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.


"The Bible Says So!": A brief defense of our reliance on the Bible for ultimate truth.

“The Bible Says So!”

"The Bible Says So!": A brief defense of our reliance on the Bible for ultimate truth.

“The Bible Says So!”

A brief defense of our reliance on the Bible for ultimate truth.

 

Can the Bible be true, based on its own testimony?

How can we know for sure that the Bible is indeed God’s word and that what it says is true? We can know because the Bible says so!

You might say, “Wait just a minute! That is a circular argument! You are begging the question, and your statement is logically fallacious!”

On the surface, it certainly does seem that way. But can God reveal Himself to His people any way He sees fit? If so, could He not reveal Himself to believers through the Scriptures? The answer is, “Yes, He could, and He does.” 

The believer can say with the utmost confidence “because the Bible says so” for the following reasons: the Bible is unique among all other books, it is self-authenticating, it is breathed out by God, God alone has ultimate Authority, and He alone is the ultimate Source of truth.
 

What makes the Bible so special?

There is no other book like the Bible. It is made up of 66 books, written in three different languages by more than forty authors from all walks of life and from three different continents. It took over 1400 years to write, and yet it maintains a perfect consistency of message from cover to cover. The Bible has accurately predicted future events hundreds of years in advance. This along with other such signs indicate its uniqueness. 

These facts alone separate it entirely from any other book ever written. But I do not claim to be able to prove that it is the word of God. I don’t have to. 
 

The Bible is self-authenticating.

The Holy Spirit (who is God) testifies supernaturally to the claims of the Bible, and the Bible bears evidence within itself of its own divine origins (1 John 5:6-8, John 17:17).

You might reply by saying “This is a deduction based on Scripture itself; therefore, it is unacceptable to anyone who does not already agree with the accuracy of the Bible.” 

Scripture is for believers (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  The word of the cross is the power of God for us who are being saved, but at the same time, it is utter folly to those who are perishing (1 Corinthians 1:18). Although the natural person knows God exists, he suppresses the truth about this fact (Romans 1:18, 20). He does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14). Yet, faith comes by hearing and hearing through the word of Christ (Romans 10:18). Although the natural man rejects the word of God, God uses it to bring him to saving faith. 

Just because unbelievers do not agree with the accuracy of Scripture does not mean it is inaccurate. In order for them to understand Scripture and know God in a saving way, God Himself will have to give them ears to hear and a heart to understand. 
Those who truly follow God will recognize these truths to be self-evident. For those of us who believe, no other evidence is necessary; to those who will not believe, no evidence would ever be acceptable.
 

God, the Source of all truth, inspired the Bible.

The Bible being self-authenticating is not an arbitrary claim because it is “breathed out by God” (2 Timothy 3:16). Think about it. 

God alone is the Source of all truth (Isaiah 65:16), and the Bible is inspired by Him (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Since all truth originates from God, there is no higher source from which to get truth. This type of circularity is entirely justifiable because it circles back to the original Source of all truth.
 

God is the ultimate Authority.

If a mathematician writes a math book, he is an authority and has the right to write a math book. Although he is an authority, he is not the ultimate authority. He is still subject to the laws of mathematics. However, even the laws of mathematics are not the ultimate authority because they exist within the created order. 

The laws of mathematics are not self-existent or self-created. They, along with everything else, were brought into existence by God the ultimate source of everything (Genesis 1:1, John 1:1-3).  He alone is eternal (without beginning or end (Psalm 90:2)), all-knowing (Psalm 147:5), all-powerful (Daniel 4:35), and everywhere (Jeremiah 23:23-24). He brought time, space, matter and energy into existence along with all the invisible laws that govern the universe, including mathematics (Genesis 1:1, John 1:1-5, Romans 1:20, Proverbs 3:19-20). 

Even though an accountant can count, he cannot account for counting without God. Although unbelievers use laws of mathematics and logic, if they are to be consistent, they cannot justify the existence of these things apart from God.
 

Conclusion

The Bible is true because the God who made everything also made it, and He says it is true. The Bible is completely unique, it is self-authenticating, it is breathed out by God who alone is the ultimate Authority and the ultimate Source of all truth. Everyone knows God exists and yet, they suppress this truth. They reject the Scriptures not because they are not true, but because they are spiritually discerned. 

However, it is through the word of Christ (the Gospel) that spiritually dead people are made alive and enemies of God are reconciled to Him. Once this happens, they too will treasure the truth of God’s Word, because His sheep hear His voice (John 10:27). 

If anyone ever tells you that they don’t believe in the God of the Bible or that the Bible is not true, then you can simply ask “where do you get truth without God?”

Apart from God, unbelievers are left with an illogical, infinite regress. Without an absolute ultimate eternal Source of truth, all that remains is meaningless, subjective relativism. 

How can you know this is true? Because the Bible says so!
 
~ Jeff Patton