The Rapture Force

The Word is a Light, and cuts like a Sword thru the Darkness

Archive for February, 2008

Feb-20-08

The Church of Jesus Christ and the “B”-Team

posted by PrayerWarrior

I am doing something a little different today.I have found this on raptureready, and think it perfect for this site.Thanks to Jason Lovelace and his wonderful insights.

May we all learn what the Lord calls us to do.

by Jason Lovelace

Key Scripture:
Revelation 2.4-5: Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and I will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

I Samuel 16.11-12: And Samuel said unto Jesse, “Are here all thy children?” And he said, “There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, “Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.” And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him: for this is he.”

Exodus 2:15: But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the

land of
Midian…

Anyone who has ever played any kind of organized sport has spent time on the “B”-Team. Call it the “Practice Squad”, “Second Team”, “Scout Team”, “Junior Varsity (or J.V.)”, or “Second String”, most every athlete or athlete wannabe has spent time there. For many, the experience good, fun, and a learning experience. For others, being on the “B” Team was anything but fun. How does one get onto the “B”-team? What are the reasons for being there? What are the benefits of being on the “B”-Team? How can one on the “B”-Team get back onto the Starting Squad or First String?

In Today’s World, The

Church of
Jesus Christ is on the “B”-Team:

This writer understands that this statement may rise and rile a lot of people. It is controversial, upsetting, and in many peoples’ minds, just plain not true. However, before anyone starts to get angry, get upset, please, hear this lesson out, as points will be made to paint a better picture for you, the reader, as to why the Church of Jesus Christ is on the “B”-Team…

Point #1: Why the Church is on the “B”-Team – A Lack of Fundamentals:
The first and foremost reason, the #1 Problem for any sports player being on the “B”-Team is due to a serious lack of Fundamentals. For every sport, there is a myriad of fundamental mistakes, from a Football Player who fumbles, to a baseball player who swings the bat at any pitch, to a basketball player who doesn’t shoot free-throws well, to a soccer player who regularly loses the ball to another team, any sport and every sport has fundamental break-downs. A player in American Football who regularly jumps off-sides will wind up on the “B”-Team. Baseball players who do not throw the ball accurately will end up on the “B”-Team. Soccer players who can’t shoot the ball when near the goal will end up on the “B”-Team. In the same way, we, the Church of Jesus Christ, are on the “B”-Team in the world’s eyes, and the main reason is Fundamentals. Take a look at these statistics:

  • There are just as many divorces in the Church as there are in the world at large. In fact, one study showed that 68% of marriages in the Christian Church end in divorce. Christian Superstars look, in reality, no differently than secular
    Hollywood stars in the area of Marriage. Consider: Sandy Patti, Amy Grant, Kevin Smith, Jaci Velasquez, and TV and radio Pastor Charles Stanley all have ended their marriages due to divorce. If the same number of, or more, marriages in the Church end in divorce as in the world, what kind of example is that to the world? We are preaching that the love of Jesus Christ can do the impossible, including keeping marriages together, but statistics show a different story.

  • Some studies have shown that the number of abortions by girls and women of child-bearing age inside the Church of Jesus Christ mirror that of the world. The so-called “Christian Right” preaches the protection of the sanctity of life, but if we are really preaching this, and not following it, how does this make our stand look?
  • The Church of Jesus Christ has stood against homosexuality, but in 2003 the
    Episcopalian
    Church of the
    United States elected its first openly practicing homosexual bishop, Gene V. Robinson, who took office in 2004. Since that time, the
    Episcopalian
    Church in the
    United States has elected as its highest office, Presiding Bishop, Katherine Jefferts Schori, an advocate of ordaining homosexual bishops. Other Christian denominations, including the
    United
    Methodist
    Church, the Presbyterian Church of the
    United States of America, have also voted to include homosexual relationships in the church, even going so far as ordaining homosexual clergy. Further, in the most recent years in the USA, the Roman Catholic Church has been forced to defend itself and punish nearly 3% of its priests in the
    USA for sexual misconduct allegations.
  • The Church often speaks out against sexual promiscuity, but just as with homosexuality, many church denominations have stricken rules concerning sexual relations – especially for youth – from their canon and theological beliefs. Further, Christian Superstars, such as Amy Grant, Stacie Orrico, Jaci Velasquez have been recorded on film using heavily sexual themes and situations in either movies or music videos. It is believed by many studies that sexual promiscuity is just as prevalent in the church as in the secular world.
  • The pornography industry is growing and just as big a problem inside the church as outside of it. Here are some stats about Christian Pastors and Porn…

