Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Ten Shekels and a Shirt

June 15, 2010

If you’ve never heard the powerful and very relevant message “Ten Shekels and a Shirt” by Paris Reidhead, you don’t realize how much your missing. It could literally bring about a major transformation in the way you and most Christian’s you know think. He preached it about 30 years ago, and you can tell it in the recording, but it is one of the most applicable sermons you will ever hear.

I’m going to attempt to give a summary by quoting him and filling in what’s needed to shorten the 51 minute sermon. If you really want to get the full effect of an impassioned man crying out against this unchristian philosophy, click here.

Judges 17-18

A story is told in Judges of a young Levite who left the city where he lived and ended up traveling to Ephraim to the house of a man Micah. Micah offered the young priest ten shekels and a shirt per year to perform his priestly rites in Micah’s self-made temple.

Later, people from another Israelite tribe, Dan, came to get land for inheritance. When they came to steal the molten-images and instruments from Micah’s temple, the young Levite asked them what they were doing. The Danites told him to “Hold thy peace, lay thine hand upon thy mouth, and go with us, and be to us a father and a priest: is it better for thee to be a priest unto the house of one man, or that thou be a priest unto a tribe and a family in Israel?

So the Levite gladly left with the Danites to serve for them.

How does it apply to us?

We see from this story how easy it was for the young Levite to leave his hired position in favor of the more prominent position. He really wasn’t interested in what he should be doing, but rather what made his life better. He was using his priestly status as a means to get him something better in life. “And by what are we going to judge our lives and our ministries? And the question that you are going to ask yourself is: Is God an end or is he a means? And you have to decide very early in your Christian life whether you are viewing God as an end or a means.” Are you going to see God as the goal or the way to get to the goal? The young Levite used God as a means to get him a better position.

To understand how we do the same thing, we need to look at our era’s leading philosophy.  “The philosophy of the day became humanism. And you can define humanism this way. Humanism is a philosophical statement that declares the end of all being is the happiness of man, that the reason for existence is man’s happiness.” The secular thought says that since we’re all just evolved animals with no God, there’s nothing better to do than to find what makes us most happy. “Children shouldn’t be brought to any particular standard, that the end of education was simply to allow the child to express himself and expand on what he is and find his happiness in being what he wants to be.”

This humanism has invaded the world of Christian thinking both in liberal and fundamental teaching. Very basically, liberal Christians try to make the world brighter by helping the poor and  hurt and bringing about social reform; while fundamental Christians try to get people to heaven by having them accept the right doctrine. ” The liberal says the end of religion is to make man happy while he is alive. And the fundamentalist says the end of religion is to make man happy when he dies.”

We hear something like this, “Accept Jesus so you can go to heaven. You don’t want to go to that old, filthy, nasty, burning hell when there is a beautiful heaven up there. Now come to Jesus so that you can go to heaven.”

What should our philosophy of evangelism be?

“If you will ask me why I went to Africa, I will tell you I went primarily to improve on the justice of God. I didn’t think it was right for anybody to go to hell without a chance to be saved. And so I went to give poor sinners a chance to go to heaven.

“Do you know what it is? It is humanism, that I was simply using the provisions of Jesus Christ as a means to improve upon human conditions of suffering and misery. And when I got to Africa I discovered that they weren’t poor ignorant little heathen running around in the woods waiting for…looking for someone to tell them how to go to heaven, that they were monsters of iniquity that were living in utter and total defiance of far more knowledge of God than I ever dreamed they had.

“And there, alone in my bedroom as I faced God honestly with what my heart felt it seemed to me I heard him say, “Yes, will not the judge of all the earth do right? The heathen are lost and they are going to go to hell not because they haven’t heard the gospel. They are going to go to hell because they are sinners who love their sin and because they deserve hell. But I didn’t send them out there for them. I didn’t send you out there for their sakes.”

” “I didn’t send you to Africa for the sake of the heathen. I sent you to Africa for my sake. They deserved hell, but I love them. And I endured the agonies of hell for them. I didn’t send you out there for them. I sent you out there for me. Do I not deserve the reward of my sufferings? Don’t I deserve those for whom I died?”

“And it reversed it all and changed it all and righted it all. And I wasn’t any longer working for Micah and 10 shekels and a shirt, but I was serving the living God. And I was there not for the sake of the heathen, but I was there for the Savior that had endured the agonies of hell for the heathen who didn’t deserve it. But he deserved them because he died for them. Are you saved?

