Monday, June 30, 2008

Evangelism Team

Many of you are aware of our good friend Leon Brown and his work with The Evangelism Team. Leon recently started his own Blog, Preach Like Jeremiah. While we want you to visit us again, Leon's Blog has become a daily stop for me. It will encourage you and inspire you. Check it out. You won't be disapointed.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Friday Night Evangelism - Continued

I previously wrote about the incredible encounter with a group of gang members but as awesome as that was, it was not the highlight of the night. Sadly, I have rarely ran into professing Christians that appeared to bearing fruit on our evangelism encounters but tonight was different. It was very different.

The first group we talked to (above) had graduated from a Christian University, and enjoyed speaking with us about our evangelism efforts. It was great fellowship as we discussed various aspects of Christianity and just to be safe we preached the Law & the Gospel to them. It was a great encounter.

As we left them, I actually told Jason how unique it is to find professing Christians that are encouraging of our efforts and maybe this night was meant to be an encouragement to us or others. Wow, was it ever.

The two girls above passed us going the opposite direction and I stopped them and offered them money if they could pass our test. Their first answer was that they were bad but the Blood of Jesus Christ had set them free. We spoke to both of them for a while and once again they encouraged us to continue our efforts. We parted ways both going in the opposite direction.

As we completed our encounter with the gang members, I looked up to see both of the girls again. They had decided to follow us. I asked them what they were doing and they said "we want to see you witness." They then told us about a skate park a few blocks up. We gave them some tracts and told them if they were coming, they were going to help. With excitement they followed. As we approached the skate park, both girls told us they were from Michigan and were attending a Bible College in town. While they had witnessed to friends, they had never witnessed to strangers. That was about to change.

Jason and I jumped in the skate park and we told both girls to follow and listen to our first encounter. That encounter was Matt (above). Matt was humbled by the Law and admitted that going to Hell concerned him. We spoke for 20 minutes about the Gospel and his life. It was a wonderful encounter and one we were all blessed to have.

What I then turned around to see was a blessing beyond words can tell you. Two girls, who had never witnessed to a stranger were both in one-to-one encounters (above). We continued to witnhess at the skate park for some time and even found a graduate of the Way of the Master Basic Course. He told us that he comes to the park to ride with his friends but deep down he knew that wasn't God's will for him out there. He told us we had encouraged him to start witnessing again and we exchanged numbers to go out together.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Gangster Witnessing

Our usual Friday night evangelism event was unbelievable. While there is more to talk about than in just this post I will give everyone a hint of what is to come.

Jason and I met up a little later than usual and he wanted to go into Tulsa and witness off the Arkansas River. It was a fishing hole we had never tried before. As we stepped off a bridge to walk along the river we were hoping to find the usual groups of people that tend to gather there along the weekend evenings. It was an unusual nice night this time of the summer with a cool breeze blowing.

Almost immediately, I saw a group of 30-40 young people gathered at the water's edge and from a distance it looked like they were conducting a church service. It was a great witnessing and fellowship opportunity and both of us without hesitation left the walking trail and headed down there. It was dark and as I got within 50 feet of the crowd my law enforcement background took over.

I stopped short of walking up to the gathering and sat on a bench behind the crowd. Several of the individuals immediately took their attention off of the event and began looking back at us. I noticed a few gang signs being pointed at the vigil and at least one person turned to us with the sign so we would know exactly where we were. By that time, I had already figured it out. Jason and I were looking at a Gang conducting a vigil for a fallen gang member. I took a quick look around at my surroundings and saw no one other than Jason, me and 30 or so gang members that had the look of experience. I don't make these allegations without knowledge. As a current 15 year veteran of law enforcement and a former gang investigator, I have had some of the best training available in the field of gang identification and enforcement including attending the Los Angeles County Gang School in 1999.

The law enforcement in me told me to leave. Jason gave me "the look". It wasn't exactly the look of fear but it was a look of being uncomfortable. We were also making the gang uncomfortable by just being there. As an investigator I had spent time around gang funerals and the vigils before and after the funeral are even more private. We were not welcome and in our defense we had walked up not knowing. At this point it didn't matter. The Gospel was going to be preached and with the boldness of a Lion, Jason looked at me and I knew what it meant. We were going to preach or be injured or killed trying.

As a law enforcement officer and before I was saved, I had encountered numerous gang members and with a gun, vest and some excellent tactical training, I felt as comfortable as I could in those encounters. This was different. There was no gun, no vest and no backup. It was Jason, me and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We had nothing to worry about.

The vigil was over and as the group broke up I noticed a few circling behind us. I kept an eye on my back as Jason engaged some of them. I held up a pack of million dollar bills and announced who wanted some free money. I then quickly realized that may not have been be the best approach. I was mobbed by the entire group and gave out the tracts as quick as I could. We had them coming back for more so they could give them to their family. Approximately 100 tracts were distributed and as the group was leaving we were able to get several to stay and listen to us as we took them through the Good Person Test.

