Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:13)
The Passion of the Mel
Sunday, July 30, 2006
just can't get away from the veracity of Scripture..."Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit." (Matthew 7:17-18)
Less then 2 years ago, the Passion of the Christ
was the number one movie in the West. Unbelievers watched the movie out of curiosity, and most believers watched the abomination thinking that it was a great tool of sanctification and/or evangelism. These saints didn't mind one bit that the director of the movie, Mel Gibson, was a Romanist, and one would have been hard pressed to find a saint complain that the movie was terribly inaccurate, filled with Romanist Mariology
and other heresies.
Everyone had jumped on the Mel Gibson band wagon. He was seen as a man so devoted to "Jesus", he put his own money in a movie no studio would touch and had presented "God's message" to the masses. What a great man of God!!! Just look at these words in Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia
, speaking of Mel Gibson:"Extremely devoted to his faith, Mel Gibson has donated money to finance the construction of "Independent" Traditional Catholic chapels in Malibu, California and in a small town in West Virginia. Only the Latin Tridentine Mass is offered in both chapels. Gibson has said that he attends Mass every day."
Well... that was then...
By now, you've all probably heard of the "situation
" Mel Gibson has found himself in. You see, when Mr. Gibson isn't busy going to traditional mass or making "jesus-films", he is busy drinking himself silly and spewing out anti-Semitic statements.
But wait a minute, the man has an explanation. He has an excuse. You see, Mel Gibson has a terrible disease. He has a virus called alcoholism
. It's because of this terrible sickness that Mr. Gibson was caught drinking and driving, that is why he shot off his mouth to the officers who arrested him.
You've never heard of this disease? Neither have I.
I have, however, heard of the sin of alcoholism
(1 Corinthians 6:9-10
; Galatians 5:19-21
). It was a sin that was in my life many years ago. It was a sin the Lord cast out of my life when He saved me. It's a sin the Lord cast out of my pastor's life when he was converted. It's sin! Not a disease. Not a sickness. It is SIN!
A few days ago, the Mel Gibson tree was made clearly manifest to one and to all: he's a corrupt tree. Why? Because his fruit is corrupt. You see how logical and sensible all this is? That's how it is with all of the Word of God. Bad fruit = bad tree. Good fruit = good tree.
Now, in conclusion, it is not the purpose of this post to pick on Mel Gibson. The worldwide media will take good care of that. My purpose is to pick on the false religion of Romanism
. Whether it be Mel Gibson, or my very own grandmother, the fruits of their Romanism
is the same: corrupt fruit. They are religious, but they are lost. They have a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof (2 Timothy 3:5).
All you Romanists reading this post, you need to repent and believe in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the only way. Any other way (including Romanism
) will only make a corrupt tree out of you, yielding all manner of corrupt fruit. And..."Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire." (Matthew 7:19)
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, July 29, 2006
back to the streets...
After a two week absence, the Lord allowed my pastor, brother Laz, brother Pascal and I to go out to the marketplace for some serious evangelism. We stayed out for our usual 3 hours of street preaching and bible tract distribution (with a number of Gospel signs
). Things went really well tonight. A little mockery here and there, a few curses, but all and all, it was a good night.
Again though, the summer season really brings the worse out of the people who come to the marketplace for the "night life" of the city. Lewd behaviour, drunkenness, and all other manner of sin surrounds us on Friday nights; it's everywhere! I prayed several times tonight that the Lord would keep my eyes from beholding vile sin and/or wickedness that would tempt my sinful flesh. He was faithful (as He always is
Here are some of tonight's events which still echoes in my mind:Trying to make their own rules:
I had a conversation with a young couple tonight. Both of them, in different ways, were trying to justify their way of life, trying hard to get me to acknowledge that they were Christians.
"Are you born-again?" I asked.
Neither of them knew what to answer.
"You are not Christians then." I continued. "Except a man be born-again, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God (John 3:3). You don't even know what "born-again" means! How can you be Christians?"
I then started explaining that the second birth is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, changing the heart of sinners to come after the Good Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ, and that the Lord used the hearing and reading of His Bible to effect the second birth. Sadly, neither of them wanted any part of what I was saying. Both got very emotional and agitated, but in the end, she wanted to continue to follow the god of her own mind (she had no use for the Scriptures
), and he just wanted to be justified because he was a "good guy".
