The contemporary gap between Christ and church membership should be obvious to all. It hardly matters which church or denomination as you look at church members around you, and then look at the Christ of the Bible and the teachings of Christ, there is little similarity. The discouraging aspect of the gap is that it is getting larger each year. That means that it is diverging; and if it is diverging, it is conceivable that shortly the churches and Christ will be going in opposite directions. Horrible, yes; but what is the answer. What is the cure for this obvious and serious problem that has gripped the world of Christians? The answer is for church members to Learn Christ. Which Christ? The Christ from the apostles and prophets of the Bible. If one passage of the Bible were chosen as a gist or theme for this set of Bible commentaries, LEARN CHRIST FROM THE APOSTLES AND PROPHETS, it would be Ephesians 2:19-22. “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:1922 NJKV) I know the classic reply for church leaders. “No human can be perfect”, and“at least they are trying.” No, that is the point: church members are not trying. They are doing what they want to do. They are not making positive efforts to be like Christ and to be like God, which is demanded in the Bible from the apostles and prophets. The description of what is presently happening to church members is like the description from the Apostle Paul in II Timothy 4:3,4: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap
up for themselves teachers, and they will turn their ears from the truth…” (II Timothy 4:3,4 NJKV) You see it is no longer a negative thing of “we are trying…our heart is in the right place…but we just cannot reach perfection.” No, that is not it! It is a positive matter of first, a lack of tolerance for sound doctrine–church members will not listen to sound doctrine, church members will not go to hear sound doctrine, and church members will not tolerate preachers and teachers who preach sound doctrine. Church members, according to the Apostle Paul’s description, are motivated not by any effort to be like Christ and any effort at perfection, but are motivated by their own human desires; that is, “according to their own desires,” and “because they have itching ears.” In short, church members are doing what they want to do and they are believing what they want to believe. What they want to believe is things that will tickle their ears. Things that will give them pleasure like, “nobody is perfect” and “you are the people of God”, and “at least you are trying”. Maybe 20 or 30 years ago that was true; but not now. And the apex of the gap in Paul’s description is that they pile up or heap to themselves teachers. It is much like building a dirt fortress or batiment around themselves in order to protect themselves from sound doctrine. They buy books from teachers that feed their desires; they run off teachers and preachers that offend their itching ears with the truth; and they call as pastors, teachers, and administrators those “teachers” that will teach according to their own desires. The whole motivation is to turn away from the truth. Now, brother, that is a positive thing. It takes a lot of effort for so-called “Christians” to turn away from the truth of the Bible. It takes a lot of effort for church members to cease to Learn Christ; and in the place of learning Christ to learn some kind of church membership that is based on “desires” and “itching ears”. Some today, like among Presbyterians, are worried about an intolerance caused by the preaching of Christ as the only way of salvation. Brothers, you had better be concerned about the intolerance of sound doctrine that is growing. Being the third volume of the LEARN Christ commentaries, it is centered around the five books of the Apostle John with the emphasis on the book of Revelation. This approach helps to support the title theme of “Christ for Individuals”. As churches and denominations are “falling away” from God, Christ, and the Bible (not falling away from churches as church attendance may actually go up during the falling away), it is important that the few sound doctrine church members remaining of the seven Christian thousand adopt to themselves the Christ of the individual that is presented in Revelation 2-3. The approach to the eschatology of Revelation is simple. The outline is taken from the teachings of Jesus as given in Matthew 24 with the major divisions of the History of Christianity all the way to the end given by the natural divisions of“and then”: (1) Beginning of Sorrows; (2) Period of Persecution Tribulation (the tribulation of the fourth period is primarily physical tribulation and from God as the heavens and earth fall apart, the shaking of heaven and earth); (3) The Period of Offences, often the most neglected, when God’s people are offended by sound doctrine, betray and hate one another; and (4) The period of the Falling away which includes lawlessness and all the end time events. Remember, however, that whatever is in one period continues into the other periods.
In the Table of Contents of CFI, Christ for Individuals, you will notice the 3 major divisions of (1) The Book of Revelation., (2) The Gospel of John, and (3) The Three Little Epistles of John. (Actually John’s little epistles are harmonized in part 3 to once again illustrate the harmony between John and Paul in 3 each little epistles, and to set forth both Faith Contending and the Security of the Believer.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LEARN CHRIST FROM THE APOSTLES AND PROPHETS
Volume 2: Christ for Individuals
Introduction: Christ for Individuals pg 5
The Book of Revelation
chapter 1: Eschatology in the book of Revelation pg 8
chapter 2: Pride or Worship God, Revelation 1-3 pg 24
chapter 3: Number the People of God or Worship Christ, Revelation 4-7 pg 46
chapter 4: The Seventh Seal, The Completion of History, Revelation 8-12 pg 60
chapter 5: War Against the Remnant, Revelation 12-20 pg 71
chapter 6: “How Long” pg 94
chapter 7: New Heaven and New Earth,Revelation 21,22 pg 109
chapter 8: The Overcomers are the Seven Thousand pg 127
The Gospel of John
chapter 9: “Come and See”, the Gospel of John pg 146
chapter 10: Revelation, the Gospel of John, and the Epistles.
chapter 11: Signs for Believing in Jesus pg 171
The Little Epistles of John Plus
chapter 12: Security of the Believer pg 197
chapter 13: Complete Outline of I John pg 214
chapter 14: Faith and Faith Contending in the Bible pg 230
chapter 15: Some Sounds of a Sound Faith pg 244
chapter 16: What Do You Do? pg 282
You are welcome to receive the CFI book by free PDF download from the SunGrist website, or order it from several bookstores included the two listed below of Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
- The free download on the SunGrist website at http://www.biblecombibleman.com . You can either free download the complete volume 2 of LCC at http://biblecombibleman.com/CFIfreedist.pdf
- Or free download any or all of the 3 parts of Revelation, John, and the Epistles. (a) The book of Revelation at http://biblecombibleman.com/CFI_freedistRevelation.pdf (b) The Gospel of John at http://biblecombibleman.com/CFI_freedistJohn.pdf , and (3) The Little Epistles of John and Paul at http://biblecombibleman.com/CFI_freedistEpistles.pdf
- If you wish to own CFI in a paperback to increase or start your Bible book library, you can get it at a number of local bookstores including Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. (a) On Amazon.com at https://www.amazon.com/Christ-Individuals-Learn-Commentaries-Apostle/dp/0692120556/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1538746170&sr=1-1&keywords=Jerry+mcmichael and (b) on Barnes and Nobel at https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Jerry+McMichael?_requestid=3937941 .