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.”



1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (New Living Translation)

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud  or rude…”

Driving by the Bijou Theater marquee sign, it advertised for a comedy show performance by Margaret Cho on Saturday night. Knowing risks I was taking,  I prayed.  I am aware of her bisexuality and political leanings.  Yet, Jesus loves her and died for her just as he loves and died for me!

I was not going to pass out tracts if any of the Westboro Baptist Church idiots were going to be out in full adornment. They were not there to protest, holler, and yell. Thank you, Jesus! Their absence was an answered prayer.

The Lord pressed on my mind to quietly and lovingly pass out gospel tracts, ” on the sidewalk corner across from the theater.  Knowing her audience would consist of GBLT persons, if I get into a conversation with anyone attending the show, I would NOT discuss gay issues.  The Lord wanted me to give out gospel tracts asking people to put their faith in Jesus.   Spurgeon was quoted as saying you will catch more flies with honey rather than vinegar.

There was opportunity to have some small talk with a gay couple.  The kindly accepted the  gospel tract and told them “God bless.”  Reading the Bible, Jesus was very polite and loving  with the unsaved.  So I just modeled what he did, LOVE ON PEOPLE!

While I never got to personally meet Ms. Cho, I still prayed for those accepting the tracts and Ms. Cho to repent and put their faith in Jesus.

Here is the link for the gospel tract distributed last night:

http://www.fellowshiptractleague.org/tract_html/english/126_1.html

This morning, a group of us were dropped off down by the Neyland stadium to handout Christian literature.  Each of us probably passed out over 1,00o gospel tracts per Evangelism member. I was also able to pass out about 15-20 Gospel of John. Of course we were rebuffed by some people.(Typical of every evangelism encounter.) However, we were thanked and we were encouraged in the Lord by  several Christians attending the game. The encouragement always is a Holy Spirit energy boost to combat those that reject or throw the tracts on the ground.

It was also encouraging to have the Fellowship of Christian Athlete’s handing out football cards with the Christian message and a link to a Christian website.  While they were not part of our group and vice versa, they are apart of us in the body of Christ.

Mark 9:38-40 (New Living Translation)

Using the Name of Jesus

38 John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he wasn’t in our group.”

39 “Don’t stop him!” Jesus said. “No one who performs a miracle in my name will soon be able to speak evil of me. 40 Anyone who is not against us is for us.

While techniques vary with different Christians, it provides a  way to minister to the different personalities that all of us come into contact. As long as the other groups are in agreement in the essentials of the Christian faith, we can lay aside the non-essentials. Just like there are different branches of the military, there are different branches of the Christian faith.

Now it is time for me to prepare to go out and share Jesus with those celebrating the UT victory over Old Miss(52-14).

P.S.: It was encouraging and awesome to hear on the radio many of the football players giving thanks to the Lord for the abilities God gave them.  We should all be thankful to the Lord for the life he has given us and to verbally glorifying him for what he has done and will do in our lives.

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.

 

 

 

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.

Thursday and Friday nights had many opportunities to pass out tracts and open-air read the Bible.  God kept me going to I Corinthians 13 and I John.(Both talk about the love of God and what is true love(the love of self-sacrifice that comes from the Lord.)

At the end of Thursday night, I witnessed a very potential car wreck. One young man was speeding down the wrong way of the road and sped in the First Tennessee parking lot almost causing other wrecks. The owners of Banditios(a Mexican restaurant in the old Chili’s) came racing out to confront the young man. He was not in his car at the time when we got to his car. The other car which almost collided with the young man, pulled in the back way to confront the man. The cops were called about the incident, thank the Lord no one was injured.(A little shook up, but the girls were unharmed.) The owners of Banditios invited the girls and I inside their eating establishment for some soda, chips and salsa(Thank you Baditios!)

The Lord used the opportunity to make new friends and to be Jesus to my new friends.  The Lord has greatly used the opportunities for me to be Christ-like to several of the business on Cumberland Ave. Jesus was a friend of sinners, so I guess to be like Christ, I can be friends to those I come in constant and repeatedly contact.

