Welcome to another day of the Great Experiment, November 1st through the 10th, 2019. My name is Chuck Hetzler. I'm with Christian Union Day and Night and I'm also the pastor of Bethesda Grace Church in New York City. I want to encourage us to continue to share the gospel even as our society is less receptive to this message. I feel that all around me here in Manhattan, people do not want to hear the message of Jesus Christ as the only way to God. And I know I've lived in different places of the country and it's not always that way where you might live. However, we see, as a recent Pew Research report came out again showing, that the number of Christians are declining. The number of the "nones, --that is, having no religion whatsoever--is rising, and we need to preach Christ. That's what Paul did. That's what we need to do and 1 Corinthians 1:22-24 is a great reminder for us in that regard.
Let me read it for us.
For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified. A stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
Paul went to places and he was primarily preaching to two groups of people, Jewish people, non-Jewish people. Greeks or Gentiles, and he knew that when he preached the message of Christ crucified, that most of them would immediately dismiss it. That they would not want to hear what he had to say, that they would not be convinced that this was the message of God. But he did it anyway. He said, "I know that they're going to want signs, the Jews are, and I know that Greeks are going to want to hear philosophy and wisdom and knowledge, but what am I going to do? I'm going to preach the message of God, Christ crucified. I'm not going to change the message. I'm not going to seek to go on and find people that I think will be more receptive. I'm going to preach Christ and I know that most Jews are going to say, "No way, I can't get over this idea of God in the flesh suffering and dying on a cross." And Greeks are going to say, "I'm not buying this. This doesn't sound intellectually curious enough to me or persuasive enough to me."
But Paul says, "I'm going to preach Christ," because he knows that as he preaches Christ, that God is going to call people out from these two groups. Paul can't see it with his physical eyes, but he knows as he preaches and he's faithful to being a witness of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit, God's going to call people. And some of the Jews, though most of them will reject it, some are going to say, "Wow, this is the revelation of God that He gave in the Old Testament through His prophets and now it's come forth to us," and some Greeks going to say, "Wow, this truly is the wisdom of God."
And so, brothers and sisters, we can't allow for a politically correct culture. We can't allow for the rejection that we might see and feel when we share the gospel to silence us. We have to be like Paul and say, "No matter though people might say, "Oh, that's silly. I'm not interested. Ah, that's exclusive." We can't let it stop us. We've got to just keep preaching the simple message that God loves you. Jesus died for your sins. Receive him today. Repent and believe in the gospel, and guess what? As you do that, God will call men and women and children from America to believe the message and be saved. Let's keep preaching Christ crucified in our day, in our society. It's the power of God for salvation. God bless you as you seek God, as you seek to be bold witnesses for Christ. God bless.
Here is today's guide for the “Five Rs” of The Great Experiment, November 1-10, 2019.
1. Read and Pray
Spend 30 minutes every morning reading the Bible and praying, and also spend time in the evening doing the same. To intensify your devotional times, consider fasting for some of the days. We have created a daily 30-minute devotional that you can use.
What sins do I need to repent of today? What hindrances to my devotion to Christ can I remove today?
3. Respond to the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit, what is the one thing you most want me to do today? (Write it down, and do it today).
4. Represent Christ.
How will I bear witness to Christ today? With whom shall I share the Gospel today?
5. Raise Your Faith.
Be bold and courageous in living out your faith. Choose from one of the following options for a “Joshua Faith Challenge”:
- Host an all-night prayer meeting. Set a date during November 1-10 and invite friends to come and pray with you for revival in America.
- Every day, pray for ten friends and family members to come to faith in Christ and look for opportunities to share the gospel with them.
- Share an evangelistic post on social media every day from November 1-10.
- Anything else the Lord burdens you to take on that will require courageous faith.
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