On the street, 6th December 2014

DSCI0519God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)

The Gospel we preach is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The word “Gospel” comes from an Old English word “Godspel” meaning “Good News”.  This word is a compound word made up of two Old English words “God” meaning “Good” and “Spell” meaning (amongst other things) a story or a narrative.  So we declare the Good News of Jesus Christ to the people on the street.

Literally thousands of people passed us by today being given the opportunity to hear the message or accept the offer of a leaflet.

DSCI0515Some people question the methods that we employ and judge us for not being relevant.  Others call our method into question by stating that we are not being effective.  Whilst, on the surface, this may appear to be true we know from the scriptures that those who preach the Gospel and are involved in evangelism are simply sowing the seed of God’s message to this world that is perishing.  We simply scatter the seed and trust God that it will land on good soil where it will take root and grow, eventually bearing fruit.  Sometimes a seed will be sown into the ground and remain not germinating and starting to grow for a couple of seasons.  So we, also, must wait patiently for a harvest of souls which may not come immediately, but rather in the future.  We may not even witness the harvest in our lifetime, it may come further down the line after years of the person receiving the message.  Many people hear the Gospel but only come to faith years later.  The important thing is that we remain true and faithful to the Great Commission:

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:15)

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Today a few people stopped to speak with members of the team.  One person even approached Miguel as he was preaching in order to ask questions concerning the faith.  Some Spanish people spoke with Amélia.  Although Amélia does not speak Spanish she was able to communicate with them in Portuguese, which is similar to Spanish.

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As usual people would make obscene remarks about God and Jesus Christ.  This is obviously done in order to impress their friends or to get back at God and so justify their lifestyle.  One thing that we need is to be impervious to people’s comments.  Sometimes we can respond to hecklers, especially if we can interject some humour.  Today a group of young men were walking by when one of them shouted out to John that he was, “Talking a load of @*~*!!”  John quickly responded , “No, but that’s what’s coming out of your mouth!” at which his friends burst out laughing at him.

 

Amélia brought a young man to speak with John.  He identified himself as a Muslim from Iran.  He expressed great interest in learning about Jesus from the Bible.  John recognised that he was trully sincere and not like most of the Muslims that we have encountered, who only want to argue against what we are preaching.  John gave him our contact details and mentioned to him that if he contacted us via email we would be able to send him materials that would explain what the Bible teaches about Jesus Christ.  John also mentioned that he would also try to find some materials in Farsi (the language of Iran).

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It is essential that we pray for God’s help so that we are granted with the wisdom we need in order to speak with the people who stop to speak with us.  We are acutely aware of how weak we truly are and that without Christ we can do nothing, as Jesus said:

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
(John 15:5)

Once again there were two groups of Jehovah’s Witnesses nearby busily handing out copies of their materials in order to proselytise.  Both John and Miguel grabbed to opportunity to exalt the name of Jesus Christ.  The scriptures declare:

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)

what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: (Ephesians 1:19-21)

Later on the team was joined by another brother in the Lord who also preached to the many people that were crowding the busy street.  It is extremely gratifying to be joined by brethren that are
DSCI0522yielded to the Holy Spirit.  To preach can seem very daunting at first and many are too ashamed to get involved pro-actively in the spreading of the   Gospel.  Often people excuse their unwillingness to testify to Christ by saying that they, “Don’t feel called to preach the Gospel”!  For some reason they think that God will give them a sign from heaven to them specifically that they should be involved.  This is nothing more than an excuse on their part.  God will not give them such a sign because He has already commissioned them.  His commandment to His people was:

Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:15)

How clear can God be?  What is it about the word “YE” that they do not understand. Why is it that believers are not taken out of this world when they are saved?  Why is it that He does not translate us straight into Heaven?  There is only one reason for the existence of the Church (of which we are all members), and that is to proclaim the Gospel to the world so that people can receive the opportunity to hear the message of the Gospel and be given the opportunity to believe in Jesus Christ, as the Apostle Paul wrote:

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?  (Romans 10:13-14)

Now, more than ever, it is important that everyone who is a believer become pro-active in this Great Commission.  The return of Christ is fast approaching and the end is even nearer.  While we have the freedom to spread the Gospel we should use it.  There is absolutely no excuse for disobedience, everyone can do something even if it means they simply pass out leaflets to people.

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