Episode 44

October 24, 2023


Evangelism with Micah Tuttle

Hosted by

Erik Rasmussen
Evangelism with Micah Tuttle
The Concerning Him Podcast
Evangelism with Micah Tuttle

Oct 24 2023 | 00:49:36


Show Notes

Micah Tuttle joins the Concerning Him podcast to discuss his ministry in Peru and in the United States along with the biblical command for Christians to evangelize.

Concerning Him - https://concerninghim.com/
Concerning Him Podcast - https://concerninghim.com/podcast/

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:05] Speaker A: Welcome back to another episode of the Concerning Him podcast. For more information about concerning Him visit concerning Him more information about Emmaus Bible College visit emmaus.edu Today we are joined by Micah Tuttle. Welcome, Micah. [00:00:19] Speaker B: Yeah, thanks for having me, Eric. [00:00:21] Speaker A: You be here. I didn't tell you this. You might be one of the most requested people. People have said you should have Mike a tuttle on. And then I said, be great if I could just find out when he is in town. But now with Josiah playing on the soccer team and I'm coaching him, I got a little bit of insight. Hey, Coach, my dad's in town these days. Great. Thanks, Josiah. [00:00:43] Speaker B: Yeah, Josiah knows when we're in town. [00:00:45] Speaker A: It's helpful. Well, thank you for being here. I'm excited today to talk about Evangelism with you. I mean, people that know, you know, you love Evangelism, you love preaching the gospel. And so I want to talk to you about that today. But I think to start off, it would be great if we could just hear your story. Like, how did the Lord lead you to kind of be where you are today? [00:01:12] Speaker B: Yeah, it's always a dangerous thing to have somebody their story, because you could go on forever and ever. So how long is this answer? How long am I we take the. [00:01:22] Speaker A: Five to ten minute version. That'd be great. [00:01:24] Speaker B: Yeah. I grew up in a Christian home in Portland, Oregon. And really growing up, I was a very afraid little kid. I was very scared. I was afraid to go out in our front yard, and I was just afraid of people. I was afraid of everything. And as I got a little bit older, sports was a huge part of my life. Basketball was basically an idol. I slept with my basketball, and I had dreams and aspirations of playing in the NBA. I didn't want to be in front of people, really, but I did want to play basketball anyway, as fast forward to about when I was 17 and a half, 18 in there. So, end of high school, senior year in high school, I tore my ACL in my left knee, and I had some opportunities to play college basketball. And then with the injury, all my dreams and aspirations just went out the window. And so I was kind of like rock bottom. I found my identity and meaning and purpose in life and my ability to play basketball. So that with several other things just, like, drove me to read the Bible for myself. There was actually an evangelist in the street that was handing out tracks. One time I was with my friends, and he kind of stopped me and he said, have you ever read the Bible before? And I said, yeah, my dad reads the Bible to me at dinner table all the time. I go to Christian school, we go to church. And he's like and I said, I'm good. He's? No, but have you ever read the Bible for yourself? And that really kind of shocked, I guess. So there were several things all happening right after that is when I tore my ICL, just searching for meaning and purpose in life, even though I grew up in a great Christian home, great church and everything, teaching the truth, but it's like that veil lies over your heart until the Lord removes it, as Paul says. And so I began to read the Bible for myself, and I remember just kind of being shocked as I'm going through the Scriptures, being like, if this is true, we got to tell everybody about it. And I really remember realizing as I'm reading through the Scriptures, jesus is God. And if God took on human flesh, lived a perfect life in my place, died for my sin as a perfect sacrifice, and then rose again, we got to tell everybody in the world everything that moves. So as I'm reading through the Bible more and more, I'm just starting to think of like, how can I tell people about this? And I'm sure that I probably offended all kinds of people along the way. I remember just going standing in line at the grocery store specifically looking at the people around me and trying and just like giving them tracks and trying to tell them, hey, you got to read the Bible. And at gas stations in Oregon, they have gas station attendants that are out there. So, man, those guys, they're just sitting there pumping gas. And so I was just trying to talk to anybody and everybody, and I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't have anybody that had trained me or discipled me or anything like that. It was just as I was reading through the Scriptures, I just had this passion to like, we got to tell people about this. I had no idea really what I was doing. But anyway, so I guess that's kind of the quick version of from an unbeliever growing up in a Christian home. And Philippians three, I think it's about verse 1314 in there is a great verse that really impacted me as I was first reading through the Bible. But Paul says but what things were gained to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless. And I count all things but loss for the excellency of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whom I've suffered the loss of all things and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ and be found in him, not having righteousness of mine own which comes through the law, but that which comes through faith in Jesus. So just that idea of like everything that was gained to Paul as this religious leader knew all the answers