Theology and Practice of Evangelism - Lesson 15

Wesley’s Societies

A lot of ministry is, “tell me more,” “what did you mean by that?”  Justification is turning from sin, new birth is turning toward righteousness. Do you believe it, do you anticipate it and do you expect it? Do you believe the spirit of God has more invested in your ministry than you do? Interpersonal evangelism is where you get to the point that you rely on the Spirit and don’t look for signs, but assume the Spirit is at work. Paraklete in secular literature is the one who stands next to the one going into battle that says, “sic-em!”

Robert Tuttle, Jr.
Theology and Practice of Evangelism
Lesson 15
Watching Now
Wesley’s Societies

I. Background and Context of Wesley's Societies

A. Introduction

B. Historical and Cultural Context

C. The Methodist Movement

II. Structure and Organization of Wesley's Societies

A. Class Meetings

B. Band Meetings

C. Select Societies

III. Theological Foundations and Practices

A. Sanctification

B. Accountability and Discipline

C. Evangelism and Mission

IV. Impact and Legacy of Wesley's Societies

A. Growth and Expansion

B. Influence on Modern Church Practices

  • In order to share the Gospel, you must know what it meant, and how people are understanding what you are saying. The gospel core is the least you can believe and still be a Christian. If the least you can believe is sufficient to get you saved, then the least you can believe is the most you can require of anyone.
  • Christianity is the only world religion with an understanding of grace. Your most important ministry will be helping people understand how much God loves them. The heart of the gospel is that God loves you. Sin happens when we attempt to live as if there is no God. God, since the fall has done everything he can to establish relationship. God wants to make himself known to you in a way that you can understand.
  • At the Fall, Satan gained control of the world. Jesus takes it back in Revelation 5 because he meets the qualifications. The core elements of the sermons of the apostles are authoritative proofs, prophecies fulfilled, God’s activities described, apostolic eyewitnesses and miracles proclaimed. You will be heard with authority to the degree you are willing to put your life on the line. You die spiritually when you rationalize sin. Wind moves from high pressure to low pressure. We access the power of the Spirit by repenting and believing. Two sins mentioned throughout scripture are self-reliance and oppressing the poor.
  • The lesson tells the story of a professor who faces personal struggles and overcomes them with the help of faith, healing, and learning to overcome sin, ultimately showing that it's possible to prevail over life's challenges with God's guidance.
  • Through this lesson, you learn the core components of the gospel message, its theological themes, and how to effectively communicate it for evangelism purposes.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into leveraging your personal, church, and wider spheres of influence to effectively share the Gospel, overcome challenges, and expand your evangelistic reach.
  • Gain insights into ministry experiences and the power of faith, prayer, personal testimony, and baptism stories to navigate emergency situations that are bigger than yourself.
  • You will learn from this lesson that you are uniquely equipped to minister to those in your sphere of influence and that the church is indispensable for your survival. By treating others with respect and recognizing each person's importance, the church can become the living, breathing body of Jesus Christ.
  • In this lesson, you will learn that people are often hurting, angry, lonely, or tired, ministry requires dependence on God and rejection is important, preaching the text is key, our weaknesses can be our strengths, and close community is crucial for doing the work of the kingdom, while leading someone to Christ without providing ample opportunity for growth and nurture is a mistake.
  • In this lesson, you will learn about Charlie Haley, a man with a pastoral background who is currently involved in retreat ministry and considering going into the mission field abroad. The lesson covers topics related to evangelism and ministry, including tract ministry, follow-up and discipleship, and the importance of love and forgiveness within one's sphere of influence. The lesson also discusses the importance of building relationships and addressing felt needs with spiritual solutions.
  • This lecture begins as Dr. Tuttle is relating a story about a lady he met on an airplane. Jesus chose people as disciples that he could demonstrate by showing and telling them, and then depend on them to reproduce what they had been shown and taught. When Jesus gets too close, we raise the religious question to change the subject. As a result of the sin in the garden, we lost our ability to perceive reality beyond the senses. The Holy Spirit came, not to compensate for the absence of Jesus, but to guarantee his presence. We hold the truth, but the world sets the agenda and has the right to ask its own questions.
  • Often, it is implied that once you commit your life to Christ, all your problems are solved. The Hebrew concept of soul is body, mind and spirit. The Greek concept is that soul and body are separate, and that soul is good and body is evil. Prophecy and spiritual gifts are essential for the body of Christ to function. In the teaching in mainline churches, there is sometimes a disconnect between faith and life.
  • Trusting the Spirit of God is the key in this lesson. By remembering and trusting the Spirit, one can be utterly dependent upon God and do the hard work in preaching. Dr. Tuttle shares his personal experience of trusting the Spirit and provides context for Paul's second missionary journey, including Paul's conversion and early ministry, Peter's vision, and the conversion of Gentiles. The Spirit of God also taught Saul how Jesus fulfilled all of the Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah.
  • Through a deep exploration of Wesley's Methodism and Calvin's Reformed tradition, you gain an understanding of their respective theological frameworks, evangelistic strategies, and lasting influences on modern evangelism.
  • Through this lesson, you grasp the significance of Wesley's Societies, their organizational structure, theological practices, and the lasting impact on modern church practices.
  • By exploring the Ethiopian Eunuch story, you gain insights on divine guidance, Scripture's role in evangelism, and early church inclusivity, while learning to apply practical evangelistic lessons.
  • Through this lesson, you learn to effectively share the gospel through action evangelism by understanding its theological basis, applying key principles, employing various methods, and overcoming common obstacles.
  • You gain insights into action evangelism's importance, principles, and various methods, while learning to overcome fears and obstacles, and equipping others for effective Gospel sharing.

Dr. Tuttle teaches three critical points around evangelism: how to share your faith story, what evangelism is and how to approach it, and that God has more invested in evangelism than we do – He is in control. God is at work. He wants us to, "show up and pay attention [to the Spirit]," and to care about people enough to "press" them by asking probing questions about what they think and what's going on in their lives.

Evangelism is essentially about the core of the Gospel, ministering in your sphere of influence and sustaining those you reach.

Recommended Books

Can We Talk: Sharing Your Faith in a Pre-Christian World

Can We Talk: Sharing Your Faith in a Pre-Christian World

Those who serve on mission fields in areas where Christian faith is not the dominant religion quickly come to understand a central truth: when one is sharing the gospel, one...

