What is Your Cross?  --Week 11

LOOKING FOR BARNABAS

 

Acts 4:36-37: "Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles' feet."

 

Evidently, Barnabas was a man of means, who sold a lot he owned in Cyprus and gave the proceeds from the sale to the apostles. On account of his generosity he became known as Barnabas or Son of Encouragement.  

 

Apostles are those who have been sent forth. The Lord sent me forth to the campuses full-time in 1974. From the very beginning there were those who wondered how I could support myself and later a family by preaching out of doors where there are no offering plates and little sympathy for the gospel. Daily I hear from critics that I am going about evangelism in the wrong way. However, the emails from people who have been benefited by my ministry keep us encouraged. Another consolation is going to the mail box and finding several checks or receiving a notification of a gift via Pay Pal. We are encouraged by those of you that have supported us faithfully and sacrificially for many years. Another special form of encouragement is receiving a donation from someone new or someone that we have not heard from for a few or even many years. The practical aspect of the saints' generosity is obvious. But the encouragement that these contributions provide to Cindy and me, regardless of size, cannot be underestimated. It demonstrates that our efforts are appreciated by God's people when you honor us with the fruit of your labor.

 

We are also praying for a Barnabas, an encourager, who will bless the ministry with the proceeds of property or stocks which he has sold in order to invest in the advancement of Kingdom of God. Another option is to sign the investment over to CMUSA before selling and thereby avoid capital gains taxes. Since CMUSA is nonprofit we can sell without a tax liability.

 

Please consider The CMUSA in your end of the year giving.   We will be sending out 2011 receipts later in January. Let us know if you need one before then.   Thanks very much.  Bro. Jed 

Make a Donation   

 

 
OfftheBeatenPath 

SINNERS WILL BE DESTROYED

October 31, Indiana State University

     It is always moving for me to return to my alma mater, where my father was a professor for a quarter century.   I know the campus well.  In my heart I have never left my hometown or my home church, where I will be teaching the Friendship SS class next Sunday.  Indiana has a special beauty to me.  Perhaps it is the air that I breathed for so many years that still refreshes me.

     We started preaching on Dede Plaza which has a nice fountain; however, it is noisy and distractive.  I gathered a small assembly right away, including Walter Beck, who has been leading a group of hecklers against me for several years.  He is doing graduate work in English.  My group eventually died out but others gathered around Sister Pat and Robert Pruitt.

Robert is a cousin and disciple of my late friend Bill McMillan.  He wears a purple vest.  Embroidered on the back are the words, "All sinners will be destroyed."  He carries a banner with the same message.  A man dressed in a green body suit tried to steal his banner.  Robert recovered it but his pole was broken. 

Bro. Robert Pruitt, from Michigan, preaches with Bro. Jed at ISU.

      Melissa is a graduate student in music. I could not help but noticing her for she was the only one dressed appropriately and lady like.  She inquired about my book.  So I went back to the car with her to get copies of Who Will Rise Up? and The Mystery of Christ Revealed since she had been exposed to the Calvinist view of predestination.  She has been following me since last year through my weekly email journal. 

     Rob Miller introduced himself to me. I had not seen Rob in years.  He reminded me that I had brought a great change in his life when he was a student at ISU.  His fraternity brothers called him "Safety Sam." Since he did not drink, he was his fraternity's designated driver. 

      In 1985, when Rob was an undergraduate at ISU, I confronted him and asked, "Do you kiss your girlfriend?"

    "Yes," he answered, "And I do more than that."

     Next he informed me that he went to a Baptist church, I asked, "Do you believe in "once saved, always saved."  He affirmed that he did.  I took the opportunity to "expound unto him the way of God more perfectly."  Since his undergraduate years, he has taken an interest in my ministry.  He is no longer a Baptist. 

      Rob, who has returned to ISU to do graduate work, said to me, "Indiana State needs you, Brother Jed.  I hope you will come here more regularly."  I could be easily persuaded to spend much more time in Indiana.

     I have noticed over the years that ISU students are more vulgar and gross than students on other campuses.    Few are able to begin to form an argument.  The grammar many use murders the English language.  Most of them cannot express themselves without using four letter words.  They are very poor listeners.  I would not consider most of them educated.  Even worse, they are morally decadent.  It is hard to believe that most who gathered around us actually pass as college students.   I trust there are exceptions, but most seemed more beastly than human.  I am ashamed to say that my alma mater may be the worse campus upon which I speak.  I suppose it was that way when I was in school at ISU in the sixties.  But I must have been too decadent to notice.  Thank God, the old Jed Smock was put to death in 1972, only to be resurrected as a new creature in Christ.  Indeed, ISU does need the Lord.  Perhaps the Lord will pave a way for me to minister more frequently here. 

