Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I Got Off At George Street

Here's a great YouTube video about Frank Jenner and how his obedience in sharing the gospel with strangers impacted many.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Use of Tracts by R. A. Torrey

The Use of Tracts

By R. A. Torrey

R. A. Torrey (1856-1928) was a Congregational evangelist, teacher, author, born in Hoboken, New Jersey. He was educated in Yale University and Divinity School. After a period of skepticism he trusted in Jesus Christ as Saviour. Soon after he pastored in Ohio and then in Minnesota. In 1889 Dwight L. Moody called Torrey to Chicago to become the superintendent of the school which became known as the Moody Bible Institute. He also served as pastor of the Chicago Avenue Church, now the Moody Memorial Church, for twelve years. Between 1902-1906 Torrey and Charles Alexander conducted a very fruitful evangelistic outreach in Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, India, China, Japan, Britain, Germany, Canada, and the USA. From 1912-1924 Torrey was dean of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles during which he pastored the Church of the Open Door. His remaining years involved holding Bible conferences, teaching at the Moody Bible Institute, and other endevours. (Adapted from "The Wycliffe Biographical Dictionary of the Church, Elgin S. Moyer, Moody Press, 1982)

The following is from Torrey's larger work, "Methods of Christian Work " (Chapter 5, pages 213-221):

Comparatively few Christians realize the importance of tract work. I had been a Christian a good many years, and a minister of the Gospel several years, before it ever entered my head that tracts were of much value in Christian work. I had somehow grown up with the notion that tracts were all rubbish, and therefore I did not take the trouble to read them, and far less did I take the trouble to circulate them, but I found out that I was entirely wrong. Tract work has some great advantages over other forms of Christian work.

I. Importance and advantages.

1. Any person can do it. We cannot all preach; we cannot all conduct meetings; but we can all select useful tracts and then hand them out to others. Of course some of us can do it better than others. Even a blind man or a dumb man can do tract work. It is a line of work in which every man, woman and child can engage.

2. A tract always sticks to the point. I wish every worker did that, but how often we get to talking to some one and he is smart enough to get us off on to a side track.

3. A tract never loses its temper. Perhaps you sometimes do. I have known Christian workers, even workers of experience, who would sometimes get all stirred up, but you cannot stir up a tract It always remains as calm as a June morning.

4. Oftentimes people who are too proud to be talked with, will read a tract when no one is looking. There is many a man who would repulse you if you tried to speak to him about his soul, who will read a tract if you leave it on his table, or in some other place where he comes upon it accidentally, and that tract may be used for his salvation.

5. A tract stays by one. You talk to a man and then he goes away, but the tract stays with him. Some years ago a man came into a mission in New York. One of the workers tried to talk with him, but he would not listen. As he was leaving, a card tract was placed in his hands which read, "If I should die to-night I would go to ______ Please fill out and sign." He put it in his pocket, went to his steamer, for he was a sailor, and slipped it into the edge of his bunk. The steamer started for Liverpool. On his voyage he met with an accident, and was laid aside in his bunk. That card stared him in the face, day and night. Finally he said, "If I should die tonight I would go to hell, but I will not go there, I will go to heaven, I will take Christ right here and now." He went to Liverpool, returned to New York, went to the mission, told his story, and had the card, which was still in his pocket, filled out and signed with his name. The conversation he had had in the mission left him, but the card stayed by him.

6. Tracts lead many to accept Christ. The author of one tract ("What is it to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ?") received before his death upwards of sixteen hundred letters from people who had been led to Christ by reading it.

II. Purposes for which to use a tract.

1. For the conversion of the unsaved. A tract will often succeed in winning a man to Christ where a sermon or a personal conversation has failed. There are a great many people who, if you try to talk with them, will put you off; but if you put a tract in their hands and ask God to bless it, after they go away and are alone they will read the tract and God will carry it home to their hearts by the power of the Holy Ghost. One of our students wrote me in great joy of how he had at last succeeded in winning a whole family for Christ. He had been working for that family for a long time but could not touch them. One day he left a tract with them, and God used that tract for the conversion of four or five members of the family. Another student held a cottage meeting at a home, and by mistake left his Bible there. There was a tract in the Bible. When he had gone, the woman of the house saw the Bible, picked it up, opened it, saw the tract and read it. The Spirit of God carried it home to her heart, and when he went back after the Bible she told him she wanted to find the Lord Jesus Christ. The tract had done what he could not do in personal work. I once received a letter from a man saying, "There is a man in this place whom I tried for a long time to reach but could not. One day I handed him a tract, and I think it was to the salvation of his whole family.

2. To lead Christians into a deeper and more earnest Christian life. It is a great mistake to limit the use of tracts to winning the unsaved to Christ. A little tract on the Second Coming of Christ, once sent me in a letter, made a change in my whole life. I do not think the tract was altogether correct doctrinally, but it had in it an important truth, and it did for me just the work that needed to be done.

There is a special class of people with whom this form of ministry is particularly helpful, those who live where they do not enjoy spiritual advantages. You may know some one who is leading a very unsatisfactory life, and you long to have that person know what the Christian life really means. His pastor may not be a spiritual man, he may not know the deep things of God. It is the simplest thing in the world to slip into a letter a tract that will lead him into an entirely new Christian life.

