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2 Vital Promises from 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 - By Jonathan Brentner - https://www.raptureready.com/2020/05/30/2-vital-promises-from-1-thessalonians-59-10-by-jonathan-brentner/
Scripture has become my lifeline these days. Even so, I often feel heaviness in my soul as I witness the response to COVID-19 in my state and nation. I see so much unnecessary suffering and loss.
I find myself returning again and again to God's Word and its precious promises that we need for the time in which we live. I mentioned Psalm 46:10 in an earlier post; I go to Psalms 46 and 47 at least a couple times each week.
For this article, however, I want to focus your attention on two particularly encouraging promises from 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10, "For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him."
Our Blessed Hope
The first promise, from verse 9, assures us that the rapture will happen before the Lord's wrath overwhelms the earth. Jesus will come for us before the start of the tribulation.
The "wrath" Paul refers to in verse 9 is not that of hell, but of the day of the Lord. In 1 Thessalonians 5:3-8, Paul's topic is the "sudden destruction" that will overtake the world at the beginning of this time of God's wrath described by many prophets in the Old Testament. They repeatedly warned that this day would be a prolonged time in which the Lord would severely judge sinful humanity.
The prophet Isaiah, for example, tells us this day will be a time when much of the earth's population will perish (13:9-12). Zephaniah says this about the coming day, "A day of wrath is that day, / a day of distress and anguish, / a day of ruin and devastation, / a day of darkness and gloom, / a day of clouds and thick darkness (1:15).
This day of the Lord includes all of the tribulation which the apostle John wrote about in Revelation 6-18 about forty-five years after Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians.
Even though the horrors of the tribulation seem ever so close, we have this reassuring promise: the rapture will happen before the Lord pours out His wrath on the unsuspecting world during what Scripture refers to as the day of the Lord.
This is our blessed hope: the rapture will happen before the seven-year tribulation begins.
Our Blessed Assurance
There's a second wonderful promise in these verses that is often missed because the English language does reflect the differences between the words Paul uses in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 and those he uses in verse 10, ". . . who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him."
In chapter 4, the apostle distinguishes between living and dead saints. In verse 10, he differentiates between those who are spiritually awake and those who are not. Let me explain how I arrived at this conclusion.
The Greek verb Paul uses for "awake" in verse 10 is gregoreo, a word that denotes moral alertness. In 5:4-8, Paul uses the word along with that of being "sober" to portray the idea of temperance in our walk with the Lord versus that of drunkenness or carelessness. "So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober" (v 6).
Jesus used the word gregoreo in Matthew 24:42 and Mark 13:35 as that of watchfulness for his return. It's this same sense of watchfulness and sober living that the apostle characterizes believers as being "awake" in 1 Thessalonians 5:6-10.
What about those whom Paul characterizes as being "asleep" in verse 10? Who are these people?
The word Paul uses for believers who are "asleep" in in 5:10 is katheudo. This word refers to someone who is physically asleep, not dead. Of the 22 times this word appears in the New Testament, it only once refers to someone who had died, and then Jesus used the word to refer to the girl He intended to raise from the dead. In 1 Thessalonians 4:17, Paul uses the Greek word zao to refer to living saints at the time of the rapture.
In the context of 1 Thessalonians 5:4-8, Paul uses katheudo with moral implications, applying the word to believers who are asleep in their walk with the Lord (v. 6); it's the opposite of someone who walks in the light of Scripture, i.e. the sober saint or the one who is gregoreo.
Based on the context and Paul's change of words from chapter 4, we know that the sense of 1 Thessalonians 5:10 is that when Jesus come for His church, He will take those who are alert spiritually as well as those who are asleep in their walk with Him as evidenced by their lack of watchfulness for His return or their care about the way they live.
This is incredibly good news as well as an amazing promise. Our inclusion in the rapture does not depend upon our behavior at the time Jesus' appears; it depends solely upon whether or not our sins are covered with the blood Jesus shed on our behalf.
1 John 5:10-12 spells out the only condition for your inclusion in the rapture. If you belong to Jesus, you are going up regardless of your behavior at the moment! If Jesus is not your Savior, your feet will remain earthbound.
