Newsletter and Coming Events – May 2016

  • MIKE AND KATHY WITNESS AT 5TH AND MARKET MIKE AND KATHY WITNESS AT 5TH AND MARKET
  • BEN WITNESSES AT FISHERMAN'S WHARF BEN WITNESSES AT FISHERMAN'S WHARF
  • BEN PREACHES AT WHARF BEN PREACHES AT WHARF
  • NORMAN WITNESSES IN DOWNTOWN BEKELEY NORMAN WITNESSES IN DOWNTOWN BEKELEY
  • JESSE WITNESSES TO WOMAN IN BERKELEY. I FIRST MET JESSE IN 1978 AND, EVEN THOUGH HE LIVES IN PA, HE HAS PRAYED FOR AND SUPPORTED OUR MINISTRY SINCE IT BEGAN JESSE WITNESSES TO WOMAN IN BERKELEY. I FIRST MET JESSE IN 1978 AND, EVEN THOUGH HE LIVES IN PA, HE HAS PRAYED FOR AND SUPPORTED OUR MINISTRY SINCE IT BEGAN
  • CAL AND JAMES WITNESS IN DOWNTOWN BERKELEY CAL AND JAMES WITNESS IN DOWNTOWN BERKELEY
  • CHUCK GIRARD SINGS AT FISHERMAN'S WHARF CHUCK GIRARD SINGS AT FISHERMAN'S WHARF
  • MIKE WITNESSES AT 5TH AND MARKET MIKE WITNESSES AT 5TH AND MARKET
     

Coming Events

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

Friday May 6, 13, 20, 27 6 – 9 PM Witnessing in San Francisco neighborhoods.

Sat. May 7 11 AM – 1 PM Fisherman’s Wharf Outreach (Jefferson St. near Powell) 3 – 5 PM Union Square Outreach (Powell and Post. St.)

Sat. May 14 1  – 5 PM Dolores Park (18th St. and Dolores) SF.

Sat. May 21 12  – 4 PM 5th St. and Market SF.

Sat. May 28 12 – 5 PM UN Plaza Outreach (7th St. and Market), SF.

REACHING THE SKEPTIC

Dear Christian friends,

Sixty years ago, most Americans believed that the Bible is God’s Word. When Christians would show unsaved people the plan of salvation out of the Bible, many would respond by receiving Christ as their savior.

Today, things have changed. Often, when we show someone passages from the Bible, he responds “Why should I believe the Bible?” When we share our testimony of what Jesus has done for us, he may respond, “I get inner peace from yoga (or some other religious practice).”

Today, many people are skeptical of the claims of Christianity. We need to answer their objections, and give them solid reasons for believing in the Bible and in Jesus Christ. In 1 Peter 3:15, we are told, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” The Greek word for answer is “apologia,” from which we get the term “apologetics.” The word “apologetics” does not mean apologizing for our faith, but rather giving an intelligent defense of our faith.

We are to love the Lord with our mind as well as our heart and soul. Here are some scriptures that show the importance of explaining the gospel, and reasoning with and persuading unbelievers: Matthew 13:23: “But he who received the seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit.”  Only  those on good ground under-stood the word. Acts 8:30: Philip asked the Ethiopian eunuch,` Do you understand what you are reading?’   He replied, `How can I except some man should guide me?’” Acts 18:4: Paul at Corinth was “reasoning in the synagogue every sabbath and trying to persuade the Jews and Greeks.” Acts 19:8: Paul at Ephesus “entered the synagogue and continued speaking out boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:11: “We persuade men.”

Christianity is the only religion for which there is convincing evidence of its truthfulness. Mormons point to an inner experience, a “burning in the bosom.” Muslims point to the visions of their founder Mohammed. Hindus and Buddhists have mystical experiences. But none of these religions can offer proof beyond these subjective experiences.

There are a number of arguments we can use. C. S. Lewis said that “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…or else he would be the Devil of Hell….Either this man was and is the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse.”

Another argument deals with evidence for the resurrection of Christ. This argument deals with legal evidence–the testimonies and reliability of eyewitnesses. People are sentenced to prison every day based solely on the testimony of one eyewitness. Analyzing various possible explanations of the evidence leads to the most likely conclusion–that Jesus did in fact rise from the dead.

A third argument deals with Old Testament prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus Christ. The Bible is the only book that predicts the future with perfect accuracy. It was this evidence that confirmed my faith in Jesus Christ as a new believer. Jesus fulfilled about 300 Old Testament prophesies during his lifetime. Many of them are quite specific. Peter Stoner computed the probability of just eight of these prophesies being fulfilled by chance as 1 in 10 with 17 zeros after it! In other words, it is impossible that these prophecies were accidentally fulfilled.

