31 Jul 2009
"He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name." (Psalm 111:9)
Some points from the teaching:
-Church discipline is more than excommunication.
-It is more than removing someone’s name from a membership roll (membership is not in Scripture).
-When a local church exercises discipline it is putting someone out of their fellowship and making a statement to the world that there is no evidence that this person is converted.
-One of the first signs of apostasy is when a church will no longer put out people who are unrepentant in sin.
-A sign of a faithful Pastor is he will face up to these uncomfortable and uneasy situations.
-If your brother sins reprove him. Not go and talk to others about him (Although someone may want to ask a Pastor for advice).
-Sometimes you are exposing the heart of a Pharisee and they will hate you for it, because they have this outward show which you have exposed.
-It is very dangerous for others who don’t know the full story to spend time with the person put out. As they will get them to sympathize with them, tell lies about people etc.
-Sin ought to be confessed to the degree that it is known. But sometimes things can’t be made right without coming out with everything publicly.
-People still under church discipline should only be allowed to attend church meetings when they admit they are not a Christian, and so also do not take communion. When they are still professing Christianity it is very dangerous as they will be spreading all sorts of lies about others.
-The aim is restoration, to save the persons soul. It is a means of grace, and should be done with much prayer and tears.
30 Jul 2009
8 things the way of Cain is marked by:
1. An unbelief which results in an empty religious practice.
2. An angry and depressed countenance.
3. A rejection and disregard for what God says.
4. Being jealous of those who are truly Godly and have God's favour and acceptance.
5. A persecution of Godly people and hatred for them
6. A refusal to confess sin and a seared conscience that is willing to lie to God
7. A blindness to God's continual extended mercies with the idea that God has been overly harsh to them and unfair.
8. A departure from the presence of God to go somewhere else.
29 Jul 2009
28 Jul 2009
Pharaoh becomes a Muslim and is now in paradise:
(10:90-92) "We took the Children of Israel across the sea: Pharaoh and his hosts followed them in insolence and spite. At length, when overwhelmed with the flood, he said: "I believe that there is no god except Him Whom the Children of Israel believe in: I am of those who submit (to Allah in Islam). (It was said to him): "Ah now!- But a little while before, wast thou in rebellion!- and thou didst mischief (and violence)! This day shall We save thee in the body, that thou mayest be a sign to those who come after thee! but verily, many among mankind are heedless of Our Signs!".
Oops! Just seven chapters later Pharaoh is in Hell. A complete contradiction that cannot be explained away:
(17:102-103) "Moses said, "Thou knowest well that these things have been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth as eye-opening evidence: and I consider thee indeed, O Pharaoh, to be one doomed to destruction!" So he resolved to remove them from the face of the earth: but We did drown him and all who were with him,".
Wife Beating Verses:
(4.34): Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.
Sun sets in a muddy pool.
18:83 They ask thee concerning Zul-qarnain. Say, "I will rehearse to you something of his story."
84. Verily We established his power on earth, and We gave him the ways and the means to all ends.
85. One (such) way he followed,
86. Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water: Near it he found a People: We said: "O Zul-qarnain! (thou hast authority,) either to punish them, or to treat them with kindness."
Sperm from backbone. Another scientific blunder the Muslims cannot explain away.
Surah 86:6-7 He is created from a drop emitted-
Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs:
Muhammad Wrongly Thought That Christians Believe That God Had Sexual Intercourse With Mary:
Surah 6:101 To Him is due the primal origin of the heavens and the earth: How can He have a son when He hath no consort? He created all things, and He hath full knowledge of all things.
19:34. Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute.
35.It is not befitting to (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! when He determines a matter, He only says to it, "Be", and it is.
Oops! Muhammad Wrongly Thought That The Jews believed Ezra Was The Son of God.
Surah 9:30 The Jews call 'Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah.s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!
Oh Dear! Muhammad wrongly thought that the Christians believe the trinity is three Gods.
They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One Allah. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them.
74. Why turn they not to Allah, and seek His forgiveness? For Allah is Oft- forgiving, Most Merciful.
75. Christ the son of Mary was no more than an apostle; many were the apostles that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how Allah doth make His signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth!
Allah's Three Daughters Are Mentioned. (Both Allah and his three daughters (Lat, Uzzah, Manat) are actually all Pagan deity's, all to do with moon worship, hence the symbol of Islam)
(53:19.) Have ye seen Lat. and 'Uzza,
20.And another, the third (goddess), Manat?
Verse 20 was once followed by what is now known as the deleted 'Satanic verse'
These are the exalted cranes (intermediaries) Whose intercession is to be hoped for.
21. What! for you the male sex, and for Him, the female?
22. Behold, such would be indeed a division most unfair!
If you are a Muslim reading this, then I do not mean to pick a fight with you. I only expose these things in love for you. Listen to your conscience. You know that despite all the Islamic rituals you do, you are guilty before God. Jesus today offers you eternal life as a free gift, but you must repent of your Islam. He took your Hell for you on the cross, so that you don't have to go there, but one day it will be too late.
