Saturday, February 24, 2007woefully lacking in ability...
I just got home from another Friday night of evangelism in my city's marketplace. I was all by my little lonesome again... actually, that's not quite accurate. As my pastor once put it:
"It's just you and Jesus tonight, Rand."
It was a cold night, the mercury dipping down to -15 Celsius (or 5 Fahrenheit), and the wind was brutal on my face. The Lord nonetheless gave me the ability to last three hours. Three hours of open-air preaching, Bible tract distribution (though I really didn't pass out a whole lot of tracts tonight... my fingers were frozen and I couldn't pass them out well with my big mitts on), and I walked around downtown with my Romans 6:23 sign.
It was another difficult night of preaching for me, personally. The Lord is still dealing with me in a manner He hasn't done in awhile. I have become much more sensitive to my errors and sins (and I assure you, they abound...). This, of course, is the consequence of a prayer I've been praying of late. I've been asking God to judge me, and with that judgement, to chastise me when I go wrong. He answered that prayer.
"As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." (Revelation 3:19)
I couldn't stop finding areas where my Gospel presentation lacked tonight. I kept questioning myself on my motives: was I doing this for the Lord, or was it all just a carnal, religious exercise? When I didn't go out of my way to talk with the people around me, I felt like I wasn't bold enough, and when I did start conversations with the people, it pretty much always turned out to be unprofitable. That's how things were for me tonight, and I guess it's a natural extension of how things have been going in the other facets of my Christian life.
One thing is certain, I have to shape up.
The night wasn't a total loss. I did have a long conversation with Collin, the attendant of the parking garage right behind my favorite preaching spot. Collin came by and started a conversation with me on how he could be sure he is Heaven bound.
"Are you born-again?" I asked.
Collin hesitated, so I knew, at that point, he wasn't.
"My dear friend, Jesus tells us in the Bible that if you are not born-again, you're not going to Heaven. That's it, that's all," I said.
I tried to explain, on several occasions, what the Second Birth was all about, but Collin really didn't seem to have any time for it. He kept bringing things back to what he could do so that he'd be good enough to squeak into Heaven.
"So, if I pray, and read my Bible, and go to church, then God will forgive me of the bad things that are in my life and I'll go to Heaven, right?" he said.
It was clear Collin was trying to serve two masters. He wanted the peace and assurance of being in Christ, but he wanted to keep his sin too. I encouraged him to read John 3 tonight (he said he would), and I told him that he should pray that God would give him spiritual life. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if Collin showed up at church this Lord's Day, but I will not be taking that as a sign of regeneration. The poor man is trying to merit favour with God. That being said, I do hope he comes to church, so he could hear more of the Bible. Perhaps the Lord would be pleased to save him at one of our services.
Please keep Collin in your prayers.
On my way back home tonight, I walked by a bar. I had my Romans 6:23 sign up for all to see. A young man knocked on the window and gave me a "thumbs up". I gave him a perplexed look and pointed out to him that HE WAS IN A BAR!!! That was the end of his "thumbs-up". Just a few seconds later, a young lady walked past me and claimed she was a Christian. I asked her if she was sure about that (she was dressed very immodestly). She said she was certain. Then she lined-up to get in a popular dance club. As I walked past her, I said:
"Jesus most certainly wouldn't want you to go in there, miss."
I pray that the Lord's hand will be heavy on the young lady, and the young man in the bar. Through my standing out there with my Gospel sign, I truly hope that the Lord will ruin their night of partying. I pray that the Lord will give them no rest, until they confess their sin, and forsake their wicked ways. How glorious it would be if for one of the two, or for both of them, tonight would be the last time they step into these houses of drunkenness and immorality.
That's the notes for tonight, dear readers. Thanks for stopping by. Have a blessed weekend, especially the Lord's Day.
Brothers and sisters, I covet your prayers.
Labels: Friday evangelism