So we decided to find an uncover spot where we could move to and set up the sketchboard there. During this time, gospel tracts were still being handed out by the team.
Once we found an uncover spot, I used the sketchboard to preach a message on 'The Way to Heaven'. A small crowd gathered to listen. In particular there were three young ladies on holidays from overseas who listened to the whole message.
So I began interacting with them, asking whether they thought they would go to Heaven. They said, "Yes, because we are good people." By this time, I had already put on the board a few common false ideas of things people trust in to get themselves to Heaven, and trying to be good was one of them. I explained that in reality we are just not good enough.
I then pointed the ladies to the big red cross I had painted on the board and what word the cross was resting on. It seemed to click in their mind. They said that they need to trust in Jesus for their forgiveness. So I made sure they understood grace with the use of a few analogies to explain it, I then told them about repentance, and pleaded with them to come to Christ.
We left the sketchboard up with the message on it for the rest of the night so that people walking past could read it. The team had a few good conversations with people, proclaiming Christ and Him crucified.
Whenever the gospel goes out, it is always a success! To God be the glory!
Photo: Loren is sharing the gospel with three young guys who were headed to some clubs.
This is my first report on the work in Hobart CBD so I will give you readers a brief outline of what has happened over the last 12 months.
After negotiations the council down here has allowed freedom of speech in Hobart CBD in one particular area of the Elizabeth Street mall. This allows preaching and limited tract distribution for 4 hours twice a week. While it is far from complete freedom it is an opportunity that we praise God for. Over 2014 a small group from the church I attend (Cornerstone Presbyterian) have been witnessing successfully in the mall. This has involved preaching, tracts and one to one conversations fortnightly.
The response to this has been strong enough to merit a longer weekly outreach which will happen each week on a tuesday. We will meet in the mall from 12pm until 5pm to use a bible table and hand out tracts and preach the gospel of God's grace.
This tuesday was quite good, we almost ran out of bibles. Despite a relatively windy day the bible table was quite useful with people stopping regularly from 12-3pm to chat and take bibles. I was able to share the gospel with one man who stopped by and also encourage the couple of Christians that came by to encourage me.
Preaching this week was a mixed response, I was preaching from Romans. Rm 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. It was a simple gospel message of salvation to all who repent and believe in Jesus, no matter who they are or what they've done. A small crowd gathered to hear and I was blessed with the presence of fellow believers in the crowd praying while I spoke.
At first no-one interacted with me but then one lady started to protest that what I was saying was nonsense (not the word she used...). I attempted to engage her on this but then quickly her boyfriend chimed in that I should shut up. This quickly escalated into a lot of them shouting and telling me to go away in foul language. I was worried that the guy might try to knock me down as he promised, but it was the lady who took a swing when I wasn't looking and got me on the jaw.
At that the pair of them took off and I had the undivided attention of a moderate group of people who had just seen me struck! Talk about God sent opportunities! I preached the gospel and pointed out that outside of Christ I and everyone listening were no different from this hate filled couple in the eyes of God. We all have hated God in our own ways and because of this need a saviour. I urged the listeners to turn to Jesus and trust in him and continued in that vein for some time.
This was made interesting by a gent who wanted me to stop because there were churches for this sort of thing. When I knocked him back on that offer he decided my crowd were all paid and it was all a set up. Just to emphasise the point he then went about offering people $50 a pop to leave so that I would stop! Despite the amusing diversion many stayed and listened as I expounded the gospel.
As the day came to a close the gospel had been preached, and many people had the word of God in their hands. And it don't matter what the proud one's say, because God sits in the highest place!
Praise His name.
We had a very productive afternoon in the Queen Street Mall, Brisbane. Both, Ryan Hemelaar and I used the sketchboard to present the Gospel, on both occasions a small crowd gathered.
Throughout the day we were able to share the Gospel with people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. We were also able to connect a couple of people to local churches, please pray that they'll start attending.
Also, please pray for all those who heard the Good News today. Many tracts, and Bibles were distributed.
It was another interesting outreach at Woodridge on Tuesday.
Once the team arrived it was not long before we got into conversations. The first conversation I had was with a Jehovah Witness from Africa. She thought was going to paradise because she door knocks every Saturday. Her name is Telsee.
I showed her that no matter how many good things she could do, God could not overlook the history of her sin. This was very new to her. And she was listening intently as I explained the gospel. I encouraged her to check that what I was saying lined up with the Bible.
At this point a drunk aboriginal man interrupted our conversation saying to her that she doesn't need to worry about any of the things we talked about. He then said to me "Don't you try and convert any of us black fellas with your white fella religion." I pointed out that Christianity is for everyone, for Jesus wasn't even a white person but instead a Middle Eastern.
