THE B I OLA HOUR
CALIFORNIA Arroyo Grande-San Lula Obispo KOAG 1280
Biola Hour BROADCASTER Monthly Publication of the BIOLA FELLOWSHIP Vol. 7 No. 7 JULY, 1967 STAFF President .......... S. H. SUTHERLAND Editor ................... AL SANDERS Production ............ .BILL EHMAN Printing .............. CHURCH PRESS Published monthly by the Radio Dept. BIOLA SCHOOLS & COLLEGES 13800 Biola Avenue La Mirada, California 90638 CONTENTS THE PRESENTATION — D. Stuart Briscoe ....... THE IMPORTANCE — D. Stuart Briscoe ....... . THE EXAMPLE — . D. Stuart Briscoe ....... THE C O M M AN D — D. Stuart Briscoe ....... . THE ADVANTAGES — D. Stuart Briscoe ....... THE EXCUSES — D. Stuart Briscoe ....... . THE PLACE — D. Stuart Briscoe ....... PARABLES A N D PEARLS .. PANEL DISCUSSIONS ... COLOSS IANS 3:1-11 — . 3 . 5 . 7 . 9 .i i .12 .14 .16 .17 .22
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La Mirada, California
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lfOCR CHR ISTIAN WILL Did you know that thore is a way to invost in Biola for the training of students while saving costly estate taxes! Ultimately you may he able to leave more money for your loved ones. As a Fellowship member you are under no obligation when you write for information or counsel. BIOLA STEWARDSHIP DEPARTMENT
by D. Stuart Briscoe
H a v in g h ad t h e pr iv il eg e of travel ing in the United States and meet ing so many wonderful people, it is a privilege to have this contact and out reach once again. My first and nat ural concern is for the spiritual wel fare of you friends. A basic question is, “Are people being converted to Christ through your witness?” It is amazing and alarming to me to realize that there are many Christians who have never led another individual to the Lord. If this is true of you, then among other things you are missing a tremendous blessing for your life. One who is not witnessing is not really fulfilling the function for which he himself was converted. One of the most vital dimensions is missing. To start with, let us consider a def inition of what we mean by personal evangelism. The term, of course, re fers to dealing with individuals rather than the masses. God has been bless ing the ministry of His servants as they have had extensive meetings at
tracting huge crowds. This is a very specialized field. The Lord, however, has put a major emphasis upon the contact and testimony on a “man-to man” basis. It is when one person ex plains the Gospel message and the other listens. It is simply the personal presentation of the evangel, which is another word for Gospel. Unfortu nately, however, there are many peo ple who don’t seem to be clear on a definition of the Gospel. Writing to the Galatians, Paul told them to be on guard against those who would come in and try to preach some other “gospel.” Listen to how strong he makes it, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” For added empha sis on this vital point, the Holy Spirit has him say it once again. Anything else which is given to people is not to be trusted whatsoever. So, personal evangelism is a man-to-man presenta- 3
tion of the Gospel. Again, this is what Paul meant in declaring, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salva tion to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16). (See I Cor. 15:1-4.; Let us never lose sight of the first imperative, in that the Gospel is the power of God. It alone can revolution ize men’s lives. There is nothing else available to remedy sin and to settle the eternal destiny of a human soul. In addition, the Gospel is the power of God to mend broken hearts, to set right personal relationships, to work miracles in broken homes. Any mes sage not demonstrating the dynamic of Almighty God is not the Gospel. Therefore, it must follow that any witnessing which pretends to be wit nessing must equally demonstrate the power of God. Ask yourself these important ques tions: “Am I being a witness? Have I been presenting the Gospel? Has the power of God been in evidence in my life? Has an impact been made on lives simply because God took hold of me and used me?” This is what we mean when we talk about the subject of personal evangelism. It must re veal the power of God. The second thing Paul says is that the message has the power of God unto salvation. What, however, do we mean by salvation? A little Salvation Army girl was sitting in a railway carriage opposite a minister. She thought to herself, “Now this is a good opportunity. I’ll have a talk with him and see about his spiritual state.” With considerably more enthusiasm than tact she leaned over and asked, “Preacher, are you saved?” The min ister looked benignly on the young lass and responded, “Young lady, do you mean have I been saved, or do you mean, am I being saved, or do you mean will I be saved?” To complicate matters he gave each of these terms in Greek. The poor girl was completely out of her depth. The minister had a point. There are many people today who feel that being saved is all in the
past tense. There is much more to the message than that. The victorious Christian can say, “I have been saved from sin’s penalty. I am being saved from sin’s power. I will be saved from sin’s final judgment.” All three of these blessed truths must be a part of the salvation you enjoy, or your life will be miserable and discontented. Un- FROM A LOVED ONE IN HEAVEN What mean you by this weeping To break my very heart? We both are in Christ's keeping And therefore cannot part. You there, I here, though parted. We still at heart are one. I only just in sunshine, The shadow scarcely gone. What though the clouds surround you, You can the brightness see. 'Tis only a little way That leads from you to me. The Master walked in His garden Among the growing flowers, And the drooping ones and the thirsty He cheered with cooling showers. Not a flower that the Master gathers Ever closes or withers away, But sweeter still and fairer Grown in the light of His full day. So weep not, weep not, dear one. God wipes away all tears. 'Tis but a little while Though you may call it years. til you fully understand these precious truths, you will not be able to share them with others. So, this question which burdens my heart for the many friends we had the privilege of meet ing in America, “Are you presenting these basic facts to others; are you using what God has given you in obey ing His commission for your life?” 4 — Martha Snell Nicholson I was so very weary, Surely you could not mourn That I a little sooner Should lay my burden down.
