Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saturday 08-28-10

Some people think that they are sharing their faith by doing good works, and that they don’t actually have to say anything.

Our atheists who come out to oppose the street preaching on Mill Ave brought a rack of used clothes to give away to those in need. This is very generous and thoughtful thing to do, as there are some homeless and needy people on the streets of Tempe. So what is the difference between these atheists doing good and a Christian doing it?
Only the Gospel being proclaimed. A Christian cannot simply “live the life”, “let their light shine” or think that people will just notice some sort of “hope within” and consider that sharing the Gospel. Good works are great, and we should do them and continue doing them. But we are also commanded to proclaim the Gospel with words (Rom 10:13-14).

So, to our local atheists I commend them in helping out those in need. To the Christians, I say if you’re not proclaiming the Gospel, speaking it to people you come in contact with, how will anyone realize the difference between you and a humanist?
In the words of Penn Jillette (who is an atheist, yet understands the importance of evangelizing for those who truly believe), “How much do you have to hate someone, to believe that eternal life exists and not tell people that?”

I did some Open Air Trivia and a man named Ace stopped for the Good Person Test. We went through that and found that he was actually a self admitted lying, coveting thief, and a blaspheming adulterer-at-heart, just like most of the rest of us. He had heard of repentance before, but I explained that there are two things required in order to make Christ’s sacrifice apply to our lives: First we must repent, turning away from our sins, and then trust in Jesus alone for our salvation. He understood, and we sent him away with a Save Yourself Some Pain booklet.

Later on Tom talked with a man named Rick, who took some extra tracts to hand out to others. He was very enthusiastic about witnessing and he is looking forward to going through a training class that Tom is putting on next month in Tempe.

We were playing with the light illusion and a couple of guys stopped. We talked to them for a while before they mentioned that they were Mormons. They were very set in their beliefs, and Tom and I talked to them for a bit on their belief that Jesus saves us “after all that we can do” and how that doesn’t match up with the Bible teaching that we are saved by grace alone. Richard brought up the verse in the Bible where Paul said that if anyone brings a different Gospel, that they are to be accursed. Our Mormon friends insisted that it wasn’t a different Gospel, but there is a definite difference between what Mormonism teaches and what Biblical Christianity teaches.
They didn’t seem to have enough knowledge to properly defend their beliefs, so they left us after a little while.

Then a few Japanese tourists stopped and asked if they could take a picture with our cross. I gave them each a tract and they took their pictures. I’m still not sure why they wanted that or what their thoughts were about it.

Later on a drunk guy decided he wanted to drag the cross out to the sidewalk. It’s interesting how many people have attempted to steal the six foot cross made out of 4x4’s. I tried to talk to him a bit, and he informed me that Jesus drank. I explained to him that Jesus never got drunk or sinned in any way, so then he cursed at me and walked away.

Tom and I stayed out there with Marcus and Jennifer until 1:00 in the morning. Over all, it was a pretty typical night out on Mill, planting seeds and distributing tracts.

Soli Deo Gloria

Friday, August 27, 2010

Saturday 08-21-10

Tom and I met Richard, Joe and Alan out on the streets of Mill Ave to share the Gospel.  Soon after arriving, Matt, Jaquintan and another guy who I didn't catch his name stopped to check out our light throwing illusion. This leads into a discussion on how your eyes can deceive you, and then to the question, would you sell an eye for a million dollars. Most people wouldn't, because their eyes are precious to them, but our eyes are only the windows from which our soul looks out, so how much more valueable is our soul?

These three claimed to be Catholic, but as we talked with them a bit, we found that Jaquintan didn't believe in an afterlife at all, and the others seemed to think that all religions lead to the same place. Well, actually they do, they all lead to the Judgment Seat of Christ, it's where you go from there that really matters. They heard the Gospel, but still held to their Catholc/atheist beliefs as they went on their way.

It was raining quite a bit for a while, so we took shelter under an overhang at the post office. As we were sitting there waiting for the rain to ease up, I saw our friendly neighborhood atheist who normally comes out and heckles us. She didn't have her megaphone today, and actually gave a half hearted wave in our general direction. This is progress, as she normally seems to really hate us. We didn't see her the rest of the night.

Another guy named Jason stopped as we were still under the shelter from the rain and gestured that we should be preaching and not afraid of the rain. While the rain doesn't really bother us much, it really disperses the crowd, so there was really no one to preach to. We talked to him for a little while, and he brought up how he didn't like street preachers who judged people and told them that they're going to hell. We explained that we didn't do that, and that we ask people to judge themselves by God's standard to determine where they'll spend eternity. We took him through a few of the Commandments and then he left. I guess his real problem was not so much what kind of preaching he was hearing, but the conviction in his heart.

