Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hell number 2?

Darrell Robinson said -- "The world says you can't confront people with Jesus; you'll run them off. Where are you going to run them off to? Hell number 2?

I have such a strong desire to see people out in the streets preaching to the lost. Unfortunately, the church I attended did not think it was necessary for all people to do that. A comment was made that sounded something like this: "I don't have the gift of evangelism so..."

In another church in town, the pastor puts down his goal for the whole year. He claims he does not have the gift of evangelism so he has to be intentional in reaching the lost (he has to force himself to love his neighbor!). His goal for the year? He wanted to "try" to reach one unsaved person per month! At the end of the year he couldn't say for sure whether he had accomplished his goal of 12 for the year. He said he didn't have the numbers. He wasn't able to count up to 12 people!! This man see's thousands of people each month and he has a goal of wanting to reach ONE lost soul and bring him to Christ.

Is it any wonder that only 2% of Christian actually get out and evangelize? When our very own pastor's do not find it important enough to preach to their congregation the necessity of fulfilling the Great Commission, it is little wonder that the people will be lazy in this regard too. The spiritual gift of evangelism is to be used in the church to edify the body of believers. Much the same way the spiritual gift of preaching is. The gifts are used to edify the believers so that they will be empowered to go out in obedience to God's Word and reach the lost. They will be able to give an answer for their faith (that is going to be discussed in my next blog!!!!!) If the pastor does not have the gift of evangelism then he should be the first person through the door in the evangelism class! He has no excuse! We held an evangelism class in our church and the pastor did not show up even one time! And yet, he admits that he does not have the gift of evangelism.

The Good Samaritan offers up a good story for you to follow.

A non-christian has fallen and he is headed to hell. A pastor walks by and says, "man, I already reached my one person for this month - sorry!" A church-going christian comes and says, "man, if the pastor didn't stop then I don't have to either!" Finally, a Christian, who is obedient to God's Word, a person who loves his neighbor enough to bend down and offer him his time. A person who is willing to explain God's Law to convict the man of his sins and then he tells of what Jesus did on the cross."

Now, I ask you -- who is it that showed God's love to his neighbor?

If your own pastor does not make it a habit to reach out to the lost, do not make the same mistake for yourself. Just because a person is a pastor, just because he went to seminary, is no guarantee that he is truly obedient to God's Word. He might do a decent job of preaching, he might say all of the correct things, but if he is not being obedient to Gods Word, then don't use him to justify your own lack of interest in reaching the lost. Jesus said that whoever hears His commands and keeps His commands (and does them!) is the one who loves him and will be loved of the Father.

Here is the plan...

Make today the day that you decide to finally follow Jesus wholeheartedly. Be obedient to His Word, repent of your sins and put your faith and trust solely on Jesus Christ! Get out and reach the lost. Arm yourself with God's Word. Know the Ten Commandments. Do not get discouraged. Satan WILL attack you as you start walking in His ways. Rejoice in that! For the world will hate you because they first hated Him!

So what are you waiting for? The nonchristian is falling into eternal punishment each and every day. Are you scared to talk to them? Why? Do you think you are going to send them to Hell number 2!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Is your church guilty of misquoting the Bible?

Here are a few items for you to do a google search on...

See if they are in the Bible!

The lion shall lay down with the lamb.
God helps those who help themselves.
Money is the root of all evil.
Once saved, always saved.
Spare the rod, spoil the child.
To thine ownself be true.
God works in mysterious ways.
Cleanliness is next to godliness
This too shall pass.
Pride comes before the fall.

Okay, there you have them. Ten well known sayings that many people think are in the Bible. Go ahead and click on each of the links and you will find that we as Christians have become biblically illiterate. As the overall theme of this blog will show you, our churches have fallen away from biblical preaching and teaching. We have used so many cliche's in our sermons that we have accepted them for the gospel truth.

When you are sitting in church listening to the pastor's sermon...
Are you truly listening to what he is saying?
Does his message truly line up with the Word of God?
Is he doing a verse by verse study on God's Word?
Is he telling you how very important it is to apply God's Word to your life?
(this is more than just the mere "claim" to be applying it to your life -- it is the actual adherence to God's Word)
Does your pastor "skip" over certain Scriptures that would imply the need to repent of certain sins?

