It was an eventful afternoon of evangelism yesterday in Brisbane city.
Firstly, we had the council worker, who has been for the past 2 months unlawfully trying his hardest to stop the gospel going out in Brisbane, standing around watching us for about an hour and a half from the moment we arrived. Eventually he came over and issued one person on the team a $236 fine for handing out Christian literature, despite the fact we have permission to be there and do that there.
A little later on I noticed a lady with tattoos all across her arms talking to the council worker and his colleague. Then moments later, while the council workers were looking on, she stormed over to our free Bibles table and started throwing all the materials on the ground. She was screaming, "You can't do this here!"
Then she went up to George, who was preaching at the time, proceeded to hit him and snatch the microphone out of his hand. She then came over to me, hit me and then also punched an elderly man who was defending us. There were lots of people looking on by this time.
This lady then went over to our bag area and started picking our things up and throwing them at us. It was only then that the council workers wandered over to talk to the lady and told her to go away. Isn't it interesting to see their inaction for so long while this was going on? And note, she didn't receive any fine from the council workers for what she did, even though they saw it with their own eyes.
A large crowd had gathered by this time and so George continued preaching to all those who had gathered. Quite a number of people went over to the Bible table, asking for materials. What she intended for evil, God used for good!
Once George finished preaching, the council workers then went over to George and gave him a $589 fine for using an amplified device (despite having permission). We will be challenging the fines.
Not long after, the police arrived and they said they were going to go look for the lady. We have a very relationship with the police in Brisbane city. It is great having their support.
As the afternoon progressed, the team was busy in conversations and people kept coming up to the Bible table asking for Bibles.
One man said that he was staying in a hotel and read 100 pages of the Bible while he was there. But he knew the Bible was hotel property so he couldn't take it with him to keep reading it, even though he wanted to. So he asked is there any chance he could have a full Bible? We said, "Absolutely!" and gave him one.
Glory to God that His word is going out!
It was good to be back at Capalaba yesterday, first time for the year, and God blessed us by bringing along a new labourer ready to share the gospel with us.
One of the team handed a gospel tract to a high school student named Edward, and he, for the next few minutes, was intently reading the tract.
I spoke to him and he said he used to attend a Catholic Church, but stopped going when he thought the preacher was twisting the Bible. He then went to Buddhism, but wasn't overly satisfied with it, so he said he has no religion now.
I got to explain the message of the Bible to him, and then challenged him to repent and believe the gospel. But he said he didn't like some things in the Bible. I asked him what in particular, he said "I do not like the parable of the prodigal son".
My mouth dropped in surprise as most people love that parable. So I asked him why. He said, "The older brother in that story gets a really bad wrap. I see my dad as the older brother who always does the right thing but never gets recognised for it."
So I briefly explained how the older brother actually represented the Pharisees and how the older brother didn't actually love his father very much. Edward said, "I want find out more about that parable."
Right then a great idea popped into my mind, I encouraged him to google "A tale of two sons by John MacArthur" - a good sermon series on the parable, as I thought then he is getting some good Bible teaching and hearing the gospel again. He said he would listen to it. Please pray for him.
There were plenty of good conversations throughout the afternoon. Glory to the God of all!
It was a great night of evangelism in Brisbane. Despite the rain and the humidity, we were able to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with many people.
Since, we would be operating undercover tonight, I thought I would test out my new flip-chart. I wasn't sure if it would work in the environment of Brisbane, but I was soon shown otherwise. In the space of just under two-hours I was able to speak to fifteen people about the Gospel via the flip-chart.
The first person I spoke to was a man named Jerry. Jerry, was just out of jail and was keen to chat. He had some kind of religious background, and in general believed that Christianity was true. We spoke about the nature of God and man. We explored the issue of sin, and the need of the Saviour. At the end of our conversation Jerry shook my hand multiple times, thanking me for talking to him about Jesus.
