On Wednesday the 21st, 'Back to the Future Day', Queen St Mall, Brisbane was packed with people, many of whom had prepared for the day, knowing it was coming for 30 years, they organised some clothes to imitate 'Marty McFly' and had scheduled the time to watch the trilogy. Many people were happy to celebrate the time in the future where the characters 'returned to' but what about when Jesus Christ returns?
Will we be prepared for Christ's return? Are the people of Brisbane prepared for Christ's return?
The answer to those questions for most people is a resounding NO. The vast majority of people are not prepared for Christ's return, many believe they are doing pretty good and the 'god' they believe in shall let them into Heaven. And many others just don't care, they are so apathetic that most will say it doesn't matter either way.
For that reason, that if Christ had returned on this day, there would have been hundreds of thousands who had never heard about their sin and their need for Christ as a Saviour so that they too could be prepared for the return of Christ.
We had a little bit of trouble setting up (as we forgot our table but by God's grace we were able to sort out a makeshift table and the afternoon got under way!
Out first conversation was with a lady named Anne, she told us that she knew she was going to Heaven because she was a very good person. When asked where she would rate herself on a scale of zero to one hundred she boldly proclaimed to be ninety-five!
We asked her what standard she was judging by and she said what she thought her motives were.
When we asked how she thought she compared to God's standard of perfection and goodness she said she didn't know. We discussed briefly whether or not a perfect God would have an objective standard of goodness. She admitted that He probably should and when tested by that standard Anne, just like the rest of us fell very short.
We continued talking a little more about ways to get to Heaven if we didn't deserve to get there and what we could do about it. Anne was sure there was a way to get to Heaven because she knew people who were certain of getting there. That provided the perfect opportunity to share with her the Amazing Love of Jesus, that He, the Lord of this world would come down, humble Himself and be the wrath-absorbing sacrifice for all those who trust in Him.
She said it is something she would have to consider.
Please pray for Anne, she now knows the way of salvation, the Good News of Jesus Christ, please pray that she will trust in Christ alone, submitting to His authority and therefore have her sin debt paid for!
Please commit to the Lord, the rest of the people with whom we talked, that they will also consider what happens after they die. Pray that they will have understood the Gospel message and would not have been able to sleep without getting right with God. Please pray that those who took literature, who asked questions, who listened to preaching and read the signs that they will have this small amount of information about Christ and it will be the seed landing in good soil.
Please thank God for the opportunity we have, under little opposition to be able to openly preach the Gospel in the heart of Brisbane City!
Soli Deo Gloria!
This week in Hobart the gospel went out again and the healing, saving and convicting words of our Lord went to work on the hearts of the people here. It has been a great day and there have been many encouragements.
The first of the day was a wonderful conversation with Andrea, a Christian man from Italy who was very excited to see the gospel being shared on the streets. He shared with me his walk with the Lord out of Catholicism to now worshiping in a methodist church. It was a privilege to hear what God has done in Andrea's life and how he was brought from despair to hope. He also encouraged me to continue in the work of sharing the gospel in Hobart.
The second encouragement for me came when we set up the bible table. Karl got up to speak from a collection of bible passages and did a fantastic job drawing people to seek Jesus and trust in Him. It is wonderful to look around at people nodding and smiling as my brother spoke. Afterwards I read the story of Jesus' birth in Luke, something I hope to do regularly as we approach Christmas.
After this we spent some time engaging with some skeptics who had gathered to chat with Mr S.. Karl, Jim and myself all had some good conversations. I particularly enjoyed discussing philosophy and faith with Mr E., one of Mr S.'s friends. The others all were having great discussions also from what I heard.
We set up the table again after an hour (council regulations...) and Taylor got up to speak. He spoke from the parable of the sower in Matthew's gospel and shared the gospel beginning with this telling story. And again I saw many people appreciative of my brother's words of hope.
I next got up to speak from Mat 5:4; about the Godly grief that we all should have for sin and the hardness of our hearts. Also I pointed to the wholeness, peace and healing that God offers in Jesus Christ for those who will repent of sin and trust in Him. Afterwards many gospel conversations were had and we left the mall praising the God of heaven for His grace.
