Archive for the ‘Apologetics’ Category


Adrian Rogers

I want to give you five reasons to affirm the Bible is the Word of God.

First, I believe the Bible is the Word of God because of its scientific accuracy. The Truth of the Word of God tells us that God “hangeth the earth upon nothing” (Job 26:7). How did Job know that the earth hung in space before the age of modern astronomy and space travel? The Holy Spirit told him. The scientists of Isaiah’s day didn’t know the topography of the earth, but Isaiah said, “It is [God] that sitteth upon the circle of the earth” (Isaiah 40:22). The word for “circle” here means a globe or sphere. How did Isaiah know that God say upon the circle of the earth? By divine inspiration.

Secondly, the Bible is affirmed through historical accuracy. Do you remember the story about the handwriting on the wall that is found in the fifth chapter of Daniel? Belshazzar hosted a feast with a thousand of his lords and ladies. Suddenly, a gruesome hand appeared out of nowhere and began to write on a wall. The king was disturbed and asked for someone to interpret the writing. Daniel was found and gave the interpretation. After the interpretation, “Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.” (Daniel 5:29). Basing their opinion on Babylonian records, the historians claim this never happened. According to the records, the last king of Babylon was not Belshazzar, but a man named Nabonidas. And so, they said, the Bible is in error. There wasn’t a record of a king named Belshazzar. Well, the spades of archeologists continued to do their work. In 1853, an inscription was found on a cornerstone of a temple built by Nabonidas, to the god Ur, which read: “May I, Nabonidas, king of Babylon, not sin against thee. And may reverence for thee dwell in the heart of Belshazzar, my first-born favorite son.” From other inscriptions, it was learned that Belshazzar and Nabonidas were co-regents. Nabonidas traveled while Belshazzar stayed home to run the kingdom. Now that we know that Belshazzar and Nabonidas were co-regents, it makes sense that Belshazzar would say that Daniel would be the third ruler. What a marvelous nugget of truth tucked away in the Word of God!

Third, from Genesis to Revelation, the Bible reads as one book. And there is incredible unity to the Bible. The Bible is one book, and yet it is made up of 66 books, was written by at least 40 different authors over a period of about 1600 years, in 13 different countries and on three different continents. It was written in at least three different languages by people in all professions. The Bible forms one beautiful temple of truth that does not contradict itself theologically, morally, ethically, doctrinally, scientifically, historically, or in any other way.

Fourth, did you know the Bible is the only book in the world that has accurate prophecy? When you read the prophecies of the Bible, you simply have to stand back in awe. There are over 300 precise prophecies that deal with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Old Testament that are fulfilled in the New Testament. To say that these are fulfilled by chance is an astronomical impossibility.

Finally, the Bible is not a book of the month, but the Book of the ages. First Peter 1:25 says: “But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the Word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” No book has ever had as much opposition as the Bible. Men have laughed at it, scorned it, burned it, ridiculed it, and made laws against it. But the Word of God has survived. And it is applicable today as much as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow.

It’s so majestically deep that scholars could swim and never touch the bottom. Yet so wonderfully shallow that a little child could come and get a drink of water without fear of drowning. That is God’s precious, holy Word. The Word of God. Know it. Believe it. It is True.

By Adrian Rogers. © 2006 Love Worth Finding Ministries. Website. www.lwf.org


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Bob Burney

“Bob Burney Live,” WRFD Columbus, Ohio

If you are older than 40 the name Benjamin Spock is more than familiar. It was Spock that told an entire generation of parents to take it easy, don’t discipline your children and allow them to express themselves. Discipline, he told us, would warp a child’s fragile ego. Millions followed this guru of child development and he remained unchallenged among child rearing professionals. However, before his death Dr. Spock made an amazing discovery: he was wrong. In fact, he said:  


We have reared a generation of brats. Parents aren’t firm enough with their children for fear of losing their love or incurring their resentment. This is a cruel deprivation that we professionals have imposed on mothers and fathers. Of course, we did it with the best of intentions. We didn’t realize until it was too late how our know-it-all attitude was undermining the self assurance of parents.


Something just as momentous, in my opinion, just happened in the evangelical community. For most of a generation evangelicals have been romanced by the “seeker sensitive” movement spawned by Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago. The guru of this movement is Bill Hybels. He and others have been telling us for decades to throw out everything we have previously thought and been taught about church growth and replace it with a new paradigm, a new way to do ministry.

Perhaps inadvertently, with this “new wave” of ministry came a de-emphasis on taking personal responsibility for Bible study combined with an emphasis on felt-needs based “programs” and slick marketing.

The size of the crowd rather than the depth of the heart determined success. If the crowd was large then surely God was blessing the ministry. Churches were built by demographic studies, professional strategists, marketing research, meeting “felt needs” and sermons consistent with these techniques. We were told that preaching was out, relevance was in. Doctrine didn’t matter nearly as much as innovation. If it wasn’t “cutting edge” and consumer friendly it was doomed. The mention of sin, salvation and sanctification were taboo and replaced by Starbucks, strategy and sensitivity.

Thousands of pastors hung on every word that emanated from the lips of the church growth experts. Satellite seminars were packed with hungry church leaders learning the latest way to “do church.” The promise was clear: thousands of people and millions of dollars couldn’t be wrong. Forget what people need, give them what they want. How can you argue with the numbers? If you dared to challenge the “experts” you were immediately labeled as a “traditionalist,” a throwback to the 50s, a stubborn dinosaur unwilling to change with the times.

All that changed recently.

Willow Creek has released the results of a multi-year study on the effectiveness of their programs and philosophy of ministry. The study’s findings are in a new book titled Reveal: Where Are You?, co-authored by Cally Parkinson and Greg Hawkins, executive pastor of Willow Creek Community Church. Hybels himself called the findings “earth shaking,” “ground breaking” and “mind blowing.” And no wonder: it seems that the “experts” were wrong.

The report reveals that most of what they have been doing for these many years and what they have taught millions of others to do is not producing solid disciples of Jesus Christ. Numbers yes, but not disciples. It gets worse. Hybels laments:

Some of the stuff that we have put millions of dollars into thinking it would really help our people grow and develop spiritually, when the data actually came back it wasn’t helping people that much. Other things that we didn’t put that much money into and didn’t put much staff against is stuff our people are crying out for.

If you simply want a crowd, the “seeker sensitive” model produces results. If you want solid, sincere, mature followers of Christ, it’s a bust. In a shocking confession, Hybels states:

We made a mistake. What we should have done when people crossed the line of faith and become Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become ‘self feeders.’ We should have gotten people, taught people, how to read their bible between services, how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own.

Incredibly, the guru of church growth now tells us that people need to be reading their bibles and taking responsibility for their spiritual growth.

Just as Spock’s “mistake” was no minor error, so the error of the seeker sensitive movement is monumental in its scope. The foundation of thousands of American churches is now discovered to be mere sand. The one individual who has had perhaps the greatest influence on the American church in our generation has now admitted his philosophy of ministry, in large part, was a “mistake.” The extent of this error defies measurement.

Perhaps the most shocking thing of all in this revelation coming out of Willow Creek is in a summary statement by Greg Hawkins:

Our dream is that we fundamentally change the way we do church. That we take out a clean sheet of paper and we rethink all of our old assumptions. Replace it with new insights. Insights that are informed by research and rooted in Scripture. Our dream is really to discover what God is doing and how he’s asking us to transform this planet.

Isn’t that what we were told when this whole seeker-sensitive thing started? The church growth gurus again want to throw away their old assumptions and “take out a clean sheet of paper” and, presumably, come up with a new paradigm for ministry. 

Should this be encouraging?

Please note that “rooted in Scripture” still follows “rethink,” “new insights” and “informed research.” Someone, it appears, still might not get it. Unless there is a return to simple biblical (and relevant) principles, a new faulty scheme will replace the existing one and another generation will follow along as the latest piper plays.

What we should find encouraging, at least, in this “confession” coming from the highest ranks of the Willow Creek Association is that they are coming to realize that their existing “model” does not help people grow into mature followers of Jesus Christ. Given the massive influence this organization has on the American church today, let us pray that God would be pleased to put structures in place at Willow Creek that foster not mere numeric growth, but growth in grace.

Bob Burney is Salem Communications’ award-winning host of Bob Burney Live, heard weekday afternoons on WRFD-AM 880 in Columbus, Ohio. Contact Bob at bob@wrfd.com.

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By Jerry Rassamni

The following is a contrast between the diverse dogmas of Islam and Christianity. I will thus be following the maxim of TV’s Sergeant Friday effectively adopted by Ronald Reagan: “Just the facts, Ma’am”:






Category Jesus Muhammad
Birth Born of a virgin even according to Qur’an.Born around 4 BC in Bethlehem.

