By Keith Johnson
Published December 22, 2007
Here I was, a young Christian from Boston, in Congleton, England, on a missions trip for God!
I stood in the middle of Main Street surrounded by six skin-headed punk rockers wearing big, black army boots. I was a nervous wreck. I didn’t even know what to say. I knew that these kids needed Jesus. If only I could introduce them to Him in a real way, I knew that they would respond just as I had six years earlier.
Suddenly, a thought came to me: Ask them a question. Ask them what they think of America. A stupid question I’ll admit, but it was all I had. They came back with the answers I expected. They told me – in no uncertain terms – that they hated America. Although they did say that Madonna was the greatest.
They went on to say that they hated their own country. They were all unemployed and on the dole. They had just enough money to survive on and maybe buy drugs on the weekends. These kids told me that they hated life. And I believed them.
The ice was broken; we were talking. This went on for a while until we started to run out of things to say. All that I knew was that I loved these kids and had to tell them about my Jesus. If I left them now, I would never see them again.
At that point, the nervousness came back. How in the world could I ever turn this conversation around to Jesus? How could I share Jesus in a way that they could understand? How could I ever get into the hearts of these radical kids who had totally given up on life?
Wait a minute! Jesus was a radical! He did and said some things people in His day thought crazy. Maybe His life could break through to these kids.
I said: “You know … I know a man who changed His town. I mean, He really shook it up! This guy was radical! Thousands of people followed Him around and listened to the things He said.
“He hated religion because it was leading people in the wrong direction. He would walk right up to religious leaders and call them snakes and vipers. He told them how good they looked on the outside, but on the inside they were full of dead man’s bones! On the inside they were hypocrites.”
I could see that they were interested, so I went on …
“This man had power! He raised people from the dead. He even went into a Church carrying a whip in His hand because there were people selling junk in there. He couldn’t stand it so He chased them out like a mad man. He demanded 100% commitment from the people who followed Him. He told them they had to deny themselves.
“You guys think you’re radical, but you don’t even come close to this man. He didn’t sit around complaining and getting high. He did something with his life. He changed His town.
“But finally He went too far. The religious hypocrites, who plotted against Him finally killed Him. None of you would ever be murdered for being too radical. None of you would ever suffer like He did for what you believe in.”
At this point they didn’t even know who I was talking about. Finally, one of them asked me, “Who was this guy?”
I said, “I’ll tell you, but you have to promise to listen to the rest of the story.”
I said, “This man was Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”
At this they laughed at me and swore, but I was not about to quit. So I told them about how he changed my life and gave me excitement for living. I told them that He was my Hero, my Lord and my King!
“That’s why I’m here all the way from America – because He loves you guys a lot and He died for you. He took your place on the cross so you wouldn’t have to live in misery. He can change your life. He wants to use you to change your country!”
One interrupted and said, “We can’t change anything around here! How can one of us do anything?!”
I asked them if they had ever heard of John Wesley. They said they hadn’t. So I told them about how God got ahold of Wesley’s life and about how he changed England in the 1700s, “God used a single man to do it. He can do it with you too!”
I invited them to the church service that night and the last thing I said was, “If you want Jesus to change your life, be there at 7:00 P.M.”
Well 7:00 P.M. rolled around, but as the service began there was no sign of them. We were singing “To God Be the Glory.” I had my hands raised just praising God, when out of the corner of my eye I saw a big, black army boot stepping up the aisle. Tears came to my eyes, as four punkers sat down beside me. All I could do was pray for them.
As they sat there, they were unruly and laughing. One of them even lit up a cigarette and began to smoke until I made him put it out. I wondered how long the pastor would put up with these kids.
Finally, Eric Johnson, the American youth evangelist, stepped up to the pulpit. He began with this scripture, “The thief comes to kill, steal, and to destroy, but I have come that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly.” He read it with power and anointing.
“Satan wants to destroy you, but Jesus Christ wants to save you and make your life count for something!” His message was simple, and he preached it with all his heart as if it would be the last time he would ever see these kids.
He challenged these kids. He called them out, “C’mon, it takes some guts to stand up for Jesus! It’s going to mean that your friends will laugh at you and you’ll probably lose them. But you don’t know anything about friendship until you get saved and join the family of God!”
But no one came forward. Then he prayed one of the most powerful prayers I have ever heard. At this point, the leader of the group stood up and walked forward with tears streaming down his face. Then his friend beside him came forward. Two kids came to the Lord that night with broken hearts, repenting of their sins. There is no one too lost that Jesus can’t find and save.
I will never be the same after witnessing this. Up until this time I was on the defensive for God. Defense spends all of its time fighting off the assaults of the other team. But I realize now that I don’t want to miss out on what God is going to do through His Church in the Last Days.
Will you go on the offensive for God? That means making yourself available to do His will. It means having compassion for people. It means doing exploits for His glory and the advancement of His kingdom. It means being a part of His kingdom here and now.
I pray that God will use this experience of mine to excite you and challenge you to step out and share Jesus with the lost. Go out into the highways and byways and compel them to come in!
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » World Events
Your comments are welcome!
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
High Quality Paperback — 200 pages
A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism
Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner
The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.
Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.
Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the Free Study Guide!
Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981
Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.
The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.
“… a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine
Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese
Running Time: 28 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)