It Pays To Go Out In The Street
God Is Not Mad At Sinners Yet
Witnessing To Lost Souls
God Is Not Mad At Sinners Yet
Here are just three of the many testimonies of those who were saved during our recent San Francisco outreach. These converts left that city and are now surrounded by Christians in a godly environment. Some are going through our Teen Challenge program in various centers throughout the United States. Please read their testimonies study their pictures and pray much for their continued growth in Christ.
It Pays To Go Out In The Street
Witnessing To Lost Souls
1. Billie Burnette
[Billie is the young lady Mrs. Wilkerson won to Christ. She was once belligerent and hardened to the Gospel. Today, Billie is living with Christian friends preparing to enter school to finish her education.]
She writes: "I thank the Lord for pulling me out of the horrible life I was living the gay scene of San Francisco. I searched everywhere for love; I longed to be loved and needed. My heart was so full of love to give, but I could never find a way to release my heart from its prison. I felt unloved and unneeded. I was always hurting when I was on the streets. There was never any true love.
"I tried so hard to change. I wanted so much to know God and to love Him. But I always felt so unworthy, and I became afraid that God could never forgive me or love me, in spite of all my sins. I tried so many human ways to show God I loved Him, but fear would overpower me, and I'd only feel worse. I know now that all the while God really did want to love me and change me into a worthy child of His.
"When Mrs. Wilkerson and all the World Challenge people came to our streets, they showed me a God who really seemed to understand my deepest needs. So I discovered He wanted me to quit struggling and stop trying to please Him in my own puny way. He wanted only my faith to set me free faith in what He did at Calvary.
I have found the pure love I've been looking for. I am so thankful God sent someone down into the Tenderloin to find me. He didn't have to do that but He did and how grateful I am.
"Now I want to give Him all my life. After all He has done for me, that isn't too much. I need the prayers of brothers and sisters in Christ."
[Just weeks ago, Gene was a lonely, lost gay getting drunk an stoned with homosexual friends. Today he is serving Christ as a student in our Los Angeles Teen Challenge Center. They report that he is growing spiritually and has a call on his life for the ministry.]
Gene writes from Los Angeles: "By the ninth grade, I was getting drunk a lot and began smoking marijuana with friends. I hardly ever got caught by my parents. To them, I was well behaved.
"I continued living this double life until the age of nineteen. The Gene my parents knew was now going to college full time at night and working during the day. The side of my personality they didn't see, however, was beginning to take control of my life.
"By this time, I was experimenting with acid, pills, angel dust, and a few other drugs. I was continually trying to see what I could get away with. My parents began to see me smashed more and more. They thought their all-American boy just had a few too many drinks once in a while. Soon I was getting messed up at lease twice a week. They didn't know that a lot of times it wasn't alcohol, but downers or angel dust or some other drug that I experimented with. Up to this point, I had already had three homosexual experiences that no one knew about. I didn't even tell my best friend about these. I don't know who I had the encounters with because they took place in a dark X-rated theater, and I didn't bother to ask for names. Then one day I decided that I couldn't and didn't want to continue the game of pretending to be someone I wasn't. The battle inside was so intense that I came very close to killing myself. But before doing that, I let the darker side of me take over. I ran to San Francisco.
"I got off the bus in San Francisco with $1,200 in savings. A week later I had a job with Bank of America, but two months after that I quit and gota job in a gay restaurant on Castro Street. My home was a room in a hotel in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. It all seemed so exciting. I got drunk, took drugs, and had sex whenever I wanted and with whatever sex I wanted. I loved the freedom and independence which made up for the occasional loneliness.
"Three months after I arrived in San Francisco, my parents located me through some kind of detective agency. I had disappeared and at the time couldn't care less about how worried they were. After they found me I told them I was gay.
"Now that my family knew what I was doing, I felt even more free to take part in the drug and sex scene around me. I did take part for the next year and a half. The sin in my life just kept getting heavier and heavier. The drugs, which at first gave me a fantastic feeling, began to lose their kick. I was constantly searching for a new kind of high. The same thing happened with sex. At first it was so great. But too much of anything can get boring, and I started feeling guilty afterwards.
"After two years of constant partying, I was burned out and just a shell of who I used to be. I was depressed more and more. Even though I was surrounded by friends and potential lovers, a part of me felt totally alone. I started isolating myself from friends who wanted me to do still crazier things. The battle inside my brain started to intensify again, and thoughts of suicide, which never really left, came back even stronger. I went to a psychiatrist and told him about the two different sides of my personality that were literally tearing me apart.
