THE MISSION

READINESS Making Disciples to Christ
Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 14:21; Isaiah 50:4-5.
Making disciples is how people are brought in and grown up into Christ. Every servant-disciple of the Master participates in making His disciples. Responding faithfully (obediently) to the evangel call of Christ is to become His disciple.
Matthew 8:23; 9:10; 14:15-22; 15:12; 17:19; 18:10; Luke 14:15-35; Acts 6:7; 19:19.
  NOTE: Making disciples is different from mentoring.
The life, words & actions of Jesus Christ reveal how we make disciples to His own. Disciples travel together, eat together, serve together, inquire together.
Matthew 8:23; 9:10; 14:16-22; 15:12; 17:19; 19:25…
Most often in groups, both He and we…
 * Instruct as He instructs.
[e.g., Matthew 5,6,7; Acts 11:25]
 * Do what is instructed.
[e.g., Matthew 18:1-11; 19:13-15; 26:26]
 * Send His new disciples to do what has been both demonstrated and instructed.
[e.g., Matthew 10]

As an ambassador for Christ, you have the privilege of being and delivering the best news that a person could ever receive. It is our privilege to both live & share the Gospel -- the good news! No wonder that Paul wrote:
For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the powerful method of bringing all who believe it to heaven. This message was preached first to the Jews alone, but now everyone is invited to come to God in this same way.
--Romans 1:16 (LB)
And, Peter wrote:
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with meekness and reverence.
--I Peter 3:15

To Stimulate Spiritual Conversations

» The use of questions is one of the easiest ways to stimulate spiritual conversations. Jesus often used this approach, as in Luke 6:9; 10:36; 14:3; John 3:3-10; 4:7-18

» The use of invitation may also stimulate spiritual conversation. Invite someone to something of (or to) spiritual interest.

» The use of a statement in knowledge & understanding which will create thirst in the hearer. As example: spoken acknowledgments of the specific care & presence of God may prompt others to launch into inquiry and/or conversation with you.

» The use of visible example or expression -- simply doing openly what is truly loving and in wisdom from God -- may prompt open interest in spiritual things with those nearby. Also, potent & fitting examples in art, music, and/or public gatherings, may all tend to spur interest in spiritual questions and discussion.

Examine yourself for readiness: Challenge In Service.


APOLOGETICS


To Answer Common Objections  I Peter 3:15; Jude 1:3

What about those who have never heard about the God of Abraham, or about Jesus Christ?

All men are given light in seeking after God. [Psalm 19:1; Romans 1:18-20] If they humbly respond toward that light, God gives them more light. [Matthew 7:7-11] God, in His wisdom, will deal with those who have not heard. What is important is that you & I have heard of Him and of His begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

Is Jesus Christ really the only way to God?

He has said so in clear & unmistakable terms. [John 14:6] Faith is no more valid than for the object in which it is placed. If we consider the man Jesus; His works and teachings to be trustworthy, than it would follow that His claims are also reliable.

Why do the innocent suffer?

This question may be more broadly addressed as, Why does evil persist in the world? Evil [worthlessness] came into the world to solicit man's disobedience and shortfall. [Romans 5:12] To completely stamp out all failure of sin and evil [worthlessness] around us would require an abrupt repeal of each man's awareness to choosing what he may think and do. The Lord Jesus Christ came into the world as a man to submit himself to an early death on our behalf, in order that He might enable solution to the problems of our accumulating failings and the distance that sin/shortfall brought between each one of us and our Creator. Our struggle to abide suffering is largely based in the challenge to understand its purpose. Yet, our all-knowing, Almighty God understands the full purpose in every circumstance. As with the sufferings of Christ, we should patiently look to come to understand His larger and unfolding purpose, before we may justly grapple with the heartbreak of pain & suffering. In coming to know Jesus Christ, there is expectation for comprehension of His divine purpose and the mystery of God.

What part of me does Jesus save?

All of you, following that He restore/transform you. Jesus/Yashuah is able to save to the uttermost those coming to God through Him. [Hebrews 7] As James writes [1:21], in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. To the koine Greek, our psyche: sensation-effect of spirit interacting with flesh. What psyche describes indirectly, the Hebrew author from Genesis 2:7 directly, Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath/spirit of life; and man became a living soul [nephesh: a whole living being].

How can miracles be possible?

The best proof of miracles is in Christ Himself. [John 1:1,14; 3:2] Return the question with, Does God exist? To acknowledge the possibility of the miraculous, a belief is required in the existence of spirit beyond (and interactive with) the physical world.

