Friday, October 24, 2014

October 25, 2014

"You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble." I Peter 5:5

What would happen if it was required of me to completely and fully understand everything in the Bible before I was allowed to preach my first sermon - or my next one?

Not much preaching would happen, that's for sure!

I certainly have a good grasp on the Scriptures and I make sure I have thoroughly studied the text of my sermon each week before I present my message. However, I know the next time I study that passage I will see some new truths that I missed the first time. That's just how the Bible is!

Just as I, or any other pastor, do not have to know everything about the Scriptures in order to be a preacher neither do you need to have all the answers about the Bible before you talk to others about faith. 

You should study and learn to have a basic knowledge of creation, evolution, science, resurrection, how Bible was written and translated, for starters.

What you need the most is your witness and your testimony.

Your witness is what you know about God. Knowing about God's Word is important but knowing God personally through a relationship with Jesus Christ. And, your witness is what you show about Jesus by how you live.

The old saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words" is true. Your life needs to show evidence of a supernatural change or your words will lack credibility.

Your testimony is what you have experienced from knowing God. Your testimony is what develops as your faith is tested by the difficulties of life and you discover how much difference it makes to have Jesus in your life!

Not many people are won to Christ through clever arguments but by credible lives that show the power of God present and active in a person they know and love.

How is your witness?

What is your testimony? 

October 24, 2014

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." Romans 1:16

"For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of the soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart." Hebrews 4:12

In my 58 years as a Christ-follower and 42 years in local church ministry I have never met a person who was argued into the Kingdom of God. Maybe there are some people out there who one day heard a compelling argument for the existence of God and then immediately fell to his knees and cried out to God for salvation, but I have never heard such a story.

Perhaps you have constructed such a compelling and convincing case, complete with charts, that someone far from God recognized his need for salvation and confessed His faith in Christ. Or, maybe you have known someone who has. If either of those are true I would be delighted to hear the story.

The hundreds of people I have known over the years who came to faith in Christ were not argued or debated into the Kingdom but were loved into the Kingdom by a person who demonstrated an unconditional love for him. That kind of love is practically irresistible!

That's why at FredWes we say we are committed to "Loving You to LIFE" rather than "Debating You to Life".

Lee Strobel is a best-selling author, former teaching pastor at Saddleback Community Church, at Willow Creek Community Church, and is one of the foremost Christian apologists of the 21st Century. But before he claimed those titles he was an investigative reported for the Chicago Tribune. When his wife accepted Christ through the ministry of Willow Creek, he was not a happy husband. Immediately he began trying to discredit her faith. When that was unsuccessful he began an effort to expose Willow Creek Church as a fraudulent enterprise. Here's his testimony in his own words:

Lee Strobel, who can argue faith with anyone in the world, was not argued into the Kingdom, he was loved in. Just like you and just like me.

The old saying goes, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."

That's the key winning skeptics over to faith!