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Monday, April 23, 2012

The Question That Died

During extending the invitation, I usually ask if you were to die to tonight are sure you would spend eternity with God. Until recently, I wonder if this is a good question to ask after reading an article in Christianity Today.

The article is entitled "Spotlight: The Question That Died".

I want to share some of what I read in this blog...

"No other question has been so identified with American evangelism and the evangelical movement. Billy Graham used it regularly in his crusades and books, and it was the backbone of training for D James Kennedy's Evangelism Explosion. But a new survey from LifeWay Research suggests that it's not a question many people are asking themselves. About 11% of Americans say they wonder about it once a year or so; similar percentages said the question occurs monthly or weekly. But about half (46%) said they never wonder about it at all.

Scott McConnell says; "Starting faith-sharing conversations by assuming people are wondering about spiritual things when they are not could be a wrong place to start".

Ken Silva, VP of North American Evangelism Explosion says; "People are open to talking about eternal things, whether they've thought about this question or not. It tends to be people who don't evangelize who imagine people aren't open".

While this has made me think of how to approach evangelism, I still believe its a relevant question to ask. The assurance of salvation is essential to our doctrinal beliefs and without the assurance we're eternally hopeless.

So I ask, If you were to die tonight would you spend eternity with God or in Hell?

Think about it!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Resurrection Sunday Review

What a wonderful resurrection weekend experience!

It started Friday night, I had the privilege of preaching in a Good Friday service with my brother Pastor Raymond Chandler of The St Thomas Baptist Church. He doesn't do the traditional 7 Last Sayings on the Cross. Instead, he takes bits and pieces of week leading to the cross and gives us an assignment to speak on a specific event.

This year I had the two thieves which I titled: What Mean These Thieves - Luke 23

Thesis statement: These two thieves hanging represent two groups of people in our society.

1). The Spiritually Selfish - the first thief represents an selfish spirit relating to repentance. He's not concerned with what Jesus can truly bring to his life. Instead, he joins in on the mockery and says; "Save Yourself and us!"

2). The Spiritually Sincere - The second thief tells the first thief: "Shut up! Don't you know who you're talking to. We deserve our punishment but this man has done no wrong!" This second thief represents the repentant heart who recognizes that Jesus can give him true forgiveness. So he says: "Lord, when u come into your kingdom, remember me!

3). Sufficient Resource - Jesus is hanging in the middle praying; "Father, forgive them for they don't know what they are doing!" If anybody can a prayer through its Jesus. Not only that but while hanging on the cross He still sufficient power to forgive sins. He says to the second thief: "Today, you will be with Me in paradise." what a blessing!

Sunday was an awesome day of celebration with one service at 6
am. We got out of church at 8:30 and had the rest of the day to do nothing. Loved it.

I look forward to Resurrection Day in 2013 where prayerfully and hopefully I can share my Passion Week preaching series looking at the week long events leading to Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection.

I watched the return of Derrick Rose with my Chicago Bulls team. He was definitely rusty after being out for so long but they played well inspire of it.

I cooked baked chicken, rice, green beans/potatoes, Pozole, and white beans. The Pozole was for my lunch.

I played some BB. We went 4-6 for the day. Soar then and still soar now.

Until next be blessed!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Why Bother?

As a Christian have you ever wondered why bother with evangelism efforts during seasons like these? Christmas, Mother's Day, and Easter? I know I used to ask why bother.

Most of the times people who attend do not come with the right intentions. They come with new clothes, new hair, new hats, new shoes, well manicured/pedicured, baskets for the children, rabbits with eggs (which I never understood), and a well cooked dinner awaiting they're return home. All of this and so much more for the big production ... Easter Sunday.

As a Christian, preacher, pastor, I used to say why bother? Churches will be filled to capacity on this coming Sunday. Choirs will be well-prepared, pastor well prepared, plays of the final days of Christ leading to His resurrection will be performed, and a tokens of love giving to all the guest who attend. But, I used ask why bother?

Many of those who attend this Sunday will not return until next year if God allows. Many of the church's members that we have not seen in months if not since last year will be in attendance this Sunday after which we will never see them again. So, my question remains the same "why bother?"

Well, that question is no longer a part of my Christian sentiments during this season. There are a many reasons why we should bother during this season to reach out to people who do not know Christ for themselves

Allow me to offer a few reasons why I believe we all should bother....

(1). Remember Christ has drawing power no matter the season - Jesus said in the gospel of John: "If I be lifted up for the earth I will draw all men to Me". No matter the season Jesus has drawing power.

(2). Remember your salvation story - Many of us received knowledge of Christ on Easter Sunday. We may not have joined that day but we did hear the gospel story which sparked a spiritual interest in Christ and now we have a personal relationship with Him.

(3). Don't count anyone out. Many of you will bring friends and family Sunday to church some you thought would never step into a church. God still has power to save them even on Easter Sunday morning.

So there is a reason to bother. What are you going to about it now?

Let the church say Amen! Let the church say Amen! God has spoken let the church say Amen!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

At Least One Week

Passion Week (also known as Holy Week) is the time from Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday (Resurrection Sunday). Passion Week is so named because of the passion with which Jesus willingly went to the cross in order to pay for the sins of His people. Passion Week is described in Matthew chapters 21-27; Mark chapters 11-15; Luke chapters 19-23; and John chapters 12-19. Passion Week begins with the triumphal entry on Palm Sunday on the back of a colt as prophesied in Zechariah 9:9.

