I've been thinking about this for some time, and I've finally been able to bring it to fruition; so here's my newest project:
I've been thinking about this for some time, and I've finally been able to bring it to fruition; so here's my newest project:
I still remember that amazing night, when God welcomed me into His Kingdom. I started the evening with no idea what was going to happen, and when it was over, I was that "New Creation (2 Cor. 5:17) that Paul discusses in the Bible. It's been quite a journey, not over quite yet, but one of the things that struck me about that evening was the incredible presence of God as my friend Jim explained how I could have eternal life. I was transfixed, overwhelmed, touched by the power and presence of God. I have been privileged to watch as others have had similar experiences as I became the vehicle for God's message. Here's the thing, though. I have never presented the Gospel message without some difficulty in myself. It's hard to do. You'll hear all kinds of responses, but the main thing will be the sheer uncertainty you have. The Devil says to you, "It's not time! He is hard and won't listen! Nobody wants to hear this!" and many other similar things. In fact, the person to whom you're speaking may parrot these things right back at you. However, on HIS end (or hers), the event is much different. In many cases, they will be "cut to the heart;" their entire personal life will (only to them, thank God!) be laid open before them, as they remember all the reasons God has to judge them, and if it was up to justice, they are history. I know that's what happened to me. It was my first exposure to the Holy God and His Son Jesus Christ. As I said, it was an amazing moment, a moment when I saw myself stand naked before God in all my ugliness. It wasn't so much specific things that came up--it was just the totality of my being was exposed before God.
Now the interesting thing was that Jim didn't feel that way at all. He was terrified to share with me. He knew he would do it wrong and that I would reject Jesus and go on to live my life and be lost in eternity. THAT's what the Devil was saying in his heart.
What I'm saying is this: What YOU feel is happening when you present the Gospel message to someone else is probably not what's happening at all.
On the one side, we have Jim, his hands literally shaking as he presented the message to me. On the other, we have me, at first curious, then interested, then transfixed by the reality of the Almighty telling me that I need to do this thing, to receive Jesus Christ.
What another is experiencing is hidden from you. You won't know it. The person listening to you may criticize, may reject, may get angry. Those are not his true emotions. His true emotions are that he KNOWS that what you're saying is true. He KNOWS. You don't need to call attention to it, or offer explanations, or tell him you actually do know. You just need to tell that person the Word of God, and let the consequences meet him. They will.
You also need to trust the passage in John: "He will convict the world" (John 16:8-10, speaking of the Holy Spirit), because that's what will happen, no matter what it seems to you. Rely on the fact that God's grace and power are being revealed to HIM, but not necessarily to you.
God bless you all.
ONce you realize that the Holy Spirit is with you, you can have immense confidence in telling people the Gospel message.
The Bible teaches that "The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes," and that work of God begins long before an individual ever hears. In my own case, it began in childhood, and I lost my early childhood beliefs as I became a teenager. Parents did not go to church. I never went, never even thought about it, but I used to read the Bible when I was a little tyke (5? 7? not very old), and I wanted to believe, but did not understand how, or what I needed to believe or do to become a Christian.
Nonetheless, the Bible teaches that "God has set eternity in our hearts," so that we long for something more than this life. There are people who have convinced themselves that "emptiness," "nothingness" is at the end of their life's journey, but that is not the case, and many who thought that have discovered differently.
The most important facts to know:
1. The Bible is the information source, but God also speaks to mankind, giving us desires that go beyond this world. He does so, as Jesus tells us in John 16, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, who is THE messenger of God to us and everyone else. When you become a Christian (receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior), the Holy Spirit comes to live within you. He is an inseparable part of your life forever from that point, and He chooses YOU to speak for God. Read your Bible. Listen to the Spirit.
2. EVERYONE can be saved, but not everyone will. The Bible says that Jesus "took away the sin of the world," John 1:29, and that God gave His Son so that we might not perish, John 3:16-17. Peter says of the coming judgment that "God is not willing that any should perish, but that all might come to repentance," and that's why God withholds judgment on the earth for so long. Even in the Book of Revelation, where the theme is Jesus Christ's return to bless believers and judge those who reject Him, "a multitude that no man can number" become believers in Jesus Christ, despite the difficulties arrayed against them by the Antichrist.
3. Judgment is coming. It is. The Bible records multiple instances of God's Judgment, but the most important is what happens after we die. Hebrews 9:27 reads, "It is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment." In other words, the next event after you die is judgment. Some, who have eternal life, will be exempt. Some will not. Jesus said, "He who hears my Word and believes in Him who sent me HAS everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life."
4. You will escape judgment and live forever, if you believe in Jesus, because from the moment you believe, everlasting life is yours. This is a wonderful message. Most people count their years, and plan out their lives in some fashion or other. They know they have 70-100 years. The Christian has forever.
5. If you have never turned to the Lord Jesus, never called upon Him to be your Savior, you can do that right now. If you have, you can spend some time learning about your faith, and tell a friend about the marvellous gift of eternal life you have received.
