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MA36 – SEPT 08.  IS IT NOTHING TO YOU?   And,   THE RUSSIA-GEORGIA WAR. 

 

 

CONTENTS

THE RUSSIA-GEORGIA CONFLICT   (LINK) >>>

PRAY FOR THE U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

ON BECOMING RICH

IS IT NOTHING TO YOU ALL YE THAT PASS BY?

HOW TO LEAD A SOUL TO CHRIST?

 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

                                                     

PRAY FOR THE UNITED STATES,

AND THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

 

A request from a co-worker in the United States:

We are requesting special prayer for the U.S.A., which, as you know, is in the midst of a fierce general election battle. The forces of evil are at work like never before. The two sides are like light and darkness in ideology.  The liberal left (Democrats) wants to destroy America and remove its Christian influence. The conservative right (Republicans) wants to keep America strong and maintain its strong Christian heritage.  

The Bible has an interesting way of looking at how we lean with respect to our ideology.

“The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.”  (Ecclesiastes 10:2  - NIV) 

Along these lines we’ve been thinking and praying about the upcoming elections in the U.S., and something interesting came to mind.  King David prayed a unique prayer when he had troubles and had to flee for his life.   

Here’s the story from 2 Samuel chapter 15 in the Old Testament.  King David’s son Absalom usurps the throne, forcing David to leave Jerusalem and flee for his life.  One of King David’s advisors is Ahithophel, who joins Absalom.  David is told about this defection, and is deeply troubled.  Then King David prayed this unique prayer:

“O Lord, turn Ahithophel’s counsel into foolishness” (2 Samuel 15:31)  

We’ve been telling people that we should all pray in the same way during this political season that the Lord will turn the advice and counsel Sen. Barack Obama receives into foolishness, so that everything he does fails.  The U.S. will suffer immeasurable harm and great loss if Obama is elected president.  He will try to peel away our freedoms, greatly expand government to make the U.S. a socialist state, increase our taxes, destroy our economy, weaken our armed forces, and lessen the tremendous Christian influence this country has enjoyed and upon which it was founded.

Even though we are very concerned with the outcome of the elections, we believe Christians all over America are praying that God will intervene and protect this nation from destruction by the liberal left (Democrats). 

However, we as Christians must also humble ourselves and pray and seek God’s Face and turn from our wicked ways before He will hear us and forgive our sin and heal our land. (see 2 Chronicles 7:14)

We should as a church body gather regularly for prayer regarding the elections and also for our nation as a whole. We are not currently doing this, and our church leaders are not talking about the issues that define us as Christians and our nation as a Christian nation. If they would speak to the issues, many young people who are looking to Obama for ‘change’ may begin to understand why Obama is very bad for America. Please pray for the U.S.

                  ON BECOMING RICH

Q.  I would like a suggestion regarding my career. Is it wrong to aim to become rich in life? Please send me a Biblical answer.

A.  It is not wrong to want to have a decent job with a good salary. But if you are a follower of the Messiah, and your goal is to get rich, you are in danger. There are other goals that are honorable and should be embraced by the believer. The most honorable are, “Not my will but Your will be done,” and, “It is not I who lives but Christ who lives in me.” 

Regarding being rich, remember what the Master said:

“Y’shua said to His disciples, ‘I tell you truly, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven’.” (Matthew 19:23)

It is good you asked for a Biblical answer. The Master said:

Do not store up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

The Book of Proverbs contains wisdom on many of our human issues, such as these two quotes on riches:

Do not wear yourself out to gain riches; cease from your own understanding! Will you set your eyes on that which disappears?  For wealth certainly makes itself wings, like an eagle it flies toward the heavens.” (Proverbs 23:4-5)

“Two things I have asked of You, O YHWH; do not refuse me before I die: Keep deception and lies far from me. Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with only my daily portion of bread, lest I be full and deny You and say, ‘Who is YHWH?’ Or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the Name of my God.” (Proverbs 30:7-9)

And some very wise warnings and advice from the apostle Paul:

“But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and some, by hankering for it, have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

“But you, O man of God, flee from these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, perseverance, meekness, gentleness.  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:9-12)

These scriptures answer your question.  But just one final word of exhortation: Beware of the prosperity preaching that is leading many into spiritual poverty these days. Big time preachers are making millions by promising sincere believers great financial dividends by investing their money in the preachers’ “ministries.”

