Here’s this month’s Gone Fishin’ Newsletter.
Every month a team from our fellowship at Calvary Wellington heads out to our regular fishing hole, the Naenae Market and Hillary Court shops. There we share the Gospel to those in our immediate community.
Once a month I publish a simple newsletter that is distributed to the fellowship (or for anyone else who stumbles across this website), as a way of encouragement, and as a tool to equip us to be better evangelists.
Gone Fishin’ Monthly Newsletter – May 2022
“…but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:31).
We had a great time down at the Riverbank Market last month for our Easter Outreach! A big thank you to all who gave their time to put the packs together, and came down on the day to spread the Good News!
Click here to see the Field Report for the outreach.
Click here to see all Newsletters and Field Reports.
WE all know that God’s Word is essential to the believer. If we don’t read it, we don’t grow. God has taken time to send us 66 love letters, and it would be extremely rude of us to ignore them.
But there is a bigger theme running through the scriptures that make all the little isolated stories make sense. It’s the scarlet thread that makes the whole Bible come to life.
In our text today, there are three ultimate truths we should take away each time we read God’s word.
Believe that Jesus is the Christ
The word ‘Christ’ is translated as ‘the anointed one’. Jesus Himself verified that He was the Anointed One when He read from the scriptures at the temple in Luke 4:16-21, which is a direct quote from Isaiah 61:
So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
If we don’t believe that Jesus is the Annointed One as spoken by Isaiah, then we will not have life in Hs name. And if we don’t have life in His name, we are not children of God, and are not saved from destruction. There are many false Christs, self-declared people that will point you away from the real Christ. But there is only one Annointed One we should be trusting our eternity on!
Believe that Jesus is the Son of God
Jesus has been called lots of things by the world; a prophet, a philosopher, someone with good morals to follow.
The disciples, however, verified that Jesus was the Son of God, in John 6:66-69:
From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
If we don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God, then Him dying on the cross was a worthless act of martyrdom, as it needed someone perfect to bear our sins, and defeat death. All other religions fall short because they don’t accept that Jesus is the Son of God. They will all be swept away, because there can only be one pure sacrifice for sin!
Believe that we have life in Jesus’ name
The word ‘life’ in this context is meaning eternal, or significant life. We are living, but are we really alive?
Jesus told us this wonderful truth in the most known of all Bible verses, in John 3:16-17:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
Eternal life starts the day we are born again. But if we believe that this life is all we have; that when we exhale our final breath it is all over for us, then we don’t have life in Jesus’ name. We are doomed to perish. We must be born again.
As the old saying goes:
born once, die twice; born twice, die once.
This is the ultimate truth and conclusion of the Word of God, and the truth we must convey to others – We must:
* believe that Jesus is the Christ,
* believe that He is the Son of God,
* and by believing you will have life in His name.
Let that sink in as we spread the Good News!
Not finished yet!
For the Easter Outreach, our church fellowship had spent a wonderful couple of hours handing out our Gospel tracts with hot cross buns and chocolate bars. When it was all over, I looked around to see that there were still dozens of people milling around, buying their fruit and veges. I was still feeling fresh, and the opportunity to do some one-on-one witnessing was too good to pass up. So, I fished out my trusty $1m tracts and went to work.
I had a few conversations, some memorable and some not, but all worth it, as God’s word never returns void.
The most draining conversation was with a couple of ladies named Michelle and Taylor, who believed the universe was just a big ball of energy that transformed into different forms. Neither would accept any notion of a God, and laughed at the concept that they were accountable to Him after they died, for anything they did. At least they were open to listen to me, and received a couple of other tracts to read later.
From me to Yu
I had been walking back and forth the length of the car park for quite a while, and thought I would finish up shortly. The last person I talked to was a young lady named Yu. I passed her and the gentleman she was with a tract and asked her what happens after we die:
“I don’t know”
“Do you think there is a heaven?”
“I think there is a place where everyone goes”
“What happens to all the bad people, where do they go?”
“I don’t know”
“Do they go to heaven too?”
“I don’t think so, but I’m not sure”
“What about you, do you think you are good enough to get to heaven?”
