2020-03-25 A Boot To The Pants!

“Let not your hearts be troubled.
Believe in God; believe also in me.”
John 14:1

I’m borrowing this verse out of Greg Laurie’s blog. It’s not actually his verse, right, but he used it today. It’s a good one. You see, these are times that people are troubled far beyond normal.

What better time do we have than now to share the good news, my friends? God has shut down the entire world. Almost everyone is stuck in their homes, staring at their phones. They don’t know what their future holds. Will this virus go viral? Will the world’s economy tank? Is our retirement wiped out?

Trust me, people that normally don’t want to talk about God are being softened up by all this and are becoming more and more willing to listen to people who know what they are talking about. And you – a born-again believer – know what you are talking about.

You have hope. People can see that. Tell them about it.

Listen, God is setting the stage. The audience is ready. All that is needed is presenters.

Will you be one of them? I hope so.

What do you tell them? How about this verse to help you get started?

1 Peter 3:15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.

Start a conversation. Be clever about it. You’ll soon be able to get the dialogue going. Tell them about hope. Trust me, they want to hear about hope. Tell them about repentance and being born-again. Tell them about new life and the kingdom to come.

Don’t worry if they don’t fall on their knees right then and there. Your job isn’t to convince someone. Your job is simply to share the good news of Jesus. God is the one who changes a hard heart.

Look, don’t you think the people around you are worth taking a risk? Look at what the famous performer Penn Jillette, an out-spoken atheist, has to say:

“I’ve always said that I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward – and atheists who think people shouldn’t proselytize and who say just leave me alone and keep your religion to yourself – how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?”

You’ve all probably seen his blog video on this. What do you think? No, you’ll argue that you don’t hate people, but how do you think that argument will go when you and Jesus talk about things? About as well as telling him you didn’t commit adultery when you had lustful thoughts, that’s how it will go.

Then again, maybe you don’t yet realize just how precious your salvation really is. Or maybe you’ve gotten so comfortable that you don’t think of these things anymore. Isn’t it true that new Christians are so on fire about their change that they simply can’t contain themselves? Remember your own conversion? You used to intentionally tell your friends and family and got into plenty of heated debates over it. Your zeal consumed you! What changed? What needs to change?

Revelation 2:2-3 “’I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary.

Maybe this describes you? I would think it describes much of the bible-believing church. Yet it’s interesting to note what else he says.

Revelation 2:4-7 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’

Well, I don’t know about you, but I have had to repent on all this. Yes, I share the gospel, but not like I could. I have needed to repent and allow God to change my ways. Yes, I’ve had to make up my mind that I’m going to forego family, friends, and neighbors over this because many will now avoid me. So be it.

I’ve also had to repent that I have not been more forceful about encouraging my Christian brothers and sisters about this business of evangelism. Look, God has NEVER (that any of us are aware of) silenced the ENTIRE world like he has now. Don’t you see the significance of it? Maybe Jesus is coming soon? MAYBE HE’S COMING TODAY? Can any of you say he’s not? Don’t you see what this virus has done to the world? God does so very little and the entire world collapses.

Don’t you see this? My gosh, people, wake up! What more sign do you need? God is moving. Maybe Jesus is coming today; maybe not. But I tell you this, God is doing something BIG! Do you want to be found sleeping or counting your money or cringing in fear?

Wake up, church!

Father, we need a boot to the side, like the angel did with Peter! Do it, Lord! Kick us awake! Amen!

Copyright © 2020 Scott Powers

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