It was a beautiful cold night on Market Square. The Christmas lights were lit, lots of people walking around, Salvation Army giving away free hot chocolate(Thank you!), vendors selling their wares, ice skating, and Christmas carols sung at various locations.

This was a wonderful night to distribute Gospel of John books and Gospel tracts.  Tonight, people were  more receptive to receive Gospel material than other evangelism nights. One Jr. High man took a Gospel tract. As I walked away, two of his little brothers came running to me wanting a gospel tract.

The following Bible verse  demonstrates  what occurred later on this evening.(Of course down on Market Square it happens frequently, but not to the degree it did tonight.)

2 Timothy 3:5 (English Standard Version)

having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”

In Krutch Park, I about handed a lady a Gospel of John. She looked at it and then looked at me with pure disgust and hate. Here is her exact words to me in our brief conversation:

Lady: “God does not want you doing this $%@!  He wants you to feed the poor and take care of the sick”

She starts to walk off not before I tell her:

Me: “The Bible tells me otherwise.”

Lady stomps back in my direction and very snooty and very  loudly proclaims:

” I  am a pastor. I have a Master of Theology and I can speak Greek and Hebrew fluently.”(The first sentence out of her mouth told me she also speaks “sailor” fluently.)

I could have got into a verbal diatribe with her. I only ended the conversation with the Holy Spirit giving me the Word of God to speak directly to her. I don’t know why this was the verse he wanted me to give her. In my flesh I would have quoted 2 Timothy 3:5 to her, instead the Lord prompted me to tell her:

1 Corinthians 1:18 (English Standard Version)

“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

She then stomped off in a big huff.

She saw what I was handing to her was the Gospel of John. Normally, it is a “Go to Hell” gospel tract which would get me a mean glare. Yet, it was the Bible that she did not want me handing out.

As far as proclaiming theological training, to me she did not possess the spirit of a true Christian pastor.  If she is a pastor of a Christian denominational church, it is disappointing but biblically prophetic  to know that there is a female wolf in the  Knoxville sheep pen .   I used the Shepard’s staff(Word of God) to drive her away from me so I could continue doing the Lord’s work.

Matthew 7:15-16 (English Standard Version)

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?”

Downtown Knoxville has very liberal unbiblical so-called churches to deter people away from hearing the pure Word of God in a Biblically sound church. Yet, these churches are in existence because according to the book of 2 Timothy.

2 Timothy 4:3 (English Standard Version)

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions…”

 

NOTE: God makes pastors, not theological degrees. (See following verses.)

1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (English Standard Version)

“And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”

 

Colossians 2:1-4 (English Standard Version)

“For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ,  in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments.”

I would also say that being Christian is not just solely feeding the poor and helping the sick.  I cannot take full credit for the following response I could have given her: “We can feed the hungry, cloth the naked, and heal the sick. Then when they die these people will be the best fed, clothed and healthy as they go thru the gates of Hell.”

I found it neat as the Lord revealed to me how tonight was the first night of the official lighting of the trees in downtown Knoxville by letting me distribute several copies of  the Gospel of John. The front cover of the Gospel of John had two words, “The Light.” The true light of Christmas is none other than Jesus Christ!

John 8:12 (English Standard Version)

“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”



Fisher of Men

November 19, 2010

Matthew 4:19 (English Standard Version)

19“And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

As I am finishing up the last bit of C.H. Spurgeon’s book, “The Soul Winner”, I have been blessed and encouraged on how nothing really ever changes in evangelism. There are people without Jesus and bound on the Highway to Hell.

One quote which from Spurgeon rang clear and true for me.

” The fisherman is a daring man…So the true minister of Christ, who fishes for souls, will never mind a little risk.  He will be bound to do or say many a thing that is very unpopular;  and some Christian people may even judge his utterances to be too severe.  He must do and say that which is for the good of souls. It is not his to entertain a question as to what others will think of his doctrine, or of him;  but in the name of the Almighty God he must feel, ‘If the sea roar and the fulness(sic) of thereof, still at my Master;s command I will let down the net'” (The Soul Winner, pg. 234-5).

When you remain close to the Lord and His Word by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in Evangelism, the Lord will be glorified. Church people may be critical of your methods. If you are remaining biblical in your evangelism doctrine and methodology, don’t worry about how others respond. D.L. Moody was once approached by a woman giving him negative feedback on his evangelism style, to Moody’s reply was “You do evangelism your way, and I will do evangelism my way.”  We must be God pleasers  and not people pleasers.

I love how Jesus uses fishing references to going to people to catch them for the Lord. If  a man of God uses different bait to catch men than me, God be the glory. If God enables one man to open-air preach and another man distribute Bibles or gospel tracts,  God be the glory.  When Jesus choose the twelve to be fishers of men, not every man was alike.  Some of the fish we catch prefer live bait(person to person) and other fish will be attracted to plastic worms(gospel tracts). Spurgeon says in “The Soul Winner” to “Do something.” Something is better than nothing.

Even in our human imperfections and mistakes, God can still use  those situations to still bring many to salvation.  You do not have to be an expert. Remember, it is Jesus making us fishers of men. It is not in our personal abilities, although God may use those abilities.  We must remember we are under the leading of the  Master Fisher of Men, Jesus.

