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Saturday, 17 April, 2010
I arrived at the usual meeting spot at Surfers Paradise just a a few minutes late, and Dan Carkeet was already there. After a short time in prayer, we started handing out tracts.
One of the first people I chatted to was a young Jewish man. When I asked him the question whether he thought he was going to go to Heaven, he said,"Do murderers go to Heaven?" I responded by saying that they can if they repent and trust in Jesus. He then went on to explain that he was an Israeli who had been in the army for 3 years. He said that he didn't believe in Heaven and Hell, instead he mentioned that he believed in karma - if you do good, you will receive good in this life. And if you do bad, you'll receive bad in this life. When I asked him why he believed that, he said he thought it was just a good principle.
So I responded by saying, "But it seems karma does not really happen in the real world. For there are many people who do horrible atrocities and yet they don't get caught and they don't seem to receive bad things." He acknowledged this point and so I asked, "Do you believe God is good?" He responded in the affirmative. "Therefore, God must punish those people who do wrong. This doesn't seem to happen in this life for everyone. And so this punishment must happen after we die. This place is what we call Hell. But there also must be a place of no punishment, where God rewards the faithful. This is what we call Heaven." He agreed, and so I asked him whether he had done any bad, and pointed him to the commandments. He recognised his guilt and his deserving of punishment.
I then asked this Jewish man what Yom Kippur was all about. He said that they celebrate on that day. I asked him what were the origins of it. He explained, "It was the day of atonement, when a lamb was sacrificed for the sins of the nation for that year. The lamb had to be without blemish. We don't sacrifice a lamb anymore though." When I asked him how then his sins can be taken care of, he said that he had no idea. So then I talked about Jesus, that He was the lamb of God who died to take away the sins of His people. Jesus was sinless; no fault could be found in Him. He died, but then conquered death by rising from the dead. I then explained to this man that he must repent and trust only in Christ's death for His forgiveness. He had never heard of why Christians follow Jesus, and he said he now finally understood. He said he would think about it and at some stage get around to reading the New Testament.
Soon after this, I sat down next to a middle aged man holding a surf board, enjoying the midday sun. His name was Jason. I had chatted to him last week about the gospel (not the Jason I mentioned in last week's report). It was good to see him and I was glad I had the opportunity to witness to him again. He wasn't worried about the Day of Judgement coming, because even though he recognised he had done wrong, he thought God would understand that he had learnt from his mistakes. He was saying that that is the way people learn. I tried reasoning with him, saying, "It is obviously better to know the right thing to do in the first place without making those mistakes. So it leaves us without excuse on Judgement Day. A murderer wouldn't be let free if he tried arguing to a judge that he has learnt not to murder now since he murdered that last guy." I then went on to explaining the cross and repentance and faith. After this I asked the man whether he had read much of the Bible before. He hadn't. So I challenged him to read it, and he understood that it is foolish to reject Jesus without first understanding what he said and did.
Snowy also joined us a little bit later on. Lots of tracts were handed out and many conversations had. Dan commented that he was excited that in the conversations he had with people today, he thought he was really making progress. The people were open to hearing about the cross of Christ and really thinking about eternal things. Praise God for the encouragements He gives us at times.
To God be the glory!
Saturday, 10 April, 2010
As I was driving down to the coast, it was overcast and it looked like it might rain. But as I arrived, it had become a perfect day without a cloud in sight. I was excited to be out on the streets again this week (after having a break for Easter) and I knew the team would be of a decent size again today. Rick, Glenda, and about 6 people from Christian Witness Ministries Fellowship joined us again this week. I thank God for raising up more labourers who are keen to proclaim the gospel at the Gold Coast.
There was a guy named Jason in his early twenties who walked by and Rick tried offering him a tract. He rejected it, saying that he was closed to anything to do with Christianity. Later on, I offered him a tract (not knowing Rick had already tried to). He briefly looked at it, asking what it was and then gave it back, saying he wasn’t interested. So I asked him whether he thought he would go to Heaven. He said, “We cannot know where we will end up.” He then expressed his doubts about what is really true regarding religion and eternity, and asked why he should believe what Jesus said. So I explained that Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is an absolute verification of His claims, and then gave some reasons why we can trust the gospel accounts when it records his resurrection. Such as, embarrassing facts, the origin of the disciples’ belief in the resurrection, multiple attestations - all providing evidence to think that the historical documents written by the gospel authors were actually accurate (see this post on the Apologetics Blog for more information). They seemed to make sense in his mind.
After talking to him for about half an hour, I challenged him to read the Bible. As he had never really read much of it. So I challenged him to read it first before dismissing it. He agreed to this, and then was willing to take a tract and read it. So I thanked him and he started to walk off. But this guy saw Rick, and Rick was in another conversation at the time. But he said, “Sorry to interrupt you, but I have got to say I’ve changed my mind. I am now open to this stuff; I will now read my Bible. This is truly from my heart.” Praise God that he can change even the most hard-hearted person and make him to be open to the gospel.
After having a bit to eat, we returned to our usual spot and I got up to preach. I started by reading the parable of the rich man who built bigger barns to store all his crops, and used it to show that so many people in society just live their life striving to achieve a certain status in society, or to own a certain amount of cars or houses, or to acquire a certain amount of university degrees. But what use is all that at death? I then went onto explain that there is a day of judgement coming where how we have lived will be seen and judged by God, and since we’ve all fallen short of His standard, we need forgiveness. And that forgiveness is only through the death of Jesus.
A bunch of Middle Easterns had been listening for a little bit and then one of them decided to ask a question, “If faith saves, why not simply go living in sin?” So I explained repentance, the natural thing that will follow the genuine faith that a person has in Jesus. She then asked, “If praying and other good things do not get a person to Heaven, why do them?” I talked about how the gratitude we have for Jesus for what Jesus has done for us and the love we now have for him will make us want to do good things. But it’s not like those good things will save us at all.
Another guy piped up asking, “How many Bibles do you have?” This seems to be a usual Muslim argument, but one simply based on ignorance. So I asked him, “Do you read Greek or Hebrew?” He said, “No”. I continued, “Well they were the languages that the Bible was written in, and since most people no longer know those languages, there has to be translation committees who translate the text from the original languages to the languages of today. Since there is not always a word that is exactly equivalent in our languages to the original languages, decisions need to made how they will translate it. People have differing opinions about this and that is why there are quite a lot of different English Bibles. No English Bible is actually inspired of God, only the original manuscripts were, but if you examine the English Bibles you can see that they all agree with each other pretty much everywhere in the meaning of the text.”