PERSONAL EVANGELISM SERIES
by D. Stuart Briscoe
O NE OF THE MOST BASIC FACTORS about personal evangelism is the understanding that the Gospel must demonstrate the power of God. It is intended to bring the blessing of sal vation. This is, as we suggested, em bodied in the scope of the past, pres ent and future deliverance which the Lord has for us. It is our joyful privi lege as children of God to present this thrilling message to those with whom we come in contact day by day. Salvation can only come to those who believe. Therefore, the Gospel brings the blessing of salvation only when faith is emphasized. Those who are engaging in evangelism, whether on a mass or personal basis, must always bear this in mind. Every hu man being has a mind in addition to a will. He has certain emotions. Some preaching is directed to him simply through his mind. It is merely intel lectual. If my presentation of God’s truth is purely aimed in this direc tion, there isn’t likely to be much blessing. Then again some preaching is purely emotional. It is possible for a minister, telling the right kind of stories, to work upon one’s emotions. Again, this will result in little lasting effectiveness. It is also possible for a ministry to be aimed purely at the will. When an individual has a very strong personality it is possible that the listener, who may have a weaker will, may give in and be dominated and captivated by the other. They may be led to do something they had never intended to do. Evangelism must be directed to the mind. Instruct people in the truth concerning the Saviour, as well as the truth concerning their own sinful selves. They need to be taught in such a way that they will be moved by what they hear. Plainly tell them of the love of the Lord. Speak to them frankly about the awfulness of sin and the greatness of salvation. From
your own experience let them know the thrill of the real Christian life. When they have understood, and are moved by what they understand, chal lenge them with the next step, seeing if they are ready to do something about it personally. This alone will cause a person to exercise faith. A few days ago I was talking to a young man who told me that he works with another Christian in an office which has three men in it. Both Christians have been witnessing to the third individual. He now knows all there is to know about salvation since he has been “attacked” from both sides, as it were. While he has been challenged, moved, and instructed, still he has never been converted. I in quired of the fellow who came to me, “Did you ever arrive at the point of asking him if he would like to accept the Lord Jesus Christ?” There was a
D. Stuart Briscoe of the Torchbearers' Fellowship Caperwray Hall , Lancashire, England, is this month's featured speaker on "The Biola Hour." His penetrating and helpful series on Personal Evangelism will be continuedfor severalof the broadcasts in July.
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for. We tend to think of past sin as being forgotten. God is eternal, how ever, and all past sin is ever present before Him. How can this be dealt with and forgiven? God works a won derful miracle. You personally can be the means of having a multitude of past sins blotted out. Do you see your privilege? Have you been engaging in personal evangelism? Have you taken the privilege of presenting the Gos pel to others in a manner they can understand? Have they been moved by it and exercised faith thereby? WITHOUT MURMURINGS Do you have any unpleasant tasks awaiting you today, or perhaps later this week? Sometimes it’s necessary to do things which aren’t really palatable to us at all. We may even grumble about our unhappy responsibilities. Have you ever wondered what it would be like if, at the end of the day, some one could play back on a tape recorder not only all the things we had said, but also those things we dare to think? Since we’re all human, the experience wouldn’t be too pleasant or help our ego any. Without fully realizing it, no doubt we complain, murmur a n d “gripe” more than we realize. Our chil dren become unhappy because of home work or chores; wives for the never- ending stream of housework and all that goes with it, such as picking u/p things other members of the family have overlooked; Dad grumbles about his inconsiderate boss and difficulties at the office. How quickly are we robbed of our joy by some of the little insig nificant affair of the day! Criticism, envy, censoriousness, and cynicism are all tools which Satan knows how to wield most effectively. He tries to get us side-tracked, thinking mediocrity and not victory is God’s norm for our lives. J. Hudson Taylor used to say, “If your father and mother, your sister and brother, yes, even your cat and dog, aren’t happier because you’re a Christian, to me it’s a question wheth er you really are one or not.” How to be a joyful Christian? Follow the ex hortation found in the Epistle to the Ephesians, suggesting we speak to our selves in psalms and hymns and spir itual songs, singing and making melody in our hearts to the Lord. 6
