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)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lyle's Lack of Assurance

I went out with the cross to a new intersection, today--the corner of Newhall Avenue and Main Street (Newhall, CA). I prayed the Lord would bless me yet again for an opportunity to share the gospel with someone. He heard my prayer and answered according to His sovereign will.

His name was Lyle. He was probably in his mid-to-late thirties, but he looked much older. Life on the streets and a lifetime of drug addiction has aged him beyond his years. He carried a large trash bag filled with recyclable items. In his free hand, a cigarette that had been lit then extinguished to conserve it for later use. Dirty and disheveled, Lyle approached me and said, "Look, here. I have a question. Can a man lose his salvation?"

What followed was a wonderful fifteen-minute conversation with a man who seemed contrite and in need of help. I hope you will be as blessed to listen to this conversation as I was to be part of it.

Pray for Lyle.



You can also listen to and/or download the audio, here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Twitteneutics - Day 19

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

What a wonderful model for OA preaching. The Word read/recited, then brief exposition, then the proclamation of the gospel (Acts 2:14-41).

God is sovereign. He shares His sovereignty with NO ONE. He is free to do as He pleases, consistent with His character and nature (Exodus 9:16).

A tragic example of death-producing worldly grief, not repentance-producing godly grief (Exodus 9:27-35; 2 Corinthians 7:10).

Lord, help me to be other-minded, today. Show me how I can serve others--putting others over, above, before myself, for Your glory (Philippians 2:3-4).

The Hypostatic Union: Without it there is no means of atonement, no means of saving grace, no means of salvation (Philippians 2:5-8; Hebrews 1:3).

Yes, EVERYONE will bow the knee--the atheist, the agnostic, the pagan, the idolater. Sadly, these will bow before they perish (Philippians 2:9-10).

The atheist and the false convert have more in common than a lack of understanding regarding the justice of God (Proverbs 28:5).

Professing Christian: if you scoff at the use of the law in evangelism, beware and repent (Proverbs 28:9)!

God is mighty to save, and He hears the prayers of His people. But if you know not Jesus as Lord and Savior, He hears you not (Isaiah 59:1-2).

True prophets of God make no promises of wealth and take no credit for healing. Today's TV false prophets do the opposite (Acts 3:1-13).

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

At the Foot of the Cross with Raoul and Oscar

Life has been very busy. The release of 180, which today has eclipsed the one million view mark on YouTube, has kept all of us at Living Waters in a state of perpetual motion. Add to that the upcoming distribution of more than 200,000 180 DVDs on college and university campuses, and overseeing the ministries Transformed and Deeper conferences, well.... Life has been very busy.

As I drove home from Living Waters yesterday, I tried to remember the last time I had taken out the cross. I couldn't. So, I decided to head out with the cross for about an hour or so, before dinner. I went to the corner (Lyons Avenue and Avenida Entrana, Newhall, CA) where more than two years ago I stood with the cross, for the first time.

Within minutes, I watched as a man driving westbound on Lyons Avenue made an erratic turn from the #1 westbound lane to northbound Avenida Entrana. He quickly pulled into the parking lot across the street from where I was standing.

The man got out of his car, walked to the corner opposite me, and began to nervously pace back and forth. After a few minutes, he walked across the street to my corner. He slowly walked behind and around me and stood next to the traffic light. I didn't have a very good vibe about this guy, but I tried to engage him by handing him a gospel tract.

He would not look me in the eye and silently responded to my offer with his middle finger. I asked him if that was all he had to say and he responded by grabbing his buttocks. While expressive, he was not very articulate.

When the light turned green, the man darted across the street, but only went halfway before turning around and returning to my corner. He then made his way back across the street to the corner opposite me where he continued his bizarre behavior of pacing and staring at the intersection.

Oh, did I mention the man, in his mid-fifties, had long wild white hair and was wearing a grim reaper t-shirt?

As the man carried on across the street, a car with two young men came to a stop at the light, eastbound on Lyons Avenue. They were at least fifty feet away from where I stood on the corner. Both young men looked over at me, smiled, and asked, "Ready for What?"

I pointed to the parking lot where my car was parked. "There's a parking lot right there! Come on over, and I will answer your questions!"

The light turned green, and the two young men drove down the road.

I was disappointed but not surprised that the two young men didn't stop. What happened next, however, did surprise me.

A few minutes later I saw the same car with the same two young men driving toward the intersection, westbound on Lyons Avenue. The car made the right turn onto Avenida Entrana and immediately turned into the parking lot. The two young men got out of the car, walked past the grim reaper t-shirt-wearing man, and made their way to my side of the street.

There names were Raoul and Oscar.

I introduced myself, shook their hands, and thanked them for stopping to talk to me. The following is the conversation I had with Raoul and Oscar. The audio was captured on my iPhone, which was in my pants pocket, so the sound quality isn't as good as it could be. But if you're patient and listen carefully you will be able to hear the entire conversation.



You can also listen to and/or download the audio of this conversation, here.

What a blessing! What a blessing to be given the opportunity to share the law and the gospel with Raoul and Oscar--two young men I would have never met had I not been standing on the corner with my cross.

Join me in praying that Raoul and Oscar will receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Rightly Divided, with Lane Chaplin: 180

Monday, October 17, 2011

Twitteneutics - Day 18

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

The use of tragic events in evangelism is as timely and relevant today as it was when Jesus employed the tactic (Luke 13:1-5).

The truth of God and His Word always puts the hypocrite to shame, whether he or she is ever humble enough to admit it (Luke 13:10-17).

The infinite God has set a finite amount of time during which He will save people. Sadly more will perish than will be saved (Luke 13:22-30).

