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Highlights from Coffee Shop Conversations: Book Writer's Club

Do you want to write a book? Many people do, but very few are able to get it done for various reasons. Let that not be your story. Learn tips and tricks for effectively putting your thoughts on paper in a cohesive, continuous manner. Work with a group of other writers who share the same goal.

Join our club at Coffee Shop Conversations. We'll be working together on our books this year. Bring your ideas, share it with the group and let's help each other write our books. Say goodbye to writer's block. If you're stuck, we'll help with ideas to move the book forward. Once the books are complete, we'll learn how to get our books published for free.

Date - Thursday February 9th, 2017

The Body Church
3015 Rainbow Dr,
Suite #142,
Building #3009,
Decatur, GA 30034

**Located in Building 3009 in South DeKalb Office Park, 3015 Rainbow Drive, Decatur, GA 30034**

1 Corinthians 12:12(NLT) - The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.

Sundays - 9:00 AM

www.TheBodyChurchInc.org

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Decatur Community Workshops: Celibacy - Taking The Path To Sexual Healing

This video provides highlights from our recent workshop "Celibacy". This event was a production of Decatur Community Workshops and Singles Point of View. It was hosted at The Body Church, 3009 Rainbow Drive, Suite #142, Decatur, GA 30034.

Our faith-based group hosts monthly workshops in the Decatur area that are free, interactive and open to the surrounding community. Topics include leadership, personal finances, investing, professional networking, career advancement, real estate, grant writing and many more. We are open to suggestions and are always interested in welcoming new people. If you love to learn new things especially for free, this group is for you. For more info, visit www.meetup.com/decaturcommunityworkshops or www.singlespointofview.com

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Understanding The End Times - The Islamic Antichrist

Every 2nd Friday at 7:00 PM, The Body Church hosts the workshop "Understanding The End Times". In this session we answer questions about heaven and the resurrection.

For more information visit our website at www.thebodychurchinc.org

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Confessions of a Young Atlanta Pastor: Lesson 7 - The Buck Stops With The Pastor

Confessions of a Young Atlanta Pastor: Lesson 7 - The Buck Stops With The Pastor

Two years ago, my wife, Angel and I put our pride, reputation and comfortable lives on the line to answer the call of God to start The Body Church in Atlanta, GA. In this blog series we highlight the top twelve lessons we learned and are still learning along the journey. For the full list of all twelve points, click the following link, "Confessions of a Young Atlanta Pastor - Top Twelve Lessons Learned".

Today, we highlight the seventh point; "7) If you don't take personal responsibility for the success of your ministry, do not expect anyone else to do so.

For the previous point click the following link; "Confessions of a Young Atlanta Pastor: Lesson 6 - People's Giving Reveals Their Hearts"

Luke 12:42-48(NLT) - And the Lord replied, “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. But what if the servant thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? The master will return unannounced and unexpected, and he will cut the servant in pieces and banish him with the unfaithful. “And a servant who knows what the master wants, but isn’t prepared and doesn’t carry out those instructions, will be severely punished. But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.

Leadership is more about responsibility than it is about authority. On the most basic level, when people assign a leader to a task they make that person ultimately responsible for getting it done. When things go well, good leaders are rewarded but are still expected to share the glory with everyone else involved who helped them make it happen. On the other hand, when things go wrong, leaders are expected to take the blame for themselves. Good leaders know that they don't get to pass blame on to their team without implicating themselves. Even when it's not really their fault they can't throw other people under the bus to save themselves. This is even more pronounced when it comes to spiritual things.

The leader of The Church is Jesus Christ which makes Him ultimately responsible for His people. However, pastors are low to mid-level managers given the responsibility by Jesus to lead other servants in the local church. When things go right at a church assembly, first and foremost God gets all the glory. Once God gets the glory, everyone else who serves in the ministry deserves appreciation for the part they've played including the pastor. We should all understand that.

