Last Friday, I announced at the men’s study that we will take a brief break from our usual study in order to go evangelizing to the masses. Taking a brief break from our study will give us an opportunity to apply what we learn about Christ by sharing Him with lost sinners. Living for Jesus is not only learning about Him, but serving as an ambassador of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). When I think about living for my Lord and Savior, I am reminded of a particular portion of prayer from the Valley of Vision, entitled, “Living for Jesus.” This is what the prayer states:
O SAVIOUR OF SINNERS,
Thy name is excellent,
thy glory high,
thy compassions unfailing,
thy condescension wonderful,
thy mercy tender.
I bless thee for the discoveries, invitations,
promises of the gospel
for in them is pardon for rebels,
liberty for captives,
health for the sick,
salvation for the lost.
I come to thee in thy beloved name of Jesus;
re-impress thy image upon my soul;
Raise me above the smiles and frowns of the world,
regarding it as a light thing to be judged by men;
May thy approbation be my only aim,
thy Word my one rule.
Make me to abhor that which grieves thy
to suspect consolations of a worldly nature,
to shun a careless way of life,
to reprove evil,
to instruct with meekness those who oppose me,
to be gentle and patient towards all men,
to be not only a professor but an example
of the gospel,
displaying in every relation, office, and condition
its excellency, loveliness and advantages.
How little have I illustrated my principles
and improved my privileges!
How seldom I served my generation!
How often have I injured and not recommended
How few are those blessed through me!
In many things I have offended,
in all come short of thy glory;
Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.
This prayer has many wonderful facets for the Christian life. It basks in a combination of learning and living for Him. It is a great reminder of the Gospel being preached and how we are to conduct our life before our holy God. That is what we did this past Friday evening. Before we evangelized, a few men and myself got together and discussed some important notions concerning man. I echoed that we are in an environment that is perhaps filled with different sinners that may consist of murderers, rapist, gangsters, etc. That is where the beauty of open-air preaching comes into play. It provides the channel or instrument that can cover a vast landscape. It means that a multitude of people will be exposed to the Gospel quickly. After we finished praying, we made our way to the pier and set-up our things near the entrance of the walkway of the pier that is shaped as a circle, where many people congregate in order to fish and hangout. To be honest, I felt a little rusty because I have not done open-air preaching for a long time. I really needed to depend upon God for wisdom. As I looked and scanned at the multitude of people before me, a great compassion for them resided in my heart. I understood that to glorify God in this moment, I must be a broken hearted evangelist. I must love them by speaking the truth with conviction and truth.
There was no turning away. As I stepped on the foot stool and prepared my PA and headset, I knew that I was about to enter into spiritual warfare. As a result, I needed to, by God’s grace, devote myself wholly to Him.
There I was. I opened my mouth by first introducing myself. And here are a few important truths I shared to the masses: “What is God?” and the “sayings of Jesus.” Those points are great and sobering truths that man must hear. I wanted the Son of God to be uneclipsed so they can savor Him.
- What is God?: God is a Spirit (Deuteronomy 4:15-19; Luke 24:39; John 1:18; John 4:24; Acts 17:29), eternal (Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 90:2; Psalm 102:12, 24-27, Revelation 1:4, 8), holy (Hebrews 1:13; 1 Peter 1:15-16; 1 John 3:3, 5; Revelation 15:4), just (Genesis 18:25; Exodus 34:6-7; Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 96:13; Romans 3:5, 26), loving (John 3:16; Romans 5:8-9).
- The sayings of Christ: John 4:25-26 (the Messiah), John 17:5; John 8:58-59 (eternal), John 6:38 (from Heaven), Matthew 11:27 (possessed knowledge of God), John 10:27-28; Luke 23:43 (power to grant eternal life), John 6:35; John 8:12; John 11:25 (the answer to man’s souls), Matthew 10:37 (demands to be worshipped).
While open-air preaching, it appeared that there were those who listened attentively and some who mocked the Gospel and committed some unwholesome and unholy acts next to me; and there were those who expressed their anger and hatred towards the Gospel of God because the message was preventing them from generating a profit from their musical performances. But even in the midst of hostility, there were some who thanked us for the message and seemed to be in hearty agreement. I was also thankful that I did not preach alone, because another brother from my church preached alongside me. It was a tremendous blessing. A blessing not only because we get the privilege to be His ambassadors, but also a blessing because we do not have the power to save people. Thus, salvation is not in our strength, but salvation is founded in God’s Gospel. We rely upon the sovereign God.
This event was also a great reminder to us concerning the heart of man: he is depraved and only the sovereign God can awaken him from his stupor! You can not manipulate people into the kingdom of salvation. You must be faithful and not succumb to pragmatism. To be faithful is to be sensitive to God. And being sensitive to God is understanding the true spiritual condition of man, as documented in Scripture.
Please pray for those who heard the message. Pray that they will come into saving knowledge of Christ and then be plugged into a biblical local church.