'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full"

Luke 14:23

Monday, February 22, 2010

Market and Powell 2-21-10

Winter is rainy season in Northern California and thus many days are technically 'out of season' for preaching the gospel on the streets. But Paul commanded Timothy to be ready to preach the gospel both, "in season and out of season" (2 Timothy 4:2). Oh how foolish of me to have even toyed with the idea of staying home because of the rain!

That was the first lesson I learned this week - that this is a rain or shine ministry! Rain it did and at times very hard but there were still hundreds of people on the streets and it was two glorious hours of preaching the gospel to the lost of San Francisco.

About 15 minutes into my preaching two police officers came over to me and said that they had received a noise complaint from one of the businesses. I said, "OK, so what does that mean?" The officer told me that if they called again and filed a complaint they he would cite me and I would have to appear in court before a judge.

Needless to say I was taken back. I stood on my chair for a couple of minutes and prayed and then I started preaching again. I told the crowd, "The police told me that if they got another complaint then they would cite me and that I would have to go to court; but your souls are more important to me than an appearance in court so I will continue to preach to you until they take me away." They never came back.

I felt great freedom and boldness for the entire 2 hours. Oh how glorious it is to preach Jesus Christ crucified to the masses! When it would start raining hard I would say, "See, the Bible is true for Scripture says that God causes the rain to fall on the just and unjust alike and here it is raining on the wickedest city in the world!"

I do call people wicked - not to simply insult them, but so I can hold forth a Savior to them - one that they will hopefully see a need for. I tell them that they are vile sinners and when they scoff I soberly remind them that if I could project the thoughts they have toyed with just over the last 24 hours on one of these buildings surrounding them for all to see then they would run in shame; then I ask them, "What will then it be like when you appear before an infinitely holy God, when He sifts out your heart before His judgment seat?" Flee from the wrath - run to Jesus!!

There was much opposition today. For example, a huge homeless (?) man stood before me and stared in my eyes; he was breathing fire and we were almost nose to nose. People looked on with great interest wondering if they were going to witness a real-life murder. He clearly could have snapped me in half like a twig. The Lord gave me great boldness and I continued to preach to the people right over his head (he was almost as tall as me and I was standing on a chair). He finally got frustrated and moved across the plaza and started shouted contradictions to everything I said with a plethora of profanities. After 5 minutes he gave up and I had the plaza all to myself again.

When it came time to end I stepped off my chair and walked over to the hundred or so people waiting to catch the trolley who were listening to me preach. I said to them, "Thank you for listening, the next time I see you will be at the Judgement, turn from your sin, flee to Christ, run to the Lamb....."

Monday, February 8, 2010

Market and Powell (2-8-10)

Beyond question – that hardest part about street preaching is the several minutes before you actually open your mouth. You wonder where God is, where your boldness is, where your love for sinners is. You wonder why you are there – what compelled you to go in the first place. You look out upon hundreds of people – realizing full well that what you are about to say will anger many if not all of them.

Hell is angry. The devil – self deceived as he is – still believes that he has a claim to the very piece of real estate on which you stand. Moreover, your prideful flesh is revolting and reminds you second by second that not only are you about to be made a fool of but that you are breaking fallen Adam’s first commandment: “Self-preservation is the only way to salvation.” Without doubt these are some of the loneliest and most confused moments a Christian can endure.

The cure for all of this is not more prayer or a frantic call home but rather to simply begin lifting up the name of Jesus – a thousand things get set right in just those first few seconds of proclaiming the King.

The fact that I was strengthened to preach for nearly 2 hours was a divine intervention in itself. I have been sick with a horrible bout of the flu. I thought for sure that my 12 hours sleep the night before would send it away for good but when I woke I felt like a truck had run me down. If it was not for my dear brother Todd going with me I most likely would have stayed home. The Lord continually revived me during that time and I consider it somewhat of a miracle.

Several wonderful things transpired today. First of all I realized that my preaching becomes strongest and boldest when I am being heckled and ridiculed. One young man walked over to me and said, "You are insane. Jesus is dead, he has been in the grave for 2000 thousand years." Oh what a boon this was to my preaching. Jesus – dead! Hah! For the next 15 minutes I preached almost nothing but His resurrection.

The Muslim man that confronted me a couple weeks ago was back. This again gave me special boldness to proclaim Jesus’ superiority over Muhammad. The founder of Islam never healed anyone, he never forgave his enemies, he never rose from the dead – Jesus did all these things and it is a privilege to declare this among the masses.

Like a couple weeks ago – many people stopped and pondered the message. Many people also stopped to video tape me – as a circus clown undoubtedly – but who knows where those video tapes will end up.

Todd was a great help to me – please pray that the Lord would raise up many men like him to help me in this ministry. Pray for those several thousand that heard the word today; that would come to our glorious Savior!!