With the rest of the team away or at work I headed into Sheffield to witness alone. Yet in the words of my saviour I was not alone, for it is written "behold I am with you until the end of the age".
Beginning with tracts I handed out material pointing people to Jesus and calling them to repent and be saved in His name. I was and always am saddened when I see tracts torn up and left on the ground. This is not only inconsiderate of those who must clean the streets but shows the hardness of man's heart toward God. I truly believe that in our natural state man would tear the very presence of God from the world if we could.
I got up to preach and began to proclaim the word of God to any who would stop to listen. Some boys stopped and while they stayed to listen they where very hard of heart and said to me repeatedly "you're just making a fool of yourself". Perhaps the street preacher does appear foolish and I may seem foolish, but oh to be a fool for Christ.
Oliver stopped to discuss what I was preaching and give his opinion. This was focused on a vague love that God in his opinion is for all people. Oliver believed that there is a fellowship of belief that he shares with all believing people of all religions and that they worship the same God. I would be interested to see him try and convince a Muslim and a Buddhist that they worship the same God! With all this focus on sentiment I was not surprised when the loving commands of God for the good of His people produced a very prickly reaction in Oliver. He believes that there is no absolute truth and law in the world except the absolute truth that his opinion of the world is correct, an arrogant position to take. I strived with him for some time for the sake of the gospel but he eventually left unmoved. Pray that God will be gracious to him, his current authority is himself and he is in danger of death and hell eternally at every moment of every day.
A man in a leather jacket had also stopped and told me that he was in training to be a lay preacher for one of the local churches. Unfortunately he evidenced very little of the grace that should be present in a minister God. His behaviour during the preaching was more consistent with a mocker or a judge than a minister, with arrogant interruptions and contradictions. This could only tear down the credible preaching of the gospel and though my preaching is weak in the extreme I was saddened to see a supposed brother tearing me down in public to display his own superiority. To end it all he used foul language, swearing to Oliver and merely smirking when rebuked.
I raise the issues of this man not to shame him in return but in the hope that he and others would consider carefully their behaviour in light of the bible's demands that Christians and most of all ministers of the gospel be above reproach and gentle with other Christians. There is nothing but shame brought to the gospel by exulting ourselves over one-another and living contradictory lives, preaching the word of God but not living it. I pray that in future this man would seek to build up street preachers by approaching them in private to offer help from his knowledge of scripture.
Today was cold and very wet and so we didn't go to Sheffield, pray that God will give us more clear weather that we can preach more regularly.
Armed with the word of God and tracts I walked into the centre of town and began giving out tracts, many people were taking tracts and I think that at least 150 tracts went out! A few people were curious as to what the tracts were about but no one went beyond that today.
Going up to the Peace Gardens I saw Owen, a young man that I have spoken to in the past. Despite the opposition of some of his friends Owen has continued to be open to speak with me about the gospel and tells me that he is considering the things of God carefully. He is troubled by the lack of opportunity for some people to hear the gospel and be saved; at this I called him to consider himself before God. No one can believe for any others but YOU are called to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. I left to consider the things of God and we will be praying for him until we meet again.
In the centre of Fargate I set up to preach and with fear and trembling at the enormity of what I was doing I preached. I preached from the great commission and the commands of the law, calling people to turn from their well-loved sin and trust in God. In as many ways as my weak mind could muster I called the hard hearts of Sheffield to trust in the atoning death and glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ. A few people stopped and listened for a while but not for long. This town is so hard, pray that God will send His Spirit to break their stony hearts and drive them to the saviour!
Sam is a young man who calls on the name of Christ and we have spoken a couple of times before. Sam attends a catholic church and his family is catholic in background. With this in mind I sought to encourage and build up the faith that Sam professed. He struggles to see that the word of God is unchanged so I discussed with him the amazing accuracy of the bible we have now verified by the documents of thousands of years ago. I also encouraged Sam, as I do all Christians I meet, to live lives that honour the Lord they claim. Christ calls us to take up our cross and follow him (Mat 16:24-28) or to put it another way, to die to self and live to God (Rom 6:7-11), so I encouraged Sam to kill off the old sinful ways in him and live to glorify Jesus Christ. The apostle Peter called Christians to be always growing in the faith towards perfect love (2 Pt1:5-8), so I encouraged Sam to examine himself to see if he is growing in the faith. Indeed to consider if he truly is in the faith as we are all commanded to do.
Dear Christian reader, do you trust that God is sovereign and omnipotent? Then trust His word in full, it is able to make you fit for all good works (2 Tim 3:16-17). Are you actively killing the sin that remains in your heart and mind and living a Godward life? Are you growing in the graces of God and seeking to increasingly be the savour and aroma of God in this corrupt and sin stained world.
Saturday, 29 March, 2008
The was a sense of idol worship in the air as I made my way into King George Square, tonight was the night in which the world stopped to worship the earth for one hour. While I fully support the idea that we should look after the environment I think we cross a line when we start to think that the earth runs all things. People who are ‘earth worshippers’ are classical Romans 1, they forget that there is a Sovereign One who holds the earth together, the one who sustains life, the one who created all, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.
