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Sunday, 17 August, 2008
Warren and Chris joined me this week at the Redcliffe Jetty, for purpose of sowing the seeds of the gospel in Redcliffe. After some prayer together we started handing out gospel tracts, using that as a springboard into a one2one conversation with them.
I had a conversation with two atheist blokes who were from Europe. They acted in the natural way Atheists act, that is, they say that "there is no God" and when asked what evidence they have for that belief, they turn the tables on me. Instead of proving their absolute negative claim, they try and shove the burden of proof upon the theist to give evidence for God. It is true that a theist must provide evidence for God, but if an atheist wants to contend that there is simply no God, they must have good evidence to substantiate that claim.
They often then try and say that an absolute negative cannot be proven, in order to be released from their burden of proof. However, they are wrong in that claim, for if a contradiction can be shown within something, then it cannot exist (eg: square triangle). Or if somebody knows everything about a subject matter, they can use that to prove an absolute negative. Regardless, the fact that they are admitting they cannot prove the absolute negative that God does not exist means that if they are rational, they cannot make the claim that Goes does not exist.
So I briefly reasoned with the guys why we can know there is a God from the very existence of the universe itself. They understood it was a rational belief to hold. This progressed onto what happens after we die and then the gospel message.
When the whale watching boat came in, we made sure nearly everyone got a gospel tract (would be close to 200 on-board). This lead into further one2one conversations as well.
To God be the Glory!
Friday, 15 August, 2008
Report for 15th August & 16th August
On Friday evening the team was back to preaching the gospel at Leicester Square. I was particularly excited as we were due some new faces. Andrew Noble had contacted me via the Operation 513 website, keen to join up with some people to go witnessing with. Ivan and Benjamin, two young men from Denmark, had been directed to the Operation 513 website through listening to Way of the Master Radio. This was their first time to England and even though they had come for a brief holiday they were dead set on coming out to evangelise with us. Arriving at Tooting Broadway around 8:30pm, I met up with Carl, Ivan and Benjamin, and the four of us hopped on the first tube we could get.
We arrived at Leicester Square a little later than we would have liked, having missed our connection. We linked up with Andrew and my brother James and made our way over to one of our commonly used spots. It wasn't until after 9:30pm that we had opened in prayer and were ready to start ministering. Earlier in the day I had bought a fold-up table from a D.I.Y. store. This little table folds up a real treat, which allows you to carry it very conveniently in a small bag. We placed a good number of tracts and Bibles on the table for people to take away free.
When I was happy all was ready I stood up to preach. We were blessed in the fact that there were a number of Christians from another church who were in the square singing choruses. When they saw our table full of tracts and Bibles and heard that I was about to preach open air they formed a crowd in anticipation. This is always helpful because people draw people. During my message I did a call out to a young man named Prince, and taking him through the law, showed him his need of a Saviour. I was of course careful to put the same message over to the rest of the crowd. I was getting plenty of Amen's from the Christians in the crowd, which is all good and well, but we are out to preach to the unsaved and so I was pleased that a good number of people stopped to listen.
After I had come down from preaching the team set about speaking to people who had been listening. Carl and Andrew got into a conversation with some Muslims that had been listening whilst I preached; Ivan and Benjamin set about handing out tracts to as many people as they could and my brother got into some conversation as well. I managed to get into a number of one-to-one conversations. I spoke with a man from Italy, who had been brought up Catholic. He held the belief that the Bible is not the final authority and that there is latitude to believe whatever you want to believe when it comes to spiritual things. Our conversation was quite brief and so I did not get much of a chance to speak to him in depth. He did, however, take an in-depth gospel tract. It struck me that I have yet to meet a person, who having grown up Catholic, is of the mind that the Bible is the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God. The next people I got to speak with were two young Muslim guys. I was able to share the whole counsel of God with them and take contact details so that I can contact them again. They in turn took my contact details. We had a good chat and I was grateful that they listened to what I had to say without throwing up a wall.
