The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry Newsletter
&
Bible Study
Fellow officers, sheepdogs ( servant- warriors ), spouses and supporters:

In this week's Bible study, we take a fresh look at a passage of Scripture I've taught on several times before. Why again? Because it is so incredibly important that we get it right! Scroll down to " Blessed are the Peacemakers " (it does not mean what many think it means).

While I re-posted last week's newsletter on our social media feeds and on our website , here it is again in case you missed it: Breaching the Barricade .

As always, please take the time to review the prayer requests , resources and events I've shared for you below. If you need prayer, counsel or support, please reach out.

Let's stay safe on the street while being radically bold in living our faith and obediently sharing Christ with others!

MC
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RESOURCES

(1) This officer's testimony is in some ways very similar to my own. See You Have Not Been Forgotten .

(2) Both Jim McNeff and I write for Law Officer Magazine . This from Jim is terrific and right on point: Salvation is Like a Police Pursuit .



PRAYER REQUESTS

(1) A chaplain in Aurora (CO) Is seeking prayer for an officer he has been witnessing to and praying. Dave Wurst writes,
Spent about 45 minutes sharing the gospel with Officer X Sunday night. Over the course of 6 years this officer has gone from claiming to be an atheist, to claiming to be basically agnostic, to admitting to just being mad at God for some rough things in the past, to being "OK" with God and thinking he's going to heaven because he tries to be basically good, to being willing to read the Gospel of John and reading Chuck Smith's "How Can a Man be Born Again" pamphlet, and admitting that God has been good to him. God is working on him and gradually softening his heart. Spent the last three nights standing/kneeling in the gap in prayer for him.
Let's pray! 

(2) Pray for Rio Rancho (NM) PD Chief Stewart Steele as he recovers from a
heart attack.

(3) Pray for those battling and being impacted by the fires in CA. The destruction is horrific.

(4) Pray for sister Sue Weaver (health issues). God knows the need...please pray.




UPCOMING EVENTS

(1) In the Denver metro area, The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry and FCPO-Denver continues to help get the word out about The Shelter Foundation and two new Bible studies for officers AND our spouses in the south Denver metro area (click on the " Bible Studies " pages under the " About " link).

(2) Also here locally, FCPO Chapter #217 ( FCPO-Denver ) meets next Tuesday (November 5th) evening in Highlands Ranch ( email me for the 411 and address). And for just us guys, I invite you to join us for our next " Men of Truth " men's breakfast and Bible study set for this Saturday, November 2nd at our home in the south Denver-metro area (again, email me for the address and 411).

(3) The 17th Annual Cops Fighting Cancer "Joe Bumberger Long Blue Line" event is set for Dec. 12th. See copsfightingcancer.org for more.

(4) Travis Yates' Courageous Leadership Institute and Safetac Training provide outstanding training and resources.

(5) The Sheepdog Seminars , led by my friends Lt. Col. Dave Grossman (USA, Ret.), Officer Jimmy Meeks (Ret.), Carl Chinn and others, provides outstanding training for LEO and civilian sheepdogs alike.

(6) Mark your calendars for the 2020 Breaching the Barricade Law Enforcement Training Conference and Officer Appreciation Day events: October 2-3, 2020 in Elkhart, Indiana (stay tuned for details).


*Have a prayer request, event or announcement you would like included here? Need help/prayer? Email me I also post prayer requests on   my personal Facebook page   ("friend" and message me).   



Blessed are the Peacemakers

Is this verse ( Matthew 5:9) from Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount" about us as cops? So important that we get it right!
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As shown in the image to the right here, " Blessed are the peacemakers " adorns everything from police challenge coins to t-shirts, banners, shot glasses (God help us) and a plethora of other items. But what does what it really mean? Was Jesus' referring to police officers when He uttered these words during His " Sermon on the Mount? " And does it matter?

Folks, this is too important to miss and it goes to very heart of the ministry God has called me to. Perhaps never before have the attacks (both natural and spiritual) on law enforcement been so virulent and the division in our nation so extreme (as if another civil war is on the horizon). It is therefore vital that we speak truth in the face of lies that are impacting the eternal destination of those who serve in our  God-ordained profession . Accordingly, open your Bibles and let's dig back into this subject:

I should not have to say it, but "blessed are the  peacekeepers " is not even in the Bible. Yes, " blessed are the peacemakers " is, but this oft-quoted verse is NOT about law enforcement officers unless ... (and ONLY unless -- keep reading). Some may have read the article that I wrote on this subject for Law Officer Magazine some time back: " Blessed are the Peacemakers? ".  Take note of the question mark ( ? ) at the end -- it is there for the same reason I included it here. So why is this important?  Because, tragically, many officers are using this and other misquoted/misinterpreted passages of Scripture in the utterly false and deadly belief that we are able to "badge" our way out of hell and into heaven through their service, sacrifice and so-called "good" deeds.  

