It was a quieter night in Brisbane, but despite that we were still able to share the gospel with many people. It was encouraging to see so many people from different churches coming out to evangelise the lost.
As the night began I managed to grab a conversation with two young men from Papua New Guinea. I asked them, "Why do you think God would let you into Heaven?" They both smiled and said, "We'd go to Heaven because we come from a Christian country and do good for people." Well, this was the beginning of an excellent conversation. We spoke at length about the fallenness of humanity and the need for Jesus to rescue us. Both of the men at the end of the conversation took an in-depth tract and said they'd like to attend church.
Shortly after this conversation it came time for me to preach. Tonight, I decided to preach in an 'old-school' manner, that is, with no sketchboard, and just a Bible in hand. My text for the night was Luke 18:9-14, my topic was, "How to be made right with God." A few people stopped to listen as I spoke about how our works and efforts will never bring about forgiveness of sins and how Jesus is the only way we can know God.
The rest of the night was fairly quiet, however, at the end of the evening I managed to get into an apologetic discussion with a Scottish atheist. His arguments were basic, but very typical of those whom I encountered when I lived in Scotland. His objections were answered and eventually he literally turned and rushed away before I could answer another of his questions. He embodied the man who wasn't interested in truth but rather was seeking to justify his unbelief.
Overall, it was a productive evening. Please pray for all those we encountered.
On Saturday night in the mall, despite the threat of rain, the weather stayed mild and the Gospel of salvation was proclaimed!
A highlight conversation was with Ryan and Erin, a mid twenties couple who had dressed up to have a night out together. When asked what they thought the 'Worlds Biggest Problem' was, the answer was poverty and their solution was giving women more rights. The conversation started in an unconventional way but as usual in the search for the 'root cause' of the problem it was agreed that pride, selfishness and greed were the problem.
It has been observed that in a questioning line such as this, it is common and easy for people to admit they are selfish, proud and greedy and when how this view of ourselves affects humans, the vast majority will readily admit they have stolen, lied, hated, gotten drunk, been lustful and many other things. Surprisingly it is a way to have people let their guard down. Once acknowledging human pride is a big problem and that despite their best human efforts (or lack of) most people often concede that they too are part of the problem.
After not too many questions, the couple were asked if they had a solution for human pride, they both admitted they had no idea. Ryan profoundly stated, "If you had a solution surely you would be out telling people!"
The only answer that can pay for human wickedness and could change a human heart was given, that Jesus Christ fully God and fully man, lived a sinless life, died the death we deserve and rose from the grave so that all who acknowledge their guilt and surrender to Him alone can have their debt paid and can be given a new heart.
Ryan said, "If I could betray my intellect I would definitely believe that". Though his pride was on display and it was more about him wanting to know better than his Creator, this cracked the conversation open and twenty minutes of question and answer time about Christian apologetics was engaged in. The topic ranged from the simple questions of the authority and authenticity of the Bible all the way to, why is there evil and suffering in this world that happens to 'innocent' people. With a number of reiterations of the Gospel they both finally had to leave and meet up with their friends but the seed had well and truly been sown.
Ryan and Erin had no other solution from human wickedness and were left in a position where Jesus was the ONLY answer! Please be praying for this young couple and that God will bring them unto repentance and humble surrender. Please earnestly ask God for the salvation of many souls and pray that He would bring to the outreaches men and women who's hearts have been cultivated and are ready to hear the Gospel!
Please praise God that He is sovereign in bringing people who need to hear the Gospel and make sure in gratefulness for your salvation to courageously step out and share the Gospel with anyone who will listen!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Most Australians would self-identify as being Christians, however, the level of Biblical knowledge is extremely low. We saw that clearly displayed on Tuesday in Woodridge as many people who thought they were Believers actually had no knowledge of the gospel.
The day started off with four of us working to spread the good news of Jesus. It was wonderful to see so many people taking material from our free Bible and literature table. At one point I thought we were going to run out of booklets as people took resources. In particular in was encouraging to see people show an interest in the Scriptures. Many people gathered around asking for Bibles and also copies of the Gospels.
Today, I tried something different for Woodridge, I decided to set up the flip-chart to see if anyone would be interested in taking the "Good Person Test." To my surprise quite a number of people were keen to have a go, and many listened in to the conversation.
The first person I spoke to was a young man who is a Hindu. He had no concept of Christianity, but he had some wonderful questions. I was able to share the gospel with him, and then discuss the issue of their only being one God, and Jesus being the only way of salvation. For him, as a Hindu, he found this hard to believe, so he stated that all religions are true. From that point we were able to have a discussion around the law of noncontradiction and the Christian faith. At the end of our conversation he took a tract and said he'd look into Jesus more.
As soon as that conversation finished another young man approached me. He put out his hand to shake mine while saying, "God Bless You!" It turns out that he is from a local church, but sadly he was trusting in his own goodness to get him to Heaven. I explained the gospel to him, and by the end of the conversation he realised that salvation is only through trusting in Christ.
