Manual for Church Growth from Paul and II Timothy.

 

Why Not a Manual for Church Growth from Paul and II Timothy?

A much greater than Thom Ranier and J.D. Grear are here on building better churches, the Apostle Paul was chosen by God and Jesus to grow New Testament churches in new and diverse cultures, and to keep out the misfits; furthermore Paul under the direction of God the Holy Spirit wrote a book for young men like Timothy and Titus on how to do church growth in order not to like Gaines Dobbins wrote in Building Better Churches, “fill the church with empty people”.  Since most of these Scofield Mites choke on a Falling Away now, falsely thinking they can escape to tribulation and come back to earth after one thousand years and then join in the Falling Away (they live in a dream land of what they want to believe), it is far better to use Paul and II Timothy (with a little of I Timothy and Titus thrown in, and of course other Bible in order to practice the good hermeneutics of letting Scripture interpret Scripture) What a fundamental Texas fallacy to go for big numbers when the narrow way, according to Jesus, is the way to life, and the broad way leads to the destruction in heaven of the apostate churches with the Jesus removal of the church candlestick in His presence.

So, what is being said, why not use say II Timothy as your manual for Church Growth; novel yes, but effective and blessed by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  And from II Timothy start with 8 principles of Bible church growth. Also, Paul in His manual for Church Growth adds ways to dampen in your church and your life the effects of the Falling Away, not to be among the Apostate churches of the book of Revelation.  The Scofield Mites are not qualified to grow churches today as they do not believe the world and the churches are presently in the Falling Away.

We can start and fairly well summarize the principles of church growth according to God the Holy Spirit with 3 passages of II Timothy:

  1. As church growth is done in the community greatly influenced by the Falling Away, evil seducers made possible by anybody with money can sponsor a religious program on TV and also since holdovers in SBC positions are left over from the Big 10 of the Big Lie of a conservative resurgence…evil seducers must be considered as a factor in church growth; by the way much better than Greear’s and Ranier’s godless behaviorism, sociology, theology, et cetera. {Back to the Bible always works according to the success standards of the Word of God.}

 

“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.  But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.  But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  (II Timothy 3:12-17)

By the way, shame on you who claim to know and preach and teach the Bible that can not see what is happening in the world about you described in II Timothy 3:4,5, the 5 stages of the Falling Away, if you do not see otherwise just look at Joel Osteen and Lakewood, recalling that his father, a dynamic and sound doctrine preacher, started it as a Baptist church.  Starting off well for 14 years preparing his father’s sermons for TV, like Balaam he became a false prophet that is leading his people in the ways of the world (II John 3), like Korah he with increased popularity and what works to sale has become rebellious on God’s Bible and on God, and like Cain he is killing Abel, striving to present to God straw instead of blood sacrifices (not preaching the atonement).

When will we learn that evil seducers are discovered and discerned more by what they do not say and preach than what they do say and preach, also what they do, you can bet that any church leader sold out on the gospel of prosperity and success (like Charles Stanley with his attested manual for church growth of Hill’s Think and Grow Rich), any millionaire pastor, evangelist, or preacher is an EVIL SEDUCER by example.  Paul talked about them also, those who would seek worldly ways for church growth while living in and for the world and Satan while themselves becoming a castaway. (the world loves best selling authors who are castaways)

But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”  (I Corinthians 9:27)

NOTE:  Keeping the body under control would include the tongue, a flame of fire that can ignite a local church and the world for Satan.

  1. Churches today in America and the world are paying the price, almost at the point of a Jesus removal of their candle in His presence, for a lack of sound doctrine.  Yes, a boring word but it does not have to be as J. Clyde Turner has illustrated in his little book These Things We Believe.  If you fail to see the drought of sound doctrine in your church of in churches or in the church, give a simple test on Sunday night to have members list only 10 major doctrines of the Bible.  The results will shock you as you will get things like daily Bible reading, attend worship, and so on—you remember the items of Sunday school slips on church administration.  So go back to Paul, the Holy Spirit, and II Timothy on doctrine for church growth.

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”  (II Timothy 4:2 KJV)

While you may think, at first, that the meaning of longsuffering is that you and your people may suffer long as doctrine and instruction in preaching is tedious, but the great teacher Andrew Blackwood in Preaching the Bible does not think so!  Nor does J.B. Riley (and you feudamentalists of the fundamentalist will love this) in his wonderful book Preacher and His Preaching.

NOTE:  You don’t even have to say you are preaching a series on Bible doctrine, just preach them, all of them from the Bible, all the Bible practicing the All Scripture method and movement.  Do not do as advised by J. D. Greear minimize doctrines and convictions for peace and unity, for you may find yourself in the majority of false prophets during the time of Jeremiah who were preaching “peace, peace, when there was no peace”.

And these passages form the basis of Church Growth principles according to Paul, the Holy Spirit, and II Timothy.

