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Featured Why Don't Christian's Witness About Jesus?

Discussion in 'Christian Philosophy & Ethics' started by Thess, Mar 11, 2019.

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  1. Archivist

    Archivist Senior Veteran Supporter

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    So true.

    I had a knock at my door one time. The man who knocked said he was from a local Baptist church (I believe it is some type of independent church--I'm not attacking Baptists here) and told me I should come visit. I told him that I attended a local Lutheran church. He raised his voice and told me that I couldn't be saved because Lutheran practiced infant baptism and sprinkling and that Lutherans were pretty much the same as Catholics. I just closed the door. A few moments later I could hear him shouting at my next door neighbor, telling her that she was going to hell (she is Jewish).

    Do people really think that they are spreading the Gospel when they do this?

    BTW, a different type of situation. Two female Mormon missionaries once knocked at my door. I could tell when I saw them that they were having problems with the heat and humidity, the one girl looked like she was about to pass out from heatstroke. I told them they weren't going to convert me, but that they really needed to come in and cool down and have some water. Apparently they had just arrived from Utah and hadn't been warned about southcentral Pennsylvania humidity. We sat for a half hour or more and talked. They told me about places that I should visit in Utah, I told them about some local places that they needed to visit. When they were both feeling better I sent them off armed with some bottled water. They did leave me with a copy of the Book of Mormon (which I still have). Otherwise we didn't talk about religion. But when they were leaving one of them told me that she wished that everyone would treat them as I did, because some people were very unfriendly. To me, that is how we show God's love to each other, not by yelling as the earlier man had been doing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
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  2. A_Thinker

    A_Thinker Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Have you ever thought that, perhaps, ... you don't NEED to be approached with the gospel ... since you already have it.

    I also grew up in the church, and have been approached with the gospel outside of church a few times as well, ... but, of course, I got a steady course of the gospel in church.

    Remember that the Lord directs the curse of effective evangelism. Recall even the Apostles being re-directed to go other than where they were headed at one point in Acts ...

    Acts 16:6-10 - God's Divine Strategy

    Welcome to our Bible Study. We are studying spiritual applications from Acts. My topic today is God's Divine Strategy. Throughout the Book of Acts, the Spirit of God is portrayed as actively leading God's people. The apostles, for example, were led by the Spirit in dramatic and dynamic ways. There was a human side to the planning, planting, and development of the early church, but the leading of the Spirit was decisive for them. My text is Acts 16:6-10.

    One, Paul and Silas were forbidden by the Spirit to speak the Word in Asia.
    Paul and Silas were traveling westward through territory known in the Bible as Asia. The places they visited are now in the country of modern Turkey. In verse 6, Luke says, "They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia." Here, we see the Holy Spirit at work in changing the plans of Paul and Silas.

    When Luke says that the Spirit had forbidden Paul to speak the Word in Asia, he implies that Paul wanted to do so. No doubt, at some point, Paul had made his desire known to his missionary team. Although Luke does not mention Ephesus, the chief city of Asia, it seems likely that Paul wanted to proclaim the gospel there. Ephesus was a great commercial, religious, and cultural center. However, the Holy Spirit postponed Paul's preaching there. In God's time he went to Ephesus for ministry. He went there near the end of his (Acts 18:19-21) second missionary journey and returned on his third journey.

    Two, the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them to go to Bithynia.
    After Paul and Silas arrived in Mysia, in the northwest of modern Turkey, they wanted to turn north into the northern province of Bithynia. Apparently, they had a strategy they wanted to implement. The northern part of Bithynia was on the southern coast of the Black Sea. A key city in this northern province was Nicea. This would be a great place to take the gospel.

    Now, for a second time, the Holy Spirit intervened. The "Spirit of Jesus" did not permit the missionary team to go to Bithynia. This was an historic moment in the history of the church. The Spirit turned the attention of Paul and his team to Europe instead of to Bithynia. Throughout the Book of Acts, the pivotal moments are described as coming from the Spirit. God's strategy for world evangelism was Europe before Asia.

