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Remembering the Persecuted Church & Being a 'World' Christian | Classics Series

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The following blog is the newest installment in our Classics Serieswhere we revisit posts from days gone by. This blog was originally posted in July of 2014.

“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you are also in the body.”

Hebrews 13:3

We have it good here in America. We are comfortable and rarely face opposition for our allegiance to Jesus Christ except for the occasional raised eyebrow. However, let not our security and comforts lull us into a forgetful stupor of our fellow Christians who don’t have our freedoms. We will probably have to work harder and be more creative to pray and pray knowledgeably. To connect more with others who share the same Lord while not like us in tongue, location, or skin color, we must have a shift in our perspective. The perspective I’m talking about is thinking more universally about our faith than locally. We are residents of a city, members of a local church, but rarely does it cross our minds that we are members of the one anothers in Laos, Chile, Hungary, Yemen, Uganda, China, or Malawi. We must remember that the body of Christ transcends borders and time. Eternally speaking, we have more in common with that Christian family in Indonesia, eking out an existence on rice farming, than with some of our neighbors.

We must not wait for the pain of persecution to arrive in force on our homeland to be mistreated for our faith. We must be ‘world’ (NOT worldly) Christians. We must strive to know our brothers and sisters out there and feel the pain of their gospel suffering as if it were happening to us.

Get informed by signing up for free information from Voice of the Martyrs or Christian Aid. Subscribe to World Magazine. Put down the fiction every now and then and read a good Christian biography of one of the saints of old. This will encourage you in your walk of faith now. Give what you can. Withhold a luxury every now and then out of solidarity for those persecuted who could use the few bucks. Expand your vision now for the glorious kingdom that King Jesus is building worldwide.

Posted by Will Pareja with

What Faithful Preaching Should Be | Classics Series

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If you’re reading this, then there’s a fair chance that you’ve listened to your share of sermons. You may even be a connoisseur of sermons. So what is it that we should be expecting in a sermon? What does faithful biblical preaching look like? And what is the point of the sermon? 

Throughout the Scriptures, God’s faithful servants are called to speak what God has said, not adding or subtracting to his word. For example:

You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you.    

Deuteronomy 4:2

Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.           

Proverbs 30:5-6

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.    

Revelation 22:18-19     

Jesus himself warned the Pharisees of the danger of invalidating or nullifying God’s Word by our own traditions (Mark 7:13). This is the danger when the point of the sermon is different from the point of the passage. Jesus said that his teaching was like that of every faithful teacher of God when he told them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me” (John 7:16).

Because we believe that the Bible is the Word of God, the faithful preacher’s job is to speak what God has spoken. This means the main point of the passage should be the sermon’s main point. And so the point of the sermon is to expose the meaning of what God has spoken, making it the point of the sermon and applying it to life by showing its relevance to life today.

Posted by Scott Polender with

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