The part of the chapter that I would like to focus on this morning is beginning in verse 20 there, where the Bible reads.
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages world without end, Amen.”
And this morning I want to talk about a great experience that we just had a couple of days ago, we did a great soul winning marathon in Dearborn, Michigan on Friday. And there were so many great lessons from that day and so the title of the sermon this morning is lessons from Dearborn, and I am going to talk about the great event that we had just a couple of days ago in Dearborn, Michigan and honestly this is the verse that kept coming to mind throughout the day, verse 20, where the Bible says, unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us. That was the verse that kept coming to me throughout the day because God honestly did more than we had ask or thought that he would do. It was just such an amazing success and of course God gets all the glory. But the first lesson is found right here in this passage where it says in verse 21,
“Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages world without end, Amen.”
Now first of all before I get into the lessons from Dearborn, let me just explain to you what we did. We travelled to Dearborn, Michigan. Paul Wittenberg and I, and we assemble together with just a bunch of people from all over that area, we just put a call out on the internet, on Facebook, on YouTube to people who listen to the sermons that are preached here at Faithful Word Baptist church, they listen online and we just put a call out that we were going to have a great soul winning marathon in Dearborn, Michigan where we were going to spend the day there knocking doors and doing soul winning and we had 62 people show up to go soul winning in Dearborn Michigan which is amazing because the most people we ever even had at a soul winning marathon here was 50 people a few times. We had 62 people show up.2 of them had turned out to be Judases, so will say 60 soul winners showed up. We had 46 people saved in the course of the day’s work and we had 7 people baptized and we also handed out over 1400 copies of our documentary film “Marching to Zion" in the Arabic version.
Now the first thing, that I think is a great lesson from Dearborn is that great works of God are not done by one person but they are done by an assembly of people. You know the Bible says here that God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages world without end, Amen. That means it does not matter whether we’re talking about the time of Christ or whether we’re talking about 2015. In all ages Christ is glorified in the church and the Bible said that Jesus told Peter “upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”, and also the Bible said that the church is the pillar and ground of the truth.
Now I am not going to go into a big sermon on what the church means but we that know our Bibles know that the church means an assembly. The church means a congregation; it’s a local body of believers that are banded together for the work of God. You are sitting in a church; now a lot of people say “Oh the church is in your heart.” No, the church is right here, assembled, it’s a group of people, it’s a congregation and God uses the group and just to illustrate that, I was there in Dearborn, knocking doors doing soul winning and I was excited and I was doing my best and before lunch in the first few hours of the day I was literally running up to the doors, I was so excited. And I worked hard the whole day and you know how many people I got saved that day? Only one. The whole day of working hard, preaching, talking to person after person I had one saved but you know we had as a team? 46 saved, why? Because there are 60 people out there doing the work and one person cannot do a great work for God like 60 people can do a great work for God and that is why the church is so important and we have way too many lone rangers across America today that are not a part of the church, they are not plugged in, they are not part of the team and on their own. They are not going to accomplish as much as if they would get in a local body of baptized believers and get out there and do the work of God with the church which is God’s institution which he designed for his work in the New Testament, the church my friend, it’s about churches, we need great churches to do great works for God today across the United States of America. The Bible says,
“One of you shall chase a thousand two of you will put ten thousand to flight.”
And so you can do more as a team, and that kind of leads me into the second lesson from Dearborn that there is a lack of leadership amongst God people today in United States of America, there is a lack of leadership.
Go to Romans chapter number 10, Romans chapter 10. While you are turning to Romans 10, I’ll read for you from Matthew chapter 9 verse 36; Jesus, when he saw the multitudes, the Bible says in verse 36,
“He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.”
So, there are a lot of sheep today without a shepherd. They don’t have a church; they don’t have a pastor leading them, the word pastor mean shepherd. They are like sheep having no shepherd, they are scattered abroad, they are not joined in a congregation and Jesus says
“The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.”
Look at Romans 10, it says something similar, verse 13
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how should they hear without a preacher”
And here is the key, verse 15
“And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
See preaching the Gospel is always associated with your feet because the Bible said,
“Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”
And that’s what you do with your feet and the Bible says,
“How shall they preach except they be sent.”
We need some churches that will send people out into the harvest to gather and reap that which the Lord has given us to reap and too many churches today are not doing the sending because there is a lack of leadership, there is a lack of pastors that will unite and inspire and encourage the people and send them out to do a great work for God. And if you are not being sent, how shall you go? I can honestly say, I grew up an independent Baptist, I got saved as a 6 year old boy and from the time I got saved, I had a burning desire to want to get other people saved from the time I was 6. But you know what I never did? Get anybody saved.
When I was 6,7,8,9, 10,11,12,13,14,15,16, all that time I wanted to get someone saved yet I never got anyone saved and I tried and I wanted to and I even went to my youth pastor as a teenager and said “let’s go out and get people saved, can we go out and knock doors or something, just from reading the Bible and hearing about things” and they never send me. They would never take me and train me and teach me and show me things, then right around the time I turn 17 I got into an independent fundamental Baptist church and within two weeks I was out there knocking doors. I was being sent into the harvest and I was out there learning how to win people to Christ. But it took me over a decade to get there because how can I preach when I wasn’t sent? And this is the problem today in America, a lack of leadership amongst God’s people.
