Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Nervousness: An Evangelist's Silent Friend

What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. ~ Matthew 10:27-29

Hundreds of times in the Word of God, the child of God is encouraged, warned, and commanded to not be afraid. The Christian is not to fear life, death, persecution, tribulation, people, consequences, or circumstances. But Christ came to save sinners; and even redeemed sinners fall short of God's glory (Romans 3:23) and sin against Him by being fearful, from time to time.

As an evangelist, I find great comfort and encouragement in Jesus' words, in the above passage. The most common fear among evangelists, the most common fear among Christians in general, is the fear of man. And Jesus makes it clear that man is not to be feared because the worst thing one man can do to another is take his physical life. The only one to be feared is God, for God alone is the Lawgiver and Judge (James 4:12). God alone will judge both the living and the dead (Revelations 20:11-15). That being the case, the Christian has nothing to fear, for there is no condemnation awaiting the Christian (Romans 8:1-2) and nothing will ever separate the Christian from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus their Lord (Romans 8:38-39).

While I encourage Christians every day not to be afraid to share the gospel with the lost, while I encourage Christians to allow their love for the lost overshadow their fear of the lost, I also encourage them to welcome a bit of nervousness. The reason: nervousness can be and often is an evangelist's silent friend.

This morning I went to the Los Angeles County Superior Courthouse, in Valencia. I went there to open-air preach. Having spent almost twenty years in and out of this particular courthouse during my career as a deputy sheriff, I know the courthouse and the surrounding complex very well. Back in the days of "The Way of the Master Radio," the courthouse in Valencia was one of my favorite fishing holes for the reoccurring "Street Fishing" segment, with Ray Comfort and Todd Friel. But, prior to this morning, I had never open-air preached at the Valencia Courthouse.

When I arrived at the courthouse the line of people waiting for the doors to open was relatively small. I sat in my car for a few minutes and watched people get out of their cars and make their way toward the courthouse. I prayed, asking God to grant me the courage to preach the gospel to the people in line.

I got out of my car and walked toward the courthouse. I could feel my heart pounding as I reached the front of the courthouse and the line of people. And there I stood, for several minutes, trying to muster the courage to do what I had come to do.

The minutes quickly ticked away and I knew the doors to the courthouse would open soon. So, I prayed again; and then I handed our Million Dollar Christmas tract to everyone in line.

"Each of you just received a million dollar bill. I would ask you the million dollar question..."

I preached for about ten minutes, thanked everyone for their patience and for listening to me, and walked back to my car. As Ray Comfort often says about his own evangelism efforts, such was the case for me. I went to the courthouse dragging my feet, but left the courthouse clicking my heals.

I sat in my car for a few minutes thanking God for the opportunity to preach His gospel and praying that some who heard would be drawn to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

I was nervous as I approached the line of people. How would they respond? Would they be angry? Would deputies come out of the courthouse and ask me to stop and leave? I was nervous--more nervous than usual.

I thank God for this kind of nervousness. I thank God that every time I open my mouth to share the gospel, whether as I hand out tracts, engage people in conversation, or preach in the open-air I am nervous.

Nervousness is like a silent friend, one that causes me to look to Jesus Christ and to seek His help in prayer.

Nervousness is like a silent friend, one that reminds me not to rely on my own fleshly strengths and abilities, but to rely on God the Holy Spirit, lovingly given to me by Jesus Christ as Helper and Intercessor.

Nervousness is like a silent friend, one that needs not be feared or despised, but one that is welcomed for spiritual accountability and one that encourages humility.

Far better to be an evangelist who is nervous in the application of his cherished responsibility and (for some) ministerial office and vocation, than an evangelist who is self-confident, self-assured, and self-reliant. For the former will trust in the Lord with all of his heart and lean not on his own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6), while the latter will eventually begin to lack meekness and begin to grow in selfish ambition (James 3:13-15).

So, if you are nervous when it comes to evangelism don't worry. Instead, thank God for the nervousness. Seek His face and His guidance in prayer. Trust the Holy Spirit will answer your prayer by giving you the words to speak when it is time to speak. Go and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15) and make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20) in spite of the nervousness.

Pray the Lord will never completely relieve you of nervousness during your evangelistic endeavors. Over time, you will find nervousness is not your enemy, but a silent friend.

Fishless Fishermen's Fellowship

Twitteneutics - Day 30

It's been a while since my last Twitteneutics post. Since I'm on vacation for a couple weeks, I'm going to try to catch up on some blogging.

The price with which my salvation was purchased is incalculable. Lord, thank you seems insufficient, but that's all I have (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

According to the Bible, those who twist Scripture, for sordid gain or to justify their unbelief, are ignorant an unstable (2 Peter 3:14-16).

God actually told Job to "man up!" Job must've been terrified. I would be (Job 38:1-3). Yet Job would receive abundant grace and mercy. SDG!

Sadly, a Friday or Saturday evening trip to any mall in America would find 13-yr-old girls who fit this description (Proverbs 7:10-12).

Oh, that more Christians would disturb their cities with the gospel (Acts 16:20)!

Lord, may I be content living the life you've given me, not seeking to live my life according to the life you've given someone else (1 Corinthians 7:17).

While the "sinless perfectionist" turns to 1 John 1 to support his theological construct, the truth is 1 John 1 is the death-nail to the same.

Some would use Proverbs 8:17 as a proof text for the idea that lost people have the capacity to seek after God. The verse is about seeking wisdom

In spite of the high false conversion rate in the American church, tare hunting is not the answer (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43). Preach the gospel!

Liberty has limits and, unrestrained, can hurt others. Legalism does not bring anyone closer to God and often hurts others (1 Corinthians 8:1-13).

There are Christians who declare brethren "unsaved" so they can justify their hatred of the same and thus avoid John's teaching (1John 2:9-11).

Only the Christian can understand why fearing God is so important (Psalm 103:11-14).

Don't like to be corrected? There's a word for that (Proverbs 12:1).

Not every heckler's question warrants an answer (Matthew 21:25-27).

There's a reason why God gave me 2 ears and only 1 mouth (Proverbs 18:13).

Genuine faith is, at times, made manifest as true courage (Acts 27:21-25).

Who but God knows perfectly the thoughts and hearts of me? Jesus is God (Mark 2:6-8).

Who but God alone can forgive the sins of men? Jesus is God (Mark 2:9-12)!

Jesus not only saved me; He IS my salvation (Psalm 118:14).

The Christian's most effective offensive tactic against his enemy is love (Proverbs 25:21-22).

Yes, God is angry with the wicked every day (Mark 3:5).

The NT speaks nothing of tithing [as a mandate for Christians]. Rather, it speaks of cheerful and generous giving 2 Corinthians 9:6-7).

In light of Peter's rebuke of Simon, I shudder at the thought of what prosperity preachers will face when they stand before God (Acts 8:20).

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Grand Renovation

Monday, December 5, 2011

180: Lives Saved, Minds Changed

The following video shares some of the many emails we have received at Living Waters, in which people share how the documentary changed their mind from a pro-abortion to a pro-life position.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

God Alone is 'Awesome'

"Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the LORD my God and made confession, saying, 'O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules'" (Daniel 9:3-5).

"The great and awesome God"--that is how Daniel described his God, the one and only God, Creator of everything, Master of the Universe, the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

God is awesome.

Modern dictionaries define the term "awesome" this way:
1. inspiring awe: an awesome sight.
2. showing or characterized by awe.
3. Slang. very impressive: That new white convertible is totally awesome.
I found it interesting that the word "awesome" doesn't appear in Noah Webster's 1828 edition of the "American Dictionary of the English Language." However, Webster defines the word "awe" (from which the word "awesome" is derived) this way"
"To chastise or correct. To be astonished. Fear mingled with admiration or reverence; reverential fear. Dread inspired by something great or terrific. To strike with fear and reverence; to influence by fear, terror or respect; as, his majesty awed them into silence."
The English Standard Version translation of the Bible uses the English word "awesome" only 33 times. Every occurrence is in the Old Testament. The only reputable translation of the Bible in which the word "awesome" is found in the New Testament (Acts 2:20) is the New King James. It's interesting to note that the King James version of the Bible does not have a single use of the word "awesome" in either the Old or New Testaments.

