God alone is Sovereign

1 Chronicles 29:11

Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

700 Billion!!!

I found this cartoon online and although it's funny, it does have a lot of truth in it. How sad it must be for the person that is not standing on the one true foundation (Jesus Christ) during these troubling times.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Scripture for the Day

Psalm 19:14

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Scripture for the Day

Proverbs 18:22

"He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the Lord."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Scripture for the Day

I read Psalm chapter 17 today and this verse stood out to me.

Psalm 17:6

"I have called upon You, for You will answer me, O God; Incline Your ear to me, hear my speech."

Lord give me patience as I wait on Your calling in my life.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

He measures the universe with the span of His hand

I like the New Living Translation of Isaiah 40:12a

"Who else has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers?..."

I all the sudden feel very small!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dallas Conference

I am in Dallas, Texas for a three day REO real estate conference this week. Before the trip I prayed that the Lord would allow me or my associates from Enternethomes.com to make some good contacts for our real estate business. I also prayed that the Lord would give me some divine appointed opportunities to witness and He has not let me down.

We arrived in Dallas Wednesday at 10:30AM central time zone. The flight was smooth and not crowded at all. It must have been because we were flying out of Charlotte, North Carolina. I really wanted to have an opportunity to witness on the plane, but the gentlemen that sat next to me did not want to talk and slept most of the flight. I really felt down about this because I so eagerly wanted to speak with him. He did wake up about 10 minutes before touchdown and I was able to give him a gospel tract, but just could not get the conversation going in a spiritual direction before unloading the plane.

Once off the plane we headed to our hotel to see if we might be able to check in early. Early check in was a no go, so we headed down the street to a Mexican restaurant for lunch. After lunch we were able to get into our rooms and just relaxed until the Welcome Reception for the conference started over at the Hilton.

The Welcome Reception was crazy. They had a band playing, alcohol pouring and to many people for the reception room. Everyone must have been starving because the three tables with food were packed out. I waited for about hour to get three crab cakes and the only reason I got the anything was because a nice woman in front of me helped me out. After that I could not take it any longer in the banquet hall. There was just too many people boozing it up, the music was too loud to talk and people were elbow to elbow. I headed outside and made my way into the large lobby of Hilton.

Down in the lobby, while trying to locate a cup of coffee, I met Jill. Now Jill was at the conference all by herself and trying to break into the REO business for banks. Jill was a very nice middle aged woman who was married and had one child about 3 years old. We made small talk about family and real estate for about 15 minutes. I was wondering how I could spin the conversation to spiritual things when she said the word that would change everything, God. Jill was about to become my first witnessing accouter in Dallas whether she liked it or not.

Jill said about 10 times how good she was, but once we looked at God’s law (10 commandments) she quickly began to see herself in a different light. Jill’s religious background was Jewish-Christian-Secular-Etc…She thought all roads lead to heaven and only the “real bad people” go to hell. I explained in the gentlest softest tone I could muster that like me and everyone else on this earth, we have all broken God’s law and deserve hell. Jill actually asked “how can anyone be made right with God” and “how does the God’s law get satisfied.” I shared with her about Christ, repentance and placing her faith in what Christ did for us.

Jill then threw me a curve ball. She brought up her Grandmother who had recently passed away. Jill said to me, “so what about my Grandmother, is she in hell for not believing? My Grandmother was a good person, a great person who loved her children.” This was the toughest question I have faced. I tried to be as polite as possible, but pointed out there are none who are good compared to God and all have sinned and fall short of His glory. I asked her to please try and focus on herself and her family.

The conversation with Jill ended when she started talking with another woman next to her. I could tell she did this because she was convicted, so I just politely excused myself. But before leaving I did give her a gospel tract. The seed of God’s truth was planted in Jill’s heart; I just pray that the Lord will grow it. Please pray for her.

