Another interesting day for the 4 of us to proclaim God's good news. Here are 2 prayer points:
- Ramir, a teenager of Pilipino R. C. background was taken through the law then the gospel. He said this is what he was brought up in. Then I took him through the Blondin illustration to show him what he needed to do to 'believe in Jesus'. His bus arrived.
- Lena, a teenage lass who responded with understanding (Awesome!) to the law and gospel. Again, there was just time for the Blondin illustration before her bus arrived.
The need to 'count the cost' and whether either has a Bible is for their future contacts, D.V.
Please pray also for the ones who 'overhear' the gospel as they sit close to the one God has prepared for us to chat with.
We thank God for each one He awakens to be involved in His missionary activities. We give Him all the glory for the results which always reflect His perfect character.
Praise God for His great mercies, we are able to preach the gospel here in Hobart still and despite recent difficulties and ongoing slanders against me particularly. This last couple of weeks have been a mixed bag of responses and circumstances, but God is the same yesterday today and forever.
This Tuesday it was a warm afternoon and there were many school kids in the mall looking for something to do. This lead to many opportunities over the course of the afternoon and the gospel was preached!
Shortly after I set up for the afternoon two young guys wandered up to read the “Marriage Facts” sign I have on the table. I then asked them what they though of the sign and one responded that he attended an Anglican school so he was familiar with the ideas. This lead to a fantastic set of exchanges and discussions that ranged over many different topics but repeatedly coming back to the claims of Christ and the gospel. They seemed interested and surprisingly appeared to enjoy my “dad humor” though I suspect they were just humoring me! Our discussion went for almost 45 minutes and after we finished they stayed to listen to the preaching and chat again afterwards. Praise God they were so open and willing to listen and discuss!
Coming into and out of this discussion was Mr K. a Greek orthodox young man who has been coming by in the afternoons for some time with his mates. They are an interesting bunch and I quite enjoy the good-humored bantering they enter into whenever they come.
The preaching today focused on anger, cursing, hatred, abortion, gossip, and murder. I spoke from Matthew chapter five verses 21-26. This is the part of the sermon on the mount where Jesus defines what murder truly looks like in the eyes of God and clarifies what kind of righteousness is required to get into heaven (hint: it’s the kind we can only get from one place…). This requirement is echoing the verse before:
For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Mat 5:20)
Jesus explicitly links anger and all its horrid children to the crime of murder in the Old Testament law code and its corresponding punishment. This passage bother’s the conscience of many non-Christians because it is so plain speaking about things we all are guilty of. Everyone falls foul of selfish anger and the various ways we express that anger. Shrugging off the wrong doing by saying we don’t care or there is no-one else hurt will not get rid of the accusation of the conscience. Claiming that it doesn’t matter because God is not there only underlines the lie we have swallowed, that God is absent and we are master’s of our own fate. God is our creator, He is present and will judge, the longer we deny and run from this the longer we are divorced from the reality that is plain to our eyes. Not only that but those who choose to suppress the knowledge of God in their unrighteousness will never find the rest, joy and meaning that we all long for. It is found in God alone and repentant faith in Jesus is the only way to God the Father.
As I preached about this a young guy came up and began to engage with me in a joking way. I began to ask him how he would do if God judged him by the eternal standard rather than his own or his mates. It was a good exchange and we spoke for a while but ultimately, he was not interested in hearing too much and went to leave. I urged him to stay and talk some more and listen a while. Praise God he did, and his friends with him.
Three others heckled whilst I preached.
· One older man on a mobility scooter packing a foul mouth repeatedly came to accuse God of wrong doing for allowing suffering in the world. Not only that but apparently “He’s never done anything for me!”, this coming from an obviously well fed and well clothed man riding on a technological marvel. All things he did not labour to create from nothing. I pointed him to the justice and law of God that makes meaningful our upset at suffering, as apposed to the puerile subjective atheistic objection to suffering which amounts to “I don’t like it, in my opinion it is not right”. If we are to appose evil as evil, we need an absolute standard as our foundation.
· The second was an older lady that wanted to know about the other religions in the world? I pointed to sin leading to death and then urged her (and the crowd that had gathered) to consider the founders of the various world religions. Where were they now? All in a grave, bar Jesus. All the other religions of the world were no help to prevent the death of all their founders. Why should we believe they can destroy our greatest enemy?
· The last heckler wanted to know something straight from the bible. What would happen to him if he just would not believe? I gave him the straight answer of scripture: All those who will not believe will not be saved but are condemned already.
From each of these I urged the crowd to turn to Jesus and trust in Him. Only humble repentant faith in Jesus’s work on the cross will save us from the condemnation that we all deserve because of our many sins.
After the preaching I had a chat with one of Mr K.’s mates who is a Muslim and we discussed some of the similarities and differences between Islam and Christianity. We chatted for a period about the prophets and I am going to get him a copy of the writings of the prophets of God.
Despite the prating of blatherskites in the background, there were a number of other great conversations which followed for quite some time praise God. I then spent a good period handing out gospel tracts on a nearby corner and giving short messages and reading portions of scripture.
What a great day! Praise God.
Watch a recap from the outreach at the Redlands Easter Family Festival on Monday.
"What's Easter about?" "Not sure."
"Did you know Easter is a religious holiday?" "No".
That is why it's great to report that many people of the community got to hear the gospel with also 4000+ gospel tracts going out, as well as 140 Gospels of John. Praise the Lord!
A team of 15+ people gathered to share the gospel in Brisbane city last night. We set up the good person flipchart, which goes through some of God's commandments and shows how we have all fallen short of God's standards and therefore deserve punishment, but then goes on to illustrating the gospel.
This young man in the photo from last night was very concerned about where he would spend eternity and was not sure how he could be saved. He just knew that he did not want to go to hell.
