Newsletter and Coming Events – June 2016

  • CAL WITNESSES TO ALAY ON CASTRO ST. CAL WITNESSES TO ALAY ON CASTRO ST.
  • ERIC WITNESSES TO ANDRE ON CASTRO ST. ERIC WITNESSES TO ANDRE ON CASTRO ST.
  • JACOB WITNESSES ON CASTRO ST. JACOB WITNESSES ON CASTRO ST.
  • SEAN WITNESSES AT 5TH AND MARKET. SEAN WITNESSES AT 5TH AND MARKET.
  • ANDY WITNESSES AT 5TH AND MARKET. ANDY WITNESSES AT 5TH AND MARKET.
  • JACOB WITNESSES AT POWELL AND MARKET. JACOB WITNESSES AT POWELL AND MARKET.
  • MARY WITNESSES AT 5TH AND MARKET. MARY WITNESSES AT 5TH AND MARKET.
  • JACOB AND STEVE WITNESS TO FAVIO AT 5TH AND MARKET. JACOB AND STEVE WITNESS TO FAVIO AT 5TH AND MARKET.
     

Coming Events

(Note: Outreaches subject to change and Park Dept. approval. Call (510) 282-5629 to confirm outreaches.)

Friday June 10, 17, 24 6 – 9 PM Witnessing in San Francisco neighborhoods.

Sat. June 11 UN Plaza 12-5 PM 7th St. and Market, SF. The band “Sonhouse” will play.

Sat. June 18 11 AM – 1 PM Fisherman’s Wharf  (Jefferson St. near Powell) 3-5 PM Union Square (Powell and Geary St.) Shiloh Christian Fellowship, Oakland.

Sat. June 25 12:30 – 4:30 PM Berkeley outreach. (Shattuck and Center St.)

July 6-9 SOS – SAN FRANCISCO – Year 37!

GENUINE CONVERSION

Dear Christian friends,

One of the temptations for those involved in evangelism ministry is to water down the gospel message. In doing so, they can generate excitement about their ministry by reporting about the hundreds or thousands that were saved. If we avoid talking about sin and repentance, if we tell people that Jesus is a quick fix for all their problems, we can get lots of people to raise their hands or sign decision cards.

However, when we try to follow up on such “converts,” we find out that very few were really saved. Hundreds of people may have “prayed to receive Christ” during an outreach, yet often less than 10% will begin to attend church. Of these churchgoers, many want Jesus as their savior but are unwilling to obey Him as Lord. “The evangelist told me I only needed to invite Jesus to be my savior and I would be saved, why are you now telling me I must make Him Lord?” Eventually, the church becomes filled with people who won’t witness or deny themselves for Jesus. Repeated exposure to a watered-down “gospel” has immunized millions against being infected with the true gospel.

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Cal sings at 16th and Mission while Brandon and Mary (left) witness.

 

The Function of God’s Law

Many of you are familiar with the teachings of evangelist Ray Comfort at Living Waters. Ray argues that the primary reason for the lack of genuine conversion in our evangelism is that we fail to lay the proper foundation in our gospel presentation. Before a person can fully appreciate the good news, he must first learn the bad news. He must see himself as a lost sinner deserving God’s judgment, like the publican who smote upon his breast, saying “God be merciful to me a sinner.”

According to Ray, the way an unsaved person will come to see his sinfulness is through proper use of the law. Here are some scriptures he uses: “I had not known sin but by the law; for I had not known coveting except the law had said, Thou shall not covet” Romans 7:7. “Sin worked death in me by that which is good (the law) that sin by the commandment might become exceedingly sinful” Romans 7:13. “Whatever things the law says, it says…so that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God…By the law is the knowledge of sin” Romans 3:19-20. “Wherefore, the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith” Galatians 3:24.

While this approach to evangelism is rarely used today, it was commonly used by great evangelists in the past. John Wesley said, “Before I can preach love, mercy and grace, I must preach sin, Law, and judgment.” He wrote to a young friend, “Preach 90 percent Law and 10 percent grace.” Charles Spurgeon said, “They must be slain by the Law, before they can be made alive by the Gospel!” He wrote in one of his sermons: “All the Ten Commandments, like ten great cannons, are pointed at thee today, for you have broken all God’s statutes, and lived in daily neglect of all His commands….What will ye do when…the great books shall be opened, and all your sin and shame shall be punished?” Charles Finney, who had an 80% success rate for lasting conversions, wrote, “It is of great importance that the sinner should be made to feel his guilt, and not left to the impression that he is unfortunate. Do not be afraid, but show him the breadth of the Divine Law, and the exceeding strictness of its precepts. Make him see how it condemns his thoughts and life. By a convicted sinner, I mean one who feels himself condemned by the Law of God, as a guilty sinner.”

