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!
Friday evening was a truly blessed time for the team. We met in the cafe at 7pm and enjoyed a time of fellowship and Bible study before heading out to the Square. During our Bible study we looked at Romans 12:9-21, which is such a tremendous passage. It details the marks of a true Christian and is summed up with this verse: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” When we are out on the street we come across much evil, but the goodness of God will always triumph over evil, and in that we can rejoice.
Arriving in the square our team consisted of Andrew, James, Rhea, Roman and myself. After praying together I stood up to preach. You can see below a sort clip from my message. I emphasised our need to get right with God, that we are not an accident and have indeed been made by God, but tragically we have fallen in sin and so we stand condemned before a just and holy God. God, however, is also a God of love, and He offers forgiveness in Jesus Christ. He offers it to all and calls on everyone to repent of their sin and trust in His Son. Some did stop to listen and as a result a number of conversations began.
I had some really encouraging conversations. One in particular was with a young man from France. He was a delight to talk to and really showed some interest in what I was saying. He mentioned that he had looked into Christianity but was not convinced concerning the reliability and authority of the Bible, particularly when we see so many other religions in this world. He also believes that the Bible has been changed and modified over the years.
I explained to him that this is not true. We do have many translations of the Bible, but each of these translations have come from the same collection of manuscripts (the same source), namely, manuscripts written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. We spoke at length about this but I realised that I would need to send him some information for him to look at, so I asked if I could email him later. He welcomed this, which was very encouraging. He also took some tracts before he left and so do pray that his heart would be open to the Gospel. I have since emailed him about the veracity of the Bible and I hope to hear back from soon.
A little later in the evening we were joined by Kofi, Kwabena and Kwadwo. I really love these guys, three brothers that love the Lord and come out each week to share the Gospel. They got stuck right into things and started talking with people andhanding out tracts. Below is a little snippet from Kwadwo regarding a conversation he had:
"On Friday I had a really long talk with one individual and both Rhea and Andrew came and joined in to talk to him. He was on a two day stay from Germany and claimed that he was a Christian but recently began to think that God does not exist and now at the age of 22 he was pretty set on thinking that there is not a God so he doesn't need to worry about judgement after he dies. So we emphasised that he should listen to his conscience and that deep down he knows that there really is a God.
When we showed him that he has sinned against a holy God he disputed certain matters such as lying as not sining because it doesn't hurt anybody, but eventually he did see how it is sin to God as it breaks God's law and then we gave him the Gospel before answering the many questions he had. Before we left him he said he would certainly think about what we have said but he continually insisted that we could not convince him with which we continually answered of course we can’t, only God can. That was the main conversation i got into and I believe that Thomas went away thinking about the questions that had played on his mind earlier on."
Everybody on the team was involved in a number of conversations throughout the evening, which was brilliant. At around 10:30pm we left the square and went and sat in Burger King, enjoying some hot food and giving feedback to one another from the time we’d had. We have been running with this format for a few weeks now and it’s really helpful for everyone.
It’s great to share those encouraging conversations we’ve all had and to talk about the challenges we faced and the objections we struggled to answer. Friday night is definitely great training ground for all of us and it helps to equip and prepare us for those conversations we are fortunate to have later in the week.
Do continue to pray for the work of Operation 513 London.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Last night was another blessed time of reaching out to people with the Gospel. Our team for the evening was Kwabena, Kwadwo, Wainaina, Waithera, Rhea, James, Barney and myself. It was a warm and pleasant evening for outreach and there were certainly plenty of people about. Perfect for witnessing.
Standing up to preach I began my message by talking about the recent scandal with the News of the World. Due to illegal phone hacking the paper has now had to close down after 168 years in print. I decided to use this to draw on people's concept of what they believe to be right and wrong, and more importantly, how can we know what is right or wrong, and also, to which standard do we turn when asking the question of what is right and what is wrong. If the News of the Word staff believed they acted rightly, who are we to say they acted wrongly? Is right and wrong just a matter of opinion, or is there an objective standard? There is, and that standard is God. He made the world, and that means He makes the rules. This allowed me to bring the message into line with examining ourselves in light of God's rules and understanding that we are guilty sinners worthy of judgment. Helping people to see they deserve the wrath and judgment of God for their sins makes the grace of God offered through Jesus Christ far more amazing. People are also able to appropriate a clearer understanding of why they need Christ.
