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Disciples Project Bible Studies - Page 2







In American, and I will venture to say in other cultures as well, there are souls who attend church to seek the Lord, to search for truth and find their purpose. On the other hand, there are those who go to church just to get out of the house; some who “joined the church” for the music or the sermons, some for fellowship, and others to look for a spouse or casual relationship. Still others because they were told it’s the right thing to do.

Of course there are also some “church members,” who having proved faithful to “church leadership” – by supporting the church in tithes and offerings, and working tirelessly in various “church ministries” – are elevated to coveted positions like deacon, elder, or a seat on the board of trustees. Others continue to forge ahead as Sunday school teachers, ushers, or singers in the church choir.

There are families who have attended the same church, week after week, for multiple generations. They have been sitting in the same pews for years and everyone knows them.  In contrast, there are the Easter/Christmas church goers - that’s the only time they attend. There are also those whose morals and ethics match lockstep with our society’s decaying values – however they faithfully attend church services.

There are folks who turn to the church for refuge and others who found they need refuge from the church. The latter group leaves, crushed and dismayed, and are often soon forgotten.

There are individuals whose only affiliation with a church was on the day they were “christened” as an infant or baptized as a young child. There are also those who came up during altar call, “joined the church” and were never heard from again. Still others who have never set foot in a church but have said the sinner’s prayer or asked Jesus into their hearts. Many of them have never opened a Bible and really have no desire to do so.

Oh, and let us not forget the multitude of church leaders who range from those who sincerely believe they have been called to their vocation to those who are just in it for the money.

Chances are, some of the above mentioned individuals may not really believe in the God of the Holy Bible, but they hedge their bet just in case He exists and the Holy Bible proves to be true - especially the scary stuff like the lake of fire.

By ever changing church standards, all of the above are considered “Christians” – but are they? From the above descriptions, can we easily define what it means to be a “Christian”? Can we honestly conclude that someone is a “Christian” based on church titles, positions, contributions and attendance? If not, what standard should we use?

I believe there are extremely troubling and perilous days ahead for those in western cultures who say they are “Christians.” Many Middle Eastern followers of Christ have already laid down their lives for their beliefs. And now in the United States of America – the land of the free and the home of the brave – persecution against Christians is starting to intensify. If we are to stand as Christians, in this hour, it is important that we understand what it truly means to be a Christian. Of course, there are some who do. However, it is important for each of us to prayerfully and honestly gauge our allegiance and commitment to our Heavenly Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ based on the standard proclaimed in the Word of God and by the Word of God – the Holy Bible and Jesus Christ. Everything, and everyone else, may prove to be sinking sand.

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ROMANS 13:1-7


It is my understanding that various “church leaders” and “televangelists” are preaching submission to the “governing authorities.” They are using Romans 13 as their Biblical proof text to bring unsuspecting Christians into line to kowtow to whatever laws the government decrees. Why? Because these “church leaders” and “televangelists” have a personal interest in maintaining the status quo.

 Most Christians have absolute faith in their “church leaders.” Some even refer to that person as their man or woman of God. Whatever they say goes, and most congregants never bother to check either the accuracy or the motivation behind their words. 

 To add fuel to the fire, many modern English translations of the Holy Bible have replaced the “higher powers,” in Romans 13:1 of the King James Version (KJV), to “governing authorities,” “state government” or just “governments” in general. As a result, I truly believe a number of well-meaning Christians will take their favorite Bible translation at face value, along with the words from their trusted “church leader” or “televangelist," and be deceived by those who are not so well-meaning.

 However, instead of us focusing on the government, the church leaders or the various translations, I propose that we examine Romans 13 for ourselves to ensure that we are doing what is Biblically required of us. When we are armed with truth, we cannot be deceived.

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I suspect that in many congregations today the word "repent" is seldom heard. I also suspect that in these congregations vital Biblical instructions have been rendered void. Chances are, denominational ethics have supplanted them. I suppose many have concluded that it does not take all that to be "saved". After all, God loves us. He sent Jesus to save us from our sins. Now we are free to do pretty much as we please.  After all, all we need is a sinner's prayer; a march down to the front of the church during altar call or maybe just an ask Jesus into your heart, find a good church home to attend and then you are good to go. Sound about right?

 However, just saying you believe in Jesus is not some magic pill that will get you an automatic ticket to heaven. Do we honestly think our Holy God wants a horde of disobedient, have it our way “Christians” trashing and defiling His kingdom? Do we really think this type of individual could live in the presence of our Holy God who is said to be a “consuming fire (Exodus 24:17; Deuteronomy 4:24; Hebrews 12:29)?

 Yes, in this day of supposed enlightenment, there are still congregational leaders that preach holiness and adherence to the Word of God. However, when it comes to the congregants and a few of these same leaders; morality is faltering and many are falling away from the faith once delivered.

What in the world is going on!

Do you suppose it is one thing to put on our church face and attend services every week and quite another to obey the teachings of Jesus Christ. However, even if they wanted to, many claim it’s just too hard. In fact, it’s just not doable. “After all,” I have heard many say, “God knows I’m not perfect.” Therefore, it seems only reasonable that we hold to the claim that Jesus did it all for us. This way we are free and clear of all liability. However, it is written that Jesus said the following:

 Matthew 5:43-48

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor  and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

Why would Jesus instruct us to be “perfect” if it is impossible for us to do so?

 Have we overlooked something? Are there Biblical instructions that will truly result in a new you? Instructions, that if adhered to, will transform you into one who “wills to do His will” (John 7:16-17)? Moreover, if Christ and His apostles did leave us important instructions, would you be willing to follow them – if you have not already done so?

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