Authentic Italian food served the traditional Chinese way

Authentic Italian food served the traditional Chinese way

JP: From Tactics, A Game Plan for Discussing your Christian Convictions, p. 108

And other examples of views that self-destruct:

  • “There is no truth.” (is this statement the truth?)
  • “There are no absolutes.” (Is this an absolute?)
  • “No one can know any truth about religion.” (And how, precisely, did you come to know that truth about religion?)
  • “You can’t know anything for sure.” (Are you sure about that?)
  • “Talking about God is meaningless.” (What does this statement about God mean?)
  • “You can only know truth through experience.” (What experience taught you that truth?)
  • “Never take anyone’s advice on that issue.” (Should I take your advice on that issue)

More:

… the Postmodern claim ‘There is no truth’ invites the obvious question: Is the claim that there is no truth itself a true statement, or is it false? (Ibid. p. 111)

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Radical evangelistic prayer

John MacArthur: Praying for the Lost

Excerpts:

Do you have a heart to pray for the lost like Jesus did? Do you have the passion that inspired John Knox to plead, “Give me Scotland or I die”? Is your attitude that of George Whitefield, who prayed, “O Lord, give me souls or take my soul”? Do you, like Henry Martyn, mourn when you see others trapped in false religion and cry out, “I cannot endure existence if Jesus is to be so dishonored”?

God used those faithful men as powerful tools to bring salvation to dying people. Each of them had a clear and vivid understanding of what is at stake in the gospel — it’s an issue of life or death, an eternity in heaven or hell. Do you realize that your unbelieving family members, your co-workers, and your neighbors will spend forever suffering in torment away from the presence of God if they don’t embrace Christ? That realization should drive you to your knees to plead, not only with them to believe the gospel, but with God to save their souls.

Whether friend or foe; whether moral or immoral; whether you know them or not — pray for the lost. For those God brings your way, open your mouth in love and compassion to tell them the truth. Warn them of God’s judgment for their personal offenses against his holiness, but then tell them the good news. There is salvation in Jesus Christ from God’s eternal wrath, if they will only repent and believe. Once you’ve told them the truth, keep praying for them and trust God for the results. You will rejoice as you see God use you as He saves people from their sins and grants them new life in His Son.

JP: A reminder about praying for the lost.

The Gospel of John as an evangelism tool

And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

I find the Gospel of John to be effective in evangelism for these reasons:

  1. This Gospel is specifically written for evangelism! (“these are written that you may believe“, John 20:30,31. (above))
  2. This Gospel presents clearly the “I am” sayings of Christ (detailed here) including the startling claim of John 14:6. Jesus: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”.
  3. This Gospel emphasizes these key-words: believe, eternal, and everlasting.
  4. This Gospel alone has the astonishing miracle of the raising of Lazarus (John 11).
  5. As profound and theologically rich as the Gospel of John is, it is still very readable to those who are not familiar with the Bible. Because it is only 21 chapters and the chapters are but several pages, one could easily read the Gospel of John in one setting; or if one dawdles, a chapter a day for three weeks!

I’ve offered hundreds of people their own personal copy of the Gospel of John. I encourage them the read it with pen or highlighter in hand. I tell them to look for the “I am” sayings of Jesus Christ, to consider who He claims to be (like John 8:58, “before Abraham was, I AM” – where He claims to be preexistent to Abraham!).

We have Gospels of John available for any who would like to provide a copy to an unsaved friend or acquaintance. Please connect with Kathee or me if you would like a copy.

Confronting indifference

A recently released study (Pew Forum: The U.S. Religious Landscape Survey) reported that:

  1. One in four adults ages 18 to 29 claim no affiliation with a religious institution.
  2. 12 % of the overall population describe their religion as “nothing in particular”.

We are faced with a large percentage of the population that are spiritually apathetic. Religion is either unattractive or distractive to these.

The answer to these apathetic ones, is to lovingly confront them with the claims of Christ. Who did Christ claim to be? He claimed to be the Messiah. He allowed men and women to worship Him. He forgave men their sins. Additionally the “I am” sayings of Christ are convicting.

