Though the year 2010 has been a tough one in the Clarendon County real estate market, it has been extremely fruitful for the Kingdom of God! Our church, ARC- United Pentecostal Church
, in Manning has experienced spiritual growth like never before. Some of our members have come from a completely unchurched background, while others may have been raised in church their entire lives, but for whatever reason decided to make a change.
In our church, we try to challenge our members to go deeper in the Lord. We encourage them to learn more of the Word of God, and to teach others. If the Word of God is our guidebook in this life, why shouldn’t we dig deeper?! Many times in this quest for more of Him, our members discover that there is so much more to living for God than they were taught in their former churches. As a result of this discovery, they sometimes become disappointed that their former church did not teach them properly. This disillusionment, if not recognized and dealt with, sometimes leads to bitterness or a self-righteous attitude. To have one’s eyes opened to Truth is something to be proud about, but we must display the right kind of pride! We need to have pride that our names have been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life – NOT pride that leads to a glaring look down the long nose of self-righteousness.
I was preparing to teach my Young adult class a week or so ago, and I began to ponder the fact that most of the young people I was teaching have some sort of church background. I was praying for them individually and suddenly I found myself thanking God for those churches. Whether or not that young adult had a good or bad experience
with their past church or not was not an issue. Some of them did have quite terrible circumstances which led them to us. Maybe it was a church split, an internal church family feud, or simply lack of anointed leadership that led them to us; however, there were also good churches which laid a wonderful foundation in those individuals. All at once, I was overwhelmed with thankfulness for each of them – good or bad. If one memory verse was taught, if one invitation for repentance was given, it brought that person one step closer to Jesus, and that is an awesome thing.
In an attempt to indoctrinate newcomers, so many church leaders unintentionally (or unknowingly) make the mistake of tearing away at the foundation already laid in that person. Jesus’ apostles are our best guide to avoid that mistake. Paul simply asked the question, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” Acts 19:2 He did NOT tear down what John had done by baptizing them unto repentance. He just built on John’s well-laid foundation. He simply explained in a loving way, THERE IS MORE!
But what if someone has been taught erroneously concerning salvation? The answer is simple: Let the Word do the work! God’s Word is true from the beginning to the end. It does not need to be propped up, pumped up or backed up. There are enough witnesses in God’s Word that if someone is truly hungry for God, He will show them the TRUE WAY, and he will use a wise leader to do it (“…and how shall they hear without a preacher” Romans 10:14 Paul said, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. … According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” I Corinthians 3: 6-11.
There truly is MORE to Him and we will not STOP learning His ways until we take our last breaths! No one person has “arrived.” HOWEVER, in order for a house to be lived in, it must have more than a mere foundation. It must have walls, a roof for protection from the elements and rooms in order to be practical. I thank God for the foundation other churches may have laid in some of our folks, but I am so honored to be chosen to help them build their walls, rooms, etc, to make their home livable. I refuse to be one who tears down… I want to be a wise master
builder like Paul, allowing the Holy Ghost to be the ultimate teacher. I Cor 2:13
If you are looking for a church home, please be our guest at Apostolic Revival Center – United Pentecostal Church (7 Berkeley Street, Manning, SC 29102)