Saturday, December 17, 2011let it snow!!!
It took awhile, but we have snow on the ground! Just a dusting... but it's a start. For the first time in a long time, I was actually prepared for the cold and snow: a pair of gloves with heat packs in them, my winter boots, a few sweaters, winter jacket and a hat. Unfortunately, not everyone in the market was prepared. You have no idea how many drunk women in high heels I watched slip and fall on their behinds tonight.
The response to our evangelistic effort was quite varied. There was some good, and some not so good. That said, the Lord helped us much. We kept warm, we preached the Gospel for a good 3 hours, and spoke face-to-face with a few lost sinners who had questions. I trust my God was glorified by our work.
After my first half-hour of Gospel preaching, a young man named Dominic came with some questions. He professed to be an agnostic, and wanted to know how I dealt with "God's apparent cruelty". I wasn't sure what he meant at first but after a bit of questioning I realized he meant "eternal condemnation". I explained that God's nature itself necessitates judgment and condemnation. His attributes like righteousness, holiness and justice required the wicked be judged and condemned, and that any compromise on God's part would destroy his perfect attributes. I then went into the Gospel message and showed forth God's perfect love and mercy toward lost sinners. The conversation was a good one. Really good.
After a few minutes however, another young man by the name of Taz showed up. Taz cut into our conversation and attempted to discredit everything I said. He was quite snarky and condescending. He spoke like Jeff Goldblum, snippy little diatribes, separated only with "uh... uh... uh...". Wanting to be "the bigger man", I just let him talk. I didn't defend myself or lose my temper. I just prayed for the Lord's help... and I got it. What happened next was most impressive. Dominic, the agnostic, looked at Taz and said:
"What are you doing? Why are you being so sarcastic and condescending? This guy isn't doing anything wrong... definitely nothing worthy of contempt."
I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Not only was an agnostic sticking up for me, but Taz totally backed down and was apologetic. Never saw anything quite like that! At that point, Dominic and Taz started speaking of various philosophies, trying to understand the nature of morality, faith and happiness. It was quite the conversation. I contributed very little to their exchange, but when they wanted to hear what I had to say, I replied:
"My friends, I don't feel I'm well equipped to comment on the various philosophies you've been debating for 10-15 minutes now. All I know, for sure, is that Jesus died for me. He saved me from sin and misery 25 years ago, and by His grace, I have saving faith, the Holy Spirit is working sanctification in my life, and I am the happiest man on Earth. That's why I'm here tonight. The Lord has done so wondrously in my life, and this work is my reasonable service."
Neither of them had anything to say at this point. Taz shook my hand and bid us "goodnight", Dominic and I conversed a little more before he took off as well. Both men said that I had given them much to think about. I truly hope this is the beginning of wonderful stories of grace.
I'd say the first hour of our evangelism was the best. We handed out a fair number of tracts and the street preaching went on without much opposition. Both Pastor Tim and I spoke briefly with Christians who were walking by, and answered a few questions from curious souls.
By the second hour, we started receiving more mockery and scorn. From F-bombs to grievous blasphemies, we heard it all. An Eastern European woman, at one point walked up to me, just to make it clear that she "didn't care at all about the Gospel". An older gentlemen suggested I read some of Christopher Hitchens' works to "edumecate" myself. I replied that poor Hitchens knows a whole lot better today, sadly.
At 10:30pm, we called it a night and headed home. On our way back to Pastor Tim's house, I thanked the Lord for enabling us to serve Him tonight. It's rarely easy. There so much unpleasantness to endure, but as Hebrews 4:12 puts it: "Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin." I know Someone who has though, and I hope to serve Him all the days of my life.
God bless you, dear readers. Have a blessed and safe weekend.
Labels: Friday evangelism