In the English Standard version of the Scriptures, with the exception of two verses in the Song of Solomon (6:4, 6:10) in which Solomon compares the beauty of his wife to an army with colorful banners, every use of the word "awesome" is in reference to either God Himself, where He is, an aspect of His character, or something He has done (Genesis 28:17; Exodus 15:11; 34:10; Deuteronomy 7:21; 10:17; 28:58; Judges 13:6; 2 Samuel 7:23; 1 Chronicles 17:21; Nehemiah 1:5; 4:14; 9:32; Job 37:22; Psalm 45:4; 65:5; 66:1, 3, 5; 68:35; 89:7; 99:3; 106:22; 111:9; 145:6; Isaiah 64:3; Ezekiel 1:18; Daniel 9:4; Joel 2:11; 2:31; Zephaniah 2:11; Malachi 4:5).

God clearly describes Himself in His Word as awesome. Scripture also makes clear that God is unique. There is none like Him.
"For this time I will send all my plagues on you yourself, and on your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is none like me in all the earth" (Exodus 9:14).

"There is none holy like the LORD; there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God" (1 Samuel 2:2).

"There is none like you, O LORD, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears" (1 Chronicles 17:20).

"There is none like you, O LORD; you are great, and your name is great in might" (Jeremiah 10:6).
During episode #221 of "On the Box," at the 8:15 mark, I referred to Mark and Brad as "awesome." I quickly corrected myself before moving on to the next segment. At the 20:50 mark, someone in the chat room asked, "Why is it wrong to use the word 'awesome?'" I learned later there was at least one person in the show's chat room found my position legalistic.

Words have meaning. The meanings of words change and multiply, over time. "Bad" can mean "good." "Sick" can mean "impressive." And "awesome" can be and is often applied to anything we enjoy, appreciate, and about people and things we describe with amazement.

I understand unbelievers find many things, other than God, awesome. And I understand Christians use the word "awesome" much the same way unbelievers do, with no intention of acting irreverently toward God, or placing anyone or anything above Him. I don't think it is automatically a sin when Christians ascribe the word "awesome" to people, places, and things other than God.

However, considering how the word "awesome" is used in Scripture, coupled with the dictionary's definition of the term, the question I must ask my Christian readers (a question I asked of myself and answered some time ago) is this. Should Christians use the word "awesome" to describe anything other than that which can be directly attributed to the person, nature, character, and work of God? For me, the answer is no.

The word "awesome" has, as part of its definition, an evocation of fear. God and God alone is to be feared. Is this to say Christians do not become afraid at times? No. Christians, like everyone else become fearful at times. But whatever Christians fear other than God is a result of sin. Fear of man, fear of circumstances, fear of the unknown, fear of the future--all such fear is birthed from a lack of trust in God. All such fear is birthed from a lack of reverence for God. All such fear is birthed from a failure to recognize God as omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, and sovereign over all He has created. When we are afraid, whatever we fear is, at that moment, what we are worshiping.

God is awesome. He alone is to be feared, reverenced, and worshiped. And those who fear the Lord, those who recognize that He is awesome, are those who are wise. "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever" (Psalm 110:10)! How comforting to know that God keeps a protective, loving, fatherly eye on those who understand He is awesome--on those who reverently fear Him. Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine" (Psalm 33:18-19).

God is awesome. "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork" (Psalm 19:1).

"Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth" (Psalm 57:5)!

"Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it" (Job 38:3-5)?

The image of the sunburst over the Earth is beautiful, but it is not awesome. The God who created the heavens, the God who instilled in man a desire to discover and who enabled man to develop the technology to view the heavens--He is awesome.

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them" (Genesis 1:27).

"Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture" (Psalm 100:3).

Albert Pujols* is arguably one of the greatest major league baseball players of this or any other era. It is easy to mistakenly describe his varied skills as awesome. But neither Albert Pujols nor his skills are awesome. The God who made Albert Pujols is awesome. The one who knit Albert together in his mother's womb (Psalm 139:13) is awesome. The God who numbered Albert's days before he was born (Psalm 139:16), He is awesome. Every talent Albert possesses is a gift from God (James 1:17), the awesome God.

I could give other examples, of course. But suffice to say God alone is awesome. And His awesomeness is plainly seen to all who do not suppress this inescapable truth by their unrighteousness (Romans 1:18-23).

As a Christian, it is important to me that I declare the glory of God whenever I have occasion to do so. One way I do that is by trying never to give glory to or take any glory for anything made or accomplished. Rather, I try to give all the glory to the Maker and the One who enables His creation to accomplish anything. One way I try to do this is by seeing to it I assign the word "awesome" only to that which can be directly attributed to the person, nature, character, and work of God.

Some may see this as a legalistic restriction on a commonly used and universally accepted word. I see it as an act of worship. Again, I am not saying a Christian sins by assigning the word "awesome" to someone or something other than God. I am not saying that Christians who use the word "awesome" as just another slang term are less worshipful than I am.

However, as Christians, we are called to love the Lord our God with all of our being (Mark 12:29-31). We are to worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). Our worship of and love for Him should make our affections for anything and anyone else to appear as hatred by way of comparison (Luke 14:25-27). And for me, referring to God alone as awesome is one small way I have determined to love and worship Him.

"Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man" (Psalm 66:5).

God alone is awesome!



*Photo of Albert Pujols taken by Dave Herholz, September 2006, and used with permission.

Friday, November 18, 2011

'180' Saves Unborn Baby's Life as Mother and Father Change from Pro-Choice to Pro-Life After Watching

This just in! We've received word that another unborn baby has been saved as a result of an expectant mother and her boyfriend watching "180." The couple is no longer pro-choice because of the compelling arguments made in "180." And once again, the Lord has used Alicia, who is interviewed in "180," to help change people's hearts.

Here's the story:

"Just wanted to share with you that a young girl (20 years old) I work with announced that she was pregnant and was a little worried about my reaction once she told me. Probably because I'm an assistant pastor at a local church. I wasn't upset with her, but rather more surprised that she was pregnant when she had told me previously that she broke up with her boyfriend, [then to] learn he's the father.

"Well, they both saw this movie and are both firmly convicted about not having an abortion. She kept saying the blonde girl in the film really brought it home for her, to really understand that it was wrong to murder a child like that. [The young girl] recently had an ultrasound and heard her baby's heartbeat too and she's committed to delivering this baby, and that she and her boyfriend will raise the child together. Thank you for making this compelling film and what it has done to change the hearts and minds of many people, especially the power of the Gospel that makes all the difference, for time and for eternity."

Model Uses '180' to Bring the Truth about Abortion to TV Show Producer

Yesterday, we received the following email from a young women who works as a model. Read, now, how she used "180" to bring the truth about abortion to a TV show producer.

"Hi. My name is Christina Boudreau. I am a 21 year old eating disorder survivor who became a plus size model to help change the unrealistic image that the world calls beauty for Jesus Christ. God has called me to influence those in the media who have great influence for HIS GLORY. Today I had the opportunity to model for TJ Maxx on a fashion segment on the 'Good Day L.A.' TV show.

"Yesterday as I was praying about how God wanted to use me today on set, he put it on my heart to give a copy of the 180 video to the producer at 'Good day L.A.' My mission usually when going on set for a modeling job is to share the gospel with the models, and to point them to the only perfect beauty in this world--Jesus Christ. But today he had a different mission for me. It was to influence the influential in the media by showing them, through the 180 video, that abortion is wrong.

