It’s easy for the missionary to believe that his field is the most difficult. He can start to see his situation as hard and even impossible. This is not to say that there would not be some places where it could be more difficult. We all know that every place will be different. The idea here is to try and focus on having the right attitude.
One person says that something cannot be done while someone else just did it. The missionary should not live with a list of excuses and always bring out why something will not work. One could say that it’s hard or impossible to reach the world in this generation, but our God would not give us a commandment to do something impossible.
I have the opportunity everyday to live with a defeatist attitude. There will always be something that we can complain about.
Here are a few things to think about.
1. Live by faith – When the missionary has the wrong attitude, this reveals their lack of faith.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” – Hebrews 11:1-3
2. Have the right goals – When the missionary has the right goals or focus he is less likely to fall into the trap of believing everything around him. He is able to keep the right focus.
“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;” Hebrews 11:24,25
It seems that Moses was able to do what was right in the midst of having the opportunity to lose focus of what truly mattered. May we let the Word of God guide us and in turn stay focus on the correct things.
3. Have the right company – The missionary must decide who he will spend time with. He also must choose who he will get his advice from. This can change his way of thinking. Someone once said, “If you want to know where you will be tomorrow, look at who your friends are today.”
“Iron sharpeneth iron; So a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17
This article was written by Jonathan Anderson, Missionary serving in Mexico. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or his website, projectwinmexico.com
Every Believer, a Soul Winner: Is it still Binding on us?
If every believer is to a be a soul winner, do we have a Biblical basis for this belief? As we look at Scripture, it becomes abundantly clear that it is still binding upon us.
Light of the world: Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Christ told us we are lights in the world. Our light should be shining into the darkness of the world. As lights, it is our responsibility to get the gospel to the whole world, but sadly, so many Christians are hiding their light and not letting it shine.
The Great Commission— Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:46-48, John 20:21, and Acts 1:8 are known as the Great Commission. Basically summed up, it tells us to go preach the gospel to the world and make disciples of those we reach with the gospel. These are not just passive verses, they are commands. These commands are given to us, as individuals, to take the gospel to the whole world! This command is binding upon us.
If our gospel is hid— II Corinthians 4:3 But if our Gospel be hid it is hid to them that are lost. If we hid our light and the truth of the gospel, we are keeping it from a lost and dying world. So often, we are guilty of hiding the truth of the gospel. We are doing a disservice to a lost and dying world.
The love of Christ— II Corinthians 5:14-15 14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again: Getting the gospel to the world and every believer being a soul winner is binding upon us because the love of Christ constrains us! Not only does it constrain us, but because Christ died for us, it motivates us to live for Him and to share what Christ did to the whole world. Therefore, every believer has been redeemed and saved in order to be a soul winner!
It is God’s desire— I Timothy 2:3-4 . For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. God desires the whole world to be saved. If that is our King and Saviour’s desire then it should become our desire, as well. It is what God wants and because of that, it is binding upon us to obey the command of our God and reach the world with the gospel.
There are many more verses that could be used to show that yes, “Every believer, a soul winner” is binding upon us! We must be about sharing the gospel everywhere we go! Why are there so many verses about this one subject? Because God’s purpose and desire has been and continues to be that the world would be reached with the gospel. There are so many verses because we need them to urge us forward, but also, to help teach others that it is their responsibility, as well, to be a soul winner. “Every believer, a soul winner!” then ought to be preached by every preacher and lived by every Christian!
Working with young people, we will encounter teens that have problems because the truth is that if we work with people of any age, we will encounter people with problems.
As youth pastors and youth workers, we must be able to help equip these young people on how to handle and deal with these problems. What will follow will be some thoughts on how to help teens with their problems.
Some of the problems we will face will be difficult; questions like the following will arise.
“Why is my family so messed up?”
“Why did my parents get divorced?”
“Why do I have to have a negative body image?”
“Why do I have to look like this?”
“Why am I bullied?”
So many why’s and they need to know what the Bible says about their issues.
1. Help them realize it’s normal for things to get heavy sometimes.
“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:”1 Peter 1:6
In this verse, the word heaviness means to distress and grieve. We may look at teens and their problems as small or insignificant, but to them, they’re heavy. We need to remember to be considerate and loving toward their heaviness.
We also need to be sure to let them know that heaviness is normal. Young people think so often that they’re the only ones going through it, but really we all have problems. It is also helpful for us to find youth workers that are from differing backgrounds to help with this. It’s good to have a youth worker who came from a broken home. It’s good to have a youth worker who lost a parent. It’s good to have a youth worker that got saved at a young age and also good to have a youth worker saved at a later age.
The more diversity your youth workers have, the better off you will be getting your young people to realize they’re not the only person going through heaviness and trouble.