    The title "Spirit of Jesus" is used for the Holy Spirit. This is the only time this title is used in the Bible. However, we have the "Spirit of Christ" in Romans 8:9, the "Spirit of Jesus Christ" in Philippians 1:19, and the "Spirit of His Son" in Galatians 4:6. All four titles express the close relationship there is between Christ and the Spirit. Christ and the Spirit are One and yet different; they are different, yet one.

    Three, Bithynia would be reached in God's time.
    Within fifteen years, Peter took the gospel to that area, according to the salutation of his first epistle (I Pet. 1:1). By the beginning of the next century, Christianity was flourishing there, as we discover in a fascinating letter from Pliny, the Roman governor of Bithynia, to the Emperor Trajan. Pliny, who was not a Christian, described the worship services of the Christians in his province and their oath to abstain from all criminal acts and breaches of trust, and how their "contagious superstition" only spread further as he sought to bring individuals to trial. Nicaea became the birthplace of the Nicene Creed. The original version was adopted at the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D.

    When the Holy Spirit leads, we know we are acting in God's time and with His purpose. Very often, we may wish to do very good things, but it is not God's time. He alone is the master of all things. He alone knows when to act. He alone knows the circumstances that prevail at any given time. Because of this, we can have full confidence in the guidance of the Spirit.

    Four, through a vision, the man from Macedonia calls Paul to Macedonia.
    God speaks to us and leads in a variety of ways. Sometimes God reveals His will through a vision. God spoke to Ananias (Acts 9:10-12) in a vision about Paul and his ministry. The Lord spoke to Cornelius (Acts 10:3) and Peter (Acts 10:17-19 and 11:5) in visions. These visions led to the breakthrough of the gospel among the Gentiles.

    At Troas, on the northwestern coast of modern Turkey, the Lord spoke to Paul through a vision (verse9). In the vision a man from Macedonia was standing and appealing to Paul to come to Macedonia. This was a powerful and persuasive way for Paul to be called. God not only prevented Paul from preaching in Asia and going to Bithynia, but also gave them positive direction on what to do. He called them to Macedonia, which is a part of Europe.

    The missionary team did not hesitate to respond to the call. Luke (verse 10) says, "immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them." Luke says "we" sought and thereby includes himself. This is the first of his "we" passages. Apparently, Luke joined Paul's team at Troas.

    Conclusion
    What a striking story! Twice in this short story, Paul and his team were supernaturally led by the Spirit. Then, Paul had his vision of the man from Macedonia. All this kept Paul in harmony with God's plan to keep going through Asia and on to Europe. We can sum all this up with one of my favorite Bible verses, Proverbs 16:9. It says, "The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps." As we commit ourselves to the Lord, we know that He will lead us day by day. God's strategy will prevail.
     
  3. topher694

    topher694 Go Turtle!

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    Uggg!!!!


    Great example of evangelizing in action instead of words.
     
  4. A_Thinker

    A_Thinker Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The gospel is not in short supply here in America. It's in the local churches that dot our neighborhoods. It's on television, radio, and the internet. It's on bumper stickers on cars and trucks.

    Perhaps more evangelism effort is directed toward peoples who don't have the gospel access that we do ...
     
  5. Ing Bee

    Ing Bee Son of Encouragement Supporter

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    I suggest some extensive study of the New Testament texts to answer the following questions:
    1. What are we to be sharing? (i.e. What is the "good news" according to Jesus and the apostles?)
    2. How are we to be sharing?
    3. To whom are we to be sharing?
    4. When are we to be sharing?
    5. What "percentage" of the individual Christian life is proclamation vs. other things? (Is the kingdom about words or power? More transformation or more confrontation?)
    6. What is the balance between corporate witness and individual sharing? (i.e. the church as the pillar and buttress of the truth)
    7. Are all Christians equipped with the same spiritual gifts? Should we then expect all to be uniform in their proclamation?
    8. Is there something unique about Paul and the other disciples mission or do we all have the same job description?
    9. In passages discussing verbal proclamation, how many of then are directed at all believers? When that happens, what is the context and what is the emphasis?
    10. Is 'the gospel' more frequently portrayed as something believers (as a group) are to cling to, be transformed by, and "adorned" or proclaimed on street corners to strangers?
    11. Are "perfect strangers to the gospel" the basic kind of person Paul and Peter address, or do they more often speak in locations specifically dedicated to public proclamation of ideas or to individuals prepared for the news or indicating interest (e.g. Cornelius, Ethiopian eunuch,
    12. After initially sharing in a town, do Paul and his associates continue to street preach or do they shift gears and focus on something different? Do they encourage everyone else to do so instead of them?
    Keep in mind a few points:
    • 'witness' in the N.T. always (when speaking of sharing the gospel) refers to those who physically saw Jesus with their eyes (a requirement for apostelship, see Acts 1). Therefore, no one today can properly be a 'witness' to the Christ in the biblical sense.

