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Divided Person

The closer I become to my Lord the more I’m divided as a person. Let me explain; yesterday I wrote something on my facebook account after experiencing a death, this may help to clarify what I mean. “In Christ I find myself an emotional mess (wreck may be a more accurate word). I have inexpressible joy for the cross and extreme sorrow for the lost. We as believers must stop ignoring hell and start proclaiming the only cure, there is but one way.” One thing I have found to be true as I walk with Jesus and learn from him is this, if you are born again, you will not remain as you once were, He will change you. God has no intention of leaving us in our carnal, unregenerate state, He is transforming us, transforming us to be like Jesus; this process is not an easy one.

I have periods everyday when I am so overwhelming joyful for what He has done for me. Allow me to explain this through 1 Corinthians 5:21, “He (God the Father) made Him (God the Son) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (God the Son) (Parenthesis mine). It’s like this; I am a guilty criminal, God the Father punished His Son for my crimes and Jesus willing took that punishment on my behalf and now through faith in Jesus I am made right with God for all of eternity. I have believed in Jesus for some time now, but I am really just beginning to truly get just a small understanding of what He did, this is amazing, and why would He have done that, I most certainly would not have. The gospel is incredible, it is so vast a human being will never fully grasp the magnitude of what God the Father and God the Son did, amazing.

I also go through periods everyday where I mourn and lament for the lost. I love my fellow man and the thought of many of these people being separated from God for all eternity in a place called hell is sometimes more than I can bear. What is even more burdensome is that so many people in this country think they have eternal life because at one time in their life they said a prayer asking Jesus into their heart. An unbiblical practice that has no foundation in scripture, it is but a tradition of men. What does the bible say, repeatedly? Repent and believe in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Thank God I do not bear this on my own but bear this in Christ. Hell is a real place of torment, where there is no relief, and is separated from all that is good. Hell is spoken of using descriptive adjectives, outer darkness, flame, where the worm does not die; this is because heaven and hell are spiritual, we do not have the capacity within our carnal minds to understand. But I do understand this, it is eternal, it is awful, and you don’t want to be there.

This brings me to something that I just cannot wrap my head around; I just cannot figure this out. How can so many people fill our churches believing in heaven and hell, singing praises to Him, holding hands up high, studying His word, then never step out the door and warn anyone, and tell them that there is good news; this makes no sence to me at all, I don’t understand it. Listen to these words of Paul in talking about Jesus coming from heaven with His angels, “dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9). Is He righteous, to send those who don’t obey His gospel and believe in Him to eternal destruction, away from His presence and the glory of His power? It is absolutely righteous, because they are criminals who have broken His law, the Creatures laws. He is the potter we are the clay, the clay does not get to tell the potter what it thinks or what He the potter should and can do. And He would have been just as righteous to have punished me the same way, but He justified me by His blood, and saved me from His wrath by His grace through faith in Him. Every single person on earth has but one life to live, “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27), and also knowing “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). Why in all of creation would I not go warn people of sin, righteousness, and judgment; then tell them of the magnificent, wonderful, glorious gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ? Can anyone explain to me why, this makes no sence? My conclusions as to why this might be are frightening to say the least, and listed in order from most prevalent to least, but I think sadly all exist just the same.

