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Friday, 11 November, 2011
The team was out once more on Friday evening to share the gospel with people in and around Leicester Square. We met beforehand at Cafe Nero and I shared on the finished work of Christ. Many religions and cults place an emphasis on works for our salvation. Even Mormonism, which claims to preach the grace of Christ, says “...for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” (2 Nephi 25:23) In John 6 the people ask Jesus, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” (John 6:28) They lived by a system of works and thought that their many deeds would make them right with God. Jesus told them plainly: “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” (John 6:29) Christ lived the perfect life for us, the life that we cannot live, and then He died on a cross to pay the penalty for our sins. That is why faith in Him and Him alone is sufficient for our salvation. In fact, there is no other work that can save us. We must believe in the One whom God has sent.
When we arrived at Leicester Square it was awash with people. You can get a glimpse of this by looking at the picture to the right. Standing up to preach I began by speaking about Remembrance Day and the many lives gone before us to protect our freedom. I then switched to talk about One who has won our freedom once and for all time from a bondage far greater than war, tyranny or oppression: the bondage of sin. Jesus said, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) As I shared the gospel people stood listening and before long many in the team were in conversation.
Myself and Ingrid spoke with a young Muslim man (Majit) from Pakistan, who now lives in England. He was really pleasant to talk to and listened as we shared with him. He made the claim that the Bible was in error and had been changed. I spoke to him about how the letters of the New Testament were distributed far and wide once they had been written, and that copies upon copies were made and then distributed even further. If at some point the Bible was changed and altered, the task would have been insurmountable. All the thousands of copies would have had to have been collected and for consistency they would have all needed to be changed. Each of the four gospels accounts for the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. The Qur’an, written after the Bible, says that Jesus did not die on the cross. Were all four gospel accounts changed? How was this done, bearing in mind that before Muhammad was even born, countless copies of the gospels were circling round the known world at an unprecedented speed? It was quite apparent that Majit understood the argument I was making, which was very encouraging. At the end of our conversation we exchanged contact details and I have since written to Majit. Do pray for him and that we would be able to continue in dialogue together.
Mehlika also had a very encouraging conversation on Friday night. Here is her account: “At the beginning of the night when I was standing and listening to the preaching, a young man, Nickel (26), walked through the crowd, stopped, and said to me; ‘should I be listening to this?’ and I said yes, then he said, ‘Is it a good message’ and I said yes. He asked me if I was only saying, ‘yes,’ then I explained what the message was that was being preached, and how as a Christian I find the message dramatically important. Then he looked at Rob and said, ‘Okay, what’s he saying, can you translate for me?’ Then I began to tell him the gospel. God is good because this guy didn’t ‘waist time’ arguing that mankind is good, but he acknowledged we are all sinners, he acknowledged that Jesus was indeed a historical character and he did not question the validity of the Bible, which was shocking for me because he is not a Christian and he was very switched on. Through this Nickel and I were able to get stuck into the Bible and the gospel message; he was asking lots of questions and he seemed to be taking in everything I was saying. I was also able to share my testimony with him. We spoke for a good period of time. This allowed us to talk about the O.T. and why God chose the Jews, and even as in-depth to talk about Abraham and how there was a ram caught in the thicket when he was about to sacrifice his son. This allowed me to demonstrate to Nickel that God has always known about the provision of His Son for our sins. This allowed me to add weight to Christ, by showing how the O.T. talks of Him.
Drawing near to the end of the conversation I told Nickel that he couldn’t leave tonight thinking Jesus was just a good moral teacher; because there is no room to believe that. Instead I told him he had three options, only three! Jesus was either a mad man, who generally believed he was the son of God, or he was a liar, purposely trying to deceive people into worshiping him and believing who he said he was, or he was telling the truth which would make him one with God; the son of God. Then he showed me the book he is reading, it was on spirituality and he said that it has many quotes from the Bible; and that he thinks a Christian might have written it. I told him I had a better spiritual book for him and handed him the Bible. He was reluctant to take it at first because I guess he assumed that I thought he would be a Christian. I reassured him that I’m only responsible to share the gospel, and that God seeks the hearts and transforms them, no one else. I had also told him how someone gave me a Bible 2 years before I became a Christian. He was very thankful and loved the in-depth conversation. He gave me his email and I told him that my fiancé and I would write to him one day and see how he is doing. I generally believe that he was meant to be there last night. He had never heard the gospel, yet he was starting to think of spiritual things. Praise God that He set that situation up, and I shall keep him in prayer.”
