Never heard the name of Jesus

I want you to think about this statement and then think about why it totally drives me crazy! “People go to Hell because they have not accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior”. So what happens to those who never get the opportunity to even hear the name of Jesus?

Now think about this… If you had to jump from an airplane at 20,000ft without a parachute what happen? The law of gravity would take effect and you would plummet to your death. Did the parachute kill you? What if you had never even heard of a parachute before, would that alter the law of gravity? No? If you violate the law of gravity, you suffer the consequences. In fact, it’s the parachute saves you from that law.

In the same way, if you violate the law of God (His 10 commandments), you must be held accountable. The bible says that God has given everyone a conscience. The world conscience means “with knowledge”. You know it is wrong to lie, steal, hate, have sex out side of marriage, commit adultery… and yet we do them with full knowledge of what we are doing. The Bible calls this the law of sin and death. Jesus Christ is the parachute that saves us from that law. The Bible even tells us to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 13:14).

People go to Hell because they are guilty of breaking Gods laws- NOT because they don’t accept Christ. If someone never hears of Jesus, they will be alright as long as they have not violated God’s laws, but if they have, then they have done it WITH FULL KNOWLEDGE. That is why Scripture says that the whole world is guilty before God. Ya know what I mean?

–Danny

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Published in: on October 28, 2008 at 8:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Funny and convicting? What a combo!

Here is a funny video about tithing called “God’s pies”. It really convicting too. Check it out…

Published in: on October 25, 2008 at 11:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Is Sunday morning your church’s outreach program?

Most churches tell their members to reach out and invite people to church in hopes that they might hear the gospel, and give their lives to Christ. Even visitation is about getting people to come to our church. So what does Scripture tell us about outreach and what is the primary role of the church?

First and foremost, church is about God, not people. Believers coming together to worship Him. Church is also about fellowship- “forsake not the gathering of the saints together” (Heb 10:25). Another function of the church is “for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ” (Eph 4:12). The church instructs us for the outreach that we are supposed to be doing outside of the church walls. Non-believers are welcome, but church is primarily for believers.

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”. Each one of us has been commanded to go. Just inviting someone to church or saying “Jesus loves you” does not fulfill your obligation.

One local group I know of did a prayer walk and they thought that was “outreach”. It’s not. Reaching out is when you reason with someone about sin, judgment, righteousness, or Hell (Acts 24:25). Reaching out is when someone is given the gospel of Jesus Christ. Outreach is not the responsibility of your pastor, it sits on our shoulders to take the gospel into a dying world. Are you ready to go?

–Danny

Published in: on October 25, 2008 at 12:37 am  Leave a Comment  

Have you no wish for others to be saved?

The Prince of Preachers

The Prince of Preachers

I was talking with a friend on my porch one weekend about the series I was going through called “Way of the Master“, and I asked him if he felt any obligation to reach out to those who are perishing and going to Hell; to which he responded- “no”.

So I said, “Imagine you died and you standing before the gates of heaven, about to enter in, and you see you friends and family being cast into Hell for their sins. You had the knowledge of everlasting life, if you would have spoken up, they might have turned and repented. How would you feel? Wouldn’t that be horrible?”

Then he replied, “There will be no tears in heaven.”

The only thing I could think of at that moment were the words of Charles Spurgeon when he wrote, “Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that.” Ouch… I will repeat that.

Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that.

Jesus Christ came to seek and save that which is lost. If he lives within you, then his burden will be your burden. His passion will be reflected in your life.

–Danny

Published in: on October 21, 2008 at 6:55 am  Comments (1)  

Why is Granger preaching a Social Gospel?

Do you know what the Social Gospel is? I have sometimes heard it called Liberation Theology. The current trend in this theology is that the poor and oppressed are in “Hell on earth” and Jesus will someday come and liberate them. If there is any talk about a literal place called Hell, it is often watered down and it is hard to see how someone could end up there.

Well, what does this have to do with Granger Community Church?

