Sunday, January 29, 2017

How to Reach the Lost - Tell Them about Hell!



Feelings, God’s Love, and Hell Fire and Brimstone
Barbara Henderson

It is true that the United States and the entire world is divided almost straight down the middle regarding people’s opinion on almost any subject.  The division could be measured in many different ways, but it still comes out as divided almost equally.  The division that I am considering today is emotionalism versus rational thinking, and how that division effects Christian efforts to point people to Jesus Christ.

Personally, I am a very emotional person. I can tell you that uncontrolled emotions will drive you flat out crazy unless you come up with a way to control surface emotions. Thankfully I was brought up in a solid conservative Christian family.  There were rules we had to live by no matter how we felt about it.  So, I knew in advance what I was probably going to do in a situation, but my emotions still drove me crazy.  This is what I figured out.

There are two kinds of emotions.  The first one is surface emotions.  That is the emotion that will get you into trouble when you see a puppy or kitten.  They are cute and helpless.  That is a very dangerous combination!  When you see or experience injustice the emotion that jumps through your body and out your mouth is anger.  If either of these emotions causes you to act before you have time to think about the situation rationally you will find yourself in a very bad situation.  The problem the world is facing today is that approximately half the population lives by surface emotions.  They never get beyond reacting to something before they take time to think about it.  In fact, they are addicted to surface emotions.  They love the high they get from surface emotions.  They love the high they get when they ‘do something’ like contribute to a ‘save the dog’ fund.  I am in favor of saving all animals from inhumane treatment.  I am also in favor of feeding hungry children, sending aid to disaster victims, and any other place of sadness and want that human interaction can help.  But, I don’t contribute to television and online requests for help.  They are just appealing to surface emotions, and they usually spend their funds on paying themselves for making more ads to get more money.  PETA is of course the prime example.  Their idea of ethical treatment for animals to is to kill them.  Less than 10% of animals surrendered to PETA are placed in a home.

After surface emotions there are emotions that are brought about by rational thinking.  These are the emotions that get things done.  Honestly, rational thinking allows someone to come up with a reasonable answer or solution to something that is happening or going on.  This may lead to emotional feelings, and it may not.  For instance, if you make a decision to give a certain amount of money to your church’s missionary support, you give the money faithfully whether you get an emotional high out of giving or not.  You just do it.  Or, if you have made a decision to ‘give to fill a need’ when something real comes up, then you will automatically give the most you can when, for example, one of your church’s missionary families has an unexpected need.  You already know the money is going where it is supposed to go and will be spent however it is designated to be spent.  So, it is still rational giving, and you don’t have to spend time figuring out what to do.  You just have to figure out the amount.

Being addicted to surface emotion is like any other addiction.  The addict always needs more.  That is why you see things like the recent women’s march in Washington DC.  Women were carrying signs with nothing but gutter language as their message.  Seriously, there were signs that didn’t have anything except foul language to the highest magnitude as their statement.  It made no sense at all except that the person carrying the sign wanted the high they get from shocking people.  Women were dressed up in hideous costumes.  Once again, they were trying for an emotional high, and it is getting harder and harder to get.  Look at that pitiful aging woman who calls herself Madona.  She is running out of things to do to attract attention, but she is still trying.  She has a crowd of followers facing the same dark future that she is facing.  They have gone as far as possible to get that emotional high on feel good emotions.  Unfortunately, they have found a new way to get to high, and that is anger.  They are just plain mad.  They claim to be angry for a particular cause, but they are just angry.  Anything they do that will give them that high is ok, and they don’t care how stupid it makes them look.  If you tell them they look stupid that is another reason to be angry.  They really don’t care.

How are Christians supposed to approach emotion addicts?  The standard approach is, ‘Jesus loves you.  Come to Jesus.  He will make your life better now, and you get to go to heaven when you die.’ 

Unfortunately, that approach is not working.  That is the feel good approach, and these emotion addicts are beyond feel good emotions.  They need something more!  They are also beyond anger.  Honestly, the next step on the ladder for emotional addicts is violence. That is true.  The steps in emotional addiction is first:
Feel good emotions.  When that reaches its limits the next step is:
Anger.  Then when anger no longer gives that emotional high the next step is:
Violence.

Violence is already being used by emotional addicts in many instances.  There may be legitimate circumstances for anger, and on occasion violence, but that isn’t usually the case.  Most things can be settled without violence.

The next question is what comes after violence for emotional addicts, and how do we deal with anger addicts before they turn to violence?

