“Preach My Gospel”

“Preach My Gospel”

This is what the voice told me.

I have been dealing with fear over being more open about my faith, largely because of the state our country is in and how much more risky it has become to be passionate about our beliefs.

While it is not an irrational fear, it is something that should not paralyze us with fear.

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Where is Your Focus?

preachchrist

Recently, while doing devotions with my wife, we came across a conversation that takes place between the main character and the Teacher in C.S. Lewis’ “The Great Divorce”.

The Teacher tells the main character, “‘There have been men before now who got so interested in proving the existence of God that they came to care nothing for God Himself…as if the good Lord had nothing to do but exist! There have been some who were so occupied in spreading Christianity that they never gave a thought to Christ.'”

And I have to ask, when we preach the Gospel, where is our focus?

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This God-less World

I am constantly hearing people within the churches lament that there are so many people refusing to listen to the gospel and turning to follow such philosophers as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins.

We cry over the billions of people who turn away at the mere discussion of religion, claiming that religion is a crutch that only the weak need.

We pour out our hearts in prayer for the ones who scoff at the name of Jesus and berate us for our belief.

And so we should.

Church, we are surrounded by a God-less world. A world where God is not wanted and, in the eyes of many, He is not wanted. And it is right for us to be heartbroken for those who turn from the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

But I can’t help but wonder why it is that way.

I will tell you the truth, Church. And it’s going to hurt.

It’s our fault.

It is.

We have failed to accurately and lovingly reflect God’s glory to those around us.

We have judged the weak and wounded.

We have ostracized the hurting and wandering.

We have become Pharisees.

We have failed. It is of us as well that it is written “The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.” (Romans 2:24)

To those who are reading this who have been failed by the Church, I’m sorry. While the burden does not lie entirely on my shoulders, I can feel the pain of you, because I too have been failed by the Church, many times and by those with authority and respect within their churches and ministries.

I know what it’s like to be pushed away because of sins and crimes. I know what it’s like to go to a pastor or any Christian for help and encouragement and to find nothing but scorn and contempt.

We failed you.

Church, it’s time we actually got into the Word of God. And not just read it. Do it.

James encourages us to be doers of the word and not hearers only (James 1:22).

I want to challenge you, Church: start reading the New Testament, specifically the gospels. And once you reach a part where Jesus tells His disciples to do something, stop reading and do it. Once you’ve done it, continue reading and repeat the process. It’s going to take you a long time to get through any gospel, but you’d be amazed at how much it will impact your life and the lives around you.

Be blessed, Church.

“Only those who believe obey and only those who obey believe.”

Not Ashamed

I recently got into a religious discussion with a friend of a friend, and he made it a point to say that the way I “push my religion on others is nauseating.” * I have to say, that is the first time anyone has ever stated that my sharing of the gospel is nauseating. And you know what? I take that as a compliment.

You see, Jesus sent all His disciples out with one mission: preach the gospel and make disciples. That’s it. We are to spread the gospel, the good news, that Jesus came, lived, died, rose, and ascended for the sake of this fallen world to bring us back to Him and His Father, our Father, our Creator, the God of Angel Armies.

We are not be ashamed of that message. We are not to back down in the face of opposition. We are to welcome the persecution that is brought upon us because of the message of Christ.

The fact that my testament to God and His glory and His Son is nauseating to someone, the fact that my daring to share my faith is nauseating, is good news to me! The devil does not want him to hear the gospel, so the devil caused him to become at the very least physically disturbed because I believe in the gospel and dared to share it with someone who is a blatant atheist.

Let that be our goal, church. Let us be nauseating to those who are opposed to us. Let us be salt in the wound. Let us be a beautiful letdown. Let us be those who are fools for Christ, foolish to the world, but let us grow in the wisdom and knowledge of Jesus Christ!

“It’s news I’m most proud to proclaim, this extraordinary Message of God’s powerful plan to rescue everyone who trusts him, starting with Jews and then right on to everyone else! God’s way of putting people right shows up in the acts of faith, confirming what Scripture has said all along: ‘The person in right standing before God by trusting him really lives.'” (Romans 1:16-17; The Message)

*  I want to make it a point to say that I wasn’t pushing my faith on him. I simply mentioned that I would pray for him and that I hope he finds faith in Christ Jesus.