SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION & A short video churches can embed online to share the “4 Steps to Peace with God”

Commentary by Prof. B.: Over 25 years of consulting has taught me that churches whose congregants know how to share their conversion story and Biblical Scriptures that accompany it, I’m much more likely to grow. This to me is because, as Donald McGavran and John Wesleyboth emphasized, that spiritual transformation or “conversion” must be at the center of every congregant’s explanation of the Good News.

I’ve suggested in the book “Cure for the common church” and the book “The healthy church,” that church planning should include that every congregant  understand the basic scriptures regarding spiritual transformation. I’ve also suggested that pastors preach a 5 week series before Easter, during which each of the four weeks before Easter covers a different one of the so-called “Four steps to peace with God” or “Four spiritual laws.”

Also, check out these tools:

Another helpful idea is to embed on the first page of every church website this video the following video.

http://downloads.cbn.com/widgets/stepstopeace.swf

Speaking hashtags: #Kingwood2018

HEAVEN & Nearly 70% of born-again Christians say other religions can lead to Heaven: study

by Leonard Blair, 10/21/21.

… Nearly 70% of born-again Christians disagree with the biblical position that Jesus is the only way to God, according to a new survey from Probe Ministries, a nonprofit that seeks to help the Church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview.

The survey, which looked at religious beliefs and attitudes toward cultural behaviors, polled 3,106 Americans ages 18 to 55 from all religious groups, including 717 respondents who identified as born-again Christians.

Born-again respondents were identified based on their affirmative response to the question, “Have you ever made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in your life today?” They were also identified by their belief about what happens after they die. Born-again believers agree that “I will go to Heaven because I confessed my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior.”

Despite this claim by the self-identified born-again Christians in the study, however, among all respondents ages 18 to 39, who profess an affiliation with some religion, fewer than 1 out of 5 of them strongly disagree with the statement that Muhammad, Buddha and Jesus all taught valid ways to God.

Still, some 60% of this cohort said they shared their faith with someone else at least annually with the intent of converting them.

“If you think that there are multiple ways to Heaven, why would you want to go out of your way to convert someone to your religion? Of course, you could be sharing with an unaffiliated person who needs to choose a valid religion,” noted Steve Cable, senior vice president of Probe Ministries, in his analysis of the data.

Read more at … https://www.christianpost.com/news/nearly-70-percent-of-born-again-christians-dont-see-jesus-as-only-way.html

SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION & 4 waypoints I use to explain salvation & conversion

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 4/22/18.

As my clients, colleagues and mentees know … I believe every person should be ready to explain the Good News at any time. I’ve created a short version based upon the most popular presentations (such as the Romans Road, the Four Spiritual Laws and the Four Steps to Peace with God). The 4 Waypoint presentation is a work in progress, but here it is:

(intro.) Think of life as a journey, it’s easy to do. You are going from Point A to Point B, etc. These are called “waypoints.” Here are the 4 waypoints God wants you to encounter.

1. God loves you & wants to give you eternal life.

(John 3:16) For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

2. But our poor choices have wrecked our relationship with Him and doomed us.

(Romans 3:23) For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

(Romans 6:23) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

3. Only Jesus can get us back in a right relationship w/ God.

(Romans 5:8) But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

(John 14:6) I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

4. Accept His forgiveness & start living a full and eternal life. 

(Acts 16:31) Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.

(John 10:10) I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

For other Good News presentation tools: CLICK HERE.

Speaking hashtags: #Kingwood2018

CHURCH HISTORY & New #StanfordUniv map shows land & sea travel routes of early church w/ estimates of travel times

by Walter Scheidel and Elijah Meeks, the ORBIS Project, Stanford University,

…The Roman Empire ruled a quarter of humanity through complex networks of political power, military domination and economic exchange. These extensive connections were sustained by premodern transportation and communication technologies that relied on energy generated by human and animal bodies, winds, and currents….

For the first time, ORBIS allows us to express Roman communication costs in terms of both time and expense. By simulating movement along the principal routes of the Roman road network, the main navigable rivers, and hundreds of sea routes in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and coastal Atlantic, this interactive model reconstructs the duration and financial cost of travel in antiquity.

See the map here … http://orbis.stanford.edu

SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION & 3 ways to walk a spiritual bridge to new life w/ someone

by Bob Whitesel, Church Central, April 30, 2017.

Two things are happening to a person in spiritual and physical crisis:

1. At this point they realize that only God, the one who created them, can effectively and enduringly meet their needs.

2. They also feel that their relationship with God is estranged because they have ignored him for so long.

The uncommon church will foster an environment where helping others navigate this bridge is the norm. Therefore, the uncommon church walks this bridge with others, not retracing their own steps again but walking alongside helping, answering questions, and encouraging others as they cross a bridge between natural and supernatural living. A verse that reminds us of the magnitude of the newness and that we represent God in it, can be found in 2 Corinthians 5:17–19: “What we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives” (MSG).

The importance of walking the bridge with them 

And so, as Christ’s representatives we need to tell others how God gave his Son to provide a bridge back to himself. I have found that in many growing churches almost all congregants know how to explain the story of Jesus’ bridge.

Thus, the last key toward helping others navigate the bridge back to a restored friendship with God is to have a congregation that can explain God’s biblical bridge. Sometimes called “the plan of salvation,” these are simple memory devices that the majority of all attendees in the uncommon church must know if we are to fulfill Paul’s admonition in 2 Corinthians 5:19 that, God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives” (MSG). Here are three of the most common explanations of that bridge:

The Four Spiritual Laws 13

1. God loves you and created you to know him personally (John 3:16; 17:3).

2. Humans are sinful and separated from God, so we cannot know him personally or experience His love (Romans 3:23; 6:23).

3. Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for human sin. Through him alone we can know God personally and experience God’s love (Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:3–6; John 14:6).

4. We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know God personally and experience his love (John 1:12; Ephesians 2:8–9; Revelation 3:20).

The Romans Road 14

To aid in memorization, this explanation employs the metaphor of a Roman thoroughfare:

• Romans 3:23: “All have sinned and fall short of God’s glory.” (Everyone needs salvation because we have all sinned.)

• Romans 6:23: “The wages that sin pays are death, but God’s gift is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (The price or consequence of sin is death.)

• Romans 5:8: “But God shows his love for us, because while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” (Jesus Christ died for our sins. He paid the price for our death.)

• Romans10:9: “Trusting with the heart leads to righteousness, and confessing with the mouth leads to salvation.” (We openly declare that we receive salvation and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.)

• Romans5:1: “Therefore, since we have been made righteous through his faithfulness combined with our faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Salvation through Jesus Christ brings us back into a relationship of peace with God.)

Steps to Peace with God15

This explanation uses phrases tool: from John 3:16 as a memory

• For God so loved the world: “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3).

  • That he gave his only Son:“While we were sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
  • That whoever believes in him: “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27).
  • Should not perish:“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish” (John 10:28).
  • But have everlasting life: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).

So pick an explanation that works for you. But hold one another accountable to be able to explain at least one route, for 1 Peter 3:15–18 urges:

Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They’ll end up realizing that they’re the ones who need a bath. It’s better to suffer for doing good, if that’s what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad. That’s what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God. (MSG)

13 The “Four Spiritual Laws” was originally conceived by Campus Crusade founder Bill Bright (http://campuscrusade.com/fourlawseng.htm), but the original version seemed to build on people’s more selfcentered desire for attaining God’s plan for their lives. While this is certainly valid, an alternative version is quoted here (compare http://www.4laws.com/laws/englishkgp) because it better emphasizes the missio Dei
(God’s desire to be reunited with his wayward offspring).

14 Additional verses in Romans that provide further insights for each one of these steps (along with ideas for sermons, Bible studies, and teaching tools) to help congregants remember the “Romans Road” can be found at http://www.gotquestions.org/Romans-road-salvation.html, http://theromanroad.org, and http://christianity.about.com/od/conversion/qt/romansroad.htm.

15 “Steps to Peace with God” was developed by the Billy Graham organization. It supports this presentation with an extensive web presence at http://peacewithgod.jesus.net.

Excerpted from Cure For The Common Church: God’s Plan to Restore Church Health, by Bob Whitesel (Wesleyan Publishing House 2012). For further online notes: See Chapter 8 Complete Notes. 

four spiritual laws Romans road steps to peace with God

Speaking hashtags: #Kingwood2018


SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION & 4 Ways to Explain Salvation

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 2012.

Thus, the last key toward helping others navigate the bridge back to a restored friendship with God, is to have a congregation that can explain God’s biblical bridge. Sometimes called “the plan of salvation” these are simple memory devices that the majority of all attendees in the uncommon church must know if we are to fulfill Paul’s admonition in 2 Cor. 5:19 that, “God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives.” (MSG). Here are three of the most common explanations of that bridge:

The Four Spiritual Laws xiii

  1. God loves you and created you to know Him personally (John 3:16, John 17:3).
  2. Humans are sinful and separated from God, so we cannot know Him personally or experience His love (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23)
  3. Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for human sin. Through Him alone we can know God personally and experience God’s love (Romans 5:8, 1 Corinthians 15:3-6, John 14:6).
  4. We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know God personally and experience His love (John 1:12, Ephesians 2:8-9, Revelation 3:20).

The Romans Road xiv (to aid in memorization it employs the metaphor of a Roman thoroughfare):

  1. Romans 3:23, “All have sinned and fall short of God’s glory.” (Everyone needs salvation because we have all sinned.)
  2. Romans 6:23, “The wages that sin pays are death, but God’s gift is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (The price or consequence of sin is death.)
  3. Romans 5:8, “But God shows his love for us, because while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” (Jesus Christ died for our sins. He paid the price for our death.)
  4. Romans 10:9, “Trusting with the heart leads to righteousness, and confessing with the mouth leads to salvation.” (We openly declare that we receive salvation and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.)
  5. Romans 5:1, “Therefore, since we have been made righteous through his faithfulness combined with our faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Salvation through Jesus Christ brings us back into a relationship of peace with God.)

Steps to Peace with God xv (using phrases xvi from John 3:16 as a memory tool):

  1. For God so loved the world: “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Jeremiah 31:3
  2. That He gave His only Son: “While we were sinners, ChristBdied for us.” Romans 5:8
  3. That whoever believes in Him: “I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:27
  4. Should not perish: “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” John 10:28
  5. But have everlasting life: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” Acts 16:31

So pick an explanation that works for you. But, hold one another accountable to be able to explain at least one route, for 1 Peter 3:15-18 urges:

Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They’ll end up realizing that they’re the ones who need a bath. It’s better to suffer for doing good, if that’s what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad. L That’s what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God. (MSG)

(Excerpted from Cure for the Common Church, Chapter 8 by Bob Whitesel.)

Speaking Hashtags:  #SalvationCenterTX #Kingwood2018