Battle Log

Friday 20 April 2012

Posted by Posted 28 April 2012, 2:52 AM by Robert Hughes. Permalink

After an encouraging time of fellowship and Bible study in Cafe Nero, the team headed into Leicester Square to share the gospel. As we arrived in the Square I was thrilled to see that we finally had more space to minister and preach. The building work they are doing for the Olympics is rapidly moving ahead and I was very pleased indeed. 

The team for the night was the following: Kofi, Kwabena, Kwadwo, Lauren, Steven, Victor, Marie, Gareth, Emily, Roman, and myself. It was Emily’s first time with us and I was thrilled she came. Click here to see a short video of the team getting ready. 

Rob Hughes preaching the gospel open-airAs I preached I spoke of our great need to repent and trust in Christ. Within the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, I encouraged those listening to take a step back and to look at their lives, to ask themselves important questions regarding where they will spend eternity. The Lord was pleased to draw in some interested listeners, and the team did well to engage with them in further conversation after I stepped down. 

During the evening the Lord blessed me with two really good conversations. The first was with Adrian and his friend Alan. They both took the time to listen and thanked me for sharing the gospel with them. Alan, in particular, seemed to really take on board what I was saying. I urged them to think carefully about what they had heard and they said they would. They both took a Bible and I also left my contact details with them. Do pray for them. 

The second conversation I had began in a group dynamic, but after a while changed in that I was able to speak more personally with a young chap named Manic. At first he seemed to be joking around with his mates too much, but thankfully I was able to point out to him (through the use of a gospel tract and a bit of humour) the seriousness of what I was saying, and he began to listen intently as I shared the gospel with him. It was encouraging to see him settle down and act more serious, particularly when just a few minutes earlier he was hardly open and responsive. Do pray for him. 

Lauren and Emily sharing the gospel

Lauren and Emily spoke with a chap named Liam, who was very open to the gospel and even said he’d been thinking about Jesus. It was great for Emily and Lauren to engage with someone willing to listen, and they were both thrilled when he agreed to take a Bible from them. Do pray for him!

Here is a short video that gives you a brief summary of my conversations, as well as showing Annika and Lauren in conversation. After they had finished I quickly got Annika’s thoughts. Here's a short video

Annika and Lauren sharing the gospel

Kofi, Kwabena and Kwadwo had a fairly long chat with a chap named Jack. Although he said he was a Christian, he expressed an unbelief in the deity of Christ, insisting instead that Jesus is an angel. Kofi showed him from the Scriptures that this is not true, and shared with him the truth of God’s Word. You can view a short video here, from Kofi, regarding their conversation with Jack. 

It was an encouraging night for sure. Here is a short debrief of the evening. 

Soli Deo Gloria!!

Friday 13 April 2012

Posted by Posted 21 April 2012, 3:03 AM by Robert Hughes. Permalink

Friday night was an encouraging night of ministry. Although the weather was quite miserable, we were still able to share the gospel with a number of people. There were eight of us in total and it was great to be out together!

Here is a short video that introduces you to the team as we were getting ready to minister the gospel. 

The Lord was pleased to use the open-air preaching to bring in a reasonably well sized crowd, which the team used well to initiate some conversations. 

Rob Hughes preaching the gospel open-airAnnika spoke with a man named Cyprian, who she had also spoken with a few weeks earlier. He is from Transylvania and is Catholic in his faith. As he listened to the gospel he acknowledged that it is Jesus who saves us, however he also insisted that he must do certain Catholic rituals in order to get to Heaven. This is the big problem with Catholicism today. It seeks to come under the Christian umbrella and it likes to say that we are saved by grace, however because of its many traditions and doctrines it cannot say that we are saved by grace alone, and that comes out quite clearly when you meet and talk with a Catholic. 

As Annika opened up God’s righteous standard to Cyprian, he admitted that he didn’t know for sure if he was good enough to go to Heaven. He said that he believed the Bible and so she encouraged him to read the gospel of John, and to look especially for Jesus’ words that make clear He and He alone is the only way to the Father (John 14:6). Do pray for Him, that he truly understands the grace of God, that none of our works can save us. 

I had a great conversation with a man named Tim. He was very pleasant to talk to and he gave me his full attention as I shared with him. I was quite amazed at how attentive he was and at one point wondered if he was really taking it in or was simply being polite. I do know I was able to share the whole gospel with him, and for that I rejoice. He did ask a few questions as I spoke, which encouraged me because it showed that he was listening. One question he asked was this: “But surely our good works count for something.” I answered his question in two ways: 

Firstly, none of our “good works” are good, by God’s standard. When an unbeliever does a good work (like a fireman saving a person’s life) that good work is good, in and of itself. However, God always looks at the motive behind the “good work.” Sinful man always performs good works with an ulterior motive. His agenda is to justify himself before God. Sinful man, when pulled up for any particular sin, will almost always fall back on something good he did prior to his transgression. Justifying oneself always results in self-righteousness. So when a “good work” is carried out with a sinful motive, that “good work” is not a good work in God’s eyes, rather it is as though it were a filthy rag before Him (Isaiah 64:6).  

