Monday, March 30, 2009
It's Springtime and if you are waiting for the weather to dry up or warm up so that you can go to your old fishin' holes, try mailing out copies of Hell's Best Kept Secret to pastors in the area. This is just one of many ways you an be faithful in your area if you aren't blessed with warm weather year round. Your Chamber of Commerce or your yellow pages should be able to supply the names of the churches in your area. Also, don't forget to pay attention to signs on the side of the road advertising new church startups. In our area alone there are three new startups. These signs will include the website of the church where you can obtain contact information. Include a simple letter stating that you are certain that spreading the Gospel is very important to them and that perhaps this teaching will give them a perspective they have never considered before. Then pray that God softens the hearts of those that receive it.
Monday, March 16, 2009
I had the privilege of sharing the Gospel with someone related distantly to my husband recently. He lives out of state and I have only visited with him a few times in the last 20 years. I've known him since he was a little boy and have only seen him on a few occasions since we live in different states. He is now in his early 20's. This was my first cyber-evangelism experience. As I was getting ready to shut down my computer and go to bed, he instant messaged me. He occasionally pops in to say "hi!" The beauty of this moment is that I had 3 other ladies instant message me on Facebook at the same time and I asked them to all start praying. I would update them frequently throughout this discussion I had with him. I've never had so many people Instant Message me at the same time, and I believe it was God supplying me with prayer support by fellow sisters in Christ.
If you've never considered witnessing in cyberspace or don't know how, pray that God sends an opportunity to you and then just try it. I copied the transcript of our conversation and only edited it for brevity or to maintain anonymity. I pray that it is of help to you. Towards the end of the transcript, the words are a little out of kilter. Sorry, I don't know how to edit HTML.
"D..." is a first responder with the fire department and so the segue to opening a discussion about death was easy! He loves his job.
ya i love that stuff
ya i got into the job for blood, guts, and sirens, not helping people ;)
Makes you think doesn't it? You know about death?
Have you ever thought about what happens when you die?
use to, anymore i just think of a person, sadly but true, they if i pick up a fatality at a scene they are just like a hunk of meat until i get to the hospital and see the family, i guess that's my grieving process with it is to not even look at them as a person but with the family around its hard
It took awhile for me to get him to understand I was serious about death, or more specifically, his future death.
what do you think happens when you die? heaven? hell? nothing?
i know what i hope for and that's an easy chair in the sky
You mean, like heaven?
La Z Boy recliner?
yes, and yes
So what do you think you have to do to go to heaven, D...?
I mean, I read a startling statistic the other day...10 out of 10 of us are going to die.
hahaha I've seen that in my line of work
What do you think you need to do so that you will be sure to get your recliner in the sky?
well, just stay on the road he leads me down, and not divert off too much its getting a lot easier to keep straight being so busy there aren't as many distractions
You know, I thought the same thing too for many years... I know what you mean about distractions
Do you think you're a pretty good person?
ha, I think I try
I'm like anyone I have flaws but I try
We all do
Do you know that there is a standard that God uses for us all?
but dang distractions are nice after a long time of being good lol
well, have you ever heard of the 10 comandments?
maybe a time or two
Do you think you've kept them? any of them?
not one bit
some but not near all
you're an honest man!
Have you ever told a lie?
at least one a day prolly
what does that make you? if you've told a lie, that is.
keeps people on their toes with ya
well, more specifically, If I lied you'd call me a... begins with L and rhymes with fire
lol hmm.....what is a liar alex? i know i know
Have you ever stolen anything, even when you were little?
that's one thing I've never done
You've never downloaded music or anything illegally off the internet?
Have you ever taken God's name in vain, you know like OMG?or worse?
every two or three seconds
Here's the one that gets me, you know
the 7th command says don't commit adultery, but Jesus said if you so much as LOOK at a woman to lust after her in your heart you've committed adultery with her in your heart, done that?
oh dear human I'm a young college guy
D..., by your own admission, you're a lying, thieving, blasphemous adulterer at heart and that is only 4 out
of 10 and you have to face God on Judgment Day. If He used that standard will He Judge you innocent or guilty?
haha i know I'm hosed
Which do you think, innocent or guilty?
