“Redeemed” – “A Personal Note From Dad”

This article is part 14 of 14 in the series Redeemed

My Dear Friend,
This book would be incomplete without this personal note. I wanted to close it with a few
thoughts from my heart to yours.

Right now, HEAVEN AND HELL seem a long way off. Even the word “tomorrow” is not too realistic. We live TODAY. When I was a young minister, I brought a coffin (a real coffin) into the church building for a Sunday morning service. It was a TERRIFIC ILLUSTRATION. It was empty and it represented many truths.

1. IT ILLUSTRATED LIFE, for the coffin, you and I will be in, IS EMPTY.

2. IT REPRESENTED SALVATION, for the “empty coffin” still offers us the invitation of Christ. “Behold I stand at the door and knock. Open the door and I will come in and abide with you” (Revelation 3:20).

3. IT PORTRAYS TIME, remaining. Time to say “YES”! Time for the fallen Christian to repent (Revelation 3:14-20). Time yet to have your sins washed away! (Acts 22:16).
“Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

The (your) coffin is still empty, and Judgment is not yet. When will that day be? When will the coffin be filled? TODAY IS THE DAY OF SALVATION – YOUR SALVATION. Say “Yes” to God! Crown Jesus as your Lord. Judgment will be no more, for heaven will be your home.

Love you,
Jack ExumJack and Ann Exum

Jack and Ann Exum



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“Redeemed” – Lesson Thirteen – “Gehenna” “The Final Place Of The Wicked”

This article is part 13 of 14 in the series Redeemed

“GEHENNA” is a Greek word which is all but GOOD! I don’t like it! I don’t like reading about it! I encourage all to avoid it (and everyone can avoid it by God’s grace). If heaven is a real place, so is hell. If heaven is NOT real, then one cannot believe in Hell. You can’t have one and not the other.

“Gehenna” came from the name of a valley outside Jerusalem, owned by Hinnom (Hebrew). Eventually this valley became a sewage dumping place (or ‘land fill’) for city refuse. It burned day and night, worms and maggots devoured the rotting flesh of animals and even the poor and wretched of mankind.

Jesus chose to use this word to describe the “place” for the Devil and his angels. He used the word 12 times and included those who hate their brother (Matthew 5:22). Jesus condemned the city of Capernaum and said, “And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades (Hell)(KJV). For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day” (Matthew 11:23).

Jesus also said, “If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell” (Matthew 18:8-9).

Jesus spoke of this place as a place where the worms do not die, and fire does not go out. It is a place where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth”. Hell is a place AWAY from the presence of God! Jesus said, “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him” (Luke 12:4-5).

Why on earth would anyone joke about “HELL.” It’s no joke, it’s not funny, and you do not want to go there… not even for a “minute.” Jesus offers joy, peace, forgiveness, grace, love, blessings, as well as HEAVEN…. Why be lost? You don’t need to be lost…

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“Redeemed” – Lesson Twelve – “Heaven Bound”

This article is part 12 of 14 in the series Redeemed

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God ; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:1-2)

The Revelation written by John describes Heaven more fully… “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth…” “He will wipe every tear from their eyes… There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away…” “I am making everything new…” “Come I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb…” “… the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are it’s temple…” “Then
the angel showed me the river of the waters of life…” “No longer will there be any curse…” (Revelation 21 and 22).

HEAVEN IS A PLACE – Jesus said, “I go and prepare a place for you…” (John 14:1-2). Shut your eyes and picture your house, the one you live in now. IT IS A PLACE. Literal or not, heaven is a place prepared for the redeemed… ALL OF THEM. If you think this earth is beautiful, from the wonder of the morning light, or the glow of the sunset across the horizon… just try and imagine how beautiful heaven must be. Hard to imagine… but Heaven is real… a PLACE.

HEAVEN IS A PERSON – God will be there…. Jesus will be there…. The Holy Spirit will be there…. IN PERSON. All the redeemed from all of history will be there! The Apostles, Prophets, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and on and on you can go… ALL WILL BE THERE! How? I don’t know. I just want to be THERE. (Dad sold what he called, “the old homestead” after his Mom and Dad passed away.) He said, “It just wasn’t the same without them being THERE.” I had the same feelings when Mom and Dad passed away in 2010. It was so very sad, so very hard to even go through their house, their things which were no longer needed. I wanted to ‘pick it all up’ and hold it… but they were not THERE. But, I know where they are… waiting for that special day of reunion. HEAVEN IS A PERSON.