from his Old Testament Scriptures, everything that was gained to him. It's really all loss if you don't know Christ, if you don't have a personal relationship with. So that kind of really hit me like a ton of bricks because I guess I had a lot that was gained to me as far as growing up in a stable Christian home. All kinds of things were kind of a gain to me, but it was really coming to the realization it's all dung. And that's why I memorized it in the King James, because it uses the word dung, but refuse or whatever. Garbage. It's all garbage. It's all dung if I don't know Christ. And as I'm reading the Bible for the first time, I'm like, you can actually know the God of the universe who's spoken everything into existence, and all these things kind of hitting me like a ton of bricks and feeling like, you can know God. There's only one life to live soon to a pass, only what's done for Christ will last. I started memorizing different passages every time I come to a passage, that, man, that's a good one. I'm memorizing that one or this book. That's a good book right there. I'm memorizing Ephesians or I'm memorizing James, and then I would just go through memorizing the Scriptures, and, man, the Lord just really got a hold of my heart then as like, an 18 year old. And then, yeah, just right from the beginning, feeling like I got to tell people about this. I wouldn't even say that evangelism isn't necessarily my gift. Everyone says, oh, Micah, your gift is evangelism. I don't really know that that's the case. I do feel a burning passion to share the Gospel with anybody and everybody, but more than anything, I think we're commanded to do it as Christians. So, yeah, I guess I was kind of an evangelist right from the beginning. [00:07:20] Speaker A: So from that point to becoming a missionary, what was the process there? How did that come about? [00:07:28] Speaker B: Yeah. So Amy, my wife now, was my girlfriend in high school. And actually, she was kind of one of those things that the Lord used to when I was rock bottom, I tore my ACL, the evangelist in the street talking to me. And then the pretty girl at school was also encouraging me. Hey, you should read the anyway, yeah, in that whole process that I just explained about a year after, amy was really encouraging me to read the Bible. She saw that I was radically wasn't. I didn't get saved or go Christian because I was trying to get the girl, but I kind of, like, forgot about that. But then later, she kind of came back around and we started talking, and anyway, we ended up in a dating relationship. So right after high school, all I wanted to do was get married, and somebody had told me, no money, no honey, and so that means you want to get married, you need to have a job. And so my dad was an electrician. It was a good job for him, and I just thought, I'm going to skip the college route and just do an electrical apprenticeship. So I was able to get into an electrical apprenticeship. I went through a five year apprenticeship program. And Amy and I, as soon as I got accepted into that program, we got married. We were 19 and 20 at that point. Both of us were just growing in the Lord together, really involved at church. We come from an assembly in Portland, Oregon, and actually, it's the same assembly where Jim Elliott was from. [00:09:05] Speaker A: Okay. [00:09:06] Speaker B: And so Jim Elliot had a brother named Bert Elliott who married Colleen, and they went to Peru in 1949, and the Lord used them to plant something like 150 churches on the coast, the mountains, the jungle, just all over Peru. And they had a missions trip planned from our church that would go and visit them. And so Amy and I went on that missions trip. And at this point, I was just all wrapped up in my career as an electrician and going through my apprenticeship. And when we went on this missions trip, I remember it was awesome. It was great. I'd never been in a foreign country before. I'd never seen what missionaries do firsthand. But at the end of those it was a three week trip. At the end of those three weeks, amy and I sat on the plane together, and we flew back to the States. And I remember telling Amy, that was interesting experience, three weeks in another country, seeing what missionaries do. But I would never want to live in a country like that. I told Amy that, and you should never say those kind of statements. So in the course of the next couple years, just as I'm reading the scriptures more, I'm memorizing Scripture more, I'm trying to share the gospel with everybody. Amy and I are really serving at church. We're very involved, and we're just growing and growing. And pretty soon I got to this point where I was just like, here I am. Lord send me. I'll go anywhere, I don't care where. And I didn't know what that looked like, if it was full time work in the United States or if it was a foreign country or whatever that would be, or know, serving the Lord as an electrician. And I think that any of those options would have been great options to pursue. But then it seemed like the Lord sent missionary after missionary after missionary to our church that gave missionary reports, and each missionary report was just like I mean, it seemed like it was a dagger to my chest, like, just the conviction that it brought. And I don't know if anyone else was convicted by the messages that these missionaries brought, but I kind of think that the Lord sent these missionaries just for me. And Amy was ready for the mission field years before. She was just kind of waiting for me. And anyway, yeah, then the Elliott's, who we had visited on that missions trip. They came and gave a report at our church and it was kind of the last straw for me. And they invited us to come. We had them over to lunch after he preached at church and then they kind of formally invited us to, why don't