Not long after I finished preaching another preacher entered the Square. His message was built very much on the prosperity Gospel and was also a mish-mash of condemning statements, some of which really made me cringe. He had even made some rather disturbing advances towards some young girls. One of the girls I had spoken with previously commented on how much of a hypocrite she saw him to be. In contrast she was appreciative of the fact that we were preaching from the Bible and were sincere. She is not a Christian but to hear her say this encouraged me that God was helping her to see the truth. It was frustrating to hear this preacher say so many unhelpful and erroneous things. Talking amongst ourselves Rhea really encouraged me when she said that a little while ago, when another team had come into the Square to preach, a Muslim walking passed said to her that it was clear we preached with love and compassion, even though the other team of Christians did not. Of course I wish this was not so, but it shows that people can see when people are being sincere and loving and when they are not. Also, when you consider that each week we speak of hell and judgment, it is so encouraging to hear that people can still see that we care about them and want them to be saved.
We all had some great conversations. Rhea spoke with a gentleman who was visibly moved by what he heard. He said he would like to visit her church and he also took some tracts. Please pray for him! I spoke with a Muslim gentleman who told me that he was married to a Christian. He appeared quite liberal in much of what he believed and he also leaned heavily on an evolutionary understanding of the world. I found it very interesting when I took him through God's moral law. He had said that he believed himself to be a good person but when I asked if he had lied, stolen, etc, it was so evident that he was convicted and that his conscience was speaking to him. We got talking about evolution, etc, from that point on because he kept asking me questions about it, to which I answered as best I could, as I feel it is only right that we do answer their questions. However I had hoped that I would have had more time to expound on the Gospel. I was encouraged that he left with a John Blanchard booklet called "Ultimate Questions," which really opens up the Gospel well.
I also spoke with another Muslim who said that he is a relativist. He believed morality existed only for our survival and so laws are in place to protect us. Ultimately it is pragmatism that has shaped our value system and defined our moral code. We know something is wrong only because we have experienced certain practical consequences. We have seen how it affects us through the pain it brings and also through that which we end up losing.
But is this really true? Do we not intrinsically know that certain things are right and wrong? I believe we do. For example, I don't need to kill someone and then see the result of that before knowing it is wrong. To suggest that we only know murder is wrong because we realise after it happens that there are serious consequences for the person being murdered shows that we have no concept of the value of life and are incapable of making moral judgments before we do something. This of course is absurd because history and practise shows that we do value life. Ask anybody why they have become a doctor or fireman. Will they say they chose that profession simply to maintain a right balance in society so that we don't lose the people we need to function properly? No, they will say they chose that profession because they value life and want to protect people. Now, it is true that the non-Christian doctor or fireman does good works to show to themselves, and God, that they are good people worthy of accolade and Heaven, but even with this selfish attitude that drives them, they still know that what they are doing is good and praiseworthy.
You see, even though their motive is not good, they are still doing good because they want people (and God) to see that they are good. The fact that they want people to see they are good shows they do understand the intrinsic concept of good versus evil. Let me point out though that a non-Christian would undoubtedly say they have no selfish agenda and are doing good because they know it is the right thing to do and so are not trying to prove anything to anybody. This is not the case, but the point is, when pressed, a non-Christian would not say they are doing good to maintain societal balance, rather they would say they are doing good because they themselves are good. So in practise the truth is that people intrinsically know what is right and what is wrong. Morality is not a result of pragmatism. Of course, we do see people doing wrong, but this is not because they do not know it is right or wrong before they do it, rather they do it because they have a rebellious and sinful heart.
After explaining to him as best I could that we do intrinsically know what is right and wrong it was frustrating to see him deny it so strongly. He is certainly not the first relativist I have spoken to and he won't be the last. It is a predominant worldview today and we need to do our best to help them see the absurdity of what they are saying.