"'Good Day L.A.' is a very worldly, secular, liberal TV show. But today I know that God used an ordinary person like me to influence those who speak into the homes of millions of people for HIS glory.

"Thank you Ray and EZ for inspiring a young person like me to make a difference in my generation. Please be praying that God will use that video, and this campaign on the TV show, so that more people will know the truth."

Thank you, Christina, for having the faith, hope, courage, and love to bring the life-saving, life-changing message of 180 to the secular model and television industries.

9th Grader Uses '180' in Speech Class to Sway Fellow Students to be Pro-Life

More reports are coming to Living Waters from high school students who are using "180" to make a pro-life stand for the unborn, in their schools. This just in from a young lady who is taking a speech and debate class.

"I'm a 9th grader, and I am in the speech and debate class in my school. We are required to give a monthly speech, and for this month I chose to do my speech 180 Movie style. I used tactics similar to Mr. Comfort's in the movie, of course making it work as best I could for a speech. Even after watching the movie many times, I was surprised at how effective it was. Needless to say, my whole debate class is pro-life now. Tomorrow, I will be giving this speech at an actual debate tournament. Dozens of people will hear it. 180 Movie is an amazing resource, and it's tactics are the best I've used. Thank you for making it and sharing it with us. God bless."

Our hope and prayer is that many more high school students around the world will follow this young lady's lead (again, she's only in 9th grade) and courageously bring the life-changing, life-saving message of "180" to their schools.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Comparing Abortion to the Holocaust: Public High School Class Sees 180!

I was very excited to receive the following email, yesterday:
I gave my history teacher a 180 movie card and a couple days later he showed the video to the class. He introduced the video as a video [comparing] the holocaust and abortion. After watching the video, we had a class discussion on how it changes your perspective on both the holocaust and abortion.
I had a phone conversation with the high school student who sent the above email. Here are a few more details.

The student attends Northridge Academy High School, which is a public high school that operates under a cooperative effort between the Los Angeles Unified School District and California State University Northridge. Northridge Academy is a relatively new high school, opening its doors in 2004. Presently, 1,070 students are enrolled at the school.

As the student stated in her email, she handed her 11th grade history class teacher a 180 business card. Two days later, and to the student's surprise, the teacher announced to the class that he was going to show them a documentary that compares the Holocaust to abortion. According to the student, the teacher told the class of 40 students that "180" was the best documentary about the holocaust he had ever seen.

The teacher proceeded to screen the entire documentary to the class, which means every student in the class also heard the gospel!

According to the student, a good and spirited conversation about the holocaust and abortion followed the screening of the documentary.

Are you a high school student? Can you, will you follow the lead of this courageous young lady and give the "180" DVD or business card to your teachers? How about to your fellow students?

We need the help of high school students everywhere to get the life-changing, life-saving messages of "180" to the students and faculty of every high school, in the world.

Let's get to work!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

180 is Saving Babies from Abortion

At Living Waters, we are very excited to receive emails from young, pregnant women who, after watching "180," decide not to have an abortion. Here is one of those emails. I've previously posted it on the blog; but it's worth repeating.
My Name is Vanessa. A couple months ago while at Santa Monica Pier. A brother in Christ approached my brother and I while we were listening to another brother give the word on a speaker box. After speaking to us he gave us this DVD. At that point no one knew I was expecting. After seeing this video I made the solid decision to proceed and keep my baby. I have since went to live at a maternity home for futher help and to help me be in a safe enviroment for myself and the baby. I have also showed my family the video as well.

My family is happy and supportive. I am 22 weeks along now and trusting in God for my baby's life.

Thank you for your ministry. I have also attached a picture of my most recent ultrasound picture.
Our hope and prayer is that more young, pregnant women like Vanessa will see "180" and decide to give their babies the precious gift of life.

180 is Changing People from Pro-Choice to Pro-Life

"The proof is in the pudding," as they say. The hearts and minds of people around the world are being changed! People are moving from a pro-choice to a pro-life point of view, as a result of "180."

Here's just one example:
A month ago I was assigned a research paper. The topic was, Should Abortion be legalized? I was "Pro Choice" when I started this paper, I accepted abortion in cases of rape and incest or if a woman's health were at risk. I was introduced to this movie by way of my Pastor's wife. I watched hoping I would find material for my paper supporting "my views". I never thought I would have to re-write my entire paper from a "Pro Life" point of view. This movie changed my views halfway through!!! Four points my Professor wanted four points she got. (1) An unborn baby in alive from the moment of conception. (2) Religious people find abortion "unethical". (3) Women seek abortion for selfish purposes. (4) "180" -- The movie that changed my opinion on abortion. I e-mailed her the link to this movie. I also recommended it to a classmate who is Pro Choice.
The young lady who sent the email to us, via 180movie.com, changed her mind. But, as you can see from the email, the impact of "180" did not stop with one student's research paper. Her classmates and teacher have now also been exposed to the life-changing, life-saving message of "180."

It is critically important we get "180" into the hands of high school and college/university students. The young people of this present generation are being indoctrinated to believe that abortion is not only ethical, but laudable. We can change that by distributing "180" on college and university campuses, and outside of high schools.

Join the effort!

180 Exposes the Dark Side of the Pro-Choice Movement

We've received literally thousands of emails in response to "180," via the 180Movie.com website. the overwhelming majority of them have been positive. But there have also been hundreds of negative responses. Most of the negative ones make the same, old, tired arguments in favor of killing unborn children in the womb. Some are so disgusting that one cannot read them and deny the depravity of man. Still others just leave you scratching your head to the point that the only response I can muster is, "I'm so glad your mother didn't think the way you do when she was carrying you in her womb."

Today, however, we received an email that is best described as chilling. It's an email that exposes the dark side of the pro-choice movement.
Let me begin by saying I was raised catholic and even had a confirmation. Went to church every sunday with my parents, and have been a good person all in all, I saw your 180 video and must say I completely disagree, heres why: Its OK to kill a baby in the womb when... There are 7 billion (or 7 thousand million) human beings in the world, the majority of which are living unsustainably. Abortion is at least slowing the human population growth (US population would likely be over 400million without Roe vs Wade).Genocide and war also help lower the population but it should never have to come to that.The difference is that a baby hasnt experienced life, hasnt felt love or happiness, all it is higly evolved endoparasite with undefined potential. Genocide and war involve killing, which is robbing people and their loved ones of life (and the feelings associated with it), this is not right, but it does help reach the final goal. Hitler had the right Idea, but he was too Machiavellian with his "ends justify the means" mentality, and did not the chose the right method (too impatient if you ask me). Selective breeding of people with high IQs, strong immune systems, and athletic abilities, and sterilization of the rest, would create a new raze of super-human beings and lower natality rate. Smarter stronger humans would work more efficiently and a world economy could be supported without such a high population and toll on the earth. We are a pest to this planet and all those who dont realize that, or who value human life are simply naive and blind to reality. Argue with that... Think about it, you can save all the immature lives you want... ultimately youre accelerating the deaths of many many more mature lives. Preach abstinance,thats time better spent... or change circumscision into castration... I dont know, I feel if everyone got on my bandwagon the world would be a better place: Only the smart and strong would bear the economic burden (rewarded with the blessing of having a child/genes passed on), the dumb and weak would slowly fade off, being able to work and spend their money on themselves. Polution, consumption, poverty, animal cruelty, among other world problems would eventually disappear, especially with greater minds being able to takle these problems.
This is the side of the pro-choice movement the pro-choice movement doesn't want you to see.

Based on the wording of the email, it is obvious the person who wrote the email considers himself among the "greater minds" who would be part of a master race bred, in part, by the murder of millions of unborn children. Interestingly, even a cursory look at the email reveals no less than nineteen grammatical mistakes. So much for "greater minds." (Note: I'm sure there's a few typos in this post. But I don't claim to be a "greater mind.")

