The afternoon at Wellington was a typical Sunday in summer with plenty of sunshine and a nice breeze. Two of the team members were still away on holidays, so there was just the four of us. As usual the ladies headed off to the jetty while Ryan and I went to our spot.
For a rather hot day there were not as many people out and about, as we would have expected. So we chatted while we handed out tracts and we were saying to each other how blessed we are to live in this part of the world, when a bloke approached and upon handing him a tract he said "What's this all about?" I said, "It asks you if you are good enough to get to Heaven."
His reply was that this was Heaven right here, just look around. He thought he was good enough, and as he was starting to walk off I challenged him on what the Bible says is 'good enough' - you must be perfect (Matthew 5:48). The guy had to go, but asked for another tract so he could read it, so I gave him a comic tract for a deeper understanding of how sinful we are.
He shook my hand and continued up the path, when another couple walked past saying the same thing that Heaven was right here. Ryan asked them to read the tract he handed them.
Just before 3pm the ladies returned from the jetty and told us of a conversation with a young lad from up Ipswich way. He didn't think he was going to Heaven, but wasn't concerned about Hell. So they took him through the Law and explained how our sin separates us from God and, starting from Genesis, they were able to tell him of our history and fall of man by rebelling against God.
After a long chat with him, the ladies encouraged him to read the book of John and asked when was he going to get right with God, as none of us are assured of tomorrow.
Afterwards, we prayed together as a team and thanked our Lord for His mercy and grace upon us and for the privilege to proclaim His glorious gospel.
A storm rolled through Brisbane city last night during our Saturday night outreach. There were some pretty close lightning strikes causing some very loud thunder. That provided a good opportunity to say to people, "Maybe God is trying to get your attention."
Even though the city wasn't as busy, we had a good size team. Two people on the team preached, including one who had never done it before. It's so great to see God is raising up people to preach His gospel in public in this land.
Please pray for more labourers, as the harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few.
To God be all the glory!
Being a long weekend, it was especially busy at the Gold Coast last night for our weekly outreach. Even once 10pm rolled around, when we usually finish up, the mall was still buzzing with people. So we decided to stick around a bit longer sharing the gospel with people.
Throughout the night, when we were preaching with and without the sketchboard, a good number of people were listening, some for extensive periods of time. This led into some good conversations with them afterwards.
One conversation we had was with a guy named John. He was a student from China who had been studying in Australia for the past year.
When I asked him whether he was going to Heaven, he responded, "No, I am too busy with study." After enquiring more about his current beliefs, I established that he didn't really have any religious background but has attended church once in Australia and has a grandmother who is a Christian.
So I explained how we have sinned against God and deserve His wrath forever, and how the only way to be saved from that wrath is through what Jesus has done in dying on the cross for our sins. After talking about the need to repent and believe in Jesus, he said to me, "Can I do that now?"
To ensure he knew what it really means, I then went on to reiterate that Jesus shouldn't just be an add-on to our life, He should be the centre. Jesus should be our number one, not study. He said he understood that.
He was very open, and knew of a Chinese church he wants to start attending. He even has a Chinese Bible. Please pray for John that he will truly repent and believe the gospel. And praise God that the fields are ripe for harvest!
Praise God for a good outreach last night in Brisbane city. We had about 15 of us on the team, and I remember noticing a couple of times throughout the night that every team member was in a gospel conversation with someone.
On the streets, we not only reach the lost, but sometimes also encourage struggling saints that we meet or also sometimes confront those who are professing Christians who may not really be in the faith yet.
While we were first setting up for the night, one person came up to speak to us and this man had a clear understanding of the gospel - salvation by grace through faith alone.
But when I asked him whether he is pursuing holiness, he said no. He said, "That is law, we are saved by grace" and was quite annoyed that I even suggested that we should strive to be holy.
I explained that we agree we are saved by grace through faith alone in Christ alone, but the evidence that someone is truly converted is that their attitude towards sin changes and they desire to live a holy life. This man strongly disagreed and started swearing at me.
I expressed that "Jesus said, 'you'll know them by their fruits', and perhaps the reason you are so strongly reacting to what I am saying is that your conscience is alarming you about your present state." After talking further with him, he said he will have to really think about what I said. Please pray for him.
To God be all the glory!
As the team was heading to the Gold Coast for our weekly Friday night outreach, we noticed dark clouds rolling over and we thought it might rain. We prayed that God would keep the rain away and He did.
Cavill Mall was packed full of people, lots of families who were on holidays from out of state and those from other countries too.
We had an English Bible table set up, with dozens of Bibles given out throughout the night, and an Arabic Bible table, along with a whiteboard displaying a Bible verse in Arabic and English.
We met an Iranian Christian couple from Melbourne who were praying earlier that night that there would be Christians here sharing the gospel to all the people and then they stumbled upon us. They were so excited and praising God and were kind enough to also write the verse on the whiteboard in Farsii as well. With the Gold Coast being an international tourist destination it is really handy having resources in various different languages.
A couple people on the team preached and the rest were handing out tracts and talking to people. Overall it was a fruitful night. To God be the glory!
We had a great afternoon of evangelism today in Queen St Mall, Brisbane. The team was in gospel conversations for most of the afternoon and God brought in a good number of team members.
