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!
It has been a wonderful day in Hobart this week. The weather has become hot and dry (for Hobart that means 25 degrees) with lots of people in the mall shopping for Christmas or just sitting enjoying the warmth. We were able to share the gospel with many people and the word of God preached. As no-one else was using speaker's corner this week we had the bible table set up for the entire afternoon and many bibles and tracts went out. There were a number of good conversations that were shared around the table.
Taylor and I spoke to a gentleman Mr S. for sometime who was coming from a drinking session and appeared to have many hurts and troubles in his life. We encouraged him to put aside the alcohol and instead look to Jesus for healing and comfort and salvation.
We were encouraged by a lady that stopped to listen to the preaching and chat around the bible table. She said that gospel preaching was something that Hobart needed regardless of anyone rejecting the message. Each time a preacher got up she repeated this as loudly as she could!
Taylor and I took turns to read out the first chapters of Luke and I spoke on the Christ of Christmas and the great and glorious work he has done for sinners. After this Taylor preached on Jn 3:16 and following verses doing a great job bringing out the meaning of the text clearly.
Last in the day I spoke on the beatitudes, focusing on "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God". I brought out the terrible reality that sin has tainted all of us and we are not pure, as our consciences show all too clearly. Then I spoke of God's Holy hatred for sin and awesome power, which come together to mean we are all in danger from God. What we need is someone to change our hearts and praise God that is exactly what Jesus did on the cross! I urged the people of Hobart the turn and trust in Jesus Christ as He is their only hope.
After the preaching a number of people gathered to talk. Taylor, Meg and Gail spoke to Mr S. the regular heckler at some length. I spoke with Mr M. and Mr E., Mr E. had what appeared to be regular atheistic objections the the Christian faith but was not a regular atheist himself as he believed in all sorts of supernatural things. Mr M. rejects Jesus, yet very insistently tries to teach Christians what to believe about the bible and each time I have spoken to him it is the same. This week he was wanting to speak about Christmas and how Christians should not celebrate it at all as it has pagan roots. Much of what he brought out is from the Jehovah's Witnesses or Judaism. I engaged with him on the issue trying to show that the timing of the celebration has nothing to do with the date of Jesus's birth. Rather the date shows that ancient pagans turned from their gods to worship Christ. I urged him to do likewise in this and in the many other things we talked about.
After about an hour talking and sharing our faith with this group we packed and headed home. Praise God that His word goes out!
As we headed out to the Coast tonight, some of the schoolies had settled down a bit but many were still going crazy. The volumes of drunk people weren't as large but there were still some very drunk people.
There were some awesome discussions we had tonight, many people we hadn't talked with before came up and chatted with team members and again there was a very large range of discussions but most schoolies will come up and ask a single question or two often related to "Is drinking a sin?" or "What do you believe about homosexuality?" and so the schoolies are keen to talk but sadly earlier in the night many of the schoolies are still quite drunk and so the conversation doesn't go far.
There seems to be a very large amount of Catholics around, they will readily profess to be a 'Christian' but sadly they are often very drunk and there are out on schoolies week doing exactly what God hates. This is often an in to the Gospel because people who profess to 'believe' in God will normally take the moment to chat about their beliefs.
One instance of this last night were two girls, Tahlia and Courtney, they professed to be Catholics and in reality they probably were but Catholicism doesn't get anyone to Heaven, as at its core the catholic belief professes that it isn't by faith alone in Christ that saves you, therefore deny what God Himself said about salvation. So we discussed what the girls thought was going to get them to Heaven. Sure enough very quickly it was 'works', they professed their goodness and were quick to share how great they were before God.
But this lead into a discussion about God's law, when we examined ourselves we saw how far we all fell short of God's standard, the girls at first didn't like this but started to accept the truth of it soon afterwards, allowing for the opportunity to share the Gospel, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.
Another young lady the team had talked to, when she heard about her sin, simply responded with, "Well it looks like I'm in a bit of a pickle"
Please pray for the many Catholics we talked with and will continue to engage with, as just like the rest of us, they need the salvation offered in Christ alone!
Please pray for those who were exposed to the Gospel, pray that God will use His glorious message of salvation through Christ Jesus to bring many unto repentace!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Tonight at Schoolies the night started off very sad, no matter how much I try to prepare my heart to see people on alcohol and drugs it never seems to numb the sadness it brings. But by God's Grace it fills me with this compassion that these people need Jesus Christ just as much as I did and still do.
Tonight it was the schoolies second night, they had been out the previous night and were still revving up and getting into the craziness of it all. But as is so characteristic as we first headed out the vast majority were seriously drunk, the schoolies (as many are under aged and cannot buy drinks while on the street) get really drunk in their apartments at about 6pm, they drink, drink, drink and then head out into the mall to wander around till the sun starts to rise.
