“No one knows what he himself is made of, except his own spirit within him, yet there is still some part of him which remains hidden even from his own spirit; but you, Lord, know everything about a human being because you have made him…Let me, then, confess what I know about myself, and confess too what I do not know, because what I know of myself I know only because you shed light on me, and what I do not know I shall remain ignorant about until my darkness becomes like bright noon before your face.” ~St. Augustine of Hippo 354-430 AD Comments
An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most shortsighted can hardly fail to notice it during the past few years. It has developed at an abnormal rate, even for evil. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments. The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them. Read More
A couple of years ago there was a Japanese minister who caught the eye of mainstream media when he lamented on his behaviour of not accounting for public funds. He publicly wept and brought a press conference to an unprecedented pause. I keep wondering what happened to Mr Ryutoro Nonomura there after – was he being remorseful or was he repentant? So, whats the difference?
I came across this article from a blog from the yester years that tries to explain alittle more by going into a bible story….
And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. (1 Kings 21:27)
Ahab was a wicked king, as anyone familiar with the Hebrew Scriptures will know. From the beginning of his reign until the end he defied the Lord God of Israel, in whose stead he reigned. Two verses earlier it is written: “But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.” (1 Kings 21:25)
After King Ahab took possession of the murdered Naboth’s vineyard, God sent Elijah to prophesy against him. Elijah told Ahab that Jezebel would be eaten by dogs, that he himself would have his blood licked up by dogs where Naboth had died, that God would cut off his posterity and all his descendants would have ignominious deaths. Upon hearing this, Ahab humbled himself before God by tearing his clothes, putting on sackcloth garments, fasting, and mourning.
How long all of this went on we are not told. We are told that God honored his self-humiliation and postponed the fulfillment of the prophecy until after Ahab’s death.
Here are seven of Jim’s fifteen tips for starting well as a pastor:
Preach within your range. The Bible is like a mountain range, and some peaks are a lot higher than others, so don’t set out to preach beyond your capabilities. We grow into the task of preaching, so don’t set out to preach through revelation as your first series, or John 14-17 or 2 Cor. 10-13. (I tried the latter, and am still scarred by the experience.) Preach what your congregation needs to hear most, and what you can make clear and apply well. Your preaching will reach first class standard after about five years, and test match standard….maybe! meantime, know your limits. John Chapman says ‘Preaching’s not that hard. It’s just the first forty years that’s the worst!’ After twenty four years I am starting to appreciate that quip more and more.
Make a preaching plan for your first few years that takes you to a different genre of Scripture in each ‘term’ of the year. I watched my pastor in Abingdon, Simon Hutton, do this in his early years in Abingdon, and it is a great plan (which had never occurred to me). So we had Exodus 1-15, Colossians, some of Mark, Job (the best early series), Amos and Micah, and so on. As he tackled each series, so he became used to handling that Scripture genre ready for whenever he handled a similar book in future. See your early years in preaching as developing your skills gradually.
Well, by the time you ask your self that kind of question its very likely you may be in the wrong kind of church or your church has probably missed the point and gone off with the wrong priorities. That being said, it is always a good thing to start thinking about evangelism and having a desire to see others come to a true knowledge of Christ through the gospel. The gospel rightly should be the beginning place for every evangelistic endeavor or discipleship program. In this day and age where churches have resorted to hiring ‘church growth’ gurus to bring about astronomical increase in numbers (with no love for the things of God or commitment) it’s quite encouraging to come across pastors who are keen on evangelism and biblical discipleship.
Missionary and church planter David Cloud (together with his wife Linda) have got a free ebook called Ideas for Evangelism (see free download link below) that is a fruit of collective effort gleaned from many sources as well as from their more than 40 years missionary experiences. They have been church planters, ministered on bus routes, in jails, taught Sunday School classes, witnessed on military bases and university campuses, nursing homes and gladly and humbly tackle several issues in Ideas for Evangelism. This book is for people and churches that feel ‘stuck in a rut’ with their gospel outreach and feel they need to – prove all things; hold fast to that which is good in a bid to uphold a biblical standard in their worship and practice. …Read More!
