The Hollywood establishment often criticizes actor Kirk Cameron. But he’s found his best role as a believer who takes his faith seriously.
As the California sun sets over the Santa Monica Pier, Kirk Cameron approaches four rough-looking shirtless guys with big tattoos and shaved heads. The actor is filming an episode of the evangelistic television series The Way of the Master, but these men are not extras for the program; they’re total strangers. He doesn’t know how they will respond to the questions he has for them.
Cameron begins a conversation about God and asks one of the men—Mario—if he believes he’s a good person. “Yeah,” Mario says flatly, as his friend Alvie and the two other men gather ominously around the former teen idol who starred in the ABC family sitcom Growing Pains from 1985-1992.
Using the Ten Commandments like a moral mirror, Cameron asks Mario to examine himself in light of God’s standards. Has he ever lied, stolen or committed adultery by looking at a woman with lust? Mario admits he’s committed all those sins and concedes he would be guilty before God on the day of judgment.
Confiding he too has been sinful, Cameron tells Mario as a good judge God must one day punish sinners and that the place of punishment is hell. But, he adds, Jesus Christ took the punishment for his sins by dying on the cross and Mario too can have eternal life by putting his faith in Jesus.
The encounter, filmed several years ago for the award-winning TV show and radio program, has since been viewed more than 300,000 times on YouTube.
“We later found out [Mario and Alvie]—who at the time were on drugs and homeless on the streets—had come to the Lord and became Christians,” Cameron told Charisma during a recent interview at a Los Angeles-area hotel. “We saw [Alvie] at a rally holding up a sign saying, ‘Abortion Is Wrong.’ He told us he loves the Lord and reads his Bible every day.”
Some five years had passed since Cameron shared his faith on the pier that day. Astounded by the result of his encounter, Cameron says the men’s conversions remind him of what the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 3:5-7, that one person plants the gospel seed and another waters it but God makes it grow.
“Never be discouraged when you sow the gospel into the heart of an unbeliever,” says evangelist Ray Comfort—co-host with Cameron on The Way of the Master and the developer of Hell’s Best Kept Secret, a method of open-air preaching.
With the release last summer of Conquer Your Fear: Share Your Faith, which Cameron co-wrote with Comfort, the star of Fireproof and the Left Behind movies is on a mission to encourage Christians to overcome their fears and share their faith with a world in dire need of the truth.
Troubled by studies that show only 2 percent of evangelical Christians tell others about Jesus, Cameron is passionate about equipping believers with the biblical tools they need to share the spiritual salvation message of Jesus.
“To effectively share your faith, you don’t need a Ph.D. in church history. You don’t need to be an archaeologist, and you don’t need to know Greek,” he says.
“You just need to let love swallow your fears and learn a couple of simple principles that Jesus used in the Scriptures to be able to effectively reach people with the gospel.”
That simplicity of the gospel—appealing to the conscience of hearers rather than getting stuck in heady, intellectual arguing matches with people—is what the two teach. They note that every 24 hours 150,000 people pass from “time to eternity.” And although many prophecy teachers believe there is little left on God’s “prophetic calendar” before the Second Coming occurs, the body of Christ in America is a “sleeping giant” that needs to overcome its “evangelophobia,” they state.
“Every time I see an act of lawlessness, a dead church system, a nation rising against another nation, people loving pleasure and ignoring God, an increase in immorality, turmoil in the Middle East, a collapse of a financial system and even the rise of atheism, I check off another sign of the end of the age,” Cameron writes. “Of all times in history, this isn’t a time for Christians to sit back and do nothing.”
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