2. Help them to see that heaviness comes from a test!
In this verse, we also see that heaviness comes through manifold temptations—the word “temptation” means a trial or test. Remember, the grief comes through a testing or one big problem.
This is the reason the world seems to be crashing down on many young people. Grief overcomes and overwhelms; it’s not something that can be dealt with or helped. But rather, a problem is something you can counsel through, work through, pray through, and trust God through.
We must get our young people to get past the grief and to the issue. One of the hardest things counseling people going through this is asking what is wrong and getting the overwhelming feelings but not being able to get to the bottom of what triggers it.
To help our young people, we must get them to see the problem. The problem may be bitterness, hurt, loss of trust, or lack of spirituality, but we can’t help if we don’t get to the test.
3. Help them to see the trial as profitable!
“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”1 Peter 1:7
This one can really be a hard one because of all the whys mentioned earlier. Most of the time, our young people don’t even realize (and many times will never realize) why God is doing what He is doing in their lives, none-the-less that He is doing it for their good.
Romans 8:28 is a wonderful verse, but many times feels more like salt in a hurting wound than a healing balm because, in the middle of a mess, we can’t see how the mess can be for good.
We have to get our young people to see that their trial and their trouble is profitable. God is not mad at them. He is not punching or trying to kill them. Rather in His love, He is putting a mess in the midst to bring beautiful results.
Teach them scriptures like this one and direct them toward Christ and His care. Get them to see God’s love, and through that, see how profitable the struggle is in their life.
3. Help them with their thinking!
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;”1 Peter 1:13
The mind is the battleground for the devil! Satan would love nothing more than to lie to our teens as they go through trials. The trouble added with lies will end in sin and skepticism against God and the Bible.
The reason we are losing so many young people in our churches is that we aren’t teaching them to have a Biblical worldview when things aren’t rainbows and roses. We have taught them the stories of the Bible and the verses but not how to put them together and meditate on them to deal with real-life issues.
There is a huge need for real talk in our youth departments, and that starts with a youth pastor that can get real and be transparent.
We must teach our young people through life on life discipleship! They must see we hurt and struggle but overcome through Christ! They must see us get punched in the face and move forward because we have learned to control our thought life.
They must see us punched in the stomach by trials and keep on going, not doubting. They must see us look to the scripture to be our help, not the world or worldly counsel.
So many young people turn to friends and family that have a wicked worldly view of life and the world when they hit trouble, and they need to look to the scriptures. By the way, we have to get them past looking to us and get them looking into the Bible to get their mind where it needs to be. A young person won’t doubt the word when they’ve seen it work personally in their lives.
Teach them to meditate on scripture and to get their mind where it needs to be for the trials of their life.
These are just a few thoughts on how to help teens with their problems, but there are many more in the gold mine of scripture! I’d beg you to dig into the Bible and not be afraid to get real with your teens. Be willing to admit that you hurt. Be willing to let them know that you get discouraged and, yes, even at times, depressed. Let them know that sometimes you falter and fall, but you get back up. Why? Because of Christ and the truths of the word of God! Be willing to get real and take them to the Bible to help with their real problems.
Today, I read an article that said that 47% of “Christian Millennials” said that they believed it was wrong to evangelize. This is shocking and a huge problem! Why? Because we are about to lose a generation of truly obedient Christians!
Our next generation will have an even harder time finding its soul winners, evangelists, and missionaries if we don’t show this generation the error in their thinking. When I read this article, I found three major areas that are driving millennials away from Evangelism. I want to take the Bible and show you the truth in these three areas. So with no further ado, here are the three reasons millennials believe it is wrong to witness and what the Bible says about it!
1. We know it’s commanded, but we are afraid!
This is really no surprise to me or anyone else familiar with trying to get people to take part in sharing their faith, and that is FEAR! The four-letter F word of Evangelism that to me ought to be thought of as a curse word! So what does the Bible say about this?
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
Fear is a characteristic of the world, NOT OF BELIEVERS! Our spirits are to be ones of power (boldness). We can boldly evangelize because of the spirit of power that God gave us. Our spirits are also to be ones of love. If we love those lost and on their way to Hell, we will overcome our fear for their sake and the Gospels! Finally, our spirits are to be ones of a sound mind. Sharing our faith isn’t crazy! It’s commanded in God’s Word!
2. We know it’s commanded, but it can be offensive!
We live in a politically correct society that has taught us the worst thing that can happen to us is to be offensive to someone. Though I believe we shouldn’t be shocking, we have to realize what the Bible says about this subject.
