Evangelism

Do you truly believe in God, or are you full of bologna?

bolognaLove and obeying God and belief are all united. When a person who is saved says, “I believe in God,” it means something totally different than when a false convert says, “I believe in God.”  The actual believer means that they love God and their highest goal is to obey Him in love. That’s actual belief.

On the other hand, the false convert says he believes in God, but doesn’t actually have Christ inside his heart reigning supreme. The false convert doesn’t actually want to obey the Bible simply because his love for Christ is the highest authority in his heart.

So true believers and false converts both say, “I believe in God.” The difference is that if you actually search deep into their motivations and desires and hearts, you will find that only the true believer actually believes and loves and obeys God because he knows God and is forever indwelt the Holy Spirit. Therefore the true believer will persevere until the end, and always grow stronger from persecution and struggles and failures and weaknesses.

Meanwhile, the false convert doesn’t actually believe or love or obey God from a heart forever ruled by Christ. That’s why under persecution and struggle and failures and weaknesses, the false convert falls away and recants his belief in Christ and the Bible, and abandons the truth, and eventually seeks out a lifestyle that makes sense to him – like the world and sin.

It’s something else, you know, when you meet those people who say, “I believe in God too” or“yeah, I’m a Christian too.” And inevitably they follow up with the self-exposing words, “but I don’t go to church” or “but I don’t read the Bible” or “but I don’t pray.” I’m like, “Really? You’re a Christian who doesn’t follow Christ?” That must be some new form of Christian that the devil invented.

When a person claims to be a Christian, yet lives a sinful lifestyle that is totally void of any actual fruit and love and obedience and belief in God and His Word, and his life is characterized by the world, worldly lusts, worldly desires, worldly motives…. then, chances are that person is full of bologna.

Follow up with a few statements from the Bible, and see if their attention suddenly drops. Quote Christ a few times, and see if they suddenly lose their interest in the conversation . Ask them their testimony and see if they even have one. Ask them the Gospel and see if they even know it. Ask them who Christ is and see if they say God. It usually doesn’t take long to discern that they desperately need a full-on Gospel presentation and that their wild lifestyle isn’t merely circumstantial, but rather a direct result of their choices and desires to follow sin instead of Christ.

There is a reason people don’t know the Bible, and it is usually because they have spent their whole lifetime choosing to read anything else, and the Bible is the least important thing to them. Be discerning people, there are lots of false converts out there, and instead of teaming up with them, we should be evangelizing them and avoiding their misdirection. We need to be discerning and test our friends, family, loved ones and peers. We shouldn’t be naive, but rather we should be diligent and wise and prayerful and sober-minded.

If people are complicating the Bible, and complicating their lives and missing church and missing Bible study and missing fellowship and missing accountability and missing enthusiasm to obey Him, then it’s likely not just a coincidence, but rather a giant redflag about them.

People who don’t actually like something or love something, over-complicate matters and make excuses and miss meetings and have a hard time showing genuine enthusiasm. Contrastly, when people do actually like something or love something, then they make it simple and take responsibility and show up early and get excited to participate and even seek out additional related things.

Like, a person who wants to go to the store might say, “It’s just a block away, we’ll be there and back in no time. Let’s go.” See, easy. There’s like 1 step involved and plenty of enthusiasm and simplicity.

But, a person who doesn’t want to go to the store might say, “It’s dark and dangerous outside, and it’s raining, and the store is all the way down the street, and we have to put on our shoes, get dressed and find our raincoats, and find my wallet and keys, and then get into the car, and maybe dirty up the floorboards, and maybe stop and get gas, and then hope that they aren’t closed, and…”  See, difficult. Complicated. Lots of steps involved. No enthusiasm. No simplicity.

I always ask myself when I’m dealing with a person who claims to be a believer, which one of these people do they become when I am talking to them about God. Which person are they when extra events are introduced into the conversation. What about Bible study, and fellowship groups, and opportunities to serve, and evangelizing strangers? Are they at least trying to find way to obey and serve Christ, or are they making things complicated and trying to increase the number of steps involved? My question is, what are their actual desires about God and the Bible and belief and obedience and love? Because those things come in a cluster. If you love, you also obey, and also believe. So without all of those, then a person isn’t really believing at all. They are just saying they believe They’re lying to themselves and others.

