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The Persecuted Church


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What is the difference of becoming a disciple Mt.28:19 or being saved.

Jesus said to go and make disciples “making learners” from all the people of the world. How? “by teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” The apostles did not preach for one to become a disciple. They preached the Gospel for one to be saved – to be forgiven of their sins, and learn and be conformed to his likeness.

The name Christian appears three times in the New Testament and the word “disciple” appears at least 250 times. Christian at the time meant a derogatory term, one who follows Christ. In the synoptic gospels the term disciple is used 160 times, John 78 times, Book of Acts after the church began 28 times. We can see the number of times it is being used is slowly dwindled, the question is why? Not once is it used in the rest of the New Testament after the book of Acts. Instead the Church members are identified as saints, brethren. As the Church developed it was called the body of Christ. This meant membership in Christ himself by Spirit baptism 1 Cor.12:13. You can follow Christ and be a disciple and still not be saved, or, you can be saved and follow which makes you a saint, one of the brethren. This term “Saint” was first used in the New Testament after the resurrection (Mt.27:52). The word Saint show’s ones new position in Christ as they are set aside for his service, they are part of the church, the word disciple shows one is a learner and may not yet be part of the church.

This is why we see

“Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly” (John 19:38). Because he was not saved or part of the church. It would be difficult to be a secret believer who was spirit baptized and a member of a church.

Acts 5:42 “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.”

They preached the gospel, people were saved, given the Holy Spirit then they taught the word to them. (Acts.8:25; 14:7,21;15:7; 16:10; Rom.1:15, 1 Cor. 1:17; Heb.4:12; 1Pt.1:12)

This is how they discipled “Paul and Barnabas also remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord (Acts 15:35)

Acts 18:11: “And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

Acts 28:31: “preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence”

Teaching was strictly on the bible 1 Tim 1:3 ‘As I urged you when I went into Macedonia-- remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine”

2 Tim 4:2: “ Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.”

Noything has changed, we are to continue the mandate in the same way and same attitude.

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