Reciprocity

3 05 2011

“O, Jerusalem, Jerusalem…”
Jesus, Luke 13:34

The vision of the house churches in China today is not only to saturate our own country with the life and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, but also to impact all remaining Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu nations with the Gospel…It is as though Hudson Taylor (19th century pioneer missionary to inland China) handed a flaming torch to the Chinese church and asked us to continue the race towards the finish line.

–Paul Xu Yongze, Back to Jerusalem

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If I Had My Way

14 06 2007

“But when he [John the Baptizer] saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, ‘You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance;
and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.
The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.'”

(Matthew 3:7-11)

“If I had my way, I would declare a moratorium on public preaching of ‘the plan of salvation’ in America for one to two years. Then I would call on everyone who has use of the airways and the pulpits to preach the holiness of God, the righteousness of God, and the Law of God, until sinners would cry out, ‘What must I do to be saved?, Then I would take them off in a corner and whisper the gospel to them. Don’t use John 3:16. Such drastic action is needed because we have gospel-hardened a generation of sinners by telling them how to be saved before they have any understanding of why they need to be saved.”

– Paris Reidhead

(Thanks to my friend, Don, for sharing this quote)





It’s A Narrow Road, Not An Aisle

1 05 2007

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
Matthew 10:34

narrow-road.jpgBecoming a Christian means being sick of your sin, longing for forgiveness and rescue from present evil and future hell, and affirming your commitment to the Lordship of Christ to the point where you are willing to sacrifice everything. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it isn’t just holding up your hand or walking down an aisle and saying “I love Jesus.” It is not easy, it is not user-friendly or seeker-sensitive; it isn’t a rosy, perfect world where Jesus gives you whatever you want. It is hard, it is sacrificial, and it supersedes everything.

–John MacArthur
Hard To Believe, p132-3





Stewards Of The New Day

23 03 2007

“Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night.”
(Philippians 2:15, The Message Bible)

sunrise-in-fog.jpg

Made for spirituality, we wallow in introspection. Made for joy, we settle for pleasure. Made for justice, we clamor for vengeance. Made for relationship, we insist on our own way. Made for beauty, we settle for sentiment. BUT new creation has already begun, the sun has begun to rise. Christians are called to leave behind, in the tomb of Jesus Christ, all that belongs to the brokenness and incompleteness of the broken world. It is time, in the power of the Spirit, to take up our proper role, our fully human role as agents and heralds and stewards of the new day that is dawning. That, quite simply, is what it means to be Christian, to follow Jesus Christ into the new world, God’s new world, which He has thrown open before us.

–N.T. Wright
Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense





Making The World Wonder

29 01 2007

And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common;
and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.
Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,
praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

(Acts 2:44-47)

 

andrewmurray.jpgWhen the world sees a church from which selfishness is banished, then it will acknowledge the Divine mission of Christ because He has wrought such a wonder: a community of men who truly and heartily love one another

–Andrew Murray
1828-1917





A Serious Gospel

25 01 2007

The Gospel is not a free offer to anyone. It costs–it costs your life.

Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and the gospel will save it.” (Mark 8:34-35)

Those who preach a gospel absent of this demand, preaches no gospel.

Question: Who did Jesus say the following words to? “And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”

Answer: Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said…” (Luke 14:25)

This is the “pre-evangelism” of Jesus, if someone wants to use that term. Can you imagine the seeker and ejesusinice.jpgmergent leaders using this as pre-evangelism? Rather, what we see is contemporary leaders speak in front of “large crowds,” appealing to creaturely-centeredness. Jesus’ language of cost and self-denial is conveniently left out.

Jesus functioned on the truth that we heard this past week, “What you win them with is what you win them to.” I.e. If you win them with the demands of self-denial of the gospel, you will win them to commitment and authenticity. If you win them with a phantom gospel with nothing more than self-improvement and a God who is subjected to their terms, you win them to self-deception and unregenerateness.

–Alan Kurschner