I once came out of a store and saw a lady trying to open her car door by using a bent, wire coat-hanger. I asked if it was her car, or if she was stealing it. A smile relieved her face of obvious frustration. When I offered to help, she gladly handed me the coat-hanger.(Author: Ray Comfort)
It was apparent that the wire wasn't strong enough to grip the handle on the inside of the car door. So, as I chatted with the woman, I took some time in bending, twisting, and shaping the wire so that it had both the strength and the contours to grasp the handle. With great skill, I carefully lowered the newly-molded tool toward the handle, but to my embarrassment, the innovative instrument was now too short. It didn't even reach the handle!
It was then that I asked the woman to stand back. I was going to try my car keys in her car door. It was a long shot, but it would at least take attention off my obvious blunder. I slipped the key into the lock, then turned it. To our total surprise and delight, the door immediately opened.
Modem evangelism has bent, twisted, and shaped its methods in a sincere effort to unlock the heart of the unbeliever. To the embarrassment of many, our efforts have fallen short of the ideal. Yet, the key to the sinner's heart is, and always has been, close at hand to the Church. All it will take to open the door of revival is to abandon our own efforts and try the key to see if it does indeed work.
Out of a total of 11,500 assemblies, a major U.S. denomination had 7,872 respond to a questionnaire asking about church growth for 1991. The results revealed that a massive 294,784 decisions were obtained during that year. Unfortunately, only 14,337 remained within the Church. In other words, over 280,000 couldn't be accounted for. This 96% fall-away rate is a little higher than the normal for modem evangelism, where the average is 80-90%. Charles E. Hackett, the author of the report, said, "Something is wrong, and has been wrong for nearly one hundred years of evangelism, since the Church forsook the key to the sinner's heart. It set aside the Ten Commandments in their function to convert the soul (Ps. 19:7) and to show us our true state, and thus see our need of God's forgiveness.
Romans 5:20 says, "Moreover the Law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound..." When sin abounds, grace "much more" abounds, and according to Scripture, the thing that makes sin abound is the Law.
We can often see the work of God's Law illustrated in civil law. Watch what often happens on a freeway when you are traveling. When there is no visible sign of the law, see how motorists transgress the speed limit. Everyone knows the maximum is 55 mph, but watch how they all naturally flow together at an unlawful 70 mph. It seems that the law has forgotten to patrol this part of the freeway. You are just "going with the flow." Besides, you are only transgressing the law by 15 mph, and you are not the only one who is over the speed limit.
Now, notice what happens when the law enters. He comes through on the fast lane with his lights flashing. Your heart misses a beat. You no longer feel secure in the fact that other motorists are also speeding; you know that you are personally as guilty as the next guy, and you could be the one the law pulls over. Suddenly, your "mere" 15 mph transgression doesn't seem such a small thing after all. It seems to abound.
Look at the freeway of sin. The whole world naturally goes with the flow. Who hasn't had an "affair" (or desired to) at some time or other? Who in today's society doesn't tell the occasional "white" lie now and then, or take something that belongs to someone else, even if it's just "white collar" crime? They know they are "over the limit," but their security is in the fact that so many others are just as guilty. It seems God has forgotten all about sin and the Ten Commandments - "He has said in his heart, 'God has forgotten; He hides His face; He will never see"' (Ps. 10:11 NKJV)
Now watch the Law enter with lights flashing. The sinner's heart is stopped. He lays his hand upon his mouth. He examines the speedometer of his conscience; suddenly it shows him the measure of his guilt in a new light, the light of the Law. His sense of security in the fact that there are multitudes doing the same thing becomes irrelevant, because he knows he is as guilty as the next person. Sin not only becomes personal, it seems to "abound." His mere lust becomes adultery of the heart (Matt. 5:27-28); his white lie becomes false witness; his own way becomes rebellion; his hatred becomes murder (1 John 3:15); his "light" fingers make him a thief -"Moreover the Law entered, that the offence might abound..." (Rom. 5:20). Without the Law entering, sin is neither personal, nor is it severe - "For without the Law sin is dead - the sense of it is inactive and a lifeless thing" (Rom. 7:8b, Amp. Bible). It is the "Commandment" that shows sin in its true light, that it is "exceedingly sinful" (Rom. 7:13). Paul sat at the feet of Gamaliel, the great "teacher of the Law," and therefore saw sin in its true colors.