As I sat in the square waiting for the team to arrive I noticed that there were a lot more Satanists in the area than normal. And with the city turning their lights off I didn’t really want to be a lone Christian in the midst of the Satanists in the dark. So I decided to put a call through to Josh Mitchell, and leave my phone open so if anything happen he would be able to direct the authorities.
While I was sitting there I listened to one of the Satanists talk about calling up the dark spirits, and how he had been having communion with them. It was saddening to see one so deceived by the enemy. The man failed to realise that those dark spirits whom he calls friends were his enemies and hated him.
At around 7:30pm I was approached by a Satanist who I had debated with and witnessed to many times. He was friendly and started a conversation. We spoke a bit about the gospel, and he kept re-affirming the fact that he is wanting to go to hell because he likes pain. I wasn’t interested in getting into a long debate with him, but rather I just kept pointing him back to the Word of God, he stated that he did not believe the Bible, but that didn’t worry me since in combat an enemy solider may not believe in a rifle, but that still doesn’t stop me from shooting him. As Christians we are called to sow seed, so I kept on sharing the Word with him and his girlfriend. He got fired up a bit and started to make obscene comments about God. This drew other Satanists into listen. One man walked in all arrogant, then yelled as he saw me. He yelled “You are that preacher from the mall!” After that he wouldn’t come near me, nor talk to me. By now the team had arrived, so I got them praying while I continued to witness to the group of Satanists. We all parted on good terms, and many of them waved to us later in the evening when they saw the team. Please keep all of them in prayer.
At 9pm we made our way to the Queen Street Mall, and as we set up we noticed a large group of Islanders hanging around. The Bible table seemed to be attracting them, so we sent Ralph up to preach. It was his second open air sermon, and I must say he has good projection of voice, and knows his Bible. There are a few things he needs to tie down, but those small things come with experience.
It turns out that the Islanders were all Mormons. I was able to engage one of them in discussion at the Bible table. He kept talking about how they support our ministry, I pointed out to him that he couldn’t support us, since we preach opposite to what the Latter Day Saints teach, he informed me that we taught and believed the same thing. This then led into an apologetic conversation in regards to what the Mormon church teaches, and after going through a different topics he said “You know your stuff, I am not here to debate” after that he walked off. I noticed that other members of the team were also locked in Mormon dialogue. It was then that I noticed the man I just spoke to come around to Ralph and start to heckle. Ralph asked him if he was a Christian, and the man’s reply was to say “yeah, kinda”. Ralph pressed him for more information but the man wouldn’t give it, but when it came out that the man was a Mormon, he again took off.
By now I was engaged in a discussion with three Mormons, we were looking at the doctrine of good works. They maintained that one had to earn salvation, whereas the Bible teaches that salvation is not of anything we have done but rather it is all of Grace.
We spent some time going through the Scriptures showing that we cannot earn salvation, we looked at Ephesians 2:8-9:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (ESV)
Then we looked at Titus 3:5:
“he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,”
We spent ages on many passages like Romans 4, Romans 5, Romans 8, Isaiah 64, Galatians 2, Titus 3, Ephesians 1, Ephesians 2.
By the end of the run through the Bible one of the Mormons who was doing all the talking asked if we had a note pad and pen, since he had never seen this before and wanted to write down all the passages. We were more than willing to give him all the details. After we built the case for salvation being not of works, we compared it with the Book of Mormon that states that we are saved by works. This stunned the Mormons since they were always taught that the Book of Mormon and Bible align.
After parting ways with the Mormons, I turned around was engaged in another discussion this time with a group of young Pentecostal men, who believed that we shouldn’t preach sin, since they believe all men know they are guilty. Also, they pushed that we must have signs, wonders and healings. While I am a cessationalist in theology, I pointed out to them not the cessationalist argument, but rather how from the Scripture those signs, wonders, and healings followed the proclamation of the Gospel.
This debate then led to one of the group just attacking how we preached the gospel, but he wouldn’t present a better way to preach. He just kept saying “I don’t agree!” We went through the Scriptures one by one, and I asked him each time what he thought that verse meant. After about twenty minutes he got frustrated and walked off in disgust. The others in the group thanked us for taking the time to explain the Scripture to them.
Ryan then got up to Open air preach, and he did a go job expounding on the Scripture, after awhile he got a few hecklers yelling at him. One of them turned out to be a Seventh Day Adventist who wanted to argue over the Sabbath. The man was trying to argue from church history, and he clearly was wrong in his statements. Ryan tagged me in to talk to the man. So I jumped up and began to discuss the issue of the Sabbath. As the discussion went on the crowd grew. So I kept on pressing him from the Scripture to prove his point.
