It was encouraging to be joined by two new people on the team today for our outreach in Brisbane city. We were around King George Square handing out some of the Happy New Year tracts, which I find a lot people are happy to take one.
We got to chat to a variety of people throughout the afternoon, including one young lady named Nina. She had fluro yellow hair with a gothic type of make up. It turns out that she was at schoolies just this last year and talked to someone about God and it made her much more open to the things of God, but she still considered herself to be an atheist.
Since the Bible says everyone already knows that God exists because God has shown us all in the things that have been made (Romans 1), I knew I should remind her of His existence in that things made have a maker. For example, a building must have had a builder. And since the universe had a beginning, it to must have had someone that made it. That is who God is. She exclaimed, "That actually makes sense!"
She said that she had read the Satanist Bible before, and noticed that it was a very selfish way of living. She said it then started talking about sacrificing and got a bit weird. So we talked about how we have all been selfish and sinned in countless number of ways and therefore deserve punishment, but that is why Jesus died on the cross for our sins.
She seem to be grasping the message and then later asked, "But what about same sex marriage?" I explained that God is the one who defines marriage right in the beginning and it's not up for negotiation. She asked, "What if they can't help being like that?" I responded, "Yes, they can choose not to act on their desires. Just like a heterosexual person has to control their actions as well regardless of their desires." She agreed that that made sense.
She said, "I am going to have to start reading the Bible." Please pray for her and all the others who heard the gospel or took a gospel tract today. To God be the glory!
We praise the Lord that His gospel went out to people yesterday at Wellington Point. We found at first that the people coming across our path were quite against God, arguing things like "Why would God allow this or that to happen in this world?"
Questions like that stem from the erroneous idea that we deserve good things, when in reality the only thing we deserve is hell, and yet God is so kind that he hasn't sent us there yet even though we've all sinned countless number of times. And not only that, He has even provided the way of forgiveness through Jesus so we don't have to go there!
We handed out quite a number of gospel tracts throughout the afternoon and had a variety of different gospel conversations, even with a man who was a Franciscan monk for 12 years but had no idea how to get to Heaven.
Please pray that God would draw all these people to Himself. To God be the glory!
After many weeks of 1-1 witnessing in Melbourne, and with Christmas upon us, this past Friday night we added open-air preaching to our ministry. God had been blessing our faithfulness with a slow growth in numbers for several months and so it was decided that we now had the critical mass to run open-air.
Our team met for prayer and then a few of us set up a tract table, a sketch board and PA in the mall while others walked off with hands full of tracts. With the massive crowds gathered in the mall for Christmas, it took less than 10 seconds to attract a crowd of 30-50 people. Many did not stay once they heard it was about Jesus, but quite a few remained for the whole message and were then followed up one on one.
While the preaching was happening, Hannah and Aditya met up with Helen, a non-believer Hannah had a week earlier who had demonstrated a very strong interest in the gospel. As they met with her this week, she was clearly impacted by both her sin and the love of Jesus to rescue her. While sitting with the 2 team members, she prayed and repented of her sin and asked God to rescue her.
There have been many, many other stories from these past few weeks and God has been gracious to have us share the good news with many who have never heard before. If you would like more information about the Melbourne ministry or would like to pray for the team as they minister on Friday nights, there is a group specifically dedicated to planning and prayer for this ministry at:
Soli Deo Gloria!
The increased interaction and interest has continued this month with many tracts going out and people showing an increased interest with the preaching. I praise God for these times but it is also a spur to pray that there would be more workers in the harvest. I fear I miss many opportunities by being otherwise engaged and people walk away when they run out of time.
