Category Archives: Evangelism

Declare to Jacob his Transgression

Micah 3:8 “I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the LORD, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.”

The last thing I want to do is inspire someone who is not called of God to start rebuking the Church. God calls the humble, not the prideful, and empowers them by His grace and the Holy Spirit to preach His living word to the stubborn, obstinate, and self-righteous. But rather, I want to expose a deception that claims God does not send His servants to expose transgression.

Ezekiel 3:18-19 “When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die’, and you do not warn him, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet if you warn the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your soul.'”

God does raise up servants, whom He charges with His word to preach against the wicked. He gives them an anointing and a responsibility to carry the message that He gives them. These preachers are not to speak where God has not spoken, nor are they to be silent when God has spoken!

I believe cowardice on the one hand, and presumption on the other, are the primary reasons the Western Church is in such decline – cowardice on the part of those who were entrusted with God’s message to rebuke and warn but didn’t, and presumption on the part of those who were not call to preach but did!

Isaiah 66:2 “But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.”

God does not look upon the proud, the contentious, the arrogant and boastful; He will not call them to be His preachers. God looks upon the humble and contrite of spirit, and upon the one who trembles at His word! He does not call those who are ready to “call fire down from heaven” (Luke 9:55) to preach for Him without first reforming them, rather, He calls those who say “we are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done” (Luke 17:10); neither does God call those who use His word for their own purposes, but He calls those who quake within at the sound of His Word!

The Church is not purifying herself through the blood of Christ and the washing of the water of the Word like she is called to; so many continue practicing sin and are not mournful for it, but instead, many even boast in this! The Church must open her ears and begin listening to the truth being preached by God’s true servants.

Ephesians 4:17-18 “From now on you must not walk as the Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their minds, having their understanding darkened, excluded from the life of God through the ignorance that is within them due to the hardness of their hearts.”

In closing I wish to encourage those who are called by God to preach His word: if you preach God’s word, you will be surrounded by enemies and those closest to you will turn on you, but do not fear!  For “the LORD is your light and your salvation; whom shall you fear?  The LORD is the strength of your life; of whom should you be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)  You will not be without trials and tribulation, but Christ is your portion and the hope of your soul; delight yourself in Him and you will not be disappointed!

The New Man: The Miracle of Regeneration

I have recently seen the necessity to think and speak rightly about the miracle of regeneration; for the slightest derivation in our thinking and speaking about this subject can lead to traumatizing spiritual maladies in our personal relationship with Christ.

Because of this I felt compelled to begin a series in our church on the topic of being “born again”.

I can’t ignore the reality that so many Christians today are perilously besieged by Satan’s lies on this subject; many in the Church today believe that it is normal for divorce rates, fornication, adultery, racism, and abortion to be as prevalent within the Church as it is in the world- nothing could be farther from the truth! But Satan’s attack is not one dimensional. Unfortunately, many Christians, seeing this deception for what it is, have been besieged by another one of Satan’s lies about regeneration; namely, that it is impossible to sin once you become born again.

What I have recognized during this series is just how much discipline is required to think and speak rightly on this subject. It is remarkable just how easily influenced our belief’s on this subject are by the various trends and currents of today’s events: but we must not be so easily tossed to and fro by every wind and wave of doubt. We must believe what God has promised with all our heart and mind!

THE MIRACLE OF REGENERATION

There’s a trend today to divorce the moral teachings of Jesus from our desperate need for atonement. As Oswald Chambers put it, “people talk pleasant, patronizing things about Jesus’ teachings while they ignore His cross. But the teaching of Jesus apart from His atonement simply adds an ideal that leads to our despair. What is the good of telling me that only “the pure in heart shall see God” when I am impure? Or of telling me to love my enemies when I hate them? I may keep these thoughts down, but the spirit is still there. Does jesus Christ make it easier? He makes it a hundredfold more difficult! The purity God demands is impossible unless we can be remade from within, and that is what Jesus Christ undertakes to do through the Atonement.” (Biblical Ethics/ The Moral Foundations/ The Philosophy of Sin: Principles for Christian Living, chapter 1: Moral Imperatives 1).

We must understand something about the moral imperative of God’s law that has been placed on the heart of all mankind: God’s moral requirement of humanity does not make itself weak to those who are weak, nor does it palliative our shortcomings; it does not take into account our heredity, infirmities, or cultural disadvantages. God’s moral requirement upon humanity requires that we be absolutely moral because God created us as moral beings. This is what separates us from animals; we feel moral indignation over transgressions and injustices that they simply cannot entertain in their animal senses.

But, through sin, death has separated us from our Creator and thus fractured in us what it means to be fully human. And as soon as we realize our human brokenness and inability to attain to God’s standard, we begin to equivocate: “of course God won’t demand it; of course God will make allowances”. But, as Oswald Chambers wrote, “God’s laws are not watered down to suit anyone; if God did that He would cease to be God. The moral law never alters for the noblest or the weakest; it remains abidingly and eternally the same.” (Biblical Ethics/ The Moral Foundations/ The Philosophy of Sin: Principles for Christian Living, chapter 1: Moral Imperatives 1).

ROMANS 2:11-12, 15 (MEV) “for there is no partiality with God. As many as have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and as many as have sinned under the law will be judged by the law, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, while their conflicting thoughts either accuse or excuse them.” (see also Romans 3:23).

There is no human being that does not have some remnant of a moral imperative within them that makes them say “I ought to do this”, or “I should not do this”. This remnant of the human moral fiber exists in every person, even in the most degraded human specimen, and the Bible tells us exactly how it got there- it comes from God (Genesis 1:27).

Oswald Chambers wrote, “the modern tendency is to leave God out and make the moral standard whatever is most useful to people” (Biblical Ethics/ The Moral Foundations/ The Philosophy of Sin: Principles for Christian Living, chapter 1: Moral Imperatives 1). Nothing has changed since his time in the late 1800’s.