Secondly, I pointed out that even if it were the case that we had performed some good deeds in our lives, that were accompanied by a pure motive, the truth is we have also committed very obvious and blatant wicked, sinful works. In the eyes of the law, a good work is unable to absolve a guilty criminal from absolute justice, and since God’s standards are infinitely higher than human standards, the same is even more true. A just and holy God will by no means pardon the guilty (Exodus 34:7), since this would not be justice. This is why God became a man, so that by living a righteous life He Himself would be the righteous perfection we cannot be, and then by taking upon Himself the punishment we deserve, justice would finally be satisfied, the result of which is mercy then being extended to the world. This is what the Bible calls “the grace of God,” and it makes Christianity unique among all world religions in existence today.

Tim left with much to think about. Do pray for Him. 

As the evening wore on, the rain started to fall far more heavily. You can see what I mean in this short video

Our evening together concluded in prayer, and we thanked the Lord for all of the precious opportunities He gave to us. What a privilege it is to be used by Him for the gathering in of His people. 

Soli Deo Gloria!!

Friday 17 February 2012

Posted by Posted 24 February 2012, 4:52 AM by Robert Hughes. Permalink

The team in prayer.

This past Friday we had a large team out to share the gospel in Leicester Square. Work is still being carried out in the area in preparation for the 2012 Olympics, which does mean things are a little crowded, however as the conversations show below we still had a great night!

Please pray for Oz, a young man with a Turkish background, who was very open to the gospel and the tract he was given. 

Mehlika spoke with Antoinette, who although showed a lack of knowledge and understanding of spiritual things, thinks that God can just forgive us of the things we have done wrong. The conversation was quite in-depth and it appeared that Antoinette was fairly convicted of her sin, in fact there were tears in her eyes as they talked. She asked Mehlika for her number and definitely showed some interest! Do pray their dialogue could continue!

Mehlika also spoke with three Jewish men. She explained to them their need for Jesus, and that without faith in Jesus the Messiah they are not true children of Abraham (Galatians 3:7, 29). Please pray the Lord would reveal Himself to them. 

Annika spoke to a young man from Zimbabwe who knew what the Bible taught and said he didn’t know what was holding him back from living righteously. She explained to him his need to be born-again so that he could live a righteous life before the Lord. He said that he would spend some time reading the Gospel of John and thanked Annika for caring and bringing conviction to him. Do pray that he does read God’s word and is genuinely saved.   

James spoke with a chap called Joshua who claimed to be a believer in Christ, however after going through the Scriptures with him and explaining that Christ is to be Lord of our life and not just our Saviour, it became clear that he has a misconstrued concept of true obedience to Christ, which springs forth from genuine faith. James was able to share the whole gospel with him so do pray the Lord would draw Joshua to Himself. 

I had an interesting conversation with a young guy called Bob. He was quite intellectual and professed to be of an open mind. At first he claimed to be an atheist but he then admitted that he was in fact an agnostic. I made a case for God’s existence by explaining to Bob that without there being an all-powerful, sustainer Creator of the universe, we simply cannot make sense of this world. If we are simply time and chance acting on matter, how do we account for our ability to reason? How do we account for uniform laws of nature that govern the world we live in? How do we account for an absolute morality that we all submit to (not in practise because of sin, but certainly in our understanding)? He admitted that I made a good case, in fact he could not find fault with my argument, however he fell back on his notion that because we don’t know everything there could be another explanation for it all, which removes the necessity for God. I explained to him that the overwhelming evidence of all that we experience in this life points perfectly to the God of the Bible, and that one day we will all stand before Him in recognition of that fact, regardless of our position in this life. We must be reconciled to Him. I gave him a gospel tract and a copy of “The BIGGEST Question” DVD, which he was quite happy to take and watch. I have since emailed him to get his thoughts. Do pray for him.

Soli Deo Gloria!!

Friday 10 February 2012

Posted by Posted 24 February 2012, 2:42 AM by Robert Hughes. Permalink

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!!

Friday 6 January 2012

Posted by Posted 12 January 2012, 1:16 PM by Robert Hughes. Permalink

Open-air preaching. 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.One-to-one witnessing. 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. 

One-to-one witnessing.

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. 

One-to-one witnessing.

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!

Friday 16 December 2011

Posted by Posted 24 December 2011, 3:50 AM by Robert Hughes. Permalink

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. One-to-one witnessing.

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. One-to-one witnessing.

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!

