On Friday evening we enjoyed a great night of ministry. We were at least ten in number and we all had some very encouraging conversations...
Jit, a Hindu, was told the gospel and typically didn’t mind learning about Jesus but struggled to appreciate that you can’t obtain justification in the eyes of God by yourself. Please pray that what he heard will help him to realise that only Christ can pay his fine.
Mehlika spoke with Bader, who was drawn in by the open-air preaching. It was a good conversation as he did listen as the gospel was explained to him. She attempted to tell him about the holiness of God and the payment required of sin. He did understand, but insisted that Mehlika spend more time reading the Qu’ran. By God’s grace she was able to recall to mind a verse in the Qu’ran that is very significant. It reads: “It is He who sent down to thee (step by step), in truth, the Book, confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law (of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus).” This shows that the Qu’ran does refer to the Bible (“the Book”) and also that the gospel is referred to “within this Book.” (Surah 3:3) Muslims should therefore take the time to understand the gospel. However, the Qu’ran does not unpack for the Muslim what the gospel is. To understand the gospel he must refer to the Bible. When he does this he should come to realise that while the Qu’ran may contain some truth within its pages, it cannot be “the Word of God,” since the gospel found within the Bible simply does not allow for any other offer of salvation for this world, apart from what we see in the person of Jesus Christ (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5). Bader heard the word of God and he left with a tract, do pray for him.
Please pray for David and Marta from Spain. They were very happy to take a tract and appeared really genuine in their interest.
Matthew, a Roman Catholic, took a copy of “The Biggest Question” DVD. Do pray for him.
CJ, raised Muslim, appeared really convicted of his sin as he heard the gospel. Was encouraged to read the gospel of John. Please pray he would.
Deylon said that he had been thinking about why he is on this earth and that he cannot think of any purpose for life. He was told that apart from God there is no purpose and that we are here to glorify God with our lives. He seemed very sad but understood the gospel message. Pray the Holy Spirit works on his heart.
I had an interesting conversation with Joe (from Italy) and his Muslim friend. We spoke for some time and they listened intently as I shared the gospel with them. The issue of being made right with God became central to our conversation. Joe’s Muslim friend believed that we can have confidence in our own good works with regard to receiving God’s favour. This brought the conversation to the subject of God’s justice, in relation to His mercy. Can God be just and merciful at the same time? Well, if you show mercy towards a person, towards someone who deserves justice, then you haven’t acted in a just way, and if you show justice towards a person who deserves justice, then you have not expressed mercy towards the person. The point of course is that you cannot be just and merciful at the same time, because you are either merciful at the expense of justice, or you are just at the expense of mercy. How does God solve this dilemma? It is solved in the cross. Jesus is punished on our behalf, for the sins that we deserve, so that we can go free. God pours out His wrath against sin - justice is satisfied. By fulfilling His justice in this way, mercy is extended towards the one deserving the punishment. This then is the wonder of the cross!! I believe that both Joe and his friend understood what I was saying, however there was a determined reluctance on their part to accept the truth of what I was saying. This is always unfortunate and disappointing, however they did take some tracts and a copy of “The Biggest Question” DVD to watch together. Do pray for them.
Soli Deo Gloria!!
Roman talking to a lady sitting on the benches.
Saturday was cold this morning, but shoppers were quite active even in this chill. Perfect opportunity to share the Gospel! The team consisted of myself, Roman and a gentleman from another church named Ola. This was his first time out doing evangelism in Brentwood, and he was very excited to be able to come along. We all handed out quite a number of million £ notes, but because of the cold few people were stopping to chat. The best conversation I had was with a bunch of young boys who I use to teach music to at Doddinghurst Public School. They all took tracts and listened intently so I hope seeds were sown into their lives this day.
Andrew chatting with some young kids.
Ola enjoyed himself and said he would return when his family commitments allow. Hopefully this will be the beginnings of regular combined church evangelism in Brentwood! SDG
A wintry January evening but thankfully not too cold, it was a great night to head out and share the gospel of Jesus Christ with people in and around Leicester Square, London. The team was at least 20 in number, which was excellent. It was a blessing too that we could be in the spot that is best suited for preaching open-air. As we have just moved into 2012 I felt it would be good to begin by talking about new year’s resolutions. I used this to transition into the gospel by mentioning that often a new year’s resolution fizzles out since we are hardly perfect. We frequently stumble and fall in life, and the biggest area that we fail in is our morality. The Fall puts man and God at hostility between each other, and it is God who has the last word for the guilty sinner, but, it never has to come to that because God has worked the impossible and has provided reconciliation for all who would humble themselves before Him, for those who would repent and trust in the Saviour, Jesus Christ. Below is a video of the message I preached.
