Maraca with Bible Verse

Maraca with Bible Verse
1 Timothy 2:5

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Monday, September 17, 2018

Preaching A Weak Gospel Message

I have been around in the evangelism circles for over 10 years now, and when I started, we learned how to evangelize from watching 'The Way of the Master'. I would recommend watching these videos to help us to learn how to articulate the Gospel message to people.

When I first started out in evangelism, whenever I wanted to speak in order to share the message, 3 things would automatically happen. 1. My mouth would dry out, 2. My body would start shaking, and 3. My mind would go blank.

  I do understand the struggles of trying to come up with the words to say that would help people understand the Gospel message better. But, before watching The Way of the Master, I had no idea what to say, or how to interact with people concerning the Gospel message.

  Over the years, God has helped me tremendously to know what to say, and how to start conversations leading to the Gospel message. It takes practice and facing our fears. We have to learn from practicing.

  A big concern I have today, is that when we are out ministering the Gospel message, well meaning people who really do love God, tend to shy away from sharing the whole Gospel message.

  Many want to avoid the hard subject of dealing with sin and God's judgment. I will hear things like, 'all you have to do is turn to Jesus', or, 'accept Jesus in your heart'. There is no message of repentance from these people. I am sure it is to avoid a potential conflict with the person we are talking to.

  Another concern I have is when we do have a conversation with people, and we ask them if they are Christians (I really cringe at that question, to be honest), they say 'yes', and we assume they are saved. It is possible that they know the Lord, but it is possible also, that they really have no clue of the Gospel message and what God has done for them. We talk to them as if they know the Lord, when perhaps they really don't yet. We could be giving them a false assurance that they are saved, when they need to hear from God that they need a Savior. We get in the way of that message and make it unclear to them.

  Some people know the lingo very well. Others understand the formula for salvation, but have never applied it to themselves.

  Of course, we don't know what is going on in people's hearts. We can't assume that they are or aren't saved. But there is a good possibility that they have never even heard the Gospel message until now. If we just continue to carefully dig, we might be able to uncover the truth, at least for their sake, so that they can see what the issue is, that is at stake for them. 

   We share the word of truth with people. Let them wrestle with God. This is important to remember. If this is the first time they ever heard the Gospel message, they will probably be struggling. They need to struggle. That is how they will work through this issue. God works in their hearts. They struggle. After much consideration, maybe even many years later, they finally understand the meaning of the Gospel message. It now makes sense to them.

  My husband was talking with a skeptical Jewish man the other night. The dialog seemed fruitless, although it went on for a while. To some people, that would have seemed like a waste of time. But do we really know that God isn't working in this man's heart? The skeptical man needs to struggle. He needs for God to reveal to him, his need for a Savior. He needs to see the seriousness of his sin.

  God promises that His word will not return to Him void. It will accomplish what he wants with it. Let's make sure we preach the whole Gospel message without leaving out the hard things, like repentance and sin. Let's also make sure we show respect and kindness to those we are communicating with.

"Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame." 1 Peter 3:14b-16 ESV

Always show gentleness and respect when
sharing the Gospel message with people.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Sad; Missed Evangelism Opportunities

  A few months ago, I was introduced to a woman through a co op leader for an organic farm that I am in. As the conversations went on, I mainly listened to the two talking. I always wonder if people know the Lord. Sometimes there is indications that they might, and other times, there are no indications. Unless we really get to know the person, we probably will not know, or, more likely, they probably don't know the Lord.

   I went to pick up my food and talked with the co op leader for a while. She informed me that this lady had passed away suddenly. The woman was 56 years old and cancer was found in her body. She died rather quickly. The last time I saw her, she looked healthy. That was about 6 months ago, maybe.

  As we were talking today, the co op leader expressed regret for not sharing the Gospel message with this woman. Honestly, I would have never had thought that the woman would be dead in a couple of months from when I met her.

  Part of me is in shock over this, even though I barely knew the lady who had passed away. We don't know if she knew the Lord or not, but how sad to think that if she didn't, then there is no way to bring her back and tell her about the words of life that she needed to hear.