I decided to head back to the room around 9PM and when I arrived in the lobby, I realized I had not really had any supper. The restaurant was still open so I sat down to order a burger. While I was waiting to order two women approached me and asked if they could sit at my table and have dinner also. They were in town for the same conference and obviously had the same problem I had over at the Welcome Reception about getting food. I thought to myself, “Lord you are awesome. I prayed before heading out that night that you would bring some divine appointments to me and here are two people I can easily witness to.”

Lonnie, Sharka and me had a nice dinner in the hotel lobby. They were from the San Diego area which was interesting, because I had just earlier in year went on a short mission trip there. While we ate real estate was our topic of discussion. During our causal conversation Lonnie or Sharka mentioned God, and I knew the Lord had given me another easy open door for spinning the conversation towards spiritual things.

Both ladies claimed to be Christians and Sharka even used the words “saved” and “repent.” I used the famous knife in the back, three minutes to live scenario to find out if they really understood what being a Christian is. Now for those who do not know what the three minute scenario is let me fill you in. This is great to use for professing Christians. When someone claims to be a Christian and there is even a hint they might not be, this is what I say, “Let’s say you just walked up on me and I have a knife in my back, I am dying and only have three minutes to live. I am not saved, what are you going to tell me?”

Well Sharka failed at helping me understand what I needed to do to be saved. She used “Jesus loves me…pray this prayer…you’re a sinner, etc…” to which politely said, “I don’t believe Jesus existed…how is a prayer going to help me, I’m dying…SINNER, I’m not any worst than anyone else.” Once the three minutes had passed and I was dead in our practice scenario, I asked them both if they would like for me to witness in three minutes. They both seemed eager to hear, so this is basically what I told them.

“First it does not matter if you believe in God or not, you are dying and you are about to meet Him. The Bible says in 1 John that transgression of God’s law is sin. What is God’s law? Well basically it can be summed up in the 10 commandments. Let’s look at just a few. If you tell just one lie you are a liar, if you steal just one thing you a thief, if you just look with lust at someone Jesus said you are guilty of committing adultery, or how about using God’s name in vain? That is called blasphemy and very serious.”

I could tell conviction had come to both Lonnie and Sharka, and God’s law was doing what it was intended to do. I went on to tell them,

“You are about to die and God is going to see you as a lying, thief, blasphemer and adulterer at heart. You will be guilty standing in front of God and will be punished for your crime with eternity in hell.” Now that the law has done its job I could move on to the good news and talk about Christ, the cross, repentance and faith.

Both girls seemed very thankful regarding our evening conversation and said they had a lot to think about. Please pray the Lord will grow His seed in their hearts and find true salvation that only comes from genuine repentance and faith in Christ.

Today I woke up with a small cold. As the day wore on I started feeling worse and worse. I eventually came back to the room earlier to try and get some rest. Tomorrow is my last full day here in Dallas. Hopefully I will be feeling better in the morning and I will have a few more good opportunities to share God’s truth while I’m here, Lord willing.

Proverb for the Day

Proverbs 14:27

Fear of the Lord is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Purpose Driven Life - Video Review

Where is the true God in the modern Church. Why do we not hear more about the holiness of God, how God hates sin, what sin is (transgression of the law), righteousness, judgment to come and repentance. God have mercy on his preachers if they do not do what the Apostle Paul did, "Preach the whole council of God" not just God loves you.

This is one book I think I will not read.

Persecuted Christians in India

Please pray for the Christians in India who are right now being persecuted.

Proverb for the Day

Proverbs 13:20

He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Proverb for the Day

Proverbs 12:22

Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal faithfully are His delight.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

September 14 Bible Fellowship Lesson

Serving the Lord Faithfully

The Lord empowers those who know Him and faithfully serve Him.
1 Samuel Chapter 3: 1-10, 15-4:1


The next book in the Bible we will be studying is in 1 Samuel. 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel were originally one volume in the Hebrew Bible and then later divided into two books by the translators of the Greek version. They provide the history of Israel from the end of the Judges period to the last years of King David (1075-975BC). The writings are essentially religious history: the story of God and the nation – particularly God the nation leaders. Faithfulness to God is seen as the key to success: to disobey God spells disaster. The human author is unknown.