The heathen rage!

 

     This day followed the pattern at Illinois campuses last week in which we had three groups going at once for most of the afternoon.  With students moving from group to group often asking each preacher the same question.  Christian perfection was a large issue today.

      Ron Allee from Greencastle, IN showed up on campus.  He had read in my e journal that I would be on campus.  He was an old college drinking buddy.  We went out to San Francisco in 1968 and started smoking grass together.  When I got converted in 1972, I made a trip out West and Ron became my first convert to Christ, when I witnessed to him in S.F.  Ron gave me a generous offering today.   

      I invited Walter Beck to have dinner with us.  We had a cordial time, each of us exhorting him to get right with God.

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CROSS BEARING

November 1, 2011, Purdue University

      I dropped Sister Pat and Robert off at the free speech area because I wanted to visit my father's cousin who is the oldest living Smock at 103 years of age.  John Smock lives in Westminster Village in West Lafayette; he is a long retired FBI agent and Carroll County Judge.  He has become my dear friend, whom I visit whenever I am preaching at Purdue.  It takes him a little longer to recognize me each year, but he was able to collect his memory and thoughts and we had good conversation.  Actually, it was one of the better visits we have had in recent years.  I was able to show him pictures on my I Phone, including the Smock tombstone in Terre Haute, which is carved John 14:19, "Because I live, ye shall live also." 

     John assured me that he was still trusting in the resurrection of Christ to take him to Heaven.  I spoke to him of the wonderful reunion we would have some day in Glory when we will walk the streets of gold together.  No more wheel chair for John then.  I treated this visit with him as if it would be our last in this world, which is what I have been doing for the last 15 years or so.  Who knows?  John may survive me. 

      I arrived back on campus at 1:30.  Robert had a long haired boy around him named Raleigh with whom I have had discussions and arguments in years past.  Raleigh is very much into studying the Bible in the original languages.  Often I find people who do this get caught up in the letter instead of the spirit of what the Scriptures teach.  Sister Pat had several students surrounding her.  I sat on my stool holding my YOU DESERVE HELL sign.  Within minutes a boy asked, "Why do I deserve Hell?"  I explained. 

     He was also bothered by Pat's sign which included a warning to "beer lovers."  He claimed to believe in Christ.  Finally, I asked a question I never asked before, "What is your cross which you are carrying?  He seemed puzzled and then said, "Whatever I believe."       

     He claimed he could believe whatever he wanted.  I responded, "This is not cross bearing.  You have the spirit of Cain; he thought he could worship God his own way, instead of through the blood of the lamb, which is through the cross.

    At 2:15 I started preaching and added several to the group Pat had gathered so that there were now maybe twenty listening.  I asked other professing Christians, some of whom were complaining about my message and methods, "What is your cross which you are bearing?" 

      None of them had a clue as to what I was asking.  I quoted Luke 9:23, "If any man will come after me, let him deny him self, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."  I explained, "My cross is preaching on campus to heady, high minded and rebellious college students daily for the last 38 years.  I repeat what is the cross you are bearing?"

    In Gal 5:11 Paul spoke of "the offence of the cross," and "the reproach of Christ" in Hebrews 11:26.  Cross bearing represents, self-denial, persecution, rejection and suffering for righteousness' sake.  Many evangelicals oppose anything which brings reproach on Christ or his people.  Such believers are in fact "enemies of the cross of Christ."-Phil 3:18. 

What is the cross that you are bearing?

 

    They are offended at our preaching, instead of being offended by the sin and unbelief of their fellow students.  They are more concerned that we have offended their cronies in sin than that God is affronted by the sins of self-centered students.  College students, even most of the professing Christians, are in reality students (disciples) of the world and worldly wisdom, not disciples of Christ. 

     Jesus said, "He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me."-Matt. 10:38.  One cannot be a disciple of Christ without bearing his cross and imitating Jesus.-Luke 14:27. 

    Once again today we had groups around the three of us.  But even better at 4 PM I counted four groups in which we were not the center of attention, including gatherings led by Christians, who had earlier questioned our approach.  I wonder if they will acknowledge at the end of the day that their witness would not have taken place if we had not been there with our "offensive" signs and our "hateful" preaching.  Somehow I do not think that they will see it. 

Bro. Robert proclaiming the truth at Purdue University.

