evangelism / soul-winning

Eager to Preach, Eager to Leave!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (2 Timothy 4:2-4 KJV).

One is ready to preach—the other is ready to leave!

Recently, I saw a man sitting and reading his Bible. I walked over, introduced myself, shook his hand, and sat down beside him. I began to ask him some questions to get a sense of his spiritual understanding. Although not talkative, he permitted me to share verses with him. Suddenly, we were interrupted, distracted, and a pressing matter forced him to temporarily leave. I told him we could talk some more when he returned. Eventually, he did come back to the room where I was, but no longer with a Bible in hand. Also, he did not approach me. (I had already decided not to engage in any further dialog unless he initiated it.)

The above scenario, while terrible, has repeated itself millions of times throughout the centuries. People have read the Bible, appeared to be genuine Scripture readers, sounding like Christians, but really having no interest in hearing the things of God. They would rather keep their worthless church traditions, preconceived ideas, and age-old superstitions. While we cannot read hearts, God can and does. We can fool a preacher into thinking we love the Bible (as that man did with me), but God is never fooled by anyone. He knows who is a member of the Church the Body of Christ, and who is simply a church member. He knows who has been baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ, and who was baptized simply into water.

Saints, we should do our very best to preach a clear Gospel message and teach plainly the rightly divided Scriptures. Still, some people will object. They want religion, not Bible. They want themselves, not Christ. They want fables, not truth. We need to respect their wishes. If they do not want the truth, then they should be left in error!

Heart’s Desire

Saturday, October 1, 2016

I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart (Romans 9:1,2 KJV).

Why did Paul have “great heaviness and continual sorrow in [his] heart?”

Mom and I recently visited a family friend, a new Christian only a year old in the Lord. After our three-hour Bible study answering her questions, she spoke to us as we were leaving. Having just learned many precious truths from God’s Word, this dear lady began to literally weep. She now fathomed the immense deception of her former denomination. How she was so burdened that her son, her daughter, and her grandchildren were still trapped in that cult. She had raised them in that religious group, and while she had escaped, they had chosen to remain in it. We comforted and encouraged her.

In today’s Scripture, the Apostle Paul was deeply disturbed, constantly sorrowful. Verse 3 explains, “For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” Paul was so saddened to see his Jewish brethren stuck in their apostasy—Satanic deception and anti-Jesus-Christ attitude. They hated Jesus so much they often attempted to take Paul’s life for preaching His name! Chapter 10 opens: “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.” And, verse 3: “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.”

Friend, do you know what made it especially hurtful for Paul to see Israel utterly fallen and thoroughly deceived? As Saul of Tarsus, he had encouraged Israel to reject Jesus and kill His followers (Acts 8:1-4; Acts 26:9-11)! Being lost, Paul had led Israel’s rebellion against Jesus Christ! Now, having been saved from hell’s flames, he felt deep remorse for what he had done. Until his dying day, Paul surely prayed for his unbelieving brethren. They were to give up their works-religion and embrace Jesus Christ, as he had! Beloved, let us not cease to pray for our unsaved loved ones—and be ready to speak God’s truth when they want it!

Bible Q&A #310: “Can you explain 1 Corinthians 8?

When Christ Jesus Returns

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:1,2 KJV).

“For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory” (verses 3,4).

Christian people often ask, “When is Christ Jesus coming back?” Various and sundry dates are provided. Church history abounds with many instances of such speculations. None have been accurate yet!

Years ago, I heard the following advice: “We Christians live like Jesus Christ is coming within the next 10 minutes. We plan like He is not coming for the next 10 years.” The point is our lifestyles should be glorifying Him whenever He comes for us. Furthermore, we should plan ahead as though He will not come for another decade. By what other means can we reach more lost people with the Gospel of the Grace of God? By what other methods can we teach other Christians the Word of God rightly divided? While we are waiting for Him, we have more opportunity to serve Him. As long as the Dispensation of Grace operates, Paul’s Gospel is still valid. The Church the Body of Christ is still open to membership. God’s attitude toward the world is still grace and peace.

Doubtless, we should anticipate our Saviour’s coming. The Bible calls it our “blessed hope” and we should be “looking” for it (Titus 2:13). However, we should not sit around idly waiting and guessing dates. God before ordained that we the saints should walk in good works (Ephesians 2:1). These good works should continue as long as we are on this Earth. Good works should cease only for two reasons—physical death or the Rapture. Even a bedridden saint can pray, particularly for those Christians who are mobile!

Whenever Jesus Christ returns, whether in our lifetime or not, two things should be true. Firstly, may it be true that it was His life living in us. Secondly, let it be true that we planned to continue letting Him live in us, had these physical bodies continued! 🙂

Bird’s-Eye View of the Chaos

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

“For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another” (Titus 3:3 KJV).

One Christian recently told me the more he learns from God’s Word rightly divided, the more he realizes the extent of the “chaos” in Christianity and in the world. What an appropriate word—“chaos!”

“Chaos” is “a state of utter confusion or disorder; a total lack of organization or order.” Utter confusion, total perplexity! That dear grace Christian mentioned above has only understood rightly-divided Scripture for five years. Previously, he hopped from one religious group to another. Many years he was lost—religious but still headed for hell. Now, he reflects and is amazed that he ever escaped such deception! God’s grace has lifted him out of the mire of spiritual ignorance. He soars above to see all those swimming below in religious filth and Bible illiteracy! He knows all about struggling, striving, and getting nowhere! How he wants to tell them about Father God’s saving grace in the Lord Jesus Christ! How he wants to tell them how to make sense of the Holy Scriptures!

