can anyone help me?
Religion is something i struggle to understand at the best of times,,
you see i grew up with my parents taking me to church and at the beginning i was happy to go but some things started to happen that ended up driving me away,,
first off when i was around 6 or 7 years old the church had outings for the children every now and then and 1 time it was a bonfire at a farm just out side of town and i was there along with a few of the friends i made from sunday school,,while we were sitting around the fire roasting marsh mellows the man that owned the place asked one of the girls if she could help him with something she said sure and off they went,a while later she came running back and sat down,she was shaking and seemed very scared and although we asked her a number of times what was wrong she never did tell us,from that point on though she would never let anyone be singled out
from our group at a field trip ever again,,she insisted we stay together no matter what,,and we did,,
sunday school was never the same after that and it wasn't very long untill she quit coming,,i think about that once in a while and it makes me very sad,,
i could tell you a couple more stories about things that have been done by so called religious people in my past,but maybe some other time,
other then weddings i have never really been back to church since i was 10 or so but i do believe in god,,just in my own way i suppose,,i have read the bible front to back twice over the years and although that may not be very many times for most of you it is enough for me i think,,
I do not pray to god very often but i do have 3 instances where i have prayed for something specific and my prayers were heard,,with out going into detail you will have to trust me when i say all three were miracles to me,,
so here is my problem,i have been told by a few people over the years unless i worship god in church that i never will be welcomed by god,is this really true?
i sure hope not because although i have tried in the past, ever since i was young i find a few people that claim to be religious to be pretentious and maybe even a little evil and that is what keeps me from going to church,,
So could someone tell me if God draws a line in the sand and if so where?
Well first let me say that people that go to church are not perfect either. And if they claim they are, they're dead wrong. I would even say that there are alot of people who claim to be Christians, but there not. The fruit they bare tells otherwise. I'm sorry that you had to witness something like that with your female friend. If you don't mind me asking, what kind of church did you used go to? Was the bible preached? Were there invitations to receive Christ?
Alot of people claim to believe in GOD. The Bible says that even the devil and his angels believe that there is a GOD. Believing is just a part of it. GOD wants a relationship, he wants your heart!
1)The Bible says that all men our sinners and fall short of his expectations. Simply put, we don't measure up!
2)The Bible also says that the wages of sin is death. And that death is eternal seperation from GOD in hell. Hell is a place of torment for eternity.
3)GOD says with out the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin.
4)Jesus paid the wages of our sin by shedding his blood on the cross. It is through his shed blood that we have forgiveness.
5)You have to put your faith where GOD put your sin.....and that is on the LORD JESUS CHRIST! Ask GOD to forgive you and to become LORD and SAVIOR of your life.
Yes, eventually GOD does draw a line in the sand and he does it with the above. I encourage you to seek the LORD. If you have any questions, please feel free to PM me. I will be more than happy to discuss with you further.
It pains me to hear about these kinds of experiences that happen to people in the church. The church should be the most welcoming, loving and safest place a person could go, but sadly at times it is not.
Seems like all your experiences have been with religious people. Religious people will tell you that you must dress a certain way, worship a certain way, that dancing is wrong or that the wine in the bible was really grape juice and that God will only welcome you if you are in a church. These types of so called christians are the same ones that Paul tells us to be aware of in Phillipians 3. They are refered to as dogs. You know what dogs do, they eat other dogs feces.
When someone asks me what religion I am, I always have a hard time answering. The reason being is that I don't see Christianity in its purest form as a religion. Religion is about what people do to seek God, his approval, his love, by doing things, acting a cretain way humans believe they can impress God. This falls into much of what the world religions are about. But Christianity is about a GOd that pursues us. COmes down to us, lives with us, to love us and forgive us. Christianity tells us of a God that loves us unconditionally. That there is nothing we can do that God will love us anymore and nothing we can do that God will love us anyless. He is a God that gives all undeserving love.
Now the bible doesn't say that we need to be partof a church specifically but it does say we need to be with fellow believers. There are good healthy, bible believing, sound doctrine churches and I hope you get the courage to look and find one.
There is a pastor named Mark Driscoll in seattle. He did a sermon on religion and he goes as far to say that God hates religion. It is a good sermon and if you go to Mars Hill Church Seattle you should be able to find it.
I know the below is long, but please read it, slowly, and more then once. Any questions, you let me know.
The Church has two separate meanings.
The Church as a Denomination of the Christian Church, which is a collective of Buildings and Human beings, and at times acts in the expected sinful manner as it, just like anything on earth, is fallen.