By the time it was ready to go only a few Bibles were left. Many of the tracts had gone too. I was careful to hand out Why Christianity? tracts to the Muslims I spoke with, as they are very good at showing why Christianity offers what no other religion can offer. They show that Christianity is the answer. It was a great night and we were all quite encouraged by the time we left. Andrew said that he would be back next week and the Danish lads were beaming too!
Carl and Andrew witness to some Muslim men...
James witnesses to some young men...
Saturday morning came around and we were back at Tooting Broadway. We arrived at 11:30am. The first thing I noticed is that there were some people standing where we normally stand, handing out some literature. At first I thought they might be Christians but when I approached them I discovered they were in fact Jehovah Witnesses! I wanted to get up and preach as quickly as possible so that they would hear the gospel, however as we were setting up they left. It was interesting that the literature they had was in Tamul, which is an Indian language. Tooting Broadway does have many Indian people so I can only think it was done for that reason.
Watchtower magazines in Tamul. Incredible.
I spent some time preaching the gospel open air. As is normal with Tooting Broadway I did not get much of a crowd, however, people would have heard the gospel as they were passing and we also managed to hand out many tracts to people as well. Ivan and Benjamin joined us for a second time and Phil was with us too. As we were all handing out tracts, etc, I got the opportunity to speak with Assad and his friends. Click on this link to listen to the audio of that conversation.
As you will discover Assad is a Muslim, as were the majority of his friends. There were I think five of them in total. It seems that I cannot avoid speaking with Muslims these days; they certainly are popping up wherever I go! The more I speak with them the more I learn what I should be saying and the more my desire increases to see them saved. Islam certainly is on the rise and so we need to be about the business of reaching out to them in love with the truth of the Gospel.
Praise God for a great weekend of ministry. It was an encouraging time.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Sunday, 17 August, 2008
Josh Mitchell writes: Before I let you read Dave Strachan's report on the Gold Coast gospel team, I want you to know that the Gold Coast is an excellent opportunity to impact the world and local community for Christ. Many people come from the other side of the world, by God's grace to hear the gospel, and you can be a part of that. Please come and join with us, in evangelising with tracts, one2one, preachings or even just to help us with tasks that free others up to evangelise!
Dave Stachan: When we arrived at the beach it was very refreshing, upon opening the car doors, to breathe in the rich, fresh sea breeze. As we walked to the Cavill Ave beachfront we greeted some guys and gals from Helensvale Baptist who were keen to help out. Not long after I had put on some sunscreen and got my camera ready, Josh got up to preach and he did so for the whole time (for about an hour to an hour and a half).
He was quickly able to interact with those watching on and did so with a good number of people throughout the duration of his preaching. It was great to watch on as he urged people to put their trust and hope in the true Gospel.
There was a really decent bloke with whom Josh interacted called Bronson who reasoned fairly well and seemed genuinely interested in what Josh was saying. May God save Bronson for His glory!
'The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Tim. 1:15-17)
Report by Dave Strachan
JM: It was a really interesting day. Out of all the Gold Coast street cleaners, some of them are becoming very friendly. One Thai man, even accepted a gospel comic tract, which I pray God will use to help him understand anything I may have missed when sharing the gospel by preaching in his presence.
I was really excited when a whole adult Arabaic family accepted gospel tracts in Arabic, and spent a great deal of time together, each reading thier copy of the gospel tract. What a precious gift we have in translators, who can bring the word of God to the understanding of all peoples!
The wind made it difficult to preach today, but God was gracious with the conditions and his powerful gospel message was proclaimed. A number of young people debated with me, and will hopefully come to Christ in the coming days. God only knows. S D G!
Saturday, 16 August, 2008
Since Josh Williamson was down in Adelaide for the whole weekend, Josh Mitchell came in and helped lead the Brisbane team with me. After a time of prayer, Bible reading and fellowship, we moved to our regular preaching spot in Queen Street Mall.