While some of the sayings at the top of this blog do not have a major alignment problem with the original verse, it is important to understand why we need to be in God's Word daily. We need to be able to give an answer to everyone regarding our faith.

If you are finding that your pastor is using one line of Scripture to create a whole sermon based on jokes and stories, it is time to leave. True growth in your walk with Christ should show fruit. The fruit of repentance. The fruit of thanksgiving. You should be walking in the Way. Let your light shine before men. There are many Christians who are walking in the dark today. Won't you help them? Won't you pray for them? Won't you do something????

The ALARM has sounded! Get up and get out!! Your comfy chair will drag you down. Your nice warm house will lull you to sleep. It's cold out there! It's dark out there! And people are dying everyday with many of them headed for hell.

Unless you do something...

Has it hit you yet? Are you guilty of misquoting the Bible in an effort to show the world your knowledge? Is your church abusing the Scriptures? The Way to heaven is narrow and the road to destruction is extremely wide. What road are you on? What road is your neighbor on? Hey, have you even gotten on a road yet? Feeling a little luke-warm? Lift up your head and fix your eyes upon Jesus!
Read the Bible each and every day! Pray without ceasing! And be obedient to the One who has paid your fine!

While we are at it...
At the top of the blog are ten popular sayings and many of us have them memorized

Have you memorized the Ten Commandments yet?

The Ten Commandments
1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2. You shall not make any idols
3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
5. Honor your father and your mother.
6. You shall not murder.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not lie.
10. You shall not covet
(Here's a test for you -- Does the wording I used in these Ten Commandments line up with Scripture?)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Holy Special Edition Batman!

"Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which has called you is holy, so be holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be holy; for I am holy." 1 Peter 1:13-16

If you are a baby-boomer, you undoubtedly remember the old (the best) batman shows. They would fight, but you would never actually see them hit someone. The words POW, ZAP, BONK would always show up on the tv screen. They never used bad language, no cussing, no vulgarity. The one thing that is bothersome though, would be their use of the word Holy. Robin would inevitably use the word "holy" every time something exciting happened. Holy Sardines, Batman! Holy Houdini, Batman! Holy showcase, it's bulletproof glass! Holy agility! Holy complications! Holy missing relatives! Holy sudden incapacitation! Holy one-track Bat computer mind! Holy luther burbank! Holy contributing to the deliquencies of minors! Robin: "what's black and white and full of fuzz?" Batman: "zebra?" Robin: "no, a squad car!" Okay, I could go on and on and on with Robin and his use of the word "holy." There is a reason why I went to the extremes with this one. There are too many churches out there that use the word "holy" and it has absolutely no meaning, just as Robin's use of the word. We are called to be holy just as He (GOD) is holy. We are called to be obedient to His Word. We are not to go after our old ways (flipping people off and thinking God is okay with that! Using foul language and thinking God has more important things to worry about than your use of certain words!) In everything we do, in everything we say, in everything we think, we are to be doing that which is "right" in God's sight. We are to be "set apart" from the world. There should be something different about us. We are to be the light in a dark world. We are to display the love that comes from God. We are to put aside pride and humble ourselves before our Lord and Savior. We should have repented of our sins so that we will no longer be slaves to sin. We should be totally putting our trust and faith in Jesus! So the next time you say, "Holy!" It will be in reference to the One that is deserving of it. We should have such reverence for God and we should not take lightly the Word of God. When we are told to obey His commands -- OBEY THEM!! When we are told to love our neighbor as ourselves -- LOVE THEM! When we are told to warn unrepentent people about the wrath of God-- WARN THEM! Go into all the world preaching the gospel to every creature. THIS IS GOD'S WAY OF TELLING YOU TO GET OUT OF YOUR HOUSE AND START TALKING TO PEOPLE ABOUT GOD. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost! Won't you start planting some seeds? Won't you get "right" with God right now? Put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone. Repent of your sins and do them no more. Be obedient to Gods Word. Love Him in a way that shows true love. He has told you to do some things. DO THEM! Be holy as God is holy! Want the world to see that there is something different about you? Start being obedient to God's Word and they will definitely know you are different -- they will hate you, because they first hated God! Rejoice in it! Demand that your church return to biblical preaching and teaching.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Who is the joke really on?

