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Leaving Laodicea

Steve McCranie

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Leaving Laodicea

Leaving Laodicea

Steve McCranie

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Leaving Laodicea is a podcast by Steve McCranie dealing with the apathy and hurt of the church today. It is for those who love Jesus... uh, but find themselves not too sure about church.

Latest Episodes

445 - What it Means to Follow Jesus

When Jesus began His earthly ministry, His initial message was the same as John the Baptist. He said, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt. 4:17). And throughout the next three years, one underlying theme in His teaching was about life in His Kingdom. When Jesus sent out His disciples to preach His message, He said, "As you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand' " (Matt. 8:11). Jesus even told those close to Him why He spoke to the crowds in parables. And His answer had to do with concealing from some the knowledge of the kingdom of heaven. He said, "Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given" (Matt. 13:11). Finally, He shared parables specifically pointed to revealing what the kingdom of heaven, His Kingdom, was like. He said it was like a "man who sowed good seed in his field" (Matt. 13:24). Or, it was like a "mustard seed" which, being small, grew into a tree "so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches" (Matt. 13:31). Jesus likened His Kingdom to "leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened" (Matt. 13:33). And to express how wonderful His Kingdom is for those who possess it, He said it was like a "treasure hidden in a field" (Matt. 13:44) or a "pearl of great price" (Matt. 13:46) that was worth all one had on earth. Jesus then asked His disciples, "Have you understood all these things?" They said to Him, "Yes, Lord" (Matt. 13:51). I wonder what our answer would be today? Do we understand His Kingdom? Do we fully know what it means to follow Him? Can we honestly say we are proficient in following Jesus? I'm not so sure. And maybe you aren't either. What Life is Like in the Kingdom Let's just take a flyover view of the first few chapters in Matthew and see if we can determine some principles and instructions for what it means to live in the kingdom of heaven. And then compare them to what we teach in church today, and I think you'll be as shocked as I was. Blessed… or Not So Blessed - Matthew 5:3-12 Self Identity - Matthew 5:13-16 His Standard of Righteousness - Matthew 5:20 Anger - Matthew 5:21-26 Lust and/or Sexual Sin - Matthew 5:27-30 Marital Relationships - Matthew 5:31-32 Oaths and Dishonesty - Matthew 5:33-37 How to Respond to Evil - Matthew 5:38-42 How to Respond to Haters - Matthew 5:43-47 Be Perfect - Matthew 5:48 Self-Promotion - Matthew 6:1-4 How to Pray - Matthew 6:5-13 How Much Forgiveness? - Matthew 6:14-15 Fasting and Other Disciplines - Matthew 6:16-17 Our Life Focus - Matthew 6:19-21 Everyone Serves Somebody or Something - Matthew 6:24 Worry, Doubt, and Fear - Matthew 6:25-34 I’m Right and You’re Wrong - Matthew 7:1-2 I’m Good and You’re Bad - Matthew 7:3-6 What is a Life of Faith - Matthew 7:7-11 Treat Others Like You Treat Yourself - Matthew 7:12 Turnstile or Interstate - Matthew 7:13-14 Fruit Inspector - Matthew 7:15-20 Doing and Not Just Talking - Matthew 7:21-23 Don’t Be Stupid! - Matthew 7:24-27 Minister Within Your Reach - Matthew 8:1-17 Everything Costs Something - Matthew 8:18-22 And so much more! Remember, following Christ means to forget everything we think we know about everything but Him, and simply trust in child-like faith. Our entire reality now changes, as citizens in His Kingdom, to something incredible and supernatural. Do you want to learn more about what it means to follow Jesus? If so, then keep listening. The following is a study on What it Means to Follow Jesus.

57 MIN3 d ago
Comments
445 - What it Means to Follow Jesus

444 - It All Comes Down to Denial

When Jesus instructed His disciples, and the others, about what it meant to follow Him in Matthew 16:24-25, He spoke of "desire to come after me" and then "let him deny himself." We looked at desire in our last message, and now we will turn our focus to what He meant by "deny himself." Note the requirement and sequence in the verse below. First, there must be desire ("if anyone desires to come after Me"). Then, a denial and the corresponding action showing the commitment to deny himself ("take up his cross"). And finally, the invitation to "follow Me." Jesus shows surrendering to Him must follow in this order. In essence, first meet the conditions, and then come "follow Me." Jesus said, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me" - Matthew 16:24-25. The word deny (aparnéomai) when followed by the pronoun heautón (oneself, himself) means "to deny oneself, or to disown and renounce self and to subjugate all works, interests, benef...

