Friday, 27 April, 2012
It was another great night of ministry this past Friday, much to be thankful for! The Lord is a good God, and to be used by Him for the glory of His name is an amazing privilege indeed.
The team on Friday was Kofi, Kwabena, Kwadwo, Winston, Lauren, Steven, Annika, Gareth (plus his mate James, who is not a Christian) and myself. It was certainly interesting to have James join us. Gareth did tell him we would be ministering the gospel, yet he was still keen to attend. I think he was curious and it certainly showed. As a good friend to James, Gareth has been a great witness to him, which is awesome.
Click here for a short video intro of the team.
During the open-air preaching it was encouraging to see a good number of people stop to listen. About five minutes in three young guys began to heckle me. They seemed to be in their late teens/early twenties. They threw a barrage of questions at me, to which I answered as best I could. I have to say that I have lost count of the amount of times I’ve said to people, “There’s only one of me, and three of you. I can’t answer you all at the same time.” You have to take control when you preach open-air, of course it’s important to be godly in the way that you speak, but at the same time you must be firm. They moved on after a short while and I was able to address the crowd more fully. Praise God that the gospel went forth! After I finished preaching James approached me and commented on how well he thought I spoke. Receiving praise from others is certainly not the reason we preach, however in this instance it was very encouraging, particularly for the reason of who it was giving the praise. I was thrilled that James came. He heard the gospel during the open-air, he listened in on the conversations we had with people, and I also had the opportunity to speak with him more personally later on in the evening.
Shortly after I had finished preaching, my three hecklers returned, demanding answers from me to their many questions. One question, in particular, focused in on slave-labour; does God enforce slave-labour. I immediately responded by saying that in no way does the Lord condone the abuse of men or women within the context of slavery. In response, they questioned why I had chosen to wear a Puma top, as apparently Puma clothing is produced through slave-labour in the East. I explained that even if that were so, I certainly do not condone slave-labour. It is terrible to think that there are many products that we use, or wear, in the world today, that are tainted by the inhumane abuse of men and women in their various productions. This is a reality of the world we live in, and in some way or another we all make use of products that come from a very questionable and regrettable source.
It is important to understand that the Bible in no way condones slavery. It does not condone slavery, it simply recognises that it exists. It is the fallen nature of man that compels him to subjugate his fellow man to his will. Having said that, not all forms of slavery in Biblical times looked like the slavery of centuries later. Often it was simply the case of a master and his servant. The servant was still a slave, but the treatment was fair and just. Of course, this was not always the case in biblical times. Abuses were very common. However, slavery in more recent times almost always included heavy physical abuses, and it is to that connotation that we tend to think of when we speak of slavery today. So, with this understanding, we see in the Bible not a condemning, or condoning of slavery, but rather a regulating of it by calling for the highest form of Christ-honouring conduct (See Col. 3:22 & Col. 4:1). The New Testament therefore condemns all abuses of slavery on both sides.
I continued to engage with them, answering different questions along the way. Over time I began to talk more exclusively with Lewis. He seemed far more interested and listened more closely to what I was saying. As I explained the gospel to him it was clear he understood what I was saying, in fact he also accepted many of the ramifications which arise from the gospel (the fact that we are all guilty and therefore deserve justice, etc). I was able to move the conversation in the direction of Christ, explaining why it was necessary for God to become a man. Click here for a brief, but concise, expansion on this subject.
At one point Lewis’ friends tried to pull him away, but he resisted, insisting instead to hear out what I was saying. I was greatly encouraged.
To the left you can see Gareth sharing the gospel. He is really growing in confidence and ability, and it is so encouraging to see. When a young Christian steps out like this to share his faith with others it helps to cement what he believes, it also helps to equip and grow him in his ability to answer objections and defend the gospel. So encouraging! I told Gareth that every conversation he has is preparation for the next conversation he will have. This of course is true for all of us. I would encourage you to step out and share your faith, the Lord is our strength, and even when we are not faithful, He is faithful, for He cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13).
During the evening Kwadwo had a conversation with Marco, a postmodern relativist (with a Catholic background) from Italy, and Winston spoke with “T,” who showed conviction for his sin and was open to hear the gospel. You can see two short videos of their conversations here and here respectively.
To the right you can see Lauren and Annika sharing the gospel. I was very pleased to see them working together, I think it’s helpful and wise for young women to join up, as and when they can, when ministering on the street. Later on Annika had a great conversation with a young man, who is really wrestling with eternal and spiritual issues at the moment. She expresses well her thoughts on that conversation below. As you read, do pray for him.
“...my heart really hurts for this guy please pray that he would be saved!!!