You know why Dearborn shows that stat? Because of the fact that 60 some people showed up and they are driving in from Ohio, they are driving in from Toronto, Canada, driving in from all over Michigan. People literally came from as far as Virginia and South Carolina and many of them had never knocked a door in their life. Never been soul winning. A lot of them. But they wanted to do it, they are zealous, they are excited but they are not being sent. They had to go and travel to Michigan, to Detroit. To be sent out soul winning. It’s a shame today, that there aren’t local leaders in their area that at leading them to the charge and firing them up and getting them up there soul winning and saying like Jehovah of all come with me and see my zeal for the Lord, that the leadership, not go but come with me and see my zeal for the Lord.
Another great lesson from Dearborn and if you would flip over to Matthew chapter 10, but while you’re turning there I will give you another great lesson from Dearborn is that you should not believe what the media tells you or what you read on the internet. There are so many lies and so much dis-information out there in the news media today, you can’t believe everything you hear and that lesson was very powerfully illustrated in Dearborn on Friday because if you read the media reports about Dearborn, here is what they say “oh, you can’t go soul winning in Dearborn they are under Sharia Law” who has heard that before that Dearborn is under Sharia Law, yeah, that’s why they have a honey baked ham, that’s why they have a pot-belly pig sandwich shop, that’s why they have a catholic church and a Baptist church and a bar and a strip club because they are under radical Islamic Sharia law. But if you are one who is really tuned in to the conservative talk radio man, you know that the Muslims have taken over and brought in Sharia Law in America and Dearborn is the city where they are testing it. It’s like look it’s a complete lie, I was there, I walked the streets of Dearborn and I boldly made known the gospel of Jesus Christ without any problems what so ever.
The Bible says in Proverbs 14 verse 15
“The simple believeth every word, but the prudent man looketh it well to his goings”
And at just when we announced that we were doing this soul winning campaign in Dearborn, so many people were writing to me saying we were worried about you, we were scared for you. You are going to get killed, you are going to get beheaded, they are going to kill you there, you can’t do it, it’s horrible. And someone brought up, it’s Detroit! And literally the way that America perceive Detroit, is like it’s some kind of a post-apocalyptic, like from a sci-fi movie or something where it’s like a failed state or something, like a failed state in a third world country, enter Detroit at your own risk, the police have completely pulled out of Detroit and the gangs have just taken over and run things but honestly it’s all hyped up is what it is. And you can see why the devil likes to hype that up so that the gospel won’t get to Dearborn and so the gospel won’t get to Detroit when it’s wide into harvest.
Okay. Now, one other thing I saw a video on YouTube because people are sending me video. Look you’re crazy going in there to Dearborn, you are on a suicide mission and they send us this video “Christians are stoned in Dearborn” and the police just stand by and let it happen as Christians are stoned in Dearborn, so I click on the video and watched it and here is what the stoning was? They were throwing empty water bottles at them, that’s not exactly a stoning when somebody throws an empty water bottle at you and then what are they going to throw next? Raw hot dogs? And pump you with raw hotdogs? But here is the thing, if you watch the video and they try to film it in a way that its really deceptive just say the title of the video is deceptive “Christian stoned in Dearborn” and then there are thousands of comment of people saying “oh yeah! This is real, wow they are being stoned, I saw, it’s right there in the video”, are you insane? Its water bottles. That’s not what it means in the Bible when they say stoned them with stones. But, basically in the video what they do is, this Christian groups going there and they go to a Muslim parade, it’s their Muslim even that they hold once a year, they show up at their parade basically holding signs that say “Muhammad is a pedophile” then they had, which he is but you know it does not make any sense to go there and hold up a sign at their parade, and then they had a severed pig’s head on a stick and they are severed pig’s head on a stick through their Muslim parade and then somebody curses them out and throws water bottles at them.
But think about, what if you were having a church picnic at a Christian church and a bunch of Jews or something came with blasphemous of signs of Jesus saying hey you know, Jesus is blank this and that and whatever, you’d probably throw an empty arrow head at them yourself. So what I am saying is you can’t just believe everything that the media tells you.
When we were there literally 60 soul winning going out and knocking over 1400 doors and listen, we didn’t trim the message, we didn’t war down the message of the gospel. I flat out told this people, I said “look you are not saved” and you know according to the Bible you will go to hell unless you receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior, but I told them nicely in love, I want them to get saved I wasn’t doing this bull horning, sign holding obnoxious in your face stupidity.
But actually love people and want them to be saved and go preach to them in love, speaking the truth and love not trimming the message, boldly proclaiming that Jesus is the son of God but not going there with the intent of just grand standing chest pounding and making a YouTube video. No, the goal is more souls, not just making a big show and fueling people’s fear and whatever.
Which leads me to my next lesson in Dearborn and by the way when we were there, the Muslims, we’d go to their door and go to preach the gospel there and they came to us with trays of cookies. You know far from being beheaded, far from being stoned we were offered trays of assorted cookies and they given us cold water bottles. Paul Wittenberger had a lady get into her car and drive around the block to chase him down to give his group water and everything. Far from being stoned or whatever. And I am going to get more into that a little bit later in the sermon so don’t jump to conclusions about what I am saying. But honestly you can’t believe everything you hear in the media, you got to go there and see things for yourself and take anything the media tells you with a grain of salt.
