Today the gospel went out in Woodridge. We had a small team, but still hundreds of gospel tracts were given out to people across the afternoon, including to a young lady named Tina.
Tina attends a local high school and she initially was asking, "What if you die and find out it's not true?" She was skeptical about God's existence. But I pointed her to the building across the road and said, "You know that building had a builder, don't you?" She said, "Yes".
I continued, "Exactly, even though you haven't seen the builder, you know that he exists. Same thing when you look at this universe. Since it had a beginning, it must have had a creator. Even though you haven't seen Him, you still know He exists."
She responded, "That makes perfect sense!" So I continued on to talking to her about the coming Judgement, about our sinfulness before God and how we deserve God's wrath since we have not lived perfectly, but then also about the good news of Jesus taking the punishment for our sin if we would repent and believe.
She was clearly processing in her head about what was being said and asked a few questions that she'd been wondering about. Please pray that God would draw her to Himself.
In the photo, team member Alan is witnessing using the Intelligence Test flip chart to some high schoolers, while the young man in the foreground is reading our Big Money gospel tract that the kids loved receiving today. They are available here: http://www.operation513.com/bigmoney
To God be the glory that His gospel went out!
We had 12 of us on the team last night at the Gold Coast. It was a windy night and as the night went on, the wind got stronger and stronger. So much so that the resources we had on the free Bible tables, which we have in English and Arabic, repeatedly were flying away.
But that didn't stop the gospel going out at all. Three people on the team preached throughout the night, while God brought in people to listen to the message, some who were asking questions and interacting with the preacher.
Meanwhile, the rest of the team were handing out gospel tracts and getting into conversations with people. In fact, one conversation that the team had was with a Muslim couple who wanted to know more about Christianity and they continued talking for well over an hour! The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few.
We praise God that He is saving a people for Himself from all the nations! To God be the glory.
After a bout of laryngitis and a nasty head cold it was a relief to be able to go into the mall today with a clear head and share the gospel with people. As my voice was still weak and sore I did not preach but there was many people coming to the bible table over the course of the afternoon and many opportunities to share.
A couple of people came asking for bibles and literature and quickly left afterwards. There was also a number of people who stayed who I would ask you to pray for:
Mr S.l : This young atheist/skeptic has been talking with me and other Christians for some time now and regularly stops to talk. He needs prayer that God will open his eyes to the gospel and his great need of Christ. Today he began by asking if I had been arrested, had been in Launceston or had been in court recently, all things heard down the grapevine he wanted to check. I assured him that none of these had happened to me as far as I was aware. After a short period however Mr B. came and began to speak with me to encourage me in my work in the mall and this spun off into a discussion with Mr S. as well. Instead of engaging in the discussion directly I tried to guide the conversation in directions that would be helpful and away from the difficult and unhelpful. The discussion was quite good and Mr B. did a fantastic job of defending the faith and pointing to Jesus. Of course Mr S. was quite unmoved by any proofs offered and deferred the discussion of scientific evidences to professors at the university.
Miss A. : She stopped to ask for a bible and directions to the church. She comes from a catholic background but has fallen away and is wanting to reconnect with God. I chatted to her about the bible and invited her to come visit our church whenever she would like.
Mr B.: I have been praying for Mr B. for some time now. The last time I saw him he was very distressed and in a terrible situation and facing the loss of his family and job and even jail time. At that time I tried to help in some small ways and encouraged him to seek God in prayer and Bible reading and to get help and accountability. Praise God that is exactly what God has brought into Mr B.'s life in a dramatic way. He has been able to spend many days in prayer and Bible study and is now engaged in both church and accountability with a solid Christian friend. The problems are far from over but he is now facing these massive challenges with hope and purpose that comes from knowing and being known by God almighty. Please pray for Mr B. that he will continue in the path he has begun and will continue to delight in and walk with our Lord.
Miss M. : She came to ask questions and a long and enjoyable discussion followed. While claiming to be a Taoist she is open to all different sources of truth and holds opinions that are quite close to the Christian worldview on many matters. Ruben and I were able to point her to the bible and particularly the gospel on many issues. She is interested to discuss things further and hopefully the discussion will continue over the next couple of weeks and months.
Praise God for all these great conversations and opportunities. Please pray for these precious folk and ask that God would be at work in their hearts for their eternal good and His Glory.
It was a quieter night in Brisbane, but despite that we were still able to share the gospel with many people. It was encouraging to see so many people from different churches coming out to evangelise the lost.
As the night began I managed to grab a conversation with two young men from Papua New Guinea. I asked them, "Why do you think God would let you into Heaven?" They both smiled and said, "We'd go to Heaven because we come from a Christian country and do good for people." Well, this was the beginning of an excellent conversation. We spoke at length about the fallenness of humanity and the need for Jesus to rescue us. Both of the men at the end of the conversation took an in-depth tract and said they'd like to attend church.
