On Wednesday we went into Queen Street Mall.
Brisbane city is a place filled with people that need the Gospel! Of the people we talk to less than one in a hundred that profess to be Christians and can explain why they are going to Heaven.
This is an extremely sad thing, the vast majority believe they don't need God because they are pretty good, there are some that completely reject God and there are some who profess to be going to Heaven as "Christians" because they deserve it and have earned it through certain means.
There is a desperate need for LABOURERS! There are so many people in the mall, that even with a team of nine like we had yesterday there are still many people that walk past without being asked where they are spending eternity or without being offered a tract and a conversation.
PLEASE CONSIDER JOINING THE TEAM FOR OUTREACHES!
Yesterday because of the Holidays there was a large amount of people in the mall and many were just wandering around, allowing for people being more open to conversations.
I talked to Ava, a lady who thought she would get into Heaven on the basis that pretty much everyone goes there. When I asked her what God's standard was she replied, "I am not really sure, I just think He is loving and forgiving."
I challenged her with the Law of God, for we know the law shows us our guilt, she admitted to being "probably guilty" before God and I asked her what she could do about it.
We considered her options, being good, doing good, stopping doing bad, being sorry for doing wrong and many things like these but as we tested in a 'Court of Law' scenario all of them fell down, someone had to pay the penalty for sin.
"Thankfully we have a loving and Gracious God who has offered a way for our sin debt to be paid," I told her. "God literally sent Himself, came as a man, lived the perfect life we couldn't live, died the death we deserve and rose again three days later, proving He was God, conquering sin and death and offering His death as a ransom for our sin."
She looked at me a little confused, asking, "Why would God do such a thing?" and I explained to her it definitely wasn't anything we did to earn it but purely because God is LOVE!
She said this sounded crazy but she would have to consider it.
Soon afterwards I talked with a teenage couple, Hannah and Adam. Hannah professed that her Christianity would get her to Heaven and I questioned her a little and asked her what about it and if she deserved Heaven and a few things about the way of salvation.
Very sadly she, despite growing up in church did not know the Gospel, she just was a Christian because she grew up that way, she even professed to be living relatively guilt free in sin.
Then I asked her boyfriend some questions, he wasn't just a non-Christian but even an anti-theist, he was quite angry that I would ask him about such things and was adamant God didn't exist for reasons he didn't want to discuss but was very quick to leave after I started talking to him.
Another conversation I had was with Adam, a relatively young guy and a skeptic. He had many different theories about things and was a cool guy to talk to, he was interesting and was relatively knowledgeable. Sadly, personal conversation skills and knowledge save no one, only the blood of Christ.
I offered him the Gospel but he said there wasn't enough evidence for God, I offered him some, about the historical accuracy of the Bible and the complexity of our universe and the like but he said he wasn't convinced. Thankfully it is not my job to save people but just to faithfully preach the truth in Love.
Please pray for labourers, Operation 513 would love to have you along, no matter how scared you may be of sharing your faith, no matter how badly you think you will represent God, or how little compassion you think you have for the lost.
Let me assure you, we all start being scared of sharing. Why? Because it is hard to have compassion for the lost when you don't know them.
We all started being very unable to explain the Gospel or defend the faith but we can learn.
And we all fail God but Christ's Grace is enough to save anyone, even me!
Please pray for those that heard the Gospel, that God may use the seed to land in good soil, allowing it to grow into a mighty tree of faith.
Please pray for the perishing that they may come to know God as God and Jesus and Lord and Saviour!
Soli Deo Gloria!
This afternoon in Queen St Mall (Brisbane) we had a very busy afternoon, there were many people around, the mall was a bit busier than usual and so we took the opportunity to do quite a range of open air preaching, from drawing a large crowd with the preaching alongside the sketchboard, to just reading a small passage of the Bible and talking about salvation, or just generally discussing our sinfulness before a Holy God.