It was certainly a profitable evening. Do pray for all who heard the Gospel!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Our team on Friday evening was made up of Wainaina, Waithera, Kwabena, Kwadwo, Joram, James and myself. After a time of Bible study and fellowship at the cafe we hit the streets. It was good to be out together to share the Gospel!
While I was preaching a man came passed who expressed a lot of an anger and rage at seeing me standing on a ladder preaching from the Bible. He wanted to know what gave me the right to stand there and "tell others what they should do." I explained that I was simply declaring the message of the Gospel and that I did have have the freedom to stand on a ladder and preach. He wouldn't let it go so I calmly said, "Sir, I tell you what, if you want to get a ladder and come set up next to me and preach that will be totally fine by me." This helped to calm him down, which was good! I decided to build on the theme of freedom and addressed the crowd (that my angry heckler friend had so wonderfully helped to bring in) concerning this, explaining that we enjoyed many freedoms in our country because of Christianity. At one point I said, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is still a free country," to which many clapped and cheered and said, "Hear, hear." It was brilliant to then preach the whole Gospel to the crowd as they stood and listened.
After I finished preaching I noticed our angry heckler had calmed down a lot and was talking with the rest of the team. He came up to me and said, "Mate, I apologise, I had you all wrong." Wow. It turned out he had heard open air preaching before elsewhere in London and said that all he heard was that he shouldn't do this and he shouldn't do that. We talked for quite a while after this and I was able to share the Gospel with him more adequately. He had some interesting ideas of his own and I spent quite a bit of time adressing these and then bringing it back to the Gospel. He left with some tracts and much to think about. Please pray for him.
The team all got into a number of conversation, which was so encouraging. As there are now a number of new people on the team I decided it would be good to have a time of feedback and an opportunity to ask questions. We settled in Burger King and had a good time sharing some of the challenges we had all experienced. Many in the team expressed how they realised they had so much to learn. I can certainly relate to that. We are so fortunate in our day and age to have such an abundance of resources available to us so that we can indeed be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give a reason for the hope that we have (1 Peter 3:15).
Soli Deo Gloria!
We were a small team on Friday but the Lord still used us to reach out to a number of people with the Gospel. The team for the night was Esther, Laurence, Kwadwo, Kwabena, James and myself. After some warm fellowship in the cafe we arrived in Leicester Square and I got ready to preach. I’d had a difficult day at work and was not relishing the thought of standing up to preach, the flesh certainly was waging war with the Spirit! But I persevered and stood up to preach, and I was so glad I did. Isn’t it awesome that the Lord is able to use us even though we are weak.
As I was preaching a few people stopped to listen. In particular there were three gentlemen who listened throughout my message. After I finished preaching Esther got talking with two of the men and I was able to talk with the other young man who had been listening. We had a very interesting conversation. He considered himself “in touch” with God through an experience that he’d had when he was younger, although he was not able to explain what this was. He instead stressed that it is something a person simply must experience. I explained to him that the Bible tells us there is only one way to experience God and that is through the person Jesus Christ. I spent some considerable time explaining to him why Jesus is the answer to the problem facing us all, that we stand condemned as sinners before a holy God, guilty and unable to make ourselves innocent, sentenced to eternal punishment as is fitting for the lives we have lived. Our only hope is for an innocent substitute to step into our place, one who is fully man so that He can stand before the judgement seat of God as man’s representative, and one who is also fully God, since only God is able to bear the punishment for the sins we have committed, and at the same time able to deliver others from that sin. This substitute is of course Jesus Christ, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption. Amen!
The gentleman I spoke to did not show any sign that he was persuaded by the truth of the Gospel, but he listened all the same, and I pray that God opens his heart to hear and understand the awesome news that I shared with him. Please pray for him, the Lord knows his name.
We all had the opportunity to tell others about the Lord and so that is a successful night in my book! James passed out what must have been a hundred tracts and so do pray the Lord would speak into the hearts of all those who took a tract and read it.
Soli Deo Gloria!
