Thursday, February 9, 2012

Superbowl Update

Thank you for your prayers, support, and encouraging comments while we were at the Superbowl Outreach this past weekend (Feb 1st-6th). The following is a compilation of the prayer requests I sent to my church as we were ministering.

We had an excellent weekend, it seemed to be broken up by day, Friday was mostly for conversation, Saturday was mostly for crosswalking (see pictures), and Sunday was mostly for preaching; each day included some of the other days' activities, but each day definitely had an unintended theme.

Friday:

Thank you so much for your prayers so far: please continue to lift us up more and more this weekend.

109 saints are preaching in our group, from seasoned pastors and missionaries, to brand new believers; it has been a wonderful time of fellowship, discipleship, and evangelism.

Pray especially for two college students, Ian and Chris, who were heckling my friend Jason, I pulled them aside and had a great discussion on creation and dinosaurs, when I turned the conversation to sin Ian got so mad he ran off, but Chris was very attentive and asked how he could be saved. Jesus said, "Look to me all the ends of the earth and be saved."

Pray for Kenny, a drunk recovering from a stroke, who was interested in a god who would overlook his sins and improve his life, we had a longconversation about loving the things of the world and he went away sad not willing to repent, but definitely thinking. We implored him to count the costs of a life of fleeting pleasures versus the surpassing glory of knowing Jesus Christ as Saviour. We prayed for Kenny and he went away with a better understanding of what Christ requires; pray he will be granted repentance and faith.

We witnessed to a youth group with a female youth pastor, they were clueless to the gospel. Praise God for the patience to not explode in anger on this woman who was leading this flock to slaughter; instead she gave me free reign to preach to the kids. At the end I gave the youth pastor an opportunity to explain what Jesus did so that we wouldn't have to go to Hell, and she looked at me like a deer looks at headlights. We had a great conversation ending in me giving a firm command to repent and believe the gospel.

Pray for Eden, a Catholic college student, who adamantly proclaimed her goodness. She was furious and left, I implored after her, "Examine yourself and see your sin, and then seek a Saviour!" She called back, "I DON'T NEED A SAVIOUR!" Pray that God does the impossible work of regeneration in her life.

Two more days of evangelism, hundreds of thousands of people here. Pray for a shut sky this weekend, shut to rain, but not to prayer.

Saturday:

Jesus is faithfully ministering in his saints here, it's been an amazing weekend so far.

Saturday was a rainy day but it didn't stop the crowds from hearing the Word. Evan and I set up at a stoplight and preached to those waiting to cross the street, my main text was, "There is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." It was well received and a blessing to tell so many about Jesus.

Later at a different venue we had a great heckler who had blind faith in evolution and who was a blatant mocker, he drew a huge crowd for us and opened doors to preach the gospel several times on topics from Noah's Ark, to regeneration, to Christ's love towards his enemies. Evan captured the latter part on video, see 13:04 and following.

Few really good conversations, but many seeds planted, one with a Jewish conspiracy theorist, another with a retired school teacher who was really impacted with the thought that she might not be ready for eternity, and a very nice New York fan who thought he was good with God because of his church attendance, he was thankful that I encouraged him to make his calling and election sure and how to do so.

I gave the cross Ted made for me to a dear brother from Arizona who thought it was a great ministry tool. He offered to buy it and obviously I couldn't sell it to him.

Minor persecution; one lady swatted my coffee out of my hand, and a brother from California was hit in the face with a burrito, but God is faithful and is working in Indianapolis just as he is in Kennesaw and the entire world.

Please continue to lift us up on this last day of ministry.

Sunday:

We have returned safely from Indianapolis, it was an amazing weekend of ministry. The leader/organizer of the outreach is Bill Adams, please join me in thanking God for him and for his love for the saints. He is a great disciple maker and really edified the body this weekend.

On Superbowl Sunday we moved all of our evangelists to the stadium, previously we had been all throughout the city of Indianapolis. On Sunday it was literally impossible for someone to be anywhere near the stadium and not hear about Jesus in one of three mediums: open-air preaching, gospel tracting, or conversation. I heard estimates ranging from 150,000 to 300,000 people were outside of the stadium, many come just for the festivities and not for the game. We started with 200,000 Superbowl specific
tracts and ran out before everyone got one (some people take more than one), pray that those 200,000 tracts are read and lead the readers to Christ. There is a quote I love,

The smallest tract may be the stone in David's sling. In the hands of Christ it may bring down a giant's soul.

- Robert Murray M'Cheyne

We ran into a group that calls themselves the "Westboro Baptist Church", they are a notorious group who are frequently at large media events and who fail to preach the love of Christ. I could not pass up the opportunity to read 1 John 4:7-5:21 to them, and then in their hatred they asked me to read Romans 9:13; I said, "I will read it, but only in context." I then read them Romans 8:28-10:17 which points the Christian at the grace and love of God to desire to see all saved, even willing, as Paul, to give up their own salvation if someone else could be saved (Romans 9:3, 10:1). A crowd formed to see what we had to say to Westboro, and I preached to the crowd that the true church loves the world, before I could finish my sentence the Westboro people were exceedingly quick to rail on this statement, and one quoted 1 John 2:15, an absolutely true verse, "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." I said, "Let me finish,the true church loves the world in the way God loves the world, (John 3:16), for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son..." For a split second I think I saw some conviction in the Westboro people as they realized they had called God a sinner. Pray they will be transferred from the power of the evil one into the love of God in Christ Jesus, the Righteous One.

Pray for celebrity Tracy Morgan, he has been in the news lately since he passed out on stage a few weeks ago for unknown reasons (toxology has ruled out drugs or alcohol). Our beloved brother Jason was able to speak briefly with him and told him he was praying for his health and that there is salvation available. Tracy humbly took a tract.

Pray for a football fan named Bobby who is consumed with the worries of this world, and approached us seeking prayer. He made a good profession of faith in Jesus Christ, but is terrified of losing his house to foreclosure next month. Please pray for his financial situation, but moreso that he rests in Christ and seeks first the kingdom of Heaven and his righteousness.

Finally, pray for two fathers and their sons, two very similar situations.
Photo by Stephen JohnsonThe first told his son to "Tebow" (Photo by Stephen Johnson), a sacrilegious pose of mock prayer, in front of the preacher, who responded with Matthew 18:6, "whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." The man was visibly impacted by what he had done and sought out a gospel tract before leaving. The second was after I finished preaching to the line for the Zip-Line ride to a very interactive and receptive audience; a young man, probably 6 or 7, asked, "What about God?" in a genuine tone. I gave him a gospel tract and told him to read it later, his father took the tract and flung it away. Because of the crowd and the way the walkway was laid out we were only 18 inches apart at most, I looked the father in the eyes and quoted Matthew 18:6 to him, then looked to the child and told him to find a Bible, open it, read it, and believe it, to not follow his father to Hell. I was certain we were going to have a confrontation and was preparing to turn the other cheek when the father showed visible contrition and turned away from me taking his son with him. It reminded me of an invitation by a great preacher,
Come then, ye little children, come to Christ; the Lord Christ shall be your righteousness. Do not stay for other people! If your fathers and mothers will not come to Christ, come without them! Let children lead them, and show them how the Lord may be their righteousness.

- George Whitefield

Many other acts of rampant sin reminded me of how important it is for us to pray daily for God to send laborers out into the fields, for the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.