The prevailing moral thinking today says that morality has evolved by human beings for the benefit of humanity- the greatest good to the greatest number- but nothing could be farther from the moral reality each of us experiences on a day to day basis. A thing is not “moral” simply because it benefits the greatest number of people, a thing is moral because God is behind it! This is why philosophies of eugenics are so abominable to the human conscience; only a human conscience that has been seared beyond human recognition finds the rational practice of eugenics to be “moral”.

However, our problem is that we find in our brokenness this disposition: “I ought to do this, but I won’t; I shouldn’t do this, but I will.” This universal human problem removes from the realm of possibility all moral philosophies that teach us that we can simply “teach people what is right and they will do it”- they simply will not. The Scripture tells us our problem, that “we are carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. What I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do” (Romans 7:14-15). Fittingly this discourse in Scripture ends with the despairing cry “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24) But the human spirit revives at the revelation “I thank God- through Jesus Christ our Lord! There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 7:25- 8:1).

Again, Oswald Chambers nails it; “what we need is a power that will enable us to do what we know is right! We at say, ‘Oh, I won’t count this time’, but every bit of moral wrong is counted by God. The moral law exerts neither coercion nor tolerates compromise. ‘For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all’ (James 2:10). Once we realize this we see why it was necessary for Jesus Christ to come. The redemption is the reality that alters our inability into ability!” (Biblical Ethics/ The Moral Foundations/ The Philosophy of Sin: Principles for Christian Living, chapter 1: Moral Imperatives 1).

The law of God is “the great equalizer”; everyone comes to it clothed and beautified by their wonderful accomplishments of pride, and everyone flees from it naked, bruised, and bloodied! Some flee from God’s law and quickly redress themselves in their vain accomplishments and pride; others, hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ, humbly kneel before their creator with a broken and contrite heart. The former flee into eternal damnation, the latter kneel into everlasting life and are raised into newness of life and clothed in the white garments of Jesus Christ!

Jesus did not come to make things easier, as some preachers erroneously claim, He came to supernaturally lift us onto another plane! Remember Jesus said, “Unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will in no way enter the kingdom of heaven!” (Matthew 5:20). Jesus goes behind the law to the heart of our very disposition. As it is written, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets, for I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17).

As Oswald Chambers wrote, “The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount penetrates our very heart and soul! Jesus didn’t simply say, ‘you shall not do certain things’, rather He demands that we have such a condition of heart that we do not even desire them! Every thought and imagination of heart and mind is to be utterly pure!”

We must make absolutely certain that we do not err in our thinking and be led to believe that “salvation” is at all separate from “atonement”: the purity God demands is impossible unless we can be remade from within, and that is exactly what Jesus Christ undertakes to do through the atonement!

Jesus didn’t come to tell people that they “ought to be holy”- everyone of us has already been born of a moral fiber and intuitively knows that there is an “ought” to which we are accountable- He came to put us in the place where we can be holy. This is the miracle of regeneration, and it is where humanity stumbles the most because it is out of our control. I can intellectually acknowledge various truths and realities; I can perform various sacred sacraments like baptism and the Lord’s Supper; but I cannot lift myself out of the fractured state of separation from God and place myself onto the high plane of justified fellowship with my Creator in true and unending holiness! That is the one thing I simply cannot do on my own.

Read Hebrews 9:14 (MEV), “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

What is fractured in our carnal condition is restored in the regeneration of Christ. Though every human being has a moral conscience, only those who are “born of water and spirit” have clean consciences. The carnal man’s conscience is fractured; it is not complete because he has been separated from God through sin. But the new man’s conscience is restored because he is in Christ Jesus and walking according to the Holy Spirit who now miraculously abides within him.

Therefore it is not a question of first applying Jesus’ teachings to your actual life and then trying to live them out, but rather, it is a question of applying them to your relationship with Him; then as you keep your soul open towards Him, He works in you to bear then fruits of your new life!

When we read “blessed are the poor in spirit”, this is not to say that we then attempt to become paupers towards the world! There are enough mortally poor in spirit souls in the world as it is. Rather, it is to say that we must become utterly poor in spirit before our God; then will we the “kingdom of heaven be ours”. Likewise with out mourning, meekness, hunger for righteousness, mercy, and purity. Such teachings of Christ must first be applied to our relationship with God before they can be realized in our walk upon this earth.

Therefore the best expression for us is found in Psalm 139:23: ‘Search me, O God’; I cannot make my own heart pure, I cannot alter my heredity, I cannot alter the dress of my mind; ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart.’ That is the poverty of spirit Jesus has blessed; if you are in that condition, He says the kingdom of heaven is yours! Why? Because God gives teh almighty gift of salvation from sin to paupers; He gives the Holy Spirit to them who ask as those who are destitute (Luke 11:13).

The Reality of Hell

The concept of an eternal destination reserved for wicked souls that is filled with the wrath of God and torment is too terrible an idea for many people to tolerate. And I would even submit here that the idea of Hell should be too terrible to tolerate; I do not believe God gave us the revelation of Hell to be tolerated.

We need a revelation of hell that will drop us to our knees!

Unfortunately, the academic tendency of today’s theology is to sterilize Biblical concepts with finely articulated and well rounded presentations. I am not going to offer such an apologetic here. Hell is holy to God because Christ satisfied hell on the cross (Romans 5:8-9).

Hell is the most abhorrent, appalling, disturbing, ghastly, gruesome, terrifying and terrifyingly misunderstood thought one can entertain. It’s a place God created for Satan, the murderer and father of all lies, and his demons (Matthew 25:41) where His wrath will burn with everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:46)! I believe that because God created the human soul to be in holy, eternal, fellowship with Him, the thought of everlasting separation from God in burning wrath is fundamentally the most repulsive thought imaginable for our hearts to entertain. The tendency, then, is to veil the reality of hell in layers upon layers of questions, doubts, and theories, thus dulling this terrible thought until it no longer pierces our soul through with anguish. But we must never allow our hearts to become dull towards the reality of Hell. It is holy to God and was central to Christ’s finished work on the cross!