Above is a trailer of documentary of James Fraser:
James Fraser was only 22 years old when he left his engineering career and went to China. From the very first time he saw the Lisu tribespeople of Yunnan Province, he was filled with God’s love for them. He spent the rest of his life laboring to bring them the gospel. Breakthrough came only after his partners back home took up the challenge to pray. …Read More!
The Great Commission is a clear command of Jesus to his church. By and large, part of what it means to be an evangelical church is to support the spread of the gospel to those who have never heard it. Based on decades of experience on the other side of the equation (Zane Pratt as a field worker living overseas), has a list of 7 things your church should NOT do as it considers its involvement in fulfilling the Great Commission:
1. You should not ignore the missionary imperative.
Lots of excuses can be given for doing nothing about global missions other than, perhaps, an occasional missions offering. Taking the gospel to the unreached is expensive, uncomfortable, inconvenient, and sometimes even unhealthy or dangerous. There are so many lost people right around you where you live. You have so many needs within your own church. The list could go on. …Read More!
Spearheading the gospel into unreached regions is risky says church planter and missionary David Sitton. You see…
In the time it takes to read this blog post, another Christian will be killed because of his or her faith in Jesus Christ. 160,000 believers around the world will be slaughtered this year alone. . . simply because they love Jesus.
This should not be a news flash. The physical risk of “going public with the glory of God” among Satan-dominated peoples is obvious. Jesus warned his disciples that they would probably be “chugged” (disposed of quickly and without pause), just as lions chomp through lambs (Matthew 10:16; 1 Peter 5:8). That is the likely reality of identifying with Jesus in this world; and most shrivel up at the thought.
However, Scripture describes the butchering of believers as horrifically beautiful. Horrible because of the indescribable torment endured by so many; but stunningly beautiful in their humble Christ-likeness as they are afflicted, persecuted, struck down; but not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:7-12). As one Chinese Christian martyr confidently testified to his tormentors, “You can kill me, but you can’t hurt me and you can’t stop my testimony!” When Jesus followers are crushed by suffering, the aroma of Christ stretches out even more widely and rapidly among the peoples (2 Corinthians 2:14-16; Acts 8:1). …Read More!
“The trouble with all false evangelism is that it does not start with doctrine, it does not start by realising man’s condition… If you and I realised that every man who is yet a sinner is absolutely dominated by the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience, if we only understood that he is really a child of wrath and dead in trespasses and sins, we would realise that only one power can deal with such an individual, and that is the power of God, the power of the Holy Ghost. …Read More!
Mark Dever in his book, What Is a Healthy Church? writes, “When you peer into the life of a church, the growth of its members can show up in all sorts of ways.” Here are just a few good examples – though of course this is not an exhaustive list :
Growing numbers being called to missions—“I’ve enjoyed sharing the gospel with my neighbors from South America. I wonder if God is calling me to …”
Older members getting a fresh sense of their responsibility in evangelism and in discipling younger members—“Why don’t you come over for dinner?”
Younger members attending the funerals of older members out of love—“As a single man in my twenties, it was so good to be taken in by Mr. and Mrs.…”
Increased praying in the church and more prayers centered on evangelism and ministry opportunities—“I’m starting an evangelistic Bible study at work and I’m a little nervous. Would the church pray that …”
More members sharing the gospel with outsiders. …Read More!
Many in the church today believe that the only way to reach the world is to give the unchurched multitudes what they want. . . Subtly the overriding goal is church attendance and worldly acceptability rather than a transformed life. Preaching the Word and boldly confronting sin are seen as archaic, ineffectual means of winning the world. After all, those things actually drive most people away. Why not entice people into the fold by offering what they want, creating a friendly, comfortable environment, and catering to the very desires that constitute their strongest urges? As if we might get them to accept Jesus by somehow making Him more likable or making His message less offensive. That kind of thinking badly skews the mission of the church.
