Gary: Welcome to Search the Scriptures 24/7, a radio ministry of The Berean Call with by T.A. McMahon. I’m Gary Carmichael, thanks for tuning in. In today’s program, Tom wraps up a two-part series with guest Tim Berends, radio host and evangelist- at-large as they address the topic: The Gospel to Las Vegas. And now, here’s Tom.
Tom: Thanks, Gary. Well this is part two of my interview with, as I mentioned last week, a very special guest. His name is Tim Berends. He’s the host of Jesus and Tim in Las Vegas, which is broadcast on KKVV 1060 AM, for those of you in Las Vegas, and then KKVV.com. And Tim’s going to, in a bit, give you the other information about how you can bring these programs up and listen to them.
Tim, thanks for joining me on Search the Scriptures 24/7 and welcome back!
Tim: Thank you very much, Tom. It’s a joy to be back.
Tom: Okay, now, I have a lead in, which I mentioned at the end of the program last week, and it has to do with bumper stickers. Now, Tim may have the...you know, I’m a little worried about this, because he has 57 bumper stickers on his car – hopefully they’re not on the windshield (all of them), and then, people are going to follow you around town just to...it’s like a reading event. Well, Tim, tell us about some of these...well, for maybe somebody’s who’s joined us for the first time, missed last week’s program, why bumper stickers? What’s that about?
Tim: Well, my dad – I mentioned it last week – my dad was a Baptist preacher, and he had two bumper stickers on his car: “Jesus Saves” on the back, and then “Stop Shopping on Sunday” in the form of a stop sign on the side, and I was always so embarrassed! But then, I thought, You know what? This is the suicide...Las Vegas is the suicide capital of the United States, and people could have lost everything, and here they are at a stop light, they’re ready to go home and blow their brains out, but then they can see some of these bumper stickers and their lives could be transformed! I’m not going to be finding out about it until heaven, but, for instance, I had one bumper sticker that says, “Want to go to heaven?’ or “I’m going to heaven. Want to come along? Call 1-800-252-LORD.” And then I have the Ray Comfort GeniusTheMovie.com sticker. That doesn’t look religious at all, or Christian at all. It just has a pair of glasses like John Lennon’s glasses, and people can go to that and hear about the Beatles and see the John Lennon quote, and come to the Lord as a result of that. And you don’t know.
Some of the bumper stickers I have on the back of the car – a quote from Abraham Lincoln: “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has given to men.”
Theodore Roosevelt’s quote: “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.”
A quote from Darwin (Listen to this!): “To suppose that the eye could have been formed by natural selection seems, I must freely confess, to be absurd to the highest degree.” Kids are going to school, and they’re in their parents’ car, they’re behind me at a stoplight, and they’re reading that quote from Darwin, which thoroughly destroys The Origin of Species. I mean, it’s just amazing!
Here’s a feminist, Susan B. Anthony. She called abortion “the horrible crime of child murder.”
A quote from Dr. George Washington Carver: “The secret to my success? It is found in the Bible: ‘In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct Thy paths.’”
Then I have one, Romans:1:16: “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth.”
I have one that has a quote from Daniel Webster: “If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering.”
Then I have one that says, “Israel [then the Star of David] IS REAL.” Then underneath that, “Abortion – America’s Auschwitz.”
And then I have one that says, “World Atheist Day, April 1. Psalm:14:1: ‘The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.’” That must be really provoking to atheists that I pull up alongside (with).
Tom: Yeah. And convicting! You know...
Tom: ...that’s what we hope. That’s what these are for. Yeah.
Tim: Absolutely. Yeah! Here’s another one, perfect – Las Vegas (Lost Wages, Sin City): “On Judgment Day, you’ll wonder why you got so excited about money instead of Jesus.” Here’s another one: “In 1782, the US Congress printed Bibles for schools. Separation of church and state?” and “Choose Abstinence. Some STDs are forever.” And “Isn’t it rather hypocritical to favor abortion when you’ve already been born?” and so on...
Tom: Tim, do you ever come back to your car and there’s a crowd of people around just reading it? You could sit on the trunk...
Tim: (Laughing) No, not a crowd, but sometimes there’ll be one or two or three. It’s just amazing. I just love it! And if I pull up to a fancy condo or something, I say to the guard, “This car will never be stolen!”
They look at it, and they say, “You’re right about that!”
