Sunday, 23 March, 2008
The Operation 513 Skypecast kicked off at 9pm and the people started to flow in. Within 10 minutes there was about 60 people in the room, so I started preaching the law to bring the knowledge of sin, then the wonderful gospel of Jesus Christ's death on the cross.
We had a Muslim fellow who wanted to speak, so we brought him up to the talking area. He was very angry and forcifully expressed his opinion about Jesus. He even used vulgar language, so we immediately removed speaking access from him. He said he hated Jesus, but that's strange as if that man was truly a Muslim then he would know that the Qu'ran holds Jesus up to a high esteem because they believe He is a prophet of God. But I explained to the listeners why He is more than a prophet, He is actually God in flesh.
I also brought up some errors within the Qu'ran, for example, the Qu'ran says Mary is part of the trinity (Sura 5:116 - instead of the Holy Spirit). Now if the Qu'ran was truly inspired of God then it wouldn't make such a major blunder as that. Christians have never regarded Mary as part of the trinity. Another example of an error within the Qu'ran is that it says Jesus didn't actually die. But that is blatantly false as we have four historical accounts in the New Testament attesting to the contrary, plus several other historical accounts written by secular historians affirming Jesus' life and death under Pontius Pilate. Yet the Qu'ran, a book written over 600 years after Jesus' death claims He didn't die. Which viewpoint would be deemed more accurate? The primary source documents of course.
I also had a nice conversation with a different Muslim person who thought himself to be a good person. I showed him God's laws and the fact that he has broken them. He threw in the objection regarding his good works and that God should let him go based on his works. But I clearly showed him that a good judge cannot let a criminal go just because He has done good works. That is like trying to bribe the judge. I told him of the wonderful news of the Saviour and how He can be saved from the wrath that is to come by repenting and trusting Jesus alone as His Saviour.
Josh Mitchell discussed the issue of morality and where we get the knowledge of right and wrong from. Using that starting point, he directed it back to God's law and the judgment to come.
We did have some hacker issues though during the Skypecast. There was a number of times when some of our Skype clients crashed or disconnected as someone tried to stop the gospel preaching. At one time Josh Williamson's computer suddenly opened up a lot of sound files and started to play them and his mozilla browser just started to bounce all over the screen. He immediately unplugged his network cord. But Thankfully because there was three speakers, when one person had issues, another person could continue the preaching. Please pray that the preaching of the gospel will not be hindered next week.
Once recovered, Josh Williamson had a conversation with a man who lives in Melbourne on the Skypecast. Diddy (that being his username), attempted to show why Christianity is wrong because of the bad things that have been done in the name of Christianity. Josh showed him why that is not a legitimate reason for dismissing Christianity. Josh told him that the Bible says to love your neighbour, not kill him. So it the person who interpreted the Bible wrongly who is in the error, not the Bible itself. But Diddy disagreed and said that it was the Bible's fault that people had taken scripture and used it the wrong way. So Josh tried to show Diddy that that is an absurd position to hold by saying, "Diddy, I heard you were going to give me $1000." Diddy replied, "No I didn't." Josh responded, "I am misusing your words, but according to your logic you are the one in the wrong." After that Diddy became silent because he knew that his own logic was flawed.
I finished off with the closing gospel message and a calling on all people to repent and trust in Christ alone for salvation. Please pray that God will draw people unto Himself for His glory alone.
The recording below is not the whole Skypecast as the Skype on the recording computer disconnected during the middle of it. However below is almost an hour of the Skypecast compiled of two different parts joined together.
Listen (12.7MB - 55:31)
(To download: right-click link, save target as.)
We will have another Skypecast at the same time next week - Sunday 9pm - 12am GMT+10.
To God be the glory!
Sunday, 16 March, 2008
I arrived at the Redcliffe Peir entrance a little late, and found Warren there waiting and ready to witness. So we were able to pray and make our way out on to the pier.
There were a few people moving round at the time so we were able to get tracks to them, I started to walk to the lower part of the pier where the pontoons are because there were a few guys fishing there. As I got closer I noticed that two of them were reading porno's, thinking in my head which way could this go, and which kind of track can I use for these guys. Great how God work as I approached I reach for my pocket and pulled out a few Car park tracks, and said hey guys catching much, there reply "no", cool so did you get 1 of these. The 2 younger ones took a track each but the older ones reply with foul comments...... with don't want to hear your church ...... I have a feeling that he knew what I was there for. Not wanting to answer any of the questions I thought Id move on they weren't to happy.