    • Paul (in his pastoral letters to Timothy and Titus) does not include gospel-sharing as a focus for believers, instead emphasizing godly, community-of-love behavior among unbelievers as the crucial link in drawing others to personal trust in Christ.

    • 'testimony' (related to the word for 'witness' and where the term "martyr" derives) in the N.T. is most frequently connected to God's own testimony in the Son. The word is not used as a term of daily speaking on the part of Christians, but as a revealed truth (from God) that they cling to (see Revelation 11 and 12 for examples).

    • Paul considered that the gospel had gone out into the ends of the earth and had been heard by all in his lifetime ( Romans 10:14-21) and that he had accomplished all he was meant to do (2 Timothy 4)

    • 'evangelist' appears only 3 times in the New Testament (Acts 21:8, Ephesians 4:11, 2 Timothy 4:5), all three times indicating specialized, spirit-gifted individuals, not the church in general
    Happy studying!
     
  6. ace of hearts

    ace of hearts Well-Known Member

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    1. I don't try to knock down doors. If I detect the door is closed I move on about daily business.
    2. There are to many busy bodies causing trouble when it comes to the cause of Christ.
    3. The organized church very much impedes reaching others for Jesus.
    4. I don't know of a church that disciples new Christians, leaving many to die after conversion. This isn't to say that some churches don't provide classes about their religion. That's much different from discipleship.
    5. I do have a new neighbor of about 2 years who knows I'm a Christian and that's where the ball seems to stay. We've been very generous to each other. This week I gave 2-3 hours help in pouring concrete. Isn't the first time either.

    So I'm very open to suggestions on how to go about reaching and disciplining other for Jesus.
     
  7. Foxfyre

    Foxfyre Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You have so many topics and expressions in this, it is almost impossible to respond coherently. I cannot tell if you are sincere or are posting with some other motive. So I will go with the theory that you are sincere.

    If you have only been approached about Christ twice in 51 years, I suspect it is you who are distancing yourself from Christians though only once is technically necessary in order to be strictly scriptural. The admonition to those sent out were to offer the message, but if it was not received, knock the dust off their sandals and move on. There was no suggestion that they were to return for a second chance probably because they had only so much time to cover a lot of ground and see a lot of people.

    These days there are libraries full of books, television, churches within walking distance or at least an easy driving distance of pretty much everybody in the Western world, printed affordable Bibles so that every person can have his/her own copy, monuments and works of art, and a world wide web and internet access that makes it unlikely that anybody would not have access to an ad or illustration or something not to mention on line communities such as this one.

    And probably millions off us are contributing to the expenses and stipends of many thousands of missionaries working in the world to carry the Gospel to those who otherwise might not have opportunity to hear. Some are doing it at great risk to themselves.

    So before you judge all as having turned away and being worthless, I suggest a good look at the real big picture is in order.
     
  8. Mark Dohle

    Mark Dohle New Member

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    Personal infallibility is a problem, common, sometimes I get bit by that virus. That whatever is in my head is truth, and those who do not agree or wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is sad, little is done that leads to any kind of real listening our communicating.. Like Christians who bury each other with opposing scripture quotes, each deleting the other. I do believe Jesus told 'me" not to judge for a reason......I simply can't, don't see deep enough, nor do I have the wisdom.

    If we do not love our neighbors as ourselves, or if we do not see Christ Jesus in them, then I believe we are wasing our time, like the OP, I don't think he understand the depth of his judging of others, which we are commanded not to do. None of us can judge the state of soul of any human being......that is between the soul and Christ Jesus.

    Peaced
    Mark
     
  9. CitizenD

    CitizenD Well-Known Member

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    You are one person. That is a very small sample. And I wonder where it is you live because your claims almost beggar belief.

