PRESENTING THE GOSPEL MESSAGE

Watch Ray Comfort present the GOSPEL to this young woman and a young man. Note the logic of the progression of his presentation and their reactions. Just by their openness and goodness the Holy Spirit was already working in their lives. Fortunately, the young woman had a praying grandma, which influenced the extent of the change in her from believing in reincarnation to coming back to reconsidering Jesus as her Lord and Saviour.

God has revealed to Ray Comfort the great opportunity that the Coronation of King Charles on Saturday 6th May 2023 offers Christians to evangelize unbelievers. The Coronation service is a traditional Christian service that honours God and the Bible. When Ray shared the vision he had been given with others sufficient money was donated to produce millions of brochures which Ray is offering free of charge to anyone who wants to be involved in what God is doing to bring the Gospel to the lost. Please get involved, you can by going to Ray’s website go http://www.livingwaters.com.

ANSWERING THE SKEPTICS: NO EVIDENCE FOR GOD

The ‘no evidence for God‘ claim is an interesting one. It often works to frame the discussion in such a way that only creationists have a burden of proof. It allows the unbeliever the comfortable position of the skeptic: they get to poke holes in our case without ever having to make a case for anything themselves. Plus, skeptics regularly demand airtight arguments practically anyone would have to accept before they would believe in God (Agnosticism). As such, we almost certainly won’t convince them. But then that supposedly means that our faith in God isn’t reasonable. The game is rigged from the start. Heads, the skeptic wins; tails, we lose.

How should we respond?

CMI suggests you flip the script. Instead of you presenting a case for God, make them present what they think a case for God should look like. The simplest way to do this is to ask them: ‘What sort of evidence would you expect God to give?’

Many skeptics will say things like, ‘Well, none of the arguments I’ve seen convince me.’ Or they may just continue to demand that you convince them. Don’t let them off the hook. Hold their feet to the fire. Say something like: ‘Well, if I don’t know what would convince you, why should I bother trying? How do I know that anything I might say wouldn’t just fall on deaf ears?

You want them to give you something concrete. But, failing that, your goal is to make them feel the irresponsible dogmatism of their skepticism. If skeptics hate anything, it’s looking like a gullible dogmatist. If they continue to avoid the question then walk away. The Holy Spirit may prompt you to pray for them but otherwise do not waste more time.

But if they do give you something concrete, then play the skeptic. What you want to do is to show them that even the case they expect would convince them has the same sort of holes they think exist in the case we make for God exists.

EXAMPLES:

Many skeptics will say things like: ‘Well! if I saw an amputee healed in response to prayer, that would convince me.Response: ‘Really? How do you know God would’ve done it?’ ‘The prayer’, they’ll respond. Your response: ‘That could just be a coincidence. Besides, it’s just a one-off event. What if it never gets repeated? That doesn’t sound scientific. Plus, how do you know something other than God didn’t step in to heal the amputee? Maybe aliens did it! At least we know aliens can exist, since we exist. But God? You’re just linking events that have no demonstrable link and labelling it with ‘God did it’ to cover for your lack of a scientific explanation.’ This sort of response is a real stinger because it’s exactly how most skeptics respond to cosmological and design arguments for God.

Some of them might say, ‘Well, if God appeared to me right here and said, “Here I am, believe in me!” then I would.’ Response: ‘So, you’d bow the knee at a vision that may very well just be a dream? How would you know for sure you didn’t hallucinate?’

Some might say, ‘If the stars read “God exists. Worship him”, I would believe.Response: ‘That would only be useful to people who knew the language the message was written in. Nevertheless, how do you know the stars don’t say that in a language you’ve never encountered? At any rate, why not other beings that want to deceive us? It’s not something we could say that only God could do, so why should we trust a message in the sky with practically no context? Besides, why should you expect God to arrange the stars just to sate your curiosity about his existence? Is that really reasonable to expect of God? Are we the centre of his universe?

With such responses, you’re not trying to show that God doesn’t exist. Rather, you’re trying to show that we can always come up with reasons to doubt that will sound plausible to someone, no matter what evidence is put forward. And if they say, ‘Well, that’s what would convince me.Respond with: ‘So what? You can’t guarantee that it would convince every rational person. You didn’t say, “There’s no evidence for God that convinces me”; you said, “There’s no evidence for God”, period. If all you’re aiming to do is convince yourself, how can anyone else be sure that you’re really looking for the truth? And this isn’t just about trusting you. This is also about whether you’re even competent to look for the truth about God.

