As usual Philip and I met up with Antonio on Friday evening for the start of another weekend of ministry. Arriving at Tooting Broadway we set about handing out tracts to the passerby's. After a short while I stood up to preach.
About this time some Christians from another church arrived and began setting up sound equipment for what I expected to be some form of evangelism. While not many people stopped to hear God's word, I could see that my message was an encouragement to these Christians. After I finished preaching I managed to speak with a chap who turned out to be the pastor of their church. Because I believe it to be vital for the church today I spoke with him about the importance of true biblical evangelism; that is, using the law to preach about sin, righteousness and judgment before preaching about grace. I was encouraged to hear that he understood this important principle, as he mentioned he had listened to Hell's Best Kept Secret by Ray Comfort.
After saying goodbye to our fellow Christian brothers and sisters, and of course Antonio, we hopped on board the tube bound for Leicester Square. Going up and down the carriage in either direction I quickly went about tracting the people on board. If you look left you can see those who are in the middle of reading their tract. When a young girl had finished reading her tract I asked her what she thought. She said that she was going to start reading her Bible when she got home. Too cool!
Arriving at Leicester Square we quickly met up with Carl, Andrew and my brother James. Carl really makes me smile because every time we arrive he is always in a conversation with people, sharing the gospel. He certainly doesn't muck about! The place was heaving, and so after opening in prayer, so we set about handing out tracts and talking with the people. Below you can see a picture of my brother in a conversation with three people. I got talking with a young couple, Page and her boyfriend Carlos. This was a really good conversation, as both Page and Carlos listened intently as I shared the whole counsel of God with them. Page in particular seemed quite moved by the message and when I asked them what they were going to do with what they had heard they both said that they were going to give it some serious thought. Praise God.
During my conversation with Page and Carlos I noticed that there were some other Christians who had arrived for the evening. They were parading up and down the square and some were also preaching, although they used no form of elevation. It's great to see other Christians and while it would have been good to fellowship with them and get to know them, we had a job to do. Stepping up on my ladder I started preaching. I preached just as I have done in previous weeks and yet no crowd seemed to form, which meant no hecklers either. It really was quite strange, given that the place was bustling with so many people.
After I finished preaching a young man arrived with his own little soapbox and stood up to preach. I have met him once before and during that time I was able to chat with him briefly. I don't really know much about him and so it will be good if I can get to talk with him again. In the last few weeks we have also been joined by Paddy and his friend Steven. They carry with them large placards that simply say the words "John 3:7" on them. The idea is that people will approach them and ask them what John 3:7 means. This of course allows you to then share the gospel with them. I admit this is quite a fascinating way of engaging with people. Paddy in particular is very keen on coming alongside us and working with us each Friday evening. I have not approached them about joining our ministry as they are already in their own ministry. Paddy is also very much charismatic in his theology and so there are some things he teaches that I seriously disagree with.
As the young man who had arrived began preaching Carl came running to me and asked me to come and speak with a Muslim gentleman who had some questions. We spoke for at least half an hour and covered a number of topics. One particular issue that we disagreed on pertains to that of original sin. This refers to the fact that we are born sinners. My new Muslim friend, Ali, disagreed and instead said that we are born pure, we simply "lose our way" when Satan tempts us. I explained to him that it is quite evident we are sinners from birth, however he refused to believe that the wrong we did was evidence that we are all born evil. He kept alluding to the good that people do. However it is clear that if we are born pure then it does not square with the fact that we all sin, and that we all begin doing so from a very early age. The Bible clearly teaches that it is because of the Fall that we all inherit the sin of Adam.
After I finished speaking with Ali I noticed that Paddy had stepped up to preach. I listened to his message and was deeply concerned to hear the watered-down version he was preaching. It's going to be tough but I will be speaking to him the next time we meet to tell him that as things stand right now we cannot align ourselves with him. Hopefully he will take on board what I have to say when I share with him concerning the importance of preaching a complete and sound gospel message.
It was now past 11:00pm and so we departed Leicester Square and headed on home. We may not have had a big crowd but we had handed out many tracts and had witnessed to quite a few people. To God alone be the glory.
