Archive for the ‘Revival Evangelism’ Category

In my discussion with some church and denominational leaders, I am hearing the same question asked and discussed. “How Should the Church Respond Considering the Results of November 8th Presidential Election?”

Leading up to this year’s 2016 Presidential election, I developed the framework for a massive prayer rally in Atlanta. I had a team that helped in coordinating and planning to mobilize, promote, and lead prayer groups.  I personally prayed for God’s will to be done.

Many of my pastor friends and Christian brothers and sisters expressed they were burdened for a change of direction for our country. Across the United States, thousands prayed, fasted and cried out to God asking Him to intervene.

In my heart, I feel that God has heard our prayers, He heard our cries. He has given us at least four more years so the church can have the liberty to evangelize, to make Jesus known without additional limitations and barriers.

So how should the church respond in light of the results of the 2016 presidential election of Donald Trump.

  1. We need to strategize to evangelize.
  2. We need to pray to God that He guide us as we go and intentionally share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  3. Begin prayerwalking the refugee communities asking God to open hearts and minds, and to tear down spiritual walls so Christians can share the gospel.
  4. Churches should begin teaching Arabic as a second language, buy Arabic language tracts and New Testaments and find out where the refuges are and go evangelize them.
  5. We need to continue to pray God direct us and give us favor with lost people.
  6. The church needs to plan to disciple the new believers.

I know that many Christians feel that within the refugee groups coming to the United States, are some who want to cause us harm. Some individuals have stated, while  discussing this topic, their feelings that “There terrorists want to come here and kill us.” One person commented, that “Ninety-Five percent of Muslims are good people. It is the five percent who want to kill us.”

We must be reminded that Saul of Tarsus was a terrorist. He was in the five percent who was actively looking to arrest and kill Christians (See Acts 7 and 22:20). He was hunting down Christians to kill them. But thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ, who encountered Saul when he was on the Damascus Road to arrest followers of Jesus Christ and eventually kill them. Look at what happened with Saul, who is known as the apostle Paul! He became the greatest Missionary Evangelist of the New Testament.

We do not know who God is going to save in our age, through the Churches evangelistic efforts from these Jesus haters. God might use you to win a refugee to Christ who possibly will become the next great missionary evangelist of our time. This is the time for the Church, followers of Jesus Christ to go an engage our culture with the gospel. Jesus is our only Hope.

The apostle Paul is credited with writing many the New Testament epistles, the Pauline letters. In the book of Romans, chapter 10:9:13 he wrote,

that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Further in the letter of Chapter ten, the apostle Paul challenged the church in Rome, with a message, which he personally received from Jesus Christ and that is to go and evangelize the lost. Jesus also challenges every Christian with this same command.

14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who [i]bring good news of good things!”

The apostle Paul makes a profound statement, in Romans 10:17, “17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.”

Fellow Christian, fellow follower of Christ, this our time, this is a window of opportunity to go a make Jesus known. This election is much more than the appointment of a supreme court justice. It is more about making the King of kings, and Lord of lords, known to the world. And the world in knocking at our front door.

Your next mission trip to reach a foreign people group could be next door, or down the street or across the road. Jesus said, “Go win converts/disciples and teach to obey all things I have taught you.” (literal translation) Matthew 28:18-20. Today is the day of salvation 2 Corinthians 6:2.

 

 

 

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The apostle Paul in his letter to the church in Rome made it very clear of the importance of obeying the Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20. In chapter 10:13, Paul quotes an Old Testament passage, Joel 2:32, “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Robert Mounce wrote, “If everyone who calls upon the Lord will be saved, it is important that everyone have the opportunity to hear.” (The New American Commentary: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture- Romans)

“Apart from hearing the message no one can believe” wrote Mounce. He points out Paul’s exposition states clearly that “No one can believe in one of whom they have never heard.” (Romans 10:14) Paul makes a profound statement, “And how can they hear without a preacher?” Paul is reaffirming the Great Commission in this verse and with his statement. Unless, the Christians and the church is intentionally going and evangelizing, that is making Jesus known to the world, lost people will not know, he wrote.

Also, Paul clarifies who is supposed to go. “How will they preach unless they are sent?” (Romans 10:15). Therefore, it is necessary that a messenger (Mounce), an evangelizer be sent. The New Testament Greek Lexicon, defines the English word “sent” as “I send forth” or send away. The New Testament Greek word is a compound word, “apo” (away) and “stello” (send), and the tense is “passive”.

The passive tense means that the person being sent is not making the initial decision to go. It means a Superior, a leader, is making the decision for him. The structure of the Greek language in Romans 10:15 is best understood as “sent on a defined mission by a superior.” (Biblehub.com/Lexicon) This is clearly understood that God sends us to go evangelize our community and the world.