48 MIN1 w ago
Comments
444 - It All Comes Down to Denial

443 - It All Comes Down to Desire

On any given Sunday, if a pastor asks by a show of hands how many in the congregation consider themselves followers of Christ, most would raise their hands. But if he followed up that question with: "And how many of you know what it means to be a follower of Jesus today?" - the number of raised hands would drop considerably. Maybe even to none. Why? Because our view today of following Jesus is a far cry from what it meant in the time of Jesus. Think about it for a moment. Today, following Jesus means agreeing to a set of doctrinal facts, going to church regularly, tithing, volunteering for some service ministry, adhering to a moral code, and reading and praying as often as we can. But in the New Testament, following Jesus meant something quite different. Jesus said, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me" (Matt. 16:24). Note the components of His invitation. First, it begins with a conditional clause, if, like a classic if / t...

47 MIN1 w ago
Comments
443 - It All Comes Down to Desire

442 - How to Surrender Your Life to Him

We have looked at what it takes to become a Faith Prepper over the last few weeks. We did this by learning to pray at all times by letting the Holy Spirit, through God’s Word, direct your prayers. And we also spent some time learning how to trust at all times by allowing your faith to grow by having it exercised in often unpleasant situations. But even with all of this, we still are plagued with a few questions. How do we go from talking about faith to living by faith? How do we learn to trust the Lord in all things? How do we know and understand His will? What are the practical steps we need to take to surrender our all to Him? And how can we go about doing just that? The answer, according to Scripture, is found in the single word, surrender. It means "to yield, give up or over, submit, abandon, relinquish, cede, waive, or capitulate. From the Christian perspective, it means to relinquish ownership of what we consider ours: our property, rights, time, decisions, future, independen...

52 MIN2019 DEC 17
Comments
442 - How to Surrender Your Life to Him

441 - Faith is Justified by Action

We have previously looked at how to pray at all times and in all circumstances by letting the Holy Spirit, through God's Word, direct our prayers. But next on the Faith Prepper list of required spiritual skills is learning how to trust Him at all times by allowing our faith to grow by having it exercised in often unpleasant circumstances. After all, faith grows when it is tested. And testing is usually unpleasant during the process but wonderful at the end. The Greek word translated “faith” in the New Testament is pístis and means: “to win over, to persuade. Subjectively it means firm persuasion, conviction, belief in the truth” This definition is used over 250 times in the New Testament alone. Everything in the Spirit is based on faith and everything of faith is designed by God to bypass the senses. Everything. In addition to this, all faith is not justified by merely having it. But all faith is justified by the action it produces. In other words, faith by itself is worth litt...

51 MIN2019 DEC 10
Comments
441 - Faith is Justified by Action

440 - Taking God at His Word

One of the attributes of becoming a Faith Prepper is learning how to trust God as His Word. I know many of us will say that we do. When pressed, almost all believers will state the mantra, "I believe everything God says, start to finish, from Genesis to Revelation." After all, that's the expected answer. To say anything less would make us seem like a lukewarm believer. But the truth is, most believers, maybe ever you, don't truly take God's Word as the final authority in your life. How can I say that? Because God's Word speaks to just about every issue we face today yet the church seems to be divided up into various opinions that differ greatly from one another. If God's Word doesn't change and is always true, how can that be? If God's Word says something is wrong, for example, how can any believer who claims God's Word as the final authority in their life, have a different opinion than what the Word says? It seems inconsistent, doesn't it? Hypocritical. As the adage goes, the Scrip...

51 MIN2019 DEC 8
Comments
440 - Taking God at His Word

439 - Kingdom Praying

When we look at the content of the prayers of the early church we are amazed they didn't pray like much of the church does today— for the little answerable "fix". Instead, they prayed for Kingdom matters, what we call Kingdom Prayers. Let me explain. A “little answerable” is a prayer for a little “fix” that is often related to our sense of entitlement from God. These can be called horizontal prayers. We lose our job so we pray for a new one. A loved one is sick, so we pray for their healing. We don't have enough money to make it through the end of the month, so we pray to win the lottery. And on the surface, these seem like proper, loving, spiritual prayers. But that's not how the early church prayed. A Kingdom prayer, on the other hand, is praying for something that has lasting value and importance in the Kingdom of God. For example, look at the following prayers and note what they are asking for (and what they are not): Ephesians 1:15-23; 3:14-19, Romans 15:5-6, 13, Philippia...

