Friday, 17 October, 2008
This Friday Patrisha, Florence, Jim, and Sucraj joined me in the center of town to reach out to the lost of Sheffield. Our new found spot is in front of the town hall next to the war memorial, which forms our preaching post.
We began the night with appeals to the Lord to save people and work through us. From this we walked up to the square (Barker's Pool as it is called) and began to hand out tracts to the passing people. Shortly after arriving we noticed a group of youthes standing nearby and went to engage them.
As it turned out they were more than happy to talk and though they were definitely not receptive to the gospel they were willing to talk and a lively debate followed. Jim and Sucraj both spoke with some of the other youth there while I spoke with Dan, Emily, Flan and a couple of others. We discussed various things including why I believe in God and why they do not and some of the evidence for God. Though they were not convinced they took tracts and went their way after we had a good chat.
Shortly following this a couple of men stopped after coming from one of the local pubs. One of them was quite willing to talk and was interested in discussing the gospel, the second however was hell-bent on disrupting the conversation. The second man was a Muslim and very drunk, it was quite difficult to take him seriously in the state he was in given Islam condemns drunkenness (indeed all alcohol consumption). The first man was engaged by Jim while I tried to reason with the drunk "Muslim", a positive spin off of this was a good conversation with Saltah. Saltah was another Muslim who stopped to listen to the conversation and then spoke with me about Islam and Christianity for some time. I gave Saltah some apologetics on the Qur'an and Muhammad and asked him to think on it. He left with a track and said he would consider what I had said.
After this I set up to preach and noticed at that point just how cold it was getting. I preached on the certain death that we all must face and the equal certainty that one day we all will be called from our graves to give an account to Jesus Christ. During this Chris was standing listening so I called him out and we went through the good person test. Chris was very open and listened closely to every word and stayed after we finished talking to hear the rest of what I was preaching. A couple of other people were nearby and so I called out to all in ear shot to urge them to consider their consciences and see that they too needed a saviour.
Afterwards Chris and I spoke while Jim spoke with a couple who had stopped to talk. Chris as I said was very open and we spoke for quite some time, especially on the topic of good works and what roll they have in the Christian life and being right with God. Many people get the cart before the horses on this issue, thinking that to be right with God they need to meet a standard first. The truth is that works are given to Christians to glorify the God who has saved them and not to get them right with Him. It is by grace through repentant faith that we are saved and that in Jesus' work. After speaking of many other things also Chris took a bible and then shook my hand thanking me for sharing the gospel with him.
Shortly after this a whole lot of theatre goers came out of town hall as we were preparing to leave, so we tracted the crowd and headed away home for the night. We rejoice to see one heart beginning to open to the gospel and pray that God's Spirit would work mightily to save Chris and indeed all those who heard this night.
Friday, 10 October, 2008
This was the first Friday that I went out in sheffield at night to witness to the lost. Getting into town arround 7pm I waited to see if any other labourers would join me this evening. Praying as I waited I thanked God for the great opportunities that He has given us this last year and for His many blessings.
At the end of the half hour I headed into town a little further to talk with people and search for a spot that would be suitable for a team to work of a Friday night ongoing. I gave out tracts as I went and checked out a few places in the clubbing/pub section of town. A few people accepted tracts and I was glad to see many of them reading them as they went and showing them to friends.
Cyril and Patrisha joined me part way into the night and after praying together we headed to west street to the heart of the clubbing area. We found a good spot next to the tram stop and gave tracts to all the passing people. On arrival Trish ran into an old friend that is on/off the streets continuously and so tried to encourage him for a period. Cyril and I were going back and forward trying to get tracts into the hands of as many people as we could. During this time I had a conversation with an Greek Orthodox girl and confronted her with the need to share the gospel with people. She listened and reluctantly agreed, I may be wrong but it seems that the Orthodox church has little interest in evangelism as a whole.