In verses 14 and 15 of Romans Ten, Paul primarily deals with evangelistic preaching. The Greek word “kerusson,” is the more commonly used verb for preaching. (Mounce) The Lexicon defines it this way as “to preach (announce) a message publicly and with conviction (persuasion).” Evangelistic preaching is supposed to with conviction and persuasively. Paul affirms this thought in 2 Corinthians 5:11, “Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences.”

The Greek word for persuade, “peitho’” is also in the passive tense. Which would also mean the messenger is not the one trying to persuade lost people to believe that Jesus is Lord and Savior. No, by no means. The passive tense means that it is God Almighty, God’s Holy Spirit, speaking through you persuading lost people to believe in Jesus Christ.

Again, Paul makes this clear in 2 Corinthians 5:20. “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” It is God who is making the appeal through us. It’s source is from God.

So the question every Christian must answer, “Is God sending me?” Yes, He has, according to Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 1:8. You are sent. Now Go and Tell others about Jesus Christ.

I am a believer in using a demographic study of your community to help develop a plan for evangelizing your community. A demographic study is a key component in discovering who lives in your community. What areas in your community are unchurched? A demographic study will reveal what pockets in your community needs a Bible group that could become a church. Statistics are good in shaping an evangelism strategy. But Statistics are not an evangelism approach. Statistics are what they are.

Personal evangelism is about connecting, and engaging people with the gospel through personal relationships. Without personal, evangelism God’s kingdom is not being advanced. Without personal, evangelism God’s church is not impacting the community by seeing lost people come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Get your demographic study in hand. Get your statistics in hand and then through prayer and seeking God, craft your strategy for evangelizing your community. Then train your church in an evangelistic approach that will give the hearers an opportunity to turn and trust, to repent and believe in Jesus Christ. As Jesus proclaimed, “Unless you repent, you will likewise perish,” Luke 13:3-5. “He who has ears, let him hear,” Mark 4:9.

Jesus Christ gave us the mission, to “Go make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 28:19-20. We get our vision from God’s heart. We are empowered by God’s Spirit to go and evangelize. I say we get back to the basics. Let’s get back to God’s word, and take Him at His word. “Go make disciples by evangelizing lost people with the gospel.

Invitations in the Bible were most always public announcements that required a public response. With very few exceptions, God called followers publicly, and He still calls today in a public manner. The prophets of the Old Testament preached publicly and gave public appeals to their listeners that required public responses. Prophets such as Moses, Joshua, Ezra, Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Jonah, Amos, Malachi, and others gave public invitations for people to follow God.

The first evangelistic appeal recorded in the Bible is in Genesis 3:9, where God publicly called out to Adam and Eve after they had sinned. He said, “Where are you?”  Mankind sinned and separated from God. Because of disobedience, Adam and Eve had broken their relationship with God Almighty.

As mentioned earlier, the Old Testament has a record of the prophets calling people to repentance and right relationship with God. Noah, while he built the ark, extended an invitation to those who mocked him and his sons. We can estimate that for at least 70 years Noah extended an invitation to repent. The invitation lasted up to the moment “God shut the door” of the ark (Gen. 7:16). God kept giving the people opportunities to repent right up until the time He shut the door of the ark.

In Joshua 24:15 the leader of the nation of Israel, Joshua, offered an invitation to the nation to choose who they would serve. Then he took a stand and informed the people that he and his family would serve the Lord. This appeal was one of many offered to the nation of Israel.

On Mount Carmel, the prophet Elijah appealed to the people to consider: “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him” (1Kings 18:21). Elijah challenged the Israelites, who were worshipping both God Almighty and Baal, were to stop dividing their hearts between the two.

This short excerpt is from the book, “Breaking the Evangelism Code” chapter twelve entitled “Giving An Evangelistic Invitation: Inviting Someone To Trust In Jesus As Lord And Savior.  (available on amazon.com)

Recently, Dr. Billy Graham’s Daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, the Evangelist, was quoted on the state of American landscape and purposed the question, “Is God Turning Away From America And Leaving Us To Our Sins,” reported by Michael W. Chapman | April 26, 2016 on CNSNews.com- http://cnsnews.com/blog/michael-w-chapman/billy-grahams-daughter-god-turning-away-america-and-leaving-us-our-sins-0#.VyBDuJn8UVU.facebook

If you read the Old Testament, the first part of the Christian Bible, you will read time and time again, God punished His chosen people for their gross rebellions. In the Old Testament, God’s people, the Israelite’s, murdered/sacrificed their babies at the altars of Molech, aka, the Devil. see Jewish encyclopedia site for more information on Molech.

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/10937-moloch-molech.

