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Reaching Your World Archive

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Series: Luis Palau | Contrasts in Faith

This week on “Reaching Your World with Luis Palau” Luis talks about some of the contrasts that come up when faith is discussed. We’ll talk about religion versus relationship, about law versus the gospel, and others.

Evangelism vs. Discipleship Friday, February 19, 2021

I’ve noticed lately that there is a major dividing line in Christian conversation- there are those who emphasize proclamation and conversion, and those who emphasize discipleship. And I want to ask the question- why must it be one or the other? Clinging to one as if more critical than the other leads to great discouragement when it comes to Kingdom building. They are of equal importance. In fact, one necessitates the other- they are inextricable.

Jesus’ statement in the Great Commission seems to indicate initial conversion and continued guidance- listen carefully: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

Jesus says to go into the world, but to also make disciples, by baptizing and teaching. Have you been guilty of over-emphasizing conversion at the cost of helping those already in the family of God? Or have you been inwardly focused so that you’ve stopped even connecting with those who have yet to know Christ? As each of us becomes more and more balanced with these two concepts then we will reach our world. Make a plan to share the Good News, but not leave it there.

This is Andrew Palau.

Faith vs. Reason Thursday, February 18, 2021

Is faith in Jesus Christ anti-intellectual? I think there can be a perception for some that in order to come to faith in Christ, they need to check their brain at the door. Nothing could be further from the truth. Some of the most brilliant academics in history have been professing Christians. Several years ago I co-wrote a book with a brilliant Chinese friend who also happens to be an atheist. The book chronicled our dialogue on matters of life and faith and one of the main subjects we discussed was faith vs. reason. How can one reconcile faith with reason? We explored this in great detail and it was a very encouraging conversation.

A certain Christian leader once said, “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth- in a word, to know himself- so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.” Our Lord Jesus tells us that we shall “know the truth” and the truth will set us free. There can be no higher intellectual goal than to realize truth. Jesus Christ is truth. Faith and reason can work together, and they do. Who can you share this truth with today?

This is Luis Palau

This World vs. the World to Come Wednesday, February 17, 2021

As Christians, should we focus on this world or the world to come? I say we should focus on both! As C.S. Lewis wrote, “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next… Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’: aim at earth and you will get neither.”

This idea that you should either focus on Heaven OR earth is a false dichotomy. Jesus tells us to be “in but not of” this world. God has us here for a reason. And yet, St. Paul tells us that we are to set our mind on things above. So, as Christians, we believe the Scriptures and all these things hold together. A heavenly focus and earthly focus are not mutually exclusive.

How are you preparing for the life to come, in your life right now on earth? One of the best ways to prepare for eternity is by reaching your world. You don’t just want to make it to heaven. You and I have a mission! You want to bring many people with you. Spend your time on earth, inviting those you love to join you in Heaven. Be Heavenly minded today and you will most certainly do earthly good.

This is Luis Palau

Law vs. Gospel Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Law and Gospel. They are two distinct but essential parts of our faith. God’s law is perfect. We are not. That’s why we need the Good News Gospel. Martin Luther wrote, "Now when a man has learned through the commandments to recognize his helplessness and is distressed about how he might satisfy the law (of God)— then, being truly humbled and reduced to nothing in his own eyes, he finds in himself nothing whereby he may be justified and saved. Here the second part of Scripture comes to our aid, namely, the promises of God which declare the glory of God, saying . . . ’If you believe, you shall have all things; if you do not believe, you shall lack all things . . .’ God our Father has made all things depend on faith so that whoever has faith will have everything, and whoever does not have faith will have nothing . . ." Martin Luther said that.

St. Paul affirms this in Romans, writing, “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Romans 3:20-22). Who do you know who needs the Good News Gospel today?

This is Luis Palau.

Religion vs. Relationship Monday, February 15, 2021

There is a common saying you may have heard, “Christianity isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship.” But you know, I don’t think it needs to be an either/or. Many people have a negative perspective on religion because they perceive it to be man-made, and because there are many false religions in the world. But Christianity is a true religion established by Jesus Christ Himself. And James even says in the Bible that the fruits of this “true religion” will be things like caring for widows and orphans. Is there a relationship between the Christian and Christ? Of course. We are in relationship with Jesus Christ through His Word, through prayer, through communion, and by his indwelling us. But Christianity is more than just an individual relationship between a person and Jesus. We are also a part of the “communion of saints.” We are a part of the holy, worldwide Christian Church. The one and only.

If you are in a personal relationship with Jesus, that is wonderful. But the life of faith wasn’t meant to be lived alone. I want to encourage you to find a local church that preaches the Gospel straight from the Bible. Because Christianity is not simply a religion or just a relationship, it’s both.

This is Luis Palau.

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