Tuesday, August 25, 2009
3 Guys at Marshall University for 2 Hours = 1600+ Tracts handed out...Priceless....What a great afternoon!!
Bill "The Fisherman" Sikes, Dan "The Man" Stokley and myself were very excited to hit Marshall University. We had no idea what a great day it would be. Heres a bit of what happened as told by Bill and Dan.
Bill spoke with Jessica: Jessica was curious about the million dollar bills and asked what they were. I told her they were gospel tracts, and asked her what she thought happened when people died. She said she didnt really know and hadn't thought about it much. After going through God's law with her, she looked at me with a fearful countenance and said she was concerned for eternity and that she saw herself as a guilty sinner. I presented the gospel of Jesus Christ to her and she seemed to be locked on to every word as she listened. After thinking for a moment, she told me she had never heard the good news before. I encouraged her not to wait another day before repenting of her sin and putting her faith in Jesus to be saved. She said she would and thanked me for sharing.
Bill spoke with Travis: I spotted Travis coming from a couple hundred yards away because of his "Bad Religion" band tee-shirt(a well known anti-organized religion touting band). I approached him with a million dollar bill tract, pointed at his shirt and asked, "so do you believe the same things they do?". He professed to be an atheist that believes that there is not eternal life. My response caught him off guard a bit, as I asked him, so if there was a God, and a heaven, and a hell, where would you go? We reviewed his works together against the law of God, and by his own admission, he was guilty on all inquiries. He agreed to listen as I presented the gospel to him, and his only hangup was to say "but if Jesus was Lord, why did he say that his Father had forsaken him on the cross". I responded by explaining to him that a holy God not only can not look upon the sin that Jesus had taken upon himself, but also that God the Father had poured out his wrath upon the Son. I told Travis that the wrath poured upon the Son was wrath that currently abides on him, and will be stored for his day of judgement if he rejects the gospel. In that moment Travis seemed to really understand what I was telling him for the first time, like it had become something logical in his mind instead of "corny religious cliches". He thanked me intently for sharing with him, and promised to consider what we had discussed.
Dan said he talked to one gentlemen that said he was a "Christian" that sang in Churches, but did not attend Church... I asked him how I could be saved, and he had no clue.. I shared the law and gospel with him.. pray for him that he would examine himself by looking nto the mirror of Gods Word and see if he is a believer or not.
Dan also spoke with a guy who was in a rush but was able to swap contact info with each other to finish the discussion later.
Dan also ran into several others that he had talked to before and was able to encourage them as well.
Please pray for these folks as well as all who took tracts.
We had no idea that we would be able to hand out over 1600 tracts today. What a beautiful day! What an Awesome Day.! Thank you Jesus!!! The gospel was proclaimed at Marshall University and God was glorified......Keep Fishin!
Sunday, August 16, 2009
It seems as the days of summer fly by there's an occasional "festival" to gather the people from the Tri-State area. Living in a place where the crowds aren't as big as Jax, FL or L.A. I have to take advantage of anything where people are drawn. This years Rib Fest had a Car Show, Concerts, Petting Zoo and Pig Races (too Funny!!) I decided to hit the streets on Friday and Saturday for about an hour and a half. 11-12:30 then I had to go to work. I set up on a corner where most people would enter the festival. This corner proved to be a great spot and I got to hand out several hundred tracts on each day. The first day fellow fisherman "Aaron" was riding by the festival entrance gate on his motorcycle and saw me, parked his bike and said "I saw you and wanted to hand out some tracts too". What an encouragement he was to me that day! There were several times during these two days that I was surrounded by groups wanting a gospel tract. I couldn't give them out fast enough. It was time well spent glorifying God by spreading the truth of the Gospel. Keep Fishin!!
I had a friend of mine visit from Jacksonville, FL. He was my fishin partner back in Jax. He decided to come to Huntington, WV to hit the streets with me. It was a great 3 days on the streets.
The first day we went to the Charleston, WV the states capitol. We were able to talk with a lot of people and had several great conversations. John spoke with one guy with an arab background. He had never heard the gospel before. John took him through the Law and Gospel. He understood what he needed to ..Repent and Trust. He was prodded by his freinds to end the conversation but he stayed and listened. He also didnt have a Bible so we were able to provide him with one.
We next hit all the local parks, bus stations, and mall entrances speaking with people and handing out hundreds of tracts. While at the mall I spoke with a guy named Michael. He was told by someone else that his life was going to be perfect..free from any problems after he "accepts" Jesus. I took Michael through the law and the gospel and explained to Michael that Jesus doesnt need our acceptance....we need His and the only way to get it is by repentance and faith. He understood and thanked me for sharing the truth of the gospel with him. His ride arrived so he had to go. Pray for Michael.
The second day we hit the streets of Downtown Huntington, WV. We had several great conversations and handed out hundereds of MDB's. That was one exciting day that I will post at a later time. Tuesday evening John was able to share his testimony with our small groups mexican fiesta at the Sikes home.
The third day we decide to go to Ritter Park with my Church and hand out free water bottles and tracts to people walking or running by. Hundreds of water bottles and tracts were handed out.
Later on in the evening we met up with Guy and Aaron and read some scripture from "Project Ezra" and did some open-air. Several people stopped and listened to the message and then continued walking. We pray for them and also the ones that were listening that we did not see.
All in all it was a great 3 days. I was so blessed to have my fishin partner in town and to hit the streets with him. He is such an encouragement to me. We just enjoyed declaring Gods Truth to the lost. Praise God for the opportunity to share while we still have time. Keep Fishin!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I came across this on the internet, an article written by Todd Friel called 13 Evangelistic Phrases That Produce False Conversions. This is great stuff, filled with truth. Enjoy.
