Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Saturday Night on Mill Ave

Here's a video that Brandt took last week, to give you a feel for evangelizing on Mill Ave.
Press the pause button on the media player to the right and check out the video clip below.


Thanks to Brandt for editing and putting it out there!

Saturday 01/28/12

Tom and I headed out to evangelize on the streets of Tempe, where we met Alan, who was already handing out tracts. Jean was there, and had brought a friend named Jason from her church to witness on Mill. We hadn't seen her out there for a while, so it was nice to see her even bringing someone else with. They distributed tracts and talked with people for a while before heading out.

I spoke with Ryan, a young guy with lots of skeptical questions, who's obviously been checking out some atheist sites. He had lots of good (hard) questions that I didn't have answers to. He even mentioned strengthening my faith through some of these questions, which was a little strange. It does strengthen my faith, as I go back home and comtemplate some of them and look for answers, I had just never heard an unbeliever state that fact before. I was able to give him an "Are You Good Enough to Get into Heaven?" tract that he said he'd read.

Tom was talking with a couple of guys, one of them was cursing, and stated that he didn't believe. He argued for a while, as Tom took him through the Good Person Test (GPT), and when he was done, the guy wanted a tract. He wasn't interested in the glow stick that Tom tried to give him, he said he wanted one of the pamphlets, which were in Tom's pocket and not even in sight. Tom asked how he knew that he had one, and the guy said he'd heard us out there before and that we give them to everyone and he wanted one. Another strange encounter. Tom gave him the tract he wanted, the guy shook his hand and thanked him for the conversation, then headed down the street.

A country singer named Joshua and his friend Ezekiel were out walking his dog. They said they were Christians, but didn't have a Bible. Joshua stated that he didn't really trust the Bible, citing the argument from the children's game of whispering a secret into each others ear, and by the time it gets all the way around the circle, the secret barely resembles the original. So, I explained that the Bible was different, because it was written down, and that the Dead Sea Scrolls show that it has not been changed over the years. Besides this, I trust that God will protect His Word over time and through different translations.

People have bled and died in order for us to be able to have this Book in our hands. I asked him if he'd read it if I gave him one and he said he would. Then Ezekiel came over and and asked for one, too, so I gave him one as well. Joshua said that he didn't have much and remained homeless on purpose, because he feels that God called him to that. He said that he talks to people that others may not be able to reach.

As always, please keep the lost in your prayers, as we continue to reach out to them with the Truth of the Gospel.

Soli Deo Gloria

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Explanation of SOWER profile

Early Christianity was known as “the Way” (Acts 24:14) and believers are called “saints” (Rev 14:12). So, putting those two Biblical terms together, I came up with Saints of the Way.
The Great Commission (Matt 28:19-20, Mark 16:15) tells us to proclaim the Gospel to every creature. That means every Christian is commanded to evangelize.

Without repentance, there can be no salvation (Acts 17:30-31). You also must put your trust in Jesus Christ alone, who paid the punishment for our sins. There is no other way (John 14:6), so this completes the second part, Evangelizing to Repentance, and makes the acronym SOWER, as per the Parable of the Sower, which is the key to understanding all of the parables (Mark 4:3-20).

Acts 10:42 commands us to preach about the coming judgment, and Jude 1:3 tells us to contend for the faith against unbiblical teachings, which are so prevalent today.

We speak with both believers and the lost, explaining the Gospel, including the need for a Savior to unbelievers, and to the saints, we equip them to share their faith Biblically with the lost, and pray for more workers in the harvest field (Luke 10:2).

The logo comes from the shadow of the cross, in front of the two tablets of the Law, which come together in a heart shape, showing that the Law of God is written on our hearts. You might notice there are 4 lines on one tablet and 6 on the other. I don't know if it was written this way on the originals, but the first four of the Ten Commandments have to do with our relationship with God, and the other six pertain to our relationships with our fellow man, so I divided it this way.

I put this all inside of a gold band with a blood red banner across the front. I didn't think of it before, but the gold could symbolize the royal worth of the Gospel that we proclaim, and the red could stand for the Blood of Jesus Christ, shed for our salvation. We should be prepared to sacrifice in the same way, as many martyrs in the past have done. That martyrdom and persecution persists to this day, although not to the degree in our country as it continues in other places.

