December 4, 2010
t was very nice weather conditions for the 2010 Knoxville Christmas parade. There were thousands of people for the festivities. Thank you for the prayers.(I found a free parking space!)
Prior to the parade, people were lined up all down Gay Street. I went up and down the both sides of the street handing out as many Christmas themed tracts. When I ran out of the Christmas theme tracts(estimate 90). I distributed what I had in my satchel.(estimate 100).
I had a limited time to distribute. Once the parade starts, all focus goes towards the floats. In these situations, you do not have time to go into deep conversations. It was cool, after I had stopped passing out tract, a group of young grade school kids were handing out Christmas tracts. Awesome to see the Lord send in reinforcements.
After the parade, I journeyed to Old City(bar district in downtown Knoxville). I have found a corner(Jackson and Central streets) to do open-air preaching. Across the street was an art show. People were outside smoking(Cannot smoke indoors in Tennessee). So there was a little bit of a stable congregation.
A homeless couple stand next to me and listened to the Scriptures being read. I paused for a bit to catch my breath. The man told me to keep on preaching cause they liked what they heard. So I took the gospel tract I was using for a place holder and read it to them. The tract had about 80% Scripture with the rest explaining the verses and the sinner’s prayer. I started to read John 3:16 and they quoted it from memory along with me. He asked me to pray for him and his wife. So I did.
Both of them had alcohol on their breath. I have read and listened to others about not evangelizing to people with alcohol in their system. People say it is a waste of time because they are not cognitive to their surroundings. Thankfully, I following the leading of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, cause I shared Jesus to them. If Jesus and the disciple evangelize to those demonically possessed(people with the cognitive capabilities in bondage to demonic forces. ) and get deliverance and put their faith in Jesus, then the Lord can breakthrough the most drug addicted person to receive the Gospel.
Luke 4:18-19 (English Standard Version)
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Street Evangelism is heavy spiritual warfare. I am thankful for the prayers and I can tell when someone prays for me. Prayer is a great weapon to disarm the enemy. Prayer reminds us the Lord goes before us, behind us and surrounds us. It is all the Lord in Evangelism. The Evangelist is just an instrument in Evangelism. I am thankful the Lord gives me opportunity to serve in Evangelism.
We can use all the help while in the trenches of spiritual warfare. Evangelism has many different branches. Just ask the Lord for direction in helping those sharing Jesus to the Lost. You can always start by praying.(Spiritual grenades which make the demonic forces temporarily disabled. )
To those in Knoxville, we saw how the Lord did great wonders with the Franklin Graham Crusade. Just don’t let it stop with the Crusade. We still have to follow the Great Commission until the Lord returns.
October 2, 2010
Late Friday night and Saturday night I ventured back to both Market Square and Cumberland Avenue.
Many Gospel tracts were handed out. I prayed for humbleness and boldness as I open-air preached.(In the tradition of John the Baptist, Jesus, the Disciples, John Wesley, George Whitefield, C.H. Spurgeon, etc.) I had about three unique encounters when I O.A.P.(Open air preaching). The first was with a former Catholic. He has been going to different churches in the area and has been reading on his own the Bible. I encouraged him to continue in reading the Word and to always ask God to help him understand what he is reading. I gave him the Calvary Chapel Knoxville business card if he should perchance want check CCK.
The second encounter was with a homeless man. He was asking what I was reading. I was reading Isaiah 53, the passage of the suffering servant, Jesus. He opened up his backpack pulled out his Bible and started reading the passage. I explained to him how the passage was referring to Jesus.(This passage was written over 700 years before the physical birth of Jesus. He asked me to pray for him over certain issues in his life. We prayed and parted ways.
The third encounter during an O.A.P. was on Saturday. This was the saddest encounter of the three. A drunk college age lesbian Aussie, approached me with her other drunk lesbian friends. In her drunkenness and stammering was asking if I honestly thought reading the Bible aloud in the public arena was actually doing any good. It was hard to answer her due to her drunkenness and being dragged away from me by her drunk lesbian cohorts. I could only reply I was obeying what God tells me in His Word. She said I was not doing what the Bible was saying. It is hard to reason with a drunk person, so the conversation could not go further and she walked away in her lost state. I did say a quick prayer for her that she would remember this encounter after she sobers up and seeks the Lord soon.
Open air preaching is something that cannot be done in flesh but only by the Spirit of God(Zechariah 4:6). The lost may never enter a church, so the only time they may hear the Word of God is thru open air preaching. Proclaiming the Word of God never comes back void.
Isaiah 55:11 (New King James Version)
11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
I am joyful the Lord has given me a passion to go out to Evangelize and Open Air Preach. The purpose in what I do is to truly Glorify the Lord! In all we do, it should be to give God the glory.
September 24, 2010
Thursday and Friday nights had many opportunities to pass out tracts and open-air read the Bible. God kept me going to I Corinthians 13 and I John.(Both talk about the love of God and what is true love(the love of self-sacrifice that comes from the Lord.)
At the end of Thursday night, I witnessed a very potential car wreck. One young man was speeding down the wrong way of the road and sped in the First Tennessee parking lot almost causing other wrecks. The owners of Banditios(a Mexican restaurant in the old Chili’s) came racing out to confront the young man. He was not in his car at the time when we got to his car. The other car which almost collided with the young man, pulled in the back way to confront the man. The cops were called about the incident, thank the Lord no one was injured.(A little shook up, but the girls were unharmed.) The owners of Banditios invited the girls and I inside their eating establishment for some soda, chips and salsa(Thank you Baditios!)
