Saturday, 21 June, 2008
A cool south westerly breeze was blowing into Brisbane tonight, so it made it rather cold when it came to doing evangelism. But, nevertheless we pushed on to declare the good news of Jesus Christ coming into the world to save sinners.
It was good to have Heather from New Zealand join us tonight, I first met Heather a couple of years ago while on an outreach in Christchurch, she has since moved to Brisbane, and is now witnessing with us.
The team gathered at around 8:00pm in King George Square and we engaged in a time of Bible reading, and team prayer. After this we had a short time of fellowship before heading up the mall.
As we entered the mall we were greeted with the sight, that there wasn't too many people about, this is probably due to the last week of exams at all the local universities. Another problem we had tonight was that all the preachers were sick, and had head colds. So it was going to be a hard night of preaching, especially if we got hecklers.
Ryan was the first man up to preach, he expounded on what it means to be a Christian, and also on how one can be saved from their sin. He stressed how we "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23), and then how if we repent we will be forgiven our sin because of what Christ Jesus did upon the cross.
While Ryan was preaching Ralph was in back play discussing things with a man and his wife. The man appeared to be rather forceful, so I dropped back to listen to their conversation. The man was building his case for why one must keep the whole of the law and especially the Sabbath to be saved. He was also stating that one does not need to repent in order to be saved, and that Jesus never preached "repent".
I engaged the man with an open Bible, and we looked at a few verses that indicated that one must repent. "Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out" (Acts 3:19), "The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30).
The man still maintained that repentance was never taught by Jesus, and that we could not trust the Apostle Paul as he was a homosexual. I challenged the man on this and asked where he got the information from in order to make such a statement. The man replied "Well, Paul wrote about homosexuality thus he is a homosexual!" I pointed out to him that Paul wrote about many other things as well, but that doesn't make him those things. The man kept on ignoring me saying "Paul was gay!" So I showed him to 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 to show that homosexuality is a sin and that Paul says in v11 that people were homosexuals, indicating that one turn from homosexuality in order to be saved. So Paul could not be a Christian and homosexual.
The man quickly changed gears, and went back to the repentance issue. He maintained that Jesus never told anyone to repent. So once again we opened the Bible to show him the Scripture: "No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." (Luke 13:3), " No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." (Luke 13:5), " From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4:17).
These passages made the man change gears once again, this time he said "Yes, but no where in the Bible does it say you must repent to be saved!" To this his wife joined in "You should listen to him, he studies theology and has a degree!" My reply was "You may study theology, and you may have a degree but what if I can show you in the Bible that you must repent in order to be saved?" The man simply said "You can't show me that!"
So I opened my Bible to 2 Corinthians 7:10: "For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.". I asked the man from the text to explain to me what leads to salvation? He looked at me, laughed and said "I bet you don't keep the Sabbath, you are a law breaker!"
Now he was off and running down the path of how one must keep the law in order to be saved. I handed him the Bible and asked him to show me one verse where it states that under the new covenant we must keep the Sabbath. He laughed again, and said that there were plenty of verses. I asked him for just one. He refused to show me saying that I was preaching another gospel. So once again I challenged him to show me from the Scripture where it says I as a new covenant believer must keep the Sabbath.
To this both he and his wife said "We both keep the whole law perfectly! We never break it!" I asked them if they kept all the Ten Commandments, they both said that they did, I asked them if they kept all the laws found in the Torah. They said they did. I then took them to Leviticus 20:13 and asked if they killed homosexuals. They replied that they did not, but that law didn't apply to them. So I challenged them on how they can pick and chose what law they wish to keep and what laws they don't wish to keep. To which they replied, that they must test these laws by the New Testament. I agreed with them on this point, and then asked, where in the New Testament does it say "Keep the Sabbath?"
Once again they went on a tirade about how I am going to hell because I don't keep the Sabbath. I challenged them by showing Galatians 3:10: "For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them." I pointed out to the man that if he thinks that the law will save him, then according to the Scripture he is under the curse, for only Christ can save. The man laughed and walked off with his wife.
By now Ryan had fi nished preaching, and was witnessing one to one with people. I was then called over by Peter to assist with a guy he was dealing with. The man had some strange theological beliefs. The man was claiming to be a Mormon Hare Krishna. So I spoke to him a bit on the problems of Mormonism in the light of the Bible, and stressed to him how his good works could never save him. I showed him in the Scripture: "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9).
The night was quiet, so at around 11pm I got up to have a bit of a preach. Within minutes of standing up the crowd erupted in anger. Hecklers emerged from everywhere scream obscenities about God and Christianity. It took ages to get past all the hecklers, but eventually I was able to get to the point where the hecklers calmed down, and then I was able to preach the full gospel while engaging in discussion with a young man.
The rest of the night was spent handing out tracts and doing one to one.
Praise God for a good evening!
Soli Deo Gloria!