Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Saturday 03-26-11

Mill Ave was nice this past Saturday, no traffic because the roads were closed off for the Art Festival, with tents in the streets. The Festival is shut down at night, but the tents were still there, and people are still wandering around, so we gave out a few tracts.

There was a strange guy, preaching in front of Starbucks. He had a hand written sign listing the 12 tribes of
Israel and who he thought they represented today. He seemed to be a bit racist against white people, and mixed some Jewish mysticism with Hindu beliefs, as well as some other heresies.

Jordan stopped by. We hadn't seen him in quite a while. He used to come out when the atheists had a bigger crowd, although he would consider himself agnostic rather than atheist. We've had some good discussions with him, he likes to debate and I think we've given him a lot of good answers. But no one is ever saved by intellectual debate. Pray that the Lord would work in his heart, convicting him of his sins and drawing him near for salvation.

There was another interesting character out there. I saw this guy wandering around a while, looking like he wanted to get into a discussion, but not wanting to interrupt. He was near the strange preacher by Starbucks for a while, and a Pentecostal preacher we see sometimes was attempting to cast a demon out of him. The guy didn't seem real impressed with any of their antics.

Later, he came over to check out the Celebrity Board and Marcus and I were able to talk with him for a while. I found out his name was Thomas, and he was not a believer. He had some interesting questions and objections, and we had a pretty good conversation.
He later said that he appreciated the discussion. Hopefully we’ll see him out there more often. 

Soli Deo Gloria

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pastor belief changes, loses job

DURHAM, N.C. — When Chad Holtz lost his old belief in hell, he also lost his job. Check out the story here.   http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42248810/ns/us_news-life/

This quote from the pastor really explains the problem: 
"We do these somersaults to justify the monster god we believe in," he said. "But confronting my own sinfulness, that's when things started to topple for me. Am I really going to be saved just because I believe something, when all these good people in the world aren't?"
This quote, from a pastor? This sounds more like the atheists that come out to Mill Ave. He calls God a “monster”, claims that “good” people go to hell because they don’t believe the right thing. He has no understanding of the Gospel at all.

Saturday 03-19-11

We didn't make it out to Mill this past weekend. Tom was moving, Marcus was out of town and I went to Luis Palau's CityFest.

Alan and Ronnie were still planning on going out, so I hope they reached a lot of people with tracts and one 2 ones.

CityFest was fun, but I wouldn't really call it an "evangelism" outreach. I did not hear a clear Gospel message in it. I heard some of the watered down, sugar coated stuff, which was mixed in with some good stuff at the same time.

The classic misuse of Rev 3:20, as "Jesus knocking on the door to your heart" which is not the case at all. In context, that verse is talking about the church in Laodicea - you know the one, the lukewarm church that Jesus had nothing good to say about. Nowhere does it say anything about Jesus coming into your heart.

We also heard that Jesus is your friend, but I really have a problem with that. I know that Scripture says that Jesus lays down His life for His friends (John 15:13), but I could never consider Him a friend. He's so much more than that, as Creator, Sustainer and Savior. He's not like some buddy that you can punch in the arm and joke with, He is the Lord and Judge of the universe, all-knowing, all-powerful, and I find it almost blasphemous to say that He is just a friend.

We heard about the "wonderful" plan that God has for us, and how much better our lives will be on this earth when we accept Him. There's so much wrong with this. First, define "wonderful." God's plan for you might not seem so wonderful to us in this life. Where was Paul's wonderful plan? He was beaten, jailed, shipwrecked and eventually killed for his faith. All the apostles faced martyrdom for their belief. Does this make sense? We are not promised health and proserity in this life, but are promised persecution, trials and tribulation. Jesus said that if the world hated Him, it will hate us as well (John 15:18-20).

So, why would anyone ever want to sign up for that? I guess that's why the modern gospel changes from the Biblical message. What happens then, when someone comes to Jesus for a better life, but instead, they get the promised trial and tribulation? They would feel angry and deceived, and probably reject Christianity completely, since they felt lied to.

Could you preach to the persecuted Christians in Pakistan that God has a wonderful, prosperous plan for our lives? The real Gospel is not about your prosperity in this life, but about submitting to the Lord in obedience based on the gratitude that He saved us from the wrath that we deserve. It's not about rewards in this life, but in the next. That is the true Gospel.

