Our Wisconsin Christian News Ministry Center, located in Marshfield, is also the regional headquarters of the Salt and Light Brigade, which we partnered with some time ago, to raise up courageous Christians in Wisconsin, train and disciple them, and give them an opportunity to use THEIR gifts for the glory of God, OUTSIDE the four walls of a church building.
The Brigade does many things. When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, our Brigade members were there, on the ground, rescuing people from the high water in boats. Then we fed the people, then we helped them with their physical needs, helped remove fallen trees and helped empty homes of debris that were devastated by the storm. After the cleanup, the worked continued, and now, just this past week, five homes have been rebuilt and restored by volunteers from all over the country, all part of the Salt and Light Brigade. These are men and women who have sacrificially given of their time and talents to help others they don’t even know who are in desperate need of help with nowhere to turn. Most importantly, with every step, with every action, with every bit of help given, the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ was given as well.
When people had nowhere to stay, nowhere to lay their heads at night, no money and no resources and no hope, we fed them, physical food and spiritual food. As the people came to receive help, the gospel was constantly being preached in makeshift church services, outdoors in the open air, in tents, on the ground, in vacant lots and on street corners. The people who were helped had nowhere else to turn and they were SAVED — physically AND spiritually — by our Salt and Light Brigade teams.
The interesting thing, was that as we went to these devastated areas to help, we tried to partner with local churches, to have a headquarters from which to operate. Almost none were willing to help us. And almost none of the local pastors or churches were out helping people either. What a missed opportunity for these pastors and churches… instead of going OUT to reach out to the lost and hurting in their OWN AREAS, they remained closed, offering NOTHING, no hope and no help — and the Gospel of Christ was NOT proclaimed from among them. The sum total of their response to this disaster was to sit in their churches and just pray for those who had lost everything. They remained silent and sleeping.
But the Salt and Light Brigade, in addition to helping people in desperate situations, also has another mission: to raise up courageous Christians to understand their roles as members of the Body of Christ; to disciple them and to give them a place where they can “plug in” and put their faith into action. We teach and train men and women to earnestly contend for the faith, understanding that we are in a spiritual battle with the enemy of our souls, and to that end, we fight the evil one, in all it’s forms.
This past Thursday, we began our Spiritual Bootcamp, at our Ministry Center here in Marshfield. I had been promoting this event for months, and had personally BEGGED people to muster the courage to come and learn how to speak up, GO FORTH and unashamedly STAND UP for their Savior in public. The focus of this particular Bootcamp was to shine the light of TRUTH on the ugliness of abortion — THE MURDER OF INNOCENT BABIES IN THE WOMB — something nobody wants to think about, and certainly something that nobody wants to talk about or look upon. For more than forty years, the church has remained mostly silent on this issue, their heads in the sand, as millions upon countless millions of babies have been slaughtered. By their silence, pastors have allowed this wicked practice to continue unabated. The pastor is rare, indeed, who will EVER speak a word about it from the pulpit, much less train their people — or lead them out — to defend the premature babies being killed, to GO to an abortion center and expose the wicked works of darkness that take place there.
They won’t do it, so we must. And so we did. I was a bit concerned because even after all my work to promote this event, and a great deal of prayer, the day came and we only had eleven people registered to participate. Of the eleven registered, I was not even sure THAT many would actually show up. We were scheduled to begin at 4 in the afternoon. A few folks from the Missionaries to the Preborn drove up from Milwaukee to join and help us. They brought with them large signs and posters showing the truth of abortion, along with literature and other resources to hand out on the streets of Marshfield. Coach Dave Daubenmire, who is the head of the Salt and Light Brigade came from his home in Ohio, along with his wife, Michelle, to train and teach us, and lead our little group.
And at 4 o’clock, the people began to arrive. Soon the room began to fill. It became evident that we did not have enough seats for all who had come, so we quickly acquired more. We ended up with about seventy people in all. We wanted to take the signs showing the graphic truth of abortion out on the streets, but in order to be effective, we had to do this before dark. This left no time for ANY teaching, training or guidance of any kind beforehand. If we were to be effective, we knew we would have to GO FIRST.
Coach Dave led us in prayer and then announced that now he was going to walk out the door and begin proclaiming the truth out on the streets. If anyone wanted to follow and join him, they were welcome. If they were fearful or not yet ready to step out, he made it clear that no one would think any less of them for staying back. And as we headed out to the street together, EVERYONE joined us. Our meeting room, which previously had been packed so full we did not have enough seats for everyone was now empty. And for the first time that we’re aware of, the citizens of Marshfield saw the raw truth about abortion. Praise the Lord! We caused “no small stir.” Our activities were even covered by Sky News of London, England. They had heard about our upcoming event and called me to ask if they could cover the story and interview some of those involved. So our tiny little work here in what many would consider the “middle of nowhere” will now be proclaimed around the world, on a major British news channel!
