I used to go without fail. Then illness meant i stopped for several weeks.
Instead i read my bible daily, pray and do my own study and prayer. I make time for it and treasure it.
Now i find myself asking, do i really want or need to go to church on Sundays? I found people there irritating and tedious. I was always rushing to get there, being roped in for various duties and being ignored and sidelined for other roles that i would have loved. The pastor was a pompous man, not inspiring, just did his job. I sat next to people who fidgeted, were ignorant and closed minded about God's Word. They chatted as if it was a social club. I was growing fast as a passionate Christian but getting little support. I enjoyed the hymns best and preaching kind of. I never felt the pastor truly spoke it from the heart.
Now i think - who needs it? I don't. How was all that bringing me nearer to God? I prefer to have a leisurely get up on a sunday. Pray. Read Bible in the bathroom while my bath runs. Pray as i bathe - why not? Prepare a nice early roast and be all relaxed listening to hymns or watching 'Songs of Praise' later instead of a rushed mad thing! Enjoy my Sabbath.
So, my motivation to attend church has gone. I intend only to go for special occasions. Am i wrong? Is it God's command to collectively worship? Or is that just a personal choice?
How hard is it to be a follower of Christ? It’s not simple but life is hard in general. Jesus says; Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
There is always a solution for every problem.
Let's discuss the naure of what Yeshua` was trying to do during His "earthly ministry," that is, during His offer of the Kingdom to Israel.
That statement both telegraphs what I'm wanting to talk about and leads the arguments I plan to propose. It is, indeed, a "leading statement."
Some suggest that His primary mission was the Cross and His Sacrificial Death (and Resurrection), but that is NOT the "gospel" that He was talking about during His time of teaching.
First, let's look at the word translated as "preaching":
Sometimes, the word is translated from the verb form of the word translated "gospel," which means "good news":
(I'm going to use Strong's definitions simply because they are a source of which many people are aware. It's not the sole source of my information, and Strong's makes mistakes from time to time, but it is still a short, straight-to-the-point source of information.)
Let's start with Matthew 6:23-25:
Matthew 6:23-25 (KJV)
23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them. 25 And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.
2784 keerussoo (kay-roos'-so). Of uncertain affinity; to herald (as a public crier), especially divine truth (the gospel) -- preach(-er), proclaim, publish.
So, the word translated as "preaching" means "heralding" as a town crier would do. In movies about the 1600s and 1700s, one sees town criers or heralds as pages that bring out a scroll of paper, unfurl the scroll vertically, and begin by saying, "Hear ye, hear ye!" They WERE indeed announcers, but they also had a mission: They were generally spokesmen for the king, declaring the king's decisions that were essentially to be treated as law!
John the Baptist (Yochannan the Immerser) also had a mission: He was to be the herald for the coming King! Matthew tells us,
Matthew 3:1-3 (KJV)
1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching (heralding) in the wilderness of Judaea, 2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias (pronounced "eh-sah'-ee-ahs"), saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
Which is a quotation from Isaiah (pronounced "yay-shaw'-yah") 40:1-5:
Isaiah 40:1-5 (KJV)
1 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
2 Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD'S hand double for all her sins.
3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:
5 And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
Later, Isaiah or Yeesha`yahuw (or Yeesha`yah) said,
Isaiah 52:1-10 (KJV)
1 Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.
2 Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.
3 For thus saith the LORD, Ye have sold yourselves for nought; and ye shall be redeemed (bought back) without money. 4 For thus saith the Lord GOD, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. 5 Now therefore, what have I here, saith the LORD, that my people is taken away for nought? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the LORD; and my name continually every day is blasphemed. 6 Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I.
7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings ("gospel"), that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings ("gospel") of good, that publisheth salvation (deliverance; rescue); that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
8 Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion.
9 Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed (bought back) Jerusalem.
10 The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation (deliverance; rescue) of our God.
Can you see it? This is not talking about "the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ" at all! That is NOT the "gospel" (that people think they know today) AT ALL!