HEAVEN IS ME – I’m going there. How do I know? Is it because I am so good? No! Is it because I followed Him perfectly? Certainly No! It is because of His grace, and His PROMISE. I stand on those promises, and in His grace. I sing about those promises, and one day when the coffin is filled, I will realize and receive those promises. “He is faithful that promised!” (I Corinthians 1:9). Heaven is me – in prospect and promise. Glory to God, and by His grace! (It’s not over… yet!)

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“Redeemed” – Lesson Eleven – “Today Is The Day Of Your Salvation”

This article is part 11 of 14 in the series Redeemed

“Redeemed – how I love to proclaim it!” Just the first few words of a tremendous song written by Francis Jane Crosby. This song inspired Dad to write this study, and even though some thoughts are added by myself, the over-all tenure of the lessons are as Dad intended. “REDEEMED,” from the Greek word “agoraso,” and pertains to “the market,” where one would go to purchase an item.

Recently I (dad) stood by the grave of FRANCIS JANE CROSBY, the author of that marvelous song. She went on to write, “I know I shall see in His beauty, the King in who’s law I delight; who lovingly guardeth my footsteps, and giveth me songs in the night… REDEEMED!”

Paul declares, “For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).

Now, take out your calendar… look for “yesterday” or “tomorrow”. Take out your dictionary and look for “Would’a,” “could’a,” “should’a,” and you won’t find these either.

Giving your life to Jesus, is strictly… a PERSONAL DECISION… YOUR DECISION. Accepting and trusting in Jesus is not something your loved ones can do for you. It is your decision. It affects everything and more… it affects your eternity. The express purpose of this little book is to lead those looking for a personal relationship with Jesus, to do just that. Please, DO NOT IGNORE – POSTPONE – DELAY this!

Jesus “paid the price” which was demanded to purchase you “in the market” and a new life is waiting for you if you want it.

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“Redeemed” – Lesson Ten – “Be Filled With The Holy Spirit”

This article is part 10 of 14 in the series Redeemed

This chapter is as important as any of the others… The final instruction concerning the
Holy Spirit is given in Ephesians 5:18, “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”
While drinking wine to the excess will ‘take away one’s mind’, and Paul prohibits this, he on the other hand, encourages, “If you are going to be filled with (controlled by) anything, be filled with (controlled by) the Spirit.”

Drunkenness is a work of the flesh (Galatians 5:19). Too much wine (drunkenness) leads to ‘works of the flesh’. Yet as far as I can tell, one cannot get “too much” of
the Holy Spirit, which leads to more and more fruit of the Spirit.

Paul says, “Don’t “quench” the Spirit’s influence in your life (I Thessalonians 5:19). “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). If I am not to quench the Spirit or grieve the Spirit, what am I to do? “BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT.” This is not a ‘suggestion’, and it is not really an ‘option’ for the Christian. This is not an ‘alternative lifestyle.’ This is a COMMAND.

The reason why this is an important chapter is, because we are NOT commanded to
receive the gift of the Spirit (Acts 2:39). We are PROMISED that we will receive the gift of the Spirit. Everyone knows the difference between a COMMAND and a PROMISE right? Yet we are commanded to be FILLED with, controlled by, the Spirit. In other words, instead of “grieving” or “quenching” the Spirit in your life… LET HIM HAVE HIS WAY!!!

(1) This command is an emphatic imperative which should be literally translated, “BE BEING KEPT FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT”. It is ‘present’ and ‘on-going’. While we all receive the Spirit as a gift (Acts 2:39, 5:32), we are to continually allow the Spirit to control, and fill our lives.

(2) This command is for each and every Christian. It was not just for the apostles, elders, deacons. Paul was not converted along with the 3,000 on the day of Pentecost. Frankly we don’t know where he was. However, we are assuming he was there since it was a ‘big’ day for the Jews. The Gentile Christians of Ephesus were not there either. Yet this command is for all Christians.

(3) This command is in the present. “Continue to be filled with the Spirit.” You eat food for your physical bodies every day in order to live – so allow the indwelling Spirit to feed, nurture and nourish you every day. The Spirit will lead and feed your spiritual nature.

