"Lest we forget" - as we thank God for the blood-bought freedom we continue to enjoy now, we need to think often of the ultimate redemption, as members of "... the church of God which obtained with His own blood.", Acts 20:28.
How precious is this! David who is illiterate was taken through the gospel twice until he grasped the message. Then Ryan gave him a gospel of John as David said he would have it read to him. Please, pray.
A few samples of what some careless types 'believe':
- a man who claimed he did not believe in anything, but then admitted he believed his parents existed. He later retracted this statement and blamed God for all the world's troubles. How inconsistent!
- a young couple: he did not care and she had a 'higher power' she followed and had ideas like the gospel accounts were written by His disciples about 300 years after Jesus death. Perhaps a seed was planted before the guy lost his cool and the conversation had to be terminated so that Ryan could walk...
...around to the other side of the bus seats where he met a man he had witnessed to, together with his girlfriend, a few months ago. She has started reading the Bible but he needed to hear the gospel again. He concluded that he was not ready for Jesus yet; he had more sinning to do. He was challenged.
- a young man Kyle who had studied Buddhism since 14 years old but who felt an urgency to attend church last weekend, and did. He has since read Genesis. Good long conversation going through law ( he admitted he was a liar, same as everyone else, and I added the first 3 commandments to his list of sins as he had ignored God for years) and gospel which he is now going to check out from the Bible alone. He knows the need for his all-in commitment to the Lord. Please pray that as he continues to seek God ( because of Jn. 6:37) he will pray for the Holy spirit to teach him the truth!
- three young guys who heard God's good news in spite of their avowed love for drugs.
There is always more and let us be thankful that for each one who is eventually a recipient of God's gift of eternal life through "...repentance from dead works...", Heb. 6:1, and trusting the Lord Jesus Christ alone; this is "...to the praise of His glory," Eph. 1:14
Praise the Lord that last night in Brisbane city there were plenty of gospel conversations had by the team! The team consisted of over 15 of us.
We found most people said that they'd be going to Heaven because of being a good person. Even a chat with a professing Christian named Joel from Holland, he too thought his goodness would save him. So we took Joel through the Good Person test and he flunked it just as badly as the rest of us but was still sure that he was good enough to get into Heaven.
Soon after that a couple named David and Danika went through the "Intelligence Test" flip chart. Their minds fooled them as the were tricked by each of the trick questions. And again moments later when they professed to be good people.
Although pride is the biggest barrier preventing humanity from surrendering to Jesus Christ, each of these individuals had a different problem. Joel was sure he was already on his way to Heaven, David and Danika were angry at the hypocrisy shown to them by some Christians and a couple named Phil and Andrea had decided that the solution to their problems was really somewhere deep inside them.
Please pray that they (and the plenty others) will heed the warning presented to them, that they will each turn from their lives of sin and to the only one who can save them from the wrath to come!
Please also keep the team in prayer, that we may remain humble in our service to God and continually being reminded ourselves of our own desperate need for God's grace in our lives!
It was a wet, windy, and cold (by Queensland standard) start to the outreach. Yet, despite the weather we gathered at the pier in Redcliffe to share the gospel. It was particularly encouraging today to bump into several Christians who had been impacted by our open-air work, and who prayed for us.
We set the Bible table up and began to hand out tracts and try to get into conversations. At the start things were slow, but soon people began to listen.
One conversation I had was with an elderly man named George. George has a Czech and Jewish background, but was very confused about who God is, and how to be saved. He started by telling me that he has been to Heaven twice, and that everyone will go there one day. Our conversation centred around the goodness and justice of God, with George openly admitting that God should punish bad people, but at the same time affirming if we punish ourselves then God will let us go.
In reply to this, I said, "George, is there someone you really love?" He replied that there were people in his life that he loved very much; I then stated, "George, imagine someone comes along and murders your loved ones. The murderer later feels bad about what he has done, so each night he beats himself with a stick. One day the murderer is caught, but the Magistrate lets him go because the murderer had been punishing himself..." Before I could go any further George interrupted by declaring, "That is wrong and unjust! The judge must punish him!"
This provided a perfect way to explain how God because He is good must punish wrong doing and that there is a penalty for our sin; George agreed saying that what I said was logical. He also conceded that means that not everyone is going to Heaven. From this point I was able to explain how God is both the just and the justifier of those who have faith in Christ (Romans 3:26).
