Posts Tagged ‘Evangelism’

Faking It

10/11/2011

Today closes the books on our series “Lose your faith in 5 easy steps”. And lastly, but certainly not the least of those steps is faking it.

How many people have left churches over what they called “hypocrisy” in the church or church leadership. My church is currently working on a fall campaign titled “Christian Atheist”. It is someone who behaves and claims to be a christian, but behaves and thinks as if God is not really there, or doesn’t do what he says he will.

My wife once had issues with a family member, and was told by another family member to “fake it, until you make it”. I can see how being in a situation where you are forced to work with a family member or be around one can make you grow more fond of them over time. Fungus does grow on you right?

All jokes aside, I love seeing her interact positively with that family member these days. They get along GREAT. So why is this a bad thing in church? Why is bad to be a fake christian until you become comfortable enough to be a REAL DISCIPLE?

That is simple. If Jesus himself doesn’t know when he will be sent back to Earth by the Father in Heaven to collect his children, they how can you possibly KNOW THAT, but act like you have all the time in the world to make the REAL and GENUINE transaction that will insure your eternal security?

Food for thought.

 

Chris

Why the blood?

09/15/2011

Thanks for stopping in for Episode 19 of Inspired Audio. You can listen to today’s audio by CLICKING HERE NOW.

Jesus Christ 5

04/26/2011
c. 1632

Image via Wikipedia

Finally in the series we come to the most painful to read, but inspiring show of love in all of Jesus’ human life. His death.

John 19:34 One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out.

This was the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy that he would be pierced for our sins. Notice that in his death, two fluids poured from Jesus’ body. I think the author mentioned them separately on purpose. The water clearly would symbolize the living water Jesus always talked about. Once the water poured out, Jesus body had died. The blood was shed and poured to pay for, or cover our sins that we could be seen righteous in the eyes of God, instead of stained with the acts of the flesh.

Hebrews 2:14 Because God’s children are human beings, made of flesh and blood, the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had[a] the power of death.

In order to divinely cover our sins, and save us from damnation at the hands of Satan, the evil one. God had to come to Earth in the form of a man, Jesus, and give his perfect blood as a once and for all sacrifice for all sin.

1 Peter 3:18 Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.

This verse reiterates my earlier comment about covering our sins once and for all. Jesus was blameless and perfect in his humanity as in his divinity. Those of us who like to think that Jesus did not feel pain, because he was God, need go anywhere else looking for proof of being wrong, this very clearly states that Jesus felt every lash, every hammer hit, every ounce of the pain that anyone would. And, he did it for you, for us.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to *be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

*this phrase in the original Greek can also be translated to say “to become sin”.

When you think about it with the second translation, think about a sponge big enough to was every single car on the planet at the exact same time, inside and out, even under the hood in the engine and all moving and non moving parts. Ever car in the world! That is precisely what Jesus did for our sins, and not just the sins of his time, imagine all of the cars every created in the history of the world! Jesus did that for ever single sin!

Mark 14:36 Abba, Father,” Jesus cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

I always say that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did not go around talking to himself! He’s God. This is from his prayer just before his death, and even then, up to the last-minute, he had three disciples with him and was trying to get in a few last-minute lessons on communicating with him once he was back in Heaven, and was angered and upset that they could not even stay awake long enough to learn in his final moments. Also, in Aramaic, Abba simply means Father. While Jesus phrase was redundant, it was also done on purpose. To use Greek and Aramaic he was doing his best to show that he was for all people, not only those who could read one language or the other. I believe that when God divinely inspired Mark to write this gospel, he did that on purpose to add further importance to us acknowledging ALL believer instead of only those who speak (or behave or live) the way we see as culturally acceptable.

John 19:30 When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.

Jesus, even in his death, released his own spirit unto the Heavens and out of his body. Removing everything divine from his body. Jesus, the human was dead, but Jesus, the God of Ages, the Wonderful Counsellor, the Prince of Peace was, is, and always shall be seated on the throne of Heaven, alive and well, ruling over the faithful believers in him. Guiding us in the right directions, and showing us that there is a better way for those who accept him!

Stay blessed,

Chris

God Reveals Himself

03/25/2011

Let God Be Your Light In Your Tunnel

Have you ever had problems in your life that you just simply could not see how God could let you go through them? Well, have you ever thought that maybe just maybe, sometimes Jesus puts things in our lives to build us up? What about the thought that maybe he puts these in our lives to reveal himself to us? To show you His grace first hand.
 
God really put me through the ringer last year. I could not be more grateful either. I turned away from my family, my friends, my church, and most importantly, God himself. I completely ceased being charitable, stopped serving, put everything on the shelf that I was involved in. I lied to people, lots of people. I started heading down a dark road that didn’t at all feel like “me”. I know what triggered everything. And I have put that particular grief behind me, as has my wife. Sometimes when we are going through the worst storms of our lives, we don’t want to see God in the middle. But once you find yourself in the eye of the storm, you feel the peace in the center. That peace is God, showing his grace in abundance even when it doesn’t feel like it. Like the Allstate insurance commercial says, “that light at the end of the tunnel doesn’t have to be an oncoming train“. They could not be more RIGHT! That light doesn’t have to be a train, but if you calm yourself, breathe deep, and actually look around, you will see that it is not a light at all, it is God, in his own way, showing you Himself.
 
