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CAT Scans and Chicken Evangelism

CAT Scans and Chicken Evangelism

CAT Scans and Chicken Evangelism

CAT Scans and Chicken Evangelism

The technician led me into his chamber.  Down the hall, ‘round the corner, through the doors and into the scanning room we went.  There it was–like an idol in the center of an otherwise mostly-bare room.  All attention focused on this huge, symmetrically-shaped icon with a hole in the middle.

The attendant took my coat and instructed me to lie down on what he called a bed.  It looked more like a tray to me and I knew that I would be inserted into the hole and shot with some sort of radio-active rays that would show my insides and the condition of my heart.

The attendant opened a blood vessel in my arm and shot some fluid into the vein.  He was a young man with a beard and pleasant disposition.  We had a moment to chat while some paper-work was being filed.  I asked him how long he had lived in Muscatine, our city.  He in turn asked what I did for a living.

All of a sudden I rose to the occasion.  Not literally, of course; I was still flat on my back on this sterile “bed”.  I remembered Jesus’ words, “As you are going, make disciples of all the nations”.  So I asked the attendant, Wade* by name, “Have you given your life to Jesus Christ?”  He replied readily and sincerely, “I sure have!”  I was encouraged by his hearty response and continued, “That’s great!  What difference has He made in your life?”

The attendant paused thoughtfully—a long time, I felt.  Then he answered confidently, “He’s given purpose to my life.”  I could tell his answer was filled with meaning and authenticity.  We could only talk briefly;  there was no time to linger.

The signal to begin the CAT scan arrived and I was quietly slipped, bed and all, into the giant eye of the machine.   Then it was over.  CAT scans require only a few minutes.  The attendant gave me a hand to get me on my feet, motioned to my coat and ushered me through the doors, around the corner, and up the hallway.  “It’s easy to get lost in here, but there’s the exit.”  “Thanks,” I said.

We exchanged good-byes and I was on my way.   Will we ever see each other again?  I hope so. Wade* and I were experiencing a warm and budding friendship. We had each shared our faith in Christ and some personal words of encouragement.  The brief time of witness made it the best CAT scan I’ve ever experienced.

Something I’ve found continues to intrigue me: Witnessing makes friends. When we share our heart, others do the same.

We need to see personal evangelism through new eyes. Too often the idea is to make friends, then share the gospel. It also works to share the gospel, then we’ll have a friend.

 

Leaving CAT scans and Chicken Evangelism for a moment, check this out if you are in the Muscatine, Iowa area.

Praise Report

The sharing time (1 Cor 14:26) continues to sparkle with life. Mark C testified about the man in Des Moines whose life changed following prayer. We expect these signs to follow us and our prayers!

During this same sharing time last Sunday morning the Holy Spirit orchestrated the testimonies. First, Tom’s word that God gives us what we need, not what we want. This was followed by Flynn’s perfect illustration about how his pickup truck conked out but how God provided a van which is perfect for his coaching job. Come and bring some friends. You will be inspirited!

Next Up

Get filled with the Holy Spirit—Prayer with tongues is part of this holy, infilling time.Come at 8:00 am.

This Sunday’s message is titled “What If Jesus had Never Been Raised from the Dead?”

There will also be a time to edify the church according to 1 Cor 14:26. These are meaningful times—prepare now.

This Sunday the church will honor our home schooling families. If you are homeschooling your children, let the pastor know before the meeting.

New Adult Class Begins Next Sunday, May 11. We will learn the Keyword of each of the 12 Minor Prophets using pictures on a DVD. If you want to learn and remember the OT, now is your chance. We start at 9:00 am. Come and bring someone with you. God’s presence changes lives.    

Now back to CAT scans and Chicken Evangelism. Chicken Evangelism wins friends and makes disciples. Click here to see more.

Chicken Evangelism Pros and Cons

The Pros and Cons of Chicken Eangelism

The Pros and Cons of Chicken Evangelism

Chicken Evangelism Pros and Cons

 

Let’s examine Chicken Evangelism pros and cons. At this website we espouse every legitimate form of Christian evangelism. Currently the church is searching for new concepts of witnessing. Chicken Evangelism is as old as the Bible but will strike some as “new and innovative.”

