Expect Results From Witnessing

Expect Results From Witnessing

Chapter Four

Expect Results From Witnessing
Christianity Is A 'Lay Movement' 68 A Great Sinner Becomes A Great Soul-Winner! 76
Reaching Teens For Jesus Christ 70 Results Of 'Going' 78
Rescue The Perishing – Mission Accomplished 72 On Going To The Other Side 80
A Modern Day 'Philip' 74 Discussion Questions 82

Christianity Is A 'Lay Movement'

Among the original twelve disciples whom Jesus called to follow him, not one of them had attended a 'Theological Seminary'! And there were several of the Old Testament prophets, whom God called boldly to declare His message, who were also 'laymen'! Like Amos 'a herdsman' who sat on the hillsides all day watching his sheep, keeping them from straying (Amos 1:1). Or like D.L. Moody who "was a man of very ordinary appearance, un ordained by any ecclesiastical group and quite uncultured and uneducated – even uncouth and crude to many." (Dallas Willard) It is important to be grateful for the great intellectual 'giants' (the so-called 'professional religionists' and 'Church leaders') throughout the ages – like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Wesley – but it is also important never to forget that Christianity (from the very beginning) was a 'lay movement'. It was lay men and women through whom God most amazingly worked – to spread His Kingdom far and wide – during the days of the Early Church! Part of the 'genius' of the great Evangelical Revival that took place in England over a period of several decades during the 18th century (under the leadership of John Wesley) can be attributed to the emergence of hundreds of 'lay ministers', most of whom had no 'formal' theological training.

There are thousands of lay persons whom God has 'called' to special ministries, to build His Kingdom in the 'far flung reaches of the earth'. Like my cousin, George Christian, and his talented wife, Drucilla, who have been serving God as missionaries to the Ukraine since shortly after the 'fall of Communism' in 1989. When they sensed God's call, they were sent to the Ukraine by their Southern Baptist Church in Texas, to pass out 'food boxes', and (most importantly) to share a simple witness for Christ. During the last eight years they have been in the Ukraine, they have had the joy of leading many to a saving knowledge of Jesus! I knew George as a cousin who never 'darkened a church door', but George was wonderfully converted as a young adult (at a 'Billy Graham Crusade') and latter married a dedicated Christian wife. After he worked as a mechanic for many years, he obeyed the call of God to leave America to serve as a missionary in a most needy country. Just a 'middle-aged layman' (with no 'educational credentials' – except a high school diploma) – but a 'called and anointed' layman, deeply in love with God and with a 'total focus in ministry' and a great compassion for the 'lost'. Nothing gives him and his wife more joy than to win souls for Christ! He witnesses to prison inmates, organizes crusades, conducts baptism services (I saw a video in which he was once baptizing 80 new converts!), purchases 'old buildings' to 'house' their several newly-formed congregations, founded a 'training school' for new ministers, and uses his skilled hands in manual labors. He loves the God of life – the One who totally transformed his character and who gave him a reason to live! This 'called' man is a 'man of destiny' – one of the happiest persons I know!

"O God, thou who art the Source of all Life, give me a strong desire to bring the

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Message of Life (Jesus Christ) to the lost ones – both near me and far from me!"

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: While on others God is calling, He will not pass me by! I will respond: "Here am I, Lord, please send me to reach the lost ones"!

– Ron Christian –

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2 Timothy 1:1-14

Reaching Teens For Jesus Christ

I have a friend in whose home, several years ago, I conducted what I called a "Salvation By Appointment" Bible study. After I carefully shared the 'plan of salvation', my friend and his wife and his son all prayed the 'sinner's prayer'. Dr. Gil Carbajal, who, at the time, was in his later '40's, was wonderfully converted! It was not long until both he and his wife, Linda, began to 'reach out in love' to many needy teens in the public schools where they both taught. Eventually, Gil received a call from God to start a 'Teen Bible Club' in the public Junior High school where he served as a school counselor. With three or four teens, this Spirit-filled educator began to meet weekly with these Christian teens for Bible study and prayer and a few words of encouragement. It was not long until other teens (both Christian and non-Christian) began regularly to meet together with their beloved public school counselor, Gil Carbajal. In a few months there were as many as one hundred teens (and even a few public school teachers) meeting each Friday morning before the school day began. The Bible Club in this Junior High was so successful that several other public schools (including the High School where Linda Carbajal served as a counselor) adopted this plan and program and started their own Bible Club. Today, there are scores and scores of teens who meet together each Friday morning, to fellowship, to sing choruses, to share burdens, to pray, and to get their 'spiritual batteries recharged'. I am aware that at least one public school teacher prayed for salvation, at the conclusion of one of those Friday morning 'fellowships'. Now that teacher is 'on fire for Christ'! Both Gil and his wife, Linda, have witnessed firsthand for many years the mighty movement of God in the lives of hundreds of spiritually-open teens!