I challenge you to please listen to the following message:
Listen to this Sermon or download mp3:
John 8:13-20 - Jesus Is The Truth-Either Submit To Him Or Perish-Kevin Williams -49 min
26 Jul 2009
Play or download mp3:
John 8:24 - One Way To Live & Two Ways To Die-Kevin Williams - 37 min
Listen to this and other Puritan Fellowship Sermons on itunes here:
25 Jul 2009
On Sunday night/early Monday morning at the conference venue amazing things happened. Around 2AM people one after another came from their tents and chalets and into the main hall and lay on the floor broken before God and confessing their sins and then shouting (in Dutch) 'I'm saved, I'm saved'. Twenty-one people were converted and found true life with their sins forgiven in Jesus Christ.
The Dutch pancakes were very good. Charles Leiter and myself (Kevin Williams) with three Dutch brothers.
More pancakes: Charles Leiter, Kevin Williams, Reuben and Paul Washer.
"de koffie is goed, ja"
See also: Guidelines to Open Air Preaching PDF on Sermon Audio
"My departure from Premillennialism was gradual and came as a result of two discoveries as I studied Scripture. First, I devoted myself to a thorough examination of what the NT said would occur at the time of Christ’s second coming (or Parousia). What I found was a consistent witness concerning what would either end or begin as a result of our Lord’s return to the earth. Sin in the lives of God’s people, corruption of the natural creation, and the experience of physical death would terminate upon the appearance of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, and the inauguration of the New Heavens and New Earth would ensue. But why is this a problem for Premillennialism? Good question. If you are a Premillennialist, whether Dispensational or not, there are several things with which you must reckon . . ."
Read the rest HERE.
See also: Why I Am Not A Dispensationalist Or Premillenialist-Kevin Williams
24 Jul 2009
I also know well that the greatest responsibility of church leaders is to guide believers far away from sin and to help them to tread the path of holiness. This is far more important than merely getting a head knowledge of the contents of the Bible. If a church leader observes believers falling into sins and if he fails to reprove or warn them, he then becomes a participator in their sins. I dare not ignore what God has entrusted to me; but even less am I willing to share the transgressions of other people."~Wong Ming-Dao from A Stone Made Smooth.
23 Jul 2009
Excessive fear means surrender to sin or compromise with Satan. Leaders in the church must not only be devout, they must also be courageous. Leaders in the church are like leaders in the army. If the leaders in the army are timid, if they flee when approaching the battle-line, or if they lay down their arms before the enemy, then the whole army will forfeit victory. My own natural disposition is to be cowardly, but when God gives me His Word His power overshadows me. Praise be to His Name!~Wong Ming-Dao from A Stone Made Smooth.
22 Jul 2009
Robert Chapman lived from 1803 to 1902 in England. He was known for living a remarkable life of Christian love (a life he would say was entirely unremarkable).
Here a few choice quotes from his biography (Robert Chapman: A Biography)
"My business is to love others and not to seek that others shall love me."
"There are many who preach Christ, but not so many who live Christ. My great aim is to live Christ." (p.29)
"Men's books full oft with chaff are stored, God's naught but golden grain afford." (p.142)
"The great cause of neglecting the Scriptures is not want of time, but want of heart, some idol taking the place of Christ." (p.168)
21 Jul 2009
“I want to talk to you about an unusual gift,” said the Chinese father to his beautiful, black-haired daughter. She smiled with anticipation. She loved it when her wise father shared special lessons about God. He loved Christ, and everyone who knew him was touched with his kindness and compassion.
He opened a worn Bible and began, “This gift is found in Philippians 1:29. It says, ‘For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him.’ Something that is given to us is a ‘gift.’ The two gifts in the verse are belief and suffering. Suffering that results from our belief in God is a precious gift, the value of which will be fully realized only in heaven.”
The daughter smiled. “Thank you, Papa,” she said as she reached up to hug him. “I understand.”
The young girl grew up to be the wife of Pastor Li Dexian, who has been arrested over ten times and nearly beaten to death for his faith. She carries on the work with him, persevering because she learned at a young age that godly suffering is a gift. Pastor Li and his wife have won countless souls to Christ in Communist China, and they continue to work under a constant threat of arrest.
The gifts of belief and suffering are a packaged deal. Not only are they impossible to separate, each gift also strengthens the other. If we have been given the gift of belief in Christ, we will follow Christ. Following Christ means taking risks, going against popular trends, being misunderstood, and even enduring physical and emotional pain. Belief often leads to suffering. As we experience the same kinds of suffering that Jesus lived, we come to know him in a richer and deeper way. The cycle begins again because suffering strengthens our belief. Don’t expect to be able to filter suffering out of your life without reducing your belief in Christ.