God hardens the hearts of those He will subsequently judge. That we may not understand or even like it is irrelevant (Exodus 7:3-4). God is God!

God is sovereign and, at the same time, man is responsible for His sins against God (Exodus 7:16). The unbeliever can't comprehend this truth.

Christian: you have no strength. You have no power. What you have is the Lord's strength and His power, which is infinitely better (Ephesians 6:10).

Christian: there is only one piece of armor that is both offensive and defensive--the Word of God. Are you daily training with that weapon (Ephesians 6:17)?

Prayer is the most forgotten and neglected piece of spiritual armor. Train with it daily so you will turn to it an use it often (Ephesians 6:18).

There are no evangelist mimes! You CANNOT share the gospel unless you open your mouth and proclaim the gospel (Ephesians 6:19-20).

Christian: if you don't warn lost people of God's impending, fierce wrath you don't care that His wrath is what awaits them (Revelation 14:17-20).

OA Preacher: Don't respond in kind to hecklers. Kindly and firmly show them their error to crush their arrogance and ignorance (Proverbs 26:4-5).

That America gets what she wants in the electoral process is, in some ways, the meting out of God's wrath against a sinful nation (1 Samuel 8:7-9).

In describing the king's rule over Israel, 5 times Samuel used the phrase "He will take." There is nothing new under the sun (1 Samuel 8:13-17).

Vote pro-choice? Don't go crying to God when u are disappointed by the candidates you put into office. God's not listening (1 Samuel 8:18).

God is omnipresent. He is in Heaven above, and in the contrite redeemed heart below (Isaiah 57:15).

No imputed righteousness, no peace! There is no peace for the wicked unredeemed (Isaiah 57:21). Repent and believe the gospel!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Yes, Jesus Claimed to be God

One of the many "cut & paste" objections unbelievers levy against God and His Word is this: "Jesus never claimed to be God."

Truth: The Bible does not record Jesus saying these words in a single sentence: "I am God."

Truth: Jesus repeatedly asserted He was and is God, and that is why the Jewish religious leaders sought to murder Him (Mark 14:60-64; Luke 22:66-71; John 8:48-59; John 9:35-41; John 10:30-33).

The Bible is replete with the words of Jesus and the words about Jesus, which clearly show (to those who are not spiritually blind), that God the Father and Jesus (God the Son) are one in essence and character while, at the same time unique in their personage. God the Father and God the Son, along with God the Holy Spirit, comprise the Trinity of God. God is one God in three Persons.

What follows was compiled by Mark Spence and published as part of Lesson 49 of The School of Biblical Evangelism. Feel free to copy and paste this into a Word document and size it to fit inside your Bible. The next time someone foolishly challenges the deity of Jesus, you will be all-the-more equipped to give the reason for the hope that is in you.

Description: YAHWEH; "I AM"

God the Father: Exodus 3:14; Deuteronomy 32:39

Jesus: John 8:24; John 8:58; John 18:4-6

Description: God

God the Father: Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 45:6-7

Jesus: Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1, 14; John 20:28; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:8; 2 Peter 1:1; Matthew 1:23; 1 John 5:20

Description: Alpha and Omega (The First and the Last)

God the Father: Isaiah 41:4; Isaiah 48:12; Revelation 1:8

Jesus: Revelation 1:17-18; Revelation 2:8; Revelation 2:12-16

Description: Lord

God the Father: Isaiah 45:23

Jesus: Matthew 12:8; Acts 7:59-60; Acts 10:36; Romans 10:12; 1 Corinthians 2:8; 1 Corinthians 12:3; Philippians 2:10-11

Description: Savior

God the Father: Isaiah 43:3, 11; Isaiah 63:8; Luke 1:47; 1 Timothy 4:10

Jesus: Matthew 1:21; Luke 2:11; John 1:29; John 4:42; 2 Timothy 1:10; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 5:9

Description: King

God the Father: Psalm 95:3; Isaiah 43:15; 1 Timothy 6:14-16

Jesus: Revelation 17:14; Revelation 19:16

Description: Judge

God the Father: Genesis 18:25; Deuteronomy 32:36; Psalm 50:4, 6; Psalm 58:11; Psalm 75:7; Psalm 96:13

Jesus: John 5:22; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Timothy 4:1

Description: Light

God the Father: 2 Samuel 22:29; Psalm 27:1

Jesus: John 1:4, 9; John 3:19; John 8:12; John 9:5

Description: Rock

God the Father: Deuteronomy 32:3-4; 2 Samuel 22:32

Jesus: Romans 9:33; 1 Corinthians 10:3-4; 1 Peter 2:4-8

Description: Redeemer

God the Father: Psalm 130:7-8; Isaiah 43:1; Isaiah 48:17; Isaiah 49:26; Isaiah 54:5

Jesus: Acts 20: 28; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:12

Description: Our Righteousness

God the Father: Isaiah 45:24

Jesus: Jeremiah 23:6; Romans 3:21

Description: Husband

God the Father: Isaiah 54:5; Hosea 2:16

Jesus: Matthew 25:1; Mark 2:18-19; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:25-32; Revelation 21:2, 9

Description: Shepherd

God the Father: Genesis 49:24; Psalm 23:1; Psalm 80:1

Jesus: John 10:11, 16; Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 2:25; 1 Peter 5:4

Description: Creator

God the Father: Genesis 1:1; Job 33:4; Psalm 95:1-7; Psalm 102:24-26; Isaiah 40:28; Issiah 43:1; Acts 4:24

