|FCPO Newsletter and Bible Study
||The "thin blue line" covered by the blood of Christ.
Would you describe yourself as a "
good person?" A "
good" police officer? If so, by what (or whose) standard? Given some recent discussions, and with our
Police Week mission looming, God has pressed me to share a study that provides HIS answer to these questions (in the end, His answer is the only one that matters). Scroll down to "
Good Persons, Good Cops?".
God was truly on the move at our last Centurion/FCPO chapter meeting where three officers and an officer's son all made confessions of faith and were welcomed into God's family as born again believers! Please be in prayer for these new Christians as the enemy (ultimately a defeated one) will be working overtime to undermine their saving faith. Praise God Almighty, greater is He who is in us than he who in the world --
1 John 4:4
! Now the process of discipleship, growth and sanctification begins!
Nationally, our multi-ministry FCPO Police Week Mission Team will be gathering in Washington, DC from May 12th through May 16th where we will be ministering (the word means "serve") to our own. We hope to see some of you there (look for us in Tent City) while at the same time asking you to join us in praying for God-ordained appointments to share the hope we have in Christ with the lost and hurting in our God-ordained but also very troubled profession.
Here locally, our next Centurion/FCPO chapter #217 meeting (a time of
iron sharpens iron
fellowship, corporate prayer and Bible study) is set for this coming Tuesday (May 1st)
in Highlands Ranch
starting at 7 PM. A
s always, this "cop church" fellowship is for current, past and future officers and their spouses (who are strongly encouraged to attend with their LEO). It is also how you can get one of our famous Centurion LE Ministry t-shirts -- for FREE!
for the address, 411 and be added to our locals mailing list.
In addition, Aurora PD Officer Matt Springer continues to lead WayPointOne Ministry -- a Bible study fellowship for all First Responders that grew out of Centurion -- at Calvary Aurora every 2nd and 4th Thursday. Email Matt for more details!
Let's stay safe on the street but radically bold in Christ!
(1) I am constantly pressing my fellow officers to TRAIN (fitness, our servant-warrior skills, etc.) and that extends to issues of faith (being able to distinguish between sound and false teaching, for example) as well. While this week's Bible study is one that deals with the importance of sound doctrine, take the time to explore,
The Training Ground for Sound Doctrine
(1) Again, p
lease be in prayer for our
Police Week 2018 FCPO Mission Team
and our outreach in general. We will be gathering in DC from May 12-16 to minister to our own and the need is very great.
(2) Pray for me as I share and minister to officers at an upcoming conference in Durango (CO) next week (May 3-6).
(3) Pray for the officers (and an officer's son) who made confessions of faith at last week's Centurion "cop church" fellowship!
Have a prayer request or announcement you would like included here? Need prayer?
! I also post prayer requests on my Facebook page ("friend" me).
(1) As I shared above,
Police Week 2018
is fast approaching (May 12-16) and we seek your prayers as we again pray and plan for this year's national outreach in DC where we will be ministering to/sharing Christ with our own in law enforcement. Hope you'll stop by and see us at our space in Tent City!
(2) Colorado Springs PD Officer Nick Ryland is hosting the 2018 First Responder Retreat this coming June 13-16 in the mountains near Wheatland, WY. Sweet!
(4) FCPO-Canada is hosting their 2018 National Conference in Newfoundland & Labrador on August 3-5. You'll get to see a special part of Canada while hanging out with a great group of brother and sister officers.
(5) The Sheepdog Seminars is led by my friends Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Officer/Minister Jimmy Meeks and fellow church safety expert Carl Chinn (among others). Outstanding, highly recommended training for every sheepdog (sworn and unsworn alike)!
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
and our social media
) feeds. As always, feel free to adapt these messages for your own individual or group use and please share them with others.
The Centurion Ministry is 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 of the Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers -- (aka FCPO Chapter 217) -- is a Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry affiliate. We meet most 1st and 3rd Tuesday evenings starting at 7 PM in Highlands Ranch (email me for details) for profession-focused/life-focused
Bible study, prayer and servant-warrior/sheepdog fellowship (the iron sharpens iron kind). Spouses are both welcome and encouraged to attend with their LEO.
Our next meeting is set for this Tuesday, May 1st.
Hope to see you there!
"Good" Persons, "Good" Cops?
Do you consider yourself to be a "good" person or a "good" police officer? Good enough for heaven? By what (and whose) standard?
While I address this subject via the "Good Person Test" link I include at the end of every Centurion Bible study (this one included), God has used some recent discussions to press me into sharing a Bible study that directly addresses this issue. Frankly, a great many -- perhaps even a majority -- of both police officers and Americans in general believe that they are "Christians" and "deserve" to go to heaven (and escape hell) because, well, they are "good" cops, good people, etc. Meaning, of course, that they are not "bad" persons and only really "bad persons" such as murderers, thieves and people like (as one one officer once told me) "Hitler and Stalin" go to hell. Really? What does God say to us on this subject through His Word, the Bible (a text that the
evidence proves to be innerant
and has withstood innumerable attacks over the centuries)? Let's dig in!
Our primary text for this study is Jesus' own words in
The first thing we note in this passage involving the rich young ruler (a person in authority -- like us in law enforcement but with a whole lot more money -- LOL) is asking the right question: "What good deed must I do to have eternal life?" In asking the question, he acknowledges the fact that, despite all his efforts thus far, there is something lacking, and he wants to know what else must be done to obtain eternal life. However, even though he is asking the right question, he is asking it from the wrong worldview -- meaning one of merit ("...good deed..." and the Law -- see Galatians 3:24).
