Resolve: Watch – Speak Out!

You and I among multiple Christians and bible watchers can see something’s that are very important probably dangerous happening among us that poses a threat to our beliefs and practices and dare we remain silent.  We are advised in Scriptures, “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man’ (Luke 21:36 NIV). It is important that we take heed to this advice as it could be a matter of life or death!

First, there is a new, violent, even hostile struggle to our entire worldview, which has developed ever since the Highest Court in the land issued a same-sex marriage ruling last year, 2015. Encouraged, no doubt by that legal landmark decision, the resistance movement has progressed forward vehemently, both in the social and political spheres all around the country. Citizens now face a full court force surge against everything the Christian community cherish and value since the first coming of the messiah. This is the reason why I want to give you a powerful new tool moving forward to re-enforce your faith in Christ, as you follow and support my postings.

Candidly, I am convinced that things are going to get much more difficult in the short term, but most certainly in the long term, as well. The days have long gone when any Christian can quietly coexist with the surrounding culture without being able to justify their belief or ‘give an answer for the hope that is in them’ (1 Pet. 3:15). Mostly Christians are repeatedly rebuke and told to stop believing in myth and start living in the real world. Whenever Christians speak out against any moral issues, the church becomes a target for vile hatred, yet other religions, false ones I might add, are being cushioned and given a voice. But don’t be alarmed, so they persecuted the saints of the most high in ancient times, (Hebrews 11). Believers who have remain silent, have been on the sidelines of society in the past, today they will be forced by the resistance movement to actively choose sides.  Christians must cry aloud whenever and wherever evil rears its ugly head in society, tell the people what sin is. Two men and two women together in so-called same-sex marriage or intimate relationships is not supported by the biblical literature’s (Romans 1)!

We are Christians, the church of the living God, the spiritual guardians and conscience of all of society! Will we dare to be a Joshua? ‘But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord’ (Jos. 24: 15).

For Christians, what matters most can be summed up in Joshua’s powerful reaffirmation, ‘But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord’! Brothers, carefully think on who you are, what God has called you to be, and remember, ‘It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery’ (Gal. 5: 1). Satan’s desire is to enslave us in the darkened state of sin where, we remain in slavery to him.  However we must continue to honour God the creator of heaven and earth who came to us in the person and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, Emmanuel! Let us be found faithful to His cause on earth, making ‘our calling and election sure’. Let us ‘please Him’ and Him alone, by standing our ground and speak out against sin and its consequences in the world!

Second, we should never lose sight of the growing Islamization of the west, and western culture which is a threat to our culture and Christianity, is growing at a pace faster that a speeding train but largely ignored or un-noticed. The president of the Islamic state of Turkey Erdogan has never cease to claim Islamophobia exists in the Western world. This may or may not be a real social problem, but non-Muslim phobia in Turkey is progressively a infectious difficulty. It is reported that of Mehmet Ali Eren, a suspected al-Qaeda member proclaim, ‘traitors! We’ll bomb your church’, as he attacks a Protestant Christian Pastor Andrew Craig Brunson in Izmir, Turkey. Though such hate and vile attacks against Christians in the Muslim world are not new, approximately a hundred thousand are attacked killed, maimed, imprisoned or killed each year. What is alarming is how and why Muslims are given so much freedom to practice their faith in western societies while Christians are routinely harassed in Islamic states.

Western and Christian leaders should ask the president of Turkey to explain why he obstinately demands more and more tolerance for Muslims living in western and Christian societies, which approved the building of mosques in every western capital using Oil rich Saudi Arabian money. There are no Christian churches in most Islamic states, none allowed in Saudi Arabia, and all Christians in Turkey are routinely harassed, rounded up and killed or put in prison. The Erdogan led Turkish government ceased on the opportunity to deport Pastor Brunson and his wife on the spurious grounds that they pose a security threat to his country, and western leaders remain silent. The Turkish police explained that the Brunson’s were being expelled from the country on grounds of posing a security threat because they had carried out ‘missionary activity and received money from sources abroad.’

When anyone or any organisation speaks out against the apparent inconsistencies in both the west for tolerating Muslims, and in Islamic societies for their intolerance of Christians, is met with silence. Western leaders permit Islamic atrocities against Christians primarily because they have oil that the west needs to fuel their economies, so they are allowed to get away literally with murder. As Christians, we must stand up against those who would want to sidelines us, keep us quiet because we speak out against immoralities in our societies. Equally we must resolve to be the bastion of hope for the oppress, the mouthpieces against vile hate and atrocities committed against fellow Christians abroad and in Islamic states.

