Sunday, January 23, 2005sorry I'm late...we're moving!
Well, it was another cold one! I actually like cold weather, but I'll admit that street preaching when it's -25 Celsius isn't a whole lot of fun. My pastor and I were out there for a few hours (my pastor kept at it an extra hour...I had to get my sleep to move all my stuff from house A to house B in the morning).
While I was preaching, I got a glimpse of a by-law officer coming down the street. I recognized him quickly. He's the guy who gives out tickets to the multitude who park in "no stop" or "no parking" zones. Whenever I'd see him in the past, he would usually give me a quick nod (as a greeting) and a kind smile, but this time, he spoke up! He said:
-Has it ever occurred to you that maybe these idiots don't deserve to be saved?"
Praise God! This time I was ready. I quickly answered:
-None of us deserve to be saved my friend. I most certainly didn't deserve the grace that was given to me.
He again nodded, smiled and walked away.
Now the reason I said: "this time I was ready". A couple of years ago, I was preaching on our usual street corner; I was still pretty green and though I could preach an adequate gospel message, I was somewhat lacking when dealing with my audience's comments/questions. Anyway, a man came along to speak to me; he told me he was faithful to the Orthodox church (I can't remember which one), and after saying that I was a good kid, he said:
-Don't kill yourself son, let them burn...they are wicked and evil and they curse God without reservation. Let them die!
I knew his attitude was completely wrong, but at that moment, I just didn't have the right words. Later that night, as I was taking my shower, it all came to me: "Why didn't you tell him Hell is a terrible place and if he really knew what it was like, he wouldn't wish it on his worst enemy! Why didn't you tell him that all who will escape condemnation to Hell are, in and of themselves, evil and wicked. Why didn't you rebuke his pride; thinking that he was somehow more worthy of God's favour than another!"
Score one for experience I guess.
Oh yeah, I started using the 10 Commandments in my preaching (yes, all 10). I figured that with the serious lack of Biblical knowledge in Canadian society today, going through the 10 Commandments would probably be beneficial. I mean, most people admit they are sinners when they come to speak to me, but they have no real concept of what sin is.
Well, back to fixing up our new place, later!