Evangelists get to heart of matter at conference


PRINCETON, Ky. (KT) — Encouragement and exhortation marked the 31st annual Western Kentucky Evangelist Conference at the Caldwell-Lyon Baptist Association on Monday.

Ray Pasacando, pastor of Crossroads Church, Staten Island, N.Y., talked to the crowd at Southside Baptist Church about the liberal agenda being pushed in New York City — and how believers should respond.

“Our focus is to be God’s representative — you don't need to wear a collar or have titles or certificates on the wall to be His representative,” Pasacando said. “We represent not our theology, our preferences, our churches, but our faith in Christ.

“There is a war on having trust in God,” he said. “The city council of New York is obsessed with shoving a liberal agenda. But we (Christians) have rights, too. We represent Christ in a counter-culture. In New York they can get a new gender bathroom in a month, but they put a handicapped restroom on the second floor where there is no elevator. It is not out of style to have trust in God.”

• • •

Evangelist Dr. Tim Lee, who lost both his legs in 1971 when he stepped on a land mine while serving with the Marines in Vietnam, told how the Lord has opened opportunities for ministry to Marines at Parris Island and in San Diego.

“We have had 27,000 plus Marines give their hearts to Jesus. When everything in our world seems upside down, this is a God-thing,” he said. Lee has three more evangelistic events set on the Marine base in South Carolina. “God opened a door out of the clear blue sky. There is nothing going on like this in our military.”

Lee then asked the crowd, which consisted primarily of pastors, “Why do we do what we do?”

He said there are two reasons — “all we do is to honor God, and we want to see men, women, boys and girls come to Jesus. There’s only one thing that is worse than being lost, and that’s being lost and no one looking for you.”

The evangelist, preaching from Luke 5, pointed out the wealth of means we have today to share the gospel, unlike Paul’s day. “Can you imagine what Paul would have done if he could have traveled in a 747? We have communications — radio, TV, the internet — yet we may be doing less than any generation before us.

“The church has gone into the sign business — put up a beautiful sign and then think ‘They know where we are.’”

• • •

Dr. Tim Beougher, associate dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, preached from Romans 10:1-17, listing five principles to being an effective witness for Christ.

First, we must comprehend people’s lostness. “One of the purposes of the law is to show the futility of trying to keep the law,” he said, noting that some say that the plan of salvation sounds too easy, so easy a child can understand it. “It’s not easy,” he said, “it involves humbling ourselves. The way to salvation is to quit trying and start trusting.”

Second, we must demonstrate compassion for the lost. In Romans 10, Paul was showing compassion for people who wanted him dead. “When is the last time you wept over someone’s spiritual condition?”

Third, we pray for the lost. “Only God can open blind eyes — we cannot convert anyone. God uses our prayers and our witness. Do you have a list of people you pray for regularly, a list of people you pray for Christ to open their eyes?”

Fourth, we understand the gospel, that “Jesus is Lord, and that confession brings repentance and faith.” He added that “confession is the natural response to what fills the heart.” He said grandparents don’t need to buy a three-set DVD to tell people how great their grandchildren are. So, when a Christian believes on Christ, it is natural for that person to confess Him.

Lastly, the believer shares the gospel. Referring to Romans, he asked, “Do you have feet that carry the good news of Christ to a lost and dying world?”

• • •

Evangelist Dr. Jerry Spencer, who has preached to more than 20 million people in his years of evangelism, talked to the crowd about heaven. “There should be no anxiety about transferring to a new place like heaven. Everything is going to be new — there will be no curse.”

He went on to numerate extensively about the perfection of heaven. “There will be nothing in heaven that defiles. There will be no result of sin left in the universe except for hell.

“You’ll never hear: I have a headache, a doctor’s appointment, I had trouble sleeping, I am hot, cold, worried, bored or depressed, I am lonely, you hurt my feelings, I hate you or I don’t feel loved.

“You’ll never be frustrated, anxious, mistreated. There’ll be no bad news, no wars or torture, no wildfires, no burning buildings, no deception, no negative facial expressions, no grimace of pain, no sexual perversion, no anger, no violence, no arrogance, no vulgarity, no dirty jokes, no feelings of inferiority, no lies, no bias, no prejudice, no addictions, no handicaps, no dementia, no bullying, no acid reflux, no eyedrops, no insulin, no hearing aids, no glasses, no beds — because there will be no sleep in heaven. There’ll be no wheelchairs, no antibiotics, no dialysis, no false eyelashes, no smart remarks from the preacher in the pulpit; no false teeth, no mouthwash, no bathroom scales, no diet, no implants, no negative people, no vindictive spirit, no unforgiveness, no adultery, no hypocrites, no gossip, no pornography, no cross dressing, no terrorism, no murder, no stealing, no disasters, no misunderstandings. There’ll not be one distillery, brewery, winery or intoxicating beverage. There’ll not be any gang violence, no speaking ill of you, no distrust of others, no walking on eggshells.”

• • •

In Mark’s account of Jesus feeding the 5,000, Parascando noted that the disciples heard Jesus say for them to supply food for the crowd. But they, like us, began to make excuses. He likened it to the story of a new pilot who was flying on a cloudy day and was not good at flying by the instruments. The tower told him, “You just obey the instructions; we’ll take care of the obstructions.” Parascando then asked the question, who packed the lunch for the boy who had the five loaves and two fish?

“Probably a mother or a grandmother. Your acts of humility, kindness and generosity reverberate in heaven. God sees it and is going to use it.”

He noted that the miracle of providing food for the massive crowd came after Jesus looked up to heaven and prayed. “That’s the key — gimmicks don’t save. We don’t have to sell (Christianity) — the cross and the empty tomb speak for themselves.”

Chip Hutcheson is managing editor of The Western Recorder.


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