    I have experienced at least three dozen, maybe more missionaries of various flavors knocking on my door in my almost 40 years. I've been approached probably 100+ times on street corners, subways, and near lecture halls or events. I've received invitations from friends to go to bible studies. I've received many direct mailers, probably 50+.
     
  10. Maria Billingsley

    Maria Billingsley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Not everyone is gifted with Evangelism. I myself am not however I speak about the Lord when ever I can as well as bring up in conversations that I am a Christian.
    Blessings
     
  11. DamianWarS

    DamianWarS Follower of Isa Al Masih Supporter

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    How long have you been a Christian and how did you become a Christian? Did you ever consider that no one told you about Christ because you already knew about Christ? What are you doing to tell others about Christ?
     
  12. Monk Brendan

    Monk Brendan Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I hope you don't think that witnessing to Jesus is limited to door-knocking.

    Our priest commented on the Epistle (Hebrews 11) this Sunday. "Faith is a gift. We show our faith in Jesus by how we act towards others. And this is a 24 hour job."

    St. Francis said, "Preach always. Use words if necessary."
     
  13. JCFantasy23

    JCFantasy23 In a Kingdom by the Sea. Staff Member Administrator Supporter CF Senior Ambassador Angels Team

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    What does this thread have to do with being deceived by leaders and pastors?
     
  14. Thess

    Thess Well-Known Member

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    What a great response. You're the kind of guy that I want on my team, though you say that you're not so great with words....neither was Moses, so we ought not ever come down on ourselves too hard. Proper perspective is always right, and I can see that your head is in the right direction, for to admit your weakness shows great strength, in my eyes. As Witnesses, God gives us His Holy Spirit to enable us to do His good works according to His good will and pleasing will. I can't find anyone that wants to do the work of God, but if I had someone like you, here, we could make eternal impacts....and that's all I want to do.

    Thank you for the blessings. I believe in you completely, and I can sense that God's Incredible and Almighty Spirit is with you. I remind you to offer up Holy Askings to God. I was never taught to Ask that God's Spirit would further awaken our hearts and minds. I just didn't know....no one had ever taught me to do so. I offer myself to God as a Holy and Pleasing sacrifice to God quite regularly, asking that He would completely make me His own, even stripping me of my rights and decisions. Knowing God is an incredible thing....we just need to ask and keep on asking. God doesn't always answer the first know....He wants to see that we're serious. Again, thank you for your kindness and gentle heart. The world needs more of you.
     
  15. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

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    The problem is that in many areas the church has gone from a mission to lost sinners to a "bless me" emphasis. They are more interesting in what God can do for them, than what God can do for lost sinners.

    This is why invitations to church are, "Come to our lively services and receive a blessing from God. Enjoy our happy music and our preacher's interesting and inspiring sermons; and we will give you tea and biscuits afterwards!"

    Churches like that are ministering in the area of the soul, instead of the spirit. They are more interested in happy, clappy services where people feel good, than to preach the gospel that makes disciples for Christ.

    I can imagine the Holy Spirit standing out in the car park with His hands in His pockets waiting for the invitation to come in and take part in the services, but because they prefer the sensual, emotional, "feel good" stuff, they quench the Spirit and leave Him outside.

    Real church services that have the Holy Spirit in attendance in the members are characterised by the strong preaching of Christ and Him crucified and risen again, and having souls saved, bodies healed, and demonic influence defeated. Of course there is plenty of joy and rejoicing in these churches, but it is the result of what God is doing in the services, not hyping things up to try and get God to move.
     
  16. Thess

    Thess Well-Known Member

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    I've been in the "church" my entire life. There were no rules that had to be met, there were no real expectations. We didn't have to pass any tests or classes, really, so as to move on because of what we had learned in Sunday School, etc. Everyone assumed that we all knew the same things, and sadly, maybe we did.

