CANSA Relay Evangelism Outreach

The Repent and Believe South Africa ministry was sent an email by Allan Angus of Run Walk for Life Pietermaritzburg, who located the email address from the world wide web. This was taken as a sign of an open-door provided by God to go and minister to souls. Proverbs 16:9 ~ A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. The content of the said email read as follows:

CANSA Run Walk for Life E-mail

On Monday evening, September 24, 2013, Gary Crous and Nhlanhla Ndlovu attended at the CANSA Relay event for about six hours. We handed out the “Are You Ready?” Gospel tracts, carried a wooden cross asking the same pertinent question  and Gary had many conversations with those present, some short and some long. What was really distressing is the amount of people that discount the Holy Bible as the Word of God – religious dogmatists, agnostics and even some professing christians who downplay the Word of God or disregard parts of it or the whole to fit their own dogma!

What was alarming to us, as this was an event visited for the first time, was that there are some Christians that are involved in some measure with the event and even some survivors of cancer, who appeared to maintain silence to some degree and did not stand solely upon the Word of God and therefore allowed ecumenism to creep in, with the mentality that all religious-roads allow the worshipping of an all encompassing “God” that all can pray to and it will be fine with one’s soul. That is a god of one’s own choosing which is idolatry. However, the God of Creation, YHVH – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob – said, “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us (Isaiah 33:22). The Holy Bible stands on its own and is a Lion that will defend itself. It is God’s prophetic history book that confirms itself and never contradicts, and although a lengthy discussion was held with a Hari Krishna devotee (who incidentally was raised in a ‘christian’ home and de-converted from the faith, who knows quiet a bit about the Bible, but not the Author) he was found to be one that says there is much more to the Bible with his belief in the writings of man-centred religion. What men, women and children attending the CANSA Relay must understand is that if one does not hold to the True God and Jesus Christ, they will have no “HOPE” as proclaimed on the banner over the start-finish line!

What was striking is that before the relay got underway, a ceremony was conducted with a speech from the Mayor of Pietermaritzburg, the organisers’ address, laps of honour for “survivors of cancer” and their caregivers / minders, the lighting of the candles in the luminary bags that formed two ‘circles’ of light around the circuit the runners / walkers would be doing their laps and a testimony by one of the survivors of cancer, named Lollie (hope it is right). Prior to her testimony, Lollie had actually come up to Gary who was carrying the “Are You Ready” cross and asked what the inscription of Luke 9:23 says. It reads as follows:

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Dear Lollie told me that she would be ending off the reading of her testimony with the following portion of Scripture, even saying her faith is Christian; that of Psalm 121. The full Scripture is quoted for context as she ended off with words to the effect of (not verbatim) “we all pray to God and it doesn’t matter what our creed or religious beliefs are, keep praying” – which is contradictory to the Word of God and therefore left all religious persons with a false hope – not everyone believes in the God of Israel, as we read:

Psa 121:1 A Song of degrees. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

Psa 121:2 My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.

Psa 121:3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

Psa 121:4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

Psa 121:5 The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.

Psa 121:6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

Psa 121:7 The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

Psa 121:8 The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

We were then told to turn around and look at the lighted luminary bags that surrounded the circuit. It was sobering as I looked at the flickering candle lights and thought to myself that each light represented a soul that had passed on into eternity, and that each light was natural light that can be snuffed out at any given time and yet the people present would “celebrate” in remembrance those who had lost the battle of cancer and passed away with artificial light. As I looked at these lights I thought how many of these souls had passed into eternity without the redemptive work of God’s only begotten Son the Lord Jesus Christ. I thought how many of these souls trusted in religious practices that have not saved their souls and that they are now lost for all eternity in hell awaiting Judgment Day. Other thoughts that passed through my mind were, why would people come and run / walk for a cause that cannot truly heal cancer victims? Money is raised to help the natural body, but why are the people so silent in warning about spiritual death that has eternal consequences? Why do those present who know God through His Son Jesus Christ not share the true hope and boldly proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ? For we read in Romans 8:22-25, as it is written:

Rom 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

Rom 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

Rom 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

Rom 8:25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

I then reflected on the following as a springboard to Gospel tract distribution and witnessing: There is a more serious disease that affects each and every person other than cancer. What is it? It is the disease called sin! Victims of cancer, HIV/Aids, TB, and any other life threatening disease can be treated or cured from it with natural medication and a miracle-healing from God, but with sin one needs spiritual healing which is the greatest miracle – making a spiritually dead person a spiritually new creation. Nothing else will do. That is why a person has to be spiritually born again from God (see John 3:3) in order to have the curse of sin taken care of. If a person dies spiritually dead, it does not matter how healthy the person was physically, but the consequence of the sin will be a payment for one’s rebellion against God Almighty! We read in Romans 6:23 ~

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

That is the true hope. One must be born again spiritually and that is the gift of God through the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no reincarnation with God – coming back in another higher or lower form either as a human or an animal. We read in Scripture ~ All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds (1 Corinthians 15:39). It also applies to the various man-made caste systems that go contrary to God’s way. Scripture also tells us that: And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27, my emphasis).

We are all sinners headed for an eternity in hell, unless we repent and believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Followers of the Lord Jesus Christ are to be His ambassadors to call men, women and children to repentance. God does not wish that any should perish and therefore we should warn people if we truly love God and our neighbours that they are headed for hell in their present condition before a Holy God! The way to show them their spiritual condition before God and their need of a Saviour to redeem them by justification is to use the law of God as a spiritual mirror to see themselves how God sees them in Truth. Galatians 3:24 reads: Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Check against the Ten Commandments (see Exodus 20:1-17) (Please take the “Good person test“) how you would fare on the Day of Judgment or the day you die. 1 Corinthians 6:9,10 also reads:

1Cor 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

1Cor 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

God being a Holy, Perfect and Righteous God, will give perfect justice to all rebellious and disobedient sinners. God has made one way for His created beings to be reconciled back to Himself from their fallen sinful condition, to find peace with their Creator and that is through the redemptive work of His only begotten Son the Lord Jesus Christ.

God manifest as God the Son, Jesus Christ, when He revealed Himself in fulfilment of prophecies (see Genesis 3:15, 12:3, 49:10; Isaiah 9:6,7; Micah 5:2; Daniel 9:25; Isaiah 7:4; Psalm 2:7) and took on human flesh (see John 1:1, 14;), “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son made of a woman, made under the law” (Galatians 4:4). We also read in 1 Timothy 3:16, as it is written:

1Tim 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

God tells us that the only way to be forgiven of one’s sins is through the finished work of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ through His crucifixion, burial, resurrection and ascension into heaven, where He now sits at the right hand of the throne of God. We also read in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, as it is written:

1Cor 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

1Cor 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

1Cor 15:5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

1Cor 15:6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

1Cor 15:7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

1Cor 15:8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

Jesus gave the full account why a man must be born again and why the Son of God had to come to this world as we read in full context from John 3:1-21, as it is written:

Joh 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:

Joh 3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Joh 3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Joh 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Joh 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Joh 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Joh 3:9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?

