Monday, March 20, 2017

An Heavenly Orientation

Colossians 3:1
"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God."

     It takes determination to get up every morning, go to work, pass our grades, loose weight by dieting and exercise, cook and clean our homes, shop and do laundry, and raise our kids properly. But for the believer, what's most important and needful is to have the determination, the desire, the will to follow God.

Every blood-bought, born-again believer can be more determined to follow God by implementing a more heavenly orientation for life. In Paul's letter to the Colossians, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, he said, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God [3:1]." So if we choose to be obedient to God then we will "seek those things which are above." The entire orientation of our lives will be centered on God, who, in the Scriptures, has revealed Himself and His will for all believers.

Most people in the world seek their own wills and follow their own dreams. A nice car, a beautiful home, a lucrative career, a tropical March vacation, a new smartphone, a comfortable retirement, or season tickets to a favorite football team; these are some examples of what the world seeks. As inhabitants of the earth, we too have physical needs. These needs, however, ought not to be what steers the trajectory of our lives.

Rather than seeking the things below, the Bible tells us to "seek those things which are above." Jesus told us to not worry about what we'll eat, drink, or wear. "For after all these things do the Gentiles seek," he said, "for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things (Matthew 6:32)."  The pursuit of things below tends to absorb our lives and dissuade us from "seeking those things which are above." The orientations of our lives tends to be one which dismisses God's command because, "hey," we might say, "I'm just trying to survive. I don't have enough time to devote to God."

But if we honestly appreciate, deep in our hearts, that Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross to pay the penalty, which we deserved, and thereby provided a path for us to have become children of God, then, because of our gratefulness, we should want to "seek those things which are above," those things which have eternal benefits. Practically, these "things...above" may include the disciplines of prayer, daily Bible reading, witnessing, winning souls to Christ, and belonging to a local church where we attend regularly and serve.

The need for survival in this world tends to draw our focus away from God. And in these days of video games, Netflix, Facebook, the internet, books, tv, and various hobbies and distractions, we sometimes just want time to relax and take it easy, which is certainly okay from time to time. But if we're grateful to God for saving us then our most crucial desire should be to gaze heavenwards.

Looking above takes an act of the will. We have to decide to orient our lives toward "things...above." We won't find any examples of this inclination in the society around us. We have to decide for ourselves if we want to embrace and implement God's command.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Walking in God

Walking in God

Colossians 2:6
"As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him."

Before one can walk in God, he must first be "in" God. That is, he must have accepted what Jesus accomplished on the cross, paying the debt we could never repay. Only then can he begin walking in God. Without Christ, our so-called good works mean nothing.

Once born again, a person can then begin to live life in such a way to please God. Walking in God means living in God. And to live in God requires movement. Step by step, hour by hour, day by day, the believer ought to gradually become more Christlike. But this can only happen when we yield to His will in our lives.

Here in New England, with the hurried lifestyles and high cost of living, some believers find it difficult to juggle all the responsibilities of life. However, if one is not consistently walking in God then he's standing still. And when we stand still, that is when Satan is most likely to raise havoc in our lives. Therefore, be sure to take steps daily to walk in Him.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Are You Willing to Suffer for God?

Colossians 1:24
"Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church."

The apostle Paul took delight in suffering to fulfill God's mission to reach the Gentiles with the Gospel and plant churches. He was shipwrecked, beaten, stoned, left for dead, and imprisoned. While few believers in the U.S. face this type of suffering for God, let us remember that sometimes, when life confronts us with difficult situations (i.e. health issues, job loss, money problems, missed opportunities, etc...), that does not necessarily mean God is directing us away from where He wants us to be.

Sometimes His will is for us to suffer. While we prefer a smooth, comfortable life, living in this world with Biblical principles can cause the suffering of being harshly judged, loss of opportunities, family shunning, and in rare cases, imprisonment. Just because everything is not going "hunky dory" does not mean our path is being redirected by God.

God doesn't always make it easy for us to follow His will in obedience. Was it easy for Job to experience such loss just to demonstrate his faithfulness? Was it easy for Abraham to be on the verge of sacrificing his own son? Was it easy for Moses to lead that whining, disobedient, idolatrous but chosen people through the wilderness for 40 years?  So why should we expect it to be easy for us to follow His will?

