The Foes of Church Planting

Anyone preparing for the daunting task of planting churches will either wisely heed the advice of others before him, or experience the truth of what I am about to say for themselves. The unfortunate insanity that currently grips modern ideas of church planting has forced me to remind readers of something rather important before I may continue on speaking.  The purpose for church planting is to make disciples.  This is opposed to planting a new church for which believers of other churches may switch membership.  The purpose of church planting is not merely building a building, setting up a few guidelines and moving on.  Church planting is not apart from evangelism as if somehow it is at all satisfactory to merely give someone a synopsis of the Gospel and then leave them to the world to survive on their own.  But if by church planting you mean patiently taking the time to not only evangelize but continue to train disciples, then there will be two great foes you must be prepared for.

2 Corinthians 7:5 

For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.

Paul along with a young man in training, Timothy, tell the Corinthian believers that two basic satanic advances constantly pressed on them, fightings without and fears within.

Fightings without:

The book of Acts is a priceless inspired of God resource that functions as a case study for Gospel workers, and among other things that I will not mention here.  Beginning in chapter four, Peter and John are arrested and later threaten by civil authorities to stop preaching in Jesus name.  What sort of threats can civil authorities make?  My family and and I experience this kind of threat in China where we were arrested for being in association with the Gospel. Basically they can confiscate your wealth, take your freedom, segregate you from love ones, and snuff you life.  As a result, the believers were afraid and shaken. But they prayed, not merely for God to change their circumstances to become more comfortable, but for boldness that they might stand firm against any circumstance.  As a result of their prayer, the house where they residing was shaken by the Holy Spirit.  Why then was there this physical manifestation of God’s presence?  It was as if to say God is shaking them, not the civil authorities.  And as a result they became unshakable, in fact they shook the world.

The mission field will shake you, but in hindsight, it is really God who shakes you.  And after all the shaking, that which is unshakable will remain.  But haven’t I just identified a satanic attack with the work of God?  Yes I have.  Just as Satan thought he achieved something in beguiling Eve, so God predicted the outcome of his schemes would lead to his demise. Just as Satan believed murdering God’s Son would somehow prevent God from fulfilling His promise, so the outcome of the cross delivered God’s rich promises to all who trust in Him.  Nothing has changed when we talk about Satan’s attacks against the spread of the Gospel. God’s superior wisdom is displayed when the enemies attempts to foil God are actually what bring about His will to the benefit of those who love Him.

Fears within:

Just after Peter and John received their threats from the civil authorities, Satan tries another tactic in the next chapter, chapter five.  Ananias and Sapphira conceived a plan to test the Holy Spirit (5:9).  By selling some land and giving the proceeds as a offering, they made it seem as they were giving the whole sum, but secretly keeping back a portion for their own personal use.   If they simply wanted to donate only a portion, this would have not been wrong, but they were attempting to make it seem like they have given it all, just as Barnabas has done.  By doing so they would have gained a reputation in the church, such as those who gave everything, but actually would have not been the truth.  Peter recognizes Satan in all of this (5:3) as an attack on the church from within, an attack of deception aimed at disrupting the unity and potential giving precent to more irreverent attempts to falsely gaining reputation.

In principle, this is an attack from within the spawns from within the community of believers.   Achan’s sin was a sin of deception that brought God’s judgment on the entire community.  Aaron’s sons brought judgment on themselves in a similar fashion, potentially contaminating the entire workings of the priesthood.  Judas was used by Satan to disrupt the inner workings of the Lord’s apostles, now Ananias.  The attacks from within are repeated all throughout the New Testament and both Paul and Peter warns that such attempts will always be present in the church.   But through Satan’s attempts to foil and disrupt, the foundation was laid for a very precious cornerstone of faith, the authority of God’s word.  Both Paul and Peter exhort those who will face such issues to consistently search out the scriptures in order to guard themselves and safeguard others against internal attacks.  The result?  A man “prefect” throughly furnished unto all good works (see 2 Tim. 3:16).

Fightings without and fears within both will assault the missionary.  But the Word of God is unequally matched in power is able to equipped any fallible church planter to be able to stand against Satan and his dominion.