Andre was the first preacher up for the evening and he preached a solid gospel presentation for about 20 minutes. Next up was Andrew Caswell. It had been a while since he's been with us out on the streets in Brisbane, but he did an excellent job of preaching. He was very fiery and many people stopped to listen. Alex (our regular agnostic heckler) couldn't resist a heckle either. Alex asserted that God is not just because how can the death of Jesus pay for an eternal sentence in Hell. However, Alex misunderstands what the wages of sin is. The Bible says it's death, not an x amount of years in Hell. But unbelievers will still go to Hell because the Bible describes it as the second death. But in Hell, a person will be continually dying, but never actually die, so thus they will be in Hell forever because they will never fully pay the fine for their sins. So if the fine for our sins is death, because Jesus was sinless, his innocent death on the cross could satisfy God's justice for us if we trust in Him.
Next up it was Kevin who had a turn of preaching. He had some hecklers ask him questions about the Bible and he also managed to bring them through the good person test.
Kevin's voice was straining though, so after a while he tagged me in to preach. I had many various hecklers ask questions about the Christian faith. But a couple guys in particular were very upset with the Christian message. They were Sikhs. Sikhism is basically an ecumenical religion that says that every religion's god is the same as each other and all are true. So I pointed out to the guys that that is logically impossible. For in Islam, for example, there is only one God in one person, but in Christianity there is only one God composed of three persons. They are totally contradictory to each other, so thus they cannot both be true at the same time. However, the fellows just kept shouting that they are all true.
Sikhism also denies that there is a judgment to come. So I asked them, "do you believe that Jesus is God?" They said yes. So I said, "Then why don't you believe the words of Jesus when he says there is a judgment to come, and when he said he is the Way, the Truth, the Life. No one comes to the Father but through Him." At this point the guys were beginning to get really angry, and one for them stood right in front of me, started swearing and I thought that at any moment he might take a swing at me. But thankful, two guys who were not part of our team stepped in between the angry guy and me, to protect me. I realised, once the Sikh's had left, that these guys who protected me weren't even Christians, as they said they didn't like me preaching, but were willing to defend my right of freedom of speech.
By this time, there was a large crowd gathered, so I was able to preach the gospel to them all and deal with some more heckler's questions.
After I stepped down from preaching, many one2one conversations were being had. Josh Mitchell stood up to preach at 11:45PM and had various hecklers, one being Alex. Since Josh Mitchell is not a regular on the Brisbane team, he got to hear Alex's stash of illogical beliefs. One being that he doesn't know he exists. Although when I was talking to him after in a one2one conversation, he finally admitted that his thoughts absolutely exist, so he now believes in absolute truth. :)
Many seeds of the gospel went out throughout the evening, please pray for those that heard the good news of the gospel.
To God be the Glory!
Wednesday, 6 August, 2008
Anna and I went into Sheffield this Wednesday with little time but a determination to witness to our Lord. On the way into Fargate we bumped into another regular evangelist in Fargate, Cedric. He joined us in prayer and we appealed to the Lord of the harvest to bring in people both to hear and to be saved.
As we had little time I set up to preach immediately and Anna set to with tracts and one-to-one's. Anna was able to give out many tracts and at one stage had to come and get some more - a wonderful problem to have. She also had a couple of conversations which is always encouraging to see.
I stood to preach the mystery of the gospel to the lost of Sheffield, praise God that he has revealed the way of salvation that is certain to save those who will trust in Him. While I preached a couple of young people came up who I'd spoken to recently. They hadn't considered what I'd told them recently and had gone back to their lives unchanged. We pray that there would be fruit in the lives of those we witness to, that God would grant them repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
We spoke for a short period, before their friend Callum arrived. Callum and I were able to discuss the justice and forgiveness of God, particularly how the mercy and forgiveness of God is exactly in line with His perfect justice. This is why He will never "just forgive" sinners, but rather requires the death of a perfect sacrifice for sin before forgiveness is possible. The wages of sin is death and every person who sins is under the just condemnation of eternal death for their rebellion against God.
