Maraca with Bible Verse

Maraca with Bible Verse
1 Timothy 2:5

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Universalism Experience One Saturday Morning

  This actually happened a couple of years ago. One Saturday morning I was out giving out tracts and talking to people on Park Avenue. There was a group of four college age kids sitting on the lawn. Not wanting to be disruptive to their conversation, I carefully gave them tracts and started talking to them. Needless to say, they weren't happy about what I was doing. Two of them professed to be believers. The other two seemed to be more followers.
   I did ask them a couple of questions about themselves (which they denied later on) to get to know them. The young girl who did the most talking explained to me that Jesus wouldn't be happy about my passing out tracts and talking to people, and that Jesus didn't do that when He was here. She continued to explain that her parents were unbelievers and she wouldn't want me talking to them because it would turn them off. One of the other girls explained to me that every time I gave out a tract, I was putting a check mark in my box (kind of similar to Rob Bells's explanation of putting a notch in your belt whenever you give out a tract). They went on to explain that the people that were around Park Avenue already knew about Jesus. I would be making enemies with people if I did that (excuse me, but where is that in the Bible?).
    I basically let them talk to see what kind of reasoning they would have. They went to a local church geared to single people in their 20's. I must have sat there for a half an hour listening to them talk. At the very end, the one girl accused me of not even showing any interest in them (You never asked our names, etc). Excuse me again, but I did ask their names and where they went to school along with a few other things. Well, the other girl actually came to my defense and repeated something I told them.
    The girl recommended that I read two books. She was very impressed that I had an I-Phone too. Now I seemed to synchronize with them a little more. The two books were, 'Blue like Jazz' and 'Velvet Elvis'. I don't have to explain too much more to show where they got their information on Christianity. I found an excerpt done by Mark Sohmer on 'Velvet Elvis' and was appalled by what was written in that book. The author, Rob Bell, definitely hates evangelism. He doesn't have a deep respect for God's Word, and I didn't detect any recognition of the Gospel or Who Jesus is in anything I read about from that excerpt. If that is where they are getting their basic instructions on discipleship, no wonder they said the things they were saying.
  One of the things the girl said at the end of our conversation, at least I thought I heard her say this, was that when Scripture and the culture go against each other, Scripture has to bow to the culture. Now maybe I remembered this incorrectly, I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised if someone really believes this, if they are a fan of Rob Bell. The girl commented about Rob Bell in saying that people say that Rob Bell is a Universalist, but she says that he really isn't. What do you think?
   I would hope that the church you attend doesn't support this kind of thinking. If those in a church are supportive of Mr. Bell's teachings and books, I think it would be wise to point out to the pastor or leaders in that church of the errors in Rob Bell's books/videos/teachings. If the leaders hold on to that kind of teaching and are not looking for change, I would be praying to see if God has another place for me somewhere else. Books like 'Velvet Elvis' promote Universalism, which basically believes that God doesn't really send people to hell (unless they are really bad, like Hitler). Somehow, because Jesus died for everyone's sins, everyone is ok before God. We know that is not true. We need to be careful to correct wrong doctrine. When a teaching goes against Scripture, we have to go along with what Scripture teaches. The church needs to be kept pure from error. And it is our responsibility to do that.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Everyday Evangelism - Thoughts About God's Standard vs. Ours

