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Introduction to the Class
Week 1 and Week 2
(September 4th and 11th, 2010; Teacher: Robert Marino)
Opening Prayer: Father, we come to you in the Mighty Name of Jesus. I thank you for every person here today and those on the web who are taking this class and who are taking the Great Commission seriously. I ask that the Holy Spirit be with us to encourage, exhort, reprove, correct, teach and rebuke us in the areas that need changed in our thinking, and in our own personal lives. Bring forth repentance in our lives so that we can become useful vessels for your kingdom for it is Your will and Your kingdom. Help us keep a humble heart and see that we are just unprofitable servants undeserving of any reward but we thank you that we can store up our treasure in Heaven instead of on Earth. Help us see that every soul won to You is that treasure and we will have eternal brothers and sisters in Heaven with us because we chose to be reformers faithful to Your call and to Your Word. Holy Spirit, give us a burden for the lost and make the truth of Your Word very REAL to us. Holy Spirit, we also ask that you purge us of all false doctrine and false ways that may be in our lives and that is a hindrance to Your work of regeneration. We thank You even now for hearing our prayer and we bless Your Holy Name. Bring us divine appointments with the lost. Amen!
Testimony: Send us your testimonies of divine appointments (those God has put in your path this last week) to which you were able to share your faith.
My divine appointment the first week of September was I was given a great opportunity to witness to my FedEx driver Chris before he was sent to Kuwait for 6 to 8 weeks. He will then be deployed to Afghanistan. He kept his truck running for about 15 minutes while I talked with him. He was very receptive. Please keep him in your prayers.
Beginning of Class: Show “8 Reasons Why I Don't Share My Faith” video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTyv1RwL3WM
Please put on a really thick pair of socks, steel-toed boots, and your ear-receptors, and let's allow the Holy Spirit to move upon this class and let's do mighty things for our Lord.
Those of you who do not know me may need to bear with me for a couple of weeks. I sometimes say things in a harsh-sounding manner but never mean to hurt anyone. I speak the truth and sometimes the truth offends. Few are willing to speak the truth anymore. You will see throughout all of the gospels that Jesus offended a lot of people not because He was trying to offend them but He wasn't about to water down the truth. The truth will set someone free but if we don't speak TRUTH for fear of offending people, they won't be set free. I will try to put some sugar in the medicine and maybe a little humor to soften the punches. I am more of a fiery preacher in my presentation than a soft-spoken teacher. That's just how I am. I tried to be someone that I was not and it just didn't work.
Further facts about me: I am not a Post-Modernist in my beliefs. I believe the word of God is black and white, infallible, inerrant and trustworthy for we have a more sure word of prophecy (2nd Peter 1:19). I believe in defending the faith as was the manner in all of the epistles and in the early church (Jude 1:3).
I am so unpolitically-correct that if you didn't know my heart you probably would want to spank me a few dozen times. I despise political correctness. I am an American-Italian and am proud of my American heritage and am okay with my ethnicity. Notice I did not say I was an Italian-American. That's the problem with America today. People divide themselves up into little groups. Whatever happened to that thing we call "The Great Melting Pot?"
Bear with me as far as how I present things. It's been about 9 years since I taught a Sunday School class so I am getting broken in again and will try to be more organized and concise.
I have also been known, so my wife tells me, that I can go off on tangents sometimes so pay really good attention just in case I have to call on YOU to remind me where my train of thought originally was. I really don't want you to have to be a partaker in my humiliations.
Ask yourself why are you taking this class and set some personal goals. I really don't just want to give you guys a bunch of head knowledge that puffs up (1st Cor. 8:1). If it doesn't get put into practice, it will become head knowledge or should I say, we will just be a bunch of fat-heads.
My 7 Goals for this class
Presenting The Gospel Clearly: My goal is to teach you how to share your faith
Get God's Heart: My goal is hopefully to motivate you and for you to see the heart of the Father and His heart become your heart in winning the lost. After all, isn't that why He sacrificed His Son for our sins to bring us back into right relationship with Him? He wants to harvest as much wheat as possible before the end of this dispensation. We are going to need a lot of bread in Heaven so we will need a lot of wheat.
Reformers of America: My goal is that you will become bold on-fire witnesses for His namesake and for the sake of those who have not heard yet and bring about reformation to this country.
Bold Witnesses: My goal is that everyone here, including myself, will take that next step forward in our walk with God and be the ambassadors for Christ that He has called us to be.
