Archive for May, 2011

>Raptured?

Posted: May 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

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Saturday, May 21 was quite the interesting day at Ice Cream and Answers.  We got a lot of questions about the advertised “rapture” of the church by Harold Camping and his Family Radio.  The community does not know much about the rapture and most people thought it meant the world was coming to an end. We explained and gave people hope and I used it as an opportunity to share the Gospel in a few instances.  Even believers who attended church somewhat regularly were confused.  I had to tell one such person that the rapture of the church was a good thing.  She didn’t understand and then we went into the usual explanations that she was a good person and should do alright. I explained the good news that she doesn’t have to hope that she is good enough, but that Jesus died on the cross to pay for all her instances of not being good enough and that when we believe in Jesus we are considered to be in Him and therefore “good enough” (or rather, righteous).
Aly, a student at nearby Iowa Western Community College, is a member of Sojourn Church and works with me at Ice Cream and Answers, told of her interesting evening.  She works at restaurant where she is the only believer.  Everyone is aware of her faith and began to bombard her with questions and comments about the coming “rapture.”  She was able to answer many questions and by the end of the evening shared the Gospel with three different people. 
So, even though the world had a great time with Camping’s ridiculous prediction, God was still able to use the situation for His Glory.  We try to walk by faith, and that means listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and when He prompts, we try to do what He is telling us.  Yesterday was a great example to us.  God gave us opportunities, told us what to say, and then blessed our obedience.  

>Invitation Time

Posted: May 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

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Jesus told a story to a fellow at the dinner table.  He said there was a certain fellow who planned a dinner party and invited a bunch of prominent people. These people stood him up with flimsy excuses.  He then ordered his servant to go get the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.  There was still room at the table so he sent his servants out to the roads and country lanes to strongly urge people to come to the banquet.  Jesus left the story there.  He didn’t say that the fellow who was throwing the party got enough people and was happy, in fact, he left the story with the servants out gathering guests. (Luke 14:15 to 23).
 Let me suggest that in this story we are the servants, and we’ve been tasked with bringing in these guests to fill the banquet room and the reason He didn’t finish the story is because we haven’t had the feast yet. I think the great banquet is the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
What does it take to invite the guests?   1) We need to speak their language.  We tend to speak in our own church language and there are phrases and words that others do not know or understand.  2) We need to speak in a way that is not culturally offensive and causes them to ignore us. The primary way we offend the culture is by “shoving religion down their throat.”  This simply means that we bring up the subject with an agenda.  If we let them bring up the subject they’ll talk about it all day long.  3) We need to invite them.  We rarely invite people to our churches and we even more rarely invite people to know Jesus Christ.  We have great big evangelistic events that are mostly attended by Christians.  When nonbelievers attend our events, the Christians tend to clump together and not engage them.  When we engage them, we only invite them to more events. 
Let me make a suggestion, go out into the roads and country lanes and invite people to know Jesus Christ.  Learn the language, learn the culture, go out and invite people to know Jesus.