Let's remember that just because a door is slammed in our faces, that doesn't mean God is directing us elsewhere. Being faithful to God, His Word, and His guidance in our lives will undoubtedly cause us to suffer in some ways. While we don't go out looking for suffering, we can at least understand that it can be an honor and a joy to suffer for God and His church.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Homosexuality is Sin

"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination..." Leviticus 20:13

We are living in a day when everyone does that which is right in his own eyes.  There is no respected standard of morality in America anymore.  Americans have dismissed the Word of God as a bunch of old fairy tales no longer valid for our modern times.  Therefore, the Bible has no authority in people's minds today.  The Bible's usefulness for guiding moral choices today has been totally dismissed.  Everyone demands their rights to not only make their own choices (we all have free will) but to require our society at large to accept the sin of homosexuality as a respectable American lifestyle decision.  That battle in the political arena is outside the scope of this article.  However, when confronted with the idea that homosexuality is no longer a sin, I am compelled to respond.

Someone recently commented that we Christians are quick to point out some sins in the Old Testament but neglect others.  For instance, Leviticus 19:19d says, "neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woolen come upon thee."  This person asks how "prohibitions against homosexuality still 'count', but that rules about, say, mixing fibers or trimming beards do not."

This observer asks a very good and valid question. Why do we adhere to one commandment in the Hebrew Scriptures and not another?  The answer is that we now live in a different dispensation of time.  We no longer live in the Age of Law (Old Testament times) but in the Age of Grace (the Church Age). This distinction makes all the difference.

Of the three types of law given in the Old Testament (Ceremonial Law, Civil Law, and Moral Law), the New Testament affirms the Moral Law against the sin of homosexuality while it does not reiterate the law against wearing a "garment mingled of linen and woollen". I'll go out on a limb here and say that wearing such a garment today does not violate God's Moral Law. There are some laws in the Old Testament (Ceremonial and Civil Laws) which are no longer necessary to follow in New Testament times because Jesus has "fulfilled" the law.

For example, ceremonial laws such as the command for Temple sacrifices are currently unnecessary because Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, "offered one sacrifice for sins for ever" (Hebrews 10:12). It is no longer possible "that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins" (Hebrews 10:4).

Homosexuality, however, is recognized as sin in the New Testament (in the current Church Age), as the apostle Paul points out;

"Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie... For this cause God gave them up until vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet." - Romans 1:26-27

Homosexuality is not the only sin reiterated in the New Testament.  Other crimes against God's moral law are also still valid today such as adultery, killing, idolatry, and coveting, to name a few.  The bottom line is that people who engage in homosexuality are sinners just like everyone else born in this world today. ..

"There is none righteous, no not one" (Romans 3:10).
"If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us" (1 John 1:10).
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).

Christians need to be careful to distinguish the sin from the sinner (Hate the sin, Love the sinner). We do not judge the person engaged in such activities because judgment is reserved for God. Homosexuality is just one symptom of the corrupt, sinful condition of mankind.

Christians recognize that we are also guilty sinners and, like the Pharisees mentioned in John 8, no true believers are without sin or ought to be willing to cast the first stone. It is, however, a part of a Christian's duty to call sin sin and to share the truth of God's word while expressing love and concern for the souls of our fellow human beings.

Rather than trying to justify a modern lifestyle of sin (ie. homosexuality), what is really needed is for mankind to:

1. Become aware of our sinful condition (via the Scriptures).
2. Feel true sorrow for our sin (conviction).
3. Hear and understand the love of God who voluntarily laid down His life to pay the penalty for our sin.
4. Repent and accept God's sacrifice and His offer of eternal life to all who will believe.

It's also important to keep in mind that salvation cannot be obtained by performing good works;
"For by grace are ye save through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9

So even if one were to try to live a perfect moral life, he/she cannot be good enough to deserve God's favor. And that's exactly why God sent the Messiah - to suffer the penalty that we deserve to receive. Why? God loves us and "is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance"(2 Peter 3:9).

Although some of this may seem off point, the original question has to do with the identity of sin. And the ultimate answer is that all are guilty before God, whether engaged in homosexuality or not. But God provides a solution. If only more people would accept it before it's too late.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Do you have a Kindred Spirit?

