Be Saved not a Hypocrite

The word “hypocrite” comes from the Greek word “hupokrites.” It is defined as “the practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess,” or “an actor under an assumed character.”

Brennan Manning has said that “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” Oswald Chambers said, “The world is glad of an excuse not to listen to the gospel message, and the inconsistencies of Christians is the excuse.” In essence, “hypocrisy” refers to the act of claiming to believe something but acting in a different manner. The word is derived from the Greek term for “actor”—literally, “one who wears a mask”—in other words, someone who pretends to be what he is not.

The Bible calls hypocrisy a sin. There are two forms hypocrisy can take: that of professing belief in something and then acting in a manner contrary to that belief, and that of looking down on others when we ourselves are flawed.

The prophet Isaiah condemned the hypocrisy of his day: Isaiah 29:13 (ESV)“The Lord says, ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men’”. Centuries later, Jesus quoted this verse, aiming the same condemnation at the religious leaders of His day Matthew 15:8-9(ESV)“‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 9 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”. John the Baptist refused to give hypocrites a pass, telling them to produce Luke 3:8(ESV)Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Jesus took an equally staunch stand against sanctimony—He called hypocrites “wolves in sheep’s clothing” Matthew 7:15(ESV)15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves., “whitewashed tombs” Matthew 23:27(ESV)27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness., “snakes,” and “brood of vipers” Matthew 23:33(ESV)33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? Jesus uses harsh words to describe how wicked the scribes and Pharisees are. While he’s calling them snakes, he’s specifically using vipers as the best metaphor everyone listening will understand. Everyone knows the viper is the most dangerous and worst in terms of looks, with double-forked tongues and venomous fangs, but also in what they do. When they aggressively attack and bite to give venom, they don’t let go. Their poisonous bites often lead to painful deaths. Furthermore, they multiply quickly.

Genealogies are, if you will, a kind of a map for the whole community – describing exactly where in the scheme of things you fit.We’re not often aware of it when we read the English Bible but Jesus is extremely skilled at insults. Matthew, Jesus calls his opponents – It’s translated in the English – “A brood of vipers.” That is not exactly what the Greek says. The Greek says, “You snake-bastards” Now think about that in honor-shame culture. If you get your honor ranking from your family, to call some of the illegitimate son of a snake – that is the Mediterranean equivalent of a dirty mouth. Double insult is calling a Pharisee an unclean animal and an illegitimate child.
In other words, the closest English equivalent would have been for Jesus to call the pharisees “sons of bitches”, except this modern insult probably isn’t as offensive as the one Jesus used.

Craig Keener,PHD Expertise in Historical Jesus and the New Testament studies argues that viper at that time carries reference to murdering one’s own mother, the “worst conceivable crimes” in the ancient world. It is hard to find a modern equivalent to the term “brood of vipers” to bring out its semantic significance since our English language and context does not have the words to express the equivalent weight of moral wrongness with mother murderer and bring out the equivalent social disgust. Some historians and theologians of modern day equate Mother F****r to brood of vipers.

“Brood of vipers,” as a condemnation, has layers of poison. We can match John for crudity, but our insults lack his sophistication; we underestimate the seriousness of life, and the dangers Jesus saw for his church.

Can we feel the forcefulness of Jesus’ perception of the Pharisees now?, Can we get a better picture of how much Jesus disliked the hypocritical Pharisees? Ephesians 4:29(NASB)29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Like I said last week well placed words at the right moment mean alot, regardless of what we think about them.

Hypocrisy is not the same as taking a stand against sin. For example, it is not hypocrisy to teach that sexual immorality is a sin, unless the one teaching against immorality gets looks at porn and cheats on their spouse—that would be hypocrisy.

Genesis 3:1-7(ESV)Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

Notice that their first reaction to sin was to manufacture a coverup. When sin entered the world though their disobedience, Adam and Eve used fig leaves to cover their shame. Fig leaves whither pretty quickly. Before sin, they had never seen anything die, so when they plucked the fig leaves from the tree, I’m sure they expected longer-lasting results.

