How to Share Your Faith This Week

by Chris Russell | Research indicates that the majority of unchurched people would attend a church if they were simply invited. Don’t be bashful. Send a few text messages out to some friends right now to invite them to church!

Jesus said in the John 4:35, “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” If you are a follower of Christ, I hope you realize how important it is for us to actively be a part of the harvest of souls in our generation. It is absolutely essential that we put our finest efforts into rescuing lives from destruction.

But as I mention this subject, I realize many readers begin to tremble with fear. We worry about rejection or not being able to give an answer for those tough questions. Some do not even know where to begin with this mission.

Let me suggest five simple ways you can begin to share your faith this week:

1. Begin by living your life consistently with what God has said in His Word.

Many people get tripped up in sharing their faith because they know their lifestyle is not what it needs to be. The solution to this is very simple: turn your entire life over to God completely. Do it now.

2. Begin to publicly identify yourself with Christ through social media.

Social media can provide a subtle approach to sharing your faith. Change your “religious views” on your profile to “Christian.” Once or twice a week consider posting a Bible verse on your timeline. Link to your church’s website or to other Christian websites on your timeline. Let friends know you are praying for them when they express a need.

3. Volunteer to serve in a ministry at your church on Sunday mornings.

God’s strategic plan for evangelizing this generation is through His Church. When you serve in any of the weekend church ministries, you are becoming a part of the evangelistic machine that changes lives forever. Don’t underestimate the value of changing diapers in the nursery at your church. By serving you are opening up opportunities for people to hear the Word and surrender to Christ. That is a big deal!

4. Keep something on your desk or counter at work that identifies you as a Christian.

I had a dear friend (who has now gone on to be with the Lord in Heaven) who kept his Bible on his desk even though he never read it during business hours. And he told me often of how that symbol brought many people to his office asking questions about his faith and asking for prayer for needs in their lives. I would suggest you do something like this to identify yourself in your office as a follower of Christ. This could mean putting a Bible on your desk or something as simple as setting a coffee mug with your church’s logo in some visible part of your office. Better yet, put candy in the mug for coworkers to swipe when they stop in to talk to you!

5. Invite someone to church this Sunday.

Research indicates that the majority of unchurched people would attend a church if they were simply invited. Don’t be bashful. Send a few text messages out to some friends right now to invite them to church! Then you can allow the entire church body to be a part of bringing them to Christ! I would suggest that you invite them to church and lunch right afterward. This will turn it into more of a relational event, and you can have a chance to see how they felt about the church service.

Some of Jesus’s last words are found in Matthew 28:19-20. In this passage we are commanded to go out and make disciples. And in Acts 1:8, Jesus promises us the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit to help us in that mission.

So then, in the power of the Holy Spirit, let’s tell the world of the joy we have in knowing Christ!

Chris Russell has spent the past 25 years actively involved in ministry through pastoring, church planting, writing, Christian radio, and special speaking around the country and in seven different countries. He is passionate about communicating the truths of God’s Word in a creative, highly-relevant way.

Chris has three kids and happens to be married to his best friend, Leigh. He currently pastors a church on the north side of Cincinnati. For more, visit Sensible Faith



Weekly Spiritual Digest: Is There a God?

by Rev. Sunday Bwanhot | When a tragedy occurs even atheists cry out or get angry with the God they do not to believe in. Ps. 14:1.

The first time I saw the ocean, I was awestruck and the words that came out of my mouth were: “How can anybody say there is no God?” There are some who do not believe in God and even mock the idea of a God. God is real and He has revealed Himself. Our experiences of unanswered prayers and why disasters or evil happen are not conclusions that God does not exist.

Is There a God

Is There a God?  (image: Pixabay, Ascension)

So, How Has God Revealed Himself?

