July 5, 2007

Going into all the world...

Charles Spurgeon said, "Free will carried many a soul to hell, but never a soul to Heaven."
Last weekend I attended an Evangelism Boot Camp in New York City. What is an Evangelism Boot Camp? Well, it is an opportunity for those who are passionate about their faith and want to see others come to know Jesus Christ as the one who died, in their place, for the penalty of their sins.

Many people have a misunderstanding thinking that they will automatically go to Heaven when they die for reasons such as being a good person, going to church, giving to charities and other good causes, but the Bible tells us differently what it takes for someone to either see or enter Heaven (John 3:3-5, NKJV). Jesus said, “Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again.” (v. 7).

The Great News Network is an evangelistic organization that trains Christians in effectively sharing their faith, as taught by Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort, from the Way of the Master. The WOTM teaches Christians how to utilize the Ten Commandments when discussing with a person if they are good enough to get into Heaven, because most people say and believe they are good enough to get into Heaven.

Using the Ten Commandments helps people to clearly understand biblically that their sin has separated them from God (Isaiah 59:2), how God punished sin (Romans 8:3) and why Jesus became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21), suffering once for sins, the just for the unjust (1 Peter 3:18).

“If the Lord’s bearing of our sin for us is not the gospel, then I have no gospel to preach.” Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Jesus commands every person who believes in His life, death and resurrection, to go out and tell others about Him (Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15, Acts 1:8), to be a witness for Jesus Christ.

“The heart of the gospel is redemption, and the essence of redemption is the subsitutionary sacrifice of Christ.” Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Friday, June 29th
We were split into two teams, where one team went to Tompkins Square Park on East 10th Street and the other team went to Washington Square Park near New York University. I was with the group that went to Tompkins Square Park.

While at the park, I had some great opportunities to share my faith with people as they passed through the park. In each of these encounters, the full message of the gospel was shared. Here are a few of those people I met and what was said.

Allison – The old points to the new
I began to have a conversation with Allison as I handed her a million dollar bill gospel tract. She read the entire message on the bill and as our conversation about Heaven and Hell began, she told me that she was Jewish and her boyfriend is a Christian and she said they frequently had “discussions” about this very subject.

Allison grew up in a traditional Jewish family and learned the Old Testament as a child going to Hebrew School. One of the things that struck me about Allison was that she said, “The more you read the Old Testament, the more you learn about Jesus.” She said this, not me. I was like, “HELLO!!!”
Allison’s father had died within the last two years and it was hard for her in dealing with his death. She turned to drinking too much, eating too much, became depressed and later began to see a therapist for help. Then she said to me how she had been thinking of getting a tattoo in remembrance of her father and her therapist thought that might be a good thing to help her move passed his death.

Since she had just told me that she was taught the Old Testament in Hebrew school, knows it fairly well today and that by reading it, one can see that it points to Jesus Christ, I could not believe I was hearing her say that she was thinking of getting a tattoo.

Leviticus is the third book of the Old Testament and is considered one of the five books Moses had written. Leviticus 19:28 says, “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you: I am the LORD.” I have a tattoo on my right shoulder from the Marine Corps and that was done 15 years ago, about seven years before I became a Christian. My tattoo, without Christ in my life, is a sin against God because He said that the body should not be tattooed. The day that I gave my life to Jesus Christ that sin, among many others, were forgiven when Jesus was crucified.

Robert – Who said that, really?
I later met Robert. An older gentleman who looked like he worked in a labor trade, construction, carpentry or electrician. He too received a million dollar bill gospel tract and he thought it was pretty cool to get one of them.

When I asked Robert what he thought happened to a person when they died, he proceeded to tell me that he believed people were re-incarnated. Re-incarnation is a Buddhism belief where a person could be recreated to live a new life here on earth to hopefully attain an enlightened state of being.

Therefore, Robert was interested in the “secondary life” and that is what I began to talk to him about. As I went through a few of the Ten Commandments we both agreed that he was guilty and would have to stand before God to give an account of his life.

Robert could even recall certain verses in bits and pieces, but he knew some of the Bible. I told Robert that in order for one to have that secondary life he was talking about, he had to become born again, just as Jesus said. He questioned me if Jesus really said that and so I pulled out my Bible, turned to John chapter 3 and read to him verses 3 through 5,
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God."
He then felt that Jesus did not say that because the apostle John had written those words saying that because man wrote the Bible, it had to be flawed. Well, then I had turn to 2 Timothy 3:16 which says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,”

Robert and I had a nice time talking and he welcomed my offer to give him a New Testament bible and a short book, He Did This Just for You by Max Lucado.

