Mission Outreaches in the Mall
"Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand; beside the gates leading into the city, at the entrances, she cries aloud." Proverbs 1:20-21
The Word of God Never Returns Void
77 Volunteers helped us distribute over 7,500 tracts, leaflets and Gospel booklets and over 2,000 balloons with Scripture messages on them, in 4 shopping malls on Saturday, 9 August (National Women's Day) in South Africa.
The messages on the balloons included: "A woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised." Proverbs 31:30; "End Modern Day Slavery - Stop Human Trafficking!; "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves." Proverbs 31:8; "Women and children are precious!; "If the Son sets you free you will be free indeed." John 8:36;"The Bible is the greatest Book ever written"; "Give us this day our daily bread…" Matthew 6:11; "Read the Bible Every Day."; "The family that prays together - stays together."; "Stop Human Trafficking! - Trafficking is Modern Day Slavery" and "You shall know the truth and the Truth shall set you free." John 8:32.
The children were plainly delighted to be given these colourful balloons. Soon the shopping centres were filled with children carrying our colourful balloons with Scriptural messages. It must be hard, even for an irate atheist adult, to take a balloon away from a child! Soon we were seeing even Muslim women, wearing the black hijab, coming to receive balloons for their children.
Leading People to Christ
By God's grace, we were able to counsel 103 people through our Spiritual Well-Being Questionnaire, leading them through The Way of the Master and Evangelism Explosion questions to confront them with the Law of God and the reality of eternity. To each of these people we gave a free copy of the New Testament and/or The Biggest Question DVD. This one-hour DVD is one of the most effective Evangelistic DVDs available. It shows the ten ways not to get saved, exposes common misunderstandings and the false foundations of pseudo-saved, semi-saved, half-saved and un-saved churchgoers. Anyone who goes through The Biggest Question DVD will never again be able to say that they did not know what the Gospel was, and its life transforming implications!
"The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul." Psalm 19:7.
Shopping malls are the modern market places and gateways to the city. Thousands of people spend a significant part of public holidays at a mall. With advertising that often promotes anti-family values, and many anti-family films at cinemas, malls are battlegrounds in the world war of worldviews. Making a pro-family, Biblical stand at a mall can seem intimidating, but as our banner proclaims: We boldly seek to be on the Frontlines of the Fight for Faith, Family, and our Future. These mall outreaches are part of our strategy to inform and involve Christians in making a positive difference in society.
Overcoming Obstacles and Double Standards
Over the last 3 years, we have been receiving increasing resistance. Most mall managements gave a firm, NO. Several stated that it was against their policy to have any religious charities, or displays in their malls. That position does not seem to be consistent, because we have noticed these very same shopping malls displaying prominent posters wishing all their Muslim customers well over the fast of Ramadan, and the Eid festivals. These are normally accompanied with very prominent Islamic symbols of the crescent moon and star. Neither I, nor any of our Mission members can recall any similar messages of support, or encouragement, addressed to Christians, during, for example, Christmas, Good Friday, Resurrection Sunday, or Ascension Day.
Persevering in Persistent Prayer
By God's grace, and after much prayer and approaching of many shopping malls, we did receive invitations to 3 shopping centres in the Cape Peninsula and another one in Pietersburg.
STOP the Traffick!
Due to greater mall restrictions on religious organisations, we focused on mobilising people to take action against the exploitation of women in human trafficking. Two tracts developed for these outreaches, include: STOP the Traffick, which exposes the global challenge of human trafficking and pinpoints what we can do to help set the captives free. This pamphlet contains a Gospel presentation: "Jesus came to set the captives free!" and Fight the New Drug. This exposes how pornography is like a drug in the way that is rewires your brain and is as addictive as hard drugs, such as cocaine. Fight the New Drug also points out how pornography fuels the demand for prostitution, and therefore human trafficking.
