Hundreds of gospel tracts went out to people in Brisbane city today. We had 4 people on the team and had some really fruitful conversations.
One person we spoke with was named Kiowin. He was an Aussie bloke who said that he didn't think he would go to heaven because he wasn't brought up believing that, but he said that he was on the fence about whether God exists or not. After showing him how things made have a maker, so therefore the universe must have had a creator, he said, "That makes sense".
So we talked about the coming judgement and how we have sinned and fallen short of God's standards. Therefore we need someone who is perfect who can our punishment for us - Jesus.
Once the gospel was explained to him and he was also encouraged to count the cost of following Jesus, I asked, "So when will you come to trust in Jesus?" He said, "I will really need to consider this." He didn't have a Bible at home, so I gave him a gospel of John to start reading. Please pray that he comes to saving faith.
God is in control and He is building His church even in Australia. To Him be all the glory!
It was an encouraging outreach yesterday at Capalaba. The team went from one gospel conversation to the next, with some disinterested people (as expected) in-between.
One conversation we had was with two young people, one initially responded to the question of whether they thought they would go to heaven with, "Oh I'm gay". But by the end of the conversation they were both considering the message of the gospel, and were happy to take a gospel of John to start reading.
Another person we spoke with, Alex, said that he reads the Bible every night but he wasn't sure of whether God would let him into Heaven. He did think he was a good person though. So we went through some of God's commandments, and he began to see his sinfulness and asked what he could do. I explained that Jesus was able to pay our fine for us on the cross 2000 years ago.
At the end of the chat I asked him, "So now, what do you have to do to get to Heaven?" He said, "Trust in Jesus". I urged him to do that today, and make sure he counts the cost of following Jesus, for Jesus doesn't want half-hearted followers.
To God be all the glory!
"And how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10:14). On Friday night, it was a very cold night at the Gold Coast as the team gathered to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
As one of the team started open-air preaching, tracts were handed out to people who were sitting near by and were listening attentively to the gospel message being preached.
And the team also began getting into conversations, including one with two men from India who could not speak English. But God is amazing, on the team member we had someone who could speak their language - Hindi! One of these men said that he has heard about Jesus and believes in Him, however he also believes in salvation by works and that all roads lead to heaven.
So it was explained to them that, Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven and that no man can enter heaven but through Jesus Christ alone. In John 14:6, Jesus said that, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me." The team member stressed the point that no one can earn their way to heaven. Salvation is not by works but rather only by the pure grace of God (Ephesians 2:8-9).
They said that, this is something that they haven't heard before and were thankful to receive Hindi tracts and said that, they are going to have a read.
Just when we thought that the night has ended, on our way back to the car park, a young man came up to us and thanked us for preaching the gospel at Surfers. He then started confessing secret sins - sexual addiction in his life and asked us, "What can I do to be free from this particular addiction and any advise that you guys can give?"
We then shared the Gospel with him and told him that, it is only Jesus Christ who can forgive us and set us free from our sins. We then handed him a Gospel tract that had a local church's address on it and prayed together for him before we departed.
Please pray that many will be convicted of their sins and come to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour, as they come to realization that, only He can free us from the bondages of sin.
"Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God..." (Revelation 19:1).
The Lord had us operate in 3 pairs.
- The ladies encountered 2 young Indian men, Mr. Q & Mr. A. Mr. Q had to excusehimself as he received a phone call from India. Mr. A did not beleive there is a God. Eventually he disclosed that his whole family was under a 'black magic' curse (his description). He did not seem to be able to grasp the message of salvation. Mr. Q. returned and stated that he did not want to miss out on the fun of sin ( Oh, the deceitfulness of sin). Another team member joined in the conversation and again went through the law and the gospel. By now, the agnostic seemed to be a theist and the funlover had some new thoughts to consider. Both men took John's gospel. May our Lord speak to them 'wonderful words of life'.
- one pair had a long chat with 2 J.Ws. who appreciated being spoken to tactfully even though they were seriously challenged, including in 2 major areas:
- Eph. 2:8,9 to which they commented, "There must be more to it than just this."
- How can there be 2 sources of revelation that do not agree with one another, i.e. the Watchtower Society publications and the Bible?