Christian Worldview: My goal is that we will take the souls of men and their final abode in eternity a very serious matter and that we will never be the same and that our Christian worldview will be in light of winning the lost.
True Followers of Christ: My goal is that we will also become better witnesses outwardly by walking in the Spirit and not fulfilling the lust of the flesh.
Obedient Followers of Christ: My goal is that each one of us will reach at least one person every 5 years as a bare minimum and not be in that group of 98% that profess Christ as their Savior yet do not share their faith regularly.
What are your goals? They say that if you don't have or set any goals, you will never meet any of them. Write down at least 3 goals you have as to why you are taking the class.
Jerry Falwell: Jerry started with 35 members when he begun Thomas Roadville Baptist Church and they won 17% of the population of Lynchburg, VA and its surrounding areas by the year 2000. That's pretty good for one church and if you've been to Lynchburg, VA there is literally a church on every corner. His church had a vision. Our vision should be to reach the lost. That is God's heart and we need to get in our prayer closets to get His heart. You can't spend time in prayer and not get a burden for the lost unless your prayers are always “Give Me” instead of “Make Me Into Your Image and Give Me Your Heart Oh God”.
How many here today have been called of God to be an evangelist according to Ephesians chapter 4?
How many here have been called to evangelism?
You are either one or the other. There is no third option. You won't find a third option in scripture.
Let's turn to Ephesians 4:
Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
Eph 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine (of which we have many winds of doctrine today in evangelism that are unscriptural), by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Eph 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Eph 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Act 21:8 And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him.
Philip is the only one mentioned in the Bible whose specific call was to be an evangelist. I'm sure there were many more but they just are not mentioned. Although an apostle moves in the area of evangelist for a time when planting a church, he is not an evangelist per se'. A true evangelist's job is not only to publicly proclaim the gospel on a (1) regular basis, he must also (2) teach the Body of Christ how to evangelize Biblically so that each person in the Body can do EVANGELISM one-on-one with those around them on a daily basis. That is part of my job. Everyone that names the name of Christ should be evangelizing their co-workers, clients, neighbors, friends, relatives, etc., etc. If you are okay with your neighbor going to an eternal Hell without trying to reach them, there is something seriously wrong with your Christianity or at least with what you think Christianity is. I give no apologies on that statement.
Ask yourself, "Do I name the name of Christ? Am I doing any evangelism?"
Let's turn to Mark 16: 15-17a:
Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Mar 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Mar 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe;…
Are there any in here that are a “them that believe”?
Now turn to 2nd Timothy 4 and I will set the stage for you. Paul is writing his second letter to Timothy who is his “son in the faith” or we can say spiritual son. Paul is in prison and this is his last letter that he will be writing knowing that he will soon be “putting off this flesh”. He knew his execution was soon coming and he was giving Timothy his last charge and warning along with encouraging him to do the work of an evangelist and how to be a good pastor.
2Ti 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2Ti 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
2Ti 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
2Ti 4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
2Ti 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
The epistles of Timothy and Titus are what they call pastoral epistles. Paul knew it was his last chance to write this letter and that it was crucial for pastors to do the WORK of an evangelist. I've been a Christian for 27 years now and it amazes me that out of the thousands of church services I have been to, only three services were where a minister was brought in who taught you HOW to evangelize. Unfortunately, that minister had a lot of zeal without knowledge and taught some wrong things but he at least was trying. Today, we not only have pastors who are not heeding Paul's admonition to do the WORK of an evangelist but most have never even had an evangelist come in to teach his people how to evangelize. I make no apologies on that statement. Bringing an evangelist in to have some kind of revival service is not the same either. Thought I should throw that in.
I prayed that God would send those who He wanted to be in this particular class at this particular time. I don't care if it is one person or fifteen or ten thousand. Not everyone is ready to hear some of the things I will be bringing out in this class. I am an evangelist and it is part of my job to bring correction in the area of evangelism to the Body of Christ along with encouraging those in the Body to do the work of an evangelist. How many do I still have with me? Is anyone still listening out there?
In saying that, it is sad to say that much of the evangelism that has been going on for the last 50 to 100 years has for the most part strayed away from much Biblical truth and also has incorporated many EXTRA-biblical practices that has led to the production of many false converts, backsliders, false teachers and false prophets that are now so rampant within our churches in America and it will be a daunting task to turn this whole mess around. But guess what? We have a big God. But God works with us. Does anyone out there want to be a reformer?