20 Jul 2009
HT: Thoughts on the Way.
We all know the difficulty that often surrounds our time in secret prayer. I believe we far too often leave before ever gaining an experiential access before the throne. I am not describing some experience to be associated with the Charismatic movement. Every true believer knows the difference between mouthing words to God and real, life-imparting communion with the Prince of Glory. Our immunity to the world’s pleasure will wax thin unless we are having Christ-exalting, Spirit-saturated daily experiences alone with God. On this topic I thought I would give some advice I have received.
Vaylard Zupke has more reality of the things of God than any other man I have ever known. I once asked him if anything over the years has been a help to him in this area. He quoted Psalm 100:
Come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise.
He said he will often sing a hymn before starting his time with the Lord. He advised getting a good Hymnal and working straight through it, singing one or two hymns a morning (The Redemption Hymnal is excellent). I must say the times I have done this since receiving this advice have been a blessing.
George Muller, who needs no introduction, has also given some advice in this area. He writes,
“The most important thing I had to do was to read the Word of God and to meditate on it. Thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, and instructed. Formerly, when I rose, I began to pray as soon as possible. But I often spent a quarter of an hour to an hour on my knees struggling to pray while my mind wandered. Now I rarely have this problem. As my heart is nourished by the truth of the Word, I am brought into true fellowship with God. I speak to my Father and to my Friend (although I am unworthy) about the things that He has brought before me in His precious Word. It often astonishes me that I did not see the importance of meditation upon Scripture earlier in my Christian life. As the outward man is not fit for work for any length of time unless he eats, so it is with the inner man. What is the food for the inner man? Not prayer, but the Word of God—not the simple reading of the Word of God, so that it only passes through our minds, just as water runs through a pipe. No, we must consider what we read, ponder over it, and apply it to our hearts.”I would add that I have found if I do not keep up communion with the Lord during the day, I find it much harder to gain access when I come before Him for a special time of prayer. A man who stays near the throne from 8 to 5 will not find himself cold when he has a moment to steal away to His Unseen Friend. In the same way, I find if I do not begin the day with my soul glad in the Lord, then it is almost impossible to keep up real communion during the day.
See also: Sermon:The Lost Sheep, Coin, and Son-Repentance & the Love of God
19 Jul 2009
Download of play mp3:
The Lost Sheep, Coin, and Son-Repentance & the Love of God
18 Jul 2009
17 Jul 2009
Our Sunday Service here Sun 19 July will be taken by Sebastian Mani. Please pray for Sebastian, that the love and power of God will be made known here this Sunday.
I've set up one automated blog post per day whilst I am away (some real gems) and you can also check out my favourite blogs in the "Edifying Blogs" list on the right-hand side of the page, part way down, and also some great sites on the picture links below them.
16 Jul 2009
15 Jul 2009
The Gospel of Jesus Christ was never meant to be hid behind the walls of church buildings, and open air preaching is a wonderful way to take the good news “into the highways” (Matt. 22:9).
For myself, preaching the Gospel in the open air has been a wonderful privilege, seeing God move in both mighty and mysterious ways, and giving me glimpses of what it must have been like for Jesus preaching in the temple in John 7 (and other places), with questions and objections coming from all directions and different types of people in a rowdy crowd, and what it was like for Paul preaching in the market places.
In this article I want to share with you some helpful experiences that I have learned to be useful in open air preaching. I have not put these topics in any particular order, as one thing you will soon find in the open air is that things can be unpredictable. So may God use this article to help you step out in faith and through it draw closer to Him.
Beginners Be Prepared
These days when I open air preach, I never have a pre-written message prepared. However, I did when I first began, and I would highly recommend that those who are new to open air preaching take the time to think about and mull over what you are going to say. Getting up for the first time to preach in the open air is, for most people, a nerve-racking experience, and the thought of getting “stuck” in mid-message is the fear of many. On top of that, opposition with people shouting things at you, and trying to put you off will normally come, and so being prepared is certainly helpful.
Be Realistic About The Length Of Your Message
What I mean by this, is I've often observed people preaching 20 or 30 minute sermons in the open air like they would in a church building. Yet most of their audience is hearing between 30 seconds and two minutes, and so getting very little, or nothing at all, out of their message. In the days of George Whitefield and John Wesley, people would crowd around to hear a 30 minute to one hour sermon, like they would for a major sports event, but this is not normally the case in our day. If most of your listeners are only there for two or three minutes, then I suggest repeating the Gospel every two or three minutes and keep circulating your message.
Learn To Be Flexible
Following on from my last point, a good practice is to think over how to share the Gospel in various lengths of time: one minute, three minutes, five minutes, and ten minutes. This will enable you to be prepared to adjust your preaching to each situation.