If I told you I believe that my house was on fire, but I just sat in the house calmly and didn’t do anything about it, then it would be hard to convince you that I am telling you the truth.

But, if I told you that my house was on fire and I jumped up and ran outside fast as lightning, then WOW! You’d really be convinced that I believed that.

Same concept applies with actual saving belief in God. If a person actually believes, then God’s Word, the Bible, won’t be a table decoration. The person who actually believes because he is filled with the Holy Spirit and ruled by Christ, knows God and is highlyconcerned with Him and obeying Him and learning about Him. Anyone who is actually saved knows exactly what I am talking about. True Christians are hyper-aware of their sin and they have a genuine desire to please God, because they know that the Almighty GOD is reigning and orchestrating every single detail of life!

True Christians KNOW that the all powerful God is able to answer prayer and control everything in the universe and they are aware and conscious of Him and therefore, because they actually know that to some extent, they are overwhelmed by that truth and are forever changed by that heart-piercing reality. You can’t meet God and then be the same afterwards. It’s impossible to be transformed, given the Holy Spirit, born again, and then like… I don’t know… somehow forget God is right here watching and listening to everything you do. That’s not something that you can walk away from the same as you were before.

It is the most important and supernatural and extraordinary thing that has ever happened in your life. It’s more important than your wedding, the birth of your children, your graduation, your first kiss, anything. There is nothing more amazing then having your eyes opened to the truth of God and your own depravity, and being filled with the Holy Spirit, and loving and believing in God for the first time. It is the single most important and radical thing that has ever happened. So, how can a person say they “believe in God” and yet have nothing to say in terms of a testimony or the Gospel or some change in their heart or anything?

It’s just crazy what some people will accept in a profession of faith. How many people are out there who call themselves Christian, and yet are the farthest thing from it? Too many. And many have even been baptized! They have never admitted their helplessness or repented of their sins or believed in Christ with saving faith or understood the Gospel or submitted and committed their lives to God. They have never truly loved God or believed in Him, and they will walk away from God as easily as they supposedly chose Him.  They call themselves Christians and believers, for all the wrong reasons.  They are Hellbound and in desperate need of the true Gospel. Be discerning, brothers and sisters. There are many false converts out there saying, “I believe in God” and claiming to be Christians.

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Robin Williams: The Dark Fall of a Bright Life

Robin Williams 2014The star of two of my favorite movies – Good Will Hunting and Aladdin. Yet, there seems to be no indication anywhere that he was a believer in Jesus Christ. In fact, after searching for a few hours, it seems that most people figure he was probably an atheist. He was a brilliant mind. He knew comedy and delivery better than most people on earth. In his movies, he was warm and personable. But his stand up comedy was very raunchy and often he mocked God and religion. Foul language and extremely graphic skits were typical for his stand up sets. And now with a quiet ending to a very busy life, the vanity of this world rings loud and clear to believers, especially this believer.

I consider a life like his, with that level of talent and brilliance, to be a prime example of the simple truth that God’s grace touches all mankind, if even just for a moment. But greater than this life, is the life to come. Eternity infinitely outweighs this world we live in now, and forever is only a blink away. This life is a snap and it’s over, and we have no excuse to live without hope, love, grace, mercy, compassion, selflessness, and joy. We have no excuse because Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, the Prince of Peace, was slaughtered so that we can taste this world and enjoy the things of this life. But, our ultimate purpose is to glorify God. Our ultimate purpose is to deny ourselves, deny our lusts, deny our flesh, and follow Christ even if it kills us.

As those with faith in the Lord persevere, counting all things as loss, struggling to maintain their first love, moving forward even under persecution and intense tribulations, we can looks around us and see clearly that not everyone is conscious. Not everyone loves God and believes in His Son, yet we are called to witness to them, and to reach the lost and spread the good news of salvation. We don’t have to live that life. We don’t have to pretend that a person dying in unbelief doesn’t hurt us, because the moments we stop telling them the truth are the exact same moments that others are passing. This life is too short!

