Last night I didn't sleep very well and here is the reason why......
Our church, New Covenant Grace Fellowship (www.ncgrace.com), has been operating a booth at the Citrus County, Florida Fair this week. We have a display table set up in one of the exhibition buildings with material designed to tell people about the wonderful love of God and the awesome life of no condemnation that He has designed for His people through Christ's finished works on the cross. My friend, Mark Drake, one of the best Bible teachers alive, wrote a book a few years ago entitled, "God's Brilliant Plan" The subtitle of Mark's book is; "Searching for the Easy and Light Life that Jesus Promised." (You can order Mark's book at: www.markdrake.org) Well, I must make a confession, I've been very actively stealing Mark's subtitle! I love it! And...it so fits into all we do here!
God, through all Christ has done for us, did promise that all who believe can and will live a very "Easy and Light Life!" My mission in ministry is to help His Kids find that life to it's fullest! That is also the mission of our great church!
So now about what got me all upset; The Fair! We have noted that the vast majority of people coming by our booth will not even look at us! Many will actually walk to the other side of the of the aisle in order not to speak with us. We have been able to share with a few, but very few! I'm dumbfounded about these results! However, I've sensed that we had to open our booth, and as a result, I'm getting a very good education about religion!
Here is the deal; in our building, on the opposite side of where our booth is, there is another booth maned by a very religious "Christian" organization. They are passing out little New Testaments, KJV of course! On the front of their booth, sitting on their table is a picture of a "Dante's type of hell." You know the type, huge flames of fire coming out of the earth with demons pulling people into it. Across the top of the chasm to hell is a huge cross laying over it. So the implication is that people can go over the cross and avoid the chasm of hell. Last night one of our church leaders was walking by this booth and a guy yelled out to him, "Are you saved?" Our guy answered, "Sure I am!" Then the guy in the booth said, "How do you know you are?" Our guy answered, "Because I applied Romans 10: 9-10!" The religious booth guy responded, "Well, make sure you repent of all of your sins!" Wow! This so ticks me off! Is this the way we are to win the world to Christ?
Here we are trying to tell people about the wonderful things God has done for them and we have on the other side of the room a religious "monster" condemning everyone to hell!
Just yesterday, the sign along the highway of a large Catholic Church in Ocala said, "Renounce Satan!" Come on...Is this the way we win people to Christ?
Is it no wonder that many hundreds of my neighbors have walked by our booth since Monday night, not wanting to give us the time of day! Why? They think that we Christians are all alike!
Well, I'm not! Our church isn't! And we are are on a crusade to tell all of our friends and neighbors about Christ, not hell! We are not telling to "repent!" We are telling people about Jesus! That's it....JESUS LOVES THEM....PERIOD!
There are no "sinner's prayers" coming from our ranks! We only share the love of God....Salvation is simple: "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you shall be saved!" End of story! Again...no hell from us.... JUST JESUS!
There...my rant is over! We have 3 more opportunities at the Fair this week. I'm praying that the Holy Spirit shows some people that there is a church in Citrus County that is trying its best to not be religious! Our mission: To help people find the "Easy and light life that Jesus promised!" Glory!
Grace and peace!