Reformation Discipleship Group 2020

“Western civilization is the product of the Reformation. The Reformers threw open the windows of God’s light after a thousand years of spiritual and cultural darkness.”
The Barbarians are Here: Preventing the Collapse of Western Civilization in Times of Terrorism by Michael Youssef
https://a.co/aAyIr8F

Hope for civilization (highlights)

  • Find the faithful remnant in the church. (Eph. 4, Matt. 16:18)
  • Study and proclaim the pure Gospel (1 Cor. 15:1-8), contend for the faith against false gospels. (Jude)
  • Focus on Jesus. Reform society with truth and grace, not Marxist (anti-Christ) social justice. Reenchant the culture with God’s truth. (Matt. 4:18-30, Matt. 5:11-16, Matt. 28:18-20)
  • Fear God more than man.
  • Repent of timid lukewarmness.
  • Be about the business of making disciples that make disciples.

“So we must speak the truth, but we must always speak the truth in love. We must speak rationally, reasonably, with hearts full of love for those who are teaching falsehood. Don’t expect to be loved in return. Often, in their attempts to intimidate and silence us, apostates will accuse us of being unloving and even hateful.” https://a.co/29hwHt2

  • Reach the lost and equip the saints for the work of ministry. (Eph. 4:12)
  • The Gospel of the Kingdom must be proclaimed to the world. (Matt. 24:14)
  • Speak the truth in love. (Gal. 6:1, Eph. 4:11-15)
The Church in Babylon: Heeding the Call to Be a Light in the Darkness by Erwin W. Lutzer
https://a.co/5yok0Rt

“We have to change our church philosophy from telling to training.”

  • People, not buildings.
  • Community not crowds.
  • Training not just telling. True Jesus discipleship: “come follow me”
  • Prayer not programs.
  • Hard truths not just positive suggestions. (Acts 17:1-10, 1 Peter 4:14, 2 Tim. 3:12, Heb. 10:32-36)
  • Christ is head of the church! (Rev. 2:10)

Reformation Discipleship 2020

“Western civilization is the product of the Reformation. The Reformers threw open the windows of God’s light after a thousand years of spiritual and cultural darkness.”
The Barbarians are Here: Preventing the Collapse of Western Civilization in Times of Terrorism by Michael Youssef
https://a.co/aAyIr8F

Hope for civilization (highlights)

  • Find the faithful remnant in the church. (Eph. 4, Matt. 16:18)
  • Study and proclaim the pure Gospel (1 Cor. 15:1-8), contend for the faith against false gospels. (Jude)
  • Focus on Jesus. Reform society with truth and grace, not Marxist (anti-Christ) social justice. Reenchant the culture with God’s truth. (Matt. 4:18-30, Matt. 5:11-16, Matt. 28:18-20)

Where to start? If revival is to come it must start here.

“If God is God, then judgment awaits the church. Look at the state of our society. Look at the state of moral disarray our nation is in.”
Saving Christianity?: The Danger in Undermining Our Faith — and What You Can Do about It by Michael Youssef
https://a.co/hNgppNi
  • Fear God more than man.
  • Repent of timid lukewarmness.
  • Be about the business of making disciples that make disciples.

“Preacher after preacher, church after church, denomination after denomination—Christians are selling their spiritual birthright. So-called evangelicals have become ashamed of the evangelium, the Good News of Jesus Christ. They have sought friendship with the world, acceptance by the world, and praise from the world, and they have mutilated the Bible and diluted the gospel in the process. Instead of faith and boldness, they prize uncertainty, thinking that they are somehow “saving Christianity.” But as the apostle Paul writes, “If the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?” (1 Cor. 14:8) https://a.co/4uFvt7t

“So we must speak the truth, but we must always speak the truth in love. We must speak rationally, reasonably, with hearts full of love for those who are teaching falsehood. Don’t expect to be loved in return. Often, in their attempts to intimidate and silence us, apostates will accuse us of being unloving and even hateful.” https://a.co/29hwHt2

  • Reach the lost and equip the saints for the work of ministry. (Eph. 4:12)
  • The Gospel of the Kingdom must be proclaimed to the world. (Matt. 24:14)
  • Speak the truth in love. (Gal. 6:1, Eph. 4:11-15)

Training not Telling

“We have to change our church philosophy from telling to training.”

The Church in Babylon: Heeding the Call to Be a Light in the Darkness by Erwin W. Lutzer
https://a.co/5yok0Rt

The Church that will survive in Babylon (highlights)

  • People, not buildings.
  • Community not crowds.
  • Training not just telling. True Jesus discipleship: “come follow me”
  • Prayer not programs.
  • Hard truths not just positive suggestions. (Acts 17:1-10, 1 Peter 4:14, 2 Tim. 3:12, Heb. 10:32-36)
  • Christ is head of the church! (Rev. 2:10)

Reformation Discipleship Small Groups

A Reformation Discipleship Small Group: The general covenant would be a group of 3 to 4 couples with a full discipleship focus to reform discipleship in the church and reenchant the world with the truth and grace of the gospel. When ready, there is a commitment from each member to start their own group with the same model and similar covenant.

