Thursday, August 18, 2011
From time to time, in my evangelistic ventures, I come across a lot of people who want to or even try to reason out the salvation that we’ve got in Christ Jesus. They want to understand with their mind why they should be born again. They want to reason out facts and figures that would convince them beyond any reasonable doubt that Jesus Christ is what He claims to be. I’ve thought about this matter over and over again and sometimes even come to the conclusion that they have the right to have this information in order to accept the Lord Jesus. But one day after the Holy Spirit ministered to me deeply during a moment of contemplation on the Word, I could only come up with one thing: The whole idea about salvation is a miracle! Everything about the Christian life is simply supernatural! It is impossible for the unrenewed mind to grasp spiritual or supernatural things. How can you explain that God has a Son having not married? How can you explain the fact that a virgin could give birth to a holy child without sin or any defect? How can you explain that the Almighty Holy Ghost tabernacles in the body of a human being? Please stop the search and accept the Truth (Reality) from God’s Word and simply live! We that are saved may be able to narrate how we got saved (our salvation experience) but can never explain why we got saved! The Holy Spirit worked on our hearts to show us the need to be saved, that’s all we can tell. This is the reason why those looking for reasons to be saved might never get saved and may end up dying in their sin and go to hell to spend eternity with the devil who has given them the reason to embark on an endless and unrealistic quest. It’s too expensive a thing to do. How unfortunate! I don’t want to go to hell because I am a profession who wouldn’t accept the Truth until I understand it. Sometimes school too could be a problem! We can know too much to accept the basics and simplicity of things to our own hurt.
One thing every believer must understand is that the successful work of evangelism can never be accomplished through logic but in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Lord never sent us to convince the world of anything. We were sent to preach – declare, announce, proclaim, shout out – the Gospel (Good news of the Kingdom) to a dying world and to leave the conviction to the Holy Spirit. It is very important you understand this because if you don’t, the work of evangelism will continue to be a mystery to you. Someone said to me the other day “I have become scared of evangelising lately.” As I talked with this fellow, I discovered that he was already stepping out of the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was trying to understand the Gospel through philosophy! You see, we live in an age when people want to attempt to explain everything logically even spiritual things which could only be received in the spirit. This becomes an obstacle and leads to delusion and deception.
I Peter 3:15 says “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” This doesn’t mean that you should try to logically explain the Gospel to people. Notice, it says for you to sanctify the Lord in your heart which means that you must have a personal conviction of the Lord and His workings in your life as you expose yourself to His Word having been saved. Then it says for you to prepare yourself to explain to every man that asks you the reason for your HOPE. Notice again that it didn’t say ‘a reason for your believing in Jesus.’ But it says ‘a reason for your hope’ which means, having been saved, as you study the Word you’d be able to see through the eyes of the Spirit the hope we have in Christ just like Apostle Paul prayed for the Ephesian Church (See Eph. 1:15-18). We must prepare ourselves – on purpose – to tell the world the Hope we have in Christ. That hope is only in Christ. Glory to God! The world is hopeless and helpless without Christ. This should concern the saint and push us to reach out passionately to a dying world. The Lord has given to the Church a Gospel that contains the Hope that the world needs. Yes, real hope is encapsulated in the Gospel we preach! We must shout it on the roof top – all over the world – that there is hope in no other but Christ Jesus who suffered and died for the sins of the world! This is good news to the hopeless. This is good news to the helpless. This is good news to the disillusioned. Glory to God! We’ve got the message of hope for the world. This is the message that produces the miracle of salvation to all who receive it! It’s the message that works. That’s why we must, of necessity, declare it with excitement and everything inside us! That’s why we must intercede for the lost with every passion in our hearts knowing that until they receive this message of hope, it cannot work for them. They don’t need to stay out there wondering what it is all about. They need to come into the fold to understand what this thing is all about. They will be eternally changed by this miracle-producing Gospel of Hope in Christ Jesus! PREACH THE WORD!
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
We are a people of prophecy! The Lord is pouring out His Spirit upon all flesh in an unprecedented way all over the world just as He promised long ago. We are seeing prophecies fulfilled, without any questions, before our very eyes. What a day we live in! The Holy Ghost is simply taking over everything and everywhere! Are you in the flow yet? The outpouring of the Holy Spirit is for everyone – Believers and non-believers alike! It is important you understand that. This outpouring is for all but it will have different effects in the lives of these 2 classes of beings – The Believer and non-believer.
