The four walls of a church building are a great way to conceal the message God gave His Church to tell a dying world full of hell bound people about their only hope of rescue.
This story is about the day I came out of these four walls and took the message of the glorious Gospel to the public place.
Summertime in Denmark, where the reformers trod 500 years ago, and what can we expect to find outside the four walls of a small (very small) church building. For one - a rock festival. I've always maintained that I love the summers in Denmark - it's just the other 11 months I have a problem with. I decided to head down to a nearby music festival, where thousands of young people were indulging in activities designed to speed up the death process, find a public place, stand on a soap box . . . actually my tool box, and preach the Good News.
I always get very nervous when I do this because it's one thing to make a spectacle of yourself, but the indifference and apathy can be quite suffocating in europe. When I got there I saw hundreds of people lying around drunk, hung over, or trying to drink away their hangover, many of whom were smoking things that didn't look like normal cigarettes. When I saw what was going on around me I burned with extra urgency to tell these people about their Creator, about sin, righteousness, judgment, the Cross, resurrection, repentance, saving faith and eternal life.
We walked past a tent where there was police sitting. I assumed they were there to deal with drug use and drunkenness, or maybe if someone attacked me . . . yeeeaaaah right!!
I found a place outside the venue on a local road where hundreds of people were walking back and forth between the campsite and the concert venue. I stood up and started preaching and managed to draw a crowd of about 25 people or so. Some of the faces seemed to express genuine conviction, but then another face of conviction appeared in the corner of my eye. It was a guy dressed in a police uniform walking my way and it was not the walk of a man responding to an altar call. As he came closer I could see that it was not so much a look of conviction but more of a desire to see me convicted - legally speaking.
The policeman arrived just in time to hear the end of the message. The only similarity between this and a church service was that he wasn't planning on inviting me back. We got tracts out to some of the gathering before the long arm of the law told me I had to stop and leave right now. I told him I thought it was a public place (we were on a pedestrian thoroughfare) and I wasn't impeding traffic flow. He told me that it wasn't public (though he didn't say who owned it) and I was making people embarrassed. Ummm . . . hello, who's the minority group here??? He then told me something that excited me telling me to go and preach in "speakers corner". My eyes lit up as I asked where this speakers corner was - "London" he replied.
Please pray for those of us who preach in this part of the world.
This video captures the reason why we preach an do mission. Ultimately it is to bring glory to a glorious Savior.
To hear the full sermon "Ten Shekels and a Shirt" by Paris Reidhead go here:
It is one of the most profound sermons I ever heard and what really stirred me to preach for God's glory.
Go On To Part 2