Running a church successfully takes a team of dedicated, selfless individuals whose hearts are submitted to The Will of The Lord. However, when things go wrong in the church, blame is not shared equally. Those who are in positions of leadership, especially the pastors are judged more strictly. People don't look around at each other when things are falling apart, they look up to the leader to do something. Not just that, if that leader is a mid-level manager like pastors are in The Body of Christ, upper management, namely Jesus Christ is looking down to that leader to take responsibility for his/ her assignment.

James 3:1(NLT) - Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.

I remember our first year as youth pastors. We planned our first youth conference at the church within a couple months and laid out the schedule for the entire team in advance. Everyone was excited. The first session took place on a Friday night. We arrived early, rehearsed all the roles and responsibilities with the team then anticipated smooth sailing through the weekend's proceedings. At 7:00 PM sharp the Friday night proceedings began. We promptly took our seats in the front and looked forward to enjoying the service with everyone else. At least, that's what we thought.

It didn't take long for things to start going wrong. I can hardly remember exactly what happened but I do remember how it felt. We just wanted to sink into our seats and pretend we were not involved. Then from across the room we could feel the eyes of our pastors. People were looking at them and they were looking at us. I remember that look because I saw it before. It's the same look my parents gave me when I had done something wrong. If a picture says a thousand words, that look said one million.

I looked at Angel, she looked at me and we both knew what we had to do. Get up and get to work. That day we learned a valuable lesson. We can't be in charge of a church department then expect to sit down and enjoy an event our department is putting on. We have to take up residence in the back of the church and quarterback the event to success. As the leaders we must take personal responsibility for our department's success. If that means running wild behind the scenes to ensure everything looks smooth to the public so be it. That's our job!

Hebrews 13:17(NLT) - Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.

This scripture is one of the main reasons why I was initially hesitant to become the pastor of a local church. Our job is to watch over the souls of the people God has assigned to us. Hence, God holds us accountable. That's why it hurts when members of our churches lose their way and walk outside of The Will of God. It's not just their problem. It's our problem. That's one reason why we pray for our members early in the morning each weekday. It's also why we don't just sing random songs for worship, preach random messages or carry out random initiatives at the church.

Everything we do at the church has a purpose. That's to ensure that the people assigned to us are successful in every area of their lives with special emphasis on the prosperity of their souls. So when people fail we feel like we fail. I remember dealing with a situation recently at my father's church where a lady at the church had lost her husband to senseless violence. As a fellow believer, I was so frustrated at seeing the pain on her face and feeling essentially powerless.

What happened to the angels who are supposed to lift us up lest we dash our foot against a stone? (Psalm 91) Why wasn't his life redeemed from destruction? (Psalm 103) Why didn't it work? The truth is that we don't know and I guess that's where the frustration came from. Pastors are supposed to have the answers. Yet, situations arise that we cannot explain. Hence, when we don't have the answers what are we supposed to say? Nothing! If people look to us and we have no idea what to do, we join them and look to God because He alone as the ultimate leader of The Church always knows what to do. In those instances we must remind ourselves and The Church that our ultimate leader will always be Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 11:28(NLT) - Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches.

We thank God for Apostle Paul's honesty. As a man, it's hard enough to be responsible for your family. As a pastor, it's hard enough to be responsible for your local church. Yet, he was an Apostle over more churches than any of us and successfully navigated the challenges. Every Epistle was a letter to a particular church or group of churches in a region. In each letter, he addressed the issues in that church including answering the difficult questions that were posed to him. He had to hear from God to create updated spiritual guidelines which were not already clearly outlined in the scriptures.

There was no television. There was no Internet. There was no radio. There were no telephones. There was no mobile communication. There was no air-travel. He had to write letters to the churches until he could physically get there by land or sea. Now consider how he felt when he received a letter from a church about some mess going on there. What was he supposed to do? Not a whole lot. He could pray and he could write. That's about it! Well, not really. This is Apostle Paul we're talking about here. He didn't need technology. He was a spiritual giant. Our cell phones, Internet, private jets, Facebook and "Face time" have nothing on the spirit realm. Check this out!

