Earth Day Preaching Ideas

1. Preach about trees. Psalm 1: The righteous who love the Word of God are like a green tree with deep roots, yielding green leaves and good fruit. The wicked are chaff which the wind drives away. Or preach Messiah from Isaiah 11:1: A shoot will spring from the stem of Jessi, a branch from his roots will bear fruit. Or, preach on the tree of life, Rev.2:7: To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God, and Rev.22:14: Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Or, preach Christ from Galatians 3:13: Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us– for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE “.

2. Preach about flowers and grass. Isaiah 40:8: Men are like grass! The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Or, Psalm 37:2: They (evildoers) will wither quickly like the grass and fade like the green herb.

3. Preach about who owns the earth. Psalm 24:1: The earth is the LORD’s and all it contains; the world and those who dwell in it.

4. Preach about the worship and glory that is due to the Creator of the earth, waters, the sea, grass, birds, plants and animals. Psalm 104: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. (Don’t forget v. 34-35.) Or, Rev.14:7: Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come, and worship Him who made heaven and earth and the sea and the springs of water!

5. Preach about ecosystems. God’s loving abundant spiritual provision for His people. Isaiah 35:1: The wilderness and the desert will be glad… it will blossom profusely and rejoice with rejoicing and shout of joy.

6. Preach that God has decreed that this earth, as it is, be temporary. Isaiah 65:17: For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth…(also Rev 21:1-5)

7. Preach that judgment is coming to the wicked of this earth. 1 Samuel 2:10: Those who contend with the LORD will be shattered…the LORD will judge the ends of the earth.. Or, Isaiah 66:16: For the LORD will execute judgment by fire And by His sword on all flesh, And those slain by the LORD will be many.

8. Preach the TRUTH about the future of the earth. 2 Peter 3:7: But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

9. Preach Jesus Christ, the Creator and Lord of all. Colossians 1:16: For by Him all things were created; in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible…. all things have been created by Him and for Him. Jesus did not come in the flesh to “save the earth” but to save the lost! Preach the real Gospel, saints of God!

“…that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” Isaiah 49:6

Here’s last year’s Earth Day post: How to Celebrate Earth Day

God is Good!

God is so good to me! He lets me be a foreign missionary here in my “native land” of the Bay Area. Yesterday I was at a community center with one of my children and I ended up having a conversation with Shirin, an older woman who is originally from Iran. This was the first real conversation I’ve had with someone who practices the Zoroastrian religion. I was amazed to hear her describe her philosophy of life: it was exactly as I learned from my brief study of this religion. She was telling me how it is all about having “good thoughts, good words and good deeds”. In other words, “It’s all good”!

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Resisting the temptation to contextualize or just do the “friendship evangelism” thing, I decided I must go for it and risk offending this grandmother, and respectfully tell her some Truth. So I shared about how we are not good, and do not have good thoughts, and do not do good, but just the opposite. I told her truth from scripture about our sin and breaking God’s Law, and the pride, idolatry, unbelief, self-righteousness, and general wickedness that is really going on in human hearts. She recoiled at hearing this -distress apparent on her face- as though I would bring “bad karma” and spiritual chaos to her happy spiritual equilibrium of goodness. I felt bad about making an elderly lady uncomfortable and consciously asked myself, “Do I really believe what the Word of God says about God’s judgment of sin and Jesus being the only way of salvation? Yes!” Although such evangelism is deemed improper, (even by many Evangelical church leaders) I knew I must love God, Truth and people’s eternal souls more than culture, feelings, and social correctness.

She kept repeating the “I think good, I do good, I am good” mantra and I kept gently responding with Truth from scripture. She was even telling me I was good. I have not spoken to her of the Gospel; she is confident she is a good person, acceptable to her (false Zoroastrian) god. She agreed to meet and talk more tomorrow. I have some Farsi gospel materials left over from last year’s Nouroz. I long to tell her of Jesus Christ, the only God and Savior, and how she can be saved from her sins by trusting Him and the goodness of His Grace towards those who are not good.

“Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” Mark 10:18


The Creator of Hydrogen

Sometimes I like to witness without ever talking about the Law, the attributes of God or the Gospel. Sometimes I just ask questions. I try not to get too much into apologetics, other than Presuppositional on occasion. I try to keep it simple. Every once in a while I like to do what is called “creation evangelism”. When I do this I always make sure to leave the person with a clear printed gospel message they can read later.

At Chabot Space and Science Center I had a conversation with a bright young engineering student who was working in the observatory. He asked me how I liked the megadome theater show. I told him that it was very good- except it was about 70% science and 30% philosophy and “religion”. He smiled, agreed, and asked me to explain.

