Since it was Australia Day, I knew that it would definitely be busy down at Surfers Paradise. So Peter Webber and I made our way down to the coast. We noticed that many people were dressed up in national colours and a lot of people put flags outside the windows of their cars. So once we arrived, we started handing out gospel tracts to every one we met. Big Money and Million dollar notes worked very well because people saw it as a novelty note for Australia Day. So many people came back asking for more for their friends.
After a few witnessing encounters, I stood up to preach and nearly instantly people started to heckle. Within minutes a crowd of about 100 people had started to gather as they listened to the preaching. I ran the good person test through a couple of most vocal hecklers, and they recognised their helplessness towards God. They knew they deserved Hell. I then preached the cross of Christ and how one can be forgiven of their sins. Since more and more people were joining the crowd, I made sure I went over the law and gospel again, elaborating on certain parts, to make sure the message stuck in their heads.
None of the hecklers had anything meaningful to say though. They were just amazed that someone would do stand up and preach like this. One guy decided to pick me up off the place where I was standing and move me 5 metres away, after which I simply went back and started preaching again.
At one stage, in order to drown out the preaching, a group of guys started saying "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie", at which the crowd joined in with "Oi, Oi, Oi". Then everyone proceeded to sing the national anthem, but instead of making the preaching stop, they simply attracted more people to find out what was going on. So that once they had finished singing, I simply resumed preaching saying that even though it is great to be an Australian, even Australians will die one day. And after that comes the judgment. I praise God for bringing in all these hecklers, as they attracted more people to hear the gospel message.
I had the usual things thrown at me, like beach balls and thongs, but this time I also had a blow-up kangaroo thrust into my face. I also got soked with Coca-Cola, which some guys thought would be funny to do. However, all it did was add more credibility to the message, because the people listening saw that I was willing to keep preaching this message, even when things like that were done to me. For Jesus' words ring out so clear: "Do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do." (Luke 12:4) All an unbeliever can do is kill the body, so there is no reason why we shouldn't share our faith.
After an hour of preaching, I stood down and had numerous people thank me for the message I was preaching. Even non-Christians came up to me saying, "Look, I don't believe your message, but man, do you have guts. I'm really going to think about what you said." Others who said, "Your message has changed my life." Praise God.
We then did some further one2ones and tracting with the people there. After my voice had recovered, I stood back up to preach and God again brought in a massive crowd to hear the gospel. This time, some of the hecklers had some questions, like "Where did God come from?", "How was the world made?" So I spent a little bit of time answering those questions.
There were a couple people drinking beer as they listened. They tried offering me a beer and a cigarette in order to distract the preaching, so I proclaimed to them that "What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?" (Matt. 16:26). I asked the whole crowd whether they had lied, stolen something, looking with lust. They all said they had. I pointed out that it makes them deserving of Hell. I then explained why our good works can't credit us salvation, and that salvation only comes through Jesus Christ.
At this stage I saw two policemen start to cross the road towards me. They stood in the crowds for a couple minutes, so I thought they were simply going be my protection if a heckler did something to me. But instead, they came up to me and said that because people were putting beer bottles and cigarettes in my face, they were going to have to move me on. I asked, "What don't you simply move along the people who are doing those acts, as they are the ones breaking the law?" They simply said no. So I said that we have permission from the council and from one of the members of Queensland Police. The officiers just said, "No you don't", and they didn't even want to check with the people who had given us permission. Then they gave me a move on order. However, even during the dialogue with the police, the crowd kept listening. It added further credibility to the message I was preaching, as they knew I would stand strong to the gospel message even though the police regularly moved us on.
But thankfully, when we got moved on was just about when I was finishing preaching anyway. So praise be to God that both Peter and I were able to spend many hours on Australia Day witnessing to the people of the Gold Coast. Please pray that God will convert the people who heard the gospel message.
Here is some more photos from the outreach:
To God be the glory!
Gold Coast Team (QLD)
Meets 7:15-10pm every Friday night at Surfers Paradise on Cavill Avenue.
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.