Wrote Paul to Timothy: "Oh, Timothy, my son, be strong with the strength Christ Jesus gives you. For you must teach others those things you and many others have heard me speak about. Teach these great truths to trustworthy men who will, in turn, pass them on to others." (2 Timothy 2:1-2, Living Bible) Dawson Troutman, the founder of the Navigators, used to say, "Christians are 'born to reproduce"'. After I led Gil and Linda to Christ, they in turn (through their personal witnessing and by means of their Friday morning Bible Clubs) began winning others to Christ (perhaps I may call these whom they led to Christ my 'spiritual grandchildren').

Proverbs 11:30 says: "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise." Who are the wise? Soul-winners! What shall the wise (soul-winners) enjoy? "And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever." (Daniel 12:3)

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"Give me the love that leads the way, the faith that nothing can dismay, the hope no disappointments tire, the passion that will burn like fire. Let me not sink to be a clod: make me Thy fuel, Flame of God." (Amy Carmichael)

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: For even a small investment of time in witnessing, the benefits are so great!

– Ron Christian –

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Proverbs 11:30; Matthew 4:19

Rescue The Perishing – Mission Accomplished

For several years I served as a police chaplain. It was not uncommon to hear an officer refer to a person who habitually caused trouble, as a Slum-Bag. I'm quite sure Jesus would never have used that term for those who need Jesus as their Savior. Today I want to share the story of a man I know. He was an alcoholic. When he was under the influence of alcohol he became very wicked. It was not uncommon for him to hit his wife, who was crippled from polio. She was unable to defend herself and suffered many attacks. He also had an eleven year daughter who was a Christian and loved to attend church. She was allowed to go with people from the church but one night she got home a little late. Her father was so angry with her, he whipped her with his belt buckle until blood ran down her legs. After leaving her room, he stood outside her door and listened as she cried out to Jesus in prayer. Her prayer was this: "Please, dear God. Save my daddy. He really isn't a bad daddy. He just needs You". Can you imagine how this cut into his heart?

In Riverside, California, there was a pastor of a small church. His heart became burdened for this ungodly man, and he set out to Rescue The Perishing. After much prayer and effort on the part of the pastor, the day came when the alcoholic agreed to come to his church. The man made this stipulation, however. He would come, but if anyone tried to get him to go to the altar to pray, he would take that person outside, and beat him up. He was adequate to carry out his threat. What he had not planned on was the convicting power of God. He did not know that the Holy Spirit was going to change his life that day. No one asked him to go to the altar to pray. He went forward of his own free will and asked Jesus to come into his heart and change his life. An ex-convict, an ex-alcoholic, an ex-ill tempered man, now a new creature in Christ Jesus! As a minister of the gospel for almost 40 years, he now, too, Rescues the Perishing. God alone knows how many converted "mean men" have come to Christ as a result of his conversion.

I am convinced that Fanny J. Crosby was divinely-inspired when she wrote the hymn, "Rescue The Perishing".

"Rescue the perishing. Care for the dying. Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave. Weep o'er the erring one. Lift up the fallen. Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save. Rescue the perishing. Duty demands it. Strength for your labor the Lord will provide. Back to the narrow way patiently win them. Tell the poor wanderer a Saviour has died. Refrain: Rescue the perishing, care for the dying. Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save."

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SOUL WINNING

Are you seeking out the lost ones Whom the Saviour died to win? 
Are you showing them the fountain That can wash away their sin? 
Are you looking by the wayside For the weary ones who fall? 
Do you win them to the Master Who has promised rest to all.

"Author Unknown"

"O God, lay some soul upon my heart, and love that soul through me, and may I humbly do my part to win that soul for Thee."

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: I will endeavor to live today in such a way that either through my witness in word or my witness through living righteously, I will influence someone for the kingdom of God.