Jesus Christ’s (the Messiah’s) birth and coming were foretold in 333 prophecies in the Bible, hundreds of years prior to His birth. Of these prophecies, 456 specific details of His life are given. God gave the Old Testament to the Jews so they would recognize the coming of the Messiah, the Savior of the world. Jesus fulfilled all prophecies foretold of the Messiah in minute detail, during His birth, miracles, crucifixion, death, and resurrection.

The angels announced His birth to the shepherds. John the Baptist (the forerunner) announced His coming. The angel Gabriel announced His birth to Zechariah, Mary, and Joseph. The Magi came from the East with gifts to worship Him.

Born of AminahBorn around AD 570 in Mecca.

There are no prophecies concerning the coming of Islam’s prophet. 


Islam’s prophet did not have a forerunner. His coming was not anticipated. He simply claimed to be a messenger of God.

The Messiah “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel” [God with us] (Isa. 7:14, written around 700 years before Christ).“And the angel [Gabriel] said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.  And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.’  And Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’  And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God’ (Luke 1:30–33).

“For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him” (John 1:17, 18).


“And a voice came out of the heavens: ‘You are My beloved Son, in YOu I [God] am well-pleased” (Mark 1:11).

“You are My Son, Today I [God] have begotten You” (Ps. 2:7). “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

“I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, and He came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed” (Dan. 7:13, 14, written centuries before Christ.

“I [God] will also make You a light of the nations so that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth” (Isa. 49:6), written centuries before Christ.

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6, written around 700 years before Christ).

“For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5).

“Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).

“My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and the Father who sent Me” (John 8:16).

“We gave Jesus the son of Mary clear (signs) and strengthened him with the holy spirit” (Surah 2:87).
“Behold! The angels said:  ‘O Mary! Allah gives you glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name is Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honor in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah; He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. And he shall be (of the company) of the righteous” (Surah 3:45, 46).

“We (God) sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah”  (Surah 5:46).

Allah did not confirm Muhammad’s ministry in a public manifestation.

“Christ the son of Mary was no more than a Messenger” (Surah 5:75a).

“(I have come to you), to attest the Law which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was (before) forbidden to you; I have come to you with a Sign from your Lord. So fear Allah and obey me” (Surah 3:50).

“To you, We (God) sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it” (Surah 5:48).

“And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in Him before his death; and on the Day of Judgment He will be a witness against them” (Surah 4:159).

The Prophet
There is no mention of another prophet after the Messiah; on the contrary, the Bible concludes with these stern and uncompromising words: “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophesy of this book: if any one adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book” (Rev. 22:18). “Allah and His Angels send blessings on the prophet: O you that believe! You send blessings on him, and salute him with all respect” (Surah 33:56).
Titles Door to heavenEternal life

Judge of the living and dead

Messiah (Savior)

Prince of Peace

Word of God

King Eternal

First and Last

Bread of Life

Immortal God

An ApostleA Messenger

Son of Abd Allah

A Preacher

Prophet with the Sword

A Warner


Seal of the Prophets

The Prophet of Islam

Mortal Man

Marriage Never married or had relations with any woman. Married 15 women, including the then seven-year-old Ayisha
Worldly desires and riches Jesus was not of this world nor did he have worldly desires or riches. He said in Matthew 8:20, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” The prophet Muhammad was poor but became well-to-do upon marrying Khadija, his first wife who was fifteen years his senior. He also profited from the booties of war. Ayisha, the youngest of the prophet’s wives, used to say that the prophet loved three things: women, scents, and foods. During his wars, the prophet claimed 15 percent of the booty. 
Great Prayers Jesus taught His followers to pray in this way:“Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed  be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever, Amen  (Matt. 6:9–13). This prayer is called the “Fatiha,” or the opening of the Qur’an, which is its first chapter:“In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds; Most Gracious, Most Merciful; Master of the Day of Judgment. You do we worship, and Your aid do we seek. Show us the straight way. The way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who do not go astray” (Surah 1).

Miracles Miraculous birth of Jesus by a virgin as God promised (even acknowledged by the Qur’an). Jesus healed the sick, the blind, and the paralytic, walked on water, rebuked the storms, raised the dead, rose from the dead just as He promised, and as it was foretold by the prophets of old. He appeared to over 500 followers following the resurrection. He performed countless other miracles. Was lifted up into heaven in front of His disciples forty days after His resurrection. The prophet Muhammad claimed that the Qur’an is the Muslim miracle, and issued a challenge in Surah 2:23 for unbelievers to produce a similar Surah to what is in the Qur’an.
War & Peace Never lifted a sword.“Then Jesus said to him: ‘Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword’” (Matt. 26:52).

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (Matt. 5:9).

“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 5:43, 44).

“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the prophets” (Matt. 7:12).

“Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two” (Matt. 5:41).

“You have heard that it was said, ‘an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I [Jesus] say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also” (Matt. 5:39, 40).

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you” (John 14:27).

“Behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves” (Luke 10:3).

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:15).     


“You have heard that it was said, ‘you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:43–48).

Proselytized with the sword in sixty-six recorded battles.“Therefore, when you meet the unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; at length until you have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them)” (Surah 47:4).

“Fighting is prescribed for you, and you dislike it. But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you love a thing which is bad for you. But  Allah knows and you know not”  (Surah 2:216).

“And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression” (Surah 2:193a).

“Allah only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in those circumstances), that do wrong” (Surah 60:9).

“And slay them wherever you catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out” (Surah 2:191).

“We ordained therein for them: ‘Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal.’  But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it is an act of atonement for himself. And if any fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah has revealed, they are (no better than) wrong-doers” (Surah 5:45).


“Let those fight in the cause of Allah who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter. To him who fights in the cause of Allah, whether slain or gets victory — soon shall We give him a reward of great (value)” (Surah 4:74).

“Fight and slay the Pagans wherever you find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)” (Surah 9:5).

“Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah does not love transgressors” (Surah 2:190).

“The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter” (Surah 5:33).

Enemies Loved his enemies Killed his enemies
Kingdom Kingdom not of this world Established an earthly empire
Law vs. grace While Jesus was teaching at the temple, the Pharisees brought before Him a woman caught in adultery, and they inquired of Jesus what they should do in order to test Him and find grounds to accuse Him. They reminded Him that the Law of Moses calls for the stoning of such women. This was a classic trap. The Law is formal: it calls for stoning. Jesus did not contradict the law nor approve of the sin. On the one hand, He is scornful of the accusers, who are filled with pride, and says to them: “Let him who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”  And He watched them leave in silence. On the other hand, Jesus calls sin sin and evil evil when he told the woman to sin no more (John 8:1–11).Implication:  Mercy is dispensed resulting in grace, which forgives. Jesus taught His followers in Matthew 7:1 not to judge, lest they be judged. In the Muslim tradition, there is also an incident when an adulteress is brought before the prophet Muhammed as he was in the oasis of Khaybar. Sonic Jews brought before him a woman caught in the act of adultery. They asked him what they should do, so he called for a copy of the Torah. Since the Torah formally stated that the adulteress should be stoned, he ordered her to be stoned. In Islam, obedience to the Law comes before everything.Implication: Judgment is unre-lenting, resulting in the Law which stones.
Foremost Command-ment “One of the scribes came and . . . asked Him, ‘What commandment is the foremost of all?’ Jesus answered, ‘The foremost is, “Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is One Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.”  The second is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these’” (Mark 12:28–31). “Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begets not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him” (Surah 112:1–4).
Salvation “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me’” (John 14:6). “Those who believe (in the Qur’an), and those who follow the Jewish (Scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians, and who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve” (Surah 2:62).
Death Condemned no one to deathDied in Jerusalem at age of 33 by crucifixion

Arose from the dead on the third day as prophesied and appeared to hundreds of witnesses

Condemned many to deathDied in Medina at age 62, due to pneumonia and poisoning

Lingers in his grave

Last words Jesus never asked for forgiveness for His sins for He was perfect. But one of His last statements on the cross was to forgive those who crucified Him: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Jesus’ last words on the cross fulfilled a prophesy from Psalm 31:5 when He said: “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit” (Luke 23:46). The last words of the prophet Muhammad in a whisper were, “Lord grant me pardon; eternity, in Paradise! Pardon. The blessed companionship on high.”
Second coming Jesus’ second coming is revealed in both the Bible and the Qur’an. He will come to judge (John 5:25, 27).  “And (Jesus) shall be a Sign (for the coming of) the Hour (of Judgment); therefore have no doubt about the (Hour), but you follow Me: This is a straight Way.” (Surah 53:61)

 The Cycle of Life and Death

By sinning against God in the garden, something fundamental happened to people. They died spiritually as they lost their fellowship with their Maker, and they began to die physically. Both the Bible and the Qur’an agree that God created humans, and they enjoyed a special relationship with the Creator in the Garden, but that relationship was severed. As a result, the quest of religion is how to restore that broken relationship, but religion cannot restore it. Only God can. The Bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). We must place our faith in God’s righteousness and promises instead of trusting in our sin-stained hands to save us. 