Tom: That’s right! Folks...let me say a few things, Tim – First of all, as you can hear, Tim loves what he does. He has the joy of the Lord. Yeah, there’s a...you know, it’s not a walk in the park all the time, and so on, but he’s excited about sharing Jesus, and there’s a lot of people...call it shy, whatever it might be; they might not have the boldness that you have, Tim, but the thing that I hope our listeners are hearing is that what you do gives you so much pleasure! I mean, what are you doing? You are trying to be used of the Lord to encourage people with regard to where they’re going to spend eternity! Now, if there’s a more important – call it “occupation” than that – I don’t know what it is. Actually there isn’t. There isn’t anything like that.
Now, Tim, the other thing is – and, folks, I would encourage you, if you’re just picking up on this program – go back to part one, and you’ll hear Tim’s ministry through tracts, not just bumper stickers, and what he does.
But here’s the question I’m sure you’ve been asked: Why pick Las Vegas as a place to minister? I mean, isn’t that where Satan has his throne, as some Christians might inform us. Why Las Vegas?
Tim: People probably could have said the same thing to Jonah. “Why Nineveh, for crying out loud!” This is called Sin City, and there are lots of times I’ll introduce the program and I’ll say, “Welcome to Jesus and Tim in Las Vegas, Sin City – the Suicide Capital of the United States.” Then I say, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
I was talking to an assistant Calvary Chapel pastor one day. He said, “You know, Jesus told us to go into the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” He said, “We don’t have to do that in Vegas. The world comes to us.”
And one day I was on the bridge, and I saw a Middle Eastern fellow coming across the bridge, and I had this tract “Is Allah Like You?” that Chick puts out. You can read it at chick.com. And I think I even said “as-salaam-alaikum” and I wish them peace once they meet Jesus. That means “Peace be with you.”
And he took a tract, and he came back. He says, “What’s this about?”
And I said, “That’s our love letter...” I meant to say “God’s love letter to the Muslim people,” but I said, “It’s our love letter to the Muslim people.”
And he said, “Oh, okay.”
I said, “Where are you from?” He said, “Saudi Arabia.”
And I thought, When am I going to get to Saudi Arabia? But because I’m here in Vegas, Saudi Arabia comes to me.
One of the bridges I stand on is right next to the Cosmopolitan, which is right next to the Aria, and the Aria is half – 50 percent-owned by Muslims. They’ve taken all the Bibles out of the hotel rooms at the Aria. And so a lot of Muslims come across the bridge, and so when I just kind of get a chill down my spine. I’m thrilled that they’re coming, and I say, “As-salaam-alaikum.” And many times they take a tract, sometimes they see my “Jesus Saves from Hell” hoodie, and they don’t touch it with a 10-foot pole. But it’s just a joy knowing that I’m going to be seeing many of them in heaven one day.
When I go out, I don’t feel like going out. And when I come back I’m just floating on air. I couldn’t figure that out. I was going into a nursing home one time at Eagle Rock, California, and why is it when I go in, I feel lousy, when I come out I’m feeling great? And I came across this verse in Isaiah:58:10 that says, “When you satisfy the desire of the afflicted, your gloom will become like midday.”
Tim: I thought, Wow! That is so cool, Lord!
Tom: It really is. And that’s a good message for people who are reluctant. If it’s not easy for you, and we’ve heard, you know, last week and here, we’ve heard the joy of the Lord coming through your voice, your demeanor, and so on. Folks, that’s for everybody. There’s no one that can rob us of the joy of the Lord except we ourselves. We get in our own way.
Tim: Absolutely. And I thank the Holy Spirit for that, too. I’ve had that experience, and I just...
One thing I want to encourage folks to do if there’s not a Las Vegas near them, there’s a Mormon Ward near them. And I was going to do a program on KBRT years ago with former Mormons that had come to Christ, and I thought, “Well, it’s only fair to go to a Mormon Ward and find former evangelical Christians that converted to Mormonism.” And so I went to this Ward in San Bernardino – it was the first Sunday of the month; I didn’t think anything of that – it was a little before nine. I was talking to a fellow outside, and he said...I told him who I was and what I wanted...he said, “Well, why don’t you go inside and meet our bishop?” And so I did, and he was a former Roman Catholic that converted to Mormonism. I’m thinking, Man, talk about confusion.