The man stated that we must keep the whole of the Law, so I asked him if he would kill a homosexual (Leviticus 20:13), he stated that he would not since Christ fulfilled the Law. So I asked him, if Christ has fulfilled that law, then why do we have to keep the Sabbath, surely He has fulfilled that one also? The man then claimed that the New Testament taught Sabbath keeping, so I pressed him to show me within the New Covenant where the Sabbath was taught. He couldn’t show any Scripture, so his next argument was “Sunday is pagan! It is the day of worshipping the sun! That proves we shouldn’t worship then!” I asked him “Do you worship on a Saturday?” He answered that he did, so I said “Do you know that Saturday is a pagan day? From the worship of Saturn?” He was a bit stunned, I then explained that these were just days in our culture so it doesn’t matter if we worship on them, but rather we should worship everyday.
Then I saw him, a Seventh Day Adventist ‘apologist’ who I have debated with many times before, but when challenged this man will never reply. He opened up by saying that I didn’t know my Bible because the New Covenant clearly taught Sabbath keeping. I asked him to show where it taught this. His reply was read Luke 23:54:
“It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning.”
He then said “See, Jesus rose from the dead on the Sabbath, thus we must worship on the Sabbath.” This was the first time I have ever heard this argument so I took a second to re-read over the passage, thinking that I must have missed something. As one looks at the context of the passage one quickly sees that the verse is not talking about the resurrection, but rather it is talking about the burial. So I called him out on the context, he quickly started to back track. As he yelled at me the crowd kept on building, and I was starting to eyeball the crowd to see who I could call out to engage in the Gospel proclamation.
The Seventh Day Adventist kept yelling at me that I was following a lie, and that we must worship on the Sabbath. By now I was getting tired of the debate, so I asked him simply “What day does the book of Acts say the early church met together?” As soon as I said that you could see a look in his face that revealed that he was stuck. He answered “Everyday!” So I asked, “The book of Acts list what day it was, do you happen to know what day that was?” He yelled out again “Everyday!” So once again I asked him the question, this time he said rather quietly “The first day”, then I asked “What day is that?” Before he could respond a bunch of people in the crowd started laughing and called out “That’s the Sunday!” The man refused to answer, so I asked what day is the first day, he eventually said ‘Sunday’. The man then got really angry and started to yell at me about how we must keep the Sabbath, this was fine since it was just drawing in a bigger crowd to hear the Gospel.
Then the worse thing that could happen occurred! Four police officers walked through the crowd, and one of the Constables stopped and called me and the SDA apologist to him. I quickly tagged Andrew in to preach, and he started to preach the gospel to the crowd. The well meaning police officer told the SDA guy to back off and walk away, since I had every right to be there. While I appreciate what the officer did, he without knowing killed the crowd.
Andrew then tagged me back in and now to a much smaller crowd I explained the gospel. Many in that crowd took an in-depth tract afterwards, and we got to have some good one to ones.
Ryan was quickly collared by the SDA apologist, so they engaged once again in debate. Shortly after the debate started the man walked away angry, since he had announced that you must keep the Sabbath to be saved, so Ryan slammed him on works based salvation, and how the Bible says “cursed is every man who does not do all things written in the Law”.
The rest of the night was spent handing out tracts, and talking to people.
Overall it was a great night, and many people got to hear the Gospel of Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria!
At the scheduled time of 9pm the Operation 513 Skypecast room opened up. However within 60 seconds of joining, it kicked everyone out of the Skypecast. In fact, it kept doing it for the first hour and a half of the Skypecast. Even though we had a lot of people try join in and listen, it would kick everyone out within 60 seconds of them joining. So Josh and I tried to do 50 second gospels for the people that were listening.
To find a solution, we tried creating a new Skypecast room, but it had the same problem. So at the hour and a half mark it started working properly and now we had two rooms that were filling up very fast. So we directed everyone that was in the initial room to the new one we created.
From then on we discussed important issues such as morality, the judgment to come, the law, religions, existence of God, the gospel. We tried having a conversation with two people, however both their microphones were not working. Josh Mitchell did eventually get to have a chat with a Muslim fellow living in the UK. His objection was that Christianity is logically inconsistent because Jesus could not be God and man. Also, he thought that penal substitution was unfair because the innocent party is getting punished instead of the guilty criminal. So Josh Mitchell briefly gave the chap a few reasons to believe the contrary. He wasn't satisfied with the answer so we encouraged him to come back next week to continue the conversation as they only had about 15 minutes to talk because the closing gospel message was about to start.
Josh Williamson did the closing gospel message. However, about 15 minutes through all of a sudden everyone was automatically moved to the waiting area. Every few seconds it would move everyone to the waiting area, then the listening area. Then every Skype client that was in the Skypecast room crashed. We are definitely suspecting that it was a hacker.
Please pray the gospel will not be hindered in next week's Skypecast because of technical difficulties and hackers.
We will have another Skypecast at the same time next week - Sunday 9pm - 12am GMT+10.
To God be the glory!
