On The Street 10th August 2013
We believe that these are the last days and, as the scripture says,
And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. (Romans 13:11)
Christ is soon to come bringing the redemption of our bodies and the outpouring of judgement upon the unbelievers. For this reason we must be ever more diligent to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom.
Here in UK people show little or no apparent interest in stopping to listen and receive the Gift of Eternal Life, which is why most churches have abandoned the preaching of the Gospel on the streets. This is also why of the few that do come out onto the streets a larger percentage actually preach the message of repentance and the judgement to come. These have largely lost faith in the power of God unto salvation:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
They assume that what we do is useless and a waste of time as it does not appear to yield converts, however we believe the scripture that states:
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
(1 Corinthians 1:21)
We are also reminded of the call of Ezekiel, when God called him to preach His word to the people God said,
For thou [art] not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, [but] to the house of Israel; Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee. But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted. (Ezekiel 3:5-7)
Now God did send Ezekiel to preach to the people of God and we are preaching the Gospel to unbelievers, however in the same way that Ezekiel did not gain many converts we too face a similar reaction. The people are largely impudent and hard-hearted.
In spite of our seeming lack of success we are fully persuaded of this, that:
He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. (Psalm 126:6)
As John was preaching a young man approached him about a sheet of pictures that John was holding in his hand beneath his Bible. John explained that at the moment he was preaching about the scriptures where Paul was warning about the times we live in to Timothy when men would be lovers of themselves and haters of God, and that afterwards he would be speaking about the sheet which contained pictures of babies in the womb. The young man seem intent of prejudging what John was going to say and accused John of speaking against Stem-cell Research. John stated that much depended on how this was done. He carried on about producing human embryo’s in a lab in order to take the cells. John then challenged him that it would mean killing a human life which he affirmed.
The young man went on about something “Jesus said when he was 7 years old” and that it was recorded in the Bible. His ignorance was shining through. John suggested he go away and gain some education and then they would be able to have an intelligent discussion. He was becoming more and more excitable and began to speak of evolution. Miguel saw that he was interrupting the preaching of the Gospel so he entered into discussion with the young man. Miguel asked him various questions concerning the various theories of science (i.e. Quantum Mechanics, String Theory, Cosmology, etc.) about which he really had no clue at all. By then he began to back off and walk away shouting as he went things which the team couldn’t hear.
As Miguel preached Amélia was approached by a young man who was irritated by what Miguel was preaching. He began to comment about what Amelia was wearing that “in Leviticus it says” women shouldn’t wear trousers. He refused the leaflets she offered him and went off angrily. We find this type of response quite common from people who are trying to be clever. For some reason they believe that the follower of Jesus is somehow bound by the Levitical laws. Often they will speak concerning the law which forbade Israel from mixing wool and linen together called “Shatnez” in the Hebrew, or where it was forbidden for women to wear men’s attire: —See Leviticus 19:19 and Deuteronomy 22:5
Jesus’s response to the Sadducees in Mark chapter 12 seems quite appropriate:
Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? (Mark 12:24)
Some people ask questions, not because they want an answer but, in order to justify themselves before us. They are caught in some sin that they do not want to repent of and resent being reminded of the fact that God declares such to be sin, such is the case with drunkenness and sexual conduct. We must learn NOT to take their hatred to heart. They are angry with God, not with us. They aim their anger at us because we are God’s messengers. They cannot understand the things of the Spirit of God, as it is written:
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (Romans 8:7)
Amélia commented that she was approached by someone asking if she was with Miguel, who was preaching at the time, she said yes and he asked for a leaflet. Shortly afterwards she was approached by another person who asked the same question and, this time, the person tore up the leaflet and began to swear at her.
The scriptures remind us:
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)
Our battle is NOT with people. Whatever we face when encountering opposition or anger, persecution even, what we must remember is that it is that which motivates the person to act and speak as they do that we are confronting. This is a SPIRITUAL foe which cannot be defeated by physical force. The powers of darkness can only be overcome by shining the light of truth into the darkness. This is why the message of the Gospel is so powerful when preached as it ought to be.
- Posted in: Chronicles of Manchester Outreach