Joh 3:10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

Joh 3:11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.

Joh 3:12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

Joh 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

Joh 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

Joh 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Joh 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

Joh 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

What people need is not artificial light in remembrance of lost loved ones. Who they need to have is the “I am the Light of the world” revealed to them before they die. And this is the account of the True Light as is read in John 8:12-19, as it is written:

Joh 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Joh 8:13 The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.

Joh 8:14 Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.

Joh 8:15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.

Joh 8:16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.

Joh 8:17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.

Joh 8:18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.

Joh 8:19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.

The Lord Jesus Christ also claimed exclusivity in the preaching of His Gospel and that salvation is only through Him. These are the Lord Jesus Christ’s claims:

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

John 11:26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

If a person does not believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, you will die in your sin. And therefore you will go to the Day of Judgment condemned already (see John 3:18, 36). This is the Great White Throne Judgment in the book of The Revelation of Jesus Christ:

Rev 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Know this, every knee will bow to the Lord Jesus Christ and every tongue will confess to God that He is King of kings and Lord of lords as it is also written in Philippians:

Php 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Php 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

Php 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Friend, the Lord Jesus Christ is truly your only hope. Repent today and call upon the name of Jesus to be saved.

SOLI DEO GLORIA

_______________________

P.S. Please share this with all on your CANSA and Run Walk for Life mailing lists.

P.S.S. I also take this opportunity to repent for not staying the full course of the event and not open-air preaching as there were many more souls that needed to hear the Good News of Salvation through a just and loving God. Lord, please forgive me.

* Post amended including two links on 26 September 2013.

Last Call

Act 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

 

Practical Street Preaching

On Saturday August 17, 2013, Nhlanhla, Jono and Gary went down to Voortrekker High School where the finishing line of The Weekend Witness Capital Climb marathon would end, and we handed out much Gospel Scripture portions and engaged some people in the Law and the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ speaking of God’s Holiness, Justice and Mercy. And some were offended again! Well, that is what The Word of God does, praise Jesus!

Later, Nhlanhla and Gary returned to the CBD outside the Pietermaritzburg City Hall where there is presently road construction going on that funnels people through a narrow walkway and alongside the Saturday Flea-market that is set up behind the preachers in the Carbineer’s Garden of Remembrance. This would be an ideal place to encourage Nhlanhla to take a step of faith to overcome fear of man and read Scripture for the first time in a public environment.

The day’s reading was taken from Mark 10:46-52 which reads as follows:

Mark 10:46 And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.

Mark 10:47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

Mark 10:48 And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

Mark 10:49 And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.

Mark 10:50 And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.

Mark 10:51 And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.

Mark 10:52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

Here is the video of Nhlanhla’s Scripture reading and Gary’s preaching and we do request that you take caution as there is some cussing at the preaching of The Word by a blaspheming idol worshipper.

The portion of Scripture that offended was reference to Psalm 115:1-8 (in context) that reads as follows:

Psa 115:1 Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.

Psa 115:2 Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God?

Psa 115:3 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.

Psa 115:4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.

Psa 115:5 They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not:

Psa 115:6 They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:

Psa 115:7 They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.

Psa 115:8 They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.

SOLI DEO GLORIA

Open-air Preaching

A SKETCH OF ITS HISTORY AND REMARKS THEREON

By Charles H. Spurgeon

GHSTHERE ARE some customs for which nothing can be pleaded, except that they are very old. In such cases antiquity is of no more value than the rust upon a counterfeit coin. It is, however, a happy circumstance when the usage of ages can be pleaded for a really good and Scriptural practice, for it invests it with a halo of reverence. Now, it can be argued, with small fear of refutation, that openair preaching is as old as preaching itself. We are at full liberty to believe that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, when he prophesied, asked for no better pulpit than the hillside, and that Noah, as a preacher of righteousness, was willing to reason with his contemporaries in the shipyard wherein his marvelous ark was builded.

Certainly, Moses and Joshua found their most convenient place for addressing vast assemblies beneath the unpillared arch of heaven. Samuel closed a sermon in the field of Gilgal amid thunder and rain, by which the Lord rebuked the people and drove them to their knees. Elijah stood on Carmel, and challenged the vacillating nation with “How long halt ye between two opinions?”

Jonah, whose spirit was somewhat similar, lifted up his cry of warning in the streets of Nineveh, and in all her places of concourse gave forth the warning utterance, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” To hear Ezra and Nehemiah “all the people gathered themselves to “ether as one man into the street that was before the water gate.” Indeed, we find examples of open-air preaching everywhere around us in the records of the Old Testament.

It may suffice us, however, to go back as far as the origin of our own holy faith, and there we hear the forerunner of the Saviour crying in the wilderness and lifting up his voice from the river’s bank. Our Lord Himself, who is yet more our pattern, delivered the larger portion of His sermons on the mountain’s side, or by the seashore, or in the streets. Our Lord was to all intents and purposes an openair preacher. He did not remain silent in the synagogue, but He was equally at home in the field. We have no discourse of His on record delivered in the chapel royal, but we have the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon in the Plain; so that the very earliest and most divine kind of preaching was practiced out-of-doors by Him who spake as never man spake.

There were gatherings of His disciples after His decease, within walls, especially that in the upper room; but the preaching was even then most frequently in the court of the Temple, or in such other open spaces as were available. The notion of holy places and consecrated meetinghouses had not occurred to them as Christians; they preached in the Temple, or in such other open spaces as were available. but with equal earnestness “in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.”

It would be very easy to prove that revivals of religion have usually been accompanied, if not caused, by a considerable amount of preaching out-of-doors, or in unusual places. The first avowed preaching of Protestant doctrine was almost necessarily in the open air, or in buildings which were not dedicated to worship, for these were in the hands of the papacy. True, Wycliffe for a while preached the Gospel in the church at Lutterworth; Huss and Jerome and Savonarola for a time delivered semi-Gospel addresses in connection with the ecclesiastical arrangements around them; but when they began more fully to know and proclaim the Gospel, they were driven to find other platforms.

The Reformation when yet a babe was like the new-born Christ, and had not where to lay its head, but aOpen-air 1 company of men comparable to the heavenly host proclaimed it under the open heavens, where shepherds and common people heard them gladly. Throughout England we have several trees remaining called “gospel oaks.” There is one spot on the other side of the Thames known by the name of “Gospel Oak,” and I have myself preached at Addlestone, in Surrey, under the far-spreading boughs of an ancient oak, beneath which John Knox is said to have proclaimed the Gospel during his sojourn in England. Full many a wild moor and lone hillside and secret spot in the forest have been consecrated in the same fashion, and traditions still linger over caves and dells and hilltops where of old time the bands of the faithful met to hear the Word of the Lord.

It would be an interesting task to prepare a volume of notable facts connected with open-air preaching, or, better still, a consecutive history of it. I have no time for even a complete outline, but would simply ask you, where would the Reformation have been if its great preachers had confined themselves to churches and cathedrals ? How would the common people have become indoctrinated with the Gospel had it not been for those far-wandering evangelists, the colporteurs, and those daring innovators who found a pulpit on every heap of stones, and an audience chamber in every open space near the abodes of men?

