Saturday, June 7, 2008

Our Most Important Duty

John 1:43-46

"The day following Jesus went forth into Galilee, and found Philip, and said to him, Follow me. Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said to him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip said to him, Come and see."

Notice the very first thing Philip did after being called by Jesus. Did he say, "Wait, Lord, this sounds like a lot of work, let me get back to you when I'm about to die," or immediately rush off to write a soul-stirring song our heart-warming, best-selling book about the experience? No, of course not, because Philip understood what it really meant to follow Christ and that there were more important things at stake. So what did he do? He immediately went off to tell others about the Saviour - a radical idea in today's church. Throughout the New Testament we see the same attitude exhibited over and over again by those who come to Christ, they immediately feel the need to tell everyone they can. Take the woman at the well in John 4:7-30, verses 28 and 29 say, "The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and said to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all the things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?" Then there's the man at the pool of Bethesda in John 5:5-15, verse 15 states, "The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole."

It is our duty as Christians to seek and save the lost, it is non-negotiable. The Great Commission applies to all of us, not just the "evangelists." Yet what do we see today? According to The Barna Group, only 54% of Christians feel the need to share their faith, and worse still, only 36% of protestants actually do share their faith (and only 10% of Catholics). How can we claim to know Christ if we do not wish to see others brought to Christ? It is the most important duty of the Christian to share his faith with as many as he can, and notice Philip didn't wait until he had been discipled for 12 months, been baptized, joined a church, studied apologetics, and taken an evangelism course before he started sharing his faith. One of the most common excuses for not sharing our faith is "What if I'm asked a question I can't answer?" But this didn't seem to bother Philip. When a skeptical Nathanael said, "Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?" Philip replied with just what Jesus had told him: "Come and see."

"Oh, my friends, we are loaded down with countless church activities, while the real work of the Church, that of evangelizing and winning the lost, is almost entirely neglected." - Oswald J. Smith

In Christ's Love,
Matthew

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Miraculous Healings? Todd Bentley's 'Lakeland Revival'

The 'Lakeland Revival' in Lakeland, Florida is an ongoing revival hosted by minister Todd Bentley, and began on April 3, 2008 (yes, as of today it is still in progress). Bentley claims multitudes of 'miraculous healings' have taken place at this revival, including individuals being healed of terminal diseases as well as a claim of at least 18 people (the number keeps changing, so this may not be current) being raised from the dead. Bentley claims these 'great signs and wonders' are evidence of his authenticity.

Unfortunately for Mr. Bentley, if these healings are any reflections on his authenticity, then he is about as authentic as the 'leather' jackets at Wal-Mart. Pastor Larry Reed, Washington State, had terminal bone cancer and attended the Lakeland Revival last week. Mr. Bentley 'healed' him and he stood from his wheel-chair in triumph as the crowd cheered. Tragically, Reed died last Tuesday.

Watch this video and take a closer look at Todd Bentley's testimony.

You decide.

In Christ's Love,
Matthew