Stormin’ Mormon

I knew it was eventually going to happen and so this week it did.    A young man came into our church for the first time and like always I engaged him in a conversation to see where he might be spiritually.  In the conversation he asked me whats the difference between churches.  By this I knew that he meant, “why are there different churches and what makes the difference between them”.   From here I introduce what we might consider mainstream Christianity–the broad scope of churches that believe Jesus is Jehovah God in  human flesh who was born of a virgin destined to die on a cross and raise again the third day.  But because of the many cults in Taiwan, I have since added an appendix to this conversation “but there are so called churches outside of fundamentals of faith that we might consider cults and heretical.”  I used mormonism for an example.

Turns out this young man is a mormon initiate and has been associated with a local temple for the last two years.   So what then?  Is this an occasion where one should begin dismantling mormon doctrine bit by bit?  This young man seemed keened enough to enter that discussion.  He mentioned that he lost a job one the employer learned he was mormon and since then he’s has been curious to why some Christians are so hostile towards his brand of “Christianity”.   But this where I believe my training kicked in as I remembered what my mentors in the faith have taught me:

  1.  You might win the argument, but you’ll lose the person.  This is actually what I told the young man, I said, “At this point we could present you with a lot of material and scriptural references that show you where mormon doctrine is wrong, but I fear in the process that we might lose you.  I’m not interested in winning an argument, I’m interested in winning you.”   During this conversation my son in the faith, Peyton, was sitting adjacent to this young mormon convert.  Simply by being present with me, Peyton in many occasions served as an illustration for Christian love and an invitation to others to join our company.  Through young men like Peyton, Josh and Austin, others can see what our mission in Taiwan is all about. In this case I believe the young mormon man saw “the church” in the relationship between Peyton and I, and it whetted his appetite.
  2. Recognize pitfalls that will waste your time.  While talking to this young man, I invite him to ask me anything, anything at all that he has been curious about.  At this point, I had no interest in getting right to setting this initiate mormon straight on Scriptures and Joseph Smith.  Instead, I gauged his understanding by the kinds of questions he asked.  Even though he introduced himself to me as a Mormon, but I had no idea how much of the mormon doctrine is him.  Turns out he knew next to nothing about the Bible, and therefore I also assumed he really understood about the same amount of mormon doctrine.  Though it might seem like an obvious route to take in responding to the claims of mormonism, it would have been a wasteful attempt with this young man.
  3. Leave the door open and don’t exhaust someone by covering too much too quickly.  We spoke with this young man already for an hour and I could see unless we put the brakes on, the conversation would have went into the night without end.  We covered a lot already in a hour’s time and we ended on what I thought was a very positive note.  I found a reason to end the cove ration and left it open to continue it again at a later time.  He thanked me then and thanked me again when we got home.  He was made aware of the daily opportunities of bible study with Pex and I, and we told him it would please us very much to help him understand the bible and answer his questions.  He found this agreeable and we parted ways.

This conversation would have gone much differently if we ran into a mormon missionary or someone more grounded in their doctrine.  But I’m grateful that Peyton was able to see this conversation first hand. It will definitely serve as learning experience as he begins his ministry where mormonism is prevalent.

 

To the Young Christian Entering Gospel Work

“Then said Abishai to David, God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear even to the earth at once, and I will not smite him the second time. And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD’s anointed, and be guiltless?

-1 Samuel 26:8

How to Discern the Lord’s Will in Gospel Ministry

With my family and with others we have often discussed and sometimes vigorously discussed how to decipher the Lord’s will at certain points in one’s life.  We discuss questions like, “What is the Lord’s will for my life?” and  “Doesn’t an open door confirm the Lord’s direction in my life?”.  I have often been the bad guy in these talks because my opinion in the matter is that its funny how the Lord’s will always seems to be whatever the individual person wants to do at the time.  I think people who would sincerely follow the Lord’s will if they knew what it was, still look to things outside of God’s Word to decide the Lord’s will for their lives.  Being baptist, I am amazed how charismatic we can be when it comes to deciding the Lord’s will for our lives.   As baptist we deny that the Lord gives any revelation outside of His Word, but when it comes to deciding what a person should be doing, we leave it personal burdens and outside situations.  It’s maddening.