I told him I loved the journey into outer space by “steps” that were each going away from earth by the power of 10. Thus we journeyed out to deep space and all the lovely observable galaxies. Then the film zoomed back to earth, where we now visited a paramecium in a drop of water, and ventured into ‘inner space’ to see DNA, molecules, atoms, electrons, protons and quarks. After this, the film became quite metaphysical. That is, concepts for which there is no scientific empirical data were presented as fact. The entire story of evolution (a philosophy) was presented in detail as fact: from swirling primordial ooze to man-as-astronaut.

I told the young grad student that the film mentioned matter, energy and forces in its presentation on how all things came to be. These things were declared as a matter of fact in the film (without explanation of their origins). So I asked the young man, “Where did the matter, the forces and the energy come from?” He caught me up to date on current Quantum Physics theories, such as “matter is energy, and vice versa.” I told him I was fine with that, but where did this matter/energy come from?

He told me that he, as well as all honest scientists, have no idea. Then he related some theory about a grapefruit size ball of matter (that existed before the laws of physics came to be!) that reacted…. and wa-la… the Big Bang. Again I asked him, “where did the grapefruit size ball of matter/energy came from?” “I have no idea,” he said with a big smile. Then he asked me if I knew. I’m glad I had one of these in my bag to give him at the end of our conversation. I’m also glad that we don’t have to be Astrophysicists in order to witness to highly educated people.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made….Rom.1:20

The Proud and the Humble, pt. deux

At the dog park this week there was another stark example of the proud and the humble. It was another one of those interactions which makes me seriously consider carrying around a small digital recorder so I can better remember the details of these conversations.

So I was talking with this man for quite a while on the subject of idolatry. He brought up the subject himself and was criticizing that segment of American society which worships sports as “god”. Agreeing with him, (that sports is an American idol) I used that as my opportunity to speak to him on the subject of spiritual things and decided to bring up all the other things people worship, and all the rest of the Law. But after identifying as a Humanist, he responded to God’s Word by declaring his good deeds and self-righteousness. He then went on a rage about how he should not have to thank God (if there was one) for anything; for “what has He done for me lately?” He accused God of being responsible for evil in the world, and accused Him of not doing right (or making this messed up world right). He praised the superiority and independence of Humanity, then lifted his fist high in the air, and shook his fist at God in defiance, loudly yelling his curses against God.

Towards the end, another man began listening and joined the conversation. He also witnessed to the Humanist. This man was a brother in Christ, and not only did he proclaim the truth that God is Creator, Judge and Savior, but he also, with great love and gentleness of spirit, declared his gratitude to God for salvation, and for His goodness, even through severe and painful life trials. This man publicly blessed the Lord with thanksgiving.

The thing I found so wonderfully amazing was that this brother that proclaimed his gratitude to God, did not begin hearing the conversation until after the first man completed his diatribe of hateful ingratitude against God. Thus they both demonstrated who they were before God: one demonstrating the text of Romans 1:18-25, and the other demonstrating every scripture about believers giving thanks to God for all His blessings, especially salvation of sinful men, by His grace.

Give thanks to Him; bless His name. For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting, and His faithfulness to all generations. Ps.100:4-5.

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! (surpassing grace!) 2Cor.9:15.

Give Him Glory!

The Planetarium show at the California Academy of Sciences was quite an adventure. You start inside the museum and slowly go up until you are viewing the Bay Area from the sky. Ascending upward, you look down on the Pacific coast until you are up in space. After a short tour of some of our planets, and viewing Earth from space, you venture out to get a wide view of our galaxy and visit some nearby stars. Then it is off to deep space where zillions of God’s other galaxies decorate the observable universe.

Out of Humanist obligation to continuously indoctrinate in the new paradigm, the themes of evolution, global warming, environmentalism, and possible life on other planets were present. We expected as much. But what riled me was when they started bragging on mankind and his achievements in discovering and documenting the cosmos using advanced space technology. Toward the end of the show the narrator said something about how wonderful we are that we have “numbered the stars” (and named them). I thought, wait a minute! Who has numbered the stars?

I was bursting with desire to get up and tell everyone that God created the stars and HE numbered them. We are not wonderful for discovering the stars. The stars were created to display the wonder, power and glory of God the Creator, that we may worship Him. The heavens declare the glory of God!

He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. Great is our Lord and of great power, His understanding is infinite. Ps.147:4-5.

Fear God, and give Him glory… and worship Him who made the heaven and the earth….Rev.14:7.

Mosque, Pt.1

What a fantastic opportunity to join a group of believers for a cross-cultural adventure. We attended an “open house” at a San Francisco mosque, for the ‘break the fast’ dinner. But it was the part before the Muslim ‘call to prayer’ and dinner, that I did not expect.

