Hungry Heart Prepared to Receive Salvation

 

Hungry Heart for God at Any Age

Hungry Heart for God at Any Age

 

What a joy to lead a hungry heart to eternal salvation with Jesus Christ!

Here’s the story. My wife, Kari had made an appointment to buy some hog panels from a farmer north of Blue, Grass, Iowa. We drove up in our rusty, trusty F-150 pickup to his farm. There we met Gage*, an elderly farmer.

The three of us together began to cut the tie wires binding the panels before loading them in the truck. Removing the wires from the panels turned out to be time-consuming, but gave us time to talk. Gage had farmed for over 50 years and had been married for about the same length of time. He and his wife had three sons, one of whom had died of cancer four years ago. “There’s no greater tragedy than to lose a son,” Gage explained with grief in his voice.

We continued working, talking, untying and loading the hog panels.  After a bit I took a deep breath and asked, “Have you ever received Jesus Christ into your life?” Gage immediately stopped work, looked me straight in the eye and stated, “No, I have not.” By the way he said it, I detected an inquiry in his voice.

“We have really good news for you,” I announced. I stopped working too. We were facing each other on opposite sides of a hog panel which was lying on the barn floor. “Jesus Christ died for our sins—of which I have too many—and He rose again from the dead. He has a free gift for us, the gift of salvation and the forgiveness of our sins.”

The farmer listened intently. I had been praying, Lord send me to a hungry heart. Here was a good, hardworking man who had never received Christ as Savior. Yet God loved this man. Even through the tragic, cancerous death of his son, God had been preparing him. His hungry heart drew compassion out of me.

“Every now and then I look up to the sky and say a few words. Sometimes it even works,” Gage remarked with a faint smile.

I continued with the good news. “It’s not a matter of how good we are or even how bad we are; rather, the Bible says we are saved by faith and not by our works. We just need to put simple child-like trust in Him.” The farmer nodded and kept listening so I continued, “God has been preparing you for this, wouldn’t you agree?”

He breathed out a definitive, “Ye-ah!” that spoke volumes. With only one word he was saying, “You bet He has! No doubt about it. This is what I’ve been waiting for.”

“Would you like to receive Jesus Christ as your personal Savior right now?”

“I’ll have a talk with Him later,” was all he said and immediately went back to work.

“Yes, let’s talk later,” I replied.

We were only about half done with the job so we continued to visit about this and that. I told him I was seventy one years old and he turned out to be seventy-six. He asked about our family. He admitted farming was getting to be a burden at his age.

Finally, we had the truck loaded. Kari paid for the panels and we were ready to drive home. But I knew the most important business was not completed.

“Gage,” I said, “we talked earlier about Christ Jesus and His offer of a free gift of salvation.” I quoted Revelation 3:20 and explained how God had been knocking at the door of his heart for several years.  “Are you ready to accept Christ into your life as your Savior?”

There was no hesitation in his voice as he replied, “Yes, I am. But I want to do it when I’m alone, if that’s OK with you.” “Sure,” I answered, “When it’s dark tonight and you’re alone, go ahead and ask Him into your life in childlike trust.” He nodded affirmatively.

Will this man follow through? He was prepared by God, at least in part through the death of his son. He had a hungry heart for God. I am confident he met with Christ Jesus that night.

For more stories of Chicken Evangelism, click here.

Chicken Evangelism Mistakes I’ve Made

Chicken Evangelism Mistakes

Chicken Evangelism Mistakes

My Chicken Evangelism mistakes abound. Not everything works out the way we want!

Get a Handle on the Gospel

One of my greatest Chicken Evangelism mistakes is failure to make the gospel clear. Recently I was talking with a guy who came to check the fire extinguishers in our church’s building. After a bit of chit-chat I asked, “Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?”

