New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches


July 29, 2001 Vol 01 : 041
 
[New Testament Church Proliferation] all nations?

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] The Goal of Evangelism in Church Planting (fwd)

Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] The Goal of Evangelism in Church Planting (fwd)

[New Testament Church Proliferation] War against the saints

[New Testament Church Proliferation] Who planted churches

 

Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2001 09:59:19 +0700 From: "Link"

Subject: [New Testament Church Proliferation] all nations?

Sam,

I'd like to comment on something you wrote before: that when the 11 apostles had evangelized all the Jews, they had fulfilled the commission at the end of Matthew referred to as 'the great commission' (a title which you don't like.)

Jesus told the apostles to evangelize all NATIONS, ethnee, in Greek if I am not mistaken. I'm not Greek expert, but from what I've heard that refers to different ethnic groups. Imo, it doesn't make sense for Jesus to use that word if he were talking about Jews only.

The Shem Tov, if I remember correctly, words this verse differently so as not to require the evangelization of Gentiles. That was a Hebrew version of Matthew found in the middle ages I think. But the regular standard version of Matthew talks about evangelizing the ethnee.

So I don't see where you get the idea that this verse was fulfilled when the apostles evangelized the Jews (if it was finished in the first century.) I can see why, as a preterist, you want to see this command of preaching to all nations as already being fulfilled. Jesus said that the Gospel would be preached in all nations for a witness and then shall the end come. Do you believe the end has already come?

I can understand why some say that this 'Great Commission' is for the apostles rather than the whole church. After all, Jesus did say it to the 11 apostles. But one could make this argument about much of the teaching of the Gospels. s

Oh, Jesus was talking to the people on the mountain, not to us. Jesus was talking to His disciples at that time, and not to us. Jesus was talking to Jews and not to us. So the reasoning may go. It IS important to keep the audience in mind, and we can err by not doing so. But all scripture is profitable for doctrine.

'The Great Commission' shows us that evangelism of the nations is something on the Lord's heart. There is also something 'reproducible' about this passage. Jesus told the apostles to go into all the world preach the Gospel, and then said to teach the nations to observe what He had commanded them. Hadn't Jesus commanded the apostles to preach the Gospel to the nations as well? Isn't this part of what the apostles were to teach the nations to do?

Link Hudson


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Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2001 03:05:45 -0400 From: forwarded

Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] The Goal of Evangelism in Church Planting (fwd)

(Message perceived by list software as an administrative request.)

I have read with interest many of the email discussion regarding church planting. However, of late the discussions have degenerated to arguing personal view points which have little impact on whether people are reached for Christ, discipled and local fellowships established. Hopefully there can be more positive, healthy input which could benefit and encourage. If not I will need to cancel my s*bscription.

John Cosby

John S. Cosby Missionary development Dir. UIM International jcosby*uim.org www.uim.org/cosby

 

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Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2001 03:30:23 -0400 From: David Anderson

Subject: Re: [New Testament Church Proliferation] The Goal of Evangelism in Church Planting (fwd)

Then why don't you please participate on the list, yourself, and perhaps raise the curve with some "positive, healthy input which could benefit and encourage."

Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you.

David Anderson

I have read with interest many of the email discussion regarding church planting. However, of late the discussions have degenerated to arguing personal view points which have little impact on whether people are reached for Christ, discipled and local fellowships established. Hopefully there can be more positive, healthy input which could benefit and encourage. If not I will need to cancel my s*bscription.

John Cosby

John S. Cosby Missionary development Dir. UIM International jcosby*uim.org www.uim.org/cosby

 

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Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2001 15:28:42 -0700 From: jferris

Subject: [New Testament Church Proliferation] War against the saints

On Monday the 22 of July, I was impressed with a question:

What does it mean that is written,

"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them"? Revelation 13:7

That was the question, and the following passages came to mind as I wrestled with God for an answer:

"And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth." Genesis 11:4

"Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you [from us], so that you may be zealous for them." Galatians 4:17

The beast, (man as Satan's agent) was given power to make war against the saints, and to overcome them. How can this be, since the saints are "more than conquerors" in Christ? Surely the "new man cannot be defeated by the beast. It must, therefore be the "old man". The "new man" reigns with Christ, but to do so, he must first be "beheaded". How can Christ be our head, if we still have our old one? So Satan is in the business of beheading the "old man". As it was with Christ, so it is with us, if he had known the result, "he never would have crucified the Lord of Glory." The beast can only do what Satan empowers him to do. He only does what Satan does, and only says what Satan says..."

