Saturday, June 21, 2008

"You shouldn't be yelling at people!"

I arrived home tonight from an eventful evening of evangelism in Southlake, TX with the evangelism team from my church.

A dear brother, Dietrich (left), open air preached for the very first time! He said he had been praying about it and wanted to. It was wonderful. He gave away a few dollar bills and asked trivia questions. The crowd quickly grew. After the trivia, he asked if anyone thought that they were a good person and one young man boldly said, "I am!"

"What's you name?" Dietrich asked. "Cole." He responded as he stood about five feet in front of Dietrich. "Have you ever told a lie Cole?" "Yes." Cole responded. "What do you call someone who tells lies?" Then the crowd yelled out "A Liar!" I could hear someone from the crowd say, "A big fat liar!" Cole nodded and agreed with the crowd.
"Have you ever used God's name in vain?" "Yep!" He responded. "Now Cole, that's very very serious... the bible says that God will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain." Dietrich explained with conviction and compassion.

He continued to take Cole through the 10 Commandments so that Cole could judge himself according to God's holy standards of righteousness to see if he truly was a "good person" in God's sight. Sorely Cole failed the good person test. He had broken all the Commandments Dietrich asked him about.

Then Dietrich gave him the wonderful news of how he could escape God's wrath. While the crowd listened, he explained to Cole that Christ lived a holy life and died on the cross so that he could be forgiven for breaking God's holy law and that what he needed to do to be forgiven was to repent (turn from his sins) and trust Christ as his Savior.
Then another brother, Brandon (right), who has been visiting from California, open air preached after Dietrich. Brandon's family of 5 watched as he got on the box and spoke with a young girl who was dressed immodestly. It was another great open air time as all of her friends heard the Gospel as they watched in the background.
While Brandon was on the box Dietrich was talking to Cole over in the corner. The two of them were really connecting. It appeared as if the young man was touched by the Gospel message.

We decided to move locations. Brandon grabbed the box and we moved our group a bit south near a local Starbucks. Not many people were around but Brandon preached on the corner anyway. He was loud enough that some of the young people standing near Starbucks could hear him from across the street where two teenage girls were upset. So Javier (another brother from Sovereign Joy) began talking with the two girls. One girl in particular was extremely mad.

"I'm a Christian and a missionary and you shouldn't be yelling at people!" She said to Javier as while yelling at him and inching closer to his face. "You shouldn't be telling them that they will go to Hell! Jesus would have never done that! You shouldn't be condemning them" She added. "You know what...we've got to love them and show them by our actions that we are Christians...yelling like that isn't going to do anything." She said.

Javier patiently explained what Brandon was doing...but the young girl hardly let him get a word in edgewise. Oddly enough she reminded me of ME before I heard "Hells Best Kept Secret" and before I began deeply studying the Word of God. She had a lot of zeal but without knowledge and couldn't tell us why open air preaching was wrong from a biblical standpoint. "We aren't condemning them...they already stand condemned before a Holy God...Brandon's simply explaining the words of the Bible and how they can be forgiven." Javier explained.

Sadly, today, young men and women like these are the product of their seeker sensitive churches that have diluted the message of the gospel to the point were it's almost unrecognizable. The truth is that Jesus' message was clear, "Repent or you will perish" (Luke 13.3). The worst part of all of this is that should this young lady have met Jesus in the first century, she probably would have disagreed with His style of preaching as well. It is important for us to preach the pure gospel even if it offends--because it will (2 Corinthians 2:16). Think about it like this, Jesus was perfect and they still killed him!

I thank everyone who has come out to evangelize week after week and to those who have joined us for a brief season--thank you! I am grateful for your lives and it brings me great joy to serve the long alongside of you. Thank you for serving Christ in such an honorable way and for representing him well.

Special thanks to The Way of the Master Radio gang and Todd Friel for the wonderful plugs on the air week after week. If it wasn't for the radio program men like Dennis (who helps to oversee Sovereign Joy's evangelism team) Dietrich, and Javier plus many others who aren't named or photographed wouldn't be apart of this evangelism team or Sovereign Joy.

If you have never heard "Hell's Best Kept Secret" please take the a moment to listen to Ray Comfort make the case for using the "Law of God" (The Ten Commandments) as part of Biblical evangelism. Many years ago, this single message changed my life forever and how I share my faith today. Listen Here: Hell's Best Kept Secret, Ray Comfort


LivingForHim said...

Great post! Loved it!!! said...

I so agree that telling others about Jesus means much more than just "living it." WORDS ARE NECESSARY! How can they hear without a preacher? No one can hear that Jesus satisfied the wrath of God by only watching my "good lifestyle."

I'll be praying for both the girls you mentioned!

Fish with Trish said...

As Emilio and I drove home that night, my heart was really broken for them. They completely rejected any form of biblical support that was given. Thanks for praying Katie--I value your prayers!

Javier said...

Hey Trish, I posted some stuff about Saturday here too:

If you wanna read. God bless! said...

I kept thinking about your post, and I ended up making a whole post about it over on my blog.

It reminded me of when Paul said, "We are treated as imposters." Here you were, preaching the true gospel in genuine obedience to God, and being treated like an imposter to Christianity for it!

Fish with Trish said...

Thanks Javier and Katie!