For many years, the newsletters for Open Air Outreach were only published through email. Those newsletters were not posted online. We are now in the process of archiving these old newsletters online so that they are available to the body of Christ at large to read and be encouraged and edified by them.
The contents from this post was an email newsletter sent out on 11/11/2009
3 Sinners Repent – 1 Preacher Arrested!
Nov 11, 2009
This newsletter has no copy-right.
Feel free to share it by forwarding it on or by printing it off.
WE THANK GOD FOR ALL YOUR PRAYERS AND SUPPORT
“Just wanted to say well done for taking the word of God to people at all these colleges. I was an international student at Texas Tech a few years back and got to see you preach on one occasion, I’m just sorry people find the need to abuse you verbally and even physically, makes me feel bad and I’m sure God is looking down well on you for standing up for him, it shows courage to confront all those people and I just wanted to say you are doing a good job and to keep up the good work.”
– From England
UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA, KEARNEY
This was both a new campus and a new State for me. I praise God that he is opening up more doors which enables us to take the Gospel to new places. On this particular campus we were able to find a very nice hill to preach from. This was an ideal location because it was right near the student union building, it provided us with elevation so we can easily address the whole crowd, and it helped to keep the crowd back so that they did not close in on us. This location also gave us very good acoustics so that we can be clearly heard from all of the surrounding area.
THE POLICE ABUSE THEIR AUTHORITY
It was shortly after we started preaching and drew a crowd that the Police arrived on the scene. After realizing that they could not get us to leave, they decided to try to get the crowd to leave. One of the Officers started walking around to the groups that were listening and telling them to leave. Some of the groups actually listened to him! I began to preach against him. “Don’t listen to that Officer. He can’t make you leave. He is helping you to hell!” The crowd seemed shocked that I would publicly preach against the Police Officer who was standing right there. But this helped to keep the attention of the crowd so that the Officer was not successful in diminishing the crowd.
DID JESUS GIVE US A LICENSE TO SIN?
Many of those on campus were claiming to be Christians. But their form of Christianity was compromised and corrupt. One individual told me, “Jesus died for my sins, so I can live however I want!” The Bible explicitly says that the blood of Jesus does not cover us if we continue to willfully sin. The blood of Jesus covers us if we forsake our sins. Jesus did not die to give us a license to sin. If Jesus gave us a license to sin, then Jesus is the friend of the devil and the enemy of God! But this is unthinkable! Anyone who simply studies the teachings of Jesus can clearly see that He was against sin! It is unthinkable that Jesus provided an atonement so that we can be forgiven while we continue to sin. Jesus Christ provided an atonement so that we can be forgiven when we forsake our sins!
IS A BELIEVER STILL SAVED IF THEY COMMIT MURDER?
The professing Christians on the campus particularly objected to our message of repentance and holiness. They defending sin by saying that no man can stop sinning. This lead them to believe that a person is saved while they are still sinning. They believed that there was no sin that could cause a believer to lose his salvation. I asked them if a believer committed adultery and murder, like King David did, would they perish if they did not repent? They actually said that a believer is still saved while they are committing adultery and murder! It seemed to me that the so called Christianity that this campus was used to was anything but real Biblical Christianity.
“YOU ARE INSULTING US”
The abbreviation of the University of Nebraska, Kearney is “UNK”. Many of the students proudly proclaimed, in multiple instances, that “You can’t spell DRUNK without UNK”. Apparently this campus was known for being a party school. We publicly confronted and boldly condemned the sins of the campus, calling them to repent for the remission of sins. Some of the students said, “You are insulting us”. I said, “I am telling you the truth about your character. If telling you the truth about your character is insulting to you, change your character!”
MOST HATED PERSON ON CAMPUS
One of the students said to me, “Do you realize that you are the most hated person on campus right now?” I responded, “No I am not, Jesus is!” The students do not know me enough personally to personally hate me. They hate me for preaching what Jesus preached. Jesus told us that since the world hated him, the world would hate us. And Jesus said that the world hated him for telling them that their works were evil. Many of the students flatter themselves and say, “I don’t hate God” or “I don’t hate Jesus”. But if a person loves God, they would keep His commandments. Anyone who loves sin must hate God, because if you love what is evil you will hate what is righteous. I told the crowd that even while they might hate me, I love them. I love them enough to warn them about hell, to warn them about sin, and to call them to Jesus, despite all of their mocking and ridicule.
“YOU HAVE A DEMON!”
As I preached against sin, calling the sinners to repentance and to put their faith in Jesus Christ, somebody in the crowd shouted out “You have a demon!” This was a first for me. But it reminded me of what they said about John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. When a man is truly full of the Holy Ghost, a sinful world will accuse him of having a demon. When men are in sin, and the devil comforts them, they think it is the Holy Ghost. And when men are in sin, and the Holy Ghost convicts them, they think it is the devil.
HASTINGS COLLEGE, NEBRASKA
This particular campus was actually a private Presbyterian School. But right in front of their student union building is a public street with a public sidewalk. A few years ago my friend tried to preach from that sidewalk but was told by the Police that it was owned by the campus. That was a mistake that cost them financially through a lawsuit my friend filed. Now men can preach from that public sidewalk without being threatened by the Police.
CHRISTIAN IN NAME, NOT CHRISTIAN IN PRACTICE
While this was supposed to be a Christian College, and many of the students claimed to be Christians, the reactions and behaviors which I saw during the preaching was no different than what I see on secular campuses from professing pagans. These students were defending homosexuality, abortion, fornication, drugs, filthy music, etc. The name “Christian” doesn’t mean much today. Interestingly enough, they said that they were Christians while they were defending their sin, but they said that we were not Christians because we were condemning their sin.
OPPOSITION FROM THE ADMINISTRATION
The supposed Christian administration of this supposed Christian College actually told the students not to listen to us preach. One of the administrators was out there telling the students to leave. I rebuked her for helping these students go to hell. Why should anyone be told not to hear the Gospel? The administration will never tell the students not to listen to MTV, but they will tell them not to listen to Gospel preachers! This is very sad.