Cyril managed to get into a great conversation with a doorman to one of the resteraunts/clubs, he asked Cyril to come over and talk with him and his friends about the gospel! Cyril gave them all tracts and got the contact number of the man. We pray that God will use this conversation to bring this man to Him and save him from eternal death.
A couple of young men stopped me while giving out tracts and asked what it was about, I told them that it was a gospel tract. They then went on to say that this was a much nicer way of being approached evangelistically. They had been approached earlier on by a group of Somalian Muslims and told that if they didn't become Muslims and come to the mosque the next day they would find them and kill them (showing them a large knife while saying this). Evangelism by the sword is denied by many Muslims but this is a mild example of what happens in the world (for more information www.barnabusfund.com) and their on scriptures contradict them (Sura 9:5 among others). This opened them to hear about the God who loved them enough to come and die in the place of sinners (which they are) and save them eternally if they will trust in His redeeming work. It was a wonderful conversation and they all left with tracts and thanked me repeatedly for speaking with them. We pray for David, James and Chris that they would repent and trust in the saviour, that they would be saved from the true death of hell.
The night finished well with many people having taken tracts and good times of fellowship as we worked together. We have found a place in front of town hall where it will work to have a regular outreach so I was pleased to have found this also. God is so generous to us and gives far more than we could ask for, Praise His name and all His saints give Him glory for His great work in us and the world!
Sunday, 28 September, 2008
This Saturday I was joined by Mekial and Dawn for outreach in Sheffield. It was unseasonably clear and warm this afternoon and so we had large crowds in Sheffield.
We began the day by handing out tracts in Fargate while I looked for a suitable place to preach from. While we were handing out tracts I noticed that Mekial is quite adept at starting conversations. His background in sales has made him very able to speak to people, I was overjoyed to see him using this skill to God's glory.
I set up to preach and the others gathered around to support me as I preached. Those of you who witness on the streets, never forget how this small thing can lend courage to those who open air preach. It is an intimidating business sometimes and I for one have many times been encouraged by the presence of other Christians when I've preached.
Today I began with the comparison between relativism in reality to what is reasonable. I spoke about Joe Blogs who believed that whatever truth he held was true for him literally. From this somewhat rediculous example I turned to the fact that there is moral as well as practical absolutes in this world. While speaking on this Mona, a polite muslim woman came to ask about what Christians believe. At this I tried my best to give a summary of what Christians believe and called her to look to Jesus Christ as her saviour, while she remained unconvinced she listened and took a tract towards the end of the discussion.
I finished preaching and packed up and the three of us headed around to the peace gardens to speak with people there. Having gotten there we ran into a Christian hip hop band that was endevouring to talk with people there. Two of the young men I had spoken to in the past and given some literature to to encourage them. They are currently planning to do street outreach in the local townships around Sheffield. I encouraged them and we pray that they would glorify God in their work and that God would use them gloriously to the salvation of souls.
While Mekial and Dawn were hard at it witnessing to all sorts of people I ran into Amy and her friends who I've spoken to several times. I spoke at length again to Amy and showed her that it will be right for God to judge all sin and evil deeds. She seemed quite affected and I pleaded with her to look to the only saviour. We pray that God would save some of these precious young people, they are largely lost in sin and disapation.
At the end of the afternoon I spoke with Dawn to Ollie and tried to reason with him about the reality of God. The conversation went very well but we had to leave and things ended on an interesting point:
Ollie : What do you think man's purpose is then?
Me : To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
Ollie : We don't do that though.
Me: Yes, that's why we need a saviour!
Saturday, 13 September, 2008
God is extra gracious to us sometimes and gives us a taste of what He is doing in the lives of those we witness to. I am confident that much of the time He is doing far more than we could imagine, let alone what we see and hear. This week we had many encouragements and blessings as we proclaimed the gospel in Sheffield.
Anna and I went into town and there met up with Beck and Sucraj from Wycliffe our church in Sheffield. We shared in prayer together before beginning and while we were praying that God would move the hearts of people Mekial arrived to talk. We finished praying and while Beck and Anna went to handing out tracts I spoke to Mekial.
