Archive for March, 2008

Ray Comfort expounds on this video that I posted a few weeks back

More and more, I am quite convinced that there are many christians who do not know how to present the gospel, especially if they found themselves in a situation like this. Yet the gospel is the foundation and I believe that every Christian should be able to explain it.

In this situation, would you be able to unfold the gospel or would you just tell him to ‘just say this prayer‘? People may be dying right within our church walls with a terminal illness but many churches are botching the altar call.

Maybe its just me, but I am passionate that we present the gospel clearly so that they understand it

But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. (Matthew 13:23)

The Church of Oprah

Related Post:

Promoting The Gospel Style Versus Promoting The Gospel Message

Persecution.com
“Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep.” (Psalm 36:4-6)
Prayers for March 25, 2008
From The Voice of the Martyrs
Persecution.com
Pray for AZERBAIJAN
AZERBAIJAN UPDATE: Baptist Pastor Released from Prison ” VOM Sources
On March 19, Baptist Pastor Zaur Balaev was released from prison in Azerbaijan, under a presidential amnesty on Novruz Bairam, a holiday marking the beginning of spring. The Voice of the Martyrs contacts reported Pastor Balaev was met by his son and Ilya Zenchenko, head of the Baptist Union. “When Balaev was released, journalists asked whether he was feeling grateful to Azerbaijan’s president for his release. Zaur answered that he always in everything feels grateful to Jesus only and no one else. Journalists immediately quit shooting (footage) of him,” VOM contacts said. The Voice of the Martyrs rejoices with Pastor Balaev and his family on his release. We encourage you to continue praying for their protection and wisdom as he returns home to his family and congregation. Ask God to give him discernment and favor. Isaiah 54:17Pray for SRI LANKA
SRI LANKA UPDATE: Wife of Martyred Pastor off Ventilator and Recovering ” National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka
The National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL) reports the wife of martyred Pastor Edirisinghe is recovering from severe injuries sustained during an attack that killed her husband. “The NCEASL chairman visited Shiromi yesterday. She is experiencing a great recovery, she speaks, breathes well and has been transferred to Kandy General for surgery to remove [the] bullet,” NCEASL reported. Mrs. Edirisinghe was critically injured on February 17 when two assailants gunned down her husband outside their home in Ampara, Sri Lanka. She sustained critical injuries to her stomach and their two-year-old son was also injured in the attack. Pray for her quick recovery from the remaining surgeries. Ask God to heal her emotions and to touch their son with the love of Christ. Pray God will give them supernatural ability to forgive the assailants and for their testimony to draw nonbelievers into fellowship with Christ. Psalm 23Pray for LAOS
LAOS Pastors and Believers Arrested by Police, Nine Church Leaders Sentenced to Prison ” VOM Sources/Compass Direct News

  • UDOM SAI PROVINCE ” Eight Khmu pastors from Udom Sai Province in Laos who were arrested when entering Thailand to attend meetings, are waiting for the police to escort them back home. According to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts, ‘We are still waiting for the police to arrive from Udom Sai to escort the prisoners to their home villages. Their families have been told they will be tried once they get home with a likely huge fine and imprisonment. We do not know what the charges will be, but we do know that Udom Sai is a real hot spot as far as persecution and has been increasing over the last 12 months.” The pastors were arrested on March 18 when they entered Thailand and were followed by the Laos police. They were searched and two of them had Bibles. Everything the pastors had with them was confiscated, including a cell phone. The Voice of the Martyrs encourages you to pray for these pastors and their families during this difficult time. Ask God to protect and encourage them. Pray for their speedy release and that their testimonies will draw their captors into fellowship with Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 1:7
  • BOKEO PROVINCE ” On February 22, Laotian officials arrested 15 Hmong Christian families in Bokeo province, Laos. According to Compass Direct News, the arrests occurred a day before a court sentenced nine Hmong church leaders to 15 years in prison for ‘conducting Christian ministry and meetings that had grown beyond acceptable levels for Communist officials.’ Compass reported, “The day before the sentencing, Laotian authorities arrived in Bai Sai Janrern village in Bokeo district with six trucks in which they hauled away eight Christian families. Authorities also arrested at least seven families from Fai village three miles away.” The arrested families make up a total of 58 Hmong Christians. According to the Compass report, the nine Christian leaders, sentenced to 15 years in prison for Christian ministry, were arrested in July 2007, during a police and military raid of suspected rebels that left 13 innocent Christians dead. The Voice of the Martyrs stands with believers in Laos and encourages you to pray for these believers who have been arrested because of their faith in Jesus Christ, Ask God to give them strength and courage to forgive their persecutors. Hebrews 13:6

Related Posts:

How to Pray for Persecuted Christians

Thought for the day – The Squeezed Christian

Courtesy of The Passion For Christ Movement

B.E.T. Interview Part 1

B.E.T. Interview Part 2

B.E.T. Interview Part 3

Please also note that Blair Wingo of P4CM will be performing with Shai Linne and Tedashi next Sat 5 Apr. Click here for details

Courtesy of Bro Melvin of Pulpit Pimps, this is the new publication from P.I.M.P Ministries that we have all been waiting for. Click on the thumbnail image to get a look at the new book, “Pulpit Pimping for Dummies [Third edition] from P.I.M.P Temple Press.