It seems the conservative community does not have very many good things to say about Granger and I have seen their numbers from the Reveal Survey that shows some pretty bad stats for a for a church that prides itself on “reaching” the unchurched. So I decided to watch some of their services for myself and make my own judgment. Here is what I knew to start off-

  • part of the Willow Creek Association
  • Entertainment type worship
  • 6th most influential church in America

They are currently going through a series called “Questions“. These topics that will show me exactly what I am looking for. The first teaching “Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People” was pretty weak, but I was REALLY disappointed by the third week: “Why Would a Loving God Send Someone to Hell?”

There was no explanation of the perfect justice of God, but there was message about social justice. I was waiting for how to reconcile how a god of love could create a place of eternal punishment, but I got was “Hell on earth” and how Jesus is going to relieve the oppressed.

We need to care for the poor and downtrodden, but we need to do so while preaching the correct gospel. I don’t like speaking out against Granger, but I have a responsibility to be true to the Word of God as well as to be honest to whoever may read this blog.

–Danny

Published in: on October 20, 2008 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Children and Salvation

How do you know if you children are saved? That is a tender subject, but super important. I have seen so many children accept Christ at young ages and are given absolute assurance of salvation without any outward evidence. So how do you KNOW when your is child is saved?

It topic came up when I was having dinner with a Christian couple we are good friends with. My question was, “what does someone have to know in order to be saved?”, and the response from the mother of two was, “I think children come to Christ in a different way (than adults do)”.

Well, I DO believe that there is a level of accountability. Children who have not reached a maturity level to understand their crimes against God, -if they die in this time frame, are allowed into heaven to be with Christ, because our God is a merciful God. But if your child cannot yet be held accountable for their sins, how can they be expected to understand the ultimate commitment they are making to God? Can a three year old understand he deserves Hell? What knowledge does a person have to have before God will save him?

A person has to put their faith in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation. In order to turn to Christ, you have to turn from sin and you have to die to yourself. That is biblical repentance. In order to repent, you have to understand WHAT you are- how God sees you in truth. A wicked, wretched sinner, not just someone who “made a few mistakes”, but a vile criminal who deserves justice. Someone who truly repents is broken and contrite over their sins. Does your child have this level of understanding? Can they count the cost?

It is interesting that the government will not allow anyone under 18 to enter into a contract, but we tell young children to “say a little prayer” and ask Jesus into their hearts, or accept Him as Lord and Savior of their lives, and ***POOF!!*** they are immediatly proclaimed to be saved. These things don’t save; only repentance and faith saves your child.

And only TIME tells us if they have truly repented and put their faith in Christ alone. We cannot look straight into a person’s heart and say “your saved”. The Bible says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he”. (Prov 23:7) When God changes a person’s heart, you will see it reflected in their life. I believe that a child CAN come to Christ, but only through proper understanding and we should not be so quick to proclaim salvation.

–Danny

Published in: on October 19, 2008 at 9:39 am  Comments (1)  

Do we REALLY have a God shaped hole?

I was doing visitation a few months back and I was put on a team with the youth pastor. After confronting a false Christian on his own porch- in love I assure you! (i hate visitation, it scares me!) We started talking about what we believed.

I respect him a great deal, but he said something that has caused me to question some of the Christian language we use. He said that he believed that everyone had a God shaped hole in their heart that only God could fill. The thinking is that NOONE can be truly happy or satisfied until they come to Christ. Well, there are a lot of people out there that would say that is true- they had a “hole” that was filled by God.

But the problem is that there are just as many who would say they don’t have a hole, they are completely fulfilled. Look at Richard Dawkins, Dan Barker, Howard Stern, Bill Maher… these people are would say they are doing great without God. And to that those Christians would say, “Well, your not as happy as me!”

Something is wrong and I think I might have an answer.