It looks like the only thing left is fear!  Fear is a very powerful emotion.  It can be effectively used.  For instance, over 200 people were arrested at the women’s march in Washington DC right after the inauguration.  These people are facing real jail time.  Their violent and destructive actions are having consequences.  Fear of consequences is a good way to get the attention of emotional addicts.

Christians have something to say that warrants fear in the heart of all lost people.  That is fear of hell.  This is a very legitimate and honest approach to evangelism.  When I was a small child fear of hell really got my attention.  I had no problem admitting I was a little sinner.  I honestly knew that I had not committed any really bad sins or sins that would get me jail time.  The problem for me was that my sins were committed after I knew very well they were sins.  I knew it was wrong and I chose to do it anyway.  Keep in mind that I was saved and baptized at nine years old, so you can figure out about what I was doing that was sinful at that time.  With a very obnoxious big brother I don’t know if I would have ever come to repentance if it weren’t for my fear of hell.

And, yes!  At that time in church history, preachers commonly preached on the reality of hell, the eternal destination of hell, the separation from everything and everyone good, and how it really was forever!  We also heard constantly that there was only one way into heaven and that was through Jesus Christ.  THAT is what is missing in today’s world.  The lost people of the world have run through the common emotions, and nothing has reached their lost souls.  Fear is the emotion that is left, and fear is also the emotion that may be the very best.  Let’s take a look at a verse from the most wonderful ballad of all times,
     ‘Amazing Grace’.  The second verse says,
     twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved’.

To preach the reality of hell does use fear to reach people, but it doesn’t leave them in fear.  As soon as a person understands the reality of hell in a future without Jesus Christ, they are ready to hear about salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. 

To try to reach people through feel good emotions doesn’t really work.  Any emotion can be copied by Satan and his angels.  The fear of hell is beyond surface emotions.  It stays with a person until they come to a decision to either accept the escape offered through Jesus Christ, or to ignore the reality of hell and live in the emotional addict world. 

Exactly how to approach giving someone a healthy fear of hell will vary.  I don’t think approaching someone with, ‘Did you know you either have to believe in Jesus or go to hell?’ is the best way to approach it.  Sadly, even with all the television and radio preachers there is still a global lack of understanding that hell is a real place filled with real people who have no way of escape. 

I would like people to know that the reason for telling them about Jesus is that I don’t want them to miss heaven, and that to miss heaven means they actually do go to hell.

What people need to know is that the heaven of the Bible, the place where the followers of Jesus Christ are going, is a very real and specific place.  It isn’t some generic place named ‘heaven’.  Any ‘heaven’ that you get into without Jesus Christ is the place the Bible calls hell.  It is a place of misery where there is no love, joy, friendship, love, peace, or any good thing.  People jokingly say, ‘I want to go to hell because all my friends will be there.’  Your earthly friends may be there, but the blessing of friendship will not be there.  You won’t have any friends in hell – not one single friend for eternity.  All the blessings of God will not be in hell.  From a romantic viewpoint, there won’t be a ‘soul-mate’ in hell because there is no love of any sort in hell.  There is no peace in hell because peace is a gift from God.  To imagine hell, just imagine the things you love one at a time, and then imagine a place without them.  That is as close as we can come to imagining the horror off hell.

The real goal is that even the thought of hell will cause a fear that will not allow the non-believer any peace until they make peace with God Almighty.  Then and only then can a person know the true peace and joy available in Jesus Christ.

Fear of hell is very often what it takes to get a person’s attention concerning their eternal destination.  Don’t be afraid to use it because it isn’t the popular approach to evangelism.
Here is a link to some traditional Christian hymns on youtube.  You cannot do better than listening to these hymns to help you feel better and motivate you to do what you need to be doing.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-jMSs6FqaI



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tosergeant@gmail.com

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

New President - New World



The New President
It Really Is the End of the World as We Know It!
Barbara Henderson

On inauguration day I found myself suddenly able to write without spending hours trying to figure out what to say.  Since my cancer and chemo I sometimes stare at a blank page and struggle to get down a sentence.  Since writing is my ‘thing’ it was really difficult for me to be unable to write.  However, on the day of our new President’s inauguration my writing block was lifted.  I posted several very long posts on facebook, and I am using three of them for part of this article.  So, this article will be a little different than most of my articles.  You can tell the posts are different, but the subject is the same. 

