Tonight, over 50 Gospel conversations were had! And in the three hours between 7pm and 10pm over 75 people heard God's glorious offer of salvation!
In this short clip you can hear Kane share about a conversation he had, where he was able to explain the Gospel to a man who had grown up in the Methodist Church.
You can also hear Yasmin, share about a conversation she had with two tourists, a Jew and an agnostic.
Praise God that His Gospel went out and that many were able to hear it!
This afternoon on the public holiday, the team headed into Brisbane city and had a wonderful afternoon!
Hear Matt, very excited, share about one glorious conversation he had about the Gospel with a man named Julian.
Hear Allan share about a conversation in which he was able to encourage a man who struggled with alcoholism, that the solution to his addiction and God's judgement for his sin could be found in Christ.
This afternoon throughout the afternoon the team had a whole host of conversations. One team member was rejoicing at such a glorious afternoon. Another stated it was filled with 4 really good conversations.
It is a real privilege to be a part of the team. Most afternoons someone comes away rejoicing at the beauty of a divine appointment or at the change in someone's heart.
When one thinks of the average Australian's understanding of Christianity or relation to God, they probably don't assume that such a person has no knowledge of the Bible or Christianity but this afternoon was an eye opener. It was filled with a range of conversations with just those sort of people, ones who had no idea about God and rarely if ever thought about Him.
One conversation was had with Nick, a mid to late fifties business man who said, "To be honest, I have never really thought about God. I have lived my life doing my own thing. I have been married 35 years, don't commit crimes, pay my taxes and care for my family. I don't know if a God exists but I just don't care. When I die, I suppose God will let me into Heaven because I have lived a good life."
In response to this, it was explained that living our own way, in rejection of God and His standards is exactly what got humanity into this mess. We were designed to find our greatest joy and value in knowing, loving and serving God and when we live in defiance against Him we miss out on the beautiful life we were designed for and act in a way that deserves God's judgment.
Nick, said this made sense but didn't really seem moved. He left to head back to work after hearing that God alone can solve this predicament we've gotten ourselves into.
Another conversation was had with Loki. He outright started by saying that he doesn't think God exists. When asked why he had come to this position he said, "Because there is too much evil and suffering in this world for there to be a God". This was responded to with a very simple question, "How would we know the world wasn't meant to be this way, unless God had designed it differently?"
This question, is clear and easy to understand. It is only because the world was created to be without sin, that we know it is broken. Loki went on to acknowledge that everyone makes decisions based on what they think is best. He even stated, "I live according to my own ideas. I try not to hurt people or do anything bad".
This was pointed out as a problem, everyone living according to their own ideas and rules, is humanities problem. We are a selfish, greedy and proud people. The question was posed to Loki, "What is the solution to this problem of selfishness? How can a human being have their desires changed?"
He responded offering the solution that maybe rules would help but then quickly acknowledged that this wouldn't work as we already have an abundance of rules.
It was proposed that only one who has power over humanity could solve this problem. We need someone with the ability to change a human heart. It was explained that only God can change people. He doesn't do it by rules but by offering a heart renovation, a complete replacement of a sinful heart, with one filled with a desire to love God and others. And it was pointed out that this heart renovation can only come on the basis of us being purchased from the sentence of Hell.
Loki, acknowledged this as understandable but said he would have to consider it more.
Back on the theme of Australian's with extremely limited knowledge of God, an elderly woman Gail spoke to the team. She didn't know who God was, or what He expected. She hadn't heard of God's Law and wasn't really wanting to. She was more interested in saying, "It all depends on who you think God is, what you think Heaven is or what you think right and wrong is".
This was a sad conversation because an elderly woman, soon to face God in judgement was not interested in hearing how she, a sinner, could be forgiven. She preferred to pretend that sin wasn't sin.
A final conversation was had with Eric. He interrupted a conversation with two other young people, to ask for a cigarette, then proceeded to espouse his own ideas until they ended up leaving. Eric declared that he was a christian-agnostic. He, in one sentence, would talk about being a Christian and loving God then declare that Jesus wasn't perfect, nor was sin that wicked.
He spent a lot of time talking about his "god" who is only loving. His "god" who doesn't punish sin, nor does he judge but he simply loves. It was pointed out that this god doesn't really love, rather he just doesn't care and nor does he exist.
Eric, had a hard time understanding but seemed to at the end. It was explained that God loves righteousness, Holiness and goodness, which means He hates wickedness, sin and any impurity. This means, our sin isn't small or insignificant but rather something that God cannot ignore.