A group of us used to preach opposite a tram stop in the streets of Manchester City Centre where we had a ready-made crowd of 30-50 people for between three and seven minutes. The tram times were unpredictable and once we saw the tram coming around the corner, no matter what point we were up to in our message, it meant we had about 30 seconds to go to and explain the cross, and let them know of the offer of eternal life.
Also, learn to be flexible towards the different types of audiences you are preaching to. For instance if a Jewish person suddenly joins the crowd or passes by, I may quickly bring up a Messianic prophecy like Zechariah 12:10.
Don't Compete With Noisy Machinery
Like in the instance above, when the tram finally got too close and was blowing its horn, there was no point in straining my voice in trying to compete with it. In that instance, once it got too loud, I would pause until the tram stopped, and then when it quieted down to a reasonable level, I would get another 30 seconds or so, whilst the passengers were boarding the tram.
Every now and then when I preach in the town centres, a noisy street cleaning vehicle will pass by, and so rather than strain my voice I will simply pause my message for the 30 seconds or so until it passes. This may mean you will have to repeat some things you have already said to reiterate as new people may in that time join the crowd.
Also when picking your initial spot to preach from, make sure it is a place where people can hear you and you are not drowned out by competing noise.
Picking Your Spot
When choosing where to preach, there is no point competing with traffic noise, or a street musician, or a shop with a loud PA System. Nor is there any point in preaching where people are not. If there are only a few people passing by then it is much better to approach them and just talk with them one-on-one, or one-to-a-group. For open air preaching you need to find a busy place where people are regularly passing by.
Observe the wind direction, and preach with the wind behind you. If the wind speed is only slight then this may not matter, but preaching with a strong wind behind you (especially if you are elevated) will make your voice carry a much longer distance.
Over time you will learn to project your voice so it 'bounces' off stone buildings and other objects, to help you be heard louder and further away.
Lift Up Your Voice Like A Trumpet
Just like the rest of your body gets fitter with exercise, your vocals should get louder and stronger the more you preach. With regular practice you will be able to preach louder and for longer. One word of caution: Don't preach from the throat because if you do then not only are you likely to sound like a raging mad man, but you also won't last longer than 10 or so minutes. Make sure your voice comes from the stomach.
When you first start preaching your “big voice” may seem like it is all on one level with no variation of tone, making you sound harsh. But do not worry; over a short time as you get louder and with prayer God will help you develop a voice of compassion.
Preach With Elevation. Get A Soap Box. Preferably A Step Ladder
Elevation makes a huge difference. This is underestimated by so many, so let me repeat this principle again, because it is so important:
Elevation makes a huge difference! Because:
No.1. It means your voice will travel further. Loudspeakers in buildings are placed at a height for a reason. When you are elevated your voice will travel further, and also your voice will pick up more of the wind from a higher point.
No.2. You are more visible and prominent. If you are shouting whilst standing on the ground in a high street, then to passers-by, you look like a mad man. However, when you are on a soap box or a step ladder, then people will give you more respect and stop by to listen, because it gives people the impression that you have something to say.
No.3. For your own protection. When you are preaching, people will sometimes come right up to you and if you are on the same level ground as them, then this can be very intimidating when people come right in your face. Nor can you continue shouting when someone's face is only inches away from yours. However if you are on a step ladder, then when people come close up, they may still be aggressive, but it's not natural for even the most hardened men to pick a fight with someone who looks eight or nine feet tall. Think of an animal that makes its hair stand on end when threatened. The extra height gives the same psychological effect.
Also, it is much better to take your own ladder or soapbox to stand on, rather than stand on a public bench or steps.
Firstly, because then you can find the best place to open air, and set up your ladder and preach from there, rather than being restricted to preaching from places that are often substandard.
Secondly, if you are on public property, like standing on a bench then there is nothing to stop an aggressive heckler getting up alongside you.
This is not to be legalistic though, for instance, you may one day be out shopping, when a great opportunity to open air preach arises. In which case you should preach as God presents the opportunity, ladder or no ladder.
Engage The Heckler
Some of the worst open air preaching advice I have encountered is when I hear people say, “When I get a heckler, I completely ignore him, and just keep focused on my message and so he soon goes away.”
Listen! A good heckler is an open air preacher's best friend. Banter between the preacher and the heckler can turn a crowd from just a few people to sometimes even a hundred in a matter of minutes. Who wouldn't stop to watch a lively debate in the street, especially on a subject in which most people have their own strong opinions?
Make it a priority to pray for God to send a good heckler.
Leave Answering The Heckler To The Preacher
When there is a group of you, and the one who is preaching gets a heckler, don't make the mistake of trying to help the preacher by answering the heckler. This will just draw the crowd away from the preaching. If the person preaching is inexperienced and feels it is getting too much for him, he could simply say “My friend here is now going to step up and answer your objections.”
