Saturday, 13 September 2008
After having a crazy week at work (a customer tried to stab with a bayonet), I was looking forward to the ‘calm' of going out to the streets of Brisbane city and preaching the gospel.
We arrived as usual at 7:30pm, and we were met with some brothers from way up north, who had come down to spend the night witnessing in Brisbane, then we were joined by Andrew Walkington from Sydney, and later Max also from New South Wales. It is always good to have visitors with us, as it gives us a chance to build each other up in the most holy faith.
After spending some time in prayer and fellowship we went to our normal spot in the Queen Street Mall, and began to set up for the preaching. I thought it would be good to get Andrew Walkington to have a preach first, which is something he said he was a bit nervous about as he hadn't done it for some time. But, he got up there with white bible in hand, and began to expound on the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. It was fairly quiet while he preached, and there we were very few people who actually stopped to listen. But, that doesn't matter, all that matters is that the gospel went forth.
After Walko had finished preaching, Andre got up and began to preach about how scientists tried to re-create the big bang, an then he swung it around to show that a Supreme Being is needed to cause everything. This then led into the gospel, showing how we have all sinned against God, and how we have all fallen, yet God is merciful towards humanity is that Christ died for us, and if we would repent and trust in Christ we would be forgiven!
Andre got a few hecklers open fire on him, and he did a fairly decent job dealing with some of the ludicrous statements that people made. Andre has come along way in the few months he has been with us, his preaching and apologetics have grown in leaps and bounds. And I freely confess that he is a major blessing to the Brisbane Operation 513 team.
After Andre finished preaching, I stood up and began by speaking about the fear people had experienced through the week, and how many people believed that due to a science experiment the world was going to end. From there I swung into the fact that each day, the world ends for 155 000 people, and how as the Bible says:
"Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"-- yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.... And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment." - James 4:13-14 & Hebrews 9:27 (ESV)
From there I started to explain the reason we die is because we have all sinned against God, and it was at this point a heckler opened fire upon me, this man walked past screaming abuse, to which I stopped him, and asked what it was that he didn't like. The man simply replied "You are forcing it down people's throats!" This objection wasn't valid, so I asked him how exactly it was that I was forcing people to stand and listen to the gospel? His reply was "you just are!"
So, I asked him a question, "Sir, Are you a Christian?" To which his reply was "Yes!" This led into a discussion about the Bible, he said he believed it, but he didn't like the part that commands all Christians to go into the world and preach, he thought that preaching was very unloving. This pushed all my buttons, so I asked him straight. "Do you believe in hell?" He said that he did, but he didn't talk about it, so I slammed him on being the unloving one, as he was prepared to sit by and let millions of people walk right into hell, because he wasn't loving enough to tell them that Jesus Christ will forgive them if they repent.
At this the man went off, he started screaming abuse and swearing at me, so I called him out on the fruit he was showing, This then sent him into another tirade of cursing. He would yell "I am a ^$# Christian, you $#!% *&^%!" This use of colourful language clearly showed this man was not repentant, so I quizzed him on what is the gospel, to which he replied "Love people and follow the path of love!" So, I pointed out that by his own words he is condemned as right now he wasn't being very loving, I also pointed out that if he believed that, then the Bible makes it clear he is not a Christian, but rather a pretender.
The man started to scream and hurl abuse, but before I could engage him any more, Alex the Agnostic entered into the scene, this time yelling "That's your interpretation!" It is interesting, Alex always reveals his hand, he isn't opposed to the false gospel as presented by the man abusing me, but he is against the true gospel as presented from the Bible. This reveals something, Alex likes the watered down message that says, everything, and everyone will be sweet. But the moment Alex hears that he has sinned against God, and that God will judge him, he goes off. But, Alex gets even more fired up when you point out to him that Jesus Christ died for sinners.
It should come as no surprise to us that Alex loves the soft message, and opposes the true message, as the Bible says:
"And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed." - John 3:19-20 (ESV)
Alex is just like every other sinner in the world, they love their sin, and they love darkness. But Christ Jesus can and will forgive them if they repent!
The rest of the night was spent preaching and dealing with rowdy hecklers, one of which tried to head butt me in the groin, and then steal my tracts. But through it all the gospel got preached.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Full report with pictures: http://www.operation513.com
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Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.
Brisbane Team (Day) (QLD)
Meets Wednesday afternoons 1-5pm in King George Square (near Adelaide St crossing).
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.