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Truth Talk / Stu Epperson
The Truth Network Radio
October 12, 2022 7:00 pm

Share Jesus with someone today!

Truth Talk / Stu Epperson

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October 12, 2022 7:00 pm

Stu sits with a missions pastor, 2 young missionaries, and a fired-up Christian talk show host!

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I don't even know where this is going. I'm surrounded by a guy on his way to Mexico, a guy on his way to the mountains of North Carolina. He's not even, like, he's still in his teens, but he's called to be a missionary for Christ and a man of God who's discipling people all over the world.

I'm going to start with him, Matt Willis. We just finished Wednesday in the Word. We're at Dario. It's loud, so I just have to say that so folks listening know there's a fanfare, but like those guys are praying over there. Those guys are sharpening each other. Those guys are praying about someone they haven't forgiven in years. We're talking about that today in 2 Corinthians, but Matt, you and your wife, Allison, have written a book called Master Life Together, a discipleship experience for small groups. You're the missions pastor at Calvary Baptist Church, where I go, so you're kind of my pastor, you know, associate pastor, and to the right of me is Michael Zwick, who's an amazing talk show host. We've got Big B here who's on our street team, but Matt, you know, you see this young man of God wants to go and serve Christ. You see this other young man of God, a little older than him, going to Mexico. Your heart's got to be just beaten for missions right now because this is what you've been teaching, and this is maybe what drove you and Allison to write this book, huh?

Yeah, absolutely. My wife and I served as missionaries in South Asia with the International Mission Board for seven years before coming to Calvary seven years ago, and I'm thankful for, man, the next generation. The Great Commission is making disciples of all nations, and my family's personal mission statement is to grow as disciples and make disciples of Jesus Christ of the least reached people. My wife and I met on a mission trip to China 20 years ago, and I kept having conversations with people who were 70, 80 years old and had never heard the name of Jesus one time.

That just has a permanent place in my heart. Who's heard little to nothing about Jesus? What a blessing. Another advantage of going on a missions trip, Michael Zwick, is you might meet your future wife.

How about that? Isn't that encouraging to you as a talk show host, the host of If Not For God radio show? That's it, and you know, one of the things that I hear about is that we are doing these, we're doing this show here, but we've got people at Wednesday in the Word who are coming together, and one person is doing one thing, another person is doing another, but we're all reaching the same goal, which is to reach the unsaved and the lost for Jesus.

And so, you know, sometimes I don't think we always know exactly how we're going to do it, or we don't always exactly have to have the perfect plan, but I'm reminded of a story of a young man who had actually, he was working out, he was going to become a gymnast, and he said, one day, it was finally his big day to do the event, and he told his teacher, he says, I can't do this, I can't do this, I don't know what I'm doing, and the teacher said, throw your heart over the bar and your body will follow. What a great story, and Jesse, that's what you've done. I mean, I've seen him grow up. I've seen him in church. We played basketball in that Calvary gym down there and shared the Lord, and suddenly he says, I'm going to Mexico.

What's up with that, bro? Well, the Holy Spirit just amazing things to you, and that's what happened exactly to me was I just got hit very hard spiritually and emotionally, and at that point, I dropped everything that I was doing. I went straight to my church, and I was looking for all the pastors that I could just pray with, because this is something that you don't take lightly to go out into the world and speak to other people about God, and having all the work that I've done with the youth group and the stories that I've collected now, I want to go out and share this to people that with these kind of situations, you just don't really hear of very often. You're going to a six-month intensive with YWAM in Mexico, and you don't even know where you're going after that. That's right, so it's three months in Mexico, and then when it comes down to the outreach, they don't really tell you. Sometimes it takes a while, but Connor kind of has an idea of where he's going for two different locations, but for me, I've been told that a possibility is just somewhere in the Middle East.

That's all the information that I've gathered so far. Who's this young whipper-stapper across from you, Connor? Who has he introduced him to us? So I met him on our summer trip of last year in 2021.

