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

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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.

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!

Yesterday(Saturday), I was able to hand out and place tracts around the Knoxville area. One unique place to place tracts is at the gas pumps. If you have the business card format tract, they fit great in the credit card reader on the pump. If you have a tract like the Million Dollar bill, they fit wonderfully in the gas pump slot or in the handle lever of the pump. You may never know the next person to use the pump, but the one who repents of their sins and puts their faith in Jesus will thank you in Heaven.

Show me wisdom Lord where to place tracts so others can get the Gospel message in a way that would make them say, “How I received this tract was all in the hands of the Lord.” That would be awesome to hear stories in Heaven of what they went through at the time of receiving this tract.

It was very busy on both Market Square and Cumberland Strip.(University of Tennessee Bar and Restaurant area) There were both the bar crowds and the Destination Imagination kids and sponsors galore.(Many Destination Imagination kids I continually ran across were from the “GREAT STATE” of Texas. Then finally ran into some kids from Arkansas and Illinois. It was mostly packed on the Cumberland Strip.  So before I step out in my car, I always “Pray UP.”  I would rough estimate on Saturday  day and night about 30 tracts and one “Invitation”  New Testament Bible(Holman translation) were given. I only found about three tracts on the ground, they were quickly recycled back to other people(Yes, Tractman does not like litter.)

As far as interesting moments, I would say when I ran into a large group of people, bar crowd and D.I. kids, if I gave one tract to someone, others would be holding out their hands or asking for a tract. That is encouraging when you have to work quickly when an opportunity to actually take requests for tracts.

One black gentleman receiving a tract started to carry on a conversation with me. So, I asked him if he would like a brand new New Testament Bible. He first started to say no, but then when I told him it was an easy translation to read, he decided he wanted one.

Here is a picture of the affordable New Testament Bibles I am giving away. They are only 50 cents at Lifeway stores.

Invitation Bible

These Bibles fit easy in my Messenger bag(murse, satchel, whatever you want to call it.) They have a follow the bible passage plan of salvation for the reader. You go to certain scriptures that will eventually confront the individual to an invitation to repent and put their faith in Jesus.

I carry a variety of tracts, bibles, other spiritual materials in my Evangelism bag. I do not necessarily use Way of the Master exclusively. Although I do have many of the WOTM in my bag, I do have Chick tracts, Fellowship Tract League, International Bible Society, etc. There is a strict guideline to what Christian materials I use. They must pass my Statement of Faith test. Mainly on the essentials, liberty on the non-essentials.

http://tractman.com/id7.html

The D.I. kids love the Million Dollar Bill tracts and Carl Kalbfleisch “Constitution Freedom” business card tract.(If you run across any of the Texas Kids, Carl receiving one of the tracts in Knoxville, let me know…)

I pray for each person(s) receiving a tract for their salvation and if they are saved that they grow closer to the Lord.

One funny incident was when I was handing out several Million Dollar Bills, one kid politely said no. His girlfriend told him, “Jerome(not his real name), you better take one.” He then hung his head in shame and said he would take one. You go, girlfriend!(If this kid gets saved, his girlfriend is going to get a nice reward in Heaven for her persistent nagging of her boyfriend to take a tract.

Here are a list of verses when evangelizing. I am using New King James Version.  I attempted to put these in an order of  starting with the Ten Commandments(the Law, God’s standard of perfection) showing how the person being evangelized is a sinner by violating God’s standard and will be found guilty on Judgment Day. Then by the Holy Spirit leading them to the Cross and be declared innocent by God(The need for a person to repent and put their faith in Jesus.)

