Out of Your Comfort Zone!

After hearing Mark Cahill speak at an East Bay meeting, I wrote to thank him for equipping the saints. He wrote back, challenging me to have my boldest year yet in planting seeds with the lost. To be honest, that exhortation scared me! I’m quite comfortable here in my comfort zone, and the thought of getting out of it is, well, uncomfortable.

I suppose my comfort zone is witnessing alone one to one, or being a part of a group outreach with others. Just before Resurrection day, Tony Miano issued a global challenge: “mission Good Friday”, in which Matthew 26-28 was read aloud in the open air to “bring Good Friday to the masses”. Here’s my witnessing story- I hope it is edifying for you.

I was praying about this challenge in my car after paying a bill downtown late Good Friday afternoon, and suddenly I knew God wanted me to go and do it. But I was alone! I texted Jessi, asking her to pray for me, and walked from my car to the corner of “Broadway and Theater way” in Redwood City. I then sat on the steps for 35 minutes praying, as more and more people filled the area. I walked around and around. The Lord assured me that He was with me, that Jessi was praying for me, and that Tony and his team mates were praying for all of us. God gave me courage I for sure did not have on my own. The hardest part was stepping up on the cement bench, but the Lord was faithful and He took it from there after I stepped up. Opening I greeted the crowds: mostly teenagers hanging out and going to the theater. I said, “So this is Good Friday, the day Jesus Christ died for sinners like us. He didn’t have to do it, He could have just let us remain in our sins, under judgment and condemnation to face a Holy and Just God. But He didn’t- because of His love and mercy on us, He came down here to rescue sinners, and so to commemorate what Jesus did I’m going to read the story from the Bible.”

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Then I read Matt. 26-28, trying to project my voice (no amplification!) above wind and an ‘organ grinder music man’ half a block down. The wind blew my hair in my face and I tried to keep my bible pages held down and speak loudly enough. I noticed several groups of teens were standing and watching, some with arms folded. I noticed the security and police were all nearby observing. I heard mocking shouts here and there. My voice was going hoarse trying to speak loud enough. When I finished I said “If you have any questions, I’m right here.” A group of boys approached, one saying, “I have questions.” I sat down on the bench, and was suddenly faced with about 10 teen boys (ages 16 or 17) and one girl standing up in a straight line on the sidewalk facing me (as I was sitting), asking questions. We talked for 45 minutes. They all listened while one boy questioned in order to argue. He wanted to argue evolution, the existence of God, philosophy etc. I brought it to the conscience with the Law.

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He declared his goodness and independence from God. He had no need of God; he was self-righteous. I spoke of creation, his conscience, the Law, morality and sin, the prophets, and the incarnation of Christ, and he kept on suppressing the truth (Rom.1:18-19). While this was going on, another boy was questioning with an entirely different attitude. He was humble, nodded his head when hearing about sin, sinfulness, breaking God’s Law, accountability, and God’s righteous judgment. I lobbed between the two conversations. All the while, all these other boys were standing there listening. By the way, they were all from the Catholic boys high school in my city. Most declared themselves Atheists and Humanists, but this one boy was not saying these things. He was asking me what Jesus did- he wanted to hear how Jesus fulfilled the OT, all the prophets, the Law, and the whole Redemption plan as the atoning sacrifice: the Lamb of God. He wanted to hear about how it is not by good works that we are saved, or by religious ritual, but by Jesus Christ alone. The arguing boy shook my hand said “thanks but no thanks”, and left, and all the other kids left with him.

The humble boy sat down next to me and we continued to talk for quite a while about Jesus; Who He is, His sinlessness, His sacrifice, the tearing of the curtain in the Temple (and what that meant) and repentance and faith in Christ. He wanted to know not just about Jesus’ divinity but also His humanity: how He relates to us and represents us to God. He was glad to hear that Jesus also was sad, had emotions, felt pain, sorrow, hurt. This boy, taking “Theology” in the Catholic high school, was so glad to hear the gospel and how the OT and the NT fit together for the redemption of all those who trust in Jesus by faith alone. He left very happy having heard these things. He shook my hand with sincerity and took a gospel tract. I think he will go home to read the Bible. I am so thankful and amazed to actually meet a humble hearted teen who is glad to hear the Gospel. And I’m thankful for challenges from evangelists to be bold and, for the sake of others, get out of your comfort zone.

These Last Days: Preach Christ

The One World Religion of global spiritual unity is here. Many leaders in the professing Church have fallen away from Jesus to join this “one spirituality” with all Humanity. Professing Christians who have joined this global movement are very much against confessing the exclusivity of Christ and the preaching of the Gospel. Those who are not joining with global unity are beginning to be marginalized and labeled as “haters”.

