Monday, August 31, 2015

Rescue Souls!

"Who Cares?" by Mauricio Palaucio
These are the last days. Time is up! Jesus is coming back right away -- sooner than you expect. The end has come. Tens of thousands of people are dying in sin, and going to hell every day.  In fact an estimated 163,964 people die in the world each day. That's 6,831 deaths per hour, which is 114 people leaving the earth per minute, or about 2 souls per second. By the time you finish reading this article, approximately 570 more people will have gone into eternity forever.

If we could see in the spirit realm, and watch these people falling down to hell, what would it look like?  How would we feel? What would we do? We would see the multitudes being led away to death, staggering toward slaughter. We would see them pouring into hell like the sands of the sea.  One moment they would be walking along unsuspecting of what was about to happen to them, and the next moment they would be going over the cliff into the abyss to eternal damnation, where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.

If you could stand within a yard (about a meter) from that cliff, watching those human beings, made in God’s image, heading for destruction, would you be passive? Would you say something to warn them? If so, how would you speak? Would you speak softly and gently to them, so as not to upset them or make them hate you? What kind of tone of voice would you use?

In my opinion, if I were standing near the edge of that cliff high above the abyss, watching those souls perishing, I would be screaming to them to warn them. “Hey! Stop! Don’t go any further! There’s a cliff right there! Turn back!” If we were all honest about it, we would probably all do something similar.  Perhaps you personally might begin by trying to speak gently to them, but once you saw that nobody paid any attention to you, then you would eventually start screaming.  You would probably be waving your arms, too. You would be doing anything you could to get their attention, so that they would stop going in the direction of the cliff, just a few steps away.

Since the Lord sees everything, we know that every day He witnesses these souls perishing, and He weeps for them. He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Once they die and go down to hell, they are lost forever, but they remain eternally conscious of their torment. Hell was not created for man, but for the devil and his fallen angels (demons).  It’s a horrible place of darkness, totally separated from God, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. Everybody in hell is ready to repent, but there is no repentance in hell. Everybody remains in the state they were in when they died. So if they did not repent on earth, they cannot repent in hell. Mercy is only available on earth, yet all those souls in hell are crying out for mercy.

That’s why we must rescue souls. We must rescue those being led away to death, and hold back those staggering toward slaughter. May the Lord give us compassion for the lost that are perishing every day. The devil has taken them captive to do his will. They are on a course for destruction, unless someone rescues them. I am reminded of the song of angels that was caught on tape in a Chinese prayer meeting in 1995.  In a place called Shandong, some believers were gathered together praying in the Spirit with a tape recorder recording them. When they played the tape back later, they heard angels singing in the Mandarin language.  The angels sang about the signs of the times that are happening, and the chorus for each stanza was this:
The end is near. The revelation of love has been manifested.
Rise up, rise up, rescue souls.
The end is near.
Rise up, rise up, rescue souls.
May that be our heart in these last days: Rise up, rise up, rescue souls!

Scriptures
Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?” (Pro 24:11-12, NIV)

“Vindicate the weak and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and destitute. Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.” (Psa 82:3-4)

“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who is wise wins souls.” (Pro 11:30)

"Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” (Dan 12:3)

And He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."  (Mat 4:19)

“For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more.” (1Co 9:19)

"For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.” (Mat 18:11)

"Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.” (Joh 4:35)

"In Your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; Incline Your ear to me and save me." (Psa 71:2)

“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.” (Col 1:13)

“He has rescued us from a terrible death, and He will rescue us in the future. We are confident that He will continue to rescue us.” (2Co 1:10, GW)

“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.’” (Mar 16:15-16)

"And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed." (Mar 16:20)

If you would like to read the whole story of the Shandong Miracle and listen to the recording of the angels, singing that song in Mandarin, please see the article, “Angels Singing in a Chinese Church.”

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.  Other Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®, where noted. The "Who Cares?" painting by Mauricio Palaucio is an illustration of General William Booth's vision depicting the Church's apparent lack of concern over the fate of lost souls. (William Booth was the founder of the Salvation Army). This oil painting was commissioned in 1993 by Last Days Ministries (founded by Keith Green). Read William Booth's "Who Cares?" article. Order a 25" X 17" poster of this painting through LDM's website.
 
