One of the best things about evangelising at the same spot each week means you get to encounter people who you have witnessed to before and ask them whether they have considered the message more since we last spoke.
There were quite a number of conversations like that yesterday in Capalaba. To mention one - Troy. I had spoken to him before and I wanted to see if he remembered the way to get to Heaven.
And he did, he explained that it's through trusting in Christ's work on the cross for our sins. But for him, he acknowledged he just intellectually knew the gospel and hasn't yet trusted in it or repented of his sin.
He asked, "With the distractions of life how do I ensure I keep thinking about God?" I explained that is why we need to be reading the Bible everyday. Just like we need to eat food each day to supply us with energy for our day, we need to have our spiritual food each day (reading the Bible) to keep our mind on God.
He didn't have a Bible and he asked if he could have one. So I gave him a gospel of John that I had with me. I challenged him to repent of his sin and trust in Christ, as there is nothing more important for him than where he goes when he dies. He thanked me for the chat, and I undoubtedly will see him another week, if the Lord wills.
We also had Gordon, Tai and Barry on the team today. It is amazing that God is raising up labourers to go into His harvest. These guys mentioned they had some good conversations and said they have some names they are going to be praying for.
Praise be to God!
As the team assembled and headed out to Queen St Mall at the heard of Brisbane City we reminisced of the astounding truth that no matter which government is in power, God is in control. No one has a position of authority apart from it being granted to them by God. Together we prayed committing the night to the Lord and asking that He would bring many along to hear the Good News.
We started the night with the sketch board, our usual PA system was missing in action so we used a small hand held speaker that packs a decent volume. This allowed the preaching to be well heard and a few people stopped in to listen to the message that was being preached. As the preaching took place a number of conversations were started with those slowing to listen, including with a young lady who had just landed from New Zealand and after a while of dialogue took a bible and a Gospel tract!
As the preaching came to an end a conversation was started with Matt and Elle. Matt professed to be a Christian and Elle said she wasn't. A simple question was asked, "What did you think of the preaching?" Which lead straight into a conversation allowing them to set the tone of the discussion.
Elle was fairly quiet and didn't say much but just listened where as Matt was keen to engage. After a few minutes the question was posed to Matt, "How are you getting to Heaven?" to which he replied. "As long as you keep God's commandments you should be okay." To be honest, he was exactly right, if anyone had kept God's commandments they would be able to enter Heaven but as Matt soon discovered, there isn't any human who had or could keep such commandments. In fact by God's standard we all stand condemned, deserving the full weight of God's wrath. When Matt heard this, he asked, "Then why are you guys out here? Doesn't that mean we all should go to Hell?"
Again he had hit the nail, by God's justice, according to our sin, we certainly do deserve Hell. The opportunity to share the saving work of Jesus Christ was there and it wasn't one to be missed, it was promptly explained that our sin does cause us to be damned yet God came into this world, He was in human form, lived a sinless life and suffered the wrath of God we deserve.
Three days later rising from the grave, proving He is God and conquering sin and death. So that if we acknowledge our sinfulness, understand we cannot save ourselves and surrender to Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour our sin debt can be paid and we can be set free from slavery to sin. After having this explained Matt, with a smile on his face, said "Thank you for that, I have never heard or understood that before." He took a Gospel tract and may he trust in the saving work of Jesus Christ!
A man who chatted with the team entered into the discussion after being asked if there was anything in this world more important than money. He answered, with the thought that happiness was more important. This man made comment about where he found his happiness and why it was so important to him but as we moved towards a discussion about eternity he suddenly became a little less sure. He said he enjoyed discussing such a topic but had already made up his mind.
When asked what had lead him to his conclusions of agnosticism he discussed that there was no need for a creator. When challenged on this idea in regards to the certainty that a building needs a builder so a creation surely has a creator, he admitted it was a good point but that humanity had proven there was no need for a God.
Soon afterwards when discussing why one should consider the claims of Christianity this question was posed to the man, "Can you prophesy in highly accurate detail, specific life events about someone who won't be born for another thousand years?" The man readily admitted this, humanly speaking, was impossible. When it was explained that this is exactly what happened in regards to Jesus Christ and was asked how such a thing was possible, he suddenly fell silent then proclaimed, "I don't need to answer you, I was a Hindu by tradition but now I am an agnostic by choice!" and quickly left.
