Siege Warfare Evangelism - Witnessing Effectively to Those Most Likely to get Saved

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by Markantony, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. Markantony

    Markantony
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    In every city, there are those who should be more likely to get saved than others. These are the friends, family members, school-mates, and work-mates, of Christians. This group is in proximity to blood-washed, born-again, Holy Spirit indwelled believers, often every day for months, years and even decades. They should be hearing the message of Jesus in various forms so often, that the long-term, continuous wooing of the Holy Spirit draws them to the altar in droves.
    This is also the group of people born-again Christians are most concerned about. Even genuine believers who are not overly concerned about seeing the lost in their city come to know Christ, want to see their loved ones get saved. The problem is, however, how does one witness to those who are in proximity to us? It is easy to steer the conversation to the gospel once, twice, even three times perhaps, but what do we do after they have heard the gospel again and again, and still reject Jesus? The standard answer is to pray for them, and just be an example. In other words, shut up about Jesus Christ. It is very unfortunate this has become the standard fallback procedure for evangelizing the obdurate unbelievers to whom we are close, because while an example is greater than our words, no example is greater than God’s words. As Lord Jesus Christ said, “It is the Spirit that quickened, the flesh profited nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” We need to keep speaking God’s words.
    Having been an actively evangelizing Christian in the work force since the 80’s, and now an ordained pastor who still supports his family with a secular job, I have some experience in this. One of the simplest, and best ways to keep a low key, long-term pressure on the lost is through testimonies of people who have been truly born again. It has been my experience that even hardened unbelief is heavily challenged, when over a period of months, they hear story after story after story of different people who met Lord Jesus Christ, and whose lives were transformed by His power. Over the years I have collected many good stories of genuine new birth testimonies, and they are available to use for free if you contact me at [email protected].
    Here is a procedure I have found that works when I find myself consistently working with someone. First, I set my spiritual sights on them. I want to see them gat saved, I pray that they get saved, and ask prayer for them at Wednesday night prayer service. I find out what they enjoy talking about, and begin educating myself on those topics so I can be a conversationalist they will enjoy talking to. I begin tithing on my conversations with them. For nine conversations I will talk about things they enjoy. On or about the tenth one though I will direct the conversation toward spiritual things, and give them the gospel. Then go back to being a great conversationalist to them. For about nine more conversations I talk with them on topics they enjoy. Once again though, about nine conversations later I will direct the conversation toward spiritual matters. This time I might use a news article of a drug bust to bring up the topic of addictions. Once that topic is opened, it is natural to mention an interesting story of someone who was saved and delivered from such addiction. I like to use Mel Trotter’s testimony in this case. Afterwards, again I go back to being a great conversationalist for about nine conversations. Once when I was doing this, and it was about time for the tenth conversation, the Holy Spirit seemed to direct me to talk about a new testimony I had just researched, a story of a homosexual who had gotten saved, and was delivered from his cravings. I resisted strongly. I didn’t like talking about it, and I was sure my work-mate didn’t want to hear about it. The burden persisted though, and I told the story. Afterwards there were tears in her eyes, because she had a relative who was homosexual, and was very concerned about him.
    Testimonies are easy to use, they fit naturally into so many conversations. They also are powerful. They show that God is real, and can be really known by people. They show that sin matters to God, that He went to great efforts to save people from their sins, and He does save people today. It lends justification to Hell. If God has provided a salvation from sin, He will certainly judge those who reject His salvation. It provides a natural backdrop to repeating the gospel, and quoting Bible verses in the story narrative. It brings questions to people’s minds, that open up other conversations.
    I hope this helps those who are searching for ways to keep witnessing to their lost loved ones.
     
  2. Carico

    Carico
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    Unfortunately, we are living in times very close to the end so most people have heard the gospel. Jesus tells us in MT. 24:10 that many will grow away from the faith, the love of most will become cold and wickedness will increase which characterizes this generation.

    I predict there will come a time in the not too distant future where Christians will have to "go underground", i.e., hide our beliefs and there's even the possibility of the bible being banned. So since most people in America have heard the gospel (which is precisely why they hate Christians), then I think we have to be very discerning about to whom we preach.
     
  3. Squire Robertsson

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    Living in an area where evangelistic paganism\atheism runs rampant, I must disagree. Many of the people we deal with don't know Genesis from Revelation, much less have they heard the barest whiff of the True Gospel.
     
  4. Carico

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    No, they certainly don't know the bible in depth. Nevertheless, the hostility against the bible is so rampant that you're going to find out how difficult it will be in the future to spread the gospel in this country.
     
  5. Mexdeaf

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    I quite disagree. I work as a tutor in a secular college and I find a great deal of curiosity about GENUINE Christianity versus the generic brand. People (especially young people) are looking for people who live out their beliefs to follow. There is a great deal more spiritual hunger out there than folks realize.

    What we need to do is get busy praying for individuals and take time to get to know them while lying aside our prejudices.

    It's still daylight outside in the harvest field!
     