Pulpit Pimping for Dummies

Take your ministry to the next level. Walk in divine prosperity. Get the break through you keep promising the sheeple. Drive the best cars, live in the biggest house, fly the best planes and patronize the best restaurants.

The Dummies guide tells you how to convince people to give you more money than they can afford to give you. But not only that, it teaches you how to make those people to think you are doing them a favor by taking the money. We give you the secrets for convincing people to pay you their tithes BEFORE they pay their rent or electric bill. Do you want to make people financially dependent on you? We’ll tell you how.

You want to be worshiped as if you are the Christ? The Dummies guide teaches you how to walk, talk, and threaten so that even the most stubborn (though stupid) sheeple will be willing to quote you rather than the Bible.

Are there people in your congregation who regularly disagree with you and base that disagreement on an accurate understanding of Scripture? The Dummies guide gives you foolproof instructions on how get them out of your congregation and how to make the sheeple believe they are being obedient to God when they turn their backs on the rebel.

Once you begin to read the book and practice the techniques it promotes, you should see an almost immediate increase in your income. Tip toeing around you should increase by at least twenty percent – from the first week of practicing what the book preaches.

How do you intimidate without appearing to be doing so? It’s in there.

How do you get the congregation to buy you a house bigger than the apartment buildings most of your congregants live in? It’s in there.

Maybe you want to be the top earner in your state? Just like the rest of the stuff you want to do – it’s in there.

“Pulpit Pimping for Dummies” provides you all the information, and all the guidance you need to apply the information to get to where you want to be, to get what you want out of life, to rake in as much money, cars and other stuff as you want.

There’s even a special Scumbag section that has tons of information on how the best of the scumbags get away with sexual harassment and abuse, spanking, raping, incest and just plain fooling around with some of the Gospel groupies. We tell you how to intimidate folks to keep silent, what Scriptures to use to keep the sheeple thinking they should feel bad about doubting whatever you tell them, and how to make sure you are repeating “touch not God’s anointed” often enough to be effective but not often enough to lessen the impact.

What are the five characteristics of a worship leader that will make sure your offering always grow? They’re in there.

How do you pick the right men as deacons or elders to make sure you can take the church in whatever direction you want? Yep. It’s in there.

Want to know how to talk your way around the clear teaching against co-pastors, female pastors and bishops, or female elders? You guessed it. It’s in there.

If you order “Pulpit Pimping for Dummies” today, you will be on your way to becoming the top dog in your community. And before too long, you be reaching Bid Dogdom in your county and state. With a consistent application of the material, you could even end up on TBN and other venues for increasing your fame and ability to rake in money.

Here are some unsolicited testimonies from folks who have followed the advice in my book:

“I was having trouble getting the congregation to just buy me a new suit. But once I started following the advice of “P-P for Dummies” they not only buy me suits now, they even buy me cars. I had to build a new garage to handle all the overflow.” – Bishop Gary Hawkins

“I thought Pastor Melvin was crazy the first time I read his book. But after growing the church from eight people who wanted to follow Christ to 5,600 people willing to follow me any where, and give me anything, I recommend the book. Sure Melvin’s crazy – crazy like a fox.” – Bishop Eddie Long

“I went from a traditional Baptist church with two hundred families housed in a dinky little building in the center of Glenarden Maryland, to more than 7,000 members housed in mega church structure costing more than $55 million dollars. And I convinced everyone to build it in the middle of nowhere. Thanks “P-P for Dummies!” John K. Jenkins

“It’s hard to believe that people can be manipulated so easily. The stuff Melvin shared in the book works on television and over the internet just as well as it does in a church building. I would never have been able to get that second jet, the Citation, without his advice.” Ken Copeland

“Melvin helped me to understand that it doesn’t matter what you preach, whether you deny the diety of Jesus or the effectiveness of His death on the cross. He showed me how to get a really great business jet, residences in several cities, including New York City, and a load of cash like you wouldn’t believe. If you want to be the best Pulpit Pimp you can be, buy Melvin’s book. It will pay for itself by the next time you take up an offering using his advice.” Creflo Dollar

These are just some of the testimonies people have written in, proving that “Pulpit Pimping for Dummies” is a valuable tool for you to add to your preaching toolbox. With the added income practically guaranteed, you’ll be able to buy all those other book (commentaries, bible dictionaries and crap) so you can impress the one or two sheeple you occasionally allow into your house.

