"all things pertaining to LIFE and GODLINESS (Godly living)." [I Peter 1:3] All the answers are there. "God works in mysterious ways" is the standard cop-out when formal religion doesn't have the answers to those searching for truth. Often times, this answer is given because their doctrine is in error and sits diametrically opposed to the truth of the Word.
The Word speaks of signs, miracles, and wonders following TRUE church leaders. This is the evidence that God is working effectually in them. THOSE guys, you submit to. And trust me, THOSE guys will not lord over you. Correct and sharpen you, yes, lord over, no. You, individually, are not the responsibility of ANY church leader. God will NEVER hold another accountable because of YOUR thoughts and actions. Look at the language in the Hebrews verse closely: AS THOSE who will have to give an account. Far different from, those who will HAVE TO give an account. The verse here points out the commitment and passion with which the leadership is (or should be) functioning in caring for the body of believers.
Church leadership is to teach and to lead one into the new birth made available by Jesus Christ. And they are to teach the Word and exhort and edify the believer to grow in the Word and to grow spiritually. "And he gave some apostles and some prophets and some evangelists and some pastors and some teachers; for the perfecting of the saints (born-again believers), for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." [Ephesians 4:11]
Most "churches", I have found, are simply command-and-control organizations. Such as the one you describe. And they wrestle and distort scripture toward this end. I will bluntly tell you, you will not find the truth you seek in ANY of these denominational churches. Some tidbits, yes, perhaps enough knowledge to get born-again (God made it pretty simple -believe it or not), but too much error to grow spiritually in the Word and to grow in your relationship with the Father.
"The truth is repulsive to people". Yup. God speaks of His people being a remnant. (Remnant here referring to the BEST PART, but also the connotation of being relatively small). Always remember, God is always with you, whether people scorn you or cast you out. God is always with you. David speaks of his isolation and loneliness, at times, in the Psalms. He always turned to God to "cheer him up".
Sharing the Word with others is most effective when you have established yourself in the truths of the Word and your walk in life displays this. Most times it's not what you say, but what you do. How you conduct yourself. Trusting God and doing His word will enlighten your eyes. It's a process... Then you'll know when to and how to speak a word that is appropriate. Remember, the "Word never comes back void, never falls to the ground". It will accomplish what God wants it to accomplish... Your "job" is to speak it in Love. God takes care of the rest.
I'll recommend two books in your quest. "Power for Abundant Living" by Dr. Victor Paul Weirwille (will have to get it on e-bay, I believe) and "How to Enjoy The Bible" by E.W. Bullinger. Both authors discredited by the mainstream religions (imagine that!) Read "Power for Abundant Living" first - it's an easier read. If you like what you read, let me know. And we can go from there...
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