6. The devil speaks to you, too. He says, "Keep your faith to yourself. Keep it a secret. Nobody wants to hear this, especially right now." It takes some effort to overcome that pressure, but you can do it.
God Bless you all. Tell a friend about Jesus and how He offers eternal life. Pray, then speak.
Is someone hearing and understanding the Gospel and not turning to the Lord, considering:
1. The Gospel is the sole gateway to God. Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; Nobody comes to the Father, except through Me." John 14:6.
2. The Gospel is the ONE way of erasing our sins and gaining everlasting life: The Bible says, "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23.
3. The Gospel is simple. "If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9. Also, Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:13. "For God so loved the world, that he gave His only Begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16.
Because of the marvelous simplicity and power of the Gospel, I never can understand why anyone would reject Jesus Christ. I understand sin. I understand the attractions of living independently, without God. I get all that, but this is such an amazing deal that I do NOT understand rejecting Jesus Christ and His Gospel because you want something that at best is a hundred years long, much of it while you decline in old age, when you could have an eternal life, a perfect place to live it, and pure happiness forever? I just don't get it. I've heard people say, "I don't believe." Well, I don't believe THEM. You know why? because of what Jesus says in John 16:8: "And when He [the Holy Spirit] has come, He will convict the world..." in other words, there's always a persistent voice saying, "This is true," ringing in the hearts of all the people who hear the message. So why do people still reject Christ and His Salvation? The Bible gives many answers (yes it does), but the basic question remains: when you get "convicted by the Holy Spirit" that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true and that if you believe you will have eternal life, and if you don't you'll pay the price for your sin, how can you say NO? It was real to me. I know it's real to you when someone tells you the Gospel, and if you are a Christian, you KNOW it was real when God called to you and you responded. I still remember being faced with that awesome choice. I could see myself hanging over the pit of Hell (melodramatic, but yes I did), and Jesus waiting to rescue me if only I would invite Him in, so I did. I realized I could say "no," but Hell with its burning fire seemed rather unappealing, to say the least.
What about you?? If it was that way for you, then you know if you tell the Gospel message to them that the same (or something similar as happened to you) happens to them when you present the Gospel to them. They are "convicted" by the Holy Spirit. It's not just you trying to convince your friend, acquaintance, etc., it's God doing the same, and at the same time, as you.
Do not fear to teach the Gospel message. God is not only with you, He's with THEM as well, and every true word you speak is the subject of His conviction.
God bless you all today. See you soon.
I've been thinking for some time about how to get the most "reach" for my biblical teachings. When I had ONLY the blog, I reached quite a few folks, and I liked that, so I added in YouTube, which eventually became my sole effort. YouTube never has never really brought much of an audience, so I've decided to move to a writing/podcast format. Part of this, of course, is to gain a greater presence in the online community, but the main reason is to communicate the Gospel to more people. After all, how many people are there who don't understand what it means to be a Christian, and how that impacts your life. There are many, and lots of them read this blog in the past. However, the newest, latest and best thing seems to be podcasts. :Here are my plans:
1. Re-establish this blog as a writing blog, not as a channel for YouTube. I may later choose to MOVE the blog to its own platform, and offer teachings there. I will link to it for all of you who read this.
2. Add in a podcast (I'm still exploring this), which will deal with both Bible teaching and (GASP) politics from a Christian perspective, because the Bible deals with politics quite a bit, mostly in the prophets. Differences abound, but principles are the same. There are lots of pitfalls in this, and I don't know how political it will be, except to say that politics is something that we deal with every day--we buy groceries. We go to the gas station. We experience the decisions of our representatives every day. Since I get no money from any political organization, and since I'm a maverick, expect to be surprised. I have no dog in any fight, and I have a few axes to grind, but not many. This life is important now, and the decisions we make today will impact our future destiny. Some of those will involve this life, such as "should we consider an unborn child as a person, and refuse to support any politician who supports "abortion on demand?" There are lots of strident voices regarding this, but if you want the Bible's perspective, start with Psalm 139. I will address things such as these, because your decision about these impacts your spiritual life.
I will study passages of Scripture with you, and I will help you understand the teachings of the Bible. I am currently searching for equipment (microphone, recording device if I don't use my computer, etc.), and I plan to begin the podcast in April or May. I will offer systematic teachings as well as "occasional teaching," which means "thoughts on topics I know about"--or think I know. I will do my best to rely on facts and experience, rather than just opinion, but opinion can be based on observation, and typically makes up a great deal of our knowledge.
As far as this blog: I haven't decided whether to keep this in its present format and location, or if I should move to a website and host that will not censor any of my views. Google has become famous for its censorship, whether through YouTube or elsewhere, and so far I have not hit any landmines, but I probably will in the future.
I would appreciate comments from those who read this blog, and I pledge to tell you the truth, to the best of my ability.