Mekial and I talked primarily about how he was spiritually and it seems he had hit on something that makes sense to him. He has been watching Way of The Master on television and was particularly inspired by Ray Comfort's message "Hell's Best Kept Secret". This has fired his enthusiasm for the things of God and he is reading the bible again and praying. With these two good things in place I urged him to not neglect going to church and he promised me he would come on sunday (and he did). We are glad to see that God has not left this young man alone but rather is still chasing him down. I often think of the poem "The Hound of Heaven" when I think on Mekial's life, we're cheering on the hound!
We handed out tracts for a period and many people taking tracts though not many wanting to interupt their shopping with thoughts of eternity. As there was a rap group that had taken over our normal position in front of Marks and Spencers I set up to preach further up Fargate. I began with the fancy that I had as a child, to be an astronaught and free of gravity. If the human body remains in space for too long though it becomes weak and that person will eventually die. Likewise I pointed to the freedom that most people want from moral obligation and the desire to do it their own way. The parallel is frighteningly close, free of moral law people become progressively weaker in conscience until it finally dies. The major difference is that the sinful life and evil deeds of those free from moral law end not in a physical death but rather in an eternal death in the punishment of hell.
During this some young people stopped to listen and I engaged them on the point of morals and asked if they were good or bad. Laura was happy to have her goodness tested and she and her friends listened as I spoke to them about the law of God and the gospel. Despite protesting briefly that God would forgive her sin anyway, Laura saw that justice must be done and that someone would have to pay the price. We spoke about the great news of Jesus' work on behalf of sinners, afterwards she and her friends took tracts and three of them bibles also.
Shortly after this exchange Melissa stopped and we spoke along similar lines. She had begun to reform her life and wanted to be right with God on those terms, hoping the change of lifestyle would be enough to please Him. I urged her to not reform only but to also to cling to Christ Jesus as her only hope and for that reason reform her ways. I urged her also to pray, read God's word and also find a good biblical church to attend. She also took a bible and a tract and left smiling and thanking us for speaking with her.
Afterwards I noticed that Sucraj was mid conversation with a young man, they had spoken throughout the preaching and he was open to the gospel. They exchanged details and hopefully there will be further fruit as Sucraj continues to keep up with him.
We handed out tracts for a short period longer and then gathered to give glory to God for the many glorious things we had seen Him doing today.
Praise His Name and Soli Deo Gloria!
Saturday, 6 September, 2008
This Saturday you could see the winter was coming to Sheffield in earnest, the clouds were rolling in and the wind was cold as it blew through the streets. As I was alone to begin the day I prayed to our Lord that He would save some who heard and give me strength and bring others to work with me.
Paddy and I walked into Fargate and began our day's work with handing out tracts. This we continued with for some time and a steady stream of people filed past and many took tracts. As I was looking to continue after a short pause speaking with a city counsel ambassador but two people from Wicliffe Church in Sheffield arrived to work with me.
We continued to tract for a short period and then I stood and preached. One thing I have noticed again and again in Sheffield is the lack of people who are willing to stop and heckle. Part of this is to do with the place we witness, fargate is a thorough-fare and as such few will stop. The otherside to the issue is many in this country are so hard of heart that even the most empassioned pleas or sound reasoning will have little effect on them. One sight warms my heart though, people will often stop in doors to shops or just out of line of sight and listen to what is said, also there are many of the store workers who regularly come out to hear the gospel preached.
Patrisha another friend was also present when I began to preach and was able to give out many tracts while I spoke and afterwards. After finishing I encouraged those who had kindly joined me and we prayed together before heading off.
Praise God for the answers to prayer He brings!
Saturday, 30 August, 2008
This Saturday was short due to my work responsibilities but we pray that God would use the work done relying on His power. Peter met me in Fargate and we prayed together shortly pleading with God that He would save the souls of the people we spoke with.