All through the Puritan times there were gatherings in all sorts of out-of-the-way places, for fear of persecutors. “We took,” says Archbishop Laud, in a letter dated Fulham, June, 1632, “another conventicle of separatists in Newington Woods, in the very brake where the king’s stag was to be lodged, for his hunting next morning.” A hollow or gravelpit on Hounslow Heath sometimes served as a conventicle, and there is a dell near Hitchin where John Bunyan was wont to preach in perilous times. All over Scotland the straths and dells and vales and hillsides are full of covenanting memories to this day. You will not fail to meet with rock pulpits whence the stern fathers of the Presbyterian church thundered forth their denunciations of Erastianism, and pleaded the claims of the King of kings. Cargill and Cameron and their fellows found congenial scenes for their brave ministries amid the mountains’ lone rents and ravines.

What the world would have been if there had not been preaching outside of walls, and beneath a more glorious roof than these rafters of fir, I am sure I cannot guess. It was a brave day for England when Whitefield began field-preaching. When Wesley stood and preached a sermon on his father’s grave, at Epworth, because the parish priest would not allow him admission within the (so-called) sacred edifice, Mr. Wesley writes: “I am well assured that I did far more good to my Lincolnshire parishioners by preaching three days on my father’s tomb than I did by preaching three years in his pulpit.”

Wesley writes in his journal, “Saturday, 31 March, 1731. In the evening I reached Bristol, and met Mr. Whitefield there. I could scarce reconcile myself at first to this strange way of preaching in the fields, of which he set me an example on Sunday; having been all my life (till very lately) so tenacious of every point relating to decency and order, that I should have thought the saving of souls almost a sin, if it had not been done in a church.” Such were the feelings of a man who in after life became one of the greatest open-air preachers that ever lived!

Open-air 2Once recommenced, the fruitful agency of field-preaching was not allowed to cease. Amid jeering crowds and showers of rotten eggs and filth, the immediate followers of the two great Methodists continued to storm village after village and town after town. Very varied w ere their adventures, but their success was generally great. One smiles often when reading incidents in their labors. A string of pack horses is so driven as to break up a congregation, and a fire engine is brought out and played over the throng to achieve the same purpose. Hand-bells, old kettles, marrowbones and cleavers, trumpets, drums, and entire bands of music were engaged to drown the preachers’ voices.

In one case the parish bull was let loose, and in others dogs were set to fight. The preachers needed to have faces set like flints, and so indeed they had. John Furz says: “As soon as I began to preach, a man came straight forward, and presented a gun at my face; swearing that he would blow my brains out, if I spake another word. However, I continued speaking, and he continued swearing, sometimes putting the muzzle of the gun to my mouth, sometimes against my ear. While we were singing the last hymn, he got behind me, fired the gun, and burned off part of my hair.

After this, my brethren, we ought never to speak of petty interruptions or annoyances. The proximity of a blunderbuss in the hands of a son of Belial is not very conducive to collected thought and clear utterance, but the experience of Furz was probably no worse than that of John Nelson, who coolly says, “But when I was in the middle of my discourse, one at the ouside of the congregation threw a stone, which cut me on the head: however that made the people give greater attention, especially when they saw the blood run down my face; so that all was quiet till I had done, and was singing a hymn.”

I have no time further to illustrate my subject by descriptions of the work of Christmas Evans and others in Wales, or of the Haldanes in Scotland, or even of Rowland Hill and his brethren in England. If you wish to pursue the subject these names may serve as hints for discovering abundant material; and I may add to the list The Life of Dr. Guthrie, in which he records notable open-air assemblies at the time of the Disruption, when as yet the Free Church had no places of worship built with human hands.

I must linger a moment over Robert Flockhart of Edinburgh, who, though a lesser light, was a constant one, and a fit example to the bulk of Christ’s street witnesses. Every evening, in all weathers and amid many persecutions, did this brave man continue to speak in the street for forty-three years. Think of that, and never be discouraged. When he was tottering to the grave the old soldier was still at his post. “Compassion to the souls of men drove me,” said he, “to the streets and lanes of my native city, to plead with sinners and persuade them to come to Jesus. The love of Christ constrained me.”

Neither the hostility of the police, nor the insults of papists, Unitarians, and the like could move him; he rebuked error in the plainest terms, and preached salvation by grace with all his might. So lately has he passed away that Edinburgh remembers him still. There is room for such in all our cities and towns, and need for hundreds of his noble order in this huge nation of London—can I call it less?

No sort of defense is needed for preaching out-of-doors; but it would need very potent arguments to prove that a man had done his duty who has never preached beyond the walls of his meetinghouse. A defense is required rather for services within buildings than for worship outside of them. Apologies are certainly wanted for architects who pile up brick and stone into the skies when there is so much need for preaching rooms among poor sinners down below. Defense is greatly needed for forests of stone pillars, which prevent the preacher from being seen and his voice from being heard; for high-pitched Gothic roofs in which all sound is lost, and men are killed by being compelled to shout till they burst their blood-vessels; and also for the willful creation of echoes by exposing hard, sound-refracting surfaces to satisfy the demands of art, to the total overlooking of the comfort of both audience and speaker.

Surely also some decent excuse is badly wanted for those childish people who must needs waste moneyOpen-air 4 in placing hobgoblins and monsters on the outside of their preaching houses, and must have other ridiculous pieces of popery stuck up both inside and outside, to deface rather than to adorn their churches and chapels: but no defense whatever is wanted for using the Heavenly Father’s vast audience chamber, which is in every way so well fitted for the proclamation of a Gospel so free, so full, so expansive, so sublime.

The great benefit of open-air preaching is that we get so many newcomers to hear the Gospel who otherwise would never hear it. The Gospel command is, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” but it is so little obeyed that one would imagine that it ran thus, “Go into your own place of worship and preach the Gospel to the few creatures who will come inside.” “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in”— albeit it constitutes part of a parable, is worthy to be taken very literally, and in so doing its meaning will be best carried out.

We ought actually to go into the streets and lanes and highways, for there are lurkers in the hedges, tramps on the highways, street-walkers and lane-haunters, whom we shall never reach unless we pursue them into their own domains. Sportsmen must not stop at home and wait for the birds to come and be shot at, neither must fishermen throw their nets inside their boats and hope to take many fish. Traders go to the markets; they follow their customers and go out after business if it will not come to them; and so must we. Some of our brethren are prosing on and on to empty pews and musty hassocks, while they might be conferring lasting benefit upon hundreds by quitting the old walls for a while, and seeking living stones for Jesus.

I am quite sure, too, that if we could persuade our friends in the country to come out a good many times in the year and hold a service in a meadow, or in a shady grove, or on the hillside, or in a garden, or on a common, it would be all the ketter f or the usual hearers. The mere novelty of the place would freshen their interest, and wake them up. The slight change of scene would have a wonderful effect upon the more somnolent. See how mechanically they move into their usual place of worship, and how mechanically they go out again. They fall into their seats as if at last they had found a resting place; they rise to sing with an amazing effort, and they drop down before you have time for the doxology at the close of the hymn because they did not notice it was coming.

