Freedom and the Seeker-Friendly Church
This week's message is Freedom and the Seeker-Friendly Church. Choose your connection speed to listen: dialup - broadband - transcript
Friday, July 4th, we in American celebrated our Independence Day, the day we declared our freedom. This type of freedom is precious and is a gift from God. We celebrate and honor those who have given their lives to secure this freedom and to make sure we stay free. And yet, there is a freedom that is far greater still.
Today we explore the issue of spiritual freedom, its only source, and arch enemies of freedom which masquerade as agents of liberty.
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Telling the Truth, God-Style
Bowing to the idol of policial correctness, originally called "social Marxism," many in the Church have decided the Marxist model is better than that of the Holy Spirit when it comes to giving the seeker of truth that for which they are searching.
This includes removing words that would confuse or offend, removing references to a literal, eternal hell, sin, the depravity of man, the power of the blood, and the sacrificial Lamb of God who was sent as the ONLY way to avoid judgment and to be made right with God.
But should we seek to become less offensive to the world, or to model our lives and ministries after the clear instructions of the Word of God?
In 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 we read this: "Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life."
The reason we smell offensive, like death, to those who are not ready to come to Jesus, is not because we are just not "seeker-friendly enough." Rather, it is because "we are to God the fragrance of Christ." To one, Jesus smells like death. To the other, he smells like life. To not smell like death to some, we would have to make sure we don't smell like Jesus.
So if you are seeker-friendly and never offend anyone, you don't smell like Jesus, and I urge you to throw aside the humanistic ideas of man and instead embrace the undiluted, pure, alive, and powerful Word of God, and start preaching the whole Gospel of Jesus as found in the Bible. When you do, the Holy Spirit will do his work, and those who will come to Jesus will smell the fragrance of Christ in you, and will be recipients of the power of God unto Salvation — the whole Gospel of Christ, turning from sin and receiving atonement by his precious blood.
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Currently there are more than 14,233,808 people in the virtual community we have been called to reach, and that number continues to grow by 150,000 to 300,000 per week. At the moment this is being written, there are 65,062 people online in the virtual world, and every single one of them is looking for something. Help us reach as many of those as possible with the love and life-changing Good News of reconciliation with God through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
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Prayer Requests & Praise Reports
Strength through Struggle – SarahJane writes, My life has changed so much in the past few weeks. I don't know who I am anymore. I am struggling with wanted to go back to the way things were and knowing I never can, but also wondering if moving on wouldn't be better than going back. What am I missing by leaving the old me behind? I don't want to lose the happy side of my life because I ignored and ignore my most important people. Please pray for guidance and patience.
Continued Prayer – Paulie writes, Lord, Ben kindly prayed for me at the last service. Pleasse continue to help SJ to keep her life together. Give her the support and strength she needs, and to know what you will is. What she should do. What you want her to do. Praise you Lord. Amen.
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