Saturday 10 June was ‘Derby day’ for horse-racing fans, but for Biblical Gospel Ministries it was an opportunity to promote the gospel in the heart of Britain’s capital. What could be better, on the day before Pentecost is celebrated, than to remember the birthday of the Church by publicly preaching Christ?
Biblical Gospel Ministries held their seventh Trafalgar Square rally under a blazing sun. God makes the sun to shine on the just and unjust. It was even more glorious, however, to hear the Son of Righteousness lifted up, that unbelievers might ‘look and live’ as he draws all men to himself.
There was a fine team of gospel preachers – from newcomers like Pastor Graham Hind to regulars like John Marshall, Bill Thompson, Gavin Childress, Stuart Pendrich, Geoffrey Gobbett, Mark Wilson (Trinitarian Bible Society), Ian Hamilton, Samuel McKay, and Sebastian Mani.
The gospel was preached in Arabic by Neagi Nash. Members from many supporting churches were present to encourage the speakers.
The Square was a hive of activity, some sightseers even venturing into the fountain pools. There were tattooists, engravers, portrait painters, balloon sellers, hat sellers, bird-seed sellers, trinket sellers and people dressed as animals. Most important, the entire square was thronged with tourists and visitors.
What had seemed an initial problem – the proximity of ice-cream vans and portrait artists to the preachers – turned out to be an advantage. Their presence encouraged more people to stop, look and listen.
The occasion reminded one of Spurgeon’s great conversion text: ‘Look to me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other’ (Isaiah 45: 22).
The gospel messages were broken up by clear points and challenges. ‘Would you like to win the lottery?’ asked John Marshall. He went on to explain the futility of worldly wealth if it results in an eternity in hell.
Fred Raynsford (Camberwell) told the story of the person who recommended, ‘The best time to become a Christian is just before you die’. How do we know that? ‘We don’t!’ so the best time to become a Christian is now. ‘How shall we escape if neglect so great a salvation?’
Bibles were given out in Arabic, Hebrew, Italian, Russian, Spanish and Welsh. Mark Wilson (TBS stand) commented that a lot of literature in European languages had been taken. ‘We are learning each time’, he said, ‘that there is a need to bring more literature in different languages, especially Albanian’.
Tract distribution went on throughout the day. One American couple were amazed and encouraged to find any Evangelical witnessing going on in so prominent a place. They had heard that Europe was a dark place in terms of gospel light!
A similar reaction came from two Australians. Notably, the Lord enabled the event to go off without any unpleasant incidents. At times there were radios blaring in competition with the public address system, and children walking near the platform, but nothing worse.
All humanity was represented, from the poor alcoholic who swore like a trooper but insisted he believed in God, to the wealthy tourists with their camcorders.
Our prayer must be that while the day of grace lasts, God’s people will engage in such outreach. The world knows about ‘horses for courses’, but we must be about our Master’s business; and this was a true ‘field day’ for gospel witness.
The public address system was effective in making the message audible above the hustle and bustle of city life.