Friday, November 28, 2008

The message of the cross is foolishness...... those who are perishing.
"For the word of the cross is folly, to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18

"Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand a sign and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucifed, a stumbling block to the Jews and folly to the Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the fooishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men." 1Corinthians 1:20b-25

"And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God
1 Corinthians 2:1-5
I was reminded of this scripture the other day. It was like the Lord pointed out to me all over again reminding me why I am out evangelizing. He showed me the words of Paul and I was in an uproar emotionally because I had forgotten this scripture. I have forgotten that the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. We tell the lost about salvation, baptism and life with Christ. Yet first we forget to tell them why they need salvation, why they need a savior. We give them a message that is more for believers than unbelievers. We pour over them with wisdom that sounds good, but there is no power unto salvation. The reason? It is man centered. We want instant results so we do what we can to get a person to say yes. Sort of like a car salesman whose whole purpose is to get the sale so they can get the commission and in turn we drive off in a car we didn't want or need. Whatever it takes.
We give a message that is empty of the power of the Spirit. Look at what Paul said, he didn't come to the Corinthians with lofty speeches or wisdom. If one of the greatest evangelist/apostles didn't do it that way what makes us any different? We don't need to give people trinkets that are geared for believers. We don't need to give out gift certificates to get people to hear a message. At one church I belonged to the pastor was so desperate to get the lost people in that he gave $200 to the person who brought the most people to the church. It wasn't that he was foolish. No,he was trying to get the saints to do something. In the same church but different pastor they started doing car shows. After the car shows they did skeet shoots.
I'm also reminded of Jonathan Edwards and Whitefield. They didn't use gimmicks or give aways to get people. NO! They preached Christ and Him crucified! They preached the law first. Once the people saw that they were sinners and they needed a savior, then the cross wasn't foolish to them anymore. Plus it was the power of God that brought the people. Now I am praying that this message gets across in a way where we will start questioning why we do the things we do in outreaches. How do you think we got the sinners prayer? Man's wisdom. And look where that has us. There are a lot of unbelievers walking into churches thinking they are saved just because they said a prayer and someone told them they were saved. I am meeting a lot of "saved lost people" where I evangelize. Yes they are saved, in their minds, but not their hearts. We messed up people and we need to repent as a church body.
My heart is for preaching the full counsel of God to all. Which according to Paul is the folly. But not at the expense of being foolish with man's wisdom.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, " Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious;
for as I was passing through and considering the objects of worship. I even found an altar with this inscription:
Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: " God who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.
Nor is He worshiped with men's hands
, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.
And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and bounderies of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us: for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.'
Therefore since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by man's art and own devising.
ACTS 17:22-29
I feel this scripture pretty well sums up some thoughts I have been having about the modern church and the ways they implement things to evangelize with.
We are to preach Christ and Him crucified! And yet we come up with schemes or buildings etc. to bring attention to the gospel and Lordship of Christ. We make things out of our own craftsmanship in order to aide us in remembering what Christ did for us. We build beautiful buildings in order to help us worship better. What happened to the simplicity of the gospel?
Man's wisdom is of folly. The words of God are life.
We need to scrap the ways of man, because what seems to work today may become someones idol the next. Men we need to rely on the WORD and not man's way. I feel we are in danger of adding to what Jesus already completed through His death on the Cross.
This all stems from a heart of someone who was raised in a denomination that used statues and other relics in order to help us remember what Christ did for us. I would like to end this with a question. What is the Holy Spirit for then if we need these extra things?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

False Humility and Forced Humility vs. TRUE HUMILITY

The reason I chose the title for this post, is that I was at my oldest daughters musical recital today and while there I saw two extreme sides of Christianity.
On one side of the room there were some ladies who were of the old penecostal segment of Christianity wearing there buns and plain dresses with no makeup. And then on the other side there was a local pastor who was dressed nice and outside in front of the school where everyone could see was his nice Cadillac Escalade with the license plate "HOLINESS" on it.
So that is how I came up with the title. On one side you have forced humility. Men making laws that put their women under bondage or as an old friend used to say "bundage". Then on the other side you have a gentleman who preaches prosperity and rubs elbows with the elite in the city. False humility?
I am not casting judgement on either one of these people. The ladies may be the sweetest women around. And the pastor may be a nice person also. It only shows that we have two different extremes of christianity here in the United States. I by far am not a very humble person, and I struggle with being humble.

