Category Archives: Evangelism

Pansy Christians

One of the reason that we have so many pansy Christians is because people neglect the terror of the Lord.  Pansy Christians are those who are too afraid to witness for Him.  They are the cowards who give up at the first sign of difficulty and run for cover.  In a practical sense, they can always be identified as “church shoppers.”  They look for what they want instead of what God wants.  God wants us to remember sin.  He wants us to always have it on our mind because it is the thought of sin that brings us to God in humility; ready to accept His way, and give up the reigns of our life to Him.

 2 Corinthians 5:11 says, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.”  It is interesting that Paul said, “knowing.”  What is it that Paul knew.  Well, many things I am sure, but here he is focusing on the TERROR OF THE LORD!  The knowledge of that is what drove Paul to witness for God.  It is that unabated terrifying side of God that caused Paul to get out of his “comfort shell” and be made “manifest” to the world as a real Christian (one who would die for the Lord Jesus Christ).  He was afraid of what God could do, (and would do), when He was addressing man’s sin.  Where are the Christians like that today?  Are they waving their hands back and forth in a “gathering” of tee-totaling” academics?  Are they standing firm?  NO!  They are too busy “feeling” God instead of “knowing” God.  They have conveniently forgot that they will one day have to give account of their Christian life to God (Rom. 14:12).  They are too busy having a “great life” while all the time they are surrounded by people who are dying and going to hell.  That is no laughing matter my friend.  Not at all!

 Acts of compassion should be motivated by the terror of the Lord.  Knowing what He can and will do if we are not obedient to Him.

The Importance of Soul Winning!

There are things that are important to us in life, but nothing is more important than soul winning. The soul is the part of man that lives forever. It is the part of man that feels pain or joy; happiness or sorrow. It is the center of the man.

Proverbs 11:30 says, “He that winneth souls is wise.” It is a wise and profitable thing to be a soul winner because it pleases God. He has a high evaluation of the soul winner. It is one of the dearest things to the heart of God. Consequently, it pays enormous eternal dividends. A man who turns peo­ple to righteousness is wise because he is laying up treasure in heaven.

Conversely, a Christian who is occupied with trivial matters of life is unwise. Majoring on minors is foolish. Therefore, not to win souls is to be guilty of the sin of folly.

If we are to be wise, we should actively be involved in soul winning of some kind. If we don’t know how to win a soul to the Lord, we should learn how to do so. I am sure you can ask your Pastor or Christian friend.

When is the last time you led someone to the Lord? Have you ever won someone to the Lord? There is no shortage of people that need to hear the gospel. They are wondering aimlessly through life, believing a lie that is leading them to hell. People want to be saved. They just don’t know what to do. They know there is an emptiness in their life that is not fulfilled. They know they need something, they just don’t know what it is or how to get it.

There is however, a shortage of Christians who are willing to tell the lost about salvation. There should not be, but there is. We need to be not so. The entire world is in need of the Lord Jesus Christ—and who will tell our neighbors? The Devil will have them hear all of his doctrine, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by every means possible. The Lord left the job of spreading the gospel up to us. Not the TV. Not the Internet. Not the radio. He left it up to us.

Spreading the gospel is not doing good deeds for others. It is not living a right life or even helping the poor. Spreading the gospel is to actively tell people how they can be saved; how they can know for sure they an go to heaven.

These are the last days that we are living in. We live in a unique time. No other people the history of mankind has had so much at stake as we havetoday. We are like the anchor runner in the relay race of life. Lets not drop the baton. Lets not run out of steam on the last lap. Lets give it all we have Got. Souls lie in the balance.

JUST DO IT!

2011 Family Street Preaching 004I was pleased and overjoyed when God’s people go out on the streets preaching His Word.  I know that this really makes the Devil mad.  He would like nothing better than to discourage the entire church from doing anything for the Lord, AND he knows that the best time to do that is now.

It is so easy to just go to church and receive all of the blessings of God, and not really do anything to get people saved.  It takes a real love for the Lord to transcend from being a “taker” being a “giver” of the blessings of God.  Jesus said, “if  ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).    It takes a love for Jesus to do what He says and the final thing He told us to do before ascending into heaven was, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:”  If we are not actively engaged in trying to get people saved, then we are not following His commandment, and our love for Him should come under evaluation to see if it is appropriate.

I know that it encourages me to see others love the Lord so much so that they are really out there on the front lines doing something for Him.  Likewise, I know that it discourages me to see people doing nothing for the Lord.  I know one may say, “Well, I teach a Sunday school class.  Isn’t that doing something for the Lord?”  True, it is doing something for the Lord, but is it doing what He has commanded all Christians to do?  Is it what He wrote down in His Word?  Another might say, “Well, I have a family so I know that I already have a ministry; my first ministry is to my family and If I don’t take care of them, I am worse than an infidel.  Isn’t that doing something for the Lord?”  True, it is doing something for the Lord and He has made that clear in His Word that we are to take care of our family, but is that doing what he commanded regarding getting people saved?

