This past Friday the team began its ministry by meeting together at Tooting Broadway. I arrived before Antonio and Phil and got talking with a young Latvian man named Alex. At times his command of English meant that I had to repeat things more than once, but this was too much of a hindrance. I was able to share the whole counsel of God with him and I could see that he was of the temperament, in that he was willing to listen to what I had to tell him. He particularly liked the Ten Commandment coin tract I gave him. Please pray that the Lord will minister to him through the Word that was sown.
We arrived at Leicester Square a little past 8:30pm and were joined by Virgil. We were few in numbers, which was a little unusual, but we were still looking forward to being used of the Lord for His glory. We were blessed in that there was an opening for us to set up in a spot that I particularly like, namely against the railing, opposite the Empire Theatre. We were not centre but rather over to the left, a good distance from the artists who are stationed in front of the railing. Even so, an artist to our immediate right came up to us protesting that if we preached it would rob her of her business. While it is not my intention to infringe upon a person who is working a business, this particular person was most unreasonable. We were a good distance from where she was sitting. It seems to be an ongoing issue that we face each week and I am not sure what we are going to face each week. Please pray for us that the Lord would continue to keep the door open for us to preach at Leicester Square.
After we prayed we went up speaking with people and handing out tracts. We met with a wonderful couple from Texas who are Christians. They were very supportive when we told them what we were in Leicester Square to do and so they decided to hang around while I ministered the Word. After a little while I stood up to preach. I drew a few hecklers, which caused a small crowd to form. My hecklers were Muslims, and even though they are a challenge in terms of their many objections and the aggressiveness of their approach, they do serve to bring in a crowd. After a little while my small crowd moved on and even though there were only a small few who were now listening I continued to preach. After a little while a new crowd formed and I was most grateful to the Lord for this. I had considered stopping but was glad that I had not.
After I finished preaching we all got to talking with people who had been listening. Even our new friends from Texas were getting involved! I got talking John and Rachel who, although they were together, were quite different in the beliefs. John seemed to be saying that he did not believe in God, even though he could not categorically say that there was no God. Rachel seemed far more open. At one point the conversation turned to evolution. I explained to Rachel that one of the major problems with evolution is the lack of transitional forms found in the fossil record that serves to support the notion that various species of animals have evolved from one form into another. An article on the subject can be found here. Rachel found this piece of information quite interesting and I pray that God will use it to cause her to question things further. After using various apologetics I was able to share the gospel more easily. Leaving them with both an in-depth gospel tract I thanked them for their time. Please pray for them both.
I turned to see both Phil and Virgil in conversation. Virgil was chatting with a young couple, and I found out later that the young man he had spoken with claimed that at one point he was a Christian but felt that he had now lost his salvation because he had so drifted. Virgil rightly explained to him that a true Christian, someone who has truly repented and trusted in Jesus, cannot lose their salvation, since when they become a Christian they become a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come. He reiterated the gospel to them both and left them with tracts and his details. Virgil correctly pointed out to this young man that the proof of anyone's conversion is the fruit of repentance in their life. A true Christian continues to live repentant for the rest of his or her life. You may want to view the following video that speaks of the perseverance of the saints. Our perseverance does not secure our salvation. God secures our perseverance.
Before we left to go home I got to speak with a few more people. One in particular was a young man named Alex was is only 15. I was happy to see that he understood the gospel and what he needed to do to be made right with God after I had finished sharing the gospel with him. I also got to share the gospel with three young men from Georgia. They had grown up in the Eastern Orthodox Church and after I had spoken with for a short while they had a works-righteous mindset. I stressed to them that we are justified by faith in Christ (Romans 1:17), and that faith is proved real by the deeds that we do (Acts 26:20). There was a small language barrier and so it is my hope that I was able to communicate to them clearly that they must turn from their own self-righteousness and trust purely in the atoning work of Christ. We left about 11:15pm.
