Friday, March 28, 2008

Kirk Cameron and John MacArthur on Salvation

Here's another great video with Kirk Cameron and John MacArthur on salvation. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Word Picture

The Phrase "word picture" is a term I've picked up that seems to fit the way I like to communicate when I'm trying to get an important message across. One example of this is Ray Comfort's use of the parachute analogy. It goes something like this: "If you were on an airplane that was going to crash and there was a parachute available to you, what would you do with it?" Answer: "Put it on, and that is what the bible says we need to do with Jesus Christ." (Romans 13:14) It wouldn't be enough to simply believe in the parachute, everyone believes in them. Suddenly because we've been alerted of the fate of the airplane, the parachute becomes our most precious possession and we strap it on tight trusting it to save us from the fall to come.
Only after we're convinced that the airplane is doomed are we so willing to cling to the parachute, and so it is with Christ. It is only after we have a clear understanding of our sin and the consequences of God's wrath and judgement that we can truly appreciate the amazing Gospel of grace and forgiveness.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Crash course makes front page

Recently, my wife and I attended a five hour Way of The Master crash course. I wanted to meet Linda Essary as well as the local east valley evangelism team here in the Phoenix area. A local newspaper reporter was there for both the entire class and the outing planned for Mill Avenue afterward. Read the front page article.

Top to bottom. My wife Cheryl and me, Linda Essary greeting the class, Edwin Lo and Dave Redondo interview attendees, and Linda with Sherry Pierce roll playing.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Faith Undone

What's all the worry over the "Emerging" or "Emergent" church? Is it just another passing movement, a more contemporary approach to how we do church, or is it a bunch of desperate young people looking for answers? It is actually much broader and is influencing Christianity to an alarming degree. Based in a centuries-old mystical approach, this movement is powerful, yet highly deceptive, and it is drawing momentum from practices and experiences that are foreign to traditional evangelical Christianity.
In his book Faith Undone, Roger Oakland probes deep into this mystical movement that ranges from a simple difference in style to the more concerning practices being seen today.
Oakland has of late been criticized for his outspoken concern about new trends in the evangelical church. His ministry focuses mostly around discernment and exposure of aberrant and even heretical teaching that are threatening biblical Christianity. Listen to a recent commentary here about how he is being received by many evangelical leaders.

Monday, March 17, 2008

El Evangelio (The Gospel)

We spent the first part of our spring break in Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) Mexico. Fausto was one of the many vendors on the beach. Here he is showing my wife some of his wares as they bargain for a fair deal. My wife agreed to buy some silver bracelets as long as he would talk to me afterward. Fausto agreed and I shared the Gospel with him as best I could in Spanish. He heard about sin, the commandments and our standing before a righteous and holy God. He was also please to hear about the work of Jesus on the cross. I urged Fausto to consider what we discussed and to trust the savior.

The second vendor was selling henna tattoos among other things. I figured a few temporary tattoos were worth the opportunity to witness to him. My youngest daughter wanted a cross on her shoulder which provided me with the perfect transition into a spiritual conversation. Marcos, like so many others believed that being good would get him into heaven. We discussed the difference between God’s grace and works which fascinated him. He also heard about the cross and that he too could be forgiven and pass from death to life.

Please pray for both Fausto and Marcos that God would soften their hearts and save them both.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Rob-Roy's team on Mill

Rob-Roy and his team periodically witness on Mill Avenue in Tempe, Arizona near ASU. It is a hot spot for all kinds of activity and the younger croud is always willing to discuss life issues. Read on as Rob-Roy gives his story from a couple weeks ago along with some of the pictures of the outing.

We handed out over 300 water bottles with the gospel printed on them and were able to talk to many people and share the gospel. The bottled water, big money tracts and pink and blue curved illusion tracts made for great conversation starters. A number of people asked for New Testaments and/or the JustStopAndThink DVD’s that we had available for free.

A Muslim cab driver named “Ali” was so moved by the gospel that his eyes were welling with tears and brokenness. He said that he is headed to Hell and that he is trying to do enough good to cancel out his sin. When asked what he needed to do to change that he said that it was like a ladder that had 20 steps on it and that he was only on step 2. So 18 steps away from Heaven is how he saw it. We reasoned with him about God’s justice and then shared the grace of the gospel which is what led him to the edge of tears. God is working on him. Please pray for him.

