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Celebrating 5 Years of Recovery Today!

| 31 Comments

Yes. That’s right. I’ve been a Christian for nearly 20 years and a pastor for over 12, yet 5 years ago I became sober.

Sober-minded.

Furthermore, two years ago I became an active member of A.A.

On July 31st of 2005, Ray Comfort taught “Hell’s Best Kept Secret”at our church; after hearing it—and applying it to my life—I felt that I was born again, again.

A whole new world open up to me; I actually became concerned for the lost. More importantly, after using the 10 Commandments in my Gospel presentations, the lost became concerned that they were lost, even thanking me for sharing Jesus with them. Amazing.

Also on that night in 2005, Ray gave me a free pack of million dollar Gospel tracts. (Read about that here.)

Gospel tracts? Those were so…so… 70’s! Since that first exposure to this wonderful tool, our church, Hope Chapel, has handed out nearly two million.

I now celebrate 4 years of being free from proclaiming a man-centered, “God-loves-you-and-has-a-wonderful-plan-for-your-life” Gospel.

Things will never be the same.

And what about my AA membership? That would be the Ambassadors’ Academy, the evangelistic training arm of The Way of the Master, where I have the great privelege to serve as a mentor.

Have you experienced “recovery?”

(Read about why I started sharing my faith everyday by clicking here for “My Great Evangelism Adventure”)

31 Comments

  1. Hey its been about five months for me. But it has changed everything.

  2. Praise God! That’s an awesome testimony! 7 years for me (previously false convert for over 20 years)

  3. Hi Steve 🙂
    Born again again? When will the next new realization of how you aren’t performing well enough happen?
    And I was wondering, perhaps you have an opinion on this:
    The apostles performed miracles for the people they preached to, which validated the claims they made. Why do you suppose miracles are so rare/non-existant today, and why are evangelists so much less effective today?
    A regulary quoted verse in christian churches is “go and make disciples”, and “the workers are few but the harvest is plenty”. Well, were the apostles not also told “do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift” (of the Holy Spirit). How is it that we feel that “go and make disciples” speaks to all Christians (and not just the disciples Jesus was literally speaking to), and yet “wait for the gift” does not apply to us (No, only the disciples Jesus was literally speaking to at the time). I’m NOT suggesting that a Christian should not wittness whenever possible. But to expect a lay christian to perform as the apostles did when they are not gifted as such is worse than ineffective. Televangelists, false teachers, “Buisness Churches”, we have enough people botching up the gospel, we don’t need the Ungifted+Unlearned to put the finishing touches on the already hardened. But wait, it’s the thought that counts right?

  4. Haha, I just read Chris Potts’ response. That’s very nice, may his parents spend eternity in Heaven when they receive Christ.
    But it brings up another question for you, Steve. How is it that Christians are taught to “work out your faith with fear and trembling”, as you so well illustrated with your post the other day of the “false convert newsman”. And yet, the dying who have only days or moments left to live can simply utter words of forgiveness and no one questions it twice. Could it be that EVERY SINGLE person who was about to die and asked to receive Christ DID so, and it just happens to be that if those people HAD lived to see “scandals in the church” and “hard times”, they would have persevered with all the rest of those whoe are “saved”?
    And, why is it that you rejoice with each new convert?, And say to yourself, “this was fruitfull work, I’m glad this person was saved from hell”. And then moments or years later re-neg their salvation when they (the majority) fail to persevere in the faith. Is the rejoicing in error, or is the work done in error?

  5. Miracles? Well, what about the conversion of a sinner? The repentance from a life of sin to a life of…life!

  6. To Real or Fake: Since you chose to ask the questions rhetorically, thereby ensuring a platform for your criticisms, I won’t answer all of your queries at this time.

    If you ask them again, and truly want my answers I’d be happy to answer them.

    Thanks for your thoughts, though! 🙂

  7. Awww, no response to any of the questions? I wasn’t looking for solid answers. I would love to hear even your personal opinions. And who says I intend to criticise? 😉
    And yes Mr. Perry, the conversion from a life of sin is indeed a miracle! But meaningless to those who don’t believe..

  8. Real or Fake: All criticisms welcomed, btw… Here are a few answers with more to follow (keep tuning in!).

    Born again again? When will the next new realization of how you aren’t performing well enough happen?

    I never felt that I wasn’t performing well enough—it was never about performance—it’s just I had my eyes opened by something I’d never heard before, the use of the Law in a Gospel presentation. At that point, I started to experience nearly everything the first disciples experienced in the first century. Read the entries of this blog after July 31, 2005.

