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Keep away from preachers who do not actually preach the Gospel

Would you get surgery done for yourself if the person doing it doesn’t actually practice surgery? Would you like to travel in an aircraft driven by a person who cannot even read the route map?  Would you invest your money in a bank which is on the verge on collapsing? If you said no to any of these questions, then why would you learn the Gospel from anyone who doesn’t actually preach it?

I find it very laughable and amusing to see people who flock to preachers who don’t actually preach the Gospel. Yes, these people will come up with various excuses to continue to waste their time on them. They often say ‘we are not to judge’. So going by that logic they wouldn’t mind if their government transfers all of their money to the ‘vacation for ministers’ fund, because they are not to judge if they go bankrupt. They wouldn’t judge if they were given poisoned food by the restaurants. Probably not if they regard for their well being! However these people will keep pushing the ‘do not judge’ Bible verses upon you as if that will turn their precious little preacher into a true preacher of the Word of God.

Some preachers will totally avoid the mention of Jesus in their entire sermons. Perhaps they never heard of him or maybe they are not trying to please him! Either way that is a massive give away to either correct the preacher or leave him. Some people might think that is offensive, I don’t agree to them. Suppose if you wanted your children to swim but the swimming instructor  doesn’t teach them to swim but only talks about his or her swimming accomplishments , do you or your children truly get your money’s worth for the swimming lessons. You’d most possibly get the children out of that swimming class and join a better one or complain to the management to change the swimming coach. Maybe the management would go half way and instead of removing the coach simply apologize and get the coach to actually teach swimming. If such logic applies to swimming, wouldn’t you and your family’s spiritual life in Christ deserve a bit more better?

There are some people who don’t care if the preacher is preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ or not because of an odd reason. They simply and plainly don’t care to read the Bible either. And if they do, they totally ignore the preachers’ misgivings and in turn open the doors of their heart wide to heresy and ignorance.

Now there are some preachers who do preach parts of Gospel such as forgiveness, healing, and love but avoid anything to do with repentance, holiness and deliverance. These try to make the Gospel palatable to people in order to get the number of people hearing them to increase. However, these do not preach Gospel in its entirety. As a result the person who hears such a preacher is not warned of the traps and temptations and sufferings that they might encounter with their walk with Christ Jesus.  So if the person gives in to sin or remains ignorant of how to receive deliverance from evil, do not be surprised at all.

Do not be the one who refuses to love the truth but rather chooses to live in deception, with deceptive preachers and so share in their eternal judgement!

Bible verses to reflect on:

  1. Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:12-14)
  2. “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ (Matthew 23:16)
  3. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12)
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Beware of manufacturing a God of your own

“Beware of manufacturing a God of your own: a God who is all mercy, but not just; a God who is all love, but not holy; a God who has a heaven for everybody, but a hell for none; a God who can allow good and bad to be side by side in time, but will make no distinction between good and bad in eternity. Such a God is an idol of your own, as truly an idol as any snake or crocodile in an Egyptian temple. The hands of your own fancy and sentimentality have made him. He is not the God of the Bible, and beside the God of the Bible there is no God at all.” ( J.C Ryle)

God of Elijah (Video)

 

This song reminds us of the time when Elijah the prophet and servant of the One True Living God our Lord, defeated the prophets of the Baal the false god. The Bible verses about this are from 1 Kings 18:1-40 as given below:

After many days the word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth.” 2 So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. Now the famine was severe in Samaria. 3 And Ahab called Obadiah, who was over the household. (Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly, 4 and when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the Lord, Obadiah took a hundred prophets and hid them by fifties in a cave and fed them with bread and water.) 5 And Ahab said to Obadiah, “Go through the land to all the springs of water and to all the valleys. Perhaps we may find grass and save the horses and mules alive, and not lose some of the animals.” 6 So they divided the land between them to pass through it. Ahab went in one direction by himself, and Obadiah went in another direction by himself.