The Muslim fellow recognised he was way out of his depth, and so he asked another question, “Name one of the author’s of the Bible” So I answered, “The Apostle Paul”. He then asked, “What was Paul’s last name?” By this question he thought he had found the absolute shut down argument against Christianity, and he began celebrating. So I responded, “Last names did not come about till around the middle ages.” The crowd was utterly confused at this Muslim man, for they had no idea how that argument at all was any good at refuting Christianity. The man soon after walked off.
A bunch of young ladies came in right in front of me and after a while, one of them gave a thumbs up to me. So I asked her, “Are you a Christian?” She said, “No.” So I then went through with the ladies the good person test, seeing if they have lived up to God’s standards. Like the rest of humanity, they hadn’t. So I then warned them that their sins make them deserve eternal Hell, but there is a Saviour Jesus Christ. A number of them seemed very convicted by what they heard, please pray that God will draw them to Himself.
I praise God for the faithfulness of the rest of the team, who spread many seeds of the gospel today, in both tracts and speech. Please pray that God will give those seeds growth.
To God be the glory!
Saturday, 27 March, 2010
As I arrived to our usual witnessing area in Surfers Paradise, Rick and Glenda were already there busily handing out tracts. They had arrived about an hour early, as they had to leave the outreach earlier than usual. It is really great to see them both so keen for witnessing that they do it even before the rest of the team arrives.
Today was a unique day, as just recently a local Church had finished their evangelism training programme, and so they wanted to all hit the streets together and put what they had learnt into practice. So there were about fourteen of them, making today's team definitely larger than usual.
Before those guys arrived, Rick and Glenda had gotten into a conversation with two Mormon ladies from New Zealand. Rick called me over after a number of minutes asking if it says anywhere in the Bible that we were all pre-existing, as this Mormon lady was claiming the Bible did say it. I told her that in the beginning was just God, and He made everything (Gen. 1:1).
I then tried directing the conversation to talking about salvation, and how she thinks a person is saved. She said that if a person doesn't get all their sins worked off in this life by doing good, they can be worked off after they die. I was happy to hear a Mormon actually admit that their doctrine of salvation is actually work-righteousness, for so often they like to claim it's all by grace, yet in actuality they believe in salvation by works.
So I pointed Scriptures to her, such as Ephesians 2:8-9 and Galatians 2:16 which both talk about salvation not being by our works. Instead of addressing those Scriptures, she diverted the conversation by asking, "What is the work of God?" I then said, "Jesus Himself was asked that very question, and so let's take a look at what He said." I then turned to John 6:28-29 - 'Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”'
She, first of all, had a problem with the Bible we were using, because it was a New King James at the time, and not the King James. So I said, "Here, I have the King James Version right here on my phone." I then read it out to her. She followed along and said, "No keep reading" So I did.
"So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”"
At that, she exclaimed, "See! It mentioned 'work' three times in that passage. We are saved by our works!" She was fully serious, and so it was hard to hold back the laughter. I tried explaining to her that even though it says 'work' in that passage, it doesn't talk at all about working for our salvation. In fact, it pretty clearly states the opposite, Jesus was exhorting them to 'believe in him whom he has sent.' Faith not works.
I challenged her whether she could really know that she was going to go to Heaven and whether she believed in and followed the real Jesus. She then stated, "Of course I do, the Church that I go to is called, 'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints'! So I definitely follow Jesus." I had to be to the point with her, and so I said, "Look, by what you've been saying, believing you are saved by your works and so on, shows that you aren't actually a Christian. And the reason I am telling you this is because I don't want you to get the surprise of your life when on Judgement Day God would have to say to you 'Depart from me I knew you.'" I then turned to the passage in Matthew 7 where Jesus said this and read it out to her. I explained that the people Jesus would reject are those who proclaim to have done many good works, but those works did not save them. But she rebutted, "This can't be the Bible, for there are no summaries at the start of the chapter telling us what the chapter means!"
She continued, "Both Revelation and Matthew so clearly teach salvation by works." We asked where abouts exactly, but she couldn't point to any verses. So we explained the real way a person is saved to her, not by their works, but by grace through faith alone, because of Christ's death alone. She wasn't very open and had taken offence that we would even think that she was not a Christian. She kept stating that she was born a Christian because her parents are. Rick responded, "If I was born in MacDonald's, it wouldn't make me a hamburger." After a bit further discussion, she said that she didn't want to talk about it anymore, and so we thanked her for her time and said goodbye.
By this time, the Church group had since arrived and were already handing out tracts. They all seemed very keen, which was awesome to see! They were all anxiously waiting to see someone preach in the open air, as most of them had seen Ray Comfort do it on DVDs, but they wanted to see it done in real life. So after not too long, I got up on the council provided preaching block and told a true story about a man who drove the wrong way up the freeway in Sydney for 50km without realising it. I used that story to show that even though many people think they're heading in the right direction, heading for Heaven, it could be that they are mistaken. They don't realise they're heading in the wrong direction. This story is an interesting one, and so it attracted a crowd, but I didn't do any call outs to try and get hecklers because I didn't know who was part of the Church group and who wasn't. So I preached the awesome news of the gospel, calling everyone who was listening to repent and believe.
I then noticed one particular fellow who was listening intently, so I called out to him, asking, "Do you think you'll go to Heaven?" He thought so because he was stand-up bloke. So I went through the commandments, showing him that in fact we are all sinners deserving of God's judgement forever. This seemed to concern him, so I told him that there is a Saviour, Jesus Christ, and that His death can atone for all of this fellow's sins. When I share the gospel with a person, I always try and see if they actually understand what the gospel is at the end of it. So I commonly ask, "If God was to ask you the question, 'Why should I let you into Heaven?' What would you now say?" This guy didn't get it at first, so I explained the gospel again to him and it seemed to click.
However at this point, a very loud women started to heckle. She started complaining about how bad the Church is, that all Christians are bad people and God doesn't care about the world. She explained that she had tried going to some Church's for help, but they didn't help her. She asked why God would let her be in an abusive relationship and not do something about it. So I responded by saying, "God will definitely make sure all the injustices that people commit in the world will be dealt with one day. And God has given us governments to maintain justice in society in the meantime. Governments are instituted by God and we are to obey them." At this point, a regular heckler piped up talking about how rubbish governments are. Not to let the discussion go off the topic at hand, I told the regular heckler to wait his turn. I then addressed the lady again, explaining that not everyone who says they are a Christian is actually one. And even though a person might have bad experiences with Christians, that is not a rational reason to dismiss Jesus. She explained that she had been living on the streets for a number of weeks due to her abusive husband. At this point, a person part of the group from the Church went up to her and gave her $40. She was ecstatic and very appreciative of the generous gesture.