Eric held strongly to the idea that he had trusted Jesus long ago but sadly had no understanding of why Jesus had to die, or who was punishing Jesus on the cross. He hadn't grasped Jesus' sacrifice in the place of sinners, nor that God hates sinners.
When he came to understand Jesus' atonement he then asked, "Does that mean a mass murderer could be evil his whole life, then turn and trust in Jesus and go to Heaven? I wouldn't want someone like that in Heaven with me".
It was explained, that a consequence of Jesus' resurrection is that all who trust in Him are given a new heart and new desires. They are not only forgiven but are sanctified (and being sanctified). Which means, that all those who trust in Christ, will desire to live for Him and on the final day their sanctification will be complete.
There will be no murderers in Heaven, no liars or thieves. The only people in Heaven will be those who are redeemed from the power of sin and are adopted children of the living God.
It was stressed to Eric, that he should consider what he had heard and ask himself whether or not he really trusted in God's Saviour, or just an idealised version of himself.
Please pray for Nick, that he would seek to know his God. Please pray for Loki, that he would find regeneration and forgiveness in Christ. Please pray for Gail, that she would know the Saviour before she passed on. Please pray for Eric, that he would give up his idol "god" and come in surrender before the true God.
Please also, pray for yourselves, that you would be equipped with boldness and obedience by the Spirit, seeking to share with your unbelieving neighbours, friends and family, that the God who gave them life will hold them accountable for their actions and either they will face the consequences or they can trust in Jesus who has taken the punishment on behalf of sinners.
This afternoon in King George Square in the heart of Brisbane City many people heard the Gospel.
As the afternoon started there were some charity workers nearby, who were getting people to sign up for a charity. Across the afternoon the team was able to speak to all of the workers, early on a conversation was started with one female member but soon after James the team leader began engaging and ended up staying for almost thirty minutes.
He threw a lot of questions out, at first, not really interested in the answers. Every time an answer was given he would jump to a different question, sometimes even raising multiple at once. It seemed that James was using the questions to dodge the reality of God's existence and God's judgement of sin.
Slowly and surely, as each question was answered, James started to understand Christianity. The beauty of a lenghty conversation on the street is that as each question is answered the picture of Christianity gets clearer as the answers link together and tie back into each other.
As the converastion was wrapping up conversation James said, "I was expecting this to be a much worse conversation but you have made it very clear. I now understand Christianity a lot more, thanks for talking to me".
As James left one final reminder of the Gospel was given to him and a call was given for him to find forgiveness and salvation in Jesus.
Another conversation was had with Georgia. She had absolutely no issues proclaiming that she was one of the most vile human beings and talked about her past armed robbery and current drug use.
Sadly, this knowledge of sin was not saving her. She was still desperately proud and self-reliant. She declared that she did not need a saviour but would simply, when she is ready, clean herself up and make herself right with God. No matter what God had said or how it was explained she could not understand that we can't ever remove our history of sin, or atone for one single sin. Georgia was adamant that she needed no Saviour and would be fine.
This was an incredibly sad conversation. Even pondering it in hindsight, it causes tears to well up. Georgia was so clearly broken and hopeless but had no interest (yet) in calling to the humble and patient God, who has everything that is required for sinners for find forgiveness.
As the outreach came to a close a conversation was had with Luke and Paris. Paris asked one question but spent most of the time distracted where as Luke couldn't get enough. He asked many inquisitive questions, seeking to understand Christianity.
He began talking about God. Luke started by saying that be basically believes most of the things in the Bible but just disagrees with a few. It was then explained, that the first two people to be in this position were Adam and Eve. It isn't good enough to trust God and most things and live our own way even on a single issue. As Adam and Eve found out, wanting to be your own god, even over which tree you want to eat from, is enough to separate you completely from the Holy and Righteous God who created us. (Whilst this conversation was going on James, from earlier, overheard and listened this this first part).
Luke understood this and said he knows a God exists but he isn't sure it is the Christian God. Many simple proofs were given as to why the Christian God, is the one true and living God. Ranging from Jesus' resurrection from the dead, the miraculous power given to the Apostles, the prophesy in the Old Testament or even the beauty and master craftsmanship of the Bible. Luke slowly listened and asked questions about each answer.
