In any Christian church in which the whole counsel of God is preached and a person’s character is being moulded to be more Christ-like, you will always find those who, when the going gets tough, choose the easy way out and look for a church that will allow them to remain unchanged. This normally results in people participating in a “Christian worship” which allows them to think they are still following God. However, there is a reason why Jesus Christ states:
… whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. (LUKE 14:33)
You must be prepared to give up your life.
This sheet has been assembled for the specific purpose of addressing those who wish to leave this, or for that matter, any assembly. If you are a person who is presently questioning whether or not you can scripturally leave this Assembly and go somewhere else, then the question must be asked: what is your real reason for desiring to leave?
Study this file prayerfully and see if you are indeed matching up to what God expects of you. If you find out that there are areas in your Christian walk where you are lacking, then how about you start changing these areas before you point a finger at the Assembly where God set you, or at those God set above you; otherwise you will indeed fall into the category of being a hypocrite. Do you really love God (meaning that you are obedient to Him) with your whole, heart, mind, soul and strength (LUKE 10:27) according to the categories listed below? Seriously, consider whether what you are contemplating is the will of God, because:
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (MATTHEW 7:21)
What are your genuine motives for wanting to leave? Are you being urged by the Spirit into a deeper walk with the Lord in holiness and absolute obedience to every commandment, which you find you cannot achieve in your church? Or are you not willing to overcome weaknesses in your character and pay the price of being a disciple?
Are you saved?
The Bible gives us a clear pattern of how to be saved:
"...Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (ACTS 2:38)
Phrases like “I gave my life to Jesus” or “I took Jesus in my heart” are unbiblical (JOHN 6:44). At best, they signify that you made the first step necessary for your salvation (repentance). But, are you also baptised by full immersion (symbolising the burial of the old life – ROMANS 6:4)? Have you received the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues (MARK 16:16-20; ACTS 2:4)? Only then are you fully born again of spirit and of water and become a new creature (JOHN 3:5; 2 CORINTHIANS 5:17) as one of God’s adopted sons and daughters (ROMANS 8:15). But all this is just the beginning! Are you still following the ‘narrow path’, fully obeying God’s Word (2 CORINTHIANS 10:5) by the power of the Holy Spirit?
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." (ROMANS 8:14)
Do you preach the Word?
It should be a normal desire for every Christian to preach the Gospel and warn the unsaved of God’s wrath and coming judgment, but it is also a commandment, even the very last words of Jesus before He went up to heaven:
"...Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (MARK 16:15-16)
There is no excuse not to spread the Word, because the Holy Spirit equips us with power to become God’s witnesses (ACTS 1:8). Each Christian is expected to work for God’s harvest (ISAIAH 6:8; LUKE 10:2), and to be active in reaching the lost (MATTHEW 22:9-10). Your hunger to save souls can only grow from a continuous relationship with Jesus, as His will becomes yours (JOHN 21:6; ROMANS 15:18-20).
Our testimony/conduct is also an active part of our witness and must remain as cleansing salt and as a light in a dark and corrupted world, otherwise we will be cast away (MATTHEW 5:13-16). Are you stirred up and ready to go and preach the Word at all times? (2 TIMOTHY 4:1-2). God warns:
"...But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." (MATTHEW 10:32-33)
Do you live a holy life?
Should there not be a difference in the lives of Christians and the unsaved? Our character, appearance and dress code need to reflect holiness (2 PETER 3:11; 1 TIMOTHY 2:9; TITUS 2:3) since we are Christ’s ambassadors (2 CORINTHIANS 5:20). The Bible commands us to stay separate from the sins of this world and to keep ourselves as a spotless bride waiting for the return of Jesus Christ (2 CORINTHIANS 6:14-18; JAMES 1:27; MATTHEW 25:10).
"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." (GALATIANS 5:19-21)
Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 CORINTHIANS 3:16-17). Are you keeping it clean?
What Kind of Music are You Listening to?
Music influences you more than you might think. If you listen to worldly music, you will become worldly. The fruit of much modern music and its rhythms (i.e. rock’n roll) is immorality and rebellion against God (MATTHEW 7:17). Most of so-called Christian contemporary music is nothing but Christian lyrics packed into worldly music. How can the Holy Spirit use fleshly music?