The team also engaged in a lengthy conversation with a young man named Olly, the conversation was filled with discussions, from the deep question, whether truth exists, touching on why we really shouldn't steal, spending some time in the definitive claims of Jesus Christ about His deity and the way to Heaven and dwelling deeply on whether or not one can know if Christ really rose from the grave.
Olly was a very respectful and interesting young man who readily professed to be open minded, which is always a strange claim. When people make such a statement, they often seem to imply that they are able to accept any belief or worldview. Yet forget to add the clause, "as long as it directly agrees with what I believe". Though Olly was different, he simply meant that he was unsure if anyone could ever know something they hadn't personally experienced and therefore he was unsure of such a deep question as to the destination of people's eternity.
Olly made many statements of truth, from adamantly defending piracy as it wasn't directly harming anyone (the producers were already rich enough) or that there is 11 dimensions and infinite possible universes. So there was a range of questions posed along the lines of, "Does truth exist? Where does it come from? How can a human trust their own brain and it's ability to reason? Does an objective standard exist?" These questions took a large portion of the time and it seemed to make Olly think.
Sadly as the night wore on the conversation was drawing to a close and he left recieving on final challenge, "Eternity is an awfully time to, "not be sure", so whilst you still have time, consider and make a decision about the claim, "Did Jesus Christ rise from the dead, proving He is God?" for in answering this claim we must either acknowledge there is a God and surrender to Him or we are truly in this world with no purpose and will continue living like we were created with one."
It was a pleasure to talk with Olly, please keep him in prayer as he walks away from the conversation and takes the time to consider what was said. Please also pray for Matt and Elle, the mystery Hindu and for the many others who were spoken with, handed a tract or exposed to the Gospel this evening. We know God is in control, all things go according to His plan, so let us plead to Him on behalf of those who heard the Gospel!
Please also pray for the team, that more people will want to come out (not just Saturday's but throughout the week) and that each team member will continue seeking God, surrendering to Him, preaching the Gospel to themselves and therefore growing in Holiness throughout the week!
Soli Deo Gloria!
It was another fruitful outreach on Tuesday at Woodridge. I was wondering who we would have on the team as most of the regulars were unable to make it today. I thought it would just be me.
But praise be to God, before 2pm rolled around I got a phone call from Jeorge, who has evangelised with us before but hasn't been out for several months, saying he is coming to be part of the team at Woodridge and he is bringing six or so people from his church! God really answers prayer!
Many of these people he brought along hadn't ever evangelised before. It is great to see God raising up new labourers and sending them out into His harvest field.
The police were positioned near where we were evangelising for a lot of the afternoon, keeping the area safer. It was great even hearing from the officers that they appreciate what we do.
There were plenty of good conversations that were had throughout the afternoon. Just to mention one - please pray for Lilliana and Anna, who attend a catholic school. They thought that trying to do good was going to save them, and so I explained how that wouldn't work because doing good doesn't cover the bad we have done, and Jesus said "you must be perfect" (Matthew 5:48).
As I was explaining how forgiveness is only available by having someone else who can take our punishment for us (that is Jesus), I noticed Anna was quite distracted and looking around the place. But at the same time I saw Lilliana very intently listening and you could tell she was beginning to grasp the gospel.
It is interesting to see in some ways the two different kinds of soils Jesus spoke about in one of His parables, in the one conversation. Please pray for them both as they have heard the truth and now have to consider how they will respond to it.
We sow the seed and leave the results up to God. To God alone be the glory!
We had 3 of us on the team on Monday at Capalaba for our weekly outreach there. It is a great place for conversations while people wait for their buses.
Sometimes we see the same people each week and can continue sharing the good news of Jesus with them. We saw one man who we see each week, but usually doesn't want to talk at all, but today it was a different story.
We were able to have decent chat about eternal matters, getting him thinking about what Jesus has done. Sadly, he seemed to want to just live more for the here and now. But he has heard the truth now, and thus will be accountable for it.
One young man we spoke to said he was a Hindu. We spoke of sin, the coming Judgement and how the only way to Heaven is through Jesus taking our Hell punishment for us on the cross.