Tim: And he said, “Why don’t you stay? The first Sunday of every month is Testimony Sunday. The first service is the Testimony Service. Why don’t you stay for that? It’s at 9:00.”
I said, “Well, I’m not dressed!” I had jeans on, sport shirt, tennis shoes, and everybody’s going into the Ward with suits and dresses.
He said, “Don’t worry about it.”
So I took a seat, second to last row, and they started the service. They’re singing songs that I’d never heard of before, except “Lead, Kindly Light.” I remember Tennessee Ernie Ford singing that one. And then they had communion: white bread and water. I thought, What’s that all about? And then they opened it up for testimonies, and they had about three or four women that went up and they said, “I want to bear witness that Joseph Smith’s the true prophet of God, the Mormon church is the true church,” and they start to share their life and their testimony, and they’re all crying! And they’re all...it’s not happy crying. And I said to the Lord, I said, “Lord, this is terrible.”
And the Lord spoke to my heart, He said, “I’ve given you a testimony.” And I’m like...“Not here!”
And it’s like the Lord saying, “Where do you go when you die?”
“All right, all right, all right.” And so I went up to the front. I have been less afraid in crack houses in East St. Louis sharing the gospel than I was going up that Sunday. The fellow that I talked to outside, he followed me up on the platform, and when it was my turn, I walked past him, and I heard him say, “Don’t do it, brother. Don’t do it. Don’t do it, brother. Don’t do it.”
And there were about 300 people there, and I said, “I’d like to bear my testimony.” I said, “I got saved when I was five years old. My father showed me a gospel tract, picture of a sailor on the bottom of the ocean. He was tied to this anchor labeled ‘sin,’ and my dad showed me Romans:3:23: ‘For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.’ He showed me Romans:6:23: ‘For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ He showed me Romans:10:9,10,” and I quoted that. Romans:10:13: “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” And I said, “It’s so good to know that I got saved that day.”
I said, “I did rebel from the Lord between the ages of five and 25, came back to the Lord through a bomb factory explosion in Greenwich Village; three people were killed, a huge chunk of cement zipped by me, and the Lord said, ‘You come back now or you don’t come back at all.’”
And now I’ve added something; I say now, “Brigham Young said to compare the writings of the LDS with Scripture and see if it stands the test.” And I quote 2 Nephi 25:23: “We’re saved by grace after all we can do.”
I say, “How do you ever know when that is?” I said, “But Ephesians:2:8,9,” and this is just the way I quoted it in the Mormon Wards, I said, “Ephesians:2:8,9 says, ‘For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it’s the gift of God.’ It’s a gift of God. It’s a gift of God. It’s a gift of God. It’s a gift of God. ‘Not of works, lest any man should boast.’” And then I close by saying...well, sometimes I’ll add, “A lot of you women here are on the verge of suicide because your husbands are going to have multiple wives in eternity and you’re going to be pregnant forever. But I just want you to know that there’s hope in Jesus.”
Then I close by saying this: “In closing, for years your precious Mormon missionaries have come to our home. We’ve fed them; they’ve never been anything but perfect gentlemen, and it was just a real treat this Sunday to be able to return the favor. Thank you so much.”
Tim: And then I want to run, and the first Sunday I ever did that, I wanted to get out of there. I thought, “Okay, I’ve dropped my bombs.”
The Lord said, “You stay there until the service is over.” And the testimony service is about an hour and fifteen minutes long, and people come up to you, and they shake your hand. The first time I mentioned that about the women, I said – I thought, This is it. They’re going to slash my tires. They’re going to recognize which car is mine, easy. And I had three or four women come up to me and say, “Thank you for your testimony.”
And I thought, Man, what a mission field! I did have a fellow last month, I gave out the Chick tract The Visitors – they can get that at chick.com. That’s for our Mormon friends. But I did have one man – he looked like a bank president. He said, “What you did was very, very uncouth. That was completely uncalled for, completely uncalled for.”
And I thought, Well, what about the people that heard it and that whose lives will be changed, who won’t be blowing their brains out because they can’t be perfect? You know, they take that verse “Be perfect as I am perfect,” and nobody’s perfect. “If any man says he is without sin, he deceives himself and the truth is not in him.”