We were not out Saturday because my Mum was down for the weekend. Friday evening had been a good night. May the Lord grant repentance and faith to all those who heard the Word.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Chris, Ralph and Dan joined me today for the outreach in Redcliffe. It was a very windy and overcast day so there was not as many people around compared to normal. However, that did not stop the gospel going out to the few that were around.
We handed out tracts to everyone we met and had some very good conversations with a number of people. One notable conversation that I had was with two young ladies who were sitting on the ground in front of a shop. I firstly went through the law (to bring about the knowledge of sin) and the whole gospel, and the girls were very responsive.
They were concerned about where they were going to go when they died if they had no Saviour, and so they said they would trust Christ as their Saviour and repent of their sins. I did not lead them in a sinners prayer, because I didn't want them to make a rash decision, but I warned them to count the cost of becoming a Christian first. I thanked them for their time and left them with a gospel tract to read. Please pray that God will convert them.
I also had a conversation with a middle-aged couple sitting on bench about whether they thought they were going to go to Heaven. They said they were Christians. So I said, "Cool! So then how does someone get to Heaven?" They said, "By good works." That clearly showed that they were not Christians. So I explained the law and the gospel to them and they said, "That way is right for you, but I have a different way which is right for me." I pointed out that Jesus said that only through him can one by saved. They then asked the question, "So what about the people in other religions, will they go to Hell?" I said, "Yes, because they, just like you and me, have sinned, but they have no Saviour." They said, "Oh! That is so intolerant! I have met so many nice Hindus and Buddhists!" I pointed out that I am not going to kill them for that belief, so I am not being intolerant. Plus, they would say the exact same things about Christians, that we are wrong. However, the couple did not want to continue the conversation and asked me to move along.
To God be the glory because many seeds of the gospel were planted today!
And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. Deuteronomy 8:3
It should not be odd to the creatures of this world, that the Creator would want to work in the field of his creation. King Jesus, works in the Gold Coast, just like he works in many other places around the world simultaneously, by His Spirit. He surprises me every now and again, with things I would not expect. A simple revelation that God is not an robot, neither one that must conform to our invention, of how He should work. Our God is a sovereign God, who reigns over the heathen, and uses the foolish things of this world for the promotion of the knowledge of His Name.
Jehoshaphat was correct when he said: "O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?"
I am glad that God took the foolish men from the world, who are now called by Jesus name, to serve Him on the Gold Coast. This week my friends, David Strachnan, and "Snowy" Barwick, were a wonderful support to the gospel proclamation, in the face of danger and arrest, and I am thankful for their labours. Snowy preached the gospel, and he laboured in vain for a crowd, but gloriously for Jesus name! He will improve with practise, under the Lord's blessing.
Today the fool of fools, stepped up to preach for Jesus, and God blessed the preaching with persons whom he desired to hear the word of God.
Brendan was a young man, who laboured under the law of God. Heprofessed that at death, one became a ghost and floated around the earth. His proof was his opinion, and yet he believed it, rather than God's word. After a while of chatting, he excused himself to take a mobile phone call, and James an older man began to interact with me.
I thank God for this man, because he really made things interesting, which built up the crowd to a considerable size for a good hour. James was by my estimation of Arabic descent.
James taunted and mocked, and tried to psychologically manipulate me to a position of uncertainty, but God gave me the grace and presence of mind, to continue refuting his arguments, and bringing it back to the glory of God, and His gospel. James was joined by a faithful believer in Darwin and the evolution theory, both men attempted to shame God, but God did not let the joining of thier hands go unpunished.
Smokey, our acquaintance, who frequently causes trouble for the preaching, said a few words, but left when I smiled and waved to him. I am really happy to see him keep coming back because, God clearly has some reason for making this one man come back to be near Christians who are preaching the gospel. I don't understand that reason, perhaps it is his salvation.. God only knows.
