Saturday, January 12, 2008a very wet night...
I know the Scriptures command us to never "grow weary of doing good", but I have to confess: I'm both weary and exhausted. I considered staying at home tonight (I'm still not 100% recovered from a nasty virus that has been plaguing me for a solid week now, and work has been somewhat overwhelming), but I really didn't want to miss yet another Friday night of preaching the Gospel of Jesus. When I miss too many evangelistic endeavours, it is quite difficult to get back into the "groove"... street preaching is quite the discipline, I assure you of that!
It rained much of the time we were out tonight. We usually skip our time of evangelism when it rains, but it only started raining when we were already downtown, so we toughed it out. Street evangelism is a real pain when it rains. Everything gets soaked with water (jacket, pants, gloves and Bible tracts), and then a damp cold usually sets in, making one long for a cup of tea and a warm, dry blanket.
I took the first shift of preaching at our usual spot in the marketplace of my city, and just a few shorts minutes passed before a man stopped and read my Bible sign. It was clear that he didn't like what he was seeing. He claimed to be born-again, but he didn't see the profit in my holding up such a "negative" verse of Scripture, and preaching out-loud the Gospel of Jesus.
"You should just love people and hang out with them," the man said.
I must admit that at this point, I didn't think much of this man, and I didn't think our conversation was going to go anywhere, but I gave it a shot nonetheless. I started by affirming that I could not love my fellow man in truth without preaching the Gospel to them; I used Romans 10 and the way the Lord dealt with the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4 to prove the point. I then dealt with the root of his problem with my preaching, that is, that it is unpopular and unappealing to carnal men. I used the feeding of the five thousand in John 6 and the subsequent parting of the disciples as an illustration that the preaching of the Word of God was never popular or appealing to the unconverted.
Then, much to my surprise, the man admitted that everything I was saying was right and true. He apologized for thinking ill of my evangelism and admitted that what I was doing was pretty much what the apostles did in the book of Acts. The man told me his name was Ernest and he told me he might drop by our church sometime to learn more about us. The man not only shook my hand, but embraced me and thanked me for my time. The Lord bless Ernest, and I truly hope he will join us sometime for worship.
Moments later, when pastor Tim was preaching, I dealt with a rather nutty old man. After reading my Bible sign, the man said:
"I don't believe in Jesus! If He were real, why are there wars and problems around the world?"
I told the man that the Lord will return someday and judge all men, including him, and rule the world in righteousness. I stressed the point that the Lord would judge him whether he chose to believe it or not, and that his sin would sink him to Hell. To this, the man replied:
"No! no! I'm catholic!"
"What!?!" I replied. "Okay, I don't think much of "Catholics", but last time I checked, "Catholics" believe, at the very least, in a "jesus". So how in the world do you claim to be "Catholic" while not believing in "jesus"?
"Well, I believe that stuff to a point..." the man replied.
I realized after this brief exchange that the old man was actually quite drunk, so I didn't bother reasoning with him any longer. I concluded our exchange by impressing on him that if he didn't seek the Lord by reading and studying the Bible, his sin would find him out (Numbers 32:23).
After this disappointing exchange, I met "the devil". No, really! A young man walked up to me and claimed to be the prince of darkness himself, and he was on a mission to defeat me. I believe my response was something like:
Seeing I was less than impressed with his nonsense, the young man walked away and I went back to preaching the Gospel. I guess that makes it Rand: 1 "the devil": 0.
With that, I'm closing the notes for tonight. I'm physically, emotionally, psychologically finished. I need to sleep. Thank God for sleep.
"It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep." (Psalm 127:2)
God bless you all, dear readers. Have a good weekend, especially the Lord's Day.
Labels: Friday evangelism