3. To correct error. This is a very necessary form of work in the day in which we live. The air is full of error. In our personal work we have not always time to lead a man out of his error, but oftentimes we can give him a tract that can do the work better than we can. If you tried to lead him out of his error by personal work, you might get into a discussion, but the tract cannot. The one in error cannot talk back to the tract. For example, take people that are in error on the question of seventh day observance. It might take some time to lead such a one out of the darkness into the light, but a tract on that subject can be secured that has been used of God to lead many out of the bondage of legalism into the glorious liberty of the Gospel of Christ.

4. To set Christians to work. Our churches are full of members who are doing nothing. A well-chosen tract may set such to work. I know of a young man who was working in a factory in Massachusetts. He was a plain, uneducated sort of fellow, but a little tract on personal work was placed in his hands. He read it and re-read it, and said, "I am not doing what I should for Christ." He went to work among his companions in the factory, inviting them to the church, and to hear his pastor preach. Not satisfied with this, he went to doing personal work. This was not sufficient, so he went to work holding meetings himself. Finally he brought a convention to his city. Just that one plain factory man was the means of getting a great convention and blessing to that place, and all from reading that little tract. He was also instrumental in organizing a society which was greatly blessed of God. It would be possible to fill this country with literature on Christian work that would stir up the dead and sleeping professors of religion throughout the land, and send them out to work for the Lord Jesus Christ

III. Who should use tracts.

1. Ministers of the Gospel should use them. Many ministers do make constant use of them in their pastoral work, leaving well chosen tracts where they make their pastoral calls, handing out tracts along the line of the sermons that they preach. It is said of Rev. Edward Judson of New York, that he seldom makes a call without having in his pocket a selection of tracts adapted to almost every member of the family, and especially to the children. "At the close of the Sunday evening preaching service, he has often put some good brother in the chair, and while the meeting proceeds he goes down into the audience and gives to each person a choice leaflet, at the same time taking the opportunity to say a timely word. In this way he comes into personal touch with the whole audience, gives each stranger a cordial welcome, and leaves in his hand some message from God. At least once a year he selects some one tract that has in it the very core of the Gospel. On this he prints the notices of the services, and selecting his church as a center, he has this tract put in the hands of every person living within half a mile in each direction, regardless of creed or condition. He sometimes uses 10,000 tracts at one distribution, and finds it very fruitful in results."

2. Sunday School teachers. Every Sunday School teacher should be on the lookout for tracts to give to his scholars. In this way he can do much to supplement his hour's work on the Lord's Day.

3. Traveling men. Traveling men have a rare opportunity for doing tract work. They are constantly coming in contact with different men, and finding out their needs. A Christian "drummer" with a well-assorted selection of tracts can accomplish immeasurable good.

4. Business men. Business men can use tracts to good advantage with the very men with whom they have business engagements. They can also do excellent work with their own employees. Many a business man slips well chosen tracts into many of the letters which he writes, and thus accomplishes an effective ministry for his Master.

5. School teachers. It is very difficult for school teachers in some cities and towns to talk very much with their pupils in school. Oftentimes the rules of the school board prevent it entirely, but a wise teacher can learn all about her scholars and their home surroundings, and can give them tracts just adapted to their needs.

6. Housekeepers. Every Christian housekeeper should have a collection of well assorted tracts. She can hand these out to the servant girls, the grocery men, the market men, the butcher, to the tramps that come to the door. They can be left upon the table in the parlor and in bedrooms. Only eternity will disclose the good that is accomplished in these ways.

IV. How to use tracts.

1. To begin a conversation. One of the difficulties in Christian work is to begin. You see a person with whom you wish to talk about the Lord Jesus Christ. The great difficulty is in starting. It is easy enough to talk after you have started, but how are you going to start a conversation naturally and easily? One of the simplest and easiest ways is by slipping a tract into the person's hand. After the tract has been read, a conversation naturally follows. I was once riding in a crowded car. I asked God for an opportunity to lead some one to Christ. I was watching for the opportunity for which I had asked, when two young ladies entered. I thought I knew one of them as the daughter of a minister. She went through the car looking for a seat, and then came back. As she came back and sat down in the seat in front of me, she bowed, and of course I knew I was right as to who she was. I took out a little bundle of tracts, and selecting one that seemed best adapted to her case, I handed it to her, having first asked God to bless it. She at once began to read and I began to pray. When she had read the tract, I asked her what she thought about it. She almost burst into tears right there in the car, and in a very few moments that minister's daughter was rejoicing in the Lord Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour. As she afterwards passed out of the car, she said, "I want to thank you for what you have done for me in leading me to Christ."

2. Use a tract to close a conversation. As a rule when you have finished talking with some one, you should not leave him without something definite to take home to read. If the person has accepted Christ, put some tract in his hands that will show him how to succeed in the Christian life. If the person has not accepted Christ, some other tract that is especially adapted to his need should be left with him.

3. Use tracts where a conversation is impossible. For example, one night at the close of a tent meeting in Chicago, as I went down one of the aisles a man beckoned to me, and intimated that his wife was interested. She was in tears, and I tried to talk with her, but she stammered out in a broken way, "We don't talk English." She had not understood a word of the sermon, I suppose, but God had carried something home to her heart. They were Norwegians, and I could not find a Norwegian in the whole tent to act as interpreter, but I could put a Norwegian tract in her hand, and that could do the work. Time and time again I have met with men deeply interested about their soul's salvation, but with whom I could not deal because I did not talk the language that they understood.