(4) This is a command to be obeyed. Yet in the obedience, it is important to understand the motive behind it all. TO GROW IN CHRIST!!! Guilt, coercion, manipulation are not there. JUST GROW IN CHRIST!!! God will be praised, and the Spirit will continue to make and form Christ in you.

Just like it is hard to hide when a person is stoned, falling down drunk… it is hard to hide when your life is under the control, filled by the Spirit.

Although this short lesson does not exhaust the grand subject of “be filled with the Spirit,” it should whet your spiritual appetite. Get to it… Begin the day with prayer, and maybe a walk. Continued the day with a verse and a song… and a smile! You belong to Him now!

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“Redeemed” – Lesson Nine – “The Holy Spirit – How He Works In The Life Of Christians Today!”

This article is part 9 of 14 in the series Redeemed


The news of Jesus had been preached to the multitudes of people who were there from all corners of the earth, and were there specifically to worship God. Some, perhaps many of them had cried out for the blood of Jesus a month and a half before. They had watched as He was beaten, spit on, mocked, rejected in favor of a murderer, and made to carry His own cross. They had seen Him nailed to the cross and raised up, naked, wounded and left to die… They had heard Him cry out, “O God, why have you forsaken me?” They may have been amongst the ones who stood, watched, laughed and mocked the Savior.

He died, rose again on the third day, and now they are confronted with and must deal with their guilt. Convicted by Peter’s words in Acts 2, they cry out “What must we do?” Peter continues and tells them they MUST “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…” Acts 2:38.

However, there is more promised besides FORGIVENESS OF SINS. The gift of the Holy Spirit, which is now a reality, is given to all who are followers of Jesus, Acts 2:39. In Acts 5:32 the writer says, “And we (Peter and the apostles) are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

Jesus of course had promised the Spirit even before His death, (John 7:37-39). After all, the new birth (John 3) is one that involves “water” AND “Spirit.” The water referred to here of course is immersion in water, and the other element in this birth is that of the Spirit. In other words the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit then comes to live in us and we become body, soul and spirit beings.
The early church did not have the New Testament. It was being written, letter by
letter, to CHURCHES and INDIVIDUALS. When one was baptized, they were not given a copy of the New Testament with “Best wishes” written on the inside. Each Christian received the gift of God’s Spirit, literally living within them. Thus their bodies became “temples of the Holy Spirit” I Corinthians 6:19-20. It is the same for us today!

But what is the work of the Holy Spirit today in the life of the Christian? Well, the
same as in the First Century, the Spirit had then and has now a definitive work to do.

Paul writes, “ For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink” (I Corinthians 12:13).

We know the body of Christ is the saved, the church of God. We have learned that our entry into that body is the time we are born again of water and Spirit. Immersion in water is visible while being born of the Spirit is not, but it is just as real. Thus we are bound to the “body of Christ” with this new birth.

Football players when they are in practice, often wear T-shirts with “Property of St. Louis Cardinals” (for example). This section may be a bit repetitive, but it won’t hurt to look at it. As believers, “We are bought with a price” (I Corinthians 6:20), and that price of course is the blood of Jesus, (Acts 20:28).

God showed His presence in the Old Testament tabernacle, which signified, “This is My place, and you are My people”, now He dwells in the Christian (His temple), (I Corinthians 6:19-20).

This indwelling is the mark setting the Christian apart from the rest of the world (the lost), as one who now belongs to God. The Christian becomes “Holy Ground”, (cf. 2 Corinthians 1:20-22). So, “You belong to Me” is the idea here.

It is easy to “fall” from a legalistic system, but not from a relationship.

Sin will always be a part of our lives, and you as a new Christian especially will struggle with sin… but keep in mind sin is not your master, nor are you the servant and slave of Satan (Romans 7:18; 8:12-17). The Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts (Acts 5:32). Yet, ‘flesh’ (lusts/pride) and Spirit are pulling in opposite directions, always in conflict, (Romans 7:15-24).

As strong as the “pull” of the flesh is, the “pull” or influence of the Spirit in our lives as a
“paraclete” (Greek for “helper”) is greater. He is our Friend in time of need, comforter
that makes us strong and bold.

When we are born again we are made alive, and spiritual beings as a direct result of the Spirit’s part in the birth, and since this is so, we are given His Divine nature to partake in, (2 Peter 1:2-3).

