You Must Know This

It is popular for the millennial generation and many others to say that you can't know the answer to important questions regarding your soul. The spirit of the age is uncertainty and tentativeness. To have a firm opinion on a matter of morality or spirituality is not considered socially acceptable. For some, having a firm opinion is unwise because of the trouble it can get you in. It's more popular to have questions and to have problems with different things, rather than to embrace a fixed truth. John the apostle does not think that way at all. Nor does he want his children to be that way.

In 1 John 5:18-21 we learn that you can have certainty. God desires that His people are not tossed about like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 

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Fear of God Devotional: The Minister as Leader of Evangelism in the Local Church

How ought a pastor or elder train others to evangelize?

Joel Beeke explains in this video that the Puritans believed that the believers should learn how to evangelize from the pastor in the church. The pastor would evangelize the various families in the pulpit and in the home. He would teach them how to do family worship and how to evangelize their children.

Pastors and elders today ought to be concerned for the salvation of their congregation. Ensuring that the Gospel is preached should be their first priority. There are many other minor concerns that a pastor is faced with, but he must always faithfully deliver the Gospel to his congregation.

Hebrews 13:17 (NKJV) – “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Do Family-Integrated Churches Ignore the Lost?

How should family-integrated churches address unsaved individuals?

Kevin Swanson explains that a lack of evangelism stems from a lack of faith and courage to communicate the Gospel. Some individuals say that one way to evangelize the world is to send their young children to public schools. But this is not wise and goes against Scriptural commands, principles, and patterns.

Rather, God wants men to preach the Word of God in the public forum and to call people to repentance. This is what Paul and Peter did. They went wherever they could to get the Word of God preached and we ought to strive to do the same. We are not called to hide the Gospel under a bushel. Instead, we are to desire to share the Gospel to a people that desperately need to hear it.

Mark 16:15 (NKJV) – “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

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Fear of God Devotional: How Important Is the Issue of Age Segregation?

How does our view of Scripture affect our beliefs regarding age segregation?

Scott Brown explains in this video that the most devastating problem that the Church faces is the distortion of the Gospel. The church must always strive to present the Gospel clearly. Accordingly, perversions of the Gospel should be met with the most aggressive stance and persuasive arguments as modeled by Paul in Galatians.

The issue of age-segregation is a serious matter. While it may not be the only or primary issue in selecting a church, we see that is something that is modeled throughout Scripture. Age integration should not be just an option that may be considered among other ideas for disciplining the next generation. When patterns in Scripture are ignored, it demonstrates a wrong view of Scripture.

Galatians 1:8-9 (NKJV) – “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Evangelism is First and Foremost a Family Event

Should fathers evangelize with their families present?

Don Hart explains in this video that evangelism ought to be a family event.

Some individuals prefer to divide their children when it comes to evangelism, but there is not a command in Scripture to divide the family or examples of a family being divided during evangelism. Rather, there can be great benefits that result from evangelizing alongside your family.

For instance, your children and wife are able to witness you sharing the Gospel with unbelievers. They get to see and hear the Gospel being shared within the home or in everyday interactions. Family evangelism can help to facilitate dialogue with unbelievers and present even more opportunities for sharing the Gospel.

Psalm 128:3 (NKJV) – “Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house, your children like olive plants all around your table.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Growing in Godliness

Why is private prayer and the reading of Scripture so critical to building a relationship with God?

Sam Waldron explains in this video that private prayer and the reading of Scripture is incredibly important in the life of a Christian. If we are going to have a relationship with God, He is going to have to speak to us through His Word. We correspondingly speak to Him through prayer.

Without prayer and the faithful reading of Scripture, there cannot be a relationship with God. Every Christian ought to strive to have communion with God through prayer and reading His Word. But prayer and reading Scripture alone is not enough. There has to be a desire for God and a desire to hear from Him.

Ephesians 6:18 (NKJV) – “[P]raying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Training for Evangelism

How can we instruct young men in the church to effectively communicate the Gospel?

Kevin Swanson explains in this video that it is important to teach young men to be leaders in the area of evangelism. Young men need to be equipped to courageously proclaim the Word of God within the church and in their neighborhoods.

Open-air preaching is one way that young men can learn to effectively communicate the Word of God. Though bystanders sometimes jeer or throw things that those who are preaching, it is important for young men to see older men willing to stand up for Christ. Young men need to be encouraged to overcome their fears and bring the truths of Scripture to those around them They also need to be able to engage other individuals in individual conversations.

Acts 4:29 (NKJV) – “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Should We Stop Evangelizing if Our Home is Out of Order?

Should we stop evangelizing if our home is out of order?

