Friday Men’s Group 5/24/24

God Has A Wonderful Plan For Your Life

The Stoning of Stephen
by Gustave Doré (1832-1883)

“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it” ~ JESUS


Hi Men:
I pray this past week has blessed you exceedingly and abundantly more than you could ask or think, by the power that is in you. And what is that power?……. you know what it is!

So, what about Jesus’ verse above from Luke 9:24. We might as well throw in verse 23 while we’re at it (Luke 9:23-24). Reflecting on the illustration by Gustave Doré, he depicts the martyrdom of Stephen from Acts 7:59-60 (if interested, Doré completed an extensive number of illustrations from the Bible). First of all, what the verse doesn’t say is that we have to lose our physical life (martyrdom) in order to be saved. What it does say, is that we have to die to ourselves and live 100% for Jesus. Example: If you love your wife, kids, grandkids, job, money, etc. above your love for Jesus, you are in SERIOUS spiritual danger. Commit this one to memory:

“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:26)

Jesus wants a full-scale commitment. He wants to wake up the spiritually dead. Remember what we said in the Friday letter a couple months back: “90% born in the church, raised in the church, saved in the church, married and buried in the church, will NEVER share Jesus with another person” …….. Spurgeon says, if you are part of that 90% then “you’re not saved yourself, be sure of that.” 
Jesus wants you to entrust your whole life to him and if you can’t place Him exponentially above everything else, then you can’t be his disciple. As a disciple you take up your cross and follow Him. if you refuse to do that, then as Steven Lawson so emphatically states it, you will meet Jesus in the final judgement and it will glorify God in your destruction.

It’s time to watch this sobering 11 min message from Steven Lawson again:

It Will Cost You Everything

YouTube (11 Mins)



Yesterday, we had an informal high school get-together with a few of the classmates at a local pub. We all attended Catholic high school here in Las Vegas (Bishop Gorman). This is the same group from our 50th Year High School Reunion in 2021:

It was great to visit and catch-up with them. Some know, but there are a few that asked if I was retired and what I’m doing now. I let them know I work with Christian men in So. Nevada, have Zoom Bible studies and coordinate the Zion Boot Camp. If they want more details, they will readily ask. Very few ever do. Although I did have a pretty profound conversation with one of the guys (Remember: Don’t go into detail in a setting like this – you will be interrupted for sure). I think I really shocked him when I briefly shared my mom’s testimony (radically receiving Christ on her 95th birthday). You can read about it here if interested: E²

Even though my buddy knew my mom well, it didn’t compute, because after all he goes to mass, prays the Rosary and reads the Psalms & Proverbs. Regarding the Virgin Mary (1 Tim 2:5) really gave him some consternation. Anyway, we are still talking and I encouraged him to read the Book of John and continue in the NT.


The bartender/manager, John, was super nice and very efficient. While everyone was heading out the door, I went back and took care of my food & drink tab. I gave a him a healthy tip, BUT had an extra cash stuffed in the Million Dollar Gospel of John w/ Steps to Peace with God. After I signed the cc receipt, I said I have something for you if you want it. I shared what it was and his response was “over the top!” He said, “Dan, I can’t believe you care for me so much that you would give me this. I will read it tonight.” Men, you never know where someone’s at………


Grateful doulos* to King Jesus,
(Gal 2:20)

* Doulos = Slave:  To be owned by someone for a lifetime.  And that someone is JESUS….. not just for a lifetime, but all eternity. It doesn’t get any better than this…  Wow !!


This devotional is timely in light of what we are discussing. Also, see the notes below regarding Ray Comforts book, God Has a Wonderful Plan for Your Life. Take some time reflecting on Day 144. Let’s purpose in our heart to: FINISH WELL!

Evidences of Conversion – Day 144 Red Book

The purpose of these devotionals is to help you think Biblically
Solomon said, “As a man thinks, so is he”


Are you a “Professor” or a “Possessor?”

Men: This is a short read, but do yourself a favor and TAKE YOUR TIME! Articles like this one keeps us on our knees. Let’s stay humble and guard our hearts against the sin that was first manifested in the garden…….PRIDE.

Warnings from Hebrews

by Jonathan Koehler | May 21, 2024

The book of Hebrews has a series of warnings to those professing Christ, but drawn to the safety of the past. The epistle is an enigma at times, but also a key to a treasure trove of understanding the Old Testament.

It is also a book of worship as it emphasizes the superiority of Jesus and is the only place in Scripture where Jesus is called our High Priest.  I would suggest that besides the Epistle to the Romans, the Epistle to the Hebrews has some of the most theologically concentrated, complex, and challenging concepts in the Bible.  Hebrews also contains several passages that engender some of the most intense debate among Christians.