People have not changed so much in 2,000 years that the doctrine of Hell we find so repulsive today was somehow so acceptable to them then. No one relishes the idea that they will be strictly held accountable for every wicked deed they do; and every soul finds the idea of everlasting punishment unbearable! The world was converted to God 2,000 years ago because it witnessed the love and power of God, and in light of God’s great love and power, the reality of hell makes sense. God did not give us the revelation of Hell to win popularity contests and delight our fancies; “hell” only makes sense after someone has witnessed the “power” and “love” of Jesus on the cross and in the resurrection! The reality of Hell can only be rightly understood in light of God’s revelation of sin, love, and justice.

SIN & DEATH

The agony of death is separation from God (Matthew 7:23), and sin is the mechanism by which God’s creation is separated from Him (1 Cor. 15:56). Our Creator-God has told us that we are more than mere flesh, but that we also have a soul and a spirit (1 Thess. 5:23). Even our body is more than mere material value (Luke 12:23). This means that death is not simply the end of our mortal body, but instead, that the reality of death is sin-induced separation from our Creator (Genesis 2:17 and 3:24).

I’ve heard it said that “Heaven is for those who humbly bow their knees before God and say ‘not my will but Thine be done’; Hell is for those who hold up their fists to God until He finally says to them ‘not My will but thine be done’.” Hell is not God’s will for His creation; Hell is the will of those who obstinately choose separation from God.

God did not mince words when He said “wrath is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18); wrath is the result of deliberate defiance and rebellion against the truth. When we choose the things that God will have no part of, we choose separation from the One who gives life!

We see the reality of separation from God in death portrayed in the revelation of the judgment: “And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. THIS IS THE SECOND DEATH. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:11:-15)

What we understand as death now is the first separation from God, but Hell is the final separation from God where those who persistently denied God and choose separation from Him in this life by their works will receive the reality of their choices.

The more we suppress the truth with our lies about God the tighter grip death gains on the world! Like a chain smoker who tries to ignore the signs of his cancer, or the drug addict who reassures himself that he can keep it together, our lies do not change the reality of our separation from God, they only ensure its finality!

JESUS & WRATH

“Hell” was eternally satisfied with Jesus when God did the unthinkable by putting on flesh and emptying Himself of all privilege; taking the sins and infirmities of the world upon Himself, in the body of Jesus God provided the ultimate sacrifice on the cross and proved His love to the world with power to deliver the human race from their sin and guilt! In the face of Christ we see God’s will for mankind and the love that He demonstrated towards us even while we were still sinners as we peer into the face of Him by whose blood we were saved from wrath (Romans 5:8-9).

The few times in human history when someone of great privilege has sacrificed everything and lowered themselves to the desperate and destitute around them, they have received praise and acclamation from everyone for their noble sacrifice. Yet all of these noble souls were guilty of sin at some point in their life. Only Jesus was wholly innocent of all guilt; for all of mankind’s time on this earth, God was lavishly pouring out His grace on the human race and giving life and joy to all who lived on earth, regardless of whether or not they returned any thanksgiving or worship to Him. As the human race stubbornly pressed on in sin, reaping death for the transgressions that separated them from the author and giver of life, God’s love and mercy was proved upon the earth with every new sunrise. From such a place of perfection did God empty Himself of privilege and took upon Himself flesh- and unimaginable denigration for the Creator of all things- and subjected Himself to mortal weakness because of His perfect love!

To the apostate and the skeptic who cast blame on God, saying “for all the injustices we suffer here, living on earth is hell enough”, what will you say to the love of God who left heaven with the resolve to pay for your sins and surrendered His hands and feet to be nailed to the cross by sinners just like you and I?

JUSTICE AND JUDGMENT

The lies we tell ourselves can sometimes suppress the insatiable human desire for justice when “justice” becomes personal, however, we cannot escape the reality that every human soul craves justice.

Political philosophers (http://www.iep.utm.edu/justwest/) have long agreed that the single most important pillar of stable governance is “justice”. Families stand strong when there is a clear sense of justice, and they crumble when there is oppression and chaos. Businesses thrive with equitable business practices, but unfair business practices can poison entire business cultures. No part of the human experience of life can long survive when justice is robbed! We need justice.

Justice necessitates both “moral law” and “impartial fairness”. One of the lies we tell ourselves today is that there is no moral standard to which we are accountable, yet we loudly protest when we are not treated fairly. We rob ourselves of the justice we crave when we separate ourselves from the moral law of our Creator to pursue our own lusts. This suppression of the virtues of truth in favor of ungodliness eventually leads to the “hell-on-earth” of an utterly unjust society, courteously of our own making! Whether here on earth or in eternity to come, we cannot escape hell when we choose separation from God!

Justice belongs to God. He wrote His moral law on our hearts in our consciences (Romans 2:15), and He will execute an impartial and fair judgment upon all mankind (Romans 2:5-11). The Judge of all mankind has said that “indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, according to each one’s deeds” are the inheritance of every soul who does evil (Romans 2:6, 8-9). He is impartial and fair in His judgments; there will be no favoritism towards the Jew, nor prejudice against the Gentile. We will all be judged according to what we have received from God.

There are many questions regarding how God will apportion His wrath on sinners when the Day of Judgment arrives; such questions as “is hell eternal?” “Is hell a conscious torment?” “Will those who never heard or rejected the gospel suffer in hell?” These questions are valid but not necessary in order for God to be a just judge. A prior understanding of the precise proportion of punishment that will be received for a transgression is not necessary in order for justice to exist. I may not know what the penalty is for Grand Theft Auto, but I know that it is wrong and that I will be punished accordingly. Justice only necessitates the existence of a moral law and an impartial and fair application of punishment.

