Monday, November 22, 2021

A Compromising Ministry


The young man sat and told his pastor how he couldn't control his sexual urges. He was 18 years of age and explained to the pastor how he would convince his girlfriend to have sex with him. She did not attend this church but the young man did. Actually, she wasn't saved and he had met her at a party. They had dated for a while and, as he shared with the pastor, they began to have sexual relations. The young man told the pastor, "I know it's not right for us to have sex but I just can't help myself." The pastor thought for a few moments and then said, "Don't beat yourself up over this. It's natural for you to have these urges. Just make sure you're protected and the same goes for her. You don't want an unwanted pregnancy on your hands." And that ended the session and the young man went on his way believing it was alright to continue living in this sinful situation.

This is a compromising ministry; this pastor totally ignored two situations which the Bible speaks against. Sex before marriage is a sin and is known as fornication. The Bible also tells us in 2 Cor 6:14 that we should not be unequally yoked together. This can apply to personal relationships, business partners and other relationships. It doesn't mean we can't have unbelieving friends. But this pastor didn't even blink when this young man explained his sinful situation with him. Of course, this example is all fiction but these types of ministries do exist in the church and parachurch groups.

Now, first allow me to say that I'm not the expert on how pastors should or should not do ministry. That's God's job; and, I have made enough mistakes myself in ministry but I have always attempted to give advice and counsel according to what the word of God says. In saying that, I sometimes wonder if some Christian leaders have ever read the Bible. That might sound harsh and critical but when one of them passes off an open and obvious sinful situation like it never happened, then I have to wonder.

Years ago, when I was in my first ministry position, there was an unwed pregnant woman teaching elementary level Sunday School to children. I was an elder in the church at the time and when I became aware of it, I went to the senior pastor and he advised me to talk to her and explain why we couldn't allow her to teach children as an unwed pregnant woman. Well, I knew she had to be confronted and it had to be done in a loving and compassionate way. But I also knew there was no way I would be able to tell her she couldn't teach due to her situation without her getting upset. It didn't matter how deep the compassion was which I had for her situation or how the church was not condemning her, she was going to take this the wrong way. And she did. I tried my hardest, with the leading of the Holy Spirit, to make sure she knew and understood that we believed the Lord had forgiven her for this but she couldn't be in that position in children's ministry and displaying the evidence of her sinful act. I didn't judge her for her situation. If that was the case, I could have been held in judgement by many people for all the dumb stuff I did.

But I couldn't give in to the situation and had to do what I believed the Holy Spirit was leading me to do. All I could think of was a child asking her about her husband and her telling the child she wasn't married. (Actually, she wasn't even in a relationship with the father) It would have been very easy to look the other way and hoped that a child would never pop that question. But as new as I was in ministry and church leadership, I knew that her situation didn't align with the word of God.

While I was doing some church planting about 20 years ago, I was attending a church whose pastor I had got to know. We decided to attend his church until we got the ministry off the ground and up and running. It was brought to my attention that a Gay woman attended every service and always sat in the back row. I asked this pastor if he had spoken to her about her sinful lifestyle and if she had received Jesus as her savior. He told me she was not saved but she was there every service. I then ask him if he had ever considered that she might think she's in good standing with God just because she was always there. He told me he had not. So, at the risk of appearing like I was sticking my nose in his business, I told him he should explain to her she needed to be saved. He just looked at me and said, "I know I have to talk to her. I just keep putting it off." I told him, "Look, you have to say something to her. She thinks she's okay by just coming to church. You are cheating her of the opportunity to know the truth. She needs to be told she is living in sin and she needs Jesus. It has to be done with compassion and love and know she is not being singled out as a Gay person but a sinner in need of salvation."

I don't know if he ever confronted her. Maybe I should have confronted her but I don't think that would have gone to good. He was the pastor and she would have listened to him; she didn't know me and coming from a stranger would have just sounded like I was judging her and pushed her away.

There's no place for compromise in God's business and that business is telling people about Jesus and letting them know there is forgiveness for their sin and salvation available. In a church ministry, when a sinful situation is known by the pastor or those in leadership, it must be addressed. Church discipline is addressed in MT. 18 but so many leaders shy away from confrontation and are afraid of offending someone. It's better to offend a person than to allow them to fall farther and farther away from the Lord.

Allegorizing scripture and sermonizing it is popular among many pastors in the Church. I was taught to teach the Bible verse by verse, chapter by chapter and book by book. It is so much more distinct to read the verse or passage and then explain what the writer is saying than to tell a story about it. Expository Bible teaching is the only way to teach what the Bible is saying. Why was a specific word used? What was the culture of the time it was written? What were the customs of the writer or the recipients? I believe the best type of Biblical interpretation is Grammatical-Historical. Examine the grammar or the language and words and also the historical setting at the time of the writing. The process of word studies and original language as well as the historical and cultural setting of the time.

Far too many pastors sermonize the word of God and nothing is really learned about what the word really says or means. It is nothing more than a nice sounding story. And too many are centered around the social issues of our time. A passage of scripture can be used as a sermon and explained as the sermon moves along. But too many times a verse is read and then the sermon follows and has nothing to do with the verse which was read, or has very little to do with it. There will be times when a Biblical sermon is required and is determined by the Holy Spirit. But it should be delivered with an explanation of the scripture used as a basis. 

Allegories are good to use when explaining a situation in scripture in order to better explain what the verse or passage might be saying. It is a way for people to better understand. Jesus used parables which were stories relating to the current times. He did this repeatedly when speaking about the kingdom of heaven. An allegory is similar; it gives an example of something people can understand and makes the passage or verse easier to comprehend or understand. But it should never be used to take the place of explaining the scripture.

When allegories are used improperly or without explaining the passage of scripture, the truth of what the passage is saying is totally lost. When the allegory replaces the scripture, the Bible becomes meaningless and has no impact on what is being taught. At that point, the message becomes a feel good speech or, depending on the content, can be nothing more than a self help message. Of course, it all depends on what is being taught. But all too often in the Church today, and especially in the progressive liberal churches, a social agenda is the main topic. A church pastor who speaks from the pulpit and delivers a rousing speech concerning a social agenda or something with a political theme, is not speaking for God, the pastor is speaking for the people. 