We went over to Garden City, South Carolina. The way that he's developed has been incredible over just a year and a couple of months. I saw him go from a center that he claims to be so much of, and then how much he's matured over just that year, and I mean, he's more of a leader than I am now. I feel like he'll go on and on talking to these kids, and it's been incredible, and sometimes I have to take the seat back, and he'll just keep going and going. He's asking people questions, and being 18 years old, you don't see this very often.

Okay, so Connor, 18 years old. I mean, aren't you supposed to be out partying or pursuing a career or getting a big-time degree? I mean, what's this deal about you calling the missions?

What is driving your engine? What are you passionate about? The gospel. So I'm just gonna give a little testimony. I grew up unchurched. No, I knew about Jesus, but I didn't know him, and so Garden City, I heard the true gospel. I heard that this is the only name under heaven by which men can be saved, and knowing that, knowing that there's thousands of people out there, millions of people out there that don't know the Lord and don't know how to be saved, don't know the name of Jesus and the forgiveness that's in him, what else would I do?

There's no time to waste doing partying, doing all that stuff. There's no point, but spreading the good news, spreading the gospel of grace, that's what my heart cry is for. However that may be, whether that be through missions, whether that be through me walking to a school, whatever, that's where the Lord's calling me, and that's where the Lord's calling all of us. Amazing. That's why you've written this book, really, Matt.

You and Allison want young guys like that. You know, we talk about discipleship. What does it have to do with missions? Well, the master said, go and make disciples. He didn't say go make converts, so this is at the heart of, when you hear him and Jesse and Connor and Michael here, this is at the heart of your analysis passion, I guess, isn't it?

Yeah, that's right. You know, when I've gone on mission trips and seen people come to faith, going back to that trip to China, I went back a year later and was really naive about how much they would have grown spiritually over the last year, and I was sad to see that they were the exact same place where we had left them a year before, because no one else had invested them. Discipleship happens in relationships, and so this content is not sufficient in and of itself. The subtitle is a discipleship experience for small groups, so whether that be you take two people through it or 12 people through it, like my wife and I are right now with a brand new group, discipleship is so vital, and it's a lifelong relationship with Christ that's based in love and results in obedience. All right, I'm Stu Epperson. I'm in Dario. We just finished Wednesday in the Word.

It's kind of loud. Big B's on our street team. He's spreading the Word of God out here. We've got Michael Zwick, If Not For God host, amazing man of God. We've got these two young guys who are serving Christ on his way to Mexico, on his way to an area in North Carolina. He just got saved, you know, out of an unchurched background. Now he wants to reach folks, and we got the guy, the missions maestro, my missions pastor of my church, Matt Willis.

He and Allison have written this amazing book, Master Life Together. So, what kind of questions come to your mind for these guys? Well, you know, we've been talking about this a lot lately. The Bible says that you will face persecutions, and we all know whether we're a Christian or not, we're going to face obstacles in our lives, but what keeps you going when you face obstacles?

What a great question. Perfect response for that, and this is something that I just brought to our small group on Sunday. So, it's Philippians 1 29, wherefore has been granted to you on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in him, but to suffer for him. And I'm ready to put everything out there. If I lose all the money that I have and I go homeless, as long as I have him, I know that I'm good. And that's why I have for my faith, is to know that no matter what happens, I have him by my side. Connor, it may get tough out there.

I mean, you're young. I mean, you get, you know, you get a flat tire. You get someone that cusses you out or tries to attack you for sharing the gospel. Just my mind goes to, for the joy set before me, endured the cross. For the joy set before me, Christ, the eternal heaven that I'm fighting for, that I'm trying to bring to people, trying to bring them to, that's why we fight. It doesn't matter if somebody makes fun of me.

I don't care. It's for the Lord. This is how men are saved, not how I feel good. Matt Willis, you bring to me guests all the time. I can't even say their names half the time because they're serving Christ in a country where a normal Christian is assaulted for their faith.

A normal Christian is attacked. And so, you know, I'm encouraged to hear these young men that see that. I'm encouraged by your question, Mike. And I know you wanted to follow that up. I did. Can you think of a specific time where you did face an obstacle and it seemed insurmountable, but with the help of the Lord, he was able to help you overcome?