See a lot of God’s people realize that the liberal media is lying to you but lot of them still think that they can serve the media is telling the truth they don’t realize that all of it is controlled by the devil. Ok, both sides, but anyway look at Matthew 10, the Bible says in verse 26,
“Fear them not therefore”
And I want you to notice those three words fear them not,
“Fear them not therefore, for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed;
and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops and fear not them”
Notice those three words,
“Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father, but the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
So we have ‘fear them not’, ‘fear not them’, and ‘fear ye not therefore’, three times. Hey look, don’t be afraid and in the context here, he sent them out soul winning. That’s what Matthew 10 is about. He send them out two by two to preach the kingdom of God and he said don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid, Look, God is going to protect you this people can’t hunt, they can kill the body, they can’t kill the soul. God is going to go with you and even when Jesus Christ gave the great commission he said “Lo, I am with you always, even at the end of the world”, and so we have nothing to fear, and so my next lesson from Dearborn is don’t let fear stop you from serving God because even though we had an amazing turn out, and we had 60 people show up.
I know that there were a lot more people who thought about showing up and didn’t show up because they were afraid. Because they were nervous back, because they bought into some of the fear mongering and they heard some of the stuffs and said “hey, I better just play it safe and just kind of sit back and see what happens.”But you know what, praise God for the people who overcame their fear or didn’t have the fear in the first place and just showed up to boldly make known the mystery of the gospel. They earned the crowns, they went out and were a part of a great work for God, they got to be a part of an epic soul winning event but fear held back many. Don’t let fear stop you from serving God, preachers today are afraid to preach what is right, people are afraid to go out and knock a door, people are afraid to give the gospel to their family members, to their co-workers, to their loved ones and fear is paralyzing us today as Christians and the Bible says
“The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.” And Bible says “God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Fear is not coming from God, the only fear that we ought to have is of God himself and God said go. He said go into all the world, He said go into every creature, He said go into the highways and hedges and compel to come in that my house may be filled.
But I learned another lesson in Dearborn also Romans chapter 2, go to Romans chapter 2. Another great lesson from Dearborn on Friday. Romans chapter 2, is that, Christians have ruined their testimony with Muslims. Christians have ruined their testimony with Muslims. I was out soul winning and for a couple of hours there was a reporter that wanted to go soul winning with me. He wanted to tag along with me, and I said “sure come along”. And a lot of people said, “you take unsaved people soul winning with you?” Absolutely, because sometimes they get’s saved. I have taken unsaved people out soul winning and then I gave the gospel to somebody and finally pray with them, and then they’d say “you know what, I just prayed that prayer too, I need to be saved in God’s name”.
I had a good friend come out one time and his dad was not saved and he took his dad soul winning all afternoon. His dad was going to United Methodist Church not any Wednesday and he took his dad soul winning all afternoon and at one of the doors his dad said “you know what, I prayed that prayer too, I just got saved” and then he got baptized that night at the Sunday night service, praise God for that. Why won’t we bring out more the merrier, who wants to hear the gospel come along.
So I had this reporter coming along, he is a young guy, he is 24 years old and he was a devout Muslim and he was soul winning with me for hours, so he heard me preaching the gospel and presenting the gospel and then between doors I preach the gospel at the door then I preach the gospel to him between doors. So, he was getting it double, triple, quadruple, you know, I am talking to him and trying to convince him and preach to him between every door. And as I was preaching to him, some of the things I was saying seemed to resonate with him but then here is what he brought out.
As I am making sense to him and the things I am saying are resonating with him, here is what he felt back on, he said this well let me ask you this he said “do you believe that it’s okay for people to go to bed together before they are married” and I said “absolutely not, of course not” and he said well we don’t either but he said 80% of the Christians that I know that’s what they do. And he said “I am a virgin and I am going to be when he gets married “he said. And I told him, well, I respect that and I am glad that you kept yourself pure and I said “for your information, when I got married I was a virgin as well” so not all Christians are going out and committing fornication, it’s not everybody is doing it, but I told him and said, “you know what, I respect that, I appreciate that you kept yourself pure” and I said “but you are kidding yourself if you think that all of your fellow Muslims are keeping themselves totally pure” because that just isn’t true.
You know there is a lot of corruption amongst the Muslims as well, but in his mind though, in his inner circle of friends and people, they are keeping it pure, he is keeping it pure and then he looks at Christianity as being a fornicating, permissive, promiscuous religion and then I am sure that the supreme court decision on Friday probably didn’t increase his view of Christian America very much when our country is institutionalizing and condoning the most vile, filthy, disgusting behavior on this planet. While his buddies over in Syria are thrown them off the roof of a building and he looks at us and saying “you’re condoning this filth, you’re condoning this smug, you’re promoting this garbage” he said “look you guys believe that fornication is wrong” he said “you are all a bunch of fornicators” and that shows how Christians can ruin their testimony where here is a Muslim who is hearing the Gospel but in his mind he is thinking “you know what, no, this is the religion of permissiveness and promiscuity. This is a dirty religion; we are living a clean life.” That’s what he is thinking in his mind.
You know isn’t that terrible though, we don’t have the reputation for being pure and for being righteous where they could look at us and say, “you know what, this people is leaving a clean life.” And look don’t get me wrong, I am not praising Islam this morning., Islam is a wicket false religion that’s taking people to hell, but you know what, it’s sad when Christian America has lower morals than some of this other countries, it’s really an embarrassment to the cause of Jesus Christ.
Look what Romans 2 says, it says in verse 21,
“Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?” For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.”
