Saturday, August 13, 2011labourers are few...
On my way to Pastor Tim's house for a night of evangelism, I had the misfortune of spotting a couple of men huddled together in the corner of an alley, one assisting the other in locating a vein in which to inject heroin in. I wasn't out of my workplace for more than 10 minutes, and I was reminded of the depths of depravity all around me. The Bible says that "the way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble." (Proverbs 4:19) That fact isn't lost on an evangelist as he observes the wicked vanity all around him.
I was on my own again tonight. Pastor Tim is miles away, attending revival meetings in the good old U.S. of A. The intimidation factor always seems worse when I don't have my faithful street preaching partner with me. There's nothing like walking downtown, Bible sign in one hand, Gospel tracts in the other, hundreds (if not thousands) of eyes all focused on me; most of those eyes watching me in disgust and hatred. I never would have been able to work up the courage to carry on in the past, but God's grace is an amazing thing! To Him be the glory!
I had a lot of mockers tonight, but before the harsh words had a chance to discourage me, the Lord sent, on a number of occasions, saints that refreshed me with kindness and encouragement. An number of them said variants of "keep going, brother, the Lord's is coming soon!" My response every time was: "I hope so!"
I didn't have much by way of one-on-one conversations tonight. Nothing of any promise anyway. The panhandling guitar player was at it again tonight, mocking me with blasphemous songs, he even came by to speak to me just to clarify that he thought I was a *$&#ing hypocrite. I didn't say a word to him... it would have been a total waste of effort, and would likely have motivated him to further persecute me.
I didn deal with a young couple who asked me why I focused on the wrath of God. They claimed that the Bible signs we used always referred to judgment and wrath. I pointed out that the only sign I had with me tonight was John 3:16, which primarily speaks of God's love, and John 3:36 which mentions God's wrath, but also the way out: faith in the Son! I told him Pastor Tim and I made a real effort to keep our Gospel presentations as balanced as possible.
"Just like when you go to the doctor, my friend. If you have a health problem, the doctor first gives you the bad news, and then tells you how best to treat the issue," I concluded.
I didn't think they would receive my explanation/defense at first, but they totally did! They both thanked me for answering their question, and the fellow even quietly said: "God bless..."
Dealt with another couple a few moments later. That was unpleasant. The young lady took one of my Gospel tracts, thanked me, then spat on the tract and threw it down to my feet. She quickly ran off after her tantrum. You'd think I would have been annoyed, but truly, I wasn't. I felt so sorry for her. The Lord have mercy.
I suppose if there is one solid positive I can report about tonight, it's my ability to remain calm, and compassionate toward adversaries. Most of the time, when I am faced with obnoxious, rude sinners, my attitude is considerably less than Christ-like:
"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously." (1 Peter 2:21-23)
That said, tonight, on several occasions the thought of answering some adversary quickly in anger or frustration just wasn't there. It's like I was able to see the desperateness and folly of their conversation/conduct and stayed cool. I hope and pray that this is going to be a continual trend. The last thing I want is to say or do something that will bring reproach to the Lord and His cause, when I'm out there presenting the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
With that, dear saints, I'm off. It's extremely late, and I have to work a bit more on a sermon I will be preaching on the Lord's Day.
Remember me in your prayers, dear saints.
Labels: Friday evangelism