November 18, 1990
Friends and neighbors, coworkers and complete strangers—each person in your life desperately needs the grace and salvation found only in the Gospel. But how will they hear? In this message, Alistair Begg outlines step-by-step instructions on sharing your faith in Jesus Christ with others. While style and methodology may vary, these key points must eventually be included in your presentation.
Sermon Transcript: Print
For those of you who may be visiting with us this evening, we have on these Sunday evenings been doing some studies in the area of evangelism. And as we’ve been going through, we have kind of slowed down at a point here. Although we have gone through this once, let me give you the headings without expansion—the six important guidelines in proceeding to present the claims of Jesus Christ, and we were talking expressly about that with the background that we had come to understand in the framework of an opportunity to provide a concise and clear statement of the gospel. We said these among other things were important as guidelines.
Guideline number one was be natural. Be natural. Be dreadfully aware of any strange change in the tone of voice or in the vocabulary. It does not set forward the purposes of God if all of a sudden we change personae as soon as we begin to move into a presentation of the gospel. Be natural.
Secondly, we said, be listening. Be listening. God has given us two ears and one mouth that we might hear more and say less, and if we learn to listen, we will be better able to speak. Otherwise, we may be giving answers to questions that people are not asking.
Thirdly, be vulnerable. The preparedness to open our lives to people engenders the possibility that they may in turn open the door of their lives to us in expressing what represents genuine need for them. And we mentioned that there may well be a number of friends whom we have who would be very keen for a chance to talk concerning the Lord Jesus, but somehow, they just can’t get close to us because we have “built walls, a fortress, [deep] and mighty, that none may penetrate”—quoting, of course, Paul Simon. So, be vulnerable.
Fourthly, be brave. Bravery is a constituent part of sharing your faith. If you chicken out at the crucial moment, you’ll never do it. You’ll never sell vacuum cleaners, you’ll never sell anything if, when it comes to the moment that the lady says, “Give me the bottom line. What are you on about?” you lose it at that point. And when we come to the point where somebody says, “Could you please just cut through it and explain to me the nature of the gospel?” you’ll need to be brave to launch in.
Fifthly, be imaginative. Be imaginative—that is, in the way in which we establish common ground and the way in which we endeavor to communicate with people. A canned approach will not necessarily help us unless we’re able to take the contents of the can, as it were, and clothe it imaginatively for the circumstances which we face.
And then, sixthly, we said it was going to be important to be direct—to be direct, recognizing that if we say we have no methodology, that is, in actual fact, a methodology in and of itself. And our notion of directness emerged from what we had been reading in John chapter 4, where Jesus addresses the lady directly over the whole question of her moral life and her relationship with these various men. He did it directly, he did it sensitively, and he did it in a way which was actually life-transforming.
Now we turn over the sheet, and we come to the statement “A clear and concise statement of the good news may be given by using a number of different approaches. For example…” Now, I want to illustrate, this evening, in a circumstance that happened to me, to recognize with you what we’ve been discovering all the way along: that God is sovereign in the way in which he deals in the affairs of our lives and in the affairs of those with whom we may share the gospel.
It’s years ago, now—I think it’s ’73, the summer of ’73. And I had the privilege of coming to… It’s not. It’s the summer of ’74. And I had the privilege of coming to spend the time with this American family in Philadelphia—a girl that I was keenly interested in at the time, and I had to chase her across the Atlantic. And anyway, there I was, and I had arrived to spend some time. I was going to work as a waiter in a restaurant, play a lot of tennis, and swim a lot, and hopefully better my claim to the hand of this lady.
And when I arrived, I was confronted with a number of situations, including the fact that my mother-in-law informed me that there was a young man that I should be witnessing to. And I said, “Well, thank you very much for the pointer.” I filed it away in the back of mind and said I’d get round to it sometime. I don’t think that was a tremendously helpful reaction, and so she considered the possibility of engineering some situations in which I might be imaginative, be natural, be listening, be bold, etc. And I was one of the most reluctant prophets you could ever have met.
