Self centered people are the most miserable people on the planet,
and those who are sharing and helping others are the happiest people in the world.
There was a man,
and some did count him mad,
the more he gave away,
the more he had.
What is the gospel commission?
It’s an invitation and a command, but more of an invitation of privilege.
God’s purpose for our involvement in witnessing to the world is described in Mark 8
Here’s what Morris gets from the text:
“If my primary purpose for being a Christian is so I can get to Heaven I probably won’t be there, but
If my primary purpose for being a Christian is so I can share the good news of Salvation with others then most likely we’ll all be there.”
Although I agree with this ‘primary purpose’ premise,
I disagree that it is exactly what this text is saying.
‘It is for our benefit that God gave us the command to share the good news of Salvation.’
Absolutely spot on Brother! ;o) What a great gift that is!
Now, HERE is what I KNOW from my own experience.
When I obtained a genuine relationship & ongoing experience with Jesus
It makes me want to reach out to others.
I will not be able to help it,
and so because of that,
I hadn’t even considered that I NEEDED to do this work for God
in order to be saved.
[I’m already saved!]
I’m simply doing it because
I’m so excited about what God is doing in my life
that the excitement begs for a release,
it begs to be shared, it has to go somewhere!
It’s described perfectly by “the full cup that is running over”.
I read that verse (Mark 8:35) quite differently.
To me, after comparing every alternate translation I could find,
it seems to be saying this.
Comparing the King James Version in red ink (Jesus speaking).
For whosoever will save his life
Whoever is trying to save his earthly (or temporal) life,
shall lose it;
will lose his eternal (or spiritual) life
whosoever shall lose his life
and whoever gives up his earthly life,
for My sake and the gospel’s,
for Christ and the Gospels sake,
the same shall save it.
will save his spiritual life in the eternal kingdom of God.
Everyone I’ve ever listened to with regard to this text
has always equated it with
nothing more than a life and death experience.
Although in some ways that is definitely true
(the 11 disciples that died for their belief in Christ is one example),
I believe there is a deeper meaning,
that can make a big difference in our understanding of the text.
I believe that when it refers to
losing (or giving up) our earthly or temporal life
that it means, in a greater sense,
the things of this life that are not of a spiritual nature.
By giving up our focus on the earthly, temporal, worldly life
we can then fully grasp hold of the eternal things,
such as the Gospel of Christ our Salvation.
We are indeed giving up our focus on the temporary gains of this worldly life,
(the natural desire [or goal] of a mans life is on what he can gain)
in exchange for a new focus on the Spiritual gains of an Eternal Life with God.
The very next verse solidifies that thought by asking…
36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world,
and lose his own soul?
36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world,
and forfeit his life [in the eternal kingdom of God]?
Give up the focus on worldly things, and
redirect your focus to the Eternal things of God,
the life saving message
Salvation through Jesus Christ The Son of God!
When the message of Salvation is truly understood and accepted into a life,
THAT person will NOT be able to keep quiet
about what God has done for them through His Son Christ Jesus!
Without a true conversion…
that natural desire to share God’s love will not be evident!
Here is why some preachers feel like they need to get up in front of the church and beg for people to do God’s work! Instead, the message that the people need is one that will bring them into that real, truly vibrant, close, daily growth experience with God. That’s what true conversion brings.
That is the very point that Morris is building up to.
There is only one reason why a truly converted individual shares
the good news of Salvation through Christ Jesus.
They can’t help themselves!
There is an important point that must be made here.
This point is in stark contrast to what the Adventist church has practiced
from it’s inception, and that is…
IF EACH OF US DON’T DO OUR PART
in the witnessing program
in order to bring people into a saving relationship with God…
THEN SOMEONE WILL BE LOST,
DUE TO OUR FAILURE TO WITNESS!
The guilt trip religion revisited!
Fortunately, that concept is being changed by this message!
Does anyone really believe that God is going to leave the fate of any person on this planet in the hands of any other sinful, weak individual on earth?