The aforementioned questions are valid subjects for another time- subjects to which many scriptures speak- but it is a foolish and disastrous distraction to worry about how God will apportion His wrath on sinners when the Lamb of God is offering the love of God to the world on God’s holy altar!

HELL IN LIGHT OF CHRIST

I believe there is a reason why God said that He will “judge the secrets of all mankind by Jesus Christ according to the gospel” (Romans 2:16). I believe the reason why we will be judged by Jesus Christ is because when those of us who rejected Christ look at Him, all our lies will evaporate like the dew in the morning heat and we will see in Christ Jesus the perfect and irrefutable logic of God! We are told that “at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11); I do not believe this confession will be made under duress, but that when the world looks at Jesus Christ on the Judgment Day, we will see the love of God that we rejected, and we will find no shelter from the terrible reality that we have chosen for ourselves!

I said above that we must never let our hearts become dull towards the reality of hell. I believe there is only one thing on earth worse than a Church that denies the existence of hell, and that is a Church, knowing the existence of hell, that says nothing about it to the lost world! The Christian whose knee is bent before God in prayer because of hell will rise with the fire of the Holy Spirit to save souls from hell by the good news of Jesus Christ!

Faithfulness v. Fruitfulness

I’ve been considering the question of “faithfulness” versus “fruitfulness” lately: specifically, whether it is more important to remain faithful to God’s Word or reap a fruitful harvest?

Now I’ll admit at the outset that I think this question presents a false dichotomy by forcing the mind to choose one or the other when I think it may well be that it is impossible to have either one without the other, but I believe this question should be thoroughly considered.

This question has become the center of a conversation that I’ve been engaging in with a pentecostal pastor friend of mine as we’ve been discussing it in light of two pastor friends of his that accentuate this concern for “fruitfulness” (defined as either “a harvest of believers”, or, “the increase given by God through the Holy Spirit”) over “faithfulness” (defined as “love for God as expressed in obedience and fidelity to His Word”).

STORY NUMBER 1:

One pastor who’s known as a man exhibiting great fruits of the Spirit in his life, recently came out in affirmation of gay marriage.

Although his decision has invoked the ire of many established Christians, it has also resulted in more opportunities to connect with people who are not typically touched by “the Church”.  For this pastor, affirming homosexuality has given his church the ability to reach a demographic that would otherwise never even affiliate with Christians who hold to what they see as an antiquated view of sexuality and marriage.

STORY NUMBER 2:

Another pastor, was preaching a sermon that included a note that homosexuality is wrong.  Through a series of events, a legal complaint was lodged and the pastor was warned that if he continued to preach hate speech he would be faced with potentially shutting down.

The pastor says he has temporarily decided to stop preaching on the matter and offered the justification that there are no gay members attending his church and it would be foolish to stop the work of God being done in this church.

The pastor went on to say that they baptized 100 people the previous month and he could not allow Satan to put a pad-lock on the door and shut the church down where they would not be able to reach the community.

I believe these realities are only going to get more onerous as time goes on. But what do they say about the topic of “fruitfulness” v. “faithfulness”?  Is fruitfulness apart from faithfulness ever warranted?  Or is faithfulness apart from fruitfulness ever possible?  These questions may often times appear more “behind the scenes” than most, but I believe they have great weight to them and need to be answered.

IS FRUITFULNESS APART FROM FAITHFULNESS EVER WARRANTED?

In both these true stories we see pastors pursuing “fruitfulness” above “faithfulness”, one by affirmation and the other by conformation.  But were these compromises acceptable?  And will they produce the desired results these pastors hoped for- namely, a greater harvest of souls?

A couple passages come to mind that I would like to examine:

REVELATION 2:10 WEB

Don’t be afraid of the things which you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested; and you will have oppression for ten days. Be faithful to death, and I will give you the crown of life.

I believe the seven churches of Revelation merit close examination by the Church today.  Regardless of your eschatological position on these seven churches, you will find great blessing in reading what Jesus has to say to these churches.

To the persecuted Church in Smyrna Jesus admonished them not to be afraid and forewarned them of the coming trials they would face; in light of these trials, Jesus promised “the crown of life” to the faithful.  The full weight of Jesus’ promised “crown of life” was placed on being faithful.

Jesus’ words to the churches in Ephesus, Pergamos, and Thyatira, show that Jesus does weigh our faithfulness to His doctrine; the Ephesians, despite all their hard work (2:3), had left their first love and were required to repent (2:4-5), and the Church in Pergamos needed to repent for embracing the doctrines of Balaam and the Nicolaitans (2:14-16); likewise the Church in Thyatira was admonished to repent for tolerating the false prophets who taught Christ’s people to commit sexual immorality (2:20-25).  In each case Jesus was concerned with faithfulness as demonstrated through love, doctrine, and prophesying.

Another passage that stirs my mind regarding this subject is as follows:

1st CORINTHIANS 3:11-15

For no one can lay any other foundation than that which has been laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 But if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or stubble; 13 each man’s work will be revealed. For the Day will declare it, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire itself will test what sort of work each man’s work is. 14 If any man’s work remains which he built on it, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, but as through fire.

We can build on Christ in such a way that will not endure the fire.  Though the craftsman suffers loss of reward because his work did not remain, the craftsman may still expect his salvation.  Through folly the craftsman selected wood, hay, or stubble over gold, silver, or precious stones- for whatever reason, the more easily obtainable former materials were more attractive than the more costly latter materials- and therefore the craftsman suffered the loss of all his work and the reward he so earnestly expected.

