Blending in with the culture

In the previous articles in this series we talked about why we do not view where we live with the same focus and intensity as we do when we go to other countries for missions because we spend all of our time focused on making this life our home.  But why do we do that?

The reason we get so sucked into the comfort of this world is because we have adopted the philosophy and ideals of our culture. In many ways we have become part of the world.  What is it we do that sets us apart from non-believers?

Every year hundreds of billions of dollars are spent in advertising; just to tell you why having those Nike’s will make you run better, why you need the latest iPhone (or Android) or how Coca-Cola will refresh you more than any other drink.  They spend that much money because it works.  We are bombarded with those images every single day while we try to entertain ourselves with television and then we get obsessed about needing the next new thing.

But in order to get all that fancy stuff you need to make more money, which means spending more time going to school for that better degree and working overtime.  You spend all this time dwelling on these obsessions and it steals our thoughts and our time away from the family and away from our mission, the gospel.

Then we get hindered even more because we don’t want to share the gospel with those we work with because someone might get offended and we will get in trouble which means no raise this year or even loosing your job.

Welcome to the American Dream.

The American Dream is a vicious cycle that we get ourselves trapped in.  We have fun with all of the latest stuff but then it catches up to us.  I got so caught up with this trap that I had to borrow money to buy more stuff because I did not want to wait a few months to get my iPad or a second car with cash.  Now I have to work just to pay off the credit cards and loans from things I purchased in the past that I do not even use anymore because I replaced them with other things I bought with yet more borrowed money.

And then we think nothing about it because the rest of the culture is the same way.  Even the culture of the church is caught in this trap.

But while you or your church and your pastor may not think much of that lifestyle, God is offended by it.  God even goes as far as calling those who do live like society enemies of the Cross.

For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. – Phillipians 3:17-19

By focusing on the things of this world instead of God you are not just failing to do what is best, but you are being an enemy to Christ, to His mission, and to the cross.  Christ came for a mission and if you are so distracted by the things of this world that you are ignoring those around you that are dying, then you have become an enemy to that gospel.

You can’t be in the middle, there is no neutral position, we are either For Christ or against Him (Luke 11:23) and this verse in Philippians 3 makes it clear that we are really seen as the enemy of the cross.

You will, of course, deny that you are the enemy of Christ, I mean, who would admit that?  Unless you are an atheist who directly opposes God you would not consider yourself an enemy of God.

But then look at the rest of the passage.  Does that describe you?

“Their god is their stomach”… Do you care more about what you eat and drink than you do about serving Christ?  Does eating and drinking consume more of your time than you give to God?

“Their glory is in their shame” really hit me.  How many times have you bragged about something and found joy in something that, in comparison to God, you should be ashamed of?

“I got so drunk last night I don’t remember what happened.”
“She’s hot. I would sleep with her.”
“Check out this new beamer I got. Only $500 per month.”
“Last Saturday we had a Lord of the Rings marathon… It literally lasted all day”

How  many of these things that we brag about would we, or should we, be ashamed of if we thought about bragging about it to God in light of our mission?

Simon Cowell at the National Television Awards...
Simon Cowell at the National Television Awards at the Royal Albert Hall, London, October 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I boasted for a while that I got to meet Simon Cowell (You know, from American Idol).  I would tell everybody that I met that I thought would be slightly interested.  “Hey there guard on the military base, did you know I got to meet Simon Cowell?  Yeah, I did! Met him in a hotel hallway, I even got my picture taken with him!”

Yeah, I was so proud of that moment…

And then God whispered to me “Why are you not this excited to tell people about me?”

None of that stuff is wrong in itself but they shouldn’t be what we are proud of or things we really find joy in.  We should be boasting in Christ because we are sinners and honestly we have nothing worthy of boasting about outside of Christ.

Next time you want to brag about something, think about bragging to God about it.  Is it something that you should be ashamed of in light of His holiness and perfection?

Then the final part of that passage I know hits me hard, and almost all of our culture as well.  “Their mind is set on earthly things.”

What is your mind set on?  Do you spend your time dwelling on things of this earth, or on God and His mission?

This ties back to the beginning of this article series.  If you are in Africa on a missions trip you are focused completely on the gospel, on your mission, on others.  When we get back home our mindset changes back to “normal” and we focus only on the things of this earth.

That shouldn’t be.  Our minds should always be on Christ and on the gospel, on our mission, nothing else matters even a tiny bit in comparison.

Am I saying that you are not allowed to have any fun on earth at all, and that our life needs to be nothing but witnessing on the streets, going to church, and living with the bums on the street and if I sit down to watch one movie I am being an enemy of God?

Well….

Find out in the next article on this series. 🙂

A mission field forgotten

Francis Chan
Francis Chan (Photo credit: williamhartz)

While listening to Francis Chan the other day something he said really struck out at me.  He said that if you went on a missions trip to Africa, every single day you were there you would have the mission in mind.  It is what you are there for, your primary focus.  You would wake up in the morning and the first thing you would think about would be the mission.  Your life there would be consumed by it.

