Sunday, March 31, 2013

He Is Risen! 3/30/2013

Our Lord, Jesus Christ, is risen, indeed! Cause for celebration!

In a celebratory mood, the team seems to grow in number week by week. Sharon, Dean S., Jack, David, Steve M., Mark, and Debbie, were also joined by Elder Bob, Dean C., Sai, Paul, Nathan and Steven V. God answers prayer!

In a bold move, calculated by the Holy Spirit to confound the enemy of our souls, a second team was formed to do street-corner proclamation in the "alcove." This back-to-basics, unamplified, team of Whitefielders exhorted passersby to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.

Dean S. holds the last two Bibles as Paul proclaims the glorious resurrection gospel. Dave (not pictured) was making a run to the supply box for MORE BIBLES, as they were being snatched up like the Church will be (soon!).

A roving team of ambassadors, seen here, covered the territory between the two outposts.

In a technological first for this team, Dave proclaimed the most recent Spurgeon blogpost reading it from his iPhone.

Reminder:  CBC Evangelism team will officially begin FRIDAY NIGHT outreach, next week!

MARANATHA! He is risen!


“And He led them out as far as to Bethany, and He lifted up His hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while He blessed them, He was parted from them, and carried up into Heaven. And they worshipped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God.” Luke 24:50-53.

The most significant circumstance, perhaps, about the place of His Ascension was that He went back to Heaven from the place where He had often communed with His disciples. He had opened up many mysteries to them there. It was there that they had sat and looked over at Jerusalem and He had spoken to them about the ultimate destruction of the guilty city. It was a place which was very dear to them and which must have brought many memories to our Savior’s mind. There, just under the brow of the hill, were the olive trees of Gethsemane, and His eyes may have looked upon the spot where He wrestled for our sakes with all the powers of death and Hell. It is sweet to think that He ascended to His Glory from the place of His agony and bloody sweat. And, my Brothers and Sisters, we shall do the same in our measure. From the bed whereon we die we shall ascend into Glory and there we shall be transfigured and made like unto our Lord! And from the grave of death—our Gethsemane—our bodies shall leap at the coming of the Lord and the sounding of the great trumpet into all the resurrection beauty and life! Yes, where we fight, we shall conquer! Where we suffer, there we shall reign! I like to think of the last spot of earth that Jesus touched being a mountain—for mountains have often been the places where the grandest transactions of men with God have been performed—and to find Him going as near Heaven as He could upon His feet because He would not work a miracle as long as anything could be done by ordinary means. And then gently, as it were, pushing the earth downwards and Himself ascending into the Glory where He now sits at the right hand of God, even the Father!

C.H. Spurgeon - "Our Lords Posture in Ascension"

Saturday, March 30, 2013

First Friday 3/22/2013

On Friday evening Dave, Mark and Steve hit the streets to proclaim the Gospel. It was unusual in many respects. The sudden change (from Saturday night) came as a surprise to many regular members of the team. It was also a surprise to many who had never seen street preachers before. In fact, at least half a dozen believers came up to encourage us, and listened carefully to the message.

This man (on the left) was one of two young men who attend an Armenian Apostolic Church in Los Angeles. They were greatly encouraged by the presence of street preachers, and will hopefully, by God's grace, be inspired to do the same. We had an opportunity to share the fact that CBC hosts the Armenian Reformed Bible Church service every Sunday evening, with Pastor Vahik.

The location pictured above is at the corner of Olive and San Fernando. There is an alcove which helps contain and project the sound of the preacher's voice toward the people who are crossing the street from the mall. Perfect for "stop-light" preaching.

Here are some links to examples of stop-light preaching:

rational responder

On The Box / Living Waters

Stone The Preacher

Here is a sample stop-light (i.e. very brief) sermon:

"Folks, be careful on the road today. 150,000 people die every day; many of them on roads like this.

"When we die, we are going to stand before God and give an account for our lives. Because God is good, He is going to judge each of us according to the perfect, moral standard of His Law. If we've ever lied, stolen, taken His name in vain, He will find us guilty of breaking His Law. And because God is good, He must punish our sin; and the punishment God has ascribed for sin is eternity in Hell.