  1. Through His creation – the size, beauty and orderliness of it. PS. 19:1-2; Rom 1:19-20.
  2. Morality – the sense of right and wrong. Rom. 2:14-15. Fyodor D. said: “If God does not exist, everything is permitted”
  3. The Bible. This is where God revealed what He has done, what He is currently doing and what He will do in the future. The Bible is authentic, and it is about a real God and real people.
  4. God chose Israel and gave them a land and promises only God can give.
  5. False gods. The only reason there are false gods is because there is a genuine God.
  6. When a tragedy occurs even atheists cry out or get angry with the God they do not to believe in. Ps. 14:1.

“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” While there is no risk in believing in God, there is colossal loss if we reject Him only to discover too late that we were wrong. “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds it’s rest in thee.” ― Augustine of Hippo. If you truly believe there is God, how are you living out that conviction?

Rev. Sunday BwanhotRev. Sunday Bwanhot is EMS/SIM Missionary. He serves as Team leader of SIM Culture Connexions; Pastors of ECWA Chicago.



What Does It Mean To Be Saved?

by Cecil Maranville | Many believe that if you just say the words “I accept Jesus as my Savior,” you will be immediately and permanently saved. Is that what the Bible teaches?

Some religious people ask others, “Are you saved?

If the answer is no, the suggested solution might be to recite a short statement: “I accept Jesus as my Savior.

Such advice about being saved implies that a simple, albeit sincere, declaration explains both the howand the when of salvation. Yet Jesus Himself counseled, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21, emphasis added throughout).

Wait! Have you been told that you do not have to do anything to be saved? If that is what you have read or been told, how does it square with what the Bible says?

According to Jesus Christ, just words alone are not enough. You have to conduct your day-to-day life according to God’s will. And implied in Jesus’ statement is that complete salvation is not now, but in the future (He said, “shall enter the kingdom of heaven,” not “has entered the kingdom of heaven”).

Unconditional love does not equal unconditional benefits

We must not confuse unconditional love with unconditional benefits. An argument commonly used against what Christ said above is that God’s love is unconditional. The reasoning is that since God’s love is unconditional, His free gift of salvation is also unconditional.

It is true that God loves us unconditionally. He loves male and female, wealthy and poor, highly educated and illiterate, people of any and every racial background. His love is without discrimination or prejudice.

Does the fact that He has unconditional love for humankind mean that He gives His benefits unconditionally? That is comparing apples and oranges—two completely different issues. Unconditional love by God does not equate to unconditional benefits from God.

Of course, nothing anyone can do earns salvation. Even so, there are requirements, according to what Christ said above—and what the Bible says in numerous other scriptures.

Requirements do not mean earning salvation

Some assume that saying Christians are required to do anything in order to be saved teaches that salvation can be earned. That reasoning is false.

Can you inherit a gift you have not earned and yet be required by your benefactor to do certain things before receiving your inheritance? Sure! It happens all the time. For example, a wealthy benefactor may leave an heir a million dollars, but the benefactor can stipulate in his will that the heir must complete a college education and reach age 21 before receiving the money. Does the heir “earn” the million dollars by fulfilling the will’s requirements? No, fulfilling requirements to receive the inheritance is not the same as earning the inheritance.

If we tried to understand the doctrine of salvation by human debate, the arguing would be endless. God alone determines the parameters of salvation. And He declares it is a gift! That means God says salvation cannot be earned. It is, by analogy, an inheritance. We are heirs of salvation (Romans 8:17) by faith, not by works (Romans 4:14).

Salvation is the single greatest benefit that any human being could receive. As we explain in thorough detail in our other articles about salvation, being saved is a process that begins with the human mind turning away from living and thinking the way that comes naturally to living and thinking the way God expects.But, as in the human inheritance analogy above, God also declares unambiguously that the inheritors of salvation must fulfill certain requirements to receive it.

You would think Jesus’ words would have settled the matter, but this debate continues even today. We will come back to this, but we first need to consider what salvation is.

What does it mean to be saved?