What logs some regular hearers are! Many of them are asleep with their eyes open. After sitting a certain number of years in the same old spot, where the pews, pulpit, galleries, and all things else are always the same, except that they get a little dirtier and dingier every week, where everybody occupies the same position forever and forevermore, and the minister’s face, voice, tone are much the same from January to December -you get to feel the holy quiet of the scene and listen to what is going on as though it were addressed to “the dull cold ear of Death.”

As a miller hears his wheels as though he did not hear them, or a stoker scarcely notices the clatter of his engine after enduring it for a little time, or as a dweller in London never notices the ceaseless grind of the traffic; so do many members of our congregations become insensible to the most earnest addresses, and accept them as a matter of course. The preaching and the rest of it get to be so usual that they might as well not be at all. Hence a change of place might be useful; it might prevent monotony, shake up indifference, suggest thought, and in a thousand ways promote attention and give new hope of doing good. A great fire which should burn some of our chapels to the ground might not be the greatest calamity which has ever occurred, if it only aroused some of those rivals of the seven sleepers of Ephesus who will never be moved so long as the old house and the old pews hold together.

Besides, the fresh air and plenty of it is a grand thing for every mortal man, woman and child. I preached in Scotland twice on a Sabbath day at Blairmore, on a little height by the side of the sea, and after discoursing with all my might to large congregations, to be counted by thousands, I did not feel onehalf so much exhausted as I often am when addressing a few hundreds in some horrible black hole of Calcutta, called a chapel. I trace my freshness and freedom from lassitude at Blairmore to the fact that the windows could not be shut down by persons afraid of drafts, and that the roof was as high as the heavens are above the earth. My conviction is that a man could preach three or four times on a Sabbath out-of-doors with less fatigue than would be occasioned by one discourse delivered in an impure atmosphere, heated and poisoned by human breath, and carefully preserved from every refreshing infusion of natural air.

I once preached a sermon in the open air in haying time during a violent storm of rain. The text was, “He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth,” and surely we had the blessing as well as the inconvenience. I was sufficiently wet, and my congregation must have been drenched, but they stood it out, and I never heard that anybody was the worse in health, though, I thank God, I have heard of souls brought to Jesus under that discourse. Once in a while, and under strong excitement, such things do no one any harm, but we are not to expect miracles, nor wantonly venture upon a course of procedure which might kill the sickly and lay the foundations of disease in the strong.

Do not try to preach against the wind, for it is an idle attempt. You may hurl your voice a short distance by an amazing effort, but you cannot be well heard even by the few. I do not often advise you to consider which way the wind blows, but on this occasion I urge you to do it, or you will labor in vain. Preach so that the wind carries your voice toward the people, and does not blow it down your throat, or you will have to eat your own words.

There is no telling how far a man may be heard with the wind. In certain atmospheres and climates, as for instance in that of Palestine, persons might be heard for several miles; and single sentences of wellknown speech may in England be recognized a long way off, but I should gravely doubt a man if he asserted that he understood a new sentence beyond the distance of a mile. Whitefield is reported to have been heard a mile, and I have been myself assured that I was heard for that distance, but I am somewhat skeptical. Half a mile is surely enough, even with the wind, but you must make sure of that to be heard at all.

Heroes of the Cross -here is a field for you more glorious than the Cid ever beheld when with his brave right arm he smote the paynim hosts. “Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom?” Who will enable us to win these slums and dens for Jesus ? Who can do it but the Lord? Soldiers of Christ who venture into these regions must expect a revival of the practices of the good old times, so far as brickbats are concerned, and I have known a flowerpot to fall accidentally from an upper window in a remarkably slanting direction. Still, if we are born to be drowned we shall not be killed by flowerpots.

imagesCAWFJZUYUnder such treatment it may be refreshing to read what Christopher Hopper wrote under similar conditions more than a hundred years ago. “I did not much regard a little dirt, a few rotten eggs, the sound of a cow’s horn, the noise of bells, or a few snowballs in their season; but sometimes I was saluted with blows, stones, brickbats, and bludgeons. These I did not well like: they were not pleasing to flesh and blood. I sometimes lost a little skin, and once a little blood, which was drawn from my forehead with a sharp stone. I wore a patch for a few days, and was not ashamed; I gloried in the cross. And when my small sufferings abounded for the sake of Christ, my comfort abounded much more. I never was more happy in my own soul, or blessed in my labors.”

I am somewhat pleased when I occasionally hear of a brother’s being locked up by the police, for it does him good, and it does the people good also. It is a fine sight to see the minister of the Gospel marched off by the servant of the law! It excites sympathy for him, and the next step is sympathy for his message. Many who felt no interest in him before are eager to hear him when he is ordered to 1eave off, and still more so when he is taken to the station. The vilest of mankind respect a man who gets into trouble in order to do them good, and if they see unfair opposition excited they grow quite zealous in the man’s defense.

As to style in preaching out-of-doors, it should certainly be very different from much of that which prevails within, and perhaps if a speaker were to acquire a style fully adapted to a street audience, he would be wise to bring it indoors with him. A great deal of sermonizing may be defined as saying nothing at extreme length; but out-of-doors verbosity is not admired; you must say something and have done with it and go on to say something more, or your hearers will let you know.

“Now then,” cries a street critic, “let us have it, old fellow.” Or else the observation is made, “Now then, pitch it out! You’d better go home and learn your lesson.” “Cut It short, old boy,” is a very common admonition, and I wish the presenters of this advice gratis could let it be heard inside Ebenezer and Zoar and some other places sacred to long-winded orations. Where these outspoken criticisms are not employed, the hearers rebuke prosiness by quietly walking away. Very unpleasant this, to find your congregation dispersing, but a very plain intimation that your ideas are also much dispersed.

In the street, a man must keep himself alive, and use many illustrations and anecdotes, and sprinkle a quaint remark here and there. To dwell long on a point will never do. Reasoning must be brief, clear, and soon done with. The discourse must not be labored or involved, neither must the second head depend upon the first, for the audience is a changing one, and each point must be complete in itself. The chain of thought must be taken to pieces’ and each link melted down and turned into bullets: you will need not so much Saladin’s saber to cut through a muslin handkerchief as Coeur de Lion’s battle-axe to break a bar of iron. Come to the point at once, and come there with all your might.

Short sentences of words and short passages of thought are needed for out-of-doors. Long paragraphs and long arguments had better be reserved for other occasions. In quiet country crowds there is much force in an eloquent silence, now and then interjected; it gives people time to breathe, and also to reflect. Do not, however, attempt this in a London street; you must go ahead, or someone else may run off with your congregation. In a regular field sermon pauses are very effective, and are useful in several ways, both to speaker and listeners, but to a passing company who are not inclined for anything like worship, quick, short, sharp address is most adapted.