US President Barack Obama said Robin Williams was a “one of a kind,” and that he “ended up touching every element of the human spirit.” For me, this is one of the most heartbreaking truths of life. That brilliant men and women, and talented and caring people, can live a full life and die without ever embracing Christ and putting their faith in Him and submit to Him alone. It happens every day.

Matthew 7:14 says, “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” We know that everyone is unique in some way. Most people have a tender side and a gentleness at some point, and yet that isn’t salvation. That isn’t faith and that isn’t the path to everlasting life. Jesus said unmistakably, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).

There is no entrance into Heaven apart from Jesus Christ, and not a single human being on the earth is exempt from this. It’s a tragedy to know that people are dying, not just in Hollywood, but all around us who don’t know Christ as their Lord and Savior. There are people all around us who have no genuine grasp on Christ. They don’t have that grasp, because the only way to truly embrace Christ is through faith alone. We are broken in to pieces, and we abandon ourselves, and we are poor in spirit, and we know that we are wrong and hopeless without Him, and when we are convicted like that and reach out to Christ with a true faith that lasts forever, then we are saved. When we commit to Him as our God. That’s when tragic death is avoided. For a believer in Christ, death is not a tragedy, because Christ has graciously given us eternal life through faith in Him.

There is a reason to rejoice and be glad and know this, that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38-39).

We have dead people dying all around us. We are surrounded by death on all sides. There is no way to avoid the fact that we will die, and therefore right now is the time to stop being hardened and stop being deaf and stop being blind, and wake up and listen to the truth and stop wasting life without Christ. Cling to God’s Word only and never think twice about this world’s precepts, because “we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28). His purpose, not ours. We only have one life, and every second you spend away from Him and without Him as your Master is a second wasted.  A second that has eternal consequences. There is no such thing as a genuine peace and eternal salvation apart from the love of Christ, and faith in His Word.  Change!  Instead of death and hopelessness, cherish Him and never let go.

In Jesus Name

jesus in your heart

“You know, you could say to a guy, “Well I wanna go to Chicago” and you could say, “Well there’s no way to Chicago, you can go any way you want. Just start off in any direction.”  Well, that isn’t true. If you’re going to go to Chicago there’s a direction. And the same thing is true in terms of God. If you’re gonna go to God, God says, “Here’s the way.”  It isn’t that God is trying to be unkind or unfair or narrow-minded or picky – it’s just that He wants to tell the truth.  You know, I could say, “Well, I’d like to tell anybody just do what you want, you’ll be alright.”  But that isn’t the truth, so you don’t do a guy a favor to tell him that.” – John MacArthur, 1979

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). 

Let us pay extra close attention to the definite article “the.” Jesus did not say, “I am A way, and A truth, and A life; there are many ways to the Father.” Rather Jesus said something exact, and He gave very articulate and precise directions. He said, in exclusion to all other ways, that He is THE way, and THE truth, and THE life; no one come to the Father but through HIM.

This is as profound and exact as the statement, “In Jesus’s name.”  Too many people think that “in Jesus’s name” is some sort of superstitious incantation that they can rattle off at the end of their requests and sentences and that it somehow gives supernatural power to their words. That’s not what “in Jesus’s name” means. If you are going to be “in Jesus’s name,” then you have to be in His way, in His truth, and in His life. To be “in Jesus’s name” means to be under His authority and in His family and in His will and obedient to Him.

But people are so defiant and ignorant, and they are so deluded, that we have this epidemic on our hands where millions of people think they are Christians and it’s all based on a few words and superstitions and misdirection. The only way to God is through Jesus, and that means the exact same thing as “in Jesus’s name” or “in Jesus’s family” or “in Jesus’s way” or “in Jesus’s truth” or “in Jesus’s life.” They all mean that you are following Him and that you have faith in Him and that you are obedient to Him. You cannot get to God by being foolish and self-controlling and going some way other than Jesus.