pause, then he told me that neither he nor his friend had done so. They had been “pumping” him with truth, but not carrying through. It seems that both of these men had been afraid or reticent in asking him to take the most important step of faith. Ask yourself a question, “Have I ever instructed someone concerning the Lord Jesus? As a result, did they have a desire to do something about it? Did I help them and lead them finally to the Lord Jesus Christ?” This is the way by which permanent work for the Saviour is accomplished. Here is a verse which is intended to be a tremendous encouragement to you. It is James’ epistle and frankly, I am so sorry we tend to neglect James. While he only wrote five chapters, I wish he had given us at least 25, for these which the Holy Spirit gave us through this faithful witness are full of tremendously practical truths. Have a good look at them. Read the book all the way through sometime. The last verse tells us, “Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." Notice it doesn’t say “a body” from death, but rather a soul. Here he is talking about spiritual death. The Bible makes it quite clear that it is possible to be spiritually dead while one is physically alive. Paul wrote to Timothy, “She that liveth in pleasure, is dead while she liveth.” This is what is wrong with some won derful people all of us know. They are dead while they live. They are phys ically alive to the world and others about them; however, they are dead to God. If an individual lives his life dead to God, he will die this same way and will be in eternity dead to God. This doesn’t mean that he will be ex terminated. He will be spiritually separated from God in hell. If you are on the job, the Lord can use you to be a means of saving peo ple from spiritual death. Can you think of any higher vocation than that? This, however, is not all. It says that “he shall hide a multitude of sins.” All sin has to be accounted
N OW, it may be that you are not altogether convinced that personal evangelism is your privilege and re sponsibility. Maybe you haven’t come to the point of agreeing with me that this is so tremendously impor tant. Let me share some reasons with you out of the Bible. First of all, God has ordained that every believer is to be a personal evangelist. Most of us are aware of II Corin thians 5:17 but we tend to stop with, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Don’t overlook the next verse, “All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the min i s t r y of reconciliation.” We are rightly thrilled to know that we are in Christ and have become new crea tures in Him. The Word of God clearly says, however, that if we are new creatures then to us has been en trusted the ministry of reconciliation. The Lord alw ays does exceeding abundantly above all we ask or want. The simple fact of the matter is that many who have been reconciled to God have no conception of the fact that He gives us two things. One is the gift of reconciling and the other is the gift of the ministry. We are happy to be reconciled but not always too happy about engaging in a ministry of reconciliation. This, however, is the way by which God ordained it. Do not read through this verse too quickly. Let it challenge your heart and life that you may seek the Lord’s will in personal evangelism. One other word from this passage. We are quite naturally brought to verse 19, “God was in Christ, recon ciling the world to himself, not im puting their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” There is too much muddled thinking on this subject.
Whose responsibility and privilege is it to present the ministry of recon ciliation? Some will say, “the preach er’s!” Or, “Isn’t that why we bring in evangelists?” The responsibility, however, rests upon every one who is a child of God. This is the way God has ordained it. Perhaps you have been a Christian for many years, knowing that you are a new creature but not realizing that God has given you a sacred ministry. If you have never done it before, go out today and engage in this privilege. Tell some one about the Lord Jesus Christ! The second reason for personal evangelism is that Christ engaged in soul winning. The Saviour is indeed our example. He made it quite clear that to follow Him would not be easy. Yet, Hi s divine promise was that through His Holy Spirit •He would come to work in and through us. Studying Christ’s ministry we see that He fed 5,000 people with only
Students have built a new bridge over the Biola "irrigation canal." Picturedabove are Mr. Ronald Hater (left), directorof Biola Alumni and Mr. Dick Gartrell,directorof Student Placement. Waterfrom thecreek which flows throughthe eastern sectionof the Biola Campus, is dam edup in several spots and water used for irrigational purposes. The bridge now makes if possible for students as well as faculty to have access to nearby La Mirada Blvd.
five loaves and two fishes. He walked on the water and performed all sorts of miracles by raising the dead and giving sight to the blind. While He preached to multitudes, however, let us not overlook the fact that He spent a tremendous amount of time talking to individuals. The Saviour turned away from the big crowds to concen trate on individuals. Since the Lord is our example we will do well to fol low Him in this aspect as well. Jesus sought out individuals to deal with them concerning their souls. His words moved them greatly. They were prepared to exercise faith. Think about the woman of Sama ria. He spoke to her frankly. Perhaps you are a little afraid of starting a conversation with someone. Study the Lord’s techniques. God has ordained that you should be engaged in per sonal evangelism. When I was in the armed forces I never had very much respect for an officer who told me to do things which he himself was not willing to do. If he did it himself, however, this was another matter. I was then quite willing and delighted to identify myself in the act re quired. The Lord Jesus Christ never tells us to do anything which He didn’t do Himself. He never tells us to do anything He cannot work out through us. There are no two ways about it: God ordained personal evangelism. He tells us that if we are a new crea tion then we are to get on with the job. If you have been reconciled, exer cise your ministry. Wherever the Lord Jesus Christ went, He presented the claims of His heavenly Father. People were blessed because of it. Are others blessed because of your Godly life and testimony to them? Will you say, “Lord Jesus, here I am. I’m ready to go wherever you wish today to present the truth about you. Now work through me for your glory.” God will do just this, if you ask Him. Make certain you are honest with the Lord, however, and when the oppor tunities come, don’t let them slip through your fingers.
