The speakers were carefully placed one atop the other to make sure they were stable. Two more were placed the same way, but facing the other side of the street to immerse the entire area as much as possible with the sound that would be coming forth in only a few moments.
Soft music, was started on an old I-pod and the man began pacing back and forth, lips moving with no words coming forth. He checked his clock for the tenth time since standing on the corner of the doughnut store and took a deep breath. Perhaps he was getting ready to do something that was hard, a hand stand, a magic trick, something that was stressing him out. Another young man walked towards him, shaking his hand, and the smiles exchanged verified a friendship and that perhaps, he was being waited for.
A microphone was taken out, plugged in, and testing, one, two, three was spoken a few times until both men felt happy with the clarity and volume. Some people began to look at them with expectation of what was going to happen. Some yelled, "Hallelujah!" mocking them and playing around as if to knock down the speakers but then walked away.
The music was lowered, and the younger man, who had shown up what seemed late, began to speak. He began by praying then praising the God of heaven and earth. He spoke at times in a language no one else understood but he alone, perhaps. He said he was going to share a message that was going to change the world of everyone present and he began to share about how God so loved the world, that He sent His only begotten son into the world, that whosoever believed in Him, would not die or perish, but would have the guarantee of eternal life.
A good crowd had gathered to listen and the man's confidence grew. Here was his opportunity to share his love and passion for the Lord by leading these people to the Lord. The first few moments of his message were interesting and the crowd held still. You see, the crowd was made up of people from all walks of life, some had even been believers at one time. There were deep hurts, anger, issues, that only the God of heaven and earth could help with. But something happened. Then man began to speak about being holy and that holiness was the only way to the Father. He said that whoever is not holy, would not see God. That was true, many agreed, especially those that knew something about God's Word.
The man then said, "Repent!" And the crowd was fine, still in agreement. Then, suddenly, "You women want to be thinking you are men, wearing pants and acting like men. You're going to hell. You dress like whores and no one knows if you are a decent woman because you go to church with tons of makeup, cutting your hair like men, and with demonic jewelry all over! You're not going to see God. You're going to hell! Men you wear colors that are not manly and you think God doesn't see that! You allow your teenagers to dress how they want......"
This man insulted everyone one present in some way. Each sentence ended with someone going to hell. Long hair, short hair, makeup, pants, dancers, painters, artists, and movie goers. "You're going to hell!" He yelled over and over til one young man, strong, well built, said, "Man, what the hell you talking about, I'm already in hell! Tell me something I don't know!"
And the preacher was stunned to silence. He tried to restart his message but couldn't. The crowd had practically vanished to only two, two who were probably friends giving out pieces of folded paper to those that passed by and said, "God bless you." They were empty. Where they truly reflecting God's Love?
All that time spent in preparing to preach on that street corner and this preacher couldn't convince anyone to listen long enough to desire God. You see, the God this man was preaching about is not the God I read about in the Bible. He is a Holy God that desires holiness in every form. But He searches the heart of man first. If there is anything God wants to change in a person, God begins with the heart, because with the heart man believes and with his mouth man confesses Jesus is Lord.
Whether you are a legalistic Pentecostal or a non-denominational christian, at the end of any argument you may have, the truth is, God is no respecter of persons. This preacher lost the people that would hear and believe because he forgot to mention the greatest thing about God. GOD IS LOVE. And because God is love, God desires to dwell in the hearts of all people, heal them of their past, heal the brokenhearted and restore a relationship with Him. People are already in hell. It's true. They're already experiencing traumatic moments in their lives that are horrible. They have a past filled with abuse, nightmares. the occult, prison and so much more. Why are we going to stand in a corner and remind them of what they already know? What they are already living? Instead, let us be preachers in the streets that will inspire hope, lead people to a healing God, a listening God, a God that cares and wants to change our lives, starting with our hearts, our broken spirit, the wounded part of us that wants to die.
The preacher looked away and said if anyone wanted prayer, he would be there for a while. He was there for twenty minutes while the others packed their speakers and other items and placed them in a van. As easily as they appeared ,they drove away. Not one life touched, not one soul saved, but hundreds condemned, criticized, exposed and pushed further away.
Dear Preacher in the Street,
You're preaching to people that know they're on their way to an eternity without God. So, why don't you stop preaching your own agenda and pray for Heaven's agenda. Instead of shutting them out of the kingdom, bring them in. Love people. Hug them. Be willing to cry with them.