That’s right. This man preached inside IN-N-OUT Burger. Before you pass judgment, watch the 3 minute video then read the back story and my commentary below. Then let me know if you think this was proper.
You never know what can happen during an evangelism outing. People get fired up, God moves and… well, just read the Book of Acts in the Bible!
After a day of sharing our faith on Hollywood Blvd. the evangelism team stopped into the Hollywood IN-N-OUT Burger to grab a bite to eat. Val Scott saw how crowded the place was and said to me, “Man, look at all these people! I want to preach!”
Being the leader of this team it was my responsibilty to see that no one did anything foolish, like preaching inside an IN-N-OUT Burger where there could possibly be some problems. I was on the horns of a dilemma: There were probably a good number of people in the place that would die and go to Hell, maybe even this afternoon. But to preach inside of a restaurant? That’s just not proper, nor respectable. Still, who am I to stop someone from preaching the Gospel? “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16)
I thought about it a moment as Val eagerly anticipated my answer. “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16) Was I ashamed, afraid of what people would think? I was responsible for this team, after all.
Jesus stood up in the synagogue and preached the good news to the Jews, then he rebuked them unexpectedly, causing the Jews to drive him out of town. His message wasn’t very well received, and dare I say, not appropiate. The disciples were forbidden to preach but they did, and with gusto.
IN-N-OUT had no signs stating that it was illegal to preach; it was to be a short message, ninety seconds or so, kind of like singing the “Happy Birthday” song three times. I gave Val my answer: “Go for it, but let’s eat first.”
So he did—after we handed out Million Dollar Bill Gospel tracts to nearly everyone in the place. Our camerman was asked to leave (there were no signs saying that we couldn’t film), so he placed his camera against the window. Val spoke politely, yet firmly. A few people shouted “Hell!” when they were asked where they would go (remember, this was Hollywood). A customer tried to stop him to no avail. Then it was done. A Christian woman thanked him outside and said “Praise God!”
Then Val said in a panic, “Quick! Let’s go! They’re calling the police; I don’t want to go to jail!”
Horatius Bonar (1808-1889) wrote this:
Why then should our preaching be less fervent, our appeals less affectionate, our importunity less urgent? We are a few steps farther from the shore of eternity; that is all. Time may be a little longer than it was then, yet only a very little. Its everlasting issues are still as momentous, as unchangeable. Surely it is our UNBELIEF that makes the difference! It is unbelief that makes ministers so cold in their preaching, so slothful in visiting, and so remiss in all their sacred duties. It is unbelief that chills the life and straitens the heart. It is unbelief that makes ministers handle eternal realities with such irreverence. It is unbelief that makes them ascend with so light a step, “that awful place the pulpit,” to deal with immortal beings about heaven and hell.