Finally, there is one last item to mention. In the Bible there is what are known as difficult passages, or verses. These are hard to understand or even explain and some can't be explained. Only God knows why He put them there. Maybe the most difficult verse to explain or understand is 1 Cor 15:29 where Paul is writing to the church at Corinth about being baptized for the dead. There are and have been many different explanations on this verse and some who have simply said they can't give a definite meaning. I was always taught that if you don't know, then simply say you don't know. In the case of 1 Cor 15:29, an explanation of a possible meaning or what scholars might suggest is okay but it should be made clear there is no definite, rock solid meaning or intent of the verse. Unless of course, God by the Holy Spirit just reveals the absolute true meaning. But that is unlikely if God wants the verse to remain unknown in meaning.

The one thing I always considered wrong was to just pass over the verse and not give it any attention at all. If, after much research and study, the understanding or meaning cannot be found, then simply say that, "I don't know." Over the many years of scholars studying and researching, most of scripture has good commentary. With the tools available to pastors and teachers today, a dedicated servant of God should be able to study and research and be able to explain the Bible. The difficult passages will be there and it will take more time and study to get the answers but it benefits you first and then the people listening.

I want to mention once again that these are my own opinions concerning how ministries can be compromised when teaching the Bible or preaching topical sermons. I know many will disagree or have a different opinion. But the most important point to remember is when we decide to answer God's call to ministry, we have only one document by which we are led by and that is God's word, the Bible. When His word is skewed or distorted or even placed aside, the ministry is compromised. Always remember what the Bible says in James 3:1-2; not many should desire to become a Bible teacher because they will be judged by a stricter judgement. But for those who do ministry without compromising have nothing to be concerned about.

Bill Petite

  



Friday, October 29, 2021

Miracles

 


Liam stood and listened as the atheist he was speaking with was telling him that to believe in God was to believe in nothing. This atheist, whose name was Harry, continued his attack on Liam’s belief in God. “How can you believe in a god who doesn’t even exist? You haven’t seen him and no one else has ever seen him. So, how can you say he is God when you’ve never seen him? How can you say he created all of this if he doesn’t even exist? You have no proof whatso ever he created this. It’s all a fairy tale; it’s just a story you people tell to make yourselves feel good. So, how do you explain it?”

Liam thought for a second and then he asked Harry, “OK, so you don’t believe God exists and He didn’t create all of this. The earth is placed on an axis of 23 ½ degrees and its rotation results in a 24 hour day and revolves around the sun at a rate which results in a 12 month period and provides the four different seasons due to its position in relation to the sun. Every planet in the universe was placed in a position which allows only planet earth to support life. Now, you believe the Big Bang created all of this? I believe only a God, or what you might refer to as a super being, could have created something so complex and intricate. How do you explain creation, as you know it, being the result of some big bang?”

Liam knew he had not described God’s creation in exact scientific terms but Harry understood and stood silent. Liam told Harry, “If you can’t explain it, how can you believe it?” Again, Harry stood silent for a while and then blurted out, “Well, you can’t explain how a God you can’t see created all of this.” Liam smiled and looked at Harry for what seemed like hours and then said, “Jesus Christ walked this planet in the first century. There are proven historical records which prove His existence to be true. This same Jesus is God and He is the creator of all of this. Anything which exists was created by Him.” (Col 1:16-17

Harry shot back at Liam, “You can’t prove that!” Liam responded, “If you believe in history then you can do your own research and discover there are extremely reliable sources which have written about the man Jesus. He was 100% man and 100% God and He is the creator of all things. I believe this because I know He died for my sin on a cross and on the third day following, He rose from the grave and now lives.” Now, Harry was even more irritated and said, “How can you believe that nonsense? How can you live your life in such delusion? You can’t prove any of this and don’t start throwing Bible verses at me either. That book is nothing but a bunch of fairy tales written by men. So, how can you prove God exists?”

Liam smiled at Harry and gave his response. “Five years ago, I was given six months to live by an oncologist. I had pancreatic cancer and there is no coming back from that type of cancer. At the time, I didn’t really believe in a God or heaven or hell. I wouldn’t say I was an atheist; I just wasn’t anything and didn’t want bothered with a bunch of religious stuff. My mother is a Christian woman and immediately began to tell me I needed to go with her to see her pastor so he could pray for me. That made no sense to me since he was just another person and didn’t possess any super powers. I never gave my mom a hard time about her faith and she kept after me about accepting Jesus as my savior and giving my life to Him and I simply ignored her. I was bitter about all of it and couldn’t understand why I had to die so young.”

Harry was just staring at Liam like he was waiting for a punch line to a joke. Liam continued, “My dad wasn’t a Christian at the time and he simply stayed on the sidelines during these discussions. He was mad at a God who would take away his 23-year-old son. Finally, at my mother’s insistence, I went with her to see this pastor. I did it so she would let me alone and stop nagging me about it and a part of me wanted to prove her wrong.”                                                                                          

Now, Harry appeared more interested in what Liam was telling him. Liam went on, “I had about five months left, according to the doctor, when I went to see this pastor. When we walked into his office, I had expected to see an old guy with a suit and tie who was going to start spouting off some King James English to me. But I couldn’t have been farther from the truth. This guy was about 35 and had jeans and a T shirt on and sneakers. At first, I thought he was the janitor who was cleaning the pastor’s office but I sure was wrong. We all sat down and this pastor, whose name was Jerry, told me he was aware of my situation and simply wanted to pray for me. But first he wanted to tell me why my mother was so insistent on bringing me to his office that night. He explained to me that heaven and hell are real and people who don’t know Jesus and don’t believe in Him send themselves to hell and it is God’s desire that none should go there. He had my attention and was being as blunt as he could be. He explained that I could simply believe, understand and know that Jesus died on a cross to save me from the wrath of God and my sin; sin, which would take me to hell without Jesus in my life.

