Seeking and saving the lost (7): Practical holistic evangelism

GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS
Number 640 • May 9, 2021

SEEKING AND SAVING THE LOST – Number 7
PRACTICAL HOLISTIC EVANGELISM: DO GOOD FOR GOODNESS’ SAKE.
Galatians 6:1-10

Evangelism is generally discussed in terms of “soul-winning” – that is, telling others what to do to be saved, and assisting the penitent believers in baptism. We discuss it both as a collective endeavor and as “personal evangelism,” as the church’s mission and the individual Christian’s mission too. We certainly do not want to understate the importance of this for the Christian. We encourage increased participation in it (Matthew 28:18-20, Colossians 1:28, 2 Timothy 2:25-26). Continue reading

#evangelism, #geraldcowan

Seeking and saving the lost (6): Lord, what should I do?

GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS
Number 639 • May 7, 2021

SEEKING AND SAVING THE LOST – Number Six
LORD, WHAT SHOULD I DO (TO BE SAVED)? Acts 22:6-16

Have you ever considered what might be the most important question a person could ask? It is not, “What is truth?” – Pilate’s question (John 18:38). Of course that is an important question. Only the truth can correct error and defend us from abuse and exploitation by those who preach and practice error. About the answer given to every question, one should always ask, “Is it true?” The most important question is not, “How can I win friends and influence people?” It is not, “What can I do to make the world a better place?” The most important question one can ask is: “How can I be sure I am saved, spiritually safe and secure with God?” The question can be asked at various times and circumstances in one’s life. One who has not been saved should ask, “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). One who has been saved should ask, “How can I make my calling and election– my salvation – sure, to be sure I still have God’s approval and blessing?” (2 Peter 1:10). All questions about salvation and spiritual security are variations of these two. Continue reading

#geraldcowan, #salvation

Seeking and saving the lost (5): The challenge of presenting God’s word

GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS
Number 638 • May 5, 2021

SEEKING AND SAVING THE LOST – Number Five
THE CHALLENGE OF PRESENTING GOD’S WORD

It can be provocative and productive, putting things into a perspective slightly different from the usual, to see that God challenges us, lays a challenge before us and urges us to accept it. For example, we are speaking here of: (1) God’s challenge to the church: Demonstrate God’s eternal purpose to bring all the saved together into Christ (Ephesians 1:10 and 3:10). (2) God’s challenge to His people everywhere to speak up for Him: Preach the gospel of God everywhere in the world (Mark 16:15-16, Matthew 28:18-20). This is sometimes called “the great commission.” It is not only for the original apostles and inspired evangelists. Matthew’s account makes it clear that the task is passed on to each one who becomes a disciple. It is not just “inspired” men but all Christian men who are to teach to others the truth they themselves have received (2 Timothy 2:2). Judging from the poor execution of this charge we might refer to it as “the great omission.” Few are doing it, and even fewer are teaching that we must observe and do all that Christ has commanded. Continue reading

#evangelism, #geraldcowan

Seeking and saving the lost (4): Reclaiming backsliders

GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS
Number 637 • May 2, 2021

SEEKING AND SAVING THE LOST – Number Four
RECLAIMING BACKSLIDERS (James 5:19-20)

A wayward or “backsliding” Christian may be more “lost” than he or she was before initial conversion to the truth of God and salvation of the soul (read carefully Hebrews 6:1-6, Galatians 5:4 and 6:1, 1 Corinthians 1:12, and 2 Peter 2:20-22, and other similar warnings). The remedy and restoration of the backslider requires cooperation of both the seeker and the sought with God and His truth, His gospel in Christ. How can one seek and save the wayward Christian, and what must the wanderer do to be allowed back into God’s acceptance and approval? Continue reading

#geraldcowan, #restoring-the-erring, #salvation

Seeking and saving the lost (3)

GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS
Number 636 • April 30, 2021

SEEKING AND SAVING THE LOST – Part Three

Are you one of the lost persons Christ is seeking to find and save? Or are you one of the redeemed and restored persons who have been found and saved by Christ? If you believe you are in the saved and secure group what evidence can you offer to support your claim? Continue reading

#evangelism, #geraldcowan, #salvation

Seeking and saving the lost (2)

GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS

Number 635 • April 28, 2021

SEEKING AND SAVING THE LOST – Part Two

There is salvation. The effective remedy for lostness is available to all. But willingness to accept and apply it is often absent. Unclaimed, the remedy might as well be absent too.

There was a time, according to the Bible, when Christianity was “turning the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). There was also a time, not long ago, when we liked to revise the statement to suggest we are “turning the upside-down world right side up.” We are obviously not currently accomplishing that worthy goal. What is the reason for our failure? Continue reading

#evangelism, #geraldcowan, #mission, #salvation

Seeking and saving the lost (1)

GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS
Number 634 • April 25, 2021

SEEKING AND SAVING THE LOST – Part One

Jesus summed up His mission from God and His ministry on earth as being just that: “For the Son of man came to seek and save the lost.” (Luke 19:10). Not physically or geographically lost, Not intellectually or mechanically lost. Spiritually lost, separated by sin from God the Father and any hope of heaven. Not lost animals. Not lost angels or demons or extraterrestrials. Lost humans – lost men and women, lost accountable children. God loved and loves the lost. God wanted a way for them to be found, to be saved from irrevocable destruction, to return to Him, to have everlasting life. He sent and gave His Son to accomplish His will (John3:16-18, 34-36). Continue reading

#evangelism, #geraldcowan

Grace for problem people?

GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS
Number 633 • April 23, 2021

PROBLEMS THE CHURCH SHOULD TALK ABOUT – 9
GRACE FOR PROBLEM PEOPLE?