"But God is also merciful, loving, and kind in that He provided one way to escape that punishment; and that was through the gift of His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ: fully-God and fully-Man, without sin. He died a horrible, bloody death on the cross that He did not deserve in order to take upon Himself the punishment we rightly deserve for our sins against God. And then three days later He forever defeated sin and death when He rose from the grave.

"What God requires of you and me is that we repent--that we turn from our sin, and by faith and by faith alone, receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Jesus said, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.'

"So, please, repent and believe the gospel while God has given you time. And be careful on the road today."

Praise Report:  The traveling pastor, Nick, who we have prayed for the last few weeks, stopped by to show us the new shoes he received thanks to the faithful help of a man whom he witnessed to last week.

Spurgeon Quote of the Day

“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, It is finished:
and He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” John 19:30. 

Once again—when He said, “It is finished,” Jesus had totally destroyed the power of Satan, of sin, and of death. The Champion had entered the lists to do battle for our soul’s redemption against all our foes. He met Sin. Horrible, terrible, all-but omnipotent Sin nailed Him to the Cross; but in that deed, Christ nailed Sin also to the tree. There they both did hang together—Sin and Sin’s Destroyer. Sin destroyed Christ, and by that destruction Christ destroyed Sin! Next came the second enemy, Satan. He assaulted Christ with all his hosts. Calling up his myrmidons from every corner and quarter of the universe, he said, “Awake, arise, or be forever fallen! Here is our great Enemy who has sworn to bruise my head; now let us bruise His heel!” They shot their hellish darts into His heart; they poured their boiling cauldrons on His brain; they emptied their venom into His veins; they spat their insinuations into His face; they hissed their devilish fears into His ears. He stood alone, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, hounded by all the dogs of Hell! Our Champion quailed not, but used His holy weapons, striking right and left with all the power of God-supported Manhood! On came the hosts; volley after volley was discharged against Him. No mimic thunders were these, but such as might shake the very gates of Hell! The Conqueror steadily advanced, overturning their ranks, dashing in pieces His enemies, breaking the bow, and cutting the spear in sunder, and burning the chariots in the fire, while he cried, “In the name of God will I destroy you!” At last, foot to foot, He met the champion of Hell, and now our David fought with Goliath. Not long was the struggle; thick was the darkness which gathered round them both; but He who is the Son of God as well as the Son of Mary, knew how to smite the fiend, and He did smite him with Divine fury, till, having despoiled him of his armor, having quenched his fiery darts, and broken his head, He cried, “It is finished” and sent the fiend, bleeding and howling, down to Hell! We can imagine him pursued by the eternal Savior, who exclaims—
My bolt shall find and pierce you through, Though under Hell’s profoundest wave You div’st, to seek a sheltering grave.”
His thunderbolt overtook the fiend, and grasping him with both His hands, the Savior drew around him the great chain. The angels brought the royal chariot from on high, to whose wheels the captive fiend was bound. Lash the coursers up the everlasting hills! Spirits made perfect come forth to meet Him. Sing to the conqueror who drags death and Hell behind Him, and leads captivity captive! “Lift up your heads, O you gates, and be you lifted up, you everlasting doors, that the King of Glory may come in.” But stay; before He enters, let Him be rid of this His burden. Lo, He takes the fiend, and hurls him down through illimitable night, broken, bruised, with his power destroyed, bereft of his crown, to lie forever howling in the Pit of Hell! Thus when the Savior cried, “It is finished,” He had defeated Sin and Satan; nor less had he vanquished Death. Death had come against Him, as Christmas Evans puts it, with his fiery dart, which he struck right through the Savior, till the point fixed in the Cross, and when he tried to pull it out again, he left the sting behind. What more could he do? He was disarmed. Then Christ set some of his prisoners free; for many of the saints arose and were seen of many—then He said to him, “Death, I take from you your keys; you must live for a little while to be the warden of those beds in which My saints shall sleep but give Me your keys.” And lo, the Savior stands today with the keys of death hanging at His belt, and He waits until the hour shall come of which no man knows; when the trumpet of the archangel shall ring like the silver trumpets of Jubilee, and then He shall say, “Let My captives go free.” Then shall the tombs be opened in virtue of Christ’s death, and the very bodies of the saints shall live again in an eternity of glory—
“‘It is finished!’ Hear the dying Savior cry.”
C.H. Spurgeon- "It is Finished"

