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.