Posts Tagged ‘religion’

Bill Jack’s Four Killer Questions

May 17, 2010

Hey everyone!

When you talk to someone about Jesus, what is the most effective method of showing them the faults of their belief? Should you bash them over the head with your Bible to show them their sinful ways? Should you spit evidence in their face to rip apart their beliefs? The answer is a resounding no. Though the Bible and evidence are both important evangelistic tools, you just won’t argue someone to heaven. The best way to guide them to the truth is to get the to come to their own conclusions. Bill Jack, a speaker at Worldview Academy and author of several books on worldview analysis, has devised a series of questions designed to help you determine what a person really believes and show them why Christianity must be true. The questions are:

1. What do you mean by _____?

This is a good way to find out what people are really saying. For example, when some says, “I am a Christian,” you want to know what they mean by Christian, because there are people who call themselves Christians but don’t believe in the basic pillars of the Christian faith. Other terms can have similar differences when used by different people. Use this question to make sure you aren’t using the same word but meaning two completely different things.

2. How do you know that you are right?

This is a great way to make people think about what they believe, but don’t overuse it. A good way to avoid sounding like a broken record is to vary the wording on the same question. People will think that you are obnoxious if you just keep asking this question over and over. And being obnoxious will definitely turn people off.

Remember also that this is an important question for you to be able to answer as well. 1 Peter 3:15 says, “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” If someone turns this question on you, be sure you can show them why you are confident in Christianity. There is solid evidence for the validity of Scripture, the resurrection of Jesus. Find it and use it. A good thing to be sure of is that the other person will accept the evidence you present. Add this question to the list as well: “What will you accept as evidence?” That way you can give the most persuasive evidence to them because you’ll know what it takes.

3. What if you are wrong and you die?

This is a powerful question to those who are willing to listen– though many are not– but once again do not overuse it. And do not let people avoid this question either. Some may simply respond and say, “It doesn’t matter because I’m not wrong.” But that doesn’t answer the question. Make sure you stress the IF so it doesn’t sound like you are saying flat out “You’re beliefs are stupid.”

This will also be another question that people will be likely to turn on you. Do not avoid it. Obviously, if you’re talking to an atheist and you are wrong, there are no eternal consequences, and you end up feeling complete here on earth. But if you’re talking to a Muslim, you will need to accept and admit the fact that if you’re wrong you will go to hell. However, after admitting this, you can move on to explain why you are sure that you aren’t wrong and why the Bible is the most trustworthy source of information.

4. What difference does that make in your life?

This one confused me for the longest time. But here’s what it really means: What are the logical actions that stem from your beliefs? For a Christian, it would be to love God, love our neighbors, and spread the truth of Jesus. For an (honest) atheist it would be to live for themselves, because nothing will matter after this life anyway. For a Jew, it would be to do everything possible to follow God’s Law as defined by the Torah and the Talmud. Every belief system has logical actions that follow it. Many people don’t see the implications their beliefs have (for example, many evolutionists will condemn euthanasia, but if we’re working towards a stronger race as evolution implies, why should we let the weak ones live? Many evolutionists will refuse to accept this notion, but it’s only logical. But don’t be surprised by the bold person who admits and accepts this, as horrible as that sounds).

So now you have a toolbox that you can use to get people to see the faults in their belief system. They are not fail-proof, but they definitely help. Also, don’t just spit out these questions and make people feel stupid. As Bill Jack put it, “Use them as a crowbar, not a sledgehammer.” Pry their minds open to the possibility that Jesus is the Way, Truth, and Life. Don’t bash them over the head and watch them explode from your vast wisdom.

Hope this helps as you follow the Great Commission!

In Christ,

.:Matt:.

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The importance of Scripture memory

May 26, 2009

Memorizing Scripture is an essential part of the Christian life.  It is even more essential to evangelism.  The Bible itself even says that it is a powerful tool for evangelism.  Isaiah 55:10-11 says, “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish,so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”  The purpose of God’s Word is to draw people to Jesus.  If we use it, it will accomplish that purpose.  But honestly, who carries their Bible with them wherever they go?  I’m sure that it wouldn’t be a bad idea, but sometimes that could be impractical.  Therefore, in order for us to use the Bible in evangelism, and in order to be ready at all times, we need to memorize God’s Word.