Make no mistake that I believe teachers can bring themselves under the wrath of God through their teachings- such as occurred in the Book of Revelation when the doctrine of Balaam was taught- but Christians may err in less serious ways that can still ruin their work without endangering their souls, especially those Christians who build on Christ but who do not hold teaching positions (which are judged more severely: James 3:1).  Excuse my run-on sentence there, but I’m just going to go with it.

My belief is that we must not abandon fidelity to God for perceived fruitfulness, which can only end in tears and great weeping.

FAITHFULNESS MUST BEAR FRUIT

I do not believe that it is possible for faithfulness to be without fruit.  It is possible for the faithfulness of “charity” not to produce the fruit of “evangelism”, and therefore to disappoint the expectations of the one who has such a narrow view of “fruit”, but faithfulness in “charity” will always bear the fruit of “charity”. 

There may, therefore, be a weight of burden on our expectation of “fruitfulness” that is inconsistent with the promise of Scripture, but, I believe it is impossible to divorce “faithfulness” from God’s promise of “fruitfulness”. 

We must heed the following Words of Christ:

JOHN 15:7-8 WEB

If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it will be done for you.  In this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; and so you will be my disciples.

Fruitfulness requires faithfulness, and faithfulness is proved by fruitfulness.

A “morally pure church” may ask, “why, then, is there no increase in our body”, to which we should ask “did you abide in Christ’s word to ‘go out and make disciples’?”

A numerically “large church” may ask “why, then, are we so fruitful even though we do not keep His word”, to which we should ask, “what makes you so sure your fruitfulness will survive the fire?”

Fruitfulness is dependent on abiding faithfully in Jesus’ word; a church may not see the fruit of harvest because it does not go out, or, when it goes out and increases, it may not see the fruit of righteousness because it does not abide in the truth; but no church will be barren that faithfully abides in the Word. 

What we see being tested here are two things: firstly, our perception of fruit, and secondly, our faith that God will be faithful to honor faithfulness.  We so easily get confused and discouraged when we do not see the fruit of other parts of the body in our own life, and we wrestle with the faith to believe that God is faithful towards our faithfulness because we have usurped God as “lords of the harvest” and attempted to bear the weight of “fruitfulness” all on our own.

We need to know that it is “God who adds those who are being saved” (Acts 2:47); though one may sow and another waters, “it is God who gives the increase” (1 Corinthians 3:6)!  Rather than trying to control the outcome of the harvest, we desperately need to cry out to the LORD of the harvest (Matthew 9:38)- let us pray to Him concerning the harvest, knowing that He is faithful over it (1 Corinthians 1:9).

SO BE HIS DISCIPLES

Something that I cannot get over is how many pastors I have met and held long conversations with who are beaten down and discouraged.  They are discouraged by their lack of growth, sometimes in both the harvest and in spiritual fruit, and they feel like they are utterly defeated; but I cannot escape the reality that without exception they are not abiding in Christ’s word to go out, nor are they calling on the Lord of the Harvest for help! 

Brethren, if we find our churches lay in spiritual desolation; arise!  Return to the truths from which you have wandered, and do them.  Bear the fruits of repentance and offer again the sacrifice of praise by the fruit of holy lips. 

And if we see that we have brought in no fruit of the harvest; arise!  Go out into the fields and labor.  Sow, water, and tend to the fields in which you live, and pray to the Lord of the Harvest, who will grant your increase that He may be glorified and that you may be His disciples! 

The Preacher

What is a preacher?  What’s the function of a preacher?

I think it’s helpful when discussing different parts of the body to reiterate that the Body is healthiest when every part works together with the whole towards faithfulness to Christ (Ephesians 4:16). Every member is vital to the healthy functioning of the Body as a whole.  But what happens when the multiplicity of Body parts stops working in unison and the Body begins to be deceived and led astray?

God sends His preachers to call the Body back into the way.

“Preachers” come in many different forms- they are not a stagnant office.  Preachers are those God entrusts to deliver His message to His people; there have been many preachers in scripture called to be deliver God’s word; Solomon (Ecc. 1:1, 12); Noah (2 Peter 2:5); Jonah (3:1-2); John the Baptist (Mark 1:4); and Jesus (Mark 4:17). The apostle Paul wrote, “for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth” (1 Timothy 2:7 and 2 Timothy 1:11).

Anyone can be called by God to be a preacher because “preaching” is simply “the act of exhorting, prophesying, reproving, or teaching”. That’s why we have Solomon, who was a king, but also a preacher. Noah, who was a patriarch (essentially an elder), but was also a preacher. Jonah was a prophet, but also a preacher. Paul, who was an apostle as well as a teacher, also identified himself as one “appointed as a preacher”.

The preacher is a functional position, not a stagnant office.  The preacher is known for his message, not his presentation or charisma. For the preacher, nothing is more important than what he has to say from God.  He never speaks for himself.  He is God’s messenger, and God’s messenger alone.

I believe the Church needs God-sent preachers today.  But where are these voices calling us back to God through repentance?

In view of the great evil’s in our society today, the lack of such voices crying out should be cause of grave concern and trembling!  It should drive every one of us to our knees daily, begging God to send out His servants to give us another chance to repent!

The Transgender Sin and God’s Image

The wrath of man does not accomplish the righteousness of God” ~James 1:20

A lot of people in the U.S. are “outraged” over the transgender push to allow men to use women’s bathroom’s and locker-room’s (and vice-versa). But this anger seems to originate from a conservative indignation over ideological and political losses, rather than a deep sorrow over the terrible sin our nation is embracing.

In short, the anger and outrage we see from many in the Church today over this issue (and many others) is the wrath of man that does not accomplish the righteousness of God.

Am I saying that the Church needs to “be silent”, “roll over and accept what’s happening”? Absolutely not! I am saying “the wrath of man does not accomplish the righteousness of God”.

I believe there is a better way to handle this situation.

