15th June 2008 - Open Air Preaching & Witnessing for Jesus
"Holy Holy Holy is the Lord of Hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory" - Seraphim before the King
The Majesty of heaven, ordained gospel proclamation all over the earth this weekend, and much was accomplished by His order. The hardening of men's hearts as His word was preached, and perhaps even the softening and drawing of some men and women to himself. God only knows, and God alone shall be glorified in it.
The Lord Jesus Christ, is my majestic King, the holy One of Israel, the glorious Saviour and defender of my soul. It is such a pleasure to serve him, and observe his hand at work where I was in the Gold Coast this weekend.
Within minutes of preaching, some Arabic lads approached, whose names will be protected for thier sakes. After professing average goodness in themselves, we began to examine the ten commandments of God together. After a few minutes, our first Arabic aquaintance, began to look around and seemed to want to leave, but he stayed with us, until it seemed to much for him, and he left with his friend.
Sometimes it is difficult for a preacher, when people leave before hearing the good news, but God is Lord, and will accomplish with His word what he intends. Shortly after a Seventh Day Adventist named Michael came along, and he took the good test humbly, and then admitted salvation was only possible by repentance and faith in Jesus alone. I stepped down and had a private chat with Michael. Snowy Barwick, began witnessing while I chatted to Michael.
One of Snowy's three young men that he was witnessing to, handed back a gospel tract, and laughed that evolution could be false. Since he stepped away from Snowy, I challenged him while I was sitting on the concrete block. He laughed and we began to chat, and shortly I was standing and preaching to the gathering crowd that God had called in. From this point in, things started to get interesting. All sorts of people started to ask questions, and challenge Christianity, to which God graciously answered all thier questions and refuted the false strongholds that exalted themselves against His holy throne.
The gospel was able to be preached during the apologetics session more than once, although we began to have some apparently devilish attacks during the preaching. A man with black sunglasses came in, and began to shout very loudly, slandering God and calling Him, wicked. He would not dialogue, and many people thought him to be a very angry harsh sort of person. The older SDA man, began to get very angry with the devilman, and things started to get very heated. While they argued angrily, I answered the quiet questions of a little asian women, who had drawn close to the preaching.
I decided to step down, in accordance to some advice given to me by a kind Surfers Paradise Police Constable, and allow the situation to dissolve. Almost immediately a tall man, whom I have nicknamed Smokey, started putting his finger in my face, and telling me that christians never listen to others. He walked off without letting me respond. May God bless him. I thank God for Smokey, because it reminds me how hard my heart was towards God before he changed me, and made me into one of his little children. God can save Smokey, because he saved me.
The crowd began to dispurse, once I stepped down, and thankfully the devilman having lost his opponent, also dissappeared. The Constable's advice was very effective, and I thank God for it. A number of people accepted gospel tracts, and I returned to chat with the older SDA man. Benjie the young man who had first argued evolution with the preacher, was sitting next to Mr SDA, and even helped hold my bible, so I could put my bag down and talk to this guy. Mr SDA didn't like what I had to say, and was quite mean in the way he spoke to me, but praise God for His grace, I was able to be gentle with him. At this point the SDA man, calmed down and stopped pointing at me. (He was quite an animated character for an older gentleman).
Just then two Senior Police officers interupted the conversation and asked Josh Mitchell, what he knew about reports they had received, that a fight was going to break out. My report of a man with black sunglasses coming into the open air and yelling loudly, and not talking being the cause of the problem was confirmed by Victor Barwick, and two old men who were bystanders to the event. We followed the advice of a Police Constable a number of months back, that if someone crazy or angry arrived near the preaching, we should just step down and let the situation dissolve. This we did.
A lady with her children, encouraged me to keep preaching the gospel, and gave her word to email and pray for the preaching ministry. She is was a lovely Presbyterian lady, whom God used to encourage me muchly.
May Jesus name be promoted high in the Gold Coast,
Jim and Peter joined me this Wednesday, witnessing of our risen Lord in Fargate. Thank you to all of you who faithfully pray week after week for us as we work, I am sure that the Lord has moved many times in the past and recently in response to your appeals to Him.
This week Jim preached first and again the gospel sounded forth in the dark town, we call home. Jim had a couple of interactions with people who stopped and was able to give them the gospel and challenge them with the law of God. I did not get to hear much of the preaching as during it, a young lady came up and spoke with me. She is from a local church and said that she had heard us preaching a couple of times and had spoken to Jim before. Encouragingly she was interested in street ministry and wanting to know more about what we did. I gave her some information and an action pack and then unfortunately was drawn away from speaking further first by a phone call from a friend and then a conversation with a Muslim man.