Besides being ready to use Scripture in your evangelism, Scripture can also help us fight temptation.  The Psalmist says in Psalm 119:11, “I have hidden Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”  Besides the obvious reason of sin essentially being spitting in the face of God, we need to not sin so we can be a good witness to those around us.  If you do things that you know are wrong and don’t hold yourself to higher standards, it could seriously hurt your ability to witness to those around you, and it could also distort people’s view of Christianity.  Therefore, we must hide God’s Word in our hearts.

In Christ,

Matt

Side Note:  I have recently discovered a great event called the National Bible Bee.  It is a Scripture knowledge and memory competition.  You can get more information about it here, though the deadline for this year is past: http://www.biblebee.org.  Also, there is a tool for Scripture memorization at http://www.memorizehisword.com.  These are great tools and motivators for Scripture memory!

Here’s another testimony

April 23, 2009

As a Christian, I feel compelled to tell others of the work God has done in my life. I also feel that it is my responsibility to help others who come from a situation similar to mine. You often hear that God works through bad to work for good. This is true, but it has been written off as a simple cliché to be glossed over and discarded.

This idea is not however one to be glossed over. It is the rallying cry for so many people. God has used the worst parts of my life to bring about the best parts. Through my pain, God has called me to a new level of closeness to him. He has comforted me and taught me things that up to a year ago I would not have seen as possible.

When I was an infant, my father abandoned my mother and me. I have seen him twice since then: once in Publix grocery store; the other time was at the local movie theater. I always wondered what it would be like if he had stayed, why he didn’t want me, and whether or not I would be accepted among my friends, because I had no father. My mother has loved me and done everything in her power to make me happy since the day I was born, but I always had these nagging thoughts in my head.

I never hated my father for abandoning me; Far from it. I longed for someone to teach me; someone to love me and accept me as their own. For years, I blamed myself for this. I called myself weak, and said if I had a son as repulsing as me that I would have left too. I blamed myself for my mother’s unhappiness, and the lines that were etched into her skin from the stress that is constantly on a single-mother. When I was five, she was married to a man named David. Though he was named as the man after God’s own heart, he was no such man. He was a weak man, vindictive and cruel. He suffered from bipolar disorder, but he was still responsible for his actions. He pretended to love me for two years, and even adopted me. A year later, my mom had a daughter and he no longer wanted or needed me to carry on the family name. For years, he verbally and physically abused me. He would backhand me to the floor, and kick me repeatedly. His reasons were things like the fact that I had forgot to make my bed, or I was going to make them late. He would hurt me, showing no mercy, and several times I feared for my life. As I grew, the beatings escalated, and three times my mom kicked him out of our house. For a time all was well.

Everything was good, except for me. The next year he returned and moved back in saying that he was better and he was on a new medicine. A week went by before he threw me to the floor and tried to throw me down the stairs. My mom had had enough. She had him arrested and filed for a divorce. During the divorce, we realized that he was addicted to prostitutes and had been with 100+ women during the marriage. My mom was devastated she cried for 3 days straight, and I hated this man even more. He had pushed this family beyond breaking point and I just wanted him to die.

I was suicidal for about two months and was checked into a children’s hospital. It helped me a lot with the fact that this was not my fault; But I still hated. It grew inside of me and ate me from the inside out. My life grew worse, at school I was bullied and actually had to change schools because of this. From there my life improved and I found the Lord. I loved him but I didn’t know him. I went on a family building retreat last October with my mother. This retreat was the single most important part of my life. I learned forgiveness, and it changed my life. I knew what he did, but I no longer hated him. I had truly forgiven him for those long years. This was the best thing that has ever happened to me. I no longer hurt. I no longer was constantly tired, or hurt. Forgiveness is the most important thing that has happened to me besides being saved. Because of this, I felt it was my responsibility as a Christian to share my testimony with you. If you have been abused in your life, or have general hurts, I want to be here to support you with empathy not sympathy. I want to help you get through this because I know how it is to go for years without any help. I pray for you even though I don’t know you, and will pray for you even more when I learn of you particular situation.

May the Lord bless you and keep you forever and ever. Amen.

They just keep coming…

April 17, 2009

Got another testimony for you all!

I was raised in a Christian home, and at the age of five I was watching a Donut Man video. The Donut Man was saying that our hearts are like a donut, there’s an empty space that we can’t fill. But Jesus comes in and fills up that empty place (the Donut Man used a donut hole for this part) and takes away our sins. So I went and found my dad, and he and I prayed on the stairs of our deck. And that’s how I initially trusted in Jesus Christ.