– Lowell Weller –

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Acts 8:1-8; Acts 8:26-40

A Modern Day 'Philip'

I have a close friend, Art Fowler, who has been used of God for many years as a witness to hundreds of people across the Nation – professional athletes, educators, government officials and politicians, doctors and lawyers and law enforcement officers. Through his simple and forthright witness to the saving power of Christ, many have accepted Christ – including truck drivers, policemen, airline stewardesses, celebrities, and business persons. I call Art a "modern-day Philip", for like Philip (in the Book of Acts), Art often witnesses to total strangers whom he senses the Holy Spirit is leading him to. The manner in which he "finds his contacts" is nothing short of miraculous! Art loves to read biographies of famous people or to read about 'high profile' personalities in magazines (especially PEOPLE'S Magazine). There, as he senses the moving of the Spirit, he will begin to build "bridges of friendship" with these people by phoning them, and eventually, he will set up a personal appointment with them at which time he usually leads them to Christ. During the last few years since I have known Art, I have heard him share God's miracles in action through his witnessing, resulting in the salvation of scores of persons – including the governor of South Dakota (who, a year after Art led him to Christ, was killed in a plane crash). The list of persons whom Art has led to Christ is long, including over 200 patrolmen whom Art has personally led to Christ (after Art "pulls them over" by flashing his car lights at night to get their attention!) Yes, there is only one Art Fowler, and no one should attempt to "pull over" police cars unless he is definitely led by the Holy Spirit to do so! His personal evangelism has been so unusual and fruitful, that Dr. James Kennedy has featured Art Fowler several times on his weekly national television program.

Every month (along with many others) I receive his monthly Newsletter – a single one page summary of 'God At Work'. The following 'excerpts' from the most recent Newsletter are 'typical' of all the other Newsletters. But what is 'typical' is certainly not 'business as usual'! The Newsletters usually give a brief account of one, two, or three persons (usually 'strangers') to whom God has led Art. Most of the times, these 'encounters' (call them 'divine appointments') result in amazing conversions. Writes Art, "God led me to stop at a local car dealership, since I know a man who works there. I did not see this man, but I did see one of the secretaries. When I spoke to her she started to cry, so we went into another office where I could talk to her. She told me about some personal hardships she was experiencing. I shared Christ with her and she accepted Him into her life… The same day I was driving down a main road in Denver and saw a policeman with a radar gun. I pulled off the road and went up to his window to talk to him. He was very open, and I shared the plan of salvation with him. About 10 minutes later he was praying and inviting Christ to be his Savior."

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"Lord, I don't have the special 'gift of personal evangelism', nor do I have the dynamics and daring personality like that of Art Fowler, but I do want you to use me in the great spiritual harvest of precious souls in these days of unprecedented reaping!"

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: I will look around me, for there are vast fields of human souls which are ripening, and are now ready for reaping! (John 4:35)

– Ron Christian –

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Proverbs 11:30: 1 Corinthians 13: "…the Greatest is LOVE."

A Great Sinner Becomes A Great Soul-Winner!

There was a time when I enjoyed fishing. The enjoyment increased when I felt the tug of the line and knew there was a fish for me to reel in and take home. While all fishing trips are not successful, not all 'FISHING FOR MEN' trips are successful either. We must not quit. Proverbs 11:30, Amplified Version reads: "And he who is wise captures human lives for God (as a fisher of men)-he gathers and receives them for eternity."

There was a skid row mission that had the following custom. After the evening gospel service, anyone who received Jesus Christ as Saviour, was given coffee, a hot meal and a place to sleep for the night. One of the regular attenders was an old man they called "Old Major". Every night, after the preaching, he came to the altar in order to get his cup of coffee, hot meal and a place to sleep. This continued over a long period of time. The Mission Minister grew weary of the game "Old Major" was playing. He sent Old Major out into the dark, cold night without his coffee, hot meal or a place to sleep. As night lengthened, the minister kept thinking of Old Major and how he had sent him away. Sleep just would not come, as his conscience continued to trouble him. Out into the streets and alleys the minister went in search of the old man. He found him lying beside a garbage can. Old Major did not respond when the minister tried to talk to him and invite him back to the mission. Finally the minister knelt down beside the intoxicated man. He spoke directly into his ear: "Old Major, I LOVE YOU." I want you to come back to the mission with me and have some food and a bed to sleep in." These words brought tears to the old man's eyes. He had not heard the word "I LOVE YOU" for many years. Old Major opened his eyes, got to his feet and followed the minister back to the mission where he was given a cup of coffee, a hot meal and a warm bed to sleep in. That night before he went to bed, Old Major asked Jesus Christ to come into his heart and to forgive him of all his sins. Old Major lived only 6 months after that night, but before he died, he lead approximately 200 persons to Christ. Persons living as he previously had. What if that mission worker had not gone out that night to find "Old Major"?