Can We Talk: Sharing Your Faith in a Pre-Christian World

Dr. Robert Tuttle, Jr.
Theology and Practice of Evangelism
Wesley’s Societies
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:00] The following lectures provided by Biblical training. The speaker is Dr. Robert Tuttle. For more information, go to WW dot Biblical training dot org. A lot of evangelism is pressing people, not arguing with them, asking them. Whoa. Tell me. Tell me. Tell me about their. Help me here. You might be able to help me. Maybe I can give up on this ministry and go back and earn an honest living. Tell me something. I'm not going in ministry because of the money, for crying out loud. I mean, Cynthia didn't talk me into this. She's taken a serious cut. You know? They're not the truth. Aren't you glad your children are raised to ask him? Am I? Am I doing it for nothing? You mean you're doing it just great Without. Without having anybody watch your back. Help me here. I may go back and make an honest living. Press him. Call him on that. Cotton pickers blowing smoke. And if you let him get away with it, he'll think he's right. A lot of the time, evangelism is just asking people to be honest. Don't blow smoke, Don't mess with them. Too old. Don't do that. Don't. Don't do that. Just tell me you don't want to know. God. Because you're scared to death, God will ask you to do something you don't want to do. And somewhere in your viscera, if you felt like it's boring to be a Christian, let me tell you what it means to be a Christian. Don't blow smoke at me. I'm too old. Talk to me. I like you. Talk to me. You help me. I'll help you. Right. Give me one of those books here. You read one of my book. Give me one of your books. There's a really good chance he's going to be hard put.

[00:02:01] And if it does give you something, there's a good chance you won't understand it. Give me something I can understand. He can understand C.S. Lewis. At least he can understand the words on the page, right? He might he might not understand the concept, but he can at least understand what the words mean on the page. Give me something I can read where I can understand the words on the page. That's all you have to do. You'd be hard put. Nicely compared to see us, Louis. I teach a course, I teach apologetics. You. C.S. Lewis. Jackson. Don't. Don't. Blaise Pascal. I love that stuff. Clark Pinnock. It's wonderful to see good minds struggle. With eternal issues, with with issues that relate to the reality beyond the senses. It's so it's wonderful. And you compare them with somebody who's locked into the left side of their brain trying to make sense of of a reality beyond the senses. It's pathetic. Don't you read those books? Let me read you just a sermon of two. In the New Testament. But how have how they talk about the host acts to. These are the fire patron servants. This is old Peter, right? Rooster complex. Remember Peter? Then Peter stood up for the 11, raised his voice and addressed the crowd. Fellow Jews, they just accused them of having too much wine. Right? Fellow Jews and all you who live in Jerusalem. Let me explain this to you. Listen. We're not drunk, as you suppose. It's only nine in the morning, for crying out loud. A one way beaver doesn't get drunk 9:00 in the morning, usually. No, what you just observed is what the prophets have been speaking about for generations. In the last day, God says, I will pour out my spirit on all people.

[00:04:17] Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions. Your old man will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my spirit. In those days, I will pour out my spirit. And they will prophesy. I will show wonders and the heaven above and signs on the earth below. Blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. Everyone who calls in the name of the Lord will be saved. Men of Israel. Listen to this. Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you. How? By miracles and by wonders and by signs. The old John Wilmot picked up on that, didn't he? Which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God. People say. Jesus. Oh. I don't believe Jesus is the son of God. What do you believe about Jesus? Well, he was a good man. Why would why would a good man lie? Why would a good man pretend? It's like the student tell the story in the in the in the introduction to shortening the leap. Comes by my office. He's perplexed. Frank, what's going on? He stepped into my office, starts to weep and said, I've just. I've just gotten a call from Matthias. I just been appointed to a church. I'm going to be a pastor of a church and two months from now and I have nothing to say to them. I say, Frank. What do you mean? Hayes. I don't believe any of it anymore. So we talk about ten or 15 minutes. So finally I said.

[00:06:18] Right. Let's go back to the basics just for a moment. Let's talk about Jesus. He said, you're not listening. I don't believe the man existed. I said, Frank, there's more hard evidence for the existence of Jesus than for Julius Caesar. He said, okay. I met was a man named Jesus who walked back to the earth 2000 years ago. I said, Well, tell me about him. He said while he was a good man, he might have been a prophet if there is such a thing. I said, Well, if there is such a thing as a prophet, what if he'd been a true prophet or a false prophet? He got to thinking about that. And said, well, I cannot in good conscience say he was a prosperous, false prophet. I say, Whoa, now we're going from zero here to a man named James to walk the face of the earth 2000 years ago who was a good man, a prophet. If there is such a thing and if there is such a thing as a prophet, he was a fruit. Fruit prophet. Why in the world did the crucify? He said, Well, everybody knows that they crucified him because he claimed to be the son of God. I said. It seems like to me. Either. He was the son of God. Now he was a liar. Was he a liar? He looked at the ceiling, looked back down the wall, look at me and said, I cannot good conscience say he was a liar. I said, Frank. We're going from zero here to a man named James with walk through the year 2000 years ago. A good man if there is such a thing, a true prophet who claimed to be the son of God, a mad man.

[00:07:43] That's what I said. Who was not a mad man. Seems like he either was the son of God. Ah, he was a mad man. Was he a mad man? He said, No, I cannot in good conscience say he was a mad man. Can you say Jesus was a man? Even if you don't believe anything about him. I mean, read his words. You can read them in 2 hours. Does that sound like words of a mad man? Love your enemy. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Does that sound like the words of a mad man? If I were here, I think I would risk believing that he was and is who he said he was and is. And that's when he said, you know, you shortened my sleep. All I did, rather than commiserate with him, said, Oh, I'm so sorry. Let's pray. Challenged it. He's blowing smoke. A lot of ministry. Is. Tell me more. What do you really mean by that? Do you really do you really believe all religions are the same? What do you know about other religions? Do you really believe Christianity is just an Islam or just the say? Tell me something about Christianity. Well, it's about love and forgiveness. Where is that in Islam? No love and forgiveness in his life. Ask your mom. I got him on the Plath altar. Whereas love and forgiveness. Well, we don't think in those terms. You think Buddhism talk about worship? X flag flying Christian worship. Bush doesn't believe in worship because Bush doesn't have a friends to God. You're telling me all religions are the same? What do you mean? All religions are the same. Have you ever studied Zoroastrians? The Sikhs. The Jains. Confucius, just a bunch of do's and don'ts.

[00:09:47] Pretty good principles. Daoism, the way the yin and the yang. I can relate to that. But the yin and the yang is only going to get you so far because at some point you've got to get from the end of the yang. Please. Just learn about this stuff. And when people challenge you, just say, Whoa, if you don't know what the answer is that tell me more. Explain that. What in the world are you talking about? All religions are the same. The closest house of worship to my congregation is a mosque. And so I took my guy out, mentoring, and we went to meet him and went to meet home. Oh, good. The imam of the mosque. And we sat upstairs and listened to talk for about half an hour. I don't know what I was prepared for, but I wasn't prepared for Muslim imams to tell me all religions are the same. All he did was he Arabic was an Arab Tunisian. He's been a college professor. He's in his sixties, been a college professor his whole life. And he said he wanted to get out back into the field. He's cleaned it up and a lot of Muslims would just listen to what he has to say. To have me come and speak from his pulpit and vice versa and take him up on it, Absolutely. Say, come on. I'm telling Jesus real. You take that challenge, you say, Come on, come on, speak. And he'll listen to you. You'll listen to him and you'll make him jealous. You talk about love and forgiveness. Let him talk about whatever your people hear enough of you so they're not going to be put off. Take that challenge. Don't be afraid of that. Bring it on, please.

