At Capalaba yesterday afternoon, it started off very tough, the first six attempts made toward a conversation were quite angrily rejected. It started off as what looked like a long afternoon. So we stopped, sat down and committed it to the Lord in prayer.
Then came many conversations, whether or not the people accepted the Gospel many engaged and had a conversation, leading to some discussions which seemed very fruitful but we shall leave the results up to the Lord!
A young man (David) I talked to very quickly admitted to his sinfulness, he admitted that he was worried about eternity but didn't really know what to do. The conversation though it was brief ended in him asking for details of a local church and asking for a bible!
Lloyd another man also very quickly submitted to the judgement of God and said that he knew he deserved punishment for his actions and had resigned to spending eternity in Hell. For sadly he had never heard of Jesus Christ before! When he heard the message of Love and salvation he was very happy to consider Jesus and said he would definitely read his bible that night.
Emily whom a few of us talked to was raised as a mormon but at a relatively young age had left the church. After a decent length conversation explaining God, His attributes and other things she started to agree. She seemed to understand Christianity in a new light and we strongly encouraged her to consider eternity and that salvation was through the work of Jesus Christ alone, not our deeds.
A young guy and girl Sharna and Jamal have heard the Gospel many weeks, probably 4/5 times but they don't really care, they know the Gospel, they know their sinfulness but they are convinced they have so much time they don't need to consider it now.
I also talked to Katelin, a young girl who professed Christianity but believed that she deserved Heaven. After challenging her and explaining to her the Gospel she quickly decided that she didn't like what I was saying as much, if she had to consider that before God she wasn't good, that might have been a game changer. I encouraged her to read her bible that night before she went to sleep that she may know God and His Holiness and her own sinfulness before Him!
I talked to a young man Trent, who seemed genuinely excited about the Gospel, after being disappointed in his own sinfulness, he was very glad to hear that Jesus had offered forgiveness! After a relatively brief conversation he said he would have to read his bible tonight!
I also talked to Amber, who at face value I completely expected to brush me off as I had just talked to a man next to her but she had intently listened to our conversation and started asking questions of her own. She too was very aware of her sinfulness and its consequences but also quickly decided that she wanted the forgiveness of sins offered in Christ Jesus!
Please be praying for all of these men and women, may God continue to work in those whom he has started to work in and may he use the conversations yesterday as a starting point for all those who had never heard the Gospel.
For we know salvation is by the Grace of Christ alone!
Please keep us in prayer as we continue to share the Good News to those we encounter!
Soli Deo Gloria!
This afternoon at Queen St Mall, it was a generally busy afternoon, with the normal amount of students, workers and tourists around.
What really strikes hard is that most people aren't interested in God, in fact many believe that they don't need Him, that they instead are 'better than that', they have 'evolved' past that primitive thinking but are much more sophisticated in that they know they don't need anyone but themselves.
What makes it even worse is many of them know the lack of satisfaction found in the things of this world, many live purely for the weekend and by Monday of the next week are still craving the satisfaction the weekend can never offer.
But still blinded by their sin many will walk past and brush off any attempts for the Gospel as they have written off God, they can fix their life on their own.
This afternoon, we chatted to a range of different people, one young lady, we talked to had considered eternity a few times, she had considered what might happen but wasn't sure. She was then challenged by the law and realised that she had indeed broken God's law but didn't really want to admit that God must punish her. And because God wasn't going to punish her, she considered that she didn't need Christ and therefore didn't have to surrender to Him as Lord.
Another older woman, who was set in her ways said she knew what she believed and it didn't matter what the bible said, she claimed thay despite her sinfulness, that it didn't really bother her, heaven or hell didn't really matter and she'd find out on the flip side.
A young man, also professed to be not too bad, when challenged with the Law he admitted that his actions should make him guilty before God, sadly his friends pulled him away before he could hear the good news offered in Christ.
There were quite a range that stopped and listened to a whole manner of different preaching from the sketch board to just general Gospel presentations, many stayed and listened for a short while and others stayed for a conversation afterwards.
Please keep all that encountered us in prayer, no matter the depth of their interaction! Please pray that God shall cause a stir in their hearts, that they will be severely convicted even to the point of tears of their sinfulness before God and may this drive them to repentance!
May God be glorified through the salvation of many souls and may He raise up more labourers to help with the preaching of His Gospel, that power of God unto salvation!
Soli Deo Gloria!