TOOWOOMBA EASTERFEST - Friday, 21 March, 2008
The troops gathered at my place at 8am for our trip up the great dividing range to Toowoomba for our Good Friday outreach. This has become a bit of a tradition for us, since for the past three years we have made the journey to witness at one of Australia’s largest ‘Christian’ festivals. This year the Australian Gospel Music Festival had changed it name to remove reference to the gospel, now it is simply called ‘Easterfest’. While the name had changed the false teaching remained.
We arrived in Toowoomba at just after 10am, after making sure we were well stocked with tracts, we made our way to the main tent of the festival. As we walked into the tent, I could not help but think about how Jesus over turned the tables of those who were selling in the temple. This tent was set aside to the god of mammon, many of the goods for sale were religious at best. As we walked through the tent we saw advertising for the upcoming visit of the antichrist. So we stopped at the Roman Catholic youth stand, and asked those who were manning it when the Pope was going to arrive, and also where he was going to be. They gave us some details which was handy since it makes it easier for us to plan our outreach for his visit in July.
After an early lunch we began to hand out tracts and witness to people. One of the first people Ralph got to witness to was a young lady who was attending the festival who claimed to be a Christian that was going to hell, and that she also believed in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Ralph did a fine job explaining the gospel to her, and also explaining how the FSM is not actually a possibility based on scientific laws.
We spent some time handing out tracts, then we decided to get out our recording equipment and begin to conduct some interviews to send to Way of the Master radio. The first couple we stopped were more mature, and it was good to hear that they actually understood the gospel, and they were even able to explain the plan of salvation to me. It is always refreshing to hear a Christian explain the beauty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
The rest of the afternoon was spent doing interviews, and we had some good witnessing encounters. During one of the interviews the young man I was witnessing to turned and began to witness to me using the methods laid down by Way of the Master. This was really encouraging.
One interview that really stood out to me was with two young ladies, they both claimed to be Christians, yet they were not sure if they were saved. So I began to explain the gospel to them. One of the young ladies soon came under conviction, however, the other lady walked away in disgust. It is always amazing how people react when confronted by the enormity of sin, so many people will come under conviction and look to the Saviour, but others will harden their hearts and rebel against God. I continued the discussion and explained the amazing grace of God. Please pray that these two young ladies come to repentance.
Since it was a hot day we moved under the shade of a tree to continue witnessing, again we had an opportunity to speak to two young ladies. Both of them claimed to be Christian, but again weren’t sure if they were saved. So I began to explain the gospel, instantly both of them came under conviction, and one of them was holding back tears as I explained how God showed love towards us. They both took in-depth tracts, and thanked us for being out there witnessing.
The rest of the day was spent handing out tracts, and doing one to one witnessing. Thousands of tracts went out, and many people got to hear the gospel. After 18 hours in the field we finally made it home at just after 2am. Overall the day had been great!
Praise God for His Faithfulness!
REDLANDS EASTER FESTIVAL - Monday, 24 March, 2008
Today’s outreach was to be held at the Redlands Easter Festival. Last year we went to the event uninvited and handed out tracts and spoke to people, and then by Godís grace the organizers allowed us to share the gospel at the event. But this year they extended a formal invitation for us to bring a team in so that we might be the evangelists on the ground.
When we arrived we were given a ‘show bag’ which contained some details about local churches, a gospel, and also a very soft gospel tract. Seeing this made us more determined to go in and share the biblical gospel with as many people as possible.
I noticed when I was signing in that my name bag had ‘connections’ on it, so I asked the admin man about it, and he said that was a ‘friendly’ way of saying evangelism. Personally I thought it was a way to soften the blow of the gospel, and to also hide the light just a little bit. After signing in I headed down and had a look at the ‘connection’ tent, and I saw that many of the tracts were very squishy, so I pulled out a pack of the Operation 513 ‘Big Money’ tracts, and placed them on the table. Within seconds people began to pick up our tracts and leave the others behind. It was really cool to see so many people walking around the festival with our tracts.
Desma and I teamed up to do some one to one witnessing and recording for Way of the Master radio, and as we began to witness to people it soon became clear that many of the professing Christians, weren’t Christians at all, but rather they were impostors with in the Christian camp!
One interview that really stands out is the one with a street van leader from 96.5 FM the “Christian” radio station in Brisbane. The young lady told me that they were all about showing people the love of God, and sharing the gospel. But they wouldn’t tell people about the gospel because it may offend. So I asked her how many people she has had a chance to witness to, she stated that to date she hasn’t shared the gospel with anyone. It was then that I offered her the chance to declare the gospel to me, she looked at me blankly, and after a few moments all standing around could see that she did not know what the gospel was. So I asked a few questions, but she didn’t mention the name of Jesus, nor did she mention what God had done for us, so I thought it wise to witness to her. It is so sad that one has to witness to an ‘evangelistic’ ministry leader from a Christian radio station, but it just goes to show us the truth of Matthew 7:21-23.