Saturday came around and it was back to Tooting Broadway. Antonio and Andrew were there to meet both Phil and I. We arrived at 12pm and spent the first part of the afternoon talking with people one-to-one and handing out tracts. After a little while I stood up to preach. We continue to get few people who stop to listen at Tooting Broadway but I believe that this can change. You never know what impact the gospel is having as the people of the area continue to hear the message week after week. When God commissioned Ezekiel he said to him, "And you shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear, for they are a rebellious house." (Ezekiel 2:7).
Later that afternoon I met with two Mormon missionaries. Mormonism (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) is a heretical offshoot of Christianity. I met with them because they had first approached me a few weeks back and had given me some of their literature. As we talked we spoke about their beliefs and how they differ with orthodox Christianity. They believe that their "version" of the gospel is the restoration of the gospel, but this simply is not the case. The Book of Mormon, for example, conflicts with the teaching of the Bible. The following link will show you the major difference between the Christian gospel and the Mormon gospel. I did not get to spend as much time with them as I would have liked as they had to leave quite early. I did ask them if I could meet with them again and they said yes. I do hope this will happen and I ask you to join with me in prayer that it would.
We had met in McDonalds and so there were a number of people sat around us as we had been talking. As I was getting ready to leave a young girl who was sat nearby spoke up and said that she had been listening to the conversation. Quickly I sat down next to her and asked her what she thought. It turns out that her Mum is a Mormon; however she claimed to not be religious, although she did believe in God. I spoke with her for at least twenty minutes and shared the whole counsel of God with her. When I had finished she said that it made sense and that she knew what she needed to do in order to be reconciled to God. She seemed quite convicted as well and so I urged her to get right with God whilst there is still time. She said that she would certainly be giving it careful thought. Her name is Elizabeth. Please pray that God would grant her repentance and that He would bring her to the knowledge of the truth.
Soli Deo Gloria!
And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? Daniel 4:35
By faith, a small team assembled to preach the gospel, despite adverse weather conditions. The wind was cold and blowing quite strongly. Clouds loomed above. The Lord God however, is above all things. :)
Chris Rixon joined me this week, and together we waited for "Frosty" Barwick to arrive with camera equipment. He arrived with firm encouragement, and I stepped up to preach.
The area was cold and pretty empty, and preached for about eight minutes, before stepping down to talk to an Asian lady who was listening. She turned out to be from Singapore, and a professing christian. We chatted, for a bit, and went through the gospel message. Unfortunately she was unfamiliar with the teaching of John in the bible, regarding how to define a true convert of Christ's from a false convert who really belonged to the devil. May God help her understanding, for the benefit of those she influences in Jesus name.
In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. 1 John 3:10
Victor and I handed out tracts, and Mr Rixon began to pray for the gospel ministry.
A malasian middle-aged lady, with her children, inquired what my gospel tracts were about, and so I told her about the good person test. She was quite honest and revealed that she understood her sin was evil. The dear lady turned out to be another professing christian who understood the gospel very well, and true and false conversion. After sharing contact details, we went our different ways, and I was back to handing out tracts.
A young Asian man, with two similarly aged women was sitting idly about the normal preaching stage, and God gave me the opportunity to have his attention and present the gospel. Apparently he had been in church before, but he went because they served good food. His confession was that he left church, because he wasn't aloud to sin openly.
All three accepted "Are you a good person?" tracts, and read the ten commandments, while I showed them their sin. It was a nice chat, and he was quite a joker, but he began to be nervous and the girls seemed worried. I took them to the cross, and then urged them to investigate the claims of the gospel, since they were going to die, and it wasn't worth taking an idle approach to the end of their fleshly life.
After a short time, I was able to witness to two young men, who had heard me preaching earlier. One young man was British, who quite a firm believer in Darwinism, but also professed belief in God. The other was an Aussie, who made a few objections during my discourse with our British acquaintance, but mostly stayed quiet. What struck me, was how as the conversation progressed with British and I, Aussie seemed to get very unsettled. I think God let me spend about an hour with these two young men.
It was wonderful to have Chris Rixon praying, and God seemed pleased to answer his prayers, and aided me immensely in witnessing to these two young men. All their questions to my recollection were adequately answered, and a young girl who arrived later to join the men, even took a tract as well. To God be the glory.
Friends, if you study hard, but trust Jesus to use you, despite your weakness's, frailty, or lack of recall.. he can use you wonderfully for His glory.
I will pray for you reader, in Jesus name, that he might grant you boldness and understanding so you can represent Him aright.
