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Evangelism: Taking Jesus to the Streets (of Denton), Part 2: A Biblical Premise

Evangelism: Taking Jesus to the Streets (of Denton), Part 2: A Biblical Premise

Evangelism: Taking Jesus to the Streets (of Denton), Part 2: A Biblical Premise

Evangelism:
Taking Jesus to the Streets (of Denton), Part 2:
A Biblical Premise

Should Christians evangelize in public places?

In today’s relativistic society, why would anyone dare to speak to a stranger about Jesus Christ being the only way to heaven? Why would anyone in their right mind stand up before a group of strangers and call on them to repent of their sin and believe in Jesus Christ, knowing that there is a high likelihood that some people will become hostile?
 
Because, Jesus is the only Savior, Lord, and King! Apart from the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, people have no hope at all. Whether the people are your friends, family, co-workers, classmates, or strangers, they need to hear the gospel. If we as Christians know it, then why would we NOT want to proclaim it, even to strangers?

Is it Biblical?

Street preaching and evangelism are not only important; they are necessary! These are God’s chosen means by which He has designated to build His kingdom.
 
Many Christians seem to be embarrassed or even ashamed to share the message of salvation with others, but this should not be the case.
 
Jesus says in Mark 8:38 that “whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
 
The point is that those who have been saved by Christ should not be ashamed of the One who has saved them. Nor should they be ashamed to tell others how they can be saved from the wrath of God.
 
Believers alone have been given the Word of Truth and the Holy Spirit. If we don’t get the message out, then who will?
 
Paul tells us in Romans 1:16 that he “is not ashamed of the gospel.” Think about it, Paul had every excuse to be ashamed of the gospel. He had lost everything: his heritage, his high standing among his people, his family and close friends. He suffered through persecution and imprisonment. He received beatings and was nearly stoned to death for preaching this message. And yet, after more than two decades of such rejection and abuse, he reassured the church at Rome that he still was not ashamed of the gospel, and desired to proclaim it even in Rome.1 

The power of God.

Why was Paul not ashamed of the gospel? He tells us “for [the gospel] is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” 2 
 
Jesus Christ had sent Paul to preach a message that He was going to use to bring about salvation among those who heard it. This information was not based on opinion, but the truth of God. It was not mere meaningless babble but a message that was given to Paul by God. This was a message empowered by God, as well.3 

Faith comes by hearing, which means somebody has to do the speaking!

Paul tells us in Romans 10:17 that “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” The hearing of the gospel is the means by which God calls His people to Himself; however, these words, the gospel, must be spoken by someone who knows the gospel. This is Paul’s point when he writes,
 
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed?
And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?
And how are they to hear without someone preaching?4 
 
The Greek word here for “preaching” is κηρύσσω (kērussō) and it means to preach, to proclaim as a herald, to announce openly and publicly, to noise abroad.
 
The Apostle Paul is clearly exhorting his readers to engage in public evangelism and open-air preaching.

Jesus also commands us to go and to shine.

Jesus says, “GO therefore and make disciples of all nations …”5
 
Making disciples is a command of God. It is what we are called to do. However, in order to make a disciple or student of Christ, words have to be communicated.
 
Who should proclaim such a message?
 
You! People are not saved by simply being around Christians who are gospel mutes. And the unsaved do not become disciples without learning about who Christ is and what He has done to provide salvation.
 
Jesus also tells all believers that, “you are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others…” 6 Don’t hide your Christianity by avoiding talking about it. That is the same thing as putting the light under the basket. Let the light of Christ shine forth. Open your mouth and let the gospel of Jesus Christ be proclaimed.

Final thoughts:

Let us not be ashamed of Jesus Christ! For we have been given a message from God Himself, which is the power of God for salvation to all who believe! Remember, in order to believe, they must first hear. How are they going to hear without someone preaching? They won’t.
 
Therefore, let us obey our Lord and go forth proclaiming the gospel, even to those that we do not know.
 
~ Jeff Patton
 
 

Footnotes:


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Evangelism Taking Jesus to the Streets (of Denton)! — Part 1 

Evangelism Taking Jesus to the Streets (of Denton)! — Part 1 

Evangelism Taking Jesus to the Streets (of Denton)! — Part 1 

Evangelism

Taking Jesus to the Streets (of Denton)! Part 1

My name is Jeff Patton, and for the last four years, I have been involved in public/open-air evangelism. I have the tremendous privilege of being a part of a group of believers, who faithfully go into the public square of Denton, Texas to share the gospel of Jesus Christ every week. We have made a habit of being on the same corner, on the same day, at the same time, every week, for years now. Though the seasons change and the audience varies greatly, we strive to maintain a steady evangelistic voice on the Denton Square. We believe that Jesus gives us the mandate to go and make disciples. In doing so, preaching the gospel is the means by which people hear, believe, repent, and are brought into the kingdom of God.

