Thursday, August 09, 2007

Witnessing and Open-air adventure

I just wanted to share another witnessing and open air preaching adventure that we had today on campus. A friend and I decided to go and preach the gospel in a place called Turlington plaza (We do this on Thursdays). My friend arrived to the area at 10:15am and I arrived at 10:30am. When I showed up my friend was already preaching the gospel. I saw a guy sitting down who I had wanted to witness to for a while. So I approached him asked him if he was religious and what he thought happens when people dies. He thought that there might be a heaven and a hell and he had gone to church before. I told that the standard that God has is the Ten Commandments, then I walked him through them. He was guilty, and he said that it was a hard standard to keep. He said that he would be going to hell and it kind of concerned him. I then gave him the gospel, and he was sincerely thinking about everything and asking questions about the bible. Another friend of his came over and started talking about evolution and the bible being true, but I went back to the Scriptures and talked about how the creation account contradicts evolution. They were both listening intently and asking questions. It was a good conversation. Afterwards, I encouraged the guy to think about salvation.

Then I was up to preach, and I was planning on preaching about John 6 where Jesus says that he is the bread of life. As soon as I opened my mouth a guy came up to my friend who had just got done preaching, and he was holding a sign that said " I'm with stupid." I began to interact with him, and asked him why he was hold that sign. He said he was holding it because he didn't like that he was being told that he needed to live by a book. I then asked him if he was a Christian, and he said "no" , and I asked him why. He said that there was no proof. By this point a fairly large crowd came to listen to the debate. I then took him through God's law and and preached it to the crowd as well . He kept cutting me off and we ended up debating creation, evolution, the existence of God, Christ's deity, and the validity of the bible. As we were going, his girlfriend was yelling objections, and someone behind me was urging me to prove God's existence. One of my friends also came next to me, and told the guy out loud that he would die for Jesus Christ (Wow!)! I was able to bring the debate back to the gospel twice so that it could be given to the crowd. After about 15 minutes, he left, and I articulated the gospel as quickly as I could before he left then the crowd dispersed as well. A bit later, my friend came back up to preach again, and a 16 yr old young man shared his testimony open air after him, and man, he was on fire! Afterwards, I preached another salvation message about the bread of life, and we wrapped it up. We praise God for what happened today and for having his gospel contended for and proclaimed! Our semester ends tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Open-air preaching at UF

During this six week semester, the Lord has led me to open air preach in a place where alot of students walk, hangout and table for organizations. I usually go out there with my bible, and just begin to preach! I'll meditate on a verse, and pray asking God to speak, and preach on open air on the text. This semester has been challenging yet a blessing as well. Christians have been encouraged and fired up from the preaching and it has also opened up doors for myself and others to share the gospel with unbelievers that stop.

Last Thursday, I went out to preach the gospel on campus with another brother and I used Luke 24:7 which says "The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.". I used this verse as a spring board and preached on the resurrection of Christ as fact. A few came to listen, as people were walking by during the class change. I then switched the subject and began to preach on the existence of God and alittle about evolution, then a couple of guys came to debate me about evolution. One of the guys threw out what he claimed as evidence that I had never heard before, and I have to admit I was stumped about what he was saying ( I didn't get out of the intellect, to swing to the conscience... ). Not long after our debate another Christian came to debate the topic and it turned into a discussion. After that the preaching and debate was over, I went over to talk with a brother that I had preached with that day and a someone walked up to him and asked him a very interesting question. She asked "Does the thought of there not being an afterlife ever worry you?", and he replied that he never thought of that so it didn't. She then began to walk away, so I said "excuse me, what do you think happens after people die?" We had a 20 minute conversation and I was able to share the law and gospel with her and what the Bible says about the afterlife. As I shared how Christ had transformed me I could see it in her eyes that she was soaking it in. She told me earlier that she did not believe in an afterlife and that she was not born again, but that she had a churched background. I encouraged her to think about what we had talked about, then I headed back to my dorm.

Gospel to the proud.

