The one on the left is Tim and the man on the right is Blake. Bill asked Tim the Million dollar question and Tim wanted to talk. Meanwhile, I began talking with Blake.
Gay or Straight isn’t the question
Tim was gay and had been in a committed relationship for over 20 years. Bill did such an awesome job. He just listened as Tim poured out over 20 years of pain having been rejected by his family. He then began to rail on religion and said that so many people are killed over wars started by religion. Bill listened and agreed this was horrible. Then he spoke the truth.
He said this is religion and that is not Christ. God hates religion. He was able to prove to Tim that he was not a good person and that God would be obligated to sentence him to hell NOT just for being gay. All sexual sin is condemned by God. He would be condemned and sentenced to hell because he broke God’s law.
On a side note, our former church went through a heretical book by a popular pastor where we were encouraged to ‘just walk across the room.’ That was the extent of the evangelism that was expected. On p. 77-82 the author/pastor relayed an account of meeting two gay people and quickly praying for a, "…paradigm that would bend and flex to include them…” When the gay man says (p.81), “The only two God-words that float around in my head are judgment and hell.” He responded (p.81), “God has outrageous compassion for every single person, regardless of their situation. “Why don’t you just swap them (the two words) out? Look, every time you think judgment and hell, give yourself an opportunity to think about God differently and just say the words grace and power. You never know what might unfold.”
That is not kind or compassionate. I ask you, what happens to a person who does not repent before they die? Don’t they end up in hell?
Bill explained everything to him and he said he appreciated what Bill was saying and that he even appreciated the talk but that he wasn’t going to change because he enjoyed his sin. At least this man has not gone unwarned. I pray that he will abandon his sin before it’s too late. But, Bill wasn’t yelled at and didn’t offend Tim. In fact, Tim thanked him for talking, shook his hand, and was thrilled we asked for a picture with him!
Please don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t or shouldn’t tell a SINNER the truth.
Blake the Agnostic
The man sitting across the table from him was listening and so I asked where he thought he went when he died. His name was Blake. Besides Reuben, who was visibly shaken by our conversation, this was my favorite witnessing encounter of the night.
Blake said he was an agnostic. When I asked why he said he couldn’t believe in hell because he couldn’t believe that a loving God would send innocent people to hell. I set up the scenario of his family being murdered in cold blood and as the criminal stood before the judge, he claimed that he was good and was sure the judge would let him go. I took him through the two possible endings: punishment or freedom. He saw that if the judge let the criminal go, he was not a good judge and likewise, if the judge punished the criminal then justice was served. He said that made a lot of sense and he hadn't ever really thought of it that way.
I then took him through the good person test. When I told him that his guilt had been established and he couldn’t pay the fine, God the judge was swinging the gavel of justice to close his case. But, when the gavel was in midair, someone screams from the back of the courtroom for the judge to stop that he wanted to pay Blake's fine. He understood that this was Jesus Christ.
When I asked him how he would feel towards someone who just did that for him he slowly and very deliberately said, “Grateful.” He was the first person that I’d ever witnessed to that said that and I told him so. Most say ‘thankful’, ‘appreciative’, ‘good’, or ‘happy.’
He just stopped. He didn’t say a word. He wasn’t drunk. He just thought for a minute. I didn’t say a word. He said, “I NEVER thought of it that way before. I have never HEARD it that way before.” He’d been to church when he was younger but was no doubt an embittered ‘backslider’ who’d been fed the “modern gospel.” He said he was definitely going to give it some thought. I told him I had really enjoyed talking with him. He was not moved like Reuben was, but he was awakened. He thanked me again with the deepest of sincerity for talking with him.
Bill and I were so thankful for such an opportunity to speak to all these people tonight. You know, the likelihood that ANY of these people would have been in church on Sunday or that they would have attended a Biblically sound church is not very likely at all. Had we not gone into that bar, none of the people we talked to would have heard the Gospel tonight because they were not on the street. We were kind of bummed because it was 9:40pm and we were told to regroup at the theatre promptly at 10:00pm. So we left the bar and headed up the street. Bill handed out tracts to several people along the way. One kid (about 13 years old) had a sample of almost every tract that Living Waters sells in his hand! He’d been collecting them all night. We encouraged him to read them.
As we were heading up the street, I handed a MDB to Larry who was sitting on a ledge. He had a gentle nature and told us he had talked to some people earlier tonight. He also claimed he was a Christian. I asked him to explain how does one become saved and he explained perfectly. He also said that he reads his Bible almost every day, and prays and appreciated the evangelistic effort that he had seen out here tonight on the street. Whether he was just parroting back what he had discussed earlier or was indeed a true convert, I don’t know. But, it was nice conversation.
We met up with our group of which only about half had showed up. We closed in a word of prayer and then went our separate ways.