This outreach that began with only a couple of men, has grown into quite a team. Men, women, and young people from my home church, The Church At Pecan Creek, and other like-minded churches, who come together every Saturday evening to do what we can to share the message of salvation through Jesus Christ.

A Typical Evening of Evangelism:

A typical evening will consist of evangelism, usually consisting of: open-air preaching, open mic dialogue, scripture reading, an occasional song, passing out gospel tracts, and striking up spiritual conversations. Opportunities often arise to pray for people and to offer comfort and encouragement to hurting souls. We have seen many people affected by our efforts. Some have come to know Christ as their Savior and some other Christian passersby’s have been greatly encouraged toward personal evangelism as well. 

However, evangelism is not all roses. As we know from the Apostle Paul, the same gospel that saves some is the same gospel that caused others to want to imprison, stone, beat, and whip him. Though it usually does not get quite that hostile, we do bear the brunt of many people who hate God and those who represent Him.

“Keep your message in your church walls!”

A misguided, yet widely held belief, is that preaching is only for church and that people should keep their beliefs to themselves. Believe it or not, many of those who hold such a view profess to be Christians. It seems that many Christians and non-Christians have believed the old saying that, “Two things never to be talked about in polite company are politics and religion”. However that is not a verse in the Bible. 

Questions and objections that often arise to our evangelistic efforts:

      • Is street evangelism effective?
      • Have your efforts brought forth any success?
      • Are there not better ways to engage the lost?
      • People are offended. Instead of winning people to Christ, are you not turning them away from Him?

These all can be legitimate concerns. However, our conclusions to such questions must not rely on human reasoning, pragmatism, the opinions of others, or our own personal feelings and preferences.

Instead, we should be asking:

      • What does the Bible say about gospel proclamation?
      • Are there any examples of public evangelism taking place in Scripture?
      • Did Jesus and the Apostles only evangelize in private?
      • If open-air evangelism was practiced in Biblical times, then why would Christians believe that it should not be done today?

The purpose in future articles is to provide sound answers to these questions based on God’s word.

Earlier in my Christian life, I, like many, disagreed with public evangelism. But the more I studied the Word, the more my position was challenged. We must remember that the church is the body of Christ and made up of believers. Those who attend church on Sunday, supposedly, are already saved and are there to worship Jesus together with other believers. But what about those who are lost?

How will those outside the walls of church buildings get to hear the gospel if it is only proclaimed within the walls of a church building?

As God’s people, we are ambassadors for Christ. God makes His appeal to the lost world through us as we implore people on behalf of Christ to “be reconciled to God”(2 Cor. 5:20). 

Even though God has grown our evangelistic outreach by sending other believers to help, we, like Jesus, clearly see that “the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few” (Luke 10:2). Please join us in prayer for our evangelistic efforts, and pray that you would see the harvest and the need to proclaim the gospel to those who are around you as well.

If you would like to more information about our outreach or starting your own, please email us at: FindOutMore@TheChurchAtPecanCreek.com
~ Jeff Patton

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God’s Immutability and You: Seven practical applications of the immutability of God.

God’s Immutability and You: Seven practical applications of the immutability of God.

God’s Immutability and You: Seven practical applications of the immutability of God.

God’s Immutability and You

Seven practical applications of the immutability of God.

God, Himself states“I the Lord do not change” (Mal. 3:6). This means that He is forever precisely as He is; changeless/immutable. God has always been all-powerful, and He forever will be. God has always been all-knowing, and He forever will be. God has forever been infinitely wise, and that He forever will be. This also means that God’s plans and purposes are also not subject to change. There was never a time when God was not, nor will there ever be a time when God was or will be any different than He is right now.
 
What does God’s immutability have to do with you? Here are seven personal benefits for you to consider: 

1. Your assurance of salvation should increase.

Even though you are saved, do you still have doubts whether or not you will truly be saved in the end? If so, a possible cause of this could be an insufficient understanding of God’s immutability. There is great comfort in understanding that your salvation is tied directly to the immutability of God. 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Pet. 3-5).

A Christian is forever God’s possession. It is His power that brought you to repentance of sin and belief in Jesus Christ, and it is His power that permanently secures your salvation.