Do you have a kindred spirit? Someone with whom you can share anything under the sun? Someone who thinks like you, believes like you, has the same attitudes and feelings as you? Someone who can finish your sentences and complete your thoughts? If you do then you are truly blessed in this life. If not, then perhaps you should ask God for a kindred spirit. A kindred spirit is a real blessing and encouragement to every believer.

But what is a kindred spirit? A kindred spirit is an old-fashioned term which was brought to my attention a few years ago after watching a homeschool play about Anne of Green Gables. Anne speaks of having a kindred spirit. This got me wondering, what does that mean?

The dictionary says a kindred spirit is “an individual with the same beliefs, attitudes, or feelings as oneself.” While the Bible doesn’t contain the term “kindred spirit,” it does use another term which connotes the same meaning. In Philippians 2:19-21 the apostle Paul says this of Timothy; “for I have no man likeminded.” This word, likeminded, is a combination of two words in Greek, “isos,” which means “equal” and “psuche,” which means soul. The meaning, therefore, is “of equal soul.” This is the same as “kindred spirit.”

The aposle Paul calls Timothy his “dearly beloved son” (2 Tim 1:2). There is something special about this relationship between these two Godly men. It seems that Paul was a sort of spiritual father to Timothy and, thus, a father/son-like relationship developed. But Paul led numerous people to a saving belief in Christ, not just Timothy. Nevertheless, Paul calls Timothy his “dearly beloved son.” So there was something special here. They were kindred spirits.

In church we sing “Blest be the Tie that Binds.” It says “the fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.” Let me reprint this heart-stirring hymn here;

Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.

Before our Father’s throne
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one
Our comforts and our cares.

We share each other’s woes,
Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.

When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.

This glorious hope revives
Our courage by the way;
While each in expectation lives,
And longs to see the day.

From sorrow, toil and pain,
And sin, we shall be free,
And perfect love and friendship reign
Through all eternity.

Two phrases stir me most about this hymn. First, I feel convicted because I can’t remember the last time I “shed a sympathizing tear” for another brother or sister in Christ. Secondly, I wonder, do I really have “inward pain” when we “asunder part?” I wonder how many believers truly have these feelings for one another? I only ask this because it amazes me how quickly the church parking lots empty after Sunday services. How far have we strayed within Christianity from when this hymn was first composed?

There seems to be a distinction between a “kindred spirit” and a “kindred mind.” In church, we are among “kindred minds.” We share the same beliefs. We worship together. We study and quote Scripture together. We even bear one another’s burdens and pray for one another. There is much benefit in belonging to a church with kindred minds.

Kindred spirits, however, are different. They share an even deeper, more intimate connection within their hearts. A husband and wife ought to be each others’ primary kindred spirits. But recently, I’ve been thinking about those women who come to the realization that their husbands are not saved. When one spouse is saved and the other is not then they have totally different perspectives on life. As much as she may try, they can never be true kindred spirits until the husband repents of his sin and trusts Christ for salvation.

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hat light with darkness?” (2 Cor 6:14)

So what is a lonely wife to do when she wakes up and realizes that her husband is not saved? Well, she must continue to love and submit to him. We live in a country that worships independence. Women are in the workforce en mass and don’t like to be dependent upon their husbands. They want to control their own destinies. This, however, is detrimental to our society, in my politically incorrect opinion. The unsaved husband can be won to Christ by her lifestyle of total dependence and respect for her husband. She must cherish him and give him honor. She must be totally wrapped up in him.

“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation (lifestyle) of the wives.” (1 Peter 3:1).

Everyone should have a kindred spirit. This makes life richer and more blessed. But while kindred minds are plentiful, kindred spirits are quite rare. So when you find a kindred spirit, you will know it. For many of us, our spouses alone will be our only kindred spirits throughout life. But if you can have one or two more then you will be double or triple blessed!


There are three key ingredients for getting a kindred spirit. And I suggest that we all desire in our hearts for more kindred spirits in our lives. They are a true, mutual blessing and help to make our lives more bearable and even more enjoyable and fulfilling. After all, as God says, “it is not good for man to be alone” (Gen 2:18).