This is our blessed assurance!
Please know I am not saying that our behavior does not matter. It absolutely does! What I am saying is that those who teach the doctrine of a partial rapture advance a doctrine that not only contradicts the heart of the Gospel, but Paul's specific promise in 1 Thessalonians 5:10.
The New Testament teaches that all believers will give an account of their lives to Jesus (Rom. 14:12; 1 Cor. 3:10-15; 2 Cor. 5:10; Heb. 4:12-13). Faithful service will be rewarded (1 Cor. 15:58); saints who neglect their spiritual gifts and opportunities to serve the Lord with those provisions will suffer loss at the judgment seat of Christ, but they will not lose their salvation, nor will they miss out on the rapture.
So yes, our behavior matters; but our good deeds do not merit our salvation nor do they merit our rapid heavenward journey when Jesus appears to take us home. Those whom God justifies, He also glorifies (Rom. 8:30); this is an unbroken chain. Once God justifies us, it becomes an absolute certainty He will glorify us at the return of His Son. That is the promise of Romans 8!
You see, when Jesus gives us eternal life based on His work on the cross, it means we will never perish (John 10:27-29). The Lord forever seals our fate, eternity in paradise, the moment He brings us into His forever family.
Why do I emphasize these promises from 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10? It's because so many churches err on one side of the other. They either ignore our blessed hope or they ignore our blessed assurance. Both represent grievous errors in these last days.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10, the apostle Paul assures us of two precious promises in regard to our eternal hope. Jesus is coming for us before the tribulation, and our inclusion in our trip to His Father's house in heaven depends solely on His blood shed on our behalf, not our behavior.
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Palestinians, Jordan are bluffing on Israeli sovereignty, say former US officials - By Ariel Ben Solomon -
With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushing ahead with plans to apply sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and parts of Judea and Samaria, there are concerns being raised that it could ignite tensions with the Palestinians and neighboring Jordanians. Both outcomes are extremely unlikely, however, according to former senior U.S. officials with vast experience in the Middle East.
"Both the Palestinians and Jordanians are showing weakness and instead of threatening Israel with something it cares about, they are busy taking themselves hostage," said David Wurmser, who served as a senior adviser on the Middle East to former Vice President Dick Cheney and is currently an executive at the Dephi Global Analysis Group, which he founded.
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas threatened last month to cut ties with Israel, stop security cooperation and void past agreements if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues with his plan to apply Israeli law. Similarly, in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel in May, Jordan's King Abdullah warned Israel that violence could erupt if it continues with its sovereignty plan.
"What would happen if the Palestinian National Authority collapsed? There would be more chaos and extremism in the region. If Israel really annexed the West Bank in July, it would lead to a massive conflict with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan," Abdullah said, according to an AP report.
Wurmser explains that Arab leaders will often inflate their own value by warning that their populations will turn to chaos and violence should they lose power. And while there may indeed be chaos, he suggests the P.A. and the Jordanian regime need Israel and the United States much more than the other way around.
"The Jordanian leadership thinks it can buy quiet by yelling at Israel and letting its radicals blow off steam, but like in the past when it appeased radical forces, they [the Jordanians] will again turn to the U.S. and Israel to save them," said Wurmser.
If Jordan is going to condone radical anti-Israel forces and anchor its regime in appeasement of its large Palestinian population rather than its traditional national interest-namely, the preservation of a minority Hashemite regime backed by the Bedouin tribes-then it could lose its value from Israel's point of view.
Wurmser noted that Jordan's value as an ally is its ability to serve as a buffer and area of stability in a tumultuous region. But if Jordan abandons this historically rooted role, he said, that could "force a rethink" by Israel and the United States regarding the value of the relationship.
He adds that the P.A. is in a similar situation and has little to gain by inciting its populist base against Israel.
"The P.A. is entirely dependent on its cooperation with Israel to survive. We saw how long the P.A. lasted in Gaza before Hamas took over," he said.
