Preaching Jesus in a World of Confusion
by Jason Cruise
I have never before addressed the Man Minute nation after an election, so today is a first. I had no intention of doing this, but given our election, and what I'm seeing in social media from followers of Christ, I felt led, as many of you have, to speak truth into our situation.
I will let you know now that today's Man Minute is by far the longest Man Minute since inception of this weekly publication, and it will not be held to the normal confines of 60 seconds! By my count you can read this in 6 minutes.
Then again, desperate times call for ... lengthy measures of truth!
The Man Minute has a large following, a following that is humbling to me in that thousands of people, both in North America and internationally, are giving me their most precious asset ... the attentiveness of their hearts and minds. It is something I do not take lightly.
My heart is heavy.
However, my heart is not because of Barack Obama, or his re-election. My heart is heavy because of what this election stood for in terms of the future of America. Our country is not changing, our country already changed. Now, we simply have a president who represents and embodies the worldview our country has embraced in the last 20 years.
Many of us are asking, "What does all of this mean to me, a follower of Jesus, and what do I do now in light of where it seems my country is headed?"
That's the question that haunts me. I do believe, without any doubt, that we have good news from God in that though things may appear foggy and even dark with the unknown, the truth is, my brothers, we actually know far more than we may be able to remember right now in this clouded moment.
Before I go on, I want you to listen to these words from God's own heart, for they will set the stage for our conversation today.
Please listen carefully, for the Lord your God is speaking to you, my friend. His word and His promises are the only constant thing you're going to have in the days to come. God has already spoken to this situation, and He spoke to it long, long ago. He said:
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith. But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, just as Jannes' and Jambres' folly was also.
Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me! Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
So we ask the question, "How do I live as a Jesus follower in times like these?"
Remember that it is God who holds tomorrow. When we were little, we learned a simple song. It helps if you sing it! "He's got the whole world in His hands. He's got the whole world in His hands. He's got the whole wide world in His hands. He's got the whole world in His hands."
God's is so sovereign, so elite, so ahead of every situation, that He took the time to tell you what the world was going to look like in the end so that you would not freak out with fear of the unknown.
Understand that you are watching God's promises unfold before your very eyes. God told us that people would be lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. He said they would be always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. He's telling you what to expect, and now you're seeing it.
Last night I stayed up to watch Obama's acceptance speech. I wasn't in awe of what he said, rather, I was in awe of fellow Americans and their joy. I was in awe of this unbridled joy that permeated the very countenance on the faces I saw everywhere the camera would pan.
The question I wanted to ask them was a sincere, heart-felt, genuine question born from pure curiosity, "What is causing you to be full of joy?"
I cannot believe any American would say "I'm joyful because our economy is healthy and improving." We know that our economy is going from bad to worse, and it has been for many years now.
I cannot believe any American would say, "I'm joyful because our enemies fear us." We know they do not, for they are killing our citizens in foreign lands, and it appears we really don't mind so much.
No. What you are seeing friends is what happens when people deny the hand and the presence of God for so long that they lose their ability to recognize truth. This denial started long before Barack Obama was a politician.
God's word just told you that people would be "always learning but never able to come to the knowledge of truth." What you are seeing is that people are happy and full of joy because they no longer have the ability to recognize good from evil. Wrong is now right, and right is now wrong, and because people are deceived, they themselves are deceivers willing to follow only that which is deceitful. Why? Because deceit is their truth. It's all they can recognize.
Never forget that God has prepared you for this day. "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."
God has promised to prepare you, and He's already done that, because Christ in you is the hope of glory. You are that man He's speaking of by saying that you are "adequate and equipped."
So what do we do now?
We preach. Yes, we preach. His word tells us "Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction."
See, my brothers, here's where we've failed in the last many decades within the church at large. Preaching is not just what happens on Sunday morning from some man your church has hired as a gospel gun. No.
A hundred times NO!
Preaching happens in the line at Wal-Mart when you hear someone in front of you embracing vain philosophies and error. You must warn them of the destiny of those that follow error. If you don't who will?
Preaching happens when you are coaching a team and a parent is allowing error into their parental worldview, thereby ruining a child forever; you tell them the truth about what God expects from those that have children.
Preaching is what happens in the office meeting when you hear someone endorsing a lie in their heart, for you know that if they buy into that lie and use in their daily lives, it will ruin them completely, and it will ruin everything they touch, including the company they serve.
If you are a Christ follower, then you preach, with great love and patience, and you preach repentance right there in that meeting, right there in front of your boss!!!
Why? Because you know that your boss doesn't hold the keys to your destiny. Did your supervisor create the heavens and the earth? Did your company's president set the planets into motion or the earth on its axis? You know full well that your boss doesn't hold the access button to your retirement plan. Your retirement plan was purchased at Calvary when Jesus died for your sins, and your benefits were paid for when He came up from that hole in the ground where they bury dead people. He came up from that grave and gave you the only social security you can count on and it's called Heaven for those of us ransomed by His blood.
So you preach, because you are God's man for that moment. Your pastor isn't in that meeting, you are. Your pastor wasn't called to serve that particular marketplace, you were. It's your job, so do your job!
My brother, if you do not preach the gospel at all times, at all places, then I ask you this, "Can you honestly say that you love anyone but yourself?"
Think about it ... it takes a lot of hatred to let that person, that soul who is chasing heresy right in front of your eyes, wander down the road of destruction. If you love, then you preach. If you care, then you preach. If you want people to avoid an eternity in Hell, then you preach.
It doesn't matter if they listen. It does not matter. In fact, God's already told you what to expect. You just read it. He said, "(they will) turn away their ears from truth." Yet the truth is, you don't preach for them alone. You preach in obedience to the God that has told you to preach.
Now is the time. Today is the day. God has positioned our country to be led by leaders who do not fear His name. However, if you believe in the God of Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Paul, then you know who it is that holds tomorrow. That God has already given you your assignment.
Preach His truth. Preach with unashamed abandon, intense love, and gentle hearts for those you encounter, for you are God's man to the world around you.
Jason Cruise is the founder of Mission. Mission was created to "vindicate the fatherless" in a country known as Moldova. To learn more go to www.themissionvision.net Jason is a well known speaker traveling across the country sharing his love for Christ at wildgame dinners and conferences. Jason has created many valuable resources for the outdoorsmen to take them deeper into their walk with their Creator. These items include DVD's, Bibles, and Bible studies.