There has over the last couple of months been an increasing interest in the ACL marriage facts flyer that I keep on my table. Quite a lot of people in Hobart are “allies” of the LGBTI movement and for them marriage is a point of discussion and division with Christians. The flyer acts as a discussion point for many “allies” and hopefully gets them thinking of what Christians actually say rather than the misrepresentations that the media feeds them. Also many times the flyer (which is a gently worded affirmation of the Christian position) has allowed me to share the gospel with homosexual people when they would otherwise stay away. Last week I had two young guys come and ask me what I thought of homosexual people. I was able to share with them the gospel of God's love for sinners and the responsibility of Christians to love all people (even when they disagree with their lifestyle). They listened to me and I heard their thoughts in return and we hopefully will talk more in the future.
Today there were many more teens and people in the mall than normally in the middle of the day. Many of the schools are finishing for the summer and this leads to good opportunities to reach the school kids. Many of them are hang around with friends and more likely to talk than if they were coming home from school in uniform (apparently its a big no-no to debate street preachers in school uniform…).
As I preached the first time a pair of young guys started to heckle that there was no God. I challenged them a couple of times to prove their claim but this was met with only laughter and scoffing. I made a couple of jokes, trying to engage them but they would not talk further so I continued preaching. As I preached an older gent came up and claimed the same – “there is no God”. I repeated my challenge to him to prove his claim. He replied that there is no need to “prove a negative” and the burden of proof was on me alone. I couldn't help but smile, this is a common atheist dodge and an illogical one at that. I pointed out that if I believed in gravity and he did not and I said that my bible would not float; that would be a negative claim that I would need to and could prove it. I restated that the atheist is as much in need to prove their position as the Christian, its just that they refuse to do so. Almost to illustrate this the man walked off punching the air in obvious frustration.
I finished preaching and urging the people gathered to trust in Jesus, humbling themselves and repenting of their sin. Afterward as the crowd dispersed another older gent came up and quizzed me as to why I would offer salvation to all who where present. I responded that I was commanded to in scripture and he replied that Jesus sent His disciples to the lost sheep of Israel only. Tragically this man and his friends had decided after much study that the only people who should hear the gospel call were the descendants of Isaac. He thought preaching the gospel to everyone regardless of race was unfaithful to scripture. I tried repeatedly to convince him from scripture that Jesus calls His people to share the gospel with everyone. Untouched by any of my arguments he left saying we would just have to disagree. I pray that God would open the scriptures to him and his friends and give them a heart for the lost, and may He save all of us from theology that would make us comfortable with the condemnation of anyone!
At the end of our time in the mall I packed up the bible table and then handed out tracts for a period. Many people took Christmas tracts praise God!
May He use these gospel opportunities to save the people of this city.
It was another great night of evangelism during our third night of Christmas outreach in Brisbane city. We have been steadily increasing in team numbers. Four on Tuesday, five on Wednesday, and six last night.
By God's grace, we were able to hand out 2,000 Christmas gospel tracts and have some great one to one gospel conversations.
At one point of the night we had a professing Christian come up to us saying we shouldn't be handing out the Christmas tracts because God forgives everyone automatically. And when we said that the Bible describes how forgiveness is only available through Jesus, she responded by saying, "No, you're reading the Bible literally. God forgives all. You need to be spreading a message of love and joy." She said this as she ironically began to rip up the tract she had in her hand into tiny pieces and then scatter them on the ground.
The message of the gospel is a message of love and joy in that Christ came into the world to save sinners. But a person needs to realise that they are a sinner and deserve punishment first before the message of the cross will be good news indeed.
We had the council come by and tell a nearby musician and statue busker to move over to the side, which was great for us as then we had the footpath to ourselves, praise the Lord!
We'll be back in Brisbane city for our next night of Christmas outreach on Saturday night.
To God be the glory!
Our second night of Christmas outreach was a great success last night with 2,500 Christmas gospel tracts going out to people in Brisbane city. The Lord brought in a team of 5 of us, and it appeared to be more busy than the night before.
This might have been because there was a full dress rehearsal of a Christmas parade (set to start this weekend) through to King George Square, which actually delayed the beginning of the light show a little bit.
