Thank-you to all those who prayed for us today as we ministered in Sunnybank. We were able to set up the Chinese Bible table, and we were pleased to see that native Chinese speakers availed themselves to the Scripture and literature.
Our hope is that this table will be used to reach those who speak little, or no English.
Throughout the afternoon we were able to have many talks to people, and distribute quite a number of tracts. In particular, I spoke to one man who identified himself as an English gentlemen, however, by his unkept appearance, poor hygiene, and bad manners it was clear that he was no gentleman.
This man declared that he was a man of evidence, and that he carried Heaven around with him. He also maintained that whatever you believe to be true is true.
I challenged his worldview and then asked if he had any evidence to support his claims. He admitted that he had no evidence. The conversation was rather difficult, but I did manage to present Christ to him. Sadly, this English gentleman responded by yelling out "Hail Satan!" as he walked away.
Please pray for all those that we spoke to today. May God's kindness lead them all to repentance.
This week in Hobart we have had a incident of Christophobic discrimination by both the police and the local retailers. God be praised this only temporarily limited the preaching of the gospel and distributing tracts and bibles.
I was joined this week by a brother from the north of the state and his lovely wife. Caleb and I decided to start a little early and so made use of Elizabeth arcade. No permits are needed for this area and it provides an excellent area to preach and hand out tracts to people coming through the mall.
I began the preaching with a message regarding the Lord's supper and the need everyone has to be saved and made right with God through Jesus' death and resurrection. Caleb next preached on the holiness of God and our sinfulness. In all of this only small comments were made and few hecklers spoke but many people were obviously listening as they stood or sat in the mall.
Shortly following this we were approached by two police officers who informed us that what we were doing was a public nuisance and we had to stop because complaints had been made. It was clear that Jay Jay's manager was one of the sources of the complaint as she was interviewed by the police before they came to speak to us.
Caleb and I declined to stop preaching as we were not breaking any laws. The police constables then warned us that we would be given a move on order and then arrested if we persisted. After they left I began to preach again focusing on a clear proclamation of the gospel and the need we all have of that gospel. The officers again spoke with the council and then the staff in Jay Jay's before coming to speak to me. I was given a move on order because of the content of my preaching. The issue was not the manner of my preaching or any threatening or obscene comments. It was the offensive Christian gospel that was unacceptable and illegal according to these officers. And so under threat of arrest I left the CBD.
Later in the afternoon I walked to the police station to file a complaint regarding this incident. After a short discussion with one of the sergeants the move on order was rescinded and I was free to be in the CBD again. With this done I went with the team to preach again in the mall and proclaim the glories and hope of the gospel.
Please pray that the gospel will be freely proclaimed in Hobart and the police will be lawful in their behaviour from now on. Pray also for the team and I, that we will be wise, gentle, respectful yet bold and not give into fear or anger.
At one stage two young men came up to me saying they wanted to help evangelise. They said they attend an Anglican Church in Brisbane. I knew that that kind of church in Brisbane is often quite liberal and so I asked them what they think would get them to Heaven.
One responded, "I don't think I'll go to Heaven because I have done too many sins." The other said that if he "tries his best" he hopes it will get him to Heaven.
So I explained to them the message of grace and how it is by faith in Jesus alone that we can be forgiven. After a few analogies they came to understand the gospel, and they then realised they had never been Christians yet. One said, "They have never explained this in church to us. This has been massive eye opener. Thank you so much."
We had a good size team last night, and many great evangelistic conversations were had.
To God be the glory!
After a week of rainy days, it was good to experience warm sunny weather on Thursday at our weekly outreach at Sunnybank (QLD).
One of the first conversations I had was with an elderly man who attends a Uniting church. After asking him why he would be let into Heaven, he quoted John 3:16 to me.
But then after probing a bit deeper into what he believed it turned out he denied the fact that Jesus died on the cross or experienced any suffering whatsoever. Instead this man said he picks out the nice things of the Bible and only believes them.
So I spent a bit of time explaining how Jesus said he came to give His life as a ransom for many, and that forgiveness is available only because He died. But not long after, his bus arrived. However it is my prayer that this elderly man would seriously consider what he heard.
I then got into a conversation with a high school student named George. He didn't believe in God, but soon conceded that he would be happy to believe in a deistic God - that is, one that doesn't tell him how to live. I could tell then that it was a love of sin that was the reason for this young man's rejection of God.
But he had a lot of questions. So I spent the next two hours reasoning and sharing the gospel with him. Please pray that God would convict him and save him.
Meanwhile, George's friend named Taneegee was listening for most of the conversation and so after speaking with George I turned my attention to Taneegee. He said he goes to a True Jesus Church, where they don't believe in the Trinity and instead think that God simply takes different forms at different times. So I asked him, "Who was Jesus praying to on the cross?" He couldn't respond.
The discussion went on to about how we are saved, and Taneegee thought it was baptism that saved him. I showed him Ephesians 2:8-9 and a few other Scriptures - that it is only by faith alone in Jesus alone that we can be saved. He said he is going to go home and study the Scriptures I showed him and come back to chat with us another day. This discussion with Taneegee actually helped George who was still listening, as from this he appeared to come to grasp the relationship between faith and works.
