Christ’s Foot Soldiers – part 4

In the first three parts of this series, we looked at how to more effectively deliver the good news of God’s salvation through Christ, a way to frame the message, and how to alleviate some of the most common objections that unbelievers have, which serve as barriers against their receiving the gospel.

Now, let’s examine some of the deeper theological misinformation that our unbelievers may have accumulated. Keep in mind that some people will throw out these ‘big ones’ just to try to throw you off, so that you’ll go away. (Gently persist until they tell you straight up that they aren’t interested.)

If there is anything that you don’t feel you can answer, your response is always this: ‘I don’t know about that, but the Bible has all the answers. Let me ask someone who does know, and then I’ll get back to you.’

Let’s begin:

1. ‘I don’t believe in God.’ (Generally, this is not a ‘faith’ issue, but rather reflects the investment that they have in their sin lifestyle.)

Your answer: ‘Okay. So, tell me what your thoughts are about how this universe got here and the people and animals, etc.’ (Let them finish all their thoughts so that their head is empty and poised to receive what you have to say.)

‘God has put an unction in your heart to seek Him out and has shown you many of His characteristics in His creations. And, good things happen when you look for Him:’

 …that which is known about God is evident within them [in their inner consciousness], for God made it evident to them. For ever since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through His workmanship [all His creation, the wonderful things in the world that He has made], so that they [who fail to believe and trust in Him] are without excuse and without defense. Rm. 1:19, 20. AMP

“The hand of God is favorably disposed to all those who seek Him…” Ezra 8:22 NASB

‘Science would propose the Big Bang theory and the theory of Evolution (90 years ago and 160 years ago respectively) to explain how the universe was formed and how the inhabitants of our planet came into being.

If we are to believe (i.e. have faith) in these, we would have to accept the premise that there was a pre-existing universe that spilled a part itself into nothing and miraculously, our universe was born. None of this can be proved.

We are also asked to swallow the assumption that lightning struck some primordial soup of just the right chemical mix and cellular life was spontaneously created, (something that has never been able to be replicated in a laboratory). The odds of all that happening is one in ten to the 99th power. That’ a 1 followed by 99 zeros; not remotely likely.

Finally, if we are to take Darwin’s evolution at face value, you would have fish becoming land animals and monkeys becoming man. There was a time, eons ago, called the Cambrian Explosion, where according to fossil evidence, there was a simultaneous appearance of a great diverse species of life. That blows away Darwin’s theory.

The only ‘evolution’ that took place is that horses, dogs, man got bigger and stronger, but all species stayed the same. Ducks did not become salamanders. Chimpanzees were related to cavemen, but the last of them died out a quarter of a million years before modern man showed up.

Even in plant life, we don’t see any natural diversification. Plums will not grow watermelons, etc.

Four thousand years ago, the Bible (God’s word) tells us of creation and of many other scientific facts. It describes the sequence of the creation of the universe and of life exactly as science would postulate much, much later. (Gn. Ch 1 & 2) It tells of the nature of the wind currents (Eccl. 1:6), the shape of the earth (Is. 40:22), that the earth hangs in empty space (Job 26:7), and speaks of innumerable stars and the patterns that they have (Jer. 33:33, 31:35).

God speaks of future events that all come to fruition. No other religion does that. Science says that all our laws of physics began when the universe was created, and they too must have been created by a source outside of space, energy, matter and time. Only God fills the bill.

Nothing God has said has ever been proved untrue. Even His laws for living provide for the greatest and highest life. There is no substitute. We can depend upon God for viable, repeatable results. An atheist has nothing tangible to hang his faith upon. For example:’

“For I am the LORD, I do not change [but remain faithful to My covenant with you]…” Mal.. 3:6 AMP

‘Therefore, God is immovable and eternal, (thus, outside of space and time because He created both.) He experiences past, present and future simultaneously because He is the author of them all – omnipresent.’

‘I am the First and I am the Last; besides Me there is no God.’ Is. 44:6 NKJV

“God is spirit [the Source of life, yet invisible to mankind]…” Jn. 4:24 AMP

‘As a Spirit, God is boundless, infinite, perfect and eternal – who was existing before anything else did, and He will remain at their end – even to their eternal transformation:’

By faith [that is with an inherent trust and enduring confidence in the power, wisdom and goodness of God] we understand the worlds (universe, ages) were framed and created [formed, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose] by the word of God… Heb. 11:3 AMP

‘Omnipotent.’