At times it appears as though this is what is happening all around. Well sometimes it is…
At Leicester Square:
Preaching in Leicester Square tonight with Josh and the team. It totally kicked off, the crowd got really hostile, but praise God, after reasoning with the authorities and standing our ground, we have been allowed to preach. Please pray the gospel would continue to go forth in grace and truth.-R. Hughes
[This article was first posted in March 2012] It is true that for many believers, fulfilling Christ’s command to make disciples of all nations has no greater joy than seeing their loved ones come to faith in Christ. Few experiences bring greater joy to Christian parents than seeing their children come to faith in Christ. But how does one evangelize one’s children?
The process of evangelizing one’s children, however, can be a daunting task. For many parents, the questions are as practical as they are disconcerting: How should I present the gospel to my children? What’s the best approach to take? How do I know if I’m doing it right? Pitfalls, both real and imagined, intimidate virtually every parent who contemplates this responsibility. On one hand, there’s the danger of leading children to think they are saved when they are not. On the other, there’s the risk of discouraging children who express a genuine desire to follow Christ.
How, then, should we evangelize our children? The answer to this question is not an easy one, but it begins with recognizing and avoiding some of the common pitfalls in child evangelism.
I came across an interesting website off the beaten track. It has a few useful links to help you if you have lost your zeal for evangelism. Mark Edward Sohmer has a couple of helpful notes:
I am a member of Fellowship Bible Church in Chester, NH. In 2006, I was given the privilege and honor to lead an Evangelism class from The Way of the Master ministry. The class is called the Basic Training Course. You can learn more about this class at: http://www.wayofthemaster.com/btc/. I am making available my notes and other files that may be valuable here, so that anyone can download them. My prayer is that Christians will be edified and equipped to fulfill our purpose: to be used by God to seek and save that which is lost.
‘If I knew I were one of God’s elect, I would come to Christ; but I fear I am not.’ To you I answer: nobody ever came to Christ because he knew himself to be one of the elect. It is quite true that God has of His mere good pleasure elected some to everlasting life, but they never knew it until they believed in Christ. Christ nowhere commands the elect to come to him. He commands all men everywhere to repent and believe the gospel. The question for you is not, ‘Am I one of the elect?’ but ‘Am I a sinner?’ Christ came to save sinners.”
Christian television is full of what you can get if you come to Jesus. The same Christians tell beautiful “testimonies” of how they have got stuff and 100-fold blessings and more stuff. The focus of the testimonies more and more have little or at best nothing to do with the gospel.
Wanna get these too? Come to our Church.
“If we do not preach about sin and God’s judgment on it, we cannot present Christ as Saviour from sin and the wrath of God. And if we are silent about these things, and preach a Christ who saves only from self and the sorrows of this world, we are not preaching the Christ of the Bible …Read More!
If you’re going to be good at fishing, you’ve got to learn to think like a fish. If you’re going to be an effective fisher of men, you’ve got to think like a lost person. Here’s the problem. Unfortunately, the longer you are a Christian, the less you think like an unbeliever…To catch fish, you’ve got to know their habits, their preferences, and their feeding patterns. Certain fish like smooth water. Others are bottom crawlers. Some like rushing water. Others hide under rocks. You’ve got to know what the fish you’re trying to reach like to do. If you’re going to understand and reach non-Christians, you’ve got to begin with their mindset.-Rick Warren
Still scratching my head till I can get my hair cut straight enough to become hip and “relevant”. I think I will reach there next year! Trying!!
Conrad Mbewe is a pastor from Africa (in his own words he lives in a country where there’s water, water, water and more water…a delightful place for a Baptist pastor) and he asks a pertinent question on African missionary endeavours.
Conrad: One experience that often refreshes my heart when I visit the USA is when I meet Christians telling me that they are sensing a call to go as missionaries to Africa or Asia and are actively praying and preparing to that end. I often ask myself the question, “Why don’t I hear this back home? Why are our own people not thinking about taking the gospel to far away lands that desperately need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ? Doesn’t God want to use Africans in missions too?”
