Victoria Jackson, a "Saturday Night Live" cast member from 1986-1992, is an actress, comedienne, songwriter, uke player, wife, mother, ex-gymnast, Jesus-follower and new grandmother ... not in that order.More ↓Less ↑
Me and real taxidermy bear in Anchorage, Alaska, gift shop. Photo: Jay Straub
On the WND cruise to Alaska, we discussed the broken economy in great detail. We discussed what kind of leaders we should elect and the Marxist path the corrupt Republican and Democratic parties are following. I heard so many eloquent speakers, but Elizabeth (co-founder of WND) Farah’s speech seemed to pierce right to the heart of the matter.
The secret to saving our country is evangelism.
Elizabeth Farah hit the nail on the head. All of our speeches, blogs and tea parties mean nothing if the souls of our nation are lost. I think we Christians avoid this huge truth because we are not comfortable “proselytizing.” It’s embarrassing and scary, and cool people don’t do it. But, a voter who doesn’t understand the strength of God’s justice, joy of God’s love and power of God’s Word will not be interested in restoring Judeo-Christian values to America and to our government. Why should they be?
How do we win the soul of America?
Growing up in the church, you can get the idea that “repenting of your sins” or “accepting Christ as your Savior,” in other words, the action of “your faith” is what gets you into heaven. It may sound like semantics, but I’ve come to be very aware of the fact that “our righteousness is as filthy rags,” and “by grace we are saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is a gift of God; not of works lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9). “All good gifts come from above from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness neither shadow of turning.” So, even our faith, if we have any, was given to us by Him. So …
Jesus saves us. Our faith does not.
A Jewess named Karen, on our Alaskan cruise last week, explained to me that the idea of Jesus being God is blasphemous to Jews because God is only one – there are no other gods. I agree that there is only one God, but I see the Trinity of Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit as I see my husband Paul – a dad, a husband, a son – three in one.
As I write this, we are in Alaska awaiting our flight home. Elizabeth Farah is going to pass out tracts on the street to strangers tomorrow. A tract is a tiny pamphlet explaining the gospel. The gospel, “good news,” is that Jesus was God in the flesh, died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins, was buried and rose from the grave. He was the ultimate Lamb offering prophesied in Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22. Jesus offers forgiveness, redemption, abundant and eternal life with Him.
I have mixed feelings about street witnessing. I did it in Bible college and don’t know how effective it actually was. Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the gospel and when necessary use words.”
It can’t be bad – to love a stranger enough to do something like that. I mean, if we really believe people are dying and going to hell and we don’t tell them how to avoid it, that is cruel. Even atheist magician Penn Jillette endorses evangelism.
So, I got some tracts from Elizabeth’s 11-year-old daughter, and I headed into Anchorage. I asked God to show me who to give them to. People started approaching me from left and right. It seems “I’m big in Alaska!” Maybe Alaskans watch TV a lot because it’s so cold and snowy outside all the time. So whenever someone asked for an autograph, I signed a tract and handed it to them. I got up the nerve to say the word, “Jesus” in an art co-op. The sweet lady Barbara said, “I’m sorry, but I’m a biologist and I study the stars. I think we just disappear into the ground when we die.” She shrugged apologetically. “That’s so sad,” I said. Then I told her to check out reasons.org where Dr. Hugh Ross, an astronomer explores science from a biblical viewpoint. It wasn’t so hard. Evangelizing.
So, receiving the gospel isn’t a “good deed” and it isn’t so much an intellectual thing. “Even the demons believe and tremble.” I’ve wrestled with the whole crucifixion, and it remains mysterious, but something inside tells me it’s truth. Legally, it’s someone taking my punishment, or paying my debt. Justice-wise, it’s God sentencing evil to where it belongs. And, love-wise, it is the ultimate expression of love – “greater love has no man than this – that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus, the only sinless man, laid down his life, even for his enemies. That is love.
So it isn’t by the effort of our faith. It isn’t head knowledge. And, it isn’t reciting magic words. But, it is a decision – a decision to come back to our Creator, humbly admit that we can’t keep His “law,” His Ten Commandments, and that we need a Savior. God says, “OK, that’s Me. Let’s go.”
My attempt to explain “the gospel” is a weak, fumbling tangle of words. God’s Word explains it best, Romans 3:23: “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
For some reason, it seems nerdy to “believe in Jesus,” therefore the verse, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation, to everyone that believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).
Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort have an evangelizing method called The Way of the Master. Elizabeth Farah showed the movie during her speech.
Here’s Kirk Cameron witnessing to gang members:
Jesus asked people questions to lead them to the Truth. And, He asked them if they’d kept all the law. When they realized they could not achieve God’s required perfection, they saw the gospel as the “great news” that it is. Someone took my place. He was punished for my sins. Someone paid the price for me. I am free.
So, to save our country, we first need to save the souls who live here.