Now the context of this is speaking to the Jews, Paul is talking to the Jews and saying you are a bad testimony to the gentiles, because of your stealing, and adultery and blasphemy. You have spoiled your testimony to the gentiles. But couldn’t we also apply this to modern Christian America and say the name of Jesus is blasphemed among you throughout the world as it is written. Isn’t that sad? And this scripture applies.
Go to Psalm, actually go to Matthew 13, go to Matthew chapter 13, I will just read for you from Psalm 126. Here is another lesson from Dearborn, the lesson from Dearborn is that soul winning works, soul winning works and so many people are down on soul winning and they don’t think it works and there were so many naysayers going into this thing. There were so many people who said it’s going to be a failure, it’s going to be a flop, you are not going to accomplish anything, you are not going to get these Muslims saved, you are not going to get anybody saved, you are wasting your time, nobody wants to hear you and I got so many emails saying I live in Dearborn and I don’t want to hear what you have to say and we don’t care about this and blab blah blah… and so many people try to discourage it and bring you down telling you, it’s not going to work, it’s not going to work.
And look, whenever you try and do something for the Lord, you know, some things work better than others and sometimes things don’t work that well. But you know what, you never know unless you try and you get out there and work and try things but you know what in the end you are always a winner if you are preaching the true gospel of Jesus Christ. God always gives us the victory; He always causes us to conquer, in the end, spiritually.
But there are so many naysayers, in fact there some guy who wrote an article for the Huffington post which is a pretty big news organization mocking our efforts to go to Dearborn and go soul winning. And he said, this people in Dearborn, they don’t even speak Arabic, they are third, fourth, fifth generation. Fifth generation? They didn’t come in the 1800’s, people okay, get real. But he is like, oh these people are third, fourth, fifth nay, none of them speak Arabic and blah blah. Look in the neighborhoods we went 90% of the people who answered the door were Arabic and a 100% of them spoke Arabic. There was no one Arab that came to the door that was not fluent in Arabic, not one.
So in the movie that we were handed out in Arabic was perfect. I mean they wanted it, they said they’re going to watch it and everything ok. And we talked to them, and these are third, fourth, fifth generation, we talked to people that said “I was in Palestine two weeks ago, I was in Syria a month ago.” I mean a lot of them were freshly there, but he naysayers will tell you, hey, soul winning doesn’t work and even the Christians will tell you, oh soul winning does not work and you know who is saying soul winning doesn’t work, it’s the Christians who don’t want to get off their lazy behinds and go out and do something for the Lord, so they want to tell themselves. “Oh, it doesn’t work so I am just fine sitting on my lazy we are in because it doesn’t work anyway.” No, it works, you don’t work. Whenever anybody says to me soul winning doesn’t work, I say no, you don’t work. Because if you work, it works.
And the Bible promises that it will work because the Bible says in Psalm 126,
“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”
And I love what I heard a preacher say once, he said “if you are not seeing people saved, either the gospel not being preached or the gospel lost its power” those are the only two options. If people are not getting saved, the gospel is not being preached or the gospel has lost its power and I say Amen to that. The Bible says,
“He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”
Now, the people that we got saved, we got 46 people saved as a team, as a group effort throughout the whole day. “Yeah, but how many of them were Muslims?” First of all I say who cares, a soul is a soul, I don’t care who I wanted to look, you know, a lot of people who wanted the Lord were black, praise God, so what, a soul is a soul.
But you know what, many Muslims, they get saved. I don’t have the exact number of how many of the people we got saved were Muslim. I don’t think it’s that important. Just to go real conservative, I would at least 10 of the people that we won to Christ were Muslims, just to be real conservative. But it might have been a lot more than that; I don’t know the exact percentages. But many of the Muslims got saved. Now most of the Muslims that got saved were young adults or teenagers. You know they are not going to be the died on the wall, 40, 50, 60 years all, you know most of Muslims that we got saved were teenagers and young adults, but you know what, that’s the best time to reach them. And most of the Muslims that I want the Christ in my lives were in that age group of early 20s to young teens because that’s the best times to reach them. I heard another preacher say this, you know he went out soul winning and somebody asked him how many people did you get saved, he said “two and half” and they said “oh I get it! Two adults and one small child he said no “two small children and one adult because the adult have already wasted half his life,” Because it’s better to get people saved, the younger, the better. Thank God I got saved while I was 6. I wouldn’t want to get saved when I was 60. I want to get saved when I was 6.
And so you get to them when they are kids and teenagers and young adults and guess what, they have been less brain washed by the lies of their religion. And so thank God many people did get saved that were Muslims but you know what I wouldn’t give a rip if we went in there and preach to a bunch of Muslims and then the only people who got saved were agnostics or Catholics or whatever, because the soul is a soul. And I just want to get people saved.
And I even told people, I said, “You know what?” I said, “If I spend the whole day in Dearborn and I don’t get anybody saved, then I am going to the Detroit ghetto that night and I am going to go get somebody saved in the Detroit ghetto. I am getting somebody saved by hook or by crook. But thank God we got a bunch of people saved in Dearborn itself, we didn’t have to go into the, in or at your own risk, to Detroit.
I have gone soul winning in places like that. If you show up at 11 am, you show up at 2 pm and you are wearing a suit and a tie and a Bible, they are not just going to blow you away. The people that are getting killed in Detroit and the people that are getting killed in South Chicago and Gary, Indiana, you know what they are? Gang members and police officers. If you’re not involved in the drug war, you are usually going to be fine. People are afraid of their own shadow. And God will protect us. He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him.