Jason did a great job of talking to one of the members about his Catholic Background and why just going to church and confessing did not get him into Heaven. We moved on from the encounter in awe of what God had done. As awesome as that was, the night wasn't over. More to come on another day.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Cultural Agenda Set By Oprah

I walked into a break room at work yesterday and I picked up the Tuesday copy of USA Today. It's a paper I rarely read but something caught my eye: "Cultural Agenda is set by Oprah - not religious leaders."

What I saw was not only truly disturbing but something every true Chritian is aware of. A study by the Pew Research Center found that in America:

92% believed in God
58% pray once a day
74% say there is a Heaven
59% say there is a Hell.
70%, including the majority of Christians say "many religions can lead to eternal life."

While I often talk about how in America, the majority claims to be Christain, yet God's Word specifically tells us in Matthew 7:14 that few will find the way the disturbing statistic in this article broke my heart. Jesus Christ told us himself that there is only one way - "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6

The majority of proclaiming Christians and 70% of Americans do not think that and those beliefs do not line up with Christianity.

Matthew 7:21-21: "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

What a sad day that will be for the majority of Americans who believe they are Christians. Why is this?

Rev. Frank Page, Past President of the Southern Baptist Convention, said it very well: "The number of churches that teach a clear doctrinal Christianity are a minority today. How would people know it when they never hear about how to be saved? Jesus predicted this in Matthew 15:8, People honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me."

What is Rev. Page talking about? It is a simple concept that is woven throughout the Bible and Jesus Christ specifically said in Mark 1:15: "And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." (see also - Matthew 3:2, 3:8, 4:17.)

Our churches are rarely preaching repentance of sin - the turning away from sin and to God. It is easy to believe in God and not give up sin. Even demons do that (James 2:19) but that is not what will save anyone. Christianity is about turning from sin, being changed, sacrifice, willing to give anything up - including your life - for Jesus Christ. That message is not popular and will not fill up seats in the church. After all, the Bible tells us the road is narrow that leads to life(Matthew 7:14) and that means not a lot of folks in church buildings.

Now don't get me wrong, there are many wonderful churches that preach the true Gospel but far too many are herding a flock of unbelievers straight to Hell. How do I know this is the case (other than the disturbing statistics)? I talk to them every week. Professing Christians that tell me they are going to Heaven for a myriad of reasons, other than what the True Gospel of Jesus Christ says: "I'm a good person", "I asked Jesus in my heart", "I asked for forgiveness" and it goes on and on. When I explain to these professing Christians that no one is good and when judged we all will be found guilty of breaking God's Law and the only way to true salvation is a turning away from sin and a trust in Jesus Christ that involves much more than simple belief, they often tell me they didn't know that. These are people that sit in church each week and have never heard of the "narrow road" or that a lack of repentance will send them straight to Hell.

Rev. Page went on to say that "We still work as hard as we can to share the good news even though we know most will reject it."

What about you? Are you working "hard" to share the good news? For the sake of Americans, I certainly hope so.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Liberia National Police Conference

Ten-Four Ministries is excited to announce it's partnership in a Liberia National Police Force Christian Conference. On July 11-12, 2008, 200 National Police Officers will come together in Kakata, Margibi County Liberia for the purpose of training that will enable them to go out to various police precints and witness to officers.

Since 2005 Ten-Four Ministries has partnered with John Wright, Senior Pastor of the Salvation Tabernacle of Faith and founder of the Children of God Evangelistic Ministries based in Liberia. Liberia, located on the west coast of Africa, has been through 14 years of Civil War and subsequent unrest. The Civil War has brought serious destruction to the people of Liberia and in the midst of that, Pastor John Wright has been bringing the Law & Gospel to the people of Liberia since his ministry began in 2004.

Pastor Wright as he gives out Bibles.

Pastor Wright is in need of funds to carry out this conference. While the funds needed may be substantial to Ten-Four Ministries, due to the economic conditions in Liberia, they are impossible for John’s. Ten-Four Ministries has stepped out in faith to provide the much needed funds for Pastor Wright and his ministry. We value your prayers for Pastor Wright and his Ministry.

If you would like to help financially with this conference, you may send your tax-deductible contribution to:

Missionary Church Western District
Ten-Four Ministries' Support
484 E. Los Angeles Ave., #228
Moorpark, CA 93021

Please write "Ten-Four Ministries/Missions" on the memo line of the check.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Movie Theater Witnessing

I joined Jason and Jeremy at the movie theater this weekend to witness and I was thrilled to see a couple of police officers working security there. I knew one officer and suspected he was lost so I was hoping God would permit a witnessing encounter. He did in an incredible way.