What is Chicken Evangelism?– It’s an effective way to overcome fear by bringing Christ into the conversation before you chicken out.

Before we get into Chicken Evangelism pros and cons please enjoy this short story.

Today I Talked with a Most Interesting Fellow

 

He has no credit cards and no debt.  He and his wife have four kids together.  Everything is paid for including his car.  The only exception is his house.

 

All this came out after I popped the question, “Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?”

 

It all began when the cable technician came to my office to hook up the internet connection.  I showed him where the exterior entry point should be and brought him to my office.  He ran his tests and I went out to shovel snow off the sidewalks.  When I returned he had a little down time, so we talked.  It turned out he works with one of the guys from the church, a guy who has a good reputation at work.  I knew if I was ever going to ask the question about Christ, I’d better do it before I chickened out.

 

I took a shallow breath and asked sincerely, “Have you given your life to Jesus Christ?”  N.’s answer was clear and unsurprising.  “No, I’m not into that,” he stated matter-of-factly.  His answer was no surprise since I’ve found that about 90% of everyone with whom I ask that question answers with either a yes or no. I commended him for giving an honest answer.  He responded that he was not ashamed and since he didn’t have a faith he might as well own up to it.

 

I agreed and gave him my testimony.

 

I was raised in a Christian home, but when I went to college I began doing a lot of thinking.  I had to know for sure about God and the Christian life.  I decided that if Jesus Christ really rose from the dead, I would give my life to Him.  If He didn’t rise from the dead, I would give the whole thing up. 

 

Since I was majoring in history, I knew some of the canons of historiography.  In other words, I knew how to evaluate historical data.  For example, was the writer an eye-witness of an event or was it just hearsay?  How long after an event was the manuscript written?  (A manuscript written shortly after an event has more veracity than one written much later.)  What were the sources of the manuscript in question?  How many manuscripts purport to describe this same event?  What was the character of the writer and how was he related to the event he described? 

 

What I found surprised me. The evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead was overwhelming!  No other event in ancient history was so well attested.  From a purely historical point of view, the evidence for the Resurrection of Christ is incontrovertible.  So I gave my life to Jesus Christ and never looked back.

 

N. listed to all this with obvious attention.  I offered to get him some research materials if he were willing.  “I know I’ll get into it someday; I’m just not there yet,” he replied.

 

I knew I couldn’t leave him without a gospel witness.  “I have good news for you,” I spoke enthusiastically.  Jesus Christ died for your sins, of which we all have plenty.”  N. nodded.  I told him how just yesterday I had offended someone and had to ask forgiveness.   He smiled.  “It’s not how good we are—no one is good enough to get to heaven.  Rather, it’s accepting the free gift of righteousness that Jesus gives.  Jesus rose from the dead to live inside us.  Christianity is not just a bunch of do’s and don’ts—it’s Jesus inspiring us from the inside.  Life with Christ is an adventure!  And to not receive Christ—well, the default position for not taking Jesus into our life is, well—not very good.”  I didn’t want to mention the hell word.

 

N. took it all in.  He started opening up with his own life.  That’s when He confided about his family, his finances, and his children.  We talked about music and how he plays guitar in a band.  I located a couple of “evidence books” about the Christian faith and offered him a choice.  He chose Josh McDowell’s More than a Carpenter when I related how the book had helped me personally.  When I offered to talk with him again someday, he replied affirmatively, “Yeah, or I could talk with that guy at work from your church!”

 

We enjoyed a great talk with mutual understanding and appreciation.  As I write this, I’m praying for N. and hope to see him again.  If the discipleship process wasn’t launched before, it is now!

Chicken Evangelism Pros and Cons

OK, let’s get into specifics.

Pros—when done with love and sensitivity

It is strongly biblical. Most of Christ’s outreach ministry took place on first encounters.

It overcomes fear, one of the greatest hindrances to witnessing for Christ.

It begins a conversation with a stranger that likely would not occur otherwise.

It’s a great conversation starter. Most Christians do well if they can get started.

It can lead to conversion: Jesus said, “Lift up your eyes and see the fields; they are ripe for harvest” (John 4:38).

It shows faith in Jesus and His word: Jesus said, “I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor” (John 4:38).

It opens the door to proclaim the gospel.