It was raining off and on, so there weren't too many people out tonight. We were still able to hand out a few tracts and plant some seeds. And the rain is nice out here in the desert where we don't get much of it, except during Monsoon season.

Soli Deo Gloria

Monday, August 16, 2010

Saturday 08-14-10

It was very hot out on Mill Ave this past Saturday, even after the sun went down, because the pavement takes in heat all day and radiates it back all night. There was an excessive heat warning, but we went out anyway.

We brought a cooler full of ice cold water bottles, and Tom would give it away to anyone willing to answer the question "Are you good enough to get into heaven?" This, of course would lead to further discussion as to why or why not. Marcus sent a guy named "Sideshow" over to Tom for some water. We've seen him around and know that he's not real receptive to the Gospel, but he had to listen to it anyway in order to get a free bottle of water. Please pray that one day the Lord will open his eyes to his sin and convict him, drawing him to salvation to the glory of God.

I did some Open Air Trivia questions and a woman named Elizabeth stopped by and eventually got them all right. Then she agreed to go through the Good Person Test, even though she said she was not a good person. When we were finished, the Gospel made sense to her and she understood the need to repent and trust in Christ alone. She thanked us and continued on her way.

Tom started talking with three young Muslims, who came back after receiving a tract from him. I entered the discussion for a bit, and managed to explain the Gospel to one of them after listening to their beliefs. Then I went back to handing out tracts and talking with others. Tom continued talking with them for the rest of the night, and both sides learned a lot about the others belief systems. These young men were very passionate about their beliefs, and I pray that God would show them the Truth, that they would not be deceived, but come to know Jesus Christ as God and Savior, not just a prophet as they are taught.

The Skeptic Tank showed up to heckle and play music in attempts to disrupt the preaching of the Gospel. There are only two die-hards left that continue to come out to actively oppose something they don't even believe exists. To me, that seems insane, but I guess they have a non-belief system that they hold to religiously, which is kind of ironic.

While Phil was preaching and reading from the Bible, they wanted to discuss Psalm 137:9, they've even made one of their anti-tracts based on this one. They kept on saying how unjust and evil it was to kill babies, taking the verse out of context. This made me wonder about their stand on abortion and Marcus went over to give the idea to Phil.
Well, come to find out, our atheists believe that it's ok for people to kill babies through abortion for convenience, but not for God to kill out of judgment.  Interesting.  I guess in the end, it is the simple fact that they hate God because they want to BE God, accountable to no one. Unfortunately for them, that's just not the way it is, no matter what they believe or choose not to.

Soli Deo Gloria

Saturday 08-07-10

Ok, I've been falling behind a bit on keeping the blog updated since I've been having some computer problems and home repair issues. Here's what happened last week.

Eric, who liked to go by the name of "Flips", hung around all night. At first, he was listening, but then he just wanted to argue. Later he claimed that he worked at a nearby Trails and had to listen to street preaching all the time and wanted to bother us as much as the preaching bothered him. He was not receptive, but since he hung around, he heard the Gospel multiple times. Seeds planted, please keep him in prayer. You can see a pic of him mockingly attempting to put himself on our cross on the Photos tab.

Tom was doing some Open Air Trivia, and a woman stopped and went through part of the Good Person Test. But she left before hearing the Gospel, because she didn't like feeling convicted.

A couple of drunk women tried to pick up our cross and steal it. They didn't have much luck, and Marcus and I went to talk to them a bit. One of them had a really foul mouth, just trying to say anything for shock value. Marcus gave her a tract and she tore it up then walked away. I remembered that I had some of the untearable tracts in my pocket, and Richard said he'd take it over to her, since she was still at the corner.

Well, that really made her mad. She came back towards Richard, still trying to tear the tract and having no luck, threw it on the ground while cursing at Richard. I picked up the tract and showed her that it could be torn, but she continued to curse at Richard until her other friends finally dragged her away. You can see this angry young woman on the Photos tab as well.

A guy named Ray stopped by, saying that he was a Christian and does go out and share his faith. We didn't get a chance to talk to him too much before he had to go, but I gave him a copy of Hell's Best Kept Secret and True and False Conversion on CD.

Soli Deo Gloria

Sunday, August 8, 2010


You've seen that in text messages, heard people actually say it out loud, but do you really know what it means? Now before you attempt to justify yourself with "I meant Oh My Goodness", let's just realize from a Biblical perspective, you don't have any goodness, God alone is good, so you still end up talking about Him.