Isn't the Bible full of errors?

When this question comes up, often there is no particular example of Bible error as companion to the question. However, for those well-researched, the intellectually honest response may be a simple "Yes." Not that the Bible is full of errors, but rather in that even with a dozen or more marked discrepancies, none of these errors at all impacts the Bible's consistent message of hope, nor overturns its revelation of Christ. Against some apparent copygraphic changes, and 2,000 years of external faultfinding, God-sourced (God-breathed) message put to manuscript remains reliable and helpful to faith in Him enduring. [II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:20-21]

Is the Bible your Authority?

The Scriptures confirm with our consciousness in Christ that the Bible is not to be presumed operating as Absolute Authority --- God in Christ receives all power & authority, and He being far greater than inks pressed to paper. As to His writ, what He speaks is faithful and carries His full authority. By logical reasoning, the Bible ought to be our final & absolute authority in all things. Logical thought notwithstanding, the Scriptures lack claim for a 66 or 73-book canon; the Bible is unable to function broadly as our plenary authority, even as we continue witness to many different Bible-believing sects (individuals or groups) acting in various ways (often conflicting) upon what has been typeset for their Bible reading.
First cause to cite: the Word of God is alive (living); the declarations of God in Christ are active. To realize meaning or application, human beings need interpret & translate what is spoken (or written) using language-symbols. If/where the Spirit of God is interpreting in/for the man, he/she is enabled thereby to correctly understand. Broad failure of men to permit the Spirit interpretation; neglect or refusal to grant Christ as their hermeneutic, is demonstrated by thousands of Christian schisms; hundreds of English Bible revisions published; numerous conflicted, preferenced, faulty Bible teachings.
[Hebrews 4:12]
Second cause to cite: Typically hidden beneath popular English Bible translation, recognition for the man in Christ to be able to perceive the sacred writings (yesterday or today), and this toward equipping --- rather than a trusted volume taken up by religious-carnal mind that would blindly or boldly subvert the authority of Christ. …that from a babe you [Timothy] have perceived the sacred writings being able to make you wise on-to saving through faith in the Anointed/Christ Jesus; every writ/scripture God-spirited and-also beneficial toward teaching, toward exposing, toward on-uprighting/correction, toward discipline in the justice/righteousness that the human of The God, having been outfitted, may be fresh/equipped toward every good act.
[II Timothy 3:15-17]

Isn't Christianity just a psychological crutch?

A Christian's subjective experience is tied to an objective-historical fact: the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Applied psychology cannot account for the transforming power of the Spirit of God when/as we receive/allow Him. Simply coming to the idea or thought of Christ cannot give the profound peace and rest that Christ brings His own, who lay down their lives to death, taking up their cross to His new life. [Matthew 11:28-30] Not a "crutch" in Jesus Christ, but a complete framework & foundation from Him. [II Corinthians 3:18; II Timothy 2:19]

Won't a good moral life get me to heaven?

Man's basic problem lingers in not knowing how and or not doing as he/she ought to live; overtly lacking the power to overcome failure -- live as he ought. Will God let a man squeak by to enter into his complete & perfect joy & rest on a good, but still flawed, moral life? [Galatians 2:16; Titus 3:5; James 2:10] Does He grade on a curve if we do our best in life? [Romans 3:23]

What's the rush to get right with God?

Do you know if tomorrow will come? Are you really so happy to not be right with Him? Men and women have been created by God to love and serve Him; to come to know Him. [Psalm 149:4; Isaiah 43:7; Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 1:16]

I have my own life to live…

When a man or woman does not fear the judgment of God coming for them in their sin, it is common for such a one to conclude that their personal life will be what requires their devotion. Also, many who have responded to the name of Jesus Christ, absent deep conviction & repentance of sin, similarly resolve. Yet, to regard my own life merely adds to my sin, and so reinforces its penalty: death. As the Holy Spirit enables, recognizing God for who He truly is brings a prompt reversal of I have my own… [Ecclesiastes 8:12-13; Proverbs 5:21-23; Luke 23:39-40; Romans 2:4-8; 6:23]

I prayed to receive Jesus.