What I do appreciate about the email is the candor with which the writer articulates his Eugenics/Planned Parenthood worldview. Most pro-choice people who think this way do not have the courage of their convictions to express them publicly.

It's emails like the one above that deepen my resolve to make sure "180" finds its way into the hands of as many high school and college students as possible. And here's how you can help.

Twitteneutics - Day 29

Here's what I gleaned from God's word, over the last few days.

God is so long-suffering and patient. That God gives anyone the opportunity to repent is one more chance than anyone deserves (Jeremiah 15:19-21).

Jesus is coming back. He said it. It will happen. That's all there is to it (John 14:3).

Jesus asserted time and again that He was/is God. He made this truth abundantly clear to Thomas and Philip (John 14:5-9).

The Holy Spirit is not a "force." He is the third Person of the one and only triune God (John 14:16-17).

Only a living God can give life. Only a living God can give eternal life. Jesus is He! All other gods are dead and demonic lies (John 14:19).

God's Word is always timely. Found not only wisdom, but encouragement for today in this proverb (Proverbs 20:22).

I've read the Bible for 23 years and today I decided to look up the word "goads" (Acts 26:14). Every word of the Bible is important.

Paul hated Jesus as much as on ox hates being pricked by a goad. Paul did not seek/choose Jesus. Christ chose to save him (Acts 26:14-18).

Jesus did not give Paul an option. By His own perfect will Christ called Paul, saved Paul, commissioned Paul, and sent Paul (Acts 26:14-18).

Paul knew nothing of the gospel-less testimonies so common among professing Christians, today (Acts 26:19-23).

Like the common heckler, Festus could not make a logical argument against Paul's testimony, so he resorted to an ad hominem (Acts 26:24).

Any ministry that is quick to say their goal is not conversions, would not receive Paul's support (Acts 26:25-29).

I can do nothing God-glorifying, Christ-exalting, or Spirit-honoring apart from genuine God-given faith in Jesus Christ (John 15:5).

Authentic, lasting joy comes from abiding in the love of Christ. Lord, by your sovereign grace, help me to abide in Your Love (John 15:9-11).

I did not choose Jesus. He chose me. Such great comfort in knowing my salvation has nothing to do with my choices, but His grace (John 15:16).

If the unsaved world loves you, your ministry, or your church are you sure you, your ministry, or your church is in Christ (Jn 15:18-19)?

Are you a Christian trying to live under the God-hating world's radar? Then you might be seeking to be greater than He who save you (John 15:20).

Seeing the full glory of God will kill any earthly, sinful man (Exodus 33:18-23). By His grace, I will one day see Him face-to-face! SDG!

Peace with God ONLY comes through justification by faith, through the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1).

Endurance, character, and hope--these are the blessed fruits of suffering (Romans 5:2-5).

If you don't speak to others about sin, righteousness, and judgment, then your evangelism is not led by the Holy Spirit (John 16:8-11).

Real peace comes by way of agreement with God (Job 22:21).

Instead of just asking God for good things, may I walk uprightly before Him so that He may choose to bless my obedience (Psalm 84:11-12).

Friday, November 11, 2011

Taking "180" to High Schools!

That's right. While our college/university campus distribution for 180 was a huge success, we're not stopping there. Our next stop is high school campuses around the world. High school campuses are are the front lines of the battle for the hearts and minds of this generation. Kids are being lied to about life in the womb. Students are being told by various sources that a child growing in the womb is not a human being deserving, as much as they are, the right to life. It's time to help high school students hear and see the truth about abortion--the murder of unborn children.

We are calling all Christians everywhere to join us in the fight to stop abortion and to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ top this lost generation.

Here's how you can join the effort to bring 180 to high school students.

Let's get to work!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Twitteneutics - Day 28

Here's what I gleaned from God's word, over the last several days.

Yes, I believe by faith. So does the atheist. The difference? My faith is in the Creator. There's is in creation (Hebrews 11:3).

This world never has been, isn't presently, and never will be worthy of Christian martyrs (Hebrews 11:35-38).

Allow me to testify about my Lord (1 Timothy 3:16).

Paul did not shrink back from the public, open-air preaching of the gospel. Sad that so many churches have shrunk back (Acts 20:18-21).

Pastor: do you preach sermon series about Star Wars and personalized license plates? Then the blood of your people is on your hands (Acts 20:26-27).

Jesus was speaking of Gentiles who would repent and believe the gospel, not Mormons who would blaspheme God by their idolatry (John 10:16).

What blessed assurance to be numbered among His sheep (John. 10:1-20)!

One reason why unbelievers hate Christians is because they are undeniable testimonies of the power of Christ (John 12:9-11).

Sadly, too many Christians will not testify about Christ for fear of being put out of the synagogue of the world (John 12:41-43).

God-given power, love, and self-control are the remedies for the sinful malady of fear (2 Timothy 1:7).

Christian isolationism is an oxymoron and dangerous to the spiritual health of the believe. Christians need other Christians (Proverbs 18:1).

I need to be a better listener in conversations with both believers and unbelievers. Sometimes I answer too quickly (Proverbs 18:13).

Mahria is evidence of the truth of this verse. I am blessed beyond measure by my wife (Proverbs 18:22).

Paul wouldn't find acceptance among many evangelicals, for he dared to speak of righteousness, self-control, and judgment (Acts 24:24-25).

Oh, Lord! Forgive me for every time I have lacked humility and for every time I have put myself before others (John 13:12-15)!

To love is Jesus' overarching command to His people (John 13:31-35). But love must be biblical and not simply based on selective definitions.

It cannot be any more clear. Sola Fide (Romans 3:28)!

When I need strength for the moment, for the situation, for the day I must meditate upon the grace of God (2 Timothy 2:1).

I must die to self and endure every day--not as a means of salvation, but as fruit of salvation. He is faithful when I am not (2 Timothy 2:11-13).

Lord, cleanse me from anything dishonorable in your sight, and help me, by Your Spirit, to cleanse myself (2 Tim 2:20-21). I want to be holy!

I KNOW that my Redeemer lives (Job 19:25)! His name is Jesus!

If there are times when you think integrity is all you have, thank God for how rich He has made you (Proverbs 19:1).

While fear and rest my seem paradoxical to the unsaved, to the believer it makes perfect sense. Fear God and rest in Him (Proverbs 19:23).

Friday, November 4, 2011

Twitteneutics - Day 27

Here's what I gleaned from God's word, over the last several days.

Jesus didn't practice what is referred to as "friendship evangelism." His evangelism would be deemed "confrontational" today (John 4:1-26).

So very thankful God is compassionate (Exodus 22:26-27).

Jesus is the King of righteousness and peace. He is the Great High Priest and the eternal Son of God (Hebrews 7:1-3).

As the Eternal High Priest, Jesus is able to save sinners to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:22-25). Blessed assurance!

Job's life is a testimony to the fallen nature of the most righteous among us, as well as the great patience and mercy of God (Job 10:1-22).

I humbly ask you pray for me as they prayed for Paul (2 Thessalonians 3:1-2).

It is indeed good to be near God (Psalm 73:25-28)!

My Lord, my Savior, my Manna (John 6:32-34). Lord Jesus, please give me this bread always.

Do you think you can help God save you by doing anything--anything at all? Then you contradict what Jesus said about salvation (John 6:63).

Yes, Christians are to judge. They are to judge with righteous judgment (John 7:24).

Jesus is my favorite open-air preacher (John 7:37-39).

This is why the Roman Catholic mass is unbiblical. Jesus Christ suffered ONCE to put away sin--not repeatedly (Hebrews 9:25-28).

No human priest can forgive/absolve anyone of their sins against God. There is only one Great High Priest. His name is Jesus (Hebrews 10:11-14).