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Legalistic Challenges 3/16/2013

A core team of David, Mark, Jack & Steven were joined by Pastor Alvin for an exciting evening of challenging debate, and one to one ministry, as we invaded the chilly streets of Burbank.

Our newest team member, Jack, responded to two different hecklers. First, a very courteous, self-described atheist had several questions about (what else?) evolution. Jack made the point that it is far more reasonable, and scientifically valid, to accept that rather than single-cell organisms gradually changing into whales, camels, and pigs, which we do not see happening, what we actually observe is animals, such as dogs, changing into others dogs, within their "kind." Yes, there may be different expressions of the genetic variables within the kind, resulting in dogs of every color shape and size, yet we do not see dogs sprouting wings or gills or even opposable thumbs with which to remove the leashes placed around their necks. (Ed. note: Carolus Linnaeus (1707–1778), the founder of the science of taxonomy, was a creationist who came to understand that the term "species" was too narrow to correspond to the Biblical term "kind," and is rather closer to the term "genus.")  After this, Jack sprang into the Good Person test.

He was followed by the first of two different persons, identifying themselves as believers, who took issue with our proclamation of the Gospel in public.
Sometimes self-described followers of Christ try to discourage us from sharing the gospel in the way we do.

Often it is revealed, through the words and arguments they use, that their faith is based on a low view of the righteousness and justice of God, and so they object to the use of the Law to convict people of their sinful state. Yet, the Scriptures speak of "repentance unto life" (Acts 11:18), and Paul preached "repentance toward God, and faith toward out Lord Jesus Christ." (Acts 20:21)
A good response to this is the analogy of the costly medicine for a terminal illness which is worthless when freely offered to a man who is perfectly well, but more precious than gold when offered to one who has just been given a terminal diagnosis.

Dave was challenged by a young man, named Chara, who was struggling with the recent tragic death of 3 members of his family including a six year old child. He admitted that he was very confused by the Christian claims that the Bible is true and inspired by God.  Dave responded by quoting Isaiah 53 as an example of fulfilled prophecy.

Some of his other questions:
Q: Have you seen Jesus? 
A: Have you seen gravity? Yet you believe in gravity. Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.
Q: Is the devil real? 
A: Jesus was tempted by the devil.
Q: How do you know that the bad is not good and the good is not bad? 
A: The bible says that men will call good evil and evil good. That's what we have in our culture right now. People say that abortion is good, homosexuality is good. But no it's not, it's sin. But God can forgive those sins, He can forgive the worst sinner on the planet. He forgave me! If you are involved in sin you are in bondage to that sin. He can set your free from the bondage of sin.
Q: What made you to believe in Jesus? 
A: Trust in the one who has revealed Himself to you. Read His word, the Bible. "these things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ; the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name." (John 20:31)
Many other questions were fielded in the fast paced dialogue.

Then a second heckler who identified himself as a Messianic Jewish "believer" drew Dave into a protracted discussion of doctrinal issues. Gradually, it became clear that this man's issue was a kind of legalism that is a problem for the Messianic movement. Afterward, Dave found a few excellent articles that address this issue.

Some questions that might help direct the discussion with others of like beliefs:

Do you believe that ALL of the scriptures are "God-breathed" and the only source of divine truth & your final authority?

Do you believe Jesus is God?

What is the ONLY WAY a sinful man be reconciled with a Holy God?

Are you JUSTIFIED by Christ or your obedience to the Law?

Do you believe you can LOSE your salvation?

Do you believe the salvation is a FREE gift of God's grace?

Do you believe Jesus Christ is the ONLY way of salvation?