"During this time I must have been handed thirty different tracts telling me about Jesus. Somehow He didn't seem real to me. I bought a Bible and began to read it, then just threw it away.
"Then one day a man from the coffeehouse on Taylor Street gave me a book called TWO OF ME. After reading it, I realized that God was reaching out to me. I went back to the coffeehouse the next day and prayed the sinners' prayer with another person and asked Jesus to come into my life. I quit my job at the gay restaurant and week later was at the Los Angeles Teen Challenge Center. That's where I am today.
"There are still some old desires that tempt me at times, but Jesus has filled me with a much stronger desire that is, to serve Him and walk in His love. (Please pray for my family. None of them have been saved yet.)"
[Ephraim is Jewish. Two months ago he walked into our coffeehouse in the Tenderloin section of San Francisco a homosexual rock singer with ambitions to be a star. Today he is serving Christ, growing in the Spirit, and studying the Bible at the Teen Challenge Center in Houston.]
Ephraim Shapiro writes: "Ten minutes outside of Houston, and I was scared. For all practical purposes, alone. One week before, I had left everything behind in San Francisco: my friends, my goals, my dreams everything! In both jazz and rock circles, I was gaining prominence. I finally had what I had been working for all my life acclaim!
"Being Jewish, I decided as a youth to excel in the study of Judaism. It was always assumed by the Jewish community that I would enter Rabbinical school but Jewishness lost its appeal to me. The cost of acclaim as a scholar is, purely and simply, discipline, so I left theology and pursued my selfish goals. Oh, I was doing my own thing, but I was paying the devil's price two near suicides, the death of a close friend, and a period of silence and confusion lasting for almost two years.
"As a plane began to land, I pondered what my psychiatrist had recommended just one week earlier to go to a sadomasochist bar and experiment. I just wasn't sure that what I really needed was an experiment with enjoying pain. The captain's voice interrupted my thoughts announcing our arrival, and within a couple of hours I was at the Teen Challenge Center in Hungerford, Texas. So this is why I had cancelled concerts and left San Francisco with David Wilkerson's people. So this is where my life was supposed to change.
"Well, it's two months later, and there has been a change, praise God, what a change. The Lord has shown me that just like everything else, this change in my life costs. But, this is the first time that I did not have to pay. Jesus paid the cost. He told me that when He died on the cross, everything that I ever was before I knew Him died on that same cross. Jesus died for Ephraim Shapiro so that this person who never knew how to stand on his own two feet could walk with Jesus. Jesus died for Ephraim Shapiro so that this person who, for 29 years, was frightened and angered by love could love divinely and perfectly.
"Praise God for teen Challenge. There is a genuine ministry of the Holy Spirit here, because and only because there is a genuine hungering for holiness and a true love for lost souls."
God Is Not Mad At Sinners Yet
by David Wilkerson____________________
The day of the fury of the Lord has not yet come, but it is fast approaching. The burning up of this earth and the passing away of the heavens, so clearly predicted in the Bible, are continually drawing nearer.
God has been warning mankind for centuries that the whole of universal nature will be turned into a heap of ruins. A mighty cosmic conflagration will cause the framework of creation to explode into fragments.
According to the Bible, a meltdown is inevitable; it is only a matter of time. Specifically it predicts, " the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up" (2 Peter 3:10).
Mankind has been warned in precise terms to prepare for the horrors of a dissolving nature, amid wild wars and the frenzy of reeling elements. God predicts mankind will not stop its pell-mell rush to nuclearize the earth and He assures it will end in a global melt down. Every anti-nuclear voice in this nation is inadvertently preaching the very warnings of Almighty God. In Revelation 18, it is predicted that a "burning judgement" will fall on the earth in less than one hour. It is God alone who is holding back the destructive forces to make time for every hungry heart to respond to His last call.
God is not venting His fury at this present time because He is too busy executing a mission of mercy. There is no anger in God when He is in the process of inviting mankind to be reconciled to Himself. God, at this very moment, is prodding true believers to invite all to accept His free offer of salvation. God has a longing desire to save mankind from the power and effects of sin. He speaks now only in tones of tenderness and sympathy. His messengers are now circulating this message of peace with God to every habitation of man. There is an all-consuming wish in the heart of God to save mankind from the wrath that is coming.