Those who mire themselves in and enjoy vain discussions have deviated from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith (1 Timothy 1:5-7).

Paul, one of the most learned men of his day, came to recognize that his unbelief was a result of his former ignorance (1 Timothy 1:12-14).

Forgive me, Lord, for the many times I, like Job, sinned by arrogantly and self-righteously believing I can argue a case before You (Job 13:3).

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Postal Proselytizing

I think it's time for Christians around the world to take the phrase "going postal" and turn into something very positive and God-glorifying. Christians can do this by engaging in what I like to call "Postal Proselytizing."

Postal Proselytizing is an excellent way for those who may not be able to hit the streets, due to physical limitations or other circumstances, to share the Law and the Gospel with lost people in their community and around the world.

Too cold or rainy to hit the streets? Having a hard time finding good fishing spots in your neighborhood? Always wanted to share the Law and the Gospel with that particularly unfriendly or cranky neighbor, but you just haven't been able to work up the courage to do it? Postal Proselytizing may be the answer. It's easy. It's fun. It's as inexpensive as you want it to be. And it just may have your neighborhood talking for some time to come.

Just follow these simple steps:

1) Go to http://www.whitepages.com/

2) Click on Reverse Lookup.

3) Enter your phone number (if it is listed), or any residential number from the phone book, into the "phone number" field; and click "search."

4) A box will appear that will include the name and address associated with the listing. Beneath the listing, you will see several buttons. One reads: "Find Neighbors."

5) Click the "Find Neighbor" button. You will be redirected to a page that will tell you how many listed numbers are in close proximity to your entry.

6) Click the "View The First Ten Results" link and in an instant you will have the name, addresses, and phone numbers for every phone book listing in close proximity to your entry.

7) Copy and paste each address into either a Word document or a label program.

8) Create a nondescript e-mail account through gmail or one of the many free e-mail services. I will explain why, shortly.

9) Buy some Million Dollar Bill gospel tracts.

Now that you've easily and legally collected some addresses, it's time to write your letter. Allow me to help with that, too. :-)

The tone of your letter is extremely important. After all, you want the people who receive the letter to read it. To the extent it can be communicated in a letter, you want to try to convey genuine care and concern for the recipient. Be thoughtful. Be kind. Let the recipient know how you obtained their address to put their mind at ease.

Here's the letter I use. Please feel free to use some or all of this letter, if you like.


Dear Neighbor,

Thank you for not throwing away the envelope in which this letter was contained, before opening it. I’m sure it struck you as odd to receive a letter addressed to "My Neighbor." I obtained and selected your address randomly through the White Pages.

I assure you that this is not a solicitation or a scam of any kind. I do not want to sell you anything or sign you up for anything.

My hope is that you will continue to read the letter. My hope is that, in the end, you will see this letter as so much more than "junk mail." I am writing to you because I care about you--one member of the community to another.

By now, I am sure you've come to realize that the Million Dollar Bill you are holding in your hand is not legal tender. But what if I had sent you a million dollars--real, cold, hard cash? What would you do with the money? Buy a house? Buy a car? Take a trip around the world? Invest or save it? Put yourself or your kids through college? Give to charity? Would you do all of the above, or something different?

Now I would like you to consider this. What if I told you that you could keep the million dollars if you donated one of your eyes to science? Your eye would be replaced with a beautifully matching prosthetic eye; but, of course, you wouldn't be able to see out of it. Would you sell me your eye for a million dollars? Would you sell me both of your eyes for, say, five million dollars?

If you are a reasonable person, you would probably say no. Why? Well, because you would likely agree that your eyes are precious to you. You would rather go through life poor and able to see than to go through life rich, but blind.

With the above in mind, I would like share with you something very fascinating that someone once said. "If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell."

Jesus said those words (Matthew 5:29-30). Jesus also said, "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul" (Matthew 16:26)?

Thank you so very much for taking the time to read this. I have but one more very important request. Please read the back of the Million Dollar Bill. The text asks and answers the "million dollar question."

It is not by mere coincidence that your received and read this letter, today. While you do not know me, and the likelihood is that we will never meet; please know that I am praying for you and I care about you. My motive for sending you this letter is simply this. "For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself'" (Galatians 5:14).

If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me at: [enter your nondescript email address here]

With care and respect,

Your Neighbor
More Tips:

1) The reason for obtaining a nondescript e-mail address is so that you can make yourself available to any recipient for questions or further discussion, without identifying yourself. Remember, Jesus said that if people hate the followers of Jesus Christ it is because they hated Him first. While the Christian should always be willing to lay down his or her life for the furtherance of the gospel, the Christian should also be a good steward of the life God has given them. So, use a reasonable amount of care and caution when identifying yourself to strangers.

2) Address the envelope "To My Neighbor." Even though White Pages provides the name of the resident along with the phone number and address, there is no way to be certain if the name given represents the people presently living at the residence. If you put the wrong name on the envelope, the recipient may not open it.

3) Do not put a return address on the envelope. Again: the thought, care, and goodwill you put into the letter may not be shared by the recipient. Not everyone who receives your letter will appreciate it. You do not want to have an angry, God-hater knocking on your door one night. :-)

So, there you have it--Postal Proselytizing. Now, go get some million dollar bills, envelopes, and stamps. Collect some addresses, write your letter, and make sure to put a million dollar bill in every envelope.

And pray. Pray for each and every person to whom you send a letter. Pray that the Lord will use something that may seem silly to the world (and, sadly, to some in the Church) to bring Himself glory, as He uses your proclamation of the Law and the Gospel to draw sinners to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

About the Word 'Do'

I love this photo. Frankly, I love any photo that includes my beautiful wife, Mahria. I love this photo because it was taken before Mahria and I served side-by-side, distributing 180 DVDs to our neighbors.

The documentary has been viewed more than 1.3 million times on YouTube. 180,000 copies of the DVD were distributed on college and university campuses throughout North America, on Tuesday, October 25, 2011. And we are trusting God to provide the financial and human resources to distribute as many as 500,000 copies of the DVD to high school students across the country.

To date, the documentary has been subtitled in 14 different languages: Albanian, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Korean, Latvian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, and Swedish. The documentary has been subtitled in these languages by request. The message of 180 is literally being heard around the world.

Instructions for accessing subtitles in the above-listed languages, are found in this instructional video.

The full impact of 180 is yet to be determined. Most recently I blogged about Vanessa, a young woman who, after watching 180 decided not to abort her baby.

We've received many emails from people who have changed their mind not only about abortion, but about how they decide for whom they will vote in the future--emails like this one:
I have been pro-life since I was a teenager. When I was faced with an unplanned pregnancy, the father and my friends advised me to get an abortion. I didn't listen to them and [now] have a 16 year old son. I had voted [for a] pro-life presidential candidates just because they were pro-life. My husband asked me if that president stopped abortion from happening, and I said no. We both voted for a pro-choice president the last election. After watching this documentary he said to me in tears that he was wrong. We have had our minds changed about who we vote for.
Both men and women have emailed us, broken over their sin--the sin of encouraging, forcing, or having and abortion. One woman simply wrote: "GOD, GOD FORGIVE ME!"

And another young woman wrote this:
I grew up in a christian home. I'm a pastors kid in fact. But I made a horrible mistake. I had a boyfriend for over a year. I thought I was going to marry him, so I slept with him. And as a result I got pregnant. I didn't know what to do. And out of the fear of being found out I had an abortion. As a result I lost everything. I lost my child, I lost my boyfriend. I lost his family. I have felt nothing but anguish and guilt every since. After seeeing the promotional video for 180 I knew I needed to write to you. People need to know. They need to not make the choice I made. There is no excuse for what I did. I knew what abortion was. I knew it was wrong. Yet I did it anyways. The world needs change. And it needs it now.
Emails like this do not go unanswered. We do whatever we can to point hurting people to organizations best equipped to help them through the trauma of abortion. And we also take every opportunity to speak the truth in love to them, by sharing with them the law and the gospel.

