Category Archives: Gospel

1 Peter Chapter 3 Verse 15

cup of coffee I went for a coffee upstairs while waiting for my grandchildren who were at the Church summer club on the ground floor. All the others in the room were women, except for an older man, so I went and sat by him and chatted. He was a retired lorry driver and, like me, was waiting while his grandchildren had their fun at Church club.

He was very friendly; and as we had nearly 2 hours to kill we had quite a long conversation. Somehow we got on to matters of faith. He had attended Sunday School as a lad, like most of our generation, but that was the last of his regular churchgoing.

I explained the steps I had gone through while trying to find out what was ‘real’ in the spiritual realm. I went on to share my testimony in some detail, which caused him to realise that that there were such things as ‘God encounters’. I explained how I had got down on my knees in my bedroom and confessed my sins (repentance) and asked Jesus to forgive me. I also testified how the next day on the way to work everything seemed new – even the colours of the world looked brighter!

A subsequent experience several days letter led to my encountering God’s love in a very powerful and personal way. God showed me how much he loved ME! As I grew in the Christian life God showed me his heart for the poor, the needy and the rejected, which led me to volunteer roles on the street and elsewhere where I encountered those with many kinds of problems. Most of those I met had terrible childhood experiences, leading me to realise that such damage led to severe knock-on effects in later life.

Soon after becoming a new Christian I had had a conversation with a (supposedly Christian) woman who said to me that the miracles that Jesus did as recorded in the Bible ‘never really happened’ – in her view these ‘accounts’ only illustrated ideas or concepts. I had been appalled at this, so much so that I went straight home and cried my eyes out- at this woman’s offence against Jesus and his works. As I was weeping in my bedroom Jesus suddenly appeared in my room, put his arms around me and comforted me. I never saw his face, but I recall thinking afterwards ‘how brown his arms are!’

Back to the present. My wife entered the room, I introduced my lorry driver friend who then said, in a humorous way: ‘your husband’s trying to convert me!’  My wife replied: ‘yes, I can imagine that’

One regret: I had omitted to bring any gospel tracts with me. My friend didn’t use the internet, so a tract would have been a nice parting gift…………..

Before we parted to collect our respective grandchildren, he said to me: ‘I appreciated our chat. You have a very gentle and respectful way of putting these things across’.

Bible: 1 Peter Chapter 3 Verse 15: ‘ But in your hearts revere 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’.    holy bible

The Question Is Not “Do You Believe In God?” But “What Kind of God Do You Believe In?”

I said to him: “I’m guessing you may be a Christian” He replied: “Well I believe in God, but wouldn’t call myself a Christian”.  I said that many profess a belief in God, but the issue was which God did they believe in, since we can all make Gods in our own heads that don’t truly exist. I may sincerely believe in a four-headed God living on the Moon, but if it’s not true it’s a waste of belief on my part. The Christian believes in God as revealed in Jesus Christ of the Bible. If you make up a belief in a God of your own making, from within your own mind, you’re on dangerous ground.christian cross in gold colour

He pointed out to me how all the different religions claim to be the way to God. I replied that they believe different things, so can’t all be right, which he agreed with. I highlighted to him a fundamental difference between Christianity and all other religions: all other religious leaders said to their followers, in effect: “I am showing you the path to the God/Gods/Nirvana (or whatever)”. Uniquely, Jesus Christ in the Bible said it otherwise: “I am the Way, the Truth and The Life”. He declared He alone was the Way to God, and also, exclusively, that “no-one comes to the Father except by Me”.

I said to the guy: “Suppose you were on a journey, came to a crossroads and didn’t know which way to go. There were two men by the roadside; one was dead, the other was alive. Which one would you ask for directions?” Obviously you’d choose the man who was alive. “This”, I explained, “illustrates another difference between Christianity and all other religions. The founders of all other religions are in their graves, as conceded by their followers. No-one disagrees that Buddha, Mohammed, Confucius are all dead in their graves. Jesus is the only religious founder who rose from the dead and is alive today, as claimed by his followers”.

He thought he might go to Heaven when he died, but when I asked him what the pass mark was for entry into Heaven he said he had no idea. I said to him that surely God would let us know how to get to Heaven, otherwise he wouldn’t be a very kind God? I explained how Jesus was our substitute, who died on a cross in our place and took the punishment our sins deserve. We receive our pass mark from Jesus who got 100% due to his sinless life. When we become Christians his 100% is conferred on us as “born-again” believers. Theologians call this “imputed righteousness”.

We discussed repentance, which he seemed to understand, but by the end of our conversation I concluded that he was happy to sit on the fence and take his chance on Heaven. He agreed that was pretty accurate.

We shook hands, I wished him well and said I hoped we might meet up again in another environment.

 

Used, Abused and Unloved By Those He Trusted

He’s now a grandfather, but his early days were horrendous. Abused physically and sexually by his father, he grew up confused, angry and feeling unloved.

No surprise therefore that he spent a total of 20 years in prison, five of them for armed robbery. He went down the drugs route, ending up on crack cocaine.  

man holding prison bars

man behind bars

Now he’s moved on and slowly getting a sense of perspective and that it wasn’t all his fault. Thankfully he treated his children and grandchildren in a more loving way.

I told him that I knew someone who loves him as he is, and has always loved him. I shared about God, Jesus, sin and repentance. He told me he recently went to church. I told him about the church I attended, and he said: “that’s near where I live”. He couldn’t come this week, but might be able to come next Sunday. He took away a gospel tract.

Will You Come to Jesus Christ?

In my last post I quoted my conversation with the homeless man where I explained to him that the pass mark for Heaven is 100%.