Then when we get back to the U.S. we relax and get back into the mentality of this being our home.  We let down our focus and the mission to us becomes nothing more than what we did that one week in Africa.

But the reality is that we have just as much of a mission here at home as we do when we go on missions trips to other cities and countries.  Perhaps even more so in some cases.

We have a culture that has been raised thinking it is a God fearing, Christ loving, Christian culture while they go about living their lives for themselves, enjoying their sin and not giving any thought to Jesus or to the gospel message. We have thousands of people filling churches in our neighborhood believing they are saved but in reality they are just in denial.

Then we have thousands more that do not know the gospel at all, or only know of some perversion of it.  They do not give any time to think that they might be a sinner, or that they are living their life in rejection of God.  These people all around us that we are in contact with every day are going to hell and they laugh at the thought without understanding how serious that truly is.

This is our mission field, masked by the fog of normal day-to-day life. It is time to see through that fog so we can work the field that surrounds us.

The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few – Matthew 9:37

In the next article we will start to see what is creating this fog over our mission field.

This is the first part of a series titled: Neglecting our Mission Field

Want to be saved? Just raise your hand and repeat after me…

Written by Jon Zenor.

The decision to follow Christ is the most important decision made in your life.  It is that decision where you decide to quit living your life for yourself and to follow Jesus, making him your master. You go where He wants you to go, do what He wants you to do, you stop living the sinful lifestyle that goes against God and you commit your life to Him.

Jesus says that if we want to follow Him it means giving up everything for Him, and to count the cost before you decide to make the journey (Luke 14:25-33).

That is what it means to make yourself a slave of Christ, you make Him your master.  The decision to do this is not one made lightly, and it is not a decision to be made light of.

In 2002 I made a decision to join the U.S. Navy.  This was not a decision I made lightly, I considered it for months beforehand.  I was signing a contract with the government to serve in the military for a minimum of four years. I would go where they told me to go, learn what they told me to learn.  I was theirs.

Our church normally does an alter call, where we invite people who want to give their lives to Jesus to come up front and talk with one of the pastors, to receive prayer and be given some information about what the decision they are about to make really means.  But it wasn’t so on Christmas Eve.

Maybe it was because the Christmas Eve service was so full, maybe for some other reason I don’t know about, but whatever the reason our church decided to take the “short cut to salvation.”  They gave the announcement “If you would like to receive Jesus in your heart just raise your hand.” A few people raised their hands and then the pastor led them in prayer. “Repeat this prayer after me and you will be saved!”

This is one of the sickest common perversions of the gospel in our society today.

What’s the big deal?

You are probably thinking that this is no big deal, it doesn’t matter how they are led to the prayer as long as they prayed.

Why does someone come to Christ?

A person comes to Christ because for one, they realize and believe that He is real, and then they realize they have offended God with how horrible their sin is, and then because of that they repent, turn from their sinful lifestyle to live the way God calls them to live.

and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you. (1 Corinthians 14:24-25)

The response to realizing God is real and you are in His presence is to worship, and the response to realizing you are a sinful is grief over your sin, and the response to you grieving over your sins is repentance, and the response to your repentance is forgiveness. Forgiveness of all of the sins you have ever committed or ever will commit.

And you are telling me a person went through all of this by simply raising their hand?

For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. (2 Corinthians 7:10)

Still don’t see the problem?

So you still don’t see a problem with this way of presenting the gospel?  Let’s have an analogy.

So this guy is standing in front of a group of people seated before him.  He says in a slightly excited tone “I have the winning ticket for the Power Ball lottery! Raise your hand if you want it.”

A few people in the crowd raise their hand.

“Awesome,” the man says, “Just repeat after me and it is yours.”

“Thank you for giving me twenty million dollars and I promise to use it to get my life right.”

The crowd responds, repeating what the guy said, and then after the guy is done talking they all quietly get up and start heading out the door calmly and quietly.

In this scenario, would you say that any of the people being offered multi-millions of dollars actually believed they got the money the guy up front told them they would get?

No, there was no excitement, no change, no commitment to actually follow God.

When a person gives their life over to God, they receive something so much better than all the money in the world, shouldn’t there be some type of response?

The Very Real, Very Serious Consequences

Here is the extremely real, extremely serious consequences of such a gospel message.

You convince people that they are saved, that they have a relationship with God, just because they raised their hand and repeated a prayer during an alter call.

Raising your hand and repeating a prayer does not save you. Cannot.

But now you have a few dozen people who walk out of that church believing they are saved because they raised their hand.  They didn’t even have a pastor talk to them to explain what raising their hand really meant.  But they believe; not in Christ, not in sacrificing their life and carrying their cross before Christ, no, they just believe they are saved.

But belief in salvation does not save you, only a relationship with Christ.

We have a generation of thousands in churches that believe they are saved because they said a prayer once but they have no fruit of the Spirit as evidence, no change in their life. This is why Leonard Ravenhill boldly proclaimed that “the sinner’s prayer has sent more people to hell than all the taverns in America.”

