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Saturday, 10 March, 2012
Today the team consisted of Rob Hughes and myself. We made our way to Brentwood High St and prayed. I managed to hand out loads of tracts and I had one very long conversation with a gentleman called 'John'. Our discussion began with Him claiming he had never broken any of Gods Laws; ever... So I continued with the proposition of either Him being God himself ie - perfect, or He's calling God a liar since Gods Word says that he has sinned.
John eventually realised that he was calling God a liar and back tracked on his initial statements. He had quite a lot of Biblical knowledge but was using it to justify his rebellion against God. We eventually got to the Gospel and I tried to expound upon it a little so He didn't miss the point. I gave him a good person tract and we eventually parted. He seemed to understand what his predicament was by the end of our talk. I pray he repents and gets saved. SDG
Andrew chatting to 'John' courtesy of Rob Hughes
Saturday, 10 March, 2012
Garema Place, Canberra (ACT)
“CHINA, CHINA, FREE TIBET, FREE TIBET!!” They were the cries I was met with as I crossed the road and entered into Garema Place. In front of me I could see the brightly coloured flag of Tibet, and the large signs of the protesters. “China OUT: FREEDOM” seemed to be the cry on everyone’s lips, and as I made my way to the merry-go-round I couldn’t help but think that the freedom theydesire is not the freedom they so desperately need. The Tibetan protesters were after a temporal freedom, but they were completely unaware of the eternal freedom they lacked, and that they would need in the years to come.
As I walked I mediated on the John 8:34-36, “Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (ESV), My prayer for today was that God would be abundantly kind to sinners, and grant them freedom in Jesus.
As I neared the merry-go-round, I was met by Ji. It was good to see that I wasn’t going to be the only one out witnessing today. Since we didn’t know if anyone else was coming we decided to wait and watch a busker paint for a bit. To my surprise this busker was familiar to me, he was a heckler of mine from Brisbane. It was good to see him, although it was sad to see that he was still very much unconverted.
After waiting for a time we decided that it was time to head off and do some walk up witnessing. It was just the two of us today, so we decided to stick together. Ji soon approach a couple of young people who sitting where the Tibetan protesters had been, handed them a tract, but it soon became very clear they weren’t interested in talking, so we made our way to another man, whom Ji managed to get into a good conversation with.
As Ji witnessed to this man, I decided to hand out a few tracts. Not many people took tracts, and there seemed to be a real apathy to anyone wanting to do anything, I looked around Garema Place to see if I could spot someone to witness to. It was then that I spotted a man about 150 metres away, he was dressed in black trousers, white shirt and was wearing a tie, this immediately triggered something in my brain, my first thought was, “This is a Mormon missionary trying to deceive people”, as I watched him a bit more, I noticed the black name tag on his pocket, this confirmed my suspicion, so I made my way towards him in order to engage him in conversation.
When I neared the Mormon missionary, he turned and began to walk away at pace. As he walked away he would go up to people, try to force something in their hand, then walk away quickly. This he did for about 700 metres. Finally, I was able to catch him up, and as he approached me I greeted him, and began a conversation.
The missionary was friendly, and very young. We began by chatting about general things, such as the weather, Canberra and where he was from. It turns out that this white Mormon missionary was from mainland China, and for 18 months he had been in Australia on mission. We spoke briefly about persecution of religious groups in China, and he said that the Latter-Day Saints were persecuted as they refused to proselytize.
The conversation then swung to the spiritual and we began to discuss the person of Jesus. I informed Elder Y---- that I was a Baptist minister, and that I was interested in learning what he believed, so we sat down on a park bench and he began to explain to me what the Latter-Day Saints teach. For about five minutes he spoke, reciting from memory the Mormon doctrine that I had heard so many times from different missionaries. He spoke about how they believed God had restored the only true church through Joseph Smith, and how once you die you have a chance to be forgiven if you would accept Joseph Smith as a prophet and believe the Book of Mormon.
He then went on to talk about the nature of God, and it was during this time that he began to “attack” the doctrines that the Christian church holds to. He questioned the Trinity and stated that the concept was false, and how the Mormons knew that God had a body, as did Jesus. It was at this point I stopped him, and asked him to explain to me what he thought the doctrine of the Trinity was. Elder Y---- paused at this, he wasn’t quite sure what Christians believed in relation to the Trinity, all he had been told was that we were wrong.
