Tuesday, February 15, 2005you really need one...
It was three years later. A lot had happened. I had gotten married. My wife and I had moved to another city only to return a short time later. Spiritually, I had become convinced of the Doctrines of Grace and Ecclesiastical Separation, but my problem with evangelism remained.
Then, one night, the Spirit got involved. My wife and I were walking towards our car after having a good dinner at a Thai restaurant. We walked past the home of a pastor I knew who just happened to be a street evangelist. As we were walking by, I saw the pastor coming out of his house with a couple of gospel signs in one hand, and a small amplifier in the other. He looked quite uncomfortable.
"Hello Pastor", I called.
"Hello Rand, nice to see you again", he replied.
"Going out preaching tonight?" I, stupidly, enquired.
"Yep, going fishing for men!", he answered with a smile.
I smiled back, wished him well, and my wife and I started for the car again. And that's exactly when the Spirit got to work. You see, I would have been fine if I had just kept my eyes on my parked car, but you see, I turned around and looked at the pastor walking away.
There is NO WAY I can accurately described what I saw and the feeling that entered my heart as I watched my pastor-friend walking, with both hands full, towards the most wicked part of town on a Friday night. He was alone, he was going to bring the Gospel to a group of people who hated God, and me? I was going to my warm home, to have a relaxing night in with my wife. I couldn't stand it.
I stopped, looked at my wife and said:
"I can't do this, baby. I got to give him a hand."
"You really want to do this?", my wife enquired excitedly.
"No...but I still have to do it," I muttered uncomfortably.
I then yelled out to the pastor and offered to help him carry his signs. He gladly accepted my offer, and we all walked to the marketplace together.
THE NERVES!!! OH! THE NERVES!!! Everyone was looking at me. Some mocked and some cursed, but I wasn't looking to the right, or to the left, I was going to help my friend IF IT KILLED ME! Once we arrived at a street corner of the market, my pastor set his amplifier down, gave me some gospel literature to pass around while he preached the Gospel. I was sweating like Niagara Falls, and my trembling scored a 7.0 on the Richter scale, but I toughed it out.
Now you may think: "oh! that's how he developed a heart for the lost!" Let me assure you, you are WAY OFF! You see, on that particular night, I wasn't in the marketplace out of compassion for the unbelievers that were around me (to be totally honest...I pretty much loathed 99% of them), I was there to support and stand with my friend.
So how DID I come to be a street preacher? How DID I come to have compassion of the lost? Stay tuned...part III is coming up...