Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday to Saturday, then Saturday to Sunday on Mill

Beginning with Friday to Saturday (6-11-10 to 6-12-10), I got to Mill a bit after 8:00 p.m. shortly after that I was joined by Nathan Briscoe, Toby and a friend of theirs. They’re part of a group of believers who have been coming out the past few weeks. They had seen us evangelizing and felt led to share the Good News, so they‘ve been joining us, which is great and is something I praise God for (Luke 10:2). Justin Bond also stopped by for a bit. After he came by, Jennifer (my sister) showed up. Around the time Justin left, Walter joined us.
I started out with a little open airing. Lately with open airs, I’ve been trying to talk about the finitely of this life. I’ve been mentioning the fact that compared to eternality, this life isn’t even a drop in the bucket. We should have our priorities on that which is eternal instead of that which is temporal. Keeping this in the forefront of my mind has personally helped me a bit lately. We need to look to the things that are not seen, rather than to those which are seen (2 Corinthians 4:18) and be like whose in Hebrews 11. This world and the things of it are fleeting, fading, passing away (1 John 2:15-17). Even many things that aren’t necessarily bad will end. This life is, but a vapor (James 4:14). Our standing before God should have preeminence in our priorities. I also like to mention the fact that I’m not trying to get people to go to a particular church or to join a particular denomination (of course they‘re more than welcome to come to my church) and I don’t want them to follow me, but I point them to Christ who alone can save. Of course, if people get saved they should get involved with a local body of believers. However, throughout the Scriptures Jesus and His first century followers didn’t go around inviting people to church; they told them to repent and believe (read the Gospels and the book of Acts). By the way, I think if local churches were as they should be, we would have what Paul descried in 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 happening.
Often during times when no one’s been preaching I’ve been putting the Bible on the amplifier using my cell phone. This night I had it play Matthew 5-7 and some of Romans (1 Timothy 4:13) and we also will often do Scripture readings without the cell phone. On this particular night, Nathan and Toby did their first open air on the amplifier. Which I also praise God for, watching people set aside fears and tell others the Gospel is wonderful to see.
As I was passing tracts out, a man named Raymond was passing by, so I gave him one and we got into a great conversation about the things of God. He said he was a believer, but I’m always cautious when a person claims to be a Christian, as so many people in America do. He seemed to be very humble. He said he had just come from playing basketball and he was dressed for that and not for the Mill Ave night life. We talked for some time. He seemed to be sound in doctrine and he had an amazing testimony of how God saved him. He told me before he was saved, he would sell drugs and sell woman, but God delivered him and changed him. He stuck around with us for over an hour and he said he’d likely be out in the future. I was encouraged by him.
Eventually the group of us dwindled down to Walter, Jennifer and myself. At one point a man came up to Walter and began doing some inappropriate acts and another man (who said he was a Christian) came over, got close to the man and told him to stop what he was doing. There was some arguing and the man who was doing the inappropriate act threatened the other man, but his friend eventually pulled him away. Praise God! It was getting to be about 2:00, when Josh (who is part of the group of believer who‘ve been joining us lately) showed up. We all decided to go over to IHOP and do some fellowshipping.
As for the Saturday to Sunday (6-12-10 to 6-13-10), I got to Mill a bit after 8:00 again. Tom and Catharine Fusco, Alan, Al Gordon, and Dan were already there or were just showing up at about that time. Al gave a report of the night on his blog
After the others left (well after midnight), a man came up to me while I was open airing and asked me why a person couldn’t be good without Jesus. I didn’t get into the fact that without Jesus there is nothing good. Instead, I decided to explain that he like everyone else had sinned against God and was deserving of hell. I them explained how Christ paid our penalty in His life’s blood. That Jesus suffered the hell (wrath of God) that we were due on the cross and that we can receive that through faith in Him. The man had a surprised look on his face and then thanked me and said he never understood it like that before. I gave him a Bible and told him to repent and put his trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. His name is Dan, please pray for him. He was very receptive and came back a little later when I was talking to a man named Louis who was a Jehovah’s Witness. He was friendly, but admitted that he was not living as he should be. I encouraged him to repent as well. I also told him about the Deity of Christ, which JW’s deny. We talked for some time and I left about 2:00 again.
By the way, below are a few pictures from First Friday (6-4-10). There were a lot of believers out there and I was encouraged by that. I also wanted to mention that on the 5th of June I want to a class held by Tom Fusco. It was fun and encouraging. Check out his site for future classes. They’re free. It’s focused on the Way of the Master. Tom has one about each month.
God will be glorified.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