During one of our days at the campus, many of the girls were walking around in very strange, weird, and silly outfits. I asked one of the girls, “Why are you girls dressed like that”. They said, “We have to dress stupid to join the sorority clubs.” I said, “You’re telling me that you have to be stupid to join a sorority?” That got some laughs. It does amaze me how many are willing to publicly make themselves fools in order to join these boys and girls clubs, but so few are willing to publicly be fools for Christ. Is Christ not more valuable than a little club?
PEACE, PEACE WHEN THERE IS NO PEACE
The crowds that gathered were hostile. They viciously opposed the preaching of repentance and God’s call to holiness. I can honestly say that the crowd was made up of sin loving God haters. But while we were preaching, and older man who is apparently an alumni from the College and is now a Pastor of a Church, stood in front of the crowd and started flattering them with compliments. One phrase I remember was, “You are the head and not the tail” which is a common T. D. Jakes line, and also a quote from the Bible. I thought to myself, “This is a crowd of hostile sinners that are defending sin and are attacking the ways of the Lord. Why is this Pastor talking to them as if they were not only alright with God, but as if God was pleased with them?” It reminded me of the false prophets in the Old Testament who told Israel that they were alright with God, and even pleasing to God, when in fact God’s wrath was coming upon them. Yet when the true prophets called Israel to repentance and warned them about God’s judgment, they were accused of being false prophets. Of course when the Pastor finished his little sermon, the crowd erupted in applause and cheers. I was reminded of what Jesus said. Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did they of the false prophets before you.
RESISTING THE LOVE OF GOD
Since the topics of our preaching included man’s sin and God’s wrath, and we did not preach exclusively on God’s love and mercy, we were accused of not being loving and not showing the love of God. I said, “If I didn’t love you guys, I wouldn’t be out here at all. If I didn’t love you guys, I wouldn’t be telling you about the consequences of sin and the dangers of hell. Jesus said that as many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore we have been showing you the love of God today, but many of you have been resisting and rejecting God’s love because you will not heed our rebuke and warning.
YOU KNOW YOU ARE EFFECTIVE WHEN….
During one of our outreaches to this campus it began to rain. At the prime during that day our crowd was around 70 people. But by the time it started raining the crowd was around 30 people. I was the only one who seemed to have been prepared for the rain because I brought an umbrella. Nevertheless, the crowd stayed in the rain for a couple hours to discuss the Bible with us! At certain times it was pouring rain very hard, yet the people stayed. Though they were not all receptive to what we were saying, but were still hostile and opposed themselves, they stayed in the rain for hours nonetheless to talk with us about Jesus Christ. When you can get those who are very hostile to true Christianity to stay in the rain and talk with you about the Bible, you know you are being effective.
A STRIP CLUB, NEBRASKA
When we were preaching on the University of Nebraska campus a sinner asked me, “If I invited you to come to a Frat party tonight, would you come and preach to everybody?” I said, “I can’t go to a Frat party tonight because I’m already going to the strip club.” And that is what we did. With our Bibles and some Gospel banners we went to the strip club that was on the outskirts of town to call sinners to repentance. We were able to preach to waitresses and strippers as they walked from their car to the club. We also were able to preach to the patrons as they made their way into the den of iniquity. One man stayed outside and listened to the preaching, heckled us, and asked us questions the entire time we were there! That is pretty good considering the fact that we were competing with strippers! Amazingly, some of the men objected to us using the word “whore”. Apparently you can’t even call a whore a whore anymore. One man in particular said that his girlfriend was in their and threatened to beat us up if we called her a whore! I thought to myself, “If he really cares about her, why doesn’t he care that she is a stripper!”
UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, IOWA CITY
This is a campus that hears preachers at least once a year. There is a grassy lawn area on campus known as the “Pentacrest” which is known for being the preaching spot. But when I walked around campus to check out the area, the lawn area didn’t seem to have much student traffic. There was a brick sidewalk on a different location on campus that did seem to get a great deal of traffic during the class change. I decided that was where we were going to preach. The buildings in the area gave good acoustics and there was even a wall for me to stand on while speaking.
I had heard that this area had a very large homosexual population and that the University especially did. It was not long after being on campus that we encountered some unashamed homosexuals. After being on campus with a Gospel banner, before we really got into the open air preaching, there was a homosexual couple that stopped right in front of us to make out. That shows you the unashamed and blatant sinfulness of this campus.
After we started preaching and drew a crowd, a man in the crowd opposed me and claimed to be a Christian. I decided to put him to the test. Before the whole crowd I asked him, “Is homosexuality a sin?” He said, “I have friends that are homosexuals.” I quickly responded, “But God doesn’t!” While it is common to hear people say that “God is the friend of sinners” that is simply not the case. A sinner is the enemy of God. A sinner is at war with God. A sinner is under the anger and wrath of God. It amazes me that professing Christians will proudly proclaim that they have homosexual friends, when this is a claim that God Himself cannot make. But if this man was truly the friend of homosexuals, he would have publicly proclaimed that it was a sin, that it leads to hell, and that it needs to be repented of.
WHY SINNER’S GET ANGRY
It is very common for us to deal with angry crowds because we are publicly exposing and condemning their sin. We believe that it is necessary to expose and condemn their sin, so that they see their need for God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ. When you call someone out on their sin, they have the opportunity of receiving it or of trying to justify themselves. As we were preaching and sinners were getting angry, one of the students whom I did not know rebuked the crowd and said “the reason you get angry is because you want to justify yourself”. That was a good point. Men want to think of themselves in the best light possible. Whenever any evidence is brought before their mind, which does not put them in the best light, they get angry because they want to be justified in the way that they live their lives. But it is through the disturbing and painful process of the self-awareness of our sinfulness that we are brought to true repentance and conversion to Christ.
SINCE JESUS DIED, LET’S KEEP SINNING
One student asked me, “But didn’t Jesus die for our sins?” I said, “Yes he did.” He said, “Well, if Jesus died for our sins, why can’t we keep sinning?” The problem was that he was taught a faulty atonement view. He thinks that he can keep racking up a debt and Jesus will keep paying the bill. If this were true, there would be no need for repentance at all. I explained to the crowd that atonement was a substitute for our penalty, so that the remission of our penalty was possible. But God does not actually repent the penalty for our sins until we forsake our sins. Salvation became available at Calvary but salvation does not become actually until conversion. God will not turn from His wrath until sinners turn from their sins. Again, Jesus didn’t die to give us a license to sin. Jesus didn’t die so we can have the mercy of God while we continue in our sins. Jesus died so that we could be pardoned by God, if and when we give up our rebellion against Him. While the atonement is one condition of God’s mercy, repentance and faith are also conditions. Until the conditions of God’s mercy are met, which are repentance, atonement, and faith, God does not grant His mercy to any sinner.