It was a wet summers Friday night, as we head out to share the Gospel once more in Leicester Square. We met as usual in Cafe Nero, with a team of roughly 6 (although quite a few more joined us later in the Square). As we were looking at God’s Word together, a middle aged man entered the Cafe and began to rant and rave at one of the cashiers. We discovered (as did everyone else in the coffee shop) that he wanted to use the cafe’s restroom, however since he was not a paying customer he was refused. He became very angry and began using obscene language, hurtling abuse at the poor girl who was serving. We were unsure what to do, as interfering could have inflamed the situation even further. Wainaina decided to get a little something for him so that he could use the restroom, and it turned out to be a great move. A little later as he came passed our table he said, “It would be people like yourselves to come to my rescue.” That was interesting I thought. He began to comment on the fact that we were having a Bible study, so we encouraged him to join, to which he did! As we shared with him from God’s Word we encouraged him to apologise to the cashier. He did, which was so encouraging to see. We spoke with him some more and listened as he shared some rather strange ideas on God’s Word. He knew a fair amount of Scripture, but was quite wrong in much of what he said! It was definitely a very interesting meeting, and I pray the Lord will do a great work in his life.
When we left the cafe it was spitting with rain and that turned out to be a constant for the rest of the evening. It definitely made things difficult and more people would have stopped during the preaching had it not been raining, but we still ended up having some great conversations. One conversation in particular that I had was with two young ladies. One of them chose to not believe in God at all, the other (who had grown up Catholic) said she believed in evolution but believed in God as well. As she had brought up the issue of evolution I asked her what she knew about it. She said that she had studied Darwinism at college, so I mentioned I had studied it too. As we spoke about evolution and what constitutes true science I could see that she was impressed somewhat that I had a handle on it all. She asked how it was that I had studied evolution, particularly as I was a Christian, so I explained that I wanted to know about all belief systems, whether religious or secular, so that I had an openness to what others believed. She was definitely impressed and this gave me an opening to talk with her about spiritual things.
When it comes to the field of apologetics and learning what others believe we don’t need to gain a PhD in a certain field. What we should do is study enough so that we have an understanding of what others believe and so that we can demonstrate how their arguments are flawed. Click on the following link to learn more about evolution and the fallacies that accompany it: http://carm.org/evolution
The rest of the team had some great conversations too. James spoke with a Muslim gentleman who posed the question: “How can God die?” referring of course to the Christian belief that God became a man in the person Jesus Christ and later died on a cross for the sin of the world. James had recently watched an apologetic video that addresses this question and he drew on what he had learned for his answer. You can watch the video via this link: http://operation513.blogspot.com/2010/08/how-can-god-die.html.
Although wet and somewhat miserable, the team enjoyed a great night of witnessing and fellowship. It was certainly a blessing to be out together sharing the wonderful Gospel of our Lord.
Soli Deo Gloria!
On Friday night the team was out once more to share the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ with the people of London. We were about 10 strong and it was a joy to see a few new faces as well.
I stepped up to preach first and it wasn’t long before some conversations took place as a result. During my message I called people to recognise the God that had given them life, to see that our existence is not random and chance oriented, but that we have been created by an awesome God, a God to whom we owe our worship and obedience. We planned to have James step up to preach after me with a short gap in between.
I had the opportunity to talk with a group of tourists from France. Their English was very limited so I used the GM28 app on my iPhone. If you’ve never heard of this app it’s basically a witnessing tool that presents the Gospel in a number of different languages. You can see a video and learn more about the app by clicking on this link: http://www.thegm28.com. It was difficult to tell how much of an impact the Gospel had on them but they seemed to respond well to what they read on my phone. The seed of the Gospel had been sown and although we do not know how the Lord will use that seed it’s important to use every opportunity we have to reach this world for Christ.
We also had some boards with us that start with the question: “Ask me....” These are great for getting into conversation with people. They’re a little different from approaching someone with a tract to start a conversation, but they definitely have their advantages. A person’s defences will be down if they decide to approach you, for example. The boards were a great success during the night. “Ask me what happens when we die” is definitely my favourite.