I doubt if 5% of professing Christians in America are born again–and that’s true of England! – Leonard Ravenhill

But it gets even more serious, we have churches full of leadership who think they are saved but have no relationship with God, they serve because they want to do the right thing but when they get to heaven they will just hear “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” (Matthew 7:23)

But because all these thousands of people believe they are saved they will go on their life ignoring anybody who may tell them to repent. “I don’t need to repent, I’m already saved!” the person will say to himself.

You have just given a blind man headphones and praise music to make him happy but you never turned him away from the path he is on, a path headed straight for the cliff.  All you did is make it harder for him to hear others trying to warn him over the praise music.

Do you see yet the serious problem here?

What do I do?

If you believe you are saved, it is one of our duties to examine our salvation, to test ourselves to make sure we are saved and not just fooling yourself.

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! (2 Corinthians 13:5)

Have you felt that godly sorrow over your sins that leads you to repent?  Do you live a holy life, not because you try to but because God has transformed you?  Do you live your life according to scripture and breath in joyfully every word of the Bible?  Spend some time in scripture analyzing what it means to be saved and see how you match up to it. Repent of the areas you fail in, and pray for strength to help you where you need it, but fist make sure you have that relationship with Jesus.

Holiness is not a Iuxury, it’s a necessity. If you’re not holy, you’ll never make it to heaven. – Leonard Ravenhill

If you are not saved, then there is no better time than right now.  Every sin you commit hurts your relationship with God, drives you farther from Him.  He is the one who created you and despite you turning from Him and living in strict opposition to Him He still sent His only son to die, to pay the penalty of your sins.

Why did Jesus die for you? Because He wants you to be free from sin, He wants you to follow Him and find true joy in Him, and He wants you to share that with others so others can find joy in Christ.

If you want someone to walk you through this you should contact someone at your local church, or call Eternal Truth Ministry at 719-4285-ETM and leave a message and we would love to walk you through any questions you may have.

This is too important of a decision to make to let yourself be fooled, and it is way too important of a decision to put off another day.

Finally, if you are a pastor, preacher, evangelist, or in any position to give “alter calls” then do the right thing, go out to the people, get them alone one on one and pray with them, answer their questions, explain what this decision really is, guide them as they repent and decide to follow Christ.

There is nothing wrong with having someone raise their hand to say they want to be saved, but keep their hands raised until someone can pull them out of the crowd and take them aside.  One on one, make it personal to them.

 

Do you agree with what I said here or do you think I am being overly picky? I would like to hear what you have to say in the comments section below.

Help us buy a camel

November is here, which means it is time to start breaking out the snow makers and make some snow angels in Los Angeles.

Or, more accurately it is time to start spending lots of money on all of those family members.  With how much marketing is put into Christmas it is no wonder that we are so focused on buying each other gifts to fill up the stockings and line the trees with.

But this year try to do something a little different.  Give just a little bit of your money to help people in other countries who have almost nothing and will likely get nothing for Christmas.

This year Eternal Truth Ministering is trying to save up to buy a camel.

Yes, you heard me right, a camel.

Gospel for Asia has a donation program allowing you to help buy livestock for villages in need (along with a ton of other cool ministry opportunities).  For only $345, the cost of 23 people subscribing to World of Warcraft for a month, or the cost of a single Xbox 360, we can purchase a camel for a village in Rajasthan, India.

Camels can be used to transport up to 330 pounds of goods across the sandy deserts that jeeps have a hard time getting through, and when they get to their destination they are even used for plowing fields.

Camel wool is used to make clothing and camel milk is a staple in that part of the world.

Missionaries from Gospel for Asia go into these villages to bring the gospel, and if they can meet physical needs while they are at it then it provides a great platform to show that those who follow Jesus love them in a very real way.

“Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me” – Matthew 25:40

Would you consider giving a small donation to help us make a difference to the lives of villagers in India?

Click here for more information or to donate.

Radical book review

Radical: Taking back your faith from the American Dream

Radical is one of the toughest, most challenging books I have read in a long time. The book is fairly short, only about 200 pages, but in those pages you will be challenged like never before.

David Platt, the author, challenges its readers to look at their lives and see if they are living their life in radical obedience to Jesus, or if we are too distracted by our pursuists of the American dream to really give obedience to Christ any serious thought.

In my first book, Radical, I explored how the biblical gospel affects individual Christian lives. Simply put, in a world of urgent spiritual and physical need, gospel-believing, God-exalting men and women do not have time to waste their lives pursuing a Christian spin on the American dream.

David Platt compares his life starting out as a pastor of a mega church with pastors of underground churches in Asia just a few weeks earlier which starts him on his journey to see if he really is following and obeying Jesus.

But as a new pastor comparing the images around me that day with the pictures still fresh in my mind of brothers and sisters on the other side of the world, I could not help but think that somewhere along the way we had missed what is radical about our faith and replaced it with what is comfortable. We were settling for a Christianity that revolves around catering to ourselves when the central message of Christanity is actually about abandoning ourselves.