Pray that they are stirred up in their spirits to seek the truth that will make them free.
- There seemed to be a larger proportion of Indians here today and they willingly took tracts. The witnessing concluded just as the rain came in.
Thanks be to God for the indescribable riches of his grace to us and to Him be all the glory.
Today in Elizabeth Street Mall I encountered a first. A counter protest against my preaching! While it was organised by others Mr S. was front and centre as the cheerleader for the “Yes” campainers. This was a fantastic opportunity but was also very stressful.
The day began with a group SSM advocates with signs standing and sitting in front of me. I began to preach from John 3:16-17 and expained that God showed His great love for all people. Again and again I emphasised the lostness and brokenness of people everywhere. The invitation to repentance and faith in Jesus comes if you are gay or straight, rich or poor, employed or not, famous or anonymous. I was able to begin with a clear presentation of the gospel a number of times over. Towards the end of this someone began to ask questions about SSM and over the course of the hour the question came thick and fast from all quarters. During this time Mr S. alternated between vitriolic rants and wandering through the crowd encouraging the counter protesters and spreading lies about my integrity, my motivations and my methods. Many of the interactions were cordial and I am very thankful to the folk who were able to speak reasonably. I am also thankful to the Tasmanian police who were standing nearby and to the SSM protesters that things did not get out of hand as they have at other counter protests by “Yes” advocates.
At the end of the first hour of the afternoon and there was lull and I was able to preach the gospel again. It is wonderful that so many people had gathered to hear what was happening. So many people who are currently opposed to Christian doctrine sitting or standing to hear the gospel of salvation by faith proclaimed!
After this we took a one hour break, during this time a quite a number of people came to show their support for what we were doing. Mr S. had booked this hour and so we left him to advocate for his position, which he was doing loudly as I moved away.
In the second hour of the afternoon there were less counter protesters and I could preach the gospel for quite some time before the questions and heckling took over. I spoke from Luke’s account of Jesus’s crucifixion and the way that Jesus’s death shows us our sin deserves from God and the determination of Jesus to save people from that judgment. There were a moderate number of people listening as I preached and but after a period of heckling and ranting there was a large crowd gathered. The heckling came mostly from Mr S. but also one or two others in the crowd.
Mr S. has a habit of trying to paint me as a moral evil in Hobart and brings up my many mistakes to achieve this end. I don’t mind this at all, I preach that I am a saved needy sinner pointing unsaved needy sinners the way to life. I am not a perfect man and have failed in many ways, I will continue to fail in many ways. This is the Christian life, we do wrong and sin still after we come to faith in Jesus. The essence of the Christian response to this is to hate the sin, confess the sin, and seek the saviour in faith that He will save us.
This by the grace of God has been my path for the last 30 years and by His grace will be my path until my death. God’s love in Jesus Christ covers my sin and I can come boldly to my heavenly Father knowing He loves me. This is God’s work not mine, I cannot earn His love, He sought me and bought me with His blood when I was His enemy! This great gospel I was able to preach another couple of times before closing for the afternoon.
Praise God for His faithfulness in trials!
School holidays continue but our great God is always at His glorious work, Ps. 127:1 "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain who build it." His house is unmistakable - bullet-proof and glorious as He Himself is.
Quite a few tracts were received today; many people were not 'our regulars'. Then there were a few scoffers, a few listeners, and a few who could not, or would not, agree with God's Way to reconciliation with Himself. To think that the Son of God willingly bore the wrath of God and so many seem disinterested!
We work. We and you pray and God always has the last word and He is always right. We, by nature, are sinners and if God had not dealt with us in His grace, we would have still been rebels at heart. Praise God for each one He saves and may we join with the angels rejoicing over one sinner who repents.
Praying always, we thank God for using us in our weaknesses and to Him alone be the glory. He is worthy.
Day 1 - Monday:
We had our first full day of evangelism yesterday during our mission trip to the country of Myanmar. What an experience it has been so far!
The people here are so happy to take a gospel tract and talk. The local pastor, whose number is on the back of the tract, has already received 4 calls from people wanting to meet up and learn more about Christianity, with one saying that he wants to bring 10 people along with him to church.
We have had people come to make professions of faith. We know that God is in charge of the results. Praise Him for that!