The Church as The Body of Christ, that is to say a Communion of Believers both presently alive, but also containing the souls of all the faithful departed, and those who havent yet been born. In short. One of the Saved.
Membership of this is absolutely vital. Its obtained by the start of Union with GOD. YOU must invite the Holy Spirit of GOD to take up its rightful place of residence within your heart. You must seek Him out with all your heart and mind and strength. You must truely and honnestly appologise for all your sins, and recognise Him for who he is. The Only Way, the Absolute Truth, and the Ultimate Light. Who created all things, is Holy and All-Seeing, and will return to Judge All things. He is a King, and his Word is Final. You may get to know him and by Reading the Book He inspired others to write about Him and praying to Him. He knows your mind and your heart, so you cant lie, nor can you hide from him. He will hear you however you wish to communicate with him.
If you offer yourself to Him, so that he may use you as he sees fit, for the Expansion of the Kingdom of GOD on Earth, he will give you exemption from the Law of Perfection. You are not perfect, so without Salvation you will be found guilty. The choice is yours. But this is where GOD draws the line and it has nothing to do with anyone except YOU and HIM.
You need to treat Him properly. You should talk to Him as often as possible. He's Your Friend, you wouldnt ignore a friend you can see. Dont ignore Him just because you cant see Him...Secondly...he's given you His Book...you need to start reading it carefully...not back-to-back. A tiny little scrap of it. Understand what it means FOR YOU AND HIM...get to know what he's like, what His Character is like, what His Value System is, what does He like, what does He Dislike. What can He do...what Cant He Do. If you dont Know Him, how can you Love Him???
Research everything you can about Him....Everything...this is the most important thing in your Life.
Once you have learned to Love GOD, you will desire to please Him. He can be pleased by your following of His Commandments. If you Love him, you will do what he says. One of the many things he asks is that task known as "The Great Comission" Now that you know the Truth...you might like to tell everyone. That is the Fundemental Aim of the Established Church. The Church is NOT for the Christians it is for Those waiting to be saved!! Always forgotten and to our Detriment. There are uses in being members of a Church,
*Support, The Devil will try to attack you once you take sides with GOD, because you are no longer Neutral. He finds that threatening, he also knows that GOD working in you might effect others. He will try to shut you down. You on your own are no match for him. But GOD could smush him like a grape. The problem is, if you fall into sin, you might get confused, lost, not able to hear GOD clearly.
Other Christians can keep you in check, and support you in battle
* Accountability. Sometimes you wont do what you are supposed to do, left unchecked, this can turn an Evangelist into a card carrying Christian. They are as good as Neutral. Your Christian Friends will call you to account. They will share in your sorrow, share in your joy...and give you a good bollocking when its required to keep you from going off the rails.
*Worship and Teaching. You can do both alone...but they are always better with someone else. A Melody sounds good, a Melody plus a harmony sounds better...you cant sing both parts at once. Reading a passage of scripture is enlightening...but sometimes a fresh perspective from another Christian can refresh an otherwise stagnating passage.
*Charity and the Great Comission. Best done as a united front.
So...its not needed, but its a kewl benefit. The Church is a tool box for you, where you can benefit others and they can benefit you. But if you ever need time out from it...then I believe thats alright aswell. Know what it is you are dealing with. A powerful political fallen institution. If you can recognise that, then you wont be shocked or lose your faith when you see certain "religious" people stumbling.
Remeber...This gift of Eternal Life, DID NOT come free to Him. It might have come free to you, but He has prooven how much He loves you by squashing himself into His own Limited Creation, suffering the hatred and rejection first hand, being falsely accused, betrayed and Murdered in a particularly nasty form of archaic State Execution...I wonder...what have you done to Proove you Love Him as much :huh:
I hope that helps.
I wanted to add another good pastor in Texas named Matt Chandler at thevillage church. He is doing a great sermon right now on the church, what it is, what it should be. Check it out.
Who ever told you that you need a church for God to accept you is a blasted liar.
God wants us to be with believers he never specifies how. This forum could easily be an example of a church. I came to christ with the help of this forum and those who post here.
Do you have any specific questions you want answered? Please tell that person I said they are wrong and should really educate themselves further before trying to direct those seeking God.
The posts previous to mine are excellent examples brother. I'm available to talk to you whenever you need someone to listen. PM me and I'll try my best to help you. But take what people tell you with a grain of salt and definately look for yourself brother.
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