At the end of this book is a one-year challenge. What you learn in this book will challenge your faith and your way of life, but hopefully through reading it you will decide to forsake the American dream for the sake of the gospel.

This is a Must Read for every Christian.

Do you have a burden for the lost?

I’m re-reading the Left Behind books right now and I came across an interesting quote that I think points to the heart of Christ. Something that shows how we should be longing for the unsaved to be saved.

The background of the quote is that Rayford Steel has recently found the truth of the Bible and is trying to reach out to other people, especially his daughter Chloe who has been resistant to the gospel. Here is what Ray felt in the book.

I cannot lose her, he thought, and he believed he would trade his own salvation for hers if that was what it took.

With that commitment, he sensed God speaking to him, impressing upon him that tat was precisely the burden required for winning people, for leading them to Christ. That was the attitude of Jesus himself, being willing to take on himself the punishment of men and women so they could live.

I confess that my burden for the lost is not that deep; but it should be. Every single person is going to die and will one day face God, either with or without Christ. How selfish can we be as Christians to enjoy living our life for God, praising God and singing songs, but failing to do what God really wants done, reaching out to the lost and giving them the gospel.

Pray that God will put this burden on your heart so you will want to reach out and share the gospel no matter how uncomfortable it may be or no matter what it may cost you.

Jesus died for every single person, and are we going to be selfish enough to squelch what Jesus did by not sharing it?

May the lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering….

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Being a successful Christian

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Joshua 1:8

Awesome, meditate on the Bible and we will be successful, having money, good health and well liked.

As much as I would like to see that statement in the Bible, the more I meditate on it the more I know that is not the case. Paul was a great example of this, He knew the scriptures, walked by faith and preached the gospel. Yet, Paul never had a lot of money, didn’t have a position of power, was often jailed and beaten, and had some type of physical affliction that God would not take away, even though Paul prayed that God would.

So, was Paul successful? From here it doesn’t look like Paul was very successful. So was the Bible wrong then when it said that we will “have good success”?

Before we say the Bible was wrong, or that Paul wasn’t successful, here is another thought. By who’s standards are you measuring success? Fame, fortune, health, a place of power, these are all criteria that the world bases success on, but Christians are not of the world.

1 John 2:16 “For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

1 Corinthians 2:12 “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.

No, the success that God tells us about in the Bible must be different than our own definition of success. Paul was successful, he obeyed God in what he did, so Paul’s success was in the Lord, and in doing the Lord’s work.

1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Colossians 1:9-11 “that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

Psalm 1:1-3 “1 Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.

We will be successful in the Lord when we do His work, according to His will. As Joshua stated, we will be successful by meditating on the Bible day and night, and not letting it depart from your mouth. This is the only way that you will be able to walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him.

Fully pleasing God… now that’s what I call success.

Does it not seem important that we be reading the Bible daily? How else our we to get to know our Lord? Every Christian needs to make it a point to read the Bible daily, this will help you have a Christ like attitude, and to avoid false doctrines.

It is vital in our relationship with the Lord, so make some time for it. God deserves at least a few minutes out of your day, right?

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Long Time Between Updates

Yes I realize that I have not been keeping up on writing my blogs as much as I would have liked. There are a lot of things that go through my head almost daily that I want to write about, I just don’t take the time to sit down and write them. I will try to make the time to do this though. I want to write blogs often for a couple of reasons. One is that I like to keep people updated on the events of my life. The other reason is that I like to be able to look back on the blogs myself to see what I have done, almost like a life journal. So here is another entry in the life of Jon.

Two weeks ago Stephanie (Danae’s sister) came out to visit. It was a fun and enjoyable time, where we went to church, the zoo, out for hikes, and various other places. Even though there were some sister fights and tension (as expected between sisters), for the most part the visit was very enjoyable for all of us. One day, we had a great oppertunity to drive through the mountains. It was a beautiful sunny day and the area that we went into had a lot of trees that were changing colors. It really shows the creativity that God has to make everything the way that it is and just the beauty that is in things that no artist can fully capture. How anybody could say that it is all here the way it is by accident is beyond my comprehension. Sadly, I left my camera home that day so I cannot share with you the awesome wonders of God’s nature that we saw.

While at the zoo, one of the first animals that we got to see was the giraffe. Something intereting that I learned is that the giraffe has valves in it’s blood vessels in its neck near the head, so that when it lowers its head down and back up it does not pass out from the blood rushing to its head and then a sudden rush of the blood rushing out of its head. My question to evolutionists is this, how did the giraffe know that it needed that? How did the DNA in the giraffe’s body some how create this necessary body part that the giraffe could not survive without? It just makes no sense to me! The theory of evoultion is so fairy tale like sometimes that it stuns me to see how intelligent people could even consider it to be true. Anyway, enough about that.

So Malikai seemed to enjoy himself at the zoo a lot. There was one animal that was making a weird noise and Malikai tried to mimic the noise. It was funny to listen to. Every time the animal would make the noise Malikai would try something similar, but other than that he was pretty quiet all day. The zoo that we went to was nice, but it did make me miss the San Diego zoo. Now that is a nice zoo! At least it was the last time I went there years and years ago.