I brought down every one of their foolish arguments with absolute ease, but they just hardened their hearts and walked away. I would have feared that my time with these two souls was a waste of time, but they were so emotional and so vexed, I'm hoping the Lord will give them no rest tonight, and will grant them both the second birth, through the Word of God.Immodest woman # 1:
A woman wearing a mini-skirt and a low cut top walked over to brother Laz and I and said:
"Wow! it's really good that you guys are doing this! I'm a Christian too!"
I pointed to her pack of cigarettes and said:
"Look at yourself, Miss. You are immodestly dressed walking about the marketplace with your pack of cigarettes... why in the world would I believe you are saved? You look EXACTLY like a lost, worldly soul!"
She said that I was right, but she was quite unrepentant. She let out an embarrassed laugh as she admitted that she was NOT properly dressed, nor did she behave like a Christian. She tried to justify herself by saying:
"Oh well, I'm just 25... I have plenty of time to repent."
"You might not have as much time as you think, Miss," I rebuked.
With that she just walked away. Let us pray that the Lord will sober up this poor woman, before it's too late.Immodestly dressed woman # 2:
Again, a woman who had a blouse so far open, you could see her bra for every possible angle. She too claimed to be a Christian.
"No, no... I don't think so," I replied.
"Of course I'm a Christian," she retorted, "I go to the United church!"
"Well, that makes a lot of sense," I answered. "The only thing the United church isn't "united" with is God! And you are walking proof of the depravity of your religion. I can't even look at you... you are not dressed!"
The woman walked away with her nose in the air. The Lord show her mercy, and save her from the folly of the so-called "United church".We indeed have a testimony!
Three young ladies interrupted my preaching and asked:
"Is there anything special going on tonight? You Christians are everywhere!"
I started laughing. There were four of us. FOUR! But praise God, just like He used a few men to turn the world upside down
, the Lord used us to turn the marketplace into a center of evangelism.
With that, dear reader, I'm turning in for the night. Have a blessed weekend, and a glorious Lord's Day.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
"oh! no! not my kids!"
There was a bit of action in my little community tonight. I was sitting at my computer when my wife alerted me that there were a group of kids committing vandalism in the park which is right behind our house. I immediately put my shoes on and walked to the park to investigate.
Sure enough, a group of five boys were smashing up someone's bicycle with cement bricks. When they saw me, they ran off on their bicycles, but I managed to catch up to one of them. I slowed him down by putting my hand on his shoulder and then I stood right in front of his bike, to keep him from getting away. The boy pleaded with me to let him go but I gave him only two options:
1- he walked me to his house so I could explain to his parents what had transpired, or...
2- I would have my wife call the police.
The boy wouldn't have anything to do with either option and after doing my best to stay in his way, he managed to run off. I was disappointed that I had let him slip away, but I knew that if I had been more forceful, I could have gotten myself into trouble (the boy would only have had to yell, and people would have seen a 30 year old man bothering a teenager... not exactly the image I wanted to project
About 20 minutes later, the boys are back, and this time, they are back with their mothers.
"How dare you put your hands on my boy!" she exclaimed.
"Miss, don't be so foolish," I calmly replied. "I caught these boys vandalizing someone's bicycle and when I caught them, they bolted. The only "hand" I put on your boy was to keep him from escaping with the others."
The woman obstinately argued that I was in the wrong for touching her son. The boys then started to milk this angle by declaring that I had punched the lad, or squeezed him hard. I doubt the foolish woman was buying it, but she still refused to give me reason.
"Miss, don't do this," I began. "If you let your boy of the hook for this, you'll make excuses for his behaviour for years to come. Drugs, theft, you name it... you'll excuse all of it. You are NOT doing your son any favours."
"Oh! no!" she said. "My son is a good kid. He would never do anything bad."
I made it clear to her that I had witnesses who had seen the whole thing go down, and at that point, she got a nervous look on her face. She rounded up the group and commanded them to head home.
"What will I tell the owner of the bicycle, Miss?" I inquired.
She wouldn't answer, nor would she tell me where she lived. Like her son, she was trying to get away with wickedness. I watched them walk away, and made sure to know where they lived. I didn't want to follow them too far (I wanted to keep myself safe
), so I didn't go all the way to their front door. I do know the street they live on though, so if the victim needs information, I have some.
When everything was said and done, I must say, I felt a great sadness. No wonder we have such an undisciplined generation, children are no longer disciplined! Those boys tonight will get ZERO punishment for their crime, and that will only embolden them to do more wickedness in the future.
I guess this is reason # 3,287,587,243,570 why I can't wait for the Kingdom of God!"The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame." (Proverbs 29:15)
Sunday, July 23, 2006
what a blessing...