He thinks about whether there is a God, as well as the purpose of life and what is right and wrong constantly. He said: ‘If you had any idea how much I think about this you would think I'm crazy, it's like it's just burning inside me and you can't get away from it.’
He also said he has heard other people’s conversion stories and really wishes it would happen to him so he knows for sure God is real and he can believe.
Said he has considered Islam, as on the outside Muslims really appear to be obeying God and devoted to him.
Said he knows he has a conscience, and knows he deliberately chooses to sin, but at the same time he feels like it is impossible for him to escape sin because no matter what, he knows he still chooses to sin. He said he knows that God (who he is not sure exists?) already knows if he is going to heaven or hell, which scares him but he knows he has responsibility for his own choices.
He said: ‘Please convince me so I can believe it with my whole heart,’ as he was struggling to grasp it enough so that his lifestyle could change.
The funny part was, a club promoter kept coming up trying to pull him away... The promoter then said he was a Christian. John said to him: ‘I'm sorry man, but you say you're a Christian and yet you are pulling people into a club and helping them to sin?? Don't take this personally but you are messed up.’ He then started telling the promoter about sin!
He got my church details, pray that he comes or that another Christian would come along and continue to witness to him. He was so unsettled, this has obviously been on his mind a while.”
As Annika shared the gospel with him, she made it clear that only the Lord can truly convince us. The reason anyone becomes a Christian is because he or she responds to His call, the call to repent and trust in Him. Just as it was with Lydia, when the apostle Paul spoke with her, it is the Lord who must open our hearts, so that we are able to pay keen attention to the message we are hearing (Acts 16:14b).
Pray too for a young man named John, who Annika spoke to. He agreed that he was sinful and that God should punish him, but he would not accept that there was no way for him to earn salvation on his own. This sure is a stumbling block for so many people. It is so important for people to understand that, apart from Christ, there is no salvation for any person. It is the finished work of Christ that satisfies the justice of God. Praise the Lord that it is offered freely to all who call upon His name! (Romans 10:13)
It was definitely a full night of ministry. Much to be thankful for and much to pray for! Click here for a short debrief of the evening.
Soli Deo Gloria!!
Friday, 20 April, 2012
After an encouraging time of fellowship and Bible study in Cafe Nero, the team headed into Leicester Square to share the gospel. As we arrived in the Square I was thrilled to see that we finally had more space to minister and preach. The building work they are doing for the Olympics is rapidly moving ahead and I was very pleased indeed.
The team for the night was the following: Kofi, Kwabena, Kwadwo, Lauren, Steven, Victor, Marie, Gareth, Emily, Roman, and myself. It was Emily’s first time with us and I was thrilled she came. Click here to see a short video of the team getting ready.
As I preached I spoke of our great need to repent and trust in Christ. Within the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, I encouraged those listening to take a step back and to look at their lives, to ask themselves important questions regarding where they will spend eternity. The Lord was pleased to draw in some interested listeners, and the team did well to engage with them in further conversation after I stepped down.
During the evening the Lord blessed me with two really good conversations. The first was with Adrian and his friend Alan. They both took the time to listen and thanked me for sharing the gospel with them. Alan, in particular, seemed to really take on board what I was saying. I urged them to think carefully about what they had heard and they said they would. They both took a Bible and I also left my contact details with them. Do pray for them.
The second conversation I had began in a group dynamic, but after a while changed in that I was able to speak more personally with a young chap named Manic. At first he seemed to be joking around with his mates too much, but thankfully I was able to point out to him (through the use of a gospel tract and a bit of humour) the seriousness of what I was saying, and he began to listen intently as I shared the gospel with him. It was encouraging to see him settle down and act more serious, particularly when just a few minutes earlier he was hardly open and responsive. Do pray for him.
Lauren and Emily spoke with a chap named Liam, who was very open to the gospel and even said he’d been thinking about Jesus. It was great for Emily and Lauren to engage with someone willing to listen, and they were both thrilled when he agreed to take a Bible from them. Do pray for him!
Here is a short video that gives you a brief summary of my conversations, as well as showing Annika and Lauren in conversation. After they had finished I quickly got Annika’s thoughts. Here's a short video.
Kofi, Kwabena and Kwadwo had a fairly long chat with a chap named Jack. Although he said he was a Christian, he expressed an unbelief in the deity of Christ, insisting instead that Jesus is an angel. Kofi showed him from the Scriptures that this is not true, and shared with him the truth of God’s Word. You can view a short video here, from Kofi, regarding their conversation with Jack.
It was an encouraging night for sure. Here is a short debrief of the evening.
Soli Deo Gloria!!