Don't Use Man-Centered Apologetics
There seems to be an increasing number of people today who spend so much time using apologetics to answer objections - and going into such depth with their answers - that the Gospel (which is "the power of God unto salvation" (Rom. 1:16) is not preached. I've seen open air preachers with good crowds spend 30 minutes answering objections before moving on to the Gospel, but in that time many people have come and gone; people who listened to an objection or two being answered but never heard how they may be saved.
There was a time when I myself used apologetics to draw a crowd. However, I have since changed my view, since much of what is called apologetics today is man-centered and unbiblical. If a man on trial in a human court said “I don’t believe in judges and law," the judge would not say, “Hold the proceedings! We must first spend whatever time necessary to convince this man that judges and law exist before we can go on with the trial.” Or if a policeman was pointing his gun at a criminal and telling him to raise his hands, and the criminal replied, “I don’t believe in guns," the policeman would not respond by putting his gun away! Yet this is exactly what many Christians do today. The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit (Eph 6:17), and yet when an unbeliever says to a Christian, “I don’t believe the Bible," the Christian will often put his sword back into its sheath and stop using it, resorting instead to man’s reasoning.
You cannot intellectually argue someone into the Kingdom of God. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 1:17 that if we attempt to preach the Gospel with cleverness of speech, we empty the cross of its power. In contrast to that, a good description of Biblical apologetics is found in Acts 18:28, which tells how Apollos “powerfully refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.” Biblical apologetics is not about cleverness of speech, but the simple proclamation of what the Scriptures say about Jesus! Again, when Jesus Himself was preaching and teaching, He answered objections by saying, “Have you not read?” always directing people to what the Word of God said. If you attempt to use human reasoning to persuade people, then their argument is against you. However, if you simply declare to them what God says in His Word, then their argument is with God, and God never has any problem defending Himself. As Charles Spurgeon once said, "Scripture is like a lion. Who ever heard of defending a lion? Just turn it loose; it will defend itself."
For a long time I used apologetics to gain a crowd, and though I often preached to large numbers of people in that time, I never saw anyone converted. However, from the first day that I switched to answering objections the more Biblical way - by simply declaring what the Scriptures say - I started to see people converted and joining our church. And even though I no longer use apologetics to gain a hearing as I once did, the crowds that gather to listen in the open air are just as large as before.
My point here is not to draw attention to results, because no matter how evangelism is done it is God who must cause the growth (1 Cor. 3:6). But on the other hand, we need to realize that it is when we do God's work God's way that we can expect to see God's blessing. There is a growing number of Christians today who don't seem to expect God to do much of anything when His Word goes forth, and their lack of faith in God has a damaging effect on their evangelism. We should expect to see God convert people when His Word is faithfully proclaimed, and we should never come to the point where we're surprised when He does.
Keep In Control
What I mean by this is often whilst you are answering one persons objection, someone else may shout another objection, demanding you answer them on the spot. What they are doing here is just trying to prevent you from answering. When this happens simply tell them that this person was before them and that you will answer their question in turn. When you do this, they will feel rude, and their butting in then becomes an attack on the other listeners rather than the preacher.
Finish Your Answers
Often, in the middle of answering an objection, the person who asked the question will try to interrupt by shouting out another objection. And he or she may keep on doing this every time you answer the next objection. When that happens don't make the mistake of cutting short your answers and moving on to the next objection without properly answering the first. Obviously in this case the heckler is not really interested in your answers. But remember, other people are listening in. Don't make the mistake of half answering many questions, whilst fully answering none.
Avoid Highly Complex Objections
Occasionally you may get an objection (and it may or may not be genuine) which would not only take a long time to answer (even five minutes can be a long time in the open air), but it is highly likely that apart from the person you are speaking to, no one else in the crowd will have a clue what you are talking about. In which case don't lose half of your audience in trying to answer one persons “technical trivia” question. In this situation I would normally just say, “It would take too long to answer here, and go over the heads of most of the other people listening, but send me an email or speak to one of the others who have come out with me”, and then carry on preaching.
Be Clear In Your Answers
In my experience most people objecting do not properly understand their own objections. Many have simply read or heard something by a skeptic which they are happy to believe, no questions asked. But at the same time, they do not understand what the skeptic actually said. So make sure you explain things clearly, and remember more people are listening than the person who asked the question.
Don't Preach In 'Christianese'
Christians have a lot of words and phrases that the average person does not understand, or they mean different things to different people, like “repent”, “walk”, “born again”, “justified” etc. Now I am not saying do not use these words, in fact some are essential. But we must clearly explain what we mean. Explain the way of salvation in simple terms.
Keep Your Voice Lifted Up Like A Trumpet
One of the first times I preached in the open air, I recorded myself. And I didn't notice until later when I listened to the recording, that when a group of girls came by who I had an interaction with, that I had made the mistake of considerably lowering the level of my voice, as if I was just speaking to these few people close by rather than the whole square. Always keep your voice lifted high. Remember when you open air preach you want to be heard by everyone in range.
