Greetings! On Saturday, November 22, 2014, Fred Triplett and I rode down to Ohio Stadium together to meet newly ordained
apostle evangelist, Joe Conkle.
Joe brought 3 men with him who were all eager to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Kelly, Johan and David.
Here's the gang from the Ohio State vs Indiana game today. Thousands heard the Word and received tracts in Columbus! pic.twitter.com/GAUnXqSmJ4
— Michael A. Coughlin (@ABereanOne) November 23, 2014
We ministered for about 2 hours, from the end of the 3rd quarter to when the crowds died down at Lane and Olentangy River Road. I preached the gospel for about an hour, and thousands of people heard the Word.
While preaching, I read from 1 John 4, Colossians 1, Romans 1 and Psalm 34. As a point of conviction and rebuke to you, dear reader, did you spend that much time in God’s Word yesterday? There are days I have not, to my shame!
I don’t know how many tracts were distributed, probably a thousand or more. I had my share of hecklers and yellers. I did my best to come back to them with winsome, rational comments. Hopefully, someone saw the fault in the anti-God worldview. One guy yelled “Shutup” to me. I replied by asking “Why don’t you?” Afterward, I wondered if it came across as rude or “seventh-gradey,” but I meant it as a serious inquiry into his logic. He didn’t respond.
God protected us from inclement weather and evildoers. That corner is covered in Police directing traffic which makes me feel very safe. After preaching for half an hour, I caught a glimpse of one of Columbus’ finest who was on the corner closest to us. He is a man I have known for years as he is a Christian and the brother of one of my best friends.
We brought a box of 20 Bibles and only gave away 1 of them. This is one area where I want to do better. I ought to be more prepared and have a sign that says “FREE BIBLES.” I suppose if people don’t know we have them, they aren’t going to just ask for a Bible. What was interesting is that while preaching, I mentioned that we had Bibles to give away. Shortly after, a man who overheard me, named Chris, approached asking for a Bible. I shut down the microphone for a few minutes and listened to him tell me about his life, and I was able to share the gospel with him.
Dear Christian, will you please pray for Chris? He’s engaged and has 2 daughters. His appearance was humble, but only God sees the heart.
On a side note, for those of you who don’t think open air preaching “works,” I’ll answer a fool according to his folly and point out that a man heard the gospel one on one and received a copy of God’s Word because he heard a preacher with a microphone mention that he could receive a free Bible.
There was one other instance to note: A drunk man was seemingly mesmerized by the preaching, (once in a while you catch someone who is CLEARLY listening and engrossed in the preaching). His friend kept trying to get him to move on, but he remained focused on me. I asked him, “Do you want forgiveness?” And he nodded in the affirmative. His friend urged him on, but he heard the message. Maybe God will use it to convert him!
May you bless God for his graciousness to me. Five men showed up to minster the gospel with me and without any conflict deferred to me as the leader and authority in the group. It is a responsibility I accept as one which was foreordained by God. I only hope that I will humbly serve, even those who submit to me, as my Lord Jesus did. May God be glorified because He is worthy and His Word was exalted and the name of Jesus was magnified.
Special thanks to Sports Fan Outreach International who encourages us, inspires us and prays for us as we labor to the crowds in Ohio.
P.S. Midway through my preaching, a couple of young ladies stood about 20 feet in front of me and held up a camera phone. I assumed they were recording me (for what purpose, I have no idea). Am I vain that I sucked in my stomach? Maybe that’s a sign I need to be more disciplined! 🙂