No sooner than that conversation had finished, a young and rough looking boy approached me. He had been listening into the conversations and had taken some literature from the table. This young man was ten years old, but he had some street smarts. He told me that he had never been the church, and he had never heard of Jesus before. We chatted for a few minutes, and he seemed to be amazed at the love of God towards sinful people. He took a Gospel of Luke and told me he would read it.
Towards the end of the day I was approached by two young high school boys who were clearly looking for a bit of a laugh. We had some fun with the flip-chart and I was able to connect with them. Things became rather serious when we started to talk about sin and how a good God must punish wrong doing. One of the boys knew of Jesus and His death, the other had never heard of it. At the end of the conversation both thanked us for sharing the gospel and they went on their way.
There is a massive need for gospel ministry in the open-air all-around Australia. People today don't seem interested in going to church so we must take the good news to them. Please continue to pray for us as we seek to make Christ known by all means everywhere.
On Friday evening the team was small. There was only three that made it out! Thankfully God works through faithfulness rather than large numbers.
There were a range of good conversations had, many tracts were handed out and some preaching was done.
Encouragingly many people were interested in the arabic table, which lead to some lengthy and encouraging discussions!
Please be praying for more labourers, that each week new people will be interested in joining the team! Please pray to the Lord of the harvest, that He will bring along more people to talk with.
Ask God that he will prepare the hearts and minds of people, readying them for the Gospel and leading them to the different outreaches we have!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Thank-you to all those who prayed for our Woodridge outreach on Tuesday. Even though our team was small the gospel went out, and we even saw a man profess faith in the Lord Jesus.
Right at the beginning of the day, I handed a tract to a young man who is in his twenties; he looked at the leaflet and asked, "What is this all about?" I replied, "Well, it asks the question, do you think you'll go to Heaven?" He looked up, and replied, "Whoa, that is a big question. I hope so!"
It turns out that this young man attends a church on the Gold Coast, but he wasn't sure on how to have his sins forgiven. He said he had been baptised, but was confused on if that would help him or not. We chatted about how baptism is not a means of salvation, but rather it is an act of obedience done by those who have trusted in Christ. We then went on to talk about how someone can be made right with God, and after hearing about sin, and the cross, this young man said, "That makes so much sense!"
I explained to him that salvation is freely offered to all those who would repent and trust in Christ, and that God is prepared to make all those who come to Jesus brand new. Upon hearing this, the man said, "Can I ask Jesus to forgive me right now?" Then, on the streets of Woodridge we bowed our heads and he prayed to the Lord Jesus.
Of course the question is now asked by many, "Was that young man saved?" My answer is, "I don't know. That's God's department." The man certainly professed faith, and the Lord may very well have saved him. Time will tell.
That young man has now been connected with a local church who will follow him up. I've already heard from them that he is keen to attend on Sunday and also to go along to an evangelistic Bible Study group. Please pray for him.
The rest of the day at Woodridge was spent handing out tracts, and engaging in a very lengthy discussion with a Seventh Day Adventist who wanted to argue about the nature of hell, the Sabbath and judgement. We answered his objections with the Scripture, but whenever we replied, he would quickly jump to another topic. Please pray the Lord would set him free from his legalism.
Friday night was the official restart of ministry in the Melbourne CBD.
Though there has been significant interest from people down here in street evangelism, we have struggled for a fair while to establish a regular team. In the past 2 weeks it was decided that team or no team, we would go and start preaching the gospel, even if that meant we struggled for numbers for a while. We stepped out in faith, also trusting that once others hear about the ministry, they will join us.
The first night was just two of us. We grabbed some tracts and started chatting to people. The first good conversation was with Ali who claimed to be a Muslim (pictured centre). Ali was very interested in hearing about Christianity and we were able to step through the gospel with him and leave him with several tracts. He asked for our contact details so that we might continue the conversation later.
Very few people were taking tracts, but after a few minutes we approached a young Muslim girl who gladly answered our questions. Shortly she was joined by another Muslim girl and eventually another Muslim gentleman overheard us and joined in too. We explained to them why they needed a saviour and why Jesus needed to be God to be a sufficient sacrifice for their sins. All three were very challenged by the gospel and each took a tract and a gospel of Mark.
It was not a big start for a new ministry, but we pray that by God's grace he will raise up more faithful labourers to preach with us.
The gospel went out to many again last night at the Gold Coast. It was great seeing lots of the team in conversations throughout the night.
Now at this time of year there are a lot of Muslims from the Middle East who holiday at the Gold Coast. That is why we have a free Bible table set up in English and Arabic.
Near the end of the night, one person on the team was witnessing to a Muslim who was so surprised to see his own language in Australia, and he was especially surprised that it was about the Bible.
So he straight away called up a friend of his who is a senior Muslim cleric in Sydney and said, "You need to get here and explain this to me." This Muslim man then began reading out aloud to the cleric on the phone the content of the Arabic signs we had set up which had a verse of the Bible on it.
Praise the Lord!