The biggest fool in the world is the one who tries to fool himself. * * * DECADENCE It’s certainly sad to see how that our beloved land seems to be plunging rapidly down the corridor of time, heading toward certain destruction, un less by God’s grace we repent of our sins, seeking His divine mercy and forgiveness. While it may be true that church-going has increased SO percent in the past 10 tfears, yet during the same period, illegitimacy has increased 300%. Venereal disease has zoomed up ward by 72% in one year alone. Our national crime bill is an annual stag gering twenty-eight billion dollars. The divorce rate across the country aver ages about one in three. However, in Southern California, some areas have reported a ratio of about one for one. Furthermore, in our country there are more than five million alcoholics. The Bible prophetically tells us that this age of grace will end in moral de cadence and spiritual declension. The judgment of Almighty God is inevit able. Rejecting the Lord, we have exalted the philosophies of 'men, ignor ing such warnings as, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Religious leaders, too, have fallen into the same Satanic snare. One church denominational spokesman pens, “Noth ing can of itself always be labeled ‘wrong.’ One cannot, for instance, start from the position that sex relations before marriage or divorce are wrong or sinful in themselves. The only in trinsic evil is a lack of love. Nothing else makes a thing right or wrong.” As we look at the so-called “new moral ity,” the “God-is-dead” idea, and all of these other falacious philosophies, we know how tragic will be the results. How we desperately need to follow the exhortation given by God to the chil dren of Israel of old, “I f my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their vncked way8; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (II Chron. 7:14). * * * While reputation is precious, character is priceless. 8
PERSONAL EVANGELISM SERIES
by D. Stuart Briscoe
G od h a s o rda in ed that all who come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour should also fulfill a ministry of presenting their experience to oth ers. If we have no other reason for promulgating God’s truth through personal evangelism than the fact that Christ was also so engaged, it would be quite sufficient. There can be no alternative. We need to get on the job. More than this, however, is the fact that the Lord commanded soul win ning. Look at Acts 1:8, a most familiar portion, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” The Saviour did not say that when the Holy Spirit comes upon one he can talk about the things of eternity occa sionally. Speaking about the Lord is to be the consuming purpose of our hearts. His precious words here are given in the form of a command. When I was in the armed forces, I had some men in authority over me. They were most precise and explicit when asking me to do things. It was not a case of wishing me to, or hop ing that I would, but they told me in no uncertain terms; they left no doubt in my mind as to theii desires. We need to take the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ much more serious ly- The word “witnesses” comes from the Greek from which we get our word “martyr.” You know what a martyr is, but did you ever link it to being a witness? The two go together so beautifully. If you would be an effec tive witness for Christ anything can happen and probably will. You are to be ready for each possible circum stance as we read in I Peter 3:15. There is no doubt about the fact that many people do not engage in
personal evangelism simply because they are too afraid. Stop to consider our position, however, and realize that there is absolutely nothing to cause us concern. The Saviour promised be fore He went away, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” This being true, what have we to fear? Our responsibility is to make sure that we are obedient. What a wonderful thing it is to realize that the first disciples were contacted through personal evange lism. In studying any organization one must go back to its inception and meet its original leaders. While Chris tianity is not just a movement, but rather a living, vital organism, it is important to see how the Lord worked through this small but faithful band. When John the Baptist declared, “Behold the Lamb of God!" he was engaging in the most simplified form of personal evangelism. Here was one man saying to two men, “Look, there is God’s promise to us. He is the One who can meet our need." When the two disciples heard Him speak they followed Jesus. Knowing He was being followed, the Lord turned around and
One of the new clasroms of the Arizona Bible College, Phoenixafiliate of Biola, re centlyhas ben completed. Standing at the frontfrom leftto right areMr. Paul Eyman, dean; LarryCorcoran, student body president; andMr. Merv Fishback, executive administrator.
STIR ME! Stir me! O stir me. Lord, I care not how, But stir my heart in passion for the world. Stir me to give, to go— but most to pray. Stir till the blood-red banner be un furled O'er lands that still in heathen dark ness lie. Lands where the cross was never lifted high. Stir me! O stir me, Lord, till all my heart Is filled with strong compassion for these souls, Till that compelling "m ust" drives me to pray. Till Thy constraining love reach to the poles, Far north and south, in burning deep desire, Till east and west are caught in love's great fire. Stir me! O stir me, Lord, till prayer is pain— Till prayer is joy, till prayer turns into praise! Stir me, till heart and will and mind- yea, all, Is wholly thine to use through all the days. Stir, till I learn to pray exceedingly, Stir, till I learn to wait expectantly. Stir me, O stir me. Lord, Thy heart was stirred By love's intensest fire, till Thou didst give Thine only Son, Thy best beloved One, E'en to the dreadful cross, that I might live. Stir me to give myself so back to Thee That Thou canst give Thyself again, through me. Stir me! O stir me, Lord, for I can see The final glorious triumph day to break! The dawn already gilds the eastern sky, O, Church of Christ, arise, awake, awake! O stir us Lord, as heralds of that day. For night is past— Our King is on His way.