It often leads to friendship.

It can begin the discipleship process, even with a stranger.

It reveals the heart of the Christian.

Most people respect someone who is straightforward and “up front.”

It causes a person to think about his or her eternal destiny.

Every encounter is a risk, an adventure for the person who witnesses. Consequently, Chicken Evangelism keeps a Christian out of spiritual lethargy.

It causes the witness to cry out to God in prayer.

It can be done going about our daily lives and schedules. Jesus said, “As you are going . . . make disciples” (Literal translation of Matt 28:19).

It’s simple; no special training or memory work is required.

It can be done quickly.

It allows a stranger to talk about his or her faith, something most people desire to do.

Cons–

Some Christians misunderstand, think it requires great boldness.

Some believers are afraid it will offend people.

Some believers are under the mis-impression you have to build a relationship before talking about faith.

Like any other witnessing, if it’s done without love and sensitivity, it can be offensive.

With Chicken Evangelism pros and cons, the pros clearly outweigh the cons. When you try it you will most likely overcome fear and find a wonderful release. Some people are ready to give their life to Christ. Go ahead, try it and see how God will honor you!

If you want to talk more about chicken evangelism pros and cons browse this website or contact Ethan or me.

God bless you!

 

Evangelism is Easier than You Think

Laying-Hen-2

Why make evangelism so hard? Jesus said it’s easy. If it’s as difficult as some people think, we need a mental adjustment.

For some, fear and evangelism go together like ice and snow. “You can’t have one without the other,” they shudder. For many Christians, fears paralyze. Let’s identify three biggies in the devil’s fear-factor industry and then see how “chicken evangelism” overcomes the boogey-man every time.

Do These Things Scare You?

First, “I don’t witness because I might lose a friend.” That’s unlikely. More realistically, your friend will respect you for sharing your faith. But if losing a friend concerns you, get started by witnessing to strangers. With strangers you have little to lose.

Second, “I don’t know where to start or how to begin.” Try Chicken Evangelism; it’s tailor-made to help overcome fear and get started.

Third, “I might say the wrong thing and make things worse.” That’s doubtful, and if you don’t say anything, the prospect could end up in hell. Which is worse, his eternity in hell or your fear of saying the wrong thing?

Jesus Made Evangelism Easier Than You Think

Let’ see how Jesus made evangelism easy. Almost immediately after meeting a woman of Samaria, Jesus invited her to receive Him and his gift (John 4:10). No beating around the bush! Later, He explained basic principles of evangelism to his disciples.

“I have food to eat that you do not know about” (John 4:32). Evangelism God’s way is satisfying. It’s as easy as eating. It fulfills a person. Eating is something we do at leisure, at rest. Eating is enjoyable and so is evangelism God’s way.

“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work” (John 4:34). When God asks us to do something, He simultaneously gives us the grace (ability) to do it. It has to be this way; otherwise, He would expect us to accomplish His will by our own power which is clearly not His expectation. Reaping souls is God’s work and we are joining His crew. To reiterate, it’s His work, not ours. He is the initiator and the One responsible for the outcome. Knowing evangelism belongs to Him frees us from the responsibly of the outcome. He gets the credit and we get the privilege of flowing with Him.

Our family lives near the Mississippi River which has a powerful current. I have tried to swim upstream against the Mississippi current. It doesn’t work. To swim or paddle against the flow is exhausting, almost impossible, for more than a few minutes. God’s way of evangelizing is like flowing with the current. Evangelism God’s way is like getting in a boat and floating downstream. It’s effortless and relaxing!

“Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then [emphasis added] comes the harvest?’ Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest” (John 4:35). Jesus sees something we may have missed. He sees hungry people ready to be reaped. He sees men, women, young people, and children with hearts hungry for Him.

Pascal, the great French Physicist noted, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person, and it can never be filled by any created thing. It can only be filled by God, made known through Jesus Christ” (Blaise Pascal, Pensees, published 1670).  Jesus said the fields are white (ripe) and ready for harvest. As Bill Bright and Campus Crusade have taught for years, many people are ready to be saved; they just need to be shown how.

