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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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.

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.

After evening church, the Lord gave me some extra energy to return to Cumberland Strip. I did more open air bible reading than tract passing. Although, I passed by a lesbian couple and gave this tract to the woman(the more manly one.):

It hurts to see how homosexuality is becoming more blatantly open among the young people. They seek love in a place where they will never be truly satisfied.

I mainly open aired preached/bible read from portions of Romans, John chapter 3, 2 Timothy 4, Isaiah 54, Psalm 1, and various other scriptures. What occurred differently reading the Word tonight from this afternoon, I really felt the Holy presence of  the Lord. I became so convicting to me and my heart hurting for the college students, I started to verbally weep during the reading. I had to stop at times, take a deep breath, and ask the Lord for strength to continue and not lose my voice.

It was the book of Romans that I started to verbally weep. Not so much in other scripture, except my voice raised a degree when reading John 3:16. I remember how John Wesley fell under the conviction of the Lord when he heard the introduction to the book of Romans.

My heart started to go out for the kids(college students). I was in their place a few short years ago. I was lost. Looking for love and acceptance in all the wrong places. Trying to live the best of both worlds. One in the church and one in the world. God says in scripture that a man cannot serve two masters, he will love the one and hate the other.(Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13)

I do not know how much longer we have til the Rapture. Yet, the Lord is lovingly patient. There will be a point in time where the Lord will initiate the Rapture. I just want to be used by the Lord to share Jesus with as many people as possible. There are so many who will die in their sins be killed  by numerous outcomes from the Rapture and the 7 year tribulation. Prior to the Rapture….when ever it will occur….as believers we must keep allowing ourselves to be used by the Lord in bearing fruit. Let’s pack Heaven now while we have breath and life by sharing the Gospel.(The Bema Seat of the believers will be what we are rewarded for the pure motives of serving the Lord.) Not that getting rewarded is a great incentive, but most important is seeing God glorified in all we do.

So Evangelism is necessary and the Great Commission is still in effect. Which leaves me with being obedient to the Lord’s call on my life. I cannot do what I do without the power of the Holy Spirit(Zechariah 4:6).  In the evangelism outreach, I want to always be loving  and yet still convey the Truth in love.

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.

Thank the Lord for the spiritual and physical strength walk in the heat of the night for street evangelism.  My tract supplier sent me three different envelops full of tracts.

A college student in a Chevy was given a tract while pulling out of the Taco Bell. Another group of college kids(wow at 30, I am calling college student, “Kids”) were from out of town looking for a steak restaurant near the college strip. I told him not really in walking distance on Cumberland Ave. Yet I gave them a Gospel tract.(A.K.A. Spiritual food) A street prostitute walked past me and I gave her a Gospel tract.  Then I past by three different phone booth locations and placed tracts.

After about thirty minutes, I got in my car drove to the Pilot for an Icee(Any size for 99 cents during the summer month.) and put gospel tract in the bathroom.(Something for someone to read while they think hard on the pooper.)

The Lord just gives me impressions on my spirit to lay a tract while passing out gospel tracts. I did have some competitors while out passing out gospel tracts: the Budweiser girls. If the devil cannot just get a guy to drink alcohol, then Satan uses very attractive and scantily dressed women to lure guys into drinking.

BONUS: Keep a young man in your prayers(He found one of the Gospel tracts I left in  Chick Fil A in Georgia while taking the pastor to the airport over two weeks ago.) The young man contacted me via the website I stamped on the back of the tract. He needs Salvation and a good solid church home.

With Spring upon us and this being Easter weekend, I am excited at the awesome Gospel door openings God allowed on this Good Friday. I always pray up and let the Holy Spirit fill me up before any Evangelistic opportunities.  Thank you Jesus for the wonderful weather.

On this Easter weekend was also First Friday in downtown Knoxville. However, prior to going down to Market Square for First Friday, I went on the UT strip and handed out Gospel Tracts. After a quick lunch at Krystal, I proceeded to Downtown to meet up with Jim Shannon(Another Calvary Chapel Knoxville attendee.) to pass out tracts on Market Square and Gay Street.

The tracts I used were from Carl Kalbfleisch from http://www.bezeugen.org .   Two of the tracts used had an Easter theme. The other tract was geared towards those inclined to the New Age movement.(The COEXIST tract.)

