Greetings in the lovely name of our Lord Jesus Christ! We are thrilled to be able to present this ministry to you for the glory of God, and it is my hope and prayer that Christians all over the world will be edified and the lost would be saved as a result of the literature, updates, and videos of this site. We are only a vessel in the hands of the Potter, and it is our privilege to be a contending voice of truth and light in this last day of deception and darkness.
I have been preaching open air since October, 2011 and it has been a great journey of learning and fulfillment as we have allowed the call of God to accomplish it’s purposes in our lives. My wife and I are both alumni of Free Gospel Bible Institute in Export, PA and were married August 13, 2011, right before my senior year of college. My wife graduated in 2010 and has been a tremendous blessing to me and the ministry. A woman that will follow her husband as he follows Christ is truly priceless!
We look forward to continuing the work of open air evangelism on the college campus’ and streets of our nation and, as God enables, the nations abroad. Please pray that God would prepare the hearts of all those who will hear the full Gospel of repentance, change of heart and holiness of life to believe and obey it’s life transforming message as He anoints us to proclaim it. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!
Greetings in the Name above all names! Thank you once again for taking time out of your schedule(s) to read our newsletter. We count it a privilege to be able to tell you about what the Lord has been doing on the campus’ of our nation. The Lord has enabled us to preach at more than 50 universities across the country, and as the condition of the present generation grows darker, our Light, by His grace, continues to shine brighter. We are seeing more and more college students approaching us and telling us how sorry they were for reacting the way they did to our preaching, and for this we are SO grateful! I believe the Lord takes special interest in every sinner that condemns their actions and justifies the preacher (Luke 18:13-14; James 4:6). And that’s only how many we’ve SEEN. Who knows how many other students have and will side with God against their self because of the message they heard on campus? Just a couple weeks ago I got the privilege to preach with Bro. Bourgault at Valdosta State in Georgia. Listen to his testimony. . . .
“Had three great days at Valdosta State recently, the last day we preached with Chris LePelley and Elijah Lewis from Alabama. The final day there culminated in near riot conditions. They arrested one kid who assaulted me (early Christmas for him we didn’t press charges). He soiled his diaper though. The crowd exploded into 200+ with whores and whoremongers blaspheming the Lord, a frat boy hurled a beer can, lots of snorting, cursing and rage spewing from these intolerants, a “Louis Farrakhan” wannabe racists hurling his “white devil” verbal slop at me and then out of the blue…a rock from somewhere in the crowd struck me in the collarbone (it’s getting nasty out there!). So I had my illustration….I made a plea for the rock thrower to stand forth in the midst and join me for HE WAS WITHOUT SIN! Nobody stepped to the plate as I suspected. Just the help I needed at that point though and then Chris “the bread of life throwing” LePelley arrives and preaches to an increasingly escalating situation. The best part is happening on the sideline though with Bro. Elijah. A young black male who heckled and mocked is under deep conviction after four hours of Holy Ghost conviction, tears streaming and he prays for salvation with Bro. Elijah near Langdale Hall just before the campus police shut it down an hour before the permit expired for students threatening while Bro. Chris preached!!! We marched off singing “onward Christian soldiers” in part and rebuking the crowd that followed us out of there. God answers prayer. I asked for a mighty stir…He gave it. Administration and even professors showed up (and “out”). I asked for the Holy Ghost to put fire in our bones as we preached…He poured it “ONUS”. I asked for a soul to be saved and He gave that as well to crown the great victory at VSU! Pray for the young man “Ajean” who called on The Lord. Psalm 51″
- Bro. Bourgault
Well GLORY! I’m thankful to know that the Spirit of holiness aint done yet! He’s still raising folks from their dead trespasses and sins into a new life with HIM!!
We do covet your prayers as this time of the year is usually a financial challenge. If you are able and willing to help us at all, click HERE.
We were privileged to join several fire breathing street preachers at Louisiana State University the early part of November. Unfortunately I was feeling pretty ill, plus I had to preach that night, so I didn’t do any preaching, just witnessing. Here are some pictures of the action. . .
Prayer before war
Pastor Britt Williams giving some words of instruction and exhortation to all the preachers
Holy handmaidens holding “holiness or hell” signs
Bro. Randy Hartinger causing no small stir
With enough preachers on campus, we can have our own “amen corner.”
Bro. Peter Schultz in the orange steps up.
Bro. Phil Lanz
14 year old Bro. Cole Tucker knows how to ruffle some feathers!
Bro. Kevin Pulver holds a rainbow flag umbrella that an LGBT supporting student reluctantly let him borrow and preaches, “You sodomites stole our rainbow! We’re here to take it back! God gave it to us, his people, first as a sign of peace, but there is NO PEACE to the wicked, saith God! The rainbow is ours, not yours!!”
Bro. Ronny Wheeler joins me at Missouri State
Witnessing to some students on a cold and rainy day at the University of Kentucky
Preaching at Baton Rouge Community College with some members of Consuming Fire Fellowship
Bro. Micah Williams lettin’ em have it!
Got to meet up with Bro. Micah Williams again and some of his brothers at Northwestern State University (LA)
Bro. Jude Williams with my sandwich board and Bro. Jordan Williams with my banner.
The students scream, “The only good you’ve done here is unify us all together!” Right, just like they all came unified together against Christ at the crucifixion!
Here was another photo I found in the photo gallery of the town newspaper. The students were nice enough to let me be in their picture:)
Click HERE to watch a video of the Lord helping me to give Evangel University the “what for.”
Sam Houston State- Huntsville, TX; 10/16/14
Pastor Josh Herridge, some young men from his church, pastor Victor Persinger, and a couple of his sons joined me for a time of Biblical evangelism at SHS. It was the first time Bro. Herridge and his crew got to stand for Jesus on a college campus, and they say they want to be a faithful witness at Sam Houston as often as they can be. Praise God! Matthew 9:38 is a prayer the Lord WILL answer.
