hotrodhell

Three ideas for every Believer

In Apologetics on October 27, 2019 at 8:19 pm

As Christians we are to go about everyday looking for where God is working. Through the empowering of the Holy Spirit ideally we join in and help. How does this come about and what do we do?
Recently I was enjoying coffee at a local establishment with 2 friends both ministers of the Gospel. We were having your average over the top discussion of theology (I thoroughly enjoy) and a young man was very intently listening in behind us (I noticed). I invited him to join us and proceeded to engage Him in what I call the five questions to see His spiritual understanding and background.
Do you believe in God?
What are your proofs?
Why are you a Christian?
How did we get the Bible?
What do you understand about the Trinity?
Bonus question: If God is such a loving God why is there so much evil, and suffering in the world?
The young man was gracious enough to go along and we made sure He understood this wasn’t an interrogation just Christians who are interested in others and their beliefs. There it was God was at work and we joined in, this young man was trying to read the scriptures and understand them better. He was attending a church and being faithful to it. Now to the substance of the story, as Christians I believe the scriptures would have us do at a minimum one of three things. Encourage the brethren, challenge the believers, witnesses to the lost. Everyone we meet falls into one of the three areas.
Challenge:
(Deu 1:43-44 ESV) So I spoke to you, and you would not listen; but you rebelled against the command of the LORD and presumptuously went up into the hill country. Then the Amorites who lived in that hill country came out against you and chased you as bees do and beat you down in Seir as far as Hormah.

This same people acted out on their emotions and brought about a calamity, before they went they were challenged. Moses didn’t threaten them, he spoke plainly and gave them God’s word not his “interpretation. “The scripture is clear regarding our obedience and surrender to God’s instruction. If we follow the Biblical outline for salvation repent, confess, cry for mercy, surrender we will be obedient the leading of the Holy Spirit. When we take things into our own selfish will destruction follows. Worse when we tell God “I got it” and his word is clear from the start. There is only one God and you aren’t him.

(Deu 3:28 ESV) But charge Joshua, and encourage and strengthen him, for he shall go over at the head of this people, and he shall put them in possession of the land that you shall see.’

The word spoken here clearly states charge and encourage, charge being understood as challenge.

(Col 4:5-6 ESV) Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

The challenge issued by Paul for believers, how to act, speak and use our time. How do we respond to those that claim the faith yet accept the a non-Christian world view under the disguise of the Bible is a book written by men trying to good, tolerance, social justice, follow your heart, Jesus is ALL about love, most people are basically good?

(1Th 4:1-8 ESV) Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

(1Ti 4:-3 ESV) Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

As a true God follower can anything be added to this challenge. God is clear obedience, holiness, humbleness, purity, and share the gospel.

Encourage:

(Deu 1:38 ESV) Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter. Encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.

Joshua needed encouragement to lead the people after Moses is gone. After wandering in the wilderness for 40 years and Moses had become almost a king to the people. When it was time for Joshua to take over, he needed lots of encouragement. Joshua had seen Moses in action and was mentored by him, but now the people needed to accept him as their leader. Can you imagine the skepticism, and talk among the people? I am convinced that Joshua was apprehensive as well, I know I would be.
(Eph 6:21-23 ESV) So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts.
Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The people in Ephesus whom Paul loved needed encouragement because of the trials they were facing. By decree Christianity was being persecuted as a religion and the early Christians were being tortured and killed. Just being obedient to the faith was punishable by death. Paul was in prison and he wants to encourage others and sends someone to do so.
(Col 4:7 ESV) Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts,

Paul is always concerned about encouraging the brothers, knowing the trials he faced were grave and desperate and the end of His life in view. Paul is sitting in a prison waiting for his trial and he is chained to a guard 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Nero is in power and he uses the Christians as a political excuse for his terrible decisions he has made as Emperor. It is told that Nero dressed like a clown, held a feast in his palace and used Christians as human torches for lighting at night. This is the environment that early believers faced when they converted from paganism to belief in Jesus the Messiah.

(1Th 4:14-18 ESV) For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Maranatha is an Aramaic word that means “the Lord is coming” or “come, O Lord.” The early church faced much persecution, and life for a Christian under Roman rule was not easy. The Romans required everyone to declare that Caesar was god. “Pay homage to Caesar,” a soldier would demand. The person to whom the soldier made the demand would take a pinch of incense, throw it into a tiny alter fire and declare, “Kaiser kurios,” — “Caesar is Lord.”
Understand this was not merely an affirmation of Caesar as the head of state. It was a declaration of Caesar’s divinity and an oath of allegiance to Rome.
This, of course, was something Christians could not do. They had one Lord and one allegiance, so frequently their response was, “Iesous kurios,” — “Jesus is Lord.” And the immediate reward for their faithfulness to Christ was an execution.
Would you join with me “Iesous kurios” Jesus is Lord

The Father sends, the Son accomplishes, the Spirit applies! May I use this time to encourage you?

Witnesses:

(Eph 6:18-20 ESV) praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

Paul was very aware of His mission to proclaim the mystery of the Gospel, our Triune God revealed through His Son who gave us His Spirit for the reconciling of lost sinners to the family of God.

(Col 4:2-4 ESV) Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.

True believers have a mission to declare the mystery of the Personal God who is there. How He gave His Son to accomplish the payment of sin both eternal and physical (temporal) as satisfaction of a sin debt we owe. Then He provided His Spirit to live (dwell) in us to apply the mission in us and through us. The Triune God at work the Father wills, the Son accomplishes, the Spirit applies. The Father decrees, the Son acts, the Spirit regenerates. When we pray, we pray by the Spirit through the Son, to the Father. The Father answers through the Son by the Spirit.

(Mat 28:18-20 AMP) Jesus approached and, breaking the silence, said to them, All authority (all power of rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).

Our commission, challenge, encouragement, and witness our mission.

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