Harry had a look on his face that said he wasn’t buying any of that. Liam saw that look and said, “Yeah, I felt the same way when he told me that stuff but he reassured me he wasn’t telling me a fairy tale or trying to get me to join his church. He expressed to me how much love God has for me and how He wanted to save me from my desperate situation which he explained was death without knowing Jesus. He never mentioned anything about God being able to heal me from the cancer. He was super serious about me knowing Jesus and being saved from His wrath and judgement. He explained how my life, or what was left of it, would be so much better. I began to have the weirdest feeling; it was like someone had thrown a warm blanket over me and I began to feel calmer and more relaxed than I had since the diagnosis.”

Harry interrupted him and said, “Wait a minute; you’re not going to tell me God healed you right then, are you?” Liam smiled and said, “Hold that thought Harry. It was like someone had turned on a light in a dark room and I could see. After all this time of my mother trying to tell me about Jesus, it all made perfect sense. It was like, boom! And then, I was able to understand what this pastor was telling me and it all made perfect sense. Then the pastor shared some Bible verses with me and I stopped him and asked him what I needed to do to get saved. He told me it was simple; I just needed to ask Jesus to forgive me for my sin and acknowledge Him as my Lord and savior and give my life over to Him. Harry, has anyone told you about what Jesus did for us? Has anyone told you who He really is? Did anyone ever explain the sin we are born with and that only Jesus could pay the price for that sin?”

Harry was silent and just shook his head back and forth indicating no. Then he said, “So, then what happened? If you only had six months to live, what happened? How are you still alive today?” Liam told Harry, “Well, that’s the part a lot of people don’t believe. That night, I accepted Jesus as my savior and it was like blinders had been lifted away from my eyes and I began to see the world through different lenses. Two days later, I had an appointment with the doctor who was treating me, or rather preparing me for death. They did some lab work and drew some blood. The next day, the doctor himself called with the results and told me the cancer was gone or there was nothing showing in the lab work that said there was cancer present. He scheduled an MRI and when the results of that came back, there was no evidence of cancer. Now, I have to tell you, when I was diagnosed, I got a second opinion from another oncologist and there was cancer present. There was no misdiagnosis; I did the same thing when there was no cancer present. I wasn’t taking any chances with that stuff and between these two top notch oncologists, the cancer was gone.”

Harry’s appearance had changed; he no longer had that look of disbelief on his face. Liam then added, “Also, the doctor who had diagnosed me just couldn’t understand how this could happen and my mother explained to him all about Jesus and how I had been saved two days before coming back to see him. Now, most doctors are hard core believers in evolution but this guy heard the gospel and was saved right there in his exam room. You see Harry, it’s contagious and when we explain to others who Jesus is and what He has done for us, people get saved. So, that’s why I believe He is real and that He exists and how I know He created everything. It’s all in His word and I believe by faith and seeing what He has done in people’s lives. Not everyone will experience what I did but just the simple matter of being rescued out of our miserable life of sin is a big enough miracle for anyone.”

Harry had been listening closely as Liam was talking and in the course of time it took Liam to tell Harry what happened to him, Harry’s heart was melted by the Holy Spirit and he fully understood what Liam meant by the sensation of being covered by a warm blanket. He looked at Liam and said, “I want Jesus in my life. I believe what you’re telling me Liam. Will you pray for me?” Liam told Harry, “You simply need to ask Jesus to forgive you for your sin and ask Him to come into your life as your Lord and savior. And do it with a sincere heart; not because you liked the testimony I told you. You pray and ask Jesus to be your savior because you want Him to come in and change your life and give you a new and eternal life with Him. Can you do that and really mean it?”

Harry told Liam, “Oh, I really mean it. I never had anyone tell me about God the way you did. I have always thought religion was just something people did to make them feel better about themselves. Now, I understand that it is more than that and not even that. I’m ready.” Liam prayed for Harry and then told Harry to pray and ask Jesus to forgive him and save him. When they were finished, Liam asked, “Well, now how do you feel about the Big Bang and creation?” Harry said, “Well, now that I know God and know that He has saved me from my nasty sinful life, I guess He could make all of this.” Liam laughed and said, “Well, there’s a little more to it than that but you’ll get it eventually.”

As Christians, we don’t have to have a testimony like Liam’s. And, although there are many powerful testimonies like Liam’s, just simply telling how Jesus saved us is powerful. We don’t need to be able to share some crazy miraculous story about how God healed us from cancer or some other deadly disease to get people to believe. If that’s the case then by all means share it but just the simple fact that Jesus saved us from our life of sinful misery is a powerful testimony. Simply explaining what He has done in our lives is powerful. Just tell your story about you and Jesus and the Holy Spirit will do the rest.

 

 Bill Petite

Thursday, October 21, 2021

The Downward Spiral of Sinful Man

 

The book of Judges depicts the downward spiral of the nation of Israel. They went from declaring to Joshua that the God of Israel is the only God they would worship. But by the time you work your way through the book, you discover they have fallen so far away from God that they almost wiped out one of their own tribes.

It doesn't end there; sinful man has continued his downward slide. Thinking in terms of morality, just look around at society today. (In the title of this post, I used the phrase, sinful man. I use the word man in representation of the human race and since the Bible tells us we are all born with a sin nature, thus the phrase, sinful man.) This culture is extremely vile and anti God. One passage of scripture caught my eye this morning concerning marriage.

 But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’  ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”                   MK 10:6-9  NKJV

The phrase that caught my eye in this passage is, for this reason, in verse seven. Preceding that phrase, Jesus tells us that God created them male and female and then goes on to say for this reason the man will leave his mother and father and be joined with his wife. There are so many directions we can go from here but I want to refrain from tripping down a rabbit hole and consider two items concerning marriage. The first is a man and a woman who simply decide to live together claiming that a marriage license is nothing more than a piece of paper.  Well, it is a piece of paper but it is really what the piece of paper represents.  We see in the scripture passage above that marriage was ordained by God Himself. It is an institution which He created and ordained. But I also understand that people who are not Christians will not understand this. When I would meet with a couple who wanted me to perform their wedding ceremony, the first this I would ask is who  Jesus is in their lives or simply, "Do you know Jesus as your savior?" If the answer was no, it provided me with the opportunity to tell them about Jesus and why He should be in their lives. I never push and demand they accept Jesus; I don't do that with anyone I tell about Jesus.