God's beseeching call is to now one of affection. He so loves mankind, He is not willing that one soul perish in sin. To reach that goal, God is not sparing any effort His overtures can now be heard throughout the land, on radio, television, from pulpits, on street corners. Everywhere, twenty-four hours a day, the joyful invitation is non-stop. There is not an intelligent person in the land who has not heard the message that God is love; that He longs to save mankind in an instant. We would all perish before God like a moth in the flame. But God has no pleasure in the death and destruction of the wicked. He gets no kicks out of destroying such a paltry foe. He would rather all men accepted His offer of regenerating power. A God who has all power to destroy men in hell lovingly asks, "Why will you die?"
The dignity of God will not permit Him to prove His majesty and power by destroying weak and insignificant enemies. You've been reading God wrong if you think He is out to get you. He sent His own Son to die on a cross, demonstrating to mankind that He wants to condemn no one, but rather to save and heal.
God is willing to save and help you, but are you willing to be helped? Of one thing you can be sure: one day, your lifeless corpse will be stretched out before the eyes of weeping friends and relatives. That coffin will not be the end of the line. Like everyone else on earth, you are going to look death in the face and get one last look at life. Cast the thought out of mind, but that won't change the facts. The fact remains, the day is coming when loose dirt will be shoveled into your narrow house where you are laid, and the grounds keeper will plant green sod over your empty form. You will be forced to make room for a new generation. All sight, senses- all love and laughter all tears and temptation will end at your grave. And what will it all have meant if in this life Christ's offer of love was flung back in His face? Can anything in this life be worth facing an eternity without hope?
Consider the man who dies in his sin. The ruined soul is resurrected to face Christ, the Judge. Will death automatically purge that soul? Will the worm eat away the rot of sin? Will he suddenly appear, in a transformed, eternal body, free from all the old chains? Will he somehow rise, holy and pure, leaving his past in the dust? Never! There is no magic change in death for the sinner. He will rise the same way he died a slave. The sinner dies, keeping all his sins to himself. The secrets he carries to his grave are the secrets exposed at the Judgment. The soul never dies and neither does sin. Sin dies only at Calvary.
Why do sinners look at death with such complacency, as if they will rise fresh and new in eternity?
The Bible says it is appointed unto man once to die and after that, the Judgment. What if that is not a lie but really true? How do you face a Savior in death, whom you have so stubbornly rejected in life?
In His Word, God clearly describes what is waiting for those who deny and reject His call to repentance. He describes the day of reckoning in horrific terms, then lovingly begs mankind to flee from its wrath. The scenario is simple, yet terrifying. The Son of God will appear in the heavens, surrounded by a mighty army of angels, He will collect all His children around Him and carry them to an eternity of fulfillment and joy. The sinners, first from the graves, then those who are alive at His coming will be taken to the Great White Throne Judgment Seat of Christ. The books will be opened and the solemn passing of sentence will proceed against those who flaunted their iniquity, rather than accept His offer of salvation.
So what if you no longer accept the Bible as truth? How can you categorically deny a book that is believed by some of the most intelligent minds on earth? It is believed by numerous scientists, world leaders, philosophers as well as millions of this world's inhabitants. What if? What if these words of the Bible are actually the truth?
"And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I say the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:11, 12, 15).
You can escape the fury of the coming storms. God has provided a method by which the children of wrath can become the children of peace. God would much rather be glorified by the salvation of saints than in the destruction of sinners. He wants to turn all His enemies into friends. That is why the Heavenly Father loves homosexuals, addicts, alcoholics, gamblers, prostitutes, agnostics and every conceivable kind of sinner. He loves them all so much, He is trying to adopt every one of them. He is trying desperately to justify them, take away their guilt, chase away their darkness, and remove all their chains.
But God is running out of ways to reach this generation. Man continues to obstinately erect barriers of unbelief. Instead of responding to God's signals of love, sinners, instead, muster up rebellion and almost become indignant against His efforts to save them. God knows that terror and fear will not subdue a sinner, and that is why He does not threaten anyone into obedience. You must respond to His love with Love. But God has already tried to reach sinners, both with wrath and love, and neither seems to work.
Jesus said, "To what shall I liken this generation? They are like children sitting in the market place playing tunes to each other saying, We mourned to you and you wouldn't mourn. We piped dancing music to you, and you wouldn't dance" (Luke 7:31, 32).