Author's note: If you would like to be equipped to rescue souls, please consider enrolling in our international Doulos Training School. You are invited to read A Trip to Hell - in pictures, The Sin of Silence, Baptized with the Spirit, Rachael Mushala Testimony of Hell Sins That Will Keep You From Heaven, Rapture Revelation to Angelica Zambrano, Give Me Children or I'll Die!, Confrontational Evangelism, Michael Shigaba's End Time Message for Mankind, Rapture Revelation to James Agboola, Rapture Revelation to Ayodelle Sawyerr, The End Has Come, Covenant Prayer, and Being a Witness for Christ. You may find more articles about being fruitful and multiplying on the Home Page of this blog. You may also find my collection of blogs at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Sin of Silence

The sin of silence is when you fail to share the gospel with your neighbor. It has been said that the primary reason people fail to evangelize is fear.  Peter denied the Lord three times. Are we denying Him by our silence?

Jesus said, "Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven." (Mat 10:32-33). 

The Man Who Is Content To Save Only Himself Is Not Even Saving Himself
The man who is content to save only himself is not even saving himself. Such a man may think, "Evangelism is for others, but not for me." Or "I'll leave that to the evangelists. That's not my gift." Others simply invite their friends to church, and assume they have done their duty. They figure that if the person comes to church, the pastor will preach the gospel to them. But the Lord commanded us, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit..." (Mat 28:19). He did not say, "Go therefore and invite people to church."

I'm not saying that someone cannot get saved by attending church.  But if we think the responsibility to evangelize the lost belongs solely to the professional ministers, we have missed the will of God. Every disciple must be making disciples. I believe it has been said that most people get saved by hearing the gospel from another individual they know, such as a friend or family member.  The majority of people don't get saved by hearing a sermon from a preacher at a meeting. So if we rely primarily on the preachers at meetings to preach the gospel, then most of the people who would have otherwise gotten saved will perish in their sin.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me." (Mat 16:24).  It requires self denial and cross-bearing to share the gospel. If you follow Jesus, you will be imitating Him by sharing the gospel and being a witness to your neighbor.

Jesus also taught about the second greatest commandment of God. He said, "The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mar 12:31). If we love our neighbor, how can we stand by while he goes to hell?

The apostle Paul wrote to Philemon, "I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ." (Philemon 6, NIV 1984).  It is also my prayer that every one of you who read this article would be active in sharing your faith, too.

It Is the Duty of Every Christian To Evangelize To The Lost
Every Christian has a duty to evangelize the lost. We must warn them and let them decide where they want to go. You should not think to yourself that they would never repent, even if you shared the gospel with them. It's not your responsibility to make that call.

Do not be afraid of warning anyone because you are afraid that they will reject you. Even if they  hate you, even if your family members hate you, you must warn them. Do not be a man-pleaser or fear losing someone's love.

Hell is a terrible place, and if you really love someone you would rather that they be hurt now by your warning and escape from hell. Tell them the truth. As we warn them, those who believe will come to the Lord and those who don’t believe, your witness to them will be for their own judgment, a moment they will regret in hell forever.

Putting it All Together
God can use your testimony for Jesus and your witness for Him, but He cannot use your silence. The sin of silence will keep you from heaven. It is the duty of every Christian to evangelize the lost, so don't fail to evangelize!

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.  Other Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®, where noted.
 
Author's note: You are invited to read Rescue Souls!, Sins That Will Keep You From Heaven, Give Me Children or I'll Die!, Confrontational Evangelism, and Being a Witness for Christ. You may find more articles about being fruitful and multiplying on the Home Page of this blog. You may also find my collection of blogs at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Life Transformation Groups

As I have already explained in my article, The Difference Between a Disciple and a Believer, becoming a disciple of Christ is not simply a matter of claiming to be a believer. Nor is it simply saying you're a Christian or going to Church each week. Neither is it primarily an academic process.  Academics is more intellectual. It's all about getting head knowledge. Head knowledge can be dangerous.  Paul said, "Knowledge puffs up while love builds up." (1 Cor 8:1, NIV).  Becoming a disciple is a matter of the heart that requires loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and loving your neighbor as yourself -- the two greatest commandments. It doesn't happen in a vacuum while remaining entirely secluded all by yourself all the time, although solitude is also very beneficial. Jesus spent time in solitude and so did His apostles, so we need to make private time alone with God a regular part of our lives. However, in addition to that, we need contact with others.