I stood at the movie line and began to get a crowd by offering $1 for every trivia question the crowd got right. Those that didn't have any interest in staying, I gave them a tract as they walked into the theater. As the crowd was forming and I was about to preach the Gospel, the movie manager came outside. T.J. told me that I couldn't solicit outside the movie theater.

"I'm not soliciting."

T.J. - "Well you can't hand things out."

"Ok, I won't."

T.J. - "Well, you can only stand here if you are a paying customer."

"No problem T.J., I'll buy a movie ticket."

T.J. - "Well why would you do that."

By this time, two police officers joined our conversation and I politely told T.J. that I didn't want to cause any problems and I would gladly move to public property about 75 feet away.

I then asked T.J. (in front of the officers) where he thought he would go if he died. He proudly told me he would come to my house and he and the officer laughed. I then asked him if he was a good person and as I took him through the Good Person Test and told him the Gospel, T.J. got a very different expression on his face. When I concluded, I told T.J. that he had banned me from handing out items but would he permit me to give him something.

This once proud man humbly told me that I could and I gave him a tract and asked him to please consider what I had told him. Many people in the crowd and the officers heard our encounter. The officers were given a million dollar bill and I headed to public property.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Open Air At A Smoke Shop

What can I say. I'm in Oklahoma so it's sometimes hard to find a crowd. There is always one place where you can guarantee people in Oklahoma and that is at the Smoke Shop. In the summer, you find a number of cars with windows down, motorcycles, etc. with no place to go as they are in line for smokes.

So that is how it started: "Hi folks, I want to thank you for listening to me and what I am about to talk to you about is rarely thought about. In fact, most people spend more time thinking about their retirement or where to get a cigarette than they do about where they will spend eternity. How about you? Do you think about where you will go when you die. The Bible tells us that it is appointed for man to die and then there is judgement. God will judge us based on his Law so how will you do on that day?

Have you ever told a lie? If you have, that makes you a liar.
Have you ever stolen anything? If so, it makes you a thief.
Have you ever committed adultery? Jesus said that if you look at someone with lust you have committed adultery in your heart.

I'll stop there. I'll admit that I am guilty of all those and the Bible tells us that you are guilty as well. When you stand before God on Judgement day, you will be guilty and the sentence is hell.

That is bad news but there is good news. God does not want that to happen and over 2000 years ago he sent his only Son, Jesus Christ to Earth and he lived a sinless, perfect life and he was murdered on a cross. He died for our sins and he rose three days later. What a wonderful gift that was to you but it takes more than that.

We must repent of our sins, turn away from our sins and trust our life completely to Jesus Christ alone to save us. Please consider what i have told you today. It takes more than knowing about Jesus. It takes repentance of sins and trusting everything to Jesus. Thank you so much for your time."

Jason (above)did Open-Air for the first time in his home town. He did a great job as did Jeremy (below).

Friday, June 13, 2008

Filming With Line of Duty Films

I spent the last two days filming a training video with Line of Duty Films. Line of Duty is one of the largest producers of law enforcement training tapes and they visited our driving facility to film and eventually market two training tapes that deal with the roadway dangers facing law enforcement officers. As you can see above, the up to date vehicles had to be what attracted them to us.

Driving the van is Officer Steve Dickson, a supporter of Ten-Four Ministries and a participant in the Take Up The Shield Project. Steve purchased a case of Take Up The Shield books and provided them to several small towns where he grew up. He did this in memory of Fort Smith Police Officer Daniel Martinez that was killed in the line of duty in 2007.

I was able to spend most of the past two days with Rich and Ralph (above) with Line of Duty and they were a pleasure to be around. I had the opportunity to share the Gospel with them through a great book designed for law enforcement, Take Up The Shield.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Route 66 Car Show

I spent last Saturday at one of the largest car shows in Oklahoma and we were blessed with some great witnessing encounters.

I started talking with Dustin (above) and he told me he "hoped" he went to Heaven. Dustin permitted us to speak with him for quite a while on the Law & Gospel and he truly seemed humbled by the Law.

We were pleased to see a ministry with a booth at the event.

As Jason and I were walking to the car, William (above) was getting out of his parent's car. William told us that he doesn't think about what happens when he dies because he just thinks about getting through each day. We were able to present the Law & Gospel to William.

Please join us in prayer that William, Dustin and the others that received the Law & Gospel Saturday will repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Inspiration In Hemet

I've been home for almost a week now from the Ambassadors' Academy and I still haven't come down from this event. I don't think I ever will. There is so much more I want to tell and while I know words can never express the experience that the Ambassadors' Academy is, I do hope you get some sense of what this event is.