Since the lady had been very loud and vocal, it had caused a sizeable crowd to gather. So I made sure to preach the gospel to everyone listening, as the lady didn't seem interested in talking any further at this point.
After preaching for about 45 minutes, I stepped down and had a conversation with a person who had been listening near my feet. I asked him what he believed. He explained that he knew every religion was wrong, especially Christianity. He claimed this because he said Christianity had been copied from other belief systems. So I asked him, "Even if that was so, does that prove that the beliefs of Christianity are wrong?" His face changed, and he seemed to realise the flaw of his thinking. I continued, "Furthermore, similarities between two books does not necessitate copying. Moreover, in actuality there aren't really many similarities at all!" He resorted to saying, "Well I still do kinda believe in God" I was able to briefly share the gospel with him, but he wasn't very open.
At this point, we all had lunch as a team. The team did an excellent job today, handing out lots of tracts and many conversations were had too. There were so many of us, that we had to split up and go to different locations. That's a great problem to have!
To God be the glory!
Saturday, 3 April, 2010
It is a strange and hard thing to pick up the pen (so to speak) and start writing again. In the months since my last report I have found myself being overrun with work. For those that don’t know, I have been appointed as a pastor at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church and that has consumed much of my time. But, each week I have been going out as usual and witnessing, the only difference is I haven’t had much time to sit down and write a report. God willing this will change and once again we will be able to bring you a weekly update.
The Easter weekend was a busy one, by the time Saturday night had rolled around, I had already preached 3 pulpit sermons and had 2 more to go. Since I was away preaching at a conference on “Preaching the Gospel in a Post-Christian Era” I found myself arriving late to Brisbane. I was very thankful to have David Gee cover for me and my lateness.
The city seemed to be rather busy when I arrived, this was to be expected since after all it was the long weekend for Easter. When I arrived the team was just handing out tracts and talking to people, but that soon changed. The box went down and up jumped Alex to preach the Gospel for the first time this night.
As Alex was preaching some really drunk hecklers, who lacked much intelligence began to hurl abuse. One of them used the fact that Alex wore glasses as a proof that God didn’t exist. Their arguments were so far beyond ignorant that much of what they said didn’t need a reply. After Alex dealt with them for about 30 minutes he tagged me in. Now I had the joy of dealing with these hecklers, with a voice that had been strained already.
For the next thirty minutes I dealt with their arguments and eventually a good size crowd gathered. I began to bounce of their heckles and use their views to show why the Gospel of Christ was true. Some more hecklers arrived on the scene who were nothing short of foul, but nevertheless we pushed on.
At the end of thirty minutes my voice was sore, so I tagged Dave in who then proceeded to engage the crowd with the Good news concerning Jesus Christ.
It was then that an interesting thing happened, we had a young atheist who was in the crowd actually start defending us. He began to make arguments that disproved his own world view. This interjection came as a shock to us and also to the hecklers.
While he was doing this, one not very lady like female began to grab Bibles and throw them in the bin. When I approached her and asked her not to do it, she in defiance threw more in there. I informed her that if she continued I would be forced to contact the police. She was rather brazen and said she didn’t care. What she didn’t realize was at that moment two plain clothes officers were walking up behind her. The police pulled her aside and told her to leave the mall, she wasn’t so tough now.
I spent the rest of the night talking to people and handing out tracts. Our friendly atheist was still defending us and hanging around. So a few of us got to talk to him about the Gospel.
As the night came to an end we had one atheist heckler who was going after Dave. His arguments were basic and we were able to answer him. After Dave stood down, the atheist continued to heckle, so I stepped in and showed that from his own arguments he was wrong. The man didn’t like that too much, so he changed tact. But his arguments kept destroying his own position. It was at that moment the fight erupted. It wasn’t a fight between him and us, but it was between him and a homosexual man. This man stopped and walked up to the atheist grabbed in a hug and then kissed him. The atheist responded in self defence and head-butted the guy. We quickly jumped in the middle and split up the warring groups. The police eventually arrived and the homosexual group legged it.
What a way to spend Easter Saturday, who knows what next week has in store.
Saturday, 16 January, 2010
Thursday, 31st December 2009
“I’m a Doctor in Physics and a Satanist! I hate your God, He isn’t real! Christianity is false!” These were but a few of the heckles that were thrown at me as I preached in King George Square. It is New Years Eve, so we decided to have a special outreach and to commence the night by preaching in the new square. I started off by using an amplifier, which aided my voice greatly, as it covered the whole square and many people were able to hear. The only thing was that this increased preaching volume also drew in people who wanted to destroy the source of this new found volume.
The one heckler who claimed to be a scientist initially tried to break the cord that connected the microphone to the amp. But that failed, so he tried to argue science with me. It soon became very clear that he had no idea what he was on about. When he was challenged in this area he quickly hid behind his Satanist card. When I began to quote the Satanic Bible and address the errors in it, he decided he had enough and legged it across the street.
By now I was preaching without an amplifier, this wasn’t too good since I strained my voice by switching between the two modes of delivery. After I finished preaching, I had a break as I could feel my voice beginning to hurt. During this time Ryan and David went about handing out tracts to the many hundreds of people in the Square for some ball.
As the night progressed we went about our regular preaching routine. We had a few open air preachers up through out the night, and as we evangelised we had the honour of handing out thousands of tracts to the people of Brisbane city. Also, during this time we found it possible to have many great conversations, as people were interested in talking about many issues. This we have found to be the trend over the past few years. Every new years eve seems to provide a time for people to reflect and talk about things done and their plan for the future.
As the new year was coming in people began to celebrate. Then about 30 minutes after midnight the crowds began to leave. So we formed a preaching line and began to share the gospel to the thousands of people in the mall. The basis of a preaching line is this, in a fast moving crowd, you may only have 30 seconds to a minute to preach, so we line up about 8 different preachers and each preacher does a one minute gospel. Then the next preacher takes over. This line just keep going around and around until everyone is exhausted. Which in our case proved to be about 1:30am.
Overall it was a great night and we had an awesome time proclaiming Christ as one year ended and a new one begins.
Saturday, 2nd January 2010
My voice was still hurting from the other night and I was still physically exhausted from the really late night of Thursday, but once again we headed into the Queen Street Mall to proclaim the gospel.
