Archives For Evangelism

In his gospel message at Caesarea, the apostle Peter proclaimed one of the finest one-verse summaries of the life of Jesus of Nazareth, God’s Christ:

Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

God powerfully used this content—along with everything else that he preached—to save all of Peter’s unsaved hearers on that occasion! A careful examination of this glorious gospel verse shows that Peter proclaimed a gospel message that many may question is suitable content to include in evangelism.

The Gospel Is a Trinitarian Message

First, Peter spoke of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in this gospel statement. He, therefore, gave a Trinitarian gospel message to his hearers. We should not think that witnessing that speaks only about Jesus is the best way because it keeps the message simpler.

The Gospel is a God-and-Jesus Message

Second, in addition to teaching us to give sinners a trinitarian gospel message, Acts 10:38 teaches us to give them a God-and-Jesus message. Note carefully, this verse does not itself directly testify that Jesus is God, even though that certainly is true.

Remarkably, this key gospel statement highlights that God anointed Jesus and that God was with Jesus. Neither of these truths is reducible to stating that Jesus was Himself fully God!

The Gospel is a Jesus-and-the-Devil Message

Third, Peter did not just preach a gospel message about God and human sinners—he testified of Jesus’ delivering multitudes of sinners from a sinful supernatural spirit being, the devil. Because many in our day deny the existence of supernatural evil, testifying to this content is all the more important today.

Furthermore, Peter did not think that telling sinners that Jesus lived a perfect sinless life (when he testified that Jesus “went about doing good”) was all that they needed to hear about His life. Instead, he also talked about His healing all that were oppressed of the devil. This aspect of the life of Jesus is a vital truth that we need to communicate to sinners (cf. 1 John 3:8).

Application

Using Acts 10:38 carefully in your evangelism is one of the best ways to communicate numerous vital truths to lost people! I urge you strongly to use this premier gospel verse in your evangelism.

Reincarnation is a very widespread religious view. Those who believe in it hold that our souls were pure to begin with, but because of the bad deeds that we have done in our previous lives, we are trapped in an ongoing cycle of birth-death-rebirth-death etc.

This cycle continues because of our bad deeds that we have done in previous lives, do in our current lives, and will do in our future lives.

In the following figure, I symbolize the pure soul with a cloud that has no black spots (karma from our bad deeds). Each blue arrow signifies a cycle of being born, dying, and then being reborn.

 

Because of the bad deeds that are attached to our pure souls, we continue in this cycle.

What People Believe about Deliverance from Reincarnation

Only when through being reborn numerous times and doing more good than evil in each future live will we get rid of all our bad karma. When we do that, our pure souls will be delivered from reincarnation and go to nirvana (symbolized by the cloud going up until it is one with the sun).

 

To many people, this explanation makes sense. A closer look, however, shows why this explanation is not true.

Why Reincarnation is Not True

Look carefully at the following figure. Had our souls originally been pure to begin with, we would never have entered into this cycle (symbolized by the red “x” on the first blue arrow).

 

Instead, the pure soul, because it would have no karma attached to it from any bad deeds that it would have done, would immediately go to nirvana. Because it would be pure to begin with, it would never enter the cycle of reincarnation!

No one should believe in reincarnation because what is taught about it is not true. Had our souls been pure to begin with, they would never have been trapped in such a cycle.

The Truth about Us

The Bible teaches that it is appointed to man once to die and then the judgment. According to God’s Word, reincarnation is not true. We only live once in this life and then we will stand before God the Judge of all.

God tells us that we must accept the truth that we have all sinned and come short of His glory. We cannot be liberated from the sins that we have done by doing more good deeds than bad deeds.

We will not have many future lives to purify ourselves completely so that God will not judge us. No one should believe in reincarnation!

Appeal

We all need to have all our sins forgiven. God promises forgiveness to all who repent toward Him and believe in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. 39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: 40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; 41 Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. 43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

Believe in the gospel of God and His Christ and be saved today!

Multitudes of people believe in reincarnation while multitudes of other people believe in the resurrection of the dead. Which one should people believe in?

The Bible plainly and emphatically teaches that people are not going to die and be reborn over and over again. It does so in various ways, especially by making known that Jesus died only once and that all people die only once.

Dying Only Once

Concerning Jesus, Scripture reveals that He died and God raised Him from the dead:

Rom. 6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

Jesus died only once; He will never die again! Death has no more dominion over Him!

Concerning all men, Scripture reveals that God has appointed that people die only once and are then judged by Him:

Heb. 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

They do not die and then be reborn repeatedly, as reincarnation teaches.

These passages make clear that people should believe in the resurrection of the dead and not in reincarnation.

What about The Second Death?

Someone who is familiar with the Bible might object that the Bible speaks of the second death:

Rev. 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Why should we believe in the resurrection of the dead when the Bible itself speaks of a second death? Doesn’t this teaching about the second death support believing instead in reincarnation?