Below are some more pictures from the evening.
It had been a fantastic night and although a bit manic at times we praise God that we were able to make His name known. It truly is a privilege and an honour to do so!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Saturday, 5 November, 2011
Saturday, November 5th, Rob Hughes and I both hit Brentwood town centre. 'Armed' with loads of tracts and a willingness to preach the Gospel to the lost, we were soon joined by Elyske and Ingrid to make a team of four. The High St was consistently busy today which made handing out tracts a lot easier. My first conversation came from a gentleman named Mustafah. He took a tract, read it while waiting for his girlfriend in a shop and came back to me asking questions. He was very amiable and had a great interest in different world religions. I explianed the Biblical view of Creation and fall of Man into sin, Gods Law and how we break it, how Christ came to save those who repent and why the Biblical Worldview is the ONLY way to account for human experience of the world. He appeared to take in every word and we eventually parted with him taking more tracts and an ear full of the Gospel.
Friday, 4 November, 2011
On Friday evening we had a good size time out once more, there were at least 15 of us. Not all were able to make it to the cafe but joined us a little later up at China Town. When we got to China Town I decided that as it was rather difficult last week we would head back to Leicester Square to see if things could be easier for us there. I was quite pleased that an area had opened up near the new M & M store so we set up to preach there.
We didn't get a large crowd during the open-air preaching but some people did stop to listen as I shared the gospel. After I finished preaching we all got into conversation with people passing by, handing out a good number of tracts. Elyske shared afterwards about a conversation she'd had that was really God ordained. A gentleman passing by had taken a tract from her and after reading it came back a little later to talk to her about it. It truns out he has really been struggling of late and so was quite struck by the timining of Elyske handing him the gospel tract. She shared God's Word with him and was also able to share her testimony, which is always so valuable, as our testimony is personal and people can really relate to that! Please pray for him.
It was a great encouragement to have had Brian join us on Friday. Brian serves in the U.S. Military and until just recently was in the U.K. on holiday. He had visited our church the week before, after a referral from Dr. James White over at Alpha & Omega Ministries. We had got talking and he mentioned that he did some witnessing back in the States and so I told him he must join us on Friday. He jumped at the opportunity. In fact, he made sure his schedule was laid out especially so that he would be able to join us. I think if he was living in London he'd join us every week! You can see Brian sharing the gospel with a young man in the picture to the left.
Marie had a rather long conversation with a Muslim man that appeared to not really know a lot about Islam. She was able to share the gospel with him and although he grappled with the truth that Jesus is God, he was very responsive. (You can see her sharing the gospel with the man in the picture to the right.) Marie mentioned that he appeared quite fragile and lonely. May the Lord draw him to Himself and comfort him with the peace that is found only in Jesus!
I had a great conversation with some tourists from Holland. They all gathered round as I shared the gospel with them. They were so open and responsive, it was quite amazing. When I took them through the law of God and spoke to them of sin it was so clear they understood perfectly that they had indeed transgressed God’s law. This made sharing the gospel with them such a joy. They all left with an in-depth gospel tract and much to think about. Do pray for them!
I also had a conversation with two Muslim men. We spoke at length about the justice of God. The reason I brought this up with them was to show them that where the God of the Qu’ran fails, the God of the Bible succeeds! You see, if God shows mercy to a sinner, He is not just. If He acts justly towards the sinner, mercy is not given. How then do we reconcile justice and mercy? (Mercy, while definitely being one of God’s attributes, is not something He is obligated to pour out. This is why mercy means “not getting what we should deserve.”) I illustrated my point by saying that if “my sister” were to be murdered it would be right for the murderer to be sentenced and punished. To this they agreed. I asked them whether the judge would be a good judge if he overturned the guilty verdict and let the man go free. They agreed he would be a bad judge. I then asked them who’s standards are higher: God’s standards or human standards? They affirmed that God’s standards are higher. I then said to them that if a human judge is bound by the law and must execute justice, how much more must God!