Salvation is the single greatest benefit that any human being could receive. As we explain in thorough detail in our other articles about salvation, being saved is a process that begins with the human mind turning away from living and thinking the way that comes naturally to living and thinking the way God expects.

To draw an analogy with a race, the starting line is baptism, at which time a person’s sins are forgiven and God gives the gift of His Holy Spirit.

Some would have you think that the starting line and the finish line are one and the same.

However, the Bible teaches that the finish line, when salvation is complete, is when God changes a person from physical existence to spirit existence. Then the person is “saved” from perishing. It is no longer possible for one who is completely saved to suffer an injury, to contract a disease, to age or to die.

In everyday language, “to be saved” means to be spared or rescued from something undesirable. One might be saved from drowning by being rescued from a body of water. A person can be saved from asphyxiation by being pulled from a burning building by a firefighter. Someone could be saved from death by the successful medical treatment of an injury or disease.

What are we saved from?

The concept of salvation in the Bible is similar. A person is saved from something undesirable. In the case of spiritual salvation, the undesirable condition from which one is saved is eternal death—death from which there is no resurrection.

What did Jesus say to the woman of Samaria at the well? “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13-14).

“Everlasting life” is another way of saying “saved.” After receiving everlasting life, a person will no longer be subject to those elements that cause pain, suffering and death to a human being.

The spiritual water Jesus was speaking of is the Holy Spirit, the divine nature that is given to a person at the “the starting line” of the process of salvation.

When is a person saved?

But did not Jesus also say that a person who believes in Him has everlasting life? Yes, He did: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life” (John 6:47).

The question is, when is a person saved? Well, in one sense, as soon as the conversion process begins, a Christian has within his or her mind some of God’s nature—that is, divine essence (2 Peter 1:4). God’s Spirit is the down payment (earnest) one must have for ultimate salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14; Romans 8:11).

That does not mean that every Christian is completely divine upon conversion! It means the process has begun. That is what Jesus meant.

Reinforcing the truth that there are requirements

Now that we’ve looked at what salvation is, let’s continue our study of God’s expectations. Consider what Jesus said to a young Jewish ruler. This young man asked Jesus, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16).

Jesus told him, “If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17). We know from the scriptures we have been reading that “life” means everlasting life, which means the same as eternal life, which means the same as salvation. Again, we find there is a requirement of believers in order to receive salvation. Nothing we can do earns salvation, and yet we are required to keep the 10 Commandments or we will not be saved!

If you study this story, you will learn the young man already kept the letter of the 10 Commandments. And you will see that Jesus did not deter the man from doing so, but rather, that Christ steered the man deeper into the intent and spirit of the law. Measuring oneself by the law alone would be legalism. But searching out and living by the 10 Commandments and the spiritual intent for which God gave each one is the pathway to salvation.

The finish line

We have enough background information that we can now understand a difficult scripture, which will help bring the points of this article to a conclusion.

Four days after Martha’s brother Lazarus had died and been buried, Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26).

Now, we can understand Jesus’ words. The believer has the promise of eternal life. But until the process is complete, the person is still subject to injury, disease, aging and death. He or she therefore is not “saved” from perishing yet.

When does the believer cross the finish line? Christ inspired the apostle Paul to relate the answer:

“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

“For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory’” (1 Corinthians 15:50-54).

Of course, these verses concern all who become believers before Christ returns. Many more will become believers during and after the Millennium. Their salvation will be the same; it will begin with repentance and baptism; it will be complete when God changes them to spirit beings.

Saved through a process

In summary, salvation is a process. It begins with repentance, baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit. It continues with a Christian, out of love and appreciation, striving with God’s help to live a life pleasing to God by obeying His laws and doing His will. It concludes when God changes a physical being into a spirit being, a being that can never be injured, become sick, age or die.

Do not go by what you may have always thought or by what other people say. Look at what the Bible says by reading the Scriptures. Plus, we encourage you to read the accompanying biblically based articles on salvation and conversion on this website. Also, you may use the search box at the top of any page of the website to look for information you cannot find on any topic. And, if you need help, feel free to ask us!