The "offense" and the "foolishness" of the cross.According to Romans 3:20, "...the real function of the Law is to make men recognize and be conscious of sin (not mere perception, but an acquaintance with sin which works towards repentance...)" (Amp. Bible).
To illustrate this, imagine if I said to you, "I have some good news for you! Someone has just paid a $25,000 speeding ticket on your behalf!" You would probably answer me with some cynicism in your tone, "What are you talking about? I don't have a $25,000 speeding ticket!"
Your reaction would be quite understandable. If you don't know you have broken the law in the first place, the good news of someone paying a fine for you won't be good news; it will be foolishness to you.
My insinuation of unlawful activity will even be offensive to you.
But if I was to put it this way, it may make more sense: "Today the police clocked you traveling at 55 mph. in an area designated for a blind children's convention. You totally ignored ten clear warning signs saying that the maximum speed was 15 mph. What you did was extremely dangerous. The fine is $25,000 or imprisonment. The law was about to apprehend you when someone stepped in and paid the fine for you. You are very fortunate."
Can you see that telling you the good news of the fine being paid, without telling you that you have broken the law first, will leave you thinking of the "good news" as nothing but nonsense? To make known your transgression actually gives sense to the good news. An unclouded explanation of the law, so that you can clearly see your violation, helps you understand and also appreciate the good news.
In the same way, to tell someone the good news that Jesus died for their sins makes no sense to them, "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing..." (1 Cor. 1:18 NIV).
If an unregenerate person is told that Jesus "paid the fine" for him (that He died for his sins), it is quite understandable for him to say, "What are you talking about? I don't have any 'sins.' I try to live a good life...", etc. Your insinuation that he is a sinner, when he doesn't think he is, will also be offensive to him.
But those who take the time to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, and open up the Ten Commandments, will see the sinners become "...convinced of the Law as transgressors" (James 2:9). Once a sinner sees his transgression, the good news will be neither offensive nor foolish, but the power of God to salvation.
What "sin" are you talking about?When David committed adultery with Bathsheba and killed her husband, God sent Nathan the prophet to reprove him. Notice the order in which the reproof came. Nathan gave David a parable about something that he could understand - sheep. He began with the natural realm rather than immediately exposing the king's sin.
He told a story about a rich man who killed a poor man's pet lamb to feed a stranger, rather than take one from his own flock.
David was indignant and said that the guilty party would die for his crime. Nathan then exposed his sin of taking another man's "lamb" saying, "...You are the man! Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, doing evil in His sight? "(2 Sam. 12:7a, 9a Amp. Bible). When David showed signs of contrition, Nathan then gave him grace and said, "...The Lord has also put away your sin; you shall not die" (2 Sam. 12:13b Amp. Bible). Imagine if Nathan, fearful of rejection, changed things around a little and instead told David, "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. However, there is something which is keeping you from enjoying this wonderful life; it is called sin.
Imagine if he had glossed over the personal nature of David's sin with a general reference to all men having sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? David may have reacted with, "What sin are you talking about?" rather than admit his terrible transgression. Or, in a desire to experience this wonderful plan, he may have admitted that he, like all men, had fallen short of the glory of God.
If David had not been made to tremble under the wrath of the Law, the prophet would have removed the very means of producing godly sorrow, which was so necessary for David's repentance. It is "godly sorrow" that works repentance. It was the weight of his guilt that caused him to cry out, "...I have sinned against the Lord" (2 Sam. l2:13a). The Law caused him to labor and become heavy laden; it made him hunger and thirst for righteousness.
How true are the words once spoken by Charles Spurgeon (the prince of preachers), "The Law serves a most necessary purpose." He also said, "They will never accept grace, until they tremble before a just and holy Law."
Paradox though it may seem, the Law does make grace abound, in the same way darkness makes light shine. It was John Newton (the writer of "Amazing Grace") who said that a wrong understanding of the harmony between Law and grace would produce "error on the left and the right hand."