Yet again another busy arvo with people running around everywhere with mobile phones in hand looking for invisible characters called Pokemon. It’s a great time of the year to be out in the sun enjoying the end of winter and handing out a few gospel tracts.
Paul handed a comic tract to a man named Brad and as he walked passed looking at it I asked him the question, "Are you a good person? Good enough to make it to heaven?" He answered that he thinks he will because he attended a youth group a few years ago and was told that Jesus came and died for everyone and all will make it to heaven.
This is a common answer we get from a lot of young people who go to youth groups and play games and eat Pizza and they tag a few bible verses in there somewhere and the kids think they are ok to go on living the way they want because Jesus died for everyone!!(very sad). I must add that there are some very good youth groups out there but are very rare to find unfortunately.
Anyway, I got to take him through the law to show him his sin and reveal that our Lord hates sin but has shown His mercy towards us by humbling himself and coming down from the thrown of grace in heaven to die in the place of undeserved sinners. This He did for all who would repent of their sin and place their trust fully and only in Him for their salvation.
I then challenged him, asking him when he was going to do this. For none of us know if we will have tomorrow. He agreed with me and I asked him if he had a bible. "Yes", he said. So I pointed him to the gospel of John, for it was written that the readers would understand Jesus is the Christ and the only way to the Father who is in heaven. He thanked me for sharing this good news with him and he shook my hand.
Praise our Lord for His appointed time to share the gospel with the people he brings across our path, please pray for Brad and all the folks who received tracts and heard the gospel maybe for the first time.
On Saturday night as the team went into the Queen St Mall in Brisbane City it was surprisingly quiet for a Saturday. Whether everyone was at home watching the Olympics or had been up late all week and were now asleep was unknown but a decent sized team headed out and went about their Christ given mission of faithfully sharing the message of salvation.
The team has an 'Intelligence Test' flip chart which is often used as a conversation starter and this evening quite a range of people stopped in over the night and engaged in conversations because of it. Another easy tool used were the 'Good Person' comics, a well loved favourite by many team members, slightly larger than a normal tract but often a easy to talk with people after asking, "Did you get you free comic tonight?".
During the preaching, on the topic of 'True Love', a range of locals stopped, engaged and listened. At one stage there was a young couple out for a night who stopped to listen as the discussion over what really is true love was had. The girl was affected to the point where she was crying as she listened to the message of our sin, guilt the deserved judgment. It seemed as though the weight of the message had struck her.
It was then a privilege to proclaim the message of salvation from sin, through a whole hearted surrender the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and it's accomplishments!
An exciting conversation was had with a man called James, he was a catholic raised man who very characteristically professed the idea of divine scales. As long as his good deeds out weighed the bad, he was right to get into Heaven. When confronted with the idea that a single bad deed deserves a punishment more than infinite good deeds could ever repay James was stopped in his tracks. Unsure how really to respond, it dawned on him the extreme difference between Heaven and Hell. Not whether or not people were just good enough or not but as James said, "that means everyone deserves Hell".
It was explained that because of the weight of the punishment of sin the only way one could be saved is by a total surrender to the single perfect, sinless sacrifice that could pay the debt. James heard the news and seemed to comprehend it but wasn't interested in surrendering to Jesus Christ as he wanted to live by his own rules.
The night was a massive success as the Gospel was proclaimed! Please keep the team in prayer as they head into their week, pray that they and yourself will remember that the work of evangelism isn't a specific time during the week but rather the whole week!
Please be praying for the many people who heard the Good News that Jesus Christ came to save sinners! Pray that God will use this proclamation as the means by which to bring them unto salvation!
Please pray that this post will be an encouragement and a challenge to many Christians being the final point in getting them to go out into all the world and to start sharing the Good News!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Thank you for praying for today's outreach in Brisbane city. Being a public holiday, it was very busy. Plenty of gospel tracts went out and some great gospel conversations were had.
One interesting thing that happened today ties back to what happened during last week's outreach in the city. Last week, while George had just started preaching using the sketchboard, there was a man that approached someone else on the team, saying, "Jesus stole my smokes." He kept repeating this, and then changed what he was saying to indicate that the team member had stole his smokes.
This man started getting a little bit aggressive and so the team member started walking away while the rest of team tried to calm the man. He started getting physical and was yelling, before managing to trip over on to the ground. It was only moments before the police were there to arrest him.
This had caused a really large number of onlookers to gather-around, and so once the man was gone, George started preaching again using the sketchboard to the large crowd that had gathered (see the photo below for a sample of the crowd).
It was great to see that most of the crowd stuck around till the end, paying attention to what was being said. It's amazing that what the devil tried to do in silencing the word, actually meant that many more heard it in the end!
And as we were arriving for today's outreach, this man approached us and sincerely apologised for what he did last week. He asked if he could listen to the preaching today. We said, "Of course!"
Later on, we got to talk further with him and he asked for a Bible and we got to share the gospel with him. He was very open to hearing it and seemed to begin grasping it. His name is Justin. Please pray for his salvation.
Glory to God alone!