"Who will rise up for Me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for Me against the workers of iniquity?" Psalm 94:16
The Law of the Lord is Perfect, Converting the Soul
Conducting these questionnaires in shopping malls is quite educational. Most people describe themselves as "a good person", or "a very good person!" Yet, when asked if they have ever told a lie, or stolen anything, they readily admit that they have lied and stolen. When we asked if they have ever committed adultery in their hearts, by looking with lust, most admitted that they had done so. Many even admit to taking God's Name in vain.
In the Light of Eternity
When we asked: "If God was to judge you by His standards of the Ten Commandments, would you be innocent, or guilty?" Most acknowledged that they would, in fact, be guilty, by God's standards.
However, when we asked: "If you were to die today, would you go to Heaven, or Hell?" Most answered: "Heaven!" It becomes clear, the more one speaks to the average shopper in the malls, that there is a lack of understanding of the holiness of God and of the depravity of man. Few understand the justice of God and the eternal consequences of a life spent breaking God's Laws.
Is God No Longer the Eternal Judge?
Even those who had a credible Christian testimony stated that they did not think that God would judge anyone! Most believe in a form of universalism, believing that everybody will be saved, regardless of how many of God's Laws they have violated, even in the absence of any Repentance, or change of heart and life.
"And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the Judgment." Hebrews 9:27
Our Actions Condemn Us
To these people, we would have to ask: "How many murders do you have to commit to be called a murderer? How many rapes does one have to commit to be called a rapist? How many times must one steal to be called a thief? How many lies does one have to tell in order to be called a liar?"
Try This in a Court of Law
If a judge was to be confronted with an accused who stood up in court and said: "I admit that I have stolen, committed murder and rape. However, I am very sorry and I will not do it again." Can an honest judge dismiss such a case?
Justice Must Be Served
No! Under no circumstances can any true judge release a criminal merely on the basis of him being sorry for his crime and assuring everyone that he will not do it again. Even if the crime was committed a long time ago, justice must be served. The convicted criminal must be sentenced according to his crime, not sentiments. Only a corrupt judge would overlook the breaking of the law.
The Ultimate Question
God is a Holy God. He is not corrupt. How can a Holy God allow sinful people like you, and me, into his Holy Heaven?
Most people whom we counselled on Saturday, could not answer this question.
"For we must all appear before the Judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good, or bad." 2 Corinthians 5:10
The Teacher that Leads us to Christ
Only once a person understands the Holiness of God, and the fact that they are lost sinners, justly deserving an eternity in hell, are they ready to hear the Gospel of Salvation.
"The Law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by Faith."Galatians 3:24
God Humbles the Proud but He Gives Grace to the Humble
How can a holy God allow sinful people, like you and me, into His Heaven? Only by the grace of God. His undeserved favour. Only because of the Atonement of Christ. God in Christ has paid the penalty for our sin. He lived the perfect life and died the sinless death on your behalf. You must receive this gift of Eternal life and adoption into God's family by Faith, in Repentance and with gratitude.
"…God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time." 1 Peter 5:5-6
Those Who Sow in Tears Will Reap with Joy
By God's grace, during these outreaches on Saturday, our volunteers recorded 13 commitments from the 103 people we counselled and prayed for. 57 The Biggest Question DVDs were distributed and many new contacts were made for follow up.
On numerous occasions we saw people going from claiming to be a good person, to admitting that by the standards of God's Law, they are guilty and if they were to die today, they know they would go to hell. It is always encouraging to see how people brought under the conviction of sin by the Law of God, develop a spiritual hunger to be right with God and an eagerness to Repent from their sin and turn to follow Christ in Faith.
The Gospel is the Power of God for Salvation to All Who Believe
Please continue to pray that the Gospel seeds sown will produce an abundant harvest. We are well aware that some of the seed that we sow falls on hard ground, some on rocky ground, and some on thorny ground, however, praise God for the good soil that produces 30, 60 and 100 fold.
"Preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and teaching." 2 Timothy 4:2
May God continue to be your joy and strength.
Yours for the fulfilment of the Great Commission
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
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