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....."