you come and help us in Peru? They suggested, Why don't you just come for a year? Give it a one year trial. Because I was really worried. Maybe I can't learn the language. Maybe, like, long term, I'll hate the culture. Maybe I don't know where money's coming from. How does that quite I felt secure in my wages as an electrician. Electricians make quite a lot of money in the Pacific Northwest, and it was a good career for my dad and everything and retirement and all that. And so that was really a hard thing. But then when they suggested, why don't you just come for a year? Take a year off work if you can do that, and go for a year and try to learn the language, try to see what the missionaries do, try to learn as much as you can at the end of the year, like Reevaluate having prayed the whole year. And so we did that. And at the end of that year, during the course of that year, the Lord just really got a hold of my life even more. I mean, the Lord's always continually getting more and more hold of my life and should be getting more and more hold of each Christian's life. But yeah, by the end of that year, we're just like, all in, we're coming back. [00:12:56] Speaker A: So what year was that that you first went down to? [00:12:59] Speaker B: 2000. [00:12:59] Speaker A: 2000. And you were there year round? For the most part. For how many years? [00:13:04] Speaker B: Till 2017. Till 2017. Then we came back to the States and we felt like the Lord was calling us to stay in the States and encourage his people in the areas of evangelism, discipleship, church planting and missions. [00:13:21] Speaker A: So you're still going back to Peru some, is that correct? [00:13:24] Speaker B: Yeah, we'll be there. So in these last five, six years, we have basically been about three months of the year in Peru. This year we're going to be about five months. We'll be January to May in Peru. So if anybody is listening and they'd like to join us for those five or so months in Peru, we want to start kind of a discipleship program where we take young men and young women with us to just be exposed to the mission field, just to seek the Lord during that time. And yeah, do as much evangelism, see the villages, try to encourage the saints there. The Lord, over the years that we were there, raised up about 30 churches in 30 different villages along one of the tributaries to the Amazon, the Wajaga River. And man, I love it. I belong in the jungle. I should be in the jungle. Sometimes I just sit here and I think, why am I here? The Lord's given us so much to do, and I'm just preaching all over the place and trying to encourage the Lord's people. Like I just said, we felt like the Lord called us to encourage his people in areas evangelism, discipleship, church planting and missions, and that's what the Lord's he's just opened up so many doors to do that, and it's been tremendous. But my heart's in Peru. [00:14:37] Speaker A: Well, then let's talk about Peru for a minute, then. What does that look like? Walk us through a day or a week or a month. What is life like as a missionary in Peru? [00:14:51] Speaker B: Of course, that all depends on where you're at the first couple of years. You're learning language, you're learning the culture, you're trying the best you can. You're learning from the hopefully there's other missionaries that you're learning from that. We were with the Elliott's, learning from them every day. We just went with the Elliott's. We're learning Spanish. We're just seeing what they do. And then after that first year, then we moved up into the Andes mountains, and we were just with Peruvians up there, and we were learning from Peruvian saints that were really going for it, evangelism and discipleship, church planting. We were learning from Peruvian saints that were going forward with the flag of Zion, waving it across the Andes mountains. And so that was tremendous to learn from Peruvians. And then more and more, you're starting to use your gifts and abilities. I guess there is about probably 1215 years in there that I would try to do open air preaching probably twice a week in the main square or in the marketplace. And usually big crowds will gather around in the marketplace or in the main square, up in the Andes mountains or in the jungle, even on the coast, which is a lot more technologically advanced, a lot more like the United States when you're in some of the coastal towns. Trujillo is a place where we live for some years. Lima is huge. It's a metropolis. But still, a white guy preaching with a funny accent on top of a table usually draws a lot of people in. So anyway, I would use open air preaching. There oftentimes one on one evangelism also. But whatever. I just want to get the gospel out, whatever that takes. Here in the United States, open air preaching, it's pretty tough to get people to stop and listen. I've done it in a few places with different groups of people where it's worked. So here, really one on one evangelism, I feel like, is a lot more effective, and I just want to do what's effective. It's exciting to preach on top of the table, to get 300 people all gathered around, that's awesome. But just want to get the gospel out to as many people as possible. So, anyway, missions, I would say this. You ask about what missions looks like. [00:17:17] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:17:20] Speaker B: Sadly, I would say missions in a lot of places is a big joke nowadays as far as there's a lot of great missionaries that are doing a lot of great things and praise the Lord. We got to see many of those missionaries and learn from those. But we also was like the Lord took us to kind of meet kind of a wide, broad scope of different missionaries to see what they did. And I feel like the Lord kind of taught us learn from these people and learn what not to do from these people