Some time went by, and I continued going to church, having a Christian upbringing, etc. But my faith still wasn’t really my own. I wasn’t letting Christ run my life. When I was twelve I went to church camp. The speaker was talking about surrendering all that we have to Christ, and letting him be the center of our lives. I prayed for God to change me, and let him run my life.

Since then I have really grown in my faith, and God has taken me through lots of difficulties. I am constantly shown that I can’t do anything good on my own, can’t get through anything on my own, but I can with God. I love Jesus and am so glad he saved me.

One more testimony

April 16, 2009

I’ve got another testimony to share with you!

My life was normal until 2nd grade. I accepted Christ at the age of three, and was raised by Godly parents in a Christian environment. But when 2nd grade came around, the doctor discovered I have growth hormone deficiency by a 6-hour blood test and an MRI. Without an addition of hormones to my body, I would be around 4′ tall full grown. The only way to make my life regular was to take shots. Since then, I give myself a shot in the stomach every day. It’s not painful, but it is highly expensive and a big hassle. Just last summer (0Cool I was given a second long test (around 4 hours) to determine if I still needed to take shots. Duringthe test, I was shot with insulin to simulate a 24-hour period. Unfortunately, my blood sugar dropped very close to death and I was somewhat sick. A few weeks later we discovered that I would have to continue taking shots, to avoid obesity and to keep my body functioning. This was a hard time for me, as I struggled with what the purpose of it was. God kept bringing me back to Romans 8:28, and it didn’t take me long to get my life back focused on Him. But I still have to face the consequences, and will for the rest of my life. Obesity as I grow older could become a factor, and the outrageous price of the medicine could become a major problem in the future, plus I have a weak immune system and get sick easily. But God was with me through all of it, and taught me that He would bring beauty from my pain.

While this was a very hard time in my life, I have been blessed in so many ways. God has given me a great family, an easy way of life, and a plethora of Christian friends. Around four years ago, my mom started a small group for me and three friends. Now there are eight of us, and they are a great way to stay accountable in Christ.

Probably the greatest thing that God did for me during this time was show me what to do with my life. When I was young, all I wanted to be was a missionary. I’d try to convert my (Christian) grandmother, and practice telling Jesus’ story to her. When I was six, I handed out the Easter story as I had written it. But as I grew older, I was still very firmly a Christian but my interests swayed from misssions. But just several months ago (2008), God spoke to me and told me that missions was where I could be used, specifically in the Middle East, and possibly as a Wycliffe Bible translator. I’m not sure what God has in store for me, but if I keep on His narrow way and focus on Him, whatever it is will be the best thing for me.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28

Hannnah

Start of Evangelism series

April 15, 2009

Hey all! I’ve been given the privilege of starting off the evangelism series.

So, I’ve decided to start off with what I like to call love evangelism. This is a really big subject, but I feel like God has been laying this on my heart more and more.  I have been evangelizing to my friends for a while now, but it’s only recently that I’ve started thinking about using this style of evangelism.

I think you have to start with understanding that every person you meet is just that, a person. And what’s more, if they’re hurting they don’t want you to throw a bible at them. They want you to understand them.  And if you think about it, that’s what Jesus did. He didn’t go around telling people to repent and turn to Him, he loved them and made friends.

I believe that if you live for you life for Christ, and spend more time loving people than you do preaching at them, they will notice a difference, and want to know why you are different.  I’m not saying that you should never bring up the gospel, I’m simply saying that it might be better to start a relationship first.

This brings me to another point, when you do get into a “religious” discussion, you have to be careful not to bash the person or their beliefs. Nobody wants to be yelled at, and nobody really wants to be told they’re wrong. I had the best results when I took this approach. Instead of attacking my friend and his religion, I listened to what he believed and then showed him what I believe. This particular person believes in the Bible so, I showed him what he said, and what the Bible said. While I didn’t actually bring him to Christ, I believe God helped me to plant seeds.

I hope this has caused you to think about your approach to evangelism.

In Christ,

History Maker

One more testimony

April 14, 2009

I really never get tired of these :-).  Enjoy!