This young lady standing next to me stood to bare witness to our “repent or perish” message. Always thankful for reinforcement!
Jealous hecklers always trying to steal the radiant attention God’s Word brings.
Young men from Bro. Herridge’s church witnessing
Student dirty dances (they call it “break” dancing, but any dancing that doesn’t glorify the holy God of the Bible is dirty) while I preach.
The University of North Texas in Denton- 10/20/14
It was a mad house at the University of North Texas! So thankful for Bro. Clarence Davis that joined us. It was his first time standing for Jesus on a college campus and says he feels the burden and call to be a faithful open air witness. Praise God for answered prayer (Matt. 9:38)!
There was a group of about 15-20 that followed us all the way back to the parking garage as we were leaving. The police that were with us had to command them to retreat as soon as we reached the entrance, or they would have pressed us until we got in our car. (Click HERE to see the action)
The lid was DEFINITELY taken off of UNT’s can, and my did the trash ever come spewing out! This generation is growing fiercer and FIERCER as the days go by. Even so, come Lord Jesus!!
You would have thought this guy had a problem with me or something.
My pastor, Bro. Roger Purdy, holding my banner and standing for Jesus with me at Tyler Junior College in Tyler, TX- 10/23/14
Kilgore College- Kilgore, TX; 10/27/14
Students across the street begin to complain about the preaching. I turn to address them like the cry babies they are. . .
. . . then they come to my side and throw a fit.
Still whining. . .
The crowd disperses back across the street to join a student with a horn playing “Amazing Grace”, while hollering, “Come join me over here on the dark side!”
A smaller crowd regathers. . .
. . . but with the police no where around, the guy with his hat on backwards continually threatened to punch me. He’s had violent tendencies for the last two years we’ve preached here.
San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX- 10/30/14
The police shut us down after only 15 minutes, but Christ was still exalted, sin and darkness were rebuked, and many souls were loved and warned.
Sweet little Abigail, spending her first birthday on campus with daddy:)
Bro. Victor Persinger and his two youngest sons. One of the godliest men I know.
PLEASE, PLEASE PRAY FOR US!!!
Last week was a tremendous time of preaching and ministry with Consuming Fire Fellowship. Here are some pics, updates, and video of the action. . .
South Eastern Louisiana University in Hammond
Bro. Jordan Williams
Bro. Charlie Kennon
Pastor Britt Williams
Bro. Micah Williams
Bro. Leon Hopson
Bro. Kolby Blood
The University of Louisiana in Lafayette
Click HERE to watch footage from this day’s preach.
The University of Louisiana in Monroe
Bro. Wesley Gaharan
On this particular day, I had, what I would say, the most wildest day of campus preaching since I first started almost two and a half years ago.
Brothers Kolby Blood, Micah Williams, Timothy Keaton, and Wesley Gaharan from Consuming Fire Fellowship accompanied my wife and I, and the reinforcements were MUCH needed.
After a rowdy crowd of about 50-75 began to form in front of the clock tower as Bro. Kolby preached, they moved us to an area across the grass. It didn’t take long to recapture their attention as an on campus DJ whipped out a PA system right next to us and started playing loud, filthy, blasphemous gangster rap music for over two hours that attracted up to 200.
Three Days of Preaching at Northern Michigan University (Aug. 26-28)
Our first day back on campus for the new school year, we arrived at 12:45. We were able to go right to the preaching spot without any preliminaries or registration on a count of us taking care of all that the day before, so praise God.
Bro. Phil Lanz, who was our host while we were in Northern Michigan, accompanied us and did a fine job at holding our banner and answering questions some of the students had on the sideline.
When I first began to preach, it was rather slow. Not necessarily foot traffic, but just getting the students attention. This was surprising, seeing I know of absolutely no one ever preaching on this campus.
A few guys approached with some questions, one of which stood the entire 2 and half hours I was out there to blaspheme the Gospel. I reminded him numerous times that if he (or anybody at that matter) wanted to turn a deaf ear to the truth and find every reason in the world to reject Christianity, God will choose his delusions and give him what he wants. At one point, I was able to build off of that rebuke and address the rest of the crowd by exhorting them: “Students, this Book is BOOBYTRAPPED! If you’re not a sincere seeker of truth, just wanting to find an excuse therein to justify your wicked behavior, rest assured that God WILL give you just that – A LYING SPIRIT!” I could tell the Holy Ghost was all over that as many of their countenances humbled while the rest lashed back with conviction in their voice.
As the meeting went on and the crowd grew to no larger than 50, a certain lewd fellow of the baser sort came and did an almost successful job at stilling my crowd. I couldn’t remember, nor even understand a lot of the foolish things spewing from his mouth, but as the students praised him and rejected the Word, I stated with a loud voice, “Don’t worry folks, this guy is with us today. God sent him over here to verify our message: That this campus utterly hates God, and is in desperate need of Jesus!”
Not long after, a police officer showed up and “reminded” everybody that I would stop preaching if they didn’t give me attention. As about 75% of them gave audience to his word and walked away, I told them, “That’s right students, just go back to class. You are not smart enough to think for yourself or have a dialogue with a Bible believer.” This is a great way to remind them just how vehement their authorities are about keeping them from simply learning the Bible.
Toward the end of the meeting, I turned to the blasphemer that had been with me from the beginning and mocked him for saying my preaching was foolish, but yet standing and listening to it for over two hours. This alone, I could tell, caused many of the students standing by to ponder their ways, wondering why they too were so drawn to the message they claimed to hate. Right around that time, my wife told me she had heard a female student off in the distance say, “What’s a matter with all of these students? Are they all freshmen or something? Don’t they realize this guy is making very valid points, and if they don’t agree with him they can just walk on?”