One of the salient points of Chicken Evangelism is many people are ready to be saved. Perhaps you have found some who are not ready. Has that has clouded your vision? The fact remains for every day in every century, Jesus said, “The fields are white for harvest.” We need the eyes to see what He sees and the faith that God will lead us to ready-to-be-reaped people.

“Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal” (John 4:36). Jesus corrected the idea that more time was needed, that better relationships had to be formed, that people were not ready. He said in effect, “Now, already people are being saved for eternity.” Paul chimed in, “Now is the acceptable time. Behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor 7:1)

“I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor” (John 4:38). This is the primary reason evangelism is easy: Somebody before you has done the work. They preached the gospel, they set the example, and they lived the life. Perhaps that someone developed a relationship. No one person can do it all. God didn’t plan for one person to do it all; rather, He planned that someone works, another tags along and eventually leads the “ripe” man to salvation. If an individual is not ready for harvest, we go on to the next until we find the one who is. We are called not just to witness or build relationships—we are called to reap.

There is a place for labor in evangelism. The gospel must be preached. Sacrifices must often be made. Patience is required as people consider the claims of Christ. When I say, “Evangelism is easier than you think,” let no one construe this to imply that the labor intensive work of steadily teaching, preaching, writing, and living the life of the gospel is unnecessary or unimportant. The opposite is true. However, the scales have tipped too far to the opinion that evangelism is an odious, time-consuming, and wearisome job best left to professionals or super-Christians.

The time has come to tip the scales the other way. This is what Chicken Evangelists understand: In the case of reaping souls, much of the work is already done: “Today is the day of salvation.”

Is evangelism really easier than most people think? Is this scenario realistic? Does it work? To answer, here’s a true story.

Here’s what I want you to do. Grab three keys.

First Key: Pray

  • That you be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18)
  • That God will open your mouth (Eph 6:19-20)
  • That God will lead you to the hungry (John 4:34-38)
  • You don’t need to take extra time
  • You don’t need to plan
  • You don’t need to go out of your way
  • Just go about your regular business, and as you are going . . .

Second Key: “As you are going . . .  “ (literal Greek for Matt 28:19)

  • You don’t need to take extra time
  • You don’t need to plan
  • You don’t need to go out of your way
  • Just go about your regular business, and as you are going . . .

Third Key: Pop the God Question early

  • Do it before you chicken out.
  • Ask “Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?” (or similar question)
  • Expect a yes or no answer.
  • If yes, encourage them and talk about it. Ex: Great! How did it happen for you?
  • If no, give them the gospel in story or testimony.
  • Follow with “Is there any reason why you would not want to receive Jesus right now?
  • Let them pray (or pray with them) to receive Christ

Chicken evangelism makes soul-winning easier than most people think. It’s a way to bypass fear by bringing God into the conversation right away. It’s an adventure and it’s easy.

What do you think? Drop me a comment. I’m interested in your thoughts. Or better yet, are you willing to give Chicken Evangelism a try? If you are, contact me and let me know how it goes. I’ll talk with you.

US Marine Receives Christ

 

US Marine Receives Christ

US Marine Receives Christ

US Marine Receives Christ

This morning I have that wonderful, satisfied, well-rounded, fulfilled feeling. It’s like what we all feel after eating just the right amount of Thanksgiving dinner complete with a slice of pumpkin pie topped off with whipped cream. (Notice I said right amount.) But this morning’s fulfillment is better. What could be better–a US Marine receives Christ! Even the angels are partying!

You see, last night I led a United States Marine to faith in Jesus Christ! (I had been praying two specific prayers lately. One, “Lord, lead me to the hungry.” And two, since I knew we would be having overnight guests soon, I was asking God for an opportunity to speak with “David,” a US Marine who is our son’s military buddy. Our son’s girlfriend and her sister (David’s wife) would also stay with us.

Here’s how it went last night. We were sitting around our fire talking. As our daughter Sarah was spinning wool, we were enjoying the whirring sound of the spinning machine. “David” was helping me wire a fan blower motor and my son’s girl friend was sitting on the couch opposite. Our conversation turned to salesmen who exaggerate the truth. I sensed opportunity so jumped in with the fact that I am a “salesman”’ who has something to give away and certainly don’t need to exaggerate the truth. “I don’t need to make false claims about Jesus Christ,” I said with a smile.