The second example is Gay marriage. Now, this is not a post with the agenda to beat up on Gays and bash them. From the point of what the above scripture tells us, God created them male and female. They would become one flesh; think of it as gluing two pieces of wood together. It becomes one piece of wood. It's the same with a man and a woman when they are joined in marriage. And, if you think about it physically, the two fit together perfectly. It doesn't work that way for two women or two men.

Today, we hear people saying, "Follow the science." It all seems to be about following the science in relation to the pandemic. But how many realize it was God who invented science and the Bible tells us about science. So, let's look at the science; take two magnets and attempt to get the same poles to attach.  You can try as long as you want but it will never happen. The only way two magnets will attract is by opposite poles. Two negatives or positive will not attract. It must be by opposite poles. So there's the science; it must be a male and a female in the way God created us and ordained marriage. 

It was God's intention for the man, Adam, and his wife, Eve, to populate the earth. In the way they were created, male and female, this was a natural means of reproduction. Two men or women would have never been able to do this. Some might say, "Why didn't God just create millions of people in the beginning?" The answer is this: He could have but that was not His will or plan for the human race. People have the idea that they assume God thinks like we do and that is not the case at all. Isaiah 55:8 tells us this, “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.  “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. But those who are not saved will not understand or accept this. I would suggest that they follow the science and think about the two magnets. But their favorite rebuttal is the Bible is old and outdated and society needs to come into the 21st century. But the truth is that the Bible, God's word, will never be outdated. It is as relevant today as it was when it was written. Jesus never changes. (Heb 13:8-9)

So, how did the human race get here? The answer is simple; the sin nature we were born with has enabled everything in this downward spiral. Gay lifestyle activities is nothing new. It's been around forever but has within the last twenty to thirty years been accepted, slowly, into the culture and society. Gay marriage is an act supported by the United Sates Supreme Court. It's a legal act in all fifty states in this country. Does it glorify God? By no means and it has led to many other anti God lifestyles which I will refrain from noting in this post. 

The downward spiral of mankind is also described in Romans chapter one. 

 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.                 Rom 1:24-25  NLT

God turned humans over to their sinful desires and it is so obvious today as we look around at this world. We are not to cast judgement on these people. God will take care of that when He judges all humans in the end. But they must be told they are on their way to eternal destruction and that's our responsibility. Consider how terrible that will be but remember it is not God's desire that anyone should endure this. When a person rejects God, in much the way many in this society have, they place themselves there. This is what God has turned them over to if they refuse to repent of their sin and sinful lifestyle.

One final reference from Romans chapter one.

Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done.  Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.  Rom 1:28-32  NLT

The history of man is seen as a long downward spiral away from God. From  the creation of Adam and Eve in the Garden to our current world society. Adam and Eve were created in a perfect state until they disobeyed God's command and allowed sin to enter the world. Every person ever born or who will be born, is or will be born with a sin nature. It's this sin nature that causes people to commit heinous crimes. It caused a Hitler to murder six million Jews, it caused Stalin to kill millions and so many other types of terrible crimes and lifestyles. What would bring a pregnant woman to a place where she would kill her own baby in the womb? The sinful nature we are all born with.


But God, the Father, sent His only Son, Jesus, to die on a cross for all of us to provide a way to be saved from His wrath and our sin. Only Jesus could do this because the Father required a perfect, sinless sacrifice and Jesus is the only human to ever be born without sin. Now, this may sound like a fairy tale to some who don't know Jesus but it is all true. I know it is true because Jesus rescued me from a life of alcoholism. I was a very heavy drinker but when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior, the desire for alcohol was gone and for the last 37 years, I have not had any desire to drink any type of alcohol. Only Jesus could do that; AA didn't work, counseling didn't work; nothing worked until I allowed Jesus in my life.  He stands waiting for all who will come to Him. His arms are wide open waiting for the next person who would accept Him and His forgiveness. For every individual who has done this, for them the downward spiral has stopped. Come to Jesus today and He will stop your descent. 

Bill Petite


Thursday, August 19, 2021

Is My Salvation Secure?


Years ago, after I was saved, there was a question which many baby Christians would ask and probably still do. That question was, "Is my salvation secure or can I lose my salvation?" It was a question some of us wrestled with for quite a while. In the early years of my Christian faith, I was taught that I could lose my salvation but it never sat right with me as I read through the Bible. I simply accepted it because it was what the pastor taught. But there came a time when I began to dig into this doctrine of eternal security and discovered that I had been listening to a wrong interpretation of eternal security. 

We used to mock people who believed they were saved for eternity and called them the "once saved always saved" crowd. What we didn't realize was what we were saying was absolutely true. We are saved one time and it is for eternity. Once I began to study and read commentary on this doctrine, I was able to see why I could never reconcile the teaching with the Bible concerning this. It was one of those things that used to bug me but I couldn't figure out why. And, until the Lord took those blinders off of me, I was at a loss as to why this teaching just didn't seem right.

Allow me to share just a few verses to support that when we  are saved, we are saved for eternity.

 However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.”  JN 6:37-40

 Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name. But you don’t believe me because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”  JN 10:25-30

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.  JN 3:16

There are others but I think these show us that our salvation is secure in Jesus. Notice in JN 3:16 where it says 'will not perish'. What does that mean? Every Christian is familiar with this verse but how many just cruise right by that phrase? If you believe in Jesus as your savior, you will never parish. 

Of course, when this topic is discussed, the passage in Hebrews 6 will always be used to defend the position of being able to lose your salvation. I will admit that this can be a difficult passage to understand or interpret when a Christian really digs into it and doesn't take it at face value. First, we don't know who the writer is addressing or why he would bring this up. We also don't know who the writer is.  But let's look at the passage in Heb 6:4-6.

For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened—those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come— and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame.

