Saturday, October 06, 2007preachers... and crime fighters... lol...
After a short time of prayer, pastor Tim and I took our Bible signs and made our way to the downtown marketplace. On our way there, pastor Tim and I were talking about how foolish and dysfunctional our society (our godless society) had become. All of sudden, pastor Tim cut me off and said: "what's going on here?!?" For a moment I didn't know what he was talking about, then I noticed that something had got his attention in a nearby alley.
Looking down the alley I saw a man, shirtless, on a balcony roof, with a 4-foot pipe in his hands. It was clear that this fellow had somehow gotten himself up there to smash a window and steal whatever he could from the building at the end of the alley (which, it turns out, was some kind of investments business). Pastor Tim asked the fellow on several occasions to explain what he was doing there, but the man, obviously, wasn't too forthcoming.
"You want me to call the police," I asked pastor Tim, showing him my cellphone.
"Do it!" he ordered.
I called 911 and the police were on-site after roughly a minute. Pretty quick reaction time, but still, the man had a chance to escape through a nearby apartment building. I don't think the police ended up catching the man, but at least an obvious break-in and theft was thwarted. That's crime fighting moment #1.
Crime fighting moment # 2 came about three hours later. Pastor Tim was preaching on our usual street corner when he suddenly stopped preaching and made his way across the street. I was a few yards away from him so I had no idea what had caught his attention. Seeing that something was obviously going on, I made my way towards him. As I got closer to where pastor Tim was standing, I noticed a man, acting pretty suspiciously walking away.
"What happened?" I asked.
"That guy just opened the door to this car and started searching through it," he replied. "I'm pretty sure this guy doesn't own this car and that he was stealing whatever he could find in it."
Pastor Tim's suspicions were proven correct a few minutes later when the actual owner of the vehicle came by. It was pretty sad, the good pastor tried hard to communicate what had happened to the man, but when he saw the Gospel sign, he wouldn't listen at all! It would seem that this man hated the Gospel so much, he wouldn't hear anything of what a preacher had to say... even if it had nothing to do with the Gospel. How utterly sad.
Other than the crime stopping, we did manage to preach the Gospel for roughly three hours tonight, and the reception was pretty much the same as always. We got a few handshakes from people who professed faith in Jesus, we got lots of mockery from people who thought we were absolutely insane, and we got plenty of vile insults and heard all manner of blasphemies from souls who hated anything and everything that even resembles the Gospel. We even had a glass bottle thrown at one of our Bible signs, missing pastor Tim's head by inches. Tough crowd I tell ya!
I did have an interesting conversation with a young man named Derek who complained that all he had ever seen in religion is hypocrisy. From his Romanist upbringing to his drunk, immoral father who professed to be born-again, this poor fellow had seen just about every kind of religious hypocrite. I made sure that he understood that his father most certainly wasn't born-again if he was an immoral drunkard. I cited Matthew 7:16-18...
"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit."
I gave him one of our church's business cards and told him to give me a call if he wanted to see with his own eyes, what a real born-again Christian was. He thanked me and went on his way. The Lord show him mercy.
I truly hope our endeavour glorified God tonight. I really made it a point to remind myself that that's what my primary objective should be whenever I go out to proclaim the Gospel. Not saving men, but rather, giving God glory by being obedient to His Great Commission. It's pretty grim out there, and I have to tell you, when I get back home on Friday nights, I pretty weary and discouraged. My only solace, my only comfort is this: in a handful of men in the marketplace of my city tonight, God was being magnified and exalted.
As He should be.
Labels: Friday evangelism