I shouldn’t be the one to throw stones however, I am not particularly speaking against a certain person other than myself.  I was 19 once full of burdens and great dreams.  I allowed these dreams to speak for the Lord, rather than His Word.   I barely knew anything about God’s Word then, (and now I dare not say I possess more than a novice’s knowledge) but being 19 turning 20 was a crucial point in my life because it is when I made a life long decision about the direction of my life, the direction in which I would participate in Gospel work.  Hindsight doesn’t allow for ability to time travel and redo poor decisions according to the better knowledge I have now of God’s will, but hindsight does allow me to speak to the next 19 year old kid who thinks God’s will is whatever he or she is feeling at the time.

We convince ourselves these burdens are absolutely from the Holy Spirit and therefore as unquestionable as the 10 commandments.  At this point someone will take to the extreme of what I am saying to make it sound as if God never uses burdens.   Of course they will be a burden if the Lord is at work transforming a person to the conformity of Christ, but the starting point is not a burden, its God’s Word.  As in my case, I followed a burden first and looked for verses second.  We lead ourselves on into this belief that God’s Word is unable to be specific in choosing what a person should be doing for the Gospel’s sake.  And so we consult our burdens before we consult God’s Word.  This I’m afraid leads to several years of vain pursuit until the individual can conform their Gospel work to God’s Word.

At this junction in the conversation another point is brought up. “If the Lord has provided the means to do something, then that must mean He is approving my choice!”  In other words a person has a burden and sooner or later the means to fulfill the burden comes into play and so the assumption is that it must be the Lord’s will.  Not so fast. I wonder how many older saints could lend their wisdom now to a young kid who thinks this way.  I wonder how many have in their past took a route based on it’s availability only to determine in their own hindsight that it wasn’t such a good idea to begin with.  At the time, they were so determined it was the Lord’s will because the presence of a burden followed by God’s provisioning, but only to conclude at the end of a fruitless endeavor, “well perhaps that wasn’t the Lord’s will anyway.”  I do not think the Lord’s purposes in someones life are so whimsical that He would leave the discernment of His will up to burdens and means.  He left it do His Word.

David and Abishai

Consider the above passage where Abisha and David find themselve in the exact same circumstance but come up with two completely different conclusions about the Lord’s will. In 1 Samuel 26 Saul is pursuing David in attempt to take his life.  At night however while everyone in Saul’s camp is sleeping, David and Abishai slip into the camp right into Saul’s tent being undetected.  When Abishai sees the ease of their intrusion, he says in effect, “God has surely done this! God has surely given Saul into you hand David! Let me kill him now and be done with it!”  To which David replies, “No, it wouldn’t be right to kill him.  The Lord will see to his death if He wishes it, either in battle or of old age.  But I will not do this thing, take his spear and water jug and lets be gone!” (see v8-11)

Abishai considered only his desire and the current favorable circumstance to carry out his desire, to have Saul killed.  But David, the man after God’s own heart knows better.  Despite the Lord having put the camp in a deep sleep with his supernatural power and provision (v12), David knows otherwise that it would not conform to God’s will to take matters into his own hands and kill Saul.  We know that David was a man who “meditated in the law of the LORD day and night” (see Psalm 1:2).  And therefore this fed his right decision to spare Saul’s life despite the favorable circumstances to take it.  Despite having the opportunity to slay Saul, David presumed nothing about the Lord’s will that night, nothing beyond what the Lord has already expressed in His word–God’s Word before desires and circumstance.

Now why cannot we who say, we only accept the Bible has the Christians sole resource for faith and practice, conform to the same belief when it comes to carrying out Gospel directives?  Are not the four gospels and the book of Acts followed by a collection of epistles to churches and church leaders enough information to come up with a detailed pattern for young men entering Gospel ministry?  Isn’t the New Testament a how to book for the church and its workers in carrying out the Gospel?  Of course even least knowledgable of the Scriptures would say so, but herein lies the challenge.   Are you so full of God’s Word that you can “prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God?” (see Romans 12:2).

Young man, young lady, there is a pattern for Gospel work in the Bible.  I haven’t gone so far in this article to say more than it exists in the pages of the New Testament.  I run the risk in summarizing now for you of being to reductionistic, because people define biblical terms differently, but here it is:

Make disciples of Jesus Christ.