It came as no surprise to us, when we saw that the city was nearly empty. People had spent all their money and were partied out after the New Year celebration. There were however, a few people in the city, so we continued our ministry of tracts, one to one and open air preaching.
The crowds were very minimal during the preaching and not many tracts were able to go out. But those who heard the gospel were worth it. At around 11pm we stopped the preaching and just focused on handing out tracts and one to one for the rest of the evening. In this time we did get to have some great conversations.
To God be the Glory!
Saturday, 9th January 2010
The city was a little bit more busy tonight. It seemed that the Christmas / New Years slump was over and people had gotten back into their weekly parties and drunkenness.
The first preacher up for the night was a new guy to the Brisbane team. For the past few weeks he had been ministering with our Gold Coast ministry, but had never been into Brisbane. He had stated that he wanted to preach, so we decided to let him go first, since it was the safest time of the night for a new preacher.
John preached for about 20 minutes and did an alright job. He presented Christ and explained to anyone who would give him an ear about how salvation is found in Jesus alone.
After John finished preaching, I stood up and preached on Jesus having the power to lay down His life and to pick it up again. And, I explored the concept of resurrection in today’s society. It didn’t take long before I had one heckler who claimed to know it all. This young boy of about 16 decided to stop and heckle, his arguments bordered on the absurd and it showed that he had never really given thought to why he was an atheist.
I engaged with Jay the atheist until Erin the friendly heckler came along. Erin was a polite young lady who raised her hand to ask me a question. She had given thought to her objections and I must confess I really did enjoy engaging with her. It is rare that we encounter a sceptic who can reason and debate without crossing the line into personal attacks. The crowd grew as we discussed Christianity in the open air. This crowd in turn drew in more people to listen and to heckle. Eventually we ended up on the topic of homosexuality. And it was at this point an aboriginal transvestite began to heckle me. He (although dressed as a she) started to talk about how he was abused as a child and how that action made him gay. This is one of the hardest things to deal with in the open air, an abused child. I assured him that he had not committed any sin when he was abused, and that God was going to judge the abuser. But, I also had to explain that sin is a choice and his homosexuality was a choice that he had made.
Well, the idea that he had chosen to be gay set him off, he began to scream abuse at me and say that God would never judge him for being gay. I opened the Scriptures in reply and showed him what God’s word said. For about an hour and a half we went back and forth on sin and the gospel. Most people were polite, although the aboriginal man was getting rather emotional.
At the end of the open air, I spoke to the aboriginal man (named Kelly, but later revealed his male name is James). We were able to sit down and talk about different issues. It was then that I asked him straight, “Be honest with me, do you like being gay?” His head dropped and he said, “No, I hate it! I want to one day get married and have children.” Rodney and I spent a further 30 minutes with James talking, then he said these words, “You guys are speaking the truth, I want to know Christ. I need to turn from this lifestyle!” With that we all got on our knees in the Queen Street Mall, then James called upon God for mercy.
That was an awesome way to finish the night. Please keep James in prayer, pray that God would save him and that God would be glorified in his life.
Saturday, 16th January 2010
Blake stood up to preach, the first time since he had returned from being overseas on mission trip. It was good to have him back on the box proclaiming the gospel to all who would listen. While Blake was preaching a young drunk professing Pentecostal named Josh came up to us to talk. I have spoken to him many times before and spent hours with him sharing the Scriptures to him. He was claiming to be a Christian, but at the same time he was swearing, drinking, cursing and his own words, committed rape and armed robbery. But, he was convinced he was saved. This stemmed from the faulty theology that said that one only has to say a quick prayer and you are saved.
Some of the guys dealt with him for awhile and then after Blake finished preaching, Ryan began to preach. Things got interesting around this time. I was talking to a young lady, who was from the USA. She had a Southern Baptist background but was now an atheist. Her main argument against God was the existence of hell and how he treats homosexuals. While, I was talking to her a fight erupted behind me, as I turned all I saw was this one young British man being thrown onto the Bible table. I quickly jumped in the way of the big fella who wanted to smack his head in and Kyosti got the British guy out of there.
Both of the fighters hung around heckling for a while, but Ryan was quick to answer their objections. I went back to witnessing to the American girl.
For two hours Ryan preached and taught the Scripture, many people stopped to listen and many took tracts. It was a good night, but at the same time it was hard. Please pray for all those who heard the gospel. That God may save them!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Friday, 18 December, 2009
It was a bitterly cold evening tonight as we headed out into the Square. Due to the holiday season a number of the team were away so we were a bit thin on the ground. But it was a joy and a blessing to be out to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
With my team acting as my “mock crowd” I stood up to preach. Just like the week before the Square had been turned into a carnival atmosphere. With all the noise and the cold, I knew it was going to be tough to bring in a crowd.
I decided to do a call out as people walked past. I was talking about morality and the common claim from people that they are good. As a couple of youngsters walked past I called out to one of them and said, “How about you sir, would you consider yourself a good person?” He responded with the affirmative and so we quickly got into conversation. His friend joined in too. Their names were Callum and Stanley. They objected to being not good concerning God’s standard of goodness. They were not convinced that God existed and so failed to see the relevance. They questioned why I was on a stepladder preaching to them. I had to keep plugging away with these two chaps, telling them that I too had fallen short of the glory of God. I made a case for the existence of God and spent some time talking about sin so that they could see they too had sinned and were guilty before God.
They stayed for some time and even when I came down off the ladder they stayed talking with me. We talked for a little while longer and I think Callum in particular (on the left in the above photo) was becoming far less objectionable as he listened. In the end they both thanked me for talking to them. I think their initial response when they saw me was, “Who is this religious nut standing on a stepladder talking about fairy tales and nonsense??” However after we had talked I’m convinced this mindset had been changed. They saw the reasonableness of what I was saying and I’m sure they felt I was still in control of my senses!
After they had left I looked around and saw that the whole team was in conversation. I noticed one chap who had stopped and was talking with a Christian from another ministry that comes to Leicester Square. I came a little closer and listened. The chap’s name was Lewis. After listening for a little while I introduced myself and thanked him for stopping to talk to us. He commented that I had “started something,” since all around him there were conversations between my team and people who had stopped to listen. Lewis seemed to be genuinely interested in the Gospel message and was certainly open to spiritual things. He said that he had had an experience of the supernatural at a time when he had taken narcotics. Often this is the case. Whatever experience he’d had, it was clear he was open to hearing the Word of God and this is a work of the Holy Spirit. He was open, but I did not sense that he was ready to make a commitment. He had a lot to think about. I did not say, “So, would you like to make a commitment?” However, I did tell him that his life could end at any time and unless he was right with the Lord he would go to hell. He appreciated this and agreed he had much to think about. I gave him my details and said he could email me any time. Please pray for him.