As 1 Samuel begins, Israel was at a very low point spiritually. Some things we will see as we begin our study in 1st and 2nd Samuel are: the priesthood was corrupt, the Ark of the Covenant was taken from the tabernacle, idolatry was practiced, and most judges were dishonest.

Since our missionary John last week taught when we were supposed to be looking at 1 Samuel 1 and 2 lets take a quick look before we dig into chapter 3. Chapter one really talks about a woman named Hannah and how she was disgraced because God had closed her womb and she could not bare children. Chapter 1:10 says, “Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord.” Hannah made a vow that she would give her son back to God for his entire lifetime if God would just look down on her sorrow. Verse 19 tells us how the Lord remembered her request and she became pregnant and had little Samuel. Hannah was obedient.

Now Eli was the priest at the Tabernacle were the Ark of the Covenant was in Shiloh and this is who Hannah gave her child to. We see in Chapter 2 that Eli had some sons who were corrupt and had no respect for the Lord or their priestly duties. In verse 27 of Chapter 2 we see an unknown prophet come to Eli and give a message from the Lord. Basically the message to Eli was that due to his failure being a parent and with his sons being wicked, his entire family would die before their time.

Now let’s pick up in Chapter 3 and see how Samuel served the Lord faithfully.

Eagerness to Serve (1Sam. 3:1-6)

Historian’s suggested Samuel was about twelve (teenager). The Hebrew word for boy here in the same one used for David when he slew Goliath. (No matter our age God can use us).

The word serving here in the Hebrew was a common term in the OT for performing various duties at the tabernacle. Samuel most likely had three main specific tasks: Tending to Eli the priest, kept night watch in the temple and opening the doors in the morning to the temple.

In verse 3 the lamp of God was the golden lamp stand, located in the Holy Place of the tabernacle. It was to be keep burning from evening until morning.

It is interesting to note that as soon as Samuel heard the voice he jumped and ran to Eli (Eager to Serve).

To serve the Lord faithfully we need to be (eager) (Eagerness to Serve). Eagerness can be defined as: marked by enthusiastic or impatient desire or interest.


Ray Comfort right after he became a Christian on the bus.


As Christians we should not need the Church to ask us to serve, we should be enthusiastic and looking for opportunities to serve faithfully right where we are. 2 Chronicles 16:9 “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him….”

Readiness to Serve (1Sam.3:7-10)

Samuel did not yet know the Lord. Know or experienced in the Hebrew verb means from the senses. Literally Samuel had not heard (ears) or seen (vision) from God.

Taking 3 times for Eli to figure out God was calling Samuel just indicates Eli’s spiritual perception was not what it should have been. (We need to be Reading our Bible Daily and Praying Daily)

Vs.9-10 Eli tells Samuel if someone calls again say Yes (would invite God to continue speaking), Lord (indicates Samuel knew who he was speaking to) and your servant is listening (affirm his willingness to obey).

To serve the Lord faithfully we not only need to be (eager), but we need to be (ready). We need (Readiness to Serve). Readiness can be defined as: prepared mentally or physically for some experience or action. prepared for immediate use.


How do you get ready to serve the Lord? The same way the Military or Sports teams get ready for war or a game, they train. Then they train and then train more. We need to be praying and reading our Bibles daily without fail to be ready to serve God faithfully.

Humbleness to Serve (1Sam.3:15-18)

It is normal to be afraid if we fill God calling us, but it is not acceptable to ignore His calling. We see Samuel is afraid, but as Vs. 18 notes, he did not hold anything back. (Complete Obedience)

Although we see that the Lord is speaking to Samuel and not Eli, the fact that Samuel was afraid to tell him indicates how much he respected Eli the priest. Samuel was humble even after the Lord spoke to him and not Eli.

It is interesting that Eli although in a bad spiritual state, still resigned himself to divine sovereignty of God, without reluctance.