   The other day, I was at the hospital, and when I was going down from the 11th floor, a man was also going down. He opened up and talked as the elevator made its way to the bottom floor. The man didn't know how he felt at that moment. They just took life support off his mom. He explained how fast everything happened, and now she was gone. I was speechless except I knew how to say, "I am sorry'.

   I really need to be and to be attentive to situations like this. I do not have foreknowledge or wisdom to know what to say to people or how to bring the subject of the Gospel message up. Or maybe I am just not in faith for what God can do, and will do. Maybe I am so wrapped up in my own life, that I am not concerned enough about the souls of other people. Perhaps I am the one who needs a heart change and revisioning.

"Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. "
James 4:13, 14 ESV

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Wrong Thinking On Evangelism

"And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18-20 ESV

"And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."
Mark 16:15,16 ESV

Today, there are those who are professing Christians who would say that Jesus does not want you to go and tell others about Him. At first, I could not understand why these professing believers in Jesus would say such a thing. 

But, later on in the conversation with some college age professing believers, I began to understand what they were saying. 

They were all part of a church geared toward young adults, and that is probably what they were taught. One of them also said that 'when Scripture and culture do not agree, then Scripture must bow to the culture'. 

I think this is a serious, modern day problem in the church. There is a belief system which does not recognize the power of God and the authority of His word. What matters most is whatever the culture believes is right. 

The young adults I was dialoging with were especially critical of my using tracts. They assured me that Jesus wouldn't want me to be doing that, and one even made the comment saying that every time I gave out a tract, it was like putting a check mark in the box. The other young woman stated that she had unsaved parents and wouldn't want me to share the Gospel with them because it would turn them off. 

But the story gets even more interesting. At the end of our conversation, they had some book recommendations for me to read. One of them was 'Velvet Elvis' written by Rob Bell. When the young woman mentioned Rob Bell's name, I gave a grunt. She assured me that Mr. Bell was not a Universalist like everyone thinks he is. 

I read a critique that someone wrote on Rob Bell's 'Velvet Elvis'. How surprising it was to see the things he taught in his book were very similar to what the young adults were telling me. Rob Bell hates Christians who do evangelism. He says that whenever they pass out a tract, it's like they put a notch in their belt. 

Rob Bell also did a video called 'Bullhorn Guy' or something like that. It is a video made to make sure that Christians understand that evangelism is not a good thing. 

But this is not surprising either, for there was nothing in 'Velvet Elvis' that indicated Rob Bell's regard for the authority of Scripture. 

Anyway, what was I writing about when I started this article? Oh yeah, it was about evangelism. God's word tells us to evangelize. We are to evangelize those around us. We are not only to evangelize, but also to disciple others. 

Can evangelism be done incorrectly? Of course. It takes humility to represent the Lord well. Evangelism is not having correct head knowledge and trying to tell others what we know. Evangelism is an action that comes out because of our relationship with God. 

When we are abiding in Christ, and His word is abiding in us, we will bear fruit in our lives. That fruit will bring glory to God. Apart from Christ, we can do nothing. Nothing of eternal value, that is. 

We need the power of the Holy Spirit in us in order to do evangelism and to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others. 

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Acts 1:8 ESV

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

An Evangelism Opportunity For D.L. Moody

Here is a really neat story about D.L. Moody, and how he was discouraged one evening, because he did not have an opportunity to share the Gospel message that day.

"One night Mr. Moody was going home from his place of business. It was very late, and it suddenly occurred to him that he had not spoken to one single person that day about accepting Christ. He said to himself: "Here's a day lost. I have not spoken to anyone today and I shall not see anybody at this late hour." But as he walked up the street he saw a man standing under a lamppost. The man was a perfect stranger to him, though it turned out afterwards the man knew who Mr. Moody was. He stepped up to this stranger and said: "Are you a Christian?" The man replied: "That is none of your business, whether I am a Christian or not. If you were not a sort of a preacher I would knock you into the gutter for your impertinence." Mr. Moody said a few earnest words and passed on.