One story I can't get out my head is a story told by Brett Coronado. Brett is an Associate Pastor at Calvary Chapel Hemet. Some time ago, he and his Pastor implemented Biblical Evangelism throughout the church. The Evangelism Team goes out numerous times each week and the training is required in some aspects of the church. What did this do to the Church Body?

The Church membership began to drop. In fact, it dropped dramatically. To date, the church has lost approximately 40% of it's membership. Can you imagine that. A church embracing the Great Commission in a Biblical fashion and the membership runs away?

Were the Wheat and Tares Separated - True & False Converts(Matthew 13:24-30, 37-43)? It is not my place to know anyone's Salvation but this story disturbed me to say the least. What about the churches you are in? Would the same thing happen? Maybe it would but the most impressive part of the story wasn't that the church made the decision to put Biblical Evangelism as a priority but it was the response of the Pastor when the membership started to leave.

There were salaries and benefits to pay, employees to be concerned about and other church activities that had to be funded. The Pastor did not hesitate. He said that if he had to, they would move to a smaller building or even to someone's house. Despite the actions of the membership, the true Gospel had to be preached and the Great Commission had to be fulfilled. Wow, what an inspiration.

You can view many of the Evangelism videos from the Calvary Chapel Evangelism Team Here.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Quote of the Week

“Repentance is at the heart of the gospel call. Unless we are preaching repentance we are not preaching the gospel our Lord has charged us to preach.”

John MacArthur

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Ambassadors' Academy - Day 3

Day 3 of the Academy started like day 2. We met as a group and prayed for about 30 minutes and then got on a bus. We headed out to Huntington Beach and while everyone looked tired from the past 48 hours, there was much less apprehension on the face of the participants. Excitement was in the air and Tony "The Lawman" Miano kicked us off from the hotel with a thundering voice: "Lets Go Fishing!"

I had to go to California to meet a great Godly couple from Grove, Oklahoma (1 hour from me). They were both great in witnessing encounters. One of the incredible blessings of being at the Academy is to look around at any time and see scenes like the one above. Christians in every direction sharing their faith with others. This should be the scene in every town and city. Unfortunately it is not and like Living Waters often says: "We are trying to put ourselves out of a job". They one day hope that there would not be a need for the ministry because every Christian would be sharing the Law & Gospel with those that are perishing.

We had the privilege on this day to watch Ray Comfort Open-Air preach. It was incredible to watch as he engaged the crowd with humor and love while sharing the Law & Gospel over and over.

From the time we arrived at Huntington Beach at 10:00 am to the time we left at 4:00 pm, I watched as several people from the crowd followed us around. Many of them brought lawn chairs just to listen to the Gospel. To the Christian, the message never gets old. If you repent and turn away from your sins and trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation you will be saved and Heaven will await you. If you choose not to do this and continue enjoying sin, the torment of hell awaits. We are saved by Grace and the choice is ours to make. Those that have truly made the choice to repent of their sin and trust in Jesus Christ love this message.

To others, this message is offensive. The message that there is only one way to Heaven - through Jesus Christ - and you must give everything up for Jesus....That includes sin.

I heard many comments from Hecklers this week that included statements such as: "There is no hell" - "God is love" - "God would never send people to hell".

Obviously there is a hell. Jesus himself spoke about it many times and while God is love he also is a holy and righteous God and sin must be punished. God does love and he sent his only Son to die a brutal death on the Cross for us. The gift of eternal life is free but we must take action to receive it. Unfortunately, many professing Christians have blinded themselves to the Bible and made up a False God to suit their lifestyle. While it would be a wonderful life to be a Christian, know you are going to Heaven and continue to live in any way you want, that is just not the truth. That is why the message of the Law & Gospel is offensive to the unbelievers and even those that claim to believe. They don't want to hear about a God that demands everything from them - including their sin.

The day was not over. Tune in later for what was to happen next.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Ambassadors' Academy - Day 2 Continued

Day 2 of the Ambassadors' Academy ended with a trip to Long Beach along with some great preaching.

The picture above depicts Leon Brown (Evangelism open-air preaching to a group of kids going to their prom. It was an amazing display of boldness for Christ. Just as we arrived, a member of our team told Leon that a large group of kids were gathering. I walked with Leon towards the group and without hesitation he jumped on up and started preaching the Law & Gospel. Many of the kids started to yell at Leon but after a few minutes they listened and I could clearly see many of the kids listening very intently at Leon's message. Leon received applause when he concluded his presentation of the Gospel. Leon was a great inspiration to everyone.

I was especially proud of my wife during the academy. Prior to this day, she had never passed out a tract and on Day 2 of the Ambassadors' Academy she not only passed out numerous tracts but she preached in the open-air and above she is conducting her first one-to-one witnessing encounter.

There is still a day left and the blessings would continue to pour upon us.....