He also asked about how Christianity is different from all the other religions and was surprised to hear that it was primarily a salvation issue. All other religions point us to ourselves, to clean ourselves up and God will honour that. Where as Christianity is the only religion in which God Himself, comes down, to redeem sinners from punishment.
With a few more questions answered, Luke was very excited and said, "You have been very convincing, I am excited to learn more about this!"
Please be praying that James ponders the Gospel and that the Holy Spirit will use this exposure to bring him to salvation. Please pray that Georgia is humbled by an understanding of God's immense Holiness and will turn and trust in God's humble Saviour and please pray for Luke that He will not rest until he has placed his trust, solely in the work of Christ on the cross!
And may you also pray, that God would give you the boldness and courage to step out in love and obedience, to declare His glorious Gospel to those around you in your every day lives!
Hear John share how he was able to teach a Christian about God's work in our life and encourage her to seek His truth in the Word.
Hear, a very excited, Harry rejoicing in the conversations God provided him tonight. Especially with a Buddhist named Jules, who thought that people get to Heaven by works of the law.
This afternoon in Brisbane City, God kindly provided cloud cover. As the team arrived the sun was bearing down but within a few minutes and for the rest of the afternoon the team was graced with cooler temperatures, due to the clouds.
One team member commented at the end of the afternoon how it had been a valuable and encouraging outreach. Another shared that it had been a really tough slog of reliance upon God and pressing on despite tiredness and discouragement. Thankfully God uses each and every conversation to bring about His glory, even those which are a little more cluncky.
Two young men interacted with the team at different times, one named Bepool and the other Jack. The thing these men had in common was all they knew about Christianity was the name, "Jesus". By the end of each conversation they both had a firm understanding of the Gospel and were left with the choice.
Bepool didn't really know what Heaven and Hell were, who God was or what sin is. He was happy to admit that he was not good, in fact that he had done a lot of wrong things in his life. Upon hearing about God's justice for sin he acknowledged that he deserves Hell. At this moment Bepool paused, the reality of what he was hearing seemed to sink in. He felt the weight of what he was learning. Thankfully, by the end of the twenty minute conversation he also understood that God, who is love, has come into this world to redeem, sinful humanity.
He was excited to hear this news and was happy to learn more about Jesus. Sadly, finding a way to stay in contact was forgotten but one can be sure the sovereign God is in control of the outcome of this conversation.
When approached Jack was keen to chat. He was open about being a "bad" person and even shared that he was a liar and thief, even without being prompted! He had some little quarms with there being a God but they were minor. It even seemed that wasn't really on his mind by the end of the conversation.
Jack over the course of the conversation came to understand the basics of Christianity and most importantly learnt the beauty of God's plan to save the human race through, His Son, Jesus Christ. This conversation travelled all throughout the Bible and ultimately ended with Jack being grateful for the conversation. He even said, "I am so glad we've had this conversation, I now understand Christianity".
Sadly, although Jack understood the Gospel and had no real arguments, he said he most likely wasn't that interested at this stage.
With one final challenge, it was explained that God changes the desires of those who come to Him, through Christ. Christians don't have to "stop doing all the fun things because they're wrong". Instead, they no longer want to do wrong things because they have new affections and have found their satisfaction in God Himself, rather than trying to find it in the pleasures of this world.
Jack understood and went on his way, taking a tract.
Please be praying for Bepool and Jack as they remember and ponder the Gospel they heard this afternoon. Please also keep the different members of the team in prayer as they prepare to head out.
Tonight three Muslims heard of the unequalled Holiness of God, the desperate wickedness of sin and that our only hope is in God's saviour.
In another extremely sad conversation, another man was greatly offended by God's expectations of him and was offended to think that he would need a saviour.
As you hear each recount, please be praying for these men that they may surrender to Christ and find forgiveness and life.
Hear two team members share how God used them to share the Gospel with people on the street. First with two Muslims and then with an atheist named Peter.
As the team heads out into Brisbane city again tonight, here are the photos from last week's outreach.
The team were encouraged with the various gospel conversations that were had, with some people coming to grasp the gospel for the very first time. This included a lady named Jacinta, who attends a Catholic Church but thought her own goodness would get her to heaven.
When she heard that salvation is a free gift simply received through faith in Jesus, it was like a light bulb turned on in her head. She was then encouraged to count the cost of following Jesus, but at the same time to not delay.
To God be all the glory!
Hear how on a quieter night in the city, the team was able to use the Gospel to encourage a seeking, Singaporian.