Post 238

Keturah's Bridal Shower

Picture with Santa

Amity watching lights.

Amanda's friend Rachel Patterson got married to Christopher Knobil

This men's chorus of their friends sang for them.

Amity turned two

She's a good present opener.

A Merry Christmas...

Eleazar's Big 30th

The black and purple stripe day!

All set up for Home Fellowship. We call it Walnut Chapel.


Levi made some lunches for the homeless. So he and I went down to Detroit, found the street people, and gave them out. It was a great idea.


Joanna VonGott came to help out.

Seven Sins of Not Sharing the Gospel
This is a message for Christians. Warning: It's not a “feel good” message.

John R. Rice preached a message entitled, "He That Winneth Souls." It hit me really hard. I watched it for the first time several months ago, and have many times since. I’m sure a wonderful message could be preached on seven blessings of leading people to Jesus, but this is not. It’s on seven sins of NOT sharing the Gospel. You can watch his message on YouTube, or you can read my personal meditations on the issue here. The Spirit has convicted me very heavily of living in these sins--especially the first four. I have wept many times recently because, in the area of sharing the Gospel, I haven't loved, obeyed, followed, and abided in Jesus like I should. It has stirred new passion in my heart and action in my hands to spread Jesus. May the Holy Spirit stir that first love of Jesus in you also.

The Sin of Disobedience
Matthew 28:16-20 "Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." 
Mark 16:15 "And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." 
Acts 1:8 "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." 
We call this the Great Commission, and I think that is a very good title. “Great” means two things: it means big and it means wonderful. The Great Commission is very big and very wonderful! These were Jesus’ last words before going to heaven, the words He left His disciples with. Arguably, the most important words He wanted followed.

I used to wonder how we could know that Great Commission is for us since Jesus said it to these eleven disciples He left behind. They were commanded to go to “all the world,” but how could they do that? Eleven men can only be in eleven places at once. They had to tell their converts, to tell their converts, to tell their converts to carry on the mission. See how Jesus instructed them to carry it out in Matt. 28:20, “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” So it was a multi-generational command. The Great Commission is passed on to all believers.

Revelation 22:17 "Let him that heareth say, Come..." 
Have you heard? Did someone tell you about salvation, and did you receive it? Then Jesus says it’s your duty to call others to "come." What a shame it would be to receive Jesus and then keep Him all to yourself! Pass Him on! If you do not spread the gospel, then you are living in the sin of disobedience to Jesus’ command.

The Sin of Not Loving Jesus
John 14:15 "If ye love me, keep my commandments." 
John 14:23a "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words." 
John 15:10 "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in His love." 
This one hit me especially hard. I really, really want to love Jesus. But if I do not keep His commandment to share the Gospel, I do not love Him.

The Sin of Not Following Jesus
Mathew 4:19 "And He saith unto them, 'Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.'"
Why talk of following Jesus if you don’t fish for souls? Why sing of it? It’s a waste of breath. If we have received Jesus but are not catching souls, we are not truly following Jesus. Could it be that our hearts have grown cold and hard?

Jesus said, “I will make you fishers of men.” This is just after the fishermen had been fishing all night but caught nothing. Then Jesus had them launch out again, and they caught so many fish their boat couldn't hold them all! More than simply sharing the gospel, this passage speaks of actually bringing in converts.

When Jesus makes a fisher, He makes a good one. Sadly, I've been fishing for quite a few years now but have had few results. It makes me cry, “Lord, I’ve been fishing all night and haven’t caught anything! Jesus, I want to follow you! Make me a fisher of men!”  
What Jesus tells me to do may not make any sense. Perhaps I should throw my net on the other side of the boat, or use different bait, or try a different fishing hole. I don’t fully know what I need to change, but I’m trying to faithfully follow each idea He gives me. 

Just for context, here are some passages where Jesus told people to follow Him: 
Matthew 8:22 "But Jesus said unto him, 'Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.'" 
Matthew 9:9 "And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and He saith unto him, 'Follow me. And he arose, and followed Him.'" 
Mark 10:21 "Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, 'One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.'" 
Luke 18:22 "Now when Jesus heard these things, He said unto him, 'Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow Me.'" 
John 1:43 "The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, 'Follow me.'" 
John 10:27 "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." 
John 12:26 "If any man serve me, let him follow Me."

"Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." -Jesus
If we’re not fishing for souls, it's because we're not following Jesus.

The Sin of Not Abiding in Jesus
John 15: 4-5 "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing." 

Abiding in Jesus is being…  
wrapped up in Him.  
in His rest. 
in His word. 
in conversation with Him in prayer. 
filled with His power.

Are you abiding in Jesus? Are you keeping fellowship with Him? Are you filled with His words? Are you walking in His Spirit? Are you passionately fulfilling His vision?
Or are you simply floating along in your Christian life without any real communion with Him? 

If we abide in Jesus, we will bear much fruit. He doesn’t say that if we simply TRY to bear fruit, we are abiding in Him; He says that if we are abiding, we WILL bear much fruit. If we’re not bearing fruit, we must not be abiding in Him.

The Sin of Defaulting On Your Debt
Romans 1:14-15 "I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also."

Debtor: one who is bound by duty or obligation.

Paul saw that since he was commanded to preach the Gospel to the Greeks, he was indebted (duty-bound) to do it. If he failed to share the Gospel, he would be failing to fulfill his obligation (debt). Likewise, we are also commanded spread the gospel and are therefore “indebted” to do it.

1 Corinthians 9:16 “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”

The Sin of Temporal Living.
Matthew 6:19-20 “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth… But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…”
Matthew 6:33 “Seek ye first the kingdom of God...”

Each of us is given only a certain amount of time on this earth. Do we invest our time and energy in things that have eternal worth, or do we squander it on things that are temporary? So much of what we do has no lasting value! Souls, however, last forever; and there is wisdom and eternal reward for winning souls to Christ. Will you live for eternity by wisely turning many to righteousness, or will you foolishly waste your life on the here and now?
We can invest our time wisely and hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Or, we can misuse it and hear, “Thou wicked and slothful servant!” (Matt. 25:14-30.)

Daniel 12:3 “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”

If you don't lead people to Jesus, your aren't seeking first the kingdom of God.

The Sin of Spiritual Manslaughter
Heavy isn't it? Yeah, well here's what God said to Ezekiel...
Ezekiel 3:17-19 “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, ‘Thou shalt surely die’; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.”

It is a grievous thought, but if we do not warn sinners of their fate in hell, we are held responsible for their death. "His blood will I require at thine hand." 

Jude 1:23a "And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire."

Don't just stand silently by and let people perish. Warn them of hell, and tell them of Jesus, the One who gives everlasting life! 

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

In conclusion: According to the Word of God,  if we are saved but not leading others to salvation, we are out of the will of God, living in sin, disobeying, and failing to love, follow, and abide in Jesus. Now go do something about it!

   Want us to sing and speak
   at your Church or event?
   Please contact me.
Brother Bear
1312 New Life
Rochester, MI 48309
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