Truth and Presentation!
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Laurie, Pat Robertson, Oral
Roberts and the list could go on and on. Could it be that they present
the steak on a nicer plate with more ambiance than we who preach the whole
truth? Some of these men really do bring thousands to a point of believing
that they are sinners and need salvation and the pricked heart of Holy
Spirit conviction, but then, instead of instructing the new believers as
the original Apostles did to "Repent and be baptized every one of you in
the name of Jesus Christ for the remission
[forgiveness] of sins,
and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost,"(Acts 2:38), they
are instead told that all they have to do to be saved is to "Believe on
the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved...." (from Acts 16:31).
Since it is much easier to count "success" by this shorcut method of making
people believe they are instantly born-again Christians by just believing,
this makes for bigger success stories and because it is now more
or less considered orthodox, is the most common practice.
But what can we who preach the truth,
the real Apostolic Plan of salvation that really brings deliverance, salvation,
healing, peace and joy do to make our delivery of that steak more pleasing
and palatable? I believe we all tend to be too busy to spend the
time we should spend on our knees in effectual, fervent prayer. I believe
we tend to rely too much upon the fact that we are preaching "the truth"
and I am acquainted with many who feel that even preparation for a sermon
is unnecessary because if they will "open thy mouth wide" the Holy Spirit
will fill it with the right words to speak. The "only Believe" preachers
do pray and do study their sermons, and many also study the tactics of
So what is the tactic of a successful
salesman? First, he is enthusiastic about his product and the enthusiasm
shows through his speech and actions. Can you visualize a successful Cadillac
salesman driving up to take you to the Cadillac showroom in a Lincoln?
Not likely. Even though he might use such an ooccasion to tell you how
much better the Caddy is than the Linc, use of the negative is not a good
sales tactic in general. Keeping your thoughts positive only towards
the Caddy and not even mentioning the competition unless your client brings
up the subject is much more effective.
Second, the super salesman tries
to keep everything positive. He agrees with the client on everything he
can. If we Apostolic Christians would concentrate on agreeing with
all the good things other denominations teach and preach and then share
deeper truths as we feel confident and know that our hearers have learned
to trust our Bible knowledge and our sincerity. Both are critical. Both
Bible knowledge AND sincerity are crucial. Even more critical is that we
show the love of Jesus Christ, His real, genuine love and caring, His compassion.
And here is where we who hold the Apostolic truth so dear so often fail.
We are right and we know we are and sometimes we come off as "know-it-alls"
and it is all too true that "nobody likes a know-it-all." We MUST share
the truth in love. And this is where agreeing on every point possible
Did you win your spouse by finding
every fault you could from the start? Not likely. You complimented that
person on every point you could find to compliment. You agreed on everything
yhou could agree on and may even have compromised a few of your lesser
areas of disagreement for the sake of harmony and winning the love and
affection of that special someone. Now, just as I do not recommend that
|you compromise on anything
really wrong to win a spouse, I do not recommend compromise on any real
salvation issue, but serve it nicely on the attractive plate, don't just
throw it on the table or slap them in the face with it!
Genuine Apostolic Christianity should
be like the perfect steak. Joy unspeakable and full of glory. Our
desires and enjoyment are those of new creatures in Christ Jesus.
Jesus promised that "And ye shall receive power [dunamis] after
thate Holy Ghot is come upon you..." (Acts 1:8) and the Apostle
Paul, in Romans 6:4, says, "Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism
into death that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory
of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
and in 2 Corinthians 5:17, says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he
is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become
new." These scriptures say that our nature is changed when we become a
new creature in Christ. No only will our desires, our "want to" be changed,
but also, we will have the power to overcome the wiles of Satan as
well as to bring glory to God through being empowered to do miracles of
healing and other desirable and joyful things.
Sadly, far too many truly Godly
Christian parents, even Apostolic pastors, have children who are anything
but godly. But stop and analyze. Did you serve their steak of real
Apostolic Christian life attractively on their plate of life? Have you
made holy living a joyful way of life or have you presented it as an unpleasant
duty and obligation? Did we throw their steak at them or slap them in the
face with it?
Sometimes we may wring our hands
and wonder why. After all, we protected our children from seeing ungodly
things on TV, didn't allow them to wear clothing considered by the
church to be unholy, never let them go to movies or "dress out" in shorts
for physical education, never let them go to the public beaches or
swimming pools where they might see someone of the opposite sex in scant
clothing and lust or be lusted after by others. So why did our children
go off into sin as soon as they were old enough to go out on their own?
Did we slap them in the face with the steak instead of serving it to them
in a delicious, delightful manner?
The Bible tells us, through Solomon,
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will
not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6). 'But I DID train up my child
in the way I believed he or she should go and they still went bad. Was
it in their genes?'' But how did you present that training? Was it
served attractively, deliciously?
That child will be a powerhouse
for God whose parents teach them the right way and then allow that child
to flex his or her muscles by doing right when faced with the possibility
of doing wrong. When the right way is presented as delicious, delightful.
Yes, do allow your child the
opportunity to stumble and fall occasionally but you be there then to pick
him or her up and teach them by their mistakes.
So whether you are seeking to win
souls on the street, your co-workers, friends, neighbors or relatives,
ir even your own children, remember that the most joyful truth can be served
in an unpleasant manner and instead of bringing a delightful, joyful and
victorious life in Christ Jesus, can be like the "just right" delicious
steak dumped in the lap instead of served on an attractive plate. "Let
your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and
glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16).
-- S. M.