After a short interview with the local channel 3 news station, we called it a day around 3:30.
What an intense day this was! I started throwing some Life-Lines out to just a few passer-by’s about 10 after 12, wondering if we might have a slow start like the day before, but within 15-20 minutes, my wandering turned to hammering as one angry male student (who heckled me literally all 4 hours we were there) caused a lot of stubborn nails to pop out of the wood work. The Bible says that one sinner destroyeth much good (Eccl. 9:18), but on campus, God uses their foolishness to draw more listeners in. While the devil and his children mock and blaspheme the Word, He that sitteth in the Heavens laughs as hundreds of ears are drawn to the preaching. I love it!
The crowd reached its peak at no more than 150 not long after a religious jezebel withstood me to the face for some 10 minutes. I was exceptionally pleased with the officer on duty as he pulled her aside and told her she was not allowed to get in my face because we had already reserved the spot we were in. Praise God when magistrates are a terror to evil works. This officer was the same officer from the day before that dispersed my crowd, but as Bro. Phil witnessed to him, he grew more open to what we were doing.
As the oppressing and challenging spirit of the crowd grew, several other students made their own signs in opposition . One in particular read, “God’s not real, but if he is, he loves you no matter what.” It was refreshing to hear the officer make them as well register with administration like I had to before they could protest me. Students sang and chanted songs like “Jesus Loves Me” and rock n’ roll mantras to drowned out conviction, but the voice of the Lord thundered louder and shook their wilderness (Ps. 29:3, 8). I started to leave a few minutes before four, but a brazen jezebel with flames seven times hotter than the first confronted me for the last 20 minutes after I told a girl in shorty-shorts to get out of my viewing sight as I sat on the brick wall I preached on for the last three hours.
My wife began to pitch in while the jezebel snarled, but in the presence of all the other jezebels and sinners, I commanded her (my wife) to be silent as a testimony against them . When she obeyed me, I said, “THAT is what godly women do, and THAT, fellows , is what you need after you’ve made things right with God, not some rebellious jezebel like THESE women!” Now no, it not like I see a jezebel under every rock….. I see ten. The Holy Ghost in me hates that jezebel spirit so much that He can spot one 666 miles away. It is the archenemy of all God’s men, and I WILL NOT suffer it (Rev. 2:20). As we walked away tested and tried, a male student tried to follow us with questions and conversation, but I politely told him, “We’re done for the day. Here’s my card, email me, even call me if you like, but as of RIGHT NOW, the most Christian thing I can do is walk away. See you tomorrow!”
I felt Holy Ghost led to do something this particular day I’ve never done before. I’ve talked about doing it before, but just never tried it. Arriving in the grassy area shortly after 12, I set up my banner and said absolutely NOTHING. There were students with signs made already huddled off in the distance on the brick wall I preached on the day before, and I could have totally crashed their party and drew just as big, if not a bigger crowd than yesterday, but I wanted them to work for it today. For the first hour and a half, I only had a hand full of students come up and ask me questions, all the other students pasting in the distance like a pit-bull on a leash just waiting for something to bark at. If you think my terminology is too degrading, come out to campus with me sometime, and if you’ve got an ounce of God in you, you’ll see this generation for what it is: FIERCE.
As 1:40 rolled around, I began to make some headway with a few students, which actually attracted about 20 more students. What’s astounding was I never once preached the entire three hours we were out here. I simply took questions and taught. I did rebuke a few students, but I didn’t lift my voice like the past two days (not that there would have been a thing wrong with that). With this is mind, go figure that the students were JUST as argumentative and stubborn as they were the day before. This very thing expressly proves that it’s the MESSAGE, not the METHOD they are against.
As the small crowd stood to around 25, a male student in a green costume (as scene in the pics) came out of nowhere and accompanied his obscene gestures with a beat-box full of wicked music. He was soon joined by other costume wearers, one being a cross-dresser, as they danced in such a vulgar and rotten way. This alone more than doubled the crowd size. Keep in mind there was NO preaching. Just a Gospel banner waving high and some perverts dancing around the poll. I stood there and endured the scene for as long as I could, reproving them at the last for being more like a jungle tribe than a college campus. A few minutes after three rolled around as I did the Christian thing again and walked away with my family. Feels great to do the will of God!
Click HERE to see an article write up from the school newspaper.
Click HERE to see a video clip from one of the school reporters.
Two Days of Preaching at the University of Michigan (Sept. 4 & 8)
“Abigail here, just day dreaming about marrying a campus preacher like my daddy someday:)”
I arrived at the “diag” right around 12 o’ clock with literally hundreds of students walking to and fro from class. Confident that I could get some attention just standing there with my banner, I didn’t do any preaching for the first 15-20 minutes. Finally, a man dressed like a clown began vehemently cursing and spewing forth such words that made even some of the on looking students look ashamed.
I went back and forth with him for about 30 minutes until the crowd grew to no larger than 150, but it only stayed that size for around 20 minutes or so. I was so pressed in my spirit with all of the demons flooding out of him that I had hardly any liberty to address the crowd. I began to press back and found myself asking the man when he stopped loving the God of the Bible. I believe it now to have been a word of knowledge from the Holy Ghost, because a speechless fear would come over his face, so much so that all he could do was change the subject. I solemnly protested to him, “If there’s an ounce of repentance you feel in your soul, you better seek God while you have time, because you are on your way, if not already reprobate.”
The crowd dwindled down to just a small group of about 7-10, but quickly built back up to 25-30 toward the end of the meeting with great questions, answers, and exhortations. Called it a day at 3.