After thinking for a bit, Elder Y---- gave this definition of the Trinity, he said, “Christians believe that the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are one God, in one body.” I pointed out to him that what he had just presented was known as Modalism, and it was a heresy that had been denounced by the Church for 2000 years. Elder Y---- seemed shocked, and he asked me to explain the doctrine of the Trinity. I presented to him some basic Biblical arguments, and then he said, “That makes sense, I can see where you get that from.”
We then moved on to a different topic, and this was the topic of Jesus Christ, who He is, and what He has done for sinners. Elder Y---- declared that to be saved we must, “1) Have faith in Jesus; 2) Repent; 3) Be Baptized; 4) Receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; 5) Endure to the end.” These five steps according to Mormonism was all anyone has to do in order to be forgiven.
Seeking to clarify what he meant I asked him, “So, what you are saying is this, I must do something to be saved? I must have faith and works?” To which he agreed by saying, “If you don’t do something, you won’t be saved.”
This statement didn’t surprise me, as all Elder Y---- was doing was saying what the Book of Mormon says in 2 Nephi 25:23, "For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do."
I then asked Elder Y---- if he had his Bible on him, he didn’t so I pulled out my iPhone and opened my “Mormon Scriptures” app. I turned it to Ephesians 2:8-9 and asked him to read it, as he read the text from the King James Bible (the Bible the Mormons use) you could see the light go on, he realised that he had an issue to answer. The text reads: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
As he read it, I asked how both statements can be true, how can 2 Nephi be right, if Ephesians 2 is correct? Elder Y---- got out his notepad and pen, and began to write the verses down. I then encourage him to look at Titus 3:5, Romans 5:1 and all of Romans 4 to see that salvation is a gift from God. When I said, “Salvation is a gift from God”, he replied, “Yes, but we must repent, that is a work!” So I took him to 2 Timothy 2:25 and showed him that repentance is a gift from God also.
From this point I was able to explain to Elder Y---- that the Gospel was all of grace. I showed him from the Scriptures that we had sinned, I pointed to our judgement, then I pointed to Jesus who died for the sins of His people. I then went on to talk about 2 Corinthians 5:21 and how by the work of Jesus we are counted as perfectly righteous, that we have His righteousness imputed to us, as a result, we don’t have to work to make ourselves right, as in the eyes of God we are perfect in Christ.
Elder Y---- was silent, and he didn’t quite know how to respond, but then he began to fall back into the training he was given. He used the argument that “The Bible had errors in it, it wasn’t translated correctly. So I asked him, “If the Bible is translated incorrectly, and the LDS church knows where the errors are, why haven’t they fixed it? Moreover, why do you use the King James Bible if it has errors in it?”
Elder Y---- had nothing to say, but just said, “I don’t read my Bible much, or the Book of Mormon, but I’m told they are both God’s Word.” At this point I put a question to him, I said, “Is God perfect?” Elder Y---- replied that God was indeed perfect, so I said, “Does God make mistakes?” Again, Elder Y---- said God couldn’t make mistakes, so then I asked, “If the Bible is the Word of God, and if the Book of Mormon is the Word of God, then surely they shouldn’t contradict themselves, right? They would flow in perfect harmony.” He agreed with this statement, so I asked, “Why then does the Book of Mormon contradict the Bible?”
Elder Y---- looked stunned, he said, “I don’t know, are you sure, the Book of Mormon contradicts the Bible?” I informed him I was sure, and said, “If I can show you contradictions would you agree the Book of Mormon is wrong, and it isn’t God’s Word?” Elder Y---- replied by saying if there were contradictions then clearly the Book of Mormon couldn’t be God’s Word.
So I asked him, “Where was Jesus born?” Elder Y---- replied, “I don’t know.” To which I said, “Do you know where the Book of Mormon says Jesus was born?” Again, he stated he didn’t know.
At this I opened the Book of Mormon on my “Mormon Scripture” application to Alma 7:10, “And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.”
“Where was Jesus born?” I asked, “Jerusalem” came the reply.
Then I went to Matthew 2:1, “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,”
“According to the Bible, where was Jesus born?” Elder Y---- was silent, then said, “Bethlehem”, “Can Jesus be born at both Bethlehem and Jerusalem? Did God get confused at where His own Son was born?”
