Astoria Rescue Mission

Changing Hearts...                                         ... Saving Lives

     A young man is walking along the boardwalk in Astoria when he hears a cry of desperation, “HELP, HELP.” He runs to the edge of the water and sees a person flailing away in the water, unable to swim. The young man looks about frantically to find something to help save the drowning man. He sees two ropes lying side by side. One is used, well worn and faded with age. The other is neatly coiled and new, still gleaming from where it was made. He grabs the neatly coiled rope, and tosses one end to the man in the water. After a little struggle, the man is able to grab hold as the man on the shore begins to pull him in. The man is within feet of the rocks when the rope snaps and once again the man begins to go under. The man on the shore looks on in astonishment as the man struggles desperately to keep his head above water. He can’t understand what’s happening. He wants to help. He threw the lifeline. The line was new and looked strong. He looks on in confusion as the man goes under for a fourth time. As he stands there trying to decide what to do, He suddenly sees another man run past him and throw out the other line. Once again, the man in the water, ever so weak, miraculously finds a grip and clings tight as he’s pulled to safety.

     The young man had every good intention of saving the fellow from drowning. He did everything the other man did except for one thing. He chose the wrong rope. He didn’t check the strength and integrity of the lifeline he was throwing. If he had examined it close, he would have found out the rope was a factory reject and was cut in several places, while the other rope, even though it was well used, was strong and able to bring the man to safety as long as he clung to it,.

Sometimes a person may have every good intention in his or her excitement to bring people to Christ, that their lives might be saved, but in their desire to see people saved they are throwing a truth to them that on the outside seems attractive.  However, when put through the trials and tribulations of life they are unable to cling to the rope because it was manufactured in the factory of one’s mind able to withstand the trials and tribulations of life and eventually they lose their grip on the lifeline.

     The Astoria Rescue Mission’s “New Life Discipleship Program” purpose is to train men and women to be disciples who in turn train others to be disciples. A Disciple is one who follows, learns and adheres to the teachings of Christ. We teach that the entire Bible is the inspired Word of God, all of it. We can ill afford to cut away the parts we find unattractive or hard to swallow. If we do this then we will be like the man on the shore, staring helplessly as we see the people we so desperately want to help drowning in their own sins, unaware that we too are drowning right along with them.

     We can never allow ourselves, no matter what, to compromise the Word of God. People’s very lives are at stake. A compromised Word means a compromised life. Jesus asked the question, "Who are my brothers and sisters?"  The answer He gave to His own question was, “Those who are obedient to me.”

     The Astoria Rescue Mission, using the Word of God as our lifeline, is dedicated to training up disciples, teaching them the importance of following the teachings of Jesus and how imperative it is to apply His truth (In its entirety) to our lives.

Below is an outline, showing, in part, what we teach the men and women onour "New Life" Discipleship Program.

1. What Is A Disciple?

A. A disciple learns and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ

Mat.10:24,25 - The disciple [should] be as his master (See Lk.6:40)
Jn.12:26 - If any man serve Me, let him follow Me
Jn.13:15 - I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done
1Pet.2:21 - Christ (left) us an example...follow His steps

B. A disciple abides (lives, dwells) in Jesus:

Jn.15:4 - Abide in Me, and I in you
Jn.15:9,10 - If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love
1Jn.2:6 - He that...abideth in Him walk as He walked
1Jn.3:24 - He that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him
(See also 2Cor.5:17; 1Jn.2:5,10,24,28.)

C. A disciple serves Jesus out of love and gratitude:

Jn.14:21,23 - If a man love Me, he will keep My Words
1Cor.6:19,20 - Ye are not your own...for ye are bought with a price
2Cor.5:14 - The love of Christ constraineth (motivates) us
Eph.5:1,2 - Be followers of God...walk in love, as Christ loved us
Phi.1:21 - For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain
(See also Exo.21:5,6)

D. A disciple must love Jesus above all else and all others:

Mat.6:24 - No man can serve two masters: he will hate one, and love the other...hold to one and despise the other
Mat.10:37 - He that loveth father, mother, son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me
Lk.14:26 - If any man come to Me and [by comparison] hate not his father, mother, children...he cannot be My disciple

2. A Disciple's Job:

A. To win souls ("bear fruit"):

Jn.15:8 - Bear much fruit, so shall ye be My disciples
Mat.4:19 - Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men
Mk.16:15 - Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature
Lk.9:59,60 - Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach
(See also Mat.7:20; Rom.7:4.)

B. To train more disciples:

Mat.28:19 - Go therefore and teach [make disciples of] all nations
Jn.21:15-17 - Lovest thou Me? Feed [teach and instruct] My sheep
2Tim.2:2 - Things which thou hast heard...[teach] faithful men
(See also Acts 20:20)

3. A Disciple Is One Who Obeys The Master:

Mat.12:48-50 - Who are My brethren?...His disciples...whosoever shall do the will of My My brother
Jn.8:31 - If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples

4. A Disciple is One Who Dedicates Himself Totally To The Lord:

A. Abandoning other pursuits to follow Jesus:

Mat.13:44 - Kingdom is like treasure hid in a field...selleth all that he hath and buyeth that field
Mat.13:45,46 - Found pearl of great price...sold all he had and bought it
Lk.14:33 - He...that forsaketh not all...cannot be My disciple

B. Forsaking the pursuit of material possessions:

Mat.6:19,20 - Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth
Mk.10:21 - Sell whatsoever thou hast...and take up cross and follow
Lk.12:15 - A man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth
Acts 4:34,35a - Possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices...and laid them down at apostles' feet
Phi.3:8 - Jesus...for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung
(See also Mat.19:22; Lk.12:33.)