Below are a few more pictures from the evening.
In the picture below you can see Andrew and Elyske on the right in conversation with someone and you can also see in the centre of the picture Lesley (in her big fur coat!) in conversation as well.
It had really been a great night.
Soli Deo Gloria!!
Saturday, 26 December, 2009
Saturday, 19th December 2009
“Do you think it is going to rain?” I asked those around me. “Not sure” was the general reply. “Na, it will be fine, maybe rain in a couple of hours” chipped in Ryan. “I think we have only 30 minutes before it pours” Dave added. Since we couldn’t agree on the issue of the weather, both Ryan and I pulled out our iPhones and checked out the bureau of meteorology. The satellite showed rain clouds heading for our location, looked like it was going to be another wet night.
Oh well, in all things give thanks. As we were preparing for the night, one to one conversations began to occur. Ryan, as usual, was engaged in a conversation with a man who was sitting near our location. Then David was in a conversation with a couple who happened to be walking by. It was beginning to shape up for a great night.
We prepared to preach with the clouds looming over us. The first preacher up was Alex. It was only his second time preaching, and it was generally surprising to all of us to see how good of a job he did. As Alex preached a few people stopped to listen, and while the preaching was going on the heavens opened up and down came the rain. Quickly we scrambled to pack down the Bible table and then get undercover. That is, all but the preacher got to go undercover. The preacher continued his job of expounding the gospel to those who would give him an ear.
The rain soon passed, and once again we set up the Bible table. It seems that this Bible table is a yo-yo, as no sooner than it was set up, that it was packed down again as it began to rain.
After preaching for some time, Alex stood down and Ryan took over. As he began to preach, three young guys came close, one of them pulling out his mobile phone and film the preaching. It was then that one of them stepped forward, and with a big grin on his face began to heckle. His goal was to ‘destroy’ the preacher. He argued atheism, evolution and the validity of the Bible. Every single argument he presented was easily answered by Ryan, and then the man was on the back-foot as Ryan turned the attention to the gospel. For the next twenty or so minutes Ryan presented the gospel, this in turn created a whole new wave of hecklers. All of which were dealt with, in a loving and biblical manner.
Ryan preached for some time, then it came time for Dave to preach. Not long into his message he had three guys come up and hassle him with some questions. Out of the three only one showed an interest in what Dave was saying. It was this guy that Dave aimed at. While Dave was talking the man seemed to appreciate all that was going on and he began to shake Dave’s hand and agree with him in regards to the gospel. While this was going on, I was able to speak to one of the other guys, who was not interested in anything to do with Christ, but at least I was able to keep him away from the interrupting the preacher.
It was then that hostility broke out. I was taking a few photos of the proceedings when a drunk man wearing a blue shirt approached me. He leant into my face and said “Do you have a permit to take photos?” I informed him that we didn’t need a permit to take photos since it was a public place. In his drunken ramblings he said, “I’m a lawyer and I’ll sue you!”
He then told me that he had secretly recorded our conversation and it would be used as evidence against us. He then continued to argue that us Christians should not be out here and he would be seeing us in court. After awhile he lost interest in me but went after one of our other team members. The little drunk kept leaning in an aggressive manner towards this team member and he was threatening court action. We basically ignored him and carried on with the preaching.
By now Dave had another man up close to him. This man was probably in his 40’s - 50’s and he was drunk. At first he was hostile towards the preacher, and this stemmed from a hurt he had suffered. It turned out that just recently his father had died and he was still in the grieving process. Dave with much gentleness ministered Christ to him and the man calmed down and even shook Dave’s hand. Later in the evening we would see him again, this time he wasn’t hostile but rather he was smiling and he waved to us, calling out “Merry Christmas!”
Just before Dave finished preaching this young female came up screaming abuse. She was saying “There is no god! God doesn’t exist since there are starving people in the world!” Then, in an act of hypocrisy she threw the hamburger she had been eating at Dave, that which could have fed a hungry person made impact on the chest of the preacher as he continued to expound the message of Christ. The young female growing in anger walked up the mall, turned and then in a voice not her own, but rather in a deep masculine voice screamed out obscenities towards God. Dave, stuck to the gospel, and proclaimed the risen Lord.
The night was quite interesting, we had some good hecklers and many people got the gospel. May God be forever praised for His goodness!
Saturday, 26th December 2009
“And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy
that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior,
who is Christ the Lord.” - Luke 2:10-11 (ESV)
The day previous the nation, and indeed much of the world stopped to remember the birth of Christ, and being just one day later many people were still in a celebratory mood. Louise and I sent the day having Christmas lunch with parents, then Louise had the ‘joy’ of going to work, while I had the privilege of going out to tell people about the Saviour.
The night was expected to be slow due to the fact that everyone was on holidays and many shops were closed. This expectation turned out to be correct, for in the mall there were very few people. After our normal time of Bible reading and prayer, we made our way to the Queen Street Mall for some evangelism. While setting up things began to get interesting. Yarran was on the Bible table having a great witness to two Indian men. Alex was preparing himself to preach, Ryan was handing out tracts and engaged in a one to one. Then the explosion came. The man to whom Ryan had been witnessing went absolutely nuts, when he read on the tract that Jesus considers lust to be adultery (Matthew 5:28). He came storming over to me asking who was in charge, so I tried to calm him down. He was not in the mood for talking, rather he was in the mood for yelling and this he did plenty of.
His central beef was around the fact that he considered lust to be perfectly fine, and he didn’t like the idea of his love being a sin in the sight of God. To top it off, amongst the abuse, the swearing, the name calling, the threats he said these words “I believe in God, I’m a Christian!” My reply was one that set him off even further, I told him the Bible would say he is not a Christian as the fruit he is showing says that his heart is wicked.
The man stormed off, then came back. This time he was standing on a park bench screaming a abuse and cursing me at the top of his lungs. He then jumped dow
n and came charging up to me. I thought he was about to smack me one, but instead he just got really close, so the that smell of alcohol would be in my face. Then once again he began to curse and say, “I would have become a Christian, except for you and your statements on lust!” To which I answered, “No, you would not have become a Christian, for you love your sin more than you love God.” He then ripped up a tract and went screaming up the mall. All this, and we hadn’t even started preaching.
