MIKE PREACHES AS FALUN GONG MARCH PASSES US AT 5TH AND MARKET.
CHUCK GIRARD SINGS AND SEAN WITNESSES AT 5TH AND MARKET.
CHUCK GIRARD SINGS AT 5TH AND MARKET.
MIKE PRAYS WITH MAN AT 5TH AND MARKET.
CAL WITNESSES TO MAN IN BERKELEY.
KATHY WITNESSES TO WOMAN IN BERKELEY.
SEAN WITNESSES IN BERKELEY.
WE SHUT DOWN OUR MARCH 4 BERKELEY OUTREACH BEFORE THE VIOLENT PROTESTERS ARRIVED.
- MIKE PREACHES AS FALUN GONG MARCH PASSES US AT 5TH AND MARKET.
- CHUCK GIRARD SINGS AND SEAN WITNESSES AT 5TH AND MARKET.
- CHUCK GIRARD SINGS AT 5TH AND MARKET.
- MIKE PRAYS WITH MAN AT 5TH AND MARKET.
- CAL WITNESSES TO MAN IN BERKELEY.
- KATHY WITNESSES TO WOMAN IN BERKELEY.
- SEAN WITNESSES IN BERKELEY.
- WE SHUT DOWN OUR MARCH 4 BERKELEY OUTREACH BEFORE THE VIOLENT PROTESTERS ARRIVED.
Friday May 5, 12, 19, and 26 5 – 8 PM Witnessing in San Francisco neighborhoods.
Sat. May 6 5th and Market St. SF 12 – 4 PM
Sat. May 13 UN Plaza (7th St. and Market) SF 12 – 5 PM
Sat. May 20 Dolores Park (18th St. and Dolores) SF 1 – 5 PM
SOME FINAL THOUGHTS ON PREACHING
Dear Christian friends,
This is the conclusion of our eight part series on New Testament preaching from the book of Acts. Preaching is found throughout the Bible. Noah was called a preacher of righteousness. The Old Testament prophets loudly proclaimed God’s Word in public places, and were usually persecuted for it. John the Baptist was a preacher. He told people to “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 3:2).
Jesus was also a street preacher. He began with basically the same message: “The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). His voice was loud enough that thousands of people could hear him. After His resurrection, he told His followers “that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47). He told them “you shall receive power, after the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto me” (Acts 1:8).
Throughout the New Testament, His followers obeyed His commandment to preach the gospel throughout the world. They preached in public places, to Jews and Gentiles, to rulers and ordinary people. After Saul persecuted the Jerusalem church in Acts 8, “they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.”
Today, many professing Christians say that preaching is not appropriate for our age — especially any mention of Hell, repentance, or judgment. There is no Biblical basis for such a view. Certainly, we live in an age of “moral relativism.” Many unbelievers think that Christians are intolerant because we believe that Jesus is the only way to God and that those who reject Him will be punished in Hell. It is tragic that so many people today consider themselves “evangelical Christians,” yet they reject the clear command of Jesus to go into all the world and preach the gospel of repentance and remission of sins.
Many modern evangelistic methods are attempts to “witness” for Jesus without offending anyone. Some avoid any mention of sin, repentance, or judgment and speak only of God’s love, forgiveness and healing. Was Jesus wrong when he said, “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:5) ?
Some like to misquote St. Francis: “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” Jesus found it necessary to use words, as did Peter, Paul, and everyone else in the Bible (even Balaam’s donkey)! Do we think we are better than Jesus? Do we think that if Jesus and Paul had used our modern evangelism methods, they could have avoided persecution? Paul said, “All who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12). It is impossible to present the gospel in a Biblical way and avoid all persecution.
At the other extreme, there are Christians who are preaching in a way that seems designed to be as offensive as possible. They insult people with their crude, harsh, condemning language and rejoice when they are persecuted. However, they are actually bringing reproach to the gospel. Non-Christians watch them, and decide they never want to become Christians. Christians watch them, and decide they never want to become preachers.