Well, undaunted by the unwilling spirit presented to her in her future son-in-law, she arranged an encounter between myself and this young man, telling me that the Jehovah’s Witnesses were interested in him. And so she had taken it upon herself to invite him over on an afternoon—at two in the afternoon, I seem to recall. And at two in the afternoon, I would meet with this young man. And she had secured Walter Martin’s tape from The Kingdom of the Cults on the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and she thought it would be an excellent idea if I sat down with him and played this tape to him.
So the young man, who was at that time pumping gas at the Philadelphia airport and today flies 737s for USAir, proceeded to show up as per his instructions. We sat down, she brought the tape recorder, we sat on the patio, we plugged it in the outside wall socket, and I breathed a sigh inside and said, “Here we go. Let’s just go. Fine. Let’s get it over with, and let’s get on with life.” So we plugged the tape in, and the two of us sat in total silence, listening to Walter Martin ream through the book of Revelation on the doctrine of the Trinity and The Kingdom of the Cults. It goes on for about forty-five minutes. Some of you will have listened to it, I know. And finally, he came to a halt, and we switched the tape recorder off. I turned to the fellow, and I said, “Well, what do you think about that?” And without a word of a lie, he said—his immediate reaction was—“I think that I need to receive Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.”
You can’t tell how mad I was. I mean… Things were not going according to plan at all. I didn’t want to give anybody the luxury of finding this out. And we sat there and prayed a simple prayer, and Michael B. committed his life to Jesus Christ—not as a result of a clever presentation; not as a result of a willing servant; as a result of the prayers of someone else and others and the hand of God upon his life. And today he is an elder in a church over in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, in an Evangelical Free church, and some morning when you’re flying up and down the East Coast and someone comes on and says “This is Captain Bauthier,” you can shout out, “Hey, I heard about you!” And you can run forward to the door, and they’ll chain you down.
But I use that as an introduction tonight because what I’m about to say is about methodology, and I want dreadfully to underscore the fact that when we are least expecting it, least planning on it, least ready for it, least willing to do it, God may choose to intervene and surprise us despite ourselves. We are not the key. He simply gives us the privilege of being a part of what he chooses to do.
Now, to these possible examples. And that, incidentally, was an example of a different kind. But let me give to you two fourfold statements of how we might go about presenting the gospel.
Now, in doing so, I’m encouraged to continue with this, because somebody came to me after the last time, and they said, “I’m looking forward to you going on with this, because up until this day, although I am a Christian and have sought to share my faith, all I’m ever able to do is say, ‘I can only tell you what happened to me.’ And,” said the individual, “the response of my friends and neighbors largely is, ‘Oh, that’s very interesting.’ And somehow,” said the individual, “I can’t seem to penetrate beyond that at all. I share my faith; they reply, ‘Oh I’m interested to hear that you’re into that. I’m not into that. You’re into that.’” End of conversation. And the question of the individual was, how do we cut through that and share with people in such a way that they might realize that this is not some kind of existential trip that we’re sharing but is actually the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
Well, these are certainly not foolproof methodologies, but here is the first of a fourfold outline that we might use. And we’re jumping into it where we left last time, beginning, first of all, by addressing the human condition. The human condition. That is, starting from where we are—perhaps, in the conversation, acknowledging the front page of the newspaper or the recent magazine that we found lying around or, if it’s in the doctor’s waiting room, jumping and launching off what we’ve seen before us and saying to the individual, “You know, look at the circumstances—those of loneliness and fear, of greed, of hate. Listen to the songs of our generation of rebellion and of disillusionment. Look at the evidences around us of fractured families, of teenage destruction, of childcare abuse, and of cruelty.” And then to say, “What do you think is a viable explanation of our human condition? Why do you think we’re in the circumstances we are?”
Now, that may yield a number of reactions, and it’s important for us to listen to what the people say—not to be ready to jump onto our next point, where we can go, “Aha, good, but not the answer I was looking for—boom!” but rather genuinely listening and perhaps spending some time interacting on the basis of that individual’s analysis, recognizing that they are more than likely very honest in their response and probably not superficial at all.