Even though the cross is a shadow, it is white, spotless as light in a dark world, the light of Jesus Christ that we reflect towards others in obedience to our Savior.

Go, proclaim the Gospel (Matt 28:19-20, Mark 16:15, Acts 10:42, 1 John 2:3, Rom 10:13-14).

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Saturday 01/21/12

Tom and I met Brandt and Alan on Mill to evangelize the lost. Later, Joe and Norm stopped by for a while as well. There was a homeless guy named Charlie hanging around. He had some musical instruments, and played some Gospel music, then suggested that we all pray together, so we did.

Tom and Brandt did some Open Air, giving away glow sticks to anyone who could pass the Good Person Test.
A guy named Jerome, who claimed to be a Christian, stopped by for a while. He said he liked to talk with bikers and bring them the Gospel, but he had a bit of a foul mouth. He kept hugging us and seemed to like what we were doing. We gave him and his companion a few tracts to check out.

I did some Open Air Trivia, and a group of girls stopped by. One of them, Jackie, agreed to go through the Good Person Test. She seemed receptive and said it made sense. We gave them some tracts to take with them as they left.

Over all, it was kind of a slow night out there, but we distributed some tracts and talked with a few people about their eternal salvation.

Soli Deo Gloria

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Saturday 01/14/12

We were running a little late on Saturday, and there was someone else set up at the post office playing guitar. So, we went a block down to 6th St and set up in front of Urban Outfitters. We hadn't been at this location in quite a while.

Brandt and Joe showed up a little later, and we passed out tracts and did some Open Air. There seemed to be a lot of homosexuals ready to argue tonight. Four young girls who said they were lesbians came and talked with Tom for a while, but they just wanted the free glow sticks, and weren't convicted at all. They eventually lost interest and left, but returned later for their glow sticks. You can a video clip of this encounter at Tom's Blog.

Some obnoxious drunk women that were walking by thought they should stop and scream at us for a while. Of course they were offended because they thought that they could call themselves "Christians" while they stumble around in a drunken stupor without anyone questioning them about it.

This is a sad example of what happens when the Law is not used to show our need of a Savior, they don't understand their transgression, or that they deserve punishment in hell for it. They cannot comprehend the great sacrifice to save us from the punishment that we all deserve and they trample the Son of God underfoot (Heb 10:29). They have been taught unbiblical teachings that say "we're all God's children" (John 1:12, Col 1:21, 1 John 3:10) and think that He will simply overlook their lifestyle of sin (2 Tim 2:19) as some corrupt judge might do. This produces false converts, sometimes referred to as "Carnal Christians." They know just enough about Christianity to become innoculated from the truth and are much harder to reach, even when sober.

They are very angry when asked to examine themselves to see if they are in the faith or not (2 Cor 13:5), and while they curse at us and threaten violence against us, we remember the words of Jesus, that you'll know them by their fruit (Matt 7:16-20).

One of them even came back later to complain about how offended her drunk friend was, and how unloving and judgmental that we were. All typical responses of anger when their seared conscience (1 Tim 4:1-2) is touched by the conviction of God's Law that's already written on their hearts (Rom 2:15). They will do their best to continue to supress that knowledge so that they can continue in their sins guilt-free, thinking that they're saved because they claim to believe in Jesus (James 2:19, 1 John 2:3). Please pray that God would work in them, revealing Himself to them and convicting them that they might be saved. I once believed similar ideas as they do, but by the grace of God, He pulled me away from that and showed me my erroneous thinking (Eph 2:3). If I can be saved, so can they.

A guy named Brian and his son Hunter stopped by on their bikes. We talked to him for a while. He said he was a believer, but was timid about sharing his faith. I gave him a book by Ray Comfort, and we invited him to a free seminar in order to become equipped to share his faith better, and Biblically.

Another guy was listening nearby, and then came over to talk with me for a little while. He was wondering how many Gods we believed there were, and so we tried to explain the Trinity to him. He left, but said he would be back, and brought more of his Muslim friends to discuss their beliefs.
I took one of them through the Good Person Test, but he wasn't really listening, just biding his time until he could state his objections to Christianity with all the same old arguments - the Trinity, the idea that the Bible has been corrupted, and a few others. I had heard all of these before, but was a little rusty with my answers, since I hadn't used them in a while.

