This evening, the team headed out into Queen St Mall, in the heart of Brisbane city. For a range of years it has been a weekly occurrence, each Saturday night, yet without fail each time God brings along new people to hear His message of salvation. Tonight was no different, as the team met up for prayer at seven, there were already a few team members in conversations with passers by and as always we were hanging around for a while after the designated evangelism time finishing off conversations.
The night started quickly, there was a small threat of rain but thankfully nothing came of it. Early in the night we started with some sketch boarding alongside some preaching, a man came along early, who name was Dave and very quickly started engaging, he was very animated and quickly a crowd had formed to listen to the discussion which was taking place. Dave argued that all truth and morality was relative and simply by making the claim that all truth was relative had refuted his own argument. Dave continued discussing but after a a few questions when he had no more objections he didn't want to hear anymore about God and abruptly left.
Thankfully a decent crowd stuck around and heard the Gospel articulated and were given te challenge to consider if they are trusting in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross alone, or if they were relying on themselves to get to Heaven.
The preaching drew in a few different couples who stayed around and conversed with team members for varying lengths of time. One couple even stayed for an entire three hours!
One man the team talked with was named Steve, he was a professing Atheist. He explained that he didn't believe God existed on the basis that there wasn't enough evidence. We discussed a wide range of topics, starting with a quick jog through morality, its basis and why it matters, past the evidence for an intelligent designer in the complexity of creation and finally we spent a decent amount of time on the evidence for the reliability of the Bible.
Steve who a few minutes earlier seemed so sure, was suddenly in a place out of his depth, though he held strongly to an atheistic belief, he never spent much time considering who Jesus is and whether or not Jesus rose from the grave. Steve had strong opinions but we challenged the basis of his belief. Please be keeping Steve in prayer and pray that God will use our discussion with him to bring about salvation.
Just as he was making a move to leave he asked a final decisive question. Why not other religions? Why Christianity? To which we were able to discuss a little more, summarised finally with the simple explanation, all other religions, and proclaimed ways to Heaven teach that humans, in their fallen and evil state can somehow work hard, to improve enough to deserve the recognition of a Holy God. Where as Christianity states that we could never please God, contrarily we deserve punishment for our sin, yet God in His love, became a man, in the person of Jesus Christ (fully God and fully man), lived a perfect life, died a sacrificial death, suffering God's wrath for sin and rose from the grave, so that we can have our sin paid for, if we surrender to Him as Lord and Saviour through repentance and belief.
Steve had never heard this before and said it was interesting, he did have to leave but would consider such a claim.
Another brief highlight was with four young men, Damo, James, Josh and Thomas. Each proclaiming a level of skepticism or agnosticism and one boldly declaring he was an atheist. We started out discussing, what the worlds biggest problem was, with a range of answers, from racism, to littering and even selfishness getting some air time we soon were into a discussion about morality.
Damo, declared that morality was relative and determined by the majority, James (seemingly speaking for the other three), declared that we are taught morality by our parents. We started to deconstruct these misconceptions. Damo quickly stepped back, when we discussed whether or not slavery was wrong because the majority of people for the vast majority of history believed it was. James, continued on with the family structure and your surroundings but soon was denying certain things were wrong on a level higher than parental authority. We got to a point where each attempt at explaining morality seemed to have a hole in it.
Thankfully there was one answer that hadn't been considered, the fact that we were created in the image of God, inherently with knowledge of good and evil. This seemed to settle that discussion and now we were covering ground quickly, again we hit a bit of a bump, "How can we be sure there is a God?", Josh interjected.
We had very quickly jumped into a much deeper discussion, if God exists, there must be a standard by which we are judged. So we set out onto a few steps into a journey, we discussed the prophetic ability seemingly contained in the Bible, we juggled some questions about displays of the supernatural and we systematically addressed the validity of the eye witness testimony that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead.
The young men had never really discussed this side of the evidence before and were in a world of unknown, Damo tried to stabilise the rocking of his worldview, with a summary line, "Isn't it all about just being pretty good anyway, I think surely if we just try to be decent people it will all work out". This presented a perfect opportunity to in depth explain the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, after hearing the way of salvation through Christ alone, the men seemed to not be quite so sure, of their beliefs. They did have to head off and so they left with one final challenge, "Did Jesus Christ rise from the grave?"
Many others engaged the preaching, conversed with team members or were exposed to the Gospel through tracts and other literature, please keep Dave, Steve, Damo, James, Josh and Thomas in prayer, alongside all others who were exposed to the truth of the Gospel, for we know God is sovereign over salvation and may we plead on behalf of the hearers of His eternal truths that they may come to repentance and faith in Christ Jesus!
Soli Deo Gloria!