Evangelism Last Friday

June 17, 2014

This last Friday I had an exceptionally great time spreading the Gospel downtown with my signs, tracts, and conversations. As I always do, I’d asked my mom to call others to pray, and later, I found out she’d asked seven people to be praying. I could tell, for I had many excellent discussions and much encouragement from many who were excited and encouraged themselves to see my boldness. But why should we not be bold? We have a message of Good News and the Spirit of the Mighty Creator within us –He who gives us His words to say, His strength, His leading, and the encounters He has pre-planned.

I went earlier than I usually do because I was determined to walk up to catch the white-collar lunch crowd about a mile from the big train and bus depot where I usually canvas. I think I’d not been there for about three years so I was shocked at the swarms of people. (The economy certainly must be better! And what an opportunity to plant seeds among the “self-sufficient”!) After I’d been there a bit, a singing, guitar-playing Christian I’d met before came up and began setting up his amp with a homeless-shelter friend. I talked with them a minute and then a young girl, maybe about 18 years old, showed up with a camera.

After taking some pictures, this girl sat down on the water canal wall so I walked over and began a conversation. What a philosophy she had developed for herself! She admitted to having had the Gospel explained to her many times, but still, she wasn’t even sure about a Creator. In fact, if there is one, she mused, then He (or rather, It) is a force, not a person. Moreover, there is no Heaven or Hell, she opined, except there is both for those who believe in them. See, she reasoned, reality is what a person believes it is, and Truth is completely relative. (I thought this philosophy was deemed nonsense and had thus gone out of vogue 20 years ago, but I see it must be alive and well.) I tried to listen to her respectfully, but when I asked if wanting to be queen would make us queens, or if wanting flowers to grow up amid the cement at our feet would make it so, she knew I found her doctrine to be more than silly.

What pathetic thoughts people are being taught to entertain! The whole of creation (including DNA and the fine-tuned delicateness of the universe) declares a Creator (Ps. 19:1-4 // Rom. 1:19,20), yet people insist that there is great evidence to the contrary and continue to insist upon inventing their own Truth! We parted politely, but as I walked away from that block, I felt both grieved and disgusted concerning the foolishness of those who weave their doctrine from their own “lofty” thoughts. “The wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight” (1 Cor. 3:19) is the verse I kept hearing in my spirit. So grievous! I prayed many times over the next few days for that girl’s soul, and that the enemy would not snatch away the Good Seed (the Truth) which the Farmer had many times in her life attempted to plant within her. (Luke 8:5,12) May the Lord have mercy on her!

Later, back at the main depot, I met a friend who used to be homeless and wow! has he ever been growing in the knowledge of God’s Word! It was precious to hear him quote verses and so humbly describe what the Lord has been revealing to him. We talked quite a while and I thanked the Lord for impressing on me that that good fruit in this endearing soul was largely due to the numerous times I’d talked with him about the Truth. I thank the Lord when He shows me some lasting fruit from my labors.

One guy came up to me and could not stop telling me –for about 15 minutes– how important it was what I was doing. “Do not ever stop this assignment,” he kept saying. “This is so wonderful and I know the Lord wants you to know you are not to ever stop due to the commands of people. Do not listen to those who discourage you or tell you that this boldness is dumb. Keep doing this! It is great! It is of God!” and on he went excitedly, then praying for me a very wonderful prayer. I was truly encouraged.

At one point, later, I saw a guy sitting on a low wall watching me and frowning. The frown did not make me want to talk with him, but eventually I realized the Lord was telling me to go over and talk with him anyway. I approached him with, “Well, do you like my signs?” (These were about freedom for sin’s captives.) “No,” he answered –as I expected. “Why not?” I asked.

The guy went on to explain how annoyed he was at Christians’ doctrines, particularly that they were always telling him that gays could not inherit Heaven. “Do you teach that?” he asked me.

I’m usually straight-forward, but I chose to be gentle, saying something to this effect: “God considers all adultery –gay or straight– to be sin. Even looking at someone –of either sex– with lust, is adultery, and it breaks the law of love. Lusting after someone defiles that person. Lusting in not love, but defilement. Defiling others instead of loving them unselfishly causes pain. God wants to shield us from such pain. He wants everyone to love Him and to love others.”

The man softened and talked with me. He told me some about his upbringing. He asked me questions about the Word. When we parted, he had a smile –one of appreciation or of hope, or maybe of both. I’ve prayed for him many times since. And for many others I’ve met down there. –Because prayer does change things. It does change eternal destinies.

Going and speaking and sharing and proclaiming changes a lot. But it must be bathed with prayer. And prayer must be followed with Spirit-led words and action. It all must be done together –done with faith and boldness. For we have no small Message to bring to the world!

with love,

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