Thursday, August 04, 2005

Spiritual Potpourri

Dave had quite a variety of responses from the inmates to whom he talked last night:

"Muhammed"
Last week, Dave had been thrilled to share with Muhammed, a Muslim, about the Lord Jesus. The issue of "forgiveness of sin" really hit him. Dave had given Muhammed an assignment to find "forgiveness of sin" in Islam (the Koran), so the next time they met, he could show Dave where it is.

Last night, Dave met with Muhammed again. He had not been able to find any references to forgiveness of sin. Pray for Muhammed and his fellow Muslim inmates that the Lord Jesus would break through.

"Neal"
Neal outright did not want to receive the Lord as "he was making good progress with his life and God via AA." I believe AA can be used by God to help people, but AA can't save people; only Jesus can.

"Jason"
He definitely and sincerely confessed his sins, but did not think it necessary to receive Jesus into his life or make him Lord of his life.
The apostle Paul, however, said: "I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus" (Acts 20:21, emphasis mine.)

"James"
Received Jesus as Savior and Lord!

"Chuck"
After several years of lukewarm Christian faith as a teenager, he decided to rededicate his life to the Lord!

This is a good reminder to us of the truth of the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-8). Some people hear the Word (seed), but the enemy snatches it from their hearts. Some respond immediately with joy, but quickly fall away having no root. Others hear the Word, but are choked into unfruitfulness because of the cares of this world. But some hear the Word, take it to heart, and produce a bountiful harvest.

Pray that those who have responded to the gospel will bear fruit for the Kingdom of God.

2 Comments:

Blogger fooyaya said...

On "Muhammed" - I thought we were way past "my god is better than your god" business? I mean is not the message supposed to be sharing and love?

I was born a muslim but since I do not prey I am not a muslim (the five pillars of Islam anyone?), so it is not about defending my religion (since I do not have one, lol!) but I do not quite understand what is so great about forgiveness of sin (although I am sure that I Muhammed tried to understand what he is reading he sure could find it somewhere in the Coran) : I think one should know that if he does a bad thing he's got it coming his way big time.

Forgiveness of sin brought us to name a few : the crusades, the inquisition (yes misinterpretation of one religion can be blood thirsty including christianism), cortes, the cristal nights, israƫl/palestine neverending love story, 09/11/2001, al quaida, etc...

Blasphemy! Not quite so, if people would stop thinking that if they're sorry for it everything will turn out okay in the afterlife maybe they would think twice about doing evil for "the greater good", Amen.

2:50 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

Hello, Fooyaya.

I believe the question you ask in your first sentence is valid. And yes, what you have written in your second question is quite true.

The reason that Christians share about Jesus with Muslims--and anybody else, for that matter--is out of love. We are motivated by our love for God for what He has done for us by sending His Son Jesus to save us. We are also motivated by love for the person with whom we are sharing. We desire that every person should have the opportunity to hear about Jesus so they might accept God's free gift and be saved.

It is true that some have shared--and continue to share--Jesus in a way that is condemning, pushy or even violent (e.g the Crusades.) I can't claim to speak for all Christians, but I, personally, am deeply sorry for any presentation of Christ not done in a spirit of love.

No responsible Christian I know of is interested in winning an argument over whose god is better. I certainly am not. But I am compelled to tell the good news of Jesus Christ to all who want to listen. I have had many people--in the jails and outside--tell me that they are not interested in talking about Jesus. I totally respect that! I appreciate when someone is honest with me. I'd rather someone tell me he's not interested than to have him politely listen because he feels obligated.

The good news of Jesus Christ is that those of us who have done "a bad thing" (which is everyone!) don't have to have it "coming [our] way big time." In a nutshell, Jesus the Son of God took the punishment that people deserve. I tell guys in the jail, "We do the crime, but Jesus did the time." By dying on the cross, He fully paid for the sins of the world. By rising from the dead, He made a way for us to have eternal life.

All we have to do to receive forgiveness of all the bad things we've done is to 1) repent: that is, be sincerely sorry for what we've done and confess it to God, and 2) confess Jesus as Lord of our lives. God will then forgive us, and put His Spirit in us to empower us to live a brand new life.

God had mercy on me, a sinner. He will have mercy on anyone who calls upon Him in Jesus' Name.

2:56 PM  

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