Pastor's Corner

1 Mar
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Mid-Week Challenge

You might have noticed that religion has been in the headlines a lot recently.  From the Super Bowl ads “He Gets Us” to the theater with Jesus Revolution, media is taking notice. Revivals at colleges have been in the headlines.  Asbury, Lee and now Texas A&M, Indiana Wesleyan and LSU, have all reported worship movements happening on their campus. The Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum are numbers one and two for Best Religious Museum for 2023 in the USA Today 10 Best Poll annual survey. The Tim Tebow Foundation sponsored its annual “Night to Shine” last Friday evening. The event was designed to give a prom experience centered on God’s love to people with special needs.

All kinds of wonderful, Godly things happening all around us.  When things are going well there will always be the naysayers that chime in.  Another article tells us that "SatanCon 2023" is already sold out!  The conference will be held from April 28-30 in Boston, Massachusetts, if you are interested.  Things like this never surprise me, in fact I find them somewhat amusing.  What I find no humor at all in is those on the “Christian side” of things trying to poke holes in all the religious activity.  I have read where pastors are downplaying the college campus revivals as being young person led, so not dependable.  Others have said the recent movies are just Hollywood looking to make a buck.  The other issues are said to be too liberal or too conservative to make a real impact.  To all these arguments I ask, “why can’t we just be excited that people are talking about Jesus?”  God is all around us, opening doors for conversation about Jesus, why not take advantage?  I think one of the problems is that the negativity comes from people who haven’t had an authentic evangelistic conversation with someone else in their life.  They are really good a finding fault, but no so much at delivering the goods of the Gospel, so to speak. 

There is an interesting story in Mark 9 that I think deals with this kind of thing that is happening to us today.  When Jesus’ ministry began to take off, other people outside of the disciple group wanted to take part in the movement.  So much so that people began to cast out demons in the name of Jesus.  This so offended John that he went to stop it.  In verses 38-41 we find the encounter: 

“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward. 

I don’t know what is going on right now, but it’s been a great witnessing opportunity for me.  I have been able to talk specifically concerning the things of God to more people in the last two weeks than I have in the past few years.  These social subjects have opened the door for dialogue with people I’ve been trying to witness to for years.  Whether these are authentic, soul changing, life lasting events or not, I don’t know. I do know that they have given me the chance to individually talk to people about what I know works!  

Don’t discount something that God is using to open the door in someone’s life.  He opens the door and wants to use you to help that person make an authentic connection with Him! 

Serving the Savior,

Bro. Jonathan


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