Into All the World

Mark 16:15-16

15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 The one who has believed and has been baptized will be saved; but the one who has not believed will be condemned.

Paul described the church as “the pillar and support of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15). The truth it guards, however, cannot stay within its four walls but must be proclaimed to an unbelieving world. Jesus considered this so important that His last words to the apostles were, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15).

Do you understand how important it is that we obey this command? Many institutions do the important work of feeding the hungry and helping the needy. But the church has the additional, unique calling to share the gospel of Christ. It is the single most important message anyone can hear—God uses the good news of salvation to rescue people from eternal condemnation and transfer them into His kingdom.

The gospel is relevant to every age, need, and season of life. It contains simple truths that the youngest or most uneducated can understand, and it’s superior to all other philosophies and religions. Our message is absolutely sure, with eternal truths that need no correction or alteration. What’s more, it reveals the only path that leads to salvation through faith in Jesus.

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you examine the message that your life and words proclaim. Only the gospel of Christ saves.

How to fish

  • Charles Stanley

I remember the man who taught me how to fish.

We were at a lake in North Carolina. When I got my first catch, I was embarrassed that it was so small and wanted to throw it back. But the man, a deacon in my first church, said, “Don’t. It helps if you have something to add to.”

Well, I’ve discovered there’s wisdom in that. In fact, it applies to many things—including obeying God. If you start with a small matter, it’s true. It gets easier.

When it comes to obedience, do you have “something to add to”?

If you’re like most Christians, you’ve struggled with God’s will. Maybe you’ve asked yourself: How can I know God’s will for me? Does He care about this little thing? Why is He telling me “no” in this situation?

There’s a lot of confusion about this issue. We want God’s will to be reasonable and desirable, and we also want it to be logical and clear.

Well, the fact is that the Lord’s ways are often beyond our ability to understand. We won’t always be able to comprehend what He’s doing in the world and in our lives, but I want to assure you of this: We can trust the One who holds us in His mighty hand, in small things as well as big ones.

Let’s look at an event in Peter’s life.

This situation began with a slight matter of obedience, but it led to a very important turning point for Peter’s entire future (Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little distance from the land. And He sat down and continued teaching the crowds from the boat. Now when He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon responded and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they caught a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to tear; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, to the point that they were sinking. But when Simon Peter saw this, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and likewise also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear; from now on you will be catching people.” 11 When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.Luke 5:1-11).

God’s will is sometimes inconvenient.

Peter was a fisherman by trade and had just finished a long, unsuccessful night of fishing. As he cleaned his nets on the shore, Jesus asked Peter to take Him out in his boat so He could continue teaching (vv. 1-3). Jesus’ request was not unreasonable. It was a small thing and may have seemed unimportant. But Peter did what Jesus asked.

We tend to think that God is only interested in big, important events in our lives, but in reality, His will is lived out one little act of obedience at a time.

The Holy Spirit’s promptings don’t always come when we’re well rested and eager to obey. He may ask you to help someone in need when it’s uncomfortable for you. Following Jesus requires self-denial in order to fulfill His desires.

There may be times when the Lord’s will seems unreasonable.

After Jesus finished teaching, He asked Peter to do something illogical to a professional fisherman: “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch” (v. 4). Fisherman in Galilee knew that fish were caught at night in shallow water. But Peter already had “something to add to,” and he obeyed.

Are you willing to do what God says even when it seems unreasonable?

Throughout my years of ministry, I’ve watched the Lord sovereignly direct my path in some of the most unexpected ways. It often seemed illogical to me, but every time I obeyed Him, He brought me exactly where I needed to be and equipped me to accomplish what He’d planned.

Trusting the Lord even when obedience seems foolish is essential if you want to live your life according to His will. Common sense is inadequate compared to the omniscience and wisdom of an all-powerful God.

If you step out in faith, your perspective of the Lord will increase like Peter’s did. Because he obeyed Jesus, he caught such a great quantity of fish that his nets began to tear.

God’s will is spiritually life-changing.

When Peter saw the miraculous catch of fish, he realized he was in the presence of deity and felt the guilt of his own sin, exclaiming, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” (v. 8).

Repentance is a prerequisite for being used by God. We can never walk in His will as long as we walk in pride, independence, and self righteousness.

Jesus didn’t give Peter all those fish so he could become a more successful fisherman, but so that he would see the greatness of the One who was calling him to become a fisher of men and leave it all to follow Him (v. 10). This moment was orchestrated by God to lead Peter into the role God had planned for him—to become the apostle who would lay a foundation for the church.

The Lord works the same way in your life.

You are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that you would walk in them (For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Eph. 2:10). His will for you was established long before you were born. Everything He does in your life will be consistent with that plan. Your job is to walk where He guides you.

As you add greater acts of obedience to your smaller ones, you’ll gain deeper love for your heavenly Father, who cares so much for you. And you’ll begin to look forward to the next step on the path He sets before you.