 I know that it is easy to get distracted with the cares and burdens of life.  There is always something to do; some sickness to deal with; some appointment to keep.  All of these things are necessary, but we must be careful to not get out of balance and one day find out we have replaced them for the endeavor of getting people saved.  Why?  Because people are watching.

Everyone is watching our lives to see how a Christian is supposed to act; what they are supposed to be doing.  Our children are scrutinizing our life and learning by our actions how they are to approach living for the Lord.  For example: are they learning that going to church is something you show up “just on time” for, or even show up late?  Do they see you show up late for work?  For appointments with the world?  This is not to say that such things are not important, but what message are they getting when they compare those things of the world you are involved in with your relationship to God’s things?  Do they see you staying up all night to prepare for work, but “throwing together” something to teach in the House of the Living God?  What message do we think they might get?  Perhaps you are more vocal and straightforward with your attack upon God’s work by gossiping; running down the church or badmouthing the preacher or other Christians with your mouth (James 1:26; 3:5, 6, 8).  You are not doing anything to help God’s cause.  You are intentionally hurting God’s cause and discouraging your brothers and sisters as well.  Jesus said, “He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth” (Luke 11:23).  I would certainly not want to find myself in that situation.  If I did, I would repent of that quickly.

It has been said that we cannot see the forest for the trees, likewise we cannot really see what message we are portraying by our actions because we are too close to the situation.  But, others are seeing the situation of our “life message” from a much greater vantage point.  They can “see the forest.”

Doing wrong things certainly preaches a message about how we really feel about something, but there is something more damaging:  that is when we don’t do something right.  Usually people think that: “if I just don’t do anything to hurt the cause, then I will be okay.”  But, this is not true.

Doing something you choose to do can be even more destructive than doing nothing at all, for it may border on the line of hypocritical.  That is to say, people may think that you are doing just fine, when all the time you are still not doing what the Lord commanded.  You certainly don’t look like you are against the Lord, you look like you are doing what God said when all the time you are doing nothing.  The message this preaches is: “How to look like you are doing what you should be doing, but not do it.”  The Christian who is not doing anything to witness or get people saved, is undermining the Lord’s work because of his/her inconsistency.  If they were actively witnessing (passing out tracts, holding signs, coming to visitation, etc), they would be inspiring and teaching others how a New Testament Saint is supposed to be acting.  This is very important, especially in this Laodicean age in which the entire world is void of true gospel witnesses.

Maybe it has been so long since you passed out a tract that you have become frightened.  Most people reason this down to one of the most popular lies of the Devil: “I don’t want to offend anyone.”  How offended do you think they would feel at the Great White Throne Judgment being dragged away by the angels to be thrown into the Lake of fire as you watch on, knowing that you could have at least done something to give them a chance.  I know I would wish you did something for me.  In fact, I am glad that someone did do something for me.

Sometimes the Devil convinces us that we just need to wait for the right moment; the right opportunity.  This is such a damaging lie that it is not even worth contemplating for the Child of God who loves His father.  God said, “…now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2).  Today is the day to tell someone about Jesus.  Now is the time to say something to your friend.

Instead of offending somebody, we should be thinking about offending the Lord.  He certainly would think highly of us if we were at least trying to get someone saved.  Inversely, how do you think He feels about us when we are doing nothing?  How will we really be able to stand before Him one day and give accounting for why we didn’t do what we were supposed to do?  Will it not be a question of love?

I know that most people feel inside that they would like to do something for the Lord.  In fact, they know that they should be witnessing, but they just don’t do it.  It becomes like so many “ruts” we experience in our lives when we get to that stage.  I would like to say I sympathize, but I really cannot, because I don’t want to endorse not doing what we should be doing.  Like giving advice to a smoker who is trying to quit; I don’t really want to tell them “its okay” because I don’t want them to give up trying.

So, while the Devil gets mad and tries to keep us in our “rut,” the only way out is to “JUST DO IT!”  The only way to change this situation is to just begin witnessing.  You can write a letter to a stranger, send them a tract, give a word of testimony outside the church, or hold up a Scripture sign.  There are many ways to “get onboard.”  Best of all is to come to the visitation time on Saturday mornings, even if it is just for a little bit.  You know there is strength in numbers, and if kids can do it, then we can too.  I’ll be there, and for your own spiritual health, I pray you will be there too!

~Pastor

Motives of a Witnessing Church

“And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ” (Acts 5:42).