The Muslim man was discussing Islam and Christianity with Peter, I joined the discussion and we talked for quite some time. As all Muslims do, Muhammad (I think) sincerely held that the Qur'an and their prophet Muhammad are the final revelation of God for the world. It is a massive offence to the Muslim people to tell them that the prophet they follow and the scripture they have trusted in are false, so I always try to do so carefully. We discussed for some time on the many aspects in which our two faiths contrast and contradict each other. The two things that seemed to make him stop and think were the command for Muslims to trust the prophecies and scriptures of the Jews and Christians (Sura 29:46 and 10:94) and the command for people to honour Jesus as God from those scriptures (Jn 5:22-23).
After Jim finished preaching we were kept busy for a period with one-to-one conversations and handing out tracts. As I left, the one-to-ones were going on still.
Praise God that He draws people to hear the gospel!
Just for a change this Friday it was rainy and grey, we have actually had great weather for the last couple of weeks. I arrived to find that Jim was already witnessing to a young man down by the bus stop at the end of Fargate. As Jim was in deep conversation for quite some time, I set up and began to preach while I waiting for him to come and join me under the trees that have since become our regular witnessing area.
As the gentle rain fell I began to preach on this great blessing of God that Britain receives regularly (and Australia doesn't). From this I called the people of Sheffield to think on the kindness of God to both the righteous and the unrighteous and how this demands that we should likewise love those around us, as it is written:
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Mat 5:43-48)
While I preached on this two young ladies stopped to heckle and raised the thought that it is not right to love a paedophile. I responded first by pointing to the fact that Christians are called to hate the evil that people commit, yet love the people who commit evil. Also that it is sin for a person to hate anyone, making them guilty of murder in their heart before God. Secondly I pointed to the love with which we are to love them, a love that is not romantic or even sentimental, but rather a love that wants the best for them and wants them to be godly. God has modeled this for us in the person of Jesus; he loved God-hating sinners like us, and transforms Christians to live holy and godly lives through the work of the Spirit.
After this a group of Muslim men stopped and protested that someone could be right with God regardless of what they do, if they do enough good deeds. I spoke to them with difficulty because of the language barrier, but they listened carefully, sometimes requiring translations from a friend. Beginning with God's standards being much higher than ours I pointed them to the futility of pointing to good deeds as an excuse for crime before any judge (human or divine). Using this as a springboard I expounded the gospel to them and urged them to trust in Jesus and not their good works.
I wrapped up and stepped down from preaching, there were a few one to ones that were starting and I spotted an Indian-descent man standing nearby who had listened. Going over to him I spoke with him at length about the one True God who has made the heavens and the earth. He is a modern hindu and believes that there is no need for any particular religion as long as we work to be good to each other. I reasoned with him for some time and hopefully he left with something to think on as well as the tract in his hand. During this time Jim and Peter were hard at it giving out many tracts and speaking with people. As I finished speaking to the Hindu man the rain began to fall and Peter and I found cover under an awning for a time of fellowship. Shortly we were joined by Jim when he finished speaking to some school kids.
We pray that God would use all the words spoken in these two days to His glory and to save the souls of people in our city.
Saturday, 6 June, 2008
The weather had been threatening to rain all day, the news was reporting the possibilities of showers. For a state that is gripped in drought, it is amazing how much rain we are actually getting. Normally on a Saturday night when we want to evangelise!
Andre and I were the first team members in position, and shortly after we arrived I was joined by some of the other guys. It was good to have a time of fellowship, prayer, and Bible reading as a team. By doing this it creates a greater team unity, and it allows for us to come together on the streets and beseech the Almighty God for His blessing.
As nine o'clock neared, we headed up to the Queen Street Mall, where we were joined by Andrew and Desma. It was really good to have Desma come out on the streets with us, she is a vital part of the ministry. She has been away for awhile, which is fully understandable due to her preparing for the upcoming wedding. So, it was good to have her in Brisbane tonight.
Andrew informed me that he had a sore throat, and as a result he would not be preaching tonight, that was fine since I expected to have more than enough preachers in play. First preacher up for the evening was Ralph. Now Ralph is one we have to watch, he is a very smart boy, and has a great passion for God. While he is only new at preaching, he has been growing in leaps and bounds.