Saturday, 21 April, 2012
The sun was out, and the weather was beautiful as we arrived in Sydney for a day of outreach. Since moving to Goulburn in April 2011, I’ve wanted to be able to do regular outreaches in Sydney, but so far with all my work in Goulburn I’ve found it rather hard to make the two hour journey to the Sydney CBD. But today the opportunity to preach Christ had finally arrived.
There were three of us who came out for the outreach this day, Peter Noble, Sean and myself. At 11:30am we met at the Town Hall and from there we began to minister. I must admit things were a bit different today, I have been on many outreaches, but what I saw today I’ve never seen done
before. Peter Noble had brought along a wheelie bin that he had modified to use as a portable sound system for his work as a Christian hip hop artist, now while that was fairly cool, what he did with it was excellent. Peter jumped on the mic and began to do some Christian rap on the streets of Sydney, and as he did this held tracts in his hands. Many people came up to him to take tracts, and many hung around to listen. During this time Sean and I were able to have some excellent conversations with the people who stopped to listen to the music.
I got to speak to one young lady from Sydney who had grown up in a “Christian” home, but that all changed she said when she discovered that she was a lesbian. She said when she came out as a lesbian her parents, family and friends all condemned her and had nothing to do with her. As a result she was hardened towards the Bible. The conversation I had with her started off by her coming to take a tract, then reading it, then she wanted to talk about how the Bible views women. We spoke for a bit about the Old Testament laws, and also about how the New Testament viewed women, she seemed very surprised to find that the Bible is not anti-woman, but rather, Christianity is the only religion that affirms a woman’s value. From this point we spoke about the issue of sin, and how all sin is a crime against God (even homosexuality). She was quite open at this point, so we continued to talk about the Gospel. But then the hurt of the past came up. She spoke about how all her “Christian” friends left her when she said she was a lesbian, and how no one would speak to her. In reply to this I took her to John 4 and spoke about the woman of Samaria and how she was a despised woman, an adulteress who no one liked, but then I showed her Jesus, sitting by the well talking to her, and revealing that He is the Saviour. I was able to show her from that Scripture that Jesus is a friend of sinners, and that He is able to save the vilest of criminals.
When she heard this she said, “I like Jesus, He’s really good.” To which I replied, “No, you don’t like Jesus, as if you did, you’d do as He said.” This then led into a conversation about repentance, and how even though Jesus says the hard things, He says it out of love towards the lost. By the end of our conversation she was nodding in agreement with what I had said, and stated that she would read John’s Gospel. Please pray for her.
By now the rapping had finished, so we headed down to the Pitt Street Mall for some open air preaching. Peter Noble was the first man up, he preached on true Christianity and not just honouring God with your lips. As he preached a man came up to me all angry about the preaching. Turns out he was a local busker who hated what we were doing. He said that we weren’t allowed to preach here, and if we didn’t stop he’d call the police and rangers. I requested he do call the police as I knew we weren’t breaking the law. The man went off in a huff and then started calling people.
Peter Noble by now had finished preaching, so I stood up to preach. I spoke on “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” While I was preaching I noticed two police officers ride towards me on their bikes. They then stopped behind me and listened for a bit. I was later informed that a woman from a shop had also complained about the preaching and called the police, upon seeing them she rushed up to them, but the police told her that we weren’t breaking the law and thus we could continue.
After I finished preaching Sean got up and preached, and a few people stopped to listen.
Overall it was a great day of witnessing. Sydney is hard ground, but is in desperate need of the Gospel. Please pray for all those we spoke to today.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Friday, 13 April, 2012
Friday night was an encouraging night of ministry. Although the weather was quite miserable, we were still able to share the gospel with a number of people. There were eight of us in total and it was great to be out together!
Here is a short video that introduces you to the team as we were getting ready to minister the gospel.
The Lord was pleased to use the open-air preaching to bring in a reasonably well sized crowd, which the team used well to initiate some conversations.
Annika spoke with a man named Cyprian, who she had also spoken with a few weeks earlier. He is from Transylvania and is Catholic in his faith. As he listened to the gospel he acknowledged that it is Jesus who saves us, however he also insisted that he must do certain Catholic rituals in order to get to Heaven. This is the big problem with Catholicism today. It seeks to come under the Christian umbrella and it likes to say that we are saved by grace, however because of its many traditions and doctrines it cannot say that we are saved by grace alone, and that comes out quite clearly when you meet and talk with a Catholic.
As Annika opened up God’s righteous standard to Cyprian, he admitted that he didn’t know for sure if he was good enough to go to Heaven. He said that he believed the Bible and so she encouraged him to read the gospel of John, and to look especially for Jesus’ words that make clear He and He alone is the only way to the Father (John 14:6). Do pray for Him, that he truly understands the grace of God, that none of our works can save us.
