Sadly, leaving a church is often a decision based on trivial disagreements, small offenses, or self-centered logic. With that said, there are still really good reasons why you might need to leave a church.
What does the Bible say about false prophets and teachers? Jesus said in Matthew 7:15-16, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits.”
Whenever Jesus tells us to “beware,” he means this in the most literal sense. As Christians we must be on guard, for wolves dress in sheep clothing, trying to masquerade as innocent pastors but in reality are dangerous false prophets and teachers. Wolves are cunning, they prey on sheep rather than on other wolves, and therefore Christians must know how to detect a dangerous leader, for they will not be obvious, especially if you are an accepting person.
1 John 4:1-3 tells us that anyone who does not confess Jesus Christ has come in the flesh from God is a false prophet. This sign of a false prophet is the most obvious. But again, as Jesus warned us, false prophets are crafty and they won’t always reveal themselves this easily. This is why 1 John 4:1 tells us, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
So here are 16 signs of a false prophet and teacher.
What’s the purpose of God’s law? If we are saved by grace and through faith, what’s the point of the law? If Christ came to fulfill the law, does this mean God’s law no longer applies to us since Christ accomplished it for us?
By studying Romans 3:19-31, we can see four purposes in the Bible for God’s law.
As Christians, it is easy to read the New Testament and understand God’s plan for the world. He wants to save people from sin through Jesus Christ.
Sin has corrupted everything. Not only is the punishment of sin to go to hell, it brings hell into every area of life. You cannot live your purpose of imaging, serving, and glorifying God while under the curse of sin. So it’s no wonder God seeks to reverse the effects of sin and make us into new creations. But as we read the Old Testament, things can get a bit murkier.
One AGW reader wrote in to ask a question about helping a friend who is living in sin. Below is our conversation. What advice would you share with Emily? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Small group Bible studies are not just a great idea. They are a biblical idea. From the moment the New Testament church was founded, core to its identity was small bands of Christians meeting together and studying God’s word (Acts 2:42-47, Acts 17:11, Colossians 3:16, Colossians 4:15).
Of course small group Bible studies are not as important as the actual church and what happens Sunday morning. And there are certainly other effective formats that fulfill the church’s obligation to teach its members outside of Sunday morning (classes, support groups, one-on-one discipleship, etc.). But one of the clearest signs of a healthy church is a healthy small group Bible study ministry.
I believe if you want a healthy small group ministry, it all starts with having great small group leaders. So how can you be a great small group leader? Or if you’re in church leadership and are looking for great small group leaders, what are some signs to consider?
What follows is not an exhaustive list or one ranked by importance. It is simply a list of 24 keys to being a great small group leader.
Question: “I attend a church which is a part of the Assemblies of God. I am a Christian. My pastor and his family have taken a trip to Hawaii, Disneyland, Arizona, and to other places. The church and the AOG pay for these. We have people in our church who are struggling financially and there are families in our community who need help. Is it right for the pastor to take these trips? I am confused. Peace and Love and God`s Blessings to you.”
And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians. – Acts 11:26
The word “Christian” is nowhere used in the Bible as anything other than a noun. However, in American culture we constantly use “Christian” as an adjective or adverb to describe things such as music, movies, books, character, charitable acts, and so many other things. The great danger in this is the temptation to replace our genuine faith in Christ with traditions steeped in culture rather than God’s everlasting truth.
There are already so many great books on Christian singleness. Just do a Google search on “books on Christian singleness,” “Christian books about being single,” “best books for Christian singles,” “Christian books on finding a spouse,” “finding a godly husband,” “how to be a Christian in college.”
The results will be endless.
I’m sure you will find a lot of helpful advice in these Christian books about singleness. However, most of these Christian books about being single focus on one aspect of singleness: your relationship with God, godly dating, finding contentment as a Christian single, how to find a Christian spouse, and other such topics.
I believe the Ultimate Guide to Christian Singleness is so special because it covers nearly every common question asked about singleness. I get right to the point in these thirty chapters. I don’t waste time with long stories. And I give you extremely practical steps to take in each of the four stages most Christian singles go through. It’s great for small group Bible studies or for individuals too.
If you want answers, this book on Christian singleness was written for you.
Below is the full description. I hope you enjoy it. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me at MarkBallenger@ApplyGodsWord.com.
Hoping you find the love, security, and guidance you need during your season of Christian singleness.
For God’s glory and our good,
In response to growing up in a dead church environment where the deeds often didn’t match the words, there is a movement in the American Church towards emphasizing social justice. If you ask most people about why they don’t like Christianity, hypocrisy is the number one answer. Nobody wants to be fake. It makes sense, then, of why Christians are seeking to live out their faith by helping the poor and less fortunate (besides the biblical command to do so).
This is right. Jesus clearly healed the sick, provided food for the hungry, and had a special affection for orphans and widows due to their helplessness. James 1:22, 27 states, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. . . . Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
Jesus Actually Healed Less So He Could Preach More
With all of that said, helping people with their physical needs is not the main point of Christianity.