Saturday, June 17, 2017
Building People of Substance for Works of Power
To every creature, Amigos,
Last week I read about one of our fine United States Senators, a Mr. Bernie Sanders, interrogating a nominee before his committee. In that interrogation, he lambasted the man’s Christian beliefs, stating that it was wrong of any religion to say that other folks won’t go to Heaven. He thought that was racist, and a danger to the republic. In fact, he said no one with such views should be allowed to hold public office. Of course, that would eliminate all Christians, and actually, all Muslims. At first, I was angry. I mean, this guy is a dope anyway, an atheist, a socialist, an abortion proponent, etc. Then it hit me, here is an old man who has lived in the United States all his life, been in public service much of that time, and seems genuinely surprised to discover that many people believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to God. How does that happen?
Whatever other factors may be in play, it seems to me that it indicates a failure on our part. I had to ask myself, “Did Jesus die for this old curmudgeon, or not?” The answer is, “He did.” In that case, whose fault is it if he has not had a clear presentation of the simple Gospel of Christ? Who did Jesus charge with proclaiming to every creature? Is Bernie a creature? What is my part in this? The answers to these questions led me to a couple of conclusions:
1. We need to get out more. It is easy to live in a “sinner-free zone” in Churchville. We gather to encourage, pray for, and heal each other. We speak a mystical dialect that world people can never fathom. We don’t go places where sin abounds, for fear we will be somehow contaminated. It is time for a reversal.
2. We need to drop the politically based hatred from our vocabulary. When I hear someone touting their right to an abortion, it sickens me. But the truth is, I need to let my heart break for the eternal fate of such a benighted soul. Those folks are the reason we are still here.
3. I need to pray for Bernie. He and his ilk need my prayers and compassion, for they face a real Hell. Lord, let my heart break for the lost. It is not your will that any should perish.
Somebody Said: “Could a mariner sit idle if he heard the drowning cry? Could a doctor sit in comfort and just let his patients die? Could a fireman sit idle, let men burn and give no hand? Can you sit at ease in Zion with the world around you damned?” Leonard Ravenhill
Scripture Reading: And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16:15-16 NKJV)
Every time I find myself getting irritated and angry with people in the public arena, I am purposing to pray for them. If I can find out how to do it, I will contact them with the simple Gospel message. For Bernie, I have been praying. You can join me. If you like you can message him on Twitter at @BernieSanders. Don’t curse him. Love Him with the Good News: Jesus is the Christ, He died for you, and He is alive right now. Don’t let Bernie, or anyone else, leave planet earth without a clear presentation of this simple Gospel. #prayforbernie
Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745