If you decide that you would like a kindred spirit then the starting point will be to pray to God for one! Don’t be anxious about it but “let your requests be made known unto God” (Phil 4:6). Too often we try to take matters into our own hands and not go to God first. But as He reminds us in His Word, “ye have not because ye ask not” (James 4:2).

You know that verse that says to “entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (Heb 13:2)? Well, the same principle applies to kindred spirits. Be kind to everyone you meet, everyone with whom you interact. You just don’t know which one of them are potential kindred spirits.

“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly” (Prov 18:24).

“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especiallly unto them who are of the household of faith” (Gal 6:10).

“Let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and truth” (1 John 3:18).

The bottom line here is to just be kind. Many of us need to work on this, myself included. We live in a culture that is extremely judgmental. Everyone is concerned about their “rights” and not about their fellow humankind. This mentality, unfortunately, has crept into the church like a worm eating through an apple. Oh there is surface kindness. There is the kindness that shows a good face. But then, behind the scenes, God sees the hearts. D.L. Moody, in his sermon entitled “Christian Love” points out the difference between “true love” and “sham love.” I wonder how many of us practice “sham love” and don’t even realize it.

And finally, to get a kindred spirit, after you pray and are kind to everyone, you should keep your radar on. You should be on the lookout. You should be expecting an answer to your prayer from the Lord God Almighty.

“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (Matt 21:22).

If you are truly believing that God will answer your prayer then you will be watching. You will be on a heightened state of alertness. And sometimes, God will answer your prayer in ways that you never really expected. He will often surprise you! So be willing to adapt. Don’t think you have it all figured out. Let Him provide the answer to your prayer.

If you took the time to read this long-winded post then I think maybe you are interested in having a kindred spirit. Perhaps you’ve thought of these things but never really knew how to express it. My prayer is for every Christian to have at least one kindred spirit. But even better would be two or three. Pray. Submit. Be kind. Watch. God will bless you. I just know it!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Love, Separatism, Outreach and the Future of American Fundamentalism

As we enter the next era, I can’t help but notice some a few trends worthy of reflection as we continue to hold the line with the Word of God, Sanctified living, and the Great Commission.


First, Christians must always acknowledge the authority of God’s word. We live in a pluralistic age when every man does that which is right in his own eyes. The Bible has been dismissed as a mere gathering of moral teachings that, along with many other competing texts, contains some valuable life lessons. With the advent of Liberalism, the almighty self has taken upon itself to reject the inspiration of Scripture. Even some New Evangelicals have taken this stance and it’s currently deteriorating their movement. Once the authority of Scripture is denied, all sorts of heretical beliefs quickly ensue.


Secondly, the whole issue of Christian Separatism needs a revival of sorts. D.L. Moody once said, “You cannot love God and the world at the same time, because they abhor each other. They are at enmity, always have been and always will be.”

More importantly, Scripture admonishes us to be separate from the world, to be different, to be distinguished as lights in a world of darkness. I agree with Kevin Bauder who, speaking at the American Association of Christian Colleges and Seminaries in 2005, said;

"Gentlefolk, if we loose separatism we have lost fundamentalism. It is time for us to turn the best efforts of our best exegetes and theologians to a renewed, sustained articulation and defense of biblical separation."
This issue of separatism is in desperate need of our attention today. Separatism has always been a defining characteristic of our movement (as well as the Fundamentals of the Faith; the virgin birth, the bodily resurrection, the authority of Scripture, the sacrificial atonement, and the literal/physical return of Jesus to the earth).

A continued militant stance against worldliness must be trumpeted from our hilltops because the separatist cause is currently loosing ground in our circles. Conservative, fundamentalist Christian secondary schools are watching their graduates attend non-separated universities. One of these universities proudly asserts its size and growth trends. Significant numbers of young fundamentalists are deserting our ranks and fleeing to non-separated schools. David O. Beal, professor of history at Bob Jones University calls these schools “neo fundamentalists” and observes that they have abandoned “the old separatist position” and now blend “quite naturally into middle-of-the-road to right-wing evangelicalism.”