Jesus: John 1:2-3, 10; Colossians 1:15-18; Hebrews 1:1-3, 10

Description: Giver of Life

God the Father: Genesis 2:7; Deuteronomy 32:39; 1 Samuel 2:6

Jesus: John 5:21; John 10:28; John 11:25

Description: Forgiver of Sin

God the Father: Exodus 34:6-7; Nehemiah 9:17; Daniel 9:9; Jonah 4:2

Jesus: Matthew 9:2; Mark 2:1-12; Acts 26:18; Colossians 2:13; Colossians 3:13

Description: Lord our Healer

God the Father: Exodus 15:26

Jesus: Acts 9:34

Description: Omnipresent

God the Father: Psalm 139:7-12; Proverbs 15:3

Jesus: Matthew 18:20; Matthew 28:20; Ephesians 3:17; Ephesians 4:10

Description: Omniscient

God the Father: 1 Kings 8:37-39; Jeremiah 17:9-10

Jesus: Matthew 9:4; Matthew 11:27; Luke 5:4-6; John 2:25; John 16:30; John 21:17; Acts 1:24

Description: Omnipotent

God the Father: Isaiah 40:10-31; Isaiah 45:5-13; Revelation 19:6

Jesus: Matthew 28:18; Mark 1:29-34; John 10:18; Jude 24

Description: Preexistent

God the Father: Genesis 1:1

Jesus: John 1:15, 30; John 3:13, 31-32; John 6:62; John 16:28; John 17:5

Description: Eternal

God the Father: Psalm 102:26-27; Habakkuk 3:6

Jesus: Isaiah 9:6; Micah 5:2; John 8:58

Description: Receiver of Worship

God the Father: Matthew 4:10; John 4:24; Revelation 5:14; Revelation 7:11; Revelation 11:16; Revelation 19:4; Revelation 19:10

Jesus: Matthew 14:33; Matthew 28:9; John 9:38; Philippians 2:10-11; Hebrews 1:6

Description: Hope

God the Father: Jeremiah 17:7

Jesus: 1 Timothy 1:1

Description: Speaker with Divine Authority

God the Father: “Thus saith the Lord…” -- used hundreds of times in Scripture

Jesus: Matthew 23:34-37; John 3:5; John 7:46; Every time Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say…”

Description: He Who Rose Jesus from the Dead

God the Father: "Whom you crucified..." Acts 2:24; 2:31-32; Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 6:14

Jesus: "Destroy this Temple..." John 2:19-22; John 10:17-18; Matthew 27:40

Description: Who Gets the Glory?

God the Father: Isaiah 42:8; Isaiah 48:11

Jesus: Hebrews 13:21; John 17:5

Twitteneutics - Day 17

It's been a few days since my last Twittenteutics entry. Directing this year's Deeper Conference kept me pretty busy this weekend.

During the conference, Ray Comfort shared something I have heard him say many times in the past. They are words that resonate with me and stir my heart every time I hear him say them. "No Bible, no breakfast. No read, no feed."

And this morning I read the following quote from J.C. Ryle: "The Bible is the true lantern for a dark and cloudy time. Let us beware of traveling without its light."

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

Before Christ, you weren't spiritually sick. You were spiritually DEAD--dead in trespasses and sin (Ephesians 2:1-3).

If you are alive in Christ, GOD made you alive! You are alive because of His mercy, not your merit--because of His grace, not your goodness (Ephesians 2:4-5).

Only God can open the eyes of the Roman Catholics, Muslims, Cultists and today's Pharisees to Sola Fide and Sola Gratia (Ephesians 2:8-9).

If you are God's vessel you did not, have not, and will not determine your usefulness to Him. He determined it all in eternity past (Ephesians 2:10).

Neo-Pharisees have no peace, for they remain unreconciled, unregenerate people hostile to God who scorn the cross (Ephesians 2:14-16).

There is NO access to God, but through Christ (Ephesians 2:18)!

Anyone who takes lightly the weighty responsibility of gospel preaching should not preach, because they've forgotten who they represent (Luke 10:20).

Evangelist: rejoice not in the power of your ministry. Rejoice that the One who gave you your ministry first gave you eternal life (Luke 10:17-20).

If you know God the Son it is Only because He chose to reveal Himself to you (Luke 10:22).

Jesus didn't abide/tolerate Mariology in His day. Those who worship her today must repent, for no idolater will enter the Kingdom of God (Luke 11:27-28).

Sadly, many false Christians work hard to wash the outside of the cup while the inside of the cup is unregenerate and unclean (Luke 11:37-41).

According to the traditions of evangelicalism, Jesus was a failure at friendship evangelism. He cared more for truth and souls [than making friends] (Luke 11:37-54).

To use the excuse "I'm not good with words" to avoid proclaiming the gospel is to sin against the one who gave you your voice (Exodus 4:10-12).

The sin of Moses is the sin of the vast majority of American Christians (Exodus 4:13).

Sadly, those who profess to be Christians while insisting on being pro-choice fall into a dreadful category (Titus 1:16).

Jesus saved me first for his glory, and second for my benefit. He gave himself to save me, I didn't give myself to Him so He could save me (Titus 3:14).

Christians: are your tweets more about Titus 3:4-8, or are they more about Titus 3:9-11?

God has given evangelists to the church to equip His saints to further the gospel. The church without evangelists lacks maturity (Ephesians 4:11-14).

If you deny it is a child growing in the womb, you do not know the Creator (Ecclesiastes 11:5). This includes you if you claim to be a pro-choice "Christian."

The existence of every professed atheist and self-righteous person is validation for the veracity of God's Word (Psalm 53:1-3).

The Christian is not the person who never falls. The Christian is the one who falls and gets back up (Proverbs 22:16). Don't quit! War with sin!

Those who are dead in sin and spiritually blind cannot see the suffering and risen Savior in Isaiah 53:1-12. They are the most pitiful people.

