It keeps me on my toes.” Bill Fyre, Coopersvile, VA.
Story Update::: Some have been wondering where this survey was conducted. It wasn’t. It’s a joke.