We had a few conversations with people, including with two young men named Liam & Michael. After explaining the whole message to them, they came to grasp that they needed to trust in Christ alone for their forgiveness, but said that they needed to count the cost. As they have a love for sin and self and so said they will need to really think about it. They already have Bibles, so we were able to encourage them to start reading it.
Please also pray for a musician busker that is in the same area that we are in each night, and it looks like he'll be there right until Christmas. So please pray that we can keep speaking words of truth to him - we got to speak to him briefly last night.
We are about to head out to King George Square for night 3 of our Christmas outreach. Please consider coming along or please be praying. Thank you!
It was a beautiful summer's evening in Brisbane as we arrived in King George Square to commence our city Christmas outreach. Crowds of people had gathered outside of City Hall to watch the light display, so in-between shows we would hand out tracts and talk to people.
I noticed that things were a bit different this year to last year. The crowd numbers were slightly down, and there was this stark reminder all around the square that we live in an unsafe age. Around the perimeter of King George Square anti-vehicle bollards had been placed, and then covered in Christmas decorations.
I can only assume that these bollards were installed to ward off a Nice style terrorist attack. All this stood in contrast to the celebration of the coming of the Prince of Peace; and I was reminded that we will never truly know peace until we come to the Lord Jesus.
The whole outreach went well. Many people took tracts and the team was able to have several good conversations. One discussion I had was with an Asian man named Brian.
Originally he had stopped to talk to Alan, but somehow I got chatting to him. It was clear from the beginning that Brian was running an agenda. He asked lots of questions, but then tried to sow seeds of doubt in regards to Christianity.
Brian asked me to share my story of how I came to know Christ, so I told him my journey, and explained the gospel. He then asked me, "How certain are you that Christianity is true?" I replied that I had absolute certainty (this seemed to shake him).
He then said he wanted to try and move me to 95% certainty and to give me 5% doubt. I pointed out that this would be impossible as I know Christ; it is impossible to make me doubt His existence and truth when I actually know Him. It would be the same as Brian trying to convince me that I don't know my wife; it is completely impossible.
Brian at this stage described himself as an agnostic stoic, and that he was interested in learning. The conversation really took off from this point. I decided that since Brian wanted to rattle my worldview that I would return to favour by challenging his.
We discussed everything from morality; truth; science; ethics; belief; religion and slavery. Throughout I kept pointing him back to the gospel, and he openly admitted that he didn't like the concept of Jesus paying the penalty for sinners. This revealed the heart of the matter - pride.
As we spoke Brian admitted that his worldview was falling down around him and that he had hard questions that he needed to answer, but he was determined that the answer would not be found in Jesus.
We spoke for over an hour, and eventually we parted ways. Brian had his objections answered, but he still wouldn't believe, because at heart he wanted to be his own saviour; he didn't want anyone to rescue him. Please pray that the Lord would save Brian.
Overall the outreach went very well. Please keep us in prayer as we seek to make much of Christ during this Christmas season.
The beautiful weather of summer is upon us in Hobart now and as the wind and rain of spring lessen there are many more days of sunshine. This is wonderful for gospel proclamation because more people are taking their time or relaxing in the mall and are willing to listen or talk. This time of year there is also a greater awareness of Christian things with Christmas decorations everywhere and carol services and nativity plays all over the city.
I set up the table quickly and after a short pause got up to preach. I spoke from the beginning of Matthew’s gospel, about the humble and scandalous situation that Jesus was born into. He was not born into a palace to a queen and adored by all the populace. No, the king of the universe was assumed to be the illegitimate son of a poor girl from a no-where town in the middle of a tiny war torn country. Things were so bad that Mary’s husband to be had even assumed she’d been unfaithful to him too. Well, you all know the story of how God sent His angel to reassure Joseph and tell him to marry Mary… I used this story to point to two big gospel facts that come from this and many other passages.
