Places where Gospel tracts and Gospel of Johns’ distributed: Knoxville, Atlanta, Memphis and Tulsa airports. Several restaurants in Joplin. Northpark Mall(Joplin, Missouri). Wal-Mart. Gas stations. Friends. Airplanes.  A chain bookstore in Joplin. Many other places in the Joplin area.

(The McDonald’s over the Will Rogers Turnpike in Oklahoma.) This place is above and across the highway in Oklahoma. If you live or been thru this area before, you know what I mean.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonald%27s_%28Will_Rogers_Turnpike%29

 

My primary purpose of Christmas break was to visit my parents, family,  and friends. Yet, I always look for an opportunity to get the Gospel in any place the Lord allows.

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.

Thank you, Lord for the warm weather today. I was able to meet a few people tonight and hand them a gospel tract. I pray they will put their faith in the Lord. If they are saved, they grow deeper in their walk with the Lord.

 

Many think of Evangelizing is solely going out on  a street corner and passing out tracts. However, there are different aspects of being apart of Evangelism.

Here is a list I have complied on my own or by some of the books I have read on Evangelism(not an exhaustive list but a framework):

1. Father/Jesus/Holy Spirit(GOD): Without God, Evangelism does not occur.

2. Evangelizer: The actual person that meets a person(s) or leave gospel material available to people.

3. Prayer Team: Those with a holy passion to pray for any or all aspects of Evangelism. These individuals are like the pre-strike airplanes in war that alert the civilians in the targeted area to flee the coming attacks. These prayers  go before, during, and after the Evangelism.  Realizing God is the Master Conductor, prayer is realizing our need for God to be involved in every aspect of life.

4. Encourager: This person is the Cheerleader for the Evangelizer.  We all need Barnabas in our life. The Evangelizer needs to be continually uplifted in spirits.  Encourager puts a smile and spring in the step of the Evangelizer.

5. Tract Supplier: Title says it. The Evangelizer uses tracts to communicate to people. Tracts have been around since the printing press started printing Bibles. They are a like the bullets to Barney Fife’s gun. Although, the Evangelizer needs more than one tract(unlike Barney) in his arsenal.  There are different kinds of tracts to give to people. Just ask the Evangelizer his preference in tracts. Warning not all tracts have the Gospel and all are not Christian tracts. Hence, communicating with the Evangelizer is necessary. Don’t want the Christian Evangelizer giving a tract that is not biblical or may direct the reader to a cult.(i.e. Mormons, J.W., etc.)

6. Accountability Partners/Board members: These are usually the same gender of the Evangelizer. Evangelizer reports back on occurrences in the field. Any dangers they encounter.(physical harm, sexual temptations, verbal confrontations, law enforcement encounters, etc). Help keep the Evangelizer humble, honest, and above reproach.

7. Lawyer: Assists on legal issues, local laws, legal entanglements with groups/individuals/law enforcement/city code officers/etc.

8. Pastors: When the Evangelizer goes out to Evangelize, he not only represents the Lord, but to his home church. The Evangelizer needs to realize the biblical authority of the Pastor to the Evangelizer.   If a person on the field becomes a Christian believer, then the need for the new baby in the Lord needs spiritual nourishment from a body of Christian believers. If they do not have a church home and are in the same area as the Evangelizer, the Evangelizer needs to invite the person to his/her church. If they are not from the area, try to keep in contact with the person to help them find a Biblically based Church. (Pray the Lord lead them to a church if further contact will be unable to occur.)

This is a very basic list. The Evangelism Team list helps form a framework for the Body of Christ to operate in a biblical function.  Everyone can participate in Evangelism through many aspects. I pray this is a help to the Church body.

 

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!

Jail Ministry

The evening at the Knox County Detention Center was a tremendous blessing. The Lord allowed me to share with several men the Word of God, spiritual encouragement, and prayer.  The Lord laid on my heart to read to many of the men a Psalm from the book of Psalms. I prayed for the Lord to let me read the Psalm which would speak directly to the heart and soul of  each man.  Many of the men received a New Testament Bible and a new believer took a new believer guidebook in helping him on his Christian walk. I left rejoicing and praising God that men behind bars are more free, by Jesus Christ, than they were on the outside.

Cumberland Strip Evangelism

After leaving the Knoxville Detention Center, the Lord gave me the physical, spiritual, and emotional strength to top off the night by Evangelizing down on the Cumberland Strip.  Handfuls of tracts were passed out. I had a variety of tracts from different organizations and businesses.  When I finished handing out tracts, I stood on two different street corners and started reading the Bible.  After the second place I stood was directly across four bars, a Taco Bell, and a liquor store.  One man kept yelling at me as he walked by…..”No one can hear you, no one can hear you!(He was singing the statement over and over.) I called out to him that “Jesus loves him” and “I follow Jesus and not him by obey his Word to publicly proclaim his Word in the streets”.

