Over the recent weekend, our church went to downtown Memphis on the famous Beale Street, on a “Soul Patrol” mission. That is what I call our street evangelism ministry. Jesus said He came to “seek and save that which was lost” and so that is what we were doing downtown – patrolling the area for lost souls in need of the Good News of Salvation. We arrived about 6:45 PM while it was still daylight. After parking our car and grabbing our Scripture signs (lightweight plastic signs with appropriate verses front and back) and loading up on Gospel tracts, we headed for Beale Street where the people were gathering for their “night on the town.” We began passing out tracts to those who would take them, and holding our signs up for all to see. It was a good night on patrol. Most people took our tracts; there were the usual no-takers, and a few hoots and hollers to try and rattle us. We were fools (for Jesus) in the midst of fools.
We had prayed that God would lead us to those He was dealing with about their soul’s salvation, and we met a few who were close the kingdom of God.
One young man came up to me, looking at my scripture sign. I asked if he liked it and he said yes, and I offered him a tract, and started to talk to him. About that time his cousin, a girl of about 13, came up and stood by him. Come to find out they both went to a Baptist church with their parents back in Oklahoma. I got the impression that he was not saved, and so I asked him about it. He told me he had heard the Gospel, but was not saved. His cousin chimed in and volunteered that she was saved, with a big smile on her face. So I looked at him and asked him: “If you know how to be saved, and go to a Baptist church, why aren’t you saved yet?” He said it was because he didn’t want to get saved and then mess up. I gave him a few verses: “Behold, TODAY is the day of salvation,” and “God commands all men every where NOW to repent.” He looked at me and said, as serious as could be: “Are you saying that I should get saved now?” I said, “Yes.” And he seemed very close to calling on the Lord right then and there. I told him that if he believed that God was dealing with him about his soul that he should open the door of his heart to Christ (Rev. 3:20) and be saved. Right at that time his Mom hollered at him from the corner to come on, they were leaving. So he had to go. I quickly told him to consider what we talked about, and to get alone later and call on the name of the Lord Jesus to save and forgive him. He thanked me, said he would, and then had to go. Pray for this young man.
During the course of the night, I was able to minister comfort to a woman whose daughter was killed in a car wreck last year at the age of 21 while riding with her drunken boyfriend. I was able to witness to her, and encourage her to get into a Baptist church back home in Arkansas.
Another fellow I spoke with had “all the answers.” He was a bit intoxicated, and I asked if he was sober enough to talk to, and he assured me he was. He invited me to sit down and talk, then accused me of harassing him when I began to quote the Bible to him in our “conversation,” and asked me to leave. He had become a bit more intoxicated in the 10 minutes we talked. At least he took a Gospel tract and stuck in his pocket. I hope he was wondering where he was "last night" when he woke up the next morning.
One young man engaged me in discussion about Jesus Christ when he saw my scripture sign, which had John 14:6 on it – “Jesus saith, I am the way, the truth, and the life.” He disagreed with the verse and told me that Jesus was of “no significance to him.” Turns out he was a Jew who spoke Hebrew. We discussed what the Bible said about the Jewish Messiah. He said he believed the Messiah was yet to come, but did not believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the promised Messiah. We had a decent conversation for about 25 minutes, and when we finished he took a tract that explained the 10 commandments and the Gospel.
There was an older black man from Alabama who went to a Baptist church but didn’t agree with all they said. He saw one of our men’s signs, pointed to it, and asked me about it. It was Acts 16:31, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” He wanted to know how believing alone can save since James said the devils believe, too. We talked a bit, and he told me to open my Bible to James 2:19, and tell him what I thought it meant. His wife called for him three times in 5 minutes, but he wasn’t leaving without my answer. I pointed out that the devils in that verse believed in one GOD, but that Acts 16:31 says that salvation is by believing, not just that God exists, but putting faith in God’s SON for salvation. You could see the light come on! His face lit up, and he said with a big smile: “That’s it!” I think he got it.
Got to witness to a truck driver from Kansas City and a lady from New York City.
All in all, it was a good night. Several Christians gave us all encouraging words and told us to “keep up the good work.” All of us had requests to take our pictures holding the Scripture signs. A tourist told one of our men she wanted to show her friends back home that people "still do this stuff." It was a tremendous blessing to be literal “ambassadors for Christ” that night (2 Cor. 5:20).
Please pray for us and those we ministered to that night.