Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Holy Spirit at Work 1/19/2013

This evening's team, including Mark, Sharon, Debbie, Dean S & Dean C. , Clint, Jack, Elder Bob, and Steve, were joined by first-timers and long-time CBC members, Wayne and his son Dylan.

Things started quietly, with several one to one opportunities, including one couple who were seeking a new church home.

Dean S. initiated several conversations by conducting a "survey," which he says he learned about from Tony Miano. He approached people with a sign showing 3 unidentified verses (Isaiah 53:4-6). Participants were asked to read the verses aloud and identify who they thought was being described. Most people correctly identified Jesus as the one clearly described. Then a follow-up question is posed. "Would you be surprised to learn that the prophet Isaiah who wrote this lived over 700 years before Christ was born?" This naturally leads to a discussion of the Bible and how hundreds of fulfilled prophecies, such as this one, demonstrate that it is the Word of God.

As the movies let out the crowds grew and several stopped to heckle the preacher. Dean C. was confronted by a young man who claimed to have studied the Bible, and also claimed to have prayed many times, but was disappointed and cynical, saying: "He has never answered any of my prayers. I think God is just an idea like Santa Claus. I believe in evolution, that's how we came to exist." When answering this type of question we have found that it is best to present a short response, which addresses the science issue, and then to re-direct the conversation to the Law and the issue of our sin before a Holy God. All the best and truest answers to the issue of origins are rooted in a solidly Biblical worldview. Evolution, as a scientific theory, is hopelessly inadequate and incorrect. Here is an excellent resource for explaining some of these problems. But until the conversation addresses the conscience, there is little hope for reaching people who have been thoroughly indoctrinated by the secular educational system. This is why we use the "Good Person Test" to challenge the assumption that we are all "good enough" to go to heaven.

Elder Bob had his share of heckling on the box. A young man named Paul, expressed dissatisfaction with the idea of predestination, which the Bible clearly teaches. Although he was unwilling to stick around long enough to hear the full answer, (i.e. that both God's election [Romans 8:29-30] and man's need to respond to the gospel [John 3:16] are taught in scripture) Bob did manage to share that predestination is the view from God's perspective, since God alone has this knowledge.

The chief competitor (sound-wise) for the hearts and minds of the souls of Burbank, this evening, was an affable man named John who claimed to have been born-again 4 months ago. After giving "thumbs up" to Mark's gospel message, he boisterously and proudly displayed his medical marijuana card and confessed to being "high as a kite." He generously offered to sing a song ("Day by Day") from the musical "Godspell" into our heckler mic. Mark politely declined, cautioning him about his need for true repentance.

Unaffected by such counsel, he set up shop across the way with his aquarium-sized tip jar, and began singing along with the music in his head, supplied by the headphones connected to his laptop computer. He accompanied himself by using a crutch, not as a means of ambulatory assistance, but as a pretend guitar. Please pray for John's deliverance.

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