The open-air preaching really worked well in that it initiated a number of really good conversations. In the picture to the right Wesley is talking with a gentleman who admitted that he was once an atheist and that although he does now believe in God and attend church, he recognises that he has not yet fully committed his life to Christ. Commenting on the message he’d heard me preach, he told Wes: “You don’t hear preaching like this in churches today.” Sadly, this is true. There are churches however that are preaching God’s Word. Please pray for the church in the UK, that it would honour God by honouring His Word. Please pray too for the many churches that are preaching God’s truth, pray that they would remain faithful in a hostile land. Lastly, please pray for the gentleman in this picture, that he would consider the cost of his refusal to repent and would turn to Jesus in repentance and faith.
In the video below Mike is sharing the gospel with a chap named James (you can also see Mike witnessing to someone in the picture to the left). If you watched the video of me preaching you’ll have noticed him in the crowd. Mike did a great job of taking advantage of the open-air to get into conversation with James. The video is great to watch, as you see recognition on his face concerning his sin, to the point that he said, “I’d be guilty,” to Mike’s question: “Will you be innocent or guilty on the Day of Judgment?” The law certainly is a schoolmaster to lead sinners to Christ (Galatians 3:24). Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, in his fantstic book "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount," wrote: "Evangelism must start with the holiness of God, the sinfulness of man, the demands of the law, the punishment meted out by the law and the eternal consequences of evil and wrong-doing. It is only the man who is brought to see his guilt in this way who flies to Christ for deliverance and redemption. Any belief in the Lord Jesus Christ which is not based on that is not a true belief in Him. You can have a psychological belief even in the Lord Jesus Christ; but a true belief sees in Him one who delivers us from the curse of the law. True evangelism starts like that, and obviously is primarily a call to repentance, 'repentance twoard God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ,'" (emphasis added). I have since emailed James just to get his thoughts from Friday night. Do pray for him.
In the picture below Annika is joined by Melissa as they share the gospel with someone who stopped to take a tract. Melissa is still quite new and it's really encouraging to have her with us. I encouraged her to shadow someone and Annika did a great job helping her. It really is such a joy to see people growing in the area of evangelism. Over the years I have seen the shy and the timid step outside of their comfort zone because they are burdened with a desire to see the lost saved. If you too share that burden please let me encourage you to step out. Let your love for Christ swallow your fears.
Towards the end of the evening I spoke with a Muslim chap named Ash. Our conversation was brief but we managed to exchange contact details. On Saturday I received a text from him in which he gave his thoughts on Jesus’ words in John 10:30: “I and the Father are one.” We’ve swapped a few emails and now we’re meeting shortly for coffee. I’m very encouraged. Click here to learn more.
It really was a great night. It’s so wonderful to be used of by the Lord for the lifting up of His name.
Soli Deo Gloria!
As it was Christmas Eve today, I didn't want to miss the opportunity to hand out tracts to the manic shoppers of Brentwood. Steve Smith and myself arrived early afternoon, armed with a mountain of million pound notes and red Santa hats, we began to distribute the Gospel in written form to a multitude of frenzied pedestrians.
We were later joined by Elyske and continued to hand out tracts in various parts of the high st.
I had only one conversation with a young woman named Holly. She enquired about the tracts we were handing out and I began to share about Gods righteous requirements and judgement upon sin. This led into the Gospel and discussing the only solution provided by God for mans sin - Jesus Christ. She appeared to understand, and she went away with a handful tracts and a head full of Gospel. Thanks be to God for the opportunity to share the Gospel in this community - SDG and Merry Christmas
It was a great encouragement this past Friday to join with brothers and sisters in Christ, on a very cold night indeed, in the proclamation of His name. After a time of sharing and study in Cafe Nero we headed to our choice spot near the Empire Theatre. I was really pleased to see that it was vacant and so we immediately began to set up and get ready.
After we had finished praying I looked up to see that someone had joined our little huddle. At first I thought it was a new visitor, perhaps a friend of someone on the team. I learned this was not the case and that our new visitor had joined us after he had been walking past and seen us praying. He introduced himself as Paul, and after we had said hello to each other, I listened as he lamented two areas of his life that he had been struggling with recently. It was interesting to discover that they were “praying” and “reading the Bible.” I wasn't sure where he stood spiritually so I tried to discover if he had made a commitment to the Lord. He seemed unsure so I led him through the gospel in as clear a way possible as I could. We spoke for some time and it was at times a little frustrating. I say this because there seemed to be a difficulty on his part to understand fully all that I was saying. I am not an expert in the area of psychology but it did seem that perhaps there was a particular mental handicap that he suffered with. I had to repeat myself many times and it just seemed that he was struggling to grasp some rather basic concepts. Even so, he was a delight to talk to. He mentioned that he has been attending a local church on and off recently but did not feel that he was growing in understanding. I took his address details, gave him my number and have since recommended a church to him. He hasn't come back to me just yet and so I will contact him again soon. Do pray for him.
