Archive for the 'Witnessing' Category

Overcoming your fear of witnessing

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006 at 11:19 am

Are you afraid to share your faith with people? What if you were given $1,000 each time you witnessed to someone? If you witnessed to 10 people, you would get $10,000; if you witnessed to 100, you would collect $100,000. Would that help you get over your fear? If you answered “Yes,” what does that say about your faith?

Doesn’t it say that your love of money is greater than your love of God? Money has become an idol to you.

Posted in Witnessing
by Gordy

The Ten Commandments: part of the gospel?

Friday, January 6th, 2006 at 1:30 am

We’ve always heard that the gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s what it says in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4:

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

So what do I mean that the Ten Commandments are part of the gospel? Am I adding to the gospel? Before you judge me as a heretic, consider this:

1 Timothy 1:5-11 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: 6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; 7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. 8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; 9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; 11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

Notice in verse 11: “according to the glorious gospel.” That means the preceeding verses are an explanation of the gospel. Let’s look at the preceeding verses so we can see how the Ten Commandments are part of the gospel.

In verse 5, it says “Now the end of the commandment…” Paul is getting ready to explain what the end – or the result – of the commandment is. In verse 8 we learn that the law – the Ten Commandments – is good if we use it lawfully. What does it mean to use the law lawfully? It does not mean we are to try to make the saved live by the Ten Commandments. Verse 9 tells us the law was not made for the righteous – the saved. Using the law lawfully means we are to give the law to those for whom it was made. Verses 9 and 10 gives a list of people for whom the law was made: the lawless, disobedient, ungodly, sinners, unholy, profane, murderers, whoremongers, sodomites, adulterers, liars – in other words, for the unsaved, the lost.

For whom is the gospel? The lost. So how does the law fit in as part of the gospel? Look back to 1 Corinthians 15:3: “Christ died for our sins.” What is sin? Sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). How is a lost person going to know he or she is a sinner unless he or she knows the law? A person will not know he or she is guilty if he or she does not know the law. A lost person will not know why the Lord Jesus Christ submitted himself to the death penalty unless that person knows why he or she deserves the death penalty under the law.

The law is a very important part of the gospel. The law brings us to Christ (Galatians 3:24). The law stops the sinner’s mouth from self-justification (Romans 3:19). The law brings knowledge of sin (Romans 7:7). Nowhere in the Bible are we told to tell lost people they have a God-shaped hole that only he can fill. Nowhere in the Bible are we told to tell lost people God has a wonderful plan for their lives. Nowhere in the Bible are we told to tell lost people to give Jesus a try. We do, however, see plenty of examples of the lost being given the law (the rich, young ruler, the woman at the well, etc.) to prepare their hearts for the grace of God.

Please, when you witness to someone, do not leave out the law. Throw the book at him or her. When he or she sees that he or she is guilty and condemned before a holy and perfect judge, he or she won’t need to be prodded into saying a sinner’s prayer. He or she will be like those in Acts 2 who were pricked in their hearts and said “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” or the Philippian jailer in Acts 16 who said “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And remember, a lost person can’t see the law by the way you live. Walking the walk is great, but you need to open your mouth and talk the talk too.

Now, go out there and be a spiritual police officer, find a transgressor, and inform him or her of the law he or she has broken and there is a judgment day coming before a holy, righteous, and perfect judge. And then tell him or her how to get a pardon.

Posted in Witnessing
by Gordy

Men: perfect examples of lost people

Wednesday, January 4th, 2006 at 1:38 pm

Most men, including myself, will not stop to ask for directions when we are driving somewhere and get lost – er, misplaced. As long as we think we can drive for a little bit, eventually get back on track, and get to our destination, we will not stop and ask for help. As long as we think we can still do it on our own, we think our way is still OK.

Lost people trying to earn their way to Heaven are the same. As long as they think they can get to Heaven on their own – going their own way, they will never repent and turn to God and God’s way.

It is our job to get the sinner hopelessly lost – to show them their way is not the right way – and then and only then will they realize they need help. When they see that they are lost, they will give their own invitation – their own altar call. When they realize that their attempts to get to Heaven are futile, they will cry out for help.

How do we get them to see they are hopelessly lost? They need to see that no matter how good they are or are trying to be, they can never be good enough in God’s eyes on their own. The most effective way for them to see this is to give them the Ten Commandments and show them how they are guilty of each and every one of them. The law will stop their mouths from justifying themselves (Romans 3). With the full weight of their sin upon them, they will see their own way is not the right way. Then and only then should we give them the grace of God. If we give them the good news of the gospel before they realize they need help, they will most likely not receive it with gladness. They will trample it under foot and continue on their own way.

Only when they see their need for help will they ask for the help you are offering.

