Staying Confident in the Gospel

If you are a Christian and doing as commanded which is to share the Gospel to everyone and to anyone, you will quickly learn that it is most often rejected rather than accepted. Coming from a sales background, I can say it can be unsettling and disappointing at first when you face rejection after rejection. But the more you BELIEVE in what you are sharing, the less unsettling and disappointing it will be.

To stay confident in the Gospel, all one needs to do is understand that same Gospel was the same power which saved you! It doesn’t lose power. And you also need to realize it is not YOU who is being rejected, it is Jesus Christ. The Gospel needs no apology or tweaking. However our approach and confidence in that Gospel might need adjustments.

If you come across as defeated, lacking confidence, or sheepishly making apologies for the Gospel, don’t expect the listener to buy anything you are sharing. Rather, be EXCITED and CONFIDENT that this Gospel is the power unto that sinner’s salvation, and you can never go wrong.

The Gospel WILL be rejected! Understand this, accept this. It will only take hold if God so wills and He unleashes His regeneration power unto a fallen depraved sinner who at that time WILL accept it. We do not know who God is working on, who He is drawing, who is regenerated, so we share it with everyone and anyone.

Special pleadings never work, so try not to pressure one. Let God do His work and get out of the Gospel’s way. We can only give the warning of Hell, and the key which unlocks the Kingdom to the sinner by the Gospel, the Good News! You did your job for the Kingdom, now move onto another. Don’t get entrapped by the “why are they not getting this?”, “why won’t they believe?” Trust in God’s timing, His plan, His purpose. And if that sinner you confidently shared the Gospel to never believes, that’s on them, not on you!

So always share the Good News of Jesus Christ in FULL truth, and in FULL confidence! It is hard on the ears of the fallen sinner, but easy on the ears of the children God eternally chose!

Be Prepared!

1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear”

When Peter says “but sanctify”, he is saying “but set apart the Lord God in your hearts”, meaning do not let your worldly ideals get in the way of God. Because the time will come when you will need to defend your faith in Jesus Christ.

There are powerful forces of evil ready and willing to challenge you at every turn. Learn how to engage, how to debate, how to argue effectively against those evil forces by staying the word, studying it, eating and drinking it.

Awhile ago, I listened to an interview with an Olympic swimmer from my state. They asked him “were you ever nervous before the meet?”. He replied, “I knew I was going to win, because I worked harder than my competition”. He was completely confident in his ability because he spent more hours, spent more time in preparation than those who were going to compete with him.

If you aren’t prepared, the enemy will toss you around like a rag doll and make you look silly. Learn the various tactics. Learn what a fallacy is as well, because the enemy will use them. These are invalid arguments meant to divert you off the main question. There is the non-sequitur which is basically something that doesn’t follow the argument, a diversion. They’ll use something called strawmans, which are misrepresentations on what you believe in order to try and win an easier argument. They’ll use the “whoa is me” emotional appeals which try to guilt you into submission. The bandwagon appeal where they try to say many are doing something, so it must be true or the historical fallacy where they’ll claim someone believed something long ago, so it must be true. And the appeal to ignorance, since Scripture didn’t mention it, therefore their assertion is true. These are fallacies, so don’t fall for them.

Prepare by listening to others as well. Take notes on the various arguments being waged, and take the things that work and put that in your quiver, and discard the rest which aren’t working. I would say the number one reason one fails in their witness to others, is the LACK OF PREPARATION. You can’t treat Christianity as a hobby, and expect good results.

The enemy is prepared to take you on, so treating your witness as a hobby will always fail. Taking time off from studying Scripture will lead to bad results. The enemy will trip you up! Be like that Olympian swimmer, KNOW that you can withstand any attack because you are much more prepared than the enemy.

And make no mistake, discern WHO THE ENEMY is. They are anyone opposed to the Biblical Gospel. Anyone opposed to the eternal security in Jesus Christ. Anyone opposed to the grace and mercy of God through Jesus Christ. Anyone teaching that you cannot go directly to God by Jesus Christ.

The Tests of Faith Will Come

On this date in 2020, my faith was tested. My dog Leo was receiving a clinical chemo drug which had been promising for around 30 days and then suddenly failed. My hope had seemingly crashed into the abyss. What looked like a positive prognosis, turned once again deadly in an instant.