Quote:
* 51% say porn is a temptation.
* 69% started looking at porn out of curiosity.
* 37% say it’s currently a struggle.
* 53% have visited porn sites in the past year.
* 18% percent look at porn a couple times a month.
* 30% do not talk to anyone about this dirty little secret.
* 4 in 10 looked at porn today.
—statistics from XXXChurch.com
  • These are statistics that represent the clergy in the Christian community. If Pastors and ministers of churches are having these kinds of problems with pornography, what does it say about the people these ministers are leading?

This is just the tip of the iceberg with regards to the fundamental problems of the Church. We, as a modern Church of Jesus Christ, have left off the fundamentals, and let them erode. The startling and (no pun intended) unbelievable situation is that the church – for all of our glorious words, messages of home, doctrines of faith, and intents and purposes – are becoming increasingly irrelevant in today’s world. Not only have left our “first love” as it were, as our Scripture from Revelation speaks, we have also begun to conform to the world in out practices of services and with regards to our attempt to attract people. May of the so-called Mega-churches now have sprawling campuses complete with coffee shops, restaurants and food courts, even shopping malls in some church facilities. The problem is that many of these churches have watered down the Gospel in favor of being popular; they have erased the word “sin” form their vocabulary in order to be less politically incorrect; they have ceased preaching on hell in order not to scare people away. All of this eradication of old time preaching against sin, the reason Christ came in the first place, and the cessation of the preaching on hell have made these churches very popular on the outside, but shallow and toothless on the inside. Peter sums up this initial part best when he says this:

Quote:
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin with us what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
—I Peter 4.17~18

When we see how the church has degraded emphasis on the fundamentals, is it any surprise that Christianity is getting a bad reputation in the West? Should it come as any surprise to anyone that the Church of Jesus Christ is rapidly finding itself marginalized from society at large? Should we as a church be alarmed when we see how we have devalued our very basics, yet see negative growth in
Europe? The Church of Jesus Christ is surely being relegated to the “B”-Team, if we are not already there. Yet, if we take a look at the world’s fastest growing religion, which has the fastest growing book in terms of sales, we see a wholly different picture.

