By Jesse Morrell
In our own streets today you certainly don't have to look very long to see an empty drug bag on the ground. These tiny bags pave our streets. If you open your ears you don't have to listen very long until you hear some fowl music coming out of a car full blast to pollute our minds and our air. Look around to the bill boards and into the store windows and notice it's not hard to find an indecent picture of a girl designed to stir up lusts. Have you noticed how it is far too easy today for your soul to taste the pleasures of sin?
Now tell me, when was the last time you heard with your ears the truth of God like a trumpet echoing through our streets? The world has ears to hear, but they don't hear the truth. They have eyes to see, but they don't see it. "Truth is fallen in the streets." I can easily point out hundreds of ungodly men selling drugs on our street corners but my Spirit still is longing to see many godly men handing out free bibles on the corner. The truth belongs in the streets. Our churches are full of the gospel but who takes the gospel to where it belongs? Is it not true that those who need it he most receive it the least? Like Pilate men are saying "What is truth?"
Evil men are doing evil deeds in these evil times. I've heard it said that the church is stuck in the past and it needs to "get with the times." Well the church better not do anything of the kind because the days in which we live are dark and sinful. The scripture says in Eph. 5:16 that we need to be "redeeming the times, because the days are evil." We need to redeem the evil times, not "get with the times."
In our day men want:
Filth instead of forgiveness,
Sin instead of sanctification,
Hellishness instead of holiness,
Pleasure instead of purity,
Corruption instead of correction,
And gain instead of God.
These are dangerous times. 2 Tim. 3:1-5 says "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying it's power. And from such people turn away!" If any scripture ought to raise a red flag in your mind it's that one. You can find any sin you want in our streets, but the truth is more rare the diamonds and of coarse more precious and valuable. If any time in history proves the fall of Adam, it's the time in which we live.
Over and over again the bible says there were times when every man did whatever he thought was right in his own eyes rather then what was right in the sight of God. At first you may think as I did that that is exactly how it is today. But it's not true. Our society doesn't do what it thinks is right but rather it does what it knows is wrong. The pimps know what they do is wrong. The prostitutes all know it's an evil thing to prostitute themselves. Who doesn't have a conscience or at least who didn't have a conscience at one point? Who in their own eyes thinks it's ok to steal, lie, or blaspheme? Which child who has murdered his own parents ever told the judge "I thought it was the right thing to do?" If only we lived the way that we know we ought to.
Sin abounds while truth is trampled down. The church needs to awaken to its complacency and the world awakened to its corruption. I'm certainly not amazed that there is such lawlessness in our streets. Ps. 119:142 says "Your Law is truth." Lawlessness reigns because the preachers of the Law, the preachers of righteousness are so rare. They are almost extinct all together.
The bible is not only a great book but it's the best book! If only we believe it enough to obey it. How differently many of us would spend out lives if we believed God's Word? Who will take the Lord seriously enough to obey Him? He said "Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops." Usually we take what we hear at church to our own houses and not to our housetops, and the streets suffer for it. We need some Spirit filled men to rise up who can say with the Psalmist "I will declare the decree." Judges 5:31 needs to be our prayer. "But let those who love Him be like the sun when it comes out in full strength."
Slaves to sin roam our streets. "What is truth?" Jesus Christ is The Truth. If they will only know The Truth then The Truth would set them free. Satan is buying up the opportunities to tell lies while we are counting up the cost to tell the truth. The devil has his sinful men everywhere proclaiming sin but God's men have been hiding in the churches. They only proclaim Christ if their in a church setting where "every head is bowed and eye closed." Count in your own mind all the people who've tried to witness to you on the streets. Have there honestly been many? If so then send them over to New England where all we have is the "frozen chosen." I've been witnessed to by Mormons, Catholics, Jehovah Witnesses, and another man whom I later saw getting high on drugs, but never ever by a biblical Christian on the street.
We need men like the apostle Paul. When Paul came to town the truth was heard loud and clear in the streets. Paul could be in a city for a weekend and the entire city would be in an uproar before he left. Sadly there are many preachers today who have lived in their community for years and yet most of the community probably doesn't have any idea who they are. That's because we like to stay in our modern day catacombs of the church. Christian, will you be as John the Baptist who "was a burning and a shining light"? Can you hear the call God has on this generation of Christians? Isaiah 58:1 "Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet; tell my people their transgression."