(1)  Woe unto you when all men speak well of you as it indicates that you are not living Godly in Christ Jesus.  The interviewer of Greear for Christianity Today was impressed with how the whole North Carolina community loves Greear, generally making remarks like there is the pastor of the church that does things for people.  Granted that Ranier, Greear, and their newly ordained by them Evangelist Beth Moore have found new and novel itching ears teaching and ways, based as much of secular behavioral psychology and theology as Bible, but these are ways Gaines Dobbins of Building Better Churches, one of our Baptist Best on church administration, would call “filling a church with empty people”.  Charles Welborn, pastor of a large and growing in numbers Baptist church in Waco and debater, part time Professor at Baylor enjoyed the admiration of many until he ran off with the wife of Raymond Vickrey.  Charles Fox with degrees from Baylor, UNC, and Harvard excelled in the theology of Congregationalism until he wife ran off with a politician, and he settles for a professorship in philosophy at New York University.

(2) Look around you and find the evil seducers for your attention as they and their follies grow worse and worse.  Oh how for a season our friends like Raymond, Charles, Greear, Ranier, and Wellborn can seem to do so well but like Balaam and Korah turn into evil seducers after succumbing to popularity and success:  Raymond in a Dallas church that had fellowship withdrawn for homosexuality, Charles for be seduced by the theology and philosophy of Harvard (by the way which is a standard for other Seminaries of America like SWBTS and DTS).

(3) Buckle down on what you have learned of Christ, the Bible, and church and churches from the Bible over theology and philosophy and psychology.

But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

(4) Be Wise “for salvation through Christ”, that is “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”, you don’t have it made yet.  Give your people a balance of the security of the believer with “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”.  Have you noticed that most of the church growth experts by numbers find someway, many ways of creativity and initiative, to convince their congregation that they are the elect of God.  The Swaggarts have the best gimmick of all for growth by numbers, both allowing people across the world to join, and convincing them they are special and unique if they speak in unknown tongues, a false concept of holiness, and a violation of all that is good and true in I Corinthians 14.

(5) Get off a mild diet of select Scriptures and go deeper into the ALL SCRIPTURE method and movement.  The ALL Scripture approach of II Timothy 3:16,17 which leads to the
individual profits of ‘doctrine, reproach, correction, and instruction in  righteousness” is:
(a) an attitude of respect for the Bible and the Word of God, every word of it being (i) divine in origin, (ii) absolute in authority, (iii) sufficient for life and living in content, (iv) high fidelity in communications, it is alive and talks to the person with the right attitude, (v) self-interpretation, best seen in the OT quotes in the NT which include explanations, and (vi) being based on the character of God, it is a gradual revelation throughout history and in concrete structures of what God is like, of course reaching an eternal climax in
the Person and Teachings of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ;
(b) a program, plan, and approach that overcomes satisfaction with only a few select scriptures of the Bible {how many quotes can you remember in the time of need, or when overwhelmed with the “cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches”}, striving to revel and even work hard, and with prayer meditation to get into the total Bible
of 66 books, and in fact to live there while you are not required by necessity to be living by bread {“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God”  (Luke 4:4)}; (c) it is a balanced approach and attitude that goes beyond the “wants” of the Falling away (II Timothy 4:3,4} to the needs for doctrine, reproach, correction {even chastisement to promote discipline and holiness, see Hebrews 12:3-11}; and (d) It gets Christians, church members, and others out of their spiritual and living {BREAD} comfort zones into more (i) discipline from God like a Father for children, and (ii) amazingly yes, “He for
our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness” (Hebrews 12:10).

“Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful, nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”  (Hebrews 12:11)

NOTE:  It is life and calamities, properly interpreted, in the context of Hebrews 12:3-11 and for professed children of God as a training program for “righteousness” and “holiness”.  Can you imagine the righteousness and holiness of God in your life?  And if not, then let the ALL Scripture approach help you!

To assist you in this quest, The SunGrist Religious Center and the http://www.biblecombiblman.com website is offered in all the fullness of its Bible resources that can help in the
individual profitability {not to profit some TV evangelists, prideful church or denomination}, and more specifically the Bible resources noted below—

http://www.sungrist.org/AllScripture_ThruTheBibleIn3Years.html

http://www.sungrist.org/ONEcommentaryEphesians.html

http://www.sungrist.org/RefreshingEvangelism.html

http://www.sungrist.org/ProgressChartLifeAndLettersPaul.html

http://www.sungrist.org/BibleStudiesInJeremiah.html

http://www.sungrist.org/BibleBread_aBalancedLife.html

(6) Judge not according to appearance, the impressive standards of the world and worldly, but judge righteous judgment according to Jesus’ teachings and the Bible. Their large buildings and satellites of mega churches have the false appearance of something real, as do the large pulpits and fancy suits and many degrees and credentials, but all of these are trappings of the world and greatly influenced by the world.  You know, the world is too much in our church and churches, a love of the world and the things of the world being practiced as if they were from the Father and as if they would abide forever.  No, not so; but remember in a practical way and for real not according to appearance church growth—

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”  (I John 2:15-17)

 

 

 

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