asked, “What do you want?” They were a little embarrassed and uttered what must have been the first thing to enter their heads, “Where do you live?" He invited them, “Come and see.” They were converted, but, of course, this is not the end of the story. Can you imagine having Simon as your big brother? Think of living in the same house with such a man. The first day he was converted Andrew went back to reach his callous brother. Peter was confronted with the Lord Jesus Christ and the transformation resulted. Christ in return made him a rock. In these first days of our Lord’s ministry He went about con tacting individuals. If we were to launch a new church, we might be tempted to have a campaign. A better way to do it might be to get a little group of people together who know and love the Saviour. Get them on fire witnessing and you will see a miracu lous change in your life as well as in theirs. When the Lord is ready He may send you to the uttermost parts of the earth. First of all, however, have you started at home with your own brother, seeking to lead him to Christ? SHIFTING THE SHADOWS Often we shy away from things we don’t understand, things which present dark shadows along our way. A fa ther was teaching his son how to ride a horse which for some reason always seemed skittish when anyone first mounted him. The wise parent told his boy, “The animal is afraid of his shadow. Always keep him facing the sun for, then, the shadows will all fall behind you!” This was good advice, not only to a future equestrian, but also for all of us. We build imaginary mountains, and then vainly struggle to climb over them; paper clouds we are afraid to face. That practical word of advice, applied to our circumstances of life, is to look toward the direction of the Son of Righteousness so that all of the shadowy substances will fall be hind us. May we confidently say with the Psalmist, “My help cometh from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” * * *
PERSONAL EVANGELISM SERIES
by D. Stuart Briscoe
were not the ones to be scattered but rather the general church members. The big names stayed in Jerusalem. Don’t you be waiting for some big name Christian, or your pastor, to do the job you are supposed to be achiev ing. Be sure you are taking your part. In these early days of the church it wasn’t the pulpit that was preaching, it was the pew. This is how these faithful witnesses rightly practiced evangelism. Would this be a good de scription of your church? As far as personal evangelism is concerned Christian experience com pels it. If you read your Bible care fully, you will always find that the blessings God has available are in tended to be made possible through you. How many Christians there are who just soak up and never give out. They are always going to meetings and listening to sermons. They read all the Christian books, ready to tell you how blessed they have been. God told Abraham that he would not only bless him, but also that He would make him a blessing. The Lord Jesus Christ declared, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” The Saviour says that when we are thirsty we are to come to Him and drink. The reason for that is so He can make rivers of living water flow from our lives. This is the basic principle of Christian experience. God blesses you so that you might be a blessing in return. You see, the privi lege is to be blessed while the respon sibility is to be a blessing. In summary, here are the basic rea sons for the importance of personal evangelism: God ordained it, Christ engaged in it, the Lord commanded it, the first disciples were contacted through it, the early church practiced it, and Christian experience compels it. Can we, dare we, do anything less? 11
I F fo r n o o th e r reason we should certainly want to engage in per sonal evangelism because the Lord commanded it. His very last recorded words, before ascending to the right hand of His Father, were, “Ye shall be witnesses unto me.” He didn’t say that they might be, or that if they had nothing else to do, they should be. He told them in no uncertain terms. The first disciples were contacted through personal evangelism. In the days of the early church soul winning was faithfully practiced. This is why it grew so phenominally. There is no other way to describe the results of their faithful efforts. They had evangelized the majority of the then known world. They did a job that by and large is not being done today. They suffered tremendous persecution. The devil didn’t intend to leave them com fo rtab le , satisfied, and settled down. The people were scattered all over as a result of the persecutions they endured. Wherever they went they preached the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a great danger in settling down, folding our hands in our little evangelical community. This is the story of many churches today. People are content and satisfied with their church, never bothering to move out side the sphere of activity in their cloistered atmosphere. I wonder, have you ever had some fat catch fire in your kitchen? In your effort to ex tinguish the blaze, you poured some water on it discovering, to your hor ror, that instead of extinguishing the blaze, you had spread it all over the kitchen. In a way, that is what the devil did with the apostles. He thought he would e x tin g u ish Christianity through p e rse cu tion . Instead, he caused it to grow and spread. The hand of the Lord was upon this faith ful band and a great many believed. In Acts 8:1 we learn that the apostles
PERSON EVANGELISM SERIES
■ by D. Stuart Briscoe
THE ADVANTAGES T h e r e are so m e very wonderful ad vantages co n c e rn in g p e rson a l evangelism which we should consider. The first is that it can be done by anyone. It doesn’t require an especial ly gifted evangelist to make the proc ess successful. If such a ministry of reconciliation could only be done by the specialized and gifted bold evan gelist, then the potential of reaching the lost would be greatly limited. Every bom again believer, however, should be a soul winner. This is God’s norm for the Christian. Consider for a moment the story of Naaman who was a great and mighty man of valor. He was a re spected and brave soldier serving as a leader in the army. His problem had to do with contracting leprosy. Every one was sorry for him, but there was nothing anyone could do to help. There was a little girl in his household who was a prisoner of war. She served as personal assistant to Naaman’s wife. Lonely, and far from home, she too, became concerned about Naaman’s disease. She opened her mouth and began to speak. She told her master of a man who was able to heal him. Who would listen, however, to a little prisoner of war in such a subordinate position? What an exaggerated claim for anyone to make. After all, Naaman was incurable. The little lass, however, would not be quiet. She kept right on. There were many lepers during the time of Naaman but he alone was healed. How did such a girl know that it could happen to him? It was noth ing less than God at work in her heart. People began to listen to what she said. He acted on what he heard and was healed of the disease. Now, if God can use a little child in such oppressed conditions think what He could do with your life. This should be a solemn thought. The Lord will take anyone who is ready and willing to be used. Through them He will pour untold blessings.