Yeah. The New Testament says everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ, Jesus will be persecuted. One time that I can think of is when I was on a mission trip in Asia and we had been sharing the gospel with different people, even gave little booklets to people and they, one person called the cops on us and we got interrogated by communist police who threatened us with prison time.

They said, we're going to come back tomorrow. And if you've told anyone else about Jesus, we'll throw you in jail. So it was one of those things where Jesus told us what to do.

Wipe the dust off of your feet and move on to the next village where there are more people receptive to the next place. So to not get overburdened by persecution, but just say, there are a ton of people who are ready to receive Christ if they would only just hear it from someone. What a deal. What a blessing. Jesse, how can we support you? I mean, you're literally, you brought a bunch of cards and on that card, you cut them up and said, Hey, if God puts it on your heart, send money to my ministry to help support you to pay for you to fly to Mexico and then potentially somewhere, maybe the middle East, we don't know, but how can we support you and Connor and pray for you guys and for you, Matt too. I mean, you're, Matt's mobilizing guys. Matt is on cloud nine right now.

Cause he sees a bunch of guys here that are wanting to go out. And he's been at our church telling us, y'all wake up. He's having conferences, missions, he's trying to bring these people into fire us up. So I know he's pumped and he's going to give us a closing challenge on missions, especially with his new book that he wrote with his wife, master life together, a discipleship experience for small groups. Every church should take your small groups to this 12 session Bible study. You can do it in your home with your family. You can do it your church, but how can we support and pray for you?

And I'm gonna ask you the same question. Well, obviously the first thing is the support that we can get from just prayer itself. I mean that, like you said, right before we went into this interview is that prayer is so important to said that the second thing is to just tell people about it. Just tell people about my name, Jesse Fowler, and you'll find me on Facebook, bald guy. You'll see a hoodie that says Jesus loves you on it.

Even though he says I'm young, I don't really look at anymore, but I still have that young spirit for God. And then, uh, thirdly is that you can go on to Google. You can type in YWAM mazatlan donations.

You'll find it. It's very easy and it'll give you, uh, it'll tell you how to write out your check. And then, uh, you follow those directions very carefully.

And then you'll just write down that the, and a separate note that defines up for Jesse Fowler. Now, the end goal is not for me to be, um, filled up completely. Like if it goes past the amount that I need, it goes out to other people in YWAM.

So I don't care if I get full or not. I want other people to be able to have the opportunity to go out and learn more about Jesus. You may not be able to send your kid to the mission field.

You may not be able to go to the mission field, but you can send money and you can send prayers even more powerful. That's a supernatural thing. Connor, prayer for you real quick. We've got to wrap up.

Yeah. I'm just prayer. That's, that's what I need.

I need the Lord because all the other things that's where he's, he's still the author and perfector. He brings all those things about and we can trust him in that. Awesome. Okay. Matt, you're challenged these young men.

You're going to close some prayer, Michael's wick. You're challenged these young men and everyone out there about being on mission with Jesus. You talk about that a lot. I mean, I've been in the classes and I love that.

And I've written it down a bunch of your challenges. We get out of here. Yeah. So a prayer for, for me in the ministry, you know, is to get the word out about this material because it's life changing of God's word with God's people. Um, it's coming out in a few days from now. So people could go to, uh, slash master life together. That'll direct you to lifeways website. So it's being published in a few days from lifeway. Um, my prayer is that the Lord would do at least half of what he did with the original material that my granddad Avery Willis wrote with master life 40 years ago, uh, over 330,000 people have been discipled through that material. And so my wife and I just simplified it, revised it to make it fresh for another generation.

So, uh, it's 12 weeks experience with small groups. So my encouragement to everyone listening, whether they be, uh, you know, through the radio or podcast or here in person is who are your Timothy's? Who are you investing into? We all need a Paul in our life, someone who's investing into us. We need a Barnabas who's a brother or a sister and encouragement to one another, but we need Timothy's in our life. Who are we going to pour into? And this material just makes it intentional and gives you a plan. Look at the chapter sections of this.