Saturday, June 30th – 125th Street, Harlem
This day turned about better than I had expected. At first I was not feeling too motivated but once one of the guys, Raul Cardona and I began talking to Wajid, everything turned around.

I had the opportunity to speak to two men during the afternoon who were Muslim, Wajid and Darryl. My conversations with these men were great. Very peaceful and neither one of us put down the other for what we believed. In fact, both men were very receptive to the book by Max Lucado that I offered to them as well. Both men had given me a hug too and thanked me for spending some time with them to talk about our faith. We both agreed too that one day we will learn who was right and who was wrong.

Darryl listening to Tiffany share the Gospel with him

Darryl and I shaking hands as I finished sharing the Gospel with him.

To gain a basic understanding of the Muslim faith compared to Christianity, please type the following URL in your browser: http://www.dianedew.com/islam.htm

Keisha and Caprice
As I was standing on the corner of 125th and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard, two women walked passed me and I tried to hand them a million dollar bill gospel tract. Caprice looked at it and said to me, “That ain’t real!” And I said to her, “No it isn’t, but the message on it is!” They stopped immediately and reached out to read what was on the bill.

I let them read the message and when they were done, I asked them if God would find them innocent or guilty after what they had just read. Both replied and said they would be guilty. I then asked would they go to Heaven or Hell because of their guilt. Keisha said she would go to Hell but Caprice said she would go to Heaven and I asked her why she thought so and she said that she is a good person and tries to do the right thing to and for people. I shared with Caprice that it is only by grace that we are saved through faith in Jesus Christ and not because of any good works that we have done, to say that because of doing this or that, we have earned the right to go to Heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9). Caprice then changed her answer to Hell now realizing that her good deeds will not save her from going to Hell because of her sins.

They both thought that they knew what needed to be done in order to go to Heaven and so I shared with them, they must repent of their sins, accept Jesus’ death as the payment for your sins against God that satisfies His judgment against you. I shared with them the same thing I shared with Robert the day before that Jesus said, “You must be born again” (John 3:7).

When we were handing out our gospel tracts, people were just lining up to receive them. Whether it was the large $100 bill or the million dollar bill, nearly everyone we held one out for took them. Each of us were tilling the fields for the harvest of souls one day that will be realized.

Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. (1 Corinthians 3:8)

There were about thirty people from various parts of the country who participated in this evangelistic outreach over these two days and some great friendships were established. I am looking forward to keeping in touch and meeting up with them again for some more 1-on-1 evangelism.

There are no crown-wearers in heaven that were not cross-bearers here below. Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Visit the store section of http://www.livingwaters.com/ for some unique gospel tracts you can use.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

SOME MORE PHOTOS

Some of the ladies in Times Square on Saturday night.

Thanks Amanda (red shirt) for these photos.

Chris open-air preaching to the public in Washington Square Park

Another photo of Chris

Reasoning the Scriptures, Acts 17:2

6 comments:

Daniel Muscio said...

That is great. Praise God! It brought back to mind when I would go to the greens and downtown cities every week. Seeing the souls of the people you look at.. thru the eyes of Jesus is what gives you that great focus to speak to everyone God puts in contact with you no matter what... they look like, sound like, or even smell like its the soul that we have to concentrate on. God does the cleaning up. To have the opportunity to do this is fantastic. Maybe, I will have the opportunity to work with you someday where you can teach me what God has taught you. Remember man is God's instrument created to heal his people.

I love this verse in the (NLT) " The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free," (Luke 4:18)

We are ambassadors of God's Kingdom, commissioned on earth to rescue humanity. Brother Kurt, Keep up the good work for Jesus Christ...your rewards will be handed out in Heaven. Jesus smiles down upon your work.

In His Grace,

Daniel

Tiffany Gelpi said...

Cooool! And thanks for putting the CHANGE Collegian Network link up! you rock!

Michael Dones said...

This is excellent! :-)

Great Job, keep up the good work.

Denzil Aponte said...

Thank you for sharing your testimony. I pray that you stay encouraged.

Joe Quattro said...

Thanks for sending me you blog - I read it and Praise God for the seeds that were sown.

Kevin Gruosso said...

Great job Kurt! See you next week.

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