All Posts by Sheldon Wrubleski

Debating Atheists

Atheist Screenshot Ending

I have a new pastime – debating Atheists.  I feel for them because religion has really given them a sour taste when it comes to Jesus.  Atheists claim to not believe in God but if you look, you will find that the forums where Christians and atheists debate are flooded mainly with atheists and not with Christians.  This tells me that they are still seeking God but have labeled themselves atheists because no person has ever given them a good description of who the true God is.  It also tells me that Christians are afraid to take on their arguments because they themselves do not understand God and/or the message and motives of God completely.

If you wander into these forums as a Christian you will find that you are most certainly attacked and attacked quickly.  Some will claim that they don’t believe in any God, PERIOD!  But if you are patient you soon find out that they are actually open to debate ABOUT Jesus and that they are simply attacking you based on their interpretation of him (which itself is based on all of the misguided claims that Christians make about God’s nature and Jesus’ mission here on Earth).  Most Christians that I see are themselves misunderstanding the reasons and motives for the cross.  If Christians are confused by these things, just imagine how messed up atheists are!

It says in 2 Corinthians 5:19 “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”  I have found that most so-called Christians are debating with atheists and believers of other religions in the exact same manner that the unbelievers use themselves!  Both atheists and “Christians” use ad hominem attacks, mocking, ridicule, memes and even fear tactics to try to get their points across!  Very rarely do I see Christians using their testimony as a tool for reaching lost hearts.  Even more rarely do I see Christians using a well-founded understanding of the cross to do the same.  Missing almost completely are the fruits of the Holy Spirit in conversation with these lost children of God. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians+5%3A22-23

Understand what God was doing at the cross before you choose to debate with unbelievers (Bertie Brits’ messages are a great starting point).  More importantly is to treat unbelievers in the same manner that Jesus treated sinners. He did not judge them, dismiss their words (but instead addressed them) and was patient with them.  Above all he loved them with a pure heart.  If this world is ever to come to know the Lord of all, Jesus Christ, then they absolutely MUST see Jesus in our words before our words have any effect in their hearts.

I like atheists.  I find that the more I understand what God did for us at the cross, the more I find myself loving them and they liking me in return.  Sounds kind of like Jesus, no?

Hope for the Suicidal

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Just the other night I met a young man who stopped by as I was at the Street Church ministry.  He was very high on drugs, fidgeting like mad, and was very emotionally agitated and depressed.  After offering him some food to eat (he was starving and ate 3 bowls), this man revealed to me that he had actually been on his way to kill himself!  He happened to see the ministry set up and (as I have seen before) was drawn over to it.   Monty, a rock-solid volunteer and I, just kept telling him that Jesus loved him.  We must have repeated this 20 times as he was eating.  We could tell that it was slowly sinking in.

He allowed us to pray for him, and tears started pouring down his face.  I talked to the young man for about 45 minutes.  He felt that because of his many sins (he once knew about God and the Bible), God was angry with him for rejecting the truth and wouldn’t forgive Him.  I told him that our God is a God of love, and that it wasn’t God who had turned His face from this man, but that we as men, have a tendency to turn our faces from God.  The man had pointed to a passage in Hebrews that said that God couldn’t forgive him because he had turned away.  Thankfully, I had been led to read and listen to the book of Hebrews perhaps five times in a row during the previous week… no other book!  So I simply told him that He hadn’t read far enough into Hebrews yet, and smiled at him.

By the end of our conversation, the man had been filled up with food, truth and hope.  He looked practically sober after this street meeting and so after one last prayer and a hug, I edified him just a little more and sent him on his way.  I invited him to come back any time he wanted, maybe even to help others.

There is a war raging for the souls of men.  People are perishing for a lack of knowledge.  All they seem to have is loneliness as a result of a world that doesn’t really care.  Because of our neglect, evil fills the void.  Our job is to get out there and be like Jesus.  The world needs the truth about God so badly right now!  The hardest part sometimes is simply walking outside of our front doors and meeting up with these lost wanderers.