The second thing to note is Jesus' response to the ruler's question (and the question of many today -- especially those in law enforcement): Why is he inquiring into what is good? In other words, Jesus is trying to get to the heart of the matter, namely, that no one is good and no one does good except God Himself. As noted earlier, the man is operating under a false premise that he should be able to "earn" or otherwise "badge" his way into heaven by his so-called "good" deeds. In response, Jesus says that if the ruler wants eternal life he should keep the commandments. In saying this, Jesus is not advocating a works-based righteousness. Rather, Jesus is challenging the young man's suppositions by showing the man's shallow understanding of the Law and human ability.
The ruler's response is very telling. When told to keep the commandments, he asks Jesus, "Which ones?" Jesus continues to gently show the man the error of his ways by giving him the second table of the Law, i.e., the commandments that deal with our relationships to other people. You can almost sense the frustration in the young man's response when he tells Jesus that he has kept all of these since his youth. Two things to point out here: first, the irony in the man's response. In saying he has kept all those commandments since his youth, he has broken the commandment regarding false witness. If he were truly being honest, he would have said that, as hard as he has tried to keep the commandments, he fails on a daily basis. Has he EVER lied? EVER lusted? EVER sinned in any way? He has a shallow understanding of the Law and an inflated, prideful and very "cop-like" opinion of his own ability. Second, he still knows intuitively that he is not good enough; he asks Jesus, "What do I still lack?"
Jesus now confronts the young man's self-righteousness. He tells him that, if he wishes to be perfect (i.e., complete), he must sell all that he has and come follow Him. Jesus has completely investigated the man's "lack" and reveals the truth -- his attachment to his wealth. The man's great wealth has become an idol in his life in much the same way that "the badge" (the symbol of our God-ordained authority) often becomes an idol in the life of a police officer. He claimed to have kept all the commandments, but in reality he couldn't even keep the first one -- to have no other gods (idols) before the Lord! Like many officers, the young man turned his back on Jesus and walked away. His "god" was his wealth, and he chose it over Jesus.
Jesus now turns to His disciples to teach them a principle: "Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God." This was shocking to the disciples, who held the common idea that riches were a sign of God's blessing to "good" people. But Jesus points out the obstacle that riches often are, in their tendency to fuel self-sufficiency (just as a great many officers are completely attached to our own self-sufficiency). His disciples ask, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus answers by reminding the disciples (His followers) that salvation is of God alone: "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
Who can be saved? If left up to us, no one! Why is being a "good person" or a "good cop" not enough to get us into heaven? Because no one is a "good" person; there is only one who is good, and that is God Himself (Romans 3:10-12). The Bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (
). The Bible also says that the wages of our sin is death (ultimately hell) --
. Fortunately, out of great His love for us (John 3:16), God did not wait until we somehow learned to be "good" enough (impossible): while we were in our sinful state, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us -- the unrighteous (
Salvation is not based on our flawed idea of goodness but on Jesus' perfect goodness.
The message of the gospel is that we can never be "good" enough to get to heaven or escape hell on our own. We must recognize that we are sinners who fall short of God's glory, and we must obey the command to repent of our sins and place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Christ alone was good enough to earn heaven, and He gives His righteousness to those who "repent and believe" in His name (Mark 1:15,
On another occasion, Jesus reminded His disciples that He was preparing a place for them in His Father's house (heaven). Thomas, one of the disciples (yes, "doubting Thomas), asked Him, "
How can we know the way?" Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (
John 14: 5-6). Nope -- no "other" way!
Many police officers (and perhaps most in general) say that they have "tried to be a good person" and therefore "deserve" or have "earned" heaven because of all we deal with in law enforcement (effectively, using our badge as a Monopoly-esque "get out of hell - free" card). Yet
that in order to be saved we must
). Again, how can ANYONE be perfect? Without Christ,
In my own teaching/messages on this issue, I often point out that it was the "cops" of Jesus' day who tortured and murdered Him (not "good persons" to be sure). Likewise, it was a convicted thief (a "bad" person) whom our Savior "rescued" from a just sentence in hell (see "What can we learn from the thief on the cross?"). Clearly, this person whom we and most everyone else would call "bad" turned in faith alone to Christ for his salvation and was in fact saved (although I don't recommend that you wait until just before you die to cry out to God to save you -- you are most unlikely to have that opportunity and there are no "second chances" after your last breath in this life).
Folks, short of the Rapture, death is certain, while (for the unbeliever) heaven most certainly is not! Being "good" -- including even our honorable service in law enforcement -- cannot earn us heaven or serve as an escape from hell when this life ends. Being a born again follower of Christ (a "Christian" as God defines it) is the only answer. Do you have that? Let me again suggest (for the "doubting Thomas" out there) that you take the "Good Person Test" and see how you do. Did you pass? If not, I urge you to dig into the following:
esus' first recorded words in His earthly ministry were and remain: "
Repent and believe in the Good News
is a "180" -- a complete, radical change of mind and heart as it relates our sin. To
as He intends it here is to cry out to God for your salvation and wholeheartedly
surrender in faith to Christ
in the same way we have "faith" that our body armor will do its job against the rounds it is intended to stop, that our brakes will work when running Code, or that a soldier'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? It is of course His gospel and plan of salvation.
(2) This same concept of "
" (the saving kind) is further revealed in
where Jesus says, "...
you must be born again.
" Note our Lord's emphasis on the word "
" (not "may" or "should"): this is ultimately the
personal relationship with Jesus Christ that I stress here every week (see
What does it mean to be a born again Christian
Still in doubt? Check out this powerful, short video message by my friend, fellow officer and noted trainer,
Cops and Salvation.
Now, if you've made a decision for Christ and don't know what to do next, see, Now what? (the "Now what?" has to include regular fellowship with other believers -- including other officers -- who can help support you, encourage you, disciple you and yes, hold you accountable). Message me for how you can do that!