Saturday, June 30, 2012the Truth shall set you free...
The market was quite heavy with traffic tonight; the busiest I've seen it this year. With more souls comes more opportunity to present the Gospel of Christ, but it also makes it difficult to preach uninterrrupted. Everything from loud motorcycles, to street musicians, the noise level in the market was quite high. That said, the Lord gave us ability to effectively present the Gospel despite the various challenges of the night.
Both Pastor Tim and I handed out a decent amount of Bible tracts, and had a few one-on-one conversations; though most of those were pretty unprofitable. I had a conversation with a so-called Jehovah's Witness who took exception to my general Gospel presentation (don't laugh too hard, I've had true Christians come to me with the same objection). She thought my John 3:36 sign was far too harsh, and as far as she was concerned, preaching "repentance and faith" should come only after making it clear that God loves everyone. What a mess!
I asked the woman: "The verse on my sign... is it true?"
"Oh yes," she replied, "but that isn't the point."
"Okay," I continued, "we are agreed that the sign is truth. Does the Bible not say that the Truth will set souls free?"
"Well... yes... but you still have to be gentle and respectful in presenting Bible verses," she answered.
"Miss, have you ever read Acts 2?" I asked. "Peter in the first Gospel presentation of the Church Age preached truth. Hard truth. He knew that preaching the whole truth and nothing but the truth was the only way to glorify God. My Bible sign offends you, and the other sinners in this market because you are not born-again, and you know not the Lord. You need to repent, miss."
I could tell that the woman didn't care to listen to my appeals. Clearly, in her mind, she was doing me a favour by trying to straighten me out. Oh dear. Like the carnal minded multitudes in John 6, unable to grasp the Gospel, the woman walked away, annoyed that I was unwilling to see it her way.
Pastor Tim had a long conversation with two Muslim men, which at first seemed promising, but by the end, well, not so much. Pastor Tim, having recently read the entire Qu'ran pointed out the violence and clear unrighteousness of the wicked book, but the men claimed the good preacher was "misunderstanding" the text, and that he was pulling passages out of context. Anyone who knows Pastor Tim at all knows that that is crazy-talk; the man is nothing if not extremely thorough. Seeing that the conversation wasn't going anywhere they liked, the men shook Pastor Tim's hand, and walked away. The Lord have mercy on them.
Saddest statement I heard all night: No, it wasn't a string of curses or blasphemies by some atheist. It was a statement uttered by a young Christian man. After a short conversation with the young man, I asked him if he was planning to do some evangelistic work on the Lord's Day, which is also Canada Day this year. His reply, and I quote:
"I know this will sound bad, but no, I won't be doing any evangelism on Canada Day, because, well, it's the Euro 2012, and my favorite team, Italy, is playing."
Now, I'm not making any of that statement up. He actually did start with "I know this will sound bad...". It sounds bad because it is bad. The Lord's Day becomes soccer day. Oh dear. Saddens me almost as much as when I hear of American Christians skipping church services for the Superbowl or some Nascar race. The Lord's Day. The LORD's DAY. Seems rather self-explanatory, doesn't it?
O Lord, revive Your church!
"Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?" (Psalm 85:6)