But anyway, it’s just a tremendous opportunity for folks out there to get to their local Mormon Ward. The Testimony Service is usually always at 9:00. I did go to one Ward at 10, but usually it’s at 9. The first Sunday of every month, I go in about three or four minutes late so they don’t ask me ahead of time anything about, “Well, what are you doing here?” So it’s a surprise. But I stay until the meeting is over, and then I shake their hands, and I leave, and try to give them a tract or something.
Tom: Yeah. Well, Tim, again, you’ve just demonstrated – and you know, I’ve known you for quite a while – the Lord puts this on your heart. The Lord puts things on our hearts. It may not make sense to somebody. Like even that – the guy dressed like a banker – there was conviction there. Who knows? You planted seeds. “One man plants, another waters, God gives the increase. Neither he that plants nor he that waters is anything.” I mean, this is the work of the Lord. And you’re just being obedient.
Now, Tim, last year I was in Dubai, okay? I was just at the airport, but flying over Dubai I’m thinking, Wait a minute, this is the Las Vegas of the Islamic world, of the Arab world. You’ve got to get there, Tim. It just seems like it’s made for you. But in any case...
You know, there is one other thing, because people say, “Well, Sin City, Sin City.” You know, I’ve had guys say, “Well, you know, I couldn’t go...” Well...I can’t remember if I made this up or if it was reality, but the conversation got around to a guy called to witness to showgirls. Now, that’s not for everybody, and you wonder about that. But it is a place where you need prayer, not because of how the Muslims or whoever’s going to react to you, but it is Sin City. There are attractions there. There are things that appeal to the flesh. What about that?
Tim: Well, I have told the Lord that if I fall, I’m asking Him to kill me if I go to bed with one of these women, you know? I know that God would forgive me, but I’ll never forget what Vance Havner once said. He said, “You can have the most wonderful ministry, and you can make a mistake toward the end of your life and people will remember you for your mistake and forget everything else.”
And so I said, “Lord, please don’t let that ever happen to me.”
And if I could just say, too, one of the things that motivates me the most is something that an atheist told me. I had been witnessing to a fellow by the name of Penn Jillette. He does a program – he does a show here with Teller at the Rio. He’s been doing it for like 12 years or so. And he’s an atheist, and I’ve brought him DVDs and books, and one time I got him a Bible, and I went in with a real nice Evidence Bible, with his name on it and everything, and I got one for Teller, as well, and he’s about the same height as I am, and I went in the following week, and I said, “Penn, have you read any of that Bible I got you?”
And he turned to me, and he said, “I’ve read the Bible four times. Have you read the Bible?” Well, I’ve had a reading disability. I’ve maybe read six books in my life. I listen to the Bible every day, I try to read it as much as I can, and I don’t think I’ve ever read the Bible all the way through. This year I’m really trying. I’m trying to read it, but it’s just – it’s very difficult for me to concentrate. We used to wonder – teachers would say to me, “You’re not stupid, Tim. You need to apply yourself.” And I would be sitting in the front row and everything. But so I told him, I said, “No, I’ve had a difficult time reading.” And he just walked away.
And I went out to the car that day after seeing him, and I saw that my sister had called from Michigan. And I called her back and I told her what happened. She said, “Oh, Tim, you need to go to YouTube and type in Penn Jillette and the gift of a Bible!”
And so I did, and he was talking about a guy, and in fact he had even told me he’d – later on he told me he’d talked about it. But he said, “I’m an atheist, but I don’t have any problem with believers proselytizing, because if I really believed in heaven, and I really believed in hell, how badly would you have to hate somebody not to tell them?”
Tim: And I went in there the following week, and I said, “Penn, what you said on YouTube ought to be preached from every pulpit in the land. If we really believe in heaven, if we really believe in hell, we’re going to tell people. We’re going to tell people.”
Tom: Tim, I want to address this thing, because I know people who can’t read or do not like to read, or are unable to read and really grasp information. But, you know, I know a young man who listens to the Word of God every day, not on a program this or that, but just has recordings of the Scriptures, and he listens to them every day, and I can’t do that. I would fall asleep. I’ve got to read and be focused. But some can, because faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. So, you know, don’t back away from that. There are just...you know, I believe God will minister to that.
But the important thing is you do it every day. I’m not asking you, but I say this to our listeners all the time: it’s got to be a habit. You’ve got to get into the Word of God every day, whether it be reading it, or hearing it, whatever it might be, because there’s nothing better. It’s God’s instructions, His direct communication to us.