Over the few hours we were able to track most of the people moving out there that day. With all sorts of comment from people taking them, from good to bad. Even "Christians" trying to give them back without success.
At about 3:30 the tour boat came in and Warren and I were able to track every one so there came off the boat.
It was a really nice day out today with just the right amount of cloud around.
Great to see how the Lord works in the area, as I found out that there is another Independent Baptist Church starting soon. (Praise God) and also have been able to talk to some more people about joining the preaching team.
This coming week we won't be have a meeting out there as I am taking Easter off and next week to go away, but please join us there Sunday the 30 March for 2 hours of street preaching on the Redcliffe Pier meeting at 2pm.
Field Leader (Redcliffe)
Saturday, 15 March, 2008
Soli Deo Gloria!
The mist and fog came down and stayed down today and so the centre of town was largely deserted with most people indoors hiding from the cold. With Paddy in tow we headed to the Peace Gardens as Fargate Mall was empty. At the bus stop at the top of the Peace Gardens there was a group of people and also a steady stream of people coming and going.
Anna stopped with Paddy and gave out tracts for a while. She had a conversation during this time with a Muslim man who was happy to talk until Anna started to speak of God's Holy law and the demands of justice. At this point he wandered off and Anna continued to hand out tracts. Please continue to be in prayer for the Muslims of Sheffield, their confidence is in the fragile straw hut of works to please God. Works will not survive the fire of God's judgement, pray that they will be drawn to the Rock of salvation in Jesus and build on that foundation with the stones of faith, repentance and good works (the proper response to salvation by faith).
I gave out tracts to the people at the bus shelter. One group that was there were from a local youth group and some of them wanted to know what the tracts were about. From this conversation I was able to present the gospel to a young man named Kevin. Kevin wanted to believe that God would just overlook his sin and let him into heaven even though Kevin knew he was guilty of breaking God's law. I showed Kevin that this wasn't what he really wanted at all. When asked if a good and merciful judge would punish a criminal that was truly sorry, Kevin said yes. He could see from this the natural corollary or follow-on, God is a good merciful and kind judge, but there will be only space for justice on the day of final Judgement. If we have broken the law of God there is no excuse for any of us and all have broken this law as Romans 3 says so clearly:
What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one." "Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips." "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness." "Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known.", "There is no fear of God before their eyes." Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin...... For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:9-23)
We know his guilt before God and the certainty of his death and the judgement to follow Kevin was shaken and I could see he was thinking very seriously. I told him the great news of what Jesus has done to save him from certain hell, holding up the great mercy of Christ in His life and death I urged him to look to Him and be saved. We pray that God would graciously bring him to faith and repentance; that this young soul would shine as a light in this world and would then after death stand in the presence of God to glorify the name above all names forever and ever.
Team Leader (Sheffied)
Regional Field Leader (Europe)
Soli Deo Gloria!
Sunday, 16 March, 2008
Date: 16.03.08 Sunday
Time: 1:30 - 4:00PM
Blog Report: Operation 513 Gold Coast City Team
"The wicked heart of man is as black as ink.. man cannot change his own nature, as a leopard cannot change his spots.. he needs Christ"
Young man is mocked and jeered at by 6-7 young ladies his age
Zach is a young man who was with a crowd of young ladies, took upon himself to take the good person test and was subsequently laugh to scorn by these girls. I was dismayed at such a pathetic attitude of young girls their age, but then I was reminded by the bible verse that the heart of man is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things. It's no surprise a human creature would ridicule someone, when it makes them look better.
It is the contrast of me against you, I am accomplished and you are not there yet.
This young man was humble enough to hear the law, and we looked at what Christ did at Calvary. He didn't want to take a tract, as his pride was high from these ladies mocks.. but then God can humble the proudest sinner.
While I was sharing with our young friend Zach, another heckler interjected and wanted to take me for an intellectual ride.. after thanking Zach for graciously giving me some of his time, I turned to our new friend.
the Atheist raises his head
- If God is good, why is there so many babies being born deformed and sick?
- What evidence is there for God's existence?
- Who made God?
- If we are all guilty, doesn't that mean we are going to hell?