Now we are not left by ourselves to deal with sin. His prompting and leading in our lives gives direction and help in dealing with sin. We often pray “guard, guide and direct us”, right? Well, either He does or He doesn’t. (I) We believe He does! THE ONE YOU SURRENDER TO, WILL RULE THE ONE YOU HEED WILL LEAD. THE ONE YOU SERVE, WILL BE YOUR MASTER, (Romans 8:5-9).

Yield to the Spirit and he will help you overcome the flesh and its power.

My favorite chapter in the Bible is Romans 8… Read it! Now read Romans 8:26-27. Powerful verses right? There are many times when we are trying to pray, and we manage to express some of our thoughts and feelings but then what about those things that we really have a hard time with. Things too deep to put into words.

Good news! The Spirit of God expresses them for you to the Father. He lives in you, so He knows your feelings, and expresses them to God. The most primitive prayer, the most inadequate words, are taken by the Spirit and expressed in words that are true expressions of your feelings and presented to the Father. The most withered and impotent cries, are heard with urgency and importance.

Never under estimate this point. Always remember, that when life and struggles are too hard, and the pain seems too great… when Satan appears too strong for you, and you fall before the throne of god, that His Spirit is INTERCEEDING and presenting your prayer before your Father! Never forget this!

Paul says, “You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you” (Romans 8:9-11). (Underline that in your Bible!)

That is powerful. The Holy Spirit works in the lives of the Christian, not only now, but even when we pass from this life. Death is feared by one and all. Lately, we have witnessed on the news how ISIS has had Christians beheaded or shot, and who knows what else they will do. I have thought about this, and wondered what I would do in that situation… Christians in the early church of the First Century also were persecuted… DO NOT THINK THAT BECOMING A CHRISTIAN WILL RID YOUR LIFE OF ALL TROUBLE AND HEART ACHE. Becoming a Christian sets you against the world, and the evil powers of the world.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Death has been conquered by our Savior, and in Him WE ARE THE WINNERS, not death.

I would like to think I would say, “Father forgive them for they don’t understand what they are doing.” Then I would like to think, I would look back at my tormentor and say, “Send me home friend!”

Grow in grace!

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“Redeemed” – Lesson Eight – “The Brotherhood”

This article is part 8 of 14 in the series Redeemed

Paul says in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

If this were modernized it might read, “In Christ all the barriers, and prejudices are gone.
There are to be no Jew and non-Jew sides, no racial divisions, no social class divisions, no male or female prejudicial differences. Christians are equal and one in Jesus.”

So it is time to “nail this down” the “brotherhood” of Christ, belongs to Christ, no
one else. The church was ‘founded’ as a result of the work of Christ, and ‘built’ to accomplish (carry on) His work here on earth. Becoming a part of the brotherhood of Christ means ‘belonging equally to Him’, ‘united equally together’ in the work and mission of Jesus. Becoming one with Christ, we therefore become one and equal with each other in the fellowship of the saved, (Ephesians 2:14-22; 5:23).

Obedience does not change the gift aspect of this relationship for anyone. Salvation is no less a gift for the rich as it is for the poor. Salvation is no more a blessing for the man than it is for a woman. All are encouraged and expected to grow spiritually and be involved in evangelistic effectiveness. Whatever we do in Christ to further the work and accomplish the mission of Christ is BECAUSE of Jesus. Every single member of the saved community of Christ is the recipient of the gift of grace. (1) Brotherhood in Christ is a PRESENT REALITY, (2) Brotherhood in Christ is created by God, thus a DIVINE REALITY, (3) Everyone is equal in Christ.

There are no ‘big wheels’, nor ‘charter members’ who are ‘elevated’…We don’t vote on someone coming into the brotherhood to see if they are “good enough”, or “worthy”, because none of us are. The love we share for each other, is simply because of the love that Jesus has for each individual.

So, as surely as Christ has not loved us because of skin color, bank accounts, houses we live in, the jobs we may have, or the status we have in the community… each

“Human love” and “human mutual acceptance” and “human mutual interest in spiritual
things” is not enough. Human love and acceptance, loves and receives people for their own sake. Loving in Christ means we love people for Christ’s sake.