“Let me epitomize. Let me summarize. Christianity says, “The end of all being is the glory of God.”

[Levi]

Street Evangelism

April 15, 2009

A little while ago, I started a series on  Evangelism. We’ve already talked about Friendship evangelism. So now I’d like to move onto Street or Cold Evangelism. I haven’t used this technique much and it seems sometimes to put people off. However, I know people who have used this method with some success. Basically just as you’re walking around, living life and, when you come in contact with other people you tell them the Gospel. Not neccessarily all the time, but you’re on the lookout for people who need Jesus. This is a good idea if the idea of talking to people you know scares you. It’s kind of hard to follow up with this, but there are ways to do it. One of the people on this site actually set up another site to which he directs people he’s talked to. Whatever method you decide to use, it’s always a good idea to tell people about the good news.

The Role of the Holy Spirit

November 24, 2008

Romans 8:1-11

The Holy Spirit is often just a fuzzy figure in the back of our minds that we can’t truly define.  We know that it’s a part of the Trinity, but what does it actually do?  Is it just the part of God that comes to “live in your heart” after you take Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and except His free gift of Salvation, or is the Holy Spirit more than that?  What is the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives?

The Bible emphasises 3 main roles of the Holy Spirit:

  • The Holy Spirit SENDS and GUIDES us.
  • The Holy Spirit GIVES US THE ABILITY TO DO THINGS.
  • The Holy Spirit GIVES US LIFE.

And now the Sovereign LORD has sent me, with his Spirit.” Isaiah 48:16b  We have to realize that we don’t just go to wherever we want and get “lucky” about what happens when we’re evangelising to the lost.  The Spirit of God guides our path, our words, and their hearts. 

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you to all truth.” John 16:13a  

but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.” 1Corinthians 2:10a 

 

Are you so foolish?  After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” Galatians 3:3  We have to realize that we cannot do anything in our own strength and abilities.  We cannot even receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior without the empowerment of the Holy Spirit . 

My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,” 1 Corinthians 2:4

And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” Ezekiel 36:27 

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them.” Acts 2:4

 

 “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.  The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and they are life.” John 6:63  We have to realize that above all else, the Holy Spirit gives us life!  There are approximately half over the amount of verses in the Bible about the Holy Spirit giving us life than verses of any other role of the Holy Spirit!

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” Job 33:4 

We know that we live in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.” 1 John 4:13

…the Spirit gives [everlasting] life.” 2 Corinthians 3:6c

 

Hugs and Prayers, Kendra Allison

Persecution

October 19, 2008

Mat 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 

Mat 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Luk 21:12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.

Luk 21:17 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.

Rom 12:14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

When people read these verses we seem to normally have the attitude of Gratefulness. When reading them we usually say, “I sure am grateful we live in America where there is freedom to have a Bible and go to church. In some nations like China the Christians are actually persecuted for what they believe. God has blessed us with country that has freedom.” And then we leave it at that.

Those are fine things to say, and I am grateful that I can have a Bible without worrying about it being taken away. But I wonder if we could take God’s word a step further. Is the reason we aren’t being persecuted simply because we aren’t doing enough of what God wants? Are we being ignored by the world? The Chinese Christians are persecuted because they are following what God has told them to do enough to provoke anger from the government. Various Christians in Muslim countries are persecuted because they shine there light far enough to provoke the Muslims.

Now I wouldn’t know, but I would imagine that those persecuted Christians do have the choice to put there light under a bushel and keep there thoughts so secret that no one knows that they were Christians. They could keep their faith to themselves. But instead they provide enough salt in their country to be blessed by persecution. Is it possible that we aren’t rising to the occaision? Is it possible that if we were to do all God wished that we too would be persecuted?

Keep in mind that we need to act with love. That is one of the most fundamental things of Christianity. But some people will react to that love. In James it says how a friend of the world is the enemy of God (Jam 4:4). The scripture also says how God is love. We can conclude that friends of the world will be enemies of God’s true love. Yesterday I talked to a teenager about God. He started swearing and getting all upset at me(though his friend whispered “I believe you.” to me). The teenager repeatedly asked me why I was telling him that he was going to hell (which I hadn’t). I repeatedly replied that it was because I cared about him and didn’t want him to die without a saviour. He still continued to get upset at me. God bless him. I realize I made some mistakes with what I was saying, but he was reacting against love. Though it wasn’t near as much reacting as some Christians see.

Oh to be more like Christ. He died for us.

Levi