Thank you, Lord for the warm weather today. I was able to meet a few people tonight and hand them a gospel tract. I pray they will put their faith in the Lord. If they are saved, they grow deeper in their walk with the Lord.

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Halloween Weekend Evangelism

October 31, 2010

Jude 1:22-23 (New Living Translation)

22 And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. 23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.

This weekend the college kids were out at the bars, this time in Halloween attire. I had some gospel tracts from A.C.T.S. tracts geared toward the Halloween theme. When I ran out of them I pulled what I had available in my satchel.

I pray for those taking and rejecting the tracts. Hopefully the next day they will pull the tract out of their pockets or purses. Many of the tracts get thrown on the ground or in the trash. Some actually keep the tracts.

Thank you Lord for giving me the opportunity to venture out in the public and share Jesus with the lost.

Greg Laurie radio shows

October 29, 2010

I have been listening to Greg Laurie radio shows the past several days. He is a Calvary Chapel Evangelist. He has been really focusing on Evangelism in the area of biblical love.

Many perceive Evangelists as harsh and unloving. Looking back in the Gospels we see how Jesus was truthful with those he interacted, yet he was very loving in how he presented the people’s issues or lifestyles.  It has been said by one evangelist in the past was when we preach “hell”, we should do it with tears and a cry in our voice.

We must be honest in telling people who if they do not repent and put their faith in Jesus, they will face the wrath of God and be cast into the lake of fire. However, in presenting it to the masses, do it in the way that you do not want to see the masses going to Hell.  Woo them away from the impending danger. Warn people(Danger! Danger! Will Robinson!)

Just as you would warn somebody driving down the road and wave them down at the side of the road. Telling them that the bridge is out at the end of the road and if they continued down that direction, they would crash and burn.

One of the ways I have seen the Lord get the attention of the people I encounter is allowing the Holy Spirit to lead the conversation, not my flesh. When we get in the flesh is when the message can get muddled. (God can still use the situation if we mess up.) Yet, when we follow Zechariah 4:6 “Not by might, nor by power, but by MY SPIRIT SAYS THE LORD OF HOSTS” God will be faithful to honor those submitting to his loving and guiding hands.

Whew! It was quite the crowded scene down around the college bar district Friday night. I ended up just remaining in one place on the sidewalk. I just handed out over 200 tracts a handful of Gospel of John booklets.

What occurred…..Got cussed at, Bible knocked out of my hands, people trying to push me down, attempts to tear my Bible, etc.

What I did in response….pray, pray, pray, hand more tracts out, pray, read scripture(had one guy that would keep coming back near me and try to drown out the reading of the Bible by shouting.) more prayer.

 

One positive response: a drunk guy, Andy, came up to me looked at what I was reading. Asked me to read him some scripture that would  encourage him.(Note he was drunk, but I knew the Lord can still reach someone in their lowest/drunken point) I then looked at him, eye to eye, and told him John 3:16. I substituted “world” for “Andy”. It shocked him sober for just enough for me to lay my hands on him and start praying or him. He placed his hand on my shoulder. I have never prayed for someone like that before(I started to cry for him and his repentance and salvation). When I was finished I could see his eyes become moist and he had a moment of sobriety in him that I was able to tell him to repent of his sins and put his faith in Jesus.  He said thank you and walked away to his friends as he went back into his drunken state.  I prayed silently for him and hope he will recall the moment the next day to see the Lord.

 

I stayed out for a little while longer. There was a College Christian group of kids from Georgia come out set up a table and gave out free snacks and hot chocolate/coffee.  They gave me something hot to drink.  Thank the Lord for them. I needed a warm-up cause it was cold by the time I looked at the time and noticed it was one a.m.

 

 

 

I want to update those of you reading my blogs.  Many of you remember about the first time we had a traveling family of Evangelists, Agents for Christ, visit our church. We went with them to Market Square to share the Gospel with the Lost.