The benefit or redemption and salvation is realized in those who find repentance, and hope in Christ, both to everlasting life and terrestrial life in holiness, set-apart to God; those who beforehand did not perceive the means to address the penalty of sins committed, nor a way to receive the Lord's power that produces righteousness. [Romans 6:22-23] No requirement has been given us from God that we should pray a prayer to receive His life, and the practice of a salvation prayer appears to be relatively new (~300 years). Without repentance, the cleansing power of God will pass you by. Without His power in grace to you, you will be denied His salvation.
  {for additional clarification regarding conversion theology, click to: The Evangel}

Why should I associate myself with a church full of Christian hypocrites?

We pray that you will come to know that being joined with Christ is not the same as membership in a dead, skewed or hypocritical organization. Life in Christ immediately joins you with all chosen by God for His priesthood, even through time and space. [Romans 7:4]

I believe only the gospel that Paul preached.

Paul wrote, I am making known to you, brethren, the gospel which I bring to you, which also you accepted, in which also you stand, through which also you are saved, if you are retaining the evangel I said to you. [I Corinthians 15:1-2] Yet, for content and power, Paul's presentation of the gospel is not different from Peter's or John's (or, that of any true apostle); their teachings also being concordant, and not written or published under autonomy. [II Peter 3:14-16] The writing style presented by Paul is sharply different from other New Testament writers. Still true for today, how Paul himself warned us not to grant a sole identification with Paul -- nor to anyone, but Christ alone. [I Corinthians 1:10-17]

Only the Authorized/King James Version of the Bible…

This request is most likely not the affront that it may first seem, although there are some who cling to a specific version and/or manuscript copy symptomatic of somehow reducing Christ to the printed page. While the common man no longer attains to the style or inflections of 1611/1769 English, and with the largest number of people on earth not English-speaking, it remains by the Spirit of God that we are able to apprehend truth. Somewhat sadly, James I (formerly, VI) agreed to call for a new translation amid mixed attentions; sectarian rivalry between Puritans and Anglicans, a distaste for the Geneva Bible, politics of monarchy, etc. Rather than consisting of a direct translation, the Authorized Version was compiled largely by using words from existing English translations available at the time. Surely, God is greater than all these things. [I Corinthians 1:25; Hebrews 4:12-13]

Christians aren't perfect. I'm not perfect. Isn't Christianity just a label for another scam?

Nominalism, hypocrisy and pop slogans have poorly represented what genuine faith in Christ defines. If anyone is in Christ, he/she is a new creation… the new has come. To be baptized into Jesus Christ is to be washed, in good conscience, of fault and failure. But even all this may not meet everyman's definition for perfection. It is our testimony that Jesus Christ has made us complete in Him, and that He has made way to set right any shortfall. The just and renewed life of His disciple should be obvious to all; no one should ever realize need to hear a Christian claim that he/she is without sin. [Galatians 6:15; Colossians 2:10; Philippians 1:6; I John 1:9]

Who would volunteer for all the fighting and disagreements that churches have?

Schism (division) has been the primary long-term strategy of Darkness against the One Body of Christ. Since there never can be any legitimate thing to separate hearts & minds of God's children, men in partnership with the Adversary have devised pseudo-schisms and sly diversions crafted to hide real differences or foist imaginative distinctions. In the presence of schism/factions, God has wisely appointed a divine purpose [I Corinthians 11:18-19], while schisms are to be recognized as "acts of the flesh" [Galatians 5:19-21]. The Holy Spirit enables those He possesses to cut-through all the fog of factions, and (as from the record in the book of Acts of the Apostles) to remain in "one mind, one accord". "Where's your mind today?"

The church invented Hell and promotes individualism, marriage, politics, war… Who would trust them?

A so-called "Christian" religious system pursued the things you mention. For all who truly believe, our faith & trust is ever and only in Yahveh and His Son the Christ. [Matthew 15:9; 24:11; Jeremiah 17:5]

The church seems to be dead. Maybe God is too?

Much of what flaunts the label church or chapel or temple or assembly or fellowship is quite and long dead. However, it does not follow that the God of all creation has likewise succumb. His invisible presence and ineffable power are descried (revealed, discovered) in His works and grace (gifts). The universe entirely speaks of Him, and all of its movements garner His aide. What does not abide in Him is consumed by death. [John 15:1-6; Romans 1:20-21]

How do I know that Jesus truly died for me?

No person can fruitfully enter and persevere in God's way of salvation, Jesus Christ, unless God has chosen them beforehand, prepared them, and inwardly convinces and calls them, that He might sustain and protect them during the course of life. It is God who enables our wills and makes possible their free surrender to His grace. How does a drowning man know that he is being rescued? [John 6:37,44,65; Acts 13:46-48,22:12-14; Romans 9:11-28; Ephesians 1:3-13; I Timothy 2:1-7.]