He walked off but it wouldn't be the last we would see of him that day. For later on there was a group of about 15 aborigines drinking nearby and this guy started a fight with someone else. They were throwing punches and kicks. We had to call the police who came and gave them Move On directions. It didn't stop them though, they continued the fight a little further down the street and more of them got involved. Even by the time we left they had started another fight and more police had to show up to sort it all out.
During this time, Luke and I had a great conversation with two Mormon missionaries who we have never met before. They were 21 months through their mission, one from Hawaii and the other from Tonga.
We asked them why they think they will go to Heaven, and their answer was their works.
We showed them some verses in the Bible about how it is only grace through faith that we are saved. We gave the example of the thief on the cross, did he do good works? Did he get baptised? How then was he saved. The Mormon from Hawaii said, "I guess it was by faith he was saved." They were beginning to understand it.
But the other Mormon was saying that he has a 'feeling' that the Book of Mormon is true because he prayed about it. I explained how that that is a circular argument. For the Book of Mormon itself is setting the 'test' of how you know the Book of Mormon is true. But how do we know that that is the right test?
For example, if I wrote a book and said in it that the test to know the book is true is whether the sky is blue. The sky is blue, therefore my book is true. That's circular because the very book I'm trying to say is true contains the test to know whether it is true. Same with the Book of Mormon. This shows that the test these Mormons are relying on is faulty.
Instead I showed them how the proper test is to compare the Book of Mormon with what came before, that is, with the Bible. And since it contradicts the Bible, it is clear the Book of Mormon is not true.
Please pray for these two Mormon missionaries and for all the other people who heard the gospel today.
To God be the glory!
The gospel was proclaimed last night at the Gold Coast. We used the sketchboards as we preached, and crowds gathered to listen to the message. Even a police officer came up and said that we are doing a great job and that we should keep it up.
• Glenda was able to have a good chat with a Muslim lady from the University of Sydney named Amin. She met her last year at the Gold Coast, and they have been emailing back and forth about Bible and the Quran since then.
Amin was explaining five different works that a person has to do to get the chance of going to paradise. Glenda was able to show how Christianity is completely different. In Christianity someone has to come to the end of themselves, and recognise that there is nothing they can do in and of themselves to be saved. It is only by trusting in the work of Jesus on the cross that we can be saved.
Glenda really challenged Amin to humble herself, and come to trust in Christ alone.
• Rick spoke to a young man named Brian and his friends. They attend Hillsong. Brian seemed to come to understood the Gospel, but he had to go to catch up with his family.
• Near the end of the night after the last sketchboard presentation, a group of young people came right up to the board and were trying to figure out the message. Rick and Glenda went and engaged them in conversation and shared the Gospel using the visuals on the board.
We encouraged them to trust in Jesus, just like one would trust in a parachute while jumping out of a plane, so we must trust that Jesus is the only one who can save us from the judgement to come. All three were very interested. Their names are Matt, Yarra & Aynita.
Matt even took a photo of the sketchboard (the one that said "Only 1 answer") so that he could remember the message.
Thanks so much for your prayers for these people. God bless and to God be the Glory!
There were no Mormon missionaries to be seen at all on Thursday during our Sunnybank outreach. That is good news in that thankfully they were not able to spread their false message, but it also meant we weren't able to continue witnessing to any of them, including the one who last week revealed to us he doesn't believe the Book of Mormon is true. We will hopefully see him another week.
When I arrived I started handing out tracts as I crossed the bridge. And one young lady I handed a tract to came up to me only about half a minute after I gave her tract, and she wanted to give the tract back to me.
So I started a conversation with her asking whether she thought she'd go to Heaven. She was a firm believer in reincarnation.
I explained how reincarnation doesn't fit with reality in that if it were true, you would expect the population of this Earth to be staying about the same - for when someone dies they go into a new body. But the population of this Earth has exploded exponentially, thus showing reincarnation is not true.
She said, "But you could turn into an animal too." I pointed out that that doesn't help her case, as there are more animals on this Earth right now than there ever has been, because humans are mass-breeding them for food.
I said, "Since we both haven't died yet, it would make more sense to believe the words of one who has died and rose from the dead three days later, and that is Jesus. Jesus says it is Heaven and Hell after we die."
She conceded the point and so I went through the law of God, talked about the judgement to come and she said she was terrified of ending up in Hell. She thought stopping her sins would save her, but I pointed out that doing that won't get rid of the history of her sins.
So I explained how the only way to be saved is by having a perfect person take the punishment for us on our behalf, that is Jesus. At this point she exclaimed, "No one has ever explained this to me before! It makes sense."
By this time, it had already begun to rain but she didn't care, she just wanted to learn more. She said she would download the Bible on her phone (for she didn't want to have one made of paper) and she said she would seriously think about trusting in Christ after counting the cost. Her name is Helen.
