Day 3 with Alex: Conversations on the Streets of Don Mills

My good friend Alex is a faithful servant of Christ Jesus. He’s the chaplain at Peoples Christian Academy and this past Saturday he brought out a few of his students for some street evangelism. Below he shares about three  of his conversations from this past Saturday. Check it out!

On Saturday, I joined Paul with three of my students for a couple of hours of evangelism. I was particularly aware of the fact that my students were nervous about what was to happen. I prayed for them that God would use the afternoon to encourage and equip them.  We met to pray and hear the Scriptures from Acts.  We paired up and dispersed.

Conversation 1

Our first conversation was with a woman who had just finished a shift working at one of the retail outfits in the Don Mills plaza.  She spoke broken English – enough for us to ascertain that she had a nominal Catholic upbringing and had emigrated from Iraq.  When we asked her if she understood the person and work of Jesus, she replied that she needed Jesus.  I agreed with her wholeheartedly but pressed her on why she needed Jesus.  She did not reply.  This may have been for any number of reasons. Nevertheless, I briefly shared the gospel message with her and explained that one reason we all need Jesus is to enjoy forgiveness of sins.  We prayed for her and left her with some literature.  Perhaps the Lord brought this woman all the way from Iraq to Canada, to that particular location to point her to His son.

Conversation 2

Our second conversation was with a group of three young men.  When we approached them, they gave us a hearing for only a few seconds.  Two of the men stood up and returned the literature to us immediately, claiming to be Buddhist.  The third lingered and shared that he too was Buddhist.  I pressed him about what he meant by being Buddhist.  For him, it meant going to the temple regularly for mediation.  I asked him why he went to the temple.  He replied, “To find peace.”

I affirmed his desire to find peace.  Certainly that is a worthwhile pursuit.  However, I asked him if he could explain why peace was so elusive.  He said that it was because life was full of distractions.  Again I pressed him and asked him what we we’re being distracted from?  What should our focus, attention and minds be fixed upon?  He didn’t know.  He only knew that he had the experience of being easily distracted and he knew that he wanted to find peace.  I asked him if I might share with him the Bible’s responses to these questions.  He agreed.

I opened to Genesis and showed him how God had created everything in a state of goodness and that originally peace was normative not elusive.  However, because of our first parents’ sin, that peace was disturbed. The peace we should have had with God was disturbed and now, in Adam we are found hiding from God.  The peace we should have had with each other was disturbed and now, in Adam, we are found blaming and accusing one another.  The peace we should have had with the environment was disturbed and now the earth itself is accursed.  The peace we should have experienced in ourselves was disturbed and now, in Adam, we are ashamed and guilty.

After establishing the origin of the elusiveness of peace, I explained to this young man that Jesus Christ came as the second Adam to reverse the curse of the first Adam and to bring peace between us and God, between us and others, between us and creation and to bring peace within our hearts.  But this peace is only available to us in Christ.  We left him with some literature and he was sincere in his response of gratitude.

Conversation 3

Our final and longest conversation was with an older man who claimed to be Jewish in his religious orientation. I asked him if he believed that he was able to keep the law of Moses. I surprised when he said “yes.”  I inquired a little further as to how he could be so confident about this.  He admitted that to some degree, he could be confident that he kept the law of Moses because he reserved for himself the privilege of interpreting the law according to his own perspective and circumstances.  Gently, I suggested to him that he might as well be functioning as his own God.  After explaining what I meant, he surprisingly agreed that indeed he was functioning in the role of his own God.  I pointed out that if that is the case then he was in violation of the first commandment.  Again, I explained what I meant and again I was surprised that he agreed with me.  Gently, I pointed out to him that if he was in violation of the first commandment then he was in violation of all of the law of Moses.

From this point in the conversation, I shared with him the gospel.  Namely that Jesus alone was able to meet the righteous requirements of the law and that he served as our substitute for our inability and our unwillingness to meet those same requirements.

He was a gentlemen in every sense of the word.  He lent us an ear and was willing to engage in conversation for a lengthy amount of time.  He agreed to receive some literature and even agreed to read Isaiah 53 in order to see how Jesus was the true suffering servant who came as our substitute.  May God be pleased to convert this son of Abraham according to the flesh into a true son of Abraham according to faith.

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