Your donation allows Operation 513 to provide more free gospel tracts for people to hand out during special outreaches. Also it allows us to give out free Bibles and apologetical resources during our outreaches.
100% of any money received goes directly to supporting the proclamation of the gospel. We have no admin fees.
Saturday, 11 April, 2009
Saturday, 11th April 2009 - Brisbane
The Easter weekend was here, it is that time of the year when the churches all fill up on the Friday and Sunday, but then remain empty until Christmas. It is that special season when people all serve God with their lips, but in reality their hearts are far from Him. Yet, into this religious season we find ourselves being the busiest in comparison to any other season.
It has been drizzling rain all day so I expected a slower night in the city. For a city that is still officially in drought it is amazing how much rain we have been getting over the past few days and weeks. While some ministries refuse to work during the rain we have found that we get some of our best conversations happen when people are all taking shelter from the water.
The mall was near on deserted when we arrived at 9pm, and I must admit it was a bit discouraging, but as I looked up and down the mall I noticed a man dressed in a black leather jacket walking towards us. This man is familiar to us, he was no other than the “famed” Brisbane Atheist Alex. Once he was on the scene we knew it would be a night of ridiculous arguments from the atheist camp, but it would also serve to bring in the crowds to hear the gospel.
It was good to have my evangelist mentor from the “Young Evangelist Mentoring Group” to come out on the streets tonight. As I was setting up I noticed Graham Sercombe standing undercover talking to a young man about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Andre was the first preacher up for the night, his preaching has improved dramatically. His messages drip with theology and he presents it in a way that the common man can grasp and understand. He is also getting louder as a preacher which is really good. While Andre was preaching a group of Samoans surrounded him and began to speak really loud, to top it off Alex was walking back and forth screaming obscenities. Since Andre was being drowned out I moved in next to the Samoans and engaged them in a one to one conversation. Slowly I moved them out of the face of the preacher and began to reason with them. Like most Samoans they were religious but they hadn’t any idea when it came to knowing Christ personally. So I began to explain to them the gospel. One of the boys became distracted and walked off, but the other remained and listened. He was really open to the Good News about Jesus. It was then that I noticed that Graham had come alongside the other guy and was now engaging him in conversation. The group all took in-depth gospel tracts and a Gospel of John each. It was really encouraging to see these young men grasp the truth of the Scripture. Graham even got to pray for one of them.
By now Ryan was up preaching and Alex was still in there heckling. He stood before Ryan with his iPod on yelling abuse. This continued for some time. Alex would put an argument up but before Ryan could answer he would put his ear piece back in. The back and forth continued for some time. Finally two members from the Queensland Police Service who were walking past tapped Alex on the shoulder and told him to be quiet or move on. This stopped Alex in his tracks, he didn’t yell anything more for the rest of the night. Ryan continued to preach a good size crowd gathered around to hear the Gospel.
By now the night was getting on, and since I had been sick all week with a head cold I thought it would be wise to only preach a short 10 - 20 minute message. God however had other plans. As I began to preach a few people stopped including one man who was a Roman Catholic. He engaged me about how God is all forgiving, I showed him from the Bible that God is not all forgiving, but He will forgive on the basis of what Christ has done.
For forty five minutes I reasoned with this man and preached the Gospel of Christ. Afterwards there were many conversations about the gospel. May people get saved for His Glory!
Saturday, 4 April, 2009
Saturday, 4th April 2009
The first outreach of the month, I am constantly amazed at how quick the year has gone. And, as I look back over the past few months I cannot help but stop and stand in amazement at how good God is, and how much He has blessed us as a ministry.
Tonight was no different, God once again showed us how awesome He is and how He is the Sovereign One when it comes to the salvation of souls.