Elder Y---- said, “That’s a contradiction, they both can’t be right.”
I then went back to 2 Nephi 25:23 and compared it to Ephesians 2:8-9. Once again I stressed the Gospel, and pointed out that both the Bible and Book of Mormon can’t be correct, one has to be wrong. Elder Y--- agreed, and said, “I’m doubting the Book of Mormon, maybe it’s wrong.”
At this he said he had to go, but asked if he could have my number to call me. I gave him my number, and also a in-depth tract explaining the Gospel. Please pray for him that God would open his blind eyes and allow him to see Jesus.
After this I made my way back to Garema Place, and found that Ji was still witnessing. The rest of the afternoon was spent with us talking to people about Jesus, and the day finished with a discussion with a Jehovah Witness who was out handing out material. He had very little knowledge of what they believed, and even admitted to not believing it. I challenged him from the Scripture that Jesus is God, and He is to be worshipped and adored. I explained to him the Gospel, but this man flatly rejected it, and desired to stay in the error of the Watchtower. Please pray for him also.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Saturday, 3 March, 2012
Today the team consisted of Roman, John, Michaela and Myself. We headed for the High St, and after prayer began to hand out tracts. I entered into a conversation with an elderly man and his wife. They both seemed quite happy to talk about these important issues. I began to ask if the gentleman who's name is William, had stolen things or lied etc. He was very open and honest in agreeing he had. His wife later showed up and joined the discussion, so I kept talking about the requirements of Gods Law and repenting and putting faith in Christ. They took tracts and left with much to consider.
My only other conversation was with 3 teenage boys who were very rude at times but still seemed to want to talk. One of them decided to try "the Bible is false because evolution is proven" card and after pushing on his conscience with the Law, he decided that he didn't care that he was going to be accountable to God (whom a moment ago he said didn't exist). I kept pressing the Law and repentance and eventually they seemed to understand. They were very distracted and quite crude but they are Gods creatures and never out of reach of His Irresistible Grace. They took tracts and we all shook hands amiably. May God grant them repentance. SDG
Friday, 17 February, 2012
This past Friday we had a large team out to share the gospel in Leicester Square. Work is still being carried out in the area in preparation for the 2012 Olympics, which does mean things are a little crowded, however as the conversations show below we still had a great night!
Please pray for Oz, a young man with a Turkish background, who was very open to the gospel and the tract he was given.
Mehlika spoke with Antoinette, who although showed a lack of knowledge and understanding of spiritual things, thinks that God can just forgive us of the things we have done wrong. The conversation was quite in-depth and it appeared that Antoinette was fairly convicted of her sin, in fact there were tears in her eyes as they talked. She asked Mehlika for her number and definitely showed some interest! Do pray their dialogue could continue!
Mehlika also spoke with three Jewish men. She explained to them their need for Jesus, and that without faith in Jesus the Messiah they are not true children of Abraham (Galatians 3:7, 29). Please pray the Lord would reveal Himself to them.
Annika spoke to a young man from Zimbabwe who knew what the Bible taught and said he didn’t know what was holding him back from living righteously. She explained to him his need to be born-again so that he could live a righteous life before the Lord. He said that he would spend some time reading the Gospel of John and thanked Annika for caring and bringing conviction to him. Do pray that he does read God’s word and is genuinely saved.
James spoke with a chap called Joshua who claimed to be a believer in Christ, however after going through the Scriptures with him and explaining that Christ is to be Lord of our life and not just our Saviour, it became clear that he has a misconstrued concept of true obedience to Christ, which springs forth from genuine faith. James was able to share the whole gospel with him so do pray the Lord would draw Joshua to Himself.
I had an interesting conversation with a young guy called Bob. He was quite intellectual and professed to be of an open mind. At first he claimed to be an atheist but he then admitted that he was in fact an agnostic. I made a case for God’s existence by explaining to Bob that without there being an all-powerful, sustainer Creator of the universe, we simply cannot make sense of this world. If we are simply time and chance acting on matter, how do we account for our ability to reason? How do we account for uniform laws of nature that govern the world we live in? How do we account for an absolute morality that we all submit to (not in practise because of sin, but certainly in our understanding)? He admitted that I made a good case, in fact he could not find fault with my argument, however he fell back on his notion that because we don’t know everything there could be another explanation for it all, which removes the necessity for God. I explained to him that the overwhelming evidence of all that we experience in this life points perfectly to the God of the Bible, and that one day we will all stand before Him in recognition of that fact, regardless of our position in this life. We must be reconciled to Him. I gave him a gospel tract and a copy of “The BIGGEST Question” DVD, which he was quite happy to take and watch. I have since emailed him to get his thoughts. Do pray for him.