God must execute justice. If He doesn’t, He is not just, it as simple as that. Yet we understand that God is also merciful. So how is this demonstrated and how is justice and mercy reconciled? Here’s the good news: God pours out all His justice on Himself and in so doing saves us from His justice. We receive His mercy because all of His justice towards sin is taken upon His very own shoulders! The Son of God took our place so that we could go free. That is the gospel! They objected and tried to say that if God shows mercy to the sinner, without there being a sinless mediator standing in man’s place, God is still just. Yet this simply is not so. We all understand the idea of justice, and just because “God is God,” He still acts justly in the very way that we understand justice.
Joining the rest of the team it was encouraging to hear about the conversations they’d had. Below are some more pictures from the evening. It was a blessed time!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Friday, 28 October, 2011
We had a number of people join us for outreach this past Friday, at least five new people, which was so encouraging. After a great time of fellowship in the cafe we headed out to our new spot near China Town. There was roughly twenty of us and so we were in for a great night!
I preached for a good 30 minutes. This is quite long and the reason was largely due to the hecklers in the crowd. One gentleman in particular, which you will be able to see in the video above, had a number of questions and charges to lay against Christianity and Jesus Christ. One of his questions centred around the life of Christ before he entered his ministry. He asked, “What did Jesus do for the thirty years undocumented in the Bible?” I asked him to elaborate and he said, “The part between the two years before his death and his birth, what was he doing? The Son of God surely should have been doing good things.” I responded by saying, “He was growing up.” He then responded by saying, “Oh, the Son of God had to grow up did he?” I recognise that I could have done a better job in answering his question, however it allowed me to emphasise something very important. Jesus became a man so that we could relate to Him (He subjected Himself to human existence. He slept, ate, walked, etc, even though He was God) and also, more importantly, He became a human being so that He would be the perfect representative for mankind. Man has sinned, which means man is culpable. The only hope for humanity is a substitute willing to take our place. But what kind of substitute? The Bible tells the only acceptable substitute is one who is both fully God and fully man. Why is this? The Heidelberg Catechism of 1619 A.D. explains it so well:
Qu. Can any mere creature pay for us?
A. No. In the first place, God will not punish another creature for the sin which man has committed. Furthermore, no mere creature can sustain the burden of God's eternal wrath against sin and deliver others from it.
 Ezek. 18:4, 20; Heb. 2:14-18.  Ps. 130:3; Nah. 1:6.
Qu. What kind of mediator and deliverer must we seek?
A. One who is a true and righteous man, and yet more powerful than all creatures; that is, one who is at the same time true God.
 I Cor. 15:21; Heb. 2:17.  Is. 53:9; II Cor. 5:21; Heb. 7:26.  Is. 7:14; 9:6; Jer. 23:6; John 1:1; Rom. 8:3, 4.
Qu. Why must He be a true and righteous man?
A. He must be a true man because the justice of God requires that the same human nature which has sinned should pay for sin. He must be a righteous man because one who himself is a sinner cannot pay for others.
 Rom: 5:12, 15; I Cor. 15:21; Heb. 2:14-16.  Heb. 7:26, 27; I Pet. 3:18.
Qu. Why must He at the same time be true God?
A. He must be true God so that by the power of His divine nature He might bear in His human nature the burden of God's wrath, and might obtain for us and restore to us righteousness and life.
 Is. 9:5.  Deut. 4:24; Nah. 1:6; Ps. 130:3.  Is. 53:5, 11; John 3:16; II Cor. 5:21.
Qu. But who is that Mediator who at the same time is true God and a true and righteous man?
A. Our Lord Jesus Christ, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption (I Corinthians 1:30).
 Matt. 1:21-23; Luke 2:11; I Tim. 2:5; 3:16.
