Have You Received Jesus Christ into Your Life?

My lack in evangelism has embarrassed me. Though I am a Spirit-filled pastor, I have gone months, sometimes years without leading anyone to Christ outside of church services.

One night God impressed me, “Lift up your eyes and see the fields, that they are white for harvest.” (John 4:35) Weeks passed until I finally thought, “If God said that, I better test it out.” So when a man came to buy a lamb I had raised, I asked him straight out, “Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?”

“No,” he replied.

“But you’d like to, wouldn’t you?” I asked.

He paused pensively for a moment and then stated, “Yes, I would.”

I gave him a brief gospel lesson, “Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again from the dead.” “Would you pray to receive Jesus Christ right now?” I asked.

“Yes, but I don’t know how,” he said with fright in his face. I led him in a simple prayer, which he repeated after me. After prayer, he looked up with the sweetest words and expressions of gratitude.

The next day I brought a Bible to his house. He was cutting down a tree, so I took the axe and helped. When his wife came out, I introduced myself and asked her if she had received Jesus Christ into her life. She replied no, but that she wanted to. I gave her the same gospel message. She wanted to pray silently, so I acknowledged her wish.

This began a series of encounters with people I met in everyday life. I’ve been able to lead a girl to Christ at a flower shop, a young man at Wal-Mart and a fellow at an auto repair shop. Not everyone receives Christ on the spot, of course. Recently, while waiting for someone, a college girl named Cassie was in the same room. After chit-chat, I asked her, “Have you received Christ Jesus into your life?” Unlike most, she couldn’t say yes or no although she admitted she was searching. This opened the door to give her a Josh McDowell booklet to help answer her quest and boost her along the road to discipleship.

I’m still learning. Here’s what I’m discovering. Evangelism is a lot of fun.

Jesus is right—the harvest is ripe. People are ready; they just need to be shown how to receive Christ.

Surprisingly, this key question, “Have your given your life to Jesus Christ?” does not seem to offend people; rather, they welcome the opportunity to talk about their faith. Almost everyone—more than 9 out of 10–answers the question yes or no.

The great commission is best translated, “As you are going. . . make disciples.” I’m able to begin this discipleship process in the normal course of life without going out of my way.

This simple question is a great opener, but more than a starter. It leads to salvation. We are called to reap, not just sow or water. (John 4:37) If appropriate I often ask, “Is there any reason why you wouldn’t want to receive Jesus Christ into your life right now?” Some people are prepared and waiting. Other Christians have already done the legwork with them. We come along and follow up on their labor. Jesus gave this principle about evangelism, “One sows and another reaps.” Jesus said, “I have called you to reap.” (John 4:37-38)

There is power in the gospel. Invariably, I give a clear gospel summary according to I Corinthians 15:1-4. Jesus Christ died for our sins. Jesus Christ rose from the dead. The gospel is the power of God for salvation. Get a handle on this one if you can! Use the simple gospel. Use the name of Jesus.

Jesus didn’t follow up everyone. If He didn’t try, why should we? Let the Spirit lead.

When I’m filled with the Holy Spirit and have vision for people (seeing the fields), evangelism comes more naturally. The risk is still breath taking–but what an adventure!

I have made a decision not to criticize but rather be supportive of various forms of evangelism. There’s a lot of variety. “Different spokes for different folks.” What works for one may not work for another. Find a style that works for you and use it.

The world is waiting. We’re winning not just “souls”. It’s Judy or Jim or Megan or Brett who are going to hell. We turn them around by caring enough to ask simple questions and giving the simple gospel.

Follow-Up New Believers? WWJD?

What would Jesus do about “follow up” of new converts?  Do you remember WWJD and the wristband phase of the 1990’s?  I didn’t wear the wristband, but like many, I was challenged to ask, “What would Jesus do?” when I needed to make a decision.

Fortunately, we can learn what Jesus did about follow up of new converts by looking in the Bible.

The whole question about what to do with new converts became real to me after I led a new acquaintance to Christ.  The very next day I drove to his home to give him a Bible.  While in his back yard I met his wife and asked her, “Have you received Jesus Christ into your life like your husband?” She replied simply, “No.”  But I could tell she was interested, so I led her also to accept Christ as Savior.

Soon—I think it was while I was driving away—I felt a strange impression, “Don’t follow up on this couple.”  Since I’ve always been big on not leaving new converts out in the cold to die, I was shocked and perturbed.   I’ve led the follow-up committee for several crusades.   My teaching at evangelism seminars has been,” You wouldn’t neglect a new-born baby to die of starvation.  Don’t let that happen to a spiritual baby either.”