God’s will reaches far beyond your human plans and expectations. Following it will be one of the many great blessings of belonging to Him.

Contagious Christianity

A Broadcast with Steven Lawson

Christians may be persecuted or imprisoned, but the gospel of Jesus Christ can never be contained. Today, Steven Lawson encourages us to look for opportunities to spread the good news of Christ even in life’s most trying circumstances.

How God Views Unbelievers

God is loving and merciful, but it is a harsh truth that the spiritually dead will experience His wrath.

Ephesians 2:1-5 At one time you were dead because of your sins. You followed the sinful ways of the world and obeyed the leader of the power of darkness. He is the devil who is now working in the people who do not obey God. At one time all of us lived to please our old selves. We gave in to what our bodies and minds wanted. We were sinful from birth like all other people and would suffer from the anger of God.

But God had so much loving-kindness. He loved us with such a great love. Even when we were dead because of our sins, He made us alive by what Christ did for us. You have been saved from the punishment of sin by His grace.


God’s Word is always true, but sometimes it comes across as confrontational when it exposes our erroneous thinking. One truth that’s often considered challenging is the way God describes the desperate state of those who are without Christ. They are …

  • Dead in their offenses and sins. Spiritual death came to all people as a result of Adam’s sin, leaving the human race under God’s condemnation (Eph. 2:1 above).
  • Unable to grasp spiritual things (But the person who is not a Christian does not understand these words from the Holy Spirit. He thinks they are foolish. He cannot understand them because he does not have the Holy Spirit to help him understand. 1 Cor. 2:14). Their minds are darkened, and they cannot understand the things of God.
  • Outside of God’s family. Spiritually, there are only two families in the world: the family of God and the family of Satan (The devil is your father. You are from him. You want to do the sinful things your father, the devil, wants you to do. He has been a killer from the beginning. The devil has nothing to do with the truth. There is no truth in him. It is expected of the devil to lie, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44).
  • Under God’s wrath. Unbelievers, even the ones who are kind and loving, are under judgment because of their unforgiven sins (Eph. 2:3 above).

Those without Christ are in grave danger and don’t realize it. They need to hear the bad news before they can see their need for a Savior. So find a way to carefully give them these hard truths, and explain how they can be rescued: Through faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ on their behalf, they can escape God’s wrath and condemnation.

Unashamed to Share the Gospel

Like Paul, we as believers should have no shame or fears in sharing God’s merciful gift of salvation with others.

2 Timothy 1:6-12

For this reason, I ask you to keep using the gift God gave you. It came to you when I laid my hands on you and prayed that God would use you. For God did not give us a spirit of fear. He gave us a spirit of power and of love and of a good mind. Do not be ashamed to tell others about what our Lord said, or of me here in prison. I am here because of Jesus Christ. Be ready to suffer for preaching the Good News and God will give you the strength you need. He is the One Who saved us from the punishment of sin. He is the One Who chose us to do His work. It is not because of anything we have done. But it was His plan from the beginning that He would give us His loving-favor through Christ Jesus. 10 We know about it now because of the coming of Jesus Christ, the One Who saves. He put a stop to the power of death and brought life that never dies which is seen through the Good News. 11 I have been chosen to be a missionary and a preacher and a teacher of this Good News. 12 For this reason, I am suffering. But I am not ashamed. I know the One in Whom I have put my trust. I am sure He is able to keep safe that which I have trusted to Him until the day He comes again.

Yesterday we saw how Paul understood the awesome responsibility of being entrusted with the gospel. Knowing he’d one day give an account to the Lord for how he carried out his calling, the apostle was willing to suffer for Christ’s sake to accomplish the task. As believers, we also have an obligation to share the gospel with whomever God places in our life. And we would be wise to consider what our level of commitment is.

Paul felt compelled to tell people about the Savior. In fact, he said, “Woe to me if I do not” (For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast about, for I am under compulsion; for woe to me if I do not preach the gospel.1 Cor. 9:16). No matter how anyone treated him, he wasn’t ashamed of the message of Christ. And he kept warning unbelievers about the eternal consequences of ignoring the Lord’s gracious offer of salvation.

We may not want to warn people about God’s judgment, for fear of driving them away from Him. But in reality, people living in spiritual darkness are already far from the Lord and need to hear about His offer of forgiveness. Paul was even willing to die to get the message out. If we let ourselves be inspired by his example, we may discover unexpected boldness to share our faith.

Are You the Reason People Don’t Believe in God?

Look, it’s a fair question. and before the insultfest starts, you should think about the question. If you consider yourself a Christian, it’s a good exercise:

“Am I the reason people around me mock Christianity and reject Christ?”

