“Any 3 – Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime”

Posted January 16, 2013 by tangiblethoughts
Categories: Books, Missional Living, Uncategorized

Evangelism is the sharing of the “Good News” of God and His love, grace, and forgiveness for sinful mankind. This love and forgiveness of sin is made available by God’s grace and is secured through simple faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God Who gave His life on the Cross to purchase our salvation.

The Bible teaches us that we are to share the Gospel. Courses have been taught on how to evangelize people. Gospel pamphlets Any 3 have  been  published for distribution during house-to-house neighborhood canvassing or while standing on city street corners. And, books have been written on various topics related to evangelism: the biblical basis for and theology of evangelism, our motivation for sharing the Gospel, and different methods for communicating the Gospel to those who need Christ as Savior, to name just three.

My favorite book on the subject has always been The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman (1963). This is not only a classic on the subject of evangelism, it is a tremendous book on the subjects of discipleship and small groups.

I have just finished reading a recently published book about evangelism that is quickly becoming a favorite text on the subject. It is entitled Any-3: Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime. Lead Muslims to Christ Now!  Any-3 was written by Mike Shipman, a Church Planting Movement training specialist, and is published by WIGTake. While Mike specifically addresses the evangelization of people who adhere to Islam, the teaching that Mike shares can be applied to our witness to people of any faith or no faith at all.

Mike says that …

“Any-3 implements the simple, natural way Jesus witnessed to the woman at the well in John 4. In so doing, it recaptures foundational elements of the first-century evangelism that Jesus modeled for His disciples. It worked then, and it works now.”

“Any-3 combines bridging, gospel presentation and drawing the net into one seamless approach.”

“Any-3 allows you to share the gospel in a natural and relational manner. It is persuasive, but never combative.”

Mike goes on to say that because Any-3 “feels spontaneous and free,” it helps believers “live an evangelizing lifestyle, rather than try in vain to do lifestyle evangelism.”

The Any-3 approach to evangelism employs a five-step approach to sharing the Gospel of Christ. The steps and transitions between them are:

Step One: Get Connected

When speaking with someone, ask “connecting questions,” some relationship-building questions, such as: “How are you?” “Where are you from?” “Do you live in this neighborhood?”

Then ask the transition question: “Are you Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, or Christian?’ This question moves us to the second step.

Step Two: Get to God

In this step we engage the person in a discussion of God by asking one question and making one observation. “Most religions are alike aren’t they?” and “We are all trying to please God so that we can go to heaven one day, and we are all trying to pay off our sin debt. We all sin, don’t we. Even good people sin. Sinning is easy, but paying off our sin debt to God is much more difficult, isn’t it?”

Our transition question that will lead to the third step is: “In your religion, what are you doing to get your sins forgiven?”

Step Three: Get to Lostness

Let the individual share some of the things that they are doing, according to their religion in an effort to please God and pay off their sin debt. The ask them three questions: “Are your sin debts paid off yet?” “When do you think your sin debts will be paid off?” “On Judgment Day, do you know that your sin debt will be paid off?”

At this time, the believer will begin a transition to the Gospel by saying, “What I believe is different; I know that my sins are forgiven. It is not because I am a good person, although I do try. I know that my sins are forgiven, because God himself has made a way for our sins to be forgiven.”

Step Four: Get to the Gospel

In Step Four we share the Gospel message, the message of God’s love for sinful man and the sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ, for the purchase of our salvation and the forgiveness of sin.

After the Gospel has been shared, we say, “According to the Bible, if we surrender our life to Jesus as Lord and believe that He has paid for our sines through His sacrifice and that God has raised him from the dead, our sins will be forgiven.”

This statement transitions our conversation to Step Five.

Step Five: Get to a Decision

After progressing through the first four steps of the Any-3 and sharing the Gospel of Christ, we want to the bring the person to a decision about Christ. It is not enough to just share the Good News of Christ with people, we must invite them to accept the Christ of the message.

We ask them, with respect to the message of the sacrifice of Christ for our sins: “That makes sense doesn’t it?” and “Do you believe what I have told you: that Jesus died for our sins and was raised again?”

After sharing the essence  of the five steps of  the Any-3 approach to evangelism, Mike Shipman goes on to elaborate on each step, share ways to adapt the presentation depending on the religion of the person being spoken to, and what to do and say when a person either accpets Christ as Savior, rejects Him, or desires to continue the conversation at a later time. Mike also share insights into the evangelistic ministry of Jesus taken from His encounter with the Woman at the Well.