Today, in America, we murder our babies, by the hundreds of thousands, every year, at the altars of Planned Parenthood’s, (the abortion clinics). These innocent unborn babies are murdered, while still in was intended to be a “SAFE PLACE” for protection, nurture, and growth. Instead the “SAFE PLACE”, has become a chamber of death, of violent, horrific mutilation of precious unborn babies.

They are basically nothing more than sacrifices offered to the same devil, the god Molech. America and even some churches have gone after false teachings, after corrupted teachings, and have denied the One True God and rebelled and become just like the world.

So do we expect the Creator of the universe, of all living and nonliving matter, to respond differently? Can we sin so much that God would say, “ENOUGH WITH THE SINNING!” In the Old and New Testament, we see recorded accounts, giving evidence that God had to allow His people to wallow in their sin and suffer the consequences.

Genesis, 7 gives evidence that God had enough of humans rebelling and sinning. So He saved the few righteous people, Noah and his family, who followed and obeyed God. Then God flooded the earth, killing all human life and animals, and gave humanity and earth a second chance.

Exodus 32 gives another clear example of God’s people rebelling and sinning, after He set them free from 400 years of bondage and gross slavery under Egyptian rule. While God is giving Mosses the Ten Commandments on two tablets, the people made a false god, a golden calf. God killed all those who participated in the worship of the calf and did not repent, “And the Lord struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made.” Exodus 32:35

In Romans 1, the apostle Paul, who had been a Jesus hater, and he hated everyone who followed or professed Jesus as God’s Holy One, later becomes a Christ follower. He wrote to the church in Rome, that if we keeping on sinning and rebelling and reject God, He will turn us over to sinful ways.

Romans 1:18 states, For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all the evils and the wickedness of the children of men, those who are holding the truth in evil.” (Aramaic Bible in Plain English).

People have chosen to worship the creation today over the Creator as mentioned by the apostle Paul in Romans 1: 22-23. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.”

So what will happen if we have gone to the extreme of sinning so what we can cause God to say “Enough with your sinning and rebelling!”

Romans 1 say, 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.

If you have never asked Jesus Christ to forgive your sin and asked Him to become your Lord and Savior, do it today. Say, Dear Jesus, I believe you died for my sin, on the cross, and where buried. You rose from the grave to conquer sin, death, and the devil. You have the keys to death and life. Right now, I ask you forgive all my sins. Come into my life and heart. I give my life to You Jesus. Thank You for giving me a new life and for saving my soul. In Jesus Name.

If you prayed and asked Jesus to forgive your sins and asked Him to become your Lord and Savior, Congratulations! Welcome to the family of God.

To get started on your new life with Christ, go to www.billygraham.org and click on the Grow Your Faith tab. You will find Bible studies and a bookstore with a wealth of resources. You can also go to www.myhopewithbillygraham.org and order a free Living in Christ study book. There are also free videos about people who also chose to follow Jesus.

It never fails. I have had this question proposed to me while conducting evangelism training, and workshops. Pastors, staff, deacons, and Christians have asked me a similar question. “How do you begin a witnessing conversation or meeting with someone?”

In my book, Breaking the Evangelism Code, Chapter 10, I share from my personal experiences and examples by seasoned soul winners. God has used the experiences evangelizing in the inner cities across America to teach me several valuable lessons.

Let me share with you some helpful suggestions that will help you to begin a witnessing conversation.

  1. You can have peace of mind when it comes to evangelism, because God’s Spirit will lead you in the conversation. Evangelism is God’s heartbeat. Jesus said, “I have come to seek and to save that which is lost.” Luke 19:10 Aramaic Bible in Plain English
  1. You should pray, ask God’s Spirit to fill you, to lead you, and to prepare the individual(s) He wants to lead to make Jesus known to them. Jesus said, “he who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Matthew 11:15
  2. Gods’ Spirit will direct and guide your words. John 14:26 “But he, The Redeemer of the accursed, The Spirit of Holiness, whom my Father sends in my name, he will teach you all things and he will remind you of everything whatsoever I have told you.” Aramaic Bible in Plain English
  3. God’s Spirit will direct you who to approach, when to approach them and how to begin a witnessing conversation. Acts 10:17-19 19 And while Peter was pondering the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are looking for you.
  4. I learned the value of listening to the Holy Spirit, by obeying His leading I get to have effective witness encounters
  5. Start the witnessing conversation by sharing how God changed your life, “Your Grace Story/Testimony.” Write it out, shorten it. Learn a 3, 5, 10-minute version with key gospel verses.
  6. Learn how to share one verse, John 3:16, Romans 6:23. (Do an internet search for much specifics.)
  7. Become comfortable using a simple Gospel Tract. Practice does make perfect.
  8. Learn how to bring a person to the point of decision. What is the point of decision? It is offering a person the opportunity to ask Jesus to forgive his or her sin and to invite Jesus to take control of his or her life.
  9. Learn how to lead in a prayer to surrender, anyone who wants Christ as Lord and Savior, who wants a new start in life, his or her life to Jesus. Read Matthew 11:15, Mark 4:9. (This is a warning with a caution that has consequences)
  10. If you have the privilege of leading someone to trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, connect the person to your Bible study group and church. You want to make lasting disciples.