What is the outpouring of the Spirit? Please understand that this is different from the ‘down pouring’ of the Holy Spirit. The down pouring of the Holy Spirit refers to His arrival on earth which has already happened as we see in Acts 2. The Holy Spirit came on that very day and has been on earth ever since then – He hasn’t gone back! The Holy Spirit is very much in the earth NOW! The Outpouring of the Holy Spirit refers to the spread of the influence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit didn’t just come for the Disciples or the believers at the Upper Room. He came to fill the whole earth! You see, the Holy Spirit is everywhere but He is not manifesting everywhere. He only manifests where He is welcome and reverenced. But He wants to manifest everywhere! Thank God, we’ve got a prophecy to that effect. We’re seeing more of His manifestations everyday! When the Holy Spirit is poured out there would be Divine order, salvation, the miraculous, restoration and a lot more! The Outpouring of the Holy Spirit always precedes the flow of the Supernatural. The Outpouring simplifies the task of taking the Gospel into all the nations of the world! Remember, “…Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6). The Gospel we’ve be called to preach is not in Words alone but in the demonstration of the Holy Ghost and power! (I Cor. 4:20).
The Lord declared His intention to flood the earth with His Spirit through the Prophet Joel in the Old Covenant Book of Joel 2:28,29,32 “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, As the LORD has said, Among the remnant whom the LORD calls.” (NKJV). This is amazing! Let me briefly describe from this Scripture The Effects of the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit:
1. “Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy” – To prophesy here means to declare or preach with power. That means believers will declare the Word of God with an unusual flow of the Anointing of the Holy Spirit (1Thess. 1:5).
2. “Your old men shall dream dreams” – Of course, you know this is not referring to dreaming at night. It means old folks would hope for more. They won’t let go until all their dreams are accomplished. They’d finish well and strong!
3. “Your young men shall see visions.” – That means young men (and women) would get a vision for their lives. They’d simply be purpose-driven. They would not just be ambitious about anything but about God’s world vision.
4. “whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved.” – This refers to the unsaved! The outpouring of the Holy Spirit will result in their coming to know The Lord as Lord and Saviour – A great harvest of Souls everywhere! Isaiah 59:19 says “Then at last they will respect and glorify the name of the Lord throughout the world. For he will come like a flood tide driven by the breath of the Lord.” (NLT).
5. “For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance” – This means that the Church will focus on the Gospel and in reaching the world for the Lord. The Church will simply become the House of Salvation. Hallelujah!
It would be impossible for all these things to happen without the Outpouring of the Spirit. Isaiah 32:15-17 says “Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, And the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, And the fruitful field is counted as a forest.” We can see that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit will be the biggest event before the coming of the Lord. I want you to understand that all these things are already happening in the earth, it is only increasing on a daily basis. Those who walk with the Holy Spirit, always yielding to Him, will be at the fore front of these prophetic manifestations.
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit produces a holy flame in the life of the Believer. The flame is the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in and through a believer that produces a burning passion (love) for the lost and the desire to reach out to them! The Holy Spirit is the source of the flame! The outpouring of the Spirit will also produce an unusual hunger for God in the hearts of the saints. It will produce revival in the lives of believers. The Outpouring of the Spirit is not for fun, to feel good or have some goose bumps – it’s for the harvest! It is simply for a Jesus revolution! It brings a revelation of Jesus everywhere! We can ask for it in prayer for a particular area or for a person or group of persons and we must act in faith to see it happen!
I want to emphasize the fact that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit will produced a renewed spirit of evangelism among Believers with Supernatural manifestation to bear proof of the Gospel we preach. It is intended to multiply the impact of Jesus Christ on earth. What do you think would happen if there are 100 Jesuses in your town? We’d simply run the devil out of business! The Holy Ghost wants to duplicate Jesus Christ everywhere and right now He’s working at it, preparing men and women like you and me. Are you ready for this? Romans 8:19 says “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” (KJV). There is just one more word for you – MANIFEST THE SPIRIT!
“Is it not yet a very little while Till Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, And the fruitful field be esteemed as a forest? In that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book, And the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.” (Isaiah 29:17,18. NKJV).