Up until we started the round of Christmas carols it was quite an exciting year with regards to local contacts.

The most awesome occasion was when the Lord lead four of us to a lady who was very much involved with the black power and discovered that she was laying out plans to end her life and was quite angry with God for not caring for her. That thought was abruptly put an end to when He showed her in no uncertain terms that she was very much in His thoughts.

She now goes to the Salvation Army with her daughter.

Neville Christensen, Mark, an ex gang member, Ray, Ruth Reinsfeld, and Lesley Edgeler as well as my Wife regularly get involved with outreach activities including street work and door to door visitations all of which help to get the word out in both practical and teaching.

The outreach at the A & P Show was good in that it offered an opportunity to show the truth of the Gospel. Most of the emphasis at the Show was on Creation v Evolution , although there is always direct reference to the Gospel of Salvation through repentance.

Again the OAC Ministry from Hamilton lead by Shane Vink is always a blessing and a great help in the work in Tokoroa.

The continued BBQ in the Tokoroa camping ground doesn’t seem to be having a lot of results except the residents there are deeply appreciative of our going there. A door is still open for us to show they are not really on the fringe but a vital part of our community. I think that is something Jesus was continually doing with the outcasts of society.

The Devonshire tea day on Fridays has been something that we have all enjoyed. We’ve been having some great fellowship with each other. All those who are involved with the outreach have been enjoying the series “THE STORY” . This will recommence in the New Year.

The Christmas Carol singing both in Tokoroa and in Putaruru have been particularly troublesome and quite disconcerting.

Lesley Winnie and I went into Putaruru on the evening of the Christmas Parade to sing Carols on the main street. On setting up we were immediately interrupted by a group of youths who were both rude and arrogant and had absolutely no respect at all for what we were doing. That was in the afternoon before the parade. I went back in the evening after the parade and was really excited about the activity they had arranged, however, I again encounted the same sort of reaction to the Gospel only this time with two young girls.

In the seven years I have been doing street work in Tokoroa I have never met such rude and negative reaction to the message of the cross.

It is hard to tell whether this is a sign of the times we live in; some have suggested this. However I wonder if it is because so many in the society in which we live consider the Church to be irrelevant in today’s world. And if so why?

Lately I find the message we are giving on the street seems to be received like the Greeks at Mars Hill perceived Paul’s message and asked him to “tell us more about this new found teaching”.

I had this strange feeling that those who were listening were a little perplexed by the message being presented.

With this thought in mind maybe the Church in its present state isn’t relevant to them.

After all is it perceived by them to be any different to other charitable organisation such as the Red Cross?

Again, all of these organisation can and do arrange fantastic activities to help those who are in need and many via donations from the public, we find this every year when we get phone calls or mail or people walking up to us in the street asking for money to help their cause. All this is great and in most cases is absolutely necessary, but should the Church that God is building work on the same premise.

In other words should the Church of Christ be reliant on a pagan system and maybe even leave a subliminal message to the donors that they may just have paid for their entrance into the Kingdom of God through their obvious good work or deed?

In short, are we, as members of the Body of Christ leaving the correct message? or maybe we are not leaving much of a message at all due to the lack of personal evangelism and being an effective witness for Jesus and the establishment of His coming Kingdom. Or are there those who are content to go to Church on Sunday and receive a blessing from God, then do a Bible Study during the week to have a deeper knowledge of our God and then simply leave it at that?

All these things are good in their own right, but is this what it means to follow Jesus? I truly don’t believe so, in fact I believe that we quench the Holy Spirit with this type of following and that grieves both Him and the Father, because is not this why the Holy Spirit was sent, to convict the world of sin , righteousness and judgement and all to cause people to repent and find salvation through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

I also believe that this is the reason the Church is powerless today and is more like a state sponsored club than the super natural Temple of God that it is meant to be.

Back in the Old Testament we see in the book of Exodus how God punished certain members of the Nation of Israel because of the disobedience, rebellion and their unbelief.

We look at these examples and because we live in the age of Grace we say that God would not do this to us who are disobedient, rebellious and don’t really believe that God is in command and that He is the righteous judge of all our thoughts and actions, yet they had the written Word only that was read to them every now and then.

So how can we truly think that God will leave us alone who have the blessed Holy Spirit? You know, that third person of the Godhead, who at the Word spoken brought all things into being. Again that One who rose Jesus from the dead at His command, that comforter, who comes along side of us and teaches us and guides us into all truth, and at the end of our time here on earth will raise us up unto eternal life. All this to Glorify God the Father and His Son and yours who is ours and my King and commander.

We have the fullness of the Godhead dwelling in us if we truly believe that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God and have repented and turned our lives over to Him in complete submission.

In the book of Hebrews it tell us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling for our God is a consuming fire, and I don’t believe that was written just for the Hebrews of the Jews, but is there for all of us to take note of.

THE CHURCH IN ITS PRESENT STATE IS IRRELEVANT. What will make it relevant again is when it stops running its own agenda and starts allowing Jesus to run the show through active members of the Church. If they are not active then the question needs to be asked “Are they really members of the Body of Christ” or just Laodiceans .

It is up to the leaders in the Church to take the followers on the journey to the fullness of Christ as Ephesians Chapter four instructs. If the leaders are not fulfilling this God given responsibility then should we be asking the question as to whether they are the right person to be there.

I would greatly appreciate any feedback regarding this message, I do need to know and would love to know any thoughts either for or against anything that I have written here.

God Bless

Bruce McIntyre

Evangelist, not self appointed

St Marks Presbyterian, Tokoroa

PH; (07)886 0340

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