NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL CHURCH!

Hal Linhardt dropped a bomb at FCF.  A big one. I doubt there are any survivors, and that’s a good thing. I’d say God answered Hal’s opening prayer of “God, strap their flesh to Your railroad tracks and let the Holy Spirit Train run them over and kill them.” That was when I knew all was lost.  Besides giving a sermon that made me question my salvation, within the first ten minutes, he did the impossible: 1. He singlehandedly coined a new term – marijoine (the words marijuana and herione smashed together) and 2. He made bumper stickers about Jesus cool.

Since almost everyone who reads my wordcast is on IHOP staff and required to go to FCF, I know 99% of my readers heard the message, but for the few non-staffers, I’ll fill you in. And you staff members who missed it and are secretly glad that you can read about it here without anyone knowing, well, that’s deceit and it’s sin. It’s the last tidal wave of Adam Hanly’s dream. Just want to bring you into the hard questions I’ve been asking myself lately about my thought-life. I hope you’d confront me with the same. 🙂

So what was the salvation-questioning sermon about? In one hour, Hal soundly demolished every last pathetic excuse for not talking to people about Jesus. Thankfully, He laboriously outlined God’s wrath and the absorbtion of that wrath into the person of Jesus Christ. He detailed the wretched fact that all deserve hell and most will go there. He demanded that we question our motives for not talking to people about Jesus everywhere we go, and I must say, I painfully know that I have not one good reason at all.

It wasn’t just his use of striking footage of hell and of the scourging and crucifixion of Jesus that pierced me (though it was truly striking), it was because his own heart was obviously torn and his words were bursting with truth and urgency. I know I’ve heard a good sermon when I leave church forgetting all my plans for afterward. After Hal’s sermon I wanted to go to Walmart with a bullhorn. I didn’t just think maybe it would be a good thing to do, I actually wanted to.

So, you’re pierced too and you want to talk about Jesus. Good. Start immediately. It’s never going to feel like a good time to do it if you’ve never done it before, so next time you have an opportunity to tell someone about Jesus, just do it. Want some tips on how to start?

1. Try the Internet. Yahoo has a question and answer forum for everything under the sun. Basically, people are looking for answers to their questions. About 10 new questions from people all over the world pop up every minute. About 1 in 15 of those questions are opportunities to talk about Jesus. You can literally shoot out 10-sentence answers for an hour straight and the questions don’t stop. One night I did it for four hours – question after question poured in, about pain, relationships, world peace, love. I just typed answer after answer about Jesus, his love, the cross, heaven, the coming man of sin, etc.  One guy actually asked, “What jobs bring humility?” Another was, “Why does the world seem to be getting worse?” A woman asked, “What is Love?” and a man asked, “What is Life?” This is low-hanging fruit, friends. People are hurting and desperate. And if you don’t give them answers, others are, and believe me, you would be saddened by the answers offered out there to lost people. You see other’s answers right along-side your own. So give it a shot. I’ve found that trying to articulate answers to unsaved, non-IHOP, hurting people with REAL questions is a great way to sharpen my evangelistic tongue. It’s helped me know how to say things to unsaved people I meet, because I took the time to formulate my answers online. 

2. Ask God for prophetic words and words of knowledge for strangers in waiting rooms, your waiter at the restaraunt, the cashier at the end of the checkout line.  It’s so easy to ask God about people and then turn it into conversation with them.  You get an impression from the Lord about them, and then you just ask them about it.  “Do you sing?” “Are you artistic?” And the even cooler ones like, “did you have a dream about a tree last night?” Those are the kind that really get people’s goat.  Picture the look on the girl’s face in the McDonalds drive-thru when you ask her if it’s her dream to one day be a vetrinarian. Um, cool! (Cool if indeed she does. If not, drive quickly away 🙂 ).

3. Get a bumper sticker. 🙂

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  1. Yeah. That sermon was rough. But it was a good rough.

    A bumper sticker may possibly be in my future.

  2. “Hal soundly demolished every last pathetic excuse for not talking to people about Jesus.”

    Amen! Those are the kind of challenging sermons I love to hear.

  3. Steve & Amanda

    it felt good to get a little offended, ya know?

  4. adamhanly

    conquering the thought life is what the race really is.

    “captivating your thoughts”

    the best part about the dream, is that when i made it through that last wave, the feeling afterwards was epic…

    truly amazing 🙂

  5. adamhanly

    (well the race has many dynamics… captivating your thoughts leads you to doing the race…. you could write a small book on it…)




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