I cannot go into these arguments in detail in this newsletter, but I encourage you to do some reading on the subject. Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell or The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel are both good books to start with.

There are also many excellent web sites that have good answers for almost any question a person might have about Christianity as well as information about every cult and religion. Four sites I recommend: www.carm.org; www.tectonics.org,www.apologeticsindex.org,  and www.godandscience.org. We also have a page dedicated to non-Christians on our web site: www.sosmin.com/nc.html.

While we should be familiar with the evidence for Christianity, we must remember that people are usually not saved by convincing arguments alone. The passage in 1 Peter 3:15 I quoted earlier continues “but do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience.” We must be gentle with those we are witnessing to, show respect for them, and back up our words with godly deeds.

When the wise men visited Herod in Matthew 2, they asked him where the Christ would be born. He asked the Jewish priests and teachers, who told him “Bethlehem,” based upon Micah 5. Herod believed that the Bible’s prophecy in Micah 5 was true, but his response was to kill every male child in Bethlehem. Many people, even after they know that Christianity is true, choose to reject Jesus. Still, we should let them know that there is solid and convincing evidence for the truth of Christianity.

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Cal ministers at Fisherman’s Wharf. He has been living in our house and doing worship on the streets for two months, but is not sure how long he will stay with us.

On the Streets

On Friday March 18, we witnessed at 5th St. and Market. Dave and Mike ministered to Keith, a young man who was backslidden but wanting to get right with God. They referred him to City Impact. Dave and Ben witnessed to Devin, a computer programmer who was raised Catholic. Allan witnessed to Larry, speaking to him about his need for forgiveness. Mike witnessed to Leon, who was listening to his preaching. He was concerned about his spiritual condition. Mike invited him to attend church with him. Mike also witnessed to John, a homeless man who asked for food. Mike bought him some food and invited him to church. Ben witnessed to Casey, a young musician. They exchanged phone numbers, and have stayed in contact with one another. Kathy witnessed to Lana, who was carrying a Quran. She gave her a Bible.

The next day, we witnessed at Fisherman’s Wharf. I began preaching, and a man started to heckle me. I told him I would talk with him after I finished, but he kept trying to interrupt. I learned that he owned a new business doing 3D printing across the street, and didn’t like our preaching. He kept calling the police and eventually several officers arrived. They realized he was being unreasonable, as we weren’t very loud, and they left us alone. Dave witnessed to Carl, 23, who was attending a Gamer Conference. He had no religious background, but was quite receptive to the gospel. He witnessed to Nestor, a UC Berkeley graduate who was planning to go to law school. He left him with this scripture: “What will it profit a man to gain the whole world, but lose his soul?” Dave also witnessed to Cal, who grew up in an Orthodox Church but did not know if he was going to Heaven. Mike and Dave witnessed to Cameron, who was involved in a shell game scam to cheat tourists.

On Fri. March 25, we witnessed at 16th St. and Mission. Mike witnessed to Charles, who said “I love Jesus but hate the Father.” He had spent 6 years in prison, smoked pot, and had a lot of issues with guilt. Dave witnessed to Alex, who listened attentively and said he would read the tract he was given. He also witnessed to Paul, a Catholic. He said he had committed a lot of sins, but insisted that he was a good person. Dave and Herbert witnessed to Adam, a Muslim. Dave asked him if he knew about the second Adam, who is Jesus. Kathy ministered to Odom, a homeless woman who was listening to our preaching. She said she was a Christian and was going to get baptized soon. I witnessed to Ronald and Junior, both 8th graders from El Salvador. I shared the gospel with them and encouraged them to read the Bible.

Ministry Needs

Thank you again for your prayers and financial support for this ministry. We are putting together our schedule for the year and have applied for our San Francisco park outreaches. It will cost about $1100 for the park permits.  Please pray that we will get our permits, especially at Dolores Park.

Our 37th annual SOS-San Francisco outreach is scheduled for July 6-9. I hope many of you will join us.

In the past, a number of church worship groups and youth groups have ministered with us in San Francisco parks. However, during the past two years, these groups have stopped coming. Please let me know if there is a worship group or youth group from your church that might be interested in ministering in San Francisco or Berkeley.

Our house is now the fullest it has ever been in the 30 years I have lived here. All the bedrooms are full and one man is staying in our office. We have prayed for many years that God would fill our house with Christians with a desire to do evangelism. Thank you for praying with us about this need. Jacob, 21, has come here from Texas and already has a job. Please pray for Allan, who has gout and is in a lot of pain and has been unable to work.

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

Yours in His love,

Larry Rosenbaum

 

 

 

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