Under that Gospel directive there has been an unmeasurable amount of thought given to its subject.  For two thousand years the church as produced troves of written works on the subject.  Making disciples of Christ needs to be the goal of anyone who wants to serve Christ.  Someone might have many years already in the ministry, but let me ask you a toe stomping question that once bruised the daylight out my toes:  “In all of your effort, have you have made a disciple of Christ?”  In other words, have you ever taken a person from the point of unbelief to the point of maturity in Christ?  This is not something that can be completed in a one-time 5 minute discussion with a lost person, though it could start there.  But disciple making is more like parenting.  As Paul mentioned that he birthed people into Christ.  He was filled with agony whenever anything threatened the fledgling faith of his spiritual children.

Do you have any relationships like that?  If not, then let me encourage you to the Word that directs Gospel work in this way.  I would also point out that the biblical disciple makers such as Timothy and Titus had a spiritual father in Paul who trained them and loved them. Many young people entering Gospel work has never experienced training like this.  Sadly, Christian training is considered to be going to school somewhere outside of the body of Christ. Alas, this is not a good place to end the conversation, many more things need to be said for the sake of young people entering Gospel work.  But perhaps this article has raised awareness of the deficit we are experiencing in this area.

What’s Good About Deputation Pt.1

When it comes to deputation, we should work like it is all up to us, but pray and trust God like it is all up to Him. New and veteran missionaries alike all have different experiences with deputation.  For some the deputation trail is long and arduous.  Traveling long distances, poor receptions, the stress of phone calls, long winded questionnaires are all common complaints against the deputation model.   Many of these problems can be improved or avoided all together if one sticks to a few principles of doing smart deputation. This is an article was written for the missionary to deal with the common complaints against deputation and offer advice for a less stressful and more fruitful experience.

The Good About the Endless Phone Calling

The meeting begins over the phone. There are a number of factors that pastors give for their reason to take on a missionary. One pastor told me that it simply was my persistence in calling after many failed attempts in reaching him. Before scheduling us, over the phone, one pastor said, “You sure sound excited about getting over to China.” But also on the same note, my father who is a pastor told me a certain young man called him, but his excitement seemed less than genuine, “he was a little over the top, it sounded fake.”

There is something good about having to call pastors 8-10 hours a day during deputation before getting to the field. You may not have a natural knack for talking to people or presenting yourself in charismatic way, but all of us can use the practice. You’re ability (or lack thereof) to talk to people, motivate them, persuade them will be carried with you onto the field. People will respond to an emotionally engaging leader over one who has difficulty remaining positive, being friendly, and showing love.

Having to sit in a room all day dealing with countless answering machines, disinterested pastors, and secretaries has a way to simulate the need for special kind of discipline. This discipline no doubt plays over into the mission field where you must deal with disinterested people. People you are loving and serving will look to you to be a leader, and so you must start being that leader before your first phone call.

Don’t lose heart, stay focused. Deputation works if you do. We must pray as though our support is all up to Him, but we must also do our part and do the work as though its all up to us. The work you do on deputation will set a precedence for the discipline and persistent work that is needed on the mission field. If it is necessary to get out and beat the bushes to have people come to the church you are starting, then the same is true about raising support and getting meetings. So don’t be discouraged, God will bless the persistent diligent work.

The same factors of church planting are also at work in calling and getting meetings. You will get tired, you will want to quit, you will want to call off early, but the only way to get meetings is persistent calling, just as the only way to get people to come to church is persistent inviting. Let me use the last portion of this section to share some tips that worked for me:

  • Buy a voice recorder. A part of the discouragement comes from wasted time on making dozens of calls only to get an answering machine. So what do you do? Leave a message or get the next call ready? The answer is both. In the 20 seconds it takes to prepare the next call, you can use a voice recorder to leave a simple “exciting” 20 second message. In the message tell them your name, rank, and serial number as well as where to find your information online. Using Cluster Maps (or something similar, Google analytics) you can track who visits your website, and be ready to give them a call back when they do! This way those answering machines won’t feel like a waste of time.

 

  • Keep accurate notes. Everything just seems less frustrating when you know who you’ve called and what was said and what the Pastor’s name is. Part of being friendly and personal with people is to bring up things in conversation that was said last time. It doesn’t have to be all business. Practice talking to them as though you are talking to a friend, but keep it professional.