In the streets a man must from beginning to end be intense, and for that very reason he must be condensed and concentrated in his thought and utterance. It would never do to begin by saying, “My text, dear friends, is a passage from the inspired Word, containing doctrines of the utmost importance, and bringing before us in the clearest manner the most valuable practical instruction. I invite your careful attention and the exercise of your most candid judgment while we consider it under various aspects and place it in different lights, in order that we may be able to perceive its position in the analogy of the faith. In its exegesis we shall find an arena for the cultured intellect, and the refined sensibilities. As the purling brook meanders among the meads and fertilizes the pastures, so a stream of sacred truth flows through the remarkable words which now lie before us. It will be well for us to divert the crystal current to the reservoir of our meditation, that we may quaff the cup of wisdom with the lips of satisfaction.”

There, gentlemen, is not that rather above the average of word-spinning, and is not the art very generally in vogue in these days? If you go out to the obelisk in Blackfriars Road, and talk in that fashion, you will be saluted with “Go on, old buffer,” or “Ain’t he fine? My eye!” A very vulgar youth will cry, “What a mouth for a tater!” and another will shout in a tone of mock solemnity, “Amen!” If you give them chaff they will cheerfully return it into your own bosom. Good measure, pressed down and running over will they mete out to you. Shams and shows will have no mercy from a street gathering.

But have something to say, look them in the face, say what you mean, put it plainly, boldly, earnestly, courteously, and they will hear you. Never speak against time or for the sake of hearing your own voice, or you will obtain some information about your personal appearance or manner of oratory which will probably be more true than pleasing. “Crikey,” says one, “wouldn’t he do for an undertaker! He’d make ’em weep.” This was a compliment paid to a melancholy brother whose tone is peculiarly funereal. “There, old fellow,” said a critic on another occasion, “you go and wet your whistle. You must feel awfully dry after jawing away at that rate about nothing at all.” This also was specially appropriate to a very heavy brother of whom we had aforetime remarked that he would make a good martyr, for there was no doubt of his burning well, he was so dry.

It will be very desirable to speak so as to be heard, but there is no use in incessant bawling. The best street preaching is not that which is done at the top of your voice, for it must be impossible to lay the proper emphasis upon telling passages when all along you are shouting with all your might. When there are no hearers near you, and yet people stand upon the other side of the road and listen, would it not be well to cross over and so save a little of the strength which is now wasted?

A quiet, penetrating, conversational style would seem to be the most telling. Men do not bawl and halloa when they are pleading in deepest earnestness; they have generally at such times less wind and a little more rain: less rant and a few more tears. On, on, on with one monotonous shout and you will weary everybody and wear out yourself. Be wise now, therefore, O ye who would succeed in declaring your Master’s message among the multitude, and use your voices as common sense would dictate.

In a tract published by that excellent society “The Open-Air Mission,” I notice the following:

QUALIFICATIONS FOR OPEN-AIR PREACHERS
  1. A good voice.
  2. Naturalness of manner.
  3. Self-possession.
  4. A good knowledge of Scripture and of common things.
  5. Ability to adapt himself to any congregation.
  6. Good illustrative powers.
  7. Zeal, prudence, and common sense.
  8. A large, loving heart.
  9. Sincere belief in all he says.
  10. Entire dependence on the Holy Spirit for success.
  11. A close walk with God by prayer.
  12. A consistent walk before men by a holy life.

If any man has all these qualifications, the Queen had better make a bishop of him at once, yet there is no one of these qualities which could well be dispensed with.

Praise Report for the AFCON 2013 Evangelism

Orange Cup of Nations ~ South Africa 2013 :

We hereby give all praise to our Great God and King, our Lord Jesus Christ, for we are His workmanship created in Himself unto good works that He has had us walk in for His Glory!

On the evening of Friday January 18th our Lord’s servant left Pietermaritzburg by Shosholoza Meyl passenger train at around 21H50 for Johannesburg. Before departure, an open-air preaching of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, expounding upon the Law and Grace of our Almighty God, was conducted upon the station platform – the same railway station where Mahatma Gandhi was evicted from a train on the night of 7 June 1893 for riding first class – to a fair crowd of about 30-40 passengers waiting for the arrival of the train. They were also presented with an “Are You Ready?” Gospel Tract. The train trip was pleasant and I was looking forward to arriving in Johannesburg to see my dear Brother-in-Christ Sello Rasephei.

Saturday January 19 ~ Soweto, Johannesburg [PICS]

DSCF1435The arrival of the train was “running late,” but in God’s timing it was perfect as Sello had informed me by text message that he was engaging Jehovah Witnesses at Park Station, JHB with the True Gospel while he awaited my arrival. Praise Jehovah for a servant of God who also redeems the time for the proclamation of the Word of Truth!

En route to Sello’s home, we fetched and met Brother Neo Matsepe. After meeting Sister Pearl and the growing Rasephei family (four sons), freshening-up, sweet fellowship and a meal with the brethren, we headed out to fetch Ernest Gxagxama in Cosmo City who contacted us via our blog posting callingDSCF1449 soldiers of Christ to join up with us. The forecast was for a 80% chance of thundershowers which was on the day 100%! Thunder and torrential downpours greeted our arrival in Nasrec, Soweto where we would be evangelising outside the FNB National Stadium before the opening ceremony and the two opening matches. We had prayed for a place where no rain would be above us, and that is what we received from our Father. Just outside the stadium is a facility that has a high roof where spectators gather, and we found shelter from the inclement weather, although by this time, since DSCF1440our long walk there, we were pretty much drenched through and our shoes were filled with water. The weather was a blessing and the cross-walking and proclamation of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ went ahead unhindered by law-enforcement agents as an open door by our Father allowed thousands upon thousands of people to hear and receive the Word. We also do find that at these events the Devil is there to disrupt the preaching of God’s Word, especially with the deafening vuvuzelas, but we rejoice always and are also encouraged by brethren being challenged when they see the evangelising going forth!

Sunday January 20 ~ Lyttelton, Centurion and Park Station, Johannesburg [PICS]

After much travelling the night before and getting rest, we attended at the Bethany Baptist Church in Lyttelton for our Lord’s Day worship. After the morning service deacon Sello and I were able to minister whilst seated at a garden table outside, to a African man that normally visits at the Church on Sundays in a “drunken” state who sleeps in the pews! While he has heard the Gospel before from Brother Sello, we are sure the seed of the Living Word was planted and we pray for God to work in this man’s heart. Salvation is of the LORD (Jonah 2:9) as we also read:

Psalm 68:20 He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death.