One encounter involved one of our church members(Linda) and the Agents for Christ leader’s wife confrontation with a demonically possessed homeless man. After the encounter, it left  us in amazement how many are in bondage to the Evil One.

A year later…..

Linda starts a new job working at the local Lifeway Christian bookstore. One day last week, Linda told me of how the man we met down by the mass transit bus terminals was shopping in Lifeway. She described his physical, mental and physical capabilities completed changed. He was cleaned up, a countenance that was of a new Christ believer and follower.  He was asking for help on purchasing a new Bible.

I believe this was a God orchestrated event for Linda to start a new job at Lifeway to have the Lord bring in the former demonically possessed man she attempted to share the Jesus come into the store saved and seeking to become an obedient to the Lord as a Christ-follower.  God wanted to show Linda how she helped in planting one of the many Gospel seeds in this man’s life. She was totally stoked about the occurrence.

Linda will definitely will be rewarded at the Bema Seat for her faithfulness in sharing the Gospel.  We shall keep praying for this man to grow more in the Lord.

Til next time….Blessings.

 

Many think of Evangelizing is solely going out on  a street corner and passing out tracts. However, there are different aspects of being apart of Evangelism.

Here is a list I have complied on my own or by some of the books I have read on Evangelism(not an exhaustive list but a framework):

1. Father/Jesus/Holy Spirit(GOD): Without God, Evangelism does not occur.

2. Evangelizer: The actual person that meets a person(s) or leave gospel material available to people.

3. Prayer Team: Those with a holy passion to pray for any or all aspects of Evangelism. These individuals are like the pre-strike airplanes in war that alert the civilians in the targeted area to flee the coming attacks. These prayers  go before, during, and after the Evangelism.  Realizing God is the Master Conductor, prayer is realizing our need for God to be involved in every aspect of life.

4. Encourager: This person is the Cheerleader for the Evangelizer.  We all need Barnabas in our life. The Evangelizer needs to be continually uplifted in spirits.  Encourager puts a smile and spring in the step of the Evangelizer.

5. Tract Supplier: Title says it. The Evangelizer uses tracts to communicate to people. Tracts have been around since the printing press started printing Bibles. They are a like the bullets to Barney Fife’s gun. Although, the Evangelizer needs more than one tract(unlike Barney) in his arsenal.  There are different kinds of tracts to give to people. Just ask the Evangelizer his preference in tracts. Warning not all tracts have the Gospel and all are not Christian tracts. Hence, communicating with the Evangelizer is necessary. Don’t want the Christian Evangelizer giving a tract that is not biblical or may direct the reader to a cult.(i.e. Mormons, J.W., etc.)

6. Accountability Partners/Board members: These are usually the same gender of the Evangelizer. Evangelizer reports back on occurrences in the field. Any dangers they encounter.(physical harm, sexual temptations, verbal confrontations, law enforcement encounters, etc). Help keep the Evangelizer humble, honest, and above reproach.

7. Lawyer: Assists on legal issues, local laws, legal entanglements with groups/individuals/law enforcement/city code officers/etc.

8. Pastors: When the Evangelizer goes out to Evangelize, he not only represents the Lord, but to his home church. The Evangelizer needs to realize the biblical authority of the Pastor to the Evangelizer.   If a person on the field becomes a Christian believer, then the need for the new baby in the Lord needs spiritual nourishment from a body of Christian believers. If they do not have a church home and are in the same area as the Evangelizer, the Evangelizer needs to invite the person to his/her church. If they are not from the area, try to keep in contact with the person to help them find a Biblically based Church. (Pray the Lord lead them to a church if further contact will be unable to occur.)

This is a very basic list. The Evangelism Team list helps form a framework for the Body of Christ to operate in a biblical function.  Everyone can participate in Evangelism through many aspects. I pray this is a help to the Church body.

 

Evangelizing puts the Evangelist in many unique circumstances. Now before I discuss what occurred Thursday night on Cumberland Avenue, I will open up with the Word of the Lord. In light of what occurred to me and what to do when confronted and how to share the Gospel in unique situations, this is what Paul did when he used an object of pagan worship as a springboard to the Gospel.