So, we would move from the question of condition and then say, “Well, you know, it’s difficult, isn’t it, just to find a diagnosis.” And diagnosis is the second heading. “But the Bible,” we might say, “provides a diagnosis for the human condition.” We must beware of clichés, but you’ve already identified one of mine, which is simply this: that the heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart. I may not say that to somebody every time, but I want to get to it every time. And so that when we talk about the Bible’s diagnosis, we want to have our Bibles open before us, and we want to be able to turn people to verses in our Bibles.
Some of you learned the Roman Road—and some of you haven’t a clue what it is. But essentially, all that it was was a number of verses in the book of Romans that would help us to explain to people what the situation is concerning the human condition and God’s diagnosis of it. And we might go into Romans chapter 1 and explain that God’s wrath “is being revealed from heaven,” verse 18, “against all the godlessness and wickedness of men.” That, of course, may get us into an amazing conversation at that point, and we should be ready for it.
But where we want to head is to Romans 3:23 and open our New Testaments and show the individuals, especially if we can sit side by side, show them these words: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” “All have sinned.” That removes it from the realm of me and you into the realm of all. And we then are able to say the diagnosis which Scripture gives for the human condition is not ultimately about economics. It’s not ultimately about politics—because we might be on a university campus somewhere, dealing with somebody who is into who knows what. It’s not ultimately about religion—because we may be dealing with somebody who’s into Zen Buddhism or whatever it might be. But it is ultimately about the fact that the Bible says sin is the essence of our human problem.
What is sin? Sin is missing the mark. God has set a standard, and we don’t hit the bull’s-eye. Sin is parking on God’s double yellow lines. There are things he said that we should leave alone, and we’ve decided just to engage in them. There are things that he said that we might do, and we’ve decided not to bother with them. And sin is also blotting the page of our lives. And we may be able to say to the person, “You know, I think if we’re honest, our human experience confirms what the Bible teaches.” And it would be an interesting day if you found yourself talking to someone who indicated that they had never sinned. And, of course, it wouldn’t be too difficult to get them to, and then, of course, you would be able to speak on the basis of the sin that they had just most recently committed. But the diagnosis is this: that man’s alienation from God is the root of the human tragedy.
Now, we would want to go on, then, to turn from Romans 3:23 to Romans 6:23, still under diagnosis, and point out to our friends that sin brings consequences. Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” And we might explain way back in what we discovered in Genesis 3, in the garden of Eden: that God had spoken to Adam and Eve and had told them, “You mustn’t eat of the tree of the knowledge of good or evil, for the day that you eat of that tree you will surely die.” And we’ll say to them, “But Adam and Eve didn’t instantaneously die, at least not physically. But what entered into the world was spiritual death.” And so we would explain on the basis of Scripture that men and women, like you and like me, the Bible diagnoses as dead men.
Now, obviously and all through this—but I want just as an aside to clarify it—we recognize that only God can bring about conviction of sin. And we’ve seen that in our earlier studies, and that conviction of sin is far more than merely an acknowledgment that sin exists. People may be prepared to acknowledge the existence of sin without ever themselves being convicted of their own condition.
So, the condition is as agreed upon. The diagnosis brings us to sin. Thirdly, we might speak about the remedy. What is the remedy? Is there an answer to this? And again, we would take our Bibles, and we would turn them to an Old Testament picture. We might say to the individual, “I don’t know if you ever have read the Old Testament prophets. Some of the stuff is really hard to understand. But every so often, there’s something in it that just hits you right between the eyes. Let me share one of these hit-you-between-the-eyes verses.”
And then we’d turn them to Isaiah 53:6, and we would say, “Look, this is a pictorial explanation of our human condition, of the diagnosis we’ve just agreed upon. This is what it says: ‘We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.’”
If the person is alert and is interested and is following the conversation, they’re going to almost inevitably say, “And who is he? Who is the ‘him’?”
You’re going to answer, “Well, I’m glad you asked. Because the he is Jesus. I wonder, have you ever thought about Jesus?”
“Oh, I sang about him in Sunday school, but quite honestly, I haven’t thought much about him.”
“Well, have you ever considered what he did and what he said, and especially his death upon the cross?”
“Well,” maybe the person’ll say, “no, not really. I mean, after all,” they might say, “isn’t Jesus just a good man? Isn’t he just a prophet? Isn’t he just one along a line on a continuum of religious leaders, depending on their level of ability?”
