Saturday, October 21, 2006so much wickedness, so much error...
Louis Armstrong sang: "What a wonderful world". Ernest Hemingway said: "The world is a fine place, and worth fighting for." Tonight, after careful observation, Rand says: "What a mess this world is." I was in the market for a less than an hour and I saw:
-a deranged woman talking to herself with an abundance of curses and profanity.
-two men scheming/planning or perhaps even, concluding some sort of shady exchange (more than likely, a drug deal).
-another two men angrily pushing each other around outside one of the pubs (both men were obviously drunk).
-young women, barely old enough to vote, walking around in freezing temperatures with a minimum of clothing (and I mean M-I-N-I-M-U-M).
These ungodly spectacles underscored for me the importance of our night of street preaching. Not only were the few souls I was observing dying in sin and trespass, but for the most part, the whole marketplace was a sea of lost souls; souls that were doing nothing else but destroying themselves in wickedness. Except for a handful of preachers and evangelists, the market was populated by people who were ignorant of God's Person and His Law; and most, willfully ignorant. I thought:
"How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10:14)
I was going to be their preacher. Whether they wanted it or not. All around me, sin ruled, and the oppressive effects of sin were manifest. The cure was and will forever be the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and just like I sometimes force medicine down the throats of my children to cure them from sickness, tonight, I gave the unconverted a good taste of the Truth that is in Christ Jesus. The Lord use my efforts as He sees fit.
Here are a few echoes from our evangelistic effort:
1- Two Baptist Brothers, Getting Serious:
Two young men came by when I was preaching the Gospel and thanked me for my service. Such words of encouragement are pretty rare so I kind of guessed they were brothers in Christ. We had a short conversation and it was then that I found out that they were from a Baptist church from the east end of the city.
I was quite pleased to find out that both men were distributing little cards with a Gospel message on them. Now mind you, the message was pretty wishy-washy, but at least they were doing something for the Lord! I encouraged both of them to continue serving the Lord by spreading the Gospel. Let us remember to pray for John and his friend.
2- The Romanist Woman:
Oh boy, what a conversation! Both my pastor and I have had a few exchanges, over the last few weeks with a Romanist woman; the conversations were quite civil and she has been quite open to our reasonings. Now this woman is NOT a Romanist hypocrite (like: "I'm catholic, but I haven't been to mass in 3 years..."), this woman knows her stuff. She's a serious Romanist.
My pastor spent a good hour speaking with this woman tonight, reasoning with her from the Scriptures. The woman would often defend her positions by citing Romanist "sacred traditions", but Scripture just didn't figure in much of her arguments. On several subjects tonight, we clearly exposed some Romanist practices that contradict the Word of God, and on a few occasions, she was completely dumbfounded. Sadly though, her heart remained closed to the Gospel.
It was truly frustrating to watch her ignore the Scripture when it didn't suit her, but then quote from it when she remembered a verse that seemed to support her arguments. Ultimately, she wasn't using the Scriptures as THE STANDARD by which to judge everything else; for her, Romanism was the standard, and the teachings of the Bible just had to fit in.
We will no doubt see this woman again in the future. Please pray that the Lord give my pastor and I wisdom as to how to best deal with her, and if the Lord wills, that He might show her grace and mercy to the salvation of her soul.
A couple walked up to me as I was preaching and offered some protests over my 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 sign. I tried to give them answers but they both just rolled their eyes at me and walked away.
What I didn't know was that while all this was happening, a restaurant cook, who was on break, having a cigarette, was leaning against the parking garage behind me. He observed the whole exchange and when the couple left, he walked up to me and said:
"It's good what you're doing, man. Don't let them bother you. They'll regret not listening to you one day."
At first I thought the man, whose name was Karl, was a saint, but he admitted that he wasn't born again. Without saying it outright, he made it pretty clear that he was a nominal Romanist. I perceived in our conversation that Karl had a measure of the fear of the Lord in him and that he had a high regard for the Bible. He said he owned a Bible, so I encouraged him to start reading it, consistently. He said he would.
Let us pray that Karl will seek God by reading the Word, and if God wills, that He would direct him to church on the Lord's Day.
4- I'm Too Old To Be Hitting Puberty Again:
On a humourous note, my final half hour of preaching was quite the embarrassment. I've been stricken with a very persistent cold over the last few weeks; the coughs just aren't letting up. Anyway, as I was preaching my voice started giving way. I sounded EXACTLY like a teenager whose voice was changing. I tried to make my voice graver and deeper, but almost every time, by the end of a sentence, my voice would go wild.
My pastor got a good laugh.
There were plenty of other events tonight that are still floating in my brain, but it's 2 am, and I'm terribly tired, so that will be the notes for tonight. I will ask all my brothers and sisters in the Lord to pray that I not lose my voice for too long, and that the Lord would finally heal me from this most irritating cold.
Have a great weekend, dear readers.