This is unbelievable. Your relationship with God. I mean, it's a good place to start your relationship with your inner self, your relationship with others, Christ center community, your relationship with the world. I mean, you go into all this, you go, you know, what is your spiritual gift? What are the fruits of the spirit? How are you growing? Who are you discipling?

Who's discipling you? What is God's mission for the world? What is God's heart for the gospel? And I can't think of a better person to wrap us up with prayer is Michael's wick. He's the host of, if not for God, we need to play this on his show too, or you need to interview these guys for your awesome program. Everyone needs to download his podcast and make sure you interview Matt about this. Will you please on your show, Michael, if not for God, what's it about? And then pray for us.

So tell us what your show is about. Um, it's stories of hopelessness turned into hope. Um, and you know, it's basically what we talked about this morning about how, you know, that we need to forgive other people because of all that God has done for us. Uh, probably my favorite passage in the Bible is, is believe it's Luke 18. And he says that two men went up to the temple to pray one Sunday, the one fair, the one a Pharisee and the other Republican. He said the, uh, the Pharisee, uh, looked up and he said, God, thank you that I'm not like this other man. He says, I give 10% of my money. I don't commit adultery.

I'm a pretty darn good person. He says the second guy went up and he wouldn't even look at his chest, the publican and the publican was a tax collector. And he said, God have mercy on me, a center. And Jesus said, the second man went away, justified the guy beating on his chest, saying, God have mercy on me, not the first one. And he says, because everyone who humbles themselves will be exalted, but anybody who exalts themselves will be humble Lord. And I just want to pray right now in Jesus name for the, all of these men who are at this table and all of the men who are at Wednesday in the word today, Lord, I thank you for their humble spirit, Lord. I thank you for their willingness to say yes to the calling on their lives, Lord. And Lord, I thank you, Jesus, for dying on the cross for our sins so that we know that just by believing in you, we have eternal life for God.

So love the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life in Jesus name. Amen. Amen. What a blessing.

And before we go, I want to give each of you a chance to challenge people out there. We have a country is in a mess. We have a world that's in a mess, but we have less than 10% of Christians even give 10% to their church, and we're commanded to give. We're more concerned about arguing over the theology of the tithe, what percentage, than we're about actually reaching in and pulling out some Ben Franklin's and giving it to the kingdom, giving it to missionaries like Jesse and the many that we bring in at Calvary and like Connor. So we have sin in the camp. We have less than, I heard this story, this is from Greg Laurie, less than 4% of Christians have even led someone to Christ this year, less than 4%.

And he said like it's less than 6% are even actively sharing their faith. So how, what would you say, I was going to ask Connor, who's 18 on his way to the mission field. I was asking him what he would say to his younger self, but he is his younger self. But what would you challenge other young people and old people like me out there about missions for Christ? I'll let you go, you go, you go, and then Zwick will close us out with a challenge.

Go. So I'd say stop being fake with God, stop letting it be your own thing, but every single place you go, school, your sports, all those things, that's a mission field, whether you're using it or not. Whether you're at work, you can spread the gospel through the way you live, through how you love, how you forgive, but also the word. Through the word, Jesus, we're saved, and we have to speak the words so that they know how to be saved. That's what we need.

We need going out for the gospel, not just doing everyday tasks, but doing it unto God. That's young Connor, 18 years old, on his way to missions right now. Well, he's been an encouragement to me.

What do you say, Jesse? You're a little bit older than him. You're still in the young person category, which means you're a lot younger than me, but you're on your way to Mexico. You know, everyone else is coming from there here. You're going there against the grain to share the gospel.

Well, what's your challenge to everyone out there about waking up and going on missions with Christ? Don't let social media and just the news put fear into you because that's what makes you feel like you can't go out and talk to people. They only show the bad of the two sides colliding with each other, and it's much easier to go out and talk to people about Jesus than what the social media makes it out to be, and especially being in a different country. You don't really collide as much when it comes to Mexico. I feel like people are much open to hearing things like that. They're more welcoming.

You hear stories all the time about people going to other countries and going into Africa and going out into those nations, and they're more than accepting to just hear what you're talking about, but people try to look at social media, and they look at us as if it's such a bad thing, but social media just puts fear into people. Just ignore that. Don't look into that. God is with you by your side. He's going to get you through it. Leverage social media like you guys are doing to share the Gospel like he does.