Revival will not come until reformation happens. There must first be reformation that will bring in repentance of which will automatically bring in revival or as some would call, an awakening. But revival starts with reformers. John the Baptist was a reformer and do you remember what his job was? His job was to prepare the way of the Lord and he did that by preaching repentance and breaking the fallow hard ground of the hard hearts so that the gospel COULD be received. Too many people are trying to stuff the seed of the gospel down through hearts made of granite.
In saying that and I better say this, there is a false reformation that has been going on for about 5 years that actually started about 12 or so years ago. It is called the Emergent Church Movement of which is just a social gospel. Although it has some good things about it, it is loaded with false teachers who are into Eastern Mysticism, some of which deny the atonement now, and totally lacks repentance, and much of the scriptures are either twisted or rejected by its leaders. If you have been reading my articles for the last three years, you know what I am talking about. Twenty Million “believers???” have already went into this “repackaged New Age” philosophy. The true church, those individuals within the churches that truly have a hunger and thirst for righteousness and desire to be sanctified, and a desire to see lost men and women saved need to be taught how to present the gospel Biblically.
Unless America gets back to doing things Biblically, we will end up like the United Kingdom within 20 to 40 years, where most of their churches are empty, or have been turned into stores and where Islam is getting more and more of a stronghold on the nation. The Muslims are currently converting men in America's prisons to Islam and last I heard is they are proselytizing South America. Ask yourself this, "Why do so few in America not share their faith?"
At times, I will be quoting the great preachers of the last 250 years such as John and Charles Wesley, A. W. Tozer, George Whitfield, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, A. W. Pink, Leonard Ravenhill, Paul Washer, Ray Comfort, Mark Cahill, and even Charles Finney. There are some names I left out of there on purpose that you probably thought I would mention but it is for good reason. Some have preached an accurate message but have added EXTRA-biblical practices that you just cannot find one time in scripture and for the most part their ministries have a really, really high fall-away rate. A fall- away rate are those who have never been truly saved (false converts) or who quickly left the church when trouble or temptation arose (backsliders). This fall-away rate is 80% or higher. Some of the other ministries I haven't mentioned have as high as a 90% to 99% fall-away rate because the gospel presentation (1) falls short of the truth and (2) is loaded with half-truths (I call that a lie), or (3) there is no truth at all. With these ministers, the Bible speaks plainly of them that “they would turn the grace of God into lasciviousness”. They actually use the person's covetousness to try to bring them to Christ. God's wants to be your sugar-daddy. They use their greed to make them more greedy and call it Christianity. I make no apologies on that statement. In other words, they make light of sin and they themselves don't even know the holiness of God. Some don't even mention sin, or repentance in their gospel message and have for the most part strayed from the truth. On the Day of Judgment, Jesus will be turning away many people because they are workers of iniquity (lawlessness) and do not possess an intimate relationship (I never knew you) with the REAL Jesus. It is so important that we do not taint the Word of God. If God's Word is tainted where the jots and tittles are taken out, it is no longer the Word of God and if it is no longer the Word of God, you tell me WHAT IT IS?
Listen to what Jude says.
Jud 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
Jud 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jud 1:5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. Only two in that generation made it in - Joshua and Caleb.
Lasciviousness means filthiness or wantonness. The preachers I mentioned above that I esteem highly had a 10% to 20% fall-away rate - not an 80% to 99% fall-away rate. So in future classes we will discuss what they knew biblically and what they incorporated into their preaching that is almost non-existent today in almost all preaching. We may know what the gospel is but if we put God and His holiness in the wrong light, we give the listener a false idea of who God is and then they therefore create a god in their own minds that doesn't exist in scripture.
Presentation is everything just like location is everything when putting a store in a certain location to get the most foot traffic. If we get back to presenting the gospel correctly, we will see less numbers but we will see (1) true converts (2) working true repentance in their lives and are (3) faithful followers of Jesus. It's all about TRUE conversion and not having someone give a shallow commitment to the God of Covenants and then popishly pronouncing them saved even though they never live for God the rest of their lives and have absolutely no hunger or thirst for righteousness. I do not make any apologies for that statement.
Galatians chapter five is very clear on WHO will not enter the kingdom of God.
