Church? Where is Church?


“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”  Matthew 16:18 (NKJV)

Where is the church today? Well, there seems to be about 2,000 different professing Christian “church organizations” in buildings all across America who say they are “a church” but none dare to call themselves “the church” that Jesus declared He was building some 2,000 years ago. Now that doesn’t answer the location question, but it does speak to the volume of churches we seem to have available. So, are any of them the “wrong church” to go to? Well I bet you just answered that question faster than I just typed it. I mean just turn on the idiot box (that’s TV in English) and you can see a-many of them with the press of a button. But that’s not church, now is it?

Maybe you’re sitting there saying, “They can’t all be wrong” but then by the same token they can’t all be right either. So where is the church that Jesus Christ built? Well, it is on the Earth today, but how do we find it, what do we look for, how do we identify it, and how do we know if we see it are all questions that we must ask ourselves. And if I may be so daring, I would also say that if you look to building/organization as source to locate the church, then I may have to say you’re as lost as I am with the question of where is the church today. Going to “church” has been a part of me for a long time, both Catholic and Protestant, and I am still trying to grasp the entire concept of the church that Jesus Christ, Himself, built.

For the sake of context, open your Bibles and turn to Luke 12 and read verses 22-40…got it? Good. I would like to zone in on verse 32, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.” Now the challenge here is to figure out who is this “little flock.” Matthew Henry would say of the matter, “If we value the beauty of holiness, we shall not crave the luxuries of life. Let us then examine whether we belong to this little flock.” So, if we were to run ourselves through Luke 12:22-40, do we find ourselves caring too much for the stuff that has no eternal value? Then maybe we’re not in the little flock and if that is the case are we finding churches that would convict us if we do…hmm?

David C. Pack wrote this quote in his book, Where Is The True Church?, “The respected and accepted churches of this world are so because they teach the popular doctrines and traditions, familiar to the masses.” Then he does go on to say, “By no means could any of these well-known denominations of professing Christianity be considered a “little flock.”’ But I am still scratching my head because I don’t see anything wrong with a little flock here and a little flock there. Kinda like if I said I belong to the Church in Mays Landing NJ. It doesn’t give a denominational name, just the fact that I identify with a group of people who understand what Jesus said in the passage from Luke I mentioned earlier on in today’s Freedom Fighter.

So…I know that I don’t answer the question “Where is the church today” but I am going to start figuring out a few things that, over the next few Freedom Fighters, I will be sharing with you. The titles may different from time to time. but the subject of ‘the church’ will be the content. I may even take a daring dabble at those seven churches found in the Book of Revelation. There is something about them that seems to say so much and since they are being addressed by Jesus Christ Himself there is no better source to go with my question than to the Man Himself. Amen?

Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.

The Daily Bible Reading: Proverbs 4| You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here


Daily Quote: “The church has lost her testimony. She has no longer anything to say to the world. Her once robust shout of assurance has faded away to an apologetic whisper. She who one time went out to declare now goes out to inquire. Her dogmatic declaration has become a respectful suggestion, a word of religious advice, given with the understanding that it is after all only an opinion and not meant to sound bigoted.” — A.W. Tozer

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

“Now, my God, I pray, let Your eyes be open and let Your ears be attentive to the prayer made in this place.” 2 Chronicles 6:40




The Tares (Part II)


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“The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” – Matthew 13:41-42 (NKJV)

The last time I was with you I was making fun of my lawn. I had a brother-in-Christ respond in kind that his lawn too is something of a hodge-podge of things that grow alongside, something he also thinks is just grass (Thanks Brain). It’s always a good thing when we can find common ground with common things. I also thought it a careful thing to consider on how we approach folks in our churches who may express a different Biblical view-point on Kingdom principles than what we know as Biblical truth. We desperately need Scripture as our go-to in our everyday things, especially those things that keep us heavenly-minded.

When we get to Matthew 13:24-30, Jesus tells a parable about the wheat and the tares. The farm workers want to shred what they think are the weeds but the land owner, in being wise, tells them not to so that they may not uproot the wheat. I used this as an illustration on how to not just tear into someone who may say something that strikes you as ‘off the mark.’ We need to see “the fruits” of such statements. When we get to Matthew 13: 37-43, Jesus clears the matter up on who has the authority to handle such weedy folks. But we still need to be familiar with the tares, just like a good laborer in vineyard should do…and we need Scripture to divide it rightly.

So…. what are the tares among the wheat? Well, as we read the writings of the Apostle Paul, we can see that he ran into them all the time. In 2 Corinthians 11:1-15, Paul talks about those false apostles that he ran into. I like how he puts it in verse 4, “You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed.” (NLT)

He had to scold the Galatians for believing a false gospel. “I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who called you to Himself through the loving mercy of Christ. You are following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who deliberately twist the truth concerning Christ.” (Galatians 1:6-7)

And, even though he was once a “Pharisee of Pharisees,” Paul understood that “We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6a). He then makes this statement, and though it was concerning Israel, it can still be found among Christendom today: “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God” (Romans 10:3). Pretty much saying there’s a false righteousness out there to stay clear of.

Paul will give warning to a young pastor named Timothy about false doctrines, but ya know something, it is as if Paul could see right down the line of time and see us in the 21st century, “Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). Then there’s this little nugget, “For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear” (2 Timothy 4:3).

Paul will even tell us who will be behind all of the above, “Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will kill him with the breath of His mouth and destroy him by the splendor of His coming. This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles” (2 Thessalonians 2:8-9).

During this time of Advent, many shows have been put on to share with you a viewpoint of the life of Jesus Christ. Maybe some of them hit the mark, maybe some don’t. But none the less, we need to be on guard more than ever because our faith’s value system is under the microscope, so we need to handle stuff…delicately. I like how Nigerian poet, Michael Bassey Johnson, puts it: “You can believe in whatsoever you like, but the truth remains the truth, no matter how sweet the lie may taste.” Amen?

Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.

The Daily Bible Reading: Job 25-26 | You can download our 2017 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here


Daily Quote: Daily Quote: “Beware of any man who claims to be wiser than the apostles or holier than the martyrs of the Early Church. The best way to deal with him is to rise and leave his presence. You cannot help him and he surely cannot help you.” —– A.W. Tozer

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

By transgression an evil man is snared, But the righteous sings and rejoices. Proverbs 29:6


Preparing for Temptation – What is Your Battle Plan? (Part 4)

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Good morning, brothers. I am thankful that you are joining us for a brand new week of Freedom Fighter blogs. I appreciate you taking time to read our blogs, and if they are a blessing to you, would you prayerfully forward them to a friend and encourage him to sign up to receive them.

Today is Part 4 in our discussion about PREPARING FOR TEMPTATION. We have talked about:

  1. Identifying your area of temptation/weakness
  2. Searching the Scriptures to see what the Bible says about your area of temptation/weakness
  3. The importance of using the weaponry that has been provided for you in Scripture

Today I want to add to our plan #4 Watch and Pray.

Prayer is one of the weapons given to us in the Ephesians 6 passage combined with using the “Sword of the Spirit.”

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints …” Ephesians 6:18

Do you remember after the Last Supper when Jesus led the Disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane and instructed them to pray with him while He went further to pray with His Father. The disciples fell asleep twice!!! Jesus admonished them with these words: “Watch (keep watching) and (keep praying) pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41

One of the bloggers that I follow is Pastor Tim Challies. I don’t agree with everything he posts, but he recently posted on what it means to keep a watch on your life:

Think of someone you know who committed one of those grave sins, the kind of sin that disqualified him from ministry or wrecked her home and marriage. Think, perhaps, about the person who was caught in an illicit affair. It’s not like this person just woke up one morning and said, “I think I’ll commit adultery today.” No, that sin was the result of a long relaxing of vigilance. He first allowed his eyes to wander, then allowed lustful thoughts to linger. She began to strike up conversations she knew she shouldn’t have,

to go where she shouldn’t have gone, and to linger in the presence of someone she should have stayed away from. Over time these small actions prepared them for that big sin, primed them for that major fall. The sin was so unnecessary, so avoidable. But it became possible, it became inevitable, when they failed to keep a close watch on their behavior, on their life, on themselves.

God calls us to keep a close watch on our behavior and this requires both inner and outer vigilance, knowing ourselves and being known by others.

Inner vigilance is seeing ourselves through the lens of the Bible and believing what we see there. It is reading the Bible in such a way that the Bible reads us. The Bible exposes our hearts, lays bare our motives, calls us to believe and obey. We are to mine the darkest depths of our hearts through the brilliant light of scripture, to know our specific weaknesses and favorite temptations, and to do the difficult work of putting sin to death while coming alive to righteousness.