Exodus 20

The Ten Commandments

1 And God spoke all these words, saying:
2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
7 “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
8 “ Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day isIn it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
12 “ Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

Galatians 3:24

24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Romans 3:23

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,


Romans 3:12

12 They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one

Hebrews 9:27

27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

Matthew 7:21-23

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Revelation 21:8

8 But the cowardly, unbelieving,[a] abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Revelation 20:15

15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

John 14:6

6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Acts 4:12

12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Romans 5:8

8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

John 3:16-17

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

1 Timothy 2:3-5 (New King James Version)

3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,

Matthew 4:17 (New King James Version)

17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent(Turning away and not returning to your sins), for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Romans 10:9-10, 13 (New King James Version)

9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

1 John 1:9

9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

2 Corinthians 5:17

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Remember to have a balance of Scripture. Don’t leave a person at the Law, follow through to the Cross. Don’t ignore the law/sin issue. The purpose of the Cross was for Jesus to take the guilty status of the sinner upon himself.  People need to be aware of the disease(sin) before they take the cure.(Cross). Why should I take a cure if I see no reason to receive the cure?  A good doctor tells his patient  what is occurring with the patient’s body and after explaining the situation, the doctor will be able to give the cure to the grateful patient.  In other words, don’t get the cart before the horse.

Pray to be led by the Holy Spirit in your conversations(Zech. 4:6).

John 6:44

44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.

It is God doing the work in man, he just allows us to participate in the process. We are the pen in the Lord’s hand, being filled with the ink of the Holy Spirit to spread the word of Jesus to all we come in contact.

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.

Back in Action

October 22, 2009

knoxville market square

After having no passenger-side headlight, today the problem was rectified. This means, I prayed and landed  Market Square this evening.

God gave me the opportunity to distribute some gospel tracts. I was rejoicing the Lord granted me the ability to get back in the saddle and get some evangelistic action. I left praying for the tracts handed out will cause the readers to repent and place their faith in Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:20 (New Living Translation)

So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!

If you want to see sinners repent and place their faith in Jesus, then we need to bring the church to the sinner. Many in the church have it backwards, build a church and the sinner attend. It may happen. Yet according to the Great Commission, we are told by Jesus to “Go into the world.”

If you are a Christian believer, then you are commanded by Christ to share the Good News of Jesus Christ to all people.  155,000 people die each day. Many without repenting and placing their faith in Jesus. What are you doing about it? You may say….”I leave it to the preacher and those called to evangelism.” However, the commandment Jesus gave before ascending into Heaven was for every believer to share and preach the Gospel. So the only way you can be excluded from this is if you are not a believer.

I’m not implying you should become a Billy Graham and hold crusades, unless the Lord tells you.  You daily go out into the public via your job, recreational facilities, events, ball games, etc., so you have a field God has given you to tend.  I will say in the area of you job, do the job you were hired. You can witness by your work ethic and during your lunch break or off the clock you can witness personally to your co-workers.

After church services, I went out to the mall for some fishing(street evangelism). I purposefully dropped the million dollar bills on the ground. In one instance, I saw a group of college age kids pick up the bill. One guy started reading the tract. He then passed it on to his friends. One bill tract was read by seven kids. Pray for these college kids.

In another situation after I dropped a bill, a high school kid picked the bill up read the gospel message and in disgust threw it back on the ground. It was momentarily picked up by a young grade school kid. Then his dad grabbed it out of his hands. The dad read the back and in a huff he tore the bill up and threw it in the garbage.  Now you may say, that was a waste of a tract. However, two men read the gospel message. It cut them in the heart and offended them. Yet, only after time the seeds which were planted will take effect. Over time they will either grow bitter towards the Gospel or it will “bug the tar” out of them til they realize their need for repentance and a Savior. Yet, when they die and stand before the Lord, God will ask them why the rejected the Gospel message. It may have been their only opportunity to know Christ before dying. Just as scripture says:

Romans 1:20 (New Living Translation)

For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

Do not expect immediate conversion at point of impact.  Just like gardening, it takes time to see the results. Even though time is growing short and God will enter time and space. He will say time is up. Everyone will have to give an account of  why they did or did not repent and place their faith in Christ.

Share Jesus with others while the clock is ticking and let us bring as many people to Heaven. The more the merrier.

First Friday Market Square

September 5, 2009

First Friday in Downtown Market Square is an event where the art and music lovers convene to display their talent. A group of us from Calvary Chapel and another brother in the Lord went on Friday evening onto Market Square and shared the Gospel message with those we met. We always start in prayer. Never go in our strength and ask God to keep us humble and to speak through us.

