After a fortnight away it has been great to come back to this city and share the gospel again in Hobart for the second half of the month. This last week has been full of interesting and gospel focused conversations and interactions.
On Monday I was intending to spend time at the University talking with the students but it is currently exam time so conversations are very hard to start with stressed out students. Instead I spoke with a series of very interesting people in the mall:
Ms J. – Coming from a new age background she believed that our “energy” went onto somewhere else after this life and wasn't sure where that was. She then asked me where I thought people went after death. I shared the gospel with her and the two destinies of people after death, heaven and life eternal with God or hell and eternal punishment. As most people do Jenny found the idea of hell very difficult and thought it very harsh. I offered to explain why the idea of judgement was comforting, interested she ask why. I pointed to the horrible injustices of this life and the many people who get no reward for good work and the many who are never brought to justice for their evil deeds. I also discussed the wisdom and understanding of God and how we can trust ourselves to Him because He can see all the facts of someone's life and all their intentions also. So the infinitely good and infinitely wise God who will judge the earth is a comfort for all the injustice we become upset by in this life and also the resolution of the lackings of our justice system. Jenny and I also talked about the need of personal salvation and the many great promises made by God for those who will trust in Jesus. Jenny thanked me for talking as I left and I went glad in heart for the blessings of God!
Mr J. – We have talked before in the past and this time he stopped while I was handing out Eternity cards and asked what it was all about. I responded that the card spoke about life after death, where we go from here when we have died. Jeremy wasn't sure what happened and wanted to know what I thought happened to people. I shared with him about the judgement of Jesus and His separation of people into two destinies depending on their deeds and their response to Him. I showed how the law leaves us all without excuse before God and that my only hope (and Jeremy's) was that God would accept me for the sake of Jesus and His goodness and sacrifice in my place.
Miss A. and Jehovahs Witnesses – There are many J.W.s around the city regularly handing out literature and sharing the distorted gospel they have been taught by the Watchtower organisation. I spoke with Annie and her friends about who would be in heaven and who Jesus was. The discussion was quite congenial but there is a hardline that JWs will not cross and that is who Jesus is. They have been deceived into thinking of Jesus as another created being and not part of the Triune God. This then leads to a huge clash between the gospel we proclaim and the one that they proclaim. I did my best to show some of the many reasons that scripture gives to support Jesus as God not just a god. I hope that some small seed of doubt in the Watchtower organisation were planted and moved them towards faith in the real Jesus.
There were another couple of conversations over the course of the day and I pray that there would be God's hand on all of them. May they be blessed with the exact words that He desires them to hear which will glorify Jesus and draw these people to faith in Him.
On Tuesday I had a good discussion with Mr S. who has been making an effort to read the bible and has begun with the gospel of Matthew. He had some questions he had about the law of God and how it applied to Mary's situation when she was found to be pregnant by the Holy Spirit. This appeared to be fairly standard questions for Mr S. but at the same time it was encouraging to see him reading the Word of God.
Also encouraging was the crowd of people who gathered during the preaching. God in His grace saw fit to bring along three young guys who were heckling me during the preaching and a couple of other young guys who would answer questions. Initially I was preaching on the end of the world and asking people what they thought would happen at the end of the world. The amusing answers and shout outs from the crowd drew some people to listen as I spoke about what God says will happen and why. Further people were drawn in as the three young guys shouted for me to “Stop, Stop, Stop, Shut up, Stop!….” and that no-one was listening to me (they didn't get the irony of their own listening or the crowd they were drawing). I had to preach over the top of them as I shared the great need of salvation and the great salvation that Jesus offers through faith in Him. After a period they went away and I continued to preach the gospel.
After the preaching I was able to discuss with two of the hecklers and urge them to reconsider their opposition to the gospel. May God change their hard young hearts!
It has been a wonderful week in Hobart. May Jesus receive the glory and honour and praise and dominion!
“I won't need more than four hundred gospel tracts today”, someone on the team commented. But as the afternoon went on, he came over saying, I actually need more! Praise the Lord.
We met in Queen Street Mall again today to first of all pray, before finding a place to witness. The council has really stepped up their opposition to us sharing the gospel there recently (despite us having permission under a State law). When we arrived last week, there were three council workers and six police officers waiting for us to see if we would approach anyone to talk about the gospel, and if so, they would fine or arrest us. But last week, we had already decided beforehand that we would go to somewhere outside the Mall to witness, and it went really well.
Today, when we arrived the council workers were already there waiting for us again, and this time with four police officers, staring us down. That didn't deter us - we prayed together as we planned to and then found a place to witness outside the Mall. The council officers followed us and remained staring at us across the road from the Mall for a long while, before possibly finding something more important to do.
We had a lovely afternoon of evangelism chatting to various people - from a guy named Carrey who thought of himself as a god, to a young man from Brazil named Jerome who was very open to hearing the gospel and is going to now seriously consider repenting and trusting in Christ. Please pray for all those who heard the gospel today or took a gospel tract.
Glory to God alone!
Be encouraged as you watch this video from last night's outreach in Brisbane city.
Today we had five of us on the team in Brisbane City. We decided to evangelise in a different spot and it went really well. Hundreds of gospel tracts went out and the team got into several good witnessing conversations.