Please pray that God will save many souls through the gospel going out here this week. Pray for continued strength for the team in the midst of the heat and humidity, and for today as we are about to start our second full day of evangelism.
Day 2 - Tuesday:
God is really moving in this country of Myanmar. On Tuesday, we were able to get out about 30,000 gospel tracts, with many great gospel conversations with Buddhists, Muslims and Atheists also had. Some even came to profess faith in Christ, glory to God!
There is a hunger for the word of God here, which was shown to us again by the fact that two Buddhist people (university students) who received tracts yesterday made a long journey just to meet up with us to learn more about Christianity. They said they now want to follow Jesus and will be continuing to meet up with a local pastor for further discipleship.
Praise the Lord that His word is going out in this country and that the team is able to help the local church get out of their comfort zones to share the good news of Christ. Please continue to pray for the team and for the salvation of many people. Thank you!
Day 3 - Wednesday:
On Wednesday, the team on mission in Myanmar went to a different part of Yangon to continue sharing the good news of Christ. We also found a good location to do some preaching with the sketchboard, where people gathered around to watch and listen.
While on the streets, it is a great blessing that each person on the team is paired up a local person who can translate for them, as together we reach the people of this country for Christ.. Buddhism has a big dominance on the hearts of many, but mainly because of tradition and because people generally like the idea being able to earn their forgiveness.
It seems that most conversations will involve giving a courtroom analogy, showing how a good judge cannot let a criminal go free based on how many good things a person has done compared to his bad deeds. We've found that most people come to understand that, which then leads on to the gospel, that we need someone who can take our punishment on our behalf.
Please pray for the team as we are able to head out on the streets again today. May God be glorified!
Day 4: Thursday:
On Thursday in the country of Myanmar, the mission team went to the city centre of Yangon to share the gospel and it was a very fruitful day. We also used a good person test flip chart to preach with in the open air, and it attracted lots of people to come and listen.
One of the locations we did it was at a bus stop, and so once we finished one presentation of the gospel, we'd do it again only minutes later and a whole new crowd would gather around to listen. As a team, we probably ended up preaching over 25 times. God is good!
Please pray for continued strength, health and energy for the team, as we are about to set out for our second last day of evangelism in this country.
May God bring many people out of darkness and into His marvellous light!
The mission team to the country of Myanmar have returned back to Australia, praising the Lord for all that He has done through this past week.
140,000 gospel tracts went out over the week, and 10,000 more in-depth books on Christianity also went out. Even though the locals expected it to rain for most of our time there, we hardly experienced any rain during the times of outreaches, and on some of the days only after the outreach was finished did it pour down rain.
We had dozens of people, including mainly Buddhists, come to profess faith in Christ. The local pastors we worked alongside are now continuing to disciple them and those who are seeking.
God is amazing and to Him be all the glory! There is a great openness towards the gospel in this country. But there is much more evangelism that still needs to happen in Myanmar, pray that God raises up labourers to go into the harvest field there.
It was a beautiful Spring day as we made our way to King George Square in Brisbane. As usual there were crowds of people sitting around or moving from place to place.
I began to hand out tracts and almost instantly I had a lady stop to talk. This lady is from Eastern Europe and believed that she knew God as she is a good person. We chatted about how there is none good, but she kept insisting that she was. I then asked her, "If you can get to Heaven by being good, then why did Jesus have to die?"
The lady looked at me and said, "He died for our sins." I quickly replied, "Does that mean you have sinned?" It was at that moment the penny dropped. She realised that she wasn't a good person and needed forgiveness. I urged her to trust in Christ, to which she said she would. Please pray for her.
After this I had another conversation, this time with a man who thought he was right with God because of laminin (which makes the shape of a cross). No matter what I said he kept falling back onto the superstitious nonsense that these laminin crosses would somehow save him. Please pray he'll see the truth.
The rest of our time was spent handing out tracts and sharing with people. Over the course of three hours we handed out over 500 tracts.
May the Lord Jesus save sinners!
Many of the usual Brisbane City team members are off on a short term mission in another country and as a result the team was expecting to be smaller on Saturday night. To our great surprise, a whole twelve members made it out and many gospel conversations were had!