And of course, the most wonderful emails of all, are those who, as a result of watching the video, have come to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
This movie has changed my heart! I stopped after the movie and just repented my God for my forgiveness. The movie is just amazing and it really moves you! Thank you very much for the movie.
We have been blessed before and after the release of the documentary to receive endorsements from Christian leaders such as: John Piper, David Platt, Francis Chan, Randy Alcorn, and Ken Ham--just to name a few. And recently we received the endorsement of one of the most respected Bible teachers and pastors of this generation--Pastor John MacArthur.
“This is a powerful, confrontational treatment of abortion that rocks its defenders back on their heels. Don’t miss it!”
I share the above as a rather long preface, before I answer a reoccurring question about the documentary--a question asked by Christians.
In your movie you are telling people what they need to do to get saved. You quote John 3:16 and then you say "what you've got to do is repent, turn from your sins, trust in Jesus, God will give you everlasting life." My question is, do you believe that Christ's blood is enough or do you believe that there is something that we must do?
Some have suggested that by including the word "do" in the gospel presentation, Ray Comfort (albeit unintentionally) is promoting a works-righteousness formula for salvation. By telling people there is something they must do to be saved, Ray is telling people they must complete a work to receive salvation.

Ray Comfort and Mark Spence deal with this objection in the Friday, October 28, 2011 edition of our live, Internet-based program On The Box. You will find their answer to this objection beginning at the 26:14 mark, in the program.

I would like to affirm and add to what Ray and Mark said.

Those who know me well know where I stand theologically when it comes to the sovereignty of God and salvation. I could not and would not serve in any ministry that does not promote and proclaim a biblical gospel. Having now served alongside Ray Comfort for four years I can say unequivocally that Ray Comfort believes and preaches a biblical gospel. And I am hard-pressed to think of any man I know who loves the Lord, His gospel, His people, and the lost more than Ray Comfort. I would gladly charge the gates of Hell with Ray Comfort armed only with a squirt gun.

With that said...

Salvation is by the grace of God alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, completely separate from any human work or effort. Telling people what they must “do,” (namely to repent and believe the gospel), having given them a clear and biblical presentation of the law and the gospel, is consistent with a biblical presentation of the gospel. After all, Jesus likewise called people to repent and believe (Mark 1:15). By telling people they must repent and believe, the evangelist is not telling them they must work for their salvation. Rather, we are calling them to respond to the gospel with repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

As I thought about my answer to this objection, I was reminded of the scene in Acts 16:25-30.
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, "Do not harm yourself, for we are all here." And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household."
The jailer, fearing for his life, asked a very direct question. "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"

Paul, a chosen messenger of God, an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ who was commanded by Christ Himself to serve Him as a herald of the gospel, could only respond to the jailer's question one way--biblically. Paul did not say, "There is nothing you must do to be saved." No. Paul said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved." There is no way around it. Paul told the jailer to do something.

Should we therefore accuse the apostle Paul of proclaiming a false gospel of works? Of course not. To do so would be to deny everything else Paul said and wrote affirming salvation by the grace of God alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone (Romans 1:17; Romans 2:4; Romans 4:13-25; Ephesians 2:8-9); 2 Timothy 1:8-10; Titus 3:4-7).

Salvation is of the Lord (Psalm 3:8; Psalm 96:2; Psalm 119:166, 174; Jonah 2:9)!

Regardless of the theological camp in which you find or place yourself, you cannot share the gospel with an individual, you cannot herald the gospel in the open-air without telling people to do something--namely, to repent and believe the gospel. You must inevitably tell them to do something.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A life Saved! - A '180' Testimony

This morning I received the following email via the 180movie.com website.
My Name is Vanessa. A couple months ago while at Santa Monica Pier. A brother in Christ approached my brother and I while we were listening to another brother give the word on a speaker box. After speaking to us he gave us this DVD. At that point no one knew I was expecting. After seeing this video I made the solid decision to proceed and keep my baby. I have since went to live at a maternity home for futher help and to help me be in a safe enviroment for myself and the baby. I have also showed my family the video as well.

My family is happy and supportive. I am 22 weeks along now and trusting in God for my baby's life.

Thank you for your ministry. I have also attached a picture of my most recent ultrasound picture.

I and the rest of the Third Street Heralds evangelism team were preaching the gospel on the pier that day. I had a small quantity of 180 DVDs on hand, which we distributed to people on the pier.

What a wonderful way to start my Sunday--a life saved by a sovereign God who used 180 to convince a young woman to spare her unborn baby's life!

At Living Waters, we are trusting God to, by His sovereign grace and mercy, save not only many more unborn children, but also the souls of men and women who watch the documentary and come to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Clarence's Collision with False Conversion

It's been almost a week since more than 1,300 Christians throughout the United States and Canada banned together on a single day to distribute 180,000 copies of the documentary 180, on more than 100 college and university campuses. We continue to receive email responses from students who received the documentary--many good, some bad, and a few ugly. Many have changed their mind about abortion and some have come to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, as a result of the effort.

In addition to shepherding this massive project, I also had the privilege of leading the team that distributed 2,000 DVDs on the campus of UCLA. The team, comprised primarily of Living Waters staff members and members of their families, also included students from UCLA and friends of the ministry. There were approximately thirty people on the team.

We spent four hours on the UCLA campus distributing DVDs, engaging students in spiritual conversation, and proclaiming the law and the gospel in the open-air. It was an amazing time of fellowship and evangelism that I am certain bore much fruit for the kingdom of God.

Here is a photo/video montage produced by Stuart and Carol Scott that provides a snapshot of the effort at UCLA.



As I mentioned, our time on the campus included open-air preaching. Ray Comfort, Stuart Scott, and Mark Spence together preached for a couple of hours, non-stop. The crowd grew to an estimated 500 students, which drew the attention of the school's radio program.

It is likely that more unbelievers heard the gospel during that two-hour period than the total number of unbelievers that will enter any given church in a year of Sundays. Some students dropped by to listen for a few minutes. Others students, presumably missing classes, stayed for the full two hours to listen to the preaching and to engage the preacher. The "hecklers" were literally lining up to take a crack at whoever was "on the box."

One of the first hecklers was Clarence, a fifth-year Political Science major and a pastor's kid (PK). Sadly, some of the most adamant hecklers open-air preachers face on the street, some of the most ardent detractors of the open-air proclamation of the gospel, are people whose first words out of their mouth are "I'm a Christian, too!"

Clarence's mantra was typical. He was opposed to the use of the law (the Ten Commandments), finding it offensive and judgmental to talk about sin. He believed it was unloving and inconsiderate to "shove Christianity down people's throats." Clarence was/is the apparent byproduct of weak preaching that likely focused on only the love of God, with little or no mention of righteousness, sin, judgment, Hell, and repentance.

Ray, as is his custom, allowed Clarence to vent for a few minutes before asking him to give up the heckler's box to someone else with an objection or question. Clarence eventually stepped down but, like so many other students, just couldn't leave.

Toward the end of the day, I saw Clarence still standing in the crowd, looking like he wanted to take a crack at Mark who was preaching at the time. I was sitting on a bench behind Mark and slightly removed from the throng of people who were gathered to hear the preaching.

I called Clarence by name and asked him to come over to where I was sitting. He obliged. I introduced myself, we shook hands, and then I asked Clarence a question.

"Clarence, share the gospel with me. Let's say you're a Christian and I'm your unbelieving friend. Here we are, together on campus. Now's your opportunity. Share the gospel with me."

Clarence told me that he would need his Bible to point out some verses. He said he would ask me if I wanted to know the Lord. And then he paraphrased Romans 10:9-10: "Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved."

