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9/11 Perspective: Screeching or Teaching?

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I have received a few emails from people who were upset at the evangelists who preached at the bus stops on Labor Day weekend at the Fiesta Hermosa. But time is of the essence in our minds… Every person who died on 9/11/01 thought they too had another day to live.
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The following article was sent to me by Anna (Banana) Jackson about an incident that happened just a few days ago in her life reminding us that tomorrow is promised to no man:

Last evening, while participating in Saturday evening worship, I got a call from a friend. I silenced it and went on listening to the sermon. Then the call came through again. Again I silenced it. Finally I received a text message asking me to call her. At this point I knew something must be wrong so I went out the back of the sanctuary and called her back. She answered the phone crying. The elderly lady who lived across the street from her had just been hit by a car. She was rushed to the hospital by ambulance with many broken bones and internal injuries… she remained conscious for some time, but died later that evening.

Now for the most important question… did she know the Lord? Her next door neighbor shared the gospel with her on multiple occasions. But as far as I understand, she seemed somewhat hardened against it.

However, she did remain conscious and communicative for some time after the accident. This gives us hope that, even if she did not know the Lord, because of the nearness of death, the words of the gospel she’d been told would echo over and over again in her mind. We have hope that she cried out to Christ for mercy and was saved. We don’t have assurance, but we do have hope.

When I was mulling this over it occurred to me that people die like this every day. And with the numbers of people who attended Fiesta Hermosa, it is only logical to assume that at least one or two are now also dead. Perhaps one of them had to stand in line waiting for the bus.
null null Perhaps he or she was annoyed, or even angry, about having to listen to people pleading with them to repent and put their faith in Christ.
Perhaps he or she was offended by the notion that God would send them to Hell for lying, stealing, or looking with lust.

But in the last hours, or moments of life, thoughts would race: Oh God help me! This is it, I’m going to die! That crazy, “screeching,” street preacher at the festival said that I would go to hell for my sins if I didn’t repent and put my faith in Christ! Oh dear God, I repent! I repent! Please forgive my sins! I put my trust in Jesus Christ! Have mercy on me! Save me from hell!

This is why we do open air preaching.

(“Banana” designs the “The Way of the Master” newsletter.)

“No sort of defense is needed for preaching out-of-doors; but it would need very potent arguments to prove that a man had done his duty who has never preached beyond the walls of his meetinghouse.”
—Charles Spurgeon

(Read part 4 here!)

2 Comments

  1. Anna hits the nail right on the head here. When it all comes down to the line, regardless of what people think – souls are entering eternity every day, every minute, to Heaven or Hell.

    I think that people who think open air preaching is offensive, or for that matter, witnessing… I think though that they really don’t believe that Hell exists, or they just don’t care.

  2. In just our city region alone the weekend before last (Labor Day Weekend) 14 people died in traffic accidents. A story of 2 men who were killed when their car left the road and hit a tree. They were returning from a wedding rehearsal. One man was the groom-to-be and the other was his best man, his own brother.

    Another of a woman who lost her father and brother in a similar incident involving a car and tree. Her other brother, the only one left in her family, was making his way in from out of town for the funeral, lost control of his car and was killed.

    Another of a 17 year old boy who also lost control of his car, smashed it into an embankment of sorts and was killed. A “Good Samaritan” who was witness to the accident stopped his car to see if he could help, unaware that the young driver was already dead. As he crossed the highway he was struck by an oncoming vehicle and he was killed.
    That is only half of the total trafic related fatalities that weekend.

    I think it safe to say that, like most, these people did not wake up that morning, brush their teeth as always, wash their face, look in the mirror and say: ” Well, today is the last day of my life. Hmmph…”

    It made me wonder if any of these people were church going Christians who knew Christ for all He is and were saved. If not, it made me wonder if they ever had an opportunity to hear the gospel on the street, be it one-to-one or open air before they suddenly, unexpectedly departed for eternity.

    Here is a sad statement: in all my life I have never been approached by anybody outside of a church who had the courage and compassion to ask me if I knew where I was going if I were to die that day and proceed to give me the gospel truth.

    Thus, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news”
    ( Isaiah 52:7 + Rom 10:15)

    Good news! Good news!! Where are my shoes??…..

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