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All Things Being Unequal I’ll Go With Jesus, or the Apostles, or 2,000 years of proven results
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
850+ views | 230+ clicks
Dear Prayer Warriors,

Generally when it comes to witnessing, you can’t go wrong with Jesus. I guess next in line would be the Apostles. After that I would default to 2,000 Great Awakenings and Revivals which have swept the world from then until now. I have been using the model of Jesus, as copied by the Apostles, as reproduced by the Church from then until now, this past week. God the Holy Spirit reveals to us Jesus’ method in Mark 3:15, “And He appointed twelve; so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach.” Now while they were “with Him,” what did Jesus do?

He preached publicly… (Luke 8:1, "soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him.")

and He did evangelistic home visits… (Luke 19:2-10, "And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, 'Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.' And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly. When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, 'He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.' Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, 'Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.' And Jesus said to him, 'Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.'")

Is it no wonder, then, that the Apostles also preached publicly and did evangelistic home visits… (Acts 5:42, "And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ," and Acts 20:20-21, "How I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house, solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.")

This is what Eleanor and I have been doing here in Russia. Tuesday we did a home evangelistic call, Wednesday we had a young Russian couple to our home for dinner, Thursday El will be teaching the ladies and I the men how to do personal evangelism, Saturday we are teaching the Marriage Covenant Seminar to a mixed group of Christians and their non-Christian friends, Sunday I will be speaking at Church on the use of the Word of God in personal evangelism, Sunday night we will do home evangelistic calls and then next week we will begin anew.

This is what we have been giving our lives to while in Russia. I have been preaching publically (through seeker-oriented seminars and worship services), we have been teaching the Bible (both in our flat and in the homes of church members) and we have been doing evangelistic home visits. We have been making evening home calls, we have been inviting others to our little rented efficiency flat and we have been eating meals out with others. In every case, at some point, out comes the Four Spiritual Laws (Russian/English Bilingual Version), and we walk them patiently through, taking turns reading every word out loud.

(One of the reasons I like the Four Laws is its emphasis at the end on becoming an active member of a local church. So many para-church tracts see salvation as an end in itself. Hats off to Campus Crusade for its vision and commitment to the local church!)

We have had a wonderful response with several non-Christian family members showing up at church the following Sunday morning.

The Apostles, when they witnessed, were immediately recognized as having been with Jesus. God the Holy Spirit goes out of His way to record this in Acts 4:13, “Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.”

Now, if you think about it, this is not bad company. In fact, if you had to be accused of something, witnessing like Jesus is something I can live with. This is why I use the same methods employed by Jesus and the Apostles. I, too, would not be embarrassed at all as being known as witnessing as if I have been spending time each day with Jesus.

I can remember talking with a modern evangelical church about witnessing. The elders were concerned that it had been years since they had baptized anyone other than a child of an active member. Now, I am not opposed to children coming to Christ and being baptized. In fact, I praise God that all my children have personally trusted Christ and followed Him in baptism. I, though, also shared their concern over the lack of impact of the gospel this church was having in its community. I immediately laid out a plan of (1) publicly preaching through a series of seeker-friendly seminars and topics which would include a clear presentation of the gospel and an invitation to pray to receive Christ and (2) a home visitation outreach strategy. The elders immediately stopped me. They calmly explained to me that all the modern church growth research had taught them that neither of these two methods would work. My response was to ask if they realized that since the time of Christ, the apostles along with all the subsequent great revivals had included these two methods. This church still is not reaching the lost, but they are very happy with their methods. (Again, if you are not going to experience a lot of fruit, you might as well experience bearing fruit in obedience to the teachings and examples of Christ rather than that of some pagan number cruncher. At least then you have the secondary fruit of obedience, righteousness and discipleship.)

We are having a great time here in Tyumen, Russia sharing the gospel of Christ. Each weekend we are giving either the Marriage Covenant Seminar or the Family Discipleship Seminar in areas where church members live. Each weekend we are seeing unbelieving spouses, family members, business associates and friends attending – many times following up by coming to church the following Sunday. In addition, we are visiting in the homes of non-Christian family members and friends of church members. Again, we are sharing the gospel in a clear manner, centered upon the Word of God and emphasizing a decision to pray to receive Christ your Lord and Savior. We are having a great time!!

One of the unexpected side blessings of these meetings has been a renewed understanding of the gospel by Christian church members, as well as a growing zeal to share the gospel themselves. Why should some Amerikanski have all the fun?!?! Rightly does God the Holy Spirit remind all ministers in Philippians 3:1
to "rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble to me, and it is a safeguard for you, and again in 2 Peter 1:12 that "I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you."

By God’s grace and your prayers we will leave Russia with the testimony of Paul who asserted in 1 Corinthians 2:2 that "when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified."

By His mercy,
II Corinthians 4:1
Rev. John S. Mahon
Grace Community International – Tyumen, Russia (deep in the heart of Siberia)

Oct 2012 - Sunday Morning
We had a great service Sunday morning followed by a second Marriage Covenant Seminar. This addition...

Category:  Sept. 2012 - Russia

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