As surely as Christ did not choose on the basis of skin color or social status or moral
performance … our brotherhood with Him, is not based on race, color, or moral performance. Peter says, “Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor” (I Peter 2:17). Here he is ‘pointing’ in four directions, (1) towards God, (2) towards those that are without, (3) towards earthly rulers, (4) and towards the brotherhood of Christ.

Now that you are a believer, one who’s every sin is washed away, and one who’s every sin will be forgiven in grace by his blood; you have brothers and sisters all over the world. From every nation, and tribe on earth. You are part of a world wide body, church, family, of God in Christ Jesus.

Brotherhood is not a dream, a wish, a hope, a goal for which we strive. It is a present reality. Something to be enjoyed, and preserved by exercising love and patience, and applying the grace of God to each other. We dare not “disown” those whom God claims as His own!

“Honor your rulers” but “LOVE THE BROTHERHOOD”. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).

When you are a Christian, you truly belong to a marvelous family, and brotherhood. Do all you can to encourage and build it up. Because we are “heaven bound”… together!

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“Redeemed” – Lesson Seven – “The Church – The Family Of God”

This article is part 7 of 14 in the series Redeemed

Let’s establish some basic foundational truths
1. THE CHURCH DOES NOT SAVE…. THE CHURCH IS THE SAVED, ALL OF THE SAVED. Outside the church one is not saved. Remember in Acts 2:38, 41, 47, that those who gladly received the words spoken by the apostle Peter, repented of their sins and were immersed into Christ, were forgiven and received the gift of God’s Holy Spirit… these were added to the church.
2. THE CHURCH BELONGS TO JESUS, since He bought and paid the price for “her” (Acts 20:28).
3. THE CHURCH IS NOT A BUILDING with a name on a sign outside.
5. THE CHURCH DID NOT HAVE AN OFFICIAL NAME. The names which are found on church buildings, are denominational, and the result of differences and division.  Jesus prayed for unity in His people, not denominations.

The nature of the church is seen in phrases used to describe relationships with the Head of the church… JESUS, with God, each other, and even with the world.

When you were born, you didn’t waddle down to the waiting room and choose a
family! You were born into a family! You “belonged” from birth to that family. When you are “born again” you are born into ‘a family,’ God’s family. You will have brothers and sisters you may not even know… simply because they too were “born” into that family. God our Father has been “adding” people to His family since the day of Pentecost. He only adds those that are saved, (Acts 2:47).

Paul says, “but if I am delayed, I write so you may know how you ought to
conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar
and ground of the truth, (I Timothy 3:15). While the church doesn’t save, (Jesus saves), it is the FAMILY OF THE SAVED. The concept of ‘family’, is used to convey ‘relationship’ which Christians have primarily with God thru Jesus, and therefore with everyone else who has this relationship. This is why Christians call each other ‘brother’ and ‘sister’.

Referring to the authority of Christ, Paul writes, “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way”(Ephesians 1:22-23). In Ephesians 4:4 he says, “…. there is one body…” (This means that there is one church, which is his body.) This is not said to be offensive… but to cause you to think. When a baby is born, does it matter which family he belongs to? Of course… there’s just one for that child… the one he is born into.) Paul says in Ephesians 5:23, “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.” The head (Christ), directs, and preserves, and instructs the body. The saved are members of that body – the church. No building is as beautiful as that.

Important!!! If you loose a member of your physical body, and the importance of
each member becomes very apparent. Same with the church, the body of Christ.

Christians are children in His family, members of the body of Christ, are servants in His
kingdom (under His Covenant rule). Paul says in Colossians 1:13, “For he has rescued us from the dominion (RULE) of darkness and brought us into the kingdom (RULE) of the Son he loves” (Colossians 1:13).

*** We no longer belong to “king” Satan, nor do we listen to his demands. We don’t march to the beat of his drums. So in regards to the world… those who are under this special rule of King Jesus, are to be DIFFERENT from the world (Romans 12:1-2), INVOLVED IN A SPIRITUAL WAR AGAINST THIS WORLD (James 4:1; I Peter 2:11; I John 2:15-17; Revelation 19:11) and thus we are to wear SPIRITUAL ARMOR (Ephesians 6:10-18).

It’s important not only to note that we are now under His special rule, but that it is a rule
of LOVE and GRACE. He loves His people tremendously, and continues to bless and forgive and help them. God (Jesus) is King, the church is His Covenant people, His word is the ‘guide book’. John says, “and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood” (Revelation 1:5). (Thus not only is Jesus King of all kings… He is our KING.)