“I think so, but that’s not up to me”
“Who gets to make that decision, God?”
“I think so, yes”
“So, when you stand before God on Judgement Day, and He asks you ‘Yu, why should I let you into heaven?’, you would say ‘because…’ “
“I have tried my best to do what is right, and not hurt people. If I have, I try to make it up to them”
“What about all the wrong things you have done?”
“Like lying. Have you ever lied?”
“Yes, I have”
“Have you ever stolen anything, regardless of its’ value?”
“Oh, no, I wouldn’t do that”
“Ever downloaded something of the internet, but not paid for it when you should have?”
“Oh, OK, yes I have”
Have you ever taken God’s name in vain?”
“What do you mean?”
“For example, have you ever substituted God’s name for a filthy word?”
“Oh, yes, I have.” Her eyes averted downwards.
“That’s called blasphemy, very serious in God’s eyes. It’s serious because He is the one who gave you life, and you’ve dragged His name through the mud”
“OK”. Her eyes were still looking down. She was wearing a face mask, but I could detect some Godly sorrow in her voice.
“So, Yu, I’m not judging you. This is for you to judge yourself. You’ve admitted to me that you are a lying thief and a blasphemer. If these are some of the things that God will judge you for, should He reward you, or punish you?”
“Heaven or hell?”
“Hell. But won’t He forgive me?”
“That’s like asking an earthly judge to forgive you for all the crimes you have committed. Would that be a good judge who did that?”
“No, that would be a bad judge”
“It’s the same with God. If He let you off, then He would no longer be good. And if God is good, then He must punish sin. And His punishment is not heaven, it’s hell”
It was time to give Yu the Gospel. “But what if your hell punishment was paid for you?”
“What do you mean?”
“If you are in a courtroom, and you are guilty of not paying thousands in speeding fines, and someone comes in and pays them for you, then you are free to go. The judge can legally dismiss your case, because your fine has been paid. Do you know why Christians revere Easter?”
“No, I don’t”. She was of Asian ethnicity, so there was a good chance she had never heard of it. So it was the perfect time to give Yu the beautiful Gospel truth.
“God sent His Son Jesus to earth in the form of a man. Because He was fully God and fully man, He was perfect. God allowed Him to be tried and hung on a cross. And while He was on that cross, He crushed His Son with the sin of the world. That included yours and mine. Just before He died He said ‘It is finished’, meaning that the hell punishment had been paid for those who trust in His sacrifice. Is this making sense to you?”
“I think so, yes”
“So, going back to my earlier question, what did you say you would say to God for Him to let you into heaven?”
“That I try to do what is right”
“Will that get you into heaven?”
“Because I have done wrong things”
“And what has God done for you?”
“He put my sin on His Son”
“So, knowing this, what would you now say to God on Judgement Day when He asks you why He should let you into heaven?”
“That my sin has been paid for”
“Now, the hard question – do you believe that or not?”
She was silent for a few seconds. “Yes. Yes, I think I believe that”
I had no reason not to believe her, but only God knew her heart.
“What happens to those who do not believe that Jesus took their hell punishment?”
“I think they would go to hell”
“So, how much of your hell punishment did Jesus take?”
“All of it”
“So if you did another sin, then died, where would you go?”
“To heaven, because Jesus paid for all my hell punishment”. She had got it!
“Would you mind if I prayed for you?”
“No, that would be fine”
I prayed that Yu would see the seriousness of her sin, and truly place all her faith in Jesus to take her hell punishment for her. I prayed that He would grant her the gift of everlasting life, so that she would go to heaven when she died.
Afterwards I gave her some more literature, including a Gospel of John, and a good person tract. I stressed her the importance of downloading the Bible, and reading it daily, as well as getting hooked into a good church.
Please keep Yu in your prayers!
I’ll see you at my place at 10am for prayer this Saturday, before heading down to the shops!
Witnessing Tip: Focus on Christ, not your shortcomings!
Evangelism can be exhausting!
But don’t let that cause you to give up. Always be vigilant to share the Gospel.
We have eternity to rest!