Callum's friend also pointed out that he was a homosexual and "doesn't God hate gay's?". At this I turned to her and said "any sexual relationship outside of marriage is condemned by God as sin, you need to be just as concerned as he should be, if you have lusted or committed fornication!". The death and resurrection of Jesus and the repentant faith of believers is still the only means of salvation offered to mankind. It doesn't matter if you are a liar, thief, sorcerer, murderer, homosexual, greedy, lustful or atheist; if you have broken the law of God in ANY way you need to repent and turn to Jesus in faith.
We spoke for a short period longer and I urged them again and again (and any in earshot) to turn from their sin. As I finished and stepped down a soft spoken man came up to speak with me. He is an atheist and disagreed with with what I'd said. We talked for a short period and I spoke to him of some of the major problems I would have with that world view if I held to it. Just to give a quick list, my problems would include: no proof that God is non-existent (that would require absolute knowledge), the problem of evolution from non-life to life, the evolution from reptile to bird (no matter what anyone says a diaphragmatic hernia will never make you more fit!), the Cambrian period, and the intricate interlacing of systems in life in a design that points to a creator. As I had to get back to work I left him with a tract and told him when we'd next be in - hopefully we'll get to speak again.
Praise God for the great things He has and continues to do. May His name be praised.
Sunday, 10 August, 2008
As soon as the Skypecast started, the room began to fill up with people. However, this time we had no control over the room at all. So we couldn't move anyone down to the listening area, and that meant that there was heaps of people all talking at once. We knew we couldn't run the Skypecast like this, so we started up another one and thankfully, it was okay in the new Skypecast.
Rob Liaison, from Voice of Truth Radio, helped us out again this week, and it was also good to have Josh Williamson back.
We had various hecklers throughout the evening, one in particular was a conversation I had with an Atheist. He had all the common objections, "What came first, the chicken or the egg?", "Science has disproved God", etc. So I briefly went through the Kalam Cosmological Argument for God's Existence and eventually he admitted there must be a God. I then went on to the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden, and because of that everyone's will is in bondage to their sin if they are unregenerate. The Bible says that we cannot choose God, but rather that he must first chose us. So I explained to the fellow the responsibility of man and how that ties into the sovereignty of God. I told him that a man must repent and trust in Christ for his salvation, yet if they do that, it was all a work of God. That way it truly is how Paul stated it in Ephesians 2:8-9, we have no reason to boast, it wasn't even our decision from God's perspective.
I made sure I clearly presented what are the consequences of our sin (eternal Hell) and what God has done to save us through his death on the cross. By the end of the conversation, the man said he now understood the Christian message, however still rejected it, likely because he didn't want to give up his sinful lifestyle. Please pray for him.
Many other topics were discussed, including Islam, "Who is Jesus?", the Trinity, the Bible, etc. And many people's questions were answered.
We will have another Skypecast at the same time next week - Sunday 9pm - 12am GMT+10. If you would like to advertise the upcoming Operation 513 Skypecasts on your webpage/blog/myspace, please visit the Skypecast page and that will give you the instructions on how you can do so.
To God be the glory!
Sunday, 10 August, 2008
Warren and I met at the usual time of 2pm at the Redcliffe Jetty ready to do some witnessing. We firstly prayed and then started handing out tracts to everyone we met, at the same time trying to get into one to one conversations.
The first conversation I had was with a middle aged man who said that he did not believe that beliefs existed. I've heard many people say that there is no absolute truth, but never heard anyone go as far as he did by saying there are not any beliefs. I pointed out to him that his position is self-refuting, for that in itself is a belief that there are no beliefs. In fact I pointed out to him that he has many beliefs, for example, he believes that the seat he is sitting on will hold him up. He also has a belief that he and other physical objects exist. However he objected to that by saying, "Nothing physical exists." However as the conversation went on he admitted that he believes the inner consciousness exists. He said I should look within myself for the truth, not to anything objective.
At this stage, I knew that this man was massively deceived into believing the new-age cultic material. So I showed the man that we can know there is a God, and I told him of the judgment to come. I then brought him through God's law in order to bring the knowledge of sin to the man. I pointed out that because he had sinned, and he was deserving of God's wrath as the just punishment for his sin. At this stage he just started swearing and cursing at me, so I promptly left the man alone, and helped Warren who was handing out gospel tracts to the hundreds of people that were coming off the Whale Watching boat.