"For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." (GALATIANS 5:17)
Worldly “Christian” music exalts singers, artists and groups instead of God (EXODUS 20:3-4), and often plays on the emotions. In contrast, God’s gives us joy and peace and brings us into a deeper relationship with Him:
"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." (COLOSSIANS 3:15-16)
The Bible tells us that the music in our lives should be centred on God, His praises, and our thanks. Even songs of celebration and joy should be pleasing to the Lord (EPHESIANS 5:18-20). Is your music acceptable to God?
The Biblical Roles of Man and Woman
Today many churches are afraid to stand against the paradigm shift towards an emancipated church, and hence allow women pastors to preach the gospel, even supporting this concept with dubious theology. However, this is unscriptural:
"But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." (1 TIMOTHY 2:12-14)
Women have many important functions in the church; they can be soul-winners, teachers of other women, helpers (deaconesses), even prophesy – but they are not authorised by God to preach or lead (ROMANS 16:1; PHILIPPIANS 4:2-3; ACTS 18:18,26).
The Bible views men and women as equals but with complementary roles. In a marriage, man has the headship because woman was created to be his helpmeet (GENESIS 2:18):
"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body." (EPHESIANS 5:22-23)
The husband, however, must treat his wife with the same love as Christ loved the church (EPHESIANS 5:25; COLOSSIANS 3:19) and lead his family in God’s ways. Like Christ, he puts himself last and gives up his life for his family. In such a marriage there is harmony.
Is your marriage being blessed because you are obeying God’s pattern?
Do You Seek Unity With a Forgiving, Loving Spirit?
The Bible tells us clearly how to act towards an erring brother:
"Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted." (GALATIANS 6:1)
If he listens to reproof and repents with the appropriate works of restitution, we should unconditionally forgive him (LUKE 17:3; 2 CORINTHIANS 7:11). Moreover, we must be ready to forgive at all times (LUKE 17:4). God warns against an unforgiving heart:
"And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses." (MARK 11:25-26)
If someone refuses to forgive a brother who has repented and instead prefers to spread the matter to others, the Bible commands us to promptly reprove this unforgiving brother to stop the gossip from spreading to the whole church (LEVITICUS 19:16; PROVERBS 21:23; GALATIANS 5:9).
Do you have a forgiving or a judging spirit?
If someone does something wrong to us personally, we must go to them and tell them about it privately (MATTHEW 18:15). Above all our desire should always be to rectify the situation, cover the transgression in love, and restore unity (PROVERBS 17:9). A Christian who silently lets offences go by whilst secretly building up anger in his heart can become defiled by bitterness and fail the grace of God (MATTHEW 5:22; HEBREWS 12:5; EPHESIANS 4:31).
The Bible beseeches us to
“...walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (EPHESIANS 4:1-3; see also PSALM 133:1). Satan is the accuser of the brethren and continually seeks to divide us (REVELATION 12:10). Do you endeavour to keep unity with your brethren, or are you shying away from confronting your problems and building up offences in your heart?
Do You Support Your Church Leaders to Keep The Church Clean?
Sin/ungodliness inside the church can spread fast and in the same way as a little leaven can quickly cause a large lump of dough to rise (1 CORINTHIANS 5:6). We are commanded to keep the church pure, i.e. free from those who
“cause divisions and offences” (ROMANS 16:17), and from
“profane and vain babbling” and those
“who concerning the truth have erred” (2 TIMOTHY 2:16-18).
The Bible is very clear on how to deal with offences. If a brother falls into sin and does not seek repentance on his own, he / she does not need to be rebuked straight away before all (1 TIMOTHY 5:19-20), but first of all face to face, then with a witness (MATTHEW 18:15-17). But:
“A man that is an heretick (self opinionated)
after the first and second admonition reject.” (TITUS 3:10)
"…that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly." (2 THESSALONIANS 3:6)
This strictness is necessary not only to protect the church members (1 CORINTHIANS 5:6) but also to give the “Christian sinner” a chance to repent (1 CORINTHIANS 5:5-7; 1 TIMOTHY 1:19-20). If the erring brother accepts chastisement and repents (HEBREWS 12:7-11), he should be forgiven, comforted (2 CORINTHIANS 2:5-8) and allowed back in fellowship as the situation has been brought under Christ’s blood.
Are you supporting your oversight in this God-given directive to keep your church holy?