Order it now. Get your break through. Be the best pimp you can be with no more effort than it takes to go out to dinner.

Lately I have been listening to quite a lot of Christian Hip Hop. Why? Because I am finding that a lot of these reformed rappers have songs that are jam packed with theological truths. I’m sure Doug and Daniel can second me on this one when I say that you can get more teaching in one song than what you get in a lot of churches in a year. People like G Craige Lewis have made the mistake of throwing out the baby with the bath water and labelling all hip hop as wordly. While there is a lot of corrupt hip hop out there, God has a remnant of rappers who will boldly proclaim Gods truth.

For example please listen to ALL of the clip below. I love the way Shai Linne presents the gospel at the end and wish many more christian artists will expound the gospel as clear on their set and not just a ‘give your heart to Jesus’ message.

Below is an example of Shai Linne rapping about the Triune God. Take a listen

Even if its not your thing, please remember to pray for these artists.

HT: Recover the Gospel

Related Posts:

A Treat for you Holy Hip Hop Heads

Rappers Exposed

The conclusion is simply this. Be a Berean.

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. (Acts 17:11)

When it comes down to spiritual matter, dont let anybody spoon feed you all the time. Always, and I mean always examine the scriptures for yourself to see if what is being taught lines up with the Word of God. This will take skill and time as a lot of people appear to be preaching the word of God but they are not rightly dividing the word of truth as we are instructed to do (2 Tim 2:15). Understand some basic rules of biblical interpretation. This will save you a lot of pain and will help you greatly in discerning truth from error. Maybe use some of these free tools.

Wolf/Sheep

There is a lot of deception out there, even on so called ‘christian’ television. We have no shortage of preachers or teachers but there is definitely a famine for the word of God. I would say that most popular tele-evangelists on TV do not preach the word of God. The bible consistently warns us about deceivers and admonishes us to test EVERTHING.

Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. (Matthew 24:11)

Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. 18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. (Romans 16:17-18)

Test all things; hold fast what is good. (1 Thes 5:21)

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)

Do not even take my words as gospel but line up my postings with scripture and if they do not match up, reject it. My prayer is that this series has opened your eyes, challenged your traditional thinking, but most of all give glory to God through a correct understanding of his word so that you will not be duped when a teacher comes with false teaching.

If this series has been of help to you, please let me know. If it hasnt, please let me know. I welcome any comments positive or negative (in love of course) 🙂

Remember to pray for these teachers.

Related posts:

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 1 – A Form of godliness

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 2 – Scripture Twisting

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 3 – The abuse of biblical numerlogy

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 4 – Man Centered Theology

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 5 – The Prosperity Gospel

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers (Interlude) – My reason for doing this

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 6 – Denial that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 7 – Signs and Wonders

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 8 – Deconstruction

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 9 – Giving False Hope

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 10 – The misuse of old testament scriptures

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 11 – The Gospel of Inclusion

 

Taken from Stand to Reason

Gregory Koukl

Do you think that people who commit moral crimes ought to be punished?

I talked in the past about the difficulty in clarifying our communication of the need for salvation. Frankly, to a lot of people the message of Christianity is not going to be palatable, but at least we can make it clear. It will not be the kind of thing they will be happy with. Yet, at the same time, there are things we can do that make it clearer and not inappropriately put stumbling blocks in people’s way.

This is why I’ve often said that the Gospel is offensive enough all by itself. Don’t add any more offense to it. But we should not take out the offense that is inherent to the Gospel, either. This is why we are not pluralists even though there is pressure to be pluralists or at least inclusivistic with the Gospel. At the same time, we don’t want to communicate the exclusivity of Christ in such a way as to confound those people who are listening.

Christians often say, “if you believe in Jesus you go to Heaven; if you don’t believe in Jesus you go to Hell”. Is that true? Well, it is true, but it doesn’t communicate a sense of the true circumstance. It’s not coherent to most people because it just seems bizarre why what one person thought about some guy who died 2000 years ago has anything to do with their eternal destiny. Whether they believe in him or not seems irrelevant to anything that might happen after we die. So we have often not been careful to communicate the sense of things.

We need to be clear so that someone rejects the real message and not some incoherent mess that some Christian has handed him that they can’t make sense of. So, I don’t say, “if you believe in Jesus you go to Heaven, and if you don’t believe you go to Hell,” because this is misleading. I’d rather try to explain it more accurately.