1 Corinthians 5:1-15(NLT) -I can hardly believe the report about the sexual immorality going on among you—something that even pagans don’t do. I am told that a man in your church is living in sin with his stepmother. You are so proud of yourselves, but you should be mourning in sorrow and shame. And you should remove this man from your fellowship. Even though I am not with you in person, I am with you in the Spirit. And as though I were there, I have already passed judgment on this man in the name of the Lord Jesus. You must call a meeting of the church. I will be present with you in spirit, and so will the power of our Lord Jesus. Then you must throw this man out and hand him over to Satan so that his sinful nature will be destroyed and he himself will be saved on the day the Lord returns.

WOW! While Paul was in Ephesus, he received a letter about some trouble in Corinth but the distance was no problem for him. He told the leaders of the church to call a meeting and both he and Jesus will show up to the meeting in the spirit. He said what? He didn't just say he would show up to the meeting he said that he was already there. Now that's some kind of Apostolic anointing. He dealt with the issues with boldness and spiritual authority. Put the man out! Paul said to hand the guy who was giving trouble over to Satan to destroy his body so his soul could be saved. That's bold!

Yes, he walked around with the daily burden of the churches on his shoulders but if he ever needed to take care of business he could handle it from wherever he was. Why? There is no time or distance in the spirit. From wherever he was in Ephesus, he passed judgment on the person in Corinth prior to the meeting and the meeting was just a formality. It was his personal responsibility to ensure that the churches he founded were successful. Therefore, he wasn't afraid to use the authority and power that Jesus gave him in the spirit to take care of his business.

Jeremiah 3:15(KJV) - And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

Pastors don't volunteer for the job. They are called out from among the people by God. They are then given to The Church as gifts to feed His people with knowledge and understanding. That is a big responsibility and can feel like a burden sometimes but God has given us His power to do it. Jesus said in Matthew 11:30 that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. It sure is when we carry it with His power. When we don't cast our cares on The Lord (1 Peter 5:7) and decide to carry it all in our own strength we get completely worn out and feel like giving up.

Ephesians 4:8-14(NLT) - That is why the Scriptures say, "When he ascended to the heights, he led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people.” Notice that it says “he ascended.” This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world. And the same one who descended is the one who ascended higher than all the heavens, so that he might fill the entire universe with himself. Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.

Don't take your apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers for granted. We are responsible for equipping God's people to do His work and build up The Church. We have to do this until the entire church is unified in the faith and all Christians have a proper understanding of Jesus. Most importantly, our assignment ensures that all Christians mature in The Lord and become more and more like Christ. When we carry out our calling, the immaturity that allows Christians to be vulnerable to false doctrines will be broken throughout The Body of Christ. It's a high calling but God has equipped us to carry it out.

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Confessions of a Young Atlanta Pastor - Top Twelve Lessons Learned

Confessions of a Young Atlanta Pastor

James 3:1(NKJV) - My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.

Aaahh church life. There's nothing like it. I turned 36 on Sunday, December 5th and can't help but reminisce on 36 years and 9 months of life in the church. That's right. I didn't just grow up in church. I was in there before I was even born. So over the years I've seen all kinds of interesting things within the hallowed halls of the church building.

However, none of those experiences could have prepared me for the experience I've received in the last two years since starting The Body Church in Atlanta with my wife, Angel. Thankfully, The Lord has been with us throughout the entire process and now you can too. In this new blog series we will share the valuable lessons we have been learning throughout this journey starting with the top twelve.

Top Twelve Lessons Learned From Starting A Church

1) Some people are with you until you correct or offend them.

2) Some people need to hear from The Lord to join your church but don't need to hear from The Lord to leave.

3) If you're starting from the ground up and your only example of church is a mega-church you will get your feelings hurt.

4) You know more about being a pastor when you're not an actual pastor.