Numerous other conversations were had and many gospel tracts went out. To God be the Glory!
Saturday, 9 August, 2008
I had been in bed all week with a bad dose of the flu, so I had decided that I shouldn't preach tonight, unless I inflame my sickness. As I drove into the city, I was hit constantly with the feeling of illness and also with head-spins, but the thought of being able to hit the streets of Brisbane was one that encouraged me to keep on going.
The night was cold, and it was surprising that we had such a small team gather for prayer and bible reading. At this stage there was only three of us present, so we were bracing for the fact that it may be a very busy night for us.
After spending time in fellowship we made our way up to our preaching spot, on the journey we ran into the Barnard family and also Peter. So our numbers swelled. We were then joined by a few more team members in the mall.
It was good to see everyone in position, from the preacher to those handing out tracts, and even our regular agnostic heckler Alex.
Ralph was the first preacher up for the night, and he did a bit of preaching, he preached the Word of God, and dealt with hecklers for about fifteen minutes, then tagged me into take over. I had to preach, even though I knew it would be unwise for me physically to preach, I had the preachers itch so I had to get up.
I started by engaging Alex over the creation of the world. He had stated earlier on that he only accepted empirical evidence, yet he didn't have any empirical evidence for his version of how the world came about. Once we pointed that out to him he decided to make some argument to prove how old the earth was (this still wasn't empiric evidence), but the problem with much of his argument was the fact that it was all built on a presupposition.
We debated over the topic of how only God is eternal, and how the universe is not. This then led into the biblical discussion of how God one day will send Jesus Christ back to earth to judge humanity for all their sins.
By now a good size crowd had gathered, and other hecklers had entered into the discussion. We covered a wide variety of topics from "How we got the Bible" to "Does God exist." It was a good open air, and many people got to hear the gospel. God has been gracious once again in bringing a crowd in for His glory!
After preaching for about an hour I started to notice that my voice was getting weak due to the flu that I had. So I tagged Ryan in to continue to debate the atheists. By the time I stood down, there wasn't much I could do as I had some really bad head spins. While I was trying to get over my illness I was approached by a man who had ‘advanced' past Christianity. It was his position that once one grows in spirituality you realise that Christianity is merely a step on the path to knowing the great all wise spirit.
He stated that the best way to be connected to the spirit was by loving and not judging anyone. This was an interesting thought, so I started to ask the man to explain, and he quickly passed judgment on Christianity. This then led to a discussion about how inconsistent his worldview is. The man after a while became rather angry at me, and once again proved how "unloving" he was. It was hard to witness to this man, as every time I presented the gospel to him started to wall up and wouldn't listen.
The rest of the night was spent dealing with one to ones, while Ryan preached. Overall it was a great night.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Sunday, 10 August, 2008
by David Strachan, fellow labourer on the Gold Coast Field Team
At around midday Josh Mitchell picked me up from the city after my church service finished and we hit the road to drive to Surfers Paradise (we are hoping to get a carload of people with us in the future to drive down together). Usually Josh struggles a lot with lethargy when we drive down, but we have found a cure - I drive (I haven't driven much in the city before!)
So we were pretty alert when we arrived at Surfers Paradise. It was a fine, sunny day and there where many lost and unsaved people out and about. There were tons of people at beach - quite a few people were even brave enough to be swimming.
We arrived at our preaching site (the main stairs leading to the beach opposite MacDonald's at Cavill avenue). Snowy greeted us there and we prayed together at the stairs.
I then started the video recorder rolling as Snowy got up to preach first. While stuttering a bit, he interacted with quite a few people and preached the gospel clearly and well. At one stage wile interacting with a person in the crowd who said that they couldn't hear him Snowy raised his voice - proving that he does have a strong, deep, manly voice accessible...when necessity requires.
Josh Mitchell then got up and preached for the rest of the time. For some reason my Video Camcorder ran out of battery really quick so I had to resort to using the video function on my camera - which worked fine but it uses SD card memory really quick.