As soon as the Skypecast opened up at 9pm, a whole flood of people started joining. There would have been a couple hundred people in the first few minutes. During this time, I preached a clear law and gospel presentation and as soon as I had done that, everyone was randomly kicked from the Skypecast. People tried to rejoin, but it kept kicking everyone out for the next 15 minutes or so.
Once stability had been restored, there were a considerable less amount of in the Skypecast. However, as the evening progressed, the number of listeners kept growing.
We had a Muslim heckler who tried to propose that the Christian God is not just because Jesus takes the punishment of someone else. However, I pointed out that if a fine needs to be paid for, the law is not concerned about how the offender gets the money to pay the fine (whether their parents give money, etc), only that the fine is paid. So in the same way, we have sinned and have a fine to paid (death) and Jesus can pay it for us and thus justice is satisfied. So then the man had to resort to saying, "Well, the Christian God is still not just because the judge is the one who pays the fine, that is a conflict of interest." I responded by saying that the reason why in some countries we have laws such as 'conflict of interest' is to prevent the judge from doing something corrupt. However with God, He will never do anything corrupt and so that law is not needed.
I then pointed out to the Muslim fellow that his god is especially not just. Allah can apparently forgive someone without their fine being paid. The man then tried to propose that Allah put in a law of justice to give him that right. However, I responded by saying that the concept of justice is not defined by the judge, but rather it is the same regardless of who the judge is. And justice is: criminals who break the laws get the fine or punishment that transgressing that law entails. So by the definition, Allah is definitely not just, yet he claims himself to be just. That is an internal contradiction proving that Allah does not in fact exist. So then I explained the gospel to him, that in Christ's death God's justice is satisfied and because of that we can go to Heaven when we die if we trust Him as our Saviour and Lord.
The conversation then moved onto Jesus' death and I pointed out that it is a historical fact. He did not deny the crucifiction, however he believes it was of another man who Allah had made to appear as though it was Jesus (Surah 4:157). So Josh Williamson perked up and made the profound point that then that would make Allah a deceiver and a sinner like you and me. So that points out another internal contradiction within Islam because Allah claims to be holy.
At this time the Skypecast was nearing the end, so Josh handed it over to Ralph who preached an in-depth gospel message. Please pray that this man and the Muslims listening will be converted. Also please pray that next week we will not have any technical difficulties. :)
We will have another Skypecast at the same time next week - Sunday 9pm - 12am GMT+10. If you would like to advertise the upcoming Operation 513 Skypecasts on your webpage/blog/myspace, please visit the Skypecast page and that will give you the instructions on how you can do so.
To God be the glory!
As usual Philip and I met up with Antonio on Friday evening for the start of another weekend of ministry. Arriving at Tooting Broadway we set about handing out tracts to the passerby's. After a short while I stood up to preach.
About this time some Christians from another church arrived and began setting up sound equipment for what I expected to be some form of evangelism. While not many people stopped to hear God's word, I could see that my message was an encouragement to these Christians. After I finished preaching I managed to speak with a chap who turned out to be the pastor of their church. Because I believe it to be vital for the church today I spoke with him about the importance of true biblical evangelism; that is, using the law to preach about sin, righteousness and judgment before preaching about grace. I was encouraged to hear that he understood this important principle, as he mentioned he had listened to Hell's Best Kept Secret by Ray Comfort.
After saying goodbye to our fellow Christian brothers and sisters, and of course Antonio, we hopped on board the tube bound for Leicester Square. Going up and down the carriage in either direction I quickly went about tracting the people on board. If you look left you can see those who are in the middle of reading their tract. When a young girl had finished reading her tract I asked her what she thought. She said that she was going to start reading her Bible when she got home. Too cool!