Turning back to the objections from my heckler, it is important to note a few things. Firstly, the time between Jesus’ birth and the commencement of His ministry is documented in Scripture. See Luke 2:41-52. At the age of twelve He was aware of who He was and that it was necessary for Him to spend time in His “Father’s house” (the Temple). Secondly, the Bible is not obligated to give us a detailed account of his entire childhood and early adulthood. We know that as He grew up He “increased in wisdom and in stature and in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:52). Clearly He lived a life that was set apart from the rest of humanity. However it was not until He reached the age of thirty that He entered into His ministry in a far more significant way. There is no problem with this, for it makes sense that He would be of a mature age with adequate life experience when the time eventually came.
We all got into conversation with people after I had finished preaching. I spoke with a young girl who seemed certain that God is not the Creator of the universe and that there is another explanation, although “we don’t know what it is.” I reasoned with her logically and offered to her three hypothesis for our existence:
I explained that option 1 is impossible, since for something to create itself it would mean that it existed before it existed. This of course is absurd. Option 2 has been accepted almost universally by the scientific community as false since the laws of thermodynamics show us that the universe must have had a beginning. This leaves option 3 as the only rationale explanation for our existence. She didn’t like this but it was obvious she saw the logic to what I was saying. I reasoned with her some more and explained that there truly is a God before whom we must one day stand and give an account.
Although the spot we have chosen is great for open-air preaching, it is tricky with regard to one-to-one witnessing, as the road we are in is opened for traffic at roughly 10:00pm. It became quite difficult and so we decided to move back down to Leicester Square. Arriving back at the Square we continued to witness to people and hand out tracts. It was a great time and I was so encouraged to join with so many brothers and sisters in making Christ’s name known. Lord may you open the hearts of the people to hear and respond to your Word. Grant repentance and faith Lord to the lost people of London!
Praise the Lord in all things!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Saturday, 29 October, 2011
The Essex Team broke loose on the Brentwood High St today, sharing the Gospel to anyone and everyone who came our way. We began with a small team consisting of Rob Hughes and myself, and were soon joined by Roman, Elyske, Ingrid, Wesley and James. We spread out and handed out loads of tracts and got into a few conversations with pedestrians that would lend us an ear. I had a wonderful conversation with an ex roman catholic priest from India. His name was Thomas and he expressed "belief" in the Bible but when pressed, he only acknowledges the 'red letters' of Jesus. I asked if he was born again and he said he got born again at his "christening". We talked about Gods righteous requirements in his Law and how he matches up, and discussed Hell and justice. We parted amicably and I stressed 'faith in Christ alone' NOT in the roman church or a human priest! A great time of sharing was had by all. May God grant repentance to those who read or heard the Gospel this day!
Friday, 21 October, 2011
On Friday evening we had much to thank God for! The Lord truly blessed us with a wonderful time of outreach. Early that morning I received an email from a photography student (Hollly) who mentioned she was doing a project on street preachers and would like to come out and photograph the team in action. I was surprised by her request but saw no reason to say no and so replied saying that it would be no problem.
By the time I reached the cafe later that evening I was encouraged to find Holly waiting for us. Shortly after the team began to arrive and before long we were a good 10 people plus. Holly had a few questions she wanted to ask, in particular what we do on the street and what we say to people. As it turns out Holly is not a Christian and so this was a wonderful opportunity to not only answer her question, but also share the gospel with her. I laid out the gospel as carefully as I could, not speaking to her directly as I might do when I normally witness to someone, but in such a way that she would have a firm grasp on what the gospel is. I was certainly praying for her as I did! I was so encouraged to see her taking notes, and although she was doing this for her project, I was in awe of how the Lord is able to use such diverse ways to bring people into a hearing of the gospel!
As Leicester Square is under some serious new development in preparation for the 2012 Olympics, we have moved to a new location. We are now very close to China Town, which is barely a ten minute walk from Leicester Square. It has proved to be a great location for witnessing and a wonderful spot for open-air preaching too! Although in the area of China Town, there are still plenty of English people about, and it is still typical London in that there are people from every nationality you can think of.