We did a few more interviews, and one young man came under very heavy conviction as we shared about the gospel. After that interview we heard that the Premier of Queensland would be arriving soon in order to open the event. A group of us stopped and prayed that God would open a door for us to get a gospel tract to the Premier, after this quick prayer we went back to sharing the gospel.
About thirty minutes later we found out that the Premier was there, so we made our way over to where she was. Instantly we saw that there were a few security guards standing around, and to get to the Premier one would also have to get through a bunch of local politicians. So I grabbed my gospel tract and walked up to the security guards, when I got to them I patted them on the back and told them that they were doing a good job, and that they should keep up the hard work. They smiled, and I walked right by them, I was then into the group of politicians, so I went up to the Premier and said “Excuse me Mrs. Premier”, she turned, from there I shook her hand and wished her a happy Easter, she wished me the same thing, and then I gave her the gospel tract and explained to her that it contained the message of why we are here today, and asked her to read it. She said she would, and as I walked off she was looking at the tract. Please pray that God will convert her.
The rest of the day was spent handing out tracts, and doing one to ones. It was also good to see other evangelistic ministries handing out our tracts, everywhere we looked you could see people with Operation 513 tracts, from the youngest of children through to the Police officers patrolling the event. The place was well and truly covered!
Praise God for His faithfulness in opening doors for the Gospel!
Soli Deo Gloria!
This past weekend saw both myself and Philip, along with some new faces, back on the street to spread the gospel through public proclamation, one-to-one witnessing and the handing out of tracts. On Friday night we were joined by Joanna and Carl, from two different respective churches, as well as my brother James, Antonio and his wife Ludmiller, and Keith from my church.
We began as usual outside Tooting Broadway tube station just after 6pm. It was bitterly cold but we set about handing out tracts and approaching people to witness to them. I stood up to preach open-air and managed to draw in a small crowd. I did a call out to a young man and took him through the law. He left when I started to preach the gospel but there were some other people who were stood nearby so praise God that people did get to hear the message. We continued to talk one-to-one with people and hand out some more tracts after I finished preaching. At 8pm we got ready to leave Tooting Broadway and head on up to Leicester Square. We were due to meet Carl there at 8.30pm. I was greatly encouraged to see people from my church join us and also it was wonderful that Joanna had joined us too. I was particularly looking forward to seeing Carl, especially as we had only met once before. Antonio and Ludmiller were not able to come on up with us but we were very grateful that they had supported us thus far.
We arrived at Leicester Square just after 8.30pm. Carl was running a bit late so we went ahead and started ministering. A crowd formed and I did a call out to a man named Kazaar. He maintained that he would be guilty by God's standard but that it did not concern him that he could go to hell if he were to die. I told him about the terrors of hell and spoke about the certainty of God's judgment. As I was using an illustration to explain how Jesus has paid the fine for sinners so that through repentance and faith they can be saved, a young man began to heckle me and say that God is "here for everybody." I asked him to explain for me where that is found in the Bible. In return he asked me where my courtroom analogy is found in the Bible so I stressed for him that it was just an analogy and that it shows the loving-kindness of God back dropped against His divine wrath.
After I finished preaching up stood Carl! It was only his third or fourth preach and I could see that he was a little nervous. However he preached for well over 10 minutes and used his testimony to show how God had changed him and of course ultimately save him. After he finished we continued to do some more one-to-one's and hand out tracts. I found Kazaar and spoke to him some more. He told me that he was a Muslim and that Allah is his mercy would most likely save him, although he could not be sure. I showed him why he needs a Saviour and why Jesus is that Saviour. He was one of the most open Muslims I have spoke with but still you could tell that there was a lot to break through. He took a tract and I pray that God will continue to speak to him through the seed that was sown.
I had in mind to do another open-air but Carl had beaten me to it. He was up on the ladder once more and back in full swing. He needs to learn to project his voice a bit more but it was great to see his enthusiasm and desire. It wasn't long before he was being heckled and then surrounded by a crowd of Muslims. This is their strategy. They come in close and force you to back down. Afterwards I told Carl that he needs to tell them to stand back and that if they do not he will move to another spot. This is a constant struggle now and it seems that the Muslims of London are determined to stand against Christianity. Please pray that God would give us wisdom.
Before we left to go home I noticed that my brother James and Joanna were both in one-to-one conversation. James was talking with a liberal Muslim girl who professed that she did not live out her faith but had a great many objections towards Christianity. It became clear towards the end that she was not sorry for her sins and that she preferred to point the finger at other rather than admit her own guilt. Joanna was having a rather torrid time with a man who had heckled me earlier and was insistent that he explain to us the objections found in the Bible. It was difficult to debate with him as he was very argumentative and clearly had his mind already made up. This is street evangelism. This is what we encounter open-air. It can be tough but God's Word never returns void; onward we go! We left after 11:30pm, cold and tired but feeling privileged that God had used us. We had to get home to get some sleep as it was back to Tooting Broadway the next morning.