Turning to David, I asked, “Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?” (David and I had met only a few hours earlier. This was our first conversation beyond some mealtime bantering.)

“No.” David replied simply. “But you’ve heard about Him and know He lived, then died on a cross to save us from sin and guilt. You’ve heard that He rose again from the dead and was seen by hundreds of people?”  David nodded affirmatively. “Do you know that He offers a free gift of salvation to everyone who opens their heart and mind to Him? Again, David nodded. He was taking it all in. David was proving to be a humble and honest man.

“Since you know this and seem ready to receive Jesus Christ into your life, is there any reason why you wouldn’t want to receive Him right now?” This was a new thought to David. He glanced at his sister-in-law across the room and exchanged a nervous smile.

I could tell at that moment there was at least one reason he hesitated to receive Christ, so I invited his sister-in-law into the conversation. (I had met “Vanessa” twice before, but only to say “Hello” or “Good bye”.) “Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?” I queried the sister-in-law. Her response was warm and immediate. “Yes, I believe. But I don’t go to church or anything.” “The main thing is to believe in Jesus. The Bible never says we are saved by going to church!” Both her words and her facial expression conveyed openness and hunger for more of God.

US Marine Receives Christ–But Wait. . .

While conversing with her, David got up and went upstairs, apparently to take care of his baby. I felt a little let down and wondered if we had lost an opportunity. I wondered if he was really as hungry for God as I had thought.

After a few minutes I went upstairs to get ready to turn in for the evening. There at the top of the stairs was David. We were alone. We chatted briefly. It was a private moment, one of those times that author Squire Rushnell calls a time when “God winks at you.” I caught the signal and didn’t want to blow the chance to pray with David if he was ready to receive Christ as Savior. “David, since you are ready to receive Christ into your life, do you want to do it right now, tonight?”

He had had a little time to think it over, but seemed unsure or didn’t know what was involved. Like many hungry people, he was ready, but didn’t know how to receive Christ. I happened to be carrying a bucket in my hand so I explained, “We receive Christ in simple, childlike faith. Christ gives us a gift of salvation and we receive it like a child.” I held out the bucket to him. He reached out his hand and took the bucket. The simple act of taking the bucket from my hand seemed to illustrate how to receive the gift of salvation.

US Marine Receives Christ–The Great Exchange at the Top of the Stairway

There at the top of the stairway the great exchange took place. Christ gave David all His righteousness and David gave Christ all his sin and guilt. I had just asked David if he wanted to pray to receive Christ silently or out loud, but “if you pray silently let me know when you’re done.” He didn’t answer but immediately bowed his head and closed his eyes for just short of a minute, after which he raised his head, looked me right in the eye and said “OK!”

The great transaction of a lifetime was finalized.

Do you have a Bible,” I asked David. “Yes.” “Is it one you can easily read, or does it have a lot of old-fashioned words in it? “No, we can read it.” “Good, I encourage you to read a little everyday because God wants to speak with you through the Bible. One more thing. Many people think the Christian life is a bunch of does and don’ts like ‘You must go to church’ or ‘Don’t drink,’ ‘Don’t smoke,’ ‘Don’t do this or that.’ But the Christian life is really a connection, a relationship with God through Jesus. Just get to know him, listen to His voice and do what He says.”

David nodded affirmatively and headed down the stairs. I headed up to my room.  Sometimes it’s hard to ask the question, “Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?”  But I’m so glad I didn’t chicken out with David. Whenever I woke in the night I had that same wonderful, satisfied feeling. The destiny for which every human was created was being fulfilled.

Evangelistic Prayer: How to Pray for Unsaved People

The Real Secret to Praying for the Lost

The Real Secret to Praying for the Lost

Evangelistic Prayer: The Real Secret to Praying for Unsaved People

There are six (and only six) Scriptures in the New Testament that explicitly link prayer to evangelism. Examine these six and find the Bible secret to praying for the unsaved.

First Evangelistic Prayer Matthew 9: 37-38

Jesus notices so many needy people; compassion for them rises in Him. He then puts his finger squarely on the problem–many people are ready to receive salvation, but few workers. His solution: Pray for workers.