One day as I came from dinner, I found a Swede waiting for me, and he said he had a man outside with whom he wished me to talk. I went outside and found an uncouth looking specimen, a Norwegian. The Swede had found him drunk in an alley and dragged him down to the Institute to talk with me. He was still full of whisky, and spit tobacco juice over me as I tried to talk with him. I found he could not talk English, and I talked English to the Swede, and the Swede talked Swedish to the Norwegian, and the Norwegian got a little bit of it. I made it as clear as I could to our Swede interpreter, and he in his turn made it as clear as he could to the Norwegian. Then I put a Norwegian tract in his hands, and that could talk to him so that he understood perfectly.

Oftentimes a conversation is impossible because of the place where you meet people. For example, you may be on the street cars and wish to speak to a man, but in many instances it would not be wise if it were possible, but you can take the man's measure and then give him a tract that will fit him. You may be able to say just a few words to him and then put the tract in his hands and ask God to bless it.

4. Use tracts to send to people at a distance. It does not cost a tract much to travel. You can send them to the ends of the earth for a few cents. Especially use them to send to people who live in out of the way places where there is no preaching. There are thousands of people living in different sections of this country where they do not hear preaching from one year's end to another. It would be impossible to send an evangelical preacher to them, but you can send a tract and it will do the preaching for you.

V. Suggestions as to the use of tracts.

1. Always read the tracts yourself before giving them to others. This is very necessary. Bad tracts abound to-day, tracts that contain absolutely pernicious doctrine. They are being circulated free by the million, and one needs to be on his guard, lest he be doing harm rather than good in distributing tracts. Of course we cannot read all the tracts in foreign languages, but we can have them interpreted to us, and it is wise to do so. Besides positively bad tracts, there are many tracts that are worthless.

2. Suit your tract to the person to whom you give it. What is good for one person may not be good for another.

3. Carry a selection of tracts with you. I do not say a collection, but a selection. Tracts are countless in number, and a large share of them are worthless. Select the best, and arrange them for the different classes of people with whom you come in contact.

4. Seek the guidance of God. This is of the very highest importance. If there is any place where we need wisdom from above, it is in the selection of tracts, and in their distribution after their selection.

5. Seek God's blessing upon the tract after you have given it out. Do not merely give out the tract and there let the matter rest, but whenever you give out a tract ask God to bless it.

6. Oftentimes give a man a tract with words and sentences underscored. Men are curious, and they will take particular notice of the underscoring. It is oftentimes a good thing to have a tract put up in your office. Men who come in will read it. I know a man who had a few words put upon his paper weight. A great many who came into his office saw it, and it made a deep impression upon them.

7. Never be ashamed of distributing tracts. Many people hand out tracts to others as if they were ashamed of what they were doing. People are not likely to read tracts if you hand them to them as if you were ashamed to do it; but if you act as though you were conferring a favor upon them, and giving them something worth reading, they will read your tract. It is often well to say to a person, "Here is a little leaflet out of which I have gotten a good deal of good. I would like to have you read it."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hawthorne DMV Preaching

This past Monday I joined Steve and Richard at the Hawthorne DMV to preach the gospel. This was the place where I first broke the sound barrier and preached in the open air for the first time one year ago. Here's the video from Monday:

... and here is the video from a year ago:

It has been a good year, Glory to God!

Friday, December 11, 2009

San Juan Capistrano Christmas Tree Lighting

December 5, 2009 was the San Juan Capistrano Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in downtown San Juan Capistrano. Every year this event brings thousands of people to SJC to celebrate the season.
It was our pleasure to take part in the event this year by giving away 200 copies of Lee Strobel's "The Case For Christmas" along with hundreds of gospel tracts.

The word was read, the gospel was preached, books and tracts were passed out, Christ-exalting carols were sung, and the gospel was proclaimed in many one-to-one conversations. Glory to God!!

Here's a short video from the evening:

Click here if you do not see the embedded video player above.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

San Juan Capistrano Tree Lighting Ceremony

On December 5, we will be hitting the streets of downtown San Juan Capistrano during the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony to pass out gospel tracts and copies of Lee Strobel's The Case For Christmas booklets. We will also setup on a corner and sing carols, read the account of the birth of Christ from the book of Luke, and preach the gospel.

Come and join us for a fun night on the town!! We'll hit the streets ~7pm and will start on the corner of Ortega & Camino Capistrano in front of Starbucks.

Email me at Jeff@LoveTheLost.org and let me know if you're in, or if you have any questions.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Origin Into Schools UCSD

On November 18, 2009 eight evangelists from three different churches took part in the Origin Into Schools project and passed out 1,000 copies of Origin Of Species on the UCSD campus in just under two hours. This was no ordinary copy of Origin but contained a fifty page introduction written by Ray Comfort containing the creation viewpoint and a gospel message. The books went like hotcakes!!

Below is a short video from our time on campus:

Click here if you don't see the embedded video player.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

San Juan Capistrano Train Station

Tomorrow we will be at the San Juan Capistrano train station from 1:30-2:30pm (this will be the new time going forward). If you want to come join in on the joyful task of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ then come join us!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

[PRESS RELEASE] Militant Atheists Seek Details of Darwin Book Giveaway

When 170,000 copies of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species with Ray Comfort’s Introduction are given away at universities around the country, atheists plan to be waiting for them. But they don’t know the identity of the universities the books will be given out. Comfort said. "The reason atheists are finding nothing is because every school that is being visited is a closely guarded secret. We don't want to cause a disturbance. We simply want to get books into the hands of students across the country." Others advised those who see the books being handed out said, “Cut out the intro in front of them, leave it on the table and take the book.” Another said, “Get them to sign [the] book, thank them, and then make some devastating point that will shatter them forever.” See http://www.livingwaters.com/origin/presskit “Press kit” for textual, audio, and video sound bites.

