Saturday, October 13, 2007a relatively quiet night of preaching...
The cold is back. This was the first Friday night of street preaching where two sweaters and two jackets were necessary to keep from freezing. With the frigid air comes smaller crowds of people in the marketplace, and God be thanked, the cold even seems to tone down the level of unrighteousness in those who seek the city's night life. Not too many young ladies in short skirts when it's this cold, and while there is always an abundant supply of scoffers on any given Friday night, they just don't seem to want to spend too much time irritating us when their bodies are shivering.
All in all, it was a calm night of street preaching tonight. I hadn't had one of those in awhile now, and I must admit, I welcomed the quiet indifference of those who hate God and His Gospel. I know that sounds bad... I know I should want a strong reaction for or against, that indifference is terrible... but after so many weeks of hatred and depravity, a calmer night was good for my soul. I've been having a real hard time lately keeping my focus on glorifying God, no matter what happens to my city, and by extension, my country. The fact of the matter is, while I do want my evangelistic endeavours to be about service to God, I do very much desire for souls to be converted, and for God's church to increase. Not seeing this hope realized, after so much labouring, well, it's pretty disheartening. My pastor mentioned this verse to me a few weeks ago... I believe it sums up our current situation...
"Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life." (Proverbs 13:12)
There were some positives tonight. I was able to witness to two men I work with in the market. I praise God whenever He gives me the opportunity to share His Gospel with the people who know me and who, in one way or another, has to continue dealing with me (lol). I thank God that while I have no doubt everyone at my work thinks I'm 100% cuckoo to be preaching the Gospel downtown on Friday nights, they all show me a fair measure of respect. I hope the Lord will open doors for me to continue sharing His Truth with my co-workers.
I also had a bit of fun with a couple of souls during our endeavour. One deranged man got in my face and told me I would do much better feeding the hungry, than preaching. This is how the rest of the conversation went:
"Sir, there is no one here whose hungry," I replied.
"Stop judging people!" the man said. "That's all you do here. You judge people and you think you're so great because you are holding some stupid sign. You do this just to show off!"
"Umm... sir... do you know me?" I inquired.
"No," the man answered sharply.
"So, how can you judge me to be all the things you say I am, without knowing me?" I again inquired.
It was clear that this question caused a brain lock in my poor deranged friend. He stood there, speechless for a few seconds then gave me a friendly "f#?% you!", and walked away. I don't know if this is a bad thing, but I have to admit I was quite amused by that exchange.
Then, I had some fun with two romanists who claimed that I was "one kind of Christian", and they were just "another kind". I took exception with that statement and said:
"No, my friend, there is only "one kind" of Christian. He who follows Christ is a Christian, and everything we know about Christ is written in the Bible."
I knew that my poor romanist friends would have no part of that, and the protests weren't long in coming. When they saw that I had no time for their foolish doctrines, one of them said:
"This guy is closed-minded. That means he's an idiot."
With that, the man left, but his friend lagged behind. So I seized the opportunity:
"You said, a few minutes ago, that I was 'a different kind of Christian', but now, your friend calls me an idiot... tell me, is that a Christian thing to do?"
"No," the other man said, "I'm sorry about what my friend..."
"That's okay," I replied, "but I want you to understand that this is no surprise to me. You see, my claim is that you guys aren't Christians at all, and being called "an idiot" by your friend only solidifies my position. Matthew 7 says that a good tree brings good fruit, and a bad tree brings bad fruit. You friend spoke evil, that's because he is evil. This is logic, this is Scripture."
"Yeah, but that's taking the Bible quite literally," the man said.
"You're right about that," I replied with a big smile on my face.
The conversation didn't go far beyond that, but praise be to God, the man wanted a Bible tract to take with him. I hope this will be the beginning of a true relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ for this man.
I then dealt with a homeless man. What a sad case this soul was. His name was Paul and he knew a great deal about the Scriptures; he was even able to quote several Bible passages from memory. All that blessed knowledge, but he is living on the street because while he holds the Bible in high regard, he holds alcohol in higher regard. A fact I pointed out to him. He knew that what I was saying was true, but still, he ignored my pleas to go home and pray. He instead opted to go back to begging for spare change, to get his next bottle. The Lord have mercy on this poor soul.
The night wasn't all pleasant conversations and witty rebukes though. We took some abusive words and Pastor Tim almost had his Bible sign knocked out of his hand by a young man who hated his preaching. What a testament to the callous depravity of our society when a young, strong man (I'd say in his early twenties) acts violently towards a man who is in his sixties; a man who only wants to proclaim his convictions. It is always difficult for me to remain spiritual when I see such disrespect, such a lack of basic civility. The Lord help me to labour faithfully in this totally depraved, sin-hardened world.
With that, I'm closing these Friday Night Notes. It's time for some rest. I'm really beat. Have a blessed weekend, dear readers. Don't forget to praise, worship and glorify God on the Lord's Day. It is after all, His day.
Labels: Friday evangelism