Just yesterday, God gave me the opportunity to witness to someone who was in my group for a project. I asked God to give me an opportunity to witness to this person, and it came up in an interesting way ( I didn't bring it up, but as God would have it, it came up.) My group member and myself were talking and I ran into a friend who is an unbeliever. Him and I talked for a bit, then he told me to have a good Fall (I am traveling with a campus preacher this Fall). This sparked conversation between my group member and I about the things of God after about 5 minutes and she told me her own world view. We went to the library and sat down because we were supposed to be working on a project, but I began to witness to her. I took her through the Law, and talked to her about righteousness and the need to be born again, because if she died then she would go to hell as punishment for her sins. After I took her through the law of God, she wasn't argumentative, but not exactly humble either.... As I was sharing the gospel with her she chuckled and said to me "you probably think that I am a jerk right now for laughing". She was displaying a type of "whatever" attitude towards the pearl of the gospel. I also shared with her my testimony and how Christ had transformed me into a new creature, but she tried to rationalize it in her mind with psychology. I wondered at that point if I should have not given her the gospel (I might not have if I had a tract on me). I'm going to try to preach the Law unsparingly to those who aren't humble, I almost felt like I was casting pearls to swine. Overall, I know that God was at work and completely set up that situation for me to witness to her. Praise to His Name!

I'll post some more encounters. This one stuck out to me.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Spirit's push.

I wanted to post a few more encounters.

Last Thursday God had been burdening my heart to share the gospel, but I was hindered by fear and it paralyzed me. That morning I handed out a few gospel tracts, but I was battling fear. Later that day after I had gotten out of class, I was heading down the street to go and get some lunch and I saw a girl sitting on a brick wall smoking and reading a newspaper. It was impressed upon my heart to give her a tract or talk to her and as I walked , I debated with myself on whether or not to witness to her and I walked right past her and clinched my fists and said "No! Lord forgive me! I thought to myself, "maybe I will have another chance to give her a tract", but when I had gotten done buying food she was gone.... After this, my heart was still burdened to share the gospel, the Spirit was pressing me. After I ate my food I went out side to study on a bench, and about 30 minutes later, a girl comes to sit down on a bench about 30 feet away from me. I then pulled out my bible and began reading it. I felt like God was burdening me again to go and talk with this person, but I was scared and fighting it! I finally put my bible back in my pocket and went to talk with her. The Spirit had to push me. I walked up to her and said "Hi, how are you?" "I'm asking an important question, can you help me out?" She replies ,"Sure depending on what it is". I then asked, "What do you think happens when people die?" She was Jewish and believed that everyone was going to heaven, but not totally sure. We had a good conversation for about 15 minutes. She heard about the Law and Christ dying on the cross for our sins to bring us to God! I was pumped!

After I talked with her I headed to go get some dinner, and I saw two guys playing on a skateboard outside of a lecture hall. I was walking and I asked the Lord if I should talk with them. So I approached them and said "Hi, are you guys preview students?" they then replied, "We're Freshman." Then I asked them what they were doing with the skateboard and they said they were practicing to use it for transportation because campus is so big. I asked them their majors and where they were from. I then said, "hey guys, I have a question for you." "If you died tonight are you 100% sure that you would go to heaven?" Both of them replied "no". I then took them through the good person test and they admitted that they would go to hell. I then asked the guys if they knew how to have their sins forgiven. One guy said no and the other said "Jesus died on the cross." I then briefly went through the gospel with them. One guy objected about hypocrites in the church and left the church at an early age, but I exhorted him to not let that keep him away from the truth. I then shared my testimony with them urged them to seek the truth. They both took tracts and had to class.