I had a great conversation with a man named Tim. He was very pleasant to talk to and he gave me his full attention as I shared with him. I was quite amazed at how attentive he was and at one point wondered if he was really taking it in or was simply being polite. I do know I was able to share the whole gospel with him, and for that I rejoice. He did ask a few questions as I spoke, which encouraged me because it showed that he was listening. One question he asked was this: “But surely our good works count for something.” I answered his question in two ways:
Firstly, none of our “good works” are good, by God’s standard. When an unbeliever does a good work (like a fireman saving a person’s life) that good work is good, in and of itself. However, God always looks at the motive behind the “good work.” Sinful man always performs good works with an ulterior motive. His agenda is to justify himself before God. Sinful man, when pulled up for any particular sin, will almost always fall back on something good he did prior to his transgression. Justifying oneself always results in self-righteousness. So when a “good work” is carried out with a sinful motive, that “good work” is not a good work in God’s eyes, rather it is as though it were a filthy rag before Him (Isaiah 64:6).
Secondly, I pointed out that even if it were the case that we had performed some good deeds in our lives, that were accompanied by a pure motive, the truth is we have also committed very obvious and blatant wicked, sinful works. In the eyes of the law, a good work is unable to absolve a guilty criminal from absolute justice, and since God’s standards are infinitely higher than human standards, the same is even more true. A just and holy God will by no means pardon the guilty (Exodus 34:7), since this would not be justice. This is why God became a man, so that by living a righteous life He Himself would be the righteous perfection we cannot be, and then by taking upon Himself the punishment we deserve, justice would finally be satisfied, the result of which is mercy then being extended to the world. This is what the Bible calls “the grace of God,” and it makes Christianity unique among all world religions in existence today.
Tim left with much to think about. Do pray for Him.
As the evening wore on, the rain started to fall far more heavily. You can see what I mean in this short video.
Our evening together concluded in prayer, and we thanked the Lord for all of the precious opportunities He gave to us. What a privilege it is to be used by Him for the gathering in of His people.
Soli Deo Gloria!!
Saturday, 14 April, 2012
On Saturday 14th April, 3 of us went to Exeter to preach and witness in the city centre.
It is a city not quite as big as Plymouth, but with lots of people in the city centre shopping in a more compact area, we have never been dissapointed with people always being willing to chat which is great.
We prayed, before setting up the easil and Intelligence test, and immediatly people stopped from distance to have a look and see what they were all about.
2 men who just so happened to stop were a Homosexual couple, who were engaged (I found this out when later on asking them if they had ever lusted!). The conversation at first went off on rabbit trails about supposed Giraffe neck evolution, Penguins that had seperated from normal Penguins so much they apparently were a new species and showed evolution to be true, and how people getting one disease can make them immune to another, showing random and chance benefits, (which again substantiates the impossibility of purposeful design by mother nature, without there being a first cause of God!).
However, afetr about 15 minutes of semantics, we finally managed to get onto bigger issues of where they would spend eternity. We went through the law, and I mentioned that lots of people who were Gay seemed adamant that it would be unfair for God to send them to hell simply for being Gay, when most felt that they had been 'born that way', and so couldnt help their semingly natural inclinations towards the same sex.
However, amazingly when I shared that people were all guilty before God regardless of their sexual orientation, as we had all lied/ stolen/ dishonoured Gods name etc, then the issue never came up. I explained that hetrosuxual fornication was equally as bad a homosexualioty, and so God wasnt just picking on Gay people. I shared the reason why were out that day, their current state before a Holy God, but what a loving God had done for sinners like them so they could be reconciled to him. The chat lasted about 30 minutes all together, and both guys were very amicable and willing to listen, and greatfully took tracts each and shook hands, so was a purposeful converasatiuon and I pray God works with their conscience now they know the truth.
We continued handing out tracts and eventually I preached on the 100yr sinking of the Titanic which was today, and the spiritual links and implications this true story had with the onlookers that day, as surely they, like the passengers on board thought that their life was unsinkable and that there was plenty of time to be rescued if anything bad did ever happen.. Quite a few people stopped to listen, and continued reading the intelligence test while I spoke, and this led to a couple of good conversations afterwards with people.
After lunch the weather got worse and so we had to take shelter underneath a shopping arcade, but managed to speak with 2 teenage lads who walked past, and got them and a couple of others to do the intelligence test. They were up for chatting further, and understood they would be guilty according to Gods standards if they had died that day, and seemed to understaood the good news of what God had done for people like them in their place. One lad took an ESV new testament and some tracts which was great, and again we pray the Holy Spirit will continue to arrest them and they get right with God.