During this time, team member Col was handing out hundreds of gospel tracts to all the people getting off at the bus stop.
It was another very worthwhile day sharing the glorious gospel. Soli Deo Gloria!
When we arrived for our outreach in Brisbane city today, we checked out the rain radar and saw a large rain band about to hit the city. So we decided to set up the Bible table undercover.
After praying and starting to hand out tracts, we met two new ladies who said they wanted to help us share the gospel today. The funny thing is that one asked the other, "Do you know where the Christian group is who share the gospel here?" The other lady replied, "That's exactly who I am trying to find too!" Their names were Grace and Emily.
We are always praying for more labourers to help us so this is an answer to prayer!
There were a lot of good conversations today with a bunch of different people. A few conversations were with atheists, but when I gave them a simple argument of - just as a building must have had a builder, so must this universe had a creator - they backslid from their position of atheism and acknowledged God's existence. This meant, I could go on to talking about sin, the coming Judgement and the gospel.
Also there were a few people after hearing the message said that that they wanted to repent and trust in Christ alone for their forgiveness today.
This included a guy named Jon who was sitting nearby where we were for most of the afternoon. He professed to be a Christian, but didn't understand the gospel. After talking with him, he came to understand grace and stayed around us till it was time for us to leave, and then mentioned to me that he wants to come next Wednesday afternoon to help us share the gospel with us!
Glory to God! He said, "I want to do something with my life now that is of eternal value."
Thirty minutes to go, the rain ceased and so this enabled Norm to get up on the step ladder to share his testimony in the open air (this is the testimony he is going to share this Sunday when he gets baptised). Afterwards Gerhard got up and read in public from John 3. It is great to hear these guys breaking the sound barrier and unashamedly making Christ known in the open air.
It is never in vain when God's word goes out. So to God alone be all the praise!
Short video from Wednesday's outreach in Brisbane city with Norm sharing his testimony in the open air.Posted by Operation 513 - Evangelism Action Group on Wednesday, June 17, 2015
It was a rainy day today, yet, despite the weather we still had our outreach in Woodridge. When we arrived today we saw that Police had a strong presence in the area, and also there was a large group of Maori Wardens (community support group). This had a positive impact in the area as it kept crime down.
Today, for the first time we set up the Bible table in Woodridge. We had free copies of the Gospel of John, colouring books for the kids, apologetic material, and other evangelistic literature. We weren't sure how the table would be received, but to our surprise people loved it. Many people came over to take resources and to chat. We were even encouraged by a Police Officer who encouraged us in our work and said it would only be the Gospel which changes this community.
Throughout the afternoon we had good conversations and many tracts were handed out. In particular, I had a great conversation with a young New Zealander who is a local drug dealer. He had never heard the Gospel before, so for the first time in his life I had the honour of telling him about Jesus. This young man acknowledge the truth of Jesus and the fact that he needed the Saviour. However, he openly said he couldn't come to Christ as that'd mean giving up his drug dealing. I stressed to this young man that sin, while it may look good for a time, will actually be the death of him. We agreed, yet he still held onto his sin. At the end of the conversation the young man couldn't stop shaking my hand and saying thank-you. Even though he wanted to continue in sin, you could see that he was seriously thinking through the issue. He took a Gospel of John and also an evangelistic leaflet. Please pray for him.
Please remember to pray for all those we spoke to today. May the Father draw many to Christ.
Rick got talking to an older lady who turned out to be Jehovah's Witness. She is very active in it, but didn't really know her Bible very well. She was advocating the idea that since the wages of sin is death, therefore no one will be judged on judgement day based on what they've done in this life, since they have already paid for their sin by dying.
So we shared with her some Scriptures like Romans 2:5-6, where it speaks about people storing up wrath for the day of wrath based on their actions now. She responded "You'll never change my mind!" So we encouraged her to be open-minded to what the Bible says and so she eventually agreed to write down these Scriptures we were mentioning to her to look them up later.
But she didn't have a pen. However, at that moment her teenage granddaughter turned up and said she would write them in her phone. She did this and then while Rick was talking with the grandmother, I started witnessing to the granddaughter who was an active Jehovah's Witness as well.
She had a lot of questions, like "How can there be a Hell if God is loving?", "What about the 140,000?", "What about the paradise Earth?" As I was answering her questions, I could tell she was listening intently.
At one stage, she mentioned how she believes the Holy Spirit is merely God's active force. I said, "Why then does it say in Ephesians 4:30 'Don't grieve the Holy Spirit?'" I asked her, "How can you grieve a force? Only persons can be grieved. That means the Holy Spirit is not a force but a person, one of the persons of the Godhead." She actually came to agree.
I then went on to explain how Jesus said in Matthew 5:48 we must be perfect for our whole life, but we are not and therefore deserve Hell. And simply trying to be perfect isn't good enough.