Second Evangelistic Prayer Luke 10:2

On a separate occasion from Matthew 9, Jesus offers the same command. “Beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Does He ever specifically ask people to pray for the lost? Strangely, no. His solution is invariably the same: Pray for believers to go to work in the “harvest.”

Third Evangelistic Prayer Ephesians 6:19-20

Paul asks prayer for himself for four specific areas:
• That he would open his mouth
• That utterance, words (Greek: logos, from lego, which means “to speak”) be given to him
• Boldness to make the gospel known (twice requested)
• That he would speak as he ought
Five times his request centers on speaking out.

Fourth Evangelistic Prayer  Colossians 4:3-4

Paul asks the church in Colossae to pray for Timothy and him so they
• Will have an open door for their message
• May speak out “the mystery of Christ”
• Will speak clearly as they ought

Fifth Evangelistic Prayer 2 Thessalonians 3:1

Again Paul feels the need and cries out for prayers for Silvanus, Timothy and himself. His request–that the word of God which they speak would spread rapidly. They also wanted prayer that the way they spoke and the words they said would be respected, honored and received.

Sixth Evangelistic Prayer Acts 4:29-31

This incident in Acts 4 rests in the context of evangelism and prayer for the salvation of people opposed to Christ Jesus. After threats and harassment, Peter and John (and apparently other disciples) prayed aloud. Sandwiched between “take note of their threats” and “extend Your hand to heal” is this gem, “Grant that Your bondservants may speak Your word with all confidence” (Greek—parousia=boldness). This example of the New Testament Church in action clearly reveals the key to effective prayer for the lost.

Is it wrong to pray for the unsaved by name? God forbid!–to pull a line from Paul. There are many general promises such as, “Ask and it will be given to you.” Also, I Timothy 2:1-4 edges toward prayer for the lost, but does not make a specific connection. (Note: Some translations, based on weak manuscript evidence or imagination, place Jesus’ prayer in John 17:20 in the future tense which makes it seem like He’s praying for the lost.)

Following these six Scriptures focuses a new and brighter light on evangelism.  Amazingly, the Bible way of prayer for the unsaved is largely unheralded and untried. Yet it is one of the keys that has made Chicken Evangelism so effective.

Summary and Conclusion

Each of the six Scriptures linking prayer and evangelism emphasize prayer for the church to speak boldly and work in the “harvest”. Not one calls for prayer for the unsaved. Could this be a weak or missing link in our evangelism efforts? Are your evangelistic prayers based on the Bible way of praying?

I’d be interested in your thoughts.  What’s your experience with evangelistic prayer? Have you tried the real secret for praying for the lost?  What results are you getting?

 

I led someone to Christ! Submitted by Linda

I led someone to Christ! (New story submission from website)

 

Publisher’s note for “I led someone to Christ.” Thanks to you, Linda, for telling your story. This is a great example of Chicken Evangelism. Linda is sensitive to the Holy Spirit. And by the way, the photo above is not of Linda and the one whe led to Christ.

While on a retreat at a local Christian Conference Center the Lord allowed me to pray for a member of their kitchen staff. I homed in on her because the Spirit of the Lord revealed to me that she was carrying a heaviness in her spirit and in her sadness she was just going through the motions. She related to us how three family members very close to her had died in less than a years time and that she had not recovered from these losses.

The lady agreed to let me and two of my companions pray for her. I then asked her if she would like to receive Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior, to which she also agreed. Leading her through the sinner’s prayer after having quoted to Her Romans 10: 8-10 gave me great joy as the heaviness seemed to lift from her countenance.  I quickly understood that another soul had joined the ranks of the redeemed of the Lord!

What is the Cardinal Sin?

What is the worst sin?

What is the Worst Sin?

The Cardinal Sin is . . . ?

What is the cardinal sin in your opinion?

Murder? Homosexuality? Adultery? Greed? Or could it be pride? Or arrogance? Blasphemy? Could the worst sin be hypocrisy?

Before you continue, please stop and consider. What is the worst sin according to the Bible?

While there is no single verse that says, “The greatest sin is . . ,” the Bible makes it clear one sin, and only this one, stands out beyond all others. What is it?

The sin of unbelief is the cardinal sin. No other sin sends a man to hell.