For many of us, soul winning is not our forte; not our strong point. With God as our helper we should at least try casting out our lines and try to lead some soul to Christ.

"Oh God, lay some soul upon my heart, and love that soul through me. May I humbly do my part to win that soul for Thee."

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AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: I may never win 200 souls for thee Lord, but lay some unsaved person on my heart. I will bring that soul in prayer to you, and, if the door opens, I'll do my best to be your witness.

– Lowell Weller –

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John 4:1-39

Results Of 'Going'

What should you do when you 'Go' to sinners? Simply talk about Jesus! In talking about Jesus, you can expect to see many wonderful 'results'.

First, 'bridges of friendship' will be built. Many people today are lonely and depressed and in need of friends. When you take time to visit with people, people are impressed that you are a person who really cares. In being attracted to you, they will eventually be attracted to the Christ whom you love and serve. Try to read some scripture and have prayer in every home you visit. Be a good listener. Cultivate friendship.

Second, souls will find Christ as Savior. If you consistently show concern for people, there will be many who will eventually respond to the call of Christ and who will become genuine followers of Christ. The greatest privilege in life is to lead someone to a personal knowledge of Christ!

Third, the 'Kingdom of God' will be expanded. The existence of a kingdom depends upon two factors – reign of king and a realm with subjects. God is the King. Christians are the subjects that compose the King's realm. Christ is very interested in the realm of God's Kingdom being increased and expanded. This expansion comes when Christ receives the loyalty of another human heart. As a Christian, you are given the ministry of reconciliation – influencing people to give their lives to Christ. To change the analogy, you are given the opportunity to be a harvester in the Lord's vineyard. When you go forth, you are going forth for an ultimate purpose – to harvest souls for Christ. Sometimes you will sow the seed of God's Word. Sometimes you will water the seed with inner tears of intercessory prayer. Sometimes you will 'warm the soil' of men's hearts through acts of thoughtful friendship. Sometimes you will have the great joy of actually harvesting souls for the Savior (praying with a sinner to accept Christ).

Fourth, your local church will likely become enlarged with the attendance of new believers. A new Christian needs a place to fellowship and to worship. What more 'natural' place is there for him to fellowship and to worship than in the local church of the one who led him to Christ?

Fifth, you will become a 'fulfilled Christian'. During John Wesley's search for spiritual reality, one counselor advised him: "Sir, you wish to serve God and go to heaven? Remember that you cannot serve him alone. You must therefore find companions or make them; the Bible knows nothing of solitary religion."

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"Heavenly Father, nothing brings greater satisfaction and delight than sharing Christ with needy persons. Never allow the 'passing pleasures of life' to replace the 'greatest joy of life' – bringing precious souls to Christ!"

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: "They that turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars for ever and ever." (Daniel 12:3)

– Ron Christian –

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Mark 4:35-41

On Going To The Other Side

When I sat in my seat in the tiny one-room schoolhouse in a pleasant hollow in the Huckleberry Mountains of north-eastern Washington State, I was fascinated by the old globe of the earth that rested on the bookshelf at the front of the room. The seas did not interest me, but what lay across the seas was full of mystery.

The seeds of a yearning to 'see the other side' were planted in those early days of learning. I hoped, with my wife, to see what lay 'over there' when we applied to our Mission Board to be sent to China, and there to trace the steps of my Aunt Grace. Grace had gone to China in 1914 as a missionary nurse. Her work put her life in danger, and two years later she succumbed to a virulent strain of typhoid fever, and God called her home.

I wanted to be an evangelist/teacher in China, but when the Board examined our health records, they said "Not now."

Jesus led his disciples to the other side of Galilee and natural forces seemed ready to thwart His mission. The 'Prince of Darkness' is not mentioned by the name, but he was there to challenge the Son of God in His purpose.

I think Jesus knew the needs that awaited his little party: a panic stricken crew, a profoundly disturbed man, a despairing woman, a grief-stricken family. His preparation for ministry was to speak peace to the life-threatening storm that arose.

We have a call to the 'other side.' This is in many ways the crux of our experience of God. 'Others' are always on the other side – of the room, of the house, of the town, of the county. Of the country, of the world.