We arrived back at Tooting Broadway at 11:30. My brother James and Philip were with me and Joanna joined us just after 12pm. David Radcliffe, a chap from my church, also joined us as the afternoon wore on. It was very cold but there were still people about so I stood up and preached law and grace to the people. At one point it started to snow, that was very surreal! After I finished preaching we went about approaching people who had heard me preach. I got talking with a middle-aged man (his name has escaped me and I'm disappointed with that but the Lord knows his name so please pray for him) who was very nice to talk to. We had a good chat about a number of things. He mentioned that he had believed in God at one point but now science had swung his mind. Interestingly he had a decent knowledge of Scripture and Christianity and we got speaking about the authenticity and veracity of Scripture. I explained to him that we have more manuscripts that any other ancient book and that the time frame between the date they were written and the time that Jesus lived (talking of course of New Testament manuscripts) is shorter than any other we have of any other ancient person. He was somewhat impressed with this and gave me his ear on a number of things. Before he left I gave him my card and told him that he is free to email me any time. He said that he would and so I do hope and pray that I hear from him again.
All in all a great weekend of ministry. We want to see fruit but we live in a time when man is very much enamoured with his sin. The church has done little to soften men's hearts with the power of the gospel and so we speak with people of hard hearts who love their sin. Preachers of years ago broke hard hearts with the law of God and healed broken hearts with the gospel of God's grace. Oh for that kind of preaching once again!!
Soli Deo Gloria!!
Misuse of Mary, A beautiful book, Amazing manuscripts, and the doubtful of Sheffield.
This weekend we went to Dublin for a birthday weekend for Anna. In this city we found a few things that were a surprise and one thing in particular that was a delight for us to find by accident. It was a blessing from God to see the good things that are given to yet another city of the sons of man that is so undeserving of any good. We spent wandering around the city and visiting the various historical and interesting places to see including the museums, castle and the only bridge in Europe that is wider than it is long.
While walking through the main street I stumbled on a store that outraged me and I believe would outrage the Christian it was named after - Mary the mother of Jesus. The store claimed that Mary of Nazareth is mediatrix of all graces and so claiming salvation can be found in Jesus and in her. As I said this would have outraged this Godly woman who submitted herself to salvation through her son and her God Jesus Christ.... ALONE. This is witnessed to by her presence among the disciples before Pentecost devoting herself to prayer, which in this context would have been directed in faith to the Father and to Jesus as they awaited the Spirit (Acts 1:13-14). It is one of the great tragedies of church history that faith has been misplaced in Mary and the church of Rome has indulged in the sin of the Israelites using her as an idol.
"You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:4-6)
We pray that those who teach and practice this idolatry would be saved from it to a pure faith in God alone and that He would purify them by the blood of Jesus!
We also had the opportunity to view the Book of Kells while we were at Trinity College; this book is full of amazing illustrations and the most minute and intricate detail I have ever seen in an ancient book. This book was truly beautiful to behold and is a witness to the creativity of mankind. It is a great pity that in reading the history of this book we found that its purpose was to decorate an altar ("...was intended as altar furniture" was the phrase) and not to be read and treasured for the beautiful words that God has given us. While the Book of Kells was truly beautiful, it is also a sad state of affairs when the more beautiful words of God are neglected and left to stand gathering dust on an altar. This is also the state of many bibles in this land, left to gather dust on the shelves of many homes and libraries. Wake up people! There is a treasure greater than the Book of Kells on your shelves! In the words that came to Augustine we would urge you all "Take up and read, take up and read"! Do not neglect what can make you wise unto salvation.
Quite by accident we stumbled upon a great treasure when visiting the Chester Beatty Library. Within the Christian religion display that the library has we found some old manuscripts of the new testament and the description underneath them revealed them to be P45, P46 and P47! We were astounded, here were authenticated manuscripts dating from 200AD to 250AD, a less than 150 years after the writing of the originals. These manuscripts were written by people who's grandparents or great grandparents would have been alive in the time of Jesus Christ. We were amazed at the privilege God had given us by bringing us to the library unbeknownst to us, to see these ancient works that support the word He has preserved for us His children.
Along with the 5000 odd other manuscripts that are currently known, these manuscripts provide more support for the bible's unchanged nature than any other ancient book. The histories of Rome and Greece, the books of the Qu'ran and Ahadith, the biographical works of Julius Caesar and Alexander the great, all these accepted ancient writings must be thrown out as so much trash if you will not accept the bible as historically accurate. When compared to the New Testament none of the above writings (individually or even collectively) have as many manuscripts to support them and none of the manuscripts are as close to the original time of writing. Do not doubt Christian readers that you have a book that can be trusted. The translators of the bible from Koine Greek into modern languages have one main problem; the wealth and volume of the material that they have to work with, it is embarrassingly large!
The rest of our time in Dublin was enjoyable and we returned to Sheffield late on Sunday night.
