Thursday, August 28, 2014

Enduring The Challenge 8/23/2014

Coming to Him as a living stone, rejected by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. . .But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.  (1 Peter 2:4-5,9-10)

In an unusual, yet providentially ordained, turn of events our team was challenged in a new way on this Saturday evening in Burbank. In the photo above, the team was faced with a heckler who was also a performer with superior amplification. Here Dr. Jack resorted to using a second mic and amp to try to match the heckler's volume.

Dean made more than one attempt to speak directly to the heckler, but was unsuccessful in negotiating a climate of "Coexistence" with the professed Mormon. 

There was considerable discussion, back in the parking lot, with some disagreement among the team. Some felt that the team was vindicated by the truthfulness of our response to the heckler's verbal attack, while some felt remorseful that the response had been overly defensive. This is always a challenge for believers: How do we walk in Christ-likeness while our flesh wages war against us? 

Lest we forget, we are always being observed and evaluated, and sometimes, recorded.

The apostle Peter offers this:

Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. . . For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: "Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth"; (Isaiah 53:9) who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return, when He suffered, he did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness--by whose stripes we are healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (1 Peter 2:11-12,21-25)

In spite of the resistance, the Gospel was presented from the box and tracts were distributed.

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all. . .(Galatians 6:9-10)


This wonderful teaching from John MacArthur is worth internalizing. There is no challenge that we cannot endure through Christ who strengthens us. 

John MacArthur's sermon, "Jesus' Death Shows Us How to Live"

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