Friday, January 31, 2014

Outreach Update 1/25/2014

Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, "The Harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest." (Matthew 9:36-38)

Ministry Recap

2014 is off to a busy start. Since our last blog entry we have had two weeks of ministry efforts including Burbank, NoHo and the Mission Hills Abortuary.


Elder Bob, and his son David, stopped by to encourage the team and to lead off the preaching with a gracious yet forthright Gospel message. Tonight's team included: Dr. Jack, Jeremy, Sharon, Debbie, Dean & Sai, Forest and Steven V.

The team was greatly blessed to have several hecklers step up to the mic to challange the preachers on the box. This drew a good size crowd, even competing with the break dancing team across the way.

Two of these hecklers, Cameron and Josh, came up to the mic (apparently inspired by Dr. Jack's clever "Got Questions" sign for the mic stand) and proceeded to draw a sizeable crowd, including some familiar faces. Happily, our brother Forest was able to capture some of the evening's discussions on video. We will try to post highlights as soon as we get them edited.

In spite of the invitation for people to approach us with questions, our purpose for being there is NOT to answer as many questions as we can. Rather it is to use each question and answer as a doorway to the Gospel message. This can be challenging to do without getting drawn into an intellectual battle over the historicity, inspiration and interpretation of the Word of God. People have many questions. There is a good answer to every question. So, it is tempting to spend a lot of time sharing the wealth of facts and explanations which affirm the integrity of the Bible's claim to be God's eternal word. But the unregenerate heart of man is never satisfied by evidence, no matter how well attested. And so, we must strive to hold people morally accountable by sharing the Law and it's ability to convict the heart of sin.

Defining Repentance

One of the principle issues we must continually impress upon people is the need for repentance.
The following article excerpted from Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron's book, "The School for Bibical Evangelism," is very helpful. A worthy goal is to incorporate as much of this content into our preaching and discussions as possible.

The Necessity of Repentance

“What should I say to someone who acknowledges his sins, but says, ‘I just hope God is forgiving’?”

This person could be referred to as “awakened, but not alarmed.” Explain that God is forgiving—but only to those who repent of their sins. Ask him, “If you died right now, where would you go?” If he says, “Hell,” ask if that concerns him. If it does concern him, ask, “What are you going to do?” Then tell him that God commands him to repent and trust the Savior. If it doesn’t concern him, speak of the value of his life, the threat of eternal damnation, and the biblical description of hell. Caution him that he doesn’t have the promise of tomorrow, and plead with him to come to his senses.

Some people insist “repentance” is an old-fashioned word that the world cannot understand. “Sin” is another word that falls into that category. However, we must carefully check our motives for avoiding their use. Do we want to substitute different words to help the world understand, or do we simply want to shake off the reproach that comes with their use? If the world cannot comprehend spiritual words, then we should explain their meanings. Sin is transgression of the Law (1 John 3:4), and repentance means to turn from sin. It is more than contrition (sorrow for sin); to repent means to confess sin and forsake it—to agree with God that it is wrong and to turn and go in the opposite direction. An old soldier once summed up repentance this way: “God said, ‘Attention! About turn! Quick march!’”

It is true that numerous Bible verses speak of the promise of salvation with no mention of repentance. These verses merely tell us to “believe” on Jesus Christ and we shall be saved (Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9). However, the Bible makes it clear that God is holy and man is sinful, and that sin makes a separation between the two (Isaiah 59:1,2). Without repentance from sin, wicked men cannot have fellowship with a holy God. We are dead in our trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1) and until we forsake them through repentance, we cannot be made alive in Christ. The Scriptures speak of “repentance unto life” (Acts 11:18). We must turn from sin to the Savior. This is why Paul preached “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).

Jesus said that He came to call “sinners to repentance” (Matthew 9:13). The first public word He preached was “repent” (Matthew 4:17). John the Baptist began his ministry the same way (Matthew 3:2). Jesus told His hearers twice that without repentance, they would perish (Luke 13:3,5).

If belief is all that is necessary for salvation, then the logical conclusion is that one need never repent. However, the Bible tells us that a false convert “believes” and yet is not saved (Luke 8:13); he remains a “worker of iniquity.”