Shortly after this conversation it came time for me to preach. Tonight, I decided to preach in an 'old-school' manner, that is, with no sketchboard, and just a Bible in hand. My text for the night was Luke 18:9-14, my topic was, "How to be made right with God." A few people stopped to listen as I spoke about how our works and efforts will never bring about forgiveness of sins and how Jesus is the only way we can know God.
The rest of the night was fairly quiet, however, at the end of the evening I managed to get into an apologetic discussion with a Scottish atheist. His arguments were basic, but very typical of those whom I encountered when I lived in Scotland. His objections were answered and eventually he literally turned and rushed away before I could answer another of his questions. He embodied the man who wasn't interested in truth but rather was seeking to justify his unbelief.
Overall, it was a productive evening. Please pray for all those we encountered.
On Saturday night in the mall, despite the threat of rain, the weather stayed mild and the Gospel of salvation was proclaimed!
A highlight conversation was with Ryan and Erin, a mid twenties couple who had dressed up to have a night out together. When asked what they thought the 'Worlds Biggest Problem' was, the answer was poverty and their solution was giving women more rights. The conversation started in an unconventional way but as usual in the search for the 'root cause' of the problem it was agreed that pride, selfishness and greed were the problem.
It has been observed that in a questioning line such as this, it is common and easy for people to admit they are selfish, proud and greedy and when how this view of ourselves affects humans, the vast majority will readily admit they have stolen, lied, hated, gotten drunk, been lustful and many other things. Surprisingly it is a way to have people let their guard down. Once acknowledging human pride is a big problem and that despite their best human efforts (or lack of) most people often concede that they too are part of the problem.
After not too many questions, the couple were asked if they had a solution for human pride, they both admitted they had no idea. Ryan profoundly stated, "If you had a solution surely you would be out telling people!"
The only answer that can pay for human wickedness and could change a human heart was given, that Jesus Christ fully God and fully man, lived a sinless life, died the death we deserve and rose from the grave so that all who acknowledge their guilt and surrender to Him alone can have their debt paid and can be given a new heart.
Ryan said, "If I could betray my intellect I would definitely believe that". Though his pride was on display and it was more about him wanting to know better than his Creator, this cracked the conversation open and twenty minutes of question and answer time about Christian apologetics was engaged in. The topic ranged from the simple questions of the authority and authenticity of the Bible all the way to, why is there evil and suffering in this world that happens to 'innocent' people. With a number of reiterations of the Gospel they both finally had to leave and meet up with their friends but the seed had well and truly been sown.
Ryan and Erin had no other solution from human wickedness and were left in a position where Jesus was the ONLY answer! Please be praying for this young couple and that God will bring them unto repentance and humble surrender. Please earnestly ask God for the salvation of many souls and pray that He would bring to the outreaches men and women who's hearts have been cultivated and are ready to hear the Gospel!
Please praise God that He is sovereign in bringing people who need to hear the Gospel and make sure in gratefulness for your salvation to courageously step out and share the Gospel with anyone who will listen!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Most Australians would self-identify as being Christians, however, the level of Biblical knowledge is extremely low. We saw that clearly displayed on Tuesday in Woodridge as many people who thought they were Believers actually had no knowledge of the gospel.
The day started off with four of us working to spread the good news of Jesus. It was wonderful to see so many people taking material from our free Bible and literature table. At one point I thought we were going to run out of booklets as people took resources. In particular in was encouraging to see people show an interest in the Scriptures. Many people gathered around asking for Bibles and also copies of the Gospels.
Today, I tried something different for Woodridge, I decided to set up the flip-chart to see if anyone would be interested in taking the "Good Person Test." To my surprise quite a number of people were keen to have a go, and many listened in to the conversation.
The first person I spoke to was a young man who is a Hindu. He had no concept of Christianity, but he had some wonderful questions. I was able to share the gospel with him, and then discuss the issue of their only being one God, and Jesus being the only way of salvation. For him, as a Hindu, he found this hard to believe, so he stated that all religions are true. From that point we were able to have a discussion around the law of noncontradiction and the Christian faith. At the end of our conversation he took a tract and said he'd look into Jesus more.
As soon as that conversation finished another young man approached me. He put out his hand to shake mine while saying, "God Bless You!" It turns out that he is from a local church, but sadly he was trusting in his own goodness to get him to Heaven. I explained the gospel to him, and by the end of the conversation he realised that salvation is only through trusting in Christ.
No sooner than that conversation had finished, a young and rough looking boy approached me. He had been listening into the conversations and had taken some literature from the table. This young man was ten years old, but he had some street smarts. He told me that he had never been the church, and he had never heard of Jesus before. We chatted for a few minutes, and he seemed to be amazed at the love of God towards sinful people. He took a Gospel of Luke and told me he would read it.
