Saturday, June 04, 2005been preaching to the masses...
Well the summer season is definitely upon us... you should have seen the number of people in the marketplace tonight! Thousands and thousands of people just streaming past us all night long. Due to the large amount of people present, we (my pastor, brother Laz, and myself) opted to preach for 4 hours instead of our usual 3, so I have to say, I'm pretty exhausted now.
Here is a summary of how our night of Street Preaching went:
The Good (in no particular order):
-Brother Laz and I had a conversation with a couple of Muslims who asked if I was being paid for my evangelism. I answered: "Nope... just obeying the commandment of my God." This impressed him. He said I was a very brave and good man, but that I was mistaken about Christ being the Son of God. Well, I couldn't let that one just slip by. We had a short, civil exchange, but in the end, I don't think my arguments had much effect. He did take a Gospel tract though, so who knows, the Lord may bring all of this back into his mind tomorrow.
-I had another conversation with 3 young people (2 men and 1 woman) ; one of the men was the one who really wanted answers out of me, though I think it was an exercise in mocking me. He asked me everything from the Rapture, to the second birth, to the work of the Cross and the substitutianary sacrifice of Christ. The two men, I suspect, were just looking to mock me, but the young lady was very quiet and listened very attentively to my presentation. Perhaps the Spirit was working in her? (one can always hope)
-As I was walking with one of our Gospel signs, a man walked by me and once behind me I heard him sigh loudly and say: "Oh god! get a life!" And then out of nowhere another man appeared from behind me and said: "Don't listen to him buddy, you have purpose and that's a good thing." I really don't think the man was a believer, but with the measure of grace God gave him, he was able to see the merit in my evangelism, and the foolishness of the scorner.
-Brother Laz preached (mostly read Scripture passages) for the first time tonight! He was pretty nervous (just like I was), but he did alright. Pray that the Lord will continue to give him utterance and courage.
The Bad (in no particular order):
-An elderly gentlemen, dressed in fancy clothes, walked by me a couple of times as I was distributing Bible tracts and shook his head in disapproval every time, as if to say: "you dumb-dumb". Well, the second or third time he walked by and started shaking his head I looked straight at him and said: "No fool like an old fool, my friend." I don't know if my heart was right when I said this, but my thinking was, if a man can live 50-60 years and still hate the Gospel to that extent, what a waste of a life. How foolish he has been with the time the Lord gave him.
-I got the old "you've been brainwashed" insult a number of times tonight by a group of young men who were clearly drunk out of their minds.
-An old man interrupted my preaching to say that the Jesus story was all an "allegory" and that none of it was really real. He said he knew this from his years studying theology. I said: "Wow, years of theology and you still know nothing, that's pretty sad, go back and read your Bible." He left angrily, and then a few minutes later, he came back. He stood across the street from where I was preaching for a good 5 minutes. He listened to my every word and then, again, walked away. Was the Lord working, was he being an Agrippa (Acts 26:28), or was he just looking for a fight, and opted not to at the last minute?
-There is another group of men, who are usually out on Fridays that do open air evangelism. They are quite arminian, so we don't associate with them too much, but don't get me wrong, I'm glad they are there labouring with the grace God gave them. That being said, their lack of Scriptural knowledge is shocking sometimes. As Brother Laz and I were walking with our Gospel signs, one of these men asked: "Why do you carry those signs for?" We answered: "So the unbelievers can read the Word of God, and maybe the Lord could save them through it." The man looked perplexed for a moment, then said: "Oh! okay." But it was clear that he didn't "get it". This made me sad. For a Christian to not be able to see the merit of presenting the Scriptures to the public just boggles my mind. I mean, what does he think of: "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
-All the women downtown tonight, with very few exceptions, were barely dressed. As I mentioned in my last post, pretty much walking around in their underwear.
-A large percentage (like 90%) of the people tonight were quite hostile to Gospel. Their speech was hard, using words like "praise Satan!", "God is dead" and other obscene blasphemies. I wonder how long the Lord will forbear this wickedness?
And with that, I'm off to bed... it's been quite a week, and quite a night...
Take care, and God bless you, dear readers,
"Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity." (Psalm 118:25)