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The Battle Log is the place where weekly reports from each of the Operation 513 evangelism teams are posted.
It gives you a brief idea about what occurred during the outreach and some of the highlights.
Even though there is not a report from each team on the Battle Log every week, all these teams do meet weekly. So please keep them in prayer and consider joining one if it is in your area.
Thursday, 26 February, 2015
Many good conversations were had and lots of gospel tracts were handed out.
Please pray for:
• Jack & Mirah - two school kids, came to understand the gospel. As Jack was hearing the gospel he was saying, "Wow, that makes sense."
He told me that his dad died and since then he has been thinking about what comes after death. He said he even tried googling to find the answer. They both were very appreciative of the chat.
• Editaa - have talked before, he has been reading the gospel of John I gave him. He has Hindu parents. His parents said he can only read the Bible for education purposes and is not allowed to become a Christian.
So I encouraged him to keep reading the Bible and talked about how our love for Christ should far exceed even the love we have for our parents in that if they are preventing you from becoming a Christian, you should become a Christian anyway. He understood that and said that he has got some serious thinking to do.
• Calvin - initially said "I will go to Heaven because I've been nice". Was intently listening as I went through the law and the gospel. Gave him a gospel of John.
• Lachim - Have talked before, he says he is not ready to come to Christ because he loves his sin.
• Kevin - would go and count the cost. Gave him gospel of John.
• Claire - high school, intently listening.
• Shaun & Justin - school kids, said they would repent and trust in Christ.
Praise be to the God of all!
Photo: Col handing out some of the Biggest Problem gospel tracts.
Tuesday, 24 February, 2015
The place where we evangelise is where lots of school students hang out after school. Today I had good chat with a large group of high school students, some who were Muslims, Mormons, and Jehovah's Witnesses in the one conversation.
Please pray for all who heard the gospel including:
• Tadila - thought works saved. Heard gospel. Would consider message.
• Oscar - faith & works, came to understand gospel. Gave him gospel of John.
• Lelan - tradie, listening intently, gave him gospel of John.
Photo: Wilter is explaining the message of the cross to this gentleman.
To God be the glory!
- Ryan Hemelaar
Thursday, 19 February, 2015
A Mormon missionary who Col has been speaking to in recent weeks, I got to speak to. He's from China and says he is on mission as a Mormon to find out what the truth is. He's not sure which religion is true, and he is thinking that all religions lead to the same God. I explained how logically that doesn't make sense.
After explaining the gospel to him, one of the other Mormon missionaries came up to me asking mocking questions about the God of the Bible, like "So your God can do whatever He likes, can He? That's crazy." I responded by quoting Psalm 115:3 - "Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases."
After this occurred, I continued talking with the Chinese Mormon missionary and he said, "I actually think you might have the truth, because even when some of the other missionaries say mocking things to you, you don't get angry; you stay very calm. I am going to think about what you said." Please pray for him.
Please also pray for:
• Runya - Arabic speaker, gave gospel of John
• Conrad & Linden - go to a catholic school, not prepared to turn from their sin. Listened to whole message.
• Faria - thought good person, came to understand gospel.
• Thomas & Julian - Thomas Mum is Buddhist, unsure which religion is true, going to think about it seriously.
Photo: One of the bus stops that we witness at in Sunnybank.
Tuesday, 17 February, 2015
The first conversation I had was with one of the Mormon missionaries who I met several weeks ago. He had brought in assistance from someone outside their area. This missionary too however didn't really know what the Bible taught.
They were arguing that the Bible has been changed, and the reason they gave to back this up was: "Because that is what Muslims say."
I was shocked to hear them rely on an argument like that. So I explained how we have thousands of manuscripts of Bible from all over the world in the original languages and so we can know for certain the Bible hasn't been corrupted. I then showed them in the Bible how salvation is by grace through faith, but they were very stubborn in holding on to their works. Please pray for them.
Please also pray for:
• Banjo & Beni - school kids, one thought his asking for forgiveness would save him....both came to understand the gospel and said they would repent and believe.
• Deanna - young lady, talked to her November last year after her dad passed away. Just this week, her mum had a heart attack, and was in hospital.
She said she loved her sin and knew she would be going to Hell. But the recent events regarding her parents has been making her think about God a lot. Explained gospel, urged her to come to saving faith. She said she would seriously think about it.
Photo: Jordan is speaking to a young man who didn't mind if he ended up in Hell.
Saturday, 14 February, 2015
We used the sketchboard to present the gospel and after explaining the message of the cross, a very loud vocal heckler in a large black trench coat started asking lots of questions, like "Why is a blood sacrifice needed?" and "What about the laws in Leviticus?"
This man said he had studied 6 years to be a Roman Catholic priest, but had now rejected Catholicism because he didn't know how to answer the problem of suffering in the world. He said he now believes in a different god who doesn't judge and has rejected the Bible.