First, those who believe a Christian can lose their salvation believe this passage is speaking of those who have lost their faith and turned away from God and have lost their salvation. But if you read it closely, that doesn't add up or make sense. If it were true that we could lose our salvation, walk away from it or simply throw in the towel, why would it be impossible to bring them back to repentance? Of course, we would assume that when believing this way that those referred to in this passage were saved and then lost their salvation. So, why wouldn't they be able to repent again? Then again, according to the passage, the reason is they would be crucifying Jesus again and holding Him up to public shame. But why would that be? Is it saying that it would portray Jesus' death on the cross as inadequate to save one forever?

Let's just take this passage for what it is really saying. The passage is actually speaking of those who have never been saved. I can hear the skeptics booing now. But nowhere in this passage does it say these people believed in Jesus or they had placed their faith in Him. Here's what it says: They experienced the things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit. In a Church service, Bible study, evangelistic crusade or any other event where the gospel is preached, everyone present will witness some heavenly activity and see the Holy Spirit move or work. A person doesn't have to be saved to witness a miracle or even a person getting saved. It can happen anytime in the presence of a non-believer. But let's go a step further; this non-believer has been attending church for months and has witnessed many heavenly events and has witnessed the work of the Holy Spirit. They might have been involved in activities, Bible studies or other events where the Holy Spirit has been active. They have experienced everything except salvation.

They have heard the word of God preached and taught and had a lot of it stored in their head but it never made it to their heart. This individual might have come right up to the point of receiving Jesus as savior but then turned away for one reason of another. Some might think this is an exaggeration but I have seen it. I have seen people involved in a ministry inside a local church and then just walk away. And, not just from the church but his family. Could I tell he wasn't saved? We don't and can't know people's hearts so to make that judgement call isn't right. But I had questions. Keeping a close eye on that person is a wise decision and be willing to step in and help when this person decides to quit. 

This person, or persons, walked away but were never saved. They can't be brought back to repentance because they were never saved. They can't be brought back to something they never experienced. Also, we have to consider what might have been going on with these people the writer is communicating with in this letter. In Galatians, we see that they were convinced by the Judaizers that they needed to be circumcised as well as believing in Christ for their salvation. This often is referred to as a works + Jesus salvation requirement. So, they were reverting back to a part of the Law. Also in 1 John, he writes concerning the Gnostics and how they have no part in the formula for salvation. Their theory was one of a distorted belief of Jesus not being fully man and fully God plus some other hang ups.

So, we don't know exactly what the issue was with the people this man was writing to but it could have been one of this issues. These Judaizers would follow Paul around and when Paul moved on these guys would move in and begin to tell the people they needed this or that part of the Law to add to the gospel. So, how does all this pertain to crucifying Christ again and bring shame to Him? RC Sproul, in his book, Can I Lose My Salvation? says this about that.

But what does it mean to crucify Christ anew? Christ obviously has only been crucified once. When He was crucified, Christ took upon Himself the curse of the old covenant. When a person turns back to keeping the law as the primary mode of relating to God, he rejects the work of Christ, who took on the curse on behalf of others. Having repudiated the work of Christ as a vicarious sacrifice, he in fact condemns Christ as been justifiably killed on the cross and makes himself complicit in the death of Christ. Such a person takes the curse upon himself again and cannot be saved.

This writing by Sproul assumes these people have turned back to the Law or parts of the Law. We must always, in our studies, yield to the history surrounding the time of the writing. The use of grammatical-historical hermeneutics is always best. The bottom line on this passage is a Christian cannot take it or any other passage at face value without digging into it. When proper hermeneutics (interpretation) are used, many times, the true meaning will be much different from the surface interpretation. But this passage does not end this topic. The reader must continue on to verses 9-10 where the writer addresses the Christians he is actually writing to.

 Dear friends, even though we are talking this way, we really don’t believe it applies to you. We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation. For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do. 

The writer says, "...talking this way" and "....don't believe it applies to you..." He is telling them that he is basically setting an example of people who were never saved but was not talking about them. He was simply using this as a scenario concerning those who might believe that way. Actually, looking at and digging into this passage would reflect information that would be in opposition to the belief that one can lose their salvation.

When a systematic study through scripture is done concerning this topic, the scripture will prove out that salvation is for eternity and cannot be forfeited or lost. Just think about it for a moment; after the sacrifice Jesus made for us and knowing we are sinners with deceitful hearts, would Christ trust us to maintain our own salvation?  He doesn't save us and walk away. We have His Holy Spirit residing within us and He guides and directs our lives daily. He prompts us when we are doing wrong and gets our attention when we are sinning. Jesus would never allow us to be in charge of our salvation and throw it away. He doesn't work that way.

Christians in the Church today don't know what the Bible says about a lot of topics. Not all Christians but far too many. And, many are like I was as a young in the faith Christian; they believe what they're told and fail to search the scriptures for themselves to see if what they are told is true. Bible study and pray are two important tools for our Christian life and we should never allow rust or dust to collect on them. And know that Jesus made that sacrifice once for all people for all time. There is no getting saved multiple times because a person sinned and lost their salvation. The Bible doesn't teach it and it's a false doctrine which far too many people believe.

Bill Petite


Sproul, R. C. (2015). Can I Lose My Salvation? p.37 (First edition, p. 38). Orlando, FL: Reformation Trust. 

 

 

Monday, July 26, 2021

Do Politics Belong Inside the Church


 It seems that in this country, the U.S., everything is political. The divide is as great a chasm as has ever been in this country. It doesn't matter what the topic is, it will become a political conversation. The wearing of a mask at the height of the pandemic was a political divide. How does wearing or not wearing a mask become a political divide? It was clear it became political because of what one politician or another said about it. If a Democrat said we must wear it and a Republican disagreed, then it became a political issue. It's the same thing with the vaccine; if a Democrat pushes it and a Republican disagrees, it becomes political. What ever happened to independent thinking? Why do so many people just fall into line behind everyone who has chosen a side instead of thinking the situation through and deciding for themselves what to do. If it's a medical issue, why would I depend on a politician to make that decision for me? Why wouldn't I listen to a doctor? Of course, many will say the doctor is going to lean left or right and give you his personal opinion. If that's the case, time to find another doctor. 

Now, after saying all of that, I have to also say this has had an adverse effect on the Church. There are many local churches who are beginning to, or have been, take sides on many different political agendas. Personally, I don't agree with politics in the Church. Jesus never challenged the Roman government; Paul never challenged the Roman government and he had a few run ins with them. Actually, Paul told the elders of the church in Ephesus in Acts 20:24,

But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.

