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Author Topic: The fearless evangelist  (Read 1375 times)

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Billy Evmur

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The fearless evangelist
« on: April 09, 2020, 09:32:41 am »

I would hate you to think I was always the fearless evangelist, once I was walking across Kensington Gore Hyde Park in the wee small hours heading toward my flat in Hammersmith when looking down Exhibition road I saw a man who was the most drunk person still walking I have ever seen, he was reeling from one side of the pavement to the other, a perfect zigzag, then he would stop and lurch forward headlong. He was in a right old state.

God said "go and speak to him about Me."

I set off at once and soon was hard on his heels, but the nearer I got I could see him more clearly and he was HUGE, well over 6ft tall and built like an outhouse. I drew abreast with him but instead of speaking to him I bottled and sped past him up the next side turning and leaning against the railings watching him go by I begged God to forgive such cowardice and prayed for his soul.

God said "Go and speak to that man about Me."

Now when you fail to obey God you do not always get a second chance so I set off again and soon caught up with him and once more drew alongside, but I bottled again and instead of speaking to him sped on by dashing up the next side road.

"Oh Lord please send somebody more brave....." but He said "go and speak to him"

I set off a bit more circumspectly this time, by now he had turned into the Old Cromwell Rd and I followed him [he of course was totally oblivious to all this]

I drew alongside and passed him but this time I turned and stepped in front of him and held up my hand like a policeman. I proferred a tract to him and said "I would like you to read this, it's about Jesus"

He stood swaying to and fro blinking owlishly at me, his mouth fell open.

I said "Jesus has totally transformed my life and He can do the same for you if you will believe in Him [I think I gabbled a bit] He still does miracles today as He always did but now He works from inside us, if we will receive Him into our heart He sets up His kingdom within us and He will bring new and good people into your life, people who will help you."

He snatched the tract from me and mumbled "I'll read it tomorrow morning." but as he tried to pass me I stepped in front of him again. He was such a sweet natured guy, a Canadian. A real gentle giant. He almost screamed "I promise, I promise, I will read it tomorrow, I am much too drunk tonight" I pointed to the prayer on the tract and promised him it would change his life forever if he was sincere and let him go.

Some weeks later I was at meeting in Kensington Temple and the Pastor held up a letter he had received telling about how this Canadian soldier on his last day in England had been unceremoniously been dumped by his English girlfriend and how he had been on his way back to the barracks rip roaring drunk intent on getting his gun and blowing his brains out, and he'd have done it but a man from your church stopped him in the street and told him about Jesus and he got saved instead. The letter was from Canada.

His mother who had been praying for him and was Catholic got saved too.

God is great.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9sWEf_6ZS8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biNtUJ4Vxs4
« Last Edit: June 30, 2020, 05:58:45 pm by Billy Evmur »
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patrick jane

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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2020, 11:15:32 pm »
Amazing Billy. God is amazing. Ha, you were scared shitless !!!
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2020, 12:13:18 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/april-web-only/coronavirus-pandemic-pentecostal-prayer-love-revival.html






Coronavirus Calls for Revival of Real Pentecostalism








Despite errors, Spirit-filled theology can show us how to respond to the pandemic.


It’s not exactly a secret: Many Pentecostals have responded to the current pandemic in ways that are both bizarre and troubling. These responses have overshadowed the sanity and generosity of many faithful, Spirit-filled Christians and reinforced the idea that Pentecostal theology is cheap and silly.

This is unfortunate because Pentecostalism has many gifts to give. At its best, it is mystical and prophetic and teaches us to live deeply prayerful lives. Pentecostal theology teaches us that ministry must begin and end in prayer. It teaches us we must hold high expectations for God to work in the world, along with a deep sense of personal and communal responsibility. It teaches us not to fear the new or idolize the familiar, and that the divine power of Pentecost is the love revealed in the Cross. These are all truths the church needs in this current crisis.

Pray like jazz


If you know anything about Pentecostalism, you know about the prayer. Harvard theologian Harvey Cox compared it to jazz because of its playful extemporization and collaborative enthusiasm. Pentecostals believe this improvisation is a way of keeping rhythm with the Holy Spirit. This is why our prayers often have the spirit of an old-time revival tent—open on all sides and thrown up anywhere, anytime, as God leads. Pentecostal prayer, at its heart, is about radical openness to God, and it is marked by a readiness to be surprised and to be changed.

This openness in prayer leads Pentecostals to be improvisational in other ministries as well. When we are faithful to our calling, we are ready to abandon familiar ways of doing ministry and make ourselves at home in the company of those we are called to serve.

We consider the church neither a means to an end nor an end in itself. Therefore, we are ready to forget familiar ways of speaking and to learn new languages, both literally and figuratively, because we expect to hear God speak in ways we never could have anticipated. This is what it really means to “speak in tongues.”

It is always hard to know what to say in times of pain and loss. But when we are faithful to the wisdom we have received, we know that what we say to others must be shaped first of all by what we say to God on others’ behalf. Faithful ministry, in other words, always begins and ends in intercessory prayer.

Even as we try to give good answers to the many difficult theological questions arising at this time, we should never forget that if those answers are to be helpful, they must be rooted in prayer. This is not polite, self-assured prayer, but raw, unsparing prayer, prayer that laments and protests, demands and interrogates, begs and invokes—prayer that is radically and confidently open to God in front of others and to others in front of God.

I believe the church needs this kind of openness in the midst of this crisis. We need a “holy boldness,” one that has nothing to do with living as if we are protected from harm, claiming secret knowledge about God’s will or asserting power over disasters and sicknesses, but has everything to do with following the Spirit into the darkness, coming alongside those who are suffering, and being Christ to them.

Love like God
Pentecostalism, at its best, is deeply communal and missional. It knows that love for God cannot be separated from love for neighbor and that prayer cannot be separated from action. As theologian Lucy Peppiatt recently observed, Pentecostals not only believe strongly in God’s involvement in every aspect of life but also believe—just as strongly—in the call for God’s people to participate in what God is doing in the world.

In spite of what some might think, this is a constant theme in Pentecostal theology. Daniel Castelo, professor of theology at Seattle Pacific University, argues, for example, that Pentecostal spirituality is a form of mysticism. This is not a mysticism of withdrawal, but of mediation and intermediation. In her recent book, The Spirit and the Common Good, Daniela Augustine, professor of theology at the University of Birmingham, makes the same point: “The Spirit uplifts the Christified human life as the visible means of invisible grace. … Indeed, the healing of the entire cosmos starts from within hallowed, Spirit-saturated humanity.”

All that to say, Pentecostal ministries are moved by this twofold desire: to commune deeply with God and to see everyone and everything else drawn into the same communion. This mysticism is a source of renewal for the church.

Dale Coulter, professor of historical theology at Regent University, has shown how something like that has happened before, in the aftermath of the black death in the Middle Ages. He argues that in this pandemic, once again, “pastors and priests need to become spiritual directors, guiding their flocks as they turn within and find the crucified God.”

Pentecostal theology teaches us to long for the age when all God’s people will be prophets. But we do not think of prophecy as a form of magic. We believe true prophecy is not so much about predicting the future as it is about seeing how God helps us to care for our neighbors in ways they most desperately need.

True prophecy gives us insight into what has happened and is happening, what is truly right and truly wrong in the world, and thus enables us to see into and call forth a better, more faithful future.

Coming into communion with Christ’s passion in prayer, we will find ourselves moved with compassion for others into action. The same Spirit who leads us to turn within, mystically, toward the crucified Christ, will lead us to turn out, prophetically, toward those for whom Christ offered and offers himself. Following the Spirit, we will enter the darkness instead of denying it, trusting that the light of God is already breaking forth from its depths. This is what it means to be prophetic, speaking life into dry bones.

Bless the poor
As a Pentecostal, and a Pentecostal theologian, I feel the need to be honest about our failures, past and present. I know there are hard questions to ask about the integrity and effects of our teachings and practices. And I know this is not a time for nostalgia or idealism.

But I am convinced that it is a time to return to the faithful ways that led to the rise of Pentecostal spirituality and theology in the first place. We need to retune ourselves to the God who tell us it is a commandment—not a compromise—to love our neighbors as ourselves, especially when those neighbors are not like us.

Sadly, many Pentecostals have forgotten the wisdom of their own tradition. In its beginnings, Pentecostalism was a movement of the poor and for the poor. The poor always suffer worst in crises like the one facing us now, so Pentecostals found themselves at the center of the Spanish flu epidemic in 1918. A century later, Pentecostalism remains a movement of the poor in most parts of the world.