On Tuesday afternoon we headed to Woodridge train station, where there are many people who hang around and many that flow through coming or going from the train.
This is one of the most heart breaking locations, firstly because many people have very little, many of the things we'd take for granted they don't have and many are slaves to trying for fulfilment in things that don't satisfy such as alcohol or drugs.
But even more heart breaking, something that brings me to tears is that even though they are in this state, stripped of many human 'dignities', most men and women here don't want Christ, apart from being drawn by God we in our sinful state will never bow to Christ as Lord.
Yesterday we had some conversations were a range of people, most know that they are in some form of the word, sinners, that they have broken God's law but many also think that it isn't overly serious, as long as they ask forgiveness and prove they really want it by doing good things that God will forgive them. Sadly many don't know the Love of God and the call to surrender to Christ as Lord and Saviour.
But it is a privilege for us to be able to go and share this truth with them, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners!
One conversation I had was with a young man whom for years attended a local church. When I asked him if he was going to heaven said he wasn't because he was a sinner. He said this thought worried him, that he has been scared about what will happen because he could never live up to God's standard. When he was offered the saving work of Jesus Christ as a payment for His sin, he said he had never heard of it before and was very glad to hear about it. He left with the challenge to read the bible, to consider the cost of being disicple and to submit to Christ as Lord, accepting His death as payment for sin.
Though there were many others who heard the Gospel and didn't really want to turn from Sin, it was a blessing to see some fruit from conversations.
We also were able to talk with some young men who had accepted the Gospel and were struggling with some truths and what the bible said on certain things, it was a privilege to be able to encourage them and teach them as they desired to learn about God more!
Please keep all those who have heard the Gospel, taken a tract or seen our presence in prayer, knowing that God is sovereign, please ask that He may call many of them to repentance and cause many of them to be saved!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Hobart is a city that has powerful people committed to the exclusion of the gospel. For the last couple of months there has been a string of incidents with shop owners, council officers and police officers. The team and I have been repeatedly threatened with arrest or ordered to leave areas that anyone should be able to use to speak or hand out literature.
The repeated claim of shop owners is that we are harassing people by politely handing literature out and offending people by preaching the gospel. Police and council officers have likewise reiterated our gospel activity as their motive for seeking to remove us from public streets. This ongoing harassment and discrimination has had a toll on both myself and the rest of the team.
We have been instructed by council that we are not to preach or hand out literature anywhere in the city other than the specific area assigned for speakers corner (where you are unable to hand out literature by the way). The Tasmanian Police have repeatedly voiced their unconditional support for the council regardless of our protests that council actions are illegal. Council bylaws do not support these instructions nor does any other legislation within Tasmania or Australia. If team members do not obey this illegal instruction we face loss of our permits to use the mall to evangelise and the police will be called to move us on or arrest us.
We are currently assessing what approach to take in this situation. Please be in prayer on our behalf; ask that we will continue to preach the gospel and that we would have wisdom, Godliness and boldness in how we behave.
God will be glorified in Hobart and the proud hearts and enemies of His way will fail. We pray they will fail as God draws them to repent of their sin and come to love and trust in Jesus.
Glory to God in the Highest!
The gospel continues to be proclaimed in Hobart and praise God that He is at work in our city. There are many listeners that gather each week when we preach the word. We are reading sections of scripture and preaching from some of those scriptures each week. Many have come and encouraged us to continue after sitting to listen as the bible is read out chapter by chapter. Nathan and Taylor have begun preaching and so there is now three preachers in the team. It has been a great privilege to see them reading scripture and proclaiming the word of the Lord.
Over the last couple of weeks we have seen a large number of people coming to speak to us in the mall seeking a church to attend or wanting to speak to someone about spiritual matters. Most of these conversations were directly related to scripture being read or preached. A few of the people we have encountered and would ask for your prayers for are:
Mr F. – a young atheist bloke who has spoken with me and others in the team before. He was quite abrupt in his approach to conversation at first but he was willing to interact and discuss. He believes there is no evidence to support the bible and that Christians consistently cherry pick from the bible, avoiding the bad parts deliberately. We spoke for some time and it became clear that Flynn was searching seriously for answers and had been doing research to find answers. I gave him some of the facts that support the truth of the bible and encouraged him to read the bible and come speak with us again. Please pray that the Holy Spirit would draw Flynn back to speak again and that the gospel message would dwell in his mind constantly.