So to serve the Lord faithfully we need to be (eager), (ready) and (humble). We need (Humbleness to Serve). Humbleness can be defined as: not proud or haughty: not arrogant or assertive.


Lincoln once got caught up in a situation where he wanted to please a politician, so he issued a command to transfer certain regiments. When the secretary of war, Edwin Stanton, received the order, he refused to carry it out. He said that the President was a fool. Lincoln was told what Stanton had said, and he replied, "If Stanton said I'm a fool, then I must be, for he is nearly always right. I'll see for myself." As the two men talked, the President quickly realized that his decision was a serious mistake, and without hesitation he withdrew it.


Another definition of being humble is (submission). We have to let go of our proud hearts. James 4:6 “…(b) “God sets himself against the proud, but he shows favor to the humble.”

Willingness to Serve (1Sam.3:19-4:1a)

Everything Samuel said as a prophet was wise and helpful. The King James translation says that the Lord did not allow “none of his words to fall to the ground.” This means all Samuel said as a prophet proved true.

All of Israel knew God had confirmed Samuel as a prophet and the Lord continued to speak and guide him. Samuel continued to willing serve the Lord for all of Israel.

So to faithfully serve God we need to be (eager), (ready), (humble) and (willing). We need (Willingness to Serve). Willingness can be defined as: acting or ready to act gladly; eagerly compliant.


Serving the Lord faithfully: trusting in His promises and being willing to go wherever He might ask you. A great example of serving the Lord faithfully was our missionaries last week. They were faithfully serving the Lord in South Asia. John and Stephanie were eager to serve (you could see their enthusiastic spirits), they were ready to serve (they both had the training and were mentally and physically prepared), they were humble (they both were very down to earth and not proud at heart) and they were willing to serve (they were actively doing something). What are we doing here in the United States to faithfully serve the Lord? Are we dying to ourselves everyday and living for Christ? Are we being obedient right were we are?

If you are feeling led to start serving the Lord and do not where to serve then please come to our team meeting tonight. Everyone is welcome and we can get you plugged in. Maybe the Lord is calling on your heart about something else; please don’t let that calling pass without talking to someone. Trent and I are always available. My information is on the top of the outline and I would be glad to speak with any of you anytime.

Life is short. The things we are serving for this world will not last. They will pass away like everything else, but the things of God will last forever. Will we start today faithfully serving God right where we are at?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Proverb for the Day

Proverbs 11:25

The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Proverb for the Day

Proverbs 9:10

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Proverb for the Day

Proverbs 8:11

For wisdom is better than jewels; And all desirable things cannot compare with her.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Proverb for the Day

Proverbs 7:2

Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Proverb for the Day

Proverbs 5:21

For a man's ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all his paths.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Laborers for the Harvest

This past week I have had the opportunity to visit with some new friends who are stateside from Nepal, Kathmandu. They are career missionaries in the South Asia area. My church at First Baptist North Spartanburg every year about this same time brings in missionaries from around the world to give us a glimpse into what God is doing around the world. This year has proved again the Lord is working mightily and the harvest is still great. Each Sunday school class is assigned a missionary and my class was blessed with Zeke and Myra Goforth.

Zeke and Myra are from the United States and have been blessed with a hand full of wonderful children. As noted above they are career missionaries and are being obedient to Christ in taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).

There is no way I can do their story justice, and there are just too many things to write about, so I will write about just one thing they mentioned and throw in some information about the South Asia area.

Zeke shared Friday night about leaning completely on the Lord for all your needs. He talked about how here in America we can pretty much take care of ourselves. I believe he used the term “pulling your bootstraps up yourself.” Basically right now here in America we really do not have to learn on God for simple things like (Power-Electricity) and (Water). But over in Nepal these basics are not to be taken for granted. During some times of the year they have to go hours on hours without power and public water is sometimes shut off. They do have people that bring water into their area, but they only deliver once or twice a month.

