Sunday, July 01, 2007now that was MASS evangelism...
Well, this is where I spent my afternoon (click here).
Right after morning church service, I picked up my John 3:36 Gospel sign and made my way through the downtown marketplace, making sure that everyone in the restaurants and patios got a chance to read the sign. I was the recipient of plenty of scoffing, but I pressed on. I made my way to the downtown streets which were blocked off (no cars could access these streets) for the Canada Day festivities, and walked amongst hundreds, actually make that thousands of people going to, or coming from Parliament Hill.
I walked around with the Gospel sign for about an hour, trying as best I could to pass out some Gospel literature at the same time. This was quite a chore. The problem was the wind pushing my sign; it affected my balance, and that in turn made it difficult for me to free up a hand to offer the literature to the people around me. I finally decided to stand on a street corner (see picture), put down my sign, which stabilized it quite effectively, and I was then able to offer Bible tracts.
I was pleasantly surprised with how receptive the people were; the only violent outburst I had to deal with was by a young man who tried to rip my sign out of my hands. He failed and I think he decided not to try it again when he heard the sharp disapproval of all those around him. Before and after this incident, I gave out a whole lot of tracts, the Lord use them as He sees fit. My pastor also reported having passed out a record number of Bible tracts. Praise God.
The downside of today's endeavour is that we didn't get a whole lot of preaching done; actually, I was the only one who preached, and that, for only about one hour. You see, having arrived downtown late (around lunch time instead of our usual 10 am), there was no adequate place to preach from; at every street corner there were musicians, buskers and other entertainers. I was nonetheless able to preach from our usual preaching spot in the market and my time there was quite good. A fair number of people came to my side of the street to get literature or to ask questions.
Some came to me today with genuine questions which showed an interest in the Bible and in the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, but there were a whole lot of nonsense too. One fellow asked me if I had any literature that proved the existence of God. His question perplexed me and when I tried to explain that it was by faith that we had to come to God, he immediately affirmed that that meant I was wasting my time in preaching the Gospel. All this seemed quite logical to him, I suppose, but his logic was lost on me.
Then there were the "blasphemy against the Holy Spirit" boys. You may have heard of this nonsense: you see, some atheistic groups have decided to seal their fate by "blaspheming the Holy Spirit". They usually do this on camera as some great statement against the Faith, it's quite a foolish and prideful exercise. Anyway, three young men came by and brought up the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and even quoted it to me from Scripture. I immediately knew the manner of men I was dealing with.
"A person can't blaspheme the Holy Spirit in this age, my poor friend," I said.
"What do you mean I can't... the Bible says I can," he protested.
"No friend, only people who lived in the age when Jesus was on Earth could blaspheme the Holy Spirit," I continued. "And the only other time men will be able to blaspheme the Holy Spirit is in the age to come, when the Lord Jesus will once again be on Earth."
I showed them Matthew 12:32 and explained that the Pharisees had blasphemed the Holy Spirit by attributing to Satan a miracle that was clearly wrought by the power of the Holy Spirit, hence the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Such clear and manifest miracles are not in happening in this church age, they will only return after the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the "world" or "age" that is to come.
You should have seen the poor lads faces. They were so let down that they couldn't completely and certainly damn their souls, they left with long faces. What a warped culture I live in.
A few moments after that exchange, a man pointed me out to his son and said:
"What a dumb way to spend Canada Day!"
"This is a great way to spend Canada," I protested, "and it's an excellent way to be spending the Lord's Day, that's what today is first and foremost."
"Well, I don't believe in all that God stuff," he replied smugly.
"You will," I answered. "One way or another, you will."
These are but two examples of some of the exchanges I had with the people downtown. I really don't have much to report by way of evidence of conversion, I prayed that the Lord would use us as instruments to save His elect, and perhaps He will yet work some great work through our testimony, but we'll just have to wait on the Lord for that.
"I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD." (Psalm 27:13-14)
Now, I'm going to rest. I sure need it. I have done 8-10 hours of street evangelism in the last 3 days... I'm exhausted. The next stressful evangelistic effort will be the "Pride Parade" which will probably happen in a couple of weeks. Remember me in your prayers, dear saints of God, I surely need it.
Have a good week, dear readers, and thank you for your e-mails/comments/phone calls of encouragement and admonishment, they have truly refreshed me these last few weeks. The Lord bless you.