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This article was orginally published in the May 1996 issue of Charisma.
In Manhattan, David Wilkerson has given the term ‘Broadway revival’ a whole new meaning.
Perhaps God had a better idea when the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar opened 25 years ago in Manhattan at the Mark Hellinger Theatre. Today the ornate Broadway landmark houses a flourishing Pentecostal ministry called Times Square Church (TSC), founded by David Wilkerson in 1987.
“We originally came here to find a holy remnant who would welcome repentance and set an example that people could live a righteous life in the midst of Babylon or Sodom,” Wilkerson says.
David Wilkerson first offered this timely message in the July 1991 issue of Charisma. In light of his tragic death, we're reposting it as a testament to his remarkably prophetic voice.
The great need of this hour is for Christians to learn to sing the song of deliverance on the testing side of trouble.
The children of Israel were in a hopeless predicament. The Red Sea was before them; the moutains were to the left and right; Pharaoh and his iron chariots were closing in from the rear. God's people seemed helplessly trapped, just waiting to be cut down. Yet God purposely had led them into this precarious spot.
It was panic time in the camp of Israel. Men shook with fear, and women and children wept as they huddled around relatives. Moses was mobbed by irate family leaders who cried: "Surely this is the end. Weren't there enough graves in Egypt to bury us there? You had to drag us out here to die. We told you in Egypt to let us alone. It was better to be slaves there than to die in this miserable wilderness" (see Ex. 14:11).
Charisma spoke with David Wilkerson in 2008 during Teen Challenge's 50th anniversary. Here are some never before published quotes that he shared with us.
“I carried with me all this time over the years a bit of self-condemnation if I only had more education. I only had one year of Bible school. My parents were poor and could not afford college. I had an inner nagging if only I had been more educated I would be much better in my exegesis of scripture. But my father taught me to pray. He said ‘God will always make a way for a praying man.’
"I was so busy in my 30s and did not have time to read enough. I was hungry for a deeper insight into scripture. I studied the Puritans and tried to improve my knowledge of scripture.
I'm convinced that God's will for you is to talk with other people about Christ.
While witnessing to a guy on the streets of Denver once I explained how he could give his life to Jesus Christ. His response was, "That's too easy." I replied, "Do you want me to make it difficult?"
God wants us to join Him in going after the thing He loves most: People.
How can an inner-city Los Angeles ministry be comprised of an astounding 270-plus programs? Heres just a small sample of how the Dream Center reaches out to its neighbors.
YWAM aims to send church planters to every people group by 2015
There's nothing more exciting than leading someone to Christ through a "power encounter" hosted by the Holy Spirit. I've seen a waitress come to Christ because a group of us out for lunch simply showed Christ's love and talked to her and gave her words of knowledge-even one about her cat! I've also experienced times in which the Spirit of God is so tangible during ministry or a personal interaction that people have asked me, "What is this, and how do I come to know this Jesus you are talking about?"
When Jesus spoke brief words of knowledge to the woman in Samaria, she told the entire village about the Lord. I believe these types of power encounters have been God's preference for evangelism all along. Other methods have some impact, but nothing gets your attention like finding out that God "has your number."
The biggest roadblock to evangelism is beginning a conversation. Here’s how to get started.
I know many Christians who want to share their faith, but they struggle with finding a way to begin. There is no specific formula. God wants us to be spontaneous as we trust Him to give us the words.
These suggestions will help you start the conversation:
1. Discuss spirituality. You might ask, “Do you attend church anywhere?” Regardless of the answer, try to steer away from getting caught up in a discussion about religion or “your” church. Many people have had negative church experiences. But this can still be a great door opener. Keep the focus on Christ because religion doesn’t change lives, Jesus does.
Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort recently led an atheistic evolution revolution at U.S. universities.
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