I was once walking in the town of Durban, a number of years ago now. Its a large and beautiful
city, Durban in South Africa. In the center of the town is what were called monumentsall the different kings and queens of the British Empire in the heart of the city, as the people rush through. They have many open air meetings there, trying to win people to Christ. As I was walking through all the bustle, all the hundreds of people just criss-crossing to get to each part of the city, I saw a young man standing there, and he had tracts of salvation. He was dressed clean, and he looked clean. The way he was giving these tracts
out made me stop in respect. I looked at him, and thought, Look at this fellow. He didnt want to let anybody passed. It was like there was something of a desperation in him. Please, read this sir. Please, please take it. Please stop. Take this. He didnt want to let anybody pass, giving these tracts out of salvation. I looked at him in respect.
After awhile I saw he looked at me, and he recognized me. He walked up to me, and said Are you Keith Daniel?
I said Yes.
He said to me, Mr. Daniel, have you got any time? Are you in a hurry?
I said, Well, Im going somewhere, but what do you need? What do you want?
He said, Theres a tramp, a down and out, whos here in the town gardens, just sitting under the
statues. Ive tried to lead him to Christ. Theres something different about this tramp. He wasnt always in the gutters. This man comes from somewhere good, and not too long ago. Hes just suddenly lost everything. But I cant get through to him. Wont you please come? I know hell still be somewhere here. Come and speak to him.
So I said, Surely I will. Lets go. We went around to one of these big statues. We eventually
found him. He stood slowly when he saw us coming to him. He was dressed like a tramp, and he looked
like a tramp, a man who gave up, sitting in the gutters now. This young fellow looked at him and said,This is Mr. Daniel. Keith Daniel. Hes a preacher. I believe that if you just listen to him, you could understand of what Im trying so hard, so often to tell you. I believe hes going to help you to find God, to show you the way to God, what God can do for you. Wont you please listen to him? So the man beckoned that I could speak.
I began to talk to him about God.
Now I found something. Oftentimes we give just our testimonies. I found to give the Word of
God. Its what God says that matters. So even if its to a tramp, leave something of what God says. I began to quote the scriptures to him, of what God holds out to the sinner, of what God promises He can do, no matter how destroyed the life is.
I held out the scriptures to him. As I was quoting scriptures to him, eventually he started quoting
them with me. So I quoted another scripture, and word perfect he quoted with me. I looked at him and said But how is this possible? You know everything that I know. You know everything Im telling you. You know everything I know. And I found tears welling up in my eyes to find a man in the gutters who knew so much.
Then tears welled up in his eyes, and he said, I was a Dutch Reformed Dominee. A minister, a
preacher, in the largest denomination of our country. I went through a university, a theological seminary. I attained after seven years the highest of all marks of all the theological students. I was the top theological
student of the university when I graduated. I was taken straightway to one of the largest Evangelical Dutch Reformed churches of South Africa, right into the pulpit. There were five other ministers, but I was the one, as young as I was, who was given the pulpit, because I could preach. I preached what youre telling me. I
preached the gospel.
I said, What went wrong? What happened?
Then the tears really came. Sin. You see, somehow sin wasnt dealt with, even though I had a
testimony. Though I went through university and I attained the highest degree, the highest marks of the entire university in the theological section, sin was still there.
Its possible, you know. Its possible to get into a pulpit, one of the largest Evangelical churches in a nation, because you can so preach, because youve so attained academically, in theology. They have to, theyre obliged to put you in the greatest church right at the start. Its possible to stand up preaching the gospel when sin is still in your life, never doubt it.
He said, It was sin. I had this problem. Sin. Oh I always used to think if my heart condemn me,
Gods going to deal with it somewhere. Someway its got to stop. I went back to sin. I sinned. Then one day I stood up. I was preaching, calling for men to come to Christ, and suddenly I looked out and I saw a face. Someone who knew about my sin, looking at me warning to sinners to come to repentance to God. Somehow I got through that sermon, I dont know how I got through, holding myself up in the pulpit, my heart just crushed. I dont know how I did it, but I got up and preached again. This time when I stood up, and I began to preach, I didnt see one face, I saw two faces. The devil wont let you get away with it. I
couldnt preach. Here were people looking at me knowing that here I am crying to sinners, and yet Im a sinner myself. Im still in my sin. I couldnt preach. I just walked from the pulpit, determined never to go up again, no matter what the cost.
And it cost. I wont tell you the whole thing of what it cost me, but I lost my family, lost my
home, lost everything. One thing led to another, and now Im in the gutters. But you see what I was doing was wrong. I had no right to stand in the pulpit of God and cry out to others when I was still in sin myself. And I had to make a choice: either stand up in the pulpit and face the condemnation of others who I had been guilty of sending to hell, or get out of the pulpit forever. I made a choice, and look what its cost me.
Ill never go back to the pulpit. It was wrong. I was wrong.
Young man, Ive watched you. I watched you when I saw you standing there with your Bible, with your tracts, with your desperation, calling to people, not wanting to let anyone go by. I watched you.
Because of my background, I watched you carefully. Watched you when you spoke to me so zealously. I
watched you the other day when you stood there. Two men walked up to you. I saw you talking and
laughing. Saw you put your Bible away. Saw you go in that building with the men. I know something of
those mens sin, and I watched them. I waited until you came out, and I waited for them. I was going to find out what you did in that building there. Young man, I want to tell you you have no right to come the next day onto the street with your Bible, and your tracts. You have no right! Youre wrong! Youre wrong in what youre doing, thinking you have the right.
The two of us just looked at him. I looked at this young man, who had turned white. His lips trembling at being found out. Then the greatest shock of all came. He looked at the two of us. This man having given up the pulpit to be honest. And this man whos clinging to God with every breath in his body never to lose the right to be in the pulpit, to look every man on earth in the eyes and say Come to God, and have the right to say to them.
He said, So what? Being a Christian doesnt mean you never sin. Being a Christian doesnt mean
you cant sin, ever. He turned, and walked away from us a dozen steps, back into the street, with his Bible, and his tracts, and his sin, I believe to this day, all three.
[b]Who you are speaks so loud that the world cant hear what you say[/b]. Theyre looking at your walk, not listening to your talk.
Theyre judging by your actions every day.
Dont believe youll deceive by claiming what youve never known.
Theyll accept what they see and know you to be. Theyll know you by your life alone.
[url=http://www.charityministries.org/pdf/transcriptions/2069.pdf]have you turned from a life of sin? (transcript)[/url]