In his book One Thing You Can’t Do in Heaven, Mark Cahill notes that, when witnessing to the lost, “if there is no desire to walk away from sin, the person is not really making a true heart commitment to the Savior. In John 6:44 Jesus says, ‘No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.’ If God is drawing someone to Him, He would also be drawing the person away from his sin.”

Look at the warning of Scripture: “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth” (1 John 1:6). The Scriptures also say, “He that covers his sins shall not prosper, but whoso confesses and forsakes them [repents] shall have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). Jesus said that there was joy in heaven over one sinner who “repents” (Luke 15:10). If there is no repentance, there is no joy because there is no salvation.

As Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost, he commanded his hearers to repent “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). Without repentance, there is no remission of sins; we are still under God’s wrath. Peter further said, “Repent... and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19). We cannot be converted, or have our sins blotted out, unless we repent. God Himself “commands all men everywhere [leaving no exceptions] to repent” (Acts 17:30). Peter said a similar thing at Pentecost: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you” (Acts 2:38). Scripture says that the Lord is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Clearly, those who do not repent will perish.

If repentance wasn’t necessary for salvation, why then did Jesus command that repentance be preached to all nations (Luke 24:47)? When He sent out His disciples two by two, they “preached that men should repent” (Mark 6:12).

The necessity of repentance underscores the importance of going through the Law with a sinner. If a man doesn’t know what sin is, how can he repent? Any “repentance” would be merely “horizontal repentance.” He’s responding to the Savior because he’s lied to men, he’s stolen from men, etc. But when David sinned with Bathsheba, he didn’t say, “I’ve sinned against man.” He said to God, “Against you, and you only, have I sinned, and done this evil in your sight” (Psalm 51:4). When Joseph was tempted sexually, he said, “How can I do this thing and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9). The prodigal son said, “I’ve sinned against heaven” (Luke 15:21). That’s why Paul preached “repentance toward God” (Acts 20:21). When a man doesn’t understand that his sin is primarily vertical, he’ll merely exercise superficial, experimental, horizontal repentance, and fall away when tribulation, temptation, and persecution come.


This week's team included: Mark, Sharon, Debbie, Jeremy, Steve M., Dr. Jack, Nestor, Dean & Sai, Richard and Steven V.

After several team members Whitfielded some gospel presentations we powered up the amp. Dean and Richard went to the corner location to do some stoplight preaching.

As always, what seemed like a quiet, uneventful Saturday evening was full of one-to-one encounters and many tracts delivered into the hands of passersby.

The Morning Shift

You never know quite what to expect at NoHo station. Even at 6:00 AM there was police activity

Our brother Paul has been blessing the folks at NoHo station with his well-crafted and vividly illustrated messages on the box.

It is always a blessing to see the beautiful sunrise. What a glorious God we serve!

Mission Hills

Recently we have been out at the Mission Hills "Abortuary" with our friends Don and Tony. The purpose of this effort is simply to be the last voice of conscience to the pregnant women and their partners/family members who are enablers of this tragedy.

Don is bold, yet respectful, in his efforts to appeal to the couples as they walk from their car to the rear entrance of the building. "Abortion is an action with eternal consequences! Please don't kill your baby. There are alternatives to this!" Don has been on the receiving end of all manner of abuse, including verbal and physical threats of violence, as well as near misses and deliberate intimidation by vehicles.

Don seeks to counsel a couple who, incredibly, have stopped to ask him for directions to the clinic entrance. When he starts asking them if they are here for an abortion, their demeanor changes. Don walks behind them proclaiming the many reasons why abortion is a crime and a sin against a Holy God.

This couple kept going, as he continued to plead with them to reconsider. Eventually, Don returns to the parking lot area, in the hope that the next couple will see the witnesses standing by the entrance, prompting them to have a change of heart and simply drive on by.

You can help with this effort. Don is faithful to visit this clinic on Tuesdays and Saturdays, 8 to 10 AM. Check here for more information.

This is a new documentary which has just been released. Some of the footage was filmed at this clinic.


Saturday evening at 6:00 PM, rain or shine, Burbank Police Dept. parking lot for prayer, then walking to the mall for witnessing and tracts.

1 comment:

  1. AMEN! To your post about repentance. You cannot embrace the Son with bags in your hands.

    You all are such and encouragement… PRESS ON dear brothers and sisters… PRESS ON!