Doesn't the Church discriminate against women?

As Almighty God has made us, differences exist between men and women, children and adults. In this, a follower of Jesus will humbly recognize and be glad for such wisdom of God. Cultural movements have never been successful to dissolve the age or gender differences because He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and, foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child. We discriminate in favor of women, and in favor of children, rather than burden them with rolls and obligations for which God has not appointed. For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman's sake, but woman for the man's sake. Rather than offend us, the designed work of God prompts us to greater love with humility. [Matthew 19:4; I Corinthians 11:8-9; Genesis 2:18-25; Proverbs 22:15]

As they become of age (~13 years), men begin to learn from women differently, and as we understand from God divergent rolls common to men, women, children. The New Testament writings explain (more than command) why/how the Holy Spirit is teaching; older women are teaching the younger women; women are teaching women and children; men are teaching men and women and children… we are all learning from one another even when there is no one of us teaching. Also, in the ekklesia it is not unusual for the women to keep silence. We cooperate/concur with their hearts being moved/avowed to be subject in this way, just as the women in the ekklesia at Corinth practiced so long ago. Someone may further ask, Isn't it a shame for a woman to speak out in the ekklesia? Yes, it's be a shame for her to do so, much as it would be a shame for her to shave her head for prayer. However, we are not the shame police; we are not arranging conscience in others. [John 14:26; Romans 14:4; I Corinthians 11:3-16; 14:34-35]

Isn't the church a public charity?

No. In the USA, what is called a 501(c) status is sometimes sought by groups that may also regard themselves as a church. And, to seek this status does create a corporation for public charity rather than an expression of the church as ekklesia/edah/cahal. In contrast, acts of true disciples in Jesus Christ demonstrate charity as Christian love, while seeking no partnership with the world. To know the church beyond counterfeits and mere externals, a man must come to daily walk with Jesus Christ. [Matthew 6:24; II Corinthians 6:14-18; James 4:4]

Why hasn't the Church condemned slavery?

Neither Jesus Christ nor His Father has condemned slavery. However, it is written, Were you called while a slave? Do not worry about it; but if you are also able to become free, rather do that. And, masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven. And, you were bought with a price; do not become the slaves of men. History molds the shape of slavery (e.g., wage slavery), while we know that it is better for any man/woman to be truly free as a bondslave of Jesus Christ. [I Corinthians 7:21-23; Ephesians 6:5]

Isn't Jesus with the Moral Majority group?

No. People loyal in moral codes have no part in Jesus Christ. Unlike the one faith He gives, morality will shift its anchor with the changing of social or cultural tides, as it is a mix of religion & social philosophy. Jesus Christ is (remains) our foundation; the same yesterday, today and forever. [Colossians 2:8; Hebrews 13:8]

Faith and religion seem to be about who has control. Isn't that why we have politics?

Full faith in Jesus Christ awakens us in revelation that He is actually in full control over all. Vain attempts by various human personalities and social, civic or religious leaders to feign hegemony neither disturb nor detour Christ, and so we also live within His confidence. More correctly, faith in Christ is about recognizing Him as the only authority with genuine, first-hand control. [Matthew 28:18; John 19:11; Romans 9:14-33]
  to note: Fear, anxiety or concern regarding who is in control is symptomatic of polytheism. Many things of the world and of false religion are at work each day in promotion and practice of what is neo-polytheism (devotion to more than one god; things, systems or persons with power/authority).

What does this mean, Christ is all?

stripping off the old humanity together with its practices, putting on the new/young self who is being renewed into recognition; to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created it: [a renewal] in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all. Not a change of accessory, but a complete change-out from what we were into who He is, demonstrating Salvation in us -- as your life is hidden with Christ in God. Also described as transformation, renewal (rather than a physical death) is Salvation's grip & glow. Now we all, with uncovered face mirroring the Lord's glory, are being transformed into the same image, [to then live] from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit.
[Colossians 3:3,10-11; II Corinthians 3:18]

New Testament writings often key to (or depict) renewal, as from Galatians 5:19-26; Ephesians 4, etc. The contrast between old & new is of such depth as to upset any would-be forgery. {more soon}

I ask, Why? Why are our children struggling with drugs and not being close to the Lord, because they have been brought up in the church and know right from wrong. I see children that haven't been raised by Christian values, and they are doing great. I am desperate.