To answer these questions properly, consider that although a surface reading of this passage might lead some to conclude that it contradicts what Hebrews 9:27 says about people’s dying only once, a proper reading shows that it does not contradict what Hebrews 9:27 and other passages teach.

To understand why, note that Scripture teaches that physical death is the separation of the body from the spirit:

James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

The second death, however, is when people who were already dead stand before God and are then judged by Him:

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

In order for people who were dead to stand again, they must experience bodily resurrection.

The second death, therefore, is not when people will die again physically. Rather, these are people who will be cast bodily into a lake of fire.

The Bible’s teaching about the second death does not support belief in reincarnation—people must believe in resurrection, not reincarnation.

The Right Response to These Truths

Reincarnation teaches that people’s bodies die but their souls live on and that they are reborn physically. Jesus, however, warned people to fear God who has the ability to destroy both the soul and the body:

Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

People who die physically are not going to be reborn again and again. They will die once and then stand before God to be judged by Him.

In view of these truths, God wants all people to know what He is commanding to all people everywhere:

Acts 17:30 God . . . now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

People should not believe in reincarnation. God wants all people to believe in the resurrection of the dead and has provided proof that they should do so by raising Jesus from the dead and fixing a day in which He will judge the world by Jesus.

By Jesus, believe in God, who raised Him up from the dead and gave Him glory so that your faith and hope might be in God.

1 Peter 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

God wants you to believe not in reincarnation but in resurrection!

Atheists deny the existence of God. No one should be an atheist, however, because it is impossible for anyone to know objectively that there is no God.

Here is why. Suppose that an atheist looked for God in every place in his town, state, or country and claimed not to find any evidence for God. Would the atheist have proved that there is no God? Not at all, because when the atheist is looking in one place for God, God could have been in another place, and when the atheist looked in that place, God could have moved to another place.

Extending this line of reasoning, the only person who could know objectively that there is no God is someone who could be in all the places of the universe at the same time. Unless someone can be everywhere at once, he cannot know that there is no God, and he cannot prove that there is no God.

Of course, there are no such people who can be everywhere in the universe at the same time to know that there is no God and to prove that there is no God.

Furthermore, no atheist can know objectively that there is no God because he is incapable not only of being everywhere at the same time but also of processing at the same time all the information about the existence of God concerning every place in the universe.

Even all the atheists in all the world working together cannot prove that God does not exist because they cannot be everywhere in the universe at the same time and they cannot know everything about every place in the universe at the same time.

Atheism, therefore, is not based on fact or science. It is not sound thinking. Atheism is based on faith in the nonexistence of God because the atheist cannot know that there is no God, and he cannot prove that there is no God. He can only choose to believe that there is no God.

Intellectually honest people who consider themselves to be sound thinkers should reject atheism because what atheists assert is something that they do not know objectively that it is true, and they cannot prove objectively that it is true. No one should be an atheist!

The True “War on Women”

November 30, 2019

The “War on Women is a slogan in United States politics used to describe certain Republican Party policies and legislation as a wide-scale effort to restrict women’s rights, especially reproductive rights”.1 Although this term is an important term in today’s politics, this alleged War on Women is not the true war on women that is taking place.

The First Attack on Women

To understand what the true war on women is that is taking place, we need to accept what God reveals was the first—and the most important—attack ever on women was:

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

This passage testifies that the serpent attacked the first woman by deceiving her into disobeying God’s prohibition that He had given plainly to her and her husband Adam. Based on this revelation, we know that the true war on women that has taken place is what a supernatural evil being did to deceive the first woman into disobeying God.

Ongoing Attacks on Women

Scripture not only reveals that the first attack on human beings was an attack on a woman to deceive her to disobey God, but also it reveals the pernicious nature of similar ongoing attacks on women:

2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

Application

When Christians encounter people who speak of the so-called War on Women, they should take advantage of such an opportunity to evangelize them. They should inform them of the true war on women that is taking place—attacks on women to get them to disobey God, even as the serpent deceived Eve into disobeying God.


1https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_on_Women; accessed 8/10/19, 4:52 pm.

In the NT, the Holy Spirit profoundly highlights the importance of the resurrection appearances of Christ. Part I of this series treats some aspects of that importance in the Gospels, Acts, and the Epistles.

The Gospels

All four Gospels testify that Christ appeared to His disciples after He rose from the dead (Matt. 28; Mk. 16; Luke 24; John 20-21). Because the Spirit inspired every writer of the Gospels to include the appearances, we know that such testimony is vital.

John emphasizes the importance of the appearances by writing in detail about several of them. He highlights that Thomas did not believe that He rose until He showed Himself to them personally (John 20:24-31).

