Saturday, May 05, 2007not easy being a chicken...
Despite the chill in the air, the crowds were back in the market tonight. Thousands of people walking about, heading for restaurants or pubs. In the middle of all the action, pastor Tim and I took our place on a street corner, and preached the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. For three hours, we preached on various evangelistic Bible verses, we distributed Bible literature, and we walked about with our Gospel signs.
I was quite nervous tonight. I don't know why. Perhaps it was the immense crowd, but I was truly on edge. Last time I was out preaching, I was amazed at how calm and temperate I had become, but tonight, no kidding, I could feel sweat drops rolling down my sides. I would even literally jump or step back defensively whenever someone yelled an obscenity too close to me(which happens a lot when preaching the Gospel in the market). This is quite a step backwards... I'm kind of disappointed.
Perhaps this is the Lord's way of keeping me humble and looking to Him for strength.
"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
It wasn't a terrible night of preaching. We passed out a lot of Gospel tracts, and while our audience was mostly hostile, things never even came close to violence. Praise God for that! Here are some of tonight's more memorable moments:
1- "The Bible Jesus" or the "Hippie Jesus"?
Yes, again, I was approached by a young man who claimed to be a Christian and had issues with my evangelistic methodology. His big problem was with my walking around the marketplace with a 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 sign. He said:
"My friends and I saw you walk by the restaurant we were eating in and we began to talk about whether your method of evangelism is appropriate."
He told me he was in town with some "Christian" organization whose mission was to present the "love and grace of God" to all men. I then tried to explain to the young man that I didn't believe he and I served the same "Jesus", because the Jesus I believed in was/is gracious to His people, but He had no time for those who, in word or action, hated Him. This didn't jive with his "theology" one bit, which he made clear when he said:
"But Jesus always preached the Gospel in a kind and compassionate way, and the Bible says that we are to preach the Gospel in the same way. We have to preach it in a way that our fellow man will receive the Gospel message."
I then asked him: "Chapter and verse, please?"
He didn't have one.
The conversation came to a sudden end when he claimed that God created the sin nature in man, so God would never condemn anyone because of something He Himself created. At that point, I told the young man that the Bible was clear, God is NOT the author of sin, and that he was wasting my time. I have no time for the "hippie-Jesus" who "saves" people IN their sin.
2- "I love Jesus and Jesus loves me!"
That's what two young ladies who were walking around half dressed yelled out. Unable to let that go, I looked straight at them and said:
"No, you don't... and no, He doesn't. Repent and believe."
They both laughed me to scorn and walked away. The Lord have mercy on their lost souls.
"If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15)
"God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day." (Psalm 7:11)
3- Which wilderness???
At the end of our time of street preaching, when the drunken noise of the market peaks, I told my pastor:
"I was at our favorite provincial park last week. We hiked in mountains, amongst the trees, with all manner of living things crawling and flying about. They call such a place: the wilderness. Let me declare to you right now, dear pastor, that there is more civility and order in that wilderness, than in this place tonight. There are more wild beasts in this market tonight than any forest has ever seen."
With that, dear readers, I conclude my notes. It's been a long day, and a busy week. Time for some rest. Have a blessed weekend, and a glorious Lord's Day.
(I am once again preaching the Lord's Day evening service, so I appreciate your prayers, dear saints of God.)
Labels: Friday evangelism