Battle Log

London Team

Friday, 22 May, 2009

Posted by Posted 1 June 2009, 12:10 PM by Andrew Noble. Permalink

The team met at Cafe Nero as per usual this eve.  To my surprise some new visitors had come to join us this eve from the Hackney area, we were about 12 people in total.  After a brief study on truth and the Bible we moved to Leicester Square.  I handed out almost all the tracts I brought to our team and after prayer, we dispersed amongst the crowds.  I had a fruitful evening talking to many people and handing out many tracts.  I managed to meet several Muslim men and a number of English youths.  All conversations were very courteous and informative for both parties.  In one encounter I met a young man named Joel and after our chat I gave him my contact details.  We have chatted on Facebook and he said he's read the tract I gave him 3 times this week.  I pray God will grant him repentance and faith in Jesus Christ!  This evening was a wonderful opportunity to sow the seed of the Gospel and we ask God's blessing on the work done this evening.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Friday, 15 May, 2009

Posted by Posted 1 June 2009, 11:42 AM by Rob Hughes. Permalink

London outreach teamThe night began with some great fellowship at Café Nero. The rain was really coming down and so we were unsure as to whether we would be able to minister in the Square. We decided that we would stay in the café and fellowship together, and should the weather clear up we would make our way to the Square. To the right is a photo of us together. Some new faces!

The weather did eventually clear up so we made our way to the Square. After arriving we set up and I got ready to preach. The pictures below show the team all ready for some outreach! (I'm giving a few pointers here and there...)

London street team preparing Rob giving few tips to London team

During my preach a crowd gathered despite the poor weather. At one point a young couple began to heckle me. They wanted to know what was "so special" about me that I had the right to stand up and point out faults in others. I explained that I too was a sinner and that I simply wanted to help people understand that God's judgment would come upon them unless they repented and believed the gospel. I took them through the moral law and showed them that they were sinners just like everyone else. The young lady went on to explain that she still considered herself a good person and she pointed out relief work that she had done in Africa. She was promoting her self-righteousness and so I had to keep pointing out to her that even though it was quite likely she was far better than some people, it was God's standard she had failed. She wouldn't have it though, particularly the notion that she was a bad person. Before she turned to leave she insisted that she was actually a Christian. I could not see how this could be as it was clearly obvious she trusted in her own self-righteousness and not in Christ. It was hard to see this and as we spoke about it later we realised that we simply had to pray that God would humble her so that she would trust in Christ. I never got their names, but do pray for them both. The picture below has an arrow pointing to them.

Rob preaching

Crowd gathers as Rob preaches

Crowd listening to Rob

Rob preaching in London

After I finished preaching open-air the whole team got involved in one-to-one conversations. It was really wonderful to see. The open-air and the one-to-ones worked perfectly. It was great!

Susi and Rowina getting tract ready!

Katie, James and Raymond in a one-to-one conversation.

Katie, James and Raymond in a one-to-one conversation

Michael and Harriet (on his right) in a one-to-one conversation.

Michael and Harriet (on his right) in a one-to-one conversation

All in all it was a great night! Below is a group photo of us all in the Square.

Group Photo

It was truly wonderful to have such an enthused team. May the Lord continue to add workers to the harvest!!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Friday, 8 May, 2009

Posted by Posted 10 May 2009, 7:26 PM by Rob Hughes. Permalink

Andrew open air preaching

After a time of prayer and devotions at Café Nero we headed into Leicester Square. Once we had set up our table with tracts and Bibles, etc, Andrew got ready to preach. This is now the third time he has preached open-air and he is improving all the time. It's great to see him growing as an open-air preacher.

Andrew began to draw in a crowd and soon he had a few hecklers. One of his first hecklers was a chap named Matt. I was particularly interested at this point because Matt came to heckle me a little while back when I was preaching. At that time he was holding a large, thick philosophy text book in his hands. Needless to say it's quite clear where Matt is coming from and that he has a very philosophical worldview. He does agree with a sense of right and wrong but does not wish to submit to the standards of God, preferring to adhere to the standards of humanity. He also sees God as simply an "idea" in a mythological sense. Andrew reasoned with Matt that there is a God and that His standards stand. He made the world and therefore He makes the rules. After Andrew finished preaching he continued to talk one-to-one with Matt; do pray for him.