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” – 1 Corinthians 1:18
We clearly see that the lost world sees the Gospel as foolish and offensive! The message that man is a sinner and helpless is offensive because in our sinful condition and with worldly wisdom, we are taught that we can do it! But Jesus says we are unable, and only the blood can save. So to tell someone their plan, Gospel, and religion are false, hopeless, and helpless is offensive, BUT it’s worthy! How can we let this world live in sin and perish without warning them of the coming destruction! Offensive or not, it is truth!
3. We know it’s commanded, but we don’t care.
We live in a day of apathy that has washed over our young people and civilization as a whole. It’s hard to get a man to care about his own soul, none the less the souls of others. The problem here is that the regenerate man is NOT like civilization. As a matter of fact, he goes against civilization and cares when no one else does. The Bible speaks to the fact that believers ought to be ashamed that some don’t have the knowledge of God.
“Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” – 1 Corinthians 15:34
We clearly see that we need to wake up as the church, especially our young people. Young people are not the church of tomorrow; they truly are the church of today! They’re our servants in training, and if they do not care, what will we do?
SO WHAT CAN BE DONE?
Honestly, there are two solutions I can give. One, if you’re a young person reading this, you need to decide that you will fight the fear, political rejection, and apathy and start telling people about Christ! Two, if you’re an older person reading this, I encourage you to grab a Bible and a young person in your church and start discipling them. Go with them to reach the lost, starting with their friends, and together, let’s turn this apathetic generation into the generation that reaches the world with the Gospel again!
The word porn comes from two Greek words meaning “writing or pictures about prostitutes.” In the Bible, we read of a strange woman. These women were any women that were not trained or abided by the Jewish laws and traditions. Many times in Proverbs, these women were almost depicted as prostitutes, loose women with the goal of sleeping with a young man for gain. In our society, the sad thing is the strange women are still around today. They’ve just gone from walking the streets or watching for the young men to digital images available to every young person with a phone, tablet, or computer at hand. These “digital strange women” are ruining our young men (and sadly young women as well), and something needs to be said about it. The church, for too long, has told themselves the lie that porn isn’t an issue. Let’s take a look at how the young man in Proverbs 7 went down to the strange woman. I want to compare that scenario to how our young people today are following the online strange women to destruction as a warning to us all to keep us from the destruction of porn.
‘And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,’ – Proverbs 7:7
First, we see that this young man was going to the strange woman because he was one that was “void of understanding.” This word, understanding, comes from the same word we get the word heart (or as we would say it today, mind). Basically, this young man lacked the mind to resist the strange woman. Our young people are running headlong into the trap of porn today because their minds have not been prepared to withstand the temptation by the power of God. One of the big issues is that we don’t know who we are in Christ, and when this truth isn’t settled in our minds, we become a prime target for sin. A man who knows he is God’s child and understands who is because of Christ will have no issue saying no to the false allure of porn. The problem is that we have pumped out Christians void of understanding, not having their minds ready to go to battle against these tantalizing images and lies.
‘Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,’ – Proverbs 7:8
Second, we see this young man heading the way of the strange woman. Whether he realized it or not (I believe he knew full well, the way it reads), he was heading into the arms of temptation from this strange woman. Before every believer looks at porn (even if briefly), there is a moment of dilemma of mind and spirit! A thought passes of “I shouldn’t do this!” and then it is ignored, and the viewing starts. For a Christian to look at porn, their Saviour has to be ignored. This turning off of that area of the mind is when they go the way of the digital strange woman. It’s a conscious choice to start going down that road. Counselors have written and told us that porn users usually have a mental road that leads to porn use. That road begins with certain rituals. It could be a borderline webpage or looking up someone on social media that is immodestly dressed. This habit is leading them down the road that will, in a few moments, have them in the grips of full-fledged hardcore porn. If we are to withstand the lies of porn, we must put up roadblocks on the road to porn usage. First, we must decide to be so full of the Bible and truth that when the decision comes, we say, “I love Jesus too much to take this road.” Second, we must have practical barriers that discourage and block up that road, whether it be covenant eyes, Disney circle, or some other blocker that keeps us from the path that leads to porn (I personally use apples built-in blockers where only my wife knows the passwords).
‘In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:’ – Proverbs 7:9 Third, we see him not only going toward the strange woman’s house, but we see him headed there at a late and dark hour. You know, it’s funny how much we’ll do in the night that we won’t do in the light. Popular porn sites have done studies that tell us that the most common hour their websites are accessed is between the hours of 10 PM to 1 AM. It’s kind of funny how the darkness makes us feel comfortable in our sin. A man’s wife goes to bed, and he slips alone into another room and pulls his phone out to see the digital strange woman. A teen’s parents go to bed, and the teen takes his phone to his room, closes the door, and invites the digital strange woman in. Honestly, we have no reason to be up late at night alone with porn-accessible devices. Young people don’t need to have their phones in their rooms alone at night. Husbands should be in bed with their wives, not up on a device “working,” opening up the temptation to access porn at the midnight hour. If you awake from sleep at night, let me encourage you to grab your Bible, not your phone. Let me encourage you to drop to your knees at your bedside for prayer and not to slip into a room alone with your laptop or tablet.