From the start of the night things went really well. While Rodney and I were setting up the Bible table these two Islanders stopped and asked if they could have a Bible. So I struck up a conversation with them. Both of them professed to be Christian, so I asked, “Really, how do you become a Christian?” They looked a bit puzzled by the question, and it was clear that they had never thought about it. Then one of them replied, “We are Christians because my parents are Christian, and so are my grandparents.” This was interesting, they were viewing Christianity as nothing more than something that gets passed down the line. So, I asked these two blokes a question, “Are you parents married?” “Yes” they both replied, “Ah.. So you two must also be married right?” They replied they weren’t married, so I pressed it. “Surely since your parents are married, that must mean that you are also married? Isn’t one considered married because their parents are married?” One of them then said, “No, you have to make a choice to be married, you can inherit it.” From there I was able to point out that just like you don’t inherit marriage, you cannot inherit Christianity. Since they wanted a Bible, we gave them both a Gospel of John, then I got them to open it to John 3:3, this was the jumping off point to show them that while they may have been born in a religious home, they needed to be born again. The two young men listened intently to the gospel, and at the end they both shook my hand and thanked me for taking the time to witness to them. Please pray that God would cause them to be born again.
During this time Ryan was preaching and during his message this young man walked up to him and said, “Do you remember me?” Ryan looked at the man, and couldn’t remember him. But then the man said this, “Last year you witnessed to me at Gold Coast Schoolies, as a result of that conversation I have since been converted!” That statement put the whole team on a high, God was so kind to show just a little bit of fruit from the ministry.
Later in the evening when it came time to preach I was still encouraged by the conversion of that young man. While I was preaching God was kind once again, He brought a young Irish man in to heckle. Sean was a friendly guy and was quite open to the gospel. Once the gospel had been presented to him, Alex entered in for his weekly argument. His statements are now reaching the absurd. He is a classic fulfilment of Psalm 14:1. Please pray for both Sean and Alex.
The night in general was AWESOME! God is so great. To Him be all Praise!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Friday, 3 April, 2009
The team met as usual at our now local cafe for a time of fellowship, coffee, devotions and prayer. This has become an important time for us as we prepare for an evening of ministry.
Heading into the square I got ready to preach open-air. This afternoon I popped into Homebase and bought a new stepladder and it was great to get back up again to preach. During the first half of my message only a few people stopped to listen, which is fine. Whoever the Lord chooses to bring in is all in His hands. However, things were about to change…
A large group of young people walking past decided that my preaching warranted some investigation and so they strode up to me, all the while throwing questions and various taunts. They were all quite young, probably around 15 o 16 years of age. They were also fairly drunk, some more than others. I stayed standing on my ladder and engaged them in debate, but when they came up close and surrounded me I stood down. This is something that can be very frustrating and difficult to handle. It would be far better if they would stand back and “be the crowd.” However this happens from time to time and as yet, apart from firmly asking them to stand back, I have yet to find a working solution.
A young girl, who was not fully drunk but clearly had been drinking, approached me and said that she had been blessed by some Christians the week before and that she was now a Christian. I asked her what had happened and she told me that that she had been led to “say a prayer” and that upon doing so she was now a Christian. Two emotions arose in me as she told me this: anger and sadness. I was angry because it was very obvious that the gospel had not been properly and clearly communicated to her. She was not able to tell me what it meant to be born-again, or even that a person needed to born-again. She did not know what repentance meant. The way she conducted herself and the speech coming out of her mouth was almost clear evidence to me that she was not saved. Yet she had been told that she was. This happens so many, many times in the church today. The heresy known as antinomianism has taken the form of “easy-believism”, this idea that it is easy to become a Christian. It is not easy; it is in fact very hard to become a Christian. This is because a person must be prepared to surrender their entire life, they must be willing to deny themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow Christ. (Luke 9:23) As John MacArthur has said many times, it is hard to believe. I would encourage you to watch a video where Kirk Cameron interviews John MacArthur about this very issue. Click on part 1 and part 2 to view.
I was angry because it is not our job as Christians to dumb down the message or make it more palatable. By removing those parts that are hard to say we in effect change the message. When we remove the offence from the gospel then we have removed the gospel. So I was angry and of course I was also sad. Here was a girl who had been told she was now a Christian. Here’s my question: how is that love? How is it love to lead a person into a false sense of security only to see them die and go to hell? This is something that needs to change in the body of Christ today. We must preach the true biblical gospel, or we should rather not preach at all. So I would ask you to pray for her. Her name is Mary. Just so you know, I share with her the truth of the gospel, although she was pulled away by her friends before I could finish. She did take an in-depth gospel tract and also a Bible, which she had asked for. Do pray for her.