Was this “no follow-up” impression from God or from my own mind?  I did a Scriptural search to find out.  Reading through the New Testament, I found two instances where Jesus actually met again with a new believer. The first instance is the story in John 5:14 of the man who had been lame for 38 years.  The second is found in John 9:35, where Jesus went to the blind man and asked, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”  The second instance seems to me to be an intentional attempt to locate and follow up.

Perhaps Jesus did follow-up other new believers, but these are the only two recorded instances that I have identified.  This truth set me free.  Numbers of times I have chosen not to witness knowing I could not follow up with someone because of distance or some other reason.  Now I can freely witness and let the Spirit lead:  With some I will follow up, with others I will do what Jesus did—trust God for the seeds to grow.

What Is the Gospel?

What is the Gospel?

Can you define “gospel” in a sentence or two?

Amazingly, many Christians are unclear about the gospel.  Oh, I knew the Greek word for gospel which is “euangelion” (εὐαγγέλιον) and could translate it accurately into English.  But I was unable to say the gospel clearly in such a way that people understood and experienced its power.   I was a seminary graduate, yet  I was fuzzy about the “good news” until I read a little pamphlet by an unknown author.  The writer pointed me to I Corinthians 15:1-4 where St Paul defines the gospel clearly and succinctly.

“Now I make know to you, brethren, the gospel. . .”

What follows is a clear definition:  Christ died for our sins—Christ was raised from the dead.

Since the definition of the gospel is of high importance verification is added:

Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.  Christ was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures.

Still further verification is added:

Christ died for our sins and He was buried.  The burial gives evidence of His death—we don’t generally bury live people!

Christ was raised from the dead and He appeared to Cephas (Peter), the twelve disciples, and more than 500 at one time.

Why is the gospel definition so important?  Because it is the power of God to save (rescue and deliver) people.  I was once expressing my faith to a clerk at a grocery store.  My words were just that—words—until I mentioned, “Jesus Christ died on the cross to save us from our sins.  He was raised from the dead” and gave us the free gift of salvation.  The gospel words struck the clerk’s heart.  She responded to the further invitation to receive Jesus Christ then and there.

Let there be no confusion about the gospel–it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.  The gospel strikes hearts and needs to be a part of any clear witness of Jesus Christ.

Evangelism –Who Fights, Who Wins the War?


Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell;
I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.
–C. T. Studd

The battle rages, but in the context of conflict, the greatest warrior of the New Testament era remarks that it’s not the God of war, but “the God of peace who will soon crush satan beneath your feet.” Romans 16;20

When it comes to evangelism, the battle for souls has been won.  Christ on the cross paid sin’s penalty in full and opened the door to heaven. He defeated the devil and nullified his claims against us. The battle has been won.  Now remember, the God of peace will crush satan under your feet.

I have written some poetry to memorialize this truth.

Jael drove the tent-peg thru ‘ol Sisera’s head;
Samson pushed the pillars—he killed the Baal-worshipers dead;
Jonathon fought the Philistines ‘til they all just fled—
But the God of Peace will soon crush satan ‘neath your feet.

Moses killed the ‘Gyptian, hid him in the sands;
David slew the lion, used his own bare hands.
Ehud freed the people from the evil king’s demands—
But the God of Peace will soon crush satan ‘neath your feet.

God cast the demon-power to the ground–
That Ancient coward who  refused the church to abound;
The day has come—let your invite now resound!
The God of Peace will soon crush satan ‘neath your feet.

Christ crucified with the victorious army at His side
Leads captivity captive—We will not be denied!
Those old demons, guilty as tried–
The God of Peace will soon crush satan ‘neath our feet!

Evangelism –I See a Breakthrough

I experienced a breakthrough in the Spirit regarding evangelism on February 13, 2010, the 27th day of a fast. A demonic power that has been keeping people from the Kingdom of God and His church is removed. He has been a strong, effective power to prevent people from entering the kingdom and the church. Now his slot is empty. He is no longer at the door.

In the place where the demonic power stood, I saw an angel of God urgently ushering people in. People were coming into the Kingdom in one’s, two’s and three’s—a steady flow. The Angel of the Lord is continually urging them in.

Now is the time to invite friends, neighbors, co-workers, relatives—anyone, everyone—to come to Christ the Savior. The door is open for effective outreach.