He responded, “Yes, always.” That seemed positive, yet I wasn’t sure what he meant. I kept listening to his story seeking clues to what he really believed. It turned out Toby* had no solid idea of Christian truth. In his mind heaven is someplace with a little cabin in the forest where the sun always shines and deer walk across the grass. In his mind God is so good that everyone goes to this heaven regardless of his faith and no one goes to hell.

Not wanting to be confrontational, I let the situation pass. He went about his business to certify the fire extinguishers.

But I was troubled. How could l stand by and let this fellow walk toward an eternity apart from Jesus? (I still hesitate to say “hell.”) Before Toby* left I wanted to talk with him some more. He came to my office to present the invoice. I pounced on the opportunity, “Toby*, please sit down l couple minutes. I have something to share. As I look back, however, I’m not sure what I said. Whatever good things I did say, it was not the gospel. He left as a friend, but as confused as earlier.

I had made a classic evangelism mistake, not just one of the greatest Chicken Evangelism mistakes. In 1 Corinthians 15:3-6 the gospel is declared to be of first importance and is defined in a nutshell. Jesus Christ died for our sins, Jesus Christ rose from the dead. The gospel is the power of God for salvation and I had not expressed it clearly. No wonder the guy left unchanged!

Follow Up As God Leads

Another of the Chicken Evangelism mistakes I made recently was not having some follow-up material handy. At an auto repair shop I presented the gospel to a grisly old worker who turned out to have a soft heart and open mind. He had never seriously heard nor thought about the gospel. It was new to him and he was not yet prepared to commit his life to Christ. I promised to leave him some more info. But when I searched through my wallet for a tract, I came up empty.

I amuse myself at my own ineptness. When I saw this guy later I went up to him announcing, “I have something for you.” I opened my wallet for a tract, but came up empty again!

Among Chicken Evangelism Mistakes, Here’s the Greatest

The greatest of the Chicken Evangelism mistakes I make is not bringing Christ into the conversation at all. Not that we should bring Him up every time we meet someone, but at least be open and ready. Some teach, “Share Christ whenever the Holy Spirit leads.” That’s true, but the Biblical mandate is better expressed,”Share Christ unless the Holy Spirit checks you.”

We are under love’s obligation to see people saved. Like Mary on resurrection morning, we are all called to “Go” and “Tell.” When we obey, God honors us and His word.

There’s a New Day in Evangelism

These times—they are a-changing! Angels and the Holy Spirit are waiting to make our words successful. The spiritual atmosphere in the United States has changed: People are ready to receive Christ! Here’s the evidence.

A Prophetic Poem for Our Time

I see an angel-usher standing at the door;

That demon power-blocker bars no more;

Every person you invite, God will speak to him—

So pray, my people; Pray! And invite them in.

He Came for Lamb–The Lamb Came for Him

 

Lamb Was On His Mind

He came for Lamb.  The Lamb of God came for him.

He came for Lamb. The Lamb of God came for him.

Two fellows stopped by the farm to buy a lamb. We sell grass-fed lamb but at that time we had none available. In the subsequent chit-chat I asked Handy, the man who did most of the talking, “Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?” By this time both guys were sitting in their car getting ready to drive away.

Handy’s reply was immediate and with a smile. “Yes, I have.” He explained he attended the Catholic Church in a neighboring town whenever he wasn’t working. I commended him and encouraged him to keep it up.

Handy’s friend did not speak much English so I had not paid much attention to him. But I really wanted to lead another man to Christ, so it dawned on me to ask him the same question. “Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?”

“No, I don’t go to church, “he answered.

“I’m not asking you about church. I’m asking you about Jesus. Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?” The question made him pause and think. Antemeo, after a moment, admitted, “No, I have not.”

The Lamb of God Had This Man in His Mind

“I have really good news for you,” I announced with some excitement. I have learned to make the gospel both clear and glorious as much as I possibly can. I know that the gospel is the power of God for salvation to all who will believe. So I proceeded to let him know Jesus Christ cared much about him, that Jesus died on the cross to save him from his sins, that He rose again from the dead and that He had a free gift to offer. The gift is eternal life.