Churches divide over carpet color, building additions and budgets. In the meantime, our fellow church members are going to hell by the boat load.
A.W. Tozer said, “It is my opinion that tens of thousands of people, if not millions, have been brought into some kind of religious experience by accepting Christ, and they have not been saved.”
D. James Kennedy said, “The vast majority of people who are members of churches in America today are not Christians. I say that without the slightest contradiction. I base it on empirical evidence of twenty-four years of examining thousands of people.”
Friend, we argue over so many petty things. May I suggest we have lost sight of the most important debate of all, “What is salvation?” My theology teaches that salvation happens when a man repents and places his trust in Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21).
I would like to present thirteen ways that we have re-defined how a person becomes a true convert. Have we done this intentionally? Certainly not. We have simply created lingo that has a grain of truth in Scripture, but it is so open to interpretation that the un-converted understand it in ways that lead to false conversions.
1. Make Jesus your Lord and Savior. We cannot make Jesus our Lord and Savior, He is our Lord and Savior. We are living in rebellion to Him and He commands us to repent and trust Him.
2. Ask Jesus into your heart. Does Jesus come into our hearts? Yes He does. The question is, “How does He get in there?” It is not by simply asking Him in; it is by repentance and faith.
3. Just believe in Jesus. The demons believe and they tremble. We must repent and trust.
4. You have a God-shaped hole in your heart and only Jesus can fill it. We have far more than a hole that needs to be filled so we can feel complete; we have a wretched, deceitful, sinful heart that needs cleansing. Repentance and faith applies the blood of the lamb for that cleansing.
5. Accept Jesus. Whoa. We need to accept Jesus? This is entirely backward. We need Jesus to accept us–and He will, if we repent and trust.
6. Make a decision for Jesus. Decisional regeneration puts man in the driver’s seat of salvation. When we repent and trust, Jesus decides to save us. That puts Him in the driver’s seat…where He demands.
7. It is easy to believe. While the formula of repentance and faith sounds simple, a complete surrendering of self in repentance is anything but easy. It’s hard.
8. God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. The only promises for the convert are trials, temptation and persecution. If that is how you define a wonderful life, fine. Otherwise we must command all men everywhere to repent and trust.
9. Come to Jesus just as you are. We should come to Jesus just as the sinners we are, but He also expects a broken heart and contrite spirit demonstrated in repentance and faith.
10. Come to Jesus and you will receive forgiveness of sins and ________________ (fill in the blank with money, health, a healed marriage). Jesus didn’t promise healed marriages; in fact He promised broken homes because we would divide when one member repents and trusts.
11. Come to Jesus and experience love, joy, peace. Do we get the fruit of the Spirit upon conversion? Yes. But if we come seeking the gifts and not the giver, we will receive neither. Instead, we must repent and trust.
12. Jesus is the missing piece. Um, no, the God of the universe is not the missing piece, He demands that He is the center of our lives when we repent and trust.
13. Jesus is better than fame and fortune. That is an understatement, and frankly, it is insulting. Saying Jesus is better than money is like saying that a steak dinner is better than eating a dung hill. He defies comparison and we trivialize the Son of God. Instead, we should be pleading with all men everywhere to repent and trust.
If I showed up at your door with a can of grapefruit juice and a roll of paper towels and offered to change your oil, you would say, “No thanks.” If we wouldn’t let someone mess with our car using the wrong method, why do we allow the Gospel to be presented so ambiguously?
Would you let a doctor operate on your child who was “sort of” accurate? The salvation of men is far more important than an appendix.
I beg you to consider how you share the Gospel. You and I know what we are talking about when we use these phrases, but do the unregenerate? Is it possible that we have so many backsliders today because they never slid forward in the first place? Is it because they were never told that they must repent and trust?
If we are willing to debate shag verse plush in the fellowship hall, shouldn’t we be more concerned about an issue that has eternal consequences?
Friday, August 7, 2009
It rained all day Tuesday and most of Wednesday. I was fortunate enough that God provided a few hours Wednesday night for me to go out with a couple of guys I met on Ambassador's Alliance Radio. We decided to meet at Ritter Park in Huntington, WV. We met at the fountain where there is a big track nearby for people to walk, run, and ride their bikes. As I was waiting for Guy and Aaron to arrive, I spoke with Brian. He was receptive and was very interested in talking about God. I was able to take him through the "Good Person Test" (GPT). He admitted to breaking God's commandments and knew he was guilty. He also knew, based on that, he was going to hell. He was very concerned and therefore, I was able to present him with the gospel. He told me he would definitely consider what we had talked about and thanked me for sharing the truth with him. I next spoke with Blake who was walking around the park. He stopped for a M.J. MDB. I asked him how does a person go to heaven when they die? He said he was a good person. After we went through the Law, he saw that he was like the rest of us. He realized he was guilty of breaking God's Law and there was no way he could save himself. He said there was no sin that he loved so much that was worth spending eternity in hell. Blake said that he would consider all that we had talked about. I ran into several people from my church and others who were very encouraging to me and what I was doing. My friends arrived and immediately started handing out tracts and starting conversations with people in the park as I did some open air. Then Guy did some open air. While he was speaking, Aaron and I spoke with Todd and another Blake. Todd understood everything that we said and agreed with it. Blake was really tuning in on what we had to say. He knew that he had broken God's law and while we were talking you could see his countenance change as he realized that God's wrath abided on him. He knew that he wasn't guaranteed tomorrow and said "If I died tonight, I'd spend eternity in hell". We explained the gospel to him and how he needed to repent of his sins and put his trust in the Savior. He said that he would consider what we had talked about. I invited him to come to church since he said he did not have a church home. Hopefully, I will see him on Sunday. Please pray for Brian, both Blakes, and Todd. It was a great day at the park and God was glorified. Keep Fishin!!