"I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the
increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that
watereth; but God that giveth the increase." 1 Corinthians 3:6-7
The Bible never commands us to win souls, but it does
command us to be witnesses — to preach the gospel to every creature and to
be unashamed of the gospel of our LORD Jesus Christ. If you have been
faithful to do that, then you are a success in the eyes of the LORD and
will be rewarded accordingly. But if you have not done this, then you are
a lousy soldier of Jesus Christ, and will suffer loss at the Judgment Seat
of Christ. "But God that giveth the increase" (I Cor. 3:7).
As far as we can discern from scripture, Jeremiah was faithful to preach
the word of God under unreceptive conditions, and had no converts until
after he died. Ezekiel and others were much the same, yet they were
faithful to preach. The Lord has the perfect right to do what He wishes
with His word and with His servants. He may use the word you preach as
evidence against the people at the judgment, or He may use it to save the
ones who are willing to listen and who are willing to yield their hearts.
We preached at a flea market in Pensacola, Florida, on every Saturday
morning for two years, and had two folks saved and some get right.
However, we also preached in the Pecan Festival in Albany, Georgia, with
twenty preachers and lots of one-on-one personal work with sinners under
conviction, and we saw seventy-six folks saved in one day. Remember our
opening text in Ezekiel 2:5: the motive is "yet [they] shall know there
hath been a prophet among them."
Souls Are Saved
If you are faithful to preach the gospel in the correct
manner, and do proportionate one-on-one personal work, the odds are with
you that there will be souls saved. While I was preaching in Montgomery,
Alabama, a forty-year-old man named Don came running up to Bear with tears
in his eyes. With a New Testament in his hands, he said, "I've gotta get
saved; I've gotta get saved NOW!" Bear read him Romans 10: 13 and the man
dropped on all fours in the middle of Montgomery and called on the name of
the LORD. He told us he had been contemplating suicide all day because of
problems in his life. He certainly displayed the joy of the LORD on him as
he asked us, "Where am I? I want to remember where this is."
I was playing "Amazing Grace" on the accordion in Wilmington, Delaware,
when a twenty-five-year-old man named Jerome came up to me and asked, with
eagerness, if I would play it again. I did play it again, and then asked
if he knew for sure when he died if he'd go to heaven. He replied, "No."
In a matter of five minutes, I led him down the Romans Road and into the
presence of our LORD and King.
We have seen fourteen saved in Jacksonville, Florida, in one evening. Two
trusted Christ in Philadelphia. Three were born again in Albany, Georgia.
Fifteen were converted in New Orleans. One black boy accepted the Lord in
Montgomery, Alabama. Two precious girls will be in heaven because of a
street meeting in Pensacola, Florida.
The following is the testimony of an ex-biker. (He is going as a
missionary to Vancouver, Canada.)
Dear Brother and Sisters:
We thank you for touching our hearts. We don't know you, but God has
given us a love for you all. Please don't ever quit. I got saved as a
result of the street ministry. I love street preachers, especially those
who love the sinners on the street, and I know that you all do. Please
pray that God would continue to break our hearts for the sinner and for
the lost souls in Vancouver, Canada.
"He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious
seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with
him" (Ps. 126:6).
"The entrance of thy word giveth light."
Sin is done in darkness both spiritual and, many times, literal. When
someone shines a spotlight on the activities of sin, the rats tend to run
I know from many years of experience on the street, that sin can be
hampered, stifled, kept in its hiding place, and at a bare minimum, if the
light of the glorious gospel of Christ is consistently shined on the
Many Pastors have complained to us about the spiritually cold conditions
of their cities, and that the blatancy of sin is so prevalent. My reply,
drawing from experiences pastoring a church with a street ministry, is
that we preachers have been given charge of the spiritual heaters and
lights. We will be held responsible for the amount of spiritual warmth and
visibility in our communities.
I have seen many bars closed as a result of consistent public witness
against them. I have seen lesbian bars and queer bars boarded up for
Jesus. I have personally witnessed a demonstration of 150 homosexuals
against the laws and legislation of the State of Florida foiled and
squelched because there were some preachers willing to stand in the gap. I
have watched the activities of homosexual churches be drastically altered
as a result of public preaching. I have seen governors, legislators, and
supreme court judges forced to publicly choose whether to identify with
Jesus Christ or to deny Him.
Do you have a particular problem in your community? What have you got to
lose by trying to solve it with a public witness?
One of the most valuable benefits of street preaching
is that those who preach are mightily strengthened as they could not ever
be in any other form of ministry. I have watched young men be filled with
zeal for the LORD's work and, as a result, grow at a much more rapid rate
than those who may exercise themselves in any other fashion. Street
preaching is the steroids of spiritual growth, and is the most vital
hormone in the development of the "last days," frontline soldier of Jesus
Christ. Once injected, it travels fast into the bloodstream of the
Christian, but I must warn you, "It can be habit forming!"
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