I have led murderers to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Greedy people, homosexuals, robbers, hypocrites, impure people, go to heaven when they put genuine faith in Jesus. According to Ephesians 5:6 and other Scriptures, these and other impure people go to heaven through faith in the sacrifice of Christ Jesus for us. They, however, have no inheritance when they get there. But inheritance is a subject for another time.

I know some well-meaning and generally righteous Christians will exclude lesbians, the immoral, and other impure believers from salvation, but I choose to spread the grace of God. If only “pure” people, that is unmixed, go to heaven, then Jesus would be the only human there. Be honest, we all have some mixture, don’t we?

There is only one sin that merits eternal judgment: unbelief. The cardinal sin is refusal to believe God by rejecting His offer of the gift of eternal life. The Bible says God justifies the ungodly (declares righteous in His sight) when he puts his faith into Jesus (Romans 4:5). And again, we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the law (Romans 3:28).  [Unrighteous] Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness (Galatians 3:6).

I do not condone or minimize sin. However, the only sin that is not forgiven is the sin of unbelief. All other sins are forgiven when a person accepts by faith Christ’s sacrifice. (I understand Jesus’ warning regarding blasphemy against the Holy Spirit to be a willful, determined rejection of the person and work of the Holy Spirit.)

Since unbelief is the one sin that is so important to God, what are the practical implications for us who do believe God?

What are the personal results of faith?

Eternal salvation, a life with Jesus, is the greatest benefit. In addition,

People of faith are happier than non-believers.

People of faith are healthier than unbelievers.

People of faith have better marriages, have more satisfying sexual relationships, and make more money on average than unbelievers.

All this according to various researchers.

 

What are the results of faith for society?

We who believe God are learning to give ourselves to prayer for revival. The grace of God in revivals sweeps many unsaved into the saving arms of Jesus. It has happened in past revivals and it will happen again as we seek God for it.

We who believe God are now persuading unsaved friends, relatives and strangers to consider Jesus as Savior. How can anyone who believes what Jesus said about heaven and hell not give the good news? The news that Jesus died for our sins, rose from the dead and offers a free gift of eternal salvation through faith in Him!

We who believe God are joining a life-giving church and becoming faithful members of it. We will do everything possible to make our church shine as a light in the community. We guard and protect our church and its people, knowing that our church is the pillar and support of the truth (1 Timothy 2:15).

We who believe God are learning to humble ourselves and pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways. We are giving ourselves to these activities, expecting God will hear our prayer, forgive our sin and heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:17) just as He promised.

We admit we cannot pull this off on our own. We need the Holy Spirit to work His motivation and energy inside us.

Let me share two things that are helping me. One is to pray with somebody else about revival. I pay weekly with a likeminded man named Ken. The other thing that helps is a little app from the Family Leadership Council in Iowa. A bell rings on my phone at 7:14 each morning and again at 7:14 each evening to remind me to humble myself and pray. You can get the app here.

The cardinal sin in unbelief. The cardinal virtue is faith, active faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:5f). God has promised to heal our land as we actively believe Him to do it.

Edgar Olvera Leads a Man to Eternal Salvation

Publisher’s note: Edgar Olvera teaches at Universidad Tecnológica del Valle de Toluca, and Tecmilenio Online.
He also works alongside Eric Martinez to lead a faith filled church in Mexico City. I have served with Edgar and Eric as they minister in faith and love to a wide sector of people. Edgar and his wife Ginny are parents of two children. What follows is a report from Edgar in his own words.

Today, a block from our house we saw a man lying in the street, he was unconscious.

First I reported it to 911, however he started moving and got up. He was confused, and commented that he had emphysema and this happens when he lacks air. I asked him if he needed anything.

He is a person who sells sweets on buses, and he only asked me if I had something for him to eat, so he would not think he would use alcohol or drugs.

I took him to a small dining room that is a few meters away, and I told him about Christ. That Jesus Christ gave himself up for his life, that God forgives him, that Jesus rose again and needs him. He decided to receive Christ and we prayed together. I also prayed for the healing of emphysema.

In the end he gave me a hug and his face changed surprisingly. I saw through his eyes a redeemed of the Lord. I think that’s what is called Chicken Evangelism. Hallelujah!

Blessings!