You can't know God like the back of your hand. His thoughts are so beyond comprehension it is enough to sit in the palm of His hand (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Christian leaders who scoff at open-air preaching as ineffective, opting instead for man-pleasing schemes, should spend time reading Acts 26:1-31.

God not only determines if you will die for your faith. He also determines when, where, and how. He is sovereign (Acts 27:22-26).

Do you profess to be a Christian yet refuse to share the gospel? Then why do you think Jesus will acknowledge you before the heavenly host (Luke 12:8-9)?

Have you ever seen a hearse towing a U-Haul trailer? Repent of covetousness (Luke 12:15-21)!

American Church: awake and repent! Billions in building programs reflect how little she cares about Christ's imminent return (Luke 12:35-40).

Those who see men like Gandhi as a Christlike figure know not the Christ of Scripture (Luke 12:49-53).

Before you rail against the sexually immoral, take a look at your checkbook. God feels the same way about the covetous. Both are idolaters (Ephesians 5:5).

A Christian CANNOT vote for pro-choice candidates. To do so is to participate in their wickedness (Ephesians 5:11).

To fear man for any reason is to distrust God. There's just no way around it (Psalm 56:10-11).

The fact that God conceals things makes Him no less God. It simply shows that He is in control and man is not (Proverbs 25:2).

Engaging in gossip is not worth a godly man's reputation (Proverbs 25:9-10).

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Confucianism, Creation, and Christ

Can I Be Pro-Life and Take a Life

Recently, I received the following "feedback" email via 180movie.com.
Being a US Marine I understand the ability and need to take a life but I am wholeheartedly against abortion. Where does that leave me and people like me?
Having served as a deputy sheriff for twenty years, and having served as a chaplain to my law enforcement brethren for eight of those years, I have been asked questions similar to this many times. "Can I, as a Christian, take a human life in the performance of my law enforcement or military duties while, at the same time, honor God's command not to kill? Can I take a life and remain consistent in my pro-life position?" The answer to both questions is "yes."



For further study: Genesis 9:6; Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17; Numbers 35:11, 15, 31; Joshua 20:9; Matthew 26:47-56; Romans 13:1-5

Twitteneutics - Day 16

Here's what I've gleaned during my time in God's Word, today.

Abba, thank You for adopting me! I didn't choose You. By Your love, mercy, and grace You chose me, an unworthy sinner, to be Your child (Ephesians 1:3-14).

How foolish for a man to think He is wiser than the One who created him (Proverbs 21:30).

Yes, scoffers, doubters, even the mutilation of Jesus was foretold 700 years before His crucifixion (Isaiah 52:14). Repent and believe!

One of the great benefits of going to Israel in May is how much more I see the Scriptures. I stood where Paul made his defense (Acts 24:10).

Few will respond well to evangelism that includes talk of righteousness, self-control, and coming judgment. Why? It's biblical (Acts 24:25).

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Twitteneutics - Day 15

Here's what I've gleaned during my time in God's Word, today.

Don't quit (Galatians 6:9)!

Gods mercy is contingent upon His character, not mine (Psalm 51:1).

I cannot make myself spiritually clean. Only the washing of God can cleanse me from sin (Psalm 51:2).

While others sometimes suffer the fallout of my sin, God is the One whom I sin against. He is the offended party (Psalm 51:4).

No matter how dark the days, joy can be found in the reality of salvation. Lord give me a willing spirit (Psalm 51:12)!

Helping others to overcome sin and spiritual darkness through your own example of repentance is an act of worship (Psalm 51:13-14).

Brokenness and genuine contrition are the marks of true repentance. Anything less is little more than worldly sorrow (Psalm 51:17).

Oh, Lord. Too often I have not led by example in this area (Prov 20:3). Help me to be more honorable.

Lord, surround me with men of understanding so that through accountability the true intentions of my heart will be brought to light (Prov 20:5).

To refer to any mere man as "Your Holiness" is to blaspheme God. For God alone is holy (1 Sam 2:2)!

I think it's safe to say that the second oldest profession is that of the religious leader that knows not God or His Word (1 Sam 2:12-25).

How sinful for me to fear man, circumstances, or anything in life when the Creator of everyone and everything is my Comforter (Isa 51:12-16).

In light of Paul's response, I wonder if today's Christian can justify speaking evil about our government leaders (Acts 23:1-5).

Monday, October 10, 2011

Twitteneutics - Day 14

Here's what I've gleaned during my time in God's Word, today.

Jesus had every opportunity to declare Sabbatarianism a requirement for His followers, but He never did (Luke 6:1-5).

The Omniscient One, the Lord of the Sabbath, crushed the legalism of the Sabbatarians (Luke 6:6-11).

If you rejoice because lost people like you and see you as good because of your ministry, your reward in heaven may not be that great (Luke 6:22-23).

If you're a pastor/teacher and lost people love your sermons and books, you're not in the best of company (Luke 6:26).

Every pro-choice "Christian" should heed the words of Christ. Repent or the ruin of your house will be great (Luke 6:43-49).

Your trials are not only about you. How can you minister to others as a result of or in the midst of your trials (Genesis 50:19-20).

Almost every debate about Christian liberty seems to end in Christian cannibalism (Galatians 5:13-15).

O foolish man! How illogical to think the present absence of judgment is evidence there is no final judgment (Ecclesiastes 8:10-13).

The meekness of Christ is foretold 700 years before His incarnation (Isa 50:6). The Word of God is true!

May They Quickly Forget Our Names

Al Martinez of 22nd Street Ministries shot the following video. We were our on Third Street Promenade, with the rest of the Third Street Heralds, Saturday afternoon.