    Shorly after I was baptized, and with my long 1970's hair still wet, I proceeded to walk 1.5 blocks down the street and steal a bag of rubberbands for my newspaper business. I had no idea of what I had just done. "What, me? I just made a committment to be a.....a what? A SLAVE to Jesus?" I had no idea that I had made a public proclamation that I would abandon myself, completely and wholly, and dedicate my entire being to My lord, Master and Jesus. Of course, that day, the day of my baptism, my life just continued to spiral more and more out of control and deeper into sin. My church performed an incredible dis-service unto me, by allowing me to be baptized, which caused me to trust and believe that I really and truly was saved, a genuine "obedient" child of "God". But I was not. I no more had the Holy Spirit in me that Judas.

    I have been lost and confused, right along with every, EVERY other "Christian" that I have been exposed to....which is thousands. How do I know? There was no Holy Love within their hearts. Regardless of what I said or what I did to try to get help, no one ever came to me. I was the weakest of the weak; really struggling in so many ways, yet no one ever came to me, just as the scriptures repeat over and over.

    We, the flock....we are told what to do, what to think and what to say. I do not blame us, but I do hold our pastors, elders and teachers responsible, and I do this because God's tells us that He is holding them responsible. Not my words at all! But honestly, I do not even blame our immediate pastors, elders and teachers, for I don't know that they, nor anyone from generations prior, knew that we have all been involved with a fake, and desperately faulty system. I have awakened to this and just want to pass along the idea. May it be judged by people at will....I encourage that.

    Since my awakening, a full Romans 12:2 transformation, I have learned that it is best for me to keep my mouth shut in terms of giving the Gospel to another, as I had so much to learn. I really, truly believed that I knew the New Testament, but my heart was hardened. It just was....and as much as I just can't hardly believe it, man, I was just not seeing very deep. Truly, how God hardens our hearts is nothing short of an amazing miracle in itself....I am so thankful for hardened hearts!

    At this time in my thinking, I would say that unless we have been taught the Gospel by one that is genuinely indwelt by God's Illuminating Helper and Teacher, or unless we feel that God's Gracious Holy Spirit has taught us on His own accord, then we should remain silent until our wisdom turns to understanding. If we don't do that, we'll harm someone with a false gospel...and leading others astray, even into hell, is something that God takes very seriously. After feeling the Raw, Almighty Power of God, I choose to obey and no longer mess around.

    I have lot's or responses to get to....I hope this was sufficient. Thank you for your gracious example by which to follow. Much respect....
     
  17. Thess

    Thess Well-Known Member

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    Nice!
     
  18. Thess

    Thess Well-Known Member

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    You have some very interesting judgments of me. You must not understand the scriptures when we were taught that Jesus is "near."
     
  19. Thess

    Thess Well-Known Member

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    This is a beautiful story! I am so glad that you wrote every word. Two things....I'd be proud of that Mormon bible too. That is one way to show simple respect....that bible won't hurt you, so how great it is to show such honor and respect! Second, I am deeply proud of you for calling EACH of us to follow in your footsteps. I know what it's like to say that, and it has it's own "feel" to it. I love each person in this thread, and I hope that they embrace everything about what you have written. So I am calling that each person, here, in this thread, to do exactly as this Great One has done! Paul asks us to model ourselves after him at least 18 times....and now let us all model you for how you have conducted yourself in genuine purity. Man, what a great story!
     
  20. Thess

    Thess Well-Known Member

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    You are incredible! Everyone! Read this! My friend in Christ, you are the One to understand what I have posted. You clearly, like crystal, see the desperate problem that we are facing. To be honest, the Catholics "Jesus" is equivelent to the Christian's "Holy Spirit". The study of the Holy Spirit has completely revolutionized my scope of quite literally, ALL THINGS! Learning what it means to live by the Spirit verses in the Spirit, or learning the utterly simle such as, we've GOT TO ASK! I just can't believe it, but I just didn't understand that whenever I read about asking....I never did! And as I took a look around me, and with my line of work I've been around hundreds of thousands of people, I could see that everyone was suffering from a lack of truth and awareness, just like me. And it wasn't their fault....not at all. I'm looking at organized religion, a system that doesn't kick anyone out of churches for blatent sins that go unspoken of and without punishment. How do I know? I've been in that exact situation. I've seen it....I"ve done it. I know what's happening in our churches, things that most just don't understand. But rest assurred, I will most certainly be calling all of us...as total equals, to begin questioning our pastors, elders and teachers. My story, which has not been revealed, will shock.
     
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