 

  • Especially if you are based out of the north east or south east United States, you should focus 80% of your calling to a 6 hour driving radius of your home base.  There are plenty of churches in that radius to raise whatever your recommended support level is and more.  This will significantly reduce uneccesary stress of who to call and driving too far.  If you’re like me and don’t like to stay in people’s houses, prophet chambers, or budget inns, then you will enjoy being only 6 hours or less from home.  You can always make the drive. Also, you are setting yourself up for a less stressful furlough when you need to visit your churches once again.

Intern for Missions in Taiwan

Opportunities are availabe for those entering in missions to gain valuable training experience .  The Walz family will be happy to what we can to make your future ministry start off with the necessary experience and training one needs to make it on the field.  Irreplaceable lessons can only be learned on the job, but  we all approach your training with a systematic program one would expect to see in a formal institution.   I would like to invite our churches and friends to consider the opportunity in front of you.  Many have already benefitted from 6 to 12 month internship before beginning deputation.

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Short term missions opportunities are also available for churches who would like to visit and take part of our growing ministry in Taiwan.

For interns our recommendation is to raise 2,000 dollars per month of your internship.  We will set up your accommodations once you arrive.

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Once here you may expect to begin language learning.  Perhaps you do not plant to working a Chinese speaking country, but you will learn the principles to communicate effectually in any language within two years.

You will also have ample opportunities in a variety of ways to create meaningful relationships with people who need Jesus.  We will help you use your talents and abilities to reach those who otherwise would remain unreached.

We will also share with you our philosophy of missions. We will answer questions as what to look for in a mission field, where to start, how to start, how to reach people, how to mentor, how to plant multiple churches etc..

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So if you are interested, get with your pastor and contact us for more information: walzinchina@gmail.com

UPDATE: Compass Baptist of Kaohsiung Needs Your Prayers!

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Our Grand Opening Flyer

We’ve enjoyed about a months time of “soft opening” at the new church site.  These pre-opening services has given us time to iron out the kinks of the PA system and has given Pex a valuable time of practice and preaching before this weeks opener and dedication service.  This Sunday the 20th of September, Compass Baptist Church will host its “grand opening”.  Within just a few days 60,000 flyers will make their way into the surrounding mailboxes.  I’ve encouraged our people to invite all their friends.  The only thing left to do is pray and ask the Lord to bless the work that He has commissioned.

Our pre-opening phase has proved to be a wise use of the time, and I plan to implement the same strategy in future church plants.  Our pre-oepning was only a little over a month before our dedication service, but in some contexts, it would not be unwise to extend that to as much time as you needed. Here are a few strong points of a pre-opening period for your new ministry/church plant:

  • It gives the men you are training time to practice formal services and prepare them for the big leagues.
  • It gives time for you to get comfortable with your locations logistics, especially if you are in a major city where parking and transportation is an issue.
  • It gives time to ground the few people you have and prepare them to invite their friends.  In turn when you have an opening day, they will be instrumental in providing a friendly comfortable atmosphere.
  • It gives time for you and your small group to plan a comprehensive evangelistic strategy, such as passing out flyers and implementing activities that will continue to draw contacts.  It also gives your group time to plan the next several weeks following the grand opening day to help people find their way back to church.
  • For those ministries starting in foreign lands like ours, it gives valuable time to preach in the foreign language with friends who are willing to help you to improve.  Because of this, I feel I can now manage my nervous fears of preaching to large crowds in Chinese.
  • As I mentioned, it gives time for the kinks in your technologies to be ironed out and improve for the big day.

Thank for reading, if you have any comments or tips to add of your own, please do so.  Contact me about coming to see us, or doing an internship with us if you are considering full time ministry!  God Bless.

Undeniable Evidence

Does God give evidence that we might believe in Him?  While in Taiwan and China we ask questions of religion such as, “what do you think of the after life”, or “what do you suppose the relationship between God and human beings is like?”.   Young people have commonly given an answer like this: “I must see some sort of evidence before I could believe in God”.  The evidence they obviously mean here is some sort of observable scientific evidence, perhaps a miracle or a Hubble snap-shot of God’s throne in heaven.  But the God of the Bible has quite frankly revealed Himself in a more thought provoking and astonishing way.