I explained to Clarence that I didn't want to hear how he would share the gospel with me, but that I wanted him to actually share the gospel with me. He couldn't do it. It's not that Clarence didn't want to share the gospel with me. He quite literally didn't know what to say.

I allowed Clarence to stumble over his words for a few minutes and then I said, "Okay. Let's switch. Now I'm the Christian and you're my unbelieving friend. This is what I would say to you.

"Clarence. The Bible says it's appointed once for a person to die and after that, the judgment. One day you are going to die, stand before God, and give an account for your life."

At this point, Clarence was nodding his head in agreement.

"Because God is good, because He is holy, righteous, and just He is going to judge you according to the perfect moral standard of His Law. If you've ever told so much as one lie, He will see you as a liar..."

"No! I don't believe that!" Clarence loudly interrupted.

I asked Clarence to allow me to finish. I was now, sadly, more confident than ever that I was talking to a false convert. Clarence who, if he was a born again follower of Jesus Christ, would have affirmed the truth of God's Word. But, instead, he was adamantly opposed to it.

In the next couple of minutes, I presented the law and the gospel to Clarence and then I asked him what he was studying.

"Political Science." Clarence answered.

"Okay. Let's say I walked up to you and said, 'Clarence, I know all there is to know about political science.' Curious, you say, 'Okay, tell me what you know about political science.' And I respond by saying, 'Well, we have elections every four years. And sometimes we have elections every two years. And we vote.'"

I stood silent for a moment, waiting for the expected response. Clarence cracked a smile, which indicated what I had just said was ridiculous to him.

"Clarence, if I said that to you would you believe I know anything about political science?" I asked.

"No."

"Clarence. I have two daughters older than you. I care about you. But if you wouldn't believe I know anything about political science, based on what I said to you, why should I believe you are a Christian when you can't tell me how to become one? Clarence you can't be saved by a gospel you do not know."

Clarence exploded. What came out of Clarence's mouth during the next couple of minutes further revealed the condition of his heart.

"Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander" (Matthew 15:17-19)

Now yelling at the top of his lungs, Clarence, with threats of violence, called me just about every name in the book--all the while insisting he was a Christian.

I thought for sure Clarence was going to hit me. Later, when I talked to other team members about the incident, they thought the same thing. I tried to calmly call Clarence on his hypocrisy, telling him that he was not exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit. I called him to repent and believe the gospel, but to no avail.

Clarence walked away from me and hopped up on the wall next to Mark, who was preaching. He interrupted Mark and engaged the crowd.

He told the crowd he agreed with much of what was being said. It was as if Clarence was trying to do damage control after his public explosion. With some coaching from me and other members in the crowd, Clarence was able to bring himself to say that people who don't put their faith in Jesus Christ will go to Hell. But no sooner did the words come out of his mouth that he tried to soften what he said by assuring the crowd that no one knows for sure where anyone is going to spend eternity.

Eventually Clarence stepped down and rejoined the crowd. He was soon surrounded by well-wishers and approached by a reporter for the Bruin radio station. Alan Pearson, Living Waters' Director of Donor Relations, sat behind Clarence and listened intently to the interview. According to Alan, nothing Clarence said regarding the Christian faith was remotely close to the gospel and what the Bible teaches.

I was heartbroken. My heart is still grieved for Clarence and for the large number of students like him on college campuses across the country--students who left the fun-filled confines of party and pranks-driven youth ministries for secular college campuses where truth is relative and Christ is maligned. Like so many others, Clarence stepped onto the campus of UCLA believing he was saved, believing he was right with God, having never truly repented and received Jesus Christ as His Lord and Savior.

While heartbroken about how it ended, my encounter with Clarence motivates me all-the-more to reach his generation with the authentic gospel of Jesus Christ.

Clarence's collision with false conversion should serve as a wake-up call for Christians and churches everywhere--a wake-up call to treat college and university campuses for what they are--mission fields filled with not only young people who have never believed in Christ, but also young people brought up in weak churches, under weak preaching, who were falsely led to believe they know Jesus when they don't.

Twitteneutics - Day 26

Here's what I gleaned from God's word yesterday morning.

Scrub all you want with church attendance, good deeds, and morality. Nothing you do will ever wash away your sins (Jeremiah 2:22).

For whom among your persecuted brethren will you pray, today (Acts 12:1-5). Many evangelists will hit the streets, today, and will be persecuted.

How often do I sin against God by praying and declaring my trust in Him while, at the same time, not believing He will answer (Acts 12:12-15)?

No one gives themselves the right to become a child of God. It is given by God alone. God does not need your acceptance. You need HIS (John 1:12)!

Analogies, anecdotes, and apologetics are mere butter knives when compared to the two-edged sword of the Word of God (Hebrews 4:12).

If your evangelism leaves no one feeling uncomfortably exposed then the light you are shining is too dim to have any real effect (Hebrews 4:13).

If in your darkest moments you feel that God does not understand, then you do not understand who Christ is. Repent of your unbelief (Hebrews 4:14-15).

The Christian has confidence more-than-sufficient mercy and grace is available at the foot of His throne. Real needs are met there (Heb 4:16).

Whoever disregards the pursuit of godliness disregards God. Will your day be filled with the pursuit of impurity or Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:7-8).

Open-Air Preacher: Do not forget to herald the imminent return of Christ in your preaching (1 Thessalonians 4:16).

If you confess sin with the frame of mind that you are going to surprise God, then you have a wrong understanding of who God is (Psalm 69:5).

Friday, October 28, 2011

Twitteneutics - Day 25

Here's what I gleaned from the Word of God the last couple days.

Then they demanded a murderer be released and an innocent Man put to death. Now they elect murderers and vote unborn children put to death (Luke 23:23-25).

Salvation by the grace of God ALONE, through faith ALONE, in Jesus Christ ALONE (Luke 23:42-43)!

No priest, pope, or any other human can or will ever serve as mediator between God and man. Christ ALONE is Mediator (Luke 23:44-46)!

Yes, God the Son had to become the God-Man & the suffering Servant to satisfy the justice of God. To deny this is to deny Christ (Hebrews 2:14-18).

To be "purpose-driven" in a biblical sense is to remain faithful to the Lord and steadfast. Christian: Christ is your purpose (Acts 11:23).

I, too, have seen the empty tomb. He is risen, indeed (Luke 24:1-7)!

Unless the Lord opens the mind and eyes of a person, they cannot see the spiritual truths Scripture contains (Luke 24:45-47).

Every Christian a counselor (Hebrews 3:12-14).

There are times when life can feel unbearable. But God bears up those whom He has redeemed (Psalm 68:19-20).

The answer to the question: "Will God punish a man who steals to feed himself?" (Proverbs 6:30-31)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Twitteneutics - Day 24

Here's what I gleaned from the Word of God the last couple days.

A Christian testifies to what God did for his soul (Psalm 66:16). Does your testimony speak more about you or Him?

So great is God's love for me that He disciplines me when I sin against Him (Proverbs 3:11-12).

The Lord said nothing to comfort Peter at that moment. Sometimes the American Church is too quick to dry sinners' eyes (Luke 22:60-62).

He is so much more than a prophet (Hebrews 1:1-2)!

He is not merely like God. He IS God (Hebrews 1:3-4)!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Twitteneutics - Day 23

Here's what I gleaned from the Word of God the last couple days.

To think Christians owe self-righteous unbelievers answers to their questions is inconsistent with how Jesus handled such people (Luke 20:1-8).

Sometimes God's answer to prayer is "Stop your whining and do what I told you to do" (Exodus 14:15).

To lack contentment is to love self and possession more than God. It is idolatry (Colossians 3:5).

Praying for the 1,000+ Christians I will lead, today (Psalm 64:1-10).

Partial obedience is disobedience; and to try to argue your case when you do not fully obey is to heap sin upon sin (1 Samuel 15:1-23).

