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Evangelism

Here is a great article by Ray Comfort.

Why Preachers are Afraid to Talk about Hell and Homosexuality

I banned a very nice orthodox priest from my Facebook page recently. He was polite, kind, respectful, friendly, and it seemed that he was always talking about the importance of love and forgiveness.  However, after one of my posts he asked, “Why do you bring fear into the gospel?” The question was a little strange, so I asked if he believed in the existence of a literal Hell. After some hedging he revealed that he believed that Hell was “the fire of God’s love,” and he linked me to an article that said that it was disgusting to go around warning people about Hell. Up until that point I had already banned 1,449 atheists for cussing, and when the friendly priest joined them, I was suddenly flooded with angry protesting atheists who loved him.  I told them that they were very welcome on my page, but even any professing Christian who betrayed the cause of the gospel would be banned.

There are many preachers in pulpits that are like the popular priest. One atheist spoke of one when he commented, “I went to church four days ago. I liked the preacher because he didn't yell and scream and tell me I was going to Hell. He smiled the whole time he talked. Why can't more of them be like that?" I told him that it seemed that his smiley preacher (like the friendly priest), either didn’t believe the words of Jesus, or he didn’t care that people who die in their sins would end up in Hell.

These are, however, difficult times for the average preacher. If we warn of Hell or speak of the Bible’s stance on homosexuality, we are quickly accused of hate speech.  But there are ways that you and I can talk about the reality of Hell and reach homosexuals with the gospel, and have it make sense. 

One reason preachers avoid speaking of Hell isn’t because they don’t believe in it. It’s because they misunderstand the purpose of the moral Law (the Ten Commandments). God’s Law shows us that the One we must face on Judgment Day is morally perfect, and that He considers lust to be adultery (see Matthew 5:27-28) and hatred to be murder (see 1 John 3:15).  It is because of this perfect righteousness that He abhors evil and warns that a day of ultimate and perfect justice is coming.  Any human judge who is good must see that justice is done, and God’s goodness will see to it that ultimate justice will be satisfied. Murderers, rapists, thieves, liars, fornicators, adulterers, etc., will get what is due to them.

When preachers don’t use the Law to show God’s absolute righteousness, and instead talk of His love and kindess, adding “But He will send you to Hell if you don’t trust in Jesus” makes no sense.  It paints God as a vengeful tyrant. So any such talk is avoided.

However, when Paul reasoned with Felix, we are told that he spoke of sin (which is transgression of the Law—1 John 3:4), righteousness (which is of the Law) and temperance, and Felix “trembled.”  In the light of his own exceeding sinfulness and the perfect righteousness of God, the self-indulgent governor understood that he was in big trouble. He trembled because Hell suddenly made sense.  The Law makes Hell reasonable.

Graphic by Answers in GensisWhen I speak with a homosexual, I avoid talk about his sexual orientation.  This is because I don’t want him to be offended before I share the gospel. So I simply ask if he thinks he’s a good person. When he predictably says that he is, I take him through the Ten Commandments (because scripture says that the moral Law was made for homosexuals--1Timothy 1:8-10)). Has he lied or stolen? Has he blasphemed God’s name? And when I ask about looking with lust, I deliberately don’t mention any gender.

Before seeing his sin, he was proud and self-righteous (thinking he was morally good), but now he’s humble of heart. That means he is able to be reasoned with, without being defensive.  So I tell him that to be saved from Hell he must repent of all sin and trust alone in Jesus. I then show him what “sin” is, by referring him to 1 Corinthians 6:9-10: “Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”  I then lovingly tell him that if he has a problem with the list, he should take it up with God, because it’s His list, not mine.

I want to see adulterers, fornicators, thieves and others on that list avoid the terror of Hell, so why should I exclude homosexuals because I’m afraid of being accused of hatred. Love cannot do that.

Great preachers of past centuries understood the necessity of doing what Jesus did—using the Ten Commandments to bring the knowledge of sin (see Mark 10:17). A failure to do so has resulted in the Church being filled with false converts, and this has dissipated its ability to be salt and light in a dark and sinful world. It has relegated the Church to irrelevance in the eyes of the world (see Matthew 5:13). It’s time to go back to biblical evangelism.

For further teaching on these principles please freely listen to “Hell’s Best Kept Secret” on www.livingwaters.com.

Evangelism is needed as well as apologetics. This day and age where it is more clear, people want to have it their way. Well, if you have it your way, you will indefenitely most likely to go to hell. Well, I am sorry to say this, but it is true that there is only  TWO places a person can go. Heaven in the which you will need to have a personal relationship, that is Accepting Jesus as Personal Savior, ackknowledging their sin, realising their nead for a Savior and going the extra mile and Inviting Him into his or her life and to be The lord of their life. Or Go to a place of eternal fire where the worm dieth not. Well, I pray that you will serach His word if not saved and for those already saved, That you will grow in the Grace and knowledge of Him.