 



God’s plan of salvation

by GotQuestions.org | “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” The way to follow God’s plan of salvation is to believe. That is the only requirement (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8–9) (image: Jiñi xucʼul bʌ Job miʼ yʌl i wocol Job 6-10).
Salvation is deliverance. All the world religions teach that we need to be delivered, but each has a different understanding of what we need to be delivered from, why we need to be delivered, and how that deliverance can be received or achieved. The Bible makes it abundantly clear, however, that there is only one plan of salvation.

The most important thing to understand about the plan of salvation is that it is God’s plan, not humanity’s plan. Humanity’s plan of salvation would be observing religious rituals or obeying certain commands or achieving certain levels of spiritual enlightenment. But none of these things are part of God’s plan of salvation.

God’s plan of salvation – The Why
In God’s plan of salvation, first we must understand why we need to be saved. Simply put, we need to be saved because we have sinned. The Bible declares that everyone has sinned (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8). Sin is rebellion against God. We all choose to actively do things that are wrong. Sin harms others, damages us, and, most importantly, dishonors God. The Bible also teaches that, because God is holy and just, He cannot allow sin to go unpunished. The punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23) and eternal separation from God (Revelation 20:11–15). Without God’s plan of salvation, eternal death is the destiny of every human being.

God’s plan of salvation – The What
In God’s plan of salvation, God Himself is the only one who can provide for our salvation. We are utterly unable to save ourselves because of our sin and its consequences. God became a human being in the Person of Jesus Christ (John 1:1, 14). Jesus lived a sinless life (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; 1 John 3:5) and offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice on our behalf (1 Corinthians 15:3; Colossians 1:22; Hebrews 10:10). Since Jesus is God, His death was of infinite and eternal value. The death of Jesus Christ on the cross fully paid for the sins of the entire world (1 John 2:2). His resurrection from the dead demonstrated that His sacrifice was indeed sufficient and that salvation is now available.

God’s plan of salvation – The How
In Acts 16:31, a man asked the apostle Paul how to be saved. Paul’s response was, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” The way to follow God’s plan of salvation is to believe. That is the only requirement (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8–9). God has provided for our salvation through Jesus Christ. All we must do is receive it, by faith, fully trusting in Jesus alone as Savior (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). That is God’s plan of salvation.

God’s plan of salvation – Will you receive it?
If you are ready to follow God’s plan of salvation, place your faith in Jesus as your Savior. Change your mind from embracing sin and rejecting God to rejecting sin and embracing God through Jesus Christ. Fully trust in the sacrifice of Jesus as the perfect and complete payment for your sins. If you do this, God’s Word promises that you will be saved, your sins will be forgiven, and you will spend eternity in heaven. There is no more important decision. Place your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior today!

We pray you’ve made the decision for Christ to be one of his followers and accepted Christ into your heart today.

GotQuestions.org is a ministry of dedicated and trained servants who have a desire to assist others in their understanding of God, Scripture, salvation, and other spiritual topics. We are Christian, Protestant, evangelical, theologically conservative, and non-denominational. We view ourselves as a para-church ministry, coming alongside the church to help people find answers to their spiritually related questions.

 



EMS of ECWA Mission Week, April 25th – May 1, 2016

Theme: Standing in the Gap for the Salvation of Souls. Ezekiel 22:30.
Program Schedule
MONDAY – Talk 1
TUESDAY – Bible Studay
WEDNESDAY – Prayer Meeting
THURSDAY – Talk 2
FRIDAY – Film Show/Field Testimonies
SATURDAY – Evangelism
SUNDAY – Worship (ECWA President’ Speech)
 
Book: A Vision Received, A Vision Passed On
The History of EMS of ECWA, 1948-1998
by Panya Baba
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
For inquiry and ordering please contact the following numbers:
08033673654
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