C. Forsaking worldly and materialistic ambitions:

Mat.6:24 - Ye cannot serve God and mammon
Mk.4:19 - The cares of this world, and deceitfulness of riches...choke the becometh unfruitful
Mk.10:17-25 - [Jesus challenged the rich young ruler to forsake all]
Jn.6:27 - Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for
2Tim.2:4 - No man that warreth entangleth himself with...this life
Heb.12:1 - Lay aside every weight...let us run the race
(See also 2Cor.6:17)

5. The Decision To Dedicate Oneself To Christ As A Disciple:

A. Count the cost first:

Lk.14:27-32 - Intending to build...sitteth down and counteth the cost
Pro.24:6 - By wise counsel thou shalt make thy war

B. Burn your bridges behind you:

1Ki.19:19,21 - [Elisha, deciding to follow Elijah, burned his plow and yoke and sacrificed the oxen]
(See also Acts 4:34,37)

C. Be single-minded and don't look back:

Lk.9:61,62 - No man...looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God
Phi.3:13,14 - Forgetting things which are behind, and reaching forth...I press toward the...high calling of God
Heb.11:27 - (Moses) forsook Egypt... endured, as seeing Him (God)

D. Some made a sudden decision to follow:

Mat.9:9 - As Jesus passed...He saw Matthew sitting at receipt of custom: Follow Me. And he arose, and followed Him
Jn.4:35 - Say not ye, There are yet 4 months, and then cometh harvest? Look on the fields, they are white already
1Ki.18:21 - How long halt ye...? If the Lord be God, follow Him
Heb.4:7 - Today if ye...hear His voice, harden not your hearts

E. Delay and excuses can result in never serving God:

Lk.9:57-62 - Let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home

F. Some took more time to count the cost:

Lk.14:28-30 - Sit...down first, and count the cost
Peter and Andrew first met Jesus at the Jordan(Jn.1:37-42); They followed Him back to Galilee(Jn.1:43; 2:1,2); He called them some time later and they then forsook all to follow Him fulltime(Mat.4:18-22; Mk.1:16-20).

6. Different Ministries Of Disciples:

A. Being a disciple does not always mean abandoning all other pursuits:

Mat.27:57 - Rich man...named Joseph, who also was Jesus' disciple
Jn.19:38-40 - Joseph of Arimathaea, a disciple of Jesus, secretly
Acts 9:36,39b - A disciple named Tabitha [made coats and garments]
(See also Mk.14:8a)

B. Some disciples had prominent positions in society:

Mk.15:43 - Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor (See also Lk.23:50-51.)
Acts 19:31 - Certain of the chief of Asia...were (Paul's) friends
Acts 10:24, 44-48 - [Cornelius the centurion, his relatives and friends]
Rom.16:23 - Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you

C. Sacrificial giving a requirement for all disciples:

Lk.8:3 - Joanna the wife of Chuza...and Susana, and many others, which ministered unto Him of their substance
Acts 11:29 - The disciples, every man according to his ability
2Cor.8:14,15 - That...your abundance may be a supply for their want
1Tim.6:17,18 - (Command) them that are rich...(be) ready to distribute

D. The disciple's attitude towards those who can't devote their full time to serving God:

Mk.10:21 - [Jesus loved the rich young ruler, even though he didn't forsake all]
Lk.9:49,50 - We forbad him, because he followeth not with us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not.

E. Not all are capable of or fit to be His disciples:

Lk.8:38,39 - The man...besought Him that he might be with Him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, Return to thine house (See also Mk.5:18-20)
Jn.6:53-61,66 - [Jesus weeded out weak followers who were there for the wrong motives]
Mat.22:14 - For many are called, but few are chosen
(See also Jer.12:5 - and Mat.13:47,48.)

F. Different degrees of discipleship:

The 3 innermost disciples(Mk.9:2; 14:32,33); the 12 apostles(Mk.3:13-19); the "other 70"(Lk.10:1); the "multitude of the disciples"(Lk.19:37)

7. Discipleship And Family Obligations:

A. Putting God's service even before loved ones:

Psa.45:10,11 - Forget also thine own people, and thy father's house
Mat.10:36,37 - He that loveth [family] more than Me is not worthy
Mat.12:48-50 - Who are my brethren? Whosoever shall do (God's) will
Mat.19:29 - Forsaken houses, brethren, sisters, father, mother, wife, children, lands, for My name's sake
Mk.1:19,20 - James and John...left their father and went after Him

B. Jesus' call to utter commitment:

Lk.9:59,60 - Suffer go and bury my father. Jesus said, Let the dead bury the dead
Lk.9:61,62 - Let them farewell at home. Jesus said, No man...looking back, is fit for the Kingdom
(See also Exo.20:3; Mat.22:37.)

