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Sweet Sixteen

November 5, 2007

I Corinthians 10:31  “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” 

In times past, upon hearing of such an event, I would have been instantly put off by the idea.  Our church has a fall festival which takes place on halloween of each year.  It’s not so much a festival as it is a community outreach which bears good spiritual fruit.  (I’ll explain shortly)  It seems that in many instances, such events are an attempt to be like the world;  trying to walk the strait and narrow with one foot on the curb.  In that context, I think it’s a bad idea as we should not mimic the world to “have fun” so to speak.   This is dangerous at any time; all the more so when there’s a focus on the supernatural which is not of God.   

On the other hand, when an event is designed as a community outreach and folks end up coming to Jesus; this is a different situation.  (People getting saved!  Lives forever changed!  Woohoo!)  Such is the case with the fall fest at Agape Church in Three Rivers.  An annual event, planned months in advance and promoted via flyers and other means, it’s a place where parents can bring their kids, have fun, and most of all, “hear the gospel of Jesus Christ.”  They set up a large tent and have several booths; each having a game or other activity.  In addition, hot dogs, potato chips, cookies, and drinks (punch or pop) are free to any who come by. 

 In the center of it all is the salvation booth.  (I wasn’t there; I had to work)  Here the plan of salvation is told to whosoever will give ear.  Last wednesday, sixteen souls came to Jesus.  Three of them were parents.  Each year a few will give their hearts to Jesus.  Each year, the efforts of our church, along with the others who participate bear spiritual fruit that will never perish.  That night, 37 english bibles and 8 spanish bibles were given out.  Not to mention all of the seed that was planted as the love of Christ went forth.  The flyers kindly ask that if any costumes are worn, they be of a neutral nature.  Most comply; however, none are turned away for not adhering to this guideline as the focus is bringing souls to Jesus.  Get them to Jesus; he’ll do the work of cleaning them up.  Just like he did for us. 

This event is well known in the community and it draws folks from every facet of society.  They come for a safe place to have fun and a few have their hearts opened to receive Jesus.  We never know who will be the one whose heart the Lord opens or when we’ll suddenly find ourselves at a divine appointment; not only at a church outreach, but any time throughout our day.  I think it was last year when some well known drug dealers attended.  The word of God will not return void and Jesus will save any who come to him in sincere repentance and ask.  When a person is truly born again; not only are they a new creature, they will be a light to those around them.  Their light shining into nooks and crannies that had previously been safely in the enemies camp.

The fall festival started several years ago.  Kids who otherwise would just go out and unwittingly participate in a ritual that has its roots in some unimaginably dubious practices were invited to come to this event instead.  A day which is the highest of the witches sabats is used to share the gospel of Jesus Christ who has the keys of hell and of death.  Had it not been for this event, those sixteen eternal souls may have gone into eternity without Christ.  We never know what a day holds or when ones allotment of days under the sun is complete.   

 Again, if an event is held because we just want to “have fun like the world” so to speak (if you can even call it that) the motivation and focus is completely off.  Not only is it off, it’s dangerous.  A “desire” to be like the world is an indicator of things in the heart that must be addressed.   This year, I have learned that an event can be held on October 31 and utilized totally to win souls for the kingdom.  Without a doubt, the enemy would much rather have those kids out about the town where he has a fighting chance to keep them from hearing truth.  The following verse doesn’t seem to fit as it did prior to performing some editorial surgery, but I’ll leave it because it talks of not loving the temporal things of this life. 

Philippians 3:7-8  “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.  Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.”

Having grown up on a hog farm, I’m familiar with dung.  It smells bad and one tries to keep it as far away as possible.  Paul equated the treasures of this life to dung; something that, in some instances must be dealt with, but we don’t want to cozy up to.  One more verse along these lines before closing.  This is a familiar one, but here it is again.

I John 2:15  “Love not the world, neither the things which are in the world.  If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 

This is almost drifting into another post, however, whatever it is that we think about and talk of primarily, this is what’s in our heart.  I can say wholeheartedly, that the saints of Agape love the Lord Jesus.  One can hear it in the conversations, it’s very evident in the worship, and it’s very present in the preaching.  To them, the fall fest is a mechanism for soul winning and seed planting.  They could actually call it a “harvest festival” as each year, souls are harvested for the kingdom of God.  Wow!  It’s been a long time since I spent almost half the night writing back to back posts.  Currently at www.timbob2.wordpress.com there’s a post about how the Lord can sustain those who trust in him; even in the most inhospitable of physical circumstances. 

Well, I need to be going.  Before I close this out, here’s the “sobering link of the day.”   www.revlu.com/Gruver.html   When glasnost came into full swing, these words seemed to run contrary to the changing political landscape.  We have a tendancy to study prophecy and weave it into the current events of the day as we perceive them.  Truth can be far removed from our ideas of “what is” and as such we must remain close to Jesus.  If we have any questions, ask him by faith in prayer.  (Jeremiah 33:3)  I wish to all a blessed day in Jesus. 

PHILS BACK!  Here’s the site!  www.esv1.wordpress.com 

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3 comments

  1. Praise the Lord for those sweet sixteen! Hallelujah! Our church also had a festival very similar to what you describe and called it HarvestFest. The past two Sunday’s many new folks from the community attended our church largely drawn in by the harvest festival. Our pastor preached on heaven and hell and many have come to Jesus! The Lord can use ALL things to His glory including events on Oct 31st, woohoo! No matter what we do, the Lord Jesus Christ has to be at the source or it will fail just as Phil is saying over at his blog. Thanks for the links!

    Blessings in the Lord Jesus to you and yours,
    Scotti


  2. A ‘salvation booth’!
    Now that is unique…


  3. What a way to slap the devil in the face to win souls on a day that is supposed to glorify satan this is great when the church can use any day to win the lost, those in bondage to satan and bring them to the power of God.

    God Bless
    Daniel



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