But in the US, much has changed. Many of us now work at a remove from the poor, both geographically and spiritually, and we are largely out of touch with the material and spiritual needs of those we are called to serve first. Now is the time to make that right. And that begins with a return to the deepest, truest convictions of our mothers and fathers in the faith.

At the revival on Azusa Street, at the very beginning of the Pentecostal movement, pastor William Seymour put it this way: “The Pentecostal power, when you sum it all up, is just more of God’s love. If it does not bring more love, it is simply a counterfeit. … Pentecost makes us love Jesus more and love our brothers more. It brings us all into one common family.”

Article continues below
I know there are more than a few counterfeits available today. I know there is much that Pentecostals have said that is ridiculous and much that they should have said but haven’t. But there is another Pentecostalism, a mystical and prophetic Pentecostalism, which is a gift of the Spirit. And like many of the Spirit’s gifts, it is offered just as we need it and in ways we never could have imagined. That is precisely the Pentecostalism this crisis calls for.
















Chris Green is a professor of theology at Southeastern University and a pastor at Sanctuary Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His most recent book is Surprised by God.

Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Billy Evmur

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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2020, 03:52:32 am »
 :)
Have faith in God

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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2020, 09:51:44 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/may-web-only/charles-cotherman-think-christianly-study-centers.html






Amid the Stresses and Strains of Higher Education, Christian Study Centers Are Thriving












How a postwar evangelical movement to unite mind and heart spread to campuses across the country.


In the May 1972 issue of Christianity Today, Frank Nelsen, a history professor from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, proposed creating “evangelical living and learning centers for undergraduate students [to] be built on private property near large state universities.” These centers would provide students with space to pursue “an intellectually honest investigation of the Christian faith and its relation to secular disciplines.”

Nelsen suggested the idea—targeting a niche between campus ministries, local churches, and Christian liberal arts colleges—as a solution to what CT had identified a year earlier as the “Crisis in Christian Education.” The postwar boom in higher education was waning, and evangelicals were unprepared to respond. Rather than stick to an aging model, Nelsen asked: “Is there an educational alternative to the private college for evangelicals to consider in the light of current economic stresses and strains?”

The question is, unfortunately, as timely in May of 2020 as it was in May of 1972. Once again, universities—both public and private—are facing a tidal wave of new “economic stresses and strains.” And what of Nelsen’s proposal? In the almost-half-century since, “evangelical learning centers” have popped up on dozens of college campuses, from flagship public institutions such as the University of Virginia and the University of Wisconsin–Madison to elite private schools including Yale and Duke. The 30 or so individual centers have formed a national Consortium of Christian Study Centers, founded in 2008. While the details of Nelsen’s proposal never came to fruition (he suggested separate Christian dormitories and accredited coursework), the idea took on a life of its own.

The path from CT article to national consortium was anything but straightforward. Charles Cotherman’s new book, To Think Christianly, is the first comprehensive history of the Christian study center movement and its many roots in postwar evangelicalism. Focused on an influential, if small, class of educated evangelicals pursuing deeper cultural engagement with contemporary thought, To Think Christianly carefully reconstructs a vast web of intellectual networks and institutional struggles that most recent histories of postwar evangelicalism ignore, resisting the dominant narrative of evangelical cultural engagement since World War II.

Two New Frameworks
To Think Christianly may be the first time many readers encounter the institution of the Christian study center. Cotherman, it should be clear, is exclusively concerned with the genealogy of “evangelical learning centers.” In the 19th century, organizations like the YMCA and the Chautauqua movement fulfilled a similar role for lay Christians. Catholics have built a vast Newman Center network, and mainline Protestants founded centers like the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey, Switzerland, in the late 1940s. Even Christian Science Reading Rooms resemble Christian study centers. Cotherman ignores this wider Christian history in favor of explaining contemporary evangelical study centers in particular. This may rankle some readers, but the choice also sharpens his focus on a distinct evangelical engagement with culture that remains understudied.

Evangelical Christian study centers trace their roots to two progenitors: Francis Schaeffer’s L’Abri community in Switzerland and Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. While both were founded outside of the United States, they were deeply attuned to midcentury American evangelical concerns. Founded in 1955 in the Swiss Alps, L’Abri became a destination for travelers and wanderers to learn at the feet (or more often at the cassette tape) of ex-fundamentalist Francis Schaeffer. A one-time missionary, Schaeffer and his wife, Edith, recognized the growing appeal of hosting young travelers in their home. As Cotherman observes, L’Abri’s “home-based hospitality” of open-ended stays, communal work, and eating together made it “a working, living, studying, praying community before communal living became a countercultural standard.”

L’Abri’s “radical hospitality” helped to popularize Schaeffer’s novel conservative Protestant engagement with art, philosophy, and culture. By the late 1960s, Schaeffer was a best-selling author with speaking tours across the United States. Yet there were limitations. Especially as he became a leader in pro-life politics in the 1970s, he developed a guru-like aura among his followers. Rather than engage directly with other thought leaders, he maintained an insular circle of intellectual partners. While most historical accounts of Schaeffer linger on this later phase of political activism, Cotherman emphasizes how a generation of intellectually inclined evangelicals were inspired by Schaeffer’s earlier period at L’Abri.

If L’Abri’s hospitality modeled a new type of evangelical community, Regent College suggested a novel framework for evangelicals to pursue academic knowledge. Initiated by a circle of educated Plymouth Brethren in Vancouver, Regent started as a graduate school for lay Christians, eventually affiliating with the University of British Columbia. Regent’s founding in 1970 was shaped by its first principal, James M. Houston, a Scottish geographer who left Oxford for the job. Houston quickly assembled an impressive faculty, including J. I. Packer and W. Ward Gasque, which led to growing enrollment.

One of Houston’s early struggles was to maintain Regent’s focus on relational lay theological training and to resist developing Regent into a large seminary. As Cotherman puts it, Houston wanted education “to do away with the trappings of technocracy in favor of personal relations.” There were many benefits to this approach. With its mission to lay Christians, Regent was more welcoming to women (predominantly as students) in an era when it was almost impossible for women to enroll in evangelical seminaries. Regent encouraged women and men alike to become theological thinkers.

Why so much attention directed to this pair of institutions? In Cotherman’s telling, the twin legacies of L’Abri and Regent “helped sow an emphasis on hospitality and relationship” for the study centers that would follow. Moreover, the majority of later study center founders had some connection to L’Abri or Regent. These common evangelical roots were revealed through overlapping interpersonal networks and a shared intellectual agenda. The relationship of knowledge to faith—of “mind and heart”—was the umbrella under which each new generation could contemplate certain core questions: What role does Christian faith play in the pursuit of academic knowledge? What does it mean to have a faithful Christian presence in a modern university community? How should Christian thought form an engineer, a doctor, an architect?

Cotherman’s other examples—R. C. Sproul’s Ligonier Valley Study Center in Stahlstown, Pennsylvania, and New College Berkeley near the University of California (now affiliated with the Graduate Theological Union)—diverged from the early models. Ligonier eventually became a national cassette and video tape ministry that relocated to outside of Orlando, Florida. New College Berkeley nearly folded in its attempt to gain accreditation in the 1980s, deciding instead to embed itself in an existing network of seminaries and theological centers in the San Francisco Bay area. More closely linked to the contemporary Christian study center movement is the Center for Christian Study on the campus of the University of Virginia, which under the leadership of Andrew Trotter in the 1990s and 2000s developed the cooperative model between university and study center that now dominates the movement. (Trotter would become the first director of the Consortium of Christian Study Centers in 2009.)

Carrying the Torch
Cotherman’s story largely sidesteps the familiar culture-war and Christian-right themes that currently receive so much attention from journalists and historians. Study centers themselves are scattered across the political spectrum. Schaeffer played a crucial role in the Christian right until his death in 1984, while New College Berkeley’s roots are in the evangelical left of the 1970s.

This diversity does not mean, however, that Cotherman overlooks the areas where Christian study centers overlapped with conservative evangelical politics. Many study centers pitched (and still pitch) themselves as a “shelter” and specialize in apologetics, creating Christian “bubbles” of students floating in secular campuses. The US Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling on Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, which allowed universities to implement far more muscular anti-bias regulations, only hardened this posture. According to Cotherman, the decision aided a “reactionary and isolationist strain” that can work against stated missions of cooperative academic engagement. And while the study centers that followed in Regent’s path were substantially more accessible to women than evangelical seminaries, most often they have been founded and led by white men.