I spent some time talking with Michael, someone we have all come to know and talk with at some point for quite some time now. Michael professes to be an atheist, but not in a casual sense, he is very much a product of the militant atheistic drive that has been pushing for some years now. There are times when he can be very disruptive and unsettling, however I have built a relationship with him over time to the point where he will at least listen to what I am saying. I’m very encouraged by that.
James preached a little later and I can’t help but marvel at how well he has come on these last few weeks. He has a firm grasp of what he wants to say and he presents the Gospel clearly and boldly. It’s such an encouragement to see. Please pray the Lord continues to use him.
It was wonderful to be used of God to make His name known.
Soli Deo Gloria!
“You can’t preach here, this is my spot.”
These were the words of a young man who frequents Leicester Square and preaches a message that sadly is not the Gospel. We had arrived at our normal time and headed to our new spot to set up to minister God’s Word. Unfortunately there was a jazz band of sorts not far from us and so it was going to be quite difficult to make ourselves heard. We decided to move further down into the square to find a spot that would be better for us.
We found an area that I believed could work and got ready to begin. Less than a minute later the young man I just mentioned showed up next to me and asked if he could join us and preach with us. I have heard him preach before and so I had to make a decision. My answer was not the answer he wanted to hear. In a matter of seconds his countenance changed and he became very unfriendly to say the least. It was at that point that he told us we were in his spot. I objected and he left, but very shortly after he returned to set up very close to where we were. I had another decision to make. To be associated with him, in my opinion, was not good and so we headed back to where we had been last week, hoping that the band had finished playing. I was sad and somewhat unnerved by what had just happened, but it’s so important that the truth of God’s Word is proclaimed and that we do not associate with a false Gospel (Galatians 1:8-9). Please pray for the young man who opposed us and please pray the Lord would arrest his heart with the truth.
I stood up to preach and proclaimed the truth of the Gospel from God’s Word. A few stopped to listen and I was encouraged to see Bobbie get into a conversation almost immediately with a man who stopped to listen also. After I finished preaching I got talking with a young Muslim man from Bangladesh. He had of cause heard of Jesus, but did not understand why he needed to die on a cross. It was great to talk with him and I was so encouraged when he asked if he could talk with me some more about it sometime. He suggested I add him as a friend on Facebook so I whipped out my iPhone and did just that. I have since sent him an email and hopefully we can continue to chat. Please pray for him.
A little later James stood up to preach and I thought he did a great job. His springboard into the Gospel was excellent. Recently in the FA Premier League a match took place between Manchester United and Wigan. One of the Manchester United players, Wayne Rooney, committed a foul by elbowing a Wigan player. It was a certain red card offence, however the referee did not see it and Wayne Rooney was not dismissed. However, unlike this referee who missed this offence, God does not miss the offences that we make against Him. The Bible says, “For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” (Ecc. 12:14) The Bible also says that God, “...will by no means clear the guilty.” (Ex. 34:7) God is a gracious God, but also a just God, a God that will bring judgment to this world. We want people to hear so that they will flee from the wrath that is to come. We long to see them run to Jesus, for there truly is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).
Praise God for allowing us keep preaching His Word in the midst of a wicked and perverse generation. Yet we too were once wicked and perverse, and God in His grace saved us. Oh that He would save others also, and may we see revival in this land.
Soli Deo Gloria!
On Friday night the team headed into Leicester Square to proclaim the Gospel. We had a really good size team, there were at least ten of us to begin with and as the evening progressed a few more joined the team.
It was very cold but there were still plenty of people passing through. Unfortunately it has been quite challenging of late as they are doing some major construction project in the centre of the square for the 2012 Olympics, and hence the entire centre portion is blocked off by a large wall. Also, in the area that we have often stood, Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream has “hijacked” for their customers (see pic). The question has to be asked: who sits outside in the middle of a freezing cold winter and eats ice-cream? Something tells me they don’t want us standing there. We have a new spot though and although it’s probably not quite as good, the Lord is definitely still using us in Leicester Square.