During this time, many one to one conversations were had. At the end of the preaching, a lesbian lady expressed her disgust at the heckler, but thanked us for the message we shared. She was happy to take a Bible and wants to return to find out more.
Please pray for all who heard the gospel, including Rafael & Daniel - from Brazil, they thought they were Christians, but thought their own goodness saved them. They came to understand the gospel and said they would repent and trust in Christ from today onwards. I recommended a local church for them to start attending.
Here is a video from the night:
To God be all the glory!
Tuesday, 17 February, 2015
The last two weeks have been a real mix of interesting interactions, both around the bible table and during the preaching. I normally begin the day with the bible table set out and give people an opportunity to approach me and discuss and take literature. Later in the day I will get up and preach for a period of about an hour.
While the time around the bible table is quieter than the preaching with less hecklers, I love the opportunity it provides for the less bold to come and talk. This week I managed to sit down to pray for only a couple of minutes at a time. Praise God my prayers were constantly interrupted by the very people that I was praying for! Most people were repeat visitors and we were able to continue our conversations from previously.
Michael stopped by, he is a skeptic who enjoys discussion with Christians and stopped shortly to discuss with me again but could not stay long.
A couple of young ladies stopped to chat, one of them had previously attended my church but had since stopped attending. Both of them appeared to be heavily influenced by the new age movement, speaking of meditation and the like, voicing doubts about the bible, and insisting that God is only love. I gently spoke with them of the seriousness that we must have when God says that he doesn't love our sin but loathes it with a holy and consuming hatred. I urged them to listen to the warnings and the promises of the bible. It is wonderful to consider the love of God when he is our father, but we must first come to him the way he calls us, through faith in Jesus.
A young satanist who has heard the gospel many times also came with a question. How could Eve be a woman given the bible says that she was made from the side of Adam a man? I pointed out that God is the ultimate geneticist, and to remove a Y chromosome and duplicate the X to "change Eve's sex" would child's play for him who made the DNA code in the first place. This seemed to satisfy him but of course he said he would come back with other questions and left unchanged by the information.
Please pray for all these folk, they need the Holy Spirit to give them life and bring them to Jesus in faith. Pray that God would act in mercy for Hobart. Pray that his ministers in this city would be faithful in proclaiming the gospel whenever they can.
The preaching has been very busy and I have very slowly been preaching through the first chapter of Romans. Many people react strongly to this book of the bible, not surprisingly as God speaks bluntly of our sin and his hatred of it and of the saviour Jesus Christ.
Last week a group of homosexual youth gathered together to condemn my "hate speech" and protest that I was doing the wrong thing in many ways. Samuel (a regular atheistic heckler) as he often does joined in encouraging them to heckle as much as possible. Interestingly many of them stayed to talk after I had repeatedly shared the gospel and given apologetics on the God given model for human sexuality - marriage. We talked sitting on the ground for around an hour and went our separate ways on good terms. One very telling moment was when a young man said that I was advocating a homosexual genocide. I turned to the rest of the group and asked them if I had said anything even remotely close to that. They all said no and one young lady said that I had repeatedly underlined that I loved homosexuals and that was why I was preaching the gospel. This was a turning point in the conversation and from then on I was able to more freely share with them. One of them even showed an interest in meeting to talk further.
This week I spoke of the vile nature of sin and how it pollutes our lives and even when we struggle against it we can never break free of it in our own power. I also spoke of God's hatred of this sin and the natural consequence that will come of continued rebellion and rejection of God. I also spent a little time discussing the glorious world that God has put us in and how every scrap of it proclaims God's divine nature and eternal power. This lead to a group of hecklers responding to my words. Many arguments were put forward but always answered with an eye to the cross, which is always the real issue, even if it is unsaid.
One of the most interesting moments was when Samuel asked me to list the three things that keep me from doing evil. I said that first my relationship with God does, then his commands do and lastly the love for my neighbour that he has given me does. What keeps Samuel from evil? Nothing. It is purely his choice. It is not often that an atheist is as honest as this so I thought an application of this principle would be good. Here is how I put it : Say Samuel and I get really angry, so angry that we want to kill each other. The person who determines my moral position on murder is utterly unmoved by my temper and murderous rage, God still hates murder no matter what I think. The person who determines Samuel's moral position on murder it currently considering doing it and so of course is very much swayed and changed. Atheism provides no hope of any restraint of evil deeds and more than that it provides no hope of any endurance in good deeds.
There were many hecklers and the gospel was preached many times and my day ended with a couple of hours sharing with a young marxist who had heckled earlier. While the team were talking to others in the crowd, we talked at length. I encouraged him to turn to Jesus as marxism will ultimately let him down, as will any lesser thing than God himself.