7 And as Obadiah was on the way, behold, Elijah met him. And Obadiah recognized him and fell on his face and said, “Is it you, my lord Elijah?” 8 And he answered him, “It is I. Go, tell your lord, ‘Behold, Elijah is here.’” 9 And he said, “How have I sinned, that you would give your servant into the hand of Ahab, to kill me? 10 As the Lord your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my lord has not sent to seek you. And when they would say, ‘He is not here,’ he would take an oath of the kingdom or nation, that they had not found you. 11 And now you say, ‘Go, tell your lord, “Behold, Elijah is here.”’ 12 And as soon as I have gone from you, the Spirit of the Lord will carry you I know not where. And so, when I come and tell Ahab and he cannot find you, he will kill me, although I your servant have feared the Lord from my youth. 13 Has it not been told my lord what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of the Lord, how I hid a hundred men of the Lord’s prophets by fifties in a cave and fed them with bread and water? 14 And now you say, ‘Go, tell your lord, “Behold, Elijah is here”’; and he will kill me.” 15 And Elijah said, “As the Lord of hosts lives, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself to him today.” 16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him. And Ahab went to meet Elijah.

17 When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?” 18 And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the Lord and followed the Baals. 19 Now therefore send and gather all Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”

20 So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. 21 And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. 22 Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the Lord, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men. 23 Let two bulls be given to us, and let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it. And I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood and put no fire to it. 24 And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.” 25 Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose for yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are many, and call upon the name of your god, but put no fire to it.” 26 And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they limped around the altar that they had made. 27 And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” 28 And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them. 29 And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention.

30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” And all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been thrown down. 31 Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord came, saying, “Israel shall be your name,” 32 and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two seahs of seed. 33 And he put the wood in order and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood.” 34 And he said, “Do it a second time.” And they did it a second time. And he said, “Do it a third time.” And they did it a third time. 35 And the water ran around the altar and filled the trench also with water.

36 And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. 37 Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.” 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.” 40 And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slaughtered them there.

Quick Reminder: Listen to a true preacher instead of a clownish preacher

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“A preacher shouldn’t preach just to make you feel good. Then it’s about the money not about the teach. He should preach the truth because the truth shall set you free.” ― Alcurtis Turner

Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.(2 Timothy 4:2-4)

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. (2 Peter 2:1-3)

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. (Revelation 22:18-19)

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Forever stuck on preaching to one person?

All praise be to the Lord God for his mercy towards all who repent. Thanks be to Jesus Christ the high priest of our confession. O Lord guide us by your Holy Spirit to have a right understanding of people and situations in our daily life and in doing your will on earth. Amen.

 

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When preaching the Gospel one may at times encounter people who reject Christ or even don’t want to repent of their sins. The basic course of action nowadays to is to pray, reflect on the Bible and attempt once again to preach the Gospel to such people. At times this does work and people do actually repent and believe in the Gospel. Praise God for that!

Now there are people who are very stubborn and just do not want to accept the Gospel no matter what. They don’t care at all. They don’t want to listen and are adamant with their sinful lifestyles.  Are we to forever to keep having a go at them with our preaching?

The answer is a NO. Because even Jesus didn’t tell his disciples to keep on preaching forever to the persistently unrepentant. In fact here’s what he said to them:

Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ 6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. 7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. 9 Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. (Luke 10:5-12)

Nowadays, if you were to act like this towards persistent rejectors of the Gospel, you’d be said to be a very ‘unloving’ and ‘unchristian’ person. However, you can refute such malicious judgments against you by quoting the above verses and saying Jesus himself spoke them. Also, if a person is condemning you because you’ve warned the people who rejected the Gospel, you must realize that such a person has no clue about how the Gospel works. The warning is not about insulting those unbelievers but to show them that they made a wrong choice.