Gal 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ's have (they do it) crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
From the wide spectrum of Calvinists to Arminianists and the wide spectrum from Baptists to Pentecostal, when it comes to this monster we call evangelism, almost all of us have lost our minds either in how we present the gospel or in adding EXTRA-biblical practices because WE want to add to the church and don't think God is capable of that part of the job of regenerating the unbeliever. We need to stick to our jobs of being seed-sowers and seed-waterers and let God bring the increase. Trust me people, God knows what He is doing and He doesn't need your help.
In this class, we will also discuss a lot of things that you are unaware of. Evangelism or what is past off as evangelism today is so far from being Biblical that we do God a disservice but that is why I am here - I am here to help change that. We must get back to being a Biblical Body of Christ that believes this book we call the Bible, and believe that it is THE truth and that it is inerrant, infallible, and worthy of all respect. If we truly believe that this book we call the Bible is God-breathed and God-inspired, we need to take everything it says in there very seriously because souls are in the balance. Does everyone here understand that? What if it were your soul in the balance? How would you feel?
I know this for a fact, you will either love what I bring out or hate it but I must be a god-pleaser and be faithful to this God-inspired book we call the Bible. It's called the HOLY Bible for a reason. I have a healthy fear of God. How about you?
Now that we know everyone in here is either an evangelist or called to evangelize, I think we will have a good time and bring some good instruction into all of our lives.
Here are a few facts that I would like to bring out so that you don't think I am blowing smoke.
75% of children raised in a Christian denominations lose their faith in their 1st year of secular college and NEVER come back to God. Part of the reason is they never came to God in the first place but we will touch on that some other time.
98% of those that profess to be born-again do not share their faith regularly. I am going to change that statistic. How about you? Will you help me? Will you be a reformer?
70% of those that profess to be born-again in America believe that there is more than one way to the Father and to Heaven. This is called Universalism or Inclusivism. Here is my proof that New-Age has entered the church through The Emergent Church Movement ministers and their books. Many of them deny John 14:6 that Jesus is the only way. Aren't you sick of people calling our Jesus a liar? If I wasn't a Christian, I would take them out behind the shed. Hey, I might do it anyhow. Elijah did kill the 450 prophets of Baal (1st Kings 18:11-40). I know, that's old covenant. The Holy Spirit will sometimes take out the trash though. Ananias and Saphira give up the ghost for lying (Acts 5:1-11) and Herod gets eaten by worms because of his arrogance (Acts 12:21-23) and the Corinthians die for taking the communion in an unworthily manner (1st Corinthians 11:23-34). Do you still want revival? When God turns up the heat, you better be ready to handle it.
It is very hard to ever reach someone past the ages of 18 to 21 years old. 90% will not come to God that are older.
In America, Christians spend less than 1% of their income to reach the lost in foreign countries. This statistic came from around 1990 and may be worse or better today. This amount is most likely much worse if many today think Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, etc. (Universalist Worldview) are going to be in Heaven too for then there is no need to give to the Great Commission.
About five to ten years back, Promise Keepers had said that 90% of Christian men have never shared their faith one time. These are men who claim to be saved.
We know that 100% of people will die. 6.8 billion out of 6.8 billion will die. But where will they go?
When the population was about 6 billion, 150,000 people were dying daily. The death rate is probably around 168,000 dying daily now.
One person dies every two seconds or less.
Only 3% of people who go to seminars go back home and change things. I hope I have a better rate than that by the end of this class.
This next statistic saddens me personally because I am an evangelist but I believe America is in the state it is in today because of this one. Very few evangelists in America are supported financially - most likely less than 1%. I know of about 10 to 15 evangelists just in the Warren/Youngstown, Ohio area that know how to evangelize Biblically yet not a one of them has any support and hasn't ever had support. They are lucky to get out on the streets for even two hours a week and that is where most of the sinners are. The reason is because most have full time jobs or businesses that they run to support their families and pay their bills. This mentality is like owning a business and not paying your CEO, CFO, and those who bring true growth to your company and thinking your business is going to grow. It's foolishness. You talk about putting the cart before the horse. That doesn't make any sense. Hey, I am partial and biased in this area. I know. I told you that I am blunt but the church has muzzled the ox that treads out the grain for over 30 years in this country when it comes to supporting the evangelist. I am one of those evangelists and I am already worn out at age 43 now. I don't have the energy I use to have so it is time to raise up some younger guys and gals that can take the torch and run with it. Imagine if we had 10,000 or more evangelists out there every day who knew what they were doing because their needs were met and having every church member sharing their faith regularly. I know; I dream big.