and different things like that. And I say big joke because in a lot of places, it's no longer about the gospel. It's no longer about Christ's bride and forming the church. And that's really mission should be all about preaching Christ crucified and risen again. And now he's calling a people out for himself and then teaching the Scriptures and making disciples and then trying to multiply and then passing the work on to the nationals and going on to another place. That's what missions should look like. But in a lot of places, sadly, it's no longer about the gospel. It's more like social work. And social work is great. Digging wells, orphanages, hospitals do that. But at the same time, you need to use that to open up the doors to kind of earn a right to share the gospel with the people. And whatever you need to do to earn a right to get the gospel to the people, you show people the love of Christ so that you can then share the gospel with them. But that's where we need to get to. We need to share the gospel with people and then try to make disciples and get people into God's word and plant churches. But oftentimes it seems like missions just kind of now stops with the social work. And I would, as maybe you're sensing, vehemently disagree with that kind of missions. [00:19:19] Speaker A: Tell me if I'm wrong, but my observation would be you, whatever, five, six, seven years ago, moved back from Peru, home base, now Dubuque, Iowa. But you're kind of all over the states. Your mindset was not necessarily, well, I was a missionary and now I'm just living in the States. I would think, from what you're describing, right, discipleship, evangelism, church planning, these things that what you're viewing about what you're doing here in the US is still the work of a missionary. Is that yeah. [00:19:45] Speaker B: Yeah. Well, so on one side, I would say every Christian is a yeah, and I'm sure you'd agree with that in one sense of the word. In another sense, there are missionaries that are sent to foreign fields in a full time capacity there are missionaries that are sent in a full time capacity here to the homeland and man. Here in the United States, just over the course of the almost 18 years that we were in Peru and you see the deterioration of our country, the United States of America, which has famously sent so many missionaries down through the last hundred years, or maybe since the birth of our nation and supported foreign missions also. But man, there's such a need here in the United States. So when we came back from Peru and you saw the need here, it was kind of overwhelming and feeling like, man, United States is in greater need for missionaries than Peru is now or than many other countries. So anyway, seeing the need here and then everywhere I go, I want to be doing evangelism. And I love to, wherever I'm at, try to take kind of a spiritual temperature of a place. So whatever town, I was just in San Antonio. Well, I was just in Greensboro, North Carolina. Before that, I was in San Antonio. And so in both of these places, just kind of going out into the streets and trying to share the gospel with some people and ask questions. I love asking questions. And you kind of get a spiritual temperature of the people and the place. And you know what? I would say nowadays people are very spiritual, very interested in spiritual things, but they've got some weird ideas, really weird ideas. But people are more open to talking about spiritual things than I've ever seen before. And that's encouraging and exciting to me. At least you can get into spiritual conversations with people pretty easily. So, yeah, missions wherever you're at. And the Lord's given us the opportunity to be able to do this full time. Kind of always at a loss to explain how the Lord's raised up financial support. People have supported us. We've never raised support or anything like that. But the Lord's provided enough for us to be able to dedicate full time efforts and energies to sharing the gospel, making disciples, trying to encourage his people, planting churches wherever we're what what are. [00:22:27] Speaker A: Some of the things then that you've been doing recently in the States as you're traveling around? What are projects or I'm not sure specifically. What are some things that you've been a part of recently? [00:22:39] Speaker B: So we did spend about two years. Our schedule has been super full as the calendar is just super full. And I'm preaching a lot of conferences and youth events and churches along the way. And everywhere I go, I try to get people together and go out and do evangelism. I don't just want to talk about it like I want to gather people up and let's go out and do it. I was going to say. So we tried to fit into the middle of our Itinerant ministry, helping to plant a church in Watsonville, California, which is close to Santa Cruz, California, the Bay Area, San Francisco area. And so we were kind of in and out. There's a great team there that has a vision for planting churches especially on the western half of the country. The western half of the country, man, is just such a dark place compared to really Midwest Bible Belt east coast. As you go farther north on the east, you can definitely and I can say this because I've doing evangelism in all these different places, you can feel the spiritual temperature of each place. But man, the whole western side of the country is such there's such a need. There's need everywhere. There's just need everywhere. But anyway, so we wanted to help this team that was the freedom teams that's trying to plant churches there on the western half. And they're starting in California. And so we would drop in there and just try to share the gospel as much as we could go. And the new believers try to pour into them, try to encourage the work there. We're learning from them