On the street, 21st February 2015

DSCI0581Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
(2 Timothy 2:5)

We often come across Christians that tell us that they don’t know the Bible very well.  We find that such people are often involved with churches that teach erroneous doctrines.  Most, if not all, the churches that have been recently established in Manchester of Nigerian origins fall into this category.

The pastors of these churches are great manipulators of the Bible, twisting the scriptures to exploit their flocks with scriptures quoted out of context, reinterpreted scriptures and a mixture of African superstition and witchcraft.  We have seen footage of churches in Africa where the preacher convinced his people to go on all fours and eat grass, as well as drink petrol:

grass                                petrol    

http://www.christianpost.com/news/after-south-african-pastor-makes-church-members-eat-grass-he-now-forces-them-to-drink-petrol-127099/

Others sexually abuse people under the pretence of laying on of hands for healing amongst other things:

(Warning: before opening the following link be advised that it contains graphic details of the abuse of women by a preacher in Africa)

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2011/04/26/reporters-witness-a-christian-pastor-molesting-women-at-demon-banishing-service/

Discernment is often misunderstood by many Christians as being some form of 6th sense, that we somehow receive a feeling about something or someone, or an “inner voice” tells us that a thing is either right or wrong.  Often people claim to have received what they describe as “a word from the Lord” or that the “Holy Spirit had just told them or revealed to them” this and that.  This is not how discernment is gained.  The Holy Spirit has revealed, through the scriptures, that discernment is gained by those who have sufficient maturity and are able to to handle the strong meat of God’s word; “those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Hebrews 5:14)

As Paul stated we are to, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:5).  It is knowledge of the Word of Truth, as contained in the scriptures, that is needed and we need to know how to apply its teaching correctly.  When scripture is mishandled, wrested or twisted, and used to support false teaching it will lead to destruction:

even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.  (2Peter 3:15-18)

DSCI0569

As Miguel was preaching this week three young men stopped and one of them began to challenge the message and the very existence of God.  This young man was mocking and making lewd remarks.  It was obvious that he was an attention seeker by the fact of his long dreadlocks (not something many young white British males wear) and the way that he wanted to draw attention to himself.  John tried to engage him in conversation but he was having none of it.  He moved away in order to heckle Miguel, meanwhile John engaged in conversation with his two companions.  These young men were much more reasonable and were taking an interest in what John was saying, especially as John turned the conversation to the many messianic prophecies in the Old Testament scriptures that pre-date the birth of Christ by hundreds of years.  He would have gone into these with greater detail if their friend had not interrupted and declared that they should leave.  We pray that, in spite of their friend’s obvious hatred for God, the seed that was sown does take root in their lives and that the Holy Spirit may work in their hearts and minds to convict them of the truth.

John was approached by an elderly gentleman who claimed to be a Christian.  He stated how good it was that we were there presenting the Gospel.  He commented how hard the people in Manchester were towards the message.  He also said that he admired our courage for standing out there, on the streets.  John mentioned that he is often reminded of the Prophet Ezekiel’s calling:

For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel;  Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand . Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee. But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted . (Ezekiel 3:5-7)

What is more God told Ezekiel to preach whether the people wanted to listen or not:

go , get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; whether they will hear , or whether they will forbear .
(Ezekiel 3:11)

Our aim is not to preach a message that will fit in with people’s lives, that somehow Jesus is the missing part that will make their lives better.  Our aim is to speak the truth, no matter how incompatible it may be with people’s lifestyles.  People’s eternal destiny is at stake.  Medics often have to amputate a limb in order to save the life of someone trapped in a car wreck.  Just as there is no “nice” way of telling the person that they have to lose an arm or a leg so that they do not die, there is also no “nice” way of telling people that unless Jesus endured all that He did when He was taken, brutalised and crucified, then they would end up in the Lake of Fire for all eternity.

The Gospel message is good news for the believer, how ever it is bad news for the unbelievers.  Just as Noah’s ark only saved those that were in it, so the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ will only save those that have faith in it!  The rest will perish.  Noah’s ark only had a limited amount of room, the Gospel ark has room for everyone:

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;  For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved , and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ JesusWho gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (1 Timothy 2:1-6)
Advertisements

2 Comments

  1. TRUST PREACHERS OR THE BIBLE?—BY STEVE FINNELL

    If you are searching for the truth concerning faith and practice should you consult books written by preachers or the book inspired by God? As for me I trust God’s book the Holy Bible.