Fundamentals vs. Fundamentalists:
Just about everyone agrees that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, and Qu’Ran the most popular and highest selling book in the last thirty years. It is said that in the next couple of decades, that Islam may surpass Christianity as the largest and most popular religion on Earth. Many experts, particularly Christians, scratch their heads at this fact and trend in the world today. If one looks a little more closely, and digs a little deeper, however, the facts become glaringly clear. In 2005, the Danish Newspaper Jyllands-Posten was slated to run a series of cartoons lampooning Islam’s greatest prophet, Mohammad. These cartoons, when revealed, sent the Islamic world into an uproar, with Danish flags, effigies of the Danish Governmental leaders, and Danish goods being burned or trashed; Danish businesses threatened with violence; and protests at Danish Embassies around the world by followers of Islam. Muslims from every corner of the Islamic World hit the streets in protest, with their religious and political leaders denouncing the cartoons, the Jyllands-Posten, and promising retribution in one form or another. Just a year later, in September of 2006, Pope Benedict XVI, during a lecture at a university in
Germany, quoted the sayings of a 14th Century Byzantine Emperor concerning Mohammad and Islam. Again, the Islamic world and Muslims in general reacted with outrage and violence, many Christian churches, families, businesses, and communities suffering terribly. Many in the rest of the world, particularly the West, ridiculed these protests (and others since then), decrying the violence and intensity with which the Muslims protested. However, could it be that therein is the link as to why Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world? Could it be that Muslims take their faith so seriously that they are willing to hit the streets when their greatest prophet is slighted, or shown in a bad light despite the sayings or words being the truth? Everyone in the Technologically Advanced world probably knows the movie and book The DaVinci Code. Many probably also know that the story decidedly anti-Christian, casting a bad light on Jesus Christ. The ironic thing is, in the USA and
Europe, this movie received not one word of protest from the Christian Community at large. The movie The Last Temptation of Jesus Christ received words of protest from some Christian groups and organizations when it was released in 1988. Yet the movie The Sum of All Fears was rewritten, changing the villains in the move from Muslim “Fundamentalists” to Neo-Nazis, in part because of protests from Arab and Muslim groups in the United States. Further, the writers of the cartoon series South Park in an episode during the week of Christmas in 2006 were forced to edit out a defaming depiction of Mohammad, and instead used a degrading scene of Jesus Christ, in order to head off protests by Muslims. Is anyone seeing a trend here? Muslims tend to take their fundamentals very seriously, so much so that when even a small part of their beliefs is attacked, threatened, or cast in an unfavorable light, they hit the streets, protesting loudly. Even in combat operations in
Iraq and elsewhere in the world, Islamic terrorists regularly use quotes from the Qu’Ran in their attacks on infidels. This is in sharp contrast to the Church of Jesus Christ in the modern era. When The DaVinci Code came out both in print and on film, were there any Christians marching in the streets, picketing the movie houses where it was shown, and boycotts of bookstores where the book was sold? When the cartoon series

South
Park
depicted Jesus Christ in the defaming way he was portrayed during the week of Christmas in 2006, where were Christians and their leaders? Had the South Park episode ran with Mohammad instead of Jesus Christ, you can bet your bottom dollar Muslims around the world would have hit the streets! Does anyone else see it? Could it be that because Muslims are willing to die for their beliefs, that they take their fundamentals and basics so seriously that they protest at the smallest slight, that Islam is the fastest growing religion on Earth? There is a saying that goes something like this:

Quote:
Until you have something to die for, you have nothing to live for……

Could it be that Christians have watered down our fundamentals, our beliefs, and our basics to the point that we have nothing really to live for any longer?

Lack of Fundamentals Will Kill:
The basic premise of this first point is this: The Church of Jesus Christ must get back to its fundamentals. We as followers of Jesus Christ have the greatest gift to give the world: Jesus Christ and Salvation through his name! However, if we veer from our fundamentals, the Church as we know it will continue its path towards the “B”-Team, and we may very well be there for quite some time. Unless we get serious about our fundamentals and basics, the Church will continue to be pushed to the side and out of the way, with other religions – which take their basic beliefs much more seriously (this includes Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, et. al.) growing exponentially at the church’s expense. Just as no organization can survive without basic, core principles, and following them to the letter, so also the Church of Jesus Christ cannot survive long without following her most fundamental beliefs. Just as no sports team can win or be successful in the court or on the field of competition, the Church cannot successfully carry out her mission without adhering to her core values. As Peter wrote, judgment must first happen in the house of God. We, as a Church and as Christians, must get back to our core values and our basics. If we are to survive, we must reach back to the Bible and see again and read again, and get to know a-fresh, the core values that have kept the church for nearly 2,000 years. So long as a dying world sees the Church as shallow and weak on her fundamental beliefs and principles, the Church of Jesus Christ will continue to be scoffed, ridiculed, and maligned. So long as American Christians fail to transform and continue to be conformed, the USA will continued to be seen as weak, gutless, soulless, and heartless by the rest of the world, particularly by the USA’s enemies. It is no accident that King David and
Israel were strongest when he and it relied on God. Same is said for every king of
Judah that followed King David: as long as the king and country kept to the fundamentals of faith in God, they were both strong. However, when king and country discarded the fundamentals, foreign domination always took place. The early church in the New Testament grew so much because its leaders knew and kept the fundamentals of what Jesus taught; so much did the church grow that the
Roman Empire considered it a threat and persecuted it. The
United States of America has been strongest and most prosperous under Godly Presidents who followed the fundamentals. However, corrupt and godless Presidents and leaders have always caused the
United States to have serious problems. Same is said for
Great Britain. The United Kingdom knew much growth under the great Queen Victoria due in large measure because Queen
Victoria was known to read the Bible, pray, and trust in God. As England has gradually discarded these Biblical fundamentals, her Empire – at one time, England boasted, “The Sun Never sets on the Union Jack” – has dwindled until now,
Britain has very little political control over the areas she once effectively governed. The same is for the church. When the church sticks close to the Biblical Fundamentals that has nourished her, the Church is strong; as the Church gets away from the fundamentals, she weakens and is relegated to the sidelines – the “B”-Team, if you will…