As we were setting up I was thrilled to see that we had a really large team out. We must have been at least 20 people in size. Not all made it to the cafe, but instead joined us at our new spot. I stood up to preach and before long a good size crowd had formed. This was helped by a passionate heckler who really went out of his way to make his voice heard. I do like it when a heckler speaks up as he helps to bring in a crowd. Unfortunately the heckler we had on Friday night, while bringing in a crowd, was also a real handful as it was clear he was determined to be a hindrance to me and the preaching of the gospel. He did this in quite an annoying way by parading in front of me as I addressed the crowd. I have to admit this is something I find difficult to overcome and probably the biggest frustration I have experienced while preaching open-air. Some hecklers stand within the crowd and heckle, that is fine, but when they intentionally come forward and parade in front of you it is very difficult. It was not all bad though. At one point he turned to the crowd and said, “I bet no one here wants to hear this guy,” pointing to me. To my delight a number of people in the crowd responded by saying, “We do!” (Unbeknown to us a party of roughly 15 Christians, on holiday from Wales, were in London and just happened to be passing through as I was preaching. You’d almost think God was somehow involved!) This was great in that it helped to disarm him, although he did not withdraw entirely.
Although he was a significant hindrance, I was able to speak past my heckler to the crowd and share the gospel. After I stepped down from preaching we all got involved in talking with people one-to-one. Holly was taking loads of snaps, we certainly kept her busy! I was so encouraged to see a number of the young girls on the team talking with her and quite a few shared their testimony with her as well, which was just brilliant. Do pray for her. The Lord certainly brought her to us and it really is so wonderful that she has been exposed to the gospel in such a clear way. In the picture below you can see Ymkje sharing the gospel with Holly.
While we continued to speak with people I noticed that our angry heckler was still circling, even though I had finished preaching. I discovered later that his girlfriend is a Catholic and they often have rows over the existence of God. It was clear that he was venting and is angry with God. When God’s Word is preached there often comes hostility, and it is precisely because the gospel is the truth that there is this hostility. Please pray for him.
Holly stayed for quite a while but left with much to think about, I’m sure! I told her we’d love to stay in touch and that she must let us see her project when it is finished!
At the end of the evening we came together in prayer and thanked the Lord for all He had done. It sure was a full evening!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Saturday, 24 September, 2011
Tonight the team had about fifteen Christians, this larger than usual number came from God sending an extra sister and some brothers in Christ to join in proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ on Queen Street. I was encouraged to see more Christians out witnessing tonight, because every extra person makes a difference to the entire team.
The preaching line-up was Yarran, Lindsay, Josiah and Ryan. As usual, the authoritative message from God as revealed in the scriptures was proclaimed in the open-air, private conversations, and through the distribution of gospel tracts.
One of the preachers explains: the great and glorious God who has made the world and everything in it, who gives us our very life and being, has not been obeyed by humanity. All have broken God's commandments, including those proclaiming this message, by things such as lying, stealing, getting drunk, having sexual desires for others outside of marriage, by failing to worship God perfectly. God is good and hates and punishes evil, and when left to ourselves, we will receive this punishment in hell for eternity. However, God sent Jesus Christ – fully God and fully man, He lived perfectly in God's eyes, never breaking His commandments. Then He laid down His life willingly through allowing himself to be executed through crucifixion. Jesus did this to take the punishment for the evil of His people, and then rose again to life, giving life to His people. God commands all people everywhere to turn from their evil towards trusting in Jesus Christ for salvation from evil and the wrath of God.
During the gospel proclamation in the open air, a young lady and young man interacted with the preacher. “Have you ever told a lie?”, the preacher says. The young lady hesitates and the preacher asks the young man with her, “Has she told a lie?”, with him responding promptly as witness to her guiltiness. The preacher is quick to explain, “I also have told a lie”, and proceeds to ask further questions. The young man interjects with opposition to God's standard of perfection. Nevertheless, the conversation hastily reveals that like the preacher, the young lady has disobeyed God. A sight that could shock many, that the voices of both the preacher and the young lady reveal that they deserve to spend their eternity in hell under God's punishment for breaking His commands.
Following this, the preacher inquires of the young lady for her knowledge of Jesus, receiving a blank response. Jesus' identity and actions are explained with joy, “Jesus is God's son, fully divine and fully human, He lived perfectly 2000 years ago. He died on the cross in order to take the punishment for people like you and I, those who are His people. He paid the punishment for their evil in full, and rose again from the grave to give them life. Jesus commands you and I to turn away from our evil and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation from God's wrath” The preacher asks, “have you turned from your evil and trusted in Jesus?”