Let me encourage my Christian brothers and sisters to take advantage of the opportunity provided to preach the gospel to exposed sinners if/when you meet a “transgender” person in the wrong bathroom.

That’s correct. My answer is to preach to the lost and pray for them.

I believe our sitting around “brooding” about things is the cowards way of handling the problem. It’s far easier to sit around and trash our transgender neighbors, and grumble about the “advancement of liberal ideologies in American society”, than it is to “shod our feet in the preparation of the gospel” and “always be prepared to give an answer for the hope that we have in Christ Jesus”. But this preaching of the gospel and intercession of prayer over the lost is precisely what the Church is called to; it’s not just what our society needs- as if we are just looking for a solution to our problems so that we can get back to a conservative paradise- but it is God’s calling on the Church for all generations unto the end of the age!

So yes, I do encourage all Christians to take advantage of the opportunity to preach the gospel to exposed sinners if you meet a “transgender” person in the wrong bathroom.

If I see a sinner in rebellion to the gender God gave them in the same bathroom with me, you bet I am going to preach the gospel to them.   And let me warn against the cowardly excuse  not to preach to transgendered sinners by saying “I could get sued for this”–  you will either “love Christ” or you will “love your life”, you cannot shirk Christ in defense  and preservation of your way of life, if you do you will lose your life.

In preparation I am set to memorizing the following passages so that I can give an answer for the hope I have in Jesus Christ to the lost:

1. “God created man in his own image. In God’s image He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them. God said to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Have dominion over it…” Genesis 1:27-28a

2. “A woman shall not wear men’s clothing, neither shall a man put on women’s clothing, for whoever does these things is an abomination to Yahweh your God” Deuteronomy 22:5

3. But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God… For a… man is the image and glory of God, but the woman is the glory of the man.” 1 Corinthians 11:3, 7b

4. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the assembly, being Himself the savior of the Body. But as the assembly is subject to Christ, so let wives also be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the assembly, and gave Himself up for it; that He might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of the water of the word… Ephesians 5:23-26

“Gender”- so called- is not a preference. One may decide whether or not they want to get married, and God blesses both the “single person” and the “married person” with unique and cherished blessings, but, a person’s “gender” is the sovereign decision of God at the moment of conception when a person’s chromosomes align in such a way so that you are either male or female; your “gender” is actually one of the first things about “you” that God ordains!

When God created the human race, He created us to reflect His image; He created “man” in His image and made us “male and female”. Just as Christ is the head of man, so man is the head of woman, even as God is the head of Christ. In this way God made “us” (being male and female) in His image.

The sin of the “transgender” person is the sin of defiling the image of God. While sinners and unbelievers do not take this very seriously, God does, and they need to be warned lest they fall into the wrath of God.

So I want to admonish my brethren against the cowardly position that simply grumbles about the transgender problem amongst ourselves and exhort you to the faithful position that preaches the gospel to sinners and intercedes in prayer for the lost, that the good pleasure of God may be delighted in the lost turning from their sin and being saved.

The Devil’s U.N. Arms Resolution

Some of you might be thinking that I am getting ready to write about Obama’s recent endorsement of the United Nation’s “Small Arms resolution”, but those of you who know me know that I’m not. I’m going to talk about something far more sinister: the Devil’s agenda to disarm the Church of the Sword of the Spirit.

How many times have you heard someone say “theology isn’t going to save anyone, they just need to be loved”? If you’ve believed this lie, then Satan has just taken his first step in disarming you of your most effective and divinely-powerful weapon: the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

Technically “theology” means “the study of God”, but to most people they simply equate it with the Bible period.

There’s an idea that people “are just hurt and needing love”, and I don’t disagree that people are hurt, but, this is not an accurate depiction of their condition as a whole. See, there are plenty of people who would not self-identify themselves as “hurt” people; they enjoy reasonably healthy relationships, love their jobs, and have lives full of healthy hobbies, but they are utterly and completely damned to condemnation. That is right: you can be a healthy, happy, reasonable citizen of this world and be condemned by God. Nurturing people’s emotional wounds is not the Church’s job; we were not called to be nurse-maid to the world. Don’t get me wrong, we tenderly care to the suffering- especially those of the Church Body- and we are eager to care for the wounds of those who have been cast aside by society. But the Church has traditionally understood that all this was a bi-product of our greater calling: to preach the gospel to a lost and dying world so that they can be truly and wholly healed by Jesus Christ and saved from their sins and the death thereby produced.

When we hear the idea expressed that we need to “set aside the preaching of God’s word” so that we can focus on “loving on the hurt”, we are hearing Satan’s attempt to persuade the Church to lay down our sword and stop fighting.

Certainly this approach will temporarily draw larger numbers, but, what will the end of this be? What will happen to those people once they are healed? They didn’t want God before they were hurt, and God wasn’t shown to them while they were hurt. What makes us think that they will want God once they are “back to normal” and doing well? God was not what drew them in the first place. And if they stick around, it will not be because of God, but it will be for the relationships that they have formed during their difficult times. While strong relationships in the body are vital, these relationships alone count for nothing if God is not their substance and life-source.

Yet the Church has shown a perplexing propensity to ashamedly throw down our swords the moment anyone cries “offense!”

Church leadership everywhere is scrambling to draw up “more effective plans” to reach the world without any offense; without exposing ourselves as being followers of Christ! But what this has produced is a generation of Christians who do not know the foundations of our faith- they do not know what they believe, or why they believe it- and they are unable to contend for the faith in a world composed of many very hostile world-views!
But as for me? I believe in God’s Word and trust in the Truth that is enlightened thereby. I believe that even when it appears that the Word only ever offends the world, it is accomplishing things that I cannot yet perceive and I will see the fruits of this work one day- whether in this world or the one to come. I will continue to preach the Word and live thereby until the end; I will walk in the light provided for my feet by God’s word, and beckon to my brothers and sisters to join me in walking the narrow path together.

