Abortion. Do little lives matter?

Abortion. Do little lives matter?

Did you know that over 350,000 babies have been killed in the last six months right here in the United States?
 
Did you know that thousands of those deaths occurred at four buildings here in DFW?
 
Who will speak up for the unborn babies who cannot speak for themselves?
 
With the thousands of churches and the hundreds of thousands of Christians a metropolitan area like Dallas-Fort Worth, many people assume that an enormous number of Christian volunteers are making efforts to reach these ladies and save the children. However, that is far from reality. Until lately, on most days, there were no Christians present at the DFW abortion clinics to try to dissuade the mothers from ending the life within them. Recently, there has been an increase of individuals from a few small churches who are trying to do something about this.
 
Our church, The Church At Pecan Creek, in Denton, Texas, is one of them. We have several volunteers who have gone to the abortion centers for a long time, but lately, even more, are being moved to help. For instance, Kyle and Morgan (both members of our church) went to the Fort Worth abortion clinic a couple of months ago just to observe the scene. However, they found themselves shocked and in tears from what they witnessed. Both of them were heartbroken and overcome with a passionate desire to do something.
 
Not long after the eyewitness account, Kyle came the elders of our church and asked if one of us would like to organize an outreach at these facilities. However, upon hearing his passion and desire to create a plan of action, we felt that he was the man for the job. Kyle is learning more weekly and is working with others to create a schedule so that there will be Christians present at the abortion centers every day of the week. If you have any questions about this subject, you can email us at findoutmore@thechurchatpecancreek.com.
 
Since then, our church has partnered with End Abortion Now, an established ministry that seeks to end abortion, share the gospel, meet the needs of mothers, train volunteers, and even provide adoption opportunities. You, or your church, can find out more about End Abortion Now here.
 

Can you make a difference?

Yes. Here is a perfect example of how God used one of our church members to reach a mother and to save a life. Jude, a 20-year-old young lady with a passion and love of others, had the opportunity to speak to a lady walking into the abortion clinic to terminate the life of her unborn child. The conversation went well, the lady changed her mind, left the clinic, and even sent Jude this text a month later:
“Hi Jude, I don’t know if you remember me, but we had met at the abortion clinic I was about to abort my baby and I saw you and your friends of your church there and after talking to you and one of your friends I had decided not to and we had found out this past Monday that we were going to be having a girl and now I believe I’m 17 weeks and me and my husband are so thrilled because we have three boys and we only had one girl and he had been praying for a girl and I can’t be more thankful for you and your friends for saving my baby because I constantly think if I would’ve had the abortion we wouldn’t be this thrilled to be expecting our baby girl in October and he’s very excited so I just want to thank you and let you know that not a day goes by that I constantly don’t think about you and what you did for me. Thank you so much God bless you.”
 
What would have happened if there was no Christian voice present that day to speak with this lady? A life was saved and a mother’s perspective was changed, thanks to one young lady being willing to give up her Saturday morning of rest to go to death’s door and do what she could do to save a life. One person can make a difference!
 

What can you do to help?

Pray for those who are ministering at the abortion centers. It takes a particular person to deal with the stress, anxiety, heaviness, and pressures of this ministry. Many times, they receive enormous amounts of hatred from some of those there to have an abortion. Such ministry is tough on the mind and the soul. Pray for boldness, compassion, clarity of thought, clear proclamation of the truth, and opportunities to share the gospel.
 
Pray that lives would be changed. The people arriving to abort their babies need help. Some of them are victims of sex trafficking; some are in despair; some arrive proudly. However, one thing is obvious; they are all blinded by sin. What they need the most is a new heart with new desires to live for God. Such a change can only come through the gospel. Pray that our volunteers would have the opportunity to share the truth about abortion, save babies, love on the ladies, and to share the gospel.
 
Volunteer. You are under no pressure from our church to volunteer, but if you are interested, you may choose to go to one of the abortion centers with other volunteers to observe, pray, or even speak with one of the mothers. Also, if you do not want to volunteer regularly, there is much to be gained by going even once to take in the reality of the number of daily abortions, the lives being affected, and the pressures of ministering there.
 
Educate. Learn more about abortion, and learn about what you can do to educate yourself and others about the truth of the matter. We will be offering occasional education on abortion ministry at our church. Feel free just to come, learn, and increase in awareness. Here are two fantastic documentaries to get you caught up quickly, both of them are free to watch on YouTube:
 

Questions often arise from those viewing the ministry at abortion centers, such as:

Why do some volunteers speak so loudly at the abortion centers? Volunteers are not allowed on the property of the abortion centers and have to remain far away. If one foot is placed on the private property, the police are called. Most of the time, speaking at a regular volume will simply not traverse the distance needed to be heard by those walking in to have an abortion. The abortion centers also provide escorts for the ladies that meet them at the cars to help ensure that the ladies do not change their minds. You may also notice that our volunteers have a sense of extreme urgency when they are at the abortion centers. This is because the women are walking from their cars into a building to end the life of their unborn children. The journey from the car to the building takes only 20-30 seconds.
 
Put yourself in the shoes of the ones trying to minister to these ladies. Think about the content, volume, and emotion that you might feel as you try to stop an abortion from 50 feet away, and you only have 20 seconds to do so. Hopefully, by understanding the situation better, you know that the purpose is not to just yell for yelling’s sake, but to speak loud enough to be heard.
 