Soli Deo Gloria!!
Friday, 10 February, 2012
On Friday evening we enjoyed a great night of ministry. We were at least ten in number and we all had some very encouraging conversations...
Jit, a Hindu, was told the gospel and typically didn’t mind learning about Jesus but struggled to appreciate that you can’t obtain justification in the eyes of God by yourself. Please pray that what he heard will help him to realise that only Christ can pay his fine.
Mehlika spoke with Bader, who was drawn in by the open-air preaching. It was a good conversation as he did listen as the gospel was explained to him. She attempted to tell him about the holiness of God and the payment required of sin. He did understand, but insisted that Mehlika spend more time reading the Qu’ran. By God’s grace she was able to recall to mind a verse in the Qu’ran that is very significant. It reads: “It is He who sent down to thee (step by step), in truth, the Book, confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law (of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus).” This shows that the Qu’ran does refer to the Bible (“the Book”) and also that the gospel is referred to “within this Book.” (Surah 3:3) Muslims should therefore take the time to understand the gospel. However, the Qu’ran does not unpack for the Muslim what the gospel is. To understand the gospel he must refer to the Bible. When he does this he should come to realise that while the Qu’ran may contain some truth within its pages, it cannot be “the Word of God,” since the gospel found within the Bible simply does not allow for any other offer of salvation for this world, apart from what we see in the person of Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5). Bader heard the word of God and he left with a tract, do pray for him.
Please pray for David and Marta from Spain. They were very happy to take a tract and appeared really genuine in their interest.
Matthew, a Roman Catholic, took a copy of “The Biggest Question” DVD. Do pray for him.
CJ, raised Muslim, appeared really convicted of his sin as he heard the gospel. Was encouraged to read the gospel of John. Please pray he would.
Deylon said that he had been thinking about why he is on this earth and that he cannot think of any purpose for life. He was told that apart from God there is no purpose and that we are here to glorify God with our lives. He seemed very sad but understood the gospel message. Pray the Holy Spirit works on his heart.
I had an interesting conversation with Joe (from Italy) and his Muslim friend. We spoke for some time and they listened intently as I shared the gospel with them. The issue of being made right with God became central to our conversation. Joe’s Muslim friend believed that we can have confidence in our own good works with regard to receiving God’s favour. This brought the conversation to the subject of God’s justice, in relation to His mercy. Can God be just and merciful at the same time? Well, if you show mercy towards a person, towards someone who deserves justice, then you haven’t acted in a just way, and if you show justice towards a person who deserves justice, then you have not expressed mercy towards the person. The point of course is that you cannot be just and merciful at the same time, because you are either merciful at the expense of justice, or you are just at the expense of mercy. How does God solve this dilemma? It is solved in the cross. Jesus is punished on our behalf, for the sins that we deserve, so that we can go free. God pours out His wrath against sin - justice is satisfied. By fulfilling His justice in this way, mercy is extended towards the one deserving the punishment. This then is the wonder of the cross!! I believe that both Joe and his friend understood what I was saying, however there was a determined reluctance on their part to accept the truth of what I was saying. This is always unfortunate and disappointing, however they did take some tracts and a copy of “The Biggest Question” DVD to watch together. Do pray for them.
Soli Deo Gloria!!
Saturday, 14 January, 2012
Roman talking to a lady sitting on the benches.
Saturday was cold this morning, but shoppers were quite active even in this chill. Perfect opportunity to share the Gospel! The team consisted of myself, Roman and a gentleman from another church named Ola. This was his first time out doing evangelism in Brentwood, and he was very excited to be able to come along. We all handed out quite a number of million £ notes, but because of the cold few people were stopping to chat. The best conversation I had was with a bunch of young boys who I use to teach music to at Doddinghurst Public School. They all took tracts and listened intently so I hope seeds were sown into their lives this day.
Andrew chatting with some young kids.