We began by handing out tracts, with the crowds in Fargate there were many tracts going out and we quickly worked through the ones that we had. Unfortunately few people will stop to talk or listen in Fargate but it is a wonderful place to handout tracts.
We headed up to the Peace gardens to preach to the people that gather there on a Saturday afternoon. The Sheffield City Ambassadors do not want Christian witnesss in the Gardens and will stop anyone who preach or witness in the area. We have had many discussions with the Ambassadors and at the moment we have consent to speak with people in the gardens but not to give out tracts. As we walked through the gardens we ran into one of our regular hecklers William who stopped to speak with me. While we spoke Peter was hard at it giving out tracts and doing a great job of it.
William and I chatted for a short period and as he often does he brought up all the reasons why Christianity is false. Many of the things that he holds to are purely his opinion and there is no evidence that it is true. I often confront him on this and as to yet he has not brought any evidence to show the truth of his world-view. One of the things that he brought up were the Summarian Tablets, which were unearthed in the ruins of Babylon. These tablets, while they contain many interesting snippets of information about the ancient world, only provide context to the biblical account. In fact in the case of the myth of Gilgamesh and the flood it also confirms that there was indeed a world wide flood that occurred in the time span that is presented in the bible.
After a short chat with William he left telling me that again he thought we were wrong and that I should do my research but that he would leave me to preach as he knew I would. So I did, preaching from the side walk of an old street I gave a short gospel message to the people in the gardens. The Ambassadors predictably came and told me that I was on private land (which I was not) and that I could not preach there (which I could). I finished the preaching and Peter and I headed out to get back to our respective work places.
Praise God that the revelation He has given is so clear and that there is such a strong witness to the bible in the history and archeology of the world. We pray that He would use His word through us and that we would faithfully preach and proclaim all of His word.
Wednesday, 6 August, 2008
Anna and I went into Sheffield this Wednesday with little time but a determination to witness to our Lord. On the way into Fargate we bumped into another regular evangelist in Fargate, Cedric. He joined us in prayer and we appealed to the Lord of the harvest to bring in people both to hear and to be saved.
As we had little time I set up to preach immediately and Anna set to with tracts and one-to-one's. Anna was able to give out many tracts and at one stage had to come and get some more - a wonderful problem to have. She also had a couple of conversations which is always encouraging to see.
I stood to preach the mystery of the gospel to the lost of Sheffield, praise God that he has revealed the way of salvation that is certain to save those who will trust in Him. While I preached a couple of young people came up who I'd spoken to recently. They hadn't considered what I'd told them recently and had gone back to their lives unchanged. We pray that there would be fruit in the lives of those we witness to, that God would grant them repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
We spoke for a short period, before their friend Callum arrived. Callum and I were able to discuss the justice and forgiveness of God, particularly how the mercy and forgiveness of God is exactly in line with His perfect justice. This is why He will never "just forgive" sinners, but rather requires the death of a perfect sacrifice for sin before forgiveness is possible. The wages of sin is death and every person who sins is under the just condemnation of eternal death for their rebellion against God.
Callum's friend also pointed out that he was a homosexual and "doesn't God hate gay's?". At this I turned to her and said "any sexual relationship outside of marriage is condemned by God as sin, you need to be just as concerned as he should be, if you have lusted or committed fornication!". The death and resurrection of Jesus and the repentant faith of believers is still the only means of salvation offered to mankind. It doesn't matter if you are a liar, thief, sorcerer, murderer, homosexual, greedy, lustful or atheist; if you have broken the law of God in ANY way you need to repent and turn to Jesus in faith.
We spoke for a short period longer and I urged them again and again (and any in earshot) to turn from their sin. As I finished and stepped down a soft spoken man came up to speak with me. He is an atheist and disagreed with with what I'd said. We talked for a short period and I spoke to him of some of the major problems I would have with that world view if I held to it. Just to give a quick list, my problems would include: no proof that God is non-existent (that would require absolute knowledge), the problem of evolution from non-life to life, the evolution from reptile to bird (no matter what anyone says a diaphragmatic hernia will never make you more fit!), the Cambrian period, and the intricate interlacing of systems in life in a design that points to a creator. As I had to get back to work I left him with a tract and told him when we'd next be in - hopefully we'll get to speak again.