Miss L. – a young lady who identifies as a homosexual and has a past that was very traumatic. We talked for quite some time and were able to discuss calmly and kindly what the bible says about the homosexual lifestyle and why. I was also able to clearly explain the gospel a couple of times over. She left still disagreeing but at the same time happy that we had spoken. Please pray that Lauren would heed the call of God to repent of all sin and trust in Jesus.
Mr E. – a friend of Mr S. (the regular heckler) who came to chat and spoke at length with the team and had a great chat with Mitch. I unfortunately was quite angst filled after an encounter with the Hobart City Council and was quite short with him. He was very gracious after I apologised to him and was keen to come back and chat with us again another day.
Miss M. – a young lady that spoke to me whilst I was preaching in Elizabeth lane some time ago. She came wanting to know where we went to church and if she could attend. Miss M. expressed a desire to know God and be doing something meaningful on Sunday. Please pray that she will attend church and draw near to God and that nothing would keep her away.
There have been many others who have come but space does not allow to mention them all. Please pray that God would work through the team and bless the many people that come and speak to us.
After an extended hiatus, OP513 Essex went and evangelized Romford High St on Saturday September 19th. The team consisted of Chuck, Jacob and Myself (Andrew). We found a location to speak in front of a closed shop. We prayed for God to bless our meager efforts and then proceeded to preach the Gospel and hand out tracts.
While I was preaching the others handed out tracts and had one to one conversations. There were no hecklers but quite a few pedestrians stopped and listened. I spoke from Luke 16 about Lazarus and the Rich Man. Specifically about how if people will not hear "Moses and the Prophets" (aka the Bible), neither will they believe if one was to rise from the dead (aka see a miracle). Peoples hearts need to changed by the Holy Spirit before they will believe and then I talked about sin, repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus.
Chuck spoke after me and during this time, I was approached by a young Philippine man who asked about the ministry and my theology. As the conversation developed he explained that the church he attends (not a jehovahs witness church) does not believe in the Triune nature of God. I began to show him some salient verses where Jesus is explicitly named "theos" or God. He listed intently and was very courteous. We later exchanged numbers and he suggested we meet up for a bible study to discuss the the topic further.
I later spoke a second time, and again expounded on the Luke 16 passage to which a number of pedestrians stopped and listened. We wrapped up the event with prayer and asked for God to use the tracts and preaching to save his people! SDG.
This afternoon in Sunnybank we had the opportunity of having a some new team members who spoke a range of languages, which was a blessing and we had people engaging with Chinese, Thai and Korean people.
A lengthy conversation was had with a young man who we had talked with before, his name is Tom. He is a professional gamer and has quite a number of sponsors and as a highschool student is spending a large percentage of his time playing this game and is really enjoying the money it earns him. He was challenged whether he would count the cost of being a disciple of Christ and put Christ first ahead of his video gaming and he replied with 'But can't I just keep Jesus as second?'.
Please pray for this young man as he is challenged to consider what 'dying to self' truly means!
A conversation with some local mormons was had, it was quite a lengthy conversation where they were challenged on their view of the infallibilty of scripture, what it means to be 'saved by grace, through faith alone, not of works', as well as being challenged with the truth of the Gospel, with the fact that Christ's atoning sacrifice is the only 'work' needed for salvation. They were against the fact that salvation can't be with Faith + Works but were sure that salvation required works. After a long discussion these two young men left still denying the singularity of salvation by faith. One young man was hearing the points and seemed to be considering them.
This week consider 'Elder Wood' and 'Elder Zou' and may God convict their hearts of their twisting of scriptures.
Around Sunnybank there are many mormons that spend the time talking to the locals and sadly are preaching a man centred, Christ + works gospel. Please pray that these Mormons will read their bibles and come to know the power of the true Gospel!
There were some wonderful opportunities this afternoon and a decent amount of conversations were had, please keep in prayer all those that took a tract, heard a snippet of conversation, were talked to or even saw our presence, please bring these people before God in prayer that they might be convicted with their sinful lives and may surrender to Christ as Lord, through repentance and faith!
Soli Deo Gloria!
This afternoon for our weekly evangelism in Brisbane city, though we only had a few labourers there were some great conversations had and God's Gospel was proclaimed!
The first young man I talked to whose name was Lachlan, first we discussed whether he'd be able to make it to heaven on his own merit and he thought he was pretty good and would most likely make it in but after presenting him with God's standard of perfection revealed in the law he very quickly realised that he definitely wouldn't.