[00:11:37] When can you come? And when can I come? And talk about love and forgiveness. Absolutely. You're not afraid of him? He's not afraid of you. But he'd understand. I have. I have a former. Baptist evangelist who's now an imam. Come into my class and teach about Islam. Wow. He was a Baptist evangelist when he was 15 years old. Brilliant. I had lots of questions and no one in the Southern Baptist tradition. Could answer his question, so he assumed there were no answers. So I drifted into Islam. He does not understand Christianity, nor does he understand Islam. He's cleaned it up. Then I had the next the next week. I have a former Muslim imam who studied at the Great University Islamic University in Cairo, who is now an evangelist, come in and speak, and he responds to the former. Evangelist now imam, now the former imam, now evangelist. He responds to the former. And it is interesting. It'll make you so happy to be a Christian. And the reason he is no longer an imam. Is that you'll see when you go to go to Egypt, you'll realize that the Egyptian government, even under Mubarak, was cleaning up Islam because of a tourism. And they wanted to soften. So they were insisting that these imams soften. The language of the Koran. The Koran is a desert book. You understand that? If you don't want only 14% of Muslims are Arabs, so only 14% can read the Koran as the word of God. It's a desert book. The only way to survive in the desert is to strive. And of course, the Arabic word proscribed is jihad. Jihad is all of life. It's not just some kind of holy war. It's all of life. And so the Egyptian government under Mubarak is trying to clean up Islam to soften it, because they don't want these Muslims to get out of hand and in the face of these terrorist who are coming in.

[00:13:49] And so they insisted that this former imam soften and he's teaching Islamic studies at the University of Cairo. And he said the government was insisting he soften Islam. He goes to the Koran and realize, whoa, it's all here. I mean. I'd give you hundreds of these pages. Let me give you one or two. The punishment of those who wage war against our law and his messenger and strive with Martin Maine for mischief throughout the land. Those who make mischief in the land. The only alternative is execution or crucifixion and the cutting off of hands and feet on opposite sides. Now. See, Mubarak wants them. Wants him to soften Islam and clean it up, you say. And he goes into into the Koran. I can show you hundreds of passages like this and he goes into the Koran say, whoa, how do I soften that? I mean, do you realize this is just the Koran? There are ten volumes of the Hadith. You know, How has Hadith You know the Hadith, It's the it's the ten volumes of the things of Muhammad. There's a 20 page introduction to the Hadith. 15 of those pages are dedicated to convincing Christians that Jesus couldn't possibly be the son of God. Half of this is dedicated, dedicated to convincing Christians that Jesus couldn't possibly be the Son of God. And it's true. You can talk about Jesus in here. Who says he was born of a virgin? Let me tell you. But. And that he was resurrected. But he didn't die. You say he's even coming back. And this. But this is not the Jesus that you and I know. Trust me. So Jesus couldn't possibly be the son of God. And that is the impasse between Christianity and Islam.

[00:15:35] Jesus cannot possibly be the son of God. What are the five pillars of Islam? Number one. A large one. God and Muhammad. As if prophet. I mean, there's 240,000 properties. Jesus is one of them. But Muhammad is the end. He's the capstone. I don't believe that. Compare. Muhammad was illiterate. He received the Koran and the K from Gabriel, supposedly. And you realize what happened to Mohammed if it read this chronologically. The earlier series. This is Britain with the longest first going to the shortest. There's a reason for the Muslims doing that. Because if you do it chronologically, you realize the earliest sufferers were written from Mecca, the later, from Madinah, the earliest have a whole lot more about the kinds of principles. The latter. Shuras are war like. That's where the jihad comes. There's no forgiveness and no love. And the latter saw us. So if you just read the Koran or 400 pages, you can do it, you know, easily if you don't know the chronological order. You don't realize what's happening. And it can be confusing. But know, I don't read it. I don't read the chronological order. I just read the book every year and mark it up. Just happened to be the one I'm reading this year. Well, I remember that I told you about the story about the imam. I tell you about the story on the plane. I met this guy in the airport. We're getting acquainted. As you can tell, I'm getting acquainted with him there. And after the plane takes off that I tell you about the thing that tapped me on the shoulder and says, Can we talk? I said, Yeah, sure. We thought we'd go up to where the flight attendants take a needed break.

[00:17:22] You know this story. And for 20 minutes he's chewing on my hair pretty good, trying to convince me that Jesus couldn't possibly be the son of God. And finally, after about 20 minutes, the flight attendants are getting a little bit nervous. So I said, I realize this is not going anywhere. So I said, this is universal, by the way. So let me give you a challenge. I look this this guy right here in this photograph, I looked him right in the eye. I said, let me give you a challenge the moment you can love me more than I can love you. And the moment you can forgive me more than I can forgive you. I'll become a muslim. So help me, Allah. He rolled his eyes and walked off and the flight attendants applauded. The moment. You can love me more than I can love you. And the moment you can forgive me more than I can forgive you. I'll become a muslim. Put your money where your mouth is. I'm telling you, there's a Sharia law. You know what it is? You are bound by Sharia law to exact revenge in perpetuity. It never goes away. Ahmadinejad came to Columbia University in New York City three or four years ago as their guest lecturer and the president of Columbia University got up and insulted the man, called him a petty dictator, which he is calling a petty dictator, but insulted their guest lecturer, Ahmadinejad, done a job, got up to he's just a puppet. You know, the supreme Ayatollah is the one who runs runs Iran. Ahmadinejad gets up and says, you come to Iran, I won't insult you like that. Don't you realize that insult is already in the lines of his great, great, great, great, great grandchildren that will come back to haunt us a hundred years from now.

[00:19:05] There's no forgiveness message from all of it, supposedly from Gabriel, correct? No, no. Over a series of months, the years. Really? Back to Peter sermons. Are we in the middle of something I've forgotten? Oh, I was going to show you in the chart for justification the new birth. There are two sides of conversion. Justification. A new birth. Justification is turning from saying the new birth is turning toward righteousness. One turning away from seeing the other turning toward righteousness. One is the terminus quo. The other is a terminus on Kwame. Turning us Ikwo is turning from sand. Turn us quo. At Kwame is determined, as I quote is fair, rules us out. Kwame love rules. One is just is objective and forensic legal. The other is subjective and personal. New birth is subjective and personal. One is God for us, the other is God in us. Just to get imputed Righteousness. The new birth is the beginning of imparted righteousness. One is a relative change. You know, when we get say we're still and we're not perfect. Matter of fact, we're close to bad, Is we ever get bad news? It's just that we reversed the process. The others are beginning of a real change one we're entitled to have, and the others were Kuala Begin. We're qualified for having the type of sanctification. Okay. Peter goes on to all five of these sermons. The talk about the work of the spirit, which is what we're talking about today. All five of these sermons had this in common. The common outline for this sermon, we mentioned this a month ago, but I never really got to them. It started to prove the Old Testament prophecy fulfilled. God's activities are described apostolic eyewitnesses and the miracles proclaim.