REACHING MY TARGET AUDIENCE
I regularly hear from students this question, “Why are you hear? Nobody agrees with you? Everyone is mocking you.” My response is, “You guys are my target audience. If I wanted to preach to those who agreed with me, I would have gone to Church. But I came here to preach because I know that there are people here who disagree with me. Those who disagree with me are my target audience. I want to persuade the minds who are in opposition. I want to hear the objections that you have against Christianity so that I can address them. Because you guys have been opposing me and disagreeing with me all day, you have encouraged me to stay all week! There is obviously a need on this campus.”
THE PUBLIC TRIAL OF JUDGMENT DAY
During the open air meeting, a student asked me why there was going to be a Judgment Day at all. Why doesn’t God just send the wicked to hell, and let the righteous into Heaven, without a Judgment Day? Since God already knows what our sins are, and we already know what our sins are, what is the need for the Day of Judgment? I explained that God is the Ruler of the entire universe. The authority and influence of His Rule depends upon the impression that His subjects have of His justice and goodness. If God sent criminals to eternal prison, without a public trial, without publicly brining before the entire universe the evidence of the crimes which have been committed, His universe could question the goodness and justice of souls being damned. But when this public trial reveals all the evidence of their crimes, God will be seen as completely justified in eternally condemning them. His righteous universe will reflect upon the goodness of God, that He is protecting them from such wicked and selfish souls. Without a public trial, His justice and goodness could be questioned. But through a public trial, His justice and goodness will be clearly seen.
FIRST TIME OPEN AIR PREACHING
My friend and host, Darin, came out with me all week to campus. He open air preached for the first time during our first outreach on campus. He took over the crowd and ministered for about thirty minutes. When I first started open air preaching, it was hard to preach for ten minutes. Preaching for thirty minutes you first time is very good! So far on this tour we have seen three people open air preach for the first time in their lives. I pray that God will continue to send forth laborers into the harvest field!
Darin’s Pastor also came out with us. He allowed us to park our 5th wheel trailer at his church during our time there. He used to do a lot of open air preaching on campus back in the 80’s. He also started doing some open air preaching again while we were there! It is always encouraging when I see Pastors involved in evangelism, because they are the leaders of their flock. The best way to get a Church involved in evangelism is to get their Pastor involved in evangelism.
FOLLOWERS OF JOSEPH SMITH
As I was preaching to the crowd I saw two “elder” Mormon missionaries walking our way. I thought that they might be up for a discussion so I began to preach, “Only Jesus Christ can save your soul. Not Mohammed, not Buddha, not JOSEPH SMITH! Only Jesus Christ.” That got their attention enough for them to stop and listen to me, but they did not engage me in any dialog. They did however give their camera phone to a student in the crowd and that student asked me, “What do you think about Mormonism” as he filmed my answer for them. I rebuked Mormonism. I said that they were not real Christians, they were make believers. They follow a false Jesus, who is the brother of Satan. They believe their underwear is holy. They expect to have celestial sex for all of eternity, to populate the planets that they will be gods over, so long as they are good Mormons in this life. They believe that God used to be a man, who was promoted to Godhood because he was a good Mormon. And the true Mormons practice polygamy. The Mormons did not respond, but they did laugh and was grateful to the student who filmed it for them. I thought to myself, “This is great. They asked me what I thought about Mormonism. I gave it a good rebuke. They filmed it. And now they will probably show it to their Mormon friends!”
THE FRIENDS OF JUDGMENT
My sandwich board says, “Warning” and then lists different names of different sinners and ends with “Judgment Is Coming!” One student, trying to be funny, said “When Judgment arrives, will he bring his friends with him?” I paused, thought about it, and said, “Yes. Death and Hell will be accompanying Judgment. When there is judgment for sin, there is death and hell.”
QUESTIONS THAT CANNOT BE ANSWERED
After the preaching one day I was able to talk in length to one student one on one. After discussing the question of God’s existence and other issues, he said, “But there are just so many unanswered questions that I have about God.” I said, “That is precisely what you would expect from an infinite God. You would expect that there would be questions which you cannot answer.” He seemed satisfied with that answer.
He also questioned the motives of those who wrote the Scriptures. It is very common for College students to tell me that the Bible was written by power hunger politicians who wanted to find a way to control the masses using fear. That shows the biblical and historical ignorance that many of these students have fallen into. I explained how the prophets in the Old Testament who typically hated and often times kills. Jesus Himself was hated and killed. And the Apostles severely suffered and lost their life for their testimony. These were the men who wrote the Bible and their testimonies put them at odds with their family, with the religious world, and with the governments they were under. It is being historically and intellectually dishonest and illogical to say that these men just made up the Scriptures because they were seeking political power and wanted to control the masses using fear. The truth is that they had radical experiences with God, God gave them a message, and they faithfully proclaimed it to the masses who persecuted them for it. If they were seeking fame, fortune, or power, they would have abandoned Christianity as soon as Christ died. It can only be rationally concluded that they were honest, sincere, or genuine, and that their testimonies are credible.
UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY
I was very excited to arrive in Kentucky because there was a new sandwich board and some boxes of new tracts waiting for me. The new sandwich board reads, “God Punishes Sinners With Hell Fire”, “Jesus Died For Hell Deserving Sinners”, “Repent Sinners Go And Sin No More” and “Stop Sinning Jesus Said Be Perfect”. The new tracts are called “THE TRUTH about God’s moral government and you” and explains how all men have chosen to be sinners, our punishment is eternal hell, the atonement substitutes our penalty so that our penalty can be remitted, and how God will turn from His wrath if we turn from our sins.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO FOLLOW JESUS
It seems everywhere we go we run into Calvinism or its influence. Many in the crowd confessed to being Christians, but our greatest opposition came from those claiming to be Calvinists. We were preaching that we should turn from our sins and trust in Christ and that Jesus Christ, who did not sin, is our example to follow. One of the so called Christians said, “You can’t follow Christ” because he realized that following Christ meant you give up your sins and he didn’t believe it was possible to forsake all your sins. What a terrible theology it is that makes following Christ impossible and forsaking your sins unnecessary. If it is impossible to live without sinning, then Jesus isn’t really our example and we really can’t follow Him. A Christian is someone who follows the example of Christ. The idea that we can’t live without sinning would destroy Christianity itself!