Peter rebuked the believing Pharisees, at the Jerusalem Council, who sought to command the Gentiles to keep the law of Moses: "Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they." (Acts 15:10-11)

Paul rebuked the Galations: "Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?" (Galations 3:2-3)

It was another blessed evening of defending the faith. Please check the schedule for our next outing and consider joining us.

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.  (Psalm 34:1-3)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Fathers Bargain

Here you may suppose the Father to say, when driving his bargain with Christ for you:
Father. My son, here is a company of poor miserable souls, that have utterly undone themselves, and now lie open to my justice! Justice demands satisfaction for them, or will satisfy itself in the eternal ruin of them: What shall be done for these souls And thus Christ returns.
Son. O my Father, such is my love to, and pity for them, that rather than they shall perish eternally, I will be responsible for them as their Surety; bring in all thy bills, that I may see what they owe thee; Lord, bring them all in, that there may be no after-reckonings with them; at my hand shalt thou require it. I will rather choose to suffer thy wrath than they should suffer it: upon me, my Father, upon me be all their debt.
Father. But, my Son, if thou undertake for them, thou must reckon to pay the last mite, expect no abatements; if I spare them, I will not spare thee.
Son. Content, Father, let it be so; charge it all upon me, I am able to discharge it: and though it prove a kind of undoing to me, though it impoverish all my riches, empty all my treasures, (for so indeed it did, 2 Cor. 8: 9. “Though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor”) yet I am content to undertake it.
Blush, ungrateful believers, O let shame cover your faces; judge in yourselves now, has Christ deserved that you should stand with him for trifles, that you should shrink at a few petty difficulties, and complain, this is hard, and that is harsh? O if you knew the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in this his wonderful condescension for you, you could not do it.
~ John Flavel

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Well Orchestrated 3/9/2013

As the CBC Evangelism Team, including David, Mark, Sharon, Debbie, Dean C., Sai, Paul, Elder Mike, Jack, Steve M. and Steve V., cheerfully took to the streets of Burbank, we were accompanied, providentially speaking, by an intrepid cello player. He, in turn, was accompanied by a digital orchestra which provided an unusually dignified background to the proclamation of the Gospel. Although at times overpowering the speaker, amplification-wise, it was a welcome change from the typical cacophony of paganistic rhythms.

We were encouraged by Pastor Ed, and his wife Kelly, who stopped by to visit.

Inspired by last week's Missions Conference, team members gathered for prayer, as we usually do, at the Burbank Police Department parking lot. Often the topic of discussion, before praying, is a recap of recent events which seem to exemplify the rising spirit of Anti-Christ in our culture, and which underscore the imminence of the Lord's return, and the urgency of all missions work. David shared the story of a Canadian Pastor who was instructed by a court to renounce his faith in Christ or face jail time, as well as a twisted tale of the legal confusion surrounding a surrogate mother who refused to abort the baby she was carrying.

David also shared a list of topics, compiled by a news commentator, which the Anti-Christian world wants Christians to stop talking about. This list represents a point by point outline of a good ten minute gospel presentation from the box. Hmmmm. Coincidence?

Our brother Jack, who, when he is not busy evangelizing the lost, is a doctor busy reading x-rays, took his first turn on the box. As a rite of passage, he was introduced (i.e. thrown under the bus) by David in his usual "sink or swim" way with an invitation to anyone with a question about the Bible or evolution to come up to the heckler mic and "ask this guy!" Jack did well, speaking about the righteousness of Christ, and sharing the Good Person Test. He exhorted those passing by, "God is calling you out!"

Many one-to-ones took place.

Sharon prayed with this woman.

David giving the "are you sure you are a Christian?" test.

Mark prayed with this man, named Nick, who is a traveling preacher from Florida. (Ed. note: In our blog post two weeks ago we mistakenly described him as homeless.) He asked that we pray that the Lord would bless him with a new pair of boots. After this he went his way, confident that the Lord would provide.

Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, "It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us: 'I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.'" Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. (Acts 13:46-48)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Spurgeon Quote of the Day 3-11-13

“As for me, I will behold Your face in righteousness;
I shall be satisfied when I awake with Your likeness.”
Psalm 17:15.

