This book can be purchased directly from the Author: Click Here



 Copyright by Jed Smock 1985

Used by Permission

Confrontational Evangelism on Campus


Chapter 13


In the heat of the summer, 11 months after my conversion, I rode my 10-speed bicycle 40 miles to preach my first revival meeting in Worthington, Indiana. As the July sun beat down on my brow, I pondered the fact that most of the town's 2,000 residents were peddling to a much hotter eternity. My hope that several meeting in the storefront Assembly of God Church would pull many out of the fire. Preparing a week of sermons was quite a challenge since, except for my testimony, I did not have a collection of anecdotes to fill in my messages. However, I had been diligently studying the Bible for over a year and had memorized many verses.

Each afternoon I took an hour out of my prayer and Bible study time to ride around the town witnessing and inviting people to the church. None accepted my invitation. When we closed the meeting at the end of the scheduled week, only one soul had come forward to the altar for salvation. I returned home feeling very troubled about having left Worthington. Four days after we closed the services some church members telephoned to say that they did not think my work was finished. I called the pastor and he suggested that I return and reopen the revival the next Sunday.

The second week my daily witnessing began to produce fruit. Tuesday a group of youth gathered on the sidewalk in front of the church to listen. We had to keep the door open since there was no air conditioning and this offered the only ventilation. Wednesday night there was almost as large a crowd listening from the sidewalk as was sitting in the building. At the end of my message I walked to the door and commanded the youth, "Come in here and give your hearts to God."

To my surprise, eight of them walked in barefooted, some shirtless and fell to their knees. I led each one in a sinner's prayer.

This experience confirmed to me the necessity of the successful evangelist working outside of the building if the community is truly going to be moved. As I have made this my pattern, God has opened the door for me to witness to the small and to the great.

Tennessee Colonel

Impressed with my ministry in Nashville, Tennessee, Governor Winfield Dun appointed me "Tennessee Colonel and Aid de Camp, Governor's Staff."

This was a testimony to God's amazing grace that a former revolutionary was now being commended for "Patriotism, Valor and Fidelity." Indeed it was evident that "old things had passed away" as one who had wanted to overthrow our Republic joined with this God-fearing governor to pray for his administration and the people of his state.

This honor was the result of a two-week revival and outreach held with Rev. W.C. Langford's Belmont Assembly of God Church in the summer of 1974. I preached to the lost of Vanderbilt University, Scarit College and in the "Red Light" district. The mayor's special assistant was baptized in the Holy Spirit and the mayor bestowed upon me the keys of the city.

Across the nation I have emphasized that Christians should be bolder in their witness, that God wanted to make each layman an activist for the cause of Christ. In church after church I have preached from my theme text, "WHO WILL RISE UP FOR ME AGAINST THE EVILDOERS OR WHO WILL STAND UP FOR ME AGAINST THE WORKERS OF INIQUITY?" (Psalm 94:16).

Thousands publicly committed themselves to answering this call but only a fragment have followed through. When persecution comes for the Word's sake they burn out. Still, it has been my joy to kindle a perpetual flame for souls in the hearts of a few.

One of these firebrands, Mike Denigan, a prosperous florist and church deacon, became a constant soulwinner and a blazing open-air preacher on the Fountain Square in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Disco Invasion

Mike Denigan was attending my revival meeting in Florence, Kentucky, when God instructed him to go witness in the bars in which he had once caroused. Since so much of my life had been wasted on a bar stool, I was anxious to reach the drunkards. After being banned from the American Legion bar, we invaded the Ramada Inn disco lounge. The blank-faced crowd of career singles and lonely salesmen puffed their cigarettes and sipped their cocktails as the band played an empty "love song." When the band took a break, Mike and his wife, with Cindy and me, walked to the dance floor and, to the surprise of all, started singing to the tune of "Shortnin' Bread":

All God's Children love living, living All God's children love living bread. Throw up your hands. Fall upon your face. The Holy Ghost is going to shake this place.

As we sang we acted out the lyrics by throwing up our hands, bowing our faces to the floor and turning around. The Holy Ghost began to shake up the incredulous customers in the disco.