Tonight as he preached, I had complete confidence in him as a preacher, normally I am really cautious around newer preachers, but Ralph proved himself. He did a good job at proclaiming the gospel, and dealing with hecklers. He had a quite a few hecklers open fire tonight, and each one that launched an attack he did well to handle.
While Ralph was preaching, Andre was on the Bible table. This table is by far one of the best things we have put in place in the Brisbane team. We set up a simple card table with some tracts, Bibles, and Creation Ministry booklets, and then hang some signs simple saying "FREE BIBLES", it is a magnet that draws in many people for a one to one conversation.
I was watching the Bible table, and making sure everything was running alright, when I heard a woman walk up to Andre and say "Are you against gay marriage?" Andre replied "No ma'am, I am not against it, the Bible is!" The woman then said something, grabbed a bunch of the Creation Ministry booklets, and began to rip them up and throw the paper on the ground. The woman then walked away and began to abuse the preacher, she had more tracts, and booklets so she ripped them up also, and threw them into the air. She made a rather big mess in the middle of the Queen Street Mall. She then started yelling out to Ralph, "People are gay! It's not wrong!" Ralph's reply was brilliant, he said "Yes, people are gay, people also steal, lie, and lust, yet just because people do those things does not make them right!" The woman walked off, and Ralph continued to preach the gospel.
At around 9:50pm, Ralph stood down, the call then went out for Andre to prepare to preach next. Andre got up, and with Bible in hand began to expound on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not long into his message a rather vile man in a yellow shirt became very hostile and started to hurl abuse at the preacher. Andre tried to reason with the man, but he refused to listen. So Andre kept on preaching. The man then came in really close, and started to curse Andre and also God. I moved into position just it case it got violent, as I got into position the man reached out and grabbed Andre while he was preaching. Instantly Andrew and I moved in and pushed the man off, telling him to step away from the preacher. The man became more vile, and showed his hatred all the more. I noticed that some of the people he was with, were actually some of our regular hecklers. So I spoke to them, and they were reasonable about not abusing the preacher.
By now the man in the yellow shirt was screaming at our camera man, so Andrew moved into position to guard the camera. The man soon lost interest in the camera, and started to threaten Andrew. Upon seeing this, I walked over to tell the man to calm down or we would be forced to call the police. The man just cursed, and me then bent down to get something out of his backpack. As the man bent down, another man emerged from the crowd and started to abuse the man in the yellow shirt. He was screaming that he should get some respect for the preachers, and also that he should shut up. Of course that is the sanitised version of what he said. Yellow shirt then started to challenge this other man to a fight, so I stepped in and told both of them to back off and walk away. As I worked on breaking those two up, and cry was heard from the crowd. I turned and saw that a fight had erupted in front of the preacher.
Two hecklers were locked in a fight on the ground, one of them was bleeding the other was being punched in the face. As they wrestled with each other, I noticed one of them shove his fingers in his opponents eyes, and twist them. This cause the man that was punching to yell in pain. The man on the bottom then took the advantage, and spun the other guy over and started to beat him up. I tried to break it up, but they refused to listen. Then I noticed one of our regular hecklers come running in to join the fight. This was fast becoming a full on brawl. I sent two of the team members to run and get the police. The only problem was the police weren't in their usual location, so we had to wait some time before they arrived.
By now one of the men in the fight was being held down, while someone else began to kick him in the head, ribs, and stomach. The man doing the kicking had steal toe boots on, so I grabbed him, and spun him out of the fight. He was rather hard to hold back, and he got a couple of extra shots in before he backed away. While the two original fighters fought on the ground, I turned to the regular heckler who had been kicking, and gave him a good dressing down. He apologised, and then hugged me. While he was hugging me he decided to give me a few quick kisses on the side of my neck. This was truly turning out to be a strange night!
By now there was a massive crowd watching the fight, security guards were present but they did nothing but watch on. The fighters must have realized that the police were coming, because they stopped fighting and ran. Since the crowd stood there in stunned silence, I decided to jump up and preach a quick two minute message to them. While I was preaching all I could see was a sea of blue police uniforms running up the mall. Quickly I gave the order to the team to tract everyone up, so the team set about tracting everyone in the crowd.
About fifteen police responded to the brawl and arrested all parties involved. Some of the fighters wouldn't learn, they say in hand cuffs abusing the police, and threatening them. Pray for the police, they have a tough job but they do it well!