If you are going to be in Jesus in any way, then you must have faith, you must obey Him, you must follow Him down His path that He chooses, and you must leave your self-will aside and totally submit to Him. That’s what it looks like when Christ saves a person. He doesn’t save people and leave them in some other way. The saved are in His way. He doesn’t save people and leave them in sin and lies. The saved are in the truth. He doesn’t save people and leave them in death. The saved are in life. He doesn’t save people and leave them the same. The saved are completely transformed, inside and then out.

And speaking of the outside transformation, Jesus Christ has full authority to lead you wherever He chooses! You are no longer your own! If you are Christ’s, then you have been bought with a price and you are now His. If He leads you through hardship and struggle and tribulation, then you follow Him. If you are His, and if you are “in His name” then you are going to be obedient to Him. We should not hesitate for one second, and we should allow Him to command us as easily as sheep are controlled by the shepherd.

John 10:3 says, “he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”
John 10:4 says, “he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him.” 
John 10:9 says, “if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved.”
John 10:14 says, “I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father.”

That’s it. There’s no question about the Lord/servant, Master/slave, Shepherd/sheep relationship and intimate correspondence between Christ and His that He has bought and given His Holy Spirit to lead them into obedience to His Word which is written out in the Holy Bible.

If you don’t have this obedience driven relationship with Christ that is clearly described in scripture as a shepherd/sheep relationship, then what are you waiting for? Asking Christ into your heart means nothing if He doesn’t enter in it. How do you know if He entered into your heart? This intimate relationship of obedience, this intimate knowing of Christ, as He said, “even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father” displays Christ-likeness and holiness and purity just as Christ’s intimate relationship with God displays God-likeness and holiness and purity. Your love for Christ and your relentless desire to serve Him should look like His love and relentless desire to serve God.

If you are truly filled with the Holy Spirit, which all saved people are, then you have a full-time, forever kindred and relationship with Him that catapults you to actually live “in Jesus’s name” with everything that Jesus represents and loves becoming everything that you represent and love. Pray for THAT. Pray for Him. Pray to actually be saved and that you would actually go through Christ, which means submission to Him in obedience and love. Pray “in Jesus’s name” by actually conforming to who He is, just as He conformed to the Father, and just as sheep conform and follow their Shepherd wherever He may go with no more regard to your own way. Because that’s what the Holy Spirit inside you does to you! The Holy Spirit’s presence within a person is not an idea, it’s a life-transforming reality! If this has not been the reality of your life, and you think you are a Christian, then you are mistaken. Pray to Him and Pledge your allegiance to Christ, the only way to God.

You cannot have saving faith without truth, and you cannot have faith in the truth without conforming to it.

I’m very scared for those who believe they are “good people,” yet they have no empowerment from the Holy Spirit and they have no transformation and hey have no commitment to obedience, and they are not following Christ at all and they have no intimate relationship with Him and they are not overwhelmed with a sense of urgency to follow Christ.  The reason they don’t have all of those things  is because they don’t have the Spirit of God inside them. 

The number of deluded people going to Hell is high! They have been lied to, and they lie to themselves, and they believe all the wrong things. If we love these people, we must do something and we must say something. And we need to make it as clear as possible and fully biblical.

Christ is Lord. What does that mean?

Jesus-Christ-is-Lord“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6).

When we sin, we are said to be “of the flesh,” meaning spiritually disobedient which can result in physical, mental, and emotional disobedience.

At any given time, our actions can only be “of the flesh” or “of the Spirit,” but not both at once. If a person sins, we can safely say at that moment the Holy Spirit was not the driving force behind the action. Yet when a person thinks or lives righteously, it is fully the Holy Spirit at work within us by the grace of God. The Bible gives no percentages of “of the Spirit” or ratios of “of the flesh”it’s either one or the other.

That means that after salvation, we have times when we sin, of course, and we can obviously state that at the moment of sin we are not obedient to the Lordship of Christ. But when a person is saved, they are filled with the Holy Spirit, which is referred to in Scripture as the “baptism of the Spirit,” and we are “in the Spirit” in that moment, therefore we 100%, absolutely have and receive and submit to Christ as our Lord, for the first time, at that time.