An example

Let me make it real to you, suppose a person is on board a passenger aircraft which is about to crash in five minutes and the air hostess tells him to wear a parachute. This is so he can join with the other passengers who already are with parachutes and waiting their turn for the jump to safety. But that guy is instead insisting on sleeping. Besides he is refusing to look out of the window which can show him that the aircraft is actually losing altitude too fast. So at like the last two minutes, the air hostess who too is wearing a parachute is at the aircraft door and yells ‘You sir are delusional. Pick it up now and jump or be toast!’ and then jumps off to safety. However, this guy is even more offended and goes on to bear the grim consequences of the plane crash into the rocky ground. Can’t blame the air hostess for her grief that the man still refused her wise words.

A word of caution

People can react negatively if you say you wipe off the dust of their town because they rejected the Gospel. So pick the words of the warning wisely. You can say something like, “You’ve been given a good chance to hear the Gospel. I don’t know if you’d get it again so that you are truly free from sin and have eternal life.” or  “Though you are entitled to your opinions against the Gospel, I certainly don’t agree to them. I continue to believe I’ve chosen the path of life and peace by accepting the Gospel.”

Fact: people may reject the Gospel

With that being said, one of points of the above verses mentioned in Luke 10:5-12 is that Jesus wanted his disciples to be mentally prepared to accept the fact that there will be people who’d reject the Gospel preached to them. Jesus didn’t tell them who exactly would be the rejectors of the Gospel. God knows best why at times we are not given a list of people who’d reject the Gospel. Wouldn’t that save our time? Yes but how will the scriptures be fulfilled? Our work is to preach the Gospel regardless of whether the person may or may not accept it. This is so that the world is given the testimony of salvation and only then can the end come. Here the specific verses:

But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. 10 And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. 11 And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. (Mark 13: 9-11)

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:9-14)

From these verses its very clear that the Gospel must be preached to all nations as a testimony to them and then the end will come. So you cannot be indefinitely hung up on preaching to that one person who made up his or her to keep rejecting the Gospel. You could have used that time to reach out to the next person whom God leads to you to, so that person could hear the Gospel and be set free.

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:13-15)

Preach but don’t be taken for a ride

There are people who are still in need of the Gospel. Spend your time preaching it to them. Some of them may reject it but others will accept it. However, you will have given more people the Gospel. In fact more than just that one person who was being used by the Devil to limit your preaching only that one. Keep this in mind the next time you encounter such a person who enjoys getting cheap and profane thrills by rejecting the Gospels and then at the end you’d know that you are not the first person who tried to preach the Gospel. Yes, such vile crooks exist. They won’t say that they have been preached over many times but they don’t bother. They will just want to see how much they can wear you out after they have mocked the Gospel.

Do not give that which is holy to the dogs, nor cast your pearls before the pigs, lest they shall trample upon them with their feet, and having turned, tear you to pieces. (Matthew 7:6)

Some real life examples

I faced some situations in which people acted smart to play ignorant first and then try to attack. Here’s how it ended for two of them:

The first one, even before I’d say anything, he told me that he doesn’t want to repent and won’t trust a ‘deity’ who asks him to be pure. Somehow in my mind I realized that he seems to be aware of the Gospel’s call for repentance. He then asked me what is my reaction to what he said. I looked straight into his eyes and told him to go and live with the consequences of his decision. That was a shocker to him and he asked me if I want to try to convince him not be a sinner. He expected me to be super polite and keep saying ‘bless you’ while trying to convince him to accept the Gospel. Then since I was not bothered to preach to him, he mentioned he is aware of the Gospel but doesn’t want to accept it and has tackled many others who try to reform him. Again, I replied that it’s his choice and the consequences are his to bear. He was still astounded by my reply and I left him. This saved me from letting him have an ego trip at my expense.

The second one, at least this guy would come to speak to me and hear about the Gospel whenever he saw me. However he would not reply much. So I asked him to pray with me and he said he doesn’t have time to pray. Then I inquired how many times does he have food everyday, like is it 3 or 4 times. My intention was to get him to pray just before eating since he was not willing to pray with me. He said he doesn’t eat! So again I knew something’s not right with him and I asked if he at least eats once a day. And he again said he only smokes which make him not need food. Obviously that was a lie. Though a chronic smoker might have a reduced appetite it doesn’t mean it won’t take his need for food forever. So I let this one be stuck to his own logic. And started reaching out to others who were receptive to the Gospel.