Zeke shared a story of how one of his children got sick and started vomiting. It was some kind of stomach bug and they were trying to keep their child well hydrated. Well right in the height of the illness they ran out of water. No water! Their child is still throwing up and they have no way to wash the towels they have used to clean up, which is leaving them in bind because they cannot wash out the towels to reuse. But really most important is that they need to hydrate their sick child. What do you do? Well you go to God and that’s what they did. Zeke said in their despair they pleaded with the Lord asking for rain. God is good and a few hours later the bottom fell out and rained enough to get them through until the water came back on and the water trucks made their deliveries.

Wow. We here in the United States really have no idea what that is like. I know there are some that experience tough times, but who here in America does not have access to public water if they need it? There were many, many more stories similar to that one where there is no doubt God is Sovereign and in control of all things. He is the one who holds the rain in the clouds and allows it to fall to the earth.

Let me change gears real quick and give some interesting information about the South Asia area. This information is from the International Mission Board’s website. David Garrison the IMB Regional Leader for South Asia said this about South Asia,

“Who are We?

We are the greatest concentration of lostness on earth.We are a region comprising seven countries with a total population of nearly 1.5 billion. That’s more than one-fifth of the world’s population. South Asia is home to one out of every four non-Christians on earth, and more Unengaged Unreached People Groups than all the rest of the world combined! In short, South Asia is a region crying out for God. It has been rightly said, “As South Asia goes, so goes the Great Commission.” For those who are called to the Great Commission, there simply is no place on earth with greater needs, openness and responsiveness. We are a family of God-called men, women and children serving in dozens of language groups across the subcontinent. We have intertwined our destinies with those of our Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Animist, Sikh, Jain and atheist neighbors. We have dedicated our lives to spreading the love of Christ to those who have never experienced it. We are becoming all things to all peoples in order that by all means, we might win some. And by the grace of God, we are seeing many coming to new life in Christ. In South Asia, God is gathering a great harvest of souls from every language, tribe and tongue. And yet South Asia remains a largely undeveloped harvest field, where the lost still outnumber our IMB missionaries by more than six million to one. Wherever we sow, we reap. But where the fields lie fallow, there can be no harvest. Are you still looking for a good reason to join God in the vast harvest fields of South Asia? I can think of at least 1.5 billion.”

Some interesting facts about South Asia:

South Asia Region
1.47 billion
1.1 billion
168 million
149 million
29 million
Sri Lanka
20 million
2 million

How many Hindus?
867 million
How many of the Hindus are Dalits (Untouchables)?
162 million
How many Muslims?
430 million
How many Tribals/Animists?
102 million
How many Buddhists?
31 million
How many Sikhs?
21 million
How many Jains?
4 million
How many Evangelical Christians?
22 million
How many lost?
1.449 billion
That’s 1.449 billion lost concentrated in an area less than half the size of the United States.

Predominant religion in each country
Hinduism (79.8%)
Hinduism (74.8%)
Islam (99.4%)
Islam (96.1%)
Islam (85.6%)
Buddhism (72.0%)
Sri Lanka
Buddhism (71.9%)

Number of IMB missionary units in South Asia**
246 IMB missionary units
Ratio of IMB unit to lost population
1 unit per 6 million lost persons
**January 2007

The information above makes me think about the previous blog I published about Hell. Do we as professing Christians truly believe people who die without Christ’s blood covering their sins will go to Hell? If we don’t believe in Hell then we are calling Jesus a liar and that is not possible, because He is God and God cannot lie. Jesus said in Mathew 18:8-9 “If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.” These verses are just one of many that are in the bible. Hell is real and a terrifying reality we should never forget.

If we do believe in Hell then we need to be praying what Jesus said in Matthew 9:37-38 "…The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." Now there are a couple of reasons why one might not pray for the Lord of Harvest to rise up laborers. First we might be scared or frightened that God might ask us to go and second we might not really care if people go into the harvest field. Let me quickly address both issues.