According to Harold Rhode, a longtime former adviser on Islamic affairs within the U.S. Defense Department's Office of Net Assessment, Abbas's threat to cut off security cooperation and end agreements with Israel is empty since it is in Abbas's and other senior Palestinian officials' interest to continue the cooperation.
"History shows us that this is almost assuredly just bluster," Rhode said, calling Abbas's rhetoric the "hold me back or I'll commit suicide strategy."
He also notes that Abbas and other Arab leaders also say one thing to their constituents, who they have continuously taught to despise Israel, while taking a different tone when speaking to diplomats including their Israeli counterparts.
"Past history shows us that whatever they say in public, they will most likely find a way to cooperate in private," said Rhode. "Abbas and other senior officials are running a racket and the money for the Palestinians is going straight to their own foreign bank accounts, so they have the most to lose."
According to Rhode, Abbas's repeated threats trigger the same response each time "by the Western intelligentsia and the left-wing defense establishment in Israel," which "are always taking his threats seriously despite the fact that it never happens."
Rhode says the reason they fall for the Palestinian leader's bluff is that they do not understand Arab culture, which puts supreme value on personal honor and status, on the importance of family and clan over the greater good. Abbas knows that if he ends security cooperation with Israel "he is finished," said Rhode.
'The Arabs are sick and tired'
Hillel Frisch, a professor of Middle East studies at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan and a senior research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, predicts that the P.A. will maintain security cooperation in order to protect its own interests.
"The P.A. may not rescue Israelis that stray into its territory, or may promote violence with regard to the Temple Mount, but it will keep up the cooperation in monitoring and apprehending Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists," he said.
Warnings from the P.A., Arab leaders and even Western leaders regarding the planned application of Israeli law in Judea and Samaria ring similar to the doomsday scenarios that were proclaimed prior to the Trump administration's transfer of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. The same rhetoric was also heard leading up to the annexation of the Golan Heights with U.S. support. Nothing happened in either case.
In particular, many opponents of Israel's upcoming move warn that applying sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria will negatively affect Israel's improving relations with much of the Arab world. Yet, Rhode suggests Israel's relations with Gulf States will continue to improve, while Palestinians are losing standing in the Arab world due to their never-ending conflict with a Jewish state they have no hopes of defeating.
"The Arabs are sick and tired of the Palestinians," said Rhode.
Such sentiments are being expressed openly throughout the Arab world. A Saudi writer recently told BBC Arabic in a May interview that the Saudi public no longer cares about the Palestinian cause.
Abdulhameed Al-Ghobain said the Palestinians "have lost," and that the Saudis care about their national, strategic and economic interests, which can all benefit from establishing relations with Israel.
"The Arab League issues statements that are worthless. We should deal with reality. The relations [with Israel] have gone beyond normalization," said Al-Ghobain. "The relations have become warm. It is no longer just about normalization. The relations have reached a very warm level."
As to the predicted outcome of Israel's sovereignty move, Wurmser said that "a resolution of the conflict or a Palestinian state are nowhere to be seen and any violence by the Palestinians will-like in the past-backfire and leave Israel in an even better position."
How Bad Is It Out There? Looters Are Now Looting From Other Looters - By Michael Snyder/Economic Collapse - https://www.prophecynewswatch.com/article.cfm?recent_news_id=4096
Do you have to go to "looting school" to learn this stuff? It is not that difficult to smash a few store windows and grab a few things, but some of the incidents that we have witnessed over the last several days have been so bizarre that it is hard to believe that they are actually real.
In fact, if they were put into a big Hollywood disaster movie at lot of people would probably dismiss them as "unrealistic". But it is very important to understand what is going on out there, because these looters are giving us a preview of coming attractions. If they will sink to such depths now, what will they be willing to do once things get really, really bad in this country?
There are so many examples that I could share with you, but I think that I will start with the looters in Fairfield, California that decided to use a telescopic forklift to break down the doors of a Best Buy store...
A particularly brazen attempt by looters to storm a store in Fairfield, California, has been caught on video, showing them commandeering what appears to be a telescopic forklift to force their way in.