This war against the saints is Satan's idea. Whose idea was it to build the tower of Babel? It was Satan's idea. Why did they do it, because they thought that they would be scattered if they didn't have a name and a building. It was a variation on the same lie that the serpent told the woman in the Garden.

It was the wrong name and the wrong building. It has something to do with builders. It does not say, "the stone that some of the builders rejected..." Jesus is the stone that all of the builders reject, because

it is either His building or theirs. He is the only one who can build His building, all man can do is submit as building material or mess it up when we try to help. As soon as we build anything, we have something to lose, and so are compromised.

The war against the saints is a war against God's building. God builds with living stones, and He builds by placing them in right relationship with one another. It is right relationship under God that is the focus of the beast's attack or warfare against us. "And because iniquity abounds, the love of most will grow cold." It is the Love of Christ that

binds us together in right relationship. Iniquity is a weapon against love.

If we claim to be lovers but have not love, we are dead meat or if the love that we have is not God's kind of love, the love that was redefined

at the cross, then our love cannot overcome iniquity. The "old man" is incapable of God's kind of love. Only the "new man", only Christ in us is capable of a love that is more than a conqueror in the face of iniquity. It can only be that the beast has the power to make war against the saints to overcome them because the saints are trying to muddle through with the wrong kind of love. We must be beheaded of that muddle headed kind of love, and the beast, inspired and energized by Satan, is God's instrument for the completion of that task. It is the task of the cross, and He who began it will finish it in us.

Relationships that come from God are the enemy of Satan, and the builders are his agents against such relationships. They make war against relationships that come from God. You have heard that the beast is coming, even now many beasts have come. What else could Paul be talking about, that he "fought wild beasts at Ephesus"? I Corinthians 15:32

If our being one as Jesus and The Father are one, is the way He has chosen and prayed "that the world may know...", then our loving one another in that oneness is the greatest possible threat to Satan, so the builders do everything possible to alienate us from Christ in each other so that we might be zealous for them, and their buildings.

In my experience, the war is horrendous.

Jay

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Date: Sun, 29 Jul 2001 20:49:12 +0700 From: "Link"

Subject: [New Testament Church Proliferation] Who planted churches

Sam wrote

And when you look at a NT pattern of evangelism, and you cannot argue against it from scripture, is that it was ONLY apostles who church planted, and other Christians joined in the effort, such as Paul with Aquilla and Priscilla in Ephesus.

I disagree with you on that, Sam. In Acts, we see that many new churches were started by apostles, but churches were also started by an evangelist, and by scattered saints.

Philip, one of the Seven, was given responsibility for feeding widows to help relieve the apostles (indicating that he was not the same Philip listed among the 12 apostles.)

He went down to Samaria and preached. People believed. He called for the apostles, the leaders of the Jerusalem church, to come to Samaria, and off he went laboring elsewhere.

We also see that saints went out from Jerusalem when there was great persecution. These saints went as far as Antioch. The Antioch church was started by believers running from persecution. Later, after there was already a church, the apostles sent forth Barnabas to help out, and apostles went forth from Antioch.

The so-called 'Little Flock' movement in China saw this scattered saints method of planting churches, and instead of waiting for persecution, sent out families to areas where they wanted to plant churches. These families would meet together- (I.e. new churches was formed in a new area.) This type of small church could serve as a place for an apostle or evangelist to receive hospitality. I see a lot of potential for this type of strategy in some areas I've recently visited.

Link Hudson

The End of New Testament Church Proliferation Digest V1 #41

 




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