"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.' 43 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 44 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”45 Mat 5:43-45 ESV
Our work in Hobart continues amid ongoing slander and attempts to gag us. It is also amid much encouragement and joy in the faces and voices of Christians who continue to love and pray despite the hatred.
Mr S. is still hard at work to stop the preaching of the gospel if he can. None the less we will continue to share the message of salvation through repentance from sin and faith in Jesus. We will continue to pray for Mr S. and the rest of the lost in Hobart. And we will continue to trust that God will glorify His name in this land.
When Mr S. has his pro-same sex marriage stall up, we gather to pray for his salvation for at least a brief period. We also appeal to God for the many other concerns for friends, in our churches, in our country, and world. We praise the eternal God who controls all things and works all things to His purposes and glory.
There are some who support Mr S. and are opposed to our work and the preaching of the Gospel in the Mall. As Christians, we should never be surprised to see opposition to Gospel work, it was promised by our Lord. But we should always return praise and thanks to our God when He brings much needed encouragements. And God is faithful amid difficulty, encouraging us both in the mall and through messages online. There has been an outpouring of support for the team in the mall, and for my pastor Campbell and I. Frequently these encouragements have come at exactly the right time to counter the negative responses and raise our spirits for the fight once more. Thank you to all the wonderful people who have voiced your support and encouraged us to keep preaching the gospel and fight the Anti-discrimination charges. We have been and we will.
These last couple of weeks have provided many opportunities to share the gospel, in the mall, on the streets, and in conversations. I have been blessed with more people than normal for this time of year coming to talk at the Bible table and stopping to chat after the preaching. I’ve been blessed to speak of our Lord to journalists and on radio, I am humbled that our Lord is willing to use me in this. Praise His name that the Gospel goes forth no matter what!
There are two particularly great conversations that I’ve been part of recently:
Mr S. (not the heckler) – He stopped to chat after I handed him an “Are You A Good Person” tract. We started with the idea of heaven and God, are they real and is it reasonable to believe in them? Mr S. is an atheist/agnostic and so I could appeal to the science that points us to the presence of God and the history that shows He has spoken to us. We then discussed and debated for some time about various theological issues. It was a friendly debate and I was able to share the Gospel repeatedly during it. Mr S. and I parted with smiles and handshakes. A week or so after Mr S. came to the bible table and we had a great conversation again, this time talking around other questions he had and getting to know each other. I encouraged him to come again and talk any time and I hope he does. Praise God for opportunities to share with others the great hope we have in Christ. Please pray that Mr S. will come again and we can talk more of Christ.
Ms E. Ms T. and Ms P. – These three young ladies were sitting at the tree next to Speakers Corner whilst I was preaching and I approached them afterwards. They began by saying that they disagreed with most of what I was preaching. So, I asked them why it was that they disagreed. This developed into a very long discussion of the Gospel and Christian ethics. I was able to share some of the supports for the Gospel they’d heard me preach and reasons we should believe in Jesus. There were times they obviously disliked what they heard from me, especially around same sex marriage issues. But the discussion remained friendly and we parted on good terms. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to talk with them again. Please pray that God would soften their hearts and mercifully draw them to Jesus Christ.
There has consistently been people sitting in the cold to listen to the preaching at this time also. Something that is very uncommon in the cold Hobart winter weather. Praise God that He gathers people to hear the way of salvation, may many be drawn to Jesus Christ and put their faith in Him.