Monday, July 30, 2007

He Grabbed the Horns

He Grabbed the Horns! - By Ray Comfort

Recently, Kirk Cameron and I finished a shoot for the third season of our television program. It was called, "Where Has the Passion Gone?" and looked at why we have lost passion in our preaching. The teaching is based on a portion of Scripture where King Saul threatened to cut a yoke of oxen in pieces. As we spoke, we stood behind a small bull that had a big hump on its back, and long horns on its head.

When the filming was over, for some reason, I asked the cowboy who was holding the animal if it could be ridden. Moments later, I quietly slipped onto its back. Suddenly the bull took off, and I instinctively grabbed the horns. The "ride" only lasted for a few seconds, but it was caught on camera. Both Kirk and I were still wired up for sound, and the amusing thing about the clip isn't me on a bull, but that Kirk was incredulous at what he had just seen. He kept saying, "He grabbed the horns! He grabbed the horns!" He said it four times.

My justification for taking the bull by the horns was that I had no choice. There was no rope around the beast's belly for me to grab, and the only other choice was its ears, and I'm not that stupid. Sure.

If you do an Internet search on the ten top fears of humanity, the odds are you won't find that bull-riding is up there. You will instead find fears of scientists regarding the changing climate, the top ten fears of salespeople, fears of job seekers, fears people have of the future, the fear of snakes, of spiders, heights, etc.

But there is one fear of which little is said. It is the "fear of man." There is one terrifying beast that is synonymous with that particular trepidation. It's called "evangelophobia." Just the thought of seeking the lost terrifies most of us. It makes our palms sweat, and our heart palpitate. If you have those symptoms, you are not alone.

Why did I (an intelligent clear-thinking human being) get onto the back of a bull? It was because I had been standing with it for about 30 minutes and I knew that I had some sort of authority over it. Strong though it was, when it got spooked a couple of times during filming, I was able to pull it back into position. So when I got onto the animal, I had that knowledge tucked into my mind. Of course, I could have been gored by its horns, but I didn't think too deeply about it, because if I wanted to ride the bull, I had to take the risk.

Okay, let's study the beast of evangelism. Let's see if you can master it. What are your fears? Are you afraid of being gored by an atheist, or being thrown by some question, and ending up bruised and humiliated? Here then is some knowledge for you to tuck into your mind. You can get on top of the animal. If you learn to do what Jesus did, and address the sinner's conscience, you will be in charge and steer the beast any way you want. To learn how to do this, you can either listen to free CD's on or you can get the book, The Way of the Master.

While overcoming evangelophobia will give you a deep satisfaction, there is a far higher motive for doing so. People are going to Hell, and they must be warned. If there was no Hell, I wouldn't bother pouring my heart out to strangers I meet, and each Saturday afternoon passionately preaching open air at the base of the Huntington Beach pier. If there was no Hell, like the rest of this world, I would get on with my own life and the pursuit of happiness.

In our program script Kirk and I talk about the fact that the world speaks more about Hell than the Church. They casually use phrases like all Hell broke loose, like a bat out of Hell, there will be Hell to pay, just for the Hell of it, and someone being as mad as a Hell. When something is hopeless, they say, he doesn't have a hope in Hell. Then there's the road to Hell, which is paved with good intentions, come Hell or high water, until Hell freezes over. They casually speak of how sure Hell is, with as sure as Hell, and of course, when they are angry, they tell each other to go to Hell.

In contrast, most of the contemporary Church (which is commanded to "warn" every man) is afraid to even mention the word, for fear of offending the world.

Think about the rich man of whom Jesus spoke. Much to his horror, he died and found himself in Hell, and being in torments and anguish of soul he pleaded with Abraham to send Lazarus to speak to his loved ones--"that he may testify to them, lest they come to this place of torment," (Luke 16:28). Imagine if Lazarus did actually go to the rich man's loved ones in answer to the rich man's prayer, but instead of warning them about the reality of a terrifying Hell, he avoided the subject and spoke of the purpose of the coming Savior as being one, not to save from wrath, but to give purpose, peace, love and fulfillment. What a terrible betrayal! Yet that's the message of most within the Church, and the result is that its hearers don't therefore repent to flee from wrath. That means that they will be false converts and end up going to Hell themselves.

Of late, in an effort to help awaken casual sinners, I have resorted to asking if they like it when their dentist's drill hits a raw nerve. No one does. I tell them that God is so angry at sin, He says that He will give them "tribulation and anguish," (Romans 2:9) forever. "Anguish" is a word we rarely use. The dentist's drill hitting a raw nerve is called "acute pain." It's not up there with "anguish." Forgive the dreadful analogy, but "anguish" is perhaps the word that would be used to describe the emotion of a loving parent who finds his beloved little daughter lying dead at the bottom of a swimming pool.