Arriving at Leicester Square we quickly met up with Carl, Andrew and my brother James. Carl really makes me smile because every time we arrive he is always in a conversation with people, sharing the gospel. He certainly doesn't muck about! The place was heaving, and so after opening in prayer, so we set about handing out tracts and talking with the people. Below you can see a picture of my brother in a conversation with three people. I got talking with a young couple, Page and her boyfriend Carlos. This was a really good conversation, as both Page and Carlos listened intently as I shared the whole counsel of God with them. Page in particular seemed quite moved by the message and when I asked them what they were going to do with what they had heard they both said that they were going to give it some serious thought. Praise God.
During my conversation with Page and Carlos I noticed that there were some other Christians who had arrived for the evening. They were parading up and down the square and some were also preaching, although they used no form of elevation. It's great to see other Christians and while it would have been good to fellowship with them and get to know them, we had a job to do. Stepping up on my ladder I started preaching. I preached just as I have done in previous weeks and yet no crowd seemed to form, which meant no hecklers either. It really was quite strange, given that the place was bustling with so many people.
After I finished preaching a young man arrived with his own little soapbox and stood up to preach. I have met him once before and during that time I was able to chat with him briefly. I don't really know much about him and so it will be good if I can get to talk with him again. In the last few weeks we have also been joined by Paddy and his friend Steven. They carry with them large placards that simply say the words "John 3:7" on them. The idea is that people will approach them and ask them what John 3:7 means. This of course allows you to then share the gospel with them. I admit this is quite a fascinating way of engaging with people. Paddy in particular is very keen on coming alongside us and working with us each Friday evening. I have not approached them about joining our ministry as they are already in their own ministry. Paddy is also very much charismatic in his theology and so there are some things he teaches that I seriously disagree with.
As the young man who had arrived began preaching Carl came running to me and asked me to come and speak with a Muslim gentleman who had some questions. We spoke for at least half an hour and covered a number of topics. One particular issue that we disagreed on pertains to that of original sin. This refers to the fact that we are born sinners. My new Muslim friend, Ali, disagreed and instead said that we are born pure, we simply "lose our way" when Satan tempts us. I explained to him that it is quite evident we are sinners from birth, however he refused to believe that the wrong we did was evidence that we are all born evil. He kept alluding to the good that people do. However it is clear that if we are born pure then it does not square with the fact that we all sin, and that we all begin doing so from a very early age. The Bible clearly teaches that it is because of the Fall that we all inherit the sin of Adam.
After I finished speaking with Ali I noticed that Paddy had stepped up to preach. I listened to his message and was deeply concerned to hear the watered-down version he was preaching. It's going to be tough but I will be speaking to him the next time we meet to tell him that as things stand right now we cannot align ourselves with him. Hopefully he will take on board what I have to say when I share with him concerning the importance of preaching a complete and sound gospel message.
It was now past 11:00pm and so we departed Leicester Square and headed on home. We may not have had a big crowd but we had handed out many tracts and had witnessed to quite a few people. To God alone be the glory.
Saturday came around and it was back to Tooting Broadway. Antonio and Andrew were there to meet both Phil and I. We arrived at 12pm and spent the first part of the afternoon talking with people one-to-one and handing out tracts. After a little while I stood up to preach. We continue to get few people who stop to listen at Tooting Broadway but I believe that this can change. You never know what impact the gospel is having as the people of the area continue to hear the message week after week. When God commissioned Ezekiel he said to him, "And you shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear, for they are a rebellious house." (Ezekiel 2:7).
Later that afternoon I met with two Mormon missionaries. Mormonism (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) is a heretical offshoot of Christianity. I met with them because they had first approached me a few weeks back and had given me some of their literature. As we talked we spoke about their beliefs and how they differ with orthodox Christianity. They believe that their "version" of the gospel is the restoration of the gospel, but this simply is not the case. The Book of Mormon, for example, conflicts with the teaching of the Bible. The following link will show you the major difference between the Christian gospel and the Mormon gospel. I did not get to spend as much time with them as I would have liked as they had to leave quite early. I did ask them if I could meet with them again and they said yes. I do hope this will happen and I ask you to join with me in prayer that it would.
