Thank you all for your ongoing prayers for the work in Hobart's CBD. God is blessing the work and many tracts and bibles have been going out. People have been coming back for repeat conversations. I have even had non-Christians stop me when giving out tracts to thank us for what we are doing and encourage us to continue.
One repeat visitor at the bible table is an older man who is interested in the Christadelphianism. Primarily he came to discuss the issue of hell which he struggles with (as do many people). He is attracted to the idea of annihilationism, that God would destroy completely sinners at the final judgment and that there would be no hell in an eternal sense. Praise God he has been willing to discuss what God says in His word about these views. It has been encouraging to see the openness that he has to consider and struggle with these issues. Please pray that he will continue to come and speak with us and that we would be able to share wisely and respectfully from God's word.
The team are now regularly handing out tracts at the nearby traffic intersection, that is when they are not caught up in gospel conversations! I regularly look around to check on tracting team members only to find they are deep in gospel conversation. Praise God for these wonderful opportunities and the privilege of gossiping the gospel in Hobart!
Our regular heckler Mr S.has been staying away but over the last two weeks he and I have chatted for short periods. It was a positive discussion and he is wanting (as I am) to make sure that things remain calm in the mall on Tuesday afternoons. I am grateful for this and hope that we will be able to have more positive discussions in the future. Please continue to pray for Mr S., that God will bless him and give him peace.
We have begun preaching again in the mall and for the last two weeks the people who have gathered have been very quiet and listening to what was said. In some ways this has been a challenge as it is easier to bounce off people's questions and gather a crowd from the heckling. At the same time I am grateful for the opportunity to preach on an issue uninterrupted and develop thoughts fully. There were small groups that gathered and the usual people sitting/standing at the edges of hearing range pretending not to listen but obviously straining to hear.
This week I decided to be ambitious and have begun a series of sermons on the world's greatest preacher's one recorded sermon. I began with the telling and world inverting verse:
Mt 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
From this verse I sought to show how the sinful nature of our hearts and the pride that comes naturally to us all prevents us from coming into the kingdom of God. Also on the other hand the humble attitude Jesus points to is an expression of true repentance. If we will not put down our self-centredness we cannot come to Jesus in faith to seek His Goodness, His righteousness, His atonement and His life. This is in many ways the first step in becoming a child of the kingdom.
There is great riches in this one verse alone and there is much that could be said. Please pray that I will do Jesus' words some kind of justice in my preaching and that it will draw people to him in Hobart.
Praise God for His grace and kindness!