Witnessing In Downtown Dallas
October 10, 2015
Out of the numerous positive responses, inquiries, and conversations I have every single time I go out witnessing on the streets, I usually have only one, maybe two, encounters that I consider frustrating. Yesterday it was from the most unlikely (it seemed at first) person.
A nice-looking family –a man, woman, and their young children– smiled at me, took one of my tracts, and asked me for directions to the aquarium, which I gave to them. A few hours later, in seeing them again, I said, “Oh, hi! Did you have a fun time at the aquarium?” The woman came over to me and said, without smiling, “Yes, but I want to ask you a question about your tract. It indicates that you are stating that people must obey Jesus, not simply believe in Him. Is that what you are saying?” I told her that that is precisely what I am stating because it is what the Word of God teaches. She was very upset and said that it was not good that I would be telling all these people such a thing. When I quoted some verses about obedience, she said that obedience verses are all about the initial act of turning to Christ at which time His righteousness is imputed to us forever, no matter what we do after that. (I sigh even now thinking of the wickedness of false christianity.)
I responded that we have Christ’s righteousness only as we remain in His love which we do through obedience to His commands. I quoted John 15:9,10 where Jesus says, “Now remain in My love. If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love.” Again she said that the commands are about believing in Jesus. I said, “Believing in Him means to hold to His teaching.” Then I quoted John 8:31 where Jesus says, “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples.” She said that Jesus was saying that only to His twelve disciples. I said, “No, everyone is to follow Him and His teaching, and following is to be His disciple. Following means to be listening to His voice and be obediently following Him and what He says, which is how we will never perish.” (I was at this point referring to John 10:27,28 which I figured she knew.) However, she would not accept what I was explaining and instead continued to insist that we have Christ’s righteousness through believing in Him, not through obeying Him.
It’s sad that although this woman asked me to clarify my beliefs and teachings for her, she did not like the answer and so would hardly let me give my reasons. Though I quoted many verses for her, including John 5:29 where Jesus says, “Those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned” and 1 John 3:24 which says, “Those who obey His commands live in Him and He in them”, she just kept interrupting, trying to straighten me out; and while shaking her head, she would talk over me saying things like, “No, no, you must be taking those verses out of context.” Truly how alarming it is that those who call themselves “Christians” will not listen even when numerous Scripture verses are quoted for them.
Here is my tract that she was reacting against:
Many so-called “Christians” believe that they can “believe” and that that is enough. It is not enough. James 2:19 says that even the demons believe. Of course they do. They actually know. But believing or knowing doesn’t save. Believing, trusting in, and obeying saves.
“Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord [Jesus] must turn away from wickedness.” (2 Tim. 2:19) “Turn away” means a life of constant turning AWAY –not towards. For even a dot of sin is “wickedness” to the Perfect Holy God.
So, it is only THE gospel that saves –no speck of arsenic in The Truth glass is allowed! Or it will kill you. 1 Cor. 15:2 says, “By this gospel you are saved, IF you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. OTHERWISE YOU HAVE BELIEVED IN VAIN.” Read the Bible to learn the true gospel.
That Truth is what this woman was refusing to believe. And when I supported it with more Scripture, she still refused. She didn’t mention my signs specifically (see the second and third photos below to see which ones I was wearing yesterday), but she probably didn’t truly believe those either, though both come straight from Scripture. The one about the kingdoms is from Col. 1:13,14 (as well as from John 3:19,20), and the one about sin’s captives called to freedom is from Isa. 49:9 (as well as from John 8:31-36).
Well, today I decided to make a sign that would not cause any doubt as to what I believe. And I included several Scripture references to point to for those who think we should all adhere, as they do, to a doctrine that denies the necessity of obeying Christ’s commands in order to walk in Eternal Life.
5. This last photo was taken a couple of weeks ago (9/28/15) because this young man had someone take it with his camera and he sent it to me (and I got his permission to post it). He is a Christian and we had a wonderful conversation about God’s Word. When using this sign I often quote 2 Cor. 10:5 which teaches us to take every thought captive to be obedient to Christ. I often add, “Because where our thoughts go, there go we.” And everyone understands that!
Well, witnessing about Jesus and His Word is a huge privilege. I love doing it! And though the frustrating people spur me on to keep studying, writing, and witnessing, the rest of my encounters –precious people and conversations also filled with the power of the Holy Spirit– spur me on as well.
May we all always seek the Truth of God’s Word fervently and teach only what is there between its pages.