Why do some volunteers use their phones to record activity at the abortion centers?
  1. Videos provide a witness to any criminal activity aimed at them. As you might have seen, a gun was drawn on one of our friends a couple of months ago at the Fort Worth abortion center. Police can use the footage if needed.
  2. Most law enforcement officers do an excellent job of keeping the peace and performing their job in a just manner. However, on rare occasions, an officer will make an unjust command for the Christians to stop speaking and even write a citation for doing so (as was the case last month in Dallas). Fortunately, that entire episode was recorded and will hopefully be used in court.
  3. Many of those arriving to have an abortion are hoping to end the life within them in secrecy. However, when they arrive and see witnesses in the parking lot, some even with cameras, it is hoped that the exposure might cause them to pause and reconsider their decision.
  4. Videos also allow multitudes of Christians who never have gone to the abortion mills to be exposed to the realities of abortion. Think about it; except for a few volunteers with their phone cameras at these facilities, there is no media attention given to the 3300 innocent babies who are murdered each day in the U.S. The hope is that more people will be made more aware of the atrocities being committed, and take steps to help, volunteer, educate, and pray that abortion is abolished.
 
Where do the abortions take place in DFW? These four abortion centers are not used for women’s health; they are used strictly for abortion. Every day, hundreds of pregnant women arrive at the centers. Moments later, the women exit the building leaving their children to be discarded as medical waste. These are the four Abortion Centers in DFW:
Be praying that these doctors will repent and return to their oaths to protect life, not take it. We also pray that these places of abortion would be permanently shut down, as has been the case with over 2,000 other abortion centers.
 
This is just one more way in which we can seek to spread the light of Jesus to a dark and dying world. Pray for all involved in this ministry, and for those who they are trying to reach. Pray that many more ladies will stop, listen, and change their minds before aborting their babies. Pray that the gospel of Jesus would be proclaimed. Pray that people would repent of sin and believe in the life-saving and life-changing message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.


Gospel Street Preaching Denton Church Pecan Creek

Evangelism Taking Jesus to the Streets (of Denton)! Part 3, Street Preaching Examples

Gospel Street Preaching Denton Church Pecan Creek

Evangelism
Taking Jesus to the Streets (of Denton)! Part 3
Street Preaching Examples

Virtually every Saturday evening you can find me and others on the Denton Square openly proclaiming the gospel. Without fail, every week we have people come up to us who are shocked that we are in the public square speaking about Jesus. Sadly, this astonishment is not just from those professing to be atheists and agnostics, but even Christians. As we engage in conversation with any and all naysayers, it seems that they all have the same argument, “You should be doing this in a church, not out here for the general public to hear.”

Hmm. Are they right? Are we right? Should evangelism be reserved only for buildings with the word “Church” on them? Well, even though “open-air” or “street preaching” has become rare, it is nothing new. In fact, it has been around for thousands of years.

We see many examples of it in both the Old and New Testament Scriptures. It has been prevalent throughout church history, and it is through the open-air proclamation of the gospel that great awakenings and revivals have occurred.

Although this is not an exhaustive list, here are some excellent examples of street preaching in both the Old and the New Testament Scriptures.

Examples from the Old Testament

  • Peter calls Noah a “herald of righteousness” referring to his call for people to repent before the flood of Genesis (2 Peter 2:5).
  • Solomon “with a loud voice” addressed the entire nation of Israel (1 Kings 8:54-56).
  • In the “open square” Ezra called the people of Israel to repentance (Ezra 10:9-14).
  • While standing before the people of Israel, Ezra openly read and explained the law of God (Nehemiah 8:1-8).
  • Jeremiah stood at the gate of the Lord’s House and “proclaimed” the words of God (Jeremiah 7:1-3).
  • Jonah openly preached repentance to the Ninevites (Jonah 3:1-5).
  • The Old Testament prophets heralded the word of God at the city gates (Isaiah 5:29; Amos 5:10).

Examples from the New Testament

  • John the Baptist was the first street preacher to herald the good news in the open-air (Matt. 3:1-2; Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3).
  • Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount in the open-air (Matt. 5-7).
  • Jesus’s disciples went about preaching on the streets in many villages (Luke 9:5-7).
  • Peter preached to all the Jews who were gathered in Jerusalem for the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14-40).
  • After healing the lame beggar, Peter preached in the open-air at Solomon’s Portico (Acts 3:11-26).
  • Philip openly preached the gospel to large crowds in the city of Samaria (Acts 8:6-8).
  • Peter and John preached the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans on their way back to Jerusalem (Acts 8:25)
  • Paul openly preached the gospel to the entire city of Antioch (Acts 13:44-52).
  • Paul stood atop Mars Hill and preached to the men of Athens in the open-air (Acts 17:22-34).
  • Apollos publicly proclaimed Christ Jesus and boldly refuted the Jews in Achaia (Acts 18:27-28).

Examples in Church history

Many revivals and spiritual awakenings throughout church history were spurred on by street preaching. Some more well-known open-air preachers, since the Reformation, were John Bunyan, John Knox (founder of the Presbyterian Church), John Wesley, George Whitefield, and Charles Spurgeon. Other famous ministers such as A. W. Tozer and Billy Sunday were also brought to Christ by the means of street preaching.
 
Spurgeon not only engaged in street preaching but aggressively defended it, as you can see from his following statements:

“It would be very easy to prove that revivals of religion have usually been accompanied, if not caused, by a considerable amount of preaching out of doors, or in unusual places.”

“No sort of defense is needed for preaching out of doors, but it would need very potent arguments to prove that a man had done his duty who has never preached beyond the walls of his meeting-house. A defense is required for services within buildings than for worship outside of them.”

In summary, although preaching in the open air has become quite rare, it is thoroughly biblical and Christian. It is a means by which God calls lost sinners to Himself and a vehicle that has produced spiritual awakenings and revivals throughout history at many times and in many places. What about you, have you ever thought about street preaching on your city streets? Why, or why not? I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at findoutmore@thechurchatpecancreek.com.
 
~Jeff Patton


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:



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


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.