During a open-air reading of Scripture on Friday night,some guys were heckling clapping in my face and yelling, “Preach it!”(I guess I rather hear ‘Preach it’ than “F*** You”, which I get  this more often than not in this or similar fashion.)

The Scripture declare, “There is nothing new under the sun.” It is sure true, the faces of the college students change from year to year, but the same verbal or non-verbal ques from them are the same.  Some are receptive to the Gospel of Jesus, while others abandon the faith they may have had during their childhood.  Scripture speaks also about how for those hearing the Gospel and rejecting it, it would have been better for them to have not heard the Gospel because now they are accountable and will suffer a greater deal of  punishment for hearing and rejecting.(See the book of Hebrews concerning after “death then Judgment”(Heb. 9:27).

The countdown to the Rapture is coming and those rejecting or not receiving the Gospel message, will be left behind and suffer the consequences.

Now is the time to repent and put your faith in Jesus!

Right after church and lunch, I hit Cumberland Strip(all the restaurants near the university.). Gave away several different tracts(Chick, Million Dollar Bill, Man of Salvation, etc)

One  older man wearing a Habitat for Humanity shirt took one of my tracts and as he was walking away spoke very loudly and sarcastically, “This is one of those ‘Holy Roller” tracts. What should I expect in the Bible Belt and in the State of Tennessee?”

I also went to a couple different corners on Cumberland Strip and read large portions of Scripture.(Book of Isaiah and John 3 and 4). One college man walked by me and scolded me saying, “You are wasting your time no one can hear you above the traffic noise”.) Ironically, he heard me since he walked right by me. So no time wasted on him as I prayed for his salvation in Jesus.

After watching a play in morning services in church about a Christian man appearing before the Bema Seat of Jesus. This seat is for the believers to be rewarded on what he or she has directly or indirectly done to honor and glorify the Lord.

For the unbeliever, the must appear before the Lord as they are cast away from the Lord into everlasting hell and fire.

I want to as much as I can in the power of the Holy Spirit in this life to bring God glory!  God be the glory for anyone repenting and coming to faith in Jesus or a believer becoming led by God to share their faith in Jesus more boldly.

A number of us went down to open air preach, pass out bible tracts/bibles, and engage in one on one discussion with people.
There were a lot of people….estimated according to reports up to 400,000. I estimate I was able to pass out about 300 tracts and about 5 bibles.
A group of Johnson Bible College Students engaged us on the evangelism methods.(passing out tracts, open air preaching, carrying signs with bible verses.) One of our men asked them what is wrong in the methodology. Apparently following in the tradition of open air preaching and interacting on spiritual matters in a public area like the  Old Testament prophets, John the Baptist, Jesus, and the disciples in the Book of Acts is not correct according to the JBC students.
I will note that we never yelled or were hateful towards any of our hearers. We read the scriptures out loud and did a little expounding on the text.
The JBC students told us what were doing is not effective and was turning people away from the Gospel.
We had more negative reaction from other Christians than we did from non-Christians.
The mindset of many Christian towards Evangelism is just inviting people to church or doing good works to people to hopes of non believers coming to the Lord.  Yet, the Great Commission given by our Lord Jesus is to “Go in all the world and preach the Gospel to every person.”  Going in the world means going where there is people. Boomsday is one place where we saw people. Going into to all the world doesn’t mean “Build a church and the non believer will come”(If I may borrow from the movie “Field of Dreams”).

If people come only come to the Lord solely on the basis of the idea that the church does nice things for me, then what will happen when the person is in need or greed and the church does not meet a that particular need? The church will have become nothing more than a “Welfare Program” meeting only physical needs.
The main focus of believers to present an unbeliever the greatest need, a spiritual need. That main spiritual need is Jesus Christ.

Cults and government programs offer help to people in order to win their trust and loyalty. The devil comes as an angel of light to deceive people. In the last days, the Devil will come in the embodiment of the Anti-Christ as one who will win people’s trust by claiming to solve people’s problems.  So other non-Christian groups and people can do “nice things” for people, which means Christians can only proclaim something that in not offered by the world .  God gives only the believer the ability by his Spirit to share the Jesus of the Bible.

