Saturday, July 21, 2007the experienced soldier...
Just before leaving home to make my way to the marketplace, my wife commented that I was no longer looked stressed out or nervous prior to going out preaching the Gospel. That statement took me a bit by surprise; the surprise was that she was correct. I used to physically tremble just prior to our night of street evangelism. I used to hope for rain, or some unforeseen incident that would keep me from going downtown to preach the Gospel to a people who, without question, hated everything about God. It used to take me 30 minutes to 1 hour to get a grip on my fears, and be able to preach the Gospel in a clear, well thought-out manner.
That was then.
I now actually look forward to our evangelistic effort. I actually miss it when I have to skip a Friday night of evangelism. How things have changed! Praise God!
Now don't get me wrong, this is still one of the hardest things I do on any given week. All I'm saying is that it would seem this cowardly, man-fearing chicken is actually becoming a battle-hardened soldier of the Cross. It took awhile (okay... a long while... okay, okay... I really, really long while), but by the grace of God, the old boy is making progress. Tonight, I was threatened to be beaten-up, I had a hard object hurled at me, I had food hurled at me, I was mocked and cursed at. Through it all, I kept cool, completely under control, and I prayed.
The Lord is good.
It was just me and Jesus tonight. My pastor was out on a "date" with his wife, as today was their 39th wedding anniversary. I preached the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and distributed Bible literature for about 3 hours; I also had our 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 sign with me, which always draws people's attention. Here are a few details of some of tonight's events (they are in no particular order):
-Seconds after my arrival in the marketplace, a scantily clad women asked me what I was up to with my Gospel sign. I explained to her that I was going to preach the Gospel of Jesus, hoping that the Lord would save souls. She thought that was a good thing, albeit, kind of weird. I encouraged her to read the Bible, and that's when she came out with this:
"Oh, what Bible do you read? It better be the St-James, 'cause that's the only real Bible!"
"St-James huh?" I said, trying hard not to laugh.
I love the King James version. I totally believe it is the best English translation of the Bible, but one thing is for sure, King James was no "saint".
-Moments later, I walked by an old friend of mine. He was having dinner at one of the patio restaurants in the market. Being a professing believer, when he saw me walking by with my Gospel sign, he smiled and said something along the lines of "go get'em". It made me smile.
-Two sodomites walked up to me after listening to me preach for several minutes. As they made their way to my side of the street, I prayed and asked wisdom, a sound mind and genuine love to help me deal with these two lost souls. The prayer was definitely effective. For a good five minutes, the men asked questions concerning my preaching and I answered them truthfully, and tactfully. Despite this, one of the men took one of my tracts, ripped it up and threw it to the ground. I suppose I was, in the end, casting pearls before swine.
-A committed Romanist came by to speak to me tonight. It was clear that this man was a serious Romanist: he had a large "Mary" idol around his neck. He praised my efforts saying that what I was doing was 100% good and that while he knew I wasn't "catholic", he was convinced the Lord would bless me for my evangelistic effort. I thanked the man for his kind words, but I made sure he understood that I didn't believe he could be a Christian and a Romanist at the same time. He understood what I was trying to say (I think the man probably spoke to pastor Tim in the past), but still insisted that we were indeed both in Christ. The Lord show this man mercy, and save him from the deception of the whore of Rome.
-I walked by the "immorality strip" tonight with my Gospel sign. I usually avoid this part of the market because the whole area is hazardous to a preacher: there are second floor patios from which people can throw stuff, there is a strip club which often keeps its front doors open, and some of the most vile and violent sinners tend to concentrate in that area of the market. Well, tonight, as I looked at the people on that strip from a distance, I said to myself: "they need Jesus too." So I walked around giving the people a chance to read my Gospel sign. I offered a Bible tract to but one soul, and that soul threatened to beat me up. No matter, a lot of people who needed to be reminded of the Gospel read something from the Bible tonight. Again, praise the Lord!
And that's the notes for tonight. I'm going to bed now. It's extremely late (or early, depending how you look at it). I hope you all have a pleasant weekend, dear readers.
Have a holy, God-centered Lord's Day, dear saints of God. Remember us street evangelists in your prayers.
Labels: Friday evangelism