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Please Consider an “Unlike Jesus” Seminar – Part 6

Friends: As you know, my most recent book is Unlike Jesus! Let’s Stop Unfriending the World.  I’m convinced many of us believers meet only with other Christians, watch only Christian movies, and eat only Christian casseroles. We make lousy friends because we’re not sure we’re supposed to be a friend of sinners!

In the next few posts, I’m going to hammer pretty hard on this idea of being a friend of sinners — like Jesus was! I have one goal in mind — to get you (and me) much more serious about the unbelievers we know and to challenge us to develop deep, committed friendships with them.

Just so you know, I’ve developed three videos which cover the basics of my book and can be used in a Zoom kind of church study. I would gladly lead the discussion (live) after your church group watches each video. All we have to do is schedule the meetings.

We’ve looked at the first two videos and a couple of short pitches for the book. Let’s look at a fourth pitch about . . . goodness!

 

 

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Please Consider an “Unlike Jesus” Seminar – Part 5

Friends: As you know, my most recent book is Unlike Jesus! Let’s Stop Unfriending the World.  I’m convinced many of us believers meet only with other Christians, watch only Christian movies, and eat only Christian casseroles. We make lousy friends because we’re not sure we’re supposed to be a friend of sinners!

In the next few posts, I’m going to hammer pretty hard on this idea of being a friend of sinners — like Jesus was! I have one goal in mind — to get you (and me) much more serious about the unbelievers we know and to challenge us to develop deep, committed friendships with them.

Just so you know, I’ve developed three videos which cover the basics of my book and can be used in a Zoom kind of church study. I would gladly lead the discussion (live) after your church group watches each video. All we have to do is schedule the meetings.

We’ve looked at the first two videos and a couple of short pitches for the book. Let’s look at a third pitch about . . . listening!

 

 

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Please Consider an “Unlike Jesus” Seminar – Part 4

Friends: As you know, my most recent book is Unlike Jesus! Let’s Stop Unfriending the World.  I’m convinced many of us believers meet only with other Christians, watch only Christian movies, and eat only Christian casseroles. We make lousy friends because we’re not sure we’re supposed to be a friend of sinners!

In the next few posts, I’m going to hammer pretty hard on this idea of being a friend of sinners — like Jesus was! I have one goal in mind — to get you (and me) much more serious about the unbelievers we know and to challenge us to develop deep, committed friendships with them.

Just so you know, I’ve developed three videos which cover the basics of my book and can be used in a Zoom kind of church study. I would gladly lead the discussion (live) after your church group watches each video. All we have to do is schedule the meetings.

We’ve looked at the first two videos. Let’s take a look at another short pitch I recorded for this series (it’s just over a minute and is about interruptions).

 

 

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Please Consider an “Unlike Jesus” Seminar – Part 3

Friends: As you know, my most recent book is Unlike Jesus! Let’s Stop Unfriending the World.  I’m convinced many of us believers meet only with other Christians, watch only Christian movies, and eat only Christian casseroles. We make lousy friends because we’re not sure we’re supposed to be a friend of sinners!

In the next few posts, I’m going to hammer pretty hard on this idea of being a friend of sinners — like Jesus was! I have one goal in mind — to get you (and me) much more serious about the unbelievers we know and to challenge us to develop deep, committed friendships with them.

Just so you know, I’ve developed three videos which cover the basics of my book and can be used in a Zoom kind of church study. I would gladly lead the discussion (live) after your church group watches each video. All we have to do is schedule the meetings.

We’ve looked at that first video. Let’s take a look at our second video in this series (it’s 44 minutes long!).

 

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Please Consider an “Unlike Jesus” Seminar – Part 2

Friends: As you know, my most recent book is Unlike Jesus! Let’s Stop Unfriending the World.  I’m convinced many of us believers meet only with other Christians, watch only Christian movies, and eat only Christian casseroles. We make lousy friends because we’re not sure we’re supposed to be a friend of sinners!

In the next few posts, I’m going to hammer pretty hard on this idea of being a friend of sinners — like Jesus was! I have one goal in mind — to get you (and me) much more serious about the unbelievers we know and to challenge us to develop deep, committed friendships with them.