When God spoke to Adam and Eve, He explained that in order to cover their sin, something besides fig leaves would have to die. At this point, God established the sacrificial system. Genesis 3:21(HCSB)21 The Lord God made clothing out of skins for Adam and his wife, and He clothed them.

To get those skins, some animal had to die. In other words, God sacrificed an animal to cover their sin. From the beginning, God has declared the payment for sin is death, and so blood must be shed to cover sin:

Leviticus 17:11(NASB) “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.”

Hebrews 9:22(NASB) “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”

Early in the Old Testament God introduced this idea of one innocent being shedding its blood in place of the sinner’s.

However the solution of sacrificing bulls and goats and lambs for the sins of each person’s sin was a temporary fix. The next year, another animal would have to be sacrificed for the same person. A more permanent solution was needed, as noted in Hebrews 10:4(NASB)For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

That meant a human was needed to die for humans’ sin. But all humans are sinful, so another sin-filled person dying for us just wouldn’t work. A human without sin was needed.

But ever since Adam, every human born is sin-filled, so how could a sinless man happen? The only way was if a perfect man was born, Jesus.

Adam and Eve made belts of fig leaves, but God gave them robes of skin, thus symbolizing that Jesus would have to die to cover the sin and nakedness of the lost. When we sin, one of two things will happen. We either start looking for fig leaves to make our own flimsy coverup, or we look to Jesus for His robe of righteousness.

Throughout the Bible, fig leaves are a symbol for man-made religion and false righteousness. Man has never been able to make a “fig leaf” that will cover his sin. We try “fig leaves” of good religious works, church membership, baptism, confirmation, tithing, the sacraments, religious philosophy, new age movements, philanthropy, etc. But we still cannot escape our guilt.

All outward acts of religion without the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins are withered “fig leaves.”

Luke 13:6-9(ESV)6 And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’ 8 And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. 9 Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”

One week before His death, Jesus cursed a fruitless fig tree to illustrate what was going to happen to the Jewish nation and the apostate church.

Matthew 21:18-20(ESV)18 In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry. 19 And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once.20 When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?”

Why would Jesus curse a fig tree? Surely the Lord was not so petty as to retaliate against a tree because it didn’t give Him breakfast! We need to examine this story closely, because it is the only place in the Gospels where Jesus is credited with being directly responsible for killing something.

Fig trees are unique in that both mature leaves and ripe fruit appear at the same time. The tree Jesus cursed had all the outward signs of bearing fruit, yet the tree was a hypocrite. It was a fitting symbol of the Jewish nation. With its temple, priesthood, and sacrifices, Israel had all the trappings of true religion, but the genuine fruits—justice, mercy, and faith—were missing. Matthew 23:23(ESV)23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. Remember that withered fig leaves are a reminder of man’s failed attempts to cover his own sins.

Notice the sequence. The same day Jesus cursed the fruitless fig tree (Matthew 21), He later had a showdown with the phony Pharisees and exposed their hypocrisy.

Matthew 23:1-23(ESV)Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, 3 so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. 4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. 5 They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, 6 and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues 7 and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others. 8 But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. 15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.

16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ 17 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? 18 And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’ 19 You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it. 22 And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it.

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.

27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, 30 saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. 33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? 34 Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, 35 so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. 36 Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

Christ’s illustration of the fig tree that put forth leaves but no fruit is also a very plain prophetic sign for the last days. In the same way that literal Israel had all the outward forms of true religion before the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, so spiritual Israel (the church) will in the last days put forth leaves but no fruit. There may be all the outward appearances of revival—lots of praise, miracle-healing services, big attendance, and talk of love and acceptance, but no fruit of the Holy Spirit. 2 Timothy 3:1-7(ESV)But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

Jesus is calling us to lay aside our filthy, self-righteous fig leaves and put on the royal robe of the Father. Only then will the fruits of the Spirit be evident in our lives. Galatians 5:22-23(ESV)22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. There will be no people in God’s kingdom who are merely ornamental trees. Ornamental trees just look pretty but have no fruit. Everyone must have fruit, God didn’t call us to look pretty, He calls us to produce fruit.

