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On 2008-04-04 22:58, Preston68 wrote:
...Be blessed! And again, thanks for all of your help!

And blessed be, yourself!

Good Luck!
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
Joe Marotta
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On 2008-04-04 22:58, Preston68 wrote:
… I think debate is great and has its place, but we are representing Jesus. Other people may be looking into this part of the forum to see what those Christians are up to. I'd hate to think they look and say, "Oh, they're bickering over their own religion. Can't even agree on that…."

Oh Shut Up Preston! Smile
(The above sentence was said tongue in cheek!)

On 2008-04-04 12:39, Gospel Dan wrote:
Hi Joe,
Law One: God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life.
Law Two: All of us are sinful and separated from God. Therefore we cannot know and experience God’s love and plan for our life.
Law Three: Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for our sin. Through Him we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our life.
Law Four: We must individually accept Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord; then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our life.

Just wondering, what's not Biblical about these? I believe it's vital to understand what the four spiritual laws are if you are going to reach people for Christ. I tried John, the Baptist's way, "Repent, for the kingdom of God is near!" which is a biblical example of street witnessing as far as I'm concerned, and perhaps the only example of it in the Bible. But I found it to be intrusive for the modern day.

Have you used this approach on the street yourself Joe? What do you tell them when they want to except Jesus into their life? When I said you must have a good understanding of the presentation of the four spiritual laws, it was because we need to know what to do when we come across someone who wants to receive Jesus into their life.

I strongly believe that the four spiritual laws are very Biblical. How they are presented is up to the person.

EDIT: Just finished reading your post again Joe, and no offense taken by me. I also just realized that you're talking about tracts. I'm sorry, I wasn't talking about handing out tracts in regards to the four spiritual laws.

Hi Brother Dan,
First, please check and see if Preston is still on talking terms with me. I made a sarcastic joke and I’m not sure if he took it as an insult, or in the playful friendly manner I meant it.

Okay, second. I appreciate your questions and I’m glad you were not offended. Neither was I so all is good. Thanks for clearing the air. (Sorry, that was me. Would someone open a window please? Thank you very much.)

I’ve seen too many people approach a stranger by saying ‘God has a wonderful plan for your life’ as if their interest will be piqued and they will hang on every word that follows. I don’t think that’s a biblical approach to witnessing to someone. That method doesn’t follow the examples set forth in the bible by Jesus, Paul, Peter and others.

If you were asked to speak to 3000 people in NY city on September 10th, 2001, knowing that in 24 hours all these people would die a horrible death, would you tell them ‘God has a wonderful plan for your life”? No. I think you would deliver a completely different message. By telling them about a wonderful plan for their lives, you would be doing them a great disservice.

If you were witnessing Iran, in North Korea, or in China, would you tell people ‘God has a wonderful plan’ for their lives, fully knowing that if the government discovered they were Christians, they would be beaten, put into prison, tortured, and possibly killed as a ‘political criminal’? It happens today, 2008.

I content that we need to follow the example set down in the bible. We need to open the law and let people see themselves the way God sees them. Psalm 19:7 tells us that God’s law is perfect and actually converts the soul. So let’s use this key to open someone’s heart. It is the God-given key to unlock the door of salvation and is the key to reaching the lost. This ‘key’ was used throughout church history but was lost around the turn of the 20th century. Jesus used it, so did Paul (Rom3:19, 20), and James (James 2:10), and Stephen used it (Acts 7:53). In Acts 28:23 Paul sought to persuade his hearers “concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets.”

People need to understand their current standing before God. They need to understand the ‘bad news’ first, before the ‘good news’ will make any sense. The law was designed primarily as an evangelistic tool. Paul wrote that he ‘had not known sin, but by the law’ (Romans 7:7). The law reveals to us that we are liars, thieves, adulterers, murderers, blasphemers, etc. If we open up the divine law, the 10 commandments, and show them precisely what they’ve done wrong- that they have offended God by violating His law- then when they become ‘convinced of the law as a transgressor’ (James 2:9), the good news of the fine being paid by Jesus’ sacrifice will not be foolishness. It will not be offensive. It will be ‘the power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16).

The good news is that God doesn’t want to send us to hell, which we deserve as our punishment. Instead, He came down to this planet, taking on the form of a man, Jesus the Christ, to live a perfect sinless life and become the payment for our debt that we owe to God, and could never pay. We broke the law and Jesus paid our fine. It’s as simple as that. Giving the bad news first, actually enables the good news to make sense. This was the method used by Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon, John Wesley, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards and many others.

…what you do after someone is wanting to except Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

I share what the bible states, that we need to do two things; Repent and Rrust. We have to Repent of our sins against a holy God, (confess our sins, agree with Him that we have offended Him, apologize to Him and turn away from our sins (stop doing them); and then Trust in Jesus’ sacrifice for our salvation (we put on the Lord Jesus, we cling to Him, trusting Him to save us).

