Gary: Welcome to Search the Scriptures 24/7, a radio ministry of The Berean Call featuring T.A. McMahon. I’m Gary Carmichael. It’s great to have you tuned in! In today’s program, Tom wraps up a two-part series with guest Mark Cahill as they address the topic: “Evangelize! Evangelize! Evangelize!” Here’s TBC Executive Director, Tom McMahon.
Tom: Thanks, Gary. This is part two of our program Search the Scriptures 24/7, and I’m having the pleasure of interviewing Mark Cahill, and, as I mentioned last week, Mark’s ministry is evangelism, and he’s been explaining that is isn’t just a…well, what it’s all about, basically, it involves apologetics, it involves conversation, and it involves ministering to people. But the bottom line is sharing the Lord Jesus Christ with those who don’t know Him – or even with some who do but have been reluctant to step out and fulfill the Great Commission. As far as I remember, the Great Commission is for all of us. Now, Mark is a speaker; he’s been at our TBC conference; he’s an author – we offer many of his books: One Heartbeat Away, One Thing You Can’t Do in Heaven, and we’re going to talk in a little bit about The Second Greatest Lie Ever Told. Mark, welcome back to Search the Scriptures 24/7.
Mark: Thanks, Tom. It’s good to be back. You know, it’s interesting. I was at a Christian college the other day, and a student said that he looked at the Great Commission as the Great Suggestion, not the Great Commission.
Tom: [Laughing] Oh brother!
Mark: And then…he’s heard me speak. He read one of my books, and he’s really stepped up and [become] bold. He just needed that “pop,” that… It’s not a suggestion from Christ. Proverbs:11:30: “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he that winneth souls is wise.” And, you know, the thing is we always see Solomon praying for wisdom, and we want everyone associated with TBC to be praying for wisdom. And wisdom, basically, is just biblical knowledge applied. So to take the knowledge of the Bible and apply it to my life – that is wisdom. Well, my goodness, it is loaded front to back with…especially the New Testament Book of Acts: Get out there! Tell somebody! It says in the Book of Acts in chapter 5, “Go, stand, and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.” He’s saying, “Go! Get out there where the people are. Stand up. Don’t be ashamed of the gospel. Give them that hope. Give them that truth.” And that truth is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Tom: Right. You quoted from Acts; another verse I’m thinking about, Acts:4:29: “And now, Lord, behold their threatenings…” We talked about this last week. There may be threatenings when we’re sharing the Lord Jesus Christ. But it goes on, “…and grant unto thy servants that with all boldness they may speak the word, by stretching forth thine hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.”
Mark: That is absolutely one of my favorite scriptures is Acts 4, and I tell people the biggest sign of the Holy Spirit working in your life is when you speak with boldness. When the Spirit of God comes upon you, you’re sealed by Him the moment you’re saved, and then you speak with boldness. When you’re turning your life over to Christ, He just gives you that boldness. And, yeah, the threatenings come; yeah, I’ve been laughed at before; yes, I’ve been threatened with arrest on the streets of Atlanta; yes, I had a guy spit at me; yes, I had a guy pull a gun on me at a gas station because he wasn't overly excited that I was telling about Jesus Christ; yes, I still stand here today. Yes, I’m still alive to do the Lord’s work. And when the day comes that you take your last breath, you know where you’re going. All your dreams come true on that day! So, again, we don’t need to be fearing this stuff. We need to do what Acts 5 says there and Acts 4 says there, and if we did that and everybody associated with The Berean Call did that, what a continual impact we would have worldwide.
Tom: Right. Right. And Mark, you were talking – we mentioned it earlier about wisdom. My favorite verse – and, folks, you know I’ve been in ministry for close to 40 years. I wish I could remember all the verses – or even the verses…I always say, “Well, this is one of my favorite verses.” But then ask me to give you the address, it’s not going to happen! But this one I can tell you. This is Proverbs:4:7: “Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore, get wisdom. But in all thy getting, get understanding.” Man. That’s what I want. I need to have the wisdom, and the Holy Spirit can bring to mind and heart the Scriptures, but I want people to have some understanding about this. Too many times I’ve heard messages in churches – and I get to be all over the world, and I visit churches, and so on, but I leave more thrilled than ever when I hear the gospel explained! Not just by rote, or “you need to do this or do that.” I’m not saying that we throw that out, but when there is an understanding that comes about by explaining the gospel - when people receive that, Mark - and look, I can’t know their heart; only God knows their heart - but I’m on the line of “Hey, this person really got saved because he understood what was being taught…”
Mark: Yeah, think about that! I love that verse you mentioned, because don’t we want understanding as we read the Scriptures, that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth (John:16:13)? But if I want that understanding, Tom, wouldn’t I want to give that understanding to somebody else so that they understood…
Mark: …who God is, who Jesus is, what happens when they die?