2. ‘I don’t believe that the Bible contains the word of God.’

If some did not believe or were unfaithful [to God], their lack of belief will not nullify and make invalid the faithfulness of God and His word, will it? Certainly not! Let God be found true [as He will be], though every person be found a liar, just as it is written [in Scripture], “THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS, AND PREVAIL WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED [by sinful men].” Rm. 3:3, 4. AMP

“Heaven and earth [as now known] will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” Mt. 24:35 AMP

“Whoever is of God and belongs to Him hears [the truth of] God’s words; for this reason you do not hear them: because you are not of God and you are not in fellowship with Him.” Jn. 8:47 AMP

‘Everybody would want to connect with God if they realized how much He loved them. However, you cannot connect with Him (or anyone) unless you first build a relationship with Him.

Relationships are borne from learning how to understand the other, and how to tend to their needs and desires. It all involves a process of time, communication and action (based upon what is learned in the communication).

God already knows us. To help us get to know Him, He left us a ‘love letter’ referred to as the Bible, which allows us (using time, communication and action) to build a love relationship with Him.

To address your unbelief, let me unravel why we Christians consider the Bible to be penned in God’s own words…

The Bible came about in a most miraculous fashion: 40 Holy Spirit-inspired men, (meaning God was talking directly to them), from all walks of life, wrote the 66 books that comprise the Bible, over a 1500-year span, in 3 different languages from 3 different continents. Despite these differences, the end result is a cohesive, non-contradictory theme, which each of the books explaining / defining the others in further detail.

It is a remarkable account of the beginning of all things and progresses to their end.

The Dead Sea scrolls prove that the Old Testament has survived its authenticity for thousands of years without corruption. Thousands of letters circulated by the early church fathers, when pieced together, display a 99.9% accuracy for God’s word in the New Testament.

The Bible’s historical accurateness has been proven archeologically – supported by more historical extra-biblical manuscripts than any other book.

No other non-biblical holy scriptures possess prophecies about future events (which came true), as does those prophesied by God in the Bible. This includes many that were made about Christ and His coming.

The Bible possess an inherent ‘rightness’ in its words that brings us into God’s presence, which has inspired people to make it the most translated and best-selling book of all time. In addition, it has withstood atheistic assault for more than 4 millennia, and the truth of God’s word continues to endure.

Jesus Himself testified as to the veracity of the scriptures as being the pure truth of God.

Many scientific facts are revealed centuries before their human discovery. (You, the reader, refer to the first section of this post for your armamentarium.)

Jesus commissioned and equipped His apostles to deliver the totality of the New Testament, to establish the first church, and propagate the gospel to save all souls from destruction.

Finally, and most importantly, when people read the Bible, it changes them – transforming their natural broken state into a higher spiritual plane, meeting all of humankind’s spiritual, relational and moral needs.

That’s why we believe the Bible is the word of God.’

Well, I thought I could cover the ‘big objections’ in one post. Not. Don’t be disheartened. You don’t have to know this material word-for-word; but if you get it in your heart, you will bring glory to God as you do your best to fill the kingdom.

Keep putting on the armor. More to come…

Goodnight and God bless. 

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Christ’s Foot Soldiers – part 3

We have looked at how to better deliver the gospel and have examined a sample rendering of the gospel message itself that we might express to our potential brothers and sisters in Christ. Now, let’s scrutinize some of the objections that we might come up against from those who cannot yet see their way to salvation and / or the need for it.

1. ‘I have lived a much too sinful life to expect exoneration.’

This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” – and I am the worst of them. 1 Tim. 1:15 CSB

The apostle Paul (the Holy Spirit – inspired author of the majority of the New Testament), who was at one time a murderer of Christians, and as you can see, the self-declared most dastardly of sinners, was saved by Christ. So, you can be as well. 

