“Today much of the professing church has gone in for theatrics, running a showboat instead of a lifeboat, staging a performance instead of living an experience, a ‘form of godliness without the power thereof.’ We are playing to the grandstand of a pagan age. What a different ‘show’ from the apostles and early Christians dying for Christ before howling throngs in the Coliseum! We are not sufferers in the arena; we are spectators in the grandstand. We have come a long way from the catacombs!”
- The Vance Havner Quotebook, p. 22.
Read Peter Lumpkins’ commentary and Dr. Gerald Harris’ article here. http://bit.ly/1ayLqqk
by Walker Moore
Founder, AweStar Ministries
Faith-based AweStar Ministries and Walker Moore have trained multiple thousands of students and others to understand the urgency of the Gospel message, how to share it, and then provided opportunities to evangelize the lost in 47 countries around the world.
I want to thank all of those who prayed, encouraged and supported me in my attempt to carry a cross to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. In case you haven’t heard, at 7:38 a.m. on Aug. 9, I reached the 19,336-foot summit with the 12 x 6-foot, 45-pound, balsa wood cross. It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.
The logistics alone were mind-boggling. So many government departments had to give their permission. I sat in office after office to explain about the cross. Each time, the Lord gave me favor. My final interview took place the morning I met with the head park ranger for Tanzania. Again, I sought favor, and when I finished my request, he asked me to pray for him, his family and his country.
God put together a team of 13 wonderful men from across the country to help me accomplish this incredible task. They ranged in age from 15 to 68. Among us were a retired school teacher, a painter, a graphic artist, businessmen and students. We had little in common except a calling to get a cross to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Our team consisted of my oldest son, Jeremiah, a high school teacher from Mesquite, Texas; John Anderson, plant foreman for Procter & Gamble, and his son Daniel, a student at the University of Georgia; grandfather, son and grandson Bob, Mark and Britton Combs; Matthew “Dick” Dickinson, a business owner; Bill Meek, professor of anatomy at Oklahoma State University; Will Morgan; Jonathan Shepherd; father and sons David, Jonathan and Jakeb Treat; and me.
There are many stories within this story, but today, I’ll share just one. All along, we had planned to have two more team members, Keith Wheeler and his fiancée, Nicole. This whole dream of taking the cross to one of the world’s highest mountains began two years ago during a conversation with Keith, known for carrying the cross in many nations and across many borders. I asked him, “What does a man do to celebrate 40 years (one generation as the Bible calls it) of ministry?”
He had a simple answer: “No one has ever carried the cross to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro.” I just chuckled, but as the days went on, I began dreaming along with my friend. Soon, we were planning together to accomplish this task. As Keith continued to carry his cross throughout the world, I began putting together the team. As the vision grew, my faith did, too.
A few days before departure, Keith and I had lunch together. He was so excited and ready to go. The next day, I got a call from a very disturbed Keith. His daughter’s kidney had failed. She was in surgery as doctors prepared her body to start dialysis. My faithful friend couldn’t make the trip.
I faced a dilemma. Our whole journey had begun with two men celebrating what great things God has done in their many years of ministry. But Keith has held this dream much longer than I. In fact, he has spent much of his life lifting up the cross of Christ across Africa. Still, the rest of the team had put in so much time and energy that I couldn’t back out. And neither did I want to dismantle my friend’s God-given dream.
I had six days to decide what my actions would be at the top of the mountain. How could I accomplish what I set out to do and yet honor my brother who was left behind? I prayed and pondered. I pondered and prayed.
At midnight on the final day, we left for the summit. For the next seven hours, I contemplated the events at the top as a battle raged in my mind and soul. I wanted to be a man of integrity. I’d traveled tens of thousands of miles for this journey, yet at last, I knew what I must do.
As I reached the summit, I took the cross off my shoulders and laid it on its side. Yes, I took the cross to the top of Africa, but I never raised it up. That task belongs to another man for another time.
I wanted to take the cross to the top of the world to say, “Thank you, Jesus, for 40 incredible years of allowing me to serve You.” Praise God, I accomplished my goal. But Keith, it has always been your dream to raise up the cross over the continent you love so much. And that, you must still do. Your task awaits you.
I love you, my brother. I’ll be praying for the day when I see the picture of you lifting up the cross at the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Godspeed!
“Are you afraid that preaching the gospel will not win souls? Are you despondent as to success in God’s way? Is this why you pine for clever oratory? Is this why you must have music, and architecture, and flowers and millinery? After all, is it by might and power, and not by the Spirit of God? It is even so in the opinion of many.
Brethren beloved, there are many things which I might allow to other worshippers which I have denied myself in conducting the worship of this congregation. I have long worked out before your very eyes the experiment of the unaided attractiveness of the gospel of Jesus.
Our service is severely plain. No man ever comes hither to gratify his eye with art, or his ear with music. I have set before you, these many years, nothing but Christ crucified, and the simplicity of the gospel; yet where will you find such a crowd as this gathered together this morning? Where will you find such a multitude as this meeting Sabbath after Sabbath, for five-and-thirty years? I have shown you nothing but the cross, the cross without flowers of oratory, the cross without diamonds of ecclesiastical rank, the cross without the buttress of boastful science. It is abundantly sufficient to attract men first to itself, and afterwards to eternal life!
In this house we have proved successfully, these many years, this great truth, that the gospel plainly preached will gain an audience, convert sinners, and build up and sustain a church. We beseech the people of God to mark that there is no need to try doubtful expedients and questionable methods. God will save by the gospel still: only let it be the gospel in its purity. This grand old sword will cleave a man’s chine [i.e., spine], and split a rock in halves.
How is it that it does so little of its old conquering work? I will tell you. Do you see the scabbard of artistic work, so wonderfully elaborated? Full many keep the sword in this scabbard, and therefore its edge never gets to its work. Pull off that scabbard. Fling that fine sheath to Hades, and then see how, in the Lord’s hands, that glorious two-handed sword will mow down fields of men as mowers level the grass with their scythes.
There is no need to go down to Egypt for help. To invite the devil to help Christ is shameful. Please God, we shall see prosperity yet, when the church of God is resolved never to seek it except in God’s own way.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 1888, vol. 34, p. 563
Bethel Baptist Church
David Worley, pastor
“And the lord said unto the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled’” — Luke 14.23.
In groups of two and three, 15 evangels* — members of Bethel Baptist Church — braved both literal and figurative darkness as Pastor David Worley led them into their communities, bringing the Light of the Gospel. “Everyone reported great visits with some wonderful people. In fact, one man got saved last night! Hallelujah!” said Pastor David. “I guess going out into the highways and back roads and compelling people to come to the wedding feast still works after all!”
FYI: Check out this definition of evangel.*
It is synonymous with evangelist. Note especially definition 2.