Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Do You Think Evangelists are Obnoxious? Think Again!

Why ‘Obnoxious Evangelists’ Are NOT Really Obnoxious
Barbara Henderson

Evangelicals are loosely defined as Christians who work to show lost people the way to eternal life through Jesus Christ.  Many people ignore them, and many more prefer they never be bothered again by an evangelist telling them about Jesus.  They see evangelicals as ‘holier than thou’ people who want to add a feather to their ‘converted’ cap.  Seriously, this is not the case.  I am going to give you some very compassionate reasons that evangelicals want to convert you.

First, they don’t want you personally to miss heaven.  The deep and abiding concern of the true evangelist is to show you the way to eternal life in a place that is utterly and continually perfect.  That is heaven.  And – those who miss heaven definitely go to a place called hell.  It is place without one single gift from God Almighty.  That means in hell there are:
·         No relationships – no family – no friends – no loved ones.  No one will have the capacity to form a relationship of any sort. You will be alone – more alone than you ever imagined possible.
·         No hope – in this life we have hope of better days ahead, whether we are hoping for better relationships, better jobs, better health, better finances – there is always hope that tomorrow will be better.  In hell, there is no hope because things will never be better than the horror the inhabitants of hell live with every day.
·         No beauty – everything will be ugly.  Are you someone who enjoys the beauty of nature or art?  Well – guess what.  Those things are gifts from God, and they will not be in hell. 
·         No light.  According to the Bible before God made the sun and the moon He had already divided the light from the dark.  The light was the light of God.  Hell will be a dark place completely devoid of the light of God.  Absolutely nothing of God will be in hell.

Second, they will miss you if you don’t go to heaven.  Let me repeat – if you don’t go to heaven there will be some people there who miss you and are broken hearted that you made a choice that separates you from God eternally.  That means you are separated from people who loved you on this earth.  You will be separated from people who barely knew you, but tried to show you the way to heaven.  It is going to be sad, but only sad for a time; because, eventually God Himself will wipe away all tears from all the faces of His children, and then we won’t remember you anymore.  That mom who prayed for you to be saved?  God will bless her by causing her to forget you entirely.  That dad, or sister, or brother, or your own child who prayed for you and tried to point you to Christ – they will forget you too.  Friends – true friends – who told you how to reach heaven will forget you. 

So, the next time an evangelist or a Christian friend tries to ‘convert you’, think about it from their perspective.  They aren’t trying to add a notch on their ‘souls converted’ pistol handle.  They are trying to show you how to avoid the place of horror called hell, and gain the eternal place of joy and gladness that is heaven.  The Bible tells us that eyes haven’t seen, nor ears heard, or entered into the heart of man what God has for them that love them.  Seriously, the wonder of heaven is currently beyond our capacity to understand. 

Recently, my brother sent me a quote from the tombstone of my GG Grandfather.  The man was a preacher, a lawman, and a physician.  I am not sure about his ‘lawman’ actions.  It is recorded that he once gave two young men a ticket for walking by the church on Sunday with their shirt tails hanging out.  Apparently, he took his preaching very seriously – because this is what he had written on his tombstone.
     ‘Dear wife, children, friends, one and all,
      my work down here on earth is done. 
      My Savior called me to Him.
      Come each dear one, and with us live.’

Until you personally become a Christian you cannot possibly understand the motivation Evangelicals have to show people the way to Christ.  You personally have only two choices.  You will spend eternity in heaven or hell.  Those are your options.  Please take heed to make an informed choice!  Don’t reject Christ because you don’t like the messenger.  That is like rejecting a rescue cargo ship while you were sinking on the Titanic because you wanted to be rescued by a luxury liner!

If I were standing with you now and talking to you about how to get to heaven I would want you to understand that.

I want you to go to heaven because I want you to know the joy of being adopted by God Himself, and I want you to miss the horror of hell.
I want you to go to heaven because if you miss heaven – I will miss you personally. 

Then I would tell you how to be saved.  That is when you recognize you are a sinner – which is someone who is not perfect.  You may have a lot of good excuses for your sins, but you are still not utterly continually perfect like God is.  That is why the Bible tells us that you are saved by grace and not of works.  There is no work a mortal can do that would allow you to meet God’s standard for utter and continual perfection.  Salvation has to be by the grace of God, seeing as we cannot attain the necessary perfection in any other way.  The Bible tells us that to get hold on that grace you simply go to God the Father through Christ the Son.  Christ’s sinless perfection is given to us and we are allowed to go into heaven, where we are adopted by Go the Father, made joint heirs with Jesus Christ, and live there for ever.