I today, resolve to stand and play my part, watch – speak. I encourage you to make it yours, also.

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Evangelism: Family -seems the hardest job

One of the most important tasks of the church is evangelism. Christ just before departure from this world, in His final instructions, advised His followers, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matt. 28: 19). Christ clearly had a global evangelistic mission in mind; all of humanity need God, and needed to be save from the scourges of sin and deliverance from death. However, as the church has experience spreading this global message means more than just a passing glance, and a weekly or daily encouraging sermon or word. It involves much more than just broadcasting a statement or telling a set of facts, it is about proclaiming a universal message of life.

Though it is a message that affected the world, the failure of the modern church to proclaim this message of hope, means many people are living and dying hopeless. The church is in the docks, as a survey revealed fewer than 10% of Christians are involved in evangelism. So how does faith impact the world? One definite way is through the Disciples of Christ living the gospel as a way of life thus proclaiming it to the world by our lifestyles. Christ with His disciples demonstrated that the lifestyle and relationship matters.

People are watching the church, looking at how we handle our responsibilities, situations that affect the world and how we managed crisis.  Are there any evidence that Christ and His gospel makes a difference in our lives and how we connects with the world, how we live with others? Christians lifestyle must demonstrate godly Christian values in front of our friends and family members so they can see the change God has made in us (1 Peter 3:1–2). Eventually, the salvation of our loved ones is up to God, but we must play our part. It is God’s power and grace that saves, people are not save by our efforts, it is by God, yet we have a role to play. The best we can do is pray for them without ceasing, open up, declare it and encourage them constantly, as if their house was on fire and they were asleep, equally we must live the Christian life in front of them. Paul planted, Apollos watered, but God who brought about the increase in the church, (1 Cor. 3:6). Certainly, our most important observers and closest critics are our families and friends. So how do we start to evangelise those in our circles, our colleagues without turning them off and pushing them away from our goals?

At some point in our journey in every Christian walk through life; there may be a family member, a friend, worker colleague, or acquaintance who has not yet accepted the Christian message. Sharing the gospel with total strangers can be difficult at best, but it can become even more challenging when it involves someone with whom we have close relations and emotional ties. Off course the Bible prepares Christians for the difficult evangelistic task, informing us that some people will be offended at the hearing of the gospel message (Luke 12:51–53). However, this is not an excuse to remain quiet, the command is to take the gospel to the world, and there is no defence for keeping it to ourselves. We have to tell it! (Matt. 28:19–20; Acts 1:8; 1 Pet. 3:15).

Subsequently, how can we evangelise our family members, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances? The most important weapon we Christians have at our disposal is prayer, we have got to love our enemies, we have got to love our friends, but we must pray for them all. Prayer changes things, so pray that God would change their hearts and open their eyes to the truth of the gospel of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4). People are being caught into vile theologies, and complex religions that offers them nothing, takes them nowhere but death, we need to pray that God would convince them of His love for them and their need for salvation through Jesus Christ (John 3:16). So called great teachers, philosophers, academics are teaching there is no God, confusing many fertile minds, we need to pray for the wisdom of God to dwell in us, that we know how to best minister to the misguided in our world  (Jam. 1:5).

Christians must be enthusiastic and courageous in our genuine proclamation of the gospel of Christ. We must declare the message of salvation through Jesus Christ to our loved ones, our family and friends (Rom. 10:9–10). Like solders prepared for battle, Christians must be ready to go to war, but our war is spiritual not physical. We speak of our faith (1 Pet. 3:15), acting with gentleness and respect for all. There is no substitute, no alternative, no way out of the responsibility of individually spreading the gospel message of Christ, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” (Rom. 10:17).

As we attempt to take the message of Christ to all the world, we need to evangelise our families, our close friends, praying and sharing our faith with them. In order to affect the world we need to understand how the world works. The message of the gospel must be proclaim at home and abroad. We affect our families by out Christian lifestyle and our families will in turn impact the world directly by sharing and indirectly by their lifestyle. Families, our loved ones and friends, we can be the salt and light of the world, that needs the love of Christ in their hearts.