Christ here reveals the two methods God had used to reach mankind. The mourners and the dancers. John the Baptist was the mourner. He thundered the wrath of God against sinners he called vipers. He came down on adulterers, fornicators, hypocrites unmercifully calling for a change in life-styles.
Jesus came on the scene with a different message. His was a message of love. He called sinners friend. He was gentle, loving, sympathetic, and He associated with hurting people. No legalism, no harshness it was all love and joy.
But the masses would not respond to mourning or to dancing. Jesus is saying, "You said you were repulsed by hard, doomsday preaching. You wanted to hear of love and sympathy rather than judgment and condemnation. Yet, I came to meet you on these loving, gentle terms and you still won't respond. What is left? What more can God do?"
The average sinner in this nation has heard enough Gospel to save all of China! God help the sinner who goes to the Judgment Day from America! Better to live in Gospel-deprived Africa or Russia, than to live in a society saturated with the Gospel and die as a Christ-rejecter.
Will God soon decide to "wipe the dust of this unbelieving generation off His feet"? That is what He told his disciples to do when their cities and peoples rejected the message of Christ's love. God help every self-willed unbeliever the moment His love gives way to His wrath. The terror defies description.
How can any intelligent human being reject the offer of love and salvation from the very Creator of the universe and not expect a day of reckoning? Is the intellect so warped it can expect to pay the penalty for breaking the law of man and not pay the penalty for breaking God's law of love?
God's Ultimate Weapon
God has one last method to reach the sinner. It is a singularized outpouring of the Holy Spirit. He has promised in these last days to pour out of His Holy Spirit upon all flesh. Not just as a religious experience. Not even always spiritual. The Holy Spirit has come upon all mankind, revealing the emptiness, loneliness, and nothingness of life without Christ.
What is behind the total despair of this globe? What or who is causing this wave of emptiness and feelings of hopelessness? It is the Holy Spirit trying to desperately to show every sinner how useless and worthless life is without a Savior. He is revealing to men how low and powerless they are! How useless the wisdom of men. How futile all human effort is!
"And when he is come, he will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment" (John 16:8).
It is at the point of man's worst misery, when he is faced with the truth of his hopeless condition, that the Holy Spirit presents the claims of Christ. To every heart convicted by the Holy Spirit, there will follow a message of hope and truth about Christ.
God is searching the earth, seeking for those who will give Him the faith that He wants. It's a faith so little known, so little understood, so little used. It's not a faith to procure the better things of life, because a mans life consists not in the things he possesses.
It's a faith in Christ's total sufficiency! A faith in His ability to become all in all. A faith in His desire and willingness to take charge of a life surrendered to Him fully and make it to know abundant and full life!
A faith that Christ will fill the empty void that He will take a very personal interest in all that pertains to my life. Not just keeping the universe and nature on course, but become totally involved in my life, its details, its problems, its needs and desires.
Also, that Christ can make me know pleasures that are real, lasting without hangovers, regrets, or shame.
Used with permission granted by World Challenge, P. O. Box 260, Lindale, TX 75771, USA.
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2002 by World Challenge, Lindale, Texas, USA.
This material is solely for personal use and is not to be posted
publicly on other web pages. The Lorain County Free-Net Chapel
holds exclusive rights from World Challenge, Inc. to publicly
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post it on a different Internet site. You may, however, link this
site to reference these messages.
This data file is the sole property of World Challenge. It may not be altered or edited in any way. It may be reproduced only in its entirety for circulation as "freeware," without charge. All reproductions of this data file must contain the copyright notice [i.e., "Copyright © 2002 by World Challenge"]. This data file may not be used without the permission World Challenge for resale or the enhancement of any other product sold. This includes all of its content with the exception of a few brief quotations. Please give the following source credit: Copyright © 2002 by World Challenge, Lindale, Texas, USA.
This material is solely for personal use and is not to be posted publicly on other web pages. The Lorain County Free-Net Chapel holds exclusive rights from World Challenge, Inc. to publicly post these messages on its web page. You are free to download, copy, print and distribute this material, so long as you do not post it on a different Internet site. You may, however, link this site to reference these messages.
Copyright © 2002 - The Lorain County Free-Net Chapel
North Central Ohio, U.S.A.
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This page was last updated May 24, 2002.