[00:21:08] These are common to all five of these sermons. Proclamation of the Jesus of that his humanity, his ministry, his crucifixion, his resurrection is his exaltation. And Jesus is Lord. Then our involvement in the Christ event. Particularly Jewish. First of all, a minister, it's not tough to minister to the Jews. He was the Jewish fulfillment. Yet all must know because even Gentiles must know. Our response determines our destiny and therefore repent and be baptized. Then the benefits of a right of a right response forgiveness are refreshing. The gift of the spirit. And we will celebrate Christ return. Okay. George is going to speak to you tomorrow. George, By the way, George Colin Dean is a church consultant, done a lot of work abroad. He has a wheel that will help you. Get a handle on how to respond to issues relevant to the church. To move the church from point A to point B? I mean, the thing works. And I've asked him to come as a favor to me to share, and he can do it an hour and a half, probably an hour and a half easily. But it's a it's a it's an incredibly wonder. I had him teach this in my class at Garrett Evangelical, at least on two occasions, maybe more. But I've asked him to come to share with you that I think it'll help you. You'll find that helpful. We'll do that tomorrow. Let me read you something from this. And we're talking about accountability. Talking about the work or the spirit. How we access the Holy Spirit. How we sustain the work of the Spirit. Your friend who said, you know, I experience God, nature and all. We all have heard that I only guarantee church best experience of God's nature, which which is their way of saying what? That's when most.

[00:23:16] Curious about where all this came from. There's not a whole lot of God that thought. If we've been raised not knowing any better. We begin to keep confused our questions about where this come from or spirituality. We do. And all you have to do is to press. I'm asking you to press that. I don't want you to cast doubt. I want you to press it so they realize. What is the relationship with God all about? Now, these are the rules of the band societies over here, Wesley. Talks about. Listen to this. He said About ten years ago, my brother and I were desired to preach in many parts of London. We had no view therein, but so far as we were able and we knew God would work by whomever it pleased him to convince those who would hear what true Christianity was and to persuade them to embrace it. The parts we chiefly insisted upon were for first Orthodox. You are right, opinions is at best, but a very slender part of religion. If it can be allowed to be any part of it at all, that neither does religion consist and negatives and bare harmless ness of any kind, nor merely and externals and doing good are using the means of grace in the works of pious. This is all against the word righteousness, you say. Secondly, that the only way under heaven to this religion is to repent and believe the Gospel. Or as the apostle words, it repent toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Thirdly, that by this faith he that work of not believe it on him that justify the ungodly is justified freely by his grace to the redemption which is introduced as Christ. And lastly, that being justified by faith, we taste of the having to which we were going.

[00:25:05] We are holy and happy and tread down sin and fear and sit in heaven in places with Jesus Christ. Many of those who heard this began to cry out that we brought strange things to their ears, that this was doctrine which they never heard of before, or at least never regarded. They searched the scriptures, whether these things were so and acknowledged the truth, that is as it is. And Jesus led them to the Bible. Their hearts were also influenced as well as their understanding, and they determined to follow Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Immediately they were surrounded with difficulties. All the world rose up against them. Neighbors, strangers, acquaintance relations, friends began to crowd. I may be not righteous overmuch. Why should style destroy thyself? Let not much religion make they mad? Did I tell you about this George story of George Arthur? But when they came, he was the pastor of Madison Avenue Pristine church, 28 years downtown New York, and taught at Harvard Yard for 11 years and then came to Northwestern, where I was a student. And I took every course he ever taught. I could anticipate his next sentences. And he was friends of my parents. And I tell you, my parents came to Chicago to visit us and we had the buttocks over because they were friends. And my mother said, George. What are we going to do with Robert? He's so holier than thou, which I was. You know what Butterick did? He got up from his chair, walked around behind me, put his hands on my shoulders until I remember the weight of his hands on my shoulder and said, Lily, my mother's name is Lily. Lily. At his age, I was 21. It is. I That's the least of your worries.

[00:26:46] This church still has far more trouble with ice than fire. But it just gave me freedom. Let not much religion make me mad. One and another and another came to us asking what they should do. Being distressed on every side as as everyone strove to weaken Ananda to strengthen their hands and God, we advised them strengthen. Do you want another talk together as often as you can and pray earnestly with and for one another that you may endure to the end and be saved? Against this advice, we presume there can be no objection as being grounded on the plaintiff's reason and on so many scriptures, both Old and New Testament, that it would be tedious to recite them, they said. But we want you likewise to talk with us often, to direct and quicken us in our way, to give us the advice is what you as well as we know a need and to pray with us as well as for us. I ask which of you desire this? Let me know your names and places of abode. They did so, but I soon found there were too many for me to talk with severally so often as they wanted it. So I told them, if you will, all of you come together every Thursday in the evening. I will gladly spend some time with you in prayer and give you the best advice I can. Thus arose without any previous design on either side what was afterward called a society. A very innocent name, very common in London for any number of people associating themselves together. The thing proposed in their associating themselves together was obvious and to everyone. They wanted to flee the rat, to come and to assist each other in doing so.

[00:28:24] They therefore united themselves in order to pray together, to receive the word of exhortation and to watch over one another and love that they might help each other to work out their salvation. There's only one condition previously required to those who desired admission into the society to desire to flee from the rat, to come to be safe from their sins. They now likewise agreed that as many of them had an opportunity, would meet together every Friday and spend the dinner hour and crying to God, both for each other and for all mankind. It quickly appeared that those thus united together. Answered the end, propose their end in a few months. The far greater part of those who had begun to fear God and work righteousness, but were not united together, grew faint in their mind, in their minds, and fell back into what they were before. As a dog returns to his vomit. Meanwhile, the far greater part of those who were thus united together continued striving to enter at the strait gate and delay hold on eternal life. Upon reflection, I could not but observe. This is the very thing which washed from the Christianity from the beginning and the earliest times those whom God has sent forth preach the gospel to every creature. And the body of here is where mostly either Jews or heathen. But as soon as any of these were so convinced of the truth as to forsake sin and seek the gospel salvation, they immediately joined them together, took an account of their names, advised them to watch over each other and met with with these catacombs are, as they are called, apart from great our candidate for Christianity, apart from the great a congregation that they might instruct rebuked, exhort and pray with them and for them according to their several necessities.

