People Don’t Like Being Told They Are Going To Hell

Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

Matthew 25:46

We need to think about how we say things to others who disagree with us about God. We need to boldly speak truth but not be surprised when they might want to spit in our face or drop kick us. Truth is uncomfortable to those not ready to receive it.

In speaking often to those who don’t believe in Jesus as the Savior of mankind, My experience is they don’t take kindly to being called lost, ignorant, deceived, or hell-bound. They find it condescending, judgmental, and hateful. If I were a nonbeliever, I would not like it either. As a Christian, we have to understand this. We need to “feel” what they are saying and understand that it’s a strong statement we make when we say they are lost or going to Hell. That kind of pronouncement carries with it a lot of emotion and judgment. It doesn’t mean we don’t speak it but we should try and understand how they are hearing it.

We shouldn’t be flippant with our words if we want to show care for them. If we are offering the grace of Jesus, we can’t do it from the approach that they we are better than them or that they disgust us because if their lifestyle . They are no less human and no more unworthy than you or me. We dehumanize people often with our words, oftentimes in the name of God no less . I have been guilty of this myself but I don’t want to treat people as if I reject them. I am burdened for them and want them to know Christ and the salvation he offers. I want to be nice and not harsh.

That in no way means I don’t believe all people of every race and status are in need of the gospel. Everyone needs to hear about Christ and their desperate need for Him for salvation. My error is not in sharing but in being insensitive. I haven’t been as sensitive to them in the words I have used to convey what I believe to be true. We are fools if we think they are not going to struggle with our belief that they are sinners and will go to Hell for eternity in judgment. I mean who wants to hear that! Yet, if we believe that those without Christ are bound for eternity in Hell, then it is the greatest act of love we can give to do everything we can to help them see the way of salvation. Think about it like this: if another person saw me doing something that was harmful to myself and thy intervened, I might not appreciate it in the moment, but surely it is an act of mercy and care! I often try to help people who don’t want to admit or recognize their issue(s), but to do nothing feels cruel. No one, I mean no one, is going to shake your hand and thank you for telling them they are eternally condemned (Welk i did have a guy in prison tell me he was glad to be going to Hell but that’s a rare exception!). Let’s put ourselves in their shoes. We have to think very carefully how we speak to those who are without a relationship with Christ. I suggest the following:

1) Before you engage them remind yourself that you are no better than them and the same salvation you say they need, you needed yourself. Give grace because you surely needed grace yourself.

2) This goes with the first one but be humble. This is not about your pride, ego, or another notch on your belt, or about winning an argument. You do this because hopefully you care about them and you should prove it in your words and attitude .

3) You should dialogue and debate with them but don’t let emotions or anger influence your words. I have been so guilty of this in my debates. There have been times where my ego got in the way or I let anger cloud my judgment. It undermines everything I am saying when that happens.

4) Be prepared for them to attack you. They are not going to like that you lean on faith and not reason, as they see it. They are going to ridicule it and disrespect you. You need to be honest that you don’t have the proof they want to see and also that you don’t know all the answers. If they don’t believe then give them that right. Respect their decision. Your job is to share and not to convert. You cannot convert people because you do not have the ability to change their heart.

Let’s think through how we engage people with the gospel. Let’s treat them respectfully and lovingly. Let’s be patient with them just as others were patient with us. Hurting people even in the name of truth is dead wrong. We should present the truth, but do it with sensitivity and care.

“but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15

10 Sure Fire Ways To Fail At Life

1) Blame everything bad in your life on someone or something else.

2) Be ungrateful and ignore the good things you have been given in life.

3) Make excuses for why you won’t do the things you know you need to do.

4) Fear to try new things in life.

5) Give up too soon without giving your everything to succeed.

6) Do not believe that God loves you and created you for a greater purpose.

7) Let negative people and circumstances distract you from the goal.

8) Speak in ways that are negative and defeating.

8) Trust others words about you more than you do what God says about you.

9) Love selfishly not finding ways to serve and sacrifice for others.

10) Ignore wise advice from those who care about you and have your best interest in mind.

Ashley Judd Represents What’s Wrong with our Culture

If you haven’t seen the crazy rant by Ashley Judd, I recommend not bothering. It was uncomfortable and sad to watch. It was shocking and purposeless. It had no value for any real cause.

