A few years ago a Christian friend of mine, who happens to be an ordained
clergyman, was participating in a pro-life march in New York City.
Several evangelical and Roman Catholic groups were represented, so
there were, predictably, vigorous counter-demonstrations. Many of these
were led by gays.
My friend said that for many long minutes a counter-demonstrator
kept pace with him from a few feet away, screaming hateful obscenities
at him. His tirade slowing down for a few seconds, he shouted this
strange question at my friend: "Why do you people hate us?"
The question seemed quite unrelated to the pro-life issue,
which of course it is. The questioner identified himself as a gay
The Holy Spirit does lots of incredible things in and through us. But in the Bible, it seems that whenever the Holy Spirit is given to someone, it's for one crucial reason: to preach the Gospel. read more
One of the highlights of my life is the time I put flowers on the grave of a man I had never met. I first heard this man's name—Samuel Zwemer—in the 1980s during a class at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the oldest and most prestigious Muslim university in the world, sometimes called the "brain of Islam."
My professor taught us that throughout history Christians had attempted to destroy Islam. He reminded us of the bloody battles Christians had waged against the Islamic world during the 200 years of the Crusades. He pointed out the Western colonialism that had been practiced from the late 1700s to the mid-1900s.
"Now Christians have a new strategy to defeat Islam," he added. This strategy was embodied in the name and picture I saw in my textbook: that of Samuel Zwemer. read more
There's nothing more exciting than
leading someone to Christ through a "power encounter" hosted by the Holy
Spirit. I've seen a waitress come to Christ because a group of us out
for lunch simply showed Christ's love and talked to her and gave her
words of knowledge-even one about her cat! I've also experienced times
in which the Spirit of God is so tangible during ministry or a personal
interaction that people have asked me, "What is this, and how do I come
to know this Jesus you are talking about?"
When Jesus spoke brief words of knowledge
to the woman in Samaria, she told the entire village about the Lord. I
believe these types of power encounters have been God's preference for
evangelism all along. Other methods have some impact, but nothing gets
your attention like finding out that God "has your number." read more
When I'm speaking at conferences and events across the country, I'm often asked why so many ministries use the media. After all, it's a very expensive business. Couldn't we use that money for feeding the hungry or helping the homeless? Wouldn't Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer, James Dobson (and even your local pastor) be better stewards if they spent God's money on more traditional evangelism?
All good questions. No one wants to waste financial resources or damage opportunities for reaching the lost. So, my first response to such queries is to study the life of Jesus.
How did He reach people? Where did He reach people? How did He make an impact on them? What can I learn from His life and ministry? read more
Something powerful is on the horizon. The Lord is equipping His church for the
greatest outpouring the world has ever seen. We must do everything possible to
prepare our hearts and to train others for this soul-saving revival. We also
must be willing to be used by the Lord in new, unfamiliar ways.
A fresh evangelistic anointing is about to rest upon true believers. Fear
will give way to Holy Ghost-boldness as the Spirit of God directs His people
into uncharted spiritual territory. The thirsty masses are about to be handed an
unsolicited cup of cool water that will change them for eternity.
In an interview with a major news organization I was asked if the
evangelical church should be responsible for solving the world's starvation and
disease epidemic. Though I don't believe the answer lies solely with the church
(it's a little more complex than that), I do believe that we are mandated to
feed, clothe and help the poor. If we don't, then according to the Word of God,
our religion is lifeless. read more
I'm convinced that God's will for you is to talk with other people about Christ.
While witnessing to a guy on the streets of Denver once I explained how he could give his life to Jesus Christ. His response was, "That's too easy." I replied, "Do you want me to make it difficult?" read more
Imagine this not too far-fetched scenario: Mom and Dad are going out together
for a few hours, and before they leave they make a simple request of their young
son: "Johnny, we will be back in a few hours. Before we get back, could you
please straighten up your bedroom?"
Mom and Dad enjoy their evening out together, but they're shocked by what
they see when they return home.
The lawn is freshly mowed. The living room has been vacuumed. All the dinner
dishes have been washed. read more
Individual Christians have played extraordinary roles in the spread of the gospel.
Early in my Christian walk (which began more than three decades ago), I recall hearing the phrase, "One plus God is a majority." The idea behind this was that Christians should never be discouraged by numerical or other odds ranged against them because, with God, not only are all things possible, but also ordinary worldly reckonings of who will or won't succeed are often overturned.
Later, as some prominent figures in the charismatic movement began behaving in odd ways, Christian teaching began to focus once more—correctly—on the need for both general laity and leaders to be accountable to oversight through a pastor or some sort of board of elders.
Church revitalization is certainly possible in America. Are you and your staff willing to take a look in the mirror and do what it takes for that to happen? LifeWay's Thom S. Rainer weighs in. read more