Today's Word for Pastors...
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
Today's Preaching Insight...
Evangelistic Invitations Require Added Clarity
In an interview, Greg Laurie points out the need to clarify the evangelistic invitation. He says: "People are certainly more biblically illiterate today. Consequently, I explain terms and stories more than I would have 20 years ago. For example, ‘you need to repent and come to Christ tonight. By that, I mean you must turn from your sin and put your faith and trust in Jesus as your Savior and Lord. The word means that you cling to him and rely on him.' I define my terminology as I go, often explaining it two or three ways so the congregation knows what I mean.
"Then, I make sure it's clear. I repeat the invitation. Then I repeat it again. Often I initiate the invitation at the beginning of the message by offering some introductory remarks: ‘Tonight I'm going to give you an opportunity to come to Christ. I'm going to invite you to get up out of your seat, walk down this aisle and make a stand to put your faith in him. So think about what you're going to do.' Halfway into the message I may say, ‘And that's why I'm going to ask you to get up out of your seat in a few moments and make a decision concerning Jesus Christ.' That way, when I get to the actual invitation they know its been coming." (from PreachingToday Sermons newsletter, 10/23/02)
In his "Breakpoint" column, Charles Colson observes: "For nearly three decades, Indonesia's Christians have endured one outrage after another at the hands of their Muslim neighbors. In 1975, Indonesia invaded and annexed East Timor, killing hundreds of thousands of East Timorese Christians. Twenty years later, as East Timor gained its independence, the government again did nothing as more Christians were slaughtered.
"In the mid-nineties, Indonesia's Christian Chinese were made the scapegoat for the country's economic woes. Again, the government stood by as Christian businesses, homes, and churches were looted and burned. And in the last few years, an Islamic militia, the Laksar Jihad, has declared war on Christians living on the islands of Sulawesi and the Moluccas. The militia, which includes members from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Albania, and Bosnia, has attacked Christian villages and forced Christians to either convert to Islam or be beheaded.
"And Indonesia's government has been joined in its silence by Western governments — until, that is, the victims were Western tourists."
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