The Lord said that where two or three are gathered in His name, He is there in our midst. "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." (Mt 18:20, NIV).  That's why I advise disciples to meet in groups of two or three on a regular basis. The men meet with men and the women with women. There are no mixed-gender groups. They meet once per week together for about an hour for the purpose of discipleship.  This approach has been called a Life Transformation Group (LTG).

This follows the same approach that Jesus used in making disciples. He met with the multitudes and preached to them. He fed the masses, healed them, and delivered those who were bound by satan. But He did not necessarily make disciples of the masses. His work of making disciples was done primarily with the Twelve, and it happened over a period of three and a half years. It did not happen in a classroom, using textbooks and charts. It happened as they walked with the Lord daily, talked with Him, prayed with Him, watched Him operate, and listened to Him teach. At the end of three and a half years, He only had eleven of the original Twelve disciples remaining, but they turned the world upside down with the gospel after His resurrection from the dead and ascension to heaven, once He poured out His Spirit upon them.

There were other disciples besides the Twelve. He had wider circles through which He made disciples, such as the seventy-two.  They may have been part of the one hundred and twenty who gathered in the upper room to obediently wait for the Baptism with the Holy Spirit after His ascension. But He spent most of His time with the Twelve during His earthly ministry, especially with Peter, James, and John, and that is an example for us how to make disciples. It's not going to happen by listening to a pastor preach messages once per week on Sundays, although that may help. It's going to happen on a constant basis, as you daily walk with the Lord.

Criteria for LTG Membership
It's easy to start an LTG. All you have to do is find another person of your gender who 1) has a hunger for more of God in his or her life, and 2) who is willing to submit to the LTG process. Those are the only two requirements to be in an LTG. And to start an LTG, you don't need to have any Bible training or even be a leader. That's because you are not going to lead the group, and you are not going to teach the Bible. So what are you going to do then?

There are two basic things you do in an LTG -- breathing and reproducing -- which are essential to sustaining life of all living, breathing creatures on earth. I am using those natural functions figuratively to illustrate the spiritual process.

Breathing
The two-fold process of breathing involves inhaling and exhaling. Let me explain how these apply to the LTG.

Inhaling
When we inhale, we take in fresh, oxygen-rich air, which we need to live. We could say the same thing happens in the spirit. A disciple must inhale spiritually. We want to inhale the fresh, breath that God has exhaled. And the Scripture says that "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Tim 3:16-17, NIV).

So in an LTG, we inhale or read lots of Scripture. The members of the LTG agree on a Bible passage to read each week that totals between twenty-five and thirty chapters. So for example, you could read the gospel of Matthew one week, which is twenty-eight chapters. Another week, you could read several of Paul's epistles, totaling twenty-five to thirty chapters. Or you could read one of Paul's epistles like Galatians, five times for a total of thirty chapters. But everyone in the LTG must read the same passage each week.

Exhaling
When we exhale, we breath out air that our bodies have used, which contains waste material in the form of carbon dioxide gas. It's been expended, and we can no longer make use of it. Our bodies must exhale or else we would die. It's not enough to simply inhale and hold our breath. So in the spirit, exhaling is equally essential. We need to rid ourselves of those things that would be harmful if we hold onto them. That means we confess our sins to one another. James wrote: "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." (Jam 5:16, NIV).

So in an LTG, you confess your sins to each other. That's one reason why it is gender specific, because we don't want the men confessing their sins to women, and vice versa, since that is not appropriate.  And the members of the LTG must agree to keep strictly confidential what they say to each other. It is not to be repeated outside the group.

Reproducing
Everything God made on earth with seed within itself reproduces after its own kind. Seed-bearing plants do this, and so do animals, as well as humans. If humans stopped reproducing, they would become extinct. There are some nationalities that are going in that direction, because their death rate exceeds the birth rate. So this is essential.

When we reproduce spiritually, as disciples, we are making other disciples of people. This is in obedience to the Lord's command. He said, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Mt 28:19-20, NIV).

Our reproduction as disciples begins by praying for the lost people we know in our circles of influence (family, work, neighbors, etc). So each member of the LTG shares the names of two or three people he or she knows that are not saved. And all the members of the LTG agree to pray throughout the week for those people by name.

The members of the LTG should also actively be a testimony for the glory of Jesus Christ each week by their words and actions. This will include share your faith in Christ with others each week. The best way to do this is to do so as you go through each day.  But it would be even better if you could also set aside a certain amount of time each week especially for personal evangelism.

Once there are three members in an LTG, if a fourth person wishes to join, that would indicate it is time for the group to multiply by becoming two separate groups of two members each. An LTG may not have more than two or three members.