I don't know if any of us could claim to have a better understanding of grace than the one who penned such a wonderful hymn. The world will never clearly see the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ until the blackness of sin is explicitly painted on the canvas of a just and holy Law. When a Christian sees what he has been saved from, he will realize what he has been saved for - love for God, the unspeakable gift that will be a continual source of joy. Gratitude will motivate him to reach out and do the will of God, to seek and save that which is lost. That is the key to genuine Church growth, and that is how to see revival.
When we begin to apply the truth of this article into our evangelism, there needs to be the involvement of the Holy Spirit in both softening the hearer to be able to perceive the truth he is hearing, and in guiding the person who is sharing the love of God. It is the Holy Spirit's job, not ours, to convict the sinner of sin. We are merely the vessels He uses to communicate the truth that draws men to Jesus. We need to share the love of Christ in a sensitive and gentle manner that exemplifies Him.
Blessed Are The Poor in Spirit
What does is mean to be poor in spirit? There is something about the poor that delights the heart of God. They are contrite. They know they are in need. But what is it about them that draws the kingdom of God to Earth? (Author: Heidi Baker with Shara Pradhan)
Who Needs Quiet Time?-You Do!
Fifteen minutes later, you roll out of bed. Late again. With toothbrush in hand, you step into the shower where you have what passes for "devotions" - a hasty, "Good morning, Lord." (Author: Fran Paris)
A Christless Pentecost
The following is a prophetic warning from Azusa Street 75 years ago, concerning the dangers of a Christless Pentecost! (Author: David Wilkerson)
Crossing the Great Divide
"Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now He has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation." (Author: Tom Marshall)
Sharing Jesus in a Diverse World
How do we reach TODAY's generation with the Gospel? (Author: Danny Lehman)
Finding God When You've Failed
Honesty is indeed a prerequisite to effective prayer. But it can also be cleverly guided on a boomerang path by our arch opponent. (Author: Jack Hayford)
The Great Rock Of Islam
My grandfather was a very famous and respected Koran teacher, and the people of his city always obeyed his words. My father learned all about the Koran from him, and he grew to love it very much. (Author: Unknown)
Others (Author: )
The Truth About Faith
Is your faith weak? Are you perplexed because your faith doesn't seem to get results? (Author: David Wilkerson)
The Power of the Cross
There is not a more liberating, redeeming, costly, significant, or glorious work in all of human history than the cross of Jesus Christ. (Author: Noel Alexander)
On one of my recent journeys, as I gazed from the coach window, I was led into a train of thought concerning the conditions of the multitudes around me. (Author: General William Booth)
There's nothing more transfiguring than prayer. People often ask, "Why do you insist on prayer so much?" The answer is very simple - because Jesus did. (Author: Leonard Ravenhll (originally written 1982))
What Was I Thinking?
How a man ends up working in a Crisis Pregnancy Center (Author: Scott Manganella)
The Devil The Dope Man
Powerful testimony from a addiction to salvation...to starting Hope city. (Author: Lisa Stribling)
Working Hard Or Hardly Working?
Many people are afraid to work. They re afraid of the very idea of it. Just thinking about it can ruin their whole day. (Author: Tony Salerno)
Who Will You Deny? Yourself or the Lord
"If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." - Luke 9:23 (Author: By John Wesley)
Walking Out Of Homosexuality
What I remember most from my childhood is a deep hunger to be loved. (Author: Joe Hallet)
Walking With Jesus
The following are a brief overview of some of the key aspects of becoming a Christian and starting your walk with Jesus. We strongly encourage you to read from many of the articles on Last Days Ministries web site for more information. (Author: LDM Staff)
Meditation-Our Lost Treasure
Yet the treasure they were seeking was an earthly treasure. Its benefits might last a lifetime - but certainly not for an eternity. (Author: Fran Paris)
The following story is a chapter from a book published in 1931 called "Mighty Moments." We were really encouraged by this touching story of a young man's faith and his determined love for God. We hope it will inspire you in a mighty way as well. (Author: Lionel Fletcher)
Want to reach the world for Jesus? All you have to do is open your heart - and your eyes. (Author: Denny Gunderson)
Mission Trip Report:India
I was just happy to be somewhere. (Author: Rebekah Green)
My Yoke Is Easy-A Parable of Grace
A Parable Of Grace by Joan Rappleyea with Chloe Jovejoy. (Author: Joan Rappleyea with Chloe Lovejoy)
Passion For Jesus
Almost any Christian can tell you what the greatest commandment of all is to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. We all know this is the greatest commandment. But are we really taking it seriously? (Author: Jack Deere)
Pharisees, Sadducees, or Jesus
And why do some others think God is more interested in our earthly comfort than in our eternal character? (Author: Dean Sherman)
The Man In the Mirror
Imagine - me married! A day of rejoicing and celebration, of sharing love between family and friends. At my side was my wife, the woman I loved. But special as it was, our wedding held a much deeper significance. (Author: Sy Rogers)
The Person God Uses
The fact is, God is using everybody that He can, and using them to the full extent of their fitness for His service. So instead of praying so much to be used, people should search themselves to know whether they’re usable. (Author: Samuel Logan Brengle)
The Plight Of the Christian Artist
One of the most tragic stories in history is that of Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh. Van Gogh was a "preacher's kid" whose greatest desire was to follow his father into the ministry. (Author: Denny Gunderson)
The Theatre of Your Mind - What's Showing?