At the grassroots level, congregations, too, while some still submit to biblical principles of music in worship, are dismissing those same principles in their personal listening habits. The unorthodox assumption that “to reach the world we must be like the world” is gaining ground. As John MacArthur points out in his book, Ashamed of the Gospel, among evangelicals, separatism is hardly even discussed any more;

"Virtually every modern worldly attraction has a ‘Christian’ counterpart.
We have Christian motorcycle gangs, Christian bodybuilding teams,
Christian dance clubs, Christian amusement parks, and even Christian
nudist colonies. Where did Christians ever get the idea we could win
the world by imitating it?"


While biblical separatism is certainly a defining doctrine of fundamentalism and in desperate need of deeper analysis, there is another issue mysteriously absent from the fundamentalist conversation today; love.

I believe our lack of love for one another is what's driving our kids away into neo-fundamentalist circles. No one in their right mind would walk away from those with whom they have a deep respect and love.  Sometimes we tend to jump on our doctrinal bandwagons (and sometimes we should) but we forget about the emphasis God places upon the need to love one another. One must only peruse through some 18th and 19th Century hymns to see just how far we have wandered. Consider these words from an old favorite, “Blest be the Tie . . .”

We share our mutual woes, Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows the sympathizing tear.
When we asunder part, It gives us inward pain . . .

While we may share mutual woes and often help each other in tangible ways, few any longer have bonds strong enough to warrant the shedding of tears for one another. When was the last time you shed "a sympathetic tear" for a brother or sister in Christ? We add names to prayer lists and duty is done in lifting requests up to God in often robotic fashion.

And when church is dismissed, congregations clear out the parking lots quickly. Few feel “inward pain” when parting. Such heart-felt emotional ties of kindred minds are predominantly missing from our churches today. If such love and acceptance were equally as important as doctrine and separatism, there would be no reason for young fundamentalists to abandon our movement and saunter to the left. Bauder again observes . . .

"We are dealing with a younger generation for whom the personal and emotional
has become very important. In my opinion, this is not a bad thing. We do not have to choose between the mind and the heart. God has so constituted us that we can have both. In fact, if we do not have both we become caricatures.”

Armed with unlimited texting and Facebook, our youngfolk are extremely interconnected. Texting, online chatting, Twitter, and Facebook have engaged young people all over the world into sharing details of their lives which ordinarily may never have been expressed to anyone but those with whom close bonds were already established. Ties have been built through technology that are strong, influential, and unhindered by difficult accents or intimidating body language. Mature fundamentalists are needed to enter into this electronic subculture to participate in the lives of the next generation. Encouragement, wisdom, and personal advice and influence are desperately needed. Love ought to be the primary motive here.


Finally, we need to broaden our thinking about foreign missions. Technology and business has opened the hearts of the third-world to the influence of America like never before. American corporations are outsourcing countless American jobs to capable, young college graduates around the globe. Most of these young, bright international workers speak English and long to improve their lots in life.  They are also refreshingly open to the spiritual influence of American believers..  Many are required to work nights to facilitate communication with their American colleagues.

International ties, thus, are being made at personal levels on Facebook. This personal trans-global communication is occurring now and growing at a rapid pace. These new foreign contacts are also refreshingly open to the spiritual influence of American believers.

Untainted by the postmodernist pluralism plaguing America, many in these often Third-world countries are more receptive to Scripture than the average Joe in America. “This country is far more open to the Gospel than most parts of the USA,” recently wrote a missionary to me from the Philippines.

Thus, opportunity abounds for American fundamentalists to exert a little outreach without the fear of the militant rejection encountered at home. Perhaps this could be a shot of confidence for us. A personal and bold stand for the gospel is literally at our fingertips. The influence of mature Christians, therefore, is needed not only among our young at home but also with the lost and spiritual babes in Christ across the sea. While never forgetting the lost physically in our midsts, we ought to embrace these opportunities at once!


While the more academically-minded fundamentalists further develop separatist doctrine and gifted preachers and teachers focus on grounding their congregants in the great doctrines of our faith, wise believers can, in the meantime, exert considerable influence upon the world.  God wants us to love one another. He wants us to delight in helping one another. There can be no greater investment in one another than to love, show concern, and be involved in each others’ daily lives. Technology has enhanced this opportunity!

If fundamentalism is to survive then love for one another, at the grassroots level, must become important to us. The triune battle cry of doctrine, separatism, and love must dominate our movement's conversation. Only then will fundamentalism be worthy of survival.