FALSE ACCUSATIONS “YOU’RE A PHARISEE”
Whenever a person preaches a message of total repentance and radical holiness, they will be accused by the compromised Church of being a “Pharisee”. While we were preaching, we were told that Jesus Christ rebuked people like us, because we were telling sinners to give up their sins and that is what the Pharisees did. People seem to think that Jesus rebuked the Pharisees because they were obeying God and keeping His commandments. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus did not rebuke the Pharisees for being holy, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for being hypocrites. They looked righteous on the outside, but on the inside they were wicked. To call someone a Pharisee because they are living victorious over sin, and are calling others to repent of their sins, is to greatly distort the real situation that was going on with the Pharisees in Jesus’ day.
One of the problems with the Pharisees was that they taught the commandments of men as if they were the commandments of God. On this campus we encountered some real life Pharisees. Those who didn’t believe that it was possible to live free from sin had such a standard of what sin was, that it was impossible to live without it! I talking to one man and explained how temptation is not sin. Sin is the choice to obey temptation. He said, “No. Temptation is a sin.” If temptation is a sin, then of course nobody can avoid sin, not even Jesus Christ! The Bible says Jesus Christ was tempted in all points like we are, yet without sin. Therefore temptation is not a sin!
These Pharisees on campus even said that “natural attraction is a sin”. I argued that natural attraction is not a sin, but is a good thing that was given to us by God. It is not a sin to be attracted to another individual, but it is a sin to intentionally lust or to act on that attraction unlawfully. Temptation is the proposition presented to the mind to gratify a natural desire in a forbidden, unnatural, and unlawful way. Sin is the choice to actually gratify that natural desire in a forbidden, unnatural, and unlawful way. We have the free will choice to gratify our flesh lawfully or unlawfully. No man can escape temptation in this life. But we never have to choose to sin in this life. We can live holy lives that are pleasing and glorifying to God.
CAN STRIPPERS BE CHRISTIANS?
The students on this campus seemed to only have exposure to a very compromised form of “Christianity” so called. We were told that you do not need to forsake your sins to get saved, that you can continue in sin and still be saved, and that you can even be an adult xxx stripper and still be a Christian! But these same people accused us of not being Christians because we were calling sinners to repentance and warning them about the wrath that is to come! According to this, you can be a Christian and live in blatant open sin, but you cannot be a Christian if you are calling sinners to repentance. In this view, John the Baptist was not a Christian because he called sinners to repentance, but King Herod might have been even though he was sleeping with his brother’s wife! We are living in a truly apostate age.
THEY STAYED IN THE RAIN
Though many in the crowd was very hostile to our message, when it started to rain they stayed! Whenever this happens I think to myself, “This ministry is truly effect. Not only do we get college students to talk about the bible for hours (something very hard to do), but even when it starts pouring rain they will still stay and talk for hours!”
I said to the crowd, “Save yourselves!” One of the Calvinist Christians said, “You can’t!” I said, “I was quoting a Bible verse!” If a person’s theology is contradicted by merely quoting a Bible verse, they really need to change their theology!
I was very pleased to be able to preach repentance for the remission of sins on this campus, warning sinners about the Judgment that is to come, and how God can have mercy upon them through the atonement of Jesus Christ if they simply give up their sins. This campus seemed to have heard a false Gospel, one where God forgives you without repentance and does not condemn you if you sin. It was good for this campus to be exposed to the real Christian message since they were used to “compromised Christianity”.
GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY
In the past this campus has not allowed open air preachers on to their premises. This year we faxed the University a letter explaining what our legal rights where and how we were planning on preaching on campus. The administration allowed us to preach on this campus without any legal problems.
THE VOICE OF OPPOSITION
I was preaching hot and strong. “God is angry with the wicked every day. The wicked will be cast into hell. God is calling all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day when he will judge the world in righteousness!” Whenever the seed of the Word is sown, the devil comes to sow tares amongst the wheat. One person stood up and told the crowd, “God is love! Everybody sins!.. Be a Jew, be a Muslim, it doesn’t matter!” It is a very common idea that because God is love we can sin and live however we want to live. But if God allowed us to sin and do whatever we wanted to do, He would not be loving. A loving God would give us a law for our well-being. And a loving God would enforce and maintain His law by executing penalties upon transgressors. It does matter to God how we live, because God is love and wants the best for His entire universe.
THE UNIVERSITY WAS CLOSED MINDED &
THE HOMOSEXUALS WERE INTOLERANT
The opposition on this campus was tremendous. This might be because the students are not used to getting preachers come through since the administration previously did not allow it. We had many groups out there protesting us. One man was a Satanist priest with a Satanic Bible. Another group claimed to be Christian. But the worse out of all of them was the homosexual group. They came out and would chant their little saying, “We are here. We are queer. We are fabulous, don’t _____ with us”, trying to drown out the preaching. Then after opposing us so viciously, they actually accused us of being intolerant! There was not a single minute of us preaching on campus when this homosexual group showed any tolerance at all towards our Christian message. It is during experiences like this that I realize just how hostile the world really is towards God. Men truly are sinners, rebels against God’s moral government.
THEY CALLED IT A RIOT
The opposition was so great on this campus that we decided the entire SOAPA Conference should go out there together one day. We had a large group of preachers all flying many Gospel banners. Before we even arrived the homosexuals were out their in full force to oppose us. We didn’t even have to start preaching and the campus was in an uproar. Though it was not really a riot, the students started referring to this event as “The GSU Riot”. We certainly turned that campus upside down for Jesus. The Gospel causes no small stir.
HALLOWEEN PARADE, LITTLE FIVE POINTS ATLANTA
WALKING THE PARADE ROUTE
Preachers have the opportunity of preaching to the masses both before and after a parade. Before a parade the streets are empty while multitudes of spectators line the streets in anticipation for the parade. This provides the perfect opportunity of marching through the streets with a banner and bullhorn preaching the Gospel. After the parade you have the same opportunity. I am always excited when the opportunity to preach at a parade arrives. This is my third parade this semester that I have been in!
OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES
Little Nolan is a young boy, age six, that says he was born again a few weeks ago. He is very zealous for evangelism and is always asking his father if he can go out with him. He joined us on this Halloween parade. Some of those on the sidewalks were upset that we would have such a small boy preaching the Gospel. Yet these same parents brought their sons to the parade dressed up as devils and their daughters dressed up as witches! They would have preferred that little Nolan was dressed up as Harry Potter than have him being a follower of Jesus Christ! I praise God that he is raising up the younger generation.
A HOUSE OF VAMPIRES
The Halloween parade took place in “Little Five Points” Atlanta which is a demonic place to begin with. One of the stores is a huge skull, with its mouth as the entrance way to the store. This area caters to the gothic culture. Here is a house of “vampires” which shows you the type of area this really is. I was very pleased to be able to bring the light to this dark area.
JOINING THE PARADE
After the very last float hit the streets, we jumped into the parade. Marching through the streets with our signs, banners, and bullhorns, THOUSANDS heard and read the Gospel message! This crowd was very hostile. At one point there was hundreds of people al booing us at the same time. Some of them were throwing their beer cans at us. Some of the sinners even made their own signs out of cardboard to protest us. If your Gospel message does not have any opposition from the world, you have to ask yourself if you really have the Gospel message.
DRAWING CROWDS ON THE STREET
On a University campus it is fairly easy to draw a crowd. On the streets it is very difficult to gather people around you. After the parade ended we continued preaching and a large crowd of sinners gathered around. While many of them were mocking and heckling us, there was no doubt that they knew precisely what our message was.
SOUTHEASTERN OPEN AIR
ANNUAL PREACHERS CONFERENCE
MINISTERING TO FELLOW OPEN AIR PREACHERS
I count it a high honor to be able to minister to fellow open air preachers. I have had the privilege of addressing this association annually since I started full time evangelism in 2004.
PRESUPPOSITIONS OF CONFRONATIONAL EVANGELISM
My first message to the conference was on the presuppositions of confrontational evangelism. For some people this form of evangelism doesn’t make any sense because they have faulty presuppositions. Some people view sinners are poor little ignorant victims who just need to be comforted and educated, whom God is not angry at but accepts as they are. But if we presuppose that a sinner is a willful criminal under the government of God, who both knows good from evil and is choosing the evil over the good, who are in danger of eternal hell unless they decide to repent, then they need to be confronted and convicted!
HELPING OR HINDERING THE HOLY SPIRIT
My second message to the conference was on the responsibility of the evangelist to work with the Holy Spirit. Preaching can either help or hinder the working of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is seeking to convict men of their sins. Conviction is when a person is convinced that they are condemned, when the evidence of their crimes is brought before their mind and they are, as in the court of law, convicted.
Some things that people preach actually work against the Holy Spirit because they are contrary to what is necessary for true conviction. For example people say, “Nobodies perfect” and “I’m only human” and these ideas which are present to man’s mind actually relieves them of the weight of true conviction. We must preach in such a way as to remove every excuse and justification that a sinner has. As long as he thinks he has some type of justification or excuse for his crimes against God’s government, it is impossible for him to have true conviction.
REFUTING THE LAWLESS GOSPEL
The last message I was able to preach to the conference was a refutation to the modern lawless Gospel which teaches that you do not need to repent of your sins to be saved but that you are saved while you are impenitent. A sinner is either repentant or impenitent. If he hasn’t changed his mind about sinning, his heart is still planning on sinning. To say that you do not need to repent to be forgiven is to say that you can be impenitent and still be saved. This is contrary to all of Scripture which represent the impenitent as under the wrath of God.
UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA IN BIRMINGHAM
I had never preached on this campus before and was excited about doing so. After driving around campus I found the student center where I thought it would be a good place to preach. I found a nice wall to stand on with shade from a tree, with surrounding benches and walls where students could sit. I thought it was a great place to preach and so I started to do so.
After only a few minutes of preaching a Police Officer arrived. He told me that the campus was “private” and therefore could not do this here. I knew that he was mistaken and so I asked to talk to his superior. Shortly after I made the request some more Officers arrived who told me that the University was public but that I needed a permit to do what I was doing. Five feet or so from where I was standing was a city sidewalk. I told the Officers that I would just move to the city easement to avoid the hassle of getting a permit. They had no problem with that.
I began to preach from the sidewalk and the students started to gather. One of the Officers didn’t like what I was saying so he tried to persuade me not to preach in such a way. He said, “I’ve already given you permission to be here”. I explained to him that I did not need his permission to be here. The constitution is all the permission I need. And while he may not like what I am saying, I have the right to say it and I will continue to do so.
ONE STUDENT REPENTS
One student came out to protest me with his homemade sign that said, “God loves me, you, and this crazy guy too.” He stood next to me for a little while but then he put his sign down and simply stayed and listened. I talked to him afterwards and he told me that after listening to me preach for a couple hours, he realized that I was not crazy but was right. He said I was making some really good points and what really got through to him was when I said, “turn or burn”. He was used to compromise lukewarm unholy Christianity and he really liked my “radical message”. I talked with him some more and we prayed together as he repented of his sins.
NOBODY WANTS YOU HERE!
CAN YOU PLEASE COME BACK?
My message was not a very popular and well accepted message on the campus. Those who want to continue in their sins do not want you to call them to repentance. Those who want to rule and govern their own lives do not want to hear about their responsibility and accountability to God. People in the crowd told me, “You should leave. Nobody wants you here.” When I told the crowd, “I had such a good day today, I am coming back tomorrow” the crowd erupted in cheers! They seemed very happy that I was going to return to campus.
THE NECESSITY FOR GOD
During my second day on campus I decided to start at square one and talk about the existence of God. I explained that there was a metaphysical necessity for God, an axiological necessity for God, and an epistemological necessity for God.
The metaphysical necessity for God is that the finite cannot exist without the existence of the infinite, since only the self-existent can cause that which is not self-existent. Every effect must have a cause. That which is not self-existent must have a cause. If the infinite did not exist, the finite could not exist, because nothing could have ever caused it. The nature of reality (metaphysics) requires the existence of God.