    Q: The apostles performed miracles for the people they preached to, which validated the claims they made. Why do you suppose miracles are so rare/non-existant today, and why are evangelists so much less effective today?

    Good questions. I believe that the miracles confirmed that the Messiah had arrived, as demonstrated through signs and wonders (the canon of Scripture was not available yet). Today the Word has permeated every point of western society, signs and wonders are not necessary to prove the validity of Christ.

    The reason why evangelists are so ineffective today, is because they do not use the Law in Gospel proclamation, don’t warn of an impending judgment, nor talk about Hell. Most presentations give a man-centered Gospel promising peace, prosperity, health, etc.

    The only reason one should come to Christ is to flee the wrath to come. All the other stuff that may accompany salvation (healings, wealth, marriage, etc.), is gravy!

    More to come…

  9. More for RealorFake:

    Q: “Go and make disciples…”

    Yes. Even if “we have enough people botching up the gospel, we don’t need the Ungifted+Unlearned to put the finishing touches on the already hardened…”

    God can use all things, and His Word never returns empty. Paul himself even said that even if they preach the gospel for profit, out of wrong motives, the Gospel is still being preached!

    That’s cool for me, too.

  10. Real or fake: If you’d like me to respond further, let me know.

  11. Steve, you’ve been reading too much MacArthur…. ; )

  12. Hey Steve. Thanks for the responses! I pretty much agree with what you said. I hate the gospel of prosperity. And, who DOESN’T believe that the miracles performed were for the sake of validating Christs claims? 😉
    I found it interesting when you said “Today the Word has permeated every point of western society, signs and wonders are not necessary to prove the validity of Christ.” I agree that the word has permeated every point of western society.. but to what extent, would you say? I have never encountered an american older than 10 who had not at least “heard of” Jesus.. There’s something I’d like to discuss/hear your opinion on that topic, but I’m too lazy to write about it right now. 🙁 Later for sure!
    Also, regarding “God can use all things, and His Word never returns empty. Paul himself even said that even if they preach the gospel for profit, out of wrong motives, the Gospel is still being preached!”, once again, I couldn’t agree more. Yes, God CAN use ALL things, but what does He PREFER to use, that’s what I would LOVE to know.
    Do you suppose Steve, that with all these idiots (I too, am an idiot compared to others) preaching crummy renditions of the gospel, the passing out of cheezy tracts, the differences in denominations and doctrines in christian churches, and scandals, and etc., do suppose that God is still in control and has everything right where He wants it to be?? I wonder?..

  13. Is conversion from a life of sin meaningless to those who do not believe? Really? If a man sees, say, a drunkard brought to sobriety, that tells him nothing about the God he does not yet know? Or what about a Pharisee, a persecutor of Christians, brought to faith and leadership?

    I gently disagree, my friend.

    And what does He prefer to use? Flawed vessels like myself, if that former Pharisee be trusted.

  14. Happy Birthday Birthday, Steve!!

    I met Ray five years ago when he and Kirk came to preach HBKS at another church than the one I attend. By then I had already started sharing my faith one-to-one on a regular basis for one year and then Ray’s presentation knocked my socks off! (I have since bought a new pair.)

    It changed my way of evangelizing one to one as it was very effective. BUT, I never had the courage to open air preach until I came across and started following the grand tales of Steve Sanchez at E-vangie Tales in August of last year. THAT is what helped me cross the line and step up to the…well…stepstool. And now, like Steve and many others, I can’t shut up! And I won’t!

    So I thank God for Ray, I thank God for Steve, I thank God for Lawman, I thank God for Todd ( the freakishly tall guy on WOTM Radio, not the freakishly small guy on god-TV) and other sources of inspiration without whom I would be a very quiet fish.

  15. To compare your adoption of a particular style of evanglism to your spiritual rebirth is a disturbing hyperbole. The fact is,you Steve did not come to Christ to “Flee the wrath that is to come”. You came to Christ in headlong flight from this present darkness from the chaos and the meaninglessness of life without truth or grace.
    Meaning and purpose in life, a race to run, these are the immediate rewards of repentance and submission. These bring joy, which only comes with a sense of purpose and can only be maintained through a life of obedience. This is God’s great plan for all of his children. It is wonderful! And the truth of it is wired into our DNA by our creator, thus it is a powerful and honest evangelical approach. God does love me and he does have a wonderful plan for my life. I live it every day.
    It seems to me that fear is the more likely motivation to create false converts. I think of the cntrast between the free Greeks who would run into battle led by their chosen King and the Persian slave army who would fight for fear of the punishment they wold receive otherwise.
    I run into the battle a joyous volunteer.
    in Christ, the solid rock
    Brian

  16. Hyperbole or not, I once was blind to my responsibility of preaching the Gospel by using the Law first… but now I see!