But, I wanted to say more.  Today I saw something that I am sure is historic.  The Whitehouse spokesperson came out and called the news media out on lying and fake news.  The two things he mentioned were not earth shaking, but they were important.  The first was that Trump had removed a bust of MLK from the oval office. Truthfully, he just had it moved from one place to another inside the office.  Second, the news publicly claimed the number of people at the inauguration was much smaller than it actually was. Then he mentioned several other things, most notably that while the news media has openly stated they will hold Trump’s feet to the fire to keep him honest; in return, Trump and his team are going to hold the news media’s feet to the fire and demand truth from them.  And, delightfully, with twitter and other internet new outlets, they can actually do this! 

The news media and liberals are like the Japanese after the first atomic bomb was dropped.  The Japanese still thought they had enough clout to dictate terms of surrender.  That is where the news media and liberals in government are today.  They still think they can call the shots.  Well, they can’t.  When the second bomb was dropped Japan realized they had nothing with which to bargain.  They surrendered unconditionally.

Ultimately, the liberals in government and news media will come to the same conclusion.  They have to tell the truth or they will be called out.  No more sneaking laws and funding through the back door in the cover of darkness.  I hope there won’t be any more people going to congress with an average bank account and emerging six years later in the multimillionaire class.

After being forced to see their only option as unconditional surrender or total annihilation, the Japanese chose surrender.  I am waiting to see what the liberals and the news media decide to do.  Seriously, I don’t see them  surrendering.  I do see that realistically, a real civil war could come about. 

I read one post by a whining liberal that said conservatives don’t realize how angry liberals really are, and that we can’t gauge how far they will go to stop Trump.  To this I would reply that they totally underestimated how utterly furious conservatives are, and that is exactly how Trump was elected.  I do wonder if Trump saw the untapped potential of the Christian right and conservatives on a national level.  This may have been his reason for going after our vote in the first place.  But, whatever reason he started going after our vote, I believe he is fully on board now and really appreciates the people who put him in office.  He isn’t going to back down on his goals.

The question for us now is what course of action should Christians take to help achieve our goals of a free society where babies have the legal right to be born?  I don’t want an open civil war.  Liberals are angry to the point of open violence.  Now, I don’t know how easily they may be deterred if the police are suddenly authorized to take whatever action necessary to shut down violent protests.  Christians and Conservatives are fed up to the point that they came out in droves and elected Trump.  Many carry handguns where ever it is legal.  For the most part conservatives and Christians are not the ones who go looking for trouble; however, I think the point has reached that defending one’s life or property is just a given fact.  The truth is that if/when a conservative is confronted by a liberal mob then the best way to handle it may be to shoot first and ask questions later.  Does anyone feel like they would be safe if stopped by some protest group blocking traffic?  What would you do?  The life of my family is far more precious to me than the life of a handful of people threatening me. I do have a CC permit.  It is certainly my goal to never need to use it, but I can’t dictate circumstances that may arise when I leave my home.

My prayer is that God will lead our new president and vice president closer to Him, and that in turn, they will lead this nation to turn to God Almighty to supply our needs.
The Bible says, 'Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.' Psalm 33:12

(facebook post # 1)

Never in modern times has there been a possibility of a president leading this nation to the Lord. Ronald Reagan was our last great president, and while he personally was a humble man, the Christians and conservatives of this nation were not, as a rule, humble. Some were of course, but many still relied on themselves to bring about change. Today, millions of Christians have publicly been praying for God to heal our land. Millions of others have been on their knees praying at home. As far as Trump and Pence go regarding humility - no matter how proud they may have been at the beginning of their campaign - they are humble now. I pray they will look to God for strength and wisdom, and that their advisers will also look to God to gain wisdom for themselves and so they can be proper advisors.

It is at this time that we find ourselves at a pivotal point in history. We have a president and vice president who are Christians. (Trump is a new Christian, but still a Christian, and he is surrounding himself with good counsel.)

We are a nation divided not so much by race as by a difference in opinion as to how important God Almighty is to America, and how important the God of the Bible has been to this nation since its very beginning. A social gospel has replaced the gospel in some churches. The idea that the world doesn't need God has been put forth in public schools and in colleges and universities.

The truth is that our God is very much the God who builds up nations and tears them down. With godless/pseudo liberals and Christians in charge, this nation was being torn down. Now, with new leadership, our prayer is that God will use these men to build up our nation. Clearly, God was the power that has up to this date raised and preserved us a nation - just as the line from our national anthem says. It is God who will build us back up as a great nation if we are faithful to acknowledge Him as God and follow His instructions as to what is acceptable behavior.

To those living in fear of the future I would like to tell you what the Bible says about that. 1 John 4:18 says, 'There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.'
First and foremost follow Jesus Christ.