There are many places where Jesus warned against the danger of false motives. In giving, He reminded us that we must not give our tithes in order to receive glory of people (Matt. 6:1–4). He also warned us against praying to receive applause of people; prayer is for conversing with God rather than a speech to be heard and admired by people (Matt. 6:5 – 6). He warned us against displaying our personal godliness by revealing our private spiritual disciplines so as to win the approval of people (Matt. 6:16–18). Regarding these two things, Jesus was talking to his disciples about proper motivation. He declared that all worship and service should be motivated by the single desire to please God.

A motive is something which “moves.” What the mainspring is to the clock, motives are to the Christian, what the motor is to the automobile.  Motives certainly do affect our lives in many ways.  Some examples of these are:

  • Selfishness — everyone likes to feel important;
  • Self-gratification — we like that which pleases us personally, and we like to have our own way;
  • Self-interest — it is human nature for each of us to look out for the best interest of self. We find it easy, even if unconsciously, to ask, “What’s in it for me?”

One does not have to be an expert in motivational research to know that the above motives are inadequate for those who would invest their lives in the Service of God and others most effectively.

When examining the early church in the book of Acts, we discover what it was that made the church so effective.  Just as well, we see that they did not serve purely out of love. They were human beings like us, and they served out of mingled motives rather than the pure motive of love for God and love for others.

The early church achieved one success after another in what appeared to be an impossible assignment with tremendous handicaps. The book of Acts is a thrilling success story. What were the motives of the early Christians? Can we have the same motives today? Why did the early Christians witness so faithfully?

They discovered the joy of being a bearer of good news (Acts 2:41 – 47; 5:42; 8:8).  In obedience to the command of the Lord, by word of mouth, they spread the good news of his resurrection. They proclaimed God’s love for sinners and his desire to forgive sin. They could not conceal the good news that death had been defeated and that the grave had been robbed of its victory. This was such wonderful news that it brought joy to their hearts just to bear it. For them, witnessing about the saving acts of Jesus Christ was natural. Not to have done so would have been unnatural, inhuman, and unchristian for them. They received great inward joy through witnessing.

The early church recognized and responded to the authority of the crucified but risen and living Lord (Matt. 28:18b; Acts 2:36; 5:29).  They believed that God had resurrected Jesus Christ from the dead and had bestowed upon him the authority of lordship. They believed that this gave Jesus the right to issue orders and to command their time, talents, testimony, and treasure.

These early Christians believed that it was right for them to obey Christ even if this obedience brought them into disfavor with both religious and civil authorities. At the risk of being imprisoned and beaten, they chose to obey the Lord.

Many of today’s Christians consider obedience as being optional. There seems to be little recognition of the present lordship of Jesus Christ. Consequently, disobedience characterizes the modern Christian more so than does obedience.  Perhaps this is why the church is not effective today.  Perhaps this is even why the world seems to be changing so drastically towards evil.  It certainly has some effect, not only on the Christian, but on the world surrounding him as well.  The motives of the Christians of the early church were a strong sense of duty, the desire to be obedient.  This is the critical element that helped motivate the early church to be a faithful witness to their generation.  They paid dearly for their motives, and their sacrifice made it easier on the church which was to follow.  But today, there has been a moving away from what they gained in the world, and it is none more evident as it is in the USA, where everything seems to be “fundamentally changing.”

Yes, the early church suffered the shock of persecution (Acts 8:3–4).  It was this persecution that scattered the early Christians, even though they were very nationalistic and felt that Christianity was a Jewish movement. They were prejudiced against Gentiles to the extent that God put forth special efforts to reveal that the Gentiles were also included in his love and purpose of redemption (Acts 10). Had it not been for the persecution that stirred up the church in Jerusalem, it is highly possible that Christianity never would have gained worldwide significance. The early Christians went everywhere preaching the Word, not because of the compulsion of compassion, but because they were scattered by persecution.

They could have given up on Christianity.  They could have just quit.  But, they were surrendered to the leadership of the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:29; 10:19; 11:12; 13:2; 16:6).  The Holy Spirit came into the church on the day of Pentecost to equip each believer to be a spokesperson for God (Acts 2:17–18). He came to lead, guide, and teach the disciples as the Lord had taught his apostles (John 14:26). The book of Acts is the dramatic account of divine initiative on the part of the Holy Spirit and human cooperation on the part of our Lord’s disciples. They lived and labored in fellowship with and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is still in the heart of each believer and in the church to carry on the work of the Lord today. We need faith to believe and accept that He is present; we need to surrender and cooperate with Him. We need to pray for His power as one of God’s best gifts (Luke 11:13).

The early church believed that all people separated from Christ were lost from God and did not know the way home (Acts 4:12).  Have you ever been lost in a wilderness or desert? Were you ever lost as a child in the park or in a large department store? Can you remember the fright that filled your heart when you realized you were separated from loved ones and that you were in a position of danger?  The unbelieving world knows that something is wrong, but many do not know what it is. People have a deep, unsatisfied longing in their hearts that the world, with its treasures and pleasures cannot satisfy. The Bible teaches, and experience verifies, that Jesus Christ provides the answers to the mystery and meaning of life.

