Week Forty-Eight, 2019
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Mark 16:15
While Mahatma Gandhi was a practicing Hindu, Christianity intrigued him. In his reading of the Gospels, Gandhi was impressed by Jesus whom Christians worshipped and followed. He wanted to know more about this Jesus that Christians referred to as “the Christ, the Messiah.”
One Sunday morning Gandhi decided that he would visit one of the Christian churches in Calcutta. Upon seeking entrance to the church sanctuary, he was stopped at the door by the ushers.
He was told he was not welcome, nor would he be permitted to attend this particular church as it was for high-caste Indians and whites only. He was neither high caste, nor was he white. Because of the rejection, Mahatma turned his back on Christianity.
With this act, Gandhi rejected the Christian faith, never again to consider the claims of Christ. He was turned off by the sin of segregation that was practiced by the church. It was due to this experience that Gandhi later declared, “I’d be a Christian if it were not for the Christians.”
Do Christian churches practice selective admission? Are some people more welcome than others? We are called to be racially and culturally inclusive.
As a young boy, I attended a rural southern church that had a policy on how to handle a black person who might seek admission to worship. The ushers were to immediately escort someone of another race out of the church and then the preaching of the Gospel would continue.
Are churches much better today? If someone dressed like they were homeless and who smelled like it sat down in a pew next to you, would you shake their hand and invite them to attend your Sunday School class? While churches have gone past selective admission, don’t we too often practice selective inclusion?
God has no partiality. He saves anyone who believes the Gospel, no matter where they are from, how they are dressed or the color of their skin. God will not reject anyone who comes to Him. The Gospel is for everyone. If we repent of our sin and believe in Christ, we will be saved. That is the message of the Gospel.
The Gospel is not just for the unsaved… we all need it every day and it is not just for people like us. It is for all whom God has created. The Gospel is the message God has given us. Only the Gospel can save us.
Sadly, there are people today who, like Gandhi who can say they “would be a Christian if it weren’t for the Christians.”
Remember, whether it is Little League or in the pros, the dimensions of second base are always the same.
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
The Church was never meant to be a building. It is a movement of God’s people. You have a sphere of influence no one else has. Be bold and join the movement. Idlewild Baptist Church
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A Thoughts on Life note from a reader in Kenya:
Let us always thank God for what He has done to us day by day. May God bless the message that I have read, Thanks and may God bless you boundedly. Pray for me to have the Heart of giving and helping the needy people.
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Albert Einstein confessed to Time magazine: Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing the truth. I had never any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced thus to confess that what I once, despised, I now praise unreservedly.
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The human eye has more than 2 million working parts and is capable of focusing at 50+ different things in any given second. Muscles responsible for controlling the eyes are the most active muscles in the entire human body.
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According to a YouGov survey, 45 percent of Americans believe ghosts exist. Forty-three percent think ghosts can come back to haunt people or places.
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Nearly 20% of all medical doctors have a problem with alcohol and substance abuse.
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The World Health Organization estimates there are over 200 million alcoholics worldwide. An estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes every year in the United States. Over 10,00 people die every year on US highways due to crashes that involve alcohol-impaired drivers. The misuse of alcohol costs the US over $249 billion annually.
Solomon was right when he wrote, “Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise (Prov 20:2) Is it worth the risk?
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
There’s more grace and mercy in Christ than there is sin in us. Edgar Aponte
If we approach each day with the knowledge that the Lord can use us in ways we might not expect, and the willingness to allow him to do so, then we open the doors to endless possibilities. Ryan Denison
Rather than thinking about the world in the categories of simply good and evil, a biblical worldview helps us think in categories of good and redeemable. Lecrae Moore
Avoiding bitterness is key to a healthy and joyful life. Bitterness is the poison we drink to kill someone else — how crazy is that! In our culture of microaggressions, safe spaces, and trigger warnings; bitterness has grown to epidemic proportions with many carrying a “Spirit of Offense” into every life encounter. God’s primary antidotes for bitterness are forgiveness and gratitude. Resilient Warrior
If you worship money you will never have enough. Pastor John Onwuchekwa
Love is not an emotion. It is an action to be demonstrated. Pastor Andrew Evans
Jonathan Edwards noted: The way to Heaven is ascending; we must be content to travel uphill, though it be hard and tiresome, and contrary to the natural bias of our flesh.
Pastor Jim Cymbala: We need the power of God more than prosperity. The word of God can only be carried on by the power of God. The church is a spiritual organism fighting spiritual battles: only spiritual power can make it perform as God ordained.