June 10 into 11, 2010

June 10 into 11, 2010: I got to Mill Ave. a little after 9:00. Overall, the night seemed to be quite fruitful. Throughout the evening I spoke to many people and did a good bit of preaching. As usual, the preaching was a great way of drawing people in to discuss the things of God. Early on, a man who came over and walked around in front of me appeared to be following what I was saying as I was preaching the gospel. I eventually got into a conversation with him, he had told me some of the circumstances in his life which were quite unfortunate, he said Christians had wronged him. He said he him was a believer, but due to what he was facing, he saw no reason not to just give up and just get drunk. I told him that I don’t know all of the details concerning what he is going through, but I told him I’m sorry that he’s facing whatever he is. I encouraged him not to live for the temporal things and circumstance of this life, but for Christ. If our hope and life are truly found in Christ, this world can fall apart and we’ve lost nothing (after all this life is nothing compared to eternity). I admit I personally have trouble keeping this focus as I should. I also exhorted him not to look to professing Christians (particularly here in America where there is really no reason not profess faith in Christ) to see what a Christian is, but rather to look to Christ. In some cases, people will point to the Crusades or the Inquisition (which by the way were Catholic, not Christian) as reasons to reject Christ and Christianity. If a person uses these and other so-called “Christian” acts to defame Christianity, I’ll often ask them to consider what they would think of a person that professed to be a follower of theirs who went around murdering and claiming to be doing it in their name. I also like to mention the fact that Jesus seemed to be most upset with the religious hypocrites (Matthew 23). Throughout Scripture, we’re warned about and warned not to be one of those who profess faith in Christ, but do not truly know Him, nor are known by Him (Matthew 7:21-23; 15:7-9; Romans 2; Titus 1:16; 1 John 1:6; 2:4). I believe the conversation with the man was fruitful. I often like to encourage people who say they’re Christian to read 1 John to see if they line up with it’s description of one who is born of God (which I encourage you who might be reading this to read if you consider yourself to be a follower of Christ) .
Another conversation that stands out was with a man who admitted he was in sin and wanted to know if I thought he could be saved. He said he has family that are Christian and have talked to him about Christ. He appeared to be broken, I don’t know his heart of course and I don’t know if it was because He realized the gravity of his sin before God or if it was merely because of the fear of hell, but I told him that he could be saved and that he must repent and believe. Please pray for him, his name is John. I gave him my number and it sounds like he has family reaching out to him. One interesting occurrence is that at one point while I was preaching, a man came up to me who anointed me with oil. I spoke to many others, a few times I got a little nervous. At one point, some homosexual men came over to me and were very angry with me after I read 1 Corinthian 6:9-10. I talked to them for a bit. Other people came over as I spoke with them as it was apparently evident that they were angry. I read them some of Romans 1. They claimed that Jesus just spoke about love. I tried to explain to them that they needed a Biblical definition of love, pointing to 1 Corinthians 13 (the same letter that says homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God). I told them love “…does not seek its own…” (1 Corinthians 13:5) and that if they really love a person, they won’t lead them into sin by being in a homosexual relationship with them. They weren’t interested in what the Bible said.
Sadly, there were some woman acting inappropriately out there during the night. Unfortunately, some people use sex and provocative ways to get what they want. This is detestable.
There were other conversations. I left about 2:00. In general the night seemed to be quite fruitful. In fact, it’s nights like this that really help bring some perspective on the importance of getting out and proclaiming the Gospel (Matthew 28:19; Luke 10:2-3). God will be glorified.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Two Vitally Important Messages

Hell's Best Kept Secret by Ray Comfort

Shocking Youth Message by Paul Washer