The Heavenly Father may greatly prosper some believers financially so that they may share in spreading the Gospel; but the Scriptures teach a spiritual prosperity for those who are in Christ.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Master, Y’shua the Messiah, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in the Messiah.” (Ephesians 1:3)

In our Master’s messages to the seven churches in Asia minor (Revelation 2 & 3), it was the believers in Smyrna living in poverty, who were spiritually rich.  And it was the Laodicean believers who were materially rich, whom the Master declared, “wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.”

The love of money has been the downfall of countless souls, and it has turned many a Christian ministry into a spiritual graveyard. Beware “those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap.”

   

          

IS IT NOTHING TO YOU   

             ALL YE THAT PASS BY ?

     By E. Christian Weiss

IF the Lord Jesus were to appear in person among His churches today, I feel sure this is the question He would ask with reference to the great unevangelized areas of the world.  Therefore we must face this question as coming to us from Him.

“Is it nothing to you,” the Lord Jesus asks, “that I suffered and died for the sins of the whole world? That My atonement was a propitiation, not for your sins only but also for the sins of the whole wide world, for all mankind? Did I not plainly state this through My servant John?  (I John 2:2)

VAST THRONGS YET UNREACHED

“Have you not understood that on My cross I paid the penalty for the transgressions of all mankind — not merely for you alone? You who have received the benefits of My atoning death and sacrifice, is it nothing to you that there are still vast numbers of Adam’s children who are chained helplessly to their sins, in misery, dread, and despair? Is it nothing to you that these multitudes continue to live and die in the bonds of iniquity and in the gall of bitterness and in despair, as though God had never sent Me into the world?

“Is it nothing to you that I should have endured all the agonies of sin and judgment IN VAIN so far as these multi­tudes are concerned? That My finished work on the cross should be utterly without fruit in these vast, dark, distant lands where men and women abide still in the total darkness? That the countless throngs have not so much as one ray of light from My gospel? Is it nothing to you that I should have been led as a Lamb to the slaughter for nought with regard to these millions, for whom I did it as much as I did it for you?

“Is it nothing to you that My Father laid upon Me the iniquity of all mankind, yet more than half of them still have not been told? Is it nothing to you that I was wounded for their transgressions and bruised for their iniquities, and that the chastisement of their peace fell upon Me — and yet they are not healed? (Isaiah 53:5)

SINGING, BUT NOT DOING

“You sing, ‘Oh Happy Day When Jesus Washed My Sins Away,’ but is it nothing to you that vast areas of the earth have never been told of the fountain open for sin and uncleanness here at My cross? You also sing ‘Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken, All to Leave and Follow Thee,’ but you lie to Me when you sing it, or else you do not think about what you are singing for you have not taken My cross to these benighted millions who are the helpless victims of sin and fear. Have you taken My cross at all? WHERE have you taken it?

“Is it nothing to you that I bore in My own body on the accursed tree, the guilt of all of Adam’s race? Is it nothing to you, you whose skin is white, that I died for those whose skin is black and yellow and brown and red? Why have they not the same knowledge that you have? ‘For some have not the knowledge of God”, I speak this to YOUR SHAME.’

THE AGONIES OF CHRIST

“Is it nothing to you that I stood forsaken before Pontius Pilate in judgment and opened not My mouth when hellish men cried out ‘Crucify Him’? And when Pilate delivered Me into their hands, I remained silent because I wanted to be ‘lifted up that I might draw all men unto Me,’ and unto My Father? (John 12:32)

“Is it nothing to you that yonder in the garden of the Olive Press I took upon Myself the sins of the whole world, which almost crushed Me down into the very jaws of death then and there, and that I sweat My body’s blood to carry the load, and cried out to the Father to spare Me from the awful cup if there could be any other way of saving the world? But because THERE WAS NO OTHER WAY ‘I suffered the just for the unjust that I might bring men to God” (I Peter 3:18)

“Is it nothing to you that I bore My cross to Golgotha, and gave My feet to the spikes, and My back to the smiters, to bear away THE SINS OF THE WHOLE WORLD? Is it nothing to you that this is all in vain with regard to the many millions, past and present, who have never heard the good news? Are you unconcerned, indifferent? Do you not care that I did all this because I knew it meant salvation for men - does it mean nothing to you? Nothing save your own PERSONAL salvation?

“Is it nothing to you that I could at last declare with satisfaction, ‘It is finished?’ (John 19:30), that I had done ALL I COULD, ALL THAT WAS REQUIRED OF ME, in order that men might be saved? And you - what have YOU done to save them? I finished My part, but My redeemed ones, My Bride, My Church, YOU HAVE NOT FINISHED YOUR PART! WHY?