A little later Lizzie came to me and asked if I would come and speak with a middle-aged gentleman named Peter. Peter expressed how life had been for him in recent years and that he had personal loss. Here was a man struggling to find hope. Lizzie and I spoke to him of the hope that is in Christ and the peace that comes through knowing Him (Philippians 4:7). I stressed to him the importance of being reconciled to God, the most important being the forgiveness he so desperately needs, but also the hope and peace he will receive through knowing the God who made him. He listened attentively and told us that what he was hearing did make sense to him. I gave him my contact details and told him that he would be free to call me anytime. I got the sense he would not be comfortable giving me his details so I didn't ask. Unfortunately we had run out of Bibles and I also bemoaned the fact that we did not have any literature that is written specifically to bring comfort to those who are hurting. We gave him an in-depth gospel tract and I also gave him a booklet that has principles for growing Christians. It is also a gospel tract in that it has the gospel in the front and I told him that should he wish to surrender his life to Christ these principles would be very helpful for him. Do pray for him.

Not long after I stood up to preach. I had not planned on preaching as lately I have felt I needed to give my voice some rest. The preaching bug caught though so I preached a brief message. I pleaded with those who listened that if God was speaking to them, if He was drawing them, then they should throw themselves on the mercy of God. We must persuade men; we must call out to them with the love of God and help them to see how urgent it is for them to be saved.

We'd had a great night of ministry. Jannah and Petra were both beaming after they'd had a very encouraging conversation with two homosexual men. They had been quite reasonable and were open to hearing the gospel. It's important to remember that lying is as much a sin as is homosexuality. Too often Christians have very nearly attacked people for their sin of homosexuality and have not shown the love of Christ. We can confront people of their sin, but we must never cease to show the love of God.

Soli Deo Gloria!!

Friday, 3 April, 2009

Posted by Posted 11 April 2009, 8:52 AM by Rob Hughes. Permalink

The team met as usual at our now local cafe for a time of fellowship, coffee, devotions and prayer. This has become an important time for us as we prepare for an evening of ministry.

Heading into the square I got ready to preach open-air. This afternoon I popped into Homebase and bought a new stepladder and it was great to get back up again to preach. During the first half of my message only a few people stopped to listen, which is fine. Whoever the Lord chooses to bring in is all in His hands. However, things were about to change…

A large group of young people walking past decided that my preaching warranted some investigation and so they strode up to me, all the while throwing questions and various taunts. They were all quite young, probably around 15 o 16 years of age. They were also fairly drunk, some more than others. I stayed standing on my ladder and engaged them in debate, but when they came up close and surrounded me I stood down. This is something that can be very frustrating and difficult to handle. It would be far better if they would stand back and “be the crowd.” However this happens from time to time and as yet, apart from firmly asking them to stand back, I have yet to find a working solution.

A young girl, who was not fully drunk but clearly had been drinking, approached me and said that she had been blessed by some Christians the week before and that she was now a Christian. I asked her what had happened and she told me that that she had been led to “say a prayer” and that upon doing so she was now a Christian. Two emotions arose in me as she told me this: anger and sadness. I was angry because it was very obvious that the gospel had not been properly and clearly communicated to her. She was not able to tell me what it meant to be born-again, or even that a person needed to born-again. She did not know what repentance meant. The way she conducted herself and the speech coming out of her mouth was almost clear evidence to me that she was not saved. Yet she had been told that she was. This happens so many, many times in the church today. The heresy known as antinomianism has taken the form of “easy-believism”, this idea that it is easy to become a Christian. It is not easy; it is in fact very hard to become a Christian. This is because a person must be prepared to surrender their entire life, they must be willing to deny themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow Christ. (Luke 9:23) As John MacArthur has said many times, it is hard to believe. I would encourage you to watch a video where Kirk Cameron interviews John MacArthur about this very issue. Click on part 1 and part 2 to view.

I was angry because it is not our job as Christians to dumb down the message or make it more palatable. By removing those parts that are hard to say we in effect change the message. When we remove the offence from the gospel then we have removed the gospel. So I was angry and of course I was also sad. Here was a girl who had been told she was now a Christian. Here’s my question: how is that love? How is it love to lead a person into a false sense of security only to see them die and go to hell? This is something that needs to change in the body of Christ today. We must preach the true biblical gospel, or we should rather not preach at all. So I would ask you to pray for her. Her name is Mary. Just so you know, I share with her the truth of the gospel, although she was pulled away by her friends before I could finish. She did take an in-depth gospel tract and also a Bible, which she had asked for. Do pray for her.