Also for “Wicked Hail” one of the street kids from the drum circle who we talked with over pizza. When we brought the pizza’s over to the “circle” it was “Wicked” that had the most to say. He was hard to reach and later on painted his face jet black with streaks of white in a way that was dark and sinister. We almost did not recognize him when he came over to where we moved to “show us” his new look.

Also pray for two Jehovah Witnesses that we met at the very end of the night after packing up the table. They were probably each in their 60’s as each claimed to have been teaching for Jehovah for 35 to 38 years. I was a bit surprised they were out on the streets at midnight with all their Watchtower materials. I will keep it short and just say that talking with them was one of the weirdest encounters I have ever had. It ended on a very tense note when I upset one of them beyond repair when attempting to share the difference between the false gospel of “working to earn” favor in Jehovah’s site on the day of Judgment (which is impossible) as compared to the Christian view of “grace” that comes only through repentance and saving faith in the Savior alone for salvation.

Please pray that God would reach them regardless of how poorly I think I handled the very end. My heart breaks for them and the veil that has held them for decades. Please join us in praying for the many people we came in contact would be changed by God so that they pass from death to life and into heaven.


Jake at Freestone

Last Friday I met up with Edwin to witness to the young people at the Freestone park skate facility in Gilbert. We stayed outside of the actual skate area on the sidewalk that led to a water fountain. Needless to say, there was plenty of traffic--all on skateboards. The constant click click, click click on the concrete rendered the recorded audio unuseable, but we had some great enconters all the same.

One young man named Jake was LDS (Mormon), and was more than happy to talk to us--at first that is. We used the Ten Commandments to try and establish a clear definition of sin and to let it work on his conscience. Jake however, was convinced that he only need do his best in order to stay on God's good side and that his good works would hopefully at some point outweigh the bad. We used the familiar courtroom analogy and also cited Ephesians 2:8-9 speaking of Grace and faith and Isaiah 64:6 describing our deeds, but it didn't seem to get through to him.

It reminded me that Mormons are in a religious system that relies heavily on good works and that it is so deeply engrained in them. My observation has been Mormons I have gotten to know better live under a great deal of pressure to live up to those standards.

Jake was also fairly certain that Mormons and other Christian denominations were basically the same. All I could do at this point was to draw a picture for him that defined our differences clearly and state the consequences. Mormons do not believe in a triune God. The bible affirms it. Mormons believe that Jesus was created by God through a physical relationship with Mary and that He is the brother of Satan. The bible teaches that Jesus is God in the flesh and that He has always existed in unity with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. Finaly, I pointed out Galatians 1:8 stating the consequences to those bringing another gospel such as Joseph Smith and the LDS church has done. According to LDS doctrine, unbelievers have another chance after death to accept the Mormon Jesus. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27, that once we die, we face judgement.

So this was my question to Jake the young Mormon: "If the bible is wrong and Mormon doctrine is true, I have another chance to believe in the Mormon Jesus. But if the Bible is true, what will happen to you Jake?" He didn't respond, but by now he was being faced with some pretty cold hard evidence from the bible. I can only imagine the doubt and fear that was going on in his mind. We urged him to examine the bible for himself as he left. We can only pray that he will.

Some of this story may seem like I was hard on Jake, but the truth is, that without the real Jesus of the bible, there is no hope. I would much rather have left him with a hurting spirit that may motivate further investigation than useless platitudes that were easy to brush off. As long as we preach the true Gospel and the consequences of a false one, we have been obedient and can only pray that God's precious Holy Spirit will work on this young mans heart and convert him to the One who gave everything. One thing we always need to do is to preach in love.

Please pray for Jake.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

When things happen

Often times when witnessing, people ask the inevitable "why do bad things happen to good people", or "why does God allow evil is He is all good." What it really boils down to is this fallen world we live in. Once sin entered, it became a cancer that spread and affected everything and everyone down through the ages. Here is a story posted at Ray Comfort's blog that is worth a look.