Explain the Gospel but don’t change it
If someone doesn’t understand certain terms in the Gospel then feel free to explain to them the clear meaning of it. There could be people who are of a different culture or region might not be familiar with certain things in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You can do this, without changing the Gospel to them and ensure that they get the right knowledge and understanding of it. There could be people who might wonder why they need to help the poor because in their place begging is forbidden. So you could tell them it’s not about encouraging others to be poor always but rather about how one cares for them.
However if someone gets upset that the Gospel forbids adultery because that someone is secretly an adulter or adulteress then don’t worry about offending them. You are not to go overboard on mercy that (ironically) you don’t offer them mercy. In plain words I mean you say those who repent of all their sins including adultery and believe in the Gospel have a place in heaven with Christ but never ever should it mean that you say adultery is harmless if you don’t get caught. Because even if a person who commits adultery is never tackled by his or her spouse, be sure that in the afterlife the person who died a sinner will not go heaven but rather to hell. So why change the Gospel for them only for them and you to face judgement in the afterlife?
For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. (2 Corinthians 11:4)
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.(Galatians 1:8-9)
I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.(Revelation 2:2)
Pray for those affected in the church bombing in Pakistan (March 2016)
While in the earlier post I had shown how preaching goes on in Pakistan, I’d now also want to show that persecution and terror is real over there.
On Resurrection Day, the 27th of March 2016, as per the new reports “a bomber blew himself up near an entrance to Gulshan-e- Iqbal Park in the Pakistani city of Lahore, close to a children’s play area on Sunday evening. The sound of the explosion was heard several kilometres away and eyewitnesses said there were big crowds in the area because of the Easter holiday.”
Here’s what a news snippet from the Guardian news agency says:
“A faction of the Pakistani Taliban, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, claimed responsibility for the explosion, saying it was targeted at Christians celebrating Easter. A spokesman for the group, Ehsanullah Ehsan, told the Guardian: “We have carried out this attack to target the Christians who were celebrating Easter. Also this is a message to the Pakistani prime minister that we have arrived in Punjab [the ruling party’s home province].” However the Punjab government denied the claim that the bombing was aimed exclusively at Christians, as those in the park were from all backgrounds.” (read full article : http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/27/dozens-killed-in-blast-outside-lahore-park-pakistan)
The fact that Resurrection day was chosen and the terrorist group directly claimed they intended to attack Christians, shows that persecution against Christians in Pakistan does exist, though the government may officially deny it.
Taliban says it targeted Christians in a park on Easter Sunday, killing 65 : http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-pakistan-blast-20160327-story.html
Pray for those affected by the bomb blasts that killed lots of people. Pray for the victims and their families. Also keep in your prayers both Christians and non christians who are affected by this brutal bombing.
Ask in faith, that the workers of sin, who carried out this blast are punished by the Pakistani government and if that government cannot do so, then let the Lord God still find other workers of justice who are truly capable and willing to get justice done.
Finally, pray that the preaching of the Gospel still goes on even more strongly in Pakistan.
Photos of preaching in Pakistan
Here are few photos a few preachers based off in South Africa who were preaching in Pakistan. South Africa now preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ to various nations. The photo’s were taken in September 15-28th 2015, around the city of Lahore, Pakistan.
But first let’s know our man on the ground. Pastor Saleem Saddique (Graduate, Rhema Bible College, SA) from Tell The Nations Church, Pakistan. Here’s a photo of him in South Africa.
Pastor Saleem Saddique preaching in Pakistan
Here come my brothers in Christ, Martin Lloyd and in the next image Chris Chitts. Both are from South Africa. Pastor Saleem doubled up as their translator apart from being their host.
The preaching was spread over a couple of days. So expect them wearing up different clothes each day.
A baptism in Pakistan
Praying for a Pakistani man.
More preaching – Now in a ghetto.
Many people including those who were sick arrived for the preaching in the ghetto for their healing. The reviews were amazing!
Ministering to the people. Couldn’t get the name of the preacher in the checked shirt but I do wish him well.
Praying over a child.
Pastor André Smith doing the preaching as well as praying over others.
A little camaraderie after preaching.
A mission trip review.
Courtesy of the photos : harvest-timenews.com
Participating ministries were : Spirit Formed Ministries, South Africa and Harvest Time Ministries, Praetoria, South Africa.
Preach even if people get upset
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 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. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:1-5)
Never be afraid of people more than God. The Lord’s will is far greater than the opinions of people. Choose to be on the Lord’s side when you preach. And always preach the right thing. You are not here to impress people. Rather you are to here to give glory to God.
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.
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.
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.
The heresy of pre-forgiven sin
Galations 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
I pray that you truly understand the meaning of Galatians 1:8. Now I have noticed on those lines a lie that sounds very religious but in fact is a false gospel. Here’s what it is. It says that by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross not only your past and present sins are forgiven but also your future sins. Now for a second this seems legit but that lie further adds that if you live in sin in the future, even that is forgiven without you feeling the need to repent. This is simply a heresy of the highest order.
Such lies make a person who is struggling with sin, to give up and commit more sins in the false hope of being automatically forgiven. We are in Christ called to live in true hope. We are called overcome our weaknessess and failures instead of shirking responsibility. If you know you have sinned be humble and ask for mercy from the Lord Jesus Christ who will pardon you. To say that you never sinned is to deny the truth of Gospel which says Christ came for sinners and not for the righteous. He came to seek and save the lost. Amen, he continues to save people even today if they call upon his holy name.
Now the scripture can be used with amazing effect to fight heresies. The are principles in the Bible that stand the test of time. Like God will always be the ruler of heaven. Also Satan will never ever become a good person! Now coming to the point, the blood of Jesus does not automatically forgive you of your FUTURE sins, as these need to be repentanted off once the sin is done. If someone disagrees, why not consider as to why Ananias and Saphira were NOT pre-forgiven. Their sin is mentioned in the Bible along with God’s judgement on them.
The Sin of Ananias and Sapphira
A man by the name of Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, sold some land. 2 He kept back part of the money for himself. His wife knew it also. The other part he took to the missionaries. 3 Peter said to Ananias, “Why did you let Satan fill your heart? He made you lie to the Holy Spirit. You kept back part of the money you got from your land. 4 Was not the land yours before you sold it? After it was sold, you could have done what you wanted to do with the money. Why did you allow your heart to do this? You have lied to God, not to men.”
5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down dead. Much fear came on all those who heard what was done. 6 The young men got up and covered his body and carried him out and buried him.
7 About three hours later his wife came in. She did not know what had happened.
8 Peter said to her, “Tell me, did you sell the land for this amount of money?” She said, “Yes.” 9 Then Peter said to her, “How could you two have talked together about lying to the Holy Spirit? See! Those who buried your husband are standing at the door and they will carry you out also.” 10At once she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in, they found that she was dead. They took her out and buried her beside her husband. 11Much fear came on all the church and on all who heard it.
Now there’s more. Why does the Lord through the Bible keep warning of severe judgement if some were to receive the mark of the Beast? The are verses that say that those who recieve it, will never be forgiven. If the Lord knows that some people are going to sin why does he not use the ‘auto forgiven for the future’ stance? Because simply, such a thing does not exist and is wholly inconsistent with the Gospel. You need to repent if you sin. Period.