This last couple of weeks in Hobart has been a mixed bag of responses and events. We now have five people in the team who will stand and speak! Both Karl and Mitch have stood to read the word of God and did a fantastic job. Taylor has continued to increase the amount he preaches and is now doing a great job of preaching the gospel from various texts. Nathan has been likewise improving but has had immense pressure from his work hours and so has been away for a couple of weeks. Please pray for those who preach, that they will be kept from both pride and fear.
The response of Hobart people has been the same as it always has been, a vocal minority of folk dislike our work and a large majority appreciate it and tell us so. The shopkeepers of the mall are not happy with our activities and both Jay Jays and Lowes continue to make complaints. This showed itself through a visit from the chamber of commerce and a couple more discussions with police officers, both of whom accuse us of being a public nuisance. It is not surprising when opposition arises but we need to respond in the right way, please pray that we will bless and pray for those who despise us and that we will not give into depression or antagonism.
As the afternoon has now been divided between Mr S. and ourselves the team and I have taken advantage of the times we are not able to work in the mall to reach out on the surrounding streets. We have been handing out tracts and sharing the gospel where possible with people around the CBD.
This week I preached from Mat 5:3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven". A moderate number of people gathered to hear the gospel preached and I was able to discuss the message and various biblical matters with a young busker afterwards.
Karl read from God's word and Taylor preached from lamentations. Both of them were loud and clear with their speaking and were kind with those who heckled them. It is wonderful to see God's grace in action in their responses.
Praise God for His grace.
Be Educated Outreach
On Tuesday morning we went into the University of Queensland to distribute 200 Bibles, that were donated to us by the Trinitarian Bible Society.
We headed in and first set up at the UQ Lakes bus stop, there we were for about an hour, it was relatively busy and we handed out about sixty five bibles while we were down there.
After forty minutes though a security officer made his way to us and had asked the team to no distribute Bibles, by God's grace while he was checking information about where we could go and things like that we were able to hand out another twenty or so bibles.
Then as we were leaving, we walked past a statue of 'St Vladimir', a statue donated to UQ in 1988, to celebrate Christianity making its way to Russia one thousand years earlier, this man was literally being honoured for distributing Christian literature to Russia.
After a little bit of discussion the team decided we would head to the other side of the campus, out to the council owned land, where we were dropped off and were able by God's sovereign Grace able to distribute the other one hundred and fifteen in a matter of less than thirty minutes at the front entrance to UQ.
Praise God that so many students were able to take Bibles and may be able to read the word of God!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Today the team consisted of Steven, Chuck, Jacob and Myself. We found a spot on the High St in Romford and prayed that God would help us preach accurately and that He would bring those He wants to hear the Gospel.
I have also begun to use a gorpro camera to record and take photos of the preaching. This helps protect us if people accuse us of saying things we did not say and to critique our messages.
It is leading up to Halloween and Jacob came across a number of people dressed up for the occasion. He gave them a tract and began to talk to them.
Jacob also preached later, while we were handing out tracts.
There were other Christians who were greatly encouraged by our activities today and mentioned that they would like to join us so we collected a few phone numbers from them. SDG
On Friday evening the team made their way to the Gold Coast to the share the Good News. Since this is a 'party district' many people were out seeking the pleasures of sin for a season.
Tonight, the team was able to engage many people who had different beliefs about God, salvation and life. Yet, even though we spoke to people from many backgrounds the message of the Gospel remained the same.
It doesn't matter where someone is from, or what they believe. They all need to hear the truth that we have sinned against God, yet, God in mercy sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for His people; to take the punishment we deserve. Then, three days later, the Lord Jesus rose again from the dead, and now He commands us to repent and believe in Christ.
From the start of the night things were rather interesting. Early on a man came up to Ryan and was complaining about hearing the preaching and seeing the Scripture signs. Please pray that the Lord would soften this man's heart and bring him to faith.
Matt had oppurtunity to talk to a man named Frank who was very angry. Frank claimed to be a Christian, yet he was swearing and yelling. Then he would say that he loved what the team was doing.