THE ACCOMPLISHED TASK

“Is it nothing to you that Almighty God bared His arm and ripped asunder the veil in the temple of Jerusalem from the top to the bottom to show the world that the way was now open for all mankind? Should they not all therefore be told? WHY HAVE THEY NOT been told? Why must so many grasp and grope in the dark, trying to find their way to God, despite the fact that I suffered so much to provide a way, a way broad enough and plain enough for them all ? What have you to say in answer to this?

“Is it nothing to you that I gave a plain commandment to My church: ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature’ ? (Mark 16:15). I repeated this commandment many times to My followers after I came out of the grave. It was the VERY LAST WORD I left with them before I went back to heaven as the King of Glory to be received at the Father’s right hand. Why has it not been fulfilled?

“I only gave two commandments to My Church, and they are both plain and positive. No one could misunderstand them: no word in human language could have been plainer: ‘Love one another’ (John 13:34), and ‘Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature’ (Mark 16:15). The second one was the VERY LAST I spoke to My people on earth as the clouds received Me out of their sight — I thought surely it would not be forgotten or omitted. But, alas, such seems to be the case. My people have done and are still doing many fine things which I did not at all command them to do, and I am not unmindful of these things, but the two things I straightly commanded them to do is where they have failed Me most. Why is this?

“I knew it was a heavy burden and a severe task I placed upon your shoulders, and that it demanded more than human power could supply, that it would mean sacrifice and suffering; BUT I PROMISED that I would be with you to the end. Have you not read My promise? Did I not give My word that I would never leave you nor forsake you? Did I not promise that I would send you My Spirit who would bring all My power, supreme in both heaven and earth, into your beings, and that THIS POWER would enable you to accomplish the task? Is it nothing to you that I gave such a commandment and made such a promise?

The Work of the HOLY Spirit

“Is it nothing to you that THE HOLY SPIRIT CAME? That He came to earth to take up His abode in the Church which is My Body — that He has made your beings and body His very own temple? That He did this to empower you to fulfill My command to bear My witness throughout the length and breadth of the earth? That this was His chief reason for coming? I told My disciples: ‘Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto Me . . . unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

“Do you think the Holy Spirit came just to bring you more joy, and help, and happiness? Just to SERVE YOU? Just to make the Christian life more satisfactory and easy for you yourselves? Is THAT all His coming means to you? Is it nothing to you that the Holy Ghost wants to POSSESS YOUR LIVES, consecrate you to God and to My service, and to direct your life into Our holy will, and to thrust you forth into the great harvest fields of the earth that are white with ripened grain and ready for reaping ? Have you not been told to pray the Lord of the Harvest to do this? And if you prayed that He do this, can you hold back yourselves and refuse to let Him thrust YOU forth?

“Is it nothing to you that the Spirit longs to ‘shed the love of God abroad in your heart’ (Romans 4:4) so that your soul will be moved with compassion over the lost and dying multi­tude of mankind as Mine was, and is ? I wept over them when I saw their plight, that they were sheep not having a shepherd, and I poured out My life for them. What about you?

Have you ever wept over any of them? Are you pouring out your life, or any part of it, for them? Have you any concern for them, or are they nothing to you? Have you closed your heart to the Spirit’s work, so that you do not share My concern for lost souls?

“These songs that you sing about God having His own way in your life, and containing pleas to the Holy Spirit to fill your souls, are they really nothing to you?

“Is My command to preach the gospel to the whole world, and My promise to be with you to the end of the age, and My Spirit’s Heavenly power to enable you to witness to all the world - all of these, are they nothing to you?

“Is it nothing to you that I gave My all for you? Are you not willing in return, to give your all back to Me?”

These are not fictitious attempts at rhetoric. These state­ments are all based on indisputable facts which face us both in the Word of God and in the world of our day. We cannot be indifferent. To be indifferent and irresponsive is the equiva­lent of high treason in Christ’s kingdom.  

           -  From the booklet under the same title, published   by Back to the Bible. Used by permission.

 

HOW TO LEAD A SOUL TO CHRIST?

The early church prospered and grew rapidly because every Christian was a soul winner. D. L. Moody covenanted not to let a day pass without attempting to win at least one soul, and God used him. God uses men who have a burden to win lost people to the Saviour.

To be a soul winner a Christian must have:

1.   A real heart zeal - a burden for the lost, and a deep desire, a passion, to bring them to Christ.  Without a deep love, there will be neither the incentive nor the ability to lead lost people to the Saviour.

2.   Some knowledge of the Scriptures and of how to deal with people. Being an effective soul winner requires study and effort.

Knowledge without zeal is valueless. Zeal without knowl­edge is also valueless and may even be a hindrance. The winn­ing of people to Christ requires deep exercise of both heart and mind.