The next day that man called upon one of Mr. Moody's prominent business friends and said to him: "That man Moody of yours over on the North Side is doing more harm than he is good. He has got zeal without knowledge. He stepped up to me last night, a perfect stranger, and insulted me. He asked me if I were a Christian, and I told him it was none of his business and if he were not a sort of a preacher I would knock him into the gutter for his impertinence. He is doing more harm than he is good. He has got zeal without knowledge." Mr. Moody's friend sent for him and said: "Moody, you are doing more harm than you are good; you've got zeal without knowledge: you insulted a friend of mine on the street last night. You went up to him, a perfect stranger, and asked him if he were a Christian, and he tells me if you had not been a sort of a preacher he would have knocked you into the gutter for your impertinence. You are doing more harm than you are good; you have got zeal without knowledge."

Mr. Moody went out of that man's office somewhat crestfallen. He wondered if he were not doing more harm than he was good, if he really had zeal without knowledge. (Let me say, in passing, it is far better to have zeal without knowledge than it is to have knowledge without zeal. Some men and women are as full of knowledge as an egg is of meat; they are so deeply versed in Bible truth that they can sit in criticism on the preachers and give the preachers pointers, but they have so little zeal that they do not lead one soul to Christ in a whole year.)

Weeks passed by. One night Mr. Moody was in bed when he heard a tremendous pounding at his front door. He jumped out of bed and rushed to the door. He thought the house was on fire. He thought the man would break down the door. He opened the door and there stood this man. He said: "Mr. Moody, I have not had a good night's sleep since that night you spoke to me under the lamppost, and I have come around at this unearthly hour of the night for you to tell me what I have to do to be saved." Mr. Moody took him in and told him what to do to be saved. Then he accepted Christ, and when the Civil War broke out, he went to the front and laid down his life fighting for his country."*

The word of God will take affect in the hearts of people who are hearers. They might reject everything we tell them. They might even report us to the authorities. It doesn't change the fact that God can still use His word and work in their hearts. He may even grant them repentance and faith. We can't become discouraged because of how others react to the Gospel message. 

When I was little, if I got a cut, my mom would put peroxide on the cut. She did warn me though that it would hurt. But it was good for the cut. It did hurt whenever she put the peroxide on the cut. 

Preaching the Gospel message is like pouring peroxide on a cut. It can sting and be painful. The person could react to the pain by becoming angry or even vicious. But the peroxide will help the cut heal faster, and the Gospel message will turn us back to God so we can be reconciled back to Him. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

New Ice-Breaker Idea

I believe in doing evangelism one on one. I also believe it is good to sow seeds wherever possible. Giving out tracts is a great idea. Talking with people in person is excellent. Serving people in the body of Christ and even, as the opportunities come up, in the world around is, lends itself to demonstrating the Gospel message.

   The hard part for me is to strike up a conversation with someone, bringing up the Gospel message. I have no problem when I am in a conversation with a person, and the subject comes up. But I do struggle when talking about surfacy stuff, trying to engage the person in a conversation, then asking him or her questions that have to do with eternity.

  I will say though, that it is easier to do this on the streets than it is to do this with someone we are trying to get to know, or who we are trying to just become acquainted with.

  So, ice-breakers can be very helpful. I remember reading a conversation Mark Cahill had with a person. He asked the person what he or she would be doing after they graduate high school, then college, then what their plans were after that, until finally, after the person was old and retired, he asked the question, then what? This led to a discussion about eternity. Well, I don't usually have conversations with people which lead to eternal questions, but I do have a few ice-breakers.

   The main ice-breaker I use is my Giant Money tracts, put out by Living Waters. People either love them or hate them. Most people do not realize, until after they have read part of the back, that they are Gospel tracts. I have had people hunt me down to get one. If I have time, and if the other person doesn't seem like they are in a hurry, I can ask them the million dollar question, or I can just ask them a question like, do you know what the word 'Gospel' means? (usually I ask this if they ask me what the tract is. I tell them it is a Gospel tract). I can ask them if they think they are good enough to go to heaven, one day. This can lead to a discussion on the Gospel message.

  Another good ice breaker is using the person's name. Of course, you would have to know the meaning of the name in order for this to work. The name 'Chris' is a perfect example of how to use this ice-breaker. "Do you know what your name means? It means 'Christ bearer'. Are you a bearer for Christ?"

  I got another idea this morning. In the mail, I got an advertisement for a lighted, imprinted pen. I had never seen a lighted pen before, but they are really cool. The pen was a sample to tease me into buying large quantities of these pens. It had my name and address printed on it, and it lights up when you press a button. Plus, they are on sale, according to the flyer that came with the advertisement.