The axiological necessity for God is that, apart from an infinite transcendent mind, there can be no moral absolutes. Without a superior and infallible mind who governs over us, the final court of appeal would be our own finite thinking and understanding. We could not be absolutely sure of moral law, since the views and opinions of men’s minds different and vary so widely. There must be an infinite, infallible, superior, transcendent mind that governs over us, that gives us moral revelations through our conscience, if we are to have any certainty regarding absolute moral law. Axiology (morality) requires the existence of God.
In one of my dialogs with an atheist I asked him, “were the crusades wrong? He said, “Yes”. I asked, “Where the witch hunts wrong?” He said, “Yes”. I asked, “Where the inquisitions wrong?” Again he said, “Yes”. Then I asked, “Where does morality come from?” He didn’t know what to say. If he said morality comes from the minds of individuals, how could these individuals have been wrong if they thought this was the right thing to do? If he said morality comes from society, how could these societies be wrong since this is what they thought was right to do? If there is no transcendent God, who infallibly knows what is right and what is wrong, who writes His law upon our very own conscience, all we can have is relative or subjective morality, but nothing that is absolute or objective. We all know right from wrong because God, who infallibly knows what’s right and what’s wrong, has revealed it to us.
Also, if we are random accidents of the Universe, instead of precious and valuable creations of God, what would make our well-being absolutely valuable? We could arbitrarily say that we are valuable, but this is not the same as being intrinsically valuable. The object of moral law is to secure the well-being of the governed. The foundation of moral law itself is the intrinsic value of well-being. If you take away the intrinsic value of well-being, you take away the very foundation of moral law.
The epistemological necessity for God is that, if we are not created and designed by God, how can we trust the accuracy of our five senses, or believe in the reliability of our reason or conscience? Apart from the presupposition of Divine Design, we cannot put any confidence in the accuracy of these means of acquiring knowledge. They could be flawed, inaccurate, and completely deceptive, if we are the result of mere “time and chance”. One atheist told me, “I don’t believe in the accuracy of my five senses.” I said, “You don’t stop at red lights?” I said, “If you don’t believe in the accuracy of your five senses, I sure hope you don’t have a driver’s license!” I went on to say, “Every time you get up in the morning and go to the mirror brush your hair, you are believing in your sense of sight and the sight of others.” Everyone believes in the accuracy of their five senses, but apart from Divine Design, we cannot account for them. Epistemology (study of knowledge and justified belief) necessitates the existence of God.
CAN YOU EMPIRICALLY PROVE GOD?
Atheists will often pride themselves as being “empiricist” and demand that everything be proven empirically. An atheist asked me, “Prove to me empirically that there is a God?” I said, “Empiricism is limited to what you can touch, taste, see, and smell. God is a spiritual being and therefore is naturally outside of the limitations of empiricism. Just as the origin of life, or the origin of species, is outside of the limitations of empiricism. But empirically, we have only seen life come from life. We have never seen life come from non-life. Intelligence comes from intelligence. Sentient beings come from sentient beings. If we are going to limit ourselves to empiricism, we cannot say that we came from nothing or that we came from some unconscious, unintelligent, impersonal cause.”
IF CHRISTIANS LIKE YOU ARE IN HEAVEN
Most of the professing Christians that these students have encountered are soft on sin. They will say things like, “Nobody is perfect” “We are only human” “You can’t live without sinning” “God understands” “God accepts you as you are” etc. Very seldom does a sinner encounter someone who tells them that God is angry with their sin and wants them to give it up. The modern Church can get along with the world because it is friendly towards their sin. But whenever you become the enemy of sin, you become the enemy of the world.
Sinners were telling me, “If Christians like you are in Heaven, I don’t want to go there!” I started responding with, “If sinners like you are in Heaven, then I don’t want to go there! Heaven will be Heaven because there is no sin there. Heaven will be fully of peace, happiness, bliss, and well-being, because everyone in Heaven will obey the law of God. If God let sinners into Heaven, they would ruin the place! I wouldn’t want to go to Heaven if sinners like you were there!”
CAN GOD BE GOOD WHILE CONDEMNING SINNERS?
It is common for students, who want to feel comfortable in their sin, to say things like, “I don’t believe in a God who would condemn anyone to hell. My God is a loving God. He wouldn’t damn anyone!” My response is, “You are right. Your God would never send anyone to hell, because He couldn’t! He is a figment of your imagination!” Then I’ll state, “If you don’t believe in a God who would send sinners to hell, then you don’t believe in a good and intelligent God. A good and intelligent God would give us a law for our well-being and, out of His regard for His law and His love for His universe, would punish transgressors in order to uphold and maintain His law. If there is no hell, God is not intelligent or good.”
HAVING A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
I made sure to tell the students, “God wants to have a relationship with you. You were created to have a relationship with God. But sin separates you from God. You cannot know God while you are breaking His commandments. But if you give up your sins, you can have pardon through the atonement of Jesus Christ and enter into a relationship with God!”
REASON SINNERS ARE THE OBJECTS OF GOD’S WRATH
Part of theodicy is explaining to sinners exactly why they are the objects of God’s wrath. I explained, “The reason that you are under the wrath and anger of God is because you are the cause of sin. Sin is not self-existent. Sin is caused by a sinner! If a person took a truck and started running people over, the driver would be the object of the public’s anger. The driver would be the one punishable, not the truck! God is angry with sinners and sends sinners to hell, because sinners are the cause of sin! Machines are not punishable because machines do not have a conscience and a free will. Men are subject to punishment because men have a free will and a conscience.”
I went even further on this point and explained how they were properly the objects of God’s wrath. “There are three reasons why you are under the wrath of God. 1. You have a conscience. You are not ignorant. You know better than to sin. If you didn’t know any better, you could not be responsible or account. It wouldn’t be your fault if you were ignorant. But God has written His moral law upon your very heart so that you have a conscience! 2. You have a free will! You are not some helpless victim who was born a sinner and can’t stop sinning. God has given you the ability of choice. You can freely choose between obeying God or disobeying God. 3. You have used your free will to disobey your conscience! You have freely and deliberately done what you knew was wrong! Crime merits punishment. You rightfully deserve to be punished.”