This incident took about an hour out of our time, as the police wanted to talk to a few of us, and to also review our video that we caught of the fight.
After the police left I stood up and preached for about 30 minutes. And after that excitement of a fight, the night went a bit more slower. I had very few hecklers, and I did my best to make known the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When I had finished preaching, I was informed that the man sitting to my left was a Jehovah's Witness, so I went across and began to talk to him. The man was very unfriendly, and called me a paedophile since I attended a Baptist church, he then started to talk about how the Baptist church was founded by Satanists, and the Illuminati. The man eventually got out of "conspiracy theory" mode, and we began to talk about the deity of Christ, and if Jesus Christ arose bodily. His arguments were standard Watchtower Arguments, he didn't know why he believed, except for the fact that he was told to believe. After awhile, I got Andre to deal with him, as Andre is well versed in Jehovah Witness apologetics.
By now it was nearing midnight, so we began to pack up. Ryan was busy dealing with a man who was rambling on about something to do with animals having souls the same as humans. So Andre after finishing with the JW decided to wade into the apologetic debate. Then Andrew decided to join in, the man just kept going in circles, so they wished him good night and left. As we were preparing to leave the man came back, and this time wanted to talk to me, within minutes the man admitted that he chose to rebel against the Bible because he loved his sin. He said he did want to repent, even though he knew the gospel was true, because that would mean giving up his sin. I hit him with the gospel, and the man left promising to email me.
Overall the night was rather interesting! Praise God that His Gospel went forth!
Soli Deo Gloria!
This past Friday the team began its ministry by meeting together at Tooting Broadway. I arrived before Antonio and Phil and got talking with a young Latvian man named Alex. At times his command of English meant that I had to repeat things more than once, but this was too much of a hindrance. I was able to share the whole counsel of God with him and I could see that he was of the temperament, in that he was willing to listen to what I had to tell him. He particularly liked the Ten Commandment coin tract I gave him. Please pray that the Lord will minister to him through the Word that was sown.
We arrived at Leicester Square a little past 8:30pm and were joined by Virgil. We were few in numbers, which was a little unusual, but we were still looking forward to being used of the Lord for His glory. We were blessed in that there was an opening for us to set up in a spot that I particularly like, namely against the railing, opposite the Empire Theatre. We were not centre but rather over to the left, a good distance from the artists who are stationed in front of the railing. Even so, an artist to our immediate right came up to us protesting that if we preached it would rob her of her business. While it is not my intention to infringe upon a person who is working a business, this particular person was most unreasonable. We were a good distance from where she was sitting. It seems to be an ongoing issue that we face each week and I am not sure what we are going to face each week. Please pray for us that the Lord would continue to keep the door open for us to preach at Leicester Square.
After we prayed we went up speaking with people and handing out tracts. We met with a wonderful couple from Texas who are Christians. They were very supportive when we told them what we were in Leicester Square to do and so they decided to hang around while I ministered the Word. After a little while I stood up to preach. I drew a few hecklers, which caused a small crowd to form. My hecklers were Muslims, and even though they are a challenge in terms of their many objections and the aggressiveness of their approach, they do serve to bring in a crowd. After a little while my small crowd moved on and even though there were only a small few who were now listening I continued to preach. After a little while a new crowd formed and I was most grateful to the Lord for this. I had considered stopping but was glad that I had not.
After I finished preaching we all got to talking with people who had been listening. Even our new friends from Texas were getting involved! I got talking John and Rachel who, although they were together, were quite different in the beliefs. John seemed to be saying that he did not believe in God, even though he could not categorically say that there was no God. Rachel seemed far more open. At one point the conversation turned to evolution. I explained to Rachel that one of the major problems with evolution is the lack of transitional forms found in the fossil record that serves to support the notion that various species of animals have evolved from one form into another. An article on the subject can be found here. Rachel found this piece of information quite interesting and I pray that God will use it to cause her to question things further. After using various apologetics I was able to share the gospel more easily. Leaving them with both an in-depth gospel tract I thanked them for their time. Please pray for them both.