This evening I was in my dorm lounge reading a book and spending time with the Lord, and a guy and a girl walked in to make dinner. I began talking to the guy and introduced myself. We exchanged names, majors, where we were from and where we lived. Then he got up and started cooking dinner along with his friend. I asked the Lord to bring him back so I could witness to him. About 5 minutes later he came back and sat down. I said "Hey I have a question for you. What do you think happens when people die?" He then had kind of a strange look on his face, but proceeded to answer my question. He believed that a soul lives forever and when you do bad if is repaid to you in this life. I asked how he knew that to be true and where he got his information from. He said that he didn't believe in the Bible and wasn't sure if there was a god or not. I then got stuck and didn't know where to go. So I told them what the bible says about the after life, and took him through the Law. He didn't agree with hatred being murder, and lust being adultery in the heart, and said that if this is true then everyone would be going to hell. He wasn't convicted, but was proud and unbelieving. I started sharing with him evidence from the Bible, but he did even want to consider it. I urged him to look into the truth of the Bible and reasoned with him about eternity, but he wasn't concerned at all. So, I didn't share the gospel with him, but there was a gospel tract that I left on the table. Hopefully he will read it.

God has really had to push me to go lately! But I want to get to the point where I am just taking those oportunities as they come!

"Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God," 2 Timothy 1:8

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Satan's workin' overtime!

A few days ago, the Lord was tugging on my heart to share the good news of Jesus Christ, but I kept stalling and distracting myself with everyday things. That night (1/23/07) after I had dinner with my lifegroup, I told myself "Ahh whatever!! I'm going to share the gospel with the first person that I see on my way back to my dorm! So as I was walking back to my dorm from Broward dining, I saw six girls standing on the sidewalk chatting. I then walked up to them and said "Hi, are you all busy?" they replied "No we are just waiting for the snap van." Then I said "Can I ask you all a question?". They then replied "sure", so I asked "If you all died tonight, are you 100% assured that you would go to heaven?" One by one the girls said "no" "no" "no".... then I inquired why, and a few of them answered that they were going to purgatory. I then inquired further, "why is that?", and they responded, "Because we are not perfect." After the girls said this the snap van came, I handed one of them a gospel tract and they all left! That was it! I then asked the Lord to reach their hearts with the gospel ! It was an unfortunate answer I received from them because the Bible doesn't even hint at a purgatory! It doesn't exist! The blood of Christ has either fully cleansed us or it hasn't!

I thought that was an interesting account to note however, the night doesn't stop there! I then made my way back to my dorm, and I decided to go to the kitchen. I saw a guy from my floor watching T.V. so I struck up a conversation with him, then after about five minutes I said "I've been wanting to ask you an interesting question." He replied "ok", and I said "What do you think happens after someone dies?". He replied he had no idea. So I took sometime to talk about God, and creation, and the proof of the Bible. Then I began to walk him through the Ten Commandments, and he admitted that he would be guilty. Then someone else walked into the kitchen on the conversation and started talking about Jesus the Son of God! Then the guy I was talking with walked over to the stove to attend to his food. I asked the new person if she was born again, and we talked for a bit. I then finished the conversation with the guy from my floor and told him about the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made on the cross for our sins.

Afterwards, I began to walk upstairs with another guy who lived on my floor and in the hallway I asked him what he thinks happens after death. He told me that he thought heaven and we talked about how to get there, and I shared my testimony with him. He then told my that he was a Christian who was not in fellowship and that he had been kind of discouraged from going and talking about Jesus Christ because of his friends. So I tried to encourage him a bit.

There is one big thing that I noticed from witnessing that evening, mainly from the two latter conversations. I noticed that Satan is always working, he never stops. He is working to keep Christians silent and timid in witness, and he is working to keep unbelievers in the dark away from the truth. He will do what is in his power to stop us from spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, with fear, lies, temptation and etc. He doesn't want believers to be bold in the gospel, but to remain bottled up! I must confess, that these past few days I've been feeling "bottled up" myself and reluctant to share the truth with others. But my exhortation is this: Don't let Satan out work you as a a believer, he is constantly working and this is what we should be doing as well. There are many people on our college campuses who are blind from the truth of the gospel and have no clue that there is judgment coming (Hebrews 9:27) for sin and that they can pass through it by Jesus Christ. As believers, lets commit to working for the glory of God for the souls of men, by telling them the truth!