On the Street, 16th November 2013

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This week Miguel, Amelia and John took the gospel to the streets of Manchester.

John preached concerning the 2 types of people that live in this world. There are those who are slaves to sin and those who are slaves to righteousness. In either case we are not free people but we are slaves to one or the other.

Because we are slaves there is nothing we can do to free ourselves but God, in his mercy, sent his Son into the world in order to buy back our souls. This buying back of our souls is called redemption and the price that was paid for our redemption was the blood of Jesus Christ his Son.

Afterwards Miguel preached as John and Amelia distributed leaflets to the passers-by. A man approached Amelia stating that he was a Quaker. This was the first time that Amelia had ever encountered a Quaker. When George Fox originally founded the Quaker movement in the 18th century it was a Christian movement. The Quakers (or more correctly termed the Society of Friends) in the UK are no longer a Christian organisation. They are accepting of all religious philosophies and esoteric knowledge. These days they promote a very liberal philosophy. They are accepting of all people regardless of gender, age, social background, religion and or sexuality. As pacifists they reject the use of force of arms and campaign for the abolition of nuclear weapons. They also campaign for an end to world poverty and promote other humanitarian causes.

An old acquaintance that occasionally approaches the team on Saturdays turned up. He is a recovering heroin addict who is undergoing methadone treatment. He came bearing good news; he has now stopped smoking and had not had a cigarette for the past 2 months. John praised him for his forbearance and encouraged him. He stated that his faith in Jesus Christ had grown and that he was dedicating more of his time to prayer and the reading of the Bible. He also stated that he wanted to stop taking methadone and the anti-psychotic drugs that had been prescribed to him. John encouraged him to speak with his doctor about being weaned off the methodone, but also warned him about the dangers of stopping his medication without proper medical supervision as this could have serious side effects. Some things must be done gently and over time.

Whilst it is true that there are those people who, by the grace of God, have been able to stop taking drugs (either prescribed or illegal) at once, others have not. Sometimes these things can only be accomplished over time and people should not be made to feel inadequate or faithless if they are unable to stop immediately. We are instructed in the Scriptures to bear with those who are weak, not to turn the lame out of the way, and shown mercy and compassion. We live in a society that is impatient. We want everything done quickly. Our communications are now instant and so much is done immediately. And so it is with new converts. Too often churches want people to overcome their problems as quickly as possible and for this reason find it so hard to deal with people who have on-going problems.

We are to stand with people, encourage them, and pray for them. To weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. Always bearing in mind that but for the grace of God we could find ourselves in a similar situation. It is with humility of heart that we progress and grow.

As is so often the case whenever John and Miguel preach there are always those who mock, speak using some foul and vile language. While John was preaching a young woman approached him uncovering her forearm. On it was tattooed and occult symbol a pentangle with the head of a goat in it. She asked John if he knew what it meant. John looked and replied, “Baphomet?” she smiled and said, “yes, and I’m going to hell!” John replied that that was nothing to be proud of or even happy about. People will not be having a party in hell they will feel the full intensity of heat that is the lake of fire for all eternity. It is truly sad to think that people can be so glib not realising or believing what they say.

 

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