Tuesday, January 24, 2012

For Future Generations

This Sunday I went to my parents church, which is very different from the one I usually go to (going from a non-denominational church to a baptist church). Even though there is quite a difference in the worship and teaching styles that they use, I found that are proclaiming the same message, the same gospel. Scott Eames is the head pastor of Fairview Baptist church in Statesville, NC. He's kind of an old school baptist preacher, but I won't hold it against him.

Anyway, he gave a message on the great commission that Jesus gave his disciples in Matthew 28:19-20.
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Throughout the new testament, when people met Jesus they HAD to tell somebody (even when Jesus told them not to like when He raised Jairus's daughter from the dead in Mark 5:35-43)
While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?” Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.
The crazy thing to me is that it's clear that Jesus is still raising people from the dead every day!
Ephesians 2:1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins
As Christians, we have been raised from the dead! Why don't we tell anybody? Why are we remaining silent about the best and most miraculous thing to ever happen in our lives?

There are five good reasons why we should be telling people about the gospel.

1.) Because of what He's done for us. Hello! Taking our punishment of eternal death, so we can be raised to live for the Creator of the Universe is kind of a big deal.

2.) Because of what He means to us. If we call ourselves Christians, we should be seeing God as infinitely valuable. He means everything! Pastor Scott said evangelism should be as natural as a new parent pulling out pictures and talking about their newborn to anyone who will listen. I thought that was a great comparison.

3.) Because people need to hear it. This should be one of the most obvious reasons for evangelism. People need the gospel. It is the only thing that will save them and we need to respond to this with a sense of urgency. Do you know somebody who is facing eternity without the hope of Jesus?

4.) Because God commands it. This is another obvious point. The bible says very clearly to go and make disciples.

5.) Because of the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Take a look at the beginning of the verse. We receive power from the Holy Spirit specifically for evangelistic purposes. The holy spirit should not be as easy to stifle as we seem to make it.

So we know why we should talk to people about the gospel, but now the question is "how?". I think the easiest and most powerful way to use your voice is to share your own testimony. It can be one of the most nerve-racking moments of your life, but it will also be the most personal and helpful ways to connect with somebody.

I think, also, the most important thing to keep in mind is that it's not our job to make converts. We can't save anybody. It's up to us to sow seeds of faith in people and after someone becomes a Christians, it is our responsibility to help them be disciples. We need to grow alongside of them and form relationships with them, not "move on to the next project".

The next generation is looking to us to know where to go and what to do. When I look back to who I idolized and tried to be like, I realize I looked up to the High school/college-age group, the age group I'm in now. It's a completely different perspective and I'm not sure when the roles got reversed.

I help teach a 3 year old class sometimes and it's made me super conscious of how I act and what I'm putting on display not only to 17 sets of 3 year-old eyes, but to the all the other younger kids that I know are looking up to me or wanting to be like me. What am I putting on display? Am I lifting up sin and the obscene things of the world with my life or am I lifting up Christ? I think my focus should be on God, so that maybe the next generations focus can be on God. How could we possibly remain silent about the gospel with the eyes of the next generation on us?

For Future Generations
by 4Him

The Signs Are Obvious, They Are Everywhere
All That We Hear About Is the Gloom and Despair
Too Many Would Be Prophets Saying
"It’s the End of It All"
‘cause Mother Earth Can’t Take Much More
The Hammer’s Gonna Fall

So Nature Has Its Needs, That’s a Lesson Learned
But It Appears to Me There Are Greater Concerns
‘cause We Can Save the Planet
Thinkin’ We Will Somehow Survive
But Father Time Is Calling Us
To Save Somebody’s Life

So I Won’t Bend and I Won’t Break
I Won’t Water Down My Faith
I Won’t Compromise in a World of Desperation
What Has Been I Cannot Change
But For Tomorrow and Today
I Must Be a Light For Future Generations

If We Could Find a Way to Preserve Our Faith
So Those Who Follow Us
See the Price That Was Paid
Then Maybe When They Question
What It’s Gonna Take to Survive
They’ll Find the Strength to Carry On
In What We Leave Behind

So I Won’t Bend and I Won’t Break
I Won’t Water Down My Faith
I Won’t Compromise in a World of Desperation
What Has Been I Cannot Change
But For Tomorrow and Today
I Must Be a Light For Future Generations

Lookin’ in the Eyes of the Children
Knowing That Tomorrow Is At Stake
When the Choice Is Up to Them
Will They Have the Strength to Say

We Won’t Bend and We Won’t Break
We Won’t Water Down Our Faith
We Won’t Compromise in a World of Desperation
What Has Been We Cannot Change
But For Tomorrow and Today
We Must Be a Light For Future Generations

We Won’t Bend and We Won’t Break
We Won’t Water Down Our Faith
We Won’t Compromise in a World of Desperation
What Has Been We Cannot Change
But For Tomorrow and Today
We Must Be a Light For Future Generations

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