I turned to see both Phil and Virgil in conversation. Virgil was chatting with a young couple, and I found out later that the young man he had spoken with claimed that at one point he was a Christian but felt that he had now lost his salvation because he had so drifted. Virgil rightly explained to him that a true Christian, someone who has truly repented and trusted in Jesus, cannot lose their salvation, since when they become a Christian they become a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come. He reiterated the gospel to them both and left them with tracts and his details. Virgil correctly pointed out to this young man that the proof of anyone's conversion is the fruit of repentance in their life. A true Christian continues to live repentant for the rest of his or her life. You may want to view the following video that speaks of the perseverance of the saints. Our perseverance does not secure our salvation. God secures our perseverance.
Before we left to go home I got to speak with a few more people. One in particular was a young man named Alex was is only 15. I was happy to see that he understood the gospel and what he needed to do to be made right with God after I had finished sharing the gospel with him. I also got to share the gospel with three young men from Georgia. They had grown up in the Eastern Orthodox Church and after I had spoken with for a short while they had a works-righteous mindset. I stressed to them that we are justified by faith in Christ (Romans 1:17), and that faith is proved real by the deeds that we do (Acts 26:20). There was a small language barrier and so it is my hope that I was able to communicate to them clearly that they must turn from their own self-righteousness and trust purely in the atoning work of Christ. We left about 11:15pm.
We were not out Saturday because my Mum was down for the weekend. Friday evening had been a good night. May the Lord grant repentance and faith to all those who heard the Word.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Chris, Ralph and Dan joined me today for the outreach in Redcliffe. It was a very windy and overcast day so there was not as many people around compared to normal. However, that did not stop the gospel going out to the few that were around.
We handed out tracts to everyone we met and had some very good conversations with a number of people. One notable conversation that I had was with two young ladies who were sitting on the ground in front of a shop. I firstly went through the law (to bring about the knowledge of sin) and the whole gospel, and the girls were very responsive.
They were concerned about where they were going to go when they died if they had no Saviour, and so they said they would trust Christ as their Saviour and repent of their sins. I did not lead them in a sinners prayer, because I didn't want them to make a rash decision, but I warned them to count the cost of becoming a Christian first. I thanked them for their time and left them with a gospel tract to read. Please pray that God will convert them.
I also had a conversation with a middle-aged couple sitting on bench about whether they thought they were going to go to Heaven. They said they were Christians. So I said, "Cool! So then how does someone get to Heaven?" They said, "By good works." That clearly showed that they were not Christians. So I explained the law and the gospel to them and they said, "That way is right for you, but I have a different way which is right for me." I pointed out that Jesus said that only through him can one by saved. They then asked the question, "So what about the people in other religions, will they go to Hell?" I said, "Yes, because they, just like you and me, have sinned, but they have no Saviour." They said, "Oh! That is so intolerant! I have met so many nice Hindus and Buddhists!" I pointed out that I am not going to kill them for that belief, so I am not being intolerant. Plus, they would say the exact same things about Christians, that we are wrong. However, the couple did not want to continue the conversation and asked me to move along.
To God be the glory because many seeds of the gospel were planted today!
And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. Deuteronomy 8:3
It should not be odd to the creatures of this world, that the Creator would want to work in the field of his creation. King Jesus, works in the Gold Coast, just like he works in many other places around the world simultaneously, by His Spirit. He surprises me every now and again, with things I would not expect. A simple revelation that God is not an robot, neither one that must conform to our invention, of how He should work. Our God is a sovereign God, who reigns over the heathen, and uses the foolish things of this world for the promotion of the knowledge of His Name.
Jehoshaphat was correct when he said: "O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?"
I am glad that God took the foolish men from the world, who are now called by Jesus name, to serve Him on the Gold Coast. This week my friends, David Strachnan, and "Snowy" Barwick, were a wonderful support to the gospel proclamation, in the face of danger and arrest, and I am thankful for their labours. Snowy preached the gospel, and he laboured in vain for a crowd, but gloriously for Jesus name! He will improve with practise, under the Lord's blessing.
Today the fool of fools, stepped up to preach for Jesus, and God blessed the preaching with persons whom he desired to hear the word of God.
Brendan was a young man, who laboured under the law of God. Heprofessed that at death, one became a ghost and floated around the earth. His proof was his opinion, and yet he believed it, rather than God's word. After a while of chatting, he excused himself to take a mobile phone call, and James an older man began to interact with me.
I thank God for this man, because he really made things interesting, which built up the crowd to a considerable size for a good hour. James was by my estimation of Arabic descent.