First Friday in Downtown Knoxville is a monthly event where the artsy people show off their art work and musicians play out in the open. On top of this going on downtown, An ecumenical “Stations of the Cross” services was being conducted.  These two events on a sunny day was an open door to spread the Gospel. Thank you, Jesus for the great open doors in Knoxville.

I estimated Jim and I confronted over 10o persons with a Gospel tract. One little boy came up to us and wanted one each of the different tracts we possessed.

One young college age man was given a tract. He had a bottle of beer in his other hand. He was a little buzzed.  A few moments later he returned to give us back the tract. He said he was a Christian. Yet, he was scared and apologized to us for drinking. His conscience was working overtime on him. He asked us about if drinking was a sin. We told him what the bible says about drunkenness. He gave us back the tract. Five minutes passed and he came back to us asking for the tract back. This was a first for me to have someone ask for a tract back that he returned to us after giving it to him in the first place. We told him he was invited to attend Easter service at the Bijou Theater this Sunday at 10 a.m.(Anyone reading this in driving distance is invited as well.) We prayed for this man Salvation and Repentance.

Those in attendance for the Stations of the Cross services in Market Square were walking from each station in a dead religious shuffle. God started to work in me to bring joy to these people of the power of the resurrected Jesus to enter their lives. I handed as many tracts to these gloomy people. They needed the love and JOYFUL power of Jesus in their lives.  Jesus is ALIVE! He has overcome the grave. The people need to know this fact. The Catholic priests conducting the service gave me the impression of dead religion, not the powerful relationship God wants to bring to the people.

I look forward in the next couple of hours for God to guide me to share the Gospel with the college kids heading to the bars to drink and party.  I love Jesus and I love people so much I want to tell them of the love of Jesus through his death, burial, and resurrection. People need faith in Jesus with godly sorrow(repentance) to escape the wrath of God and enter into Heaven.

Pray for me. Pray for those I share the Gospel. I want to remain humble, flexible and always go in the power of the Holy Spirit in being an Evangelist. Pray for me and hopefully God will provide the opportunity for me to be a full-time preacher. I am not fully satisfied unless I am proclaiming my faith in Jesus and sharing God’s Word to a dying world. If God wills, I want to be a full-time preacher/teacher.  This goes beyond feeling called, I know within my heart, mind, soul, and spirit that God has called me to the ministry. Ever since in July of 1996, when I talked back home in Carl Junction to my then pastor, Bob Simon that I believed God has called me to the ministry. Like Joseph and the dream God gave him and how long it took God to shape Joseph for his calling, God has shaped me and is continuing to shape me to be molded in his image. I have prayed to God if there is any other career he wants me to be in besides in the ministry, He needs to make it clear as day. So far nothing else is going to bring me the satisfaction as my calling to be in the ministry and telling others about the redemption of their lives through Jesus Christ.

Happy Easter everyone!

E-Team during the Holidays

December 21, 2009

A-Team becomes the E-Team

From A-Team to E-Team

Ephesians 6:12-20 (New King James Version)

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

While you may not be armed with guns and neck chains  like Mr. T. and the A-Team, you are armed with the weapons of spiritual warfare.

The E-Team has formed in Southwest Missouri.(Still accepting Christian believers to join. Those of you around the country, especially the Way of the Master people, pray for this group. WOTM people you are apart of the SW Missouri team in Spirit through your prayers.)

I will be leaving tomorrow. One day on the bus, then I arrive in Joplin, Missouri in the morning. I am so excited to see family. It has been last Christmas since returning home. It will be a blessing to see family and friends. More exciting, God has allowed me to join with others in Southwest Missouri to share our faith(evangelizing) in Jesus.

Doing evangelism back home comes with different scenarios than in Knoxville.  Evangelizing in my hometown, I will share my faith with those I know more personally than the three years I have lived in Knoxville.  Joplin-area is quite smaller than Knoxville. I am not intimidated by the fact of  being potentially being rejected by acquaintances.(It is not me or anyone on the Evangelism team being rejected but many will reject the salvation message of  Jesus and Him Crucified.) I am just an instrument in the Lord’s hand.  Places to evangelize are smaller and limited than Knoxville.(Yet,  everyone in all areas, both small and large, need the message of Jesus saving them from their destructive paths.)