Now, I’ve already considered the question myself. And just so you know, I’m guilty as charged. I admit it. I’ve taken the time to examine my own way of following Christ out in the real world. It ain’t pretty. But not for the usual reasons. Not for the 21st century watered down version of Christian do’s and don’ts.

I’ve been spending countless hours immersed in the writings of the Early Church Fathers. You know, the guys who knew Paul, Peter or John and the Apostles. Or were discipled by them personally. Or they were discipled by men who had been discipled by the Apostles. These guys were very close to the source of the New Testament. Some of them are even mentioned in the New Testament. I’ve wanted to understand how they understood the faith.

Their understanding of what it means to follow Christ is far different than our modern day version. It’s not even close. If Polycarp or Clement were to walk into any evangelical congregation in the entire western world, they’d likely find an unrecognizable version of Christianity.

Continue at:

5 Reasons People Aren’t Drawn to Christ

Courtesy of Pixabay

The other day, I made a phallic joke on my Facebook page. It was generally well received. However, a few people didn’t like it. One person even went so far as to offer the following comment:

“Wow. Is this all you guys could come up with to talk about? It’s honestly no wonder people aren’t drawn to Christ when this is the type of crap you choose to focus on. It’s insulting and completely anti-Christ.”

Now, I will admit that focusing on jokes that are phallic in nature is probably not the best way to spend all your time. Which is why most of my time is spent thinking about other topics.

That said, what I found particularly interesting about this comment is that it alleges that people aren’t “coming to Jesus” because Christians, by and large, are too crass. Or that because we are irreverent with our humor, that that somehow deters people from converting to Christianity. Frankly, that has not been my experience. Not in the slightest! Per my experience, the reasons are much, much different. Here are just five that I’ve come across.

  1. We Are Too Hypocritical

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Before judging others and their sin, we Christians need to, first and foremost, clean off our own porch. You know, that whole plank and speck stuff Jesus talked about? Instead, though, we tend to just sit and clamor about “gay marriage,” for example, and then get divorced at a rate no different than the secular world. And how many times have we heard news stories about vehemently anti-gay preachers getting caught up in some overtly homosexual acts? Just Google it if you aren’t sure. But beware, you’ll likely be stuck at your computer for a while.

Over and over, we sit atop our throne of piety and judge the world and its actions, never once considering how disgusting our behavior can be. It’s pretty shocking, really, and it is one of the major reasons people are done with Christianity. At least, that is what I’ve heard, over and over, from those who have either walked away from the faith or stayed away entirely.

  1. We Reject Science

This reason is a big one for people. In fact, because so many of us opt to interpret Genesis 1 as a literal, historical account of the creation of the cosmos, we’ve become a laughing stock. I mean, given the fact that the sun—you know, that big ball in the sky that is needed in order to determine what a day is—isn’t created until the fourth day, it is pretty silly to believe that each “day” in Genesis corresponds to an actual 24-hour period. Amiright?

But no, we just keep on keeping on, wasting our time arguing for things the Bible is simply not arguing for; as if it makes more sense to believe the writer of Genesis had science, and not the competing creation myths, in mind when he wrote down the Hebrew version of the story. Puh-lease!

The others are at:

The Great Commandment

A Broadcast with R.C. Sproul

Every second of Jesus’ life, He loved the Father with all of His heart, all of His soul, all of His mind, and all of His strength. Continuing his exposition of the gospel of Mark, today R.C. Sproul looks at this great commandment that sums up the whole duty of human beings before their Creator.

That All May Know Him

1 Timothy 2:1-7 First of all, I ask you to pray much for all men and to give thanks for them. Pray for kings and all others who are in power over us so we might live quiet God-like lives in peace. It is good when you pray like this. It pleases God Who is out Savior. He wants all people to be saved from the punishment of sin. He wants them to come to know the truth. There is one God. There is one Man standing between God and men. That Man is Christ Jesus. He gave His life for all men so they could go free and not be held by the power of sin. God made this known to the world at the right time. This is why I was chosen to be a teacher and a missionary. I am to teach faith and truth to the people who do not know God. I am not lying but telling the truth.

A friend of mine recently told me about a cab driver who had religious symbols representing Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism displayed in his taxi. My friend asked why he had so many contrasting religions represented. The driver said they were for protection. When asked which one served that purpose, the man said, “I don’t know. But I want to be sure that one will work, so I have all of them.”

Here in America, it’s easy to think most people know about Jesus Christ, but there are men and women we see each day who have no knowledge of our Savior. 1 Timothy 2:5-6 says, “There is one God, and one mediator also between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all.” That truth is the foundation for the Christian faith. Through the Son, we are forgiven and reconciled to the Father.

Don’t assume that everyone in your life is familiar with the good news of Jesus Christ. Whether it’s a coworker, a new friend, or your long-time neighbor, you may be the only person they know who can tell them about the one true God and Savior.

Atheist until she finally opened that Bible