I was born into a “Christian” family. i went to church as a kid, I sang all the songs, memorized all the verses, but I was a C.I.N.O.(Christian in name only). I was like this all the way through my elementary years. By the time i was in sixth grade i finally got sick of never feeling genuine and feeling empty. I started feeling like the reason I felt this way was because I wasn’t good enough. I knew I wasn’t perfect, but I felt like I was worse than normal, and for some reason when Jesus died he wasn’t dying for me. I had this internal pain that would not come out no matter how much I screamed or cried. My pillows would be soaked from crying my self to sleep every night. I turned to cutting, and I had thoughts of suicide on my mind all the time. I cut nearly every day and made three suicide attempts within three years. Fortunately, they all failed. I felt so alone and empty and worthless. No body knew because I was so good at hiding it. Finally, I cracked, I told my best friend about all that had happened and was happening. He sat there and cried and told me that he cared and that if i were to die he wouldn’t know what to do. That was my flicker of hope. he helped me through everything, and i eventually started telling more people. They all told me how important I was to them. Then finally one day one of my friends prayed for me and her words rang in my ears. That was when it hit me, Jesus died on the cross for me, He was thinking about me and my life when he died, He wanted me and he was looking for me. That night I rededicated my life to Christ. I still struggle with depression, but now I don’t have to fight it myself, God is there and he is my strength. I know I’ll have my struggles but without sorrow there can be no joy.

Another testimony

April 5, 2009

I’ve gotten another testimony that someone has given me permission to share.  Enjoy :-).

My testimony is somewhat the normal… but it still is life-changing.

My family and I had just moved to Tulsa,OK, from Lancaster County, PA, in hopes of getting involved in full time ministry. I was two months to turning 6 so I was at the age where I could get scared by the dumbest things ever. I had watched the Veggie-Tales version of David and Goliath: Dave and the Giant Pickle. That night, the giant pickled haunted me in my dreams. He was chasing me around, fisting his boxing gloves madly. I woke up, terrified to go back to sleep. I called Mom in and, as we talked, I shared with her my desire to accept Jesus into my heart. Hand in hand, we walked down the Romans Road and she explained the seriousness of sin, the reason the Jesus had to die, God’s mercy and grace tempered with rightous justice, eternity and the Christian lif. She prayed with and that night, June 5, 2000, my name was written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

I went on through life, reading my Bible, praying… playing the whole Christian charades. It wasn’t until I was around 11 that I learned that the Christian life includes whole-hearted responsibility. Also, I dealt a lot with guilt… how could God possibly love me after I mouthed my sister off? After I disrespected my parents? I talked to my dad about my struggle and he explained that God’s love and mercy is boundless. He is infinite in grace and forgiveness. Then he explained about baptism and the purpose for that. I didn’t understand everything about it, but I soaked it up still the same. I got baptized last year in April and it is still one of the most beautiful days of my life.

To this day, I have challenges facing me every moment of every day. I still struggle with guilt and the radical love of God that overcomes that. Do you ever stand in awe and wonder at the fact that God would rather die than to live without you? I do. It still amazes me that God would send His only Son down to live on a downtrodden earth full of sinful people… the very people that would call for His death. It wasn’t fair (for Him or for us) that Jesus had to come down from His heavenly home and pay our debt. He didn’t want to.

He didn’t have to.

He prayed three times, “Father, please don’t make me go through this!” But He chose to surrender to the will of God and die upon the cross, so that we could live under righteousness.

That’s the radical love of God.

Book review

January 12, 2009

Levi says,

I have been, and I probably will be posting things I’ve learned from
One Thing You Can’t Do In Heaven by Mark Cahill. Here is a little bit
about it. It is a book encouraging and exhorting people to evangelize.
It is jambed packed with stories about the author’s witnessing
experiences (probably fifty or more inspiring stories). He tells
several common questions the lost have and how to answer them. The
book has many, many practical and biblical tips for witnessing to the
unsaved. He shows how bringing people to heaven is nearly the most
important thing you can do. I really recommend this book to everyone.
The wisdom and spiritual wealth contained in this medium sized book is
extremely beneficial. It is also written in an intriguing fashion and
is very convicting (the author is like a full-time one-on-one soul
winner.) He shows the correct ways to share the gospel and interesting
things to get people to want to listen. Very good read.

They’re People!

January 9, 2009

History Maker here,
I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship evangelism lately and God
keeps bringing something to mind. That thing? The people you’re
witnessing to are people. So many times I find myself looking at them
as an argument to be won, a mission, an act, instead of seeing them as
lost hurting souls, people just like me. When you go out to evangelize
be bold, but realize that these people are people. Another thing,
don’t be surprised if people who are already in other religions don’t
respond right away. Think about it, you’re asking people to throw away
(in our equivalent) their Bible, and in some cases everything they’ve
grown up believing, they’re whole culture and family life. This is why
it is so important that we see the people we are witnessing to as
people rather projects