What a busy, blessed week!
From Monday to Friday, we were roughly 1 hour away from home, at a camp site with our church family. Every day was sunny and nice, and we took advantage of the good weather! We had good clean fun, enjoying God's creation, as well as enjoying each other's company.
The week wasn't all play though, it was first and foremost, a spiritual retreat, meant to refresh us and revive us. We had a brother from North Carolina named David Morris come up to preach the Word to us in the evening, and our head pastor preached in the morning. Brother Morris preached mostly from Song of Solomon
(an often neglected book of the Bible), and Pastor Tom preached from 2 Chronicles 7:14
. The preaching was real good.
We also worked on Scripture memorization this week. We memorized Psalm 85, and then we had a "friendly" competition on Friday morning, seeing who could recite the Psalm without error. In the end, only two were able to recite Psalm 85
without error. I got 11 verses on 13 right, and my wife... mwahahaahahahaha... got 10!
She beat me in all the past competitions, but not this year! Not that I'm gloating or anything... erm... yeah... hmmm...
We made our way back home on Friday afternoon where a lot of work awaited me. I had to prepare a sermon for the Sunday evening service, so all of Friday night and Saturday was devoted to Bible study. The Lord guided me through the material and I had my sermon completed early Saturday night.
It is now Sunday night, my sermon has been preached, and I am preparing to head back to work tomorrow.
What a week!
Ps: Here is a picture
of my children with Marcel, a brother-in-the-Lord, just outside our cabin.
Back From Family Camp!
Saturday, July 22, 2006
it's good to be home...
Hello again, dear readers! I just got back from our church family camp, and it was a real blessing.
Five sweet days enjoying God's creation, hearing 2 sermons a day, spending some quality time in prayer and personal Bible study... it was great. I promise to share more about my trip later, I just don't have the time today.
I do want to send out a big "THANK YOU!" to my friend and brother-in-the-Lord, Pete, who kindly took over my blog while I was away. Great post on the holiness of God, brother!
The Holiness of God
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Greetings, readers of A Form of Sound Words.
My name is Pete and Rand asked me to fill-in for him while he is away getting closer to God with his family. It is an honor- I feel like I am filling-in for Rush Limbaugh behind the "golden EIB microphone." Rand may not reach as many people in a day, but his message is more important than the simply conservative Republican message Mr. Limbaugh promotes (and I am a fan of Rush Limbaugh, so no disrespect is intended to him). Now on to the post at hand...
I just bought The Holiness of God
by R.C. Sproul. I read it while I was in college and was enthralled until I read that R.C. Sproul was a Calvinist
! I lost some of my Arminian respect for him at that time. But I digress.
This post is not about Calvinism and Arminianism. It is about holiness. It is something I want to strive for, but something I find hard to apply in my life. The most striking picture of God's holiness and it's effect on a human being is the description of Isaiah receiving his call from God.
When Isaiah entered God's presence he seemed to have a total breakdown- according to Scripture he became "undone":
In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. (Isaiah 6.1-5 KJV)
Isaiah was in the presence of the true definition of holiness: the Sovereign God and King of all that exists. The effect was that he came into the realization of his utter sinfulness and the overwhelming holiness of God.
People have tried to demand holiness from themselves and others by being legalistic throughout history- i.e. the Pharisees, Pentecostal Holiness (some forms), etc. But God imparts holiness through Christ and His Holy Spirit dwelling within us. A picture of this is Isaiah's cleansing in Isaiah 6:
Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. (Isaiah 6.6-7 KJV)
It took God to cleanse Isaiah. He could not do it on his own. Likewise, on a quest for holiness we need God's help. We need to submit ourselves, but He is the One who empowers us. It is His Holy Spirit inside of us who gives us the power to grow into holiness. We cannot do it without His help, we would choose sin without God.
To preach holiness and seek after holiness does not mean that we have arrived. We still fall short. It comes with being in this earthen vessel- the flesh- and dealing with it's influence and the mixed signals from our senses. The truth is that on our quest for holiness we should be growing into holiness progressively.
We should strive for holiness "Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." (I Peter 1.16 KJV)
God sets the example with His overwhelmingly transcendent holy status. We should stand in awe and take Him seriously.
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, July 15, 2006
good to have a partner again...
Another Friday night, another time of street preaching in the market from my pastor and I. It was hot, humid and crowded! Countless souls heard and read the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ tonight, so one thing is for sure, God was glorified by our three hours of evangelism.
