Hell Fire

Posted: October 6, 2008 in evangelism, soap box, tv & movies

If you’ve been reading this blog for more than a few weeks, you’re aware of just how much I LOVE door-to-door evangelists, bicycle riding evangelists, street preachers, gospel tracts, and so forth.  

Two weeks ago, before seeing the movie “Eagle Eye” with Erin at the Pinnacle theater in Turkey Creek, yours truly needed to use the restroom.  This is what I found on top of the toilet paper dispenser inside the stall.  Made for good bathroom reading. 

Just in case you can’t read it clearly….basically, it reminds you that there’s nothing more you need to do in order to go to hell.  It’s already a given that you’re on your way there….unless, of course, you believe upon Jesus and take a moment to pray something like….okay, okay.  I’m calm.  I know we all need Jesus.  I know that without Him I’m definitely on a one way ticket to hell.  But can you imagine one day being at church, camp, or a conference, and hearing a stirring testimony from a guest speaker, and it starts with, “I was a sinner.  I was on my way to hell.  Until one weekend I went to see Nights in Rodanthe with my wife.  And before the movie, I realized I needed to go number 2.  While doing my duty, I noticed a gospel tract on the toilet paper dispenser and thought, ‘what the hell, I’ve got a couple of minutes’.  And ‘what the hell’ was right, because I realized then and there that brimstone was in my future.  Then I prayed a prayer, left the restroom, and decided immediately with my wife that we would exchange our tickets and go see Fireproof instead.”

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Comments
  1. Bill says:

    Hello,

    I have to assume you’re not being sarcastic when you say that you love door-to-door evangelists, and street preachers, because that would include Jesus, Peter, Paul and many others in the Bible. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16), and no one can get saved without hearing the gospel (Romans 10:14). That means the gospel is sufficient, and we don’t have to add anything to it for people to get saved.

    Certainly, I’ve seen some pitiful tracts, and I’m not going to defend this one (since I can’t read it), but if a tract has the gospel in it, people can get saved from it.

    What do you think needs to be added to a gospel tract to make it more effective? Why aren’t you rejoicing when you find a gospel tract?

    Thanks,
    Bill

  2. Jason says:

    Bill,

    Thanks for reading and commenting. I’ve taken a moment to look at your blog, and it’s easy to see why you disagree with me. I’m glad you have the fire and passion to open-air preach, to hand out tracts, and to evangelize in public places.

    Here’s my point….your fire and passion could be MUCH MUCH MUCH more effective if channeled into more meaningful, loving, and Christ-like methods. Yes, Jesus open-air evangelized. But He also lived homeless, had nothing, and commonly provided for people’s basic needs before sharing the Good News. Is this what you commonly do as well?

    Question. Which would Jesus like better? Someone who is public evangelizing in often hostile ways in which you annoy many more people than you touch, and handing out tracts in a sort of “if-2000-people-hear-me-or-get-this-tract-then-maybe-one-will-be-effected” kind of way…..or someone who befriends another person, whether or not that person is in great need, helps and loves that person in tanglible ways, and in the process shines the Good News on them in both word and deed and helps them know Jesus, then befriends another person, then another?

    I would suggest that Jesus maybe loves both methods, and prefers neither, since, as you rightly say, the Gospel is being preached in both instances. But which is more effective? Which has more long lasting affects? Which is truly more like Jesus?

    You could find a group of people who are hungry, throw out a 100 bags of rice, and hope that everyone is able to get some rice, has a place to cook it, and actually knows how to make it. Or, you could invite a hungry person into your home, cook a meal for them, and get to know them over dinner. Again, both methods are helpful, addressing a need, but which is more effective? Which is longer lasting? Which is more like Christ?

    I will continue to read your blog, because I know it’s important for me to see your perspective a little better than I do. And, again, I do appreciate the passion you have for what you do, and I have no doubt you’ve helped save lives. I just disagree with the method.

    thanks again…jason

  3. Michael says:

    Good blog, actually. Moreso, because you get to see different perspectives on what some may see as a trivial matter. Firstly, just because knowledge is cool, you don’t have to have a kitchen to cook rice. You can wash it with water and simply heat it up on stone. Just a trick we learned during the training your always teasing me about. :oP

    I know where you are coming from… I used to really get ticked off when an evangelist would come to my door. I’m not really sure why, though. Because they dress up? Because they are from a different branch of my religion? Because they use a different Bible? As a 28 year old adult, I seriously don’t know why they used to tick me off. After all, they are doing what I try to do which is tell people about Christ.. only, they are more aggressive at it I suppose… running around and actually going doorstep to doorstep. I always talk about endurance training and you know 99% of each door they walk to is going to have the same reaction; shutting the door without listening. How disheartening can that be for them? Yet, they continue on to the next door to the next neighborhood for the next few hours. That’s endurance. And that is endurance because of what they value a righteous heart. Maybe my distaste was because they approached it differently than me.

    There is a man on the street that I work on that constantly comes up to me and reminds me I work for a Devil Company and that if I “don’t feel bad about dipping into the Devil’s bank, that is fine.” But that doesn’t bother me in the fact that he is preaching to me; I know what he is trying to do. I just don’t like how he is doing it. Maybe I do work for a ‘Devil Company’; and if so, maybe I can touch some hearts in the process.

    It wasn’t until the beginning of this summer that I was house-sitting for my mom and a Gideon’s Bible evangelist came up to knock on the door. This was the first time I took the time to actually listen and talk to what they were trying to say and I did it because of the fact that I admire what they are trying to do and felt like we were actually trying to do the same thing. I have a respect for them now. Some of them. I would really like to repaint that Hellfire van.

  4. Bill says:

    Jason,

    I think our difference comes from the fact that I think the gospel is sufficient, and you don’t. You think it is “MUCH MUCH MUCH” more effective if you add your own good works to it. In my experience, doing good things for people (oftentimes) doesn’t make them more open to hearing the gospel. Non-Christians are dead in their sins (Eph. 2:1), and children of the devil (1 John 3:10). We are commanded to do good deeds for them, but only God can make them receptive to the gospel.

    Maybe you should do what God is leading you to do, and not mock what God is leading others to do. Paul rejoiced because the gospel was being preached regardless of the motives of the preacher (Philippians 1:15-18). I would ask you to rejoice that you found a Christian tract, and not a Jehovah’s Witness tract or some other false religion’s tract.

    Thanks,
    Bill

  5. Jason says:

    Michael, Bill, way to make a brother think. I’m still not a fan of the philosophy/method, but I certainly don’t want to be an enemy either. Thanks for the insights.

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