Friday, December 4, 2015

NEW LIFE IN CHRIST

Kingdom of God (pt 8)

Therefore, if the kindness of God has led you to change your mind about the things of God, then
Welcome to the Family!


Now what?

Oh, my friend, there is a whole new world full of exciting and challenging things awaiting you as you are assimilated into the Kingdom of God.

You now have the right to become a child of God. (John 1:12)

Until now, you have probably mistakenly believed that all humans were children of God, but the Bible declares otherwise. (Matt. 13:38; Lk. 16:8; Rom. 9:8)

You are now also a brand new person (2 Cor. 5:17) and have been given a fresh and clean slate from which to begin designing your new life in Christ.

You’ve never come this way before even if you were brought up in church under godly parents. Now that you have been born again everything about your life is different.

(There are many things that you may begin to notice about yourself. Do not judge yourself by these; only realize that they are possibilities for you. Each person is different, and the Spirit of God deals with each one differently.)

You may begin to notice
  • a desire to read the Bible like never before
  • a love for others replacing a critical attitude
  • a desire to tell your friends about how you now feel
  • a desire to no longer hang with your friends
  • an inexplicable giddiness when around other believers
  • certain habits you have now making you feel uncomfortable

Any or all of these may be a part of your being now that you have made the peace with God that He had already made with you. (2 Cor. 5:18-19)

One thing is certain, you will want to learn as much as you can about this new way of living.

Anytime someone ventures into some new area, there is a desire to learn as much as they can about it. The same is true as you begin to awaken to your new life in Christ. You will want to learn as much as you can. It is a natural and normal thing.

Therefore, give in to that desire.

There are various ways for this new learning/education to take place.

If someone personally shared the good news with you that God is not mad at you for your sins of the past, then that person is more than likely the one whom God would use to help you in your journey of discovery.

Sadly, though, most believers have been taught that they are not capable of teaching or training another in the things of God. That is a shame.

They have been taught to “Go into all the world” with the gospel, but that the teaching, baptizing, and training is to be left to the professionals. This is absolutely and completely contrary to what Jesus said.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Mat 28:19-20)
If one part of this command of the Lord is for everyone, then the whole command is for everyone. Insist that the person who told you the good news be the one to train you. It will help them and you.

If and when you desire to be baptized, get the one who led you to the truth be the one to baptize you, not the pastor of some church. Of course, if you heard the truth through the preaching of a pastor at a church service, then, by all means, let him be the one to baptize you.

Another way of learning about the kingdom and its requirements on you is through your own personal study of the Bible.

You may not know the one who told you the good news. It could have been through a television or radio preacher, or through the reading of a gospel tract. A personal acquaintance may not have been instrumental in your repentance/changing of your mind.

If so, then, it is on you to learn.

But, take heart.
You have the greatest disciple-maker of all time living within you, and it is not necessary that you have a flesh-and-blood mentor. (John 16:13; 1 John 2:27)

God will, in the proper time, bring someone into your life who can take you to the next level in your understanding. (Acts 8:29-31)
Until then, give yourself to the reading of the scriptures. (1 Tim. 4:13; John 5:39)
(If you want a plan for reading that will help you grow in the Lord, then click here.)

Finally, there is the practice of “going to church.”

I find this most difficult to recommend to a new believer with whom I have no personal contact, because so much of the church today has been corrupted.

It is especially hard for me, because I love the church so much. It is my life. I love the gatherings of the people of God. If I know there will be other believers there, I will gather with them, even if the leadership is bad.

So, please do not misunderstand me.

I want you to be able to find a place of fellowship with other believers as an aid to your growth in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
So, I will just give a list of some basic “do’s and don’ts” and entrust you to the guidance of the Holy Spirit as to where you should be planted at this time.
  • Do not be fooled by charisma and personality of the leader.
  • Do not assume it is a great church by the size or sound of the praise team.
  • Make sure the Word of God is taught.
    • Just taking a verse of scripture and then talking about something is not teaching the Bible.
  • DO pray and ask the Lord if this is the church He wants for you to attend.
  • After you have attended for 6 weeks straight, skip out for 3 weeks straight. If no one calls you, find another church.
Fellowship is the main thing. Having the support of others who are travelling the same path as you is of tremendous benefit.
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (Heb 10:23-25)
I do not mean to imply by any of this that the church is the kingdom of God.

The church is a part of the kingdom, to be sure; but there is more to this kingdom than a collection of churches scattered around the globe.
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