We live in an insane world. God offers them everlasting life through the Gospel, and they argue about it. They resist Heaven as though it was Hell itself. He offers them "pleasure forevermore," and they choose "anguish" for eternity. There is no analogy to describe such insanity. But if we love them, we must overcome our fears and plead with a sin-loving world to repent and turn to the Savior. If you call yourself a Christian... if the love of God dwells within you, you have no choice. Please, while there is still time--take a risk, and grab the bull by the horns.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Which is worse?

Killing babies in the womb or dog fighting?

It seems all the attention these days is on Michael Vick and his dog fighting indictments. Protesters by the hundreds are lined up outside the courthouse to voice their outrage over Vick on his monstrous evil inhumane sport of fighting dogs.

Is fighting dogs monstrous, evil and inhumane? Yup, you bet it is. If Vick is found guilty he should serve the max the law will permit.

But I'm almost willing to bet the mortgage (if I was a betting man) that the majority of the folks who are beside themselves over this practice of fighting dogs are the same ones who say its a 'womans right to choose' to murder her baby.

Where are our priorities folks??

God help us.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Soldiers of the Cross, Be Bold

From Mark Cahill -

“ Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life;that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. ” 2 Timothy 2:3,4

Soldiers of the Cross, Be Bold

As I write this, there was just an ambush in Iraq where numerous soldiers were killed and three soldiers were kidnapped. They have now sent out over 4000 soldiers to try and locate these three soldiers. The soldiers know that time is of the essence. They know what happens when you get kidnapped by the enemy. Being used for propaganda is possible. Torture is possible. Death is possible. Death by beheading is possible.Soldiers know that training is one thing, but being on the front lines is a whole other ballgame. That is when it gets the most serious and where all your training comes into play. I have met soldiers and pilots who wanted to be on the front lines and not back home, because they wanted to put all their training to use. They wanted to protect our country, and they wanted to be there with their friends protecting each other.

Now let’s ask ourselves a question. Do we as Christians want to be on the front lines, or do we want to be back “home” so to speak? Would we rather spend our time in the bar sections of our towns reaching the lost, or back at our churches hearing a sermon? Would we rather be on a college campus discussing eternal truth with students and professors, or would we rather be hanging out with another Christian at their house having “fellowship”?As a good soldier of the Lord Jesus Christ, we should want to be on the front lines. We should want to be out there reaching the lost. But there is danger on the front line. That is where you can be laughed at. That is where you can be mocked. That is where a co-worker might see you. That is where you can be spit at. That is where you can be arrested. But truthfully, that is where the excitement is. Soldiers will say the same thing. Training is one thing, but the adrenalin picks up a ton when you are right there with the enemy. And, by the way, you can’t be afraid of the enemy. You have to attack the enemy in order to win.Below are the lyrics to the hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers.” Enjoy, and be challenged.

Onward Christian soldiers! Marching as to war,With the cross of Jesus, Going on before,Christ the royal Master, Leads against the foe;Forward into battle, See His banners go!Like a mighty army, Moves the Church of God;Brothers, we are treading, Where the saints have trod;We are not divided, All one body we,One in hope and doctrine, One in charity.Crowns and thrones may perish, Kingdoms rise and wane,But the Church of Jesus, constant will remain;Gates of hell can never, 'gainst that Church prevail;We have Christ’s own promise, and that cannot fail.Onward, then, ye people, Join our happy throng.Blend with ours your voices In the triumph song;Glory, laud, and honor, Unto Christ the King;This through countless ages, Men and angels sing.

I wonder if many of us can even utter a song like that. We are so comfortable in our current state of Christianity even as the world dies and goes to hell. How will I ever be able to look the bold saints of God in the eye when I won’t even get on the front lines where I live?

Isaiah 51:12 says,

“ I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; ”

We do not need to fear man as we serve the Lord. All the men that we are afraid of will die. They will go to the grave. They will have a one-on-one meeting with God. We do not need to fear men, but have a righteous fear of God. Make sure this is the boldest summer you have had yet in reaching the lost. We hopefully have our training from our churches, and now it is time to get on the front lines in your town wherever lost people are. Pray for our soldiers that are on the front lines. And if they can be on the front lines this summer in a war, so can we be on the front lines as a good soldier of Jesus Christ!

Until the nets are full,

Mark Cahill