also, man, they're a tremendous team of great people to learn from also. So we want to be about church planting and that's what they're doing. And I don't want to just be talking about it because I'm talking about it all the time, but they're doing it. And so we wanted to go and try to help. They also needed Spanish speakers and an evangelist. And so we fit right in there. After about two years, which is kind of the time that we had put on to reevaluate at the end of two years, we felt like at least for now, the Lord was saying to not establish ourselves there permanently, at least for the time. So we really realized we need to either focus all in on one place or continue the itinerant work. And for now, we felt like the Lord was saying continue the itinerant work, rather than focusing in on that place right there. But anyway, we are praying about we would love to go to just a brand new place, focus in on that place, and begin a church plant. And so we're praying for that. And we're not sure where that would be, but probably coming up in the near future, that's our hope. [00:25:22] Speaker A: You mentioned a few minutes ago kind of the difference between when you're in Peru, the open air street preaching being much more effective than here in the States, thinking about our audience mostly being people, Christians here in the States who are feeling a conviction or feeling a I need to evangelize more, I guess. What is your approach here in the US. To evangelism? I guess I've read a lot of your stories on Facebook and things like that, but how do you view starting these types of conversations? What's your goal in them? [00:25:57] Speaker B: Yeah, well, it's great that you ask what's your goal? Because I think that's really important, that I guess a couple of goals in mind. One goal is this, and this can be taken the wrong way. So I don't want this to be taken the wrong way, but one goal is I want to have spiritual conversations with people. Hopefully I'm getting to the gospel, but I want to have spiritual conversations with people that leaves them with a positive experience that they've had with a Christian. Because I think a lot of people have had a bad experience with Christians or with churches. They go into a church a lot of times, it's an excuse. They really love their sin rather than more than they could love God or love Jesus. And so they follow their sin and then they'll just come up with an excuse about bad experience at church or bad experience with Christians. But legitimately. I'm sure a lot of people have had bad experiences with churches and with so one of my goals in sharing the gospel with people, or at least talking about the Bible, introducing a spiritual conversation, is I want people to have a positive experience with a Christian talking about spiritual things, talking about the Bible, talking about Jesus. So where I don't want that to be misunderstood. I don't want to water down the gospel to make it more palatable for the sinner, kind of watering down the main tenets of the gospel. I don't want to do that in order to have them have a positive experience, but I do want them to have a positive experience as far as like I'm somebody that I hope I'm trying to show them some love and compassion. I want to hear them their point of view. And when you do that, it's shocking. People just totally open up people. I mean, I've had many people like burst into tears or you're in a conversation. And when you listen to somebody and you try to understand where they're coming from and you show them love and concern and compassion where they're coming from and then you come gently lovingly with the scriptures and pointing them to the truth of the Scriptures oftentimes, yeah, I want to take them to Bible stories. I want to take them to God's word. God's word is what's going to transform people. Amen. Not my own words or even my own compassion or love that I'm trying to show to people. Bring them around. Yeah, trying to show them love and compassion, trying to hear them, but then bringing them around to scriptures. And many times I've had people at the end of a conversation say, I've never had a conversation with a Christian like this before. I've never understood the gospel before. I've for the first time understood who Jesus is. And so that is one of my goals as I'm sharing the gospel with people. And I think in the beginning when I was talking about when I was first saved, I was just trying to share the gospel with everybody. I was probably clobbering people over the head with the Bible, so to speak. And I wish I could get a lot of that back. I still, I'm sure, mess things up. Oftentimes I'm just kind know, tripping over myself and blumbering. You know, there's this passage in Amos, and I love this passage, and it encourages me. Hopefully it can encourage you that are listening. But then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, Amaziah was the king. And he's telling Amos, I don't want you preaching anymore. No more evangelism here. Get out. And then Amos answered and said to Amaziah, I'm not a prophet, nor the son of a prophet. I'm a herdsman and a grower of sycamore figs. But the Lord took me from following the flock and said to me, go prophesy to my people Israel. And I love that verse because Amos is just like, first, Amaziah is like, Get out of here, you prophet. And Amos is like, I'm not a prophet. I'm just an electrician. I'm just the son of an electrician. I mean, amos says I'm a farmer. But God took me from following the wire reel, the flock in Amos's case, and said to me, go preach to my people. And that's what I feel like in a lot of ways. I'm nothing special. I'm just an electrician. But I have God's word. And I've tried to just put it in my heart and tried to just spend a lot of time meditating and memorizing it. And, man, I want to know God. I want to walk