On the Train on the way home, 3 German tourists sat next to me, and so I was able to take one of them through the gospel using the GM28 app on my phone- it did all the talking for me, and I didnt even have to speak with the woman. She went through the questionnaire in German by herself, and her friend listend too, and afterwards she handed me back the phone and didnt say anymore. I feel from their looks afterwards thery didnt agree with what it said, but again that is thankfully not our job to make the gospel palletable, and only God knows where that womans heart is with him, but at least she got to hear the truth- the rest is between her and God. There were also others on board the train who were open to chat and take tracts which was great, including a student who thought he was sort of a Chrtistian as he got baptised in a Roman Catholic church age 3! I said to him that all that did was get him wet, but to read the tract to find out the truth of how someone can be saved.
Russ, Charles and Tony were out in Plymouth that day trying out the Churches new 140 pound portable amp system with ipod docks etc which is fantastic. We have wireless mikes now too, and so Russ was able to play part of the gospel of John through the ipod on it and they said it made quite an impact.
Charles co0ntinues to go out on the streets of Plymouth and preach by himself when he can, and Russ has been having more opportunities to share his testimony and the gospel around different Churches and mens meetings around Plymouth which is great. Next Saturday Russ and I (God willing) will be attending the next Avanti event in Brighton with Tony Anthony etc which is great for encouragement and fellowship. SDG!
Tuesday, 10 April, 2012
On Friday 7th and Saturday 8th of April over Easter weekend, 4 of us hit the streets of Plymouth again with our cross, tracts, soap box and intelligence test questions to preach about the significance of this weekend and what it truly meant.
We had prayer and then had many great conversations with people, including...
-A Woman saying we were not following the OT by wearing mixed fibre clothes, and why did we pick and choose what we obeyed and what we didnt? She didnt want to listen to the explanation, anmd instead pretended to put herself on the cross!
-I managed to chat to 3 Muslims on the saturday who had a table and were distributing literature and Korans in Arabic and English to people. I managed to chat with them for about 40 minutes, and they asked the 5 common questions-
The Bible doesnt say that Jesus is God
The Bible talks about Mohammed being sent from God
The Bible has been corrupted
They didnt agree with the concept of the trinity, that God was one and not three
That Jesus didnt die on a cross but his body was switched
You cant have assurance into heaven, you only know when you die
and one who said he used to be a Christian, but wasnt born again!
It was great, and I have since studied and read a lot more from Christian apologetic books on Islam and 5 Muslims that came to faith in Christ, and so I am really looking forward to having more conversations with them in the future now I can see where they are coming from, and what their own Koran actually says!
-Lots of Teenagers again enjoyed taking the intelligence test questions which led to many great questions and tracts given out.
-2 Catholic Irish lads listened as Charles preached the gospel, and afterwards they stayed to chat. This led on to discussions about confessing your sisn to a priest and if this actually achieved anything, compared to Ephesians 2 v 8-9. The let us pray for them and they both prayed themselves afterwards for right teaching about what to believe was Biblical truth etc.
-2 teenage girls that Russ and Charles prayed for after they listend to preaching and took the intelligence test
-4 lads chatted to said that the scars on my leg and information about how life must have started had made them think, one guy knodded his head when I said people didnt like thinking about God because of their sin etc. and they listened to conversation for about 15 minutes before taking tracts.
A JW man walked past saiying that people may listen if we stopped shouting at them! (Even though the picture looks that way) we explained that people needed to hear the message, and we were not shouting but proclaiming what the Bible said.
It was another great 2 days, with different people listening and hopefully hearing the truth of what this weekend was all about, the God man Jesus Christ!
Saturday, 17 March, 2012
On Saturday 12th March, 9 of us from Plymouth/ Southampton and Taunton met at Taunton for an outreach.
Mike and Rachel Overd had recently been in the papers for alleged 'Homosexual discrimination' when open air preaching a year ago, and had come to court a few months ago, with the verdict being 'Not guilty'. This was the first time they had open air preached in Taunton since winning the case, and so we all went to support them there that day.
Rachel also writes a blog about their outreaches, and commented that we had an interesting conversation with a disabled man called Dave. He was in a wheelchair after being in a car accident, and was at first quite antagoniostic to the gospel, blaming God, and questioning why things had happened this way. However, the man had a good chat with Mike after he preached, and his demenour changed and he took a tract and said he would come and speak to them again.
When I preached, 3 older teens pushing a baby in a pram were quite loud mouthed, and persiste3d to shout out 'Who made God'. They didnt seem to like my response that God didnt need a creator, as he himself was the creator of all things, and is outside the dimension of time. An 'Infinite regress' would mean that if everyone had a creator, then the list would never end. I tried to show them that science proved energy and matter are both not eternal and so cant have been around for ever, that our universe has a beginning,a nd therefore something, or someone must have been there to cause it to come into existence. They shouted out a few things, which got others listening, and Wayne, Russ and Dewi had good chats with all 3 afterwards and they seem to be more open to listen to one to one conversations,a nd tooks tracts to read about what was said.