First if you are frightened that’s ok. It is an uneasy thing to let go of self and be completely obedient with your life to the Lord. But it is not acceptable to continue living for self if you claim that Jesus is your master. Jesus tells us in John 14:23-24 "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.” Obeying Christ means doing what he says in Matthew 9:37-38 as noted in the above paragraph.

Second if we do not really care if people go into the harvest field to seek the lost, we might be lost ourselves. If we could care less whether someone goes into the harvest field then we could care less whether someone in the harvest field dies and goes to Hell. 1 John 4:8 says “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” It would be wise to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith like 2 Corinthians 13:5 "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?”

So the question is will we start asking the Lord to raise up laborers even if the laborers might be ourselves. I am reminded of something I heard the other day.

(Sinners are laughing, the world is dying, Hell is boasting: It will all be over shortly)

Thank you to all who are faithfully serving Christ and being completely obedient to His calling. May God continue to bless and prosper your life.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Proverb of the Day

Proverbs 4: 23-24

23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do. 24 Avoid all perverse talk; stay far from corrupt speech.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Clouds and Testimonies

I was just sitting here tonight browsing some Christian blogs, looking at some Christian videos and had a very old memory pop into my mind. I remembered when I was a young boy, before sin radical almost destroyed me, being outside during sunny days looking up at the clouds and in the clouds I could see all kinds of things. I could see all kinds of animals, people, shapes, etc…I remember how something so simple like looking into the cloudy sky could bring such joy. I remember just laying on my back for what seems like hours just watching the clouds pass by. They were so big and white and puffy. What a precious memory the Lord allowed me to have tonight. I have not thought about those days in 20 plus years.

What brought that thought on? I am not completely sure but it prompted me to write this blog and post the video below of Paul Washer’s testimony. My story is not exactly like Mr. Washer’s but it’s not completely that different either. The Lord has saved me. The Lord has saved me, a vile wicked man who deserves death in Hell. Now that I understand how much I have trampled and transgressed God’s holy law, I can clearly see the cross and what Jesus did for me. How can I not serve Him who humbled Himself out of His glory and divine dwelling place to come and die a criminal’s death? I am the criminal and the one who should have had to pay. Christ is Holy and sinless, and died for me while I am still a criminal. Again how can I not serve Him?

If you like the short Paul Washer testimony and would like to hear one of his messages, click on the link to the right ---------->
“If you don’t look at anything else on this blog, please watch this!”

Thank you Lord for saving me!

Proverb of the Day

Proverbs 3: 3-4

3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Proverb for the Day

Proverbs 2:6

For the Lord grants wisdom! From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

John Piper - Powerless Pulpits Deny the Existence of Hell

Do professing Christians really believe there is a Hell?

10 Steps for New and Growing Christians - 3rd Step


There really is not much to say for step 3 out of the 10 except, whom have you witnessed to today? Who have you handed a tract to today? Or where have you left a clear gospel tract for someone to find today?

The most important command is to love God with all our mind, heart, soul and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourself. If we say we love God then we must love our neighbors enough to witness to them. (1 John 4:8 – Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.) Love is not passive.

Evangelism - Our Most Sobering Task

It was late in December, 1996. A large family gathered in Los Angeles for the joyous occasion of wrapping Christmas presents. It was a big family because it was the product of two marriages. There were so many gathered that night, five of the children slept in the garage. It was a converted structure, kept warm during the cold night by an electric heater which sat by the door.

During the early hours of the morning, the heater suddenly burst into flames, blocking the doorway. In seconds the room became a blazing inferno. The frantic 911 call revealed the unspeakable terror of the moment. One of the children could be heard screaming, "I'm on fire!" The distraught father vainly rushed into the flames to try and save his beloved children. He received burns to 50% of his body. Tragically, all five of the children burned to death. They died because steel bars on the windows of the garage thwarted their escape. There was only one door, and that was stopped by the flames.

You are back in time. It's minutes before the heater burst into flames. You peer through the darkness at the peaceful sight of five sleeping youngsters. You know that at any moment the room is going to erupt into an inferno and burn the flesh of horrified children. Can you in good conscience walk away? No! You must awaken them, and warn them to run from that death trap!