Point #2: Why the Church is on the “B”-Team – Immaturity:
Now, don’t get ahead of me here: yes, the Church of Jesus Christ has been around for 2,000 years, it is well-known. However, many of us in the church don’t act like it. Think about it: how many churches and denominations have split over trivial things? This isn’t referring to doctrinal or theological differences, but such things as the color of the carpet in the new building, or being “offended” by something someone said. Too often, there is trivial division in the church, and it is caused by an immature attitude or spirit. Sports teams that have internal squabbles never win many games, if they win at all. Similarly, countries that are fighting civil wars internally generally do not fight wars against other countries. The same is said for the church. The Church of Jesus Christ is on the “B”-Team because of internal differences – not denominational or doctrinal or even theological differences, but petty, directionless divisions duet to an overreliance on the flesh, and an under reliance on the Spirit. When the world sees these kinds of differences, what does it think? What can it think? The Word of God says to “love one another” and “love your neighbor as yourself”, yet when an unbeliever comes into a church and sees petty division, or overhears slanderous gossip, how is that love supposed to get across? The

Church of
Jesus Christ must get the mind of Christ, must grow up, and must look beyond petty differences: otherwise, as with the lack of fundamentals, the Church will never get off of the bench.

Point #3: Why the Church is on the “B”-Team: Not Ready, Not Prepared:
This writer was a football player for ten years, in High School and in University. A common theme for both, when on the sidelines of a ball game or in practice was, “Keep your helmet strapped on at all times.” The reason was, at any moment one of the team could be called to go into the game. An unstrapped helmet sitting beside a player, off of his head told the coaches that this player wasn’t ready to go into the game. Such was the case for Moses. In today’s Scripture, we read that Moses fled before the face of Pharaoh and went into Midian. Prior to this, Moses was Prince Moses, the adopted son of Pharaoh, and very likely third in power to the King of Egypt. He had been raised from the time he was a baby until he was 40 in the house of the King. He was very highly educated (it was Moses who wrote the first five books of the Old Testament), and respected. However, when it came to freeing the Jews from slavery in
Egypt, Prince Moses tried….and failed. After watching an Egyptian taskmaster beat a Hebrew slave, Prince Moses intervened, killing the taskmaster and burying him in the sand. The next day, when he came to quell an argument between two Jews, the one who’d started the fight was the one he’d saved the day before, and Prince Moses was rejected out of hand. If anyone spent a great part of his life on the “B”-Team, it had to have been Moses. He spent 40 years in the desert raising sheep, but when God came calling, Moses was a totally different person. Quite often, the church in the same way has tried to do things that God wants, but has been ill-prepared to do them. This always brings about failure, and humiliation. How often has a missionary gone out to do a work for God, only to come back because he or she wasn’t ready? How many times has a church set off to change its neighborhood and its community, but, due to lack of prayer, commitment, and direction, came up empty? How many people in the Church today are busy reading the newspaper, and have no time for the Bible? How many believers have all the time in the world to watch the Big Game, the Feature Movie, or the Popular TV Show, but have no time to step inside a church? How many of us Christians are willing to talk to friends and family ad infinitum, but have no time for prayer? These are the things (fundamentals) that will help us be prepared to do what God wants us to do. Just as a sports team practices its routines, play-books and strategies for the big contest, so must the church put into practice the things we know to do in order to be prepared for what God has called us to do. Just as military men and women go through rigorous training and set up disciplined, daily routines, so must the church do the same with what we know to do. Otherwise, the church will be ill-prepared to meet the challenges that the world presents, leaving us on the “B”-Team.