George listened, and stated it made sense. But, he said he didn't know if he could believe the Bible as what the Scriptures says today isn't what they said in the originals. I countered this argument with a brief apologetic on how we got the Bible, and he seemed rather interested. At the end of our conversation he took a couple of booklets from our table and thanked us for the conversation.
Another highlight of the day came from a bus driver who was driving by in his bus. He saw our free Bible and Literature table, so he pulled over and ran down to get a Bible. I'm not sure if he had any passengers onboard, but this man was keen to get a copy of the Word of God!
Overall it was a wonderful day of ministry in Redcliffe. The Lord is at work. Please pray for us.
We had another great afternoon of evangelism at Sunnybank yesterday. The Lord brought along 3 of us on the team which meant we were able to cover both sides of the road.
We praise God that about 500 gospel tracts went out and we got to speak with a variety of people, including Thomas. He is from Cambodia and has never heard anything about Christianity. He was very receptive and afterwards was happy to take a gospel of John.
Also spoke with a man named Colin. His mother attends a Catholic church and he says he goes along sometimes. He said he's been slowly drifting away from God. We talked about sin, the coming Judgement, and how forgiveness is only available through faith in Christ alone. He came to grasp the gospel, and he admitted that he has never actually been a Christian before, since he now realised he never has believed the gospel before.
He was encouraged to make sure he counts the cost of coming to faith in Christ, for Jesus doesn't want half-hearted followers. But at the same time, he was encouraged not to delay, since none of us know how long we have left on this earth. He has a Bible and said he is going to start reading it. He was also encouraged to find a good Bible believing church in the area he lives.
To God alone be the glory!
We had a blessed day sharing the good news of Christ with the people of Brisbane city today. We had 5 of us on the team, and together we got out about 800 gospel tracts.
It's so cool to think that 800 people today have had the words of eternal life given to them today. It excites me to think what God will do with it!
We also had some good gospel conversations with over a dozen people. One in particular was with a Muslim fellow from India named Razza. He was quite firm in holding to the Qur'an, but his foundations began to shake when he came to realise that in order for the Qur'an to be a book from God, it must line up with what God has said before. For he agreed that God would never contradict Himself.
And since the Qur'an claims to be the latest revelation from God after the Torah and the New Testament, he acknowledged we should check to see if it is consistent with these prior revelations. And he came to realise that it's not.
We then also talked about how the our sins can be forgiven - not merely by God overlooking our sin (for that wouldn't satisfy his justice), but by someone else paying our penalty for us. This was the first time he had heard this; he had hoped God would just show him mercy if he tried his best. Razza took a gospel of John and said he would start reading it. Please pray for him.
To God be all the glory for everything that happened today!
It was a wonderful outreach last night for Good Friday at the Gold Coast. It was extraordinarily busy and we got to share with people about why Good Friday is actually good.
We had a team of about 15 of us, handing out tracts and chatting to people, and a few preaching. God drew in people to listen to the preaching and it sparked curiosity in the things of God. It was also great seeing the gospels of John were flying off the free Bibles table.
In fact, one lady came up to the person on the team who just finished preaching with the sketchboard and said, "I'm from India and don't know much about Christianity at all. But just earlier in the day I thought I want to get a Bible, and then when you mentioned about taking a Bible I saw this as a confirmation. I would love to have one, I want to read it for myself."
Glory to God that His word went out!
Today during our outreach in Brisbane city, we had the privilege of sharing the great news of Easter with a variety of people.
Firstly with a man named Mick who said he used to believe in Jesus, but now believes in the sun, moon and stars as 'god'. He maintained that he still loves Jesus, saying, "Jesus never said we can't worship the sun."
But when he heard that Jesus said that we should have no other gods before Him, he said, "Oh I didn't realise that." And as we talked about sin and how we need a substitute (who is sinless) to pay the penalty for our sin he said, "I think you are on to something. I've never heard that before." Please pray for him.
Later we chatted with a young lady named Miss Blue. She said she was a Christian, but didn't know if she was going to heaven because recently both the Mormons and the Jehovah's Witnesses have been talking to her family and what they have been saying has confused her greatly. But this confusion hasn't driven her to read the Bible to find out, it's had the opposite effect.
She wanted to know what the Bible says, and so we spent some time sharing a number of different Scriptures refuting what the cults have been telling her. She was so appreciative to hear that the Bible has answers to her questions and she said she wants to start reading it daily. We explained the gospel to her a couple of times before she came to grasp it. Please pray that she comes to salvation.