We returned to Sello’s home and after lunch, Brother Sello and I departed to go spend time evangelising before my train trip back home. Experienced also riding the Gautrain from Centurion, Pretoria to Park Station, Johannesburg which was a pleasant trip at high speed! Phew! Once we arrived at Park Station we decided to walk the main passenger area and wait on the Lord for evangelism opportunities. Whilst Sello carried the wooden cross, it was “magnetic” in drawing various people to us to engage in conversations. We had a gothic girl named Leigh that professed that she had called upon the Lord before who was begging money, saying she needed to pay for penalties on a bus fare. We were prompted by the Holy Spirit to witness to her and a deep conversation took place in the station main-hall. I asked her to draw-back her long sleeves and her arms were covered in tattoos, some crosses and even her knuckles were inked and on her arms were also many, many razor / knife cuttings. We ministered to her trying to find out more about this young woman who had short cropped hair and also various facial piercings. She said she had been in a rehab for drugs and that is where she found the Lord and that she was clean. She also had large sores on her arms, as I was looking for needle-marks, but she squeezed one sore that had puss ooze out of it. She said it was a “spider-bite”! But still some thing was not right with her, as she had a black star pendant around her neck which we said was demonic in appearance. She had black ear-studs and was predominantly dressed in black. At times she was teary eyed, as we pressed on with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Then we noticed a black string necklace that disappeared below the neckline of her top. On asking her to take it out it was revealed that it was a Satanic silver disc with the pentagram on it and various symbols at each point. We rebuked the demonic spirit in the name of Jesus and said that she is wearing signs of Satan around her neck and she could not be a christian as she professed. This was a doorway, a foothold for Satan’s demons. Leigh told us that she was given this by some friends not so long ago and she never knew that it was demonic, however she was not at this time cutup about her sin in wearing it and by not removing it. We then gave her a booklet: Satan versus CHRIST (World Missionary Press, Inc.) and the “Are You Ready?” Gospel Tract. We pray and thank God that He brought Leigh across our path to witness Christ Jesus to her and hope she will come to true repentance. What stays with me now is the swagger that she left with, it was not womanly!

In the words of Brother Sello Rasephei:

While brother Gary was speaking to Leigh, I was approached by a lady whose husband was cheating on her. She claimed to be a Christian but didn’t live a holy life. Apparently her husband also gave his life to Christ a long time ago by being prayed for by a pastor, but i showed her that it’s not possible that he is saved based on his deeds. I also showed her the need for holiness and encouraged her to pray for her husband that God might give him repentance, and she left a very humble person. Pray that her husband might repent for his sins, and also that they may both come to the right knowledge of God.

Whilst speaking to this lady, a man who was working at the station approached me and asked me to pray for him as there are voices speaking inside his  head. I prayed for him that God might deliver him from whatever is bothering him. Immediately after praying, God revealed to me that this man is troubled by alcohol and nothing extraordinary as he was drunk whilst working. I showed him his need to repent from alcohol and all sins and trust in Jesus for deliverance from sin. At this moment he was very humble and tears were streaming down his cheeks. He asked that i might pray for him again which i did.

Afterwards i saw a girl and a boy of around 15 years who were holding hands amazed at the man carrying a cross. I approached them and asked them if they are friends, to which the girl proudly replied that they were lovers. In my astonishment I took them through the Law and showed them that they are displeasing to God, and that they are under His judgement unless they repent. The boy withdrew and stood by himself while I continued to speak to the young girl. I taught her the value of purity before marriage and how sex before marriage is not worth going to hell for. My mentioning of hell humbled both of them, especially the boy, as I understand that he was raised in a Christian home. I told them that if they love each other then God will bring them together in due time but fornication will lead them both to hell. They both left, but  now they were not holding hands and the arrogance had disappeared. I pray that God might lead them to Himself, and might keep them pure.

We were also encouraged to speak to a brother named Thembalethu Mxaka from the Eastern Cape province who works in Johannesburg, Gauteng Province. This was more an encouraging fellowship sharpening one another as we also discussed the Gospel of our Lord.

Later, we moved over closer to where a large gathering of bus passengers were congregated awaiting the buses to Durban and other destinations. Prompted by the Holy Spirit I preached on “In the Days of Noah” and the crowd was really attentive. Our great God gave us an open door to preach boldly in the Park Station hall without any disturbances. Many Gospel Tracts were handed out to all the passengers within the vicinity of the preaching. There was a young African lady that took out her Bible and checked up every Scripture reference made which was encouraging. This was the Lord’s Day, so she was getting Church before leaving for home in Durban. Praise be to God! Brother Sello also got into a Gospel presentation and called a witchdoctor woman to repent of her wicked ways! She did not and held fast to her demonic teachings!Another day of such wonderful good works that our Lord Jesus Christ lead us through – praise be to the Lamb, for worthy is the Lamb of God!

Sunday January 27 ~ Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban [PICS]

Brother Lungisa Zondi and I headed out to Durban at about 15H00 to evangelise before the South Africa vs. Morocco soccer match. Our Great God and Father and our Lord Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit gave us much grace and boldness together with an open door to preach for about three hours in the face of much wickedness, and also through a sudden storm with heavy downpours. Gospel Tracts were distributed as always, some brief conversations were had, competing with the ever present vuvuzelas! Hundreds, if not thousands of Muslims heard that our Lord Jesus Christ is the ONLY way into paradise (heaven) and many of them laughed, joked and blasphemed the only begotten Son of God! They were summarily rebuked for their blasphemy and corrected and pointed to Christ Jesus in love. It is so sad that in our hearts we pondered that many of the people we saw today would be judged for their rejecting of Christ, who was there to meet them at their need of repentance, but they judged themselves unworthy of everlasting life (see Acts 13:46). We are reminded in the Holy Word of God:

John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

We also continually reminded the hordes of soccer fanatics that it is a sin to be “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;” (see 2 Timothy 3:4). It was a truly blessed day to work in our Lord’s harvest and after dropping Brother Lungisa off at home I arrived home at about 20H35.

Saturday February 2 ~ Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban [PICS]

We, Brothers Lungisa Nhlakanipho Zondi, Aziz Ebrahim (an ex-Muslim) and Gary Stephen Crous travelled to the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban to evangelise before the South Africa vs Mali football match. We had started off earlier on the beachfront where many conversations were had with some believers who have doctrinal issues that are unbiblical. Was able to preach outside the Suncoast Casino plaza where there are eateries with many patrons hearing the Gospel of our Blessed Lord Jesus Christ. Upon ending the open-air, a casino security officer arrived and spoke to Aziz, who was tracking the entrance and plaza of the casino, saying we cannot preach there. Surprisingly, there were about six SAPS Law Enforcement officers sitting just behind me within earshot of the preaching that said absolutely nothing during the entire preach. Maybe, the Gospel never went down well with the steak, egg and chips, or it was too hard to swallow with the calamari and garlic bread in the eateries and a complaint was raised! Our Great God knows the Truth behind this incident.

Later at the walkway to the stadium we were joined by pastor Sidney Francis from Johannesburg, who was encouraged the last Sunday when he saw us outside the stadium and had phoned me during the week to make arrangements to join us today. He and his huge family came out in force and were handing out some Bible story books at various points along the walkway.