[00:30:13] Now, the design of our meeting is to obey that command of God, confess your faults one to another, and pray for one another that you may be healed. To this end, we intend to meet once a week at night at least. You come punctually at the hour appointed without some extraordinary reason. To begin. Those of us who are present exactly at the hour with singing a prayer, to speak each of us, and order freely and plainly the true state of our souls with the faults we have committed and thought, word and deed, and the temptations we have felt since our last meeting. Whoa. To end every meeting with prayer suited to the state of each person present. Pray specifically for the person. Get this the desire, some person among us to speak his own state first and then to ask the rest in order as many as searching questions as may be as may be concerning their state sin and temptations. Some of these questions proposed to everyone before he is admitted among us may be to this effect. These are these these are rules of membership. Have you thought forgiveness of your sins? I told you I have. I have a ministry amongst my old fraternity brothers. They're all retired and got too much money and don't know what to do with themselves. So they come up to the mountains or go down and go down to the river with me and spend a week with me once or twice a year, twice a year. When they come to Florida, if I'm teaching the class always hadn't come to class with me. And on one occasion there were four of us, four of them. And I asked them, Would you mind giving a testimony? All forum attempted to give a testimony to them halfway through their testimony, realized they didn't have a testimony.

[00:32:10] Have you the forgiveness of your sins. Have you a peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Have you the witness of God's spirit with your spirit that you are a child of God? Wesley preached more from Romans eight any other chapter of the Bible and preached more from Romans 816 that verse more than any other verse in the Bible. We know that because he had he had a sermon log because he would go through these little towns every year. He did the circuit from London to Bristol to Newcastle and going through these little towns. And he wanted to know what to know, what sermons he preached in that town the year before. So he didn't repeat himself the next year or the year after. So we know what sermons he preached every day. For 50 years. And let me tell you, Romans 816 appears a lot. Is the love of God shed abroad in your heart. Has no sand and water outward dominion over you? Get this. Do you desire to be told all of your faults and that plane and home? In simple, plain and simple. Ooh, not me. Do you desire that every one of us should tell you from time to time. Whatsoever is in his heart concerning you. Consider do you desire? We should tell you whatsoever. We think whatsoever. We fear whatsoever. We hear concerning you. Do you desire that in doing this, we shall come as close as possible, that we should cut to the quick and search your heart to the bottom. You want some of this? Is it your desire and desire to be on this and all other occasions entirely open, so to speak, everything that is in your heart. Without exception, without disguise and without reserve.

[00:33:55] Any of the preceding questions may be asked as often as occasion offers the following questions at every meeting. Are you ready? What known sins that you committed since our last meeting. Now, these bands, they were they were segregated, by the way, men and women. The classes were men and women, but the bands were female bands and male bands. What temptation have you met with? How were you delivered? What have you thought said or done, what you doubt whether it be sent or not? That's an important one. Because what sent for some people would not be sent for others. You know that's true. Saying Is that what separates you from God, yourself and those around you? And some stuff might be separating me from God. Ah, myself. And that might not be separating you from God. The same thing. Their absolute murder is always a sin. Adultery is always a sin. Can clean that up with a steam shovel. There are certain absolutes. But I would imagine on occasion I can have a glass of wine with my wife that not be a sin. Well, I would never have one in front of an alcoholic. Because I don't want to be a stumbling block, though, with your sister or brother where said, How dare you contain more spirits in the life when one of the finest of all gorgeous but is a teetotaler? Why? Because he didn't want to be a stumbling block to the weaker sister or brother. Would you love him for it? He was willing to forgo some pleasures. Because he did not want to be a stumbling block to the weaker sister or brother. Now see that you don't get that in the woods. Hunting deer with a bow and arrow. Well, I don't hunt deer with a blow up.

[00:35:50] Whenever you shoot a deer with an arrow at around 30 minutes and bleed out. Don't do that. I hate deer season. You have to go find some water because a wounded deer always goes to water. You know why some 42 is what? But you realize that wounded deer goes to water. You got to have water. As a deer pens for water. Omar. So points for the launch for the yoga. You'll know something about that. That song. I think I found the context. I'm a historian. I'm always looking for the historical context for the song. They give you about a third of them and the songs themselves. You know, some 51 was when David sang with Bathsheba and his son died. He's confessing. Do you know your playbook? One in book, two of the Psalms. Sure you do. You're seminary students. What's the difference? There are different words for God used in book one and book two. Let me read this to you. You won't believe this. This is so wonderful. I love the Bible. Just love it. This just jumped off the page when I've just finished reading through the book one of the songs. I'm saying, Whoa, why just book one this book to. I look at it. Book one. You know what the word for God is and book one. Tell me. No, no, Yahweh. Lord, Lord. A wonderful personal sense. Lord. You know what the word for God is in book two? Elohim. It's like the. The Elohim that God. You know what the Arabic translation for Elohim is? Alaa. Alaa not a translation of Yahweh. That's a warm, personal God, Lord. Elohim is like the use of the article for God doesn't want to pronounce the name of God. Listen, Timbuktu.

[00:38:10] Now I'm looking I'm looking for a historical context. I think I found it in two Kings 12. And two kings. Well, let me read it to you. This will help you. Joe Ash is the great, great grandson of Joe Joseph that. Who amassed that incredible temple treasury. Right. I mean, they were right. Proud of it. After Joe Ash repairs the temple. There's a good guy. Hazel from Damascus. Threatens Jerusalem. And Joe, you know what Joe Ash does? He gives half allow. The Treasury dilemma alone gives the tip of Treasury. The heart of all those wonderful gold shields and. All that wonderful stuff. And the temple Treasury Joash. I mean, whoa. And it's been protecting some of that since the days of David and Solomon. And what if Hazel takes all that stuff to Damascus now? Which of the vertical tribes is responsible for keeping inventory of the temple treasury? The coat that I go with right now, The Gresham knight, the Coit. That and the mirror, right? Yes. You know this. Three tribes of Levites. Aggression like the Miraz and the Kaho attacks. The Hittites were the tribe that was responsible for. Keeping an inventory of the temple treasury. Now, do you know what I imagined? I imagined. That one of these KOA fights when the temple treasure me, he's watching it being taken out of the temple. Goes with it because that's his responsibility. He goes into exile with the Temple treasury to keep an eye on it. Right. That's just my imagination. But let me read you this psalm. As a deer pants for streams of water. So my sole pants for you. Oh, God. Oh, God. Oh, God. What's the word for God there? Elohim. But my soul thirst for God Elohim, for the living.

[00:40:50] God, Elohim. When can I go and meet with God? Elohim. My tears have been my food day and night while men say to me all day long. Where is your God? These things? I remember it. Get this. Listen carefully. These things. Who is this guy talking here? These things I remember as I pour out my soul. How I used to go with the multitude leading the procession to the house of God. Who led the procession. The pre Levites, the Gershon Knights. This is a leave out, obviously, and obviously in exile. Right. So I'm thinking, Whoa, we got to leave. We've got a girl tonight who's an exile. No one I have never read about. Why can't people come up with stuff like this? It seems so obvious to me that I dream this stuff. Wow. Well, with shouts of joy and Thanksgiving among the festive throngs. That was the late night. Why are you downcast, Omar? So why are so disturbed with me? Put your hope in. God. Allow him. See this? It's really all over. Here's Lord, Lord, Lord, Over here. It's. It's. Elohim. Elohim. Elohim. Put your hope in God, for I will get praise in my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me. Therefore, I'll remember you from the land of the Jordan. The heights of Hermon from Mount Miser. Whoa. That's a dead giveaway. If you're in exile in Damascus, you look out the window. To the West. And what do you see? I'll show it to you. You see Mount Hermon? This old coincide. Suddenly recalls that if you're standing on the pinnacle of the temple and looking north on a clear day, what if? What do you see? The heights of Mount Hermon. He realizes that the very thing he's looking at at that moment.