“Abigail here again, still day dreaming about marrying a campus preacher like my daddy someday:)”
Click HERE to watch footage of preaching for day 2.
Two Days of Preaching at Bowling Green State (Sep. 11-12)
This student in the kaki shorts and gray t-shirt approached me as we were leaving and apologized for the way he reacted to the preaching. Praise God for Holy Ghost smitten hearts! A true rarity on college universities.
This was “Sermon on the Mount” Day.
Jesus said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” So I took my fishing pole, stuck a Gospel banner at the end of it, raised it real high, and all men were drawn to it.
Click HERE to see footage of a smooth talking false prophet (a dime a dozen on college universities) that opposed me on day one.
Greetings in Jesus!
God has blessed us with a tremendous summer of ministry, and we look forward with great anticipation to campus preaching as the new school year begins to make way. We also would like to say how thankful we are for all of you who supported and prayed for our efforts in getting a new 5th wheel for our home. God has graciously provided every bit of the need! If this wasn’t enough, God has given us another arrow for our quiver, and my wife will be giving birth to our second child in March of next year. Thank you Jesus! Please continue to pray that God will anoint us to boldly and unashamedly preach His Word to this fierce and perishing generation, and that they would have hearts to humble themselves, repent, and call upon the Lord. Pray for divine protection from evil doers, as well as favor with the police and magistrates. Pray that God would meet our needs as we travel, and most of all, pray that the Lord Jesus Christ will be glorified in spirit and truth. Maranatha!
Bro. Chris LePelley
Pictures from the 2014 “Taste of Cincinnati” Beer-Drinking Festival
Pictures from the 2014 Sodomite-Fest in Houston
Click HERE to see preaching footage from the 2014 “Center of the Universe” rock concert in downtown Tulsa.
This is a conversation I had recently over private message on Facebook with a man from the United Kingdom. I thought some folks might find it edifying. Or at least interesting. . .
UK GUY: Does jesus love everyone?
ME: Yes, but unfortunately most people don’t love Him. Hell is full of people that God loved and tried every thing within His grace and power (according to their free-will) to keep them from going there. Jesus is not a bad God who sends good people to Hell, but a good God who sends bad people to Hell.
UK GUY: So do some Christians deserve to go to hell?
ME: Every body that’s ever existed (besides Christ) deserves to go to Hell because all have sinned against God. Christian’s are those who have simply been delivered from what they DO deserve (Hell) by forsaking their sins and surrendering their lives to what they DON’T deserve (the Gospel).
UK GUY: so christians don’t deserve the lords teachings?
ME: Nobody, Christian or sinner alike, deserves the Lord’s teachings. It is an act of grace on God’s part to use ANYTHING in an attempt to reconcile to Himself people that have sinned against Him (which is everyone, Rom. 3:23), MUCH LESS His only begotten Son. The very definition of grace is unmerited, or undeserved favor. The very teachings of Christ are certainly undeserved to anyone. Kind of like a free College education at the world’s most brilliant university (wherever that may be), only of more eternal value.
UK GUY: so we must value god’s teachings above all else? And does god not say ‘love thy neighbour’?
UK GUY: so do you love sinners who don’t do gods will?
ME: Yes. That’s why I rebuke them (Lev. 19:17; Rev. 3:19 KJV)
UK GUY: do you not attempt to purge their sin? save them?
ME: No. That’s not my job. That’s between them and God. My only responsibility is to proclaim the Word of God to them. I earnestly desire them to repent, be purged, and be saved, but in the end, I can’t MAKE them repent, be purged, and be saved. GOD HIMSELF can’t make them. It is a decision they must make on their own. I lead every person I preach to to the Biblical Jesus, but it’s their decision what they do with Him.
UK GUY: I understand. So would you say a man who travels the world reaching out to people and teaching them of gods grace is a good man?
UK GUY: And if he does this through the medium of music, is he still righteous?
ME: If that is the primary method of their evangelistic outreach, a resounding NO. Scripture makes it abundantly clear that God chose preaching as the primary means of evangelism (1 Cor. 1:21; Tit. 1:3 KJV), not singing.
By the way, how did you come in contact with our ministry? Just curious.
UK GUY: So is worship through music a sin? Because king David wrote songs that were named psalms?
I saw a video of you protesting at a switchfoot concert?
ME: We’re not talking about worship. We’re talking about evangelism. The two CAN be linked, but not in the context of this conversation. We are discussing Biblical methods of calling/influencing sinners to abandon their sin and embrace Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, not “worshipping” with them in song while ignoring the fact that they hate the very holiness of God.
I was recently preaching on a college campus in Indiana. While I was preaching, several students joined a large circle just a few feet away from me and said, “Would you like to worship and sing hymns with us?” I said, “Are any of you free from sin?” You could hear a pin drop. I then said, “No, I will not worship with you. The Bible commands us to worship the Lord in the beauty of HOLINESS, and not a one of you claim to be holy.”
They began to sing, and I sharply rebuked them for it. There wasn’t any kind of worship about what they were doing. It was simply a religious facade to cover up their utter hatred and rebellion toward my message of holiness unto God or eternity in the lake of fire.
The Bible says that sinners SHALL NOT stand in the congregation of the righteous ( Ps. 1:5). In other words, until a sinner worships God by forsaking their sins and submitting to the Lord Jesus Christ, their not fit to worship God in song. It is utterly pointless to attempt to get people who won’t even obey Jesus’ commands to sing a “worship” song to Him. Nadab and Abihu were consumed by the fire of God’s wrath when they tried to offer strange fire (worship), and that is EXACTLY what the song of a sinner is in the ears of a holy God. David NEVER encouraged sinners to worship with him in song. Only fellow saints.
