Tag Archives: Anglican

A Great Friday Morning with Luis: The Gospel Goes Forth

I was a blessed man this morning. I was delighted to have fellowship in the Gospel of Christ with my dear brother Luis.  Originally from Columbia, he is a member of Church Iglesia Bautista Castellana (Keele and Dundas). He is currently working four days a week and has Fridays off (so we could go out!). A relatively new Christian, he wanted me to go out with him to help him learn about street evangelism (not that I have all the answers . . . but, he is humble enough to learn from even me). His church has recently started an English ministry (basically a young English congregation within a Spanish church) and really wants this ministry (church) to faithfully spread the Gospel in the church neighbourhood. He passionately wants the Lord to save all kinds of peoples and to bring them into his fold to live for His glory. He wants to lead by example and set the tone, not only for a Gospel loving and Gospel believing church, but ALSO, for a Gospel spreading church (meaning orally speaking the Gospel to people). As the Word increased in Acts, may it increase in the Keele-Dundas region!

Rejection

We had great fellowship over the Word (2 Cor 2.12-6.13) and in prayer. Eventually, we hit the streets. We went to the corner and tried talking to a young man. But, he did not want to talk with us. He told us that he was a thief and that as God forgave that man on the cross, so he was forgiven. He told us that as long as you are sincerely sorry for the bad you have done, and ask God for forgiveness, you are forgiven. I wanted to reason with him and tell him what the Bible says about these things, but he wanted none of it.

Handing out a French Tract

We moved on and hit the bus stops at Keele and Dundas. We met a man who was French and did not speak English – I think he was a tourist in Toronto. Thank you to Nick Hill – I had a 2 Ways to Live tract in French. I was able to give him one. He was very thankful for it.

I Guess this is Why We are Not to Talk about Religion and Politics

We walked down Dundas and met a lady having a smoke outside of her workplace. We approached her giving her a penny with the 10 commandments. She gave it back, but we had a good little talk. She said she was Anglican but had not been to church in years.

I asked her about death, “What do you believe will happen to you?” She said, “I’ll go into the ground and that’s it.” I told her that God has spoken on what happens at death. I told her how Jesus came and taught very clearly on heaven and hell.

Referring to Matthew 25 I told her, “The righteous will go into eternal life but the unrighteous into everlasting punishment.” She responded, “We”ll very few people are righteous; basically your telling me that 95 % of the people are going downstairs?” I said, “Actually, no one is righteous.” She replied, “No, there are some good people, not many, but there are some.” I said, “Well, here, let me read to you a few verses from the Bible about this.” With a smile, she said, “Oh my goodness, I haven’t read the Bible in years.” I said, “Well, this will be good for you – it is just a couple of sentences – I will read from Romans 3:10.”

I read Romans 3:10-12. She was listening with curious attentiveness.  In response to the Word of God in 3.12a, she said, “people aren’t worthless.” I said, “Well, you are right, but you are must understand what the Scriptures say about man elsewhere. In other portions of the Bible we learn that man is precious, for he is created in the image of God.” She said, “So there are contradictions.” I said, “No, there are what are called apparent contradictions.” In the spirit of ‘that’s enough for me,’ she replied, “Oh, the differences and disagreements – I guess this is why we are not to talk about religion and politics. I better go back into work.”

I said, “I have one thing for you to consider before you go, please just think about this one thing: People could gossip about you and say different things, but if I want to know the truth, I will come to you. I can find out the truth. You can find out the truth about the way of life and how to be made acceptable to God for Judgment Day. Jesus came and spoke about these things. Do you have a Bible?” She said, “yes.” I continued, “I encourage you to read a Gospel, John is a good one to read. You can find out what Jesus said about these things. You do not know me. You just met me – what if I was lying to you. You need to read Jesus and find out for yourself. But thank you for taking the time to let us speak with you. Thank you.” “Your welcome” she replied. That was it. May the Lord work in her heart – may He cause her to care about her soul and may He breathe life into her.

An Elderly Muslim Man

Later on we met another man out on the street. He was sitting on the ledge of a huge flower pot. He was an elderly Muslim who was friendly to Christians. He had strong and impassioned opinions about many things, some that I fully agree with . . . others that I do not (for they were contrary to Scripture). We talked for a very very long time – it was a great chat (more listening on my side, but that is great . . . listening is very important). We were able to share some Scripture with him (Mark 14.60-64, for he does not think Jesus is the Son of God or equal with God; and Ephesians 2.8-9, for he thought salvation is by works). Furthermore, we were able to clearly explain the Gospel to him – our sin and guilt, the substitutionary life and death on our behalf and his resurrection! He told us to come back and see him again (right there – where he works). May the Lord cause His Word to stay in his heart and work in conjunction with the Spirit to make him born again.