Evangelism means getting outside the walls of the church and telling the lost about their need for Jesus. This is done under the power of the Holy Spirit, who will tell us what to say via the Word of God.   John the Baptist, Jesus, the Disciples preached “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand, put your faith in God(Jesus). By seeing this done multiple times throughout scriptures, God is showing believers the example to follow in Evangelizing the lost.

Yet, many want to follow church traditions and societal rules rather than following the  Word of God. In our society we are being taught not to offend people and everyone needs to not confront other beliefs because we live in a country that gives people the freedom to choose their path.
Yet, are we not proclaiming the Love of Christ by telling someone if they continue on the path they are walking will lead them to their eternal death?
In the Old Testament, God tells the reader that if a watchman on the walls of a city sees an enemy approaching and did not blow the trumpet to the people to warn of impending dangers, God will hold that man accountable for the bloodshed. Yet, the blood will not be on the watchman if he sounds the alarm and people refuse to heed the alarm.

I agree with the Bible we are to do all things in love. Yet, in biblical love we will have to proclaim what the Word of God says even if makes people uncomfortable. Yes, we do not have to be mean in our approach. Yet, if we are truly led and empowered by the Spirit of God we will not go wrong. The message will go out in the way the Lord intended, even if it rattles some feathers of individuals.  Yes people have a choice, yet by not proclaiming publically God’s Word we are denying the person a choice they may not get. You may  be the one God sent to share of Faith and Repentance to  a person. It may be in the context of a public venue like Boomsday in Knoxville, TN or on a street corner passing out tracts, sitting next to someone on the bus, wherever you are currently located. God intentionally places us in every avenues of our life to shine and reflect Jesus to a lost and dying world. The Great Commission is a command, not a suggestion from Jesus.

This week marks my 4th year anniversary of living in Knoxville. It was God that brought me here, used all situations to make a firm commitment to my Jesus through repentance and faith of my Lord and Savior, Jesus.

As many of my normal readers are aware, the first Friday of every month is when the “artsy” people come and show off their talents. Jim and I meet an array of people enjoying the downtown festivities. This week I received  a handful of tracts from Acts Tracts. For those interested in the number of tracts we handed out, I estimate around 25.(now the number of people reading the tract: I know there was a lot of people downtown so let us just say we will have to wait til Heaven to find out how one tract given to a person affected other people!

One gentleman walked up to me and inquired about my tracts. He told me and from talking with him, he is a brother in the Lord. He is from North Carolina visiting his son.(His son attends one of the local bible colleges in the Knoxville area.) Bill was telling me he was looking at different tracts to give to people. I gave him two different tracts(different creators of the tracts).  He also told me he is also involved with the prison ministry and missions. I told him about the Acts Tracts as a good suggestion. It is encouraging to encourage another brother or sister in the Lord to follow the Great Commission.

Many fear getting rejected by the masses as a reason to not going out evangelizing.  Just remember persecution comes with the territory of being a follower in Jesus.

2 Timothy 4:2(HCSB/Holman Christian Standard Bible)

“proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching”

Do you enjoy a product in your household? If it is a helpful item, do you tell others the wonders of the product? Now lets bring this to a spiritual standpoint. If you proclaim the title, “Christian”, then what is the hold up of not sharing your faith in Jesus.? People’s lives depend on Jesus. Putting their faith in Jesus means they can give their sins over to Jesus in exchange for his righteousness. Thereby not being found a guilty sinner at the Day of Judgment.

You don’t have to stand on  a street corner with bible verse signs.(Unless the Lord guides and provides you to do it.) He may just assign you to a family member, co-worker, friend, an acquaintance, etc. As a believer, he will give you the words to say as you are led by the Spirit of the Lord(Zechariah 4:6).

You can even just place Salvation Gospel tracts in public locations. There is no limit to how God can lead you to share the Gospel in confrontational and non-confrontational settings.