Cotherman’s narrative choice is refreshing, suggesting an alternate story of postwar evangelical cultural engagement that is challenging, insightful, and, at times, inspirational. Like all histories, this one is shaped by the questions asked of the past. The Consortium of Christian Study Centers has recently experienced remarkable growth, as more than half of its 30 member centers were founded after 2010. To Think Christianlyreflects this narrative of growth, tracking the movement’s shift from an “innovation” mindset to a “multiplication” mindset. It remains unclear if the movement will continue to grow, or what its broader influence on evangelical thought will be. Observers beyond Cotherman, including historians Mark Noll and Molly Worthen, have highlighted study centers as potential bright spots in an intellectual landscape darkened by the multiple crises afflicting evangelical intellectual life and higher education.

These cycles of educational crisis, voiced by Nelsen in 1972, are, admittedly, here to stay. “Crises are nothing new for the Christian colleges,” he observed, “their histories are replete with them.” Cotherman’s excellent book illustrates how there has been and will continue to be an evangelical impulse to care for the mind, body, and spirit of these university communities. Whatever crises lay on the horizon, we can expect a host of Christian study centers to build creatively on the foundations laid by previous generations, carrying the torch of evangelical cultural engagement with the same verve and resilience.























Daniel G. Hummel is an honorary research fellow in the history department at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a staff member at Upper House, a Christian study center based there. He is the author of Covenant Brothers: Evangelicals, Jews, and U.S.-Israeli Relations (University of Pennsylvania).
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2020, 10:00:33 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2020/may/how-fall-affected-evangelism.html







How the Fall Affected Evangelism









From the account of Adam and Eve’s fall in the garden, there are at least four reasons why believers may not be sharing the gospel


David wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God and the expanse proclaims the work of his hands” (Ps. 19:1).

Jesus responded to the Pharisees when they told him, “Teacher rebuke your disciples” by saying, “I tell you, if they were to keep silent, the stones would cry out” (Luke 19:10).

We learn something extremely important about creation in these two verses. We learn that creation, by its very nature, is an evangelist. The heavens “declare,” the expanse “proclaims,” and the rocks “cry out” in an act of praise to its Creator.

If creation is, by its nature, an evangelist, then it would only stand to reason that human beings—by their very nature—should be considered evangelists as well.

Humans were created in the image of God—meant to represent God’s presence (along with his rule and reign) on planet earth. Therefore, the heavens weren’t the only thing that was to declare God’s glory; the expanse wasn’t the only thing that was to proclaim the work of God’s hands; and the rocks weren’t the only thing to cry out in response to their Maker.

Humanity was the crown of God’s creation meant to exercise dominion over the created order, and thus to lead out in the universal declaration and proclamation of the King of the Cosmos.

Think about it—way before Israel or the church were brought into existence and were called to “declare God’s glory among the nations” (Ps. 96:2) or “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15), God created his image-bearers to be his evangelists.

Interestingly, the call of God’s people to declare God’s glory throughout the earth is something that creation, by its very nature does.

David wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God and the expanse proclaims the work of his hands” (Ps. 19:1). Jesus responded to the Pharisees, when they told him, “Teacher rebuke your disciples,” by saying, “I tell you, if they were to keep silent, the stones would cry out” (Luke 19:10).

Paul addressed the fact that God’s “eternal power and divine nature has been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what he has made” (Rom. 1:20).

Creation seems, by both David and Paul’s account, to be batting .1000 when it comes to declaring God’s glory.

On the flip side, God’s people don’t bat .1000 when it comes to their responsibility and call to declare God’s glory and gospel to all the world.

Why is that? The short answer, temptation and sin. We know from the book of James, temptation and sin are two different—yet connected—things (James 1:13–15).

Although God’s people have been redeemed and reconciled by the blood of Jesus, and have been indwelt with the Holy Spirit, God’s people still struggle with both temptation and sin. Thus, temptation and sin suppress and prohibit evangelism.

Using the account of humanity’s fall in the garden—where we clearly see how temptation and sin take our eyes and lives off God’s glory—I want to share four reasons why God’s people don’t evangelize.

You won’t evangelize if you’re skeptical of God.

Satan sought to plant seeds of doubt and skepticism in Eve’s view of God. He wanted her to think that God was holding out—that He wasn’t as generous or good as she might have thought.

The reality is, you won’t share what you are skeptical of, and you won’t declare what you doubt.

If believers are to exercise their evangelistic calling as God’s people—image-bearers who are redeemed and being restored in Christ—then they will have to trust in the graciousness, goodness, and generosity of God. That doesn’t mean they will fully understand everything in the world or that happens in and around their life.

Elisabeth Elliott once noted, “Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith.”

You won’t evangelize if you’re seduced by sin.

James explains in his letter the process of temptation. He writes, “But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desire. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown it gives birth to death” (James 1:14–15).

It wasn’t the serpent’s fault for luring Eve to the tree. He didn’t force her to come over. It wasn’t the serpent’s fault for twisting the truth Eve was supposed to know. But it was the serpent’s intention to plant seductive seeds that tempted Eve to rebel against God.

The reality is, Eve stayed way too long at the tree. She was captivated by the product of the tree. She should have fled the moment the serpent started questioning God’s words. But she didn’t.

She stayed and ate, and thus from her life and actions dethroned God. And what becomes your god, becomes your gospel. Why do you think Eve turned around and gave the fruit to Adam? You’ll share that which you hold dear.

Billy Sunday once stated, “Temptation is the devil looking through the keyhole. Yielding is opening the door and inviting him in.”

When it comes to temptation and evangelism, the more we are intoxicated to sin against God, the more difficult it will be to invite sinners to be redeemed by God.

You won’t evangelize if you live in shame.

In their sin, Adam and Eve sought shelter from God when they heard His footsteps. As a result of their sin, their faith and security in God quickly turned to fear and shame. And their fear and shame drove them into hiding.

Today I believe we live in a shame-based culture. The difference between a guilt culture and a shame culture is—a guilt culture is more about a person believing they have done badthings, whereas a shame culture is more about people feeling they are bad. But this new shame culture we live in is somewhat different than a traditional shame culture.

David Brooks, writing about this new shame culture, expresses how “everybody is perpetually insecure in a moral system based on inclusion and exclusion.” And in this new environmental system, “There are no permanent standards, just the shifting judgment of the crowd.”

What does this have to do with evangelism? In short, shame silences sharing.

For believers who already live in a shame culture—where people lie in wait ready to shame another—coupled with the shame they have in their struggle with sin (past or present), it’s no wonder many live in a prison of silence when it comes to sharing the Good News.

When people hide in their shame, it is difficult to share the good news of Jesus to the public.

You won’t evangelize if you experience relational strife.

God graciously draws Adam and Eve out of hiding. How they respond to His questions reveal the hurtfulness and hostility of their hearts. They each play the blame game.

Relational conflicts exert negative effects. When things aren’t going right in life, and the impulse is to blame others—to see “others” as the problem—relationships are bound to stay off track and fail to experience positive forward progress.

Relational strife keeps believers and churches from reaching sinners. I would argue that Jesus knew this, which is why He prayed, “May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe you sent me” (John 17:20–21).

Could relational strife be one of the many reasons why so many churches fail to reach their communities? I think so.

In closing, at the core, a lack of gospel evangelism is rooted in temptation and sin. However, the good news is that—through Jesus and the Spirit’s empowerment—skepticism, seduction, shame, and strife can subside so that the declaration of God’s glory and the proclamation of His salvific work in Christ may rise from the lips and lives of those who are his. And in doing so, God’s people in joining with creation becomes of symphony of declaring God’s glory and his gospel!


















Josh Laxton currently serves as the Assistant Director of the Billy Graham Center, Lausanne North American Coordinator at Wheaton College, and a co-host of the podcast Living in the Land of Oz. He has a Ph.D. in North American Missiology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

The Exchange is a part of CT's Blog Forum. Support the work of CT. Subscribe and get one year free.
The views of the blogger do not necessarily reflect those of Christianity Today.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2020, 11:43:13 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2020/june/8-things-world-desperately-needs-from-evangelicals-right-no.html







8 Things the World Desperately Needs from Evangelicals Right Now (Part 1)











It is not difficult to see that our reputation as evangelicals seems to range somewhere between a bland net-neutrality of public helpfulness to a raging dumpster-fire of self-interest that is unceasingly poured out over red-hot cultural coals.