Ola enjoyed himself and said he would return when his family commitments allow. Hopefully this will be the beginnings of regular combined church evangelism in Brentwood! SDG
Friday, 6 January, 2012
A wintry January evening but thankfully not too cold, it was a great night to head out and share the gospel of Jesus Christ with people in and around Leicester Square, London. The team was at least 20 in number, which was excellent. It was a blessing too that we could be in the spot that is best suited for preaching open-air. As we have just moved into 2012 I felt it would be good to begin by talking about new year’s resolutions. I used this to transition into the gospel by mentioning that often a new year’s resolution fizzles out since we are hardly perfect. We frequently stumble and fall in life, and the biggest area that we fail in is our morality. The Fall puts man and God at hostility between each other, and it is God who has the last word for the guilty sinner, but, it never has to come to that because God has worked the impossible and has provided reconciliation for all who would humble themselves before Him, for those who would repent and trust in the Saviour, Jesus Christ. Below is a video of the message I preached.
The open-air preaching really worked well in that it initiated a number of really good conversations. In the picture to the right Wesley is talking with a gentleman who admitted that he was once an atheist and that although he does now believe in God and attend church, he recognises that he has not yet fully committed his life to Christ. Commenting on the message he’d heard me preach, he told Wes: “You don’t hear preaching like this in churches today.” Sadly, this is true. There are churches however that are preaching God’s Word. Please pray for the church in the UK, that it would honour God by honouring His Word. Please pray too for the many churches that are preaching God’s truth, pray that they would remain faithful in a hostile land. Lastly, please pray for the gentleman in this picture, that he would consider the cost of his refusal to repent and would turn to Jesus in repentance and faith.
In the video below Mike is sharing the gospel with a chap named James (you can also see Mike witnessing to someone in the picture to the left). If you watched the video of me preaching you’ll have noticed him in the crowd. Mike did a great job of taking advantage of the open-air to get into conversation with James. The video is great to watch, as you see recognition on his face concerning his sin, to the point that he said, “I’d be guilty,” to Mike’s question: “Will you be innocent or guilty on the Day of Judgment?” The law certainly is a schoolmaster to lead sinners to Christ (Galatians 3:24). Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, in his fantstic book "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount," wrote: "Evangelism must start with the holiness of God, the sinfulness of man, the demands of the law, the punishment meted out by the law and the eternal consequences of evil and wrong-doing. It is only the man who is brought to see his guilt in this way who flies to Christ for deliverance and redemption. Any belief in the Lord Jesus Christ which is not based on that is not a true belief in Him. You can have a psychological belief even in the Lord Jesus Christ; but a true belief sees in Him one who delivers us from the curse of the law. True evangelism starts like that, and obviously is primarily a call to repentance, 'repentance twoard God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ,'" (emphasis added). I have since emailed James just to get his thoughts from Friday night. Do pray for him.
In the picture below Annika is joined by Melissa as they share the gospel with someone who stopped to take a tract. Melissa is still quite new and it's really encouraging to have her with us. I encouraged her to shadow someone and Annika did a great job helping her. It really is such a joy to see people growing in the area of evangelism. Over the years I have seen the shy and the timid step outside of their comfort zone because they are burdened with a desire to see the lost saved. If you too share that burden please let me encourage you to step out. Let your love for Christ swallow your fears.
Towards the end of the evening I spoke with a Muslim chap named Ash. Our conversation was brief but we managed to exchange contact details. On Saturday I received a text from him in which he gave his thoughts on Jesus’ words in John 10:30: “I and the Father are one.” We’ve swapped a few emails and now we’re meeting shortly for coffee. I’m very encouraged. Click here to learn more.
It really was a great night. It’s so wonderful to be used of by the Lord for the lifting up of His name.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Saturday, 24 December, 2011
As it was Christmas Eve today, I didn't want to miss the opportunity to hand out tracts to the manic shoppers of Brentwood. Steve Smith and myself arrived early afternoon, armed with a mountain of million pound notes and red Santa hats, we began to distribute the Gospel in written form to a multitude of frenzied pedestrians.
We were later joined by Elyske and continued to hand out tracts in various parts of the high st.