Some argue that we cannot live by the Word because it is too divisive.

Yes, the Word is divisive; Jesus never concealed the fact that He “didn’t come to bring peace on the earth, but a sword”, as He said “for I came to set a man at odds against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law” (Matthew 10:34-35). But, Christ also prayed “Sanctify them in Your truth. Your word is truth… that they may all be one” (John 17:17, 21), and again it is written, “be eager to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). Many divisions in the Body today occur not because Christ has divided, but because we demand our own ways and are unwilling to relent according to the heavenly wisdom that descends from above (James 3:17). Though these divisions are unnecessary, they nonetheless succeed in dividing the stubborn and divisive brother or sister from the body.

So I must ask, will you throw down the Word because you are ashamed of Christ and do not want to be set apart from this world as holy to God? Or will you take up the sword of the Spirit- the Word of God- and engage a relentless and vicious enemy?

It’s your decision. You decide.

A City on a Hill Sermon

In this sermon we listen to Christ’s heart proclaim “a city on a hill” to His disciples.

The following is this sermon’s outline:

Matthew 5:14-16

You are the light…

-of the world

-of the house

-unto the glory of God

Light of the World

John 8:12

  • 2 Corinthians 4:3-6
  • Philippians 2:14-16
  • Ephesians 5:8-14
  • Romans 13:12

Light of the House

1 John 1:7

  • 1 John 2:10
  • Isaiah 2:1-5
  • Revelation 2:5
  • Luke 15:8

Unto the Glory of God

1 Peter 2:11-12

  • 1 Peter 4:11

Exhortation 

Matthew 10:27-31

 

How To Do Mission Work

I’m a missionary.  My wife is a missionary.  Our 8-month old baby girl is a missionary.

My wife and I went abroad to do mission work in China with the expectation that we’d never return to the U.S.  We lived as they lived, ate what they ate, breathed the same polluted air they breathed, took the same crowded buses and searched for the same kamikaze-like taxis that they searched for; but what made us missionaries is that we had completely surrendered our lives to the holy calling of God and were totally committed to doing nothing except what God told us to do.

I’ve already written on what it means to be a missionary; that a missionary is not a “church office”, but is a life totally surrendered to the will of God- it’s the absolute surrender of control over your life to God so that you neither move, nor stay, unless you’re convicted that it is the will of God.

When my wife and I were called back to the U.S.- much to our surprise- we were called back to the U.S. not as returning citizens, but as missionaries.  And although this is sometimes difficult for family and friends to understand since they may have been expecting you to return and “get on with your life”, being a missionary is not about “where” you live, but about “how” you live.

Thus, being a missionary is about one thing; calling.  The missionary life is entirely spent on seeking out and obeying God’s calling.  The theme of a missionary life is “here I am, Lord send me!”

WHAT’S IT MEAN TO DO MISSION WORK?

Doing mission work is also about one thing: faith.  Mission work is all about whether or not you have the living faith to answer God’s calling.  The theme of doing missionary work is “a hand set to the plow that doesn’t look back”.

While every mission field is unique in its physical demands, no mission field is exempt from this law of faith.

There is a tremendous cost to mission work; oftentimes you have to uproot yourself and your family from your family and friends, and you may have to leave the place you’ve called “home”.  Indeed, you may be called heartless for leaving your family, regardless of how much your heart suffers when leaving them, and your mission work may be demeaned as “just a phase” and “getting it out of your system”, your financial plans may be upset, your cultural imperatives will be challenged- or shattered- and everything will test your faith to say “here I am, Lord send me!”

MONEY?

Why does everything hinge on money?  Is God so destitute?

To many missionaries, the decision to stay or go hinges on whether or not they can have an all-expenses paid trip and raise enough support to fill their 401k.  I leave their judgment to God, but, I challenge my brethren to consider whether or not such profiteering is really the faith of Jesus Christ, who had no place to rest His head?

NOTHING BUT FAITH

What stops so many missionaries from doing mission work is that they don’t understand that doing mission work is about nothing more than faith.  Far too many Christians think that doing the mission work they were called to is about “faith and money” or “faith and networking” or “faith and notoriety” or “faith and recognition”- maybe even all of the above!

But when someone realizes that doing mission work is about nothing more than faith, then they rise up and go with the conviction that says “take my life, but I will share Christ!”  Then we will go as the great cloud of witnesses that came before us went into perilous lands with the gospel to save the souls of those who were eager to kill them!  This “program centric” view of mission work is why so few individuals “go”- the “faith-centric” view of mission work is why so many Christians went in times past.

U.S. cities lay in spiritual desolation because Christians are focused on building programs rather than going to preach Christ in the “I am here, Lord send me” faith that is all that is needed to do the Lord’s work.

Do you feel led to reach university students?  Pray and find a place where there is a university and go reach them!

Is your heart being stirred to preach?  Pray and preach!  Perhaps you just need to find the darkest spiritual town square or city street you can find and preach!

It was “faith”, not program, that drove men like David Brainerd to expend his life for the sake of the gospel and endure the derision of his peers for the sake of Christ’s calling.  And I guarantee you that it will be faith that drives you through the storm to reach the lost where God calls you!

BUT WHAT ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE?

I’m not denying that there are sometimes extensive processes involved in doing mission work, but, the person driven by faith will figure everything else out.

My wife and I had no idea what we were doing when we went abroad the first time- but we had faith.  We did what we knew to do, and we went!

Were there things we could have done better, or things that we should have done that we didn’t do?  Absolutely!  But we went, and souls were saved, weary hearts were healed in Christ, and close relationships were forged in the love of Christ- even our own faith was purified by fire!

WHAT ABOUT BIBLE KNOWLEDGE?

This question comes with baggage, but deserves an answer.