Don Hart explains in this video that it is a scriptural command that a man’s home is in order. We see it described as a qualification of a leader within the church who preaches the Word to the congregation. In short, there is not a disconnect between an elder’s home being in order and evangelism.

On the other hand, we should not neglect to evangelize simply because our home is not “perfectly” in order. If that was the case, we would never evangelize. Instead, we are looking for a normal condition of order. That testimony is so critical to our credibility as we seek to evangelize. Our credibility is often closely tied to the order of our families. Ultimately, there is a strong connection between evangelism and order in the home.

2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV) – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Is Your Family Too Busy for Godliness?

Is your family too busy to pursue the things of God?

Sam Waldron explains in this video that there is a tendency for families to be busy — so busy that they don’t have time for a godly family life. There is no time for family worship or to spend time together as a family in prayer. They are so focused on various activities that they lose sight of what is most important.

In modern society, both children and parents are so busy with so many different activities that families often overcommit themselves. If you are going to have a godly family, you are going to have to prioritize and be selective as to what you as a family choose to invest your time into. You must control what activities your family participates in and not let those activities control your family.

Matthew 6:33 (NKJV) – “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Holiness – God’s Master Attribute

What can we learn from the holiness of God?

Jason Dohm explains in this video that out of all the attributes of God, holiness is God’s “master attribute.” God is holy. His holiness speaks to all His other attributes. He is holy in His love and mercy. He is separate and no one can compare themselves to God. No one can love as God can or be just as He can.

Paul says in Ephesians 5:1 that we are to be “imitators of God as dear children.” As Christians, we are to learn to imitate and act like God. As children of God, we should strive to be like our heavenly Father. This is the duty of the Christian – to learn how to imitate or act as God commands. To be set apart from the world, as He is.

1 Peter 1:16 (NKJV) – “Be holy, for I am holy.”

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Fear of God Devotional: How Does Evangelism Work in Your Own Life?

How can we become better at evangelizing to unbelievers?

Joel Beeke explains in this video that as a pastor, he evangelizes from the pulpit. He does it in every single sermon, particularly in his applications of the text. He also attempts to pray for his congregation, taking one page of the directory at a time.

But, when it comes to evangelizing to people outside of the church, he makes a personal commitment to share the Gospel with any unconverted person that he comes into contact with. For him, opportunities for evangelism frequently occur when he travels. He begins the conversation by asking them about their family, their work, and then if they’re a Christian. After showing them truths from Scripture, he then tries to get their name and email and send them a name of a nearby church before they conclude the conversation.

He explains that his goal is to always to get people’s address and email and then use that information in an attempt to dialogue with them afterward. Follow-up is important – the Puritans excelled in this. Mass evangelism is good, but there ought to be a following-up with that individual after the Gospel is shared. Richard Baxter said that he saw 600 conversions in his village and didn’t know of a single one that fell back. He believes this was largely because God blessed his follow-up visitations.

1 Peter 3:15 (NKJV) – “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”

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Fear of God Devotional: Sins of the Church in Evangelism

What are common misunderstandings of evangelism?

Kevin Swanson explains in this video that the idea that evangelism is a set group of four statements followed by a prayer is a harmful aspect of modern day evangelism.

Instead, we need to see evangelism as the entire Gospel of Christ, where a man sees his sin, he comes to repentance, and seeks forgiveness in Christ. That is the Gospel of Christ. It involves all 66 books of the Bible.

Another problem is that people act differently when they’re among unbelievers. What they say and do changes the moment when they’re not surrounded by Christians. Christians must faithfully and consistently live out the Gospel at all times. You cannot act one way while you’re at church and then in a completely different manner when you are at home or at the local grocery store. As a Christian, you take your worldview wherever you go.

2 Timothy 1:8 (NKJV) – “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God”

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What Confident and Humble Prayer Looks Like

John speaks of two categories of prayer: prayer for brethren and prayer for those who show every evidence that they are bound for Hell. Notice there are two categories of prayer in these verses, and he speaks of two goals of prayer: The first goal for prayer for sanctification – turning away from sin progressively, while the second is for salvation. John is calling for an outpouring of confident, humble, longsuffering prayer for one another when we see sin in one another. It is inevitable that we will see sin in one another. He is concerned that we have confidence in prayer, but it is not a confidence in our desires themselves. Our confidence is in His stated desires, not our own desires, and that when someone falls into sin, we prioritize prayer for them.

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Gospel Refreshers: Steve Lawson’s impromptu Gospel presentation.

