PREACHING AT FLORIDA ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY 1/30+2/1-2/2/2/12- BY BROTHER MICAH ARMSTRONG

 

Monday January 30, 2012-Florida Atlantic University-Boca Raton, Florida:  It was good to return to this campus again.  This was the first campus I preached on after I went into full time campus preaching. 

 

WHERE’S THE FRUIT? 

 

We were also able to preach to a student named Martin back in 2007 who was saved under the preaching.  Martin then went on to preach outdoors by himself every weekend in the downtown club district near where he lived, preached at many big events, attended the SOAPA conference for outdoor preachers, and preached with us many times on this campus following his conversion before he graduated.  We also know of another student who heard our preaching and was influenced and ended up being converted. 

 

WILLING VESSELS

 

I may have decided against preaching today as the school is just over an hour away and my permit was only from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM due to other activities already going on until 2:30 PM.  One of the main reasons I went was because my good friend and Brother Emmanuel and his wife were only able to go with us on this day.  Brother Emmanuel began preaching outdoors with me back around 2004 at South Beach.  He is a diligent student of the scriptures and has memorized many scriptures and passages.  He is visually impaired and cannot drive and his wife is blind.  Yet despite his handicap he has been faithfully preaching outdoors since around 2004. 

 

FLORIDA ATLANTIC POLICE

 

We have gotten to know the police here over the years and they are friendly and cooperative with us.  We preached here back in 2008 the day after and week of the presidential election and had such a mob of 200-300 students the police put up a barricade around us and fenced us in.  From now on whenever they know we are coming they set up a barricade. 

 

PREACHER RICHARD

 

There were about 5 police officers on hand and the barricades were set up when we arrived just before 3:00 PM.  I was introduced by the police officer in charge to some of the staff members.  At this point the man I had met last week at Florida Gulf Coast University and ended up being a Christian and handed me a bottle of water showed up and greeted me.  His name is Richard and when I asked what he was doing here he informed me he was a traveling preacher.  He was influenced by Jed Smock, Max Lynch and Paul Stamm preaching at Minnesota years ago. 

 

DEALING WITH HECKLERS

 

I began preaching around 3:10 PM and quickly a crowd began to gather.  The crowd grew to around 75-100 and as a whole was listening well, but I had several hecklers who would keep yelling and would not be quiet.  The first guy I ignored him and got quiet for a few minutes and he stopped and finally left.  The second was a black female student who professed to be a Christian and objected to the Biblical preaching of sin, righteousness, judgment, repentance, faith, holiness, etc.  She kept yelling most of the time when I was preaching but I believe I got my points across to the crowd. 

 

The crowd moved in closer to the barricades and was moving from being amused to getting angry.  I turned the preaching over to Brother Emmanuel around 4:20 PM as the permit was only until around 5:00 PM and this was the only day he could come and preach. 

 

REJECTING THE SCRIPTURES

 

While Emmanuel reproved, rebuked, and exhorted the rowdy crowd with all longsuffering and doctrine I had a good conversation with Brother Richard.  Soon one of the police officers told me the black female heckler wanted to talk to me.  I told him sure and he brought her over.  I reasoned with her from the scriptures.  She thought if I preached the “right way” that everyone would receive it and get “saved”.  I reasoned with her from the scriptures that sinners hate God and are in rebellion against Him (Matthew 6:24, John 3:19-20, 1 John 1:5, John 7:7, John 15:18-19, John 15:25, Romans 5:10, Romans 8:7, Colossians 1:21, James 4:4) and so if I am accurately portraying God as who He says He is and they hate Him then the majority will reject the message.  This was to no avail at the time.  When I saw she was not open to honestly examine what the scriptures taught I dismissed her. 

 

Around 5:00 PM the head police officer told me we had to stop preaching.  I made a brief announcement about returning Wednesday to the rowdy crowd of 90-110.  Most of the crowd dismissed but the officers allowed us to stay around and talk to the students who approached us. 

 

FERTILE GROUND

 

Brother Emmanuel had a very good conversation with a student who claimed to be a Christian and liked Ray Comfort’s Way of the Master.  Brother Emmanuel gave him excellent scriptural reasons for all the questions and concerns this student had and he seemed very open. 

 

ROMANS 7 IS NO EXCUSE FOR SIN

 

I had a good conversation with a very sincere young man who seemed to be keeping himself pure but had questions about Romans 7.  I am on the verge of writing a tract on this subject.  I took him through and showed him Paul was not writing about his post conversion experience but rather about his preconversion experience.  He seemed to be very open.  He then asked several more questions and dismissed himself saying he was glad we were out and doing what we were doing.  He wanted to make sure we were solid in our doctrine. 

 

A CAMPUS MINISTER WITH GOOD DOCTRINE

 

I then was introduced to a man who was a minister and a former youth minister in a church.  He was older than the average student and had many good and sincere questions about the preaching.  I explained everything to him from the scriptures and he had a very good understanding of the Bible and proper theology.  He just listened and seemed delighted and took many notes. He apparently works with some Christian groups on campus and wanted to address with them some of the things he was asking me. 

 

He thought it was so interesting how as he listened to us preach and would go around and ask the students what they thought of the preaching they would always distort everything we said. 

 

At 5:30 PM the officers told us they would walk us to our car if we wanted but if we felt safe they would not and we could stay and talk to the students.  We told them everything was fine and we continued to talk to the very open students until after 6:00 PM. 

