Important Messages

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Problem with Modern Evangelism

"But showed first to them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance." Acts 26:20

The Problem with Modern Evangelism. Many Christians obtain “decisions” by using the following method: “Do you know that you are going to heaven when you die?” Most will say, “I hope so.” The Christian then says, “You can know so. The Bible says ‘All have sinned.’ Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and if you give your heart to Him today, you can know for sure that you are going to heaven. Would you like to have that assurance that you will go to heaven when you die?” He will almost always say, “Yes.” The person is then led in what is commonly called a “sinner’s prayer.” (Click here for why the sinner's prayer is unbiblical.)

There are a few difficulties with the popular approach: 1) There is no mention of Judgment Day—the very reason men are commanded to repent; 2) There is no mention of hell; and 3) The Law isn't used to bring the knowledge of sin. The apostle Paul said that the Law was the only means by which he came to know what sin was (Romans 7:7). The modern approach may get a decision or gain a church member, but if there is no biblical repentance, there will be a false conversion and there will be no rejoicing in heaven.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Is There a Key to Reaching the Lost?

“Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered.” Luke 11:52

Have you ever thought, “There must be a key to reaching the lost”? There is—and it’s rusty through lack of use. The Bible does actually call it “the key,” and its purpose is to bring us to Christ, to unlock the Door of the Savior (John 10:9). Much of the Church still doesn't even know it exists. Not only is it biblical, but it can be shown through history that the Church used it to unlock the doors of revival. The problem is that it was lost around the turn of the twentieth century. Keys have a way of getting lost.

Jesus used it. So did Paul (Romans 3:19,20), Timothy (1 Timothy 1:8–11), and James (James2:10). Stephen used it when he preached (Acts 7:53). Peter found that it had been used to open the door to release 3,000 imprisoned souls on the Day of Pentecost. Jesus said that the lawyers had “taken away” the key, and even refused to use it to let people enter into the kingdom of God.

The Pharisees didn't take it away. Instead, they bent it out of shape so that it wouldn't do its work (Mark 7:8). Jesus returned it to its true shape, just as the Scriptures prophesied that He would do (Isaiah 42:21). Satan has tried to prejudice the modern Church against the key. He has maligned it, misused it, twisted it, and, of course, hidden it—he hates it because of what it does. Perhaps you are wondering what this key is. I will tell you. All I ask is that you set aside your traditions and prejudices and look at what God’s Word says on the subject.

In Acts 28:23 the Bible tells us that Paul sought to persuade his hearers “concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets.” Here we have two effective means of persuading the unsaved “concerning Jesus.”

Let’s first look at how the prophets can help persuade sinners concerning Jesus. Fulfilled prophecy proves the inspiration of Scripture. The predictions of the prophets present a powerful case for the inspiration of the Bible. Any skeptic who reads the prophetic words of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, etc., or the words of Jesus in Matthew 24 cannot but be challenged that this is no ordinary book.

The other means by which Paul persuaded sinners concerning Jesus was “out of the law of Moses.” The Bible tells us that the Law of Moses is good if it is used lawfully (1 Timothy 1:8). It was given by God as a “schoolmaster” to bring us to Christ (Galatians 3:24). Paul wrote that he “had not known sin, but by the law” (Romans 7:7). The Law of God (the Ten Commandments) is evidently the “key of knowledge” Jesus spoke of in Luke 11:52. He was speaking to “lawyers”—those who should have been teaching God’s Law so that sinners would receive the “knowledge of sin,” and thus recognize their need of the Savior.

Prophecy speaks to the intellect of the sinner, while the Law speaks to his  conscience. One produces faith in the Word of God; the other brings knowledge of sin in the heart of the sinner. The Law is the God-given “key” to unlock the Door of salvation. See Matthew 19:17–22 comment and Romans 3:19,20.

“I do not believe that any man can preach the gospel who does not preach the Law. The Law is the needle, and you cannot draw the silken thread of the gospel through a man’s heart unless you first send the needle of the Law to make way for it.” Charles Spurgeon

Source: The Evidence Bible

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

God Will Bring the Increase!

"So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow."
1 Corinthians 3:7

Some time ago, I had the opportunity to witness to a young couple down at the Redondo Beach Pier. They had recently moved to the area from Miami, Florida and were in their early twenties. I spoke with them for about 20 minutes and was able to witness the Law of God work on their conscience in a way only God's Law can. When I first met them, the young lady told me that she was 100% sure that she would go to heaven when she died. When I asked her why she believed that she told me it was because she was a good person and she treated people well. Just like when Jesus encountered the Rich Young Ruler (Luke 18:18-23), Jesus corrected his understanding of the word "good" and "loved him" by taking him through the Ten Commandments. Following his example, I asked them both if I could ask them a few of the Ten Commandments to see if they were in fact good people and they were happy to do so.

Less than five minutes later, they were both admitting their guilt and told me that if they died and God was a just God, then they would be heading to hell, and rightfully so. That is the power of God's Law. In a completely loving and friendly manner, God's Law allows a person to see themselves in the true light of God's holiness and their conscience bears witness (Rom 2:15) of their guilt before God. At this point, I was able to share the grace of God and the Gospel with them which now made sense in light of the fact that they understood their sin before a righteous God and that God's judgment would leave them headed for hell. Rather than the gospel being foolishness to them, it is seen as the power of God to salvation, because like a sick person in need of medicine, they see their illness and Jesus Christ as the cure.

At the end of our conversation, I asked them if there was any sin in their life that they loved so much that they would rather hold onto it and go to hell then to surrender to Jesus Christ and receive his mercy and forgiveness. The young man then told me he smoked weed and could not see himself giving it up. That was an honest admission. It was then that I was able to share my testimony with him and how God had changed my heart and allowed me to stop drinking and smoking marijuana after I became born again. I told him that if he humbled himself and submitted to Christ then God would change him from the inside out and what seemed like an impossible habit to get rid of today would be completely changed as he became a New Creation in Christ. At the end of our conversation I asked if I could leave them a free gift. They said yes and I gave them a DVD called Why Christianity? and some gospel tracts and thanked them for their time.

Exactly 1 week later, while down at the pier witnessing to others, God allowed me to run into them again down at the pier, just as I was getting ready to leave! What are the odds of that? I was excited to see them and ask them how their week was and if they had a chance to watch that video. As I spoke with them they told me their lives had been changed. They had watched the DVD I gave them shortly after talking with them and they had both repented and put their faith in Christ that night. They had also gone to church that Sunday near where they live in Wilmington and talked with the pastor after the service. PRAISE THE LORD!!! I was so thankful to the Lord for this testimony and that He allowed me to meet back up with them to see how they were doing a week later. So many times, I never get to see the people I witness to again but God used this situation to remind me that all I am called to do is plant seeds and to water seeds, He alone is responsible for the increase. He alone begins that good work in people and He alone carries it on to completion (Phil 1:6). "So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow." 1 Corinthians 3:7

As I read once before, "we must agree with Paul that we are debtors to all men (Romans 1:14), we must preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15) and obey Christ’s command to tell of this glorious gospel to the ends of the earth and reach every living person that we can for Christ (Matt 28:19-20). Though we will never be sufficient for all of these things, we can rest in the Sovereign hand of God that He can. So much joy abounds when we are faithful to preach the Gospel. There is never one time where I have regretted telling someone about the Lord. Christian, He has chosen to use us - all of us. Go! Share the Gospel, the World Desperately Needs it!