Friday 9 December 2011

Posted by Posted 14 December 2011, 4:47 AM by Robert Hughes. Permalink

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!

Friday 11 November 2011

Posted by Posted 16 November 2011, 9:51 AM by Robert Hughes. Permalink

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. 

A harvest to be sown.

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. 

One-to-one witnessing. One-to-one witnessing. One-to-one witnessing.

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!

Friday 4 November 2011

Posted by Posted 9 November 2011, 2:30 PM by Robert Hughes. Permalink

On Friday evening we had a good size time out once more, there were at least 15 of us. Not all were able to make it to the cafe but joined us a little later up at China Town. When we got to China Town I decided that as it was rather difficult last week we would head back to Leicester Square to see if things could be easier for us there. I was quite pleased that an area had opened up near the new M & M store so we set up to preach there. 

We didn't get a large crowd during the open-air preaching but some people did stop to listen as I shared the gospel. After I finished preaching we all got into conversation with people passing by, handing out a good number of tracts. Elyske shared afterwards about a conversation she'd had that was really God ordained. A gentleman passing by had taken a tract from her and after reading it came back a little later to talk to her about it. It truns out he has really been struggling of late and so was quite struck by the timining of Elyske handing him the gospel tract. She shared God's Word with him and was also able to share her testimony, which is always so valuable, as our testimony is personal and people can really relate to that! Please pray for him. 

One-to-one witnessing.

It was a great encouragement to have had Brian join us on Friday. Brian serves in the U.S. Military and until just recently was in the U.K. on holiday. He had visited our church the week before, after a referral from Dr. James White over at Alpha & Omega Ministries. We had got talking and he mentioned that he did some witnessing back in the States and so I told him he must join us on Friday. He jumped at the opportunity. In fact, he made sure his schedule was laid out especially so that he would be able to join us. I think if he was living in London he'd join us every week! You can see Brian sharing the gospel with a young man in the picture to the left. 

One-to-one witnessing.

Marie had a rather long conversation with a Muslim man that appeared to not really know a lot about Islam. She was able to share the gospel with him and although he grappled with the truth that Jesus is God, he was very responsive. (You can see her sharing the gospel with the man in the picture to the right.) Marie mentioned that he appeared quite fragile and lonely. May the Lord draw him to Himself and comfort him with the peace that is found only in Jesus! 

I had a great conversation with some tourists from Holland. They all gathered round as I shared the gospel with them. They were so open and responsive, it was quite amazing. When I took them through the law of God and spoke to them of sin it was so clear they understood perfectly that they had indeed transgressed God’s law. This made sharing the gospel with them such a joy. They all left with an in-depth gospel tract and much to think about. Do pray for them!

I also had a conversation with two Muslim men. We spoke at length about the justice of God. The reason I brought this up with them was to show them that where the God of the Qu’ran fails, the God of the Bible succeeds! You see, if God shows mercy to a sinner, He is not just. If He acts justly towards the sinner, mercy is not given. How then do we reconcile justice and mercy? (Mercy, while definitely being one of God’s attributes, is not something He is obligated to pour out. This is why mercy means “not getting what we should deserve.”) I illustrated my point by saying that if “my sister” were to be murdered it would be right for the murderer to be sentenced and punished. To this they agreed. I asked them whether the judge would be a good judge if he overturned the guilty verdict and let the man go free. They agreed he would be a bad judge. I then asked them who’s standards are higher: God’s standards or human standards? They affirmed that God’s standards are higher. I then said to them that if a human judge is bound by the law and must execute justice, how much more must God! 

God must execute justice. If He doesn’t, He is not just, it as simple as that. Yet we understand that God is also merciful. So how is this demonstrated and how is justice and mercy reconciled? Here’s the good news: God pours out all His justice on Himself and in so doing saves us from His justice. We receive His mercy because all of His justice towards sin is taken upon His very own shoulders! The Son of God took our place so that we could go free. That is the gospel! They objected and tried to say that if God shows mercy to the sinner, without there being a sinless mediator standing in man’s place, God is still just. Yet this simply is not so. We all understand the idea of justice, and just because “God is God,” He still acts justly in the very way that we understand justice. 

Joining the rest of the team it was encouraging to hear about the conversations they’d had. Below are some more pictures from the evening. It was a blessed time!

One-to-one witnessing. One-to-one witnessing.
One-to-one witnessing. One-to-one witnessing.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Friday 28 October 2011

Posted by Posted 4 November 2011, 12:10 PM by Robert Hughes. Permalink

We had a number of people join us for outreach this past Friday, at least five new people, which was so encouraging. After a great time of fellowship in the cafe we headed out to our new spot near China Town. There was roughly twenty of us and so we were in for a great night! 

