On The Street, 23rd November 2013
One thing the enemy of men’s souls hates above all is the work of evangelism. He knows that the preaching of the gospel is the power of God and to salvation for them that believe. So his tactic is to prevent those that preach the gospel from engaging in the work.
One of his tactics today is to replace the idea of evangelism with something that is called evangelisation. In the United Kingdom this evangelisation program is being promoted, and mainly led by, Rome and Canterbury (that is the Vatican and the Church of England). Next year many churches across the land will unite together under the banner of hope together. The aim is to win people over by doing social action and using words of love so that they will be more accepting of Christianity. It is hoped that by doing this more people will become interested and start going to church. The problem with this type of initiative is that people are being sold the idea of Christianity but it is not Christianity that people need it is Christ himself that they need. People will not come to God through evangelisation or by coming to church for Jesus said, “no man comes to the Father but by me!” (John 14:6).
There is always the temptation to become discouraged at the apparent lack of response to the message by the multitudes. We read in the book of Acts how that thousands of people became believers at the preaching of the Apostles, we read of past revivals were hundreds and thousands of people came to faith at the preaching of men of God of the past. We yearn for this to happen again.
It is the longing of our hearts that people should come to know Christ and we believe that the preaching of the gospel is the power of God unto salvation for them that believe. We preach week after week and very few people show any kind of real interest in the message.
We are often confronted by other Christians who pour scorn over the work that we do. The common objection that is levelled against us is that what we are doing is not effective. That there must be a better way, and more attractive way, to reach out to people in a way that is not “confrontational” or “judgemental” as they perceive us to be.
It is our conviction that man is separated from God because of sin. That God sees nothing within man that would make him want to love man, and that because of man’s pride God resists man. Many have a notion, erroneously, that because God is love he will accept us just the way we are. To affirm anything other than this is judged to be unloving and uncaring. However if Calvary proves anything it is this; God’s anger at man, and his hatred at everything that is in the heart of man.
For Christ to have to endure such shame, such suffering and punishment must show us all how serious sin is. It is written, “God is angry with the wicked every day!” (Psalm 7:11) The Lord Jesus Himself calls us evil, “if you then being evil know how to give good things to your children,” (Matthew 7:11), the prophet Jeremiah states, “The heart is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things.” (Jeremiah 17:9).
For people to understand the good news of Jesus Christ they must understand why it is good news. They need to realise that as they are they are unacceptable to God that he cannot accept them just as they are, and that anything that they do, think or say is not pleasing in God’s sight. There is absolutely nothing in us that we can offer to God in order to reconcile us with him. No amount of good works, religious observances or even reforming our lives is capable of redeeming us. That it is for this reason and this reason alone that Jesus Christ had to die on the cross.
The prophet Isaiah summed it up in these words, “he was bruised for our iniquities, he was wounded for our transgressions, the chastisement of our peace was upon him and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5), and as the apostle Peter said, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”
(1 Peter 2:24)
Most people do not like to hear or be reminded that they are sinners in the sight of God. The team was reminded of this today because as Miguel was preaching a man approached him and angrily challenged him, grabbing hold of Miguel and even assaulting him. John and Amelia stepped in and were able to get the man to move away from Miguel. Then John began to challenge him about his behaviour. The man was being very belligerent and John said to him that if he didn’t like what Miguel was preaching he didn’t have to stay and listen. It was obvious that any gentle persuasion was not going to work and John had no other alternative than to warn the man that if he did not leave the police would be called.
As John took out his phone, and the man saw that John was serious about calling the police, he left. As the assault was not serious, that is the man had attempted to grab for the microphone that Miguel had been wearing and in the process had struck him on the face, Miguel carried on preaching.
A lady approached Miguel. She stated that she was a believer and Miguel spent some time conversing with her about the need for people to preach the gospel on the streets. He also spoke with her concerning the dangers of ecumenism, which is something that most of the churches in England and Wales have succumbed to. She was very interested because she, herself, was also against having ecumenical ties with those churches that teach and preach a different gospel than the one contained in the Bible.