And yes, that was me rebuking Switchfoot. Glory to God!
*they’re not fit*
UK GUY: You sound like the Pharisees in the new testament.
Switchfoot change lives and provide people with a soundtrack to change the world.
You believe in the same god as them and yet you rebuke them, how can this be right?
God says love your enemy. Jon foreman of switchfoot reaches out to the darkest most sinful parts of the world, you just tell them why they’re wrong and not how they can change their ways. I love you and everyone anyway.
ME: Could you provide Bible verses as to why you think I sound like a Pharisee and not just a single sentence opinion please?
And you are WAY out of your league in making such comparative statements of Switchfoot to me. A very thorough study of the following link will reveal that you have utterly no idea what you’re talking about. . .
UK GUY: I have watched this before. God says love your enemy. Jon says this to you and you completely ignoring him despite that fact that he speaks the gospel. Where in the bible does it say Christian rock is sinful?
ME: What do you mean you’ve “watched” this before? The protest video is only linked to the link I sent you, but that’s not why I sent it, just so you can watch it again. Read the link in its ENTIRETY and you will learn why Christian rock is sinful, and many more things. If you don’t find the answers to the questions you’re asking in the link, it won’t be because they’re not there, but because you simply don’t like the answer. You’re a slippery, slimy, sleazy rebel against God, and until you repent and humble yourself, you’ll never find Him for the same reason a criminal can’t find a police station.
UK GUY: do you hate me?
also i forgive you for your cruel and unloving comment about me being a slimy, sleazy rebel against god. i’m sure god would approve of your hatefulness towards a fellow believer.
in your article you focus too much on hate, saying you need to scare sinners into christ rather than approaching them gently. Switchfoot go to the most needy of sinners and they use music to bring them to jesus, i cannot fathom how you think this is wrong. While you focus on rebuking the sinners, switchfoot play the card of love, that is why so many people stood up for Jon when he approached you with water and proclaimed his love for you.
switchfoot don’t even proclaim themselves as a christian rock band, they do what they do for the good of the world god created for us. so what you’ve essentially done is disturbed an alternative rock concert where the public merely went to enjoy themselves.
ME: What makes you think I hate you? Because I told you the truth? Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth (Gal. 4:16)? And there’s no need to forgive me, I did nothing wrong. As a matter of fact, God DOES approve of me calling you names and exposing you for the hypocritical, NON-BELIEVER you are.
I see the pictures on your page, and I can tell just by looking that you are a reveling, potty mouth, effeminate drunkard. You say I’M full of hate, and you YOURSELF hate God. The multitude of your sins testify loud and clear to this (John 14:15). You are an ENEMY of all righteousness. You break the commandments of Jesus Christ, you don’t obey the Gospel. Here’s an idea: How about you start loving God by OBEYING Him? How about stop sinning against Him and live holy? Your foolish lifestyle does NOT glorify Christ. I could be wrong, but I HIGHLY doubt you read my article in its ETIRETY. Once again, I say, that your claims about Switchfoot in comparison to me are SHALLOW and UNBIBLICAL. Instead of proving over and over again how ignorant you are, JUST READ the article and you will see clearly that the scales of God’s Word highly out-weighs your earthly, sensual and devilish opinion.
UK GUY: that’s quite a paragraph. i believe in god, i just interpret the words of god different to you. that doesn’t make me a non-believer in any sense of the word. and now you’re choosing to insult me personally? i don’t know where you got potty mouth from but yes occasionally i do pop to the local tavern to warm my insides with a finely brewed ale. what commandments have i broke? where in the bible does it say rock music is sinful? if rock music/worship is so moving that it actually manages to enrich someone and maybe even convert them, why do you slate it and instead choose to convert people by shouting their faults through a megaphone? do you truly believe that your tiny church is right and the rest of the christian community in the whole world is wrong?
ME: What part of “READ THE ARTICLE IN ITS ENTIRETY” did you not understand? What? Are you scared to read ALL of it?? Until you can HONESTLY say you’ve done that, this conversation is OVER.
UK GUY: i apologise, I shall read it.
A Chapter From “Who Will Rise Up”, by Jed Smock
What about follow-up? Our ministry has sometimes been criticized because we do not emphasize a follow-up program for students.
Jesus and the apostles did not consider follow-up vital to successful evangelism. Instead, Jesus expected true disciples to follow Him. When He witnessed to Peter and Andrew, He said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” He expected them to make an immediate decision to change the whole direction of their lives.
When the rich young ruler eagerly asked, “What good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” Jesus did not take this wonderful opportunity to lecture him on the doctrine that salvation is not of works but of grace. Nor did He preach on His upcoming death and resurrection. First, He preached the law. When the man claimed to have kept it, Jesus demanded proof, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and FOLLOW ME.”
When the man heard the cost of discipleship, he quickly lost interest in the salvation of his soul and left saddened because he had great wealth with which he could not part. Notice that Jesus did not go chasing after him or plead with him to hear more. He did use the incident to impress upon His disciples the necessity of total commitment. “Everyone that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life” (Matthew 19:29).
Jesus did not gradually reveal His expectations to the interested seeker but instead, demanded an immediate consecration to the Kingdom of all man’s possessions and ambitions. Follow-up program? No, just a straightforward challenge to either follow after the riches and joys of heaven, or continue to set your affections on the things of this life on earth. Jesus expected converts to have as little desire for this world as a dead person has. Another time when Jesus was walking along the way with His disciples a fervent youth said, “Lord, I will follow thee withersoever thou goest.”
And Jesus answered him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Luke 9:57-58). There was no attempt to baptize, no invitation to further Bible study, no explanation of the need for Christian fellowship, no promise of a wonderful plan, no encouragement–but a reminder to count the cost.
