Operation 513 London Report (14th May 2010)
The team was back out on Friday evening armed with the Word of God and the strength of the Lord. After meeting for a time of fellowship, devotions and prayer in our favourite cafe we headed into the square. Straight away we noticed that there were some festivities happening and it soon became clear that it was a celebration of Buddha’s birthday. I found this to be particularly interesting.
Andrew stood up first to preach. It’s really great to see him preaching with such boldness and confidence, and with a deep burden on his heart to see people saved. He’s still growing as a preacher but through the Lord’s help I think he’s doing a great job.
I stood up to preach next. Depending on crowd interaction I decided not to preach for too long in one sitting, but instead decided to preach a second time later on. I think this gives the rest of the team a bit more opportunity to get into one-to-one conversations. As it happened I didn’t preach for a second time, as I was engaged in a number of conversations, but I think it’s a good way to go and it’s something I will implement again next week.
During my message I spoke of the fact that there have been many great men through the years and many have accomplished great feats in the eyes of the world. People have been influenced by world leaders, particularly regarding world religions. However, they are all dead. Buddha himself is dead, but Jesus Christ is not dead. He has risen and is alive for evermore, and in Jesus Christ is there freedom from sin and death for all who trust in Him.
After I finished preaching I was pleased to see that the team was involved in conversation with people who had stopped to listen to the preaching. I managed to have a number of conversations throughout the evening.
Rowina and Ayo sharing the Gospel (in the background is a banner that says "Buddha's Birthday")
I spoke with a man named Derek, who is from Trinidad and Tobago. He professed to be a believer so I asked him a few questions regarding his conversion. I asked him if he was saved because of something he has done or because of something God has done for him. I was hoping to hear the latter, but instead he answered with the former. This of course concerned me so I shared the Gospel with him and stressed that salvation is by grace alone and that no amount of good works can save us. I had only a brief time with him but my prayer is that the Lord will impress upon his heart the truth of the Gospel. Do pray for him.
Next I spoke with a young woman from Egypt. She expressed a religious disposition and I surmised that she was Muslim, and although I did not ask her this she told me that she was. As we were talking she mentioned that we were not very different and that Christianity and Islam are very similar. I agreed with her that there are some similarities but I also stressed that there are some fundamental differences. As an example I told her that in Islam a person can earn salvation, whereas according to the Bible it is impossible to earn salvation. This really surprised her and she said that she had never heard this before. As I began to explain to her why this is the case her friends arrived. My window of opportunity had closed, as they all had movie tickets to see a film and needed to head off. I gave them all an in-depth Gospel tract and so do pray with me that they would read it and think upon its message.
Afterwards I spoke with Mohammed, a Muslim gentleman who comes to Leicester Square often to engage in conversation with us. Barney had already been speaking with him and I also noticed that he had a friend with him. We got talking and during our conversation I had to answer a number of false claims that are often made by Muslims. One in particular concerned the notion that the Bible speaks of the coming of Mohammed, who Muslims believe to be the last prophet sent by God. The proof text given for this was Deuteronomy 18:15 which reads: “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen.” Here in this context Moses is talking of a future prophet, and although the identity of this prophet is not confirmed in this verse, later we read in Acts that he is aligned with the Messiah, that is, Jesus Christ (see Acts 3:22-24; 7:37). This verse is most definitely not speaking of Mohammed.
Later on I got to talk with two young men that believe in evolution. We spoke at length about natural selection and I stressed to them that natural selection is incapable of increasing or providing new information for the genome of a cell, which is what is necessary for evolution to be true. We got only so far in our conversation and as time was getting on I asked if they would like to continue the conversation through email. They agreed and so do pray that I would be able to continue to reason with them concerning the truth of God’s Word.
We all had some great opportunities and so praise the Lord for a good night.
Soli Deo Gloria!