Posted in Witnessing
by Gordy

For some things, you don’t need to call headquarters

Monday, January 2nd, 2006 at 11:46 am

Imagine, if you will, a firefighter arrives at a house on fire and people are trapped inside. Should the firefighter first call back to headquarters to see if the chief wants him to attempt to rescue the people from the fire? Of course not! The firefighter’s job is to rescue people from fires – he already has a charge to rescue them. He does not need to seek additional guidance before doing so.

We are spiritual firefighters. We have a charge given by the Lord Jesus Christ to rescue those who are trapped and condemned to eternal flames. When deciding if you should witness to someone, you don’t need to pray and seek direction from God. Just recall that God said to go and preach the gospel to every creature – then ask yourself if the person is included in “every creature” and you’ll know if you should witness to him or her. There is no need to call headquarters and ask our chief for guidance.

“Save some with fear, pulling them out of the fire.”

Posted in Witnessing
by Gordy

The true meaning of Christmas

Friday, December 23rd, 2005 at 11:33 pm

During this time of the year, many people sing Christmas carols. Most of the time, we sing these songs without ever thinking about the words. For instance, in “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” we sing:

Peace on Earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled.

What does it mean “God and sinners reconciled?”

To understand this, we first need to understand a couple of other things.

What is a sinner?

A sinner is someone who sins.

What is sin?

According to 1 John 3:5, sin is the transgression of God’s law – sin is the breaking of God’s law. In Isaiah 59:2, we are told that sin separates the sinner from God. Sinners are separated from God because they broke his law and thus need to be reconciled to God.

How is a sinner reconciled to God?

According to Galatians 3:24, the law – the same law that sinners break – is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. So first, to be reconciled to God, you have to be a sinner. Let’s look at some of God’s laws to see if any of us broken them. The Ten Commandments are good place to start since those are probably the most widely known of God’s laws.

The Ninth Commandment says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” Bearing false witness is lying. Have you ever told a lie? It doesn’t matter the color – even a little white lie? If you lie, you are a liar.

The Eighth Commandment says, “Thou shalt not steal.” Have you ever stolen anything? It doesn’t matter the value – it could be something small. Something when you were a child? If you can’t think of anything, let me ask you this: have you always tithed to God on everything you ever made? If not, God says you’ve stolen from him. If you steal something, you are a thief.

The Third Commandment says, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” Have you ever used God’s name as a curse word? Have you ever used his Son’s name as a curse word? Have you ever swore to God to do something and then failed to do it? You have taken God’s name in vain – that is blasphemy. God’s says he will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

The Seventh Commandment says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Now, many of us will think we are safe on this one – but Jesus said in Matthew 5:28 that whoever looks with lust at a woman has commited adultery already in his heart. Remember, man may only see our actions, but God can see our heart. God judges us on our actions AND our thoughts. Have you ever looked with lust at someone? You are an adulterer.

We’ve looked at only four of the Ten Commandments and I dare to say that everyone reading this has broken all four – do we need to look at the other six to make you see you are sinner?

If God were to judge you today based on just the Ten Commandments, would you be innocent or guilty? Not one of us in here could honestly say we are innocent. The littlest white lie we told condemns us. We all are sinners and are separated from God. If we would die in this condition, we would be separated from God for all eternity. We all are liars and in Revelation 21:8 we see that ALL liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, we see that no thieves and no adulterers shall inherit the kingdom of God. Hell is the punishment that God gives for breaking his law. Some of you may say that you will just ask for forgiveness and be OK. If a murderer was brought before a human judge and said he was sorry, would the judge be a good judge if he let the murderer go because he was sorry? No, he should be sorry – but he still deserves to be punished. God is a holy and just judge. He will not let the guilty go.

So what’s this got to do with Christmas? You see, since we all are guilty before God and deserve to be punished in Hell, we needed a way to escape. If you were in a courtroom guilty of crime and the punishment was a $1,000,000 fine, you wouldn’t be able to pay it – but if someone paid it for you, the law would be satisfied and you would be free to go. One day about 2,000 years ago – which is the day we celebrate at Christmas – God sent his Son to be born of woman. His Son, Jesus, became a man and died on the cross as payment for our sins. He endured the wrath of God on the cross that we would endure in Hell. He paid our fine. But that does not mean we all are free to go. His payment has to be applied to each one of us – each one of us has to apply the payment to our account personally.

How do we apply it?

In Proverbs 28:3, we are told the one who confesses and forsakes his or her sins will have mercy. It doesn’t say just confess – we need to forsake our sins. Another word for forsaking our sins is repenting. Jesus tells us to repent. He says unless we repent we will perish. If you’ve asked God to forgive your sins but you’ve never repented – if you’ve never forsaken your sins, you will not find mercy. In Romans 10, it says whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. That doesn’t just mean saying “Jesus come in my heart and save me.” When you call upon the name of the Lord you are telling God you can’t make it to Heaven on your own name – your own reputation – you need the Lord’s name – the Lord’s reputation to get you into Heaven. You can’t make it your way anymore and you need his way. God’s way is Jesus Christ. If you want to be reconciled to God, you need to tell God you need the righteousness of his Son because your own righteousness is not good enough.

