Posted tagged ‘Gospel’

“Why Should I Become a Christian?”

June 17, 2016

After the man had received some practical help from us, I said with a smile:”don’t forget to thank God in your prayers tonight!”

He responded in a positive way so we chatted further about God and Jesus. He actually raised the question of repentance and we discussed what repentance and faith in God meant.

I gave him a booklet called “What Is  a Real Christian?” and he read a couple of pages. He then said:”the question should be “WHY should I become a Christian?”

I gave him God’s view of sin: all sin – even theft of something from a friend – is primarily a sin against God. So God is the one you need to repent towards. Without repentance (a turning away from all known sin in your life) you will have to give an account of your sin on Judgment Day – and Jesus is the Judge. Becoming a Christian wipes the slate clean because your trust in Jesus and his ability to forgive your sin makes you a new person, hence “born again”. He had heard of “born again Christian” so I explained why we need to become born again, using the illustration of the TWO BUSES.

bus going to hell   In this illustration all of life happens on the two buses. Bus #1 is the one we are all born on. Its destination is Hell and Satan or the Devil is the driver. The Bible tells us Hell was made for the Devil and his angels (actually demons). However, if we remain on Bus#1 we are headed for Satan’s destination, whether we realise it or not. We therefore need to get off Bus #1 and on to Bus #2. Bus#2 is driven by Jesus and His destination is Heaven. All mankind is under the power of sin and only Jesus can change our sin nature. This process is known as being “born again”. When we are born again (recognise our need of the Saviour Jesus as the only one who can forgive our sin and set us free from it) we are transferred onto Bus #2 whose destination is Heaven.

He took the booklet away and said he’d read it.

 

 

 

Advertisements

God Knows How Old You Are, Even If You Are Homeless

April 8, 2016

homeless manOn the way into voluntary work I was praying that God would use me and that I would have love and compassion for those I would meet. I also prayed that He might work through me.Ten Minutes before we closed a homeless man came in. I gave him tea and some biscuits and he said he really could feel the energy flowing into him as a result of getting something inside his stomach. We chatted about where he slept at night and I gave him a list of places where he could get food during the day. Some churches and church based organisations do free food, also a local church provides very cheap food for people on the margins. Also, I noticed we had been given some vouchers for a restaurant in town that provided the holder with a full meal at no cost. I gave him one and he really appreciated it.

He said he wasn’t an addict, and I believed him. He was concerned about how sweaty he was and how he smelled of urine. Also his clothes were pretty grubby and he couldn’t afford money for a launderette. We had little clothing available,  but we managed to find a tee shirt in his size which he gladly accepted.

He said to me:”how old do you think I am?” I answered: “61”. he said: “You’ve been looking at my paperwork!” I said: “No, I haven’t seen any of your paperwork” I went on: “but God knows how old you are, and lots of other things about you.” I chatted about how personal God was and he was quite amenable to talk about God things.  He was a little surprised when I told him that the pass mark for Heaven was 100%. I explained why it was 100% and how it was possible for me and him to get the full 100%. He readily accepted that Jesus got the 100% and that when we follow him as disciples we qualify for 100% on the basis of what He did, not on our own goodness. I explained how the Bible calls our  own goodness “filthy rags” and the need to confess all known sin as it holds us back from God and Heaven.

Before he left he thanked me profusely and, amazingly, commented how gentle and acceptable my approach had been as I chatted about God things to him.  He blessed me and thanked me for all he had received from us. I wished him well.

Not Thy Will, But My Will Be Done!

February 13, 2016

Illustrated bible verse    I had a long chat with a guy who came in for food. He had been to church in Wales as a youngster, but had drifted away as he grew up. He had lost some family members in the last few years and had felt their nearness on their passing away. We discussed God and belief, and he thought there was “something there”, but he was not really interested in pursuing the question in his life. I gave him the gospel basics, and tried to encourage him to reach out to God, but didn’t get very far. Later that day I was thinking over of the phrase: “Not THY will, but MY will be done”. It’s really on that basis that we end up either in Heaven or in Hell – our eternal destination is what we ourselves choose in this life.

