On the street, 24th January 2014
We meet all sorts of people and groups when out preaching and we also cause some controversy as well. We have people that mock or praise us and others, like the people working in a nearby store, who seek to have us moved because they don’t like the sound of preaching coming into their premises.
It is important that we stand our ground because if we were to give ears to everybody’s comments and complaints we would never do anything for fear of offending someone or we would never be able to preach at all. As John replied to the store worker who decried our method of outreach, “We are not here to please anyone.” If we were we would do as many others and sing songs in order to entertain or invite people for food and a chat!
The eternal destiny of souls is at stake and we do not have time for pleasantries and befriending everyone before we preach to them. Every day multiple thousands pass into a Christless eternity and we have to offer as many people as possible the opportunity to hear the Gospel. It would be nice if we could count on there being enough time but we know there isn’t. Some argue that we should only preach when and where it is appropriate, when people are ready to listen. The exhortation of the Holy Spirit rejects this view:
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
(2 Timothy 4:2)
(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) (2 Corinthians 6:2)
Some groups even go as far as to boast in the fact that they “Don’t preach”! If they don’t preach how are people to hear the message of salvation that is in Christ Jesus? The world is never ready to hear the Gospel and people are always resistant to the preaching of the Word:
The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (Psalm 14:2-3)
It is plain that most people resent the preaching of the Gospel and would like to have preachers removed from the streets. Street preachers do not put “people off” from coming to Christ because they are not interested in Him in the first place. If they were they would stop and take the time to listen.
Often small children ask their parents, “Why is that man shouting?” Most parents reply by commenting with a derogatory remark which only instils in the mind of the child that there is something wrong with the preacher and that they should be avoided. Time was when most children where encouraged by their parents to attend the local Sunday School. Even if the parents weren’t particularly “religious” they still believed that the message of Christ was of benefit to their children. Today the opposite is true and children are discouraged from believing in God both at home AND at school. The message that was at one time thought of as being “moral” and “upright” is now seen as being “immoral” and “perverse”!
How far we have fallen! This country was once seen as a beacon of light in this dark world, a paragon of the Gospel. Today we are seen more as a parody than a paragon, in fact most of our churches are just that, a parody of truth and a comedy of errors. Well can we say with the Prophet of old:
The crown is fallen from our head: woe unto us, that we have sinned! For this our heart is faint; for these things our eyes are dim. (Lamentations 5:16-17)
Many have heard of the doctrine of British Israelism, that the so-called “Lost Tribes of Israel” are the white Anglo-Saxon and Celtic nations. This doctrine has a number of followers within mainstream churches here in UK. Now, mainly through Social Media networks the doctrine of Black Israelism is being promoted. This is similar to British Israelism only that the True Jews are people of Black African origin.
Today the team came across a small group of men who at first glance appeared to be Muslims. They wore white turbans and were wearing beards however upon closer inspection it became obvious that they were not Muslims. They belonged to a group that goes by the name The Gathering of Christ Church and they espouse the doctrine of Black Israelism. Amongst their assertions is that the people that we have thought of as being Jews are, in fact, impostors and false Jews. When asked to define who was a Jew, by their main preacher, Miguel mentioned the Jews of Israel. The man (of Afro-Caribbean decent) stated that these were all a bunch of fake Jews. This was an absolute insult to the millions of Jews that perished in the holocaust and was enough to lead us into disputing with them concerning this anti-Semitic nonsense.
Jews of Jerusalem in 1876
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