The response to our preaching was, again, quite varied. All and all, things were pretty tame and calm tonight, despite the large crowds. I was yelled at a couple of times by a drunk panhandler who wanted me to "SHUT-UP!!!", but he calmed down after awhile. Praise God for keeping us safe and sound.
Here are some of tonight's "highlights", and "lowlights" (if that's a word
A group of young ladies walked up to the Gospel sign I was holding and after reading it, one of the ladies fetched a Bible from her backpack. She was looking up 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, which is the verse that was on my sign.
"Doesn't she believe me?" I wondered.
And then it all became clear. Her Bible was a French. She was looking up the passage because she was having trouble with the English. So I introduced myself in French and we all had a good chat. They were Christians from Montreal, visiting the capital region. I encouraged them to get involved in evangelism by reminding them that the Great Commission is an unqualified statement/commandment. They agreed.The Pathetically Ignorant:
A young man came by and introduced himself as a Christian to me. Both he and his girlfriend looked straight enough, as in they didn't have piercings all over their faces and the young lady was modestly dressed. So I was looking forward to speaking with a brother and sister, but then the lad said:
"I just don't know if your preaching method is proper though. You know? This whole street preaching thing... I don't know."
"Proper???" I thought. I couldn't believe my ears. At this point, I knew I was either dealing with a terribly weak saint, or a complete hypocrite. But I kept my cool, and said:
"Friend, have you ever read the book of Acts
"Of course!" he answered.
"Well, do me a favour," I continued, "tonight, read it again, and count the number of times that read of a saint doing street preaching/evangelism."
"Oh yeah..." the fellow conceded, "there are a number of times where God's people do street preaching in the book of Acts
I then went on to tell him that one of the most biblical methods of evangelism is street preaching. He didn't argue this point any further.
It's sad really. Many saints in my country are so weak in their faith that they can't recognize the work of the Lord, even when it's staring at them right in the face. The Lord revive His people in Canada... do we ever need it!The Lack of Holiness:
Another man came to me tonight professing to be a Christian. In this case, I knew I wasn't dealing with a saint. He had an idol on a chain around his neck, an idol on his earring, and tattoos covered his body (which he purposefully displayed by wearing a tank top
"You're a Christian?" I began, "Where do you fellowship, my friend?"
"I go to the Life Center, from time to time," he answered. "It's a vineyard style church, you know?"
"Yeah, I knew you'd answer something like that," I replied. "You know why?"
The man only shrugged.
"Because you're not holy," I continued. "The Bible says, very clearly, in the book of Hebrews that without holiness, no man shall see the Lord
," and you're not holy, my friend."
The man just shrugged again and walked away.Brush With Fame:
I was distributing Bible tracts when a familiar face walked by me. He quickly glanced at my Gospel sign, and walked right by without taking a tract. Seconds later, a young man walked up to me and asked:
"Did you recognize that guy, man?"
"Yeah, I did," I answered. "That was Jason Spezza
It was 11pm. I was tired and weary of my day (and I'm not making excuses here, I just want to relay my state of mind
). We were on our way back home from our night of street preaching when a young man, seeing my Gospel sign, yelled out at me:
"Are you #&%$ out of your mind?"
"Nope! Are you?" I sharply retorted.
The second the words came out I knew I had sinned. It's not like I said anything terribly bad, but when I was reviled, I shot back. And that's contrary to the teachings of my Lord and Master Jesus Christ."For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." (1 Peter 2: 21-24)
I need the Lord to continue working on my wicked heart, and I need to learn how to bridle my tongue. I need to work on "loving my enemies, blessing them that curse me, doing good to them that hate me, and praying for them which despitefully use me, and persecute me." (Matthew 5:44)
And with that dear readers, I close this edition of the Friday Night Notes. It's late, and I need some serious rest. God bless your weekend, especially the Lord's Day.
Charles H. Spurgeon on Particular Redemption
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
everyone limits the atonement...
It is oftened charged that Calvinism is wicked doctrinal system because it limits the scope of the atonement of Christ. The problem with this charge is that both Arminianism and Calvinism limits the Atonement, they just do it differently. Consider:
We are often told that we limit the atonement of Christ, because we say that Christ has not made a satisfaction for all men, or all men would be saved. Now, our reply to this is, that, on the other hand, our opponents limit it: we do not.