Just so you know, I’ve developed three videos which cover the basics of my book and can be used in a Zoom kind of church study. I would gladly lead the discussion (live) after your church group watches each video. All we have to do is schedule the meetings.

We’ve looked at that first video. My publisher suggested I produce an “elevator pitch” — what I would say to someone about my book if I had 3 minutes in an elevator. So I did. And I took less than a minute! Enjoy!

 

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Please Consider an “Unlike Jesus” Seminar – Part 1

Friends: As you know, my most recent book is Unlike Jesus! Let’s Stop Unfriending the World.  I’m convinced many of us believers meet only with other Christians, watch only Christian movies, and eat only Christian casseroles. We make lousy friends because we’re not sure we’re supposed to be a friend of sinners!

In the next few posts, I’m going to hammer pretty hard on this idea of being a friend of sinners — like Jesus was! I have one goal in mind — to get you (and me) much more serious about the unbelievers we know and to challenge us to develop deep, committed friendships with them.

Just so you know, I’ve developed three videos which cover the basics of my book and can be used in a Zoom kind of church study. I would gladly lead the discussion (live) after your church group watches each video. All we have to do is schedule the meetings.

In fact, here’s the first video in the series. Let me know what you think!

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2021 in evangelism

 

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Dealing with DOUBT . . . and DOUBTERS! (A Study of Jude 22-23)

I. Show them mercy!

We don’t always treat doubters with kindness. We seem to resent their questions and can become angry at their unbelief. Os Guinness wrote a great book a few years ago entitled Doubt. It has been re-issued as In Two Minds. He’s also written an excellent article entitled “I Believe in Doubt” which may be found here.

We must give room for seekers to express their doubts and ask their questions. And that calls for MERCY!

II. Don’t lose the urgency of the gospel — “snatching them from the fire”

How close is your unsaved friend to eternity? One breath. One heartbeat. It’s not surprising that we Jesus-followers are sometimes over-zealous in presenting the gospel. Eternity is at stake! If I truly believe the gospel, sometimes I will feel compelled by the Holy Spirit to speak about eternal lostness. And so should you.

III. Have a godly fear yourself!

“mixed with fear”  — of what? Perhaps that doubt might begin to erode your own confidence in God. We are to show mercy mixed with fear. If this is a reference to the fear of the evangelist, then it might be a holy terror of what will happen to those who reject God’s mercy.

[I’m reminded of Galatians 6:1 which says, “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.” There is risk involved in ministry . . . and in evangelism.]

IV. Don’t lose your hatred of sin!

‘“hating even their clothing stained by corrupted flesh”! What an expression! There is such a thing as godly hatred. And here that godly hatred is expressed hyperbolically as directed at the lost person’s clothing! That’s how much we should HATE SIN!

Today’s Challenge: Do you really care about lost people? Do their questions irritate you — or cause you to respond in mercy and love? Does their continual refusal to believe the gospel discourage you (me, too!)? May God renew you and me in a passion for the gospel, a love for the lost, and a clarity about the truth!

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2020 in Jude

 

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The Theology of Calvin . . . and Hobbes (Civility and Telemarketers)

Telemarketers are the curse of the earth. I can say that because I used to be one. I had the answer to any customer who would want to get off the phone with me and my hawking of Time/Life books.

A couple of years ago I promised the Lord that for the next month any telemarketer who called me, I would share the gospel with them! I had some fascinating discussions! They would want to sell me their product, and I would say, “That’s very interesting, but I don’t want your product.  By the way, I made a promise to God a while back. May I tell you about it?” A bit shocked, they would say “I guess so.” And I would share the gospel with them. You might want to make the same promise as I did. But only for a month!

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2020 in Calvin & Hobbes

 

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Social Distancing . . . and Evangelism!

I’ve been told by some of my friends that I’m an evangelist. I’m not so sure about that — but I do want to share the gospel wherever and whenever I can. But how are we to share the gospel when we are to stay at least 6 feet apart from others, not gather in groups of more than 10, and never, ever touch another human?