We did hear that none of us are found good, that all have sinned, but nothing to make that sin personal for people to really understand it.

Luis Palau is a good Christian speaker and I enjoy listening to him. Over all, we had a good time, I just cannot call it evangelism. In order to be Biblical evangelism, we must witness the way that Jesus did, the way that Paul did, the way that James and Peter and John and Jude did. There's a book out there that explains this, you can check it out for free online


or buy the book here. I would highly recommend reading it.


Basically, Biblical evangelism is always Law to the proud, grace to the humble. We first must determine if a person is proud or humble. An easy way to do this is simply to ask if someone would consider themselves to be a good person or not. Most will say that they do (per Prov 20:6), even though the Bible clearly teaches that there are none found good (Psalm 14:3, Psalm 53:2-3, Romans 3:10-12)

Many people consider themselves good because they are comparing themselves to other people. We tend to overlook our own faults, but see them more clearly in others. But if we are held to God's moral standard of the Ten Commandments (which most people cannot even name), we find that we fall short. Perfection is required (Matt 5:48) and we know that no one is perfect, but that's still not good enough. We must make it personal. If we've ever lied, stolen, lusted or blasphemed, we've broken 4 of the Ten Commandments right there. When people are made aware of their own specific sin, they can begin to understand the need for a Savior. We need to repent, turn away from our sins, forsake them, and then trust in Jesus Christ alone for the payment of the punishment that we all deserve.

This is what was lacking in the message that I heard, and this is what makes a whole lot of false converts in the Church with no change in their lives, no difference from what they were before, how could they be considered a new creation (2 Cor 5:17)?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Saturday 03-12-11

I had this all written up to post early this week, but sent it through email and it disappeared!  I hate it when that happens!  So, here’s take 2.

I met Alan and Ronnie on the street, and Stan, Marcus, Catherine and Tom showed up a little later.  It was a busy night on Mill Ave, and we distributed a lot of tracts. 
We spoke with a guy named Chad for a while.  He said he was agnostic and was waiting around for the atheists to show up.  He said he wanted to look into both sides of the issue and make up his own mind, but didn’t want to take any of our tracts.  I explained to him that he couldn’t really look into our side of it without taking any of the info that we had to offer.  He agreed and took a couple of tracts to look over later.  Her ended up leaving before our atheists got there.  In the end, he said he respected what we were doing, but still wasn’t sure of his beliefs at this point.  Please keep him in prayer, that the Lord would open his eyes to understand the truth. 

Marcus and I talked to three people that stopped by to check out the Celebrity Board.  They seemed to be Catholic, speaking of Lent and confession.  They didn’t really like talking about the Law so much, seeming to be almost universalist in their beliefs.  We were able to give them some “Are You Good Enough To Get Into Heaven?” tracts, before being interrupted by the arrival of some of their friends.  They seemed happy to get away.  I didn’t see any conviction as they headed out, thinking themselves secure even in their sins due to hearing too much of an errant Gospel, not understanding their need to turn from sin and submit to the Savior.  It’s sad that there are so many misled in this way today.

A lady stopped by to give me a couple of websites on pieces of paper.  I think we’ve met her before and I don’t think she likes us much, but I’ll look at her websites to see what she has to say.

Hyla (sp?), Jess and Kevin stopped to check out our “transitional species” that I made.  Hyla and Jess seemed to have a pretty good understanding of the Gospel, but Kevin believed that he had his own morals somehow.

A guy named Jacob joined in and had some good questions that we answered as best we could. 

I gave them some tracts, a CD of “Hells Best Kept Secret” and “True and False Conversion” and a couple of business cards that include my testimony and the blog site on it.  (Leave me a comment if one of you is reading this)

Near the end of the night, a guy came up to Marcus and I to see what we had to say.  He was from ND, out here on spring break and had been drinking a bit.  He didn’t like the idea that God sees lust as adultery and will hold us all accountable to His Moral Law.  He said he was a “hard-core Catholic” and that he would never change. 