Hypocrisy hurts the church, and it hurts us. Many hypocrites have been acting for so long that they have come to believe their own performance. We have a tendency to mold our faces to fit our masks. The longer we are hypocrites the less we know who the “real” us are. We start to believe our own lies we tell ourselves and we start to believe the enemy. But God wants us to be honest with others and ourselves.

Don’t try coming to God with your “fig leaves.” They may be in fashion, but they are inadequate. God will not accept them; they can never please God because no death has taken place. The penalty for sin must be paid. You will pay it, or your divine Substitute must pay it. God has dealt with our guilt in the death of Jesus Christ.  Christ died for our sin as our substitute. The penalty for our sin has been paid in full.God fully clothes every individual who believes in Christ with the perfect righteousness of Christ. The nakedness of your sin must be covered. Are you covered with the righteousness of Jesus Christ?  Either you will stand before your eternal Judge in the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ, or you will stand naked in your sins. This is called Justification, Romans 3:23-24(HCSB)23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 24 They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

This righteousness we receive is imputed righteousness–that is a theological term which means removing the guilt and penalty of sin while at the same time declaring a sinner righteous through Christ’s atoning sacrifice. God legally declares us to be righteous because of Christ’s work on the cross.

This is Justification, to stand before God with all debts paid, and clothed in the righteousness of His only Son, Jesus Christ. To be able know that you have “peace with God”–there is no more war between you and the Almighty.

Romans 5:1(HCSB) Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Justification We are saved from the PENALTY of Sin.

Sanctification We are being saved from the Power of Sin

Glorification We will be saved from the presence of Sin

Justification begins our sanctification. We are both Justified (a one time event) and in the process of being sanctified(on going). Sanctification begins with our justification, it is a process that conforms us to Christ’s likeness. Justification is a legal declaration of a sinner being righteous before the Father, it does not make us self-righteous.

Romans 8:29(HCSB) For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Someone who is a Christian for 10 years is no more justified than when the first became a believer. It is through the process of our dying to self and being obedient to the word and the Spirit we are daily changed, in God’s eyes we are completed and accepted because of our faith in Jesus’ work on the cross.
John 17:15-19(ESV)15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

Justification is a pronouncement to clear the guilty. When one is justified, he is declared right before the Lord; he is pardoned and cleared of any violation. “Romans 8:1(NLT)So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” To have “no condemnation” declared means to be found innocent of the accusation, to have no sentence inflicted and no guilty verdict found. By the grace of God, believers in Jesus Christ will not face the condemnation of God.

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Evangelism and Missions

If you were to ask the average Christian, “What was the mission of Jesus?” you’d no doubt hear that Jesus came to die on the cross for our sins, so that we might have eternal life. I believe this is true, profoundly and wonderfully. But I also believe it’s not the full story. The mission of Jesus, though ultimately centered in the cross and though leading to life after death, is not the whole picture. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the Good News. The good news that we were once dead but now we are alive, we were once on a path to hell and now we are not. We are to spread this good news to the whole earth, but are we doing what we are called to do? Do we go out and spread the gospel or do we beg people to come see the church, the music, listen to the preacher, check out children’s church, etc?

The whole idea of missionaries is to infiltrate a culture, learn the culture and preach the gospel to that culture. Only in America do we create a different culture and tell people to stay away from different cultures.

Here in America is the only “mission field” that we scold people for being like the culture. Every other country in the world we send missionaries to learn the culture of the people and preach the gospel to those people. We need to learn what it is to meet people where they are and say “Come up Here”!!

We don’t simply need evangelistic churches, but rather ‘missional’ churches.

