The college football championship game has become somewhat of a 3 day event. Similar to the NFL experience on Super Bowl weekend, there are activities, concerts and the like on Saturday and Sunday before the the game on Monday. So, I made the decision to come out of my sinus infection slumber and go down to meet up with some other guys, to preach the Gospel to the fans, as they roamed the area where the festivities were taking place.
I arrived around 1:30 Saturday afternoon and as I was nearing the CNN center I could hear a familiar voice. It took a second to register but what I heard was my good friend Chike preaching. We spent Saturday rotating preaching and passing out Gospel tracts. At one point we split the group and ministered in two separate locations. The foot traffic was good at times and really slow at other times. This can partially be attributed to the weather. It was pretty cold, for us southerners, with a high of only 38° for both days. Many received the Gospel through tracts and hundreds heard the Gospel through open air preaching.
I had another first on Saturday. Something I never thought would happen. As I was preaching I kept hearing someone behind me yelling. I was facing a building,with my back to the road, and being in a large city I just assumed there was something going on across the street. All of a sudden the person started yelling, “Hey!, Hey!, Hey!” over and over again so I turned around to see what was happening.
What to my amazement did I see?
A Lyft driver, pulled over, yelling at me!
I inquired about what she wanted and she informed me that I was something “not very nice” and that God was also something “not very nice”. I offered her a Gospel tract and encouraged her to turn to Christ through repentance and faith. She informed me she would repent, in a very sarcastic way, and informed me she was going to Heaven and I was going to Hell. I asked her what she bases that on and her response was, “Because you’re stupid”. As I was trying to tell her how illogical that was, her passenger arrived. I encouraged him to NOT ride with her and told him I would be afraid to get into a car with her. She finally found the tract I had tossed into her window, after she refused it, and tossed it back at me, said a few more nasty things and drove off.
On Sunday, as we were preaching, several hundred Iranian Americans showed up, basically overran our position and had a protest against the Iranian government, which lasted about 2-3 hours. Now I’m all in favor of the freedom and liberty to do that, but the fact that their leadership arrived early and saw what we were doing, and yet didn’t even bother to let us know what they were doing, just as a courtesy, was kind of irritating. They just showed up and overran us. Maybe I am a bit touchy. 🙂
I was unable to attend Monday but a lot of guys went down to preach the Gospel before the game on Monday, so many, many people heard and/or received the Gospel in tract form.
Until All Hear!
I have been terrible at doing blog updates so I want to summarise last fall.
We were able to get to all of the UGA home games this season and I also rode up to Knoxville with some of the guys to meet Bill Adams for the UGA vs Tenn game. We also had the opportunity to preach at the SEC Championship game in Atlanta.
As usual, we passed out Gospel tracts and preached the Gospel on the bridge at Sanford Stadium. We had some good conversations along the way as well. There were many believers who came by and gave us encouraging words, while other professing believers tried to discourage us. I will touch on a few interactions below.
At one game, a man stopped and questioned the sign my friend Rich had on his whiteboard. It said, “What if the South worhipped Jesus as much as football?” His question/objection was all about how it would be perceived. We had a good discussion and I found out he had been out of church for a while and didn’t actually share his faith. I’m always tempted, and sometimes I do responde with, “I like the way I do evangelism better than the way you don’t”, but I refrained from doing so this day. Almost all of the time the “Christians” that rebuke us for our efforts are of the smooshy sort that don’t believe you can actually say anything to anyone about sin, judgment hell, etc., because doing so is pushing them away from God. Nevermind the fact that the Bible is clear that they are already condemned, so how much worse can they get?
Along the same lines, a young professing believer came up and asked me if she could pray for me, so I agreed. She began her prayer by asking God to open our eyes and help us preach with love and listen to other people’s stories, etc. etc. I thanked her and told her we certainly did preach with love. Is it really loving to know someone is headed for eternal torment and say nothing?
Another man came to me as I was preaching and asked me if I preached the full Gospel. I assured him I did and so he began to drill me with questions. What he really wanted to know is if I preached baptismal regeneration, which I informed him I did not because it was part of the Gospel. I know there are those who disagree, but this isn’t the place to go off on that rabbit trail.