For the promotion of Jesus name,
The evening starting off very very slow and stayed that way for pretty much the entire Skypecast. However, that didn't mean we had no hecklers though.
We had a couple hecklers from New Zealand who said there was no God. I went through some basic proofs for God's existence and they admitted there must be a God. I then went on to proving the judgment, however, this is where these larrikins became unreasonable. They would jump topics, and not listen to anything we were saying. So we ended up having to drop them down to the listening area. However, they now have some things to think about because Josh Williamson went onto explaining the law and the gospel.
Andrew spoke to an American man who at first claimed to be a Christian. So Andrew asked him how someone gets to Heaven. The man explained his conversion experience by 'asking Jesus into his heart' a number of years ago, but he went onto say that he is trusting in his good works to get him to Heaven. Andrew pointed out that if he is not trusting Christ alone for salvation, he won't get to Heaven. The man was very concerned about this and asked for more information. So Andrew explained the full gospel and what a person must do to be saved to this fellow so that he understood it. The man said he would get right with God immediately. Praise be to God.
There were also a few technical difficulties throughout the evening, such that people would randomly be muted for a short period of time. Please pray that this will not happen in future weeks.
We will have another Skypecast at the same time next week - Sunday 9pm - 12am GMT+10. If you would like to advertise the upcoming Operation 513 Skypecasts on your webpage/blog/myspace, please visit the Skypecast page and that will give you the instructions on how you can do so.
To God be the glory!
Saturday, 31 May 2008
Winter is almost here, a cold wind was blowing threw the city tonight, and the rain that we had experienced for the past few days only served to make the temperature drop. Many people have commented on how they don't like to witness in winter due to the cold, personally I like to witness in the colder months.
Due to the colder weather, I was expecting to be a few team members down tonight, as some of the Operation 513 team has come down with colds. But, never the less we decided to push on no matter how many people came out.
The night was looking grim for man power, when at 8:30pm, only four of the team were present, I was starting to think that it would be a very hard night of witnessing. But, by nine o'clock we had a ten man team on the ground.
I had decided early in the day that I would not be preaching tonight, due to the fact that I would be preaching an evangelistic service the next morning at Browns Plains Baptist Church, so I handed over the preaching to Andrew Hsu.
As we were setting up it was good to see Alex (Mr. Dawkins Man) hanging around as per usual. As he was walking by he greeted a couple of the members of the team, and revealed that tonight was his birthday. So I went across and gave him a DVD that I promised him that details the historic proof for the existence of God. Alex is a decent bloke, and I really like talking to him. I guess we could be classed as "friendly enemies" he takes the hardline position of atheism, and I take the hardline position of Biblical Christianity. We are all praying for Alex to be converted, and hopefully G od will one day grant Alex repentance so that he can come to the understanding of the truth.
By now Andrew was in full voice preaching the gospel. While he was preaching I got the chance to talk to a couple of people standing behind the preacher. The conversation were simple at best, they would ask "What's happening here?" So, I would explain to them about the preaching, and lead into the gospel.
By now the heavens had opened up once again and the rain began to fall, so we quickly packed up the Bible table, and I did find it rather amusing when one of our atheist hecklers was actually helping us pack away the Bibles so they wouldn't get wrecked in the rain. Riley has become on our regular hecklers, but he is in a different league to Alex. Both of them hold to the same position, but both have different ways in arguing their case.
Riley had been spending some time doing study to ask us questions in regards to religious beliefs. His question focused on "Why is there many different religions if we all came from the one God". This question is a rather good one, so I took it back to show how men and women will often take a truth and pervert it to justify their own actions, and as a result of man's sinful idolatress heart, we get many religions and sects being formed.
From there we did go on to talk more in an apologetic sense about the age of the earth, and how long man had been present. I like talkin g to Riley as he thinks out his questions, and he seems to be willing to learn and study. But just like Alex, Riley is lost in sin unless God saves him. So please keep Riley in prayer also.
At this stage there was a quiet time in the outreach, so I called the whole team in to where we have our bags. I then called over Alex and Riley. During the preaching Rachel had gone down to the doughnut shop to buy a pack of doughnuts to share for Alex's birthday. As a group of Christians along with our atheist heckler we sung "Happy Birthday" to Alex, and then we had a few minutes of general chit chat before heading back into the preaching.