I also spoke with a young man named Billy. He was not quite sober himself, but he listened to me and said that I made a lot of sense. He was not prepared to surrender to Christ there and then but he sure was made to think. I am always amazed at how simple the gospel is when it is communicated rightly. It may be an offence to many, however it is not difficult to grasp. Christ Jesus came to this earth to save sinners. The good news of the Gospel is that the Son of God has substituted Himself in our place, has incurred God’s wrath for our sin, so that we might go free. It is indeed a simple message, but a message that is most profound and most life changing. Nothing will ever come close to it. Many tracts and Bibles were given away and we had some great conversations. I did preach a second time and got in a conversation with a woman who believed in evolution. She was simply aghast when I told that evolution was an embarrassment to true science and was completely erroneous. I rebutted her arguments and told her that there is indeed a God who made this world, One who will judge both the living and the dead. On that day we must all be ready. (Hebrews 9:28)

Soli Deo Gloria!!

Friday, 27 March, 2009

Posted by Posted 30 March 2009, 7:10 PM by Rob Hughes. Permalink

By God's grace and great favour we continue to head into London each week to minister the gospel in Leicester Square. In recent weeks we have had some fantastic conversations with people and have seen many Bibles, tracts and DVD's distributed into the hands of men and women who do not know the Lord. On a very encouraging note we have seen someone attend our church after he stopped to listen to the gospel being preached and then spent some time talking with us afterwards. His name is Yang and he is from China. He is working in the UK and has been here less than six months. When we got talking with him he told us that he knew of Christianity but that he had no idea what it was all about. He was intrigued enough by the message to stop and listen, which was really something. Here was a man who had never heard the gospel before in his life and had never step foot in a church. When he attended my church he was quite surprised to learn that very few people in this country attend church, due to such a widespread lack of belief in God, as well as a failure to see the relevance of attending church. Yang is very much intrigued by western culture and so his desire to find out more about Christianity is driven by that. It may be that the Lord uses this cultural curiosity to expose him to the truth that has been blinded from him. Whatever the Lord chooses to do, it is my hearts desire that he would come to a saving knowledge of the truth. He has said that he would like to attend church again and he plans on coming to us again next Sunday. Do pray for him.

On Friday night we headed into London minus a stepladder. I had left it on the train the week before and only realised what I had done so when I was halfway down the road on the walk home. I have not had the opportunity to purchase another one just yet and so we spent our evening speaking with people one-to-one. Jannah spent some time talking with a group of young Muslim men. She admits that she finds Muslim's to be quite difficult to talk to, largely due to their unreasonable behaviour. Often they will ask you a question without giving you the opportunity to answer. It is true that they wish to convert us, as we do them, however Islam is a religion that produces an aggressive and militant people. Jannah is experiencing that in many of her conversations that she is having when talking with Muslim's. Even so, she knows that there are some Muslim's who will genuinely stop to listen and such was the case on Friday night. I was encouraged to hear from Jannah that she had been able to proclaim the gospel to those who did stop to listen.

Ben was able to talk with some young men as well. Although they listened to the gospel they were very indifferent to its message. This can be very discouraging, but we have to keep on sharing the message and trust the Lord that He will cause the seed that is sown to germinate and bring life. I told Ben not to be discouraged. We must simply do our best to drive home the seriousness of the message to those who would dismiss it, and then we must trust the Holy Spirit to open the eyes that are blind.

I had a very encouraging conversation with a young man named Edward. A friend was also with him; however her name has slipped my mind. I find this always to be frustrating but I can pray for them both knowing that the Lord knows exactly who they are. Both Edward and his friend stood to listen for at least half an hour as I shared the gospel with them. I could see I had their whole attention and they appeared to understand that if they were to die in their sins, apart from Christ, they would go to hell (John 8:24). At the end of the conversation I implored them to think carefully about this. They said that they would and Edward took the time to thank me for sharing with them. My heart really went out to them and nothing would please me more than to see them in heaven one day. Do pray for them.

We had a great evening. Closing in prayer we thanked the Lord for all the opportunities He gave us. As we make ourselves available to Him the Lord will open up opportunities for us. We must preach the word, in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2), for the Lord Himself has appointed us to make His name known.

