As usual Philip and I met up with Antonio on Friday evening for the start of another weekend of ministry. Arriving at Tooting Broadway we set about handing out tracts to the passerby's. After a short while I stood up to preach.
About this time some Christians from another church arrived and began setting up sound equipment for what I expected to be some form of evangelism. While not many people stopped to hear God's word, I could see that my message was an encouragement to these Christians. After I finished preaching I managed to speak with a chap who turned out to be the pastor of their church. Because I believe it to be vital for the church today I spoke with him about the importance of true biblical evangelism; that is, using the law to preach about sin, righteousness and judgment before preaching about grace. I was encouraged to hear that he understood this important principle, as he mentioned he had listened to Hell's Best Kept Secret by Ray Comfort.
After saying goodbye to our fellow Christian brothers and sisters, and of course Antonio, we hopped on board the tube bound for Leicester Square. Going up and down the carriage in either direction I quickly went about tracting the people on board. If you look left you can see those who are in the middle of reading their tract. When a young girl had finished reading her tract I asked her what she thought. She said that she was going to start reading her Bible when she got home. Too cool!
Arriving at Leicester Square we quickly met up with Carl, Andrew and my brother James. Carl really makes me smile because every time we arrive he is always in a conversation with people, sharing the gospel. He certainly doesn't muck about! The place was heaving, and so after opening in prayer, so we set about handing out tracts and talking with the people. Below you can see a picture of my brother in a conversation with three people. I got talking with a young couple, Page and her boyfriend Carlos. This was a really good conversation, as both Page and Carlos listened intently as I shared the whole counsel of God with them. Page in particular seemed quite moved by the message and when I asked them what they were going to do with what they had heard they both said that they were going to give it some serious thought. Praise God.
During my conversation with Page and Carlos I noticed that there were some other Christians who had arrived for the evening. They were parading up and down the square and some were also preaching, although they used no form of elevation. It's great to see other Christians and while it would have been good to fellowship with them and get to know them, we had a job to do. Stepping up on my ladder I started preaching. I preached just as I have done in previous weeks and yet no crowd seemed to form, which meant no hecklers either. It really was quite strange, given that the place was bustling with so many people.
After I finished preaching a young man arrived with his own little soapbox and stood up to preach. I have met him once before and during that time I was able to chat with him briefly. I don't really know much about him and so it will be good if I can get to talk with him again. In the last few weeks we have also been joined by Paddy and his friend Steven. They carry with them large placards that simply say the words "John 3:7" on them. The idea is that people will approach them and ask them what John 3:7 means. This of course allows you to then share the gospel with them. I admit this is quite a fascinating way of engaging with people. Paddy in particular is very keen on coming alongside us and working with us each Friday evening. I have not approached them about joining our ministry as they are already in their own ministry. Paddy is also very much charismatic in his theology and so there are some things he teaches that I seriously disagree with.
As the young man who had arrived began preaching Carl came running to me and asked me to come and speak with a Muslim gentleman who had some questions. We spoke for at least half an hour and covered a number of topics. One particular issue that we disagreed on pertains to that of original sin. This refers to the fact that we are born sinners. My new Muslim friend, Ali, disagreed and instead said that we are born pure, we simply "lose our way" when Satan tempts us. I explained to him that it is quite evident we are sinners from birth, however he refused to believe that the wrong we did was evidence that we are all born evil. He kept alluding to the good that people do. However it is clear that if we are born pure then it does not square with the fact that we all sin, and that we all begin doing so from a very early age. The Bible clearly teaches that it is because of the Fall that we all inherit the sin of Adam.
After I finished speaking with Ali I noticed that Paddy had stepped up to preach. I listened to his message and was deeply concerned to hear the watered-down version he was preaching. It's going to be tough but I will be speaking to him the next time we meet to tell him that as things stand right now we cannot align ourselves with him. Hopefully he will take on board what I have to say when I share with him concerning the importance of preaching a complete and sound gospel message.
It was now past 11:00pm and so we departed Leicester Square and headed on home. We may not have had a big crowd but we had handed out many tracts and had witnessed to quite a few people. To God alone be the glory.
Saturday came around and it was back to Tooting Broadway. Antonio and Andrew were there to meet both Phil and I. We arrived at 12pm and spent the first part of the afternoon talking with people one-to-one and handing out tracts. After a little while I stood up to preach. We continue to get few people who stop to listen at Tooting Broadway but I believe that this can change. You never know what impact the gospel is having as the people of the area continue to hear the message week after week. When God commissioned Ezekiel he said to him, "And you shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear, for they are a rebellious house." (Ezekiel 2:7).
Later that afternoon I met with two Mormon missionaries. Mormonism (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) is a heretical offshoot of Christianity. I met with them because they had first approached me a few weeks back and had given me some of their literature. As we talked we spoke about their beliefs and how they differ with orthodox Christianity. They believe that their "version" of the gospel is the restoration of the gospel, but this simply is not the case. The Book of Mormon, for example, conflicts with the teaching of the Bible. The following link will show you the major difference between the Christian gospel and the Mormon gospel. I did not get to spend as much time with them as I would have liked as they had to leave quite early. I did ask them if I could meet with them again and they said yes. I do hope this will happen and I ask you to join with me in prayer that it would.
We had met in McDonalds and so there were a number of people sat around us as we had been talking. As I was getting ready to leave a young girl who was sat nearby spoke up and said that she had been listening to the conversation. Quickly I sat down next to her and asked her what she thought. It turns out that her Mum is a Mormon; however she claimed to not be religious, although she did believe in God. I spoke with her for at least twenty minutes and shared the whole counsel of God with her. When I had finished she said that it made sense and that she knew what she needed to do in order to be reconciled to God. She seemed quite convicted as well and so I urged her to get right with God whilst there is still time. She said that she would certainly be giving it careful thought. Her name is Elizabeth. Please pray that God would grant her repentance and that He would bring her to the knowledge of the truth.
Soli Deo Gloria!