Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Read God's Word Daily

Satan works in subtle ways. One very effective way I have discovered is "busyness." If he can keep you busy with trivial things in this life, it will keep you from the more important things - Bible reading and prayer are at the top of the list. Every high profile preacher that has publically fallen from grace has stopped those two things prior to their fall. Another attack related to this is to convince people that they have "all kinds of time," yet we have no idea when our end will come.

We need to be reading our Bibles and obeying what we read, and praying continually. When are you going to talk to that neighbor or friend or coworker about their eternal salvation as we are instructed to do by the Great Commission? Don't wait around for God to tell you who to witness to, He has already given us the command. It should really be the opposite, you should speak to everyone you meet unless God specifically tells you NOT to.

Back to the devil's subtle ways. Satan doesn't care who or what you worship - as long as it's not the one true God of the Bible - and he doesn't want you obeying what you read, either, especially when it comes to evangelism. He doesn't want this Message to get out. There are methods that he uses in an attempt to prevent it. If he can keep you from even reading your Bible, it will effect your life in many areas.

Keeping you from God's Word leaves you more susceptible to the influence of sin. And it keeps you from obeying what is written in it, namely witnessing to others about the Gospel. This is because you feel like a hypocrite for not even knowing the Bible. You cannot answer any questions skeptics might have and this hurts your own faith even more. Pride sneaks in under the guise of fear, but what you're really afraid of is of looking foolish, because there is no serious, life threatening persecution going on in America at this time. We're also lazy, so instead of studying and learning more, we just shy away from even talking about it.

But there are some who are more passionate and don't give in that easily. There are not many of those, but the devil must do something about them anyway, because they can be very effective.

If Satan can tie Christians up in silly arguments amongst themselves, they will not be using their time wisely in reaching out to the unsaved. Debating which day to worship on, what we can eat or drink, or conspiracy theories, which brings us to the subject at hand. If he cannot keep you out of the battle through busyness, fear or pride, then he will create useless arguments to keep you on the sidelines. Unimportant conspiracies such as the KJOnly movement. This has no basis to it at all, and if a person would seriously look into it, it becomes painfully obvious that the allegations made against all the "modern" translations are simply irrelevant.

KJOnlyists claim that the deity of Christ is taken out, the virgin birth is down played, the doctrine of the Trinity is hindered and some verses are removed completely. However, I find no one adhering to heretical doctrine solely due to using a version other than the KJV. Quite the opposite, I find many theologically sound Bible teachers, many who have studied the original languages even, that use a wide variety of versions. Why aren't they KJOnly?

The supposed results of these "dangerous translations" simply do not hold up, which in itself proves the allegations unfounded. But when confronted with this fact, the typical KJOnlyist will ignore the evidence, maybe give some lame excuse that you must have somehow been influenced by the KJV, and continue to tell you about all the problems with your particular version of the Bible. All this while they overlook many of the same issues in their own favored version. This kind of reminds me of the speck in your neighbor's eye contrasted with the plank in your own in Matt 7.
In the end, I am convinced that this entire argument is just another tool of Satan to keep believers busy arguing among themselves, and possibly even preventing them from reading the Bible at all.

So, pick a major translation that you will read - it's all God's Word, except for a few minor versions such as the New World Translation used by the Jehovah's Witnesses, or the "gender neutral" version which is simply political correctness run amuck. Choose the NIV, NASB, ESV, HCSB, NLT, NKJV, or the KJ version, if you prefer. Just choose one that you will read daily and can understand. Then obey what you read.

Saturday 11-24-12

I was a little late getting out to Mill Ave (working a second job for some seasonal opportunities). Dan, Alan and Steve were there, and Marcus showed up a little later. We handed out some tracts and talked with some people.

Two guys named Shane and Ralph stopped by. Shane claimed to be a Mormon and gay. Ralph said that he was not a Mormon, but used to do some street preachering himself. I never reall did get any detail of how that went or what changed his mind - he said that he just "grew out of it."
He said that he had been one of the type of street preachers that calls people names and yells at them that they're going to hell. I explained that we didn't do that, and was able to talk to them, explaining that it is not Biblical to call people names and hate them. The Scripture says, "Come, let us reason together" and that's what we attempt to do out on the streets. I gave them each a tract to take and read through later.
We went through the questions on Dan's board, and into the Good Person Test. It didn't appear that there was any conviction for either of them, Ralph seemed mildly interested, asking about my testimony, while Shane was pretty drunk and just asked random questions. Please keep them both in prayer, that the Lord would convict them of their sins and draw them to Himself for their salvation and for His glory alone.

After that, a homeless guy with a guitar stopped by. He said he was a Christian, and I didn't hear anything wrong with his theology, but he would not leave, keeping us from talking with the lost, which is our main purpose out there. Marcus and I moved to another corner (by Urban Outfitters) and gave away quite a few tracts over there before heading out for the night.