 

     A long time friend of our ministry, Alan Bunning, arrived late in the afternoon; he was answering the questions of one group of inquirers.  Alan goes back to the early days of our ministry when I regularly preached with Max Lynch at Purdue when Alan was an undergraduate.

    The students at Purdue were much more mannered and cultured then the one at ISU yesterday.  Purdue has the reputation of being one of the top engineering and agriculture schools in the country.  It draws a higher caliber of students.  Yet, they are in as much need of salvation as the low life at ISU.

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  RubbingTHEY DESIRED A SIGN    FROM HEAVEN 

 

 November 2, 2011, Purdue University, 

     We set up on the lawn a short distance away from a couple of tents promoting the American Cancer Society.  We got off to a slow start at 11:40, which is early in the day to draw a good crowd.  A few stopped momentarily but I closed about 11:35 to wait for the next break.  Even at the 12:20 break, I did not gather a crowd.  I sat on my stool holding my YOU DESERVE HELL sign when four students approached me.  One challenged me, "If you will turn this bottle of water into ice, I will believe."  
 
     I answered, "No, you would not become a Christian.  You might acknowledge that God exists, but you would not trust in God because he requires you to forsake all to follow him.  Probably you would not even acknowledge God; you would claim that it was some inexplicable natural phenomena.  Jesus did many miracles.  Men did not question the miracles but still few followed him because they were not willing to pay the cost of discipleship.  Jesus did miracles in response to faith, not as evidence of the existence of God to fools." 

Show us a sign!

     One professing Christian addressed the atheist's test by claiming that the age of miracles ended with the completion of the Book of Revelations.  I argued with him saying that the Lord has been working through miracles down through the Church Age.  However, his explanation for the lack of supernatural witness of the Holy Spirit is a common one, at least among Protestants.  Why promote a powerless Christianity? 

      Jesus said, "A wicked and an adulterous generation seeks after a sign and there shall be no sign given to it but the sign of the prophet Jonas."-Matt. 16:4.  My witness is the best sign that students have seen and heard all of their lives.  I speak that I do know and testify that I have seen; still, they refuse my witness.  Why?  Because they are evil, treacherous, proud and stubborn, they refuse to believe.    

     This little group eventually dispersed.  However, one atheist stayed behind with whom I had an effective witness.  He seemed to be considering my arguments for God.  After 30 minutes, he dismissed himself courteously. 

      At the 1:20 break I gathered about 25 students and was having a good time with them when the Dean of Students arrived.  The police had come out earlier in response to complaints that we had been following people.  This is something I do not do and counsel my team members not to do.  The police were satisfied and departed.

 

      The Dean assured me that we had freedom of speech but the Cancer Society people had reserved the area.  He asked me to move to another part of the green.  I negotiated for the sidewalk at the gateway since it had more traffic.  This turned out to be a much better location.  Several years ago another administrator informed me that I needed to stay on the green.  Students followed me to the new location. 

 

 

 

 

 

Bro. Robert did a great job on the sidelines.

 

 

 

    I preached until 4:30 when I called upon Alan Dunning to take over my crowd.  I handled the large crowd all afternoon and Sister Pat and Robert ministered to small clusters.  After we packed up and drove around the semi circle Alan was still going strong with the larger group and there were other clusters of students also talking about issues we had raised.  A few atheists even complimented me for provoking dialogue and discussion on issues of substance.  Most of them who stayed for at least an hour will never forget this day!

 

 

 

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Clowns
 
THE THREE DREADFUL WORDS 

 

 

November 3, 2011, IUPUI 

 

 

     The weather was bleak.  We left Terre Haute in a driving rain with 80% likelihood of rain for the afternoon.  The temperature was only in the forties.  Not only that, but I had a breakfast meeting which got me away late; which meant I did not have time to return to our guest quarters to dress for the weather.  We drove the Old National Rd., Highway 40, to Indianapolis since I-70 had a lot of construction. 

 

 

 

 

 

Bro. Robert is always ready to declare the Gospel, in season and out of season!

 

      We did not get started until after the 1PM class break.  Robert opened the preaching, wearing his rain gear, outside the Campus Center.  I found a place with shelter from the rain, which was a distance away.  However, my location had little traffic flow; so I spent most of my time inside one of the buildings, studying the subject of miracles in the Bible.

 

 

 

 

 

The sign with the three dreaded words grabs their attention even on a cold, rainy day.

       Finally, I relocated in front of a lecture hall, where I lifted my YOU DESERVE HELL sign, which provoked some negative reaction from several pedestrians.  I informed the careless that they could make a reservation for Heaven.  Reservations are required.  No one even inquired of the cost.

