The Centurion Law Enforcement
FCPO Newsletter and Bible Study

The "thin blue line" covered by the blood of Christ.
Fellow  Sheepdogs  & Supporters:

This week's newsletter and critically important Bible study comes to you in the wake of the latest flurry of line of duty deaths (including another here in Colorado that we're reeling from) and law enforcement suicides. With it -- and with any death, for that matter -- comes two all-too-silent questions that make many believers uncomfortable (and unbelievers even more so): "Did our slain brother or sister know Christ as Lord and Savior?" and "Where will they spend eternity?" 

Clearly, only the Lord ultimately knows the answer to what is essentially a most singular question, but it is with that question in mind that He has also called His faithful to a " Code 3" (lights and siren) sense of urgency in sharing the hope we have in Christ Jesus with the lost whilst they still have breath. This, my friends, is the life-saving " backup" of the eternal kind that I speak of so often and which is a major focal point of the ministry God has called me to. Likewise, it is also the necessary focal point of this week's Bible study: scroll down to "Over Our Dead Bodies " and ask God to give you the strength and fortitude to join us in "the Battle" by radically living the Gospel "out loud" and sharing "the Way" (John 14:6) with others (a COMMAND, not a mere suggestion). 

Miss a past issue?  I always re-post them on our website , Twitter and Facebook pages, but here again is last week's if you missed it:   Courageous Integrity (goes wonderfully with this week's study).

A quick FYI: I am in the process of transitioning away from Yahoo to a gmail address that you can start using immediately: thecenturionministry@gmail.com .  

As always, stay safe on the street while being radically  bold in Christ.

MC 




RESOURCES

(1) Looking for a bucket-list event while living in or visiting Colorado? One of Colorado Vertical's owners and pilots is also a Christian LEO (Will Sanders) who also our Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry website IT and design guy.  Flying over the Royal Gorge or Pikes Peak (etc.) is an incredible, amazing and unforgetable experience.  Check out Colorado Vertical!  

(2) This short article/resource by Matt Slick of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM) goes wonderfully with this week's Bible study: How can I tell if someone is saved or not?

PRAYER REQUESTS

(1)   Pray for a Christian officer who is facing discipline for using discretion on the job in keeping with his faith (with the understanding that persecution against Christian officers is continuing to grow). He meets with his chief on Feb. 5th. 

(2) While we suffer some 50,000 line of duty injuries each year (many of them "career-enders"), this one hits close to home: pray for an officer who fell on the ice and broke a bone in his wrist.

(3)  Pray for the families (both blue and natural) of our recent fallen

(4)  Pray for a former partner of mine who is dealing with excruciating back pain and may need surgery.   

(5) Pray for Arnold (MO) Officer Ryan O'Connor who is here in CO undergoing treatment and rehab in the wake of the horrendous injuries he suffered in being shot in the line of duty.  


Have a prayer request or announcement you would like included here? Need prayer?   Email me !  I also post prayer requests on my Facebook page ("friend" me).  


UPCOMING EVENTS


(1) I will be speaking at the 3rd Annual Douglas County (CO) Law Enforcement Appreciation Day event on February 25th.  Join us if you can, pray for me if you can't.

(2) The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is hosting their National Law Enforcement Retreat in Texas this year (coming up in March -- before it gets too hot).  Register at the National Law Enforcement Retreat website.

(3) The 2018 Annual Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers Fundraising Dinner will be held in March 28th in Chattannooga. Great cause, great organization.  

(4) Police Week 2018 is again approaching (May) and we seek your prayers as we again head to DC to serve/minister to our own. Stay tuned for more details.

(4) In addition to my own Centurion Church Security Seminars (again, contact me for details), here's the updated  Sheepdog Seminars  schedule (outstanding training for cops and sheepdog civilians alike -- especially in the area of church safety/security):  Upcoming Training Calendar . I know the speakers personnally: Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Officer Jimmy Meeks and Carl Chinn (all rock solid and you'll come away blessed).  

(5) The 2018 Badge of Hope Law Enforcement Marriage Seminar will be held July 22, 2018 in Lenexa, KS.  Stay tuned for more details soon!


The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry

The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry is a national, FCPO-affiliated, evangelical Christian outreach to our own in law enforcement. These newsletters and Bible studies are part of this effort and past editions can be found on our website and our social media  ( Facebook and Twitter ) feeds. As always, feel free to adapt these messages for your own individual or group use and please share them with others. 

We are lead by Police Officer and Chaplain/Evangelist Michael "MC"  Williams, a 30-year law enforcement veteran and sought-after instructor and speaker at churches [including the well-received Centurion Church Security Seminar] retreats and both law enforcement and civilian conferences and seminars around the country. Contact MC via email for more.   

Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers
FCPO-USA exists to provide biblical support ("backup"), accountability and iron sharpens iron fellowship to Christian officers first in the U.S. and throughout the world as well. Our metro Denver chapter -- FCPO #217((aka FCPO-Denver/Aurora, a Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry affiliate) -- currently meets most 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month at Calvary Aurora (High School Room at the top of the stairs) starting at 7 PM for  Bible study, prayer and servant-warrior/iron sharpens iron fellowship. Spouses are both welcome and encouraged to attend with their LEO. 

