Tima and Tope PearsonTim and Tope Pearson teach on discipleship

Many churches have let the world, not the book of Acts, influence them

By Tim and Tope Pearson

Another name for the Church is ‘ekklesia’, which means a called-out assembly.

Therefore, as Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations”, let’s not hang around in a building!

The early Church went out, shared the Gospel and brought people to their homes, where they ‘did’ church. This meant that someone had a word, a song, a prophecy, prayer, or encouraged others by a testimony.

Jesus is not included in most church services

The way we do church in many countries, including the UK, is very often constrained within a time frame. This can restrict the Holy Spirit and prevents congregational involvement. Thus a service can become a presentation, rather than an act of free worship.

We also need to look at our roots, because we have been grafted into Judaism and Israel (Romans 11:17).

God’s promises to Israel remain today, so the Church has not replaced Israel in Scripture. The remnant (remainder) of Israel will be brought into the Kingdom through a seven-year tribulation.

Before this event, Scripture reveals that the “spotless” Church will be caught up to be joined to her bridegroom; see 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and Revelation 19:6-9.

True repentance

The way for the Body of Christ to remain – or become – spotless, is to practise repentance. John the Baptist preached repentance; Jesus proclaimed the Kingdom of God through repentance; and his disciples did likewise after him.

True repentance brings an instant change of heart, but sadly we are living in an era of apostasy, where many hearts have been hardened and have given in to sin’s deceitfulness; indeed, Jesus is not included in most church services.

God’s promises to Israel remain today, so the Church has not replaced Israel in Scripture

Many have “worldly sorrow” which only leads to death, whereas godly sorrow brings eternal life. We should be crying out for this daily (see 2 Corinthians 7:10–11).

The importance of knowing Christ’s forgiveness

When we know we are forgiven by God, it helps us understand compassion and learn to forgive other people, who like us, are imperfect. Matthew 18:21-22 says: “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but 77 times’.” This is the cost of being a true disciple.

Most mature Christians have never been taught how to disciple a new believer and at ETS, we offer a stand-alone one-day Discipleship training session, for churches and ministries who are serious about fulfilling the Great Commission. Mature believers will gain the confidence to walk alongside a new convert (one-to-one), or with those who need to grow in their faith.

Tim & Tope Pearson are co-founders of Equipping the Saints Ministries. Find out more via etsministries.org.uk or call 01733 230 769

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