The following paragraphs offer some insights concerning the creation, degeneration, and regeneration .  

Act I. The Generation of Humanity

Michelangelo’s famous fresco in the Sistine Chapel—known as the Finger of God—which depicts the creation of Adam is one of the most famous images in the world. This fresco can help enhance our understanding of the Christian view of man’s spiritual state.  God is shown as a bearded old man in a swirling cloak next to cherubims (type of angels). He stretches out his right arm to impart the spark of life from His finger into that of Adam, who is earthbound. Adam’s left arm is extended in a pose mirroring God’s to show that God created humans in His own image.

Man enjoyed perfect communion with God in the Garden before sin crept into the world.

This touch or communion between God and people continued until people disobeyed God in the Garden. As a result, they died spiritually since their fellowship with the Creator was severed. A great gulf grew between God and people.  The reason: God is eternally holy and will not allow un-holiness in His presence. However, God in the Garden spoke of a Savior who would bridge that great gulf. Since sinning against a just and holy God is an infinite crime against an infinite God, God said that a Savior would suffer to pay the price for sin. In essence, Michelangelo’s famous fresco of the creation of Adam is the first of three acts in the cycle of life and death. 

Act II. The Degeneration of Humanity

In order to understand the ensuing events after Adam’s creation, we must imagine a second fresco. We would see the same painting with the same set of players but with one stark difference. This time, the slight distance that separated God’s finger from Adam’s finger grew to infinity because God will not allow sin to go unpunished. I would title this the degeneration of humanity. Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden because of their sin, and a great gulf separated them from a holy God who hates sin. Therefore, it became impossible for them to bridge that gulf and renew fellowship with God.  It is interesting to note that man still has a finger pointed toward God trying to reach him on his own terms with his man-made efforts.  God also has a finger pointed toward man lovingly longing to reach Him in the appointed time, and in the only way possible that does not compromise the infinite holiness of God.  

The slight distance that separated God’s finger from Adam’s finger grew to infinity because God will not allow sin to go unpunished.

Act III. The Regeneration of Humanity

The regeneration of humanity is the third act that Michelangelo never drew. Once again, God reached down from heaven to Adam, and Adam reached out to God, but this time, two other personalities appear in the picture, the savior that God promised, and the Holy Spirit.  The savior is nailed to a cross, bridging the gap between man’s sinfulness and God’s holiness.  He is touching Adam’s finger with His human nature, and God’s finger with His divine nature. The great chasm between Adam (man) and God is now bridged by a Savior covered in blood and crowned with thorns. This Savior had to be one with God in order to be a savior for if you were dying of thirst and someone wanted to help you, they would have to have water. Likewise, if you need eternal life, the savior would have to have eternal life. Thus the Savior could not be a mere mortal prophet but he had to be divine. 

The Holy Spirit is also present in this fresco in the form of a dove (Luk 3:22).  The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins and need for repentance.  The Bible tells us that no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:3).  The Holy Spirit helps us to see in the spiritual realm.  He helps us realize that our efforts at holiness are feeble.  He enables us to appreciate how holy God is and how sinful we are.  He assists us to grasp that there’s a great gap between us and God that only God can fill and that only God can cleanse us and renew us (Tit. 3:4-6).   He convicts us to humble ourselves before God and enthrone Him in our lives instead of magnifying ourselves.  The Holy Spirit is a gentleman.  He will not force Himself on us and reveal the truth to us against our will, but if we ask Him to reveal the truth to us (1 Pet 1:2), He will.  Hence, the concept of the Holy Trinity is fully manifested when our relationship with God is restored (2 Cor. 13:14, Mat 28:19, Rom 8:9).  The Holy Spirit draws us to the Father, through the Son who is our High Priest (Mat 3:16-17, Jud 1:20-21).          

The great chasm between Adam (man) and God is now bridged by a Savior covered in blood and crowned with thorns.

Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are monotheistic religions, as they believe that God is one.  Muslims however, erroneously denounce the Christian view of the Trinity (Trinitarianism) as polytheism (shirk – associating someone with God).  Trinitarianism is not the opposite of Unitarianism or Monotheism (belief that God is one), but polytheism is (belief that there is more than one God).  Trinitarianism does not contradict monotheism but it asserts it.  Trinitarianism is the belief that God is one what, but three whos – or said differently, one in being, but three in persons or expressions.  It is this concept of the Trinity that enables God to be self-sufficient.  God is not in need of anyone to commune with for He is able to commune with Himself. In the same way that man one, yet he is body, mind, and soul; so is God one, yet he is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God has the ability to have each member of the Holy Trinity or the Godhead or the being of God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) represent themselves distinctly.  Thus, Christians believe that God is one is essence, but He expresses Himself in three persons who share in the one divine being. 

In the same way, that man one, yet he is body, mind, and soul, so is God one, yet He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.     

The Holy Spirit helps us to grasp spiritual truths that are beyond human understanding. He enables us to appreciate how holy God is and how sinful we are.  He reveals to us that there’s a great gap between us and God that only God can fill (Tit. 3:4-6). However, the Holy Spirit is a gentleman.  He will not force Himself on us and reveal the truth to us against our will, but if we ask Him to reveal the truth to us (1 Pet 1:2), He will. Hence, the concept of the Holy Trinity is fully manifested when our relationship with God is restored (2 Cor. 13:14, Mat 28:19, Rom 8:9).

To Choose or Not to Choose

God gives us a choice of whether to live in the second fresco—degeneration—with no hope of fellowshipping with God, or the third fresco—regeneration—where our fellowship with God is restored. If God did not allow us to choose for ourselves, we would be puppets. God does not want mere puppets to worship Him because they are forced to, but He wants free-will agents to worship Him from their hearts because they want to. If our worship did not come from the heart, it becomes a hollow expression that means nothing to God. “The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.”  (Isa 29:13)

If our worship did not come from the heart, it becomes a hollow expression that means nothing to God. 

In stark contrast to the above, in countries where the Shari’a (Muslim Jurisprudence) is the law of the land, Muslims are forced to worship during prayer time at the risk of being whipped by the muttawa [Islamic morality police]. Incidentally, the shari’a undermines most human rights, particularly freedom of religion, freedom of expression, political freedoms, and women’s rights. The shari’a crushes dissent. They don’t want people to choose for themselves, but they want religion to choose for them.  In essence, Islam emphasizes the external expression of worship instead of genuine heartfelt praise to the Almighty. 

In essence, Islam emphasizes the external expression of worship instead of genuine heartfelt praise to the Almighty. 

We do not serve a vengeful God, but a loving God who walked among us, who understands our tears, our sufferings, and our sorrows. He does not want us to serve Him because we have to but because we want to. “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). He does not force us to love Him, but He awaits us with nail-scarred hands, saying,

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28–30)

God tells us in His Word that we can try to reach Him with our human efforts and religions, but we will always end up in the second fresco—degeneration—with a great gulf separating us from God. We can never bridge the gap, only God can. Muslims say: “I don’t believe Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead.” Arnold Toynbee puts it best in his astute analysis: “Find the body of that Jew, and Christianity crumbles into ruins.”5 Muslims also say: “I have my own way, for the blood is offensive to me.” God says to them: “Good, now you know how I feel about your sin. Your sin is an offensive stench in My nostrils.” 

Was the Bible Corrupted?

According to the Qur’an itself, biblical sources are held in highest esteem and are the yardstick of veracity by which any other message is measured. “But if thou art in doubt (kunta) as to that which we have revealed to thee, ask those who read the Book before thee. Certainly the Truth has come to thee from thy Lord, so be not thou of the doubters” (Surah 10:94).

It is clear that the above verse was directed at Islam’s prophet, for the verb is in the masculine singular form kunta (you are), instead of its plural form kuntum.  However, if we use the biblical source as a yardstick to measure the Qur’anic scriptures, then simply put, the Qur’an flunks the acid test of veracity since it rejects the fundamental tenets of Christianity, such as the Trinity, the inerrancy of the biblical Scriptures, the deity of Christ, His death on the cross, and His subsequent resurrection.