I preached for a good 30 minutes. This is quite long and the reason was largely due to the hecklers in the crowd. One gentleman in particular, which you will be able to see in the video above, had a number of questions and charges to lay against Christianity and Jesus Christ. One of his questions centred around the life of Christ before he entered his ministry. He asked, “What did Jesus do for the thirty years undocumented in the Bible?” I asked him to elaborate and he said, “The part between the two years before his death and his birth, what was he doing? The Son of God surely should have been doing good things.” I responded by saying, “He was growing up.” He then responded by saying, “Oh, the Son of God had to grow up did he?” I recognise that I could have done a better job in answering his question, however it allowed me to emphasise something very important. Jesus became a man so that we could relate to Him (He subjected Himself to human existence. He slept, ate, walked, etc, even though He was God) and also, more importantly, He became a human being so that He would be the perfect representative for mankind. Man has sinned, which means man is culpable. The only hope for humanity is a substitute willing to take our place. But what kind of substitute? The Bible tells the only acceptable substitute is one who is both fully God and fully man. Why is this? The Heidelberg Catechism of 1619 A.D. explains it so well:

Qu. Can any mere creature pay for us?

A. No. In the first place, God will not punish another creature for the sin which man has committed.[1] Furthermore, no mere creature can sustain the burden of God's eternal wrath against sin and deliver others from it.[2]

[1] Ezek. 18:4, 20; Heb. 2:14-18. [2] Ps. 130:3; Nah. 1:6.

Qu. What kind of mediator and deliverer must we seek?

A. One who is a true[1] and righteous[2] man, and yet more powerful than all creatures; that is, one who is at the same time true God.[3]

[1] I Cor. 15:21; Heb. 2:17. [2] Is. 53:9; II Cor. 5:21; Heb. 7:26. [3] Is. 7:14; 9:6; Jer. 23:6; John 1:1; Rom. 8:3, 4.

Qu. Why must He be a true and righteous man?

A. He must be a true man because the justice of God requires that the same human nature which has sinned should pay for sin.[1] He must be a righteous man because one who himself is a sinner cannot pay for others.[2]

[1] Rom: 5:12, 15; I Cor. 15:21; Heb. 2:14-16. [2] Heb. 7:26, 27; I Pet. 3:18.

Qu. Why must He at the same time be true God?

A. He must be true God so that by the power of His divine nature[1] He might bear in His human nature the burden of God's wrath,[2] and might obtain for us and restore to us righteousness and life.[3]

[1] Is. 9:5. [2] Deut. 4:24; Nah. 1:6; Ps. 130:3. [3] Is. 53:5, 11; John 3:16; II Cor. 5:21.  

Qu. But who is that Mediator who at the same time is true God and a true and righteous man?

A. Our Lord Jesus Christ,[1] whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption (I Corinthians 1:30).

[1] Matt. 1:21-23; Luke 2:11; I Tim. 2:5; 3:16.

Turning back to the objections from my heckler, it is important to note a few things. Firstly, the time between Jesus’ birth and the commencement of His ministry is documented in Scripture. See Luke 2:41-52. At the age of twelve He was aware of who He was and that it was necessary for Him to spend time in His “Father’s house” (the Temple). Secondly, the Bible is not obligated to give us a detailed account of his entire childhood and early adulthood. We know that as He grew up He “increased in wisdom and in stature and in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:52). Clearly He lived a life that was set apart from the rest of humanity. However it was not until He reached the age of thirty that He entered into His ministry in a far more significant way. There is no problem with this, for it makes sense that He would be of a mature age with adequate life experience when the time eventually came. 

We all got into conversation with people after I had finished preaching. I spoke with a young girl who seemed certain that God is not the Creator of the universe and that there is another explanation, although “we don’t know what it is.” I reasoned with her logically and offered to her three hypothesis for our existence:  

  1. The universe created itself. 
  2. The universe has always existed. 
  3. The universe was created by a supreme being.

One-to-one witnessing.

I explained that option 1 is impossible, since for something to create itself it would mean that it existed before it existed. This of course is absurd. Option 2 has been accepted almost universally by the scientific community as false since the laws of thermodynamics show us that the universe must have had a beginning. This leaves option 3 as the only rationale explanation for our existence. She didn’t like this but it was obvious she saw the logic to what I was saying. I reasoned with her some more and explained that there truly is a God before whom we must one day stand and give an account. 

Although the spot we have chosen is great for open-air preaching, it is tricky with regard to one-to-one witnessing, as the road we are in is opened for traffic at roughly 10:00pm. It became quite difficult and so we decided to move back down to Leicester Square. Arriving back at the Square we continued to witness to people and hand out tracts. It was a great time and I was so encouraged to join with so many brothers and sisters in making Christ’s name known. Lord may you open the hearts of the people to hear and respond to your Word. Grant repentance and faith Lord to the lost people of London!

Praise the Lord in all things!

Soli Deo Gloria!

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