James taunted and mocked, and tried to psychologically manipulate me to a position of uncertainty, but God gave me the grace and presence of mind, to continue refuting his arguments, and bringing it back to the glory of God, and His gospel. James was joined by a faithful believer in Darwin and the evolution theory, both men attempted to shame God, but God did not let the joining of thier hands go unpunished.
Smokey, our acquaintance, who frequently causes trouble for the preaching, said a few words, but left when I smiled and waved to him. I am really happy to see him keep coming back because, God clearly has some reason for making this one man come back to be near Christians who are preaching the gospel. I don't understand that reason, perhaps it is his salvation.. God only knows.
As soon as the Skypecast opened up at 9pm, a whole flood of people started joining. There would have been a couple hundred people in the first few minutes. During this time, I preached a clear law and gospel presentation and as soon as I had done that, everyone was randomly kicked from the Skypecast. People tried to rejoin, but it kept kicking everyone out for the next 15 minutes or so.
Once stability had been restored, there were a considerable less amount of in the Skypecast. However, as the evening progressed, the number of listeners kept growing.
We had a Muslim heckler who tried to propose that the Christian God is not just because Jesus takes the punishment of someone else. However, I pointed out that if a fine needs to be paid for, the law is not concerned about how the offender gets the money to pay the fine (whether their parents give money, etc), only that the fine is paid. So in the same way, we have sinned and have a fine to paid (death) and Jesus can pay it for us and thus justice is satisfied. So then the man had to resort to saying, "Well, the Christian God is still not just because the judge is the one who pays the fine, that is a conflict of interest." I responded by saying that the reason why in some countries we have laws such as 'conflict of interest' is to prevent the judge from doing something corrupt. However with God, He will never do anything corrupt and so that law is not needed.
I then pointed out to the Muslim fellow that his god is especially not just. Allah can apparently forgive someone without their fine being paid. The man then tried to propose that Allah put in a law of justice to give him that right. However, I responded by saying that the concept of justice is not defined by the judge, but rather it is the same regardless of who the judge is. And justice is: criminals who break the laws get the fine or punishment that transgressing that law entails. So by the definition, Allah is definitely not just, yet he claims himself to be just. That is an internal contradiction proving that Allah does not in fact exist. So then I explained the gospel to him, that in Christ's death God's justice is satisfied and because of that we can go to Heaven when we die if we trust Him as our Saviour and Lord.
The conversation then moved onto Jesus' death and I pointed out that it is a historical fact. He did not deny the crucifiction, however he believes it was of another man who Allah had made to appear as though it was Jesus (Surah 4:157). So Josh Williamson perked up and made the profound point that then that would make Allah a deceiver and a sinner like you and me. So that points out another internal contradiction within Islam because Allah claims to be holy.
At this time the Skypecast was nearing the end, so Josh handed it over to Ralph who preached an in-depth gospel message. Please pray that this man and the Muslims listening will be converted. Also please pray that next week we will not have any technical difficulties. :)
We will have another Skypecast at the same time next week - Sunday 9pm - 12am GMT+10. If you would like to advertise the upcoming Operation 513 Skypecasts on your webpage/blog/myspace, please visit the Skypecast page and that will give you the instructions on how you can do so.
To God be the glory!
As usual Philip and I met up with Antonio on Friday evening for the start of another weekend of ministry. Arriving at Tooting Broadway we set about handing out tracts to the passerby's. After a short while I stood up to preach.
About this time some Christians from another church arrived and began setting up sound equipment for what I expected to be some form of evangelism. While not many people stopped to hear God's word, I could see that my message was an encouragement to these Christians. After I finished preaching I managed to speak with a chap who turned out to be the pastor of their church. Because I believe it to be vital for the church today I spoke with him about the importance of true biblical evangelism; that is, using the law to preach about sin, righteousness and judgment before preaching about grace. I was encouraged to hear that he understood this important principle, as he mentioned he had listened to Hell's Best Kept Secret by Ray Comfort.
After saying goodbye to our fellow Christian brothers and sisters, and of course Antonio, we hopped on board the tube bound for Leicester Square. Going up and down the carriage in either direction I quickly went about tracting the people on board. If you look left you can see those who are in the middle of reading their tract. When a young girl had finished reading her tract I asked her what she thought. She said that she was going to start reading her Bible when she got home. Too cool!
