"Christian Apologetics"

(Changing the World: Engaging the Culture)

Part II

 

February 2018

  

    Another method of soul winning is street evangelism. , "And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits." (Mark 6:7) A multiplication factor occurs when believers work together. "Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor." (Ecclesiastes 4:9) When believers cooperate, a synergistic result happens. Which means the total effect is greater than the sum of the individual effects. There is an acrostic for the word TEAM. Together Everyone Accomplishes More. "Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven." (Matthew 18:19) The key is agreement. The Greek word for agree is Sumphoneo. Sum means: together, and Phoneo means: make a sound, speak. Christians working together can do great things; but even alone, much can be done. "Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them." (Acts 8:5) Philip ministered to the Samaritans as he went among the people.

 

   Christian Apologetics gives a reason for our hope in Christ. What is the basis and rational of this ministry? I Peter 3:15 says we should be able to tell people the reason we believe in Jesus and the bible. Christ said: "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." (Matthew 22:37) My heart can't rejoice in what my mind rejects. Telling people, we believe in the bible, because our parents believed in the bible; and our grandparents believed in the bible, doesn't give a reason for our faith. There are religious people who believe in other books; because their parents believed in those writings; because their grandparents believed those books. The Apostle Paul went to Mars Hill and declared the gospel to the Athenian philosophers. "For as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you." (Acts 17:23) We're sent to the educated and uneducated. "I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise." (Romans 1:14) Telling somebody we believe something, just because, doesn't make sense. Knowing why we believe what we believe, strengthens our faith and gives us boldness.

 

   As a young minister, I was envious of older preachers who had stories to illustrate their messages: I asked the Lord about this, but he didn't speak to me about the matter until 30 years later. I was ministering in South Carolina, and I was relating something that happened to me to make a point in my message. Deep in my spirit, God told me, now you have stories to share. Years before, I hadn't lived long enough to experience anything. "I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread." (Psalm 37:25) David could speak from life's experiences, and tell people what the Lord had done for him. "Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy." (Psalm 107:2) God gives us what we need to answer the critics, so don't be afraid of facing opposition, it's par for the course. "For I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist." (Luke 21:15) Fear is a tool of Satan: who wants to paralyze our faith. My acrostic for fear is: False Evidence Appearing Real. Faith drives fear away. "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." (II Timothy 1:7)

 

   Risk takers are movers and shakers. We're called to be world changers; not pew sitters. Pioneers blaze the trail and make things happen; while spectators watch things happen, and conversationalists talk about things that happen, and then there are those who wonder what happened. When Jesus commanded Peter to step out of the boat and walk on water; it seemed like a daunting task. That first step was the most important, and each successive step became easier. It takes motivation to get started, and motivation comes from purpose. "Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work." (John 4:34) "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." (Luke 19:10)

 

   Christians in school encounter strong opposition to their faith, and some instructors think their mission in life is to De-Christianize believers. Many Colleges and Universities are antithetical to Christianity. Ironically most institutions of higher learning were founded by Christian organizations. Campus life and social mores have undergone a dramatic shift away from biblical standards. What we believe determines how we live. "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he." (Proverbs 23:7a) The battle for the mind is underway, and we need to rise to the challenge because the next generation is at stake: and all it takes for evil to prevail, is for good men to do nothing. That statement was made by Englishman Edmund Burke, who was a noted author, orator, philosopher, and statesman. David answered the question of his older brother Eliab. "And David said, "What have I done now? Is there not a cause?" (I Samuel 17:29) Before David arrived; Goliath taunted Saul and his army, morning and evening, for forty days. David's motivation was Goliath's insult to God and Israel, because he didn't want his people to become slaves to the Philistines. Our purpose is to capture the next generation for Christ, so they won't be indoctrinated with secular humanism. We shouldn't cede the public domain to the secularists, because science and logic substantiates creation and the bible, and refutes naturalism and evolution.

     
Click on Archive to read other articles Evangelist Mike Manuel


"Christian Apologetics"

(Changing the World: Engaging the Culture)

Part I

 

January 2018

  

    Due to keen interest people have expressed in this series on Christian Apologetics, we're going to repeat the articles we began in September 2015. "And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, "We will hear you again on this matter." (Acts 17:32) There will be modification of material as needed: either insertion of new information, or deletion of repetitive phrases to improve the subject, and make it more cogent. The primary focus of Revelation Power Ministries continues as we pursue this (Christian Apologetics) avenue of evangelism. It's an outgrowth of what we've been doing for 42 years. "For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries."(I Corinthians 16:9) As God directs we'll look forward to more debates and creation events. We have plans to write booklets preparing believers to make the case for God, creation, and the bible.

