Newsletter and Coming Events – January 2017

  • CAL SINGS AT 16TH AND MISSION. CAL SINGS AT 16TH AND MISSION.
  • THE BAND "BOOK" PLAYS AT UN PLAZA. THE BAND "BOOK" PLAYS AT UN PLAZA.
  • JACOB WITNESSES AT UNION SQURE. JACOB WITNESSES AT UNION SQURE.
  • KATHY WITNESSES AT POWELL AND MARKET. KATHY WITNESSES AT POWELL AND MARKET.
  • CAL SINGS AT 7TH ST AND MARKET. CAL SINGS AT 7TH ST AND MARKET.
  • JOHN PREACHES TO "ANONYMOUS" HECKLERS AT 7TH ST AND MARKET. JOHN PREACHES TO "ANONYMOUS" HECKLERS AT 7TH ST AND MARKET.
  • SEAN WITNESSES AT 7TH ST AND MARKET. SEAN WITNESSES AT 7TH ST AND MARKET.
  • CAL WITNESSES AT 7TH ST AND MARKET. CAL WITNESSES AT 7TH ST AND MARKET.
     

Coming Events

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

Friday January 6, 13, and 20 5 – 8 PM Witnessing in San Francisco neighborhoods.

Sat. January 7 Fisherman’s Wharf SF (Jefferson St. near Powell) 11 AM – 4 PM

Sat. January 14 Berkeley Outreach (Shattuck St. near Center) 12:30 – 4:30 PM

Sat. January 21 5th St. & Market SF 12 – 4 PM

ONLY ONE LIFE

Jeff and Alina Parrott dance with flags at Fisherman’s Wharf.

Jeff and Alina Parrott dance with flags at Fisherman’s Wharf.

Dear Christian friends,

Only one life, the still small voice, Gently pleads for a better choice; Bidding me selfish aims to leave, And to God’s holy will to cleave; Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.” C.T.Studd

The days of our lives are 70 years; And if by reason of strength they are 80 years. Yet  their  boast is  only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away….
So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:10, 12)

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Eph. 5:15-17)

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”(Matt. 6:19-21)

As we enter a new year, it is good to think about what we are doing with our lives. Each year seems to pass by more quickly than the previous year. We can all look back with regret that we wasted much of our lives on things that have no eternal significance. But it is better to look forward, and make sure that we do not waste our remaining days on this earth.

Overcoming Fear

Over the past 45 years, I have asked many Christians why they don’t witness. By far, the main reason they give is “fear.” What are we afraid of? Persecution may soon come to our nation and we should be willing to suffer and even die for our faith. But right now this is unlikely, at least in the U.S. Sometimes, Christians fear physical harm while witnessing on the streets. Again, this is very unlikely. In 40 years, nobody involved in this ministry has ever been hurt in a significant way, nor has anyone had to spend more than 12 hours in jail (but even this would stop many Christians from witnessing.)

The real fear Christians face is fear of rejection. Whenever we witness‑‑whether to friends, family members, people at work, or strangers‑‑there is a possibility of rejection. No matter how tactfully we present the Gospel, some people will get angry at us and reject us because of our faith. “The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also” John 15:20. Jesus was rejected by many people, including the religious leaders. Even His relatives thought He had lost His mind. Ultimately, of course, He was crucified.

It is especially hard to witness to people we have known a long time and never witnessed to before. We fear most being rejected by our friends, co‑workers and relatives. While we want to see these people saved and often pray for them, we hesitate to witness to them because we don’t want to damage our friendships.

Witnessing to strangers is also difficult. Most of us were told as children not to talk to strangers. We often fear that a person will think us weird if we witness to them. Even though it doesn’t really matter what this stranger thinks of us, and even though our message is the most important message they’ll ever hear, we often are afraid to speak with them.

Like others, Christians tend to conform to the standards of those around them. If those in my church don’t do much witnessing, and witnessing is seldom talked about in my church, I may think that I don’t need to witness either. It is also hard to break long‑ standing habits. If I have been a Christian for many years and have never witnessed to anyone, it is hard to start. If no Christian leader has ever rebuked me for my failure to witness and my pastor does not preach that this is a sin, I may feel justified in not witnessing.

