16 August 2019

Love your neighbour

I'm reading the book "simply Jesus" by N.T Wright


He is asking himself and us some questions.
Who was Jesus?
Why did he do the things he did?
How can we be sure?
etc.

Jesus was, and still is not easy to understand.


Mark 12:30-31
30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[a] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’[b] There is no commandment greater than these.”

Love your neighbour as yourself. What does that really mean? Jesus also said Love your enemies.
for centuries Christians have been living Jesus words, and especially love your neighbour and love your enemies, and while doing so they have been either killed, driven away , even whole community's and city's completely erased from Christianity. Churches has been turned into something else, christian heritage wiped away.

We see this in the middle east and in many places in northern Africa.
We do need to reflect on His words.

I wonder what does it mean to love your enemies? to love your neighbour?. Is that really what we should do?

6 August 2019

Evangelism 2

I found so many great mtrl out there on why and I have to post it for you...

WHY SHOULD WE EVANGELIZE? -

God Is Not Willing That Anyone Should Perish
2 Peter 3:9 New Testament for Everyone (NTE)

9 The Lord is not delaying his promise, in the way that some reckon delay, but he is very patient towards you. He does not want anyone to be destroyed. Rather, he wants everyone to arrive at repentance.


It’s not the desire of God that people should perish , but God desires that the gospel of Christ be spread and shared to all mankind with the hope that people may come to a saving knowledge and relationship with God through Christ.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
We Have A Mandate To Evangelize
2 Timothy 4:5 New Testament for Everyone (NTE)

5 But as for you, keep your balance in everything! Put up with suffering; do the work of an evangelist; complete the particular task assigned to you.

Remember that evangelizing is simply the sharing of the gospel especially to unbelievers. Pastors or church leaders cannot reach every soul. Therefore every Christian is expected by God to play his/her part in reaching to the lost and helping the lost to come to salvation through Christ.
------------------------------------------------------------------
Jesus Preached Repentance & Died For Sinners
Matthew 4:17 New Testament for Everyone (NTE)

17 From that time on Jesus began to make his proclamation.
‘Repent!’ he would say. ‘The kingdom of heaven is arriving!’

Luke 5:31-32 New Testament for Everyone (NTE)
31 ‘Healthy people don’t need a doctor;’ replied Jesus, ‘it’s sick people who do! 32 I haven’t come to call the righteous; I’m calling sinners to repentance.’

Repentance is an important part of the gospel. We cannot become born again without repenting. To repent means to change your mind or to go in a new direction. The reason why we should evangelize is because Jesus Himself evangelized. Jesus preached to sinners and He died for sinners so that they may repent.
Therefore the reason why we evangelize is so that we help people to repent so that they may live for Christ .
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Harvest Is Plenty But The workers Are Few
Luke 10:2 New Testament for Everyone (NTE)

2 ‘There’s a great harvest out there,’ he said to them, ‘but there aren’t many workers. So plead with the harvest-master to send out workers for the harvest.

Christ tells us that there is a big harvest of unbelievers who need to repent and who need to hear the gospel so that they come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Another reason why we need to evangelize is because there are very few “laborers” or Christians who are willing to evangelize. Despite an abundance of churches and Christians, there is a very small ratio of people willing to evangelize.
Therefore Christ encourages to pray for more laborers to evangelize and share the gospel because God is no willing for anyone to perish.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Because We Love God & We Love Our Neighbour
Matthew 22:37-39 New Testament for Everyone (NTE)

37 ‘You must love the Lord your God’, replied Jesus, ‘with all your heart, with all your life, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first commandment, and it’s the one that really matters. 39 The second is similar, and it’s this: You must love your neighbour as yourself.


Love your neighbour! Wow and as yourself!

I don’t know about you but I have some neighbours!

People that smoke constantly even in the stairways, people that play loud music often and have party’s. People that wont say hi, people that don’t clean up in our laundry!

Jesus is telling me not to Judge and to love these people as myself! Not only that, Jesus is telling me that this is the greatest commandment.