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. [Proverbs 22:6] This is a true statement. There are ways to miss its application & promise.
  • The promise is for training, and not in doctrines, rules, standards or "Christian values".
  • Institutional church forms are not readily prepared to provide more than a token in training -- they are unequipped against training deficits & divergences received by children vis-à-vis public institutions, in the world and/or at home. Private/parochial school may fail to train up a child, as education is not the same as training.
  • Knowing right from wrong, good and evil, darkness and light, does not say for which or what a person may undertake. The right decision does NOT follow from the right knowledge, as the poor choice from Genesis chapter 3 reveals. (Knowledge is not the same as training.)
  • Many people have cried out for their children's lives over a default that truly has little to do with God or the way He would have us go.
    How do you understand the way he should go?
      » Civility suggests: Stay out of trouble and be nice.
      » Morality suggests: Do the moral things.
      » Humanism suggests: Do the things that will make you happy.
      » western living suggests: Make money and acquire a good life for yourself.
      » Jesus Christ says: Deny your self, take up your cross and follow Me.
  • To be close to the Lord, Jesus Christ, repentance is favourable over any amount of training. Recall that it is God who calls, and but a few are chosen. [Matthew 22:14] Under your repentance, petition Him, that your life and the lives of those in your house may be found in (re: close to) Him.

Doesn’t I Corinthians 11:34 say, “if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home”?

The problem in I Corinthians was not that a meal was eaten along with the supper. Some of those who came to His table were eating and drinking so much that they became drunk. By this, rather than it being the Lord’s Supper, they were eating their own supper and missing what the whole feast was about. The solution to this problem was not to stop eating the Lord’s Supper as a meal… verse 33 reads, “when you come together to eat, wait for one another”. Those who were not waiting (due to selfishness or lack of discipline) were to eat at home (verse 34).

Should everyone have a career or a vocation, like Paul?

Though it is common among people to focus upon a main occupation as a career, God has not promised us any such. To contrast, we would be doing whatever He may ask in the day, hour, or decade. He may put to use for a time skills & training vested in us; little at all, or by unexpected application. We submit ourselves to God, rather than racing toward personal or financial goals. Observe also how Paul of Tarsus briefly returned to his tent-making skills in accord with Aquila & Priscilla. We need not judge Paul (or another) for soon after devoting himself completely to the Word.
[Acts 18:1-5]

Paul reminds from I Timothy 5:8, But if any one does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever. From what do you provide? Out of what you have, or, from what you do not have? It is those who do not provision out from what they already have, who have denied the faith… James writes us sharply to expose economic/class elitism (re: distinctions). We do not assume for ourselves, nor upon others, a domestic-economic, commercial, or career standard.
[James 2:1-9]

Christians seem divided over Saturday and Sunday.(?)

Yes. We all should be leaving room for one another, as Paul reminds us from Romans 14:4-8. A weekly Sabbath was given on earth by the Almighty One. Where have we been taught or instructed to observe a weekly "Lord's Day"? Sabbath includes the Lord's Day (first day) with a celebration of its start, while Lord's Day observances do not seem to often include Sabbath. Recognizing Sabbath does not make you any more "Jewish" than you already are, as in Christ we're adopted to His family; become Abraham's seed, that we might inherit the promises of God; a promise of Salvation. [Romans 8:15; Galatians 3:26-29]

Some Christian groups shun certain people. Why?

