The World Will Hate You

chainsIn our day of political correctness, ‘likability’ has become a golden calf. This has become true in many of our churches and pulpits. We must seek to go out as “lambs among wolves” when sharing the gospel, however, we must be careful that we do not dumb down the message beyond recognition.

There are a couple of issues that we must clearly understand in order to prevent us from watering down the gospel and getting caught up in the swell of cultural softness. We must never take the nails, thorns or splinters away from the scandal of the cross as we share, but we must make sure our presentation of those truths are not muddled by the ugliness of carnality and bitterness. Nothing is a ugly as a preacher sharing the glorious truths of Christ with harsh bitterness, frustration or control. It makes a mockery out of the message and fails to present the God of the Scriptures.

If we stand for the truth and Spirit of the gospel, we will be persons who are:

  • Loving
  • Gentle
  • Courteous
  • Kind
  • Tenderhearted
  • Respectful
  • Truthful
  • Honoring others

Equally so, when we stand for the gospel we will also be: Continue reading “The World Will Hate You”

Why It’s Good to be the Minority Sometimes

Rick's GranddaughterI love to share what other leaders in the body of Christ are saying. As many voices as possible need to be heard from men who understand culture and who are using their gifts and talents to reach others with the gospel. Here is a great article by Rick Whitter. He does a good job of relating the experience of his granddaughter to our call to be strangers and pilgrims. Let us all be sensitive and wise as ambassadors for Christ. Well worth the read. Here is the link:

Why It’s Good to be the Minority Sometimes | Thoughts on Life and Leading.

Reasons to Believe (Part 1)

Are there sufficient reasons for man to believe there is a God if he does not accept the Bible as God’s Word? Yes! More and more in the age we are living in, the Bible is being set aside by those in society… especially by those who run from accountability and desire to justify a selfish lifestyle. We easily see this around us, from the youth of our day to those in the market place and in academia. Where do we go in conversation? The Scripture is the last place to begin, for that is not a common ground for conversation with them. Where are the entry points for discussing truth with those who have distanced themselves from the authority of the Scripture?

As Christians, we can go on their turf, appeal to the reasons available to all men, and begin a dialogue with men of the world. If their hearts are seeking truth there are plenty of areas for dialogue with those who presently reject the Bible. Paul and the early believers faced this alot in their day and we will face it more and more in ours. If we insist on telling them what “the Word of God” says, when they do not even believe there is a God, we will only be talking to ourselves.

Our understanding in this day must go outside the small minded presentation of truth so many of us have. We must allow the Lord to make us wise in communication as we pray for those we are called to reach with the gospel. There are plenty of areas to engage the men of this world with before we attempt to share the Scriptures. What are some of the ‘reasons to believe’ which we can use when conversing with unbelievers who are not sure Continue reading “Reasons to Believe (Part 1)”

Holiness is Essential for Evangelism

Holiness is the single most important issue for evangelism. John Wesley said, “Get on fire for God and men will come to watch you burn.” May the Lord raise up men and women whose first desire is to live holy and righteousness through the power of the Holy Spirit. 

In order for us to properly understand biblical holiness and how it applies practically to our everyday life we need to have a basic understanding of separation from the world. We will only look at two vital points, but they are critical for helping us stay clear of legalism and sectarianism in our Christian walk.

Not of the World

Shortly before He was arrested and crucified, Jesus prayed for His disciples. This prayer was not only for the twelve, but also for every true believer down through the ages. (Jn. 17:20) In this prayer, Jesus mentioned how His disciples “are not of the world.” (Jn. 17:16) In some circles or camps this statement is completely ignored and the result is a very worldly church. In other camps, this statement is misunderstood or improperly Continue reading “Holiness is Essential for Evangelism”

Don’t Dumb Down The Gospel

This past week I had the privilege to speak to a youth group at First Wesleyan Church in Kannapolis, North Carolina. The crowd was high school, college and a sprinkling of older adults as well. A great crowd of youth came with expectant hearts and lively minds. I was asked to share about the work in India with the orphans and church planting. Seeing their faces as I shared power point photos of some of the work was golden. I’m praying for the Lord to continue to burn a desire in the hearts of these young people for missions and church planting…not just overseas, but in their neighborhood.

After that, I shared a brief message, “What is Truth?” Prodding and probing the hearts of those in attendance with how each of us answer the postmodern challenges to the gospel. These youth took the message to heart and were filled with questions. We opened the floor for the Q & A session and the real ministry began. For over an hour in the ‘official’ service, and then for 3 more hours after that, questions were constantly asked and discussed. I barely had time to grab a slice of pizza. In fact, a friend had to bring it to me, as I could not tear away from the constant stream of questions.

These youth wanted to understand how to answer their friends who object to the gospel because of difficult questions. They wanted to know, from God, how to reach their lost Continue reading “Don’t Dumb Down The Gospel”

There’s an Elephant in the Room…and it is not a Republican

For the first time in history a political party in the United States has adopted a platform which shakes its fist in the face of God. The term ‘God’ has been officially left out of the National Democratic Platform.* However, there is an Elephant in the room…and it is not a Republican. As the DNC turns its back on God and the Judea-Christian base for our democracy, the democrats find themselves not just at odds with Republicans, but at odds with God.

The DNC stands arrogantly in support of the murder of the unborn and the immoral marriage of homosexuals. It is impossible to think of a convention moving any further away from Christianity than this. Yes, there is an elephant in the room who is being ignored and insulted at the DNC. It is God and His Word.

