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

World population in bubbles

It’s a deceptively simple visualization, but the story that gets distilled is loud and clear:

via Does Size Matter? Visualizing The Population Of Every Country (In Bubbles) | Zero Hedge

Think of evangelizing these countries, and how much is still needed to do.

#evangelism, #missions

Mallet vs. sun: Love more effective than logic

This from the Bible Illustrator, on 1 Cor 16.14:

As means towards the attainment of the best ends there is no comparison between these. The latter [logic] may convince the understanding and leave the heart unchanged, but the former [love] will win the heart, and with that gained, the understanding will usually soon succumb.

The difference between them is similar to that between a mallet and the sun in reducing ice to water. The mallet may break the ice into small particles, but each particle will remain ice still, while the sun’s heat falling upon the ice will melt it into a fluid, and so impregnate the fluid with its warmth that while that warmth is continued the water cannot assume again its icy condition.

So in changing opinions and reforming habits. Arguments will be of little avail without a loving disposition behind them. The opinions, after all cold pure arguments, will remain generally unchanged, or probably assume another false complexion, and the habits, if broken up for a little, will soon resume their wonted round.

But if love prevails, the eyes looking it, the face beaming it, the words expressing it, the whole demeanour demonstrating it, the citadel of opinion will melt before the loving assault, and the heart will become ablaze with the sacred glow.

Love and logic should at least go hand in hand in seeking the regeneration of the world.

#evangelism, #logic, #love

God expects Christians to take risks

God expects us as Christians to take risks while doing His work. I would suggest the same is true at the level of the local congregation. I’m talking about the risk of failure. How ambitious are we in the plans we have to do work for God? Do we trust that things will be okay even if we try hard and mess up? This, I think, is a part of faith that requires maturity — the faith that God will stick with us even if we don’t succeed by our standards.

via The Christian, the Church, and Risk – Restore Our Faith

#evangelism, #maturity, #risks, #success

Threats to The Great Commission

As time and technology progress, we need to abandon our naivete and realize the threats before us. Complaining about the rise of persecutions is normal, but not very productive.

In these times, courage is required to confront Satan and his forces. Yet, it’s worthless unless it’s combined with faith (Hebrews 11:6), perseverance (Romans 5:3) and the spiritual armament constructed by God (Ephesians 6:10-17). In addition, we must be wise, cautious and perceptive. Continue reading

#bible, #censorship, #evangelism, #great-commission, #preaching, #teaching

Confession: This time it’s different

What follows is something of a confession. Through the years, I’ve felt no shame or embarrassment to invite churches and individuals to financially support our efforts in missions. In the past, I’ve joyfully extended that invitation, believing fully in our task, as I still do. After several occasions, however, where we have lost larger amounts of monthly support, that ease of asking, that freedom to invite, has been lost. Perhaps it’s partly age, partly feeling tired of the process of fundraising, which I am no professional at doing, nor do I wish I were.

We no longer have a wide base of contacts among Christians, after so many years on the field. In recent years, our friends have heard our pleas several times. How can we then place yet another burden upon them? Continue reading

#corollaries, #evangelism, #glory, #goodnewsin5words, #missions

Internet streaming radio station

Here’s a congregation’s website that streams GBN along with supplemental material of its own on a local radio-station 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you have open Internet access available at work you could listen to it no matter what shift you’re punching the time-clock.

Here are the details about the radio-station provided on the congregation’s website: Continue reading

#evangelism, #radio-programs

Understanding the damage of denominationalism but not the cause

On my way to worship I listened to a preacher on the radio from a neighboring county talk about the damage denominationalism has done to the church. He was very emphatic with his words and I am convinced he truly believed what he was saying…especially because he was preaching in a very plain way to/at his own denomination (his own words). And because of the things he was saying about fellowship, I am also convinced he understood the damage denominationalism has done to the church when it comes to the unity that God desires (John 17:20-21).

But despite the fact I believe he understands the damage of denominationalism, I don’t believe he understands the cause.

Why is that? Because of one thing he said. Now I wasn’t able to write it down when he said it, but what I am about to give him credit for is close enough that I know I am not doing any damage to the point he was making; nor am I worried about twisting it in any way to make my point seem valid.

The preacher on the radio said, Continue reading

#biblical-unity, #denominationalism, #evangelism

Spiritual security of the faithful

Women need a feeling of security, say many writers in the field of marriage and counseling. That observation seems to hold true in our experience. That security often means physical and financial security. Though today it’s socially anathema to say it, a woman often looks for a husband who will provide these things for her. She wants to feel protected.

This was Naomi’s prayer for her daughters-in-law, after the death of her sons: “May the Lord enable each of you to find security in the home of a new husband!” Ruth 1.9.

At the same time, we all need security. Let’s first define our terms. The dictionaries give something like this: “1. freedom from danger, risk, etc.; safety. 2. freedom from care, anxiety, or doubt. 3. something that protects or makes safe; defense.” No one can live on the cusp of danger. Continue reading

#certainty, #corollaries, #evangelism, #spiritual-security, #technology