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.”



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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

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.

Yes, the title to this blog post is true! As I was reading aloud God’s Word on a street corner along Cumberland Ave.(UT students walk up and down to eat and drink!) an atheist approached me and handed me the atheist version of the Christian gospel tract. It looks like the monopoly get out of jail free card and similar to the Christian version of the Get out of hell tract. The website on their tract at the time of the writing of this post is: http://godisjustpretend.com

I am keeping this tract and not throwing it away. It will remind me to pray for this man to come to faith and repentance in Jesus.

I moved elsewhere down Cumberland. This time I was on the corner in front of Taco Bell. Across the street was a bar with its garage doors open.(Tin Roof) Next to the Tin Roof was a liquor store.  I read scripture again and lots of college kids walked by me. A young pretty black college girl walked by me and for a few seconds  turned around from her friends and her eyes met mine. I smiled and said a silent prayer for her. Soon afterward, another group of kids walked by me. A young man told me to keep up the work. I handed him a tract. He told me he was a Presbyterian. I told him, “Well, I give it to you so you can give it to someone who needs it.” He said, “Ok.” He smiled and walked on with his friends. I kept reading scripture til I had the need to stop to rest my voice.  As I left, I prayed for everyone I met or who walked in earshot of me for repentance and salvation to those unsaved. To the saved, an encouragement for them to encourage them in the faith.

Now for all of  the believers reading this blog: As a unique prod to your soul, I encourage you to follow the Great Commission and share Jesus with others. If the Atheist Evangelist giving me a tract proclaiming his faith in Atheism(or lack thereof) then what a unique prod it should be for us to proclaim Jesus to ALL the Lord puts in our path. Time is running out, the Rapture is around the corner. Let us make sure people have the opportunity to hear the Gospel of Jesus(faith and repentance) so they can make the choice for the better and not miss the Rapture and miss the wrath and judgment of God for the unbeliever.

Judges 5:6 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

6 “In the days of Shamgar son of Anath,
in the days of Jael,
the main ways were deserted,
because travelers kept to the side roads.”

Where the people(travelers) are, there is an opportunity to share Jesus!

This weekend marks the return of University of Tennessee college students. This was also a very hot weekend, so I waited til the evening to go out to Evangelize. I first went to Market Square, afterward I went to Cumberland Ave. to greet back the old and new college students . A few people took the tracts, some did not. This is always expected when street evangelizing. I mostly used the “Man of Salvation” tract. This is the one created by a couple of people from my church.

On Market Square, I was hailed by one of the street music performers. Greg(not real name) is an 80’s musician. He has the looks of an 80’s rocker and was very polite to visit. After speaking with him, I learned he grew up in a secular rock band and later in life came to have a personal relationship with Jesus. He is part Native American, which gave him the look of Slash from Guns N’ Roses. He was new to me on Market Square.

One of his gifts of music is he will ask you to name three of the music chords on a guitar and he will take a passage from anywhere in the Bible and sing it to the chords you chose. He flipped to the story of Lazarus and sang it to the chords I chose.(which happened to be chords used in grunge music.)  It was neat to hear the Word of God being sung aloud for people on Market Square to hear.

He was interested in my tracts, so I gave him the “Man of Salvation” tract and told him what church I attended. He said he has been to different Calvary Chapel and was familiar with their style.  I tipped him a dollar which he said i did not have to do, but want to share the love of Christ with him since he was making his living by playing music.

Many of the street performers do not  like it when someone drops a tract in their case instead of money.(Unless that tract comes with money.) Yet, Greg asked for the tract and gave one to him. The other performers and I have formed a good friendship without giving them a tract. I talk about Jesus to them without getting in their faces and screaming at them. There are times when the street performers and I have to team up on freedom of speech issues of exercising our 1st amendment rights. One of the music performers is going to be in court for playing in an open area. This is an open and shut case as the officer was shocked that this gentleman knew the law concerning 1st amendment rights and Supreme Court decisions. Based on the freedom of speech and public areas court cases the courts will rule in his favor. So in this instance, I can show my support to him both as a friend and an open door to share Jesus with him.  Evangelizing can happen in different ways and does not necessarily assume a gospel tract was exchanged between two parties.

