Friday night saw a great team turn-out, which was really encouraging. Along with myself the team comprised of Barney, Beth, Laurence, Rebekka, Sohail, Michael Prendergast, Michael Powell, and Philip and Suzanne – totalling 10 evangelists. Both Michael’s, and Philip and Suzanne, met us when we arrived in the Square.
I decided to preach first and began by commenting on how great a day it had been weather wise. I encouraged people to agree with me that the day had indeed been a fabulous day. I then appealed to people’s world-views and asked them what they thought of the world. To what do they attribute the beauty that we see? Do they put it down to the handiwork of an awesome Creator, or is the beauty we see simply the result of a cosmic accident? I laid a solid case for a Creator and then went straight to the Scriptures and pointed out how the Bible provides us with a framework from which we can understand and make sense of the world. The Bible is a book that makes perfect sense in light of all we see and experience in the world, and although the heart of man is closed to it, God’s Word brings hope and redemption for all who receive its message, but condemnation and judgement for all who reject it.
After I finished a number of conversations began through the aid of the preaching. Barney in particular has become quite good at spotting those who stop to listen and then engaging in conversation with them. It is a sure testament to the importance and value of open-air preaching. As I was getting ready to approach some people a chap I have spoken to a number of times before came up to speak to me. He believes strongly in the theory of evolution and has concluded that there is no God and that science is able to explain our existence and all of human experience. We became locked in conversation and began to debate at quite a pace. While it was good that I did speak to him I have realised that I made a number of mistakes in this conversation. Firstly, I spent far too much time with him. He had an “arsenal” of objections and “facts” that he believed proved evolution and no sooner would I tackle one that he would bring up another. Had I left the conversation earlier I could have spoken with a number of other people that were more open to hearing the Gospel and the Word of God. It was a lesson learnt and a mistake I hope not to repeat again. I do believe the enemy had an arm in this and that being distracted in this way is a tactic he uses often! We must be on our guard and recognise when we are in situations like these.
While I was engaged in conversation Andrew stood up to preach. I was not able to hear all that he said but it was clear and he preached faithfully the Gospel and he declared to all who would hear the full counsel of God.
The following was written by Laurence and describes the conversations that he had: “Last night I ended up talking to two sets of Catholics; the first two were two young ladies the other two were a couple. I found myself led on both occasions to ask them whether they have ever fully repented. Both times two people honestly declared that they hadn't; once I explained what genuine repentance was. Especially one of the young ladies seemed incredibly honest about her struggles in understanding God and accepting that Jesus can forgive her of her sins; she said she understood that Grace is a gift, and that we cannot please God by 'good' works. Although she said she knew God she didn't suggest that she ever really submitted her life to God in repentance, she could see what was missing in own her confession of knowing God. There's one thing knowing the Gospel and what the Bible says, and even believing it is true. It is another to respond by faith and repentance in full submission to the Master of heaven and earth.”
Praise the Lord for using once again to declare His message to the people of London.
Soli Deo Gloria!