Michael's YouTube channels. He's sharing the Gospel on TikTok, on Instagram, on Twitter. Put the verses of God's Word out there and reach people.

Faith over fear. Matt Willis, your challenge mobilizing people. What do you tell everyone? Everyone that's listening to Truth Talk right now, become our missions pastor, okay? I know you're the missions pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on Peace Haven Road, but be everyone's missions pastor for a second and preach us a word quick. The greatest problem in the world are Christians who are not acting like disciples. Over 25% of the people in the world would say that they are Christians, so really if everyone would just share the Gospel with three people each, I mean the whole world will have heard the Gospel, and yet here we are 2,000 years later and we still haven't finished the task.

We're not very close. Something's got to change, and the challenge I would leave is what Jesus challenged in Luke 9 23 and 24. He said, if anyone would be my disciple, then he must deny himself. Take up his cross daily and follow me, for whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. Is there anything more worthy of living for, and even like Paul said, dying for, like Jesus said, than the Gospel of Jesus Christ and sharing about the one who died for me, so that I can go share with others the life and the forgiveness he offers in the Gospel.

Mike Zwick, take us home. Your final challenge to everyone out there. Share Jesus with one person today.

I got that from you. Watch out, and I think about, you know, Zwick was a young man like you, Connor, and he was at college, and he saw a cute girl, and he didn't know Christ. He was enjoying the life, partying, whatever, and someone challenged that young girl, maybe a radio show she heard like Truth Talk, maybe something else, to share Jesus and what happened.

One day, she kept on bugging me. She kept on bugging me, you need to give your life to Jesus, and I said, okay, fine, and from that point, but it was funny, after that, I said, okay, I've made the decision, and that's when God started to reach me. I was going to church every week, and then one Sunday, I was at this Pinedale Christian Church right here in Winston Salem, not too far, right up the street, and the pastor, Bill McKenzie, is that his name? He said, the devil is not going to tell you not to give your life to Christ necessarily. He'll say, just do it later, but the Bible says that today is the day of salvation, and when I heard that, I ran up to the front of the church, I got baptized, and the rest is history.

So he wanted to score a date with a young lady, ended up scoring a date with eternity, and now he's a host of If Not For God, Michael Zwick, Amazing Time Together, Jesse with YWAM, On His Way to New Mexico. Pray for him, people. Take a second.

You can do that. Ask the God of the universe, the Lord of the harvest, to bless Jesse and his work, to go ahead of him, and to use him mightily in Mexico, and then wherever God leads him after that training time with YWAM, and then I'll pray for Connor, this young man of God, 18 years old, as he goes and shares Jesus Christ in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, and everywhere else God leads him. You've blessed us today.

Wow. We're so glad you came to Dario Wednesday in the Word. That's where we are. That's why there's all this noise. These men can't leave.

They're still here. They're not ordering hot dogs yet, but they're praying, and they've got their words out, and they're encouraging each other, and Matt Willis. Matt, thank you for this amazing book. You and your wife wrote this together. Master Life Together, a Discipleship Experience for Small Groups. Jesus said, go make disciples, so you and your wife obeyed.

You wrote a book, and what was that you said about how much marriage counseling you had to have to write this book? Thankfully, none. It's a miracle, you know. Awesome. What a blessing you are, and then Michael Zwick, listen to his program, If Not For God. You'll hear some of these same guests, and thank you Big B on the camera, and thank you for our awesome team. Carmen and Christian and the other team that have helped curate and put this program together. This is Truth Talk, and thank you to our over 200 affiliates that are brave enough to carry Truth Talk, American Family Radio, Wilkins Christian Radio Network, Salem.

Some of those stations carry us, and The Truth all over Jacksonville and St. Augustine, 91.9 FM in Brunswick, and all the Truth Network stations. God bless you. I love what Mike said. Say it one more time as we wrap out of here. Your closing thought. It was real brief. It was real poignant. Share Jesus with one person. This is The Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-07 23:35:10 / 2022-12-07 23:46:40 / 12

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