An interesting fact

I’ve have heard and even noticed it for myself that on various social media websites, there are impious trolls who keep asking tricky questions about Christ and things of the Bible. Their idea is not to learn from Christians who may respond to their questions. It’s just to upset or confuse believers. Now, to the fact which I wanted to mention. Most of these trolls simply go to their precious little skeptic websites which they frequent and adore a lot. Lacking originality they simply copy paste those questions and then put them on social media websites usually those which have video sharing. Then come the debate sessions in form of comments between them and Christians. I simply copied those questions and did an online search which led me to the skeptic websites and also to Christian apologetic websites which already have a fitting answer those questions. Wonder why don’t these trolls visit Christian apologetic websites and get their answers from there instead. The obvious thing is that they won’t try to tackle those well versed in debates and refutations of their questions and allegations against the Gospel. Food for thought!

Finally what else must one remember

I’d say keep Jude 1:17-25 (mentioned below) in mind and you’ll do well. Here we go:

But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.”  It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.  And have mercy on those who doubt;  save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.  Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,  to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Warning about the great thief

“Jesus once said that Satan was a thief. Satan does not steal money, for he knows that money has no eternal value. He steals only what has eternal value – primarily the souls of men. Jesus said further that after Satan steals, he kills and destroys what he has stolen (John 10:10). In contrast, Jesus went on to say, that He Himself had come to give us abundant life. Isn’t it amazing that in a world of 5,500 million people, more than 99% of the people prefer to believe Satan’s lies and to obey him rather than believe in Jesus Christ and obey the Word of God. There we can see what a tremendous work Satan has done in convincing people that it is not a serious matter to disobey God’s Word.” (Zac Poonen)

The bride is NOT the head of the Church

The Bride knows less that she thinks she does.  And many times, when things are said in the name of the Groom, it’s really just the Bride speaking.  The more the Bride speaks, the harder it is to hear the Groom. Currently there are several thousands of Christian books which simply contain the Bride’s thoughts, & it’s hard to wade through them all to find what the Groom is speaking.  When the Groom does speak, few of us realize it, especially the person it was spoken through. (Robert Brownell)

There are people in the Church who have chosen to ignore the fact that the bride is NOT the head of the Church. These falsely assume that they can put anything and everything in the written Word of God to a vote and then make the choice of the majority as a replacement for what the Bible says. If you are part of such church groups then for the sake of your own soul and your family leave such a group right away. Don’t care as to who in your church group gets offended. It’s better to please God than to please the people.

Now you might ask ‘who is the head of the Church?’. Well if you read the first chapter of Colossians, it’s abundantly clear that Christ Jesus is the head of the Church. Let me directly give you the key verses below:

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. (Colossians 1:15-18)

So with the above verses it is even more clear that the body of Christ also called the church, which is referred to as the bride of Christ is NOT the head of the Church.

Jesus the Lamb of God is coming for his Bride the Church. So to be a part of the Church means you are to concern yourself with purity and loyalty to the Lord God.

Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” (Revelation 19:7-9)

Now you may have a preacher who encourages you with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Also, in your local church you might have elders and maybe a structured hierarchy too. I mean absolutely no disrespect to them at all but you must hold on to the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is still greater than them no matter how good they are. They are just the friends of Christ and the ministers of Christ but not Christ himself.

With that being said, no one and I mean no one in the Church at any given time and place is legally nor spiritually allowed to override nor circumvent the Word of God. Anyone who forces the local churches to say no to even a single bit of the Holy Scripture is to be opposed and not to be accepted as God’s messenger. Anyone in the church who tries to take a vote on getting rid of the principles, wisdom, laws and prophecies mentioned in the Bible which is mandated for you to follow, is not from the Lord God and is in fact a worker of temptation. Any person who tries to put his teachings and rules above the Word of God or even tries to make them equal to the Word of God is not worthy of your time, money and efforts. Read the Bible and pray to the Holy Spirit for counsel instead.