During the last couple of days we were enjoying playing some games, both UNO with custom rules, and baulderdash. The UNO game was interesting. The rule we had was that whoever won a hand, got to make up a new rule for the game. My rule was to have an undo card, that whenever you want you can play a 0 and make the last person take back the card they played and skip their turn. The girls, however, made different type of rules. Danae’s was that you had to go outside and burp loudly whenever you play a wild draw 4. It did make people want to play the draw 4 less often, but I didn’t enjoy the burping outside. Stephanie had a rule where you had to do an UNO cheer anytime you played an 8. So have some fun with these new rules and play a new exciting game of UNO!

The Saturday before Stephanie left I got real sick and had to call in sick from work. The bad thing was that I couldn’t do anything all day because I was sick, but Danae and Stephanie took advantage of having the car so they went out for a few hours to go for a hike and a drive through another mountain road that is tucked away behind Garden of the Gods. So I stayed home with Malikai, mostly slept and watched movies but it was nice to have a day off from work. The following day I was feeling better so we went to church and then followed that with lunch at Cracker Barrel, which was some great food, but Malikai started to fuss a lot and was annoying the other people around so I had to just go pay for the food and sit in the car with him while Danae and Stephanie finished up their brunch. Malikai is getting really hard to take places sometimes, which makes me wish that we had a baby sitter so Danae and I could do things together.

While Stephanie was here we bought our two cats (see the previous blog) and we finally decided on the names. Mine (the bigger gray one) we are calling Merlin, and the smaller female we are calling Kunkali, or kali (pronounced collie) for short. Malikai is doing great with the cats, he seems to be enjoying them a lot. He still follows them around and tries to play with them. I’m glad that we made the decision to get the cats. Now the next big decision, to de-claw, or let them claw? As long as we stay on top of trimming their claws they are not destructive, but even with the claws trimmed it still hurts. We will wait and see what we will do.

Also that week I had a job interview. I have got to say, that was the strangest job interview that I have ever had. The first thing that really got me was that he asked for previous websites that I have built, so I pointed him to ETM and he spent a lot of time looking through the articles, he said he was just trying to figure out what I believed. After he mentioned something about how other Christians reply to his question about the sabath I asked if he was a Christian, and he was, so it started a 5 to 10 minute conversation about the Bible and what we believed and stuff. I know that it isn’t the politically correct job interview discussion, but it is nice to have a conversation with a brother or sister in Christ like that. Then later he encouraged me not to take the job, because I would lose my security clearance if I did that. So yeah, the stragest interview that I ever had.

I had a good feeling about the company, people and job, but I never got called back so I think they picked someone who was asking for less money. The job would have been nice, but I’m kind of glad that I did not get it. I have been thinking about this a lot lately and I have finally decided what I want to do for the time being. I want to be a Windows Sys Admin, those jobs generally pay better and I’m good at it too. I just hope I can get into a job that will give me some serious Unix hands on experience. So if you have a job and you want to hire a Sys Admin, preferably in the Colorado Springs area, contact me! In the mean time, I updated my resume for this position I am going to pursue and I have been applying at a few jobs. Focus on the Family just happened to have a similar job opening show up on their website so I applied for that. Of all the jobs that I applied for, that is the job that I hope I can get. Even if they don’t pay as much as some of the others, I would look forward to working in a Christian environment and especially at a job that is so close to my home. In the summer I could ride a bike to the job in about 20 minutes, or be lazy and drive the 5-10 minutes to the building. Some friends of mine know someone that works there, so hopefully I can get ahold of that person for a recomendation to help get my foot in the door.

We will see what happens, just please pray for me that I will find the job God wants me to be in. The shift work that I am doing now is tiring me out a lot and my sleep schedule has been completely off this last week. I don’t know how long I can keep up these hours and the long drive. Plus, the longer you have to drive each day the higher the chance for an accident, especially when tired after a 12 hour shift. This week someone from our building got into a head on car accident outside work and is in ICU. Please pray for her, for God’s healing if He wills, but most importantly that their family will be comforted and that she
will come to know the Lord if she doesn’t already. It just goes to show that you never know what may happen that will take the lives of a loved one, or a co-worker, or even ourself. No matter how tragic the incident may be, it is so much worse that we, the body of Christ, did not take the oppertunities that we had to share the gospel message with them. The latest statistics say that less than 2% of Christians evangelize (quoted from the Way of the Master) so if we don’t reach out to those that we know, the chances are that nobody will.

Romans 10:13-15

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how
shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear
without a preacher?
And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How
beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad
tidings of good things!