  6. Markantony

    Markantony
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    Mexdeaf is correct. While people certainly have created Christian straw-men to demonize, they still have a God given desire to know Him, and are challenged by the genuine Christian article. I say this, having grown up in the Pacific Northwest, the most unchurched area in the US. The trick I have struggled with, is how to keep the conversation going over months and years. I witnessed to an atheist co-worker for almost a year, using the best apologetics I had studied out. I became very discouraged as my best arguments seemed like shooting BB's at a battleship. Then I told a story of a friend of mine who trusted Jesus as his Savior and whose life was utterly transformed. For the first time in the conversation he lost his cool, and began throwing "Where did Cain get his wife?" type questions at me rapid fire. I weathered the storm, and a few weeks later he told me that when I first started working there, he thought Jesus was bologna, but that now he was beginning to see that there was something to Him. He never got saved while I was there, but another co-worker did. I was lay-preaching at my church, and invited him to come. My message was on the power of the new birth, and I used a lot of examples. At the altar call, he came forward, trusted Jesus, and was baptized the same day. He was a professed agnostic who seemed to care nothing about God when I started. From that point on, I began using testimonies heavily. Just this last year, a co-worker in another store in our chain trusted Jesus as his Savior. I had been witnessing to him using primarily testimonies for four years. He was very anti religion, having been unable to keep up with the strictures of the JW's as a child. Yet after hearing testimony after testimony in our conversations, when trouble came his way that scared him, he trusted Jesus and started going to church. Not the church I would have preferred, but it is one that preaches the gospel straight. If you want to see those closest to you get saved, this is worth a try. It works for me.
     
  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    The vast majority of people in most countries in the world have not heard the Gospel. There are still over 2000 languages with no portion at all of the Bible. Here in Japan, less than one per cent claim Christianity. Compare that to the typical Muslim country with only 2 to 5 per cent Christian. There is still a huge job to do around the world for those obedient to the Great Commission.
     
  8. Revmitchell

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    Not having heard the gospel and not claiming Christianity are not always automatic.
     
  9. Squire Robertsson

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    Why do you think I used the term Evangelistic Paganism\Atheism?
     
  10. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    No problem. I'll revise the statement. I estimate (from long experience) that 98% of Japanese have not heard the Gospel. The 1% Christian figure includes all "Christian" groups: Protestant, Catholic, JW, Mormon, other cults, etc. Of the 0.5% evangelical, most churches do little direct evangelism.
     
    #10 John of Japan, Oct 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2009
  11. Markantony

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    John, I appreciate very much your going to Japan to spread the gospel. I know what you are going through just being a Missionary. I have three siblings who are missionaries to foreign lands. What are the touchstones, if there are any, with Christianity in Japan? For example a friend of mine is a mis-nary in Isr-el, where they are adamantly opposed to Jesus Christ. Yet he has found a touchstone with them. He has an incredible testimony of a terrorist who was gloriously saved put to tract form, and titled: God's Ans-er to Anti-Semitism. Hardly anyone refuses the tract, and most of them start reading it immediately. Is there something Japanese would take from an American that would catch their eyes? I wonder if there is a testimony from anyone in the Manhattan Project who trusted Jesus as Savior? You might look up the testimony of Curt Sewell, and there may be others.
     
  12. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Hi, Markantony.

    Thanks for your interest in Japan, and for the testimony about your friend in Israel. Praise the Lord for your three missionary siblings!

    First of all, there are several exciting testimonies I have used in Japan. Fuchida Mitsuo, the pilot who lead the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Fuchida first started thinking about Christ when handed a tract about the life of SBC missionary to Japan Jacob DeShazer.

    Deshazer, a bombardier on the famous Doolittle raid on Tokyo, was captured by the Japanese after his B-25 was shot down. He hated the Japanese, but in prison he started reading the Bible, got saved and returned to Japan as a missionary in 1948.

    Another Christian figure in Japanese history was Nitobe Inazo, the architect of the modern Japanese educational system. I used to love to point to his picture on the 5000 yen bill and tell the Japanese that though Japan has only 1% Christian, out of three pictures on Japanese yen bills (1000, 5000, 10,000), one was a Christian. Unfortunately, they recently replaced his picture with another historical figure.

    In recent years several high-ranking yakuza (Japanese mafia) were saved, and this caused a stir. I'm currently reading the biography of one, and hopefully can use his story to witness. The other day on street evangelism I witnessed to the second ranking yakuza of the local branch (about 200 gangsters) of a national gang. I'd love to meet the guy again and tell him about the ones who got saved!

    As for a touchstone for the salvation of the Japanese, I don't know of any particular one. However, I try to use what there is. They love to talk about what it means to be Japanese, and in a large Japanese bookstore we were in recently, there were about 100 books on that subject. So I write tracts that try to use this: "The Japanese and the Jews," "The Japanese and Heaven's People," "Japanese Like Christmas."
     
  13. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I've not heard of this one. I'll have to check it out. Thanks.
     
  14. Bob Alkire

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    Yes, a very good read. I am so grateful to God, on how he has used Curt Sewell.
     
  15. Johnv

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    Thanks for the OP it was a great read.

    One comment, though. We don't choose whom to share the Gospel with based on their "likelihood" of being saved. That's for the Holy Spirit to do. We share the Gospel with those whom the Holy Spirit puts in our heart to share the Gospel with, regarless of salvific likelihood.
     
  16. Markantony

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    You're absolutely right, we don't choose, the Holy Spirit does. My point is this simply this, there are lost people with whom I find myself consistantly in proximity. There are lost people with whom every Christian finds himself consistantly in proximity. It would seem that all things being equal, these lost consistantly hearing the supernaturally quickening word, vs. others who don't, should manifest more conversions. It also seems to me, that as I am around them more than other lost with whom I sporadically come into contact, they are more my responsibility. This seems especially so, if there is a way to keep the spiritual pressure on without destroying the relationship. I believe I have found such a mechanism. It was used by our Lord Himself. I don't have my Bible at hand, but read the accounts of the Maniac of Gadara. The people around him rejected Jesus, wanted him to leave, the Maniac wanted to follow Jesus. Jesus instead asked him to stay and advertise his testimony. The next time our Lord went to Decapolis, He drew a crowd of people who wanted to hear Him, and be healed. Our culture has largely rejected Jesus, this is how Jesus responded in this situation, it seems to me we also ought to give it a try. I have some great testimonies, already in professional quality tracts I am willing to email freely to anyone to use. They are in color, and are printer ready. My email is [email protected].
     

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