After I had said goodbye to Paul I realised that some time had past. I would have normally stood up to preach by this point but that was okay. Everybody on the team had been actively talking with people, which was great. I decided to preach and by God’s grace a number of people stopped to listen. Again, it was very cold and so it was really encouraging. I preached on the true meaning of Christmas and why the greatest gift God would give us this Christmas is the same gift He has been offering to the world for the last two thousand years: Himself. Recently I have realised the importance of going beyond simply saying: “Jesus is the way,” or “Jesus is the answer.” This is not enough and if we fall short here we fall short of presenting a complete and full gospel message. We must also stress why Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. This is something I have known for a long time but I am noticing that it is not stressed enough today. The doctrine of substitutionary atonement is a vital ingredient of the gospel.
A little later on I had a really good conversation with two young men. They seemed to really listen and take in the message of the gospel. They were very appreciative and appeared quite genuine in thanking me for giving them plenty to think about. It was apparent that they needed to be somewhere but I was so grateful to God that they did stop when I approached them with a tract. They left with a few more tracts and my card. It would be awesome if I did hear from them again but if it do pray the Lord would arrest their hearts and bring some more Christians across their path.
We’d had a great night and it was wonderful to have been used of by the Lord for the glory of His name.
Soli Deo Gloria!
The team met again at Cafe Nero this past Friday evening and we continued our look at presuppositional apologetics, which is based on a biblical framework for making a defence for the Christian faith (we are working through a book together at the moment called “Every Thought Captive”). Our time together in the cafe is always helpful and really gets us focused before we head out. We were between 10 and 12 in number (a few more joined us later in the Square).
We have come to expect an ever changing Leicester Square, particularly considering the redevelopment of the area in preparation for the 2012 Olympics in London. Finding a good spot for open-preaching has become more challenging, and although there are now a number for new obstacles in front of us, I feel it is vital that we stay in the area, as consistency is really important when it comes to public outreach.
We headed to the spot I feel is best suited for witnessing but unfortunately we arrived at almost the exact moment a group of buskers did. It was a shame, had we arrived just five minutes earlier we could have used the spot. Not to be defeated we headed back to the spot we have used before near McDonalds. The Swiss Clock Tower had a barrier around it so I had to stand opposite. It was not ideal but it did allow me to preach. It was very cold and in front of me to the left there were some people giving out free hot food. As I was about to preach I learnt that they were members of the Hare Krishna religion. This was very interesting, I had not had the opportunity before to preach the gospel in quite a setting. In front of me there were a number of people enjoying the hot food that had been provided by the Hare Krishna’s. In that sense it was wonderful, as I had a somewhat captive audience. It was a challenge though, as it was very noisy and the position I was in most not ideal. I preached a short gospel message with very little interaction from the crowd. Still, those standing by certainly heard what I had to say.
After I finished preaching a man approached and told me he felt that what the Hare Krishna’s were doing was far superior to what we were doing. They were helping people by giving them free food, whereas we were simply “preaching at them.” Immediately I thought of Jesus’ words: “Do not labour for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life” (John 6:27). I explained to him that as Christians we do help people by providing for their material needs, as did Jesus, but ultimately we, like Jesus, are far more concerned with their spiritual needs and so we want to make available to people “food that endures to eternal life.” He objected quite strongly that we had what people need and I soon discovered that I was talking with a relativist (someone who holds to the idea that truth is relative and that what may be true for me is not necessarily true for another person). Talking with a relativist can be very frustrating, especially when they do not concede that the logic they have adopted is absurd and self-refuting (when someone says there are no absolutes they are making an absolute statement). I did my best to show that he was being illogical and arbitrary in his objections, but unfortunately it was to no avail. Perhaps walking away from a conversation like this we could say that it was to no avail. However, God’s Word always accomplishes what God wills it to accomplish. To this end I committed this man into the hands of the Lord. May He grant repentance and faith to him that he may be saved.
