Tag Archives: Do You Believe

Pre-Salvation Counseling?

Pre-Marital Counseling

Have you ever given pre-marital advice? Have you ever sat down with a young couple, stars in their eyes, and tried to break them up? No? Then maybe you don’t know what real marriage counseling is all about.

OK, no, I don’t go into a counselling session with the intent on making them run out of the room crying and screaming at each other. But what I do try to do is bring to the surface issues that might cause problems down the road which will ultimately lead to major problems, even divorce.

Believe me, a lot of people could have been spared a lot pain and heartache had they been asked some serious questions before they tied the knot.

Salvation Counseling 

But much like the syrupy-sweet lovers who want to jump into marriage without even considering what comes after the honeymoon, many are led into believing that becoming a Christian is the answer to all their problems.

Because of many one-stop Vegas-like “wedding chapels” we call “worship centers,” scores of people have been drawn into a relationship with Jesus – but without the “pre-marital” counseling.

Reality check: Following Jesus will not be easy. As a matter of fact, it might even result in a life of pain and suffering, of hunger and want. This relationship may even cost you your life.

And when [Jesus] had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” – Mark 8:34

Oh, make no mistake about it, entering into an eternity-long relationship with Jesus is totally worth it!

Just make sure you know what you’re getting into.

 

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Filed under Defending Traditional Marriage, Defining Marriage, Divorce, Life Lessons, Movie review, salvation, Witnessing

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

Choir Girl

Last night I had the rare chance to go hear my own daughter sing at Bryan College. It was wonderful! I wish all of you could have been there, especially to hear “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.” Powerful!

Katie at the doorNow, since Katie has gone to college, she has been busy, busy, busy…even touring with the Bryan College Chorale. On the rare occasion I have had to hear her display the music education she is receiving, all I’ve had to record it with was my iPhone. Last night all I got was a picture with her as she was handing out…what do they call those things?…bulletins? Menus? Billings? Keepsakes?

That has made me sad.

But WAIT!…

Earlier this month Katie and her personal choir (at least that’s the way this daddy sees it) performed at the Northside Presbyterian Church PC(USA). — on a side note, I’m not big on the denomination right now — Fortunately for me, since this was on a Sunday morning and I had other obligations, they did a wonderful job at recording the whole thing!

But before you watch it, let me tell you why I am sharing this (besides being proud of Katie and her backup singers). One of the greatest hymns ever written was penned by Isaac Watts, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.” Listening to it last night brought me to tears.

The Wondrous Cross

How often do we do that? Survey the cross? How often do we just pause for more than a few moments and measure out the height, depth, length, and breadth of the place where “sorrow and love flow mingled down”? If we did, we would think less of ourselves and more of Him.

For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. – 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 NKJV

So, I hope you enjoy the video of Katie’s choir (incidentally, she is standing all the way to the far right). But after you listen to Isaac Watt’s famous hymn (beginning at the 32:48 mark), ask yourself the question the old man in the movie Do You Believe? asks the preacher: “What are you going to do about it?”

If you will see the cross for what it is, it will make a difference in your life.

(UPDATE: Katie just watched this and said, “We were not ready for that concert. We got our practice time in on the road.” This was their first concert.)

Oh, and “Jesus Paid it All” is awesome, too!

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Filed under God, Love of God, music, Parenting, Relationships and Family, worship

Pre-Salvation Counseling?

Pre-Marital Counseling

Have you ever given pre-marital advice? Have you ever sat down with a young couple, stars in their eyes, and tried to break them up? No? Then maybe you don’t know what real marriage counseling is all about.

Honestly, one of the things I try to do before I marry a couple is to break them up. OK, no, I don’t go into a counselling session with the intent on making them run out of the room crying and screaming at each other. But what I do try to do is bring to the surface issues that might cause problems down the road which will ultimately lead to major problems, even divorce. Believe me, a lot of people could have been spared a lot pain and heartache had they been asked some serious questions before they tied the knot.

So, if you want me to conduct your wedding, you must endure at least four hours of me trying to find out if you are aware of what’s ahead.

Salvation Counseling 

Much like the syrupy-sweet lovers who want to jump into marriage without even considering what comes after the honeymoon phase, many are led into believing that becoming a Christian is the answer to all their problems. Because of many one-stop, Vegas-like “wedding chapels” we call “worship centers,” scores of people have been drawn into a relationship with Jesus – but without the “pre-marital” counseling.

Reality check: Following Jesus will not be easy. As a matter of fact, it might even result in a life of pain and suffering, of hunger and want. This relationship may even cost you your life.

And when [Jesus] had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” – Mark 8:34

Oh, make no mistake about it, entering into an eternity-long relationship with Jesus is totally worth it! Just make sure you know what you’re getting into.

See the Movie

This Friday (March 20) Do You Believe? will come out in theaters. Please, take my advice, go see this movie! It may prove to be the best spiritual “marriage counseling” you’ve had in a while. Oh, and take someone with you who is lost; you won’t regret it.

 

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Filed under Defending Traditional Marriage, Defining Marriage, Divorce, Life Lessons, Movie review, salvation, Witnessing

Do You Believe? YES!

Last night I was privileged to see the new Pure Flix movie Do You Believe, which will be released in theaters on March 20. Wow!

Yes, I got to see it before the rest of you because I am uber-special and have connections. No, seriously, because I’m a pastor, I was invited by email to a screening. The purpose, of course, was to see the movie ourselves before we start encouraging others to buy tickets and flood the theaters.

Buy tickets and flood the theaters. It’s that good.

Seriously, Do You Believe fires on all 8 cylinders (that’s non-hybrid car talk). It is dramatic, well-produced, and unwilling to pull punches. Look at it this way, if you liked God’s Not Dead, you’re gonna love Do You Believe. On the other hand, if you thought God’s Not Dead was Christian propaganda, you’re gonna have an aneurysm before this movie is half-over. Do You Believe is all about the Cross and faith in Jesus Christ – no apologies.

If I could explain this movie to you in another way, I’d say it must have been derived from the classic book In His Steps. If you remember, those who believed in Jesus were challenged to walk “in His steps,” to live as He would if walking in their shoes. In this movie, those who truly believe are challenged to “carry the cross,” regardless the cost.

When God’s Not Dead was over, people were taking out their cell phones and texting “God’s not dead!” to all their contacts. When you see this movie, which I hope you do, the first thing you’ll probably do is stand and sing along with music playing during the closing credits. If you’re like some people I saw, you’ll sing with hands raised as you praise God. Others, like me, will stand shivering with tears in your eyes, realizing you’ve just been kicked in the gut by the Holy Spirit. The next thing you’ll do is go out and “do something” with what you believe.

After the movie was over, we took a little girl whom we took with us to the movie as a guest back to her home. There, for the first time, we got to sit and talk with the girl’s mother about the Gospel, about God’s love for us manifested on the Cross. It was like we were still in the theater, ’cause I even found myself, a preacher, using some the lines I’d just heard in the movie. So, what does that tell you?

Go see Do You Believe, and take the unbelievers with you. I guarantee you this: some will believe.

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Filed under Apologetics, current events, salvation, Witnessing