Speak the Truth in Love, Becoming an Effective Witness

In these Last Days our responsibility to be witnesses for Jesus Christ grows more important than it perhaps has ever been. We are living in a time when civility, morality, and godliness have been abandoned and are in fact ridiculed. As followers of Christ we must be boldly standing for the Truth of Scripture and Speaking Truth in such a way as to show mankind that Jesus Loves them and desires a relationship with them.

How do we do this?

• First we must be willing to let Christ have complete control over us to the point that we can say as the Apostle Paul did; “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21 Paul understood that by surrendering his will to Christ’s will, he would be used of God to bring others into a relationship with Christ. In Romans 12:1&2 Paul wrote; “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

In order to be Witnesses for Christ we must be willing to let Christ not only use us, but have preeminence in our lives. We must be willing to personally live within His will, turning away from all sin. The allure of the world should not cause us to desire to turn from our calling, because Christ has replaced self in our lives. We must give Him absolute lordship over our desires, thoughts and actions. Daily we must be growing in grace, desiring to be more Christ-like, having the Mind of Christ, in order to accomplish His will for our lives… to be Witnesses.

• Second we must have a Christ-like love for Lost Souls. In Romans 5:8 we read; “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Christ shed His own blood for the Lost, and at one point that included you and I. How much less should we love the lost? 2 Peter 3:9 tells us; “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” Jesus desires that all men to come to Him, and we should have that same desire.

Too often we tend to turn away from being a Witness because of the way someone looks or acts. My Grandfather, R.H. Marlin, once said: “If we understand and believe that God is the Blessed creator of all things, then we can never see anyone as ugly or unredeemable. Everyone’s Soul is important to Jesus, because He loves us, we must love them.” Jesus Loves the Lost! So must you and I if we are to be effective Witnesses.

• The third thing we must do to be effective Witnesses is to have a working knowledge of the Scriptures. God’s Word is what brings men to Christ, it is the instrument He has provided to us, which He uses to convict sin, reveal Christ, and regenerate a lost Soul. In Romans 1:16 Paul writes; “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” So, we are told to know and use the Word of God. In 2 Timothy 2:15 we are instructed to; “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” We can only be “rightly dividing” the Word when we are actively studying the Word.

We need to know how to use Scripture to show those who are Lost:

o They need a Savior (Romans 3:10-12; Romans 6:23)
o Jesus is the Savior (John 14:6; Romans 5:8-11)
o They need to accept Jesus as their Savior (Romans 10:9-13, 1 John 5:13)
o That the Savior can meet their needs (Romans 8:1; Hebrews 13:5&6)
o That they can live successful lives In Christ (John 20:31; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 4:4; Galatians 2:20)

Remember the words of the psalmist, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” (Psalm 119:11) It is never too late to begin to memorize God’s Word.

• A fourth thing we need to do to be an effective Witness is to have a consistent prayer life. We must Pray for wisdom as we witness, we must Pray for guidance as we witness, we must Pray for the words to speak as we witness, and we should always Pray for a greater desire to be Witnesses. We need to Pray for the Lost, about the Lost, and to see the Lost turn to Christ. We must be warriors for Christ in Prayer!
(Philippians 4:6, Colossians 4:2, James 5:16, 1 John 5:14&15, 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22)

• A fifth thing, is that we must have a heart to serve Christ. A good Witness will have a servant’s heart. This means we are willing to show the lost the same unconditional Love Jesus expresses toward us. We must be willing to meet them where they are, where their need is, however difficult it may be. When we have a servant’s heart as Witnesses, Souls will be saved, lives will be changed, and Christ will be glorified. (1 Peter 4:7-11, Galatians 5:13&14, Colossians 3:23&24)

• The last thing we must do to be Witnesses for Christ, is to know that until He returns to establish His kingdom, He has commanded us to do so. “Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:6-8

Because of the times in which we live, because we all have family and friends who need the Savior, because the world is filled with lost souls in need of the Savior, because the Rapture of the Church is imminent, because Tribulation will soon envelope the world, because His Second Coming will soon follow; we need, more than ever, to be Witnesses of and for Jesus Christ!