Of course the Spirit chooses Christ as Lord of us, but we are indwelt with the Spirit, we are transformed into new creatures that will forevermore have the Holy Spirit within us, therefore we also are part in parcel of the whole operation. We do good deeds, think good thoughts, and have good affections, because we are driven by the Holy Spirit. As Paul says, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I LABORED even more than all of them, YET NOT I, but the grace of God with me” (1 Cor 15:10).

And from that point forward – the point when we are saved and transformed and receive the Spirit – we continuously grow in His likeness in love, obedience, study and sanctification, and we continuously are “in the Spirit” for the rest of our lives, because the Spirit lives inside of us and is always present within us. However, we still can and do sin, and in those sinning moments we are “of the flesh” and in those moments, in our disbelief and disobedience, we are not submitting ourselves to Christ’s Lordship. However, we do not maintain a lifestyle that resists His Lordship, because as the Bible says, “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin” (Rom 6:6). We will always crave and return to obedience and submission to Him. That’s part of our assurance and a result of our being transformed.

Here is something the Scripture says about the relationship between Spirit and flesh, “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.

But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, HE WHO RAISED CHRIST JESUS FROM THE DEAD WILL ALSO GIVE LIFE TO YOUR MORTAL BODIES THROUGH HIS SPIRIT WHO DWELLS IN YOU.

So then, brethren, we are under OBLIGATION, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but IF BY THE SPIRIT you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:5-15).

“Faith without works is dead” (James 2:20, 26) sends the same message, but much more profound and compact. If your nature is truly changed, if you are truly a transformed creature (2 Cor 3:18; 2 Cor 5:17) with new affections and a new heart (Ez 36:26), then because the Holy Spirit lives inside of you, you will relentlessly and forever crave more than anything else to be “of the Spirit” and obedient to the Lordship of Christ, living righteously and pleasing to God. And that is one very easy way I can explain Lordship Salvation when we are saved, we are for the first time filled with the Holy Spirit, obedient, and therefore are “of the Spirit,” and therefore we 100%, absolutely have and receive and obediently submit to Christ as our Lord, for the first time, at that time, and then forevermore afterwards.

Anything less is not true salvation.

True Belief Desk Reference

stronger

This article is intended to be a quick desk reference for checking yourself to see if you have true #belief.  Some of the ideas and concepts actually require much more exposition, and this of course is not exhaustive, however that was the goal.   There is more to be said and added to this desk reference, and perhaps that is just what I’ll do in the future.  Please use this, bookmark it, and remind yourself and others that the Bible does indeed present a standard of true belief.  

What does it mean to believe? What is genuine belief in Christ? How does a person know if their belief is true belief or merely an empty, confused, hellbound profession?
“We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin” (Rom 6:6).

True belief is the result of a heart change (Ez 36:26); a change of will; a transformed volition (2 Cor 5:17). True belief is indivisibly coupled with love (1 John 4:16), truth, the Holy Spirit and joy (Acts 13:52), and submissive obedience to Christ alone and above all (Rom 2:7-9). True belief reads the Bible and knows God’s words are serious and true (John 8:31; Acts 17:11) and His commands are to be followed and obeyed (John 3:36). True belief is never-ending (Luke 8:15). True belief seeks God, teaching from the men of God, and fellowship with His Church (John 7:18; Acts 2:42; 1 John 1:6-7; 1 John 4:20-21). True belief seeks peace, and serves and submits to his fellow brothers and sisters in the body of Christ, the Church (1 Peter 2:13; Col 3:23-25), because true belief is not rebellious or selfish. True belief is hungry to learn about Christ (1 Pet 2:2). True belief seeks holiness and purity (1 Pet 1:14–16). True belief results in repentance (2 Cor 7:10). True belief hates and confesses sin (1 John 1:9)! True belief prays to God (Matt 6:9), knowing without a doubt that He is, and enjoys fellowship with Father and Christ (1 Cor 1:9; Rom 8:15)! True belief yearns for the Jesus’s return (1 John 3:2-3; Titus 2:11-13 )! True belief suffers for Him (1 John 3:13; 1 John 5:13; 1 Pet 4:4; 1 Pet 2:20)!