During the course of the late afternoon, our Lord God brought two “old friends” past me at two separate occasions. We used to play soccer for the same football team at a stage, and they were also opponents at other times, but we were also back then “boozing buddies”, too! They heard that there is redemption from our sins only through our Lord Jesus Christ. Please join me in praying for the souls of my two friends Bobby Bestall and Dean Butler. The former refused all literature, but was warned that Christ will judge him upon the Day of Judgment and that through repentance and faith in Christ, Jesus can set him free from his sins and the wrath of God, and the latter took a Gospel tract and even said he was happy to see that I had changed, using an expletive (he was duly corrected) to describe my previous drinking habits to his friend, of which I am now delivered from to the Glory of God! Then there was also Tommy “the birdman” who stopped by  to encourage us and said he is born-again and hands out Bibles.

Later as the crowds arrived there was much blasphemy spewed out by Muslims at the preaching of the Living Word and ONLY God, Jesus Christ. A Muslim woman was reminded that she would need to have our Lord Jesus Christ on Judgment Day as her Advocate and Mohammed could not help her as he is a dead man. She told me to “Go to Hell!” Later her husband accompanied three SAPS’ Officers who came to speak to me and Aziz whilst Brother Lungisa was at another point reading from the Book of Hebrews. After dismissing the Muslim man they said we are offending some people and that we must be “tolerant” to their religions and faiths. I said we cannot be tolerant, but will continue to preach the Truth that they need to have our Lord Jesus Christ on Judgment Day! At the point that I asked them if the man had told them that his wife had said to me that I must “Go to Hell!” when we are trying to get them into heaven, they took a tract and allowed us to continue. Well our Great God always makes a way for His Glory!! Through out the evening there was much blasphemy! We keep them all in prayer that God would show them mercy! If not, Almighty God will be and still is Glorified – as we read:

Matthew 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

Matthew 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

Matthew 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

Matthew 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Brethren, Go into all the world, to every tribe, tongue and nation calling all to “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21b), “And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh” (Jude 22,23).

SOLI DEO GLORIA!

Burry Stander ~ Obituary

Burry StanderBURRY WILLIE STANDER, son to Charles and Mandie Stander, brother, husband to Cherise Stander (nee Taylor), friend, competitor, entrepreneur, champion MTB rider, a double South African Olympian, was born September 16,  1987 – died January 3, 2013 aged 25.

It was saddening news that greeted many the world over that Burry Stander had been tragically killed by a collision with a mini-taxi on a training ride, cut down in what many determine to be the prime of his life, in his prowess. From learning of the news of his death much has been written in way of condolences that have steadily poured in from here at home and from abroad, and there has been many memorial rides organised at various places around South Africa in memory of his passing. Whilst many convey words of sympathy to his parents and Cherise, wife of Burry, it is heart rending that parents should be burying their son, and a married life was cut so tragically short after just six months – are there any words that can be spoken to ease the pain and heartache at this time? The bereavement of the loss of this life is painful just as many others have also experienced the loss of a family member, or a close friend at some other time before!

Whilst many messages pour in through the social networks and the public media, many obituaries have been written from specific points of view, most noticeably from the point of view celebrating Burry Stander – “humble celebrity, gentleman, world champion mountain-bike legend, athlete, icon, hero” – whilst these accolades describe this South African son known affectionately as Africanmtbkid, not much has been written about the normal man – the man Burry Stander.

While people the world over give much praise and homage to this celebrated life, many do not pause to ponder what lies ahead after one dies. If Burry could now speak from eternity, for death is not the end of a soul, what would he tell you? If he could speak to you, dear reader – the words would most probably be: “Repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ!” While many people live life fast, hard and large, they fail to examine themselves and see where they are ultimately headed. The question that should be posted to you, dear reader, is: “Are YOU Ready?” (Gospel tract). People tend to downplay what awaits them after death. Many truly believe that they will “go to a better place”, “go to heaven”, and many will even say in sympathy statements: “My prayers are with the family” and “God bless!” But what do these sentiments really mean? Do all believe in a Creator God? Do all believe in salvation through Jesus Christ alone? Are all living truly Christ-centred lives? Or, are people just trying to soften the impact of death – as they do not really want to offend people by speaking the Truth. Is it that they don’t want to deal with the real issues of the after-life, eternity? Jesus said what is in the abundance of the heart is what a man really is.

I do pray and hope that the pastors conducting the church service on Thursday January 10, 2013 will be faithful to Almighty God, YHVH, and proclaim the unadulterated Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (not the ear-tickling gospel of today in the Ecumenical system), and will not withhold the real TRUTH of what awaits a person once they die. There is bound to be many in attendance, some professing believers who need to be reminded of the surrendered life we are to live for our Lord Jesus Christ and many others who are unbelievers who need an urgent wake-up call to the frailty of life. Funerals are not for the deceased. The deceased’s soul has already departed and moved into eternity and the corpse is an empty shell that is lying there lifeless. Funerals are there for the family and friends that are left behind, who have been tardy or who have neglected to make preparation for the day when they too will die and meet their Creator. For God tells us in His Holy Word, the Bible, in Hebrews 9:27 ~

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

If God says there is a judgment after death, are you prepared to meet the Creator of all the universe at that judgment?

Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? (see Genesis 18:25)

We are also reminded ~

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

So: Are you ready? Are you prepared? And are you making preparation? Scripture warns that we are to prepare to meet our God (see Amos 4:12). Jesus said: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God(see John 3:3). If any person dies outside the covering of our Lord Jesus Christ they will not enter heaven. So then what happens to them?  So what do you think will happen to YOU when you die and stand naked before your Creator? Do you think God would find you innocent or guilty before His Judgment Seat? God tells us in 2 Corinthians 13:5 to examine ourselves to see whether we are in the faith and whether we will pass the test, which is the judgment. You can examine yourself to see your condition before God Almighty by looking into the ‘mirror’ of God’s Holy and Moral Law, which are the Ten Commandments (the full version can be read at Exodus 20:1-17):

  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me (v3)
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image [idols](vv4-6)
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain [blasphemy](v7)
  4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy (vv8-11)
  5. Honour thy father and thy mother (v12)
  6. Thou shalt not kill (v13)
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery (v14)
  8. Thou shalt not steal (v15)
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour [lie](v16)
  10. Thou shalt not covet (v17)

Now that you know God’s standard of holiness and perfection, “we know that the law is good, if a man  use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient” (see 1 Timothy 1:8-11) and we are reminded in Romans 3:23 that:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

So let us take a quick test to see your true condition. If you should die today, what will be your condition before God on Judgment Day? Listen to your conscience and answer honestly. The ninth commandment says you shall not tell lies (bear false witness) (Exodus 20:16). How many lies have you told in your lifetime? Fibs, half-truths, white lies – they are all lies. A lie is deception and someone always gets hurt by lying. Jesus tells us that if a person speaks lies he speaks the language of the devil, Satan, “for he is a liar, and the father of it” (see John 8:44). The eighth commandment says you shall not steal (Exodus 20:15). Irrespective of the size or value of the object, have you ever stolen something – taken it without someone’s permission. This also includes piracy which is buying, downloading or copying CDs and DVDs that belong to other people without their permission.

