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1 Corinthians 9:11
"If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we should reap material things from you?"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Relationship With Jesus
The Key To Effective Ministry

Section 11, Chapter 4

There Is No Such Thing As A
Safe & Costless Christianity

Page 1 of 2, 3, 4
Study Questions

While I was attending Bible College, I worked with a girl in a job on Campus who had an insecurity problem. I will call her Brenda. Every time a man asked her out for a date, she would agree to go, but then would not show up for the date or would postpone it. Understanding what this was centered in, I said to her one day during work, Lets go to lunch. I have something I want to talk to You about. While we ate, I said to Brenda,

Brenda, if you have never been hurt, then you have never loved anyone. You cannot love someone truly without the possibility of getting hurt.

Mothers and fathers are painfully aware of this reality. As they raise their children, many times in order to truly love that child results in their being hurt by that child. Especially is this true during the teenage years.

How does this relate to Christianity? The Bible tells us about God's love for us in Romans 5:6-10,

"For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God DEMONSTRATES HIS OWN LOVE toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more than having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life."

When did Jesus die for our sins? Was it when we decided to repent and turn to Him? No. Paul tells us in this passage in Romans that it was while we were living in sin. It was while we were enemies that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins.

What did it cost Jesus to save us from our sins? It cost Him His very life. It cost him more than that. Jesus was practically beaten to death before he was put on the cross. God did not give us a costless redemption. If he had, we never would have received it or given it any attention. What is it that caused us to take note of the salvation that God bought for us through His Son Jesus Christ? It is the very fact that God humbled Himself by taking on finite humanity with all of its limitations and did not draw upon his divinity while a man and allowed us to beat Him and nail Him to a cross, a cross his sinless nature did not deserve. The CROSS is what manifests to us God's real love for us. We say to ourselves, God really loves me! He died on the cross for me!

How does the cross demonstrate God's love for us? What does it tell us about God's love? It tells us that even though God is a just God, pouring out his wrath upon man is the last thing on his mind. God does not want to send anyone to hell. God does not want to judge anybody. So violently apposed to this is God that he became a human being and allowed us to take violence upon him to reveal how much He loves and wants to have relationship with us. He did this so we would repent and turn back to Him so He could bless us and so that He would not have to send us to hell. Jesus does not desire to send anyone to hell. How do we know this? We know this because He allowed us to totally abuse Him to the point of death and He tells us that all we have to do to be saved is believe that that is Him, the Son of God, dying for us on that cross and we will be saved. Jesus’ very death on the cross is what humbles us and causes us to melt in repentance and gratitude at the foot of the cross.

I have been in many major cities of this country and talked with Pastors about Evangelism. When I do they tell me how they and other pastors meet regularly to pray for revival in their communities, but very few of them tell me about how they are out going door to door sharing the love of Jesus Christ with unsaved humanity. Why? They want revival in their cities and America, but they want a costless revival. They do not want to pay or sacrifice anything for that revival.

What is the problem with America today? Why is America rejecting the Christian principles our forefathers gave their lives to defend? Because they do not see any Christians in this country willing to cross the street for what they believe let alone dying for what they believe. They do not see that Christians really believe that there is a Heaven more real than the temporary pleasures of this earth and as a result sacrificing all that they have on this earth to have Heaven. They see Christians in America just as selfish and materialistic and self grabbing as they themselves are.

"The kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it." (Matt 13:44-46).

Why is America rejecting Christianity and God? Because there is no such thing as a Safe & Costless Christianity. They do not see Christians willing to give up anything for the kingdom of God. Why aren't people turning to Jesus in this country? Why? Because Christians are doing everything but going out and aggressively sharing the love of Jesus Christ with others.

The first century Church literally turned the Roman empire upside down from a pagan society to a government declaring Christianity the only recognized religion in society. What brought this about? It was the fact that Christians so believed in what they professed that they were willing to lose all that they had including their lives to hold on to that confession. The Apostle John writes in Revelation 12:11,

"And they overcame him [Satan] because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death."

Brothers and sisters, Pastors and friends, do you want to reach America and bring it back to God? You are not going to do it without it costing you something. You are not going to do it unless you are willing to lose something. You are not going to do it unless you give up this life. You are not going to do it unless You pay for it. It is going to cost you something. How do I know? Because I have been regularly, weekly sharing my faith aggressively with men for thirty years and continuing to do so has cost me dearly. Jesus said,

"Everyone therefore who shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in Heaven. But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in Heaven. Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man's enemies will be the members of his household." (Matthew 10:32-36).

Once while working in a grocery store I was eating my lunch. I had an hour and saw a man sitting by himself doing nothing. I saw it as an opportunity to share Jesus with him. When I looked up I saw to my left my manager and a supervisor talking. The Lord said to me, Do not fear them. I got up and went over and shared Jesus with this employee using a Salvation Tract. Before I was through he bowed his head and accepted Jesus as his Savior and Lord. An hour later my boss called me to his office and fired me for bringing Christianity into the work place.

"If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also." (John 15:18-20).

Many times I have lost jobs because of my Christian witness. At times this has led to my being so broke that I ended up homeless. The bible teaches that a person who truly walks with Jesus will have no where to lay his head.

"And a certain scribe came and said to Him, ‘Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘The foxes Have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.’" (Matt 8:19-20).

Do You want to see America reached with the Gospel and turned around? It is not going to happen until America sees that you believe in Your Christian Faith so strongly that you are willing to give up everything this life stands for to share the love of Jesus Christ with others. I know, because being faithful to consistently share my faith with others has so far cost me everything a person can lose in this life except my life itself and pray daily to Jesus for His grace to be ready to die for Him if He calls me to do it. But though I have lost all there is to lose in this life, and even now I live on the minimum of sustenance, yet I have had the joy of seeing many come to a saving knowledge of who Jesus is.

Do You think I am sharing a foreign Christianity? Study the life and ministry of Paul in the book of Acts. Paul’s reaching the Gentile world was not without cost and hardship. Eventually it cost him his life. Whenever Paul would go into a new town he had a group of Jews who followed him just to hassle him. They would tell the people lies about Paul and turn the town against him. Many times Paul was whipped and stoned and thrown into jail. I have had the joy of being imprisoned once for my Lord. It was anything but a negative experience. Paul Writes about his ministry and travels,

"I... in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was ship wrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren. I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure upon me of concern for the Churches." (2 Cor 11:23-28).

Study Questions
Continued on Pages
2, 3, 4
Bibliography & Notes
Section 11 Chapters

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