8. Discipleship And "Losing Your Own Life":

A. Forsake own life, plans, ambitions:

Mat.16:25 - Whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it
Lk.14:26 - If any...hate not his own life, he cannot be My disciple
Mat.6:21 - Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also
Lk.9:59,61 - [Wrong attitude:] I will follow Thee, but... me first

B. Discipleship A life of death to self:

Mat.6:33 - Seek first the Kingdom of God
Mat.10:38 - He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me
Mat.16:24 - If any man come after Me, let him deny himself
Mk.10:21b - Come, take up the cross, and follow Me
Jn.12:24 - Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die
Jn.12:25 - He that loveth his life shall lose it
2Cor.5:15 - They should not live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them

9. The Path The Disciple Follows:

A. A disciple obeys God's will and follows:

Num.22:18 - I cannot go beyond the Word of the Lord, to do less or more
Lk.6:46 - Why call Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things I say?
Lk.14:27 - Whosoever doth not...come after Me, cannot be My disciple
Jn.2:5 - Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it
Jn.8:31 - If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed
Rev.14:4 - They...follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth

B. A disciple humbly submits to his pastors and spiritual overseers:

1Cor.11:1 - Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ
1Cor.16:16 - Submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us and laboureth
Phi.3:17 - Be followers of me and...them which walk as ye have us for an (example)
1Thes.1:6 - Ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the Word
Heb.13:7 - Them which have rule over you...whose faith follow
Heb.13:17 - Obey them that have rule over you, submit yourselves

C. Disciples obey and follow God, even without understanding details:

Jn.21:21,22 - What will (he) do? What is that to thee? Follow thou Me
2Cor.5:7 - We walk by faith, not by sight
Heb.11:8 - Abraham went out, not knowing whither he went

D. Disciples willingly adapt and change:

Lk.9:3 - Take nothing for your journey,
Lk.22:35-36 - I sent you without purse...But now...take it

E. Love other disciples and work in unity with them:

Jn.13:35 - Ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another
Phi.1:27 - With one mind striving together for the...gospel

10. The Life Of A Disciple:

A. Give sacrificially and be willing to call nothing your own:

Mat.5:42 - Give to him that asketh thee...turn not thou away
Lk.3:11 - He that hath two coats, (give) to him that hath none
Lk.6:30 - Him that taketh thy goods, ask them not again
Acts 2:44,45 - And all that believed...had all things common
Acts 4:32-35 - Neither said any that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; they had all things common
1Tim.6:7,8 - Having food and raiment let us be therewith content (See also Lk.9:23-26)

B. Disciples must be willing to endure hardships:

Lk.9:57,58 - I will follow Thee...Foxes have holes, but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head
2Tim.2:3 - Endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ
(See also 2Cor.11:23-28)

C. Be willing to endure persecution:

Phi.1:29 - Not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer
2Tim.3:12 - All that live godly in Jesus shall suffer persecution
Acts 15:26 - Men that have hazarded their lives for Jesus Christ (See also Jn.16:33)

D. Be willing to literally die for Jesus:

Acts 21:13 - I am ready not to be bound only, but to die for Jesus
Phi.1:20 - Christ be magnified...whether by (my) life or death
(See also Acts 20:24; Heb.11:35-38; Rev.12:11.)

E. Be zealous and enthusiastic:

Eccl.9:10a - Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might
Gal.4:18 - It is good to be zealous...always in a good thing
Rev.3:15 - I would thou wert cold or hot

F. An unswerving continuance in God's Word:

Jn.8:31 - If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples

11. The Benefits Of Discipleship:

A. Discipleship a privilege:

Psa.4:3 - Lord hath set apart him that is godly for Himself
Mat.22:14 - For many are called, but few are chosen
Phi.3:14 - The prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus
2Tim.1:9 - Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling
(See also Mat.11:25; 13:16,17; Lk.8:10.)

B. Rewards for serving Jesus:

Mat.10:39 - He that loseth his life for My sake shall find it
Mat.19:27-29 - We have forsaken all, and followed; what shall we have?...Ye shall sit upon thrones...receive an 100-fold
Mk.10:28-30 - Shall receive an 100-fold now in this time
Lk.12:33 - Sell that ye have...provide yourselves a treasure in the heavens that faileth not
Jn.12:26b - If any man serve Me, him will My Father honour
1Cor.2:9 - Eye hath not seen...the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him
(See also Mat.5:10-12; 16:25,27; Jn.12:25; 2Tim.2:12.)

C. Faithful overcomers rewarded:

Rev.2:26-28 - He that overcometh...will I give power over nations
Rev.3:21 - Him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me
Mat.25:14-29 - [The parable of faithfulness with the talents]
Lk.12:42-44 - Faithful steward...Lord will make him ruler (See also Lk.12:35-38)
Lk.19:12-26 - [Parable of nobleman giving pounds to his servants]