ENGAGING THE PUBLIC

 

 

A phrase that is common in our home is “remember who you represent”.

If you were to be raised in the Cooper household this would likely be one of the last things you would hear as you were dropped off to spend time with friends, family, go to a football game, or even a church activity. What we are asking of our children is that they keep in mind that every action they do, or fail to do, reflects on the Cooper name.

Every conversation they engage in tells the world about the standards and values that we, as parents, have instilled in our children. The way our children hold themselves, the kindness they show to others, the respect they give to authority figures, all of these are calling cards for the Cooper family.

Similarly when we step out in public to evangelize or to agitate need to remember exactly who it is that we represent.

“Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”

~ 1 Corinthians 12:27

We as ambassadors of Christ need to always keep in mind that every move we make, especially when we are in the mission field, is being watched by a wicked world that would love to find weakness in the body of Christ. What traits should we seek to exemplify when we speak in public?

Reliance on the wisdom of the LORD:

“1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.

2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.

4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

~ 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Do we need a degree in theology? Do we need deep understanding? Do we need to be excellent speakers? According to the Apostle Paul the answer is certainly, NO! To the contrary, Paul writes that when he spoke he spoke “in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling WITHOUT enticing words that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” If anything, Paul taught that our fear and uncertainty make us MORE fit to declare the testimony of God!

What we do need is the knowledge of what Christ has done for us and the humility to understand that we do not save ANYONE. Salvation, judgment and vengeance belong to the LORD. We are simply to trust in the wisdom of our LORD and not our own wisdom.

An important thing to keep in mind is that if we rationalize and argue a man into the faith, then they can be rationalized and argued out of the faith. No one can argue a man out of his faith in the LORD if his conversion was through the Spirit.

To put it plainly, if the Gospel is a meal then we are not to consider ourselves chefs and add spice to the meal. We are instead to consider ourselves waiters, and all we have to do is get the meal the chef (in this case the Holy Spirit) has prepared to the table without messing it up. Reliance on the wisdom of the LORD is essential.

Boldness

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

~ 2 Timothy 1:7-13

Boldness is a Godly virtue that we should strive for. When we preach the Gospel then we are speaking the inspired words of the Creator of the Universe, the Savior of all mankind! Boldness is in order!! That however, should never be used as a license to exhibit haughtiness or pride.  The message that Jesus Christ came NOT to bring you health and wealth, but rather TO SET MEN FREE FROM SIN is radically different and a shock to the system when put in contrast with what the modern church usually teaches.

When we couple this with the message of abolition (that God expects His people to affect change and not sit idly by while the innocent and weak are trampled upon) we will be likely be labeled hatemongers if we allow ourselves to display arrogance and pride.

We are to be bold because we are proclaiming truth. That is exactly how we ought approach evangelism, as instructors in God’s great truth. A good teacher would not hold knowledge over a student’s head, nor mock a student for not understanding the same truth that the instructor held. Instead, a good teacher would patiently train the student in the way that they should go with boldness and assurance as the instructor. We should be bold, yet humble in our presentation.

 LOVE

“1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

~ 1 Corinthians 13

Love. It is one of the most powerful tools that we can have on our side. Everything that we speak should be tempered and seasoned with love. Love should be the ultimate motivation for every bit of evangelism that we engage in. If we go out to speak to a lost world, and we are not going in love, then we are doomed to fail. Especially considering the message that we are carrying, if you are to tell a man that he is guilty of transgression of God’s holy Law it should be because you love that man and do not want to see him suffer in Hell for eternity. If we are going out to challenge the church to stand up against the sin of abortion, or going to the mill to plead for the lives of children, it should be because we are fulfilling the commandment to “Love our neighbors as ourselves.” If we are going to go preach at any other gathering and confront any of the other sins that folks are out and about committing in public, the motivation should be the same. “We care about these people, therefore we will warn them of their (insert sin of the flesh here)”. Love should be THE ultimate motive for everything we do! Love for our God first, and love for each other.

We should engage each person as though we are engaging a dear family member that has gone astray whom we are intending to reconcile to our family. In reality, that is precisely what we are trying to do. Give the message of reconciliation to our LORD through Christ Jesus.

AT THE CHILD SACRIFICE CENTER

Engaging the public in context of the abortion mill deserves special consideration.

When we go out to the death camps we need to remember that we are entering spiritual warfare. The blood of innocent children is being spilt; we would be insane to not think that demonic influence is rampant out there in an even more concentrated form than most other conflicts we engage in.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

~ Ephesians 6:10-20

We are to be strong in the Lord as our first priority before going out. That means we need to be spending time in His word. We need to be in fellowship with other believers, challenging and edifying each other. We need to be in prayer. We need to be sober minded about what we are out there to do when we walk out onto those sidewalks. We need to keep in mind that behind the walls of the abortuary children are being poisoned and dismembered!

This is extremely serious business and we need to take it as such! The sidewalks in front of the mill are not the place to be debating each other or going into heavy theological discourse. Those things are good, but there is a time and place for them and it is not in front of the mill. Engaging in deep conversations is distracting and it compromises  the mission, which is to bring the Gospel into conflict with child sacrifice. If someone wants to debate with you, argue with you or have a theological discussion it is best to take it down the street or meet up afterwards for coffee or something. We should not do it in front of the mill.

Another thing to keep in mind is that no one has ‘dibs’ on the Holy Spirit. In other words, the Spirit has full rights to speak through whomever the Spirit wants to speak through. No one has priority to speak over anyone else. Also, if someone is speaking we should not interrupt that person unless we are either asked to or unless we can spot something wrong. An example of a situation that would warrant interrupting would be, If I was losing my temper and lashing out, then it would be good to gently exhort me and remind me of whom I am there to represent.

Talking over each other will only push people away from listening to our message. Not everyone will be an effective counselor to all types; that is why it is good to have different people on the sidewalks who can reach different personalities.

We should be practicing challenging each other as well as edifying each other on a regular basis in our lives apart from the sidewalks or social media. It is essential that we have people in our lives to be accountable to and that we are in fellowship with. We should be building each other up and also helping each other remove what is unfruitful in our lives so that we can present ourselves fit for service to our LORD. That is why we need to be involved with a body of believers.

Sidewalk counseling is not a job for “Lone Ranger” types or vigilantes without balance.

Finally

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

~ Mark 16:15

You do not need any special revelation from the LORD to GO and bring His message to a  hurting and dying world.

You do not need permission from any overseer, pastor, elder, bishop or ANY other man on this Earth to get involved in preaching the word to or taking care of widows, orphans, the poor and the downtrodden, the lost and dying or anyone else in this world!!

Jesus said “All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore”

Jesus has ALL AUTHORITY, Jesus already commanded you to GO. You do not need any other command to go, you do not need any other permission. The command is issued, the permission is granted. The only thing you need now is to OBEY!

We are commanded to go, and go we shall. The mission that we are charged with is ours and ours alone. We are the hands and feet of Christ and those hands and feet should NEVER be idle!!!!

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