A video has emerged showing vandals using heavy equipment on the doors of the Best Buy store in Fairfield, a city in Solano County, located between San Francisco and Sacramento.
I suppose that the moral of this story is that you should never leave a telescopic forklift sitting around where looters might find it.
Now that criminals have seen how much they can get away with, they are going to become more emboldened than ever, and the entire west coast is going to be a major danger zone for the foreseeable future.
In the East Bay area, police say that "caravans of cars full of looters" have been roaming around systematically searching for targets. Authorities have been trying to crack down on these caravans of looters, but that has proven to be quite difficult because many of them are heavily armed.
Elsewhere in northern California, one group of looters just pulled off an absolutely stunning heist that is like something out of a "Fast and Furious" film...
Police in Northern California are searching for suspects after rioters reportedly stole more than 70 premium cars from a dealership near San Francisco Sunday night.
San Leandro Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership owner Carlos Hidalgo said that although he blocked the exits as a precaution, the thieves "started ramming, ramming until they could get out. They took out chains and fence posts. It was a very malicious act," FOX 2 in Oakland reported.
This means that at least 70 looters must have descended upon that dealership simultaneously, because each of those vehicles would have required a driver.
If you stop and try to envision what that must have looked like, it will send a chill up your spine.
Of course it isn't just the west coast that is dealing with such over the top criminality. The following is how Rachel Olding described the crazy looting that we just witnessed in Midtown Manhattan...
Hard to describe how rampant the looting was tonight in Midtown Manhattan and how lawless it was. Complete anarchy. Literally hundreds of stores up and down Broadway, Fifth Ave, Sixth Ave. Kids ruling the streets like it was a party.
These are the stores where the Wall Street elite shop.
If law enforcement authorities can't even keep that area secure, do you think that any city in the entire country is truly safe at this point?
And some of these looters are not exactly "impoverished". In fact, the New York Post is reporting that some of the looters were pulling up to the stores "in luxury SUVs"...
New York City looters were caught on camera pulling up in luxury SUVs -- including what was claimed to be a pricey Rolls-Royce -- before apparently looting an upscale retail store in Manhattan, according to footage shared on social media.
The video, filmed by Justine Miller and Keith Feldman, shows a group of men in masks hopping out of two cars and charging through a smashed door in Soho before running back outside carrying boxes of goods on Monday night.
I honestly don't know what the police in New York City were doing.
They had to know that the luxury retail outlets in Midtown Manhattan would be prime targets, and yet this was allowed to happen anyway.
Down in Philadelphia, the looting has been absolutely insane. Just yesterday, I discussed the fact that looters were allowed to loot one drugstore for 15 hours straight. Elsewhere in the city, one very ambitious looter ended up dying in a botched attempt to blow up an ATM machine...
A looter has been killed in a botched ATM explosion in Philadelphia, that police believe was part of a 'coordinated' effort to raid 30 machines across the city over a series of two nights.
Police said the 24-year-old man died early Tuesday, several hours after attempting to break into an ATM with explosives in the north of the city.
Needless to say, bank robbery has nothing to do with justice for George Floyd.
All over America, thousands upon thousands of criminals are using the George Floyd protests as an opportunity to commit crimes, and the fact that it is happening on such a widespread basis is extremely sobering.
At this point, things have gotten so crazy that looters are even looting from other looters. The U.S. is descending into madness, and many people believe that this is just the beginning.
Of course all of this rampant lawlessness is deeply alarming millions upon millions of ordinary citizens, and a lot of people are deeply concerned that this sort of behavior could start spreading into the suburbs and beyond. In fact, Polk County Sheriff Judd Grady has publicly acknowledged that in his county "some folks were threatening to take their criminal conduct into the neighborhoods"...
Grady said the department "had received information on social media that some folks were threatening to take their criminal conduct into the neighborhoods."
"I would tell them, if you value your life, they probably shouldn't do that in Polk County," Grady said. "Because the people of Polk County like guns, they have guns, I encourage them to own guns, and they're going to be in their homes tonight with their guns loaded, and if you try to break into their homes to steal, to set fires, I'm highly recommending they blow you back out of the house with their guns. So, leave the community alone."
