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Making God Famous

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On this day thirty-nine years ago, musician John Lennon was shot to death outside his apartment in New York City. Years before as a member of the Beatles, John made the infamous remark, “We are more popular than Jesus.”
To some people, the Beatles are still more popular with them because they don’t know the real Jesus. That’s why God needs His people to go into the world and share the full gospel with others. Unbelievers need to hear about a Jesus that will heal their broken hearts, cure their diseases, and of course, forgive all their sins.
There was a time when John Lennon had a genuine interest in Jesus. According to Steve Turner’s book The Gospel According to the Beatles, John became a regular viewer of that era’s most influential TV preachers. In 1972 he sent a letter to Oral Roberts that the evangelist later shared publicly. Here are some of the comments Lennon wrote…
“The point is this, I want happiness. I don't want to keep on with drugs. Paul [McCartney] told me once, ‘You m…

From Nu Skin to the New Birth

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At the beginning of 1990, I became dissatisfied with life. At 26 I had mounting debts from pursuing a music career and lost my enthusiasm working as a nightclub disc jockey. Around this time, a radio program I listened to called “Musical Starstreams” started running ads about a business opportunity. Forest (the show’s host) talked about a way one could earn a large income and have the time to enjoy it. Soon I received a video in the mail about a network marketing company called Nu Skin.
After watching the video, I was intrigued enough to call Forest and find out why he was involved with a company that manufactured personal care products. Forest explained he wanted to make enough money to buy radio stations and air new age music full-time. Since Nu Skin was experiencing exponential growth, I decided to take advantage of this “opportunity of a lifetime.” I sold all my recording equipment to have extra money for purchasing product and sales aids. My goal was to build a residual income, pa…

More Than Enough

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For many years environmentalists have issued warnings of certain commodities being depleted. While growing up in the 1970s, I heard a poem in school about the earth supposedly running out of trees. I also remember seeing TV commercials warning about shortages of oil and fresh water. Nowadays, hotels have signs encouraging guests to conserve water so we can supposedly “save our planet.” 
Now there’s another resource being targeted by activists. This past week I saw a BBC News headline claiming “the world is running out of sand” (the Smithsonian Institution published a similar report on their website). Immediately, I thought of God promising Abraham’s descendants would be “…as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.” (Genesis 32:12) Still, I read the BBC write-up which explained not all types of sand are in danger of extinction. It’s the kind used for infrastructure and making certain electronic products. I don’t take articles like this seriously when exaggerated tit…

A Matter of the Heart

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The Internet has been flooded lately with articles and posts regarding the conversion of Kanye West. Last week the rapper’s new album “Jesus Is King” debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Two days ago, Kanye performed at men's and women's jails in Houston. He stated, “This is a mission, not a show.”
Still, many believers are questioning the legitimacy of Kanye’s faith. One Facebook friend commented that if Kanye becomes part of a particular megachurch, he’ll dismiss him as a false Christian. Who is he to judge where God wants His people to plug into the body of Christ? (1 Corinthians 12:18) We are to work out our own salvation (Philippians 2:12).
A question I’m occasionally asked is if someone who prays with me to get saved means it. That issue was brought up one time by my former pastor after we attended a prayer meeting at the YMCA. There I saw a woman smoking outside and felt led to witness to her. Chelonda wasn’t sure of her eternal destiny but believed the gospel. I inv…

Rewards for Winning Souls

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If you’re a parent and your children do something worthwhile, wouldn’t you want to reward them? Our heavenly Father is the same way. While doing the work of an evangelist, I’ve seen unexpected blessings manifest.
Back in 1994 when I first committed to being part of my church’s evangelism ministry, the pastor gave me clothes he no longer needed. A woman who was a leader in that ministry often offered to buy me dinner. The day after Christmas, one of the other evangelism leaders offered to give me his Chrysler Laser. This was the exact type of car I had been praying for!
Years later, I was at a library in Tampa, Florida and perceived it was time for me to leave. I started walking home but suddenly felt led to stop and turn around. Eventually, I ministered salvation to a young woman at a bus stop. Then I approached a man standing at the bus stop directly across the street. Aaron was already saved and wanted to give me an offering. He then  handed me a $20 bill. At the time I was almost out…

Heaven on Earth

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An objection that sometimes comes up when sharing the gospel is “heaven is here on earth.” Recently I heard that from a panhandler who wanted money from me (I handed him a snack and a gospel tract but he soon gave them back). It later occurred to me there is no need to beg in heaven. I could have also asked this man where one could find the Pearly Gates and the streets of gold on earth.
That beggar might have been a Jehovah’s Witness. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society teaches that only 144,000 people will get into heaven while all other Jehovah’s Witnesses will live forever on earth. Before the latter could happen, Jehovah’s Witnesses left behind after the rapture will have to suffer through a tribulation period and avoid taking the mark of the beast. That certainly won’t be heaven on earth.
Back in 1987, Belinda Carlisle had the #1 hit “Heaven is a Place on Earth” (from an album called “Heaven on Earth”). The lyrics talked about a couple enjoying each other to where it’s almost he…

Spiritual Hunger

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Once I witnessed to a man promoting hunger awareness. This man didn’t believe in the existence of heaven or hell. Therefore, he thought feeding the hungry was more important than preaching the gospel. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:3, “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.” A nonbeliever’s good works won’t matter if he’s lost for eternity.
Is it important to feed the hungry? Absolutely. Scripture exhorts us to do so (Psalm 146:7, Romans 12:20). The miracles of Jesus included multiplying loaves and fishes to feed the thousands who gathered to hear His word. In recent years, I’ve gone out of my way to give food to panhandlers as well as the gospel.
Although food is a basic necessity, we should focus more on cultivating and satisfying our spiritual hunger. My former pastor Mac Hammond taught a series on that. He pointed out we can build an appetite for anything that consumes our thought life. Whi…