In fact, you are exactly who Jesus is looking for:

“…I did not come to call [to repentance] the [self-proclaimed] righteous [who see no need to change], but sinners [those who recognize their sin and actively seek forgiveness].” Mt. 9:13 AMP

And once you have accepted Christ and His salvation, He will never let you go and will keep you wrapped up in His righteousness:

“My Father who has given them to me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” Jn. 10:29 CSB

…to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord… Jude 24, 25. NASB

2. ‘I cannot discipline myself to live that kind of life.’

First, let’s review the consequences of not living that kind of life:

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rm. 6:23 CSB

The good news is that it is not your strength that you have to depend upon:

I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose – I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.] Phil. 4:13 AMP

3. ‘I don’t want to lose my friends.’ 

You can share your salvation experience with them; but your eternal future is at stake, and it must be your primary consideration, before you can be of any help to others. If your friends don’t want to get on board, they can become a liability to your salvation:

The one who walks with the wise will become wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm. Pr. 13:20 CSB

Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. Ps. 1:1 NLT

4. ‘I’m not feeling it.’ 

It’s not about your feelings, but about your faith: 

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: Jn. 1:12 NKJV

However, when you accept Christ, changes will come:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness… Gal. 5:22 CSB

5. ‘I’m a good person. I don’t do bad things.’

For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for the “The righteous shall live by faith.” Gal. 3:10, 11. ESV

The Book of the Law is essentially the ‘Ten Commandments.’ And if we want to be saved by our own efforts, we must obey them all flawlessly for our entire lives. That is not possible for any human being.

“for there is no one who does not sin…” 1 Kin. 8:46 NKJV

In fact, the one who does not believe in God is already in violation of the First Commandment. (Ex. 20:3 – 5).

The whole reason that Christ came was so that you could accept Him as your savior and be cleansed from sin and wrapped up in His righteousness.

6. ‘God is love. He will not judge anyone.’

Well, you are half right:

“The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but will by no means clear the guilty…” Ex. 34:6, 7. ESV

God does forgive sins, but only for those who accept Christ as their savior: 

“…you will die in our sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” Jn. 8:24 NKJV

Regardless of how one wants to believe in their own philosophy, God spells out a real judgment for all peoples:

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory…all the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’…Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’” Mt. 25:31 – 34 & 41. NKJV 

7. For those who have walked away from the faith (usually due bad behavior / judgment from other ‘Christians’ or because they have fallen back into sin). 

You can’t judge God by the way people behave. Unfortunately, they have the free will to mess up; not God’s fault. 

As far as having fallen back into a sinful lifestyle:

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”

Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Mt. 18:21, 22. NKJV

Jesus is being metaphorical here. We are to forgive countless times; and Jesus would not ask us to do something that He Himself does not. You can approach Him no matter what you’ve done and receive forgiveness for your sins and to be reinstated in His kingdom,  with earnest confession and repentance. 

(Consider too, an examination of the parable of the prodigal son: Lk. 15:11 – 32.)

8. ‘The Bible doesn’t make any sense.’ 

You’re right:

For the message of the cross is foolishness [absurd and illogical] to those who are perishing and spiritually dead [because they reject it], but to us who are being saved [by God’s grace] it is [the manifestation of] the power of God. 1 Cor. 1:18 AMP

But the natural [unbelieving] man does not accept the things [the teachings and revelations] of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness [absurd and illogical] to him; and he is incapable of understanding them, because they are spiritually discerned and appreciated, [and he is unqualified to judge spiritual matters]. 1 Cor. 2:14 AMP

The Bible only makes since when the Holy Spirit enters you as you accept Christ as your savior, which gives you that spiritual discernment. You know, there are also those who just don’t want to understand it, because they prefer the ways of the world:

“This is the judgment [that is, the cause for indictment, the test by which people are judged, the basis for the sentence]; the Light has come into the world, and people love the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For every wrongdoer hates the light, and does not come to the Light [ but shrinks from it] for fear that his sinful, worthless] activities will be exposed and condemned.” Jn. 3:19, 20. AMP

So, we’ covered some of the most common objections of the flesh. Next time we’ll tackle the big theological objections…

Goodnight and God bless.

