- EDDIE WITNESSES TO YOUNG MAN AT POWELL & MARKET
- JAMES PREACHES AT POWELL & MARKET
- JAMES WITNESSES AT POWELL & MARKET
- MIKE & MATT PRAY WITH YOUNG MAN AT UN PLAZA
- RICHARD SINGS AT DOLORES PARK
- MIKE PREACHES AT CITY IMPACT OUTREACH AT UN PLAZA
- THE BAND ISAIAH PLAYS AT UN PLAZA
- MIKE WITNESSES AT POWELL & MARKET
Note: Outreaches are subject to change. Call (510) 282-5629 to confirm outreaches or for more information.
Friday December 5, 12, 19 6 – 9 PM Witnessing in San Francisco neighborhoods.
Sat. December 6 and 13 12-4 PM Downtown San Francisco outreach 5th St. and Market.
Sat. December 20 12:30-4:30 PM Berkeley outreach Shattuck & Center St. (downtown Berkeley BART station).
Motivating the Church
Dear Christian friends,
Over the years, I have found a major difference between those Christians who consistently witness and those who don’t. Those who regularly witness ‑‑ almost without exception ‑‑ are very conscious of the reality of Heaven and Hell, and have an intense burden to save people from eternal torment in Hell. Those who rarely witness don’t think very much about the fact that the unbelievers they encounter every day are heading for eternal torment.
William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, once wished that all his workers could spend 24 hours in Hell so that they would obtain the burden for souls needed for effective ministry. In Luke 16, the rich man suddenly developed that burden as he was tormented in Hell. He asked Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his five brothers “lest they also come into this place of torment.” An experience of Hell’s torment is sufficient to give even a wicked sinner a burden to evangelize the lost. While we cannot visit Hell, what we can do to develop a greater burden for souls is to spend time meditating on scriptures concerning God’s judgment and eternal punishment.
Sadly, most churches are preoccupied with their potlucks and other social activities while the world is going to Hell. Modern Christians face lots of pressure and need times of rest and relaxation. And married people need to spend time with their families. But we must find time in our busy lives to reach those who are headed for eternal torment in Hell. Few Christians are too busy to commit a few hours monthly to evangelism. Pastors can stir up their congregations by preaching regularly on the need for evangelism and the reality of Hell, praying continually for God to send forth laborers, starting some ongoing outreaches and setting an example by participating in them.
The Greek word “ekballo,” used in the expression “send forth laborers into his harvest” in Matthew 9:38, is used in the next verse for casting out demons. Apparently, it is as hard to get a Christian to witness as to drive out a demon. If you’ve ever tried casting out demons, you know how stubborn they are! In Acts 8, we are told that after the persecution led by Saul, the church was scattered throughout Judaea and Samaria. “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word” (v.4). It took persecution to force the church to do what Jesus had commanded them to do. We feel secure in our church buildings, but need to be cast out into the harvest field.
Christians often tell me, “You have to have a special calling to witness like you do.” But if you saw a child drowning in a swimming pool, would you think “I’m not called to be a lifeguard” or “I don’t have any special training in lifesaving”? No, you would make every effort to save that child! Once you see the urgency of the task, the question of “calling” becomes irrelevant, even foolish.
What is the difference between this drowning child and the people who are dying in their sins? For one thing, the child’s situation is undeniably urgent. If the child is not rescued in a few minutes, he will die. There is no time to wait around wondering if someone else will rescue him. What about the unsaved person? Does he have plenty of time? That is the excuse many unbelievers use to postpone their decision regarding Jesus. Many say they’ll turn to Jesus when they get older, not realizing they may die at any time, or will harden their heart as they continue to reject Him.
If I don’t witness to an unbeliever, perhaps someone else will later. On the other hand, this could be his last opportunity to be saved. My witness could make the difference between Heaven and Hell for him. This is an awesome responsibility. I could take this to an extreme and think I cannot let a single unbeliever walk by without trying to witness to him. If I did, I would become a nervous wreck. I cannot take upon myself the responsibility of saving the world singlehandedly.