The questioning came thick and fast, although they did give me the grace to respond, which is not something I get often from atheist's. I think the reason for this is that the position "There is no God", is not an intellectual position, but rather it is an offensive position.
"Atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge, which is tantamount to saying, "I am omniscient that there is no omniscient being."
.. rather what atheists are naturally prone to do, is to attack any Theistic or Deistic positions, and try to show that they are invalid instead.. but that simply does not in and of itself.. disprove the existence of God.
By the grace of God, by the end of our encounter, these two were concerned about their fate after death, and promised to consider it my presentation and they accepted gospel tracts.
Please pray for them.
Our old acquaintance Ash returns
Keith was given the preaching stage, and Ryan joined him, as preacher, while I moved to support the team. Very shortly Ash our old acquaintance arrived.
For those of you praying, he still loves his sin, and is making excuses for it.
With all my heart I believe that the church he attends, is inoculating him against the gospel.. and the probably do not even realise the danger they are subjecting this young man to, by their ignorance of scripture.
Ash tried to tell me that violent video games were ok, because they were not in the bible. He was also tried to distract the issue, by saying that he was angry at people who commit paedophilia against little children, and wanted to bash them.
I explained that in Genesis 6, God destroyed the world because they imaginations of men's hearts were wicked continually, and that he was immediately open to the wrath of God, because of His wilful desire to enjoy imagining killing people, and destroying the flesh of imaginary creatures on a computer screen.
Ash disagreed with me, and so I can only pray God will grant him repentance that he might recover himself out of the snare of the devil. Ash took the good test again, and as we persevered through the law, he found he was again guilty of all ten commandments. His heart is hard, but God's word is able to break the hardest rock in pieces. I trust God will not allow this young man on judgment day, to escape the wrath of His holy nature, if he attempts to tell God, he should be let into heaven. Please continue to pray for Ash. God may yet grant him repentance..
We worked through a number of issues, but ultimately he does not want to repent yet.
Are you in a band?... and what do you think of man-on-man action..??
I got up and Ash headed to Ryan who was preaching, and asked him what he thought of violent video games.. I guess it must have been playing on his conscience :)
Taking Chris Robson to hand out tracts on the street, I was interrupted by a nice young lady.. who wanted to know if I was in a band? Never been asked this before.. apparently I look like someone important! hehe
The young lady was joined by three others her age, and one threw this outrageous statement at me: "what do you think of man-on-man action? because I think it's beautiful". By the grace of God, I said the question was ok to ask.. since her friends were especially shocked that she would say something like this to a preacher.
conversation quickly turned to, "how do we know what is wrong/right"..
arriving at God as being the only possible determiner of morality,
which led to the law.. the girls after some work, seemed to be really
concerned about their eternal fate.
God knows only what was in their hearts. One seemed to want to leave options open to sin in future.. but God is the determiner of men's salvation, not men's hearts ;)
Old man reached by Kyosti.. who I couldn't get to for over a year!
There is this old man, that I have been trying to give tracts to every now and again, and he simply wasn't interested. God let Kyosti get a tract to him, and he had a decent chat about salvation! I was so chuffed. God answers prayers.. though sometimes it takes a long time to see them happen! :)
May God save the old fellow, and use him mightily for His glory!
Ryan Hemelaar, our faithful web developer, had the privilege of preaching, while the rain clouds started to roll in. He did a good job, and faithfully preached the gospel, even though people seemed to have left the beach and reached the dryness of the mall.
Thankyou to all the labourers who came out to serve on the Gold Coast Operation 513 Field Team, may God bless you for your faithfulness to Him and His word:
Author's final thoughts:
Could I possibly communicate to you, how many times the Sovereign King of Creation, the majestic Jesus of Nazareth, has impressed me, as I reflect upon His holy invasion into my human experience. Probably I wouldn't have time.
I am increasingly impressed by the providence of God, in keeping the work of evangelism alive.. even now, in this Atheistic and Roman Catholic dominated part of the world.
As a repentant believer in Jesus the Saviour, I have joyfully observed the work that Jesus is doing by His Holy Spirit, in this dark, gloomy, hateful world. I have seen Him bringing people to tears by conviction of sin, and the knowledge that he suffered terribly, dying in their place.
Till next time, have a brilliant week, and seek the face and pleasure of the King Jesus!