Love Never Fails

The other day I met with a woman who very badly needed to talk.  She is going through a situation of separation and possible divorce because her husband is initiating divorce proceedings.  She has two small children whom she is very worried will be placed into a situation that she does not want them to be in.  She is a believer but her husband is not or at least he has fallen away from any church activity.

As is the case in a marital crisis, there are a lot of emotions involved which can include feelings of fear, panic, anger, desperation, revenge, selfishness, heartbreak and loneliness.  She was experiencing many of these emotions, and was very far from any peace, and at a loss of what to do.

I asked this woman to tell me a little bit about why she thinks her husband wants a divorce.  She admitted that she tended to act out in anger and that maybe she had been too controlling towards him.

I persuaded her to see that these feelings and emotions and actions are not the fruits of a believer, but are instead manifestations of her listening to the enemy who has come to destroy her marriage.

She began to understand that these harmful feelings that she has been giving a place to in her head (and in her heart), are in fact temptations, inviting her to act them out and to fulfill them.  The enemy knows very well that that when we act out on these temptations, our relationships will be destroyed and we will also likely be separated further from God (James 1:15).   Yes, the truth is that we sin when we act out on these temptations.

I went on to expound on 1 Corinthians 6:17 where it says that believers are One Spirit with the Lord.  I said that if we focus on God’s ways and nothing else, if we allow Him to live within us and control us, if we thirst for nothing from ourselves or the world… then these other emotions and temptations begin to fall away.  The enemy begins to give up.  We don’t give his temptations a place in us, so over time he (for the most part) leaves us alone.

I reaffirmed to her that God is Love.  In 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13 the Word shows us that love always hopes, it never gives up.  It doesn’t bring up the wrongs of others (it looks past them).  So also love does not return evil with evil, it doesn’t judge, it doesn’t condemn, it doesn’t become angry for the sake of anger.  As believers we are born again to be exactly like God.  We are to follow Jesus, because we are now just like He was on Earth.  We are not to take part in any of the other garbage that the enemy throws at us, which used to control us, and which is a really a form of madness.  We are called to BE LOVE.  When we become love, we cannot fail.  Our situations turn around.  Things become new.

This transformation to love doesn’t usually happen overnight.  It is a process.  But we need to start by understanding what power we have.  We have the power of Almighty God within us!  HE HIMSELF is in us and we are in Him!  We are one.  Listen to Him in the quiet time and know that He is in you.  Let His love consume you and be you and just let everything else go away.

This lady went home and told me that she did something loving for her husband, by making his sandwiches for him for the next day.  Pray that she will continue on this journey of reconciliation with him and that all things become new in her marriage.

Monty with Knife

The Power of Prayer

 

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On Friday night after a nice evening of serving the Lord at Street Church (see www.StreetChurch.ca), some of us volunteers were having our usual prayer circle just before leaving for the evening.  I saw a man walk over from a ways off and ask us if he could join us in prayer.  He seemed quite depressed.

This story unfolded while volunteering at Street Church Calgary. Learn more about the amazing work Street Church does feeding the homeless by visiting their website.

We brought him into the prayer circle and prayed for him.  He then went on to tell us that he was a heroin addict and was going to kill himself that night.  He asked me to take a knife from him (the one which he was going to use to commit suicide).  We went on to pray for this man and to explain to him his true value in the eyes of Jesus.

We explained that God loves him and has a plan for Him and that the devil wants nothing more than for him to take his own life (and why).  We urged him to seek Jesus with all his heart and commanded the lies and addictions to leave him.  He went on to tell us that we had just confirmed everything his own mother had been pleading with him about.  

Afterwards we realized that he had seen the back of Monty’s coat which shows that “Jesus Is Lord”.  While we were standing there the Lord used this jacket to call him over to us.  I know that this man walked away this evening with hope and much truth which, God willing, will be used to bring him into the Kingdom of God.  Please keep this precious man in your prayers.   

 

Belief and Faith

I was thinking about how belief and faith are related while reading Matthew 17:20  .  It made me wonder after seeing some people healed, and others not healed, why this is.  I believe there may be more than one single reason why a person is or isn’t healed, but most often I think that it boils down to belief and faith.

