Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Mt. 5:16, KJV).
Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation (Mk. 16:15, NIV).
"Sanctify the Lord the Christ in your hearts, and be always prepared to give an answer to every one that asks you to give an account of the hope that is in you, but with gentleness and respect (1 Pet. 3:15, DBY/GWT)."
Do you have a heart for prison ministry? A "prisoner" describes who we were before we met Christ. "Remember, do not forget how you provoked the LORD your God to wrath...you have been rebellious against the LORD (Deut. 9:7,NASB)." "Remember from where you have fallen." Jesus came to set the captives free (Luke 4:18). The one forgiven much should forgive much (Mat. 18:23-35). Some have a heart for prison ministry because of their gratitude and keen awareness of Christ's forgiveness in their own lives. These people may be effective ministers to the prisoner in need of the gospel.
"Most people die by 30 but we don't bury them 'til 65 or so” - Mark Twain
We have until this side of the grave to reach the aging person with the gospel of Jesus Christ. God can restore the years that the locust have eaten (Joel 2:25, KJV). Children seem to come to Christ so easily, "such is the kingdom of God (Luke 18:16, KJV)." When a person is older and hardened of heart, it becomes increasingly difficult to be "reborn" as a child. Riches and comfort don't help the problem. Being "set in your ways" only adds to the difficulty. Satan is more than willing to keep people "fat and happy" so that they believe they have little use for a Savior. "How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God (Acts 18:24-25, NASB). Spiritual pride is deadly.
There comes a time, the Bible says when God gives an individual over to their own reprobate mind (Rom. 1:27). We are each given a certain light and we are expected to respond to that light. "From everyone who has been given much, much will be required (Luke 12:48, NASB)."
Witnessing to family members can prove a bleak task. Jesus said, "no prophet is welcome in his hometown (Luke 4:24, NASB)." It is difficult to witness to close family members because they may have been the very ones who changed your diapers (Gino Geraci)! Familiarity breeds contempt.
We certainly don't get along with all family members. Someone once said that God uses "sandpaper people" to sand and sift us into the image of His Son. Regeneration is a refining process and purging to turning us into Christ's likeness. C.S. Lewis said: "It's so much easier to pray for a bore than to go and see one."
Nevertheless, we love our family members and friends and we pray for them. Somehow, we will have to communicate that there really is a God and they really are going to have to give an account for their lives. "Each one of us will give an account of himself to God (Ro 12:12, NASB)." Ultimately, not all will come into a right relationship with Jesus Christ. The ultimate insult to God is to fail to believe His promise--that Christ died, was buried and rose again--and that if you put your trust in Him, you will have everlasting life. You can know all the facts but it is your relation to these facts that make a difference in time and eternity (McGee).
Christ's followers will judge the world (1 Cor. 6:2) and on that day there will be tears (Rev. 21:4). Sadly, "few" find the narrow gate with leads to life (Mat. 7:14, NASB).
Wake up--be on guard. It's not religion. It's not going to church. It's not praying a prayer. It's trust in Christ and Christ alone. You can fool yourself but you can't fool God. Head the warning:
"Therefore we must give 1the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word aspoken through angels proved steadfast, and bevery transgression and disobedience received a just 2reward, 3 chow shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, dwhich at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was econfirmed to us by those who heard Him."
1 all the more careful attention
a Deut. 33:2; Acts 7:53; Gal. 3:19
b Num. 15:30
2 retribution or penalty
d Matt. 4:17
e Mark 16:20; Luke 1:2; 1 John 1:1
The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. Heb 2:1-3
Believer? Unbeliever? Make-believer? Learn to discern.
Unfruitful?--Unsaved. "By their fruits you will know them (Mat. 7:20)." All true conversions bear fruit.
Keep on keepin' on:
14 rAnd whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, sshake off the dust from your feet. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, tit will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!
r Mark 6:11; Luke 9:5
s Neh. 5:13; Luke 10:10, 11; Acts 13:51
t Matt. 11:22, 24
The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. Mt 10:14-15
The law was bad enough. But we live in an age of grace: "3 chow shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation."
The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. Heb 2:3
q Lev. 19:3; Deut. 27:16; Matt. 15:4; 19:19; Mark 7:10; 10:19; Luke 18:20; Eph. 6:2
r Deut. 5:16, 33; 6:2; 11:8, 9
The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982, S. Ex 20:11-12
Reach out to the homeless, prisoners, and the elderly.
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