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I enjoyed reading and have benefitted greatly from the reading of Any-3: Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime by Mike Shipman. It has encouraged me to be much more alert to the Holy Spirit’s leading and prompting to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with those around me.

In fact, several weeks ago I had taken one of my sons to the barber shop to get his hair cut. While he was in the chair getting his hair trimmed, I sat in the waiting area and was reading Any-3. A man walked into the shop, sat in a chair across the room from me, and watched me as I read.

The man then asked me, “What book are you reading?” As I looked up, somewhat surprised that he would disturb me while I was concentrating on my book, I said, “It’s a book about evangelism.”

The Holy Spirit then spoke to me and asked, “You’re reading about the sharing of the Gospel in a natural and informal way. What are you going to do now that I have opened a door for you?”

The gentleman and I then entered into a discussion about evangelism. I was able to “guide” the conversation through the five steps, and was able to determine and rejoice with the man that he was a follower of Christ.

 

Look At The Numbers. Let’s Get Serious About The Great Commission.

Posted December 30, 2012 by tangiblethoughts
Categories: Uncategorized

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The article below was written by Guy Muse. Guy is a Southern Baptist missionary to Ecuador. The article was posted on his blog, The M Blog, on December 28, 2o12.

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“As 2012 comes to an end, the global status of evangelical Christianity* finishes the year with a long way to go. Consider the following numbers:

11,342 – Number of people groups in all countries. A people group is the largest group through which the gospel can flow withoutMatthew 24 14 encountering significant barriers of understanding and acceptance.

6,422 – Number of people groups where Evangelical Christians comprise less than 2% of the total population. These UPG stats do not include USA & Canada.

571 – Number of unreached people groups in the United States and Canada. [Note: engagement and statuses for many people groups in USA and Canada are still unknown. This number will change as more information becomes available.]

3,133 – Number of unreached people groups not engaged by anyone. A people group is engaged when a church planting strategy, consistent with Evangelical faith and practice is underway. In this respect, a people group is not engaged when it has been merely adopted, is the object of focused prayer, or is part of an advocacy strategy.

393 – Number of unreached people groups with populations at or above 100,000.

Another way of looking at these mind-boggling figures is through population numbers:

6,944,287,685 – Number of people in the above 11,342 people groups.

4,192,663,816 – Number of people in the above 6,422 people groups where Evangelical Christians comprise less than 2% of the total population.

240,245,046 – Population of the 3,133 unreached people groups not engaged by anyone.

96,381,569 – Population of unreached people groups that are not engaged by anyone, anywhere around the world.

Every one of the 6,944,287,685 persons is loved by God. Let’s not confuse numbers with real people. Each is a father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter of someone. Every single person is someone for whom Christ died.

So what does all of this mean? For me there are at least three ways to respond:

1) Indifference–not my problem, I’m not going to do anything about it, I already have a full plate of other concerns.

2) Involve myself–as we begin a new year, I am going to intentionally engage in trying to do my part in making sure the Gospel gets to the nations–I am going to inform myself, pray with understanding, give purposefully, and maybe even go myself.

3) Invite the Holy Spirit to speak to me about what He would have me do, and then do it.

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*Above information courtesy of Global Research Department of the International Mission Board.”

 (The above was posted by Guy Muse on his blog, The M Blog, December 28 , 2012.)
 
 Read Matthew 24:14.

The Cross Interprets Man

Posted December 22, 2012 by tangiblethoughts
Categories: Bible, Reformed Theology, Scottish Preachers, Sermons, Uncategorized

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In “The Surety’s Cross,” Scottish preacher Horatius Bonar (1808-1889) preaches that the Cross is “the divine proclamation and interpretation of the things of God.” The sermon, based on Galatians 6:14, is built on six “heads,” or major points. Each “head” is Bonar’s exposition on the Cross’ interpretation of six things of God – Man, God Himself, the Law, Sin, the Gospel, and Service.

Heading I of the sermon is: “The cross is the interpreter of MAN.” Under this “head” Bonar writes that the Cross reveals two things about man.

The first thing that it reveals is that man is a hater of God.

“In the cross man has spoken out.”

“Reckoning the death of the cross the worst of all deaths – man deems it the fittest for the Son of God. Thus, the enmity of the natural heart speaks out, and man not only confesses publicly that he is a hater of God – but he takes pains to show the intensity of his hatred.”

“It is yon cross which judges you…. Man hating God – and hating most, when God is loving most!”

“But how am I to sever myself from these crucifiers, and protest against their crime? By believing in the name of the crucified One! For all unbelief is approval of the deed and identification with the murderers. Faith is man’s protest against the deed; and identification of himself, not only with the friends and disciples of the crucified One – but with the crucified One himself.”