    And no looking back to that “God loves you” rot.

    BTW, how many times is God’s love used as a motivation to accept the Gospel in the Book of Acts?

    Check out this article by John Gerstner, R.C. Sproul’s mentor, on whether God loves the sinner:
    http://www.the-highway.com/lovesinner_Gerstner.html

  17. I’m sure this thread is forgotten, but I never said use God’s love as a motivation to accept the Gospel of Peace.
    I said that a life of meaning and purpose (and escape from the meaninglessness and despair that every lost soul lives in) in knowing and obeying God.
    Every human craves a purposeful (driven) life. The evangelist has that to offer.
    But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
    amen

  18. It has been since April 2009 for me. Praise the Lord and I officially got on board in June at the AA#11. I couldn’t be happier talking to people about where they will spend eternity, open air-preaching and handing out gospel tracts which I seem to do the most. I am thankful for your site as I am really learning a lot. Thank you and God bless you Steve. You may not remember me but I met you in California in June and it was a lot of fun being with all of you.

  19. happy birthday again steve!

    <

  20. I love the way you presented this. What a great testimony!

  21. It has been over four years for me. I read “Hell’s Best Kept Secret” in January of 2006 (actually the day I started reading the book I heard Ray Comfort on the radio talking about “Hell’s Best Kept Secret.” That kind of was a sign that I was reading the right book). It truely was like being born-again again (just like you said Pastor Steve). My problem still is just speaking to people. I think that is the most frustrating thing of all. I know what to say but I struggle so much with speaking it and handing out tracts. But there is an up side. When I first started handing out tracts, (really laying out tracts) I was so scared I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Now when I lay out tracts I don’t even think about it. That is also how it is for handing out tracts at the drive through windows at fast food shops. I do it almost every time now and it used to be that I could hardly do it. What I am saying is that I am seeing progress. I just wish it was faster. I know in due time I will be engaging more people one-2-one and open-airing without even thinking about it! Praise God he never gives up on us when he chooses us to proclaim the Gospel! Keep it up Pastor Steve!

  22. What a coincidence: tomorrow marks my first year of atheism.

  23. There is a saying that goes something like this, ” I couldn’t see the forest for the trees”. I was also born again, again after hearing R.C’s. CD, “Hells Best Kept Secret.” My life as a “Christian” changed. I thought that evangelizing the lost was a gift that other brothers and sisters did. I had often read the words of Jesus’ command to go… But I didn’t take them to heart.

    Thank you Lord, for opening my eyes, thank you for being so very patient with me. Your mercy and grace is indeed sufficient. I pray that many of my brothers and sisters will have their eyes opened too.

    I wonder how many people can say they turned from a wicked life to a life of good because of their belief that God does not exist?

  24. Atheism isn’t a moral code or philosophy, Richard. The point is to remove needless mental locks and filters that religion puts in people.

    Your question is a bit curious because, according to world view, even turning to Christianity hasn’t made anyone a good person. Are you actually admitting that it’s possible to do good without your deity? VERY curious, indeed.

  25. I believe Richard was saying the opposite, Azou. He wrote: “I wonder how many people can say they turned from a wicked life to a life of good because of their belief that God does not exist?”

    Not many can say that they turned from a wicked life to a life of good without God. Not any that I know about anyway.

    And actually, turning to God through Christ can actually make you a better (good) person, but never enough to merit salvation.

  26. Are you implying that atheism has never improved a person’s life? That’s a mighty broad brush to paint with. Even I can say that religion has surely had some positive effect on people.

    I know I personally am slowly becoming a more well-rounded person without religion to hold me back. And when I make decisions, I have to actually justify them. I can no longer blame the supernatural on what I do or don’t do. It’s my life, and it’s both empowering and humbling.

    Shockingly I have not descended into a spiral of depravity. I wonder why?

  27. That’s great Mr. Azou, not many can say that they turned from a wicked life to a life of good without God.

    I wonder what you will say when you make Jesus Lord of your life and you give all the glory to God. It will be quite a testimony. Keep pressing on. The Bible says seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened.

  28. To all,

    Is true Christianity a religion?

    Grace and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

    He first loved us,
    Nicholas

  29. Richard, what is the name of the fantasy world you live in?

  30. Congratulations, Steve!!!!

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