As much as I like Ray Comfort's approach it's not everyone's cup of tea. Not only that, you have to get a special permit to do what he did in the video. You just can't set up mike and start preaching, at least not here legally in most cities in Canada.

I agree with you that open air preaching is not for everyone. Here in LA, you need a permit to do that as well. Very inexpensive and simple to get. But I don’t open air preach and I’m not saying that’s how everyone needs to witness to the lost.

I'm not talking about handing out tracts, I'm not talking about preaching about the Four Spiritual Laws, I'm talking about understanding what they are, why we need to be saved, how to be saved, who saves us, and the results of being saved.

I understand what the FSL are. But I think it’s more biblically accurate to say to people, (1) you have broken God’s laws and He will find you guilty on your day of judgment, and (2) Jesus paid your fine so when you appear before God’s throne for judgment, he will dismiss your case IF you Repent and then Trust in Christ’s work on the cross for your salvation. Then read the Bible and obey what you read.

However, with all that said, we are talking about street witnessing using Gospel magic, and so I believe that the approach that Ray uses in Hells Best kept Secret would not need the use of magic tricks to witness to people on the street. What I'm talking about is strolling not setting up camp in a park somewhere.

I completely agree with you that you don’t need to use magic tricks to witness to people on the street. But if you want to get someone’s attention and break the ice with them in order to start a conversation about God, magic is a very effective tool. Strolling around and getting someone’s attention with a trick is 100 times better than walking up to them and saying, “God loves you”. And I know you personally don't do that when witnessing. So I say let’s just take our magic and use it to attract people’s attention so we can turn the conversation over to spiritual things and witness to them.

I'm sorry, I wasn't talking about handing out tracts in regards to the four spiritual laws.

OH! Sorry. In THAT case… please disregard my long responses above.

(catching my breath)……. My apologies to all for such a long post. I now return you to your regularly scheduled topic.
Dan Bernier
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I'll have to respond later Joe, cause I'm still laughing so hard I can't see threw my watered eyes. (lolOLOLOLlol) Thanks for brightnening my day! (:
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
Theodore Lawton
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I agree with the Way of the Master's approach to evangelism Joe.

If you told all those people you mentioned that God had a wonderful plan for their life, you would still be correct, because beatings and persecution and death may be part of that wonderful plan. The final chapter of the plan is eternal salvation,(if they accept Christ's forgiveness and Lordship) so it is wonderful, but the short term suffering is pretty miserable to have to endure.

I agree that we need to be less "seeker friendly" and just present the Gospel. Show people that they are sinners (the bad news) and tell them the Good News about Christ.

Now, I have to go get my bwanky and cwy myself to sweep. You're mean! Smile

Smile Oh, man I even crack myself up! Smile
Dan Bernier
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Okay, I'm back!

Somewhere in another thread I talked about how our street outreach team approaches street witnessing. We neither use the FSL or WOTM methods. Most of the people that we come across are homeless or poor. We make friends and earn their trust. Sometimes we bring lunches or order pizzas, show some magic tricks, play some music, listen to what they have to say, give advice if they are looking for it, and share what Jesus Christ is doing in our lifes by setting an example. But most of all we show them compassion and love. We have had several people who have sincerely excepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour, and it shows in their changed behaviours and outlook on life. Some are still struggling with addictions, but we are their to support them and give them encouragement. We have a very good follow up in place for those who want to change their lives and don't just leave them without any direction.

I agree with you Joe. It would be very hard to preach the FSL to someone who doesn't believe in God as much as it would be hard to tell them that they have broken God's law when they don't believe in God. I have found that when ministering to someone who doesn't believe in God, it's very hard to convince them that they are a sinner. The best we can do is allow God to shine through us. Our actions speak so much more louder than our words. Eventually God speaks to their hearts and their conscious starts speaking to them as well. We let God be God, and do what only God can do. We can only be their for them to show them the way. I have had several homeless people tell me that they used to believe in God, and that someone told them that if they believed in God, God would take their addictions away and get them off the streets. They stopped believing in God because God never took their addictions away or took them off the street. We have had to tell them that addiction is the result of their choices which in God's eyes is sin. It is up to them to give up the things that they are addicted to, but God will forgive them and help them if they trust and believe.

Anyways, I don't want to ramble on too much. I shouldn't have brought up the FSL cause some can easily miscontrude what I mean. In short, what I was trying to say was if someone was to come up to you and say I want what you got and you don't know what to do, then you won't be any good for that person or for God.

Thank you so much for your humour ealier. I really needed a good laugh and the timing couldn't have been any better. It has been a stressful week for me. Praise God it's over! Smile

I apologize for my bad grammar and spelling but I am typing pretty fast before I go to bed and I don't have time to double check. God bless everyone!
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
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