Gold Coast Report this week is in two segments:
Keith Rochford's (2IC) Perspective & then Josh Mitchell's Perspective (1IC)
Firstly, Mr Rochfords Report:
"Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you" Matt 5:11-12.
Sunday 13th April 2008:
Team: Josh Mitchell, Chris Robson and Keith Rochford
Well Sunday was one of those amazing days when a Sovereign God allows you to stand firm in the Gospel, we started with a small team this week due to team members being away and Josh and I were back to back preaching while Chris worked the Bible table, Josh was first up preaching and started out with an interesting sermon on the reasons people don't wash which was quite amusing and he related it to reasons people reject God.
I followed up by preaching on humanistic world views vs. the Christian world view. I covered morality, ethics and human responsibility focussing on the illogical evolutionary position marketed at schools and universities today.
Then I went into the Law and Gospel and engaged a group on English tourists in the Law presentation. These guys were convicted of sin, and completely taken in by the Gospel presentation. They took Bibles from us, and were visibly impacted by the message of grace. These guys were very repentant, and we need to pray that God grants them Saving Faith.
Josh stepped up to preach again and people were buying us drinks and thanking us for sharing the Gospel which was really encouraging, but things took a drastic nose dive. Josh had started preaching to a group of Goth's, when a Police officer gave us a nice shiny set of handcuffs each to put on and then arrested us, we were taken to the local Police station, searched and all of our belongings confiscated and charged with 2 separate offenses. (This was quite interesting as I have been preaching in Surfers for over 2 years and have verbal permission from the local GC law enforcement)
After our arrest we were driven to Southport watch house and placed in a holding cell, I was then taken out of the cell. Josh meanwhile remained, and I began to be heckled by the Police Sgt on prayer. Then he asked if I would like to be placed in a cell with a child rapist, and see where my God is then.
I replied, "I would like that, if it can be arranged" and continued, "It's funny how we are all guilty of breaking God's law, and have no issues with that, but we are quick to judge others if the offense is deemed bad enough in mans eyes."
I was lead off to be fingerprinted and photographed, and shared Law and grace with the officer responsible for this task. He told me he was a back-slidden Christian (even though that's an oxymoron) and became very convicted. He really opened up to me and said his mum always spoke him about the things of God. I reminded him that if he does not repent of his sins and believe the Gospel he will spend eternity in hell. He said he understands and thanked me for being so upfront (he even said he could not believe that I was in here).
I was returned to a different cell than before and prayed for the Police officers and people that heard the Gospel today, until Josh joined me. When my brother Josh arrived we went straight into prayer and the Lord was quick to answer.
Others joined us in the cell and we were able to witness to them extensively (thank you lord) I can really say I felt only joy and peace in this situation, and I am so thankful to God for placing a man like Josh at my side to share in chains for Christ. Our ordeal was well worth it.
Christian's WAKE UP, stop living your life for yourself, and start sharing the Gospel Biblically. If you have the absolute honour of being persecuted for what you believe, REJOICE, our sufferings are nothing, sin is a terrible thing. Look at what it cost God, look to the cross of Christ, how can we sit here as Christians and do nothing?
How can we preach softened FALSE GOSPELS? How can we read our Bibles and not want to plead with people to be reconciled to God? If you have never suffered for sharing the Gospel, are you actually sharing the Biblical Gospel? How will they hear without a preacher? How will they know of the hope that resides in us? The Gospel is the power of God for salvation! Are we going to grow fat feeding on His promises while sinners are sinking into hell? I don't believe any true Christians will excuse themselves from there duty, if you are unsure read 1 John and examine yourselves.
Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself,
and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Luke 9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it:
but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
Luke 9:25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world,
and lose himself, or be cast away?
Luke 9:26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words,
of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory,
and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.
Josh Mitchell and I were then released on bail and met by Josh Williamson, Chris and Kyosti (hope I spelt his name properly).
Secondly Mr Mitchell's Report:
Sunday 13th April 2008
By the unmerited favour of God, through His vessels of mercy, His name was made known: Jesus the Saviour
Talk about open hearts! :)
We started out today with a small team of Keith Rochford and Chris Robson. I stepped up to preach, and launched into a short and sweet sermon, which got a few chuckles from those sitting nearby. Thanks to on the open air preachers from around the globe; I had an article on "Reasons I Don't Wash".