Suddenly the Spirit of God moved within Cindy and she preached: "Awake, ye drunkards and weep and howl for the new wine which is Jesus Christ has been cut off from you. Be not deceived, no drunkard shall inherit the kingdom of God. For all ye drunkards shall burn forever in the LAKE OF Fi-rrrre, except ye REPENT and believe in Jesus."

The crowd was stunned. The Lord had revealed to me that this was to be a hit-and-run operation. We had hit so I grabbed Cindy by the arm and said, "Let's GO." As we dashed out the door a salesman in a three-piece suit leaned over to his associate and said, "I have been all over the world, but now I have truly seen everything."

Our activities were noised abroad and as a result Mike was publicly repudiated from the pulpit of his own church. Regrettably, our churches are filled with fire extinguishers and wet blankets.

A Turning Point

In the fall of 1978 God showed me why so many professing Christians refuse to be bold witnesses and vehemently oppose those who do take a stand.

The trend in the 1970s in the pentecostal, charismatic and full gospel churches was for ministers to emphasize the new birth, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, faith, both physical and inner healing, deliverance, financial prosperity and prophecy. In the early years of my ministry this was my general course except for the inner healing. My testimony, coupled with campus evangelism, made my ministry unique and therefore in demand by the churches and Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowships. I had always assumed "Christians" were living moral and upright lives because this is what the Bible calls "our reasonable service." But God would soon show me stark reality, the inside of the cup and the platter. He would soon pry open the whitened sepulchers and uncover the dead men's bones rankled with maggots and putrefaction.

It happened in what I thought would be a typical engagement in a charismatic church in Georgia. I brought forth a message on holiness and at the end of the sermon, as was my custom, I started to lead 300 people in a positive confession that they were the "righteous of God in Christ Jesus." But the Holy Spirit checked me and impressed on my mind, "THERE IS SIN IN THE CAMP. THERE IS SIN IN THE CAMP."

Startled, I repeated to the congregation what I had heard from God. "THERE IS SIN IN THE CAMP." Soon the altars were filled with people on their faces before the Lord.

A woman rose from her knees and asked for the pulpit. She publicly confessed to specific personal sins. When she finished, someone else also admitted to particular sins. Then another. The stench and stink of religious hypocrisy began to seep out. Soon people were lined up to come to the platform to confess their transgressions. The tombs were opened wide and all kinds of wickedness and iniquity were exposed by the Holy Spirit. Almost everyone became involved, from the church leadership down to the little children. I was stunned! This was thought to be a spiritual church. All the gifts were supposed to be in operation. It had a Christian Academy, Bible Training Center and a radio and television outreach. The confessions went on and on until almost midnight. God put sinews, flesh and skin upon their bones and breathed within them that they might live and know that He is God. After the Spirit had done His work, I dismissed the congregation.

That night in my room, during a time of prayer, the Holy Spirit revealed to me that this church was typical of congregations where I had been speaking for several years. The same sins that I was crying out against on campus were hiding under the cover of the church pews. Instead of calling the people to repentance, I was confirming them in their self-righteousness, blindly encouraging each to confess positively that they were "the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus," when in reality they were in rebellion. That night was to prove to be a turning point in my ministry.


I had to start preaching against sin in the churches. Jesus preached repentance from the throne room to five of the seven churches in Revelation. To the church of the Laodiceans He declared, "as many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent."

Most scholars consider the Laodicean assembly to be a type of the last-days church. I had been saying to the modern day Laodiceans that they were "rich, increased with goods and in need of nothing." But the Holy Spirit wanted to expose them "As wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." God intended to use me to purify the churches before the second coming of the Lord as He used John the Baptist to purge Israel before Christ's first advent.

John proclaimed, "The axe is laid unto the root of the trees" (Matthew 3:11). The axe is God's Word, the trees are the people and the root is their sin.

It is common in the charismatic churches to blame everything on the devil. Ministers have gained great popularity by going from meeting to meeting and casting devils out of people who are still bound with sin.

For example, the sin of self-abuse is not a "spirit of lust." It is a refusal to turn from a selfish habit. Likewise, the heart of the liar's problem is his refusal to tell the truth, not a "lying spirit."

