This week has been a sharp spike in interest in the work in the mall. We had many people gather to discuss the gospel and biblical matters. We also nearly ran out of bibles on the bible table, a problem every evangelist should have!
The afternoon began as many have, with quiet discussions around the bible table. Mr S. dropped by to have a quick chat before heading off to other commitments. My discussions with Mr S. have become quite cordial, something that I am immensely grateful to God for!
After finishing chatting with Mr S. I began to preach the gospel and I was working my way through a passage of scripture when an aboriginal man started shouting at me that I should stop preaching about God on aboriginal land. Apparently God and Jesus are not welcome in Australia, and according to this man I was being disrespectful of his people by preaching as I did. I responded to him as best I could, seeking to show him that race and nationality do not remove our responsibility to our maker. I also urged him to consider the fact that many in the aboriginal communities of our land are Christian (75% according to the ABS census done just recently). There have even been elders come out in opposition to the activism of “Invasion Day” saying aboriginal Australians should be seeking to reconcile not foster division and hatred. None of this had any effect on this particular man and he continued to spew hatred towards God and threatening me if I did not stop preaching. All this obviously concerned some people listening because one lady called the police because she thought I was in danger. They came and spoke with the man off to one side leaving me free to continue preaching.
I rejoiced when I looked around at the large crowd that had gathered to witness the spectacle and doubly so when members of the crowd began to ask their own questions. It began with a question regarding other religions – what do I think will happen to them (with particular reference to Islam as some Muslims had walked past). This I answered with the words of Jesus underlying His claim to be the only way to God and asking in return if He was right or wrong? Not receiving a reply I urged the questioner to consider all that Jesus did that made it urgent that we believe Him, He was God in flesh and proved it beyond all doubt.
At this point the police spoke to me briefly about avoiding violence in the mall, something I assured them I was ng very hard to avoid if I could. They then left me to continue preaching, taking the aboriginal man with them.
The questions continued from there for the rest of the afternoon until I had to pack up and head home apologising to the unanswered questions. The questions were fantastic, biblical questions that allowed me to glorify both God and the gospel.
One set of questions in particular was regarding the role of biblical law in the Christian's life. My questioner claimed we had to fulfill all the law in order to be right with God, not only believe in Jesus through faith. This question was fantastic as I could speak about the full salvation that Christ had won on the cross and how we are freed from the demands of law which we could never fulfill. I went to Galations many times to underline God's thoughts on this false gospel. Praise God He gave us the law which has delivered us to Jesus who sets us free from from bondage to both law keeping and sin!
As I said many bibles went out as did much literature. Praise God that He is so kind to us here in Hobart and sent to gather the people to hear the way to life. May He use what was said and what was taken to be read!
Please continue your faithful prayers for the people of Hobart and for our work in the mall.
To God be the glory through Jesus the Son!