Today Jim, Chris and I joined together to reach out to the people of Sheffield and met in Fargate. We prayed together and appealed to the Lord of the harvest that He would intervene in the lives of people to perhaps save a few from those who heard.
I stood up to preach first while Jim and Chris witnessed to those who were in the vicinity. I spoke on the wisdom of man and the folly of man being defined by Christ in their response to His words. While I struggled to get a response there were a few people who listened nearby and I pray that God would use the message to work in them, as He will.
Jim was next up and I have noticed that he is improving steadily in his preaching and becoming more bold and confident. It is fantastic to see God raising other workers up in this needy field of evangelism and I praise God for bringing along Jim, John and Chris.
At first while Jim was preaching there were only a couple of people listening. During this time I went to speak to a lady and her daughter about suffering and God, but was only able to give them a short explanation and a tract because I was interrupted. The interruption was in the form of a raging Mr Gnostic who was back for round two. I quickly went to support Jim who was holding his own against a positive whirlwind of shouting and incoherence. Mr Gnostic was shouting this time that Christians are nothing but a bunch of paedophiles that have concealed the truth that they can have power over people.
Jim did an excellent job of refuting this spurious assertion and repeatedly went to the word of God to show what Jesus said of Himself as recorded in the eyewitness accounts. All the noise gathered a large crowd and Jim took this as an opportunity to preach the gospel many more times. While he was doing this Chris and I were working the crowd to make sure as many people who left as possible could get tracts or speak to one of us.
The preaching went on for quite some time and in the end Jim had to stop only because of the time, I had to get back to work! Jim and Chris where still witnessing to two separate groups as I ran to get back to work.
Praise God that He answers prayers and brings in people to hear the gospel.
John joined me to witness in Sheffield this Saturday and while the day was quiet because of the long weekend there were still quite a few people around to speak with.
I was first up to speak and spoke from John the Baptist's announcement:
"Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (Joh 1:29b)
I spoke on the person of Jesus and who He is, not the carpenter of Nazareth, but rather God the Son come in the flesh and walking among us. Not many people stopped but I did get to speak with a Buddhist man at length, and urge him not to trust himself to the works based perfection that that religion seeks.
Afterwards I spoke with an older Christian gent who encouraged me in what John and I were doing. Christians, please if you ever see a street preacher, stop and encourage them, you have no idea how much it urges them on to greater works for our Lord!
John spoke next, though public speaking doesn't come naturally to him John faithfully preaches and I know that God uses his words to good effect. During the preaching he interacted with a group of young hecklers and also a Muslim man. While this was happening I was handing out tracts and so didn't get to hear much of what was said.
After a period of speaking to the Muslim man John stepped down to continue discussing things with him. Muhammad was a very open young Muslim and even though he was trying to point us back to the Qur'an as authority in matters of faith he was happy to discuss. John and I spoke with him for quite some time.
Among many things we discussed the outworking of the absence of mercy in Allah as seen in Qur'anic law. There are many controversial things demanded in sharia law such as amputation for theft and death for adultery, but the one thing that causes the most death and suffering in the Islamic world is the law regarding apostasy. Five of the five schools of Islamic law hold that a sane man (a male over 15 years) who leaves the Islamic faith for another is to be killed. Likewise four of the five schools hold this position for women who apostatise. As Barnabas fund (www.barnabasfund.co.uk) have show in their many reports, this has lead to innumerable people to be killed or persecuted around the entire world, even in supposedly "Christian" nations like the UK.
If I were a Muslim I would have immense difficulty with this reality and be forced to ask, "If this is the mercy of Allah shown in his law then what will he do to me when I appear before his judgement?". I urge all Muslims to consider that question carefully and consider the many ways you have broken the laws of God both within and without. There is no mercy in Allah for the above crimes why should there be any for you in your crimes?
But we didn't point this young man to Allah and the Qur'an but rather to the living God and the work of God in history to save men like him and us. The Qur'an demands Muslims to trust the Bible and so we urged him to read John 5:19-47 where all are commanded to honour the Son (Jesus) as they honour the Father.
So I end by asking you all, whom do you trust in? For it is written:
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.