People must take responsibility for their behavior. Too many ministers fear offending the sinners. They give professing believers an excuse to sin by saying that demons are the cause. The devil cannot make a Christian sin. He chooses to sin. For deliverance he MUST choose to repent!

Repentance is more than a mere admission of wrongdoing and a sorrow for it. The fornicator may be genuinely sorry for his fornication, especially if he catches the dreaded Herpes II. Repentance implies an understanding of the justice of the commandments of God and of the folly and madness of sin. The repentant sinner recognizes that he is wholly wrong and wicked and that God is wholly right and just. The wicked must see that he deserves nothing but eternal torment in the LAKE of FIRE. He must submit his will to God's will and throw himself on the mercy and grace of God to set him free from the power and dominion of sin. The repentant completely forsakes all sin to walk the highway of holiness. He has a godly sorrow for what his sin has done to God. ALAS, it was sin that nailed the hands of God's beloved Son Jesus Christ to the cross.

After my experience in Georgia, I began to regularly bring forth this message of repentance.

In February of 1979 this preaching revolutionized Praise Chapel in Southern California. As I commanded the congregation to turn from sin and "bring forth fruits meet for repentance," they responded by public confession of their wickedness. As the meetings continued, many brought forth books, rock 'n roll records, immodest clothes and other idols to be destroyed. It reminded me of Paul's great awakening at Ephesus: "Many that believed came, and confessed, and showed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious art brought their books together and burned them before all men." "SO MIGHTILY GREW THE WORD OF GOD AND PREVAILED" (Acts 19:17-19).

True repentance brought true revival to Praise Chapel. The pastor has often said that it was a turning point in his fellowship. Many who repented in those meetings have started other strong soulwinning churches in area cities. Today they are the most committed body of believers in Southern California.

I have found that this message is generally well-received by church-goers. Many have come up to me after service and said, "This is what we really need to hear." However, there are always a few rebels in the crowd and occasionally the pastor is included.

This was the case when I preached in an Arizona church and the congregation started confessing sin. Saying he objected to public confession of sin, the pastor closed the meeting the next day. Although I had been going to the church for several years, I was no longer welcome.

If there is to be revival, "judgment must begin at the house of God." With revival comes purging. Many ministers and laymen who speak of revival must first allow the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit to accompany it. I suffered in the Spirit for weeks over this rejection but set my face like a flint to proclaim the message God had given me.

The Javelin

In July 1982 I started a week-long meeting in a "full gospel" church in Evansville, Indiana. My ministry was well known in the city for I had twice addressed the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship and had spoken once for the Gideons. I had also been in several of the area churches and ministered in this particular one on a previous occasion.

After three days of strong preaching on repentance, I brought forth a message on the Fear of God. Nightly the congregation had come to the altar to pray. The Holy Spirit was developing a sin consciousness in the church.

Suddenly an influential woman in the congregation began to "prophesy,""All I see is people that love God. That are pure and holy in my eyes . . ." she cried.

She went on in this strain for a few minutes. When she stopped all was quiet. This was a crucial point in the meeting. If the church believed this false prophesy, I might as well pack my bags and leave town.

As I prayed for direction, the pastor rose to his feet and walked to the pulpit.

"Brother Smock is right," he said. "There is sin in the camp. We need to repent."

He confessed to sin in his own life. A spirit of contrition seemed to come over the congregation. Others followed the pastor's example.

The next night I took my text from Numbers 25: The young men of Israel committed whoredom with some pagan women who influenced the men to worship idols. An angry God smote the people with a plague and ordered Moses to have whoremongers and idolaters executed. Meanwhile, Zimri, a man of Israel insolently brought a whore named Cozbi into the camp before the eyes of Moses and all the people, as they were repenting at the door of the Tabernacle. When Phinehas, a young God-fearing Israeli, saw this, he rose up from prayer and took his javelin to the tent where Zimri was with Cozbi. He thrust the javelin all the way through the man's body and into the whore's belly. So the plague was stopped but only after 24,000 people had died.