Accountability Questions
When the group meets each week, they open in prayer, and then they each take turns asking five questions of each other. So one person can be the first to answer all the questions, and then the next person can do so, and then the third, if there is a third person.

1. How have you been a testimony this week for the glory of God with your words and actions?

You answer this by telling what you did to testify for Jesus to others in your circle of influence throughout the past week.

2. How have you responded to the prompting of the Holy Spirit?

You answer this by telling how you have followed the leading of the Holy Spirit in things both great and small throughout the past week.

3. How have you experienced God in your life this week?

You answer this by specifically sharing any instance by which you experienced God in your life personally, such as in prayer, worship, an answer to prayer, God speaking to you through the Bible, etc.

4. Do you have any sin that you need to confess?

You may either answer yes or no. If you answer yes, then you should confidentially confess your sin to the other member(s) of the LTG.  It is assumed you have already repented to God, confessed to Him, and received His forgiveness. This is not time to condemn or criticize each other, but to commit to pray for one another in the area confessed, so that healing may occur.

5. How did you do with your Bible reading this week?

You answer by telling whether you finished the agreed upon passage of Scripture. If any member of the LTG has not finished the reading, then everyone in the LTG must once again read the same passage the following week, even if they personally finished the reading during the past week. This is not to make anyone feel condemned, but to get the LTG members reading lots of Scripture each week.

Irreducible Core of the Church
As I have already alluded to, the two greatest commandments are loving God with all your being and loving your neighbor as yourself. These Greatest Commandments, along with the Great Commission to go and make disciples, form the irreducible core of the Church. In other words, these are the three core aspects that must be present in every true, living church. You can strip away many other superficial things from the church, such as public buildings and paid staff, and still have these essential core elements. But without the irreducible core, the church is no longer viable, even if it is fully recognized by the public as a valid church. The irreducible core is a way of life that follows in the footsteps of Jesus. Wherever two or three disciples are gathered in Jesus' name, fulfilling the irreducible core, an embryonic form of the Church is present.

The Life Transformation Group is not intended to replace involvement in a local expression of the Body of Christ, where one exists. However, it does embody the irreducible core, so it is a biblical, Christ-honoring way of life. It can supplement the services of a local church (e.g. Sunday school, home group meetings, etc.), or it can be used as a key component of any church planting approach.

Effectiveness
I first began using this approach to making disciples in 2006, and over the past decade I have found it to be very effective. It is a repeatable process that can be implemented anywhere in the world in fulfillment of the Greatest Commandments and the Great Commission. The Lord has commanded us to make disciples, and this approach facilitates multiplication of disciples the way Jesus did. May the Lord help you as you adopt this way of life for His glory, so that you may achieve maximum fruitfulness wherever you may be in His vineyard.

Continue reading How to Start an LTG.

Attribution: Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®, unless otherwise noted. I want to thank Tom Johnston and Mike Chong Perkinson of the Praxis Center for Church Development, for teaching me about Life Transformation Groups by Neil Cole © 2000. For more information about Life Transformations Groups and other strategic resources visit Church Multiplication Associates (CMA). By the way, CMA has LTG cards containing the explanation of an LTG and the five questions, which you can order from them online. I recommend getting the blue cards with the five questions, rather than the red ones. Photo of butterfly courtesy of Fir0002/Flagstaffotos.

Author's Note: If you would like to become a disciple who makes disciples, please prayerfully consider enrolling in Doulos Training School, our international, distance education ministry. I also recommend reading How to Start an LTG, The Difference Between a Disciple and a Believer, The Cost of Discipleship, and Multiplication. You are invited to visit the Home page of this blog, and also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master." 

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
___________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org. Partner with us online by giving to DMI.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Confrontational Evangelism

Christ Cleansing the Temple
The Lord’s mandate of the Great Commission is urgent and we mustn’t delay.  The Bible should be the standard for our evangelistic approach, and not some other means. Our goal is not to get men to like us but to preach the good news of the kingdom and the name of Jesus Christ, call them to repentance, and ask them to turn to God. 

There are more examples in the Bible of Jesus and the apostles confronting people with Truth than of the friendly, indirect, long-range approach. In fact, we are hard-pressed to find any example where they did not confront people boldly and lovingly with the Truth, when they had the opportunity. Keeping silent about the gospel and delaying or neglecting direct evangelism is not taught in Scripture.  In fact, when the apostles were commanded not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus, they refused to remain silent, saying that they could not stop speaking about what they had seen and heard (Ac 4:20; 5:40-42).