Upstairs on the social hall floor, we sat at banquet tables with a few hundred other guests and listened to several speakers. I was expecting Muslim leaders to tell us all about Islam and Ramadan. I grew sick as I slowly realized that I was attending an interfaith meeting! There were brochures on the table published by an interfaith group, explaining how all the monotheistic religions are basically one. One by one, Muslims and non Muslims got up and gave speeches promoting interfaith cooperation, and the urgent global necessity for us to all come together to achieve world peace and save humanity.

There were many baby boomers who had a Jewish, Catholic or cultural Christian background, who had converted to Islam. There were many Roman Catholic priests and nuns, especially the Franciscans, the order of the Catholic church I grew up in. There were people from different religions- but most of them were classic mystical New Spirituality creation worshipers.

At our table were two ladies that I think were probably either Catholic or Episcopalian, and one man described his own cult religion which gave me chills. He had a “sacred space” called Abraham’s Place (or something) where Jews, Muslims and Christians came to worship together as one. The man looked and sounded “affected by something”. I was not sure if we were going to be at that table all evening, but I knew that God did not want me to say a single word there, about the precious things of the Lord, to this particular group of people. He wanted me to keep my Pearls to myself at this time.

Outreach in The City

We had a great week up in The City. Started the week in worship with Park Presidio Bible church on 10th Ave. in the morning, and Casa de Refugio Iglesia on Market St. in the afternoon. It was a joy to sing in Spanish, and a young woman even came and translated the whole sermon. The neat thing was that the message from both churches was about being a bold witness of the gospel, from different passages in the book of Acts. Both churches also preached against false teaching, and also declared the lateness of the hour, prophetically speaking. Very different churches, same biblical messages!

Monday, we spent the day on Fisherman’s Wharf. Tuesday, we were on Telegraph and Haste in Berkeley and later we hung out on 16th and Mission. Wednesday we were at Haight & Ashbury/Masonic and our dear brothers Paul Kaiser and the young man he is discipling, Ryan, came down to join us. That night we went down to Haight & Stanyan. Thursday we went to Fisherman’s Wharf again and Friday we were at Berkeley again, but up on the campus at Sproul plaza. Saturday we spent all day at UN Plaza, then we went out to Chinese for dinner before heading home on BART.

Everybody ministered the gospel in slightly different styles, of course. Some gave out printed or audio gospel material, some played music and sang, some preached open air, some read passages of scripture from the Bible, but mostly, we engaged people in dozens of one on one conversations where the law and the gospel were boldly, respectfully and joyfully shared.

Of course I have some conversations I’d love to tell you about, and photos to upload, but first I think I’ll get some sleep. Until then, here’s some video from our day working with Paul on Haight & Ashbury. (Warning: videos are rated R for language.)

In this video, Jessi is videotaping while Ryan talks to Nick Pt.1. A few feet away in the background, I’m talking to Nick’s friend Greg.

In this video, Paul is doing some old fashioned street preaching & apologetics; engaging hecklers, mockers and those with genuine questions in conversation as the opportunity arises.

In this video, here is more of Paul engaging a man with the truth of God’s Word.

In this video, Ryan is preaching his heart out while I videotape. The enemy sure did not like his preaching. There was a bit of spiritual reaction to the Truth. His message turned out to be 90% law and 10% grace due to the pride and hard hearts of the hearers. Regardless of the response of people, seeds are sown, and God is always glorified in the proclamation of the gospel and the exalting of Christ.

Don’t be discouraged by these videos! The wind of God’s Spirit blows where it wills, and nothing is too hard for the Lord. Here is a timely and encouraging reminder of this great truth.

Audio: Is Anything Too Hard for the Lord? by John Piper

What is going on in the minds of the people in these videos as well as those we witness to at work, on the street or at the family reunion picnic? This message teaches us the theological truth from Romans 1 about how people already know God exists, that God’s standards exist and that their sinful acts deserve death. Listen to find out the encouraging way this truth helps us in our witnessing to them, so we can have courage and bold confidence in our gospel sharing.

Audio: Doing and Endorsing Evil, by John Piper

Here is Ryan and Nick, Pt.2

Ryan talks with Nick, with Paul and Jessi also contributing. Here is the summary from Paul Kaiser:

“Bro. Ryan continues to reason with Nick and we begin to clearly see what it is that Nick holds so dear. He loves his sin and is blinded by his own pride. Please pray that God will be merciful and grant Nick repentance.”

Here is Paul Kaiser’s report on The Reformed Evangelist: The Haight-Ashbury Experience.