The early church believed that people were lost from God and living under the condemnation of sin. They believed that humankind’s only hope of forgiveness was through faith in Jesus Christ. They believed that they had been entrusted with the good news that would make it possible for people to be saved from hell and to heaven where the deepest longings of the heart would find full satisfaction in continuing fellowship with God. Because they wanted all people to be saved, they continued to bear their witness.

It was the natural, normal, and proper thing for a Christian to talk about the joy and satisfaction of knowing Jesus Christ as Savior both in time and for eternity. Consequently, day by day and week by week in the temple, in the synagogues, on the highways and streets — anywhere and everywhere — these early disciples bore their witness. With mingled motives, they loved, they labored, and they lifted men and women toward God. May the same motives command our intellect, our emotions, and our energies in the Service of God and of a needy world.

Indicators of a Healthy, New Testament Church.

God’s Word is exalted

 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”—2 Tim. 3:16-17

A healthy church is one that has at its very center: the Word of God.  There is no other substitute.  The statute of the church is the exaltation of God’s Word, and nothing else.  There is no “program” or “social function” that is to eclipse this all important decree.  The Bible is the only thing that is “profitable” for the church.  Everything else is secondary.  A Church that does not “major” on the Bible is one that “minors” on God.  Yon cannot have God without His Word, and you cannot have His Word without having God as well—the two are synonyms.

Spiritually Passionate

“…Be filled with the Spirit;” —Eph. 5:18-21

“Be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.” —Eph. 6:10

Experiencing God and following Him are indications of the health of the ministry.  Being “Spiritually minded” will transform you into seeing things God’s way, and this is the goal.  The power and closeness of the Holy Spirit allows us to live genuine Christian lives because the Spirit always teaches us to depend on God and not self.  The more we yield to the Spirit the less we yield to self.  This can be measured in the prayer life of the church as well as the members.  Prayer is a reflection of a deep dependence upon God.  Any church that has a weak prayer life is not healthy because they are not spiritually passionate.

Envelopment in Evangelism

“The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” —Luke 19:10

The church that is healthy is driven to reach it’s community, nation, and the entire world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The budget of such a church would most likely reflect a high commitment to outreach, both locally and worldwide. Winning souls for Christ produces committed disciples of the Lord.  A church waning in it’s evangelism program becomes stagnant and self-centered.  True! Not everybody can go out to win souls, but each saint “rubs elbows” with someone.  Everybody can give a tract with a stranger or leave it at a strategic place in the community.  Jesus came to seek and save the lost.  Someone told each of us about Christ.  We are indebted to them and out debt can be repaid by telling others about Jesus.  Not only that, A church that seeks to win souls for Christ is a church that is obedient to the Lord’s command to go into all the world to preach the gospel.  Evangelism is essential for the health of a Christian and this is true for the church as well.  Nothing sparks revival in the church more than people getting saved.

Spirit-felt Worship

“Make a joyful noise…come before his presence with singing…Enter into his gates with thanksgiving…” —Psalm 100

Inspiring worship that glorifies God and connects the hearts, minds, and emotions of people with God must be a trait of our group worship. Healthy churches are characterized by a spirit of joy expressed in worship.  The downhearted are picked up, the weary are revived, the discouraged are encouraged, the batteries are charged.  There is something that happens during a healthy, “Spirit-filled” worship service.  It is easy to identify an unhealthy trait of the church when the worship service is not a “worship” service at all, but a laborious endurance of time.  Heaven is not filled with the “stuffed” shirt, lemon faced Christian, nor should the church be.

Great Commission Emphasized

“Go ye Therefore…” —Matt. 28:19-20

Our churches must have a clear sense of God’s mission and a compelling vision for the future clearly communicated.  It should be with such clarity that it becomes “owned” by the members who should eventually display a commitment to it. It should be so emphasized as to guide all the ministries and decisions of the church. It should be embedded in the church structure and purpose.

Leadership Development

“…commit thou to faithful men…” —2 Tim. 2:2; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; 1 Pet. 5:1-11; Eph. 4:11-16

Healthy churches should be committed to leadership development of not only women, but most importantly—men. The desire should be to train, godly men who are spiritually mature to lead our congregations. A healthy church desires to see mature leaders positioned in ministry as workers for the harvest. Healthy leaders not only promote the spiritual growth of the members, but also develop others in ministry and in the family unit.  Too many men are sitting at home letting their wives do all of the spiritual leading of their family.  Men need to take the leadership responsibility for the spiritual development of their family as well as the church.

