On the street, 7th February 2015

stopping_the_earsThen they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. (Acts 7:57-58)

But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.  Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.  Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the LORD of hosts.…. (Zechariah 7:11-13)

Preach love!” “Don’t preach Judgement!” “You shouldn’t tell people about their sins!”  “Jesus was the friend of sinners, He befriended people!”

We here these things time after time from those Christians that seem embarrassed by our street preaching.  These words are a direct attack on the Word of God itself, the message of the Bible and the preachers of truth.  God has declared all men to be sinners.  God has declared that all men are to be judged and God has declared that all who reject the Son of God will be cast into the Lake of Fire that is prepared for Satan and his angels!

These are unpalatable truths for many.  These truths are declared to be hateful and condemnatory.  But it is because of these truths that God sent His Son into the world to suffer and die for the wicked and sinful, so that they might repent and receive the forgiveness of sins and reconciliation from God.

The truth is that God is angry with the wicked EVERY day!  His wrath remains upon all those that do not have the Son.  We are not ashamed of these truths nor will we refrain from speaking these truths to people.  Unless a person is convinced of their need for salvation they will never truly repent and turn to the saviour.  Whilst people remain convinced that God sees some good in them which makes Him feel kindly disposed towards them they will never know the forgiveness of sins, and they will be harbouring strong delusion.

The scripture states of God:

For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.  The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. (Psalm 5:4-5)

Note it does not state that God hates all WORKS of Iniquity, but WORKERS of iniquity!

God’s desire is to love the workers of iniquity as His children, but first they must be born again of the spirit and become His children!

As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die…..? (Ezekiel 33:11)

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

The Gospel is only good news because of the bad news.  In the days of Noah God had Noah prepare an ark for the saving of himself and his immediate family.  The rest of humanity perished in the great flood.  Now God has prepared an ark for the saving of absolutely anyone who will come to His son for salvation.  Today none need perish.

How can we not give the people on the streets the invitation to be saved?

The Lord, Himself, went everywhere declaring loudly:

Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:15; Luke 13:3-5; )

The apostle Peter cried out loudly in the street so that everyone could hear him:

Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
(Acts 2:38-40)

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; (Acts 3:19)

The Apostle Paul declared loudly to the Gentiles after denouncing their idolatry:

Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.  And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. (Acts 17:29-31)

The scriptures declare that the message of repentance is at the core of the Gospel because wherever the Apostles went they declared aloud to everyone that they should:

repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. (Acts 26:20)

The modern Christian would call this “preaching hatred” and “unloving”, whereas the scriptures call this the message of the Gospel.

If we would only picture in our minds what state Christ was in as he was dying on the cross we would be able to appreciate what God feels about man’s love for sin:

Our sin is such that in order for us to be saved Christ had to be wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities and chastised in order that God may be at peace with us.  But more that this, the LORD had to lay on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:5-6)

Christ was made our scapegoat, He received the punishment that we deserve.

By preaching as we do we aim to leave people in no doubt as to the seriousness of man’s predicament.  Men like to believe that there is enough good in them to outweigh the evil.  Men do not like to be told that, as far as God is concerned we are all gone aside, we are all together become filthy: and that there is none that does good, no, not even one. (Psalm 14:3)

On the day of Judgement Christ will not be looking at our religious affiliation, whether or not we remained faithful to the teachings of our church or religion, whether or not we were good and pious followers of any religious body.  He will be looking at whether or not we know the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom He has sent. (John 17:3)

He is our only hope because: Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)  Salvation cannot be found in the name of Buddha, Krshna, Muhammed, Popes, Vicars, Priests, Saints, Prophets, Apostles or any form of religion, for none of these are the way to the Father.

All men are sinners and are separated from God and only Jesus Christ can bridge the gap between the and God!  To teach men anything less than this is to deny them the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.  As men are they are totally unacceptable to the Father and He cannot receive them into His Kingdom.  Jesus came into this world in order to make us acceptable to the Father.

We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6)

The Hebrew Bible out of which the English is translated uses the term ( כְבֶגֶד עִדִּים) veged iDim which literally means Menstrual Rags.  So that as far as God is concerned all our goodnesses are as soiled menstrual rags, something he sees as vile and foul.

Yet more evidence of God’s poor view of mankind and how void we all are of any form of redeeming features.

Should we keep this from people?  Are we to allow them to harbour any false notions that God, somehow, is pleased with unrepentant sinners?  Are we to lead people to believe that God’s opinion of them will change if they become Christians and start “attending church” and begin to do “good works“?  Is it not a false Gospel that teaches them that they are saved on the basis of some prayer that they have repeated?  Show me anywhere in the Bible where people were led into repeating a prayer in order to be saved?

Does the preaching of the message of repentance offend your ears?  Do you feel repulsed by Street Preaching?  Do you see street preachers as offensive, unloving and judgemental?  Do you hate the message that they bring?  If so I ask you to sincerely think why you judge this to be so.  Could it be that you are reacting just like everyone else?  Could it be that you have misunderstood God’s attitude towards sin and sinners?  Could it be that there are some things that Jesus Christ taught that you would rather were removed from the Bible?  Remember what Jesus said:

Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. (Mark 8:38)

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.  For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?  For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.
(Luke 9:24-26)

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Revelation 21:7-8)

The Gospel is only Good News for the believer!

For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?  For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. (2 Corinthians 2:15-17)

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