Our next "Cop Church" fellowship and Bible study is set for Thursday, February 8th. Join us!


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"Over Our Dead Bodies!"
Embracing the Costs of Warning The Lost


My heart is heavy as we again prepare to memorialize and bury a fellow officer. With it, I also find myself wondering if I'm doing enough and if what I'm doing is making a difference for the Kingdom (our common enemy loves to sow doubt and discouragement).  Accordingly, the Lord led me to this powerful piece by Greg Morse that is right on target for us today. I have some important comments at the end and have hyperlinked most (but not all -- I want you to actually OPEN your Bibles) the Scripture passages.
  
Greg writes:
On the most somber of occasions, he sought to comfort the mourning. The cold casket adorned a chilled body as the eyes of family and friends, swollen from grief, gazed up at the speaker. He wanted to bring whatever consolation he could. And so, he did what many [MC -- too many] well-meaning pastors have done in his situation: he abandoned the truth.

Many can sympathize with the impulse to do so. The woman before him lived as worldly as they come, blaspheming God and his word whenever the opportunity presented itself. With all her friends and family gathered, it hardly felt like the appropriate time to tell them what God actually said. And so, the pastor proclaimed that - deep down - she was a good person and was with the Lord in heaven.

It was at that moment, when all sat pleased at the pastor's words, that a young woman spoke up:
It's a lie! Do not believe him! We will not all be in a better place! That hope is false! Only those who believe in Christ, the Son of God, the one who died and was raised, will be saved! Only those who repent and believe and follow him until the end will be in a better place. Wrath awaits all who die in sin! Please believe! He stands ready to forgive you!
People stared, aghast. A funeral usher approached to invite her to leave. One person furiously told her to shut the hell up - and so she was trying. Hell's mouth gaped open. Souls were at stake. God's truth was being butchered. She tried, alone, to warn her loved ones off the path to perdition.

My wife was at that funeral home a decade ago. She witnessed the minister's sentimental words, saw the usher approach, and heard the crude language addressed to her. She was the young woman who, with trembling voice, offered all who would listen grace at the gates of hell.

Sinners in Angry Hands

Ever since the fall, hell's mouth has gaped open. Many will be swallowed up today. More will the next day. And the next. This reality caused even the apostle Paul profound sorrow and unceasing anguish ( Romans 9:2). Does it for the rest of us?

This world is a doorway into eternity - a fact that few today consider and fear. Sinners frolic before the Almighty God, daring to provoke him to his face. Although God hates all evildoers ( Psalm 5:5), burns with indignation towards the unrepentant every day ( Psalm 7:11), and is even now whetting his sword and bending his bow in judgment ( Psalm 7:11-13), the unrepentant go about life unmindful of their predicament. They slumber atop an active volcano.

They mistake the God of delayed wrath for the God of no wrath at all. They hear about the nuclear bomb of eternity, but are self-assured that it will never detonate. They approach the God of the Bible like some do those British royal guards: mocking, poking, and testing him to see if he will move - never realizing that the rifle has lowered until it is too late.

And they love the god they've created. Their god is never angry with them. Their god, if he even hates their sin, only loves the sinner. Their god is only merciful, only forgiving, only compassionate. Their god does not take sin personally, nor would he require the shedding of blood to forgive it. Their god serves the creature and simply pours forth unconditional love when and how the creature calls for it.

But this god is a pipe dream. This god is a demon. This god is absent from the Old and New Testaments. Even now, the true God holds the unrepentant by the nape of the neck to do them unspeakable injury if they will not bow to his great love and mercy, and take up his terms of peace and eternal joy offered them in the blood of his own Son.

Judgment Day Is Coming

As Christians with the book, we know what day is coming. A day when clouds will be rolled back, trumpets will sound, and the Terror of the unrepentant will descend. A day when the wicked will plead with the mountains to crush them so they will not face the fury of the Lamb ( Revelation 6:15-17). A dreadful day when the wicked will be torched as Sodom and Gomorrah ( 2 Peter 2:6). A day when they will not just drift but be thrown into the lake of fire ( Revelation 20:14). A day of second death. A day of banishment. A day of wrath, tribulation, and distress ( Romans 2:8-9). A day when there will be no escape, no rest, and no reprieve from torment ( Revelation 14:9-11).

Better to cut off limbs in this life than to go there forever ( Mark 9:43). Better to be cast now into the sea with an anchor around your neck than to go there forever ( Mark 9:42). Better to not have been born than to spend eternity in hell ( Mark 14:21).

Will We Speak Honestly and Pray Fervently?

Love invites us, compels us, demands that we speak. The unbelieving live but breaths away from eternal pleasure or eternal pain - amazing grace or everlasting justice. Are we to say nothing or mumble about it as though it were not true?

