Saturday, May 31, 2008a wet night of evangelism...
Introducing the false god, 'Audi R8'. Tonight 'R8' was the undisputed king of all idols. The abomination was parked right behind our preaching spot, and all manner of souls walked passed us, ignoring the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, to prostrate themselves before the vain automobile. I really aggravated me for much of the night, but the 'R8' did provide an opportunity for me to deal with a young idolater. A conversation that I hope will bring much spiritual fruit; more on this later.
It started raining the moment we picked up our Gospel signs to make our way downtown. It wasn't a hard rain, so we decided to press on with our night of evangelism. Personally, I hate open-air evangelism when it's raining. Bible tracts get wet, it's usually cold and uncomfortable, and very few people are willing put up with getting soaked to hear the Gospel message. That said, I have very little doubt that we've had a strong witness tonight in the marketplace.
Josiah from In Much Wisdom Is Much Grief was with us in our evangelistic effort. Work brought him to our city, and he decided to join us before heading back home tomorrow. He took one of our Gospel signs and offered Bible literature all night on a busy street corner; and I must say, the man can sure pass out the tracts! I hope the Lord will use some of those short Bible messages to save His elect.
Now, here are some of the events of the night that still echoes in my extremely fatigued head:
"Why do you believe in God?"
That's what a young lady, with some weird metal piercing in her bottom lip, asked me. The question took me aback a bit.
"I don't think anyone has ever asked me that question," I said.
Why do I believe the Bible? Why do I evangelize? Why do I believe homosexuals are condemned? I've answered those questions a million times, but rarely have I been asked such a fundamental, basic question. Why did I believe in God? I thought about how best to answer the question for a few seconds and then answered:
"Because I have to," I answered. "I know this probably won't mean anything to you, but the Lord saved me years ago and has given me saving, supernatural faith. It's not something I have to practice, or something I'm working at maintaining. It's like asking me: "Why do I believe in the sun? Well, 'cause it's there! The Lord is there, when He saved me, I became very much aware of it. So I believe in Him, love Him, and do my best to obey Him."
My answer seemed to satisfy the young lady who then took one of my Bible tracts. She left with a sincere 'thanks and goodnight'. The Lord use our short conversation and that Bible tract to give her life, and life eternal.
"Oh my 'Audi R8' god!"
Much to my chagrin, the flow of souls walking right by our Bible signs, ignoring the Sacred Writ, to fuss over the sports car parked behind us, was constant. At one point, a group of young black men took their turn before the 'altar of the R8'.
"Oh my god!" they exclaimed.
"Look at this &%$#!? car!" others said.
Minutes later, one of the young men approached me and read my Bible sign.
"Are you with a church?" he asked.
"Yes, my friend." I replied. "Do you go to church?"
"Yes," the young man answered, "I go to the Met."
The Met is short for the Metropolitan Bible church, which is the biggest evangelical church in my city. My wife and I met and got married at the Met; a fact I shared with the young man. That's when I asked:
"You know what I heard coming out of your mouth just a minute or two ago?"
"What?" the young man asked.
"As you beheld the stupid car behind me, you said 'oh my god'! Not exactly a good choice of words, was it?" I asked.
"No, no..." the young man replied ashamed.
"And you know," I continued, "even if you weren't treating that car as an idol, you're still guilty 'cause..."
"...'Cause I took the Lord's Name in vain," the young man finished for me.
"That's right," I said. "The commandment says the Lord won't hold guiltless those who take His Name in vain. So you're in trouble, my friend. I think you better start seeking to make things right in your life, because clearly, there are problems here."
"Yeah..." the man said quietly.
"And I would make my way out of this market right now if I were you, 'cause if the devil can have you beat with a stupid car, imagine what other sins you could fall into out here tonight," I said.
It was right after saying this that I noticed that all of the young man's friends were behind me listening to our conversation. Another young man, from the group behind me said:
"He's right, man... he's absolutely right."
They took a Bible tract and left, clearly shaken. I hope the Lord did indeed use me as a wake-up call for these gentlemen.
I love easy questions... they make me look S-M-A-R-T!
I was preaching about repentance and faith when a man, from across the street yelled out:
"What gives you the right to stand there and push your religion on all of us?"
Without taking 2 seconds to think about it, I pointed to the sidewalk, and concisely answered:
"Public place... I pay my taxes so I legitimately use this public place and exercise my freedom of speech to proclaim the Gospel."
The man was clearly taken aback by my quick and very logical answer. He just mumbled a "that's actually a good answer", and left with a "well, fine then!".
Good times... good times.
That's the notes for tonight. I desperately need rest now. God bless you all, dear readers. Have a great weekend, and a blessed Lord's Day.
Labels: Friday evangelism