"And again, upon this point, you can see that David, at the time he wrote this, was full of faith. The text is fragrant with confidence. “As for me,” says David, no perhaps about it. “I will behold Your face in righteousness; I shall be satis- fied when I awake up in Your likeness.” If some men should say so now, they would be called fanatics and it would be considered presumption for any man to say, “I will behold Your face, I shall be satisfied.” And I think there are many now in this world who think it is quite impossible for a man to say to a certainty, “I know. I am sure. I am certain.” But, Beloved, there are not one or two, but there are thousands and thousands of God’s people alive in this world who can say with an assured confidence—no more doubting of it than of their very existence—“I will behold Your face in righteous- ness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.” It is possible, though perhaps not very easy, to attain to that high and eminent position wherein we can say no longer do I hope, but I know. No longer do I trust, but I am persuaded. I have a happy confidence—I am sure of it. I am certain. For God has so manifested Himself to me that now it is no long- er, “if,” and, “perhaps,” but it is the positive, eternal, “shall.” “I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.” How many are there here of that sort? Oh, if you are talking like that, you must expect to have trouble, for God never gives strong faith without fiery trial! He will never give a man the power to say that, “shall,” without trying him. He will not build a strong ship without subjecting it to very mighty storms. He will not make you a mighty warrior if He does not intend to try your skill in battle. God’s swords must be used! The old Toledo blades of Heaven must be smitten against the armor of the Evil One and yet they shall not break, for they are of true Jerusalem metal which shall never snap! Oh, what a happy thing to have that faith to say “I shall.” Some of you think it quite impossible, I know. But it “is the gift of God,” and whoever asks for it shall obtain it—and the very chief of sinners now present in this place may yet be able to say long before he comes to die, “I shall behold Your face in righteousness.” I think I see the aged Christian. He has been very poor. He is in an attic where the stars look between the tiles. There is his bed. His clothes ragged and torn. There are a few sticks on the hearth—they are the last he has. He is sitting up in his chair. His paralytic hand quivers and shakes and he is evidently near his end. His last meal was eaten yesterday at noon. And as you stand and look at him—poor, weak and feeble, who would desire his lot? But ask him, “Old man, would you change your attic for Caesar’s palace? Aged Christian, would you give up these rags for wealth and cease to love your God?” See how indignation burns in his eyes at once! He replies, “As for me, I shall, within a few more days, behold His face in righteousness. I shall be satisfied soon. Here I never shall be. Trouble has been my lot and trial has been my portion, but I have a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” Bid high. Bid him fair—offer him your hands full of gold—lay all down for him to give up his Christ. “Give up Christ?” He will say, “no, never!”—

“While my faith can keep her hold,
I envy not the miser’s gold.”

Oh, what a glorious thing to be full of faith and to have the confidence of assurance, so as to say, “I will behold Your face; I shall be satisfied when I awake with Your likeness.”

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

2013 CBC Missions Conference

We a really nice time at the 2013 Missions Conference. This is an annual event where most of the Missionaries that Calvary Bible Church supports. Its was a great time to see what we are all a part of in advancing the Kingdom of God!

At the CBC Evangelism booth we had many free "give aways" on our table like; 180 the Movie, Genius, Hells Best Kept Secret, tracts and various other Ray Comfort books... almost everything was gone by the end of the conference!

 We had several Missionaries talk about what the Lord is doing through them in advancing the Gospel. The highlight for Steve was Pastor Vahik from the Armenian Reformed Bible Church who gave a passionate presentation.

The highlight for me... was FOOD related. :) We walked into a room filled with about a HUNDRED dishes from around the world! It was absolutely the best potluck I have ever seen. It made me think of how amazing the Lambs wedding feast is going to be when "every tribe tongue and nation" prepares their best for the Lord!

There was lots of great fellowship with our church family.

Steve and I both agreed that we felt "small and priviledged" to be part of God's great plan of salvation.

Don't Fear Men Fear God.