We’ll look at Matthew chapter 13, because I really want to emphasize this thing that soul winning works. And you say, “What you mean by soul winning?” Here is what I simply mean by soul winning. Walking up to someone and opening your Bible and showing them how to be saved. Just opening your mouth and telling them the Gospel using scripture. And it is a biblical work because the Bible says, “the fruit of the righteous is the tree of life and he that winneth souls is wise.” Bring forth fruit unto the Lord, winning souls.
The Bible also talks about the unbelieving husband being won by the wife. It is a scriptural terminology that we use and let me tell you something, it works. How can it not work? How could preaching the gospel not get somebody saved, eventually? I mean that is what the Bible says what happened.
But a lot of people are mixed up on this thing of what it means to go forth and weeping, bearing precious seed because there is even an organization known as Bearing Precious Seed. And this organization Bearing Precious Seed, you know, I thank God that they print good Bible versions. You know they print the King James and they print other good Bible versions in foreign languages. But you know a lot of people associated with that ministry, they think, “Oh yeah, here is the answer! We print a bunch of Bibles, we print a bunch of tracts and give them out to people and that is how we get the gospel out.”
But you know, when the Bible says bearing precious seed, you know that it is talking about opening your mouth and preaching, right? It is not talking about handing out a leaflet, my friend. In fact, I’ll prove it to you. What does the Bible say? Matthew 13 let Jesus interpret. The Parable of the Sower. What’s the sower? Sowing the seed, right? The Bible said bearing precious seed, okay; Jesus will interpret it for us.
“Hear ye therefore, the Parable of the Sower, we’re in Matthew 13, verse 19. when anyone what? When anyone what..?
When anyone heareth, the word of the kingdom and understandeth not, then cometh the wicked one and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word.”
Group 1, hear is the word, group 2, hear is the word, group 3, hear is the word, group 4, hear is the word.
What does it mean, my friend? To sow the seed. It’s when you preach the word, somebody hears it, somebody hears it today. And too many people are using this cop out of a gospel tract and I know this isn’t popular, people get real offended when I preach this but you know what, like it or lump it, it’s the truth and somebody needs to stand up and say it. That going up to somebody and giving them a tract is not preaching the gospel. And it’s a cop out where you say, “Oh, I gave that person the gospel because you gave him a tract because most of those tracts go in the trash and even if people read them, they don’t usually understand them anyway. You know, the best way to get somebody saved, the biblical way to get somebody say biblically bearing the precious seed is to walk up to you and open my mouth and talk to you and you hear the word of God. That was a hearing. Hearing, hearing, hearing, hearing, hearing, hearing, hearing, hearing, hearing.
Oh, here, read this. Now what the Bible says, see, God has chosen the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. And so we need to go out and open our mouths, man, woman, boy and girl. Open your mouth and tell people about Jesus. And it’s a lot easier to hand them a piece of paper and then run away like a coward than it is to open the Bible and say let me show you how to be saved, to open our mouth, and talk to them and say, hey, Romans 3:23, Romans 3:10, John 3:16, John 3:18, John 3:36, John 6:47, whatever and preach to them and speak to them and the Holy Spirit upon you. This is what gets the job done. “He that goeth forth and weepeth bearing precious seed.”
But you know what we see a lot of today? First of all there is no going forth than weeping. Because you know what the weeping there represents? That you care. You know, why would you weep? Because you care. Because you love people. Now here is the thing. If you love someone, you know what you are going to do if you love someone? You are going to walk up to them and you are going to explain to them lovingly how to be saved. Right? You are going to talk to them, you are going to be nice to them and you are going to try to convince them to get saved. Think about someone you love that’s not saved. How would you talk to them? You know maybe it’s a mother, father, a brother, a sister, a friend at work. How would you talk to them? You would be nice and you would try to plead with them and beg them to be saved and you show them scripture and you’d be nice. Okay, would you walk in to thanksgiving, if you really wanted to get your extended family saved, would you walk in to thanksgiving with a bull horn? “Hey everybody, you’re going to hell! You need to repent, Do you know you’re on your way to hell today, you’re deceived”
You know, here is why you wouldn’t do it, because it wouldn’t work. And you know what? If bull horning worked, if holding up obnoxious stupid signs worked and bull horning worked, you know what, I’d do it. I’d do it. I mean if they worked, let’s do it. You know why? Because I care. Because I love people and want them to be saved. And if it takes a bull horn to get them saved, I’ll use a bull horn to get them saved. If it takes an obnoxious stupid sign, I’ll take an obnoxious stupid sign. But you know what? It doesn’t work. It’s stupid. It’s not biblical. No, it’s nowhere, it’s not found in the Bible. It’s not the example we see in the Bible.
You know we look at the great soul winners in the Bible, did they ever trim and sugar coat the message? Absolutely not! But you know what they did though? They spoke the truth and loved. And you know what, they did point out sometimes common ground. But they didn’t trim and see the problem with people like Rick Warren, they’ll get up and talk with the Muslims and find the common ground but then they forget to tell them the part about how they are all going to hell and how they need to repent and repent of their Islam and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. Okay, that’s the problem.
But you know we see the Apostle Paul on Marseille and what does he do? He says to them, “you’re too superstitious.” Is that a compliment or an insult? Doesn’t look you’re too superstitious. And he says you have an altar to the unknown god. He said, “Him therefore you ignorantly worship, I’ll declare unto you.” Let me tell you who the unknown god is. He is the only God. Okay. But he also will point out, hey; here is what some of your poets have said. And basically he will find common ground and talk. For example, Stephen, when he preaches to the Jews, he talks about all the stuffs that they agree on and everything. But then he says. “Look, here is where you guys are wrong.”