Mark: I was at USC a few weeks ago, and I was walking with this student, and I said, “Hey, can I ask you an interesting question?”
He said, “Sure.”
I said, “When you die, what do think is on the other side? What do you think is out there when you walk out of here?” Bingo! We start talking. He wasn’t exactly sure. He grew up in Miami, a little Roman Catholic to his background, but we’re talking back and forth, and I finally said to Michael, I said, “Do you like to read?”
He said, “I love to read! Actually, I’m flying back to Miami tomorrow for Spring break.”
I said, “Here, let me give you a book.”
I signed the book, gave it to him, and he said, “Oh, my class is right here.”
And I looked up, and it said, “Social Work.” A big social work building. I said, “Oh, you’re going to do a social work major?”
He said, “No. I’m actually walking in there. I’m taking a general elective: Intro to Christianity.
Tom: [Laughing] Oh, brother!
Mark: I’m like “What?” I said, “Why are you taking that class?”
He said, “You know, I thought it would be an interesting G.E. (General Elective).” And just think about that for a second, Tom. Because you know how college campuses are. He’s probably getting all this liberal hogwash out of that class right there. He had somebody talk to him about the real biblical Jesus, walking over to his class, and now he’s got a book in his hand that is going to contrast truth with whatever lies he’s being taught about it.
So just think about it: they’re Freshmen in college. What a great encounter! But I have the understanding of the gospel, [and] I want to make sure that Michael has the understanding of the gospel as well.
Tom: Yeah. You wouldn’t think that might have been a divine appointment, would you?
Mark: [Laughing] Yeah. I laughed when I walked away. That couldn’t have been any more classy than how that happened right there.
Tom: That’s for sure!
Mark: God was too nice on that one!
Tom: Now, you’ve given us – last week, and starting off this week – some of the things that you do. But here’s my question – because people are always looking for methods or a success technique when they take on some tasks. Now, do you recommend methods? Is there a formula? I mean, come on. Give us some insights into that, Mark.
Mark: That’s actually good. Actually, I don’t recommend methods and formulas. What I typically do is we just teach different questions to get started, then we just talk about using the Ten Commandments to talk about sin, so sin isn’t general – sin is personal, their sin. And then we talk about what we call “The Perfect Blood Sacrifice for your sins.” In Judaism, you had a lamb without blemish, when you put your hands on the lamb, the shedding of the blood, the throat was cut; they would take the blood and put it on the altar – the horns of the altar. So you had to have a perfect blood sacrifice. Well, that’s Jesus. He was tempted in all ways, as we were, yet without sin. He died on the cross for our sins. And then 1 John and Revelation 1 says, “The blood will cleanse you of all your sins.” So I just present those things out there to do that.
When I was walking around Cal State Fullerton, I saw a girl over there…she was sitting there, Tom, with a big, blue shirt on, and it had an Israeli flag on the front of her shirt. So I walked over to her, and I said, “Hey! Are you Jewish?”
She said, “Yes.”
Now, I thought it was going to be a Christian who was supporting Israel, the Jews, but it was actually a Jewish lady wearing the shirt. She was a student there. Her name was Chandelia. And I said, “Have you gotten any flak from wearing that shirt?”
And she said, “Actually, I was in restaurant here in Los Angeles. It was a Palestinian restaurant, and they asked me to leave because customers were being offended by my shirt.”
Just think about that for a second. We’re talking back and forth, “Are you reformed Jew?” We just talked back and forth.
She looks at me and says, “Can I ask you a question?”
Now, remember, that’s a conversation – they go back and forth. It’s not me just presenting things; I go back and forth. I said, “Sure, Chandelia. Ask me anything.”
She said, “I have a question about Jesus. Was he just a man? Was he a prophet? Or was he God?”
Tom, I’m in the middle of Cal State Fullerton; I got a Jewish student asking me, “Was Jesus just a man? Was he a prophet? Or was he God?” I mean, we want to keep our mouths shut, and there’s Jewish people sitting out there – not just Jews – trying to find the answer to the biggest question out there: Who is Jesus? “Who do you say that I am?” Tom, you know that answer. I know that answer. Everyone who follows The Berean Call knows that answer. We need to go be telling those people, dropping those seeds in their lives so they have truth that they can grab onto when they’re ready to repent and believe.
