Oh boy we have had great weather of late, great temperature (28 degrees) for this time of year, that it meant we had to park a mile away and walk to our usual witnessing spot with lots of people to pass out tracts to! Praise our Lord!
Ryan, Gordon and I had not been there to long when a lady walked up and received a Gospel tract from Ryan. He asked her if she was to die today, would God would let her into Heaven? We found out rather quickly that she was Jewish and that she said she knew a lot about the subject. I was with Ryan so I listened as he tried to find out what she believed. Well, this lady had some very strange beliefs, to say the least! She believed that heaven was here on earth and that the name of Jesus (Yeshua) in her language meant “twin” and that Thomas was Jesus’s twin.
She had a lot more strange beliefs and we could understand a little bit more when she said that her mother was a Catholic and her father was a Muslim. It was hard to get a word in while trying to talk about sin and her need to trust in Jesus alone for her salvation, but we tried and hopefully planted a few seeds. As always, it is the Lord who works on a person's heart to draw them to himself.
Lee-Anne and Glenda had a chat with a couple of young teenagers while Railee prayed for a ready heart to receive this good news.The girl (Grace) said she was attending a church and that she was going to heaven because God forgives. They talked about the civil law and the courtroom analogy if you break the law and get caught, there is a consequence, you will need to pay a fine. And if the fine is not paid, you will be taken to a judge where a penalty for the crime will be enforced which will be mean you'll find yourself in jail. But if you said to the judge, "I’m sorry please forgive me" - do you think you will be allowed to go free? No the judge would rightly say justice demands you pay the penalty.
Then Lee-Anne and Glenda said to Grace, God is the judge of sin and we have broken His laws. The commandments show us that we have, as they are a mirror that reveals sin and shows our guilt. The judgement on sinners is eternal punishment in hell. Here is what God has done, while we were sinners, guilty and with no way to pay the fine, God gave us His Son who lived a perfect life and paid our fine by dying on the cross and taking the hell punishment we deserve upon Himself. Jesus paid our fine so we can be set free of all sin past, present and future.
Think of what He has done to save us, if you were in the courtroom and were being sentenced to life imprisonment and someone you don't even know came in and paid your fine, how would you feel? And the young guy said - happy. Then they said shouldn't we be very thankful for what Jesus has done. The Bible teaches us that it is what Jesus has done that saves us, sets us free from the bondage of sin and to trust in Him alone, like you would trust a parachute to bring you to safety. Jesus is our Saviour from Eternal punishment in hell because of our sin and instead offers us Eternal Life!!! (what an incredible offer).
That is why we read the Bible, to get to know the Amazing God who showed us so much kindness. It should make us want to read and get to know Him more and follow His ways. Grace was visually excited and said thank you so much and as she was walking off she was still saying thank you. The ladies were praising the Lord because He used the three of them to get this vital message to this young couple.
It was a typical winter's day in Hobart this Friday, cold, blowing and threatening to rain for most of the day. Despite this we were warmed to the heart by many wonderful interactions and opportunities given by the Lord. Karl joined me along with the wonderful prayer support of Kath and Cynthia. Regular visitors Penny and Tim were also there to encourage us in the mall.
Tim and I have been chatting for quite some time and this young man is moving steadily towards the Lord. If he is the Lords or not I leave between them but I rejoice to hear that he is reading the Bible and seeking to become a better husband and father. Please pray for him as he is struggling at the moment with a very rebellious daughter. He needs both patience and wisdom as he seeks to lead his family.
Over the course of the afternoon we had a few bibles go out, one of the people was quite striking. The young lady from My State came to ask for a Bible particularly to share with her work mates. Her hope was to get others to talk about the Bible with her. She said that she was not a Christian but had lots of questions, as did her work mates. We encouraged her to read and come and speak to us again if they wanted to ask questions. Praise God that he is drawing people to seek Him and giving them a heart to read His word!
During the preaching Karl sat down with Mr B. a polish helicopter pilot and avowed atheist. The two of them spoke for quite some time and discussed many things. One point that was particularly striking was when Mr B. picked up a leaf and said, "I believe in what I can see and touch like this leaf."
Karl replied "What about the molecular structure of the leaf?"
Mr B. said "I can see that with an electron microscope"
"Well what about before the electron microscope, do you think they existed when they could not be seen?"
Mr B. was silent.
When I heard this I was struck that there is always a point where faith and trust come into every life. Even if the person swears that they only believe based on evidence, there is always a point where that ceases to be true and they must just trust.
After I preached I noticed a lady sitting near by and went to talk to her. Mrs W. was a Christian and she thanked and encouraged me for what we were doing. I likewise encouraged her to be doing outreach in whatever way gave her to do. I told her that she could reach people that I would never meet or be able to reach. This is one of the wonders of being part of God's body, we are all given work to do and gifts to use. Praise God that he gives us each other.
All in all it was a beautiful day to be out in God's wonderful world and a privilege to be to be doing His work!
It was a rather good afternoon of ministry in Sunnybank today. There were five of us out witnessing, so we were able to talk to quite a number of people.