Acts 17:22-35 (New King James Version)

Addressing the Areopagus

22 “Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; 23 for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:

TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.

Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: 24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood[a] every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, “We will hear you again on this matter.33 So Paul departed from among them. 34 However, some men joined him and believed, among them Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.”

 

Driving into the First Tennessee parking lot on Cumberland Avenue I was met with the very noticeable Girls Gone Wild tour bus.(Not to go into much detail about the bus other than having very provocative pictures of women.) One of the local bars on the strip invited the GGW crew to solicit young college girls to show off parts of their bodies. College guys were taking pictures of college girls lifting their shirts in front of the bus. The crew allowed some of the college girls on the bus. It became a magnet for those hungry to have their flesh fed.

Satan is working overtime on college students to pull them away from the love of God.  There is a very strong spiritual battle  for the students at the University of Tennessee.  One part of the battle is the humanism intellectualism coming from many of the Anti-God professors. The other part of the battle is to stimulate the fleshly desires of the college students via alcohol, drugs, and sex.

I thought about going home. I was tired from sharing Jesus with the men at the Knox County Detention Center. Yet, the Lord kept pressing me to go out for a while to the college bar district. I told the Lord, I needed some physical and spiritual strength to accomplish the task. The Lord met those needs. I was amazed at the situation he was allowing me to venture. He allows me to go out all the time to share around the college bar district. I had no idea I would be faced with one of the biggest pornographers in the America.

I prayed to make sure the Lord he wanted me to stay around and evangelize while this porn bus was in the vicinity. I kept getting the green light from the Lord. So I scrolled thru my cell address book and was able to get ahold of one of my brothers in the the Lord, Billy. He prayed for me on the spot!

I immediately started walking up and down Cumberland Avenue handing out as many Bible tracts as the Lord allowed. Then the Lord prompted me to stop several feet away from the GGW bus and start reading the Bible. The spiritual attack was on me for the first few minutes. I had fears of the GGW crew or the sponsoring bar call the police to have me removed from the area.Yet, the on-duty officers left me alone. I was far enough away from the bus but close enough to do what the Lord wanted me to accomplish. At the time, I thought he would have me open-air preach far away from the bus……NOPE! I started reading portions of the book of Romans, Isaiah 53, and portions of Hebrews.

Several groups of college students walked around me and proceeded to the bus. Another group of college students walked in front of me. They stopped and one of the girls started in a very loud cadence, “We are fornicators, We’re all fornicators!”  I thought about leaving after the girl kept walking by me throughout night giving me dirty looks. I did not want to turn the situation into a pissing contest with the GGW crew drawing more attention to the bus than to the call for repentance and faith in Jesus. I remember how Pastor Mark told of how many of the one of the prophets having not one convert after preaching the Word of the Lord. After remembering this, I was wondering if this would be one of those situations? I became discouraged.

Yet, the Lord had me press forward. I began to read the first few verses of  Hebrews 2:1-4.

Hebrews 2:1-4 (New King James Version)

Hebrews 2

Do Not Neglect Salvation

1 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?

As I was reading this three college girls were strolling down the sidewalk. One girl(Jamie) stopped to listen to these verses.  She politely  asked me what I was reading.  I explained to her these four verses and how Jesus loves her and desires her to come to repentance and faith in Jesus. I then told her that He(God) is bigger than our sins, he is bigger than all our lies, He is bigger than all of the bad things we’ve done, there is mercy and love in his eyes.(Now this little musical ditty is from a Dennis A. He came to our church on Wednesday to perform his musical guitar talent.)

Jamie was a little tispy. I could smell a little Rum on her breath. Yet, for a moment the Lord gave her an open door to receive the Gospel. As I looked in her eyes with tears starting to form, I could tell she was taking in what the Lord had wanted her know.  In a child-like voice she said, “Thank you.” She gave me a hug. As soon as she hugged me, her two friends came back for her. One of her friends violently grabbed her away from me. I did not get the chance to give her a gospel tract.