A little bit later on, I was able to engage a whole family with the Good News. This family of about eight people all gathered around the flip-chart. Dad was an atheist, but the others professed some belief in God. We joked around a bit, and had a good conversation about the Lord Jesus. At the end of the conversation they all took tracts, and Dad's atheism was in tatters.
By now it was clear that the flip-chart was a magnet for conversations. The next person along was Shane. Now, Shane was a wild looking man. His beard was long and grey. His hair was equally as long. It turns out that Shane was a former Christian who had many years ago renounced Christianity. He then embraced Wicca, but was not a Buddhist.
We chatted for sometime about the nature of God and of truth. After he heard the Gospel, I began to deal with the issue of Buddhism. The conversation centred around Buddha versus Jesus. It turned out that Shane didn't have a very good grip on Buddhism, so he changed to topic to evolution. He was very shocked to discover that there are scientists who actually believe in Genesis. We were able to give him some creation material, and he left saying he'd be back again.
Towards the end of the night, once again the flip-chart drew people in. This time it was a group of four young ladies. They seemed quite open to talking, so we went through the Gospel. Sadly, some of their friends came and dragged them away right at the end. At least they took tracts.
During this time, other members of the team were witnessing and preaching. It was truly wonderful to see so many people hearing the Good News of Jesus.
Please pray for all those we encountered tonight.
Australia Day 2016
"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." (Proverbs 14:34)
To celebrate Australia Day, we headed into the Queen Street Mall to share the Gospel. Since, many things were closed today, we found that quite a number of people were just hanging out in the area.
We started the outreach by handing out tracts and chatting to people. After doing this for awhile, we decided it was time to preach. Earlier in the day I had decided that I wasn't going to preach today, instead I was just going to focus on one to one witnessing. However, God had other plans.
As I was chatting to Ryan, I came up with an idea for a sketchboard message entitled, "Good Aussie?" Before I realised what was happening I was painting up to preach this message. But again, God had other plans.
I started to preach using the sketchboard, but I hadn't gotten very far when a man began yelling at me. He was screaming about how the Bible supported rape and slavery. I challenged his position and asked him to show me from the Bible where these things were. The man then began to state that on every page of the Bible there is immorality. He then challenged me to open my Bible to any page and he'd show me the error.
Well, I decided to flick my Bible open and let the man choose where we read from. He randomly chose a passage in Luke's Gospel which declared the greatness of Jesus. He wasn't happy with that passage, but it ended his argument (for now).
After this, the man began to ask about homosexuality and same-sex marriage. I was able to present an apologetic for traditional marriage, but the man kept falling back to the 'love argument.' He said that if two adults loved each other, then they should marry. So, I asked him, "What about brothers and sisters, can they marry? Or how about mothers and sons? Or perhaps fathers and daughters?"
You could see that this man was getting uncomfortable, but he held to his convictions. He boldly declared (to the shock of the crowd) that incest was acceptable and that it wasn't his business to judge. Again, I was able to challenge the man from Scripture as to what the Bible says about this topic.
From this topic we jumped around to people misinterpreting the Bible and to the issue of if someone should be killed for working on a Sunday. After answering all his questions and setting forth the Gospel, the heckler came up to shake my hand. We had a bit of a joke and then he left.
As the man left another heckler rose up. This man was heavily focused on homosexuality. He seemed to have the view that God just singled out homosexuals and that they were picked on. I read to him 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, and asked, "Are homosexuals mentioned in this passage?" He agreed that they were. Then I asked, "Are they singled out?" He answered that they weren't.
From there I was able to show that God is Holy, so He is against all sin. But the beautiful thing about the Gospel is that all sin can be forgiven. The man came up and shook my hand upon hearing this.
I had planned to use the sketchboard, but God wanted an apologetic discussion and Gospel presentation. It was really encouraging to see crowds of people gather to listen and to engage in the discussion.
After, I finished preaching, Ryan decided to preach also. He also saw crowds gathering around to hear the Gospel proclaimed. Overall, today was a wonderful day. May the Lord bless the preaching of His Word, and may our country be blessed.
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!