It was only at Jesus’ trial before Herod that He refused to say anything at all. But He had already previously delivered a message to Herod that was very bold, regarding the Lord carrying out His mission fully without interference from Herod, who wanted to kill Him. (Lk 13:32).

There are those instances recorded in the gospels, in which people came to the Lord without much said to them beforehand on His part (e.g., the thief on the cross, Zachias, etc). But when He did address people with words, He confronted anything in their lives that was not of the Kingdom of God.

God is love and requires us to love our neighbor. Yet Jesus taught us that if a town or village does not welcome or receive us we are to shake the dust off our feet as we leave there, as a testimony against them (Mat. 10:14; Mark 6:11; Luke 9:5). That is a loving response, since Jesus would never command us to do anything unloving.

We are first disciples of Christ and then business men, not the other way around. That means our obedience to Him, our love for Him, and our commitment to Him take priority over any business transaction or opportunity to make money. Even our businesses must have as a primary goal of reaching the lost with the Gospel. If you have a price at which you can be bought, the enemy will surely pay it.

We should treat a customer or prospective client with love and respect, but we cannot treat them differently than anyone else or show favoritism because they are clients, or because we hope they will become one.

I ask you: Is friendship evangelism an enemy of soul winning, and is it actually friendship with the world?  In many cases, it can be. The Scriptures say, “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (Jas 4:4).  Let us be careful that what we call evangelism is not hostility toward God.

For the Lord commanded the prophet Ezekiel to warn people boldly, so that they might turn from sin and be saved. He told Ezekiel that if he failed to warn them, then their blood would be on his hands (Ez 33:1-6).  This is very serious, so we must be careful not to conduct ourselves in such a way as to have men’s blood on our hands (Ac 20:36).

Every Plant the Father Has Not Planted Will Be Uprooted
The Lord Jesus always warned people boldly.  One such instance was when he said that the Pharisees worshiped God in vain, that they worshiped with their lips but their hearts were far from God, and they taught as doctrines the precepts of men.  He said that it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles the man but it is what comes out of the mouth that does so.

"Then the disciples came and said to Him, 'Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?'" (Mat 15:12)

Matthew Henry, the seventeenth-century, English holiness preacher and Bible commentator, commented regarding this passage:

“The disciples thought it strange that their Master should say that which He knew would give so much offense; He did not use to do so: surely, they think, if He had considered how provoking it would be, He would not have said it. But He knew what He said, and to whom He said it, and what would be the effect of it; and would teach us, that though in indifferent things we must be tender of giving offence, yet we must not, for fear of that, evade any truth or duty. Truth must be owned, and duty done; and if any be offended, it is his own fault; it is scandal, not given, but taken…if we please men with the concealment of truth, and the indulgence of their errors and corruptions, we are not the servants of Christ… The doom passed upon the Pharisees and their corrupt traditions; which comes in as a reason why Christ cared not though he offended them, and therefore why the disciples should not care; because they were a generation of men that hated to be reformed, and were marked out for destruction.”

But He answered and said, "Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit." (Mat 15:13-14). The Greek for for "let them alone" is "aphiēmi," meaning "forsake, lay aside, leave, let alone, let be, let go, put away." The Lord instructed his disciples to leave the Pharisees alone, since they were blind guides.

Matthew Henry made the following comments about this response of Christ to His disciples:

Christ bids his disciples let them alone. ‘Have no converse with them or concern for them; neither court their favour, nor dread their displeasure; care not though they be offended, they will take their course, and let them take the issue of it. They are wedded to their own fancies, and will have every thing their own way; let them alone. Seek not to please a generation of men that please not God (1Th_2:15), and will be pleased with nothing less than absolute dominion over your consciences. They are joined to idols, as Ephraim (Hos_4:17), the idols of their own fancy; let them alone, let them be filthy still,’ Rev_22:11. The case of those sinners is sad indeed, whom Christ orders his ministers to let alone…Christ rejects the wilfully ignorant who care not to be taught…If the Pharisees, who made void the law, be offended, let them be offended…”

I think these are keys for us to remember as we proclaim the truth to people. We must not evade any truth or duty for fear of giving offense to others. We must own the Truth and do our duty and if anyone is offended by it, that that is his own fault; if we please men by hiding the Truth and indulging their errors and corruptions, we are not the servants of Christ. Christ did not care that He offended the Pharisees, because of the doom passed upon them and their corrupt traditions; and therefore we as disciples should not care if we offend others by proclaiming the Truth. For we live in a generation of men that hate to be reformed, and are marked out for destruction.