He listened intently as the good news of the gospel was explained to him, and was happy to take a full Bible home to start reading, as he didn't have one. We encouraged him to start in the book of John.
Being Easter as well, it was really easy to hand out Easter gospel tracts - we simply had to say "Happy Easter!" and then offer the tract. We don't know exactly what God will do with each of the tracts handed out last night, but we know that God's word never returns void. These people will never be the same again in eternity, as they now have been presented with the only way they can be saved. Please pray that God saves many.
To God be the glory!
The team of about 15 were able to hand out plenty of gospel tracts throughout the night and have conversations with people. One person we spoke with named Moi said he had grown up sometimes going to a Catholic church but now was not sure if even God exists.
After being reminded about how things that get made must have a maker for them, he agreed, "There has to be someone that made it all." He also thought that he was a good person, good enough to get to heaven. But even after admitting that he has lied, stolen, lusted and so on, he said, "I think I'll still go to Heaven, those things are small."
So I said, "Let's say we sin only 5 times a day, if we multiply that out over our entire lifetime that is hundreds of thousands of sins that we'll do by the time we die. That's a lot! Even though we might think that the individual sins we do are small, collectively they're massive. Plus, God says even one sin is enough to make us fall short of the standard he requires." Moi began to see that he wasn't good enough.
The gospel was then explained to him. He pointed then to the sketchboard and asked what it meant. It was explained: "There were two criminals on either side of Jesus being crucified for their crimes. One in the last few moments of his life came to trust in Jesus that He was dying for his sin. As a result, Jesus said that he would then be in heaven with Him. While the other man continued to reject Jesus and so will have to face the consequences of his sin in hell forever."
So I asked Moi, "Which one will you be like?" He thanked us for the conversation and said he would think about it, and left with an Easter tract.
To God be the glory!
God gave us 7 workers today, including an 81 year old who had spent 2 years evangelizing in Hong Kong. The first contact he and his teammate made was with a Chinese lady who spoke no English. So he spoke to her in a language she was familiar with. We had some 'good' conversations, including these for follow-up prayer:
- Raj or Ruj, a Persian man whose sister has already been converted. He heard it all, received a tract and John's gospel. He appreciated the web contact details so he can pursue his inquiries without attracting undue attention to himself. Please pray that he does email us.
- Connor, a life-guard who had attended a Christian school. Since then, he has looked at other religions and concluded that some sort of divine force was in charge. We covered some preliminary points of contention before we got to the law and Substitutionary atonement and what he needs to do. Conner readily received a gospel of John which we asked him to prayerfully read asking God to reveal Himself to him.
There were 3 young marrieds couples plus toddlers - all university students (except the toddlers) from Vietnam and with no belief in God. They asked me if I was a J.W. to which I replied, "No! I am a Christian." I did some apologetics with them, gave them tracts and warned them that when they return to Vietnam that their government does not like Christians. Interestingly, they knew this already.
There was more going on but we leave the ongoing work to our sovereign God. What a privilege to tell forth God's good news of how sinners may be reconciled to Him. To Him alone our praises arise. Heb. 7:24b,25.
At Sunnybank (QLD) yesterday, a team of 5 of us met to share the good news of the gospel with whoever came by. And across the afternoon, a few hundred gospel tracts went out and God brought along some a bunch of people who were open to talking about eternal things.
This included some high school students, some of whom did not believe in God, but quickly changed their mind when given the building/builder analogy. Please pray for Nathan who was very receptive and took a gospel of John to start reading.
Please also pray for Maverick who, after hearing the bad news about how our sin makes us deserving of hell but how Jesus volunteered to take our punishment for us if we come to trust in him, he said, "Today I will do that. This is a great talk."
He saw the importance of what we were talking about, and so he was encouraged to carefully consider what it means to trust in Christ (as Christ doesn't want half-hearted followers). He didn't have a Bible, so we gave him a gospel of John which he gratefully received.
To God be the glory!
PS: If you can, consider joining one of our evangelism teams: www.Operation513.com/street-evangelism-teams
Hear from Tobias and Harry how God has used them tonight to advance His gospel in Brisbane city (Australia) for His glory!
There were numerous gospel workers today encouraging those who would listen to think on the coming Day of Jesus Resurrection from the dead.
An encouraging time was spent as Lee-Anne met up with Marsha and Justin from a few weeks ago. They were thankful for our prayers for their need for accommodation which were answered very positively. They were encouraged to attend a local church and Lee-Anne is forwarding contact details to them - they are without transport of their own.
Thanks to God for Jack Smith for his encouragements as he patiently waited for his bus. (He likes that portion of Scripture, 1Tim.6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.)
With 6 on the team, including out ACT couple, there was great coverage of commuters.
The Lord stopped the rain/showers long enough for us to do what He has commanded: Take His good news and proclaim it as He has revealed it. The variety of people conversed with included:
- an Irish man who thought he would go to heaven because he was a R.C. and a good person who sometimes went to church. After being tested against part of God's standard of righteousness, the 10 commandments, he confessed that he was guilty of sinning against God. May he seriously consider his need to trust Christ his righteousness, Jer. 23:5,6; Rom. 4:23-25; Heb. 4:15. and in the finished work of Christ on behalf of God's people.
- a couple of ladies who announced that they were to marry. They thanked our ladies for doing a kindness to them but did not want to be prayed for.
- a couple of Muslims who did not believe that Jesus died so the resurrection is a non-event to them.
It was our pleasure to work with a couple from the ACT who are gathering information and ideas on witnessing in their own church area.
As always, we thank God for tracts handed out, conversations had and that He does His sovereign work just as He planned. How glorious is our covenant-keeping God? Beyond our ability to adequately describe.