NO BRAND NAME!
"But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." Galatians 6:14
I was awakened to a Sunday morning message from a pastor of a denominational church. His message was "I'm glad to be a Southern Baptist because..." This man, who has a very large audience, proceeded to give several reasons why he was glad to be a Southern Baptist. Throughout his message, his punch line was "I'm glad to be a Southern Baptist because..." He enumerated several reasons for his pride in the SBC (Southern Baptist Convention).
This man seemed to be systematically seeking to program his audience to be proud of their denomination. He was sewing people into the vision of a religious sect or system. He was attempting to cause his hearers to be proud of their denominational heritage and organization instead of loving JESUS Christ and His eternal kingdom and people. What a travesty!
I've got news for this brand peddler and the many other misled men in leadership like him; his denomination is going to soon vanish like a vapor and all that will be left standing will be the ROCK Himself along with all those who are trusting HIM alone.
"He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he." Deuteronomy 32:4
"But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation (because they were busy esteeming themselves)." Deuteronomy 32:15
"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 3:11
"And did all drink the same spiritual drink (what spiritual drink are you partaking of?): for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." 1 Corinthians 10:4
This man, the one who was touting the greatness of his denomination, is in violation of the very first commandment:
He is also causing others to go astray in his sinful folly.
Is not hell crammed packed full of proud denominationalists who served their religion well? There will not be even one proud Church of Christ, Presbyterian, Southern Baptist, or Methodist person in Heaven. Whoever unduly loves their denomination is an idolater and will not enter the eternal kingdom of Jesus (Eph. 5:5-6). Setting ones affections upon anything or person short of the nail-scarred risen Savior is idolatry - having another god before you (Exod. 20:3). Only born-again, God-fearing people who follow JESUS and His words to the end of their lives will be in Heaven (Mark 8:34-38; Rev. 21:8, 27...). Simply put we cannot follow anyone but Christ and remain on the narrow road that leads to life (Matt. 7:13-14).
"Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." Mark 8:38
Isn't it time we become "ashamed" of the foolish pride we possess in the fleeting organizations of men?! If not, we will continue to exhibit open rebellion against the Almighty and ultimately be terminated into the eternal "shame" reserved for all un-forgiven transgressors (Dan. 12:2).
Jesus and John the Baptist preached that the KINGDOM of God was at hand, not the Methodist or Southern Baptist or Presbyterian church! Where did JESUS Christ say that a certain denomination was at hand?!?!?!? If He didn't, then why would we??? Why do we render allegiance to such temporal foolishness? And then we have the gaul to say we are following Him, when in actuality, are we not preaching "another gospel" and have become "accursed"? (Gal. 1:6-9)
Okay I do realize that this does not apply to everyone for sure but should be a reminder to each of our hearts to love Jesus Christ supremely and not allow anything to intercept the affections of our hearts (Col. 3:1-4).
Paul reproved the Corinthians for such foolishness:
1 Corinthians 1:12 "Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ."
1 Corinthians 3:4 "For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?"
And if JESUS Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, nothing has changed - the Kingdom of God is still at hand, not a denomination (Heb. 13:8). LORD bless us to follow on know You and rejoice only in knowing You (Jer. 9:23-24; Hos. 6:3). The LORD of all creation is not even slightly impressed by any man or denomination or local church. He is going to soon “stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth.” (Isa. 23:9)
Biblical "Baptists" should live and declare what the original baptist (John) did:
"And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (not some denomination)." Matthew 3:2 (John the Baptist)
In God’s economy it’s all about loving and sincerely serving the KING of His eternal kingdom - Jesus Christ. It’s to Jesus Christ that every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He alone is LORD! (Phil. 2:10) God forbid that we glory in any other but He who bled on the cross and rose again for our justification. LORD bring us to repentance for all idols of the heart and spiritual adultery!