Tom: Yeah. My prayer – and you know me a little bit, Mark – my prayer is…see, the thing I love about conversation is I want to get into conversation, but I keep asking the Lord, “Lord, I’m going to get into a conversation with this person. Lord, please have them ask me a question.” And I’ll tell you why that’s important to me personally. Mark, for a long time – I’m in apologetics. I’ve been involved with Dave Hunt for over 40 years (or close to 40 years), so I’ve learned a lot. But there was a point in my ministry time in which, hey, I had all the answers, and nobody had any questions. Mark, you did not want to hang out with me, I’m telling you. I’m still repenting of that! I know the Lord has forgiven me, but what I’m getting at here is that what I want and what I want today is that when I get into conversations, I’m asking the Lord – just as you’ve been articulating – you’ve opened up a whole realm of “Come on, Lord, can’t I be like Mark?”
Or, I mentioned earlier before we went on the air that Dave would say that he could prove that there’s a God just by the people that the Lord has sit next to him on an airplane, and that has to do with them asking him questions. So, that’s a major part of it. And I’m not saying it never happens to me, but all I’m saying is, I start with questions, and then, “Lord, could you have them ask me some questions.” And I think it’s something for our listeners, if they haven’t been there, to at least consider it prayerfully.
Mark: Yeah, you know, when they start asking you questions, Tom, it’s when they actually feel comfortable knowing “I can ask you the question.” It’s very important. You really see that a lot. Because they’re trying to feel you out, many times, when it’s stranger to stranger, not to a friend. But when it’s stranger to stranger. They’re trying to feel, “Is he the real deal? Is he going to force something on me?”
I had a guy at USC who said, “You’re the fourth person that’s talked to me about Jesus Christ in the last two years.” And his name was Devin. He grew up in Lebanon – one parent Christian, one parent Muslim. And he looked at me, and he said, “I didn’t enjoy the other three conversations, but I’ve enjoyed this one.”
I said, “Really? Well, why?”
Well, he felt like they were just forcing stuff upon him. One guy kept: “Hey, give me your email. Give me your…” He was trying to get information. No, no! My job is to give Devin information. I don’t need to take all his information. I can give him my email if he wants to get in touch, he can do that. And then I said, “Do you like to read?”
And he said, “Oh, I love to read!”
So I asked, “What’s your name?” and he hesitated giving me his name at the moment, so I pulled a book out. I asked again, “What’s your name?”
He said, “Devin, D-e-v-i-n.”
So I signed the book, explained the book to him – I think it was One Heartbeat Away, the one you guys carry – gave it to him, he looked at me, and he said, “You’re just giving me this?”
I said, “Of course, why?” Tom, he thought I was going to try to charge him for the book that I wrote that I gave him! And isn’t that sad that that’s how some people view Christianity? That they see TBN with the 1-800 numbers, “Gimme, gimme, gimme,” Instead of saying, “Oh wow, a Christian sat next to me. I bet he’s going to give me something.” What have we done as ambassadors of Christ that we haven’t represented Him well to do that?
So, again, that’s why we were out there, behaving as correct biblical ambassadors, we can change how they see Christians, but again, that’s going to help them with how they see Jesus Christ; I want to help them change that as well.
Tom: Well, I don’t want to get into some of my little – pet peeves…maybe more than that, but – Christmastime. I’m walking out of Target or something like that, and here’s this guy ringing a bell, and the sign says “Salvation Army.” And they want me to put something in the pot. So sometimes, I’ll say, “Wait a minute. This is the Salvation Army. What have you got for me? Have you got a tract or something like that?”
Tom: But these guys don’t know. They’re just being hired for that, and I don’t want to make a big issue of it, but that’s the point!
Mark: No, I think you actually have a good point there, Tom, because if you studied – I believe it’s William Booth who started the Salvation Army, and when you go back and study the beginning of it, it was a SALVATION ARMY! They went everywhere, preaching the gospel, getting truth out, and that stuff. Wait a minute! What happened after just a short time? And, see, that was the same thing I’d be wanting to think about. I would never want The Berean Call to get to the point, if we have 20 years left (I don’t think we do), but 20 or 30 years down the road: “Oh, this is a great ministry. They collect money outside of Target. They give away hats and coats when it’s cold out, but never tell you the gospel.”
See? William Booth started out correctly, but (there’s still some strong ones in Salvation Army – I’ve met a few) but it’s not what it used to be. And we would never want that with either one of our ministries or anything like that.