Another man walked by and in a cadence he was yelling at me to, “Shut Up! Shut Up! Shut Up!” I called back saying, “Jesus Loves you.”

Both men entered the bar of their choice to fill themselves with alcoholic spirits instead of choosing to continue to listen to the Word and be saved and be filled with the Spirit of God.

One incident that shook me as I was walking down the strip was seeing a young person that attended our church. The young person was with a group of friends. They waved and smiled at me as we walked by each other. I gave them a gospel tract created by some Calvary Chapel people.  The tract is called “The Man of Salvation”. For some reason seeing this person down near the bar areas concerned me and I quietly prayed for them.  I do not know why they were out in the college bar section as I knew they were of high school age.

Conclusion

It brought  my attention to see how the men in jail for the crimes they have committed have a more willing ear and broken heart to love of God and the Gospel. The men with a personal walk and repentance in Jesus are truly free.

It also brought my attention to see how people going to bars and elsewhere in public are very closed to the Gospel message.  They believe they have found freedom in having the ability to do whatever they desire and with no care for the consequences following feeding on the flesh.  Sure, many like the church friend I saw participating in  negative worldly activities, may feel that by going to church on a Sunday or any other religious ritual then be able to do whatever their heart desires the rest of the week.

These bar hoping people are not truly free. They are  in chains and prisoners to their flesh than those behind jail bars finding true freedom in Jesus Christ. My old worldly days was going to church on Sundays and Wednesdays followed by going to alcohol bars and strip joints on the rest of the week.

God’s Word speaks on having a “fence rider”/”one foot in church the other in the world” mentality.

Luke 16:13 (New King James Version)

13 “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon.”

Matthew 12:33 (New King James Version)

33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.”


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.

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.


Directly after Wednesday night service, I loaded up a portable cooler of ice-downed midget Deer Park waters. Then I proceeded down to the College bar district.(Cumberland Ave.) Over a dozen of the bottle waters and gospel tracts were given away to college students going to the bars and nurses waiting for the KAT bus to pick them up after a hard day of work.

The water and gospel tracts were prayed over and God gave me the incredible physical energy(Holy Spirit power) to get his Gospel message to the Knoxville world. Time is running out. People need Jesus. The Rapture is coming and many may not have the opportunity to receive Christ before they pass away or get left behind.  I am praying for the seeds to be sown and new brothers and sisters in the Lord! God is Good!

The biblical inspired idea to handout bottle water to people while handing out tracts comes from Jesus and the encounter with the woman at the well.

John 4:1-42 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

John 4

Jesus and the Samaritan Woman

1 When Jesus knew that the Pharisees heard He was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (though Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples were), 3 He left Judea and went again to Galilee. 4 He had to travel through Samaria, 5 so He came to a town of Samaria called Sychar near the property that Jacob had given his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, worn out from His journey, sat down at the well. It was about six in the evening.

7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water.

“Give Me a drink,” Jesus said to her, 8 for His disciples had gone into town to buy food.

9 “How is it that You, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” she asked Him. For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.

10 Jesus answered, “If you knew the gift of God, and who is saying to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would ask Him, and He would give you living water.”

11 “Sir,” said the woman, “You don’t even have a bucket, and the well is deep. So where do you get this ‘living water’? 12 You aren’t greater than our father Jacob, are you? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and livestock.”

13 Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. 14 But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again—ever! In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up within him for eternal life.”

15 “Sir,” the woman said to Him, “give me this water so I won’t get thirsty and come here to draw water.”

16 “Go call your husband,” He told her, “and come back here.”

17 “I don’t have a husband,” she answered.

“You have correctly said, ‘I don’t have a husband,’ “ Jesus said. 18 “For you’ve had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.”

19 “Sir,” the woman replied, “I see that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, yet you [Jews] say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.”

21 Jesus told her, “Believe Me, woman, an hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. 23 But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship Him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ ). “When He comes, He will explain everything to us.”

26 “I am [He],” Jesus told her, “the One speaking to you.”

The Ripened Harvest

27 Just then His disciples arrived, and they were amazed that He was talking with a woman. Yet no one said, “What do You want?” or “Why are You talking with her?”

28 Then the woman left her water jar, went into town, and told the men, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They left the town and made their way to Him.