It seems that in recent years, the world’s appreciation for evangelicals has fast eroded—and perhaps not for the right reasons. Too often, it’s not our bold and faith-filled proclamation of the gospel that has been so off-putting—persecution for that, we should wear as a badge of honor. No, it’s too often something less inspiring, less noble, and less selfless. It sometimes (and for too many) seems to boil down to drawing lines and choosing sides in a culture war.

And now, it is not difficult to see that our reputation as evangelicals seems to range somewhere between a bland net-neutrality of public helpfulness to a dumpster-fire of self-interest that is unceasingly poured out over red-hot cultural coals. Many of us see the shockwaves of damage emanating from those of us who have confused our spiritual allegiances from an eternal Kingdom to a lesser more sensual political/cultural kingdom. We see it, and we do not want to share in the same corrupting exchange.

So, what should be our response?

What does the world need to see in those of us who claim the Kingdom of God as our highest loyalty? What does the world need to hear from those of us who actively struggle to resist the fleshly gravitational pull toward selfish cultural tribalism? What signals must be sent with unmuddled clarity to a world that increasingly doubts the spiritual authenticity of our motivations or the righteousness of our actions?

With the confidence and conviction coming from the words of Jesus, allow me to articulate eight cultural postures that we, as evangelicals, must wholeheartedly embrace if we are ever to regain a credible voice. These eight postures were first articulated by our Kingdom’s King as he, through the weakness of preaching, distilled the substance of his counter-cultural reign in eight, beautiful, other-worldly character postures.

1. Cultural Humility.

The world needs to see evangelicals as humble-hearted Christ-followers who have put to death our self-righteous postures, and acknowledge that we, too, have no standing before God other than the gracious grace of Jesus Christ. We are altogether “poor in spirit” and any strutting of personal virtue before men is an affront to the sacrifice made by a holy God. We claim no superiority, no preeminence, no ascendancy. We are, as evangelicals, a ragged, tattered collection of sin-stained, spiritual under-achievers. Any virtue coming from our lives is Christ’s life lived out in me.

And so, being “poor in spirit”, we enter the cultural dialogue quietly. We don’t have the first word. We don’t demand the last word. With great humility we listen with open and learning hearts. In this, Christ prepares us for the next action that he will require of us.

2. Vicarious Empathy.

The world needs empathetic evangelicals that are marked by a genuine grief toward those affected by injustice. As my friend Dhati Lewis often says, “A problem isn’t a real problem until it becomes your problem.” He is saying that problems aren’t really problematic until we personally experience their consequences. For centuries, we as evangelicals have been on the wrong side of history when it comes to racial justice, and once again we find ourselves teetering there again. We cannot seem to “mourn” with those who are afflicted, instead we find all kinds of ways to legitimize the positions of our hardened hearts as we dig into the histories of the victims to find some way to justify their abusers.

But Jesus calls his people to be “mourners” of injustice. To show empathy for those who have long endured personal mistreatment, overt discrimination, and dehumanizing prejudice. When someone holds up a sign that says, “Black Lives Matter,” I cannot imagine Jesus retorting, “All Lives Matter!” If my daughter had a bad day and asked me, “Daddy, do you love me?,” how could I answer her with, “Of course, I love all people.” That is not a response of love. If a good friend called me in an emotional state and said, “My dad passed away suddenly last night.” It would not be a response of love to state a truth like, “Well, all parents die.” Mourning requires empathy. Empathy requires selfless love. And selfless love requires us to be “poor in spirit.”

3. Positional Advocacy.

The world needs to witness selfless evangelicals who channel their power to those who are powerless. The world is accustomed to evangelicals grasping for power—in many ways it has sadly become our defining signature. But it would seem that our lust for power contradicts the very nature that should characterize the people of Jesus’ Kingdom—“meekness.” Since “meekness” speaks of strength under direction, it follows that evangelicals should leverage their power, not for themselves, but directed on behalf of those who “mourn.” Our political cause would be for justice, not for power as a dark end unto itself.

Our call to display a culture of “meekness” also requires a transference of power by evangelicals. It seems that the public perception of us as evangelicals is that we are white – but that is an incorrect opinion. Within evangelicalism there exists incredible ethnic diversity. Many denominations are starting new churches of which the majority are not white, but are African American, ethic, and multi-cultural. But our face is still white. And as long as we keep the power, biblical ‘meekness’ might never be the way the world would describe us.

4. Righteous Distress.

The world needs evangelicals who are personally desperate for justice to reign in every sector of society. Jesus describes the culture of his people as ones who “hunger and thirst for righteousness.” The righteousness that we yearn for is the Gospel working its way through my life and correcting everything that doesn’t look like Jesus. But that internal correction always has outward ethical implications. I cannot “hunger and thirst for righteousness”, and at the same time, be comfortable and at ease with the unrighteous injustice that exists around me. There is no comfort with injustice. It causes distress. We “mourn,” but we also move.

Our righteous distress turns our attitudes into actions. We are no longer quiet when seeing or hearing of injustice. We speak with the authority of Christ. When darkness spits its ugly venom— further marginalizing people or groups—the Christ follower demands an accounting. Who agrees with this? Certainly not anyone who claims to bear the name of Christ.

Can evangelicals regain credibility among a world that is desperate for the Good News we claim to know? Perhaps. To the degree that we demonstrate cultural humility, vicarious empathy, positional advocacy, righteous distress, (and the four other counter-cultural characteristics of Kingdom people we will look at next Monday) we will find footing.

Until then, may God give us the grace to do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than ourselves.



Jeff Christopherson is a church planter, pastor, author and Missiologist at the Send Institute - an interdenominational church planting and evangelism think tank.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2020, 07:58:21 am by patrick jane »
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2020, 07:58:11 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2020/june/8-things-world-desperately-needs-from-evangelicals-2.html







8 Things the World Desperately Needs from Evangelicals Right Now (Part 2)












God has more work to do in us.


p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Times}p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Times; min-height: 14.0px}p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 7.2px; font: 12.0px Times; min-height: 14.0px}p.p4 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 7.2px; font: 12.0px Times}span.s1 {text-decoration: underline}The country was divided into three culturally distinct sociological groupings. There were those with power. For the most part, these were ungodly, corrupt, and self-serving leaders who craved power for power’s sake and would do anything to be near it, to seize it, and to keep it. There were those with religious power. Often, these leaders would carefully craft messages that played well on both sides as they nurtured their sacred/secular influence – largely for their own benefit. And there were those with no power. This vulnerable class ranged from sincere and devout God-fearing citizens, who earnestly desired to live with principled fidelity, to the piously pragmatic, who were easily manipulated by their own appetites for personal security and economic wellbeing.

This was the world to which Jesus introduced his worldview. His Kingdom ethic found no appeal to those with power – it was an affront to the political class who saw no need to forgive or be forgiven. It also was uninviting to those with religious power as it reordered the nature of true spirituality from the outwardly superficial to matters of internal motivation. To those without power, but who craved the security that worldly power brings, Jesus’ words were nonsensical – offering little in practical expediency. But to those who were hungry for a life of spiritual and physical congruency, Jesus’ words were light and truth and hope all wrapped up in one awe-inspiring heavenly revelation of a sermon.

So, what about today?

I am convinced, that today, in this moment, there is a growing hunger for a gospel message of spiritual, physical and social coherence that is greater than any other season in living memory. As religious memory has been wiped from geography after geography, its vacuum has been filled with a longing for purpose, for meaning, for the eternal. This hunger can be seen marching on the streets for a more evenhanded justice. It can be heard in the longing voices which selflessly intercede on behalf of others. And it can be felt in the angst of bewildered advocates who bolster heartbroken mourners of sons wrongly taken.

And, where are we?

Our social media feeds that are peppered with indignant evangelicals justifying, excusing, blaming and dodging seem to declare that we are completely detached and oblivious to the eternal hunger that surrounds us. Like the religious leaders in Jesus’ day, too many of us seem preoccupied with what we might lose to ever give serious thought to what God might be doing.

How then should we live?

There are eight postures which were articulated by King Jesus as he distilled the substance of his counter-cultural reign into eight beautiful other-worldly character postures. Last week, we examined the first four in Part 1:

1. Cultural Humility. The world needs to see evangelicals as humble-hearted Christ-followers who have put to death our self-righteous postures, and acknowledge that we, too, have no standing before God other than the gracious grace of Jesus Christ.

2. Vicarious Empathy. The world needs empathetic evangelicals that are marked by a genuine grief toward those affected by injustice.