You're Trying To Win People, Not Offend Them
Some time ago a street preacher was arrested for preaching against Father Christmas, after complaints of children crying. The Bible does not say 'Go ye into all the world and preach against Father Christmas'. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is offensive enough without causing offence where it is not needed. Nor are we there to preach about politics. Don't cause unnecessary offense.
Show Love and Compassion
If you preach without love then you will sound like a gong or a clanging cymbal. This is something you must constantly pray for. If you regularly preach in the open air and lift the Name of Jesus high then you will be met by a lot of hatred, and so if you don't guard against it then it is very easy to become cold hearted.
Pray, Pray, Pray and Pray
One of the saddest things regarding many groups that open air preach is neglect of prayer. On more than a few occasions I've seen groups of Christians get together for evangelism, and do nothing more than a quick 5 or 10 minutes of prayer. Sometimes people will have a great time of fellowship beforehand, and maybe even fit in a devotional Bible Study and words of encouragement, but then they reduce prayer to an 'added extra'. Don't expect the Spirit of God to move if you're not going to spend quality time waiting upon God in prayer.
I suggest at least one hour of prayer (and enjoying God) before you go out to evangelize, and include singing a few hymns praising God in that. This may mean one hour less on the streets, but it will be worth it.
Check Your Motive: Is It To Know And Enjoy God In A Greater Way?
and all these things shall be added unto you. ” Matt 6:33
Evangelism should be driven by love of God and love of fellow man. You must constantly keep check of this, and be careful to make sure that evangelism does not become a ritual or an idol.
Driving home one evening after an amazing day of open air preaching in which I had seen God move in a mighty way, with crowds of hundreds hearing the Gospel, I was jumping for joy, singing at the top of my voice along to Matt Redman on the car stereo 'Lord Let Your Glory Fall', and praising God. Then I felt God say, “Why didn't you praise Me like this last week, when you had just a few people stop to listen?” Ouch!
It is wonderful when God draws big crowds. I pray for that, and I am confident in God who is faithful to answer prayer and do great things, but we should never forget what a great privilege it is to go out as ambassadors for Jesus Christ and proclaim how great God is and His glorious salvation when just a few or even no one seems to be listening. Your desire should be to draw closer to Jesus and come to know Him in a greater way in all that you do. If you make this your priority then I assure you that God will never let you down. Glorify God and enjoy Him!
Load Your Preaching With Scripture. Memorize
“Where the word of a king is, there is power” (Ecc 8:4). As I learned from Charles Spurgeon, it is God's words that convert people, not our own explanations. So fill your preaching with Scripture and in order to quote Scripture in the open air, you must memorize Scripture.
Fill Your Preaching With Christ. Who He Is And How Great He Is
The Apostle Paul said “we preach Christ crucified” (1 Cor 1:23), yet in much evangelism today, Jesus Christ is reduced to a footnote. If you want to win people to Christ then you must preach Him.
The great commission in Matthew 28:19-20 is to make disciples and teach them in all things, and so where possible evangelism should be done in the context of the local church. Make sure your church fellowship details are on your tracts. Tell them about it, how to get there and offer transport help.
Witness and Tracting Whilst The Preacher Is Preaching
Most open air preachers I know do not like the others with them to tract the crowd whilst they are preaching. Their thinking behind it is that people will go from listening to the preacher to reading a tract. I differ on this, and believe it is best to tract everyone in the crowd, otherwise many will leave without a tract. In fact I normally preach with a pile of tracts in my hand and encourage people to take one.
I also encourage the people with me to discreetly witness to people listening. When I say discreetly, what I mean is, don't go into the middle of the crowd and witness to people listening to the preacher, and don't be loud, or you will just break up the crowd as attention will turn to you, but maybe start up a witnessing conversation with someone you see watching at a distance. Ask them what they think of what is being said and take it from there. If people listening see you with tracts, Bible and t-shirt, so they know you are obviously with the preacher, then many times people will approach you.
Wear Gospel Clothing
Granted I cannot find a Scripture verse to support this, but Wesley and Whitefield wore their preacher's robes in the open air for a reason. Wearing our matching t-shirts, with the cross and Scripture verses on them, has led to countless conversations. Sometimes people listening to the preacher will look for others wearing our matching evangelism t-shirts.
Keep It Legal
Get to know the law of the land regarding where you can and cannot preach. There are enough good legal places to preach without unnecessarily offending by preaching on private property without permission.
Be Careful Who Gets Up To Preach
When we first started open air preaching, we would leave the step ladder or soapbox set up in between people speaking. However we have learned to guard the soap box and take up the ladder, as we have had Muslims try to get up and preach, and also on one instance a guy who I did not know suddenly got up on my ladder without asking and started preaching. At first he seemed to be Christian, but it turned out he was a Seventh Day Adventist, and when a heckler gave him some abuse, he suddenly chased him across the street and pinned him against the wall. As you can imagine this did not do our witness a whole lot of good.
