Opening night, Da Vinci Code, Northridge Mall. Not as exciting an opening as I would have expected, but the mall was packed tonight. First I ran into a bunch of kids from the Vine, which is a youth oriented church that meets on Sunday nights at our church. They were promoting a speaker for Breaking the Da Vinci Code who will be there this week. They had never heard about the Way of the Master method of presenting the Law then the Gospel. I invited them to come to the class starting tomorrow. They already have the energy and enthusiasm to get out there and talk to strangers. Here is a picture of a few of them.
Next, I started witnessing to folks, and handing out the Da Vinci collectible tract. Starting conversations was very easy, as everybody was willing to talk about the movie and how it tied into the real story of Jesus. I ended up passing out one hundred tracts and talking with many people. There were a bunch of kids hanging out at the mall as they tend to do in suburban America. I approached just about every group of kids sitting on benches, as they were in no rush to get anywhere. I even met a guy handing out free movie passes and after he asked me what I was passing out, I went through the Law with him. He grew up Lutheran and thought that as long as he believed he was a good person, God would send him to Heaven. He still wasn't convinced after going through the Law about his state, but I encouraged him to read his bible and spend some time thinking about this important subject.
After a while, Joey Nicolosi showed up and we proceeded to witness to many more people. He showed me a new trick where you can approach people by offering to give them $20 if they can name all ten commandments. Don't worry, nobody got them all. But, it was a natural lead in to ask people if they thought they had kept those same commandments. All was going well, till I got to a group of people in line for the movie. As soon as I switched to the spiritual, most of them turned their back on me. And, when the two that were interested started answering questions, the others would turn and heckle me. After a few minutes, they started screaming for me to leave. I apologized and that seemed to make them more mad. Phew, that was some serious spiritual battling going on and the adversary didn't want me to make any headway in that group. But, one of them was furiously reading the Gospel message the whole time, and as I got chased away, he looked at me sort of apologetically. I pray that the reason I was there was to reach that one person. God can send him someone else to get him further when he is ready.
After that encounter, we decided to pray, and that got us back on track. We ran into a group of kids that had seen Joey before and one boy remembered that he had to 'repent' and 'trust' the Savior. The other girls got really interested. It got really deep and by the end, three of them were sitting there stunned with tears in their eyes completely silenced by the Law. It felt really wierd to bring someone that close to repentance, that we decided to leave them with the Good News and a tract with an email on it so they could follow up with us. The Holy Spirit was definitely working on their hearts and we left them to pray on their own to the Father for forgiveness. We decided that encounter made the whole night worth it.
As we decided to keep going, we met up with three more kids, who had some biblical knowledge, but hadn't connected their sin with their need for a savior. I actually recorded that one so you can hear an example of how the night wents. (listen now) They had to leave after about ten minutes, but Joey got to the end of the presentation and they seemed to follow the whole thing, even with all the distractions that the mall had to offer.
We wrapped up the night in prayer and thanked God for putting two like minded brothers together to strengthen and encourage each other to get out there and be faithful to the great commission. We thanked God for the good encounters and the bad ones, because salvation belongs to Him. We are just called to plant the seeds of truth. Tonight was very exhilerating and I look forward to a time when every mall in America has two "fools for Christ" hanging out and sharing the Gospel with the lost children that God wants to bring home.