In comparing the Qur’an and the Bible concerning inerrancy, we will consider the following:

1.     The Qur’an contradicts the Bible concerning fundamental issues. Since they cannot both be right, one of them must be in error.

2.     The Qur’an claims that the Bible is the barometer of truth.

3.     Therefore, the Qur’an must be in error.

1.     The Qur’an contradicts the Bible concerning fundamental issues. Since they can’t both be right, one must be in error:

a.   Regarding the identity of Jesus, the Qur’an says, “They indeed disbelieve who say: ‘Surely, Allah — He is the Messiah.’” (Surah 5:17, see also 5:72)

b.   Regarding the crucifixion of Jesus, the Qur’an says, “They killed him (Jesus) not, nor did they cause his death on the cross, but he was made to appear to them as such.” (Surah 4:157)

2.     The Qur’an claims that the Bible is the barometer of truth.

a.   “But if you are in doubt as to what We have revealed to you, ask those who read the Book [Bible before you.” (Surah 10.94a)

b.   “And that which We have revealed to you of the Book [Bible], that is the truth verifying that which is before it; most surely with respect to His servants Allah is Aware, Seeing.”  (Surah 35.31)

c.   “Say: Who revealed the Book which Moses brought, a light and a guidance to men?” (Surah 6:91b)

d.   “And do not dispute with the followers of the Book except by what is best, except those of them who act unjustly, and say: We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you, and our God and your God is One, and to Him do we submit.” (Surah 29:46)

3.     Therefore, the Qur’an must be in error.

Since the Qur’an and the Bible disagree on fundamental issues, they cannot both be right. Logic demands that one has to be in error. Muslims claim that since the Bible does not match the Qur’an, the Bible must have been corrupted. However, since the Qur’an instructs us that the Bible is the barometer of truth, this leads us to the inevitable conclusion that whenever the Bible and the Qur’an disagree, the Qur’an must be in error. In other words, the Qur’an is in error concerning a myriad of theological issues such as the Holy Trinity, the identity of Jesus as the Son of God, the sacrificial atonement of Christ, the inerrancy of the Bible, etc. Let us examine some clues in the following vignette to explain why the Qur’an is so vastly different from the Bible.  

“A cartoon shows a line of pews and the same sentence is being passed verbally from one pew to the other: 

First pew:        ‘My ear kind of hurts.’

Second pew:   ‘The pastor has an earache.’

Third pew:      ‘The pastor got a hearing aid.’

Fourth pew:     ‘The pastor is having trouble hearing.’

Fifth pew:        ‘The pastor got a double earring.’

Last pew:        An old lady with a cane is walking out and says, ‘That does it, I’m outta here! The pastor’s got a double earring!’”  

Though it is intended to be satirical, the above vignette brilliantly describes how biblical stories could be altered in the Qur’an. The main reason behind the discrepancies between the Bible and the Qur’an is that Islam’s prophet had to rely on oral information from Christians and Jews concerning the Bible, because the Bible was not yet translated into the prophet’s language of Arabic until approximately three hundred years after his death (AD 900). This further proves that the Qur’an lacks divine origins; otherwise, biblical stories would have been preserved unchanged. Muslims need to make up their minds concerning whether Allah’s word can be altered. If it cannot be altered, then the Bible, which the Qur’an claims to be the word of God, could not have been altered. Muslims cannot vacillate on their beliefs concerning this issue to suit their purposes.  Therefore, if the Bible was corrupted, Muslims must be open to the possibility that the Qur’an itself was corrupted.     

Is Islam a Religion of Peace?

In Islam, the world is traditionally divided into two camps.  Those are Dar Al Islam (literally house of Islam or submission) meaning House of Peace, and Dar Al Harb (House of War).  Although the exact definitions of these terms vary widely, a traditional definition is as follows: Countries that are under Muslim rule are grouped in the House of Peace, whereas countries that are not are grouped under House of War.  Muslim fundamentalists have Islamic world domination in mind.  They are on a jihad until the whole world confesses the Islamic creed which is featured on the Saudi Arabian flag.  The Wahabis are the dominant Islamic sect in Saudi Arabia.  Their war cry was: “kill the infidels.”  The national flag of Saudi Arabia, the religious center of Islam has the words, “La Illaha Illa Allah” (There is no god by Allah).  Beneath those words, is the key to making that happen—a sword. 

About Jerry Rassamni

Jerry Rassamni grew up in Lebanon as a Muslim during its bloody Civil War and became a militia fighter at a young age.  Jerry’s heart burned with hatred against his enemies the Maronite (Catholic) militias.   

After immigrating to the States, Jerry began to study the bible in order to refute it.  Upon examining the scriptures, Jerry was captivated by the love of the God of the Bible who presented Himself not as a distant impersonal God, but as a personal heavenly Father.  Jerry’s heart was subsequently changed as he had a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Jerry, who is fluent in four languages, is a frequent speaker on apologetics


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Oprah Winfrey will be letting out all the stops on her XM Satellite Radio program this coming year. Beginning January 1, 2008, “Oprah & Friends” will offer a year-long course on the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles.1 A lesson a day throughout the year will completely cover the 365 lessons from the Course in Miracles “Workbook.”

For example, Lesson #29 asks you to go through your day affirming that “God is in everything I see.”2 Lesson #61 tells each person to repeat the affirmation “I am the light of the world.”3 Lesson #70 teaches the student to say and believe “My salvation comes from me.”4By the end of the year, “Oprah & Friends” listeners will have completed all of the lessons laid out in the Course in Miracles Workbook. Those who finish the Course will have a wholly redefined spiritual mindset—a New Age worldview that includes the belief that there is no sin, no evil, no devil, and that God is “in” everyone and everything. A Course in Miracles teaches its students to rethink

everything they believe about God and life. The Course Workbook bluntly states: “This is a course in mind training”5 and is dedicated to “thought reversal.”6

Teaching A Course in Miracles will be Oprah’s longtime friend and special XM Satellite Radio reporter Marianne Williamson—who also happens to be one of today’s premier New Age leaders. She and Conversations with God author Neale Donald Walsch co-founded the American Renaissance Alliance in 1997, that later became the Global Renaissance Alliance of New Age leaders, that changed its name again in 2005 to the Peace Alliance

. This Peace Alliance seeks to usher in an era of global peace founded on the principles of a New Age/New Spirituality that they are now referring to as a “civil rights movement for the soul.”7 They all agree that the principles of this New Age/New Spirituality are clearly articulated in A Course in Miracles—which is fast becoming the New Age Bible. So what is A Course in Miracles and what does it teach?

A Course in Miracles is allegedly “new revelation” from “Jesus” to help humanity work through these troubled times. This “Jesus”—who bears no doctrinal resemblance to the Bible’s Jesus Christ—began delivering his channeled teachings in 1965 to a Columbia University Professor of Medical Psychology by the name of Helen Schucman.

One day Schucman heard an “inner voice” stating, “This is a course in miracles. Please take notes.”8 For seven years she diligently took spiritual dictation from this inner voice that described himself as “Jesus.” A Course in Miracles was quietly published in 1975 by the Foundation for Inner Peace. For many years “the Course” was an underground cult classic for New Age seekers who studied “the Course” individually, with friends, or in small study groups.

As a former New Age follower

and devoted student of A Course in Miracles, I eventually discovered that the Course in Miracles was—in reality—the truth of the Bible turned upside down. Not having a true understanding of the Bible at the time of my involvement, I was led to believe that A Course in Miracles was “a gift from God” to help everyone understand the “real” meaning of the Bible and to help bring peace to the world. Little did I know that the New Age “Christ” and the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles were everything the real Jesus Christ warned us to watch out for. In Matthew 24 Jesus warned about false teachers, false teachings and the false “Christs” who would pretend to be He.

When I left the New Age “Christ” to follow the Bible’s Jesus Christ, I had come to understand that the “Jesus” of A Course in Miracles was a false “Christ,” and that his Course in Miracles was dangerously deceptive. Here are some quotes from the “Jesus” of A Course in Miracles:

  • “There is no sin. . . ” 9  [See note]

  •  A “slain Christ has no meaning.”10

  • “The journey to the cross should be the last ‘useless journey.”11

  • “Do not make the pathetic error of ‘clinging to the old rugged cross.’”12

  • “The Name of Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol… It is a symbol that is safely used as a replacement for the many names of all the gods to which you pray.”13

  • “God is in everything I see.”14

  • “The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself.”15

  • “The oneness of the Creator and the creation is your wholeness, your sanity and your limitless power.”16

  • “The Atonement is the final lesson he [man] need learn, for it teaches him that, never having sinned, he has no need of salvation.”17

Most Christians recognize that these teachings are the opposite of what the Bible teaches. In the Bible, Jesus Christ’s atoning death on the cross of Calvary was hardly a “useless journey.” His triumph on the cross provides salvation to all those who confess their sin, accept Him and follow Him as their Lord and Saviour. His victory on the cross rings throughout the New Testament. It has been gloriously sung about in beloved hymns through the ages and is at the heart of our Christian testimony.

