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I'm a Daddy. Here's Mikayla's announcement.
The Beginning of the Lord's Church
(with Aplogies to the Apostles)
"It's been nearly two months since Jesus died on the cross to save men's souls. It's high time that we got this church started!" exclaimed Peter, always the impetuous one.
The apostles were gathered together in Jerusalem in a meeting to plan the beginning of the Lord's church. The discussion had moved to the question of how to set up this new church so as to attract as many people as possible.
Matthew, the former tax collector, said, "We need to have lots of rummage sales, bingo games and pie suppers to bring in funds for the new church. It is important that the church have sufficient funds to send its young people to the Sea of Galilee Youth Camp." Philip, who had already been appointed youth director of the new church in planning, nodded vigorously. "If we don't keep them entertained, they won't want to be a part of the church," he added. Bartholomew tried to say something about the spiritual nature of the gospel, be he was drowned out as the other apostles agreed to put Matthew in charge of fund-raising.
It was Simon the Zealot who suggested that the new church needed to be politically active. The other apostles weren't too sure at first that they wanted this new church to be involved in politics, but then Simon said, "We have to do something to get the Pontius Pilot out of the governorship. We want Roman officials to sit up and pay attention to what this church thinks!" Thomas replied, "I don't know if that will work," but the mention of the evil Pilate convinced the other apostles who promptly designated Simon as the one who would prepare the new church's positions on all political issues.
James brought up a good point. "If we want to attract people to this new church, we can't have any of that narrow-minded preaching. I mean, we don't really want people to be living in sin, but look what it got John the Immerser! He got on that divorce kick and he ended up getting himself killed. If we preach the truth about the sin of our countrymen, the Jews, in killing Jesus, we will just make a bunch of people angry and we'll sink this new church before it gets started." A chorus of amens resounded and Thaddeus added, "And no preaching about baptism for the remission of sins! Let's just tell people that they need to pray to God and accept Jesus as their personal Savior." The wisdom of these suggestions was recognized by all and so it was decided.
Everything in this article so far is total fiction, but it fits well with the thinking and teaching of churches in America today. If you want to know what REALLY happened on the day that the Lord's church was established, read Acts 2. The rest of the New Testament will tell you about the way that the church worshipped, was organized and what its mission was.
by Allen Dvorak
(I wrote this in 1999)It's that time of year again! Yes, the Christmas season which we all love is upon us. I wonder how many times you'll be hearing "Remember the reason for the season" or "put Christ back into Christmas." Probably several. Interesting.. Do you know the reason behind the season? Do you use Christmas to celebrate the birth of Christ? (As most of the world does.) If you do may I ask you a sincere question? Why? I encourage you to investigate for yourself. Most historians agree that the celebration of the birth of Christ (as Christmas) didn't begin until around 336 AD, many, many years (centuries) after the ministry of Christ and His apostles. Rather than dedicate a special day to remember the birth of Christ, the New Testament instructs Christians to remember His death in the Supper that Jesus himself instituted. There's lots of good information about the history of various holidays on the web. I did a search and one that had very good information about several holidays, including Christmas, is www.nisbett.com/holidays/christmas.htm. I encourage you to check it out. Comparing this to what I already knew, most of the information presented on the site about the history of Christmas is accurate. The site begins.. "If Christmas is truly Christian, then the Bible ought to instruct us not only about the date when Jesus was born, but it should also contain a plain command from the Father (or Jesus--jwh) that we should celebrate it. Many will be surprised that, in a thorough search of the Scriptures, they will not be able to find either date or precept for the celebration of the birth of Christ; no, not even the example of a single man who celebrated it during the time of Christ or the apostles." Did you know this? Please contrast this to what Christ Himself did institute the night of His betrayal, the partaking of the Lord's supper in rememberance of His sacrifice, His death, and His resurrection. Christians in the first century (and later) partook of the Lord's supper, remembering the Lord's death as He instructed, every 1st day of the week. [Matt 26:26-29; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 11:23-26] Christians today still follow this command and example, being thankful for what our Lord and Savior did for us.
Please note, I definitely do not endorse the entire site mentioned above (or even most of it) as it is filled with denominational doctrine (in particular, Seventh-Day Aventist). But the history of holidays section, especially that of Christmas, is interesting and worthwhile information (which most people are not aware of). Similiar history information can be found at other sites on the web. Now that you've read this information I encourage you to make use of it. Could it be there's other beliefs and practices that you've always accepted without biblical backing which is contrary to the will of God? Study your bible. Follow what God says.
Are you saved? Are you sure? Please study God's Word, the bible. "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." [Matthew 7:13-14] Reject denominationalism! Follow Truth! "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth." [John 17:17] "And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, [Hebrews 5:9] Remember that our sins are against God (1 John 3:4). We must have faith and follow what God requires of us to receive forgiveness of our sins. (Not what man says.) Please study your bible and only accept what it teaches. Everyone will be judged according to what the Lord says. "He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. [John 12:48] Please don't be ashamed of the Lord's word (although due to your circumstances, including family or friends, it may be difficult for you) because as Jesus said "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angles." [Mark 8:38] Study your bible. Follow God's word. Are you interested in studying together? Please contact me.