Sunday, August 26, 2007

Before and After.....The Law

This is my sister, Cheryl--one of my best friends, and fellow co-worker for Christ.

Our city hosts a "Concerts in the Park" series every summer. Tonight was the last concert for this year, and tonight's concert was a disco revival. There were literally thousands of people in the park.

Our method for drawing the crowds was to send the team, young and old, throughout the park, with everyone carrying stuffed animals. The stuffed animals, along with cash and gift cards to local restaurants, served as our giveaways during the trivia portion of the open-air preachins sessions. Within minutes the crowd was forming, and growing.

Please visit my "Adventures in Christianity" photo gallery to see photos from tonight's fishing (under "Concerts in the Park").

Two photos are particularly remarkable. They are "before and after" shots of a lady--before she heard the Law, and after she heard the Law. She was the best/worst heckler of the night.

When my conversation began with the lady, she was very friendly and soft spoken. But that changed when I began to hold up her perception of her own goodness to the mirror of the Ten Commandments. As I watched this lady's countenance change before my eyes, I was immediately reminded of what Paul wrote:

"Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin" (Romans 3:19-20).

"What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, 'You shall not covet'" (Romans 7:7).

The lady was never humbled by the Law. Her self-righteousness and anger grew with each passing moment. She could not stand to have her sin exposed by the truth of the Law. Even after hearing the gospel of grace, she still wanted to assert her goodness and her worthiness of God's forgiveness--based entirely on what she considered to be her good deeds. Despite this lady's lack of humility, many others heard the gospel as they gathered out of curiosity to hear my exchange with the lady.

It was three of the best hours of fishing I've ever experienced. Everyone was in high spirits. The energy level in the park was off the charts. I was blessed to open-air preach three times. The team (primarily family members) enjoyed numerous one-to-one conversations. And we distributed hundreds of tracts, with many people coming back for more. :-)

Next summer we will be at the park every Saturday night. Nowhere else in our city can we find so many lost people gathered together.

One of the many highlights of the evening was the opportunity to talk to Christians who had come to the park to attend the concert, not having evangelism on their minds. We were able to encourage and challenge them to share their faith.

All praise, and honor, and glory, be to our Lord Jesus Christ, for allowing us to serve Him and watch Him work. :-)

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