And Jesus said unto another, “Follow me.”
But he said, “Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.”
Jesus answered, “Let the dead bury the dead; but go thou and preach the Kingdom of God” (Luke 9:59-60). No “me first” attitude for a true believer, it must be the Kingdom of God first. No excuses accepted by the Lord–He expected instant obedience. Go and preach a life-giving message.
Following Jesus’ Example
When the demonic of the Gadarenes, out of whom Jesus cast a legion of devils, wanted to stay with Him, Jesus would not let him do it, but said, “Go home to your friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee” (Mark 5:19).
When Jesus exposed the adultery of the woman at the well, she went into town telling everybody about Jesus and brought them out to hear more. Her conversion sparked a great revival.
If a man has been truly converted one of the first things he will want to do is to tell others. Charles Finney said, “Seest thou a professed convert to Christ whose compassions are not stirred, and whose zeal for the salvation of souls is not awakened? Be assured that you behold a hypocrite.”
I am not denying that there are principles of follow-up found in the Bible. Jesus not only ministered to the lost but spent a considerable amount of time training his 12 disciples to follow Him and continue His work. For four years Cindy followed about two weeks behind me on the college circuit to water the seed which I had sown. Occasionally, she was even able to harvest.
In December of 1980 at Florida State University I was daily heckled by a very persistent fellow. It is ironic that the students who try to shout me down, insist I leave campus and say my preaching is nonsense, will skip classes and spend hours listening to me.
Sister Cindy followed up my ministry at Florida State and this same heckler told her he had become interested in Bible prophecy. He asked her many questions but insisted he was not open to this “Jesus stuff.” Sister Cindy, believing that he would be converted, asked a Christian student to keep an eye on him. When she returned to FSU with “Holy Hubert” in April, they were greeted by the smiling face of the one “who persecuted us in times past, but now preached the faith which he once destroyed.” They glorified God in him. This former heckler said he looked forward to preaching to his fellow students. Sister Cindy told him that this was his day. After drawing the crowd, she called on him to give his testimony.
As he spoke he confessed that he had been one of the worst mockers on campus. He admitted that after several days of scorning, he began to ask himself why he kept going back to listen. He said that he realized that the truth we spoke was what upset him, but at the same time, drew him back. He told the students, “Some of you probably remember me, I was a big mouth for the devil, but today I’m a big mouth for Jesus.” This man graduated, married, and became a missionary to Mexico.
The Lord had me in a full-time ministry within weeks after my conversion. He sent me to the streets, nursing homes, jails, hospitals, homes and into the public schools to infiltrate and do undercover work as a substitute teacher. Within six months I started a weekly Bible study in an old school house. Within a year I conducted a two-week church revival. Within two years I was full-time in The Campus Ministry.
Sister Cindy moved even more quickly. Within a month after being saved she was giving her testimony on the colleges with Max and me. Ten weeks after her conversion she was preaching weekly at the University of Florida. After six months she forsook a journalism career and started traveling the campuses full-time with Max and me. Cindy would stay in a Christian home at night and meet us daily on campus. After nine months she was making the campus circuit via Greyhound buses on her own.
Our examples should not be considered the exception. When there has been a total surrender on the part of the new convert, and with proper encouragement from Christian leadership, examples such as ours can become the rule. Actually, most newborn Christians have great zeal to be active in the ministry. However, the cares of this world, or the deceitfulness of riches may soon cool their ardor. Of course, the backsliders are also ever present to throw a wet blanket on them to put out their fire.
Paul said, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (I Corinthian 11:1). Paul was not ashamed to set himself up as an example of what a Christian ought to do and be. For too long we have set up the apostles as unique men who lived the Christian life on a higher plane than we could ever hope to attain. Not so. They were men subject to like passions as we are.
I will never forget the memorable words my pastor, Clyde Swalls, said to me shortly after my conversion: “Jed, do you realize that the same Spirit that dwelled in the Apostle Paul dwells in you? Therefore, whatever he accomplished you can do also; even a greater ministry is available to you. For it is not by human might, or power, but by the Spirit that we do great works for God.”
From that moment I was determined to be a twentieth-century Paul. Believers today have set their goals too low. Pastors expect so little and challenge their congregation so slightly that the typical attitude is “How much can I get away with and still make it to heaven?”
Where are the fishers of men? Where are the ark builders, the sword fighters, the giant slayers, the sun stoppers, the mountain movers and the martyrs?
The Bible Institutes and Christian Liberal Arts Colleges, with a few exceptions, are not much better than the state universities. The vast majority of students, after two to four years of training, grow soft, complacent, comfortable and remain surprisingly ignorant of the Bible and sound theology. I would match the Biblical knowledge, theological understanding and general wisdom of Paul Stamm, Tom Carlisle, Pat Noordewier, and Sister Cindy (four of whom I have had the privilege of training) against most Bible college or seminary graduates. While the student has been wilting in the classroom Brother Paul, Brother Tom, Sister Pat and Sister Cindy have been out in the field battling the forces of evil, diligently studying the Bible and the works of the great theologians such as Charles Finney–and learning to be individuals of prayer by interceding daily on behalf of those they are preaching to. Not only have they been reaching the lost but church doors have opened to enable them to minister to the saints. There is no substitute for on-the-job training.
Follow-up? Most people to whom I preach, I may never see again. But there have been surprises.
When I first went to Southern Oregon College in Ashland, Monte Botts was already preaching. He told me he had been converted in a hotel meeting which I had held in Tucson, Arizona several years ago. Interestingly enough, there were only four people in the service. I preached from Psalm 94:16: “Who will rise up?” They all volunteered. When Brother Monte started his work at Southern Oregon he had trouble with the authorities but defended his rights, paving the way for our ministry.