After hearing it all, he remarked, "Christianity is more realistic, Hinduism is more imaginary." So when I asked when he was going to start trusting in Christ alone for his forgiveness, he said he wanted to right away.
I wanted to make sure he knew he couldn't just add Jesus on to his existing religion, instead he needed to leave Hinduism and trust only in Jesus. He said he understood that. Please pray for him, his name is Shevam.
To God be the glory for another great outreach!
Last night, we had a fairly good night of evangelism in Brisbane. We had a good size team. I had decided before arriving at the outreach that I wasn't going to preach, instead I wanted to focus on one to one witnessing.
My prayer was that God would allow me to have good conversations with at least five people. He brought along six.
The first conversation I had was with two young Muslim men from Africa. Both of them had no knowledge of Christianity. We chatted for a bit about Islam and the Justice of God. They told me that they hoped that by doing the best they can that Allah would one day let them into Paradise.
Ultimately, they said they weren't sure if they had done enough. I shared with them that I know with 100% certainty that I will go to Heaven when I die, even though I haven't been 'good enough.'
They seemed intrigued by this answer, so I got to share with them about the Lord Jesus, who He is, and what He has done. Both men said they had never heard such teachings before, and they wanted to learn more. Both took in-depth tracts and thanked me for speaking to them.
During this time members of the team were preaching open-air, or engaged in one to one. It was great to see a number of people from different backgrounds making their way to the Free Bible table and taking literature.
My next conversation was with a group of three elderly Aboriginal ladies. One of them was converted, the other two weren't. The Christian lady was so excited to hear the Gospel being proclaimed in public. The other two also listened closely as I spoke of Jesus and what He did at the cross.
Other conversations I had during the night was with a self-righteous man who thought he had never sinned. I also spoke to an evolutionist who believed that Christians taught that the world only began with the resurrection of Jesus. And, sadly, I also had a conversation with an apostate who use to go evangelising.
Please pray for all those we encountered last night. May the Lord Jesus be lifted high and may He receive all the glory.
There was a heavy Police presence in Woodridge yesterday, which was quite good as it made the area much more peaceful. Sadly, when the Police aren't around there is normally quite a bit of violence, abuse and public drunkenness.
The Police seem to be a bit of a 'band-aid' solution to the problem. However, it must be noted that real community change will not come from laws and legislation, but rather it will only come when Christ is submitted to as Lord.
Our desire for Woodridge is to see Jesus lifted high, and the community transformed by the Gospel. To help achieve these ends we engage in literature distribution and personal witness. Our Free Bible table had a bit of interest yesterday.
I was able to speak to one lady and her son who had just arrived from somewhere in Africa. They were professing Believers, but didn't know where to go to church. I was able to point them to a solid Baptist church just around the corner from where they were living.
During this time, other members of the team were also engaging in conversations with people. One of our team members had a chat to a Muslim girl who had many questions and seemed to be quite interested in Christianity.
One of the wonderful things about ministering in Woodridge is that we often get to see the same people over and over again. Each week we get to build on the foundation which was previously laid. Yesterday, we saw people that we've spoken to in the past, and again we were able to point them to Jesus.
Please pray that the Lord Jesus will rule and reign over this community.
God saw fit to bring in a lot of labourers last night for our weekly outreach in Brisbane city. We had about 20 people on the team, which was great because it was busier night than usual.
The team was in constant conversations with people about Christ throughout the night, as quite a lot of people were happy to stop and listen, take tracts or come up to the free Bibles table to take a Bible.
At one stage of the night an angry man walked by and yelled out some profanities at the person who was preaching at the time, and the preacher responded with a "God bless you". An hour later the man returned with a soften heart and wanted to know about God. He stayed around talking with the team for quite a long time, thinking through the message of the gospel. Praise be to God! Please pray for him.
Another man that we spoke to was Matt. He initially thought he was a really great guy and said he has never ever told a lie before. But as we talked about some of God's other commandments, he had to admit he had failed too.
He was absolutely shocked to hear that sex before marriage is a sin, and that to look at someone with lust whom you're not married to is a sin as well. We explained the gospel to him and called him to repent and believe. He said that he considered the cost of coming to Christ is so high, as he said he loves his sin. He then had to go somewhere but said he would return later in the night.