The Arminians say, Christ died for all men. Ask them what they mean by it. Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of all men? They say, "No, certainly not." We ask them the next question—Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of any man in particular? They answer "No." They are obliged to admit this, if they are consistent. They say, "No; Christ has died that any man may be saved if"—and then follow certain conditions of salvation. We say, then, we will go back to the old statement—Christ did not die so as beyond a doubt to secure the salvation of anybody, did He? You must say "No;" you are obliged to say so, for you believe that even after a man has been pardoned, he may yet fall from grace, and perish. Now, who is it that limits the death of Christ? Why, you.
You say that Christ did not die so as to infallibly secure the salvation of anybody. We beg your pardon, when you say we limit Christ's death; we say, "No, my dear sir, it is you that do it." We say Christ so died that He infallibly secured the salvation of a multitude that no man can number, who through Christ's death not only may be saved but are saved, must be saved, and cannot by any possibility run the hazard of being anything but saved. You are welcome to your atonement; you may keep it. We will never renounce ours for the sake of it.
(Charles Spurgeon, Particular Redemption, Sermon 181)
The Arminian limits the Atonement by placing faith as a prerequisite; a cute doctrine, but nowhere in Scripture will you find this concept. The Calvinist limits the atonement to those whom God has chosen, His elect. What does the Bible say about that? Consider:"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21)"I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep." (John 10:11)
Labels: Calvinism, Doctrines of Grace, Election
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, July 08, 2006
lonely soldier boy...
Yep, it was just me again tonight (in the physical sense anyway
). My pastor was away all week at a Bible camp in Pennsylvania with a group of young people from our home church. So I held the fort in his absence.
Right after work, I stopped by my pastor's house, picked up a Gospel sign, grabbed a bunch of Bible tracts, and made my way to the market. I laboured for a good 3.5 hours; lots of preaching, a number of one-on-one conversations, walked all over downtown with the Gospel sign in one hand, and tracts on the other. The reception was quite varied tonight, from words of encouragement and thanks to vilest curses, but I thank the Lord my God for His faithfulness in keeping me physically safe and sound.
Here are a few highlights of my night of street evangelism:The Good:
I have had at least two one-on-one conversations with men who had honest questions and were quite open what I had to say. On one occasion, I dealt with a man named Greg, who is a nominal Romanist. He was wise enough to see the wickedness and foolishness of Romanism
, but not quite wise enough to cling to God's Word. I encouraged him to seek God by both reading the Bible and coming to church. He took one of my Bible tracts, so let us pray the Lord will draw Greg to the Truth, and perhaps to church on the Lord's Day.The Bad:
I dealt with a group of four teenagers who had some questions for me:
"Why are you preaching here, man?" one of them inquired.
I explained that the Bible gave the church a Great Commission to fulfill, and that's why I was preaching. He accepted the answer and continued to ask a few more questions which I answered to the best of my ability. Things seemed very profitable. He took a pocket sized Gospel of John I was carrying and told me he would consider the matters we had discussed.
Then, things degenerated. Minutes later, the same group shows up and the lad who questioned me decided it would be fun to heckle me while I preached. He wasn't terribly vulgar, but he was disruptive and disrespectful. His nonsense went on for about 15 minutes and then grew tired of me, and moved on.
What a let down...The Ignoramus:
I dropped by another small group of street evangelists which were labouring a few blocks away from our customary spot. We don't associate with these men in matters of evangelism because they are quite Arminian
. That being said, I know for a fact many of these souls are genuinely saved and are earnest in matters of faith. So, I like to stop by and say "hello" from time to time and offer them a kind word of encouragement.
Well tonight, one of the men in the group just couldn't be gracious and decided to take a swipe at my pastor. It is not the first time this individual has tried to undermine my pastor's ministry; the Lord be merciful to him. You see, this soul really, REALLY detests the Doctrines of Grace
. Any chance he gets to try and discredit these doctrines, he pounces.
"Tell your pastor about this book on hyper-calvinism
creeping in the church, will you?" he hypocritically said.
"You know," I replied, "all this talk of hyper-calvisnists
and I have yet to have met one."
"Huh?" the man said, perplexed. "You know, TULIP-five pointers..."
"Tulip-five pointers are CALVINISTS
, not hyper-Calvinists
!" I answered.
With that, I walked away. He was up to no good and I had a Gospel to preach. I do pray however that this poor soul will soon realize how foolish and sinful his behaviour is. Lord have mercy.The Truly Disgusting:
Well, it finally happened. I had seen it happen a couple of times to my pastor, but in 6 years of street evangelism, tonight was my first time. It's not like it hasn't come close to happening to me, but I had so far managed to avoid it. Well, no longer.