Do not listen nor accept the stupidity of those who tempt you to let go of even one little thing of God’s will for you. Jesus has put a very strong warning to those who will try to tempt the children of God as mentioned in the below verses:

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18:1-6)

And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. (Luke 17:1-2)

Prayer for those unjustly in prison

Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. (Hebrews 13:3)

O Lord God, giver of justice and mercy. As great is your justice so is your mercy. We pray for those who are unjustly in prison due to their political, religion, racial and other sorts of affiliation. Grant them O Lord Jesus, true justice and deliverance. Vindicate them with full honor. Give hope and courage to them and their families in their times of suffering. Cause their lawyers to have success in pleading for their release. We pray for the physical and mental well-being of those unjustly in prison. Let all thoughts of suicide be banished from their hearts and let them have that much needed peace in times like this. We pray that they see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Cause the prison staff to have mercy on those who are falsely accused and avoid force on them. Let there be no more prison violence of any sort. O Lord set the captives free and inspire men and women of good standing to rise up against all the false accusers and workers of iniquity. We pray for both believers and unbelievers who are unjustly in prison. Let your mercy save even when all hope is lost for them. We ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen and amen.

Tip: Try to remember those who are falsely accused by their names in your mind when praying. Also remember the name of the prison in remembrance when you pray.

Pray for those in prison

The Bible encourages us to remember those in prison and those who are mistreated. So it would be a wise thing to pray for them.

Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. (Hebrews 13:3)

By prisons, I mean actual prisons where people are on death row, life imprisonment etc. That shouldn’t stop you from praying for people in mental prisons of sorrow and pain etc. However, I want to speak about people who are in physical prisons at this moment. People are in prisons either justly or unjustly.

Praying for those unjustly in jail

When you read the news when in print or online, they may read something like this:

  • New York Man Exonerated After Spending Nearly 30 Years In Prison For A Crime He Didn’t Commit (reference link: click here)
  • Wrongfully convicted Missouri man freed after decade in jail for murder (reference link: click here)
  • Lahore, false accusation of blasphemy against a Christian. Fears for his life (reference link: click here)

There are people who are falsely accused of crimes they DID NOT commit. Such people do not actually deserve to be in jail and yet there are imprisoned. There are many reasons why people are falsely accused, like political motivation, religious hatred, racism etc.

It’s a hard and trying time for those falsely accused and their families. I’ve seen the spouses and parents of those falsely accused wait outside the police stations with their little children waiting all night and day to plead with a police officer but to no avail. These family members are met with strange stares by those passing by. Inside, the people who are falsely accused have a lot of anguish to deal with. They wonder why are they there. They wonder who will employ them after their time in jail is over. Some even contemplate suicide. In short, they have very little hope.

This is where you do something relevant. If it’s in your power and scope then arrange for legal recourse to help them out of prison. Especially, if the accused is your own relative or friend then its your moral obligation to help them if they were wrongly accused. Most importantly, whether it’s a known person or not, pray for their vindication. Pray that the false accusation is disproved and the victim is set free. You can also take help from your church’s prison ministry (if your church has one) and direct them to the person who in jail due to a false accusation.

Praying for those rightfully in jail

Of course, there are people rightfully in jail too. These are in jail for crimes they actually committed. Big crimes or small crimes, such things are usually awarded jail time.

In such cases, we pray that the person in jail truly repents of his/her crime. We must also pray that they turn themselves to our Lord Jesus Christ and receive forgiveness for their sins.

Now, there may be people who have truly repented in jail but are waiting for a second chance in life. It’s not that easy to get a second chance for them but we must pray for such people’s needs.

