On the Streets, 21st September 2013

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He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
(Psalm 126:6)

It is easy to become discouraged when, as preachers, the vast majority of people show little, or no interest in hearing the message of the Gospel.  As preachers we need to continually cry out to God that we be filled with His Spirit so that our words may be with authority as well as having the wisdom in how to deal with people.  Knowledge of the scriptures, and the knowledge of the most high are essential yet knowledge without godly wisdom is useless.  Wisdom is knowing what do with that knowledge, how to use this knowledge, how to apply it.

When we preach we are scattering the seed of the Gospel, broadcasting the seed to the widest possible audience.  We trust God that some of this seed will find its way into good soil that will eventually produce fruit for God in people’s lives.

When we speak to small groups and/or individuals we need wisdom from God in order to say the things that they need to hear and answer their questions.  Responding to their questions may not always be giving a direct answer to the actual question but  responding in such a way that what we say may pierce the darkness of their hearts and be used by God to bring them under the conviction of the Holy Spirit. 

John and Miguel preached today in Manchester.  As John preached he noticed a lady who had stopped to listen to him.  As he spoke concerning man’s sinful nature and our need for Christ to redeem us the lady approached him, shook his had and gave him a banana.  This may seem an odd thing but she was responding to the message and offering to John something to eat, caring for his needs.  What was happening in her heart God knows and we trust that the seed planted would take root and grow.

John noticed another young lady who stopped to listen.  She listened for quite some time.  At some point another street preacher had set up his table of tracts and booklets near to where John was preaching.  After listening for about half an hour the young lady approached our friend.  Apparently she had been very touched by the message which had moved her to tears.  She told our friend that she was truly encouraged and went away, after receiving some literature.

As Miguel preached he was approached by a number of people, mainly sceptics, who simply sought to justify their unbelief.  Such people have knowledge of the scriptures but they lack the wisdom of God to apply the scriptures to their lives.  Jesus said that it is in keeping His words that we shall know the truth and thus the truth will set us free! (John 8:31-32).  Of these people was a small group of teenagers.  One young boy in particular, a 14 year old, was very serious and quite the sceptic.  He had obviously read the writings of Richard Dawkins as he was parroting some of Dawkin’s objections to the existence of God.  John asked him to look up Professor Anthony Flew on his computer and listen to what Prof. Flew had to say.  Anthony Flew was the world’s most famous sceptic and had authored a number of books dismissing the idea of creation and the creator in the 1960’s and 70’s.  Through his scientific studies Professor Flew came to the conclusion that He was mistaken and that the world had to have been created by God!

An interview with professor Flew can be seen at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbyTwmaJArU

Whilst speaking with these boys a lady joined in the conversation sharing with the boys her faith in Jesus Christ.  

At another point whilst preaching Miguel was interrupted by a Christian man who objected to Miguel’s speaking out against Roman Catholicism and Mormonism.  He perceived this to be passing judgement on the adherents to these two false faiths.  Miguel saw that he was getting nowhere with this man an signalled John to take over the conversation so that he could resume preaching.  John pointed out to him that he was confusing the issue, that by denouncing particular religions we are not “judging” Roman Catholics or “Mormons” (which Christ specifically warns us NOT to do).  The man believed that the Bible teaches that when a person repents of their sins and believes in Christ, and are born again, they become a Christian.  John pointed out that this is NOT what the scriptures actually teach, the scriptures state that we become Children of God by faith in Christ Jesus, and that they never called themselves “Christians”.  Christianity is the name of a religion, a term never used by Jesus Christ and the Apostles.  We read that the name “Christian” was used by unbelievers to ridicule and mock the disciples in Antioch (Acts 11:26).  It is obvious that the early believers didn’t like being called “Christians” by Peter’s own words of encouragement:

let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or asan evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. (1 Peter 4:15-16)

In the first century the name Christian meant something much different to what it means today.  Christianity means many things to many people, and Christianity comes in forms which are anything but true to the Gospel and the Scripture’s own definition of what constitutes that which is of Christ.  Salvation is ONLY found in Christ, the way to the Father is found ONLY through Christ and that apart from “Christianity”!

The man was getting a little confused so he took out his mobile phone (cellular phone) and called his Pastor to check out if what John was saying was right!  His pastor confirmed what John had been saying.

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