Now, this is the saddest statistic of all. Many, if not most, will go off into eternal damnation because they have died in their trespasses because many are watering down the gospel message and presenting another gospel. These condemned people will be so very offended when they find themselves in Hell because they never really came to God in repentance and continued living in a state of lawlessness and habitual sin. Some of you call watering down the message "LOVE". Telling half-truths isn't love at all. I make no apologies for that statement.
Now these statistics below were taken at least ten years ago and had to do with churches that were declining in numbers.
98% of church members in our local churches have never won a person to Christ.
95% of members on administrative boards have never won a person to Christ.
85% of Sunday School teachers have never won a person to Christ.
50% of pastors said they had never led a person to Christ on a one-to-one witness.
As you can see, the churches in America have a serious growth problem and most that are growing "in numbers" are only growing because they made Jesus more palatable by watering down the message. The only growth going on in most churches is leaven but that is another subject. Almost ALL of church growth in most churches in America is only transfer from other churches and very, very few are NEW or TRUE converts that become disciples. How many did I say earlier in the introduction left orthodox Christianity for a New-Age Jesus? I think I recall about 20 million.
Do you still have those steel-toed boots on? Just look at the last election about how many people who name the name of Christ either voted for their candidate because (1) they thought it would increase their pocketbooks, (2) voted for their candidate just because of skin color, and (3) who did not put the murder of the unborn as a high priority as to who they should vote for. Did you know that 4,500 unborn babies were slaughtered on September 11th, 2001 and no one ever heard their cries or gave it a second thought? Another 4,500 were sacrificed to the god of convenience on September 12th, and so on and so on. Do we really think their innocent blood isn't crying out to God? God has always used foreign nations to bring His judgment upon Israel when they went into idolatry or put strange fire upon the altar and don't think that judgment has not come to America. I'm getting off the subject. I told you I can but it does all tie together. And boy did I bloody up some toes on that bout. We are almost done. Don't give up now. You can make it. Put another pair of socks on. If you thought I said anything racist there, your problem is with God and not me. I was just bold enough to say it. Just repent for what you did and God will forgive you.
Speaking of September 11th, I want to ask a question.
If God gave you insight on September 10th of what was going to happen on September 11th, 2001 and God wanted you to preach to those people in those buildings , “How would you present the gospel to those people?” I will give you ten seconds to think that over.
<Jeopardy music playing in the background>
Okay, your ten seconds is up.
Would you tell them "Jesus has a wonderful plan for your life" or "God wants to be your ultimate sugar daddy?" You know that they are going to die the next day. The wrath to come is coming from the Jihadists. I will tell you what a wise preacher would tell them. A wise preacher would tell them to flee from the wrath that was to come. And those that believed the message would either not show up the next day having believed the message and fleed from the wrath that was to come or they would have at least had the opportunity to have had fled from the wrath that was to come and been given the opportunity to have believed the message. We will talk about "law to the proud" and "grace to the humble" in future lessons but keep in mind that most love their sinning and are self-righteous just like the Pharisees and the pagans. I spent enough time on the streets to know these things.
Do you see how foolish some of the things we do today are when you put them in proper perspective and give a good analogy? I had a guy die on me once two hours later. I disobeyed the Holy Spirit's prompting thinking I would talk to him a week later thinking he would be out of the hospital but that didn't happen. See Brian Story. Life-Enhancement and a man-centered, self-centered gospel are sending more people to Hell today than anything because it is a false gospel. Some (very few) people do get saved in spite of bad preaching but it is only because seed has already been planted and watered over time and it gave the Holy Spirit something to work with. This further proves that the Holy Spirit has to bring the increase - not us.
We must get back to Biblical evangelism. So we will look into things like “How did Jesus preach” and "How did people get born-again in the Book of Acts"? The gospel is about the three R's - repentance, reconciliation, and righteousness but instead we give people reconciliation without repentance and the “righteousness of God” is never revealed (Romans 1:17) in their lives.
Rom 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
A lot of people talk a lot about the Romans Road but few even know anything about it. They quote 5 to 10 scriptures out of the entire book of Romans and call that evangelism. Just in these two verses alone that I just read we see two things - the righteousness of God and the wrath of God. I hardly ever here anyone discuss these two things in their evangelism and they are mentioned in the VERY FIRST chapter of Romans. The Apostle Paul gave this whole discourse (16 chapters) to the readers, not just 10 verses. Some of the most misused verses in the Book of Romans are Romans 10:9,10, and 13. We better know what we are talking about and why Paul put these verses in his epistle.