The missional Church is concerned with meeting the needs of others and discipling the lost. Most churches now are nothing more than fancy buildings for people who talk the same,act the same, like the same music and movies to have a place to gather and make themselves feel good about themselves.

Acts 1:8(HCSB)8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Acts 1:8 is personal “the Holy Spirit comes upon YOU AND YOU will be my witnesses,Jesus said be fishers of men and if you read it backwards it says

If your not fishing for men you are not following Jesus Christ.

We sit back and let cults come in to our neighborhoods and peddle their theology that is sending people straight to Hell.

What we have done as “The Christian Church” is made the people we are supposed to be evangelizing, our enemies. We would rather stay away from the dark than shine a light in it. But they still need the word too the gospel should be heard too. Romans 1:16-17(HCSB)16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. 17 For in it God’s righteousness is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.We claim we are not ashamed but yet we still haven’t evangelized our own neighborhoods. We in our Christian bubble while our brothers and sisters overseas are getting locked and chopped up for the sake of the gospel. See American’s ain’t Christian we just practicing a ritual.

Thats why we should be missional. Because what most churches peddle is nothing more than humanistic self-help repackaged with a sprinkle of Jesus on top. The culture around us doesn’t want any part of that. They are hungry for real, authentic Christianity. We build up walls and create Christian bubbles to protect ourselves from THEM. We have christian movies, music, coffee shops, clothing, restaurants, books,tv stations, cartoons,vernacular,etc. We created a closed off Christian culture that is very hard for the average non believer to come to Christ and learn. Because we were never to do that!!! We were always made to GO, GO and Make disciples.
Matthew 28:18-19(HCSB)18 Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”I know you read the Great Commission let me just remind ya’ll Make Disciples of the Nation teach them to obey the Lord Hate to never lead someone to Christ before I see the Lord.The Great Commission says make Disciples of all nation. Have we even made em in our own nation?

We like to believe this doctrine of salvation that Romans speaks of Romans 10:13(HCSB)13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But who will tell them?

Romans 10:14-15(HCSB)14 But how can they call on Him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about Him? And how can they hear without a preacher? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who announce the gospel of good things!

Believers in Jesus Christ are simply in the world—physically present—but not of it, not part of its values John 17:14-19(HCSB)I have given them Your word. The world hated them because they are not of the world, as I am not of the world.15 I am not praying that You take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one.They are not of the world, as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by the truth;Your word is truth.18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.19 I sanctify Myself for them, so they also may be sanctified by the truth.

Jesus is not asking his Father for his disciples to be taken out of the world, but he is praying for them as they are “sent into” the world. He begins with them being “not of the world” and prays for them as they are “sent into” the world.

Jesus’s assumption in John 17 is that those who have embraced him, and identified with him, are indeed not of the world. And now his summons is our sending — we are sent into the world on mission for gospel advance through disciple making.

Jesus’s true followers have not only been crucified to the world, but also raised to new life and sent back in to free others. We’ve been rescued from the darkness and given the Light not merely to flee the darkness, but to guide our steps as we go back in to rescue others.

We are to preach the gospel and live life worthy of being called a Christian, this does not mean that we will not mess up. This means that we have something worth telling the wold about. Do you even care that the world around you is lost and on their way to hell? It is not our responsibility on how the world will react to the gospel. That is the Father’s responsibility, the Holy Spirit will work on the hearts of the men to repent and turn to Him.

John 16:8-11(HCSB)When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: About sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me; 11 and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

All of salvation is grace.  It is grace that God chose to save the ungodly; it is grace that Christ came to earth to secure the salvation of His treasured possession through His own blood; and it is grace that exchanges a man’s heart of stone for a heart of flesh by the power of the Holy Spirit.

This work of the Holy Spirit in the salvation of men is known as regeneration.  Before man is able to respond to the Gospel message, he must be given ears to hear.  Because man is born dead in sin, he must be made alive in order to respond positively to the call to repentance (just think about a corpse’s ability to respond to anything). Without this work of the Holy Spirit, man would remain condemned and dead in his sins.

