Saturday, April 01, 2006another mission... accomplished.
Another Friday night, another night of going into the devil's territory to bring the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to God's sheep who are still lost. For three hours my pastor and I did some street preaching, some Bible tract distribution and a few one-on-one conversations with souls who showed an interest in our message.
The marketplace was absolutely packed tonight. The temperature soared today to a balmy 20 degrees Celsius, which brought scores and scores of people to the market. They all came to enjoy the nightlife; in other words, to do wickedly and stand proud of it. The numbers were truly overwhelming. There was plenty of shouts against us, plenty of mockery, quite a number of insults, but there were also some interesting moments.
-I spoke with a man named Dennis tonight. He asked me how he could be right with God, because try as he may to do good with his life, he confessed he still felt a measure of guilt about his sin.
"I am careful to not hurt anyone," he said, "I try to do good things in my life to earn some favour with God, and I have to believe that in the end, God will give me a pass on my sin because I just can't seem to get some areas in my life to be what they should be."
"Good works to cover the bad in your life... and you hope God will save you for this? Am I reading you right Dennis?" I inquired.
"Yeah, that's it!" he answered.
"You're a 'catholic', right?" I asked.
"Yes, I grew up a 'catholic'... how did you know that?" he asked.
"I knew that because you are trying to earn your salvation," I began, "and that's what 'catholicism' is all about. Go to confession, pray a few 'hail marys', go to mass, give to charity... etc... and God will let your sin slide and you will, one day, go to Heaven."
"Yeah," he responded.
"Problem is," I continued, "that philosophy is contrary to the Bible. God saves people through faith in Jesus Christ, not by works, the apostle Paul made that clear as day in his epistle to the Ephesians. Dennis, you will go through your whole life with the guilt of your sin because no matter how much money you give, how many 'hail marys' you pray, how many times you go to confession, your sin remains!"
I then explained to him that what he needed was to know the Lord Jesus Christ by reading the Bible and then putting his faith in Him. "That," I said, "is the way to favour with God." He took it all well, and he accepted a card with our church address and contact information. Let us hope and pray that Dennis will go home tonight, open his Bible and find the free gift of God: eternal life in Christ Jesus.
The Bad that became The Good:
When we were first making our way to the spot where we preach, a group of Muslim ladies enquired about my Gospel sign. They weren't trying to learn something about the Gospel, they were trying to make the Trinity sound crazy and illogical (a favorite and terribly unoriginal tactic used by many in Islam). I explained that while Jesus is a complete Person, He is still God and ONE with the Father and the Holy Ghost.
"I don't understand that," she answered.
"You don't understand," I answered, "because you've never diligently sought the Truth of the Bible."
She admitted she had never read the Bible. I then suggested that before she challenged any faith with foolish pre-made arguments, she should seek to learn what the faith in question actually teaches. I then walked away and made it to our street corner where I started distributing some Gospel literature.
Twenty minutes later, a young man walked by me, took one of the Bible tracts I was distributing and mockingly threw it in my face. This was nothing too shocking for me, it happens all the time. But guess who was walking just behind the young man? Yep, the Muslim girls. They were all shocked at how I had been treated.
They all took a Gospel tract and wished me well.
The Bad (no mistaking it):
One man and two women were sitting in a car right across the way from where I was preaching. They listened to every minute of my preaching, occasionally nodding in agreement. I even overheard an "amen!" from one of the young ladies. After a few minutes, the man and one of the women came out of the car.
"Great preaching, man!" they said. "God bless you for what you are doing! We're Christians too! We go to "such-and-such" Pentecostal church."
Now some of you may be thinking, why is this under the "bad" header. Well, here it is: I could see the woman's breasts.
All three in that car looked 100% like all the other souls in the market that night. They were dressed like they were going out to the clubs to have a "good time". On several occasions, I noticed the woman trying to "adjust" her top to conceal that which, surely, she intended to expose to all, except the preacher that just happened to be there. Now how seriously should I take their claim that they are Christians; the can't even look like their Christians.
Sadly, this has been my experience with Pentecostals. Many of them are so far out doctrinally, what they believe in doesn't even look like the Gospel anymore, and others still are so worldly, one has to wonder what they were saved from.