After awhile he left, but returned a few hours later, this time with a sign he had stolen from a cafe. He then placed the sign right in front of us and left. We were able to return the sign later on.
We also talked with Rodger, a man who was a Jehovah's Witness. He made claims about the Jesus he believes in not being divine and being created. We were able to talk with him about what the Bible states in Isaiah 9:6, John 1:1-3, Philippians 2, Matthew 16, Revelation 1 and a range of other places about Jesus being God. Upon hearing these verses he started to get a bit squirmy; with no defense from the Bible for his position he said he had to leave.
We were also able to speak to a young man named Jayden who is a Maori who had never heard the Gospel before. He didn't know the way to Heaven but had just assumed it was a default position that all who die go to Heaven. We asked him about Hitler and Stalin and others like them, do they go to Heaven?
Upon hearing this his position changed. He realised that not everyone will go to Heaven. From this point we were able to talk about God's standards and how not everyone will be in Heaven.
After covering a lot of the basis for the need of the Gospel and understanding our sin, he said he was concerned that he wouldn't be going to Heaven.
We were then able to share with him the Good News. That the way to Heaven is only through trusting in Jesus Christ and what He has done.
Jayden said that was the first time he had heard this message and would have to consider it. Please pray for Jayden that he will consider the truth and put his trust in Jesus Christ!
Please pray that all whom we talked to will heed the warning message and trust Christ alone for salvation. Please pray that those who took tracts will read and consider the importance of the Eternity.
Soli Deo Gloria!
SPECIAL HALLOWEEN OUTREACH!
Today, people all-around the world celebrated Halloween. Many set aside the night to dress up in scary outfits; others just used it as an excuse to spend the night drinking and partying.
However, there is something much more important than lollies, scary costumes and alcohol. No one would buy a car and not insure it, yet, many people go through life not thinking about the most important of issues, namely, where will we spend eternity?
Today, we headed out to a Halloween festival in Manly in order to hand out 'Trick or Treat' tracts and to talk to people about the issues of life, death and eternity. By God's grace over five thousand people took tracts!
During the course of the day, Ryan had the oppurtunity to share the Gospel with the Lord Mayor of Brisbane. Like most people, the Mayor said he was trusting in his own goodness as the way to Heaven. Please pray that the Lord Mayor will think about what he has heard, and that he would come to faith.
Also, please pray for all those who received the Gospel in written form. Pray that the Lord would use these simple tracts to bring many people out of the darkness and into the light.
Soli Deo Gloria!
At Woodridge on the 20th of October we had a rather eventful afternoon, before we had even started some young teens broke out into a fight with everything from hair pulling to punches. It was a sad display of the state of humanity but by God's grace it was broken up and dispersed and people were able to head off and calm down.
There was the normal busy rush of school children on the way home and around this time Josh started preaching out near the bus stop area; sadly there was some hostility from a few local drunks which got a few people stirred up, but amazingly it bought a massive crowd of school children who stood around and listened to the preaching, many of whom took literature or stayed around to talk afterwards.
There were also some other incidences where a late teens girl didn't want to hear the Gospel and yelled at Josh to stop and sadly she caused a big fuss, also getting her parents down who took a full fledged aggressive words war assault on the team members, making many false claims.
Thankfully Queensland Police were diligent in sorting out the issues and the afternoon went on as normal, with many people hearing the Gospel.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Pray for the woman, her daughter and husband who are hostile to the Gospel, pray that God will drastically and dramatically change their hearts and minds that they will by God's grace be changed, surrendering their lives to Christ and desiring to come out and preach the way of salvation alongside us!
During the business of the shenanigans many young men wanted to stop and talk, we were able to share the Gospel with, we talked with a young man named Hikim, he had a little bit of Catholic exposure and was the normal stereotype, he thought he was a decently good person and would most likely get to Heaven.
