Conviction

Hebrews 11:1 reads, “Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen” (ASV), and then in verse 6 it reads, “and without faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing unto him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him.”

The other day some people came by the house to hand out literature on an upcoming (at that time) conference in Dayton. The people (women) were with the Jehovah Witnesses; Anne received them as she was tending to her flowers and garden. They invited her to the conference, but Anne declined. After a little while, the three spoke about the garden and flowers, then departed for wherever they were headed next.

As I reflect on that which these women from the Watchtower religious group did, I reflected on the idea of conviction. I asked myself, “exactly how convicted are we, as members of the Lord’s church, how convicted are we to tell people about Jesus, to speak aggressively about His holy name in a world of sin in which we live?”

False teaching is all around us, but we can hardly know what false teaching is being promoted around us if we don’t know the Lord and His way. How many of us are aware the very word of God that is made available to us, that is preached each Lord’s day is the measurement by which we will be judged? A good many of us know that already. Still, we have a hard time picking up the Bible and reading twenty minutes each day, while we have plenty of time to watch a favorite program or programs. “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my sayings, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I spake, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:38, ASV). Rejecting comes in different ways. It could be out-right rejection or simply neglect. “For if the word spoken through angels proved stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation? which having at the first been spoken through the Lord, was confirmed unto us by them that heard” (Hebrews 2:2-3). Instead of putting in effort to understand the Lord’s way, we want to have programming put in effort to entertain us.

I don’t pose all of this to you, as much as I pose these questions and observations to us. I certainly am a person of conviction; I engage people in discussion as often as I can, regardless of location or venue. I do so aggressively. I have not, however, gone door-to-door in my evangelistic efforts. Some may say that is not needed or not as effective as it once was and, perhaps, this is so. Still, I have not done so of late. The Jehovah Witness ladies did. RT

#conviction #evangelism

I’m not going to teach anybody

“Father forgive them for they know not what they say,” is my thinking on the above disturbing statement and “We’re not going to reach people around here. So many are already established in their own churches and aren’t going to change.”

It chills me to hear members of the church making such bold statements about not trying to win souls for Christ. “Jesus gave us our marching orders,” brother Ira North used to say. Jesus said to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel. He that believeth and is baptized will be saved. He that believeth not will be damned (Mark 16:16). Though that command is old, it is still as young and fresh as it was the day Jesus issued the command. And it will still be fresh on the day of judgment.

Who are we to say, “I’m not going to teach anyone.” Who is so bold? Is it a fear of asking another to study the Bible with us? Is it that we in the church believe that one church is good as another? Is it that we believe everybody is going to heaven, just in different directions? Is it really acceptable for us to attend the church of our choice?

Jesus died for one church, the church He built. The worship pattern is the same as we read about in the Bible, the real “first church.” We don’t have the right living under the blessings of God each day to say, “I’m not going to teach anyone.”

Even Jesus said, “I must be about the Father’s business” (Luke 2:49). He said for us to go and teach others. Dare we do any differently?

#evangelism

Many people: Acts 18.9-10 VOTD

“The Lord said to Paul by a vision in the night, ‘Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent, because I am with you, and no one will assault you to harm you, because I have many people in this city.'”

Acts 18.9-10

Because of the Lord’s revelation, Paul stayed a year and six months in Corinth.

We need courage to speak, because the Lord has many people yet to be saved.

#courage #evangelism #VOTD

Get the name right

The Missus was miffed recently when a popular brotherhood effort reprinted a post of mine and misspelled both my names. I’m used to it by now. We’ll let the guilty go unnamed, because they’re good people and it’s an innocent and harmless mistake.

Normally careful people have their moments of inattention. I have mine; you, yours, right? Some moments of distraction can burn the house down or drown the baby in the swimming pool (for those who have such luxuries). We pray those moments are few and far between.

Other moments might let the water boil out of the kettle, or the tea steep too long, or the toast burn in the pan. Inconvenience, for sure, but nothing much more than that. Continue reading

#corollaries, #evangelism, #exercise, #gods-name, #internet-ministry

If a non-Christian can do this, why can’t a Christian?

He has been attending for a while and we have a study set up in his and his wife’s home for later this week. He’s a young man, with a small child. He once came straight from work to a mid-week study in his work clothes—bright orange with reflective stripes—because he had forgotten a change of clothes, but didn’t want to miss the meeting.

This afternoon he called to ask if he could bring a friend, about his age, who also has a small child, who is separating from his wife and very troubled.

Here’s a person outside of Christ, who recognizes that he himself is far from God, bringing another in a similar situation.

If a non-Christian can do this, why can’t a Christian?

#evangelism, #seeking-god

Doctor dragged from United Airlines plane

 

The video of a doctor dragged bloodily from a United Airlines flight last Sunday by airport security personnel will long provoke anger, long after the episode is investigated and resolved. The video went viral, and United’s stock has taken a multi-million dollar drop in value.

One writer noted that it wasn’t United personnel responsible for the scene, but an airport security person. Regardless, it happened on a United flight and the company will bear the brunt of the criticism. Continue reading

#bible, #corollaries, #evangelism, #mission

Hard seeing the lostness of the lost

We must always think that we could be in the gutter, if our upbringing were different, if our choices had been poorer, if our circumstances had been more unfortunate. “There but for the grace of God go I.”

So it is compassion that leads us and compassion that stays us among the lost, hard as it is to witness their perdition. He who seeks to save takes great care not to lose his own soul.

The risk is great; the loss, eternal; the mission, heedless of harm; the benefit, endless joy and perfect peace.

“And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives” Jude 22-23 NTL.

#evangelism, #mission, #risk