There will be all kinds of opposition and lying deceptions that arise to confront the gospel wherever you go to preach Christ.  “Going” does not require that you know every answer to every question before you go.  But you are charged with answering such questions.

However, if you do not know the gospel or the hope you have in Christ Jesus, how can you preach?  Indeed, how can you believe?  The fact is that many professing believers do not know the gospel, nor the hope that they have in Christ.  I do not believe this is an issue about “doing mission work”, but rather, about being a Christian.

Here’s why I say that: in China we baptized a sister who’s husband was a member of the communist party and a non-believer.  The sister used the scriptures approach of winning her husband over without even a word, and, the husband eventually became a believer after a gospel workshop we had that she hosted in her house.  Immediately after we baptized her husband he began going and knocking on his neighbors doors and teaching them about Christ from the Beatitudes, which was literally all he knew.

The prerequisite is that you be born again through the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23)- if you do not meet that prerequisite, then you have need that you be saved from your sin and born again of the true gospel of Jesus Christ!

However, the idea that an academic threshold of Bible knowledge be met before you are qualified to go out and do the work God calls you to do is outrageous!  Knowledge helps and is critical, and every Christian ought to be found faithful stewards of God’s calling by sharpening and refining themselves, and, even more so, to grow and increase in their knowledge of the One whom they love, but, the idea that you have to know everything before you go is alarmingly crippling!

FAITH UNHINDERED

So-called mission philosophy is overwhelmingly convoluted and complicated; the gospel did not spread by these modern methods- in fact, because of many of these methods, missionaries are not preaching the gospel at all because they’re being directed away from preaching the gospel towards humanitarian efforts that make Christ an after-thought and last mention, rather than the all-consuming and bright purpose and reason for all that we do!

The mission field may require you to do certain things to prepare yourself- the faith will carry you through that process on wings of eagles, but it will also keep you from getting bogged down in endlessly complicated processes that Pharisee’s want to put on you so that you can never go!

What is Jesus Christ calling you to do?  Every Christian has a call from Christ- no one is exempt.  Are you called to mission work in your neighborhood?  Are you called to preach Christ in homeless facilities, in hospitals, at work and to your friends, or abroad?

Know your calling and let your living faith take you to your destination.

Call to Evangelism

Is evangelism optional?

John 12:26 “If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there will My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father wil honor.”

Everything boils down to this simple reality; whoever serves Jesus, must follow Him where He goes. God honors those who serve Him, not those who talk about serving Him.

Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

Isaiah 45:22 “Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.

Why was Jesus found so often among the sinner and the sick?

Jesus said, “those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Mark 2:17); it was foretold from the beginning that Jesus Christ was anointed by the Spirit of God to preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and to open the prison door to those who are bound.

Jesus asked “why do you call me Lord, and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46)  How can we call Him Lord, which means “master” or “ruler”, if we do not do what He tells us to do?

Isaiah 40:9 “O Zion, You who bring good tidings, Get up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, You who bring good tidings, Lift up your voice with strength, Lift it up, be not afraid; Say to the cities of Judah, ‘Behold your God!’”

Isaiah 52:7 “How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’”

Romans 10:10-17 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:

“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Matthew 28:19-20 cf. Mark 16:15 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen

Acts 13:47  “For this is what the Lord commanded us: ‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.'”

Not only was it prophesied of Jesus that He would bring good tidings to the world, but of Zion- the Kingdom of God- that would bring such glad tidings to all the world!

In Isaiah’s prophesy he wrote of what a beautiful thing the going for of the gospel into the nations is; the proclamation of the peace, salvation, and reign of God is glorious and beautiful, and God has chosen lowly man to be the vessels of this beautiful gospel!

Therefore, Jesus backs this work by His authority, and commissioned the Church to “go” into all the world!

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

Mark 13:10 And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations.

Mark 8:35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.

I am not ashamed of the gospel!  But I am ashamed of those Christians whose countenance are cast down, and who are overtaken by a spirit of defeatism!

We are not defeated!  “In all things we are made more than conquerors through Him who strengthens us!” (Romans 8:37)

Jesus has commissioned this gospel to be preached into all nations everywhere and appointed it to bring life to all who believe!  There is nothing anyone can do to stop that- it is the will of God and the word of Christ!

Tribulation and trial on earth certainly will oppose anyone who takes up the gospel, but even persecution and sword cannot stop the gospel, nor can it stop those who believe the promise of Christ that “whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it”!!!

Matthew 9:36-38 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

A great swelling of compassion moved upon Jesus when He looked at the multitudes of people!

We are talking about following Jesus were He goes here.  Jesus was moved to compassion!  Will we not follow Him into compassion for the crowds?  How can we sit idly by and watch as the crowds gather, some for dissipation, others for lewdness, and all for death?

Will we not be moved with compassion for the crowds that gather on bar streets, and those who gather for “Halloween-fests”; are we not moved with great compassion for the gay parades and those who march to advance the gates of hell, knowing that within us is the Kingdom of God over which the gates of Hell cannot triumph!?

We who serve the Lord ought also to be moved with the same compassion as Christ, just as Paul wrote, “for the love of Christ compels us”, therefore, “knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men” (2 Cor. 5:11, 14).

Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

God certainly searches for a willing heart to send!

Where are the servants of the Lord, moved by His compassion, to “set their hand to the plow and not look back” (Luke 9:62)?

Will you be an ambassador of Christ (2 Cor. 5:20)?

Jesus wondered, “will I find faith on the earth when I return” (Luke 18:8); will He find any who trust in His promises of life and deliverance in the face of peril and death to go out to sow and labor in the harvest?

What will He find you doing, if He returns tomorrow, this week, next month, next year, or in this decade? Will you be “busy with your business”, or will you be “busy with your hand to the plow”?

Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise.

Proverbs 24:11 Deliver those who are drawn toward death, And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.

Daniel 12:3 Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever.

2 Cor. 5:20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.