However, one rarely sees a Christian go to this extreme. The problem is that almost all Christians have gone to the opposite extreme ‑‑ they hardly ever speak with anyone about their eternal destiny. If you look for witnessing opportunities and regularly witness to people, I believe that God will use you to change the eternal destinies of at least a few people during your lifetime.
I pray that God will use this teaching to open your eyes to the ways Satan seeks to keep you from witnessing, and that you will be given a renewed desire to witness for Jesus ‑‑ both in your everyday life and through special outreaches. Please pray with us that God will cast out laborers into the harvest fields of this world, including the San Francisco area.
God has called this ministry to reach an area with five million people, yet we have but a handful of workers. I believe that God wants many more of you to join us on a regular basis. Satan does not want any of us to witness, and sadly, his efforts to stop us have been highly successful. All he has to do is whisper some excuse in our ear, and we think we have a good reason not to witness.
A London prisoner once told a preacher, “Mister, if I believed this Gospel you say you believe, I’d crawl across England over broken glass to get the message out.” People around us are dying and going to Hell. Over one person each second is entering eternity without Jesus. We need to do everything we can to save them.
On the Streets
On Fri. July 11, we witnessed at Powell & Market St. Mike witnessed to Kimo, an Hispanic teenager. He was quite receptive to the gospel, and said he wanted to take some time to think about what he had heard. He took a Spanish gospel of John. Mike also witnessed to Michael, an older man who had Christian parents but was homeless and had HIV. He bought him some food, helped him find a place to stay, and prayed with him. Dave witnessed to Spencer, a young man who sells kettle corn. He had lots of questions. He also witnessed to Jean Paul, who attends Berkeley City College. He also asked lots of questions. He was very angry, and asked if God could help him with his anger. Eddie spoke with Enrique, who stood around all night listening to our preaching. He said he was living in sin, and as they prayed, he started weeping, confessing his sins and begging for mercy.
On Saturday, we witnessed on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley. Paul and Noreen Coca played music. Dave witnessed to Aaron, a very polite young man from Chicago. He gave him the “good person test,” to help him see that he was a sinner in need of a savior. He said that Dave had given him a lot to think about. Dave also witnessed to Zanub, a Pakistani Muslim student at UC Berkeley. She listened respectfully to the gospel, and said her close friend and mentor is a Baptist minister who studies at Stanford. Dave and Amanda witnessed to a young man who said he wanted to be President. Dave said, even Presidents need to know Jesus Christ as Lord and need to be born again. He shared the gospel with him. The young man said he had never heard that before. Mike witnessed to a man in his early 20’s who said “I’m a Satanist.” He had been a soldier in Afghanistan and said his brother was killed in the army. He listened as Mike shared the gospel with him.
On Fri. July 18 we witnessed at 16th St. and Valencia. Tim Moon showed up unexpectedly, so we had music that night. Dave and Eddie witnessed to Alex, a young professional man who has Christian friends and was listening to our preaching. Dave also witnessed to Mike, a homeless man, after buying him some food. He was receptive to the gospel. I spoke with Reuben, who was backslidden. He kept telling me “One day I will get right with God, but I’m not ready yet.” Larry DuBois witnessed to Raman, who was angry at our preaching. After Larry spoke with him, he said he was angry at God because his father died when he was six. Larry said he would pray for him. Raman said, “Please pray for me.”
The next day, we held our second outreach of the year at Dolores Park. Again, at least 500 people in the park heard the gospel as Richard Griffin sang and several of us preached. Dave had many good conversations that afternoon: Raul, a Vietnam vet, Elizabeth, a Catholic from Mexico, four young Hispanic men from Stockton, and Alexi, who admitted he was headed for Hell.
Thank you again for your prayers and financial support for this ministry
Please pray for those we have witnessed to recently, especially those mentioned in this newsletter.
Yours in His love,