48 MIN2019 DEC 8
Comments
439 - Kingdom Praying

438 - How to Pray God’s Word

For the last couple of weeks, we have been talking about praying through Scripture to help focus our prayers and have specifically been using the book of Ephesians. If you remember, before we began we looked at three great truths regarding using God's Word to focus our prayers. They are: One, there is a direct connection between the degree that our minds are shaped by Scripture and the degree to which our prayers are answered. "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you" - John 15:7. Two, God only answers the prayers and petitions that His Son had some part in asking. Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him - 1 John 5:14-15. And three, the early church prayed Scripture. And so should we. But today we want to focus on some of the doctrines we fou...

49 MIN2019 NOV 28
Comments
438 - How to Pray God’s Word

437 - Our Union with Christ

As we begin to look more into the idea of being a faith prepper, one of the key elements to understanding our position in Christ is to try to get a firm grasp on our union with Him. After all, it seems the most common phrase in Scripture regarding our position is "in Christ" or "in Him". But what does that mean? And what kind of union with Christ does that phrase imply? Let's put on our theology hats for just a moment and look at the two types of unions spoken of in Scripture about Christ. Two Types of Union First, our union with Christ can be seen as a federal (head) or covenantal union (called Federalism). Romans 5:12-21 shows each of us as being in Adam before salvation and in Christ after salvation. And God established Adam as a representative or federal head of the human race. If Adam continued in righteousness, we would also have been considered to have continued in righteousness, being in Adam. But if Adam sinned, we too would be considered as also having sinned, being in Ada...

48 MIN2019 NOV 27
Comments
437 - Our Union with Christ

436 - Exercising Faith: No Pain, No Gain

As we begin to grow in our life with Christ and actually, without reservation, take His Word and His promises at face value, we will inevitably come face to face with the limits of our faith. After all, there is only so much we can believe today and, if we are growing in our faith, there will hopefully be more we can believe tomorrow. But right now we live in today and today we must begin to prepare for tomorrow. That is why His disciples cried out to Him and pleaded, "Lord, increase our faith!" (Luke 17:5). That's the essence of being a faith prepper. So let me ask just a few questions. What is the shortest way to get from where you are in your life of faith right now and where you want to be? Or, what can you do to increase your faith? Just like everything else in life, increase comes from repeated use and exercise. So you must exercise your faith and, unfortunately, that is done by having your faith tested. No pain, no gain. No Pain, No Gain If you will look at James 1:2-4, you w...

48 MIN2019 NOV 26
Comments
436 - Exercising Faith: No Pain, No Gain

Latest Episodes

445 - What it Means to Follow Jesus

When Jesus began His earthly ministry, His initial message was the same as John the Baptist. He said, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt. 4:17). And throughout the next three years, one underlying theme in His teaching was about life in His Kingdom. When Jesus sent out His disciples to preach His message, He said, "As you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand' " (Matt. 8:11). Jesus even told those close to Him why He spoke to the crowds in parables. And His answer had to do with concealing from some the knowledge of the kingdom of heaven. He said, "Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given" (Matt. 13:11). Finally, He shared parables specifically pointed to revealing what the kingdom of heaven, His Kingdom, was like. He said it was like a "man who sowed good seed in his field" (Matt. 13:24). Or, it was like a "mustard seed" which, being small, grew into a tree "so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches" (Matt. 13:31). Jesus likened His Kingdom to "leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened" (Matt. 13:33). And to express how wonderful His Kingdom is for those who possess it, He said it was like a "treasure hidden in a field" (Matt. 13:44) or a "pearl of great price" (Matt. 13:46) that was worth all one had on earth. Jesus then asked His disciples, "Have you understood all these things?" They said to Him, "Yes, Lord" (Matt. 13:51). I wonder what our answer would be today? Do we understand His Kingdom? Do we fully know what it means to follow Him? Can we honestly say we are proficient in following Jesus? I'm not so sure. And maybe you aren't either. What Life is Like in the Kingdom Let's just take a flyover view of the first few chapters in Matthew and see if we can determine some principles and instructions for what it means to live in the kingdom of heaven. And then compare them to what we teach in church today, and I think you'll be as shocked as I was. Blessed… or Not So Blessed - Matthew 5:3-12 Self Identity - Matthew 5:13-16 His Standard of Righteousness - Matthew 5:20 Anger - Matthew 5:21-26 Lust and/or Sexual Sin - Matthew 5:27-30 Marital Relationships - Matthew 5:31-32 Oaths and Dishonesty - Matthew 5:33-37 How to Respond to Evil - Matthew 5:38-42 How to Respond to Haters - Matthew 5:43-47 Be Perfect - Matthew 5:48 Self-Promotion - Matthew 6:1-4 How to Pray - Matthew 6:5-13 How Much Forgiveness? - Matthew 6:14-15 Fasting and Other Disciplines - Matthew 6:16-17 Our Life Focus - Matthew 6:19-21 Everyone Serves Somebody or Something - Matthew 6:24 Worry, Doubt, and Fear - Matthew 6:25-34 I’m Right and You’re Wrong - Matthew 7:1-2 I’m Good and You’re Bad - Matthew 7:3-6 What is a Life of Faith - Matthew 7:7-11 Treat Others Like You Treat Yourself - Matthew 7:12 Turnstile or Interstate - Matthew 7:13-14 Fruit Inspector - Matthew 7:15-20 Doing and Not Just Talking - Matthew 7:21-23 Don’t Be Stupid! - Matthew 7:24-27 Minister Within Your Reach - Matthew 8:1-17 Everything Costs Something - Matthew 8:18-22 And so much more! Remember, following Christ means to forget everything we think we know about everything but Him, and simply trust in child-like faith. Our entire reality now changes, as citizens in His Kingdom, to something incredible and supernatural. Do you want to learn more about what it means to follow Jesus? If so, then keep listening. The following is a study on What it Means to Follow Jesus.