One day the Lord Jesus Christ was walking through Samaria. This was unusual since, from a human stand point, He was a Jew and the Jews had no dealing with the Samaritans. He sat down at the well of Sychar and started conversing with a woman who, from her appearance, could be seen as an individual of ill-repute. He told her the truth about herself and she got converted. She was understand ably so excited about it that she left her water bucket and went back home to tell others what had happened. Sychar’s well can still be seen in the holy land. It is approximately one mile from the village itself. How long has it been since you walked a mile? (My last recollection of the United States is that people seldom walk anywhere.
Family life is an important aspect in thelives of Biota faculty and staffmembers. Pictured center above is Dr. GlenO'Neal,professor of Practical Theology at Talbot Theological Semi nary. With him are membersof the family stil at home. From left to right are Mrs. O'Neal, daughters Becky and Phyllis and son Dale, thelatter of whom is also a graduate of Talbot. Dr. O'Neal servedas pastor in Brethren churches for more than twenty years. He is moderatorof theNational Felowship of Breth ren Churches and has ben a member for fiften yearsof theforeign missions board of the denomination.His wife manages the Haci enda ChristianRest Home in Anaheim which is maintained for Christians who are up in years and need this type of loving care.
Being an Englishman, occasionally I wanted to walk here and there. People thought I was ill. Someone told me that in the future there may be a real danger of American babies being born with wheels instead of feet.) Such a hike can take about 20 minutes. When she arrived in the community she met some men who had been her weakness. Christ, however, had dealt with her weaknesses already. She went straight to them and testified, “Come, see a man who told me all that ever I did. Is not this the Christ?’’ She was on the job with the result that a tremen- MY SAVIOUR CALLS M y Saviour died Himself, to all, How can I then refuse His call, To follow Him, to share His Cross To count all earthly gain but loss? He died for all, that all might live, How can I then refuse to give Allegiance to His cause? Can I Refuse the life to those who die? He laid aside heaven's glory bright To come to earth; have I the right To stay at home while millions cry To be released from Satan's tie? One day He came unto His own, But they received Him not, they had grown Too proud; Am I less proud than they If I His will do not obey? — Written by a nurse from the Congo dous blessing was given. Many people believed on the Lord because of what they heard this converted woman tell them. The Lord used a little slave girl, a fallen woman, and a poor demon- possessed maniac to do personal evan gelism. None of these had ever been to Bible school or seminary. Don’t ex cuse yourself for lack of training, un less you are just trying to find an excuse. Personal evangelism is some thing in which every believer must engage. All you need is a brain in your head, a tongue in your mouth, and Christ in your heart. If you have all three then you qualify.
Faith it not so much believing that God can, but rather that God will. * * * THE TREE OF LIFE Missionaries in South America tell the interesting story of a deadly poi sonous snake and the way God has provided for the defense of those whose paths it might cross. While out in the hush, the missionary was attracted by the obviously desperate cries of a bird, fluttering its wings protectively over its nest. Creeping slowly along the tree branch toward the baby birds was this venomous snake. Its glistening body and beady eyes were riveted upon the nest. All of a sudden, one of the birds, apparently the male, flew away, only to appear again in a few mo ments with a small leaf-covered twig in its beak. This was placed carefully across the branch so that it covered the way to the nest. Flying then to the top of the tree, the bird took up a silent vigil, seeming to await the ap proach of the enemy without the pre vious cries of desperation. As the rep tile reached the spot on the limb where the tung was resting, it all of a sud den threw its head back as if receiv ing some sort of stunning blow, and eventually slithered away into the tall grass. The missionary picked up the protective twig and took 'it back to ask natives what it was. They explained that it had come from a bush which was poisonous to the snake, one rep tiles had never been known to touch. What a protective shield for the seem ingly helpless bird! The Word of God refers to Satan as “that old serpent." Without question, his purpose and in terest is the spiritual destruction of men and women. The Lord has told us, however, of a tree that’s certain pro tection for old and young alike, namely the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ who gave His life for us on Calvary. Are you claiming this protection? Without it, you have no hope of salvation. Don’t try to ward off the attacks of Satan by yourself; it can’t be done. Use the power God affords, for “greater is He that is in you, that he that is in the world.’’ * The only difference between bitter and better is an "1." 13 * *
A m o st w o n d e r fu l aspect of per sonal evangelism is that it can be done by anyone. When we talk like this, some people aren’t too happy about it. Right away excuses come to mind. We are either convicted by such statements or we try to fight against them. If you have been making an excuse, I have some good news for you. In all probability your excuse is not a new one. No doubt it was made by someone in the Scriptures. One of the interesting things about reading the Bible is that it gives us the mistakes great men have made. Take Moses for instance. When God told him to talk to Pharaoh he began looking for a way out. He said, “They will not believe me, nor harken unto my voice; for they will say, The Lord hath not appeared unto thee.” Isn’t that an excuse we make in these days ? We say, “I can’t talk to anyone be cause he would never believe. I know him. Why, the person about whom I’m thinking is an unbeliever.” Remember this, however, the only people who can become believers are unbelievers. Therefore, if you know someone who is an unbeliever, he is automatically a potential believer. How do you know he won’t believe? If God tells you to go and speak to someone, whether he is a believer or not isn’t your concern. While you can’t make someone believe, you can tell them the good news. Your responsibility is to do just that. The second excuse Moses made was that they wouldn’t harken to his voice. I used to make this excuse with re gard to some of the tough young teen agers that we have in our part of the world. One day the Lord told me to talk to about a thousand of them. I discovered to my utter amazement that under their ragged, long hair and shabby exteriors, there were in quiring minds. Hearts longed to know the reality of life. All the time, how ever, I had been saying that they
wouldn’t listen to me. My problem was that I just hadn’t gotten to them. Be ware of making that mistake! The third excuse Moses came up with was, “They will say the Lord has not appeared unto me.” Moses felt the people would not accept the fact that God had revealed Himself to him. It
Dr. Ray A. Myers (right), chairman of the Biota Boardof Directors, turnsoverthe keyfor the new Student Union Building to Mr. Lyle Jacobson, this year's president of the Aso ciated Student Body. Theyoung people them selves, through self-assesment, are building the structure which will provide ofices,rec reationalarea and soda fountainfor Biota's growing studentbody. The firm which Mr. Myers heads, Myers BrothersConstruction Com pany, has erected al of themajor permanent buildings on the Biola Campus.