[00:42:54] His fellow Levi's can see the same side. And all of a sudden his heart begins to pound. Listen to this. Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfall. I climb Mount Hermon. Now you can do it now on a skillet. But I've done it the hard way. And when you climb, you see these rivers rush rushing off the top of the mountain. And you can see how the waterfalls and how the old Levi's used to refresh themselves. In the end, the spray from the waterfalls as they were climbing up to the top of the mountain. I've done it myself. It says deep calls to deep end. The roar of your waterfalls and all of your waves and breakers have swept over me. And now. I hate to tell you this, folks, but he temporarily loses his mind. He just can't help himself. Guess what he does. By the day. The Lord. He slipped back into your way. He can't help himself. He just absolutely loses his mind. But the Lord directs his love. At night. His song is with me. Now he regains his sanity back to back to L.A.. Oh, okay. Excuse me. A prayer to the God of my life. I swear to God, my rock. That's right in the middle of that song loses his bond and can't help himself. Just slip, then your way. The Lord. I swear to God, my rock. Why have you forgotten me? Why am I still go? Morning. Oppressed by the enemy. My bones suffer mortal agony. Agony as my foes taught me, saying to me all day long. Where is your God? That's what we do to our. Our our kept our captives. We've taught them, don't we? Why are you so downcast? My soul was so disturbed with me.

[00:44:50] Put your hoping for I will get praise him, my Savior and my God. In that wonderful. You know how to read the Bible. That stuff is just on every page. It just absolutely amazes me. To see that old Levite, though overqualified. You probably follow the treasure. I don't know that any of this is true. But it could be. We know he was a Levi. We know he was in exile. That's non-negotiable. We know that's true. But a Levite who can see the heights of Mount Hermon. He was an exile. Got to be in Damascus. Realizing that his fellow Levites, standing on the pinnacle of the temple, can see the same side. And his heart just kind of goes. He remembers how he led the people in procession into the temple. He remembers climbing the house of the heights of Mount Hermon being refreshed by the waterfalls. I have no idea what that has to do with evangelism. Get over it. Couldn't help myself. Now a yo yo. You know, I love it. Woo! Three questions that when it comes to the work of the spirit. Why is the Spirit so important? It's the spirit who prepares the hearts of the people for the message of the church. For your message. Right. Here's the key here. The three questions that. Do you believe that? Do you anticipate it? Do you expect? You believe that? I feel called of God Almighty. If I have to stand on this table on my head and spit out nickels, I'll do it. And that's the only way I can convince you that that's true. The Spirit of God really is at work in your sphere of influence. Really has more invested in your ministry than you do. Is in that church right now.

[00:47:11] Preparing the hearts of people. I know every church has a clergy killer. Every one of them. They're no threat to you. Just take authority over the enemy. Out. Love them love them, live in mischief out of. Unless they murder you. That's possible. That's a possibility. Yeah, I've been close to that on a couple of occasions. One occasion I probably had a common. You really believe the spirit of God has more invested in your ministry than you do? Don't mess with me. Do you really believe that? Some of us believe that we live our life differently. The spirit of God really is preparing people for your ministry. I mean, listen, folks, let's admit it. God has delivered you into my hands. For these two months. None of you is here by accident. I believe that. I really do believe. I believe the Spirit of God has more invested in this class than I do. And the Spirit of God is more invested in this class than you do. Guys brought us together for a reason. Is it important to believe that? You bet it is. I'm too old. I'm not gonna waste my time. I got 20 years, maybe. 20 years. Most of you, you're still in your prime. Life's too short. Me. I didn't believe God was in this. I wouldn't be here. Believe me, I would. I'd be scared to death. I wouldn't have the guts to stand before you. If I didn't believe God had more invested in my next sermon, I wouldn't crawl in the pulpit. I wouldn't have the guts to do that. Folks, I have been preaching a sermon. Halfway through my sermon, I realized, Whoa, there's nothing happening here. God has left me to my own devices. And I'm saying to God, God, get me out of here now.

[00:49:21] I've got nothing to say to these people. Take me. Get me out of here. There's nothing you have left me to my own devices. What were you thinking? God. Now doesn't happen very often. But you don't want to go there. It's as close to hell as you'll ever want to be. To be supposedly doing, preaching the word of God. When you've gotten out ahead of the Spirit and the Spirit has left you to your own devices. That'll humble you. And the next time you get up to eat, before you get up to preach, you get on your bony knees and beg God to help you. Indeed you come to experience. Over the years. More and more and more. Every day gets a little better and more and more dependent upon God. That's when I stopped teaching necessary to be remembered. But teaching more to create a moment. I want your life to be changed as a result of this class. I'm not going to make you smarter. You folks are smart enough already. But I want your life to be changed. I want you to be able to believe God more fully as a result of this class. I want to raise your voice. That's why I'm talking about. Do you. Do you believe it? Do you anticipate it? Do you expect it? I fully expect you to believe it. The spirit of God's work in your life. I want you to expect it. I want you to anticipate it. You can't do that when you leave this class. If I were you, I'd ask for my money back. I think you have a right to expect that. This is not, of course, about programs. Every church is different. Split second. I gave you a program.

[00:51:09] Every one of you will try it, and it won't work in every church. I gave you principles. Evangelism is not about program, it's about principle. Why, of course, people are different. And you have to at some point realize the spirit of God knows more about evangelism than you do. Some person who happens to have some success and a big old church in Columbus. And you have had success. I am impressed and grateful. And humbled. But I can't I can't replicate this church in Wilmore, Kentucky. Now, maybe you can. Nicholas ville. You know. Or maybe Barrington, Illinois. You can't replicate this church in Iowa City. Our Pueblo, Colorado. Ah, Bakersfield, California. Maybe Bakersfield. Interpersonal evangelism is getting to the place where you begin to rely. On the spirit. And you begin. You don't so much look for signs. You just assume that the spirit is at work. Did you hear that? You don't look for signs. You assume that the spirit is at work. I'm putting 26 inches and speaking very truly. I tell you, whatever excepts anyone I send with her accepts me accepts the that. So I always see Jesus singing. I see that as the work of his spirit in people that he drinks. John 1326. John 13. You know what that's introducing? I mentioned yesterday introducing the farewell discourse. The last will and testament of one Jesus Christ. John 1331 1633. The upper room discourse, some people say, is like someone walking into a hospital room and motioning to you to put your ear to their mouth so you can hear their last word. You'll probably give that a pretty good lesson, right? And what are the last words of Jesus? Com the fire perfectly sings perfectly parallel called the side of.

