God raised up some more labourers for our Christmas outreach in Brisbane city, we had 10 on the team. It was great to see over 2,000 gospel tracts get into the hands of people walking by.
This year we also have a free Christmas resources table set up, with things on there like the Gospel of John, The Case for Christmas, and The Beginner's Bible The Very First Christmas for kids. It's encouraging seeing lots of resources go out to people, including parents getting things for their kids.
Please pray for those who received gospel literature last night, but also for those who we got to speak to, including two ladies from Papua New Guinea who thought their own goodness would save them, but by the end of the conversation they said they wanted to place their faith in Christ.
If you live nearby, join us for tonight's outreach at the same place from 7pm.
To God be the glory!
We enjoyed a great night of evangelism in Brisbane city last night, handing out another 1,250 Christmas gospel tracts to people who came to see the light show. We only had 3 of us on the team, but it was a fruitful night.
One conversation that I had was with a guy named Rhys. He said that he didn't believe there was a God, but after pointing out to him a building nearby, and saying to him, "That building wouldn't be here without a builder, right? So in the same way, since this universe had a beginning, it wouldn't be here without a creator for it, right?" He agreed. (Our new tract goes along these lines too: www.op513.com/GodExistsTract )
Rhys then said that he thinks God is bad (he used a different word). I asked him why. He said that God is judgmental and tells people that they have to live His way. I replied, "Just like a good judge in a courtroom will punish a criminal for the crimes he has done and tell him that he has to live a different way for his own good and those around him, so it makes sense that the God who made us would tell us how to live, as it will be for our good and the good of those around us."
He began to see that, and so we went through the law of God and Rhys saw his sinfulness and listened as the gospel message was explained to him. He expressed how he would prefer to live life his own way though, but as we talked about the reality of hell, it began to concern him. Rhys has had some religious background and had a Bible already. At the end of the conversation, he said that would start reading the Bible again. I encouraged him to start with the gospel of John.
To God be the glory!
Another adventurous day at the 'original' Capalaba bus stop.
- A sad ending to one conversation went something like this: 'This is where you and I differ. Jesus may have died for your sins but He never died for my sins'. This was spoken by a mature aged man who said he was going to heaven. He also had decided that his R.C. priest would go to hell as he had absconded with the parish funds when he retired. How sin hardens the heart so that the good news is not even considered.
- an open door: Tallara, a young lass, was keen to hear God's good news. After hearing the law and gospel, she was challenged to count the cost (which might be for her leaving her friends who were mocking while she was paying close attention). She is armed with John's gospel, the apologetic tract, the Jesus tract and the comic tract.
- encouragement: A lady attending an interdenominational community church and her husband both want to draw closer to God. She needed to hear the gospel explained and after some time she was stating that one had to believe in Jesus to get to heaven. He is spending time in jail but claims he is wrongly convicted. May our Lord draw them to the Saviour.
- a few other chats with Christians helping them to grasp a firmer hold on their faith in Christ.
What a privilege to serve God giving Him all the glory knowing our own weaknesses and inability to regenerate anyone.
The summer months are a wonderful time and there are many opportunities that we have here in Hobart over these next couple of months. There is a long string of cruise ships that come to visit bringing with them tourists from all over the world. There are school kids wondering around earlier in the day and looking for something to do or someone to talk to.
There are the crowds that rush daily into the city for shopping before Christmas and the new year. There are festivals on the river, biggest of these being the Taste of Tasmania next week. This and many other factors make this time of year gloriously busy and wonderfully enjoyable.
To add to these opportunities there is the blessing of opposition that waxes and wanes. As you know there is now a constant angry chorus from homosexual activists who want to shut down free expression of Christian faith. Attacks continue, but they backfire as people gather to see what has happened and walk away thinking more about Christ than they ever would have if nothing had happened.
Also, Mr S. will not be in the mall for the next month as God has restrained him through the Council banning him from speaker’s corner. For many years Mr S. has proudly proclaimed that nothing prevents him from doing wrong (ie no God or divine law) but he does good because he chooses to. Last week he foolishly applied this thought. When upset at council requests to stop disrupting speaker's corner he became so aggressive with council officers that the police were called. It will be a blessing to be able to preach without his aggressive interruptions. So, whether there is opposition or restraint of opposition, there are blessings that God brings from these things also!
