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ISDAMan
03-29-02, 11:45 PM
Hi There, Everyone,

This being Good Friday, as it is commonly recognized, Iíd like to take the time to speak with you about Good Friday services. Iíve always told you that I primarily write these FNSís for Christians though there are many non-christians that follow them as well. Likely, there are some of both, reading now, that have attended a Good Friday service this evening. Thereís something important that we should all know.

In my church background I donít ever remember attending a Good Friday service. I donít recall that we ever had one. Iím sure that some of you may never have known a year without one. We always had the whole story of Jesusí ministry, arrest, crucifixion, return, and ascension all told on Sunday morning. As Iím aware, churches that hold Good Friday services tend to break down the services of Friday and Sunday into two parts. Friday focuses upon manís reaction to Christ and the darkness of all that happened to our Lord. Sunday emphasizes His triumph over death and the grave and what it means to us. Now, I canít say whether either way is better. Nevertheless, it would be good to remember that there are non-christians at these services. Whether we be preachers, teachers, laymen, or custodians, we need to do our part to see that we help the lost around us to understand the features and benefits of Christís life, His ministry, and His Godhood! I think that this is especially true of churches that do the split thing. Who knows if weíll ever get a chance to witness to that person ever again. Letís be aware of the cold hard facts. One, no one is promised tomorrow: not us: not them. Two, thereís no saying that theyíll ever come back again. Three, we donít know how long until God no longer calls out to that personís heart.

During the time of Easter, we all want to reflect upon the life of Christ and how the world received Him. This is what comes out of our mouths when we talk to people. This is good thought I must caution care and wisdom. As Christians, if we are to be effective witnesses, we must know that as we tell people of Christ, we must also tell these people what the reality of Christ means to them. Pastor Lon Solomon of McLean Bible Church in McLean, VA., perhaps youíve had the chance to hear him on the radio, always asks the question, ďSo What?!Ē Itís a fantastic question! Christians often forget to ask and find out what things really mean to them. Thatís a dividing kind of question. Itís a sad shame that we donít think as much as we should. Well, guess what! Non-christians know better to ask that question all of the time. Remember how weíve talked about blind faith and how God gives us evidences of His truth? Well, we shouldnít expect blind faith from the non-christians that attend our services. They need evidence as well.

We should have a clean image because no one likes filth. We should try to do our best at what we do (cleaning, singing, whatever) without being pretentious. We should look to have a homely welcoming atmosphere free of clicks (groups of people that stick together exclusively and with malice toward others). Most of all, we should share or be ready to share the Gospel and the truth of what Christ has done in our lives. We donít need to dazzle people with Christianese (Christian Speak). Simple and honest is best.

The only way to share in this way is to know in this way. Take the time on Good Friday and every day to think more than just about what was done to Christ. Remember, Christ gave His life. They did not take it! If anything, that day on the cross reminds me of the scene in Revelations 5 when only the Lamb who had been slain could open the book. He even took the book from a strong angel. He has given us life and has made us Kings and Priests. In just the same way, there was no one to be found that could pay the price for the sins of mankind and on that Glorious Day, the Lamb stepped up and took care of the tab. Be careful not to heap false and useless sadness upon yourselves. Jesus is not in the grave! There ought to be reverence. There ought to be fear. There ought to be shame and even sadness. Still, there ought to be a greater sense of Joy! The Bible makes it clear that the disciples didnít understand all that Jesus said about what would happen to Him. We Do Understand Now! Letís be careful to pass on the whole story to people and not just and emotional rush (Oh, look what happened!). What happened with Christ is more that the average bad event that weíll see on the news. We need to know in our hearts that Jesus won the victory on Good Friday. On that day, He said, ďIt is finishedĒ!

Rejoice!!!!!,
ISDAMan