Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Offering the Water of Life

OFFERING THE WATER OF LIFE

When you live in a well educated and prosperous culture you have the luxury of discussions and debates about all sorts of things. But if you are a missionary to the Sudan or Kenya or Russia or Haiti then debates about the age of the earth seem like a waste of time. Almost 20 years ago my best friend and I began a missionary organization which supports missionaries in remote parts of Africa. We have had them over to our homes and have spoken to them and corresponded with them hundreds of times. Some of them have their lives in jeopardy because they preach the gospel.

Never one time in twenty years have I spoken to these kinds of missionaries and have them suggest that the age of the earth was an important topic. You see, that kind of discussion and organized debate is reserved for us who are not hungry or thirsty or have our ears inclined to hear footsteps in the night coming to take our lives. These kinds of debates are reserved for the safe and well fed. I am sure Jim Elliot was not prepared to share his views on the age of the earth with the Auca Indians of Ecuador. I do not wish to sound as if I know everything because in reality I know very little. But this one thing I do know.

We, the followers of Jesus, need to share and live the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and refuse to be lured into questions and strifes over issues unrelated to the gospel. Let us make a clear distinction between in house teachings and debates as opposed to organizing entertaining discussions which are designed to come up with a winner who seems more persuasive than the other. To a lost and hell bound world of darkness it matters nothing whether the earth is 6 thousand or 6 millions years old. And yet the world is oh so willing to debate those kinds of issues. What they need and what they shrink from is “Who do you say Jesus is?” It is possible to embrace Darwinian evolution and that the world is 6 billion years old and receive Christ as Lord and Savior without changing those views at all. The Lord will deal with His children once they become His children.

But it is also very possible that we make those issues stumbling blocks for sinners who may never consider the claims of Jesus Christ because they find our views on other things, which we openly promote and challenge lost sinners with, as too far out. And the evil one deceives them into believing that in order to become a believer you must accept all these other things as well. I hope we all can see how we have obscured the gospel with other issues.

A man who was dying of thirst because he believed the water was made of arsenic saw how another thirsty man drank that same water and lived. That man then drank the water and was given life through that water. Now that same man knows another man who is dying of thirst but he says he can prove scientifically that the water is made of arsenic. Does the man who now has life:

A.    Challenge that man to a debate about the chemistry of water

B.    Mock that man because he believes what he used to believe

C.    Continually drink the water in front of that man and cup his hands filled with water and offer it to the thirsty man

We have been called to live Jesus and share Jesus to a lost world who needs Jesus.
And he who drinks of that water will never thirst again.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very good.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for addressing my question about rasizm a few posts back. I do disagree with you, but I'm sure my life's experiences, and you own experiences have led to the differing views. I am convinced by scripture, that racism, and hatred are not gauged by race or ethnicity but are proportionate in all peoples.

Good messages on wealth. I was involved in the health wealth church in the mid 1980s. It was intoxicating, and very prevalent back then. Many churches have lightened the message but the leaven is still there. I sorrow for those still seeking material blessings. The congregants judge you by your material success. Those with much are looked upon as blessed of the Lord. When the judgment falls they will suffer terribly.



Anonymous said...

Yes, to this. Amen.

There are stumblingblocks made by christians towards unbelievers and it is so sad to see. Besides the pushing of creationism on people, instead of allowing them to let the Lord deal with them in his time and grace and revelation, there's another thing I've noticed. It really hurts me to watch it. I haven't noticed it elsewhere yet, but I'm sure it happens around the globe.

But, it's this. Yesterday, I saw a clip of President Obama speaking at the White House Prayer Breakfast. He told the crowd he was (paraphrasing) a christian and had chosen Jesus to be his Lord and Savior. As a christian, I rejoice. But, the right-wing rhetoric was absolutely cruel and disparaging towards him.

Also, as a christian, I don't follow men, or get into politics. But, I do rejoice when I hear anyone, confess Jesus publicly. They are not ashamed. That says a lot.

I know we have to discern, we have to be careful and make certain we get the whole gospel message and act it out. I know there are christians who don't have the full conviction power of the gospel. Some are still on their first steps of believing and aren't yet convicted or show ignorance in their walk. But, we were some of them at one time. We were at that first step, second, step and onward. Some of us have reached the full conviction power and are empowered by the Spirit to rebuke sin, some more, some less. Some still don't see anything wrong with becoming politicians and serving the public. They don't yet know how compromising it will be to them. They don't yet know about the full corruption, greed, bartering and bribery that may happen.

