Saturday, June 18, 2011drunkenness, folly, and wretchedness...
I had a lot of work to tend to in the lab today, so I was late for our customary night of evangelism. Pastor Tim was already downtown, handing out tracts when I arrived at our street preaching spot. I was an hour late, so I hit the ground running and began preaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ the moment I arrived in the market.
The market was extremely busy tonight. Thousands of souls walked by our Bible signs, some heard some of our preaching, and others received various Gospel tracts. Surely we ministered to some of God's lost sheep tonight. The Lord use our efforts as he sees fit.
The chief observable sin in the marketplace tonight was drunkenness. I don't remember dealing with so many seriously inebriated souls in one night. Many of these drunks mocked us, with a number of them giving us false praise. A few truly sad souls tried to "talk sense to us" whilst their brains were swimming in alcohol. Two men, in particular, come to mind...
The first was a well dressed man; likely a rich man. He took one of the Gospel tracts I was offering and began reading it next to me. The man had been doing a whole lot of drinking because he smelled of liquor and he struggled to keep his balance as he read my literature. Eventually, he said:
"I got to tell you, man... I'm a Christian, but I really don't believe in this bull####."
"Well, I have to tell you, my friend, that I find it very difficult to believe that you are a Christian, given the circumstances in which we meet tonight," I calmly replied.
The man stared at me for a few seconds, obviously aware of his level of intoxication and how my observation was purely logical. Not finding any arguments to defend himself with, the man slowly walked away.
Moments later, I dealt with the second memorable drunkard. This man was the total opposite of the first. He was an old street beggar with raggedy clothes, who obviously was ravaged by years of serious alcohol abuse. He approached me with a request for money, claiming that he was hungry. When I asked him why he didn't go to the Shelter at dinner time to eat, he claimed that he had gone too late (a typical excuse). The man then began to claim that he wanted to sober up and get his life on track, a claim I didn't take at all seriously, he was very manifestly reciting what he thought I wanted to hear; always in an effort to get some money.
"If you want to get your life back on track, my friend, you need to rid yourself of the booze that is destroying your life," I said.
Just as I finished saying that, I noticed the inside of a plastic bag the man was carrying. It was filled with empty vodka and beer bottles. I told the man that if he was serious about changing his ways, then it was time for him to rid himself of all the contents of his bag, and never go back to such destructive ways. That's when things got out of hand. The man was obviously annoyed at my refusal to just fork out some change, he began to take out all the empty bottles of booze that were in his bag. He pointed to them all and seriously said:
"There, they're all yours... for 50 cents."
It was difficult to not laugh, but I kept my composure. Seeing that this exchange was quite unprofitable, I walked away from the man and began to preach again, but the man wasn't done with me. He kept following me, doing his best to hinder my work. He repeatedly put his hands on me (and they were disgustingly filthy), and when he yelled at me, he actually spat in my face. One word: gross. That went on for a couple of minutes, at which point a man came out of a nearby restaurant and warned the drunkard that if he didn't stop pestering me, he would call the police. The poor drunk got the picture and walked away. I thanked my rescuer, and went back to preaching the Gospel.
With about 30-45 minutes left in our night of evangelism, brother Marcio (a dear brother and fellow member of our church) joined us and handed out Gospel tracts around the marketplace. It was nice to have a brother come and share in the work; the Lord bless him.
There was so much more... but I'm just too tired now. Suffice it to say that there was and still is plenty of work for faithful evangelists to do in our ungodly society. Watching the people walk by me tonight, with their multiple tattoos, piercings and immodest/bizarre dress, it really hit home just how far down, spiritually, Canada has gone.
The Lord revive His church and awaken this lost and foolish country, for His honour and glory.
Labels: Friday evangelism