And we see all throughout the Bible examples of people like Jesus and the Apostles talking to people and giving them the gospel and so forth. And you know what, there is nothing wrong with being nice to people. And there is nothing wrong with saying. “Hey, here is something that we agree on.” Here is what we both agree on. But now let me show you the part that we need, that we don’t agree on. And that you need to see here from the word of God. But this obnoxious stupid bull horning, not only does it not work, this street preaching, open air of angelism street preaching and tract distribution and sign… you know what? These bunch of fools, not only did they not get people saved, even if you talk to them, they will tell you, “oh, it’s so amazing, we had two people saved last year.” Yeah, there is somebody dying every few seconds and going to hell and you getting two people saved a year, that ain’t going to cut it. You are failing. But then they say, “Oh, we are doing it and we go out there and we suffer prosecution.” No, you’re going out and making people mad because you’re being an idiot. And then you’re saying we’re being persecuted. They are throwing water bottles at you because you’re acting a fool. And what you’re doing makes no sense and then it poisons the well for people like us who want to come in and do the real big boy soul winning. You know, we want to come in and do the big boy, the real soul winning, the mature Christian soul winning, the real thing that actually works with the actual tear in the eye. And then a lot of people are hardened and we have to undo the damage that these other idiots have done. And they are hurting the cause of Christ. It’s really a joke, my friend.
But honestly, soul winning works. A tear in the eye works. Bearing precious seed works. Using the word of God and preaching house to house, every house, highways and hedges, its works today. And that’s why the devil hates it. I don’t think the devil even cares about these fools going to a queer pride parade and screaming and bull horning and holding signs to a bunch of people that are already reprobates anyway. What he does care, and want to stop is when people actually go forth weeping bearing the precious seed and go house to house and go with the Bible and the true gospel and a tear in the eye and love in their hearts and the Holy Ghost upon them because they get things done that works. Tracts don’t work, street preaching doesn’t work. Obnoxious signs don’t work and I’ll say it on blue in the face and your tracts, your tracts ministry is a cop out where you make people think that they are getting all these people saved because we handed out ten thousand tracts. No. You need to open your mouth and preach and not be scared and shy of doing what God told you to do, my friend.
But here is the biggest lesson of Dearborn. Here is the biggest most important lesson. I’ll close on this lesson. Go to John chapter 4. John chapter 4, here is the most important lesson from Dearborn. I’ll give you a quick review of the lessons learned in Dearborn.
Number 1: Is that God uses the congregation, uses the church. He uses the assembly of people to get great works done for Him. 60 people teamed up. 46 people saved, 7 baptized. You say how did you baptize 7 people? You know, you better not been sprinkling like a protestant, no. We baptized them in a hotel swimming pool. Say, sea here is water, you know, who can forbid water that these should be baptized. We paraded into the hotel swimming pool; we went to this fancy hotel, The Henry. We walked into The Henry autograph collection and we marched into the indoor swimming pool at The Henry with like 40 some people and we lined up 7 people and there were other people just swimming there. Families on vacation and the kids, all the kids were playing and joking around. Next thing you knew, all the kids were just lined up on the edge of the hot tub. And I was like, “I baptize you my brother in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost and we were baptizing 7 people in the swimming pool. It was exciting.
And all of the Baptists are dead. “Hey, look, I don’t have to roll in the wild and act like a chimpanzee up here and act like a two year old just to prove, hey, this isn’t a dead church. I am going to act like a two year old to prove it and run around and whoop and holler and act like an idiot. ” No. And you know what? Barking like a dog and rolling in the aisles, that’s not exciting. Being a holy roller. You know what’s exciting? Baptizing 7 people in a hotel swimming pool. You know what’s exciting? Getting 46 people saved out on soul winning. You know what’s exciting? Giving the gospel to way more than 46 Muslims who didn’t get saved today but we’ve planted the seed. I presented the full plan of salvation to Muslim after Muslim after Muslim. And you know what, God’s words are not going to return void. And so we planted the seed and pray to God that somebody else will water. I know that there are a couple of Baptist churches in Dearborn that from what I could tell are soul winning churches. There are a couple soul winning churches, you know, I pray to God that they would get a vision to go back and knock those doors again and water those seeds and get these people that didn’t get baptized, get them baptized and get them a church and teach them to absorb all things whatsoever Christ has commanded. You know that’s what big kids get excited about. That’s what real men get excited about not a bunch of spiritual two year old who just get excited about [howling]. You know, I don’t get excited going to church that looks like the price is right. I get excited about going to a church where people are being saved and baptized. And where people are growing in the Lord and their lives are being changed. Hey, that’s where the excitement is.
But the next lesson is that there is a lack of leadership amongst God’s people across America where you can just show up and round people up that have never been soul winning and just get them going. We want to do this in other parts of the country just because we had such a great success. But not only that, we’ve learned, hey, don’t believe everything the media tells you. Don’t believe what you read on the internet. Take it with a grain of salt, okay.
We learned that fear can stop you from serving God and we should never allow that to happen. The lesson is that Christians ruin their testimony with Muslims in so many ways. That was just one example that I gave you.