Christ’s Foot Soldiers – part 2

Last time we looked at how to increase our ability to facilitate other people’s entry into the kingdom of God by accepting Christ as their Savior – in short, to be better evangelizers. We also examined how to use those enhancements to introduce the gospel to those who don’t feel that they need saving.

Well, what if you approach someone who says that they want to hear what you have to say? ‘Hallelujah,’ is what you’ll probably say to yourself. Still, you don’t want to pass over the spiritual necessities they need to absorb in their heart to consummate their readiness and desire for salvation.

Whoever you’re approaching, keep your gospel-telling conversational, not a fire-and-brimstone monologue. Ask questions that give them openings to tell you what their pre-conceived beliefs are. Lead them to feel that they came to the gospel understanding on their own. That is when people are ready to believe. God can strip their egos later…

Previously, we concentrated on how better to deliver the gospel. Now, let’s spend a little time with the message itself. We might want to open with what it is that we all need saving from:

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. Jas. 4:17 ESV

“…for there is no one who does not sin…” 1 Kin. 8:46 NKJV

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rm. 6:23 CSB

Simple. It’s death! And, we are all found guilty of practicing sin, which leads to it.

Next, we can talk to them about what is drawing their attention to salvation:

He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]… Eccl. 3:11 AMP

God Himself is clamoring for their attention, because He loves them and wants to spend eternity with them. And He has a plan for that: salvation through Jesus Christ. It is through the blood of Christ that saves us, and the power of the Holy Spirit that brings Jesus to reside in us, when we accept Him as Savior and Lord over our lives.

Jesus came to save us from our sins. In fact, much of His earthly ministry consisted of saving the sinful in His proximity, hanging out with the outcasts.

The veracity of His divinity as the Son of God was demonstrated in His miraculous deeds, His irrefutable gospel, His sinless life, and through His resurrection.

Through Christ, we connect with God the Father, as well as the Holy Spirit, so that we have the Divine Dream Team Triumvirate living within us, caring for us and pointing us in the right way.

Christ died for you, just as much as He died for me and for everybody else. When that happened, Jesus removed all barriers between you and God by becoming your God-connection.

And [at once] the veil [of the Holy of Holies] of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom… Mt. 27:51 AMP

Therefore, believers, since we have confidence and full freedom to enter the Holy Place [the place where God dwells] by [means of] the blood of Jesus… Heb. 10:19 AMP

Thus, you get to know and have a relationship with the all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present, eternal and changeless holy Creator of the universe. That may sound overwhelming, but there are surefire ways to have that happen.

First, God wrote the Bible through the prophets and the apostles, by way of the Holy Spirit. It tells us most of what we need to know about how He feels and what He’s like:

“The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth (faithfulness); keeping mercy and lovingkindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…” Ex. 34:5 – 7. AMP

The other way to know God intimately, is to know His Son, Jesus, who is an exact replica of His Father, one with Him and yet separate in a way in which in our finite understanding, do not fully fathom:

He (Jesus) is the exact living image [the essential manifestation] of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible], the firstborn [the preeminent one, the sovereign, and the originator of all creation. Col. 1:15 AMP

“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Jn. 14:7 NKJV

Sounds great, huh? God put together this whole arrangement: Himself, His Son and the Holy Spirit, to handle a major problem: to reconcile His children who were lost to Him.

God created a perfect world, a perfect man and wife, and left us a set of perfect commandments to follow, to live a perfect life and stay in right relationship with Him.

But, because the members of humankind want to be masters of their own destinies, to be their own gods, they rebelled against God – beginning with Adam and Eve. That is called ‘sin,’ and as we saw in the beginning, the practice of sin brings death, death in the form of an eternal separation from God and His children.

In His infinite love for all of humankind, God put into action a plan that would save us from our sins. He sent His Son as a Spirit to be born of a virgin and grow to be Jesus the Savior. God worked through Him to bring you the gospel message that you are hearing. Broken down into a nutshell, it is this:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that through Him might be saved.” Jn. 3:16, 17. NKJV

And this is the reason:

“…to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.” Acts 26:18 NASB

Did it work?

And although you were at one time estranged and alienated and hostile-minded [toward Him}, participating in evil things, yet Christ has now reconciled you [to God] in His physical body through death, in order to present you before the Father holy and blameless and beyond reproach _ [and He will do this] if you continue in the faith, well-grounded and steadfast, and not shifting away from the confident hope [that is a result] of the gospel that you have heard… Col. 1:21 – 23. AMP

Perfectly!