5) When people act "over the top" eager about your church when they first show up, don't assume they'll stay long or even show up again.

6) There's a strong correlation between the consistency of people's giving and their commitment to your ministry.

7) If you don't take personal responsibility for the success of your ministry, do not expect anyone else to do so.

8) Some people will think your ministry is awesome, just for someone else.

9) If you're not sure that The Lord called you to be a pastor, quit now because you'll eventually do it anyway.

10) The easiest part of being a pastor is preaching. If that's all you want to do, preach on the street. It's less stressful.

11) Be careful who you trust. You will be shocked at who might be smiling in your face and talking behind your back.

12) Many people choose a church for what they can get from the church instead of what they can give.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is just the beginning. We are going to address each of these top twelve in detail in the coming weeks and you are going to love it. Why? Because you know it's the truth and it's about time that someone said it. Let's start with Lesson 1 today.

1) Some people are with you until you correct or offend them.

John 6:60-69(NLT) - Many of his disciples said, “This is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?” Jesus was aware that his disciples were complaining, so he said to them, “Does this offend you? Then what will you think if you see the Son of Man ascend to heaven again? The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But some of you do not believe me.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning which ones didn’t believe, and he knew who would betray him.) Then he said, “That is why I said that people can’t come to me unless the Father gives them to me.” At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?” Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God. ”

When Jesus taught parables, worked miracles, kissed babies, showed mercy to sinners and challenged the religious elite, He was popular. People were excited to be His followers and they believed He was The Messiah. They loved to eat the bread and fish that He multiplied. They lined up to receive their healing. They sat at His feet and loved every Word He said. He was everything they dreamed of. That was, until He offended them. Then all but the twelve disciples left Him because they could not accept what He had to say.

How do we know they left Jesus because they were offended? That's what Jesus said. "Does this offend you?" He asked. As a young pastor, I learned this lesson early and often. Some people are with you until you say something that offends them and instead of seeking to understand what you said or why you said it, they just leave. What's unfortunate is that the disciples who left Jesus let offense rob them of words that were Spirit and Life. That was their loss.

When Jesus noticed that those other disciples were becoming offended He shared some words of wisdom that should inform all of us.

a) If those simple words offended them, they could expect to be offended even more in the future.

b) Those were not merely human words, those were the life giving, spirit-filled Words of God and some still would not believe.

c) The deserters were free to go because the only people who were meant to be with Jesus were the ones assigned to Him by The Father.

What does that mean for us?

a) If people are offended by something we say today, don't think this will be the only time those people would be offended. You will be like a dog chasing his tail if you try to avoid offending them in the future.

b) Even when you give people The Word of God that doesn't mean they will believe it.

c) When people leave as a result of offense let them go. The only people meant to be with you are the people God assigns to you anyway.

Now pay close attention to the response Jesus received from The Twelve Disciples when He asked if they too would desert Him. Peter stood up and said three things;

a) To whom shall we go.

b) You have the Words of Life.

c) We know that You are The One God sent.

What does that mean to us?

a) People who belong to your church know that they are supposed to be there and can't go anywhere else. They understand that God sent them there and they can't just walk away when they are offended by The Word of God that you deliver. On the other hand, those people who believe they have options should go now because they are not called by God to be with you and will probably eventually leave anyway.

b) People who are supposed to be with you know the value of what you're saying. They can tell it's The Word of God and accept it as it is. They understand that you won't say anything that God didn't put on your heart. People who don't belong to your church think your messages are your opinion and everyone's entitled to their own.

c) People who belong to your church know that you are sent by God. They can recognize the anointing on your life and won't miss out on what God has for them through that anointing. People who can easily walk away have no idea who you are so they should go.

What's the bottom line?

i) Always preach like God Himself is speaking. Leave personal opinions for politicians.

1 Peter 4:10-11(NLT) - God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

ii) Expect some people to get offended when you preach because some Christians want to pick and choose what they hear at church.