Here's what Strong's says about "gospel":
2098 euaggelion (yoo-ang-ghel'-ee-on). From the same as euaggelizoo; a good message, i.e. The gospel -- gospel.
2097 euaggelizoo (yoo-ang-ghel'-id-zo). From eu and aggelos; to announce good news ("evangelize") especially the gospel -- declare, bring (declare, show) glad (good) tidings, preach (the gospel).
2095 eu (yoo). Neuter of a primary eus (good); (adverbially) well -- good, well (done).
32 aggelos (ang'-ghel-os). From aggelloo (probably derived from agoo; compare agele) (to bring tidings); a messenger; especially an "angel"; by implication, a pastor -- angel, messenger.
71 agoo (ag'-o). A primary verb; properly, to lead; by implication, to bring, drive, (reflexively) go, (specially) pass (time), or (figuratively) induce -- be, bring (forth), carry, (let) go, keep, lead away, be open.
34 agelee (ag-el'-ay). From agoo (compare aggelos); a drove -- herd.
(And, one should know that defining a word with the SAME WORD in its definition is circular reasoning. It's not helpful and does NOTHING to better the understanding of the word.)
So, what do we get out of all this? We get that "euaggelion" is a "good message" and "euaggelizoo," from which we get our word "evangelize," means "to announce that good message (or good news)," "eu" meaning "good" and "aggelion" meaning a "message" (delivered by an "aggelos" meaning a "messenger"). Thus, a "euaggelos," from which we get our word "evangelist," means a "messenger who delivers good news." Furthermore, "angel" is a transliterated word coming from "aggelos," and STRICTLY means "a messenger," but MAY refer to one of God's special messengers that are supernatural.
There's MUCH more to discuss, but that's a start. Now, why is this necessary to discuss? Well, people quote many Scriptures from the "Gospels," thinking they mean such-and-such when they don't have ANYTHING to do with such-and-such! People - well-meaning Christians - need to know what they're talking about.
This is my conclusion and Short statement at the end! Last major Bible that is in print !! Although there are many others I have not touched in and will give insight tomorrow, Holy Spirit willing – will do!
New King James Version (1979,1982)
The NKJV translators claim to have “preserved the authority and accuracy” and “improved the purity and beauty” of the original KJV. We disagree that the “purity and beauty” have been improved. Although the NKJV uses the underlying Textus Receptus Greek text, the translators repeatedly use marginal notations to reference the Modem Critical Text upon which all of the modem versions are based. The NKJV advocate opens a door that lends credibility to a perverted underlying text used by all the other versions. Furthermore, changes in the text are made which simply are not warranted. The NKJV primarily uses the 1967/ 1977 Stuttgart edition of Biblia Hebraica and draws from sources which result in a Hebrew text that is different from the Jacob ben Chayyim text underlying the KJV Old Testament. As a result the NKJV preface rightly stated, “significant variations are recorded in footnotes.” We believe the potential for most textual problems and variants between the KJV and NKJV will be found in the Old Testament.
While recognizing the extreme difficulties involved in translations of any kind and especially of a book as important as the Bible, I’m convinced that the King James Bible has been blessed by God for hundreds of years and should be used by believers today. It will be far better for us to expand our vocabulary in order to understand its terminology than to continually rewrite the Bible to suit those who will not be able to understand it anyway apart from the New Birth or to suit those Christians who are too lazy to study. It is true that the meanings of some English words have changed and others are no longer commonly used. Yet such words are comparatively few and can easily be comprehended with the use of a good dictionary; but if the word is missing altogether, what then?
The promotion and use of so many different Bible versions has resulted in great confusion among God’s people. Why don’t more pastors and Christian leaders see this? Congregational reading is becoming virtually impossible. Bible memorization is most difficult. Men and women lose confidence in the validity of God’s Word when some verses are included, some are bracketed, and some are missing completely.
May you always search for Truth! If you have friends in Christ not using the KJV – then show them my series and this should convince any believer on “ What Bible you should be reading”
Thank you so much dear God for allowing me to go on this adventure! May all of you be blessed by a Loving Large and in Charge Savior Jesus Christ!! Shalom.