 

HOLY HUBERT LINDSEY AND RABBI ABRAHAM

 

Wednesday February 1, 2012-Florida Atlantic University-Boca Raton, Florida:  Sister Elizabeth and I were joined by our friend Rabbi Abraham who knew Holy Hubert Lindsey when he was at Berkley.  Rabbi Abraham and his wife were married by Hubert. 

 

It was good to have Rabbi Abraham as this school has a large Jewish population. 

 

When we arrived I greeted Brother Richard and introduced him to Rabbi Abraham.  He is a Rabbi and has been a follower of Jesus Christ for many years now but we do not address him in personal conversation as “Rabbi”.  We did introduce him to the students that way though as most think you cannot be Jewish if you are a follower of Jesus Christ. 

 

I approached the barricades and several police officers around 12:30 PM and we were warned by them not to set bags down on the cement ground or benches in the barricaded preaching area as it was full of bleach.  The air reeked with bleach also. 

 

I did not think much of this and began preaching around 12:35 PM.  However, what I later learned was overnight the students had drawn satanic artwork all over the area where we preached and offered animal sacrifices.  Brother Richard arrived earlier and told my wife this and took pictures. 

 

BROTHER RICHARD KEEPING THE PRESSURE ON

 

Brother Richard had preached here yesterday (Tuesday) because I had a permit from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM and had not planned to make the long drive for just a two hour permit.  He told me he had a good day with a crowd of 25 which as he said “Is massive for me!”

 

A ROWDY MOB

 

I began preaching around 12:35 PM and in no time the crowd grew quickly.  Soon the crowd was around 175-225 and remained that way until late in the afternoon.  It was steady non stop heckling and yelling.  Usually a large, loud rowdy crowd will settle down at times and listen to some preaching but not these students. 

 

It was so loud in the barricades I could hardly hear myself preaching.  I battled the unruly mob for two solid hours and it seemed there was never any let down where they settled down and got quiet. 

 

STUDENTS NIGHTMARE:  STANFORD GRADUATE WHO IS A RABBI AND FOLLOWER OF JESUS

 

Around 2:35 PM I turned the preaching over to Rabbi Abraham.  I introduced him as a Rabbi and a Jewish follower of Jesus Christ.  This had their minds reeling.  I also told the crowd he was a graduate of Stanford which to arrogant, haughty students who pride themselves on their education and intellect is very impressive. 

 

INTERVIEWED BY THE SCHOOL NEWSPAPER

 

I left the barricades to use the restroom accompanied by a police officer.  I was interviewed for about 30 minutes by a student from the school newspaper.  After the interview I was approached by several other students who asked me questions and soon a handful of students gathered around me.  At this point the officer wanted me to head back to the free speech area. 

 

TELEVISION CREW

 

When I returned the television cameras and crew was out from the school TV.  They gave me a brief interview, some of the other preachers also, and interviewed some of the students.  Rabbi Abraham had maintained the crowd and was mixing it up pretty well.  One angry muslim student threw his drink on him and was escorted off by the police.  He preached until 3:20 PM. 

 

BROTHER RICHARD HAS A STRONG PREACHING VOICE

 

I was having many very good conversations in the back of the preaching area. I introduced Brother Richard and turned the preaching over to him.  He told me when he preaches he usually does not gather a crowd but usually the crowd leaves.  He lives very sacrificially and seems very soft spoken.  I could barely hear him when he was preaching but then again I could not hear myself either the crowd was so loud. 

 

He held the crowd for a short time but soon they began thinning out.  He preaches good and uses a lot of Bible verses.  Once the crowd thinned out I discovered he had a very strong preaching voice!  He preached on until 5:00 PM and there were around 35 people still left. 

 

Rabbi Abraham, Sister Elizabeth and myself were all involved in very good conversations with small groups of students.  Around 5:25 PM the police officer escorted us part of the way to our vehicle. 

 

Thursday February 2, 2012-Florida Atlantic University-Boca Raton, Florida:  As Sister Elizabeth and I were driving today it began raining and the sky was dark.  By the time we arrived on campus the rain had stopped. 

 

BREAKTHROUGH:  PRAYER PREVAILS

 

I greeted Brother Richard and began preaching around 12:45 PM.  Immediately the crowd gathered and continued to grow.  The crowd grew and remained between 150-200 for the remainder of the time I was preaching.  Today they were much more civil and subdued.  I had requested prayer from brothers and sisters as well as praying for a breakthrough myself and directly attribute this breakthrough to divine intervention from God Almighty. 

 

Much of the hard fallow ground had been broken up by preaching and conversations the previous two days and I was able to preach very effectively for the next two hours.  I turned the preaching over to Brother Richard around 2:45 PM. 

 

He maintained the crowd for a time but then some began to leave and some began to come around Sister Elizabeth and myself.  Some stayed and listened to the preaching also.  Brother Richard continued preaching until 4:00 PM. 

 

IS JESUS THE MESSIAH? 

 

I had many very good conversations on the sides.  One in particular was a tall male Jewish student who had heckled me earlier in the week and that day.  He was asking very good and sincere questions about Jesus being revealed as the Messiah in the Law of Moses, and Prophets and Psalms (Luke 24:27, 44).  I believed this student was on the verge of salvation and he sincerely thanked me before he left.  Unfortunately there was so many around asking questions I could not continue to deal with him the way I would have liked. 

 

I talked to Brother Richard around 4:40 PM and invited him to fellowship but he said he had to catch a bus.  He will be at University of Central Florida next week and I will probably see him there. He told me this had been a whole new experience for him.  I am not sure what he meant but I think he meant having the opportunity to preach to larger crowds. 

 

I continued to talk and answer questions until around 5:10 PM.

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