You know you have true belief when you continue to deepen in your faith when trials test you (Rom 5:3). You have true belief when you never stop loving Christ, and you cannot live as a continuous slave to sin (Rom 6:16-18). True belief in Christ never again is sold-out to sin, it never returns to that state of bondage (Rom 6:6). True belief cannot be temporary. True belief struggles in love for Christ forevermore, perhaps not perfectly, but endlessly. True belief is sold-out to Christ, and Him alone (John 14:6Luke 16:13; Matt 12:30), permanently.  True belief inevitably results in action, outward works and righteousness that are a manifestation of the inward belief (James 2:17-18).

Remember, without true belief a person is not saved. A person is not a Christian, or a true follower of Christ, without true belief. We must truly believe in His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension as historical fact. The Biblical account is not a fable or spiritual metaphor. The Biblical account is something that actually happened. True belief is the only saving belief; and doubt, skepticism, and agnosticism are just forms of disbelief. The Biblical definition of salvation requires true belief in Christ.

“It is encouraging, however, that the same kind of tribulation that makes the false believer wither makes the true believer stronger. ” – John MacArthur

The Scary Truth about Abortion and Evangelism

Abortion is MurderAbortion is the murder of babies, and it’s wrong, evil and sinful. That’s the obvious biblical truth of the matter of abortion – the ones who abort children, and those who participate, are murderers. I agree with that fact wholeheartedly. I also agree with the basic concept of standing outside of abortion clinics in an attempt to prevent as much murder as possible. That’s a good cause, and as Christians I do believe that’s not only a reasonable, but also a prime place for evangelism. I even consider it cowardice to avoid evangelism, the proclamation Gospel. However…

The overly aggressive, overly emotional, violent, bigoted, excessively passionate, mindlessly zealous, and prideful response to this particular sin by some Christians is so hurtful that there’s no way it can be considered any less than blind rage, which is certainly sin. I see this so often in many of the younger, newly studied Christians who have learned just enough information to be arrogant and convinced of their own understanding, yet they aren’t experienced or seasoned enough to approach the situation with discernment and love. Their version of love is skewed, and they get so charged it seems they believe physically assaulting someone is even a reasonable response if it means saving a life. You see them swell up, justified by their studies and convictions, and hulk out on others without any calm and their ears are shut off. They get so overcharged they perceive any attempt to calm them as a direct challenge or insult. It’s almost as if they are using the cause of abortion as an occasion for the flesh. It almost seems that they have found this aggravation, this cause, this outlet, that they can violently beat to death in some sort of display. I’ve talked to people who I’ve agreed with, and told them I agreed with them, and yet it’s like their ears are off and they are just in some manic, anxious state that prevents them from thinking reasonably.

As I mentioned in the first paragraph, I am in agreement that the issue is severe and deserves immediate action, but not that kind of action. Not that autopilot action that has it’s mind made up and no calm and gentleness. What’s worse is they take this burden on themselves, and usually become totally obsessed to the point that the issue of abortion consumes them and they are single-minded from that point forward, unable to be truly effective for the Kingdom of God, because they subvert their own evangelism and witness due to this obnoxious, blind, pervasive and aggressive aura that they project to the people around them. As if their new mission in life is no longer to share the love of Christ, but to be a vigilante for Christ who verbally bludgeons and aggressively rebukes anyone who gets near this issue.

It’s not helpful for evangelism, in fact, I believe it is the result of an error in rational thought. It is a malfunction in a mind, that may even have good intentions, but the wire get crossed somehow and they internalize and externalize all the anger, fear, passion, and zeal against this one sin that it shuts them down to the whole world like a drug, and that drug is pride and hatred in the name of a good cause. It’s like they are on this drug, and the high becomes harder and harder to achieve, so they go to more radical and more extreme measures to be as aggressive and as off-putting as possible, and everyone who disagrees or questions them automatically becomes the enemy. The Gospel becomes an afterthought, or a side-issue, that must take a backseat to fighting abortion, but they will never admit that. They can’t see it. If you ask them, they will deny that part. They only see this grand mission and good cause, and for some reason they can’t see that they are being hurtful and sinful – and that’s when the line is crossed. And it is so subtle and so easy to cross that line. A person can be fine one moment, then the next moment they are practically assaulting strangers in the name of “love.” This is what so many people see when they see protesters outside of an abortion clinic. They see those people, those crazy, over-the-top people who are borderline sociopaths with no regard of the people standing right in front of them.

