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BIBLE PROPHECY
A Beginning of Global Governance - #1 in a series
Prophetic Signs that we are in the End Times
The Earth Charter's Spiritual Agenda - #2 in a Series
The New Age Influence at the United Nations - #3 in a Series
Jesus is the Messiah Prophesied in the Old Testament
Like a Thief in the Night - The Rapture of the Church
The Coming War of Gog and Magog, an Islamic Invasion?
Muslim, Jewish, and Christian Prophecy Comparison
The Millennial Kingdom
There will be False Christs
Is the E.U. the Revived Roman Empire?
Should We Study End-Time Prophecy?
Apostasy and the Laodicean Dilemma
Christian Tracts
Newsletter
What We Believe
Our Mission
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Contender Ministries highly recommends Dr. Gary Frazier's new book "It Could Happen Tomorrow - Future Events That will Shake the World".  This is a must read for every Christian, and will be an invaluable guide to the end-times for anyone interested in Bible prophecy.

 

This book will not only inform you, it will inspire you and challenge you to increased evangelistic consciousness, greater missionary concern, and a desire to live a holy life in an unholy age.
    - Tim Lahaye, co-author of the New York Times Bestselling Series Left Behind

What Can I Do?


 

Contender Ministries


 

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,…” – Matthew 28:19

Some Christians read the words of the great commission and panic.  They feel woefully inadequate, and not up to the task.  “I’m not a great theologian,” they might say. “I’m not an educated apologist, or a great speaker.”  They focus on their human weaknesses, and the job of an evangelical disciple seems daunting.  Take, for example, the following email we received from Gene (last name withheld):

I am too old to have the learning necessary to "argue" for the Gospel in an evangelical way.  I don't view myself capable to formulate answers to questions in a way that would give me any credibility.  I might end up looking like a fool instead of accomplishing accurate dissipation of the WORD.  Also.........I haven't lived the life that would testify to any sincerity on my part. Have you advice for me?

Gene expressed some fairly common reservations.  There is a wonderful, hopeful answer for Gene though, and for all those that share his concerns. 

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW

First of all, let me address Gene’s concern about the life he had lived.  In another email, he said that he was “ruing a wasted life.”  As a new Christian, the wasted life we once lived passes away and becomes irrelevant.  In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul said, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”  Very few of us have reason to be proud of how we lived when we didn’t walk with God.  But we must never allow regrets about our past to keep us from living for Christ in the present and working for a wondrous future.   Satan will often use guilt to keep us from contending for the faith.  We cannot give him that ground.  What’s important is not how we lived, but rather, how we live now.  Such a change can be a powerful testimony as we share the gospel with others. 

Gene feels inadequate when it comes to being able to make an educated case for the truth of the gospel.  We all have different strengths and different weaknesses.  Jesus wants us to use whatever gifts we have been given to fulfill our mission.  We’re not all great theologians.  Very few of us are educated apologists like Josh McDowell or C.S. Lewis.  We aren’t all great orators with the ability to uplift and inspire with the spoken word.  The good news is that we don’t have to be any of those things!

Throughout history, God has often chosen the least among us to show His power.  He magnifies Himself through weak and imperfect people.  Abraham was too old; Moses wasn’t a great speaker; Jonah kept trying to run the wrong way; and Paul was a legalistic persecutor of Christ’s disciples.  In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, Paul shared what the Lord told him in response to Paul’s lamenting of his weaknesses, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Paul was not a giant of a man.  His real strength came from his faith in the power of God.  Paul became the most renowned missionary in history simply because he submitted himself to God’s calling, and trusted in Him to use Paul to accomplish the work of a missionary. 

Gene’s best method for sharing the gospel may not come in the form of presenting apologetic “proofs” for the accuracy and divine inspiration of scripture.  He will likely not discuss higher criticism of the New Testament manuscripts, or engage in discussions of biblical exegesis.  He doesn’t even have to know what “exegesis” means!  Christian apologist Josh McDowell shared how he helped lead his father to Christ.  He did not do so through an intellectual study of scripture or lessons in Koine Greek.  He simply shared with his father how Christ had changed his life, and transformed him from an angry and hate-filled person into a new man full of love, compassion, and forgiveness.  Every Christian has a testimony of how Jesus Christ transformed their life.  This testimony can make a very powerful witness! 

What can you do?  First, pray frequently.  Through prayer, the Holy Spirit can reveal to you your gifts, and inspire you in ways to use them.  Second, study the Bible every day.  This is especially important for newer Christians, and it’s vitally important for all.  Before learning about the teachings of false religions, we must make sure we’re firmly grounded in the true gospel of the Bible.  With an intimate familiarity with true doctrine, it is easier to identify a counterfeit gospel.  Nobody needs to study the unbiblical doctrines of Mormonism, Catholicism, Hinduism, etc., but we are all required to study the true Scriptures.  Romans 15:4 says, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”  2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God­breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”  Among the components of the “full armor of God,” we are instructed to take up the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).  There is no substitute for Bible study.

Serving God does not always require travel to far off lands, or street evangelism.  It can, and we have to be ready to follow where the Lord leads us, but there are other ways to serve.  First, and foremost, “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” (1 Peter 3:15).  This does not mean you have to be prepared to discuss theological issues such as Calvinism and eschatology, but you do need to be ready to share God’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ.  You need to be ready to explain how Christ has made you a new creation and transformed your life. 

Second, find ways to use your gifts, skills, and talents.  If you’re good with a hammer or a pipe wrench, you could volunteer to do home repairs for the elderly or needy in your church or community.  If you’re a good cook, you could prepare food for church functions and outreach activities, or prepare meals for shut-ins.  If you’re good with children, the thankless jobs of church nursery attendant or Sunday School teacher always await the willing.  God never demands anything of you that you can’t give.  He does demand that you use the gifts He has given you in service to Him. 

Finally, when the opportunity arises to share your faith, seize it!  Do not run from the occasion out of fear or lack of confidence.  In Luke 21:15, Jesus said, “For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.”  Have faith in that promise, and boldly share what you know about our wonderful Lord and Savior.  That will be the greatest gift you could ever give – the news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  And may God bless you as you use what you have and know in response to the great commission!

 



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