I just got back from spending an amazing seven days in Tennessee. My primary reason for going, was to attend Reforming America Ministries third annual two-day Reformation Preaching Conference, which was hosted at Calvary Bible Church in Joelton.
I traveled afar to sit, lean, listen, and learn under a collective team of extraordinary polished sophisticated Bible Scholars. As one person said, we were “richly fed” and we “drank well” from their solid teachings. Regarding one particular Bible topic, one described this privilege as sitting under that teaching of a “no higher accolades of academia.”
The aforementioned speakers taught and preached various sermons, as well as through each of the Five Solas. All their vendors were very resourceful. I purchased a book by the last survivor of the WWII U.S.S. Indianapolis, what a blessing it was to speak with him. To enhance my library, I also purchased a 3-volume set on Psalms (my wife gave me a $280 spending allowance, but lots of that went towards parking costs downtown).
Do you know what we need today? Preachers who are actually out there, where the dead are. Uncloistered men, who care nothing about religious accommodations, or ivory towers. They may use libraries, but they do not love them. They would rather stand out in the midst of a depraved humanity, and cry out thus saith the Lord, hear the Word of the Lord. We need to take this so called good theology, and get it out there where the dead are. – Paul Washer
Their itinerary provided us with plenty of time to engage in Biblical fellowship, whereas I had the privilege of enjoying their company and conversations.
When it all ended, it was difficult to say good bye, so I slipped away, and quietly drove off. I wasn’t going to let any of them see any tears in my eyes (they probably already think Californians are sissies). Brethren, that’s how wonderful this conference was. Besides, every time I come to ‘the South,’ I wish to remain there, but I do have a wonderful wife in California.
The Lord certainly used this conference to teach, edify, train-up, and equip myself and others for the ministry.
As mentioned in my previous video about this trip, the best way to maximize the financial investments for this trip, was to make a ‘missions trip’ out of it.
Therefore I spent one week preaching and sharing the glorious Gospel in the streets of Nashville. I concentrated on Broadway, west of the Cumberland River (from 1st Ave. S. to 5th Ave. S.), which consists of the renowned historical entertainment district for country music.
I must confess I was very surprised. Having evangelized Sin City (Las Vegas), I quickly learned that the ‘late night – early morning’ crowds in Nashville were far more sinister than Vegas, including Prostitutes (the old VICE Cop in me is able to detect them). Of course the worldlings were acting just like the world, but so were many ‘professing’ Christians.
If the professed convert distinctly and deliberately declares that he knows the Lord’s will but does not mean to attend to it, you are not to pamper his presumption, but it is your duty to assure him that he is not saved. Do not suppose that the Gospel is magnified or God glorified by going to the worldlings and telling them that they may be saved at this moment by simply accepting Christ as their Savior, while they are wedded to their idols, and their hearts are still in love with sin. If I do so I tell them a lie, pervert the Gospel, insult Christ, and turn the grace of God into lasciviousness. – Charles Spurgeon
Since their locals lived in the progressively complacent Bible Belt, most of them had normalized partying and revelry. One professing Christian woman told me that her Pastor was “down with it,” and she believed drunkenness is not a sin (too many ‘Pastors’ are causing their sheep to stumble).
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
I cannot remember how many times I was told “Jesus turned water into wine,” by beautiful young girls staggering down this filthy decadent sidewalk, which at times had remnants of washed down vomit on it. I lost count how many times I warned them, that they believed in ‘another Jesus.’ It’s a shame that these locals did not sit under the Pastors that spoke at the aforementioned conference. And if they did, one of three things would surely occur. Either they’d be convicted, converted, and/or offended and leave.
I will share one particular encouraging experience. While I was distributing tracts a group of decent looking youngsters approached me (this was still early in the evening). They advised they were Christians. Regretfully I was skeptical, as I assumed they might be partying, but thankfully I was wrong. It’s a beautiful thing to see young people carrying large Bibles in a place like this. They were from their church, evangelizing the same location. One of them told me that they were in serious need of encouragement, and that I was encouraging to them. However I failed to tell them, that it was they that encouraged me (I hope they read this). I then let them know that I was about to begin some ‘stop-light preaching,’ and invited them to watch. You’ll enjoy watching their excitement in the below video.
By God’s grace I was able to personally distribute thousands and thousands of Gospel tracts, I preached to many more, and engaged in many conversations. Some of them were humble and receptive, a few seemingly repented, while others were belligerent, and fell just short of becoming violent. I had to constantly reassess when to stop, and when to move-on to the next block.
Since these large crowds were all on the sidewalk, my large TOA megaphone would have been inappropriate to use. Therefore I used my Aker-38 in the areas where I did not have to compete with sounds emitting from the many bars and saloons. Consequently my voice had to be raised far above a normal level (I don’t like ‘that tone,’ or voice inflection, but it was necessary).
I really thought this location was going to be mostly about the history of Tennessee, and their music industry. But I quickly learned that is was more about celebrating lasciviousness, sensuality, alcohol, and the bar scene. Since some of the crowds remained inside the bars and saloons, for long periods of time, I evangelized their interiors. Remember, if our evangelism is Biblical, then we will be hated by the world, so naturally I was 86-d from most of them. Take note that when I was asked to leave, I immediately and respectfully did so. Therefore there was no trespassing, nor bad witness.
I also evangelized their Peddle Pubs and Peddle Taverns. As one woman peddled her liver and soul away, she read the front cover of my Gospel tract. She then scoffed the Gospel message by fully exposing her breasts. This place was like evangelizing hells mouth.
Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop, within a yard of hell. ~ C.T. Studd.
If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for. ~ Charles Spurgeon.
Other than those many encounters which were audibly or visually R-rated, I regret not having my GoPro camera recording the entire time. Nonetheless I did not bring extra memory cards, nor was I able to store files on my tablet, and it would not be wise to spend ‘too much time’ at home later going through so many files (I need to spend less time at my desk, and more time in the streets). Therefore, the below video depicts only a ‘summary’ of a much larger labor of love.
I want to thank those that financially contributed to this outreach, your dollars went to great use. Since I had a refrigerator in my motel room, I went grocery shopping, and ate in my room. However I did eat out thrice, and yes their barbeques are great. But they’re ‘big on pigs,’ and not much on beef. Above all, God was glorified, Christ was exalted, His church was edified, and the lost either read or heard the Gospel, and God’s Word promises to not return void. Sola Deo Gloria!
If you would hear the word aright, [then] practice what you hear … hearing only will be no plea at the Day of Judgment—merely to say, “Lord, I have heard many sermons.” God will say, ‘What fruits of obedience have you bought forth?” The Word preached is not only to inform you, but reform you, conform you, and transform you … If you hear the word and are not bettered by it … your hearing will increase your condemnation. … We pity those who do not know where to hear the Word; but O how much worse will it be for those who do not care how they hear. To graceless disobedient hearers, every sermon will be a log to heat hell. It is sad to go loaded to hell with many logs to make it hotter. Oh, beg the Spirit to make the word preached powerful! Ministers can but speak to the ear, the Spirit speaks to the heart, and you must apply it. – Thomas Watson – a 17th century preacher.