Perhaps you've heard of Charles Peace, a convicted criminal who, upon hearing of hell spoken coldly of by the prison chaplain who accompanied him to his execution, allegedly responded saying,
Sir, I do not share your faith. But if I did - if I believed what you say you believed - then although England were covered with broken glass from coast to coast, I would crawl the length and breadth of it on hand and knee and think the pain worthwhile, just to save a single soul from this eternal hell of which you speak.
Will we speak honestly about hell? Will we cross the breadth of the street to tell the lost? Will we embrace our great fear of social awkwardness and press through?  Let's resolve with Charles Spurgeon ,
If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.
If our neighbors should perish, if family members should disappear upon the broad road, if co-workers should refuse the Savior, let them do so while leaping over our sober warnings and bursting through our arms of prayer.

Jesus in Angry Hands

God so loved the world that he sent his own Son to die for his people's crimes. Jesus took our place atop the volcano. He willingly traveled through hell's door and became our Door into heaven. He was pierced by the Father's glistening sword, struck by his full quiver of arrows. God's firing squad took aim at him and deafening shots thundered upon Calvary.

He walked into the furnace of God's judgment. He plunged the depths of the lake of fire. He was tormented. He was crushed. He drank the cup of God's anger poured out full strength. He did not escape on that Good Friday. Hell's mouth gaped open to receive us, and he stood alone and shut the hell up for his people.

And on Sunday, he rose in victory. Death, sin, and Satan lay shuddering beneath his feet. It is finished.

Sinners in Crucified Arms

So, we do not merely warn them of God's wrath. We welcome them to embrace Christ and live. We have good news of great joy for every human. We have a gospel that cries,  The curse wasn't strong enough, Satan wasn't crafty enough, sin wasn't ultimate enough, judgment wasn't final enough, hell wasn't fiery enough, the grave wasn't deep enough, the lost weren't distant enough, and the dead weren't dead enough for the Lamb of God who was slain!

Family members can be adopted. Neighbors can be saved. Wrath can be abated. Eternal life  can be received. We can have God as our greatest love, our greatest treasure, and greatest joy forever!

The gospel is the power of God for salvation from the wrath all mankind sits beneath. So we tell them in the streets. We tell them around our dinner tables. We tell them in coffee shops. We tell them while walking around lakes. We tell them in funeral homes. We bang against the gates of hell with words. We of course use discernment, but we err on the side of boldness instead of caution.

Yes, sinners are in the hands of an angry God, but they can rest in the arms of a crucified Savior.  Will we tell them?    (*Greg Morse, Over Our Dead Bodies )


AMEN!  Brothers and sisters, the question Greg and I are asking has never been more valid, or the urgency for your answer so great.  I don't have time to be "polite" or politically correct (and oxymoron if there ever was one) while our unsaved brethren are being slaughtered. So how will you answer Greg's question, "Will we tell them?"  And "will we embrace the costs of warning the lost?" Yes, there is in fact a cost, the least of which is enduring the sad fact that there will be those who, in UNrighteous anger or unbiblical indignation, will no doubt be unsubscribing or otherwise lashing out.  Again, it is in answer to God's call on the life of EVERY believer that I exclaim, by His power, "I will!" stay the course so long as God gives me breath!    

And so, with Spurgeon's words stinging my heart, I again speak the truth in love to those reading this who  have never repented of their sin and truly placed their whole trust in Christ as their Lord and Savior. Moreover, this "backup" warning also extends to those who are playing "make believer" games ("undercover," lukewarm "Christians") with a loving but righteous and holy God. 

That TRUTH begins with J esus' first words in His earthly ministry: " Repent and believe in the Good News " ( Mark 1:15 ).  To repent  is a "180" -- a complete, radical change of mind and heart as it relates our sin. To believe  as He intends it here is to cry out to God for your salvation; to  completely and radically surrender in faith to Christ in the same way we have "faith" that our body armor will do its job or that a skydiver's parachute will open when it is supposed to (we stake our very lives on it)! And the "Good News" that Jesus refers to here is of course His Gospel.

Fellow officer, it is vital (again, life-saving "backup" of the eternal kind) that you understand that you can't "earn" or otherwise "badge" your way into heaven (or out of hell) by our worldly "goodness" or service in law enforcement. Without embracing Christ and his redeeming blood that He shed for you, you can NEVER be "good" enough to make it into heaven or escape hell (take the "Good Person Test" and see how you do).  Do you have that?  Are you sure?

This same concept of " believe" is further depicted in John 3:1-21 where Jesus says, "... you must be born again." Note our Lord's emphasis on must (not "may" or "should"): this is the life-saving/life-changing personal relationship (NOT  "religion") with Christ that I stress so often (see What does it mean to be a born again Christian?). 

So now with this foundation in place, consider the following:
(b)  Cops and Salvation (a powerful, short message from Police Major  Travis Yates of Ten-Four Ministries and Law Officer Magazine ).
(c) Got saved?  Now what?

Questions? Made a decision for Christ today?  I'm here to serve -- contact me..    

MC


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