Above, all pray that all those in prison do get a chance to get right with God through Jesus Christ, so that at least they do not go the eternal prison which is Hell.

Praying for peace and order in prisons

Thinking that prisons are places where the prisoners are truly living in justice is uninformed thinking. Just because your region has good jail governance it doesn’t mean that places elsewhere too have the same good stuff. Prisons are places where some of the accused and even the prison staff are true monsters and these won’t bat an eyelid to murder or injure or even sexually assault anyone whom they can get their hands on. Here are a few headlines listed below to prove my point (I do not recommend the last link in the list for any child reading it):

  • Prison violence crackdown promised by government. (reference link: click here)
  • Guards Implicated in Mexico Prison’s Deadly Gang Attack (reference link: click here)
  • Statistics reveal Canadian prisons becoming more violent places (reference link: click here)
  • S** in men’s prisons: ‘The US system cultivates rape. If you treat people like animals, they behave like it’ (reference link: click here)

Pray therefore, that there are no instances of murders, assaults etc by prisoners nor the prison staff. Due to the stigma associated with being in prison, such things are not commonly reported to the general public or justice system. Things like this are kept under wraps. Pray that all such evil acts are exposed and those obstructing right reporting of such incidents are put to justice themselves.

A few tips that I recommend when praying for those in prison:

  1. Pray in genuineness. Pray as if you too were in prison with them.
  2. Pray in line with the Holy Scriptures.
  3. Be aware of the law of the land.
  4. Pray for the acquittal and release of falsely accused people.
  5. Pray for kids who are imprisoned.
  6. Keep in mind that safety of prisoners is a must.
  7. Pray that the prison staff work in true justice.
  8. Pray every time you see a criminal trial mentioned in the news, for true justice to prevail.
  9. Pray that illegal jails are put to an end.
  10. Remember both local and world jails in your prayers.
  11. Pray that prison outreach ministries manage to preach the Gospel to the prisoners, safely and without hindrance from anyone.

Being teachable or remaining ignorant?

The Bible encourages us to be teachable unto to things of God. A wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke. (Proverbs 13:1). Do you listen to God our father’s instructions as given in the Bible? Perhaps a reminder of the meaning of the word ‘teachable’ would be beneficial.

Teach·able:
 
1 a :  capable of being taught b :  apt and willing to learn
2 :  favorable to teaching  (reference: Merriam-webster dictionary)
 

Let me first give you an example of what it means to be unteachable. Here we go with a conversation about a guy Adam inviting to his friend Jacob to a teaching on prophecy:

Adam: “Jacob, there’s a teaching on prophecy about the end times by so and so preachers in church next weekend. They are teaching about how to avoid the various deceptions and also they’re giving a warning of bloodshed during the great tribulation.”

Jacob: “Adam, please don’t talk negative things. I don’t want to know evil.”

Adam: “No it’s not. I just want you to benefit from what is mentioned in the Bible. That’s all I want my friend.”

Jacob: “I hate bloodshed and deception. I don’t want anything to do with it”

Adam: “This teaching doesn’t teach you sin by lying or killing. Now to kindly explain; it could help you keep your faith by…”

Jacob: “Hey wait! I always keep my faith. Are you accusing me of losing my faith?”

Adam: “No please. That’s not what I meant…”

Jacob: “Get away from me. Why did you talk about deception and bloodshed?”

Adam: “With all due respect I want to tell you the importance of such teachings but you are not letting me finish what I want to say.”

Jacob: “Whatever.”

Adam: “Ok then, leave it. If you don’t want to hear me then I can’t expect you to listen to that preacher either.”

Jacob: “You are judging me.”

Adam: “Excuse me, you were first to judge when you said that I’m talking negative.”

Jacob: “Just stop talking negative!”

Adam: “Fine, keep to your ignorance and good luck with that!”