II Timothy 4:1-5(NKJV) - I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

iii) People who are really called by God to be with you will receive The Word of God from you like God Himself came into The Church and said it.

1 Thessalonians 2:13(NLT) - Therefore, we never stop thanking God that when you received his message from us, you didn’t think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God—which, of course, it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe.

That's all for today. See you next time for Point 2.

2) Some people need to hear from The Lord to join your church but don't need to hear from The Lord to leave.

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Live Holy: Let your lifestyle testify of Jesus (Part Three)

Live Holy: Let your lifestyle testify of Jesus (Part Three)

Written By: Dr. Angel

Welcome to Part 17 of our current blog series; "Evangelism". Click here for Part 16, "How Do We Evangelize? - Live Holy: Let your lifestyle testify of Jesus (Part Two).".

I hear the Lord saying to us, “Enough, already!!! How long will you waver between two opinions? If God is God, serve God if this is not pleasing to you, serve another. For those who choose Me, please stand with holy hands lifted. Your families are dying, your marriages are dying, your friends are dying, and your nation is dying. Live holy so that your lifestyle testifies of Jesus Christ. It’s time to evangelize and save the lost!” - Word From The Lord

The second practical key of evangelism is to Live Holy: Let your lifestyle testify of Jesus. Today is a continuation from yesterday.

4.) God requires us to live holy. As Christians we need to get serious about living lives of holiness before God. His presence will only dwell in clean vessels. Who are we that God would choose to place His Holy Spirit in us? Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? Let’s do inventory and make sure that our temples are cleansed and kept holy for the presence of God.

Psalm 8:4 (NASB) – “What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NKJV) – “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

1 Kings 18:21 (NIV) – “Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him." But the people said nothing.”

1 Timothy 2:8 (NLT) “I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;”

Matthew 7:21-23 (NAS) “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.”

5.) The Holy Spirit helps us to live holy. Living lives of purity in today’s society is seen as unpopular and virtually impossible in the flesh. However, the HOLY SPIRIT Himself is living inside of us! The Holy Spirit will help us to live holy, to the degree that we chose to obey His promptings in our lifestyle decisions. We have a free will so it’s up to us to personally listen to the Spirit’s voice. We must choose His ways moment by moment.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT) – “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”

Joshua 24:14 (NASB) – "If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

Are you ready to live holy? Do not let your past sins or short comings stop you from evangelizing. The good news is God is merciful! Jesus paid the price for our sins with His powerful blood. He promises to forgive us and restore His children to purity. Repent, be cleansed, receive His forgiveness and get going with the Father’s business!

Isaiah 1:18 (NASB) - "Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.

1 John 1:9 (NASB) – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Today, Live Holy: Let your lifestyle testify of Jesus! Next, we will discuss the third practical key to evangelizing; Be concise: Know the Gospel & keep it simple

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One: Our Mission Unites Us

Date - Sunday, October 4th, 2015

The Body Church,

3015 Rainbow Dr,

Suite #142,

Building #3009,

Decatur, GA 30034

1 Corinthians 12:12(NLT) - The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ.

Sundays

10:00 AM - Worship With Prayer

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How Do We Evangelize? - Pray: Be led by The Holy Spirit

How Do We Evangelize? - Pray: Be led by The Holy Spirit

Written By: Dr. Angel

Welcome to Part 14 of our current blog series; "Evangelism". Click here for Part 13, "How Do We Evangelize?".

Over the next few weeks we will spend time reviewing a few practical keys to effective evangelism. The first practical key is "Pray: Be led by the Holy Spirit." One of the first things we need to do is pray for the Holy Spirit to guide us when evangelizing. The Holy Spirit is always speaking and He is eager to help us. If we invite the Holy Spirit to direct us to whom to speak, what to say, and where to go, we will never be disappointed. He knows who is ready to receive The Gospel, where they are, and when is the proper time to present it to them.

John 6:44(NKJV) - No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.