It is a gift from God, not something that you can earn. Jesus acquired this gift for you with His life on the cross, taking all the punishment that God would have laid upon all of humanity born throughout time, wiping out all our sins – past, present and future, by exchanging that sinless life for all the lives that would be snuffed out from the ravages of sin.

God’s gift works individually when that person comes to Christ and repents of their sins (i.e. acknowledges he or she is a sinner, exhibits true remorse with the intent to do their best not to repeat them), and to accept Jesus as who He is and what He’s done, and make Him the Lord of their life. Immediately, the sinless righteousness of Christ is transferred to them; and when God looks at him or her, He only sees that righteousness. Their price has been paid for an eternity in paradise…

…the dust returns to the earth as it once was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. Eccl. 12:7 CSB

…I saw a new heaven and a new earth…I also saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God…”Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more…” Rv. 21:1 – 4. CSB

Now, talking to you, my fellow evangelizers: all these scriptures are very apropos in their sequence, but I really put them in for you, to empower you with your truth. Remember, this might be your hearer’s first time for the gospel, so be careful not to overwhelm.

Well, at this juncture, it would be good to dive right in: ‘You’ve seen the vital importance of the salvation of your soul and how to get saved. Will you accept Jesus now? Let’s kneel together and I will lead you through prayer and your salvation will be secure.’

(Time for that sinners’ prayer):

Dear God in heaven, I am a sinner, unable to save myself. I am truly sorry and will do my best not to repeat my sins. But I know that I cannot do it myself. I believe that Jesus is your Son and that He died on the cross for me and was resurrected to pay for all my sins. Please make your Son the Lord of my life, that I may receive your forgiveness and by your Holy Spirit, I ask for Jesus to take residence within me. Thank you for opening heaven so that I may live in eternity with you. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Or something similar. Please, at this juncture, do not let this newbie out into the world. Either follow up with them or connect them to a church.

Be happy. The angels are rejoicing!

I know what you’re thinking, ‘What if they ask me theological questions that I have no answer for?’ We’ll handle that next time…

Goodnight and God bless. 

Christ’s Foot Soldiers

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you…” Mt. 28:19, 20. AMP

Christ left all of us with this ‘Great Commission;’ yet, many of us feel awkward, ill-equipped, or we are afraid that we might fail in our attempt to position someone to enter the kingdom of God. I mean, that would be like failing God, wouldn’t it? Not! God only asks for our best efforts. He takes it from there. 

However, it wouldn’t hurt to explore some ways to increase our kingdom efficiency. Obviously, in order to be persuasive, we must be living out our Christian principles to the best of our ability, in order to come from a place of authoritative instruction – leading by example:

“…let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Mt. 5:16 CSB

“Yet wisdom is vindicated and shown to be right by all her children [by the lifestyle, moral character, and good deeds of her followers].” Lk. 7:35 AMP

Having that wisdom also demands one to be facile with the scriptures, to be able to make their case for the necessity of salvation. 

Along with our Christian professing, there must be an outpouring of love for everyone, i.e. all the ‘potentially saved,’ wrapped up in compassion, for the suffering of most of the world in the common human condition. We couple that with our faith in God, to equip us for any task He sets before us – through the Holy Spirit.

This is the [remarkable degree of] confidence which we [as believers are entitled to] have before Him: that if we ask anything according to His will, [that is, consistent with His plan and purpose] He hears us…we [also] know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted to us] the requests which we have asked from Him. 1 Jn. 5:14, 15. AMP

You are literally saving lives. You can begin to do so by relating your life changes after having asked Jesus to be the Lord of it.

Finally, just like everything in our relationship with God, we must ask Him in prayer for our direction, to show us which field to plow and where to sow the seed, to fulfill His purpose in us. After all, we cannot accomplish much of anything without His help…

The most trepidation begins when we approach someone outside of church, yes? The best way to create a ‘bond’ is to find a common thread – the weather, conditions in your city, or offering compassion for any stressor the other might divulge, all the while offering solutions and performing acts of kindness. 

