Thursday, March 15, 2012

Kevin's "Guest" Post

I joke with Kevin about this being set up as our blog, and then it really became my blog because he never ended up posting anything to it.  Honestly, I don't think he even knows the password to get in to post anything if he even wanted to.  Anyway, he told me tonight that if he had a blog, this is what he'd write.  So I told him to email it to me and I'd post it on mine.  So here goes...

As you attempt to spread the Gospel, don’t promise people STUFF for following Jesus – health, wealth, vanishing problems, or, actual STUFF! Don’t lure people with STUFF to follow Jesus. He never did. He never did. In the Gospels you never see Jesus promising ANYTHING to ANYBODY to get them to follow Him. For following Him, He promised us TROUBLE and DEATH. The trouble comes from others. The death has to be self-inflicted.

Luke 9:23-24 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. 24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. (NLT)

A cross is an instrument of DEATH, and when we take up our cross daily, we DIE TO SELF DAILY.

It’s wisely been said, “What you win them with, you win them to.” So, win them with Jesus - Jesus as revealed in the Bible, not some “Jesus” that a human has concocted. We have a simple job as Christians when it comes to fulfilling the Great Commission. (Notice that I didn’t say fulfilling it is simple.) Our job is SIMPLY to present Jesus and to let people make their own decision. We are not to beg or coerce anyone to surrender to Jesus. Anything we can talk a person into, someone else can talk them out of.

Don’t try to get people to surrender to Jesus out of FEAR OF HELL, or for BLESSINGS IN THIS LIFE, or for anything else other than LOVE for Jesus. A person might THINK about Jesus because she’s scared of the alternative, but her fear has to result in LOVE FOR JESUS. A person might THINK about Jesus because he’s got mountains of problems and he’s tried everything else, but his desperation has to result in LOVE FOR JESUS. Otherwise, people just come to Jesus for what they can get. They don’t die to self.

Just because you see some METHOD in a book or from a church, it doesn’t mean it’s BIBLICAL. Go to the only true source – the Bible - for your method, not some man. Don’t let a MAN, no matter how honored, praised, quoted, admired, watched, listened to, read . . . by people be your SOURCE. See, humans are very influenced by numbers, popularity, charisma, “results,” etc., but the presence of ANY OF THOSE THINGS doesn’t automatically signify that it’s a work of God. God can use anything for His glory, GOOD or BAD. And unfortunately, God has to use a lot BAD 21ST CENTURY CHURCH STUFF for His glory. It’s scary to think about the state of Christianity in America today, but it’s EVEN SCARIER to think about the state of Christianity in America a couple generations from now. Can it GET any more SELF-FOCUSED (instead of, uh, JESUS FOCUSED!!!)? Yes. Just watch.

You may ask, “How can you say that? You’re JUDGING!” Read Matthew 7 and not just verse 1. Read the entire New Testament. Christians, are CALLED to Judge. Judging isn’t the same thing as JUDGMENTALISM. We’re supposed to call right right and wrong wrong. We’re supposed to defend truth and oppose sin. That requires judgment.

And here’s a bit of wisdom for anyone feeling called to some type of pastoral ministry:

2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (NIV)

That’s right. Pastoral ministry requires PREPARATION. From people who are smarter than you. From people wiser than you. From people you may have a hard time understanding – at first. Jesus trained His disciples for 3 years. Paul spent several years in training before he became history’s greatest missionary – and he already had more education than any of us will ever sniff at. I spent most of the years from 1993-2010 in formal Bible education – 4 years full-time, the rest part-time. I was single all but 3 of those years, so I used my time and money for education. That’s not to say that everyone has to have FORMAL EDUCATION for ministry, BUT PLEASE, PLEASE DON’T DISCOUNT IT. If you don’t have the money for formal education, do a little research and find out the curriculum of a Bible college degree and start reading those books on your own. Ask older, wiser ministers for help and seek one out to mentor you. Christian ministry isn’t reading the latest book and implementing what it says. Christian ministry depends on a correct understanding of Biblical BASICS, as well as DEEPER BIBLICAL TRUTHS.

If a person attempts to serve in a pastoral position without training, they’ll likely depend on human ideas, experiences, and opinions instead of Biblical truth – simply because they don’t have a good grasp of Biblical truth. And they’ll be prone to major errors. Teachers are held to a higher standard than other Christians (James 3:1). We’re accountable for what we teach – now and in eternity.

Notice, I didn’t say a Christian pastor has to get a FORMAL Bible education. BUT HE BETTER GET A BIBLE EDUCATION. Just because I play church softball, it doesn’t mean I’m qualified to go manage the Braves.


2 comments:

  1. I'm loving this post!! I agree that Christianity has become so self-focused. Everyone seems to be saying 'What can my faith do for me???'

    My favorite line in the post is 'anything we can talk a person into, someone else can talk them out of.' It's hard to remember that our responsibility is only to present the Gospel, the rest is up to God.

    Please thank your husband for 'guest posting' :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you enjoyed it! I "made" him get his own blog when he wanted to write something again already. If you care to check it out, it's www.kevininsc.blogspot.com or you can just click the link at the top of this blog- where it says "Kevin's Blog".

      It's crazy how many people thing Christianity is about US, when it's actually the opposite. It's not about US at all!

      Delete

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