Church Planting

“…in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost partof the earth” —Acts 1:8

Healthy churches are committed to, and involved in, reproducing themselves. They have a vision for planting or facilitating the planting of churches in nearby communities, as well as the world. There would be no church if some other church was not given to this task because churches are only produced by churches.  The cry that churches are slowly dwindling in number is a conviction that churches are not doing what they should be doing—planting other churches.

Rich in Good Works

“Nor trust in undertain riches…do good, that they be rich in good works…Laying up…a good foundation…” —1 Tim. 6:17-19

Healthy churches demonstrate faithful stewardship and investment of all the resources God has entrusted to them. This begins by a church meeting its own needs and overflows to advance God’s work and meet the needs of others. Education of  Stewardship is emphasized, and pastors must address the issue of time, money, skills, and possessions in a biblical, relevant, and practical way. There should be no “empire building” for the church.  Resources should be “first class” but used in the proper manner for the calling that God places on the church.  Involvement in caring for those who are hungry, hopeless, and hurting instills a vivrant aire about the church because it is more blessed to give than to receive, but this ministry should never exceed that of the primary mission of the church: Worship God, win souls to Christ, Disciple saints.

Intentional Disciple making

“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…” —Matt. 28:19-20

Disciple making builds mature Christians who can promote spiritual growth of all members. Such disciple making ministries help believers move from a new life in Christ to an alignment of all personal priorities with the Lordship of Christ, whatever the cost.  In short, it moves the Saints from being raw Christian recruits to Christian veterans.  A healthy church is committed to disciplining the Saints to Spiritual maturity.

Loving Relationships

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one another.” —John 13:35

Recognizing that all people are made in God’s image and are loved by Him, the church must reach across cultural, social, economic, and racial lines with practical acts of love within the church and the community. Ministries should always address people’s spiritual needs. When churches are characterized by believers who are committed to the reconciliation of relationships among people, it is a sign of good health. Within the local church, loving relationships produce unity, accountability, including loving discipline, and a powerful demonstration of God’s presence within our communities. Beyond the local church, they are manifested in cooperation and interdependent relationships with other Christians locally, nationally, and internationally.

Beast mode vs. God

Rev. 13:16-18 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred three score and six.

Many Bible readers over the centuries have been puzzled, wondering just how such a system could ever be established, but it’s no longer a puzzle. Advanced technology has brought the world closer to the Mark of the Beast than any time in history.  We know that the coming Mark of the Beast will somehow be connected with the economy, for the Bible says that no one may buy or sell without it. It may very well be that cash, checks, and credit cards are soon to become a thing of the past, because electronic money is becoming more popular all the time.

One form of electronic money is the use of smart cards. A smart card looks like a credit or debit card, except it contains a small computer chip with all sorts of information about the card holder, including bank account numbers and balances. When a smart card is used, the card holder’s bank account is immediately debited at the point of sale by computer transaction. This means more profits to retailers and banks alike, because bad checks and credit card abuse would be eliminated. Many banks and credit card companies believe that electronic money will eventually usher in a cashless society where everyone will buy and sell electronically. Terry Galanoy, former director of communications for what is now Visa International has made this bold remark: “Protesting too loudly about it isn’t going to help either, because the disturbance you kick up is going to end up in one of your files. And on that come-and-get-it day when we’re all totally and completely dependent upon our card–or whatever security device might replace it–you might be left all alone without one!”

In promotional literature from the Danyl Corporation of Moorestown, New Jersey, Robert J. Merkert, Sr., senior vice president, says: “One day in the near future, we’ll be able to pay for almost everything with just one ‘prepaid stored value’ or ‘smart card.'”

Though many industry leaders are very much in favor of a cashless society where buying and selling is done electronically, there is a problem. How can it be guaranteed that the individual using a Smart Card is the authorized card holder? Some believe that this problem can be solved by combining Smart Card technology with Biometric Technology. After all, a Smart “Card” is only a piece of plastic. It’s the computer chip inside the card that stores the needed information. As unbelievable as it may sound, biometric technology has now made it possible to implant small computer chips under the skin of animals and people. The European Community’s Executive Commission has already passed legislation which REQUIRES farmers in the European Community to have their livestock implanted with microchips! In many cities across the U.S., the Humane Society is selling such implants for pets, as a replacement for dog tags.

You say, “Well, that’s just for animals. No one would ever try this technology on people.” I wouldn’t be too sure about that. According to the Bible, The Mark of the Beast, by Paul and Peter Lalond, a plastic surgeon in Florida has hit upon the idea of implanting microchips in people. This would be helpful in locating missing people, such as run away children, kidnapped children, wandering victims of Alzheimer’s disease, and parolees.