3. Positional Advocacy. The world needs to witness selfless evangelicals who channel their power to those who are powerless.

4. Righteous Distress. The world needs evangelicals who are personally desperate for justice to reign in every sector of society.

To the degree that we, as evangelicals, demonstrate cultural humility, vicarious empathy, positional advocacy, and righteous distress, we will begin to find footing. Our hearts will soften, and we will begin to see the world as it is – as Jesus sees it. But our perspective is still incomplete.

God has more work to do in us.

5. Grace-filled Generosity. The world needs to see merciful evangelicals that demonstrate grace toward those who don’t meet our standards, being fully aware that we do not come close to meeting God’s requirements. Who should be the most merciful, generous and forgiving people in society? Surely anyone who has been forgiven for committing a capital offense. Romans 3:23 and 6:23 says that I am the condemned who was mercifully forgiven. Shouldn’t the “mercy-ed” instinctively be merciful?

So, we as God’s people, are divinely required to dismount our high horses of self-righteousness and vividly recall our own crimes that crucified the sinless Lamb of God. With that memory front of mind, we look at the harvest fields with different eyes. Our instinctive scripts naturally morph from an angry “law and order” to an empathetic “justice and equity.” We become inherently merciful, because we, ourselves, have been shown infinite mercy.

6. Introspective Sincerity. The world needs repentant evangelicals who have an honest grasp of our own shortcomings and fully desire God’s mind to inform our perspectives. To be “pure in heart” requires a continual renewing of the mind. This “new mind” (meta-noia) is a repentant mind. It allows everything that doesn’t conform to the image of Christ to be burned away. The pure heart that remains is the mind of Christ – we have His perspective on all things.

But Jesus’ perspective seems difficult to understand when forced to peer through the hardwood of a cultural log. Today, evangelicals embracing Jesus’ requirement of introspective sincerity will be labeled ‘lefties’ and ‘liberals’ – they will be maltreated and publicly diminished. Their advocacy for sensitivity toward the vulnerable will not be accepted by those who cannot seem to recall ever receiving mercy. Those who look at this moment exclusively through a socio-cultural log can only see a culture war. For these culture-warriors, it is a battle to be won, not an opportunity to learn, understand, repent, and heal. And just as Jesus promised, they will not see God.

7. Unifying Respect. The world needs “peacemaking” evangelicals who have spiritual instincts to unite communities instead of further exacerbating existing divisions. To be peacemakers, we start with personal humility and mutual respect toward others because we have already come to grips with the fact that we, ourselves, are destitute in spirit. This unifying impulse marks us as distinctive from the cultural tribalists who trade in dispute, discord, and division.

What greater example of unifying respect can we envisage than the Author of Creation sacrificing himself on our behalf so that we might have peace with God. In fact, Jesus said that those with the instincts for peacemaking will be recognized as “sons of God.” So, when evangelicals are recognized by the world as instigators of division (again, not for our boldness in declaring the gospel of grace, but for our insistence on maintaining cultural preferences) whose spiritual children are we perceived to be?

8. Prophetic Resolve. The world needs prophetic evangelicals who are willing to pay the high price for standing for Kingdom of God instead of yielding all allegiances to religious, cultural, or political kingdoms in order to retain cultural dominance. Jesus incentivized prophetic resolve by promising that those who are “persecuted for righteousness” are themselves partakers in the kingdom of heaven.

So, Jesus calls his people toward prophetic resolve. And yes, there will always be a price to pay when choosing the Kingdom of God over the sacred fiefdoms of men. Many that I know are paying that price now. Many more will lay down their livelihoods, credentials, and reputations when they raise their prophetic voices and speak for their ultimate patriotism. Earthly persecution always follows Kingdom allegiance, we should not be surprised by that. Perhaps our surprise should come when we find no friction, no quarrel, and no persecution from a religiousy culture that isn’t marked by Jesus’ counter-cultural values.

So, what does the world need from evangelicals right now? It is an either/or prospect. They need to either see us as representing Jesus’ Kingdom, or not see us representing at all.

Jeff Christopherson is a church planter, pastor, author and Missiologist at the Send Institute - an interdenominational church planting and evangelism think tank.
[1] See Matthew 5:3-12

[2] In Matthew 18, Peter wanted to know the limits of his forgiveness responsibility. In Jesus’ answer recorded in vs. 22-35, he turns the equation upside-down. In Jesus’ Kingdom, mercy is not optional behavior, but is in fact the patriotic fruit that validates our citizenship.

[3] Romans 12:1-2

[4] Matthew 7:1-5

[5] 2 Timothy 3:12
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


Copyright Disclaimer: All audio and music belongs to the owner/creator. This is a non-profit. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2020, 09:20:34 pm »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2020/june/8-things-world-desperately-needs-from-evangelicals-2.html







8 Things the World Desperately Needs from Evangelicals Right Now (Part 2)












God has more work to do in us.


p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Times}p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Times; min-height: 14.0px}p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 7.2px; font: 12.0px Times; min-height: 14.0px}p.p4 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 7.2px; font: 12.0px Times}span.s1 {text-decoration: underline}The country was divided into three culturally distinct sociological groupings. There were those with power. For the most part, these were ungodly, corrupt, and self-serving leaders who craved power for power’s sake and would do anything to be near it, to seize it, and to keep it. There were those with religious power. Often, these leaders would carefully craft messages that played well on both sides as they nurtured their sacred/secular influence – largely for their own benefit. And there were those with no power. This vulnerable class ranged from sincere and devout God-fearing citizens, who earnestly desired to live with principled fidelity, to the piously pragmatic, who were easily manipulated by their own appetites for personal security and economic wellbeing.

This was the world to which Jesus introduced his worldview. His Kingdom ethic found no appeal to those with power – it was an affront to the political class who saw no need to forgive or be forgiven. It also was uninviting to those with religious power as it reordered the nature of true spirituality from the outwardly superficial to matters of internal motivation. To those without power, but who craved the security that worldly power brings, Jesus’ words were nonsensical – offering little in practical expediency. But to those who were hungry for a life of spiritual and physical congruency, Jesus’ words were light and truth and hope all wrapped up in one awe-inspiring heavenly revelation of a sermon.

So, what about today?

I am convinced, that today, in this moment, there is a growing hunger for a gospel message of spiritual, physical and social coherence that is greater than any other season in living memory. As religious memory has been wiped from geography after geography, its vacuum has been filled with a longing for purpose, for meaning, for the eternal. This hunger can be seen marching on the streets for a more evenhanded justice. It can be heard in the longing voices which selflessly intercede on behalf of others. And it can be felt in the angst of bewildered advocates who bolster heartbroken mourners of sons wrongly taken.

And, where are we?

Our social media feeds that are peppered with indignant evangelicals justifying, excusing, blaming and dodging seem to declare that we are completely detached and oblivious to the eternal hunger that surrounds us. Like the religious leaders in Jesus’ day, too many of us seem preoccupied with what we might lose to ever give serious thought to what God might be doing.

How then should we live?

There are eight postures which were articulated by King Jesus as he distilled the substance of his counter-cultural reign into eight beautiful other-worldly character postures. Last week, we examined the first four in Part 1:

1. Cultural Humility. The world needs to see evangelicals as humble-hearted Christ-followers who have put to death our self-righteous postures, and acknowledge that we, too, have no standing before God other than the gracious grace of Jesus Christ.

2. Vicarious Empathy. The world needs empathetic evangelicals that are marked by a genuine grief toward those affected by injustice.

3. Positional Advocacy. The world needs to witness selfless evangelicals who channel their power to those who are powerless.

4. Righteous Distress. The world needs evangelicals who are personally desperate for justice to reign in every sector of society.

To the degree that we, as evangelicals, demonstrate cultural humility, vicarious empathy, positional advocacy, and righteous distress, we will begin to find footing. Our hearts will soften, and we will begin to see the world as it is – as Jesus sees it. But our perspective is still incomplete.

God has more work to do in us.

5. Grace-filled Generosity. The world needs to see merciful evangelicals that demonstrate grace toward those who don’t meet our standards, being fully aware that we do not come close to meeting God’s requirements. Who should be the most merciful, generous and forgiving people in society? Surely anyone who has been forgiven for committing a capital offense. Romans 3:23 and 6:23 says that I am the condemned who was mercifully forgiven. Shouldn’t the “mercy-ed” instinctively be merciful?