It's so easy to fall into debate, when what we should have done was simply brought it back around to the Ten Commandments. Muslims accept Moses as a prophet, and so the Law that he was given would apply. We need to remember to always bring it back to the Good Person Test, the guilt under the Law, leading to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Had we kept on track, it would have been a much more productive conversation. As it was, it ended up just being a bit of a debate, but still an interesting conversation. Maybe we'll see these guys out there again in the future.

Soli Deo Gloria

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Saturday 01-07-12

Saturday night on Mill Ave - starting out another year as a beacon of light in the darkness of lost people wandering around the streets. Many people out on Mill at night are not receptive to hearing the Word, but there are some who are. We are not called to count converts, but only to be obedient to the Lord in witnessing to others. Since there are a lot of lost people out there, I guess it's where we should be.

You don't have to go overseas somewhere for missions, we have a mission field right here locally. It may not sound as exciting as going to some far away exotic place, but Jesus said we are to proclaim the Gospel in Jerusalem and Judea, then to Samaria and to the rest of the world (Acts 1:8).
Mark Cahill says that you have no right to go on missions trips to share your faith in other countries unless you are doing it right where you are first.

So, Tom and I met Brandt, Mike and his friend Matt out by the post office in Tempe. We distributed some tracts and talked to a few people as Tom offered glow sticks for anyone who could pass the Good Person Test (GPT). I set up the illusion board to attract people and some stopped by. Overall, a pretty typical time of street evangelism on Mill.

We got into a more indepth conversation with a young woman in a wheelchair who stopped by. She said her name was Angel, and that she would not consider herself to be a good person. She went through the test anyway, and counted on her fingers to ensure which of the Ten Commandments that we were talking about.

Of course, we got the familiar, "the 9th Commandment doesn't say you shall not lie, it says you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." Ok, fine, who is your neighbor, and what does "bear false witness" mean? It means lying, and your neighbor is anyone who you come in contact with, so summarizing it to you shall not lie is not a problem. Besides, if you really think that God is ok with lying, check out Rev 21:8, where it says that ALL liars will have their part in the lake of fire. This includes little white lies, half-truths, and exaggerations. The standard is perfection (Matt 5:48).

Angel set up a bit of a trap for Brandt (she seemed to enjoy arguing). She stated that she is a Christian, yet she is currently and willfully breaking the 7th Commandment. She pointed out that the man with her was her boyfriend, while her husband is in Utah.

Of course, we do not condone what some call "carnal Christianity" - we refer to those in that category as false converts, who have not yet understood the wickedness of sin, and thus cannot comprehend the great sacrifice made on our behalf by a loving God. Instead of turning from wickedness in gratitude, they attempt to use salvation as a license to continue in their sins, all the while considering themselves saved and heaven bound. Hebrews 10:26-27 would flatly refute that idea, as well as Matthew 7:21-23.

When confronted with that, she was very angry said she was finished with this conversation. However, she later told us that she was way too stubborn to actually leave. She settled down and eventually told us that her husband had physically abused her to the point of broken bones and refuses to grant a divorce, even though he continues to cheat on her. Provided that all of this is true, I could see where it presents somewhat of a dilemma for her. However, that 7th Commandment is much more broad that most people think. It's not just adultery, but includes fornication (premarital sex) as well. In fact, Jesus said that if you merely look with lust, you're already guilty of adultery in your heart. So this little rabbit trail does not justify the sin. Still, I do believe the Lord is working in this woman. I pray that He would continue to do so, convicting her of her sins and drawing her out of them in sanctification.

We had a good conversation with her, and left her with a couple of good tracts, and she pulled a Bible out to show us her reading material for the night. Later on, she came back and talked with Brandt some more.

There were quite a few people that were attracted by the illusion board and glow sticks and went through the GPT. Please keep the lost in prayer, all those that we speak to, give tracts to and who might hear the Gospel being preached.
And as always, pray for more workers in the harvest field (Luke 10:2).

Soli Deo Gloria