Oh that we may preach the gospel boldy to this lost world. I heard a quote from Charles Spurgeon that said something like “If this world does leap into the lake of fire, may they do it by leaping over our bodies trying to stop them, if they do want to go into the burning pit of hell, may it be with our arms wrapped around their knees trying to hold them back..” Why do we let this world blindly walk over the cliff of eternity into the pit of hell while we stand by and watch? How can the Christians of this world be so cruel? How can we care about our own comforts so much that we would not get up from our lazy boy chairs in front of our televisions or computers to stop these people from running into eternal damnation! How cruel the body of Christ has become in these last days… we have all the authority and power of the world, we can heal the sick, cast out demons, and offer Jesus’s blood stained hands to these people to bring salvation and eternal healing, but we would dare not do that because we would be made fun of or feel scared.

How many people do crazy stunts for the feel of fear? Going on roller coasters, jumping out of an airplane, doing insane jumps with skateboards and motorcycles, we even go to horror movies that have the very purpose of scaring the living daylights out of us, but when it comes to saving the dying….

I guess in the end it doesn’t really matter… let those who live in their sin spend an eternity in a place seperated by the grace of God, a place where they mourn over the truth they realize they have rejected, a place of nashing of teeth and burning of flesh… none of that really matters as long as we Christians are comftorable.

Really what it boils down to is a simple mathematical equasion. (m > c) Where m is our concern for our own comfort, and c is our concern for others. If we could just learn to care more about the lost than ourselves, to have a heart full of compassion then no excuse will keep us from sharing the gospel. Like a firefighter who runs into a burning building to save a family of four, knowing that he may die and not even save them, but his care and concern for them is far greater than his concern for himself. Or like the Chineese Christian who recently went missing while trying to smuggle Bibles into China, the concern for getting the gospel to those who needed it far outweighs the concern for himself. We in America rarely face such drastic consequences, so what are we afraid of?

A lot of why Christians don’t share their faith is because of the churches today. The churches teach that Christians should live rich and happy comftorable lives (which, by the way, is nowhere in the Bible). So that is what Christians do, they try to get rich, be happy and comftorable. That is why this generations churches are producing Christians that will tell God on the day of judgment “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ and then be told by God “‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:22-23)

I will end here and say good night. May God bless you and give you the compassion to reach out to the lost.

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Spurgeon Gold

I am reading a book right now written by Ray Comfort called “Spurgeon Gold“. The book makes quotes and comments about many of the great sermons that Charles Spurgeon gave. If you like the sayings in this post, PLEASE pick up the book. There are so many things being left out of this post that are absolutely invaluable pieces of wisdom.

Charles Spurgeon says about his ministry “My main business is the saving of souls. This one thing I do.” Ray Comfort states “I hope this publication advances Spurgeon’s main business; that its words will not just delight your taste buds. May they energize you to reach out to the lost. God forbid that they should add fat to the theological obesity of many…Time will take you and me into eternity. If we are trusting in Jesus Christ, we have a moral obligation to reach out to the unsaved while there is still time. This was Spurgeon’s great passion, and I pray that it is yours. This gold is not meant to sit on the shelf of a rich man. If it does, then it becomes worthless. Its real value will be seen in its being spent on the cause of the Kingdom.”

So sit back and enjoy some of these pure pieces of spiritual gold that will hopefully encourage you to have a heart for those around us that are lost and for serving our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ.


To try to win a soul to Christ by keeping that soul in ignorance of any truth, is contrary to the mind of the Spirit; and to endeavor to save men by mere claptrap, or excitement, or oratorical display, is as foolish as to hope to hold an angel with bird-line, or to lure a star with music. The best attraction is the gopsel in its purity. The weapon with which the Lord conquers men is the truth as it is in Jesus. The gospel will be found equal to every emergency; an arrow can peirce the hardest heart, a balm which will heal the deadliest would. Preach it, and preach nothing else. Rely implicitly upon the old, old gospel. You need no other nets when you fish for men; those your Master has given you are strong enough for the great fishes, and have meshes fine enough to hold the little ones. Spread those nets and no others, and you need not fear the fullfillment of His Word, “I will make you fishers of men.”


The Reason Sinners Live

Read the Ten Commandments, pause at each one, and confess that you have broken it in either thought or word or deed. Remember that by a glance, we may commit adultery; by a thought, we may be guildy of murder; by a desire, we may steal. Sin is any want of conformity to perfect holiness, and that want of conformity is justly chargeable upon every one of us. Yet the Lord does not, under the gospel dispensation, deal with us according to Law. He does not now sit on the throne of judgment, but He looks down upon us from the throne of grace. … Instead of destroying offending man from off the face of the earth, the Lord comes near to us in loving condescension, and pleads with us by His Spirit, saying, “You have sinned, but my Son has died. In Him, I am prepared to deal with you in a way of pure mercy and unmingled grace.”

O sinner, the fact that you are alive proves that God is not dealing with you according to strict justice, but in patienct forbearance; every moment you live is another instance of omnipotent long-suffering. It is the sacrifice of Christ that arrests the axe of justice, which else must execute you.