Here's the truth: the biblical exegesis of  Matthew 5:9  ( "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God ") from Jesus' " Sermon on the Mount " has NO nexus to what we do in law enforcement! On the contrary, the Greek word  eirenopoios  -- translated "peacemaker" or more correctly, peace-worker (and  not  "peacekeeper") -- is used in only one other place in the New Testament and in a slightly different form.  Colossians 1:20  tells us, " For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made  peace  through the blood of His cross ." (added emphasis mine).

Jesus laid down His life on the cross to make peace (reconciliation) between God and sinners (that us...ALL of us), and when we share that message of peace that is found only in a right relationship with Christ (what is means to be  born again  in Him --  John 3:1-21 ) with others, we are only then the  peacemakers He is speaking of. This message is NOT about what we do in law enforcement  unless it just happens to be a genuine Christian officer who is carrying out God's command so share the gospel with others as part of our   Great Commission  "call for service" (a command mind you, not a mere "suggestion").

God does in fact delight in those who reconcile others to Himself. Those who share   the Gospel  -- God's love for us -- are called " beautiful " in   Isaiah 52:7 . God " reconciled us to Himself " through Christ -- the " Prince of Peace " ( Isaiah 9:6 ) who gave us the " ministry of reconciliation " ( 2 Corinthians 5:18 ). Those who give of themselves as Jesus did in order that others may know Him as Lord and Savior are called "blessed," but even this so-called "good" deed (or any other) alone cannot save us (get us into heaven). Understand that there is no real peace apart from a genuine, life-saving/life-changing personal relationship (not "religion") with God in Christ ( Romans 5:1 ). What we do for worldly peace is merely a temporary lull in the chaos of this wicked and lost world ( John 14:27 ). Again, true peace is ultimately found  only in a right relationship with God: " There is no peace, says the LORD, 'for the wicked '" (the "wicked" being the unsaved--   Isaiah 48:22 -- and choose to stay that way).

The power of God's Word (the Bible) and the drawing by the Holy Spirit aside, only those who have been first born again in Christ -- "Christians" as God alone gets to define the term -- can bring the peace of knowing Him to others in fulfillment of  Matthew 5:9 .  A person must have a real, relationship with Christ before he or she can help someone else know God and thus obtain His peace. Those of us who witness for Christ by sharing our faith and biblically serve others in His name are the "peacemakers" (ambassadors for His peace) Jesus refers to here. In short, what we generally do as "peace officers" (cops) is  NOT  what our Lord intends in this passage of Scripture!  

Likewise, many who attribute "blessed are the peacemakers" to police officers also do the same with  John 15:13  -- " Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends ." Again, this verse is generally NOT about cops who are killed in the line of duty. Rather, Jesus is pointing to Himself -- the ultimate "Peacemaker" -- who laid down His life on the cross so that all who will surrender to Him in faith (the essence of " repent and believe " in   Mark 1:15 ) can be saved. This passage would also apply to Christians who are martyred for sharing their faith with others (dying so that others might receive forgiveness of their sin and have life in Christ) and yes, Christian officers who lay down their lives so that others can have the opportunity to come to faith. However, simply being killed in the line of duty does NOT grant one entrance into heaven unless the deceased was a Christian at the time of his/her death (and no, Valhalla is not a real place either). Thus again is my Code 3 sense of urgency to share truth here!

Folks,  Matthew 5:9  is in fact a call to "battle stations" for EVERY true believer to be a biblical peacemaker -- to have a radical, "Code 3" (lights and siren) sense of urgency to live out our faith and share the peace our Lord first gave to us with others.

In  Romans 5:1 , Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tells us that through faith in Jesus Christ we have been justified (made right in God's sight) and are no longer at war with God. Instead, we have obtained peace with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. Having peace with God through Christ also opens up the door to have the peace of God in our lives because our future in Christ is certain for all eternity.

Peace also comes at a cost (ultimately, what Jesus did for us on the cross)! Here in  Matthew 5:9 , Jesus points us to the gospel and His message about both repentance of sin and salvation from judgment through Him versus an unbiblical, feel-good message of misdirected good deeds, "inclusion" and "tolerance."

Jesus reveals that a biblical peacemaker is one who has received peace by acknowledging his or her guilt (sin) before God, and, through repentance and faith, has been forgiven, redeemed and adopted into God's family. Following this, the proactive peacemaker enters into the Father's business of spreading the full message of the gospel to others so that they may also know true peace and purpose.

