Saturday, March 16, 2013last days of winter...
While it was cold on the streets of the market tonight, it wasn't bitterly cold. Even traces of snow are becoming difficult to find downtown, its pretty much given way to a few ice patches here and there... a result of the daytime melt. It'll be nice to go back to warm weather evangelism!
With winter coming to an end, the marketplace is getting busier. We preached the Gospel to a lot more people tonight than we did last week, and last week we preached to more than the week before. So the winter hibernation is coming to an end.
I have to admit that this increase in traffic is bittersweet. Sweet because it allows us to share the Gospel with thousands of lost sinners. Bitter because with the larger crowds comes more severe persecution. Winter may make street preaching uncomfortable, but it does tend to keep down some of the folly that comes from mobs of sinners who hate the Gospel.
There definitely was more mockery and hatred for our work than in weeks past. For the second straight week, we've had a Romanist come by to explain to us what God's Word "really taught". I've been studying the Bible for over 25 years, but apparently, I got it all wrong. The lad who came by tonight desperately tried to explain that man wasn't born in sin. I quoted Psalm 51:5, but that didn't change a thing as far as he was concerned. After correcting another one of his bizarre, unbiblical views, the poor soul gave up on me and walked away. What a mess!
(NOTE: I lost my internet connection last Friday as I was writing my post... the above paragraph was where I was forced to quit. The next day, I was out of town for a family function, and the day after that was the Lord's Day, which is typically quite busy. That's why I didn't complete the notes last weekend... sorry about that)
So... fast forward a week... and I'm back on the street with Pastor Tim for evangelism; and while it was quite nice and mild last week, tonight was no gentle spring evening. We're going through a cold spell at the moment... snow included! We were both in our full winter gear tonight, and still, we were quite cold. I sighed many time tonight at the thought of milder spring weather we had last week.
Nevertheless, Pastor Tim and I pressed on, preaching the Gospel of Christ and handing out Bible tracts to those who would receive them. Surprisingly, the cold weather didn't scare off too many people; the market was just as busy tonight than last week. Hundreds, if not thousands of lost sinners heard us preach the Gospel; the Lord use our efforts as He sees fit.
There was no shortage of wickedness and vanity... we were quite literally swimming in it. The wicked music from street beggars and nearby bars, the incessant cursing and blasphemy from revelers, and demented laughter of the drunks, all working together to suppress the preaching of the Gospel of Life. It's a truly sad thing to behold, the lost state of so many souls.
Yet again, I had a conversation with a Romanist who claimed to have true faith, though she immediately followed that up with: "I do go out for a beer from time to time too." Thing is, I don't think this woman went out for "a" beer. In her inebriated state, she tried to explain to me that my evangelism was "crazy" and didn't have a hope in changing anyone for good. She explained, or tried to explain that I needed to heed Pope Francis' teachings, and focus my attention on loving and understanding today's youth. I answered all her foolishness with biblical doctrine and she eventually walked away in frustration. The Lord be merciful to this lost, drunk and idolatrous woman.
The night was rough on poor Pastor Tim. None of the conversations he had tonight were particularly good and about half way through our night of evangelism, someone stole his gloves. He had set down his gloves for a few seconds while he searched his jacket for some kleenex to wipe his nose. His attention was off for a few seconds only, and someone snatched the gloves and took off with them. Despite the cold, the good preacher insisted on finishing up our three hours of preaching, so I gave him the two heat packs I had in my gloves and those kept his fingers from freezing. What a wretched soul... robbing an old preacher while he is trying to do good.
On that note, I'm turning in for the night. I'm truly exhausted. Have a safe weekend and a blessed Lord's Day, dear readers.