A Plea to the Lost

Remember, last of all, that the Law, which is so sharp and terrible to men when it only deals with them for their good, will, if you and I die withouth being brought to Christ, be much more terrible to us in eternity, when it deals with us in justice for our punishment. … He will be at once the Lawgiver, the Judge, and the Savior; and you that have despised Him as the Savior will have to appear before Him as your judge. No such judge as He, His justice will be clear and undiluted now that His mercy has been scorned. Oil is soft, but set it on fire, and see how it burns! … If you turn the Lamb of Zion into the Lion of the tribe of Judah, beware, for He will tear you in pieces, and there shall be none to deliver. Rejected love will change its hand. The pierced hand was outstretched with invitations of mercy, but if these be rejected – O sirs, I am telling you solemn truth, and hear it, I pray you, ere I send you away – if from that hand that was pierced you will not take the perfect salvation, which He is prepared to give to all who confess their guilt, you will have to receive from the selfsame hand that blows of that iron rod, which shall break you into pieces as a potter’s vessel. Fly now, and kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish from the way while His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him! Amen.

**Ray Comfort: “It is amazing that we hesitate to talk about the wrath of God, for fear of making sinners feel fearful. The fear they fell this side of the grave will be nothing compared to the fear that they feel when they stand before Almighty God.” **


Hatred of Goodness

For which of his good works, for which of his generous words, for which of his holy deeds will they fasten His hands to the wood, and His feet to the tree? With unreasonable hatred, with senseless curelty, they only answer to the question of Pilate, “Why, what evil has he done?” “Let Him be crucified! Let Him be crucified!” The true reason for their hate, no doubt, lay in the natural hatred of all men to perfect goodness. Man feels that the presence of goodness is a silent witness against his own sin, and therefore he longs to get rid of it. To be too holy in the judgment of men is a great crime, for it rebukes their sin. If the holy man has not the power of words, yet his life is one loud witness-bearing for God against the sins of his creatures.


A plea to the Unsaved

There are some of you standing in these aisles and sitting in these pews, who I feel in my soul will never have another invitation, and if this be rejected today, I feel a solemn motion in my soul-I think it is of the Holy Ghost- that you will never hear another faithful sermon, but you shall go down to Hell impenitent, unsaved, except you trust in Jesus now. I speak not as a man, but I speak as God’s ambassador to your souls, and I command you, in God’s name, trust Jesus, trust now. At your peril, reject the voice that speaks from Heaven, for “he that believeth not shall be damned.” How shall you escape if you neglect so great salvation? When it comes right home to you, when it thrusts itself in your way, oh, if you will neglect it, how can you escape? With tears, I would invite you, and, if I could, would compel you to come in. Why will you not? O souls, if you will be damned, if you make up your mind that no mercy shall ever woo you, and no warnings shall ever move you, then, sirs, what chains of vengeance must you feel that slight these bonds of love. You have deserved the deepest Hell, for you slight the joys above. God save you. He will save you, if you trust in Jesus. God help you to trust Him even now, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.


Finding the Right Church

If you wait for a perfect church, you must wait until you get to Heaven; and even if you could find a perfect assembly on earth, I am sure they would not admit you to their fellowship, for you are not perfect yourself. Find out those people who are nearest to the Scriptures, who hold the truth in doctrine and in ordinance, and are most like the apostolic church, and then cast in your lot with them, and you will be blessed in the deed.


Prayer for the Unsaved

If you really desire that men should be saved, pray for them. It is an empty wish, a mere formality, if you do not turn it into prayer. … Oh, for more prayer! Let us cry to God in secret, and in the family, and in all our assemblies, that God would save the sons of men.


The Necessity of Preaching

Suppose that we do not preach the gospel and warn the wickend man, so that he turns not from his iniquity. What then? Hear this voice: “He shall perish, but his blood will I require at thine hand.” What will my Lord say to me if I am unfaithful to you? “Where is the blood of those people who gathered at Newington Butts? Where is the blood of that crowd that came together to hear you speak, and you did not preach the gopsel to them?” Oh, it where better for me that I had never been born than that I should not preach the gospel! “Woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel” of Christ, for men perish where there is not the Word of God!


Genuine Conversion

If we labor for souls, we must not be content unless souls are really saved, for the apostle says, “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God.” Well, does not that satisfy you, Paul? They are zealous for God. They are red-hot. “No,” says he, “not unless it is in the right way. They have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.” We feel very thankful when we see tears stream down the cheek, but you know, people cry at the theatre, and there is not much in it. Pray God it may not end in a shower of tears; but that the heart may bleed as well as the eyes weep. It may happen that we have induced our hearers to give up some outward sins. So far, so good. But it is written, “You must be born again;” and if this vital change is not experienced, all outward reformation will land them short of Heaven.


The Crucifixion

Cowardice! cowardice! cowardice, craven, base lies at your door, O humanity! The Christ who was like a sheep-harmless and defenseless- was treated as if He had been one of the wild beasts of the forest. Who could have had the heart to smite Him who gave His back to the smiters, and His cheeks to those who plucked off the hair? O humanity! If I stand at the bar to impeach you, I scarce know where to commence the indictment, and, having commenced it, I know not where to close it. How fallen, dishonored, infamous are you, O humanity! Low, depraved, heinous, indeed, have you become that you could put the Messiah Himself to death, and crucify the Lord of Glory.


