Saturday, June 23, 2007such foolish vanity...
Literally minutes before stepping out of the house to make my way downtown, Brother Pete from My All For One called me up. We had a nice conversation and before saying goodbye, Brother Pete prayed for me over the phone for blessing and protection during our night of evangelism. What a blessing! Brother Pete is thousands of kilometers away from where I preach the Gospel, but in a way, just through a short time of prayer, it was like he was nearby. His support over the years have been a real blessing to me; the Lord bless him abundantly for his brotherly kindness.
My pastor and I made it to our usual street corner and began preaching the Gospel around 8pm. There were two drunken panhandlers across the street from where I was preaching which, at first, I feared would cause me some aggravation, but the Lord delivered me; when they saw I was about to begin my night of evangelism, they got up and left. I heard one of them grumbling at me, but grumbling I can handle (lol).
Pastor Tim was a preaching machine tonight; not that he preached more than usual, but rather, his preaching had an urgency about it, and his words were sharp and direct. This, of course, raised the ire of many ungodly souls, but he pressed on, not letting anyone distract him. He was really something to behold tonight...
"You ladies are in danger of hellfire!" he exclaimed to a group of four young ladies who were, without exaggeration, running around downtown in lingerie. "You are dressed like prostitutes, you act like prostitutes, and the Lord detests it. If you do not repent, the Lake of Fire is where you will spend eternity."
On my side, I was able to preach the Gospel without much interruption, having a few short conversations with a couple of souls. I spoke to a nominal Romanist who wanted to know what denomination I represented. I told him I was a Baptist by denomination, but he had no idea what that meant. So I took the opportunity to explain to him how being a Baptist differed from being "a catholic". I explained to him that for a Baptist, it was the Bible plus/minus nothing. Much to my chagrin, the poor fellow told me he didn't really believe the Bible was the literal Word of God. Knowing that this was evidence that the Holy Spirit hadn't done anything for this man yet, I encouraged the man to read the Bible and to give it a chance. My hope was and is that he will open his Bible this weekend and by the working of the Holy Spirit, he be converted by God's Word:
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
After this conversation, the cursed car came back. Yes, the cursed car.
You see the car attached to this post? It was parked at the exact same spot a few weeks ago, that is, it was parked right across from where we were preaching; and it should be noted that the sports car was in a "no-stop" zone. Not just "no-parking", but "no-stop". The owner of the vehicle got away from a ticket a couple of weeks ago, but not tonight. He/She got a hefty fine for his/her violation.
Now why do I call it "the cursed car"? Simple. It distracted our audience. It was a sad site to behold my dear readers. The people would come, they would ignore our preaching and our Gospel signs (the things that could be used to save their souls), and then spend several minutes coveting this fancy car. Oh! the vanity! The stupid thing will be rusting in some junkyard in about a decade and no one is going to care in the least about it, and that's what the people chose to place over the Gospel of Life. What utter folly!
I did end up using the "cursed car" in my preaching though. When I noticed a large crowd had formed around the car, I seized the opportunity. I cried out:
"The owner of the vehicle you are coveting just got an expensive ticket for ignoring the "no-stop" sign. He broke the law... the law that was set up before him on a sign... and because of this, he is guilty and must pay for his crime. You will all face the same fate one day, for I stand before you with a sign... warning you of God's law... and you are disregarding it, preferring the vanity of this car... and I assure you, there will be a price to be paid!"
Finally, I was scolded by a young man who believed I should have been spending more of my time making the panhandlers and street drunks more comfortable than preaching to them. Clearly, he was a "love, love, all you need is love" type, and of course, he attributed this philosophy to Jesus (if I'm not mistaken, John Lennon wasn't Jesus). I tried to explain to him that our society made the panhandlers and street drunks comfortable enough by providing them with food and shelter, and that what they needed first and foremost was the Gospel. He disagreed.
Seeing that the conversation wasn't going anywhere, I ended it, and went back to preaching. The young man wasn't too happy about being "blown off" (those were his words), but still tried to take the "high road" on me by extending his hand and saying: "I love you." I shook his hand and said: "it's all good my friend, there is no offence here... it was just clear to me that our conversation wasn't going anywhere so I figured we should both stop babbling." This answer didn't smooth things over at all. It would seem he manage to forget that he "loved" me in less than 2 minutes because he walked away from me criticizing and mocking me to his friends.
Unfortunately, that pretty much sums up our night of evangelism. Plenty of scorn, lots of mockery. God be thanked though, while a young man did try to push me into a wall as I walking with a Gospel sign, there were no instance of violence. All and all, in was a pretty standard, same-old-same-old kind of night of evangelism.
Thanks to all my brothers and sisters-in-the-Lord who have prayed and are praying for me and our evangelistic efforts. I truly hope that one day, I will write one of these Friday Night Notes to share with you a mighty work of God in the marketplace, that we may joy together. Until then, I appreciate you loving support and your continued prayers.
Have a blessed weekend, and a glorious Lord's Day,
Labels: Friday evangelism