Archive for September, 2013

Give Me Reason

Posted: September 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

Now that we have clearly defined the gospel plainly, we must now start to look at objections skeptics have about Christianity. In high school Sunday school, Frank Shimkus, the youth pastor, has been doing a series called “Meet the Skeptic.” We really broke down what is at the root of each skeptic and how to lovingly interact with them. Over the next couple weeks, I would like to talk about four types of skeptics in detail, how to recognize and interact with them. Throughout your life, you will more than likely have interactions with skeptics. We need to become well equipped, so that we can be effective in our ministry. I hope and pray that digging into this over these few weeks will encourage and equip you all in evangelism. 

Before we get into specific skeptics, I would like to talk about the importance of having reasons for your faith. What would you say if someone made any of any of these objections: “C’mon, you don’t really believe in the resurrection, do you?!” “Religion is the cause of most of the world’s problems!” “Modern science makes God unnecessary.” “The Bible is full of myths and errors.” “How can you say your values are better than anyone else’s?” Many skeptics will come at us with these tough questions, could you give logical reasons for these objections? Should we just believe because of blind faith?

Let’s take the first objection – the resurrection.  If your default answer is “It’s just a matter of faith” then you would disagree with how the Apostle Paul responded to a skeptic’s objection to the resurrection.  Look at what Paul said: “What I am saying is true and reasonable” (Acts. 26:25).  According to Paul, believing in the resurrection of Jesus is a reasonable thing to do! We can’t and shouldn’t just have blind faith, we need faith backed up by reason. Do we have solid reasons to skeptics’ questions? Consider these verses:

– “Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ” – Acts 9:22

– “Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria came to Ephesus.  He was a learned man with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures…For he vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ” – Acts 18:24, 28

– “So he (Paul) reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there” – Acts 17:17

– “…so I stand here and testify to small and great alike…that the Christ would suffer and as the first to rise from the dead, would proclaim light to his own people and to the Gentiles…What I am saying is true and reasonable” – Acts 26:23, 25

It is clear to see how these two men approached evangelism – with reasonable discussions.  It is no wonder then that another Apostle – Peter – would command all those reading his letter to “be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Pet. 3:15).  This was the mindset of the Apostles; this was the mindset of the early church; and this is the mindset that we are to have as well.  The point of these next couple of weeks is to be equipped to obey the command of 1 Peter 3:15. You will definitely not want to miss the weeks to come! May the Lord strengthen you in boldness as you live on mission for Him!

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Where do I start?

Posted: September 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

Growing up I always heard pastors say “you need to share the gospel; less than 2 percent of Christians are actively involved in evangelism.” After hearing this, I would think to myself I do not want to be a part of that 98 percent, but I never knew where to start. How was I going to bring up the gospel to others? What exactly is the gospel? What if I am asked about something I don’t know the answer to?  Feeling discouraged and inadequate, I moved on with my life. I soon forgot about evangelism and the lost.

My hope and prayer is that we all have the desire for evangelism and the lost, but it can’t stop there. You don’t just walk up to someone and magical words start flying out of your mouth. Evangelism is a combination of preparation and study along with the power of God and the work of the Holy Spirit. In 1 Peter 3:15 Peter says, “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” We must prepare to give a defense by studying the word of God and apologetics. We don’t need to have all the answers, but we do need to have a firm foundation for why we believe in Christ. We then step out in faith to share the gospel in love and truth, trusting in the Holy Spirit to work in there hearts. Remember, we can’t save anyone, we point people towards truth and God does the rest.

With all that being said this week I want to start out by clearly stating what the gospel is. The gospel comes from the Greek work εὐαγγέλιον, which means good news. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul explains the gospel stating, “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the scriptures.” The gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins.  Its our hope, its the power of God that saves, its the rock we stand upon.

So you may be asking the question how do I start a gospel conversation? Well, I think it depends on the situation you are in, but since most of us reading this are in college, I will focus this a little. In college, we meet people all the time, we talk to friends in our classes and are constantly around other people. The best way that I have found to start conversations in college is to bring it up in casual conversation. For instance, many will ask you hey what did you do this weekend or planning to do this weekend. You can then simply respond by mentioning you went to church that weekend and after seeing what they did, asking them if they have a church home anywhere. The conversation can move in many different ways after that, but now you have moved toward a spiritual conversation. Depending on their response, you could end up talking about their spiritual background, what they believe in, ect. Even if that specific conversation doesn’t immediately move into the gospel, the stage has now been set for many more conversations like these to follow and many invite opportunities. This is a simple way that you can get into a spiritual conversation with someone. Try it out and see what the Lord does!