In following Christ, you can be fearless no matter who the leader may be.
And, pray for our leaders to fearlessly follow Jesus Christ, and the world will definitely be a better place.

(Facebook post #2)

The United States is definitely a divided nation - but the division is not because of race or liberal versus conservative or any other thing that is currently making the headlines.
The division is the same division between people that it always has been. Either you take God and His word seriously and do your best to live by His teachings as set down in the Bible, OR you don't take God seriously. The first choice lives without fear, and the second choice lives in constant fear.

Some think man can find a way that will work by going outside what God says is right. They wind up believing doing something wrong to bring about something right is ok. Well, it's not! An example is this:

There is a concern about over population and unwanted pregnancies, so an abortion solves both the problems, so while abortion is wrong, it brings about several 'right things'. The over population problem is solved. Babies aren't born where they aren't wanted. SO, some very good things happened because of abortion. Yeah- right. Tell that to God on judgment day.

OR - how about this one - People are facing the world in terror because of facing the world with Donald Trump as President. Truthfully, these are fearful people who would be afraid no matter who the president is because they have a faulty view of who God is. The Almighty God of the Bible and of Creation has this to say to His children in 1 John, 4:18,
'There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.'

The way to take away the fear of the snowflakes of today is tell them about Jesus Christ and how He fights our battles for us and stands up for His children. Truly, though God's children may face the fiery furnace for their faith, that know that God can deliver them if He so chooses; but that if God doesn't choose deliverance for them He has a place in heaven for them where they will face no trials ever again. It is just a matter of which way of winning God chooses. Those without Christ are eternal losers. They have a real reason to face life terrified. The solution is evangelism!
We have a new President who is tired of the war on Christians. As Christians, we need to take whatever time we have to boldly tell the world that Jesus saves! If they want to live without fear of the future, then turn to Jesus. He takes us through the storms and then rewards us with a wonderful future where we are joint heirs with Jesus, and we rule and reign with Christ in the Millennial Kingdom.

Let's get busy! Start by praying that Trump and Pence will call on the nation to turn to the Lord, and that people will listen and head the call!

Do you doubt that some of the fearful liberals can be saved? Are they too far gone? I have a true story that I always think of when I wonder if someone is too far gone to be saved. Besides the story of the Apostle Paul, this is my favorite salvation story.
George Whitefield, an early evangelist in America, was despised by a group called the hellfire club. The made fun of him as their entertainment. One day a member of the club was reading one of Whitefield’s sermon and acting out as thou he were Whitefield. In the middle of his play acting he realized he was lost and gave his heart to Christ! True story.

So, even if ridiculed while telling the world about Jesus and the way to heaven, we don't know the outcome of our words. Jesus saves. Our words don't save anyone.

(Facebook #3)

It seems like a life time ago that Bill Clinton won the presidency. I felt like someone had died - and I know how it feels when someone you love dies. I remember going into my bedroom, getting on my knees, and crying out to God for mercy. I got no peace that Clinton would be a good president - and he wasn't - but I did get peace that My God, the Almighty God of creation, was in control, and that I could rely on Him to always do right. So, I continued to pray as the years and the elections rolled by. When Obama was elected, I thought surely the end of the world had come, and he almost brought about the end of the real United States. Then this election cycle came up, and my most fervent prayer was, 'Oh Lord, PLEASE don't let 'that woman' have the rule over us.'

I had no idea that God would not only answer my prayer, but give us a president and vice-president that openly claim to love my God and my country. I hope to be able to do my duty to pray for our leaders like never before. I know I have sinned by just praying occasionally for them in the past, and then I usually prayed, 'please don't let their evil plans come to pass.'
So, now we face a new world order! Globalism is on the back burner! People all over the world are rejecting a global redistribution of wealth.

People are standing up and saying,
'Hey!! I want to keep what I work for. Let the poor nations build up their own wealth instead of trying to steal mine.

Christians are standing up and saying, 'Hey, my God is God, and Glory to Almighty God alone. His glory is not going to be shared with false gods and people with nothing but murder and slavery of those who refuse to follow their pseudo-god.
The new theme is make America great again, but it is also make Britain great again, and I believe the rallying cry is going to be heard in nations all over the world, 'Make MY country great! ' and to those wishing to overrun nations and steal prosperity from workers until the natural born citizens are paupers while the usurpers live at ease without working - the cry will be - 'Get out! Go back where you came from and do something worth while in your own land.'

Christians know that there will one day be a one world ruler, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore the fact that God Himself divided the world into nations generations ago.  We should struggle against one globalism as long as we live, or until Christ comes for His children.