Saturday, 19th December 2009
“Do you think it is going to rain?” I asked those around me. “Not sure” was the general reply. “Na, it will be fine, maybe rain in a couple of hours” chipped in Ryan. “I think we have only 30 minutes before it pours” Dave added. Since we couldn’t agree on the issue of the weather, both Ryan and I pulled out our iPhones and checked out the bureau of meteorology. The satellite showed rain clouds heading for our location, looked like it was going to be another wet night.
Oh well, in all things give thanks. As we were preparing for the night, one to one conversations began to occur. Ryan, as usual, was engaged in a conversation with a man who was sitting near our location. Then David was in a conversation with a couple who happened to be walking by. It was beginning to shape up for a great night.
We prepared to preach with the clouds looming over us. The first preacher up was Alex. It was only his second time preaching, and it was generally surprising to all of us to see how good of a job he did. As Alex preached a few people stopped to listen, and while the preaching was going on the heavens opened up and down came the rain. Quickly we scrambled to pack down the Bible table and then get undercover. That is, all but the preacher got to go undercover. The preacher continued his job of expounding the gospel to those who would give him an ear.
The rain soon passed, and once again we set up the Bible table. It seems that this Bible table is a yo-yo, as no sooner than it was set up, that it was packed down again as it began to rain.
After preaching for some time, Alex stood down and Ryan took over. As he began to preach, three young guys came close, one of them pulling out his mobile phone and film the preaching. It was then that one of them stepped forward, and with a big grin on his face began to heckle. His goal was to ‘destroy’ the preacher. He argued atheism, evolution and the validity of the Bible. Every single argument he presented was easily answered by Ryan, and then the man was on the back-foot as Ryan turned the attention to the gospel. For the next twenty or so minutes Ryan presented the gospel, this in turn created a whole new wave of hecklers. All of which were dealt with, in a loving and biblical manner.
Ryan preached for some time, then it came time for Dave to preach. Not long into his message he had three guys come up and hassle him with some questions. Out of the three only one showed an interest in what Dave was saying. It was this guy that Dave aimed at. While Dave was talking the man seemed to appreciate all that was going on and he began to shake Dave’s hand and agree with him in regards to the gospel. While this was going on, I was able to speak to one of the other guys, who was not interested in anything to do with Christ, but at least I was able to keep him away from the interrupting the preacher.
It was then that hostility broke out. I was taking a few photos of the proceedings when a drunk man wearing a blue shirt approached me. He leant into my face and said “Do you have a permit to take photos?” I informed him that we didn’t need a permit to take photos since it was a public place. In his drunken ramblings he said, “I’m a lawyer and I’ll sue you!”
He then told me that he had secretly recorded our conversation and it would be used as evidence against us. He then continued to argue that us Christians should not be out here and he would be seeing us in court. After awhile he lost interest in me but went after one of our other team members. The little drunk kept leaning in an aggressive manner towards this team member and he was threatening court action. We basically ignored him and carried on with the preaching.
By now Dave had another man up close to him. This man was probably in his 40’s - 50’s and he was drunk. At first he was hostile towards the preacher, and this stemmed from a hurt he had suffered. It turned out that just recently his father had died and he was still in the grieving process. Dave with much gentleness ministered Christ to him and the man calmed down and even shook Dave’s hand. Later in the evening we would see him again, this time he wasn’t hostile but rather he was smiling and he waved to us, calling out “Merry Christmas!”
Just before Dave finished preaching this young female came up screaming abuse. She was saying “There is no god! God doesn’t exist since there are starving people in the world!” Then, in an act of hypocrisy she threw the hamburger she had been eating at Dave, that which could have fed a hungry person made impact on the chest of the preacher as he continued to expound the message of Christ. The young female growing in anger walked up the mall, turned and then in a voice not her own, but rather in a deep masculine voice screamed out obscenities towards God. Dave, stuck to the gospel, and proclaimed the risen Lord.
The night was quite interesting, we had some good hecklers and many people got the gospel. May God be forever praised for His goodness!