Edgar Olvera

Benjamin Follows God

Benjamin Follows God

Benjamin Follows God

Benjamin is  a young man from the Czech Republic who recently visited in the United States. He gave his life to Jesus Christ the first or second time our son Matthew met him. (That’s Chicken Evangelism — share Christ before you “chicken out!“) Shortly after, Benjamin received the fullness of the Holy Spirit including speaking in tongues. By that time he was already witnessing and sharing his faith. He is a new convert actively making disciples.

We continue to keep in touch. Following are a couple of emails we have received from Benjamin. They are printed exactly as he wrote them.

 

Hi Mark

We are reading bible daily and that

 enlights our steps.
As the song says ‘There is power in the
name of Jesus.’ – I totally agree.
I’am glad You doing well . . . .
I have actually baptised many souls by fire and a little evangelism.
So far I’am planing to start bible readings at my flat on Prague.
The very testment for me is to live on place where people are smoking, drinking, turning to rebelion against God’s law and I do not feel able to just leave them, because somebody should show them some way. So on it’s testing my faith daily. I had to make some missleading steps with faith to help others so those who belief are now hesitating and it’s hard to rebuild such faith… especially because it seems that I have been helping those who were just lazy.
On the other hand there are at least few guys seriously on my side or better just on their way to Jesus and it’s awesome to see. 🙂
Love in Christ
Benjamin Samson
NEXT UPDATE RECEIVED APRIL 14, 2017

Hi Mark,

I’m thanking God he cured my addiction on cigarets and thanking You for prayers.
It’s one week I’m out of such circle and can live without such limitation.
God is good.
Have a good time! 🙂
Benjamin Samson
As you can see, Chicken Evangelism works to bring people to salvation. Some of those converts, like Benjamin, will become disciples who will make other disciples.
Chicken Evangelism means to share Christ befor you chicken out. I’m writing a book to tell the stories of men and women who have received salvation through personal evangelism. Currently, there is a revival of personal evangelism rising. Have you tapped in and led someone to eternal salvation through Christ Jesus lately? Tell your story to encourage others.

Fields Are White for Harvest

 

English Teacher Leads Client to Salvation

English Teacher Leads Client to Salvation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pubisher’s note: When Jesus announced, “The fields are white for harvest,” (John 4:35), He was giving an oft-overlooked secret for effective evangelism.  Chicken evangelism means “share Christ before you chicken out.” Shelly Stalker is a good example of one who shares faith early in a relationship. 

Shelly’s Story

I recently returned from Oaxaca, Mexico, where I taught English classes for the last 3 years. After settling in Tucson, I started advertising that I was willing to teach conversational English.

Our First Meeting

One Hispanic man met with me about the classes. We will call his name Juan.We conversed and he asked about why I had been in Oaxaca. After I explained that I had been there as a missionary, Juan asked me if I was Christian. I said, “Yes!” Then I responded, “Are you a Christian?” To which he replied “No, I am Catholic.” I asked Juan if he understood the difference and he answered, “No.”

After that, I gave a pretty detailed explanation of grace and how Jesus came to give it to us as a gift and that we can not possibly earn it. We then moved on to other conversation and made an appointment to begin classes the next week on Sunday evening.

Our Second Meeting

The next Sunday evening, we got together and and it wasn’t long before Juan started asking me questions about my faith. He told me his sister was a Christian and that she was different than the rest of the family. I then explained that God wants to have a personal relationship with each of us and that He is my best friend. I talk to God about everything and ask Him for help or guidance throughout my day.

Juan asked me about why there are so many bad things happening in our world if God is really God. I said, there are many bad things that happen in this world, but there are many good things also. God is good and He wants the best for us, but we must make a choice to allow Him to help us. We must make a choice to serve Him and love Him. He is there to help when things go bad, if we are willing to listen and be obedient. It isn’t always easy, but I have joy and peace throughout it all because of Him.

Chicken Evangelism in Action

We sat for a few moments until I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to push a little and ask him the all-important question. So I asked, “Would you like to receive Jesus as your Savior and have Him come into your heart?” Juan said,”Yes!”

So, I led him in a simple prayer asking forgiveness of sins and for Jesus to come into his heart to live and help him. He repeated the prayer after me. The smile afterwards said that peace had now come into Juan’s heart!

Then we began our English lesson!

:)