Don’t Get Too Far Away from the Coach; Stand Next to Him!
Many times, this writer as a football player in High School and College was able to get into a Varsity Game simply because he was right next to the coach. His high school football coaches had the habit of often just grabbing the first player that was closest and putting him into the game. Sometimes that player wasn7t the correct position and had to be called back; often that player was exactly what the coach wanted at that particular time, and he stayed in until the end of the game. Such is the case with the church. As mentioned before, many of the so-called “Mega-Churches” have become close to the world in getting new people to come in, but far away from Jesus Christ so as to not be used effectively to win and to later disciple new Christians. Many of these Mega-Churches have gone off onto humanistic tangents and walked down worldly roads in order to somehow be viewed as relevant to today’s society. Case in point is Rev. Rick Warren and his

Saddleback
Church. Rev. Warren rarely preaches on the dangers of sin, on the eternal damnation of hell; however, Rev. Warren has been to Syria to praise Bashar al-Assad, the current President of Syria, and his regime for being open to Christianity (in reality, Syria is one of the most repressive countries on the face of the Earth, regularly raiding Syrian Christian Churches and imprisoning Syrian Christians); he has welcomed Presidential Candidates, Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama – pro-choice, pro-homosexual candidates and politicians, and opponents of Christian values – to his pulpit to speak at summits; he has signed a Global Warming Initiative, which includes the signatures of 40 other Christian leaders, that was sent to the President of the United States in 2007. These actions by Rev. Warren and other Mega-Church leaders raise the question: how close to Jesus Christ are they? In the grand scheme of eternity, what does a global warming initiative have to do with anything? How does welcoming fundamentally non-Christian Politicians to speak in the pulpit of the church spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ? This is not to single out

Saddleback
Church or Rev. Warren. Even the reknowened Rev. Billy Graham has turned would-be Catholic converts to Christianity at his Crusades to be ministered to by Catholic Counselors. This begs the question: how close are we standing to our Coach, Jesus Christ? Standing too far away from the coach will relegate one to the “B”-team every time. We as the church, need to stand close, to be close, to our Coach, so that when he needs someone in the “game”, we are there ,ready to be called on. Samuel is a prime example of this. As a young boy, Samuel listened to God. In the beginning, he didn’t recognize God’s voice, but just the fact that he was listening says something to us that Samuel listened and learned from his mentor, the Priest and Judge, Eli (see I Samuel chapter 3). Because Samuel stayed close to God, God was able to use him. We as the Church need to do the same. In order to get off of the bench, off of the “B”-Team, we need to be close to our coach.

Point #4: The “B”-Team isn’t ALL bad…
For those who have ever been assigned to the “B”-Team in sports, you probably understand that the “B”-Team isn’t all bad. There are some good things about being on the “B”-Team. For one, most “B”-Teams still have contests and games. This writer was a career-long “B”-Team member, both in High School and University, in Baseball and American Football. Yet, despite being on the “B”-Team, this writer still had games to play in. Mind you, they were “B”-Team games, but they were chances and opportunities to put into action all that was learned in practice and on the drawing board. Such is the same for the

