The greatest sin in the Bible by far is the sin of idolatry. Idolatry is when we violate the first of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20), which is “You shall have no other gods before me.” It is when we put something or someone first in our lives before the living and true God. Idolatry is the root cause of all other sins, which is why the first two commandments deal with this.
The Bible teaches that without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Thus, it is imperative that God’s people learn how to cultivate faith in their daily walk. It is also imperative that those who are not yet in the Body of Christ have the opportunity to experience faith for salvation.
In scripture there are five basic jurisdictions (or governments) God has set up in His Kingdom:
5-Religious or church government
As a full-time church minister since 1981, I have had the task of observing the lives of thousands of believers. Consequently, I have come to the conclusion that there are believers in the church who say they are Christians, while, at the same time, espousing value systems that are secular. However, these secular believers are slightly different from what we may identity as a “carnal Christian,” whose ways have to do with the overt sins of the flesh and emotions (read 1 Corinthians 3:1-4). Of these two types, the secular believer, as with “secular Christianity” (which, by the way, is contradictory and, therefore, a misnomer) is more subtle because they are sugar-coated with spirituality and outward peace but have foundations of secular values.
With many laws being passed that have an anti-Christian bias, many believers in the blogosphere are saying that we need to unequivocally submit to whatever the laws of the land are, since this is what Romans 13:1-7 teaches. In other words, acts of civil disobedience—praying in front of abortion clinics, public prayer in schools, and the arrests not so long ago of New York City pastors for praying in front of the New York City Law Department to protest the looming evictions of churches from public schools—are contrary to the word of God. According to the strict interpretation of this passage we should not only cease from all acts of civil disobedience, but we should not even complain about these laws and just pray for our civil leaders.
I have been in the apostolic movement since the late 1980’s and have observed many kinds of apostolic leaders. By “apostolic” I am referring to a person who functions in the apostolic ministry gift as mentioned in Ephesians 4:11. They may also oversee an apostolic church that exerts great influence in their community, and/or lead a network of churches.
The Bible teaches us that God has a multi-generational plan. This is true in spite of most Christians and churches barely surviving one generation of faith and practice, usually without emphasizing marriage, family, or multi-generational influence.
The following is a general biblical survey showing how the plan of God unfolds in history through generations of faith.
In this article, I use the word “Outlier” to describe an exceptional person who operates largely outside of the norms of mainstream to change the world. Notable biblical heroes such as John the Baptist, Jesus, Micaiah, Elijah, the Apostle Paul, and our Lord Jesus Christ, were all outliers since they did not conform nor function within the institutional religious frameworks of their day.
The word of God teaches us that those set in to minister to the body of Christ have a function based on their supernatural and motivational giftings. How someone is “wired” will determine how they view life, the church, the priorities of Christianity, and ministry.
As a pastor for more than 30 years I have seen many people serving in ministry burned out in the name of Christ, then fall away from their purpose. This is even very common among senior leaders, but it can be avoided. In the past several years, I have personally experienced my mind being tired, requiring me to pull back for several months lest I burn out! The following are signs that show whether you are on the verge of burnout or breakthrough:
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