We often think of neighbours as the people who live near us, but Jesus meant it to include all people - even our enemies! Jesus told His famous parable of the Good Samaritan to make it clear that "love your neighbour" means to love all people, everywhere - not just our friends, allies, countrymen, and so on

We are all God's children. Just as He loves all His people and is willing to forgive their sins, we must be willing to forgive others who have done wrong to us:



If we love God and if we truly love our neighbour then we will be motivated to evangelize. If our neighbour is not a Christian we must be motivated by love to speak the gospel because we do not desire to see anybody perish just as God Himself does not want to see anyone perish.
God was motivated by love so much that He sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins so that if whosever believes in Him shall not perish (John 3:16). Therefore let love be our motivator.

Evangelism 1

Evangelism is not a word I have heard often at churches in the past few years.



Why should we do it?

Why don't we see so much about it?

What does the Bible say?

How to do it?



Did you know that young adults, age between 20–30 in Sweden who say they believe in God is about 18%. In Denmark, a country very close the figure is 34%.

Why is that so?

According to the research, almost all practising Christians believe that part of their faith means being a witness about Jesus. Between 94 and 97 per cent say the best thing that could ever happen to someone is for them to know Jesus.



However, many Millennials in the US are unsure about the actual practise of evangelism. Almost half (47 per cent) agree at least somewhat that it is wrong to share ones personal beliefs with someone of a different faith in hopes that they will one day share the same faith.



John Zmirak, writer and editor says, there are more Face book users than Christian's in the world.


The church is growing like never. The church has never been this huge as it is today, in Asia, Africa, South America. But sad to say not in Europe...



Around 4 times more Muslims gather at the mosque on Fridays than Christian's at the church on Sundays in the UK.



The biggest Pentecostal churches in Brazil were founded by Swedes, and I do hope and pray it will continue to do so, but that kind of missions, don't get me wrong can be like standing and looking with binoculars. You see everything in the distance but everything close to you is out of focus.



True story! A Pastor in England was approached after the service by a man who wanted prayers. The man handed over his business card. He is working for Microsoft. The Pastor was very surprised when he read his business card. It said he was an Evangelist.


The secular world is kidnapping Christian word and a word Evangelist that many churches do nowadays not really like!



It looks dark when you present facts like this, sorry but we need to face them.


But there is HOPE! A lot of great news around us and of cause our greatest hope is Jesus.

7 January 2019

Odd or!?

There are many traditions during new year in Sweden, some strange, some not that strange, and some odd.

We dress up, we have party's, we drink champagne, we do fire works. Pretty normal. Some Stays at church and pray during the night, some like us stayed at an dog friendly hotel together with 50-60 other dog families. ( dog friendly = no fire works), and some listens to the poem by
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, ‘Ring out, wild bells
read each year by different Swedish celebrities

This is one of the last poems in Tennyson’s long masterpiece, In Memoriam (1850),Tennyson calls on the church bells to ‘ring out the old, ring in the new’, and to rid the world of the bad things that have occurred and to usher in a newer, brighter world.

This New year the Swedish actor reading it changed some of the verses in the poem and even skipped the last words, with the Swedish state TVs knowledge and approval.

The last words in the poem is like this:

Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

The actor skipped : Ring in the Christ that is to be...

I think that's odd

26 December 2018

The colours that dissapaired

When I was a child we had a black and White TV, with at the time only two TV channels. I know that its hard to imagine for the younger generation, even so I'm not that old,things changes very fast.

So sometimes when we saw a film it was hard to imagine what colours a dress had or so on, and I remember in 1974 for the World cup in football Germany, my parents bought our first Colour TV. WOW it felt like a new World just open up for you.

I love colours, especially different combinations of colours. Many have a favourite colour and I Think so do I.
But an American friend of mine said to me some years ago, "why do so many people in Sweden dress up in black?"
Almost everyone wear a black jacket or coat.
Yes that's true. No colours at all.
No yellow, Red, Blue, Green, just black.

The same thing with new movies, if not all very many of them are decolorized.
Not black and white, but not any vibrant colours as well...