The rest of the team were all engaged in conversation and although it was terribly cold it was very encouraging to see that people were willing to stop and engage with us. Shortly after I had the opportunity to talk with Maciej. Maciej is a magician from Poland who often performs in Leicester Square. We have spoken a few times but I haven’t had much opportunity to share the gospel with him. It was really encouraging that he came up to me and said, “Hi Rob.” We got talking and before long I put to him a few questions regarding what he thought about God, life after death, etc. He said that he felt there was “something out there,” an “energy” of sorts, but that really was about as far as he went. I built on this by explaining to him that the world we see around us, and in particular relational and rationale people, is all evidence of a personal, creative God, who is Himself a person, and not just a form of energy. I transitioned to the gospel and opened up to him as best I could the realisation that we have all sinned against a holy God and that we are deserving of judgment. But Jesus, the Son of God, motivated by love, stepped down into this world and became a man. He lived a sinless, perfect life for us, the perfect life that we can’t live (2 Corinthians 5:21), and then died in our place on a Roman cross, so that the justice of God would be satisfied, and we could go free. He listened without objection as I shared with him, which was really encouraging. We exchanged contact details and I have since emailed him asking if he would like to meet up for coffee. Do pray that we would be able to meet up some time soon.
We all came together at the end of the evening and thanked the Lord for His grace to us and for using us to make His name known. It had been a great evening.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Brentwood High St had a special event this Saturday. The council had partitioned off the road for the "switching on" of the Christmas Lights. Naturally this means more people to share the Gospel with! As well as regular stalls with food and drink, the churches in Brentwood worked together to give away warm mince pies and put on some live carol singing for the public.
The OP513 team consisted of Rob, Roman, and Myself and were later joined by Elyske and Ingrid. We began handing out tracts and soon enough I came across a gentleman who said "heaven was a myth". I gently began by asking him how he 'knows' heaven is a myth. This started destroying his naturalistic worldview and as you would expect, he didn't appreciate it. When it came time for him to explain how non material things such as "laws of logic" can exist in his purely material worldview he became frustrated and decided to end our conversation. He did take a tract as he walked off and I pray he would think about our conversation and how his worldview comes up short.
My next most interesting conversation was with a young Catholic man. We began conversing on the street and eventually decided to go have a coffee and talk. I asked various questions about the Roman Catholic understanding of salvation, works and mariology. Since I didn't have a working knowledge of Catholic theology I decided to keep asking questions and let him talk. Eventually I challenged him about a few issues and he quoted some scriptures that were quite out of context. We agreed to continue the discussion and I took his email.
This is Me talking with Sean the Catholic
Later we decided to get some lunch and went to a cafe. Rob began handing out tracts to the staff and engaged them in conversation.
Rob and I also met a Christian from a different Brentwood Church who is very interested in sharing the Gospel with people. I'm praying this will be the beginnings of Christians from different churches uniting together in Brentwood towards consistent evangelism! SDG
Today the team consisted of Roman, Elyske, Rob and Myself. We spread out in our usual spot and began to hand out tracts to pedestrians. Not long after we began, I approached a young couple sitting on a bench. Chris and Ellie were their names and I began to share with them how we as Gods creatures, have all broken Gods Law. Chris had quite a few questions regarding apologetic considerations and I attempted to answer them. They both seemed quite happy to talk about religion and philosophy. I explained the Gospel to them, gave them a few more tracts and we amicably parted ways.
Later I came across a lapsed Catholic from Ireland. He believed the Bible and what is said about humans and sin, He also had a few questions regarding how the Bible and darwinian philosophy are compatible and I explained that they aren't!!! He listened intently and took a tract from Creation Ministries International. He was very interested in the topic, may God open his eyes to see!
Roman began a conversation with a Muslim named Hammed, which went on for over an hour. Eventually Rob and myself went over to listen and began to add to the discussion. Rob brought up a very powerful and logical argument against the Koran which made Hammed think a bit more regarding the grounds of his belief in Islam. Unfortunately we had to go by that time and I gave Hammed a tract to take with him. We had a great time sharing the Gospel today, may God grant repentance to those we shared with!!
The team was out once more on Friday evening to share the gospel with people in and around Leicester Square. We met beforehand at Cafe Nero and I shared on the finished work of Christ. Many religions and cults place an emphasis on works for our salvation. Even Mormonism, which claims to preach the grace of Christ, says “...for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” (2 Nephi 25:23) In John 6 the people ask Jesus, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” (John 6:28) They lived by a system of works and thought that their many deeds would make them right with God. Jesus told them plainly: “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” (John 6:29) Christ lived the perfect life for us, the life that we cannot live, and then He died on a cross to pay the penalty for our sins. That is why faith in Him and Him alone is sufficient for our salvation. In fact, there is no other work that can save us. We must believe in the One whom God has sent.
