Car Conversations

My car has become the site of some interesting witnessing conversations over the last year as I give my kids’ friends rides home from the high school and various teen activities. I am so thankful for this opportunity, as I fondly recall that God revealed Himself to me when I was in high school. Here’s a peek into some of the conversations in my car.

‘Susan’ asked me out of the blue what how I became a Christian and wanted to hear my testimony and the gospel. She then asked me heartfelt questions. Now she wants her own Bible to read.

‘Tony’ wanted to know what the difference between “going to church” or “church traditions” and a relationship with Jesus was all about and why.

‘C.J.’ questioned me about my belief in God, in a mocking- scoffing sort of way, as he is a proud atheist, evolutionist, modern intellectual.

Two boys on campus. There was a t-shirt wearing “outreach” event that the kids had at the school. The shirt features the Greek phrase, “He Gives”. So the kids are supposed to wait until someone asks them what the shirt says, and “what that means”, and then they can witness with their answer. (By the way, according to the instructions, they were not to be didactic or preachy, and only positive.) So two fifteen year old boys were wearing the bright orange “He Gives” t-shirts in the student parking lot. I was in my car waiting to meet up with one of my students, and so I gave the boys the opportunity to “practice” on me. I called them over and we chatted at my car window. I asked them what the shirt says, and then, what it means. I played “average inquiring person” for them, trying to get them to think and tell me the Gospel, until they figured out I was a Christian who was teaching them some doctrine. (So much fun!)

They proceeded to repeat the modern cotton candy gospel, which they have heard at church, Christian Club, and youth group. I kept asking them “why” Jesus was given. They were not really sure. They suggested felt needs. They told me part of the good news, but they were not sure why it was good news. My child was delayed in coming out to the car, so I had lots of time to tell these boys the “other parts” of the gospel, and teach them how to witness biblically. It was exciting to observe the lights going on. “Now it makes sense!” And they say you can’t evangelize on the high school campuses…

‘Cora’ was telling me from the back seat, how she is a “student leader” with a local parachurch youth ministry. I asked her some basic questions about her relationship with God and beliefs and she had absolutely no idea what I was talking about. She went on about all the fun they have in their group. I hope to chat with her again sometime.

‘Lily’ is a “pastor’s kid” (…her mother is the pastor…)and I’m not sure she’s heard the gospel. I asked her some questions about her view of God, and she admitted that she is not sure she “has a clue” or “gets it”. She started crying due to news that a fellow classmate and friend of hers died in a tragic accident during a music department trip to Canada. I think we made relational contact (and I hope, seeds were planted) as she listened to me relate my testimony of how this exact situation– a classmate dying in a tragic accident when I was in high school–was what God used to ultimately bring me to the place where He revealed Himself to me as the REAL, saving, forgiving, redeeming, healing and powerful God.

Most teenagers in our culture have not been taught or told much of anything real by parents, schools, campus ‘Christian Clubs’, churches, youth groups, and even many “Christian leaders and ministries”. Most ‘churched’ kids have not heard the true gospel. They are being brought into youth groups for fun,”belonging to the group” and socialization. What they really need is the real Hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Related post: Educate Me

The Gospel is Everything- Pt.1

I’d like to share with you the three devotional teachings on “The Gospel” that we heard from Paul Washer at Legacy. Here are some notes and the first of five videos for the Thursday devotional (follow the videos through part 5). Highly recommended teaching for anyone in any kind of ministry, especially preaching and evangelism.

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Cor.5:21

The Gospel is not Christianity 101: It is Everything.

He began by speaking of how the Gospel has been compromised, changed and has lost it’s power. The real Gospel is power. He “attempted to begin” to expound on this text regarding how Jesus the sinless Holy One received all the curses, condemnation, shame, rejection and wrath that we, the sons of iniquity, may be set free and given all the spiritual blessings.

At the end of this talk he exhorted leaders not to seek “ministry success” or fame but to only press hard after His presence. “Success in ministry” means nothing. Being known and celebrated in “Christianity” (or the world!) is worthless. The only thing you come to desire is His presence.

Contend Earnestly

Well friends, I was going to talk with you today about our wonderful salvation in Jesus, but instead, I’m finding it necessary to take this time to remind you of the urgent need to defend truth and contend for the faith. I’ve been thinking about Tony Miano going to proclaim the glorious gospel to the folks waiting to hear Todd Bentley. If I was standing in line for something, and I heard the Law and the Gospel preached, I would be praising God. I love hearing it. Many people at the Todd Bentley event reacted in such anger and hostility, like the unbelievers on Haight St. who did not like hearing the gospel.

I have a dear brother who works in youth ministry. He has seen many youth groups, conferences and Christian youth mega-events. He says he has heard some groups teach a totally different thing, which is not our faith at all, but is carnal, worldly, about self and this world. It is not based on God’s Word. It is a different gospel. Someone came in to these youth groups (with new messages and methods) and changed what would be taught to the youth. The Bible was tossed out, (or twisted out of context and misapplied) and a new thing was introduced.

