A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Home About Us Archives Free email subscription Listen to this message
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
"Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men" (2 Corinthians 5:11). "For Christ's love compels us" (2 Corinthians 5:14).
Several weeks ago a reporter and a photographer were kidnapped in the Middle East and finally freed when they feigned conversion to Islam. What an incredible contrast this reveals between the two largest faith systems in the world today. Among the root causes of terrorism is a goal to "convert", by any means, the rest of the world to the Islamic religion.
Several years ago I heard a very interesting missionary whose ministry is encountering Muslims in London with the truth claims of Jesus Christ. He has extensively studied the religion of Islam in order to prepare himself for public debates with top Muslim "scholars". These debates are held at a place called "Speaker's Corner", a large public area where various groups are allowed to express themselves. His insights on Islam are extremely interesting as well as his perspective concerning the current terrorism situation. *
The great commission of Jesus Christ to His church is "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation" (Mark 16:15). Our call is to seek to convert others to this way of life as is also the ambition of any worldview. Secular humanism is for instance certainly seeking to convert others to its outlook on life. The issue is not the desire that others share our beliefs but rather the means of transmission. We can't force someone to become a Christian, since it involves transformation from the inside out.
Today in virtually every region of the world there are followers of Jesus Christ preaching this good news attempting to persuade others to follow Christ. I am one of them. There are scores of followers who are expressing the love of Jesus Christ through acts of compassion accompanied by a verbal witness. As I prepare this morning's message dedicated Christian believers in many parts of the world who share God's love are imprisoned and their lives are imperiled. Their crime: merely witnessing for Christ.
The apostle Paul provides such a powerful example for us in this regard. He had at one time been an ardent persecutor of the followers of Christ, but at his conversion everything changed. He himself took on the great commission of Christ and began to preach and try to persuade people to believe and become Christians. In Acts 26 Paul was sharing his faith and Agrippa stated, "Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?" Paul's response should be ours as well; "Short time or long--I pray God that not only You but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains."
Wherever we are today let us continue with our mission of preaching and persuading, compelled by Christ's love.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: We seek to persuade others to follow You by showing that this all-surpassing power within our lives is not from us but from You, God, who dwells within us. Your love compels us to reach out toward others to share the love of Christ in our conversation and show the love of Christ in our actions. Help us to be faithful in doing so. Amen.
"Almost Persuaded," a hymn written in 1871 by Philip P. Bliss was inspired by a sermon he heard. During the sermon the evangelist quoted Acts 26:28 and declared, "He who is almost persuaded is almost saved, and to be almost saved is to be entirely lost!"
Here is a sample prayer that expresses belief and commitment to Jesus Christ: "Jesus, thank you for loving me. I confess that I am a sinner. I believe You are the promised Messiah who came to die for my sins. Please forgive me of my sin and come into my life. I receive You as my Savior and will follow You as my Lord. Thank You for hearing my prayer. Amen".
Here is a listing of helpful resources for new Christians.
*The Answering Islam website provides plenty of thought-provoking insight and perspective on this topic. Here is an outstanding "Open Letter" related to my message today.
There are two phrases often used by the media that deeply trouble me.
1) The designation "scholar" to describe virtually any spokesman for Islam no matter how outlandish their views. Just listen or look for the phrase "Islamic scholar" when hearing or reading a report about Islam and see how commonly it's used. I rarely hear this word used for well known figures who are Christians and actually I really don't care to either. We don't hear "Christian scholar Rick Warren" or "Christian scholar Billy Graham" for instance.
2) The designation "holy sites" or "holy cities" such as a reporter saying, "there was a bombing today in the holy city of Azabazaraza." My word, how many holy cities and sites does that religion have? It's interesting that I don't hear the designation used by the media for Jerusalem, Rome or many places that have great significance to Christians, Jews and other religious groups. But if it's some obscure place in the desert, significant to some Muslims, it's a "holy city." This brings about a righteous anger in me because it perverts the meaning of "holy" that should be used to describe God.
Sign up for the free daily email encouragement at www.dailyencouragement.net
New subscribers receive a link to free computer desktop background photos with Scriptures!
Permissions: Please feel free to pass on, reproduce and distribute any material on Daily Encouragement Net, in part or in whole, in any format, provided that you do not alter the wording in any way or charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. It is our desire to spread this material, not protect or restrict it. I do request that you keep the contact, copyright and subscription information intact.
Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
Daily Encouragement Net is an affiliate of Christianbook.com
Daily Encouragement Net - 495 Kraybill Church Road - Mount Joy, PA 17552
"Living securely today anchored in God's solid foundation"