Ps. If you want a bit of an idea, how we preach down the Gold Coast, here is a recording (thanks to Ryan Hemelaar), from our worldwide broadcast on Sunday nights.
Saturday, 15 March, 2008
Anyone who engages in Christian ministry would soon tell you that once you start doing something for the Kingdom of God, then the enemy will attack. This week has just been one attack after another, and the constant lies that are being told about me, and concern the m inistry are starting to wear me down. But, one has to stop and think about why these attacks? While on one hand it hurts to be attacked by those who are supposed to be your brothers and sisters in the faith, but on the other hand I have grown deeper into God during this time. Something I have noticed is that as you dig deeper into God, then the attacks increase. Some have suggested I turn my back on the ministry and walk away, since the pain isn’t worth it, some have contended that is better for me to lay down my sword and just surrender, since I am loosing friends.
As I think about it, I have to wonder why would I surrender? Why would I give up? My King is the one who humbled Himself and came to earth in the form of a man to save His people from their sins. Why should I leave the ministry when my Master is the one who was rejected and despised by those whom He created? If He can endure all those things, then surely I can stand firm with His help! During this time I have taken great encouragement from the Scriptures, and also from the song “I’d rather have Jesus”:
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than worldwide fame;
I’d rather be true to His holy name"
All those thoughts were running through my mind as I set about preparing for the our weekly Brisbane outreach. Tonight was going to be a tough night, since it was the day of the Irish - St. Patrick’s Day. For the past two years whenever we preached on St. Paddy’s Day we always ended up with large hostile crowds. So I set about trying to rally extra troops for the nights event. Sadly, we couldn’t get any back up, so we fielded a team of around ten.
This week it was good to have Bibles, our re-stock had arrived from the USA The Brisbane team has decided to change the Bible we give away from the King James to the English Standard Version, while it is a more expensive translation, we think that it is easier to understand for the common man. Furthermore, I would contend that it is the best translation on the market today.
It was around 11pm at night when I was tagged in, my first thought was to answer the questions and then disperse the crowd, since we were short staffed and there was a growing hostility from the mostly drunk crowd. The young man I began to deal with was a hard evolutionist, and was rather hostile in his defence of the position. But, I was encouraged to see him approach the subject with an openness to learn more. So I spent some time looking evolution from a scientific position and how it is a belief purely based upon faith. From here we began to look at the Christian worldview and the Bible’s statements on Creation and fall. This produced a chance to talk about the glorious grace of God. After awhile I stood down and began to speak to the young man and his friend in a one to one situation. They were both interested in talking, and they took some of the free booklets we give away which we got from Creation Ministries International.
During this time Mr. Bible Burner from the week before came back, and became rather hostile. He once again began to threaten to burn Bibles, so again I stood my ground and told him that if he wanted to burn Bibles then he had to go through me. He stepped up and began to make threats. I pointed out to him that he has no authority over me except that which God gives him. He then started to talk about how him and his gang could all knife me to death. At this stage he put his hand quickly into his pocket, and grabbed something. Since he had just made a threat concerning a knife I decided to step back and put myself into a defensive position. He kept on advancing towards, me so I put myself side on to him, and extended my arm so he could not get near my body. During this time the threats continued, so I gave the order that Warren was to go and get the police. The young man wanted to know why I would call the cops in, so I informed him because I believed him to have a knife. He denied having one and brought his hand out of his pocket. He then began to bang his chest and make more threats.
At this point, I just told him to stop acting so tough as he has nothing to prove to me. He seemed stunned, I then began to talk about how he acts tough, yet when he goes home by himself it is then that he realises that he has no peace, for as the Scripture says the wicked have no peace. He then went onto the back foot and started to try and prove that he was at peace. I pointed out that he had no peace with God because He was still in his sins, but then I said “God loves you so much in that He sent Christ to die for you if you would believe!” He had calmed down a lot now, and began to ask questions about Dinosaurs and the Bible. This was an opening to teach from the Scriptures, so I began to explain it all to him, he listened and understood. Now his gang approached and a few of them began to mouth off at me, but he turned and told them to be quiet as him and I were talking.
Please pray for that young man, pray that God would grant him repentance.