Then there is the seventh commandment that says you shall not commit adultery. Have you cheated on your spouse? But listen, you do not have to be married to commit adultery. Jesus said:

Matthew 5:27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Have you looked with lust? Roving eyes, lustful intent, leering at pornography; have you broken this command? This command would also include fornication (sexual relations outside the bounds of marriage) either heterosexual (mf) or homosexual (mm / ff) sex. Are you ‘living together’ out of wedlock as partners?

What about murder? Have you broken the sixth commandment? Have you murdered anyone? You do not have to pick up a gun, or knife or rope to kill someone to commit murder. If you hate someone you have committed murder in the heart:

1 John 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

Gossip is also considered murder of the heart by God’s standard.

The second commandment deals with idols and idolatry. Do you worship and bow down to things made of wood, stone, plastic, gold, silver and any other material? God has warned that no person is to fashion or make any idols or “any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:” (Exodus 20:4). God also warns that those who worship and make these idols are just like them – DEAD! It also includes people who make a god to suite themselves in their own image, a god they are more comfortable with, someone who won’t punish sin. Idols can also be placing your love, devotion and worship in things of this world – money, material possessions, sports and their athletes, celebrities in the film and music industry, family members, sex and pornography, alcohol and drugs, your work, studies and all other manner of activities, even your religious practices including your idolised favourite pastor / teacher – these are all idolatries. Vanities of vanities.

God tells us in James 4:4 that any friend of the world is an enemy of God and according to His Word no enemy will R.I.P. (Rest In Peace) for any person that does not have the Son does not have life, but has the wrath of God abiding on him (see John 3:36).

Now consider that we have only looked at five of the Ten Commandments – and if God judged you by this Holy standard and sees you as a lying thief, adulterer, murderer and idolater, do you think you will be innocent? Or guilty? You see the law is a schoolmaster, a teacher that teaches us that we have transgressed God’s Holy Commandments; it shows that we are in need of a Saviour – Someone to save us from the wrath of God. Scripture tells us:

Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

God’s Word tells us that transgressors of His law will be guilty and that:

1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

1 Corinthians 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Therefore you would be guilty and God warns that all guilty persons are condemned (see John 3:18) and will end up in Hell for all eternity. This is what Hell is described as in the Holy Words of God:

  • A devouring fire and everlasting burnings – Isaiah 33:14
  • A place of weeping and gnashing of teeth – Matthew 8:12, 22:13, 24:51, 25:30; Luke 13:28
  • Where the fire is never quenched – Mark 9:44, 46, 48
  • Where they can never repent – Matthew 12:32; Mark 3:29
  • Where they don’t want their loved ones to come – Luke 16:28
  • A bottomless pit – Revelation 9:1, 2, 11, 11:7, 17:8, 20:1, 3
  • Where they scream for mercy – Luke 16:24
  • A place of sorrows – Psalm 18:5
  • A place of outer darkness – Matthew 8:12, 22:13, 25:30
  • A place of torments – Luke 16:23
  • And many, many more verses …

On that Great Day at the Great White Throne Judgment, this is the Revelation of Jesus Christ of Judgment Day:

Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

Revelation 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

If you should stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ know this that transgressors will end up in God’s prison – Hell for all eternity. On that Day there will be no Court of Appeal against your sentence, there will be no Constitutional Court to appeal to for a lesser sentence or an acquittal. There also will be no extenuating circumstantial pleas heard on your behalf. No, my friend, the judgment will be final and binding. Your only hope is – will you have the Lord Jesus Christ as your advocate (see 1 John 2:1) on that Day. If God is not your Father on Judgment Day, then He will certainly be your Judge. And Scripture warns that:

Hebrews 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Matthews 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

The bad news is that Hell awaits all unrepentant evil and wicked sinners who have not repented towards God. But, O yea, there is Good News. And this is what a Good and Loving God did for you about two thousand years ago. God the Father took on human form – and became flesh (John 1:14) to take upon Himself the sins of the whole world so that redemption can be granted to His people. God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (see 2 Peter 3:9). Scripture tells us of God’s great love for us:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus Christ – God in human form – became the sin offering – the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world – for you when He went to the cross to die in your place taking the wrath of the Father upon Himself:

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

If God is speaking to you, do not harden your heart in the day of His visitation.

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

John 6:39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Jesus Christ took your punishment upon Himself so that He can legally commute your death sentence upon the Day of Judgment if you would believe upon His Name and be clothed in His Righteousness.

Scripture tells us that when Jesus died He was laid in a tomb (grave) and on the third day raised to life. Jesus has overcome this world, death and sin for all those who would believe in Him.

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

2 Timothy 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

Know this, that:

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Ephesians 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

2 Corinthians 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.

2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

Call upon the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, for His mercy and grace for there is no other that can save you:

Act 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

And Jesus said you must be born again, born of the Spirit of God, not of man or his will:

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

John 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

So this day, your repentance must be toward God and your faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (see Acts 20:21) and let God work repentance in you and receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour by faith:

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Come to Jesus:

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Romans 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Find a quiet place and go before the Lord God Almighty and do business with Him today, for you are not guaranteed of tomorrow. Then get yourself a KJ Bible, read and obey what is written in it. Live it out. Get into a Bible believing assembly of believers and follow Jesus. For God commands Perfection, Holiness and Obedience. What is the cost of being a disciple of Christ?

Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

Luke 9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

You never know when your time will be up and you will die. Are YOU Ready?

Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Mark 8:37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Mark 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Amen.

__________________

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Obituary written by an evangelist who has attended at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships held in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal to reach competitors and spectators alike with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Possibly, you too, have received a Gospel Tract. Consider this – Are YOU Ready?

2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

Orange Africa Cup of Nations ~ South Africa 2013

afconlogoThe bi-annual AFCON Football (Soccer) Championships will be hosted in South Africa from January 19 to February 10, 2013 with the matches being staged at the following venues:

  • Johannesburg
  • Nelson Mandela Bay
  • Mbombela
  • Rustenburg
  • Durban

To see the full itinerary please visit the link to the fixtures of Confederation Africaine De Football. The Repent and Believe South Africa evangelism ministry will be ministering by preaching open-air, distributing Gospel tracts and literature and engaging one-2-one witnessing outside the Moses Mabida Stadium in Durban. We also pray and hope to attend at the opening and the Final games to be played at Soccer City, in Soweto, Johannesburg. Any brethren who are willing to join us to preach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, Biblically, we encourage you to please contact us:

  • Gary Stephen Crous on 0722211233
  • Lungisa N. Zondi on 0814594840

If you cannot join us we would request you to kindly pray for our labours in our Lord’s harvest.

Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

We hope to reach the nations, and encourage brethren in the other South African city centres also to reach out to them, which are the competing nationalities of:

  • Group A: South Africa, Angola, Morocco, Cape Verde;
  • Group B: Ghana, Mali, Niger, DR Congo;
  • Group C: Zambia, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia;
  • Group D: Cote d’Ivoire, Tunisia, Algeria, Togo.

Here is the proposed Evangelism Schedule that can change at anytime as the Holy Spirit directs.

 South Africa 2013

All Glory to God alone for the testimony and witness of His Son Jesus Christ.

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