How Will You React To Hostility?
Whilst open air preaching I have been kicked, punched, had bottles and cans thrown at me, knocked off my ladder and also had an awful lot of hate-filled speech hurled at me. Much of this is done with the intent of trying to get you to react in an unloving way. All of these are perfect chances to show the love of Christ, by turning the other cheek and going the extra mile, and using them as an illustration for the Gospel.
Thank you to Garrett Holtaus, John Dees, and Mona Leiter at Lake Road Chapel for proof reading this article. See: www.lakeroadchapel.org and their edifying blog: www.thoughtsonthewayblog.blogspot.com
A five Sermon Evangelism Series: How To Share Your Faith Biblically www.puritanfellowship.com/2009/05/evangelism-how-to-share-your-faith.html
Great sermons: www.sermonaudio.com/gcc
Download PDF of this article Here:
See also: Open Air Preaching Guidelines VIDEO -Kevin Williams, Ryan Skinner & Tim Conway (I'll Be Honest) & Christ or Apologetics excerpt
"Anything that cools my love for Christ is the world."
"We should be continually labouring to cut off all the useless things that surround us; and God usually retrenches the superfluities of our souls in the same proportion as we do those of our bodies."
"My talent is to speak my mind. God won't object if you bury that talent."
"One of the principal rules of religion is, to lose no occasion of serving God. And, since he is invisible to our eyes, we are to serve him in our neighbour; which he receives as if done to himself in person, standing visibly before us."
"Give me one hundred men who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergyman or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon the earth."
"God buries his workmen, but carries on his work."
"You may be as orthodox as the devil and as wicked."
"The Church recruited people who had been starched and ironed before they were washed."
"The best of it is, God is with us."
"Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the souls you can, in every place you can, at all the times you can, with all the zeal you can, as long as ever you can."
"When I have money, I get rid of it quickly, lest it find a way into my heart."
"To lay up treasure on earth is as plainly forbidden by our Master as adultery and murder."
"In souls filled with love, the desire to please God is a continual prayer."
"Bear up the hands that hang down, by faith and prayer; support the tottering knees. Storm the throne of grace and persevere therein, and mercy will come down."
"Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to watch you burn."
"My ground is the Bible. Yea, I am a Bible-bigot. I follow it in all things, both great and small."
"I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out."
"On every occasion of uneasiness, we should retire to prayer, that we may give place to the grace and light of God and then form our resolutions, without being in any pain about what success they may have."
"The Bible knows nothing of solitary religion."
"Beware you be not swallowed up in books! An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge"
"From the year 1725 to 1729 I preached much, but I saw no fruit of my labour. Indeed, it could not be that I should; for I neither laid the foundation for repentance, nor of believing the gospel; taking it for granted, that all to whom I preached were believers and that many of them "needed no repentance."
"From 1738 to this time, speaking continually of Jesus Christ, laying Him only for the foundation of the whole building, making Him all in all, the first and the last; preaching only on this plan, "The kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye and believe the gospel;" the "word of God ran" as fire among the stubble; it "was glorified" more and more; multitudes were crying out, "What must we do to be saved?" and afterwards witnessing, "By grace we are saved through faith."
"When I was young I was sure of everything; in a few years, having been mistaken a thousand times, I was not half so sure of most things as I was before; at present, I am hardly sure of anything but what God has revealed to me."
"Even in the greatest afflictions, we ought to testify to God, that, in receiving them from his hand, we feel pleasure in the midst of the pain, from being afflicted by Him who loves us, and whom we love."
"If we suffer persecution and affliction in a right manner, we attain a larger measure of conformity to Christ, by a due improvement of one of these occasions, than we could have done merely by imitating his mercy, in abundance of good works."
14 Jul 2009
Here are the five winners:
1. David Wright from Norfolk.
2. Sue Connor from Middlesex.
3. Martin Marek from Krupka, Czech Republic
4. Martin Thorley from Warrington.
5. Matthieu Razafi from Luxembourg.
Could the winners (who haven't already) please email me your full postal address and I will post the books to you all thank you.
If you are in the Manchester area, then try and join us and I am sure you will be blessed. See HERE for info and directions. And if you are from afar then Lordwilling, I will be able to upload Sebastian's message when I return from Holland, so you can listen.
12 Jul 2009
we look at: the difference between a true death bed repentance and a false death bed repentance- How very few death bed repentances are real and how many people are cheated with easy-believism which doesn't save, and we see how most of what is professed to be Christianity today is far from Christianity.