So, we as God’s people, are divinely required to dismount our high horses of self-righteousness and vividly recall our own crimes that crucified the sinless Lamb of God. With that memory front of mind, we look at the harvest fields with different eyes. Our instinctive scripts naturally morph from an angry “law and order” to an empathetic “justice and equity.” We become inherently merciful, because we, ourselves, have been shown infinite mercy.

6. Introspective Sincerity. The world needs repentant evangelicals who have an honest grasp of our own shortcomings and fully desire God’s mind to inform our perspectives. To be “pure in heart” requires a continual renewing of the mind. This “new mind” (meta-noia) is a repentant mind. It allows everything that doesn’t conform to the image of Christ to be burned away. The pure heart that remains is the mind of Christ – we have His perspective on all things.

But Jesus’ perspective seems difficult to understand when forced to peer through the hardwood of a cultural log. Today, evangelicals embracing Jesus’ requirement of introspective sincerity will be labeled ‘lefties’ and ‘liberals’ – they will be maltreated and publicly diminished. Their advocacy for sensitivity toward the vulnerable will not be accepted by those who cannot seem to recall ever receiving mercy. Those who look at this moment exclusively through a socio-cultural log can only see a culture war. For these culture-warriors, it is a battle to be won, not an opportunity to learn, understand, repent, and heal. And just as Jesus promised, they will not see God.

7. Unifying Respect. The world needs “peacemaking” evangelicals who have spiritual instincts to unite communities instead of further exacerbating existing divisions. To be peacemakers, we start with personal humility and mutual respect toward others because we have already come to grips with the fact that we, ourselves, are destitute in spirit. This unifying impulse marks us as distinctive from the cultural tribalists who trade in dispute, discord, and division.

What greater example of unifying respect can we envisage than the Author of Creation sacrificing himself on our behalf so that we might have peace with God. In fact, Jesus said that those with the instincts for peacemaking will be recognized as “sons of God.” So, when evangelicals are recognized by the world as instigators of division (again, not for our boldness in declaring the gospel of grace, but for our insistence on maintaining cultural preferences) whose spiritual children are we perceived to be?

8. Prophetic Resolve. The world needs prophetic evangelicals who are willing to pay the high price for standing for Kingdom of God instead of yielding all allegiances to religious, cultural, or political kingdoms in order to retain cultural dominance. Jesus incentivized prophetic resolve by promising that those who are “persecuted for righteousness” are themselves partakers in the kingdom of heaven.

So, Jesus calls his people toward prophetic resolve. And yes, there will always be a price to pay when choosing the Kingdom of God over the sacred fiefdoms of men. Many that I know are paying that price now. Many more will lay down their livelihoods, credentials, and reputations when they raise their prophetic voices and speak for their ultimate patriotism. Earthly persecution always follows Kingdom allegiance, we should not be surprised by that. Perhaps our surprise should come when we find no friction, no quarrel, and no persecution from a religiousy culture that isn’t marked by Jesus’ counter-cultural values.

So, what does the world need from evangelicals right now? It is an either/or prospect. They need to either see us as representing Jesus’ Kingdom, or not see us representing at all.

Jeff Christopherson is a church planter, pastor, author and Missiologist at the Send Institute - an interdenominational church planting and evangelism think tank.
[1] See Matthew 5:3-12

[2] In Matthew 18, Peter wanted to know the limits of his forgiveness responsibility. In Jesus’ answer recorded in vs. 22-35, he turns the equation upside-down. In Jesus’ Kingdom, mercy is not optional behavior, but is in fact the patriotic fruit that validates our citizenship.

[3] Romans 12:1-2

[4] Matthew 7:1-5

[5] 2 Timothy 3:12

   

Interesting view, not shared with this poster.

Blade
1 Cor 15:3-4.."For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"

Acts 17:11.."These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2020, 04:30:06 pm »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2020/june/8-things-world-desperately-needs-from-evangelicals-2.html







8 Things the World Desperately Needs from Evangelicals Right Now (Part 2)












God has more work to do in us.


p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Times}p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Times; min-height: 14.0px}p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 7.2px; font: 12.0px Times; min-height: 14.0px}p.p4 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 7.2px; font: 12.0px Times}span.s1 {text-decoration: underline}The country was divided into three culturally distinct sociological groupings. There were those with power. For the most part, these were ungodly, corrupt, and self-serving leaders who craved power for power’s sake and would do anything to be near it, to seize it, and to keep it. There were those with religious power. Often, these leaders would carefully craft messages that played well on both sides as they nurtured their sacred/secular influence – largely for their own benefit. And there were those with no power. This vulnerable class ranged from sincere and devout God-fearing citizens, who earnestly desired to live with principled fidelity, to the piously pragmatic, who were easily manipulated by their own appetites for personal security and economic wellbeing.

This was the world to which Jesus introduced his worldview. His Kingdom ethic found no appeal to those with power – it was an affront to the political class who saw no need to forgive or be forgiven. It also was uninviting to those with religious power as it reordered the nature of true spirituality from the outwardly superficial to matters of internal motivation. To those without power, but who craved the security that worldly power brings, Jesus’ words were nonsensical – offering little in practical expediency. But to those who were hungry for a life of spiritual and physical congruency, Jesus’ words were light and truth and hope all wrapped up in one awe-inspiring heavenly revelation of a sermon.

So, what about today?

I am convinced, that today, in this moment, there is a growing hunger for a gospel message of spiritual, physical and social coherence that is greater than any other season in living memory. As religious memory has been wiped from geography after geography, its vacuum has been filled with a longing for purpose, for meaning, for the eternal. This hunger can be seen marching on the streets for a more evenhanded justice. It can be heard in the longing voices which selflessly intercede on behalf of others. And it can be felt in the angst of bewildered advocates who bolster heartbroken mourners of sons wrongly taken.

And, where are we?

Our social media feeds that are peppered with indignant evangelicals justifying, excusing, blaming and dodging seem to declare that we are completely detached and oblivious to the eternal hunger that surrounds us. Like the religious leaders in Jesus’ day, too many of us seem preoccupied with what we might lose to ever give serious thought to what God might be doing.

How then should we live?

There are eight postures which were articulated by King Jesus as he distilled the substance of his counter-cultural reign into eight beautiful other-worldly character postures. Last week, we examined the first four in Part 1:

1. Cultural Humility. The world needs to see evangelicals as humble-hearted Christ-followers who have put to death our self-righteous postures, and acknowledge that we, too, have no standing before God other than the gracious grace of Jesus Christ.

2. Vicarious Empathy. The world needs empathetic evangelicals that are marked by a genuine grief toward those affected by injustice.

3. Positional Advocacy. The world needs to witness selfless evangelicals who channel their power to those who are powerless.

4. Righteous Distress. The world needs evangelicals who are personally desperate for justice to reign in every sector of society.

To the degree that we, as evangelicals, demonstrate cultural humility, vicarious empathy, positional advocacy, and righteous distress, we will begin to find footing. Our hearts will soften, and we will begin to see the world as it is – as Jesus sees it. But our perspective is still incomplete.

God has more work to do in us.

5. Grace-filled Generosity. The world needs to see merciful evangelicals that demonstrate grace toward those who don’t meet our standards, being fully aware that we do not come close to meeting God’s requirements. Who should be the most merciful, generous and forgiving people in society? Surely anyone who has been forgiven for committing a capital offense. Romans 3:23 and 6:23 says that I am the condemned who was mercifully forgiven. Shouldn’t the “mercy-ed” instinctively be merciful?

So, we as God’s people, are divinely required to dismount our high horses of self-righteousness and vividly recall our own crimes that crucified the sinless Lamb of God. With that memory front of mind, we look at the harvest fields with different eyes. Our instinctive scripts naturally morph from an angry “law and order” to an empathetic “justice and equity.” We become inherently merciful, because we, ourselves, have been shown infinite mercy.

6. Introspective Sincerity. The world needs repentant evangelicals who have an honest grasp of our own shortcomings and fully desire God’s mind to inform our perspectives. To be “pure in heart” requires a continual renewing of the mind. This “new mind” (meta-noia) is a repentant mind. It allows everything that doesn’t conform to the image of Christ to be burned away. The pure heart that remains is the mind of Christ – we have His perspective on all things.

But Jesus’ perspective seems difficult to understand when forced to peer through the hardwood of a cultural log. Today, evangelicals embracing Jesus’ requirement of introspective sincerity will be labeled ‘lefties’ and ‘liberals’ – they will be maltreated and publicly diminished. Their advocacy for sensitivity toward the vulnerable will not be accepted by those who cannot seem to recall ever receiving mercy. Those who look at this moment exclusively through a socio-cultural log can only see a culture war. For these culture-warriors, it is a battle to be won, not an opportunity to learn, understand, repent, and heal. And just as Jesus promised, they will not see God.