What are we going to do? Well, we’re going to open our Bibles, and we’re going to say, “You know what? It’s getting close to Christmas. You remember the Christmas stories? Sure you do. You’ve heard them so many times.” And you’ll turn with them, and you’ll say, “You know what? For example, in Matthew’s Gospel, in 1:21, we read these words concerning Jesus: that Mary ‘will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’”
Now, again, you’re going to back up a little bit, and you’re going to say, “Now, are you with me still? We’ve said things are messed up, we’ve said the Bible says the problem is sin, that it’s a disease that we can’t shake, that we need somebody to shake it for us. The Old Testament prophet said that there was one who would come who could do just that. And here we discover, in Matthew’s Gospel, that the very name Jesus means ‘Savior of our sins.’” And then we might go on and say, “It doesn’t just come in Matthew’s Gospel, but in Luke 2:11, we read the very same thing.” And again, I’d open my Bible to the people, say, “You remember the Christmas story: ‘Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he[’s] Christ the Lord.’ So in other words, for us to begin to think of Jesus simply as a good man or a hero or a kind of twentieth-century Che Guevara, a kind of religious leader, somebody that ranks up there with some of the others—Gandhi and the likes—is an interesting notion, but it doesn’t follow the biblical record.”
And then we might go on from there and direct them from Christmas to Easter—say, “You probably know the Easter story as well. Do you remember that cry of Jesus from the cross?” And we’d turn to it: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Now, the person might say, “No, I don’t remember the cry,” and you’re going to have to tell them about it. They might say, “Yeah, I do remember that. I never understood it. What was going on there anyway? Why was Jesus shouting like that?” And you’re going to say, “I’m glad you asked. Because he was shouting like that because in that moment, he was bearing the penalty for your sin and for mine. The hell that we deserve, the judgment that we might face, the condemnation that is upon our lives, Jesus Christ bore when he died upon the cross.”
By this time the people are going to be saying, “You know, you are bringing some strange teachings to my ears.” You’re going to say, “Well, wait a minute. I just got another one for you. Let me give you the fourth.” Because not only do we have a human condition that is in need of explanation. Not only does the Bible give us a diagnosis of the problem—namely, sin. Not only does the Bible say, “But there is a remedy in Jesus.” But the Bible also says that in order for us to grasp this in its fullness, we must personally respond to God’s offer to us in Jesus Christ—in other words, that his solution is not mechanical, nor is it impersonal; that forgiveness is not conferred upon us automatically, but, quite straightforwardly, there are steps involved in coming to have our sin forgiven.
Now, it may be at this point of the journey, we’ve completely bamboozled people. This is where our great wisdom is going to have to come in, in knowing when to stop and when to sideline it, when to allow ourselves to go down another direction. But nevertheless, if we have the opportunity and a listening ear, we’ll want to go on and say something like this: “You know, if ever you were to come to know Jesus in this way, there are steps that need to be taken. Let me tell you what they are. Number one, you need to admit that in God’s sight you are a helpless sinner.”
Some would say, “Well, you know, I don’t think that I am a sinner. I’m certainly not a sinner like some of the sinners I know,” says the individual. “I’m not a bum. I’m not fiddling my income tax. I’m not beating my wife. I’m not stealing from the petty cash.” What is our answer to that? Our answer is simply this: that there may be a difference in the degree to which men and women have sinned, but there is no difference in the fact that men and women have sinned. We may not have sinned as much as we might, but we have sinned enough to be condemned and lost. And we can never know forgiveness till first we admit our helpless, sinful condition.
Secondly, we must believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross to be the very Savior that we’ve just admitted that we need. And again—and I’m moving ahead here for want of time—but again, we want to be using our Bibles with great care. Verses we learned in 1 Peter in our studies, 1 Peter 3:18: “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God”—to admit that Jesus, to believe that Jesus is the very one who died in order that we might be brought to God.
And thirdly, I must accept by faith the forgiveness and cleansing that his death has made available to me.