It is not a hole that people have that God needs to fill- that is a man centered viewpoint -but people do have a God given conscience that tells us right from wrong. The Bible says that our conscience accuses us and I believe that burden pushes us to find some way to ease that guilt. That aligns with Scripture better. Some people sear their conscience, others throw works or false religions at it, and they effectively placate their guilt. They do anything to get around it, and it looks like their trying to “fill that hole” with other things, when in reality, they are fooling themselves into believing that they will not face justice.

It is not that Christians are happier or more fulfilled, it’s that the weight of their conscience has been lifted, they are forgiven. Their is no more threat of condemnation. One is a feel-good message, the other is forgiveness of sins.

St. Augustine was the first to suggest a God shaped hole

St. Augustine was the first to suggest a God shaped hole

–Danny

Published in: on October 17, 2008 at 8:07 pm  Comments (1)  

Homosexual Buddhist- How can I be wrong?

About a month back I saw a post on Godtube called “Christianity… and being Gay“.  My heart really went out to this guy. He was so confused and lost. It seemed like he was hurt too- he had been looking for answers in the Catholoic church for 4 years and finally just fled to Buddhism because it affirmed his homosexuality. I was moved so much, that I went out, bought a web cam, and posted this response to him. “Re: Christianity… and being Gay.” Watch it and tell me what you think.

–Danny

Published in: on October 16, 2008 at 6:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

God centered VS. man centered

I was having a discussion with my wife at dinner last night about a post I made earlier about man-centered teaching and the tendency we have to be ME centered. We use phrases like “YOU have a God shaped hole in your heart that only God can fill” and “YOU need to make Jesus Lord and Savior”. We make ourselves the main point of Christianity, when it is not about us, but about God.

There is a song that has been out for awhile called Above All. The lyrics go like this: “like a rose, trampled on the ground, you took the fall, and thought of ME, above all”.

WoWWW! I love that song! It makes me feel soooo good! But its not right, it’s not about me? Don’t get me wrong, Jesus did go to the cross to redeem us, but does the Bible say anything else about why Jesus went to the cross? It does. In John 12, Jesus tells us his hour has come and in one four words explains why he goes to the cross. “Father, glorify your name.” (Jn 12:28) Jesus went to cross so that, first and foremost, God would be glorified.

There it is… God centered theology. I used to go witness because I wanted to see people saved. Wrong motive. When people rejected my message and scorned my Savior, I would feel defeated and hurt. Now when I go witness, I do it because I want to glorify God’s name. Do I still want to see people saved? Yep, but as a result, not my focus.

That is why it hurts my heart when I see churches with man-centered worship, like this church that did an electronic version of Simon Says for their Easter service.

Is your church man-centered?

–Danny

Published in: on October 16, 2008 at 7:46 am  Leave a Comment  

Bill Brights Misguided Spiritual Laws

Bill Bright wrote down what he considered 4 spiritual “laws” that are still very popular, but are they theologically correct? Here they are in order-

  • God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life
  • All of us are sinful and separated from God
  • Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for sin
  • We must accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord

These look great on the surface, but lets look a bit deeper at these “laws”.

  • God does love you, but he is angry at sin- he is angry at YOU for breaking his laws. If you die in your sins, you will be given justice and thrown in God’s prison, a place called Hell, for eternity. Ouch. Just a tad different from the first law.
  • God does have a plan, but you might not think it’s wonderful. Persecution, ridicule, and martyrdom has followed true Christians. Would you want to be a Christian in Iran right now? Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
  • Saying that all have sinned, while true, glosses over our personal responsibility before a Holy God. Nathan the prophet didn’t say to King David, “Well, all have sinned and fallen short”, he said, “YOU ARE THE MAN! Why do you despise the commandments of God?” and David cried out to God in repentance.
  • You don’t accept Christ– You humble yourself before him, broken, contrite; crying out to him in repentance and faith.

There is a spiritual law we CAN use and that is law to the proud and grace to the humble. Use the Law of God (the 10 commandments) to bring someone to the personal knowledge of their sin, and if they are humble of heart, THEN reveal the love of God that was mirrored in the suffering death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

–Danny

Published in: on October 16, 2008 at 4:24 am  Leave a Comment