I'm guilty but at least I admit it
Yes, you do. But if you're guilty, do you think God would sentence you to heaven or hell?
that's a good question, I guess He is the only one to decide that
If you were standing before a judge in the court of civil law and said, "I'm guilty but at least I admit it" do you think that would help your case?
But, seriously, what additional evidence
could you offer to a judge when your guilt has already been established? Just curious?
i guess nothing
If you were standing before God, knowing that you have violated his standard of moral perfection and that because He is a good judge he is getting ready to sentence you to hell, would that concern you?
well of course it would
See, in the court of civil law if we murdered, raped, or whatever, and then said, "Judge I'm really sorry, I was having a bad day and I promise I won't do it again and I haven't for years so I know you will let me go
You know that won't happen, right?
...stranger things have happened
people get off on technicalities like that sometimes
Let's put it this way, if you walked in and you saw a man had just murdered your family and was standing over them with the bloody knife... you tackle him and the police come
but i understand what you are saying he wouldn't make it by the time the police came, I'd be breaking a
commandment that I hadn't broke yet
in all honesty
they haul him away and he has his day in court and then says Judge I didn't really mean to .... and the judge says, "Well, OK. I think you're really sorry...I'll let you go" You'd go ballistic, right!!!!????
God will be that judge one day D... and because he is a GOOD judge who is NOT corrupt, he will see to it that ALL liars, murderers, thieves will be punished
D..., I care for you, do you know what He did for you?
which is my fetish in this job so I love it haha
He made a way to escape the penalty His son Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, of course you know that but have you REPENTED of your sins and placed your faith in him?
well, I can’t say I’ve gone all out
I asked if he had any difficulty believing that Jesus is who he said he was and he said not really, but he was still taking things too lightly. So, I told him that Jesus fulfilled over 60 specific prophecies and that if only 1 man fulfilled ONLY 8 that it would be 1 x 10 to the 17th power.
What I'm trying to say is if Jesus is who he says he is and the Bible is true, then
I'm concerned about you that you have not repented and believed in Jesus
God WILL judge ALL sinners and ONLY Jesus can save you
i c what you are saying
D..., if you admitted that you are a lawbreaker and you know that God will judge you because you violated His standard, your ONLY hope is Jesus!
D..., you never know when your are going to die!
You see it every day!
My friend's husband was an athlete biking to work and had a MI and died
I know those are the hardest ones
I find that many people don't understand what repentance truly means. I know that it was never explained to me and I didn't know for many years what it meant either.
I care about you D..., please humble yourself, and realize that because you broke God's law He is obligated to punish you and that He loves you so much He provided a way of escape in Jesus. Place your faith in him and repent
Do you know what repent REALLY means?
to ask for forgiveness?
Repentance means that you TURN from your sins. that means you do a 180 NOT a 360
less dizzy right? but I do understand what you mean
You get a new heart and you no longer have the same desires because you are so grateful that God did not give you what you deserve which is hell
Out of gratitude, you do a 180 on the things you used to love!
It is NOTHING that you can will yourself to do, did you know that?
....but dang its hard
But, YOU don't do it- God TRANSFORMS your heart, seriously!
If YOU try to do it, then you're still trying to be a good person and that won't cut it.
gotta take his route right
When you humble yourself and admit, God I am a law breaker, I have violated your law, I deserve hell, but I am sorry and repent from this and place my faith in Jesus Christ you will pass from death to life
which is where I need to be
D..., we aren't promised tomorrow and in the Bible, it says hell is "constant, CONSCIOUS torment for all eternity" I don't want to see you there.
I know I don’t want to be there
Here, I ask if he has a Bible. I believe that salvation from the Lord and that the Word is living and active and powerful enough to save. But, look at what he says when I asked if he understood what he was reading.
If Jesus is who he says he was, and the Bible is real,- this is what the Bible says will happen...please, please think about it...I don't want you there either!
Do you have a Bible?
got it at confirmation
Have you ever read it?
only passages here and there
Bet it didn't make much sense, huh?
Did you know that the Bible specifically says that, "It is foolishness to them that don't believe?"
him and repent. When you humble yourself and admit that you have violated God's standard and you realize
the precarious situation you are in then when you repent and believe, the Holy Spirit comes in to your heart
and changes your desires
You will NOT have the same desire to do the things you once did but you WILL still be tempted however, he will give you the strength to resist and it says the devil WILL flee from you!
