Saturday, October 07, 2006a good night, all and all...
Well, it was still cold out there tonight, but this time, I was prepared. As you can see (thanks to my new handy-dandy cellphone with built-in digital camera), I had my winter jacket on for our night of street preaching.
We (my pastor and I) had a pretty good night, all things considered. I mean, we didn't see mass conversions, but we did have a number of conversations, we distributed a fair amount of Bible tracts, and those who would disturb us or persecute us were few in number. There definitely were more people in the marketplace tonight than last week, but still, far less than the summertime crowds (again, not that I'm complaining). And hey! small crowds or big crowds, the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ was preached, and God was glorified!
A number of good things happened tonight, and some bad; all and all though, we have hope that the Lord will work something wonderful out of tonight's endeavour. Without any further delay, here are some echoes from tonight's evangelistic effort:
The two JWs:
As I write this, I'm irritated. I'm irritated because I never seem to know, on the street, when I've indulged false teachers too much. In this case I think I should have ended our conversation much sooner than I did.
It all started with the two men asking me what my "religion" was. I answered:
"I'm a Baptist by denomination, but I prefer just being called a Bible Christian."
I explained (and this is before I knew they were JWs) that I had to define my Faith in other terms than just "Christian" because (get this) even JWs call themselves Christians. One of the men quickly answered:
"But we're Jehovah's Witnesses."
"Well, you're not Christians," I immediately replied.
I tried to encourage them to turn to the original manuscripts of the Bible and test their wicked New World Translation; a test that would surely reveal that their translation isn't faithful. I tried hard to impress upon them that their rejection of the deity of Christ was what made it manifest that they weren't Christians. I argued a few points from Scripture but I was met with scoffing and a bit of mockery. One of the men said:
"I don't know... I mean I don't think I've been drinking that much... but I just don't understand this Trinity thing..."
This was said in a mocking tone, but it revealed something that I had noticed from my days in the "kingdom hall": JWs are extremely worldly. You see, these guys were out in the exact same bars and pubs as the wicked and unbelieving. They were out partying in the market, just like the worldly. I mentioned this to the men and was greeted with more scoffing.
The Lord have mercy.
I had a good one-on-one conversation with a Jamaican fellow who wanted to know more about my faith. He walked up to me and said:
"What's that on your sign, man."
"It's a Bible verse, my friend," I replied.
"Ah! I knew it! I knew you were probably a Christian man," he answered.
He then asked me some questions, mostly doctrinal matters, and I answered him to the best of my abilities. He claimed to be born-again, but I kind of doubt he was. I think he had a genuine interest in the Bible, but there wasn't much by way of knowledge of the Truth; I mean the man wasn't sure what to make of Benny Hinn! I made it clear that old Benny was a liar and an extortioner! A man that the Lord would severely deal with one day.
He took my words very well and he thanked me for speaking with him. He took one of my Bible tracts and said goodbye. The Lord give this man the ability to both seek and find the Way.
Apparently, I met God tonight:
One of the newest panhandlers, a young lad (he couldn't be older than 18) walked up to me and said in a very grave tone:
"I'm god... I'll make everything alright 'cause I'm the king."
"Man... I'm disappointed," I replied.
The Not-So-Convinced Atheist:
A young Mexican walked up to me as I was preaching and said:
"I don't believe in God!"
"You will," I replied.
I didn't pursue the matter with him any further since I perceived he just wanted to mock, and I didn't want to waste time with that kind of nonsense. He walked away scoffing.
Well, a couple of minutes later, the young Mexican met up with my pastor, and he gave my pastor the same song and dance:
"I don't believe in God!"
But this time, as he started to walk away, he said:
"But then, I think of eternity..."
The young man walked right back to my pastor and explained that though he would like to just leave it at "he doesn't believe", he KNOWS that there is more to it than that. By the end of their conversation, the Mexican was practically begging my pastor for Bible tracts.
My pastor invited him to our Lord's Day service; let us hope the Lord leads him to visit us Sunday morning.
A few months ago, in this Friday Night Notes, I mentioned a young panhandler named Darren. This young man wasn't a big fan of our preaching at first, but the Holy Spirit really helped us deal with him in a gentle and patient manner, and Darren responded rather well to our reasoning.
Well Darren was around again tonight, which sadly, means that the Lord hasn't done anything with him yet, but there is some good news: Darren recognized me. Not only did he recognize me, he spoke to me as a friend. He asked me for a Bible tract, and then he asked for two more for his buddies that he was going to meet up with in a few minutes. He also requested that I continue praying for him, for he was still struggling through life.
Let us keep Darren in our prayers, dear saints. The seeds of life are there, let us hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord (Lamentations 3:26).
And that'll be the notes for tonight, dear readers. It's been a long week, a long day and now it's time for rest. This is Thanksgiving weekend for us Canadians, so I plan to take it easy this weekend, and have plenty of turkey.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians, and goodnight dear readers.