How do we overcome fear? We are all familiar with 1 John 4:18: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear; because fear has torment. He who fears is not made perfect in love.”  It is our love for God and for others that enables us to overcome our fears.

Because we love God, we want to please Him and keep His commandment to preach the Gospel. It is only natural to want to tell others about the person you love. We also love our friends and family members and want them to be saved. God can give us love even for those we do not know, and a desire that they be saved. If you saw a blind man about to walk off a cliff, you would try to stop him. even though he was a stranger.

Often, a new believer will be excited about Jesus and eager to witness, while those who have been saved many years no longer witness and have developed elaborate excuses for not witnessing.  We need to return to our first love, to the place where we are excited about our relationship with Jesus and want to let others know about Him. We need to repent of our sins, including the sin of not witnessing, and be renewed into a right relationship with God.

For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord” 2 Tim. 1:7‑8. Fear of witnessing certainly does not come from God. Satan does not want us to witness and our flesh does not want to receive rejection. We need to believe God’s word and trust that He will give us the power to boldly testify for Jesus Christ.

On the Streets

On Fri. Oct. 7 we witnessed at the Sony Metreon. A man came by and suddenly collapsed. He was unable to get up and an ambulance was called. As he waited inside the ambulance, Scott shared some scriptures with him. Jacob witnessed to Mandy. She asked for some food, so he took her to Starbucks. He witnessed to her and her friend Desmond. They thanked him for sharing. While he was there, Hashim asked him for money for a BART ticket. He took him to the BART station and bought him a ticket. Cal had witnessed to Hashim a few weeks before. He used to live in a Victory Outreach men’s house.

The next day, we witnessed at Fisherman’s Wharf. It was Fleet Week, and tens of thousands of people came to see the air show featuring the Blue Angels. When I preached, I told them the real reason they were there was to hear about Jesus Christ. Kathy witnessed to Alice, who lives in Alameda. Kathy attends church in Alameda and invited her to her church. Dave witnessed to Abdul, from Dubai. He was very receptive and took a gospel tract. He also ministered to Sophia, a Christian who was married to Angelo. He was bitter because the church they attended refused to baptize him until he gave up marijuana. He refused to do that and stopped attending church. It has hurt their marriage.

On Fri. Oct. 14, we witnessed at 24th St. and Mission. Dave witnessed to Ricardo, a salesman who spoke four languages. As he witnessed to him, Ricardo said, “Don’t get me crying. I know I need to repent.” He also witnessed to Raymond, who has Christian friends in China and has studied the Bible with them. He said, I know I will be a Christian one day.” He also witnessed to J.C., a young man who works in the tech industry. He knew the gospel, but said his pride was keeping him from becoming a Christian. Allan witnessed to Ivan, who said the church would not accept him because he is gay.

The next day, we held our last outreach at Union Square. The worship group from New Life Christian Church in Hayward, my home church, ministered. Cal witnessed to Amanda and Halil, Jehovah’s Witnesses. As he witnessed to them, they were shaking.  Jacob witnessed to Courtney and Zoel, 18, who agreed with the gospel but used marijuana. They asked him how he quit using marijuana and were quite receptive.

Dave witnessed to Amos, who was quite upset because his mom had died three days before. He said, “My mom would tell me about Jesus.” He also witnessed to Alex and his wife Chen, from China. Both were in their 20’s and had graduate degrees from US schools. They had Christian friends in China but Chen knew nothing about Jesus even though she attended the University of Texas. After he shared the gospel, Chen hugged him. “Thank you so much for telling me this.” I witnessed to Ali and Badr, Muslims from Bahrain. They were very friendly and both took Muslim tracts.

Ministry Needs

Thank you again for your prayers and financial support for our ministry. Whether or not you make New Year’s resolutions, I hope each of you will consider making a commitment this year to dedicate more of your life to bringing the gospel to the lost. Even dedicating a few hours each month can make a difference in the lives of those you minister to. The first step is overcoming fear of witnessing.

Yours in His love,

Larry Rosenbaum

 

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