This reminds me of my college instructor who boldly declared that their goal was to destroy the Old Paradigm based on God’s Word,(they were talking about the Christian faith) and replace it with the The New Paradigm, which is of course, satan’s religion.

There are many believers who are being influenced by the messages of false prophets and teachers. They need to get back to the truth of God’s Word. There are also many others in the visible church who profess Christ but believe a different gospel, and even have a different Jesus; they are not actually in Christ. They need to hear the true gospel.

This situation is going to escalate and there will be increasing pressure on believers to just “get with the new program”. As New Paradigm Christianity synthesises with the New Spirituality and the world system, we must boldly and humbly declare the true gospel all the more.

This subject is not a distraction from preaching the gospel, it provides even more motivation to keep preaching the gospel.

Also, it is our Christian duty as bondservants of Christ to contend for the faith. The Word commands us to discern false prophets and false teaching. I believe truth is more important than keeping the peace and not making waves. The danger of strife is nothing compared to the importance of biblical truth. The Bible teaches that we are commanded to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

For false Christs (“anointed ones”) and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you in advance. Matt.24:24-25.

But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons…1Tim.4:1.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires..2Tim.4:3.

…exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. Titus 1:9.

…there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master….2Peter 2:1.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1John4:1.

But realize this, that in the last days perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful… But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 2Tim.3:1 & 13.

Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. Jude3.

Right Before our Very Eyes

I remember, back when I was a young believer, when it seemed every Christian was passionate for God’s Word, when evangelism was a normal activity, and when false teaching was something that happened out there, hidden in the shadowy world of the New Agers and cults.

Now things are different. The New Agers have gone mainstream; popularizing their occult religion in every venue of our culture, from education to entertainment and the marketplace. What used to be found only in a crystal and incense filled Berkeley bookstore is now openly promoted throughout society. Even the main textbook for the foundation of my college major existed to mainstream the New Age. The world religions, the New Agers, secular humanists and the occult have come out from the underground and have normalized their worldview.

Now things are really different. Now we have many from within Christianity, joining in with what is now called the “New Spirituality”. I remember ten years ago when I walked into a bookstore, and saw a prominent display of John Shelby Spong’s book, Why Christianity Must Change or Die. Yes this was a liberal mainline skeptic’s manifesto. But something was up. Then a few years later he gave us A New Christianity for a New World: Why Traditional Faith is Dying and How a New Faith is Being Born. At that point, I realized that Protestant Christianity had joined with the New Age.

Today, ever increasing numbers of Evangelicals are now joining in with the skepticism, doubt and denial of the Word of God. They are speaking the same words as those in the New Spirituality. They have joined the New Faith. They have joined the One World Religion.

Just like God said would happen, thousands of years ago. We are seeing it unfold now, right before our very eyes.

Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostacy comes first, and the man of lawlesness is revealed, the son of destruction…2Thes.2:3.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths. 2Tim.2:3-4.

But false prophets also arose among the people; just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them… 2Pe.2:1.

“Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am Christ!’ and will mislead many.” Mark13:6.

And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast…Rev.13:11-12.

Listen: Christian Worldview radio. The merger of modern-day “Christianity” and Evangelicalism with the New Age Movement and Universalism. Laying the groundwork for a world religion and a world leader as predicted in the Bible. This is happening fast and you are seeing what the Bible foretold thousands of years ago.

Chart: Biblical Truth (thesis: the Bible), the transition phase(antithesis: the New Age movement), and the New Spirituality (synthesis: Global Spirituality) compared.

Article: New Spirituality Emerging into One Church for the world.

Article: Bringing Christianity into the One World Religion.

Video: The whole world coming together as One spiritually.

A Biblical Youth Group (wow!)

“So, honey, what did they teach about tonight?”, I asked my Jr. Hi age daughter as we drove home from our local youth group of choice. Her answer was music to my ears.

No, it wasn’t “Belong to the group” (psychology +Church Growth Movement), “Take back the city from the principalities of darkness and claim the territory for God” (Kingdom Now/Dominionist movement), or “God spoke to me and said you are the end time army of God to be the new authoritative apostles and prophets” (New Apostolic Reformation movement).

They didn’t play Halo, shock-value unsanitary “gross games” or worship unbiblicaly with candle & incense burning, altar decorating, stations of the cross, chanting or labyrinth walking (Emergent/return to Rome movement).

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for fun and being social. They do play games, eat pizza and go on fun summer and winter trips. But the focus is discipling young Christians in God’s Word.

So what did she learn? “God is Sovereign”. That’s right; they are teaching the youth the attributes of God. How refreshing!

I’m so, so thankful for this youth group, and youth pastor. This is God’s faithful provision. The pastor desires to teach young people Biblical Christian doctrine, theology and some apologetics. He has a heart to pass on the faith and disciple youth in the Word of God. He desires to prepare kids to hold fast to Biblical Truth, as they come of age in a world of apostasy in the church, and increasing hatred of the things of God out in the world. He wants to prepare them for a life of service to God, as ambassadors of the gospel, and to stand strong in faith in Jesus.