The Gold Coast team usually meets from 12pm-3pm each Saturday, but today we decided to push the start and finish times one hour earlier. The reason for this was that two people who join us on the streets occasionally at the Gold Coast were getting married today - Dan & Simonie. Congratulations to them both!
So at the earlier start time, we had Blake, Bekk and I who met together. After a time of prayer, we read from Ephesians 1. Since it was earlier in the day, there were not as many people about. However, soon after starting to hand out tracts, two performers decided to do some antics in our usual preaching area. This drew a small crowd of onlookers, and so we were able to hand tracts out to the crowd.
I thought I would take the opportunity of the gathered crowd to preach, so once the performers were gone, I stood up to preach. I started off by talking about the soccer World Cup that was coming up. Many people have been counting down to it for years. Some have bought flags, their team's fan gear, plane tickets to see the matches and so on. The broadcaster who won the rights to show the Wolrd Cup on US TV screens had to pay 400 million dollars for it. Yet while the World Cup is a massively-popular event, there are some people in the world who haven't been looking forward to it. And some may not even know that there is such an event. But there is an event coming up that no one will miss. A day bigger than the World Cup, that every one will know about it when it arrives. And that is the return of Jesus. I then went on to speaking about the Judgement that will occur at Jesus' return, the fact that we have all sinned and deserve Hell, and that Jesus died on the cross for all those who would repent and believe.
At about miiday, Rick and Glenda arrived, along with Emma. This was Emma's first time out on the streets after only becoming a Christian not too many months ago. She did a great job for a first timer.
One conversation that Bekk and I was with two young ladies. When I asked them that if they were to die tonight would they go to Heaven, one responded by saying, "No, our souls will sleep until the return of Jesus. Then we'll go to Heaven." By their answer I could tell that they would either be Jehovah's Witnesses or 7th Day Adventists. They were 7th Day Adventists. They had no qualms in admitting that they live in sin and have no interest in turning from that sin. For they said that God does not mind them living that way, for God will let them into Heaven anyway.
So I warned them that Jesus said a person must repent to be saved. They responded by saying that even though they are 7th Day Adventists, they are not born again. They said they plan on doing that later in life, and the way that happens is by water baptism. We pointed to them John 3 where Jesus says that unless a person is born again, they will not enter the kingdom of God. Being born again is not an optional extra, it is required. We then corrected their misunderstanding about what they think being born again is. It is not water baptism, it is something spiritual - where a person dies to their old self and comes to be alive in Christ and they receive the Holy Spirit.
But they wouldn't have a bar of it. They expressed clearly that they had no intention of turning from their sin, and yet thought they would still enter Heaven. All we could do is warn them again about what the Bible teaches - that a person must repent and trust not in their baptism to enter Heaven or any other good work, but only the death of Jesus for their forgiveness.
Blake at this point in time was talking to two Jewish guys, and as the conversation progressed, the amount of people listening to his conversation increased. So he eventually had a crowd of people surrounding him listening in. Blake mentioned that some of them after hearing the gospel were very convicted.
Since I preached earlier in the day, there hadn't been a preacher up for a little bit. So Rick decided to get up on the block and doing some preaching. He did a great job in proclaming the awesome truth about Christ paying for the sins of His people.
During this time, Glenda got in a great witnessing encounter with a man who was riding a bike. She said the conversation went for about an hour and the man was very challenged and was soaking in everything she said. Praise God!
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.