Hello Project Ezra! This week’s suggested reading is from Proverbs 27. As with most chapters in Proverbs, there are multiple smaller subjects addressed. But frequently there are common themes in each chapter that are strong enough to focus on. This chapter is no exception. I think the theme of the kindness and goodness of honesty regarding the telling the truth, particularly in our case in the sharing of the gospel, is a fantastic theme, since this should and must be one of our starting points in evangelism. Rebuke (and all evangelism has some aspect of rebuke and correction) can hurt, but it is still vital. Those who are outside of Christ are in real danger, life-threatening danger, and the kindest thing we could possibly do is make them aware of it. But it is also vital that we do so with humility and gentleness.
I was also inspired somewhat by the above video, from Paul Washer. The video was produced by fellow street preacher and Ambassador’s Academy graduate Marcus Pitman, and he did an excellent job. The starting point is that the most terrifying truth in the Bible is that God is good. It is a terrifying truth because while God is good, we are not, and God, who is a perfect judge, will make sure sin is punished perfectly. For those who have never considered the holiness of God, this truth can be convicting, or even shocking, but once again, rebuke and correction are not only necessary, but are kindness if they are offered in a Biblical manner. I hope this week’s outline will help you do just that.
Also, don’t forget that in a couple weeks we will be having our True Gift of Christmas reading, where we are encouraging people to gather a larger group to read the entire gospel of John in the open air. This will be our third year doing this outreach, and we have heard some amazing testimonies from past years. I’ll try to gather some of those testimonies and post them as an encouragement. This reading does take some time, so plan at least a couple hours and bring plenty of tracts and Bibles for those who are waiting to read to hand out. This would be an ideal opportunity for an official church outreach too, since by its nature it is easy to divide the reading into smaller pieces, so many people can participate. If you have any public Christmas displays or community festivals, those are the perfect places for this kind of outreach. Just find a place with good foot traffic, maybe going to or from the event area, and set up there. For our Facebook followers, the event will be posted in the next couple days, so please sign up. For non-Facebook people, please comment on this or the next blog post and let us know if you are participating.
I pray this reading is a blessing
READ PROVERBS 27
Thank you for taking the time to listen
You may be wondering why I would go out in public, and read the Bible aloud.
There are two reasons. First, I want to see God glorified, and He is glorified in the preaching of His word. Second, I care about what happens to you, and it is possible you are in serious danger.
OR TALK ABOUT YOUR REASONS AND MOTIVES
As the chapter I just read says, better is open rebuke than hidden love
It tells us that faithful are the wounds of a friend, and that he sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest council
Though you don’t know me, I may be the best friend you have, because I am willing to warn you of your danger, and if you are not aware of your danger, you have no possibility of escaping it.
And because it is true that you do not know what a day will bring, I plead with you to consider this today.
The danger you need to consider is this: God is good, and we are not.
That may seem like a strange statement, but please listen before dismissing it.
Mark 10:18 tells us that no one is good but God alone
Jesus also said be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect
And God’s word also tells us God will by no means clear the guilty
In Genesis, Abraham asks “Will not the judge of all the earth do what is just?”
A good judge will see that justice is done, and God is the most perfect of judges,
If you were to stand before a judge in court, with a long list of crimes you knew you were guilty of, and were to plead with the judge to let you go based on your goodness, the very thing that you hoped would give you freedom would be what would insure your condemnation.
And every one of us does indeed stand guilty before God, because all of us are law breakers.
God’s word tells us not to lie, and every one of us is a liar.
God’s word tells us not to steal, and every one of us has stolen, even if only something small. If you’ve wasted time at work, downloaded music illegally off the internet, or copied answers on a test, those make you a thief as well.
If you have looked with lust at a man and woman you are not married to, you have committed adultery in your heart.
And if you believe that your God would never be angry at you for any of these things, then you have committed idolatry, creating a god in your own imagination, a false God who is contrary to the God of the Bible.
I, like you, have broken God’s laws, and I too deserve His judgment and wrath. Because of our moral crimes, we are deserving of hell.
Hell is a place of fire, and pain, and darkness that will last forever. It is not the place of unbridled sin and pleasure that some people imagine. If you end up in hell, you will not spend eternity sinning with your friends, and hell is not ruled by Satan.
Hell was created to punish Satan, and he and those who die in their sin will suffer there for eternity.
The truth of our guilt before God, and the reality of hell are bad news, horrible news.
But there is good news! God’s goodness, which means He is perfectly just, is also your only means of escape from that justice.
God is a good God. He is rich in mercy, and because of the great love with which He loved us,
He sent His Son, to pay the price for our sin on a Roman cross.
Jesus, God in human flesh, after living the only perfect human life that was ever lived, went to
the cross to suffer and die so that men’s sins could be paid for.
On the cross, God’s anger and hatred and wrath towards sin was poured out on Jesus Christ, so it didn’t have to be poured out on us. And Jesus death satisfied justice completely.
Then three days later, as he had prophesied, He rose again from the dead, proving His power over death.
But not all will be saved. Jesus said “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” There is no other name under heaven by which you MUST be saved!
So today, let God’s goodness lead you to repentance. Turn from your sins, and put your trust in Christ alone for your salvation.
He is a good God! Throw yourself on His mercy, and be saved, while He has given you time!