To dramatize the action for the church, I took an imaginary javelin in hand, made a flying leap off the platform into the middle of the congregation and demonstrated Phinehas execution of judgment. Many were shocked at my performance but I had effectively illustrated the truth. Little did I know that there was a Zimri that night in the congregation with his Cozbi. During the worship service he had hypocritically been lifting his hands high in praise.

This youth had recently been dramatically saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit. After his experience with God he warned his girl friend that they were going to have to stop EVERYTHING.

She responded saying, "Oh! I'm so proud of you."

Little did she know, he had more than a momentarily emotional experience. He had been genuinely converted but the devil was determined to get him back through the girl. After he had been attending church for several weeks, the little strumpet whined, "How come you don't love me anymore? You don't touch me like you used to."

Alas, the foolish youth fell for the oldest line in the book. The irony of the situation is that he had used basically the same line to rob the girl of her virtue in the first place. He continued to go to church with the girl and make a show of religion. Everyone considered him to be one of the outstanding young persons in the congregation.

Phinehas' javelin went into the back of the youthful fornicator the night of my meeting, and he stood condemned before the Supreme Judge of the Universe. At the end of my message he ran to the altar to ask God's forgiveness. His girl friend followed closely behind in her designer jeans. His repentance was godly that night and he later entered into the ministry. But the whore's repentance was merely a worldly sorrow. Regrettably, the javelin of the Word did not reach into her belly and she soon left the church.

The Making of a Preacher

Jim Gilles had been attending these meetings nightly and he was shaken by the message of Phinehas, and he perceived how much God hated sin. Jim had been an 18-year-old dope fiend and rock and roll freak. In November 1980 he had attended a Van Halen rock concert. In the middle of the performance, group leader David Lee Roth shouted to the crowd, "Not even God can save your soul at a Van Halen concert." The crowd of 13,000 people roared to their feet giving him a standing applause while yelling for more blasphemy.

Jim was stunned at the remark and reaction. As he contemplated what had happened, the group sang their biggest hit, "Running With The Devil." Then Jim understood that he and the whole crowd were gleefully following and worshipping Satan.

Jim faced the reality that he was headed for hell. He cried out, "God save my soul right here in the middle of this Van Halen concert!"

Jesus answered his prayer and instantly set him free from drugs, lust, booze and rock 'n roll. The following Sunday he went to church and made a public confession of his repentance and faith. The elders laid hands on him and he was baptized in the Holy Spirit.

Jim recalls, "A month after I was saved the Lord called me out of Acts 26:17...God said, 'Jim, I have taken you from the drug, sex, booze, rock and roll scene unto which now I send you to open the eyes of the blind and to turn them from darkness to light.'"

Jim did not realize how he would fulfill this vision until nine months after his conversion when he heard me preach at his church.

At the close of my meetings in Evansville, Jim arranged to preach on campus with me during his week of vacation in August. He did a commendable job so I agreed to let him join me for another week the following spring. I was very impressed that a young man would devote his vacation to the work of the Lord.

"Jed Smock was the first man I ever heard of that preached five hours a day, five days a week on college campuses...this interested and excited me so I took two weeks vacation to travel with Brother Jed and make sure it was God's was!," Jim explains.

The Fall of 1982 he entered The Campus Ministry USA's unique school.

"Brother Jed's training methods are Biblical and simple--on the job training, in other words push you out of your nest--it's a do or die situation, pass-fail, make it or break it. Success depends on your personal determination and how much you trust the call of God on your life," Jim remembers.

Through observation, Jim learned how to gain and hold the attention of thousands of college students. He quickly acquired the knowledge to answer the students' questions and respond to their arguments.

"I learned from Brother Jed that with God's word you can answer anyone's question regardless of what it might be. All you have to do is search the scriptures and be ready," Jim explains.

That first semester I spent mornings and evenings tutoring Jim over the dinner table, driving down the highway or in a motel room. Issues and doctrinal questions would arise which resulted in impromptu Bible studies.

"Doctrinally he taught me repentance, holiness and the true love of God. He helped me with Bible exposition and clarity," Jim says.