After the eventful heckle, we thought it time to begin the preaching. Alex (not the Atheist) got up to preach first. He hadn’t been preaching long when a couple of hecklers moved in for the mock. These two guys had obviously been exposed to some wacko teaching in the past, for they started to ask about healing and being slain in the spirit. Upon asking these questions, one began to shout “I’m blind!” To which the other in a mocking tone came over, laid hands on him and yelled “BE HEALED!” The ‘blind’ man fell to the ground and began to cry out “I’ve been healed! I can see!” With these sort of mocks the heckling continued. Throughout all this Alex remained calm and cool, sticking to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
For over an hour Alex preached, and he did a wonderful job. Not b
ad for someone who has only been preaching for a few weeks. It seems that he is a natural when it comes to preaching, and God willing Alex will develop into a gifted minister of the Word.
Ryan was the next preacher up for the night, he as usual opened up the Bible and began to tell of the glad tidings that are found in the message of Christ. The hecklers were fewer for Ryan, of course there was Wayne the Agnostic, who threw a few random heckles in the direction of Ryan. Then there was this one young man who came along and mocked the gospel. It even got to the point where he was saying a mock prayer while Ryan preached, and then tried to climb on the box with him.
It was sad to see so many people mock the God who is so kind towards them, the God of the Bible gives them life and everything they need to survive. Yet, they continue to rebel and mock Him. They don’t realise that their sin is an offence to God and that they deserve judgement. Yet, that God whom they mock, in love sent Christ Jesus to suffer and die on the cross in the place of those who would believe. Then, three days after Christ died, He arose again from the dead and defeated sin and death. So, if those who mock would repent (turn from sin) and trust that it is only by the death, burial and resurrection of Christ that we are saved, all their sin would be forgiven. Will they do that? That is up to God, but the question reader is this, “Will repent of your sins and trust in Christ, who in love, died and rose again in the place of sinners?” Look to Christ right now and live.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Saturday, 12 December, 2009
I was glad to be out on the streets again today, even though I was the only one on the team. The Gold Coast City Council had set up a big Christmas tree in Cavill Avenue, but the area was still mostly deserted. It seems the Global Financial Crisis has taken a bit of a toll on the tourism at the Gold Coast. Another big factor I think is the construction works they are doing down there, for they have taken out lots of the seats in Cavill and along the Esplanade.
One of the first conversations I had was with a guy named Jason. He was about 25 and obviously works out. When I asked him whether he thought he would go to Heaven, he explained that his parents actually go to Hillsong. They've been constantly pleading with him to convert. He said that he knew he should one of these days, but he thought he wasn't ready yet. I then asked him what he thinks a person must do to be saved, for his parents possibly told incorrect things. He responded, "Go to Church and do good things." So I then spent next few minutes explaining that no one is good in God's sight and we can only be saved through the finished work of Christ on the cross. At the end of the conversation he thanked me greatly for the wake up call.
I then saw Tom, a mid-twenties guy who lives in Surfers and I regularly see. It was good to catch up and answer a lot of the new questions he had, and always bring it back to the gospel. He explained that he just loves sinning and doesn't want to turn from them. I asked him why he gets drunk about every weekend. He said it was boredom, he had nothing else to do. I explained that there are so many other things that he could do instead and gave him some suggestions. The conversation went for about half an hour, constantly pleading with him to come to Christ, but his heart was very hard. Please pray that God softens his heart.
As I was walking back to my car, I was handing out the million note tracts, one bloke called me back asking about it. He said he was a Christian and attends an Evangelical Lutheran Church. When I asked him how he thinks a person is saved, he responded, "If they believe and are baptised they will be saved". I asked, "And be baptised?". He responded, "Yes." So I asked him whether he believed passages like Ephesians 2:8-9 that talk about being saved completely by grace through faith and not through any of our own works. He said he did.
I then asked, "Was the thief on the cross baptised?" He responded, "Well we don't know if he wasn't baptised before he was put up on the cross." I said, "It's unlikely seeing as though he was a horrible criminal, and secondly, does not the baptism need to follow the faith, not precede it?" He agreed with this.
He then responded by asking, "So do you ignore the verse in Mark 16:16 that says if you believe and are baptised you will be saved?". I responded, "No, but you've got to take all the passages in the Bible and see what they say and not just a single verse." He agreed with this. So I explained that the overwhelming majority of passages regarding salvation talk about it being through faith that a person is saved, not baptism. I then went onto show him how even in Mark 16:16, the second half of the sentence says: "But whoever does not believe will be condemned." It doesn't mention baptism there as something someone will be condemned for. At this point, it seemed to click in his mind. And so he said, "I actually agree with you now."
Another great day of outreach, to God be the glory!
Saturday, 12 December, 2009
Saturday, 12th December 2009
The shrill blast of a whistle drew the attention of not just Louise and I, but of everyone in King George Square. As we looked for where the whistle was coming from a new noise reached our ears, this time it was the deep rhythmic beat of a drum. Still the multitudes of people in the square were none the wiser as to where the noise had originated. Then a new sound was added to the din, this time it was the cry of a female voice calling out “EVERYONE SAMBA!” Then as if on cue the drums beat louder and the whistle blasted again. This time those looking saw a dance troupe start walking from in front of City Hall to a more central location within King George Square.
By now people in the Queen Street Mall, King George Square and the surrounding streets were coming to see what the commotion was all about. The crowd continued to build as the music beat on and as those in the crowd began to dance even more people stopped to join in. Young and old stood in the square and began dancing along with the bikini clad leader. Photos were taken and ultimately it seemed like people were having a good time. As the crowd grew so did the danger, for the crowd had gotten to the point where they were spilling out onto one of Brisbane’s busiest inner-city roads.
As I watched the events unfolding before me, I thought it would be good to tract the crowd when the show had finished. Turning to my pack I began to get out all my Christmas tracts, as I thought these would work best, since the square was all lit up for the festive season. The only problem was that I was massively outnumbered. In no way could I manage to get tracts to the majority of the crowd. As I thought about this problem, a solution appeared. Crossing King George at this point was Ryan and Alex (not the atheist). Quickly I hurried up to them and gave them each a pack of Christmas tracts and then explained how we would reach the crowd when they dispersed. We were fully expecting the music to come to a stop then people would leave, but to our utter amazement this was not the case. With music still being played the crowd began to walk with the dancing troupe. Quickly we spread ourselves out and began to hand out tracts. It was very easy to get tracts in the hands of the crowd, all we said was “Merry Christmas” and offered them our literature. Within a short space of time nearly 300 Christmas tracts were handed out and then began the one to one conversations.