One conversation that we had was with a man named Sheece. He was a Muslim from India and was happy to hear about Christianity. After hearing about the cross he said, "I can't have someone else take my punishment for me. That's like those Muslims who do lots of bad things all year but go do Hajj (pilgrimage) and say, 'It's all good now for the year.'"
I explained how it's not the same, for if God ignored our sins because of a good deed we have done, he would no longer just as he has accepted a bribe. The difference is: Jesus death on the cross completely satisfied God's justice for those who believe, so that God can be both just and able to show mercy at the same time.
Sheece saw the difference, but said he wasn't ready to come to faith in Jesus yet. Please pray for him.
Praise God for another wonderful outreach!
It was quieter in Brisbane city last night for our weekly Saturday night outreach. But it was so great to see several new team members join us for the first time.
A few people on the team did some open air preaching, while the rest of the team were handing out tracts and talking to people. A number of the team mentioned that the conversations that they had were quite fruitful, with people being receptive to the message of the gospel. While others mentioned that the people they spoke to were quite opposed to the gospel.
In times like these, it is always a great comfort to know that God is in charge of the results and so no matter the response, it's never in vain. God may cause the seeds planted last night to come to growth later on. All glory to God!
It was extraordinarily busy at the Gold Coast last night for our weekly Friday night outreach. We did a number of sketchboard presentations to present the gospel and God saw fit to draw in large crowds to listen to the message.
Even though we were light on team numbers, a good number of gospel tracts went out and some great gospel conversations were had.
Please pray that God would raise up more labourers and also pray for those who heard the message. To God be the glory!
Thank-you to those who prayed for the outreach today. It was a very productive afternoon / evening. We started in the Queen Street Mall at 2pm, and sadly the one Brisbane City Council Local Law Officer who has been giving us grief acted unlawfully once again.
After Ryan had finished preaching, the Council Officer issued him a $589 fine. The law protects us, so we have now handed this over to the Barrister and Lawyers that are representing us. Please pray that all this will be resolved shortly, and that the Gospel will continue to spread unmolested.
I was also able to preach this afternoon. I spoke on the first Christmas and how Jesus is God with us. I stressed the Deity of Christ since the Jehovah Witnesses had set up behind us. A small crowd listened to the Scripture being read.
Throughout the day we had a literature table set up. It was great to see many people taking Bibles and other literature.
In the evening we headed over to King George Square to hand out tracts and chat to people. A few good conversations were had, and over 2000 tracts were given away.
Please continue to pray for our Christmas outreaches.
What an wonderful day it has been today in Hobart! There has been great conversations had and God's eternal gospel has been proclaimed in the streets.
I was joined today by the ever faithful Karl, Jarred, RJ, Peter and Peter and his daughter. We initially set up in the mall with the bible table expecting to see Samuel there but it appears he is taking a break at the moment. After a short set up period I got up to preach from the passage in James which calls our lives a mist or vapour. I compared this Godly wisdom to the worldly view that we are all alright and just fine. I went on to show that we are not ok and are rather naturally selfish idolators who worship anything but the true God. Lastly I glorified God's mercy and kindness to us by giving Jesus Christ to die in the place of sinners and redeem all those who trust in Him.
Afterwards I was able to have a long conversation with a young lady who is well aware of Christian things but is struggling with the judgement of God in the old testament. We talked through the immense patience that God showed in the old testament, forgiving sin again and again throughout the history of Israel before finally bringing down punishment hundreds of years later. Also we looked at how Jesus was utterly condemning of sin in the new testament despite being both merciful and kind. The truth is that God has never changed in His dealings with us, He loathes sin and rebellion this is true; but He also is merciful and kind and forgiving. This is show clearest in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We spoke about many other things and I urged her to read the bible and think on these things further.
After this we spent some time handing out tracts and spoke to a few people briefly as we did so. It always warms my heart to see tracts going out and people walking away with the gospel in their hand.
I preached again on the persecution of God's people and those who would bring the gospel in particular. I again urged the people of Hobart to trust in and embrace the only saviour Jesus Christ and not to trust in those things that would let them down eternally. Quite a few people stopped to listen and some of them took bibles away with them. Afterwards Karl got into a long conversation with a Muslim lady and her sister. He was able to share the gospel with them and also urge them to read the gospels as the Qu'ran tells them to do. It was quite a long conversation and they walked away thanking Karl for sharing with them.
To finish the period in the mall I read out the story of Christ's crucifixion in the gospel of John and we sang "Man of Sorrows" with Jarred leading us. It certainly turned a few heads in the mall to hear us belting out praise to God!
After the team left for the day I spent an hour handing out tracts on my own and ended having a huge discussion with a young man who has a strong interest in the new age and reincarnation. We spoke about truth and falsehood, sin and hell, the historicity of Jesus' life and work, and also reincarnation itself. I urged him to consider the truth claims of the bible and likewise to test the truth claims of the new age movement. I also urged him to consider reading the bible and to carefully watch the reaction of those who heard and consider why they may reject it. As we parted ways he asked directions to our church and said he would try to come on Sunday.
Praise God for when He moves in grace! Praise Him in the highest!