2-25-2018 Words Matter

FROM THE PASTOR

February 25, 2018

 

Let me start by saying… “WORDS MATTER”. I listened to a Fox and Friends interview with First Baptist of Dallas Pastor, Robert Jeffress, Friday morning while drinking my morning coffee. Pastor Jeffress was interviewed because his mother came to know the Lord through the ministry of the late Billy Graham. In the interview Pastor Jeffress relayed that he was confident that because his mother came to know the Lord two months before he was born, he too, because of her Godly commitment, made the decision to accept Christ in his own life.

 

I hadn’t realized it, but Billy Graham became a member of First Dallas the very night Pastor Jeffress’ mother was saved at that Billy Graham Crusade there at First Baptist. And now, all these years later, Pastor Jeffress is Pastor of First Baptist where all this took place. He went on to say that, “Billy Graham’s faithfulness continues to reap rewards through my ministry”. That was a neat tie and an amazing testimony of the results of faithfulness, But, there was one response in the interview that grabbed my attention. It wasn’t an untruth or even a misstatement. It was the way the words were put together in response to that question that concerned me.

 

Before I make my point let me say, I knew exactly what Pastor Jeffress was saying and agree 100% with his answer. I also know he had a 2-minute segment in which to respond. But, not everyone in the viewing audience would have understood his answer with the same degree of comprehension as someone who has had that salvation experience.

 

The question was asked, “We have heard a lot concerning “salvation” over the last few days, what exactly is “being saved”? Pastor Jeffress answer was on point, “Salvation means, no matter who you are,” (and he named off several other religions including Muslim and Hindu) … “no matter who you are, salvation is accepting Jesus Christ as your savior.”

 

To someone who has that personal salvation experience the answer makes perfect sense. We understand, regardless of where we are at the moment of God’s convicting call that He accepts us just as we are (Rom 5:8). He does! However, we also know that He doesn’t leave us where He finds us. He moves us from being Spiritually dead to being Spiritually alive (Eph. 2:5). This means that He does not leave us in our sinful condition or allows us to continue in untruth but makes us a new creature in Him (2 Cor 5:17).

 

My concern is that someone who hears JUST that answer (and trust me, I am not picking on Pastor Jeffress he did not have time to preach a 3-point message, add a poem and give an invitation) … my concern is that that “someone’ will believe that Christ is just ‘another option’ or ‘add-on’ to numerous gods’ of the religion they are currently part of. God proclaims otherwise.

 

Deuteronomy 32:39 (NASB)
39 'See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, And there is no one who can deliver from My hand.

 

So here is my prayer. I pray that the Holy Spirit will work His convicting Gospel message on those who heard the absolute truth of Pastor Jeffress’ testimony. I pray that their eyes would be open to understanding, that truth would be heard and comprehended, and the response to the ONE TRUTH would be one of absolute surrender. I pray for changed lives of commitment and obedience.

 

My prayer is also that someday someone else would testify that because of Pastor Jeffress’ testimony God gave that person new life and he or she became, not only a child of God, but a faithful servant. And because of Pastor Jeffress’ faithfulness Pastor Jeffress will continue to reap rewards through that person’s ministry.

Thank you for your faithfulness. Pastor Larry

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