“The cross, then, was the public declaration of man’s hatred of God, man’s rejection of his Son, and man’s avowal of his belief that he needs no Savior. If anyone, then, denies the ungodliness of humanity, and pleads for the native goodness of the race, I ask, what means yon cross?”

The Cross not only reveals the “depravity of man,” it exhibits the foolishness of man.

“And as his erection of the cross was the revelation of his folly, so has been his subsequent estimate of it, and of the gospel which has issued from it. He sees in it no wisdom – but only foolishness; and this ascription of foolishness to the cross is but the more decided proof of his own foolishness.”

Bonar concludes the first “head” of his message with these questions:

“My friend, what is that cross to you? Is it folly or wisdom? Do you see, in the way of salvation which it reveals, the excellency of wisdom, as well as the excellency of power and love? Has the cross, interpreted to you by the Holy Spirit, revealed your own heart as a hell of darkness and evil? Have you accepted its exposition of your character, and welcomed it also as salvation for the lost – reconciliation between you and God?

What is the Cross to you?  Foolishness or the wisdom of God? Have you come to the Christ of the Cross for the forgiveness of your sin and the promise of eternal life?

“What Means Yon Cross?” An Introduction to Horatius Bonar’s Sermon, “The Surety’s Cross”

Posted December 19, 2012 by tangiblethoughts
Categories: Bible, Scottish Preachers, Sermons

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In “The Surety’s Cross,” Horatius Bonar, a 19th Century Scottish preacher and hymn writer, preaches on the Cross of Christ. The sermon, preached in 1867, is based on Galatians 6:14. In the verse, the Apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, writes:

“But may it never be that I should boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world was crucified to me, and I to the world.”

As Bonar begins his message, he writes that, “The death of the cross has always been, above every other, reckoned the death of shame.” He says that the LORD as allowed this conception of the Cross to …

” … root itself universally, in order that there might be provided a place of shame, lower than all others, for the great substitute who, in the fullness of time was to take the sinner’s place, and be himself the great outcast from man and God, despised and rejected, deemed unworthy even to die within the gates of the holy city.”

Despite the fact that the Cross is, to men, a place of  “curse and shame,”  it is the “strength and honor and life and blessing” of God. Paul will say elsewhere that the “word of the Cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.” (I Corinthians 1:18)

Of the Cross, Bonar says that the secret of its power …

” … lies in the amount of divine truth which it embodies. It is the summary of all the Bible; the epitome of Revelation. It is pre-eminently the voice of God; and as such, conveying the power as well as uttering his wisdom. ‘The voice of the Lord is powerful, the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.'”

In the body of the sermon, Bonar looks at the Cross as “the divine proclamation and interpretation of the things of God; the key to his character, his word, his ways, his purposes; the clue to the intricacies of the world’s and the Church’s history.”

Horatius Bonar will tell us that the Cross is the Interpreter of Man, God, Law, Sin, Gospel, and Service.  Oh, the wonder of the Cross!

Over the course of the next several posts, I will share quotes from each of the “heads,” or major points, of Bonar’s sermon. I will also include personal thoughts and comments on each “head.”

It is my desire, that as we give prayerful consideration to the Lord’s use of the Cross as the Interpreter of man and all things spiritual, that will we be drawn closer in faith to the Christ of the Cross.

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You can read “The Surety’s Cross” in its entirety here.

I would note that I have been reading and posting on Robert Traill’s thirteen-sermon series, “The Throne of Grace”. I am interrupting that series of posts with this short series on Bonar’s, “The Surety’s Cross”. I will resume the Traill series shortly.

Where God and Sinners Meet in Peace

Posted November 12, 2012 by tangiblethoughts
Categories: Uncategorized

Robert Traill, a 17th Century Scottish preacher and reformer, preached a thirteen-sermon series on Hebrews 4:16 entitled, The Throne of Grace. I am reading, studying, and posting through these sermons. 

My introductory post to this series of posts was on the Preface to A Stedfast Adherence to the Profession of Faith, the book in which the sixteen sermons were published in 1718. My first post on the sermons themselves addressed the first half of Sermon 1 in which Traill defines the throne of grace and elaborates on why it is called a throne of grace.

In this post I share quotes from the second half of Sermon 1 in which the Traill asks the question, “What is it to come unto the throne of grace?”

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 Traill writes that “this coming to the throne of grace” is:

“… in believing on Jesus Christ. This is the first approach to the throne of grace. He is propitiation, and mercy seat, and throne of grace (I John 4:10).”