After this we began to pack up, and as we packed up some young men approached us a began to mock the gospel. Saying that they were good, so I reached over and grabbed my Bible and beginning at Romans 3:23 began to show them that they were sinners in the sight of God. It turned out that they had a Jehovah Witness background, and they didn’t like us referring to Jesus as God. This led me to ask “What if I can show you in the Bible where God the Father calls the Son God?” They laughed and said it wasn’t there, I flipped my Bible over to Hebrews 1:8 and got them to read it. They both looked at each other and then said “How do we get around that?” Before we could go any further there gang came in and the leader began to yell at us. One of the gang members took a tract ripped it up and then spat on it. The gang laughed, so I pointed out that he just spat on and rejected the very God that gives them breath and will one day judge them. The two JW’s paid attention but the others decided it was time to leave.
Please keep all those we encountered tonight in prayer. Pray that God will change our city, and that He will receive all the Glory!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Sunday, 16 March, 2008
Praise the Lord, the Skypecast worked from the start! In case you weren't aware, recently our weekly Skypecast have been having major technical difficulties. So usually half our time is spent trying to get it working. But tonight it worked from the get go. Praise God.
It was a rather quiet for most of the night. Although Josh Mitchell did have a pleasant conversation on air with a professing Christian. So Josh tested the man to see if you truely knew the gospel.
We had various questions come through via chat message which we addressed on air, such as, "Why is Islam a false religion?", "Where do we get our morals from?", etc. Josh Williamson and Ryan Hemelaar also discussed various topics such as, "How do we know that is a God?", "Does evolution disprove the Bible?", "What is the gospel?", etc.
At about 45 minutes remaining, the flood gates were opened and people started to flow in to the Skypecast. At one point we had about 60 people in the room at the same time. This was perfect timing as Josh Mitchell was almost about to start preaching the in-depth final closing gospel message. The recording below is that message:
Listen (6.9MB - 30:01)
(To download: right-click link, save target as.)
We will have another Skypecast at the same time next week - Sunday 9pm - 12am GMT+10.
To God be the glory!
Sunday, 9 March, 2008
Date: 09.03.08 Sunday
Blog Report: Operation 513 Gold Coast City Team
Ryan Hemelaar (our cherished hardworking webmaster)
Nathan (our new friend and labourer in Christ)
Special Credit: This report was taken from Keith Rocheford, as Josh was absent from the field, due to his wife's serious but temporary sickness on Sunday. Big Thankyou to Keith, who faithfully held the line for the gospel in Surfers Paradise on Sunday. May God bless Him for his labour, for Christ's name's sake.
Preachers: Keith Rochford / Ryan Hemelaar:
'For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables' 2Tim 4:3-4.
Today Ryan opened up the preaching and drew a good sized crowd within a few minute's he had some hecklers straight away who were asking "If God made the world, who made God?' this is a classic category mistake question, it is like asking 'what is the smell of blue?' only finite things require a cause, infinite things do not require a first cause, Ryan answered the crowds questions and then delivered a gospel message.
As I jumped up to preach some of Ryan's previous hecklers returned to ask more question's we covered the validity of the Bible, why christianity is the right religion among all the man made efforts and then things started getting very interesting, a Catholic started asking if we need to keep the Sabbath? Which is a strange question from them as you would expect that from a seventh day adventist, I countered the question by quoting Romans 14:5-10 and Col 2:16 we are not to let others judge us regarding Sabbaths/days of worship, he got very angry and said I am quoting the Bible out of context as Paul was only speaking to the Jews, I reminded him that Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles and he left. This gave a great opportunity to preach on the false gospel of the Catholic church i.e Justification by work's infused grace, treasury of merit and idol worship and allowed me to close with the true gospel. Any other gospel preached is 'Anathema' (accursed, eternally condemned) Gal 1:8-9
Ryan jumped up for his second bout of preaching and after about 45mins he wrapped up and had to leave as he was speaking at Church , this left Nato and myself, Nato continued on tracting duty and I stepped up to preach again, things really started to happen here, I instantly had a few excellent hecklers one claiming to be a Physicist another a relativist and finally a new ager, I debated and undermined the theory of evolution based on its own claim as a theory and as agreed by the Physicist Phil its lack of evidence biologically and in the fossil record I then quoted a few world renowned evolutionary scientists that agree they have no evidence but except evolution on faith.