Soli Deo Gloria!!

Friday, 27 February, 2009

Posted by Posted 7 March 2009, 6:43 PM by Rob Hughes. Permalink

On Friday evening we had another big turn out! The team for the night: Carl, Wesley, Oliver, Paul (a friend of Oliver's), Michael, James Crooke, Jannah, Susi, Steve, Ben, Adam, Katie, Lizzie (a friend from my church), Ashley (a friend of Nigel, who is a good friend of mine) and me. After meeting at Café Nero for a time of prayer and devotions we headed up to the square.

Carl stood up to preach first and preached faithfully, drawing people into discussing as they walked passed. Carl is really growing as an open-air preacher, and while his style is a little different to mine, he preaches faithfully the Word of God without shying away from the truth. After a while Carl tagged me in and so I stood up to preach the Word of God. After a short while a man began to heckle me concerning the existence of God. He maintained that he could never believe in something he had not seen. I told him that we cannot see the wind yet we know it exists. This of course is because we can feel the wind tangibly. I agree that we rarely feel the Lord in the same way, however we can see the effects of the Lord, just like we can see the effects of the wind. There are many things we believe in that we cannot see. It is not always necessary to have to see something or someone in order to know that that someone or something exists. I could, for example, see a painting without ever having seen the painter. Simple deductive logic will lead me to recognise the intelligent design of the painting, thus helping me to conclude that there must be a designer. I went on to explain to the crowd that the God who made this world commands that all men everywhere repent and believe the Gospel. It is not just God's wish that all be saved, God commands that all turn from their sin in order to be saved.

After I finished preaching we all engaged in one-to-one conversations. I got talking with two Muslim men who both took a copy of The Jesus Film that we put out on the table. During our conversation it became apparent to me that both men were "pre-armed" with objections towards Christianity. The objection that the Bible is corrupt and has been changed multiple times of course came up. I explained that the Bible has not been changed, we simply have many translations of the Bible into the languages of today, from the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek manuscripts that we have. They also questioned the divinity of Christ and so I took them to the Scriptures so that they could see that Jesus is clearly shown to be both fully man and fully God. As they left they both took an in-depth gospel tract, for which I was very pleased to see.

Many conversations were had by the team and it was so encouraging to see the gospel being proclaimed. Below is a little report that Michael has written showing his involvement during the evening.

My first encounter was with a guy called Naz, he was a really good natured person.

I took him through the 'good' test, he turned out to be guilty on all accounts but said that he would go to heaven; he believed that God would just forgive him because he had done good things. That led me to take him into a court of law. Throughout our encounter I had to keep taking him back to our own court of law because he was intent on justifying himself. He then wanted to know what the bible says about Hell; which I explained.

He then tried to turn it around by asking me if I had done those things, I told him that I was guilty of breaking all of those commandments and that was why we all need the Savoir.

He then wanted to know why there are so many other religions and how did we know we had the correct one. I explained that prophecy 100% proves the Bible is the word of God. I asked him if he could name who the president of America would be in 700 years time, where he would be born and how he would die. Obviously he couldn't.

I ended by telling him that when he lays his head on his pillow tonight that his conscience, that inner voice that he has no control over would probably start speaking to him. I asked him to think about the things we spoke about. He said he would.

I had two other encounters with Lucy and Angela. Again I gave them a million pound track and asked her the million pound question. She agreed to take the 'good' test. They were both guilty of breaking 4 out of the 10 commandments that I asked them. I went through our own court system with them and ended up sharing the Gospel with them.

The most interesting encounter happened on the way home. This encounter may have had the Lord's hand in it.

James Crooke told me that he was leaving because he had to be up early in the morning. I was in two minds about leaving with him as I wanted to stay and try to witness to some more people, but I looked at the time and felt lead to leave with him as we both go the same way home.

We got to the station looked up at the board and saw that we had 6 minutes for James to get a ticket. The nearest machine had two people in front of him. Time was ticking so James ran around the corner. With sixty seconds to go James came running around the corner. We got on near the back of the train with about thirty seconds to go.

We both sat down, me next to a guy with some earphones on drinking a can of beer and James opposite me next to a lady. I proceeded to pass around some million pound note tracks and to add a bit of light humour, I told all the recipients that they were great when you get the change. I then handed one to the guy sitting next to me drinking the beer. He then looked at the back and said "what's this about" I took him through the good test and as usual he was guilty on all accounts. He said that he had been thinking about these things because his dad was a staunch Catholic and his Gran was a Christian and that she had spoken to him a few times and had been praying for him.