Acts

The book of Acts highlights in several ways that Christ appeared to His disciples after His resurrection. Acts reveals that Christ over a 40-day period after His Passion “showed Himself alive” to His apostles “by many infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3).

Moreover, Acts reveals that Peter declared in his gospel message that God showed the risen Christ only to people that He chose (Acts 10:41a). He also said that those who were His witnesses ate and drank with Him after He rose (Acts 10:41b).

Similarly, Luke records that when Paul preached the gospel in Antioch of Pisida, he testified about those who saw Christ after He rose (Acts 13:31). Furthermore, Luke reveals that Paul’s mission was that he had to be His witness to all men of what he had seen and heard (Acts 22:15). Because what he had seen and heard was “that just One” and “the voice of His mouth” (Acts 22:14), we know that testifying to Christ’s appearing to Paul was an essential part of Paul’s mission.

The Epistles

First Corinthians 15 underscores the appearances of Christ after His resurrection in a profound way. Paul says that the gospel that he preached in Corinth included testimony to four key events concerning Christ: His death, burial, resurrection, and appearances (1 Cor. 15:3-8). Because he testified to those same four elements in Antioch as well, we know that the appearances were a vital part of his gospel message.

Application

We must allow the Spirit to to teach us from the NT just how much the resurrection appearances matter! In particular, we should learn from Him to follow Paul in evangelism by testifying to the appearances when we witness to lost people.

Acts 14:15 And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: 16 Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.

God has given evidence of Himself to all people that He exists and is good to all!

Dios escogió a Jesucristo para ser el que moriría por los pecados del mundo. Él habilitó a Cristo a través del poder de su Espíritu Santo para hacer todo lo que Él hizo. Él le dio la autoridad para hacer todo lo que Él hizo. Cristo viajó alrededor haciendo el bien y sanando a todos los pueblos que el diablo oprimía, porque Dios estaba con Él.

Cristo, el Hijo de Dios, que fue elegido, facultado y autorizado por Dios, nos amó lo suficiente para morir por nosotros en la cruz por nuestros pecados en cumplimiento de lo que Dios prometió sucedería siglos atras. En la cruz, los soldados llegaron a romper sus piernas, pero no lo hicieron porque Él ya estaba muerto. Después de eso, uno de los soldados puso una lanza a través de su lado y sangre y agua salieron de su lado; esto efusión fue una prueba segura de que Él realmente estaba muerto.

Alguien más quitó su cuerpo muerto de la cruz y preparó su cuerpo para el entierro envolviéndolo con 75 libras de tela de lino y especias. Luego Él fue enterrado en una tumba. En la boca de la tumba, rodaron una enorme roca. Después, la tumba fue sellada con un sello a todo su alrededor. Finalmente, los guardias romanos, que bajo amenaza de muerte habían sido mandados para custodiar la tumba, se colocaron alrededor de la tumba.

Al tercer día, el Padre a través de Su Espíritu levantó a su Hijo de entre los muertos. Jesucristo de la descendencia de David, fue resucitado de entre los muertos en cumplimiento de lo que Dios había predicho y prometido se llevarían a cabo hace siglos.

Muchas personas diferentes en diferentes momentos durante un período de 40 días vieron a Aquel que era el Hijo de Dios con poder. Apareció a aquellas personas a quienes Dios había escogido específicamente y que de antemano iban a ver a su hijo después de que Él había resucitado de entre los muertos.

Ese Cristo resucitado se apareció a las personas cuyas vidas cambiaron para siempre después de que ellos lo vieron vivo después de muerto. Se le apareció a Pedro, que pocos días antes había negado tres veces que lo conocía. Sin embargo, poco después se le apareció a Pedro, Pedro estaba predicando valientemente su resurrección.

Cristo apareció entonces a los Doce, y poco después de ese aparición, todos ellos fueron testigos de su resurrección de entre los muertos. Después de eso, más de 500 personas vieron ese Cristo resucitado, al mismo tiempo. La mayor parte de ellos todavía estaban vivos cuando los apóstoles predicaban que Dios lo había resucitado de entre los muertos. Si hubieran querido hacerlo, las personas hubieran podido consultar con ellos para ver si realmente habían visto a Cristo vivo de entre los muertos.

Jesús se apareció por último al Apóstol Pablo. Él no estaba buscando a Cristo antes de ese punto. Después de que Dios estuvo complacido en revelar a su Hijo a Pablo un día, él dio su vida entera a decirle a la gente la buena noticia de que Jesucristo había resucitado de entre los muertos. Pablo pasó de ser un perseguidor de los cristianos a ser un predicador de Cristo por el hecho de que Cristo se le apareció a Pablo después de que Dios le había resucitado de entre los muertos.