We encountered many people. Some were open to listen as we asked them about their spiritual background. Many gave answers such as, “Oh, I’ve been baptized,” “I’m a Catholic/Baptist/Methodist/etc,”  “I consider myself a spiritual person.” Yet, being baptized or stating your denomination doesn’t grant you access to Heaven.

The use of different gospel tracts(the good person test, million dollar bill, leaflets, etc) helped open up the conversations into allowing the person to divulge the spiritual or lack thereof  background. Many enjoyed the tracts which had a humorous overtones.(The Michael Jackson Million Dollar bill) Breaking the ice with people can disarm any anxiety between the evangelist and the man/woman encountered.

Some of the people we encountered had some Christian background and some had other religious background. The more we found out about an individual, the better we were able to present the Gospel in a way the person could understand.

One lady did call one of the guys ignorant and how we were accosting people out enjoying the evening on the town.  This lady did believe it was alright for other people on Market Square to handout other items(business advertisements, food samples, etc), but Christians should not be able to do the same. I guess in her mindset the first amendment  to the Constitution does not  and should not apply to Christian evangelists.

A group of young people told us the attended Faith Promise. Faith Promise is a Christian Church in Knoxville, TN. They told us they, as individuals, do not believe in sharing their faith in Jesus.  They said if people want to hear the Gospel the just need to come to church. Here is the problem with this mindset: In the Bible we see the prophets in the Old Testament openly preached, Jesus openly preached to the crowds,  and in the book of Acts the disciples preached to the public. There is an Americanized mindset, which is not biblical, in which the Christian faith should only take place on Sunday morning service by a licensed pastor.  Many will not set foot in a church. So in obedience to the Great Commission, We”Go in ALL the World” to preach the Gospel. In other words, God wants us to take the Good News to the public.

We encountered a group of New Age Wicca musicians and dancers. One of the dancers told Pastor Brian she did not like what we were doing and being so narrow minded. The more the drums were beating and the more she danced, the more she was allowing demonic activity to take over her mind and body.

A very upset college-age lady after taking a million dollar bill walked all the way back from Gay Street to Market Square to give us back the bill. She did not like the Gospel message on the tract.

As the night was drawing to a close, we closed in prayer. During the prayer we were interrupted by someone watching us.  We asked if they wanted to join us. We asked her and her friends questions, they divulged they were Jehovah Witnesses. Pastor Brian and Tim Weakley were the main speakers while the women would bring up the issues they did and did not believe about God.  We avoided getting into a shouting match or going to their level of arrogance. This was a first time during the night, God brought them to us instead of us going to a person or group. We ended on polite terms and did not back down from our beliefs.  We gave them props for their cult being so committed to evangelizing their beliefs and how we wished more from our Christian faith would do the same.

We went back to praying without being interrupted and prayed specifically for these women and especially for those which rejected the opportunity to repent of their sins and come to faith in Jesus.  It is sad when many in an area known as the “Bible Belt”  people trust in their good works, rituals,  and attending church on Sunday or  a Saturday Mass, as getting into Heaven. They believe in buying off God through these means to get them Heavenly access. This is a slap in the face to God. He sent his only Son, Jesus, to be beaten and killed for the salvation of world.  Yet, people would rather trust in their self-righteous religiosity than repent of their sins and put their faith in Jesus.

Isaiah 64:6 (New Living Translation)

6 We are all infected and impure with sin.
When we display our righteous deeds,
they are nothing but filthy rags.
Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall,
and our sins sweep us away like the wind.

I do not go out street preaching to toot off my horn. I honestly want to see many people coming to repentance and faith in Jesus. I know where I have came from and where God had brought me. It would be selfish to keep Jesus to myself. So, I want to share Jesus with as many people. If  I am going to spend eternity in Heaven, I want to be able to interact with as many people in Heaven. I love Jesus and I love people. So to really love people, I need to tell them the truth about what occurs in this life, determines what happens after this life ends.