On the street, 15th March 2014

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Miguel preaching, getting strange looks from passers-by

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8-9)

For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. (2 Corinthians 11:4)

Deception is the modus operandi of Satan.  He is a liar, the father of lies.  So it is no surprise that he would seek to deviate men’s attention away fro Christ by inspiring men to believe in a false Jesus and a false gospel.  The Apostle Paul was shocked that people could so easily fall for a false Gospel–especially those that professed Christ.  As we can read:

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.  (Galatians 1:6-7)

We often find, when offering Gospel leaflets to people, that some say, “Oh, I’m already a Christian,” and walk on.  We often wonder what they mean, what sort of “Christianity” they practice?  Or even Which Jesus?  In the past an elderly lady would stop to chat declaring that we needed to belong to “the one true faith”!  By this she meant that we had to accept the gospel according to the 19th century preacher John Thomas, an  Englishman who founded the Christadelphian Movement in America.

Others we have met affirm that we need to accept the gospel according to the Philippine preacher Eliseo “Eli” Soliano, or the Korean preacher Paul C. Jong who teaches that in order to be saved we must not only believe in Jesus’s substitutionary death on the cross but also His baptism in the waters of the Jordan river by John. (see article:  The New Life Mission )

We meet many people who describe themselves as Christians from many churches, denominations and sects such as the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Evangelicals, Neo-Evangelicals, “Oneness” Pentecostals, Liberalists, Conservatists, “Born Again” Christians et al.  (Note: We affirm that being a “Born Again” Christian does not necessarily equate with actually being Born Again.  For some this means simply that a person has repeated a “sinner’s prayer” and has started to attend church!  We reject the doctrine that Salvation is based upon a person’s repeating a so-called “Sinner’s Prayer”).

Both John and Miguel preached today.

Two men spoke with Miguel.  They were from Libya.  One of them began to accuse the Bible as being “corrupted”.  Miguel told him that he was insulting the book that we believe in and how would he like it if he told him that the Qu’ran was corrupted?  Pointing out differences in the different versions of the Bible we have in English is no different than the differences there are with the different versions of the Qu’ran we have in  English!  To make such a statement people have to show from the ancient texts where the corruption came in.  They have to prove this to be the case.  Both John and Miguel have copies of the source Text from which the earliest English language Bibles were translated installed on their phones.  John came over and began to converse with one of the men.

What separates Islam and Christianity is this, either Jesus Christ is the Son of God or He isn’t.  The man with whom John spoke stated that Jesus was a prophet who could do miracles but He was not the Son of God and He did not raise people from the dead–only God can do this!

In Islam Muslims are taught that Mariam (Mary) became pregnant as a virgin by Allah (God) and gave birth to Isa (Jesus).  John asked the man, “If God was not the Father of Jesus, who was?”  John pointed out that “If God was the one who made Mary pregnant then God was the Father of her child.  So, then, Jesus is the Son of God!”  The man was obviously stunned with this explanation and responded by saying, “Yes, but He still didn’t raise people from the dead.  Only God can do that!”  John then stated, “My point exactly!”

John showed him from the scriptures where the prophets declared that God has a Son, and that the Messiah would be put to death for the sins of the world.  He showed him that God would place upon Him the iniquities of us all and that He would make His soul an offering for sin!

Eventually he stated that they would need to go as they hadn’t eaten.  His friend asked John concerning Jesus being God, How could this be?  John answered that all of us have a spirit which is created by God and that gives us life.  The spirit that inhabited the body of Jesus was different.  His Spirit was eternal, the Spirit of God.  This is why we believe that Jesus is God in human form.

They thanked everyone for spending time with them and explaining these things.

A young man was speaking with Amélia.  He told her that he had converted to Islam and after two years of studying Islam had concluded that Islam was wrong and so he had gone back to the Church of England.  Amélia spoke with him about how the C of E practised Infant Baptism, whereas Jesus taught that in order to be baptised a person must first become a believer.  She spoke with him about Jesus being baptised by John and that they were of similar age.  This he did not agree with so Amélia asked John over to speak.  John showed the man how that when Mary became pregnant she went to visit Elizabeth who was six months pregnant at the time.  Therefore John was only six months older than Jesus.

He asked John what sort of Christians we were.  John explained that we were best described as being Protestant Evangelicals.  (The word Evangelical in our day has changed its meaning.  In the past it described Christians who had a firm set of beliefs about what the message of the Gospel actually was.  Today it can mean different things and Evangelicals come in different guises.  Even within the Roman Catholic Church there is a group called Neo-Catecumens–or Neo-Catechists–who describe themselves a being “Evangelical Catholics”).

They continued to discuss the issue of infant Baptism and why we were of the opinion that it was invalid.  John explained that in Mark’s account of the Gospel Jesus stated:

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. (Mark 16:16)

Here Christ was not saying that to be saved a person must be baptised but that in order to be baptised a person should first be a believer.  Unless a person believes, even if they are baptised, they are damned!  They spoke about ecumenism and how that both Rome and Canterbury (the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England) were engaged in uniting churches together in what is called Evangelisation.  This is the idea that the Gospel is about doing good works and engaging in social action which will make people want to become Christians and start going to church.  This may succeed in attracting people to church but it cannot bring people to God.  As it is written:

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)

Considering the fact that the Roman Catholic Church prescribes faith in Sacraments as the means by which people appropriate the saving Grace of God which is contrary to the New Testament teaching that Salvation is appropriated by faith in the finished work of Christ on the Cross, how can true believers work with the Roman Catholic Church?  To enter into this idea of Global Evangelisation is, in effect, a direct denial of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

The young man was grateful for the time we spent with him.  We explained to him that we are generally on Market Street every Saturday (God Willing) and gave him our contact details should he wish to remain in contact.

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