False Converts

Who was it that added Judas, and Ananias and Sapphire, and Simon Magus, and Demas to the church? Who was it that stole forth by night and spread tares among the wheat? That evil spirit is not dead, he is still busy enough in this department, and continually adds to the church each as are not saved. His are the mixed multitude that infest the camp of Israel, and are the first to fall a lusting; his the Achane who bring a curse upon the tribes; his are those of whom Jude says, “Certain men crept in unawares who were before of old ordained to this condemnation.” These adulterate the church, and by so doing, they weaken and defile it, and bring it much grief and dishonor.


The Purpose of the Law

The business of the Law is first to teach us our obligations to God. Let us ask ourselves if we have ever heard the Law teaching us in that way. Brethren, read the Law of Ten Commandments, and study each separate precept, and you will find that in those ten short precepts you have all the moral virtues, the frull compass of your accountability to God, and of your relationship to your fellowmen. It is a wonderful condensation of morals. The essence of all just decrees and statustes lies there. Perfection is there photographed, and holiness mapped out. No one has ever been able to add to it without creating an excrescence, not a word could be taken from it without causing a serious omission. It is the perfect Law of God, and tells us exactly what we ought to be; if we are in any degree deficient, we are to that extent guilty before God. Now, when the Law comes to a man’s conscience, it reveals to him the divine standard of right -holds it up before him – makes him look at it – and apprises him that the Commandments do not merely refer to acts and deeds, but with equal force to the words and thoughts from whence they proceed.

**Note from Ray Comfort: “It is a Perfect Law (see Psalm 19:7) of a perfect God that demands moral perfection. That is what we are commanded to warn every man, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”


I think that’s enough for now, take these words to heart and pick up this book “Spurgeon Gold” by Ray Comfort.

May God bless you as you seek to save the lost!

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1 John 1

1 John 1:1-4 – “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of Life and the life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, that you also may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.”

– The Gospel message… It is the power of this message that has transformed us into what we are today. Because of that transformation we are the witness to and we proclaim eternal life to all those around us. Being a Christian isn’t a part time or self-paced religion. It’s a full time mission. And how can it not be?

We are all sinners, Christian and non-Christian alike, but through God’s manifestation of Life we have been made clean, not just forgiven of sins, though we are very thankful for that too, but we have been given a relationship with God.

With that knowledge, what do you do? Do you hide it and act like every other person in the world? Or do you let that difference shine from you and proclaim it to all people that you are a son of God!

Being in fellowship with one another and with God should bring us joy! Doesn’t it? Isn’t it much more joyful to hang out with a Christian brother or sister than someone of the world?

It’s okay to spend time with people from the world, but how can you do it for long? If you spend a lot of time with someone with a worldly mindset, then it will not take long for that mindset to rub off on you. Be careful who you spend time with! Remember, you are a chosen vessel of God, don’t get yourself dirty.

1 John 1:5 – “And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.”

This is how holy God is, there is NO darkness in Him at all! He is absolutely perfect with no stain or spot whatsoever. Know what is even better about this? We have been made one body with whom?? With God.

Wait a minute now… If we are the body of Christ, and Christ is God and God is Holy with no darkness whatsoever… what does this say about our own lives? We are dirty humans, even at our best. So are we making God ‘dirty’?

Christ’s blood has washed us clean so that we can be one body with Christ without bringing darkness to God. But are you living your life trying everything you can to bring a stain to God? Just because God has made you clean doesn’t give you permission to go get dirty as you can again. Just because mom washed that shirt with bleach doesn’t mean you can go roll around in the mud again.

Remember that you are the body of Christ, and even though you can’t make God dirty, are you making the image that people see of God dirty? We are ambassador’s to God. Sometimes, the only time people will pay any attention to God is when they watch the actions of His chosen people.

Are you proclaiming the good news that we have witnessed and experienced, or are you trying to muddy it up so you don’t stand out?

1 John 1:6 – “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”

Try this: go into a room and turn on all the lights, then walk down the center of the room in complete darkness. You can’t because it’s impossible! Where there is light, the darkness is flushed out so you can’t continue to walk in the darkness.

This does not mean that a Christian is perfect or needs to be perfect. As long as we are in these bodies we will stumble, but if you are following God then you cannot purposely be living in darkness. You cannot be purposely doing things that you know are wrong and trying to hide them. If you follow God, then let Him rule your life, let His light shine through you without you needing to hide anything.

If you are struggling with a sin that continues to haunt you, then expose it. Don’t try to battle it in the dark, bring it to the light for all to see and God is faithful to remove those stains.

1 John 1:7 – “But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

1 John 1:8-10 – “If we say that we have no sin we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.”

Admit that you have sinned; if you can’t think of anything then ask God to reveal it to you. We are never perfect. What divides those who walk in the light from those who don’t is that those who walk in the light admit that they are stained, and without the Light that the father shines on us we would always appear to be stained.