But amazingly as we saw God is sovereign, God bought us people to talk with, He allowed many people to want to talk, many of whom stayed for lengthy periods of time, in fact some conversations went for over two hours! Everything from people asking question after question about God, to those who wanted to discuss or debate even the existence of God, the ground covered in discussions were vast. But in all of this, the team was able to proclaim Christ and Him crucified and many heard the Gospel and so we can know that our efforts were 100% successful, in that, it is God who saves and our job purely is to share the message of salvation.
Two awesome highlights were;
Firstly a chat with Evan, the night had been fairly slow, up until the talk with Evan. In fact most people I had engaged with were some what intoxicated and didn't really care but Evan was different, he was inquisitive, asking question after question for over two hours, he would ask something he wasn't sure about and when I would do my best to explain what the Bible said about such things he would very quickly catch on and say he understood and then ask about an implication from the truth of the last question.
It was awesome, we talked and talked, we discussed many things and Evan even though he isn't a Christian understood after a simple explanation most basic and a few more complex Christian theological points. Evan had heard the Gospel, he knows the Gospel and he has had many of his questions about the Bible answered.
Please be praying for Evan, he is quite an intelligent young man, he knows the truth and he has been challenged to consider the cost of following Christ.
Another great highlight was right at the end of the night, we were in the final stages of packing up, there was a bit of a hold up and a young man (named Mitchell) approached us, He asked two questions, "Why is there evil things?" and followed up with, "Why would bad things happen to good people?"
We discussed this, but first we had to establish a common ground of the reliability of the Bible, with some simple discussion about the fulfilled prophecies of Christ and the eye witness testimony that is the new testament. Mitchell quickly submitted to the fact that more than likely the Bible is God's word. Then from that grounding, we discussed sin.
We discussed the fall of Human kind and therefore the fact that the world fell as well, that creatures whose design was never to do bad, people whose design was never for evil suddenly were things that they weren't created to be.
Mitchell listened intently and was constantly asking questions, making sure he understood. But it got better, we discussed evil and then we talked about 'bad things, happening to good people', this is one of the easiest questions to use for sharing the Gospel!
We talked about the fact that there are no good people (All have sinned, all have fallen short of God's standard), meaning the original question had a false premise when applied to humanity but that the only person it could be correctly applied to is Jesus Christ, in fact we got to discuss the amazing love, that Jesus displayed that He volunteered His perfect life as the only good person to ever have a bad thing happen to Him leading to something greater.
Because of what Christ did we were able to discuss the flipping of the original question, that God laid down His life to offer a good thing to bad people. Mitchell heard this line and said wow, he would have to consider such things. He left with a tract and I strongly encouraged him to consider eternity.
Please pray for the those who heard the Gospel! There were many more, there were hundreds who took tracts and lots the engaged the preaching and a large amount who had an individual conversation. Please pray (knowing that God is in control of salvation), that God will use these events, use the Gospel of Christ that the team preached to bring many schoolies unto salvation.
Please pray for the team as we head to bed now that we will rest well and be able to wake up tomorrow refreshed and ready to share the Gospel. Please also pray for the safe travels of those who are joining us in the next few days. And please thank God and give continued prayer for the team being able to seek Him as we were out on the street and being able to flee from sin and please continue asking Him for strength to serve God and not fall into temptation.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Over the past few weeks we have had opposition for our Gospel work in Woodridge. So, today we headed there not sure what would happen. Unfortunately, in the past few weeks we have even experienced opposition from Police Officers who have acted unlawfully in regards to our rights and freedoms.
However, our concerns were unfounded. The afternoon turned out to be an awesome time of evangelism. We had twelve team members join us, so we were able to reach many people with the Gospel.
On highlight was that Matt was able to talk talk again to a man that he first spoke to 8 weeks earlier. When they last chatted, they were professing Jehovah's Witnesses. They believed that their works was the method of salvation and they believed that Jesus was fully man but not god.
Arthur mentioned during the conversation that he had been thinking about the last time they had spoken. In particular he had been thinking about how Matt had shown him some Bible passages showing that Jesus is God. Arthur said at the time he wasn't sure but he went home and considered it and today he told Matt that he was certain that after reading some of the Bible that Jesus must be God, that the events of His life could not have happened any other way. Better yet Arthur told Matt that he was trusting in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.
We thank God for the wonderful account of Arthur coming to the truth. Please pray for him and also the people of Woodridge. May the Gospel continue to go forth.
Soli Deo Gloria!