I while ago my friend Andy wrote a very interesting piece on the consequences of ignoring the Atonement. Was Jesus’ life simply an example for us to follow or did he come as the Lamb of God to take away sins of those who would believe?
[Andy writes] In the early days of liberal theology, it was the vogue to claim that Jesus’ death was the result of His zeal. He shot His mouth off too many times about religious and moral truth, until, finally, His opponents could take no more and had Him assassinated. The theological axe-to-grind of this view was their rejection of the atonement as an objective, meritorious, vicarious sacrifice – in short, as a substitionary death.
Evacuating Christ’s death in such a way, all that remained was His example. Not many evangelicals (a term I am growing increasingly uncomfortable with) would espouse such a radical view regarding Christ’s death, but the accompanying view of His life as merely a pattern or example, has clung on with tenacity in the best of circles. …Read More!
As the 2012 London Olympics are underway, there are a couple of Christian mission groups traversing the landscapes of the beautiful City of London preaching the gospel. I am greatly encouraged by their zeal and passion. I am also encouraged by the stories of those coming to embrace Jesus Christ from all walks of life. Looking at the history of Christianity, England was instrumental in being the first place through which the Reformation came to the English speaking world. Many lost their lives for believing in the Authority of Scripture over the authority of the Papacy.
Nicholas Ridley and Hugh Latimer are some of the examples of Reformers in England. Hugh was a British clergyman, Bishop of Worcester, and Protestant martyr during the reign of the Catholic Queen Mary I of England. He was burnt at the stake as a “heretic” in Oxford (1555). Hugh’s memorable last words to his friend Nicholas as they were burnt were:
Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out. ~ Hugh Latimer
Times and seasons come and go. Olympics are here in London today but will be gone tomorrow. How I pray that God will indeed raise up a people with a zeal for the Authority of Scripture in our days too. For the time is soon coming and may probably be here now when men will not adhere to sound doctrine even in the church. A time is coming and is already here when holding Christian beliefs will be tantamount to being “intolerant” and “bigotted”. …Read More!
David Brainerd inspired many to the service of God and missions through his writings in his diary as he tried to reach the native Americans. His passion for God still remains a marvel:
My soul was this day, at turns, sweetly set on God: I longed to be with him, that I might behold his glory. I felt sweetly disposed to commit all to him, even my dearest friends, my dearest flock, my absent brother, and all my concerns for time and eternity. Oh that his kingdom might come in the world; that they might all love and glorify him, for what he is in himself; and that the blessed Redeemer might see the travail of his soul, and be satisfied! ‘Oh come, Lord Jesus, come quickly! Amen.’
Note from Jonathan Edwards: Here ends David Brainerd’s diary. These are the last words that are written in it, either by his own hand, or by any other from his mouth.
HT: KT via FB
Many have walked down the aisle at altar calls a dozen times. They try Christianity for a while and then fall away. After another emotional sermon appeal they walk the isle in tears and a few weeks later the cycle is repeated. It’s now called “trying Christianity again” or “getting saved again”. How many times can one walk down an altar or keep “trying Christianity”?
The Bible says that once you are saved, you are never the same again; you are a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17). If you have gone back to your old ways, then most probably you were never saved (1 John 2:19). If, however, you were saved, then God won’t let you stay in rebellion for long. He will deal with you in whatever way is necessary to bring you back into fellowship with Him.
Did you become a Christian by going to church or by asking Jesus to forgive you of your sins? The latter makes you a Christian, the former doesn’t.
You don’t try Christianity to see if it works, or if your life gets better. …Read more!
In some Christian circles soul winning ends up becoming ‘belt-notching’. This misguided thinking brings to mind comparisons of the ‘kill’ talley painted on the cockpits of fighter aircraft. Here’s the account of a former soul winning ace, who one day started to question the shallowness of manipulating people into praying that simple prayer; the one that is said to trigger salvation. In one of the accounts that he gives, a drunk man is coached into praying the sinner’s prayer. Incredibly, it was later said of the drunk man:
“I wonder if he’ll even remember getting saved? Boy will he be surprised when he gets to heaven!”.