There was no room in Paul's life for political arguments or stances. His one goal in life was to tell as many people as he could about Jesus. When he left a place he had been teaching the gospel, he left leaders in charge of the new local church. He never taught them to oppose or fight against the government. Before Jesus ascended back into heaven from the Mount of Olives, his instructions to his disciples were to make disciples of the world (MT 28:19). At no time did Jesus instruct His disciples to oppose the government of even discuss it in conjunction with what He had taught them. Paul told the church in Rome,

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.    Rom 12:2

But there are, today, some local churches who spend their time, while in a Sunday service, talking about social issues and never mention anything from the Bible. It is all social everything and no gospel at all. The most important agenda is how to rescue the world from it's social shortcomings. Now, as Christians, the Bible does tell us to provide for the poor, the needy and others but not at the expense of eliminating God's word and the gospel message.

When local churches begin to take sides on social issues such as Critical Race Theory, nothing good can come from it. I used to talk to men about Promise Keepers and their need to preach on racism. This was over twenty years ago and believed it was unnecessary to talk about this. I believed it would only create a division in the church which wasn't there. Maybe I was wrong but I believed, and still do, that a Christian living for Jesus would not allow this into their lives. Actually, the Holy Spirit would guard against it in their lives. And, I believe that would still be the case today if the Church did not allow the world and its agendas inside the local church. (I never attended Promise Keepers or supported it)

The question is, do politics belong inside the Church? Many Christians and Christian leaders will answer yes to that question. The Progressive Liberal side of the Church is all for this. Most on the conservative side are mixed; some do think politics has a place in the local church and some don't. Prior to his death, Chuck Smith, who was the leader of the Calvary Chapel movement, had a hard line stance against politics in the pulpit. I always admired that stance; this didn't mean politics was cast aside totally. There was an understanding of the importance of the political system in this country and everyone was encouraged to vote their own conscious but nothing was ever heard from the pulpit concerning this. 

I agree with this stance; when conducting a Sunday morning service, that is God's time. Anything taking the place of Him during that time is the same as placing an idol in the church building. Some will say that is extreme but it is true that anything which is placed ahead or over God is an idol. Giving the time for worshipping Him to a political agenda or social issue is the same as an idol. When a time is set aside to worship God and something else supersedes that, God has been placed second and not first in that time. In the Church today, there are a lot of pastors who think they're politicians and a lot of politicians who think they are pastors. It is definitely a sign of the times.

What is the primary purpose of a Christian or the Church? The first and foremost purpose of Christians is to tell the lost world about Jesus. The word of God tells us this repeatedly.

 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it.   1 Pet 3:15

I've read the Bible through at least thirty-five times and I don't recall ever reading where we should include a political agenda in our worship of God. Jesus' death on the cross was a not for a political purpose even though some would argue it was according to the Sanhedrin. Even that is not exactly correct. They were so selfish and spiritually blind, they couldn't see that Jesus was the Messiah who had come to save the world from sin. But they only saw a man trying to steal their religious thunder. 

We are told in God's word that Jesus is our example of how to live and He never debated or challenged the Roman government. Even when He was challenged about paying taxes to the Romans and asked if He thought it was right. His response was direct and to the point.

 And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar's. Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.”  MT 22:20  ESV

Jesus never taught His disciples how to debate political issue but instead taught them how to live as His followers and then their responsibility to tell the world about Him.

God knew He would have to have a form of order among the people He created so He instituted government. It was a tool He gave mankind for the purpose of keeping order among them. But as with everything else God created, mankind perverted and distorted it and corrupted it. And, as with everything else God created, He intended it for good but man has corrupted it. That's the political systems around the world. There is only one item which is the most important item in this world and that is Jesus. He died for our sin on a cross and there is no political agenda tied to the cross. I'm sure some will twist it into their own political agenda and say it was all political but that's not true. God didn't send His only Son to die on a cross to fulfill a political agenda.

Now, having said all of that, I will say there is nothing wrong with a Christian voicing his/her preferences for a candidate for a political office. I have no issues with a Christian voicing their preference or opposition for a political agenda. But when Christians place a politician in a position in their life which takes up more time then they spend with the Lord, that's wrong. Over the last five years, many Christians have place a politician on a platform in their lives which is higher than Jesus. There is not one politician who has died for anyone's sin. Actually, there is no human being who can. Many of these Christians have been so involved in a political agenda they have placed Jesus, His word and prayer down the list of priorities in their lives and Satan loves it. Satan loves when Christians move their devotion away from God and to a worldly agenda.

Do politics belong inside the Church? My answer is no. My meaning of this is politics should never be a part of a worship service. Politics should never become so important in the life of a Christian that it supersedes their relationship with Jesus. I'm not opposed to Christians discussing politics in an orderly manner but there lies the problem. It cannot be discussed in an orderly manner. People don't know how to discuss an issue where there are opposing views without it becoming an argument instead of a discussion.

The world has invaded the Church with more agendas than politics. The most important thing we can do as the Church is keep Jesus first in the Church and in our lives. If Christians would read their Bibles and live their lives the way the Bible tells us to, there would be no reason for me to even write on this topic and for someone to oppose it. It's no different than devoting more time to sports or entertainment than Jesus. Anything we spend more time with than Jesus is wrong. Turn off the cable news networks, the internet news media and social media and spend that time with Jesus. Your life will be filled with more peace and less frustration.

Bill Petite


Thursday, June 24, 2021

Sound the Alarm


 As long as I've been a Christian, 
I have noticed one particular issue within the Church which can lead to a serious problem. This issue, when mentioned, is always swept aside and considered to be taboo. Many Christians would never consider it a proper type of action to take and therefore, the problem continues. It's time to sound the alarm. What am I referring to? It's the need to call out a worldly activity, a false teacher or teachers, those twisting and distorting scripture and the names of those who do; and, so many other fallacies which have invaded the Church.