Confirmation of spiritual revelation is always helpful. I spoke to the Aglow Prayer coordinator for the State of Iowa, Deb Iliff. I asked, “I am seeing a demonic power has been removed. He was formerly keeping people from the Kingdom and the church. Now his slot is empty and an angel of the Lord is urging people in. Do you have any thoughts about this?” She answered, “Just last night I was at a prayer meeting and a nearly identical message was given. Further, some national prayer leaders are saying, ‘This is the year for evangelism!’ There are people you thought would never change, but the light will go on in their heads and they too will come to Christ.”

I have written a poem to capture the time and energize our evangelistic focus.

I see an angel-usher standing at the door;
That demon power-blocker is no more;
Every person you invite, God will speak to him—
So pray, my people; Pray! and invite them in.

Evangelism —The Door is Now Open

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Glossolalia: Sue Cox’s Report of Praying in Tongues

Sue Cox’s Story in her own words (Used with permission)

Note: Sue Cox relates her experience with glossolalia (praying in tongues) and tells of the benefits in her life. She was born in Singapore and immigrated to the United States. Sue is a businesswoman in Muscatine, Iowa and serves as president of the local Aglow chapter. This report of glossolalia is in Sue’s own words with only minor editing.

I have been a Christian since 2005, my first encounter with “tongue” speaking was in February, 2007 at the Church of the Living Water. It was a very strange experience, it was like my mouth was no longer belongs to me but something so very powerful took control of it. The language that came out of my mouth was so foreign to me (yet I speak three different languages and several Asian dialects) I do not understand a word that came out of my mouth. It was totally supernatural!

Ever since that day, I have been growing tremendously in spirit and I have been praying in tongues all these years. I loved it!!

My experience with praying in tongue (glossolalia) has brought me to several supernatural encounters with the Lord Jesus. One particular experience I so remember was, I was in such a painful situation and that I needed strength, hope and help. The pain was so powerful that fear took over my spirit, I was struggling to stay calm and trying to pray in senses and I remember the story of Jesus calm the storm. But the fear was over powering me and I literally felt like a lump of marshmallow, my mouth was dry and I was trembling with fear. I couldn’t even speak a word not to mention praying in words.

I remember once my church brother told me “if you don’t know how to pray, just pray in tongues”. I began to pray in tongue and on and on I was praying in tongue and in spirit. Next thing I know, I was in the Garden of Gethsemane (in spirit). I saw Lord Jesus in His agony and pain. He was asking God to let the cup pass if possible. I felt His heart beat, I felt His pain, His fear, His agony. For a moment I was in Him and I felt it all. During this experience, I realized that I was communicating with God in tongue, a heavenly language. It was an actual communication except it was in tongue and I don’t understand a word that I said, I saw myself spoke through Lord Jesus and pleading for God’s mercy and grace. Then I heard the Lord said “Father, Thy will be done and not mine!” I said the same but this time in English, and then, in that very second, all my fear, pain, suffering and agony just lifted up and disappeared. Glossolalia set me free by the power of God!

I continue to pray in tongues today. I also came to recognize that there are many different ways of praying in tongues such as pleading, communicating, praising, warfare and I have also heard some people “chanting” in tongues.

But as for me, praying in tongue is a way I communicate with God the Father in Heavenly Language.
Nothing brought me closer to God then spends time with Him and communicate with Him in His Language.

I encourage all believers to do the same. It is simply Amazing!

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Tongues –Jesus’ Blood Paid the Price

Jesus gave a free gift— tongues. How much did it cost Him? The answer may surprise you.

Would you think about this with me? Tongues are a free gift (charisma) for us, yet what price did Jesus have to pay to send this gift? Far more than most of us have ever imagined. “But this He spoke about the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (John 7:37) Jesus had to be glorified before He could send the Spirit. Glory comes through suffering, as you probably know. Suffering produces glory (Romans 8:17).

It was with every blow of the whip master’s lash that Jesus paid for our gift. Each spit, each mock, each ridicule preceded the gift. Every criticism, every humiliation, every prick from the crown of thorns paved the way for our gift of the “unknown language”. The nails, the thirst, the scorn, the hate, the rejection were all a part of the pre-determined plan of the Father for the death, resurrection, glorification of Christ and His subsequent release of the Spirit on Pentecost.