Are you angry or think it unfair that God made only one way into heaven?  Why?  Seriously – why does that bother you?  It is one way that has room for everyone.  It cost the life of God’s own Son to make one way into heaven.  Everyone gets a first class invitation.  How could you possible expect God to make another way? 

Let’s look a few reasons for one way. 
First, there is no other way that honestly offers you way to enter heaven.  These other ways are deceiving you.  They are offering you hell.
Second, there is no other way that can possibly provide the completely perfect sacrifice necessary to make you perfect – which is what is required to enter into the perfection of heaven.
Third, if imperfect people were allowed into heaven, then heaven wouldn’t be perfect anymore would it?
Fourth, please keep in mind that Christians are not perfect at this point in time. So, don’t expect them to be perfect. Perfections is waiting for us in heaven through Jesus Christ.  If you want to know about perfect, then read the Bible.   There was one perfect man – and that was Jesus Christ, who was fully God and fully man.

There is an old Christian hymn ‘God is Calling the Prodigal’.  The chorus says, ‘Oh, weary prodigal come’.  Are you weary today?  God is truly calling now for you – Oh weary prodigal come.

Another hymn is ‘Careless Soul – O head thy warning’.  I am posting links and lyrics to both songs.

God is Calling the Prodigal
Calling the prodigal Hymn

God is calling the prodigal, come without delay,
Hear, O hear Him calling, calling now for thee.
Tho’ you’ve wandered so far from His presence, come today,
Hear His loving voice calling still.


Calling now for thee, O weary prodigal, come;
Calling now for thee, O weary prodigal, come.

Patient, loving and tenderly still the Father pleads,
Hear, O hear Him calling, calling now for thee;
Oh! return while the Spirit in mercy intercedes,
Hear His loving voice calling still.


Come, there’s bread in the house of the Father, and to spare,
Hear, O hear Him calling, calling now for thee;
Lo! the table is spread and the feast is waiting there,
Hear His loving voice calling still.


Careless Soul (Oh how sad to face the judgment unprepared to meet thy God)

Careless soul, why will you linger?
Wandering from the fold of God?
Hear you not the invitation?
O prepare to meet thy God.


Careless soul, O heed the warning,
For your life will soon be gone;
O how sad to face the judgment
Unprepared to meet thy God.

Why so thoughtless are you standing
While the fleeting years go by,
And your life is spent in folly?
O prepare to meet thy God.


Hear you not the earnest pleadings
Of your friends that wish you well?
And perhaps before tomorrow
You’ll be called to meet your God.


If you spurn the invitation
Till the Spirit shall depart,
Then you’ll see your sad condition,
Unprepared to meet thy God.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Music is Medicine

Music is medicine! It can be good medicine or bad medicine. 
Barbara Henderson
      Even in my darkest moments of cancer treatment (still on going - and sometimes very distressing) songs from the hymn book could lift my spirits and give me strength to go on another day. The songs remind us that our God is with us and always righteous. He is also merciful - even in the direst of circumstances. They remind us of the wonderful future that is ahead of us, and that we are not alone no matter what we are going through right now, or no matter how loses and sorrows from our past may come to our minds to torment us.
      If you listen to traditional hymns for an hour your outlook for the day will be changed. It isn't about working yourself up to feel better by your own determination. It is about a real change that comes through the blessing of godly music. There truly is coming a day when no heartaches will come, a day when the Lord Himself will wipe away all tears from off all faces. Only the word of God as written in the Bible and preached by true preachers can be of more comfort than the hymnal. By the way - the Bible on audio is available free on the internet. I also listen to Bible audio and sermons. This is for the good of my own soul, but it also to help me keep my thoughts firmly on our God.            