Once you have established a rhythm, or even the beginnings of a friendship, you might even flat out ask him or her if they are a child of God. A door will open. You can tell them that you are a Christian, how that’s been beneficial, and what one must do to become one. 

If they rebuke you, you can repeat back their objection and add, ‘I’ve heard that too, but I found out it wasn’t true.’ Ask the how they think we ‘got here’ on planet Earth, and where do they think we go when we die.’ At that point you can refer to scripture, asking if you can sit with them for a short time and share what you know about God, Jesus and the two types of eternal life – blessed or cursed.

Simultaneously, we can ask Jehovah God in our hearts, which of His words He would have us share in that moment. You only have one goal: to have this person accept Christ as their savior. Any other changes you think should be made, will be between Jesus and this newly saved soul. This is the time where we turn our egos off. 

We let God do the talking by showing them the scriptures that demonstrate the ‘why:’ 

“…through His name everyone who believes in Him [whoever trusts in and relies on Him, accepting Him as Savior and Messiah] receives forgiveness of sins.” Acts 10:43 AMP

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” Jn. 3:36 ESV

“…the person who hears My word [the one who heeds My message], and believes and trusts in Him who sent Me, has (possess now) eternal life [that is, eternal life actually begins – the believer is transformed], and does not come into judgment and condemnation, but has passed [over] from death into life.” Jn. 5:24 AMP

Suppose you happen to come across someone who is totally noncommittal, doesn’t feel the need. Then, you have to show it to them:

There is certainly no one righteous on the earth who does good and never sins. Eccl. 7:20 CSB

…see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him. Mal. 3:18 CSB

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rm. 6:23 CSB

For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. 2 Cor. 5:21 NLT

“…you will die [unforgiven and condemned] in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am the One [I claim to be], you will die in your sins.” Jn. 8:24 AMP

God wants us to be His Son’s foot soldiers – marching forth and sharing the gospel. We can do that in so many ways – in thoughts and prayers, in the telling of His word, in actions, in listening, and being aware of our surroundings and events and discerning their purposes. We can ready ourselves to be in God’s service in every moment.

Disaster strikes. Ask yourself, ‘What is God’s lesson in this?’ Look to see how you can best serve the victims in this situation, (including yourself). Look at someone’s actions towards you. Are they unforgivable? Not! (Mt. 18:22). [Be advised that if the perpetrator is not safe to be around, forgive them from a distance.]

Pray for everyone and also for yourself, that you may be positioned to serve, to be the arms of God and use our five senses as well, to emulate the footsteps of His Son. Listen for opportunities to speak about the kingdom, to encourage others in life’s travails, celebrating their victories, and staying in the the word so that you may be able to recall those scriptures that apply for the benefit of yourself and for everyone you encounter. 

If a communication breakdown occurs, don’t take it personally. Instead, look to see how you can clarify your words to bring greater understanding. Everyone you speak with has a different life experience in their head. Rather than reacting, ask them, ‘I know you have a reason for saying that. Can I ask you what that is?’ It opens the door for you to be able to hear their past experiences and how that has molded their world view. It is an empathy and compassion builder, making a way for a greater connection.

People like those who are most like them, and thus relate to them better:

Although I am free from all and not anyone’s slave, I have made myself a slave to everyone, in order to win more people. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win Jews; to those under the law, like one under the law – though I myself am not under the law – to win those under the law. To those who are without the law, like one without the law – though I am not without God’s law but under the law of Christ – to win those without the law. To the weak I became weak, in order to win the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that I may by every means possible save some more. 1 Cor. 9;19 – 22. CSB

Ask God for awareness; see what is going on around you and pray to understand God’s purpose in it. 

If you are being chastised, thank God for the correction and change direction. 

If you are lauded for your efforts, accept it with humble gratitude. If you’re a recipient of a gift, be grateful to the contributor and to God for sending it to you through the giver. Then, after you’ve relished the gift for a moment, ask yourself, ‘How can I best use this in the service of Christ?’

You don’t have to be anything that you are not. God created you in love for His kingdom purpose – a purpose that always contains what’s best for you as well. Soldier on…

To be continued. 

Goodnight and God bless.