But this time, no "open air" style preaching. Thank the Lord! I was way too nervous to do it any more, but I didn't have to today. I think the Lord knows our limits. :)
Today, though, as I missed the train I wanted to catch, I talked to a young man at the top of the first flight of steps. He acknowledged his sin and his just punishment, then I shared with him the Good News. Amazing how easy it was...since I'd been preaching to about 10-15 hostile people three times in two days!
Once on top, since the train has some time left, I asked an older man about death. He stopped me when I pressed for an answer about what to call someone who tells lies. He said he knew where I was going with that and that he would "get back to me." I'll probably never see him again, so I told him to check out needgod.com.
Then, with plenty of time still remaining, I talked to another young man. When we got to the part about repentance, he asked me, "Is repentance hard?" I had to answer truthfully, "Well, yes." Then I told him that you have to weigh your options. Do you really want to go to hell for all eternity over something that passes away so quickly?
After we boarded the train, I knew everyone was going to hear me, so I said to him more loudly than necessary (I remained standing while he sat down), "Is it hard to repent? Yes. But you have to think, do you really want to face God in your sins on Judgment Day? I know I don't. I mean, He said that He's got a special place for liars in the Lake of Fire. So..." [I forgot what I said next.]
Then later in the ride, I asked another man about death. I noticed the lady sitting behind him put on her headphones with a very disgusted look on her face. I assume that she was on the train for one of my sermons. Hehehehe.
He said he knew the truth, and he talked a good game. But what I forgot to ask him, or didn't get to, was why he didn't ask me that question!
You see, Jesus said, "Lift up your eyes! For behold the fields are white unto harvest! Truly the harvest is plenteous, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray ye the Lord of the harvest that He might send more laborers into the field." My whole point in relating all ths to you is to share with you that you can do it! If you are a Christian--if you have found everlasting life--if you have been snatched from the Jaws of Hell to the safety of the Savior's Hand--then you need to be telling other people about Jesus, too. There are a lot of people who will perish because no one spoke up. Will their blood be on your hands?
I still didn't get the courage to preach tonight, so to console myself, I went for the security guard who was standing on the platform when I got off the train. We argued for a long time about whether a person is a liar who tells one lie, or a thief who steals one small thing. Finally I told him that Jesus said that God will judge every idle word that we speak and every evil thought that we have and every little sin that we do. I also told him that what we think are little sins, God avenges with a Holy Wrath.
He objected, "What about God's forgiveness?" But if God is love, and He loves all, then He's gonna avenge everybody for the wrongs that everybody has done, both small and great. Why should God forgive you?
Then someone who was apparently a Christian came up and gave the Gospel to a person who had not humbled himself before a Holy God. I was furious, but I know he did it out of ignorance. He's a preacher of the modern Gospel, "Jesus loves you and died for your sins. Now leave your life of selfishness and sin, and follow Jesus." There is no urgency for me to leave my life and follow Jesus if I don't realize that the consequences for my sins are too great to bear.
But as soon as he started describing repentance, I took the conversation back over. "If you confess and forsake your sins, then God can have mercy on you, because your fine has been paid." The guard asked me, "Why did you pick me?" I said, "Because you were the only one of the platform at the time." He said, "Good enough."
Then I went down to the street and saw a guy with a bicycle. The Lord nudged me and I said, "Why not?" and went to ask the man about his biking, etc. I asked him if one of those cars killed you what would happen to you?" He pointed down. I blinked. "You're saying that you'd go to hell? Why would God send you to hell?"
"Because I haven't given Him any other choice." He said he used to know all the Christian lingo, preach it to everybody, etc. He described himself as having been a Pharisee and a scribe sort of Christian. He said that everyone around him had warned that they didn't see the joy that was supposed to be characteristic of Christians, but he didn't worry about it until he realized that he had let all kinds of things come between him and God. I did try to run through the Law with this guy, but there was no point: a humble person needs grace, the Law has already done its work.
I told him to read Romans 1-4, where it clearly talks about the Law and Grace. He said that he thought that people only perished because they didn't know Jesus. I explained to him, the way Ray Comfort does, that when someone jumps from a plane at 25,000 feet without a parachute, they die: is it because they jumped without a parachute? Well, yes, but the primary reason they died is that they "broke" the Law of Gravity (or, rather, were broken by it). He seemed to take this in, and I told him, "God bless you," and I went home.
I realized what Mark Cahill meant when he said that you will find broken "former Christians" on the street. It's a sobering reminder not to just assume that someone is saved, and it's a sobering reminder of the devastating consequences of a false Gospel. If that man had been told the truth when he was younger, I sincerely doubt I would have had to be there for him tonight. But such is life.