 

 

     I was now within sight of Robert, who had a few he was talking to across the street.  I decided to check what was happening with him.  When I walked up, a girl asked me about the sign under my arm, "What does your sign say?"

      I flashed the three dreadful words.  The inquirer was contentious.  Her friends, a girl and a boy, were positive.  The touchy one wanted to argue concerning the correct day to keep the Sabbath.  I exhorted the other two, who professed Christianity, to avoid the temptations of college party life at all costs and to focus on Jesus.

      Since I was not dressed for the weather, I told Robert to wrap it up. IUPUI is a commuter campus; the bulk of the students had left for the day.

Robert reported that for about fifteen minutes he had a gathering of 20 students until the cold and rain drove them back into the building.  Most of the bunch had rushed out of the Campus Center when they saw a school mate confront Robert with a make shift sign. 

     Robert reported three good conversations.  One was with a man who first said that one cannot help but sin.  But he changed his mind within a minute after Robert instructed him.  When one understands the nature of sin (many have temptation confused with sin) and the nature of man (free will, moral choice) it is evident that one can live holy.

 

 

 

Sister Pat had a fruitful conversation with this witch.

 

 

     Robert concluded that it was worth the drive over; despite the poor preaching conditions, some heard the message.  I enjoyed the drive over to Indianapolis as I reminisced in my mind.  I had not travelled this road for years.  Before the Interstate was built, Highway 40 was the way to the Capitol.  There are significant changes on the road with which I was at one time so familiar, yet, so many of the old land marks and sign posts remain the same.  I like that.  

 

 

 

 

It was a productive day in spite of the weather.

  

 

 

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Hope  

 "ADAM, YOU ARE GOING TO LIKE THIS!" 

November 4, 2011, Indiana University

 

 

     I had only been speaking a few moments when a red haired guy put up a "free hugs" sign.  I did not show my sign today.  It wasn't long before two other sign carriers arrived.  Within 45 minutes a horde of them were buzzing around me.  After preaching for 90 minutes, I called upon Sister Pat. 

 

 

 

Bro. Jed is surrounded by a horde of protestors at Indiana University.  The sign with the heart says "I love fornication."

     The protest was promoted as a "love fest." To them love is acceptance of anyone or anything (except for those who oppose their self-indulgence) and it is without conditions.  However, God's abiding love is conditioned on man's acceptance and obedience of our Heavenly Father's commandments.-John 14:21, 23.

 

 

 

 

Students at IU call a "love fest" to protest Bro. Jed.

       Carly, who wore a t-shirt promoting the Secular Alliance, was one of the organizers of the protest.  She said to me on the sidelines, "Thank you for coming Brother Jed.  You are a good sport to put up with us.  I had fun."

 

 

Carly, Leader of the Secular Alliance Society at IU.

       

 

 

 

     She was aware of the protest organized by the Secular Alliance at the University of Illinois last week.  If nothing else, I add some excitement to college life.  Karly listened as I explained that she should be a Christian because our religion answers all the basic questions of life.

      During my lecture, "Sex Ed with Brother Jed," I related the story of  God's creation of Adam's helpmeet by imagining the following dialogue between God and Adam: 

      "Wake up, Adam!  I have something to show you that you are really going to like."

     "Wow, Father, this person looks a lot like me, but she doesn't have anything between her legs like I do.  And what are those big ballooned things on her chest?

     "Adam, this is a woman.  I made her especially for you."

      "Father, she looks very soft and pretty; may I touch her?

      "She's all yours, Adam, but I am out of here."

      I added, "And nine months later, Cain came out from between Eve's legs."

       Suddenly, Leah came out of the crowd and berated me for degrading marriage.  She related that marriage is a sacrament.  I was gentle with her because I appreciated her piety and sensitivity to the institution of holy matrimony.  Apparently, she did not appreciate my satire.  She was unusually serious for a college student.  Later, she talked with Robert, who informed me that Leah is upset with what she perceives as the Pope's compromise concerning the use of condoms in Africa.  She has a boyfriend but they have agreed to wait until marriage.  She is also considering becoming a nun.  I was disappointed that I did not have the opportunity to converse with her on the sidelines.  Maybe I will when I return next week.

     Students tried to get me to sing the gay song.  But I refused since it is offensive to gay people.  I went through my spiel on how I am working to overcome my homophobia and they ought not to be tempting me to go back to my old ways. 