Praise God for the great things He has and continues to do. May His name be praised.
Saturday, 2 August, 2008
This Saturday the weather was beautiful and the opportunities were many as I ministered in the Lord's name in Fargate. I was privileged with many conversations that I hope blessed the other people as much as they encouraged me.
I began the afternoon's work by walking through the court in front of the cathedral and handing out some tracts to those sitting there. It was wonderful to see the groups of people reading of Jesus their only hope as I handed them out. My first conversation was with a lady who accepted a tract despite the jeers of one of her friends. She then went on to not only listen while I shared the law and the gospel with her but she told her friend to pipe down several times as he tried to stop the conversation. Praise God that He opened her heart this much, she left with a tract in hand and I pray that she would be drawn by you my Lord, that your love and mercy would follow her also all her days.
At the end of this conversation I headed up into Fargate and continued to hand out tracts. I found that today there were many people who were willing to take tracts and while only a couple stopped to ask more all of them walked on reading. Having run out of one lot of tracts I then set up to preach God's word to as many as would hear. Today again I focused on the materialism of our modern world and the way that people have sold themselves for trinkets that last less than the measly 75 years we are here for. I began by focusing attention on the passage:
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." (Matthew 6:32-34)
While I preached a couple of people stopped and listened while they sat on the surrounding chairs, some came and went but no-one heckled and I preached with zeal and joy the greatness of our salvation in Jesus Christ alone. Two young men had stopped and listened and I engaged them and a nearby middle eastern man in conversation afterwards. I could not get far with the young men before they were called away to their Saturday pursuits but I had a wonderful conversation with Muhammad the other man.
I was able to speak at length with him about the scriptures that all Muslims are commanded to believe (according to Sura 29:46 and Sura 10:94) and urge him to take a second look at what Jesus said of Himself rather than what he had been lead to believe. One of the greatest difficulties I find when ministering to Muslim people is that they so often will become unreceptive because they believe the bible to be a corrupted book. This is a plain-faced lie that so many Muslim people have swallowed without a second thought. The book that Muhammad referred to in the above sura's is pre-dated by the documents we translate the modern bible from, in plain terms: if you believe that the bible was reliable then you must believe that the bible is reliable now. This young man though he didn't agree with what I had to say, he did stay and talked for 30 minutes and gladly took the tract and Arabic new testament I gave him.
Join us in praying fervently to the Lord on behalf of the Muslim people, pray that He will sovereignly work to save them and that He will raise up people to reach them. Many fear the Muslim people, as Christians we are called to follow our Lord and self sacrificially love even those who hate us and pray for those who would persecute us.
Filled with joy in the Lord at this conversation I went to the peace gardens to speak with some of the youth of Sheffield who gather there every week. There I ran into Dan and a couple of his friends, in particular two young ladies who spoke with me at length. I was able to speak to them by beginning with where they were (one of them had lost a friend recently and hated God for it) and use this to point them to the saviour and to God's justice. After hearing the gospel and the law many times over they left and we pray that the Lord will put that conversation to good use. As it was getting late I headed off, but not before a group of angry young people arrived to ask "We keep telling you to leave but you just keep coming back, why?" and "Do you think that you are doing God's work?". I was pleased to tell them that I come because I want them to know the truth and I want that because I care for them. As for doing God's work, no I am merely an unprofitable servant who is only doing what he is commanded, for it is written:
"Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 16:15-16)
Saturday, 26 July, 2008
Saturday morning dawns bright and clear and it looks like a perfect summer's day. The markets in the center of sheffield have set up in fargate, offering all sorts of wares. There is fine food and drink, clothing of various sorts, and the usual collection of trinkets and ornaments. Some of the stall holders rely on the smell of the food to attract customers, others on the signs they erected, the occational one calling to the crowds to come and see. Part way up Fargate a small group congregates to set up a table and flip chart - what have they to offer? The free offer of salvation by faith alone in the saviour Jesus Christ! As the day goes on they call any who will hear:
"Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food." (Isa 55:1-2)
This Saturday was a glorious day in many respects and not just because of the weather. We were blessed with the arrival of evangelists from all over the UK as we hosted the second of the Northern England Evangelism Circuit outreaches. The team tallied to 12 people all toll and to begin the day we gathered at a quiet spot to fellowship and spend time in bible study and prayer. It was a most encouraging start and we went out from this enthusiastic for the task before us.