The point is, instead of encouraging the preaching of the Gospel, he made a spectacle of himself by shouting rebukes at me and calling me a liar for not adhering to his pet doctrine. Always wonder why folks want to come and critique the preacher but don’t seem to be interested in actually sharing the Gospel.
There are also good positive conversations that take place. For instance, Chike and I (mostly Chike) had a great conversation with two young ladies who were Jehovah’s Witnesses. Chike did a wonderful job of explaining Scriptures in an attempt to help them see the truth. They were kind and polite and listened as we shared with them.
The last encounter I will share is one that was kind of a combination. It began with a young man coming by and trying to yell down the preacher. I can’t remember who was preaching at the time but I decided to engage the young man. He threw all of the standard objections at me, about God, creation etc., and I attempted to answer each one the best way I could. At the end of the conversation he said he enjoyed the conversation and said I had an answer for all of his questions. I pray he has repented and trusted the Savior.
Overall, it was a great season. Hundreds of tracts were given away and thousands heard the Gospel. Now, it is between them and God.
Until All Hear!
MS State vs UGA September 23, 2017
Kick off was around 7:00pm so we arrived about 4:00 to set up on the bridge.
Bobby, Hannah, Lydia, Rich, Mike, Chike and myself, began preaching and handing out Gospel tracts. We didn’t seem to have as many conversations as we did last week but every week is different.
There was a young British man that came up at the end and asked me how many religions there were in the world. I told him I had no idea. He informed me that he studied religions at university and asked me what made Christianity different than the rest. I began explaining to him that Jesus was the difference because He was the only one who was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, was crucified, buried and rose from the dead, defeating death and proving He was God and that He was seen after the resurrection by hundreds of people. He wasn’t buying it and attempted to discredit the Bible and Jesus. I tried to tell him his problem was really with sin and that Jesus had the only answer but he and his friend decided the conversation was over and they went on their way.
Earlier in the day I was across the bridge as Rich was preaching and I heard a young man tell his friend they should stop and hear what the guy (Rich) had to say. They stayed for a long time and listened. Rich would have never known if I had not overheard them. We also heard of another person hearing the preaching and commenting to others about how needed the message was. Be encouraged preachers, people are listening!
We had a wonderful day of evangelism! We have 2 away games in a row so there will be no pregame evangelism at Sanford Stadium for a few weeks. However, some of the guys are heading to Knoxville as UGA travels there to take on the Tennessee Volunteers. Please be in prayer for this trip.
Below is a testimony from Chike Uzuegbunan who began coming out to the games with us this season and has been a huge blessing.
“It was truly a wonderful privilege to thunder the almighty gospel of Jesus Christ at the last two UGA games. Overall, the crowds were vast and intently aware of the open-air preaching going on. Many gospel conversations were had along with hundreds of gospel tracts dispensed to the masses. Praise God for giving us His grace and leading us through the triumphal procession of Christ! May the glorious enthroned Lamb be lifted on high both now and to the day of eternity! Amen.”
Until All Hear!
Kickoff was at 7:40 PM on Saturday so we arrived at the stadium around 4:30 PM and set up our equipment. We had a few new faces this week. Billy from Clemson joined us as well as Scott’s daughters. Scott, Chike and I preached as everyone else gave away Gospel tracts on the bridge. There was a lot of foot traffic, which increased as kickoff time drew closer. Hundreds, possibly thousands, heard the Gospel proclaimed for three hours, with many receiving Gospel tracts.
Although having one on one conversations can be a challenge before the games, there were a few on this Saturday. Before we began preaching a young man came and let us know that he was a Christian and a UGA student. He informed us that the students didn’t like preachers that come on campus and yell hate speech at them. We asked him to define what he meant by hate speech but he couldn’t seem to articulate what he meant and said he used the wrong term. Apparently it was “Hellfire and Brimstone preaching” that was offensive. Again, we asked him to define what he meant by that, and again he couldn’t articulate his definition of Hellfire and Brimstone. Finally, Scott asked him what exactly was said that was offensive to him and again he couldn’t really explain himself. At this point Scott explained to him he was actually being offensive by coming up with his unsubstantiated accusations. I left the conversation at this point and heard the young man apologizing to Scott. To be clear, we are not against constructive criticism, but when you can’t even explain what you are criticizing, well, it isn’t very constructive.