I had only one conversation with a young woman named Holly. She enquired about the tracts we were handing out and I began to share about Gods righteous requirements and judgement upon sin. This led into the Gospel and discussing the only solution provided by God for mans sin - Jesus Christ. She appeared to understand, and she went away with a handful tracts and a head full of Gospel. Thanks be to God for the opportunity to share the Gospel in this community - SDG and Merry Christmas
Friday, 16 December, 2011
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!
Friday, 9 December, 2011
The team met again at Cafe Nero this past Friday evening and we continued our look at presuppositional apologetics, which is based on a biblical framework for making a defence for the Christian faith (we are working through a book together at the moment called “Every Thought Captive”). Our time together in the cafe is always helpful and really gets us focused before we head out. We were between 10 and 12 in number (a few more joined us later in the Square).
We have come to expect an ever changing Leicester Square, particularly considering the redevelopment of the area in preparation for the 2012 Olympics in London. Finding a good spot for open-preaching has become more challenging, and although there are now a number for new obstacles in front of us, I feel it is vital that we stay in the area, as consistency is really important when it comes to public outreach.
We headed to the spot I feel is best suited for witnessing but unfortunately we arrived at almost the exact moment a group of buskers did. It was a shame, had we arrived just five minutes earlier we could have used the spot. Not to be defeated we headed back to the spot we have used before near McDonalds. The Swiss Clock Tower had a barrier around it so I had to stand opposite. It was not ideal but it did allow me to preach. It was very cold and in front of me to the left there were some people giving out free hot food. As I was about to preach I learnt that they were members of the Hare Krishna religion. This was very interesting, I had not had the opportunity before to preach the gospel in quite a setting. In front of me there were a number of people enjoying the hot food that had been provided by the Hare Krishna’s. In that sense it was wonderful, as I had a somewhat captive audience. It was a challenge though, as it was very noisy and the position I was in most not ideal. I preached a short gospel message with very little interaction from the crowd. Still, those standing by certainly heard what I had to say.
After I finished preaching a man approached and told me he felt that what the Hare Krishna’s were doing was far superior to what we were doing. They were helping people by giving them free food, whereas we were simply “preaching at them.” Immediately I thought of Jesus’ words: “Do not labour for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life” (John 6:27). I explained to him that as Christians we do help people by providing for their material needs, as did Jesus, but ultimately we, like Jesus, are far more concerned with their spiritual needs and so we want to make available to people “food that endures to eternal life.” He objected quite strongly that we had what people need and I soon discovered that I was talking with a relativist (someone who holds to the idea that truth is relative and that what may be true for me is not necessarily true for another person). Talking with a relativist can be very frustrating, especially when they do not concede that the logic they have adopted is absurd and self-refuting (when someone says there are no absolutes they are making an absolute statement). I did my best to show that he was being illogical and arbitrary in his objections, but unfortunately it was to no avail. Perhaps walking away from a conversation like this we could say that it was to no avail. However, God’s Word always accomplishes what God wills it to accomplish. To this end I committed this man into the hands of the Lord. May He grant repentance and faith to him that he may be saved.
The rest of the team were all engaged in conversation and although it was terribly cold it was very encouraging to see that people were willing to stop and engage with us. Shortly after I had the opportunity to talk with Maciej. Maciej is a magician from Poland who often performs in Leicester Square. We have spoken a few times but I haven’t had much opportunity to share the gospel with him. It was really encouraging that he came up to me and said, “Hi Rob.” We got talking and before long I put to him a few questions regarding what he thought about God, life after death, etc. He said that he felt there was “something out there,” an “energy” of sorts, but that really was about as far as he went. I built on this by explaining to him that the world we see around us, and in particular relational and rationale people, is all evidence of a personal, creative God, who is Himself a person, and not just a form of energy. I transitioned to the gospel and opened up to him as best I could the realisation that we have all sinned against a holy God and that we are deserving of judgment. But Jesus, the Son of God, motivated by love, stepped down into this world and became a man. He lived a sinless, perfect life for us, the perfect life that we can’t live (2 Corinthians 5:21), and then died in our place on a Roman cross, so that the justice of God would be satisfied, and we could go free. He listened without objection as I shared with him, which was really encouraging. We exchanged contact details and I have since emailed him asking if he would like to meet up for coffee. Do pray that we would be able to meet up some time soon.
We all came together at the end of the evening and thanked the Lord for His grace to us and for using us to make His name known. It had been a great evening.
Soli Deo Gloria!
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