During this time Andrew had finished preaching and was dealing with one of his hecklers in a one to one. So I put Ryan up to preach for awhile. Since it was a cold night, and because Ryan was a bit sick, he couldn't preach for long. But, the time he did preach for was rather good.
After Ryan preached, I decided that we should put Rachel up to preach. This was her second time of open air preaching. While she is new at this form of evangelism she shows promise. While she was preaching, she did a call out on an African man who was listening, once she had the dialogue going with him, she went threw the full gospel and explained that without Christ no one could be saved.
Overall it was a good night, with many people getting to hear the gospel. May God be glorified from the work He is doing in Brisbane!
Soli Deo Gloria!
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.
Saturday, 24 May, 2008
When we arrived in the city tonight Andre and I were met by the sight of thousands of Asian people walking around the CBD. This was odd, so we went about tracting people in the Queen Street Mall as fast as we could. We then headed across to King George Square, and once again we were met with the sight of many Asians in the square. Instantly, Andre and I reached for our tracts and headed into the crowd. It turns out that they had just finished a memorial service for those who died in the massive Chinese earthquake.
We then met up wit some of the team, and had a time of prayer, and Bible reading. I noticed that the team was down a bit on numbers tonight, so we began to pray that God would see fit to raise up more labourers for His harvest. As always, God is faithful, and He brought in more people to work with us on the streets.
I decided to preach first for the night, this is something I am not a big fan of doing. I would rather preach second and deal with hecklers, but tonight I thought for a nice change I would open up. It was good to see as we were setting up to preach, that Alex (Mr. Dawkins Man) was hanging around, I think that he is a "Preacher Seeking Missile", as soon as we began to minister, he was right up there talking to people. While I was preaching I was heckled by a bunch of youth from a large church, who we ministered to last week. They were just as loud, and sinful as the week prior. After preaching for awhile, I stood down, and got the next preacher ready to go. It was a real quiet night, and it was hard to get hecklers. Even Alex wasn't heckling.
I noticed that there were a few young adults from church present, so I went across to greet them. Alex came across a few minutes later and began to heckle a bit in a one to one. So I engaged him in debate. A crowd gathered around to listen to us debate. The topic of discussion was over the historical Jesus. I produced the evidence of from secular history in regards to Jesus Christ living, and being crucified, and then I did an apologetic to prove that He rose from the grave. We then got on to the topic of atheism. It was an interesting discussion, and I truly think Alex is starting to soften to the Gospel.
During this time, Andre preached, and so did Kevin. By the time I finished talking to Alex, it was time for Hsusy to preach. He did a good job, and it is a real blessing to have him on the team. He does a fine job expounding the gospel, and dealing with hecklers.
One heckler, that kept attacking Hsusy was rather strange. No matter, what Hsusy said he would not listen, and he would just make up another argument. It was very clear that what the heckler was saying, was not built on fact, but rather on fantasy. He contended that Jesus Christ is actually from a pagan background, and that if you look at pagan religions there is a man called "Jesus". Hsusy, countered this claim, and the man didn't know what to do.
If one spends enough time on the street, you get to hear a lot of ‘odd' information. This man showed some of the ‘oddest'. He started to argue, that Jesus Christ did not exist till the eighteenth century, and that we did not have the Bible until the sixteenth century. Hsusy, took his argument apart piece by piece, and the man quickly turned, and ran away.
For the rest of the night we spent time doing one to ones, and also handing out tracts. Just before we left some homeless people approached us, and asked that we buy them dinner. Hsusy was quick to respond, and went and got them a hot meal.
Please keep Alex in prayer, and also Riley. Both of these young men argue for atheism, and are really regular heckles. Pray that God would grant them repentance, and bring them to the knowledge of the truth.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Today was a wonderful day, in which the Lord Jesus decided to give us freedom from police interference from sharing the message of the bible in public. It was a nice break, and the day was quite an exciting one for open air preaching, with interested crowds.
Tara was the first girl to respond by God's grace, and God used Tara's conversation with me, to draw in a small crowd, which eventually dissipated to some degree, at the moment the gospel began to be shared. After a while, as Tara began to hear the ten commandments, she appeared to be a little nervous, possibly because her sin was exposed. If that was the case she was more concerned that human beings knew about her crime, than God knowing, who created her. Such is the state of the human heart, we all have it, it's desperately wicked and deceitful above all things. Tara received a gospel tract, and shook my hand. She was a nice young girl, and I pray God converts her, before she gets too deeply immersed in the wicked ways of the world.