This 10 minute Youtube video explains why we need the 100% and how to get it:

See also this FAQ on Heaven  http://www.newchristian.org.uk/faqheaven.html

 

Do Christians and Muslims Worship The Same God?

bible and koran differ    While doing Healing On The Streets today a Muslim man came over and asked what we were doing. I explained who we were and why we were there. He told me he worshipped not at the local mosque but at a house nearby.  The lady I was with said:”well, we worship the same God, don’t we”.

I then engaged him in conversation and highlighted ( for the lady’s sake) some of the differences that reveal we do not worship the same God. I pointed out that Jesus says:”love your enemies, do good to those that hate you”, whereas Mohammed incited his followers to violence, which the Muslim man didn’t deny. In his defence he went on to point out the violence perpetrated by some prophets in the Old Testament. I didn’t dispute that, but we were comparing Jesus and Mohammed, not Old Testament prophets and Mohammed.

He agreed that Allah was a God of love, and that he is one God. I then asked him “who did Allah love in the millions of years before he created either men or angels?”. Since Allah was “on his own” for aeons of time, he couldn’t love anyone since no-one existed apart from himself. He maintained that Allah loved people before they existed, when he was planning creation. This seemed to me a thin, abstract argument. The Christian God on the other hand had always existed as a plurality, in a family relationship of mutual love. The Bible says: “I, the Lord, do not change”. If our God changes not, then the God Allah who changes to become a God of love after creation is not the same God Christians worship. Other points I raised included: many details such as Jesus’ birth, tribe and place of birth were foretold by prophets. This was not true of Mohammed. Jesus did miracles, Mohammed did not. None of my points found acceptance in his mind, sadly.

We packed up at 1pm and moved to our rendezvous point to be picked up by car. While standing there, a man with a can of beer in one hand and two cigarettes in his other asked us who we were. We told him and he explained he was out of prison on license. He had a injury to his wrist so we prayed for him and blessed him. He appreciated it and went on his way.  wrist injury shown bandaged

 

 

I Asked God To Use Me – And He Did

God Please Use Me  On the way into work I again asked God to use me, that it might be His Spirit at work – “thy will be done” – and not me striving in my own strength to accomplish things.

During my volunteer duty, in the background I heard a client say they had a leg problem. It turned out to be a lad of about 18, who had suffered problems with his left knee for about 4 years. The medics had not been able to cure his condition to date. I told him I’d seen lots of knee problems healed, and asked if he wanted me to pray for him. He was happy to give it a go, so I told him Jesus was the one who healed. I asked if he knew about Jesus of the Bible. He said he had been a Christian when younger, but had drifted away.

I laid hands on the knee, saying:”Father I thank you for Jesus. Jesus I thank you that you are the one who heals, and that you love this man and are drawing him back to yourself.” I spoke out healing, commanding the muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints and nerves to be healed in Jesus’ name. I spoke life and strength to the knee in Jesus’ name. Afterwards I asked him how the knee was. He checked it out and reported: “No change, it’s exactly the same.”

From experience I’ve learned that you keep on pressing in until results start coming. This of course is dependent on the person being agreeable to you continuing. I illustrated this to the guy: “suppose you had an infection, went to the doctor and he gave you tablets to take, two a day for fourteen days. If you took two the first day and threw the rest away, that would be silly, wouldn’t it?” He agreed that would be pointless. I said: “praying for healing is similar; you keep on going with the treatment then you will see results”.

I prayed again, in a similar vein as before. This time I was aware of the Holy Spirit flowing in me in a fairly powerful way. I mention this because many times I pray and see people healed but feel nothing myself while it’s going on. I asked him for an update. He said he could feel something moving down his leg, plus a tingling feeling. I told him that was God at work. I could feel the power flowing for a couple of minutes and he could too. I then asked him to check it out. He walked up and down and reported a significant improvement. I laid hands on him one more time. He reckoned the leg was a good 40% better at the end.

lost sheep found by Jesus  I then told him the parable of Jesus where the shepherd left the 99 sheep on the hillside to go after the one that was lost. I said: “you’re the lost sheep, and God knew you’d be coming here today, so he planned this encounter to draw you back to Himself” He agreed that seemed quite a likely possibility. I gave him my card and asked him to let me know how he got on. I also gave him the gospel tract “No Satisfaction”.

 

Surely All Religions Are The Same!

When sharing your faith, sooner or later some will say: “all religions are the same”. How do you respond?

One way to approach this scenario is to highlight the facts:

The founder of Buddhism is dead and still in his grave.     really,really,dead!

The founder of the Muslim faith is dead and still in his grave.    really,really,dead!

The founder of Confucianism is dead and still in his grave.     really,really,dead!

The founder of the Sikh faith is dead and still in his grave.     really,really,dead!

The founder of the Hindu faith is dead and still in his grave.     really,really,dead!

All followers of these religions will agree with the above facts.

However, according to the Bible and the experience of millions of Christians, Jesus Christ rose from the dead and is alive today.     definitely alive!

man at a crossroads wondering which way to go  Let’s assume you’re out on a hike. You come to a crossroads and you’re unsure which road to take. You notice there are two men by the side of the road. One is alive, the other is clearly dead. Which one would you ask for directions?

Jesus Christ is the living person at the crossroads who can tell you the right road to take.

In all other religions, man points and says: “This is the way to God!”. In the Bible Jesus Christ says:”I am the way to God!”

According to the Bible, Jesus claimed to be able to forgive sins, something only God can do.

Jesus also said: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father, except by me”

For more help on this topic, see this page on the New Christian UK website