Some of the wonderful conversations we have had this last couple of weeks include:
Ms G. – A young lady who has come several times and listened to the preaching. In the recent SSM debate she discussed homosexuality and many other issues with us. Lately she has been willing to chat a few times and sits thoughtfully when preaching is happening.
Mr T. – For the last couple of weeks Mr T. has been sitting for the entire time the team is in the mall observing what is happening and clearly listening carefully to what is said. A few times he has approached me after I’ve preached to clarify points I’ve made. Most of the team has spoken to him and he is willing to talk about spiritual things.
Mr F. – A young guy who was listening to me preach about the logical absurdity that is atheism and the need for absolute knowledge to ever be able to confidently assert atheism honestly. We talked about the supports for the bible and the truth that is found there and the profound impact that it has had on my life and the life of Christians through the ages.
Please pray for these and the many other discussion that happen day by day as the Lord draws people near to hear the gospel.
Some substantial chats were had:
- Aldrin understands the gospel. He said that the Bible speaks of 2 genders only but tells us not to judge. So why are some people told to repent of their lifestyles? God knows what is best. God does not target any one type of sin. One needs to trust Him and trust that He will renew anyone who comes to faith in Christ alone to save him. God has delights none but His children can experience.
- 2 young girls who didn't think they would get to heaven. Later on, they said they didn't believe in God. Their first statement was a work of their conscience. Further evidences were presented to them which they accepted. By the time that their bus arrived, they had heard the good news, and one expressed her thanks.
- a young man who had half an hour trying to defend his position, "I'm not religious."
- a young man who had a vague knowledge that Jesus was born to wash away our sins. He proved a keen listener and we trust a seed of faith may have been planted.
The work continues tonight through Thursday night in the city - Christmas lights. Please pray for God's strength and protection and clarity of thought for those involved. To God alone be all glory and praise.
Christmas tracts were generally well received. Here are a few people to pray for:
- Chase had thought he would die and 'return to the land'. He has now heard God's good news.
- Ashley, a Maltese lass who believed in many gods. She heard the Bible statement that there are indeed many gods, but none of them could save her. She has now heard of Jesus only and how delightful God is to those speaking with her. She was challenged to prayerfully seek God as she reads through John's gospel (in her Mum's Bible) and asks God to show her who Jesus is and what He has done.
- Shaun, a J. W. who heard some Scriptures that he was not familiar with, e.g. He posed a philosophic question, "Wouldn't you expect some Scripture to tell of an afterlife if one is conscious after (physical) death?" 2 Cor. 12:2-4 tells us that someone who could have told much was not permitted to. Ecclesiastes is wisdom literature whereas we read a plain narrative when Jesus spoke to the thief who had turned to Him in faith. The Paradise that Jesus spoke of is a present reality cf. the parallelism in 2 Cor. 12:2,3 where the 'third heaven', = 'paradise'. Challenged on Jn. 5:23, he threw up a few obscure points before we parted amiably. May he indeed realize he has only heard a part of God's Word and follow this up. Pray the Lord stirs his spirit to seek the Truth.
We thank God for enabling us to serve Him and we ascribe all glory to Him, our great and glorious triune God.
Last night's outreach marked the first night of our Christmas outreaches in King George Square (Brisbane) during the light show that the Council puts on projecting a repeating 7 minute animation onto City Hall. This animation attracts large crowds into the city to watch it, and it also provides a great opportunity for us to share the real message of Christmas through the handing out Christmas gospel tracts and chatting to people.
And even though there were some big storms leading up to the outreach yesterday, there was still quite a lot of people about so we were able to get over 1,250 Christmas gospel tracts into people's hands. The team also got into some fruitful one to one conversations.
We will be there again each night this week and next week (except Fridays and Sundays), so please be praying for these outreaches that many people will come to saving knowledge of Jesus - how he came to this Earth to live a perfect life and die on the cross for our sins.