Saturday, 26th December 2009
“And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy
that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior,
who is Christ the Lord.” - Luke 2:10-11 (ESV)
The day previous the nation, and indeed much of the world stopped to remember the birth of Christ, and being just one day later many people were still in a celebratory mood. Louise and I sent the day having Christmas lunch with parents, then Louise had the ‘joy’ of going to work, while I had the privilege of going out to tell people about the Saviour.
The night was expected to be slow due to the fact that everyone was on holidays and many shops were closed. This expectation turned out to be correct, for in the mall there were very few people. After our normal time of Bible reading and prayer, we made our way to the Queen Street Mall for some evangelism. While setting up things began to get interesting. Yarran was on the Bible table having a great witness to two Indian men. Alex was preparing himself to preach, Ryan was handing out tracts and engaged in a one to one. Then the explosion came. The man to whom Ryan had been witnessing went absolutely nuts, when he read on the tract that Jesus considers lust to be adultery (Matthew 5:28). He came storming over to me asking who was in charge, so I tried to calm him down. He was not in the mood for talking, rather he was in the mood for yelling and this he did plenty of.
His central beef was around the fact that he considered lust to be perfectly fine, and he didn’t like the idea of his love being a sin in the sight of God. To top it off, amongst the abuse, the swearing, the name calling, the threats he said these words “I believe in God, I’m a Christian!” My reply was one that set him off even further, I told him the Bible would say he is not a Christian as the fruit he is showing says that his heart is wicked.
The man stormed off, then came back. This time he was standing on a park bench screaming a abuse and cursing me at the top of his lungs. He then jumped dow
n and came charging up to me. I thought he was about to smack me one, but instead he just got really close, so the that smell of alcohol would be in my face. Then once again he began to curse and say, “I would have become a Christian, except for you and your statements on lust!” To which I answered, “No, you would not have become a Christian, for you love your sin more than you love God.” He then ripped up a tract and went screaming up the mall. All this, and we hadn’t even started preaching.
After the eventful heckle, we thought it time to begin the preaching. Alex (not the Atheist) got up to preach first. He hadn’t been preaching long when a couple of hecklers moved in for the mock. These two guys had obviously been exposed to some wacko teaching in the past, for they started to ask about healing and being slain in the spirit. Upon asking these questions, one began to shout “I’m blind!” To which the other in a mocking tone came over, laid hands on him and yelled “BE HEALED!” The ‘blind’ man fell to the ground and began to cry out “I’ve been healed! I can see!” With these sort of mocks the heckling continued. Throughout all this Alex remained calm and cool, sticking to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
For over an hour Alex preached, and he did a wonderful job. Not b
ad for someone who has only been preaching for a few weeks. It seems that he is a natural when it comes to preaching, and God willing Alex will develop into a gifted minister of the Word.
Ryan was the next preacher up for the night, he as usual opened up the Bible and began to tell of the glad tidings that are found in the message of Christ. The hecklers were fewer for Ryan, of course there was Wayne the Agnostic, who threw a few random heckles in the direction of Ryan. Then there was this one young man who came along and mocked the gospel. It even got to the point where he was saying a mock prayer while Ryan preached, and then tried to climb on the box with him.
It was sad to see so many people mock the God who is so kind towards them, the God of the Bible gives them life and everything they need to survive. Yet, they continue to rebel and mock Him. They don’t realise that their sin is an offence to God and that they deserve judgement. Yet, that God whom they mock, in love sent Christ Jesus to suffer and die on the cross in the place of those who would believe. Then, three days after Christ died, He arose again from the dead and defeated sin and death. So, if those who mock would repent (turn from sin) and trust that it is only by the death, burial and resurrection of Christ that we are saved, all their sin would be forgiven. Will they do that? That is up to God, but the question reader is this, “Will repent of your sins and trust in Christ, who in love, died and rose again in the place of sinners?” Look to Christ right now and live.
Soli Deo Gloria!
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.