Tom: Yeah. Now, Mark, I mentioned at the beginning of the program that you have a book, The Second Greatest Lie Ever Told. Now this is where – I mean our hearts are already mended, ok? We’re brothers in Christ. But we’ve had years – maybe mine longer than yours as a Roman Catholic – and before we get into this book, I’ll just share a quick testimony. Throughout my grade school, Catholic military school, Catholic high school – even in college I was part of a Catholic fraternity for a while. But during all of that time, I had questions. And I always got the same answer. In Religion class, or whatever it might be, when I’d ask a question about the faith, the Catholic faith, the answer was always “Because the Church says so. Because the Church says so.”
Tom: Then my wife becomes a believer. She had an Episcopal background. She becomes truly saved in Christ, and my arrogance was, “Well, that’s good for you, because you were an Episcopalian; you were a Catholic wannabe.” I mean, my arrogance was just over the top. But when she started associating with evangelicals – young believers – maybe they’d been believers for a time, but the point was they were our age. And I liked hanging out with them. I liked doing things with them. But here was the thing: they were bold – and they wouldn’t even call it “bold.” They knew I was lost, and they would share the gospel with me – or tried to. I’d say, “No, I’m not going to church with you. I’m not going to Bible study. I’m not doing any of that stuff with you.” But they were persistent in a wonderful way, because I liked hanging out with them. Never turned me off that way. Mark, I would say, “Okay, I’ve been asking these questions my whole life about the Catholic Church to the priest, to the Monsignors, to the Bishops, whatever the opportunity – however it presented itself.
Now, [our friends’] response was, “Well, Tom, that’s a really good question.” And they would open the Bible, hand it to me, “Why don’t you read it for yourself?” Mark, you can imagine what this did.
Tom: And then I would say, “Hey look, okay, I see that. But what about this?” And they would say, “Well, you know, Tom, that’s a tough one. We’ll get back to you about it. Mark, they did! I can’t begin to tell you what an encouragement that was. What drew me – you know, I was still the egotistical character that I was, but still, that brought conviction in my heart. That gave me the hope that there was an answer.
Now, having said all of that, tell us about The Second Greatest Lie Ever Told.
Mark: Yeah, one thing that goes right with that is always if they know you care, they’ll listen to you when you share. If they know we care, love them, and they’ll listen to us as we share with them. And that’s exactly what you just said. When you care about people, people know that. They know if you’re just trying to run and slap over, so you can say that you shared the gospel with someone today or if they know that you care about their soul and do that.
The Second Greatest Lie – you guys carry this, and your people need to order these and give these away. We go through the top nine religions – what they teach – Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Roman Catholic, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, Evangelical Christian, so you can literally give that book away: “Hey, do you like to read?” Ninety-eight percent of all people say yes. Give them the booklet to read, because people love the apologetics in there for the different religions. I had a pastor who called me up, and he was going to teach on the different religions to his church on Friday nights. He said that he read the booklet, and he said, “Thanks! I don’t have to do any studying! I’m just going to read a section to him…
Tom: Mark, let me interject this. Let me just interject this, Mark. You know, this is what I do. This is what I’ve done with Dave for forty years. Folks, you want a booklet – because Mark said people respond that they like to read – but more people like to read smaller books than larger books, and I’m putting my – I’m going be a little Catholic, ex-Catholic, here – my Imprimatur on this book with regard to what you lay out for these different religions. It’s terrific. Absolutely terrific. Go ahead.
Mark: Some people are just busy, so sometimes I hold up a book or a booklet, and I say, “You get a choice.” And it’s interesting – most people actually take… they want the book because they don’t meet authors very often, so they want the book with the picture on the back, but you can read the booklet literally in less than an hour. People love these little booklets. And so, I was at a – I was doing a retreat a couple of weeks ago at this Christian retreat center, and there was also two Catholic groups at the Christian retreat center. And so I was walking with some of the students over for dinner, and I saw about eight of the Catholics – they were all the adults, a couple of nuns, one of the brothers – so I said, “Okay, I’m going to get in some trouble over here. Y’all go ahead and go to dinner.” So they went to dinner. I walked over to these eight people, and I said, “Can I ask you a question?”
They said, “Yeah.”
I said, “I want to go to heaven. What do I have to do to get there?”
And they were from…it was a Hispanic church, even though most of them knew English, but the Friar Tuck guy, the brother, in his brown outfit with the rope around his waist, he was completely Spanish. So someone interpreted it for him, Tom. So there’s that awkward silence as they’re doing the interpreting. All of a sudden, he shouted out, “Do good!”
And another lady shouted out, “Keep the Ten Commandments!”
And I said, “Okay! Have you ever told a lie before?”
And they said, “Yeah.”
I said, “What does that make you?”
They said, “A liar.”
I said, “Me too. I’ve told a lie. Have you ever stole something before?”
They said, “Yeah.”
I said, “What does that make you?”
They said, “A thief.”
