It was a fruitful day of evangelism today in Sunnybank with gospel tracts going out and some great gospel conversations had. There were four of us on the team, which meant we were able to cover both sides of the road.
One person we spoke to was named Shika. He said he was a Hindu and thought God would let him into heaven based on his goodness. So we named a few commandments and he admitted to breaking them, just as we all have. He said that he had been taught that doing more good deeds than bad would solve the problem though.
We said, "Imagine if an earthly judge did that. 'Murderer I am going to let you walk free without any punishment because you've done more good things in life compared to how many murders you've done.'"
At this point, it began to click for him. So we went on to explain how if God is just, he cannot compromise justice by ignoring our sin. So instead we need someone perfect who can take our punishment for us. For if that person pays the penalty for our sin, that satisfies God's justice so that God can show us mercy and let us into Heaven. And that perfect person is Jesus.
This Hindu man then said, "I get it now. I have always been wondering how God's justice can be satisfied." He came to realise that he needed a substitute and that Hinduism doesn't provide one.
We went on to explain that he can't just add Jesus on to his existing religion, but that he needs to leave Hinduism and trust in Christ. He was seriously going to consider this and he was happy to take a Bible.
To God be the glory!
We had a great outreach at the Gold Coast Friday night last week. It was wonderful to see that all the gospels of John on our English free Bibles table ran out by the end of the night.
We also had an Arabic free Bibles table set up, and so people visiting from the Middle East were able to get a copy of the Bible in their own language.
One stand out conversation we had was with two men who approached the Arabic Bible table near the end of the night - one was from Saudi Arabia and the other from the USA. Martin was the second man's name.
He said he was an atheist until a few months ago when he became a Muslim. I asked what the reason was for changing his beliefs. He said he was worried about death and about what happens after, and he had some Muslim friends who told him what they think happens after death.
He asked us the question, "There are so many religions in the world, how can we know which one is right?" So we explained how there are only two kinds of religions in the world - one kind that says you need to earn your way to Heaven by doing more good deeds than bad, and this encompasses every religion besides Christianity. The other kind of religion, which is only Christianity, says the only way to Heaven is by having a perfect person who can take our punishment for us on our behalf.
We asked, "If a judge in a courtroom accepted a bribe and let the criminal go free on that basis, that would be corruption, right?" He agreed. "In the same way, if God just ignores our sin because of something we offer him (like a good deed), that would be him accepting a bribe and therefore would be corrupt." He said that makes sense, and that only that latter kind of religion would work.
He had never read the Bible before and so he was more than happy to take a New Testament. He had heard from his Muslim friends that the Bible has been corrupted, and so we addressed his concerns by explaining that we still manuscript copies of the Bible in the original languages today from thousands of years ago, and we can compare our Bible today to the ones from then and it says the same thing.
Please pray for Martin as he considers repenting and trusting in Jesus for his forgiveness.
To God be the glory!
"We don't want to read the Bible because we might get convinced of it."
We praise the Lord that His gospel went out to a lot of people on Saturday night in Brisbane city. We had 20 to 25 people on the team across the night including two new people who have never come out before. They both said they really enjoyed it.
One conversation that we had was with two Muslim ladies from Malaysia. They stayed talking with us for at least an hour, intrigued about what Christians believe. They thought that they might have to be sent to Hell for a while, but eventually they will be let into Heaven later on because they are Muslims. They said that is why they are doing their prayers and wearing special clothing to earn their forgiveness.
We shared with them that they won't be able to earn forgiveness since God is a just and holy God and he won't be bribed by any of our deeds. The good news is though that God Himself has provided the payment for our sins 2000 years ago on the cross, and we receive it as a free gift by placing our faith in Christ.
We then encouraged them to read the Bible, particularly because even the Qur'an says that the Bible is from God. After talking with each other in their language for a little bit, one of the ladies said, "We don't want to read the Bible because we might get convinced of it."