I found the Jesus of the Bible to be wholly believable as He taught God’s truth and warned about the spiritual deception that would come in His name. The “Jesus” of A Course in Miracles reveals himself to be an imposter when he blasphemes the true Jesus Christ by saying that a “slain Christ has no meaning” and that we are all “God” and that we are all “Christ.” It was by reading the Bible’s true teachings of Jesus Christ that I came to understand how deceived I had been by A Course in Miracles and my other New Age teachings.

I was introduced to A Course in Miracles by Dr. Gerald Jampolsky’s book Love is Letting Go of Fear. Jampolsky declared in his easy-to-read book how the teachings of A Course in Miracles had changed his life. As an ambassador for A Course in Miracles over the years, Jampolsky has been featured not only in New Age circles but at least twice on Robert Schuller’s Hour of Power. While Schuller introduced Jampolsky and his “fabulous”

18 Course in Miracles-based books to his worldwide television audience, it was Marianne Williamson’s appearance on a 1992 Oprah Winfrey Show that really shook the rafters.

On that program, Oprah enthusiastically endorsed Williamson’s book, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles. Oprah told her television audience that Williamson’s book about A Course in Miracles was one of her favorite books, and that she had already bought a thousand copies and would be handing them out to everyone in her studio audience. Oprah’s endorsement skyrocketed Williamson’s book about A Course in Miracles to the top of the New York Times bestseller list. Ironically, all of this was happening after I had left the Course and the New Age. In fact, I was doing the final editing on my book The Light That Was Dark

that warned about the dangers of the New Age—and in particular A Course in Miracles.

After being introduced to the world on Oprah, Marianne Williamson has continued to grow in popularity and, as previously mentioned, has become one of today’s foremost New Age leaders. Williamson credits Winfrey for bringing her book about A Course in Miracles before the world: “For that, my deepest thanks to Oprah Winfrey. Her enthusiasm and generosity have given the book, and me, an audience we would never otherwise have had.”19 In her 2004 book, The Gift of Change, Williamson wrote:

“Twenty years ago, I saw the guidance of the Course as key to changing one’s personal life; today, I see its guidance as key to changing the world. More than anything else, I see how deeply the two are connected.”20

Thus the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles are about to be taught by Marianne Williamson to millions of listeners on Oprah’s XM Satellite Radio program. Listeners are encouraged to buy A Course in Miracles for the year-long course. An audio version of A Course in Miracles recited by Richard (John Boy Walton) Thomas is also available on compact disc.

Popular author Wayne Dyer told his PBS television audience that the “brilliant writing” of A Course in Miracles would produce more peace in the world.21 Williamson’s New Age colleague, Neale Donald Walsch, said his “God” stated that “the era of the Single Saviour is over”22 and that he (“God”) was responsible for authoring the teachings of A Course in Miracles.23

Meanwhile, Gerald Jampolsky’s Course in Miracles-based book, Forgiveness, continues to be sold in Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral bookstore as Schuller prepares to host a January 17-19, 2008, “Rethink Conference” at his Crystal Cathedral.24

At this critical time in the history of the world, the New Gospel/New Spirituality is coming right at the world and the church with its New Age teachings and its New Age Peace Plan. But this New Age Peace Plan has at its deceptive core the bottom-line teaching from A Course in Miracles that “we are all one” because God is “in” everyone and everything. But the Bible is clear that we are not God (Ezekiel 28:2; Hosea 11:9). And per Galatians 3:26-28, our only oneness is in Jesus Christ—not in ourselves as “God” and “Christ.” What Oprah and Marianne Williamson and the world will learn one day is that humanity’s only real and lasting peace is with the true Jesus Christ who is described and quoted in the Holy Bible (Romans 5:1).

Oprah Winfrey’s misplaced faith in Marianne Williamson and the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles is a sure sign of the times. But an even surer sign of the times is that most Christians are not taking heed to what is happening in the world and in the church. We are not contending for the faith as the Bible admonishes us to do (Jude 3).

It is time for all of our Purpose-Driven and Emerging church pastors to address the real issue of the day. Our true Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is being reinvented, redefined, and blasphemed right in front of our eyes and hardly anyone seems to notice or care. If we want the world to know who Jesus Christ is, we need to also warn them about who He is not. There is a false New Age “Christ” making huge inroads into the world and into the church. The Apostle Paul said that “it is a shame” we have to even talk about these things, but talk about them we must (Ephesians 5:12-16).

If people want to follow Oprah Winfrey and the New Age “Christ” of A Course in Miracles they certainly have that right. But let them be warned that the New Age “Christ” they are following is not the same Jesus Christ who is so clearly and authoritatively presented in the pages of the Bible.



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William MacDonald


There is a curious problem today in the evangelical [and fundamental] world — one that poses sobering questions for the church and for the individual believer. The problem in brief is this: a great army of personal soul-winners has been mobilized to reach the populace for Christ. They are earnest, zealous, enthusiastic, and persuasive. To their credit it must be said that they are on the job. And it is one of the phenomena of our times that they rack up an astounding number of conversions. Everything so far seems to be on the plus side.

But the problem is this: The conversions do not stick. The fruit does not remain. Six months later there is nothing to be seen for all the aggressive evangelism. The capsule technique of soul winning has produced stillbirths.

What lies at the back of all this malpractice in bringing souls to the birth? Strangely enough it begins with the valid determination to preach the pure gospel of the grace of God. We want to keep the message simple — uncluttered by any suggestion that man can ever earn or deserve eternal life. Justification is by faith alone, apart from the deeds of the law. Therefore, the message is “only believe.”

From there the message is reduced to a concise formula. For instance, the evangelistic process is cut down to a few basic questions and answers, as follows:

“Do you believe you are a sinner?”
“Do you believe Christ died for sinners?”
“Will you receive Him as your Savior?”
“Then you are saved!”
“I am?”
“Yes, the Bible says you are saved.”

At first blush the method and the message might seem above criticism. But on closer study we are forced to have second thoughts and to conclude that the gospel has been over-simplified.

The first fatal flaw is the missing emphasis on repentance. There can be no true conversion without conviction of sin. It is one thing to agree that I am a sinner: it is quite another thing to experience the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit in my life. Unless I have a Spirit-wrought consciousness of my utterly lost condition, I can never exercise saving faith. It is useless to tell unconvicted sinners to believe on Jesus — that message is only for those who know they are lost. We sugar-coat the gospel when we de-emphasize man’s fallen condition. With that kind of watered-down message, people receive the Word with joy instead of with deep contrition. They do not have deep roots, and though they might endure for a while, they soon give up all profession when persecution or trouble comes (Matt. 13:21). Many have forgotten that the message is repentance toward God as well as faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

A second serious omission is a missing emphasis on the Lordship of Christ. A light, jovial mental assent that Jesus is Savior misses the point. Jesus is first Lord, then Savior. The New Testament always places His Lordship before His Saviorhood. Do we present the full implication of His Lordship to people? He always did.

A third defect in the message is the tendency to keep the terms of discipleship hidden until a decision has been made for Jesus. Our Lord never did this. The message He preached included the cross as well as the crown. “He never hid His scars to win disciples.” He revealed the worst along with the best, then told His listeners to count the cost. We popularize the message and promise fun.

The result of all this is that we have people believing without knowing what they believe. In many cases they have no doctrinal basis for their decision. They do not know the implication of commitment to Christ. They have never experienced the mysterious, miraculous work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration.

And of course there are others who are talked into a profession because of the slick salesmanship techniques of the soul winner. Or some who want to please the affable, personable young man with the winning smile. And some who only want to get rid of this religious interloper who has intruded into their privacy. Satan laughs when these conversions are triumphantly announced on earth.

I would like to raise several questions that might lead to some changes in the strategy of evangelism.

First of all, can we generally expect people to make an intelligent commitment to Christ the first time they hear the Gospel? Certainly, there is the exceptional case where a person has already been prepared by the Holy Spirit.

But generally speaking, the process involves sowing the seed, watering it, then sometime later reaping the harvest. In our mania for instant conversion, we have forgotten that conception, gestation, and birth do not occur on the same day.