When we arrived at Leicester Square it was awash with people. You can get a glimpse of this by looking at the picture to the right. Standing up to preach I began by speaking about Remembrance Day and the many lives gone before us to protect our freedom. I then switched to talk about One who has won our freedom once and for all time from a bondage far greater than war, tyranny or oppression: the bondage of sin. Jesus said, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) As I shared the gospel people stood listening and before long many in the team were in conversation.
Myself and Ingrid spoke with a young Muslim man (Majit) from Pakistan, who now lives in England. He was really pleasant to talk to and listened as we shared with him. He made the claim that the Bible was in error and had been changed. I spoke to him about how the letters of the New Testament were distributed far and wide once they had been written, and that copies upon copies were made and then distributed even further. If at some point the Bible was changed and altered, the task would have been insurmountable. All the thousands of copies would have had to have been collected and for consistency they would have all needed to be changed. Each of the four gospels accounts for the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. The Qur’an, written after the Bible, says that Jesus did not die on the cross. Were all four gospel accounts changed? How was this done, bearing in mind that before Muhammad was even born, countless copies of the gospels were circling round the known world at an unprecedented speed? It was quite apparent that Majit understood the argument I was making, which was very encouraging. At the end of our conversation we exchanged contact details and I have since written to Majit. Do pray for him and that we would be able to continue in dialogue together.
Mehlika also had a very encouraging conversation on Friday night. Here is her account: “At the beginning of the night when I was standing and listening to the preaching, a young man, Nickel (26), walked through the crowd, stopped, and said to me; ‘should I be listening to this?’ and I said yes, then he said, ‘Is it a good message’ and I said yes. He asked me if I was only saying, ‘yes,’ then I explained what the message was that was being preached, and how as a Christian I find the message dramatically important. Then he looked at Rob and said, ‘Okay, what’s he saying, can you translate for me?’ Then I began to tell him the gospel. God is good because this guy didn’t ‘waist time’ arguing that mankind is good, but he acknowledged we are all sinners, he acknowledged that Jesus was indeed a historical character and he did not question the validity of the Bible, which was shocking for me because he is not a Christian and he was very switched on. Through this Nickel and I were able to get stuck into the Bible and the gospel message; he was asking lots of questions and he seemed to be taking in everything I was saying. I was also able to share my testimony with him. We spoke for a good period of time. This allowed us to talk about the O.T. and why God chose the Jews, and even as in-depth to talk about Abraham and how there was a ram caught in the thicket when he was about to sacrifice his son. This allowed me to demonstrate to Nickel that God has always known about the provision of His Son for our sins. This allowed me to add weight to Christ, by showing how the O.T. talks of Him.
Drawing near to the end of the conversation I told Nickel that he couldn’t leave tonight thinking Jesus was just a good moral teacher; because there is no room to believe that. Instead I told him he had three options, only three! Jesus was either a mad man, who generally believed he was the son of God, or he was a liar, purposely trying to deceive people into worshiping him and believing who he said he was, or he was telling the truth which would make him one with God; the son of God. Then he showed me the book he is reading, it was on spirituality and he said that it has many quotes from the Bible; and that he thinks a Christian might have written it. I told him I had a better spiritual book for him and handed him the Bible. He was reluctant to take it at first because I guess he assumed that I thought he would be a Christian. I reassured him that I’m only responsible to share the gospel, and that God seeks the hearts and transforms them, no one else. I had also told him how someone gave me a Bible 2 years before I became a Christian. He was very thankful and loved the in-depth conversation. He gave me his email and I told him that my fiancé and I would write to him one day and see how he is doing. I generally believe that he was meant to be there last night. He had never heard the gospel, yet he was starting to think of spiritual things. Praise God that He set that situation up, and I shall keep him in prayer.”
Below are some more pictures from the evening.
It had been a fantastic night and although a bit manic at times we praise God that we were able to make His name known. It truly is a privilege and an honour to do so!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Saturday, November 5th, Rob Hughes and I both hit Brentwood town centre. 'Armed' with loads of tracts and a willingness to preach the Gospel to the lost, we were soon joined by Elyske and Ingrid to make a team of four. The High St was consistently busy today which made handing out tracts a lot easier. My first conversation came from a gentleman named Mustafah. He took a tract, read it while waiting for his girlfriend in a shop and came back to me asking questions. He was very amiable and had a great interest in different world religions. I explianed the Biblical view of Creation and fall of Man into sin, Gods Law and how we break it, how Christ came to save those who repent and why the Biblical Worldview is the ONLY way to account for human experience of the world. He appeared to take in every word and we eventually parted with him taking more tracts and an ear full of the Gospel.