    Billy Graham quote:”They may not even know the name of Jesus but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don’t have, and they turn to the only light they have, and I think that they are saved, and that they’re going to be with us in heaven.”

    Jesus quote:… “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6) NASB

    Will you trust books written by Billy Graham or the Scripture in the Bible that was inspired by God. (2 Timothy 3:16)

    Charles Stanley quote: “…. Ephesians 2:8-9 says faith in Jesus Christ is the only requirement for salvation, not baptism…”

    (Note: Ephesians 2:8-9 Does not say that faith is all that is required for salvation)

    Jesus quote: “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved…”(Mark 16:16) (NASB)

    Would you rely on books written by Charles Stanley for spiritual guidance or would you trust the written word of God?

    Max Lucado quote: “Is it possible for an unbaptized believer to be saved? Yes, definitely. Should every believer be baptized? Yes, definitely.”

    The apostle Peter quote: “Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you…(1 Peter 3:21)

    Would you be willing to believe every word that Max Lucado writes in his books or would you rather trust every word of the Bible as inspired by God?

    John MacArthur quote: ” Water baptism is certainly important, and required of every believer. However, The New Testament does not teach that baptism is necessary for salvation.”

    New Testament quote: “Repent and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins…” (Acts 2:38)

    Would you want to trust what John MacArthur says about New Testament salvation or would you rather trust the words written in the New Testament ?

    Why any believer in Christ would read the books written by men who pervert the gospel of Jesus Christ is an enigma beyond explanation.

    You can trust teachers of error or you can trust God but you cannot trust both.

    AS FOR ME I WILL TRUST THE BIBLE AND THE BIBLE ALONE!

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

    • Do you believe that everybody who was not baptised in water after they had come to believe and died before they could be baptised is not saved?

      There are many individuals who have been prevented from being baptised for various reasons. Is God going to reject them?

      You want others to believe you on the basis that you claim to “follow the Bible alone?”

      True, Peter stated that “Baptism saves”! But he also added that it was not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God. The Jews understood Baptism (or as they call it a “Mikvah”) to be a ritual of cleansing. This is what Mary went through during the days of her purification after having given birth to Christ. Peter is telling us that it is NOT the water that saves but it is an act of a good conscience. Paul wrote enough about Baptism to show us that Salvation is granted purely upon a person’s faith. Mark stated: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” He also added that, “he that believeth not shall be damned.” Thus we see that Baptism in itself is not what saves–it is faith (believing) that saves. There are millions of people in this world that are convinced that they will be accepted by God on the basis that they have been baptised. This is a false dogma. Adolf Hitler was baptised, as was Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse-Dong; does this mean that they were saved?

      As Mark is pointing out a person can be baptised without being a believer–these, as Mark wrote, will be damned! Nobody is saved because they were baptised they should be baptised because they have become believers. Our reconciliation with the Father, our atonement, our redemption rests wholly upon what Christ did for us during His trial, crucifixion and death and His subsequent resurrection is the proof of this. We are saved purely on account of our believing this. The person who believes will be baptised because he/she is a believer. Their belief will lead them to obey Christ’s call to be baptised, and will lead us to baptise them. Faith alone saves: (Romans 4:1-8). Faith (true faith that is) will lead to works. Our works should be by faith IN faith, faith should never be placed in works. Salvation is an act of God, not an act of men. I cannot trust in my own self, my own works, I cannot justify myself. On the day of judgement the Lord will not be looking at whether or not you and I were Baptised, He will be looking at how we loved our brethren (especially the least of them). We can submit to all the sacraments under the sun but what use are they without faith in Christ?

      I do not look to Billy Graham, why would I? I have never read any of Charles Stanley’s books, in fact I don’t know who Charles Stanley is. I have heard of Max Lucado, but I’ve never read anything by him. I believe that we must all work out for ourselves God’s salvation, we cannot rely on any man, other than the man Christ Jesus.

      In Christ

      John Hayworth

Feedback - Message

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s