I was greatly encouraged to see Christian men and women, most for the first time in their lives, having an opportunity to put their faith into real action…. in the hardest place of all to minister: one’s own home town. They went, unashamed — and with the power of the Holy Spirit, BOLDLY witnessed for Christ, handed out literature and information, gave their testimonies, and shared the gospel to folks on the street as well. It was amazing — and LIFE CHANGING for those who participated.
Coach Dave spoke after dinner to a full house of enthusiastic, grateful Christians, who for the first time ever, were filled with a new excitement and courage they never realized they had all along.
The next day, we continued our Bootcamp, four hours south of here, in Milwaukee. Here’s the amazing part: more than TWENTY of those who participated with us from the Marshfield area came along to Milwaukee too! Friday night we had some more great training time. And then Saturday morning, we confronted the evil of abortion at one of the darkest, most demonic abortion centers in the country, in downtown Milwaukee. We went to the very gates of hell and declared that they WILL NOT prevail against the Kingdom of God!
“Of course, I am pro life,” you may say… “But I don’t need to go to an abortion center to know how evil it is.” YES, my friend. You DO. Because until a person actually GOES to “ground zero” and sees for ones’ self what takes place at one of these places, you really have no idea. And it’s easy to SAY you are “pro life.” Great. But what are you DOING about it?! Those who went were forever, and profoundly changed. Hearts were broken, eyes were opened, but most importantly, we saw the URGENCY and the importance of GOING and standing up for the innocent, helpless babies, led to slaughter… and their mothers who have been so LIED to, and so deceived and so exploited, for blood money.
Coach Dave made a very good point. He said, “Imagine if the disciples had asked Jesus, ‘Jesus, You know abortion is going on and we know You hate such evil. What should we do to stop it?’ What do you think Jesus’ answer would be? ‘Just pray about it in the synagogue?’” But you see, if most Christians do anything about it at all, or even think about it occasionally, that’s all they ever do, they just pray. I doubt that would have been Jesus’ answer.
In Ephesians 5, we read, “Do not participate in the wicked works of darkness, but rather, EXPOSE them…everything exposed by the light is made clear, for what makes everything clear is light. Therefore it is said: ‘GET UP SLEEPER AND RISE FROM THE DEAD!” The Scripture goes on: “Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk — not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
Yes, it is ESSENTIAL that we GO OUT from the four walls of our stained-glass fortresses. James 2:20 reminds us, “Faith without works is dead.”
Let’s also read the words of Christ Himself from Matthew 25: “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you took care of Me; I was in prison and you visited Me.’
“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or without clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and visit You?’
“And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’ Then He will also say to those on the left, ‘Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels! For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger and you didn’t take Me in; I was naked and you didn’t clothe Me, sick and in prison and you didn’t take care of Me.’
“Then they too will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or without clothes, or sick, or in prison, and not help You?’
“Then He will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me either.’
“And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
If we are to be obedient to Christ, He must not just be our Savior, He must also be our LORD. We must obey Him, not simply sing love songs to Him or cower in our churches with our vain religious programs. Standing up for truth, shining the light of GOD’S WORD on the evil, wicked deception and death that takes place at abortion centers is both mercy ministry to those who have believed the lies, and those who are being murdered, AND it is ALSO EXPOSING the wicked works of darkness, as we call those involved in this abomination to repentance. The sad part is that for so long, we have been lulled into apathetic slumber in our churches. If the Body of Christ (and that’s US, HIS CHURCH, by the way), were to rise up, we could put a stop to abortion tomorrow. The demoniacs understand how important it is to be out on the street, in person. Why don’t we? The time has come that we can no longer be content just sitting and listening, forever learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. It is time for Christians to rise to action.
Let me close today with Jesus’ words found in Matthew 28: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Friends, I pray we wake up and stop being so cowardly and timid. Let us take Christ at His word and BELIEVE His promise. We are not to GO to church, we are to BE the church. We are to GO to the WORLD — and that means, especially, to our own home towns. We are to make DISCIPLES, not just soak up information. And we are to call the lost to repentance, teaching them to OBEY all Jesus commanded. There is nothing to fear, and those who joined us last week know that now, having stepped far out of their comfort zones to earnestly contend for the faith. NOW they have REAL EXPERIENCE, not just “Book knowledge.” Now they KNOW, truly, there is nothing to fear because as our Lord promised, He IS with us always, even to the end of the age.
If you’d like to join our Wisconsin Salt and Light Brigade, join one in your area or START one in your area, call me, and I’ll tell you how.
Audio CDs and transcripts of this message are available when you call me at Wisconsin Christian News, (715) 486-8066. Or email Rob@WisconsinChristianNews.com
and ask for message number 207.
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