Just for a moment, use your imagination and think about the convenience of implanted microchips. You wouldn’t need any cash or checks for making purchases, for your bank account would be automatically debited every time you went through a check-out stand. You wouldn’t need to keep up with a social security card, a driver’s license, a Medicare card, a credit card, or even a smart card, because all of this information could be stored in the implanted chip. You wouldn’t have to worry about getting mugged on the street, because there would be no demand for cash in a cashless society.  Now doesn’t the mark of the beast sound wonderful?

We are not saying that the government is going to make you receive a microchip implant, and we aren’t sure how the number “666” can be integrated into all this. We are simply pointing out the fact that THE TECHNOLOGY IS HERE. We do not know exactly what the Mark of the Beast will be in it’s final form, but it is obvious that the possibilities are greater today than ever before.

Only by receiving Jesus Christ as your Savior can you be saved from the wrath to come (1 Thes. 1:10; 5:9). The Lord Jesus Christ will soon return to call His church out of this world (1 Thess. 4:16-18), and only those who are saved will leave. Everyone else will enter into the Great Tribulation (Matt. 24:21), and they will be required to take the Mark of the Beast. Those who do will burn in Hell forever (Rev. 14:11).

When you are ready to accept the fact that you are a lost and dying sinner and that your “good works” are unacceptable to God (Rom. 3:10, 23; 4:5; 10:3), then you can begin to see your need for Jesus Christ. He came into this world to lay down His sinless life for YOU–to pay for your sins, because you couldn’t. Jesus is your only hope for salvation. Only by receiving Him as your Savior can you enter the gates of Heaven. There is no other way.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” (John 14:6)

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

The Lord Jesus Christ has come and PAID for your sins by shedding His own Blood on Calvary. By receiving Him as your Savior, you can be WASHED from all your sins in His precious Blood (Rev. 1:5; Col. 1:14; Acts 20:28; I Pet. 1:18-19). Notice these important words from Romans 5:8-9:

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”

Jesus PAID your way to Heaven for you! By receiving Him as your Savior, you will be receiving God’s ONLY means of Salvation for you. Are you willing to forsake YOUR righteousness and receive Jesus Christ as your Savior, your ONLY HOPE for Salvation? Romans 10:13 says, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:9 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Are you willing to forsake your own righteousness, and trust Jesus Christ alone? He will save you just as He promised. Why not receive Him today? Tomorrow could be too late.  Tomorrow you could face being implanted with “the mark of the beast.”

The Wordless Christmas Tree Story

images (46)Merry Christmas! Every year, people all over the world get ready for Christmas by putting up a Tree and decorating it. They buy presents and wrap them in pretty papers and put them under their Christmas Tree. But, do you know why Christmas is celebrated and what the Tree and the presents mean? Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s take a closer look at His story.

A long time ago, an angel appeared to a virgin named Mary in the land Israel. Luke 1:30-32  “And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest…” At the birth of the Son of God, a star shone above where He lay for all to see. A star is put on the top of the Tree to represent this majestic star. Some wise men from the East followed this star to where the Son of God lay.  Matthew 2:9-11 “…and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was…And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him…” God had a special plan for His Son, who left His royal throne in heaven to become man in order to bring salvation to all men.

The colors on the Tree have special meaning which tell His story:

  • White represents Jesus’ purity and sinlessness because only the Son of God was born without a sinful nature.
  • Black represents sin which brings death. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death…” Every man is a sinner by nature, so without intervention, everyone will die and go to Hell.
  • Orange is the color that represents the torturing fires of Hell.
  • Red represents the blood of the Lord Jesus.  The shedding of blood is the only payment for sin, and only the pure blood of the Son of God could pay the sin debt for all mankind.
  • The brown branches on the Tree represent the tree upon which Jesus was crucified. After His death, His body was placed in a tomb and sealed. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 “…that Christ died for our sins …And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day…” On the third day, Jesus Christ rose victorious over sin and death. By rising from the dead, He conquered death that He might give life.
  • The green branches of the Tree represent life. Because Jesus now lives, so can we. What is the gift that God offers to man? Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The gift which God offers us is life, which we can receive through Jesus Christ.
  • The gifts under the Tree represent the precious GIFT which Jesus extends to all. If we accept the gift of eternal life, we will live with the Lord Jesus in heaven forever.
  • Yellow is the color on the Tree that represents heaven.

What about YOU?  You and I and every person in the world are sinners by nature.  Sin causes death which means that without intervention, you will die and go to Hell.  However, the good news is that the Lord Jesus paid the price for your sin and now offers YOU the gift of life, which is known as salvation!  You can be saved from your sins!  Will you accept the gift?  What a great tragedy it would be for you to choose to spend eternity in Hell separated from the Lord Jesus who paid such a high price for you!

If you are serious about receiving God’s gift, then you can tell God directly by praying a prayer like this one to Him and He will save you:

Dear God, I see that Your Son the Lord Jesus Christ has paid a high price for me.  I’m a sinner on my way to Hell.  I don’t deserve Your gift, but I ask You to save me.  Thank You, God, for saving me.  Amen.