This will be a discipleship group, so it will focus on “training not telling.” We will cover these general areas (not exclusive or exhaustive):

  • Unity of the faith: Eph. 4, Apostle’s Creed, Nicene Creed, 1618 Baptist Confession
  • False gospels and gods: Apologetics. Contending for the faith. Jude
  • Family Discipleship: 1 Tim. 3:1-13
    • Family worship
    • Providing: Finances, Eduction, Safety, Discipleship
  • Great Commission: Follow Jesus discipleship. Matt. 28:18-20, Acts 17
  • Spiritual Battle: public prayer. Matt. 5:11-16
  • Evangelism
    • Multiplication: Matt. 4:18-22

Each of these areas will include Bible study, example and practice by each household. We will be “doing” not just discussing. For example, for family worship we will discuss the key elements in bible study, then we will model how we do family worship and the resources we’ve found helpful, then ask each member to do the same. For evangelism we may discuss how we would witness to someone that holds to one of the false gospels or false gods including play acting, personal experiences, and conclude with some neighborhood outreach or service activity. For spiritual battle and evangelism we may discuss abortion and practice how we would share our faith and witness to an abortion customer or employee, then spend time in public prayer outside the planned parenthood. At a time determined by the leader when discipleship has been adequately covered, the group will multiply and each member form their own.

“The cosmos has a future. There will be a new Heaven and a new earth. Elements of the original cosmos will carry over, and that is really good news because the redeemed are included in what gets carried over. We live by the light of tomorrow’s sun, and that sun is the Lord God (Rev. 22: 5). This is the basis of our piety, the substance of our daily duties.”
The Household and the War for the Cosmos: Recovering a Christian Vision for the Family by C.R. Wiley
https://a.co/fEDNy11

“Another war was waged by a hero for a princess, and once she was won, she became a queen, but not of a little kingdom in the center of Italy. She became queen of the Cosmos. And the Bible ends with their wedding day. And they live happily ever after that. Here’s the coronation of the queen from Revelation 19: 6–8 and 21: 1–4:

The Household and the War for the Cosmos: Recovering a Christian Vision for the Family by C.R. Wiley
https://a.co/cfd6M7W

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage supper of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”—for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.””

Truth

Veritati adhaereto
“Stick to the truth.”

 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
John 8:31-36

Truth and Knowledge: Dr Strange Magic


What are some themes in the Doctor Strange movie? 

People seeking answers in all the wrong places and falling for the same lies that humans have since Adam and Eve in the garden when Satan questioned God’s truth and promised that “you will be like God.” (Genesis 3:1-7) But good does win over evil in the end.

The Spiritual

Doctor Strange starts off as a materialist, someone who believes that all that exists is physical matter, what we can understand with our senses (see, touch) (3). Since there is no other reality, no moral truth of right and wrong, all he pursues is power, money and possessions, and he doesn’t care about anyone but himself.

But when he loses everything he learns there is more than meets the eye! We are more than just physical bodies!

“the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” (Genesis 2:7)

“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

The Library

A major theme is the good guys and bad guys seeking knowledge and wisdom. Studying is generally good, but what you study can be good or bad. Much of the studying in Doctor Strange is of mysticism (magic, witchcraft, or occultism) or gnosticism which are bad.

mysticism (magic, witchcraft, or occultism) is the study of secret knowledge, supernatural powers, and or demonic forces (2). Or as Satan lies, “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1-7)

gnosticism is a false belief in secret or special knowledge or adding to God’s truth with mystical knowledge (2).

“Doctor Strange’s magic points real-world viewers in some potentially dangerous directions, spiritually speaking,” says PluggedIn (6).

Turn to the Bible for the truth. Study theology to learn more about God, His creation, His plan of salvation, and His plan for His new creation. Do not look for “secret” or “special” knowledge. God’s word, the Bible, is God’s very breath. Let it transform your life.

“… evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:13-17)

Theology: Greek theos which means “God,” and logos which means “reason,” “wisdom,” or “thought.” So, theology is to think about God (1).

The search for secret knowledge apart from God is nothing new. Satan in his pride wanted to be like God, and now he continues to deceive people into thinking that they don’t need God. From Satan, to Adam and Eve, to Nimrod, Noah’s great grandson, that studied astrology and mystical occultism and built the city of Babel (Babylon), where the tower of Babel was built (5). (Genesis 10:8; 1)

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared… Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:1-2, 7-8)

Establish your knowledge in sound doctrine so that you will know the truth and know when someone has been deceived.

Doctrine: Teaching of the Church from the truth of the Bible.

Isaiah 40:8
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.

Matthew 24:35
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

John 14:6
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Romans 12:2
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Isaiah 40:8, Matthew 24:35, John 14:6, Romans 12:2

What I want you to understand is:

1. The movie is fiction. Much of the “magic” as seen in the movie is just pretend.
2. But, there are demonic forces, cosmic powers, and spiritual forces of evil!
3. And they are very very dangerous because they want to deceive or trick us into denying Jesus.
4. But, we who live in Christ have nothing to fear! Jesus Christ has overcome death, and even the demons shudder! In fact, “whenever the unclean spirits saw [Jesus], they fell down before him and cried out, ‘You are the Son of God.'” (Mark 3:11)

So, put on your armor and be prepared!

The Whole Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 

18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
(Ephesians 6:10-20)



References:

1. “Who Needs Theology: an invitation to the study of God” Grenz and Olson, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL., 1996

2. “The Concise Evengelical Dictionary of Theology” Elwell, Baker Book House Company, 1991

3. “Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms” Grenz, Guretzki, and Nordling, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL., 1999

4. The Dobra Family Mission

5. “The Barbarians are Here: Preventing the collapse of western civilization in times of terrorism” Youssef, Worthy Books, Franklin, TN., 2017
www.amazon.com/Barbarians-are-Here-Preventing-Civilization-ebook/dp/B01MY9QH4X/

6. PluggedIn Movie Review www.pluggedin.com/movie-reviews/doctor-strange