I also thought how many are happy to say “I believe in God”, but go no further than a mental assent. It reminds me of the evangelist’s use of the parachute as an illustration of what faith involves. I can say I believe in parachutes, but that belief means nothing until the day I’m in an out of control aircraft, reach for a parachute and put it on. It’s only when I put it on, jump and full the ripcord that I really do believe in parachutes!!  It’s the application of faith that determines whether your faith in “x”means anything at all.

A younger woman came in and I recognised her as “J”, a street drinker I used to see regularly when I did mission work on the streets. At that time she was a vulnerable girl, very self-willed, who wouldn’t listen to our requests to go back home to her Mum, whom she lived with. When she walked in I could see she was intoxicated, so nothing had really changed. As we at down to chat, she told me that she’d had “a 5 month old dead baby” and started to cry. I really felt for her, poor woman. Clearly someone had taken advantage of her, and even that had had a tragic outcome. Eventually the supervisor called a local unit where she was staying for transport, as she needed to get across to the other side of town and clearly couldn’t get there under her own steam.

A young guy turned up later. He told me he had mental health issues and suffered from a type of psychosis. I asked if he’d done drugs in the past. He admitted a long use of cannabis, then latterly a serious heroin habit. He was now on a prescription for Subbutex, a heroin substitute designed to wean you off the drug. He’d been given accommodation by a local charity and was hoping to get back on his feet.

 

 

Out On The Streets again Today

December 5, 2015

Million Pound note image   A group of us from Church went into town sharing the good news today. I took some Million Pound notes with me as a conversation opener. In fact, while waiting for the bus to town I was chatting to a woman at the bus stop and gave her one. I said: “When you get home, give it to your husband and tell him you got this out of his bank account!” Some of the team also took one.

We also had envelopes with a (real) £5 note inside to give out with a little “This one’s on us!” leaflet inside. We gave them out outside coffee shops to those about to go in. Some people were a little suspicious about being blessed with a free gift, but they gladly accepted the money when they opened up! We told them we were from Clearspring Church, as it makes a surprising change for a church to give YOU money. As we all know, Churches usually WANT your money!

We also came across a homeless guy so we got him some food and drink from a nearby cafe. He knew the places around town that did free food, so we headed off. I had a long conversation with an 18 year old guy who is sitting A Level exams this year. He attended a local Catholic Church. He’d heard of “born again Christians” but didn’t really understand it. I took him through what Jesus said to Nicodemus in John’s Gospel Chapter 3. He said he was more scientifically minded, and found some things in the Bible hard to believe. I asked if he knew the pass mark for Heaven and he didn’t. He was amazed when I said “100%”, but when I explained how the imputed righteousness of Christ becomes ours as disciples, he began to see what I meant. The righteousness of Jesus becomes ours when we are born again of God’s spirit. “No-one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again” – the words of Jesus in the Bible, John’s gospel Chapter 3 verse 3. I gave him my card as we left, and invited him to get in touch.

All in all, a good morning in town sharing Jesus and His love.

reverse of Million Pound note

Million Pound note reverse

Outreach On The Street Again

July 25, 2015

silhouette of old man with walking stick   On the way to meet up with the Healing Team, I saw an old man leaning on a barrier at a road crossing. I asked if he was OK. He had gone for a newspaper and was resting on the way back to his retirement home. He will be 89 in December.We chatted about work and I explained that I worked for an International Organisation that had outlets in nearly every country in the world. He sounded intrigued, but not too surprised when I said it was the Kingdom of God. He had a Bible but didn’t often read it. I tried to encourage him to make his peace with God before it was too late.

We had a worship time in church, then hit the streets. Soon after we arrived a group of Muslims set up an information table not far from our pitch. Over a two hour period we prayed for a number of people. Several reported being pain free after hands-on ministry. A Christian evangelist nearby helpfully kept pointing people towards us as they passed by.

