Tag Archives: Rejection

Use the Preached Word in Evangelism – 1 Peter 2:1-12

Julian recently preached a Christ exalting message on 1 Peter 2:1-12. In vv 4-8 we learned that everyone gets their identity in relation to Christ. If you believe, you are a living stone, rejected and vindicated (eventually), like Christ. If you do not believe, you reject the stone, or stumble by it. So, as Julian preached, “everyone gets their identity in relationship to him … even unbelievers are still defined in reference to Him.” Julian continued,  “what are you going to do with Jesus?”

Talking with a Skeptic: what are you going to do with Jesus?

My brother Joel asked the young man if he was up for talking about the Gospel while waiting for the bus. He said, “no, I don’t think it’s a good idea” (but with a smirk on his face). I asked,”why do you say that with a smile on your face.” He replied, “Look, my parents forced Catholicism on me …” and this led to a lengthy dialogue about Christ, truth, religion, false Christianity and faith. 

He had many objections and questions – he was quite skeptical of Christianity (and all religions), but he  was willing to listen.  One question struck me: What about you – why did you believe?” I thought hard and told him what happened: “I just found myself believing.” I went on to tell him not only that, but my faith is a reasonable trust. I talked about our need to deal with Jesus Christ. We talked about his resurrection; I argued that true Biblical Christianity best makes sense of the historical figure, Jesus Christ – he rose from the dead and we gotta deal with Him. 

I said, “In church, on Sunday, my pastor said that everyone will be judged by what they make of Christ. Everyone relates to Jesus Christ in some way. Even you, if you say you don’t want to even think about it and look into this, you are making a decision to NOT follow Christ. (He nodded in agreement). What will you do with Jesus? You really need to read the Bible to look into these things. If I wanted to learn about you, I’d go to your friends and family, people who know you best, not someone who lives hundreds of years after you – go to the source. Matthew, who wrote one the Gospels, spent three years with Jesus and he wrote about him.” He agreed that this was the logical way to learn about Jesus, but sadly, when I offered him literature (a little booklet of the Gospel of Luke called The Essential Jesus), he would not take it.

May the Lord use the truth that was spoken to draw him to Christ, especially the word my brother spoke to him: “whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16b). The man had asked us, “What happens to those who believe?”

A Word for Christians

If your faith is in Jesus Christ, you find your identity is in Christ, not your performance, gifts and service. You are defined by Christ, who He is and in the great salvation he has worked for you (His efforts, His performance, His rejection, His vindication = Him) … not the effectiveness or quality of your evangelistic efforts! Praise God that Christ “bore our sins in his body on the tree” (1 Pet 2:24), even our sin of not loving our neighbours by telling them the most important command/Goods News they need to hear. But let us remember: Jesus paid for these sins. There is no condemnation. None. Not even a hint! But oh that we would be holy as He is holy. Unlike OT Israel, may we obey our Saviour in our time of exile as we await the imperishable  inheritance God is keeping for us (1 Pet 1:4)! And may we do the very thing He created us to do: “proclaim the excellencies of him who called [us] out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Pet 2:9). May the “God of all grace” (1 Pet 5:10) give us much of His supply.

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Some Closed Doors

Paul H. was out with me on Saturday. The Lord opened some doors for us to have some good talks. However, there were some closed doors too. I will mention two.

We approached one man who was leaning against the garbage bin as he waited for the bus travelling South on Islington. We approached him and I offered a free coin that has the 10 commandments on it. He refused by simply saying no. I mentioned that we were from the church and he instantly motioned with his hand that he did not want to talk. In a friendly manner, I quickly assured him that we were not trying to sell anything. 

As I was assuring him, he turned his back and walked away with both of his hands in the air. He walked about twenty feet or so, stopped, and stood with his back toward us. As he walking away, in a friendly manner I said something . . . something to the effect of, “Come on, what about friendliness – we’re in Canada.” I do not know why I said this. I would not necessarily recommend making comments like that when people turn (as he did). Whatever the case – that is what happened. That is a closed door ( for now) – pretty normal stuff that I encounter at bus stops (normal in the sense it is not unusual . . . it happens every now and again).

Later on we were talking to a lady from Vietnam. Her English was not great, but she was willing to talk. Paul H. started talking with her. Beside her was another man waiting for the bus. He was too close not to overhear our conversation, thus, I took a couple of steps and offered him a coin. He refused and with a big smile on his face he said, “No English, I do not speak English.” Since he said that with great clarity (and in English), with a smile I said, “You speak English.” Interestingly, he understood me and again, with a smile he said, “No English, I do not speak English.” We went back and forth for a bit. Finally, I said, “What do you speak?” He said, “No English.” I said “What do you speak? Where are you from? Italy?” There are many Italians in the immediate neighbourhood. He said, “Assyria.” I thought to myself, “Well, I do not Assyrian – I guess we will not be talking.” He seemed very happy that he had an excuse not to talk to me. Who knows – maybe he really hardly speaks any English and thought I looked funny? The Lord knows. Whatever the case – this was another closed door – a common one might I add. I wish I had a tract in Assyrian. I should have one.

I often like sharing the break through conversations that the Lord ordains. Indeed, we had some good conversations on Saturday; however, the purpose of this post is to share some the closed doors that are quite common to bus stop evangelism in Rexdale.

Bus Stop Evangelism: Reflections from John C.

John C. is a friend of mine from Grace Fellowship Church and a recent graduate from Humber College. I have been delighted to have him co-labour with me in the Gospel this summer. He put his graphic design skills to good use by designing the really cool flier which we distributed for our summer kids program (by the way, some totally un-churched people have been attending our church as a result of God’s blessing on that door-to-door work! Praise the Lord!). I am very thankful for his friendship and his servant heart. His reflections show his refreshing transparency and they serve to both encourage and challenge us to spread the Word. Please read his reflections – for your good.

Reflections from John C.  

On Tuesday August 4th I had the opportunity to go out with Paul to do some bus stop evangelism. This was definitely a new experience for me. In the short few hours that we were out God showed me a lot. In my limited experience I have seen that evangelism is not only a great opportunity to share the gospel with others, but that it simultaneously reveals a lot about our own hearts and the securities we try to rely on. Caring about what the world thinks is surely a stumbling block for effective evangelism. By God’s grace he revealed how much I fear the opinion of man. However, keeping in perspective the grave future of those who do not hear and accept the call of Christ really helped me to understand my purpose as a messenger of Christ. During the two hours we were out, many people either refused to talk to us or they rejected what we said. Their rejection was caused by their refusal to part with their own works righteousness. Thankfully, by God’s grace, there was one young man in particular that seemed very interested in talking about Christ. Like many kids his age (early teens) he had lots of questions. For example, he was unsure of how one could know the Bible was true, and whether or not Jesus was real. It was such an encouragement when he let the bus pass so he could continue to talk with us. Through the conversation it became clear that this message of the Gospel was much different from what his Catholic mother had taught him. There is so much confusion surrounding Christianity, especially considering the fact that much of the world perceives Roman Catholicism to be Christianity.

This brief encounter was a great example of how Satan twists truth in order to turn entire nations away from God through false religion. This sad reality emphasises the need for us, as believers, to go out and tell all people about Christ – and in doing so, reveal the lies that so many people put their hope in. Praise God for his grace in our lives, and for the work of evangelism in the city of Toronto!