One great conversation we had was with a man named Szymon. He use to be an atheist, but he has become more spiritual. Through the study of Buddhism he has come to believe in God, and now he is exploring Christianity. We chatted for some time about the differences between Buddha and Jesus. We also got to cover the topic of the gospel and the nature of how to understand the Bible.
He told me that he is now reading the Bible, and his goal is to finish it all. However, he thinks that Buddha and Jesus teach much of the same things.
We recommended the book, "The Lotus and the Cross" by Ravi Zacharias (this book examines the teachings of Jesus and Buddha). I have since been able to get a copy of the book, and will be posting it to Szymon tomorrow. Please pray the Lord would use this to bring him to faith.
I also had a great conversation with a young Maori man. This man had grown up in a church going home, but he was trusting in his works to save him. I was able to use the G7 app from Train To Proclaim to show him that salvation is not something we can earn, but rather it is a free gift from God.
Praise God for a productive afternoon of ministry. May the Lord bring many to Himself.
The mall was busy in Brisbane City yesterday for our weekly Wednesday afternoon outreach. George started off with a sketchboard illustrating Jesus' words about there being a narrow road that leads to heaven compared to a broad road that leads to hell, and then presenting a clear message of forgiveness through Jesus.
It was great to see people stop and listen to what was being said. We also had our free Bibles table set up and dozens of gospels of John were taken throughout the day.
One man named David came up to the table wanting a Bible. He said he used to have one before he gave it away to someone. After getting a Bible he was about to walk away when I thought, I should ask him what he thinks will get him to heaven. He said he didn't think he would get there because he is not good enough.
This presented a good opportunity to explain to him the message of grace - that Jesus, who lived perfectly, took our place for us by dying for our sin even though we have been so bad - and how we should respond to it with repentance and faith in Christ alone. After considering the message for a few moments, he said, "I want to trust in Christ from now." He said that he was prepared to turn from his sins.
I asked him a checking question to see if he had really understood the gospel, and he had. Please pray for David that his profession of faith would genuine and that God would then grow him in his faith.
Not long afterwards a man named Daniel was listening to the preaching and I asked him whether he thought he would go to heaven. He said, "Yes, because I am pretty pure." So we talked about sin, how none of us are pure, and then also the gospel.
And as I was explaining the concept of a perfect substitute taking our punishment for us, you could see something clicked in his mind. He said, "Wow, I have had other people try and explain this message to me before, but it's never made sense." He said he wanted to now trust in Christ alone for his forgiveness and turn from his sins. I gave him details for a local church and also gave him a Bible. He said at the end, "If it wasn't for you I would still be lost. Thank you so much."
You never know what impact your words will have or what impact that tract you handed out will have on a person. It's great to know the results are up to God. Our job is simply to be faithful in presenting the message clearly.
To God be the glory!
We had a good outreach in Woodridge on Tuesday afternoon. There were four of us on the team, and many tracts were handed out...not just in English. Since Woodridge is very multicultural place, we had with us tracts in a dozen or so languages.
One person we spoke to was Samson. He had just recently been chosen to be in the Broncos development program. Even though he used to go to church, rugby training was now the focus of his life. He thought God would let him into heaven because everything in his life is going really good right now.
After hearing the gospel and the cost of discipleship - that Jesus can't just be an add-on to our life, He should be the centre - he said he can't trust in Christ yet. He said he now realises that if he died right now he would be going to hell. For he saw sport as his idol, but he wanted to keep it that way until he was older.
After speaking with him further and challenging him, he was happy for us to pray for him. Please pray that God will really convict Samson of his sin and draw him to Himself.
Please also pray for Hakim, a Muslim young man from Uzbekistan. He came to realise the only way his sin debt can be paid for is by a sinless substitute taking his hell punishment for him. He was happy to take a gospel of John to start reading. Please pray that God will save him.
To God be the glory!
The Way to Heaven tract we were using is available here.
On Saturday evening the team headed into Queen St Mall (in the heart of Brisbane City) and very quickly things were underway. Without much hesitation many people were in conversations, the preaching was started and the citizens of Brisbane City who had ventured into the mall were being exposed to the truth of human sin and the saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
There were a few first timers who had come out and it was a blessing to see them watch along, standing beside another team member before having a go at a conversation themselves. As always the easiest place to talk to someone is either as they walk away from listening to the preacher or as the preacher finishes. It was good to see that small step of courage taken, the simple question, "What did you think of that?"
One highlight conversation from the evening was with a man named, Errol, at first he was unsure whether or not God existed but the conversation quickly pushed past that and basically then revolved around the Gospel.
Discussing sin Errol acknowledged quickly that he was a sinner and that he deserved God's penalty for sin. When asked how he would fix it, as his eyes started to well up, he said, he had no idea and it worried him. We discussed common ideas and theories and addressed why these were unable to save before Errol was offered the good news of Jesus Christ, the one and only way to be saved from sin.
It was a wonderful conversation and to finish it off Errol acknowledged his fault before God and said he would have to consider this and said he might go and read his Bible that evening.