The relativist Craig was one of the best hecklers I have ever had, he was calm, asked great questions and most importantly was willing to listen to reasonable plausible and logical argument's by the end of our discussion he agreed there is right and wrong and that absolutes exist, more importantly his whole attitude changed when the Law and grace were preached, he became quite emotional, please pray for Craig as he has been through some difficult times recently and really needs God to grant repentance and faith.
My new age heckler Troy was quite amusing, when asked if he had ever lied? He said 'yes', but would not admit that made him a liar, he was very happy for anyone else to be labeled one though, I just kept thinking of what the Bible tells us in Proverbs 'all the ways of a man are pure in his own eye's but the Lord weighs the spirits' Prov 16:2 We can kid others and ourselves about what is right and wrong, but our God given conscience will not tell us what we want to hear, it bears witness to the Truth of God's Law.
After around 1 hour of preaching I wrapped up with a gospel message and covered freedom from slavery to Sin through Christ, there was a large crowd present to hear all that was preached so please pray for everyone present.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Second in Command
Gold Coast Team
Saturday, 8 March, 2008
This week was cold and sullen in sheffield, and the people like the weather were likewise sullen and unresponsive. We began the day with Anna preaching in the centre of Fargate mall, a couple of people stopped to listen but by and large they just filed past. We pray that those who heard the message even in part would be convicted of their sin and like one fleeing the plague would flee to the saviour Christ Jesus.
We went from preaching to the peace gardens, we have had a good response from the goths in the past but we are now seeing a decided opposition to the gospel arising. Anna had a good long conversation with Preston, many times she gave him the gospel and we pray that he would repent and be saved. I gave out some tracts during this and offering some to scot and his siblings got a very abrupt refusal and “you have some new trash every week don't you?”. I challenged scot as to why he was so against the gospel, this spawned a conversation that went for some time.
As it began to rain we retreated to the millennium gardens and spoke more there. As we spoke others were asking questions and I tried to answer some of these objections and give a reasoned defence for our faith. Part-way through this a council officer came up and informed me that a complaint had been made (from one of the goths as it turned out), and that I could not preach in the gardens. I protested that I was not preaching but merely talking with people, but he demanded I leave. At this point one of the goths decided to gloat and accused me of lying about what I was doing. I left and we will be praying that God would work to bless those behind the opposition and would sovereignly draw them to Himself and save them.
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:43-45)
Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." To the contrary, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:17-21)
Please be in prayer for Godliness and wisdom for the authorities and that the opposition of the Goths would be overcome by the power of God conquering hearts and minds.
Saturday, 8 March, 2008
Saturday, 8 March, 2008
Before heading out on the streets tonight I was pondering some things that had been said to me in the week previous. I thought about how some people view street evangelism as not being compassionate, so I prayed that God would give me greater compassion. I thought about how people say this sort of ministry doesn’t show fruit, so I prayed that God would let us see just a little fruit if it be His will.
The whole accusation of not having compassion I freely admit cut me up a bit, because I believe that those who engage in street evangelism are having compassion on those in society who the church seems to reject. Many of us would have heard sermons about going to the poor, since they are the down trodden of society and that they are the people group that Jesus spent time with, but the people that think this way don’t seem to realise that there is another people group that Jesus spent time with also, and that is the part of society that many street evangelists deal with daily, the society I am talking about are the drunkards.
While many people are happy to be involved in the social gospel of helping the poor, there are many who would not take the time to sit in the gutter next to a drunk and tell them about God’s amazing grace. Now I applaud those who share the gospel with the poor, but I appeal to them not to forget the other people groups as well. As Christians our mandate is to preach the gospel to the poor, the drunks, the rich, the upper class, the lower class, the working class, in short we are to preach Christ to all. This I think is a true sign of compassion, when we don’t care who we witness to, as long as we get to preach Christ!
Our job as those who engage in evangelism is not to sit by and wait for the lost to come to church, but rather we are to be pro-active in the gospel proclamation and go out to where the lost are and point them to the Way, Truth and Life! Our primary role is not to engage in social reform, while that is good it is not the main purpose of evangelism. The main motivation for evangelism is not even the salvation of souls, but rather it is that God may get glory!
As I walked along the streets of Brisbane all I could think of was “Lord, I long to see your name glorified! Father glorify your name!” Then coming to mind was the familiar scripture of John 12:28: "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again." (ESV)
As we set up that was our motive, to see God glorified! And as one focuses on that as our purpose for being, one soon realises that what people think about you means absolutely nothing, and that its not our job to seek fruit, but rather it is our job to seek God!