A little later, Keith Rochford, stepped up and as he was conversing with a man, the latter admitted to being an adulterer and a liar. As Keith began to expound on the reality of hell, giving references from the bible, a lady yelled out: "Isn't God forgiving?" Keith smiled, and deferred the question until the man seemed ready to hear the gospel.
Next Keith called out to another man who was present, and asked if he thought he was good, against the ten commandments. Not surprisingly he said, "Yes". Then, as the law was brought to his hearing, he said that he would be OK, because he went to a catholic school. Keith corrected his understanding.
Not a long while after, Keith began his short speech on the Evolution theory, Eugenics, and finally on Nazi Germany being the beginning of the logical conclusion of the Darwinian theory, in an largely unrestrained human being.
Shortly after a lady appeared, who was willing to take the good test. She was rather argumentative on each commandment. Amanda was her name. She didn't want a gospel tract. She sounded like she had heard the ten commandments before, and didn't like them. We all know, that thieves and murderer's don't like the law of the land, so we hope God gives her the grace to see her criminal activity for what it really is, before she passes from this world to the judgment throne of God.
Amanda left, but Riccardo (who had been listening), entered into conversation with Keith. He saw his crimes against God, but professed innocence. Riccardo knew of Jesus death, but professed "being good", was the way to be saved/forgiven. Keith preached the gospel to him, and showed that Christ was crucified for sinners (a substitutionary death), and raised the third day for their justification.
A group of lads in black came up, after that, and started to be foolish with Keith. One of the girls, had a pastor for a father. Keith walked one of the boys through the commandments. The daughter objected, "we all make mistakes! Are you going to hell, because of your mistakes?". Keith corrected her premise and understanding of the scriptures, and then turned to the boys, who kept swearing in front of ladies and children. He told them off sternly a number of times. These boys kept playing on Keith's words, and making fun of him. They all decided to leave, but the lad, which Keith was taking through the commandments, wanted to stay and listen some more.
The daughter who was attached to this young man, was professing to live with her boyfriend and be a christian at the same time. Keith launched into another brief sermon, on the hypocrisy of false professors who put Christ's name to shame. As the young people left, Keith preached the gospel home in their hearing. I believe the young man took a gospel tract from Keith.
I swapped with Keith, and by God's grace drew in another crowd, this time it was bigger than before, and the biggest social type crowd we have seen for a while. God orders these things for His own glory.
Sam a Muslim, who was quite self-righteous, but humorous caused me more than once to burst into laughter, for his jokes were quite funny. He tried to get off the charges of stealing and lying. He tried everything he could, but the Holy Spirit who was my safety net, did not allow his arguments to pass uncorrected. In fact his humorous arguments drew in more people, and gave me an opportunity to instruct the people who were listening, out of God's holy law.
Sam left after a while, he seemed frustrated, but pretended like he had won. It is childishness to trap someone for the sake of trapping them, and this I am not interested in. I was sorry to see him go, but I was told later that Keith has spoken to him before. So we might see Sam again in the near future, especially if God is drawing him to the Son of God for conversion.
Terry a middle aged aussie with no shirt, came in (he had been listening to Sam and me dialogue), and he also began to converse with me. I walked him through the law, but at the end he wanted to go. I don't blame him, when I first went through the ten commandments, I didn't like it either. Terry was persuaded by God's work in his heart, to stay and give me fifteen seconds, in which I presented the gospel. Terry thanked me and walked off, this time with the eternal gospel in his mind to think about. Terry seemed to have a softer heart than most middle-aged men I talk to. Please pray for all these people. I love the Gold Coast, and pray God would cleanse the whole place from crime, for the sake of His Son.
Keith Rochford preached us home with the gospel and a brief apologetics on religion versus Christianity.
An interesting note today, was that two police officers came over towards us and walked around where we preach, and both of them left without stopping us. I was quite happy, and pray God helps them to catch as many criminals as God is pleased to help them catch. They do a tough job, and we appreciate them for it.
David Strachnan joined us from Christ Community Church, and was a real pleasure, he is a nice young man studying at college. He had some good conversations with people around where we were preaching.
Snowy Barwick, filmed us again, which we were grateful for, and he had a good conversation with a young man immediately afterwards.
