eternal life

5 Ways to Persuade Others

With warnings of the judgment:

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.“(2 Corinthians 5:10-11)

With a personal example:

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.” (Romans 15:13-14)

With the promise of life:

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” (2 Timothy 1:8-12)

With the love of God:

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:31-39)

And with the good news:

Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you: ‘Behold, you despisers, marvel and perish! For I work a work in your days, a work which you will by no means believe, though one were to declare it to you.’” So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.” (Acts 13:38-44)

These ways worked to convert a dying world in the past, and these ways still work to help persuade the perishing today. EA  

Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!” But he said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus, but speak the words of truth and reason. For the king, before whom I also speak freely, knows these things; for I am convinced that none of these things escapes his attention, since this thing was not done in a corner. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.” Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” And Paul said, “I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains.”” Acts 26:24-29

The key to…

Everybody is looking for the key to something. And there are plenty of sellers out there!

The key to happiness, to fame and fortune, to a good job, to a new house, to a new car, to marital bliss, to good health and even to the right fantasy football picks seem to be the keys that most seek to have on their key-ring, but eventually all of these keys are found to be exactly what they are – keys that open temporary doors.

Of all the doors that the world offers to open there is one door that causes them to close, and that door is death. But the good news of God proclaims to provide the very key that the world only dreams of. This key cannot be bought, nor is it being sold; but this key comes at a cost, and we must decide if we’re interested in listening to the only one who has this key on his ring (Isaiah 22:20-25, Revelation 3:17). EA

And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.” (Revelation 1:17-18)

Sometimes it’s Right in Front of our Face

At times there are things in our life that we have had for years but we never realize its value. I’m talking about blessings that come directly from God, yet we still fail to see them. So what happens when we fail to see the ways that God has loved us? Does He take the gifts back? Not necessarily (Luke 6:35). If God stopped giving gifts based solely upon our reaction, the world would cease to see the sun, and the fact that we have air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat and clothes to wear reveals that He cares for us. If we gave as much credit to God as we gave to our “hard work” how many of those “little things” do you think we would forget about it? What good thing do we have that didn’t first come from His hand? Nothing! Still, often times we think if we only had a little more, then we’d be happy. Begotten by God and we look to the world to provide! A son and daughter of the king and we think we’re paupers. That is one easy thing to do, right? Yes, whosoever will, we can all come to God, but only the one who believes will exit this world and enter in to that heavenly kingdom to live with Him. If we looked for things the way we should would we not find more joy – would we not look less to what is going to perish? We love God, but could we love Him more? Have you ever asked yourself that question before? Everlasting blessings and eternal life (John 3:16) are often times right in front of our face, but we don’t see them because we’re not looking! Go back and read all of the words that are in bold to see how easy they are to miss! EA

Don’t Leave it up to “Good Fortune”

Things like horoscopes make me laugh. I mean come on, how many different ways can you say the same thing? One close cousin of the horoscope that also makes me laugh is the fortune cookie. What a combination! Good news every time and lottery numbers to boot! Have you ever wondered why your cookie never says, “You are going to win the lottery!” But anyways, despite the silly sayings that most fortune cookies contain, I got one not too long ago that made me smile. It said, “You will receive some high prize or award.” When I read that I thought to myself, “Hey, now there is one I can agree with” and it’s not because of my good fortune, it’s because of my faith.

Concerning his desire to live beyond the grave Paul said, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14) Now what is part of that prize and why could he confidently expect to receive it?

We have one answer in 2 Timothy 4:7,8 – “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

Paul did not rely on good fortune to receive a high prize or award. He did not leave it up to chance. He relied on his willingness to endure to the end. He relied on the promise of God made through the faith that was revealed through Jesus Christ. He relied on the grace of the only Righteous Judge that would give him that prize/award.

Christians are called to have the same mindset as Paul (1 Corinthians 11:1 & Philippians 3:15). We must strive to be like the apostle in our confidence in Christ and in our salvation; but this type of confidence will not be found in a cookie. It only comes from a right relationship with our Creator and Savior based on His directions found in His word (Romans 1:16,17, 10:17; Hebrews 8:10-12).  EA