Firstly Jesus cares for us and didn't and never will stay aloof and distant from our problems. He is able to sympathize with our trials and temptations, because He’s been tested and tempted in every way even though He never sinned. He is willing to come into our lives and walk with us through life, just as He did with the first believers. And lastly, Jesus doesn’t care who you are, if you’re a success or a failure, rich or poor, respected or hated, it does not matter. He comes to offer all people salvation through Him.
And this was my second point, Jesus came to save His people from their sin. Jesus came with a mission, He came to buy back sinners from the judgment of God. From even before His birth Jesus was marked out to suffer and die in the place of people who did not love Him. Even before the making of the world the triune God picked out unworthy sinners to save from there much deserved judgment. He planned this! What a great love Jesus shows to us who are saved!
But who can be saved? All who humble themselves and trust in Him. Not the ones that are good enough, not the ones in the right church, not the ones with the right job, not the ones with the x factor. No! It depends on Him and not us, nothing we can do will make us right with God, we need to cast all that thinking aside and flee to Jesus for rescue. We must love Jesus and hate with holy passion anything that gets between us and Him.
I urged this message on the people of Hobart again and again. I hope and pray that God will use His gospel to soften the sinful and hard hearts of Hobart. Please pray with me in this, we need God to move in Hobart to save these people. They are marching day by day into the pit of hell, we should be on our knees weeping that even one precious soul would be lost to hell. How much more should we pray and weep when thousands go to their deaths happy in their unbelief and comfortable in their sin! Pray that God will shake them awake through the gospel and bring them to life and faith through Jesus.
I also pray for you my brothers and sisters, that God would give you a Holy discontent. That you would be driven to speak to people around you. That you would be a gospel gossiper and that Jesus’ great love would flow from your lips regularly and shine in your deeds always. May God’s Spirit fill us all and drive us to lovingly reach out to those in darkness around us!
The storm cleared just in time for the start of our outreach on Saturday night in Brisbane city. We were lighter on numbers, particularly at the start and so we prayed that God would bring in more labourers and he did - by the end we had at least 10 of us there.
Someone on the team preached with the sketchboard on the topic of guilty and innocent, contrasting how we are sinful and how Jesus is not, and yet it was the innocent that died for the guilty. There were some people listening as this was happening, in particular a few young men who said that they were Jehovah's Witnesses. They had just come back from one of their annual conventions earlier in the day.
These men said that only 144,000 people will go to Heaven. So we asked them, "What about the great crowd, the multitude clothed in white robes from all languages and tribes and nations which are also described in Revelation 7?" They said that this group wouldn't be going to heaven. We asked, "But how come it says that this group is also 'standing before the throne and before the Lamb', the very place where it says the 144,000 will be?"
They responded by saying that that is not what the Watchtower says. So we challenged them to check the Bible for themselves and not just blindly follow an organisation, which funnily enough, these young men admitted has been wrong in the past. We talked about the trinity, about salvation by grace through faith alone, the bodily resurrection of Jesus and about the existence of hell. One of the young men was more open than the rest, and he was busily noting down the Bible verses we were looking at to check them out later.
Please pray for them, and also everyone else who was witnessed to throughout the night. To God be the glory!
On Friday night we had an outreach at the Gold Coast and it was great to see many people happy to talk with us about eternal things. There were still a lot of Schoolies around, celebrating their end of schooling.
In the second photo you'll notice a conversation is being had with a group of guys who chatted with us for quite a while. As they were leaving, one young man in the group said that he wanted to stay around and keep talking with us. And so he did, even though his friends all left. He was under great conviction of sin and was very open to hearing the news of Jesus' death and resurrection for our forgiveness.
Afterwards, we preached with the sketchboard and God saw fit to draw in people to listen to the message. During this, there were quite a few questions that people asked the preacher as well, such as "Why is there suffering?", and "How can Jesus pay for the sins of a really bad person?", and "What about homosexuality?" This drew in more and more of a crowd to listen to what was being said, with the preacher answering their questions and tying it in with the gospel.
To God be the glory that His word is going out!