with God, and I want to tell others about Him. And so, just like Amos kind of a nobody, but God has taken me from following the wire reel. He's taken you. He wants to use whoever it is with their gifts and abilities, whether that's in their secular work, wherever you are, but to go forward and preach His Word to his people. Now, I don't mean that you need to be a preacher necessarily, in the sense of the word that we think of it, but go forward in evangelism, just trying to talk with people about the Lord Jesus Christ, trying to talk with people about the Bible, and, man, there's nothing better than that. Burt Elliott used to say, I'm talking a lot here. I don't know if you're no, I. [00:31:13] Speaker A: Want you to talk a lot. This is wonderful. [00:31:15] Speaker B: Burt Elliott, the senior missionary, that Jim Elliott's brother, that they had invited us to come to Peru to work with and kind of follow up with the work that they had started there over many years. But he used to say that first year that we spent with him, I would go everywhere with him and just saw how he did everything. But he used to always say, Micah, what a life. What of the I mean, there's a lot of things I remember about Bert that were really impacting, but that was just a great thing because he was referring to what a tremendous honor and opportunity that we have as Christians to live this life as God's ambassadors. You're here for such a short amount of time in comparison to eternity, and we get to go forward with the flag of Zion, wave it across the land, trying to share the gospel and the love of Christ with anybody and everybody, trying to encourage the bride of Christ, the church. I mean, what a life. What a life. There's nothing better than that. And that was just he was just full of joy, recognizing that God had given him just the dream life. Other people might see his life and be like, that is not the dream life. But for him and really for anyone that loves the Lord, he was living the dream. Living the dream is walking with the Lord, knowing Him and being able to dedicate full time to preaching His Word and encouraging his people. There's nothing better than that. [00:32:53] Speaker A: How do you recommend somebody you talked about yourself as a child more scared or timid, people that are afraid of having these gospel centered conversations. How would you encourage somebody to start those types of conversations, to start these one on one relationships? [00:33:13] Speaker B: Well, first of all, I would say there's basically, I think, three things that keep the normal Christian from sharing the Gospel on a regular basis. Number one is just fear of other people, fear of how people are going to react. And this is normal. I feel all three of these things that I'm going to say. But fear of other people, the answer to all three of these things is the same, is the same answer. Okay, I'll get to that. But fear of other people, this keeps us from evangelism. Also a lack of passion. We have a lack of passion. I mean, the normal Christian today, we just have a lack of passion. Like, the Bible doesn't really stir our hearts that much, and we're lethargic we're dull. And that is the normal Christian today, sadly. So there's this lack of passion. We're more passionate about sports. We can talk about sports. We can talk about the stock market. I've talked to so many Christians. We talk about the NFL or what the stock market is doing, or pop culture or hunting and fishing, and I love those things. But at the same time, what are you most passionate about? And so many Christians are so passionate about, once again, sports. And then you want to talk to them about the Bible or Jesus, and it's like all of a sudden, they kind of speak with a whole different tone in their voice or just the passion is gone. So passion is a lack of passion. We're fearful of what people will think of us. And then thirdly, the other big obstacle, I think, is we're afraid we don't have the answers. Like we'll get in a conversation and, man, they're going to have a question. I'm not sure how to answer that. And so the answer to all three of these things is the same. Read your Bible. Read your Bible as you read your Bible. More and more just saturate yourself with God's Word. You should always be memorizing something. You should be reading through the Scriptures on a daily basis. Like a lot of somebody, when I first got saved, there's another guy, Jordan Sheets, that got saved at the same or he got saved about probably a year before I did. But he was just devouring his Bible and his big thing was read twelve chapters a day because then you can get through the Bible about four times a year. And so I adopted that and we were like just reading, read twelve chapters a day. I did that for years, just reading, reading, reading. And you just get done, you read again. But the Bible, as you get more and more saturated with the Bible, it solves these problems because pretty soon it gives you a passion. The more and more Bible goes in Jeremiah said, or in Jeremiah, chapter 20, verse nine, he's praying and he says, then I said, I will not make mention of Him nor speak anymore in his name. But His Word was in my heart like a burning fire. It was shut up in my bones. I was weary of holding it back and I couldn't. And that's God's Word gets into your heart and it starts to become this burning fire in your heart, in your bones. And it's just like you get to this point where you were once like, I'm not going to tell anybody. I'm done talking to people about this. Everybody, I'm afraid of people. The passion is gone. But as you read God's Word, it gets in your heart, it gets into your bones. It's just you get to this point where I can't hold it back anymore. So reading God's Word, it gives you a passion. It also gives you answers. As you're reading, you learn more