Save Some

November 14, 2010

1 Corinthians 9:22 (English Standard Version)

22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.

(The Unsaved) “Woe is me, my heart sinks as I see their doom, and hear the terrible cries of their too-late awaking. Save some, O Christians! By all means, save some. By yonder flames, and outer darkness, and the weeping, and the wailing, and the nashing of teeth, see to save some! Let this, as in the case of the apostle(Paul), be your great and your ruling object in life, that by all means you may save some.”-C.H. Spurgeon “The Soul Winner”

While Saturday morning and night over 1000 tracts and handful of Gospel of John were distributed, many will throw away or tear up the message of “Jesus Christ and him crucified” for their eternal souls. Yet, some will either keep the gospel message or recall later what they tossed on the ground. I take part in the Great Commission in seeing people saved. Yet it is truly Jesus will be someone’s Savior. The Lord allows me to take part in the fishing expedition of souls bound for the wrath of God and the Lake of Fire to partake in the decision of a unsaved person accepting or rejecting the offer given to all men to call upon the name of Jesus.

On Saturday evening, I believe the Lord allowed me to encounter one of the “some“. The young man was leaving the Copper Cellar and I had in my hand a gospel tract. The tract had a Christmas theme written by Billy Graham and contained the Calvary Chapel business card. The young man asked what it was and I told him it is a gospel tract. I encouraged him to read it to see what it contained. I smiled and left him to read it. As I was walking away he propped himself against the retaining wall to read the tract. After watching for a minute, I could see the Holy Spirit working in the young man as he took the time to read the contents.  I prayed for him as I journeyed on to hand out more gospel literature to college students and those eating and drinking in the local venues.

Some times to get the one lost sheep, you have to go push through the 99 sheep. The evil spiritual forces will use the other lost to prevent you to getting to the one that is on the verge of turning from being a black sheep to a white sheep. It is only by the power of God, I was able to reach the one lost young man to present him with the eternal change from darkness to light.

Acts 8:25 (English Standard Version)Now when they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.

It was back to the mall after church service ended.  Many people picked up the Michael Jackson Million Dollar Bill off the floor and out of the soda machines bill slot. I had some of the Christmas gospel business style cards. I left them on benches and tables. All of these tracts were being read as I watched them picked them up. Some kept the tracts. Others put them back down and another would pick up the same tract.

I was in the food court and seen a group from my church eating lunch. The smiled and chuckled as they watched me drop the bill tract on the ground and get picked up by the public.

As I sat at the table from the church group explaining how evangelism takes place within the context of an indoor public arena(i.e. mall). I set a Michael Jackson Million Dollar Bill on the table a few inches away from me.

A young black man in his late teens stood up at the table across from our table and picked up the tract. The man showed the tract to his family and asked if I had more of the MDB. I gave him what I had left in my pocket. He asked me about the M.J. MDB.  He said his family and himself love Michael Jackson. From M.J. on the front, I said, “On the front is the King of Pop. Now he is no longer alive. Yet, on the back of this bill is the gospel message about the King of Kings, Jesus who is alive forevermore.”

I shook his hand and  introduced myself and he told me his name was Phil.  He told me he was from Cincinnati, OH and was visiting family for the holiday.  I asked him about his spiritual background. He said he was a Christian, yet he did admit he did not go to church as often as he would like.  He has a relative in the ministry and attends their church once in a while.

I just encouraged him in his walk with the Lord. His relative listened to our conversation. He asked me about where I got the tracts. I told him about Living Waters website. http://www.livingwaters.com

I also told him about the same tract with President Obama face on the front. I explained to him and his family how I will use the person on the front of the bill to transition to the gospel on the back of the bill.(Transition with Obama to the gospel….yes Republicans/conservatives/etc….you can make the transition. Let me explain: During Obama’s presidential campaign last year Obama major themes was “Hope” and “Change”. While Obama offers temporary hope and change during our lifetime, Jesus is our eternal hope and we become a brand new creation when we repent and place our faith in Jesus.(I Timothy 1:1, 2 Corinthians 5:17) Phil and his family was impressed.(Maybe more of surprised shock of a white guy in the South being able to take the natural realm of using President Obama as a springboard to the Gospel.)

After we parted company, I went to my car. In my glove box I had a sealed package of 100 Michael Jackson Million Dollar Bills.  The Lord impressed on me to go back to the food court and give it to Phil.  So I did. I went up to him and asked him if he wanted a the M.J. MDB package. He happily grinned from ear to ear and warmly received the gift. I told him to make a promise to me.  I said, “I know you and your family love Michael Jackson and it is a neat novelty item to give to friends and family, yet I want you to be able to explain to those given the tract about the gospel message on the back, using the same transition I gave him about the King of Pop to the King of Kings. ” He promised me he would. He joyfully thanked me and gave me the “bro” handshake(starts with the firm grip to the fingertip grip).  I told him to have a safe trip back home and God bless.

In my heart I was jumping for joy of how the Lord gave me the opportunity to encourage a fellow brother in Christ and encouraged him to share his faith in Jesus.