I stood up first to preach and pleaded with those passing to get right with God. Nothing is more important in this world than our eternal destiny. I appealed to reason and I also warned them of the danger of pride. “God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6) Believing that we are good enough to reach Heaven one day is utter folly when we examine ourselves in light of God’s holiness and His law. There can be no hiding from the wrath of God that will come upon this world, and to deny the grace of God that can rescue us from His wrath and judgment will ultimately be the greatest folly a person can ever know. After I finished preaching the Lord encouraged us greatly through the ensuing conversations that developed.
Myself and Barney had a challenging conversation with a young group of teenagers. Barney did a great job talking through the Gospel account, beginning with God as supreme creator of the universe, to His creation of the world and all that is on it, and to the pinnacle of His creation, humanity itself. There were a few in the group that sneered and laughed away what they heard, but there were also those who were listening to what was being said. We can take comfort in the fact that God’s Word is powerful to save. It could well be that God uses the Word that was preached to these young people to draw them to Himself in repentance and faith. Please pray for them.
A little later on James stood up to preach. James has joined us just recently and is full of zeal for the Lord and the salvation of the lost. He has a real heart to proclaim God’s Word and did a great job. We were all very blessed by his boldness and faithfulness to God’s Word. I can really see the Lord using him through the preaching of the Gospel.
It was an encouraging evening and one to be very thankful for.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Friday night saw a great team turn-out, which was really encouraging. Along with myself the team comprised of Barney, Beth, Laurence, Rebekka, Sohail, Michael Prendergast, Michael Powell, and Philip and Suzanne – totalling 10 evangelists. Both Michael’s, and Philip and Suzanne, met us when we arrived in the Square.
I decided to preach first and began by commenting on how great a day it had been weather wise. I encouraged people to agree with me that the day had indeed been a fabulous day. I then appealed to people’s world-views and asked them what they thought of the world. To what do they attribute the beauty that we see? Do they put it down to the handiwork of an awesome Creator, or is the beauty we see simply the result of a cosmic accident? I laid a solid case for a Creator and then went straight to the Scriptures and pointed out how the Bible provides us with a framework from which we can understand and make sense of the world. The Bible is a book that makes perfect sense in light of all we see and experience in the world, and although the heart of man is closed to it, God’s Word brings hope and redemption for all who receive its message, but condemnation and judgement for all who reject it.
After I finished a number of conversations began through the aid of the preaching. Barney in particular has become quite good at spotting those who stop to listen and then engaging in conversation with them. It is a sure testament to the importance and value of open-air preaching. As I was getting ready to approach some people a chap I have spoken to a number of times before came up to speak to me. He believes strongly in the theory of evolution and has concluded that there is no God and that science is able to explain our existence and all of human experience. We became locked in conversation and began to debate at quite a pace. While it was good that I did speak to him I have realised that I made a number of mistakes in this conversation. Firstly, I spent far too much time with him. He had an “arsenal” of objections and “facts” that he believed proved evolution and no sooner would I tackle one that he would bring up another. Had I left the conversation earlier I could have spoken with a number of other people that were more open to hearing the Gospel and the Word of God. It was a lesson learnt and a mistake I hope not to repeat again. I do believe the enemy had an arm in this and that being distracted in this way is a tactic he uses often! We must be on our guard and recognise when we are in situations like these.
While I was engaged in conversation Andrew stood up to preach. I was not able to hear all that he said but it was clear and he preached faithfully the Gospel and he declared to all who would hear the full counsel of God.
The following was written by Laurence and describes the conversations that he had: “Last night I ended up talking to two sets of Catholics; the first two were two young ladies the other two were a couple. I found myself led on both occasions to ask them whether they have ever fully repented. Both times two people honestly declared that they hadn't; once I explained what genuine repentance was. Especially one of the young ladies seemed incredibly honest about her struggles in understanding God and accepting that Jesus can forgive her of her sins; she said she understood that Grace is a gift, and that we cannot please God by 'good' works. Although she said she knew God she didn't suggest that she ever really submitted her life to God in repentance, she could see what was missing in own her confession of knowing God. There's one thing knowing the Gospel and what the Bible says, and even believing it is true. It is another to respond by faith and repentance in full submission to the Master of heaven and earth.”
Praise the Lord for using once again to declare His message to the people of London.
Soli Deo Gloria!