When we pray, the Holy Spirit will lead us to WHO we should share The Gospel with. Jesus is the one who draws people to Himself. Without Him drawing us, we would not have been willing to come to the cross on our own. He has promised that if He is lifted up from the earth, people would be drawn to Him. Every person may not be open to hearing The Gospel at exactly the same moment. Really?...so how can you know who to approach? 🙂

John 12:32 (NLT) – “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.”

Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to led you to who He wants you to minister to. The Holy Spirit knows who Jesus is drawing to Himself at any given time. Therefore, it is important for us to pray and depend on the Holy Spirit to show us who to approach with the message of The Gospel or a prophetic word.

When we pray, the Holy Spirit will lead us in WHAT we should say when sharing The Gospel. As previously stated, the Holy Spirit is always speaking and is desiring to move in the earth. He loves people and longs for them to hear God's voice through prophecy. The prophetic is such a precious and vital gift to the Body of Christ because it has the ability to change the entire trajectory of a person's life.Therefore, praying and seeking to hear the Holy Spirit concerning what to say when sharing The Gospel with unbelievers is paramount to effective evangelism. Revelation 19:10 reminds us that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

1 Corinthians 14:24-25 (NLT) – “But if all of you are prophesying, and unbelievers or people who don’t understand these things come into your meeting, they will be convicted of sin and judged by what you say. As they listen, their secret thoughts will be exposed, and they will fall to their knees and worship God, declaring, “God is truly here among you.”
Revelation 19:10 (NASB) "Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

When we pray, the Holy Spirit will lead us to WHERE we should go to share The Gospel. The Holy Spirit knows all things, including where we should go to share the gospel. For one it may be a mission field across the Atlantic Ocean, for another it may a mission field on a mountain top, and yet another it may a mission field in their neighborhood or workplace. Wherever you are seeking to go to share The Gospel, pray first. Hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and go only at the sound of His voice.

The Holy Spirit knows where He desires to send you and what you will encounter along the way. Trust in His leading and depend on His divine direction. Paul and Silas depended on the Holy Spirit’s leading for where to go and share The Gospel. There were several times when they had intentions of ministering in one region, but were diverted to another place by the divine intervention of The Holy Spirit.

Acts 16:4-10 (NLT) – “Then they went from town to town, instructing the believers to follow the decisions made by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in their faith and grew larger every day. Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia. Then coming, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia,but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there. So instead, they went on through Mysia to the seaport of Troas. That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” So we decided to leave for Macedonia at once, having concluded that God was calling us to preach the Good News there”.

Prayer is vital to the success of evangelism. We must rely on the Holy Spirit to lead us through the entire process. He will direct our steps by showing us who to approach, what to say to them, and where to go when we ask. Today, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you as you share The Gospel! You will not be disappointed if you obey the Spirit's voice.

Hebrews 3:15 (ESV) "As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion."

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How Do We Evangelize?

evangelize

Written By: Dr. Angel

Welcome to Part 13 of our current blog series; "Evangelism". Click here for Part 12, "Why Don't We Evangelize? - We Are Afraid of Persecution".

Romans 10:13-15(NKJV) - For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”

For the past few weeks, we have answered the questions of why do we evangelize and why don’t we evangelize? So far, I hope that this blog series has shed some light on the Do’s and Dont's of evangelism in light of the scriptures. If you need a review or to get caught up, you can access the first twelve articles in this Evangelism series using the link at the beginning of today's blog.

Mark 16:14 (NIV) - “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Jesus has given us the mandate to “Go”. Hence, each of us is called to fulfill “The Great Commission”. In response, has your heart said YES but your mind asked HOW? If so, this blog is for you!

As previously established, there are many opinions and motives for why Christians choose to evangelize. As well as, the many excuses or obstacles preventing Christians from evangelizing. As we move forward in our series of exploring the Dos, Don’ts, How’s and When’s of evangelism, we will now discuss; How do we evangelize?