Thank God for you gentlemen.
May God get all the glory from His instruments, filled with His eternal mercy and blessing in Jesus Christ,
See you on the harvest fields, and please brothers and sisters, don't get sleepy when there is so much work to be done,
On Friday night the team came together once more for another weekend of ministry. Arriving at Leicester Square a little later than usual, myself and Philip were met by Carl, Virgil and Andrew. It wasn't until about 9:30pm that we had grouped together before praying for the evening. Due to the events of the previous Friday we debated amongst ourselves as to what would be the best location for us to use, that would be compliant for the authorities. We decided to stand against the railing, to the right of the artists. We concluded that there was sufficient space between them and us. We did not know how things would go, but we had prayed and were trusting in the Lord. Before stepping up to preach Phil pointed to the other side of the square where some form of entertainment had drawn in a large crowd. It was interesting to note that the police had not stepped in to break up the crowd like they had done with us.
After stepping up to preach I drew in a reasonable size crowd. There has been much in the news lately concerning the events in China and Burma. The question of why there is suffering in the world is a common objection that is often thrown at Christianity, so I decided to begin by talking about why we have suffering in the world. I explained that suffering and sin cannot be separated; it is because sin has come into the world that we have disease and suffering and crime, etc. I must admit that the crowd I had was fairly placid compared to recent weeks. After opening up the law of God to make clear the standard of God's justice I did a call out to a man named Julio. I asked him if he would be deserving of heaven or hell, after being found guilty of breaking God's law. I reasoned with him that if God's standards are higher than human standards would it not make sense that God must punish sin, especially when you consider that according to our own laws, a guilty criminal would not be allowed to go free. I never really got a straight answer from him and it was made a little trickier when his friend George also added his comments. They were trying to say that you cannot compare our justice system with that of God's justice system, but I explained that it is only because we are created in the image of God that we have laws in the first place. Our sense of morality comes from God. I continued to explain why we are all deserving of God's punishment and that without a Saviour there is no hope for anybody. This allowed me to explain why Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, since a substitute for our sins can be found no where else, except in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Towards the end of my preach, I spoke of the certainty of death and that we must consider the value of our soul in preparation of where we will spend eternity. At this point a man cried out, "I'm a sinner! I love death!" To this I replied, "Does that mean you would like to die right now?" I never heard another word out of him after that. After coming down from my ladder I was pleased to see that the team were all involved in one-to-one conversations. We continued to speak to the people who had gathered and spent the rest of the evening handing out tracts and talking with people. We were very grateful to the Lord that He had used us once more to preach to the people gathered at Leicester Square.
Saturday morning came around and it was back to Tooting Broadway. We arrived at 11:30am and opened in prayer. I decided to have the team spend a good half hour or so doing one-to-one's before I got up to preach. The team consisted of Philip, Antonio, Andrew, Joanna, Joe and myself. I did a bit of filming as well as they all set about handing out tracts and talking with the people. I continue to be greatly encouraged by Antonio. Still a young Christian, it was awesome to see him engaging with people in a one-to-one conversation. It was also wonderful to have Joe join us, who is from Nigeria and is often back there due to business. Below is an interview I did with Andrew after a one-to-one conversation that he had with a young couple.
Editor's Note: The analogies used in this video,
are credited to the Way of the Master Ministry
As time went on I decided to step up to preach. A number of people stopped and then moved on, only for others to then take their place. This is quite common for Tooting Broadway. As a busy intersection it is harder to get a crowd but many people are coming and going and so they do get to hear the Word of God as they go their way. I noticed as I was preaching that there were a few listening quite attentively. Speaking with them afterwards I noticed that they were Christians. It was encouraging speaking with them and I could see that they too had been encouraged. Part of this ministry is to also motivate and inspire other Christians to step out and take the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to this lost and dying world.
Thank you, Lord, for blessing us with another great weekend of ministry.
Soli Deo Gloria!
There were five of us today as we met together to evangelise at the Redcliffe Jetty. Firstly we prayed and then started our voyage down the jetty. We gave tracts to everyone we met which lead into longer one2one conversations.
There was one older couple who actually asked Ralph to come over to have a chat with them about religious topics. They were self-proclaimed 'atheists', so Ralph showed them why there must be a God from causality and design. After the conversation was over, the couple was keen to continue the conversation at a later stage, so Ralph mentioned that we have a Skypecast every Sunday evening (9pm-12am) where he can dialogue with them about this subject further.
