Thursday, July 16, 2020

Wow ... when a scripture jumps off a page!

Wow!

            Have you ever been reading the scripture and a passage jumps off the page at you?

 

This morning I was reading in the book of Acts and the passage from Acts 10: 34 – 42 just jumped into my spirit, and I felt like I need to share some thoughts that God was showing me today!

In the Holman Christian Standard version, the passage reads:

“34 Then Peter began to speak: “Now I really understand that God doesn’t show favoritism, (The King James states “God is no respecter of persons:” 35 but in every nation the person who fears Him and does righteousness is acceptable to Him.  36 He sent the message to the Israelites, proclaiming the good news of peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all.  37 You know the events that took place throughout Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John preached:  38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were under the tyranny of the Devil, because God was with Him.  39 We ourselves are witnesses of everything He did in both the Judean country and in Jerusalem, yet they killed Him by hanging Him on a tree.  40 God raised up this man on the third day and permitted Him to be seen, 41 not by all the people, but by us, witnesses appointed beforehand by God, who ate and drank with Him after He rose from the dead.  42 He (JESUS) commanded us to preach to the people and to solemnly testify that He is the One appointed by God to be the Judge of the living and the dead.  43 All the prophets testify about Him that through His name everyone who believes in Him will receive forgiveness of sins.”

 

C.S. Lewis, wrote in his Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer “A man who first tried to guess 'what the public wants,' and then preached that as Christianity because the public wanted it, would be a pretty mixture of fool and knave { words means: a dishonest or unscrupulous man}

 

Can we break this down into simple terms?

       I.            We need to understand that God/Christ Loves Everybody!

Within the Chaos of our day with Black Lives Matters, White Supremacy, Socialism, Political divide like I have not seen in my lifetime. A Pandemic that has taken God-fearing Christians and Pastors, and made them shelter in fear in their homes, and any number of things that distract us from the Word of God, it’s time we focus on HIM. And YES, I believe they all are being distracted from the mandate for the Church, to preach and teach HIM.

a.      John 3:16 … John 3:14-16 Amplified Bible “14 Just as Moses lifted up the [bronze] serpent in the desert [on a pole], so must the Son of Man be lifted up [on the cross],  15 so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life [after physical death, and will actually live forever]. 16 “For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Rev. Don Lougheed who pastored the Flint Baptist Temple in Burton, Michigan for over 50 years and was my pastor throughout my childhood, teens, and as a young adult would always tell us young preachers, “I don’t care where you start in scripture but, always RUN for the Cross”

Let me ask when you are preaching/teaching … What is your agenda, is it to get them to the Cross or something else?

 

     II.            We need to understand that Christ died for all mankind, that is willing to accept Him!

a.      Romans 5:8 in the Amplified Bible “8 But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

There was an old Southern Gospel song that the words “Signs of the Times are Everywhere”.  I heard a preacher say once that if God didn’t come back soon and judge America, He will owe Sodom and Gomorrah an apology. I would never go that far, but I will tell you with the current course we are on it will not be long before God, steps in to judge the nations.

My question is are we preaching Christ so that every individual understand that there is only one way to heaven as found in Acts 4:12 King James Version (KJV) “12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” …  It is irrelevant what celebrity preachers and talk show host think, it is  important that the church is Preaching Jesus!

 

  III.            We need to understand the Apostle message was always Christ-centered!

I love the quote of Richard Baxter, an English Puritan church leader and theologian wrote: “I preached as never sure to preach again, and as a dying man to dying men.”

Paul, Peter and the others set the example as they traveled throughout the world with a simple message “Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection” without these simple truths you don’t have any other message.

            I believe we need the cry of John Wesley … when he stated “Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on Earth.”

What is your purpose in the pulpit today?

To be a motivational speaker, be a great life coach, encourage social change, to raise money for a great building, or any other of number of things.

However, as I see it (and I understand that dozens of my closest friends in ministry will tell me that I’m over simplifying it, and that is ok everybody can have an opinion) it is time for the Pastors of the World to stand in unity and Preach Christ to a lost and dyeing world!

 

 

 

 


Amazing opportunity …

             This past Monday (October 12, 2020) I was given the privilege to share with an amazing group of pastors (from Uganda, Kenya, an...