One method that I have used often is that of leaping from Luke 13:1-5. In the passage the Pharisees ask Jesus if those that died in the tragic events (The collapsing of the tower at Siloam and the murdering of the Priests in the temple), if they are any worse than the rest of us.
And Jesus aptly responds, "No, but unless we repent, we will likewise perish."
Then it is easy to expand into human sinfulness and our need for a saviour.
I also talked with an older man, who had been listening to the preaching and I asked him what he thought, he said that he wasn't really sure, he thought he was pretty good, so I went through the law with him. He soon admitted he was not as good as he thought and that maybe he was bad.
But then he asked, "How could a good God let bad things happen to good people?" I looked at him and asked if there were any good people? Is there anyone in this world who is 'perfect' or 'good' in the sight of God?
And he said, "Nah". He recognised that everyone has broken God's law and just like him and I, we were sinful in the sight of God.
Then I explained to him that he was right, before a Holy God we are all sinners, except for one man, God himself come as a man. So then the answer to why do bad things happen to good people is simply, that it only happened once and He volunteered, Christ surrendered His life as a ransom for many.
Then the question turns around, why do good things happen to bad people? Why did Christ die for us sinners? Why does God allow if to rain on the sinners of this world, why does he allow us food, life, a place to sleep or people that care for us.
And that is a tough question because it can't be our merit but only God's goodness! I gave them man (Danny) a Gospel of John and a tract and he said he would have to consider it.
I also had a similar conversation with a young lady Ashley who also had that similar question about bad things happening to good people. I also had to do a little apologetics with her as she didn't really believe in God.
By the end of our conversation she said this was interesting, she wasn't entirely convinced but it had definitely rocked the boat of what she believed!
And at the end I talked to a young man and his girlfriend who were very slippery. They said there were no such thing as absolutes, to which I asked, including that statement 'there is no such thing as absolutes' and he said we all get to determine what is true for ourselves.
And he was winding himself into a knot, he made many different points but all of them when expanded made little to no sense compared to what we observe in this world and the whole time he made continual truth claims then had to back track and say they were only true for him.
The conversation went in many circles, every time I would talk about God's judgement and our sin he would deny the truth of it and say he just wanted to do what he wanted, didn't want to submit to anyone, especially not God and wanted to do whatever he liked.
Even though he had a gaping hole in his belief he was fervently arguing.
We discussed the believability of the Bible and he made some points about how no one believes eye witnesses yet earlier he had said that Julius Caesar existed based on eye witness account.
Then we discussed authorial intent, I was able to use a Don Carson analogy, where I asked him does authorial intent matter, he said no it doesn't for a range of reasons, then I replied so you're saying it is utterly important.
He then got frustrated and said no I said it doesn't matter, to which I replied again, so you're saying it has the highest importance.
I then said, see how you are getting frustrated with me 'misunderstanding' what you are saying, that proves to us both that what you mean when you say or write something matters.
But he did not want to submit to that and was adamant it didn't matter.
After talking about the salvation offered only in Jesus Christ three times he was fed up with the fact that I was so unintelligent that he told me he had to leave.
It was a sad conversation, even though I poked many holes in his worldview by the truth in the Bible and the truth only inherent from God, he did not want to submit to God's Lordship.
Please be praying for these three and all the others whom we interacted with, whether by our presence, the preaching of the Gospel, the tracts, the conversations or any reading of signs that all who had some influence will not be able to sleep tonight before they consider eternity, that they will not be able to rest before that are right with God.
Please pray for the softening of hearts of the many whom we have or will speak to and that the Gospel will penetrate deep and that God may be glorified through their salvation.
Please pray for the team as they go home that they will diligently seek God, committing the day to Him and further seeking Christ and knowledge of God, being more in love and better equipped for representing Christ tomorrow.
Soli Deo Gloria!
This afternoon at Queen St Mall, it was a generally busy afternoon, with the normal amount of students, workers and tourists around.