Give it all you’ve Got

There are things that are important to us in life, but nothing is more important than the soul of a person.  The soul is the part of man that lives forever.  It is the part of man that feels pain or joy; happiness or sorrow.  It is the center of the man. 

Proverbs 11:30 says, “He that winneth souls is wise.”  It is a wise and profitable thing to be a soul winner because it pleases God.  He has a high evaluation of the soul winner.  It is one of the dearest things to the heart of God. Consequently, it pays enormous eternal dividends. A man who turns people to righteousness is wise because he is laying up treasure in heaven.  Conversely, a Christian who is occupied with trivial matters of life is unwise. Majoring on minors is foolish. Therefore, not to win souls is to be guilty of the sin of folly.

If we are to be wise, we should actively be involved in soul winning of some kind.  If we don’t know how to win a soul to the Lord, we should learn how to do so.

When is the last time you led someone to the Lord?  Have you ever won someone to the Lord?  There is no shortage of people that need to hear the gospel.  They are wondering aimlessly through life, believing a lie that is leading them to hell.

There is however, a shortage of Christians who are willing to tell the lost about salvation.  There should not be, but there is.  We need to be not so.  Mason County is in great need for the Lord Jesus Christ—and who will tell our neighbors?  The Devil will have them hear all of his doctrine, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by every means possible.  The Lord left the job of spreading the gospel up to us.

Spreading the gospel is not doing good deeds for others.  It is not living a right life or even helping the poor.  Spreading the gospel is to actively tell people how they can be saved; how they can know for sure they are going to heaven.

These are the last days that we are living in.  We live in a unique time.  No other people have had so much at stake as we have.  We are like the anchor runner in the relay race of life.  Lets not drop the baton.  Lets not run out of steam on the last lap.  Lets give it all we have Got.  Souls lie in the balance.

How I began winning souls

It was a hot morning in July when I was asked to attend a Child Evangelism Fellowship camp.  I must admit, I was not too keen on the idea of having to go there, mostly because I would be surrounded by people whom I did not know.  I was even more set against going when I realized it would be in a den of charismatic teaching, so I would have to walk lightly. The teenagers were delightful though.  That seems to make the aversions fade some.

Dee and I were assigned two teenagers to work with.  They were very knowledgeable in the Bible, but had trouble with being embarrassed giving out the gospel.  They relied on me to teach them and at that time in my Christian life, I had very little experience myself.  When they would undergo the training, I too would pay close attention.  We learned to tell a story while using flashcards.  Dee was the best at it and I was the worst.  I have a difficult time with memorizing anything and we needed to memorize the story.

Then came the time to go out and use what we had learned.  A wonderful lady had signed up to host a five day club in her home.  She had invited about 12 children from her neighborhood to come to the club.  We had games and snacks and then told them the first story from the flashcards we had.  All of the kids were so mesmerized by the story.  They were taking it in like a tall cup of water on a drought cursed land.  I was not too amazed when a couple of them got saved that first day and there were four more to follow.  Eventually all twelve of them got saved.  The story doesn’t end here.

The effect this five day club had on me was profound.  I was so excited to see that it was not that difficult to lead someone to the Lord.  These teenagers did it just by using these flashcards.  I decided that I could do the same.  I tried it one afternoon back home.  I went out to the park where I saw a group of kids playing in the playground.  I walked up to them and asked if anyone wanted to hear a story.  Not all at first, but most of them came to hear about God.  Using the same flashcards those teenagers used, I was able to lead seven people to the Lord that very day.  I admit I was excited.  I had never felt this way before.  It was very satisfying.  Next weekend, I went to an apartment complex where there were always kids playing outside.  I did the same thing, “Would any of you kids like to hear a story?”  Almost all did.  Some even went and got their mothers who came out and listened as well.  Right there in the playground, I led several others to the Lord.  Like a bear who got his first taste of flesh, I wanted more.  This is how I began winning souls to the Lord.  It seems so very long ago, yet it is still a near memory which always puts a smile on my fact.

I thank the Lord for teaching me to lead souls to Christ.  I learned how to do it.  It is not a natural attribute; it is a skill that can be learned.  Once learning how to do it, you want to do it more.  It is like going fishing and catching your first fish.  All of the hours sitting quietly in the boat seem to be worth it just to catch another.

What does it take to make a church?

 

There are several things that it takes to make a church, but they can be divided into three basic things:

  • People who want to form a church.
  • A pastor who will lead the church.
  • A place to meet.