It also seemed to be Mormon day at the stadium. Chike engaged two young Mormon girls and did an excellent job showing them how the Mormon church’s teachings contradicted Scripture. They talked for a while and were very polite young ladies.
Later, three young men, sporting “elder” name tags and the traditional white shirts and ties, came over as Chike was preaching and wanted a picture with him, to which he declined. All five of these young Mormons seemed to put forth the idea that, “Hey, we’re Christian too” which is really what lead into the discussion about the differences between the Mormon cult and Christianity. Finally, as Chike was wrapping up, right before kickoff, a young man who wasn’t dressed as a traditional Mormon came over and began to tell me how we only had two Testaments and we needed the Book of Mormon. I attempted to strike up a conversation with him, by asking him who wrote the Book of Mormon, but he was only interested in repeating his “You need the Book of Mormon” mantra over and over again.
It was a wonderful day of evangelism and fellowship! We are thankful for the Saints who came by with words of encouragement and thankful for Scott’s daughters coming out! Please pray for the young Mormons and everyone who received the Gospel!
Appalachian State vs UGA 9/2/17
We arrived at Sanford Stadium about 3pm. There was a pretty good crowd already on the bridge so Scott, Chike and I set up, prayed and I began to preach as they passed out Gospel Tracts.
I was preaching from Ephesians 5 on how marriage is designed to be a picture of the relationship between Christ and His church, and used that as a transition to the Gospel.
After I had been preaching for a while, the UGA tuba section came out on the bridge, as they do before every game, and played a bit. That was a little distracting but I managed to work through it. After they were done, a couple of guys came out, just up the street from us with a huge bullhorn, and began preaching so we had to work through that as well.
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Bobby, Hannah, Eden and Lydia arrived and Scott began to preach while the rest of us were offering Gospel Tracts to the fans walking by. Scott shared the Gospel and pleaded for people to repent and trust the Savior. Chike preached next and I went down to the Tate center, where the foot traffic was heavy, to pass out tracts.
There was a large crowd at the game so hundreds and maybe thousands heard the Gospel and hundreds of Gospel tracts were given away.
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Near the end a young college student came and appeared to be pondering doing something to our amp so I asked him if he was considering touching our equipment. He stated that since we were out there preaching(he called it something else) he had the right to touch our equipment because it was freedom of speech. I tried to help this highly educated college student understand that the First Amendment did not give him the right to damage someone’s personal property just because he didn’t like what they were saying. Hopefully he wasn’t a law student. 🙂
He insisted he wanted to watch the game and we were annoying him so I suggested he purchase a ticket and go inside the stadium. He suggested I do the same. When I told him we were not there to watch the game he asked me what we were there for. I told him we were there to preach the Gospel so he asked me to tell him what the Gospel was.
I thought the door had opened but as soon as I started explaining the Gospel he shut me down yelling, “Y’all are stupid because you don’t believe in abortion!” Where’d that come from? He ranted about that and Scott joined the conversation, but there was no reasoning with the young man. It deteriorated to the point where he started making very inappropriate remarks about my wife, which hasn’t happened in all the years I’ve been involved in street evangelism, until recently.
A couple of weeks ago in Athens another young guy did the same thing. Neither of them has ever met my wife and she was not with me on either occasion so I shouldn’t take it personally, but that’s one thing that I do not tolerate well. I mention this as a prayer request. Please pray that I will handle those situations better.
FYI, I did not beat the boy or hit him but I did, on both occasions, let them know they should be glad I was a Christian, because the old me would be beating them for saying that. See why I need prayer?
Pray for those who received the Gospel!
Until All Hear!