At this point, they might start saying things like, ‘Well, all I can do is look at the evidence and do my best to figure out the truth. You have to do that for yourself, too.’ At which point you can respond with: ‘Exactly! That’s all I’m trying to do, too. But I genuinely think that things like the following are best explained by the existence of God (click on the links for a detailed explanation of each).

I see those things and more as evidence for God. I’m not saying that other explanations can’t be offered, or even that smart and sane people can’t disagree with me. Maybe you don’t find these to be conclusive proofs, but it’s a gross overstatement to say that they don’t qualify as evidence. Furthermore, when I look at them as honestly and critically as I can, I still think God is the best explanation for them. But when you say, ‘there’s no evidence for God’, you seem to imply I’m less than rational and/or honest when I say that. Is that fair?

After all, that’s the real effect of this ‘no evidence for God’ claim. If they hold it consistently, they have to admit that you’re essentially irrational just for being a theist. But hopefully, by this point, they feel the unjustified dogmatism of their view, and walked it back a bit to admit that theists aren’t necessarily failing to reason properly when they believe in God. If you manage to do that, then you’ve won a huge victory. And that might be a good place to end the discussion for the time being. People often need time to process these sorts of things, so bombarding them with everything in our arsenal all at once is just unhelpful. For a start, they are probably not ready to hear most of it with an open mind. Rather, we try to deal with the person where they are at and try to nudge them a little bit in the right direction.

This information was assembled by Shaun Doyle of Creation Ministries International (CMI) in answer to the many queries CMI receives on how to answer skeptics’ arguments. http://www.creation.com

DO YOU CARE ABOUT GOD?

Watch Ray Comfort of Living Waters minister the Gospel to this young man. He had no concept of what God had done to secure His salvation and thereby eternal life. Watch the change as the truth slowly dawns on Him. This is evidence of how the Holy Spirit works in our lives to transform us. Only God could bring about the change we see in this young man.

REACHING PEOPLE FOR GOD

Groundwire is really good at reaching those people that would not say they are atheists but do not believe God is relevant to our lives today. They are seeing tens of thousands of young people turn to Christ each year, and the positive pattern is showing no signs of slowing down. “We’re not going after the atheists,” Sean Dunn, president of Groundwire, told Faithwire. “The media would want us to believe that everybody’s an atheist, but, truthfully, 71% of Millennials [and] Gen Z believe that God’s a real being.” Still, young people, despite believing in God, tend to ignore Him, especially in today’s chaotic culture. That’s why Groundwire, a group that seeks to help youths enter into a personal relationship with Christ, uses popular media channels to connect with Millennials and members of Gen Z in the digital spaces through which they currently engage. Find out how Groundwire is reaching so many young people with Christ.

MAY YOU USE THIS CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION TO BRING FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST

Jonathan Aiger reminded me of this hymn in his article on hymns of hope and comfort. I think he is right there is one Christmas hymn that stands head and shoulders above the others purely because of its scope. From the beginning of creation to the incarnation but then to a time of eternal victory. “Of the Father’s Love Begotten” was given to us by 4th-century Roman poet Aurelius Prudentius Clemens, by way of 19th-century translators J.M. Neale and H.W. Baker. The original stanzas are massive in their theological scope and warrant some study and meditation.

Of the Father’s love begotten, ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega, He the source, the ending He,

Of the things that are, that have been,
And that future years shall see, evermore and evermore!

At His Word the worlds were framèd; He commanded; it was done:
Heaven and earth and depths of ocean in their threefold order one;
All that grows beneath the shining
Of the moon and burning sun, evermore and evermore!

He is found in human fashion, death and sorrow here to know,
That the race of Adam’s children doomed by law to endless woe,
May not henceforth die and perish
In the dreadful gulf below, evermore and evermore!

O that birth forever blessèd, when the virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving, bare the Savior of our race;
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
First revealed His sacred face, evermore and evermore!

This is He whom seers in old time chanted of with one accord;
Whom the voices of the prophets promised in their faithful word;
Now He shines, the long expected,
Let creation praise its Lord, evermore and evermore!

O ye heights of heaven adore Him; angel hosts, His praises sing;

Powers, dominions, bow before Him, and extol our God and King!
Let no tongue on earth be silent,
Every voice in concert sing, evermore and evermore!

Righteous judge of souls departed, righteous King of them that live,
On the Father’s throne exalted none in might with Thee may strive;
Who at last in vengeance coming
Sinners from Thy face shalt drive, evermore and evermore!