57 MIN3 d ago
Comments
445 - What it Means to Follow Jesus

444 - It All Comes Down to Denial

When Jesus instructed His disciples, and the others, about what it meant to follow Him in Matthew 16:24-25, He spoke of "desire to come after me" and then "let him deny himself." We looked at desire in our last message, and now we will turn our focus to what He meant by "deny himself." Note the requirement and sequence in the verse below. First, there must be desire ("if anyone desires to come after Me"). Then, a denial and the corresponding action showing the commitment to deny himself ("take up his cross"). And finally, the invitation to "follow Me." Jesus shows surrendering to Him must follow in this order. In essence, first meet the conditions, and then come "follow Me." Jesus said, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me" - Matthew 16:24-25. The word deny (aparnéomai) when followed by the pronoun heautón (oneself, himself) means "to deny oneself, or to disown and renounce self and to subjugate all works, interests, benef...

48 MIN1 w ago
Comments
444 - It All Comes Down to Denial

443 - It All Comes Down to Desire

On any given Sunday, if a pastor asks by a show of hands how many in the congregation consider themselves followers of Christ, most would raise their hands. But if he followed up that question with: "And how many of you know what it means to be a follower of Jesus today?" - the number of raised hands would drop considerably. Maybe even to none. Why? Because our view today of following Jesus is a far cry from what it meant in the time of Jesus. Think about it for a moment. Today, following Jesus means agreeing to a set of doctrinal facts, going to church regularly, tithing, volunteering for some service ministry, adhering to a moral code, and reading and praying as often as we can. But in the New Testament, following Jesus meant something quite different. Jesus said, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me" (Matt. 16:24). Note the components of His invitation. First, it begins with a conditional clause, if, like a classic if / t...

47 MIN1 w ago
Comments
443 - It All Comes Down to Desire

442 - How to Surrender Your Life to Him

We have looked at what it takes to become a Faith Prepper over the last few weeks. We did this by learning to pray at all times by letting the Holy Spirit, through God’s Word, direct your prayers. And we also spent some time learning how to trust at all times by allowing your faith to grow by having it exercised in often unpleasant situations. But even with all of this, we still are plagued with a few questions. How do we go from talking about faith to living by faith? How do we learn to trust the Lord in all things? How do we know and understand His will? What are the practical steps we need to take to surrender our all to Him? And how can we go about doing just that? The answer, according to Scripture, is found in the single word, surrender. It means "to yield, give up or over, submit, abandon, relinquish, cede, waive, or capitulate. From the Christian perspective, it means to relinquish ownership of what we consider ours: our property, rights, time, decisions, future, independen...

52 MIN2019 DEC 17
Comments
442 - How to Surrender Your Life to Him

441 - Faith is Justified by Action

We have previously looked at how to pray at all times and in all circumstances by letting the Holy Spirit, through God's Word, direct our prayers. But next on the Faith Prepper list of required spiritual skills is learning how to trust Him at all times by allowing our faith to grow by having it exercised in often unpleasant circumstances. After all, faith grows when it is tested. And testing is usually unpleasant during the process but wonderful at the end. The Greek word translated “faith” in the New Testament is pístis and means: “to win over, to persuade. Subjectively it means firm persuasion, conviction, belief in the truth” This definition is used over 250 times in the New Testament alone. Everything in the Spirit is based on faith and everything of faith is designed by God to bypass the senses. Everything. In addition to this, all faith is not justified by merely having it. But all faith is justified by the action it produces. In other words, faith by itself is worth litt...

