Saturday, July 15, 2006good 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.