There were many people in the centre of town due to the international markets - an unexpected blessing as we were able to give out tracts and speak to people with no thinning of the crowd throughout the day. The team set to handing out tracts while I set up the free bible table and some others the flip chart and preaching post.
The Bible table was a big hit and by the end of the day I regretted having brought so few bibles as we ran out in the middle of the day. Praise God that He make the hearts of people so hungry for His word. Throughout the day this little table was the site of many one-to-one conversations as people enquired about the reason for our hope in Jesus.
One conversation like this was the young lady who asked me exactly that - "why do you still believe in Jesus?". She had grown up in church and become doubtful and as time went by became cold to the things of God. Praise God she has recently started to look for a church again and when see saw the team and the Bible table came to ask about what we believe. I was able to give her my humble story and show her the reason for my hope and also the gospel that sparked that hope. I pointed her to some of the local churches that are evangelical and we pray that God would turn her from unbelief to trust in Him truly.
Shortly after this we began to preach and proclaim the gospel and call people to repentance and faith. First up was Dale from Cumbria, Dale has been coming along in leaps and bounds and I am impressed every time I hear him preach. He stood to preach and proclaimed the word of God clearly, a couple of people stopped to listen and one-to-ones sprung up afterwards. Lord use these words to draw people to yourself we pray!
Anna was speaking at length in this time with a couple of Jehovah's witnesses, these folk were querying the orthodox view of Jesus Christ. Anna is well up on the many ways that the watchtower organisation perverts the bible both in it's interpretation and in the translation from both Greek and Hebrew. It is so important to defend the faith against those who would draw people away from faith in Jesus alone to some other system, we pray that through God's power the words Anna spoke would open their eyes and show them the deception of the watchtower organisation.
During the preaching a young man had stopped and Rob engaged him in a interview about the preaching. Darren spoke at length with Rob and by the end of the conversation was under heavy conviction of sin. When Rob spoke to him about his need of a saviour Darren responded that he wanted to become a Christian and did so with Rob and Anna encouraging him as he prayed to the Lord for mercy in Christ. We made sure that he had a list of good churches in Sheffield and a bible before he left our company and pray that we would meet him again. What amazing joy there must have been in heaven that day as the miracle of transformation took place in Darren's heart through the power of the Holy Spirit. We rejoiced also and praise God for His mercy to another rebellious sinner whom He has humbled through His grace.
Rob preached next and though I only heard part of the preaching I was glad to hear again the errors of the world confronted and refuted and the gospel of Jesus Christ proclaimed. This is something that Rob does excellently and unfortunately for a large part of the preaching I was unable to listen due to the wonderful problem of an extremely busy bible table!
Just before lunch John stepped up to preach and in-keeping with the carnival atmosphere did some trivia to bring in a crowd and then went on to preach the gospel to those gathered. Afterwards many one-to-ones were happening and the few of us that weren't occupied with that were rapidly distributing tracts.
During this time Jim and Dale were in deep discussion with a catholic scholar who gladly spoke with them for upwards of 40 minutes. This conversation was a wonderful opportunity to share the gospel of grace by faith alone to someone trusting in the teaching of the catholic church which is more tradition than bible.
Our break for lunch was again a wonderful time of fellowship as we gathered around to eat and drink together as brothers and sisters under Jesus Christ our Lord and King. Afterwards Kevin and Carl both preached, both of them setting out clearly the wonderful work of God in both making and sustaining us and then in redeeming us from the world and sin.
