A yeti in Walmart

“But Peter and John answered them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard’” Acts 4:19-20.

If you encountered a Yeti in the automotive section of Walmart who explained to you which oil you needed for your car and then gave you the money to pay for it, we would tell everyone we saw every detail of that exchange. People might not believe you because to them Yetis are mythical. They might question you a lot on how you know that it was a true Yeti or how it knew so much or could pay for your oil. These might be uncomfortable or challenging conversations for you, but you’d try your best … because you truly believed it all to be real.

I would assert that the reason that evangelism doesn’t happen is not that we are uncomfortable speaking about the gospel or not up to the challenge of explaining to others what Jesus accomplished at the cross and at the tomb. It’s a faith problem. Your faith may be just lukewarm enough to worship with the church but not to let it change your life.

Does your faith compel you to speak of what you’ve seen and heard?

Doug Kashorek


#dougkashorek #devotional #evangelism

If you don’t, God won’t

The NT is clear that, since Pentecost, God uses people as his exclusive means to teach others the gospel. He goes to a lot of trouble to get his people to evangelize. Even when talking directly to the unsaved in the NT, the Lord never tells them directly what to do in order to be saved. He leaves this to the church, since he has given them the task of telling. Chapters 8, 9, and 10 of the book of Acts show this clearly.

  • Philip to the eunuch, Acts 8.26-29:

Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get up and go south on the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a desert road.) So he got up and went. There he met an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship, and was returning home, sitting in his chariot, reading the prophet Isaiah. Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.”

  • Ananias to Saul. In Acts 9.6 Jesus said to Saul:

But stand up and enter the city and you will be told what you must do.

  • Peter to Cornelius, Acts 10.21-22:

So Peter went down to the men and said, “Here I am, the person you’re looking for. Why have you come?” They said, “Cornelius the centurion, a righteous and God-fearing man, well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to summon you to his house and to hear a message from you.

In every case in the NT, a Christian told another what to do to be saved. Even when God intervened miraculously to bring saint and sinner together, as he did in Acts 8, 9, and 10, he stopped short of teaching the gospel directly.

So it is today. If you don’t, God won’t.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2.9 NRSV.

#mission #evangelism #responsibility

Inviting people

Years and years ago Doug and I attended a gospel meeting at the Luverne church of Christ in Luverne, AL and heard brother Mid McKnight preaching in a Gospel Meeting. He was talking about inviting people to the services of the church. He mentioned that there might be someone we have invited to church over and over again and they never would come. He said, “On the day of judgement they will wish you had invited them just one more time.”

A friend of mine gave a tract, “Searching for the Lord’s Church” by David Sain to her friend recently. Her friend read it and said she agreed with everything in it except about baptism. She said she doesn’t believe you have to be baptized to be saved. That disturbed my friend because she loves her friend very much. I tried to comfort her with, “(Name withheld), all we are asked to do is present the gospel to people. What they do with it is in their hands.” She put the gospel in her friend’s hands. She did what she could.

Nothing is sweeter than seeing an older couple lead their mate to the Lord, whether it is by the way they have lived before them or by a simple study of the Word of God. And then I have found it interesting to hear what people say after becoming a Christian or after coming up out of the waters of baptism. One lady exclaimed, “Praise the Lord!.” loudly.  A man recently said, “I should have done this a long time ago. I kept my first wife from going to church.”

It is a joyful thing to realize you have played a part in someone becoming a Christian. No doubt many have led others to Christ and never realized it was because of them that someone became a Christian.

Nothing is sadder than thinking that on the day of judgement someone might turn to us and say, “You never mentioned Him to me.” How sad.

So I pose the question to each of us: Are we doing what we can to lead others to Christ whether it be our family, loved ones, or friends?

Use us up in your service, Lord. Use us up.

#christian-living, #evangelism

Hugh’s News & Views (“If You Build It . . .)


The title is the popular adaptation of a quote from the movie “Field of Dreams,” released in 1989. The original statement was, “If you build it he will come,” and came from a voice in a “vision” that Ray Kinsella (played by Kevin Costner) had while walking in an Iowa cornfield. The voice said that if Ray would build a baseball diamond in the cornfield, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, an old baseball player who Kinsella idolized, would come. This is the essence of the “vision” and the origin of the quote, but it has now been 30 years since I saw the movie, which I remember as a good one.