I also spoke with a young man named Billy. He was not quite sober himself, but he listened to me and said that I made a lot of sense. He was not prepared to surrender to Christ there and then but he sure was made to think. I am always amazed at how simple the gospel is when it is communicated rightly. It may be an offence to many, however it is not difficult to grasp. Christ Jesus came to this earth to save sinners. The good news of the Gospel is that the Son of God has substituted Himself in our place, has incurred God’s wrath for our sin, so that we might go free. It is indeed a simple message, but a message that is most profound and most life changing. Nothing will ever come close to it. Many tracts and Bibles were given away and we had some great conversations. I did preach a second time and got in a conversation with a woman who believed in evolution. She was simply aghast when I told that evolution was an embarrassment to true science and was completely erroneous. I rebutted her arguments and told her that there is indeed a God who made this world, One who will judge both the living and the dead. On that day we must all be ready. (Hebrews 9:28)
Soli Deo Gloria!!
Saturday, 28 March, 2009
After spending the afternoon on the Gold Coast we headed to Brisbane for our weekly outreach. Tonight was to be a busy night since it was “Earth Hour”, which is an event where people turn off their lights for one hour to save the environment. Upon arriving in the city we found it abuzz with people there to party for the earth. Which I found rather amusing, since they are trying to lower carbon emissions by throwing a party. Maybe I missed something in “Save the Environment 101”.
The preaching had a delayed start tonight since we had to wait for the Brisbane Council party to die down. This eventually finished at 9:30pm so we began to preach from then. Ryan got up and preached, and as usual Alex was there to greet Ryan with verbal abuse. His arguments have now been reduced to one word answers, which show that he has no arguments and has no hope in his atheistic ideals.
Andre got up an preached after this, I am finding myself more and more impressed with the preaching of Andre. He has really grown in the past year, and he is becoming a rather competent preacher.
The night was becoming more and more lively, people were stopping to listen and to abuse. A few times I thought there would be a fight but each time it died down. That was until the end of the night. Andrew Hsu was preaching and Alex was going ballistic. While that was going on a drunk man kept shoving Andrew so I stepped in and told him not to touch the preacher. The drunk turned to me and said “Do you want to fight me?” With that the man swung a right hook and punched me in the side of the head. It wasn’t that hard of punch, but the man kept advancing. Alex jumped in the middle and tried to talk the man down. At the same time team members went to get the police. The drunk was very proud of what he had done till he saw the police coming for him, he quickly apologized and asked me not to press charges. The police let him go on the condition that he does not return to the Queen street mall that night.
A lively day had a lively ending, but all in all God got the glory!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Saturday, 28 March, 2009
Sound of the rain greeted me this morning as I awoke, normally if it is raining it isn’t worth going down the Gold Coast to witness as no one is around. But, it was decided that we would still head out, trusting that God would provide opportunities for us to witness.
As Ryan, Joel and I drove to the Gold Coast we once again were greeted by more rain, and the clouds on the horizon promised more rain to come. We started to re-consider if it was wise us going out witnessing today, however, we pushed on. We were joined by Andre and Tamara also, so we had a good size team today on the Coast, all we needed now was a break in the weather.
When we finally arrived at the beach the weather had changed, it was now fine and sunny. Every now and then there would be a sun shower but nothing much. Ryan immediately began to hand out the new Operation 513 Big Money tract, and it was great to see so many people going out of their way just to ask for this tract. Before the day was out we will have gone through thousands of this tract.
The first preacher up for the day was Ryan. The crowds were a bit slow today. He preached and a few people stopped to listen. It was around this time that we were joined by our brother Heath from Western Australia. Ryan preached and explained the gospel to those who would listen, but we put it down to the weather to explain why things were so slow.
After Ryan finished preaching it was time for Andre to preach. He like Ryan began to expound on the law of God to show people that we have all sinned. Once the fact of sin had been established he then moved on to explaining why Christ came. The crowds once again were small, but we rejoiced in the fact that the gospel was preached.
Later in the afternoon it fell to me to preach, personally I didn’t want to preach. I looked around and saw that there were very few people on the beach front and now the wind had picked up so it would make it hard to preach. All these excuses ran through my mind. As I planned not to preach a thought ran through my mind “Did you not pray that God would bring in a crowd?” That was true, we pray that each week. We ask that God will bring a crowd not us. So if that is our prayer, then shouldn’t I preach? As I stood to preach I breathed out a silent prayer, “God, these are your people, bring them in to hear your Gospel.” With that I began to preach, a few people stopped to listen, but not many seemed interested. For about twenty minutes I preached but very few stopped. There was this one young man who had been listening for the whole time so I decided to do a call out on him.