As we learn from Christ, there may come a time and place for avoiding close fellowship with certain individuals. Whether to avoid a person is not faithfully determined through the actions of an organization/institution, but rather is undertaken in one mind of/with the church local, global and historic. Yet for some it has become that, after a person is shunned, disfellowshipped, excommunicated and/or marked by them, the person is forbidden all contact & communication with their group (possible exception: limited communication with certain group leaders). Too often the practice of shunning has rendered a distortion of New Testament instructions, such as:
  • …if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. [Matthew 18:17]
  • "Now I am urging you, brethren, to be noting those who are making dissensions and snares alongside the teaching which you learned, and avoid (be aloof from) them. For such for our Lord Christ are not slaving, but for their own bellies, and through (their) compliments and adulation are deluding the hearts of the innocent. [Romans 16:17-18]
  • Yet now I write to you not to be commingling with (led away with) anyone named (as) a brother, if he should be a paramour/fornicator, or greedy/covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortionist. With such a one you are not even to be eating (together). For what is it to me to be judging those who are outside? You are not (yet) judging those within? Now those outside, God is judging. Expel/remove the wicked one from among yourselves. [I Corinthians 5:11-13]
  • Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw/keep aloof from (abstain from familiar intercourse with) every brother that walks disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. [II Thessalonians 3:6]
  • Now if anyone is not obeying our word through this letter, let it be a sign to you as to this man, not to commingle (have intimate company) with him, that he may be abashed (ashamed, so then to turn around); and do not deem him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. [II Thessalonians 3:14-15]
  • Refuse a sectarian/factious man after one and a second admonition, being aware that such a one has turned himself out, and is sinning. [Titus 3:10]
  • "If anyone is coming to you and is not bringing this teaching, be not taking him into your home; and say not to him, "Rejoice!" For he who is saying to him to be rejoicing is participating in his wicked acts." [II John 1:10-11]
While there are several instances of required relationship changes described in the New Testament writings, it remains quite clear that we have not been instructed to sever all/every contact with any person. Against failure or conflict, reconciliation & restoration remains our goal, and that each member in Christ remains fully on duty toward the same. To shun by forbidding contact and/or communication is itself a sectarian practice, and we remain alert to sectarian/denominational groups (such as, Jehovah's Witnesses; certain Mennonite and Anabaptist sects, etc.) as some who have been making themselves a practice of shunning by the shunned.

I've heard you call Jesus a Great Physician, and you pray for Him to heal you. What about medicine?

It seems that in every age, medical arts have assumed a bizarre aperture -- from charms & spirits, to blood-letting, to fad surgeries, to chemical stimulants for school children. Jesus Christ is the heart of a True Physician. As His children, we lift a keen eye toward health and healing with acute dependence upon His power to sustain us. It may be that health practitioners have little to offer a faithful disciple of the Great Physician. Consider further: in Christ, we would take no action from fear/anxiety. For modern medicine, even the popular physician checkup is prescribed as per fear of the unknown. Medicine as a professional industry has expanded so disproportionately as to often and routinely do more harm. It is estimated that 800,000+ people die from professional medical practices every year in the United States; 100,000 of these by the prescription use of drugs & medications. You and I have not been left without warning: Mark 5:25-28; Luke 8:43-44; Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 21:8. We would be well to set a guard; examine all things; keeping our eyes on Christ.

I've been invited to become part of God's family, but where is this family of His?

They are the people together who recognize their arranged adoption into His family. Since we can only be faithful members of one family and loyal citizens of one kingdom over any other, it is, as Jesus reminds us, necessary to leave our former family and former country behind in order to enter into His new. Few are prepared to do this, and narrow is the way to life. You may have heard about the invitation to God's Family from someone who has not yet truly accepted it for himself/herself. If and when you are prepared to give up everything for the Son of God, those already a part of God's family are fully prepared to receive you even as one of their/His own. [Matthew 10:35-42; 12:46-50; 18:1-6; Mark 10:28-31; John 18:36]

Must I leave my mind at the door to follow Jesus?

Yes. Your mind, along with everything else you are, cherish, own, and all of what you believe yourself to be. Doing so in full repentance (turning away from these), you will receive from Christ according to your faith the new mind/self: His. New silk for old rags. [Luke 14:27-33; Philippians 3:4-11; Ephesians 4:21-24; I Corinthians 2:16]

Why Don't You Let Women Divorce Their Husbands?

A woman receiving the Holy Spirit will not send her husband away. Like the ancient Greeks & Romans, European culture has thoroughly furnished a ready divorce. We are instructed from both the New and older covenants that a woman should not leave her husband. This is the wisdom of God, and should be obvious to every willing heart: Ready divorce and instant separation broadly promotes unfaithfulness, especially among men who are thereby enabled with impunity to deposit estranged/forsaken wives and children in various places, en absentia their daily care; reduces marriage within society as a license to divorce; sends abusive spouses marauding across the land in various relational-sexual forays; statistically increases the risk (for women, by 4 to 25 times) of relationship-derived assaults and killings; etc. Love requires that we heartily assist those who may be distressed in marriage, and not to separate what God has joined together. The alternative, every man and women to their own sin is untenable and quite deadly among any people. [I Corinthians 7:10-16; Matthew 19:1-12 Ephesians 5:21-33; I Peter 3:1-12; Galatians 6:1-2]

Reality check: The Almighty One once did something that He hates? Yes. God divorced, and then remarried through His Son's intercession. He has authority over His own marriage, even to divorce for a wife's prostitution. A wife does NOT have such authority, as from Matthew 5:31-32; 19:1-12, whoever should be dismissing [divorcing] his wife -- if not for prostitution -- and should be marrying another, is committing adultery, and he who marries her who has been dismissed [divorced], is committing adultery. [Jeremiah 3:1-11; Malachi 2:16; Ephesians 5:22-33]

Must I be under a Five-Fold Ministry?

