Daily Devotional for Monday June 10, 2013
Preaching to the Choir has become a Billion Dollar a Year Industry
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, I'm not sure if a loved one has ask our Lord to be his Lord and Savior. Would it be ok if I prayed to our Lord to be his Lord and Savior? Does the Lord need to hear it from each individual?
ANSWER: Unfortunately there is no such thing as "salvation by proxy." Just because your parents, a spouse, a friend are saved, can't make someone else saved. That is a choice each person has to make for themselves. All you can do is share the Gospel with this person, explain why they need a personal relationship with Jesus by faith, and encourage them to make that decision. In the end however, it is up to each individual to make the profession of faith for themselves.
Fifty years ago, if you wanted to preach the Gospel on TV or radio, if you wanted to create Christian music, if you wanted to write a Christian book, if you wanted to make a film with a Christian message, you did so through the existing media outlets of the day that everyone else used. There was no such thing as Christian TV or radio, Christian record labels, Christian publishers, or Christian film companies. There was simply the existing media vehicles that everyone used to reach the people of the day.
Sadly, over these past 50 years we have created a Christian subculture of TV stations and networks, radio stations and networks, record labels, publishers, and film studios. Regardless of what their stated goals are, the reality is that those in the Christian subculture market to and target people who are already Christians. Preaching to the choir has become a several billion dollar a year industry, and the allure of big money has caused those who have the message this lost and hurting world desperately needs, to simply package, market, and sell that message to those who already are part of the family of God.
The effect of this has been that the "salt" and the "light" have been removed from the marketplace, and we have left the lost masses to satan. It is like what sadly happens in many major metropolitan areas where a church that has been in the inner city for decades decides to move to the suburbs where more affluent people live, build a new million dollar building, and abandon the very people that need that church the most. The void left by that church leaving is quickly filled by the drug dealers, the pimps, the scam artists, and those who can now operate without any competition from God to destroy the lives of the people in that area.
We have done the same thing over these past 50 years by abandoning the secular media to create our own Christian media fiefdoms, so all that the hurting and lost masses get 24/7 are the lies of satan. We left secular TV that is now overrun by "The Housewives of Wherever," the garbage on MTV, and programming that promotes perverted lifestyles, sexual sin, and mocks God, Jesus and the Bible! We left secular radio that is now taken over by political talkers, Howard Stern and the shock jocks of the day, and music of every kind that glorifies a people in complete rebellion to God and His Word.
We left the secular record labels to the artists of the world, but amazingly in recent years those same secular labels have now bought most of the major Christian labels so that they could make the hundreds of millions of dollars to be gained by selling Christian music to other Christians. We left the secular book and magazine publishers, so that now all they produce are books and magazines that promote the world's view of living in rebellion to God and the truth. Major Hollywood movie studios that used to turn out wonderful family-friendly movies in addition to Biblical classics like the "Ten Commandments" and "Jesus of Nazareth" to name a few, now mostly turn out violent, sex-laced movies that glorify every sin known to man.
My friend, unless I am not reading my Bible correctly, the Great Commission doesn't say to "separate yourself from the world and preach to each other," but it says to go out into the world and make disciples of ALL men! Jesus didn't take His disciples and keep to themselves, He went TO the people of His day who were hurting and looking for hope and sent His disciples out to spread the Good News. Paul didn't help start churches and then sit back and simply preach to those who were saved, but he continued to go out and preach the Gospel to the lost of the world of his day.
Jesus said, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16 KJV)
Now more than ever this world needs to hear the TRUTH of God's Word. Now more than ever this world needs the people of God to be the "salt" and "light" God has called us to be. Now more than ever this lost and hurting world needs the one and only answer there is . . . JESUS CHRIST! If we, the people who know Christ as our Savior, won't take His hope and love to this world that needs Him so desperately, WHO WILL???
I love you and care about you so much. I want to encourage you today in your daily life to be that "salt" and "light" God has called you to be. It is no accident you live where you do, work or go to school where you do, recreate where you do, shop where you do, or any of your other activities during the course of the day. God is always bringing people into your life that are hurting and lost, who are simply looking for hope. These are people who are never going to church, never going to read a Bible, never going to watch Christian TV, listen to Christian radio or music, or read Christian books or magazines.
YOU ARE THEIR ONLY CONNECTION TO GOD!
I want to challenge you that God has placed you where you are for this season for a PURPOSE. Part of that purpose is to be a witness for Him. Never forget that I tell you often your greatest witness for the Lord is not what you say, but how you live your life each day. People notice! You are His ambassador. As a son or daughter of the Lord, God has commanded you to share your faith in Christ with those you meet along your journey. Your most effective witness to others will always be what Jesus has done in your life. People are hungry for the Truth, looking for answers, and searching for hope. YOU possess the truth they want, have the answers they seek, and can give them the hope they need. I pray that you will boldly proclaim that Jesus Christ is "the way, the truth and the life" and that nobody comes to the Father except through Him!
Please be praying with me for God to raise up men and women that are not ashamed of the Gospel, that have a vision to reach the lost and hurting masses with the message of Christ who will stand with me and those in the Liveprayer family. Men and women of God, who instead of simply becoming part of the current Christian subculture that preaches to the choir, will have a hunger to take the message of Christ through the same secular media vehicles the world uses every day to lie to people and destroy their lives.
We need more people who will follow the lead of Liveprayer and take the message of Christ to the masses on secular TV. Not the same old recycled preaching/teaching programs, the never ending beg-a-thons so the top people can buy new jets and a 5th mansion, but programming that will attract a secular audience and bring them the Truth of God's Word and lead people to faith in Christ. We need Christian music artists who will create music that can reach the masses through secular radio stations and record labels. We need authors who will write for a secular audience that can be published by the major publishing houses of the day and marketed to the world at large. We need movie makers that will use Hollywood as a vehicle to create God-honoring films that can bring Truth and the hope of Christ into people's lives.
Will it be easy? NO WAY! Since we have abandoned the secular media for so many decades now, getting back in will be very difficult. BUT NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR GOD!
That is why the Liveprayer TV program has never and never will air on Christian networks, so it can be done. There are wonderful Christian musicians that are taking their music that glorifies Christ and the Word directly to the lost and hurting. Great authors who are writing books that can compete with any of the secular books on the market. People like my friend Ted Baehr of Movieguide that are working tirelessly to help get great movies made and distributed through the same channels Hollywood is currently using.
IT CAN BE DONE AND IT MUST BE DONE, BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT GOD HAS CALLED US TO DO!
For too long we have abandoned our culture and have taken the Truth out of the marketplace because it was more comfortable and profitable to tell and sell the Truth to those who already knew it. That is NOT Biblical. As we are in the last days, now more than ever we are living in a world that desperately needs that Truth, desperately needs the hope that is only found in Jesus Christ. May we rise up and use the secular media that is in place to reach the masses worldwide, and bring those lost and hurting masses the Truth found in God's Word, and everlasting life through faith in Jesus Christ!
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,