I have started teaching a series on world religions to a group of teens at church and last night we focused on Islam. As I was preparing for the study I could not help but think of the horrors of 9/11 and what we have seen in the last decade with ISIS and other terror groups. And, of course, there is always the threat of what is Iran going to do with their push for nuclear weapons?
It prompted me to think about what we should do? How can we best reach Muslims for the kingdom?
I think that far too often we try to come up with creative ways to evangelize. We think of strategies, we think of programs, we think of what might be useful. What can we do to reach these people? Where should we reach them? What should we say, or better yet, what should we not say?
When we ask all of these questions, I believe it hinders our mission. It holds us back. The Bible does not instruct us to come up with all of these programs and ideas. What does the bible actually say? It says to GO. It says to teach what we have been taught. (Matthew 28:18-19)
In Scripture, we do not see them coming up with strategies, programs, materials, etc. No, we see them going out and preaching the untainted Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is what we should do. That is our calling. The Gospel is enough. I firmly believe that. We don’t need to dress it up, it will cut like a two-edged sword just as it is (Hebrews 4:12).
So let’s go. Get out of the planning rooms. Get out of the meetings. Just go and preach the Gospel!
There have been a lot of things said about the United Methodist General Conference over the last couple of days. As you know by now, the Traditional Plan has been passed and, barring a Judicial Strikedown, will become church policy in January. For conservatives, like myself, this is a victory.
But how do we encourage members going forward? What will we preach on this weekend? Here is how I plan to preach this weekend.
I plan to preach the Word of God. I plan to be faithful to the text. I plan to decry false teachings. I plan to preach that we are to love LGBT people but not accept their sin. After all, that is loving.
In no way do we fear LGBT. In no way do we wish to push them out of the church. But in no way will we affirm sin either. It is loving to tell them the truth. It is loving to tell them what the Scriptures teach. It is loving to care about where they will spend eternity.
Friends, we must stay true to Scripture. Much Scripture was taken out of context. For example, Jesus did not say to not judge. That is taken out of context. Read the rest of the passage.
Jesus did not accept everyone as they are. No, He said to go and sin no more.
However, we are to do this with patience. After all, we cannot change anyone. Only the Holy Spirit can change others.
So that is how I plan to preach this week. Stand firm in the truth of Scripture and not the words of men. Preach the Gospel. Rebuke sin. Keep the faith.
Joel Beeke has come out with a call for reformed preaching. Reformed Preaching discusses what Joel calls Experiential Preaching. This is not to be confused with experimental.
The book begins with an examination of what experiential preaching is and challenges preachers to look at their methods of preaching to see if they are preaching to the heart and soul of those who hear the message. Beeke then proceeds to explain the elements of Reformed preaching.