Many will judge what Ashley Judd said but reality is she represents the current climate of our American culture. There is an increasing boldness and brashness to our culture’s justifications of shocking and immoral actions. The pattern is quite traceable. It starts out subtle. Decades ago, media started putting more and more sexual innuendos in their shows and commercials. Magazines start showing more and more skin in publications not called Playboy or some other adult entertainment. The line keeps getting pushed further and further. The line keeps getting blurred more and more. Our moral senses become further desensitized.  Sin gets bolder and more shocking. Homosexuality goes from taboo to the norm, a culture demanding that it be readily acceptable, all in the name of progress. Feminism becomes an excuse to be rude and crude. Rated PG today used to be rated R  years ago. It is like drowning slowly not realizing you are sinking until too late.

The attitude in our culture that is prevalent is one of tolerance. “Do whatever feels good and don’t you dare question me because it is my right,” is what Ashley Judd and millions more proclaim in this time. All the while our culture loses its moral decency and slips slowly down a slippery slope of debauchery and filth.

What will be the end result? Eventually the culture will break down under the force of its own immorality. The church will be ridiculed and God will be shunned. The people will be turned over to the gods of their making and it’s own demise will become inevitable. Those who love sin will loathe statements like this, will revile it as preachy and paranoid. They will rave against it as judgmental and close minded. Yet, anyone who takes a moment to look can see the instability of what we have witnessed in Ashley Judd’s rant. There is no hope in that message. There is only ignorance: “I am my own master and I will say and do what I want and no one has a right to tell me otherwise.” That is the message of the day and it will lead our culture to what it wishes: a godless, immoral, chaotic heap that will come crashing down.
Those who love Christ must take notice and stand firmer than ever before. No compromise must be our stance; yet not allowing our moral stand to result in isolation but rather, reaching out to the Ashley Judd’s and offering them a better way, a way of hope and purpose. We can’t join in and we can’t isolate. We must see the devastation of the moment and fight to rescue those caught up in it. We must be a voice in the darkness. We can’t be scared of it or run from it. We must engage it with light and hope.

There will be many more shocking moments like Ashley Judd’s to come. Be prepared, prayed up, and ready to engage this culture with the only hope it has, Jesus Christ.

Get Your Head Out Of The Sand

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.   Revelation 3:15-16

Complacency is your dire enemy. It’s the Darth Vader, Norman Bates and Wicked Witch of enemies all wrapped up into one fighting for your soul. You probably don’t give it much thought but it is the culprit behind much that hinders you spiritually, physically, and relationally. It lulls you into a false comfort that you are doing enough when really you are drifting slowly away from the safety of the shoreline, oblivious of the danger that you are in. It’s so easy to become complacent. It happens naturally to us.

Most of the time we are unaware that complacency is an issue. Until one day you are jolted awake by some sort of crisis. At that moment you gain a moment of perspective, realizing that you have been sleepwalking through life. That all those things you thought were “can’t live withouts” were really things that don’t satisfy or last.

Godliness, on the other hand, takes intentionality and sacrifice. You need to add these two words to your daily vocabulary. What are doing today that is intentional and sacrificial? If you can answer that with something then you are a step closer towards fighting complacency in your life.

Here are a few considerations to help you fight complacency:

  1. Willpower alone will not overcome complacency.
  2. You can’t think eternally in your daily life without Jesus.
  3. You need to consistently be confronted by God’s word to keep you from putting your guard down.
  4. You need to serve others in some capacity to remind you that it is not all about you.
  5. You need to start right now or you won’t do a thing about this issue

 

Complacency is the easy route but will leave you going through life unaware of what really matters. Godliness involves risking it all for something greater than yourself. Living for ourself is much easier but brings no joy to us.  Living for Christ costs us greatly but we gain everything. Let those who have ears to hear, hear and be set free from a life of complacency and indifference.

American Christians need to know what our Christian Brothers and Sisters across Seas are enduring

Barna Report Indicates that Christians Are Interested in Persecution

A new Barna Research Group report indicates that 74 percent of Christians are interested in hearing about the worldwide persecution of Christians, though only 48 percent of pastors want to introduce the topic in their churches, reports ASSIST News Service in reference to the Open Doors USA.

“This gap in interest shows that many Christians in America have a desire to hear more about persecution around the world, but have not been introduced to the topic in their churches,” says Dr. Carl Moeller, President/CEO of Open Doors USA. “The Bible says so much about persecution. The early church faced widespread persecution. It is still prevalent today. Only 10 days ago a suicide bomber detonated eight pipe bombs outside a church building in Solo, Central Java, Indonesia which wounded 20 church members. We cannot ignore what is happening to our suffering fellow believers.

http://www.christiantelegraph.com/issue14118.html for full article.