The Lord used the opportunity to make new friends and to be Jesus to my new friends. The Lord has greatly used the opportunities for me to be Christ-like to several of the business on Cumberland Ave. Jesus was a friend of sinners, so I guess to be like Christ, I can be friends to those I come in constant and repeatedly contact.
During a open-air reading of Scripture on Friday night,some guys were heckling clapping in my face and yelling, “Preach it!”(I guess I rather hear ‘Preach it’ than “F*** You”, which I get this more often than not in this or similar fashion.)
The Scripture declare, “There is nothing new under the sun.” It is sure true, the faces of the college students change from year to year, but the same verbal or non-verbal ques from them are the same. Some are receptive to the Gospel of Jesus, while others abandon the faith they may have had during their childhood. Scripture speaks also about how for those hearing the Gospel and rejecting it, it would have been better for them to have not heard the Gospel because now they are accountable and will suffer a greater deal of punishment for hearing and rejecting.(See the book of Hebrews concerning after “death then Judgment”(Heb. 9:27).
The countdown to the Rapture is coming and those rejecting or not receiving the Gospel message, will be left behind and suffer the consequences.
Now is the time to repent and put your faith in Jesus!
September 5, 2009
First Friday in Downtown Market Square is an event where the art and music lovers convene to display their talent. A group of us from Calvary Chapel and another brother in the Lord went on Friday evening onto Market Square and shared the Gospel message with those we met. We always start in prayer. Never go in our strength and ask God to keep us humble and to speak through us.
We encountered many people. Some were open to listen as we asked them about their spiritual background. Many gave answers such as, “Oh, I’ve been baptized,” “I’m a Catholic/Baptist/Methodist/etc,” “I consider myself a spiritual person.” Yet, being baptized or stating your denomination doesn’t grant you access to Heaven.
The use of different gospel tracts(the good person test, million dollar bill, leaflets, etc) helped open up the conversations into allowing the person to divulge the spiritual or lack thereof background. Many enjoyed the tracts which had a humorous overtones.(The Michael Jackson Million Dollar bill) Breaking the ice with people can disarm any anxiety between the evangelist and the man/woman encountered.
Some of the people we encountered had some Christian background and some had other religious background. The more we found out about an individual, the better we were able to present the Gospel in a way the person could understand.
One lady did call one of the guys ignorant and how we were accosting people out enjoying the evening on the town. This lady did believe it was alright for other people on Market Square to handout other items(business advertisements, food samples, etc), but Christians should not be able to do the same. I guess in her mindset the first amendment to the Constitution does not and should not apply to Christian evangelists.
A group of young people told us the attended Faith Promise. Faith Promise is a Christian Church in Knoxville, TN. They told us they, as individuals, do not believe in sharing their faith in Jesus. They said if people want to hear the Gospel the just need to come to church. Here is the problem with this mindset: In the Bible we see the prophets in the Old Testament openly preached, Jesus openly preached to the crowds, and in the book of Acts the disciples preached to the public. There is an Americanized mindset, which is not biblical, in which the Christian faith should only take place on Sunday morning service by a licensed pastor. Many will not set foot in a church. So in obedience to the Great Commission, We”Go in ALL the World” to preach the Gospel. In other words, God wants us to take the Good News to the public.
We encountered a group of New Age Wicca musicians and dancers. One of the dancers told Pastor Brian she did not like what we were doing and being so narrow minded. The more the drums were beating and the more she danced, the more she was allowing demonic activity to take over her mind and body.
A very upset college-age lady after taking a million dollar bill walked all the way back from Gay Street to Market Square to give us back the bill. She did not like the Gospel message on the tract.
As the night was drawing to a close, we closed in prayer. During the prayer we were interrupted by someone watching us. We asked if they wanted to join us. We asked her and her friends questions, they divulged they were Jehovah Witnesses. Pastor Brian and Tim Weakley were the main speakers while the women would bring up the issues they did and did not believe about God. We avoided getting into a shouting match or going to their level of arrogance. This was a first time during the night, God brought them to us instead of us going to a person or group. We ended on polite terms and did not back down from our beliefs. We gave them props for their cult being so committed to evangelizing their beliefs and how we wished more from our Christian faith would do the same.
We went back to praying without being interrupted and prayed specifically for these women and especially for those which rejected the opportunity to repent of their sins and come to faith in Jesus. It is sad when many in an area known as the “Bible Belt” people trust in their good works, rituals, and attending church on Sunday or a Saturday Mass, as getting into Heaven. They believe in buying off God through these means to get them Heavenly access. This is a slap in the face to God. He sent his only Son, Jesus, to be beaten and killed for the salvation of world. Yet, people would rather trust in their self-righteous religiosity than repent of their sins and put their faith in Jesus.
Isaiah 64:6 (New Living Translation)
6 We are all infected and impure with sin.
When we display our righteous deeds,
they are nothing but filthy rags.
Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall,
and our sins sweep us away like the wind.
I do not go out street preaching to toot off my horn. I honestly want to see many people coming to repentance and faith in Jesus. I know where I have came from and where God had brought me. It would be selfish to keep Jesus to myself. So, I want to share Jesus with as many people. If I am going to spend eternity in Heaven, I want to be able to interact with as many people in Heaven. I love Jesus and I love people. So to really love people, I need to tell them the truth about what occurs in this life, determines what happens after this life ends.