On the streets, 18th & 19th 2014
In the scriptures 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)
It is our firm conviction that we are fast approaching the time when the events concerning the final years leading up to the Coming of the Lord (prophesied by Daniel and the Apostles John and Paul) are about to be fulfilled. So we are convinced that it is even more important to preach the Gospel to the people.
There is no doubt in our minds that the churches, as a whole, in this country have lost faith that the Gospel of Jesus Christ really is the Power of God unto Salvation as declared in Paul’s letter to the believers in Rome:
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. (Romans 1:16)
We know this to be true because so few join in the work of evangelism opting more for gimmicks, music and social action instead.
We met with several self-professed Christians whom we challenged about the situation in the churches today. Some became uncomfortable showing their opposition to what we were saying. Others agreed, yet seemed blind to the fact that these things were going on in their particular church.
Another man was defending Infant Baptism. According to him Baptism was the Christian equivalent to Circumcision. He pointed out the verse in scripture concerning Abraham that says:
And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: (Romans 4:11)
He reasoned that as circumcision was a seal of the righteousness of the faith so was Infant Baptism. John pointed out to him what was written in the previous verses:
Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. (Romans 4:9-10)
It states quite clearly that Abraham became a believer BEFORE he was circumcised so that, even if it was true that Infant Baptism was the equivalent to circumcision before Abraham was circumcised he first became a believer. John challenged him to provide one example from the Book of Acts where an infant was baptized.
John also debated with him over the nature of the Church. According to him there are two types of church in the Bible; the INVISIBLE Church and the VISIBLE Church. Apparently the invisible Church is the body of Christ made up of all the believers, and then there is the visible church which is made up of believers AND UNbelievers. John explained to him that this was a fallacy, a hang over from the Roman Catholic Church (as was his view on Infant Baptism) which he virulently denied.
Amélia witnessed to two young women who were engaged in promotional work. One of them was dressed as a shoe. Her colleague claimed to be half Jewish, her father being a Gentile and her mother being a Jewess. They were of the opinion that they could be saved on the basis of their good works. Amélia reminded them that we all will be judged by God one day and give an account for our lives, and on that day our good works will count for nothing.
Speaking of the Jews. On Sunday, near the Cathedral, a rally was held in order to protest the rise in anti-semitism. John and Miguel attended. Hundreds of people gathered and were treated to various speeches from well-known Mancunian Jews as well as politicians and leaders from various faith Groups such as the local ecclesiastical authorities, the local Hindu community as well as an Arab friend of Israel. However the most moving speech was given right at the beginning by 92 yr old Chaim (Henry) Ferster a survivor of the Nazi Holocaust. Chaim was visibly moved as he recounted his being removed from his home in Poland, moved from concentration camp to concentration camp, and his settling in the UK.
It is written:
For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. (Romans 11:25)
God has not finished with His people Israel. Christian antisemitism was challenged by one Christian speaker. One way this antisemitism has grown in the churches has been through what is called “Replacement Theology”. This is the idea that all the promises made by God to Natural Israel no longer apply to them and it is the Church that is now counted as having replaced Israel in God’s plans. As Paul stated, in Romans 11:25, such thinking is not only wrong, it is completely conceited. In fact Paul warns:
Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
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