Soli Deo Gloria

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Saturday 11-17-12

Our (not so) friendly neighborhood atheist girl, who used to come out with Shawn to oppose the street preaching, was out and about. It seems that she has a new guy to hang out with, but no time to hassle us so much. She shouted some obscenities at Tom as she walked by and indicated that she thought he was number one with a gesture. She seemed to be a bit confused as to which finger means "number one," though.

A guy in a security jacket stopped to look at the Einstein Illusion and went through the "genius questions." I asked him if he wanted to try the Good Person Test (GPT), since I had just opened up a glow stick, but he said he was not interested in my prize, so he walked away. Maybe we'll catch him another time.

Another couple stopped for the Illusion Board and went through the top questions, but said they were in a hurry and would not go through the GPT, so I didn't catch their names, either.

Marcus and I spoke with a guy named Eric for a while. When asked if he would consider himself to be a good person, he stated that he was a horrible person and deserved to go to hell for eternity. However, he said all this with a smile on his face. He said that it didn't concern him because the blood of Christ washes away all his sin. Now, that all sounds pretty good, but you've got to dig deeper. He downplayed sin and the need to repent from it, stating that, "we all still sin" as if it was no big deal. I gave him Hebrews 10:26-27, which shows that we must turn from our sin or there is no longer any sacrifice left for us.
He spoke with some others from the group for a while, and I saw them praying for him later on. Apparently, he has brain cancer and not much time to live. Marcus doesn't think that he is even truly saved, and I'm not sure. There are a lot of false converts out there, and sometimes it's difficult to discern the tares from the wheat. Please pray for Eric, that the Lord would work in him, convicting him of his sin, giving him the proper understanding of the consequences of it and that he would turn from that sin and rely on Jesus Christ alone.

I spoke with a man named Kamaul for a while, taking him through the GPT, and he even seemed a little convicted at one point. But after we got through all of that, he claimed that he did believe in some sort of Creator, but not necessarily Christianity. He started talking about Horus and the origins of life on the African continent. He said that as long as we believe in some sort of deity, that "deity" will help us. I explained that it is not the strength of our faith, but the OBJECT of our faith that makes the difference, but he was too caught up in relativism and thinking that we all end up in the same place. Tony came over and got into the discussion, so I took my opportunity to escape. I could see that this was just going to get into a debate now, and I had already taken him through the GPT and given the Gospel. Seeds planted, moving on.

A man from India named Borouv (sp?) stopped to look at the Illusion Board with Cordovia, who was from South America. The "genius" questions did not work on him due to the language barrier. He spoke very good English, but if it's your second language, people tend to take it too literally, and concentrate too hard, so that the way most people are fooled by the questions is rendered useless.
I took him through the GPT, he was very polite and we had a nice conversation. I don't know if he really felt convicted or not, but was able to explain the Gospel and give him a couple of tracts for him and Cordovia to take with them and read later.

Soli Deo Gloria

Friday, November 16, 2012

Saturday 11-10-12

Ok, I'm a bit late updating the blog. Last Saturday night on Mill Ave was a bit chilly. It wasn't real busy out there, but there are always some people walking around, no matter what the temperature.

Dan and I both brought our boards with removable curved illusions and some fun questions on them to attract people's attention, and I brought my Celebrity board as well. I think the Einstein illusion still works best, but it's nice to have some variety.

A couple of girls stopped to check out the Celebrity board. I was able to get through the entire Good Person Test (GPT) with them. They didn't want to admit that they would be headed to hell for breaking God's Law, but we finally got there. One of them asked, "So, what's your story", but they took off before I could answer them, and I never did get their names. One of them said that I "blew her mind" when we were going through the GPT, showing our need for a Savior and the Holy Spirit convicting them of their sins. Pray that God would continue to work conviction in their lives and draw them to salvation.

I handed out a few tracts, and a couple stopped when I handed them a smart card.

The guy began reading it. He was drunk and hiccuped as he was answering the questions about how "good" he was. After it didn't change colors to show that he was a "good person." He said, "What, is this thing telling me I'm a piece of crap because it didn't change color?" I explained, no, it's simply showing us that none of us are good by God's standard and that we need a Savior. He said he goes to church and tithes, but works will not save us.

So, I also gave him an "Are You Good Enough To Get Into Heaven?" tract to take with him and read through later.
I didn't catch their names, either, but God knows who they are. I need to work on that.

After a while, we packed up and went to Denny's - we hadn't been there in a while. Nikki was not our waitress, but she came over to talk to us anyway. We had spoken with her many times in the past, but it doesn't always stick. When asked how she was doing, she replied, as many of us do, "Good." and Tom likes to ask a few questions to see if that is true. It's a nice opening into the GPT, which she has heard many times previously. However, as he went through it again with her, it was as if it was all new to her.

So, here's the lesson in all this - don't stop proclaiming the Word, even if people have heard it before, you never know when God will work in them, convicting them to repentence. I normally wouldn't have went through it again with her, but after seeing how this all went, I now understand that we need to continue, even if we've spoken with them before and left tons of tracts for them to read through.

Keep praying for more workers (Luke 10:2).

Soli Deo Gloria