Christmas Candy

It is that time of year again! Time to once again reconsider the “Candy Cane Gospel” as we prepare to reach out to our community this “Holiday” season. Between the anti-Gospel influence of our Humanist culture and the man centered seeker churches, the temptation is to water down the Gospel and make it a nice fluffy puffy, happy clappy, cake-bake, whip cream, feel good message that pleases man, but has no power to save.

I looked down and read the [tract]. It was “The Candy Cane Gospel”. As I read it, I have to admit, my heart sank, and I began to wonder, is any kind of evangelism better than no evangelism at all?

see: The Candy Cane Gospel or the Glorious Gospel

but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. 1Thes2:4

Witnessing in Church (Buildings)

DSC01700RSeveral years ago I was at church (not my current assembly) and I began to take note of the many new people. I had long since given up on trying to meet and really know all the new people, since this church was growing so fast. But I was concerned for the spiritual condition of the newcomers. Speaking to each one separately, I soon discovered an amazing set of similarities among these new regular attenders. They all had been coming for several months; some for a year, and none of them could articulate to me at all anything that would indicate that they were actually in Christ. And none of them had any idea what the Gospel was. The Lord gave blessed opportunity to share the Gospel with these folks- inside “the four walls”.

I asked them why they were coming to this church, and they all said ‘because it makes me happy’ ,or ‘it makes me feel good’, or ‘it gives me some inspiration and helps me get though the week’. Another answer had to do with having “a community”.

Yes it’s true: these ‘seekers’ were coming to church and they never heard the Gospel in the service. This church was working hard to become a successful church through the addition of numbers of people, via Willowcreek’s ‘Vision 2010’ program of church growth. “Outreach” services addressed people’s felt needs and issues of Psychology and Sociology, but nothing of the Gospel was mentioned. I remember the announcement man saying (with a laugh) from the pulpit something about how “we” (the church) did not want to be controversial or make people uncomfortable. As far as I could tell, the plan was to bring in as many people as possible, mix together the Christians and the seekers (unbelievers), “plug them in” and hopefully they would eventually become Christians. Let me repeat: these church attenders I spoke to had no idea what the Gospel was.DSC01701R

We attended a Christmas Eve service at a mega church in another state. After more than two hours of jovial entertainment and glorification of men, there was still not one word of Gospel Truth spoken to the two thousand people gathered. (And there was no worship.)

About a year ago I went to a memorial service for a little boy who died in an accident. The church building was packed with hundreds of people from all over the community. There was not one word of Hope or Redemption through Jesus Christ in the whole service. The liberal minister’s word of consolation to the grieving was to find comfort from the community. These hundreds of people never heard the Gospel in that place at all.

At our Biblical church where Jesus is central and the Gospel is heard from the pulpit, there are visitors and relatives who occasionally are in attendance. This give us opportunity to also share the Gospel with them also, as the Lord leads, since this is not just the job of the pastor, but all believers are called by the Lord to be His witnesses.

Consider the spiritual needs of those visitors who come to your church; perhaps they have never heard the Gospel. And if you are looking for a mission field, consider the ‘unreached people groups’ found inside America’s Liberal and Modern Mega Evangelical church buildings.

Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. Ps.96:2-3

Report from Legacy

Here are a few drops from the showers of blessings at the Legacy conference.

There are saints who are preaching the Biblical Gospel, teaching Biblical Theology, edifying the brethren and leading the congregation of God in worship- all using the medium of hip hop. I did not even know this until about a year ago. It was a blessing, and very humbling, to meet many of these brothers and see them being used of God to exalt Christ and minister to Jesus’ church.

I was overjoyed to see and meet hundreds of young people the Lord is raising up to represent and serve Christ in the next generation. The young people I met shared how God saved them called them into various ministries. God is preparing them to be missionaries, evangelists, teachers, street preachers, pastors and worship leaders. They are being trained in the deep things of God as well as being trained how to disciple and “teach others also”; 2Tim.2:2.

One thing I rejoiced in was the fact that this conference had nothing to do with the various unbiblical movements that are currently popular in American Christianity. I’m referring to the Emergent, church growth, and “signs-wonders-I-got- a-word from God” movements which are basically man centered. No, these young believers were studying Biblical Doctrine and Theology and the focus was JESUS: knowing, serving and worshiping Him in Spirit and in Truth. I loved observing all these young urbanites reading “Biblical Theology” books and attending workshops such as, “The Attributes of God”. The core values of this conference consist of the “5 Solas”; this year’s theme was Sola Scriptura.

DSC01646I chatted with Jerry who told me how God saved him in high school and called him to be a pastor. He is from the Bronx and before he even knew where the rest of his first semester tuition was going to come from, he already had his truck packed and ready to go to Bible college. By the time he arrived, the Lord had provided the last few thousand dollars he needed to start his freshman year. His father is a postman and his mother cleans rooms, and Jerry works in addition to starting Bible school this fall. This young man was on fire with love for Christ and the people of God. He is following Jesus. And there were hundreds more, just like him.

Finally, the most blessed thing at Legacy –besides the fellowship, corporate worship and theological unity — was the call to return to the preaching of the BIBLICAL GOSPEL.