The concept has been a method used to get the church members to go out and hand out tracts door to door, or to go ‘in-gathering’, etc., but none of that is anywhere CLOSE to what Jesus gives as the example of effective witnessing, nor does it address the real needs of the people within the church.
Who is it that you trust more, friends & family members, or a stranger?
The demon possessed men who had just been saved were obviously appreciative and no doubt excited (the cup overflowing) about having just been freed from the power of the devil.
They wanted to stay with Jesus, to keep Him in their lives, but Jesus knew that right at that moment they would have the greatest effect on their family and friends by sharing how God had saved them.
If we haven’t had a life saving experience, and don’t have an ongoing daily relationship with God, then we’ll have nothing to share, and so we’ll have no desire to witness for God.
That is the problem with 90% of ALL professed ‘Christians’ today.
We can plan on seeing the Power Of God at work when we get involved with sharing the good news of Salvation, and that’s exciting!
Not only is it exciting, but it is a joyful experience as well.
Ps 126:5 Those who sow in tears will reap in joy.
6 He who goes out weeping, carrying seed for sowing,
will certainly come again with joy, carrying his sheaves.
It certainly is good to know that if
“we have Jesus back, He has our back” as well!
So, back to the question,
“Will someone be lost if we don’t witness”?
Morris says if we don’t get involved then, WE will be the ones that are lost!
Without taking advantage of the witnessing & sharing opportunities we are blessed with, we (our Christian experience) will soon die!
Bible study, prayer and sharing are all needed to help the body grow in Christ.
Now, HERE is where things get a little Iffy to me, but hang tough folks!
I’m afraid that these two texts are a bit of a stretch for me to ‘go with the flow’ so to speak. I have no clue why Morris feels the need to stress this, that “the grace of God” – “that brings salvation” – “has appeared to all men.”
Every translation OTHER THAN the King James Version puts it this way.
The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people. That interpretation is consistent with every other statement of that kind that I’ve ever read, but I’ve yet to find anywhere that says the grace of God appeared to all mankind, other than that verse. Compare these texts;
Lu 3:6; Ro 5:15; 1Ti 2:4; Tit 3:4-5; 1Pe 5:12
Lu 3:6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God. (KJV)
Ro 5:15 But not as the offense, so also is the free gift. For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. (KJV)
Joh 1:9 That was the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world. KJV
1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (KJV)
1Ti 2:4 (WEB) who desires all people to be saved and come to full knowledge of the truth.
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (KJV)
Tit 3:5 not by works of righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy, he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, (WEB)
God does not hold us accountable for being born on the wrong planet.
So, until we can understand and chose between right and wrong
we are saved? Really?
We are born sinful, but we are not held accountable for that.
That certainly sounds fair, doesn’t it?
We know that God is love, but
is God responsible for every child being born in this world?
Does God ‘OK’, or ‘NIX’ every pregnancy that occurs on this planet?
If God must authorize every pregnancy, then why does a prostitute EVER get pregnant, and why wouldn’t God have simply never allowed Bathsheba to become pregnant in a sinful relationship with David?
(Is there life without God? No!)
There will always be questions that beg for answers,
but since God is the source of all life,
then The God of Love must
give everyone an adequate opportunity for salvation.
That’s what Love is all about, &
~ GOD IS LOVE ~
I love those truths… but then
how do we explain the third commandment in Exodus 20:5 & 6?
Exodus 20:5 (KJV)
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
If you read it in the Common English Translation;
5 Don’t bow down and worship idols. I am the Lord your God, and I demand all your love. If you reject me, I will punish your families for three or four generations. 6 But if you love me and obey my laws, I will be kind to your families for thousands of generations.
Or, how about the new century version?
5 You must not worship or serve any idol, because I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God. If you hate me, I will punish your children, and even your grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 6 But I show kindness to thousands who love me and obey my commands.
Is it implying that the parents who hate God
will NOT TEACH their children about God
and so the children suffer from
NEVER getting the opportunity to know God?
If that’s the case
then it destroys the whole concept
is given ample opportunity for Salvation!