Because He alone is Salvation, because He is the Hope of the Church, because He alone judges the nations, because;

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome

Grace in the Church Age

In Acts 2 we find the birth of the Church at Pentecost, and in 1 Thessalonians 4 we find the description of the Rapture of the Church. The entire period of time between these two events is the Church Age, and the Church Age is encompassed in its entirety by the Age of Grace. Extending from the Cross of Christ, to His Glorious Appearing at the Second Coming to establish His Millennial Reign, the Age of Grace is typified by God’s offer of Eternal Salvation through the shed Blood of Jesus Christ, to all who would trust in Him as their Lord and Savior.

The Church Age within the Age of Grace is the Age of the “ecclesia,” those who are “called out” as the Body of Christ. These “called out” ones, identified as Christ’s Church, exist for the purpose of revealing Christ to the world by carrying out His will as a revelation and example of His Grace. The command to the disciples by Christ in Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” is for them to be witnesses, to share with all mankind the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, within the Scriptures there is not one single passage which states that the whole world will be converted during this Age. In fact, Christ Himself shared this fact within the parable of the wheat and tares in Matthew 13. In Acts 15:7 -17, in the account of the Jerusalem Council, we find that God’s purpose for this Age is the calling out of a people for His Name which includes both Jew and Gentile. As the Church we are then told in 2 Corinthians 6:17, that because we are called out of the world, that we are to be separate from the world.

The first mission given to us as the “called out” followers of Christ, the Church, is the evangelization of the world, and not the conversion of the world. It then follows that the purpose of God for His Church in this Age is not the reformation of society, or the enrichment of the faithful, and it is certainly not the establishment of His Kingdom.

The Church is the Body of Christ (Ephesians 1:17-23), which is joined together to serve one another as we serve God; the Church is the Bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:25-30), whose purpose is to glorify God; the Church on earth is the habitation of God (Ephesians 2:19-22); the Church is an example and illustration of the grace of God (Ephesians 2:5-7), which in fact is what gives unique character to this Age; and the Church is a royal priesthood (2 Peter 2:4-10), to serve God among men in this Age.

The second mission given to us as the “called out” followers of Jesus Christ, the Church, is to understand the promise that, for the cause of Christ, we will suffer and endure persecution (Matthew 5:12, John 15:20, Romans 12:14, Philippians 1:29, 2 Timothy 3:12, 1 Peter 3:14, 1 Peter 4:16, Revelation 2:10) because of the ever-increasing wickedness of the world in which we live. Yet the blessing in this promise is another promise, the promise of a great inheritance and reward (Matthew 5:12, Colossians 3:24, 1 Peter 1:3-5, Hebrews 11:6, Revelation 3:7-12) for having remained faithful to the calling.

I believe today that the “church” we see in the world has moved very far away from its calling, from the divine purpose for which it was intended. What most people today see as the “church,” has no real resemblance to the Church of Jesus Christ. Today’s “church” has failed to be separate from the world, a “called out” body for the purposes of God. In the “church” today we find that many have embraced socialism, humanism, environmentalism, hedonism, and the worship of Mammon. While in still other “churches” they endeavor to appropriate from Israel, the promises which God intended for Israel alone, which I believe has done more to turn the “church” from its appointed course than any other. This error alone causes the “church” to turn away from a literal interpretation of Scripture, which in turn creates a denial of prophetic truth. By embracing this false theology the “church” relegates itself to a place in the world and defines its mission as a responsibility to improve the world.

So the “church” today defines itself by building magnificent structures, acquiring earthly things, courting political power, embracing social and societal conventions, embracing tolerance, compromise and inclusiveness, in an effort to coexist with all religions. All of this is in direct opposition to the Word of God, and an appointed call to separation and holiness in anticipation of the return of Jesus Christ. The “church” which is most evident in the world today is certainly not the Church of Jesus Christ.

Yet there is still a remnant of believers, who are truly following the mission given by Jesus Christ, who comprise the True Church today, what we see as His Remnant Church of the Last Days. I believe it is the ministry and mission of the Church to be witnesses for Jesus Christ until He returns for His Church (1 Thessalonians 4), and that He alone can effect change in this world, and will do so when He sets up His Millennial Kingdom at His Second Coming (Revelation 19).

I believe the Rapture of the Church is imminent, we are living in a time when prophecy is being fulfilled before our very eyes. It is my prayer that in this last remnant of time before the “called out” Church is called up to meet our Savior, that a Holy Spirit inspired awakening will take place among mankind, and within the apostate church. It is my prayer that we will see souls saved, and the church restored to its original mission and calling. The end of days is at hand and;

Jesus is Coming Soon!

EvenSoCome