What is so painful to watch, is how the christian community embrace politics and support one side, almost calling down fire from heaven against the other side. They consider themselves the kings and queens of righteous christianity. But when a politician on the other side claims they're a believer and follow Jesus, it is mocked. The political man who confesses even an element that he chooses Jesus Christ might not yet be convicted of his error in supporting unbiblical behavior, but the private man (leader) may have a personal conviction towards God and is on the right path, albeit still on a refining path, which may or may not lead him into fullness of God. That's why we are supposed to pray for our leaders and everyone, who don't yet display the ways of Jesus..........they may have made a personal commitment and may yet need so much more understand. That's why we are to pray for our leaders. And even if they become no more our leaders, we still pray for them, the way we would want our pastors to pray for us, or for our wayward children.

I've observed the hateful unmerciful unforgiving attitude of the vocal mouthpiece christian leaders who are acting like jury and judge - they would rather people die in their sins than to open their arms and work with others, so as to show themselves Ambassadors of Christ. This is why unbelievers are shocked and angry towards these self-righteous christians and are experiencing the stumblingblocs put in their way. These may never get a chance again to meet Jesus through us, the temples of the Holy Spirit, because some our of brethren have locked the doors and barred the gates, preventing them from entering in.

J.

Anonymous said...


J writes:
Also, as a christian, I don't follow men, or get into politics. But, I do rejoice when I hear anyone, confess Jesus publicly. They are not ashamed. That says a lot.

Reine Gnade says:
Confessions of Christ can be insincere!

Hitler, for example, wrote and talked a lot a about God but followed Satan.

Jesus teaches about this very subject very clearly in Matthew 7:21-23

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

J, an actor can play any role he or she decides to. Just because at a certain point in time someone mentions enthusiastically the name of Jesus publicly doesn't mean He is their Lord.

If any politicians were unrepentant workers of iniquity Jesus will say to them on Judgment Day: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

The key thing is: are leaders doing the will of our Father which is in heaven?
Our great God knows definitively the answer to that question.

God bless you!

Anonymous said...


J writes:
These may never get a chance again to meet Jesus through us, the temples of the Holy Spirit, because some our of brethren have locked the doors and barred the gates, preventing them from entering in.

Reine Gnade replies:

Matthew 25:10-12
10 And while they (the foolish) went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.


Only God can lock the door to His presence. Only He can decide to do that. He determines who He draws to Christ, not His servants.

Let's remember it was God who shut the door of the Ark and He will also shut the door to marrige of the Lamb.

God bless you!

Kelli Baker said...

Wow Anonymous, what a blessing to read your last two comments. God is Sovereign.
Amen :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Reine,

Appreciate your input.

I sometimes find that many of us use that scripture of Matthew 7:21 and 22 in reference to unbelievers. I really believe Jesus was speaking to those who already believed and prophesied in His Name and cast out devils and in His Name did wonderful works. He was speaking to those who professed Christ and did His works. I would imagine He was speaking here to people already churched and already "arrived" to the point that they were ministering in His Name, or were apostles, teachers, or He may have been making a point towards the pharisees, etc. The leaders and shepherds SHOULD know better. Don't forget to quote the verse 15 in that chapter. It says: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are 'ravening wolves'. It continues to give warning to these same wolves in verses 16, 17, 18 and onward. So, Jesus was directing this to "wolves" who penetrate the sheep stall and pretend they are shepherds.

It's clear to me that Jesus wasn't speaking to the babes who were just new converts and receiving the milk of the Word, but to the false prophets of the age, who were misrepresenting themselves as religious righteous leaders.

It's one thing to say one is a follower of Christ, and another one to use their profession to gain popularity. I believe it's those who are ambitious, determined to earn a following and are carnally-career minded, and who use their christian walk as a method to get the advantage to success.

There are two kinds. Those who lust for power and ambition and use Christ to gain votes. And those who don't yet know Christ in His fullness, but DON'T use him to gain men's favor and votes. These may be blinded to some truth for the moment, but at the very least, they don't use our Lord when they campaign for personal gain.

I believe those verses would be directed at the man who knows Christ in His fullness, yet still chooses to exploit His Holy Name for ambition and political victory.

J.

Anonymous said...


A person can only show himself as an Ambassador of Christ if he is an Ambassador of Christ!

Yes, we are to pray for our leaders because that is God's will, but we are not to block our ears every time we hear them talking nonsense and dishonoring God's name.

When errors by a leader are so blatant it is a Christians' duty not to put on a blindfold and wave a flag which says: our leader always gets things right.

J, in your last paragraph you have left out the most important person of all who is God Himself. He is the great healer who can right injustices whether they are committed by a non Christrian or a Christian.