However, the other girlfriend looked at me and said, “Hello.” I then started to focus my attention to this young lady. I handed her the gospel tract with a Pro-life message.  She looked at it and said, “Thank you”. She looked at the front of the tract and noticed the drawing of a young lady on the front. She looked back at me and in a more meaningful tone, “Wow, thank you very much”. The girl dragging Jaime away was yelling at this young girl to come on and hurry up.

I was left breathless and and took a deep breath. I regained my focused and started to pray for each girl. Especially, for Jaime and her friend taking the gospel tract.  I quietly thanked the Lord for giving me the opportunity to share Jesus with these two young ladies.  The Lord had derailed the girls from the erotic allure of the bus and led them to hear of his pure self-sacrificing love for them.

For a little while longer, I read more scripture near the bus until I could feel my voice become weak. I returned to my car, prayed and thank the Lord for allowing me to share Jesus with two college girls. I prayed for these girls salvation.

God used the evil devices of perverted men “preying” on young women and brought glory to Himself by giving  the Gospel message to Jamie and her friend. While these men were “preying” on college girls, the Lord and others believers are “praying” for college students to repent and put their faith in Jesus.

Epilogue

Now to  Christian men and women having daughters: How far are you willing to let the Lord stretch your faith and evangelize to college students? Yes, the college students are of legal age and have the choice to make their own decisions. Yet, do you realize that we are sending out kids among wolves in the college arena?   Are you willing to step up and obey the Great Commission? If we do not speak up for our faith in Jesus to the college students, there are Satan’s pawns willing to tear your child away from the Christian faith and use them for all sorts of evil purposes only to spit them out like grizzle off a  steak.

How long will you use the cop-out of “I’m not called to be an evangelist”? Do you realize we are ALL called to evangelize to everyone according to the Great Commission. Don’t keep Jesus to yourself, share it with someone, anyone, as many as the Lord places in your path, especially the college student. Let us shine the light of Jesus so bright on the campus of the University of  Tennessee that the darkness has no choice but to flee! Please pray how the Lord can use you in Evangelism.

 

Gospel meets the Lost

October 2, 2010

Late Friday night and Saturday night I ventured back to both Market Square and Cumberland Avenue.

Many Gospel tracts were handed out. I prayed for humbleness and boldness as I open-air preached.(In the tradition of John the Baptist, Jesus, the Disciples, John Wesley, George Whitefield, C.H. Spurgeon, etc.) I had about three unique encounters when I O.A.P.(Open air preaching). The first was with a former Catholic. He has been going to different churches in the area and has been reading on his own the Bible. I encouraged him to continue in reading the Word and to always ask God to help him understand what he is reading. I gave him the Calvary Chapel Knoxville business card if he should perchance want check CCK.

The second encounter was with a homeless man. He was asking what I was reading. I was reading Isaiah 53, the passage of the suffering servant, Jesus. He opened up his backpack pulled out his Bible and started reading the passage. I explained to him how the passage was referring to Jesus.(This passage was written over 700 years before the physical birth of Jesus. He asked me to pray for him over certain issues in his life. We prayed and parted ways.

The third encounter during an O.A.P. was on Saturday. This was the saddest encounter of the three. A  drunk college age lesbian Aussie, approached me with her other drunk lesbian friends. In her drunkenness and stammering was asking if I honestly thought reading the Bible aloud in the public arena was actually doing any good. It was hard to answer her due to her drunkenness and being dragged away from me by her drunk lesbian cohorts.  I could only reply I was obeying what God tells me in His Word.  She said I was not doing what the Bible was saying. It is hard to reason with a drunk person, so the conversation could not go further and she walked away in her lost state. I did say a quick prayer for her that she would remember this encounter after she sobers up and seeks the Lord soon.