and more and you're remembering different scriptures, whatever it takes to remember, oh, that's where that passage is. I could use that in a conversation or I could share this in this kind of a situation. And you're learning the Scriptures more and more, and you become more confident in being able to answer people's questions. And really you can boil down to the there's about ten basic questions that everybody asks in different forms. And man, if you can really nail those questions down with God's Word. So there you've kind of discarded the passion problem as reading the Bible. When you start reading the Bible, reading the Bible is also going to kind of discard the problem of not having answers because the more you know it, the more ready you're going to be able to be. And then the other is fear, the fear of man. And this was a big one. Like, you started out with that question when I was little and I was just so afraid of people. But you know what? As I began once again reading the Bible, I started to realize if this God of the Bible is for me, who can be against me. And you just begin to realize if you got to fear somebody, you should fear God. So you kind of fight fear with fear. One day I'm going to have to give an account to the God of the universe, the God who has created me in his image, filled my life with meaning and purpose, and he's redeemed me through the blood of his own son. I'm going to have to give an account to Him one day. And, man, what is that day going to be like? What's that day going to be like for me? What's it going to be like for you? What's it going to be like for each Christian that's listening to this podcast right now? That should scare you. Not that you're going to lose your salvation on that day or anything, but two Corinthians, chapter five. Read that chapter, verse ten. It's a scary verse right there. But we're going to have to give an account for everything that we've done in the flesh, whether good or bad, as Christians. Once again, I don't think this is to lose salvation or anything like that, but what does that day look like exactly? So you fight fear. I want to live a life well lived for the Lord so that on that day, I have no reason to be ashamed. But if I'm continually afraid of people and not sharing the gospel, not going forward with my gifts and abilities, and that's keeping me from or it's causing me to head towards that day of judgment or the beam of seat of Christ where I'm just going to be on that day completely ashamed of myself. I don't want that to happen. So anyway, every time I'm kind of nervous and afraid, and I'm always nervous and afraid a little bit before I'm going to share the Gospel with people, I'm going to go open or preach somewhere or I'm just going to go out and do one on one evangelism or door to door. But it is interesting. Once you get started, the first step is the hardest thing. Once you get started, it's much easier. The first step is always the most difficult thing. [00:39:39] Speaker A: I want to close just with two more questions for you. The first is, and you've hit on this in a lot of ways, and I could probably predict your answer at this point, but I'm curious for somebody who says, I don't feel the Lord calling me to be a missionary, to be a full time evangelist, I don't think I have the gift of evangelism. I think my job should just be to go and to work, make the money, give it to my church, give it to missionaries. But my job is not to evangelize. What do you say to somebody who has that thought process or that attitude? [00:40:11] Speaker B: Yeah. Read the Bible. Okay, that was my answer, and I'm sorry that no, that was my answer. Read and pray. Read and pray. And it really, I mean, you can't overemphasize those two things or read and pray. This is what's going to transform our lives. Because through those two things we're cultivating a more and more intimate relationship with the living God and then developing our gifts and abilities and going forward with Him. But here, let me give an illustration. I think sports, once again, you think of the Green Bay Packers fan that wears the cheese head and he goes with his shirt off and it's painted green and yellow and he's got the cheese head once and he's going in there and he is just, I mean, yelling, Go Packers, go back. There's no shame. You see these guys on TV and they're in the stands and it's like there is no shame. It's unbelievable what these fans do. It's because they have almost set aside their team as holy they've set aside their team as so special that it doesn't matter what anybody else thinks. I don't care what anybody else thinks. I am so enamored with the packers. And so first, Peter 315, probably the most widely known verse as far as Evangelism sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, or set apart Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being able to give an answer to those that would so. But that whole thing of set aside Christ as Lord in your hearts, oftentimes I think we've set aside the Green Bay Packers as Lord in our hearts or we've set aside sports or money or entertainment or whatever it is. We're more passionate about those things. But if you start to set apart Christ as Lord in your heart, out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks, pretty soon you're going to become what that Green Bay Packers fan was. But for Jesus, like all of a sudden it doesn't matter what everyone else thinks. I've set apart Christ as Lord in my heart, and out of the abundance of my heart the mouth speaks. And I think that we just need to that this is coming back to what I mentioned earlier about just passion. Like where's the passion? We need prophets. We need prophets today. And I don't mean in the sense of foretelling the future. I just mean in telling God's word like the prophet types. And you think of I love