The quote has become a metaphor for building something that will attract people to it. Businesses believe “if we build it they will come.” Churches also “buy into” this philosophy. That a church needs a place to meet is logically inferred (Hebrews 10:24-25), but where a church meets is a matter of judgment and expediency. There was a time when church buildings were simple, modest, and functional. In time, they tended to become large and ostentatious, appealing to the fleshly pride of the members. Continue reading

#evangelism, #hughfulford

Gospel and evangelism

The Greek words behind “gospel” and “evangelism” come from the same root. It’s easy to explain in Portuguese: “gospel” is evangelho and “evangelism” is evangelismo. You can’t have one without the other.

The English word “evangel,” for gospel, does exist, but nobody uses it. Maybe someone can start a campaign to revive it. Or, maybe better, start using “Good News” for gospel and “Good Newsism” for evangelism. Or maybe not.

The important thing is that we understand that evangelism is part and parcel of the gospel. You cannot be a defender, protector, and preserver of the gospel without being a proclaimer of it. If it isn’t shared, it isn’t gospel. If I don’t share it and teach it, I’m not being faithful to the God who gave it.

#gospel #evangelism

Delighted to tell: Daniel 4.2

“I am delighted to tell you about the signs and wonders that the most high God has done for me.”

Daniel 4.2

Daniel was a special servant of God for a special time in Israel’s history. God used him in a special way, with visions and revelations. He was delighted to serve God and show him to be the only God.

Daniel’s delight before King Nebuchadnezzar ought to be ours as well before people of the world. How do you feel about evangelism? Are you excited to tell others about what God has done in Christ?

#votd #Daniel #joy #evangelism

Help us! Acts 16.9

“A vision appeared to Paul during the night: A Macedonian man was standing there urging him, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us!’”

Acts 16.9

God closed some doors to Paul and opened others. By this vision the Lord wanted his apostle to see the need in a new place.

We need no such miraculous visions today. The need is in the whole world, places that have yet to hear the gospel. It is good to be motivated by others’ need of salvation.

#votd #Acts #evangelism

The waiting harvest

This is one of the best things William Barclay wrote in his Daily Study Bible:

THE WAITING HARVEST (Matthew 9:37-38)

9:37-38 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers for his harvest.”

Here is one of the most characteristic things Jesus ever said. When he and the orthodox religious leaders of his day looked on the crowd of ordinary men and women, they saw them in quite different ways. The Pharisees saw the common people as chaff to be destroyed and burned up; Jesus saw them as a harvest to be reaped and to be saved. The Pharisees in their pride looked for the destruction of sinners; Jesus in love died for the salvation of sinners.

But here also is one of the great Christian truths and one of the supreme Christian challenges. That harvest will never be reaped unless there are reapers to reap it. It is one of the blazing truths of Christian faith and life that Jesus Christ needs men. When he was upon this earth, his voice could reach so few. He was never outside Palestine, and there was a world which was waiting. He still wants men to hear the good news of the gospel, but they will never hear unless other men will tell them. He wants all men to hear the good news; but they will never hear it unless there are those who are prepared to cross the seas and the mountains and bring the good news to them.

Nor is prayer enough. A man might say, “I will pray for the coming of Christ’s Kingdom every day in life.” But in this, as in so many things, prayer without works is dead. Martin Luther had a friend who felt about the Christian faith as he did. The friend was also a monk. They came to an agreement. Luther would go down into the dust and heat of the battle for the Reformation in the world; the friend would stay in the monastery and uphold Luther’s hands in prayer. So they began that way. Then, one night, the friend had a dream. He saw a vast field of corn as big as the world; and one solitary man was seeking to reap it–an impossible and a heartbreaking task. Then he caught a glimpse of the reaper’s face; and the reaper was Martin Luther; and Luther’s friend saw the truth in a flash. “I must leave my prayers,” he said, “and get to work.” And so he left his pious solitude, and went down to the world to labour in the harvest.