What really strikes hard is that most people aren't interested in God, in fact many believe that they don't need Him, that they instead are 'better than that', they have 'evolved' past that primitive thinking but are much more sophisticated in that they know they don't need anyone but themselves.
What makes it even worse is many of them know the lack of satisfaction found in the things of this world, many live purely for the weekend and by Monday of the next week are still craving the satisfaction the weekend can never offer.
But still blinded by their sin many will walk past and brush off any attempts for the Gospel as they have written off God, they can fix their life on their own.
This afternoon, we chatted to a range of different people, one young lady, we talked to had considered eternity a few times, she had considered what might happen but wasn't sure. She was then challenged by the law and realised that she had indeed broken God's law but didn't really want to admit that God must punish her. And because God wasn't going to punish her, she considered that she didn't need Christ and therefore didn't have to surrender to Him as Lord.
Another older woman, who was set in her ways said she knew what she believed and it didn't matter what the bible said, she claimed thay despite her sinfulness, that it didn't really bother her, heaven or hell didn't really matter and she'd find out on the flip side.
A young man, also professed to be not too bad, when challenged with the Law he admitted that his actions should make him guilty before God, sadly his friends pulled him away before he could hear the good news offered in Christ.
There were quite a range that stopped and listened to a whole manner of different preaching from the sketch board to just general Gospel presentations, many stayed and listened for a short while and others stayed for a conversation afterwards.
Please keep all that encountered us in prayer, no matter the depth of their interaction! Please pray that God shall cause a stir in their hearts, that they will be severely convicted even to the point of tears of their sinfulness before God and may this drive them to repentance!
May God be glorified through the salvation of many souls and may He raise up more labourers to help with the preaching of His Gospel, that power of God unto salvation!
Soli Deo Gloria!
This afternoon for our weekly evangelism in Brisbane city, though we only had a few labourers there were some great conversations had and God's Gospel was proclaimed!
The first young man I talked to whose name was Lachlan, first we discussed whether he'd be able to make it to heaven on his own merit and he thought he was pretty good and would most likely make it in but after presenting him with God's standard of perfection revealed in the law he very quickly realised that he definitely wouldn't.
I then offered him the cure, the Good News of Jesus Christ, that God loved us in that while were were still sinners, Christ died for us. He heard the Gospel and said he would consider it but seemed to think it wasn't that important as he had plenty of time. I challenged him that we don't know how long we have but he had to leave. Please pray for Lachlan.
Another conversation was with Robert, who was convinced that he was "a part of god" and that through a process of enlightenment he would one day join "the entity of consciousness" that is god. I challenged him for a long time on the problems with, the lack of our ability to become enlightened, that we as fallen humans could not reason ourselves to God but that God must reveal Himself to us and that if all humans and all their souls together made consciousness each individuals idea would always contradict someone else's, therefore this god would be always disagreeing with itself.
After a lengthy discussion on those things I challenged him on whether or not he would be guilty before a Holy God, the God of the bible and he was very quick to proclaim that he very rarely sinned and was actually in control over whether or not he wanted to sin. After discussing the law of God, he originally submitted to the realisation that by God's standard he was in the wrong but then denied God on the basis that his standard was too tough and god was mean, for Robert did not want to have to give up his sin.
I left Him with the good news that Christ has offered His life as a ransom for many and that salvation is offered but he declined that as illogical and foolishness. I finally challenged him to try his best to not sin for a week and come back to me next Wednesday and he left with a gospel of John. May God be gracious to Robert and may his eyes be opened!
Thank you to all those who were in prayer and it is a blessing that we are able to freely proclaim the name of Christ, the only name under heaven by which we must be saved.
We had a good sized team, which was great because it was busy.
There were many great conversations that were had by the whole team. There was one young lady I spoke to for a long while named Pippin. I noticed that she was standing listening for basically the whole time while I preached with the sketchboard.