2. Your purpose in life should be more greatly realized.

Most people’s purpose, time, energy, money, and efforts are focused on this world, a world that is in an unstable, unsure, and constant state of change. As a Christian, however, you should make better use of your life than living for the pursuit of only temporary gain.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:15-17).

Passages like this serve as a reality check. How foolish is it for you to spend all of your efforts and days on that which is perishing, and give little thought to the eternally immutable One? Your chief purpose is to glorify God with all that you are and to enjoy Him forever. 

3. Your steadfastness during suffering should increase.

It is common for people to have doubts about God’s love, goodness, or power during difficult times. However, instead of allowing your mind to think such wrong thoughts of God, times of suffering, persecution, or trials should be a time when you focus more than ever on God’s immutability. Think of all that Job went through; the loss of his family, all his possessions, his health, companionship, yet, “In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong” (Job 1:22)

4. Your trust in God’s Word should increase.

You have a standard of truth from God, of which to base your beliefs and behavior upon. Many people just believe and behave how the culture expects them to as if there is no standard of truth. However, God, who is changeless, has given us truth that we can depend on. So that no matter how much the culture around us changes, you should remain steadfast in our adherence to the doctrine and behavior that God has put forth in His Word. You can trust in the Word of God, because, “All scripture is breathed out by God” (2 Tim. 3:16).

5. Your rest in the love of God should increase.

Sadly, some people’s view of God’s love fluctuates so much that it could be called, “He loves me, He loves me not theology.” However, a better understanding of His love for you would be, “He loves me immutably and eternally.” God says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jer. 31:3). 

There is no perfect relationship on earth. Your relationships fluctuate significantly based on emotion, hormones, distractions, etc. However, you must realize that God’s love for all who are in Christ is absolutely perfect and unchanging.  

6. Your trust in God should increase.

“Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock” (Is. 26:4). 

The scriptures often use the analogy of God as a rock, because of the rock’s ability to stay put and be unaltered by change. He is your everlasting Rock of stability; therefore, you can trust in the Lord forever. 

Trust is a beautiful attribute for people to have, yet perhaps you have been hurt by those who have abused your trust; but God can be fully trusted, because He is forever, and immutably trustworthy.

7. Your worship of God should increase.

While immutability may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you are worshipping God, maybe it should be. 

The Apostle John gives us a glimpse of the worship that God receives in heaven around the clock. 

And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Rev. 4:8). 

In this passage, God is praised perpetually for His holiness, His power, and His eternal immutability. As He was, He is, and forever will be. He is worshiped in heaven by acknowledging Him for who He truly is. As you worship, you should strive to join the chorus of heaven by doing the same.
 
~ Trey Talley

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New Book: The Missing Gospel of Modern Christianity

The Missing Gospel of Modern Christianity

Would you like to know and understand the doctrine of salvation better? Do you desire to communicate the gospel clearly, correctly, and without confusion? Do you have questions about your salvation or the salvation of others? Would you like to be able to witness to your friends, co-workers, and family members with confidence that you are sharing your faith the right way? If so, this handbook on evangelism, The Missing Gospel of Modern Christianity, is for you!
 
The details of the gospel have become less known by professing Christians and have been replaced with gospel distortions which are powerless to save. Professing Christians have added, subtracted, softened, and twisted the gospel to the point that creative license with the gospel is now the norm. However, false gospels only produce false Christians who have a false assurance of salvation. What is the solution? We need Christians who know, believe, and share the true gospel of God.
 
Stylistically similar to Dr. R. C. Sproul, Dr. Trey Talley, a church planter, elder, and doctoral graduate of Ligonier Academy, takes on this task with theological precision, yet with a teaching style that is simple and straight forward.
 

About the Author

Trey Talley traveled the world for 15 years as an evangelist working with local churches to bring the gospel to their communities. These experiences lead him to realize that there are many professing Christians who do not know the gospel. There appeared to be something missing in many of the churches and people that he worked with, and that something was the knowledge of God’s word. After witnessing such Biblical anemia among professing Christians, a zeal was fostered. Trey was led to start a church in his town where believers could be equipped with the knowledge of God’s word through expository preaching and teaching. Soon he planted The Church At Pecan Creek of Denton, TX, where he serves as pastor and elder.
 
Trey has been dramatically impacted by the teaching of Dr. R.C. Sproul and Ligonier Ministries. So much so, that he received his Doctor of Ministry from Ligonier Academy.
 
Trey lives in Denton, TX, with his wonderful wife, who homeschools their three children.

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