I hope to continue to share evangelism tips throughout the year, but  I would encourage you all to grab the book One Thing You Can’t Do In Heaven by Mark Cahill or Unsilenced by James Boccardo. Also, you can watch Mark Cahill sharing the gospel on youtube. We also have evangelism classes at Shandon on Wednesday nights that you can attend, starting this week! Hope yall have a great week, lets step out in faith and be bold!

Wining, Wining, Wining

Posted: September 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

Mark Cahill is an evangelist, author, speaker, and powerhouse for the Lord. His Book, One Thing You Can’t Do In Heaven, changed my life, encouraged, and equipped me in evangelism. I encourage everyone to get this book on evangelism if you want to learn more about sharing the gospel. In the chapter, Wining, Wining, Wining, he goes through the three possible outcomes when sharing the gospel. “1) The person can accept Jesus Christ; 2) the person can reject Jesus Christ; or 3) we can plant a seed.” His old way of thinking was “that accepting Christ was a winning situation, planting a seed was a winning situation, and being rejected was a losing situation”. However, he then came across 1 Peter 4:14. which says, “If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” According to the word of God, being rejected or persecuted for Christ isn’t a losing situation, it’s a winning situation! For we are blessed when we are insulted! Look at what Jesus says in Luke 6:22-23, “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.” If we can’t lose sharing the gospel, why are we so hesitant to share? Do we not care about the other people around us? Many would go to hell if they died tonight. We need to stand up and be bold! There are so many things speaking against God, we have to rise up and speak truth! I can be as simple as talking to others about you week, saying something about going to church and then asking them if they have a church home, what they think about church? Always be looking for opportunities to move a conversation in the direction of Christ! I want share with you all a poem from One Thing You Can’t Do In Heaven by D.J. Higgins:

“My friend, I stand in judgment now,

And feel that you’re to blame somehow.

On Earth I walked with you day by day,

And never did you point the way.

You knew the Lord in truth and glory,

But never did you tell the story.

My knowledge then was very dim;

You could have led me safe to him.

Though we lived together here on Earth,

You never told me of your second birth.

And now I stand this day condemned,

Because you failed to mention him.

You taught me many things, that’s true

I called you “friend” and trusted you.

But I learn now that it’s too late,

And you could have kept me from this fate

We walked by day and talked by night,

And yet you showed me not the light.

You let me live, and love, and die,

You knew I’d never live on high.

Yes, I called you “friend” in life,

And trusted you in joy and strife.

And, yet, on coming to this dreadful end,

I cannot , now, call you “my friend.”

I want to leave you with a quote from the movie The Gladiator, “Brothers, what we do in life… echoes in eternity.”

The Hand of God

Posted: September 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

Welcome to the Evangeblog, where we blog about evangelism. Now David would like to be clear, this is NOT to be confused with the evangeblob! This point can’t be stressed enough! My prayer is that we can all begin to be bold in sharing our faith, fervently praying for the Lord to show us opportunities for evangelism and outreach, and that we would go after such opportunities with joy and confidence. Now without further adieu the first blog:

It is my joy and pleasure to share with you a story about the hand of God. This past week I had been praying for opportunities to share the gospel and asking God to use me in a powerful way. Well let me tell you, the Lord is faithful and good! Just last night after worship, I get a call from Branson that his car wont crank, so I went to meet  James, Branson, and Stephen behind 631. As we were sitting trying to put our engineering minds together, aka calling our dads to figure out what to do. A guy named Johnny walked up and helped us get the car cranked up. All the while, I’m thinking this guy might not know the gospel, but he gonna learn today! We thanked him for his help and he asked if we could get him some food. So we took him over to none other than The Waffle House. We bought him some food and started a conversation with him. He turned out to go to Manifestation Church, loves the Lord and believes in Jesus alone for salvation. Amen. We were all able to talk about the Lord, his goodness, and maybe a little gamecock football during dinner. After dinner, I was looking in my wallet and found a invite card for Shandon, so I invited our waitress, Ashley, to church on Sunday. As we walked outside and said our goodbyes, James prayed for Johnny. When we were done, Ashley walked outside and told us that we were a blessing. She proceeded to tell us she wasn’t even supposed to be there that night. That she had been to church, but had never experienced people living out their faith like we were and that she would definitely be there on Sunday with her four children. How encouraging it is to see the Lord working in a powerful way! That’s what I call the hand of God and the power of one. I cannot explain the joy that I feel knowing that the Lord was working in a mighty was last night. I pray that the Lord will continue to work in both of their lives and to show up a mighty way as we live for Him.

I encourage you all to pray that the Lord would open your eyes for opportunities to share the gospel and for boldness in those situations. The Lord is at work, the answer is whether or not you want to be a part of it.