This teaching is a follow-up from our Spring Newsletter about striking up conversations with people on the margins.
In all of my disciple groups I encourage guys to be starting up conversations with those within the paths of their daily lives. It is fun to see the results! Here are some noteworthy highlights:
➢ Out of the 9 guys in one of my groups, 5 initiated conversations to strike up conversations with those outside the faith over the course of two weeks. Listen to this comment. “I started a conversation about Christianity with a “not-yet-follower” of Christ…it was my dad and we’ve never talked about Christianity before.” Wow!
➢ A couple invites their new friends from England over for dinner. The Christ-Follower asks, “Do you guys have much exposure to Christianity?” What ensued was an in-depth conversation about why they were turned off by the institutional church. The Christian couple invited them to Easter service at their church and they came! The guy in my group is now attempting to disciple this English man.
➢ Linda, Brock and I were coming home from Spring Training on the plane and I opened up Scientific Facts of the Bible by Ray Comfort. The woman across the isle says “that looks like an interesting book.” The gal behind her listens intently and says, “My son, who is seven, just asked me about Dinosaurs.” Do you have any suggestions? I gave her the book by Comfort plus another book, The Dinosaur Mystery Solved! by Ken Ham. As we were exiting the plane the mother of the seven year old said, “You are an answer to my prayer! Thank You, Thank You!” I love the way the Lord works.
I guess the Apostle Paul was right…
“15Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise,16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, [without reason, reflection, senseless] but understand what the Lord’s will is.” – Ephesians 5:15-17 NIV
This passage is so convicting to me. Perhaps we are actually foolish if we do not take “every opportunity” to walk in God’s will?
My Tuesday night group, mainly made up of a bunch of young men from Solid Rock Church, has been so rewarding lately. We are studying the first few chapters of the Book of Genesis and one guy asked the group, “Is this not THE most in-depth study in Genesis you have ever experienced? I only wish I had this information sooner when I was growing up!” He is a young father and leader of Young Life. Many of these guys on Tuesday nights are working with Young Life students. They say that on a regular bases kids ask them about Dinosaurs, Homosexuality, the Age of the Earth, What about the person in deep Africa that has never heard? Is God really fair and a God of love if He sends people to hell if they have never heard about Christ?
When we take a Literal interpretation of Scripture we have clear answers! The Word of God can be trusted and in most cases we simply need to know what it says, as well as to have the courage to give the Scriptural answers. In all my years as a lead pastor I have discovered that if leadership teams, elders, and pastors would simply (and courageously) lead their congregations and teach the Bible from the clear and literal interpretation, then the vast majority of people would follow!
People in our church communities are eager to find answers about how to defend the good news of Jesus Christ, and not just confirm the truth of their faith. They are incredibly willing to follow Christ-centered leadership if that leadership is providing biblically concrete examples of what to say and do.
“It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me” (Philippians 1:7 emphasis added).
When talking about “the faith”, sometimes the writers of the New Testament are referring to the whole body of Christian doctrine. Depending on the context, “faith” often refers to a person’s personal trust, reliance and dependency upon Christ as he or she seeks to live out the principles of “The Faith.”
“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend [to fight with resolve] for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 1:3 emphasis added).
Given the spiritual battle we are all in, it’s not surprising that so many churches, leaders, and elders shy away from the Literal Historical-Grammatical method of biblical interpretation when it comes to the Creation account. The implications of compromising this perspective over the opening pages of the Bible are far reaching. Significantly, those I encounter and even people outside the faith, are very eager to hear about a biblical worldview amidst so many complex issues and shifting paradigms within our culture.
Let’s Talk the Walk Together,