GOOD NEWS & BAD NEWS
I told the crowd, “I have some good news and I have some bad news. What do you want to hear first?” The crowd said, “The bad news.” I told the crowd, “The bad news is this: you deserve hell! You all deserve to burn in hell. The good news is this. You don’t need to receive what you deserve. God has mercy. Mercy is when God withholds what you deserve. You deserve to be punished, but Jesus Christ provided a substitute for your punishment so that your punishment can be withheld! If you turn from your sins and trust in Christ, you don’t have to receive what you deserve! God promises wrath for those who continue in their sins but God promises mercy to those who give up their sins!”
WHO ARE YOU?
Students will often say things like, “Who are you?” and “Who do you think you are coming out here and telling everyone that they are wrong?” I have started to say, “I am the Conscience of the University of Alabama. I am here to tell you right from wrong and many of you students are living wrong! It is a good thing that I am here. Who else would tell you that sin is wrong if I wasn’t here?” Students usually think this is funny but they also get my point. Christians ought to be the conscience of society. We ought to publicly proclaim the goodness of the law of God and our obligation to it. We ought to confront sin and call sinners to repentance as our Master did.
AREN’T ALL SINS EQUAL?
In an attempt to feel better about themselves, sinners will often say “all sins are equal”. I think their logic goes like this, “Adultery is just as bad as lying. Lying really isn’t that bad. Therefore adultery isn’t that bad.” If they can minimize the wickedness of their sin, they lessen the weight of their guilt upon their minds.
While it is true that all sins are equal in their nature, it is not true that all sins are equal in their guilt. All sin is the choice of the will to rebel against what is known to be good and right. That is the nature of sin. Adultery, murder, and lying are all choices of the will to do what is known to be bad, instead of choosing what is known to be good. The nature of sin is the same. But not all sins are equal in their guilt.
For example our obligation to God is greater than our obligation towards man, because God’s more valuable than man. We are to love God supremely and love our neighbor equally. The “greatest commandment” is to love God, therefore to violate that moral obligation would be a “greater sin” because it is against the greater commandment. It is a worse sin to sin against God than it is to sin against man.
Also, some individuals have more moral knowledge than others because they have been exposed to more moral light. The Bible says that teachers will have a stricter judgment, that it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah than for those who hear the Gospel and reject it, that the one who delivered Jesus to Pilate had the greater sin, etc. Guilt is in proportion to knowledge. Those with greater knowledge have a greater obligation, and consequently when they violate that greater obligation they have committed a greater sin and have a greater guilt and will therefore have a greater punishment.
GOD IS A GOOD RULER
I explained to the students that because God is good, “God does not accept you as you are” and “God does not forgive you no matter what”. A good Ruler will only pardon a criminal if the criminal is repentant. If the criminal is still planning on committing crimes against the society, it would be unsafe and unwise for any ruler to pardon him. In order for pardon to be safely and wisely extended to a criminal, the criminal must have a change of mind about committing crimes. God is too loving and too wise to forgive any sinner unless that sinner first forsakes their sins. Before the remission of sins must be repentance from sin.
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH ALABAMA
This is the second year in a row that I have been able to speak on this campus. I preached on this campus last year around the same time. The administration and the Police are both very good at respecting and allowing the exercise of free speech on this campus. The only thing that has changed this year from last year is that they no longer allow you to hold banners with poles because the poles could be used as weapons. This is a concern in case the crowd turns violent I suppose.
EVOLUTION HAS KILLED MILLIONS
A key objective to open air preaching on a University is to spark dialog with the students. Crowds gather to see the engaging debates. A fairly sure way to spark this type of engagement is to bring up the theory of evolution. I’ll say something like “No wonder many of you students live like animals, you believe in EVILution!” I will then go on further to attack evolution by saying, “The full title of Charles Darwins ‘Origin of Species’ in the 1800’s was ‘The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Races In the Struggle For Life’. Darwin’s idea of the “favored race” was white people, whom he supposed was more evolved than black people. The reason that his theory spread like wild fire when it was first introduced was not because it has all sorts of scientific evidence behind it, but because America was looking for a justification for slavery.” I go in for the kill by saying, “The theory of Charles Darwin gave birth to the Nazi holocaust. The entire idea of the ‘Arian race’ presupposes the evolutionary process, that one group can evolve to be superior to the other, or that one group is inferior to the other. Hitler did not believe that Jews, blacks, and others were as evolved as the German people who had white skin, blue eyes, and blond hair.”
CALLING A SINNER A SINNER
I have found it interesting that whenever a person proudly confesses to sinning and I refer to them as a “sinner”, the crowd will say “you can’t say that! Who are you to judge?” But when I say that Christians are not sinners, Christians are saints, the crowd will say, “Everybody is a sinner!” One girl on campus said that everyone was a sinner so I told her, “You just judged everyone! I only judge those who confess to sinning, but you just judged the entire campus!” One of the students in the crowd said, “Wow. He just turned that around on them! He completely turned the tables and flipped it around. He just schooled them.” It is interesting how those who say you can’t call someone a sinner will, in the next breath, say that everyone is a sinner.
HOW CAN WE HAVE FREE WILL IF THERE IS A HELL?
One student argued that the existence of hell and the existence of free will are incompatible because if God tells us to love Him or go to hell, it isn’t really a free choice. I explained how we are free to choose between doing right and doing wrong, but free will is not freedom from consequences. The fact that some choices have negative consequences does not make the choice any less free. I do not do heroin because it has negative consequences, that doesn’t mean that I am not freely choosing to live sober. Negative consequences for bad choices do not make good choices any less free.
I admitted that if God forced us to love Him, it would not be love because it is not free will. I asked the student, “Do you love God?” He said, “No I don’t.” I said, “There, you just proved that God does not force anyone to love Him. You are free to love God or not. The fact that you don’t love God is proof that God does not force us to love Him.”
STUDENT RECOGNIZES TRUTH
While I was preaching to the crowd, one man in particular came and stood next to me. When I would quote Bible verses he would say, “That’s right” and after making certain points he would say, “That’s true too”. He was obviously a Christian who read his Bible. Many so called Christians oppose us, thinking what we are preaching isn’t Biblical, because they do not really know their Bibles. This man however realized that we were preaching the truth and was grateful that we were there.