  

   "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear." (I Peter 3:15) Peter encourages believers to know why they believe what they believe. Here, the Greek word for defense is apologian; which means: to speak in one's own defense, defend oneself, making a case, or vindication. Jesus never shied away from legitimate questions. In this scripture the Greek word for reason is logon, which means: statement, declaration, speech, message, or proclamation. The Amplified Bible elucidates this scripture. "But in your hearts set Christ apart [as holy: acknowledging Him, giving Him first place in your lives] as Lord. Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you, yet [do it] with gentleness and respect." (I Peter 3:15) The Christian faith isn't a blind leap into the dark, but a reasoned faith based upon logical, historical, and spiritual truth. We don't commit intellectual suicide when we accept Jesus Christ as our personal saviour. The gospel appeals to our spirit (pneuma), soul (psuche), and body (soma). The word for soul, psuche, is the organ of intellectual activity and mental processes. Some critics believe Christianity is based on superstition, fable, folklore, legend, or myth. Nothing could be further from the truth. "For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty." (II Peter 1:16) The Bible contains information only the Creator of the Universe would know.

 

   Christian Apologetics is one method of reaching the lost. We'll look at this in greater detail later, but here are several methods of Evangelism. Personal Evangelism-telling people what God has done for you. The Samaritan woman told the Samaritans how Christ changed her life. "And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified,He told me all that I ever did." (John 4:39) The Gadarene Demonic was tormented, and no one could help him, but Jesus cast out Legion, many demons, from the madman. After his deliverance; he was sitting, clothed, and in his right mind, and wanted to travel with Jesus: "However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, "Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you." And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled." (Mark 5:19&20)

 

   Power Evangelism-The supernatural manifestation of signs and wonders. "Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased." (John 6:2) Miracles arrest the attention of people, and God's presence and ability prove his love and care. In the early 1980's I was preaching a revival in a former beer tavern, and the meeting helped start a new church. A minister came out on Monday night, and he was going to interrupt my preaching, and declare me a false prophet. Ten minutes into my preaching, the Holy Spirit led me to pray for this man about a heart condition. I had never met this man, so he was startled, because the week before his doctor told him he had a serious heart problem. The Lord healed him, and a few nights later he was filled with the Holy Ghost. He persuaded several fellow ministers to attend the revival; and they were filled with the Spirit, also thirty nine people came to Christ that week. "For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ." (Romans 15:18&19)

 

   Mass Evangelism-promulgation of the gospel on a wide scale. "The Lord gave the word; Great was the company of those who proclaimed it." (Psalm 68:11) This would include crusades, television, radio, books, internet, e-mail, facebook, texting, twitter, and any other way of communicating. In the last days the message of Jesus Christ will saturate the planet "For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea." (Habakkuk 2:14) Jesus said this would happen before the end of the age. "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come." (Matthew 24:14) We should use every means available to reach the lost. No doubt, there will be new ways of disseminating the word of God, and methods of broadcasting the good news may change: but the message is timeless. "Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven." (Psalm 119:89) "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away." (Matthew 24:35)

 

   Market Place Evangelism-making Christ known where we live and work by sharing our faith in the daily concourse of life. "You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men." (II Corinthians 3:2) Folk may not read the bible, or go to church: but they can see the love of God through us. t "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:16) Moral relativism is rampant; and ethics are on the wane. Men and women dedicated to the Lord, and my wife and I know many who are, stand out in stark contrast by how they conduct themselves. Light is more perceptible during the darkest hour of the night. "That you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain." (Philippians 2:15&16)

     
Click on Archive to read other articles Evangelist Mike Manuel


"Paid in Full"

 

February 2018

  

   "For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." (Philippians 2:13) Jesus paid the complete price for us to live an abundant life. We don't have to wonder if God is going to take care of us; or work out our situations. "Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." (I Peter 5:7) Salvation is sign, sealed, and delivered. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) "That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved." (Romans 10:9-13) Healing is paid for. (Isaiah 53:5) (Psalm 107:20) (Matthew 8:17) (I Peter 2:24)

  

   Here are some other benefits we have in Christ. Deliverance. "You are my hiding place; "You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance." (Psalms 32:7) Love. "That the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them." (John 17:26b) Joy & strength. "Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." (Nehemiah 8:10b) Peace & guidance. "And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7) Victory. "But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (I Corinthians 15:57) Forgiveness. "In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." (Colossians 1:14) We're overcomers."You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." (I John 4:4) "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith." (I John 5:4)

  

   Everything has been paid for by the precious blood of Jesus. There's no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Our part is collecting on His provision. If someone deposits fifty thousand dollars in your bank account, and your complaining you can't pay your bills, and your starving; the problem is: you're not using what you have in the bank: and if you don't use it you'll go without. God has already done everything for us, all we need to do is live according to His word and commandments: it's not that hard, Jesus took the hard part out. Trust God, take Him at his word, and enjoy the abundant life He so graciously gave us.

  

   If we're not doing what God has commanded us to do, and we're listening to the enemy, we're allowing him to rob us of what we have in Christ. It's easy to get rid of the enemy. Submit yourself to God resist the devil, NOT assist him, and he will flee. Don't give any place to the devil. If we do give him place, we are helping him do what he does. "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy." (John 10:10a) We have abundant life through Jesus Christ our Lord. "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10b) Paid in full by the precious blood of Jesus.

     
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