It is generally well accepted that the book was written, perhaps as a sermon, to some number of professing Christians in a church in or near the city of Rome, a portion of whom were suffering persecution for their Christian faith. These recipients were likely Jews very familiar with the Old Testament, and were either tempted  to turn or had turned back to the relative safety of Judaism in order to escape persecution meted out to those claiming to be followers of Christ, or were drifting from their faith.  Perhaps the key theme of the book is the exhortation to hold fast to their faith, to persevere, to endure.

As modern readers of Hebrews, we are challenged to discern the relevance of a book written for a people with whom virtually all of us have little to nothing in common-at least at first glance. But as we face the continuing decline of our culture and marginalization of Christians, persecution in the West becomes more and more possible, if not likely.

Whether or not we face persecution, apathy and laziness are constant dangers, and the warnings contained in the text are most relevant and worthy of attention.

Two presuppositions form the foundation for consideration of the warnings:

  1. Eternal security (“once saved, always saved”) is the teaching of Scripture. There are, however, “professing” Christians who may not be “possessing.” Professors are those who claim belief in the tenets of the gospel as outlined in I Corinthians 15:3-4, that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and resurrected.

Possessors voice the same belief as professors but also possess the gift of eternal life. The difficulty arises when professors assume they are possessors. 

All possessors are professors, but not all professors are possessors (Matthew 7:21-23)

  1. Assurance of salvation is not certainty. No one has certainty this side of the grave. God wants us to have legitimate assurance (derived from a heart for obedience) but not certainty.

To have certainty excludes faith and faith is how we please the Father (Hebrews 11:6).

Professors and possessors alike may have assurance (whether legitimate or illegitimate) but neither have certainty in this life. Both will have certainty in the next, one of eternal damnation (professors-only), one of eternal presence with the Lord.

Are you a “professor” or a “possessor?”

How do you know? 

Pass this article to a friend…….



Men:  The first time I saw the illustration above of the Stoning of Stephen, it was from this book by Ray Comfort. If you haven’t read it, put it on your list (order a free one or download the PDF). The guys in our Friday group read it when it first came out.  Here are some interesting statistics:

Why do 9 out of 10 children raised in Christian homes leave the Church?

Why do many professing Christians show little or no evidence for their faith?

Why do 80-90% of those making decisions for Christ fall away from the faith?

For decades, the world’s most popular gospel message has been drawing the lost by promising God’s wonderful plan for their life. But behind the façade of the “wonderful plan” message is the reality of the trials, temptation, and persecution that Jesus promised. How can we reconcile the two?

In this life-changing book, best-selling author Ray Comfort explores whether this common gospel approach aligns with real life — and with Scripture. The vital biblical principles he reveals will force you to reexamine your ideas about the gospel — and will teach you how to reach unbelievers the way God intended. A must-read for all who care about the lost.

Living Waters is still offering this book for free.  Just click on this link

From Chapter 6 of “God Has A Wonderful Plan For Your Life” you will read:
⚠️Read The Tragic Results ⚠️

Question:  As you read the PDF, as yourself how many of these people were “Certain” of their salvation after they made their profession of faith? 




I had never heard this encouraging story. The ending really blew me away……….

In 1940, Professor J. Edwin Orr of Wheaton University led a group of theology students to England, where they visited sites of great revivals. One of their stops was the Epworth rectory.  The rectory now serves as a Methodist museum, but it was formerly the home of John Wesley, the famous reformer who led a wave of spiritual renewal in the 1700s and founded the Methodist movement.
As a man of prayer, Wesley interceded for revival to sweep through England and spread to America. Dr. Orr pointed out two worn places on the carpet next to Wesley’s bed, where the man knelt for hours in prayer each day, crying out for revival. And, as history tells us, that’s exactly what happened. Heaven broke in and revival broke out.

As the tour concluded, the students loaded the bus. After counting them, Orr noticed one was missing. He returned to the house, and eventually located the lost student in John Wesley’s bedroom – kneeling on the worn impressions where Wesley had fervently prayed for revival. The student was repeatedly pleading, “Do it again, Lord! Do it again… And would you do it again with me.”
Placing his hand on the young man’s shoulder Orr said, “Son, it’s time to leave. Everyone’s on the bus.” The student slowly rose. Then that young man… Billy Graham… joined the rest of his class, and through him, God did it again!

Lord, I have heard of your fame;
 I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord.
Repeat them in our day,
    in our time make them known…
Habakkuk 3:2




Just for fun. CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO of the Las Vegas Sphere using Louie Schwartzberg’s nature footage of fungi. Wild…..  YouTube (1 min)

If you haven’t watched some of Louie Schwartzberg’s videos, they are pretty amazing. He may not be a Christian, but through his videos; i.e., Moving Art, you see God’s hand in a profound way. 





Sometimes we forget what Jesus said!