We learned of course that soul winning works as it always has and always will. And last but not least, we learned that the mission field is right here in America. This is the mission field. Look what it says in John 4:35,
“Say not ye, there are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? Behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.”
Don’t tell me that hey, 3 months from now is when the soul winning is going to happen. Or 300 miles from here or 3000 miles from here or wherever, you know. Hey, lift up your eyes. Look around, the mission field is right here. And it’s not just here in America in the sense that it’s in Dearborn, it’s here in Phoenix. It’s here in Tempe, its right here. Now here is what’s so silly. People will go through so much effort and spend so much money and time and energy to go to a distant country to do soul winning and then they won’t do any soul winning here. Save a few 100 grand, save a trip. It’s all right here, I mean why don’t we do what we have right in front of us and then let’s talk about taking it somewhere else. Why don’t we do what’s here. The mission field is coming to us every day.
People are moving to this country everyday from all over the world. You want to reach India with the gospel? Its right here, its Tempe. You want to be a missionary to China? No, you need to quit talking about China and start talking about China Town. I want to see you in China Town before we talk about you going to China. Don’t tell me about going to Africa until you go to what I affectionately call “Little Africa”. You know, we have places in Phoenix where there are all kinds of African immigrants and refugees constantly cycling through from all over Africa. Don’t tell me about you wanting to be a missionary to Mexico until you can be a missionary to the Mexican parts of the town right here in Phoenix Arizona, it’s all right here. What country do you have a burden for? It’s all here in America. Most of it is here in Phoenix.
Now listen to me, earlier I talked about the fact that there were no beheadings on Friday, there were no stonings. There wasn’t even so much as an empty water bottle thrown. No one even yelled at us. No one even threatened us. Nothing. I mean even when we told people, you’re not saved, you’re going to go to hell, you know, we did it nicely and gently and explained them from the Bible. It was still hey, have a good day, God bless you.
But here is the thing, my friend, the reality is that if we were over on their turf and I ran or something, they would kill us. So I don’t want you to misunderstand me that I am up here saying that Islam is a religion of peace because it’s not. And you say, ‘well, how do you know that they’ll kill you if you were in Iran, Pastor Anderson, how do you know that’s not a lie like Dearborn was a lie. Here’s how I know it’s not a lie. Because Number 1: The Quran, flat out says in many places, I’ve read it myself, ‘slay them’, and over and over again, about how any Muslim who is going to convert needs to be slain and the people who are trying to convert them need to be slain. It’s in the Quran itself, number 1.
But number 2: Because I have communicated with people living in Iran and I communicated with them very in-depth and spoken to people, multiple people, unrelated to one another who live in Tehran itself, the capital of Iran, who said, that if you are a Christian and you’ve always been a Christian, then you are totally fine to live in Iran. They are not going to kill you, persecute you if you are a Christian and you’ve always been a Christian, you are allowed to be a Christian in Iran. Because if we look at the demographics of Iran, there are Christians in Iran. But here is what they said. If you try to convert Muslims, you will be hanged. And if you are a Muslim who converts to Christianity, you will be hanged. So the persecution is real, the danger is real. When the Muslims take power, they are violent, they do kill people for soul winning or for converting. And other parts of the world, I’ve heard the same thing from people who actually live there not just some media source or some right wing radio host or some mainstream media.
So here is my question then. Because the Bible real clearly says in Matthew chapter 10, “If they persecute you in the city, flee into another.”He said, look, shake the dust off your feet, right? If they won’t receive the gospel, if they don’t want to hear your message, then shake of the dust and go to the next place. That’s what Jesus said in Mathew 10. He said, “If they persecute you in the city, flee to another.”
So here is my question then. Why would you want to go over to their turf and risk your life and risk your neck and literally risk being killed and have to learn a foreign language and have to travel to an unfamiliar place and go over there and be lucky to give the gospel to a few people or maybe sneaking around in underground and you’re going to give the gospel to 10 people. Why don’t you just go to Dearborn, Michigan and witness them on our turf? Where it’s totally safe? Where there is no danger of being beheaded, where there is no danger of being hanged, where there is no danger of violent reprisals? Why are we not doing it here where we can do it? And guess what? Here, most of them speak English. What are we doing? Its right here!
But people would love to just throw their money at something. You know, they don’t want to go across the street to witness to somebody so they throw money in the plate to send some bozo to another country, who, you don’t even know if that guy is even a real soul winner. Because a lot of these missionaries are total bozos. I wish I could tell you that all these missionaries are just, they’re tearing it up and they’re lighting the world on fire with the gospel. But you know a lot of these missionaries are a joke. And I’m not trying to be cynical. I’m just being realistic, my friend. And you know how I know they are a joke? Because they don’t go soul winning here. You try to get them out for soul winning, it sound it’s like pulling teeth.
You know, missionaries, ‘hey, brother, God bless you, praise the Lord, Hallelujah! Can I come display my slideshow in your church?
“No, but you can go soul winning with me.”
“Let’s go soul winning, I want to see you in action. I want to watch you give the gospel to people. I want to see what you can do.”
“Oh well, I am busy, oh, you know, I’m washing my hair…”
But you know what? If they won’t do it here, they won’t do it there. Period. End of story. Because it’s harder there than it is here. Hey! If you can’t do it, if you can’t run with the footman, you’re not going to be able to contend with the horses, the Bible says. And you know what? First before we talk about your big expedition in the heart of Iran with the gospel, and in to Iraq and Saudi Arabia with the gospel, first tell about how you witness to all the Arabs in Dearborn first and now you run out of them and now you’re going to go take it over there. Because you know what, that’s what Jesus did. Jesus ran out of cities. Jesus and his disciples, in three and a half years went to all the towns and villages cities of Israel. They went to all of them. And he said, “go not into the way of the gentiles and in any city of the Samaritans enter ye not, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” And they finished the task, they finished the job and then they said, okay now, we’re going to all the world.