[00:53:35] Sometimes translated as comforter. Yeah, right. Sometimes, Counselor. You know what the word literally literally means? Yeah, the one called The Cider, but it's used in secular literature to refer to the woman who stands next to the one about to go into battle saying, Sic them. So camera doesn't quite cut it. The Parakeet. The Parrot. Cleo. The Five Sayings. Spirit of God to Convince you of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. Listen to this. Of sin. Why? Because they do not believe in the unbelief being the heart of sin. Of righteousness. Why? Because I go to the father and they will see me no more. So that'll convince you that Jesus was righteous because he now was at the right hand of God. Of judgment because the ruler of this world has been judged. You do realize that? Reed at the end of the book. Some folks I was talking to, some folks, somebody maybe on a plane recently said I didn't like. Maybe one of you didn't like the Book of Revelation too much because if consumed by end times, Oh, this Baptist preacher was telling me about that yesterday on the plane. I said, Well, I hope you read at the end of the book, for crying out loud. I hope you realize God wins. I mean, really. The rule of this world has been judged. I don't know when it's going to happen. My bags are packed. I hope yours are. My lamps are trimmed. I've got plenty of oil. Don't want to run out of oil. Perfect piece. I get uptight on occasion, but it's not because I fear. Heaven or hell. Sometimes because I've had too much coffee. So. It's been time of the word and prayer. And it has a lot to do with a walk with God.

[00:55:41] I really am nuts about God. Oh, my God. Quite frankly, I think God is nuts about me. We really enjoy each other's company. May I say that to you without your misunderstanding? Me? Nothing special. I'm not nothing special. God feels the same way about all of us. But I really enjoy my relationship with God. I enjoy God. As in the Westminster Confession, when I was filling out my ordination papers. I had to write a of my little theological statements. I said I want to enjoy God forever, ever. And some highfalutin theologian wrote on my paper, I don't understand this. I felt like saying, Excuse me, that's in the Westminster Confession, for crying out loud. I know we're not. We're a non confessional church. I assume you are. This is a non confessional church. Do you have a crew that you have to adhere to in order to be a member of this church? You're not confessional. So you Presbyterians are conventional Methodist are nonconventional. We have articles of religion, but we don't have a confession that you have to adhere to in order to become a United Methodist. I would think this would not be a confessional church. Doesn't mean you don't believe anything. It's just we don't have that wall. But surely you can understand. And God forever, can't you? Why couldn't you understand that? Anyone else want to talk about a case? Didn't happen. Kind of an interesting one with the lady that was Buddhist. And so. And no one else was in there, so. Try to ask better kids, ask about, you know, just try and engage. She was pretty topical. She was from Vietnam. Come over. You know what this about? Six years ago. Anyway, I tried to ask for a little bit about her faith and she was Buddhist and she said, and this is kind of more the issue, I would bring it up.

[00:57:58] Basically. I just think that. Everybody needs to try to be a good person. And that that's what's important in. And. She said. I'm trying to look back at my case, but she said something to the effect of that. And I can tell you one thing. I don't think that God would want us going over to the Middle East and being involved in any war. And, you know, that was her. That was what she wanted to get out. I remember that from your case. Yeah. And it was. I said. That I didn't say Jesus would be in favor of Daddy. But but in terms of really turning it around is in the context of someone just saying. You know, what I think is important is for everyone to be kind. And they took be good. That was kind of her and I. I definitely did not get the conversation turned around. How how how could a woman who believes that help you? Don't you wonder that? I mean, that's a pretty good thing to believe. Mhm. I can learn from somebody who really believes that. But if you push that, it doesn't take very long. To come up short. I said, I want you to be humble, but not too humble. I don't want I don't want you to capitulate too easily. Tell me again what she said. The point of religion is that we be good to each other. Yeah. What's really important is that we all just we can be good and do the best we can to be good people or something to that effect. And I said, Well, I certainly agree with. And I think that's what I said. And then she said, and I can tell you one thing, I don't think that one is going over some.

[01:00:03] Now, what she taught was that what was she really saying there? She being critical of our of our stance. Yeah. Conservative Christians. That was. No, I'm not positive what she was saying. The press draw, she could help me there. Allow people to help you ask some honest questions and learn from them. And you will be amazed at how they want to learn from you. When you catch somebody learning from you, don't you want to learn from them? I mean, you don't know at all, do you? They'll help you understand what the world believes. Pardon? It would be a Catholic school. Can I just get along? University's nuns. I think that comes from within the. Why is he going to Jesus? Who's going to be good people? Catholics, they will never know. I mean, they they don't have to be offshore. Yeah, that's true. But that's. Don't lose this thread. We'll get back to that in a moment. What's the answer? Person him. I want to say wacky. That's a good point. Why can't we all just get along? Some of the Protestants I know are so broad minded, they're flat that they don't have any. Real convictions. So what? Where's the truth? I don't know. I sound like a one note. Johnny, One note. Only absolute truth. Not the only truth. Tons of truth apart from this, but it's the only absolute truth. I weigh all subject and truth in light of this truth. I'm telling you, more time you spend in this better off you'll be. It'll do something for you. It'll raise your expectation. It'll raise your anticipation. It's hard to believe that I have a masters degree in biblical studies and never read the Bible. All of it. I have now limit to.

[01:02:24] And I can't get enough of it. And you cannot believe how nervous I'm a fundamentalist. I've been accused of being a fundamentalist, have been accused of being liberal. I don't want to get into Mars lecture yet, but. How are you going to allow. What you've learned in this class affect your attitude toward evangelism? Is that a fair question? Will it help you? How will it help you? I'm going to try to learn to ask those leading questions, not just leading and opening in the combination that has people I know and the church, the critical there. Oh, really? You know, tell me. Tell me about your. Yeah. You know, that's what can help us tremendously. I want you to be genuinely curious about people. Not just asking them questions to lead. Hopefully to an open door, but asking questions because you really are interested in their opinion. You won't believe what that'll do. I don't care if you ever enter another conversation as long as you live with an evangelistic agenda. I haven't done that in 25 years. But if you're curious. And find people interesting. Everyone has a story to tell. Believe me. Everyone in this room has a story to tell. And if you find people interesting, that will make you an effective evangelist. But I kind of disagree with that because I could I have done that all my life and I don't even. Effective. No, no, Terra. But you've got to. But you got to believe the Spirit of God is preparing people for your ministry. See, that's where we begin. We began. It's like that's not enough, I don't think, to really evangelize, just to be interested and want to hear their story. Because I know I've always done that, but I've always been very frustrated with my inability to really, truly share.