Col arrived a bit later in the afternoon and was able to hand out lots of gospel tracts to people as they got off the bus.
Some more people to pray for whom we talked to:
• Ivy - a Buddhist, after hearing the full message and my challenge to her of when will she come to trust in Christ for her salvation, she said "This is a very big. I will need several days to think about this. It is really big."
• Victor - Goes to a Catholic Church. Had no idea of gospel. Said he would repent and believe the gospel. Encouraged him to then start reading his Bible daily and to check everything he hears about God with the Bible.
Just a team of two today, but the people we spoke to and those who received tracts will never be the same in eternity!
It was another great outreach in Brisbane city on Wednesday. One thing I love about the city during the day is that there are lots of people about, which means lots of people to witness to.
We used the sketchboard to present the gospel in the open air and it was well received. After one of the presentations of the gospel, a number of people came up and took a gospel of John. For I encouraged anyone who was interested in finding out more to take one. And it resulted in some very good one to one conversations afterward.
Here are a couple people to pray for from the outreach:
• Ben - from Nauru, will be studying in Brisbane for the next 4 years. He was very receptive. After initially thinking it was his own goodness that could save him, he came to understand the gospel. I gave him a full Bible and he said he would start reading it daily.
• Vishal, family is Buddhist, so that is why he is. He admitted he loves his sin, but he did have many good questions. He heard the whole message but said he knows his parents will disown him if he converts. To him, the cost was too high. Please pray God compels him to come to Christ.
To the God who can convert even the hardest heart, to Him be the glory!
There was a lady who came up to me and grabbed the front of my shirt near my neck and said, "God loves me." She was drunk, and her friends had to pull her away.
Then right near the end of the outreach, after all the other team members had left, she returned and at the time I was witnessing to someone. She was yelling things like "Stop talking about God. No one likes God. Go away."
It looked like she wanted to get physically violent again, but her friends were holding her back. So she started pulling out things from a nearby bin and started throwing them at me. I am thankful that she didn't find any glass bottles in the bin.
After ducking for cover, she eventually left and the person I was witnessing to said, "I think I have to go..."
Things like that are to be expected for a Christian, because people hate God, so it shouldn't be a surprise that they will show that hatred towards his followers.
Nevertheless, it was another glorious day where the gospel was proclaimed. There were 4 of us on the team.
Please pray for the following people from the outreach:
• Everston, Ethan, Lethan and Sam. - thought good people, came to profess faith in Christ.
• Elaina - her mum's a Buddhist, initially very stand-offish. Didn't believe in God. After showing her why it makes sense God exists, she was a lot more willing to talk. After talking about sin and the judgement, she was concerned about ending up in Hell, so she wanted to know the way of forgiveness. I explained the gospel, and she was happy to take a gospel of John to read.
To God be the glory for another great outreach!
We had a special outreach for Australia Day 2015 at the Gold Coast.
There were 9 of us on the team, and the tract that we were handing out was the 'Good Aussie' card. It was so easy to hand them out as almost everyone was willing to take one.
Please pray for three people from Iran - Matthew, Andrew and John. They were attending a church but they had no idea of how to go to Heaven. They were very appreciative of hearing the gospel explained and said they would think about it.
Here is a video from the outreach:
Here are some photos from the outreach:
The gospel went out again yesterday during our fortnightly outreach at Wellington Point (Australia).
I had a conversation with Maria, a mother who attends a Catholic Church with her family and has been doing so for 15 years. She thought had to be very lucky to get to Heaven.
I got to explain the gospel to her but I couldn't tell whether she properly understood it, and she said she had to go.
But the next chat I had was with her son (probably about 18 years old). His name was Isaac. He said that he wakes up each morning terrified that he knows he will go to Hell because he said he has sinned so many times.
He said that he knew that stopping his sins wouldn't get him to Heaven because he still has the history of them that God cannot overlook. He then said, "I need someone who is perfect who can take the punishment for me on my behalf". I asked, "And who is that?" "Jesus", he said.
He had managed to overhear the conversation that I was having with his mum earlier and that is why he understood he needed a substitute.
So I encouraged him to trust in Christ alone for his forgiveness. He said he would and he realised the catholic idea of works doesn't save and so he said he wants to find a good Christian church to join instead.
At the same time, Rick was able to share the gospel with Isaac's brother, Mickah, and he was quite receptive.
The people in this photo are:
Lachlan & Dilan - they attend a catholic school. Rick explained gospel. They were not sure of going to Heaven, one had a bible, other didn't. Listened intently. Encouraged them to read the gospel of John.
Please pray for all who heard the message. We have a great gospel!