But anyone really paying close attention knows better. When I meet a person for the first time, I want to challenge them with the Gospel and lovingly present to them with Jesus Christ before I bombard them with my anger and passion to stop their sin, whatever that sin may be. Ultimately, starting a fight with a person who hasn’t heard the Gospel is reckless and pointless, because the only person that’s going to stop their faithless actions is Christ. How can a person stop sinning without the Gospel? Imagine all the other sins which also send them to Hell, like lying, stealing, raping and gluttony. When we approach any unsaved persons, we must remember that they are all going to Hell regardless of what sins they are committing.

They are all sinning faithlessly, and sure part of evangelizing is confronting that truth with them, but their needs to be discernment because more important than merely being “right,” is being right and “effective.” It’s not only about telling them the truth, it’s about having empathy and discernment to approach the person as effectively as possible. I remember listening to a very respected professor at the Master’s Seminary describe evangelizing Islamic people, and he said that you couldn’t bring up the deity of Christ right away because the Islamic person would walk away immediately. It took a finesse, and true love and empathy for the person to be communicated first, then he would bring up that subject. It was ineffective and counterproductive to do things that way, and his goal was to be an effective communicator and it requires the other party to listen in order to do that. Scaring them off and being hurtful only turns their ears off too, and then the whole process of communication is shut down on both sides, thereby making evangelism, which requires communication, impossible.

All unsaved persons are in the same boat, whether or not they specifically commit abortion. So the thing I must care about firstly, regardless of what particular sins are being committed, is the person standing right in front of me. I care about the sinner, I care about the lost, and I love them and want to communicate that love to them. If I don’t care about the person committing the abortion, then how can I say I care about the child they want to abort? Therefore, it is extremely important that the first thing I do when I meet any sinner is treat them with that love and give them the Gospel. All the other information I can gather can help me to do that effectively, and with experience we learn how to treat and approach each person in a way that caters to their individual way of understanding. This way I am effective. I can’t say it enough – effective, effective, effective. That’s the goal. I’m not evangelizing just to reach a quota or say I did it, there needs to be an excellence and a finesse that comes from experience. So every time I speak with people I need to be paying attention and trying very hard to gather information and learn about the person standing right in front of me. I need to be growing in wisdom and knowledge and discernment and technique.

I need to have different approaches for different people, because not everyone has the same level of understanding. If I am not sober-minded enough to evaluate and discern the type of person I have standing in front of me, then I’m blind and will potentially destroy the whole communication process because I’m clueless. That’s why we have to understand people, know people, and be effective with people, so that we can successfully communicate the Gospel to them. Of course, we can’t always do that and we won’t always be able to, but that’s the goal and should be the main objective.

I don’t bludgeon people at the Redline Metro Station when I evangelize there, and I won’t bludgeon people outside of the abortion clinic either, because I love them. I truly love them. That means I value them and optimistically believe that God can do His work in them. I have faith. I have trust in the Lord. I have courage to let them speak and get to know them. I have patience to speak to them on behalf of Scripture. Sure, there are all types out there, but so many evangelists or protesters approach every single person with the exact same wordscripts and have no ability to read or discern the people they are engaging. They just swing with their eyes closed and foul it all up in a passionate anger. That seems more like sin to me, a non-excellent mindset that’s oblivious to their surroundings.