31 In the meantime the disciples kept urging Him, ” Rabbi, eat something.”

32 But He said, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about.”

33 The disciples said to one another, “Could someone have brought Him something to eat?”

34 “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work,” Jesus told them. 35 “Don’t you say, ‘There are still four more months, then comes the harvest’? Listen [to what] I’m telling you: Open your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ready for harvest. 36 The reaper is already receiving pay and gathering fruit for eternal life, so the sower and reaper can rejoice together. 37 For in this case the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps. ‘ 38 I sent you to reap what you didn’t labor for; others have labored, and you have benefited from their labor.”

The Savior of the World

39 Now many Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of what the woman said when she testified, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 Therefore, when the Samaritans came to Him, they asked Him to stay with them, and He stayed there two days. 41 Many more believed because of what He said. 42 And they told the woman, “We no longer believe because of what you said, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this really is the Savior of the world.”

Today was the monthly “First Friday” in Knoxville, Tennessee. This is a monthly event held on the first Friday of every month. Everything “artsy” happens in the downtown area of Knoxville.  Nothing wrong with the Arts and there are many artists here that are talented. However, there are some that take their gift and it is used in a very non-Christian way.  This is an open opportunity to share the Gospel and hand out tracts.

Several of the Million Dollar Bill money tracts, Fellowship Tract League tracts, and a Wretched “Todd Friel”  Gospel show on DVD  was handed out. The DVD went to some Jr. High skater boys. The DVD is geared towards a the school and college age crowd.

However, I never go out to do Street Evangelism without praying first. When Evangelism in the open, always pray and ask for the power of the Holy Spirit in leading you and protecting you. I go out in my Hawaii t-shirt and shorts. I am not one to do the suit and tie. Especially with hot temperatures.  As far as materials, I pack my satchel/murse with Christian materials.  In my satchel are my pocket New Testament Bible(Holman Standard edition), Gospel tracts, New Testament Bibles(Holman Christian Standard: This is the Southern Baptist translation also known as the Hard Core Southern Baptist….hence the same first letters in each word as Holman Christian Standard Bible.), Greg Laurie’s New Believer pocket guide, hand gel…yes you come across some of the homeless and you will be thankful later, and a couple of Spanish tracts.

I walk all around the downtown area and greet people as they are handed a gospel tract. Other times, I lay a tract down by a table or chair. Most people are gracious in taking the material. You will always encounter the meanies, but even more of a reason to pray for those that reject the Gospel message. They are rejecting Jesus and not you so never take it personal. One encounter the guy refuses the tract and asks me, “Are you a Jehovah Witness?” I replied, “Nope!” He still refused the Gospel.

To get to the atmosphere of the area. When First Friday occurs, pretty much everything “Anti-Bible/Jesus/Christian” comes out in FULL FORCE.  Yet:

1 John 4:4 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

“You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

Most all the vendors selling their wares and services(example: Yoga and Palm Reading) have New Age, Unitarian, Open Homosexuality, Buddhist, Eastern Mysticism, Catholicism, Socialist, Communist, Witchcraft, Pagan, and the list goes continues of views opposite of Biblical Christianity. It is weird feelings of demonic oppression I face during this monthly event. You enter the devils playground, expect demonic attack in all manners.  Most of the attacks were mental and emotional. Other attacks were from vendors that know me and I am a deterrent to their pagan and demonic businesses.

What ruffles my feathers is when the vendors or people downtown combo parts of the Christian faith and mix it with paganism, yoga, and New age mumbo jumbo. That is very sacrilegious and when you read in the Word how in both the Old and New Testaments how God is displeased when people mix the religious practices of pagan nations with his standards.

Here is a passage from God’s Word about his views on witchcraft and paganism….which have their roots in drug use.

Nahum 3:3-5 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

3 Charging horseman,
flashing sword,
shining spear;
heaps of slain,
mounds of corpses,
dead bodies without end —
they stumble over their dead.

4 Because of the continual prostitution of the prostitute,
the attractive mistress of sorcery,
who betrays nations by her prostitution
and clans by her witchcraft,

5 I am against you —
the declaration of the Lord of Hosts.
I will lift your skirts over your face
and display your nakedness to nations,
your shame to kingdoms.

Many of the New Age girls dress very loosely to expose almost all their chest to attract guys to their booths or the ritual dances they do using a hypnotic drum beat(Drum Circles). The drum circles have lots of  intentions of drawing crowds with very loud beats to drown out any potential street preacher proclaiming God’s Word.

After about an hour of  passing out tracts, I thanked the Lord for the opportunity of Evangelism and proceeded home.