Please pray for Errol, pray that he will surrender to Jesus as Lord and Saviour and be trusting in Christ alone for salvation.
Please pray for the team as normal weeks get underway that 'normal' life will not be one void of Gospel ministry, that work weeks, university classes and the rest of their lives will be filled with the Gospel of Grace and the declaration of the truth.
Soli Deo Gloria!
At Surfers paradise in the mall, there were crowds of people to enjoy to musical entertainment and despite the noise and the intensity many Gospel conversations were had.
The first 'sketch' done on the board mentioned abortion and as a product a young couple came up and were quite upset that anyone would call it wrong. When posed with the question to finish the statement, "It is okay to murder a baby in the womb when..." the answer was given, it isn't a baby until birth.
The discussion went along for a little while, with the couple saying it is okay to say all other things are wrong but when it comes to abortion there is no room for commenting. An explanation was given that we must call sin, sin otherwise we are removing the need for salvation in Jesus Christ. The discussion didn't get much further as Dom and Sam were adamant that it was okay.
Surprisingly another pair, this time two ladies came up and had a similar discussion over the painting that was still on the board. They were very quick to defend their position saying simply, that their life and ability to live how they wanted shouldn't be impeded by a child's birth and so abortions aren't wrong.
Again the conversation was taken towards the Gospel in that, the team isn't out to proclaim personal Holiness or goodness but rather to proclaim the guilt of all and the salvation available in Jesus Christ.
Both of these conversations were immensely saddening and it is hard to know how better to address such scenarios. For sin is something we must talk about for the Cross of Jesus to make any sense.
Please pray for the conversations had tonight regarding abortion and the many others had regarding Jesus Christ and His power to save.
Please keep the team in prayer as they seek to find more loving, careful and sensitive ways to share the hard truth of the Gospel with the lost people of this world.
It would be a blessing to have you along to declare the goodness and mercy of God!
You may have seen some of the witnessing clips, some of the different times of people sharing the Gospel and you may compare yourself to 'the team'. You may consider yourself to bad at speaking or not good enough at thinking on your feet. Let me reassure you, we as the team are not some super talkers, we are no world class intelligence.
We are full of normal humans, who are nothing special, we are unworthy servants, willing to be used by a Holy God!
May you take the opportunity to join us on an outreach to proclaim Jesus Christ and Him crucified!
On Friday evening, the team headed into the Surfers Paradise Mall and as always began to share the Gospel, the team committed the evening to the Lord and then spread out and made it their goal to share the Gospel with anyone who would listen.
A sad but important conversation was with a man named Simon, he had spoken with the team almost a year ago (there is actually a video of the conversation on our page) and had heard the Gospel, he had acknowledged the way of salvation but his heart wasn't changed. I spoke with Him again tonight and we had a brief conversation but as we started to talk about sin, he got angry and said that we were all self-righteous and needed to lighten up.
Before I could explain he had marched off, please pray for Simon, a man who needs God's mercy just as desperately as the rest of us but just as I was; so lost that I didn't know I was lost.
Thank you for the prayer support for the team as they head out, please continue to keep the team members in prayer and continue to pray for those who hear the news of the salvation of Jesus Christ, that they may heed the message and turn to trust in Christ!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Wednesday afternoon, we headed into the mall, there was only four of us on the team but God provided many opportunities! We started the afternoon with some preaching and despite a relatively controversial preaching on sin, there was a decent sized crowd of twenty five who listened for the vast majority of the presentation.
What was most surprising was as the sins were listed and discussed, including abortion, not a single person flinched, in fact more people came to stop and listen. (The video starts in the few moments after the sin of abortion was revealed on the board).
There were many conversations had including a discussion with a lady named Rhoia, she was adamant that all religions were true, that there was no real right and wrong and certain that there was no Heaven or Hell. When asked about why, she simply stated because she didn't want to believe in such things. The conversation went from there and went down a few interesting routes but in the end came to a place, after hearing about sin and hearing the way of salvation Rhoia said, it sounded nice but she just didn't want to believe that because it would mean admitting she was wrong.
Please pray for Rhoia who has heard the saving message of Jesus Christ, pray that her heart will be softened and that she will trust in Christ alone as Lord and Saviour!
There was also a lengthy conversation had with two ladies named, Sharon and Collette were Hindu's and believed that they were trusting in the same message as Christianity, yet denying the essential truths of Christ. They were hard of heart and strongly professed that there was no such thing as truth and that morality was subjective meaning they weren't wrong to live how they wanted.
Please consider Sharon and Collette in prayer, they have heard the Gospel, they have tracts and just like us all they need Jesus Christ's salvation!
Thank you for your support and prayers, may you take the opportunity to join us!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Anzac Day 2016 Outreach
Yesterday afternoon in Brisbane City the mall was quite busy as it was the Anzac Day public holiday, where Australian's celebrate the sacrifice of the lives that men and women gave for our country's freedom.
So we went to proclaim the sacrifice Jesus the Christ paid, His sinless life, so that we may have freedom, from sin and death.
The tract we were handing out was our new Anzac gospel tract.
Watch the video from the outreach:
Soli Deo Gloria!