7. Unifying Respect. The world needs “peacemaking” evangelicals who have spiritual instincts to unite communities instead of further exacerbating existing divisions. To be peacemakers, we start with personal humility and mutual respect toward others because we have already come to grips with the fact that we, ourselves, are destitute in spirit. This unifying impulse marks us as distinctive from the cultural tribalists who trade in dispute, discord, and division.

What greater example of unifying respect can we envisage than the Author of Creation sacrificing himself on our behalf so that we might have peace with God. In fact, Jesus said that those with the instincts for peacemaking will be recognized as “sons of God.” So, when evangelicals are recognized by the world as instigators of division (again, not for our boldness in declaring the gospel of grace, but for our insistence on maintaining cultural preferences) whose spiritual children are we perceived to be?

8. Prophetic Resolve. The world needs prophetic evangelicals who are willing to pay the high price for standing for Kingdom of God instead of yielding all allegiances to religious, cultural, or political kingdoms in order to retain cultural dominance. Jesus incentivized prophetic resolve by promising that those who are “persecuted for righteousness” are themselves partakers in the kingdom of heaven.

So, Jesus calls his people toward prophetic resolve. And yes, there will always be a price to pay when choosing the Kingdom of God over the sacred fiefdoms of men. Many that I know are paying that price now. Many more will lay down their livelihoods, credentials, and reputations when they raise their prophetic voices and speak for their ultimate patriotism. Earthly persecution always follows Kingdom allegiance, we should not be surprised by that. Perhaps our surprise should come when we find no friction, no quarrel, and no persecution from a religiousy culture that isn’t marked by Jesus’ counter-cultural values.

So, what does the world need from evangelicals right now? It is an either/or prospect. They need to either see us as representing Jesus’ Kingdom, or not see us representing at all.

Jeff Christopherson is a church planter, pastor, author and Missiologist at the Send Institute - an interdenominational church planting and evangelism think tank.
[1] See Matthew 5:3-12

[2] In Matthew 18, Peter wanted to know the limits of his forgiveness responsibility. In Jesus’ answer recorded in vs. 22-35, he turns the equation upside-down. In Jesus’ Kingdom, mercy is not optional behavior, but is in fact the patriotic fruit that validates our citizenship.

[3] Romans 12:1-2

[4] Matthew 7:1-5

[5] 2 Timothy 3:12

   

Interesting view, not shared with this poster.

Blade


nor this one
Have faith in God

patrick jane

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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2020, 04:48:57 pm »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2020/june/8-things-world-desperately-needs-from-evangelicals-2.html







8 Things the World Desperately Needs from Evangelicals Right Now (Part 2)












God has more work to do in us.


p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Times}p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Times; min-height: 14.0px}p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 7.2px; font: 12.0px Times; min-height: 14.0px}p.p4 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 7.2px; font: 12.0px Times}span.s1 {text-decoration: underline}The country was divided into three culturally distinct sociological groupings. There were those with power. For the most part, these were ungodly, corrupt, and self-serving leaders who craved power for power’s sake and would do anything to be near it, to seize it, and to keep it. There were those with religious power. Often, these leaders would carefully craft messages that played well on both sides as they nurtured their sacred/secular influence – largely for their own benefit. And there were those with no power. This vulnerable class ranged from sincere and devout God-fearing citizens, who earnestly desired to live with principled fidelity, to the piously pragmatic, who were easily manipulated by their own appetites for personal security and economic wellbeing.

This was the world to which Jesus introduced his worldview. His Kingdom ethic found no appeal to those with power – it was an affront to the political class who saw no need to forgive or be forgiven. It also was uninviting to those with religious power as it reordered the nature of true spirituality from the outwardly superficial to matters of internal motivation. To those without power, but who craved the security that worldly power brings, Jesus’ words were nonsensical – offering little in practical expediency. But to those who were hungry for a life of spiritual and physical congruency, Jesus’ words were light and truth and hope all wrapped up in one awe-inspiring heavenly revelation of a sermon.

So, what about today?

I am convinced, that today, in this moment, there is a growing hunger for a gospel message of spiritual, physical and social coherence that is greater than any other season in living memory. As religious memory has been wiped from geography after geography, its vacuum has been filled with a longing for purpose, for meaning, for the eternal. This hunger can be seen marching on the streets for a more evenhanded justice. It can be heard in the longing voices which selflessly intercede on behalf of others. And it can be felt in the angst of bewildered advocates who bolster heartbroken mourners of sons wrongly taken.

And, where are we?

Our social media feeds that are peppered with indignant evangelicals justifying, excusing, blaming and dodging seem to declare that we are completely detached and oblivious to the eternal hunger that surrounds us. Like the religious leaders in Jesus’ day, too many of us seem preoccupied with what we might lose to ever give serious thought to what God might be doing.

How then should we live?

There are eight postures which were articulated by King Jesus as he distilled the substance of his counter-cultural reign into eight beautiful other-worldly character postures. Last week, we examined the first four in Part 1:

1. Cultural Humility. The world needs to see evangelicals as humble-hearted Christ-followers who have put to death our self-righteous postures, and acknowledge that we, too, have no standing before God other than the gracious grace of Jesus Christ.

2. Vicarious Empathy. The world needs empathetic evangelicals that are marked by a genuine grief toward those affected by injustice.

3. Positional Advocacy. The world needs to witness selfless evangelicals who channel their power to those who are powerless.

4. Righteous Distress. The world needs evangelicals who are personally desperate for justice to reign in every sector of society.

To the degree that we, as evangelicals, demonstrate cultural humility, vicarious empathy, positional advocacy, and righteous distress, we will begin to find footing. Our hearts will soften, and we will begin to see the world as it is – as Jesus sees it. But our perspective is still incomplete.

God has more work to do in us.

5. Grace-filled Generosity. The world needs to see merciful evangelicals that demonstrate grace toward those who don’t meet our standards, being fully aware that we do not come close to meeting God’s requirements. Who should be the most merciful, generous and forgiving people in society? Surely anyone who has been forgiven for committing a capital offense. Romans 3:23 and 6:23 says that I am the condemned who was mercifully forgiven. Shouldn’t the “mercy-ed” instinctively be merciful?

So, we as God’s people, are divinely required to dismount our high horses of self-righteousness and vividly recall our own crimes that crucified the sinless Lamb of God. With that memory front of mind, we look at the harvest fields with different eyes. Our instinctive scripts naturally morph from an angry “law and order” to an empathetic “justice and equity.” We become inherently merciful, because we, ourselves, have been shown infinite mercy.

6. Introspective Sincerity. The world needs repentant evangelicals who have an honest grasp of our own shortcomings and fully desire God’s mind to inform our perspectives. To be “pure in heart” requires a continual renewing of the mind. This “new mind” (meta-noia) is a repentant mind. It allows everything that doesn’t conform to the image of Christ to be burned away. The pure heart that remains is the mind of Christ – we have His perspective on all things.

But Jesus’ perspective seems difficult to understand when forced to peer through the hardwood of a cultural log. Today, evangelicals embracing Jesus’ requirement of introspective sincerity will be labeled ‘lefties’ and ‘liberals’ – they will be maltreated and publicly diminished. Their advocacy for sensitivity toward the vulnerable will not be accepted by those who cannot seem to recall ever receiving mercy. Those who look at this moment exclusively through a socio-cultural log can only see a culture war. For these culture-warriors, it is a battle to be won, not an opportunity to learn, understand, repent, and heal. And just as Jesus promised, they will not see God.

7. Unifying Respect. The world needs “peacemaking” evangelicals who have spiritual instincts to unite communities instead of further exacerbating existing divisions. To be peacemakers, we start with personal humility and mutual respect toward others because we have already come to grips with the fact that we, ourselves, are destitute in spirit. This unifying impulse marks us as distinctive from the cultural tribalists who trade in dispute, discord, and division.

What greater example of unifying respect can we envisage than the Author of Creation sacrificing himself on our behalf so that we might have peace with God. In fact, Jesus said that those with the instincts for peacemaking will be recognized as “sons of God.” So, when evangelicals are recognized by the world as instigators of division (again, not for our boldness in declaring the gospel of grace, but for our insistence on maintaining cultural preferences) whose spiritual children are we perceived to be?

