Over the last two Saturdays the evangelism team has gone down to Huntington Beach to experience Ray Comfort and his seven-foot gorilla named Link. He stands on a box and proclaims the Gospel to all who would stand around and listen to him preaching in the open-air like the evangelists of old: Wesley, Whitefield, Spurgeon—all those fearless godly men who cared only about what God thought. (Click here to start at Part 1 of “My Great Evangelism Adventure.”)
How does he gather the crowd? He askes trivia questions like: “What is the only fish that can blink with both eyes?” The crowd gathers around and shouts out various answers:
Ray baits them. “Someone say halibut!”
“Good answer. No!” Everyone laughs and more gather around, curious as to what this funny little man with the mustache has to say. And he rewards the crowd handsomely by offering quality “TY” stuffed animals to those who get the answers right—and wrong!
Ray keeps asking questions (“What is the most common food that people choke on in American restaurants? What kills more American drivers than anything else in the U.S.?”), until a crowd of about fifty or so gathers, then he asks for a volunteer to take The Good Person Test.
If the volunteer can answer all four questions posed to him correctly, then he really is a good person and will receive the cool stuffed toy. Scottie his sound man from the T.V. show, “The Way of the Master” videotapes the action for future use.
Before all this happens though, Ray draws a half circle about 10 feet out from the preacher’s box for crowd control, then he draws an “X” in the middle to place the person who takes up the challenge (this is also a great spot to place an obnoxious heckler). Then he booms out the Gospel message, asks if anyone can pass the good person test… and someone always takes him up on the challenge… and loses!
Why? Because no one is good. He asks if they have ever lied, stolen, blasphemed God, or lusted; of course everyone has, which makes them lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterers-at-heart, and when judged by the 10 commandments and found guilty, will have pay for their sin in Hell. I saw one girl put on her sunglasses in shame, and another woman reduced to tears.
Ray gives the “good person” a stuffed “TY” bear anyway as a demonstration of God’s grace—they don’t deserve the stuffed bear and they don’t deserve the gift of God’s grace and forgiveness—but everyone gets it free when they repent of their sins and trust in Jesus who paid the price.
After his ten minute stint, he steps off the box; then its Scottie’s turn.
…and Ray video-tapes the action…
After he’s done, Anita, a worker from Living Waters Ministry gets up. It’s equal opportunity preaching for all!
We also tape the action for future use as teaching videos for our church and for postings on websites and YouTube!
Suddenly, something incredible happened ( incredible to me anyway)…
After Anita stepped down from the box, Ray turned to me and asked, “Would you like to give it a try, Steve?”
I didn’t have time to think; I just said, “Yes!”
What an honor! It’s kind of like Billy Graham sharing his pulpit, or something—
I stepped up, asked a few questions, and because Ray gave me a few of the high quality “TY” bears to hand out, people stayed to listen. I even had the pleasure of an angry heckler deride me a little to draw— and he drew a few more people in. But I forgot one thing: I forgot to give my camera to a friend to document everything; it was still in my pocket!
Oh well… after Ray and his team packed up and left, we ran over to my car to get a milk crate—and we continued to preach! Without the novelty of a seven-foot gorilla though, it was a little harder to attract a crowd.
Still, the 5-foot-eleven monkey had the able assistance of his two daughters—who think he’s the greatest preacher who ever lived.
(Nearly all posts prior to June 2013 on this blog are evangelism related. I have been actively sharing my faith since that fateful day, January 1, 2004. If you have any questions about evangelism, leave a comment and I will get back to you.)