A second question — can a capsule presentation of the gospel really do justice to so great a message? As one who has written several gospel tracts, I confess to a certain sense of misgivings in even attempting to condense the good news into four small pages. Would we not be wise to give people the full presentation as it is found in the Gospels, or in the New Testament?

Thirdly, is all this pressure for decisions really Scriptural? Where in the New Testament were people ever pressured into making a profession? The practice is justified by saying that if only one out of ten is genuine, it is worth it. But what about the other nine disillusioned, bitter, perhaps deceived; enroute to hell by a false profession?

And I must add this: Is all this boasting about conversions really accurate? You’ve met the man who solemnly tells you of ten people he contacted that day and all of them were saved. A young doctor testified that every time he goes to a new city, he looks in the phone book for people with his last name. Then he calls them one by one and leads them through the four steps of salvation. Amazing enough, every one of them opens the door of his heart to Jesus. I don’t want to doubt the honesty of people like this, but am I wrong in thinking that they are extremely naive? Where are all those people who are saved? They cannot be found.

What it all means is that we should seriously re-examine our streamlined capsule evangelism. We should be willing to spend time teaching the gospel, laying a solid doctrinal foundation for faith to rest on. We should stress the necessity for repentance — a complete about face with regard to sin. We should stress the full implication of the Lordship of Christ and the conditions of discipleship. We should explain what belief really involves. We should be willing to wait for the Holy Spirit to produce genuine conviction of sin.

If we do this, we’ll have less astronomical figures of so-called conversions, but more genuine cases of spiritual rebirth.

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By:Charles E. Wigg.

                                                                                                                                                                   In In an area near Lucknow in North India, lived a Brahmin family, by the name of Chaubey. They were comparatively rich, quite religious according to the Hindu custom. They had a large house, where poojah (worship of Hindu idols),was daily carried out, and many acres of land. A son of that family turned out to be different from the other members, because as he grew he became a greedy and a violent man. He finally became king of a band of Dacoits, (Robbers, or Gangsters.)

He married a Brahmin girl, and had two sons. He joined in the daily poojah when at home, and even with his gang sought the blessing of the idols, before committing a crime. Once the crime had been successfuly carried through, with his gang, he returned to the temple to make a thank offering of part of the proceeds of the crime.

He was not troubled by the fact that they stole and murdered, he considered it to be a part of his karmah, or sacred duty. After all some of his gods did the same, thereby sanctifying his sinful life. During that period of his life, this man (by his own confession), committed no less that 28 murders, Their crimes made him to become very wealthy, and he acquired a taste for expensive foreign brandy, he always kept a good supply of it under the bed. He still had a faint glimmer of a conscience, and the liquor gave him a false courage, and enabled him to suppress what little voice of conscience that remained in him.

Though he committed so many murders, and stole so much property, yet he never spent time in prison. If caught, they would bribe the policemen, this was considered business expenses. If they found an honest policeman, and were brought to the court, then they would have to give the judge more money, but this was just bad luck.

But the Mighty God was watching that man, He set His love upon him, and determined to make him a trophy of His matchless grace.

There is a true God, He is the Creator of us all, He is both righteous, just, and intrinsically holy, He hates sin, yet loves the sinner. He tells us in His word, the Bible, that we are all sinners, both by nature, and by practice. We cannot help our nature, we acquired it from our father before we were born, but we can help our actions, because though Satan, God’s arch enemy, may tempt us to sin, yet he cannot compell us to sin. The Bible tells us that the punishment of sin is death, not only physical death, but spiritual death, eternal seperation from God, and that death is passed upon all, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”, Rom.3;23, and Rom. 5;12.

After committing one crime, they were caught, and because the police man was honest, he had to go to Court, and the case was heard in the town of Basti. He went to that town, and while on his way to the court, he saw a man from Tamil Nadu, one of the southermost states of India, with a shoulder bag hanging from his shoulder, a Bible in one hand , and some tracts in the other. he was a missionary with the “Friends Missionary Prayer Band”

Though the dacoit was feared by all in that town, where he was acknowledged as king, yet this poor Tamil brother bravely offered the him a tract. When he was asked what it was, he told that it was a paper that would tell him about the ONE TRUE GOD. The dacoit put the tract into his pocket, then began to reproach the Tamil brother.

“What one true God?” he asked, “I have a thousand gods, if one of my gods fail I turn to another, if your God fails, what do you do?” The Tamil brother simply told him that his God never failed, that He could not fail, and that he would never need to turn to another.

The dacoit became angry when he heard these words, he snatched the evangelist’s Bible and threw it on the ground, he grabbed the tracts that were in the other hand and threw them into the air. He then put his hand into his pocket and felt the revolver that he had there, and threatened the evangelist, telling him that he was king in that place, and that if he came there again and found him there he would shoot him, he ordered him to get out of that place. The poor evangelist, meekly replied that he served another King, the Lord Jesus, and would have to do as He commanded.

The court hearing was adjourned for fourteen days, and the Dacoit returned home, where he boasted to his wife of what he had done. To His surprise, his wife did not laugh with him, but rebuked him, telling him that he had no right to treat the evangelist as he had done. She told him that the poor fellow was a holy man a servant of some god, and that he had done no harm to him, so he was wrong in treating him as he had done. He then put his hand into his pocket and produced the tract, telling his wife that the man was spreading religious propaganda, telling about some ONE TRUE GOD, and giving away papers. His wife then asked him if he had read the paper, and when he told that he had not, she told him that he should do so, that it might do him some good. This was a challenge to him, which he could not resist, so he did read the tract.

Fourteen days later he returned to Basti to attend court again, and he was angered to find the same evangelist there still. But he was shocked to see how thin the poor man had become, his clothes were just hanging on Him. He put his hand in the pocket again and felt the revolver, he then reminded the evangelist of the threat he had made two weeks before. The Tamil man replied ” You told me that you are king in this place, and that if you found me here again you would shoot me. I told you that I served the Lord Jesus, that He is my King, and He has not told me to leave this place. I must remain until He tells me to go. You can shoot me if you wish, but first let me tell you about the ONE TRUE GOD, because He loves you.”

BY Charles E. Wigg

The dacoit then calmed down somewhat, and told the evangelist that he had read the paper he had given him, and that it old of a God who can forgive sins, but that no God could forgive him, because he was just too bad The evangelist then told him that God is able to forgive the vilest sinner, that He had forgiven the Chief of Sinners, who was worse than the Dacoit, and that God was able to righteously forgive him also. He then asked, “Would you like to hear more?” When the Dacoit replied that he would, it was suggested that they should go to a little prayer hall, where it would be quiet, and away from the dust of the street, to which he agreed. The Dacoit told me in his own words, “I entered that prayer hall at 10.30 in the morning, and when I came out at 4.30 in the afternoon, I came out a new man”.

How could this possibly come about? The evangelist shared with him the Gospel of Christ, which “Is the power of God unto salvation, to every one who believes”, Rom. 1;16. There the man learned that there is only one True God, and that He is our Creator, He created us for Himself, and created us in such a way that we cannot find true peace, satisfaction, or fulfillment apart from Himself. He learned that though he was a very wicked man, yet he was not alone, for all have sinned. That we all have a sinful nature, and because of this we cannot pay for our own sins, nor can we earn the salvation of God. He was told that man had been tried out under all circumstances, over a period of 4,000 years, but had proved himself to be a total failure. God has given us a law of ten commandments, all of which are quite reasonable, yet we have all broken one or more of those commandments many times.

However God loved each one of us, because we are His creatures, and so that we might be delivered from the penalty, and punishment due to us because of our sins, He himself became man. His law demanded that as it was man who had sinned, it was man that should pay the penalty, but that it was only a sinless man, who could be our substitute. So in wonderful love, He who created man, humbled Himself, and became a man. “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”, 1 Tim. 1;15.

The Lord Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, in the womb of Mary, thus He had no earthly father, and because of this, did not have a sinful nature. He was born in a stable, and as a baby, was laid in a manger, ( the box that normally holds the food for the animals that are housed in the stable). He was not born in the palace of the Raj, but grew up amidst poverty and hardship. Though He created the world and all that are in it, yet all that men offered Him, was a manger in a stable.

He spent thirty years in a carpenter’s home, and for many of those years worked with his own hands, and worked hard, as a carpenter. He was tempted in all points, or ways, like we are, yet He never once yielded to temptation, but lived a sinless life, He was “without sin”.

At the age of thirty years, He left the home at Nazareth, and went out to preach the Gospel, offering forgiveness and pardon to all who would repent of their sins, and put their faith in Him, believe in Him.