As you watch the video, you will see that the camera was in a fixed position behind me. From a production standpoint, the video is not much to look at. But as I watched the video, seeing my back to the camera, it reminded me of something I stress to other evangelists, including the members of my team.

If we, as Christians, are faithful to proclaim the gospel on the streets then we should do so in such a way that those who listen quickly forget our names. Those who listen should forget our names, but never forget the name of Jesus. We must decrease so the King of kings and the Lord of lords may increase in the hearts and minds of hearers of the gospel.

May they quickly forget our names.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Vintage Ray Comfort

From The Archives: 'The Quittance of Quisha'

Not long ago I realized I was collecting blogs like baseball cards. I had way too many. So, I decided to close several of my blogs and write exclusively, here, "On the Box." From time to time, I will dig an article or story out of the archives of my other blogs and post it, here.

To get things started, here's the story of a witnessing encounter on the campus of Cerritos College, on January 25, 2008.

Allow me to testify about my Lord.

I spent some time at Cerritos College, today. The campus of this community college is quickly becoming one of my favorite fishing ponds.

The Lord blessed me with a new fishing buddy for today's fishing trip. Heather is one of our customer service representatives at Living Waters. She shared with me earlier this week that she is relatively new to biblical evangelism and has been working up the courage to initiate her first spiritual conversation with a stranger. I offered to help.

As we turned down the street of one of the college's several parking lots, I immediately noticed something different from previous trips to the school. There were very few cars in the parking lot. Then it dawned on me. Most community colleges have very few classes on Fridays. We decided to give it a shot anyways. The smaller campus population might be a little more comfortable for Heather, on her first fishing trip.

We made our way from the car to the center of the campus. As we rounded the corner of a building I noticed a young African American lady standing off in the distance. She didn't appear to be in a hurry to get anywhere. She looked lost in her thoughts.

"Heather, let's pray. And then we're going to talk to her." I said, pointing to the young lady.

After we prayed, we walked over to the young lady. I handed her a Billion Dollar Bill gospel tract, which she accepted with a wary look on her face.

"My name's Tony, and this is my friend, Heather. What's your name?"

"Quisha."

"Quisha, this may sound silly; but what if that was a real billion dollar bill and I told you I would give you a billion dollars for your right eye. Heather and I are medical researchers and we're looking for healthy eyes for research. Your eyes look very healthy. We'll give you a billion dollars for one of your eyes. We'll also replace your eye with a glass eye that looks just like the one we removed. You just won't be able to see out of it. Would you do it?"

"No."

"Okay. What if I offered you five billion dollars for both of your eyes. You would be blind as a bat, but you would be rich beyond your wildest dreams. Would you give me both of your eyes?"

"No."

"Why not?"

"Because without my eyes I wouldn't be able to see my one-year-old son."

"So, your eyes are precious to you?"

"Yes."

'Then let me ask you this. It's said that the eyes are the window to the soul. If your eyes are precious to you, shouldn't your soul that looks out of the windows of your eyes be even more precious to you?"

"I guess so."

"Quisha, what do you think happens to someone when they die?"

"I hope they go to heaven."

"And what do you think a person must do to go to heaven?"

"Do good." She said with some uncertainty in her voice.

"Are you a good person, Quisha?"

"Yes. I think so. I try to be."

Quisha answered the question with very little confidence in her voice.

"May I ask you a few questions to see if you are, in fact, a good person?"

"Okay." A curious smile appeared on her face.

I took Qhisha through several of the Ten Commandments. She admitted to being a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heart.

"Qhisha, does that sound like the definition of a good person?"

She shook her head.

"Think of it this way. Let's say that after meeting me and Heather, you invite us to your home for dinner. When we walk in the door, your family asks you who we are. And you introduce me this way. 'This is Tony. He's a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heart. But other than that, he's a pretty good guy.' Would your family think I'm a good person?"

"No."

"That's right. In fact, they would probably ask you why you brought someone like me to your house."

Quisha smiled and nodded her head.

"So, if you were to die and stand before God, based on what you admitted about yourself, do you think He would find you innocent or guilty of breaking His Law?"

"I guess I would be guilty."

"You guess?"

"I would be guilty."

"And if God were to find you guilty, would you go to heaven or hell?"

"Heaven?"

"I'm sure that's where you would like to go. But what should God do with you?"

"Send me to hell. But I would ask for forgiveness."

"Quisha, let's say you were in Wal-Mart one day with your little son. You're a good mom. Very careful and attentive. But, for whatever reason, you turn away your attention for just a moment. And during that brief moment, someone kidnaps your child."

I could tell that Quisha's pulse was quickening by the widening of her eyes and the obvious indicators of heavier breathing.

"The man who kidnapped your son is caught before he could harm him. Your son is okay."

I said that to try to help her calm down so she could focus on what I was saying.

"The case goes to trial. He is found guilty by the jury. It's the day of sentencing. You, your family, and your friends are in the courtroom. The man who kidnapped your precious son is standing before the judge awaiting his sentence. The man looks at the judge and says, 'Your honor, I am sorry that I kidnapped that little boy. I know it was wrong. So, since I said I was sorry, I think you should let me go.'

"The judge looks at the man for a moment and smiles. 'Well, since you're sorry, you're free to go.'

"Quisha, what would you and your family expect from the judge?"

"Justice."

"That's right. A good judge will not let a guilty criminal go, just because the criminal apologizes and asks to be let go. A good judge will punish lawbreakers, right?"

"Yes."

"Well, God's standard is much higher than any human court. God's standard is protection. And being good, God must punish sin. He cannot let us go simply on the basis of us asking to be let go. Does that make sense?"

"Yes it does."

"So, does it concern you that if God finds you guilty of breaking His Law that He will send you to hell as the just punishment for your sins against Him?"

