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The church is not a denomination. We commonly hear this term in something like this...."what denomination are you?" The church that you read about in the Bible is not a denomination, in the sense that the term is used today.

1. The word denomination, in addition to the usage today, means unit or value when applied to money. It also means name or designation, especially one serving to classify a set of things. It is to use a name to designate that a certain thing is different to something else.

2. Jesus did not build denominations. Jesus said he would build his church (Mt 16.18). Jesus is serving as "head over the church, which is his body" (Eph 1.22-23). Paul would say that there is "one body" (one church; Eph 4.4). Paul also said Jesus is "the Savior of the body" (Eph 5.23). Jesus built a church, and there are many people, of all kinds of cultures and colors, but the Bible does not ever speak of the church that Jesus built as being anything less than one body in Christ.

3. Denominating yourself, or separating and naming yourself something other than what’s read about in the Bible is the very thing Paul tells people NOT to do (I Cor 1.10-17). Dividing the church, according to our thoughts, is taking on authority we are not given. God did not ask his sheep to "denominate" from other people. Everywhere you read in the word, people are told to be of "like minds."

We are about one month away from our Send Me Home and I am getting excited. The shepherds have encouraged us to be a part of this work and many of you have already decided you will participate, and that is so encouraging. We have experienced folks and 7th graders that will be working together in our community.

We are ALL trying to learn to become more comfortable with talking about Jesus to others in this city. We must be those who are moving closer and closer to that level of confidence that will allow us to be the messengers of the gospel of Christ. God can help any of us that may struggle with fears, or lack of knowledge.

And if you are not going to be able to participate in this work, during the week of the campaign, then please take up the great, and needed, work of prayer for those who will be going. Pray and pray some more. God hears our crying. He responds to our pleas. He is willing to be involved where we call on him to act.

This is not a one time event at which we are aiming, but a transition from being only concerned about what happens inside this place, and becoming more and more concerned about those who are outside of Jesus. To find them, we have to go out to them. May God lead us to people that need to hear something from Him.

Hell is a real place with real people in it.

That is not what we want to be at the center of our attention. We prefer things like success, peace, love or heaven.

Jesus said there was such a place as hell. "And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell" (Mk 9.45).

Jesus said it was not a place to be desired. "In hell, where he was in torment...[the rich man said]...I am in agony in this fire" (Lk 16.23ff).

Jesus said that those sentenced to hell will not escape the judgment brought against them. "You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?" (Mt 23.33).

Jesus said to fear God. "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell" (Mt 10.28).

Hell is real. It is not a place people will enjoy, or where they will find rest. Those condemned to hell will absolutely spend eternity there. We should fear God, who will bring these things to pass. The way of escape is only in this life, and only through Jesus. We preach Him!

Men Praying in Class

Teachers, it is not a discredit to your contribution for us to bring in men to pray for the kids. We are not displeased with your prayers at the beginning of class with the kids, but we are delighted to get more influences in the room with the kids. So here is what we are asking of teachers: plan your classes to be wrapped up around the first bell, so that some men can come in the class, after the bell has rung, and encourage the kids to love and serve God, and pray for them. Please have your kids names on a sheet of paper so that we remove the opportunity to forget a child's name during the prayer led by the men. These men will be circulating from room to room, so it will be different men each week of the month, but will repeat itself monthly. There are 40 men that agreed to come to your rooms beginning in May.

Men, please see me for a copy of the schedule. I will be sending you a text to remind you of your time on Friday, and I will rotate you into different rooms each month. Your text message will include what week you have responsibility and where you are supposed to go. If you want to participate, let me know. Pray for these men!

This is one way that we are bringing our adult men into greater view in the classrooms. Kids that constantly see loving teachers, and strong men of faith, will be blessed. It takes everybody doing their part.

Marriage is honorable to God

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.

Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body.

"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." (Ephesians 5.22ff)

This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.