Arriving at Leicester Square we quickly met up with Carl, Andrew and my brother James. Carl really makes me smile because every time we arrive he is always in a conversation with people, sharing the gospel. He certainly doesn't muck about! The place was heaving, and so after opening in prayer, so we set about handing out tracts and talking with the people. Below you can see a picture of my brother in a conversation with three people. I got talking with a young couple, Page and her boyfriend Carlos. This was a really good conversation, as both Page and Carlos listened intently as I shared the whole counsel of God with them. Page in particular seemed quite moved by the message and when I asked them what they were going to do with what they had heard they both said that they were going to give it some serious thought. Praise God.
During my conversation with Page and Carlos I noticed that there were some other Christians who had arrived for the evening. They were parading up and down the square and some were also preaching, although they used no form of elevation. It's great to see other Christians and while it would have been good to fellowship with them and get to know them, we had a job to do. Stepping up on my ladder I started preaching. I preached just as I have done in previous weeks and yet no crowd seemed to form, which meant no hecklers either. It really was quite strange, given that the place was bustling with so many people.
After I finished preaching a young man arrived with his own little soapbox and stood up to preach. I have met him once before and during that time I was able to chat with him briefly. I don't really know much about him and so it will be good if I can get to talk with him again. In the last few weeks we have also been joined by Paddy and his friend Steven. They carry with them large placards that simply say the words "John 3:7" on them. The idea is that people will approach them and ask them what John 3:7 means. This of course allows you to then share the gospel with them. I admit this is quite a fascinating way of engaging with people. Paddy in particular is very keen on coming alongside us and working with us each Friday evening. I have not approached them about joining our ministry as they are already in their own ministry. Paddy is also very much charismatic in his theology and so there are some things he teaches that I seriously disagree with.
As the young man who had arrived began preaching Carl came running to me and asked me to come and speak with a Muslim gentleman who had some questions. We spoke for at least half an hour and covered a number of topics. One particular issue that we disagreed on pertains to that of original sin. This refers to the fact that we are born sinners. My new Muslim friend, Ali, disagreed and instead said that we are born pure, we simply "lose our way" when Satan tempts us. I explained to him that it is quite evident we are sinners from birth, however he refused to believe that the wrong we did was evidence that we are all born evil. He kept alluding to the good that people do. However it is clear that if we are born pure then it does not square with the fact that we all sin, and that we all begin doing so from a very early age. The Bible clearly teaches that it is because of the Fall that we all inherit the sin of Adam.
After I finished speaking with Ali I noticed that Paddy had stepped up to preach. I listened to his message and was deeply concerned to hear the watered-down version he was preaching. It's going to be tough but I will be speaking to him the next time we meet to tell him that as things stand right now we cannot align ourselves with him. Hopefully he will take on board what I have to say when I share with him concerning the importance of preaching a complete and sound gospel message.
It was now past 11:00pm and so we departed Leicester Square and headed on home. We may not have had a big crowd but we had handed out many tracts and had witnessed to quite a few people. To God alone be the glory.
Saturday came around and it was back to Tooting Broadway. Antonio and Andrew were there to meet both Phil and I. We arrived at 12pm and spent the first part of the afternoon talking with people one-to-one and handing out tracts. After a little while I stood up to preach. We continue to get few people who stop to listen at Tooting Broadway but I believe that this can change. You never know what impact the gospel is having as the people of the area continue to hear the message week after week. When God commissioned Ezekiel he said to him, "And you shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear, for they are a rebellious house." (Ezekiel 2:7).
Later that afternoon I met with two Mormon missionaries. Mormonism (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) is a heretical offshoot of Christianity. I met with them because they had first approached me a few weeks back and had given me some of their literature. As we talked we spoke about their beliefs and how they differ with orthodox Christianity. They believe that their "version" of the gospel is the restoration of the gospel, but this simply is not the case. The Book of Mormon, for example, conflicts with the teaching of the Bible. The following link will show you the major difference between the Christian gospel and the Mormon gospel. I did not get to spend as much time with them as I would have liked as they had to leave quite early. I did ask them if I could meet with them again and they said yes. I do hope this will happen and I ask you to join with me in prayer that it would.
We had met in McDonalds and so there were a number of people sat around us as we had been talking. As I was getting ready to leave a young girl who was sat nearby spoke up and said that she had been listening to the conversation. Quickly I sat down next to her and asked her what she thought. It turns out that her Mum is a Mormon; however she claimed to not be religious, although she did believe in God. I spoke with her for at least twenty minutes and shared the whole counsel of God with her. When I had finished she said that it made sense and that she knew what she needed to do in order to be reconciled to God. She seemed quite convicted as well and so I urged her to get right with God whilst there is still time. She said that she would certainly be giving it careful thought. Her name is Elizabeth. Please pray that God would grant her repentance and that He would bring her to the knowledge of the truth.