church of
Jesus Christ. Though society at large is attempting to put the Church of Jesus Christ on the sidelines and onto the “B”-Team, we can still do the things that we have been called to do, that we have studied and learned, and that we know we can do. A Prime Example is the response to the disastrous Hurricane Katrina of 2005. As many have stated, the government of the State of Louisiana and the Federal Government of the
USA were slow in responding to this crisis, but where the governments were slow, the church was very quick to respond. Many Churches and Christians Organizations stepped up and shipped or trucked in millions of dollars in aid, relief, and help, with thousands of Christians offering relief in the form of volunteer (or, Work and Witness, as the Church calls it) help in many of the devastated areas. The same was true of the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunamis. Millions of dollars in Christian aid and thousands of hours of volunteer work were offered by the Church following that massive tragedy.

Point #5 – Though You are on the “B”-Team, You ARE Being Watched!
Football coaches have a common message: “If we don’t yell at you, it means we aren’t watching you.” Such is the case for the Church of Jesus Christ. Before King David became a king – God’s Chosen King of Israel – he was a shepherd boy. In fact, David was on the “B”-Team. He was sop much on the “B”-Team, that when the prophet Samuel was told by God to go to David’s hometown to find a new King for Israel, Jesse – David’s father – left David with the sheep. Jesse left David on the “B”- Team! However, as we see in today’s Scripture from I Samuel 16, God was watching David! After passing over all of Jesse’s boys, Samuel asked him if there were any more children. Upon hearing that Jesse had David, Samuel told him to go and get him, and when David was brought before the old Prophet, God told Samuel that David was His man. There are other stories in the Bible that attest to this. The story of Gideon is another such. Driven into hiding for fear of his food being stolen by the Midianites who were dominating
Israel, God saw Gideon, picked him, and made him into one of the most effective Judges in the Bible. Such is the same for us today. We may think that we are on the “B”-Team, but in reality, we are right where God wants us. This writer – prior to becoming a College Professor and Missionary – was a furniture mover. To him, it seemed like being on the “B”-Team, but God was watching, and there were many opportunities to show the love of Jesus Christ to the men and women he worked with. Do you feel like you are on the “B”-Team, that God has forgotten you? Take heart, and understand that God sees you! When it is time – HIS time – he will move you into a greater position.

Point #6 – Choosing to Remain on the “B”-Team is Disastrous!!!
The problem with those who end up on the “B”-Team is that a sense of comfort sometimes sets in. How many athletes have been relegated to the “B”-Team in the past, never to rise above again? The same is true for the Church. You must understand: though the “B”-Team does get action, it isn’t the crucial action of the starting units. There are no “B”-Team State Championships, or national “B”-Team tournaments. As such, there are no championship crowns for “B”-Team Members in and of themselves. Those on the “B”-Team must eventually improve enough to make the starting unit, or at least to see significant game time, to win a letter and gain the victor’s crown. Just as there are many stories of God pulling his people of the hour off of the “B”-Team and into the Game, there are also stories of Starters being relegated to the “B”-Team and never leaving it. The generation of Hebrews that came out of
Egypt with Moses and Aaron is just one tragic story. After around a year or two of being led through the desert and to the promised land by God, through the hand of Moses and Aaron, the Hebrew Children came to the borders of the Promised Land, arriving at a city called Kadesh-Barnea. It was from there that 12 spies were sent out to look over the Land God had given to them in Promise. 10 of these spies came back wth an evil, terrible report of giants, high-walled cities, and wild land; only two came back with a favorable report. When the former ten came back, their report was believed and accepted by the Hebrew Children at large, and, as a result, that whole generation of adults, from 20 years old and up – save the two spies who brought back the favorable report – spent 40 years wandering in the desert and wilderness of the Middle East until that entire Generation was consumed and had died off (this story can be found in Numbers chapters 13 and 14). After hearing God’s judgment passed upon them, that generation changed their minds, and tried to go in, but those who tried were beaten off by the Canaanites, and sent on their wandering journey for the next 40 years. God had called that first generation out from and off of the sidelines to get into the game, but when they saw the opposition, instead of having faith, they decided to remain on the “B”-Team, and the result was that the generation that first came out of Egypt ended their days in a searing, desert wasteland, out of God’s will, and forever on the bench. The same can happen, and will happen, to the church if she decides to remain on the sidelines. God has such great and marvelous promises for those who choose to follow him! He has given us his strength, his presence, and his help! As such, we need not fear any opposition (see Romans 8.31). When his call comes, we, as the Church, and in particular, as his followers, need to get off of the bench, get off of the “B”-Team, and get into the game! Victory is assured if we will follow him!!!!