I went on to explain the gospel, and she was beginning to grasp it - that her witnessing, church going and praying couldn't save her, but only faith in what Jesus has done on the cross could.
I also warned her to not believe the Watchtower organisation, but only the Bible. For I pointed out that even the Watchtower themselves acknowledges that they have made false predictions in the past (like when Jesus would return), and so therefore they are a false prophet and shouldn't be believed. She thought that was a good point.
She said she would seriously think about what she heard and read those passages she wrote in her phone.
Afterwards Rick told me that the grandmother wasn't open at all to hear what Rick was saying, but Rick continued the conversation with the lady long enough so that I could talk thoroughly with her granddaughter.
Please pray for both ladies.
To God be the glory!
We thought tonight was going to be a quiet night, however, as my previous post made clear it certainly wasn't!
The night started a bit slower than usual due to the rain showers, however, there still was a number of people out in the Queen Street Mall, so we continued the outreach.
The team set up, and almost immediately we began having conversations. People were taking tracts, and many wanted to talk.
It was also good that tonight we were able to encourage a few of the men in the team to get up and read the Bible in public for the first time. After, we had read the Scriptures, I preached on Matthew 7:13-14. As I preached, I had a couple of hecklers stop to ask questions. Sadly, a professing Christian took offence at our preaching and drove the hecklers away as I was sharing the Gospel with them. She came up and said to them, "God loves you" and that was it. Sadly, this well meaning lady drove away people who were about to hear the Good News that Christ can forgive sinners.
After the preaching was when things really heated up. While the team was handing out tracts a group of about twenty Muslims of Middle-Eastern appearance walked by. They were offered literature, but they refused, and began to curse Christianity. They yelled out a few things about Muhammed, and then began to make threats towards us. They threatened physical violence because we are Christians.
The gang walked away, so I spoke to two Police Officers about the situation. While I was talking to them the gang returned, surrounded us and continued to make threats. The Police drove the gang away, and then it was arranged that Police would send more Officers to the area to keep us safe. The Queensland Police Service did a wonderful job in ensuring our safety. We are thankful for their service.
What we saw tonight with the threats from these young Muslims men is true and consistent Islamic belief. Islam always opposes by force those who would disagree with them. The West needs to wake up and realise that Islam seeks to dominate by force, and will be a major threat to our freedoms. My prayer is that Islam will be stopped through the preaching of the Gospel, and that these young men that threatened us would come to know Christ.
Despite the rain it was a productive outreach in Wynnum. We were able to hand out 500 tracts and have several conversations.
I spoke to one lady who is a spiritualist. She was telling me that all religions are true, and are all paths to God. I asked her if God could lie, she said He couldn't; I then followed up by asking, "Is Jesus, God?" She replied that He is.
From there I said, "Jesus said in John 14:6, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.' Is Jesus speaking the truth?" The lady quickly affirmed that Jesus speaks the truth.
So I asked her why she would reject the truth and follow spiritualism? This question seemed to stump the lady. She fumbled around for a bit, and kept saying, "I am going to the sprit realm, the spirits have told me." I answered her claims from the Bible, but she seem to be deaf to whatever I said to her. Please pray the Lord would set her free from the spirits that currently deceive her.
After talking to the spiritualist I then got into a conversations with two agnostics who identified themselves as anti-theists. They made the following arguments against Christianity: 1) The Bible enslaves women; 2) The Bible was made by men wanting power; 3) The Bible has been changed thousands of times; 4) The Bible is myth; 5) Christianity has done nothing good for society.
I answered all their arguments from Scripture, history and textual criticism. The response from the two anti-theists was to say that I was brainwashed. I pointed out to them that they had made unsubstantiated claims which were incorrect, and that they rejected any answers to their questions. In the end they called me names and walked away. Clearly, they were not interested in answers. They just wanted an excuse not to believe.
Please pray for all those who took tracts, and who we spoke to today. This was the first of two outreaches planned for this Saturday. Please also pray for tonight's outreach in the Brisbane CBD.
God's providence was on full display today in Sunnybank! At the commencement of our outreach we offered a tract to a Chinese gentleman who was walking by; he took the tract then looked us. As he looked towards us a expression of shock crossed his faith, he said, "You were preaching Queen Street yesterday!"
This man had stopped to listen to me preach on Wednesday, and he even took a picture of me preaching. Now, 24 hours later Ryan and I were able to talk to him in Sunnybank. The background of this man was atheistic; he had grown up in mainland China so that was all he was taught. However, after talking to him his atheism soon crumbled.
He listened intently to the Gospel as we shared it with him; and before he left he said nothing was going to stop him from repenting. He took a Chinese Gospel of John from us, and also a tract in his language. Please pray for this man.
Today, was also the first time we tested out our new Chinese literature table. We were able to set it up between the rain showers. The purpose of this table is to help reach the Chinese speakers of the community. I can't speak Chinese, but I can offer material in their language. One elderly lady came by and took a Bible. The smile on her face was priceless. There is something special about being able to read the Bible in your own tongue.
Despite the rain many great conversations were had, and many tracts handed out. Please pray for all those we encountered.