Rich Rife was also a volunteer at the meeting in Tucson and he now preaches on the streets of America’s largest cities. They had followed me up!
At the University of Iowa I was preaching in the Old Capital area close to a city bus stop. Ron Alberts, a bus driver, stopped there regularly to pick up students and listened to my message as his passengers boarded. Immediately after work he would rush down to campus and hear me preach the rest of the day. I was speaking nightly to Grace Fellowship which met in the Wesley Foundation. Ron started attending these meetings and one night committed his life to Christ. The next year Ron followed me for several weeks on the campuses, during this time he became bolder to share the Gospel. When he returned to Iowa City he was a more effective witness on his bus route.
The student population is very transient. Therefore, it is not unusual for them to hear me on different campuses. There is an old adage: “Throw a shoe into a pack of dogs, and the only one who yelps is the one who gets hit.”
One day at the University of Colorado one of the dogs decided to throw back. He threw snowballs which I had to–sometimes unsuccessfully–dodge.
The next year at the University of Texas I witnessed to a student and eventually led him in a prayer of repentance and faith. He then confessed that he had transferred from the University of Colorado and that he was the one who had thrown snowballs at me the year before. The following year when I returned to UT, he had become an active member in the Maranatha Christian Church. By the next year he had become a pastor in the church!
There are certain campuses where we preach annually and are therefore able to do some follow-up. We have often discovered that we have great effect on the students even though our ministry may not result in their immediate conversion. At the end of each school year I have heard testimonies from students that go much like this one from a student at the University of California at San Diego:
“Brother Jed, I want to shake your hand. I have heard you speak every year since I was a freshman. I graduate this year so I will probably never hear you again. Therefore, I wanted to let you know that your annual ministry to this campus has been one of the highlights of my education. You are the most powerful speaker I have ever heard. I am not a Christian, but I have thought a lot about what you say. You have taught me most of what I know about the Bible and I have learned a lot. Thank you for coming to this campus.”
Obviously, such remarks at the end of a long year of evangelism are a great encouragement to me.
In the late seventies a dirty old man who called himself “The Swami” came to the UCLA free-speech area to tell obscene stories. He started competing for the attention of the crowd that had gathered to listen to me. He made such a commotion that it was very difficult to get my message across, so I moved to another area. At first only a few pursued me. Most of these were Christians, but at least one girl was not; and she made serious inquiry into the nature of salvation. Within 15 minutes four Christians and I knelt and prayed with the girl for the salvation of her soul. Meanwhile, the crowd grew bored with “The Swami,” and returned to hear me preach. I never saw the girl again but in 1983 a Christian student reminded me of the conversion and informed me that she had graduated and was a missionary in South America. Incidents like this have confirmed to me that a follow-up program, although helpful, is not necessary.
The over-emphasis on a follow-up ministry is a result of offering salvation without repentance. Jesus’ first public message was, “Repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). His last words to His disciples before ascending into heaven included the exhortation “That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47).
Peter preached to a crowd of Jews that gathered at the temple gate after he healed the lame man: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 20:21). Repentance and faith are both prerequisites for salvation.
Most evangelism today says: “Only believe,” or, “Jesus will accept you just as you are,” or, “Just ask Jesus into your heart,” or, “Accept Him as your personal Savior.”
If anything is said of repentance, it comes later. No wonder they must have elaborate follow-up programs. Under this plan how could anyone get saved from sin? The Biblical order is REPENT AND BELIEVE, not believe and repent. The fact of the matter is that without repentance there is no saving faith.
If there has been true repentance and faith, we will not have to beg and plead for the individual to come to Bible studies or church. If he is a Christian he will study to show himself approved. He will not desire to forsake the gathering together of his brethren. If he has been born again, we will not have to cajole him to give up drinking, swearing or any other sin. Indeed, if he is a true convert, he has forsaken sin. We do not have to beg him to be unselfish. If he is a Christian, his life is centered in God and in service to his fellow man.
Many have been deceived into believing that they may know Jesus as their personal Savior without recognizing Him as Lord. Such people are not following Jesus in truth. The fact of the matter is that Jesus does not become a man’s Savior until He is recognized as Lord in every area of life. The Word says: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9).
If He is not Lord of all then He is not Lord at all.
What is the evidence that a man believes in his heart? Many have made mere mental assent to certain fundamental facts concerning Jesus Christ but do not believe in their hearts. If a man believes in his heart, he will obey. Obedience is the evidence of faith. The Bible says: “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:10). Faith from the heart will produce a righteous life. According to God’s Word: “Ye know that everyone that doeth righteousness is born of Jesus Christ” (I John 2:29).
Evangelicals, in their zeal to encourage individuals to be saved, too often lead a man into a premature confession with his mouth when there has been no work of repentance in the heart. If Christendom had more John the Baptists warning the multitude, “Oh generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance” (Luke 3:7-8), a follow-up program would not be necessary.
The only kind of Christianity I see in the Bible is total commitment. One must forsake all: the world, the flesh, and the devil, in order to qualify to be a Christian and remain one. This is the only Christianity I know to preach. Until this message is sounded loudly and clearly from the pulpit, follow-up will be a constant concern in Christendom.
There are not two kind of Christians: the few that are fully committed and the many that are only partially committed. This must be understood, or evangelicals are forever condemned to a life of cajoling, coaxing, and pleading, instead of patiently correcting, instructing and inspiring in both doctrine and practice.