This list is just a starting point. I hope these help you and God uses these suggestions to put a fire in your bones to make Jesus Christ known.

If you want to get a copy of any of my books, go to amazon.com and do a search for Breaking the Evangelism Code, The Prepared Witness, Intentional Community Evangelism, by me, Victor H. Benavides.  Check out my website, M28evangelism.com for consulting, conferences and much more.

 

 

 

Since June of 2014, I have been in contact with some 500 plus churches. I have been resourcing the local church from various Christian denominations with evangelism resources produced by an Evangelistic Association known around the world. These resources include prayer cards, to list the names of lost friends and family, evangelistic videos that offer an evangelistic appeal, and a Bible study book for new believers. I have personally met with pastors, spoke with pastors on the phone, and emailed pastors. I have also been in touch with para churches leaders, and church leaders.

The results and facts have given me insight to the attitude some pastors and Christians hold about evangelizing lost people today. Of the 500 plus churches, they have automatically categorized themselves into three groups. About one-fourth, of the churches or 125 originally indicated they would participate in an evangelistic emphasis within six to eight months. Another, almost half of the churches decided they would not participate in the nationally driven evangelistic emphasis, even though the resources were provided as free materials by the world-wide acclaimed Evangelistic Association. And another fourth, just never returned my calls, emails or other communications.

Of the churches that had verbally committed and others by filling out a registration card, ninety-four followed up with ordering the free resources, prayer cards, DVD and follow-up books. Another third did not order the resources. Of the churches that ordered resources, one-third or thirty of the churches have planned and followed through with an event. Another one-third are still trying to determine a date for their evangelistic event. And the last third has not made a commitment to plan an event at all.

So what does the research reveal to us about the pastors, and churches? I see that some pastors are very concerned for reaching lost people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In another category, I have observed some church members who are concerned for reaching their lost community with the Gospel. Then there is another group that has not decided yet, that Jesus mandate to proclaim the Gospel as a priority.

So what can we conclude about the pastors and churches who had an opportunity to receive free evangelistic resources to reach and reduce lostness in their immediate communities? First, maybe the individual or church has lost its first love for Jesus. Second, the pastor and church need to reprioritize about what things are good and which are of kingdom significance. Third, the pastor and church need help with ideas how to be creative and “what has worked for other churches.”

I believe that all pastors really want to do what is of kingdom significance. Some pastors and staff need help, because their daily calendars are full of so many other assignments and responsibilities.  Usually, during a phone conversation, personal meeting, or by social media or email, I am asked, “What have you seen has worked with other churches?” This is where I get to share from my findings and facts what has worked and didn’t work.

Sometimes an event didn’t work well because the weather just didn’t allow for the plans to develop. In other cases, the church did not take time to properly promote their event in the correct circles of lost people. For example, if you invite friends and family, co-workers, to your event, you will see some fruit. In other cases, the timing was wrong. The impact of your event is affected by attendance due to a holiday break, school break, summer time vacations, and exam week at school. For those churches who did think through the details, timing, location (church or neutral site), audience, the results were fruitful.

Then there are those churches who try something one time and they throw in the towel on evangelism. Have they forgotten that Jesus said, He would empower us and guide us and give us the words to say when it comes to evangelism? Jesus has not changed His mind. He has not retracted His Great Commission Mandate. The last time I read the Bible, Jesus command to go and evangelize the world is still in everlasting. Not even Jesus had a full commitment from all those who heard Him or saw Him. Of the thousands who followed Jesus at some point in His earthly ministry, only 500 were present to see Him ascend into Heaven.

When you sit down and think about why a church is in plateau or in decline or dying, there is no really reason for a church to be “just surviving”. Well there is one reason, disobedience to the Great Commission is the only excuse for a church dying out. If we say that Jesus is our Lord and Savior, then why are so many “Christians” afraid to make Him known? Why is there even a fear of sharing the Gospel? Jesus gives all we need to be His witnesses!

Maybe doubt has crept in. Maybe discouragement has replaced passion. Many of our pastors and churches are in need of fresh wind of God’s Spirit. I pray that if you are in this present condition, may the Lord Jesus fill you and reignite you to once again have a passionate heart to win lost people to Christ.  May your ministry see a harvest of lost souls.