PREACHING THE MERCY OF GOD
It seems that because we preach about the wrath of God, people accuse us of not preaching the mercy of God. This of course is not true. We preach both about God’s wrath and about God’s mercy. We preach both about damnation and salvation. The audience seems to have selective hearing, or possibly what they need to hear the most is what sticks out to them the most.
I preached the mercy of God saying, “The only reason that God didn’t kill you and send you to hell the very first time that you sinned is because God is merciful and wants to give you time to repent. If you died and went to hell the very first time you sinned, that would have been justice. God would have been justified. God prefers mercy over justice and that is why He is giving you time to repent.”
WHAT SOME OF THE STUDENTS HAVE TO SAY
“I have listened to you on campus for the past couple of days. I didn’t get angry at anything you said. I consider myself an atheist, but I was once a devout Christian and I believed almost exactly the same way you do. I think you made some really good points and I think you know your bible very well and I commend you for that. Like I said this might sound strange coming from me, but I can appreciate other people’s beliefs especially when they arrive at them through a feasible manner. Your objective of getting people talking about the bible, and just talking about our differences/similarities in general was accomplished very well and I look forward to hearing you the next time you come to campus. Like I said, even though we don’t share the same beliefs, I can still appreciate what your doing… if that makes sense…. People were picking and choosing what they “heard” you say to fuel their anger against you. I would almost guarantee you that the majority of the “Christians” that got angry were angry because you were exposing them for not living up to the standards put forth in the bible.” Justin
“I enjoyed your message on our campus the past couple of days. You should come back more often! It brings so many different people together. I think its healthy and you should keep doing what you’re doing. Peace.” Chase
“Thank you so much for coming to my campus yesterday and today- I have been brought up in church and still go to church all the time and try my best to live for God but have been struggling with addiction to pornography and I have watched it pretty much every single day at least once a day for the past yr or so, but ever since you came and spoke yesterday and today I have yet to view it anymore. Your work for God did not go unnoticed at the University of North Alabama. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Please pray for me for my struggle with pornography. God bless you. And again, thank you so much.” Bradley
ALABAMA A&M UNIVERSITY
I had never before preached on this campus and was not sure if any open air preacher ever has. I was told that the School was public but that it was also a “tough” school that might be dangerous. Usually School that have never had preachers in the past do not know what to do when they arrive. For that reason I had my mp3 watch recording the audio as soon as I arrived.
Walking around campus wearing my sandwich board, I looked for a busy location where I could preach. In front of a large building there was a stair case that has a group of students hanging out. As I walked by they started reading my sandwich board which led to a discussion with the group. Before long there was a nice size crowd of students gathered around and we were on our way to having a great open air meeting.
ARRESTED FOR FREE SPEECH ON PUBLIC PROPERTY
After preaching for about twenty minutes the campus Police arrived. The Officer said “You are in the wrong place” and then said “you are loitering”. I said “What do you mean I am loitering? I am on a public university.” He said “You are on a private university”. I said “I thought A&M was public” He said, “its private”. I said, “Isn’t it a state university?” He said, “Let me ask you this question. Do you have a reason to be here?” I said, “Yes free speech”. He said, “Free speech doesn’t allow you to be here. So you need to take you free speech off this campus now. Right now.” I said “Ok” and turned on my video camera. With the video going I asked “Are you telling me this is a private university” and he said, “I’m telling you’re about to go to jail if you don’t do what I tell you.” I said, “What am I going to go to jail for?” He said “pick your sign up” and I said “I’ll leave, I’ll leave. What am I going to go to jail for?” One of the students said, “Ya’ll better mace him” and then the Police immediately arrested me. As they walked me to the Police car in hand cuffs one of the girls in the crowd said very proudly, “I am the one who called them!”
In the Police Station they said I “almost caused a riot” and that I would be charged with “loitering”, “disturbing the peace”, and “disorderly conduct”. After filling out all of the paper work for my arrest, they tried to get a statement from the girl who originally called them. They said that she was not cooperating with them and therefore they were going to let me go. They released me, without charging me, with a trespass warning saying if I return to campus I would be arrested immediately.
THE LOCAL NEWS COVERS THE STORY
I knew that the Officer that arrested me obviously had no idea what he was doing, since the campus actually is a public university. Therefore I wanted to give the Administration another chance of letting me on campus before contacting my Attorney’s. I uploaded the video of the arrest to YouTube and emailed as many people as I could that worked at the A&M campus. In the email I told them that if I was not allowed back on campus I would pursue a lawsuit and I gave them a link to the arrest video.
WAFF 48 News heard about what had happened to me on campus. They watched the YouTube video of the arrest and contacted me. After doing an interview with them the story aired on the Friday evening news. It was good coverage and I uploaded that video to YouTube as well.
CONTACTED BY THE ADMINISTRATION
The administration of A&M contacted me right before the story aired Friday evening. They apologized for the situation, affirmed that A&M was a public campus, and requested to have a meeting with me about my return to the University. We schedule a meeting for Monday which went very well. At the meeting they once again reaffirmed that their campus was public, that they don’t want to infringe the rights of the community, and that they were sorry for the situation I had with the Officer. They asked when I wanted to come back on campus. I told them that anytime this week would be fine. They said that they normally have a ten day waiting period for any event that occurs on campus, but that because of the situation they will waive that requirement for me. I am still waiting for them to contact me with the exact date and time that I can come back on campus to preach.
Lawsuits are a very long process that requires time and money. I filed lawsuits back in 2004 which were not settled until 2009. While a lawsuit is in process, you cannot preach in the location that is in dispute. You also have to return to that location for depositions, settlement meetings, and then finally trial. For a traveling evangelist, it is costly to return to some of these areas. For that reason I try my best to avoid lawsuits all together. My strategy with this case was to get invited back on campus without needed a lawsuit and my plan worked! Praise God!
“Though I’m a Christian, I’ve lived with secret sin in my heart, lust, and anger, hatred and violent thought. I’ve watched some Open Air Preachers, and have been convicted in my spirit, I Repented. I’ve now been set free with the knowledge of the truth. Pray for me, as I pray for myself in Christ” Member of YouTube
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