1. Unbelief - Many Christians don’t really believe in hell, I think they do this because the alternative is to frightening for them to bear. Just as unbelievers suppress the truth about God as seen in creation as proclaimed in Romans chapter 1, many suppress the truth about hell because they simply just don’t want to believe there is a hell. They have no problem believing in a loving God who would save sinful man, but refuse to believe in a righteous God who punishes sin. The problem is you cannot read the New Testament, especially the gospels and get that impression from the bible, the words of Jesus are very explicit on the doctrine of hell.
2. Disobedience – They want to do what they want to do regardless of what they have been commanded to do, busy with all the stuff of this life so they don’t have time to go out and tell others about the gospel. Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15) He didn’t say after you’re done with all your stuff. In the parable of the sower from Mark chapter 4, there are four types of soils (or hearts) in which the word of God is sowed. The seed that falls beside the road never enters the church; the seed that falls on rocky ground come into the church then later leaves, there are two types that remain in the church. The seed that fell among the thorns and the seed that fell on good soil. The seed that fell among the thorns explained: “These are the ones who have heard the word, but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful” (Mark 4:18-19). The seed that fell on good soil explained: “they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold” (Mark 4:20). Sadly I think that the seed that fell among the thorns describes the majority in churches in America. The problem with that is there is no such thing as a non-fruit bearing Christian. Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned” (John 15:5-6).
3. Fear of Man & loving oneself above others– Evangelism is fearful I will give you that, every time I step outside the door to evangelize the gospel I do so with much prayer and much fear and trembling. So it boils down to this, you are more concerned for yourself than for the well being of another person. Did Jesus not say, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)
4. Hatred – This one sounds horrible but I think it may be true for some, none the less. Some may not witness because they really do not want certain people to be saved. In heaven all will be together as one, “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice saying, Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” (Revelations 7:9)

Whenever I head out to evangelize the gospel; with the cross, witnessing, tracting an area, or open-air preaching, I usually tell people on my facebook account what I’m doing. The reason for this is I am going into battle, and I need all the weapons possible at my arsenal in fighting spiritual battles, if anyone at all would be willing to pray for me and the lost it makes all the difference in the world, and to just know that someone is with you prayerfully is more comforting than you can imagine. I also made a request when I announced that I was going to start doing this, that if anyone was willing to go with me to contact me. So I put this on my facebook for this reason. The biblical evangelism community to my surprise is incredibly small and spread out; I have gotten the pleasure of meeting a few of these brothers and a couple of others by telephone and email correspondence. God willing I will meet many more of these brothers at SuperBowl XLVII in 2013, Lord willing as we join arms and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ in the city of New Orleans during the SuperBowl weekend festivities.

What do I mean by biblical evangelism? Brothers and sisters in Christ who go out into the highways and byways of the world and preach the gospel the way Jesus and the disciples did. Using the moral law of God to bring the knowledge of sin; then telling them about Jesus, His life, death, and resurrection, the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As you go through scripture you will see Jesus and the apostles give the law to the proud and grace to the humble. Unfortunately, there are those who have been put in place by Satan to give the street evangelist a bad name, and to close the ears of the unsaved before they even hear the good news. Men that preach condemnation, and never the good news of our Lord, preaching hate filled, judgmental, accusatory accusations to people they don’t know or have never even met, preaching condemnation and never get to the gospel, I believe for the purpose of hurting people. These people usually do not belong to a local church and are not submitting themselves to leadership. The exception would be the ‘Westboro Baptist’ who call themselves a church and have leaders but also preach hate filled, accusations, judgment, and condemnation, to people they do not know. Now that is not to say that people don’t get angry when they hear biblical evangelism preached, there is something about hearing the law of God that brings conviction, it causes some to mourn and makes some angry. You never have to accuse anyone, the law of God acting on the conscience of a man will do that, it is what it is designed by our creator to do. “The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul” (Psalms 19:7). What is the law? See Exodus chapter 20 & Deuteronomy chapter 5 for the Decalogue or Ten Commandments spoken by God from the mountain from the midst of the fire. What is the purpose of the law?

1. Closes the sinners mouth, so that he will stop justifying himself – “Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God” (Romans 3:19).
2. Brings the knowledge of sin – “because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20).
3. It makes people aware of their guilt before God – “What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, ‘You shall not covet’” (Romans 7:7)
4. Acts as a tutor to bring us to Christ – “Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24).

The Law of God used correctly can bring a man to the foot of the cross but no further. At the foot of the cross a man must hear the gospel of Jesus Christ, “So faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). And it is through faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ that we are saved. “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:40). My hope is that all believers in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, would step out the door and share the gospel with the world. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4-5).

Mike Peek a slave of Jesus Christ

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