This week seemed to be about how unpredictable the weather can possibly be, we've had five and six seasons in one day not just the usual four. I walked into Sheffield on Wednesday in bright sunshine to preach with Jim, as it appeared to be just the two of us we began with prayer. Calling on God to work in and through us we submitted to His will in this day and prayed that He would save sinners from Sheffield.
I was first up to preach today and became the only one to preach due to the blessing of the Lord. I began with the fact that slavery is still a reality in our world today. Men and women everywhere are enslaved to sin and unable to free themselves no matter how hard they try and not only that but there are those who joyfully serve their master and embrace him daily. I used this as a springboard to preach the great need all have of salvation from the wrath and just condemnation of God. During this and before I could point to the only and great saviour that God has provided, a heckler stepped up to query me on a minor point. I answered his question from scripture and then queried him in return about his position before God, was he good or evil? I discovered that he was a philosophy student and it was plain that he and his atheistic friend were uncomfortable with the confronting demands of God's law.
There are three distinct ways that the human mind seems to go when confronted with the law that destroys our self-righteousness. First into hopeful legalism: "But God will forgive me because of the many good things I've done...." (or similar). Second into subjectivism and apathy: "Well you may believe that but I don't so it doesn't matter anyway....". And lastly into prideful dispute: "Evolution and science disproves the bible....".
First the philosopher was hopeful of his good works, we looked to see if this would work in the lesser court of man to see if it applies before God. Just as a murderer is no less a criminal for donating to charity, it follows that if we break God's law in any way (lies, lust, hate, blasphemy etch) we are not made right by doing good. We need a perfect life if we are to be made right through legalism, and as the saying goes "No-one is perfect....".
Second the atheist piped up that he doesn't believe God exists so it doesn't matter anyway. We first discussed the philosophical difficulty of claiming to absolutely know that God doesn't exist anywhere at any time Unless this young man was more than he seemed and actually knew all things, "Knowing the beginning from the end...." (being God as such) he could not logically claim to know there is no God.
Second I asked if Adolph Hitler did the right thing in Germany with the Jews? He said no that it was wrong. I then raised the very difficult issue of good and evil for the atheist perspective. If man is just a consequence of random chance then there is no innate value in man, woman or child and if there is no absolute moral law giver then there is no absolute moral law saying that it is wrong to do the evil things Hitler did. Atheism crumbles in the face of both immense moral evil and also immense moral good. It has no reason for no such things as the "good and heroic" rescuer who dies saving the life of a disabled child (the least fit and least worth saving as per evolution) or for the "evil and perverted" torture of such children by men become monsters in the camps of Nazi Germany.
At the mention of the theory Hitler worked out in practice, both these men chimed in with "what about evolution?". There are many issues with the theory of evolution so I tried to be brief because at this stage a crowd was gathering to hear the debate. I touched on the lack of the predicted millions of transitional forms in the fossil record (the missing links are still very much missing!). I also spoke on the implications of a changing speed of light for the ageing of ancient finds. It has been shown to be slowing exponentially by physicists, which means that the "millions of years" in the fossil records is likely to be artificial!
I ended by quoting Sir Arthur Keith who said "Evolution is unproven and unprovable, but we choose to believe it because the alternative is unthinkable....". At this I swung to the crowd and told them that the alternative is true, God made them and they are accountable to Him. Following this I was able to give the great news of hope that comes in the person of Jesus Christ and in His propitiating work of death and resurrection.
With this I had to head back to work and so handed things to Jim wishing fervently that there would be more labourers that would join us in this work.
Praise God that He uses such an unworthy vessel as me! May His name be glorified and His honour be forever more!
I was with my Lord alone on Saturday and rejoiced to go as He has commanded to preach the good news to all the world. In my little corner of this world there was plenty of opportunity in the peace gardens but as I arrived the rain came bucketing down and I ran for cover.
As the rain emptied the gardens completely I then went down into Fargate and preached there on the ultimate statistics, death and judgement. For the length of the preaching the only hecklers I had were scoffers who would not speak but rather preferred to jeer as they passed.
God is kind to me though, at the end He allowed me to see some of the hidden fruit that are not so easily seen as the scornful and hateful passers-by. A quiet young lady who had been standing nearby came over to talk with me. Though she is admittedly heavily influenced by the eastern religions, she welcomed the interaction as we talked through the justice and mercy of God. I urged her to read the bible and trust in it, she left with a smile and a tract in hand.
As I left for the day I handed out tracts to the people passing through the mall, I am always encouraged to see people taking the tracts and reading them as they walk. This is a great opportunity we have in this country, I am sure we will not always have it. Christian readers, are you taking the opportunity to witness while you can, the time is short!
Editors Note (JM): Brothers and sisters please pray for this man, who is willing to go alone for the sake of Christ. We love you Mr Gee, keep up the difficult work for His name's sake. To all of you out there, who witness alone.. know that you are not alone in these endeavours, and we pray God will send more labourers into the harvest with you! S D G