Reformed Witness Hour
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Rev. W. Bruinsma
Holding Forth the Word of Life
Three messages from Protestant Reformed Young People’s Convention 2017 in summary.
Philippians 2:15,16. “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”
Rev. Bruinsma admits that as a young pastor he spent little time speaking to others outside the church about God’s word. That all changed when he was sent to Jamaica as a missionary. All believers are called to give a reason for our hope and that takes boldness, confidence of faith alongside zeal and enthusiasm inspired by our own salvation. Paul, wherever he went, believed that the gospel (any part of God’s word) is the power of God unto salvation. If we are passionate about something we will talk about it! Our deliverance, our new life, our standing with God, our church…let me tell you what God has done for me! Yes people can be intimidating. “The subject we address when witnessing will be determined by the occasion and circumstances in which we find ourselves. It will be natural.” Listen and keep in mind you are no better than they.
So much darkness-sin, false religion, apostate churches. Christ and his word and we ourselves are the light. Believing and living according to the word we shine as children of light. OUR LIVES MUST BE CONSISTENT. The light of Christ and his word energizes us (like UV light a plant). We are continually cleansed by confession and receiving forgiveness (I John 1:9, II Cor.7:1). Hypocrisy (e.g. Lot) will reap misery. There will be opposition and persecution. Results are in God’s hands.
Taking into account the hearer. Being a servant. Avoiding offence, cultural gaffes. Seek to establish friendship, understand, be sensitive, show care. Never must we compromise.
May the Lord help us to be faithful in our life and witness!
Taken from Beacon Lights October 2017
All men have consciences, some are seared and no longer work-they are to be pitied (I Tim.4:2, Eph. 4:19). Theologians believe that the books (Rev.20:12,13) that record all men’s lives and will form the basis of their eternal judgment will include their consciences. Fact is, God is omniscient. Another fact is, all people are separated at death to either heaven or hell as Jesus taught in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. At the last trump when the sheep and the goats are summoned from the grave in their eternal bodies, they are significantly placed on Christ’s right and left when he pronounces judgment. They are either justified by him (sheep) or condemned already (goats), either in his book of life or missing. Their judgment according to their works also accords with his judgment on the basis of their faith (imputed righteousness) or their unbelief. Everyone’s works, publicly prove whether they are justified sinners now (James 2:22-24) and at the final judgment (Matt.25). The wicked works of the reprobate will contrast with the good works of the faithful. Justification and sanctification are twins, always belonging together, the one leading to the other (Eph. 2:8-10).
Good works, even though always tainted by selfish, impure motives, nevertheless are cleansed by Christ, help assure us now (I John 3:19-21) and are rewarded graciously in the next life. They also are seen by unbelievers (Matt.5:16) and may lead to their conversion and by fellow saints causing edification, encouragement and exhortation.
It is good if our hearts (consciences) convict or condemn us because then we seek forgiveness and can be assured it will be granted along with cleansing and sanctification (I John 1:7-9, I John 2:1 and II Cor.7:1). God’s law written in Scripture and also on our hearts is the instrument of this exposure of sin. If our conscience is clear that is even better, and gives us confidence in prayer. If we ever feel condemned in the sense of not even believing we are saved (because of our indwelling corruption) we must rely on God’s knowledge of us and our faith in Christ’s cross. Pride in ourselves is the opposite extreme and we need to heed Romans 13:3 and I Cor.10:12. Everything serves our salvation.