Friend, whenever you get angry with lost people for acting like lost people, just remember you were just as lost before you trusted Jesus Christ! “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another!” Rather than serving their Creator, sinners serve their own various lusts and pleasures. They want to harm others and take what others have. They are insufferable, and they hate others. Horrible! That is certainly not how God designed human life to function. Yet, because of sin, foolishness abounds, disobedience is widespread, and deception flourishes.

Praise God! Verses 4-7 continue: “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What about the ‘talking snake’ in Genesis 3?

In the Midst, Holding Forth

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain (Philippians 2:14-16 KJV).

Christians functioning with God’s might—a glorious sight and blinding light!

I recently talked with a fellow Christian American complaining about the horrible direction in which our country is heading. Severe political, social, financial, and educational problems continue to plague our beloved nation. The somewhat Bible-based culture of my parents’ generation has disappeared. In the name of “progress,” the Bible has been removed. The sound doctrine that once produced the life of God in the lives of Americans is being increasingly rejected—all in the name of “tolerance” (all beliefs accepted but the Bible believer’s!). And people ask why society is falling apart?

Fellow saints, while we should do the best we can with what we have, we need to remember this is not our home. God is not currently converting whole nations, reforming governments, abolishing corruption, and bringing material prosperity and peace to the world. That day will come when Jesus Christ returns. Until then, He is doing something different today. No matter how bad society looks, the Lord Jesus is working so mightily in the lives of people who have taken their stand by faith in the grace doctrines committed to us through the ministry and message of the Apostle Paul—Romans through Philemon.

We should be faithful in “holding forth the word of life,” extending it to all who want to hear. No, they do not all want to accept God’s Son, Jesus Christ, but some do. He wants to save them from this evil culture and its perverted mindset, this “crooked and perverse nation.” They see Him in us, and they see lights burning brightly in the midst of spiritual darkness. He will give them life too if they trust Him. He will work mightily in them as well, that they too be “in the midst … holding forth the word of life!” 🙂

Not a Bother to Satan! #3

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Hebrews 5:12-14 KJV).

A wise Christian brother observed long ago: “There are some believers whom Satan seldom bothers because they do not cause him too much worry, they do not threaten his program; but strong Christians are always his targets and he puts countless snares and pitfalls in their way.” How appropriate, even today!

Satan does not like God’s truth reaching the masses. So, his evil world system will entice God’s messenger to change the message. If the Christian refuses to apostatize, but rather faithfully continues sharing God’s pure Word with others, then Satan will move from attacking the message to attacking the messenger. The Christian will be persecuted, discouraged, or even killed!

Today’s Scripture describes how Satan had neutralized Israel. Confused and weakened, she was no bother to him anymore. Spiritual ignorance would continue among the Gentiles! But, individual Jews had accepted Jesus as Messiah-King and had separated themselves from their apostate nation. Satan turned his attention to these believers. The Devil and his allies persecuted those believing Jews into the early Acts period. Refusing to change God’s message, those Jewish kingdom believers were thus attacked literally and physically. Israel’s corrupt religious leaders arrested, imprisoned, and even killed Jesus’ followers! That believing remnant in Israel had certainly caused Satan much grief, and God permitted him to take their lives. Nevertheless, they were true to God’s Word to the end.

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). As the wise Christian brother wrote decades ago, friend, you attempt to let Christ Jesus live His life in you, and you will learn that Satan will not like it! Still, may you be a bother to Satan! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Do Isaiah 2:4 and Joel 3:10 contradict each other?

Light and Understanding

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalm 119:130 KJV).

Behold, light and understanding are in the Word of God rightly divided!

Today’s Scripture is so simple that even a small child can grasp it. Unfortunately, many seminary-educated preachers, many “scholarly” persons, and many religious leaders could not comprehend that verse even if their lives depended on it! They have been so “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14)—their minds scrambled and their hearts hardened. When the spiritual light of God’s Word shines, they hide behind an intellectual or religious argument, lest the light expose them and convert them from their wayward path!

Still, despite all the willful ignorance described above, there are a handful of genuine souls. They are really trying to find the truth; they are waiting for some Bible-believing Christian to help them. Dear brethren, dearly beloved in the Lord, we should not be lackadaisical. There are some very confused people out there seeking answers; they need the light of the Gospel of Christ to shine on their hearts so they can be saved unto eternal life. There are some very confused Christians out there; they need the light of the Message of Grace to shine on their hearts so they can learn sound Bible doctrine. Let us not sit around waiting for some other person to do it. We should get out and do it. Win souls to Jesus Christ, and edify Christian souls to His glory! Go! Go! Go!

Some have no interest whatsoever in learning the truths of God’s Word rightly divided. But, there are others who are praying for God to enlighten them. We need to be ready to reach them whenever they request our assistance. Let us study and be prepared to answer their questions! In this world of increasing darkness and confusion, God’s Word rightly divided is a beacon of understanding. It shines ever so brightly. Let us be “mirrors,” reflecting that light so all can see and come to Christ Jesus! The fruit in eternity will be so much more exciting than we could possibly imagine here! 🙂