I said, “Me too. I stole something. If we’re liars and thieves, how can we be right with God?”
And some lady shouted out, “Go to confession!”
I said, “Well, wait a minute! How can a human being forgive me of my sins and all the sins I’ve committed?”
And, Tom, we started going back and forth. I explained the cross, and “Today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” Unbelievable give-and-take. One lady looked at me, Tom (her name was Cathy, I found out later), she stared at me and stared…she didn’t take her eyes off me the whole time. She was soaking up everything I had to say.
I said, “Do you like to read?”
They said, “Oh we love to read!”
I said, “Well, I have some books that I have written. I’ll come back.”
So about an hour later, I came back with some books; got to talk with that Cathy lady again. She wouldn’t take her eyes off me, and I was explaining truth and what happens when you die. So, again, that’s just “blowing the trumpet,” warning them, and that little booklet has a whole section on Roman Catholics, so you can give it to them.
I’ve actually run into seven different Catholic bishops in airports, and you can – you know this, just by how they wear that little medallion, you can tell if it’s just a priest or just a bishop. So I walked up to the bishop, and I said, “Father, I used to teach at an all-boys Catholic school. Father, the boys would ask me, ‘Mr. Cahill, what does it take to go to heaven?’ I said, ‘Father, how would you answer that question?’”
Well, this is why it doesn’t surprise me that my 81-year-old father gives me the exact same answer. He’s been in Catholicism for 81 years now. But that’s not the answer the Bible says. The Bible says if I’m not repenting of my sins and believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, if His blood does not wash me clean of that sin, I will not be with the Lord Jesus Christ for all eternity. And if it doesn’t bother you and me and your audience enough that these people have been lied to – LIED to – by the great deceiver, that we should want to bring them truth. Truth always trumps a lie. I always say, you put truth on the table and it trumps every lie that’s out there. But if we don’t want to do that, I always say, Tom, those Roman Catholics don’t have the problem. Us Christians have got the problem if I don’t want to go tell them the truth when I see eight of them sitting there, and I know they’ve all got the wrong answer on what it takes to go to heaven when they die.
Tom: Yeah. Well, folks, my guest has been Mark Cahill, and I’m – Mark, I’m addressing this to our audience. Folks, if you haven’t gotten excited about what you’ve heard from this guy - “Yeah, well, you know, sure, he said there’ve been some issues with regard to people rejecting what he had to say,” and so on, but if you haven’t picked up on the excitement that he has in ministry – why? Because God is using him, and He can use all of us wherever we are, whatever our situation, whatever our circumstances might be, with regard to eternal salvation – ETERNAL salvation – of an individual that He gives us the opportunity to talk to, now those folks have to make that decision. But nevertheless, to present that opportunity and to know, as I mentioned earlier, that we’ve been used of God for an individual who is, by God’s grace, by His mercy, is going to spend eternity with Him.
But what’s the other side? Those who reject Christ will never spend eternity with Him. They’re going to spend eternity away from Him. And that needs to speak to our hearts. I know it’s spoken to mine just in our conversation, Mark, so…
Mark: Yeah, so I just want to tell the audience Psalm 73: “But it is good to me to draw near to God. I have put my trust in the Lord that I may declare all thy words.” We should want to go out and declare what Jesus Christ has done for us and for the whole world.
And, yeah, people can reach me at www.markcahill.org. Do not go to markcahill.com – that’s an atheist in Germany who doesn’t like me very much, so go to markcahill.org, and that’s how people can reach me.
Tom: Very good. Mark, again, an absolute pleasure, and it’s my prayer that people will hear what we’ve had to say – primarily what you’ve had to say, but you’re going to get a big-time “Amen” from me on the things that you’ve presented, and again, it’s our prayer that this will motivate, this will encourage, this will get people on a roll, because, folks, we’re speaking about a temporal time here, ok? As against eternity with our Lord Jesus Christ. So, I thank you, Mark. Thanks for being with me on the program, and we will keep you in prayer, brother!
Mark: Thank you! Keep reminding people, Tom, it’s not a year from now; it’s not two years. It’s a “right now” faith, and right now we need to stand up for Jesus Christ.
Gary: You’ve been listening to Search the Scriptures 24/7 with T.A. McMahon, a radio ministry of The Berean Call. We offer a wide variety of resources to help you in your study of God’s Word. For a complete list of materials and a free subscription to our monthly newsletter contact us at PO Box 7019 Bend, Oregon, 97708. Call us at 800.937.6638, or visit our website at the bereancall.org. I’m Gary Carmichael. Thanks for being here, and we invite you back again next week. Until then, we encourage you to Search the Scriptures 24/7.