I have seen with my own eyes or know of houses in Latin America that have been painted 20 times by 20 different short-term teams; fake orphanages in Uganda erected to get Westerners to give money; internet centers in India whose primary purpose is to ask Westerners for money; children in African countries purposefully mutilated by their parents so they would solicit sympathy while they beg; a New England-style church built by a Western team in Cameroon that is never used except when the team comes to visit; and slums filled with big-screen TVs and cell phone towers.
I have seen or know of teams of grandmothers who go to African countries and hold baby orphans for a week every year but don’t send a dime to help them otherwise; teams who build houses that never get used; teams that bring the best vacation Bible school material for evangelism when the national church can never bring people back to church unless they have the expensive Western material; teams that lead evangelistic crusades claiming commitments to Christ topping 5,000 every year in the same location with the same people attending.
Short-term missions is fraught with problems, and many wish such trips did not exist, at least in the common form today.
This is an excerpt of an interesting post by Chris Rosebrough looking at the purpose driven approach to church growth in light of scripture. It does ask pertinent questions. (Read first part here)
The Purpose-Driven / Seeker Sensitive model of evangelism attempts to attract so-called ‘seekers’ (Rom. 3:11) to attend a church service by radically changing the nature of church. Gone are hymns, and Biblical expository sermons. These have been replaced with culturally appealing rocks shows and practical self-help, felt-needs, life improvement seminars that contain a few ripped out of context verses thrown in to create the illusion that they’re based on the Bible. The model of fishing that Rick Warren is teaching his fleet of ‘fishers of men’ to employ is Bait Fishing. It is important to understand that the primary strategy of bait fishing is deception. Bait fishing deceives unsuspecting fish into believing that they are about to enjoy in their favorite meal but instead they find themselves being killed by a well hidden hook.
Do they want bigger hot dogs? Flavored water or cushions for their ankles the customer is king. This is the approach to successful entrepreneurship. It is sometimes no different when it comes to modern day church marketing only that it is called being ‘purpose driven’. Long gone are the days of preaching the gospel and teaching sound doctrine. It’s not uncommon to hear pastors talk and ask questions like ‘what’s the vision for your church?’ or ‘how is your church going to grow?’ By ‘vision’ they usually mean ‘a purpose driven plan’ or pragmatic approach to church growth.
You see, the purpose driven church movement makes several assumptions but here we will look at 5 common errors and how they deviate from scripture.
1.A pragmatic church assumes that the primary purpose of Sunday morning church services is to reach out to unbelievers who are some times erroneously referred to as ‘unchurched christians’ . In the New Testament, however, the reason the church gathers is for worship and equipping (Eph. 4:11-16; Acts 2:37-47). Evangelism is to primarily take place in the believer’s life context (“as you go”—Matt. 28:18-20) rather than being the main focus of the Sunday worship service. …Read More!
I don’t know if you heard of this story; a 911 dispatcher got a call from home. Her son had been shot. She being a Christian got to talk to her son about Jesus in the supposed few minutes as an ambulance was en route. Check out this transcript:
Brace yourself. I just hope you will have as much fun as I did reading this excerpt from David’s letter. It’s a typical missionary’s letter with the typical bells and whistles ;).
This is Koboko situated in the North West corner of Uganda. To be more specific, this is the Hotel Delambiance (De l’ambiance) in Koboko. It’s bedtime but there is no point in trying to go to sleep as the hotel generator is roaring away outside my window and I have a dilemma – do I want the generator to be turned off, lose the electric light but be able to get to sleep or do I want the power to stay on a little longer and suffer the generator. Why, I hear you ask, is there a dilemma?
It started in the shower. I had earlier pointed out to the manager that there was no light bulb in the shower. He came to have a look and suggested that I leave the door to the bedroom open and that would give me enough light. I suggested that he try putting a bulb in the light socket but he shrugged his shoulders and said he didn’t have any so that was that. I was doing my best to have a shower in the gloomy shadows of the tiny ensuite facility when ‘something’ darted past me. The ‘something’ was the largest cockroach I have ever seen – a big shiny brown thing the size of a donkey. …Read More!