There are just too many Christians who consider it extremely improper to name a name of a person who is spreading a lie about Christ's Church or His teachings. When a faith teacher or a prosperity ministry lies to thousands of people, the every day Christian refuses to use the name of those people to warn the Church. When Benny Hinn says he healed x number of people here or there and there's absolutely no proof, he needs to be called out. Yes, there are apologetic ministries who will do this but we are all responsible to warn others. The Apostle Paul in his first letter to the young pastor Timothy, advised and warned him concerning two men who had brought damage to their own faith and were thrown out of the Church.

 Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.  Hymenaeus and Alexander are two examples. I threw them out and handed them over to Satan so they might learn not to blaspheme God. 1 Tim 1:19-20

Here, Paul gives Timothy the names of these two men and, in 2 Tim 4:14, he also tells Timothy about the harm which Alexander did to him. So, don't hesitate to explain why Kenneth Copeland or Bethel Church are preaching a false Jesus. Think about this analogy which I heard years ago. If you know of a doctor who is causing more harm than good, won't you tell your friends to stay away from him/her? Why wouldn't you warn them? Would it not be the right thing to do? Or would you think it's better to not tell others about the doctor because you don't want to use his/her name? People would do that for any type of service. Of course they are going to tell their friends and family to not use those services. So, why won't they warn those same people about someone who is dispensing a false gospel?

I used to hear this all the time, "Oh, you can't name names." And I would respond, "Why not? You don't want to warn Christians to stay away from this false teaching/teacher? You're fine with them being deceived with this false message and agenda?" It was, and still is, as if it's not ethical to expose these false teachers and movements. Again, Paul addresses this,

Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.    Eph 5:11

He tells his readers to expose them; why not then expose the false teachers and movements today? Why has the Church created this false rule about not naming the names of false teachers? When did it become inappropriate to call out false teachers and false movements? By doing this, not naming them, it allows others to be deceived by the lies. I won't hesitate to let someone know about a false teacher or a false movement. Jesus, Himself, warned about them in MT 7:15-20 and yet there are those within the Church who believe it is just not right to name the name of a person preaching a false gospel or doctrine. 

The Church today has been and is being invaded by the practices of the world system. Local churches use worldly schemes to attract people and once inside, they are made to feel comfortable by worldly activities, worldly music and worldly messages. If you missed breakfast, you can get that bagel and coffee in the lobby. You don't even have to go into the sanctuary because there are speakers in the lobby. You can enjoy your bagel and coffee while you listen or talk with friends.

When you do go into the sanctuary, you will feel comfortable and never offended. There's always a "cool guy" to deliver any announcements and make you feel right at home in the world. The pastor will never speak longer than fifteen or twenty minutes and the content is basically worthless in terms of Christian instruction or the gospel. No one will ever be in jeopardy of being saved since Jesus is rarely mentioned and if He is, it will not be in the context of the gospel or salvation. But when he is finished, you will leave feeling really good about yourself. This church is preaching a false doctrine, a worldly doctrine, and it is not preaching any Biblical doctrine.

I have been asked about these types of churches and I have been truthful in my answer. I tell the person asking exactly what the church is and what they promote and teach. Then I advise against attending and give my reasons why. If you have done the research and your homework, there is no reason why you shouldn't be warning others. If you haven't done your research, then do it and then respond. Remember, does the person's or the church's teaching align with the Bible? If yes then check it out. If not, don't be afraid to tell and warn others. 

Too many Christians have their heads in the sand; they are not aware of anything going on around them. The Church today, in this country, is filled with people who attend church services and go home and put their Bible back on the shelf for another week. In their opinion, the pastor said it so it must be true because he's the pastor. But what if your pastor is teaching/preaching a wrong doctrine? How will you know it if you never read your Bible between church visits? Get your head out of the sand and begin to read and study your Bible. If you hear something which sounds wrong or off, ask your pastor about it. If he won't discuss it then you're in the wrong church.

The practices and activities of the world have invaded the Church. It's time to sound the alarm and start telling others what's wrong and what's right. Don't fall into the mindset that it's wrong to tell others who the false teachers and movements are. Remember the doctor dispensing bad medicine? You will surely tell people about him. Well, the spiritual well being of a person is far more important than their health since the spiritual concerns their eternal destination. (Health is important but in this context the spiritual condition is the most important) So, tell them about the dangers of the false message! 

Far too many Christians are straddling the line between the world and the Church. They are truly saved but can't turn loose of worldly practices. Their ear is tuned more to the world than to the Church and Jesus. They never read their Bible or pray only when they run into a problem. For them, Jesus is only in their life when there's a problem and when the problem goes away, so do they, away from Jesus. These Christians are ripe for being deceived by one of the false teachers or movements. It always sounds good and it's easy to get drawn in but the results can be heart breaking. Some have given away their life savings to these crooks. Some have suffered in pain after believing they were healed following a phony healing service instead of seeing a doctor.

God has not called all of us to be in an apologetic ministry but He has given us the spiritual gift of discernment. I believe all Christians should pray for discernment in their lives. We need to be the watchmen on the wall and the one ready to sound the warning (Ezk 3:17) How can you stand by while another brother or sister in Christ is deceived by a false ministry or teaching? Even if you warn them and they refuse to listen, you have warned them and at some point, that warning will start to scream at them as they begin to understand the mistake they have made.

But the only real, solid remedy for this is for Christians to read and study their Bibles. Then, when the deceiver comes, they will know it's a lie. And then, they can sound the alarm for those who are not reading and studying the Bible. We can't live our Christian lives with our heads stuck in the sand. We can't knowingly allow other Christians to be deceived by false teachers; we must let them know by telling them and giving the name. It doesn't matter what others think when you name the name of a false teacher. It matters what Jesus wants us to do and He wants us to tell others who these false teachers are. Don't fall prey to the false, politically correct practice of some who believe we shouldn't being calling out the names of false teachers. Just do it! It's not judging; it's a warning and when you provide the Biblical evidence proving it's a lie, you are not in a position of judging but rebuking and correcting.

One last thing concerning all of this. This is not a cry to 'cancel' anyone. We see how this practice has worked in the worldly culture of our time. We are not to move around the Church head hunting innocent believers. Jesus didn't call us to cancel anyone but instead to share His gospel and tell others about Him. And, we must warn others about those who are preaching and teaching another false gospel.