My first instincts to answering questions like this was to find some sort of Creation Science hand book that could give insights or “evidence” to convincing skeptics of the possibility of a created universe rather than a naturalistic origin.  What I found is that these conversation with people were often arduous, conflicting, and unfruitful.  At best I could arouse some mild curiosity or perhaps stump a novice, but I have never been able to change someones mind through providing enough physical evidence of God’s existence, let alone His call to the Gospel, repentance, and discipleship.

But another question arose that challenged me, “If God was so concerned with people believing in Him, then why doesn’t He just provide them with the undeniable evidence they are all crying out for?”  What some people are essentially saying is they are wanting some sort of Monty Python appearance from God out of the clouds to reveal Himself and speak to them directly before they’re convinced.   So why doesn’t God do this?  Won’t allowing people to see His majesty in the clouds hovering over the earth convince them?

I’m afraid not, not at least this type of faith.  Let me explain.  Lets suppose you are the world’s wealthiest bachelor, seeking for your one true love.  But the problem is your wealth is well known and sifting through a sea of love letters, emails, and prospects leaves very little hope of finding true love, a sincere and sacrificial love.  It’s probably a safe bet every single email and love letter is just an attempt at your money.  The true value of any marriage is trust, and trust in each other promises made to one another, particularly at the altar.  It is conceivable you might somehow disguise your wealth and only reveal yourself through your words.  It is in the revelation of the words you say where people learn the real you and therefore pledge themselves based on trust and sincere love.

If God were to go ahead and give everyone their undeniable evidence, and God should appear in the clouds above then I suspect a few things would follow.  Firstly,  nearly everyone after being sure what they’re seeing is not some expensive trick would eventually “believe” there is a God.  Everyone would probably watch what they do and say, at least for a while.  But the problem is that this undeniable evidence of God would not deal with people’s sin nature, the nature to rebel against God and eventually someone will slip up and do something wrong.  Once they see God He does not immediately punish them things will quickly spiral to the way the things were before.  Just this time, their condemnation is even more severe as God’s undeniable revelation still hovers in the sky.  This undeniable evidence would only make people believe the way Satan believes God, unrepentant and condemned.

God has chosen a more loving and sure way to reveal Himself to those who truly are His people.  To assume who belongs to God is to assume the greatest thing you want from God is God Himself and not some wish or material blessing.  God here is the rich bachelor in our parable revealing His character in His Word.  There is more evidence in God’s word than people might think.  Certainly it is not the kind of evidence that may reduce God to a simple science experiment in the lab, but the Bible is a 1,500 year experiment of God revealing Himself to people in the context of Patriarchs, Judges, Kings, and finally defeated and conquered nation.  Even modern science fails to provide many experiments of this magnitude.  At the end of the experiment we find God’s Word is finally trustworthy.  Not only the biblical records of history, prophecy prove to be irrefutable, but the real power to change lives lies in the revelations of God’s person, and that of God’s ultimate self expression in Jesus Christ.

I made a later personal “discovery” on how God operates in the Bible, which in fact was no real discovery at all, it was always there in Genesis 1:1.  I just failed before to see that in the very first verse of the Bible God reveals that the rest of what follows in God’s word all hinges on an important presupposition that God expects us to just accept: “In the beginning God.” No explanations, no experiments, no evidences, just a promise that God wants believed.  The end purpose of God’s word is not convince people of God’s existence.  Suppose for a moment there is a God in heaven, and how silly it would seem to Him to harbor this unfulfillable wish for people to only acknowledge He exists… No, no,  God is revealing His character to a people whom He will make undying promises of sacrificial love.  It is through these promises and through His word people’s lives are changed and through faith become the heirs of God’s goodness.  If trust in a loving marriage is the foundation for everything else, then trusting God in what He says is the foundation for our access to God, specially trusting God promise to bless is through believing Jesus Christ, God’s ultimate expression of God’s; to believe what Jesus said is true, what He did happened, and that He is alive from the grave after nailing our rebellion to the cross.

Moses asked see God’s glory once, God replied by saying, “I’ll show you my goodness”.  This is to say God’s glory is most reflected in His goodness, because He is good.  Fifteen hundred years later God’s goodness was ultimately displayed on a sinners cross…  God’s ultimate Word, His final self-expression, became flesh and lived among us.  So it is inconceivable that mere “evidence” will ever be enough to turn a sinners heart to repentance.  They need to see His Word, they need to see Jesus.