How should we respond? Preach the Gospel! Proclaim Jesus Christ with love, humility, gentleness and respect. Burn your light bright in this darkness! The more evil manifests, the more we must proclaim Christ. Proclaim the Truth! There is only one true God! Proclaim the holiness of God, His righteous character, His justice and His Law. Preach the Gospel with boldness! Declare the deity of Christ! Proclaim His coming in the flesh, His death and resurrection! Preach repentance and faith. Tell that He is coming to judge the earth in righteousness! Keep sowing the Word. He will guide you as to when, who and how. He will give you what to say. He will give you power from His Holy Spirit. He will give you courage. He will use you to testify of Him.

“But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.” Acts20:24.

Witnessing in the One World Religion, Pt.2

Another favorite account of believers witnessing in the One World Religion, is in Revelation. The believers on earth in this book are a wonderful encouragement, and a good example to us, as we observe their faith in action.

In heaven, the great cloud of witnesses are gathered around the throne. Clothed in white and crowned, they fall down before Him, casting their crowns before the throne in worship. They sing a new song, praising the Lamb for purchasing, with His blood, men for God out of every tribe, tongue, people and nation. They praise and bless the Lamb, and fall down in worship.

But down on earth, believers are being slain for their witness. Their souls are under the altar. They are safe; covered by the blood of Christ. What did they do? They proclaimed the word of God and they maintained their testimony of faith in Jesus. They do not join in with the One World Religion (the worship of Satan). They trust God, they wait for Him. They know Jesus is coming back. They know God is in control. They are true Christians, killed for their faith in Christ. They overcome him (Satan) because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they do not love their life, even unto death. They love the Lord Jesus.

For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Rev.12:12.

Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come with vengeance; the recompense of God will come, but He will save you.  Is.35:4.

…Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first born of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood, …to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him…. Rev.1:5-7.

Here is Pt. 1.

The Fourth Man in the Fire

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would rather die than betray their Savior and comply with the One World Religion. They would not worship false gods. They would not bow to the image of the Beast. They would not obey a man above God. Whether they died in the fire or were delivered, they wanted to remain faithful to their God. Christ went with them into the fire and gave them strength and courage. He never left them until one way or the other, through death or deliverance, they came through the trial. He was their faithful protector and deliverer! He was their shelter and refuge! He was everything to them! He was the fourth man in the fire.

Listen: The Fourth Man

Witnessing in the One World Religion, Pt.1

Increasingly as this age draws to a conclusion, true faith in Christ will come under attack and will no longer be tolerated. The world will become more hostile to true Christians as lawlessness, apostasy and hatred of God increases. The world will believe in the “spiritual unity and deity of all humanity” and through this, worship the god of this world. They will believe the lie. Devotion to Jesus Christ will one day be illegal. Persecution at a level we have never known, will come.

Let us prepare now so that we will have the strength, boldness, courage, humility, peace and love to stand for the Lord Jesus Christ. This preparation happens as we abide in Christ through the Word and prayer, through dying to ourselves, taking up our cross, and following Him each day. It happens through fellowship with the saints and through proclaiming the gospel to those He leads us to. We prepare through such worship and love for Christ.

We will have opportunity to witness in the One World Religion. It is a time to testify to Truth and to proclaim our allegiance to Christ alone. It is a time to show our love for Him. One of my favorite biblical accounts about witnessing in the One World Religion is Daniel 3.

The king of Babylon set up his own kind of interfaith “one world religion” and decreed that everyone, at his command, worship the image that he had set up. There was pressure to conform to the new system of worship. There was a choice to be made by all. And there were severe consequences for not obeying the earthly king and going along with the crowd. The consequence for not committing idolatry by worshiping the image, was persecution and death.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego put their faith into action. This was an opportunity to witness by demonstrating that their allegiance was not to the one world religion; nor to country or king, but to the Lord.

“O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” Dan.3:16-18.

They would not fall down and worship the idol, no matter what happened to them. They would worship the Lord God, and no one and nothing else. They did not dialogue with the king’s officials. They proclaimed Truth and declared their allegiance to God. They stood boldly and refused to compromise whether God chose to deliver them from the fire, or not.

God sent His ‘angel’ and delivered His servants who trusted in Him. The men violated the king’s command and yielded up their bodies so as not to serve or worship any god except their own God. But they did not go alone into the fire. The fourth man in the fire was with them. Jesus was with them.

Here is Pt.2.