Wednesday this week I went into Sheffield and spent some time witnessing in Fargate mall. While handing out tracts a couple of young Emo's stopped to talk and one of them was willing to be tested against God's standard. This young lady like me has failed to keep God's law and after a short discussion could see that there should be punishment for sin and that justice would be served one day. She feared going to hell yet wanted to leave at that point, I stopped her and shared the good news of God's intervention in history. She and her friend heard the bad and the good news of God's judgement and salvation and we pray that they would both would turn to Him in saving faith. Interestingly as I was sharing the gospel with them one of their friends spotted them from further down the mall and began to scream "No, No, No!" and came up and warned them about me. It is a re-occurring scenario now with the Emo's/Goths that certain outspoken people are trying to stop their friends hearing the gospel. We pray that these young enemies of God who so loudly proclaim their hatred of God would be saved by the sovereign work of His Spirit in their hearts.
A little while later I was able to speak with two young men and while acknowledging their crimes against the law of God they said it didn't matter because God didn't exist. At this they demanded evidence for the existence of God, in particular that I get God to appear in front of them immediately. I couldn't help but smile, odd that they thought that I (a creature of immense unworthiness) would be able to command the ruler of ALL THE UNIVERSE to come and appear like I would my pet dog! It is quite the opposite, God can and will one day call and all of us will obediently appear before Him.
While giving them some the universe full of evidences for God I warned them that one day they would have their request fulfilled but it would be a terrifying day for them unless they turn in repentance to Christ. On that day God will come in wrath-filled judgement and even the mountains and stars will melt like wax before him. We pray that these boys would not be in the crowd of those who will scream in terror for the mountains to fall on them rather than meet God face to face.
I would ask you to consider dear non-Christian reader (you know in your heart if you have submitted to Christ so examine yourself!) how short the days of grace are. Today is the day of mercy and you are offered again salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The day of mercy is passing, you do not know when you will be whisked into the eternal day where you will meet God who knows ALL your secrets and will judge you and all according to His standard. Do not fool yourself; you will never meet the perfect demands of God's law. Unless a perfect replacement has paid your price you will be condemned for your rebellion against and hatred of God. Turn in repentance and faith towards Christ Jesus while you still have time. You are not guaranteed one more second in this world and may before God before you finish reading this page. You are in danger, look to Jesus.
Oh Lord our God we pray that you would in grace and mercy look on these people who like us deserve your unceasing wrath and punishment. Save them we pray, turn them from the darkness they love to the glorious light of your presence. Bid them enter your courts and give them faith and repentance. Clothe them in the righteousness of Jesus and the indwelling Spirit to make them like our Lord. In short O God save these hard hearted ones for the sake of your Glory and to your endless praise!
My body was aching all over as I awoke today, and every part of me
screamed that I needed a rest. Instantly I began to think up excuses in
regards to why I could have the night off from witnessing. But I am
bound to preach the gospel of Christ, so I began to prepare for the
The city seemed fairly quiet when I arrived at 7:30pm, and I thought maybe it would be a nice and calm night. Yet, every time I think that it always goes the other way. We rallied in King George Square, and as we waited for more team members to arrive, we saw a large group of people with Bibles.
This was not surprising since many churches come out witnessing at Easter time, most of them don’t do it at any other time, but only at Easter or Christmas. As they prayed it soon became apparent that they were a Pentecostal group, and before we could engage any of them they had walked off. There outreach for the night was to have a man dressed up as Jesus and a couple of Roman soldiers walking through the Queens Street Mall. As they beat the man carrying the cross people would call out scripture passages.
They walked right by us while we were setting up for the night, so Ryan quickly took advantage of the situation and began to preach. He spoke on the cross of Christ and why He had to come and die. This then led into explaining the depth of sin and human depravity.
A crowd formed quickly and began to heckle, Ryan held his own for about twenty minutes, and then tagged me in. I begun to engage hecklers, at this stage I had five hecklers, so I started to try and bring some order to the chaos. One of the hecklers was an atheist, another a Buddhist, another was a Hindu. The Hindu man was very vocal and kept yelling questions at me, but he would not let me answer. So I asked him in front of the crowd “Will you let me answer?” His reply “NO!” Then he started accusing me of not answering his question. The crowd soon became annoyed at him and started yelling for him to let me answer the question. After awhile of him not letting me answer his question I moved on to deal with Atheism.
While I was dealing with some proofs for the evidence of God, and man and a woman pushed to the front of the crowd. The woman grabbed my hand and tried to place it on a ‘red’ area of her body, I kept pulling up my hand and she stated that she respects what I was doing. She then asked some questions in regards to God. While I was answering a man of Indian descent walked in an grabbed her, and then tried to twist her arm behind her back. I called on him to let go, and to cease assaulting her, he refused, but he soon realised that I was not going to let the issue drop. He eventually let go, and I refused to answer any of his questions since it is not right for a man to assault a woman.