The true meaning of Christmas is that Jesus was born to die so that we (sinners) could be reconciled to God. Have you not ever repented and called upon his name? If not, why not receive the greatest gift of all this Christmas – the gift of eternal life?

Posted in Witnessing
by Gordy

The road to the Promised Land goes by way of Mt. Sinai and the law

Thursday, December 22nd, 2005 at 1:39 pm

On their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land, the Israelites had to go by Mt. Sinai. This is a very good picture of salvation.

  • Egypt = the world, our lost condition
  • Mt. Sinai = God’s law, the Ten Commandments
  • The Promised Land = Heaven, salvation

Everyone starts out in the world as a lost person. To reach the promised land, to be saved, a person must first journey past God’s law, the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments show us that we are sinners and deserve Hell. The law is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ (Galatians 3:24). If a person never realizes he or she is a sinner and condemned to Hell, he or she will never call on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. Without ever calling upon the name of the Lord, the person will never reach the promised land.

Have you ever looked into God’s law to see if you are a sinner condemned to Hell and in need of saviour? Today is the day of salvation. Don’t put it off.

by Gordy

Moses and the prophets

Sunday, December 18th, 2005 at 3:38 pm

Luke 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

In this passage, Abraham was addressing the rich man who died and went to Hell. The rich man wanted Abraham to send Lazarus back to testify to the rich man’s five brothers so they would know that Hell is real and how to escape damnation. Abraham told the rich man that they already have what they need to know: Moses and the prophets. The prophets made many and various prophecies that have been fulfilled. The purpose of these fulfilled prophecies was so that men could have confidence in God’s word. The prophets are an appeal to our intellect. Moses represents the law – more specifically, the Ten Commandments. Moses – the law – is an appeal to our conscience.

Abraham told the rich man that all anyone needs to be saved is the law to appeal to our conscience – to convict us of our sins, to show us we are guilty before God – and the fulfilled prophecies to appeal to our intellect – to give us confidence in the word of God, to show us that the Bible is true.

If you want to win someone to Christ, you need to give them the prophets and show how the prophecies have been fulfilled so that the person will be able to believe God’s word. Then you need to throw the book at them – give them Moses and the law until they collapse under the weight and guilt of the law. Only then – when the person believes God’s word and sees themselves guilty and condemned before a holy and just God – and only then will that person be ready for the grace of God. That’s when we tell them about the Lord Jesus Christ and how he paid the penalty for us.

Posted in Witnessing
by Gordy

What works better?

Saturday, December 3rd, 2005 at 4:41 pm

Suppose you were walking down a street early one morning and saw a house on fire and you knew that a family was inside sleeping. You know that if you do not do something, they will perish in the flames. Would you:

  1. Walk slowly by with a smile on your face acting like you were having a good time and hope they would wake up and see you and think that what you are doing is better than staying in bed.
  2. Go knock on the door and try to convince them that you are really happy and being outside of the house is so much better than being inside the house.
  3. Run into the house while screaming to wake them up, pulling them out of their beds, and warning them about the fire and if they don’t flee they will perish in the flames.

Which one would be more effective? Obviously, the third one would work best. If screaming and pulling and warning works best for saving people from a physical fire, why do we try to deliver them from the eternal fire without warning them about the judgment to come? Why do we think that if we just live right that people will get saved even if we don’t ever open our mouths? Why do we think that saying they will be happier will make them repent? After all, sinners are happy in their sins. Sin does have its pleasure for a season. Many lost people have good marriages, well-behaved children, good jobs, good health, etc. If they are already happy and content, telling them what we have will make them happy or happier will not bring them to Christ.

The Bible says that we are to save them “with fear, pulling them out of the fire.” We are to warn them of the judgment to come. We are to use the law to convict them of their sin because the law is the “schoolmaster to bring them to Christ.” Faith comes by hearing the word of God – not by seeing our lifestyle. A sinner will never have sorrow if they never know they have transgressed God’s law and will have to face the perfect, holy, and just judge.

In Ezekiel, we are told that the watchman is to warn the people of the danger to come. If the watchman does so, he will be innocent of the people’s blood if the people do not listen. But if the watchman does not warn the people, he will have the people’s blood on his hands. God has set us as watchmen for the souls of the lost. If we do not open our mouths to warn them, their blood is upon our hands.

Are your hands clean?

Posted in Witnessing
by Gordy