Today career missionaries do only part of the work. Part-time short-termers often go to do a specific task, but they go, paying their own way, taking their own time, then returning to their home fields richer for having gone.

After one ten-week experience, I vowed to return to live abroad at least two years so I might know what it was like for Christians to live in hostile cultures. And then – I found that some were simply isolated and ignored. Others were profoundly opposed and harassed unmercifully because they tried to walk with Jesus. No two places treated Christians the same, and that was why we had to go.

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Jesus was on the go constantly: to the other side, up to Jerusalem, to the garden, to the court of Pilate, to the cross and the tomb, to Olivet. Every move he made was for us, His followers and disciples.

When will you go 'to the other side?'

"Heavenly Father, take us with you to the 'other side'. Only then can we discover the needs of our brothers over there."

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: I will go where He leads me!

– Eugene Stewart –

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Discussion Questions

  1. Among the original twelve disciples of Jesus, how many of them were either 'college educated' or 'seminary trained'?

  2. According to Amos 1:1, what was Amos' type of work? Why do you think that God was able to use Amos so effectively in 'Kingdom Work'?

  3. From the beginning, what kind of 'Movement' was Christianity?

  4. Briefly share the 'story' of the life and ministry of a 'lay person' whom God has 'called' to a special ministry (either in the United States or in another Country).

  5. Is there any 'special group' of persons (like children or teens) to whom God has given you a 'call' to minister? What have you done (or what do you intend to do) to better prepare yourself for the 'ministry' to which God has called you?

  6. Without speaking disdainfully or insensitively about 'formal education', why is it true that such education cannot adequately prepare you for the ministry to which God has called you? In addition to 'head knowledge' of propositional truth (data and information), why is it imperative for you also to experience 'heart knowledge' of living truth (as found through a daily and vital fellowship with Christ), in order to fulfill your God-given 'call' and to develop an 'effective ministry'?

  7. Have you taken considerable time for reflection and time to receive 'godly counsel', that you might discover how you can effectively use your God-given talents and spiritual gifts to minister to God-revealed needs in your 'hurting society'?

  8. According to 2 Timothy 2:1-2, what does it mean for you to develop a 'multiplication ministry'?

  9. According to Proverbs 11:30, who are the 'truly wise' persons in our world today? According to Daniel 12:3, what rewards will God give to these 'wise persons'?

  10. Can you think of any 'down-and-out sinners' whom God has miraculously transformed, the results of which is that people (both Christians and non- Christians) have been greatly 'amazed' and God has been greatly 'glorified'?

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  11. Do you ever feel 'intimidated' (i.e., do you ever feel 'inferior' and 'inadequate') when you observe the skill and the results from the witnessing by 'great soul-winners'? How have you learned to 'cope' with such feelings (i.e., how have you learned not to despair or to be embittered when you unfavorably compare yourself with much more skilled soul-winners)? Even if you have not been given the special 'gift of evangelism', is it nevertheless your responsibility to involve yourself in the 'work of witnessing'?

  12. In light of John 4:35, how would you evaluate the degree of receptivity to the Gospel message in the lives of many persons (sinners) in our modern society?

  13. Have you ever contemplated the exciting thought that some person (sinner ) whom you lead to Christ, might in turn eventually lead many other persons to Christ (many more persons than you could 'lead to Christ', because 'your convert' was given the 'gift of evangelism')? Does the possibility of this kind of 'multiplication evangelism' increase your motivation to be actively involved in witnessing and in soul-winning? (Note 2 Timothy 2:2)

  14. As you focus your thinking on one person with whom you have shared a 'witness for Christ', put a 'check' beside those following statements which describe the 'benefits' which were derived as a result of your witness to your friend:

    • __ a. A 'bridge of friendship' was built to a needy (lonely) person.

    • __ b. An 'eternal soul' was converted to the Living Christ.

    • __ c. The 'Kingdom of God' was expanded and increased, as a result of a new 'subject' who is now serving the 'King of Kings'.

    • __ d. The local church where I (the soul-winner) attend is the happy recipient of a new participant and member (the new convert).

    • __ e. I (the soul-winner) am a more 'fulfilled' Christian because I have obediently responded to Jesus' call to 'fulfill the Great Commission'.

  15. Have you ever considered the possibility that God may someday 'lead' you to spend some time (a few weeks or even a couple years) in another country of the world, where you can learn to appreciate another culture and observe firsthand the work of 'native Christians' , and where you can use your own talents and gifts to lovingly minster to hurting people 'on the other side'?

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