Tag Archives: soul winning

2 Kings 1; Who’s To Blame?

I’ve heard it said a lot lately, that this world is corrupt, and it’s only going to get worse, that evil people will continue to gain momentum. I’m telling you it doesn’t have to be that way.

Did you read about how Elijah spoke to the men King Ahaziah sent to get him? A captain and fifty armed soldiers told Elijah, “The king says, come.” Seems harmless enough. But remember who Ahaziah’s parents were. Ahaziah knew exactly who this man of God was: the prophet responsible for the death of his parents, Ahab and Jezebel. I doubt their offspring wanted to invite Elijah to tea.

Elijah would have nothing to do with Ahaziah or his men. In fact, to demonstrate that Elijah was a man of God, he said fire would come down from heaven and consume them. Fire from heaven came down and consumed them.

Ahaziah sent another fifty soldiers to go get Elijah. They died, too. It wasn’t until the third captain humbled himself before Elijah, and in turn before God, that God told Elijah to go with them. Then, standing before the king, Elijah did not back down. He stayed true to God’s Word. No compromise here!

Thirty or so years ago, there was a trend for churches to hire outsiders to come into their fellowship, survey members, talk to people in the neighborhoods, learn the “demographics,” then recommend changes the churches needed to make to grow their attendance. As a result we’ve got “contemporary” worship styles, the removal of pulpits, altars, hymns, and organs. We’ve come up with clever little names for our fellowships because being identified with a denomination “turned people off.” We’ve adopted a casual approach to worship so everyone feels comfortable, a laid back atmosphere so people don’t feel threatened, entertaining worship services so people go away feeling good, and Starbucks in the foyer.

We’ve also seen the word, “sin” replaced with “lifestyle” or “tolerance,” “acceptance,” and of course, “God’s love.”

Many churches did see a marked growth, more bodies in the chairs each Sunday, or Saturday night if that’s more “convenient.” The mega-church was born. We may have compromised a bit. But numbers don’t lie.

Or do they?

Let me ask you this: Is our world better than it was thirty years ago? Is there less crime, less evil, a mega turning to God since the church implemented these changes? I’m not asking if there are people coming to your church. I’m asking what impact your church has had on our world. Are drug dealers, thieves, child molesters, drunks, soccer moms, and CEO’s coming to the Savior because your church is out there actively winning souls?

I would say, after reading the news, I doubt it. Now, if you are involved in a church that IS making a difference and seeing people repent of sin and come to the Lord, understand I know I’m preaching to the choir. But, from what I see in our country and the world, the Church is failing in our mission to go and make disciples.

Here’s why my thoughts went here today. Read what J Vernon McGee had to say about 2 Kings 1, and Elijah’s firm stand:

There is much talk today about the fact that we should learn to communicate and learn to get along with everybody. May I say to you that this is not God’s method. The compromise of the church and its leaders has not caused the world to listen to the church. As a matter of fact, the world is not listening at all. They pass the church right by. Why? The world will not listen until the church declares the Word of God. If the church preached God’s Word, there would be communication. (p 157, Through the Bible commentary, I & II Kings)

Dr. McGee wrote those words in the middle of the trend I spoke about earlier. His words were prophetic. If the world didn’t listen to the Church back then, it laughs at the Church today.

Do you know why I believe what Dr. McGee said is true? God has said that His Word would not return void. (Isaiah 55:11) Our world is not in the shape it’s in because Satan is so strong. It’s because the church is so weak. We refashioned ourselves to look like the world, to the point they don’t see their need to change. We have neglected God’s Word, and in turn, have harnessed His power to save souls. And we read about the result of this in the news every day.

And don’t even tell me it’s God’s will. Jesus didn’t tell us to go into the world and preach the gospel until things got tough, then sit back and let evil take over because He’ll rapture the church before things get really bad. We’ll dodge that bullet, too bad for everybody else. If that theology makes me mad, I can imagine God’s opinion of it.

Our world is in bad shape. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. I pray that the Holy Spirit will revive the Church, that Christians will see sinners through Jesus’ eyes, that we will stand firm on the Truth of Scripture, and proclaim it from the mountaintops, in our churches, and in our neighborhoods. I also pray that Christians will live lives that attract people to their Savior.

Oh, dear Christian. Don’t sit back and blame Satan, or the media, or a president for the state of things in our world. We have the God of the Universe ready and eager to step in. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

 

December 1 – Compulsion

I Corinthians 9-11

Paul was a single-minded man. He had one aim, one purpose in life, and that was to tell everyone about Jesus. He even said, I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.  (9:16)

Later he compared himself to a runner with the aim of winning the race, and a boxer whose blows don’t beat the air.

I asked Siri to give me a definition of the word, compulsion. Here’s what she said:

  1. The action of forcing or being forced to do something; constraint.
  2. An irrestible urge to behave in a certain way, especially against one’s conscious wishes.

It sounds like maybe if you asked Paul, being a preacher might not have been his first choice of careers. He just couldn’t help himself. He HAD to share the gospel.

In 11:1, Paul tells us to imitate him, like he imitated Christ. He said those words after talking about being a servant, about considering the faith of others above all things.

As I read these chapters in I Corinthians I am convicted. I’m not sure I have the same compulsion to share Jesus as Paul had. As Christians, shouldn’t we all have the same passion for seeing people come to the Lord? Shouldn’t we all be so focused on Jesus we just can’t help but share Him with everyone we meet?

November 24

II Thessalonians 2&3; Acts 18:18-19:41

Who is the man of lawlessness? I guess I am one who is less interested in guessing his identity and more interested in looking at the setting around which the lawless one will be revealed. I want Christians to recognize the signs and, instead of chalking off another box, get out there and do something to stop it. I think that’s what Paul was trying to do.

Paul tells us a rebellion will occur. Satan will perform counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders. Every sort of evil will deceive people who refuse to love the truth. They will have powerful delusions, believe the lie, and delight in wickedness.

Check your local listings.

Actually, Paul is describing life on planet earth since the beginning of time. Satan has always been a liar. People have always delighted in sin. But our modern world plasters it all over the big screen for all to see for the price of a ticket. And what that has done is made blatant sin seem exciting, desirable, even normal. 

I know the fire is out of control. But are we just going to sit back and watch our world burn? What kind of world are we leaving for our children when we are gone? 

I don’t know. Maybe we should let the companies that advertise during TV shows that promote sin know that we aren’t buying their products any more. Maybe we should write our lawmaker and tell them we aren’t voting for them as long as they support ungodly legislation. No doubt we should be talking to our children about what they are seeing. And no doubt we should hold our pastors and teachers accountable in preaching the truth of Scripture.

One thing we need to understand. We can’t expect sinners to act like Christians or to value the same things we value. If we want our world to change for the better, we need to be diligent about winning lost souls. The system won’t change until the people within the system repent.

Father, I pray that your children will grasp the urgency. Forgive our silence. Forgive us for wanting to give up. Forgive us for taking part in the sin by watching the shows, buying the products, laughing at the jokes, and not looking for opportunities to share you with people who so desperately need you. God, I don’t want to be a part of Satan’s work by my lack of action. I want to be a part of the solution, a warrior in your army, your voice to lost souls. I pray that the man of lawlessness won’t be able to be identified in our lifetime because we who know you are faithful to do the work you have for us to do.