Are You Loyal?
Today’s worldly spirit of rebellion / lack of submission has crept into churches, and as a result many “Christians” are trying out different churches to see which one suits them best. The Bible calls such people
“wandering stars”, who out of selfish motives
“separate themselves” (JUDE 13,19).
Every Christian is individually chosen by God and has a calling (JOHN 15:16; 2 TIMOTHY 1:9). When we are saved we not only become part of the body of Christ / God’s church, but we are also set in an individual church (1 CORINTHIANS 1:2; REVELATION 1:4). Each church has a specific commission (ROMANS 15:20; GALATIANS 2:7-9; 1 CORINTHIANS 12:4-5), and if we change church, we will remove ourselves from our calling and from the
“good works that God has ordained for us” (EPHESIANS 2:10), doing our own will, not God’s.
It is God who sets the members of the body where it pleases Him (1 CORINTHIANS 12:18; 1 CORINTHIANS 7:17,20,23). It is not by chance that you were set by God in the church you were born into. Figuratively speaking, if you were meant to be part of the temple’s door frame, you cannot just decide to become part of the roof (EPHESIANS 2:21-22; 1 CORINTHIANS 2:15-16).
Also when we are born again, we receive a completely new (spiritual) family in the church where God plants us, consisting of:
1) A pastor who is set as a spiritual “father” in Christ to lead us and who is responsible for our spiritual upbringing:
"For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me" (1 CORINTHIANS 4:15-16); and
2) Brothers and sisters who are there to help, comfort and admonish each other (ROMANS 14:19; COLOSSIANS 3:16).
Christians who change churches because they don’t want to submit to God-given authority are therefore like rebellious children leaving their own family:
"Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you." (HEBREWS 13:17)
You can only leave the church of your “birth” if you are not fed properly with the whole Word of God (JEREMIAH 23:2-4; EZEKIEL 34:2; ACTS 20:27). A sheep never leaves its pasture unless there is no grass to feed on. Are you a sheep?
You have been presented with a checklist of characteristics of Biblical Christianity. The list is far from complete, but includes some of the most important points at which many Christians stumble or get offended. We have to preach the whole counsel of God (ACTS 20:27) and cannot make any compromises.
"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." (GALATIANS 1:8)
We do not believe that these Christian Assemblies International are by any means perfect, but we can definitely state that we are earnestly seeking to obey and preach all the points listed above, along with every other commandment in the Bible. We believe that God’s clear will for those planted in our Assembly – and in any other Assembly that strives with all their hearts to obey God’s commandments – is to stay exactly where you were planted.
If you have been a lukewarm Christian, and have been contemplating leaving this Assembly where God has placed you, start obeying God from now on and show BIBLICAL CHRISTIANITY in your life.
"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. … To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." (REVELATION 3:19,21)
"And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully." (2 TIMOTHY 2:5)
1. Are you saved?
2. Do you preach the Word?
- Personal Evangelism
- Release in Evangelism
- Merlin Carothers, Are You Sitting Comfortably, Kingsway Publications (1992).
3. Do you live a holy life?
- David Wilkerson, The Power of a Blameless Life, <http://www.tscpulpitseries.org/english/1990s/ts930712.html>
- William Gurnall, The Christian in Complete Armour – Volume Two, Banner of Truth Trust (1655-1662), 200-245.
- Milton Green, The Great Falling Away, Huntington House (1986).
- Christ in You - Bible Studies Vol. 1
4. What kind of music are you listening to?
- Black Sabbath
- Satan’s Cult With Rock Music
- Dial the Truth Ministries, “Christian” Rock Music <http://www.av1611.org/crock/crock1.html>
- Erik Holmberg, Hell’s Bells (Video)
5. The biblical roles of man and woman
- Bible Study: God’s Plan for the Family
- Man on the Run
- The Pastor’s Wife as a Helpmeet
- Debi Pearl, Created To Be His Helpmeet, No Greater Joy (2004).
- Women in Ministry – Arguments and Explanations
6. Do you have a forgiving spirit?
- How to deal with mistakes
- Pastor Scott’s talk “The Tongue”
7. Do you support your church leaders to keep the church clean?
- Lewi Pethrus, Church Discipline, 1944.
8. Are you loyal?
- Milton Green, The Great Falling Away, Huntington House (1986).