5-fold describes 5 graces (gifts of/by Spirit) cited from Ephesians 4:11-13: as found to be in apostles (those being sent out), prophets (those speaking the Word of truth in contrast to false-speaking), evangel-carriers, shepherds (those caring for the flock of God), teachers (those reminding us in truth). These 5 (and more) are Spirit graces of service, and not our prescription to order or a system to authority. Where the authority of Christ has been missed or refused, men have sometimes looked to themselves under five-fold leadership arrangement in relationships: an experiment in error, prone to soon disintegrate. Despite popular example in perversion of what would be grace, it remains anticipated that a growing ekklesia will begin to recognize these and other graces among them, and give thanks to God for giving gifts to men. 5-Fold graces further & reliably lend the grace, power and authority of Christ over spiritual things. [Romans 1:11-12; I Corinthians 12-14; II Corinthians 13:10-11; Ephesians 6:13; I Peter 2:5]

Are you Jesus Co-dependent?

The only amicable relationship with Jesus Christ that is available to men would be unity. Co-dependency (bi-dependency) may describe two or more people in relational orbit, bound in the gravitation of presumed dependency. The relationship of Christ is described from John 17, and is only possible vis-à-vis your (my) death and resurrection into His Life. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. [Colossians 3:3]

Where Is The One True Church?

Christian faith is the most hijacked, counterfeited life in the history of man. Few will recognize the full extent of religious fraud in the world today, or yesterday. Faithful members of Christ's Body cherish a longing for New Jerusalem; having received their citizenry in the Kingdom of God, yet maintaining no headquarter operations on earth. No longer pursuing each their own interest. Recognizing one another in Spirit, not after the flesh; reliably turning away from sectarian paths. Abiding in the Vine of one mind, one accord. Realizing just 2 tiers: the Bridegroom (Christ), and the Bride (church/ekklesia). [Matthew 24:11; John 15; II Corinthians 5:16-17; Ephesians 2:19-22; 4:4-6; Philippians 2:1-8; Revelation 3:12]

Jesus wants everything, but God will take 10 percent?

First some history, then let the Word judge:
Passing The Plate [2 pages]
The Lord's Tithe… The Jones' Trial

Will Jesus help me live my life?

Sorry, No. He is inviting all to come, live His life. In Him, your life will be lost. Possibly you have thought of your own life as worthwhile, significant or important? The life you have been living is worthless and will come to ruin, with no one to remember you long. Turn away from all of it, and receive His new life. His is not a categorical upgrade… No, you will need to be born again/anew. Your life must die, if you are to be born from above in new life. Will you lose what you cannot keep, to gain what He will not lose? [Luke 13:1-27; John 3:16-36; Acts 17:30-31; II Peter 3:9-13]

Do I Need To Be Re-Baptized?

Baptism (a rinsing/washing) is "an appeal/iniquiry/seeking to God for a clean/clear conscience/consciousness through the resurrection of Jesus Christ;" asking Him to wash away the burden of sins and their condemnation. We are instructed to [at] once repent and to make our appeal. There is One Christ and Judge to appeal; His One sacrifice for sins; One hope and One basis upon which to make our request. Your appeal with either be granted, or it will be denied. When Christ grants a clear conscience to a man/woman, His cleansing is thorough and liberating beyond Mercy's description. John baptized for repentance at the Jordan River men who would afterward return themselves to the way of sins -- because the Holy Spirit had not yet been given to empower & seal them. Being now baptized into Christ, it is anticipated that your old life will perish and the new man in you will be birthed as the fullness of Him. This anticipation may be wrapped with your appeal for a clear conscience, that you may walk in His new Life.

Matthew 28:19 with Acts 2:38 reminds us how baptism is not an incantation; does not hinge upon a secret or methodical procedure; follows when a man/woman is fully repentant of their rebellion against Almighty God and His Christ. Those who have been washed & rebirthed come alongside as a friend of the Court; the Holy Spirit present with/in His friends to helping intercede. Each man, in his appeal to God, places himself at the mercy of Christ; fully depending upon Christ to choose/elect in his favor. Jesus Christ knows those who are His, and He is not confused by mock baptisms, faked repentance or religious madness. [II Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesian 4:4-6; I Peter 3:18-22]

Do I Need To Be Repenting Of My Sins Every Day?