God Bless
 
Chris

God’s Magnetism

03/24/2011

God is the most powerful magnet of all time!

God is the most magnetic person or thing in all of creation. There is something that draws every follower of Jesus to Him. It could be the love of a friend or family member. It could also be a tragic event that brings someone to their knees with nowhere else to go.
 
Hebrews 12:2 “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”
 
The “We do this” is speaking about witnessing to the lost, or the “seekers” as I call them.
Let’s break down the above verse.
 
Sentence 1: This refers to the very most important commandment of God. LOVE HIM ABOVE ALL OTHERS, FIRST AND FOREMOST. If we want to succeed as disciples of Jesus the first thing we have to do is keep our eye on the ball (Jesus). He is the author and perfector of our faith. Jesus is our champion! Our ultimate everything! He comes before everything! Once you put Him first in your ministry, or just your everyday life, we begin to see that His grace is more than we could ever need.
 
Sentence 2: To be crucified in Jesus’ day, was the ultimate disrespect. He took on that shame for You and Me without even caring. The thoughts of the masses did not even factor into his decision.
 
Sentence 3: We now know exactly where He is. Assuming we all understand and fully comprehend the Trinity, we know that Jesus, who is God, is in fact in the throne right now. And He wants you to be before Him after His coming. All we need is faith, and that comes first.
 
God Bless
Chris

Trusting God when life hurts pt2.

01/20/2011

Question? Is God in control???
Answer: Yes.
Proof: “God…is the blessed controller of all things, the king over all kings and the master of all masters”

Our world would generally have us feel that God is one of two things. He is either “good and not all-powerful” or “powerful and not all good” and they would have you believe that you cannot have it both ways. However, the Bible teaches us that we DO have it both ways. We Christians are generally quick to praise God for the good things that happen yet reluctant to attribute the bad things that happen to Him. But, when you think this way, you reduce God’s control over your life to a casual “stop and go” or “in and out” type of control. We so often mistakenly believe that we are the masters of our own fates. That is the modern vision, and sadly so. Like it or not folks, the fact is simple. God never pursues HIS glory at the expense of the good of HIS people, nor does HE ever seek our good at the expense of HIS glory. If you are going to learn to trust Him during the hard times, we must first believe that He won’t do anything to tarnish His glory therefore he won’t allow anything to spoil the good HE is working out in us and for us. Not only did God create the universe but Scripture tells us that He also sustains it day by day and minute by minute. Nothing in all of creation acts independently from Him. The laws of nature operate and function because HE allows them to. We may never understand His power but we need to recognize that it is very real. “As God’s rule is invincible, so it is incomprehensible.” When Jesus spoke about the sparrows staying in the air because God willed them to, he proved this (Matt 10:29-31). God did not create us, to turn and walk away to leave us to the mercy of uncontrolled random events. Take this story for instance:

*A Christian man flew out-of-state to give his testimony at an evangelistic meeting, taking his son with him. On the way home an electrical storm caused the plane to crash. Both were killed. A Christian friend, trying to comfort the grieving wife/mother of the two said to her “One thing you can be sure of is that God had no part in that accident”. Now…..according to that friend, God was apparently looking the other way when the storm hit the plane. This would contradict the words of Jesus HIMSELF and indicate that a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without our Father in Heaven’s will, but a plane with Christian people in His service can…..this is absurd to think about.*

In closing,

God is always in control. He is never even frustrated. “No one can hold back God’s hand or say to Him: ‘What have you done?'” (Daniel 4:35)

God Bless
Chris

Discussion Time

01/11/2011
Judas Iscariot

Image by Missional Volunteer via Flickr

We now have a readership of about 750 and a range from Ga and the entire east coast all the way to California as of this morning. Google and other search engines are referring people to the page and pastors who I adore are taking notice as well and complimenting the page and its contents. For this, as always I thank you all very much. I have also recently made the front page of WP to boot. I truly hope you the reader comment with some feedback on the following post so without further adue…………..

When you read the following post, I will warn you that some of the words I say may offend and even possibly anger you to the point that you may not read anymore or even speak to me for that matter. With that being said, I have been doing a ton of thinking on things that we do not have true answers for.

We have all been taught in church that suicide is an immediate condemnation to Hell because you cannot ask forgiveness once you are dead. That would make it an unforgivable sin. There is an exception that the Bible speaks of by saying that a man who would give his life for a friend is a hero and a great man. Here is the question I pose. Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus. Jesus always knew that he would do this. God planned it all this way. Wouldn’t this imply that Judas was not allowed to use his free will in all of this and instead he was used as a teaching tool by God for mankind? If so, would he be in Heaven? And if so, will we one day meet him there? One thing is for certain, Jesus was on a mission, and God had already planned the entire thing right? Or did God send Jesus, and allow him to make his own path up until the point of the cross? Was the cross a choice that Jesus made personally, or was it part of the original plan of his death? These are all questions that I cannot wait to find answers to once I am up there. Any discussions on this would be WELCOMED in the comments section below as anyone else’s input on any of the posed questions you just read would be appreciated.

God Bless

Chris