A message for those who read this post:

What a great Friday morning! If you read this post, first I say, “thank you.” Now I say this: “Believe the Gospel afresh today and in due time Preach it!” May the Lord help you. If you are a Christian, remember this: you do not justify yourself in your evangelism (nor are you less acceptable due to faithlessness in evangelism). The Father accepts you. Your standing with God has been sealed by the work of Christ, and by God’s grace, your corresponding faith in Christ. Thus, in light of that FREE GOSPEL what great reason to spread it!!!!! What a Gospel! Behold your God! What Glory! What a Gospel! What good reason do we have to be silent? Lord help us.

Bus Stop to Coffee Shop to Church: He Came to Church!

Bus Stop

Phil K. and I hit the bus stops Saturday evening. We had some good talks about God’s righteous standards and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God gave us grace to continue ministering in a spirit of prayer. We continued to pray for the Lord to lead us to the right people. Interestingly, we saw a man sitting down at a bus stop just a minute or two away from us (corner of Islington and Elmhurst). Thus, we went and met him. I approached him giving him a penny with the 10 commandments on it. I explained that we are from the church down the road. I also told that we were out spreading the Gospel. I had asked him we could talk to him while he waited for the bus. He was fine with that. I learned that he is originally from India and currently attending an Anglican church.

He was thankful for the coin and wanted to know, “Why are you handing these out?” So, why do I hand out penny’s with the 10 commandments on them? Well, there are a few reasons why I do this (possibly I will post on this in detail later); but I only took the time to elaborate on one. I explained, “The 10 commandments were given to Israel. Israel agreed to obey the law, but they failed. But God, in his love, sent Jesus do be faithful in a way that Israel had not been faithful. And all of us, well, we are like Israel, we have failed to obey God’s standards which Jesus taught when he came.” He wanted to talk more. When the bus came, he suggested that we jump on the bus to keep talking. Now that was an exciting suggestion! I asked Phil, “you got your metro pass?” I had change . . . on the bus we go!

We got on the bus and though it took me a while to dig out the right change (pocket full of 10 commandment pennies!), I eventually sat down and we resumed our conversation. If my memory is correct, I think I went on to talk about the righteous standards of Jesus, which he preached when he came (cf. Matthew 5-7). However, we did not talk long on the bus, for we got off soon to go to a coffee shop where he wanted to treat us to some coffee and to sit and talk more! Bus stop to coffee shop! I love it!

Coffee Shop

We sat down and began to talk for a bit. Before long he explained to us that he had recently talked to his pastor and asked, “If I follow the theory of Christianity and the principles of Jesus and his teaching, what will happen to my soul when I die?” His question was not simply a theological test for his pastor; his question was sincere and he was concered about his soul. His pastor told him that he would get back to him with the solution (sometime in the next week or so). He told us, “I know my body will go into the ground, but what about my soul?” I was stunned. I have not met too many people at the bus stops who seem to be truly concerned about the state of their souls. I was (and I am) really thankful to the Lord for orchestrating this meeting. I told him, “Do you want the answer which is small in length, medium, medium to large or large?” He looked at the clock. Seeing it was almost 9 PM, he needed to go and get milk before a neighbouring grocery store closed. Accordingly, he went to go get his milk. While he left, Phil and I stayed put with his stuff. We prayed for the Lord to help us. I was a little troubled – where do I start? Matthew 25 came to my mind. This passage is the clearest passage which I know of which clearly spells out eteral life and eternal punishment (thus, telling us about our soul). Then he came back and our conversation resumed. We studied the Bible for well over an hour!

I gave him a New Testament which we hand out for free. We started in Matthew 25. Phil was our public reader. He would read the Scriptures aloud as my friend and I followed along in our Bibles. After the reading of each portion, we would go back and study it, interacting with it and talking about the meaning of the text. We read Matthew 25:31-46. Conclusion: the condition of our soul will depend on whether we are righteous or cursed. The righteous go into eternal life and the cursed (non-righteous) go into eternal punishment. Out of curiosity, I asked him, “is there an emphasis on explaining and teaching the Bible at your church?” He said, “no.” I encouraged him to come to our church where the Bible is explained and taught. I told him how important it is to better understand the Bible, for it is the very Word of God.