In his book, Set the Trumpet to Thy Mouth, David Wilkerson had this to say (in 1985) about false teachers or what he calls, pillow prophets. Not much has changed since this writing.

Like the pillow prophets of Israel, their one supreme desire is to promote luxurious lifestyles and make people comfortable in their pursuit of the good life. They are not speaking for God....No wonder the crowds flock to sit under their message---it's painless. 

The prophets of comfort, ease and prosperity have created a Laodicean church age referred to in Revelation 3, a lukewarm church going  about speaking into being a constant increase in goods, riches and all that the body could possibly need.  


-Bill Petite  

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

You Can't Get There From Here


Jake was trying to get to a destination he had heard about for years but he didn't have the proper directions. He went this way and that way and finally he stopped and asked a man holding a Bible and was told, "You can't get there from here."
 Jake was puzzled and didn't quite understand why he couldn't get to his destination from where he was. The man with the Bible began to explain to Jake why he couldn't reach his destination without the proper directions.

I'm sure most of us have heard this gag line before but in Jake's case, he was lost and couldn't find his way. To his credit, he was trying but that won't get anyone to the destination he was seeking. The man told Jake he was actually an ambassador representing Jake's destination and he could help him find his way. Jake was happy to listen to the ambassador and then find his way to his destination. As Jake listened to the ambassador tell him about his destination and all about the King who resides there, his heart began to warm and he wanted to know more. He wanted to know more about this King and the ambassador told him everything he needed to know about the King and what he needed to do to reach this destination.

I'm sure you have figured out what Jake's destination is and who the King is he was being told about. The ambassador represents each one of us who are Christians. It is our duty to tell this world about Jesus, who is the King is this story. As Christians and ambassadors of heaven, we need to tell the lost people in this world about Jesus and His kingdom. 

There are so many Jakes in this world who are lost and have been given so many wrong directions. Jake couldn't reach his destination from where he was because he wasn't saved by Jesus. He didn't have a personal relationship with Jesus. He had not accepted Jesus as his Lord and savior. It could be he was given instructions from a New Age philosopher who believes all roads lead to heaven. That's a lie. All roads do not lead to heaven; there is only one way and that is Jesus.

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.  JN 14:6

Jesus said this as He was telling His disciples about His Father's kingdom or heaven. The Bible is very clear about this doctrine. Sin entered the world and every person who was born following Adam's and Eve's disobedience to the Father's command. Jesus died on a cross to pay the debt incurred by sin. Only he, a sinless man, could pay that price and provide salvation from sin and the Father's wrath. This is the correct set of directions to Jake's destination. But Jake couldn't get there because he had the wrong directions. He had been told so many different things by the world concerning this destination but he had never received the correct directions until he met the ambassador.

Just months before I was saved and accepted Jesus as my savior, I had seen, repeatedly, a book advertised on TV. It was L. Ron Hubbard's book, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. This later led to the Scientology movement, a mind science religion practiced by many around the world. This might be familiar to some due to the popularization of it by many in Hollywood. Much of it is based on Eastern Philosophy and the work of Sigmund Freud. I don't want to dwell on this false religion here but you can easily research it on your own. 

Exactly why this attracted me I don't remember but I do remember it sounded interesting and might have been something which could have helped me at the time. I was struggling with alcohol abuse and knew I need help; I needed something to help me change my life. I was ready to buy the book but Jesus intervened and saved me. He sent an ambassador to tell me about the King, Jesus.

The world has many different philosophies on how to get to heaven or nirvana or wherever the final destination may be of any given religion. The one character in Pilgrim's Progress which has always stood out for me is Mr. Worldly Wise Man. This guy will show up anywhere there is a personal problem to be discussed and he always has all the answers to everyone's problems. He also has the answers for those seeking heaven or Jesus. He will never give you the truth but will always give you a lie wrapped in what appears to be ultimate wisdom. But it's worldly wisdom and here's what the Bible says about worldly wisdom.

As the Scriptures say,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise
    and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”

 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. 1 Cor 1:19-21

God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. This is what the Apostle Paul told the believers in Corinth and it still applies to us today. We should never be intimidated by the wisdom of the world or led astray by it. It is foolish and will lead us down the wrong road and off of the path which leads to Jesus.

We are ambassadors of Jesus and His kingdom. It is our responsibility to tell the world about Jesus. How many Jakes are out there trying to find the truth and are getting the wrong answers and are being misdirected? How many are hearing Mr. Worldly Wise Man tell them lies and will never lead them to Jesus? Think about the cults of the Mormons and Jehovah's Witness. They are not afraid or too lazy to come and knock on your door and tell you lies about God. They are willing to stand and talk as long as you listen (unless you begin to tell them the truth and then they always have an appointment to get to). But the point is, they are out there spreading false information about God while Christians are content to let them do it. Now, we can't stop them but we can surely counter their message.

There are many ways to reach the world with the truth concerning Jesus and what He has done for us. I have a friend who used to be part of a Saturday morning door knocking ministry. He can no longer participate due to physical issues but the point is, these people would select a neighborhood and do cold knocking. They introduced themselves, announced where they were from (their home church) and simply talked to the people about Jesus and church attendance. I took part in many public outreach ministries and gave many the opportunity to hear the truth though speaking and music.

We are ambassadors and we have to allow the people we work with or our neighbors or unsaved friends to know about Jesus. This can be done without forcing the message down anyone's throat. Praying and asking Jesus to open a door for this conversation will give the opportunity for us to reach out. If you know a Jake, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to create an opportunity to talk to him/her about Jesus and what He has done in your life. If we don't talk to them, the world will, the cults with the false messages will and Jake will not hear the truth. There is nothing in God's word that tells us to wait for them to come to church and then tell them about me. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that. But it does tell us to go into the world and tell them. You can't wait for the lost to come to church; instead of inviting them to come to a place they have no interest in, tell them about Jesus and give them a reason to want to come. Jesus tells us to go out into the world and tell them about Him.

Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  MT 28:18-20

Bill Petite