When I walked towards my car the other day at the parking lot at a supermarket, I noticed that many cars has the same colours, or should I say "non colours"

They are Black, white, silver, dark blue, dark brown and so on. Not like before, Bright Red, yellow, beige, Light blue , or even two or three colours.

Where are all the colours?

19 December 2018

Forget Jesus?

Forget Jesus!

That's what I read in the newspaper this morning.

The article refers to whats going on at the theatres this Christmas.

Tage Danielsson was a very famous comedian, who wrote a story about a a boy who is growing up in a rich family. He gets a temporary job at the post office but takes the presents from the rich and gives to the poor.

That story has become a Christmas tradition in Sweden just as Dickens , Mr Scrooge in a way has been.


The writer of the article says" Thank Danielsson" for the Christmas atmosphere..

More and more we can see how God, Jesus, Christianity is getting marginalised, and typical Christian celebrations are getting ignored or reformed without God.


In some restaurants and shops they are told not to play Christmas songs with a Christian touch or with the name Jesus in it.


The Gospels tell the story of Christ’s birth, but nowere in Scripture are we told to celebrate His birth.

Thats true, But it’s part of our culture now. It’s a wonderful opportunity for the entire world to consider how God became man and came to earth. And of course its message of “Peace on earth, goodwill to man” is a message we need now more than ever.

31 July 2018

unorthodox




Some times, at some churches, in some places it might be difficult to get people to Church.
Perhaps in Sweden particularly, but I have to say the churches are not that empty and dying as some may say.

Some churches just goes on like never before. Others might pray more, sharing more about the truth of Jesus Christ, as we are doing, but then some churches are trying in unorthodox ways bringing people to Church.

At a Lutheran Church the other week, had a full day for kids, in a special "Harry Potter theme". In the early evening it would be music from Harry Potter as well, or at a christian scout camp where they had a special "star Wars theme. Learning kids and teens to choose the right path trough the story of Star Wars and slowly leading them in to the Bible.

The Bible, with its 66 books is a story book. There is everything in it. Star Wars, Harry Potter etc they have taken stories from the Bible and turned them in to theirs.

Whats wrong with the Word of God?

whats the next step for trying to get people to Church? Ware wolfs and Vampires?
or are some churches Walking dead?

26 July 2018

Diversity




Some Days ago the former US president Obama made a speech in South Africa, mentioned the Power of diversity.

Journalists said it was a brilliant speech.

I did not hear all of his speech but I do not agree that diversity is powerful.

It is easy to be diverse. My neighbourhood is very diverse. There are people from many different cultures living here. Many different backgrounds and religions.

We can see that very clear on Christmas, when a Swedish tradition is to hang a star in the window. Many windows in my neighbourhood has no star in the window during Christmas.
For many Swedes its not all about faith, its a tradition, a tradition many immigrants do not support.

In my workplace we are very diverse. We do not have the same political view, or ideas how Sweden should be run. We cant unite around sports either since some do not support our local football club.

So being diverse is easy and I do not see any Power in that, its colourful, its exciting and challenging, but not powerful.

Its powerful when this diversity is unified. The only places where I have seen this diversity in Sweden is at our local football clubs home games. We all support our team. We stand side by side with people we usually wont hang with. Different Cultures, nationalities, religions. Together.

The other Place, more important is at Church. At our International Church we come from many different parts of the World. Different backgrounds, Cultures, languages, even denominations, but we are powerful United in our faith in Jesus Christ.

Sweden and other countries need to find this unity to become stonger….

15 April 2018

Servant



Rather often you hear people present themselves in the Church World as Pastors, Priests, Bishops, Church leaders, Elders, etc.I have never heard anyone present themselves as St Paul used to present himself in his letters:

In Romans 1 he says: Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus ( NIV)
in NTE it says: Paul, a slave of King Jesus

Very seldom, or should I be so bold to say never are we presenting ourselves as Slaves or Servants.

The Greek Word for slave is "doulos". The new Testament is written in Greek, and almost every translation use the word servant instead of slave for "doulos".