Towards the end of the day I was approached by two young high school boys who were clearly looking for a bit of a laugh. We had some fun with the flip-chart and I was able to connect with them. Things became rather serious when we started to talk about sin and how a good God must punish wrong doing. One of the boys knew of Jesus and His death, the other had never heard of it. At the end of the conversation both thanked us for sharing the gospel and they went on their way.
There is a massive need for gospel ministry in the open-air all-around Australia. People today don't seem interested in going to church so we must take the good news to them. Please continue to pray for us as we seek to make Christ known by all means everywhere.
On Friday evening the team was small. There was only three that made it out! Thankfully God works through faithfulness rather than large numbers.
There were a range of good conversations had, many tracts were handed out and some preaching was done.
Encouragingly many people were interested in the arabic table, which lead to some lengthy and encouraging discussions!
Please be praying for more labourers, that each week new people will be interested in joining the team! Please pray to the Lord of the harvest, that He will bring along more people to talk with.
Ask God that he will prepare the hearts and minds of people, readying them for the Gospel and leading them to the different outreaches we have!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Thank-you to all those who prayed for our Woodridge outreach on Tuesday. Even though our team was small the gospel went out, and we even saw a man profess faith in the Lord Jesus.
Right at the beginning of the day, I handed a tract to a young man who is in his twenties; he looked at the leaflet and asked, "What is this all about?" I replied, "Well, it asks the question, do you think you'll go to Heaven?" He looked up, and replied, "Whoa, that is a big question. I hope so!"
It turns out that this young man attends a church on the Gold Coast, but he wasn't sure on how to have his sins forgiven. He said he had been baptised, but was confused on if that would help him or not. We chatted about how baptism is not a means of salvation, but rather it is an act of obedience done by those who have trusted in Christ. We then went on to talk about how someone can be made right with God, and after hearing about sin, and the cross, this young man said, "That makes so much sense!"
I explained to him that salvation is freely offered to all those who would repent and trust in Christ, and that God is prepared to make all those who come to Jesus brand new. Upon hearing this, the man said, "Can I ask Jesus to forgive me right now?" Then, on the streets of Woodridge we bowed our heads and he prayed to the Lord Jesus.
Of course the question is now asked by many, "Was that young man saved?" My answer is, "I don't know. That's God's department." The man certainly professed faith, and the Lord may very well have saved him. Time will tell.
That young man has now been connected with a local church who will follow him up. I've already heard from them that he is keen to attend on Sunday and also to go along to an evangelistic Bible Study group. Please pray for him.
The rest of the day at Woodridge was spent handing out tracts, and engaging in a very lengthy discussion with a Seventh Day Adventist who wanted to argue about the nature of hell, the Sabbath and judgement. We answered his objections with the Scripture, but whenever we replied, he would quickly jump to another topic. Please pray the Lord would set him free from his legalism.
Friday night was the official restart of ministry in the Melbourne CBD.
Though there has been significant interest from people down here in street evangelism, we have struggled for a fair while to establish a regular team. In the past 2 weeks it was decided that team or no team, we would go and start preaching the gospel, even if that meant we struggled for numbers for a while. We stepped out in faith, also trusting that once others hear about the ministry, they will join us.
The first night was just two of us. We grabbed some tracts and started chatting to people. The first good conversation was with Ali who claimed to be a Muslim (pictured centre). Ali was very interested in hearing about Christianity and we were able to step through the gospel with him and leave him with several tracts. He asked for our contact details so that we might continue the conversation later.
Very few people were taking tracts, but after a few minutes we approached a young Muslim girl who gladly answered our questions. Shortly she was joined by another Muslim girl and eventually another Muslim gentleman overheard us and joined in too. We explained to them why they needed a saviour and why Jesus needed to be God to be a sufficient sacrifice for their sins. All three were very challenged by the gospel and each took a tract and a gospel of Mark.
It was not a big start for a new ministry, but we pray that by God's grace he will raise up more faithful labourers to preach with us.
The gospel went out to many again last night at the Gold Coast. It was great seeing lots of the team in conversations throughout the night.
Now at this time of year there are a lot of Muslims from the Middle East who holiday at the Gold Coast. That is why we have a free Bible table set up in English and Arabic.
Near the end of the night, one person on the team was witnessing to a Muslim who was so surprised to see his own language in Australia, and he was especially surprised that it was about the Bible.
So he straight away called up a friend of his who is a senior Muslim cleric in Sydney and said, "You need to get here and explain this to me." This Muslim man then began reading out aloud to the cleric on the phone the content of the Arabic signs we had set up which had a verse of the Bible on it.
Praise the Lord!