We had met in McDonalds and so there were a number of people sat around us as we had been talking. As I was getting ready to leave a young girl who was sat nearby spoke up and said that she had been listening to the conversation. Quickly I sat down next to her and asked her what she thought. It turns out that her Mum is a Mormon; however she claimed to not be religious, although she did believe in God. I spoke with her for at least twenty minutes and shared the whole counsel of God with her. When I had finished she said that it made sense and that she knew what she needed to do in order to be reconciled to God. She seemed quite convicted as well and so I urged her to get right with God whilst there is still time. She said that she would certainly be giving it careful thought. Her name is Elizabeth. Please pray that God would grant her repentance and that He would bring her to the knowledge of the truth.
Soli Deo Gloria!
And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? Daniel 4:35
By faith, a small team assembled to preach the gospel, despite adverse weather conditions. The wind was cold and blowing quite strongly. Clouds loomed above. The Lord God however, is above all things. :)
Chris Rixon joined me this week, and together we waited for "Frosty" Barwick to arrive with camera equipment. He arrived with firm encouragement, and I stepped up to preach.
The area was cold and pretty empty, and preached for about eight minutes, before stepping down to talk to an Asian lady who was listening. She turned out to be from Singapore, and a professing christian. We chatted, for a bit, and went through the gospel message. Unfortunately she was unfamiliar with the teaching of John in the bible, regarding how to define a true convert of Christ's from a false convert who really belonged to the devil. May God help her understanding, for the benefit of those she influences in Jesus name.
In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. 1 John 3:10
Victor and I handed out tracts, and Mr Rixon began to pray for the gospel ministry.
A malasian middle-aged lady, with her children, inquired what my gospel tracts were about, and so I told her about the good person test. She was quite honest and revealed that she understood her sin was evil. The dear lady turned out to be another professing christian who understood the gospel very well, and true and false conversion. After sharing contact details, we went our different ways, and I was back to handing out tracts.
A young Asian man, with two similarly aged women was sitting idly about the normal preaching stage, and God gave me the opportunity to have his attention and present the gospel. Apparently he had been in church before, but he went because they served good food. His confession was that he left church, because he wasn't aloud to sin openly.
All three accepted "Are you a good person?" tracts, and read the ten commandments, while I showed them their sin. It was a nice chat, and he was quite a joker, but he began to be nervous and the girls seemed worried. I took them to the cross, and then urged them to investigate the claims of the gospel, since they were going to die, and it wasn't worth taking an idle approach to the end of their fleshly life.
After a short time, I was able to witness to two young men, who had heard me preaching earlier. One young man was British, who quite a firm believer in Darwinism, but also professed belief in God. The other was an Aussie, who made a few objections during my discourse with our British acquaintance, but mostly stayed quiet. What struck me, was how as the conversation progressed with British and I, Aussie seemed to get very unsettled. I think God let me spend about an hour with these two young men.
It was wonderful to have Chris Rixon praying, and God seemed pleased to answer his prayers, and aided me immensely in witnessing to these two young men. All their questions to my recollection were adequately answered, and a young girl who arrived later to join the men, even took a tract as well. To God be the glory.
Friends, if you study hard, but trust Jesus to use you, despite your weakness's, frailty, or lack of recall.. he can use you wonderfully for His glory.
I will pray for you reader, in Jesus name, that he might grant you boldness and understanding so you can represent Him aright.
For the promotion of Jesus name,
The evening starting off very very slow and stayed that way for pretty much the entire Skypecast. However, that didn't mean we had no hecklers though.
We had a couple hecklers from New Zealand who said there was no God. I went through some basic proofs for God's existence and they admitted there must be a God. I then went on to proving the judgment, however, this is where these larrikins became unreasonable. They would jump topics, and not listen to anything we were saying. So we ended up having to drop them down to the listening area. However, they now have some things to think about because Josh Williamson went onto explaining the law and the gospel.