At the Gold Coast on Friday night, God's power was demonstrated through the preaching of his word as many from the team open air preached to the crowds in Surfers Paradise. Multitudes of people stopped to listen as God drew them in and there was an openness towards the Gospel. Through the open air preaching, people heard of how they can be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:19).
"... it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." (1 Cor 1:21).
God has not changed His ways. Through the preaching of God's word many come to hear about Jesus. God calls us to preach from the housetops the good news of Jesus Christ. Let all the world hear "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." (1 Cor 1:18).
The team spoke to a variety of people who showed interest in the gospel during one-to-one conversations. One such person was a backslider who expressed his desire to get right with God and was challenged to repent and rededicate his life to Christ (James 5:19-20). The team also spoke to many muslim people that heard how Jesus is our atonement (Rom. 5:11) and salvation is a free gift that cannot be earned, instead received only by faith and that salvation is only through the sacrifice that God accepts, his Son, Jesus Christ. The truth of the Gospel was also presented to a couple named Israel and Darsia. Darsia showed a genuine interest in the gospel and was even keen to go to church. She then exchanged her contact details to keep in touch and was directed by the team member to one of the local churches.
It was the grace of God that people from all walks of life, all who need Jesus heard the clarion call of the gospel, "...be ye reconciled to God." (2 Cor 5:20).
We are thankful to God for holding off the rain and bringing together 14 labourers to proclaim the gospel. God is in control and he is in the business of drawing the lost to him. To him be all the Glory!
It has been a wet few days in Brisbane so we weren't sure if today's Redcliffe outreach would go ahead. This morning as I prepared I noticed that dark clouds were gathering, would today be a wash out?
We decided to head to Redcliffe just in case the weather proved favourable, and to be honest, I was glad we did. When we arrived it was clear blue skies with the sun shining brightly.
A few other Christians were out along the waterfront witnessing, so it was good to partner with them in the gospel ministry. We set up the "Free Bible" table, and rather quickly we saw people coming up to take material from it.
One lady stopped and asked if she could have some material as tonight she was flying home to London after being on holiday for a few weeks. She wanted something to read on the flight so we were more than happy to give her some great gospel literature.
Another lady stopped by to chat. Her partner was recently converted in jail, but she couldn't figure it all out. We shared with her and then encouraged her to attend a solid church near where she lived.
Throughout the outreach we had a steady stream of people taking material from the table and talking. We also had twenty of Ray Comfort's, "Evolution versus God" DVDs given away to interested people.
Please pray that all the seed that was sown would fall upon good soil.
A team of 15 to 20 people gathered at the Gold Coast to proclaim the gospel on Friday night. When we arrived, we set up the "Good Person test" flip chart, which is a really simple and easy to use tool to use to go through the law of God and the gospel. As a result, many good gospel conversations took place with groups of people that were really keen to go through the test.
One such conversation was with a guy named Pat and his mate. Pat told us that he thinks he is a good person and just stopped by out of curiosity to take the test. After taking the test, when we got to the courtroom part, Pat saw that he was guilty and not a good person. When we started explaining to him that we all are guilty of sin therefore we deserve to go to hell, Pat quickly said, "I don't believe I am going there. I don't even think there is a hell". At this point of time, his mate was acting bit silly and was trying to distract Pat. But as the team member continued to share the reality of hell, Pat with a serious face said, "So I will be going to hell then and there is no hope for me!"
We told him about the "everlasting hope" that God wants to save sinners and has shown his love for us "in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8). There is hope in Christ if we repent and put our trust in him. Pat looked thoughtful and said, "I understand that". He then began asking a series of questions related to origin of sin, suffering and consequences of sin. After answering his questions, he asked, "So what is Heaven like? Is it like here?" He looked thoughtful after eternity in Heaven was explained to him. Before leaving, he asked for a gospel tract to take home to read. We reminded him to take this seriously and put his trust in Jesus.
Please be praying for the salvation of Pat and all other people who heard the gospel. Pray that God will cause the seeds to grow (1 Cor. 3:7).
May the name of our Lord Jesus Christ be glorified above all!