Listen to this Sermon or download mp3:
John 8:21-23 - Most So-Called Death Bed Repentances Take People To Hell-Kevin Williams - 39 min
Listen to this and other Puritan Fellowship Sermons on itunes here:
11 Jul 2009
John Calvin (2 Pet 3:9) So wonderful Is God's Love Towards Mankind, That He Would Have Them All To Be Saved
HT: Calvin on Calvinism.
“But the Lord is not slack,” or, delays not. He checks extreme and unreasonable haste by another reason, that is, that the Lord defers his coming that he might invite all mankind to repentance. For our minds are always prurient, and a doubt often creeps in, why he does not come sooner. But when we hear that the Lord, in delaying, shows a concern for our salvation, and that he defers the time because he has a care for us, there is no reason why we should any longer complain of tardiness. He is tardy who allows an occasion to pass by through slothfulness: there is nothing like this in God, who in the best manner regulates time to promote our salvation. And as to the duration of the whole world, we must think exactly the same as of the life of every individual; for God by prolonging time to each, sustains him that he may repent. In the like manner he does not hasten the end of the world, in order to give to all time to repent. This is a very necessary admonition, so that we may learn to employ time aright, as we shall otherwise suffer a just punishment for our idleness.
“Not willing that any should perish.” So wonderful is his love towards mankind, that he would have them all to be saved, and is of his own self prepared to bestow salvation on the lost. But the order is to be noticed, that God is ready to receive all to repentance, so that none may perish; for in these words the way and manner of obtaining salvation is pointed out. Every one of us, therefore, who is desirous of salvation, must learn to enter in by this way. But it may be asked, If God wishes none to perish, why is it that so many do perish? To this my answer is, that no mention is here made of the hidden purpose of God, according to which the reprobate are doomed to their own ruin, but only of his will as made known to us in the gospel. For God there stretches forth his hand without a difference to all, but lays hold only of those, to lead them to himself, whom he has chosen before the foundation of the world.
But as the verb choresai is often taken passively by the Greeks, no less suitable to this passage is the verb which I have put in the margin, that God would have all, who had been before wandering and scattered, to be gathered or come together to repentance.
Calvin, Commentary, 2 Peter 3:9
Read More HERE.See also: Hyper Calvinism, Limited Atonement & the Free Offer of the Gospel
&: God is Love -Tim Conway - Bible Study
10 Jul 2009
Susannah Wesley was the mother of 19 children, including John and Charles Wesley. Through much adversity, she dedicated her life to instilling a sense of Christian Destiny into each of her children. Her children went on to change the world.
Here are 16 rules she laid down in her home.
1. Eating between meals not allowed.
2. As children they are to be in bed by 8 p.m.
3. They are required to take medicine without complaining.
4. Subdue self- will in a child, and those working together with God to save the child's soul.
5. To teach a child to pray as soon as he can speak.
6. Require all to be still during Family Worship.
7. Give them nothing that they cry for, and only that when asked for politely.
8. To prevent lying, punish no fault which is first confessed and repented of.
9. Never allow a sinful act to go unpunished.
10. Never punish a child twice for a single offense.
11. Comment and reward good behavior.
12. Any attempt to please, even if poorly performed, should be commended.
13. Preserve property rights, even in smallest matters.
14. Strictly observe all promises.
15. Require no daughter to work before she can read well.
16. Teach children to fear the rod.
See also: Biblical Principles For the Family-Four Sermon Series -Kevin Williams
(Especially Sermon 2: Biblical Family pt2-Training & Setting Godly Boundaries For Our Children-Kevin Williams)
But again, it is not enough to have prayerful reading only, but we must also meditate on the Word. As in the instance I have just referred to, kneeling before the chair, I meditated on the Word. It was not simply reading it, not simply praying over it. It was all that, but, in addition it
was pondering over what I had read. This is deeply important. If you merely read the Bible, and no more, it is just like water running in at one side and out at the other. In order to be really benefited by it, we must meditate on it. We cannot all of us, of course, spend many hours, or even one or two hours each day in this manner. Our business demands our attention. Yet, however short the time you can afford, give it regularly to reading, prayer and meditation over the Word, and you will find it will well repay you.
in reference to their children, children for their parents; evangelists read it for their congregations, Sunday-school teachers for their classes. Oh! this is a poor way of reading the Word; if read in this way, it will not profit. I say it deliberately and advisedly, the sooner it is given up, the better for your own souls. Read the Word of God always with reference to your own heart, and when you have received the blessing in your own heart, you will be able to communicate it to others.
Whether you labour as evangelists, as pastors, or as visitors, superintendents of Sunday schools, or teachers, tract distributors or in whatever other capacity you may seek to labor for the Lord, be careful to let the reading of the Word be with distinct reference to your own heart.
Ask yourselves, how does this suit me, either for instruction, for correction, for exhortation, or for rebuke? How does this affect me? If you thus read, and get the blessing in your own soul, how soon it will flow out to others!