8. Prophetic Resolve. The world needs prophetic evangelicals who are willing to pay the high price for standing for Kingdom of God instead of yielding all allegiances to religious, cultural, or political kingdoms in order to retain cultural dominance. Jesus incentivized prophetic resolve by promising that those who are “persecuted for righteousness” are themselves partakers in the kingdom of heaven.

So, Jesus calls his people toward prophetic resolve. And yes, there will always be a price to pay when choosing the Kingdom of God over the sacred fiefdoms of men. Many that I know are paying that price now. Many more will lay down their livelihoods, credentials, and reputations when they raise their prophetic voices and speak for their ultimate patriotism. Earthly persecution always follows Kingdom allegiance, we should not be surprised by that. Perhaps our surprise should come when we find no friction, no quarrel, and no persecution from a religiousy culture that isn’t marked by Jesus’ counter-cultural values.

So, what does the world need from evangelicals right now? It is an either/or prospect. They need to either see us as representing Jesus’ Kingdom, or not see us representing at all.

Jeff Christopherson is a church planter, pastor, author and Missiologist at the Send Institute - an interdenominational church planting and evangelism think tank.
[1] See Matthew 5:3-12

[2] In Matthew 18, Peter wanted to know the limits of his forgiveness responsibility. In Jesus’ answer recorded in vs. 22-35, he turns the equation upside-down. In Jesus’ Kingdom, mercy is not optional behavior, but is in fact the patriotic fruit that validates our citizenship.

[3] Romans 12:1-2

[4] Matthew 7:1-5

[5] 2 Timothy 3:12

   

Interesting view, not shared with this poster.

Blade


nor this one
This is the new wave of thinking Bill & Blade - stay informed
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


Copyright Disclaimer: All audio and music belongs to the owner/creator. This is a non-profit. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

patrick jane

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Re: The fearless evangelist
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2020, 08:59:11 am »

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/june-web-only/rebecca-manley-pippert-stay-salt-evangelism.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+christianitytoday%2Fctmag+%28CT+Magazine%29







I’m a Professional Evangelist. This Book Made Me Fall in Love with the Gospel All Over Again.







After reading Rebecca Manley Pippert’s follow-up to “Out of the Saltshaker,” I’ve never been more excited to talk about Jesus.


As a preacher and evangelist, I like to say that the application for any sermon—no matter the Bible passage—should be: “Tell your friends about Jesus.” It’s a joke, of course. Because that’s a lazy application—one guaranteed to get guilty looks from the congregation.

But why are we so bad at telling our friends about Jesus? In part, because in today’s post-Christian Western world, we’re told to keep our beliefs to ourselves. Our faith is supposed to be private, not public. In this environment, talking about Jesus is seen as judgmental, intolerant, and oppressive.

Last year, an article in Christianity Today carried a revealing headline: “Half of Millennial Christians Say It’s Wrong to Evangelize.” Evidently, evangelism is hated by significant numbers of both Christians and non-Christians! Who would have thought that a mutual dislike for evangelism would unite us all?

And yet, a desire to share the gospel with friends runs—or at least should run—through the DNA of every Christian. So how can we start talking about Jesus again?

This is the question at the heart of Rebecca Manley Pippert’s latest book , Stay Salt. Pippert, of course, is best known for her classic book on evangelism, Out of the Saltshaker and Into the World: Evangelism as a Way of Life. First published in 1979, Out of the Saltshaker was written to equip believers for evangelism in a culture that was drifting in post-Christian directions. Four decades later, those forces have only accelerated, but Pippert hasn’t lost any confidence that the gospel message can break through walls of hostility and indifference, even in the context of everyday conversations. As the subtitle of Stay Salt puts it, “The World Has Changed: Our Message Must Not.”

A Multi-Pronged Approach
There are three sections in Stay Salt. In the first, Pippert looks at what she calls the means of evangelism—in other words, you and me, the “evangelists.” None of us feels adequate when confronted with the juggernaut of hostile Western secularism. But Pippert reassures us that this is precisely how God works our circumstances. God uses us not despite but because of our smallness, weaknesses, and inadequacies. We are supposed to depend upon God for the courage and strength to evangelize.

In the second section, Pippert takes us through the message of evangelism—the gospel. Here we might roll our eyes. Don’t we already know this stuff? But Pippert got me excited about the gospel with the fresh language she uses. She skillfully presents the gospel as both a rebuttal to the accepted doctrines of secularism and a positive message our friends will want to hear.

In the final section, Pippert outlines the method of evangelism. This might seem like another occasion for eye-rolling. Surely not another formulaic technique! But Pippert instead motivates us to love our friends and to “proclaim” the message through questions and conversations rather than a pre-rehearsed monologue.

Stay Salt got me genuinely excited to tell my friends about the gospel and its many glories. There are three main reasons for this. First, the book preached the gospel at me so that I rediscovered my first love. It’s worth reading Stay Salt just to enjoy the wonder and beauty of the gospel message. This is exactly what will get us talking about Jesus again.

Second, I appreciated hearing stories from Pippert’s life of evangelism. These stories are both instructional and inspirational. But more importantly, Pippert has stories of conversations with strangers on a plane and family members alike. As a public evangelist myself, I know it’s far easier to have conversations with strangers I’ll never see again than with family members I’ll encounter every Thanksgiving!

Third, the book takes a helpful, multi-pronged approach. There are instructions on one-to-one conversations, group Bible readings, and proclamation evangelism. This shows we all have a part to play. Just like a football team needs both a running and a passing game to move down the field with any success, evangelism works best when it draws on a variety of methods.

If I could push this book to go further, I would offer just a few observations. First, I think Pippert is somewhat mistaken in how she categorizes contemporary culture. The book’s guiding assumption is that the West, having lurched toward a post-Christian extreme, is functionally pre-Christian. I too used to believe this. But the Australian writer Mark Sayers had a brilliant response on his podcast, This Cultural Moment. In pre-Christendom, he says, people converted into Christianity. But in post-Christendom, Christians are the “bad guys.” People are de-converting from Christianity. And they don’t think they need Christians to save them from famines or plagues. In fact, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, New York City expelled the Christian humanitarian group Samaritan’s Purse because of its views on marriage and sexuality.

Second, and relatedly, the book underestimates just how “post-Christian” we really are. When Billy Graham preached the gospel message in the 20th century, he liked to invite non-believers to come up front for the altar call. He reassured them with his famous saying, “The buses will wait.” What does that mean? It means that these non-believers were, in some sense, churched non-believers. After all, they had come to hear Graham preach on a church bus, as part of a community of believers . He was only asking them to believe what their friends believed .

But most of today’s non-believers have minimal connections, if any, to the church. They are not just agnostic about the God of the Bible but about any god. Many have no Christian friends at all. In certain ways, this is an unprecedented situation.

To evangelize effectively in such a context, we need to acknowledge how the presence of Christian community can make all the difference. Until we can connect non-believers with a community of believers, our efforts at one-to-one evangelism will only go so far. It was Nathan Campbell, the Australian pastor and blogger, who told me that evangelism is a team game . He pointed out that in 1 Thessalonians 1:5, Paul says, “Our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power. …You know how we lived among you for your sake” [emphasis added].

Getting Excited
Even if Pippert sometimes fails to grasp the full extent of post-Christian drift in the Western world, she deserves credit for welcoming it as an opportunity for the church. Rather than seeing the secular climate as a threat to the gospel, she embraces it as a spur toward new and better ways of evangelizing. Why? Because people will be even hungrier for purpose, hope, identity, and someone who loves them. This is what I love most about Pippert’s approach. Instead of treating secularists as culture-war opponents, she welcomes them as neighbors to love afresh with the news of Jesus.

Stay Salt made me fall in love with the gospel all over again. I am a professional evangelist. I tell people about Jesus for a living. But this book renewed my commitment to pray for my family members, friends, and neighbors who don’t know Jesus yet. And it made me look for more opportunities to tell them about Jesus. It got me more excited about evangelism than I’ve ever been before.

Please read this book, and pray that God would use you—not despite but because of your smallness, weaknesses, and inadequacies—to tell your friends about Jesus.








Sam Chan is a public evangelist for City Bible Forum in Australia. He is the author of Evangelism in a Skeptical World: How to Make the Unbelievable News About Jesus More Believable (Zondervan Academic) as well as a forthcoming book, How To Talk About Jesus (Without Being That Guy): Personal Evangelism in a Skeptical World (Zondervan), which releases in October.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


Copyright Disclaimer: All audio and music belongs to the owner/creator. This is a non-profit. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

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