The world sleeps peacefully in the darkness of ignorance. There is only one Door by which they may escape death. The steel bars of sin prevent their salvation, and at the same time call for the flames of Eternal Justice. What a fearful thing Judgment Day will be! The fires of the wrath of Almighty God will burn for eternity. The Church has been entrusted with the task of awakening them before it's too late. We cannot turn our backs and walk away in complacency. Think of how the father ran into the flames. His love knew no bounds, and our devotion to the sober task that God has given us will be in direct proportion to our love for the lost. There are only a few who run headlong into the flames to warn them to flee (Luke 10:2). Please be one of them. We really have no choice. The Apostle Paul said, "Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!" (1 Corinthians 9:16).

It was the "Prince of Preachers," Charles Spurgeon, who said the words, "Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that." A Christian cannot be apathetic about the salvation of the world. The love of God in him will motivate him to seek and save that which is lost.

You probably have a limited amount of time after your conversion to impact your unsaved friends and family with the Gospel. After the initial shock of your conversion, they will put you in a neat little ribbon-tied box, and keep you at arm's length. So it's important that you take advantage of the short time you have while you still have their ears.

Here's some advice that will save you a great deal of grief. As a new Christian, a friend of mine did almost irreparable damage by acting like a wild bull in a crystal showroom. He bullied his mom, his dad, and many of his friends into making a "decision for Christ". He was sincere, zealous, loving, kind, and stupid. He didn't understand that salvation doesn't come through making a "decision," but through repentance, and repentance is God-given (see 2 Timothy 2:25). The Bible teaches that no one can come to the Son unless God "draws" him. If you are able to get a decision but they have no conviction of sin, you will almost certainly end up with a still-born on your hands.

In his"zeal without knowledge" he actually inoculated the very ones he was so desperately trying to reach. There is nothing more important to you than the salvation of your loved ones, and you don't want to blow it. If you do, you may find that you don't have a second chance. Fervently pray for them, thanking God for their salvation. Let them see your faith. Let them feel your kindness, your genuine love, and your gentleness. Buy gifts for no reason. Do chores when you are not asked to. Go the extra mile. Put yourself in their position. You know that you have found everlasting life. Death has lost its sting! Your joy is unspeakable -- but as far as they are concerned, you have been brain-washed. You have become part of a weird sect. So your loving actions will speak more loudly than ten thousand eloquent sermons.

It is because of these thoughts that you should hold back from verbal confrontation until you have knowledge that will guide your zeal. Pray for wisdom and for a sensitivity to God's timing. You may have only one shot, so make it count. Keep your cool. If you don't, you may end up with a lifetime of regret. Believe me. It is better to hear a loved one or a close friend say, "Tell me about your faith in Jesus Christ," rather than you saying, "Sit down. I want to talk to you."

It is important to realize that we should share our faith with others whenever we can. The Bible says that there are only two times we should do this -- "in season and out of season" (2 Timothy 4:2). The Apostle Paul pleaded for prayer for his own personal witness. He said, ". . . that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak," (Ephesians 6:19-20).

Remember that you have the sobering responsibility of speaking to other peoples' loved ones. Many times when you open your mouth for the Gospel, you may be the answer to the earnest prayer of another Christian. Perhaps he has cried out to God that He would use a faithful witness to speak to his beloved mom or dad, and you are that answer to prayer. You are that true and faithful witness that God wants to use.

Never lose sight of the world and all its pains. Keep the fate of the ungodly before your eyes. Too many of us settle down on a padded pew and become introverted. Our world becomes a monastery without walls. Our friends are confined solely to those within the Church, when Jesus was the "friend of sinners." So take the time to deliberately befriend them for the sake of their salvation. Remember that each and every person who dies in their sins has an appointment with the Judge of the Universe. Hell opens wide its terrible jaws. There is no more sobering task than to be entrusted with the Gospel of Salvation -- working with God for the eternal well-being of dying humanity.