I said to him "speak to your Gran and your father" second thoughts only speak to your Gran and get you father to speak to your Gran. I also said that this could be a divine appointment bearing in mind that we had caught the train with seconds to spare and we could have ended up anywhere else on the train, but we ended up sitting next to him. James said "could we be the answer to his Gran's prayers?"

He asked some questions on Catholicism and other religions which James explained to him. James also gave him his contact details and asked him to contact him if he had any other questions.

All in all it was a great night of evangelism.

Soli Deo Gloria!!

Friday, 20 February, 2009

Posted by Posted 28 February 2009, 5:44 PM by Rob Hughes. Permalink

Rob preachingWell the team just continues to grow and it is such an encouragement to see God adding to our numbers. On Friday evening we back in Leicester Square. The team for the night: Carl, Wesley, my brother James, James Crooke, Oliver (James and Oliver have been once before so it was great to see them back), Steve, Ben, Susi, Jannah, Elyske, Petra, Lorenco (Petra's husband) and me. We were also joined by my Pastor (Doug McMasters) and his wife Royale, their two sons Matt and Ben, Barney (a great friend from church), Katie (a young student over from Texas who is attending our church) and also some of the youth from my church. So we had a great presence in Leicester Square which was fantastic.

I stood up to preach first and God drew a crowd. Not long into my message, however, a young man came and stood in front of and began "preaching to the crowd." What he said made very little sense, however he emphasised man's right not to be told what to do and as a result drew applause from the crowd. At this point I was thinking "Oh brother!" I wanted to counter what he was saying, however I knew that if I did it would simply become a "slogging match" of sorts between us and so I let him say his thing so that he could move on. After he left I refuted his claims and made it clear that all gods are not the same, there is one true God who made this world and He makes the rules. He will judge us one day and He will call us all to account.

Rob preachingA little time after I got engaged in a dialogue with a man named David. He was rather senior in age and somewhat of an intellectual; he admitted that one could not truly be an atheist; however he maintained that the Bible was not a credible book and therefore Christianity was not trustworthy and valid. I explained to him that the Bible is indeed very credible and when we look at the manuscript evidence, the archaeological evidence, prophesies in the Bible, and the amazing statistics found in its pages, we are left believing it to be very credible. After wrangling with him intellectually I moved to address his conscience and took him through the good person test. This allowed me to open up God's law and then declare forth the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.

David was quite gracious and did not become aggressive, he was a great heckler and he drew people in, which then allowed me to preach the gospel. After he left he took a Bible from me, which was really great. I spent the rest of the time pleading with the crowd to turn to the Lord in repentance in faith.

After I finished preaching open-air I joined with the rest of the team in talking with people one-to-one. I stood by the table that we put out, which is great for getting into one-to-ones. The team was engaged in conversation with people and many tracts and Bibles were taken and so for that we can only rejoice.

Soli Deo Gloria!!

Friday, 13 February, 2009

Posted by Posted 21 February 2009, 5:30 PM by Rob Hughes. Permalink

On Friday evening the team met once again at Café Nero for a time of prayer and devotions before heading into Leicester square. The team was as follows: Carl, Wesley, Ben, Susi, Petra, Jannah, James, Steve, Wayne, Nigel, Josh, Melissa and Fredee. Josh (president of Operation 513), Fredee and Melissa were at the last leg of their mission trip around the UK and joined up with us for the night. Josh of course is from Brisbane, Australia, and the two girls are from California. Nigel and Wayne are two friends from Mansfield who travelled down to London to join. We truly were blessed to have such a large team; brothers and sisters in Christ from all over partnering to fulfil the great commission!

We headed to our usual spot and set up our table that has free Bibles, DVDs and tracts for people to take away. Once we were sorted I stood up to preach. I had not even been preaching for even five minutes when four police officers approached me and asked me to step down. They told me that they did not permit public speaking in Leicester Square because it draws a crowd, which "lends itself to pick pocketing." This seemed ridiculous to me and I explained to the officer that we had been coming to Leicester Square for over a year. I asked him if we had broken the law and he said no. With Josh coming to give support we pointed out to the officers that there were buskers in the square that also brought in a crowd, as did the nightclubs, but he simply said he was not interested in them and was concerned simply with what we were doing. It was quite apparent that they were not prepared to let us continue so we asked them what we would be arrested for, since we were not guilty of breaking any law. We were told that we would be taken in for anti-social behaviour. At this point righteous indignation arose in us and we decided we needed to speak with the inspector at the station. We had been discriminated against and it was only right that we made a stand concerning our rights (see Acts 16:35-39).