"…be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Romans12:2 Most Christians have at least an intellectual understanding that with Christ all things are possible. (Author: Gunderson, Denny)
The Way Of Fellowship
The Fall is simply, "We have turned everyone to his own way" (Isaiah 53:6) (Author: Roy Hession)
Touching the Untouchable
It was March 25, 1986 - a day I'll never forget. All of Heidelberg, Germany, was alive that day with the fresh brilliance of spring. (Author: Joe Hallett)
Trail To Peace
I sat in stone silence looking at the white man sitting a few feet away from me. My heart was cold toward him, and I assumed he felt the same about me. (Author: Spencer Cody)
Training Your Children For Christ
First, there are some things that must be done if you want to reach the great goal in the training of children - for them to love and serve God with a pure heart. (Author: General William Booth)
True and False Unity
I leaned forward, readjusting my position in the pew, and glanced around the room. The atmosphere was charged with excitement as we waited for the service to begin. (Author: Floyd McClung)
Restoration Through Forgiveness
Because if we were to take these insects and release them on a plant, all four working together would eat the leaves, the branches, the main stalk, and finally the root. Now what would be left? Absolutely nothing. The plant would be destroyed. (Author: Doug Easterday)
Deuteronomy 28:47 says, "Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and a glad heart..." (Author: Charlie Moore)
Raped and Pregnant
Rape is understandably difficult to talk about - especially for the women who are the victims. Yet because it’s so often used as a reason for abortion, we need to take a closer look. (Author: Three Women Tell Their Stories)
Singles + Sex
Many people think God is unfair. That He made us sexual beings and then tells us don’t! Almost every young person I know faces this problem. (Author: Dean Sherman)
Simplicity-The Evidence of Life
What was the greatest gift that God gave to us in Jesus Christ? Was it not that beautiful life? "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. " (John 1:4) I (Author: Dudley Hall)
Some Days Are Like That
Meanwhile, almost my entire wardrobe for this three-week trip was in the washer... along with a forgotten maroon sock. Yes, it's true. Everything came out with a distinct pink tone. (Author: Linda Cope)
Spiritual Burn Out
We sat in a cafe in the Mayfair area of London. Outside, the fog was settling in on the late November afternoon. (Author: Malcom Smith)
You may believe spiritual warfare is only for Christians who happen to be "into" such things - or for obscure missionaries working in dark, heathen places. (Author: Dean Sherman)
Taking Action, Living Adventurously
"The Almighty certainly never intended that people should travel at such breakneck speed. " (Author: Larry Tomczack)
The Call To Run
Winning God's Way Part 1 (Author: Loren Cunningham)
The Call To Serve
Winning God's Way and Part 2 (Author: Loren Cunningham)
The Dangers Of Drifting From God
“For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” -Hebrews 2:1 (Author: Unknown)
Dad I'm Pregnant - How Should A Father Respond?
Over the last 20 years, the percentage of illegitimate births to girls 19 and under has increased from 15% to 51%. In 1987, more than 1,100,00 teenage girls became pregnant, and 60% of those girls became pregnant again in the next two years (Author: Author Anonymous)
Does This Railroad Lead To Heaven?
