Newsletter and Coming Events – December 2016

  • JACOB WITNESSES AT FISHERMAN'S WHARF JACOB WITNESSES AT FISHERMAN'S WHARF
  • BRIDGEPOINT COMMUNITY CHURCH (PACIFICA) MINISTERS AT UNION SQUARE BRIDGEPOINT COMMUNITY CHURCH (PACIFICA) MINISTERS AT UNION SQUARE
  • CAL SINGS AT FISHERMAN'S WHARF CAL SINGS AT FISHERMAN'S WHARF
  • CAL AND MIKE PRAY FOR MAN AT UN PLAZA CAL AND MIKE PRAY FOR MAN AT UN PLAZA
  • PRAYING FOR WOMAN AT UN PLAZA PRAYING FOR WOMAN AT UN PLAZA
  • PRAYING FOR MAN AT UN PLAZA PRAYING FOR MAN AT UN PLAZA
  • NEW LIFE HAWAIIAN DANCE TEAM MINISTERS AT UN PLAZA NEW LIFE HAWAIIAN DANCE TEAM MINISTERS AT UN PLAZA
  • JACOB WITNESSES TO MUSLIM AT UN PLAZA JACOB WITNESSES TO MUSLIM AT UN PLAZA
     


Coming Events

Note: Outreaches are subject to change, especially on rainy days. Call (510) 282-5629 to confirm outreaches or for more information.

Friday December 2, 9, 16  5 – 8 PM Witnessing in San Francisco neighborhoods.

Sat. December 3 Fisherman’s Wharf SF (Embarcadero St. near Powell) 11 AM – 4 PM

Sat. December 10 Berkeley Outreach (Shattuck St. near Center) 12:30 – 4:30 PM

Sat. December 17 Fifth St. and Market SF 12 PM – 4 PM

THE FIRST MARTYR

New Life Christian Church (Hayward) ministers at U N Plaza.

New Life Christian Church (Hayward) ministers at U N Plaza.

Dear Christian friends,

 

Acts 7 contains Stephen’s famous speech before the Jewish high priest and Sanhedrin. Stephen was one of the seven deacons appointed to minister to the poor saints. He was not an apostle, nor was he an evangelist. He was an administrator with the gift of helps. However, he did great miracles and preached the gospel in the synagogue of the Libertines with great wisdom. The Jews there could not refute his arguments, so they instructed false witnesses to accuse him of speaking blasphemies against Moses, the holy place and the law, and brought him before the Sanhedrin.

Stephen used this opportunity to preach the gospel to the Jewish leaders. Reviewing Jewish history, he starts with Abraham. God called Abraham to leave his country and go to a new land by faith, enduring many difficulties. In the same way, God is calling the Jewish people to leave the familiar (the old covenant) and receive the new covenant by faith, entering into a better land with much tribulation.

Next he speaks of the patriarchs and Joseph. “The patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt.” The Jew who did his neighbor wrong asked Moses, “Who made you a ruler and judge over us?” The Jewish people later told Aaron to make a golden calf for them to worship.

He quoted from Deut. 18 the prophesy of Moses concerning the Messiah, that God would raise up one like himself, a ruler and a deliverer, and that every person who would not listen to him would face His judgment. The Jewish people rejected Joseph by selling him into slavery, they rejected Moses as a ruler and judge, they rejected God by making a golden calf, and they rejected the Messiah prophesied by Moses. “He [Moses] supposed that they would have understood how God by his hand would deliver them, but they understood not.” Stephen quotes Amos 5:25-27 to show how Israel turned away from God and worshipped false gods throughout their history, and brought judgment upon themselves.

Next he turned to the issue of the holy place, the Temple. “Solomon built him a house. Howbeit the most High dwells not in temples made with hands, as said the prophet ‘Heaven is my throne, and earth is the footstool of my feet; What kind of house will you build for me?’ says the Lord.” (He was quoting Isa. 66:1-2.) Moses, the law, and the Temple are not gods to be worshipped. Moses prophesied of the coming Messiah, who must be heard. The purpose of the law is to show us our sinful condition, and our need for a Savior. God does not dwell in a temple made with hands.

He concludes by accusing them of resisting the Holy Spirit, persecuting all the prophets, killing the Messiah, and disobeying the law. “But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy” (2 Chron. 36:16).

The result of Stephen’s message is that the listeners were “cut to the heart, and gnashed on him with their teeth.” They cried out, shut their ears, cast him out of the city and stoned him. Stephen, the first martyr, saw the glory of God and Jesus standing on His right hand. “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit….Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.” Like Jesus, he forgave those who killed him.

Like Peter, Stephen relied heavily on Old Testament prophesy to seek to convince his Jewish listeners that Jesus is Messiah. Like Peter, he accused them of rejecting the Messiah. This time, however, we do not hear of people being saved from his preaching. Instead, there was a great persecution of the Jerusalem church that followed. However, the witnesses who stoned him laid down their clothes at Saul of Tarsus’ feet. Saul became a leader in the persecution that followed, but soon afterwards was dramatically saved and wrote over half the books in the New Testament.

