Friday, September 28, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Youth Conference 2007 / Downloads / Sermons
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
When we go out, Jordan and I challenge each other to make sure everyone we talk to gets the opportunity to hear the Gospel. We use a point system to keep ourselves on track. If we are at a door and actually get to share the whole Plan of Salvation with someone, we get one point. If we are at a door and offer to share the gospel with them and they are bitter (slam the door, too busy to talk to us, etc), we don't get a point but we don't lose a point. If however, we invite the person to church, they take our tract and are open to talk and we don't give them the gospel (or at least try), we lose a point. I started doing this with myself in order to eliminate those times when fear gets the best of me and I don't try and win someone to Christ that is open to listening. I am totally opposed to incentives which focus on the number of people saved, because I don't have control over that, God does. When people have contests to see how many they can lead to the Lord it becomes fleshly and many times detrimental (people rush through the Romans Road and get the person to pray a prayer to "not go to hell" but there is rarely any repentance or genuine faith in Christ). I think my point system keeps things focused and fun.
It's amazing how much a teenager can challenge me. A case in point is the frequent "no soliciting" signs. Everyone has differing philosophies on how to handle these and I've typically just left a tract so as not to anger the resident. Last night when we encountered one and it was my turn to talk, Jordan jumped forward, knocked on the door REALLY LOUD, then quickly jumped behind me! I was terrified and absolutely sure that this would be my last door before I meet the Savior. The guy opened the door with his hand in his pocket (probably holding a gun) and looking like he had been smoking some illegal substance. He was bald and looked mean, his eyes narrow and sinister like a gangster, and his arms big enough to snap my neck. Clearly annoyed, he asked us with slurred speech what we wanted. I can't tell you the thoughts that were going through my head at that point about Jordan because I would have to repent. Fortunately he turned out to be friendly and took our tract. I'm not a martyr…yet. Oh, and at the end of the day the score was Jordan 0, me -1. Oops.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Friday, September 14, 2007
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Pastor Maricle recently used this passage in a sermon and made some comments which I would like to expound upon. Many are the critics who claim that our methods of soul-winning (door-to-door, passing out tracts at parades, street preaching, etc) are fruitless and a waste of time. They will say that souls should be won to the Lord through relationships and lifestyle evangelism; that the modern Christian's method must be to live his every day life in such a way that people see something they want to have in their lives, and this allows him to witness to co-workers and friends. They claim this will result in a much higher rate of converts that "stick". The common argument thrown at confrontational style evangelists (us) is, "If all these people are getting saved, why aren't they in church?" I believe the answer is in the above parable. Jesus didn't tell a story about an arborist who dug a hole and planted an acorn, tended to it, watered it, and finally saw it sprout into a mighty oak. He told of a sower who scattered thousands of seeds and made sure the seed fell on every patch of ground. We see that some of the seed (the Word of God) landed on shallow soil and actually sprouted. Since new life began, we can say that the person depicted here was saved, but we see a tragic thing take place when the new sprout is scorched by the hot sun and whithers. This is not a picture of someone losing their salvation, rather it depicts the temptations of life rendering a shallow Christian spiritually ineffective. We also see some of the new sprouts get choked by thorns, or the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. Again, this Christian is saved but does nothing for Christ. His life is fruitless. Only a small amount of seed lands on good soil, takes root, and grows, but these yield much fruit.
The next time you use the excuse that confrontational soul-winning (and by that I mean approaching people you've never met to give them the gospel) isn't a good method because you don't see the fruit right away, remember the last part of the passage where Jesus said, "But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience." Patience is the key here. And keep in mind that those that choked or were scorched are still going to be so grateful to you in heaven for taking the time to share the gospel with them, because they narrowly escaped an eternal lake of fire.