Like a child-thief on the streets who is one day rescued by adoption into a loving household, Christ has brought us in. By necessity, the old life of a criminal is discarded. Even highly favoured children may still scrape a knee, fail to do all, wander, slip to stumble. Sin [Greek: άμαρτία] is to miss the mark; make a mistake; fail the ideal. It is ideal that children not wander nor bloody their knees.

While outside the Household, we did whatever we thought to do. Now made sons & daughters, we are instructed and provisioned in the way we should go. Our adoption required (brought about) a change of direction [repentance] that leads to Life. Now as part of the Family, falling into mud will require some washing. "If we confess our sins [as His adopted children], He is faithful and just/righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." John 13:1-10 is a demonstration of our care for one another regarding sins encountered along the path, and it is John who writes to be clear that those born of God are practicing righteousness; no longer practicing sin. Modern cultural norms tend to obscure how a son being stubbornly rebellious is not truly a son nor an heir; demonstrated by the God-given penalty for his rebellion: a public execution. Does willful sin have you outside the Household of God and in need of repentance before you die?

Christ has called some of the ekklesias (churches) to repent, as their deeds had become contrary to His will for them. A corporate result of mistakes being made can send the ship off course. Maintain your communion with Christ and in fellowship with His ekklesia. Confess your sins, not permitting mistakes to accumulate or frustrate the work of God among you. [Deuteronomy 21:18-21; II Corinthians 7:10; Ephesians 1:5-6; Colossians 1:21-23; Hebrews 6:1-6; 12:15-17; I John 1:9; 3:1-10; Revelation 2:1-3:19]

Do You Practice Religious Rituals?

The clear extent of ritual is detailed long ago by brother James: ritual [religion] clean and undefiled with God the Father is this: to be visiting the bereaved [orphans] and widowed in their affliction, [and] to be keeping oneself unspotted [unstained] from the world. [James 1:27]

Can someone be a Christian and not have eternal life?

If we may, it is needful to be adjusting this question. While Latin-English dependent Bible translation has promoted eternal, everlasting, these abstract word-ideas do not honestly exist in paleo-Hebrew or koine Greek; eternal was grafted into Bibles by translators. The Life aeonian is The Life of the Father into an age yet coming.

The word Christian was first used of Christ-followers by people in Antioch, somewhat weak & derogatory in use from its inception; often today applied as a vague label upon nearly anything real or imagined. [Acts 11:26]

If you mean, Can someone be a follower of Jesus Christ [The Way] and not yet have His Life?, Yes. We are having in mind how the Life and Salvation of Christ is in/by faith within men & women today & yesterday. Before faith unto salvation is coming to you, continue every hour seeking Christ in His fullness. Faith is a gift of God, and not something of our own invention, method or imagination. [Matthew 7:7-11; I John]

What is Proof Texting, and why does it fail?

It is an attempted use of verse or phase from the Bible to serve as a proof text or conclusive argument toward establishing some point of doctrine. Proof texting often fails for omission of context; when a specific interpretation is being assumed; for weak translation to English (which may have the effect of inviting inordinate focus by tending to make that particular verse pop out from its surrounding context.) John 3:16 to example, best not be divorced from verse 17; often has been assumed a heavenly interpretation; typically includes weak translation (having for holding, everlasting for eonian)

How does evil get anything done?

The Adversary, Lucifer (name means: light/bright messenger), has petitioned at the throne of God for the opportunity to bring disorder & distortion. This arc-messenger was an insurrectionist who instigates what we may call devils or daemons in the world: teachers that seduce a student to obssess. The phrase, you have a daemon is in use both as to say you are obsessing because of a daemon, or that you are teaching others to obsess. Wicked spirits become the action behind many daemons, though a daemon can be simple as a machine or an idea. [notice the effect upon some travellers with a GPS travel device barking? Or, when a suggestion is made and there follows difficulty to think of little else?] Human flesh, with its desires, is capable of demonizing impulses upon the carnal mind to evoking fear, lust, etc, as means to obssess. We know that obssession rapidly narrows vision and instills vulnerability with its victim. Wicked spirits commonly use daemons as tools to gain further access to the mind of a man or woman. While daemons work to engender obsession, evil spirits move to both direct & surpress thoughts & actions.
By the power of God, both wicked spirits and daemons can be removed (cast out). [Job 1:6-12; I Timothy 4:1-2]