  So, I am thinking about putting something Biblical on the pens. How about this:
     God Is Uncreated
* He never had a beginning
* He has always been in existence

There are other possibilities too. But for now, I can get about 200 of these pens for around $400. The best part is, I can give them away to people who serve at our home. Our home needs a lot of repair work. We are always calling someone to repair something. This would be a 'gift' I could give them when they are done with their work.

  I gave New Testaments away one time, to a group of men who worked on trimming the trees in our yard. Got to talk a little about the Gospel message to them too.

   Plus, these people know how to contact me if they want more information. It doesn't get any better than that! Thank God for inventive ideas and also for being able to use technology to further the message of the kingdom of God.

"Did you get one of these yet?"

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Encounter With Man Who Trusted In 'Knowledge'

     The other day, I went up to two men who were outside of their trucks talking. Gave both men a Giant Money tract. Then proceeded to ask the questions pertaining to the Good Person Test. Both men readily admitted they had broken the Law.

      One man got into his truck and left. I was able to talk to the other man alone, at least for a couple of minutes. We spent almost an hour in conversation with him doing the talking, for the most part.

   He started to explain about 'knowledge', which was his newest, most beloved discovery. He said he had been under pastors and teachers, but really didn't get this 'knowledge' until he spent time in the 'cave' so to speak. The cave represented a time alone in the Scriptures. He also pointed out that the church was full of false teachers and prophets. You can only get this 'knowledge' when you are by yourself, studying the Scriptures.

  He went on and explained that the reason why Jesus had to die, was so that He could be free from the flesh. I asked the man if he were into Gnosticism, and he didn't seem to recognize the term.

   Another thing he pointed out was (when I brought up the sin issue against a holy God) that when we sin, we are really sinning against ourselves.

   To be honest, I was at a loss as to what to say to him at this point. Do I tell him that he is wrong, for believing what he does? Do I let him go on until he runs out of breath so that I can 'earn' some time with him to share the Gospel message more accurately?

   Finally, I just brought it back to the Gospel and his relationship with God. There was no connect. He said he came to know the Lord when he was 32 years old. But it wasn't until he found this 'knowledge' that his life was affected.

   He also mentioned at the end of our conversation, that there were many other books that should have been included in the Bible. The Gospel of Thomas was one of them.

   Earlier in the conversation, he asked for another tract. So, he went home with two tracts. Maybe God will do something in his heart through the tracts.

   I write this as an experience that my readers may encounter. Ponder through some of the things this man has considered. How would you respond to him if you met him on the streets?

    Does this man really seem like someone who was seeking God? Or perhaps, it's just misplaced trust?

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

New Post - New Idea - Potentially New Converts and Disciples

I haven't been able to do my evangelism activities due to a chronic condition that makes me feel terribly fatigued during the day. I have spent a lot of money and time doing research to try to cure this thing.

Anyway, I am mulling over some ideas that I might be able to use to incorporate evangelism into. One idea is really cool, but, I have to work out the logistics and the details which should come later on, if this is something God has for me to do.

This idea comes from a combination of what we did years ago and what another friend does everyday.

You might think I am nuts because I am not a fan of Burger King, but, I can buy a drink there and be ok, probably :)

Sometimes, when we get together with friends, we talk about the things of God, you know, spiritual things. I have had occasions where someone in a nearby booth overhears us talking. Then they start taking an interest. It is really cool and I like this idea. Of course, you always take the chance of those in neighboring booths to not hear a word that you say.

I have a friend on Facebook, actually it is a couple, a husband and wife, who do evangelism every day. They talk to people in their area about the Gospel. They have a focus on people who come from the Middle East. The man meets with people he talks to, at Burger King (don't worry, he eats the salads).

Anyway, I was thinking we could have some kind of intriguing topic to talk about, and we would hope that others will be listening in, and that the word of God will take root. Maybe we could even get to know people and make friends, and ultimately, disciples.

It doesn't have to be at Burger King. It could be at McDonald's (they have good drinks there) or even Chick-fil-a. Wherever there are close tables or booths will work out for us.

What do you think? What are some hot topics that would stir up interest in the spiritual realm?