I preached the law of God (Ten Commandments), and then finished with the precious and powerful gospel of Jesus Christ.
Keith Rochford stepped up and began to preach, and as usual, a few drew closer to hear his British accent, and he began to show why evolution doesn't offer credible evidence, to undo the claims of the bible. He preached the law and the gospel, and stepped down to swap with me.
During our time preaching we had young and middle-aged people coming up thanking us, giving us water drinks and offering money.
I began to preach, and after a short time preaching, God gave me about thirteen darkly (gothic) dressed young ladies and a few fella's. They stopped and listen to me. I engaged them and we had quite a fun chat back and forth, during which I challenged them with a question.
Do you think you're a good person? Some thought they were good, some weren't sure, so I gave them a scale.. Hitler at one end, and a good guy at the other end.
One young lady said she was bad and loved Hitler. I responded: "You have affections for a man who killed millions of little children, men and women who were Jewish and then some?" She went quiet. But nodded and said she was a bad person.
So I gave them the ten commandment test, and they were open and honest. Towards the end, I asked them, if you died tonight.. and I hope you life a long life, but if you die, the bible says there is judgement afterwards. Would you be innocent or guilty? They all sang out in unison: "GUILTY!!!" Their voices still ring in my ears.
Just as they did so, a police officer crossed the road and shut down the preaching. A short time later we found ourselves in handcuffs and being marched to the local Police Beat across the road, which we have been preaching in open view of, for almost two years.
Our shoes and socks and belts were removed and all our personal items, and with cold feet we had to wait for a body search.
After that we were driven to lockup, its weird watching your car slowly get locked in by security gates, and then personally escorted into a solid security cell. I began to realise what prisoners feel like.
We were then held in a cell together, while we waited for more police. Keith Rochford was called out of the cell, and I was left locked in. He held a plate up, and was photographed then quizzed.
I had to wait quite a while in this cell, where everyone could watch me from the outside, so I just sang hymns and waited patiently. Being barefoot I was conscious of the stains on the floor, and couldn't help wonder what disgusting material had permeated the floor surface.
After a long while I was released from that cell, given a plate to hold up under my chin. I was told to stand in front of a red line and then a lady officer photographed me. Then I was quizzed on many things, including had I been taking drugs, had I been suicidal lately, etc etc. This was followed by being taken (still barefoot), to a big cold holding cell, and a heavy door slammed shut behind me.
I knelt and prayed, committing the police officers into God's hands for conversion, and then sang hymns waiting for my brother Keith to join me.
After waiting a long time, Keith Rochford was brought to finally join me. An older policeman came and marched me to the fingerprinting room. My fingerprints were taken, and the officer pointed out the tiny little sweat glands on my palms.
People, I was completely amazed at the tiny designed machinery that is even found in our hands! Praise be unto God! We truly are fearfully and wonderfully made.
After witnessing for a short period of time to this gentleman, I was taken back to the big cold holding cell, to be reunited with my brother Keith.
Shortly afterwards, the Lord brought us two more men to share with, and by His grace we were able to do it. One had been involved as a young man in the worldwide church of God, and since had been living a life of sin, and was feeling the earthly consequences of his actions.
God graciously allowed me to share with him, and show him that his greatest problem right now in the lockup, was that he was God's enemy.
He was surprised, and he inquired what I meant by that. This was my opening to share him the Ten Commandments, and how he was an enemy of God, because of his wicked works. He understood, and I pray, that if it pleases God, this young man might be converted and used for the glory of God, in the not too distant future.
Shortly after, Keith Rochford and I were released from the holding cell, and we were ushered out of the building having collected our belongings.
Please pray that God will use our time in lockup, for His glory, and that God's glory might be known well, through the witness he gave by through his unworthy servants.
For Jesus name,
Gold Coast Team (QLD)
Meets 7:15-10pm every Friday night at Surfers Paradise on Cavill Avenue.
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.