   Oftentimes, I encounter a response from people that sounds something like this; God will judge the really bad people, like Hitler, or, the ones that God sends to hell are those who are murderers and do really bad things like that.
   I went through the Gospel and the Law with one such lady a couple of years ago. She technically understood the Gospel and even admitted to lying, etc. Then it came time for the question, "Why would God allow you into heaven? Do you think you are a good person?" Her response was typical of our Western culture. It was something like, "God won't punish me in hell, because I haven't murdered anybody. I'm not a bad person!"
        People are having a hard time seeing what God's holiness looks like. Many people answer like the woman I talked with that night. "God won't punish me in hell because I haven't murdered anybody." The problem with these people in their thinking is that they see a difference between the sin of being angry and outright murder, such as the acts of Hitler. It seems like Hitler (and his name always comes up) has become the standard of who goes to hell. Since people aren't as bad a he was, they reason, that they won't go to hell. I can understand their reasoning. But it is hard to communicate to them that even their 'white lie' is evil enough before a holy God to send them to hell for eternity.
   This same criteria has come up again in a group setting which I am part of. Hitler's name comes up a lot and these people are using him as a standard of right and wrong, instead of seeing the Law of God (or even understanding it) as the correct standard. It sure sounds logical to them to talk about their white lie in comparison to someone who intentionally wanted to kill as many people as he could. Now to figure out how to bridge the gap.
   The main way to bridge the gap starts with who God is and what He is like. Not only is He different than human beings, but He is holy, and He is without any kind of sinful flaw. How can we explain to people what He is like? What does His word say about Him?
   People can read in History books what Hitler did. They can't see God with their eyes, because He is invisible. Unless people understand that God is all-knowing, and that God is a Spirit, they will fail to see Him as He truly is. They will be like the heathen in the book of Psalms, or like the scoffers who say that God doesn't notice their sin. He doesn't care. "When is He coming back anyway? We've been hearing this for centuries, and it hasn't happened yet, and I don't think it ever will." These people assume that a holy God isn't watching or they don't have to give account to Him because if they did, He would be visible to them.
   God is the One who reveals Himself to people. That is why we need to pray that will happen. We have to pray for a deep conviction of sin in the hearts of these people. Only when they see their 'white lies' and 'taking something small when they were children' as serious sin, they won't truly come to Christ. They can technically understand the Gospel, but will personally not see a need for it. From that will only result false converts to deal with later on. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that is what we need when presenting the Gospel to others.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Everyday Evangelism - October 1, 2010 - Planet X

  I went to eat lunch with a friend on Saturday, and while I was waiting in the parking lot, I gave out some tracts. It can be an interesting adventure, as I really never know who I will run into. I didn't have any recording devices on me, and didn't plan to have any conversations at length as I didn't know when my friend would show up.
   I talked with a man who was parked on the other side of the parking place. Seemed like a real nice guy. He was on a mission. He just got through bypass surgery and says that it is a miracle that he is alive. His mom was praying for him, and also told him that he would have three signs that had to do with God. He said he was going to read the tract I gave him. Perhaps that was one of the three signs? I would love to have talked to him about the Gospel, but he said he was on a mission. He went on to explain that Planet X would be here pretty soon and we need to be ready. Planet X comes once every 3800 years, he continued. When it comes, it causes severe tidal waves and most of America is going to end up under water. Planet X came by when Noah was in the ark. This man has bought some property that is way above sea level in Colorado, and encourages others to do the same.
  Like I said , I wanted to get some words in about the Gospel. Don't get me wrong, he was really a kind man, just on a mission. He believes the most important thing that we can do is to get ready for Planet X coming.
   I did get to explain that we need to get ready spiritually, and he seemed to understand what I was getting at.
   We all should be on such a mission. Not to warn people about Planet X coming and creating gigantic tidal waves, but we need to warn people about the Judgment to come. The Bible is very clear that God will never destroy the earth with a flood again, as He did in Noah's time, but He will destroy it by fire. If we are not ready, when that day comes, we will be thrown in the Lake of Fire. God help us to take our mission seriously. May God give us compassion for lost people and the desire to make His name known.
  The prayer request here is that God will show Himself to this man, named Dominic. Dominic needs to be preparing himself for the day he will see God. He needs to be clothed with righteousness. He needs to be washed. All of us need to be ready for that day. We will either die in our sins, or, die with our sins completely erased. We need to hear the Gospel and respond. So do those around us. Let us love our neighbors as ourselves and preach the Gospel to them.