As normal Ryan had no difficulties in getting into a witnessing encounter, he seems to attract people who wish to talk. As the group surrounded him to discuss Christianity I continued to hand out tracts. Then it came my turn for a conversation.
A young man took a tract then came back a few seconds later and said, “Aren’t you one of the preachers from Queen Street?” I replied in the affirmative and from there a conversation began. He stated that he admired the work we did, even though he disagreed with us in certain areas. The discussion then focused on the areas of disagreement and it was then that he made the statement that on that particular day he had de-converted from Christianity and embraced Judaism. That was something I had to explore further, so I began by asking him if he accepted the New Testament as truth, he replied saying he believed it to be holy and from God. I pointed out to him that as a Jew, he could not accept the New Testament as truth and yet hold onto the Judaic understanding of salvation, for the Bible indicates that Jesus is the Messiah, the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Then this man said something strange, he said “I believe that!”
I had not expected this reply from a man who had just de-converted, so I took him to the book of Galatians to show him that if someone has truly turned from their sins and trusted that it is by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ that they are saved, then it is foolishness and a curse to put themselves back under the law. It was at this point that the man said, “I have been told not to debate Scripture”. I asked who told him this, and again I did not expect this reply, he said, “The angels and the visions told me not to debate Scripture, they all told me to leave Christianity and become a Jew.” Since, I was in Galatians already I showed him that if any angel preached something other than the Christian gospel, then that angel is damned. For the next 20 or 30 minutes we went back and forth over the biblical gospel. In the end the man seemed to be getting a little frustrated with the fact that I kept God as Sovereign and that the Bible is the sole rule of faith and practice for the Christian.
The man maintained his position on having visions and angels telling him what to do, he also made the claim that he alone possessed a secret knowledge of God. These were all easily countered via the Scripture. Then he made this statement, “I am humble before God, but I must put myself on a pedestal for a time, since the world must know that I am the chosen one!” To which I replied, “I’m sorry, but you have a Messiah complex, the only Chosen One is Christ Jesus, you can’t take His position.” At this the man huffed and walked away.
It was now nearing 2030hrs, so we came together for a time of prayer and bible reading. The night had already been great for evangelism, but it was shaping up to be an interesting night.
As we entered the mall to set up for the night, I got to encounter our second strange person for the night. This man who claimed to be an artist came to me and began to argue that I didn’t know the Bible. The interesting thing was at this stage I hadn’t even used my Bible in the mall. He told me to read a passage of Scripture, so I turned to Colossians 1 and began to read. As the man heard about Christ being the Creator of all, he began to get angry and started to yell at me to stop reading. I refused and kept reading the Scripture. The man then screamed, “IN JESUS NAME I ORDER YOU TO STOP!” Yet, I continued. The man turned and walked away, only to return a few moments later. He came back and said, “Jesus did not create all things on earth, he made the angels and they made things. That was the job of Lucifer.” Again, I opened my Bible and began to read from Colossians 1, which shows that Christ is the Creator of all things, including the angels. Again, the man went nuts at the reading of the Scripture. He then told me that God was speaking though him and that I was to read Matthew 24. I turned there and asked, “Where should I start reading?” The man gave me a verse then said, “That is what God would say to you!” I agreed that God speaks through his word, but that is not the same as God speaking through him. The man then made some really non-sense arguments. But, it kept coming back to the fact, that he did not believe Christ was God, nor was He the Creator. I pointed to the tree standing in the mall, and said, “That there is proof of the Creator God.” The man disagreed and said, “God created himself! The earth created the tree!” I asked him, “How could God create Himself? The mere fact He can create shows that He must be pre-existent”. The man had no reply. I pushed him on if the tree was created by God, the man said, “No, the earth made the tree, God made everything!” I pointed at the tree and said, “Is that apart of everything?” The man nodded, I continued, “So, God must have made that tree, since God made everything?”
At this the man launched into a demonic tongue and began to pronounce curses upon us. He denied that Jesus was come in the flesh and that God was not eternal. I rebuked him from the Scripture, stating that he had the spirit of antichrist and was an enemy of God. The man walked off, but hung around all night. Constantly being a harassment to the team. This behaviour even resulted in Wayne the Agnostic to comment on how the night seemed to be more strange than usual.
Since we were light on preachers tonight, we decided to let Alex (not the atheist) preach first. It was his first time up, so we thought it best to let him have a go, before the crowd got too hostile. He did a great job of preaching. His voice was clear and even, and when the hecklers arose he did a splendid job of countering their objections in both a biblical and logical manner. Towards the end of his open air a couple of hecklers opened up fairly hard on him, and at one point it looked like he may lose control of the crowd, so I tagged in and took over.
The question that was presented by one of the hecklers was the issue of the Bible and the perceived inconsistency within local churches. He maintained that the Bible ordered all women to cover their heads in church, yet no one does it. So I read him the Scripture and was able to counter his argument. This then spawned into a women debate, the agnostics claimed that Christianity suppress women and order them to be silent in the church. I argued that the Scripture teaches that men and women are equal, however, within this equality there is different roles. I then showed him from the Bible how a female is not allowed to preach / teach in the church and how that is a male only function. But, I stressed that it was in no ways declaring a woman lesser than a man. I then swung it back to the gospel and how we are all equal before God as sinners.
For about an hour I debated and reasoned with the crowd. I had heckles from atheists, agnostics, Roman Catholics, Satanists and the like. Each time I would try to answer their questions and preach the gospel. At the end a young Roman Catholic lady came up to me and thanked me for my preaching. Even though she disagreed with what we said, it had made her think. Please pray for her.
Ryan by now was preaching and as the night got later the crowds got bigger and more hostile. While Ryan was preaching within the space of a few minutes there were two fights. The interesting thing was that it centred around one foul mouthed atheist who claimed to have all the answers. First fight erupted when a bunch of Maori got annoyed at him for his “know it all” attitude so they walked up and pushed him in the face. I jumped in and told the group to clear off. It was then that one of them turned on me and said he would punch my face in. I told him to step up and try if he wished, but it wouldn’t look good for him to punch a preacher. The others at this stage dragged him away.
Then a few minutes later an Irishman smacked the atheist once again because of his “know it all” attitude. Like before I was forced to jump between them and this time I cleared the atheist off. He was claiming victory because the preacher couldn’t answer him. I pointed out that the only victory he had was not being seriously injured by some drunk who wanted to punch him out. The man didn’t care and he stayed around for some time. Later on in the night Ryan engaged this man in a one to one and systematically dismantled his arguments.