Jeremiah 17:9(ESV) The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

Deuteronomy 30:6(ESV) And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.

Ezekiel 36:26(ESV) And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Luke 8:15 As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.

Acts 16:14(ESV) One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.

2 Corinthians 5:17(ESV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

So why evangelize? Because God chose the method of men preaching the gospel  to turn the hearts of men from stone into flesh. Then what? It is our job to disciple them. We think  that evangelism is the hardest part but it is not, discipleship is.

Jesus sent his inner core of disciples into the world for the purpose of making more disciples. These new followers of Jesus would not only believe in him, but also would obey all the commands Jesus gave to his first disciples. The second generation of disciples were to make more disciples, who would make more disciples, who would make more disciples, and so forth until all nations are filled with disciples of Jesus.

Matthew 10:7-8(HCSB)7 As you go, announce this: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with skin diseases, drive out demons. You have received free of charge; give free of charge.

John 13:34(HCSB)34 “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another.

But, whereas the first disciples were to minister only among their fellow Jews while Jesus was on earth, after the resurrection they – and we – are sent out to all nations. Jesus explained this sending quite succinctly:

John 20:21(HCSB) Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”We who follow Jesus are a sent people, even as Jesus was sent into the world by his Heavenly Father. We are a community sent on a mission together: to keep on doing the ministry of Jesus so that all people and all creation might experience the reconciliation of God. God has designed the church of Jesus Christ to be a “missional” fellowship. The word “mission” comes from the Latin word missio, which means “having been sent.” Since we have been sent to do God’s work, we are a “missional” community together.

Christians have often used this kind of language differently, to identify as “missionaries” those whom we send to far away places to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Thus, these missionaries are sent, having been sent by God and by the church. But this language has sometimes obscured the fundamental missional calling of the whole church together and every individual member. If we think of ourselves primarily as sending others away to do “missions,” then we may forget that we also have been sent by God into our particular part of the world to fulfill God’s mission right where we are, even as we share in the global mission of God.

Though many churches have mission statements or talk about the importance of having a mission, where missional churches differ is in their attitude toward the world. It is patterned after what God has done in Jesus Christ, that is, to be missional means to be sent into the world; not to expect people to come to us. This idea differentiates a missional church from an “attractional” church.

The attractional church seeks to reach out to the culture and draw people into the church. But this practice only works where no significant cultural shift is required when moving from outside to inside the church. The process of extracting people from the culture and assimilating them into the church diminishes their ability to speak to those outside. As a result, people cease to be missional and instead leave that work to the clergy.

Missional represents a significant shift in the way one thinks about the church. Being missional means we should engage the world the same way Jesus did—by going out rather than just reaching out. Missional means that when a church is in mission, it is then the true church.

Here in America is the only “mission field” that we scold people for being like the culture. Every other country in the world we send missionaries to learn the culture of the people and preach the gospel to those people. We need to learn what it is to meet people where they are and say “Come up Here”!!

We don’t simply need evangelistic churches, but rather ‘missional’ churches.