Andrew spoke to an American man who at first claimed to be a Christian. So Andrew asked him how someone gets to Heaven. The man explained his conversion experience by 'asking Jesus into his heart' a number of years ago, but he went onto say that he is trusting in his good works to get him to Heaven. Andrew pointed out that if he is not trusting Christ alone for salvation, he won't get to Heaven. The man was very concerned about this and asked for more information. So Andrew explained the full gospel and what a person must do to be saved to this fellow so that he understood it. The man said he would get right with God immediately. Praise be to God.
There were also a few technical difficulties throughout the evening, such that people would randomly be muted for a short period of time. Please pray that this will not happen in future weeks.
We will have another Skypecast at the same time next week - Sunday 9pm - 12am GMT+10. If you would like to advertise the upcoming Operation 513 Skypecasts on your webpage/blog/myspace, please visit the Skypecast page and that will give you the instructions on how you can do so.
To God be the glory!
Saturday, 31 May 2008
Winter is almost here, a cold wind was blowing threw the city tonight, and the rain that we had experienced for the past few days only served to make the temperature drop. Many people have commented on how they don't like to witness in winter due to the cold, personally I like to witness in the colder months.
Due to the colder weather, I was expecting to be a few team members down tonight, as some of the Operation 513 team has come down with colds. But, never the less we decided to push on no matter how many people came out.
The night was looking grim for man power, when at 8:30pm, only four of the team were present, I was starting to think that it would be a very hard night of witnessing. But, by nine o'clock we had a ten man team on the ground.
I had decided early in the day that I would not be preaching tonight, due to the fact that I would be preaching an evangelistic service the next morning at Browns Plains Baptist Church, so I handed over the preaching to Andrew Hsu.
As we were setting up it was good to see Alex (Mr. Dawkins Man) hanging around as per usual. As he was walking by he greeted a couple of the members of the team, and revealed that tonight was his birthday. So I went across and gave him a DVD that I promised him that details the historic proof for the existence of God. Alex is a decent bloke, and I really like talking to him. I guess we could be classed as "friendly enemies" he takes the hardline position of atheism, and I take the hardline position of Biblical Christianity. We are all praying for Alex to be converted, and hopefully G od will one day grant Alex repentance so that he can come to the understanding of the truth.
By now Andrew was in full voice preaching the gospel. While he was preaching I got the chance to talk to a couple of people standing behind the preacher. The conversation were simple at best, they would ask "What's happening here?" So, I would explain to them about the preaching, and lead into the gospel.
By now the heavens had opened up once again and the rain began to fall, so we quickly packed up the Bible table, and I did find it rather amusing when one of our atheist hecklers was actually helping us pack away the Bibles so they wouldn't get wrecked in the rain. Riley has become on our regular hecklers, but he is in a different league to Alex. Both of them hold to the same position, but both have different ways in arguing their case.
Riley had been spending some time doing study to ask us questions in regards to religious beliefs. His question focused on "Why is there many different religions if we all came from the one God". This question is a rather good one, so I took it back to show how men and women will often take a truth and pervert it to justify their own actions, and as a result of man's sinful idolatress heart, we get many religions and sects being formed.
From there we did go on to talk more in an apologetic sense about the age of the earth, and how long man had been present. I like talkin g to Riley as he thinks out his questions, and he seems to be willing to learn and study. But just like Alex, Riley is lost in sin unless God saves him. So please keep Riley in prayer also.
At this stage there was a quiet time in the outreach, so I called the whole team in to where we have our bags. I then called over Alex and Riley. During the preaching Rachel had gone down to the doughnut shop to buy a pack of doughnuts to share for Alex's birthday. As a group of Christians along with our atheist heckler we sung "Happy Birthday" to Alex, and then we had a few minutes of general chit chat before heading back into the preaching.
