Whom Shall I Fear?

The one who goes before me, the one who stands behind is a reference to God leading Israel out of Egypt and through the wilderness. He fought their battles for them; He defeated their enemies. God took a group of slaves without weapons or resources and made them a nation, in much the same way as Christians in 1 Peter.  The one who reigns forever, he is a friend of mine should not be taken tritely. The maker of heaven and earth, the creator God that has ordained the events of history and in whose image we are made has called us his friends. Jesus told the disciples he was more than their master; they were his brothers in the faith and ultimately his friends.

Whom shall I fear? What is there to be afraid of? The people we worry about offending are created in the image of God but remain under his judgement unless they hear the Gospel and repent. “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” (Rom 10:14) Sometimes people respond with arguments as if there is a debate to be won. We don’t have to win the debate. Arguing with the umpire about where the strike zone is will not change his call. The rules of the game were decided before hand and are not being made up as the it goes along. So it is with life. Heaven and hell are real places and God has decreed the standard or admittance. What are we afraid of? “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matt 10:28)

God created the heavens and the earth, and all that lives on it. He establishes kings and kingdoms; Jesus told Pilate he would have no authority at all unless it was given to him by his Father. Noah, Moses, Joshua, Rahab, Gideon, Mary, Simon Peter etc. were not super saints with some extraordinary ability. Each person in the Bible that did anything for God was a mortal man or woman that acted in faith and God used. When God asked who he could send Isaiah responded “Here I am, send me.” We should say the same thing each day. The fields are white unto harvest; send me. There are hungry children starving in Africa; send me. There are hungry children and elderly Americans starving right here; send me. All around us people are hurting, searching, working themselves to death to obtain junk that will turn to dust, empty in their souls and ignorant of the Gospel. Send me, send my family, send my church.

Imagine being hired by a couple to babysit. You do not answer to the children you are caring for, but to the parents when they return. In a general sense all people everywhere are God’s children. Are they being cared for? We have an advocate with the Father. He will be with us to the end of the Age. The Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of every believer. He is a friend of mine. Let me ask once more; whom shall I fear?

One Person’s Testimony

oneWe’ve all heard stories of a single vote that decided the fate of an election, or remember the lesson of the Knight Rider: One person can make a difference.  But have you ever been alone in a crowd when it comes to Christian faith?  Even if no one says anything negative, the temptation is to clam up about anything religious, to simply go with the flow.  Can one believer really make a difference? Continue reading

Keep Blowing that Trumpet

In Ezekiel 33, God describes to Ezekiel the role of the watchmen.  If he sees the sword (enemy armies) coming, and blows the trumpet, then each person that hears the warning is responsible for heeding the warning or not.  If the watchmen does not blow the trumpet, then he is responsible for the loss of life. Ezekiel, as the prophet of God, is identified as Israel’s watchmen and encouraged to keep blowing his trumpet.  Figuratively speaking.

By the end of the chapter, God encourages Ezekiel to keep proclaiming the Word even though it seems no one is responding.  Everyone is exciting about coming to listen, but no one actually does what he says.  God actually says it’s like listening to a singer that plays his instrument well; Israel listens, but takes no action.  In the same way, we must keep blowing our trumpet.  Share the Gospel.  Call the lost to repentance.  Invite friends, family and neighbors to church.  Most will not respond.  Some will politely decline, a few will “think about” or say they will try.  A few people will speak up and discourage us.  In our changing culture, you may encounter active protest.  You may be called a bigot, a hater, a hypocrite or be accused of judging.  Keep blowing that trumpet.  If we warn the world that judgement is coming – and Ex 33:33 reminds us it is – then each is responsible for how he or she responds.

Sharing the Gospel is an act of love, not hate.  Warning others that God is a righteous judge is not judging others.  All of us that know that have received the Gospel are called to share it with others.  No matter what happens, keep blowing that trumpet.

If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.  (Ezekiel 33:8-9 ESV)