The most important of the three are people who have a heart to make a church and a pastor.  Otherwise, what you have is not more than a large Bible Study group.  There are many “bible study” groups throught the country that are doing little for the Lord Jesus Christ.  This happens because it takes special people with extreme dedication to stay in such an arrangement, and there are not many of these type of people.  They stay for only so long, but when they are called upon to do something to help, they are looking for the exit.  This happens often because “bible study” groups are typically small and unfunded.  If you examine this situation objectively, you will find that there is a group of people who are happy to “take” anything they can get, but who resist having to do any “giving.”  Anyone who has been a Christian for some time knows that this theology run’s against the grain of Bible Believing Christianity, whose leader and founder did the ultimate in giving.  Therefore, it takes dedicated people to stay in a Bible Study group and they cannot remain in such a situation for long before they want to either: form themselves into a church or leave and find an already formed church.  If they leave, then the group dissolves rather quickly.  If they stay, then a church is born.  But to have a church, there needs to be more than an idea or commitment to make it happen.  You need a pastor.

Generally speaking a pastor puts a face upon the church.  He is a point of contact for all business related to the church.  This is in addition to the task of preaching and teaching the families who ask him to come lead them.  So, like the school teachers of the early American settlers day, he is given the authority to do so, in exchange for the families of the church supporting him financially.  In the early pioneer days, farmers had to work hard to keep sustaining their families.  They didn’t have the time or the means whereby to educate their children.  But, they knew that an education was valuable and they wanted it for their children.  So, they would come together as a community and hire a teacher to teach their children in exchange for some form of compensation.  It was like this for the communities and the pastors as well. The difference being that the pastor addressed the spiritual education and well being of not only the children, but the entire family as well.  Today’s bible believing churches are not so much different, even though times have well changed and things have become more modern in the way of doing things.  All of this to say, usually when a pastor is called, money comes into the picture.  Weekly collection of money begin to take place.  Therefore, somebody has to manage this as well, and who has time for that?  Usually this job is deligated to the pastor.

When money comes into the picture, rules need to be established in order to protect the investment of the church.  So, churches form a constitution containing laws and by-laws.  They establish all of the belief’s and boundries of the churches charter.  All of this comes about because the “bible study” group has brought a pastor now into the picture.  The Bible Study group has now become a church.  There is no doubt about it; the need for, and calling of a pastor brings the bible study group into the realm of being a church.  But, this is not where it ends.

A church also needs a place to meet.  True, a church can be a church in “name only” without any place to meet.  But, it will not last long as a church on paper.  It needs a place for the general public to come and participate in the churches activities.  Yes, in the Bible you read of “house churches,” but you have to realize that was a different time and place.  They were meeting secretly for fear of the Jews and worshippers of other god’s.  When I lived in China, our church was a “secret church.”  We met in parks, the woods, the jungle, by the seaside, and in several different houses as well.  Seldom did we get the entire church together at one time. On a typical day, I would first go to one house and preach to several there.  Then I would go to another house, and so forth until I met with the entire church.  This way, everyone was able to be ministered to.  It took a lot of work on my part, but was necessary for the safety of the brethren.

It is not that way in the USA.  We can still meed openly without fear of reprisal.  So, when you read in the Bible about house churches, you would do well to remember the situation the church was in during that time.  Churches need a place to meet.  If they do not have one, then it becomes difficult to hold the church together, and even grow the church as well.  People need to know the church is there.

Still, through all of this, there is always the need for dedicated people who are willing to go through the pain necessary to “birth” a new church.  It is not the typical church experience as one would have if they went to an “already established” church.  They have to work harder, be nicer, give more, evangelize much, and above all: PRAY.

We are fortunate here at GraceBaptistChurch.  We have a dedicated group of Christians who are willing to shoulder the burden to carry the church through the entire delivery process.  One day, we will see the fruits of our labor realized.  Right now, we have the people; we have the pastor; we have a place to meet, but we do not have our own place where we can invoke typical church activities to help families grow in the Lord.  We are ever so thankful for the Grange, but we only rent the hall for Sunday’s.  We have no other place to conduct business for any other day of the week.  It is difficult to find Grace Baptist, and then, when people do drive up, they think, “is this the church?” The Grange does not look like a church on the outside.

We need to pray for our own place. We need to ask God to provide for us a place to “anchor” GraceBaptistChurch.  Not only that, we need to give to the building fund.  Surely, people of the church could give ONE DOLLAR over and above their usual tithe for the future of the church.  If everyone just gave ONE DOLLAR a week, that would only be FOUR Dollars a month.  That can’t be too hard on anyone’s pocket book.  Friends, if you added all of that up, together it would be a significant figure.  God’s answer to our prayer for help may be, “I already helped you.  I gave the people the funds necessary.  If they don’t put it in the building fund, then it’s not my fault.”  If the church is going to be worth something to us; if it is going to have value, then we need to invest in it.  One day, we too can have our own building.

 Pastor Coale