Again, why is this so important? Because a great many who serve in law enforcement continue to hold to a potentially deadly (the eternal kind) false belief that their service and so-called "good works" as officers will save them. That passages like   Matthew 5:9 ,  John 15:13  and others will essentially allow them to "badge" their way out of hell and into heaven. That they will "RIP" (see " Rest In Peace? ") and don't even have to be a "Christian" as God defines in order to be saved (again, a lie from the very pit of hell).

So are we now crystal  (LOL) clear on this issue? Sure, what we do as cops IS important , but ultimately ONLY if we are doing so from a right relationship with God in Christ (see  When do our good deeds count? ).  

So now, in light of this study, where do YOU stand today? And if you do in fact know Christ as Lord and Savior, are you then being the "peacemakers" He is calling us to be by living "all in" for Him and sharing His peace (the  Plan of Salvation ) with others? 

With that, let me be a biblical peacemaker by asking you the most important question I can put to you ( backup of the eternal kind): Do you truly know Christ as your Lord and Savior? Have you cried out to Him to forgive and save you? If you're answer is "no" or "I'm not sure," I beg you to consider the following:
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KNOW GOD?

(1) Do you still falsely believe that you can "earn" or otherwise "badge" your way into heaven and escape hell because you consider yourself to be a " good " cop, "good" warrior or "good" person? That you can be "good" enough without God? Take  the   Good Person Test   and see how you do!  

(2) Jesus' first recorded words in His earthly ministry were and remain, " 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 to our sin (as God defines it). To "believe"  ( pisteuo  in the original Greek) as Jesus intends it here is to wholeheartedly trust and  surrender your life to Him in faith in the same way we have "faith" that our body armor will do its job against the rounds it is intended to stop; that a well-maintained weapon will function properly when used in defense against criminals intent on destroying us or others; or that our parachute will open when it is supposed to (we stake our very lives on it)! For more, see What does it mean to believe in Jesus?

(3) This same concept of " believe " (the saving kind) is further revealed in  John 3:1-21   where Jesus says, " ... you must be born again ." Again, note our Lord's emphasis on the word " must " (not "may" or "should" or even "someday"): this is ultimately the life-saving AND life-changing  personal relationship (and NOT "religion") with Jesus Christ that I stress here every week (see  What does it mean to be a born again Christian ? [hint -- there is no other kind]).

(4) NOW then, with this in place, go to:   How can I be saved?  

(5) Need more? Then check out this powerful, short video message from police servant-leader Travis Yates  Cops and Salvation

(6) Have you now said "yes" to Jesus as Lord and Savior but are wondering what to do next? The "now what" is also an important part in dealing with the issues that can lead to suicide and sin in general. Click on,   Now what?   

Questions? I'm here to serve --  contact me .    
MC



ABOUT US


The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry is a national, FCPO-affiliated, non-denominational, evangelical Christian outreach to our own in law enforcement. These newsletters and profession-focused Bible studies are part of this effort and past editions can be found on our website and our social media  feeds. Our desire is (1) to be used of God to WIN the lost in our profession to a saving faith in Christ; (2) to DISCIPLE the Christian officer; (3) SEND out discipled (trained) officers to "repeat" 1 and 2; (4) to SUPPORT police marriages; (5) to transform our God-ordained profession by infusing it with all-in Christian officers; and (6) to IMPACT (reduce) police suicides and PTS with the Cure found in Christ Jesus alone. In keeping with these 6 points, please feel free to adapt these messages for your own individual or group use and share them with others. 

The Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers (FCPO-USA) exists to provide biblical support ("backup"), accountability and  iron sharpens iron  fellowship for Christian officers first in the U.S. and throughout the world as well. Our Denver-area FCPO chapter ( FCPO Chapter #217 ) is a  Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry  affiliate. Locally, we meet approximately twice a month in the south Denver-Metro suburb of Highlands Ranch for profession-focused, sound (uncompromising) Bible study, prayer and servant-warrior fellowship (and spouses are both welcome and encouraged to attend with their LEO).  Contact me for complete details.

The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry and FCPO-Metro Denver ( Chapter 217 ) are led by veteran Police Officer, Chaplain and Evangelist Michael "MC" Williams . MC is an active (32-years and counting) sworn police officer/investigator and sought-after instructor and speaker at churches (including the popular  Centurion Church Security Seminar ), retreats and both police and civilian training conferences and seminars around the country. Contact MC via  email  for details on how to book him for your event.

Finally, we covet your prayer and financial support for this vital ministry outreach. Reference the latter, you can give in two ways:
(1) Send a check to the address posted below.
or
(2) Go the the FCPO giving page and designate " FCPO #217 " or the "Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry."

* All donations are tax-deductible.

The Centurion Law Enforcement Ministry , P.O. Box 630854, Littleton, CO 80163 | Email Address | (720) 371-1022 | Website