Now, you see, this is very different, loved ones, from asking people if they have a felt need in their life. You understand this? Because we can get responses out of people on the basis of questions like “Are you unhappy, and would you like to be happy? Let me tell you how to be happy.” So we might tell people how to be happy, but we never told them how to be saved—and we might never have told them that they even need to be saved. And if they discover that the way to become truly happy is to admit their helpless condition before God, to believe that Jesus Christ is the only answer to sin, and to confess freely their need of him and ask him in repentance and in faith to save them, they may not want to be happy that way. They want to be happy, but not badly enough to turn over the reins of their life to the lordship of Jesus Christ. They may want to know a freedom from a guilty conscience, but not enough to have Jesus Christ control them from this day onward.
And that, you see, is the fault, dear ones, of so much slick evangelism: that we bring people, on the basis of felt need, to conclusions about what they want—but they’re never saved! They wanted someone to fix them up, but they did not want a Savior to reign on the throne of their lives. And so we must be very careful, and we must be very clear, lest we produce, as it were, in our enthusiasm, false births, in our desire—a genuine desire—to see lives transformed.
Now, I said that I would give another approach, but I’m not going to give that other approach, at least not this evening. What I want to give to you are these three further questions, which I have found so helpful since I got them from Leith Samuel. And you may have read Little’s How to Give Away Your Faith, and he got them from Leith Samuel as well. And Leith Samuel was the pastor of Above Bar Church in Southampton, greatly used of God as a pastor and an amazing evangelist, especially amongst the student population.
Leith Samuel says that once he has shared the gospel in this way—whatever his method of presentation, however he has got across these essential truths—there are three questions which he has used which he has found tremendously helpful.
Question number one is this: that when you reach that point of the conversation where the guy is starting to look out the window or the lady is looking down and wondering if she can find an excuse to leave or just what to do, or she may be deeply convicted and she doesn’t have an angle from which to go on, ask this question: “Have you personally trusted Jesus Christ, or are you still on the way?” It’s a useful question, because it allows the opportunity to answer in the affirmative or in the negative. It’s not a threatening question because the individual may choose to say, “Actually, I’m still on the way.” They may say, “I’m grateful for you sharing this. I never heard this before in my life.” And it’s a helpful question, because it defines Christian as one who has personally trusted Jesus Christ—and may well produce the answer, “Yeah, I’m still on the way.”
Question two: “How far along the way are you?” And it may well be that at this point is the point of great need for sensitivity. Because often when we share our faith, when the Spirit of God has done his work, when the door of opportunity has opened up, it will be at that point that the onslaught of the Evil One is greatest, for he is just about to witness another of his fans ushered into the kingdom of Christ. And all hell breaks loose in those moments. The telephone rings. The dog tears up the linoleum in the kitchen. The lights fall over. A guy reverses into your office wall. Who knows what it is? Don’t be surprised at anything that happens in that moment. Be prepared for it. And if you have friends who are observing what’s going on, always be praying in those circumstances.
But when you ask the question “How far along the way are you?” it is at that point that you may find the opportunity comes and the necessity comes to deal with real difficulties in people’s lives. In my experience, it’s often at that point that for no apparent reason, they will start to talk about their father, or about their sister who was drowned, or about someone that they’d known, or about something that happened to them in their life, which is… You’re at the very epicenter of the individual’s soul, as it were. And loved ones, in that moment, we need to be hypersensitive to the prompting of the Spirit of God and to his wisdom, that we may not stumble in like some kind of spiritual obstetrician who’s more content to produce babies than he is to be sensitive to the condition of the mother.
But the individual may well say, “You know, well, I’m at the point where I’d love to go home and think about it.” And then you want to be prepared to say, “Well, that’s fine and well, but I want you to know that the Bible always speaks in the present tense. And I want you to know, I say that not to threaten you, not to press you, but because we never know when the opportunity will ever come again when the door of our hearts may be swinging open, where our souls are open to the Word of Christ. We never know that we may be able to reproduce this exact moment over again. So if you must leave, then that’s fine.” And then I would give them a booklet to take, encourage them to pray in the privacy of their own home, encourage them to call me if I might help them, encourage them in any way at all.