'Ello, 'ello, 'ello. Wot's goin on ere then?

Let's be 'avin you!

Josh, Steve and me then made our way to the police station. Before leaving we told the team to remain in the square and hand out tracts and speak to people one-to-one. Arriving at the police station we waited until we were able to speak with the station inspector. Josh took the lead in this and I was really impressed with the way he handled himself. He was very assertive and bold, but at the same time he was deeply respectful and courteous. He did use strong words with the inspector and told him that we had been discriminated against and as such felt vilified. The inspector was very apologetic and agreed with us that we had done nothing wrong. He said that we were not in breach of any law. He assured me that we were totally within our rights to preach open-air in Leicester Square, provided of course we did not deliver hate speech. We of course had no problem with this and thanked him for his time. We headed back to the team and told them the good news. They of course were very encouraged.

I stood up once again and preached a solid gospel message. God brought people to listen and you can see that in the photos below. The gentleman in the white cap was a good sport and agreed to go through the good person test. It's always good to be able to do this as it brings a bit of humour and also keeps the crowd interested. 

Rob preaching open air

Rob preaching

Rob preaching

After I preached Josh stood up to preach and he did a wonderful job of defended the faith against a number of objections that came from those listening. Josh is incredibly knowledgeable in the field of apologetics and I always find it inspiring when I go witnessing with him.

Josh preaching open-air

During both open-air sessions the team spoke with many people and handed out many tracts. God was so very good to us and we give Him all the glory that He sovereignly intervened and used us to proclaim His gospel in the midst of persecution. It was a great night of ministry and one we will remember!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Friday, 30 January, 2009

Posted by Posted 8 February 2009, 1:19 PM by Rob Hughes. Permalink

Friday evening saw the team come together once more for a night of evangelism. The team was as follows: James (my younger brother), Steve, Ben, Carl, Jannah, Susi, Philip, and me. We met at Café Nero for a time of devotions and prayer and then headed into Leicester Square to minister the gospel.

After standing up to preach it wasn't long before people stopped to listen and make comments. One of the first to do this was a man named Ali. After I explained to Ali that we are all sinners, that we have all lied and stolen and looked with lust, he asked me this question: How can I redeem myself? This allowed me to explain to him that we cannot redeem ourselves; we cannot make ourselves right with God. The only way we can be made right with God is through trusting in the One who died in our place so that the wrath of God might be satisfied. This is the love of God, poured out through Jesus Christ.

Later on I was heckled by a man who held a thick philosophy book in his hand. He asked some challenging questions and he certainly had a keen ear. I had explained that there is nothing we can to save ourselves, and then a few minutes later I said that in order to be saved we must repent and believe in Christ. He pulled me up on this and said that I had contradicted myself. I explained that Scripture tells us we cannot repent and believe unless God gives us the grace to repent and believe. Even so, God commands all men everywhere to repent and believe. God is able to do this because all have sinned and have fallen short of His glory. God is sovereign and He saves those who are His. We must tell people that even though they cannot cause themselves to be born-again, unless they turn from their sin and trust in Christ they will be cast into hell. Our job is to strip a person of all hope they have in saving themselves, so that they would throw themselves on the mercy of God.

After I finished preaching open-air the team set about speaking with people one-to-one. Steve manned the table that held the free Bibles and tracts we put out. Everyone was engaged in conversation and we all had the opportunity to proclaim the gospel to the people of London. It is a real joy for me to see how the team has grown and to see men and women of God who desire above all else to proclaim the name of Jesus.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Friday, 23 January, 2009

Posted by Posted 27 January 2009, 1:21 PM by Rob Hughes. Permalink

Friday night saw yet another record turn-out for the team. We had some people join us for the first time: Geoff and Sam (friends of my church and just visiting before they head back to Australia), Petra (a friend of Jannah and Elyske) and Rhys (my younger brother). The rest of the team was as follows: my brother James, Carl, Wesley, Andrew, Steve, Ben, Susi, Jannah, Elyske and me. 