51 MIN2019 DEC 10
Comments
441 - Faith is Justified by Action

440 - Taking God at His Word

One of the attributes of becoming a Faith Prepper is learning how to trust God as His Word. I know many of us will say that we do. When pressed, almost all believers will state the mantra, "I believe everything God says, start to finish, from Genesis to Revelation." After all, that's the expected answer. To say anything less would make us seem like a lukewarm believer. But the truth is, most believers, maybe ever you, don't truly take God's Word as the final authority in your life. How can I say that? Because God's Word speaks to just about every issue we face today yet the church seems to be divided up into various opinions that differ greatly from one another. If God's Word doesn't change and is always true, how can that be? If God's Word says something is wrong, for example, how can any believer who claims God's Word as the final authority in their life, have a different opinion than what the Word says? It seems inconsistent, doesn't it? Hypocritical. As the adage goes, the Scrip...

51 MIN2019 DEC 8
Comments
440 - Taking God at His Word

439 - Kingdom Praying

When we look at the content of the prayers of the early church we are amazed they didn't pray like much of the church does today— for the little answerable "fix". Instead, they prayed for Kingdom matters, what we call Kingdom Prayers. Let me explain. A “little answerable” is a prayer for a little “fix” that is often related to our sense of entitlement from God. These can be called horizontal prayers. We lose our job so we pray for a new one. A loved one is sick, so we pray for their healing. We don't have enough money to make it through the end of the month, so we pray to win the lottery. And on the surface, these seem like proper, loving, spiritual prayers. But that's not how the early church prayed. A Kingdom prayer, on the other hand, is praying for something that has lasting value and importance in the Kingdom of God. For example, look at the following prayers and note what they are asking for (and what they are not): Ephesians 1:15-23; 3:14-19, Romans 15:5-6, 13, Philippia...

48 MIN2019 DEC 8
Comments
439 - Kingdom Praying

438 - How to Pray God’s Word

For the last couple of weeks, we have been talking about praying through Scripture to help focus our prayers and have specifically been using the book of Ephesians. If you remember, before we began we looked at three great truths regarding using God's Word to focus our prayers. They are: One, there is a direct connection between the degree that our minds are shaped by Scripture and the degree to which our prayers are answered. "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you" - John 15:7. Two, God only answers the prayers and petitions that His Son had some part in asking. Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him - 1 John 5:14-15. And three, the early church prayed Scripture. And so should we. But today we want to focus on some of the doctrines we fou...

49 MIN2019 NOV 28
Comments
438 - How to Pray God’s Word

437 - Our Union with Christ

As we begin to look more into the idea of being a faith prepper, one of the key elements to understanding our position in Christ is to try to get a firm grasp on our union with Him. After all, it seems the most common phrase in Scripture regarding our position is "in Christ" or "in Him". But what does that mean? And what kind of union with Christ does that phrase imply? Let's put on our theology hats for just a moment and look at the two types of unions spoken of in Scripture about Christ. Two Types of Union First, our union with Christ can be seen as a federal (head) or covenantal union (called Federalism). Romans 5:12-21 shows each of us as being in Adam before salvation and in Christ after salvation. And God established Adam as a representative or federal head of the human race. If Adam continued in righteousness, we would also have been considered to have continued in righteousness, being in Adam. But if Adam sinned, we too would be considered as also having sinned, being in Ada...

48 MIN2019 NOV 27
Comments
437 - Our Union with Christ

436 - Exercising Faith: No Pain, No Gain

As we begin to grow in our life with Christ and actually, without reservation, take His Word and His promises at face value, we will inevitably come face to face with the limits of our faith. After all, there is only so much we can believe today and, if we are growing in our faith, there will hopefully be more we can believe tomorrow. But right now we live in today and today we must begin to prepare for tomorrow. That is why His disciples cried out to Him and pleaded, "Lord, increase our faith!" (Luke 17:5). That's the essence of being a faith prepper. So let me ask just a few questions. What is the shortest way to get from where you are in your life of faith right now and where you want to be? Or, what can you do to increase your faith? Just like everything else in life, increase comes from repeated use and exercise. So you must exercise your faith and, unfortunately, that is done by having your faith tested. No pain, no gain. No Pain, No Gain If you will look at James 1:2-4, you w...

48 MIN2019 NOV 26
Comments
436 - Exercising Faith: No Pain, No Gain
hmly
himalayaプレミアムへようこそ聴き放題のオーディオブックをお楽しみください。