After her voice had responded, she was given a business-sized card that contained a summary of what her ears had already received. With haste the young man took the unknown card and threw it away, in a vain attempt to diminish the power of the message given by God Himself. Promptly, the preacher gave her another card that found rest in her pocket.
How have you responded to the Lord Jesus?
If you have turned from your evil and trusted in Jesus, please gather with the rest of your family in Him to share the message of God's full and complete salvation from sin and His wrath, if you live near Brisbane, please join us in serving our loving God on a Saturday night at 7:30pm in King George Square, Brisbane. If you have questions, please visit us outside Copenhagen/Myer Center on Queen St at 9pm.
Saturday, 27 August, 2011
Never to disappoint, Saturday night again proved to be quite eventful! There were a few of us out tonight, which was good because it was football night and the fans were loud and proud.
I was the first one up to preach and I decided to open with Romans 6:23 ”For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”. We live in a society that understands the concept of an owing wage, many people live for their weekly paycheck! Here we learn that the wage for our rebellious attitude towards God is death. Death is a punishment we deserve and is owed on the basis of our failure to worship and serve our Creator God. Earlier in the book of Romans we are told that “none is righteous, no, not one” and “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”. Sin is universally participated in by humanity and therefore we are all deserving of death. Since we are all guilty of sinning against God, we all face this. But Romans 6:23 also points to a free gift of eternal life. How do you receive this? Through Jesus Christ. 2000 years ago Jesus came to earth for a purpose to “save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21) Jesus did this by living the perfect life we couldn’t live before laying his life down and dying on the Cross and rising from the dead 3 days later. He did this in order to take the hell- punishment for the sins of his people. God commands you to turn from your sin, repent and place your faith in Christ and his righteousness. Those who have done this show their heart has been changed and have been born again, assured of eternal life.
It wasn’t long before some hecklers arrived. First up was a lady who claimed to be a pagan. She did not want to listen or engage in conversation. Instead, she just wanted to protest. Despite her abuse, the plus side was that her protests attracted an audience which enabled more people to hear the Gospel. However, her friend was a lot more aggressive and began screaming for me to stop preaching. Lindsay and Yarran stepped in front of me to try and calm the guy down, which worked for a time. However, he would walk off and then come back again and scream his abuse. After a couple of rounds he became increasingly violent, grabbing my shirt and trying to pull me off the box. At this point the Police had been called and he made no further attempts to attack me.
As Lindsay stepped up to preach, he came back again. This time he was jumping in the garden behind Lindsay and looked like he might launch himself to knock Lindsay off the box. By this time, the Police had arrived and they were quick to remove the man from injuring himself or others around him. After giving testimonies to the Police, the man was removed and his lady friend also. This ended our initial opposition and the rest of the night went without a hitch.
I was able to spend a good majority of what was left of the night doing some one-to-ones and handing out tracts with Aaron. I was able to talk the Gospel through with a Samoan group who said they occasionally go to church. It was a fruitful conversation and they all took tracts and were given free Bibles. I also had a conversation with a fellow who trusted in Science, even though he wasn’t sure what answers Science actually gave him. It was good that he was willing to listen as I explained that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation…I think he took a tract as well.
It certainly is a challenging time as each week presents new struggles. Lately, we have had a pretty consistent team of preachers and people handing out tracts. However, with a recent increase in violence we have had to be extra cautious in dealing with aggressive hecklers. Again, we are fortunate to freely proclaim the Gospel and speak the message of Salvation. Praise God for His works!