Please continue to pray for Samuel and the many hecklers that come to speak to me, they are people with a great need. Pray that God would show them his glory, their sin and the wonderful saviour our Lord Jesus Christ.
Friday, 13 February, 2015
I had an hour long conversation with three young people - Jeffrey & Lulela & Emma. Jeffrey initially said that all logic shows that God doesn't exist. So I was expecting to hear some arguments against God. I asked him give me one. He said that he doesn't have any and instead asked me for arguments for God's existence, saying that he doesn't know whether God exists or not. I pointed out to him that he really is simply an agnostic. He conceded the point.
After giving them the builder building analogy for God's existence two of them came to acknowledge God's existence. When we talked about sin, they kept trying to justify their sin, saying that God needs to get up with the times.
They had many questions about the Bible and stated very confidently that the Bible has contradictions. I asked them to name one, but they said they've never actually read the Bible before.
After explaining the gospel and answering more of their questions, Jeffrey and Lulela were clearly thinking about the message and they were willing to take gospels of John.
Emma on the other hand, said after hearing everything, "I will never believe in God no matter what, because I want to live my life my way and not God's way. I just want to enjoy this life and make a difference."
I pointed that if there is no afterlife, she couldn't actually make any sort of eternal difference, but if she comes to saving faith she can actually do things of eternal value. I gave an analogy: Imagine if you are on a conveyor belt that is heading towards a furnace, you first jump off the conveyor belt and then you tell everyone else who is still on the conveyor belt to jump off as well. So that is the situation you are in, heading towards Hell, that is why you need to trust in Christ to be saved and then you'll want to tell others how to be saved as well. By doing that, you'll be making an eternal difference. Lulela said "That makes perfect sense."
Please also pray for:
• Xavier - the Chinese man Rick and Glenda was speaking with in the photo. Talked for over an hour, he was a Mormon. He didn't like the God of the Bible and said he would rather be in Hell than spend forever with Him.
By the end, he came to realise it was his pride that was making him hold on to Mormonism and his self-righteousness. We encouraged him to read the book of Romans. He said he would go home and do that.
• Eugene - he thought he was a bad person, had religious background, willing to listen.
• Imagin & Emma - receptive, gave them gospels of John.
All glory to God!
Thursday, 12 February, 2015
My first conversation was with a young Mormon missionary. He engaged me in discussion and wanted to know what I was talking to people about. This was an open-door to share the true Gospel with him. We spent some time speaking about how salvation is all of grace, and how the LDS church pervert the Gospel by adding works to it.
Sadly, no matter what was said to this young man he kept falling back onto his 'feelings'. He claimed that the Bible wasn't always right, but the Book of Mormon was. When asked how he knew this, he kept replying, "I know."
After a while he called a senior Mormon missionary over. This young man was a bit more on the aggressive side. It was clear that his job was to get the junior missionary away from me as fast as possible. However, before they left we examined what the Bible says about a true prophet, and then examined Joseph Smith to see if he fitted the criteria.
It soon became clear that Joseph Smith could never have been a prophet of God. Sadly, the LDS missionaries ignored all the data, and instead said, "We know he is a prophet, you don't" with that they walked away. Please pray the Lord would save them.
Another great conversation I had was with a 90 year old Scottish lady. At first she wasn't interested in talking, however, I was able to get her talking about Scotland. I shared with her how until recently I was living in Scotland. This got her talking about her past, and her life growing up in the Free Church of Scotland.
Even though this lady had been living in Australia for many years, she was able to recall all that she was taught in her church back in the Highlands. It was nice to encourage this lady as she knew full well that salvation was all of God's grace.
Please pray for all those we spoke to today. May Christ be exalted among the nations.
Tuesday, 10 February, 2015
There was a lady I spoke to named Jo. She said that she had just been 'prayed over' earlier in the day, and so she thought she was definitely going to Heaven. She thought that her goodness was good enough for God.
After talking about sin and the judgement to come, she saw her badness. But then I explained the message of the cross, and she came to understand the gospel. Please pray for her.
Also please pray for David. He thought it was his keeping of the commandments that would save him. But after going through some of them, he realised he hadn't actually kept them.
He too said he would repent and trust in Christ. We also recommended a good local church for him to start attending.
All glory to our marvelous God!
Photo: Stephen witnessing to a young man near the end of the outreach.
Sunday, 8 February, 2015
The tide was up and so that meant less people were walking on the sand to King Island, which meant more people were walking past us.
We got to speak to a Hungarian man who spoke little English. But with the aid of Google Translate we could communicate with each other. He believed that God is everything and that all the religions are the same. After much discussion, we left him with the truth that Jesus is the only way.
Photo: This young man didn't believe in God, even after giving him good reasons, he kept rejecting it off hand. I went through the law and gospel with him. Eventually I asked him what is the real cause of his rejection of God, and he admitted that it was his sin that he loved doing. Please pray for him, his name is Joel.
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