Friday, November 13, 2009

[PRESS RELEASE] Berkeley Students Threaten to Resist Origin Giveaway

Some students aren’t too happy that 170,000 copies of a special edition of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species will be freely given away at 100 top U.S. universities this November. One student wrote: "efforts at UC Berkeley will be met with unilateral resistance." An atheist added: “You people are the scum of the earth. Your introduction is nothing but lies, misquotations, misrepresentations, slander and bias. I am personally donating every penny I can afford to help release a bible with a 100 page Introduction doing the same thing, we will hand this out at all your top religious universities and churches around the nation. If there was a hell you people would rot in it for eternity. With the utmost contempt, Shawn Truesdell.” See http://www.livingwaters.com/origin/presskit “Press kit” for textual, audio, and video sound bites.

San Juan Capistrano Train Station

The gospel is still ringing out at the San Juan Capistrano train station on Sunday afternoons. Whether by gospel tracts, free bibles, one-to-one conversation, open air preaching, singing, or the simple witness of the "Are You Ready" cross, the law and the gospel is communicated.

This Sunday we will be at the train station from 1-2pm. Come and join us and see what the Lord will do.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

[PRESS RELEASE] Atheists Threaten to Burn Darwin’s On the Origin of Species

Atheists are fuming because 170,000 students across the country in America’s top 100 universities will be freely given a copy of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. Atheist forums are saying "Perhaps we should just call for a book burning!", "In this instance, I would advocate book-burning.", "I'm not into burning books, but this one deserves to be." Greg Laden wrote: "Start collecting those bogus-ized copies of Darwin's Origin being distributed by Ray Comfort. We're low on firewood up at the cabin. It's not that I like burning books. But this is not burning books." Comfort, the author of the 50-page Introduction in Darwin’s famous book, said, “It would seem that atheists see themselves as the intellectual saviors of those who haven't the brainpower to think for themselves. It was Irish playwright and atheist, George Bernard Shaw, who rightly warned, ‘All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions.’” See http://www.livingwaters.com/origin/presskit “Press kit” for textual, audio, and video sound bites.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dawkins Encourages Students to Deface Darwin’s On the Origin of Species

Well-known atheist Professor Richard Dawkins encouraged a group of university students to take a copy of the special 150th edition of Charles Darwin’s famous book, and tear out the Introduction. There have been more than 140 different editions of On the Origin of Species and many have had Introductions, so why is he afraid of 170,000 students reading this one? See the official “Press Kit" at http://www.livingwaters.com/origin/presskit for textual, audio, and video sound bites.

170,000 Students to Get Free Copy of "On the Origin of Species"

The week before Thanksgiving 170,000 copies of a special edition of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species will be given away at 100 of America’s top universities. The book is being freely given in honor of its 150th anniversary, and contains a 50-page introduction by best-selling author Ray Comfort.

More than 1200 people across the country will be handing the landmark publication to our future doctors, lawyers and politicians, and atheists are fuming. More details tomorrow (you will be sent a total of seven short news releases over the next seven days). See the official “Press kit” at http://www.livingwaters.com/origin/presskit for textual, audio, and video sound bites.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

San Juan Capistrano Train Station 10/25/09

This Sunday was another great time of evangelism at the San Juan Capistrano train station. God even provided train schedule delays and a police arrest which tripled the crowd.
I was joined by Pat, Bob, Dave, and Fema. God's word was preached, communicated one-to-one, passed out in the form of gospel tracts, and nobody could miss the "Are You Ready" cross which was front and center to remind people that there is an eternity to get ready for and that the cross is the readiness that is required.

Pat preached a beautiful gospel message, reminding those listening that "Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and nobody can come to the Father but by Him". Here is the audio from Pat's preaching:

Click here if you don't see the embedded audio player.

At one point several police cruisers pulled up and several officers walked up to the ticket booth. When the next train came the officers boarded the train and came out with a man in handcuffs. This drew quite a crowd, so I stepped up onto the box, addressed the crowd, and used the arrest to transition into the gospel. Here's the audio from that:

Click here if you don't see the embedded audio player.

The best news of the day was that Bob got to pray with a young man who responded to the gospel and wanted to trust in Jesus as his Savior. Glory to God!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cross Walk On The Huntington Beach Pier

On Thursday I stopped off at the Huntington Beach Pier on my way home from work, paid for an hour of parking, assembled my "Are You Ready" cross, and began walking toward the pier.
Since building the cross, I have displayed it at several busy intersections and have set it up at the San Juan Capistrano train station where I preach on Sundays, but this would mark the first time the cross has been used while tracting/witnessing.
I had no idea how people would react to me passing out tracts and sharing the gospel with them while holding a wooden cross. Needless to say, I was nervous!

However, it turns out that my nervousness was unfounded. The "Are You Ready" cross serves as a wonderful ice breaker! People would see me coming, would begin talking among themselves, and by the time I walked up to them they seemed to expect me to share the gospel with them! I was able to have 8 one-to-one conversations during my 1 1/2 hrs. on the pier (remember, I had only paid for 1 hr parking - no ticket though, praise the Lord!).

Also, while walking down the pier, I noticed that people below on the beach would see the cross and comment among themselves. I even heard a couple of surfers in the water talking about the cross after seeing it!