“The first right step heavenward, is saving faith in Christ. Nothing savingly good can precede it, and all saving good follows it: for faith unites the man to Christ, and all fruits of holiness and righteousness spring from the virtue of the vine Christ; with whom the believer hath first union by grace, and then communion of Christ’s grace, by which he lives, and works, and grows.”

 The preacher notes that there are numerous ways that a believer can approach the throne of grace. Approach can be made through prayer, by reading and mediating on the Word of God, and partaking of the Lord’s Supper. He then states that praise is a means by which we can come before the Lord of grace.

“Who minds this as they ought? If we want, we ask; and so we should. But where is the Christian that can say, Though I had nothing to ask, I would go to the throne of grace, that I might praise him that sits on it.”

“To be swallowed up of wonder, is the best and highest praising. Who can forebear wondering at grace, that considers duly whose grace it is, where it finds us, and whither it brings us?”

“O what a mighty arm hath the grace of God.”

“No where else can God and sinners meet in peace, but at this throne of grace.”

 It is to this throne that we come for mercy and grace to help in time our every need.

A New Court Erected

Posted November 9, 2012 by tangiblethoughts
Categories: Books, Reformation, Reformed Theology, Scottish Preachers, Sermons, Uncategorized

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What is there to know, and how much can be known, about the throne of grace?

Robert Traill, Scot preacher and reformer (1642-1716), helps us explore these questions in his thirteen-sermon series, The Throne of Grace. These messages were published in the book, A Stedfast Adherence to the Profession of Faith, in 1718, two years after Traill’sthroneo;p death.

The messages in this series are based on Hebrews 4:16.

“Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.”

In the introduction to Sermon I, Traill informs us that he is going to address “four weighty questions, which should be in the hearts of all worshippers of God.” These questions are: “Where may I find God?”; “How should we come to God on this throne?”; “What ground hath a sinner for this boldness?”; and “What shall we get, and for what may we come to this throne of grace?”

Under the first “Head,” “Where is God to be found?”, Traill writes that God is found on the throne of grace.  He preaches that the mostArk of the Covenant3 sacred object in Old Testament worship, the mercy seat, is what the writer of Hebrews calls the “throne of grace.” This teaches us that

” …whatever of divine grace was revealed and tendered to, or perceived and received by the faith of the Old Testament  believers, in their right use of these sacred old institutions of God to his church, the same, with great advantage, believers under the New Testament have in Jesus Christ, the body, the antitype, and substance of them.”

Three advantages had at the mercy seat, and in Christ, are noted by Traill.  They are a solemn approach made to God, atonement for sins, and a Word from God.

Traill then distinguishes the throne of grace from other “thrones” found in Scripture. The other thrones are:

  • the throne of glory, a throne of the essential, incomprehensible glory of God that no man can approach (I Timothy 6:16)
  • the throne of government where “God sits, and rules all things in his pleasure, and in infinite wisdom.” (Psalm 9:4,7)
  • the throne of God’s justice from where men will be judged according to the law and their works (Psalm 143:2), from which “nothing but condemnation can justly be pronounced on sinners.”

And, then there is the throne of grace, the central subject of this sermon series. The preacher defines this throne as

“… God in Christ dealing with men according to the grace of the gospel. It is God in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not imputing to them their trespasses (2 Cor.5:19). It is Christ set forth by God to be a propitiation (Rom. 3:25). This is the new court or throne erected by God, and declared in the gospel, to which sinful man is invited to come.”

In I Corinthians 1:18, the Apostle Paul says that the word of this Cross is to those who are perishing, foolishness. But to those of us who are being saved, it is the power of God.

Robert Traill then asks and answers the question, “Why is it called a throne and a throne of grace?”

He answers this in four parts.

“1. It is called a throne, because of the glory and majesty of God manifested there.”

“The Lord on this throne of grace, dispenseth all acts of grace with great majesty, and a king; but not as a King Judge, and Ruler, but as a King Benefactor, and Giver. This royalty of grace shines, i. In the greatness of the gifts, grace, and mercy; vastly above all that the creation can give.”

ii. In the manner of giving; free, sovereignly free. Grace and mercy is his own, and he doth with them as he will.”

“Approaches to God on the throne of grace, should be made with the deepest reverence and humility.”

“O that captives to Satan, and slaves to sin and the law, would long to be under the reign of this stately power, the grace of God! and that believers themselves would give themselves a more free and large subjection to it”

 “2. It is called a throne of grace, 1st, Because grace entered and reared it up.”