Here is what I believe believing is:  If someone tells you something, you choose not to doubt what they say, or, if you doubt it at first, you eventually realize that it is true and accept it as being true.  Belief is taking something that you have heard or learned, to heart.  You understand this idea, principle or subject with more than your mind.  In fact, you are thoroughly convinced with your mind and your heart.  So when Jesus says that believers can lay hands on the sick and they will recover… I believe that to be true with all my heart.  I believe in my heart, that what He said is unmistakably true.  There is no argument whatsoever.

Now, this is what I believe faith is:  If someone were to promise you that they were going to do something for you, you would not only have to believe that what they said will come true, but you would also have to act on that belief.  In other words, you would put your full trust in that person, with actions to prove that you truly believe what they have said and that they will honor their words.  Faith has so much to do with action.  When Jesus tells us that we have the power to heal the sick (through Him), we have to be confident and know that the action that we start will be completed by Him.  We have to act on the promise, believe that the promise is true, and be confident and trust that the promise will be backed up by Him 100%.  If we don’t believe, faith has no place to start.  If we lose our confidence or trust, our faith dwindles.  If we don’t act, there is nothing for faith to operate on.  Me must have all three:  Faith, Belief, Confidence (trust).

The reality is that God cannot lie.  Jesus cannot lie.  The Holy Spirit cannot lie.  But the enemy, Satan, was a liar from the beginning, the beginning of all doubt.  So who do we choose to believe?  If we choose to believe God, and what He said (through the Word of God), then we must also have faith to act out on that belief.  Believing without faith could be compared to a starving man being given free range at a huge banquet buffet, yet choosing not to eat it.  He knows the food is there, but chooses not to act on it and so receives no benefit.  So if we have even a small amount of faith (i.e. stepping out in action), the enemy will flee because the Truth begins to be made manifest in our hearts.  Miracles will happen.  People will be healed.  Hearts are opened to the reality of God.

When I lay my hands on someone to heal them, it is the first part of stepping out in faith.  I am showing that I believe that what Jesus said is true by performing a physical action.  Then I also believe in my heart that He will honor His word.  Finally, I am filled with a confidence (perhaps interpreted as a bold confidence), that He will do what He said He would do.  The more we step out in faith, the more faith grows in us because we begin to see the substance of the things we hope for, and the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).

 

Life and Death is in the Tongue

Today while volunteering at Street Church (see: www.StreetChurch.ca) I ran into and spoke with many folks.  One young woman whom I spoke with was wearing a T-shirt with a large marijuana leaf on the front.

This story unfolded while volunteering at Street Church Calgary. Learn more about the amazing work Street Church does feeding the homeless by visiting their website.

Being curious, I asked her if she liked marijuana.  She said no and I didn’t ask her any more about this subject.  I did go on to explain however how the enemy (Satan) uses drugs such as marijuana and alcohol, and the things of the world such as music and movies and television, to distract us from a relationship with God.

In fact, I told her that Satan the devil, the ruler of this world, really hates her guts and wishes to see her destroyed in hell.  I told her (and her friend who was starting to listen at this point) that the reason Satan hates her is because she is beautiful in the sight of God, created in His image, and that she has a created purpose to rule and reign with Christ for eternity.  But, I said to her, Satan will do everything within his power to prevent her from accepting Jesus Christ as her Lord and Saviour.

He wants nothing more but to see her sidetracked from her real created purpose and he will work tirelessly to deceive her into being destroyed in hell.

I went on to say that the price has been paid for her sins by Jesus on the cross.  In other words we are not condemned for our sins any longer, but if we choose to reject Jesus, the Son of God, the payment for our sins, then we are already condemned.

We have chosen our destiny.  This young woman heard me out for about 25 minutes and was so intrigued that she didn’t even look at her sandwich for this whole time.

When these young people hear the truth, perhaps for the first time in their lives, a spark is ignited within their hearts (Matt 13:8).  Perhaps for the first time they begin to grasp the concept of the Truth, that His name is Jesus, and that He is real and that He really does love them with a great and an eternal love.

This story unfolded while volunteering at Street Church Calgary. Learn more about the amazing work Street Church does feeding the homeless by visiting their website.