Archive for the General Interests Category

CHURCH PLANTERS OR KINGDOM BUILDERS?

Posted in General Interests, Mission Updates 2008 on May 17, 2008 by filerofish

Dearly beloved in Christ,

What does the great commission in Matthew 28:18-20 consist of? Has the Lord sent us out in the World to plant churches or to build His Kingdom? Some would probably say “both” and they would be mistaken. Nowhere in the Bible do we find terms such as, “purpose-driven,” “mission-driven,” “seeker-sensitive,” “church plant,” etc. These have become common buzz words for those who view the church more as an enterprise rather than a Spirit-led entity, and whose methodology resembles that of the business world rather than the life of the early church in the book of Acts.

Is that saying to much? I don’t think so. The purpose-driven church has lost its way, and has become worldly in both doctrine and practice. The facts are there for all to see, so I will not belabor that point. But how do we get back to the basics of the Christian faith? How do we re-discover our true identity as a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, called out of darkness into His marvelous light? (1Pe 2:9) I believe the key to answering that question can be found in the very nature of the Gospel itself.

Repeatedly, the New Testament writings refer to the gospel as the “gospel of the kingdom.” (Mat 4:23; Mat 9:35; Mat 24:14) and the “gospel of the kingdom of God.” (Mar 1:14) What does this mean? In a nutshell, it means that one day soon all of Christ’s enemies will be made his footstool (Heb 10:13), the Lord shall put down all rule and all authority and power (1Co 15:24), and the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever (Rev 11:15).

Those of us who have believed on the Lord Jesus as the Christ have already become citizens of that kingdom by grace, through faith, in baptism, for obedience to the King “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom …” (Col 1:13) So, as we await the future manifestation of that eternal kingdom of which the church is a foreshadow, our mission is to cultivate voluntary submission to Christ (discipleship) under the banner of the gospel of the kingdom of God. Does that make sense?

Jesus instructed us to pray, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Mat 6:10) While the church is not to be equated with the fullness of the kingdom which is yet to come, it should be the closest thing to that kingdom here on earth. Now for the hard question: Is the church today, as we know it, anything like the kingdom in heaven? The answer is both yes and no. Yes, the true remnant is the present manifestation of that desire or yearning for God’s government over mankind, but there also exists a false or apostate church whose desire it is to please men and glorify human achievement. Both will continue to be present in the world until the coming of our Lord in glory: “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” (Mat 13:30)

How then can we discern between the fake and the genuine article? Jesus did say that we shall know the tree by its fruits didn’t he? (Matthew 17:17-19) If true Christianity is God’s reign over the hearts of men, then it seems rather obvious that the true remnant will be occupied with fulfilling that will of God for His church in every possible way. In other words, true Christians will be found moving toward perfect obedience, while apostate believers can be found joining forces with evildoers.

So, are we or are we not kingdom builders? This is not just another abstract concept. I know of a number of churches that are sincerely involved in building up the kingdom of God. Here are a few of the characteristics that they share in common:

  • Emphasis on fervent prayer
  • Displays of true Christian love towards others
  • Racially integrated
  • Restoration of the priesthood of all believers
  • Rich fellowship
  • Solid Biblical teaching
  • Passion for reaching the lost both at home and abroad
  • Sacrificial giving
  • Focus on small groups and on multiplication ministries

There is no way you can go wrong with a church like that! One of those churches has been Christ’s Church in the City at Highland Park where our dear brother Bill Pile presided until his recent departure to be with the Lord. Other churches are Valley Christian Church (Bullhead, AZ) and Camelback Christian Church (Phoenix, AZ.). I could name others, but these are sufficient for the purpose of illustrating my point.

In closing, I want to encourage all of you to meditate on these things in your heart, and resolve today to be a kingdom-builder instead of a church-planter!

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Videos of the Mission Available at e-Snips

Posted in General Interests, Mission Updates 2008 with tags , on February 4, 2008 by filerofish

Beloved,

There are several video clips of the mission that have been uploaded to my eSnips account (see link below). Except for the anniversary clip, most of this is older material. After my briefcase was stolen in Tijuana almost a year ago, I lost the newest promotional video that I had available. I pray that these clips will be useful to you somehow.

Here is the link to the videos:http://www.esnips.com/web/CMME-MISSION-VIDEOS

Looking for a Website Solution!

Posted in General Interests with tags , on February 1, 2008 by filerofish

Working at the computer

Until we can afford a permanent website, this will be our home for a while. I had been working with Homestead.com because it was easy to use, but they have become very expensive and the time has come to move on to a more viable solution. I would love to hear your suggestions, so feel free to register your comments anytime. I realize there thousands of servers, hosts, etc. Finding the right one for our needs could be a challenge and a half. To make things easier, I have included a few priorities to keep in mind:

  • Capacity for several domain names
  • Large disk space (in order to upload audio and video)
  • Ease of use
  • Good support
  • Good bandwidth
  • Podcasting availability
  • Best pricing
  • Family safe

I have taken a look at a few already, such as Bravenet, Monster, etc. They all seem to offer different things that we need and/or could use, but I have not found one that “speaks” to me yet (if you know what I mean). I want to make the best move possible to maximize all available resources.

Please post your comments now!

Yours 4 Him,

PW