“There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveller to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”
For some this story is familiar; well it is Nathan the prophet having a chat with King David. David has just made a royal cover up and taken Bathsheba as his wife after arranging the murder of her husband, Uriah. This was against a back drop of an adulterous affair. Nathan, first indulges the king in a intriguing allegory. (2 Sam 12)
David listens intently to the story and on hearing of such a gross miscarriage of justice tells Nathan in no uncertain terms, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”
A 2008 survey of behaviours with moral overtones among adults conducted by The Barna Group over a one week period revealed that 19% of adults had viewed pornography, 11% had lied, 9% had engaged in sexual intercourse with someone to whom Read More
In the church where I ministered in South Wales I used to stand at the main door of the church at the close of the service on Sunday night, and shake hands with people as they went out. The incident to which I am referring concerns a man who used to come to our service every Sunday night. He was a tradesman but also a heavy drinker. He got drunk regularly every Saturday night, but he was also regularly seated in the gallery of our church every Sunday night. On the particular night to which I am referring I happened to notice while preaching that this man was obviously being affected. I could see that he was weeping copiously, and I was anxious to know what was happening to him. At the end of the service I went and stood at the door. But There’s More
Then I said: “Ah, Lord God, behold, the prophets say to them, ‘You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place.’” Jer 14:13 ESV
With heads bowed and eyes closed, the music was just right. The preacher shuffles and gently casts his gaze over the reverently silent congregation before he beckons, “Put your hand up if you have tried everything and now you want to accept Jesus into your heart. See, you have a God shaped hole in your heart and only Jesus can fill it.” A hundred to two hundred hands go up in the air. They ask Jesus into their hearts that day-a decision they may well repeat a few more times through that year.
A major denomination which has 11,500 churches throughout the US – in 1991, their first year of what they called “the decade of harvest,” they got 294,000 decisions for Christ. They found that only 14,000 remained in fellowship. That is, they couldn’t account for 279,000 of their decisions for Jesus. And this is normal modern evangelical statistics when it comes to crusades and local churches. Many converts don’t fall away. They get followed up and squeezed into a local church where they’re surrounded by a good social life, and they stay within the church given assurance they’re saved when there is no grounds for their salvation, because they do not have the things that accompany salvation. –True and False Conversions by Ray Comfort
God shaped hole in heart
When we hear Christian clichés like ‘Accept Jesus Christ as your personal saviour;’ ‘Ask Jesus into your heart;’ ‘Invite Christ into your life;’ or ‘Make a decision for Christ’ and find that such theology is not scripturally based then we realise something must have been omitted. In order to be saved, a man must repent (Acts 2:38).Asking Jesus into your heart leaves out the requirement of repentance and trust in Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31, Heb 6:1). How could it sound so right, yet be so un-right? Yeah. Welcome to the shaken and stirred Gospel Lite! Read More
New York, New York – Pastors across the country suddenly found themselves in a bit of a predicament this past weekend as Sunday morning quickly approached. The trouble began Saturday afternoon when word began spreading that the Sermon Writers Guild was going on strike on the grounds that they were not being paid enough for their work.
The Sermon Writers Guild has, for the most part, been a secret to the church-going public. Founded in 1977, the organization started out as a small group of theologians and laypersons who were “gifted and creative in the art of preaching” but lacked the charisma necessary to pastor and lead a congregation. When the group was formed they began offering sermon writing services for “witty pastors who lacked scholarly abilities” and who were “less than studious” for a fee of only $20 per sermon. Over the years the guild expanded to over 1500 “ghost preachers” who have written sermons for some of the most famous pastors in the country. Read More
C.H. Spurgeon invited men to come to Christ, not to an altar.