We were able to discuss what God's standard is and that in reality because God is perfect we all fall short. Hikim said that this was a bit worrying, what would he do. He asked if he work hard could he regain God's favour and we talked about the implications of that. "Do good deeds pay for wrong deeds?" we asked him and he had to conclude that they couldn't. He then asked if we thought we were going to Heaven, to which we responded "Yeah but not based on our own goodness".
We were able to discuss that God came into this world to lay down His life for sinners, just like us so that we could be counted as righteous and go to Heaven. Hikim said this was encouraging, we talked a little more but he had to leave, we gave him a Gospel of John.
Please be praying that God will use the conversation and His word (The Bible) to transform Hikim's life!
There was another group of young men, Michael, Jermaine and, Twong who were there for the shenanigans and started talking with us but our conversation was interrupted by some loud accussations and threats of violence from the lady and so we stopped talking but amazingly, after it had all died down they returned to continue the conversation!
We discussed, the Law, Sin, God's perfection and what that means to us, that we had all fallen short. We discussed what we can do to be saved but after the conclusion of the conversation all three said it makes sense and that they would have to consider eternity and where they would go when they died.
We gave them each a Bible and they left. Please pray for these young men that the truth of the Gospel would penetrate their hearts and minds and they will turn and trust in Christ and Him alone for their salvation!
Others we talked to included a young man Marcy, who professed to be good and wouldn't back down on that claim, even after hearing God's standard, also Harrison who original admitted he wasn't sure He would make it to Heaven and heard the Gospel. Also another young man Olivia who goes to a local church but does really understand the salvation of Jesus Christ so we talked about how he would get to Heaven and we strongly encouraged him to read the Bible.
Pray for these young men, may God open their eyes to the truth of the Gospel and that they will come and join us to share the Gospel with others, starting a Gospel based trend in Woodridge!
Please pray that through the "persecution" we are receiving that many will see the light of Christ in us and that those who are currently against God and the preaching of the Gospel will be changed to the Glory of God and trust alone in His son becoming slaves to Christ and desiring all that He desires!
Please pray for labourers as well, that many more people will desire to join us on the streets, that many will take the time God has given them and honour him with it by preaching Christ and Him crucified!
Soli Deo Gloria!
On Wednesday afternoon in Queen st Mall last week, the mall was unusually busy when we started, there were many people out in the mall but over the course of the afternoon things quietened down back to a normal level.
We had the opportunity to talk with and share the Gospel with a range of people, the first conversation which was had was with a lady named Vicki, she admitted to have told little white lies but said she had never, not one done anything else wrong, in fact she claimed she deserved to go to Heaven because she, (like Jesus) had been betrayed.
We challenged her on whether or not tragic or 'unfair' events happening to us remove the penalty for breaking the law? (God's law or Civil law). She said in society of course not but she said God was different. We asked why convinced her that was the case and she said she just believed it.
We tried to further expose the guilt of all mankind, us and her included but she denied it all and even said the times she lied weren't wrong as they were being kind to someone.
She then headed off as she did not want to talk about the 'negative' things in life anymore.
We also engaged Robert in a conversation, talking about the way to Heaven, when asked why he was going to Heaven he promptly responded with, "Because I deserve to go there". When asked why he gave the usual response that he thought he was pretty good.
When we started talking about sin, he very quickly wanted to leave, he said he didn't want to hear about God's judgement because he knew his god was a forgiving god.
Soon afterwards we talked with a young man named Vincent, he was one of those special conversations you have, when God has sovereignly bought someone along to speak with us, when their hearts are ready for the seed of the Gospel.
As I started talking with him we discussed sin, "Are we sinners?", "How bad is our sin?", "What are the consequences of sin?", "How do we have sin removed?"
We talked for quite a while, answering his questions with what God has said about sin, death, life and many more things. He heard the guilt of all men, he admitted that he thought he deserved Hell and it worried Him. He asked what he could do to get His sin paid for.
With the understanding that the penalty for sin is death, we briefly discussed that we are damned, on our own merits we cannot fix sin and there is no way BUT GOD LOVES US, IN THAT WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US!