What is your life saying to others? Is it saying that it is important to be a Methodist or a Presbyterian? If so, you have been grossly misled beloved and the brand name denomination you are trusting cannot save your soul. Or, is your life exuding the love and truth of the KING of the eternal Kingdom of Heaven, and pointing people to Him alone? Every knee shall bow to JESUS, not a fleeting organization of men! (Philippians 2:10) Somebody get your hands up to Jesus and thank Him for His unspeakable gift! Yay Jesus!
"He that is not with me IS against me; and he that gathereth not with ME scattereth abroad." Matthew 12:30
Are you with JESUS? Are you gathering unto JESUS or are you scattering people toward an organization of mere men?
Please allow me to suggest that all true disciples of Christ identify themselves with Him alone - directly, and, not even mention their home church or denomination until asked. When asked, it is good to let the inquisitor know that you have no pride in your home church, but that JESUS is your LORD, Savior, and Master and the One with whom you identify and in whom you trust. Our home church fellowship should be a place where we gather with other believers as living stones gathered around His holy throne to worship Him (1 Pet. 2:5, 9). Blood-bought saints are “lively stones...built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” (1 Pet. 2:5) We gather to dwell richly in His Word, sing unto Him, break bread together, pray together, etc., and not to emphasize in any way the ministry or organization of mere men (Acts 2:42-47; Col. 3:16-17). May God bless us to return to authentic New Testament Christianity and live to glorify Jesus Christ alone. When we meet let it be to praise and worship the LORD, hear the Word, serve, bless, and pray for others, etc. Our identity is in the One who bled on the cross for us and may our lives exude the light of His holy love (Gal. 6:14).
Instead of asking people where they go to church, when we do inquire of such, wouldn't it be more fitting to ask "Tell me about your fellowship with other members of the body of Christ." This is because where someone fellowships is subservient to whether are not that person knows and is growing in the LORD. This will work towards accomplishing the Great Commission we have been sent to fulfill. Letting people know the One in whom we trust will direct people toward Him.
"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." John 12:32
Jesus was lifted up on the cross to draw men to Him and as we lift Him up they will be drawn to Him.
Who am I lifting up? The Savior, or an organization of mere men?
JESUS said that when HE is lifted up men are drawn to HIM, so, we must conclude that when a denomination is lifted up, as is so often the case, men are drawn to pride in that organization which has no power to grant salvation, forgiveness, eternal life, blessing, or healing.
Colossians 2:8 "BEWARE lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."
Colossians 2:18 "Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,"
Colossians 2:19 "And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God."
When the Head, JESUS Christ, is not being upheld, no nourishment or growth is occurring in that part of His Body. If you find yourself in a fellowship that fits this description, RUN for your spiritual life! See 1 Timothy 6:3-5 KJV. If you are currently in a fellowship that is proud of its religious organization, no significant growth from God is occurring. You should find one that honors God.
Beloved, make no mistake: Nothing is going to be right in our lives until we repent of and remove every trace of idolatry, including the denominational idols of our hearts.
God the Father made it forever clear what He is pleased in, and a denomination is not mentioned. Only One name and Person is mentioned:
"And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Matthew 3:17
Make no mistake: This is an in-your-face message of rebellion against the idolatry of our day! We must discard, like a killer plague, all the pride and trappings of religion and cling to the one true God who sent His Son to bleed and rise again for us and is coming back soon for all those who supremely aggrandize Him alone who is worthy (Heb. 9:28; 12:1-3).
"Thou shalt have NO other gods before me." Exodus 20:3
“...his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” 1 John 5:20-21
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I openly repent of and denounce idolatry, spiritual adultery, and ever taking pride in men, organizations, and denominations who are powerless to save, heal, forgive, or deliver my soul as only You can. None can stand beside Thee - no one is on Your level. You alone are the Most High God. I love You JESUS, my LORD and Master and Friend. Thank You for coming and dying for me and rising from the dead to redeem my soul. Please bless me to be discerning and escape from those people and teachings that seek to misdirect my heart from truly loving and following Y
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