Back to the old time preachers. The old time preachers would plow the fallow ground of the hard hearts for sometimes two to three weeks and then the power of God would fall on the people in that area. And this was preaching to people who were not Bible-illiterate and un-churched. These preachers didn't rush things because they knew it had to be the work of the Holy Spirit. We are dealing with 50% of our county (Trumbull, Ohio) being un-churched and we just tell the unsaved to sign on the dotted line. Some don't even know what a nativity scene is for God's sake. I am being serious people. I didn't just make that up. A young schoolteacher lady in my class back in January, 2010 told me that about some of the kids in her public school class.
The apostle Paul would go into temples regularly and reason with those there. He was talking to people who were familiar with the Old Testament scriptures. These people were not ignorant yet it took him some time to convince them that Jesus was truly the Messiah.
1. Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:
2. And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
3. Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.
4. And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.
- Acts 17:1-4
Today, we talk to people with a watered down message for about two minutes who don't have a clue what we are talking about and have them repeat some prayer and we think WE led them to the Lord? One guy just this last week claims to have led 1,000 people to the Lord in three days. Sounds totally prideful to me. Read Acts 2:1-41. This man claims to have accomplished this great feat without the help of (1) the sound of a rushing mighty wind to attract the people to the Upper Room because of curiosity, (2) a whole group of radical Christians talking in many different languages, and (3) the preaching of a minister (Peter) who walked with Jesus in the flesh for 3 1/2 years. That doesn't even take into consideration that he was talking to many, many un-churched people who didn't know anything about the things of God. Boy, I wish I had that anointing. I'm not convinced. How about you? We'll see if his fruit remains. As far as I know, it hasn't for the last 10 years. I make no apologies for that statement.
Why do we think there is such a huge fall-away rate? I am glad for the 1% to 20% who truly are converted and on their way to Heaven but what about the 80% plus who now think they are saved because we told them that they were? What about them? We run into them on the streets all of the time. They say they are Christian but can't tell you (1) why they are one or (2) they are living more like the devil than those who claim not to be a Christian. Are they now inoculated from the truth thinking they are all right with God? I am concerned about that. Remember what it said in Galatians chapter five? I may sound hard but people I am concerned about the lost being misguided by bad preaching. I don't mean to be a tough guy and float like a butterfly and sting like a bee but somebody has to say something.
My final words to the introduction to this class:
God has raised up over 10,000 evangelists in America in the last five years that know how to evangelize Biblically so we have the troops ready to go to war but (1) we need the intercessors who will pray for them and (2) we need those who can financially support them to start supporting them. If all of the Christians in America who have a cable or satellite connection gave it up for the sake of the lost, we can easily support these men and women of God. Much of what is on there is junk anyhow and you shouldn't be watching it. I make no apologies for that statement. I will bring the extra socks to the next session.
Some ministries on TV bring in over half a billion dollars every year. I did the math and here it is. $500 million divided by 10,000 evangelists = $50,000 income per year. I know most evangelists would be content with $15,000 to $25,000 a year so their bills are paid so here 10,000 to 33,333 evangelists could be supported per year with just what one of these ministries bring in. The money is there so there is no excuse. It would be awesome to see these preachers freed up to FULL TIME ministry if we can just start supporting them and get our priorities right. Quit praying for revival if you are not willing to support the missionaries within your own country. I make no apologies for that statement.
We need to get our priorities right. So many Christians are putting their time and efforts into the political realm right now because of what is going on in our government. But the truth of the matter is that if the Body of Christ would have supported the evangelists in their own country over the last 50 years and preached a Biblical gospel, many hearts would have been TRULY changed and when the heart is truly changed and seeking after God they would have never voted in people who support the murder of the unborn. I'm blunt people. I warned you. I really am a nice guy.
Well, if you made it this far in the teaching you must either be a glutton for punishment or you must be totally serious about serving God and we have weeded out those who are not serious about winning souls. I want to give encouragement and exhortation now to those who have survived my barrage of statistics, stinging truths, rants and ravings, trembling bouts, and goals.
******************************I will add these encouraging words next week since I am very tired and I have to get this uploaded for my class at the church I go to.***************
Do you still love me?
The Sacred Cowtipper loves EWE!
Now I would like to give a whole bunch of exhortation and encouragement.