Because we are dealing with human beings, we need to study the human approach; because we are dealing with spiritual matters, we need the work of the Spirit of God in our hearts to fit and equip us.

How to obtain these two Pre-requisites?

1.   The zeal must be born of the Holy Spirit. We cannot make ourselves love the lost, but “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”  (Romans 5:5).  We can ask the Holy Spirit to give us a passion for souls.

2.   The head knowledge must be obtained by study.

“Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

We must study to learn the truths of the Bible and the mind of the Holy Spirit, and we must study to understand the minds of men and their reactions to different situations.

The Right Approach

How should one approach a person to deal with him about salvation?

1.   One of the easiest and best methods is to hand the person a tract.

2.   Be tactful, but not deceitful. Always be gracious and kind in approaching anyone about  spiritual things.

3.   The direct and frank method is the best in most cases. After some general introductory conversation, come to the point and say, “I want to talk to you about your soul,” or something to that effect.

The Right Procedure

You should not try to get a person to make a definite decision to accept Christ until he realises why he needs the Saviour.

1.   Show him that he is a sinner by;

(a)  appealing to his honesty

(b)  appealing to his conscience

(c)  using the Bible.  Use Romans 3:10, Romans 3:23; Isaiah 53:6; Jeremiah 17:9.

IMPORTANT. Do not just quote these passages Read them to the person from the Bible. Let him see the Scriptures with his own eyes.

2.   Show him that he cannot go to heaven while he is still in this condition.

(a)  God is holy, and He cannot tolerate sin. Read 1 Samuel 6:20; I Peter 1:16; Ps. 24: 3, 4; Habakkuk 1:13a.

(b)  Heaven is holy, and nothing sinful can enter it. Revelation 21:27; 1 Cor. 6:9, 10; Galatians 5:19-21.

3.   Show him that a righteous God must punish sin.

(a)  Human justice is based on the principle that all wrong­-doing and law-breaking must be punished.

(b)  Divine justice is based on the same principle. Show this from Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 6:23; Romans 1:18; John 3:36; Revelation 21:8; Hebrews 10:26-31.

 

4.  Now show him that Christ has paid the full penalty of our sins for us.  

4.   Isaiah 53:4-6; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 2:24; Romans 5:6-8; 2 Corinthians 5:21.  “Repent and believe the Gospel.” (Mark 1:15)

5.  Show him that one is saved by believing and trusting in Jesus Christ as one’s personal Sin-bearer and Saviour.

The following Scriptures are among the best to use for this; Romans 6:23; John 1:12; John 3:16 & 36; Romans 10:9-10; Revelation 3:20; I John 5:9-13; Acts 4:12.

IMPORTANT: At this point ask the person if he will believe and trust the Saviour right now. Ask him point-blank, “Will you take Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour ?” If the answer is “yes,” say, “Then let’s talk to Him now and tell Him so.”

It is usually best to kneel. Once on your knees, you pray first. Pray a simple prayer, thanking the Lord for coming to seek and save the lost, for dying for our sins, and for His willingness to save all who come to Him.

Then ask the Lord to reveal Himself in all His saving grace to this person who is now coming to Him and who wants to be saved from his sins. Ask God to grant him assurance of full and free salvation.

After you pray, ask the person to pray. If he says that he cannot pray, urge him to tell God that he is a sinner, that he believes the Lord Jesus died for him, and that he wants Him to be his Saviour.

Urge him to express his faith in the Lord Jesus. If necessary, you may formulate the prayer for the person, sentence by sentence and have him repeat it after you.

IMPORTANT: After prayer, ask him if he believes that God keeps His promise. Then go back to the same verses that you read to him concerning trusting Christ as his personal Sin-bearer and Saviour.

Thus bring him to an assurance of salvation which is based upon God’s own Word and promises. It is always good to use the last half of John 6:37.

6.   Then point out that if a Christian sins after he accepts the Saviour, Christ will act as his intercessor.  Hebrews 7:25; I John 2:12; 1 John 1:9.

7.   Finally, point out that successful Christian living can be maintained only by:

(a) Daily Bible Reading and growth. Suggest that he start with the Gospels. And then introduce him to a church that teaches the Word of God in truth.

(b) Daily Prayer. Explain that it is talking to God alone. Suggest that a time be set aside for prayer each morning and each evening as a minimum.

(c) Bold Witnessing. Urge him to let others know that he is a Christian and is determined to live for God.

A large number of citations from the Bible have been given here. However, in dealing with a person, it is best to select only a few verses. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom for it is, “Not by might or power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD.”  (Zechariah 4:6)    AMEN!

 

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