I also worked with Jim in nightly church meetings including a three-week revival in New Jersey. This gave him the opportunity to gain pulpit experience and make Christian contacts which are very important to a fledgling evangelist.

After three months of training I felt Jim was ready to travel the campuses on his own. In one year he faithfully proclaimed God's Word on over 100 universities. He suffered great persecution from the authorities and was arrested at least a dozen times. This was quite a test for the young evangelist but he persevered and saw God use the arrests and court cases for His glory.

With no offering plates on campuses, finances can be a problem for a beginning preacher. Nevertheless, Jim showed initiative in getting church doors open to his ministry. His work has impressed independent pentecostal preachers who opened their pulpits to his ministry.

Today Jim is married and travels the national campus and church circuit with his wife and son in a travel trailer.


Another outstanding event of my church ministry was a one-day meeting which turned into three weeks of soul-searching services in the Fountain of Life Church pastored by Paul Graben. The Burlington New Jersey assembly had experienced rapid growth in the early seventies when several hippies were converted and started bringing in their friends and relatives. At that time the church had a burning zeal for evangelism but during the last few years many had married, had children, started careers and become bogged down in the everyday cares of this world.

On Sunday in October of 1982 I rekindled this lukewarm congregation with what has become my classic text, "WHO WILL RISE UP FOR ME AGAINST THE EVILDOERS OR WHO WILL STAND UP FOR ME AGAINST THE WORKERS OF INIQUITY?" (Psalm 94:16). Many recognized they had lost their first love and they made a new commitment to bring Christ to the world.

The pastor was so impressed with my message and the move of the Holy Spirit that he invited me to return Monday night for a special service. Two hundred people hungry for the truth came to this impromptu meeting. I began to hammer sin, the Holy Spirit fell and there was a great conviction in our midst. Many got right with God as I nightly expounded on themes like True and False Repentance, Fear of God, Love of God, Christian Perfection, Holiness, Sanctification, God's Judgment and Suffering for Christ's Sake. Many remarked, "We've never heard it on this wise," and Pastor Graben called the messages "masterpieces."

Even so, not everyone wanted the truth that would set them free. Almost nightly the pastor would inform me of the opposition he was getting from certain church elements. They wanted to find out how long I would be there so they would know when it was "safe" to go back to church. However, he stood steadfast in support and some of the initial rebels came to repentance. A large nucleus received the greatest blessing one may obtain from their Creator. "God sent His Son Jesus to bless you, in turning away everyone of you from his iniquities" (Acts 3:26). This is the last blessing that most blessing seekers desire or even want to hear.

The revival poured into the church's Christian Academy as I preached in their morning chapel services. Students and teachers consecrated their lives to God and had a new fervor for soulwinning. They became eager volunteers to join in my afternoon warfare on the area college campuses. Often up to 40 students, teachers and church members allied with me; and even the younger ones gave a bold witness to the faith of Jesus Christ. Seeing the gross iniquity and utter blindness of the university community, these Christians' eyes were opened to the dire need to raise up a standard of righteousness in our nation.

Tent Meeting

Tapes of this revival were circulated around the country, even reaching the small towns of Riverdale, California. Rev. Charles Spencer had become concerned because his denomination had abandoned the old paths of righteousness and holiness and rejected the standard of God's moral law.

The virus of worldly compromise had poisoned churches all over the state until Brother Spencer was the lone pastor in his organization who had not been contaminated. Hearing the tapes from my meeting in New Jersey, he determined to bring me to Riverdale to be the morning speaker in a Bible Holiness Tent Campmeeting.

He mailed prescriptive circulars to FULLY afflicted GOSPEL churches all over California, hoping sick shepherds would respond. But, the phthisical pastors quarantined themselves in their consumptive churches, refusing the Balm of Holiness.

Each morning I inoculated ailing believers from all over the San Joaquin Valley with the Holy Word. I gave them God's vaccine against unhealthy living: simply obey the light you have from a right intention of heart.

The evening speaker was Rev. Bill Burkett, a noted campmeeting teacher and the founder of World Commission, an international missionary outreach. We were amazed to discover that God had revealed to both of us the same antidote to heal sin-diseased Christendom. The titles, themes and applications of our sermons were wonderfully alike.