I do believe that we need to understand the audience we are preaching to, and adapt our message to that audience. I could read Jonathan Edward’s famous sermon, “Sinners in the hand of an angry God” to a modern audience, but it would not have the same affect it did in his day. A lot of people today have a hard time with the concept of Hell, and think it is unjust for God to send “good” people there, simply for not believing in Jesus. I agree with Ray Comfort that, instead of repeatedly telling people they will go to Hell, we need to use the law to help awaken their consciences. People need to realize that they have sinned, that their sin is serious, and that God is just and must punish sin. If someone viciously murdered our child, we would want them to be punished severely. We would be angry if the judge simply let the murderer go free. In the same way, it is reasonable for a just God to punish law-breakers severely. Once they understand this, they can appreciate what God did for us in sending His Son to die in our place.
On the Streets
On Fri. Feb. 10, we witnessed at Powell and Market St. Once again, although rain was forecast, it did not rain during our outreach. Dave witnessed to Julian, 18, who said he was an agnostic but had been attending a Bible study. Dave shared the gospel with him, and then gave him a gospel of John, asking him to read it. Julian responded, “My assignment from the Bible study was to read the gospel of John. I didn’t do it, but now I will.” Jacob witnessed to Georgian. He was born in China but lived for many years in France. He said he didn’t believe in anything. Mike ministered to Mike, an older man who said he was a believer, but had murdered someone.
The next day, we witnessed at Fifth and Market St. Richard Griffin played music. Mike witnessed to Andreas, from Sweden, who believed all religions are true. He invited him to City Impact, and saw him there on Tuesday. Mike and Sean witnessed to Chris, 16, whose mother used meth and left home when he was 13. His stepfather raised him and was mean. He was a Jehovah’s Witness. Mike got his phone number and he called him twice. Mike was planning to meet with him to help him get a plane ticket out of the city.
On Fri. Feb. 17, after the outreach, we baptized Christian in our bathtub. He is a young man from Macedonia who has been witnessing with us for the past two months. It was a blessing having him join us, but he has returned to his home country.
On Sat. Feb. 18, we witnessed in downtown Berkeley. Chuck Girard and Paul and Noreen Coca played music. Dave witnessed to Arzan, from Nepal. He was receptive to the gospel and took a New Testament. He also witnessed to Brian, a graduate student working on his PhD in Physics. He was an atheist, but respectful. He thanked Dave for sharing with him. He took a gospel tract and read it. Deanna ministered to Joann, who was in a wheelchair. She bought her some food and prayed for her. She was thankful.
On Sat. Feb. 25, we witnessed at Fifth and Market. Some Christians from Love-San Francisco joined us. A large group from the Falun Gong cult passed by. May witnessed to several of them in Chinese. Cal witnessed to Sky, one of the few who spoke English. He was quite interested in the gospel and they exchanged phone numbers.
On Sat. March 4, we witnessed outside the downtown Berkeley BART station, next to a Chase Bank. The night before, I learned that a pro-Trump rally was scheduled two blocks from where we set up. Anti-Trump protesters were planning to confront the Trump people. When we arrived in Berkeley, police warned us about the likelihood of violence. They said they were outnumbered and could not protect us. The Chase Bank had just replaced its windows. They had been broken in a February protest. The Wells Fargo Bank across the street boarded up their windows, in anticipation of another riot. We went ahead with our outreach. Paul and Noreen Coca played music and several of us preached. I sent Cal to the rally to monitor what was happening. At 3:30 PM, he called me and said the protests were getting violent and they were moving in our direction. The police told us the same thing. We immediately shut down our outreach and got our PA system safely loaded into our van before the protesters arrived. The police shut down the BART station and left the scene. We saw people who were bloody from fights and were pepper-sprayed. But we escaped unharmed.
Thank you again for your prayers and financial support for our ministry. As we prepare for our summer outreaches, I noticed our tract supply is getting low. I estimate it will cost about $2000 to print more tracts. I appreciate whatever you can do to help with this need. A pastor friend of ours gets his tracts printed in India – 4 colors printed and shipped for about 1 cent each (about half the price we pay in the US for one-color tracts). Cal is redesigning our tracts to print in color, and we hope to be able to get them printed in India.
We have set the dates for this year’s SOS-San Francisco outreach – July 12 – 15. This is our 38th year! I hope many of you will be able to join us this summer.
Yours in His love,