We explained that God made a way, God made a way for His mercy and wrath to be fulfilled, allowing Him to be Just and Loving, God came as fully God and fully man, lived a perfect life without sin, died the sacrificial, wrath absorbing sacrifice for sin and then rose from the dead three days later conquering Death and Sin once and for all, that all who believe in Him shall not perish, but have their sins paid for that they can be counted as Righteous before God and inherit eternal life!
Vincent was excited by that and said he would be interested in counting the cost, sadly before we got much further he had to leave but God was able to use us, unworthy servants to allow Vincent to hear the amazing truth of the Gospel!
Please be praying for Vincent, Vicki and Robert, commit them to the Lord in prayer, praying that God may have mercy on their souls and bring them unto salvation! Please praise God that they were able to hear the Gospel, to hear the way of salvation and praise the Lord for being sovereign in Salvation, thanking Him that it is not up to us to save!
Please pray for the team, it is never easy to evangelise, no matter how many times we have done it before there is still a moment of vulnerability as we step out to offer a tract and start a conversation, please pray that we may be BOLD! Pray that we will deny ourselves, deny our desire to please the world, lay off the hindrances of pride and understand that if we do stand for the name of the Lord we will suffer 'persecution'.
Pray that we may be strengthened in the Lord, relying on Him alone and living for Christ.
Please pray that more Christians will consider counting the cost, making the time to join us on the streets, to share in their work places and their neighbourhoods being the light of Christ in the world.
Soli Deo Gloria!
On Monday afternoon the team headed out to Capalaba, with the normal business of the school term there was a decent amount of people around. Praise be to God for providing people to be able to hear the Gospel.
As always Capalaba is the most interesting place we share the Gospel as all conversations must be walk up. You see someone sitting down and you ask them a question, similar to, "Where do you think you are spending eternity?" Or "Do you know the way to Heaven". And with a high chance of rejection, you curiously wait for their response.
We talked to a young man Lachlan, we have talked to him many times and he says that he denies Christianity based on a lack of evidence.
We discussed with him a range of different things, from Historical evidence to observed scientific phenomena and many other things, he said he stilled denied based on a lack of evidence.
We challenged him on how we interpret facts based on our worldview and how there are things that point to a young earth. He also said some things about the Bible and attacked its validity, the problem is he had never read it.
We have talked with Lachlan over and over, please pray for him, may God convict his heart, bring about knowledge of sin and bring him to repentance and trust in Christ.
Over the course of the afternoon we talked with three different women, Sky, Jess and Jenny who all professed to be Christians, the problem was none of them knew the Gospel, in fact they were still very interested in earning their way to Heaven.
We talked with then each individually and shared the one way to Heaven with them, we encouraged them to consider it as Jesus said the only way of salvation was through Him.
They had different levels of rely on works and were from relatively isolated communities.
Please be pray for these women, that God may use the Gospel of Jesus Christ to change their lives, to bring them to salvation and therefore allow them to preach the truth to those in their communities.
We talked with a lady named Hayley as well, she had a few different reasons to reject Christianity, she said she knows God exists but she decided to choose paganism because the Baptist Church she went to shunned her, rejected her and an deacon/elder abused her.
We were very careful in our addressing of the situation, taking with her that those things are horrible, they are wrong and the Church should not be doing such things but we also explained that we can't accurately represent God based on sinful man professing to represent Him.
We talked a little answering questions but in the end she had to leave, she heard the Gospel, the way of salvation, please pray that she will trust in Christ for salvation and be able to return to church.
We also talked with the usual apathetic people, who couldn't be bothered about Eternity, they were content living for now and whatever may come will come. Please pray that these men who don't care will be struck down with the fear of God in their hearts that their sin will be exposed as a disease and that they shall trust Christ.
Please pray for the team, that they will be able to continue to seek God and His Kingdom, being given the strength to deny themselves, take up their crosses for Him.
Pray that we have more labourers and that many are able to join the team preaching the Gospel, and that others who can't make it out will be preaching and the salt and light in their workplaces, their homes, neighbourhoods and at their sporting events.
Please pray that God may use the Gospel we preached to change lives for His glory and that many may be saved and therefore go out and also share the Glorious Gospel!
Soli Deo Gloria!