[01:04:46] Well, because I don't ever get over that. It's like, Yeah, they tell me all kinds of stuff and I'm very, very interested in it. And, and times out of ten that, well, I didn't say it was the only thing you need prefaced this whole conversation by saying, Do you really believe that the Spirit of God is at work in your sphere of influence? That's critical. Do you really expect the spirit of God? Do you really anticipate an anticipated return? That I would be remiss not only to give an answer like in your answer point blank question. I always do when I think of when I was watching. My two children. I took in some other kids and in my little, you know, had a little paragraph or something on the paper. And I said, you know, you need to know if your kids are here. They're probably going to hear about Jesus. I mean, I'm not going to sit him down and talk to him, but that's me. I mean, we talk about God and and I think if I listen to you, I've lost that way as I've gotten older and I'm not, you know, what have you lost? Just that conversation of Jesus in my everyday. Right. Mm. I want to give you a case study. Gerry Adams set waiting for the phone to ring that have been nearly two years since he had seen Jake, an old friend, out of a disappointing past. It was Sunday night, a time usually reserved for church, but Gerry had placed a fleece if Jake called before 7 p.m.. As he had promised to do. He would spend the evening with him visiting some of their old haunts, just for old time's sake. Even as non-Christians geri's rebellion quotient.

[01:06:38] What he referred to is his IQ had never been very high, his greatest sin, and always been somewhat of a bore to most of his friends. He had on occasion had a beard and smoked dope a time or two, but nothing much more serious than that. Yet. Until two years ago, he had been restless and uneasy. Something had been missing. He had been in his senior year in college and was confronted with the decision of what to do with the rest of his life. Jake and the rest of his fraternity by the same contempt to climb ladders and chase dollars. Jerry felt that life it had had to have more of a challenge than that. He wanted his future to count for something. Then in October of his senior year, he had become close friends with Eric. Eric. Jason was another name out of Jerry's past. They had gone to high school together, but had run in different circles. They had always liked each other, but a relationship had never developed. During their early college years, they were aware of each other. But again, there was no real friendship. Then, in the midst of Jerry's vocational struggle, he and Eric had bumped into each other in the cellar, a snack shop in the basement of the student union. Jerry never forgot that initial conversation. Jerry had actually taken the lead. Eric had been sitting alone at the table writing. Jerry approached him with the usual remarks. Eric, how have you been? This place is so big, I hardly ever see you except across the quad. Does Ohio State University really have 52,000 students? Eric had been sitting alone. I slept across the quad. Herrick replied with remarkable enthusiasm. Jerry. I'm okay. Thanks for asking. Sit down and join me if you have a moment.

[01:08:27] Tell me about yourself. Jerry sat down and he unloaded. For some reason, he found himself sharing all the frustration, the fear, and the anxiety about his future plans. Although the resumes had been mailed and the contacts been made, the job market was tight. In a few short months, he would be on his own. The competition for top jobs was fierce. Eric listened. Then the words seemed to flow straight from Eric to Jerry. The gist of those words was this. All of the angry ingredients causing the frustration and fear in Jerry's mind were in Eric's also, but with one major difference. Not to make him jealous. Eric did not seem frustrated. He seemed excited about his future. Again, the resumes had gone out in the context been made, so there was nothing left to do which caused many people to experience frustration. They feel helpless and tossed by some mindless wind of fate. Yet Eric expressed a sense of joy and accomplishment. He appeared at ease, even expectant. Jerry did not probe, but remained interested. Eric then shared the reason for his optimism. You got a minute? In a low key but convincing manner. Eric told Jerry about his call to ministry. Oh, it was not ministry in the ordained sense, but it was ministry nonetheless. He had committed his life to God. Some years earlier, he had placed his faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Although he had studied hard and had made all of the contacts humanly possible, good or bad, his future was now God's problem. Eric believed that God cared and wanted to place him in the spot where he could best serve people. His guests were not extraordinary by any means, but he felt that someone out there needed him. Moments no hours later, Jerry found himself opening up even more.

[01:10:28] Over the next few months, the two young men became fast friends. Jerry was always amazed at how Eric would express appreciation for Jerry's gifts and do so convincingly. He was also impressed with his apparent, unshakable faith in the face of disappointment after disappointment as job opportunities fell through. One after another. Then it happened. Jerry had just been offered the job of his dreams. Yet he was still uneasy. Eric's peace and joy were still evident. Eric seemed more pleased with hit with the prospect of Jerry's job than Jerry did. Then late one night, Jerry responded to Eric's challenge to put his faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Boom. The house was no longer empty. Jerry, for the first time in his life, felt motivated, really motivated. He wanted his job to count for God. He found himself sharing and Eric's excitement about the future. And not just for his own, but for Eric's as well. Ironically, it was one of Jerry's leads that landed Eric a job in the same company where Jerry was to work. Jerry and Eric had maintained a discipling relationship for two years. Eric had married. Jerry was included, was included in many of the family activities. Jerry had matured. Rapidly. And his face. God had consecrated his job so that he was able to see ministry at work from 9 to 5. He had led several of his colleagues to Christ. He even helped Eric and his new bride and his new bride work through some problem to area areas and their marriage. Jerry, Eric and a couple of others were in a deciphering relationship and had joined the church. Jerry had advanced even faster in his career than Eric. All seemed to be going so well. Then a couple of setbacks occurred.

[01:12:16] First, Jerry had fallen in love, but it had not worked out. After a two month engagement, the relationship had broken up and Jerry felt abandoned by God. Suddenly, and for no apparent reason, he felt wary of Eric. He began to skip some of their weekly gatherings. About the same time a division had rocked the church, their pastor had left for another pastorate, and a power struggle had ensued over the selection of his successor. Jerry had become less involved in the church as well. Jake Martin. The previous day, Gerry had landed a new account for the company. Jake Martin, a fraternity brother from college, had signed a lucrative contract. Jake was in town for a few days and had promised to phone Jerry the next evening so that they could make the rounds for old times sake. Jerry was surprised to feel the old news began to rise. That morning, he had gone to church and had shared with Eric about what a great opportunity this would be to witness to Jake. Yet down deep, Jerry knew that this was a crossroad. He was on the brink of surging ahead or falling back into an old lifestyle. Try as he could to rationalize the prospect. He knew that he might well be in trouble in his present state of mind. Erik's only response had been that he should enter those relationships where he could give more than they would take. If Jerry's influence for the life, for the life of Christ would not outweigh Jake's influence against. He should probably back off until he was stronger. It was, of course, Jerry's decision. Then that afternoon, Eric could phone Jerry to say that he loved him no matter what happened. Jerry could not mess up bad enough to make him love him any less.

[01:14:01] As Jerry set by the phone, his place was suddenly no longer the issue. What should he do? How could he know if the relationship would take more from him than he could give it? Why didn't Eric tell him plainly what to do? At 615, the phone rang. Hello, Jerry, This is your old buddy Jack. This case demonstrates both the ups and downs and the relational evangelism. Let's assume that Jerry was soundly converted. Eric had followed up as best he could. Yet as often is the case, disappointment frequently leads to temptation. It happens to all of us. What about Eric's advice? Is Jerry ready for Jake? If so, what is the appropriate response? If not, what is the appropriate response? How should Eric follow up now? Can you write those questions? Go take your break, come back, discuss them, and then at 430 will meet until the end of the hour. Okay.