Point #7 – A Note to Unbelievers:
Unbelieving friend and reader, maybe you have been reading this lesson and been laughing at the church, agreeing with joy that the Church of Jesus Christ is on the “B”-Team, and you feel like the Church ought to remain there, out of the way. Please let me remind you that though the Church is on the “B”-Team, you, unbeliever, are on the Losing Team. “How so” you ask? By the very fact that you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your heart and life, you are on the losing team, the losing side. The Devil already has you, and he can do with you whatsoever he chooses. If you, reader, should pass from this Earth in such a condition – unrepentant of your sins, unsaved in your soul, and spiritually lost – the Bible states clearly that you will have no place in Heaven. The place you will go is called “hell”: that is where you will go to wait God’s final judgment, after which, when your name is not found in the Book of Life, you will be cast into an awful place called, the Lake of Fire (See Revelation 20). The Good News, however, is that Jesus Christ awaits to receive you. He waits for you to come to him and forgive him, to wash away your sins, to give you a fresh start, and to fill you with his Holy Spirit. But only you, friend, can make that choice. Nobody else can get saved for you, and you must come and receive it: it will not be forced upon you. Jesus says in the Gospels that whoever comes to him, he will not turn away. Revelation 22 states that whosoever will can come and receive the water of life that Jesus gives freely. My prayer, my plea, my request to you, unbeliever, is for you to come and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Until you do come, you are like an airplane passenger without a parachute. You cannot save yourself. Only Jesus Christ can save you, and he will, if you come to him!

Conclusion – Get Off Of That Bench!
Church, this is a wake-up call: we need to get off of the bench, get into action, and get to work in getting off of the “B”-Team. Is the

Church of
Jesus Christ on the “B”-Team? I can safely say “Yes” for the Church in North America, Europe, and in
Japan. We need, Church, to get back to our basics and fundamentals; we need to read up, study up, pray up, and listen up to get prepared; we need to grow up in the Spirit and get past the petty, fleshy differences that are tearing us apart; we need to understand that the Lord Jesus Christ is watching us; we need to remember that we have a calling and a mandate from Jesus Christ to spread his message of Salvation throughout the Earth, his doctrine of love and forgiveness, and his truth about sin and hell. Let us get into the “game” of winning this world for Jesus Christ! Let’s get that helmet back on and get next to the coach! Who knows when he will grab our jersey and toss us into the game?

Prayer – Heavenly Father,, we pray to you today, that you will help us as your church to get off of the bench and get off of the “B”-Team, and get into your First Team, your Starting Squad. Help us to practice the fundamentals once again, that you have taught us through your written Word. Help us, Lord, to grow up and grow strong in you, to get prepared, to know that you are watching us, to draw close to you, and to be ready for that time when you may want to use us in a specific way. We pray for those who don7t know you. We pray, Lord, that through this lesson and others, that the unbelieving of this generation and this time will come to know you as Lord and Saviour of their lives. Help us all to remember, Lord, that you are here to help, and that if we come and ask you, you will help us to carry through in the things you have called us to do. We pray your rich blessings on everyone who reads this today, and a special blessing on anyone who reads this who may be discouraged and in need of a good word. Blessings to you, Father, and we pray these things in Jesus’ Precious Name, Amen.

Verse to RememberRepent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and I will remove thy candlestick out of his place…
Revelation 2.5

Love in Christ Prayer Warrior/Tammy

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