Yes, there is forgiveness of sin and salvation for murderers (Acts 8:1-3), but only by, through, and in Jesus Christ.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Twitteneutics - Day 22

Here's what I gleaned from the Word of God this morning.

Yes, Jesus claimed to be God. He NEVER forbade people from worshiping Him (Luke 19:36-40).

Less than 40 years later, Jesus words would perfectly come to fruition. Jesus, the God-Man, was/is omniscient (Luke 19:41-44).

Sinner's prayer, giving 10%, friendship evangelism, seeker churches--all traditions that would leave Paul shaking his head (Colossians 2:8).

THE GREAT EXCHANGE! (Colossians 2:13-15). There is no salvation apart from the vicarious, penal subsitutionary atonement of Christ!

Sadly, many professing Christians insist on living in the shadows, errantly seeing legalism as a means of grace (Colossians 2:16-17).

Contrary to Rob Bellian, Mormon, and Watchtower theology, Hell IS forever (Revelation 20:10-15).

Yes, the Word of God testifies to His triune nature (Isaiah 63:1-19). To deny that God is one God in three Persons is to practice idolatry.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Prayer Stand Journal - Santa Clarita Public Library


Today, I'm beginning a new, reoccurring blog post that will chronicle some of my experiences while using my Prayer Stand. Because of the sensitive and private nature of some of the things people share with me at the Prayer Stand, no names will be mentioned.

The reason for these posts are two-fold: 1) to share with you, the reader, how the Lord is using the Prayer Stand to minister to others and further His gospel; and 2) to give you the opportunity to join me in praying for the people I meet.  I hope you are encouraged by these posts.

You can also watch a video Eddie Roman (producer of Way of the Master Television and 180) and I put together that gives an overview and review of the Prayer Stand.

When out with the Prayer Stand there are times when I am able to pray with people, on the spot. Other times people simply ask me to pray, take some gospel literature, and leave.

I am very careful how I pray at the Prayer Stand, especially with/for unbelievers. I am careful not leave them with the impression that God will definitely meet their temporal needs, as if He were some genie in a bottle. After all, God does not hear the prayers of the unsaved (Job 35:12-14; Isaiah 1:15; Isaiah 59:1-3). The unbeliever does not pray by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And without faith in Christ it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Rather, the unbeliever is double-minded and unstable in all his or her ways, and as such should not expect to receive anything from the Lord (James 1:6-8). For these reasons, I never ask an unsaved person to pray with me, although they almost always assume an attitude of prayer as I pray for them.

When I have the opportunity to pray aloud at the Prayer Stand with/for an unbeliever, my prayers are primarily focused on the condition of their soul. If I pray for their temporal needs it is in the context of requesting that God meet their needs (or not give them what they want) in such a way as to bring Himself glory and to draw the unbeliever to genuine repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I utilize such opportunities for prayer as a means of reiterating the Law and the Gospel they have already likely heard from me during our conversation prior to the time of prayer.

Santa Clarita Public Library - Friday, October 21, 2011 (0945-1145 hrs)

1. A lady asked for prayer for her family in Mexico. Her father is struggling with alcoholism. She received a gospel tract.

2. A brother in Christ who leads a ministry to shut-ins at a local church asked for prayer for an elderly friend who will soon undergo very serious neck surgery.

3. A sister in Christ who is part of a street ministry to youth asked for prayer for fruitfulness in the ministry.

4. Pray for a man who was late to court (the courthouse is in the same civic center as the library) for a "drinking in public" ticket. He stopped by the Prayer Stand to tell me his story. He stopped by again after his court appearance to share with me how it went. I shared the Law and the Gospel with him. Pray for his salvation.

5. A lady who professed to be a follower of Christ stopped by the Prayer Stand after a court appearance. She is on probation for an incident that occurred two years ago. She wept as she shared her story with me. She is battling some serious emotional/spiritual issues (anxiety, depression, and fear) and is not in fellowship at a local church. I gave her an "In Times of Crisis" gospel tract.

6. A young lady with a toddler in her arms asked for prayer for her husband who was arrested for an outstanding warrant. I began to share the Law and the Gospel with her when she was called away by her parents. She received a gospel tract and a Gospel of John before she left. Pray for her salvation and the salvation of her husband.

7. A sister in Christ asked for prayer regarding a change in her court reporter status. A widow, she has been able to work part-time and raise her children for fourteen years, but the county may require her to assume full-time status.

Many other people received gospel tracts. And several people stopped by just to thank me for being there.

Twitteneutics - Day 21

Here's what I gleaned from the Word of God this morning.

Any doctrine even remotely built upon the premise that "man is basically good" has no scriptural support and is therefore a lie (Luke 18:19).

Salvation is the monergistic, sovereign, gracious act of Almighty God. Man can't save himself. It is utterly impossible (Luke 18:26-27).

Unlike Smith, Russell, White, Eddy, Camping, televangelists, popes, and Muhammad, Jesus was/is a true prophet (Luke 18:31-34).

Jesus Christ, the Eternal One, is Creator God (Colossians 1:15-20).

Christian: you have not reconciled yourself to God. HE has reconciled you to Himself (Colossians 1:21-23).

Christian: You did not come to know God by your intellectual prowess. He chose to make Himself known to you by His grace and for His glory (Colossians 1:27).

Open-Air Preacher: Which Jesus will you herald, today? A soft Jesus pleasing to the world, or the King of kings and the Lord of lords (Revelation 19:11-16)?

Considering how many Christian parents allow their daughters to dress, I have to wonder if they've ever read this verse (Proverbs 31:30).

Christian Leader: Pragmatism in the name of God is a poor and sinful substitute for obedience to the Word of God (1 Samuel 13:8-14).

Friday, October 21, 2011

Screening of '180' at The Master's College

On Monday, October 24, 2011, at 7:00 PM, I will be screening 180 at The Master's College, as part of the school's "Movies that Matter" series. Following the screening, I will lead a Q&A session with students and others in attendance. This event is open to the public.

Everyone in attendance will receive a free copy of the 180 DVD. And a copy of Randy Alcorn's book, "Why Pro-Life?"

The screening of 180 will take place in EHC 100, on the North Campus at the college.

Directions:

Turn onto 13th Street from Railroad Avenue. 13th Street will become Placerita Canyon Road. Take Placerita Canyon Road past the main campus and the gymnasium. Turn left on Quigley Canyon Road. Turn right on Placeritos Boulevard. The North Campus is located at the corner of Quigley Canyon Road and Placeritos Boulevard. Park in the main parking lot, via the Placeritos Boulevard entrance.

The English History Center (EHC) is on the northwest corner of the North Campus. EHC 100 is the main room in that building.

Hope to see you there!

Twitteneutics - Day 20

Here's what I gleaned from the Word of God, over the last couple days.

I will never have as much as Paul did to commend to God, and Paul had nothing to commend to Him (Philippians 3:3-11).

What no religion can offer mankind is what every born again believer has with full assurance--a future hope (Philippians 3:20-21).

No Christian should EVER obey any law forbidding the heralding of the gospel. Such laws must be broken for the glory of Christ (Acts 4:18-20).

Pray not for relief from persecution, but for boldness to keep preaching in the midst of persecution (Acts 4:29-30).

You have no choice but to forgive a brother who repents. To do otherwise is to sin. "Pay attention to yourselves" (Luke 17:3-4).

Take no glory when you are obedient. Let not your heart swell with pride when you live by faith. You are only doing what you have been told (Luke 17:7-10).

Many Christians live like the 9 lepers--expecting much from God and thanking Him very little, taking His grace and mercy for granted (Luke 17:11-19).

Every spiritual battle, every war against sin begins in the mind. Take the offensive! Fight the good fight by thinking right! (Philippians 4:8)

If you don't share the gospel because of the fear of men or because of the rules of men, then you obey men and not God. Repent! (Acts 5:27-29)