About half an hour later he came back and we got to talk further. He was beginning to see the urgency of coming to faith in Christ. Please pray for Matt.
We're simply unworthy servants and so to God be all the glory!
It was a great night of evangelism yesterday at the Gold Coast. A good number of people on the team preached, including someone who has only preached in the open air once before.
God drew in people to listen to what was being said and some people stayed listening for the entire time.
At one stage, there was a man who called out that he didn't believe in God. So I gave him a simple apologetic - that just as we know builders have a builder, so must this universe have had a creator. He said that that made sense, and he quickly backed down from his atheism.
I asked him whether he was a good person and he said "Yes". So I started going through the commandments of God to see how good he really was. He admitted his sin but thought Hell was just going to be a party. I explained that the party in Hell has been cancelled due to fire.
By this time, quite a lot of people had gathered to hear the discussion going on. The man then had his friends drag him away, but I was able to keep the discussion going with someone else who was standing next to him listening and he was willing to interact.
I explained the gospel to the crowd and then this man started bringing up objections like "How can I believe in something I can't see?" I asked him, "Did you see World War 1?" He said "No, but we have accounts of those who did." I said, "Exactly, in the same way we have the historical accounts of those who saw Jesus." He conceded the point.
After a couple more of his objections, I asked him, "Is the real reason you don't want to repent and trust in Jesus because you want to keep on sinning?" He said, "Yes." This didn't really surprise me as Jesus says in John 3 that people love darkness rather than light.
So I explained the futility and foolishness of living in sin to him. I also said, "What good is cup of pleasure in exchange for an ocean of pain?"
You could tell he was thinking about what was being said. He said he didn't have a Bible. So I encouraged him to go over to the Bible table and take one. He then did so. Please pray for this man.
Over the past few weeks whenever we have had our Gold Coast outreach there has been showers of rain. We prayed that for tonight it would not rain till we finished our outreach for the night at 10pm.
And there wasn't a drop of rain until exactly as the clock struck 10pm, then it started pouring down rain. Praise God for his answer to prayer, which meant a lot of people could hear the gospel.
We had a productive afternoon in Sunnybank. Despite the very hot weather, we were able to share the Gospel with quite a number of people.
One of the biggest challenges with minister in this community is that the majority of people speak Chinese (and I don't!). To overcome this problem we set up a Free Bible and Literature table with material in their language. It is always encouraging to see people take God's Word in their own language.
Another challenge in this area is that the Mormons focus heavily on trying to deceive the Chinese speakers. Many of the LDS missionaries are trained to speak the language. Due to this, we make ever effort to reach the missionaries with the Gospel. This afternoon, I was able to have a good conversation with two 'elders.' We chatted about the history of the LDS, their claim of Joseph Smith being a prophet and also the Gospel. Using the Scripture we were able to show them that a Prophet must be 100% accurate (Joseph Smith wasn't) and that salvation isn't something we can earn (as the LDS claim).
It is always interesting that when an LDS missionary gets into a position where they can't answer, they use the excuse of, "I have an appointment; I have to go to." This is a common excuse at Sunnybank. Normally, the elder will leave, walk about fifty metres, then go back to talking to other people. It is clear that they have no problems with breaking the ninth commandment.
Please pray that the Lord would convert the Mormons and also the people of this community.
Glory to God that the gospel went out in Brisbane city.
We had a smaller team at the start, as some of our regulars couldn't make it. So we prayed together at the start for more labourers and also that the council would leave us alone.
God answered our prayers. Not long later, He brought in some more team members and even brought in two new people who have never evangelised with us before! Praise be to Him!
We saw the council hovering around, glaring at us for a while, but in God's providence they did not come up to us at all or fine us!
The fines we have received in previous weeks/months are currently on hold, being reviewed by a different department of the council. Please pray that whoever is reviewing them would realise we are there lawfully and drop the fines. We have been evangelising in Queen St Mall now for over 10 years.
The team had some really good conversations with people, with many saying that they will seriously consider the message. The gospel also went out clearly and boldly through the preaching.
All glory to God!