It has been a cold couple of weeks here in Hobart and it is sometimes hard to go out into the mall and do outreach. Praise God that when we are weak He is strong and supplies all that we lack! In spite of the cold it has also been a wonderful time here in Hobart with many fantastic opportunities to share the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ.
Over the last couple of weeks Mr S. our regular heckler has taken to setting up a pro-homosexual marriage table in speaker’s corner. This means that during the hour that he is set up we need to go to other areas. This has been a blessing rather than the irritation I suspect that he intended it to be. It has meant that we have spent much more time in prayer and many more tracts have gone out into the city, as tracting is restricted at speaker’s corner.
The other blessing is that this has been a prompt for us to pray more frequently for Mr S.’s salvation. He is a young man who is blindly committed to atheism in the face of many evidences and has been heavily involved in the occult for many years (he even has the tattoos to prove it). He desperately needs salvation as do so many in this sinful city. Please be in prayer for Mr S., that God would soften his heart and show him the greatness of his sin and the even greater love of Jesus. And if you are reading this Mr S., please be sure of our ongoing prayers and hope for your inclusion in God’s family.
Preaching went well today but was a little quiet as always is the case in winter here in Hobart. At one point a small crowd gathered as I spoke with a man and I could share the gospel with those gathered.
On the other hand there has been a flurry of interest in the bible table today, with most of my bibles taken in the first 2 hours. Also we had a couple of enquirers wanting to talk about theological issues. Both enquirers were utterly committed to anti-biblical positions, one of them parading as biblical.
Firstly was a man from the local hyper-charismatic church, they teach that there is no salvation possible without first baptism and then second speaking in tongues. We have spoken before and today was in many ways no different from previously. I opened scripture to show how their teaching contradicts scripture, and he refused to see what I sought to share. The only difference was a tragic one. Previously people from this church have sought to prevent me from sharing the gospel only by distraction. Today though I was told not to preach the bible message the way I do as it includes parts of scripture that are for Christians only and should never be preached outside a church. This man also told me that I am wrong to tell people to repent and believe only as they must also be baptized and speak in tongues.
These two issues stem from the same root, which is the legalistic rejection of God’s grace. This is a deadly error that the Apostle Paul wrote against in the book of Galations, salvation is all of grace or it condemns us outright. We destroy the gospel and make it very bad news indeed if we say like the legalists of Galatia that we must keep certain laws or do certain things (in this case baptism and supernatural languages) in order to be saved. If we seek to be right with God through law keeping we are bound to keep ALL the law, and none of us do that. Please pray that God will remove the deception that these folks are under and lead them into a relationship with Him of grace. Please also pray for us that we will be kept from this same error of law keeping, we are all bent in the direction of this sin and it is only by God’s grace that we stand.
The second enquirer was a man who believed that the word of God was corrupted and a mish-mash of myth and legend. Yet despite this he appeared quite confident in being able to tell what was true and false in the “mix”. It is the first time I have ever been told that the Cross is a two-dimensional version of the Qiblah in mecca (think folding paper to form a cube…) and that the Davidic star of the Jews links into Revelation chapter 3 and the “synagogue of Satan” in Philadelphia.
Apparently two thousand years after the fact it is crystal clear that the whole bible is cobbled together from previous myths (including Mythras who came after the writing of scripture). Not only that but this man was also certain that Christianity was a hoax and a means of controlling us and keeping certain people in power. I was able to share some reasons to believe the bible is what it claims to be (the divine inerrant word of God) and unfortunately, he was unwilling to listen to much more than that. Please pray that God will open this man's eyes to the truth and bless him with salvation.
Praise God for the many and varied opportunities that He brings us each day!