Hopefully things will start to cool down at least for a while.
But many Americans understand that it is just a matter of time before more violence erupts, and so they are preparing to defend themselves and their families. Gun sales are absolutely soaring, and one shop owner in New York says that he has been so busy that he is literally running out of stuff to sell...
Phones have been ringing off the hook and the line has been wrapped around the building at Coliseum Gun Traders in Uniondale, Nassau County, ever since the coronavirus pandemic began. And now with protests and rioting after the killing of George Floyd, the store has seen another enormous spike in sales. Keeping the shelves stocked has been hard, store owner Andy Chernoff said.
"We started out this week with a fair amount of merchandise. We're running out. Literally running out," Chernoff said. "Never thought I'd say that."
Just six months ago, life in America seemed so "normal", but now everything has changed.
All of the anger that has been building up for years is now starting to boil over, and the upcoming election in November is just going to increase tensions even more.
So please be very careful out there, because our society really is starting to fall apart right in front of our eyes.
Be Still And Listen - By Grant Phillips -
Millions of people throughout the world are praying for the COVID-19 Coronavirus to end. We make those prayers for legitimate reasons, and unfortunately, even for selfish reasons. Yes, I'm just as guilty as you.
The sad part of this is that so many are praying to false gods, idols of some fashion, but not to the one and only true God of Heaven. The God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, John, Peter and Paul is always listening to those who call upon His name in sincere repentance and with a sincere heart.
Maybe God just wants us to take a break from all the world's distractions and sit down and relax. Now that we're confined to our homes, maybe it's the opportunity we need to just talk to Him, perhaps slow down and listen to what He has to say. Is it possible we have strayed so far from His will that danger could be lurking ahead? Maybe He desires to warn us, to give us a chance to repent.
Have you ever been traveling and gotten off on the wrong road? You realize what you've done, then turn around and go back until you're on the right road again to get to your destination. That is 'repent.'
God had a few words for Israel that are most appropriate for us also.
"If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, You shall be devoured by the sword"; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. How the faithful city has become a harlot! It was full of justice; Righteousness lodged in it, But now murderers. Your silver has become dross, Your wine mixed with water. Your princes are rebellious, And companions of thieves; Everyone loves bribes, And follows after rewards. They do not defend the fatherless, Nor does the cause of the widow come before them" (Isaiah 1:19-23).
Those words describe us so well. Can't you just imagine God speaking to Israel, then looking over at us and saying, "Are you listening?" Reminds me when we were children. One child gets the lecture, and the others are expected to be listening in order to learn from their sibling's 'mistake.'
In the following verse God is speaking to Lucifer (Satan), who had it all and then pride destroyed him.
"Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee" (Ezekiel 28:17).
I fear that we as a nation have done the same. Let's face it. We are not short on pride. We think we are the best of the best. We think we cannot fail or fall. Our egotism is unmatched. But what is our future if we don't listen to God?
In the next verse God is telling Moses that those He led from slavery to freedom have sinned. They have corrupted themselves.
"And the LORD said unto me, Arise, get thee down quickly from hence; for thy people which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt have corrupted themselves; they are quickly turned aside out of the way which I commanded them; they have made them a molten image" (Deuteronomy 9:12).
Just as Israel sought freedom to worship their God, many years later Europe had a people who sought the same thing, so God led them to the shores of America. However, we have taken this freedom and used it to corrupt ourselves. No nation has been blessed as mightily as this nation, so what happened? We started looking inward instead of upward. We are now so far off the charts in our sins, judgment is a certainty unless we repent. Thankfully, God is longsuffering (patient).
"But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, Longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth" (Psalms 86:15).
In one respect, the COVID-19 Coronavirus could be a blessing instead of a curse, IF we would take the time to listen to God and obey Him. For most in this country, they may be so far gone, there may be no turning back, but maybe there are enough who will that God will delay His judgment. The words of God are:
"Come now, and let us reason together,' Says the LORD, 'Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool" (Isaiah 1:18).
Most Americans act like their sins are a right that is theirs to enjoy. We act like our actions, sinful or not, should be accepted by all and there is no piper to pay.
