Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Why I Invite People to Worship

This week we have had storms. Bad storms. I received a phone call Monday morning from my grandmother who lives in Arkansas. She told me that just a few miles from them a family they know lost their home because of the tornado that went through Vilonia, Arkansas. Even worse, the same family lost their home at the exact location 3 years ago. They are going to have to start all over...again! Remember to pray for the people who have been affected by these storms.

With all of the potential for danger in this powerful spring weather, I am reminded of the purpose of warnings. Why is your regular TV programing interrupted for storm updates? So that you can be safe and escape any possible disaster. A few weeks ago I was attending a gospel meeting where the preacher was literally begging and pleading people to respond to the message. He simply explained that he felt it was his duty to challenge people to repent. He said it was the same as if your house was on fire. If your house was on fire, you would not expect someone to come to your door and quietly suggest that you walk outside and take a look at the smoke. Instead they would bang on the door and yell and scream, "House on fire!" "House on fire!" In fact if they did not do this you would think that maybe they were mentally impaired.

While I do not walk the streets of my community yelling and screaming, "Repent now or go to hell!" - in my heart I will admit this is often what I am thinking. In the meantime I am painfully aware of my own sins. I am obligated to repent daily myself. I understand I need to remain humble and look in the mirror and live the Christian life. But listen! There are many people who don't even know the Lord. And there are many people, that although they may be part of some religious group or church, who don't practice the true teachings of the Bible. They may have never been taught the correct plan of salvation. They may be worshiping or organized according to human whims - sincerely religious and yet living in disobedience concerning the law of Christ.

This consciousness of the struggling spiritual status of so many people is what causes me to be more aggressive in my approach to evangelism. It may not be politically correct, but I am confident that it is Biblically correct to simply say, "Most people are lost." If people are not lost, then there is no need for the cross, the Bible, or the church. But all three came about by the will and plan of God. The Creator is doing everything He can to warn mankind. But individually we all have a decision to make - namely, to take shelter from the storm...to escape from a house that is burning to the ground.

If I ask you about your soul, don't be offended. If I ask you how faithful you are to the Lord, don't be offended. If I plead with you to study the Bible and obey the gospel don't be offended. In return I will promise not to be offended if you ask me these same questions or plead with me to change whatever I am doing in my life that is not pleasing to God. This is what people who care about each other do for one another. This is what true neighbors and friends are supposed to do.

So, I have a few questions for you, friend.
1. Would you like to come to worship the Lord with me?
2. Would you like to study the Bible with me?
3. Do you have any questions about God, the Bible, the church, salvation, et cetera?
If the answer to any of these questions is "Yes," then I am ready to do these things with you. I am sure it will be a blessing for both of us.

"Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men..." ~ 2 Corinthians 5:11
"And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh." ~ Jude 22-23

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