After that, we looked at Luke 18:9-14. We spent a while studying this passage. I tried to teach that there are two kinds of people in this passage – (1) those who believe not only in the need for God’s grace, but who also “trusted in themselves,” and (2) those who rely completely on God’s mercy and do NOT trust in themselves at all. He seemed to understand the point of the parable; however, he was not identifying himself with the Pharisee. I find this to be the greatest problem with most of us . . . we do not realize the we really are the Pharisee; even though our self-righteousness is not nearly as blatant, we really do tend to believe that our performance counts for at least something (even in a little bit) when it comes to gaining God’s acceptance.

Phil also directed us to John 11:17-27. We looked at how Jesus is the resurrection and the life. We spent quite a bit of time in Romans 3:9-26, especially 3:19-20. He seemed to understand that we are all guilty before God. I think we also looked at the standards of Jesus in Matthew 5-7, that we cannot even lust after a woman (5:27-28) and that we must be perfect (5:48). I tried to explain Jesus’ subsitutionary life for all who believe, and his substutionary death for all who believe. The major point of concern seemed to be his apparent misunderstanding of faith alone in Christ alone which results in works vs. faith in Christ + works for Christ in order to gain God’s acceptance.

Phil directed us to Hebrews 9:11-28, and he explained the sufficiency of Christ’s work, specifically in his sacrificial death. I cannot remember where we studied after that, but we kept talking about the sinfulness of man and the sufficiency of Christ’s work. Whatever the case, we helped him carry his groceries as we walked him home. On the way home, he made mention of the “theory of Christianity.” We took time to passionately emphasize the Christianity is centered in the person of Jesus Christ who has risen and is alive. I explained that Christianity is not simply as system of principles to believe, but a real relationship with Jesus Christ.  I referred to John 17:3, telling him, “this is eternal life, that you know the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom he has sent.” When he got to his place, he invited us in and we watched a video of him performing music and dance for a Christmas festival (he is certainly talented!). Thereafter Phil and I both prayed for him. We encouraged him to come to church in the morning.

Church

Guess what! He came to church! I was delighted to see him again. He really enjoyed the teaching. The saints welcomed him with much love. Georgie (my fiance) and I took him out for lunch and at we had a great dialogue again Sunday afternoon. Again, we talked about God’s standards and the Gospel. Georgie mentioned that it is not our performance that gets us right with God (or keeps us right with God). She emphasized that it is Christ’s work that seals our standing with God.

He wanted to know about hypocrites who say that they have faith but do not have works. He was convinced that they have no right to assurance. Georgie and I agreed that those people to do not have real faith (cf. James 2); however, works do not equal saving faith. An important distinction is the following: are our works simply the result of genuine faith (which is faith alone in Christ alone), OR  do we believe that our works somehow contribute, in conjunction with Christ’s work, to make us right with God?

If someone is trusting in their works to help gain God’s acceptance, they ought to take these words to heart: “you are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace” (Galatians 5:4). Now, of course, the Galatians did not think they were saved by works of the law alone; they believed in Jesus and knew that Jesus was the Messiah. However, they started to think that trusting in his work alone was not sufficient. They started to believe that they must obey certain parts of OT law in order to help make themselves fully acceptable to God (to be a full/real son of Abraham). However, notice what Paul says, if you want your works to count at all, you are “obligated to keep the whole law” (Galatians 5:3). So, for God, you must trust in Christ alone; if you don’t, you will be judged according on your own performance (Christ’s work does not count for you).

Near the end of our discussion he indicated that though he knows he is a sinner, he does not think he deserves eternal punishment. Thus, I spent a while sharing about the holiness of God, referring to Isaiah 6, 1 John 1:5 and especially Genesis 3. Thereafter, I asked, “In the courtroom of heaven, if you were to die today, do you think you will be innocent or guilty?” He said, “A little bit of both.”

I am thankful to God for all the time we spent together. He is a very friendly man. I am really hoping that he will keep coming to the church to hear the Bible expounded clearly. I am also hoping and praying that God would open his eyes to see that, like me (and like all of us), he deserves eternal punishment, so that in believing so, he may beat his chest and cry out to Jesus, “Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner.” I also gave him the option of doing Bible studies together. We will see how the Lord leads. Praise God for this amazing weekend! You never know where bus stop evangelism may lead!