Josef Sefton

Anonymous said...

Well said Kelli. It is so vital that we remember that God is sovereign. May God continue to bless you with body, soul and spirit in 2014 to His glory!

Anonymous said...


When we focus on Mathew 7 verse 22 we notice that they did refer to Jesus as Lord. They were of the view that they were prophesying in Jesus' name. They also thought that they were casting out devils in His name and had been doing many wonderful works in His name.
Jesus, however, saw the situation very differently!

The key thing to note is what Jesus says! Jesus said He never knew them. This means they were not children of God. We know this because Jesus would never say "depart from me, ye that work iniquity" to someone who loves Him wholeheartedly.

God bless you!

Anonymous said...

Amen Josef Sefton.

We must be discerning in these times as in the times of old. The source of our discernment comes from the Scriptures with the Holy Spirit's illunination. Daniel did not bow down to the lost leaders of his day, and Jesus did not bow down to the leaders of His day.

We too, whether in politics, education, or the church system, should not bow down to the likes of men and follow the spirits of this age. There is only one whom we bow down too, and that is our LORD Jesus Christ.

In this world there are many types of jesus' people speak of and there is only One that leads to life eternal with Him.

Anonymous said...

Hi Reine Gnade: It's me J, and I want to apologize to you. I was responding to Anonymous, but thinking it was your commentary.

So with that, sorry Reine. Please ignore my salutation to you in my last comment, it was to Anonymous 5:50 and 6:35.

J.

Anonymous said...

Well, now I'm confused. After re-reading the comments, I don't know who commented anymore. So my apology still stands, I just don't know who to apologize to anymore.

With that, just one more thought. Of course I know that God is sovereign. My point was not about following any man or leader. My point is how some in His Church spend much of their time hating and verbally attacking worldly men. I thought the church's mission was to witness Jesus to men.

Would Jesus write nasty things about the leaders of the time? Would He want his disciples and children to verbally slander and attack unbelievers? Would He want the Church to use it's resources to enthrone men and dethrone men in the secular world?

And if one of those men, like Festus, had even a seed of interest in the gospel message, wouldn't it be better to live at peace with such men, instead of slander them and mock them and continually harass them? Who is the church today that it feels justified in behaving like a spoiled bully in a playground towards the souls of men?

Some in the church have already made up their minds that such men will never never find God. Yet they say God is sovereign. Well, if they believe God is sovereign, why are they perpetually trying to They act and behave like God's Justice Department and publicly humiliate these men before the nations. Is this WITNESSING to the LOST? Our dear Lord Jesus told us: Matthew 23:13 - "But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men; for neither go ye in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in."

J.

Kelli Baker said...

Anonymous 6:23 wrote:
When we focus on Mathew 7 verse 22 we notice that they did refer to Jesus as Lord. They were of the view that they were prophesying in Jesus' name. They also thought that they were casting out devils in His name and had been doing many wonderful works in His name.
Jesus, however, saw the situation very differently!

The key thing to note is what Jesus says! Jesus said He never knew them. This means they were not children of God. We know this because Jesus would never say "depart from me, ye that work iniquity" to someone who loves Him wholeheartedly.

kelli:Yes, again, Amen, Anonymous! They were using the Lord's name but the work they were and are doing is not done by His Spirit. They are not born again. As The Lord says," I never knew you. A born again believer has the Spirit of the Living God working in us.
The church mission is to be making disciples which presumes first, that one must be saved. Our walk in this life is a testimony to those who are lost and the "good news of Jesus" is the message of the church.

Kelli Baker said...

"A hypocrite in the Bible was always a reference to non-believers never to believers. In fact, believers were warned, "Do not be LIKE the hypocrites," as they are acting."
(PB)

Anonymous said...


Commentaries 5:50 and 6:33 were by me. I just forget to put my name to the last one.

I understand the point you making J but I do think you should stop labelling the people as Christian. Reporting isn't about guessing.

Matthew 23:13 - "But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men; for neither go ye in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in."

If someone is a hypocrite they are cursed by God and are not a child of God. Yes, a hypocrite shuts up the Kingdom of heaven against men. But let's remember who has the final say on the matter.

Let's remember that the God of the Bible is loving and that He knocks on the door of our heart seeking a welcome response.

Hypocrites don't have the final say! It is God's sovereign decision who enters in! Let's focus above all on that. Let's focus on God's healing transforming power and glory as taught by Jesus in Mathew 6! Let's focus on the finished work of Christ!

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

Spot on, Kelli. Thank you for your wise contribution!