August 25, 2007

Riverfront Green Evangelism

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” Isaiah 6:8, NKJV.

On August 4th, I asked GNN NJ Local Leader Tiffany Gelpi if she and some others, whom I met during the NYC EBC, would be interested in coming up to evangelize at a community event in Peekskill, New York.

Each year the city holds a series of events celebrating the history and heritage of the city, which culminates with a fireworks display where approximately 3,000+ people attend at the community Riverfront Green by the train station.

Altogether there were eight of us who came up for the event. Tiffany, Ellen Evans, Fred and Stacy Knapp, Nick Astacio, Obie Hill, Byron and myself.

All I can say is WOW, what a night it was!!

I saw quite a few people that I had not seen in years from high school and when they asked what was new with me, well, it just opened up the door to tell them about Christ in my life while handing them a Billion Dollar Bill or a Big Money $100 bill.

I watched Tiffany have a great conversation with a girl who went to my high school, but graduated a few years after me; Fred Knapp was engaged talking to alot of people as well. Ellen and I went into the main area of the gathering and started handing out tracts and one joker tried to get her phone number and she just handed him a Million Dollar Bill instead! Tiffany was witnessing to 3 or 4 county police officers too at one point!

During the evening, I spoke to a Marine who had been recently discharged from his active duty service commitment. He spent two tours in Iraq and it led to me discussing what he thought about death while in Iraq. After hearing what he believed, he was very attentive to what I was saying concerning the reality of hell as Jesus talked about it in Luke 16, and the parable of The Rich Man and Lazarus. He also understood that our violation of God's Law (Ten Commandments), our sin, deserves to be punished by God. The only way to heaven was by repentance and by becoming born-again. Because both of us were Marines was a plus and that time spent with him was so worthwhile and I thanked God for that.

When I had finished speaking to the Marine, Ellen had captured four young teenage girls' attention as she took them through the Law too. When she had finished each of them received a bible and were instructed in what they needed to do, repent, trust in Jesus Christ and begin to read the bible, preferably starting with the Gospel of John.

I had handed the big $100 bills to some kids who were maybe 10 or 12 years old and Nick stepped in and asked them the $100 question! He had them for a good few minutes preaching to these young kids too and it was amazing to watch! Nick is like a bulldog when it comes to witnessing and preaching and it's his tenacity for seeing people come to the knowledge and truth in understanding who Christ is and what He did for us that is so inspiring to me.

That night I wore a t-shirt I received as a promotion gift from work, for the movie The Bourne Ultimatum and that's what it said on the front of the shirt, The Bourne Ultimatum.

Little did I even realize that the title of the movie on the t-shirt communicated a hidden message too as I was handing out tracts. Every person does have an ultimatum with God, and quite literally it is as Jesus said, repent or perish. (Luke 13:3,5, NKJV).

I was able to present the Gospel to several people I had gone to high school with, some whom I played baseball with during a summer league and some who were neighbors where I had lived near the high school.

I was saddened though when two brothers absolutely believed they were going to hell, even thinking that hell was here on earth and they felt that their good works would satisfy God's wrath for their sin against Him. Since they knew they were guilty and destined for hell, all I can say is that I cut to the chase of their realization and went straight to the cross. They did not choose to repent and trust in Christ that evening, but a seed was planted, many seeds were planted by all of us.

This event will be held again next year, unless Jesus comes before then, so hopefully we can get a larger group to come up and evangelize the community in even greater numbers.

As the fireworks display concluded the celebration and people were gazing at the wonderful and beautiful show, I had wished that everyone there would have the same high expectation to see Christ return, even meeting Him in heaven, like they did to see the beautiful array of colors and shapes as they lit up the sky.

"Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen." Revelation 1:7, NKJV.

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

August 9, 2007

My hope is in...

A few days ago, I received an email from someone that cared to send me a money angel, and if I forwarded the same email to others, I would be blessed by the money angel.

I further shared that there is nothing biblical to support what was sent, in fact it's deceptive to people because when the money angel doesn't deposit the cash, it will turn people away from God. Stuff like this is the work of the devil and no one should participate in his deception to steer people away from God.

I added that we should take a lesson from Jesus from the Gospel of Luke chapter 6, verse 38, "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you."

God can't even honor something like the money angel email because it is contrary to His Word.

Here are some verses of Scripture that I shared with my friend. Maybe they will be a blessing to you, as reminder of where to place our hope.

My hope is in...

Psalm 31:24
- Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD.

His mercy
Psalm 33:18
- Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy,

Psalm 33:22 - Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, just as we hope in You.

His Word
Psalm 119:81
- My soul faints for Your salvation, but I hope in Your word.

Him always
Psalm 131:3
- O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forever.

Times of trial
Jeremiah 17:17
- Do not be a terror to me; You are my hope in the day of doom.

The future
Jeremiah 29:11-14
- For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.

Jeremiah 31:17 - There is hope in your future, says the LORD, that your children shall come back to their own border.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ and of our own souls
Matthew 28:6-7
- He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.

Acts 24:15 - I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.

1 Corinthians 15:13-14 - But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.

1 Peter 1:3-5 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

The promise of heaven
Colossians 1:5-6
- because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth;

2 Timothy 2:11 - This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him.

The faithfulness of God
1 Corinthians 1:9
- God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

2 Corinthians 1:18-20 - But as God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes and No. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.

2 Thessalonians 3:3 - But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.

His faithfulness to cleanse us from all of our sins
1 John 1:9
- If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

In Him when we have been faithless
2 Timothy 2:13
- If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.

Have you betrayed Jesus?

When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray ...