Preaching To The Choir
Ministry Update November 12, 2017
Friday night Conner and I witnessed downtown. North Point Church had a special event at the Gillioz Theater across the street from us. The event was called The Gathering that I’ve been told they do a couple of times a year. I think the theater holds close to a thousand people and there appeared to be hundreds of people coming out when the event when it was over. So we had a larger crowd than most Friday nights and I’m sure most people walking past us thought we were preaching to the choir. But that’s alright, the choir needs to hear the Gospel too.
I attend Crossway Baptist Church and we typically have around 1,800 to 1,900 people attending church on Sunday mornings. My pastor is not naïve; he preaches from the pulpit that not everyone attending church is saved. You just know there are some lost souls in a crowd this big. The same thing goes for Christian events in the community. You know not everyone coming out of this Christian event is saved. So I thank God that He had us there witnessing the same night as the event.
How Christians Respond To Being Offered Gospel Tracts
The interesting part was seeing how people from The Gathering reacted to being offered Gospel tracts. God doesn’t reveal a large S above people that are saved; nor does He show a large L above lost souls. So we really don’t know who’s really a believer or who’s an unbeliever. So the responses from the crowd were interesting. Some people graciously received the tracts and said “God bless” or “have a good night.” Others smiled and said no, as if to say, “Thanks, but I already know where I’m going after I die.” Then there was a third category that visibly flinched and jerked their shoulder back as if to say, “Get away from me” or “Leave me alone.”
Again, you can’t say everyone that took a tract was saved or open to salvation. Just like you can’t say everyone that smiled and refused a tract was truly saved. Along the same lines, not everyone who really opposed the open-air preaching and/or tracts may not be lost. But I can assure you that I’m never offended when someone offers me a tract. I thank and praise God when I see somebody else handing out Gospel tracts. I’ts great to see how they are worded. I may very well learn how to word something better or present the Gospel in a different way. So I’m definitely not offended.
Why Would A Christian Be Offended By A Gospel Tract?
This begs the question, why would a professing Christian be offended when someone offers them a Gospel tract? I can’t answer that. It just brings to mind when Jesus told His followers that they had to spiritually eat His body and drink His blood and some were offended. Jesus asked them, “Does this offend you?” (John 6:61). Of course His true disciples, His true followers didn’t turn back from following our Lord. Why would a Gospel tract offend a true follower of Jesus? Frankly, I don’t think it would.
The gentlemen that appears to live somewhere downtown again smiled and encouraged us. Since I still had a few lingering effects from vertigo, I didn’t stand on the stump where Conner preached from. I just stood on the street corner. This man encourages us every Friday and thanks us for sharing the Gospel in public. He walked by and shook my hand, smiled, and said thanks as I was open-air preaching.
At the very end of the night, after Conner brought his message, there were still people leaving the Gillioz Theater, so I quickly gave my testimony and pleaded with professing Christians to examine themselves to make sure they are in the faith. A couple at the very end walked by and thanked us for sharing the Gospel. If you are reading this post and are a professing Christian, I sincerely ask you to do the same; examine yourself right now. Are you in the faith? Have you truly surrendered your life to Jesus? He never asked us to run around and get “decisions” for Him. Jesus said we are to deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow Him daily (Luke 9:23). Does this describe you? Have you truly repented and put your faith in Jesus Christ the Lord?
What Are Saturday’s For?
On Wednesday at Missouri State University, someone else had a permit for my regular spot. So I witnessed at Strong Hall. I actually like Strong Hall a lot because the U-shaped building allows for great acoustics. People two sidewalks away will look over because they can still hear the message from that far away. A couple of guys snapped pictures or recorded part of the message. Toward the end, one young man stopped to my left and asked “What are Saturday’s For?” I wasn’t quite sure what he said, so I looked over and asked him what he said. He was also recording to see my reaction and repeated the question.
I’m not sure what his purpose was, but thinking maybe he was saying we should worship God on Saturdays and not Sundays, I told him that the apostle Paul said one man esteems one day above the others and other men esteem every day the same (Romans 14:5). He mouthed off something inaudible (I thought he said Saturday is for The Voice or void or something like that, but I really couldn’t hear him). I went back to pleading with students to stop mocking God and surrender their lives to Jesus Christ. He is the only Savior.
(These updates are provided to encourage Christians to share the Gospel with others. Friday night, the first four people I offered tracts to rejected them. But the next five or six took them. We can’t control who receives or rejects God’s truth. Thankfully, salvation is of the Lord. We are just called to share the Gospel and we are not responsible for the results).