How is that? I looked at a Greek new testament and I counted that word slave is used around 150 times. Perhaps the translators didn’t really like the word “slave” because of the connotations that word brought.

Slaves has no rights, they don't get paid, but on the other hand they are a part of the family. They don't have to worry about a lot of things. What to eat, when to eat, how to pay the bills etc. Mark here that I do not say that I love slavery...

One might think that the masters didn't care about their slaves in those days, but that's not the case.

The slaves became like a family member. They cared for their needs. in Matthiew 8: 5-6 we can read about the Roman centurion who sent a man to Jesus to help him heal his slave.

Further on in Matt 8:9 it says I “am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant ‘Do this,’ and he does it’”

So even here the translators use the Word servant instead for slaves for the Word "doulos".

We are slaves to Christ. It means that he owns us. We belong to him.
We surrender. We submit our will to His will...


The bible says we have to die to ourselves and live for Him...

14 January 2018

Persecution




Last year 2017, was a dark year concerning persecutions against Christians.

We are not surprised to read in the papers about attacks against churches and Christians in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan. Iraq and North Korea, but this year we have seen this happened in many other places as well.

In Egypt Christians and churches has frequently been attacked and many people have died.
In Nigeria, Kenya and Morocco Christians has been attacked and killed.

In India an Hindu Group has said they want to get rid of all Christians in India til the year 2020.

In Bolivia they will soon have a law that forbids evangelism. If you will do so you can get 12 years behind bars.

But we have seen hate crimes against Christians and their worship places even in Europe.

In France, Spain, Germany, Austria, Kosovo, Switzerland, Slovenia, UK and Sweden we have seen threats against Christians, vandalism against Churches and cemeteries.

Christian refugees in Sweden has been attacked by Muslim refugees.

During 2017 around 3500 Christian Brothers and Sisters World wide have been killed.

Sad to say these different government are doing nothing or at least very Little to change this

But Jesus said himself in Matthew 10 : 

16 ‘See here,’ Jesus continued, ‘I’m sending you out like sheep surrounded by wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes, and as innocent as doves.
17 ‘Watch out for danger from people around you. They will hand you over to councils, and flog you in their synagogues. 18 You will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as evidence to them and to the nations. 19 But when they hand you over, don’t worry how to speak or what to say. What you have to say will be given to you at that moment. 20 It won’t be you speaking, you see; it will be the spirit of your father speaking in you.
21 ‘One brother will betray another to death; fathers will betray children, and children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 You will be hated by everyone because of my name. But the one who holds out to the end will be delivered.
23 ‘When they persecute you in one town, run off to the next one. I’m telling you the truth: you won’t have gone through all the towns of Israel before the son of man comes.’.....

20 September 2017

Biblical correct

For some years now I have read books by the famous new testament scholar and professor N.T Wright.

I have done some classes online and even met him when he last were here in Sweden in 2013.

His new perspective on Paul is both interesting, refreshing and in one way confusing.

The Bible is a living book, the more you read and study it, more and more you discover and it is great that you get help on the way doing so by the many theologians out there.

But, I've discovered that when you do so, study the Bible, change perspectives, writing about it, speaking about it, you will get followers but even opponents.

I would say it is very normal, but when it comes to Christianity it very often gets dirty. ( there are other areas where that happen as well)


N.T Wright have been accused for not being a Christian, for not being biblical, for being totally wrong, even dangerous.

He is told being deliberately disruptive and divisive. Pastors have told churches not to invite him or post anything from him

One theologian said he must be stoped!, some say he stole Christmas ( like the Grinch).

He is claimed to be a "false teacher".

I could not disagree more.

N.T Wright has been a Priest in the Anglican Church for many years, Bishop of Durham, Professor at the University of St Andrews.

If we in the Church are behaving just like they do in the secular world, how and why do you think people wanna join?


Remember that what you think, say, write today will be questioned in the future, perhaps even rejected. In other words be careful judging others, be sensitive and just, and let us all with an open mind take this journey together.

Love your neighbour

I'm reading the book "simply Jesus" by N.T Wright He is asking himself and us some questions. Who was Jesus? Why did he ...