We had the privilege of spending our anniversary serving and glorifying our Lord Jesus Christ by preaching on campus today.
We preached on this campus one day last fall. They have an excellent free speech spot, the police and administration do an outstanding job, and they just require you to call in advance to let them know when you are coming.
We had a few unexpected difficulties on the way to campus so we arrived slightly later than we had planned.
I was planning on arriving before noon but arrived a few minutes after. I arrived in the preaching area around 12:15 PM.
A white woman in charge of activities and two black male police officers were waiting for me. I greeted them all with a handshake and introduced myself.
Unfortunately the water fountain located close to the preaching area was turned on. It makes some noise so that made preaching a little more difficult.
I talked to the officers about standing and facing the grassy hill so the students could gather there but the officers did not want that. They thought it would possibly bring a safety issue and there was some sort of display on the hill that the students would most likely ruin if they gathered there.
I began preaching at about 12:25 PM.
I apparently made a poor choice of a preaching spot at first by attempting to preach from the hill. The students would gather on the side walkway where the officers did not want them but would not gather in front of me.
After about 15-20 minutes I moved out onto the circle in the free speech area about 35 yards from the fountain and immediately a crowd began to gather in a circle.
Some of the students even sat down and remained civil in the early part of the preaching.
Gradually the crowd increased to around 150 in a close circle around me. This campus seems to be about 50-60% black.
As last time the police officers did an excellent job both by not attempting to censor me, not interfering unnecessarily, and keeping the crowd in check.
The officers made the students stay out of the circle I was standing in which kept a distance between them and myself.
I had about 3-5 yards distance between the crowd and myself.
As the crowd became more rowdy later in the day the police brought out and set up a boundary around me.
About all of the questioning I got from the students and arguments were the typical low level “judge not”, “we can’t stop sinning”, “Jesus died to forgive us so it doesn’t matter what we do”, etc.
Most of the time though they remained calm enough to allow me to respond and answer as well as heard what I was saying.
I attribute a big part of this to the police officers commanding a certain level of respect.
At one point a student brought out a bunch of free condoms and started giving them away to the students.
The crowd rushed the student with the free condoms like starving children trying to grab food.
Whenever the students can see I am able to defend what I am preaching, answer their questions, and know what I am talking about they get under conviction and try to turn the preaching into a circus.
The students began blowing up the condoms into balloons and throwing them into the circle, putting them on their heads and popping them, etc.
After about two hours of solid Bible preaching, reproving, rebuking and exhorting with all longsuffering and doctrine with no one able to refute me the crowd thinned down to around 30-40.
At this point I was able to have more discussion and take better more sincere questions. I kept this up until about 3:10 PM and took a desperately needed restroom break.
As I exited the preaching area a young man named Matt introduced himself as the Chi Alpha pastor on campus (Chi Alpha is a Assembly of God campus ministry) and wanted to talk to me.
We had a good civil discussion on the way to the restroom and back. Finally I tried to pin him down on exactly how he believed on repentance, sinning and salvation.
He claimed he believed in repentance but said he did not think a person had to repent of all sin to be saved. I kept asking him for examples. He really couldn’t give any.
He said he did not believe in Once Saved Always Saved but said he did not believe a person loses salvation if they commit a sin.
This is typical talk and allows salvation while remaining in unrepentant sin.
His face began to twitch uncontrollably when we got on this subject.
I gave him the scenario of a Christian going out and committing the sin of fornication and asked him if while the person is in fornication are they walking in the light and does the blood cleanse them while in that sin (1 John 1:7).
Of course he danced around, never answered, and continued to twitch uncontrollably so I decided to call it a day.
I started to leave but the Chi Alpha leader began having a discussion with my wife and I had some discussion with a few other students.
We left the campus around 3:45 PM.