While some may try and silence the word (eg: the events of last week), ultimately God's word can never be silenced. For God is saving a people for His name from all the nations. Glory to God!
The gospel went out last night in Brisbane city. There were a variety of different gospel conversations that were had. One was with a Muslim man who received a gospel tract earlier in the night and then came back later on because he wanted to ask questions and find out more.
We also had a long chat with a man who is part of a 'church' which denies the Trinity and instead holds to Modalism (the belief that God does not exist in three distinct persons, but that he just takes different modes at different times - currently God is only the Holy Spirit, and thus the Father and Jesus currently don't exist). We got to point him to Scriptures where Jesus prays to His Father, and also where Jesus said "The Father is greater than I".
We then asked what he thinks he needs to do to get to Heaven, and he said it was about following the commandments. We asked whether he has done it perfectly and he said yes. But when we asked about specific ones, he in essence, dismissed them. He then also explained that water baptism was necessary to forgive your sins.
We got to share with him about how salvation is a free gift, not something you can earn by keeping the commandments - because ultimately, we have not done it perfectly at all. Nor is it about getting baptised. We receive salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Good works will simply follow as a result of having salvation.
But this man then went on to explain how only people part of his 'church' will be saved. We asked when his church started. He said 1964. He went on to explain that no one at all was saved prior to 1964, because they were not part of his 'church'.
The craziness didn't stop there, he then explained that the Messiah they are waiting for is not Jesus, but a South Korean man who died in the 1980s. And he said that currently there is a second god that they worship called "The Mother" - a South Korean woman who is alive today. He tried to back up all these beliefs with the Bible, by doing a bit of twisting here and a bit of twisting there.
Please pray for this man, his name is Eugene. Pray that he comes to understand what the Bible actually says and comes to salvation. Glory to God that His gospel went out!
Thank you for praying for our outreach last night at the Gold Coast. The Lord raised up about 14 labourers to be on the team, which was really encouraging to see.
The wind was blowing a gale at the beginning of the outreach, and so we were having trouble keeping the resources on the free Bibles table. But as the wind died down, it was great to see that the Bibles were still flying off the table, but this time because people were taking them.
One of the conversations we had last night was with a group of young men from Indonesia who said that they were Muslims. They didn't think that they were good people - they considered themselves to be 'bad boys'. But they thought they would go to heaven if they merely improved their lives, since God is most merciful.
So we got to share with them how since God is a just judge, He cannot simply overlook our sins. We said, "Imagine if an earthly judge had a murderer standing before him and he said to the murderer, 'I am a very merciful judge, so I am just going to let you go free without any punishment for the murder you've done.' That would be unjust of him, wouldn't it?" The men agreed.
We continued, "God is definitely not going to be like that. For God cannot show mercy at the expense of justice. That is why we need a perfect person who can pay the penalty for our sin, and as a result, God can show us mercy." These men were beginning to see how this made sense.
So it lead on to explaining about how Jesus is the one who has taken the punishment for our sin, if we trust only in what he has done for us, and as a result we will want to turn from our sin. These young men were clearly thinking it through, and also counting the cost, since all their family and friends are Muslims too.
They were happy to take a gospel of John each to start reading. Please pray for them. To God be the glory for a wonderful night!
The weather was a bit barmy yesterday afternoon. One moment it would be raining and cold, the next moment the sun would be out and hot. This was a pattern that would be repeated throughout the outreach.
Despite the weather, the outreach the afternoon went really well. One of the highlights of ministering in Sunnybank is that you can touch the nations without leaving Australia. We have found it extremely important to have material in Chinese to reach a large segment of the community.
Yet, not all our work in Sunnybank is evangelistic, sometimes we minister to fellow Christians and help them grow in Christ. For instance, yesterday a man stopped to talk because initially he disagreed with our method of evangelism. He had tried open-air work in the past, but believed it didn't work today.
We chatted for awhile about different tactics in witnessing, and then we spoke about some theological and apologetic struggles he was having. At the end of our conversation this brother shook our hands and thanked us for being out in the streets. It was wonderful to be able to encourage him in Jesus.
Please continue to pray for this outreach. May the Lord be pleased to save many. SDG!
We praise the Lord for the great outreach today in Woodridge. We had on the team a young man who got witnessed to last year at this location by someone on the team, and was today sharing that same good news of the gospel with whoever happened to be there. The gospel really is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes!
It was encouraging to see plenty of gospel tracts go out and that some really good conversations were had, including with a man named James. He had seen us before, but didn't have the opportunity to talk with us yet. He said he has always wanted to come back and chat with us - he just didn't know what day of the week we are usually there! He remarked that he was very happy that he came across us today.
We got to share the message of sin, the judgement, the cross, repentance and faith with him, and he was very receptive. He said he has trouble reading, and so we were able to tell him where he can get an audio Bible.
He was really overjoyed to hear that the Bible was something he could listen to, and was going to get an audio Bible as soon as he could. We were also able to refer him to a local church to start attending.
We sow the seed, God gives the increase. To God be all the glory!
It was a wonderfully busy night last night at the Gold Coast. We had 12 of us on the team.
How exciting it is to see plenty of gospel tracts go out and see the team in many gospel conversations. To God be the glory!
Watch this 2 minute video from Saturday 24th September Riverfire outreach in Brisbane city.