Finally a young man who had been there all night heckling got moved on by police because of his foul and abusive language. It was turning out to be a rather hostile and strange night. So much for this being the season to be jolly!
At the close of the night, I was approached by a young guy who wanted to talk about the gospel. His friend however did not. He did everything to disrupt the conversation, but I persisted in talking to this one young guy. As I spoke to him you could see him come under conviction and he believed that I was telling the truth. He took an in-depth gospel tract and left. One of the agnostics saw this conversation and he remarked to Louise in a serious tone, “It looks like someone is about to be converted from darkness to Christianity.” I find it interesting that the agnostic knew that those without Christ are in darkness.
This Christmas, are you in darkness or are you in the light? Have you seen the need of the Saviour? Have you realized that your sin is against God? If so, you must repent (turn from your sins) and trust that it is by Jesus dying on the cross and rising again that you can be saved. Would you do that today? Look to Jesus Christ and live.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Friday, 11 December, 2009
Tonight was a great evening. We began by meeting for a time of fellowship and devotions at Cafe Nero. It was wonderful to have a good turn out and everyone was excited to be out to share the Gospel.
We arrived in the Square and I began to get things organised for the night. Andrew was not with us, which meant that the preaching fell to me only. Our ministry is now quite facetted and along with the open-air preaching we also have the sign-boards that we use, along with the many gospel tracts that we hand out. Below and to the left is a picture of Lesley using one of the sign-boards, with the question: “Ask me the meaning of life.”
The boards work really well and the result has been that many conversations have been initiated by them. Our aim is for people to hear the Gospel, whether it be through an open-air preach or through one-to-one conversations. Of course, open-air preaching leads into one-to-one conversations and it’s wonderful when the two work together like that.
Street evangelism is very dynamic and each Friday night is always different. Often it’s a case of waiting to see how the evening plays out. That said, I do believe it important to have a structure to the evening. To this end I have decided that the open-air preaching ought to take place first. This is because it is a team exercise. When the preacher stands up to preach it makes a huge difference for him to have a “mock crowd” in front of him. People draw people and it is the aim of every open-air to draw in a crowd. In addition to this, the Christians in the crowd have the responsibility of observing those who take an interest in the preaching so that they can engage them in one-to-one conversation. This was the plan for Friday night, although events transpired in such a way that we had to abandon the plan. This is not a bad thing and it cannot be prevented, the key point is that we do have a plan for the evening so that we are focused and directed in what we are doing.
As I was getting ready to preach a man approached me and asked if I had preached yet. I was a bit surprised and so I asked him how he knew that I would be preaching. He said that he had seen me preach five times previously and that he had taken photos each time (the camera he had used was in his hand). I told him that I was almost ready to preach but had a few more things to do. He seemed pleased and asked if I could give him something to read as he waited, as he could see that we had various tracts and booklets, etc. Just before I stood up to preach he came to ask me about something he had read in the booklet I had given him. I had given him a Gospel of John and in the front of the booklet it says the following: “The Bible is the greatest work of literature, the most accurate record of ancient history, and the most profound book ever written.” He took issue with this and argued that the Bible could not be completely accurate and trustworthy, since it had been written by sinful man. I realised that the preaching would have to wait and that I needed to address his objection. I looked around and was pleased to see that my team had begun to engage people in conversation. The man I was talking to introduced himself as Patrick and as we continued to talk I recognised him from having spoken to Susi the week before. He seemed to believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life and that they had played a role in human history. As we were talking another man came up to us and pushed his way into the conversation. This can be a tricky thing to deal with and it does mean that you have to take control of what is happening, to the best of your ability.
The man who had joined our conversation asked concerning Andrew and I realised that they had spoken before. He had in his hand what appeared a Muslim booklet/tract that quoted various verses from the Bible, which called in to question the Deity of Christ, etc. He was becoming very difficult to deal with and I repeatedly had to ask him to be fair and allow me to respond to what he was saying. Patrick noticed too that he was not being fair and asked him the same. It did not help and eventually I had to say to him that I would no longer be talking to him, since he had no desire to be fair but instead wanted to dominate the conversation. I found it interesting when he said to me that he was not a Muslim and in fact did not hold to any religion, yet he seemed intent on showing Christianity to be full of supposed errors. My biggest concern was Patrick. I had given him my best attention and hoped that he appreciated this and also that he understood my decision to walk away from the conversation. I could no longer continue my conversation with Patrick without the man’s interference. Perhaps I could have tried something different and should I meet with him again I will certainly do my best to take greater control.
By now it was getting quite late but I still felt I had sufficient time to preach. Leicester Square has recently been transformed into an amusement park and so it’s a lot nosier with far more distractions. It makes open-air preaching certainly more of a challenge. I decided to still give it a go. Some other Christians had come to join us and I asked one of them if he wouldn’t mind standing by me as I preached. After a little while some people began to stop and listen. A young lad by the name of Francis saw it as an opportunity to have some fun at my expense but I played off of that and managed to turn it around a little bit. He didn’t quite like the fact that I caught him out with regards to his sin but he stayed to listen and I was pleased that he did. A little later another young man stopped to listen and he asked some genuine questions concerning the claims of Christianity, as well as the credibility of the Bible. I attempted to answer his questions as best I could and when he moved on he came and shook my hand and thanked me for my efforts. I had hoped that he would have stuck around but sometimes a person only wants to have their questions answered before they move on. It could be the beginning of the Lord drawing this man to Himself (John 6:44) and I do pray that the Lord would do just that. Unfortunately I did not get his name but please do pray that the Lord would continue to work in his life.
After I finished preaching we all continued to talk with as many people as we could. It was a very cold night but praise be to God that we were able to talk with a good number of people. After a little while we gathered together to talk about the night. Rowina seemed very excited and came to share some news with us. It turns out that during the open-air preaching two men who had stopped to listen are in fact father and son but had not seen each other in 17 years! The father had been arrested and sent to prison and so they had completely lost contact. Now, 17 years later they had been reconciled after stopping to listen to the Gospel being preached on a cold winter’s night right in the middle of London in Leicester Square! We also learned that the father became a Christian while in prison. How good is God?! I was speechless as I listened to Rowina. We serve a great God.
Tonight truly was a great evening. We praise the Lord for His faithfulness.
Soli Deo Gloria!
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