This week has been a hard week, as happens to most people in this ministry from time to time; we have been discouraged and low. We've been disheartened by the hardness of people's hearts and seemingly pointless arguments with the cult members and those of other faiths. These things, though difficult, do not change the command to go and preach the gospel. Nor do they remove our great comfort, the work and person of Jesus Christ.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation.
But take heart; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)
In town we prayed and then found a place to preach from in Fargate, while I preached Anna handed out tracts and spoke with people. As I was proclaiming the gospel some young men came up to heckle, I engaged Jack and we went through the good person test. Jack freely admitted being guilty of sin (as I am), but at the same time thought that there would be no consequence for his crimes. When asked why Jack responded that there is no reason to believe the bible and he doesn't believe in God. I was beginning to speak to Jack about the reliability of God's word and the importance of trusting in Jesus' work to save us, but was interrupted by Chris.
Jack's friend Chris is rather a hard hearted atheist who believes that there is no evidence for the existence of God. This disbelief is nothing to do with the lack of evidence and more to do with Chris' heart. I spoke with him at length about the evidences we have all around us, the design and purpose of the world, the historical/archaeological backing of the bible, the prophecies that confirm the bible and many other evidences. In the end his position would not bend and I told him that the reason for his unbelief was not lack of evidence but rather that he would not believe: There are none so blind as those who will not see!
Chris also seemed to think that we were preaching obedience to the law as the way to heaven (which he was right to say is contradictory). I told him that the only way to heaven is in Jesus Christ, through repentant faith in Him. As he and his mates left I challenged them to consider the gamble they are taking; if they are right and there is nothing after death - they lose nothing by rejecting Christ. On the other hand if they are wrong but continue in their rebellion - they will lose everything and face the unending wrath of God almighty in hell.
During the preaching Anna was handing out tracts and talking with those who gathered. At the very beginning she spoke with John, he was very open and could see his guilt and need, Anna gladly shared the gospel with him. After this encouraging conversation she spoke to Tom, a searcher who has been attending a catholic church in an effort to learn the truth. Anna warned him of the false righteousness taught by the catholic church which is based in works and the false doctrine of men. Tom was very interested in learning more and Anna encouraged him to look primarily to the bible and to use it to test everything. Tom took a bible and contact details for one of the sound bible teaching local churches.
We rejoiced to have seen the gospel go out and some receiving the word gladly. With a song in our hearts and thankfulness to Jesus our Lord and God we headed for home.