Many of you are familiar with the conversation I had with a fellow at Barnes and Noble in which he asked me a question. I was giving a talk there as part of the book on relativism that Dr. Frank Beckwith and I co-authored, Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air. Since I was talking about it in the bookstore, he came up afterwards and started asking questions about Jesus. Instead of unloading this slogan on him, I asked him this question. Do you think that people who commit moral crimes ought to be punished? He said, “Yes.” I said, “Good, so do I.” Second question, “Have you ever committed any moral crimes?” Pause. Then he said, “Yes, I guess I have.” You know what I said to him? “So have I.”

This just took 30 seconds, right? Then I reflected back to him, “Look where we’ve come so far. We both believe that people who commit moral crimes ought to be punished. And we both believe we’ve committed moral crimes. You know what I call that? Bad news.” And it is bad news.

Most people are concerned with doing what is right. That was one of the first things he told me. “I’m Jewish. I believe in morality. I believe in God. Why do I have to believe in your Jesus?” Here is a man who has some level of commitment to the moral life. The problem is, he knows that that commitment does not guarantee that he is going to live a fully moral life and he’s aware of his own moral crimes. And so am I. Now what? That is the issue? We are guilty. That is the bad news.

This is why it is so important to get the bad news before the good news. The bad news gives meaning to the good news. I was able to talk about the fact that now we both admit we have a problem, but that there is a solution that God has ordained. Since He is the one who is offended, He is the one who can call the shots on how to fix the problem. The answer is through His Son Jesus, who provides mercy because he took the rap for our crimes. We got off. He went to jail. A modern metaphor to put it in perspective.

There at least is the sense of things about Jesus being the only way. I hear it even asked on TV. The question is often asked honestly, but I think most of the time it is asked for an inflammatory effect. The person who is asking the question is wording it very carefully because he knows precisely how the faithful evangelical Christian will respond. He is counting on it so that the Christian says something that sounds to the rest of the people to be bizarre. Therefore, they can discount what the Christian says.

I don’t want you to sound bizarre when you answer the question I am about to offer. I want you to sound sensible. Here is the question. Do you think I am going to Hell? Now the only person who asks that is a person who thinks you think they’re going to Hell. Ninety per cent of the time they would ask it because they think you are nuts and they want other people to think you are nuts, too. They want to get you to say in public that people who disagree with you are going to Hell so that you will look silly and they will look good. How do you deal with that?

The problem, of course, is, first of all, it’s probably true they are going to Hell. Secondly, it doesn’t communicate the sense of things and so it is misleading. The people who ask this are generally not criminals. It’s going to be some nice guy who is basically good and sincere. You are in a tough spot. You are on the defensive already, you want to answer truthfully, but you know by giving a truthful answer you are going to play into his hands.

Jesus faced this frequently. He always got out of it, and I’m going to give you a way to get out. Answer the question truthfully and don’t sound like an idiot. It doesn’t mean everyone is going to believe you, fall at your feet, and want to receive Christ, but at least you will be able to give a proper and appropriate answer to those who ask you to make a defense for the hope that is within you (2 Peter 3:15). The answer is simply this.

When somebody says, “Do you think I am going to Hell?” and you think they are, you say something like, “Well, I believe in justice, do you?” “Yes.” “What is justice but that people who are guilty get punished in an appropriate way to their guilt? I believe that people who are guilty pay for their crimes unless they have been pardoned.”

This is very straightforward language. It fits entirely with our culture. It is terminology that has meaning immediately. It is also terminology that the person you are talking with not only is familiar with but they agree with the concept. We both believe the same thing here: justice. If you have committed any moral crimes, if you have done anything wrong, I think you will be punished for them unless you receive pardon. The punishment for moral crimes is Hell.

You are saying yes, I think you are going to Hell unless you receive Jesus. But you are putting it in terms that are making more sense to that individual. In fact, he has already affirmed the underlying concept, as well he should, because he believes in it.

Most people believe in justice. It is built in. It is part of their moral intuition, the image of God in man that is being expressed. They clamor for justice. There is a place for mercy, and pardon. We both agree. From God’s perspective, if you have committed any moral crimes, then you are going to be punished for them. You’ll only receive God’s punishment if you are guilty of something. Are you guilty of anything? What is so controversial about that? Don’t want to be punished? God has a means for a pardon. That is the whole point of our conversation. I don’t want to be punished either. I want to experience a pardon.

See how that works? That’s part of the tactical elements of communicating the knowledge truthfully.

1 Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 And they said among themselves, “Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?” 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed.
He is Risen
6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 7 But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” (Mark 16:1-7)

1Cor. 15:12 says

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.