Thee let old men, thee let young men, thee let boys in chorus sing;
Matrons, virgins, little maidens, with glad voices answering:
Let their guileless songs re-echo,
And the heart its music bring, evermore and evermore!

Christ, to Thee with God the Father, and, O Holy Ghost, to Thee,
Hymn and chant with high thanksgiving and unwearied praises be:
Honor, glory, and dominion,
And eternal victory, evermore and evermore!

REACHING PEOPLE DIGITALLY WITH THE GOSPEL

Provide good content and you will get a good response. Jesse Bradley, a former professional soccer player-turned-pastor is on a digital mission to reach World Cup fans with the Gospel.

Jesse Bradley, a preacher at Grace Community Church in Auburn, Washington, told CBN’s Faithwire he’s seen thousands of soccer fans embrace Jesus since launching his effort. “We’re able to create content where we share the Gospel. I share my story, and people are making decisions to follow Jesus,” he said. “We’re reaching millions of people. We’re seeing over 18,000 already make first-time decisions.” But it’s not limited to simply counting decisions made for Christ. The effort also has a discipleship element, with Bradley partnering with Global Media Outreach, a company leveraging technology to spread the Gospel. “They … follow up, and we help those people find a church,” he said. “So, it’s not just decisions; it’s disciples.” Bradley said the stunning results from the campaign are indicative of a “massive hunger across the world now for God, for hope, for faith, for Jesus.” He said the interest levels are high. Bradley and his team are telling his story and using his testimony to bridge soccer and Jesus in unique ways. Here’s how it all works.

SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IN EVANGELISM

What is God calling Christians to do? We are simply to be found faithful in the task of delivering the Gospel message. We are to bring the gospel into our workplaces, friendships, and families, to whomever and wherever. All that is required is to look to where God has placed us and simply to be found faithful to the task of proclaiming the good news to those who are dead in their sins. It requires that we not be ashamed of the good news of the gospel, which includes not being ashamed of the bad news of God’s judgment against sin.

Whatever the result of that proclamation of the gospel may be, whether a hardening or a softening of the heart, God effectually uses this message for His purposes.

Not every instance of proclaiming a message of repentance is designed by God to bring the people who hear it to repentance and faith. In fact, Scripture often demonstrates the opposite is true—that the proclamation serves to condemn the recipients rather than restore them. A great example of this is found in the commissioning of the prophet Isaiah:

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” He said,

Go and tell these people: Keep on listening, but do not perceive; keep on looking, but do not understand. Render the hearts of these people insensitive, their ears dull, and their eyes dim, otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and return and be healed.” Then I said, “Lord, how long?” and He answered, “Until cities are devastated and without inhabitants, houses are without people and the land is utterly desolate, the Lord has removed men far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. Yet there will be a tenth portion in it, and it will again be subject to burning, like a terebinth or an oak whose stump remains when it is felled. The holy seed is its stump Isaiah 6:8-13

As Brevard Childs ( Isaiah. Westminster John Knox Press, (2001): p56). puts it, “Isaiah, the prophet is to be the executor of death, the guarantor of complete hardening. His very proclamation is to ensure that Israel will not turn and repent.” How would you like to be called by God to deliver that message?

Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.Revelation 20:14

If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. And if they will perish in the Lake of Fire, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.” Charles Spurgeon

We may not necessarily like the implications of God using our proclamation of judgment and salvation to effectively harden an individual’s heart. We may not believe the implications of this are even fair—but we ought to remember in the midst of everything that we don’t want fair because our idea of what’s fair doesn’t square with God’s.

What’s fair is God condemning every man, woman, and child to eternal destruction in the Lake of Fire. What’s fair is that the only blameless One to have ever existed would not be put to the cross to pay for the sins of others. What you and I desire is mercy and grace, because mercy is not giving people what they deserve, which is condemnation, and grace is giving people what they don’t deserve, which is no condemnation. The gospel is a scandal to the world because it sees the murderer, rapist, racist, and the like, on equal footing with the sweet old lady who doesn’t confess Christ—and offers them all the same grace of God in Christ. What that very simply means is that the gospel is not barred from anyone on the basis of their own doing or choosing, but rather, on the sovereign choice of God Himself. If those who struggle with evangelizing were to focus on the sovereignty of God in evangelism, it would free many a burdened soul up to take joy in the work that God has given them, realizing that whether the person they share the gospel with rejects or receives it, God is glorified in accomplishing His work through the preached word.