Saturday, 13 August, 2011
Today Peter Ruck and I hit Brentwood town center. After prayer we both walked up to the main street and began to hand out many tracts. Peter had a few conversations with some people who were sitting on the seats near the ruins and I too, managed to speak to a number of people. Firstly it was a young girl named Taylor who said that during the last few weeks various people had been talking to her about Jesus and giving her Bibles etc. We discussed the Law of God and the need for Jesus death for forgiveness of sin. She appeared to be taking these truths seriously, perhaps God is drawing her to salvation! The second person I spoke to was a young guy named Grant. He just wanted to "live life while He's got it" and we discussed the notion of Divine Justice for law breakers. He agreed that people will be held accountable for their sins, but didn't want to think of the penalties he will incur at the moment. He did take a tract at the end, may God break his capricious spirit! The last gentleman I spoke to was a Dave. He was a Scotsman who had a Presbyterian up bringing. We discussed the Law, condemnation and Jesus' death for those who repent and believe. Dave didn't seem to take much interest. I reminded him that even if he didn't believe the Bible was true, it wasn't going to change the reality of Gods judgment on His and everyone's sin. I think he tuned into what we were talking about then and even thanked me for chatting to him. SDG
Saturday, 13 August, 2011
Atheists. Aggressive hecklers. Police: A fairly typical Saturday night at Queen st. mall. Nonetheless, a great opportunity for the message of Salvation to be proclaimed.
It was a full moon tonight. I was the first one to preach and it wasn’t long before a small group of our atheist friends arrived. Fortunately they weren’t as vocal this early in the evening and the Gospel was preached for a small time unhindered. One of them sarcastically made a comment, “What did Jesus actually on the Cross? Did he really do anything?” This was an excellent springboard for the Gospel so I was able to explain how humanity is under the just anger of God because of the evil we commit against him and therefore we are all deserving of punishment in hell. However, Jesus Christ lived a perfect life and was the perfect sacrifice when he lay his life down for the sins of his people, taking their punishment upon himself. Praise be to God who changes the hearts of sinful man, granting them to turn from their sin and trust in Jesus’ death and resurrection in order for them to stand blameless before God, on account of Christ, and receive eternal life! Unfortunately my voice gave way after a short time so I stepped down for Alex to preach.
Alex was the second preacher up and had the pleasure of dealing with hecklers for the majority of the time. The typical questions/assertions were employed by the Atheists as the basis for their arguments against the Truth. “Other than the Bible what proof do you have that God exists?”, “Prove that Jesus rose from the dead….no you can’t use eyewitness testimony, that is invalid”, “Can God make a burrito so hot that he cannot eat it?”. There were, however, some good questions that were asked. One of them, was to the effect of, “If one man in his whole life only stole a loaf of bread and another was a mass murderer, would they both go to hell?” Again, this provided the opportunity to explain the Gospel and warn of the coming judgment. James 2:10-11 tells us that “whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For he who said “Do not commit adultery”, also said, “Do not murder”. If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the Law”. Likewise, the man who is not a murderer but is a thief is accountable as a person who is guilty of disobeying the commands of a holy God who demands justice. So then, we are all equally deserving of hell.
Our 3rd preacher for the evening was a new-comer to OP13, named John. Ryan spotted him preaching alone not far from where our usual spot is and invited him to join us. He eagerly jumped up on the box and preached for a small time, imploring people to repent and turn to Jesus.
Next up was Ryan, who also had a good crowd of hecklers whose questions Ryan was able to answer. As is often the case, the later it gets the more people there seems to be and while this is a great opportunity for the Gospel, it also carries the danger of drunken people getting aggressive. Unfortunately Ryan was the target of such aggression. It seems that a person in the crowd was offering money for someone to punch/kick Ryan. One of them obliged and made an attempt to kick Ryan but did not make full contact. The police were called but the guys responsible had fled. Bek managed to capture them on camera and fortunately Ryan was uninjured. This sort of opposition has become increasingly regular over the last few months. Praise God no serious harm has befallen any of us but it is a demonstration of peoples hatred towards this message and towards God.
By this time it was getting close to 12:00 so I finished up, preaching for 15 mins.
We are blessed to be able to proclaim this great message of Salvation each week, uniting together in the hope we share. There were some good one-on-one conversations over the course of the night and many tracts handed out. Despite the occurrence of events, the Gospel was proclaimed faithfully and many people heard it although we have no power to convert people but it is God who draws his sheep and it is He who is glorified! How unfathomable that God would use sinful men to proclaim the message of Salvation to sinful men?
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