Amos, I already mentioned Amos, but he's just a farmer. Yet he just goes forward roaring God's word like a lion. David, he starts out as a shepherd, he's out there following the sheep and yet he's also, I mean, a prophet type. As he was writing the Psalms out there, you've got all these different people down through the Scriptures. Peter's a fisherman and Matthew's a tax collector and all these kind of just normal people. But God set their hearts on fire through his word. And then this whole idea of just setting apart they've set apart. Christ is lower in their hearts. And when you do that, all of a sudden nothing else matters. This life is so short in comparison to eternity. Only one life to live soon to a pass. Only what's done for Christ will last. He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. You can't keep your life, so you might as well give it for what you can't lose your citizenship in heaven. Give everything and kind of the brevity of life. Having recognizing this life is so short. The brevity of life, you're like a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. James says that to get a hold of the brevity of life and the things that really matter, god's word is what matters. And souls, those are the two things that are eternal. Invest in those things, and then I really think you will live a life not wasted. And I think that used to be a major fear of mine. I do not want to live a wasted life. I do not want to wake up on my deathbed, 89 years old, and just be thinking to myself, I'm about to pass into eternity, and I just wasted it. I just lived my whole life. For me, evangelism obviously isn't everyone's gift gift, and once again, I don't know if it's my gift. I see the importance of it, and it's something that I think that we need to be about. So, yeah, engaging in evangelism is a great way to not waste your life. [00:45:08] Speaker A: Final question, then. Somebody who does have the passion and wants to do this full time, they look at a story like yours or more historic story like Jim Elliott or David Brainerd or some of these wonderful men of the past who full time missions. What advice would you give to a young man or a young woman or a young married couple who are wanting to do this full time? [00:45:35] Speaker B: Yeah, several things. One, I would say do it. We need to do it, because a lot of times I meet people that have a passion to do this, and they want they want to share the gospel, but we're just busy and and life happens, and you just kind of and you don't feed that flame. The more you feed the flame and the more you do it, the more encouraged and exciting it is, and you want to go do it more. It's like extreme sports. I mean, United States, we love extreme sports and bungee jumping or, I don't know, parachuting or different things. Not everybody, but extreme sports is like this big deal. You want the ultimate extreme sport. It's evangelism. It's got the fear factor, kind of maybe the danger factor a little bit, even though in the United States, not really, but adrenaline, really, adrenaline rush. And you're talking about, this is the greatest message in the entire universe. There's nothing better than this, so do it. Do it. Number two, gather up some people and take them along. Spread the passion, spread the flame. And I think that's really an important thing. People that maybe have the gift of evangelism or passionate about evangelism, man, gather up some people and go and do it. You do it, but then gather others and do it. Another thing I would warn against, though, is this. I've met people in this area, and I think this has been a danger for me that evangelism is not the goal of the church. Evangelism is not the goal of your existence. Telling people about God is not the goal of your existence. The goal of your existence and the goal of the church is worship. You were created to worship God. The church has been formed by the Lord Jesus Christ as his universal body, to worship Him, to worship God. And the reason we do evangelism or missions is because worship doesn't exist in a whole lot of different places. Worship doesn't exist in this neighborhood or that neighborhood or that whole nation or that whole people group. So missions evangelism exists because worship doesn't. So what I want to say with that, though, is I think a lot of times I've met people that are so passionate about evangelism, but it's almost more important to them than knowing God, and that can't get out of whack. We are all about, and I want to be all about worshipping God, knowing God, walking with God, cultivating a more and more intimate relationship with Him. And I don't think that we can kind of misconstrue evangelism as I'm sharing the gospel with people. So that's like the same as equating that with knowing God. I mean, we ought to be about evangelism. But the reason we're doing that is because there are people out there that don't worship our God. And so first and foremost and foremost, speaking to somebody that's passionate about evangelism, I just want to warn against falling away or growing lukewarm in your relationship with the Lord, because obviously that's going to affect your passion for evangelism later on down the line. [00:48:56] Speaker A: So again, read your Bible. [00:48:58] Speaker B: Yeah. Read your Bible. [00:49:00] Speaker A: Hey, thank you very much. This has been a great conversation. I really appreciate having you in and you taking the time for this. [00:49:06] Speaker B: Thanks. Thanks for having me, Eric. It's been great to be here. Thank you for listening to concerning him an Emma's podcast. Ministries like Concerning Him are possible because of the generous contributions from our partners around the world. For more information about partnering with us, please visit emeas.edu partner.

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