“Till men get a sight of God in Christ, they cannot tell what the grace of God is. Search heaven and earth, you can never get a view of God’s grace, till ye come to this throne. You may see God’s infinite power, and wisdom, and goodness, written in great characters, in the great volume  of creation and providence; but till ye come to know God in Christ on this throne, you can never see that divine dainty, and saving blessing, the free grace of God; grace, as an everlasting fountain in the heart of God, pouring down, streaming forth eternal salvation on ruined unworthy sinners.”

“3dly, It is called a throne of grace, because all the acts and sentences passed at this new court, are all acts of grace. All the blessings given from this throne, are all mere grace. Nothing is here but grace (John 1:17).”

“We are chosen by grace; we are given to Christ by grace; redeemed by him by grace; by grace we are justified through that redemption; by the same grace we are adopted; by the same grace we are saved, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; and by grace we shall be glorified.”

 “4thly, It is called a throne of grace, because the glory of grace is the last and highest end of the building of this throne, and of all the acts of grace dispensed at it, and from it.”

“We read in the word of none of the counsels of God before the creation of all things, but of his purpose of saving a company of poor sinful men by Jesus Christ; and of no other design in this purpose, but to magnify his grace in saving of them this way. So much of the significance of this word, a throne of grace.”

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Thus far in the first half of Robert Traill’s first sermon on the Throne of Grace, he has shown us that the throne of grace in the New Testament is the mercy seat of the Old Testament. Traill defines the throne of grace and then explains, in rich and reverent tones, why it is the throne of God’s grace.  It is to this throne that we must go for mercy and grace to help in time of our every need.

In the second half of this first sermon, Traill will address the question, “What is it to come unto this throne of grace?” This will be the subject of my second post on Sermon1 on the Throne of Grace.

Reformation Day

Posted October 31, 2012 by tangiblethoughts
Categories: Bible, Reformation, Reformed Theology, Uncategorized

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“Reformation Day is a religious holiday celebrated on October 31st or the last weekend in October in remembrance of the Reformation. Martin Luther posted a proposal at the doors of a church in Wittenberg, Germany to debate the doctrine and practice of indulgences. This proposal is popularly known as the 95 Theses, which he nailed to the Castle Church doors. This was not an act of defiance or provocation as is sometimes thought. Since the Castle Church faced Wittenberg’s main thoroughfare, the church door functioned as a public bulletin board and was therefore the logical place for posting important notices. Also, the theses were written in Latin, the language of the church, and not in the vernacular. Nonetheless, the event created a controversy between Luther and those allied with the Pope over a variety of doctrines and practices.

While it had profound and lasting impacts on the political, economic, social, literary, and artistic aspects of modern society, the Reformation was at its heart a religious movement. The Reformation was the great rediscovery of the good news of salvation by grace through faith for Christ’s sake. For centuries, the Roman Catholic Church had been plagued by false doctrines, superstition, ignorance, and corruption. Since most ordinary Christians were illiterate and had little knowledge of the Bible, they relied on their clergy for religious instruction and guidance. Tragically however, monks, priests, bishops, and even the popes in Rome taught unbiblical doctrines like purgatory and salvation through good works. Spiritually earnest people tried to justify themselves by charitable works, pilgrimages, and all kinds of religious performances and devotions, but they were left wondering if they had done enough to escape God’s anger and punishment. The truth of the gospel — the good news that God is loving and merciful, that He offers each and every one of us forgiveness and salvation not because of what we do, but because of what Christ has already done for us — was largely forgotten by both clergy and laity.

The Holy Spirit used an Augustinian monk and university professor named Martin Luther to restore the gospel to its Martin Luther4   rightful place as the cornerstone doctrine of Christianity. Martin Luther and his colleagues came to understand that if we sinners had to earn salvation by our own merits and good works, we would be lost and completely without hope. But through the working of the Holy Spirit, the reformers rediscovered the gospel — the wonderful news that Jesus Christ lived, died, and rose again to redeem and justify us.

As Luther wrote in his explanation of the Second Article of the Apostles’ Creed: I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord, who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, that I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity. This is most certainly true.

On Reformation Day, we glorify God for what he accomplished in 16th century Germany through His servant, Dr. Martin Luther — the recovery of the gospel of salvation by grace through faith for Christ’s sake. We also earnestly pray that God would keep all of us faithful to the true gospel and help us to joyfully declare it to the world. This lovely hymn verse encapsulates the theme of our Reformation celebration:

    ‘By grace God’s Son, our only Savior, Came down to earth to bear our sin. Was it because of your own merit That Jesus died your soul to win? No, it was grace, and grace alone, It brought Him from His heav’nly throne.’ “

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This article was taken from the Monergism.com website.

Pictures were copied and pasted from the web.