It is referred to as Passion Week because in that time, Jesus Christ truly revealed His passion for us in the suffering He willingly went through on our behalf. What should our attitude be during Passion Week? We should be passionate in our worship of Jesus and in our proclamation of His Gospel! As He suffered for us, so should we be willing to suffer for the cause of following Him and proclaiming the message of His death and resurrection.

The question is, how do we properly proclaim the gospel of Jesus this week that will serve as a communication of witness to the world and/or those closest to us? Long question...huh?

While reflection on holy week, there's an exhortation and encouraging challenge for each believer to strive for least this week (at least one week out of the year)...

Pursue holiness with a passionate determination this week.

Keep in mind, a perfect Jesus died for imperfect people. He's the perfect One and we're striving to become Christ-like. You don't have to be a Jesus Jr to live holy for at least one week. Just set yourself apart from those things and people who will make you act like you don't know who Jesus is.

This week make a commitment to do all you can to be all you can for God, this week!

This week lay down the phone from unclean conversation, this week!

This week get off FB, as it will distract you from being all you can God this week.

At least one week out of the year, live holy for God is holy.

Let the church say amen! Let church say amen! God has spoken, let the church say amen!

Be blessed loved ones!

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Wonderful Week

This is a wonderful week in the life of every believer. Therefore, you and I should this week in victory.

It's Holy Week! It's a monumental week! It's a week of remembrance! It's a week of salvation! It's a week of deliverance! It's a week of celebration! It's a week trial and triumph! It's week of prevailing under pressure!

It's a wonderful week!

This is the week our Lord suffered on our behalf. Don't get me wrong, I'm in know way ignoring the pain and agony Christ experienced on the cross. But celebrating the fact if He didn't do it I would not be where I am today. So I'm thankful for just being saved today.

It's a wonderful week, it's Holy Week which leads up to greatest even in Christian history... The resurrection of Jesus Christ.

As a reminder if this week, here's a timeline of events that took place during the week our Lord was crucified...

Sunday - The Triumphal Entry (The King who came to die) - Matt 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-6, Luke 19:28-44; John 12:12-19

Monday - The Cleansing of the Temple (Jesus Cleans House) - Matt 21:12-17; Mark 11:15-19; Luke 10:1-8

Tuesday - The Authority of Jesus Challenged (Who Is This Guy) - Matt 21:23-27; Mark 11:27-33; Luke 10:1-8

Wednesday - The Plot against Jesus (We'll get You if it's the last thing we do) - Matt 26: 1-16; Mark 14:1-11; Luke 22:1-6

Thursday - The Last Supper, Gethsemane, & Arrest (Dinner, Betrayal, Denial - What a day) - Matt 26:26-56; Mark 14:22-50; Luke 22:14-53; John 13-17

Friday - The Crucifixion - (He Died A Real Death) - Matt 27:32-54; Mark 15/21-41; Luke 23:26-49; John 19:38-42

Saturday - In The Tomb (Jesus has a funeral service) - Matt 27:57-66; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42

Sunday - The Resurrection (He got up like He said He would) - Matt 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-&; Luke 24:1-12

Let the church say amen, God has spoken, let the church say Amen!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

My Mixed Emotions

Today, I have mixed emotions, I'm excited at what today begins and leads up to as I'm reminded of the death, burial, and resurrection of my Savior. I'm also a little disheartened because this will be the first time in 8 1/2 yrs that I'm not preparing to preach an evangelical message for those who would attend the church I pastored. I love this time of the year in the Christian faith not just because of the preaching moment but because of the rich history surrounding our salvation story.

I also love this time year because of some the great sermons that will be preached throughout this week. Yes, reality has finally set in that I'm not pastoring a church any longer but that doesn't mean I can't share the gospel message via this blog. So this week, it is my goal to share my biblical convictions about the resurrection of our Lord and Savior.

It is this day, Palm Sunday, when Jesus enters into Jerusalem on a donkey as King. People lined up along the streets to witness His arrival laying down palm branches and shouting: " Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"

Here's an outline of the Triumphal Entry of Jesus:

1. Prophecy Fulfilled - Matthew 21:1-5 Jesus' entry into Jerusalem on this day was spoken of in time past as a prophecy in Zechariah 9:9. This is significant because if the prophesy was not fulfilled then God would be a liar and if God is a liar then everything else about God and our future is a lie. But thank God that God cannot lie.

The King has arrived just as He said He would!

2. A Procession of Humility - Matthew 21:6-7 - Jesus doesn't ride in on a horse but on a donkey. Why a donkey? The bible describes the donkey as the foal of a beast of burden. Riding a donkey for a king was not customary. Kings rode in on horses not a donkey. King's rode in on a horse to signify war but Jesus rode on a donkey to signify peace. In addition, Jesus rode in on a donkey to signify His humility of fulfilling what God called Him to do and because He was carrying the burden of our sins to the cross. Thank God for being humble and a burden carrier.

3. A Praise of Familiar - Matthew 27:8-9 - The people are praising Jesus' entry for all the wrong reasons. The people are praising Jesus because they think He has come to lead a war against the city of Rome. They missed the main purpose of Jesus' coming which was to save of us not lead a war against a city. In our day too many people (Christians and non-Christians) are praising God for all the wrong reasons. They expect Him to lead a war against our enemies (haters) rather than praising God for the salvation to come which leads us to eternal life. Thank God our victory is not in fighting a enemies but in the resurrection of our Savior.

There maybe someone who has read this blog who doesn't know Jesus for yourself, today is a real good day for you to get to know Him. If you're unsaved you don't have to remain that way. Today, receive Christ. If you need assistance into the salvation of the Lord inbox me for the plan of salvation.

"Let the church say Amen, God has spoken, let the church say amen!"