Throughout the years I have found few ministers who would accompany me to a campus. Their excuse is, "That is not my calling, brother." However both Brother Burkett and Brother Spencer preached with me at Fresno State University near Riverdale.

Mountain Moving in the Ozarks

Brother Burkett eagerly promoted my ministry amongst independent pentecostal holiness pastors and denominational ministers who are resisting the abscess of antinomianism. One of his friends, Rev. D.C. Branham, an Assembly of God pastor and Founder-President of Ozark Bible Institute in Neosho, Missouri, invited me to be the afternoon speaker in his annual Holiness Convocation. I preached one of the greatest sermons God has given me to this 1,000 people: "Walking in the Spirit."

This message is the result of extensive prayer and study of Romans 7 and 8. Many agree these are two of the most challenging and perplexing chapters in the Bible. Rev. Burkett says, "They are perplexed because they don't like a challenge."

As I expounded, the Spirit proved that Romans 7 could not possibly refer to a Christian experience. The altars became filled with students, laymen and pastors who chose to walk out of the legalistic defeat of struggling to obey God with a carnal mind represented in Roman 7. They decided, instead, to submit their renewed minds and wills to obey God and to rest in the spiritual victory of freedom from sin depicted in Romans 8.

Christians attending the convocation and students from Ozark Bible Institute accompanied us to Missouri Southern State College in nearby Joplin to preach. Friday afternoon classes had been dismissed so students could attend a pep rally and queen coronation which were part of the scheduled homecoming activities.

Sister Cindy's preaching immediately captured a crowd of 250 who quickly forgot about the pep rally. The frustrated mini-skirted cheerleaders came outside and attempted, to no avail, to divert the attention of the students from the Gospel message. Finally, to stifle the preaching, the police stopped Cindy and threatened arrest. I quickly took over. The administrators recognized the futility of removing over 50 fired-up Christians and reluctantly allowed us to continue.

On Saturday the Joplin Globe, which had been on campus to cover homecoming activities, instead gave coverage to our ministry with a front page headline, article and picture: "Preachers Rail at Students at Southern." When we returned Monday, a local T.V. news team had their cameras set up to telecast the event. Our ministry provoked several pro and con letters to the editor. Many of the so-called Christian students and several of the local pastors were infuriated by our bold approach. None denied that our message was true but they condemned out straight-forward method of labeling sin and commanding the wicked to repent. A local pastor wrote a letter to the college and city newspapers disassociating himself from our ministry and apologizing to the community for our actions:

We want you to know that we strongly support MSSC (the college) and appreciate the faculty and student body. Both my wife and myself are former students there, our daughter is a student now, and our son and associate pastor is soon to be graduated. A goodly number of young people from our congregation are current students.

This is typical of the compromising spirit we find among many pastors. How can a man of God "strongly support" a secular college that teaches the lies of evolution, humanism and socialism? He was so concerned about us offending the wicked. What about the way the sinner daily offends God?

As we preached the Gospel on that campus many mocked and laughed at the Word of God. Why was this pastor not concerned about the name of Jesus which was blasphemed, ridiculed and scorned by hundreds of students? Part of the answer is that he was schooled and brainwashed for four years by a godless college. He would profit by enrolling himself and family in Ozark Bible Institute.

Another pastor wrote to the city editor commending our ministry:

About the preachers at Missouri Southern State College:

I say it is about time. We ministers tend to sit back and be comfortable and play the game of not offending anybody. If the first church began like that, then no one today would know the salvation of Jesus Christ.

Naturally, the response to being rightfully confronted as sinners was not going to be accepted by many. How would you feel if someone brought to your attention your failures? But this message has to get out. Sexual immorality and other sins have become normal on college campuses and in society in general.

The sinner who said that he didn't believe in pushing religion on other people apparently had the freedom like the others to walk away from the preaching.

In response to the statement from the Baptist to the effect the preachers were not doing it the right way, I would like to ask him if his way of not doing it at all is better.


1 One man among a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found.--Solomon



Return to INDEX PAGE of Confrontational Evangelism on Campus