There is one encounter that I would like to share. God used the visual of the cross to stir up a fellow Christian surfer who was walking toward the water. He saw the cross and shouted up to me asking what it was for? I asked him if he was ready for eternity. He told me that he was a born again Christian and then went on his way praising God! As I continued further down the pier, I walked up to a man sitting on a bench and offered him a gospel tract. He looked up at me and said, "another sign". "Another sign?", I asked. He then explained to me that he had lost his job that very day and while he was sitting there just moments before, a surfer came by on the beach below and hollered up to him and told him that he should cheer up because this was a beautiful day God had made.
God used the visual of the cross to stir up the surfer who then passed along a small encouragement to this man on the bench and then God allowed me to continue that work by being able to share the gospel with this man! God is AMAZING! The man claimed to be an atheist but I was able to reason with him and challenge his world view. He promised me he would read the tract and consider that we talked about. Please pray for him - his name was Mark.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Awakening Evangelism Conference

Join us at The Awakening Evangelism Conference at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa on Oct 30-31. Go to theawakening09.com for more information and to register for this free conference.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Psalm 119:9-16

Click on this image for the full size (med) version. This makes a great desktop wallpaper.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Quick Conversation

Who says that every evangelistic conversation has to be lengthy?
Is there anything wrong with simply planting a small seed?
What about leaving somebody thinking about sin and judgment without being able to finish up with a presentation of the gospel?

Last night I stood on the corner of Ortega and Camino Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano with my "Are You Ready" cross. As I was standing there, a car pulled up to the red light and came to a stop. I could see the passenger staring at the cross.
He leaned out the window and shouted, "ready for what?". I walked over to the car and said, "Eternity! If you died today where would you go?". He replied, "Heaven of course". I asked him why God should allow him into heaven. He said, "because I'm a good person", to which I replied, "Have you kept the ten commandments?". "Yeah, I think so" was his answer. "Have you ever told a lie?" I questioned. "Yeah, but God won't send somebody to hell just for telling a lie" said the now concerned man.
At this point, the light changed green and I said "The bible says God is going to judge in righteousness.". As the car pulled away from the light I could hear him say, "Oh, wow!" in a very sober tone.

As I walked back to my spot on the corner I couldn't help but think that this was not a fruitful encounter. Sure I had challenged his worldview that you can earn your way into heaven by being a good person, and our short conversation obviously had an impact on this man. BUT, was this "preaching the gospel"? I didn't even get to tell him about Jesus' work on the cross. I didn't get to tell him that God the Father sent His Son to earth, fully God and fully man, to live a perfect life, to suffer and die on the cross taking the punishment for our sins so that God could legally dismiss our case if only we will repent and trust in Him. I didn't get to tell him that Jesus rose from the dead after three days thereby defeating death. I didn't get to tell him that God so loved the world that He sent his only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. I didn't get to tell him that He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God! The Gospel... I didn't get to tell him the Gospel!!

... or did I? Is not the Gospel that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that He was buried , and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures? Is the law and sin and judgment not part of the Gospel? After all, sin is transgression of the law. Was not this man left with a part of the Gospel ringing in his ears? Is the law not a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ?

Also, is this not exactly how Jesus left His conversation with the rich young ruler in Luke 18? Jesus went through the law with this man, then showed him that he had fallen short of it's requirements, and left it there. The rich young ruler left his conversation with Jesus feeling sorrowful. Does not godly sorrow produce repentance?

I would have loved to have continued the conversation with this man, but I trust that God's word will not return void and that the Holy Spirit will continue the work on this man. After all, it is He who brings the increase!

What do YOU think? Leave a comment.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Yet Another Preacher Is Born

This past Sunday was another great afternoon of ministry at the San Juan Capistrano train station.
Sam joined us for the first time and was a tract-passing-out-machine!
He was handing out gospel tracts to anybody who would take one. He was able to have a conversation with a man who Dave and I had spoken with the week before. Louie was still holding to his theory that Hell doesn't exist. Sam was able to reason with him that just because he doesn't believe the train is coming, that doesn't make that belief true. This left Louie with something else to think about. I pray that Louie will continue to come and speak with us on Sundays.
My friend Bob from the Gideons also joined us. Bob's passion to share the gospel with the lost is always a huge encouragement!
Tracy was able to give a bible and CD to a girl who had heard me preaching. This girl was really convicted by what she heard (I had read Joshua 24 and then used that text to preach the gospel). The girl told Tracy that she wanted to read the book of John like I suggested. She started reading it right there!
Fema was able to have several conversations in Spanish and was proclaiming the gospel with the boldness of a lion!
While I was talking with Johnny, the guitar player who hangs out at the train station, I could hear Pat preaching!! I turned around and there was Pat up on the box! Tracy later told me that Pat just walked up to the box and said "I suppose I should preach", and then stepped right up and preached a beautiful gospel message to those who were waiting for the next train!! I was only able to record part of the message and then the batteries in my recorder died, but here it is for your edification. I pray that this will encourage and bless you as it does me. Way to go Pat!

Click here if you do not see the embedded audio player.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

First Time Out With The "Are You Ready" Cross

Yesterday was my first time out standing on a street corner with the "Are You Ready" cross.
I got home from work, loaded the cross into the trunk of my car and drove to the corner of Ortega and Camino Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano. I sat in the Starbucks across from the corner and read my bible while enjoying a tasty iced latte. After reading several chapters I began to pray that the Lord would bless my time out with the cross. I had no idea how this was going to go and was nervous! In fact, I may have been even more nervous than the first time I open-air preached! I "tweeted" a quick update to twitter asking for my brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for me and then headed back to my car to get the cross and my evangelism backpack. I got the cross out of the trunk, hoisted it up and began to walk toward the corner. I said hello to a couple who were hanging out on a park bench and they just stared as I walked past. As I walked down the sidewalk toward the street corner I could see drivers looking up at the "Are You Ready" message on the cross. I crossed the street and turned and faced the traffic and felt very conscious of the eyes that were now staring at me and the cross. I continued to pray that the Lord would use the "Are You Ready" message to cause people to think about eternity. I was also praying that the Lord would confirm to me that this "method" of evangelism is valid.