Others across this land do not believe in God. They're too sophisticated, but God wants us to listen to these words very carefully.
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" (Psalm 46:10).
Hopefully, some will take this time and use it wisely. Either way, He will be exalted.
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready: https://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html
Daily Jot: The Farm Chronicles: the horse or mom? - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
As Dad was getting on in years, breaking horses became a bit more challenging. After his champion stallion died of old age around 1986, Dad wanted to always have a horse project, a horse he could just hop on in the morning and ride around the farm. He had a fancy for Appaloosas even though we were primarily Quarter Horse breeders and trainers. He bought or traded for this young Appaloosa mare that wasn't broke to ride. My guess was she was about three years old. Dad took his time with her and after working a long while got so he could sit the saddle on her. But she was a hand full as she didn't like anyone on her back. This would lead to trouble on down the line.
Chris and the kids and I came up to Ohio from Virginia one fall day and Dad was hurting. Mom said that he had hurt his back while doing some work out at the barn. She had tried to get him to go to the doctor, but he was having nothing of it. While she was telling the story, or really giving her opinion, Dad just smiled. We walked out to the barn together and he told me what really happened. He unbuttoned his shirt and his arm was black and blue, and his back was both scraped and black and blue. The story goes that he saddled the Appy mare and thought she was ready to go outside the corral for a ride. Everything was going pretty well, he said, until he prompted her to canter in the field.
She hopped into a canter all right. And bucked like crazy. Dad said he did ok for a bit, but just lost his balance and went off awkwardly. His boot got lodged in the stirrup and she drug him half-way across the pasture toward the barn. He was both a bit embarrassed to tell me that that the mare got the best of him, and that he was so jammed up by the whole thing. He made me promise not to tell Mom what had happened. He knew she would put her foot down and make him sell that mare. I told him that she may be one of those kind that was never going to be trustworthy and that he should get rid of her (the mare, not Mom). He asked me if I would ride her and see what I thought. I saddled her up and walked her out to the corral. Chris, my Mom and Dad, and the kids all gathered around to watch me ride the mare. I mounted up. All good.
I was watching her ears to signal what she was thinking. We walked around a couple of laps, then I legged her into a trot. Nice easy trot, ears forward. Easy peasy! Bumped up into a canter. The first two laps were nice, then one ear forward, one back and all hellfire cut loose. She bucked and spun and sunfished like the mad hatter ride at Disney. I was doing ok until the girth on the saddle broke. I felt the saddle move to the side and tried to right it, but it just kept going. I jumped off and landed on my feet as the mare went bucking around the corral. Psalm 20:7 says, "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God." That was one horse not to trust, especially for someone who just wanted a gentle ride. I thanked God that Dad was OK. And I can still remember Mom putting in the sell order.
Daily Devotion: What's True of Every Christian - by Greg Laurie - www.harvest.org
He answered and said, 'Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.' -John 9:25
If you're a follower of Jesus Christ, here's what I know about you without even knowing you: Once you were blind, but now you see.
That's a common phrase we use today, but it came from a New Testament story about a blind man. Jesus saw this man and healed him in an unorthodox way. He spit on the ground, stirred it around in some dirt, and then put it on the man's eyes. Then Jesus told him to go and wash in the Pool of Siloam.
Immediately the religious leaders challenged the man and said, "Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner" (John 9:24 NKJV).
But he knew nothing except the name of the One who healed him, so he said, "Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see" (verse 25 NKJV).
The woman at the well in Samaria is another great example of someone who shared her testimony effectively. Jesus engaged her in a conversation, and she ultimately believed in Him. Then we read, "And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, 'He told me all that I ever did'" (John 4:39 NKJV).
That is the power of a changed life.
I think people are often surprised that we weren't always the way we are now. I don't know where they think Christians come from, but they seem to put us all in one giant category. Then we mess with their narrative when we say, "Hold on. I didn't always believe this. I used to believe this way" or "I used to live another way."
Everyone has a story to tell. So, let's look for opportunities to start evangelistic conversations.
FROM THE HEART
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