The question is do we need to show it with what we wear or don't wear? Do we need to show our Christianity with a license plate or a fish symbol. You see people are to know we are Christians by our fruit. Not our outward appearance. No wonder so many are turned off. They see certain ones who have an appearance of Christianity and humility. Lord help us!
The following is just some of what the scriptures says about humility.

In 1 Peter 5:5-5 The word says we are to clothe ourselves in humility.
Romans 12:16 "Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble."
Also in 1 Peter 5:6-7 We read "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
You see we are to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and not man, whether by wearing drab clothing and buns or otherwise.
Jesus became poor. He didn't just look poor he was poor. He gave up riches to come to the earth and die. He didn't garner riches while here. Jesus was and always will be our example.
We are to be humble so that God can exalt us not man. Our fancy rides with our personal license plates making people think we are Christian is not the way to go.
Well, while I'm at it that person who had the nice car and license plate happened to drive way faster than the posted speed limit on the highway when I was behind them. So how is that supposed to speak to the lost when Christians are breaking a law?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

History repeats itself from scriptures.....Ezekiel 7

I was reading in Ezekiel today in my studies and this scripture popped out at me. It reminds me of what is going on in the modern American church.

"As I live," says the Lord God, "neither your sister Sodom nor her daughters have done as you and your daughters have done. Look this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had PRIDE, FULLNESS of FOOD, and ABUNDANCE of IDLENESS; neither did she STRENGTHEN the HAND of the POOR
and NEEDY. And they were HAUGHTY and committed ABOMINATION before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit." Ezekiel 7:48-50

I know God was speaking to Israel at the time, but how much resemblance is there with what we in America are doing in the churches? The modern church is doing no better than Sodom. Harsh words I know, but look in the mirror per se and see what is going on.
Do we think we can continue to be prideful, and idle? Do we feel we can continue to store up food for ourselves without ever being concerned about the poor and needy. We have some who claim to be Christian committing abominations. No one is calling out the sinners who are hiding in the churches. We need to repent before God releases His judgement on us. After all the word says, that judgement will start in the church before it starts in the world.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Not Ashamed of the Gospel, as long as it is in the church

What's wrong with bringing the gospel out to the lost instead of bringing the lost to hear the gospel, if we are not ashamed of the gospel?
I titled this because as someone who goes out on the street to preach I know of some comments that get made about street preaching. Christian people come out and ask why are you doing that?
Someone said, I get enough preaching on Sundays. That was a comment to a friend of mine who was preaching on the street one time. Some have said that doesn't work. Wow so if the word being proclaimed on the street doesn't work then what does?
I really feel we have come along way from what Jesus, John, Paul, Peter and the others in the New Testament did. They preached on the streets. So if we are so bold to say we are not ashamed of the gospel while in a building why then are we not out proclaiming the gospel on the roof tops?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

JAMES 1:26-27

I just got through reading another brothers blog. He was hitting on some real hard issues. Then this scripture came to my mind.
"If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but decieves his own heart, this one's religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." James 1:26-27
I feel we are to quick to say hey I gave my tithe or I showed up at church every Sunday this last year. Or I give at the office. Using this as an excuse to not go out and help others on your own. We pay someone whether through tithes, United Way etc. to do the work for us and then in turn want to get a pat on the back for being "religious". Well, according to the word that persons religion is "useless". And most of these people don't bridle their tongue while all along decieving their own heart. We must be doers of the word and not hearers only. It is not up to one person or a certain group to do all of the labor. No, the Lord has something for us all to do.
When we do go out to help we are not to do what the world is doing by drawing attention to ourselves. If the body of Christ were doing as commanded in the scripture then we would have no need of the government to help. Think about that, all the money spent on our own pleasures could be used to help the orphans, widows and the poor. And the gospel could really be preached to all the world.

Does a farmer harvest from his house?