Now I don’t want to focus on how polite Adam should have been. Nowadays there is too much emphasis on being polite rather than being right. There’s a place for empathy but you should realize some people are too engrossed in themselves. So, I’m talking about how Jacob deliberately was avoiding going to the teaching on prophecy. He was only bothered about himself and kept interrupting whenever an explanation was offered. That is a fine example of being unteachable.

Don’t get me wrong but the scope of this post is not limited to only learning prophecy. I stand for all the topics and teachings of the Bible which we are to learn.

There are some people in the church who are quite cosy in their ignorance of the word of God. They are aware of certain Bible verses and they do try to understand these verses. However due to their own reasons, they avoid getting taught on every Bible topic.

For them peace, love and miracles are the only things to hear. Now try teaching them about repentance, avoiding false prophets, exposing pedophiles etc and they will first get uneasy and later angry. Most will try to exit the place where such topics are spoken but some will be so outraged that they will be very vocal in their dissent. They may say, ‘You have said this but as per my experience we shouldn’t be talking about it’ or may say ‘I don’t know about this topic and I don’t want to know’.

So you ask them where in the Bible it says we shouldn’t get this topics taught and they get cornered. As they don’t read the Bible that well, they will not know even if there was a Bible verse prohibiting so and so teaching. Such is the depth of their ‘experience’. There are verses in the Bible that in fact tell us what things not to learn. Here’s one of them; But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. (Revelation 2:20 ESV). I will also mention another one; But I also have a message for the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching (‘deeper truths,’ as they call them–depths of Satan, actually). I will ask nothing more of you (Revelation 2:24 NLT).

For such people their experiences are greater teachers than anyone else. They will try to avoid any teaching that is not sugar-coated or doesn’t fit their religious theology. Obsession with sugar-coated teachings reminds me of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder though the former is more about deliberate choices rather than the latter’s medical leanings.

To make this clear let’s go through another example; you see a bridge on the verge of collapsing any second and everyone is avoiding that bridge. Now a person is trying to cross it. You say, ‘Hey, the bridge is about to collapse any moment so don’t cross it’. And that person replies ‘Why should I listen? You didn’t say ‘please’ nor ‘kindly’. How dare you address me as ‘Hey’?’ You realize that empathy will help in such a case and so you then say, ‘Excuse me but since I don’t know your name I used the word ‘Hey’ and as it’s a matter of life and death I had decided to cut down on the pleasantries. So now will you kindly please avoid this bridge as its way to dangerous’. Then the person replies saying ‘O good. I shall surely not cross this bridge. Thanks for telling me in a way I am accustomed to understand.’ This may seem absurd in the world but in Church there are some Christians who behave just the same as the person trying to cross the dangerous bridge. Give them all warnings with related verses but they won’t even consider unless it’s in terms of their liking.

You see how people are more concerned about the sugar-coating rather than the actual topic of the words spoken. Such people are prone to deception unless they start checking facts before politeness. Because these people have an obsession that until and unless the words are not sugared to their liking they won’t even consider. The Evil One knows this too well. He therefore will make the temptation to sin look very pleasant as per that persons notions of politeness who only partly depends on God’s word to know what is true from false. As long as his inducement to sin seems pleasant to the eye (or mind) the gullible person will consume the product with great relish.

Not just the Devil, even selfish marketing people use the same trick of fake empathy. They speak lies so kindly and politely even if they don’t mean it. And thus sell products like insurance, weird oils, weight loss powders etc to people who don’t even need them. (Food for thought)

It’s time to start being teachable in the truest sense. It’s not about accepting any teaching for the sake of accepting. Rather we learn things because they are right in the eyes of God and help us and our brothers and sisters in Christ to admonish them of dangers, also to love, respect and bless one another for the glory of God.

Here a few Bible verses about being teachable:

  • And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:18-20)
  • And Samuel said to Saul, “The Lord sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel; now therefore listen to the words of the Lord. (1 Samuel 15:1)
  • Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. (Proverbs 9:9)
  • Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction, but whoever heeds reproof is honored. (Proverbs 13:18)
  • And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:13-14)
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