Meanwhile, I was having a chat with a another lady with some new-age spiritual beliefs. She said that there is no Hell, only different levels of Heaven. I asked her where she was getting her information from, and she said, "her feelings". So I pointed out that feelings are just subjective experiences and someone can have the same type of feelings but result in a totally different belief. So I presented a positive case for the doctrine of Hell, however she did not like hearing that she would be going there. But instead of turning to Christ after hearing the gospel, she just said, "No, I just don't believe there is a Hell" and she didn't want to chat any further.
To God be the glory that His Word went out in the City of Redcliffe today. Please pray to the Lord of the harvest to draw the people we witnessed to today to Himself.
This past weekend we were once more back on the street to proclaim the gospel. We arrived at Tooting Broadway a little before 7:30 pm and set about handing out tracts. I did not intend on preaching as I knew I would be preaching later at Leicester Square and also the following morning at Tooting Broadway. We spent about forty minutes or so handing out tracts and talking to people. I managed to talk with three young teenage girls who stopped to talk when I handed them each a million pound note gospel tract.
As we got talking I shared the gospel with them as I would any other. However, it became apparent that they were Christians and that they were on the way to a prayer meeting! I don't make it a habit of not trusting in people but I have seen all too often how quickly someone can say they are a Christian when in reality that is not the case. I asked them if they spoke to their friends about Jesus and they said that they did. I emphasised to them the importance of speaking about sin, righteousness and judgement and that the gospel makes it clear we are to repent of our sin and turn in faith towards the Lord. They seemed a little surprised by this and as I continued to share with them the essentials of true biblical evangelism I could see that they had not received solid teaching concerning the gospel. This is so typical of churches today.
Before they left they each received an in-depth gospel tract. I handed to the girl who had been the most responsive a Ten Commandment coin gospel tract, which has the Ten Commandments on one side and the gospel on the other, and told her to use it to start a conversation with one of her friends. She seemed quite excited by this. Just then their bus arrived and so we said our goodbyes. I received a hug for my efforts but the greatest reward will be to see them all in heaven one day. Please pray that will be the case.
We arrived at Leicester Square at about 8:40 pm. Carl was there to meet us; he's been a real blessing. We had a new face join us as well. My friend Dale from Workington had contacted me earlier in the week to put me in contact with Virgil, a friend of his now living in London. After some brief introductions we made our way over to where we had preached the previous Friday. The artists that line the railing had again said they preferred we did not preach in their "spot." Carl was first up to preach and he preached for about 15 minutes. He is still developing as an open-air preacher and I am sure that the Lord will use him as he continues to step out and preach. He does not use a loud voice when he preaches but he still attracts listeners and a few hecklers too! I have learnt that you learn the most through doing. After he finished I stepped up to preach. It was not long before a sizeable crowd formed. My first heckler was a man named Richard. When he heard me speak of intelligent design and how it proves there is an intelligent Creator, he scoffed. He worked up the crowd to say that the amazing complexity of the human body is not evidence of an awesome Creator. The people cheered in his favour, however it was not long before he had moved on and the people were still standing there listening. A question was asked concerning the crusades, during which time many "Christians" did terrible things in the name of Christianity. I told the crowd that a true Christian is known by his/her fruit and that if someone claims to be a Christian then his/her life must be in accord with what the Bible says. I was really encouraged as I could see this impacted the people's understanding of what a true Christian is.
It wasn't long after this that I was heckled by some young girls who insisted that there was no evidence for God. They were quite forceful in their arguments and appeared even angry. I found out later when talking with the others that they'd had a Christian background and that they had been let down by God in some way. This is tragic. It is quite likely that they came to Christ expecting a bed of roses only to find that this is not the case. This is the terrible result of modern evangelism that seeks to water down the message in such a way that you no longer hear words like sin, righteousness and judgment. The call to repent is rarely heard these days, instead we are told to simply "ask Jesus into our heart." Christ came preaching repentance. So did John the Baptist. So did the apostle Paul. Study church history and you will see it there too. Much of the church today seems to have discovered some new way to preach the gospel. Yet in the book of Galatians we read, "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel- not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:6-9).