I looked at the young man standing to my right and said, “Mate, if you died tonight, where would you spend eternity?” The man hadn’t expected the question, so he replied “I don’t believe in Heaven or Hell.” Within seconds of the discussion beginning a crowd began to form. For the next hour Andrew (the heckler) and I went back and forth in regards to the gospel. He would pose a question and I would try my hardest to answer.
God was using Andrew and his heckling to bring a crowd in to hear the good news of salvation. Towards the end of the discussion the crowd began to get rather vocal, cheering when a question was answered and clapping at good comments. These all served to bring in more people. The very last thing Andrew declared to the crowd and I was this, “I am glad my sin killed Jesus! I am happy I killed Him!” The crowd fell silent, it was such a shocking statement that even the listeners didn’t know what to say. My heart broke for Andrew so I pleaded with him to be reconciled unto God. Then I turned to the crowd and pointed out we were the sinners that cried “Crucify Him” when Jesus faced Pilate. But, even thought we did that, we are still the ones for whom Christ cried “Father forgive them!” I went over the gospel once more with the crowd, then wrapped it up. Many of those in the crowd took tracts. Please pray for Andrew and also for the crowd, that God may save them!
The rest of the day was spent in one to one witnessing and also tract work. Many people got to hear the Gospel today, and once again I learnt the lesson that I am to trust in God more fully when I evangelize.
Friday, 27 March, 2009
This week Suhkraj and I worked the area of barkers pool together, beginning with a time of fellowship and prayer. We encouraged each other in the Lord and prayed that He would go with us as we witnessed and then went to it with tracts and tried to talk with people.
During this time I spoke to a very mixed up young man named Trevor who was a satanist and very openly homosexual. I began by asking him what he thought would happen to him after death and who Jesus was. This produced a string of rapid fire comments, not all of them clear or understandable, but the gist of it was that he believed that the antichrist would eventually conquer and that God hated him because he was a homosexual. I tried to speak with him about the foolishness of pinning your hopes on anyone other than Jesus and the great love God had already shown in sending Jesus to die in the place of sinners. This went down like a ton of bricks and after a bit of back and forward he left claiming that he would live on the seven hills in conquest over God (I believe that he was referring to Babylon the great in revelation but I am unsure). Please pray that this mixed up young man would be radically changed by God to repent of his sin and trust in Jesus and truly conquer.
We set up to preach and Suhkraj stood first to preach the eternally great news of Christ crucified and risen again. As always Suhkraj did a great job of preaching from where people are at, beginning with the economic down turn and using it as a springboard to our eternal hope and security that is found only in Christ. One man stopped to speak with Suhkraj but disappointingly he did not stay for long and typified the atheistic approach. He claimed that there is no God and that evolution has disproved God. When Suhkraj endeavoured to engage him on this he said that he wanted to believe there was a God but could (or would?) not. With this he walked off. Suhkraj also spoke with a young lady who was very quietly spoken for some time she would not listen either it seems but eventually walked off also and he continued to preach and then urging the people to turn from there sin stepped down.
I preached next and began with the great natural blessings we have from God but do not appreciate, such as the rain that so many grumble about in this country. I preached for some time and no-one stopped to speak to me, then Trevor the buhdist arrived. I don't think that he really want to interact but rather it was a bragging opportunity for him. Trevor claimed to have a PhD in religion and wanted to speak to me about the arguments regarding God rather than about God and his need of a saviour. Normally I would rejoice to speak with someone who understands something of the Christian faith but is not a believer. Trevor though was out to parade his knowledge and boast, because of this I would not engage him on that front, rather preaching a plain gospel and asking him what he made of Jesus and the resurrection from the dead. This didn't please Trevor at all and soon the protests came out, what about homosexuals and what you're saying is irrelevant anyway. He protested loudly but when I tried to engage him on those points he then quickly decided that I wasn't going to play ball his way and left.