This post was extracted from an article by Grayson Gilbert, A Lesson from Isaiah on the Sovereignty of God in Evangelism  July 23, 2020, http://www.patheos.com

GOD THE SON’S ROLE IN OUR SALVATION

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, the disciples were always concerned with where they’d be ruling in the coming Kingdom, but Jesus told them that they had it all wrong. Here is the Living God, Jesus Christ; the omnipotent God, telling them that: 

“even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

They thought like most of the world thinks; the greatest person is the one with the most servants, but Jesus flips that on its head, saying that:

“whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.” Mark 10:44

The Apostle Peter could not be clearer about how Jesus Christ brings salvation to the sinner. Peter says, 

“that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold.” 1 Peter 1:18

All the wealth in the universe would not be sufficient to redeem even one sinner. It took the shed blood of Jesus to redeem us. There was absolutely no other way.

“the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” 1 Peter 1:19

And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:6-7

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.Hebrews 9:27-28.

Salvation was achieved by Jesus shedding His blood at His first coming to earth but at His second coming Jesus completes the task by resurrecting the dead Saints and the rapture of those that are alive with glorious new bodies.

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it, we await a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.Philippians 3:20-21

DR CATCHPOOLE ON THE AGE OF THE EARTH

Dr Catchpoole has a B.Ag.Sc. (Hons) from the University of Adelaide, and was awarded his Ph.D. by the University of New England (NSW).

“When did I realise that the earth could be no older than about 6,000 years.? The exact moment that turned my thinking around was when a simple image was put up, of Eden with layers of fossil bones in the earth beneath Adam and Eve. This showed the stark implications for Christianity if e.g. dinosaur fossils were millions of years old. That would mean there was not only death before the Fall; many fossils also show evidence of suffering, bloodshed and violence, and diseases like bone cancer. Yet after Adam and Eve were created, God called everything He had made “very good” (Genesis 1:31). I realised that it made no sense for God to have looked at tumorous dinosaur bones on Day 6, then call this very good, knowing that cancer would cause such enormous future human misery.

The Eden-on-bones scenario also raised a fundamental doctrinal issue. If we put the shedding of blood before sin, then why did God in Jesus shed blood because of sin? (Genesis 3:21, Hebrews 9:22, 10:4–10) I could see that my compromising of God’s Word by believing the secular millions of years completely destroyed the whole basis for the Atonement (1 Corinthians 15:21–22)1.

Evolutionary geneticists have themselves realised that mutations accumulate so quickly (about 60–100 per person per generation), that the human species should have become extinct at least ten times over. Evolutionary geneticist Alexey Kondrashov asks, “Why have we not died 100 times over?*

That presumes we’ve been here for the 100,000+ years of the evolutionary timeline. It’s not a problem in the Bible’s 6,000-year timeline, with only about 200 generations since Adam. We’re still going downhill fast (Romans 8:19–22), but it’s understandable we haven’t gone extinct—there simply hasn’t been enough time.

The importance of the age of the earth in presenting the gospel message is demonstrated by the following testimony of an aboriginal man.

I’ve been locked up in every jail in Queensland, so I’ve had the Gospel preached to me more times than I can count. But I ain’t never heard the Gospel like this. Just think … we [Aboriginal people] haven’t been here 60,000 years like they tell us; we come from Noah just 4,500 years ago, and Adam 6,000 years ago—along with everyone else alive today— that’s powerful! So Christ died for everyone—whitefella and blackfella!

*Kondrashov, A., Contamination of the genome by very slightly deleterious mutations: why have we not died 100 times over? J. Theoretical Biology 175:583–594, 1995.

Extract from article in the latest Creation magazine from CMI (www.creation.com) Creation magazine interviews former CMI speaker/scientist Dr David Catchpoole

SUPPORT A.C.L AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

As I have reported previously God has raised up this young man for His purposes in Australia at this time.

Martin Isles gives us a considered report on the results of the recent Australian election and the efforts of A.C.L volunteers that I believe demonstrates God’s hand was “on” their efforts. He also reminds us from Daniel 4:17 who ultimately rules the kingdoms of men “to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.”

Even more important is what A.C.L is planning to do in the near future: distribution of at least two million Gospels of John. Make sure you get involved and support this effort.

Australia’s greatest need is not a change of government. Australia’s greatest need is a change of Lord. Australia needs the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.