Listen, read the book of John- it's the 4th book in the New Test. and then read Romans.
It's easy reading but if you repent and put your faith in Jesus, D... it WILL come alive and you won't be able
to put it down- I'm not kidding
I know ur not
It is so important, because, I believe Jesus is who he says he was, which means I believe the Bible and the Bible spells out exactly what will happen on Judgment day
Doesn't that concern you?
I know you said it does
So what are you going to do about it?
repenting is my only option
looks like :)
Find a quiet place and be honest with God
Here the fallacy of confirmation as a teen was addressed and you can see that to the unrepentant person, it makes no sense.
D..., God hates religion
Being confirmed as a baby or going through a class as a teen won't save you, you know that right?
oh i know that
The only thing God requires is faith, repentance, and obedience
getting confirmed in eighth grade made no sense to me
Then , dude, what were you trusting in?
It was a formality
Or had you never given it much thought before?
well that was part of it too
Yeah, God isn't a formality it is a totally transformational relationship!
im starting to see that
Now listen, I'm going to tell you something you may have never heard
When you place your faith in Jesus, some people say "Come to Jesus, You'll have love, joy, peace, etc"
Not true- in a sense
They try to say, "Come to Jesus because you will have love joy, and peace, and since sex drugs and rock n roll haven't worked" then they want to give this Jesus thing a try to see if they get a buzz
Well, you will have trials, difficulty, etc. just read the journey of Paul - you know the dude on the road to Damascus?
He was shipwrecked, beaten, imprisoned, etc.
saul to paul?
Yeah, that guy...HOWEVER, you will have joy unspeakable because you realize that you have ESCAPED hell as your future
You will be so grateful because of what the God has done for you
D..., why do you put on a parachute when you are in a plane?
cuz im an adrenaline junkie
....to save myself
You goober! Is it to improve the comfort of your flight? (wearing it while in your seat?) or is it to save you from death since you know the jump is coming?
So many people are told, "Come to Jesus- he'll improve your life!" (here on earth)
are you doing that on purpose now? haha
What do you mean?
Come to Jesus
yes and no- come for the right reason
But, you come to Jesus because you have nowhere else to go and you know that you are guilty before God
D..., I really care about you and whether you knew it or not, I have been praying with you since we became "friends" on FB. You are in a tough job and you see death every day I want you to think about what we've talked about
of course especially coming from you
thanks for everything seriously, it means a lot that someone else is out there lookin out for me cuz i forget to a lot
don't put it off any longer...confess/ackowledge your sins because it brings understanding of what you're repenting of(you know you can't confess them all) put your faith in him...repent...read the Bible...do what it says- it's that simple.
and its a plan i like organization
Remember, read John then skip on over to Romans- you're a smart guy
I've enjoyed talking to you! Please do it tonight. There's no magical formula...there's no such thing as a "canned" sinners prayer...just do it from the heart man.
i will jess def. thank you :)
I'll check back with you and seriously, if you have any questions, just ask. I'm here. I'm also praying for your safety too. Do you mind if I say a quick prayer for you?
thanks for everything
trust me any help is appreciated
Ok here goes
Lord, I thank you for this time that D... and I have had here tonight
I know that YOU knew we would be able to talk and that you would use this time to awaken him to the serious state that he is in
Lord I pray that you would move on D...'s heart and that you would help him to see that Jesus Christ is his only hope
and that you lovingly provided this means of escape from the Judgment that is sure to come
Let D... flee to you and put his faith in you and walk in obedience. Amen.
thank you jess so much
honestly...first e-prayer experience but it really means a lot to me
No problem. My first too! LOL!
I will be praying for you. Seriously consider all we have talked about, OK?
I will def.
I was so amazed that God would even allow such an opportunity to come into my life and that He would even consider using me. This conversation wasn't planned and it was totally the Holy Spirit and the prayer support He sent via my 3 other friends who were praying during that encounter. All total, there was a family of 11, 2 single women, and myself praying during the entire encounter. Pray God moves on his heart and that he takes seriously the "conversation" we had.