Many leave their religions to come to Christianity….but they are taught Christianity is another religion with various denominations such as Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, etc. As I look at pictures of your students who are learning and barely coming into the faith- I feel God moving within my heart, my heart screams out, tell them!
Jesus always warned about false religious leaders…wolves in sheep covering….and that doesn’t change in christian denominations….and for your students I think it’s very important if they are coming out of other religions to make it clear they are not coming into another one…that is pointless.. God is not found in religion. He is found within our hearts.
25 God has sent me to help his Church and to tell his secret plan to you Gentiles. 26-27 He has kept this secret for centuries and generations past, but now at last it has pleased him to tell it to those who love him and live for him, and the riches and glory of his plan are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ in your hearts is your only hope of glory.
And so if the transition is made…ensure the transition be ULTRA CLEAR and there is a clear distinction- that they are not leaving one religion to join another…..that’s just more man doctrine, more false, more chains, they are leaving to find freedom and liberty that only Christ gives…..and in doing this -DENOMINATION FALLS AWAY as it should because it’s insignificant. Think of it this way…are we baptized as Baptist? Are we baptized in Christ as Methodist? Such foolery! Never! But sadly that’s what happens….that’s what happened to me, but I was paying attention. I voiced my desire to ‘wanting to be baptized’ to which they responded with a meeting with two elder brothers to kind of gauge where I was, whether I was serious or not- at least that was supposed to be what was going on. However, after determining I was indeed serious- the oddest thing occurred. They handed me a little green book. That wasn’t the Bible.
This set off red flags and alarms left and right in my heart! The book I had been studying was the Living Bible. Why? Because I was committed to following Christ. That’s when I began to understand what the green book was all about. It was to ensure I would be adhering to the principles and guidelines of their doctrine- their religious denomination first and above all else- which is why they handed it to me first before anything else, instead of what they should of handed me- HIS LIVING WORD. I even remember bringing up the following point of concern: If I am out in ministry knocking on doors and someone asks me question: am I going to answer it the way you’ve taught me? Or am I going to answer what I feel in my heart is the Truth? Who am I held to account here to you ? Or to God?
If you are going to question my knowledge- I am ready- but use the living word. I thought to myself. At that place and many others, believers are being baptized FIRST TO THEIR DENOMINATIONS of MAN, which hold no power what so ever- rules, customs, and traditions of men that are powerless and do not bring any of us closer to God but further away. Bound by false made up beliefs that promote inequality and superiority over others. Three times I tried to get baptized, each time the Holy Spirit of God held me back and said ‘no sir’. And Thank God I listened.
Our very first thoughts is being baptized to Christ Almighty….baptized as His Servants to do His Will, not ours. Be weary of any such practices at your church. If they have other books that prepare you for baptism, you need to be cautious- not all our false- but here is where they slip in man made doctrine to INDOCTRINATE you into a membership that isn’t of God at all.
Another problem is when many of us Christians go to a church, like it or not it has a denomination tied to it, and when they support mission trips or movements to other countries funding is important….so many continue receiving the help…but this distinction must be made to new believers…it is IMPERATIVE.
Finally use this as proof…in Heaven there will be no Methodist, no Baptist, no Pentecostal, only children of God. This is so none of them who belonged there will have any other reason to boast- other than in Christ Himself.
As we will clearly see below- the apostle is talking about denominations here. Which is exactly what they believed set them apart from everyone else, better, higher, and more noble. But he found out- it was all worthless.
ALLL THE GLORY TO ALMIGHTY GOD!
4 Yet if anyone ever had reason to hope that he could save himself, it would be I. If others could be saved by what they are, certainly I could! 5 For I went through the Jewish initiation ceremony when I was eight days old, having been born into a pure-blooded Jewish home that was a branch of the old original Benjamin family. So I was a real Jew if there ever was one! What’s more, I was a member of the Pharisees who demand the strictest obedience to every Jewish law and custom. 6 And sincere? Yes, so much so that I greatly persecuted the Church; and I tried to obey every Jewish rule and regulation right down to the very last point.
7 But all these things that I once thought very worthwhile—now I’ve thrown them all away so that I can put my trust and hope in Christ alone. 8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have put aside all else, counting it worth less than nothing, in order that I can have Christ, 9 and become one with him, no longer counting on being saved by being good enough or by obeying God’s laws, but by trusting Christ to save me; for God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith—counting on Christ alone. 10 Now I have given up everything else—I have found it to be the only way to really know Christ and to experience the mighty power that brought him back to life again, and to find out what it means to suffer and to die with him.