His friend sitting with him in the car helped out by interpreting whenever needed.

The Lamb of God Was Working Inside

“Does all this make sense to you,” I asked. His friend interpreted and added a couple of sentences of his own that I didn’t understand. Then the friend informed me, “He understands.”

Good. Is there any reason why you would not want to accept Jesus and His free gift into your life right now while you are sitting in this car?” This was a new thought to Antemeo. His friend was silent but not disapproving.

I could tell Antemeo was open to God, but didn’t really know what to do. So much was happening so fast.

I quietly mentioned this decision to invite Christ into his life was really important and should not be delayed. “You could die on your way home tonight,” I said. “You never know when God could call you home. Why don’t you go ahead and ask Christ into your life right now?”

That spoke to Antemeo. He was ready. He nodded affirmatively, so I asked, “ Do you want to ask Him into your life out loud or silently. He spoke something to his friend the interpreter. The interpreter told me in English, “He wants to do it silently.”

“Ok, go ahead and talk to Jesus. Invite Him into your life. Just tell me when you’re done.” Antemeo prayed nearly a minute with head bowed. After looking up he announced, “I did it.”

I responded with an immediate prayer of thanksgiving and asked the Lord to seal and anchor the implanted Seed of Christ. Then I encouraged him to attend church with his friend.

“May I take your picture?” I asked.  Antemeo smiled and gave his OK. Nearly everyone who sees this photo notes the happiness on his face. Thank God!

Read more fascinating stories of others who have received Christ as Savior on a first encounter.

His Eyes Talked

His eyes talked to me. They shouted, "I'm open to what you're saying."

His eyes talked to me. They shouted, “I’m open to what you’re saying.”

His Eyes Talked to Me

I stopped at the hardware store to get some plumbing supplies. The first two clerks couldn’t help and gladly handed me off to a young bearded attendant who came walking down the aisle. Both the first and second clerk showed such respect for him that I suspected he was a boss or crew leader. The clerks followed him around wanting to learn.

The bearded man whom I’ll call Eldon knew exactly what was needed and began to fill my request with little delay. We talked briefly as he was locating the parts and moving from aisle to aisle. In one aisle I popped the question, “Have you received Jesus Christ into your life?”

Eldon replied conversationally, “Uh, I dunno. ”

Right then he found a part I needed and handed it to me. His job accomplished, he asked, “Anything more I can help you with?” “Not just now, you’ve done everything. Thank you!”

Before he turned to go I asked him again, “Oh, Eldon, have you received Jesus Christ into your life?” By now the other clerks had gone and we were alone. “No, I haven’t,” he confessed, “but I go to church.” He added that last part about church very hesitantly, making me wonder. So I said, “That’s great. Then you’ve probably heard that Jesus died for your sins and mine – of which I have plenty. (At this Eldon smiled faintly.) And maybe you know that Jesus rose again from the dead?

His Eyes Talked Louder Than His Lips

Eldon was focusing his eyes attentively on me. His eyes never wavered. He was drinking in every word I spoke. His eyes were speaking to me. His eyes talked. They were saying, “I’m open and I’m empty.”

“Do you believe Jesus rose from the dead? Does all this make sense to you?” Eldon nodded affirmatively, his eyes still fixed on me. Then is there any reason why you would not want to receive Jesus Christ into your life right now?” Eldon said, “No, but I haven’t really thought about it.”

My response was that he should go home and think about it. Speaking softly with him, I suggested he have a conversation with Jesus that night when he went to bed. “And go ahead and ask Him into your life. He will forgive your sins, write your name in his big Book of Life, and give you the free gift of eternal life. Would you do that tonight?” Eldon answered with clear unwavering words, “Yes, I will.” His eyes never wavered. I can say plainly: His eyes talked as loud his lips.

Perhaps Eldon could have been persuaded to pray right in the hardware store aisle. But we want disciples, not just decisions. Such an important step needs to be considered carefully and I wanted Eldon to embrace Christ when he had time to consider.