The next person to stop was a middle aged man who was very drunk I think and said "bore me, come on bore me". So to bore him thoroughly I began to speak about evolution and how he was nothing but an accident, very tongue in cheek. This upset him thoroughly and he began to gesture angrily at me and I think he would have tried to do something if it wasn't for the policeman who stepped in and moved him on. Throughout the rest of the preaching no-one stopped to interact but I preached the gospel many times and then having urged the people towards their only hope I stepped down.
As it was now late Suhkraj and I prayed together for those we had spoken to and for those who had heard and then leaving all in the hands of God we went home.
But God was not finished with me for the night it seems. A young lady across the street having heard some of the preaching wanted to know more and as I passed a conversation started. I rejoiced to share the gospel with her and despite some protests about the justice of hell (which I hope I answered for her), she listened to all the gospel and gladly took the tract I left with her. I left for home rejoicing that the gospel had gone forth.
Saturday, 21 March, 2009
Once again I had the immense privilege of being able to go out and labour alongside my brothers and sisters in the field that is white for harvest. Tonight we had the added joy of having Forbes and Celeste join us from Adelaide, and also Heath from Western Australia. While we all came from different parts of the country, we all had one goal and one objective, and that was to make Christ known.
We weren’t at all surprised when we walked up the mall to see Alex with his iPod on, already warming up for the coming duel. Ryan rose to the challenge and immediately began to preach and actively engage Alex. Much like last week Alex would just hurl abuse, and not actually engage the argument, but God used this heckler for the advancement of His Gospel. While Alex may think he is shutting down the gospel, in actual fact he is making more people stop to hear the good news of Christ Jesus coming into the world to save sinners.
Ryan engaged the crowd, and used their questions as a jumping off point to swing into the message about the cross of Christ. While Ryan was preaching a bunch of hecklers climbed up behind him and began to yell, I was able to engage one of them in a conversation and it soon became clear that he loved his sin and he hated the light of the Gospel.
The crowds were a decent size tonight, and many conversations were going on. As the night wore on I preached, and once again had to engage the irrational arguments that come from the atheist camp. It is sometimes hard to deal with Alex since his arguments are stupid at best, but I must remember that my objections to Christ were also stupid, but He saved me, and there is still hope for Alex.
At the end of the night Forbes got up and preached. He has a great voice, and he did an awesome job of preaching Christ on the streets in Brisbane city. All in all it was a great night of outreach. Many people got to hear the gospel, and many tracts were handed out.
To God Be the Glory!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Friday, 27 March, 2009
By God's grace and great favour we continue to head into London each week to minister the gospel in Leicester Square. In recent weeks we have had some fantastic conversations with people and have seen many Bibles, tracts and DVD's distributed into the hands of men and women who do not know the Lord. On a very encouraging note we have seen someone attend our church after he stopped to listen to the gospel being preached and then spent some time talking with us afterwards. His name is Yang and he is from China. He is working in the UK and has been here less than six months. When we got talking with him he told us that he knew of Christianity but that he had no idea what it was all about. He was intrigued enough by the message to stop and listen, which was really something. Here was a man who had never heard the gospel before in his life and had never step foot in a church. When he attended my church he was quite surprised to learn that very few people in this country attend church, due to such a widespread lack of belief in God, as well as a failure to see the relevance of attending church. Yang is very much intrigued by western culture and so his desire to find out more about Christianity is driven by that. It may be that the Lord uses this cultural curiosity to expose him to the truth that has been blinded from him. Whatever the Lord chooses to do, it is my hearts desire that he would come to a saving knowledge of the truth. He has said that he would like to attend church again and he plans on coming to us again next Sunday. Do pray for him.
On Friday night we headed into London minus a stepladder. I had left it on the train the week before and only realised what I had done so when I was halfway down the road on the walk home. I have not had the opportunity to purchase another one just yet and so we spent our evening speaking with people one-to-one. Jannah spent some time talking with a group of young Muslim men. She admits that she finds Muslim's to be quite difficult to talk to, largely due to their unreasonable behaviour. Often they will ask you a question without giving you the opportunity to answer. It is true that they wish to convert us, as we do them, however Islam is a religion that produces an aggressive and militant people. Jannah is experiencing that in many of her conversations that she is having when talking with Muslim's. Even so, she knows that there are some Muslim's who will genuinely stop to listen and such was the case on Friday night. I was encouraged to hear from Jannah that she had been able to proclaim the gospel to those who did stop to listen.