      Remember that a gift God gives to His children is the gift of a sound mind.  Listening to Bible audio, sermons, and hymns help keep the mind on the path of truth.  It helps you discern the truth from a lie.  Don't forget that the most dangerous lies are those that are mostly true with just a little lie sprinkled in there.  You don't automatically know the lies.  You must learn the scriptures and what they say to be able to pick out the falsehoods among the truth.
      We have a blessing like no other generation before us. We have the full Bible available to read or listen to. We have godly music available free at our fingertips. Be sure to make good use of the blessings God has put at fingertips.
      There is truly coming a day when no heartaches will come - because the King is coming! In the meantime - fill your heart and mind with the words of God and songs that glorify the One who saved us by His grace. Make use of the wonderful medicine of music.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Give Us this Day Our Daily Miracle

Give us This Day Our Daily Miracle
Barbara Henderson

Have you ever thought that if you could see God do a few miracles you would have greater faith?  Well, Surprise!  You have seen the greatest miracle of all, and some have been blessed to see it often. What is this great miracle that happens daily?

John 5:25-29 tells us:
‘ Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
26.  For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
27. And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
28.  Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29.  And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.’

Verse 5 tells the hour is now come that the dead hear the voice of the Son of God and they will live. The dead are those separated from God by their sin.  Those that hear the call of the Spirit to turn to Christ will live.  First their souls will live.  Then eventually their resurrected bodies will live again. That is the great miracle that happens when a soul is saved.  The dead soul of a believer is resurrected to live forever.  Is there a greater miracle possible?

This is the miracle that you personally saw when you were born again.  You were changed from the walking dead to a child of God who will live forever in the place God names as heaven with our Savior Jesus Christ.  Think about it; just think about it.  You were dead and doomed to eternal hell.  Then Jesus ransomed you from hell with His own blood. Your soul has reached the place that is beyond the reach of hell and death.  Praise the Lord!  Is that not a miracle beyond compare?

If you read on after verse 25 to the next few verses you find that Christ the Son has the authority to do this from God the Father.  He also has the power to do this as evidenced by your own salvation.  We are spending a finite amount of time in our earthly bodies, but at some point, these bodies will wear out and sleep in the ground.  Then what happens? The Bible tells us that we will be present with the Lord.  But what of our earthly bodies? 

Verses 28 and 29 tell us what is coming.  There will be a bodily resurrection for all people.  Some will wake from the dead to everlasting life. Others will wake to the resurrection of damnation.  It is very clear.  There is no way to interpret it differently.  The choice is made while we live.  Those who chose life through Christ have their souls ransomed from hell.  Those who refuse Jesus Christ die in their sins, and spend eternity damned.

So, you wanted a miracle, and now you have one. 

If you thought your faith would increase if you saw a miracle or two then you saw the greatest miracle of all when you were saved.  Every time you see a lost soul come to know Christ you see a miracle of the highest magnitude.

This miracle, the greatest of all miracles, happens often and reminds us of the power and authority of Jesus.  Don’t doubt the power of Christ to do what seems like a miracle in answer to prayer. It is true that all prayers are not answered in the way we want, or the time frame we want, but that doesn’t change the fact that Lord our God has power to answer our prayers.  As our loving Father, He will always do what is best, even if we cannot see it now. 

In the Bible we are told the story of Elisha the great prophet of Israel.  Elisha’s prayers were considered more powerful than the horsemen and chariots of Israel.  Does that give you an idea of the power of prayer?  It isn’t that we personally have power, and neither did Elisha.  It is that Almighty God loves and listens to us.  Elisha believed the Lord and persistently prayed to Him.  Follow His example.  Or follow the example of Daniel who prayed even when it got him thrown into a den of hungry lions.  God saved him from the lions. Or, even better, just follow the Bile instructions to pray without ceasing. Do not let anything come between you and the Lord.  The more you pray the more sensitive you are to temptations, and the closer you are to the One who can protect your from evil. God knows our needs.  He will answer our prayers or show us a better way.  Either way our trials are taken care of.  Going through something that seems unbearable in this life could be compared to going through algebra or some other horrible math class when we see it through the eyes of eternity. 

And all trials end just like math class.  They can end when we go from this life into the next. Or, God can end the trial and let us live to tell the story of God’s grace. No one, even those who face a life threatening disease, knows the hour of their death.  The Lord alone knows that. So pray without ceasing.  Continue in prayer.  When you find yourself doubting remember that you have already personally experienced a miracle beyond measure. Keep praying.  Every time you see a soul saved you have seen the greatest of miracles.  If Christ does such miracles daily why would you doubt that He will answer your prayers?