I stepped up to preach next and pointed people to the great blessings that they have through God's grace, I pointed to the greatest gift of all, Jesus sent to die for sinners. During this two young people stopped and I engaged them in the good person test. Wonderfully I was able to speak at length with them both and convinced (by their admission at least) that there was no hope for them apart from Jesus and His death and resurrection. However, in the middle of the interaction a man who often stops to heckle and scoff tried to stop them from hearing what I was saying to them. This is often the case that the enemies of truth will appear when the lost are hearing the gospel and try to prevent it anyway they can. Thankfully he left shortly after arriving and the others heard the gospel and I urged them to turn to Jesus as our time here on earth is short.
Jim was next to preach and did a fantastic job of closing the day, giving a clear presentation of the gospel and refuting the common errors that people will cling to. Again afterwards many one-to-ones started and I was particularly encouraged to see John interacting with two Muslim women and giving them the gospel. After this John and all of us were invited to discuss Islam and Christianity with them further at the local mosque in the near future.
We packed up, and though tired from the work we were rejoicing and so raised our voices in prayer to God for the many people who heard the gospel and received literature. O Lord will you please save these souls in your grace? Praise God for opportunity, praise God for strength and time to do the work in, praise God that He draws people to hear and be saved!
Saturday, 19 July, 2008
Anna my lovely wife joined me in witnessing to the lost of Sheffield this week, we prayed together beforehand and pleaded with God for the souls of those we would speak to today. As the weather was fine, Fargate was full of people and opportunities.
We began by handing out tracts while we waited for some others to join us. During this time many people took tracts and we both had a few people stop to ask what it was all about. While the couple of people Anna spoke to were hard of heart and cursed God, I had a good conversation with a pair of young men. While they didn't give me their names they both gave me their full attention and listened well. There was a few self justifying comments when they heard of the law and judgement, but they quickly were settled when we examined the justice of that judgement. I rejoiced as these two young men heard the gospel and left having given me assurance they would turn to God. We entrust them to your great hand Lord God and pray that you would draw them to you and keep them in the Lord Jesus Christ until they come to heaven.
After distributing the tracts we had, I set up to preach under the trees. I preached the great divide between the great gifts of God to us (life, a world to live in, food, clothing, sun, fellowship etc.) and the stingy and miserly gratitude that mankind shows Him in response. Worse than this we tend to hatefully use the very name of God as a swear word and interjection! Most would be aghast if you did this with their loved one's name, as any Christian should be if they hear the name of God blasphemed. A group of young ladies walked past laughing and I called out one of them and began to talk with her about her own response to God and her position before Him according to the law. We unfortunately were interrupted by her friend and she left so they didn't hear the whole gospel.
During this however Caz stopped with his mate and they wanted to speak to me about the things of God. Caz was proud and wanted to be able to stand before God and be justified without repentance and faith in someone else's work. In short he wanted to be able to do it himself - sadly the desire of most people. Again part way through Caz and his friend had to go and though they left with a tract it was sad to see him leaving still wanting self justification.
Next up was Anna, she doesn't preach very often any more but when she does I am always encouraged by her clear exposition of the scriptures and clear presentation of the gospel. During her preaching a couple of young people stopped to listen for a moment and then came back to listen to her. She engaged them on weather or not they were good and then went on to preach the gospel to them. Anna is very expressive when she preaches, today the stool that we use to preach from copped the full force of that expressiveness as Anna stomped on it to express the hate that most have for the name of God in blasphemy. The stool promptly broke into many pieces and so we have not stool but thankfully also no one was hurt either. At this the preaching to the young people became one-to-ones and many good conversations followed.
One particular couple stayed around for a period to talk and we were able to talk with them at length about the gospel and give apologetics for the faith that we have in Jesus Christ. The time was congenial and they left with smiles and tracts.
Praise God that He uses us to speak, may His word not return void!