"Yes it does."

"Do you know what God did to make a way for you not to spend eternity in hell?"

"Jesus died on the cross."

"That's right. But you know what, Quisha? Many people believe what you just said. And like you, when I ask that question, most people give the same answer with about as much conviction and passion as when they order a double-double from In-n-Out Burger.

I took Quisha back to the courtroom, sharing with her the analogy of someone coming into the courtroom to pay her fine.

"The judge turns to you and tells you that you are free to go--not on the basis of anything you did; not on the basis of your goodness; but on the basis of someone else paying your fine. Would that be good news?"

"Yes."

"What would you think of the stranger who came into the courtroom to pay your fine?"

"I would love that person and want to follow him the rest of my life."

"Interesting that you would answer that way; because that's exactly what God did."

I don't know if Quisha blinked or moved a muscle as I shared the gospel of God's amazing grace with her.

"God sent His Son to earth in the person of Jesus Christ. He was fully God and fully Man. He lived a sinless, perfect life. He died a horrible bloody death on the cross in order to take upon Himself the punishment you deserve for breaking God's Law. Three days later He rose from the dead and forever defeated death.

"But it's not enough to simply believe the truths about Jesus in your head. You must believe in your heart, to the point that you want to repent. That means to turn away from your sins. You must repent and put your trust in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation. There is nothing you can do to save yourself. None of us are good, according to God's standard. You cannot earn or deserve heaven.

"If you turn from your sin and receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, when you die and stand before Him, instead of receiving what you deserve for breaking His Law, which is eternity in hell; you will receive what you don't deserve, which is grace and mercy and the free gift of everlasting life with Him. Does that make sense?"

"Yes."

"Quisha, there's one statistic that no one can avoid. Ten out of ten people die."

"I know. Four people who were close to me have died recently."

"Then you know from experience that what I'm telling you is true. And the time to get right with God is not when you are standing before Him as a guilty criminal waiting to be judged. It will be too late, then. The Bible says that today is the day of salvation.

"Quisha, do you believe that what I am telling you is true?"

"Yes."

"Is there any reason why you wouldn't, right now, turn from your sin and receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior."

Tears immediately began to stream down Quisha's cheeks.

"Why the tears? Are you thinking about the people close to you who have died, or are you thinking about yourself?"

"Both. But more about me."

"Is there anything keeping you from repenting of your sin and receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?"

"No."

"Would you like to receive forgiveness for your sins and the free gift of eternal life?"

"Yes."

I motioned toward a nearby bench and asked Quisha if the three of us could sit down. She agreed.

I spent a little more time reaffirming the gospel. I wanted to make sure Quisha understood everything I shared with her. It was clear to me that she did. I also wanted to make sure, to the extent that I am able in my fallibility, that what I was seeing was not simply emotion, but the Holy Spirit working on the heart of this young woman. I believe it was the latter.

I encouraged Quisha to cry out to God, ask Him for His forgiveness, and ask Him to be her Lord and Savior. The three of us bowed our head.

Seemingly in an instant, Quisha was undone. She wept so bitterly that her words were almost unintelligible. But Heather and I understood enough of what Quisha was praying that we, too, were soon in tears.

Quisha cried out to God in a way that I have not often seen. She cried out to Him for forgiveness of her sin. She begged Him to save her. She begged Him to help her be a good mother to her baby boy. She prayed and she prayed--her sobs intensifying with each sentence.

After what seemed like several minutes, Quisha grew quiet. And then I prayed for her.

Heather and I spent another half-hour or so encouraging and counseling her. I explained to her that if she was born again (I never declare anyone saved), she would begin to bear fruit.

"Quisha, if God has truly saved you, then you will begin to love the things that God loves, and you will begin to hate the things that God hates. You will continue to sin; but when you do sin you will run to God for forgiveness--just as a loving little girl runs to her loving father. You will want to spend time with Him in prayer. You will want to read and understand His Word. You will want to fellowship with other genuine followers of Christ. You will want to grow in your faith and in your love for and obedience to Him.

"Some of the changes in your life will be instantaneous. And yet others will take time."

I spent a few minutes sharing parts of my own testimony with Quisha to explain the sometimes instant and sometimes gradual process of sanctification.

Heather gave Quisha her phone number. She wrote it on the back of a billion dollar bill. We both encouraged Quisha to call if she had any questions, needed encouragement, or wanted help finding a good, Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church.

Heather and I said good-bye to Quisha. We walked around the campus for several minutes. At first, few words were exchanged. We were both in awe of what we had just seen God do.

I am not the least bit hesitant to say that I believe Heather and I saw a miracle. We saw the quittance of Quisha. The dictionary defines a quittance as the "release from a debt, obligation, or penalty." And that's exactly what we saw. We saw a young woman who, to us, was a stranger just an hour before her outcry of repentance and faith released from the debt, obligation, and penalty of sin. God, in His sovereign grace and mercy, allowed us to watch Him move upon the heart of Quisha and, we believe, usher her from darkness into light--from death into life.

The quittance of Quisha was beautiful. Pray for her as she grows in her new-found faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Twitteneutics - Day 13

Here's what I've gleaned during my time in God's Word, this morning.

To occasionally withdraw from the day-to-day pressures of ministry should never be an excuse to withdraw from communion with God (Luke 5:16).

Jesus shed His blood as a ransom for many. Oh, what great comfort there is in knowing He ransomed me, a sinner (PS 49:7-9)!

The isolationist and nomad are outside the will of God, and may be outside of Christ. Repent and return to fellowship with the saints (Prov 18:1).

My life with my wife, Mahria, is evidence of the truth of God's Word (Prov 18:22).