How about Cain’s children, and why would there only be Noah left when there were obviously more children born to the birthright parents and they also must have received the same training and heard all the same stories that Noah heard?
Why would God require the children of Israel to kill Men, Women & Children,
along with all the animals of the heathen nations around them?
That sounds like the sentence of the third commandment being carried out.
It sounds like the children are being punished for the parents sins!
That is quite the opposite of what Morris is saying above!
Now, how do we explain away the death of King David and Bathsheba’s son,
the one who was conceived during a sinful union?
It wasn’t that child’s fault that his parents sinned. Will that child be in Heaven?
Then after the murder of Bathsheba’s lawful husband,
God seems to have sanctioned the union
by not only blessing them with more children,
including King Solomon,
but an even greater blessing was that the Son of God,
the Savior of all mankind was born
as a decedent of that sinful union!
What a difference it makes when
the sinner (King David) is also a person who Loves God!
Remember the 3rd commandment?
“them that HATE me”?
Take a moment to think on that, because understanding that God’s Love is involved in every aspect of it is important, just like understanding that His Love is involved in every aspect of all life is important!
Now Morris continues with this thought.
He says that he doesn’t believe that everyone has
an EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
to get to know GOD,
using the fact that people living in Christian Based Countries
have a better opportunity than those who live in a country that is openly atheist.
(North Korea is an excellent example)
But, although the opportunity isn’t EQUAL,
it would seem like it would need to be at least ADEQUATE
to provide enough ‘LIGHT’
for each individual to accept “something better”.
So I got to thinking
But, since it is GOD that provides the opportunity,
then why would HE NOT provide an equal opportunity?
So, is everyone born saved until they chose to be lost?
Is THAT the equal opportunity?
I keep going back to the 3rd commandment for some reason.
What about “the old Adventist wives tale” that
all ‘children under the age of 12’ (or ‘accountability’)
are lost if their parents are lost,
or are saved if their parents are saved? Is that true?
The only place that I can imagine this idea coming from would again be
the 3rd commandment, and the destruction of babies under God’s direction!
Morris claims that the old wives tail isn’t true, and I agree.
So, is everyone born saved until they chose to be lost?
Is THAT the equal opportunity? It could be!
It Is certainly what I believe Our Loving God would provide!
So that is really good news for all those little kids who died before the age of accountability… that God loves them and wants them to be saved.
Think of all the little babies that will be in Heaven and get to grow up never having to grow up on that sinful planet they were conceived on! No wonder Jesus told the Disciples, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven”!
It will all be part of their history lessons growing up, learning about how God’s Son Jesus came and saved that very child from having to even go through all of that! NICE lessons, & the kids will love their schooling.
So… to get back on topic,
people will ask “well then, if me not witnessing, or sharing God’s love with others, is not going to affect whether someone else is lost, then what’s the point? Is there any reason for me to do anything? or…
Can’t I have a part in someone else being saved?
Absolutely you can, but if you chose NOT to, then God will provide another avenue for them to be reached. Put simply, You will have lost out on the Great Blessing that God had tried to provide for your experience, and your Christian experience will have suffered as a result!
Morris tells a great parable here. [It’s at the 27 minute mark on this video.] It’s a favorite of mine about taking a trip to Loma Linda vs a trip to Vegas, or LA, or is it from LA to Vegas? 2funny.
Although you will not be
whether or not someone else chooses to be saved,
you can certainly play a role while sharing in the joy with that person while these transitions take place! It’s the joy that we all share in the Salvation of others that is a gift we are able to open…
This Side of
But then think about this one.
Eternal life is forever, and so won’t it be fun
to be able to hang out with the people you helped
to find a friend in Jesus? Amen!!
If having “A Friendship with Jesus” is the only message you are sharing, then you’ll never have to be concerned with ‘choking‘ anyone with your ‘Religion‘.
Now listen to the story at the 35 min mark.
If I want to live, I’ll want to give.
There was a man,
and some did count him mad,
the more he gave away,
the more he had.