Tim: Absolutely, absolutely. And the Bible is the Word of God. I did an interview once with a Beverly Hills architect. He’d built homes for Elizabeth Taylor and Dean Martin, and become a born-again Christian. His name was George MacLean. I said, “George, when did you realize the Bible was the Word of God?”
He said, “I was reading Proverbs:6:6, and it said, ‘Go to the ant, thou sluggard. Consider her ways and be wise.’ And when I read that, we didn’t know the working ant was a female until the microscope was invented 200 years previous. Then I read in Genesis where it talked about Isaac being circumcised on the eighth day, and I knew that’s when we circumcise children today, on the eighth day, because the blood coagulates more and there’s more vitamin K in the blood. Then I read in Job where it talked about the orb, or the circle of the earth. When the Bible was written, the Greeks, who were supposed to be so wise, thought the world was on the back of Atlas. The Hindus thought it was on the back of elephants, on these turtles in this huge cosmic pond. Then I read in Jeremiah where it talks about the stars being without number. Well, when the Bible was written, science was saying there were 1,100 stars in the universe.” Time after time science has caught up with the Bible, and it’s just an amazing thing. You compare the Bible with the Qu’ran, it talks about the sun setting in a sea of mud – there’s no comparison. And so that’s – that’s the Book.
Tom: Tim, as an evangelist, in the best biblical sense of the Word, do you have a concern about a follow-up for new converts, given especially the poor spiritual condition of the church, the apostasy grows? So what do you say to those who have just accepted the Lord? What encouragement do you give?
Tim: What a great question, and that’s such an important question! I did an interview with a fellow, years ago, probably 1975, on KHUF in Glendale, now KKLA there in Southern California. I asked him that. He used to work with the Marines down at Camp Pendleton. They had a little coffeehouse for these guys, would give
them sodas and Gospel of Johns, and tracts, and everything. I said, “What about follow-up?”
He said, “Oh, we have the best follow-up in the world.” I said, “What is it?”
He said, “The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will follow these guys to islands we could never get to.”
And I thought, Boy, oh boy, how true. You know, you do what you can. There’s just no way I could follow up a million people, but God takes over from there, and then you just pray that the Lord will water the seeds, and the Lord will reach people, send more people into their lives, and He’ll do that. We should disciple what we can, but in situations like that, you just – you do what you can, and you just say, “Okay, Lord, you take it from here.”
Tom: Yeah, and as we just mentioned before: you don’t know whether you’re planting, or you don’t know whether you’re watering...
Tim: That’s right.
Tom: I mean, sometimes you can bring somebody to the Lord, but you’re just...you’re part of the process, the instrument, that God’s going to use. Now, Tim, how are you supported in what God has called you to do? Is there some way that our listeners can help in that? And I want you to give not only your program but how they can get more involved and get to your programs, and so forth.
Tim: Brandon, my friend Brandon, does a great job of putting the program together. They can go to jesusandtim.tk, T as in Tim, K as in Khrushchev or Katherine, or whatever. And then if they’d like to help out financially, my name is Tim Berends – it’s like “Timber” and then the word “ends.” Tim Berends, PO Box 24091, Las Vegas, NV 89101. I’m trying to help out Mike with these trips – these trips are very expensive, especially now that we’re going to these – we’ve got four more countries to go to: to Guyana, French Guyana, and Surinam, and then we’re going to Venezuela if we can get the visa. That’s the way we’re going to look at it. If the Lord allows us to get a visa, we’ll head into Venezuela and so, financially, if the folks could help out, that would be a real blessing!
Tom: Tim, all I can say is, hey, this has been payback! Okay? And I owe you, and I owe you, and I know Dave...you know, my best friend in the Lord, who is with the Lord now, would say the same thing. You’ve been an absolute blessing in our lives. And, folks, I can’t encourage you any more than what you’ve heard to really support Tim. And get out there! You heard and you know what he’s done based on this interview, so all I can say is “Be like that!” The harvest is ripe, and be one of the laborers, as Tim is, and as we try to be here at The Berean Call.
Tim, thank you so much, and God bless you, Brother!
Tim: Thank you so much, Tom. God bless you!
Gary: You’ve been listening to Search the Scriptures 24/7 featuring 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 hope you can be back again next week. Until then, we encourage you to Search the Scriptures 24/7.