What was the outcome? Only God and Eldon know. What I do know is this: Eldon heard the gospel — the gospel that is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith. He stated that he understood it. He was shown the way to receive the free gift of God. And his eyes talked as clearly as piercing sounds They were telling  me he was drinking it all in. May God bless him today!

I have discovered more people are more open to the gospel than most of us recognize. Read some stories of strangers accepting Christ as Savior on our first encounter.

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.

Killing Time

Lino and Cathy Padilla killing time in Cancun

Lino and Cathy Padilla killing time in Cancun

Killing Time is Part of Travel

There’s the rush to get to the airport; then the wait begins. We found ourselves killing time in Moline where our flight began. Then Chicago, next Mexico City, lastly Cancun. My wife Cathy and I were headed to one of our favorite vacation spots for a few days of R and R.

The whole four days was super enjoyable—we just were killing time before it killed us! No worries, to struggles, no taxes, just relaxing together.

On the return trip we were again killing time at the Cancun Airport. More waiting, of course. We got haircuts. With maybe twenty or thirty minutes to go I decided to get my shoes shined. One of the bigger decisions of the day had been to choose which shoes to wear, the tennis shoes or the regular. I choose the regular, I don’t know why.

With ten dollars remaining I wondered if I had enough for the shine. “But yes, sit down,” invited the shoe shine man. He was about sixty years old and looked like he’d been shining shoes forever.

Suddenly, I Was No Longer Killing Time

As I took my seat, I began immediately to get a sense of purpose. “Do you believe in God?” I asked the man after a moment of small talk. “Yes, I go to the xxxxxxxxx church.” Suddenly, I was no longer killing time; I was on a mission. I moved into the gospel mode. Or should I say battle mode? I urgently wanted to see this guy saved.

I gave him the good news about Jesus Christ. “Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven. Going to church is not enough. Believing in God is not enough. Even the demons believe and shudder! Do you want to be saved?”

“Yes,” came his clear reply.

“Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again from the dead. Are you ready to receive Jesus Christ as your Savior?”

Again, “yes,” he replied.

Right then I knew why I’d worn the leather instead of the tennis shoes.

“If you died tonight, would you go to heaven?”

“No! I don’t think so, “came his honest response.

“If you want to go to heaven you need to receive Jesus Christ. Are you ready?”

“Yes.”

We had talked about twenty or thirty minutes, this shoe shining guy and I. He received Christ Jesus right on the spot through a simple prayer of faith.

My Wife Was Not Just Killing Time

During this time, my wife was not just killing time. She knew eternity was at stake. She was praying. After a few minutes she gave the man some information about a church we knew; then we were on our way.

As I look back, I felt like Elijah. So many people in the Cancun Airport—maybe 10,000 or so. But why this guy? Why did I end up talking with him?  Why did I wear the leather shoes? There were many widows in Elijah’s day, but he was sent to only one. And here I was. Out of the 10,000 God sent me to just one.

Lino Padilla is a friend and and inspiration to me. He and his wife Cathy have been sent out into ministry from the Church of the Living Water according to the pattern of a New Testament Church.

 

Attention: All Who are Located in the Muscatine, Iowa area. No More Killing Time–

Instead, let’s invest our precious time. The Scriptures say

Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near (Heb 19:24-25).

Praise Report

 Wow! What a wonderful resurrection gathering on Easter Sunday morning. Note all the people who responded to our invitations to come hear the choir. No one was disappointed!

Next up

 God has given the CLW a beautiful building and grounds. Workdays are happy days—Saturday, April 26, 8:30 ‘til tired. Bring your gloves and a friend.

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

To Whom Did Christ Appear after His Resurrection and Why Each Appearance Matters Today is the title of the message. You will be inspired and your presence will encourage others, just as the Scriptures say. There will also be a time to edify the church according to 1 Cor 14:26. These are meaningful times—prepare now.

