Saturday, June 13, 2009fearing God more than man...
A lot has happened tonight... I just don't where to start. Sin and misery was all over the place, but the Lord oft refreshed me as I laboured. How sweet his grace was and is to me!
I was the only preacher from our fellowship in the marketplace tonight. Pastor Tim has been working very long hours at his secular job, and when I showed up at his place after my workday was done, his wife told me he was still at work and wouldn't be joining me tonight. I didn't consider giving up on street preaching, but I must admit that with the hardships I faced last week, I didn't feel to good about going out. I asked God to help me overcome my foolish fears, and to, if possible, send me some brothers to strengthen my weakened courage.
With that, I made my way downtown, bible sign in hand, and preached the Gospel of Christ for over an hour. During that time, I had a few words with souls that showed a mild interest in the Scriptures, and I handed out a fair number of Bible tracts. I also had a good conversation with a man named Eugene. If you look at the low-quality image attached to last week's Friday Night Notes, you will make out Eugene and Pastor Tim. Yes, Eugene is the quadriplegic man; he and pastor Tim are good friends. It was nice to get to know Eugene; he has quite a tragic story, but the man says the Lord saved him, and without a doubt, he know his Scriptures. We spent a good 15 minutes talking about the Bible... it was sweet.
After this pleasant conversation, I went back to my preaching spot and did some more preaching, and that's when I noticed him! It was the man who broke our Bible sign and attacked me last week. He was across the street, talking to a woman. I'm not sure if he noticed me and decided to ignore me, or if he just totally missed me, either way, he didn't cause any trouble tonight. Still, I have to admit that I was watching my back often at this point.
Just as my stress level climbed, the Lord answered my prayer and sent brother Alex, with another brother, brother Jeff, and two lovely Christian ladies whose names, sadly, escapes me right now. I got to know Brother Jeff over the last few years through my work (of all places), and tonight was the first time I have seen him face-to-face. What a blessing he was to me! These dear brothers and sisters were just finishing up handing out Bible literature downtown, and had made a slight detour to see how I was doing. The Lord bless them abundantly for their labour, and their encouragement to me.
Sadly, all that goodness couldn't last, and after a brief refreshing moment with these Christians, I was faced with a difficult homeless man who wanted to show off his knowledge of Scripture. I will give him one thing, his knowledge of Scripture was impressive. He knew, by heart no less, lots and lots of Bible passages, but then confessed that he hadn't spent any serious time in the Bible in years. That didn't sound right to me at all, so I asked:
"My friend, are you born-again?"
At first he was evasive, but eventually he confessed that he wasn't. I tried hard to impress to him that all the Bible knowledge in the world wouldn't profit him in the least if he clung to his sin and ignored the many commandments he actually committed to memory. At first he took what I had to say, but in very little time, the man became argumentative, trying hard to get a hand-out from me. When it became evident to him that I had no hand-out for him, he started playing "gotcha" with me, trying hard to find some fault in me. Seeing that I was wasting my time, I went on preaching while he angrily walked away.
After that nonsense, I walked around the marketplace with my Bible sign, giving everyone in the outdoor restaurants and pubs an opportunity to read the Scriptures. It was good to walk by these patios and hear the people read out loud the Bible passages I was carrying; the Lord use his Word as He sees fit... It has the power to give spiritual life to those whom the Lord chooses:
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (1 Peter 1:23)
As I made my way back home after three hours of evangelism, a young woman suggested I should "get a real day job", to which I answered that I had one. Seeing that she was quite intoxicated, I didn't want to further waste my time, so I walked away, but the woman would have none of that. She followed me down the street and asked me why I was walking around with a Bible sign.
"I reminding everyone here of the Word of God, miss," I began. "The Lord sent his people into the world to preach His Word, and that's what I am doing. You need to pay attention to this, and you must be born again."
"Okay, but let say," the young lady began, slurring her words, "what if there's a good person, and she doesn't hurt anyone and does her best, and all that good stuff, it's going to be alright for her, right?"
"There's a problem here though, miss," I said. "There is no such thing as a good person. None of us are good persons. You judge yourself by comparing yourself to others, and by that judgment, you think you are a decent person, but in God's eyes, you are a lost sinner..."
And that's where she cut me off. She didn't have any time for this. She said that she hoped I would one day realize that there are other ways to justification with God. I hope she won't hold her breath...
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6)
On that note, I close this edition of the Friday Night Notes. Thanks again, dear readers, for keeping track of my adventures (and misadventures), and a heartfelt "God bless you" to all you saints out there who are faithfully praying for pastor Tim and I.
Have a blessed weekend, and a restful Lord's Day.
Labels: Friday evangelism