Friday, March 4, 2011

God's Plan for Growing the Church


When on the high school track team we ran the one-mile relay. There were four of us and we each would run around the track once, a quarter of a mile, and carry in our right hands a baton, a small aluminum pipe about a foot long. After circling the track we had to pass the baton to the next runner without dropping it. Technique was everything. It had to be done within a delineated area. Both runners had to be moving at the time of transition. The guy in front would hold his right hand open behind him as the runner behind firmly placed the baton into his hand. Sometimes the baton would drop and clank around on the track surface.  

It seems today that the baton of the Gospel has been dropped. The strength of the previous generations has fallen and is rolling about on the ground and we are fumbling around trying to pick it up so we can finish the race.  The task of bringing the Gospel to the lost and the deeper truths of God's word to fellow believers is now squarely upon the shoulders of the current generation.  


Why is God’s plan for church growth the only acceptable plan?  His plan is exclusively authorized by God in His word.  Any approach to church growth apart from that which God directed is futile.  In His prelude to the Great Commission, Jesus said, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth (Matt 28:18).”   Afterwards, Jesus tells the disciples what they must do, based on that power, or authority, He possessed.

This word, power, which Jesus used is also found in another familiar and much loved passage of the Bible;

Rom 9:20-21  Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed [it], Why hast thou made me thus?  Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

The potter has power over the clay. At Old Sturbridge Village, a re-creation of small town American life in the 1830s, the potter, in his little shop, uses a foot pump to make his turntable spin. Then he plops a glob of clay on the table, dampens it with water, and with his bare hands, he forms this blob of nothing dug from the earth and turns it into a useful vessel.  Whatever is in his mind is what he makes.  That lump of clay could go in many directions but the potter is the one who decides what to create.

Likewise, Jesus was given all power, all authority, to tell believers how to grow the church.  He is the Great Decider of how the church is to grow. If we try to grow the church in any other way that contradicts God’s plan for church growth then it’s just not going to work right.  No other plan for church growth is authorized by God.


Due to the persuasive general relativism of American culture, we have lacked the courage and internal fortitude to reach out to our lost world the way we should.  Reaching out are the operative words here because Jesus told us to move toward them, not wait for them to come to us; "Go ye therefore" (Matt 28:19).  How many of us try to work the gospel into our conversations with the lost?  Do we go to them?  Do we witness to them?  Do we pray for them?  Kindness will do wonders and some may even come to church upon our invitation.  But, overwhelmingly, most people within our own communities have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ.  God wants us to take it to them.  But we must remember, the way we say it is just as important as what we say (speak the truth in love).

Luke 11:33 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth [it] in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.


Just as important as passing the baton for the salvation of lost souls is the need for encouraging spiritual growth among believers.  "Teach all nations," Jesus said.  But teach them what?  Jesus continued, teach them "to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you" (Matt 28:20).   Once we go to the lost, teaching them how to get saved, some of them may surrender to Christ.  But then what?  That's when the hard work begins.  They need to be grounded and grow in all the truths of God's Word. 

This grounding of God's word is essential to help believers stand against the wiles of the devil, who, "as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8).  If you don't know what the truth is (from the Bible), then you're susceptible to being led astray like a sheep wandering from the fold.


Church should always be a place where a lost soul can come find out how to become a Christian.  But primarily, the church is for the already-saved.  We should be sensitive to unbelievers who may come to our services but the primary focus in church is worship, prayer, fellowship, and edification.  Contrary to today's popular evangelical movements, the purpose for church is not to institute a marketing plan, attract a crowd with secular enticements, and figure a certain percentage will "stick".  God is not so much concerned with what size a church is, but rather, what "sort" it is (1 Cor 3:13).

There are limited days on earth for all people.  At some point in their lives, they need to here the simple gospel message.  All the world's religions preach a works-based salvation.  True Christianity is based on grace.  Christianity is based on the Christ who paid for the sins of the world.  Yet most try to work and earn their own salvation by their own might.  They need to hear the truth!  Will you be the one to reach down, pick up the baton, and pass it on?  Ask God to let you be a blessing to other people in this way.  Usually, a forceful throw-it-down-their-throat approach doesn't work.  Ask God for sensitivity, leadership and help today.  Don't delay, relay.