He was hated by the Jewish religious leaders, because He exposed their hypochrisy. They tried to find some fault in Him, so that they might have an excuse to destroy Him, but they failed to find any such fault or sin. However they offered money to one of His disciples, who had turned traitor, and thus were able to arrest Him, subject Him to a mock trial, then handed Him over to the Romans, who were then ruling Israel, and persuaded the crowd who had gathered at Pilate’s judgment hall, to demand His death by crucifiction.

After many hours of the most brutal treatment, he went out , bearing His cross, to a place called Golgotha, where His clothes were removed, and He was nailed to that cross. He was crucified at 9AM, and suffered all kinds of abuse until 12PM, when suddenly it became totally dark, and there for three hours, amidst that darkness, he was punished by God, for what we have done, for what the dacoit had done. There the Holy God, poured out all His Holy wrath against sinful man, but it was all borne by the sinless One.

At 3PM, my Savior cried, “It is finished”, then bowed His blessed thorn-crowned head and died, the death that I,, that you, that the dacoit deserved. He ( the dacoit) learned that the full price for all his sins and crimes had been fully paid, by his sinless Savior.

The Savior’s holy body was then taken down from the cross, by the loving hands of two disciples, who had been secret disciples until that time. They wrapped it in clean linnen cloths, with embalming spices, and laid it to rest in the new, rock-hewn tomb belonging to one of them., a great circular stone was then rolled across the entrance, it was sealed with the Roman govenor’s signet, and a guard of soldiers placed there to prevent anybody coming to steal that body, and take it away.. But three days later, in the dark of night, an angel came, whose look was like lightening, the soldiers were petrified with fear, and became like dead men. The angel rolled the stone away and sat upon it, not to allow the Lord Jesus to come out, but to show that He had already risen.

When he heard all these things, our friend the dacoit, saw himself no longer as a gangster king,but a lost and guilty sinner, he came to the feet of the Lord Jesus in true repentance, put his faith and trust in that risen Savior, and received Him into his heart and life, he handed his wicked life to the Lord Jesus, his many sins were forgiven, and washed away by the blood of the Lord Jesus. He was born again, and became a “new creature”, in Christ

My dear reader, what God did for that man, He can do for you, if only you are willing!

Once all this was settled,then it was that he learned why that evangelist was so thin. For fourteen days that dear man had been fasting and praying for the criminal’s conversion. Such devotion is very seldom seen, yet is very precious to our Master and Lord Jesus Christ.

Our friend, now our brother in Christ

returned to his home and asked his wife to make him a cup of tea. She was very surprised, and wondered if he had made a mistake, telling him that he never drank tea, he only drank brandy. When he insisted, she made the tea for him, and he told me that never in his life had a cup of tea tasted so nice, as it did that day. He then asked his wife to come and to watch what he was about to do.

Under their bed, he had 150 bottles of foreign brandy, he took the cartons into his compound yard, and threw them one by one against a stone wall, breaking every one of them. His wife asked him, “Have you gone mad or something?” He replied, “No, today is the very first time in my life that I have been in my right mind. That brandy has been poison to me, and I will not allow it to be a poison to others”. Thus he showed that he had really received a new life, he was now in Christ, and the old things were passing away.

However though he was completely changed, yet his wife did not like the change. The poojah ceased, he was a Hindu no longer, instead he began to pray to the TRUE GOD, who was now his Father, and to the Lord Jesus , who was now his Savior. After a time, his wife took their two sons and ran away, taking with her two kilograms of gold also. He found out where she had gone, and then went to see her. He demanded that she hand the boys over to him, but she refused. He told her that he was a Hindu no longer, and that his sons were not going to be brought up as Hindus. He now belonged to the Lord Jesus, and his boys were to be brought up for Him. He told her that he had a revolver in his pocket, and if he had to, he would use it, if she continued to refuse to give the boys up. She knew that when he spoke like that he meant it, so she gave the boys to him. As he returned to his house he passed a river, he threw the revolver into the river, and it remains there until this day.

Now he had a great problem, he had ruled over a gang, and he knew enough about each of them that could make them to hang for their crimes. He called them all together, told them what had happened to him, that he had been saved and was a new creature in Christ, that he could not continue with them in a life of sin and crime. He told them that he was a threat to each of them because of what he knew about them, that they could shoot him then and there if they chose. However he promised that if they allowed him to live, he would never divulge to any living soul, the things that he knew about them.

Later he was baptized, and this made the Brahmin community angry. The Lord Jesus asks all those who trust Him as Savior, and confess Him as Lord, to testify to their faith in Him, by being baptized to the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. This is done by their being immersed in water, as a testimony to the fact that they accept the death of Christ as their own, and they thus identify themselves with Him, in His death, burial and resurrection.

In Hindu circles this public act of faith and obedience.often provokes great opposition, and hostility. Hindus do not object to one believing in any god, or in no god, so to them to believe in Jesus, is just believing in one more god. However if one is baptized, it means that the person has broken caste, and thus are outcaste, and this makes them very angry, and will often result in the person being rejected by their family, dis-inherited, and litterally cast out.

This is what happened to brother Paul Chaubey, because he was from a Brahmin family, (the highest caste), it made his family, and community very angry, and they decided to kill him. When taking his baby son John to the hospital for treatment, they ambushed him, and stabbed him forty times. John told me “I can truly say that I have been washed in my father’s own blood”. His would-be murderers then left him and the baby, thinking that he was dead, however others found him, rushed him to hospital, where his wounds were treated and his life was saved. He continued in that area, staying with his mother, but she was still a Hindu, and poojah was practiced in that house each morning. He knew that this would in time have an influence on his sons, so he put the into a Roman Catholic boarding school in Jhansi. Later he came to Madras, where he got a job as a security officer at the Government Tank factory at Avadi.

He began to give his testimony, at meetings, and also to preach the Gospel, as best he understood that wonderful message. I time he came to know a very famous man, who is almost worshipped by many as a “prophet” and a “miracle worker, one “brother Dinakaran”, and was called by him to become one of his “Jesus Calls” preachers, it was this man who arranged for him to marry one of his “converts”, a former Roman Catholic, she had children of her own, and wanted what little property that our brother had, to be for her children, hence her cruel treatment of John. (We have told about this in the booklet, “The Shoe Shine Boy, which is available from the people who gve you this booklet.

He continued in the service of the famous prophet, (deceiver), until at a “Good news festival” somewhere in the North of India, the Hindus rioted, and he narrowly escaped with his life. He then called brother Paul Chaubey, the former Murderer and Dacoit, and asked him to become his personal bodyguard. Brother Paul was shocked, and asked the “Prophet”, “You are the servant of the Almighty God, and yet you need a bodyguard?” After this he left the service of that deceiver, and continued to serve the Lord independently , looking to Him to supply his daily needs, going from house to house with Christian witness, and Christian literature. When I last met him, together with his son John, they had covered 13 villages surrounding Madras. In one village he had been beaten up, but felt no bitterness towards those who had treated him thus, realizing that he was just reaping what he had himself sowed for many years.

My dear reader, I do not know you, but the fact that this little paper has come into your hands, is no accident, or co-incedence. God has a deffinate interest in you, and longs for your present and eternal happiness. It may be that you are a good living, upright person, who is clean morally, yet you are a sinner, as I am. Every sin of your life is known to God, even things that may be known to no others or perhaps only to one other person, all is fully known to God, yet He loves you still, and is willing to give you His salvation, and eternal life as a free gift. The Bible says that “The wages of sin is death, (that is all that you can earn), but the gift of God is eternal life throughJesus Christ, our Lord”, Rom. 6;23. Would you not be foolish to reject such a gift? Why not accept it now, by faith, I assure you that you will never ever regret doing so. Whether a small, or a great sinner, we must all come to God the same way, Whether from Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, Sihk, or any other background, we must all come to God the same way, God’s appointed way.

To come to God there are but three simple steps which are (1). Repentance towards God, (2). Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, (3). Receive Christ by faith as your own personal Savior, and then confess Him as your Lord. If you would like to do this, then you can pray the following prayer. However I must warn you that the repetition of a formal prayer will not save you, it must be sincere, it must come from the depths of your heart, you must really mean it. If that is so, then pray like this, but as you pray, reaalize that the Lord Jesus is listening to you, He knows your heart better than you do. then just say

Dear Lord Jesus, as I have read about you and your wonderful love, my heart has been touched. I have been made to realize that I am a sinner, that I am lost and cannot save myself, I have learned that you love me, that you came from heaven to die for me,so that I might be saved, Lord Jesus, please save me now.

I repent, I am truly sorry for the bad things that I have done in my life, I want to do those things no longer, and as you help and keep me I will seek in your strength to please you, to please God, only.

