Lately, we've been gripped with the idea of what a city would look like as it's changed by the Gospel. Oddly, in several situations in prayer and conversation the love for strippers has come up. How would a church reach women and men in strip clubs? One woman (wisely, only women are allowed to go in the ministry) from our church plans to attend a local ministry that reaches out to strip clubs. Women pay the entry to strip clubs and buy lap dances from stippers. It is during the lap dance they use the time to witness to the strippers.
Last Sunday David mentioned one city changed by the gospel and how it impacted prostitution:
There was an old preacher in Wales in 1735 which none of us have probably heard of because his messages were in Welsch. His name was Daniel Rowlands. He was an Episcopal minister who was spiritually dead. No one liked his messages; his church was dying. He thought Christianity meant being a moral person.
He went to hear a man preach who was visiting, who said, “The determining factor in your relationship with God is not what you have done, but what Christ has done for you. It is grace alone, through faith alone because of Christ alone.” Daniel went back and thought about this for a month, until one night he was taking communion and this truth exploded in his heart. He realized what Christ had done for him and it became a power to him.
The first thing that happened to him was a revolution in his identity. This is always what happens first in someone’s life as the Gospel becomes objectively and subjectively true. You see yourself and a child of God first and everything else second.
Secondly, the things that once controlled his life and scared him, like failure, simply lost its hold on him. He no longer was ashamed of the Gospel.
This truth exploded in his church and it began to experience revival. This revival flooded out of the church into the streets of Wales to the degree that the prostitutes began to attend prayer meetings and morning services.
People were inquiring as to why this was happening so they went and asked one particular prostitute why she was going to these meetings. She said that there were a couple of factors. One was that the business had but left. People were no longer visiting the streets and looking for prostitutes. But the most important factor she said was that for the first time people on the streets began to treat her with dignity and respect. She couldn’t deny something was going on and had to come see.
This woman had previously been vilified by the religious people who spat upon her and scorned her and she was used by the irreligious who objectified her and treated her like peace of meat. Not any more.
Now if the Gospel had not come in power to these people, what would have happened if it were just religion? Well, she may have no longer found clients, but she would have been more severely vilified and made to feel less human by the religious who spat upon her and scorned her. Instead, these people were converted by God’s grace who understood the Gospel and treated her like she’d never been treated before.
This is the power we need, this was the essence of the Christian faith, and this will cause a revolution.
View/listen to the whole sermon: Early Transformissionaries