The true gospel according to Jesus

by Sean Bishop (Notes) on Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 4:39pm

Matthew 16:24-25 = Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

 

It's not about exalting me, it's not about slaying...

me. It's the death of self. You win by losing; you live by dying. And that is at the heart message of the gospel. That is the essance if discipleship.

 

----THE HARD WORDS OF JESUS----

 

Luke 9 cuts to the core of the question of what christianity is all about. Here, Jesus was with His deciples shortly after miraculously feeding a crowd of five thousand, who had come to hear him speak, with one modest basket of loaves and fishes. In Luke 9:23-26 we read:

 

Luke 9:23-26

 

" And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels."

 

It's pretty simple. Anyone wants to come to Jesus into the kingdom of God-anyone who wants to be a christian- has to face three commands: 1) deny himself, 2) take up his cross daily, and 3) follow Him. These words are hard to understand or believe.

When Martin Luther launched the protestant reformation in 1517 by posting his 95 theses on the door at wittenburg, he affirmed in the fourth thesis that salvation required self-hate. He wrote that "self-hate remains right up to the entrance into the kingdom of Heaven" The original greek word for "deny" means "to refuse to associate with." The thought is that if you want to be christ disciple, and recieve forgiveness and eterwnal life, you must refuse to associate any longer with the person you are! But to go even furthur it may mean not just you, but your family.

in Mathew 10:34-36 =

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household."

It's not a friendly invitation; it's a warning: If you come to Christ, it may make your family worse, not better. It may send a rift into your family, the likes of which you have never experienced before. If you give your life to Christ, there will be an impassible gulf between you and people who don't give there lives to Him.

verse 37 adds, "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." If your not willing to pay the price of permanent split in your family unless your loved ones come to Christ, If your not willing to pay the price of greater trauma, greater conflict, greater suffering in your family- then you're not worthy to be Jesus' desciple.

Verse 38: " And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me." Wait a minute. In Jesus' time people associated a cross with one thing and one thing alone: a cross was an instrument of death. He was saying that if you're not willing to have conflict your not worthy of Him.

Verse 39: "He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it." This is an echo with Luke 9. It's about losing your life. It's not man centered theology, it's a Christ centered theology that says, " I give everything to Christ, no matter what it cost me, even if it cost me my life.

 

 

                                                           THE TRUE GOSPEL IN SCRIPTURE

 

This is the fundamental truth about Christianity that the bible confirmes continually. Jesus said the sam thing in many differant ways.  He said it in the familiar story of th rich young ruler. In Mark 10:17   ( young synagogue leader) = And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master (good teacher), what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

       What a setup for personal evangilism! Jesus could have said, "Pray this parayer" or "make a dicision to accept me!"  He didn't. Instead He confronted the young man with the reality of sin to reveal whether or not he was convicted of his wickedness and repentant over his iniquities.  Jesus offered several of the Ten Commandments as examples of the law of God to this young ruer to reveal he has broken them.

         Rejecting any thought of sinfulness and repentance, the young man bragged about having obeyed the Ten Commandments all his life.  He thought he was a perfect canididat for eternal life.  But he got a response he didn't exspect.  In verse 21 Jesus said = Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.  Jesus exposed his self-righteousness and then uncovered his love for money.  The young ruler wanted Jesus to show him how to have eternal life.  But Jesus told him that the price was giving up his illusion of self-righteousness, recognizing himself rathr as an unworthy, wretched sinner.  And he needed to be willing to submit to the Lord Jesus Christ, even if it meant he had to give up all earthly possesions. H might not ask, but the requirement for eternal life is the willingness to give all up if He does.

          The young man wouldnt do either- admit his sin or deny himself.  As verse 22 tells us," And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions."  He decided he'd rather hold onto the deception of self-righteousness, and have his money and possesions, the have Jesus.  He had no interest in self-denial, self-sacrifice, or submision.  Therefore he was unworthy to be Jesus' disciple, and he shut the door to the kingdom of salvation.

          We all know someone like the rich young ruler -cocky, self-assured, impressed with his own goodness- who sees Christian salvation as one more goal he can achieve through performance, skill, money, and influence.  The bible tells us that's not how it works.  The goal is the unfamiliar one of sorrowfully acknowledging sin, of submission and sacrifice. If we're not willing to sepoerate from our families, seperate from the world, seperate from material things that we posses, then Jusus isn't that valuable to us.  It's an all - or - nothing proposition.

          There's yet another example in Luke 9:57 where Jesus was walking down the road with some of His followers, and one of them promised, "I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest."  Jesus didn't say,  "Hey, that's great, where all going to live happily ever after on earth"   What He said in verse 58 was, "And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." Jesus didn't say "Follow me, and you will be happy, you will be healthy, wealthy, prosperous, and successful." He said, "Just know this: I don't have a place to lay my head.  Dicsepleship is going to cost you whatever you have.  Don't expect comfort or ease."

         The story continues in verse 59: " And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father."   The implication here was that his father wasn't even dead.  What did he mean , "go first and bury" his father?  Did he mean go to the funeral? No, he meant hang around until he got the inheritance!  He wasn't going to have anything if he was going to follow Jesus.  Jesus had nothing to give him, so he wanted to stick around the house until he could pack a fortune in his bag and then come after Jesus.  He disappeared too.