On the Streets

Below are some of the testimonies from about 6 weeks of street outreaches in San Francisco. I have used green highlighting to show the extreme diversity of the people we have witnessed to — people from many different nations, religions, and walks of life. We can truly reach much of the world without leaving San Francisco. 

On August 12, we witnessed at the Sony Metreon. Jacob took Nick and Andrew, both homeless drug addicts, to Denny’s. He fed them and shared the gospel with them. Dave witnessed to George, who attends church but did not understand the gospel. His wife is a strong Christian. Mike witnessed to Emron, who is from India with Muslim parents. He had been reading the Bible and was quite receptive to the gospel. Cal witnessed to Taylor, who asked him why he believed in Jesus.

The next day, we witnessed at Fisherman’s Wharf and Union Square. Two worship groups from Bridgepoint Community Church in Pacifica ministered at Union Square. Their pastor and about twenty others from their church joined them. Dave witnessed to a lot of Catholics—Fin and Bryan from Ireland, Frankie, Aaron (16), Drew and Sophia. Jacob witnessed to Angie, who was Greek Orthodox, and her friend Gabriel, a Muslim. He got her number for follow-up. Matt and Jacob witnessed to Ryan, in his 20’s, who grew up in a Christian home but now was attending art school and had a lot of doubts. He said he was drinking a lot. Jacob also got his number for follow-up.

On Sept. 16, we witnessed at Powell & Market. Cal witnessed to Inca, from Peru, who thought all morals were subjective. He also witnessed to Alex, who was raised in a Christian home but had been under demonic influence. Mike witnessed to Hank and Elaine. They live in the Tenderloin district and he referred them to City Impact. Brandon and Jacob witnessed to Ben. He was raised a Oneness Pentecostal and had been a youth pastor, but had been an atheist for a decade. He was quite hardened to the gospel, but listened especially to Jacob’s testimony. Jacob also witnessed to Telel, a Muslim from Tunisia. He took a Muslim tract. That night, as I leaned over to get something out of my backpack, a man tried to hit me. However, his hand was stopped by an invisible force.

The next day, we held our last outreach of the year at Dolores Park. This is a difficult outreach for us as we are not allowed to play music in this park. In addition to our house members, Daniel, Conrad, and Nick preached. Cal and Daniel witnessed to Todd, a homeless Jew, and Douglas, a homosexual who attends church with a lesbian pastor. Dave witnessed to TJ, who grew up in the church but whose dad kicked him out of the house as a teenager for rebelling.  He also witnessed to Santiago, 19, from Argentina, and Shea, also 19, who attends San Francisco State and grew up in a Christian home but is not saved. Jacob witnessed to Leann, from Portugal, who was selling occult necklaces. Jacob and Nick witnessed to Elvin, an Hispanic Muslim who had lots of questions about the Bible.

On Sept. 23 we witnessed at 16th and Valencia St. Cal witnessed to John and Daniel, both in their 30’s, who listened to the gospel and his testimony. Cal and David also witnessed to Emerson, who is the manager of an ice cream store across the street. Dave had witnessed to him two years ago. He isn’t religious but believes in God and was open to their witness. Jacob witnessed to Peso, from Tonga, who agreed with the gospel message and took a tract. Jacob and Dave witnessed to Leddie, an 18 year old lesbian, who was quite receptive. She said she was cheating on all her girlfriends and wasn’t satisfied with any of her relationships. After they spoke, she said she would go home and pray. I witnessed to Chris and Jose, who were listening to the preaching and attend a Baptist Church in Georgia. They were clearly not saved.

The next day, we witnessed at 5th St. and Market. After we were shut down here during SOS week, the Captain told us we needed permits here. We applied and she did grant us a permit. Dave and Steve witnessed to Ferri, a PhD scientist from Iran. She was nice but resisted the gospel. Cal witnessed to Said, a Muslim who took one of our Muslim tracts. They spoke about Jesus being the Son of God and he said, “That makes sense.” I witnessed to Andrew, 20, a Buddhist who was listening to our preaching.

Ministry Needs

Thank you again for your prayers and financial support for our ministry. About 200 Christians from around the country came to San Francisco for the Love – San Francisco outreach, along with over 100 Bay Area Christians. There was prayer and evangelism 24 hours a day from October 29 – November 5. We were happy to be able to participate in this outreach. Paul and Noreen Coca led worship at the outreach throughout the week. About 200 non-Christians attended a very nice banquet the final day, held at the Whitcomb Hotel. We held our Saturday outreach a block away, and were able to invite several people to the banquet. They are hoping to make this outreach an annual event.

I hope some of you will join one of our outreaches this next month. Christmas is always a great time to share the gospel. People are busy with their Christmas shopping, but we need to remind them about the real reason for the season.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

Yours in His love,

Larry Rosenbaum

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