is this way today. People want some thing they can handle and see, so that they can rationalize everything. If the Lord tells you to speak don’t you worry about what others may or may not think. God specializes in taking the foolish things to confound the wise. The Lord has carefully chosen
on many subjects but when it came to the Lord he was speechless. So many people know all about sports, the new cars, television programs, but when it comes to speaking about God they just don’t know what to say. Do you have this problem? Beware of making excuses. It is so much easier to learn from other people's mistakes. That is why they are recorded for us in Scrip ture. Study them for yourself and then make up your mind to be a use ful, ready witness for the honor and glory of our blessed Lord. * * * When you sing your own praise, the unfortunate problem is that you'll always get the tune too high. * * * A GREATER DELIVERANCE An agnostic rather sneeringly asked a minister, “I f salvation is supposed to be so great, tell me what it did for poor Stephen when he was being stoned to death.” The man of God kindly re plied, “Perhaps that’s the way it seems to you on the surface. Have you for gotten, however, that while an angel wasn’t sent to deliver him, yet he was given the grace to say, ‘Lord, lay not this sin to their charge?’ He couldn’t have done it otherwise. Think of the miracle of forgiveness wrought in his heart! This was a greater triumph for Stephen and a more powerful testi mony to those about him than if a legion of angels had been sent to de liver him.” What a good reply this was to the scoffer’s question. You see, our idea of deliverance generally means to get out from underneath some load or problem. God’s divine way of escape, however, may be something entirely different. Remember that both Peter and John the Baptist were delivered from prison. Peter, in the providence of God, was delivered that he might carry on the ministry entrusted to him. John the Baptist was delivered, too, as he was martyred by the wicked ruler. Now, who can say that Peter’s deliv erance was greater than John’s, for the latter was taken immediately into the presence of the Lord, which for the Christian is far more blessed? May we desire that deliverance which is only and always in accordance with God’s divine will, and purpose, know ing that “He doeth all things well.” 15
people sometimes who don’t know all the answers for this very reason. Moses continued as he complained, “0 my Lord, I am not eloquent.” May I ask you, when did God say anything about eloquence ? This was another feeble excuse. Some people seem to think that if they are going to be witnesses then they have to speak in old-fashioned English, the King James variety. They feel that to be success ful they must get all their “thees” and “thous” in the proper place. The voice has to take on a pious tone, too. Don’t you believe i t ! The whole point of talking to people is that you might communicate effectively. In all proba bility the less eloquent you are, the more effective you will be. Incidental ly, when Moses said he wasn’t elo quent the next two words he used were “neither” a n d “heretofore.” That is pretty good for a man who can’t speak very well. Listen to Moses’ next problem, “I am slow of speech.” Does the Lord ever say how fast one has to talk? No one has to rattle off like a machine gun. Sometimes a slow, thoughtful ouiet voice does more good than the high powered professional approach. Here Moses was trying to tell the God who made his tongue how fast it was supposed to work. The Lord answered Moses in no uncertain terms. He asked. “Who made man’s mouth? Have not I, the Lord? Now, therefore, go Moses. Stop making ex cuses and just get going.” Jeremiah was another young man who was prone to make excuses. God gave direction to him as he was about to make his debut as a prophet. See the wonderful introduction in 1:5. You know it is interesting to have the introductions American chairmen give one sometimes. O ccasionally when they introduce me I have to look around to see who the preacher is talking about. The description doesn’t seem to fit me. When God introduces someone, however, it must be thrill ing. “Je rem iah , come forth and speak.” The first words to come from his mouth are, “Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak.” He was able to talk
^ n e o f t h e most tremendous ad- vantages of personal evangelism is that it can and should be done by every believer. God does not provide a specialized evangelist for this task, it should be everyone’s privilege. Soul winning can be engaged in anywhere. If such were possible only in church, some people would never find the Lord. God ordained that His message should go forth on the high ways and the byways, wherever hu man beings are to be found. The Lord is not limited in the times and places His Word goes forth. As soon as Matthew, the publican was converted, he sought out his business associates to tell them the good news. He was on the job. Those with whom we work is a fertile field for evangelism. Let us remember, however, we are paid to work not to preach. A lack of care on this point could bring disrepute on the Gospel message. Don’t ruin your witness by being unfaithful to your work. Always remember that witness is two-sided. There is the witness of the lips and the witness of the life. Let us consider this latter for a mo ment. So many will say, “I have a testimony with my life.” This is well and good, however, what good is your faith to others if you don’t explain it to them by your lips? On the other hand, if you are expert at witnessing with your lips but your life is no good, you do great harm to the truth. The two aspects must be in perfect bal ance. Another excellent place for personal evangelism is the home. Do you have a real burden for those who are near est and dearest to you? What about the neighbors next door or those homes which you frequently visit. Take every advantage available in such a place of sowing the seed. Traveling is another oppo rtun e place for testimony. Many people have found Christ as Saviour while jour