Josh interacted well with some friendly Muslims who hung around for quite a while. Overall he had many good conversations with those watching in the crowd and answered well and preached the gospel boldly, urging sinners to repent and put their trust in Jesus alone.
After somewhere between one to two hours Josh finished preaching and stepped down. The sun was well down in the sky by now and the area was starting to be covered in shade. We had some good one-on-one talks sharing the gospel with those who were still around. I met Robert, a middle aged Christian man who actually lives near where we preach. He was very happy to see us out proclaiming the good news of the gospel to the lost and we chatted for quite a while about the Gospel and God's word and he shared his testimony - praise God for bringing Robert to despair in life and then saving him through his powerful Gospel - making Robert His own Child. We serve a mighty God!
Saturday, 2 August, 2008
This Saturday the weather was beautiful and the opportunities were many as I ministered in the Lord's name in Fargate. I was privileged with many conversations that I hope blessed the other people as much as they encouraged me.
I began the afternoon's work by walking through the court in front of the cathedral and handing out some tracts to those sitting there. It was wonderful to see the groups of people reading of Jesus their only hope as I handed them out. My first conversation was with a lady who accepted a tract despite the jeers of one of her friends. She then went on to not only listen while I shared the law and the gospel with her but she told her friend to pipe down several times as he tried to stop the conversation. Praise God that He opened her heart this much, she left with a tract in hand and I pray that she would be drawn by you my Lord, that your love and mercy would follow her also all her days.
At the end of this conversation I headed up into Fargate and continued to hand out tracts. I found that today there were many people who were willing to take tracts and while only a couple stopped to ask more all of them walked on reading. Having run out of one lot of tracts I then set up to preach God's word to as many as would hear. Today again I focused on the materialism of our modern world and the way that people have sold themselves for trinkets that last less than the measly 75 years we are here for. I began by focusing attention on the passage:
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." (Matthew 6:32-34)
While I preached a couple of people stopped and listened while they sat on the surrounding chairs, some came and went but no-one heckled and I preached with zeal and joy the greatness of our salvation in Jesus Christ alone. Two young men had stopped and listened and I engaged them and a nearby middle eastern man in conversation afterwards. I could not get far with the young men before they were called away to their Saturday pursuits but I had a wonderful conversation with Muhammad the other man.
I was able to speak at length with him about the scriptures that all Muslims are commanded to believe (according to Sura 29:46 and Sura 10:94) and urge him to take a second look at what Jesus said of Himself rather than what he had been lead to believe. One of the greatest difficulties I find when ministering to Muslim people is that they so often will become unreceptive because they believe the bible to be a corrupted book. This is a plain-faced lie that so many Muslim people have swallowed without a second thought. The book that Muhammad referred to in the above sura's is pre-dated by the documents we translate the modern bible from, in plain terms: if you believe that the bible was reliable then you must believe that the bible is reliable now. This young man though he didn't agree with what I had to say, he did stay and talked for 30 minutes and gladly took the tract and Arabic new testament I gave him.
Join us in praying fervently to the Lord on behalf of the Muslim people, pray that He will sovereignly work to save them and that He will raise up people to reach them. Many fear the Muslim people, as Christians we are called to follow our Lord and self sacrificially love even those who hate us and pray for those who would persecute us.
Filled with joy in the Lord at this conversation I went to the peace gardens to speak with some of the youth of Sheffield who gather there every week. There I ran into Dan and a couple of his friends, in particular two young ladies who spoke with me at length. I was able to speak to them by beginning with where they were (one of them had lost a friend recently and hated God for it) and use this to point them to the saviour and to God's justice. After hearing the gospel and the law many times over they left and we pray that the Lord will put that conversation to good use. As it was getting late I headed off, but not before a group of angry young people arrived to ask "We keep telling you to leave but you just keep coming back, why?" and "Do you think that you are doing God's work?". I was pleased to tell them that I come because I want them to know the truth and I want that because I care for them. As for doing God's work, no I am merely an unprofitable servant who is only doing what he is commanded, for it is written:
"Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 16:15-16)
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