It has been a wonderful day in Hobart this week. The weather has become hot and dry (for Hobart that means 25 degrees) with lots of people in the mall shopping for Christmas or just sitting enjoying the warmth. We were able to share the gospel with many people and the word of God preached. As no-one else was using speaker's corner this week we had the bible table set up for the entire afternoon and many bibles and tracts went out. There were a number of good conversations that were shared around the table.
Taylor and I spoke to a gentleman Mr S. for sometime who was coming from a drinking session and appeared to have many hurts and troubles in his life. We encouraged him to put aside the alcohol and instead look to Jesus for healing and comfort and salvation.
We were encouraged by a lady that stopped to listen to the preaching and chat around the bible table. She said that gospel preaching was something that Hobart needed regardless of anyone rejecting the message. Each time a preacher got up she repeated this as loudly as she could!
Taylor and I took turns to read out the first chapters of Luke and I spoke on the Christ of Christmas and the great and glorious work he has done for sinners. After this Taylor preached on Jn 3:16 and following verses doing a great job bringing out the meaning of the text clearly.
Last in the day I spoke on the beatitudes, focusing on "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God". I brought out the terrible reality that sin has tainted all of us and we are not pure, as our consciences show all too clearly. Then I spoke of God's Holy hatred for sin and awesome power, which come together to mean we are all in danger from God. What we need is someone to change our hearts and praise God that is exactly what Jesus did on the cross! I urged the people of Hobart the turn and trust in Jesus Christ as He is their only hope.
After the preaching a number of people gathered to talk. Taylor, Meg and Gail spoke to Mr S. the regular heckler at some length. I spoke with Mr M. and Mr E., Mr E. had what appeared to be regular atheistic objections the the Christian faith but was not a regular atheist himself as he believed in all sorts of supernatural things. Mr M. rejects Jesus, yet very insistently tries to teach Christians what to believe about the bible and each time I have spoken to him it is the same. This week he was wanting to speak about Christmas and how Christians should not celebrate it at all as it has pagan roots. Much of what he brought out is from the Jehovah's Witnesses or Judaism. I engaged with him on the issue trying to show that the timing of the celebration has nothing to do with the date of Jesus's birth. Rather the date shows that ancient pagans turned from their gods to worship Christ. I urged him to do likewise in this and in the many other things we talked about.
After about an hour talking and sharing our faith with this group we packed and headed home. Praise God that His word goes out!