On the streets, 1st June 2013

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Today John, Amélia and Miguel were back on the streets preaching the good News of Jesus Christ.

John preached from Colossians chapter 1:12-16, how that the only true image of God is found in the man Christ Jesus.  He spoke about how many seek to make images of Christ and the saints but that these was false and unable to convey the true likeness of God and the saints.  He spoke about how men seek to burden people under a ton of rules and regulations whereas Christ came to set men free.

As John preached he was approached by three people who claimed to be from a local church.  Apparently they were on a church treasure hunt and they wanted to pray for him.  John understood that they wanted to lay hands on him, however this was not appropriate and the scripture teaches us not to do such a thing;

             Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins;                                          keep yourself pure.(1 Timothy 5:22)

John responded by saying that they were interrupting the preaching of the Gospel and declined their offer to pray.  You may think that John was ungracious in rejecting what these people were wanting to do, however it is not gracious of Christians to interrupt the preaching of the Gospel in this way.  There is no need to prevent the preacher in such a manner.  They can pray for the preacher at a distance as such prayers are just as efficacious.  The lady stated that John, “would reap a mighty harvest,” because of what he was doing.  By this John understood where they were coming from, that they  understood that evangelism was about proselytism, which we are most definitely against.

Later on the team moved as Miguel preached.  A small crowd gathered round to observe Miguel coming under attack from an irate Muslim (who, by the way, had been drinking so that he was not in his right mind).  He was accompanied by two other young men and the three took exception to Miguel’s affirmation the team’s affirmation that Jesus is the Son of God.  The same irate guy was sporting a T shirt that had the section of the US dollar that had the pyramid with the all-seeing eye printed on it.  Underneath it contained the word “Killuminati.”  He began to go on about the “New World Order” and that it was all a Zionist plot.  He spoke about the “Mark of the Beast” being the RFID chip, but he was in no fit state to converse with.  As he began to attack Miguel verbally he became more and more aggressive.  Miguel bravely stood his ground, as John kept a watchful eye in case he became violent.  Miguel preached concerning the nature of Islam not being about Peace and Love as claimed, and stated that this man was a clear example of this fact, he also reminded people of what happened the other week in Woolwich when a soldier was butchered in the name of Allah!  His companions were becoming embarrassed by their friends behaviour and dragged him away.

John was verbally attacked by a man who stated that we were “inciting hatred” because “people were getting angry.”  In fact it was just one person who was drunk.  This same man criticized John and Miguel’s manner of dress (both wore trousers and a shirt and a small jacket).  He accused them of hating people, which is far from the truth.  We preach against the sinful behaviour of people, but that we should love others.  Only God can hate people, for His hatred is pure whereas man’s hatred towards others only leads to violence and (ultimately) murder!

Oh yes God can (and does) hate people as it is written;

The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity. (Psalm 5:5)

How can we reconcile God´s having loved the world in such a way as to sent His only begotten Son, with the idea of God actually hating people.

Quite simply, really.  There was a time when God was so angry with mankind that it actually states that  He regretted that he´d ever created men on Earth.

The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.  And the LORD said, “I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing—all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.”
(Genesis 6:5-7)

Even so one man found favour with God.

God hates the wickedness of man, He hates everything about man for his thoughts are against God, his ways are contrary to God and mankind constantly rebels against God.  In his heart man denies God and God is angry with the wicked every day.  God will consign the wicked to the Lake of Fire his us so angry.  However God takes no delight in this, He has no desire to destroy the very race that He created.  In fact the Lake of Fire was not meant for mankind:

Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;
(Matthew 25:41)

Man was created to be in fellowship with God and live in Paradise with Him forever.  For this reason God sent His Son into this world to atone for the sins of the mankind and thus avert the wrath of Almighty God from us.

It is God’s desire to love us as a father loves his children but He cannot whilst we are steeped in sin.  Christ took such punishment in His own body in order to make atonement for all that we are, to pay the ultimate price for the redemption of mankind.

It is because we are so unacceptable to the Father that Jesus Christ came and endured the death of the cross in order to make us acceptable to the father:

For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.  
   For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; (1 Peter 3:17-18)

Just as the sins of the people were placed upon the scapegoat under the Law of Moses:

And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send [him] away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness. (Leviticus 16:21-22)

So the father placed all our transgressions upon the head of His Son:

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.  (Isaiah 53:6)

God has shown great love to His creatures, great mercy and great kindness though we have provoked Him to great anger.  We should humbly bow before Him and worship Him for this great kindness.

Satan has blinded men’s minds to the reality of God and the nature of sin.  Mankind foolishly carries on in its denial of the Father and the Son even though the evidence is so blatantly clear to everyone:

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)

It should grieve our hearts, just as it grieves the heart of the Father, that people are entering eternity without Christ.  As believers WE have the responsibility to ensure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ.  This can only happen if we obey the call of Christ to:

Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. (Mark 16:15)

 

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