Again the intelligence test board questions worked a treat in getting teenagers to stop and test their IQ,a nd then to lead them onto bigger questions of life, whether they believed in a God or not, what happened after death, and if there was a heaven, if they believd they were good enough to go there. Many came past as this was new for them, and so many were abvle to hear the gospel and take tracts that refuted the fairy tale of evolution, andthat showed them God had made the Universe, and so was in charge of their life, and they needed to make peace with him, through the cross. Many seemed wide eyed and open to the message which was great.
We were preaching in quite a narrow stretch of shops, and a cafe owner phoned the Police. 2 Officers came, and almost threatened to arrest us, not for what we were saying, but almost for breaking section 5 and causing a nuisance and distressing people! WEe had long chats with them about what was being dsaid, the manner in which it weas being done, and the parameters of the law and where we wewre supposedly crossing its boundaries or not. This led to boith Policemen hearing 5 of us open air preach, and good in depth conversations with Dewi, one of our team, who also took a tract to read, which was great.
Lots of tracts went out, several Christians walked past and encouraged us, and people heard various people open air preach in different styles for about 3hrs that day. We plan to meet up again soon, and some of us are hoping to meet for the Olympic outreach in London in the upcoming months. It was great to have a fresh 'Fishing hole', and to use tracts that the locals had not seen before, which made conversations new and open for great discussions about creation, evoluition, eternal life and most importantly, the gospel.
Saturday, 10 March, 2012
Today the team consisted of Rob Hughes and myself. We made our way to Brentwood High St and prayed. I managed to hand out loads of tracts and I had one very long conversation with a gentleman called 'John'. Our discussion began with Him claiming he had never broken any of Gods Laws; ever... So I continued with the proposition of either Him being God himself ie - perfect, or He's calling God a liar since Gods Word says that he has sinned.
John eventually realised that he was calling God a liar and back tracked on his initial statements. He had quite a lot of Biblical knowledge but was using it to justify his rebellion against God. We eventually got to the Gospel and I tried to expound upon it a little so He didn't miss the point. I gave him a good person tract and we eventually parted. He seemed to understand what his predicament was by the end of our talk. I pray he repents and gets saved. SDG
Andrew chatting to 'John' courtesy of Rob Hughes
Saturday, 10 March, 2012
Garema Place, Canberra (ACT)
“CHINA, CHINA, FREE TIBET, FREE TIBET!!” They were the cries I was met with as I crossed the road and entered into Garema Place. In front of me I could see the brightly coloured flag of Tibet, and the large signs of the protesters. “China OUT: FREEDOM” seemed to be the cry on everyone’s lips, and as I made my way to the merry-go-round I couldn’t help but think that the freedom theydesire is not the freedom they so desperately need. The Tibetan protesters were after a temporal freedom, but they were completely unaware of the eternal freedom they lacked, and that they would need in the years to come.
As I walked I mediated on the John 8:34-36, “Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (ESV), My prayer for today was that God would be abundantly kind to sinners, and grant them freedom in Jesus.
As I neared the merry-go-round, I was met by Ji. It was good to see that I wasn’t going to be the only one out witnessing today. Since we didn’t know if anyone else was coming we decided to wait and watch a busker paint for a bit. To my surprise this busker was familiar to me, he was a heckler of mine from Brisbane. It was good to see him, although it was sad to see that he was still very much unconverted.
After waiting for a time we decided that it was time to head off and do some walk up witnessing. It was just the two of us today, so we decided to stick together. Ji soon approach a couple of young people who sitting where the Tibetan protesters had been, handed them a tract, but it soon became very clear they weren’t interested in talking, so we made our way to another man, whom Ji managed to get into a good conversation with.
As Ji witnessed to this man, I decided to hand out a few tracts. Not many people took tracts, and there seemed to be a real apathy to anyone wanting to do anything, I looked around Garema Place to see if I could spot someone to witness to. It was then that I spotted a man about 150 metres away, he was dressed in black trousers, white shirt and was wearing a tie, this immediately triggered something in my brain, my first thought was, “This is a Mormon missionary trying to deceive people”, as I watched him a bit more, I noticed the black name tag on his pocket, this confirmed my suspicion, so I made my way towards him in order to engage him in conversation.
When I neared the Mormon missionary, he turned and began to walk away at pace. As he walked away he would go up to people, try to force something in their hand, then walk away quickly. This he did for about 700 metres. Finally, I was able to catch him up, and as he approached me I greeted him, and began a conversation.