“Owing to the fact that the Law is rarely used in modern-day evangelism,” Ray writes, “many are frustrated to a point of making the Gospel ‘man-centered’ in an effort to attract converts….Instead of driving the fish to the nets using the Law, they are trying to attract them by holding up only the ‘good things’ of the Gospel. Let me give an example of an average altar call:

“‘Come to Jesus; won’t you give your heart to Him? He loves you and died on the cross for you. He wants to give you love, joy and peace…He will make your life happy and give you what you’ve been looking for.’”

“Instead of desperate sinners knocking on the door of Heaven, we paint a picture of Jesus pleading at the heart of the sinner, almost giving the impression that the sinner will be doing God a favor if he responds.” Those who respond to such a gospel presentation, Ray argues, will often be like the seed that falls on rocky ground in the Parable of the Sower. They are expecting Jesus to do all these good things for them, and when they face tribulation and persecution, they will often fall away disappointed, and be much harder to reach in the future. “I came to Jesus expecting him to improve my life, but things only got worse.”

In contrast, those who through use of the law (and conviction of the Holy Spirit) are made to see the full extent of their sinfulness and need for a savior will really appreciate what Jesus did for them. Jesus said, “to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little (Luke 7:47).” Those who come to Christ in true sorrow over their sinfulness will want to turn from those ways and obey the Lord. They are likely to continue to follow the Lord even in times of adversity.

On the Streets

On Fri. April 8, we witnessed at Powell and Market. Dave witnessed to Anis, a Muslim from Tunisia, Edward, a Buddhist from Thailand, and Rodrigo, an Hispanic Catholic who attends UC – Berkeley. All of them were receptive to the gospel. Mike witnessed to Mawai, a Muslim from Sudan, and his nephew Mohammed, a dentist. Jacob witnessed to Jason, a Jewish lawyer who was riding a bike. He asked a lot of questions and they spoke for an hour. He also spoke with three teenage girls. As he was talking, two young Muslim men wanted to listen to their conversation. Mohammed asked lots of questions and Abdul was listening quietly. Kathy gave Abdul a New Testament, and he said he would read it. Allan witnessed to Ama Rajish, an atheist from India. As we were leaving, two women approached us and told us they were Christians from Alabama and were very happy to see us preaching the gospel. Then they told us that they had just gotten married that day. Cal shared with them gently about homosexuality being a sin according to the Bible. They were not happy to hear that, as it ruined their “honeymoon.” One of them said God had spoken to her that it was OK for them to marry and she didn’t care what some book said.

The next day, we witnessed at 5th and Market. Mike and Brandon witnessed to Dede, who said she was looking for a Bible study. They referred her to City Impact. As they talked they realized she was not saved, so they shared the gospel with her. Dave witnessed to Iva from Brazil, who took a gospel of John, and Camilia, 21, from Taiwan, who was very curious about Christianity. She took a New Testament.

On Friday April 22, we witnessed on Castro St. Cal witnessed to Alay, a “Muslim homosexual” and Ron, a “drag queen.” Cal and I also witnessed to Nathan and Miguel, both SF State students. Nathan is very close to getting saved. Dave witnessed to Shane, who is homeless. He bought him some food. He said he didn’t want to be a half-hearted Christian. Brandon, Eric and Jacob all witnessed to Andre, who claimed to be a “gay Christian.” He didn’t believe Jacob’s testimony of being delivered from homosexuality, and insisted it was impossible.

The next day, we witnessed in Berkeley. Allan prayed with Consuela and Steve, both of whom approached him asking for prayer. Dave witnessed to Edward, a premed students at Cal, who was quite receptive, and Tooch, who is from Turkey and had rejected Islam. He also witnessed to Zeek, a high school student who had Christian friends, and Oscar, from Kazakhstan, whose mother is a Christian and father a Muslim. Jacob and Ben witnessed to Chris, who is recovering from alcohol addiction. Steve and Jacob witnessed to Nick, who was wearing a Satanic shirt but got very convicted as they talked for an hour about evidence for the Christian faith. They also witnessed to Maggie, 18. As they spoke about the evil of the world, and how Jesus is the solution, she began to cry.

Ministry Needs

Thank you again for your prayers and financial support for this ministry. Our 37th annual SOS-San Francisco outreach is scheduled for July 6-9. I hope many of you will join us. We did get some good responses from churches wanting to do outreaches with us this summer, and all of our park dates have been filled.

I recently got a phone call from Alex, 23, who picked up a tract Dave had left on a bus bench in Oakland. He is very receptive to the gospel, and I mailed him a New Testament. Cal and Jacob visited him and have been ministering to him. Please pray for Alex.

I have been meeting with some ministry leaders to help plan a major evangelism/prayer outreach in San Francisco, Love-San Francisco, scheduled for October 29 – November 5. We will be laboring in prayer and evangelism around the clock (in shifts) for the whole week followed up by intentional disciple-making. Up to 1800 Christians participated in similar outreaches in Minneapolis, New York, and Los Angeles. lovesf247.com

I hope many of you will join us for an outreach this next month.

Yours in His love,

Larry Rosenbaum

 

 

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