We responded, "But if it's the truth, wouldn't you want to be convinced of it?" They agreed and were both happy a take a New Testament from us to begin reading. We praise the Lord we had the exact right amount of Bibles with us on the night, as there were also quite a few other good conversations had where people wanted either a full Bible or a New Testament. Glory to God!
For many months, we have tried to establish a Melbourne based ministry with only limited success. In the past 3-4 months, teams of 2 to 4 people have gone out Friday nights to share the gospel and by God’s grace we have had many wonderful conversations.
This week was different. Just 2 hours before our 7pm start time, people began to indicate that they would be out with us on the streets and by 6pm, we had 11 people committed to join us on the streets for the evening. This was a massive answer to many months and even years of prayer.
We gathered together at the GPO building to pray and get organised and then with tracts in hand, we paired up and walked out into the mall to share about our Saviour. Within just a couple of minutes I could see that almost every pair was engaged in conversation. Up and down Burke St Mall there were people sharing the gospel.
We talked to Muslims, Hindus, Mormons, Buddhists, Agnostics, lapsed Catholics and a couple of atheists. Many of the people in the mall are tourists and so we often share with people who are from relatively closed countries where mission work is difficult. Several people from the team obtained phone numbers to follow up people they chatted to.
One notable conversation from the night was with 2 girls from Bendigo who had a strong Catholic background. They had little understanding of the gospel but were very open to talk and asked some brilliant questions. Towards the end of the conversation it was clear that the message had got through to them, but rather than submit to the gospel, one started trying to find excuses to not believe. She seemed to be grasping for a way to wriggle out of repentance.
A couple of our team had to leave early but when most of us gathered back at around 9:30pm to debrief, everyone had great stories of people they talked to. Even though some of us were tired from our labour there was a genuine excitement about what had happened during the evening. We are immensely excited for where God is taking this ministry from here.
We met up and prayed together and set off to our usual areas, the ladies on one side of the point the men on the other side. As we were walking, Lee-Anne met a young man named Ben and spent a long time sitting at a table with him. During that, Railee & I prayed and handed out tracts to people passing by.
Then the two of us went over to the jetty and handed out more tracts. Railee got to talk with a guy named Sam for quite a while I prayed for them. One of Sam’s friends came up to try to pull him away so I tried to engage with him but he wasn't responding so I gave him a tract and encouraged him to read the message as it is so very important. Eventually he did pull his friend away but Railee got to share the glorious Gospel with him.
Lee-Anne came over after a while, and we had a few more short conversations. But it was more quieter than usual, so we decided to slowly walk to the other side and hand out tracts on the way. Just as we were only metres from the men on team, we handed out tracts to three young adults. They said they didn't believe they would go to heaven as their belief is that only Christ Jesus went to heaven and when he comes back there will be a resurrection and God's kingdom will be established on earth.
They didn't believe that Jesus is God or the trinity doctrine. They did not believe Hell exists either. We discovered that they were Christadelphians. These young people have been brought up in this false religion and their eyes are blinded by twisted scripture.
They use the King James Bible but have been taught lies, such as this for example: Jesus cannot be God because God cannot be tempted, and we know Jesus was tempted in the wilderness.
Lee-Anne showed these young adults, two girls and a male, that Jesus is God by opening her Bible and speaking and showing them the Scriptures. The three of us spent some time with them reasoning and pointing them to the truth of who Jesus is and also the reality of the hell punishment for our sins, that it is a conscious eternal punishment where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 8:12).
Railee had to leave, so Lee-Anne and I kept engaging their questions and their false belief of the Scriptures. Later on, Rick joined in as well. We spent well over an hour with them.
Please pray for them as they were listening as we were urging them to look into what we were saying. They need to have the right understanding of who Jesus is for salvation.
You can see how this cult deletes the essentials of the Christian faith and therefore they are not Christians even though they will tell you they are. We need to always check anyone who says they are a Christian.
We can not see the heart but God can, so we are very grateful that we know His power to save is in His Hands and to give us the words to speak as we go. We did share the gospel clearly to them and that we care for them and their salvation. Rick shook hands with the young man and Lee-Anne and I hugged the girls and pray they will search for the truth. To God be the Glory forever and ever. Amen.