The gospel is very simply Jesus Christ. Who among us is tired of hearing of the Lord Jesus Christ? He is the Son of God, the Son of Man; Sent into this world to be born of a virgin that He might be sinless and that He might be born under the law to keep the very law that you and I break day after day after day. The perfect sinless Son of God has perfectly met all the requirements of God's law and is ready to give His righteousness to us that we would have a perfect standing before God. That He went to a cross, there He was lifted up to die. There upon that cross the sins of everyone who would believe in Him were transferred to Him, and Him who knew no sin God made to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. The great exchange of the cross: the worst about me laid upon Him, the best about Him now to be laid upon me. As He shed His blood upon that cross He reconciled sinful man to holy God. There is no other way for us to have a relationship with an infinitely holy God except through the blood of the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was by His sin bearing, substitutionary, vicarious death upon that cross. It was as if He took sinful man in one hand and holy God and the other hand and brought the two together through His death. By that death He satisfied the righteous anger of God and the appeased His wrath towards all who would believe in Him. There is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. It was through that death that He redeemed sinners out of the slave market of of sin and redeemed us out of the tyranny of Satan's grip upon our lives. It was by that death that Jesus Christ has has provided now salvation – free for all who will call upon His name. He was taken down from that cross, He said it is finished, not I am finished, it is finished. He had completed the mission of salvation that He had come into this world to accomplish. He was buried in a rich man's tomb and on the third day by all the the power that was inherent within Him as the Son of God, He raised Himself from the dead. He came walking out of that tomb a risen living victorious Savior. He ascended back to Heaven is now seated at the right hand of God the Father, and whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. He is mighty to save under the uttermost all who call upon Him. 

To call upon the Lord Jesus christ is to look away from yourself to look away from religion, to look away from your church, to look away from your denomination, to look away from your baptism and your church membership and all of your good works, and to look exclusively to the Lord Jesus Christ. He says him who comes unto me I will in no wise cast out. He loves to save sinners, He is the friend of sinners. He came to seek and to save that which is lost. He came not for the righteous, He came for those who are unrighteous. He is a good physician, He has come not for those who are who are well but for those who are sick. Will you tell Him this moment what a sinner you are? Will you tell Him how sick you are by sin, that you're unable to save yourself? Would you call upon Him? Say “Lord Jesus save me! I am a wretched hell-bound sinner but Your grace is being offered to sinners like me.” 

If you would call upon His name this very moment I promise you by the authority of word of God that He will save you. He will save you today. He will wash your sins away. You will be clean and pure from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. He says “Come let us reason together, though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson they shall be white as wool.” If you will call upon Him He will give you His righteousness. It is a free gift and there is nothing you can do to earn it, there's nothing that you can do to merit it. He will clothe you with the perfect garments of His righteousness, and as God looks upon you there will be a covering for your sin. He will see only the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ covering the entirety of who you are your sin sick soul. You'll find acceptance with God and one day when you die He will take you into the very presence of the Father and present you faultless before the throne of God. He says “I am the way and the truth and the life no one comes to the Father but through Me.” Peter said there is salvation in no other name for there is no other name under Heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. Paul says there is one God and one mediator between God and man – the man Christ Jesus who gave Himself a ransom for all, the testimony born at the proper time. If you turn away from this free offer of the gospel there is no hope for your soul. You'll be trampling underfoot the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. I want to say to you Hell cannot be hot enough for you to hear this message, to hear this truth and to refuse the Lord Jesus Christ who suffered in bled and died upon Calvary's cross to save sinners. If you refuse the gospel your blood is on your own hands and you will suffer in Hell forever under the torment of the wrath of God. You will be among the torment, the damned, and you will never find relief for your soul. But today the gates of Paradise are swung open to you and you may come in and you may enter in. Jesus says: “Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me for you will find rest for your souls, for My burden is easy and My yoke is light.” How hard it is for you to continue to live a life of sin, how glorious it would be to come into the yoke of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to receive His salvation. This is a decisive moment in your life you may never have an opportunity like this again, where the gospel is so clearly being presented to you. And so I beg you, I urge you; If you are not saved, if you are not committed to this moment, commit your life to Jesus Christ. He will receive you, He will save you, He will wash you, and one day He will take you to Heaven where you will spend all eternity with Him. This is the greatest offer that has ever been made to anyone on this earth. This is the glorious good news of salvation in Jesus Christ, so I would urge you this moment; If you have never believed upon Jesus Christ in your heart of hearts to say: “Lord Jesus I'm a sinner and you are a Savior, I am a great sinner, You are a great Savior, and I now this moment as an act of my will I commit all that I am to You.” If you've never done that I would urge you to do so this very moment.

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George Whitefield on Evangelism

Over the course of our evangelism conference last weekend, I came across this quote from George Whitefield:

“God forbid that I should travel with anybody a quarter of an hour without speaking of Christ to them.”

If you'd like to read more about Whitefield, I recommend The Evangelistic Zeal of George Whitefield.

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