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Twitteneutics - Day 12

Here's what I've gleaned during my time in God's Word, over the last few days.

God does not fill the non-human and non-living with His Holy Spirit. That which is in the womb is a living person (Luke 1:14-15, 39-45)!

I think I know what Paul would think of any church that puts the desires of people first during times of corporate worship (Galatians 1:10).

Jesus didn't call the church in Ephesus pharisaical because they tested those whom they believed to be false teachers (Revelation 2:2).

Biblical evangelism is going where the lost (including strangers) are and engaging them, not waiting for them to engage you (Acts 17:17).

Open-air gospel preaching is not a casual endeavor. With so many false gospels out there, Precision in doctrine matters (Acts 18:24-28).

It appears the apostle Paul did't abide any theological elephants in the room. He confronted error with truth (Gal 2:11-14).

Those who know the Lord can worship and fear Him at the same time. If u only worship Him or only fear Him, u may not know Him (Ps 47:1-9).

God owes none of His children, much less His enemies, an explanation for anything He does (Isaiah 45:9-13).

God and God alone determines what is right. Man's definition of right, if inconsistent with God's truth, is wrong (Isaiah 45:19).

So many man-centered plans r touted by Christian leaders as the means 4 changing the world, when only the gospel has the power (Acts 17:6).

Friday, October 7, 2011

Medi-Cal Will Help You Murder A 'Family Member'

Now that I have your attention.....

The following was taken from the Obstetrics page of the Medi-Cal website, under the sub-heading, "Abortions (abort)":
The Medi-Cal program covers abortion performed as a physician service.

•Abortion is a covered benefit regardless of the gestational age of the fetus.

•Medical justification and prior authorization for abortion are not required.
And this was taken from the same page under the sub-heading, "Presumptive Eligibility." The following is from Page 5 of that section, under "Definitions of Family Members and Income":
•“Family Members” are persons living in the patient’s household who are either:

-The spouse of the patient,

-The natural, adopted or step-children of the patient,

-The parents of the patient if she is under 21, unmarried and living with her parents, or

-The unborn (also considered a person when determining the patient’s income level).
So, while Medi-Cal (and by default, the State of California) recognizes a pre-born child as a "family member," Medi-Cal and the State also assist in the murder of "family members" by providing abortions at any time during pregnancy and for any reason.

And why would anyone expect God to bless this nation?

"I Don't Have The Gift of Evangelism"

In response to yesterday's Vlog, I received the following comment/question from Len:
I've been told by many people that I have the "Gift" of evangelism, but they often express they don't share that gift. People in my circle speak of evangelism as if it's a spiritual gift; such as hospitality or teaching. How can I best demonstrate to my brethren that evangelism is not a spiritual gift, but a command? Thanks Tony! God bless you and your ministry!
This belief is common among Christians, especially those who do not share the gospel with the lost. While there are those who are particularly gifted to serve in the office of evangelist in the church (Ephesians 4:11-16), and while the open-air proclamation of the gospel is not for everyone, evangelism is a command placed upon every follower of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8).

That one may not feel "gifted" as an evangelist does not justify disobeying God's command to fulfill the two greatest commandments (Mark 12:28-31), by fulfilling the Great Commission.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

180 QR Code!

Allan, over at EvangeGeek, has come up with a fantastic way to spread the word about 180. Take a look!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Error of Friendship Evangelism

Recently, I received the following question from Allen:
Last Wednesday, two of my co-workers and I went to a fair and passed out the Million Dollar Bill tracts. But before we got to the fairgrounds, one of my co-workers and I had a debate about witnessing. He said, "We shouldn't use the law. We should just relate to people so they can come to Christ. If we use the law, we are showing signs of arrogance and therefore, turn people off from the Gospel." And when I said that the law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul, he said, "Only Christ used the law on the rich man because He has the authority to, since He never broke the law. But we shouldn't use the law because we are guilty in it." What should I say?


Sadly, what Allen's co-workers express in their question is a mindset that testifies to what has been taught in many American Churches, for more than forty years. A great injustice has been perpetrated upon American Christians (both professing and genuine), by American pastors and church growth gurus. It is the unbiblical "Friendship Evangelism" model.

The notion (and that's all it is) that Christians have to establish long-term relationships with people in order to "earn the right" to share the gospel with them; the notion that we should let people see the gospel in us and thus making the verbal proclamation of the gospel unnecessary; the notion that "relating to people" (as it is most often taught and practiced by American Christians) is somehow a prerequisite for sharing the gospel has no Scriptural support. None. And any effort to draw such inferences from the text of Scripture is an eisegetical exercise that might make Christians feel better about their evangelistic disobedience, and might make pastors and their ministries more popular, but, in the end, will only prove to be a disservice to the Scriptures, Christians, and the countless number of lost souls who aren't reached by believers who practice such philosophies of ministry.

And to the second object Allen’s friend made—the use of the Law in evangelism: his objection doesn’t hold up to even a cursory reading of Scripture, let alone any close, logical scrutiny.

If a parent stole a pack of gum when they were a child, should the parent then not teach their child it is wrong to steal? If a man has looked with lust at a woman, should the man not teach his son lust and adultery are sins before God? A woman who has had abortion and realizes she ended the life of her unborn baby, should she not admonish and plead with other women to not do the same to their unborn children?

Allen’s friend is also wrong when he suggests that only Jesus used the Law to bring people to the knowledge of their sin. The Book of Acts and the letters of Paul are replete with examples where the disciples confronted people with the Law of God to bring them to the knowledge of their sin, before explaining forgiveness of sin through the penal, substituionary atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Well over 80% of the combined evangelistic efforts of Jesus and the apostles would be characterized as “confrontational evangelism,” in many segments of the modern-day American Church. Sadly, many Christians have bought the lies of extra-biblical traditions and man-centered pragmatism, and no longer preach the gospel as did Jesus, his disciples, and as much of today’s persecuted church around the world still does.