Open air preaching is something that cannot be done in flesh but only by the Spirit of God(Zechariah 4:6). The lost may never enter a church, so the only time they may hear the Word of God is thru open air preaching. Proclaiming the Word of God never comes back void.

Isaiah 55:11 (New King James Version)

11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

I am joyful the Lord has given me a passion to go out to Evangelize and Open Air Preach. The purpose in what I do is to truly Glorify the Lord! In all we do, it should be to give God the glory.

It was a blessing to have the Agents for Christ ministry return to Knoxville for more Market Square Evangelism. Friday night was a blessing to have about a dozen of us convene on Market Square. It was the First Friday/Movie night on Market Square. It gave the 12 of us(Agents for Christ, Pastor Brian, Elaine and her son, and me) ample opportunity to share Jesus, pray, invite people to church, and pass out TONS of Gospel tract to the mass crowd.

We came across a variety, and I do say a variety, of  the most unusual people. Everything from Unitarians, Denominational church people(i.e. unsaved people in the church), Bible believing brothers and sisters in the Lord, strung out on drugs people, New Agers,  Self-proclaimed prophets, a Russian Orthodox priest in his garb(appeared like it was more for show than to be actually out ministering….. which kinda reminded me of the priest in the Good Samaritan parable).

Elaine had a terrific encounter in sharing the Gospel.

Thank you Agents for Christ for coming back. It uplifted my spirits. Evangelism can be a lonely ministry. Many in the church use the cop-out of “I’m not called to be an evangelist.” This may be true, yet they forget that the “Great Commission” applies to ALL believers. I just pray for more to step out and start sharing their faith with those they constantly come into contact.  If  we can get excited talking to one another about every time UT wins a football game, then as Christians we should be excited to tell others about our Savior, Jesus Christ.  It can be as simple a leaving a gospel tract on a bench in the mall. If you cannot go and evangelize, then please consider praying for others and myself going out into hostile territory in proclaiming Jesus.  If you have the financial means, then please support us in purchasing gospel tracts.(The gift of Salvation is free through Jesus, however the gospel tract does cost money.) Please see me how you can partner in Evangelism: going out, praying for the Evangelist, help defray costs of tracts, etc. Just pray and seek God in the reading of his Word. Note: There is a Heavenly reward for those participating in Evangelism. So act now.(Read the book of Acts for more details.)

Sept. 25th Evangelism Outing.

September 26, 2010

After the evening traffic from the Sept. 25th Vols. win, I headed down to Cumberland Ave. and started handing out Salvation/Gospel tracts. One incident, I handed a gentleman a Gospel tract and told him, “Jesus loves you.” He became very hateful to me and very loudly said to ears of others nearby, “NO HE DOES NOT!” He wanted to appear macho to his lady friend accompanying him.  So by belittling me, he felt superior. I never take any insult personally when it comes to sharing the faith.

I read I Corinthians 13. The second time I read it, I substituted the word “love” with “Jesus”. Many people cocked their heads as I read this passage. Many are used to hearing the “Hell” and “Judgment” passages it took them off guard I would be reading this passage. I do read passages mentioning “Hell” and Judgment”. If it is in the Bible, it gets read. Paul stated to his readers, “Have I not shunned to declare to you the WHOLE COUNSEL of GOD?”(Acts 20:27).

I could also tell from the evening, I was getting some much-needed help from the Holy Spirit and the prayers of  believers. Evangelism is fun, exciting, and hard labor. So, I always ask the Lord for help in any way possible to carry out what he has gifted me.

On a positive note, I was able to share my faith with one of the security guys at a local fast food restaurant on the Cumberland Strip. During home games, extra security is hired at the fast food joints to help with any potential drunk or rowdy fans from both teams.

I always end in prayer after an evangelism outing. This helps me in knowing God has allowed me to share my faith by the power of the Holy Spirit.  I will be thankful for any seed planted in the heart of those reading the tracts. Time is short and I want to see as many people come to repentance and faith in Jesus.  So if I have free time in the afternoons and evenings, I want to obey The Great Commission.