Seven “I am” metaphorical statements of Jesus Christ in the Gospel of John

  1. “I am the bread of life.” John 6:35, 41, 48-51
  2. “I am the light of the world.” John 8:12, 9:5
  3. “I am the door of the sheep.” John 10:7, 9
  4. “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” John 10:11, 14
  5. “I am the resurrection, and the life.” John 11:25
  6. “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” John 14:6
  7. “I am the true vine.” John 15:1, 5

Additionally there is an 8th, “I am” saying that is not apparent in the English Bible. In John 6:20 Jesus states: “It is I; do not be afraid”. In the Greek His saying is “ο δε λεγει αυτοις εγω ειμι μη φοβεισθε” … literally “I am, be not afraid”.

C. S. Lewis’s Trilemma argues either Jesus was telling the truth or not.

Often summarized either as “Lunatic, Liar, or Lord”, or as “Mad, Bad, or God”, it proceeds from the assumption that Jesus claimed, either implicitly or explicitly, to be God. Therefore one of the following must be true:

Liar: Jesus was not God, and he knew it, but he said so anyway.
Lunatic: Jesus was not God, but he mistakenly believed that he was.
Lord: Jesus is God.

Lewis’s stated this trilemma in Mere Christianity:

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. … Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.

Religion is not the answer to the indifferent, Christ is!

Ed Gamble
Florida Times Union
Feb 28, 2008

Evangelism question

Question sent to me:

I want to learn to properly talk to the lost about Jesus Christ. Can you help me?

Brief answer:

If you look at the way Jesus dealt with sinners in the Gospel of John … there was no “one size fits all” approach to evangelism. Consider the contrast as to how the Lord dealt with the woman at the well in John 4 (1-11) vs Nicodemus in John 3.

Also look at the contrasting Apostolic gospel presentations in Acts 2 vs Acts 17.

If you consider the analogy of “fishing” (“Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men”. (Matt 4:19)) … not every fish is caught the same way (I’m not much of a fisherman but I do know this to be so),

It seems that some things are required of the evangelist (the one who shares good news):

  • to be personally surrendered to Christ
  • to have a love for men
  • to be obedient to the Lord.

It also strikes me that the ultimate evangelist is God Himself. The Holy Spirit “convict(s) the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8). I understand this to mean, the the Spirit convinces men that they are sinners, that God is righteous, and that God will surely judge.

Kathee and I read Psalm 9 & 10 last night and I found this interesting in 10:13:

Why do the wicked renounce God?
He has said in his heart,
“You will not require an account.”

I see in this verse that the one who rejects God does not believe that God will judge sin.

I understand that since the work of salvation is a work that God accomplishes, that that success will come from petitioning God in prayer. In this truth I see the need to pray for (by name when possible) for the lost.

See attachment:

PDF: Compares and contrasts Peter’s message from Acts 2:14-38 & Paul’s from Acts 17:22-31

On the way to work today

Kathee and I had some excitement on the way to work today. At the corner of Plymouth Avenue and Penn Avenue (Minneapolis) Kathee saw a bloodied man standing on the sidewalk. It is very cold here this morning, 13 degrees, and he was lightly dressed with only a zippered sweatshirt. He had no gloves. I turned the corner and drove down a couple of blocks to turn around and then drove back along side the man. He had this massive, lacerated, fist sized lump on his forehead and a cut across his nose. He face was bloodied and bruised.

Kathee called 911 and I had him sit in the back of the car. He said he had been beaten and robbed by 3 or 4 men. Tom said he had just gotten out of prison (6 months). I asked if he was in a gang and he said “I am gang affiliated, but not a gang member”. (At this juncture, Kathee quietly moved her purse from behind her seat to the front seat!).

I briefly told Tom about Christ. He said he went to church while he was in prison and that he had been reading the Bible.

The police arrived about 10 min later. Please be praying for him. His name is Tom B. and he is 20 years old.