I was walking down a street with the Gospel sign and some tracts. I walked past a group of teenaged boys who mocked and reviled me. One of the boys, who was in a wheelchair, quickly got in my way and yelled an obscenity at me and then... yep... he spat right in my face.
Very pleasant indeed.
And with that, dear friends, I'm off to bed. It's been quite a day. Good night, dear readers, and have a blessed weekend.
Rand"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." (2 Timothy 4:2)
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
lots of preaching... little change...
I apologize for taking so long to update you all on our day of evangelism on Canada Day (July 1st) ; it's been a very busy weekend, and to be honest, I was a bit of a mess after the whole experience. Don't worry, it's not like anything overly dramatic took place... other than thousands and thousands of people rejecting the Gospel of Truth that could save them, preferring the broad road that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13
I had a lot of trouble sleeping both Saturday night and Sunday night. The thought of all those people... those hundreds of thousands... cursing and blaspheming the Lord... well... it was tough to watch and hear. I'm not an emotional guy. I'm really not. But Saturday night, I just wanted to cry. I'm feeling better now, but I think that's just because the experience isn't as fresh in my mind.
Here are some echoes from last Saturday...Rand and a man on a bicycle:
The man stopped right in front of me as I was preaching. He just sat on his bike and mumbled something inaudible. I got closer to hear what he was saying. In a very slow, and low voice, he said:
"I hope you, one day, jump out of a plane without a parachute."Rand and four young men, who were all under the influence of alcohol:
"So we're a little drunk," one of the young men began, "but we're still cool with the Bible, man. I mean we all believe in all that."
"Did you ever read the Bible my friend," I asked politely.
"Uh... well... no," they all replied.
"How do you then know whether you are cool with the Bible
?" I inquired.
"That's a good point," two of them replied.
"Guys," I continued, "60% of the people behind you would call themselves Christians and yet none of them today are following Jesus."
"That's another good point," the same two replied.A portion of Rand's preaching:
"Friends, every time we sing our national anthem, we sing the phrase "God keep our land, glorious and free"
, and my question is: do you really think the Lord will answer that request favourably if at every turn, you curse and blaspheme His holy name by word or by action? The Bible says not to deceive ourselves; God is not mocked: whatever a man sows, he'll reap.
Do you all think God is kidding? That He somehow doesn't mean what He says?
Friends, seek God
! Seek God honestly, seek Him earnestly. Seek Him by reading your Bibles, by going to a Bible believing, Bible preaching church on the Lord's Day, by talking with us Christians or by taking one of our Bible tracts. Whatever you do, seek God favour by doing what is right and good in His eyes.
Only then will you be able to sing our national anthem as something other than hypocrites.Rand and three ladies (a grandmother, mother and a little girl):
"We want to thank you for preaching here," the grandmother said, "you're doing a good thing."
"Thank you," I replied. "Are you Christians?"
"Yes we are," the grandmother replied, "born-again in Jesus!"
"Amen," I said, "now let me ask you, sister, what are you doing here? There is nothing good going on in this place except for the work of the evangelists. This is a street party by the wicked, and for the wicked. You shouldn't be taking your little one to such an event. Christians shouldn't be celebrating the anniversary of our depraved land, we should be weeping for it, and asking God to heal our land by prayer and fasting."
"You're right," the woman conceded. "We're leaving this place right now."Rand and his pastor, after the over 7 hours of street evangelism:
"You know Rand," my pastor began, "today, we gave the Gospel to more people than most Christians today do in their entire lifetime."
"Kind of sad, isn't it?" I replied.
There's a whole lot more, but that's all I'll share with you for tonight. To go through all the events of the day with you would take up a whole lot of webspace; it truly is unbelievable the number of people we have had some sort of interaction with on Canada Day. In that respect, it was a good day.
I want to close this post with a few words of gratitude to some truly remarkable souls. First, a big thank you to my darling wife who joined us in our day of evangelism, due to our small numbers. She was truly a trooper; she spent the entire day with us, holding a Gospel sign and distributing Bible tracts.
I also want to thank all the kind souls who prayed for us and sent me kind, encouraging e-mails. I got up on Saturday morning only to find foolish comments and wicked messages on my computer screen which is the last thing I needed on such a stressful, tough day. But when I got back home, I found a series of warm, blessed e-mails which comforted me greatly. A big thank you to all you who sent me these e-mails. You know who you are. Your compassion and love refreshed me greatly. I will not soon forget your sweet words. The Lord reward you abundantly.