neying to various areas. Christians need to be alert and “buy up” every available moment for the Lord. Wher ever there are two people you have an ideal place for personal evangelism. God wants us to be at work all the time for His glory. Some of the most thrilling opportunities I have had in personal evangelism have been in the middle of the night. One occasion I was driving home after taking a series of meetings up in the northeast comer of England. It was late at night when I started home. I heard over the radio that the police were looking for a murderer in the area. Not too long after I started on my way, I saw a shadowy figure picked un by my headlights. He was looking for a “lift.” Something inside me said, “Keep going Stuart, he might be the one the police are hunting.” Some thing else told me, “Stop and pick him up!” This is what I did. As we drove through the night, I found he wasn’t a murderer at all but rather a fellow desperately seeking the truth. We talked for about two hours along the way. When I came to the road he needed to take, I pulled off the high way. We kept talking about the things of the Lord and as a result I spent the whole night talking to him. It was well worth it to see a soul bom again. While preaching in Berlin a young student came up to ask a question. We talked about the Lord for several hours. A friend of mine volunteered to take him home. The next morning when I saw him he looked decidedly tired. He explained, “I didn’t go to bed last night.. We stayed up until six talking about the way of eternal life. You see, God is not limited to a serv ice on Sunday morning to reach peo ple. We must be ready to buy up opportunities anywhere and any time. * * * The best place to go when troubles come is to. your knees. 16
parables and pearls
(AS FEATURED OVER THE BIOLA HOUR)
the condemned man it seems h a d climbed up into the belfry where she clung with desperation to the great clapper. It was her own body, painful as it was to her, which kept a sound from being heard. When it was dis covered what she had done because of her love for the soldier, she was brought before Cromwell. In tears she showed him her bruised body and bleed ing hands. The prime minister’s heart was so touched that he promised, “Your lover shall live because of your sacrifice.” What a picture this is of our spiritual condition! Because of sin, we are rebels against God, under the sentence of death. The one who loves us more than life, the Lord Jesus Christ, has intervened on our behalf. We, too, are saved, but only at the ex pense of His blessed sacrifice. Have you accepted this pardon full and free? “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ who died for us . . . ’” (I Thess. 5:9-10). * * * The human spirit fails unless the Holy Spirit fills. * * * SIGNS OF THE TIMES As concerned Christians and also citizens of this God-blessed land, we should rightly be exercised over some of the alarming trends in our nation’s judicial system. The laws seem to pro tect the criminal instead of showing any interest in punishment of wrong doers. The R eader ’ s D ig est recently pointed out that our Swpreme Court unfortunately has appeared to hand down decisions favoring the guilty. The magazine cited as an example a situa tion in a Washington, D.C., federal court where Judge George L. Hart faced the jury, shaking his finger angrily at forty-one-year-old James L.
WHAT IS A HOME? The walls of the home are not built of wood, brick, or stone, but of truth and loyalty. Unpleasant sounds, the friction of living, the clash of person alities, these are not deadened by Persian rugs or polished floors, but by conciliation, concession, and self- control. The house is not a structure where bodies meet, but a hearthstone upon which flames mingle, separate, flames of souls which the more per fectly they unite, the more clearly they shine, and the straighter they rise to ward Christ in heaven. Your house is your fortress in a warring world where a woman’s hand buckles on your armor in the morning and soothes your fa tigued mind at night. The beauty of the house is harmony. The security of the house is loyalty. The joy of a house is love. The plenty of a house is chil dren. The rule of the house is service. The comfort of a house is in contented spirits. The maker of a house, of a real human house, is the Lord Himself, the same who made the stars and es tablished the world. “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it” (Psalm 127:1); “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 3:10). * * * God never puts anyone in a place which is too small in which for him to grow. * * * THE SILENCE OF SACRIFICE Oliver Cromwell, prime minister of England, had decreed the death sent ence for a soldier who had failed on his watch. He was to die at the sounding of the evening curfew bell. But, for some reason, that night the bell didn’t toll. Perhaps you’ve heard of the in cident which has since been immortal ized in poetry and song. The fiancee ofPage 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36
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