During this time Andrew had finished preaching and was dealing with one of his hecklers in a one to one. So I put Ryan up to preach for awhile. Since it was a cold night, and because Ryan was a bit sick, he couldn't preach for long. But, the time he did preach for was rather good.
After Ryan preached, I decided that we should put Rachel up to preach. This was her second time of open air preaching. While she is new at this form of evangelism she shows promise. While she was preaching, she did a call out on an African man who was listening, once she had the dialogue going with him, she went threw the full gospel and explained that without Christ no one could be saved.
Overall it was a good night, with many people getting to hear the gospel. May God be glorified from the work He is doing in Brisbane!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Today Jim, Chris and I joined together to reach out to the people of Sheffield and met in Fargate. We prayed together and appealed to the Lord of the harvest that He would intervene in the lives of people to perhaps save a few from those who heard.
I stood up to preach first while Jim and Chris witnessed to those who were in the vicinity. I spoke on the wisdom of man and the folly of man being defined by Christ in their response to His words. While I struggled to get a response there were a few people who listened nearby and I pray that God would use the message to work in them, as He will.
Jim was next up and I have noticed that he is improving steadily in his preaching and becoming more bold and confident. It is fantastic to see God raising other workers up in this needy field of evangelism and I praise God for bringing along Jim, John and Chris.
At first while Jim was preaching there were only a couple of people listening. During this time I went to speak to a lady and her daughter about suffering and God, but was only able to give them a short explanation and a tract because I was interrupted. The interruption was in the form of a raging Mr Gnostic who was back for round two. I quickly went to support Jim who was holding his own against a positive whirlwind of shouting and incoherence. Mr Gnostic was shouting this time that Christians are nothing but a bunch of paedophiles that have concealed the truth that they can have power over people.
Jim did an excellent job of refuting this spurious assertion and repeatedly went to the word of God to show what Jesus said of Himself as recorded in the eyewitness accounts. All the noise gathered a large crowd and Jim took this as an opportunity to preach the gospel many more times. While he was doing this Chris and I were working the crowd to make sure as many people who left as possible could get tracts or speak to one of us.
The preaching went on for quite some time and in the end Jim had to stop only because of the time, I had to get back to work! Jim and Chris where still witnessing to two separate groups as I ran to get back to work.
Praise God that He answers prayers and brings in people to hear the gospel.
John joined me to witness in Sheffield this Saturday and while the day was quiet because of the long weekend there were still quite a few people around to speak with.
I was first up to speak and spoke from John the Baptist's announcement:
"Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (Joh 1:29b)
I spoke on the person of Jesus and who He is, not the carpenter of Nazareth, but rather God the Son come in the flesh and walking among us. Not many people stopped but I did get to speak with a Buddhist man at length, and urge him not to trust himself to the works based perfection that that religion seeks.
Afterwards I spoke with an older Christian gent who encouraged me in what John and I were doing. Christians, please if you ever see a street preacher, stop and encourage them, you have no idea how much it urges them on to greater works for our Lord!
John spoke next, though public speaking doesn't come naturally to him John faithfully preaches and I know that God uses his words to good effect. During the preaching he interacted with a group of young hecklers and also a Muslim man. While this was happening I was handing out tracts and so didn't get to hear much of what was said.
After a period of speaking to the Muslim man John stepped down to continue discussing things with him. Muhammad was a very open young Muslim and even though he was trying to point us back to the Qur'an as authority in matters of faith he was happy to discuss. John and I spoke with him for quite some time.
Among many things we discussed the outworking of the absence of mercy in Allah as seen in Qur'anic law. There are many controversial things demanded in sharia law such as amputation for theft and death for adultery, but the one thing that causes the most death and suffering in the Islamic world is the law regarding apostasy. Five of the five schools of Islamic law hold that a sane man (a male over 15 years) who leaves the Islamic faith for another is to be killed. Likewise four of the five schools hold this position for women who apostatise. As Barnabas fund (www.barnabasfund.co.uk) have show in their many reports, this has lead to innumerable people to be killed or persecuted around the entire world, even in supposedly "Christian" nations like the UK.