The temptation was to berate God, to burn Him an effigy. I had done all these things according to His will and it was a blow to my confidence. But I thank God that He made me a new creation, because rather than berating Him, I thanked Him instead. My trust and faith remained strong in Him. Leo was still alive and we were graced with another day. He went onto the next treatment protocol, and quickly rebounded for a time. Hope was restored, and my gratitude grew for God’s hand in this.

In my former life? I can’t honestly tell you where my faith would have been, most likely NON-EXISTENT. I would have blamed myself, blamed the doctors, blamed God, blamed anyone instead of realizing and trusting in God’s will.

Don’t think you are beyond testing! Some believe by doing certain religious things, certain prayers, that they can fly underneath God’s faith radar. You see, it is quite easy to say you have faith when wonderful things transpire in your life, but when bad things happen that is when the test comes. You may think “I am a good person, bad things can’t come”, which is naivety, so when that time comes you may just fail that test of faith.

Satan understood man’s nature, so with Job, he asked God to try this out. He presumed Job would only have faith in God because God graced him with all these worldly things, a wife and family, and numerous possessions. Job was a rich man. So Satan assumed that if all those things were taken away, Job would lose his faith. Satan gambled and lost. Job passed the test of faith! Do you believe Satan just gave up? Think again, he is constantly testing these things to try and show up God. So don’t think you are somehow beyond Job’s testing, or that was just a one-off event.

If you believe you DESERVE grace from God, you are in for a wake up call when the test of faith comes. It is then you may realize that we deserve absolutely nothing from God, but a wrathful death. And if saved, you further realize this truth of being totally undeserving in light of the perfect Lamb of God, Jesus Christ!

How to pass the test of faith? The answer is simple, HAVE FAITH in God! Ask yourself, do you really believe in Him or are you questioning His existence, His power, His provision, His sovereign will power? Because when that test comes, all these things are exposed. You are asked by that test of faith, will you put your in trust God or in yourself or others. And it isn’t “well, both”, there are NO in betweens. God doesn’t play the idolatry game. It is all Him or no one.

Lastly, be thankful if that test of faith comes! It is God growing your faith and exposing any flaw we may have so that we LEARN from it. The tests may come to humble us, they may come to redirect us, or just to wake us up! God always has a perfect purpose, He is not experimenting.

So with your whole heart, mind, and soul, place your faith in God each and every day. Grow your faith, so that you are always prepared for the test which will come!

Learning to Thank God

Ephesians 5:20giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ

It is quite easy to thank God for those wonderful things which happen in our lives, but Paul didn’t mince his words when he said to give “thanks always for ALL things”. This would mean the mundane things we take for granted as well as the hurt and heart break and turmoil we experience.

Now someone may have just read “as well as the hurt and heart break and turmoil we experience”, and scratch their head and say “WHAT?” Allow me to explain. If we learn and more importantly UNDERSTAND what God’s sovereignty entails, you will also learn to thank Him for all things including the things we would never think of thanking Him for.

Let me give you an example. In 2008-2009 a couple of years before my rebirth I was greatly scammed by a woman and her boyfriend. They took thousands of dollars from me. Without going into all the sorted details, let’s just say I took full responsibility for my sheer stupidity. But what was the lesson God taught me and thus I thank Him for? I realized when God opened my eyes how much He had forgiven me, and now it was my turn to forgive my offenders. And honestly, without a rebirth, I would have probably ended up in jail in my zeal for revenge.

Another example in my life came from the person who took the time to read the Bible out loud in a busy restaurant to me. This person said and did MANY nasty evil things to me as well. But if it wasn’t for God using her to read the Bible, my eyes would have remained shut for another day. So I thank God for this!

I thank God for all the things He provided before, during, after my rebirth. These things all gave me a witness and testimony in Jesus Christ! Some were really terrible things, which I realized only after my rebirth were shaping my ministry in Jesus. It is hard to thank someone for the repeated slaps upside the head, but with God and His discipline, you have no other choice but to thank Him because His intent, His motivation, is for YOUR OWN GOOD!

When we lose someone in our life, are we thanking God for the time we spent with them? We should be! Turn to gratitude instead of self-loathing and you will see that hand of God. You see, it is God who makes everything possible, not you and many times we think we are our own god. Some see the devil in everything, while the devil is definitely working against God and His children, he is NEVER sovereign over God’s plan and purpose. Remember, God gave the devil rules when He allowed him to work on Job. Those rules still apply to you, the devil is not working outside of God’s boundaries. The devil is NEVER more powerful than God!

