Hello Project Ezra! We are just a few days away from July 4th, and I look forward to seeing what God will do with this event. It looks like we have a number of new folks participating this time based on the questions I have gotten and new members added to the group, and that is fantastic. I hope and pray the rest of you are inviting your friends as well. Although there is nothing wrong with going out on your own, and I have certainly done so many times, it is even better to have brothers and sisters in Christ to support you. If you know someone who you think might be interested but may be too scared, ask them to just come along and pray. If that’s all they end up doing, that’s fine. The prayer warrior is not in any way inferior to the open-air preacher, and that may be their gifting. If they end up talking to or handing tracts to people after the reading, that’s great too. But you might be surprised, and they might surprise themselves, when they end up reading, or even preaching.
There are many possible springboards in 1st John, and as usual for larger events, I want to encourage you to read and re-read the chapter, so you know it well, before going out, and prepare your own message if you plan to preach. There are some obvious points to preach on, such as:
Christ as the propitiation for our sins.
God is love, and our behavior reflecting that love.
Ongoing sin as evidence of false faith.
The unchanged life and ongoing sin as evidence of a possible false faith is a theme I have used many times, and I will likely use it myself on the 4th. But please be careful how you present it. This should not be looked on as an opportunity to climb on your soapbox and declare judgment on anyone different than you. Sadly, there are plenty of street preachers (unbiblical ones) already doing that. What we should do is encourage people to go back to the scriptures themselves, to examine themselves to see if they are in the faith, and to work out their salvation with fear and trembling, as God commands. The idea that we must strive to build up everyone’s self esteem is pervasive, and as the word tells us, every man will declare his own righteousness. But for those who will read or listen with a tender conscience, 1st John will stop them in their tracts, shut their mouth, and crush their self-righteousness. Whenever I share the gospel with a professing Christian, I recommend they read 1st John, along with the Gospel of John. If they are true believers, they will be blessed and encouraged. If not, they will be convicted.
I look forward to hearing your stories, seeing your pictures, and hopefully watching some videos too. Whether you are participating this time or not, please be in prayer for your brothers and sisters around the world as they go to the streets to read.
All for His glory,
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