The crowd kept on calling out questions so I did my best to answer their questions, then entered Mr. Walking Dawkins, who when he heckled would quote Richard Dawkins and then walk around the crowd mocking Christians. I think it was clear to the crowd that his questions had not basis, and it wasn’t hard to respond. Eventually he left and the crowd continued to call out questions. The time was now about 11:30pm and I had been up for over two hours, so I began to bring it to a wrap up. It was then that two young ladies approached and began to ask questions in regards to salvation. I began by explaining our need of a Saviour. It was then that Mr. Buddhist from the start of the night began to advance at me yelling. He got so close that I thought he was going to hit me, so I asked him to step back, he refused so I asked one of the team to go get the police. After he yelled for a bit he backed away, and I was then able to expound on the grace of God to the two young ladies. The females were cut up and began to cry as they heard about Christ coming down from Heaven to save sinners.
It was about midnight when I stood down, and I nearly fell over from exhaustion, but praise God many people got to hear the gospel!!!
To God be the Glory
Date: 23.03.08 Sunday
Time: 1:30 - 4:00PM
Blog Report: Operation 513 Gold Coast City Team
Location: Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, Cavill Ave
The team did a great job tracting, and young Robson was a tract machine! Please pray the people would continue to think about their sins against God, and the judgement to come.. and then of Christ's death and resurrection.
May the Lamb that was slain, receive the reward of His suffering.
If you haven't taken the good test yet, please click here.
Images taken from Wikipedia Commons.
Photo's of Gold Coast from Josh Williamson.
The Operation 513 Skypecast kicked off at 9pm and the people started to flow in. Within 10 minutes there was about 60 people in the room, so I started preaching the law to bring the knowledge of sin, then the wonderful gospel of Jesus Christ's death on the cross.
We had a Muslim fellow who wanted to speak, so we brought him up to the talking area. He was very angry and forcifully expressed his opinion about Jesus. He even used vulgar language, so we immediately removed speaking access from him. He said he hated Jesus, but that's strange as if that man was truly a Muslim then he would know that the Qu'ran holds Jesus up to a high esteem because they believe He is a prophet of God. But I explained to the listeners why He is more than a prophet, He is actually God in flesh.
I also brought up some errors within the Qu'ran, for example, the Qu'ran says Mary is part of the trinity (Sura 5:116 - instead of the Holy Spirit). Now if the Qu'ran was truly inspired of God then it wouldn't make such a major blunder as that. Christians have never regarded Mary as part of the trinity. Another example of an error within the Qu'ran is that it says Jesus didn't actually die. But that is blatantly false as we have four historical accounts in the New Testament attesting to the contrary, plus several other historical accounts written by secular historians affirming Jesus' life and death under Pontius Pilate. Yet the Qu'ran, a book written over 600 years after Jesus' death claims He didn't die. Which viewpoint would be deemed more accurate? The primary source documents of course.
I also had a nice conversation with a different Muslim person who thought himself to be a good person. I showed him God's laws and the fact that he has broken them. He threw in the objection regarding his good works and that God should let him go based on his works. But I clearly showed him that a good judge cannot let a criminal go just because He has done good works. That is like trying to bribe the judge. I told him of the wonderful news of the Saviour and how He can be saved from the wrath that is to come by repenting and trusting Jesus alone as His Saviour.
Josh Mitchell discussed the issue of morality and where we get the knowledge of right and wrong from. Using that starting point, he directed it back to God's law and the judgment to come.
We did have some hacker issues though during the Skypecast. There was a number of times when some of our Skype clients crashed or disconnected as someone tried to stop the gospel preaching. At one time Josh Williamson's computer suddenly opened up a lot of sound files and started to play them and his mozilla browser just started to bounce all over the screen. He immediately unplugged his network cord. But Thankfully because there was three speakers, when one person had issues, another person could continue the preaching. Please pray that the preaching of the gospel will not be hindered next week.
Once recovered, Josh Williamson had a conversation with a man who lives in Melbourne on the Skypecast. Diddy (that being his username), attempted to show why Christianity is wrong because of the bad things that have been done in the name of Christianity. Josh showed him why that is not a legitimate reason for dismissing Christianity. Josh told him that the Bible says to love your neighbour, not kill him. So it the person who interpreted the Bible wrongly who is in the error, not the Bible itself. But Diddy disagreed and said that it was the Bible's fault that people had taken scripture and used it the wrong way. So Josh tried to show Diddy that that is an absurd position to hold by saying, "Diddy, I heard you were going to give me $1000." Diddy replied, "No I didn't." Josh responded, "I am misusing your words, but according to your logic you are the one in the wrong." After that Diddy became silent because he knew that his own logic was flawed.
I finished off with the closing gospel message and a calling on all people to repent and trust in Christ alone for salvation. Please pray that God will draw people unto Himself for His glory alone.
The recording below is not the whole Skypecast as the Skype on the recording computer disconnected during the middle of it. However below is almost an hour of the Skypecast compiled of two different parts joined together.
Listen (12.7MB - 55:31)
(To download: right-click link, save target as.)
We will have another Skypecast at the same time next week - Sunday 9pm - 12am GMT+10.
To God be the glory!