For information on street performers, here is the Wikipedia link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Busking

Now the Lord is directing me to create a website so when I pass out tracts that give a space to place contact info(example: Fellowship Tract League or Chick tracts) buy a stamp from Office Max to stamp the website on the tracts. Now when I look at the websites on different tracts, they tend to be geared towards the tract passer outer or to sell their tracts, etc. The Lord is directing me to create a website geared towards the Receiver of the tract. On the website, it will have the Gospel message, basics for new believers, list of Biblically based churches(don’t want them led to a cult, a watered down emergent church, etc. ) So this will take time for me to research local churches in my area where I pass out tracts to ensure they are Bible based(not perfect but Sound Bible teaching places of worship) and can help the unbeliever or new babe in Christ as the Lord grows them. There are many other facets to the website, yet you probably get the premise of how the Lord is directing me. I have been given a few suggestions on web programs online. I am also praying for guidance on the website name.(simple to remember, not already taken, biblically) I have a few ideas, some where already taken, and some have given me suggestions(one is a little hokey, don’t really care for the idea but it is a brainstorm idea nonetheless). So pray for me on being patient and in consideration for the lost, on the creation of the website. To bring God glory and see many brought to faith and repentance in Jesus.

One of my favorite Christian organizations is The Salvation Army.  They have blessed many lives over the years. When disaster struck the town I grew up, they were the only organization to stay the longest and sacrificed time and effort to met my town’s needs.

I was recently downtown passing out gospel tracts. Walking along the sidewalk in front of the Mast General Store was The Salvation Army kettle and kettle bell-ringer.  I fished in my pocket for some change to drop in the bucket. The lady ringing the bell politely thanked me. I gave her a Christmas themed gospel tract. As I walked away, she stopped ringing the bell and read the tract. She started to ring the bell more, then she re-read the tract again. I kept glancing back and watch her ring, read, ring, read over and over.  I pray for some seeds to be planted. If she is unsaved, I pray she repent and place her faith in Jesus. If she is saved, I hope she is encouraged and gives the tract to someone else.

Walking for the Lord

October 30, 2009

Isaiah 52:7 (New Living Translation) “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation,the news that the God of Israel reigns!”

I definitely was able to get a walk  in Smokey Mountain area. I walked both on the UT(University of Tennessee) Strip and Market Square.  Which the Lord brought this previous Bible passage to mind. Lots of the Michael Jackson Million Dollar Bills were given away.

There are some days the Lord gives me an open door to carry a conversation with a person I give a gospel tract. Today, it did not happen. No worries. I am thankful to the Lord the gospel was handed out to about 5o persons. One large college man with tattoos up and down his arms asked very politely for one after I gave one to his friend. Pray for this guy. I pray before and after I handout tracts. Yet, God move on my heart to pray for this young man. The Lord also burden me to pray for a young couple.(They both got a Million dollar tract.)  It is always good to pray for those you evangelize.  However, there are some encounters the Lord wants us to lift up in prayer.

Walking past a bar on the UT Strip, one of the local rock stations was doing a live remote. There was two ladies working the live remote.  I was not going to pass up the opportunity to give them each a tract. Perhaps, the gospel message will be mentioned during the live remote. It would be neat to know, maybe on the other side of Heaven,  these ladies would mention the encounter of receiving a Michael Jackson Million Dollar Bill to their listeners.

 

 

Mark 13:10-11 (New Living Translation) ” For the Good News must first be preached to all nations. But when you are arrested and stand trial, don’t worry in advance about what to say. Just say what God tells you at that time, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit.”

The Holy Spirit is our guide and strength as we proclaim Jesus and handout gospel tracts. We can never be truly effective in our own strength. It should all be done in the power of God.

Today, I had one gentleman working at the UT Taco Bell recognized me from a previous evangelistic sidewalk encounter. I may have not been able to immediately recognized him, yet he remembered me giving him a gospel business card tract. This is what one of the business card tracts looks.

I gave the cashier a Million Dollar Bill for taking my order. She took a quick “smoke break” to read the back. There are times I am thankful someone does take the time to read the gospel message. Other times, many people tear up or throw away the tract.  No matter what happens to the tract, I am to continue being faithful to the Great Commission. The power of Evangelism efforts is by God and His Word printed on a Gospel tract.  Just thankful the Lord is using me as an instrument to present the Good News to people.

Afterwords, I took a brisk walk down UT Strip(Cumberland Ave.) and handed out more Million Dollar Bills.