We had a great afternoon of evangelism in Woodridge yesterday. Sometimes you'll encounter people who profess to be Christian, and instead of just assuming it must be true, it's important to find out what they believe will save them.
One lengthy conversation we had yesterday was with a young man named Geoffrey. When I asked him why he will be let into Heaven, he quoted Ephesians 2:8-9. That was a great response and so I thought this man understands the gospel. But as I was talking further with him, he began to start saying that faith and good works bring salvation.
So I gave him an example, "Let's say you're walking home and you sin in some way and ten minutes later you die, would God let you into Heaven?" He replied, "Yes." "Why?, I asked. He said, "Because God will see that I have been faithful in my life."
So I spent some time explaining that that is not the gospel. It's not our faithfulness that saves us, but it's what Christ has done for us in dying for all our sins (our sins past, present and future) if we trust in Christ.
For there is a big difference between having faith in Christ and being faithful. If it's our faithfulness, then we would be saved by works, the very opposite message of Ephesians 2:8-9. Good works will simply naturally follow if we have faith in Christ.
It was great to see this man really thinking about what he was hearing and he said he would investigate whether what I said was true.
Please pray for all who heard the gospel yesterday or received a gospel tract. To God be all the glory!
We headed out on to the streets on Saturday night after being spurred on from the Re-Engage conference during the day, and it was a great night. We had a good size team and while someone on the team was preaching, God brought a crowd in to listen and ask questions - some in the crowd stayed for the whole hour and a half!
During this time, the rest of the team were handing out gospel tracts and getting into conversations with people either walking past or those who were walking off after listening to the preacher for a while. We'd simply ask, "What did you think of what he was saying? Do you think about your eternity much?" And that leads into a gospel conversation.
One such conversation was with two young ladies from Germany who are travelling in Australia at the moment. They were atheists, but after showing them how we know something like a building had a builder, so must this universe have had a creator - they began to backslide from their atheism. One said, "That actually makes a lot of sense."
So we went on to talk about sin and how we will all stand before God one day to give an account of our life. They expressed how they really love sin and don't really want to turn from it. So we pleaded with them about the serious consequence of our sin and how forgiveness is available only through Jesus, and also about how any of us could die at any moment. That's when they said, "Did you know that we were at Dreamworld on the very day when those 4 people died on that ride? And one day earlier, we were there again and were on that very ride."
That brought the message home to these ladies. Please pray for them, their names are Joyce & Laura. To God be the glory that His gospel is going out!
The Essex team went to Romford today and had a blessed time of evangelism and encouragement. I was joined by Chuck and Jacob and we decided to set up in a different spot to see how we would fare. I preached and then was followed by Chuck. Jacob spent a long time chatting with a woman who had been involved in mormonism. Many Christians also approached us and said they were greatly encouraged by our presence. SDG
Chuck preaches while Jacob and I are talking to pedestrians.
Me preaching from Acts 4.12
Chuck proclaiming the Gospel in Romford High St.
Jacob chatting to the Mormon lady.
After a fortnight away it has been great to come back to this city and share the gospel again in Hobart for the second half of the month. This last week has been full of interesting and gospel focused conversations and interactions.
On Monday I was intending to spend time at the University talking with the students but it is currently exam time so conversations are very hard to start with stressed out students. Instead I spoke with a series of very interesting people in the mall:
Ms J. – Coming from a new age background she believed that our “energy” went onto somewhere else after this life and wasn't sure where that was. She then asked me where I thought people went after death. I shared the gospel with her and the two destinies of people after death, heaven and life eternal with God or hell and eternal punishment. As most people do Jenny found the idea of hell very difficult and thought it very harsh. I offered to explain why the idea of judgement was comforting, interested she ask why. I pointed to the horrible injustices of this life and the many people who get no reward for good work and the many who are never brought to justice for their evil deeds. I also discussed the wisdom and understanding of God and how we can trust ourselves to Him because He can see all the facts of someone's life and all their intentions also. So the infinitely good and infinitely wise God who will judge the earth is a comfort for all the injustice we become upset by in this life and also the resolution of the lackings of our justice system. Jenny and I also talked about the need of personal salvation and the many great promises made by God for those who will trust in Jesus. Jenny thanked me for talking as I left and I went glad in heart for the blessings of God!
