It was a nice cool night out in the streets of Tempe tonight - probably the last cool evening that we'll have since the AZ desert starts to heat up this time of year. Our atheists from the Skeptic Tank didn't show up at all tonight.
Tom and I met Alan and Ronnie on Mill Ave to find Eric, or "Flips" as he likes to be called, hanging out at the Post Office. If you've been following the blog, you might remember the last encounter we had with him, back on 08-07-10. Check it out HERE.
He was pretty obnoxious the last time we spoke, but appears to be reconsidering his position. Alan had given him a Bible and he said he was going to read it. Eric was still a bit off in some of his beliefs, but I pray that he will have an open mind as he reads through the Bible and learns of the one true God, who will lead him in understanding.
He thought that Jesus died so that he could continue in his sins. I explained that was definitely not the case, and quoted Heb 10:26-27 to him. He was unconvinced, but we had a good conversation and I asked him if I could pray for him. He said, "Right now? Here?" I said yes, and he agreed. So I prayed that the Lord would reveal Himself to him through his reading of the Bible, that the Spirit would guide him to understanding and knowledge. He hung around for a little while after that, and then headed out. Please keep him in prayer.
A big guy named Michael stopped by to say, "Praise Jesus" and told us that he was a believer. Tom questioned him some to get an idea of his beliefs, since there are so many professing "Christians" that are false converts or following heretics, that you cannot just take someone by their word. So, we ask some questions to see what they truly believe. He didn't like that much, and I've found that those are often the ones who are not truly born again. They have a little bit of intellectual knowledge of God's love, but no idea of His holiness, His righteousness and His justness. They tend to get uncomfortable when we talk about His wrath against sinners, and that we all fall short of His perfect standard. All of this points to our NEED for a Savior. When they get offended by this, I find that often, we are dealing with a false convert who doesn't truly understand the Gospel or why Jesus would die for us. They feel convicted and they lash out, telling us that we're being "judgmental." He left before we were able to explain the full Gospel to him.
After that three drunks stopped by to take their pictures by our cross, mocking the crucifixion. We talked to them briefly as they were taking their pictures, but they wouldn't take any tracts. Pray that the Lord would convict them of their sin and draw them to Him.
I did some Open Air Trivia, and a guy named Ron got all my trivia questions correct and stepped up for the Good Person Test. We found that he was a self proclaimed lying thief and a blaspheming adulterer at heart. I took him through the Gospel and explained the requirements of repenting (turning away from sin, forsaking it) and trusting in Jesus Christ alone for our salvation. I explained that he didn't pass the Good Person Test and didn't deserve the prize, but offered it to him anyway, as a demonstration of God's grace. Just as we don't deserve salvation, can do nothing to earn it, but only accept it as a free gift, I offered him the cash. At first, he refused and I asked him why. He said it was because he didn't earn it and I explained that we cannot earn salvation either, but must simply humble ourselves and accept the gift (Eph 2:8-9). Finally he relented and took it, and I gave him a "Are You Good Enough to Get into Heaven?" tract as well.
Soli Deo Gloria