“THE CHURCH” (Colossians 1:18), This is the word in Greek, “ekklesia” and means “called out. It was in the New Testament times used of any assemblies called out for a specific purpose, but it came to be used of God’s people. “Called out ones,” The idea is that God’s people are those called out of the world to be different… like Jesus.

“THE KINGDOM OF HIS DEAR SON” (Col. 1:13) The kingdom we speak of here is that “rule” which was given to and remains with Jesus (Matthew 28:19). The relationship would necessarily be that of Christians being the subjects of the King. Following Jesus is not a burden, it is a privilege.

Here are some other designations and phrases found in the New Testament which are used in reference to the people of God under Jesus.

“CHURCH OF GOD” (Acts 20:28; Galatians 1:13),
“CHURCHES OF CHRIST” (Romans 16:16),
“BODY OF CHRIST” (I Corinthians 12:27),
“FLOCK” (Acts 20:28),
“BRIDE, THE LAMB’S WIFE” (Revelation 21:2,9),
“TEMPLE OF GOD” (I Corinthians 3:16,17,19).

IMPORTANT!!! Again, not one of these designations were used as an “official name” for a ‘church’ sign. These designations all speak in different ways, of the relationship Christians have with God, Jesus, and each other… and in regard to the world (lost).

Well, the simple answer is “NO.” There were no denominations back then. Christians, met in each others homes, (Acts 2:41-47). Jesus prayed for unity, (John 17:20-21), not division (I Corinthians 1:10). The word ‘denomination’ refers to a particular group, with a particular name which believes in a particular way of doing things as opposed to others who claim to be Christians. This sets that group apart from others. In Mathematics, it refers to the bottom number of a fraction, which is the amount of times the top number is to be divided into. Therefore, put all this into simple terms, the whole idea of DENOMINATIONALISM IS WRONG, (especially within the body of Christ,
(Read I Corinthians 1:10-13)). We just want to be Christians, and meet where other Christians meet, how about you? When the early church was established on Pentecost, the first thing on the agenda in their “business meeting” was not the choose a NAME! or BUILD A BUILDING!

Look at Acts 2:41-47 “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

Look in Acts 6, where the church chose spiritual men to help free the hands of the apostles toevangelize, by taking care of the needy within the church. Traditions, human regulations, names, organizations, robes, titles, creeds, are wrong, and hurt the Savior that died for us…. ALL THEY DO IS DIVIDE. This also explains why people today are so confused, and or turned off at “church”. ALL DENOMINATIONAL NAMES ARE SIMPLY BARRIERS TO THE UNITY THAT JESUS PRAYED FOR AND SHOULD BE REJECTED. JUST BE A CHRISTIAN

Why be a simple New Testament Christian? Planting the “seed of the kingdom” (Luke 8:11), the word of God, we learn: 1.) what the early church was, 2.) how they became disciples, 3.) their worship (which was pretty simple), 4.) their designations, and the relationship to Jesus and each other, 5.) their joy which came from grace, and 6.) their hope because they are the ones Jesus is coming again to take home to be with him.

Why wouldn’t you want to be a part of that?

When we follow their examples, Jesus will add us to His Family, body, kingdom,
church. Call yourself a Christian, (Acts 11:26). You won’t be the only Christian, but you
will be a Christian only.

Then you meet with those who are in the “family of God”.

SOUL WINNING – IS NOT WHAT YOU DO, BUT WHAT YOU ARE! A disciple is a soul winner, a disciple. Say what?! A “soul winner”! Someone who shares their faith, in love, patience, example of changed life, gentleness, and kindness and concern. Why? Why not?! If Christ has changed your life… why not share the good news with others? It is the natural outcome of becoming a Christian.

Look in Acts 8:4 new Christians who were being persecuted for their faith also but still went everywhere sharing Jesus with others. The church grew in a fantastic rate. This is fulfilling the love command of Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20, to go everywhere and share Jesus, make disciples of every nation. It is a world wide goal to reach everyone.

Every believer is a sermon read by all they come into contact with. This affects your life, all of it, your family, your job, your play, your driving. It’s not a game, not a social club where you make business contacts… It is the saved of God.

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