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Wednesday, 27 May, 2009
It would appear to an observer that Wednesday is the day Sheffield's different evangelists gather in Fargate to talk and evangelise as one. It would be wonderful if this was the case in the future but for now it is an informal arrangement that has fortuitously come together. This week Andy, John, Clive, Cedric and I all witnessed together for the afternoon and many good conversations were happening throughout.
We began by tracting the local crowds that push through Sheffield city centre every day in their various pursuits. Not many people were stopping but lots of tracts were going out, it is so good to see the gospel seed spread far and wide. After a short period of this I got the urge to preach but just as I was beginning a brass band began to play 20 meters away down the mall. Completely drowned out and unwilling to waste my voice I headed up Fargate a short distance and then began again.
I preached today on 1 Cor 6:9-11 and who it is that will inherit the kingdom of God. Beginning with this list of various moral failures (that heartbreakingly are not uncommon in the UK), I urged people to examine their consciences and think soberly about the judgement to come. Then with joy I pointed to the hope that is in Jesus Christ if only people will trust in Him and stop relying on themselves. A couple of people stopped to listen and I was glad to see many one-to-one conversations starting afterwards.
Before Andy got up to speak I had a good conversation with a group of youth and was able to tell them not only a little of why I believe the bible to be true but also that we need a saviour and pointed them to Jesus. At this their attention waned but one girl appeared to have listened and I pray that God will open her heart.
Andy spoke next and did an excellent job clearly portraying the three major questions we have (Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going to?), and the answer man and God give to them. I didn't get to hear much of his preaching though because I spoke for the next 30-40 minutes with a young man I believe called Steven (God knows him even if I got the name wrong). We spoke about why the bible is true and there must be a God. Steven responded that evolution and changes in the bible discredit the message of the bible and that he was a Buddhist anyway. We discussed Buddhism at length and I reflected to him that much of Buddhism is built upon a contradiction at the start. If Buddha had truly achieved the state of enlightenment and gotten rid of all desire, why then did he desire to share his enlightenment and make disciples to follow after him? This coupled with Buddha's indefensible abandonment of his family to follow a self focused goal makes Buddhism a system that I could never follow even if I was not Christ's. Steven and I talked for some time and I was able to present Christ to him as the best model to follow and the only saviour from our deserved condemnation before God.
Steven had also experienced much hurt from friends and now felt very suspicious of others, and hearing what he'd been through I couldn't help but sympathise. But after talking together he left smiling and saying that he was glad to have spoken with someone who he could relate to, I pray that God will use this conversation to break down some of his distrust of others and of Jesus.
John preached next and made a solid call to Godly grief and repentance towards God and a trust in Jesus only. From this a couple more one-to-ones arose but my time was up for the afternoon so I headed home.
Praise God for all His work in Sheffield!