I went for a walk the other night. It was dark out as it usually is at 10 o'clock in the evening. As I turned to walk down an alley, I heard a bump, bump, bump sound. I looked behind me and there was this coffin following me. So, I started to run to get away from him and sure enought, bump, bump, bump he started coming after me that much faster. I was starting to get a little bit scared. I made it up to my house and fumbled around for my keys. Bump, bump, bump, the coffin got closer and closer to me. I made it inside the house and locked the door shut! Bumb, bump, bump and POW, the door swung open. I was face to face with the coffin. I ran upstairs and the coffin followed me up the steps. bump, bump, bump. I locked myself in the bathroom and sure enough, I could hear outside the sound of bump, bump, bump. Then POW, the door swung open. I was trapped! With no where to go I backed up to where I could not move anymore. Bump, bump, bump, slowly it inched towards me. I threw some shampoo at it. Nothing happened. I threw my razor at it. Nothing happened. Finally, out of desperation, I threw some throat lozenges at it and sure enough...

The coffin stopped!

The above joke, was said by me while I was a pastor of a church. I would start off each week with a good joke (okay, I am assuming this is a good joke!) I would then read a Scripture and would follow that up with some good stories and some funny antedotes. It was very poor teaching at best and very Satan inspired at worst. I know that sounds kind of harsh to say that but you have to understand that when I was a pastor, I was not truly saved. I was still living in sin. I had not repented of my sins. I was living off of the good old fashioned Scripture that says, "For God so loved the world that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life." I believed in God. I believed in Jesus. I knew in my heart that He died on the cross for my sins. What was missing? I had not repented of my sins. I was just going through the motions of saying, "God, please forgive me for my sins." There was no repentance and no desire to repent of my sins. I had no desire to truly be obedient to His Word. Righteousness was just a word to me. So, as a pastor, I would fill my sermons with "feel good" stories of the Bible. I would make sure that people felt good when they left church. I wanted them to smile and to like me. How many other pastor's out there do you suppose are doing the very same thing I did? I was listening to a podcast of a pastor in Peoria, IL and the first thing he said was, "I want to apologize for the joke I told in last week's sermon. I guess it was offensive to some people and I just want to let you know 'why' I tell jokes in my sermon's. I tell jokes because sometimes, God's Word can be kind of heavy and convicting and I don't want anyone to leave here with a downcast look on their face." Yep, God's Word is heavy and convicting and he wants to make sure no one leaves with a downcast look on their face. That is exactly what I was doing. The problem with that is, God's Word is convicting, and that is a good thing! We need to have our sins mentioned and we need to know what we need to do to be "right" with God. Now that I am saved (truly saved), I can see the errors of my ways. I am ashamed of the sermons that I used to preach. I always spoke with conviction in my heart. I always spoke with much sincerity. I always spoke with a pastor's heart. I never spoke God's Word biblically! If Satan were to put a pastor in your local church -- what kind of pastor do you think he would be? Do you think he would preach nothing but lies? Would he preach repentance? Or would he be preaching from the pulpit telling lots of jokes and telling lots of stories? When I preached, I would tell of the need to repent, but I never taught what repentance truly was. I was more concerned on being liked and being known as the pastor with a great sense of humor! Never again! I now preach obedience to God's Word. I preach repentance and putting your faith and trust solely in Jesus Christ. If your pastor is a joke-teller, please ask him to tell his jokes "after" the service. When you leave a church service remembering his joke more than being affected by God's Word, then you have a problem. I have to tell you...

Satan wants you laughing your way to hell!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

What has happened to our churches?

What is wrong with today's contemporary church? Click on the link to hear my sermon that I gave recently at a local park in Galesburg, IL.

I think my look says it all. "What in the world is going on with the churches in America today?" Why have they decided to go after other gods? Because that is what they are doing when they make a decision to promote a Jesus that does not have a problem with sin, does not expect you to repent of your sins, and does not care whether you are obedient to His Word or not!