Without the crucifixion, there would be no Pentecost. Jesus had to be glorified through suffering and death before the Father could release the long-awaited promise of the Spirit at Pentecost. What was the first recorded act of the glorified Christ in heaven? “Therefore having been exalted (glorified) to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear (i.e., glossolalia).” (Acts 2:33)

In John 19:34 we read “there came out blood and water.” The blood was actual blood with X and Y-chromosomes. The water was literal water from the blood breaking down at death. The blood and the water also carry spiritual significance. The blood is the cutting of the blood covenant by which we overcome Satan. The water speaks of the Holy Spirit (John 7:37). Jesus paid the blood price for the outpouring of the Spirit and the gift of a prayer language.

May no one ever despise the price Jesus paid so He could pour out His chosen gift of tongues! May no one ever despise the cost to the Christ so we could enjoy His presence in this precious charisma!

Tongues –Jesus Paid the Price
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Insomnia? Try Praying in Tongues

Insomnia?  Will praying in tongues help?

Among the common reasons for sleeplessness are worry, lack of exercise, diet (think caffeine), sickness, overwork and troubled relationships.  There’s no one cure for all.

Recently I woke up in the night and couldn’t go back to sleep.  After awhile that Scripture about “tongues brings rest” crossed my mind.  “Why not try it?” I mused.  “Maybe praying in tongues will help me fall asleep.”  I started praying silently in my God-given tongue.  It took awhile, but pretty soon I woke up. . . it was morning!  It worked.

Isaiah the prophet wrote,”Indeed, He will speak to this people through stammering lips and a foreign tongue, He who said to them, ‘Here is rest, give rest to the weary,’ and ‘Here is repose'” ( Isaiah 28:11-12).  Then Isaiah added this kicker, “. . .but they would not listen.”

St Paul applied Isaiah’s words to speaking in tongues when he wrote his letter to the Corinthian church  (I Corinthians 14:21).

It’s all about relationship–relationship with the Lord of life, Jesus Christ.  Tongues connects the speaker with the Soother, the Calmer, the Giver of rest and repose.  There’s no magic in the tongue; rather, the soothing comes from the Giver of all good and perfect gifts in whom there is no shadow or inconsistency due to change.

Suppose you need to get groceries and you live a mile from the store.  You could get to the market by any number of ways.  You could walk, drive, take a bus, taxi or bicycle.  Some ways would be better than other ways depending on weather and circumstances.  The same with relief from insomnia.  Reading a book, ordinary prayer, drinking milk, changing socks might all help insomnia.  Praying in tongues, a form of Biblical meditation, is just one way.

Warning:  Don’t apply ideas about speaking in tongues mechanically.  We can’t always expect a simple cause and effect relationship as in the case of “tongues leads to sleep” or “tongues always bring rest.”  No, the Spirit can’t be reduced to mechanical predictability.  Sometimes tongues bring peace, sometimes energy.  Sometimes rest, sometimes an emotional stirring.

Most accurately we can say using the gift of tongues stirs the Spirit of God, and God gives us what we need.  If we need rest, God gives rest; if we need inspiration, inspiration is what we get.

Praying in Tongues is like Omega 3’s in the Diet

Praying in tongues is like omega 3 fatty acids because it affects every part of the user’s life.

For many years I raised grassfed lamb. The health benefits of grassfed lamb amaze the world. There’s something in the meat of grassfed lamb called omega 3 fatty acid. Omega 3 fatty acids help, prevent or cure a host of diseases known to man–diabetes, cancer, skin problems, depression, etc. How can one substance affect so many physical, mental and emotional symptoms? Because omega 3’s work at the cellular level. In other words, they affect every cell of the human body. No cell is not influenced by omega 3.

Tongues are like omega 3 fatty acids because their use affects every part of life. Healing, revelation of creative ideas, inspiration, motivation, you name it. Even the physical body is affected. Tongues are not limited to spiritual benefits; emotions and the immune system get their share of the results. Why? How does this work? Because tongues affects the spirit of a man. Healing, revelation, inspiration, etc. all begin in a man’s spirit. Affect the spirit and you influence the man. No part of man, no aspect of human life is left unaffected by use of the gift of tongues.


Meet Mark Anderson

Hi! I’m Mark. I’ve been pastoring the Church of the Living Water in Muscatine, Iowa since 1976. For the past years I’ve also been shepherding sheep–the four-legged kind.

Now the switch comes!

I’m changing some priorities. After about 15 years of direct marketing grassfed sheep, I’m closing out that aspect of my life.  (I  still raise sheep, but don’t  take the time to direct market them.)  I want to concentrate on eternal priorities. My calling is pastoring, writing and prophetically serving churches.

I’m moving from shepherding sheep to shepherding people and churches.