Two exciting chats came from eight teenage boys who were walking past. Two team members engaged with them, splitting them into two groups of four.
After not very long, only one young man was left talking to each team member and the rest were waiting in a group. The first young man was named Jack and the other Jacob. The conversation will Jack began a little shaky. He started by being silly.
Jack seemed not too interested by the way he was engaging to begin with but by the end it was clear that Jack wasn't just playing around, His eternity was at stake it was obviously important to him.
What seemed different was that his questions unlike the "usual" mocker or joker, seemed to have much deeper roots than just a desire to ask hard questions.
Jack originally asked about other religions and whether or not they would be going to Heaven. He was given the answer that, everyone is a rebel against God's and hasn't been saved by Jesus Christ will have the same fate, Hell. He pryed a bit deeper, so what about the Jews and the Muslims? And again the Gospel was stressed, salvation is only found in Jesus Christ, He is the ONLY hope.
Jack then moved through a range of other topics. Each answer played its part in filling out the picture of God's ABSOLUTE sovereignty, the problem of sin, caused by human pride and selfishness, the fallen state of humanity and this world. Throughout the discussion regarding each an every topic raised another piece about what God has revealed about Himself and humanity.
This left Jack to his final question, what about people that die from cancer? Tell me everything Christians think about that? Why do people get cancer?
The response was simple, cancer only exists as a product of human rebellion. It is only because this world is fallen that cancer exists. People can get cancer for a range of reasons, for Christians, God uses suffering to bring about their likeness to Jesus Christ, teaching them to trust God more fully (Romans 8:28-29). For non-Christians cancer may be a product of God's judgement (but one should be very hesitate to declare such) or more likely it could be God's call to show people that they aren't in control and call them to turn to Him.
The conversation seemed to be coming to a natural end, with one final reminder of the Gospel. One last question was posed to Jack, "What is stopping you from trusting in Jesus now?"
It was at this moment Jack opened up, he finally felt safe enough to share, "My father died from cancer four months ago and it has put my life on hold. I am sort of waiting to try and sort it all out before I consider God. What do you think about that?"
For a moment, the conversation was halted by the weight of the event that had occured but this answer was given, "God is active in the work of restoring this world and the people in it from the effects of sin. He is the only one who can mend our sin and its effects. He also is the only one that can give real hope of a better future. To say that you can sort out this issue then turn to God is to both, reject the best helper you can have and also to arrogantly declare that you think you're better than God at fixing the effects of sin.
Jack paused and in light of all the conversation that had occured, he said, "I understand". He and his friends hung around for another few minutes or so and he was incredibly greatful in his affections and comments about the conversation that had taken place.
Please keep Jack in your prayers, God is in the business of saving sinners, even those whose life has been overcome with the grief of a lost loved one.
Please pray for the many other people that were engaged with from Rick a man who was scared of eternity, Paul a works righteousness Jew and Chris who wasn't very serious about eternal matters.
While out in the mall on Tuesday I had a wonderful conversation that encouraged me and gave me cause to pray and praise God. Previously I have had a young man Mr F. drop by when I am preaching and to the bible table. His arguments have always been cheerfully presented and well-reasoned. In our debates, he and I have always walked away on good terms.
After I finished preaching on Tuesday Mr F. came up with a small group of friends and asked me if I remembered our last discussion? He said he had been thinking about it and wanted to talk more. After prodding my brain into action and a couple of reminders from Mr F.
I remembered our discussion on the nature and origin of ethics. He had been thinking and wanted to more clearly present his view of the way empathy as a precursor of ethics had arisen. What a privilege! To be able to discuss spiritual things in a friendly way with someone who is prepared to work hard at not only seeking to be understood but also to understand.
We had a great chat and I was a couple of points direct the conversation to the gospel need of all people because we fail to be ethical. Mr F. did an excellent job of teasing out with me some of the implications for ethics based in evolutionary assumptions, some of the possible arguments for and against an evolutionary or divine origin for ethics. In the end, we both had to stop talking as the day was so cold and we went our separate ways with a promise to talk more another time.
Please pray for Mr F., not only that he will come again to discuss but that he will be impacted by the fingerprints of God evident in ethics and all areas of life. May the Lord save him and bless him in Jesus our Lord!