For further study:

Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; John 4:7-30; John 15:13; Acts 8:26-40; Acts 16: 25-34; Romans 2:17-24; Romans 3:19-20; Romans 7:7; Romans 10:14-17; 1Corinthians 1:18; 1 Corinthians 2:14; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Ephesians 2:1-3

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Twitteneutics - Day 11

Here's what I've gleaned during my time in God's Word, over the last couple days.

We need look no further than the cross for the reason no one needs to confess to or seek absolution from any man or institution (Mark 15:37-39).

Paul would scoff at anyone who dared preached: "God has a wonderful plan for your life--health, wealth, & prosperity" (2 Corinthians 11:23-28).

God's king and prophet new about the Jet Stream long before meteorologists (Ecclesiastes 1:6).

God is sovereign! Everyone He saves, He saves for His glory. For HIS glory. Man has no business taking any credit for salvation (Isaiah 43:6-7).

God alone is GOD! The gods of Islam, JW, LDS, Hindu, and every other idolatrous religion are false gods created by sinful men (Isaiah 43:10-12).

Through my many weaknesses, God shows His grace to be more than sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). Oh Lord, may your power rest upon my today!

The death knell of JW theology regarding their denial of the deity of Christ (Revelation 1:17-18 and Isaiah 44:6).

There are no secrets from God. Repentance, not the delusion of hiding from God, is the answer to wayward, sinful thoughts (Psalm 44:20-22).

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Twitteneutics - Day 10

Here's what I've gleaned during my time in God's Word, this morning.

Like Peter, many churches will deny Jesus three times this morning by not worshiping in Truth, preaching the Truth, or telling the lost the Truth (Mark 14:66-72).

Let no "cut & paste" atheist or practitioner of a false religion ever get away with asserting Jesus never claimed to be God (Mark 14:60-65).

Don't lack wisdom and understanding. Don't measure ur spiritual maturity, gifting, or influence by the ministries of others (2 Cor. 10:12).

The goal for increasing one's ministerial influence must be the furtherance of the gospel. Any other motive is just boasting (2 Cor. 10:15-18).

Billions are spent in America to create Sunday morning recreation centers to house faux-Christians, while missionaries starve (3 John 5-8). Shameful.

True repentance includes the submission to the sovereignty of God and the realization that he owes us nothing, including answers (Job 42:1-6).

If you are not thirsting for the Word, worship, and prayer then you are satisfying your thirst with something other than God (Psalm 42:1-2).

The antidote for every internal struggle is hope in Christ (Psalm 42:5, 11).

Have you ever seen a hearse towing a U-haul trailer (Proverbs 11:4, 7, 28)?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Remember Their Faces

I spent the afternoon on the Santa Monica Pier and Third Street Promenade. My brothers, Pastor Geoff Kirkland and Steve Shafit, were with me. The apathy on both the pier and the promenade was palpable, today. Oh, the gospel was preached multiple times. More than 100 people received the documentary, 180. Several hundred Giant Money tracts were distributed. But there was something in the air and, frankly, in my heart that seemed to make the day less than stellar.

While Pastor Geoff preached, I sat down in the shade and prayed. I asked the Lord's forgiveness for my attitude, for my frustration, for my selfish introspection.

We packed up a little early, today. The batteries in my waist pack sound system wouldn't hold a charge and the crowds were pretty light. And Pastor Geoff and I both sensed the need to be home with our families.

It was in the mid-nineties, today, and yesterday my car's air conditioner decided to die. More frustration, and a reason to shake my head and laugh, on the 45-minute drive home.

I came home and had a wonderful, spiritual conversation with my youngest daughter, Amanda. That helped.

And then, for reasons known only to my Master, I began to think of a video I posted more than three years ago. I began to think of a morning when Amanda joined me as I preached the gospel outside the San Fernando Superior Courthouse.

So, remembering the title of the video, I searched YouTube to find it. I watched it for the first time in I don't know how long. As I watched it, it became apparent why the Lord had brought it to my mind. I hope it will become apparent to you, too, and that it will encourage you as it has encouraged me--yet again.



The faces I will remember from today will include to older, very angry, very profane, very blasphemous women who were not at all pleased that I was preaching the gospel.

I will remember the faces of the residents of a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center who were on the pier and heard the preaching of the gospel.

I will remember the face of the man who gave me a one-finger wave as I talked about the Sovereign Creator and Judge of the Universe.

I will remember the faces of the couple from Calvary Chapel Simi Valley who stopped to listen and to give an encouraging word.

I will remember the faces of some of those who received gospel tracts and immediately stopped walking to read them.

Yes, I will remember their faces. And I will pray for them.

Twitteneutics - Day 9

Here's what I've gleaned during my time in God's Word, over the last couple days.

To the "cut & pasters" who think they have their "Aha!" moment by quoting verses in an attempt to discredit the Bible & believers (Mk. 12:24).

Oh God in Heaven! Thank You for choosing me--one so undeserving; one who is not good and who has never been; one who was dead in sin (Mk 13:20)!

For pastors to guilt their congregations into giving a predetermined percentage, they must ignore what the Bible says about giving (2 Cor. 9:6-7).

Pastors should not expose Christians to false teachers under the auspices of "dialogue," just to put on a conference (2 John 10-11).

Inviting false teachers to join in civil, tepid dialogue is to contradict Scripture regarding how false teachers should be addressed (Acts 13:10).

Salvation is of the Lord! He is sovereign (Acts 13:48)!