So learn to thank God during those hard times, and you will appreciate Him even more during the good times!

A New Creation Will Have a Former Life

When God by His power alone gives a new life in Jesus Christ to a saved sinner, it doesn’t extinguish the former life of the sinner. Rather, it is used by God to further demonstrate His grace and mercy in the witness of that saved sinner.

Our natural desire is to forget that former place, that former life of depravity, but it shouldn’t be removed from our memory. The more you dwell on it, the more you REALIZE the depth of the depravity and the goodness of Jesus Christ! By dwelling, I mean never coming across in your witness as if you never had been depraved.

Phil Robertson, the Duck Commander, is a great example of always being completely honest of who he was and who he is now. He always goes into great detail of the depraved nature he was living to demonstrate that God took him out of that life. And by this, he realizes if this supernatural event never occurred, what his life would be like now, probably without a family, without a successful business, without anything. And then how many would never would have come to Christ based on that witness to the Gospel is also compounded in this.

The rebirth is based on God’s timing to His purpose alone. It was not until 43 years that He granted me a new life and my former life of depravity ended. I personally shake my head when those memories come up in my former life, sinful and wicked things I was doing without a care in the world other than for myself. And in my case, I had thought all along I was a child of God, I clearly wasn’t by the way I lived! In a book I published, I actually spent 9 chapters detailing the couple of very sad years leading up to my rebirth.

How God gives a rebirth is totally of His counsel. He might take everything away from you, or He may not. All will have a different testimony, but all will have the same witness in Jesus Christ. In my case, the bottom dropped out of my life, but that’s not when the rebirth happened. It occurred several months later for reasons only known to God, but that timing was perfect.

So if you are ever being witnessed to by a Christian or want a key in discernment, the simple question to ask is on their former life. Some will have been saved at a young age, but should be able to speak about the stage where they rejected God. Don’t forget your former life, embrace it in your testimony! It serves as a love note from the Great God Almighty, who took you from that wicked nature and placed you in His Son, Jesus Christ!

The Ark is an Ultimate Gospel Lesson

Genesis 6:16So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in

The Great Flood and Ark is becoming one of my favorite witnessing tools. It pretty much debunks and refutes all notions of modernism when it comes to God, the Gospel, and His grace and mercy. And this would apply to both unbelievers and so-called believers and many false pastors especially in the U.S.

The flood account is diametrically opposed to watered down feel good false gospels which basically state that the reason why there was only 8 humans saved on the Ark, was because they had to be somehow better, or more morally righteous. Those who drowned, just didn’t get it is the notion. But the question is WHY they didn’t get the message is the thing being either hidden or misunderstood or just flat out lied about.

I saw a meme recently of a depiction of the Ark, and many outside trying to get in. This is a completely false depiction! Jesus clears this up in Luke 17:27, “They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.

The account tells us that it was 500-600 years before the Flood came while Noah most likely warned the world of the pending doom. When the event happened, the rain came, it didn’t cause anyone to run to the Ark. When the rain obviously became heavier and heavier, they still didn’t go to the Ark. They were still rejecting the doom that God promised. They were still hosting weddings while things were being flooded. When they obviously saw their animals, family, and friends perishing, it still didn’t cause them to go that Ark.

Because the Ark represented God’s salvation, other than Noah and his family and the animals he brought on board, the rest rejected it vehemently. They wanted NOTHING to do with the Ark. Their fallen nature told them to reject, deny, and fight against it. Because if the Ark was true, and what Noah said about the Flood was true, then there is a God who holds them in judgment. So to run to the Ark and acknowledge the coming doom would be to discard their pride.

Noah and his family never heard a scream of “Let us in!”. No one chose God’s saving Ark. And that should be the lesson to the false teachers who are breeding false converts. The false convert might nod their head and say “yes I believe”, but in the end so to speak will make it manifest they had NO interest in the Ark of Jesus Christ. No one on the Last Day is going to be pounding on the doors of heaven screaming “LET US IN!”.