     Later, a female sign carrier thanked me for not singing the gay song and appreciated my commitment not to mock homosexuals anymore.  "Oh, no," I thought, "Now I will not be able to sing the gay song in the three days I plan on spending at IU next week, lest I disappoint this girl."  I guess it is good satire when people do not know whether or not you are being satirical.

      Late in the day I exhorted a group from Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU) to take the offensive against the skeptics.  I taught them about the militancy of the Holy Spirit.  Several had somber and attentive looks on their faces.  Interestingly, in our morning devotion we studied Phil. 1 where Paul wrote that "many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear."  I prayed that Christians at IU would be bolder to fearlessly proclaim the truth.  Perhaps this group from CRU was the beginning of an answer to my morning prayer.

 

     It was a wonderful week ministering in Indiana.  Every day is a battle against the forces of evil.  In 1974 I preached my first college sermon on the steps of the IU Student Union.  In my four decades of daily going to combat, each day I emerge victorious.  I have never experienced defeat with the LORD as my Captain. 

 

 

 

 

 

Bro. Robert in his "All sinners will be destroyed vest."

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In This Issue
Sinners Will Be Destroyed
Cross Bearing
A Sign
Three Dreadful Words
Adam's Gift
Winter/Spring 2012 Schedule
Prayer Needs
Contact Us
Donate to CMUSA

Brother Jed's Team's Tentative Schedule for Spring Semester 2012

     Sister Pat and I will be preaching along with a retired couple from Michigan, Dave and Doris Metz, who will be with us through February. Sister Cindy, Martha and Priscilla will likely meet us in Arizona. Should anyone else like to join us along the gospel road, please contact me before coming to campus since this schedule is still subject to change. If anyone would like to offer hospitality, contact me. The Metzs travel in a camper so no room is needed for them except perhaps a place to park their vehicle. Dinners are also appreciated if you are close to campus.

     Pastors, please contact me if you would want me to speak in your church while in your area. Also, if anyone would like to arrange a home meeting, I am available. Local Christians coming out to stand with us is very helpful. It is usually a life changing experience for anyone who has never witnessed on campus.

     This is a rugged schedule; we will be preaching five to six hours daily; also, I anticipate that Sundays and Wednesdays will be filling out soon with church meetings. We covet your prayers and your financial support. A long trip like this is expensive. Meanwhile, bills must be paid on the home front.  Bro Jed

 

January 8, Centenary UMC, Friendship Class, Terre Haute, IN

January 9 & 10, University of Florida, Gainesville

January 11 & 12 University of South Florida, Tampa

January 13, University of Florida

January 17 & 18 Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers

January 19, USF

January 20, UF

January 23-27, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge

January 30 & 31, Sam Houston State, Huntsville

February 1-3 Texas A&M, College Station

February 6-8 Texas State University, San Marcos

February 9-10, University of Texas, Austin

February 13-15, New Mexico State, Las Cruces

February 16 & 17, 20-24, University of Arizona, Tucson

February 27-March 2, Arizona State University, Tempe

March 5, San Diego State

March 6 & 7, San Marcos State, San Marcos

March 8, San Diego State

March 9, UCSD

March 12 &13, Fresno State University

March 14, UC Davis

March 15 Sacrament State

March 16, UC Davis

March 19, Cal State Fullerton

March 20 &21, Long Beach State

March 22 & 23 Cal State Fullerton

March 26-30, Texas Tech, Lubbock

April 2 & 3, University of Oklahoma, Norman

April 4, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond

April 5 & 6, University of Oklahoma

April 9-27 Campuses in Missouri

April 30 & May 1, Ohio State, Columbus

May 2, Oberlin College

May 3, OSU

May 4, Ohio University, Athens

May 7, Oberlin

May 8, OSU

May 9, Wright State

May 10, Priscilla Smock's Senior Recital, Columbia, MO

May 12, Priscilla Smock's graduation

May 14 & 15, University of Washington, Seattle

May 16 & 17, Western Washington University, Bellingham

May 18, University of Washington

May 21-25, Eastern Washington University

May 29-June 1, University of Washington

June 4-7, University of Oregon, Eugene

June 8, Portland State

 

 

 

Prayer Needs
  1. Revival!
  2. Wisdom and annointing of the Holy Spirit to preach the Gospel.
  3. Move of the Holy Spirit convicting the students of sin, righteousness and judgment!
  4. Health and physical strength.
  5. Favor with the authorities.
  6. Favor with the Christians on campus.
  7. Open doors.
  8. Monthly Supporters
Contact Us:  

 

 

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