During the first several minutes I experienced a full range of responses from the motorists who drove by. Some stared at the "Are You Ready" message, some honked, some nodded, some gave an enthusiastic thumbs-up, some shook their heads, and some laughed at me (nobody hollered or cursed at me and I was very thankful for that!). I thought about Tony Miano saying that he experienced a new level of identifying with Christ in holding the cross for all to see and I too experienced this new sense of identification with my Saviour.

Then it happened! I caught the eye of a young man waiting to cross the street. His eyes were riveted on the cross. When he got a walk signal and began crossing, I could tell that he was headed my way. I said hello and asked how he was doing. This began an amazing witnessing encounter that was an answer to my prayers. I was wondering if holding the cross on the corner was effective and the Lord brought this young man along to answer that prayer. Rather than type out the conversation here I'll just let you hear for yourself. I pray that this will be an encouragement to you as it was for me. Also, please pray for this young man. He was very open to the gospel and I believe that he will read the bible I gave to him. I look forward to seeing him in town again to follow up on our conversation. Here's the audio:

Click here if you do not see the embedded audio player.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Preacher Is Born

This past Sunday afternoon at the San Juan Capistrano train station was an afternoon of firsts.
It was the first time out for my newly built "Are You Ready" cross.
It was the first time I had witnessed to somebody who is intoxicated.
But, the biggest first by far was when Dave broke the sound barrier and stepped up onto the box and preached for the first time!!
The day before, at the Huntington Beach Pier, I challenged Dave to write out a gospel message on a sheet of paper and simply read it aloud at the train station. He took me up on my challenge and preached a beautiful gospel message. It was an honor to be there for this first! Dave, job well done my brother!

We will be back at the San Juan Capistrano station again this Sunday from 12pm-1pm so come join us if you are able. I know you will be blessed!

Here's the video of Dave's open air gospel message:

Click here if you don't see the embedded video.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Are You Ready?

It is two o'clock in the morning and a sound startles you out of your sleep. You jump out of bed and notice the heavy smell of smoke in the air. Fearing the worst you start yelling for your wife and kids to get up and get out of the house.
The family is now gathered on the front lawn together in their PJ's and you realize that it is not your house that is on fire... it is the neighbor's house.
You can see the flames through the first story windows and thick black smoke is billowing out of an open window. You see both cars in the driveway and you notice that there are no lights on and it is obvious that they are still in the house, most likely still asleep.
You must now decide what you will do - quickly! Will you stay there, grab a lawn chair and watch as the house is consumed in flames?
Will you simply call 911 and step back as a spectator?
Or, will you run over to that house and start pounding on the door and making as much noise as you can to awaken your neighbor?
You realize that, as a loving neighbor, you really only have one choice, so you start running toward their house. How many methods do you have at your disposal to awaken them? You can holler, knock, pound, ring the doorbell, pound the walls, bring out a bullhorn -- whatever it takes!!

Every day 150,000 people die. The bible says that it is appointed for man to die once and after that the judgment. God's standard with which He will judge is His moral law, the ten commandments. If you have broken one you have broken them all. Ever lied? Stolen? Taken God's name in vain? Hated somebody (hatred is murder according to Jesus)? Lusted (lust is adultery according to Jesus)?
Face it, we have all broken God's laws and are deserving of Hell. You, me, our neighbors, those living in our communities... we are all in the same boat.
As born again Christians we know that there is hope however. God the Father sent His son, Jesus Christ. He was born of a virgin, was fully God and fully man, and lived a perfect sinless life that we could not live (He's God and we're not!). At the end of His earthly ministry He suffered (flogged, crucified, was more marred than any other) and died on the cross, taking the wrath of God upon Himself that we deserved.
We broke God's law but Jesus paid our fine in His life's blood.
The bible commands us to repent and put our trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. Turn from sin and turn toward God, put your trust in Jesus alone, and your fine is paid - in FULL. That is the good news of the gospel.

The flames are licking at the curtains. The smoke is billowing.
What tools do we have at our disposal to awaken those who are perishing in sin and don't even realize it? Gospel tracts? Preaching? One-to-one conversation? Letters? Email? Facebook? Twitter? Signs (good, biblical ones that is)? Banners?

Several months ago, a dear brother in Christ, Tony Miano, wrote a blog post about standing at a busy intersection in his neighborhood while holding a wooden cross with the simple question written on it, "Are You Ready?". As soon as I read his article I knew that I had to do the same.
Since he wrote that article others have also been stirred up to do the same (Paul Latour, Wayne Dawg).
The testimonies keep rolling in from these faithful heralds of the gospel. People will walk up to them and ask them what "Are You Ready" means and this provides the opportunity to share the gospel message with those who may not get to hear it any other way.