Outer vigilance is allowing others to see and know us. It is joining in community with others, exposing our hearts before trusted friends, allowing them to have a voice, and believing what they see and say. It is humility expressed in transparency. We keep a close watch on our lives by allowing others to keep a close watch on our lives.

A business principle that was written many years ago is true in the spiritual realm: If you fail to plan, you will plan to fail.

Part of our plan means keeping a watch on our lives and praying. How are you doing with this step? Here is the link to the full Challies article Keep a Close Watch on Yourself.

Have a great day, friend. I am praying for you to walk in victory. Trust you will do the same for me.

Written by Dr. Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 14; Proverbs 14

Daily Quote: There is not an issue you’re facing that prayer cannot address because nothing is to difficult or impossible for God to handle. Living The Battle Plan

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. – Philippians 3:10-11

Now… If They Were Late



“For the Kingdom of Heaven is like the landowner who went out early one morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay the normal daily wage and sent them out to work.” – Matthew 20:1-2 (NLT)

While they were growing up, my two kids were very different about doing things we parent’s label as “CHORES”. My son, Kevin, was always diligent about getting them done. When it came to mowing the lawn, this dude was right on top of it. So much so that he kept on me about the upkeep of our lawn mower and making sure the gas mix was at the ready. If his mom asked to take out the trash and recyclables he did it without complaining…or at least out of our hearing range. My daughter, Karen, was the complete opposite of this. The dishwasher would be getting emptied right about the time dinner would be done and the wet laundry was making it to the dryer just before her mother pulled up from work. As time went by Kevin started to vocalize his dislike of Karen’s disregard of work ethic and felt that she should be dealt with if not withheld from in terms of reward.  Then they both moved out, now I have to do those chores… C’est la vie

When we look into Matthew 20:1-16 we can see something along the same lines. Those guys that were already at the landowner’s house early made an arrangement for a day’s pay, then the landowner went out into the marketplace and recruited more workers along the way. By the end of the work day EVERYONE was getting the same pay and that didn’t sit too well with those guys who showed up at the crack of dawn. I am one of those guys who does show up at the crack of dawn to get to work so I can kinda feel for these early go-getters but we aren’t talking man’s economy here. The kind of economy that says you are worth more than everybody, oh no, on the contrary, we’re talking about God’s economy here and that economy is solely based on God’s grace…and the cost of discipleship.

If we were to look at the landowner as being God the Father and those early go-getters as folks who’ve been a Christian all their lives, we could see that they consider themselves qualified to be worthy of working the vineyard and therefore all the more-worthier to receive God’s grace. But the landowner goes out into the marketplace and gets workers up to the last possible hour of a working day. To me, that means everyone was worthy enough to work the landowner’s vineyard. “That evening he told the foreman to call the workers in and pay them, beginning with the last workers first.” (Matthew 20:8) After this it gets messy… “Those people worked only one hour, and yet you’ve paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.” – (Matthew 20:12)

Even though those early go-getters agreed to work the day for the same pay that those who worked the hour got they forgot who owns the vineyard. The way I see this story is Jesus is telling us that everyone is welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven. If you take a moment and consider the ones who the landowner encounters during the day we could say this illustrates how God the Father seeks us out to bring us into the Kingdom. Even down to the last-minute people can consider themselves worthy of God’s grace. With Jesus as His “foreman” grace is dispensed for all who follow Christ’s direction while working in the vineyard. “And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is—free and undeserved.” – (Romans 11:6)

I kinda gotta giggle at Simon Peter. In Matthew 19:27 he boldly makes this statement, “We’ve given up everything to follow You. What will we get?” Isn’t that what we think when we leave our sinful selves behind to follow Jesus? When I left all that I once behind I was glad to be rid of it but as my walk with Christ went along I kinda wanted more than what God was giving me because I thought it was about performance and duration. But as God continues to deal with me I have come to better realize the cost of discipleship and work on finding contentment in that realization. Oh, I will still show up at the crack of dawn to get the work done but I will be all the more-happier to see others showing up as the day goes along. How about you?

Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 9; Proverbs 9

Daily Quote: “Peter was not promoting or predicting a cold and lifeless and formal spirituality in the Christian church when he advised believers to gird up the loins of their minds and be sober. He was saying to the early Christians as he hopes to say to us now: “Brethren, if ever there was an hour when we needed to be serious about our Christian faith, this is the hour! We need to be sober men—and spiritual men.” —A.W. Tozer  

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

“…and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which isfrom the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.” – Philippians 3:9

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