Are the Jewish people still waiting for their Messiah to this day? And how are they repenting of their sins today?
Modern Jewish people, all over the world, are still waiting for their promised Messiah to come. Some have accepted Yeshua (Jesus) as the Jewish Messiah and they are known as messianic believers who gather in messianic congregations.
True repentance is not about religious practices be they Jewish or otherwise. It is coming to God, through His Son, with a contrite heart and receiving forgiveness of sin.
What is one thing I can do every day to become more like Christ?
I would encourage you to renew your mind with God’s Word daily. It is referred to in the Bible as putting on the mind of Christ. If you are thinking more like Him then you will become more like Him.
Is the church an institution as well as a gathering of God’s people?
By definition, an institution is simply a gathering of people in a social order to accomplish an agreed upon task. The church represents those called by God into His Body to accomplish the work of the gospel which is to seek and save those who are lost.
Why are the gifts of the Spirit not more operational in the local church today? Prophecy, Word of Knowledge etc...
The gifts are in use primarily in smaller settings of gathered believers - home groups, study groups etc. In those instances, people are known, gifts have been tested as authentic and approved by leadership. Those gathered trust and care for one another so the gifts flow freely. In the larger public gatherings today, it is more about corporate worship and instruction from God’s Word.
If pastors derive their salaries from offerings and donations, is it unethical for pastors to be more financially sound than their congregations?
Pastors are called by God and employed by a local church to serve. They agree to a salary package which is often in keeping with the local church’s income, size and location as well as the pastor's education, training and experience. Because they lead by example, it is important for them to be good stewards and be financially responsibile within the congregation and in their personal lives.
How do I find or figure out God's purpose for my life?
Best advice I can give you is to be committed to His will for your life. With that daily focus, He will direct your steps as you read His Word regularly, pray, journal, and are active in a local church and a small group. As well, let Him work through your desires, circumstances, skills, education and obedience.