We would very much like to continue sharing some of the many witness encounters that we have experienced over recent times, to try and encourage those that are strong and mature in the faith, to also take up the Great Commission and try and reach lost souls for the Lord Jesus Christ, because an estimated 150,000 people die EVERYDAY, that's 7,000 an hour!
One of the most difficult and sensitive areas of evangelism, is trying to ascertain whether or not a person is truly Born Again when they confess they are. Too many people use such evangelical lingo, like the Mormons and the Catholic church for example, but as a former Catholic of 15 years, I know only to well that on that dreadful day, MANY who think they were saved, were in fact never saved in the first place (Matt. 7:21-23.)
The Apostle Peter said: And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (1 Pet. 4:18.)
Saturday last and we set off to do some street outreach. James walked up to an elderly Anglican couple, who insisted that they were good church people. Both were in their 70s and happily told him how their 80+ year old vicar could tell him a thing or so. (The majority of vicars never go on the streets to warn real people about Life and Death, but James didnt challenge them on this.) What was needed was some probing to try and cut through their self-righteousness and see whether they were trusting in Jesus alone for Salvation or their church membership. This is never easy because "religious people" dont like being asked such questions, even when its done compassionately and delicately. James explained what the New Birth meant but not only were they more interested in the Eucharist (a highly symbolic act), but then told him that Jesus would fix everything one day for them, a kind of the old good works outdoing the bad works deal.
This is very frustrating for any seasoned evangelist, because it only goes to demonstrate they have no idea about the Bible and Biblical justice. By this stage we had outstayed our welcome and they told him that plainly! His request for further examination was quickly turned down. They were too busy to spend anymore time talking to him about everlasting issues and neither did they wish to hear him out on why they too had a duty to warn people that Hell fire awaited unrepentant people. This horrified them and with that off they went. For a similar account of this (with picture), please see our photo-gallery, for James & Vivien doing exactly the same thing with another elderly Anglican couple, but this time in Herne Bay, Kent last year.
Next up, and old Merchant sailor happily corrected James about his ignorance when it came to differentiating between the Royal Navy and the Merchant Navy, during WWII. Talking to this interesting and very smartly dressed gentlemen (something out of the 1940s), James found him receptive but very proud to be agnostic. He asked where God had been in the War when his friends were dying all around him (this comes up a lot on the street.) The following proverb was offered: War is Gods judgment on sin here; Hell is Gods judgment on sin hereafter. With that the snap brim sailor thanked James for his tract and walked off to the next group of street preachers in our town.
Just before we headed off, a homeless man came over to/the town atheist (see our video interview with him online.) He told us how he agreed with everything the town atheist/communist was doing (anti-Israel and pro-Palestine placard.) I asked him if he was saved. He showed me a Catholic crucifix. Apparently hed just been baptised in some church (not Catholic.) I asked him if he shared his faith and did he warn lost people about Hell. Not only did he say he didnt do so, but blasphemed the Lord by taking His name in vain. Because he was a little retarded I didnt pull him up on this, but I left him with one of our tracts and he then asked would we pray for the homeless in Manchester. I said we would.
This is just a snap shot of the kinds of people one meets on the streets. Such folks will rarely if ever visit a church, let alone purchase and read a Bible, therefore it must be down to the church to go to them with the word. This philosophy was very much shared by the apostolic church but sadly has long been replaced with more lazy and unscriptural gimmicks to reach people.
Your prayers for these people and our endeavours would be appreciated.