Plowing and Planting
One plants the seed, another may water it. But it is God that gives the increase. Our ministry is primarily one of plowing and planting. Regrettably, there are too many who are trying to plant, without first plowing the field. One seed, that became a beautiful flower, sent me a thank-you note:
I want to thank you so very much for coming to speak at Ohio University. I’ve been at O.U. for three years and heard you speak each time. I listened the first two years, but this year was different. O.U. has had other evangelists come, but the people really listen to what you’re saying because you truly love God and show this love towards others. You probably don’t remember me, but after one of your “teachings” on the college green you were speaking to a girl and her boyfriend. You really helped her. Then you spoke to me on Eastern Religions. After you left my friend and I had some discussions on God and Religions. Since then I’ve quit going to Hare Krishna suppers, and have cut ties with them totally. I just want to thank you for planting the seeds and helping me to realize how true God is.
May God be with you,
Love in Him,
We are always anxious to work with Christians, both on campus and in local churches, who are willing to water the seed which we have sown. Rev. Bob Rodgers, when he pastored Calvary Assembly in Lexington, Kentucky, testified that 50 students started attending his church as a result of my daily meetings on campus and nightly meetings in his church.
The students who manned the Intervarsity book table at UCLA informed me that they had distributed more literature in the few days I had been on campus than they had all year.
Many students in Campus Crusade for Christ have told me that after I have preached on campus the students are much more open to discussion. One year a staff member for Campus Crusade at Arizona State told me, “Brother Jed when you are on campus and for weeks afterwards we set aside our usual approach and ask the students one question, ‘What do you think of Brother Jed?’ That question is bound to get a response. Having gained their attention we eventually direct the conversation to the gospel.” Other Campus Crusaders tell me that when I am ministering, students make more appointments for personal interviews than at any other time of the year. However, many from this organization have also opposed my approach and message.
If we get a convert, we attempt to introduce him to someone we know to be a Christian. However, if there has been a true conversion, we are confident that the new Christian will seek out fellowship.
Our ministry is so much more effective when the Christian leadership on campus fully supports and cooperates with our efforts. Such was the case at Montana State University in March 1984.
We blew into Bozeman, Montana, with a heavy snow storm. When we started preaching it was snowing so hard we could barely see. The Word of God soon froze about 200 students in their tracks. Despite the cold elements, a FIRE was kindled that could not be put out.
Initially at Montana State it seemed we were as unwanted as the spring snow. I stabbed the students with the Sword of the Spirit for four hours and by late afternoon they were as angry and unreasonable as wounded animals.
I went into the cafeteria for a hot drink and over 50 students followed me. Most attempted to justify their rebellion against God by asking questions with the same attitude the Pharisees confronted Jesus. It seemed like your typical campus of apathetic sinners and lukewarm and ignorant professing Christians. We returned with the snow the next day and again preached outdoors to huge crowds for several hours. When it seemed they might gnash me with their teeth, I advanced to the cafeteria. This time 100 students followed me.
Many of them swarmed around Sister Cindy who was already inside with a campus minister, John E., who described the scene:
“One afternoon when I was talking with Cindy in the Student Union Building’s Coffee Shop, the crowd Jed was speaking to outside followed him inside. Before I knew it, about 50-100 students had crowded around us asking many questions. I had never preached the Gospel in this way before. Imagine, sitting at a table with coffee, preaching to the multitudes! It wasn’t very long until we were all asked to leave the coffee shop because of all the commotion. We then went with about 75 people to a lounge and shared the gospel for another two hours there.”
This was our first sign of breakthrough.
That evening John E. and another campus minister took us to dinner. I reasoned with them on holiness, righteousness and confrontation evangelism for two and one-half hours. The two leaders felt other Christians on campus needed to hear my message so they called a special indoor meeting the next night.
Over 100 came to the service including an MSU professor and his prayer group. I exhorted them to holy living and good works and “God’s word went forth and melted them” (Psalm 147:18). Conviction seized the crowd and about 30 stood and confessed their sins including lust, lukewarmness and fighting our ministry. Many committed themselves to pray and to stand for righteousness until their university saw true revival!
John E. concluded:
“Jed and Cindy Smock’s challenge to Holy Living stirred much controversy among Christians, but it was exciting to see God melt hearts and do significant things in the lives of us. Holiness has been the catchword since they came.”
The following is a letter from one revived Montana State student:
Dear Brother Jed and Sister Cindy,
I praise God for your marvelous ministry!
Thank you for coming to MSU this spring. I must confess that when I first heard you speaking I didn’t know what to think, but by the third day I could learn to appreciate your unique methods of evangelism.
I believe the Gospel you are presenting is the Gospel for us in the United States today. We’ve heard that God loves us, and it’s time we hear how God sees our sin. You are absolutely right about the moral behavior of college students today. It’s time they are told that sin is not O.K., and that there are standards by which we will all someday be judged.
Your time spent on campus encouraged many of us to be more vocal Christians and stand up for our beliefs. I found numerous opportunities open up for witnessing. God was the talk of the campus for a change. A fellow student testified at a Bible study, how because of your ministry he broke up a fight between drunken fraternity boys, and witnessed to them about Christ for two hours. One student came to the Lord as a result. Praise God!
In my opinion you two were the biggest thing that ever came to MSU, much more of an impact than anything in my experience. I was and am really amazed at the powerful inspired influence you had. I don’t know how you put up with the disgusting hassles you receive. It is certainly the work of the Holy Spirit. . . .
Bill Keightley–MSU History major
Two years later we returned to Montana State University. We suffered a major disappointment when John E., one of the ministers who had received us with joy last time, rejected our ministry. He was vague in explaining why. I concluded he had “received the seed into stony places.” Nevertheless, many were glad that we had returned. It was amazing to see what a legend we had become since our previous visit. In addition to our regular afternoon preaching sessions, we held two evening services in a chapel and a good number of serious seekers attended. Three came forward at an invitation to repent of their sins.