          A third would be-follower of Jesus wanted to return home and organize a big farewell party with his friends and family - to secure suport for his venture.  verse 62 = "And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."  Jesus told him that those who entered His kingdom didn't go back to bring along elements of the old life.  Rather they were like the farmer, who, onced he grabbed the plow, kept looking forward so the furrow was straight (Luke 9:61-62).

         Jesus set the standard of total self-denial.  In Luke 14:26, a great multitude was following Him and He turned and said:   "If any man come to me,----meaning those who wanted to be His true followers---- "and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple."  Self-hate?  What a powerful truth!  This in not salvation of good works but the very opposite: salvation by rejecting all hope of pleasing God on our own. 

         Following Jesus is not about you and me.  Being a Christian is not about us; not about self-esteem.  It's about our sick of our sin and our despration for forgiveness.  It is about seeing Christ as the priceless Savior from sin and death and hell, so that we willingly give up as much as it takes, even if it costs us our families, marriages, frienships, and whatever else we cherrish and possess.

       It might even costs us our lives , as Jesus said in Luke 9:24 and reaffirmed in 14:27, "  And whosoever doth not bear his cross"--that is, be willing to die and give up his life--" and come after me, (cannot) be my disciple."

       It cannot be any clearer then that.  If you try to hold onto you, your plan, your agenda, your success, your self-esteem, you lose forgiveness and heaven.

       In John 12:24 Jesus said,"Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."  In other words, " If your going to be fruitful in following Me," Jusus says,"It's going to cost you your life.  You're going to hav to die."  Verse 25: "He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal."  The path that Jesus was going down was the path to persecution and death.

     So you want to follow Jesus , do you?  It'll cost you absolutely everything.

      The Lord might not take your life.  He might not take all your money. He might not tak your family or your spouse.  He might not take your job.  But you need to be willing to give it all up, Like Abraham offering his son Issac, if that's what He asks.  You need to be desprate enough to embrace Christ no matter what the price.

     If you want to follow Christ right into heaven, here's th message: Deny yourself, take up the cross, and follow Him.  Do you hear that in the contemporary gospel? Do you ever hear anybody stand up in the crowd and say, " If you want to be a Christian, slay yourself!  Refuse to associate any longer with yourself, reject all the things your self longs and wants and hopes for!  Be willing to die for the sake of Christ, if required, and while living slavishly, submit in obedience to Christ Jesus!"  That message does NOT SELL!  That's not smart marketing.

       Its the message that is to difficult to believe, because self-denial is so hard to do. It just happens to be the truth.

 

 

 

                                                                      THE NARROW WAY

 

So what do you want to do?  According to lots of churches, and preachers, the answer is to popularize the gospel: get rid of all this slaying-yourslef and carring the cross stuff, and get a decent band up there on the stage.  Tell everybody God wants him to be happy and successful of self-esteem.

        The only problem is that saying those things gives people who don't know any better the illusion they're saved, when they are not. And someday, when they face Christ, they're going to say, "Lord, Lord!" and He's going to say,"Depart from Me. I never knew you" (see matthew 7:23).  What's a good band worth then?  About as much as healthy self-esteem.

         Mankind wants glory.  We want health. We want wealth. We want happiness.  We want all our felt needs met, all our little human itches scratched.  We want painless life.  We want the crown without the cross.  We want the gain without the pain.  We want the words of Christian salvation to be easy.

        That's how people think. But that's not God instructions to us.  According to Hebrews 2:10, " captain of their salvation perfect through (sufferings)."  And also we will go through suffering.  What we suffer first of all is the death of all hopes, all ambitions, all desires, all longing, all needs that are human.

       Listening to a seeker-sensitive preacher today, we're likely to think easy to be a Christian.  Just say these words, pray a little prayer the , POOF! you're in the club.  According to the bible, it doesn't work that way. In Mathew 7:13 during the teaching on the mount, Jesus admonished His followers, " Enter into the narrow gate." The connotation of "narrow" here is constricted.  It's a very, very tight squeeze.  We can't carry anything through it; we come through with nothing.

       A wide religious gate also exist, and I am saddened to think so many preachers, and so many churches, are leading people through it.  They're saying "you don't have to do all that hard stuff to go into heaven.  We're open minded and inclusive, and we think everybody who wants to should get saved."

      People are breezing through those wide , comfortable, inviting gates with all their baggage, their self-needs,self esteem, and their desire for fulfillment and self-satisfaction. These people believe they are saved, and yet some preacher did not share the truth because if he shared the truth VERY few will desire to follow the truth. And we all know that true worshipers worship in Spirit and truth.

    Mathew 7:14,"narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." ((Difficult truth to believe the way and few be there that find it.  And those who don't find it is because they dont want to hear the truth but something quick and simple and easy to understand.) 

          Look the same appears in Luke 13:23-24," Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,  Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able."

 

 

---Sean Bishop, from: True Gospel Baptist Church---

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