KATHY WITNESSES AT 5TH AND MARKET
CAL WITNESSES AT 5TH AND MARKET
JACOB AND STEVE WITNESS AT 5TH AND MARKET
PAUL AND NOREEN COCA SING AT 5TH AND MARKET
MIKE WITNESSES AT 5TH AND MARKET
JILL WITNESSES AT 24TH AND MISSION
BERNIE WITNESSES AT 24TH AND MISSION
ANTIFA PROTESTERS AT SPROUL PLAZA LET JACOB USE THERE BULLHORN TO SHARE HIS TESTIMONY
- KATHY WITNESSES AT 5TH AND MARKET
- CAL WITNESSES AT 5TH AND MARKET
- JACOB AND STEVE WITNESS AT 5TH AND MARKET
- PAUL AND NOREEN COCA SING AT 5TH AND MARKET
- MIKE WITNESSES AT 5TH AND MARKET
- JILL WITNESSES AT 24TH AND MISSION
- BERNIE WITNESSES AT 24TH AND MISSION
- ANTIFA PROTESTERS AT SPROUL PLAZA LET JACOB USE THERE BULLHORN TO SHARE HIS TESTIMONY
Friday June 2, 16, 23 5 – 8 PM Witnessing in San Francisco neighborhoods.
Sat. June 3 Union Square (Powell and Geary) SF 12 – 2 PM Factor 11 band 5th and Market St. 3 – 5 PM
Sat. June 17 UN Plaza (7th St. and Market) SF 12 – 5 PM Sonhouse band
Sat. June 24 Berkeley Outreach (Shattuck and Center St.) 12:30 – 4:30 PM
July 12 – 15 SOS – San Francisco
WOE TO ME IF I DO NOT PREACH THE GOSPEL
Dear Christian friends,
In order for an unsaved person to come to Christ, he or she must be absolutely convinced that he is a lost sinner, and that there is no way he can save himself by his own works or by any other means. As long as he thinks he has found a loophole–that somehow God will accept him without the need for faith in Christ, he will invariably take advantage of that loophole. The unbeliever will comfort himself with the thought that most of the people he knows don’t believe in Christ and that all these people couldn’t be wrong. As we know, this is a dangerous deception.
In a similar manner, in order for a Christian to commit himself to evangelism, he or she must come to the realization that God has commanded him to do so. If he can convince himself that God has made an exception for him, that he is excused from obeying the Great Commission, he will invariably take advantage of this loophole. Unfortunately, the vast majority of evangelical Christianity has allowed itself to be deceived into thinking that a Christian who never witnesses for our Lord can be right with God. Such a Christian comforts himself with the thought that most other Christians don’t witness, so it must be OK.
Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 10:32). Before He ascended into heaven, He gave us the commandment to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15). “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses…to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
The apostle Paul understood the necessity to preach the gospel. “When I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me” (1 Corin. 9:16-17). He told the Ephesian elders, “I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God” (Acts 20:26). In making this statement, he referred to God’s words to Ezekiel and considered them applicable to us in New Testament times: “When I say to a wicked man, `You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself” (Ezekiel 3:18-19).
I’d encourage you to read the whole third chapter of Ezekiel. Some will argue that this passage only applied to Ezekiel, but Acts 20:26 is a clear reference to it, and shows that Paul thought the passage referred to him. The passage in 1 Corin. 9 confirms that Paul considered that some adverse consequence would fall on him if he refused to preach the gospel.
It may come as a surprise to us that the great apostle Paul was motivated by the fear of having the blood of unsaved people on his hands in preaching the gospel. Surely he would have been motivated rather by his great love for God, by the great joy he had in his salvation that he couldn’t keep to himself, and by his love for the lost. I’m sure he was motivated by all these things, but sometimes he needed this extra motivation – Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel. Witnessing for Jesus isn’t always pleasant or convenient. Even Paul at times would have avoided witnessing if he thought he could have gotten away with it and still be right with God. After all, it wasn’t fun having people throw stones at you and being thrown into jail.
Some will argue that these scriptures only applied to the apostles or to those specifically called as evangelists or missionaries. Certainly there are different callings in people’s lives. But do you think that God placed this great responsibility on Paul, where the blood of others would be on his hands if he disobeyed, yet He has given you no responsibility whatsoever to the lost?
Why do you think God did not take you to heaven as soon as you were saved? Why must we endure all those trials and tribulations? Yes, God is purifying us so we will be more like Jesus, but His primary purpose in bringing about these changes is to make us better witnesses for our Lord. When I am in heaven I will be totally like Jesus and will have perfect fellowship with Him, but it will be too late to help anyone else. Again Paul wrote, “I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body” (Phil. 1:23). The main reason we stay on this earth is for the sake of others – to help other believers mature in Christ and bring salvation to the lost.
I realize that these are strong words. Some are still looking for loopholes. “My ministry is to the church, not to the lost.” No – God has called you to minister to both. “You’re trying to put me into legalistic bondage in which I’ll feel guilty whenever someone passes me by and I don’t witness to him.” Obviously, we can’t witness to every single person we come into contact with. But we sin both when we fail to witness to someone God tells us to talk to and when we fail to give evangelism the priority in our lives God wants it to have. When we confess our sins of omission in regard to evangelism, God will forgive us – but we need to change our ways. Thinking about the blood of others being on our hands may seem crude but Paul needed it to motivate him and we need it to motivate us as well.
Once we stop looking for loopholes and making excuses for our failure to witness, we will find a way to witness for Christ as a central part of our lives. If we need training, we will get it. If we are fearful, we will overcome the fear. If we are busy, we will find time to witness just like we find time to go to church, read our Bible, and pray. Getting past the excuses is the hard part; the rest is easy.
On the Streets
On Fri. March 31, we witnessed at 16th St. and Valencia. Dave witnessed to Ru, a Russian man who had spent time in prison, and Reuben, an actor who grew up in a Christian home. He noticed a woman who seemed troubled, and prayed for an opportunity to speak with her. When she walked away, he prayed that she would come back. She did. Aya is from China and was not raised Christian, but attended Notre Dame University. She was upset because she had just broken up with her boyfriend. Dave shared the gospel with her and she was quite receptive.
The next day, we witnessed at 5th and Market St. Cal witnessed to Bryant, who grew up around Christianity but struggled with drugs and homosexuality and lacked faith that God would deliver him. Jacob witnessed to Patrick, giving him an “Are You Ready?” tract. He said he wasn’t ready because he is homosexual. They exchanged phone numbers and he said he would come to church with Jacob next week. He called Jacob on Sunday.
Also, Mike met Maya, who was attending a microbiology conference. She grew up Muslim in Saudi Arabia and attended school in Texas. Some Christians witnessed to her there. She cried out to God to show her the truth and she was saved.
Ministry Needs and News
Thank you again for your prayers and financial support for our ministry. 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.
Jacob, a young man who lives in our ministry house, has been witnessing in Berkeley several times a week. On April 26, he was on Sproul Plaza while student Republican leaders held a press conference announcing that Ann Coulter had canceled her speech because of violence threats. All the national media were there. One Antifa woman was there with a bullhorn. (Antifa means “anti-fascist” but the group is responsible for the recent violence against Conservative speakers.) The woman said she was allowing anyone to use her bullhorn to prove she believes in free speech. Jacob asked to speak. The woman, who had never met Jacob, let him speak, after announcing that he was a “White Nationalist.” Jacob said he was not political, but was a Christian. He also said God delivered him from being gay. There was quite a reaction.
Yours in His love,