The desire of my soul is that one day I'll go out to preach the gospel and I'll find someone already doing it. How simple that is but yet how scarce it is. I want to see the day when the most common thing on the street is the gospel. The more street preachers we have the better. You can never have too many but you certainly can not have enough. Oh how the truth has fallen in our streets and deceptions have risen up in its place. I can't truthfully say "wisdom cries out from the streets" because it's not true anymore.
In John Wesley's day the truth was a trumpet that was heard all throughout the streets of England. Six times a day he would boldly offer Christ to the people in the open-air. In fact, out of the last six hundred sermons that he preached, only three were inside a church. Paris Reidhead in his famous "Ten Shekels and a Shirt" sermon said "Wesley was a preacher of righteousness that exalted the holiness of God. And when he would stand there with the two to three hour sermons which he was accustomed to deliver in the open-air, and he would exalt the holiness of God, and the Law of God, and the righteousness of God, and the justice of God, and the wisdom of His requirements, and the justice of His wrath and His anger. And then he would turn to sinners and tell them of the enormity of their crimes and their open rebellion and their treason and their anarchy, the power of God would so descend upon the company that on one occasion it is reliably reported that when the people dispersed there were 18 hundred people laying on the ground utterly unconscious because they've had a revelation of the holiness of God. And in the light of that they've seen the enormity of their sin. God had so penetrated their minds and hearts that they had fallen to the ground. It wasn't trying to convince good man that he was in trouble with a bad God, but it was to convince bad men that they deserve the wrath and anger of a good God." Is it any wonder he saw a revival were the multitudes came to Christ in true repentance?
Wesley preached the same gospel the Apostle Paul preached who "concerning the faith in Christ...he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come" until governor Felix himself trembled. Most men would probably trembled before Felix, but Felix trembled before Paul! Preaching as Paul used to make the pews tremble but now in our day it would make the pulpit tremble. We need preachers who themselves are not really all here, but who's heart and minds are in eternity. Let the dead bury the dead. Let those who are earthly tend to that which is earthly but let us who are born of Heaven tend to that which is Heavenly. Jonathon Edwards said "Let everything have the value now which it will have on a sick bed." Maybe the one thing the church has forgotten today is eternity. The lost will not be won by preaching to the choir. Men can only receive what is given to them.
Listen to the way Ravenhill describes Wesley's life. "John died in 1791. Converted at 35, turn that round it makes 53, add them together it makes 88. Because he was saved at 35, preached for 53 years, and you know what he left when he died? He left a hand full of books, a sacred Geneva gown that he preached in all over England, six silver spoons somebody gave him, six pound notes to "give to each of the poor men that carry me to my grave" and that's all that he left. Six pound notes, six silver spoons, a hand full of books, a Geneva gown and ah, there's something else. What was it, the other thing? Oh, I know something else he left, the Methodist Church." We all ought to be encouraged and convicted by the life of Wesley who fasted twice a week. The man saw how the truth had fallen and so he spent his life rising it up again as a banner for all to see. Did he count the cost? Sure he did and he said "I'll pay it." They wouldn't let him preach in the churches anymore so he took it to the streets. What kind of man can get kicked out of the churches and say "fine, I'll go start my own church" and have it still standing 2 hundred and some odd years later?
The truth is hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. The truth has indeed "fallen in the streets" but it can rise again. Christian, the most awesome truth of all time is in our hands so who will you give it to. You don't need to be a "gifted" man but rather a groaning man. To preach the gospel it doesn't take degrees, it takes devotion. Not doctorates but dedication. Don't care about praise and start caring about people. Preach the gospel as if Judgment Day were today or "as a dying man unto dying people." Are you burdened that the truth goes unheard by our own multitudes? To change that all you have to do is "lift up your voice like a trumpet."
Truth is fallen in the streets
Truth is fallen in the streets
Lord, send the men with gospel shoes on their feet.
Like a banner, the truth raise up
But who of us will bear the humiliation cup?
The truth is not heard within our ears.
Oh, these cowardly Christians controlled by fears.
Let us break free and go against the tide.
The gospel truths let us never hide.
The truth is lost amongst the lies.
They perish, they perish, and they perish,
But who cares enough to try?
Our hearts are hard and eyes so blind.
Amongst evil men, let's be a different kind.
The truth is never seen with our own eyes
Why, oh why does it still hide?
We sit so nicely within our church,
But who cares enough to bear the hurt?
The truth must rise where it belongs
Lord knows one day we'll too be gone.
While it's still light, while it's still day
Let's show the world He is The Way.