And then the third question is—if the individual says, “Well, I believe that I’m far along the way; you’re not the first person who told me this”—it’s at that point you hear individuals that you never expected hearing it from. Guys in your office will tell you, “You know what? My grandmother used to tell me stuff like this.” Friends will say, “You know, my brother is actually like you. You know, my sister’s involved in a student ministry at university, and funny enough, she wrote to me just six weeks ago, and she said, ‘You know, John, I would that you would turn your life over to Jesus Christ.’” And suddenly, you know that your steps are ordered of the Lord. And you would ask the third question: “Would you like to become a real Christian and be sure of it?”
Loved ones, in those moments, it’s like you ought to take your shoes off, ’cause you’re standing on holy ground. It’s in these moments that all our slick methodology hits the wall. It’s in those moments that God alone can do what we are unable to do. And when the answer to that question is “Yes, I would like to become a real Christian,” then go right back to point number four under the response of man, and lead them through clearly concerning admitting sin, believing in Christ.
And then add another one: counting the cost. Make it as difficult as possible for them to become a Christian. You say, “What?” Yeah!
I had a young man come here Sunday after Sunday. We used to meet and talk together. The first day he came to talk to me, he was really angry with me, because of his religious background, and he told me that I was a number of things that are unmentionable. The second time he came to talk to me, he backed off a little bit on that. And he used to come every so often on a Sunday evening and say, “I think I might become a Christian tonight.” And I used to say to him, “You’re not ready yet. Go home.” And he used to stop and say, “Why is that?” I said, “Because the night that you become a Christian, you must become a Christian. You won’t be able to go home till you give your life to Jesus Christ.” And that night came, not under my ministry but under the ministry of another in the area, and he and his little wife—who was invited to a guest service by one of our fellowship, who came and heard the gospel, who became a Christian, who brought her boyfriend—are today happily married and faithfully involved in a church in the South.
But make them count the cost. Ask them if they’re ready for a revolution. Ask them if they’re prepared to say no to sin, to say no to self, and to say no to secrecy. Remember what Jesus did with the rich young ruler: he sent him away sorrowful, for one thing stood between him and an experience of faith.
Admit sin, believe in Jesus, count the cost. And then get down on your knees with them and say, “Why don’t we pray together?” And lead them to Jesus Christ, just as Andrew did his brother.
There may be somebody here tonight—in fact, I’ve been praying to that end as I speak. As I’ve been sharing how we might share the gospel with someone, I have actually been sharing the gospel with you. Can I ask you tonight: Have you trusted in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, or are you still on the way? Can I ask you: How far along the way are you? Can I ask you: Would you like to trust Jesus Christ as your Savior tonight—become a Christian, and know for sure?
Then let’s bow together in prayer—the kind of prayer that we might lead another in or that we might use ourselves tonight if we find ourselves spoken to by God in this study to enable us to speak to others. I remember I took my friends to a Billy Graham crusade in Leeds to get them saved. And God allowed me to take them there, but he had me take them there to sort me out, not them. And it may be that there are some tonight learning a methodology who have never met the Master. What might we pray?
We might pray like this: “Dear Lord Jesus, I admit that I am a helpless sinner before you. I’ve tried to clean up my act so many times, and I fail. I believe that the Bible is true when it says that you are the Savior for my sin. I’ve considered the revolution that will come should I close with your offer of salvation. And I ask you to come. Forgive me. Enable me to turn from sin and to turn in faith to you. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. Give me a desire for your Word. Give me a desire to share good news with others. Number me amongst those who are your own.”
And the Bible encourages us to believe that when we cry in those kinds of ways to God, that he does save, that he does fulfill his promise, and that he will keep us.
Freely, freely we have received; therefore, freely and freely may we give. For we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
 Paul Simon, “I Am a Rock” (1965).
 See John 4:16–18.
 Genesis 2:17 (paraphrased).
 Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34 (NIV 1984).
 See Matthew 19:22; Mark 10:22.
 See John 1:41–42.
 See Matthew 10:8.
Copyright © 2023, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations for sermons preached on or after November 6, 2011 are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
For sermons preached before November 6, 2011, unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® (NIV®), copyright © 1973 1978 1984 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.