Lord Jesus, I do believe that you died on the cross for me, I do believe that you took my sins, and bore the punishment for me, the judgment of a Holy God against my sins, against me. Thank you Lord Jesus! while hanging on that cross, you shed your precious blood, I believe that you did it for me.

Lord Jesus, I also believe that you rose from the dead, that you are alive, and I do receive you into my heart by faith now as my Lord and Savior.

Lord Jesus, please come into my heart right now, wash my sins away in your precious blood, make me a true child of God.

Thank you Lord Jesus for hearing my prayer, I believe that you have saved me, I gladly confess that you are my Lord, and my Savior, and that I belong to you alone, forever.

I ask this prayer in all sincerity, from the depths of my heart, and I worship you, in your precious name, Lord Jesus Christ Amen!

If you have prayed thus, and really meant it, then God has saved you. Get a Bible or New Testament and find and underline the following verses. John’s Gospel, chapter 1;12-13′ chapter 3;16, chapter 5;24, chapter 10;27-28, and Romans chapter 10;9. As you read them, thank God that they are true for you. That you have received Christ as your Savior, so that you are now a child of God, and have been born of God. Thank Him for giving His Son, the Lord Jesus for you, and that you will never perish and do have everlasting life now. Tell God that you do believe that He sent the lord Jesus to die for you, that He has spoken to you through His word, that you do have eternal life and will never come into judgment, condemnation or hell, that you have passed from death into life. Thank God that you have confessed Jesus as your Lord and Master, that you do believe that He rose from the dead, that now He lives in your heart and that you are truly saved.

Contact the person whose name appears at the end, and whose address and telephone number are given, They will guide you and pray for you as you begin you new life in Christ. If they do not live near you, then they will put you in touch with reliable and mature believers who will help and encourage you. May God bless you!

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. Nevertheless, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me the first, (CHIEF), Jesus Christ might show forth (His WHOLE) long-suffering, for a pattern to them who should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting. (1 Timothy, 1 ; 15-16.)

If God saved the Chief of Sinners, then He can save you, there is hope for all, even the worst.

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By Ray Stedman

My home is on the Rogue River in southwestern Oregon. As the river flows by my door it is a quiet, happily murmuring stream. But ten miles downstream it turns into a raging torrent, sweeping through the walls of Hellgate Canyon with unbelievable power and white-capped display. The varied assortment of rafters, kayakers, and boatsmen who challenge its course through the Coast Range have but one thought in mind—survival! A few hardy, experienced souls dare it on their own, but most rely on river-wise guides who thoroughly know the dangers, can instruct in the techniques of survival, and are able to build implicit trust in their knowledge and leadership.

By now you have doubtless discovered that life is very much like that powerful and treacherous river. Who hasn’t felt at times that you are being carried along into unknown dangers quite beyond your control? Who hasn’t breathed a sigh of relief during quiet seasons, only to have sudden intrusions of tragic circumstances press faith to the breaking point? We’ve all known (and perhaps succumbed to) the allure of powerful temptations to wrong-doing that can leave us shattered and disillusioned when they are past. Or thought we were doing okay only to discover that we had badly misjudged our state and woke up too late to recover.

All these perils and more are charted for us in the seven letters to the churches of Asia, found in Revelation 2-3. The encouraging factor is that they come from the great River-Guide himself, Jesus our Lord, who thoroughly knows the dangers which confront us, can advise knowledgably and accurately of the correctives needed to survive, and, in addition, offers incredible rewards to those who make the trip successfully to the end.

Each of the seven letters confronts a different situation and teaches a different lesson. The first, to the church at Ephesus, describes the one absolutely essential motivation to survival. It is to preserve continuously the warm and intimate love for Jesus that we first felt when we learned of that agony of self-sacrifice on our behalf which made salvation possible and brought us out of darkness into his marvelous light. If we lose that love by being drawn into side currents of man-pleasing or self-gratification or personal ambition we are in deadly danger of finding ourselves washed up on the shoals of life with little to show for having lived at all. “Watch your motivation,” says Jesus, “there is only one that can see you safely through the perils of life—a genuine and often-renewed love for Me.”

The letter to Smyrna faces a quite different danger. Here it is the terrible pressure to give up faith because it will mean ridicule, ostracism, affliction and outright persecution even to the point of death. We hate the thought that difficulties and hard trials are to be part of our lot, but Jesus tells us that only these can build the moral strength and trust that is needed to get us through. Modern examples include Alexandr Solzhenitsyn who suffered for years in Russian prisons and detention camps but who was sustained by a deepening devotion to Christ. His sturdy declaration of unpalatable truth has become a model to many of how one man can influence a whole generation. We believe that strong military forces are needed to preserve Christian civilization but Smyrna teaches us that Jesus can keep his church alive and vigorous in the midst of social and political upheaval. “Don’t be intimidated by opposition,” cries Jesus, “just as I died and came to life again, so can you, for the cross always leads to a crown!”

Pergamum stresses the need for integrity. The perils are subtle. One of them is sexual seduction. A young business man once told me of being with associates in a city away from home. His two friends planned to go out and find girls for a sexual party, but being a Christian he demurred and stayed in the room to write letters. After going to bed he was awakened by his two friends returning, accompanied by three girls. One of them promptly climbed in bed with him, awakening strong physical response. But he reminded himself of all he had to lose, and what his Lord would think, and wisely dressed without a word of reproach and went down to get another room. The other peril at Pergamum was to seek for personal power at the price of integrity. This was the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. It is found in many offices today in the lure of The Inner Circle, entrance to which demands some surrender of moral principle.

“But,” says Jesus, “don’t forget that integrity maintained means greater intimacy with Me. Guard your morality with care!”

The letter to Thyatira develops the other side of the same problem. It teaches us that compromise destroys. Under the figure of the Old Testament queen, Jezebel, who introduced idolatry into Israel, a contemporary Jezebel teaches Christians that having another god is necessary to do business in the modern world. It pictures adopting the world’s value system in place of the personal honesty which Christ requires. To lie, to shade principle, to promise what can’t be delivered, is to begin a downward slide into moral disaster. The recent spate of indictments for inside trading on Wall Street is a case in point. Those indicted have testified to the way their moral perceptions were blunted by the lust for easy money–but now prison awaits! So a false god leads to certain destruction. “But remember,” Jesus urges, “faithfulness leads to greater authority. He who overcomes will reign with Me.”

Sardis is the church in deepest trouble. It started well but soon began to lean on a good reputation and that led to inner-coasting till before they knew it they were all but dead. The Lord’s staccato command to them is, “Wake up, strengthen what remains.” The lesson to each of us is clear: words are never enough. A reputation for past success will soon disappear if the deeds that built it are missing. It is a call for consistency. Begin again where you once were. Apathy and lethargy are deadly enemies so recognize them as such and come alive. “Those who do,” says Jesus, “will find security and honor. Limited success is far better than phony achievement.”

Alone among the churches, the church of Philadelphia merits the full approval of its Lord, without reproach of any kind. It is because its members are alert to their opportunities, compassionate to their enemies, and patiently aware that nothing will ever be fully set right till Jesus comes. Read the lives of the heroes and heroines of the Church and see how that pattern is repeated in each life. With the love of Jesus as a continuing motive, and a determination to faithfully reflect his character till he returns, men and women like Mother Theresa, Chuck Colson, Jim Elliott, Amy Carmichael, and thousands unnamed have earned the title, “of whom the world was not worthy.” “I will acknowledge them as my own,” Jesus declares, “in new ways they cannot now imagine!”

Laodicea is the church filled with self-sufficient members. They had two problems. One, there was a lack of full commitment; they were neither hot nor cold. And, two, there was an inaccurate self-image; they thought they were rich when they were really poor. They were both comfortable and complacent. But in the eyes of Jesus they were far from what he wanted his people to be. The church is not a country club, operated for the benefit of its members. It is not a performing arts center, offering high-quality entertainment. It is not a political action group, choosing up sides in the public arena. It is not a protest movement, radically seeking the overthrow of law and order. What it is intended to be is salt, and salty salt at that, flavoring life and arresting its corruption. And light, widely visible light, illuminating a dark and confused world. To be this, Jesus offers himself, in intimate and personal relationship, to be the source of all that’s needed for ministry in this present age. “Nothing else will suffice,” he says, “only my life lived through your life will do the trick. It will bring you through the shoals and rapids of life to share with me in the Final Triumph!”

So, can you make it through the dangers, toils and snares of this dangerous world? Of course you can—if you love your Leader, heed his warnings, and lay hold of his resources. Without him you cannot succeed; with him you cannot fail!


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