Monday, January 17, 2011
I like some preaching, for sure, if the content and attitude are good...if the preacher is not puffed-up-religious but lives the life.
How about you?
You know of course how believers are to be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger (I actually think for the most part that we should do more listening that speaking..) and how there's expositional preaching, longhorn preaching (especially here in Texas - two points and a lot of bull inbetween), topical preaching etc...and at this time we don't have time to discuss all aspects of hermineutics. Maybe in the near future we can talk about that stuff some more.
But the deepest and best type is.. a Christ-exalting non-preachy kinda Bible preachin' for repentance.
How come I like it?
Well, God likes it.
Besides, I just know that there indeed is a real caring God who can use this stuff to make positive changes, and even the greatest Change (inner regeneration) in people's lives ..no matter who they are. He loves us all the same and has ordained that biblical preaching for repentance is the primary tool to be used.. where He will bless and "save" someone. All fishers who might feel compelled to use too much theatrics behind the pulpit or elsewhere, or shouting or mere exciting stories that grab people's attention, or even use personal options.. really need to know this.
Got a friend that I deeply love. He is on my mind today. Yes, he loves to party and use substances (sometimes "fweed" false weed for a high, but in an attempt to use stuff that in some locations is legal). And he is on that train headed downwards, just like every alcoholic or user is riding downwards. I really don't look down on him at all, but feel very concerned for his welfare. I can relate to him in some ways. Not sure what He will do next. Been surprised by him many times and not one time was it a pleasant surprise to hear about. Biblical preaching courageously points to Jesus Christ as the ultimate Answer and that's what helped me most in a similar situation on the same train so to speak. But if someone spoke to me about this stuff back then when I was 17, I would have rejected this mumbo-jumbo-speak because people just don't know what "repentance" or other Christiany words mean. Instead they spoke to me about starting a relationship with Christ and bailing on habits that destroy me ..as they should have.
This friend of mine who I will call Brad (of course that's not his real name), has used his gifted ability to charm others for years, to leach on many families so that he wouldn't have to work or support himself. It's very sad how many years he has wasted. He is extremely cleaver and able to work to this day, but is now getting a bit older and finding it more difficult to work on, buffalo, or swindle new people. He blames everyone but himself (you know people like this), has basically left a path of destruction relationally in his wake and does not have many friends left ..at least that I know of. My wife and I are praying hard for this friend and his friends so that he will simply start to learn and change so that he will quit hurting God, others, and himself. Of course God can change Brad fully, if he will first change his mind, but God won't make him repent or believe. You know this.
It was interesting to hear what my third son had to say about this situation, who had been observing Brad for some time. And it was really true.. "He [Brad] just needs to hit bottom." Yes, the best thing you can do for an open-minded-user asking for a handout is not to give em money or any sell-able items that they can use to get a bottle or drungs of course, but to keep giving warmhearted, but firm Christlike love, the simple Good News that includes repentance and some clear advice (like my wife just happened to give out) that says, "Please go get a job and I'll pick you up on Sunday for church before we go for a meal together."
Brad is not yet an open-minded-user yet even if he feels he has been enlightened. So wish our friend would "hit bottom" before he breaks God's heart and all his loved one's hearts all over again. That's why we turn our wishes and hopes and sometimes worries into praying in faith.
Unbeliever, you might be some pre-repentant high-bottom top producing businessman who hasn't felt the pain of your own irresponsible behavior yet, or a low-bottom stubborn gutter-kisser who ran out of money in Vegas.. who is now feeling quite a bit of pain. Listen to God's Word in your pain. We all are sinners and my question for you is this: Have you reached your bottom yet? Where will the turning point be, if there will be one at all. Many who plan on the best piviot-point never seem to gain enough "want to turn" to actualy turn before family destruction happens. Are you ready to turn to what you haven't turned to thus far - Jesus Christ?
He is the only One who can help you most! You can get off that lame train at any point and begin to profit from your mistakes, from your bad choices etc. That's what was told to this loser and it helped me more than words can express. Please don't put it off another day! Turn around to God.
Personally, I know that train brad rides on real well but no longer want this trip. Use to enjoy traveling on it a lot myself..aways downhill. Perhaps I can call it the party train.. but non-party-ers also ride it into Hell. The great thing about it is this.. anyone aboard this train can de-board it at any time while they are still sucking air. They can turn around and begin a journey in the opposite direction, but yes, that takes off loading ego (force yourself to eat some humble pie and you won't die). Be more than able to be honesty, just tell the truth to yourself and others.. before a holy God who cares 'bout ya.
Some people have the ability to be honest, but still are not. They need to simply make the decision to be honest, to call things what they really are, and to say that they need God's help.
I hope that you are also praying for someone or some people just like my dear friend, Brad, on the wrong train route. This world is just full of them and without any praying Christian witnesses around.. or without them repenting on their own.. their train ride will unfortunately end up going so bad on em that everything about the ride that's negative will be totally irreversible. Their time is limited. Our time to pray and reach them is limited.
Are you on that train?
Do you want to see your life set on the right track? Just admit it and quit it...whatever you are doing wrong according to the Bible. Hang a U-turn, repenting in faith and trusting Jesus Christ. Don't merely get moral. Be reborn inside according to the Word of God. Might sound kinda religious, but it really is not.
Because lives around us make the greatest change only after the thinking is first changed.. preaching for a person to repent is preaching for the greatest change. It is the deepest type of preaching there is.
Christian, please communicate God's non-boring Message in a non-boring way that it changes the way people will think today! That term "repentance" might sound fairly antiquated or take on some negative image for some people in their minds, but when people, with contrition and reverence, actually confess their sins to God and turn from their wrong doin's this "R" term will indeed become a most wonderful term to them as it is to me. Personally I try use other terms more though with the unchurched, or sentences that mean the same thing as "repentance" means, or I just try to define it as I use this Bible term, but I still preach repentance to please Christ, for decisions, and those souls aboard that downhill train.
Repentance and faith in Jesus can happen in a moment of time if we have been faithfully sowing seeds of truth. Those ideas preached together are the main Message of the New Testament.
What did the New Testament preachers constantly preach on? Repentance from dead works—from sin and all sins. John the Baptizer preached, "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near" (Matt. 3:2, niv).
Jesus preached, "Repent and believe in the Gospel"(Mk. 1:15, niv).
What did Christ command His disciples to preach to people on that train or apparently off that train? "So they went off and preached repentance" (Mk. 6:12, nab).
What did Pete communicate on the day of Pentecost? "Repent and be baptized every one of you" (Acts 2:38, nab). What was it that the Apostle John zealously preached in the Revelation? Repent.
Christian, daily we all talk or write or chat or text or speak to others about what's really on our hearts - your tongue is the bucket and your heart is the well and what's in the well is withdrawn by the bucket for others to hear - so with that in mind, what will you decide to preach as you follow Christ in biblically fishing for souls?
You've really got to visit: Kurt von Schleicher at 12:38 PM