Of course the answer would be no. The farmer goes out and plows the field, plants the seed and then waits as it grows then he harvest what he has sown.
So what do we do as Christians concerning the lost? You see there is a harvest of lost souls out there. For some the seed has been sowed. Now comes the water. Then comes the increase. The bible says that God gives the increase. Jesus said the harvest is plentiful. So why aren't we going out to gather? We can't hide out and hope the harvest will come in on it's own.
I wonder sometimes how we expect to reach the lost when all we do is go to a place and gather with others to hear a word, sing a song and then go home.
You see we were called to go out amongst those who are sick, dying, hurting. SINNERS!!!
How do we harvest from our house? We don't and that is what is wrong. A lot of "farmers" are gathered at the building while the grain is rotting. We need to be going out and reaching the lost. It hurts me to see so many hurting people and they have no hope and yet we who are believers have the answer. Yet we just go hang out with those who have already been harvested.
We need to be replanting the seed and harvesting when it is ready.
Just think about the title and ask God where have we gone wrong? What part do you need to be playing when it comes to harvesting?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Who counsels the Pastors?

I was just thinking about an issue. In the modern day church who do the pastors turn to when they need advice or help?
You see the way things are structured the people go to the pastor for help or advice, yet don't expect to be able to help the pastor when they need it.
I used to look at my old pastors as knowing everything and not needing anything.
I always thought only we who were sitting in the chairs had issues concerning wrong thoughts, anger etc. . It wasn't until I heard a pastor in Texas at a men's meeting that he struggled with the same issues. I was like full of relief. I know that sounds tacky, but in our modern day traditional churches we tend to elevate the leaders to a higher standard of spirituality. Just as some churches bow down to kiss the leaders hand. Jesus never intended it to be this way. He said, the greatest would be the least. A servant! That's why so many pastors in the modern traditional church setting are failing. They have been put on a pedestal that can't hold up.
The issues stems from the false dichotomy of scripture and the role of leadership.
You see we are all priest in the New Testament. We are all equal in Christ. Those who are spiritual are to help those who are not. Most ,not all men who are pastors are only there because they went to seminary and got a "degree". Yet they may have no experience in the how to's of everyday life. They were only taught how to deal with the issues and have never learned from experience.
That said, we should be ready to help one another including those who are leaders when we come together and throughout the week.
Read the following scriptures:

1 Corinthians 14:26 "What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for BUILDING UP."

Ephesians 4:15-16 "Rather speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into HIM who is the HEAD, into CHRIST, from whom the WHOLE BODY, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when EACH part is WORKING properly, makes the BODY GROW so that it BUILDS itself up in LOVE."

Colossians 3:16 "Let the word of Christ dwell in YOU richly, teaching, and admonishing ONE ANOTHER in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with all thankfulness in your hearts to GOD."

Hebrews 10:24 "And let US consider how to STIR up ONE ANOTHER to love and good works, not neglecting to MEET together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging ONE ANOTHER, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."

1 Thess. 5:14-15 " And we urge you, brothers admonish the IDLE, encourage the FAINTHEARTED, help the WEAK, be patient with THEM all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to ONE ANOTHER and to EVERYONE!"

The scriptures quoted are what we are to do as the church. We are meeting not only to hear a good teaching, but to bring a teaching ourselves, and in doing that we are all being built up including the leaders. No one knows all, so we need all in order to be learning. Stir each other up not just let the pastor, or elders do all of the stirring. Read those scriptures do you have something to bring to the meetings? We all are to be ready in season and out. In doing so everyone will be blessed when we meet. Remember the pastor and elder are just people. Christ is the head and He leads His church. So don't look to the pastor to help you and then never have take an opportunty to do likewise. Again the modern traditional setting we call church is not the way the scriptures have laid it out. That is one reason some pastors are failing, because they are put into a position that was never meant to be used the way it is. If we only need one man to lead then why do we need the gifts or other ministries? Help your leaders and be ready to teach, exhort, and rebuke. All for the building up of one another.
Anyone who is in Christ should be able to bring a teaching, a song, a revelation as the Lord leads not just one person. In doing that all will be built up according to the word of God.