He liked to argue some, and stated that there was no evidence of God, so I pointed to the building that we were standing next to and asked him who built it.  He said, “God didn’t build that, man did, just like all the cars and other buildings and these bricks…” he kind of went on a bit of a rant with this, but I agreed with him.  I explained that we know there was a builder for all these things because we have the building as proof, just as a painting is proof that there was a painter, none of this stuff can just happen on its own.  Then I told him that we have creation which proves there is a Creator.  I pointed him to a tree in front of us and how that was more complex, as a living thing than a building was, and that there had to be a Creator. 

He admitted that he just wanted to debate a bit, and knew that there was a God, so I thought I’d point out our atheists to him, explaining that we already had people who came out to argue against the existence of God with us.  He couldn’t believe that people would actually do that, even though that’s pretty much what he was just doing himself. 

So he felt that he had to go to talk to them.  A few minutes later I saw him bring Shawn over to the tree and was pointing at it, apparently using the same example I had just given when I was talking to him.

Soli Deo Gloria

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Saturday 03-05-11

Out on Mill Ave again to proclaim the Gospel to the lost, following the command of our Lord and Savior to preach the Words of eternal life.

An older couple saw Ronnie holding a handful of Million Dollar Bill tracts and were remarking about it amongst themselves, as they walked by, "What is that, it looks like that guy's holding a handful of money." I walked over to them and gave them a couple and explained that they were Gospel tracts. They thanked me and continued on their way.

I set up the Celebrity Board, which contains 50 playing cards glued onto a poster, containing caricatures of different celebrities. A guy named Kyle and a couple of friends stopped by and looked at it. I asked him if any of them knew what the second row of celebrities had in common (the second row are all deceased). They figured that out after a while, and I asked if they knew what we have in common with all the rest of the celebrities on the board. Every one of us will die one day. Then I asked if they would consider themselves to be good people. Kyle said he was very good, so I took him through the "Good Person Test." We found out that he wasn't nearly as good as he had thought when held to God's moral standard of the Ten Commandments. He was a self admitted lying, coveting thief, and a blaspheming adulterer-at-heart. I explained the Gospel and our need for a Savior, and left them with a "Are You Good Enough To Get Into Heaven?" tract.

After that, three others stopped by. Ryan was interested in finding out if he was a good person or not, as our sign asked. He is in the Army reserves and considers himself to be a Christian. The girl with them had questions regarding homosexuality, and his other friend wasn't really interested in any sort of discussion. I anwered the girl that we must repent and trust in Christ alone for salvation or we cannot be saved. The two friends took off, but Ryan stayed and we went through the Good Person Test and left him a tract before he had to go. He said he appreciated us being out there and proclaiming the Gospel, but I'm not sure that he understands completely. Please keep him in prayer, he seems to feel that he can be good enough by not sinning, rather than relying completely on Christ. Many people struggle with this.

We packed up after a while and stopped at Taco Bell for a bit. The manager there remembered us from previous times. He and one of his employees seem very interested in what we're doing and the tracts that we use. They always greet us warmly and he even gave us each a coupon for a free combo meal. Tom talked to them about a class he has coming up, but they both work every Saturday. So, I gave them each a couple of CD's of "Hell's Best Kept Secret" and "True & False Conversions" and the website to Living Waters and Way of the Master. We'll see what they think of it the next time we go back.

Soli Deo Gloria

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Saturday 02-26-11

Tom and I met Jennifer, Marcus and Stan at 5th St and Mill Ave. We set up Tom's new sign to give away more free glow sticks for anyone who was willing to take the Good Person Test.  We had a few people stop by.  I talked to a couple calling themselves Giggles and the Jolly Green Giant.  Interesting street names.  Anyway, they went through the Good Person Test for a couple of glow sticks.  They didn’t seem real convicted, but they did hear the Gospel, so pray that the Lord would work in their hearts.  

It was a pretty typical night on Mill, it didn’t start raining on us until around 11:30, and we packed up around 12:30 to go for some food and fellowship afterwards.  There was a guy named James hanging around and he seemed a little off in his theology.  Stan brought him with for a sandwich, and talked with him more there.

If you’re in the Phoenix area, come join us some Saturday night for witnessing and fellowship.

Soli Deo Gloria