Shellfish,Football,haircuts,tattoos and Duck Dynasty

In past few weeks I have had a couple conversations that went like this.”I’m confused. You are a Christian and you look like that?”
” every Christian I talked to said I’m going to hell for my tattoos”
My response to one person online about tattoos was this.
I am sorry that the Christians you talk to didn’t have a full understanding of what the Bible meant when it talks about tattoos in Leviticus. This scripture was pertaining to the marks on the body in honor of the pagan gods. God doesn’t look at the outside of a person he looks at the heart and the motive of a person in what they’re doing. The same book in the Bible Leviticus also talks about not cutting your hair shaving your beard eating shellfish or wearing two different types of linen, like wool and cotton blends. So if tattoos get you to hell and so does wearing blended clothes, cutting your hair, shaving your face and eating shrimp and crabs. Most Christians or should I say most people who call themselves Christians aren’t students of the word and pull a lot of scripture out of context to pacify their own beliefs and what they think people should look like or do or say. Not all Christians pull scripture out of context there are Christians who study the Bible,read the Bible and don’t pull scripture out of context. Yes there are a lot of judgmental Christians out there who don’t fully have a grasp or understanding of who God is and how he loves us. Remember God looks at the heart he doesn’t look at the outside exterior Jesus talks to the Pharisees and tells them on the outside you like whitewashed tombs but inside you full of dead men’s bones. Please don’t judge every Christian by the few ignorant ones you have to talk to you.
So I thought it’d be a good time to find a bunch of stuff that the Bible bans… stuff that’s a lot LESS convenient. Don’t worry, though… just because I’m pointing it out, that doesn’t mean you now have to follow it. It’s a lot easier to keep discriminating against gay or tattooed people for no particular reason than to stop eating bacon, after all. 
Should Christians get haircuts?
Leviticus 19:27 “‘Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.
This butt cut is a guaranteed one-way ticket to sin.
Round haircuts. See you in Hell, Beatles… and/or kids with bowl cuts, undercuts,skater cuts or butt cuts. 
Well it looks like those “Duck Dynasty” guys got this right. 
Can’t eat shrimp, crabs,clams,oyster or lobster.
Leviticus talks about not eating any shellfish. Leviticus 11:10 reads, “But whatever is in the seas and in the rivers that does not have fins and scales among all the teeming life of the water, and among all the living creatures that are in the water, they are detestable things to you.” And shellfish is right in that wheelhouse.
Leviticus 11 bans a TON of animals from being eaten (it’s THE basis for Kosher law); beyond shellfish and pig, it also says you can’t eat camel, rock badger, rabbit, eagle, vulture, buzzard, falcon, raven, crow, ostrich, owl, seagull, hawk, pelican, stork, heron, bat, winged insects that walk on four legs unless they have joints to jump with like grasshoppers (?), bear, mole, mouse, lizard, gecko, crocodile, chameleon and snail.
And it also talks about fabric.Polyester, or any other fabric blends. The Bible doesn’t want you to wear polyester. Not just because it looks cheap. It’s sinfully unnatural.
Leviticus 19:19 reads, “You are to keep My statutes. You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together.”
Check the tag on your shirt right now. Didn’t realize you were mid-sin at this exact second, did you?
And for you married guys and gals.Pulling out. The Bible doesn’t get too much into birth control… it’s clearly pro-populating but, back when it was written, no one really anticipated the condom or the sponge, so those don’t get specific bans.
But… pulling out does. One of the most famous sexual-oriented Bible verses… the one that’s used as anti-masturbation rhetoric… is actually anti-pulling out.
It’s Genesis 38:9-10: “Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother’s wife, he wasted his seed on the ground in order not to give offspring to his brother. But what he did was displeasing in the sight of the Lord; so He took his life also.”
Yep — pull out and get smote. That’s harsh.
What about Fortune telling? Before you read your horoscope or crack open a fortune cookie, realize you’re in huge trouble if you do.
Leviticus 19:31 reads “Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.” The penalty for that? Check Leviticus 20:6: “As for the person who turns to mediums and to spiritists, to play the harlot after them, I will also set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.”
Also Football. At least, the pure version of football, where you play with a pigskin. The modern synthetic footballs are ugly and slippery anyways. Leviticus 11:8, which is discussing pigs, reads “You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.”
And you’re doubly breaking that if you wake up, eat some sausage then go throw around the football. Or eat some bacon in the morning!
After reading those lines it puts this: You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:28 ESV) into a better perspective. 
Context means everything the context of what they were writing in Leviticus was for Levitical priest and it was not a moral sin, you were ceremonially unclean by doing those things.
I can go on and on I think this is a good place to stop. In summary of this post, don’t pull scripture out of context to satisfy yourself in not liking or agreeing with something.