Mr J. – We have talked before in the past and this time he stopped while I was handing out Eternity cards and asked what it was all about. I responded that the card spoke about life after death, where we go from here when we have died. Jeremy wasn't sure what happened and wanted to know what I thought happened to people. I shared with him about the judgement of Jesus and His separation of people into two destinies depending on their deeds and their response to Him. I showed how the law leaves us all without excuse before God and that my only hope (and Jeremy's) was that God would accept me for the sake of Jesus and His goodness and sacrifice in my place.
Miss A. and Jehovahs Witnesses – There are many J.W.s around the city regularly handing out literature and sharing the distorted gospel they have been taught by the Watchtower organisation. I spoke with Annie and her friends about who would be in heaven and who Jesus was. The discussion was quite congenial but there is a hardline that JWs will not cross and that is who Jesus is. They have been deceived into thinking of Jesus as another created being and not part of the Triune God. This then leads to a huge clash between the gospel we proclaim and the one that they proclaim. I did my best to show some of the many reasons that scripture gives to support Jesus as God not just a god. I hope that some small seed of doubt in the Watchtower organisation were planted and moved them towards faith in the real Jesus.
There were another couple of conversations over the course of the day and I pray that there would be God's hand on all of them. May they be blessed with the exact words that He desires them to hear which will glorify Jesus and draw these people to faith in Him.
On Tuesday I had a good discussion with Mr S. who has been making an effort to read the bible and has begun with the gospel of Matthew. He had some questions he had about the law of God and how it applied to Mary's situation when she was found to be pregnant by the Holy Spirit. This appeared to be fairly standard questions for Mr S. but at the same time it was encouraging to see him reading the Word of God.
Also encouraging was the crowd of people who gathered during the preaching. God in His grace saw fit to bring along three young guys who were heckling me during the preaching and a couple of other young guys who would answer questions. Initially I was preaching on the end of the world and asking people what they thought would happen at the end of the world. The amusing answers and shout outs from the crowd drew some people to listen as I spoke about what God says will happen and why. Further people were drawn in as the three young guys shouted for me to “Stop, Stop, Stop, Shut up, Stop!….” and that no-one was listening to me (they didn't get the irony of their own listening or the crowd they were drawing). I had to preach over the top of them as I shared the great need of salvation and the great salvation that Jesus offers through faith in Him. After a period they went away and I continued to preach the gospel.
After the preaching I was able to discuss with two of the hecklers and urge them to reconsider their opposition to the gospel. May God change their hard young hearts!
It has been a wonderful week in Hobart. May Jesus receive the glory and honour and praise and dominion!
“I won't need more than four hundred gospel tracts today”, someone on the team commented. But as the afternoon went on, he came over saying, I actually need more! Praise the Lord.
We met in Queen Street Mall again today to first of all pray, before finding a place to witness. The council has really stepped up their opposition to us sharing the gospel there recently (despite us having permission under a State law). When we arrived last week, there were three council workers and six police officers waiting for us to see if we would approach anyone to talk about the gospel, and if so, they would fine or arrest us. But last week, we had already decided beforehand that we would go to somewhere outside the Mall to witness, and it went really well.
Today, when we arrived the council workers were already there waiting for us again, and this time with four police officers, staring us down. That didn't deter us - we prayed together as we planned to and then found a place to witness outside the Mall. The council officers followed us and remained staring at us across the road from the Mall for a long while, before possibly finding something more important to do.
We had a lovely afternoon of evangelism chatting to various people - from a guy named Carrey who thought of himself as a god, to a young man from Brazil named Jerome who was very open to hearing the gospel and is going to now seriously consider repenting and trusting in Christ. Please pray for all those who heard the gospel today or took a gospel tract.
Glory to God alone!