Confrontational Language of the Gospel
There are many instances in Scripture where Jesus and His followers used confrontational language to address people’s sin. Here are a few such examples:

"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Mat 4:17b; 3:2)

"Repent and believe in the gospel." (Mar 1:15b)

"...unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." (Luk 13:3b)

"You hypocrites.” (Mat. 15:7; 22:18; 23:13,14,15,23,25,27,29; 24:51; Mark 7:6; Luke 12:56; 13:15)

"You serpents, you brood of vipers…” (Mat. 12:34; 23:33; Luke 3:7;)

"You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!” (Mat 23:24; cf. Mat. 23:16)

"You blind fools!" (Mt 23:17a)

"You blind men..." (Mt 23:19)

"You are like whitewashed tombs…” (Mat 23:27)

"You are like concealed tombs…” (Luk 11:44)

“Woe to you…” (Mat. 11:21; 23:13,14,15,16,23,25,27,29; Luke 6:24,25,26; 10:13; 11:42,43,44,46,47,52).

“But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves.” (Joh 5:42)

"You are of your father the devil…”  (Joh 8:44a)

"...The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit." (Mt 21:43, NIV)

"How will you escape being condemned to hell?" (Mt 23:33b)

“You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord?” (Act 13:10)

"You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it." (Act 7:51-53)

Here are some more examples of confrontational evangelism in Scripture:

Mt 4:17; 7:21-27; 8:19-22; 9:4-6; 10:7-8,14-20,22-27; 11:21-24; 15:3-13; 16:1-4; 17:15-17; 19:21-22; 21:12-16,23-45; 22:17-46; 23:13-39; Mk 7:6-13; 10:17-23; 11:15-18,28-33; 12:1-40; Lk 4:16-30; 5:21-26; 6:1-11; 7:39-47; 9:2,6,38-43,57-62; 10:10-16,25-37; 11:15-26,29-54; 12:1-12,49-59; 13:1-5,14-17,23-33; 14:1-35; 16:14-31; 18:18-25; 19:39-48; 20:1-19,21-47; Jn 2:18-21; Jn 3:1-21; 4:7-26; 5:16-47; 6:25-59; 7:4-8,15-38; 8:13-59; 9:35-41; 10:1-42; 12:34-36,42-50; 18:4-9,19-23,33-37; 19:10-11; Ac 2:14-41; 3:12-26; 4:1-20; 5:25-33; 7:2-60; 8:4-6; 13:6-12,15-50; 14:1-3; 22:1-22; 23:1-10; 24:10-21,24-26; 26:1-29; 28:23-29.

I encourage you to read through all the Scripture passages cited here, and see for yourself how the Lord and His disciples confronted people with the gospel lovingly. It often resulted in persecution.  It often resulted in people rejecting the gospel. It often resulted in people being insulted, offended (Mt 13:57; 15:12), enraged, cut to the heart, and humiliated (Lk 13:17; Act 7:54). It often resulted in people blaspheming, gnashing their teeth, covering their ears, arguing, and saying things that contradict God’s Word (Ac 6:9; 7:54,57; 13:45).  It also resulted in people becoming hardened and disobedient, even speaking evil of the Way publicly (Mt 26:65; Ac 19:19). But it also resulted in thousands of people, who were appointed to eternal life, putting their faith in Jesus Christ (Ac 2:41; 4:4; 13:48). And it resulted in the Word of the Lord reaching many people groups (Ac 2:9) and spreading throughout entire regions of the world (Ac 13:49; Rom 15:19,23).  That is what the Lord wants, so let us be obedient to Him.

Attribution notice: Scripture quotation taken from the NASB. Christ Cleansing the Temple, by Carl Heinrich Bloch, 1875

Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, I recommend reading Rescue Souls!, Persecuted or Popular?, Give Me Children or I'll Die!, Here I Am, Send Me, Life is Short. Eternity is Not, Compassion for the Lost (poem), Avoid Becoming a Corrupted Christian, The Forgotten Sin of Worldliness, The Rise of Antichrists, and Ask for the Ancient Paths. You are invited to visit the Home page of this blog, and also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."  

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
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Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.