As I(Jonathan) was leaving an ASU game I once had a guy scream in my face, “You’re Lost, you’re going to HELL!!!!” He had a huge sign with a list of sins(liars, fornicators, Hip-Hoppers, feminists, dancers, ect.) and he would say this to as many people as he could. I thought to myself this guys is doing more harm then good. I’m sure we’ve all had a face to face encounter with a “Hell Fire/Sign Guy Street Preacher.”
Sign Guys come in all shapes and sizes. Their message mainly consists of judgments, insults and condemnation–with no clear explanation of the gospel. We call it a “condemnation without cause message.” (thanks to Steve at stonethepreacher.com, he was a big help in me understanding more about this issue) This is a problem because unbelievers who walk by have no idea why they should stop sinning, why God will judge them in Hell, and why Jesus died for them.
Evangie crew, as well a few people we witnessed to on Mill Avenue
When you were a child, you didn’t necessarily need that talk from your Mother or your kindergarten teacher about “lieing is bad,” did you? Your heart/conscience already told you it was wrong. It just didn’t feel right. You didn’t need government authorities to tell you you couldn’t end someones life because you got upset or angry. However, at some point in our life( usually early on) we find a hole in the system. We realize we can do something that requires punishment and get away with it. You do not need a preacher or Christian to tell you the difference between right or wrong but perhaps you may need a reminder of God’s perfect standard. Our sin will find us out; don’t hide your sin from God. he is all knowing. Confess it to him, turn from that sin and allow Him to cleanse you. Be encouraged, while you were yet a sinner, Jesus Christ willingly laid his life down for you.
Here’s what most people don’t get: It’s actually a diss to call Jesus a “good teacher.” It’s kind of like calling the Pacific Ocean a “puddle.” Or saying Mount Everest is “a hill.” Or saying that the sun is “warm.”
Jesus was no doubt an incredible teacher in addition to his unparalleled diversity of perfections as the ultimate prophet, priest, and king. However, to simply view Jesus as a good teacher is to misrepresent him. He is the eternal son of God who became a man to reveal the ultimate glory (importance and weightiness) of God to His own creation, and to destroy Satan, Sin, and Death without destroying us. When Jesus taught, people didn’t just think He was a good teacher, they were absolutely astonished. They marveled at Him. When Jesus taught, thousands of people crowded around Him, straining to hear and see Him. He wasn’t just smart and funny; he was perfect.
If ever there was a celebrity, it was Jesus. That is not to say everyone agreed with Him- He confronted and/or offended just about everyone who heard Him. He ticked off every single political group of His day. He undermined the authority of the doctrinaire religious leaders and exposed the hypocrisy of the wealthy elite. He made the religious experts look like fools. He won the hearts of the poor and the disenfranchised. He healed the sick and defended the weak. He demonstrated His divinity and supernatural powers by many great miracles, culminating in the resurrection that proved He was both Lord and Christ.
Jesus was “the talk of the town.” He would have been on all the tabloids, Oprah, Maury, The Daly Show, The Today Show, Larry King, Meet the Press, etc. When people saw the miracles that Jesus performed and believed in Him, they were never the same again. How could they be? He was the promised messiah, the fulfillment of Torah in human form. People longed to be like Jesus, because His righteousness was qualitatively superior to all. He caused people to thirst for righteousness in ways that all the patriarchs and prophets could not. As image bearers of God, we hate injustice and iniquity, yet it scandalizes us when we detect it within our hearts. To be cleansed by our maker Himself is the only vindication that ultimately matters. Only Jesus can give us that desire to be sanctified through the Holy Spirit. Only Jesus earned the right to redeem us to Himself. He has washed us with his blood.
Jesus demands that you worship Him. Responding to Jesus with anything less than extravagant worship is proof that you don’t get it and you still think He’s just a “good teacher.”
On Friday we decided to relocate from our standard Urban Outfitters corner and move a bit North toward the lake. We set up shop near Rula Bula at the clock tower. We felt like we had a lot of fire and zeal tonight but perhaps it was just the redbull, rockstar and monster pumping through our veins!
In themidst of Walter preaching, one of our atheist friends from the secular free thought society, became so angry to the point of cursing Walter out. As they begin discussing Science, DNA, etc., she called Walter ignorant, unaware that he is a nurse and entirely studied up on the topic of her choice. Props to Walter for remaining calm and responding with clarity and love. It is on the urbanevangelism youtube if you’d like to see, but warning the language is foul. Walter also spoke a lot about our need for a savior, describing that we ought to “put up a help wanted sign for Jesus!”It was both clever and biblical , check out the video:)