So, when you meet someone who ‘claims to be a Christian’ while supporting the Obama administration and the DNC, ask them this simple question: Continue reading “There’s an Elephant in the Room…and it is not a Republican”

Why I Boycott Boycotts

I do not like boycotts. In fact, the only thing I boycott is boycotts. Why? Because to me it seems that boycotts violate the very call to take the gospel to all men. I just cannot wrap my head or heart around the image of seeing Jesus, or Paul for that matter, leading a picket line or social demonstration to force morality upon others. I can sum up my problems with boycotts with 10 simple questions.

1) Isn’t the Gospel for all?

2) How can we reach people by boycotting them? 

3) How can we love people when we are standing aloof and boycotting their business?

4) How can we communicate their need for Christ while refusing to enter their work space?

5) Why offend with boycotting the very people I’m called to reach?

6) How can I reach them and demonstrate the gospel if I fail to enter their everyday life?

7) Why make social mores or public laws the dividing line for who gets respect and who does not?  Continue reading “Why I Boycott Boycotts”

The Chiefest of Sinners

When the Apostle Paul called himself the “chiefest of sinners” (1Tim. 1:15), he was not attempting to patronize us or offer a form of self-abased false humility. Instead, he really meant it. He knew the workings of his own heart better than any other person. He understood his failings and struggles. He knew that even though he was forgiven, he still fell short of the glory of God. (Rom. 3:23) After all, before his conversion Paul ravaged the church by arresting men and women, casting them into prison with harsh persecution and even consenting to their death. I believe their faces and his attacks on them were a constant reminder to him of God’s grace.

Because of this, Paul’s writings strike a wonderful example of  speaking “truth in love.” (Eph. 4:15)  As believers who live in the midst of a society which has many culturally charged issues in the public square, we would do well to embrace the same truth about ourselves. We are sinners redeemed by God’s grace. We still fall short of God’s standard and His glory. As long as we live on the shores of time we will fall short of perfection.

The only thing which separates us from the men of this world is that we have been forgiven through faith in Christ and have the Holy Spirit to empower us to live an obedient and righteous life. Because of this, we can never justify what we see in many Continue reading “The Chiefest of Sinners”

Homosexuals, the Closet and the Marketplace

For the first time in American history, we have a president who openly supports homosexual marriage. His brazened humanism, though guised with words borrowed from Christianity, is another step by the privileged and elite to force the convictions of the few upon and against the convictions of the majority; and against the moral foundation of our nation. This is certainly tragic and it reveals the slippery slope of moral decay our country has been on for several decades.

But really, how bad is the thrust of homosexual openness in our country? As more and more come ‘out of the closet,’ does it lead us to another step of social apostasy? Were we really better off when the “Billie Joe MacAllisters” of this nation just ran and jumped off the Tallahatchie bridge! (For the young readers, google ‘Ode to Billie Joe.’)

How would we see it if we stepped back and gave an honest look at the situation from a larger context? What opportunity does it offer to the Church? Continue reading “Homosexuals, the Closet and the Marketplace”

Has the American Church Missed it?

Statistics show a steady decline in the membership of mainline Protestant churches over the past several decades. Also, it is easy to see the hostile and anti-christian bashing which takes place among the social and media elites. What is going on? Is there something simple and systemically amiss with us? Has the American Church missed it?

Several issues could be mentioned in regards to the answers for the questions I raise. However, one area is becoming more and more clear as we watch American politics and fundraising among American Churches. Here is the issue at hand: We have failed to recognize the difference between culture and the Church.

In America, preachers and “christian celebrities” are always discussing social issues to a lost and un-regenerated culture. After all, book and DVD marketing finds more clients among the consumer driven economy by targeting the largest audience. Therefore, our message has lost the clear dividing line between culture and Church. Here are three issues we need to revisit for developing a mission toward the lost to regain the biblical focus of a New Testament Church.

Continue reading “Has the American Church Missed it?”

Sprinting Toward Death….Finding Life

Death and despair have their strongholds in every culture and among all social classes. The human soul was created to be in fellowship with it’s Creator. However, when men and women have not heard the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, death appears to be the quick exit from pain, agony and emptiness. This is the back drop to the story of mankind in general, and to the following story in particular. (names changed for security reasons)

Lexi is a young lady in a rural village in India. Her young  life had come crashing down as the Doctor informed her she had HIV/AIDS. It was a death sentence. A result from a life of prostitution. However, the pain became even more intense when she was betrayed by close friends who shared her plight with the locals and brought even more pressure to bear upon her heart as she became an outcast to her village. The village Elders asked her to leave and not come back.

As a Hindu and a believer in re-incarnation, Lexi began the journey to bring about change in her life. She desired to end her present life and have a re-incarnation to a better life. She planned to accomplish this by casting herself into the nearby river to be taken down by the whirlpool. She ran, with tears in her eyes and brokenness in her heart….she sprinted toward death! Continue reading “Sprinting Toward Death….Finding Life”

Why Atheism is Irrational – Street Apologetics

Atheism, the position of pseudo intellectuals who claim that Christianity does not merit or demonstrate a rational worldview. Their claim is actually a red herring (diversion) they use to hide their own irrational and indefensible worldview. Why would I say that? Glad you asked! Atheism fails to offer explanatory power for many actualities we know in life.

Atheism offers no rational and coherent explanation for:

  • The complexity of the universe – The fine tuning of the universe necessarily points to an intelligent designer. The possibility of a cosmos with intelligent life and a place of habitation to sustain it is mathematically impossible. The complexity and fine tuning of the universe demands that a Divine Mind created it and directs it.
  • The uniqueness of man – The distinction man has from other animals points to a personal source. Man’s personality makes him unique and special. You can not get human personality from a non-personal source. Continue reading “Why Atheism is Irrational – Street Apologetics”