The temperature was about 30 degrees but it really wasn’t too bad. The wind was calm and my 2 pairs of long johns and 3 shirts, plus a jacket, kept me pretty cozy. We had 6 guys out this night with two of them being visitors from out of town. They are driving across the country preaching at college campuses and came out to downtown Athens last night. Although there wasn’t a lot of foot traffic, there were enough people out to make it interesting. The goal of the endeavors in Athens, just as a reminder, are to first and foremost Glorify God. We do that by proclaiming the Gospel in the open air, sharing in conversations and giving away Gospel Tracts. Second, We want to get the Gospel to as many people as possible. What they do with it is between them and God. Below are a few moments that I remember from the night’s mission.
The Child of the Devil
Even though the Bible is very clear, people do not like being told they are a child of the Devil if they are not in Christ. One young man was very angry and was slinging his arms around acting as though he wanted to get to Bobby, as his friend was holding him back. I went over to where the action was taking place, just in case. He was being very very rowdy and the police officers came and handcuffed him and walked him to the police station that was just up the street. His friend, however, continued to justify his friends actions, with us, but wasn’t making much sense. This guy, who was raised as a Catholic, didn’t seem to get the whole, “you’re either a child of God or a child of the Devil” concept. Bobby asked him if he didn’t need to go check on his friend but he assured us he wanted to hang out and listen to the preaching and learn by talking to us. ,At this point I began taking with the guy because I think Bobby was done with the kid, and I can see why. It was like talking to a lamppost.
The Guy That Wanted to Learn
Since the guy wanted to learn I decided to teach him about sin. I asked him how to get to heaven and he rattled off a list of things he did that were going to get him there so decided to take him through the law in order to help him see his condition and need for a Savior. Keep in mind, when he was encouraged to leave he said he wanted to stay and learn. I asked him how many lies he had told and he pointed at me and said, “How many lies have you told?” I acknowledged that I had told plenty in the past but the question seemed to have hit a nerve with the kid so I continued and asked him if he had ever looked at someone with lust. He said, “No, never!” As Ray comfort has often said I asked the kid why I should believe him because he just admitted that he was a
liar. Again he got kind of irritated because I didn’t know if I could trust him to tell me the truth, because he admitted to being a liar. After a little meddling I learned that he did not consider his sexual desire to be lust because when he did lust he claimed to always tell the other person how he was feeling. In his mind, lust was not lust as long as you confessed it to the object of your lust. Anyway, at this point all of a sudden, he had to go. Remember, he had just 5 minutes earlier told me, at least twice, that he wanted to stay and learn, which I reminded him of. He still said he had to go and walked away. I looked up a few minutes later and he was still there over talking to another person. I guess he did want to stay but I’m not convinced he wanted to learn, especially about his own sin.
The Logical Man
At some point during the night a young man came up as one of the guys was preaching and said something about evolution so I asked him if he believed in God. he replied, “I’m more certain He doesn’t exist than I am that He does.” I asked him where life came from and he replied, “Water.” I asked him where the water came from and he said, “The Big Bang.” I asked him where the matter came from and his reply kind of shocked me. He said, “based on the questions you are asking me, the only logical conclusion is that the matter came from the Lord.” I was stunned for a moment but recovered and asked why, instead of believing what was logical, he would choose to believe an illogical theory. He didn’t know so I asked him if I could share with him why I thought that he did that. He agreed so I explained what Romans 1 says about people suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. In other words, they love their sin and do not want to be accountable to anyone so they choose to believe ridiculous theory, that doesn’t even make sense, in an attempt to convince their selves that God is not there. He shocked me again when he said, “that makes sense.” I shared a bit more with him and gave him a Gospel tract and he went on his way, hopefully to ponder what we had discussed, repent and trust the Savior!
The final encounter of the night was with a young man that had been speaking with Scott for a while. A Scott, Bobby and I were packing up he said something about when we have a thought we’re not really thinking to ourselves etc., etc., etc. Then he rattled off something about the children of God. Yep, we’re getting back to that child of God and child of the Devil theme again. I couldn’t resist so I had to ask him if everyone was a child of God. He said they were. After telling him the Scriptures say right the opposite and that we are all either children of God or children of the Devil he released a burst of air from his mouth, like a train letting off steam and said, “Apparently we aren’t talking about the same God.” I looked at him and said, “I would agree.” The conversation was going nowhere so I asked him if he had ever seen “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” and he said no. I told him he should and that he might see some of himself in the movie. Bobby asked him how much acid he had done and he said none so he asked him how much weed he had smoked and although he didn’t know, he didn’t deny doing it. After he left, I realized I should have recommended “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” instead, because he was really more like Spicoli. This may all sound mean but he had been talked to for a long time by Scott and had heard the Gospel so it was just time to end the conversation and we did in a pleasant semi-jokingly way and he left not offended but having heard the Gospel.
Those are just a few excerpts from the evening that I wanted to share. Pray for all the guys as we go out sharing the Good News of Jesus the Christ with a lost world that is seemingly oblivious to it’s condition and need.
Until All Hear!