The first preacher up for the night was Andrew Hsu, the mall looked quiet but as he stood to preach one could hear the familiar sound of the call that sounds before any Operation 513 preacher speaks, and that was the call of SDG (Soli Deo Gloria!) This call reminds the preacher for who he is preaching.
While Andrew was preaching I was in back play with Ryan on the Bible table that has run out of bibles (good problem!) During this time I was approached by a man from India, I began to speak to him and it turns out that he is a Sikh. We began to discuss different religious viewpoints and he was very open to hearing the Christian message. So I opened my Bible and began to show him the scriptures that explain the gospel.
Firstly I spoke from Romans 3:23:
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
Then I explained to him that we show that we are sinners when we break the Law of God, and we do that by lying, stealing, lusting, hating, blaspheming God’s name etc. After the man had an understanding of sin I took him to Romans 6:23:
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The payment for our sins I explained to him was eternal death and punishment in hell. This made the man stop and think. He grasped the concept of eternal punishment as I explained to him how a lawbreaker must be punished by a good judge, then I swung around and showed him that God is the good judge of all the universe.
But, I pointed out that the rest of the verse talks about how one can have eternal life, and that is found only in Jesus Christ, this led me to Romans 5:6-8:
“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person--though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die-- but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
From this passage I was able to point him to how at just the right time Christ Jesus came to die for the ungodly, that is He came to die for liars, for thieves, for those who hate, and for those who lust. Basically Christ Jesus came to die for sinners like you and I. But, that is only part of the account, for three days later He arose from the dead and now He lives as King of Glory!
After explaining the cross to the man, and also the resurrection I then turned in my Bible to Romans 10:9:
“… if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
One could see a light go on in the man’s eyes as he realised that there is life and hope in Christ Jesus. He understood how Jesus Christ took our punishment upon Himself, so that if we would trust in Him we would not perish. He also realised that contained in that trust in Christ involved a turning and forsaking of sin, and that in confessing Him as Lord meant that one no longer lives a life of sin, but rather lives a life the way God says to.
The man took our last Bible, and also an in-depth gospel tract. As he left I pleaded with him to repent and trust in Christ alone for salvation, since we do not know the day or the hour in which we will die. As he left I shared one last scripture with him, 2 Corinthians 6:2:
“…Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”
Please pray for that man, pray that the gospel seed that was sown would take root in his heart, and that God would grant him repentance.
During this time Hsusy was preaching to a large crowd that had gather to listen to the discussion between himself and a humanist who was raving on about there being no heaven, no hell, and no God. Andrew did some good apologetics, and then swung in and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the crowd that had assembled. Many of those within the crowd took gospel tracts as they left.
Later on in the night it came time for me to preach, so I spoke about the reality of death and dying. But then old mate the humanist heckler returned to dialogue which I was quite happy to do.
We spoke for a brief time, and then other hecklers began to open up and scream at me. I did my best to present the living Christ to them, and also to answer their questions.
While I was preaching a group of young men approached and asked if I remembered them, at first I had trouble, but as they spoke to me it began to come back. These men had been in the crowd about a year ago, and some woman tried to beat one of them up. I was the one that stopped the fight then witnessed to the men. They remembered the conversation and still had the gospel tracts that I gave them. It was good to be able to share with them again, and this time we exchanged details and plan to stay in touch.
Surely God is great! He didn’t have to show us fruit but he was kind enough to show the team that we are indeed having an impact on our city! May His name be praised forever!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Sunday, 2 March, 2008
Blow Wind Blow is all I can say for the day.
Know that Warren and Chris were unable to make it I went out any way and was able to take my Bro inlaw, John. We got out there and the wind was blowing crazy. i noticed that there wasn't many people going out on to the pier, and if they were they weren't staying out there for long, So we went out there anyway but very few people were in tract takeing moods, I was able to talk to a big hairy biker guy who happily took "Womens Only Carpark" After having a laugh about it we started to chat. His reply to Godly Questions thanks "I'll read it later".
Because of the wind and the few people out there I decided to call it a day early because there was no one around.
So please join us out there this week 2- 4pm Redcliffe Pier.
Go Serve Your KING
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