Yes, I’ve overstated matters a  bit. But here are a few ideas that occur to me of how we can “do” evangelism in this “new normal”:

1. Nothing, I repeat, nothing should keep us from the imperative of being a friend of sinners like Jesus was! This has been my kind of ministry mantra for the last few years. We Jesus-followers fail miserably at developing deep relationships with lost people and spend all our time in Christian meetings, talking only with Christians, and eating only Christian casseroles!

2. This Covid pandemic has driven many of us to our computers and smart phones and to see them for what they are — incredible communication tools that can be useful in the Kingdom! Have you taken the opportunity during this strange period to connect or re-connect through email or text with those you haven’t seen in years? Why not?

3. Where are you and I showing the kindness of Christ during this challenging time? As an introvert, in some ways this period has been a blessing. But for my extrovert friends and family members, this has been tortuous. Am I choosing to reach out in my introvertedness? If you are an extrovert, is this social distancing time encouraging you to grow deeper in your relationship with Christ Himself? Has it driven you to His Word?

4. Are we using this time to serve others? I hate wearing a mask, but why flaunt my freedom at the risk of the health of others? What kind of witness am I if I enter a grocery store or business that says “Mask required” maskless?

5. What happens when this pandemic is over? When we don’t have to wear masks anymore? When we can fully meet together as churches and friends? What will be some of the changes in a post-pandemic society? I don’t know, but I do know that I will value my friendships much more than I did pre-pandemic. My life will ssslllooowww down some and I will relish conversations much more than before. Life is too short to rush about, treating others as unimportant, ending conversations prematurely.

6. My last thought: What will church be like? How has this pandemic been a wake-up call to God’s people to get the gospel out in new and creative ways? Will we be less self-absorbed and more Great Commission oriented? When will we begin to talk about and pray for our lost friends? Could it be that in the sovereignty of God this pandemic’s partial purpose was to get the church to THINK? To think about reaching those who are far from God. To think about starting evangelistic Bible studies (either in person or online). To think about genuine fellowship where we talk about what we have in common in Christ.

Your comments?

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2020 in evangelism

 

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A Concluding Email to “Mike”

[Some of you might remember my post back on June 2 regarding my dialogue with my friend “Mike.” I believe the Lord led me to write the following. I’m always open to your comments.]

Hey, Mike!
Always good to hear from you.
Just a couple of thoughts:

1. I appreciate your honesty in not accepting my understanding of God and the human person. I’ve never been in the dark about what you believe. And I thank you for your candor.

2. I must admit I’m sad to read that you said “the two of us will never come to a common understanding.” So I guess we’re done with our “religious” discussions. It is interesting that you sent me your essay on truth.

3. A comment or two on your article on truth: Granted, the sum of what you or I don’t know greatly exceeds the amount of “truth” that we do know. But doesn’t this assume that quantity of information is more important than quality? You may give me accurate directions how to get to your winter cabin for a feast of venison, but there’s a world of things I don’t know about the things surrounding my trip (the area’s topography, how my car exactly works to get me there, etc.).

You know that your wife loves you, but there is a world of information about her and her inner workings that you’ll never know. But the most important point is that she loves you. It seems unreasonable to deny or denigrate the truth we do have because of the volume of truth we don’t have.

You challenge the idea of our being made in God’s image because of the evil of man. I can understand that. Man is fallen and in rebellion against God. But man is also capable of great sacrifice for others. How does one explain that?

I could go on, Mike. But there are several points that I want to leave with you (if we cease our “religious” discussions):

1. I regret I’ve not done an adequate job of presenting the best case for biblical Christianity to you. I have tried. I’ve thought long and hard about my responses to you. I do remind myself of 2 Corinthians 4:4 which gives me a bit of help.

2. As someone has said, “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.” Another responded, “I can! I can give him a salt tablet and he will get thirsty and drink!” I regret, Mike, that I’ve somehow not provided a salt tablet for you, for I’ve not seen any real thirst on your part to pursue the God of the Bible and find real forgiveness for your sins. God saved me as a teenager. There’s still time for you to trust him as an octogenarian!

3. I hope you won’t be offended by what I’ve written, but rather assured of my concern for you. I’m appreciative of your friendship and won’t bring up “religion” again unless you ask me to.

Blessings.
Larry

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2020 in evangelism

 

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