The missionary was friendly, and very young. We began by chatting about general things, such as the weather, Canberra and where he was from. It turns out that this white Mormon missionary was from mainland China, and for 18 months he had been in Australia on mission. We spoke briefly about persecution of religious groups in China, and he said that the Latter-Day Saints were persecuted as they refused to proselytize.
The conversation then swung to the spiritual and we began to discuss the person of Jesus. I informed Elder Y---- that I was a Baptist minister, and that I was interested in learning what he believed, so we sat down on a park bench and he began to explain to me what the Latter-Day Saints teach. For about five minutes he spoke, reciting from memory the Mormon doctrine that I had heard so many times from different missionaries. He spoke about how they believed God had restored the only true church through Joseph Smith, and how once you die you have a chance to be forgiven if you would accept Joseph Smith as a prophet and believe the Book of Mormon.
He then went on to talk about the nature of God, and it was during this time that he began to “attack” the doctrines that the Christian church holds to. He questioned the Trinity and stated that the concept was false, and how the Mormons knew that God had a body, as did Jesus. It was at this point I stopped him, and asked him to explain to me what he thought the doctrine of the Trinity was. Elder Y---- paused at this, he wasn’t quite sure what Christians believed in relation to the Trinity, all he had been told was that we were wrong.
After thinking for a bit, Elder Y---- gave this definition of the Trinity, he said, “Christians believe that the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are one God, in one body.” I pointed out to him that what he had just presented was known as Modalism, and it was a heresy that had been denounced by the Church for 2000 years. Elder Y---- seemed shocked, and he asked me to explain the doctrine of the Trinity. I presented to him some basic Biblical arguments, and then he said, “That makes sense, I can see where you get that from.”
We then moved on to a different topic, and this was the topic of Jesus Christ, who He is, and what He has done for sinners. Elder Y---- declared that to be saved we must, “1) Have faith in Jesus; 2) Repent; 3) Be Baptized; 4) Receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; 5) Endure to the end.” These five steps according to Mormonism was all anyone has to do in order to be forgiven.
Seeking to clarify what he meant I asked him, “So, what you are saying is this, I must do something to be saved? I must have faith and works?” To which he agreed by saying, “If you don’t do something, you won’t be saved.”
This statement didn’t surprise me, as all Elder Y---- was doing was saying what the Book of Mormon says in 2 Nephi 25:23, "For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do."
I then asked Elder Y---- if he had his Bible on him, he didn’t so I pulled out my iPhone and opened my “Mormon Scriptures” app. I turned it to Ephesians 2:8-9 and asked him to read it, as he read the text from the King James Bible (the Bible the Mormons use) you could see the light go on, he realised that he had an issue to answer. The text reads: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
As he read it, I asked how both statements can be true, how can 2 Nephi be right, if Ephesians 2 is correct? Elder Y---- got out his notepad and pen, and began to write the verses down. I then encourage him to look at Titus 3:5, Romans 5:1 and all of Romans 4 to see that salvation is a gift from God. When I said, “Salvation is a gift from God”, he replied, “Yes, but we must repent, that is a work!” So I took him to 2 Timothy 2:25 and showed him that repentance is a gift from God also.
From this point I was able to explain to Elder Y---- that the Gospel was all of grace. I showed him from the Scriptures that we had sinned, I pointed to our judgement, then I pointed to Jesus who died for the sins of His people. I then went on to talk about 2 Corinthians 5:21 and how by the work of Jesus we are counted as perfectly righteous, that we have His righteousness imputed to us, as a result, we don’t have to work to make ourselves right, as in the eyes of God we are perfect in Christ.
Elder Y---- was silent, and he didn’t quite know how to respond, but then he began to fall back into the training he was given. He used the argument that “The Bible had errors in it, it wasn’t translated correctly. So I asked him, “If the Bible is translated incorrectly, and the LDS church knows where the errors are, why haven’t they fixed it? Moreover, why do you use the King James Bible if it has errors in it?”
Elder Y---- had nothing to say, but just said, “I don’t read my Bible much, or the Book of Mormon, but I’m told they are both God’s Word.” At this point I put a question to him, I said, “Is God perfect?” Elder Y---- replied that God was indeed perfect, so I said, “Does God make mistakes?” Again, Elder Y---- said God couldn’t make mistakes, so then I asked, “If the Bible is the Word of God, and if the Book of Mormon is the Word of God, then surely they shouldn’t contradict themselves, right? They would flow in perfect harmony.” He agreed with this statement, so I asked, “Why then does the Book of Mormon contradict the Bible?”