‘With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee. So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him,’ – Proverbs 7:13,15-17,21
Next, he CHOOSES to fall for her lies! Notice here that she is lying left and right. She has prepared the perfect trick for him, but she has had to go through a lot of work to make this sin fun. She’s even covered up smells on her bed (probably of the last fool she brought there). She’s done all this working and lying to get him into bed. Our young men are ending up at the digital strange woman’s house, being lied to left and right, and choosing to go through with sin. Two major things we learn here, first, it is a choice to watch porn if you’re a Christian. The lost man has a sex addiction. You choose to sin! The Bible tells us in Romans 6 & 8 that walking in the flesh is what lost folks do, and for a saved man to sin, he has to yield! You don’t have to live in sin if you’re saved. In Christ, you are free! If you’re free, the chains of addiction are choice and ignorance for a saved man. YOU DON’T HAVE TO LOOK AT PORN ANYMORE IF YOU’RE SAVED! IN CHRIST YOU ARE FREE. YOU MUST GET FULL OF TRUTH AND START DECIDING TO FOLLOW RIGHT AND NOT WRONG! YOU MUST DECIDE YOU LOVE JESUS MORE THAN A FEW MOMENTS OF PLEASURE, BUT YOU CAN’T USE THE “I HAD NO CHOICE” LIE ANYMORE! Second, notice here that she persuades with lies! Porn isn’t real, my friend! Real women don’t look like that; they don’t do those acts and don’t enjoy the perversion that these webpages lie and say they do. Porn isn’t real! It’s fake! It’s abusive! It’s all lies! You need to get so full of the truths of the Bible, the love of Christ, and if you’re married, love from and for your spouse, that the lies don’t look good anymore.
‘He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life. Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.’ – Proverbs 7:22-23,25-27
Finally, comes destruction! We need to quit telling ourselves the lie that porn is innocent. It ruins marriages, demasculates men, rids us of the power of God, enslaves us to idolatry, causes us to love ourselves, and causes us not to love God. Not counting the fact that it’s proven to cause abuse, adultery, other vices and addictions, and other sins that I won’t even talk about because they are so wicked! There is NOTHING GOOD ABOUT PORN! We need to realize that porn is going to kill our young men! Where is the next generation of preachers going to come from to win this world for Christ, lead our churches, homes, and the lost to Christ if they are hooked on porn? The devil isn’t dumb! He has let this wicked sin loose, and he is laughing as it ravages those enslaved to it!
My friend, can I beg you if you have a porn problem, seek victory! Go see your Pastor. Read good books such as “Victory Over Porn.” If you’re a young person, speak to your parents. If you’re married, speak to your spouse. Get some accountability in your life and make war against this trash. See victory and let God use you, my friend! Quit treating it like a pet because it is a wild beast setting you up to devour your life!
A Biblical Equivalent of Taking the Gospel to Muslims:
People think and say that we should kill and destroy all Muslims. They say that they are no good and don’t deserve Christ. Their views are skewed because of the extreme cases of terrorism around the world. But let me tell you about a man who was asked to go to a people that would be the equivalent of Muslims and terrorists today. The man was Jonah. God wanted him to go to the Assyrians in Nineveh. The Assyrians were wicked people and did terrible, awful things to people. They committed heinous acts on people and conquered all different regions of the world, killing people along the way. God was going to destroy them, but wanted to show grace and mercy to them! So He sent Jonah to go. Now Jonah (and Jews in general) hated the Assyrians and he wanted them all to die (sounds like many Christians today when it comes it Muslims). Yet God in His love and mercy wanted them to hear a warning to have a chance to repent. This is why Jonah flees. He doesn’t want them to hear. Even after they repent, in his heart he was mad and wanted them still to die. But God was merciful and loved them. Guess what, today God loves and extends grace and mercy to all Muslims. He sent His son to die on the cross for their sins and He wants us to go and take that Good News to them. He wants us to extend His grace and mercy to Him in the message of the cross! The question will be this, will we keep a hateful and wicked attitude like Jonah had, or will we be humbled, realize the need of the Muslims and take the message of God’s love and mercy to them? Untold billions are in darkness and we have the message that Christ died for them! Why do we sit back and hope they all die? Why don’t we go and give them the Gospel that they might live eternally and have new life in Christ!