Did you know the CLW supports native workers in the Far East? Sunday we are planning a video report with Gospel for Asia.

The Adult Bible Study will begin an experiment of learning the Keyword of each Old Testament book using DVD or flashcards. If you want to be able to remember each book of 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 Killing Time with Lino and Cathy Padilla

Thanks for your example in evangelism. You inspire us!

Thankful for Salvation

Living our lives as believers, it’s easy to forget how life-changing and fabulous salvation is! It’s so refreshing to hear people express when they are thankful for salvation.

Recently I was reading an email that I was CC’d on from an old friend to my father Mark, one phrase stuck out in my mind.

I will never be able to thank you enough for leading me to the Lord.

I want people to say that to me! I want people to think that when they think of me! I want to play a part of people’s spiritual journeys!

Inspired,
Ethan

Sudden Conversion–Is It Valid?

Sudden Conversion

Sudden Conversion

With the question of the validity of a  sudden conversion in mind let’s take a look at a recent article by Tim Challies published in the Christian Post.

“Seeking Allah, Finding God” by Tim Challies

My wife became a Christian the first time she heard the gospel. It didn’t take years, or even months or weeks of soul-searching. It didn’t take a great pilgrimage or a critical analysis of the Bible’s trustworthiness or inerrancy. A very practical person who had been raised without reference to religion, she heard the gospel at the age of eighteen, understood that it made sense of the world and her life, and responded in faith. Since that time she hasn’t seriously considered reconsidering.

But not everyone’s journey is quite so simple or straightforward. We are all different people with a very different make up. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus is Nabeel Qureshi’s story of how he became a Christian, and his story could not be more different from my wife’s.

Qureshi was born the eldest son of Pakistani immigrants and he grew up in America and the U.K.—wherever the U.S. Navy assigned his father. His parents were devout Muslims and wherever they went, they attached themselves to a mosque and to the local Islamic community. Qureshi grew up studying, understanding and loving the Koran; he performed his prayers just like every other good Muslim. His father was an amateur apologist for Islam, so he, too, grew up with an interest in defending his faith. He loved his religion in both its theology and its practice. Read the full story . . .

God is infinitely larger than our human minds. In His greatness He boggles our minds. He never ceases to amaze us how He operates. The idea that He chooses to save some people the first time they hear the gospel stretches our thinking, to say the  least. But since I’ve been practicing Chicken Evangelism, things have changed for me. Experience has shown numbers of people are prepared to receive Christ as Savior in a sudden conversion experience. Or perhaps God has ptrepared them through other witnesses or events.

Nor is Sudden Conversion a Modern Phenomenon

John Calvin once described his life-changing moment as a sudden conversion. He went on to become one of the most influential theologians in the history of the church.

 At some point between 1528 and 1533 he experienced a “sudden conversion” and grasped Protestantism. “God subdued my soul to docility by a sudden conversion” was how Calvin described this experience. (http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/John_Calvin.htm)   

Tim Challies is a clear-minded pastor with a serious intellectual bent. I congratulate Tim for including the fact that his wife received salvation in what can be described as a sudden conversion. On the other hand, Nabeel Qureshi and many like him need to hear the gospel repeatedly before coming to a saving faith.

Ethan and I who write at BMarkAnderson.com have chosen to espouse all forms of Christian evangelism. It’s not that one form is better than another. There exist “different spokes for different folks.” The key is to get the evangelistic job done.

What Did Jesus Teach About Sudden Conversion?

Must the salvation process always be gradual? God is infinitely great in His variety of ways. We have found Chicken Evangelism an enjoyable and effective way to present the gospel to strangers. A surprising number of people are prepared for a “sudden conversion.” Jesus said it first.

For in this case [evangelism] the saying is true,”One sows, and another reaps.” I have sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor (John 4:37-38).

If you have had or you know of anyone who has had a sudden conversion experience, pass it on. I’d like to hear your story.

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!

 

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.