This is a true story taken from the 1894 edition of “Touching Incidents And Remarkable Answers To Prayer.” (Author: Pastor F. M. Dosh)
Do You Feel Like Giving Up?
A growing number of ministers have been writing to me in recent months, telling of their concern for those in their flock who are simply giving up. Today, more and more Christians are at the breaking point. (Author: David Wilkerson)
Four Circles Of Intimacy With God
You're As Close To God As YOU Want To Be (Author: J.Oswald Sanders)
God Is Easy To Live With
Satan's first attack upon the human race was his sly effort to destroy Eve's confidence in the kindness of God. Unfortunately for her and for us, he succeeded too well. From that day, men have had a false conception of God (Author: A. W. Tozer)
The Heart Of A Worshiper
The fundamental essence of worship is this: Regardless of negative circumstances or complete emotional turmoil, I bow my heart and life before God Almighty, acknowledging His supreme lordship. (Author: Bob Sorge)
How To Find God
Practical guidelines for the True seeker (Author: General William Booth)
Humility-The Strength of the Lamb
"He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." (Phil. 2:8) (Author: Andrew Murray)
I Changed My Stand
That was before the Roe v. Wade decision, back when states were allowed to make their own laws in regard to abortion. (Author: Pastor Zolton Phillips, III)
I'm Gay, O.K.?
A man who at one time had given himself over to seeking pleasure spoke the truth when he said that “Even in laughter the heart may be in pain, and the end of joy may be grief.” (Author: Martin Bennett)
In The Hands of the Master Potter
the Lord says to you. "There’s a price. Do you want My presence and My miracles? Do you want Me? There’s a price behind the anointing. You must be willing to take up your cross and follow Me." (Author: Jill Austin)
This is the true story of the actual experiences of a woman who was on staff for many years here at Last Days Ministries. (Author: Anonymous)
It's Between You and God
(Mother Teresa put these up on the wall of her children's home in Calcutta, which is why this is sometimes attributed to her) (Author: Dr. Kent M. Keith)
Lies In Disguise: Battling Temptation
Many great mistakes are made concerning the problem of temptation. First of all, some people seem to think that after becoming a Christian temptations will cease. (Author: By Hannah Whitall Smith)
Living in Transition - The Art of Faith and Life
The Hitchhiker's Guide (Author: Michael Miles)
Love vs. Romance
A young girl recently wrote and asked, "Don't Christians believe in romance anymore?" (Author: Kathleen Dillard)
Making a Difference in Your World
The phone rings (Author: Linda Speight)
Making the Most Of Your Devotions
If you are a Christian, your personal relationship with Jesus must take first priority in your life. But for many reasons, that daily quiet time with God may be the first thing to dissolve under time pressures, stress, and busy schedules. (Author: George Mueller)
"Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes, and look to the fields, that they are white for harvest." (John 4:35) (Author: Fred Markert)
Charlie Coulson the Christian Drummer Boy
The following story is a true account, taken from an old, out-of-print book called “Touching Incidents And Remarkable Answers To Prayer.” It was compiled by S.B. Shaw and published in 1894. (Author: Dr. M. L. Rosvally)
Abortion Clinics: An Inside Look
The following are portions of an interview with a woman who used to work at an abortion clinic. Her story is a look into another world where abuse has become an industry, and extermination a daily routine. (Author: Former Clinic Administrator Speaks Out)
A Cry In the Night
The following story is true and was taken from one of our all time favorite books, "Touching Incidents And Remarkable Answers To Prayer" written in 1894. Gather the whole family around! This is a story you'll enjoy reading out loud to your children. (Author: Author Unknown)
Active Or Passive Lordship
Whenever God shows up on the scene things begin to happen - and in a big way! Pillars of fire, parting seas, rivers turning to blood, earthquakes, floods - the Bible has got to be the most action-packed Book that has ever been written! (Author: Fred Markert)
A Wonderful Visitor
The following is a true story and was taken from one of our favorite books, Touching Incidents And Remarkable Answers To Prayer, originally printed in 1894 (Author: unknown)
Are You Doing 'Jesus Stuff'?
Do you ever wonder what Jesus would be doing if He were walking the earth today? I do. I wonder where He would feel comfortable, who He'd want to hang out with. (Author: Carol DeGraff)