QUESTION: Maybe people who cause problems do not deserve grace, but people who have problems need more grace and should receive it. Maybe we are too quick to just ignore them or refuse to accept them. Isn’t grace a gift for everybody, according to God? We will be saved by grace, according to Ephesians 2:5-9. Not by discipline and punishment. Continue reading

#geraldcowan, #grace

Questions about the Lord’s Supper

GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS

Number 632 • April 21, 2021

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE LORD’S SUPPER

QUESTION: In 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 what is the Lord’s supper and why is it called communion? What is the purpose for it, and who is allowed to do it? How do we discern the Lord’s body when we take the supper? Why did Paul seem to disapprove the way it was being done in the Corinthians church? Was he really implying that God would not be pleased with it and might reject it? Are we commanded to eat it every Sunday or is it optional? Is it a sin if we fail to observe the Lord’s supper every Sunday? Should you do it even if you aren’t worthy or don’t feel worthy because that means you are condemned if you try to do it? Should those who are not Christians be allowed to eat the Lord’s supper? Continue reading

#geraldcowan, #lord

Recipe for building a better church

GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS
Number 631 • April 18, 2021

RECIPE FOR A BUILDING A BETTER CHURCH

“Join the church of your choice.” The determinative word there is not join or choice. It is your. Not something someone else chooses for you or imposes upon you (such as communism, which is not really ‘government of the people, by the people, and for the people” as in democracy). As Adolf Hitler mandated a Volkswagen (literally “people’s car”) so certain countries have mandated a “state religion” (such as Islamic, Christian, Catholic, Buddhist, etc) or a “national church” (such as Church of England, Church of Sweden, etc). There’s a world-wide phenomenon in nominal Christianity: the creation and proliferation of churches to meet the requirements and desires of the people who will be members in the so-called “purpose-driven” churches where members determine what the church will be and do – these could be called “churches of the people, for the people, and by the people.” What are the premises, purposes, and promises of such a “people’s church?” Continue reading

#church, #geraldcowan

Problem people

GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS

Number 630 • April 15, 2021

PROBLEMS THE CHURCH NEEDS TO TALK ABOUT – 8

ATTITUDES TOWARD PROBLEM PEOPLE, THOSE WHO NEED TO BE “FIXED”

Dislike and prejudice can cause distrust and discrimination and other serious problems in human relationships. Even though they are taught to love and trust and develop fellowship among themselves Christians rarely escape the problem – even congregations and churches are not exempt from prejudice and preference for and against each other. How should the church deal with problem people in its membership? Continue reading

#correction, #geraldcowan, #good

Was Jesus a racist, a Jewish supremacist?

GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS
Number 629 • April 14, 2021

A PREJUDICED, RACIST JESUS?

QUESTION: Was Jesus a racist, a Jewish supremacist? He called a Canaanite woman a dog and said we shouldn’t give holy things to the dogs. But he accepted all Jews as the chosen people of God even if they were sinners and didn’t accept him as Messiah. Continue reading

#geraldcowan, #jesus, #racism

Do not profane or take God’s name in vain

GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS
Number 627 • April 7, 2021

DO NOT PROFANE OR TAKE GOD’S NAME IN VAIN

FROM THE QUESTION BOX: Is the use of the words “Oh my God,” or “for God’s sake” blasphemy against God? Is blasphemy worse than taking God’s name in vain?

Some would consider these terms blasphemous because they refer to God. But blasphemy is not a religious word as such. It means to speak irreverently against someone and can include outright slander and defamation. It implies an untruth or invalid charge though not necessarily a vulgarity. Nobody should be blasphemed although anybody could be. God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the name of God and the doctrine of God can be blasphemed (Rom.2:24, 1 Tim.6:1, etc). Men can also be blasphemed or spoken of in derogatory terms (Matt. 12:31-32, Mark 3:28). Some may think blasphemy is too strong a term for our language now unless it is a matter of cursing or somehow denigrating God or divine persons and things. But there are no degrees of blasphemy. Any vain, empty, or profane mention of God, any speaking against God in any way is blasphemy. Continue reading

#geraldcowan, #mandamentos, #name-of-god

Prodigals need to leave the pigpen

GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS
Number 626 • April 4, 2021

PRODIGALS NEED TO LEAVE THE PIGPEN
Luke 15:11-24

Poet Robert Frost said, somewhat cynically, “Home is a place where, when you have to go there they have to take you in.” Maybe that was the rule in his home but it is not universally true. Continue reading

#geraldcowan, #repentance

It is ‘Palm Sunday’ and Jesus is weeping

GERALD COWAN’S PERSONAL PERIODICALS
Number 625 • April 1, 2021

IT IS “PALM SUNDAY” AND JESUS IS WEEPING

We have just passed what nominal “Christendom” calls Palm Sunday. It is hailed as “the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.” Five days later would be “black Friday” – the day of his death on a cross. The day of his true triumph over death and all the powers of godlessness and ungodliness – when God raised him to life again as the successful Savior, soon to be head of a new form of the kingdom of God – that day, called “Resurrection Sunday, ” was one week away. Jesus, knowing that the end of his earthly ministry and the sacrificial death that crowned it were coming soon should have been happy with the coming joy of fulfillment, when he could say, “It is finished – my work is done.” We are told elsewhere that he did in fact rejoice – for the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, despising the shame and would be (now is) set down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2). With only one week to go before completion of his mission and ministry why was he weeping? He was not weeping for himself, for the torture he was to endure or what it would cost him to become the redeeming savior, as terrifying as that prospect was –four days later, in the garden of Gethsemane he would sweat blood while coming to terms with the “cup” he would be asked to drink (Luke 22:39-46). On his way to the cross he told some others not to weep for him but to weep for themselves and their descendants, for what would be coming upon them (Luke 23:28-30). Continue reading

#geraldcowan, #palmsunday