Listen to him invite men to Jesus Christ
‘Before you leave this place breathe an earnest prayer to God, saying, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner. Lord, I need to be saved. Save me. I call upon Thy name….Lord, I am guilty, I deserve Thy wrath. Lord, I cannot save myself. Lord, I would have a new heart and a right spirit, but what can I do? Lord, I can do nothing, come and work in me to do of Thy good pleasure.Thou alone hast power, I know To save a wretch like me; To whom, or whither should I go If I should run from Thee? There’s More…
Our Savior did not use any means which might enlist man’s lower nature on his side. When I have heard of large congregations gathered together by the music of a fine choir, I have remembered that the same thing is done at the opera house and the music-hall, and I have felt no joy. When we have heard of crowds enchanted by the sublime music of the pealing organ, I have seen in the fact rather a glorification of St. Cecilia than of Jesus Christ. Our Lord trusted in no measure or degree to the charms of music for the establishing his throne. He has not given to his disciples the slightest intimation that they are to employ the attractions of the concert room to promote the kingdom of heaven. There’s More
This morning I woke up and was blessed by the words of the song, Asleep in The Light. A Keith Green classic that I have always loved since I first heard it a long while ago. I don’t know about you but reading through the lyrics alone always gives me goose bumps…
Asleep in The Light
Do you see, do you see
All the people sinking down
Don’t you care, don’t you care
Are you gonna let them drown
How can you be so numb
Not to care if they come
You close your eyes
And pretend the job’s done
“Oh bless me Lord, bless me Lord”
You know it’s all I ever hear
No one aches, no one hurts
No one even sheds one tear
But He cries, He weeps, He bleeds
And He cares for your needs
And you just lay back
And keep soaking it in,
Oh, can’t you see it’s such a sin? Read More
I would like to thank Thabiti Anyabwile of The Gospel Coalition for this excerpt of George Whitefield’s sermon:
Those of you that are yet strangers to Christ, what can I say to excite you to come and walk with God? If you love honor, pleasure, and a crown of glory, come and seek it where it alone can be found. Come, put on the Lord Jesus. Come, haste away and walk with God, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof. Stop, stop, O sinner! Turn, for the end of that way you are now walking in, however right it may seem in your blinded eyes, will be eternal destruction of body and soul. Make no tarrying… step not one step further on in your present walk. For how do you know the next step you take will not be into hell? Death may seize you, judgment may find you, and then the great gulf will be fixed between you and endless glory forever and ever. Lay these things to heart. In the strength of Jesus say, “Farewell lust of the flesh, I will no more walk with thee! Farewell lust of the eye, and pride of life! Farewell carnal acquaintance and enemies of the cross, I will no more walk and be intimate with you! Welcome Jesus, welcome thy word, welcome thy ordinances, welcome thy Spirit, welcome thy people, I will henceforth walk with you.” O that there may be in you such a mind! Read More
The music weeps, the preacher pleads, “Give your heart to Jesus. You have a God shaped hole in your heart and only Jesus can fill it.” Dozens, hundreds or thousands of people who want to get their spiritual life on track make their way to the altar. They ask Jesus into their heart.
Cut to three months later. Nobody has seen our new convert in church. The follow up committee calls him and encourages him to attend a Bible study, but to no avail. We label him a backslider and get ready for the next outreach event.
Our beloved child lies in her snuggly warm bed and says, “Yes, Daddy. I want to ask Jesus into my heart.” You lead her in “the prayer” and hope that it sticks. You spend the next ten years questioning if she really, really meant it. Puberty hits and the answer reveals itself. She backslides. We spend the next ten years praying that she will come to her senses.
Telling someone to ask Jesus into their hearts has a very typical result, backsliding. The Bible says that a person who is soundly saved puts his hand to the plow Read More
Over the last couple of months I realised that while I was reading my new study bible the kids were busy tucking into endless Tom and Jerry cartoons. The more I delved into the word of God the more I wanted to lovingly involve every body. Yes, even the 3 year old. So I started searching for good theologically sound family resources. I have come across very good and interesting resources for Christian families to explore the word of God together. Some study resources involve personal scripture reading like the Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading System and on the other hand there is the Heidelberg Catechism for Families and also The Shorter Catechism for Young Children.