After meeting in Café Nero for a time of devotions and prayer we headed up to the square to begin our ministry. Quite a few were new to street evangelism so I primed the team as to what we were about and what the evening would entail. I then stood up to preach and used a recent atheist bus advertisement as my springboard into the spiritual.  The advertisement reads: "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life." I explained that God is not the source of worry in this world. Worry comes ultimately from sin. We trust in ourselves and we trust in others, however the Bible says without faith (in God) it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). I had only been preaching for about five minutes when a police officer approached and asked to have a word with me. I came down of my stepladder and we spoke together for a minute or two. His concerns centred on the idea that my message could offend some and lead to a breach of the peace. I responded by saying that I never aimed to be offensive or antagonistic and that it was still lawful for me to exercise free speech according to the law of the land. I asked him if I had broken the law and he told me that "technically" I hadn't, although there was the issue of the council and its laws. I told him I had been coming to Leicester Square for almost a year and it had never been proven to me that I was in breach of any law. He allowed me to carry on preaching but warned that if there was a breach of the peace he would have to take action.

Every Friday night we come out I am aware that the message we breach could well upset some people, which could lead to them complaining to the authorities. If a breach of the peace does happen it needs to be made clear where exactly the threat is coming from. In a court ruling regarding this issue the following statement was made: "A judgment as to the imminence of a breach of the peace does not conclude the constable's task. The next and critical question for the constable, and in turn for the Court, is where the threat is coming from, because it is there that the preventive action must be directed." We ought to conduct our speech in such a manner that it does not seek to offend and that it does not carry a deriding tone. Even so, the message of the gospel is itself an offensive message, simply because it exposes sin. People will always react negatively to the light of the gospel (because they love darkness) and so offence will arise. There is nothing we can do about this. God has commissioned us to preach His message. It is His message that saves and so that is the message we must preach.

After I had finished preaching we set about to talking with people one-to-one. It was such a joy to see everyone get stuck in. I made myself available just in case those new to the team needed any help. After a little while I got talking with a young man named Zack. He believed in evolution, although he also believed in his own version of God. His version was certainly not the God of the Bible. We talked for a little bit about the logic behind the need for a Creator God. Unfortunately we did not talk for long as he was pulled away by his friends. I managed to hand him a booklet entitled "Is there really a God," which has the gospel at the back. Please pray for Zack.

Afterwards I got talking with two young ladies. One was a Muslim and the other did not believe in God. I rationalised the existence of God first and foremost and then explained why Christianity is the answer, simply because it presents the only viable solution to man's greatest need. We have sinned and in the scheme of God's justice that means we are guilty. Our only hope is for someone to serve the punishment in our place. There is only one perfect substitute and His name is Jesus Christ. To this they responded by saying it was wrong that I was trying to enforce my beliefs on others. I explained that I was not trying to force anyone against their will; I was simply offering the Christian message and making a case for it being the truth. They understood this and left with an in-depth gospel tract, thanking me for talking to them. Do pray that the Lord would bring them to salvation.

After connecting with the rest of the team to see how they were doing I decided to stand up and preach once more. I began by talking about the greatest book the world has ever known. I gave the facts but kept the answer hidden with the intent to create a curious interest to those listening. Some did stop to listen and at one point cried out for an answer to the question. As soon as I told them it was the Bible they scoffed and walked away. It was as if I had something to offend them. It's startling how much of an offence the Bible is seen to be, a book that offers a love that cannot be equalled.

After I had finished preaching we continued to speak with people one-to-one. I had the opportunity to speak with a young man who had lost his faith in God after his mother passed away about four months ago. He had grown up Catholic and told me that he still visited his priest in order to receive counsel and advice. We could not talk for long but he gave me his details and said it would be fine if I contacted him to continue our conversation. His name is Sam, do pray for him and also that I would be able to continue talking with him.

Wesley had been finding it a bit difficult to talk with people and so I was very happy to see him in a conversation after I had talked with Sam. It can be disheartening at times when you try and approach people with the gospel and they turn you away every time. The Bible tells us that many enter the path that leads to destruction, and only a few find the path that leads to life (Matthew 7:13-14). Still, we preach the gospel to every creature, knowing that God saves sinners through the preaching of His gospel.

Praise God for a wonderful night of ministry. It was a blessed time indeed.

Soli Deo Gloria!

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