Now then, the Third Commandment says you shall not use the Lord's name in vain, this is called blasphemy, so let's determine what exactly this means.
First, we should recognize the difference between "God" and "god." Some may say that "God" is not His name, so it's not really blasphemy. However, with capitalization, it is indeed referring to the one and only true God revealed in the Bible and not some generic god invented by man.

Blasphemy is the use of God's name, including "God", "Jesus Christ" or "Lord" irrelevantly, without due respect. Consider this: If I were to use your mother's name as a curse word, would you have a problem with that? Most people would. If every time I wanted to express disgust, I would use your mother's name in addition to a few other four letter curse words, would you be offended? How much more should the Creator of the universe be offended when His own creation does this constantly out of rebellion and ignorance?
And to use "God" as an irrelevant expletive (as in omg) is the same offense. Now that you realize exactly what it is that you are doing, I do hope that you'll stop.

And I hope that you won't stop at a Hallmark store and buy one of these "cute" little blasphemous decorations that I saw the other day.

What is this world coming to? I'll tell you, it's coming to an end. No one knows exactly when that will be, but know this. 150,000 people die every day. That's two people every second, off into eternity. Are you ready?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Saturday 07-31-10

Tom and I went out to Mill Ave for Saturday night sharing of the Gospel. We met Alan, Joe, Marcus, Jennifer and Walt out there.

A guy named Danny stopped to ask about our cross. I was able to ask him a few questions about keeping God's law, but he wandered away before I could finish. Marcus said that he'd talked to this guy before. I guess he just didn't want to hear any more at this point, we didn't see him again the rest of the night.

Next, Jimmy and Mandy stopped to ask about the question on the cross that we brought out again, "Are you ready?" They said that they were ready to give an account of their lives to the Lord, and that they were Christians, but I took them through it anyway. They seemed to have a better understanding of why they believed when they left.

A drunk woman broke away from her friends to come over and give the cross a kick while Marcus and I were holding on to it. She came back a couple more times, but it's made out of 4 x 4's, so she wasn't able to do any damage. Lucky she didn't fall over herself though, as she was pretty unsteady on her feet. One of her friends apologized as she pulled her away and they headed down the street.

Our friendly neighborhood atheists came out with all their speakers and signs, as well as some of their "Anti-tracts" which generally take OT verses out of context in order to mock the Bible.
I refer to this local "think tank" of skeptics and free thinkers who actively oppose the Gospel as the Skeptic Tank. And what is a "free thinker" anyway, other than someone who doesn't get paid to think?

A young girl named Barbara was hanging out with the Skeptic Tank for a while, and then decided to come over and talk when I was doing some Open Air Trivia. I took her through the Good Person Test and we found that she was a self-admitted lying, coveting thief and a blaspheming adulterer-at-heart.
She knew she'd be found guilty, but was not concerned because she didn't believe in hell. I explained that our beliefs do not make any difference of if something is true or not. Atheists like to turn this back on us, but it is a correct statement.
Our belief, or lack of, makes absolutely no difference to reality at all. It's just a matter of aligning ourselves with what is true.

I talked with her for a while, and even though she was not convicted, maintaining her lack of belief, I gave the Gospel anyway because I was on the PA, and there were others listening as well.

She held to the idea that God's law couldn't possibly be written in our hearts. Even though everyone knows it's wrong to lie, steal and murder, Barbara claimed that the first commandment is not written on our hearts. She said that we couldn't possibly know that there was only one God unless we were taught that. Maybe she's got a point there.
Yet God's Law is written on our hearts enough to convict us of our own wrong-doing (Romans 2:15), and we go the the written Scripture to find more.

We do know enough to realize that there is a God, which is obvious as creation itself is the evidence for a Creator. That is enough to start. As most unbelievers do, she wanted to know about the poor person in the jungle of Africa who never heard the Gospel, what about them? Well, I don't know about them, but I do know that God is just and He will judge them in that righteousness. But, more importantly what about those who have heard the Gospel and yet reject it? What about those standing right before you?
Both would be left without excuse, but those who have heard it and reject it will be condemned per Hebrews 10:26-27.

Barbara asked what I thought makes people fall away and I explained that a true believer won't fall away, but that they were never saved in the first place. She claimed to have grown up as a Christian and so she didn't like that answer.

It was loud out there with others doing Open Air and the atheists bullhorn, so we went our separate ways. I asked her for her name to be able to pray for her, and she said that she appreciated the gesture. Please pray that God would convict her of her sins, open her eyes and reveal the Truth to her, and that she would forsake her sins and turn to Him in repentance and trust.

Soli Deo Gloria