I have built my cross (see the pictures below) and am ready to deny myself, pick it up, and follow Jesus. To God alone be all the glory!
Please pray for me. Wednesday afternoon, before church, I will stand at the corner of Ortega and Camino Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano with the cross. I am nervous just thinking about it but the flames are licking at the curtains and I will do whatever it takes to wake some up.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Huntington Beach Pier

This Saturday we went down to the Huntington Beach Pier to pass out gospel tracts and witness to the lost. There were 60+ fellow evangelists there who were participating in the Ambassador's Academy. The air was electric as many from the academy were preaching the gospel in the open air. Those who weren't preaching were either passing out gospel tracts, witnessing 1to1 or encouraging those who were preaching. It was impossible to make it from the street to the pier without getting a gospel tract offered to you!!
I spoke with several of the academy participants and they all agreed that the academy was the experience of a lifetime -- and that was after the previous days challenges on Hollywood Blvd. battling the intense heat, hecklers, angry pornographers, security, and police! If you want to turbo-charge your zeal for the lost, I highly recommend attending an upcoming academy (the next one will be in April '10).

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Huntington Beach Pier

This Saturday (08/29) we will be at the Huntington Beach Pier from 12pm-2pm. The Ambassador's Academy participants will be there as well so there will be 60+ evangelists out sharing their faith! If you would like to join us then let me know by email - Jeff@LoveTheLost.org - or just show up at the pier at noon on Saturday.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Climate Change

This Sunday at the train station was another great afternoon of preaching the gospel to every creature within earshot. There was a definite change of climate at the train station however. It seems that there is another lady working the train ticket booth and, unlike the previous attendant, she is not at all friendly to the proclamation of the gospel!

When we arrived at the train station at 12pm, I setup my flip chart with the "You broke the law, but Jesus paid you fine" poster and the ten commandments. We then prayed and I stepped up onto the box and preached a quick gospel message to the lineup of people waiting for the train to clear the tracks. A man who was playing his guitar stopped to listen. My wife later told me that the ticket booth attendant approached the man and sternly told him that he did not have to stop playing his guitar just because somebody was preaching. He then proceeded to gently and considerately tell the lady that he would not play while God's word was being preached and that he would not even be alive if it were not for God's hand on him! This really baffled the lady and she went back to her booth. My wife spent the next 45 minutes ministering to and being ministered to by this man. What a blessing!

It turns out that the angry ticket booth attendant also scolded Dave for passing out tracts. Please pray for this lady, and pray for our continued favor as we witness at the train station.

Many people heard the gospel on Sunday, the word of God was read aloud, and we were able to get the message into many hands in the form of gospel tracts. Please pray that those who heard would repent and put their faith in Jesus alone for salvation.

Here's the gospel message that is on one of the tracts we use:
Have you ever lied (even once--fibs, white lies, etc.)? Ever stolen (anything--the value is irrelevant)? Jesus said, "Whoever looks upon a woman to lust after her, has committed adultery already with her in his heart." Have you ever looked with lust? If you have said "Yes" to these three questions, by your own admission, you are a lying, thieving, adulterer at heart; and we've only looked at three of the Ten Commandments. That's how God sees you. Nothing is hid from His holy eyes. Will you be innocent or guilty on the Day of Judgment? Listen to your conscience. You know that you will be guilty, and therefore end up in Hell. That's not God's will. He provided a way for you to be forgiven. He sent His Son to take your punishment: "God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." He was bruised for our iniquities. Jesus then rose from the dead and defeated death. He is your "ticket" to Heaven. He is the "way," He is the "Door," the only "mediator." There is salvation in no other name, so pray something like this: "Dear God, I repent of all of my sins (confess them). This day I put my trust in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Please forgive me and grant me your gift of everlasting life. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen." Then read the Bible daily and obey what you read (see John 14:21). God will never let you down.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Reminder - Train Station Witnessing

Just a quick reminder that we will be down at the San Juan Capistrano train station every Sunday after SCCA's AM service from 12pm-1pm to sing,read scripture, preach the gospel, pass out tracts, and one-to-one witness. Come join us this Sunday and see what the Lord is doing at the train station.

Email me at Jeff@LoveTheLost.org if you have any questions or want more info.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Heckled At The Train Station

Yesterday was another great time of ministry at the San Juan Capistrano train station. I brought my recently printed Ten Commandments poster (thanks to Stuart Scott of Living Waters) and set it up behind us, which helped to cause people stop and listen to the preaching of the gospel.

We were joined by Rich, Dave, and Fema (and their son), and of course Tracy and the kids were there too. Rich and I sang several songs while Tracy, Dave, and Fema passed out plenty of tracts.

Dave and Fema had to leave so we prayed together that those who heard the gospel preached and received tracts would come to repentance and faith in Jesus.
At that point, I stepped onto the box to read Exodus 20 (for Project Ezra) and to preach the gospel one last time. I finished reading and just started to preach a gospel message when a man jumped out of his taxi and approached me, stood right beside me, and started to heckle me. He hollered that I should get off the box and save myself from the deputies who he claimed would come and arrest me. I simply answered him that I would not stop speaking and that he was free to call the police and I just kept on preaching. The great thing about it is that everybody who was walking past us stopped to see what this irate taxi driver was going to do to the preacher on the box! The heckler simply walked back to his taxi and I got to preach the law and the gospel to everybody who was still standing around listening! God used this man to draw a crowd to hear the gospel. Glory to God!! I'll be praying for hecklers from now on!