Lo que todas las autoridades judías y romanas habrían tenido que hacer para detener la propagación del cristianismo habría sido proporcionar el cuerpo. Habrían destruido ese movimiento infantil si hubieran sido capaces de producir el cuerpo. Ellos, sin embargo, no pudieron hacerlo porque su cuerpo no estaba allí. Él había resucitado de entre los muertos, así como Él prometió que lo haría!

Dios exige a todos en todas partes, que ya no piensen por más tiempo que Él es como los numerosos objetos de culto que los hombres a través de la imaginación y el arte han hecho de oro, plata, piedra, y otras cosas. Ahora manda a todos en todos los lugares a que se arrepientan y crean su Evangelio acerca de su Hijo, Aquel a quien Él ha hecho Señor y Cristo.

Dios ordena a este arrepentimiento y la fe en el Cristo resucitado por lo que ha establecido un día en el cual se va a juzgar a los vivos y a los muertos a través de ese hombre a quien designó, Su Hijo, el Cristo de Dios. Dios ha señalado ese Cristo ha ser el Juez de vivos y muertos, y Él ha aportado la prueba a todos los hombres que Él va a juzgar a todas las personas a través de ese hombre con haberlo levantado de los muertos.

Porque Dios ha hecho todo esto, Él manda a la gente a cambiar por completo su forma de pensar acerca de Él y a hacer obras de acondicionamiento para el arrepentimiento. Él quiere que ellos se arrepientan y sean bautizados en el nombre de Jesucristo para el perdón de los pecados. Él es el Señor de todos.

El Padre envió a su Hijo, Jesucristo, para ser el Salvador del mundo. Él hizo a Jesús, que no conoció pecado, pecado por nosotros, para que nosotros fuésemos hechos justicia de Dios en Él. A través de Él, Dios quiere que usted sea reconciliado consigo mismo.

Jesús está vivo hoy y quiere salvarte. Como Juez y Salvador, Él te salvará si se va a arrepentir, creer en el evangelio, y confesarlo como Señor. Cualquier persona que invoque el nombre del Señor Jesucristo, será salvo.

Llamalo a Él como Señor, creyendo que Dios le levantó de los muertos, y pidanle por el perdón de todos sus pecados!

(Trasladado con la ayuda de Google Translate y Daniela Medina.)

Many people think that as long as they are not hurting anyone else with what they are doing, they should be able to do whatever they want. At a funeral service this past Saturday, I heard a great illustration by my pastor Dr. Mark Minnick that explains in an excellent way why such reasoning is flawed.

Here is my version* of that illustration that so clearly explained why such a belief is false:

On a long, straight 40-mile stretch of highway in the middle of a desolate part of a Western state of the US, a lone vehicle speeds along at 25 miles above the speed limit with the driver completely oblivious for quite some time to the fact that he is going far faster than is legal. Given that there is no one else anywhere on the road on the entire stretch of the highway, the lone driver of this vehicle “innocently” exceeds the speed limit without even knowing it for a long time because he is caught up in his thoughts about many other things.

When the driver realizes that he is going way too fast, he thinks to himself that what he is doing is not wrong because there is no one else on the road that he is hurting by what he is doing. He decides to keep going at 80 mph instead of the posted 55 mph maximum speed.

About 25 miles down the highway, the driver notices flashing lights coming up behind him and realizes that a state trooper is coming after him. He pulls over and tries to tell the officer that what he was doing was not wrong because he was not hurting anyone else by what he was doing.

After all, there was no one else on the road with him at all. Of course, the office does not buy his argument and tickets him heavily for going way above the speed limit.

Just as the trooper in this illustration did not buy that what this driver was doing was right to do just because the driver thought that he was not hurting anyone, so God is not going to excuse anyone who breaks one of His laws simply because he thought that what he was doing was right to do because he thought that he was not hurting anyone else by what he did. Whatever God says is wrong to do is wrong to do whether we think otherwise because we think we are not hurting anyone by what we are doing.


To read the good news of what God offers to all of us because we have done wrong before Him, please read this post.

* My version maintains the key points of the illustration as it was told by Pastor Minnick. I wrote this version because I wanted to share this great illustration with others and do not have the time to listen to the illustration over and over again and transcribe it exactly as he told it.

God is the only One who has existed forever. When God, therefore, created the first angel(s), there were no other created beings in existence.

Because all angels are created beings, they must believe what God has told them about His having created them and that they have not always existed, as God has. Since no angels were around to witness God’s creating at least the first angel(s) who was/were created, righteous angels exercise faith in what God tells them about their origin.

It makes sense to think, however, that some or perhaps all fallen angels reject what God has told them about their origin. Given this demonic rejection of the truth of their being created beings, it would naturally follow that some or all demons have played a leading role in influencing humans around the world to reject the biblical doctrine of creation.

I think that we would do well to present this biblical line of reasoning to those who reject the biblical doctrine of creation and challenge them that their rejection puts them in line with evil supernatural beings. What do you think?