Repent and Turn Ministries

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Street Witnessing 032913
Street Witnessing

Downtown Springfield, MO
Park Central Square

March 29, 2013


Tonight, my friend Dennis and I went to the Park Central Square area of downtown Springfield, MO to go street witnessing.  We prayed and then started. 

Since this is Good Friday, Dennis wanted to read Matthew, chapters 26 through 28, telling of the capture, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

Dennis began by reading Matthew, chapter 26.

We did not use amplification, so we had to read loudly, so that those around us can hear.  While Dennis was reading, a guy came up behind him and was making fun of him.

When reading the Bible in the open air, or even open air preaching, we get a couple of different reactions.  One reaction from folks, is that they tell us "thank you", and "I wish more Christians did this", that sort of comment.  Another reaction, is they get upset because of the Word of God being proclaimed.  When they get upset, they will sometimes yell out and tell us to stop talking, yell obscenities, or get in our face and debate and argue every little point. 

The man in the picture above, sitting on the left, his name is Lance.  I spoke to him later in the evening, after I read Matthew, chapter 27. 

After reading the Bible, I stepped down and Dennis stepped back up to read Matthew, chapter 28 and then open air preached.  The man in the picture I mentioned above, Lance, asked me to come over and sit down and talk to him.  I went over to talk with him. 

He told me he is half-way between the people wanting to yell at us and half-way believing what we are doing is the right thing to do, but he wanted me to explain it in detail.  He mentioned that we need to show the love of God to people, not just have them hear us preaching at them.  "How will they know you love them if all they hear is you yelling and preaching at them?", Lance asked.  He asked, "Have you ever tried to just go up and talk with them?". 

I told him that I've been going out and doing this at this location for eight years.  Yes, I do just go up and talk to people who are standing around, instead of "just preaching to them".  There are multiple ways to be a witness for Christ, I told Lance. 

For example, in my daily life, and at work, I try to show the love of God to people.  I try to live a Godly life so that people will see the love of Jesus in me.  I share the gospel to those in my daily life, as the Lord opens the door.  I even pass out gospel tracts at different places - the gas station, fast food restaurants, etc. 

When we go out street witnessing, we go to public areas where a lot of people gather.  We go there for a specific purpose.  To share the gospel, as Jesus said in Mark 16:15, "GO into all the world to preach the gospel to every creature".  We do this by passing out gospel tracts, witnessing one to one with them, and also by proclaiming the gospel through open air preaching.  This is very Biblical, as I continued to tell Lance. 

Throughout the Old Testament, God's people proclaimed his Word in public areas.  In the New Testament, John the Baptist proclaimed the gospel outdoors in public areas where people gathered.  Jesus went through the streets and at the Temples to open air preach, outdoors.  The Apostle Paul preached the gospel in the open air - outdoors. 

Lance mentioned that the people are getting angry at us, and that doesn't show the love of God.  I explained that people getting angry when hearing God's Word and the gospel is very Biblical.  In Acts 21, versus 30-31 and 34-36, it says:

"And all the city was disturbed; and the people ran together, seized Paul, and dragged him out of the temple; and immediately the doors were shut. Now as they were seeking to kill him, news came to the commander of the garrison that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.  And some among the multitude cried one thing and some another.  So when he could not ascertain the truth because of the tumult, he commanded him to be taken into the barracks. When he reached the stairs, he had to be carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the mob. For the multitude of the people followed after, crying out, “Away with him!”

Now, by reading those verses, it is clear that the Apostle Paul was preaching.  His message was, of course, Biblical.  But the crowd wanted to kill him!  Was Paul not showing the love of God to them?  Of course he was.  However, after he preached, they wanted to kill him.  He had to be carried out by the soldiers to be kept safe. 

When the Word of God is preached, including the gospel of Jesus, this convicts and angers those who aren't saved, as well as those who are not living for the Lord right now.  As the Bible says in John 15:18-19:

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you."

Also, in John 3:18-20, it says:

“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed."

Those who practice evil hates the light and doesn't want to be near the light, because their actions and works are exposed as evil. When we preach God's Word, their deeds are exposed and they hate it.  Their heart is being convicted.  Satan doesn't like it.  They will do what they can to silence us.  If that means yelling, cursing, or arguing with us - or worse, that's what they will do.  But, once they hear God's Word, it cannot be taken back.  As Isaiah 55:11 says:

"So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it."

So, when we are preaching the gospel, we are doing more than just trying to show God's love.  When someone gets upset, it's a good thing.  It shows us that the person is being convicted of their sin.  Being convicted of sin is the first step in coming to the Lord. 

I explained this to Lance.  I hope this helps Lance to understand better where we are coming from. 

After this, two young women came up and were cursing and making fun of Dennis while he was open air preaching.  Their names were Erica and Tranquility.  Erica used to go to church and now she doesn't believe in God.  She said she doesn't believe in anything.  I asked her if she thought she was a good person.  She said she did.  I began asking her some questions to see if it were true. 

I took her through some of God's Law, the Ten Commandments.  She admitted to being a liar, a thief, a blasphemer and an adulterer-at-heart.  I explained that the Bible says all liars will have their part in the lake of fire, that no thief or adulterer will inherit the Kingdom of God, and that God will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain (blasphemy).  180,000 people die every day and step off this world into eternity.  One day, Erica, you will.  She said that she will be guilty before God.  We could see a slight conviction in her eyes and attitude.  I quickly went throw what Jesus did on the cross by dying for us, etc., and thanked her for her time, as they had to leave. 

Later, Dennis and I met up with our friend, Mark.  We decided to walk back to Park Central Square to see if an open air preacher, Aaron, was preaching yet.  He was. 

Aaron Brummitt is the pastor at Lighthouse Ana Baptist Church, and he goes to the downtown Springfield area on Friday nights to open air preach.  He also brings along some other folks, I'm assuming from his church.  They were holding crosses.  One had a sign that said, "Jesus Loves You", and the other gave the name of their church.  He has an amplifier that he uses.  He has been ticketed nine times for "disturbing the peace" - just by preaching.  He has hired a local attorney and will fight for his rights.  He has been in the local news as well. 

Aaron seems to be a gifted preacher.  He preached and preached, using amplification, for a long time.  I would guess it was probably 45 minutes to an hour in length.  It was a great message.  Very Biblical.  When he got to the part where he talked about Jesus and Him dying for our sins, he had a couple of people that came up and began to yell and argue at him. 

After his preaching I was able to meet him and talk for a few minutes.  We exchanged contact info.  I wish more Christians would go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.  I really like to see when a pastor gets out and does some street witnessing.  There is a chance to reach people with the gospel who would never darken the door of a church. 

In Christ,

Brad St. Clair