Before we finished I went over to the Muslim guys. They asked what we were doing. I explained what we did. One Muslim guy immediately started talking about the Trinity and tried to undermine what the Bible teaches about the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I tried to get the conversation on to Jesus, but he wasn’t prepared to listen, so I moved on.

 

Had The Privilege of Praying With Two Women Today

March 13, 2015

silhouette of a woman    The first woman had met with a couple of Christians some time ago but had drifted away from them and God. I prayed with her, encouraged her and she was happy to take away a Luke’s Gospel. I shared some of my testimony with her to indicate to her the reality of a loving God in the person of Jesus. I also gave her a link to a good British website http://www.newchristian.org.uk and invited her to read the “Share Your Story Here” section which had personal stories on the left hand side of the page.    image of a woman

A lady team member called me over to pray with the second woman. She had relationship issues with her partner who was heavily involved in drug taking. She also had a medical problem that was concerning her.  We both prayed and afterwards she said how peaceful she felt. We explained that was the presence of God.

 

God Turns Up Again – Twice In One Afternoon

January 17, 2014

man with back and neck pain   A guy arrived and was complaining of pain in his back and neck. I could see he was uncomfortable just sitting there. He’d been involved in a motorbike accident 4 years ago but still suffered from constant pain. He said that on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 was no pain and 10 was the worst, it was around an 8. I told him I’d seen pain disappear from lots of people when they were prayed for. He seemed happy with that so I laid hands on him. I told him it was Jesus who did the healing. I couldn’t heal a fly.

This time round I felt I should keep prayers short. I’ve noticed that guys like Torben Sondergard, Tom Fischer and Pete Cabrera Jr do quick prayers and see great results. You could say that long, drawn out prayers were an indicator of little faith, that you had to keep at it, otherewise God might feel short-changed and not turn up! Strange things go through your mind sometimes.

Anyhow, after a quick 7 second session of telling the pain to go, I asked how he was. He said the pain had diminished to around a 4. I said: “let’s do some more”. After another short hands-on session I asked him to test it. I got him to do things that were normally painful. He gave himself a pretty good workout, then announced: “well I reckon the pain’s gone!” He then said:”you’re a healer, man!” I said:”No, it’s Jesus who does the healing. I couldn’t heal anybody”.

The next guy I spoke to had been sitting watching our healing session, so we moved easily and naturally onto spiritual topics. He showed no great enthusuasm for things of God, but as we chatted I asked if he had a Bible. He didn’t, so I offered him a Gospel to take away. He said he’d take one, so I found him Luke’s Gospel. I suggested he read about Jesus and he said he’d give it a go.

I then had a conversation with a man suffering intermittent pain from an undiagnosed illness. He’d had tests, scans, MRIs, etc, but the medics still don’t know what’s wrong.   tests being done in hospital

He’s scheduled for exploratory surgery very soon. As we chatted he mentioned “the Lord”, and told me which church he attended. I asked if he’d like healing prayer, as the medics had so far drawn a blank. He was agreeable, so I shared how the first man’s pain left him after a hands on session. I also talked about how Jesus always healed those who came to him, without exception. Also, he never turned anyone away because they weren’t good enough or because of anything else. All who came were healed.

Another volunteer came and joined me and together we ministered to him. It was one of those occasions where you sense the Lord’s presence and you know he’s going to do something. I felt a bit shaky as the Lord made his presence felt. I gave this man some words I felt were from the Lord and the lady with me did too. Both lots seemed to tie in together, which was reassuring! I had my hand on the problem area and spoke to the problem in Jesus’ name. The man thanked us, but didn’t give us any feedback afterwards, so we left things with the Lord.

Our last guy used to be a rough sleeper who begged on the streets. He recognised me from when I’d been round with food and drinks round town before. His girl friend was on remand for offences related to drugs. He himself was getting to the stage where he felt “enough was enough” and he’s now found a cheap bed and breakfast place in town.