Below is the audio from yesterday. Click here if you don't see the embedded audio player.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Project Ezra Update

Project Ezra is a facebook group that is "dedicated to encouraging, equipping, and mobilizing born again followers of Christ, from around the world, to read the Word of God in public".
I have been taking part in this project and have read the bible in public on Good Friday, Memorial Day Weekend, and July 4th.
Project Ezra has recently posted a new schedule to read from various portions of the bible on a weekly basis. We will be incorporating that with our San Juan Capistrano train station outreaches every Sunday after SCCA's morning service.
So, I encourage you to head down to the SJC train station and join us after service and see what the Lord is going to do as we are faithful in proclaiming the good news of the gospel. We usually get there between 12:00-12:30pm and stay till 1:30pm or so. You can email me at Jeff@LoveTheLost.org if you have questions, or to let me know that you plan on joining us.

Here's a new promotional video Tony Miano put together for Project Ezra. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

On The Box

This past Sunday at the San Juan Capistrano train station was another great time! I knew it was going to be good because of the simple fact that my mind was racing all morning - coming up with reasons why it was OK not to go to the train station. Whenever that happens I know that God must be going to do something amazing. My thoughts ranged from "it's going to be too hot down there in my church clothes", to "I need to lead worship again tonight and should really rest my voice". As I was listening to Pastor Dan's sermon and wrestling with these thoughts, an idea popped into my mind - just go down to the train station and read 1 John. This thought stood out in such direct opposition to the other thoughts I was having that I knew it was from the Lord. Especially since this would involve reading *loudly* for 15-20 minutes which would surely destroy my voice! I leaned over and shared with my wife Tracy that I was going to read 1 John at the train station.

So, after service we drove down to the train station. I knew that Tracy has been feeling led to read with me so I asked her if today was the day? She said "Yes, I'll read chapter 4"! We prayed and I stood up on "the box" and read 1 John 1-3, Tracy read chapter 4, and I finished up with chapter 5 and a gospel presentation. It was glorious!! This was Tracy's first time "on the box" and I have a feeling it won't be the last.

But, even better than that is the man who was sitting on the bench right beside us. He was visibly shaken by the gospel message. Karen had arrived when we were part way through the reading of 1 John and she said that she was praying for the man because she could tell from the expression on his face that he was being impacted. I was able to see him from where I was standing too and could see that the Holy Spirit was using the message to convict this man. After I finished preaching, I approached the man and tried to talk with him but he said he didn't want to talk. So, I gave him a gospel tract and left it at that. I have no idea what was going on but the Lord was obviously doing something in this man. Glory to God!!

Here's audio from the reading and preaching:

Click here if you don't see the embedded audio player.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Huntington Beach 4th Of July Parade

On Saturday we enjoyed the 4th of July parade at the beautiful home of Mark and Gina (from the CCCM evangelism team). We were there as a family and not in an "official" evangelism outreach capacity. However I did manage to pass out 200 gospel tracts and brought along my little acoustic amp so that I could take part in Project Ezra's First John on July Fourth challenge.
The challenge involved reading all five chapters of 1 John and then preaching the gospel. Since I didn't have time to do this before the parade started due to difficulty finding parking, I opted to read and preach as soon as the parade ended.

So, as soon as the "end of parade" banner passed, followed by the "sign guys" (see photo), I prayed with my wife, fired up the amp, and read 1 John and preached a gospel message to those who were packing up their gear to leave. It was glorious and many even stopped to listen. There was only one group of hecklers who ended up really encouraging me because they were on a distant balcony. I was worried that I would not be heard over the noise of the crowd but these helpful hecklers let me know that they could indeed hear me! If these guys could hear then hundreds of others could hear as well. Glory to God!!
Here's the audio from the reading and preaching:

Click here if you don't see the embedded audio player.

Friday, July 3, 2009

First John on July Fourth

The facebook evangelism group Project Ezra has issued another challenge titled First John on July Fourth. Tomorrow I will be reading 1 John at the Huntington Beach parade where we will be attending a July 4 party at a friend's house. I encourage you to take up the challenge yourself and find a spot where people are gathered and just read 1 John aloud. God's word will not return void!
Happy 4th!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

San Juan Capistrano Train Station 06/14/09

Last week was another great time at the San Juan Capistrano Train station. Sarducci's outdoor patio was full once again so lots of people heard our songs of praise and thanksgiving and the reading of God's word and the preaching of the gospel. I got to speak with a professing Christian, a couple of christian science ladies, and a catholic man. Lots of people took tracts and we gave a couple of bibles away. Glory to God!

This Sunday (06/21) I will be out of town but Dave and Fema Schuster will be down at the train station after SCCA's morning service so please join them if you are able. If nothing else, go down and pray with them as they boldly reach out with the only means of salvation for a lost, fallen, and dying world.

Here are two audio clips. The first is the preaching and the second is a short conversation with the christian science ladies. If you don't see the embedded audio player then click here to go to LoveTheLost.org.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

San Juan Capistrano Train Station 06/07/09

We had another great time of preaching, praying, singing and gospel tracting at the San Juan Capistrano train station this past Sunday. Many heard the gospel and we passed out just under 100 gospel tracts. A group of fellow believers from Calvary Chapel SJC loved what we were doing and so did the lady working the ticket booth (Judy made sure she got a "Ticket To Heaven" tract). Sarducci's outdoor patio was FULL when I preached the gospel so many heard the message of eternal life in Jesus.

We'll be back at the train station next week after SCCA's morning service. We'll be down there by 12:30pm and usually stay about an hour. So, come join us and see how the Lord would work through you! If you want to eat first, grab some take-out and bring it to the train station with you - it's a great place to sit and hang out.