As I was answering their questions and objections a man dressed in civilian clothing approached me and showed me his badge. It was clear he was a police officer. He wanted a word with me and so I stepped down from my ladder to talk with him. His objection to what we were doing centred on the fact that we had accumulated quite a large crowd (to my knowledge probably the biggest I have had so far) and since Leicester Square is a "hotspot" for pick-pocketing crime it makes their job harder to have to deal with a crowd of this size. He also mentioned that we were blocking the thoroughfare with the crowd that we had gathered. I asked him if there was not some other place that we could go and he said no. He was making it appear that he was trying to be helpful but in reality he wanted us gone. I found out later that Leicester Square is his spot and so clearly it was more a case that we were an inconvenience than anything else. He did not say that we were breaking the law and actually said he was not telling us to move but was rather asking us to do so. I had with me an article written by The Christian Institute, which details the law related to street evangelism. I regret that I did not use this to my advantage. I must admit that my experience with the police is not that great and so I was rather accommodating to their wishes. I did protest, but thinking back on it now I could have defended our position much more strongly. The issue that concerned me the most was that it seemed to be coming across that we would not be allowed back to Leicester Square ever again. This is something I am in the process of looking into. I have contacted The Christian Institute, who are helping me in this regard. This Friday we will be trying a different venue, but only because we want to clarify the legalities and the rights that we have. I had been preaching for about 27 minutes before I was stopped so I praise God for the time that He gave us. It was just passed 10:30pm when we were stopped and as we leave around 11:00 pm anyway we decided to spend the next half hour or so handing out tracts and talking with people. The events with the police had shaken us up a little and we were not quite ourselves afterwards. This was somewhat new territory for us and one which we knew would come eventually. We need to learn from this so that we will handle it better in the future. Please pray that the Lord would help us and that He would give us much wisdom.
Saturday came around and it was back to Tooting Broadway. Antonio met myself and Phil at 11:30 am and not long after Barney (another member from my church) joined us as well. We began by handing out gospel tracts and speaking with people first. I approached a young girl who had dyed pink hair as well as a great amount of makeup on. As we got talking she mentioned that she was homosexual. Her name is Kitty and she is just 16. She was quite willing to talk and said that she enjoyed conversations regarding God and life after death. She mentioned that she did not see her homosexuality as a sin and that she was simply born that way. This can be a challenging objection to have to deal with. We need to emphasise that God has created both male and female and that the Bible does not allow for homosexuality. This can be a sensitive topic and we need to be careful when talking with people who are engaged in this kind of sin. This does not mean that we agree with them that their homosexuality is not a sin. The Bible clearly says it is very much a sin in God's eyes. However, so is lying, theft, blasphemy and idolatry. I spoke to her of how we can know that there is a God, that the Bible is a true and trustworthy book (click on this link to see why) and that if the Bible is indeed true then we all have to give an account of ourselves before Him one day. I was able to share the gospel with her and leave her with a couple of tracts. Please pray for her. Another chap I got to speak with was Zeff. It was not a long chat but I was able to share the whole counsel of God with him. He thanked me but I sensed that he was simply being polite. I stressed to him the importance of thinking through what I had said. He left with a gospel tract and so do pray for him.
After we had all handed out a good number of tracts and spoken with quite a few people I stood up to preach open-air. Some people did stop to listen; this prompted Barney to whizz about handing out tracts to them. Towards the end of my message I was approached by a man named Keith. He began by heckling me and speaking against the veracity of Scripture as well as the Christian faith itself. After a little while I came down off my ladder and spoke with him in a more personal way. It turned out that he does believe in God and it was clear that he is searching. He told me that he was an alcoholic and that he struggled to give it up in his own strength. He asked God to help but the help never seemed to come. I had a real heart for this guy. I told him that in our own strength we will fail but if we put our trust in Christ we can overcome.
I shared the complete gospel with him and urged him to turn from his own strength. He still seemed convinced that he could save himself if he just tried hard enough. I helped him to understand that salvation is a free gift. If we try and "buy" the gift then it is no longer a gift. When we try and earn our salvation we are in affect trying to buy the free gift that God offers to all who repent of their sin and trust in Him alone. This really helped Keith and he appeared most grateful as he left. I invited him to church and he said that he would come, unfortunately he did not come that Sunday and so it is my hope and prayer that I will see him again, hopefully at church! Praise God, we'd had another great weekend of ministry!
Soli Deo Gloria!