It was a great encouragement this past Friday to join with brothers and sisters in Christ, on a very cold night indeed, in the proclamation of His name. After a time of sharing and study in Cafe Nero we headed to our choice spot near the Empire Theatre. I was really pleased to see that it was vacant and so we immediately began to set up and get ready.
After we had finished praying I looked up to see that someone had joined our little huddle. At first I thought it was a new visitor, perhaps a friend of someone on the team. I learned this was not the case and that our new visitor had joined us after he had been walking past and seen us praying. He introduced himself as Paul, and after we had said hello to each other, I listened as he lamented two areas of his life that he had been struggling with recently. It was interesting to discover that they were “praying” and “reading the Bible.” I wasn't sure where he stood spiritually so I tried to discover if he had made a commitment to the Lord. He seemed unsure so I led him through the gospel in as clear a way possible as I could. We spoke for some time and it was at times a little frustrating. I say this because there seemed to be a difficulty on his part to understand fully all that I was saying. I am not an expert in the area of psychology but it did seem that perhaps there was a particular mental handicap that he suffered with. I had to repeat myself many times and it just seemed that he was struggling to grasp some rather basic concepts. Even so, he was a delight to talk to. He mentioned that he has been attending a local church on and off recently but did not feel that he was growing in understanding. I took his address details, gave him my number and have since recommended a church to him. He hasn't come back to me just yet and so I will contact him again soon. Do pray for him.
After I had said goodbye to Paul I realised that some time had past. I would have normally stood up to preach by this point but that was okay. Everybody on the team had been actively talking with people, which was great. I decided to preach and by God’s grace a number of people stopped to listen. Again, it was very cold and so it was really encouraging. I preached on the true meaning of Christmas and why the greatest gift God would give us this Christmas is the same gift He has been offering to the world for the last two thousand years: Himself. Recently I have realised the importance of going beyond simply saying: “Jesus is the way,” or “Jesus is the answer.” This is not enough and if we fall short here we fall short of presenting a complete and full gospel message. We must also stress why Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. This is something I have known for a long time but I am noticing that it is not stressed enough today. The doctrine of substitutionary atonement is a vital ingredient of the gospel.
A little later on I had a really good conversation with two young men. They seemed to really listen and take in the message of the gospel. They were very appreciative and appeared quite genuine in thanking me for giving them plenty to think about. It was apparent that they needed to be somewhere but I was so grateful to God that they did stop when I approached them with a tract. They left with a few more tracts and my card. It would be awesome if I did hear from them again but if it do pray the Lord would arrest their hearts and bring some more Christians across their path.
We’d had a great night and it was wonderful to have been used of by the Lord for the glory of His name.
Soli Deo Gloria!