I hate abortion. I hate murder. I hate sin, all of it! And I obviously cannot allow my hatred of sin to take up a personal crusade against every particular sin occurring around me, because that would cause me to get into a fight every time I go to the grocery store. I’d be flailing around screaming at the cashier for wearing a scantily clad outfit, then I’d rebuke the guy in the parking lot for being drunk, and then I’d freak out on the lady headed to the abortion clinic. I agree that abortion is one of the worst things in the world, but that’s exactly why it must be handled very carefully and with a heightened level of discernment. They are walking into this place, already emotionally charged, as are you, and pouring fuel and zeal unto that situation is a recipe for failure in communication. Maybe the overtly zealous and loud approach works on some people, and for those people go right ahead and use that method. But that’s one method, and it certainly isn’t the approach that works on most people, so diversify the way you handle people and by all means sacrifice yourself and your pride for love and kindness. Be dynamic! Be selfless! Be engaging! Be straight forward and honest! And most importantly be effective and communicate the Gospel, otherwise you are wasting your time and being hurtful to the body of Christ.

Ask yourself this, “Why should I treat the person committing abortion any less loving than I treat the person who hates God?” They’re both headed to Hell, the only difference is that hating God is a greater crime and every single unsaved person is guilty of not loving God. To love God is the greatest commandment, therefore hating God is the worst sin and all unsaved are guilty of faithlessness. So even if there were some precedent to bludgeon people outside of an abortion clinic, then likewise there’d be just as much urgency to bludgeon every single unsaved person. But thank God we know better than that, and that we have the discernment and ability to EFFECTIVELY communicate to people. We have the wisdom and knowledge to learn and grow and become a SUCCESSFUL tool of the Lord who can optimize our potential to reach others with the Gospel. It takes more love than anything, and more grace and mercy than anything, and more discernment and caring than anything, and more of the Word of God and the truths of Scripture than anything, so go out to the abortion clinics and go out to the grocery store and the mall and everywhere else and prove to those people that you love them, show them you love them, and radically express how deeply you care about them, because that’s how we present the Gospel to unsaved people for the glory of God.

 

abortion rate americaabortion total 1973

October 20th, 2013 – Birthday Love.

Gift of FaithThanks to God alone I’m one year older. The Lord is with me and He strengthens me, so that through me His work might be accomplished, and that all might hear I was rescued out of the devil’s mouth! The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be all the glory!

After a year at Grace church, I have received so much mercy and graciousness, it is truly remarkable! I cannot thank my friends here enough for all the love they have shown me! Coming to Grace was by far the best decision, and every day I am reminded how powerful God’s sovereign providence is over all the tiniest details in life! He is in total control.

The Lordship of Christ, being transformed by Him, loving Him and seeking the purest, deepest possible relationship with Him is undoubtedly the most dominating and absorbing motivation in my life. I can’t get enough of Him, His Word, His people and His glory! I thank God for every second that He keeps me breathing, and when that day comes that I’m no longer here on this earth, if no one ever knows anything else about be ever, let it be known that God showed His love to me, saved me from sin, baptized me with His Holy Spirit, and gave me the eternal gift of true faith. I am forever His, and He shall forever be the greatest love of my heart.

I am changed unmistakably, because He loved me and sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for my sins. I have new desires, a new heart, and a new volition to seek Him and His glory over all things unto death. That is not normal human behavior! That is the supernatural work done only by the Word of God, His Holy Spirit and His Son! An impossible to mistake recreation that can never be undone. I will forever be His, and He shall forever be my Lord.

All I did was pick up the Bible, read it, and believe every Word of it! That means acting on what I read and actually walking in that faith! After believing that He was real, that Christ is God, that everything the Bible said He did was true, and that receiving His Word as objective truth was my priority, the only thing left was to keep reading and studying and – with my faith in Him – actually do what the Bible instructed! That’s the difference! It’s hard to explain real belief to unbelieving people, but my testimony is that true belief was the difference between reading with obvious doubts (manifested in my actions) and reading in full-fledged willingness to obey! Then, I started with Mark 12:30 and to this day that is where I start every morning — completely emptying myself and placing all of my love, strength, heart, will, soul, mind, and life in Him! If you just do that, Mark 12:30, I mean really do that beyond anything you ever gave to this world, and trust in Christ, then you’ll understand exactly what I’m talking about! Life is not life without Jesus Christ’s love!

May the Lord be glorified first and foremost; not just my birthday but my deathday and everyday in-between!