I then offered him the cure, the Good News of Jesus Christ, that God loved us in that while were were still sinners, Christ died for us. He heard the Gospel and said he would consider it but seemed to think it wasn't that important as he had plenty of time. I challenged him that we don't know how long we have but he had to leave. Please pray for Lachlan.
Another conversation was with Robert, who was convinced that he was "a part of god" and that through a process of enlightenment he would one day join "the entity of consciousness" that is god. I challenged him for a long time on the problems with, the lack of our ability to become enlightened, that we as fallen humans could not reason ourselves to God but that God must reveal Himself to us and that if all humans and all their souls together made consciousness each individuals idea would always contradict someone else's, therefore this god would be always disagreeing with itself.
After a lengthy discussion on those things I challenged him on whether or not he would be guilty before a Holy God, the God of the bible and he was very quick to proclaim that he very rarely sinned and was actually in control over whether or not he wanted to sin. After discussing the law of God, he originally submitted to the realisation that by God's standard he was in the wrong but then denied God on the basis that his standard was too tough and god was mean, for Robert did not want to have to give up his sin.
I left Him with the good news that Christ has offered His life as a ransom for many and that salvation is offered but he declined that as illogical and foolishness. I finally challenged him to try his best to not sin for a week and come back to me next Wednesday and he left with a gospel of John. May God be gracious to Robert and may his eyes be opened!
Thank you to all those who were in prayer and it is a blessing that we are able to freely proclaim the name of Christ, the only name under heaven by which we must be saved.
Last night at the Gold Coast we got to speak to many Muslims about Christ. For it is the time of the year when they come from Middle Eastern countries to the Gold Coast for a holiday. It's great that even though most of them are from countries that are closed to Christian missionaries, they come to us and get to hear the gospel while on holiday!
I found that for most of the conversations last night with the Muslims, it started off with just a couple people in the conversation. But by the end of the conversation, it had grown to about 8, with the person's friends joining in to listen and ask questions.
In each of the conversations, they all seemed to present the same sort of faulty arguments - about the Bible being changed, about the Bible speaking of Muhammad coming, and about there being many different versions of the Bible.
The Muslims were fascinated to hear that I was 100% sure I was going to Heaven when I died. Not because of I'm good enough, but because Christ is perfect and has died for my sins. Grace appeared to be such a foreign concept to them, and so that is why I focused a lot of my time on that, as well as on the deity of Christ. The beauty of God's truth is that it never returns void!
I could tell that one of the Muslim men I spoke was intently listening, that even at the end of the conversation he said to me, "I am going to start reading the Bible."
Trevor and I also preached with the sketchboard last night and people stopped to listen to what was being said. Tom and George also took turns reading the Sermon on the Mount. Please pray for all those who heard the truth.
Soli Deo Gloria!
It is really exciting seeing people seriously consider the claims of Christ and say they want to start reading the Bible. That happened a couple of times yesterday at our outreach in Sunnybank.
One extensive conversation I had was with a Chinese man named Carter. He said that he had just finished his university degree in Australia and is heading back to China on Tuesday. He knew that God exists. When I asked him why he is going to Heaven, he said it was because he is a really good person.
So I went through the law of God, showing him how we aren't good enough on our own merits to save ourselves, and explained how it is only through Christ's sacrifice on the cross that we can be saved.
Carter replied, "A friend gave me a Bible when I first arrived in Australia about 4 years ago, but no one has talked to me about God since. I have been waiting to hear from God, but now I think this is God speaking to me."
After initially thinking he had to just 'try harder' from now on to be saved, he came to grasp that all of our sins - past, present and future - were atoned for on the cross if he comes to repentance and faith in Christ.
I also talked with him about the cost of coming to faith in Christ. That Christ is not a mere add-on to our life, but that He should be the centre of our lives. We should love Him more than we love anything else.
He said, "I do not want to make a quick decision here. Because this is really huge. This will change everything. I need to seriously think about this and start reading the Bible for myself."
I love seeing that he saw that this is something he needs to count the cost on first. For we don't just want 'decisions', we want people to be converted. Please pray for Carter.
Team member Johnny mentioned to me that at the same time as this conversation, he was speaking to another Chinese university student who was about to head back to China after finishing his degree, and he was very open and had lots of questions.
To the King of Kings be the glory!