You know what? I’m all for missions, I love missions. When I grew up as a little kid, I wanted to be a missionary. I studied foreign languages. I wanted to go to the mission field. Then I went to the mission field and I was a little disillusioned by some of the things that I saw over there. There are good missionaries but there are more bad missionaries than good missionaries, sad to say. But I realized, wait a minute, its right here. The home base is falling apart. Look!
Why do we think that we need to have a church send out 50 missionaries all over the world when your own city is going to hell in a hand basket? You’ve given over your city to the filthy Sodomites. I mean you are failing miserably at home. And I just decided I’m starting a church in America because the home base needs help. And it needs help more than it did when I started this church. And look at all the sheep without a shepherd. Look, we need, instead of me travelling to Michigan and rounding up 60 people and let you know we need some pastor in Michigan, better round up 60 people and let’s go to Dearborn and do it. And round up a 100 people. And we need a pastor in every city in America to get excited, to get on fire and you know what, I pray to God that our church can train out, you know, we trained three pastors and we hope to train many more in the future. I hope we can just train them and send them out, send them out, send them out. I want to train and send off 100 preachers out of this church to go all over America and to go big and to make big sacrifices and to do great things for God and to see many thousands and millions of people saved, and to do something great for God because it is so easy. It is right there. I mean God has set before us an open door.
Well, let’s go beat our heads against the wall in some distant country where we don’t know the language and spend years in a language school and hand out tracts because we don’t know how to talk the language and blah blah… And invite people over to dinner 500 times before we can build their confidence. You can’t just..Every missionary talk to you is like, “Oh, well, where I am at, soul winning doesn’t work.”
And then you go there and try and it works. “Oh, you’re kidding! Soul winning doesn’t work here in Germany because they have these intercom systems just ruin soul winning.”
I’ll push those intercom buttons and say, “get down here and listen to the gospel” though I don’t say like that. But I’m saying, look, you know what, sometimes you talk in intercom and say, “Hey, I’m from so and so church,” you know, sometimes they will come down and talk to you through the intercom. Or guess what, forget the intercom, walk down the street and find people that are walking down the street. Or go to the neighborhood that’s so poor they can’t afford the intercom and knock all those doors. Where there is a will, there is a way and losers just make excuses. “Nah, that can’t be done and oh, in this part of the world, you don’t understand, Pastor Anderson. You can’t just walk up and give them the gospel. That just doesn’t work.”
No, you got to get to know them, you got to build their trust, you got to build their courage, you got to bring food over to their house and invite them over 5000 times and then you start out just real soft by like a baby praying and saying “In Jesus name, Amen.”
You know, kind of see how that goes. Let that sink in for a while. Look, I’m sorry, I grew up in an independent Baptist, this is not how missionaries talk. I know I’m exaggerating but you know, the essence is there.
But you know what works everywhere on this planet? Walking up to people and giving them the gospel. ‘No, I tried and it didn’t work.’ Yeah, you didn’t try it long enough. Go do it for 10 hours. Go do it every day for 2 weeks straight and if you don’t come back with somebody saved then I’m a monkey’s uncle. Because you know what, or maybe you are not saved or you don’t know what you’re doing or you don’t know the Bible or the gospel or you’re not filled with the Holy Spirit, I don’t know what. The problem’s not the gospel, the problem is you.
I’m telling you my friend, it’s not necessarily always easy but it can always be done but you know what, in America, it is easy. The door is wide open and we, and again, I’m not saying hey, I don’t believe in missions. You know what, I know some guys right now that they are talking about how they want to start churches in the Philippines and other parts of the world and you know what, I think that’s awesome. I think that’s great. You know, guys have our style of soul winning and our style of church planting and preaching. And they are talking, “hey, you want to go start churches in Philippines?” You know what, that’s awesome. I want to see that happen. That’s so great. All over the world, let’s do it. But you know what, let’s not get so into that, that we just ignore what’s right in front of us, what’s right around us. The mission field is right here in America. Yeah, you go to their turf, you know what, it’s true. They are going to chop your head off or hang you. So why not do it here where they are on our turf and they have to be nice to us. It just makes sense. Sorry to confuse you with the Bible and make so much sense this morning but these are the true sayings of God.
Let’s rise and have a word of prayer.
Father we thank you so much for the amazing day that we had on Friday, Lord and you really did exceeding abundantly above all that we could ask for. Thank you Lord. If we would have half the success, if we would have 30 people show us and 23 saved and 3 baptized, Lord, I would have been thrilled. But you did exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ask or think and just brought in an amazing group of wonderful nice people that love you, that wanted to do the work, Lord, and you bought in the harvest, Lord and you get all the glory. It doesn’t go to anyone personal, Lord. It was you that got glory in the church by using the team, Lord, through your Holy Spirit and we thank you so much for that. And Father I pray that the lessons that I was able to share this morning from that wondrous event would sink in, Lord and that people here in Phoenix and people around the world who are listening to this sermon, Lord, would be motivated and inspired and would learn the lessons from Dearborn. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.