Perhaps you feel you would evangelize more if you simply knew what to do. Over the next few weeks we will spend time reviewing a few practical keys on how to evangelize. I have identified seven keys that may help us to more effectively share our faith. Let’s prayerfully review these seven keys for evangelizing, in light of the scriptures.

These keys include:

1. Pray: Be led by the Holy Spirit

2. Live Holy: Let your lifestyle testify of Jesus

3. Be Concise: Know the Gospel & keep it simple

4. Sola Scriptura: Stick to the Word of God

5. Be Relevant: Connect with people where they are

6. Be Personal: Share YOUR testimony

7. Stay Focused: Avoid theological debates.

Get ready! I know God will speak to us and give us wisdom along this journey. Tomorrow, we will discuss our first principle of evangelism; "Pray: Be led by the Holy Spirit."

James 1:5 (NIV) - “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

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Why Don't We Evangelize? - We Are Afraid of Persecution

Why Don't We Evangelize? - We Are Afraid of Persecution

Written By: Dr. Angel

Welcome to Part 12 of our current blog series; "Evangelism". Click here for Part 11, "Why Don't We Evangelize? - We Forget That Jesus Is Coming Soon".

The eighth reason why we do not evangelize is that we are afraid of persecution. Are you unwilling to share your faith with someone else because you have a fear of being persecuted? No one likes to experience rejection, hurt, or pain. It is a natural instinct to avoid situations that might cause us pain or preventable harm. However, when it comes to sharing The Gospel, as Christians, we cannot allow a fear of persecution to prevent us from doing what we have been called to do by God.

In the book of Acts, the spreading of the gospel was the main priority of believers. The early church rallied together and boldly proclaimed the truth of The Gospel, even in the face of great persecution. They were not ashamed of the Gospel because they understood that Jesus was the only way for all men to be saved. As Christians, often we know this truth, but practicing this truth is a different story.

Romans 1:16 (NASB) – “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

2 Corinthians 4: 8-11 (ESV) - “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”

How would you respond if you were faced with the option of denying your faith or enduring persecution? My heart is gripped when I read about the beheading of John the Baptist, the stoning of Stephen, murder of James, and imprisonment of Peter. They knew they would be hated by the world because of Jesus. Yet, this did not dissuade them from sharing their faith even unto death. These heroes of the faith were not afraid of persecution for the sake of Jesus Christ.

Mark 6:25-27 (NKJV) – “Immediately she came in with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” And the king was exceedingly sorry; yet, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he did not want to refuse her. Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded his head to be brought. And he went and beheaded him in prison,”

Act 7:54-60 (NKJV) – “When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”

Acts 12:1-3 (NLT) – “About that time King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church. He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword. When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish people, he also arrested Peter.”

Hebrews 11:36-38 (NKJV) – “Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted,were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.”

Despite the risk of persecution, the Christians in the early church continued to spread the Gospel and the Church rapidly grew. As Christians, we must be aware that the world will not like us because of the Word of God. So, we must come to the realization that persecution comes with salvation. If we are living according to the Word of God, the world will hate us. Nevertheless, our lives should stand out from the world and shine as lights pointing the world to Christ.

John 17:14-17 (NLT) – “I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do.”

John 15:19-21 (NKJV) “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant 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. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.”

Do not be surprised if you experience persecution and do not let fear stop you from sharing the truth of the Gospel with a world that so gravely needs Christ. We are blessed when we are persecuted for righteousness, insulted or falsely accused because our reward is great in heaven.

Matthew 5:10-12 (NASB) -“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. ″Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. ″Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

1 Peter 4:12-14 (NKJV) - "Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified."

Matthew 5:44 - (NKJV) “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you."

Let’s follow Jesus’ instructions and His example by praying for those who persecute us. Today, evangelize with boldness and do not allow the fear of persecution to prevent you from sharing your faith! Rejoice, your reward will be great in heaven!

Tomorrow, we will begin our new discussion on; “How do we evangelize?”

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