It is the dream of Christ that every man should be a missionary and a reaper. There are those who cannot do other than pray, for life has laid them helpless, and their prayers are indeed the strength of the labourers. But that is not the way for most of us, for those of us who have strength of body and health of mind. Not even the giving of our money is enough. If the harvest of men is ever to be reaped, then every one of us must be a reaper, for there is someone whom each one of us could–and must–bring to God.

#harvest #evangelism #mission

Diotrophes’s evil

“If evangelists were not supported, then many people would never have an opportunity to hear and obey the gospel. Those who live the gospel know this. Diotrephes’ behavior, however, was disrupting the evangelistic function of the body of Christ because he was threatening Gaius and others who supported the preaching of the gospel. In contrast to living the gospel, he was doing evil by obstructing the evangelistic function of the body of Christ.” —Roger Dickson

#gospel #evangelism #mission

Tailor the Message

By Johnny O. Trail — We are continually looking for ways to share Christ with those around us. In the name of evangelism, some have pursued ways of attracting crowds of people with very little attention to God’s word (Col. 2.23). Suffice it to say, we should never compromise the truth or the practice thereof. It is not within our purview to contradict the authority of God’s word.

Nonetheless, we want to communicate with our friends, family, and neighbors about Jesus (Matt. 28.19). The god of this world has blinded the minds of many who might have otherwise obeyed the word. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 says, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” Given the current climate and the postmodern mindset, how does one effectively communicate with others about Jesus? Continue reading

#evangelism, #johnnyotrail, #offenses

Jim Waldron: The challenge to the faith

Jim Waldron writes with great zeal on “The Challenge to the Faith.” It’s a tad long, but worth a read to stimulate some positive reflection on our task.

My attentions and energies turn to the local congregation, where converts may most effectively learn, observe, and practice the mission of God. The church contains all that is needed for the growth of the gospel. (Do you believe that?)

Let’s turn away from politics to devote ourselves to the work of the Lord.

#training #evangelism #challenges

Come to Ohio

If you’re in the Chillicothe area, come join us for the gospel meeting Sunday, Sep 30, through Wednesday, Oct 3. The theme I’ll be developing is “The Divine Initiative.” Topics include:

  • Word of God — hear, believe, obey
  • Glory of God — repent
  • Son of God — confess
  • Salvation of God — be immersed
  • Family of God — serve, love

In each lesson, we’ll see what God has done and how we ought to respond to his loving actions.

Thanks to Ron Thomas for the invitation and opportunity to share these wonderful truths.

#gospel-meeting #evangelism #God

He assisted greatly those who believed: Acts 18.27-28

“When [Apollos] arrived, he assisted greatly those who had believed by grace, for he refuted the Jews vigorously in public debate, demonstrating from the scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.”

Acts 18.27-28

In Achaia Apollos defended the gospel among the Jews. This greatly helped the saints, because he aided them in their mission and strengthened their faith. “For” identifies his preaching as the means of his assistance.

Evangelism benefits the whole church. It is central to her identity and edifies all in every way. The best one can do for the church is to teach others how to be saved.

#votd #Acts #evangelism

Become such as I am: Acts 26.29

“Paul replied, ‘I pray to God that whether in a short or a long time not only you but also all those who are listening to me today could become such as I am, except for these chains.'”

Acts 26.29

The apostle Paul used his time before King Agrippa, when he was supposed to offer his defense, to proclaim the gospel. He was open about his purpose to save others.

Do we spend our time making friends before proclaiming the gospel, thinking that we must build relationships first? Or are we open about our purpose, to teach others how to be saved?

#votd #evangelism #gospel

Millennials And The church of Christ (Hugh Fulford)


Millennials are that generation born roughly between 1980 and 2000. At 80 million, they represent the largest segment of the U. S. population and the largest segment of the U. S. workforce.

I have been doing a bit of reading about the Millennials and their characteristics, and have been thinking about how the Lord’s church might have a special appeal to them if they could be led to have a clear understanding of it. Of course, all people need to know about Christ, His gospel, His church, and the way marked out in Scripture for how the Lord would have all people to live (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16). Continue reading

#evangelism, #hugh-fulford, #millenials