Prior to our rain-drenched street preaching session in Winchester, England this past Saturday night — while out walking the dog that afternoon — we stopped to talk with a man who was sitting on the sidewalk with a cup out for passersby to drop money into.

I told him we didn’t have money but that we could offer him something of infinitely greater value, the true faith-based gospel of Jesus Christ and God’s free gift of eternal life.

I sat down beside him on the sidewalk, and began to share the gospel. He interrupted right away to say that he had his own faith. In response, I asked him what his faith consists of. It was a meaningless faith pointing to nothing in particular, a mere means to let me know he wasn’t interested. I told him that Jesus tells us in His own words that He is the way, the truth and the life, and that no man comes to the Father but by Him (John 14:6).

In the end, he told me that he would rather get back to work. I asked if he meant by “work” his sitting on the sidewalk begging, to which he replied, “Yes”. I reminded him that begging is not working, and then asked him a final question — “Would you rather continue to live a lie or to know the truth?”, a question I’ve learned through much experience to go to very early on in any such gospel discussion, for 2 Thessalonians 2 makes it clear that there are those who have the love of the truth, and those who do not:

And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12)

In short, there’s no sense wasting undue time on those folk who love not the truth, who, as the Bible likewise makes clear, comprise the majority of mankind:

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

The man’s answer to my final question was, “I’d rather continue to live a lie”.

At that point, we departed.