I have been witnessing in the Strip District in Pittsburgh this month. The Strip District is a location with lots of outdoor vendors just outside of downtown Pittsburgh. There was a ton of people down at the Strip District to witness to. My knees have been doing very well, so I was able to walk around down the Strip District to hand out tracts. One of the reasons, I had not been down there for a couple of years is you have to walk around to hand out tracts or you get kicked off the sidewalk by the police. Lots of people took tracts this month. I always love that this building says Jesus is Lord and King. I have taken this picture that you see above several times. I wonder how many people ever look up and see this on the building. With everything going on we need to remember that Jesus is Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
Students are arriving on the college campuses this week. I am very excited to start witnessing to them again. A few of the students were back on campus the last 2 weeks, but many more moved into the dorms this weekend. I have decided to teach through “The Doctrine of the Christian Life” by John Frame. I wish I had found this book earlier in my walk. I have not read much of it yet, but what I have read of it has been wonderful. It will be important in these coming days to live a Holy life for Christ. We need to stand firm in truth. The book goes through ethics both Christian and non Christian. I love that this book covers the classic philosophers.
“Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.” John 15:20 (NASB)
If reading the news and watching all that is going on right now is very difficult for you, please remember it is not flesh and blood that we struggle against. ” For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Eph 6:12(NASB)
In these times we should ponder the words of Jesus. “Then Peter came up and said to Him, “Lord, how many times shall my brother sin against me and I still forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy-seven times.” Matt 18:21-22 (NASB) We need to forgive those that will do us harm in the future.
“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they will not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants on account of Jesus.” 2 Cor 4:3-5 (NASB) Ray Comfort tells a story of a blind man walking toward a cliff. The right thing to do is to stop him from going off the cliff. It would be silly to get mad at the blind man for walking off toward the cliff since he is blind. In the same way, the world that we live in is full of blind people. When we Christians are persecuted the people that are persecuting us will think they are doing a good thing. They will think they are helping others, but really they are blind. So when you are persecuted forgive them because they do not know what they are doing. They are blind.
““These things I have spoken to you so that you will not be led into sin. 2 They will ban you from the synagogue, yet an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering a service to God. 3 These things they will do because they have not known the Father nor Me. 4 But these things I have spoken to you, so that when their hour comes, you may remember that I told you of them. However, I did not say these things to you at the beginning, because I was with you.” John 16:1-4 (NASB) I believe he was talking about times that have passed already, but I think the verse still gives insight. Those who will persecute us in the future will believe they are doing good. We will have to forgive them because they are blind.
Take up your cross daily and die to yourself. The antidote to the fear of death and the life coming is to die daily to serving yourself and your desires and live for Christ alone. ” Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what good will it do a person if he gains the whole world, but forfeits his soul? Or what will a person give in exchange for his soul?” Matt 15:24-26 (NASB)
Do not cling to the things of this world. Decide that Jesus is enough. This is not our home. We are passing through and cannot take anything from this life with us. If you are not clinging to the things of this world, then what can they threaten you with. They cannot take your soul. “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” Matt 10:28 (ESV)
Gather in small local groups of trusted Christians that you can build one another up. A place you can speak the truth, remembering the true history. A place you can speak with words that have real meaning. Monthly and/or weekly gatherings of Christians will be very important. Gather in your homes and gain strength from each other. “And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecc 4:12 (ESV)
We need to stay in God’s word, memorize it and trust in him. God has made us for such a time like this.
“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,” Eph 1:11(ESV)
“Who has spoken and it came to pass,
unless the Lord has commanded it?
38 Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
that good and bad come?” Lam 3:37-38 (ESV)