Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hollywood Open Air Trivia 07/12/08

Typical attractions that you will see on Hollywood Blvd. Get your picture taken with a superhero for only a buck.

On Saturday at about noon I got a call from Tony Miano and he said that he and his daughter Michelle would be joining me out on Hollywood Blvd. I was happy to know that I wouldn't be out there alone so I packed up my backpack with my amplifier and tracts and brought my new camera along. God is the reason why I go out to Hollywood because i'm not trusting in myself, i'm not trusting in my ability or my experience but I'm trusting that God will use me for His glory to draw lost people to Jesus Christ. So here is how the day went.

When got to my favorite street corner I was confronted by this gentleman who accused me of harassing him because I took his picture. I've always tried to be nice to him but i'm never sure how he is going to react to my presence.Watch this video of him heckling Dru Morgan during a previous adventure to Hollywood Blvd.

Somehow I managed to walk right by Tony & Michelle without either of us noticing each other so when I looked back, there they were handing out tracts.

We decided to do Open Air Trivia because I've been doing a lot of Stoplight Preaching in Hollywood so I wanted doing something different this weekend. We were surprised to find a few spots on the sidewalk that were open so Tony decided on a very special spot right in front of a Sheriff's patrol car.

So we started handing out million dollar bill gospel tracts.

This guy came up to us and seemed to be encouraging us but was also prodding for what we believed and this young man tried to teach us that a person must be baptized to be saved. Of course this is not true. We are saved by grace through faith and not of ourselves, it is a free gift, not as a result of works so that no man may boast. Baptism is a something a Christian does as a sign of obedience not as a requirement for salvation.

After we handed out a bunch of tracts, Tony got up on the box first and used trivia to draw a crowd. Notice how Tony elevated his foot to keep the crowd entertained while giving away money for correct answers to trivia questions.

Tony took the whole crowd through the good person test and promised that someone in the crowd would get a $5.00 gift card to In n Out. Tony just asked everyone if they had ever stolen anything and people were honest and not shy about admitting that they were thieves. No one is innocent of stealing and this goes for the rest of the 10 Commandments because it is written "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all." (James 2:10) It doesn't matter if people believe this or not because God's Word accomplishes what pleases Him. No need to get into an argument so just move on to the next question.

Something that is noticed by many evangelist when open air preaching is that people have no problem listening to the law as people admit their sins before others, but what may be a surprise to many is that once we mention Jesus name the big crowd disappears. This is something that we should expect because Jesus said, "If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you."(John 15:18) So Tony said he was going to write a blog about this soon with an idea of how to keep the crowd from shrinking when sharing grace with the crowd.

It was my turn up on the box next so I got up my honest fear is that I wont get anyone to stop but for some odd reason I am able to always draw a crowd. The gentleman to the far left with the blue hat took the good person test and was humbled by the law, he understood the bad news that none of us are good and that all our righteous acts are like a filthy rag before God. I then shared the good news with him while others listened around him and I gave him a $5.00 gift card to "in n out" as an example of grace. I told him that even though he had not passed the good person test he would still receive the gift because I wanted him to have it.

There was no excellence of speech. Just the law & grace. The bad news and the good news. Repentance and faith in Jesus alone or eternity in hell forever. The preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved it is the power of God unto salvation.

The young man is a journalist on a business trip from Vienna Austria. After handing him a million dollar bill gospel tract he asked me what it was and I told him it was a gospel tract. He said that he didn't believe that God exist so I used the builder/painter analogy which caused him to rethink his statement as he agreed that a building is proof that there is a builder, a painting is proof that there is a painter and creation cries out that there is a Creator. I shared the law with him and then grace and before he walked away we shook hands and I gave him a booklet to read.

This lady had walked up several times and taken gospel tracts from me and Tony and was hanging around. It looked as if she might be homeless and appeared confused so I didn't want to treat her any different than I would anyone else so I asked her if she had read the back of the bill which she replied that she hadn't read it.

I explained to her what the million dollar was and listened to her describe what she believed. She believed in many different things, she declared that she had not lied, stolen, used Gods name in vain, etc., and I so shared the gospel with her so that in-case she never read the tract that she would at least hear it and by faith, repent and put her trust in Jesus alone for her salvation.

At the end of the conversation, she disagreed with me and shoved the gospel tract back into my hand and walked away. She had several tracts so I'm hoping that she will be reminded of our conversation and that she will stop creating a god in her mind that she is comfortable with because God has said that no idolater will enter the kingdom of heaven. (1 Corinthians 6:9,10)

Don't feel like you've failed if a person is not convicted over their sin and refuse to believe what God has said in His Word. Think of how the rich younger ruler walked away sad because Jesus told him to go and sell all that he had and give the money to the poor and then come and follow Him. Jesus didn't run after him because the rich younger ruler loved his sin more than he loved God.

Here is Michelle handing out tracts to a group of people. Michelle is such a great encouragement to me because when I was her age I was not sharing my faith even though I had professed to be "Christian" I was not concerned about other people spending eternity in hell.

I'm so thankful to God that I was able to watch the Firefighter video of Kirk Cameron because it brought conviction to my heart and caused me to examine myself to see if I was truly in the faith and then turned from my sins and put my trust in Jesus to save me. I have to confess to anyone that might read this blog that I am a wretched man and the chief of all sinners. I still make very stupid mistakes and sin against God but I am broken over my sin and I pray that God will change my heart and make me willing to please Him. I am a sinner saved by grace through faith and not of myself. Definitely not saved because of anything that I've done because all my righteous acts are like a filthy rag before God. Thank you, Lord Jesus! Amen.