If I were a Muslim I would have immense difficulty with this reality and be forced to ask, "If this is the mercy of Allah shown in his law then what will he do to me when I appear before his judgement?". I urge all Muslims to consider that question carefully and consider the many ways you have broken the laws of God both within and without. There is no mercy in Allah for the above crimes why should there be any for you in your crimes?
But we didn't point this young man to Allah and the Qur'an but rather to the living God and the work of God in history to save men like him and us. The Qur'an demands Muslims to trust the Bible and so we urged him to read John 5:19-47 where all are commanded to honour the Son (Jesus) as they honour the Father.
So I end by asking you all, whom do you trust in? For it is written:
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
Saturday, 24 May, 2008
When we arrived in the city tonight Andre and I were met by the sight of thousands of Asian people walking around the CBD. This was odd, so we went about tracting people in the Queen Street Mall as fast as we could. We then headed across to King George Square, and once again we were met with the sight of many Asians in the square. Instantly, Andre and I reached for our tracts and headed into the crowd. It turns out that they had just finished a memorial service for those who died in the massive Chinese earthquake.
We then met up wit some of the team, and had a time of prayer, and Bible reading. I noticed that the team was down a bit on numbers tonight, so we began to pray that God would see fit to raise up more labourers for His harvest. As always, God is faithful, and He brought in more people to work with us on the streets.
I decided to preach first for the night, this is something I am not a big fan of doing. I would rather preach second and deal with hecklers, but tonight I thought for a nice change I would open up. It was good to see as we were setting up to preach, that Alex (Mr. Dawkins Man) was hanging around, I think that he is a "Preacher Seeking Missile", as soon as we began to minister, he was right up there talking to people. While I was preaching I was heckled by a bunch of youth from a large church, who we ministered to last week. They were just as loud, and sinful as the week prior. After preaching for awhile, I stood down, and got the next preacher ready to go. It was a real quiet night, and it was hard to get hecklers. Even Alex wasn't heckling.
I noticed that there were a few young adults from church present, so I went across to greet them. Alex came across a few minutes later and began to heckle a bit in a one to one. So I engaged him in debate. A crowd gathered around to listen to us debate. The topic of discussion was over the historical Jesus. I produced the evidence of from secular history in regards to Jesus Christ living, and being crucified, and then I did an apologetic to prove that He rose from the grave. We then got on to the topic of atheism. It was an interesting discussion, and I truly think Alex is starting to soften to the Gospel.
During this time, Andre preached, and so did Kevin. By the time I finished talking to Alex, it was time for Hsusy to preach. He did a good job, and it is a real blessing to have him on the team. He does a fine job expounding the gospel, and dealing with hecklers.
One heckler, that kept attacking Hsusy was rather strange. No matter, what Hsusy said he would not listen, and he would just make up another argument. It was very clear that what the heckler was saying, was not built on fact, but rather on fantasy. He contended that Jesus Christ is actually from a pagan background, and that if you look at pagan religions there is a man called "Jesus". Hsusy, countered this claim, and the man didn't know what to do.
If one spends enough time on the street, you get to hear a lot of ‘odd' information. This man showed some of the ‘oddest'. He started to argue, that Jesus Christ did not exist till the eighteenth century, and that we did not have the Bible until the sixteenth century. Hsusy, took his argument apart piece by piece, and the man quickly turned, and ran away.
For the rest of the night we spent time doing one to ones, and also handing out tracts. Just before we left some homeless people approached us, and asked that we buy them dinner. Hsusy was quick to respond, and went and got them a hot meal.
Please keep Alex in prayer, and also Riley. Both of these young men argue for atheism, and are really regular heckles. Pray that God would grant them repentance, and bring them to the knowledge of the truth.
Soli Deo Gloria!