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Flint Hills Bible Church Blog - blog from our pastor.

How to Turn a Conversation to the Gospel

Sharing the gospel seems downright easy compared to turning the conversation towards spiritual matters.  Many of you want to share your faith, but moving the conversation from the weather, Big XII football, or parenting to Jesus seems awkward and unnatural.  So how can we naturally create a context where we can transition into the gospel?

Probably the most common tactic we use around here is asking the question, “Do you have a church home?”  If the answer is no, then you have a clear window to invite them to your church.  But what happens if the answer is yes?  Or even worse, the answer is “LDS” or a mainline denomination known for its liberal theology?  If this is the case, follow up by asking “How committed are you to that church?”  I have found that this question really gets them thinking.  One young man said, “I guess I am not that committed.”  To which I asked “Do you have an open mind about such things?”  We then had a long discussion in Radio Shack about the gospel.  

But what if they mention that they are extremely committed to the church?  When this happens ask them to explain how one obtains eternal life according to their belief system.   The truly committed should have an answer, and if they don’t they expose their religious ignorance.

Careful, honest, and probing questions framed by patient listening will soften the ground for the seed of the gospel.   Over time, a mental dissonance takes place where they realize that they don’t know what they believe and they will look to you for answers.  When this happens, just ask them “Would you like to know what the Bible says about how to inherit eternal life?”  And then prayerfully preach the Word. 

Dave Hintz

Idolatry Part 2

As we established in our last post on the subject, idolatry takes place when we make a good thing an ultimate thing.  Essentially an idol is anything that we consistently make equal to or more important than God in our attention, desire, devotion, and choices. 

Idolatry is sneaky business.  More often than not, the person ensnared by idolatry is oblivious to the fact.  They still go to church, they still believe in the God of the Bible, they still affirm the gospel.  They do not repudiate the Trinity, rather they add to it. 

Take money for instance.  A Christian who has made an idol out of money will not deny God.  In fact, he will even claim that God gave him such prosperity.  When the stock market surges, he’s whistling a happy tune, but when it dives he becomes angry, irritable, and depressed.  In his despair, he decides that the way to recapture such zeal for life is to find ways to make more money.  He may cheat on his taxes, pull a questionable business maneuver, or ignore his family by pouring himself into work.  All of this is driven by the belief that money will give him that allusive joy. His hope is not in heaven, but on the earth.  While he may still hold to Christian beliefs, his soul is in danger.

Jesus explains why:

Matthew 6:24: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth."

The danger of idolatry is that it leads you to turn your back on God.  What does God think of such actions?  In the next post we will find out.

Dave Hintz

Devote Yourselves to Prayer (Revival Part 2)

In Colossians 4:2  Paul gives us some insight which will be invaluable to bringing revival to Emporia.

“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it”

In setting the stage for his eventual request that the Colossians pray for open doors for him, Paul asks the church to devote themselves to prayer.  The term, “devote”, means that these prayers are not a light matter; rather, they are to be done with unrelenting persistence and loyalty. 

The reason - our devotion to prayer is really devotion to God.  And we must rely on His power to change human hearts and pierce satanic lies. Without God’s power all ministry will be fruitless and ineffectual.

In order to harness the power availed through prayer we must engage the throne of God watchfully.  We must keep alert in it.   

The disciples give us an example of what this does not mean in Matthew 26:40And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, ‘So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour?’”

In contrast to the disciples’ sleepy disposition, we are to be mentally alert in our prayers, strategically going to the throne of God.  As we walk through life, the circumstances and plight of others should motivate us to pray.  When you check out at Walmart, pray that the cashier may know about riches in heaven.  When you see a drunk college student, pray that he might be miserable in his sin.  When you see an injured football player, pray that he will find comfort in Christ.   In addition, pray against the enemy wreaking havoc on this city and hardening the hearts of Emporians. 

May God use these strategic prayers to bring revival to our lost city.

Dave Hintz    

Idolatry Part 1

In 1 John 5:21  we read, “Little children, guard yourselves from idols.”

This warning and admonition seems to have little relevance to us in this day and age.  I would venture that you have not seen men and women bowing down to marble statues in Kansas.  But consider why the Greeks bowed down to their gods. When we sample their gods we find that:

Aphrodite was the goddess of love.

Athena was the goddess of wisdom.

Artemis was the goddess of fertility and prosperity.

And Dionysius was the god of wine, festivals, and ecstasy.

The Greeks worshipped these idols in order to acquire love, wisdom, prosperity, and ecstasy.  In our day and age, we may not sacrifice to marble statues, but we do worship love, wisdom, prosperity, and ecstasy.  Take love, for instance.  One popular 80’s songs states “You give meaning to my life, you’re the inspiration.”  Love is lifted to a whole new meaning.  When found, happiness comes forth, and when lost, despair takes its course.  Love is not a bad thing, in fact it is celebrated in the Bible.  However, as we shall see, it becomes an idol when it becomes an ultimate thing. 

Essentially an idol is something or someone which we worship in place of God.  When we believe that we desperately need something to be happy or if we habitually sin in order to get something, or habitually sin because we are not getting something, that something is an idol.  The young woman who worships love will be willing to part with her purity to gain love, or will struggle with discontentment when she does not have love.  Such is the case of idolatry.  In the next post in this series we will discuss how to guard yourselves from idols.

Dave Hintz

A Revival in Emporia!?

The other day I was in the shower, where I do the bulk of my thinking, pondering the spiritual state of Emporia.  For a long time I have asked God to break the hardness of this town, and help people see their spiritual danger before it’s too late.  In fact, I have even prayed for a revival – a massive spiritual awakening where repentance is as common in Emporia as a Clint Bowyer License plate.  

After a season of praying for such a miracle, we can often begin to wonder if revival is simply outside the will of God.  However, before we get there, we have to ask ourselves if we have done our part.   Before we rule out a revival we have to consider two questions:

  1. Have we faithfully prayed?  Tupper Martin once said, “Prayer is the slender nerve that moves the muscle of omnipotence. “ God works through our prayers to accomplish His will.  Therefore the reason why we do not have a revival is on account of James 4:  “You do not have because you do not ask.”
  2. Have we faithfully evangelized?  Mark this down.  It is impossible for anyone to come to faith apart from the proclamation of the gospel.  In Romans 10:14 we read:  How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?  The answer; they can’t.  The gospel must be preached for people to come to Christ. 

If we want God to bring a revival we must ask God for one.  And after we ask we must faithfully share the gospel.  And if Emporia is not revived on account of our faithful execution of these tasks, then at least our church will be.

Dave Hintz