Elder Y---- looked stunned, he said, “I don’t know, are you sure, the Book of Mormon contradicts the Bible?” I informed him I was sure, and said, “If I can show you contradictions would you agree the Book of Mormon is wrong, and it isn’t God’s Word?” Elder Y---- replied by saying if there were contradictions then clearly the Book of Mormon couldn’t be God’s Word.
So I asked him, “Where was Jesus born?” Elder Y---- replied, “I don’t know.” To which I said, “Do you know where the Book of Mormon says Jesus was born?” Again, he stated he didn’t know.
At this I opened the Book of Mormon on my “Mormon Scripture” application to Alma 7:10, “And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.”
“Where was Jesus born?” I asked, “Jerusalem” came the reply.
Then I went to Matthew 2:1, “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,”
“According to the Bible, where was Jesus born?” Elder Y---- was silent, then said, “Bethlehem”, “Can Jesus be born at both Bethlehem and Jerusalem? Did God get confused at where His own Son was born?”
Elder Y---- said, “That’s a contradiction, they both can’t be right.”
I then went back to 2 Nephi 25:23 and compared it to Ephesians 2:8-9. Once again I stressed the Gospel, and pointed out that both the Bible and Book of Mormon can’t be correct, one has to be wrong. Elder Y--- agreed, and said, “I’m doubting the Book of Mormon, maybe it’s wrong.”
At this he said he had to go, but asked if he could have my number to call me. I gave him my number, and also a in-depth tract explaining the Gospel. Please pray for him that God would open his blind eyes and allow him to see Jesus.
After this I made my way back to Garema Place, and found that Ji was still witnessing. The rest of the afternoon was spent with us talking to people about Jesus, and the day finished with a discussion with a Jehovah Witness who was out handing out material. He had very little knowledge of what they believed, and even admitted to not believing it. I challenged him from the Scripture that Jesus is God, and He is to be worshipped and adored. I explained to him the Gospel, but this man flatly rejected it, and desired to stay in the error of the Watchtower. Please pray for him also.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Saturday, 3 March, 2012
On Saturday 3rd March, 7 of us met up in Plymouth city centre for open air preaching and one to one witnessing. WE prayed for the day and thanked God for the lovely weather we had and the masses of people out on the streets that day. We had a new banner which Wayne our pastor had made, and an updated intelligence test question sheet which was much bigger and had more questions on.
-An angry, adamant Atheist evolutionist comes along our path quite a lot now intentionally heckling us and trying to stir us up and but in with conversations, while we are trying to witness to people (Can be seen in the picture below). Russ had a good chat with him, when the guy said that things were designed to appear that they had design, but had actually evolved. When Russ asked him to namke something that had ever been designed without a designer, he was stumped, and made the ypoung peoplke there laugh, which showed the flaw in his logic.
-Many young peoiple again came up and were doing the intelligence test questions, which we have now updated and revamped, with visual ones from Living Waters on there as well. These are always really effective, and lead into many discussions about our intellect, how we know if something is right or not, and beliefs about the existence of God etc.
-A lady called Carol stopped to read our Intelligence test questions, and we chatted for about 15 minutes about how someone gets to heaven, what the Bible says about forgiveness and her predicament as she currently not saved. It was great to hear her questions and she took a tract and had a Bible at home, and so I encouraged her to read John chapter 3.
-Charles had a good discussion with a man I had previously witnessed to when preaching, who was a Psychologist, and his circular questions about why the world was in such a state if there was a God, or where the Bible talked about Dinosaurs. He said that no one could persuade him otherswise, and so we explained that yes, only God could open his heart to believe.
-I have just finished reading a book called '99% Ape' which was given to teachers at the school I work at and they were encouraged o read it to understand more about evolution when teaching science (It has a whole chapter attacking God and the Bible and Genesis!). I preached and said evolutionists are racist, due to the books views on where black people came from, and also from information on the Kent Hovind videos. I said that man was made with a purpose as we are made in Goids image, and said no wonder youg people act the way they do today, if they believe they have no reason or existence or purpose in life if we evolved from ape like ancestors. A man walked past who got angry at this and complained to a PCSO who came and had a word with me, saying I couldnt say that evolutionists were racist. I asked him if he had even seen what evolutionists believed!.
This led to another angry man shouting at me about it, and Charles, who is Nigerian, managed to chat with him and he took a tract and had a good discussion about where man had come from.
Russ, Charles and myself all preached that day, and lots of tracts went out, and the gospel explained to lots of people. We prayed afterwards that the devil would not steal any seeds planted and that God would open peoples hearts to repent and believe the gospel.
Charles, Dewi and Russ trying to witness to teenagers,
and deal with Atheist at same time. New open air preaching banner
Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 . . . 54