Some people say that at times the closer you walk with God the more the rebellion that may develop in your children (to God and his commands). But Read More
There are several people who have impacted my life in different ways. God has brought me to listen to very insightful teachings that have shaped me and are continually reforming my personal life in ways I probably cannot illustrate. One or two years ago I was searching for tracts online and I landed on a sermon that has always been an inspiration to me. Hell’s Best Secret by Ray Comfort is akin to Keith Green’s classic song Alseep in the Light-once you listen to them they continue to replay in your mind. They are evangelistic anthems so to speak. If you have ever listened to this sermon, you will agree with me it should be broadcast loud and clear, down every byway and highway, every church yard and barn yard needs to resound with this message. Maybe I should get him a Segway for open airpreaching…or well maybe standing on a good old salt box will just do all the same 😉 [The Transcript: Hell’s Best Kept Secret]Read More
The Alexamenos graffito discovered in 1857 also known as the graffito blasfemo is an inscription carved in plaster on a wall near the Palatine Hill in Rome. It is generally thought to be the earliest known pictorial representation of the crucifixion of Jesus.The crude drawing in no uncertain terms depicts the said Alexamenos worshipping a Bart-Simpson-esque man with a head of an ass. Comical…but sadly blasphemous.
I wonder if Alexamenos was a christian. I wonder if it was a work mate or a former lover who engraved the repugnant inscription. Could it have been a self portrait in his moments of soul searching? But There’s More
Looking back through the recent past, Christianity has gone through roller coasters. The reformation brought us out of the darkness of Roman Catholicism and it’s infamous departure from Scripture. The term Reformation is a historical term that goes back almost four centuries. It refers to a period when the church underwent a “reformation” as men of God attempted to return Christianity to the authority of Scripture. The desire of the Reformation was not to change God’s word but rather to bring the church back to the early Christian church. Led by men like Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin, John Knox and the others. The Reformation churches split off from the errors of the medieval Roman church and began what we know today as Protestantism. The Protestant churches were born out of the Reformation. Read More
So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or …”–Matt 27:17ESV
An ellipsis is a mark or series of marks that usually indicate an intentional omission of a word or a phrase from the original text. An ellipsis can also be used to indicate a pause in speech, an unfinished thought, or, at the end of a sentence, a trailing off into silence. An ellipsis calls for a slight pause in speech. But There’s More
Fish aren’t biting. The water is cold and doesn’t heat up because the sun is low and the rays bounce off the water. Fish have moved to deeper waters to cool off. But Johnny the angler won’t go home yet, because winter is over and fish must be hungry and spawning. He sinks the bait once again. The pleasure is in the predatory pursuit of bait fishing he whispers to himself. The method of bait fishing offers both simplicity and effectiveness for anglers. It is simple in that one only has to bait up a hook and throw the line in the water, and it is effective because the presence of live bait is a temptation that hardly any fish can resist!
Casting his line, Johnny seats back and waits. He can secure the line and puff on his cigar or drift into blissful oblivion in the mean time. The trap is set. Waiting patiently till a gentle tug makes the bobber jolt. When Jesus said, “Come I will make you fishers of men”. I wonder if he had this type of smart fishing in mind. Did he know how easy proselytizing could be modified to accommodate the least possible purposeful risk? But There’s More
Jim Bublitz takes no prisoners as he writes this blistering
but deeply insightful article- Full Link here
That sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? I mean, after all -who would honestly say that they’ve never sinned? Probably nobody. And since unbelievers already feel guilty enough over they’re past mistakes, then it goes without saying that we should spend the vast majority of our time preaching a positive message of Good News to them, rather than dwelling on the negatives. In this post, we’ll actually go inside of a prison and test-out this theory on convicted felons. If anybody ought to understand their own guilt and sinfulness, it would be real/live rapists, murders, and thieves, right?
Warning: Understanding the things in this video could challenge your entire view of ‘relevance’ in evangelism.