Soli Deo Gloria!
And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? Daniel 4:35
By faith, a small team assembled to preach the gospel, despite adverse weather conditions. The wind was cold and blowing quite strongly. Clouds loomed above. The Lord God however, is above all things. :)
Chris Rixon joined me this week, and together we waited for "Frosty" Barwick to arrive with camera equipment. He arrived with firm encouragement, and I stepped up to preach.
The area was cold and pretty empty, and preached for about eight minutes, before stepping down to talk to an Asian lady who was listening. She turned out to be from Singapore, and a professing christian. We chatted, for a bit, and went through the gospel message. Unfortunately she was unfamiliar with the teaching of John in the bible, regarding how to define a true convert of Christ's from a false convert who really belonged to the devil. May God help her understanding, for the benefit of those she influences in Jesus name.
In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. 1 John 3:10
Victor and I handed out tracts, and Mr Rixon began to pray for the gospel ministry.
A malasian middle-aged lady, with her children, inquired what my gospel tracts were about, and so I told her about the good person test. She was quite honest and revealed that she understood her sin was evil. The dear lady turned out to be another professing christian who understood the gospel very well, and true and false conversion. After sharing contact details, we went our different ways, and I was back to handing out tracts.
A young Asian man, with two similarly aged women was sitting idly about the normal preaching stage, and God gave me the opportunity to have his attention and present the gospel. Apparently he had been in church before, but he went because they served good food. His confession was that he left church, because he wasn't aloud to sin openly.
All three accepted "Are you a good person?" tracts, and read the ten commandments, while I showed them their sin. It was a nice chat, and he was quite a joker, but he began to be nervous and the girls seemed worried. I took them to the cross, and then urged them to investigate the claims of the gospel, since they were going to die, and it wasn't worth taking an idle approach to the end of their fleshly life.
After a short time, I was able to witness to two young men, who had heard me preaching earlier. One young man was British, who quite a firm believer in Darwinism, but also professed belief in God. The other was an Aussie, who made a few objections during my discourse with our British acquaintance, but mostly stayed quiet. What struck me, was how as the conversation progressed with British and I, Aussie seemed to get very unsettled. I think God let me spend about an hour with these two young men.
It was wonderful to have Chris Rixon praying, and God seemed pleased to answer his prayers, and aided me immensely in witnessing to these two young men. All their questions to my recollection were adequately answered, and a young girl who arrived later to join the men, even took a tract as well. To God be the glory.
Friends, if you study hard, but trust Jesus to use you, despite your weakness's, frailty, or lack of recall.. he can use you wonderfully for His glory.
I will pray for you reader, in Jesus name, that he might grant you boldness and understanding so you can represent Him aright.
For the promotion of Jesus name,
The evening starting off very very slow and stayed that way for pretty much the entire Skypecast. However, that didn't mean we had no hecklers though.
We had a couple hecklers from New Zealand who said there was no God. I went through some basic proofs for God's existence and they admitted there must be a God. I then went on to proving the judgment, however, this is where these larrikins became unreasonable. They would jump topics, and not listen to anything we were saying. So we ended up having to drop them down to the listening area. However, they now have some things to think about because Josh Williamson went onto explaining the law and the gospel.
Andrew spoke to an American man who at first claimed to be a Christian. So Andrew asked him how someone gets to Heaven. The man explained his conversion experience by 'asking Jesus into his heart' a number of years ago, but he went onto say that he is trusting in his good works to get him to Heaven. Andrew pointed out that if he is not trusting Christ alone for salvation, he won't get to Heaven. The man was very concerned about this and asked for more information. So Andrew explained the full gospel and what a person must do to be saved to this fellow so that he understood it. The man said he would get right with God immediately. Praise be to God.
There were also a few technical difficulties throughout the evening, such that people would randomly be muted for a short period of time. Please pray that this will not happen in future weeks.
We will have another Skypecast at the same time next week - Sunday 9pm - 12am GMT+10. If you would like to advertise the upcoming Operation 513 Skypecasts on your webpage/blog/myspace, please visit the Skypecast page and that will give you the instructions on how you can do so.
To God be the glory!