Hundreds of Easter gospel tracts went out and more conversations were had. So to God be the glory!
Our triune God gave us 3 co-workers in the gospel who set out as those who have asked for and been granted "...refuge under the shelter of Your wings!", Ps. 61:4.
Most people took a 'Happy Easter' tract but not many were going to stop to chat, except those whom the Lord had appointed to stop this day.
- Three young couples passed by with a "We don't bother about things like heaven and hell." Have they been blinded by the empty idea of reincarnation. We noticed them later wading in the shallows. May the Lord awaken such careless sinners to their present state of condemnation - Jn. 3:36!
- Terry, a war veteran, had a conversation with 1 of us which was continued by another one of us. He was quite willing to speak out his concerns about a possible start soon to World War 3 and problems in the world. However he 'had to leave' when the talk was turned towards the greatest crime (from a human perspective) man has ever committed; the murder of the Righteous One, Jesus Christ. He would not listen past the declaration that God brought good out of this event.
How can someone be so hard that they will not even listen to God's good news? (Gen. 8:21 Our Lord's pronouncement. "..for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth." - Noah's flood of judgment did not change man's fallen nature & neither will the final judgment.)
- Mae received a tract and asked if it was about Jesus of whom they had heard a little. Husband Ming and children Sam and Eric were present throughout this conversation. This was the first time they had heard the good news. So we went on our rejoicing and as we walked and prayed we were giving God all the glory and thanking Him for the privilege of serving Him and being used of Him.
By His grace, another day of witnessing of our God who is great without/beyond/above measure, Ps. 145:3. How did He answer our prayers this day?
- a young lady, Maddy, whose grandparents are Christians has now reached the point where she needs to count the cost and submit to the Lord Jesus Christ as her Redeemer. May God deal with her in mercy if it so pleases Him.
- a Chinese teen boy was given a tract and taken through the bus/builder analogy, then through to the consequences of Adam's sin before his bus arrived. May God stir his spirit to become a seeker after Truth.
- an older man who was so inconsistent that he did not even realize his view of reincarnation was internally flawed. May he be challenged by the truth of God's good news and forsake in true repentance his self-love.
- 2 teen boys that I gave tracts to and began to converse with until Jamie, a professed atheist, took out his phone and rang someone. I left them with a challenge. Soon thereafter, Ryan met them and took Jamie through the builer/building analogy that he admitted made sense but then wanted to still call himself an atheist. Ryan used the analogy that if one did not believe in gravity but one day went to a science class where he saw an experiment showing gravity had a repeatable effect and he became convinced that gravity was real, he would have stop to saying he was an unbeliever in gravity. Likewise he should not call himself an atheist any more. Going through the law and the gospel, Sam who had thought that he was good now understands he is not good enough to get into heaven. May they both hear more of the truth that they desperately need to trust themselves to for the remission of their sins and the gift of eternal life - with the God of all grace! Hallelujah.
- a young lass, Ruby who initially believed in some impersonal higher power who cares for us. We started from the agreed position that if there is a God, then we cannot treat Him like a scientific experiment Then while we are flesh and blood and have no knowledge of what a spirit can or cannot do, from His Self revelation we learn that He is a Spirit, tri-Personal, and Jesus is God in the flesh so that he who has seen Jesus has seen the Father. I concentrated on the pure selflessness of Jesus coming and dying in the place of His people while we were still God's enemies and how as a Christian one can begin to learn how to live for God's glory, in part, by becoming more selfless in loving our wife or husband, as the case may be. We parted amicably with my expressed wish to her that she would come to know God and how delightful it is to know and love Him - 1 Jn. 4:7!
Without your prayers, how could we continue to tell out the wonders of His good news. Thank you. Grace be with you each and every one.
We praise the Lord for last night's outreach at the Gold Coast. We had about 15 people on the team. It was lightly raining at times throughout the night, but it didn't keep the people away.
Amongst the dozens of gospel conversations that were had, one stand out conversation was with a man from Colombia. He is studying English here for 3 more months. He had a Catholic upbringing and thought he was going to Heaven simply because his Catholic priest told him he would.
He had had never heard the message of grace, and thought his deeds had something to do with saving him. After talking a while, he came to grasp the gospel and was very happy to take a Bible to start reading. We also got his number to pass onto a local pastor in the area who will follow him up. Please pray for Andres.
To God be the glory that His Word is going out!