Luke 16:28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”

An analogy: Jesus doesn’t throw out lifejackets and send out lifeboats and cross His fingers that the right “choice” is made as modern false gospels will teach, rather He swims out and actually saves a drowning sinner! And He never fails! The sinner never drowns. The full debt of their sins was paid on the Cross by Him!

Jesus made it abundantly clear, that we need God’s intervention, a rebirth so as to believe in that Ark in Him, to believe we are rotten sinners and He would be our Redeemer. Outside of this, you do not hear, you do not see the need for an Ark. You are no better than those before the Great Flood. You wouldn’t grasp a lifejacket or jump on a boat if your fallen life depended on it! To be placed in Christ, as those placed in the Ark by God, it will only come by His mercy and grace, and more importantly His choice. Your choice was to remain outside, to drown in your sins. Salvation never comes by self-righting!

God Never Gives Up

Matthew 18:12 “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying?

Do you believe you are BEYOND salvation by the bad things you have done? Or did someone or a religion tell you that God “won’t save you” unless you cleaned yourself up first? Or have they taught you that because of your sinful life, God has “given up you”? Well Scripture shows they are absolutely 100 percent wrong. God never gives up on a child of His.

I think of my own Dad in this example. When I was young, I was quite stubborn. My Dad wanted me to do things of which I didn’t want to do. Hunting was something as a child I dreaded and absolutely HATED. The cold, the wind, the rain, the snow, the hard work, the getting up early was enough for me to ignore his call “wake up, let’s go!”. I would grudgingly get in his old truck with my brother and off we would go. I would mutter things under my breath to get under my Dad’s nerves. I didn’t want to shoot anything or participate, so I was quite obstinate when I look back, enough to try anyone’s patience and then some! I would basically keep asking by words and behavior, “when is this all going to be over so we can go home now?” How I didn’t break him, I really don’t know.

But my Dad didn’t give up. Each time he went hunting, the same routine ensued. His longer-suffering with this was admirable, because I hardly was a good hunting companion. I did everything I could to make the experience miserable for him and for me. He could have easily said “that’s enough, stay home!”, and I would have gone along with this. Now this wasn’t a one time event, it went on for years, and he still didn’t give up on me. The torturous behavior I put him through was quite immature and regretful when I look back on it. I was testing his will which never budged.

But somehow my Dad KNEW that eventually I would love to go hunting, because that is EXACTLY what happened. I’d say after 10 years or so of sheer obstinance, as a teenager I then went hunting on my own for the first time and it was then it all clicked. I did this just to please my Dad. I wanted him to be proud of me and he was. After this, hunting was something that enjoined my life, it was an irreplaceable joy.

Consider this as well, I basically by immaturity and pride told a girlfriend a couple of years later “hunting will always rank number one in my life, you will always be number 2 or 3, so don’t get any ideas”, yes, I actually did say that, and now wonder why that girl didn’t immediately run, but she eventually did. I guess she gave up on me, I say in jest. But going back to my earlier absolute hate of hunting, it was a total change, and I think always if my Dad would have given up on me how different and sad my life would be.

The outdoors and the activity of it was something I thoroughly enjoy to this day! I’d dare say I became a much larger of a hunter than even my Dad. And this was all due to him never giving up on me. I don’t know if I was in his shoes and had such a child as me if I could have EVER had his patience. He did this with other things as well, things I thought I hated, he pushed me past my obstinance by staying the course and never giving up on me.

Now transposing this to God and how He doesn’t give up. It took 43 years of longsuffering, when He opened my eyes to His truth. The dreadful evil and sinful life I was living up to that point was the same very obstinance I had with my Dad about hunting. I desired things MY WAY, not His. I didn’t want to leave my sins because they were much more enjoyable in my fallen mindset.

I look back just the same on God not giving up on me, because He surely could have and would have every right to say just as I said my Dad could have “enough of this! Do now what you want”. But He didn’t. He stayed the course by His will, and KNEW just like my example of hunting, that I would LOVE His ways, His word, His Gospel.

Yes, this is the God Almighty! If He is seeking you, He won’t give up! You might have given Him every excuse in this world and then some to just let you be, but He stays the course with you because He loves you! It might be decades, it might very well be on your death bed, but He won’t give up until He has you!

And despite world religions teaching, He will give up based on your bad living or not following their extra biblical rules, He doesn’t. I am a living example of this!