If you share your faith in Jesus, prepare to be rejected. If it happened to God and the men  he used in the Bible,  we should expect the same to us.(I Samuel 8:7 is a great example of people rejecting God as their King.) We will get caught in the crossfire due to being the messengers.   We should not be afraid of rejection. Evil man can only do so much to us.

Matthew 10:27-28, 32 (New King James Version)

27 “Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.

This verse in an encouragement to the believer sharing their faith.

Merry Christmas to all. Remember the greatest gift you can receive, if you are not a Christian, is accepting  Jesus as your Savior. Just turn away from you selfish lifestyles and put your trust in the truth of Jesus Christ.

Unique Tract Reactions

November 22, 2009

1 Thessalonians 1:5 (New Living Translation)

For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true. And you know of our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you.

God’s Word has can have an explosive effect on people. When sharing your faith, sometimes you can see people’s reactions.  I had three separate incidents by just using a simple gospel tract.

The first was an older couple. The man noticed I dropped a Million Dollar Bill.  He thought I accidentally dropped the bill.(I did not.) I told him I sometimes purposefully drop the Gospel tract which look like real money. He said that was neat. He then proceeded to tell me he was a retired minister and how it was a blessing to see someone evangelizing.  He encouraged me to never quit doing what the Lord started in me.

The second incident was at my every other year eye exam.  After the doctor was done checking my eyes, I showed him one of my eye illusion tracts(the curved angle tract).  He liked it and I told him he could have it to show his other colleagues in his eye profession. Then I told him there was a gospel message on the back of the tracts.

The last and funny incident was at KFC. I sat next to the trash cans.  I placed the fake Monopoly game piece(Get out of Hell free card) on top of the cans where the trays are returned.  I watch how one man took the card back to his family and church family, about 25 adults and children,  occupying half the KFC building.(Must have been Baptists. Ha! Ha!) He handed off to one of the ladies and she very loudly in the dinning area read the gospel tract. They kept the tract.

Just because someone attends a church and has the appearance of  a Christian, does not mean they are saved.  It maybe someone in the church group will come to actual repentance and faith in Jesus instead of playing church religion.

I did have other opportunities to hand out tracts or place them in unique areas such as benches, tables, books, and etc.  It was these unique incidents God let me encounter the explosive power of the Holy Spirit.

 

I  was asked after church,  if I wanted to join a couple of other guys from church to the World’s Fair Park for the Knoxville Chili Cook-off.  So I grabbed a handful of gospel tracts and proceeded to the contest. One of the elders heard me wanting to take the opportunity to evangelize at the event, so he paid my entry fee.(Thank you, Chip.)

It was admission based to enter. The money went to Second Harvest Food Bank.(A very worthy cause.) Due to the fact it was a paid event in a public place, I had to be creative in the approach to evangelize. If I was outside the gate and on the sidewalk, I am free to handout tracts to  individuals. Since I was on the inside, the “time, place, and context” rules change. I could have started passing out tracts like nobody’s business. However,  not to  get kicked out(since I paid money to eat chili), I placed tracts on the tables and chairs around the vicinity. People had their hands full of samples of chili, drinks and free bag of goodies.  Passing out the tracts would have not been convenient. So, I figured at least lay a few on the table and get read. Then if someone did take one, they could put it in their goody bag.

Some of the Chili was good, two were excellent, two tasted like someone poured cigarette ashes in the pot,  others were bland, and one forgot to drain the grease off the meat.  One of the samples of chili was so hot, my head started to sweat profusely.

Speaking of hot, the main tract I left for people to read was very similar to this one.(The one I had was yellow and was a Community Chest card.)

get out of hell free

 

Hell is a real place.  It will be hotter than the hottest bowl of chili at the cook-off. Jesus talked about Hell. In the book of Mark 9:42-48, Jesus repeats three times this phrase concerning Hell,

“…Their worm does not die
And the fire is not quenched…”

As believers, we should be concerned for others. Many you pass by on a daily basis are most likely unsaved and will spend eternity apart from God and in Hell.  Ask God, to give you the boldness to share or at the least a tract to someone to read later.

This is an encouragement to those out street fishing. You can take opportunities like an event to share the gospel. Always pray before going to evangelize and after evangelizing.  God must always go before you and behind you. Always ask other fellow street fisherman of how they evangelized in a particular setting or what they could have done differently. Be ready in the likely event of an event to evangelize.