Ben was able to talk with some young men as well. Although they listened to the gospel they were very indifferent to its message. This can be very discouraging, but we have to keep on sharing the message and trust the Lord that He will cause the seed that is sown to germinate and bring life. I told Ben not to be discouraged. We must simply do our best to drive home the seriousness of the message to those who would dismiss it, and then we must trust the Holy Spirit to open the eyes that are blind.
I had a very encouraging conversation with a young man named Edward. A friend was also with him; however her name has slipped my mind. I find this always to be frustrating but I can pray for them both knowing that the Lord knows exactly who they are. Both Edward and his friend stood to listen for at least half an hour as I shared the gospel with them. I could see I had their whole attention and they appeared to understand that if they were to die in their sins, apart from Christ, they would go to hell (John 8:24). At the end of the conversation I implored them to think carefully about this. They said that they would and Edward took the time to thank me for sharing with them. My heart really went out to them and nothing would please me more than to see them in heaven one day. Do pray for them.
We had a great evening. Closing in prayer we thanked the Lord for all the opportunities He gave us. As we make ourselves available to Him the Lord will open up opportunities for us. We must preach the word, in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2), for the Lord Himself has appointed us to make His name known.
Soli Deo Gloria!!
Friday, 20 March, 2009
Going to our regular preaching spot at the top of Barkers pool I was met by Gemma and Carl who had said they would join me for the night's outreach. We began the night with prayer and then went to it with tracts for all the people flowing past as they went to their night's revelling.
Quickly two conversations started and I was engrossed with Conrad and his friend and likewise Carl and Gemma with another guy. Conrad stopped to ask me about the birth to death tracts that I was handing out so I spoke with them about the certainty that there is life after death. It was one of those rare conversations where I could speak and they would listen and could end with the gospel. I spoke of the evidences that Christ rose from the bible itself, from the historical context of the new testament, from the historical recordings of other historians. At the end Conrad and his friend had to go but not before I could urge them to consider Christ's words that "None come to the father but through me" and to look to Christ for salvation from God's just condemnation of sin.
Carl and Gemma it seems had a harder conversation and the young man they were speaking to left after many justifications and evasions. They were faithful to bring him the truth and having done that we leave the rest to God's hand, praise Him that He breaks even the hardest of hearts.
I set up to preach from what is now our preaching post (or information board as it would otherwise be). Shortly after I began a heckler popped up and the ensuing debate (if it could be called that) continued for the next 45 minutes. The young man who never gave his name was an atheist and loudly proclaimed that there is no God - I responded that he had just claimed absolute knowledge with that statement putting himself in the position of God and contradicting himself. Not only that but the atheistic claim that there is no God is immensely arrogant, claiming not just to know better than the theists but to know all things.
I proceeded to argue that there is a God and He is knowable, generally from the things that are made but also as personally revealed in history through the bible and the person of Jesus Christ. To this he responded with what seems to be the atheist's holy trinity, evolutionary science, historical uncertainty and misinformation, and finally personal scepticism and scorn. The debate as such went back and forth and I offered the many evidences and arguments that meet with those assertions. Unfortunately he kept going to scorn and scepticism and seemed to think that closed the matter. So in response I said that he had only given me his opinion, this was most offensive to him but he could/would not give any support to his comments. He stormed off and I continued to preach the gospel.
A couple of other people stopped to talk and I tried to present the gospel to them having failed with the first hard hearted young man. Likewise they were not interested but would scoff and laugh only. When they left I stepped down and having defended but not really been able to present the gospel - a hard night in a hard hearted city.
We spent some time praying that God would use our work and then headed home giving out tracts to the opera crowd as they came from city hall as we went.
Praise God for even the hard nights, there is a time for everything under the sun, and God works all things together for the good of those who love Him.
Saturday, 14 March, 2009
This is mainly a photo report. We had six people on the Gold Coast team this week. Josh Williamson, Joel Barnard and I took turns preaching at Surfers Paradise, while the rest of the team handed out tracts and talked to people. Even though it was cloudy for parts of the afternoon, various people stopped to hear the preaching and many good one2one conversations were had. Praise the Lord!
Page 1 . . . 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 . . . 76