Saturday night on Mill Ave - starting out another year as a beacon of light in the darkness of lost people wandering around the streets. Many people out on Mill at night are not receptive to hearing the Word, but there are some who are. We are not called to count converts, but only to be obedient to the Lord in witnessing to others. Since there are a lot of lost people out there, I guess it's where we should be.
You don't have to go overseas somewhere for missions, we have a mission field right here locally. It may not sound as exciting as going to some far away exotic place, but Jesus said we are to proclaim the Gospel in Jerusalem and Judea, then to Samaria and to the rest of the world (Acts 1:8).
Mark Cahill says that you have no right to go on missions trips to share your faith in other countries unless you are doing it right where you are first.
So, Tom and I met Brandt, Mike and his friend Matt out by the post office in Tempe. We distributed some tracts and talked to a few people as Tom offered glow sticks for anyone who could pass the Good Person Test (GPT). I set up the illusion board to attract people and some stopped by. Overall, a pretty typical time of street evangelism on Mill.
We got into a more indepth conversation with a young woman in a wheelchair who stopped by. She said her name was Angel, and that she would not consider herself to be a good person. She went through the test anyway, and counted on her fingers to ensure which of the Ten Commandments that we were talking about.
Of course, we got the familiar, "the 9th Commandment doesn't say you shall not lie, it says you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." Ok, fine, who is your neighbor, and what does "bear false witness" mean? It means lying, and your neighbor is anyone who you come in contact with, so summarizing it to you shall not lie is not a problem. Besides, if you really think that God is ok with lying, check out Rev 21:8, where it says that ALL liars will have their part in the lake of fire. This includes little white lies, half-truths, and exaggerations. The standard is perfection (Matt 5:48).
Angel set up a bit of a trap for Brandt (she seemed to enjoy arguing). She stated that she is a Christian, yet she is currently and willfully breaking the 7th Commandment. She pointed out that the man with her was her boyfriend, while her husband is in Utah.
Of course, we do not condone what some call "carnal Christianity" - we refer to those in that category as false converts, who have not yet understood the wickedness of sin, and thus cannot comprehend the great sacrifice made on our behalf by a loving God. Instead of turning from wickedness in gratitude, they attempt to use salvation as a license to continue in their sins, all the while considering themselves saved and heaven bound. Hebrews 10:26-27 would flatly refute that idea, as well as Matthew 7:21-23.
When confronted with that, she was very angry said she was finished with this conversation. However, she later told us that she was way too stubborn to actually leave. She settled down and eventually told us that her husband had physically abused her to the point of broken bones and refuses to grant a divorce, even though he continues to cheat on her. Provided that all of this is true, I could see where it presents somewhat of a dilemma for her. However, that 7th Commandment is much more broad that most people think. It's not just adultery, but includes fornication (premarital sex) as well. In fact, Jesus said that if you merely look with lust, you're already guilty of adultery in your heart. So this little rabbit trail does not justify the sin. Still, I do believe the Lord is working in this woman. I pray that He would continue to do so, convicting her of her sins and drawing her out of them in sanctification.
We had a good conversation with her, and left her with a couple of good tracts, and she pulled a Bible out to show us her reading material for the night.
Later on, she came back and talked with Brandt some more.
There were quite a few people that were attracted by the illusion board and glow sticks and went through the GPT. Please keep the lost in prayer, all those that we speak to, give tracts to and who might hear the Gospel being preached.
And as always, pray for more workers in the harvest field (Luke 10:2).
Soli Deo Gloria