..I am challenging people to join us in petitioning the Lord to gather a group of believers in London whose main concern is for His glory.
I would truly appreciate your constant prayers; lots of times I have said, “I’ll pray for you” but then I forget or I don’t follow through over the long haul. I have said and done that more times than I care to remember. So if you will hang in there and petition the Lord on our behalf, I will be eternally grateful.
Please pray for a gathering that will worship, preach, disciple and evangelize with His glory in mind; too many churches have ‘seeker sensitive’ man centered worship, sanitized preaching that is void of the gospel, programs instead of discipleship and evangelism that tries to hide the truth and befriend rather than tell the truth and offend.
I know that there is no perfect church, but that does not excuse us from the responsibility of finding or forming, and being a part of a church that is doing its best to faithfully and obediently serve Jesus. He is concerned with the state of His churches and their members; He is in their midst.
12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.
18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.
19 “‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. 20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, 23 and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works. 24 But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. 25 Only hold fast what you have until I come. 26 The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, 27 and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. 28 And I will give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
The Pharisees approached Jesus in the temple and asked him, “..by what authority are you doing these things”. He in turn asked them if John’s baptism was of God or of man. By asking that question, Jesus taught us a general principle and the church needs to adhere to it. Whether its worship or preaching or whatever, the acid test to determine if it is appropriate is to ask the question, “is it of God or is it of man?” Is it in line with apostolic teaching or is it an innovation of man.
31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
23 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.
Ephesians 4 has been one of my favorite passages for years; it presents a pattern and a picture of how the church is designed to function; with its focus on unity and community in Christ.
I really appreciated Dell Tackett’s presentation of it in ‘The Truth Project’. The ‘God\Man’ Sphere that he drew included the Father, the Son, and man indwelled by the Holy Spirit; it did not, and indeed it could not include the world. Neither does the church; in fact Jesus told us not to love the world or the things of the world because that would make us enemies of God. I think Dell made a good point when he said that man’s desire for significance is a major stumbling block to intimacy with Christ and with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Maybe that is why we are so inclined to consider our works as meritorious. Maybe that is why we bring the things of the world into the church. Maybe that is why syncretism has been a problem since the beginning of the church.
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore it says,
“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.”
(In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
I do not know where God will lead me as I “work out my salvation in fear and trembling”, and I do not know if I will see such a church in London. But I do know that it is right to share my burdens with you because in so doing you will be able to fulfill the law of Christ as stated in Galatians 6:2, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ”.
With Warm Christian Regards,