Afterwards she came up to the free Bibles table and I started a conversation with her. She said she grew up Anglican but had made the choice of leaving Christianity a number of years ago. She said that she came to deny the existence of God. After briefly explaining to her about how things made must have had a maker, so must the universe then have a maker, she said, "That makes sense."
But she didn't really want to acknowledge God. I asked her why, and it boiled down to that she wanted to live life her own way. I asked her, "If a friend of yours was going to make your favourite meal for you, and they said to you that it will taste very nice, however there is a little bit of poison in it, and so you'll be dead in one hour's time. Would you still eat it?" She responded, "Of course not." I said, "That's like sin, it may be enjoyable for the moment, but it's ultimately killing you and leading you to Hell. It's really not worth it."
I could tell she got the point. I talked with her about sin, the judgement to come, Heaven and Hell, the cross, repentance and faith. The love of sin was the big barrier of her coming to repentance and faith in Christ. She was very appreciative of the chat and said she would think seriously about it.
Pippin has heard the truth now, please pray that God will save her. Praise be to God the results are in God's hands!
To God be the glory!
On Saturday night at the OP513 Brisbane Outreach, some of the team members were able to speak to a young women named Sally. They spoke till about 3am and afterwards invited Sally to a local church near where she lived. Sally did go to that church and found that the sermon passage that morning was exactly what she needed to hear.
The passage: Mark 7:1-30. The message: "Targeting Sins Power - The real power of sin lives within and our hope is a new heart."
Little did the preacher know that as he spoke of the misunderstanding the Jews had regarding external cleansing rather than internal cleansing of the heart, that this young women was an ex-practicing Jew that was currently fasting to gain God's approval.
What Sally was told by the faithful witnesses on Saturday night was that she could find true freedom and peace in the finished sacrifice of Jesus, and what she heard the next morning from the faithful preacher caused Sally to be amazed at Gods love and patience with her despite her many sins.
Sally didn't go home from church after the morning service, but instead stayed to hear the evening message. Please be in prayer for Sally as she considers deeply the cost Christ paid for all those that would come to Him, and also the cost Sally would have to pay to die to herself and finally be free in Jesus Christ.
I had prayed earlier in the day that it wouldn't be raining much in the city. God answered that prayer as later on when I looked at the rain radar, a long band of rain was heading towards the city but kept dissipating before reaching the city! This meant we could do some open air preaching. It is great hearing the word go out in public, with people stopping and listening.
I had a great conversation with a scientist who came up to the free Bibles table. He said he believes that all the religions are true, and said he had read the Qur'an and the Bible. So I reasoned with him for a bit, showing that it is impossible for all the religions to be true at the same time. He came to acknowledge that. Then I was able explain Christianity's message of grace compared to every other religion's message of work righteousness (doing more good than bad and hoping that it will save).
This man was beginning to grasp the gospel, and said he really needs to think more about what he heard. He commented at the end, "This has been so helpful. You have made my day!" His name is Larry. Please pray he comes to repentance and faith.
The rest of the team throughout the afternoon were busy handing out gospel tracts and getting into gospel conversations. We leave the results in God's hands!
We praise God that the gospel went out in Brisbane city again today. As soon as we arrived in Queen St Mall, the busker who had just finished up his show in the area we were able to set up in mentioned to us that there was a guy sitting nearby who tried to start a fight with him during his show. So he said that this man might do something to us, especially because we'll be talking about God. We thanked him for the warning and kept an eye on this man.
At one point, this aggressive man put something in the bin and as he was returning to where he had been sitting, a young child accidentally got in his way. He then started continually cussing at this child and wanted to fight him. His parents quickly whisked the child away, but this man kept swearing and trying to start a fight with the child.
He ended up taking his seat again after a while. He sat there just staring at us, and I knew that I was about to start preaching. So the team got together to pray for the situation, particularly that this man would not disrupt the preaching. But to the team's amazement, as soon as I said my first sentence, the man simply walked away and we didn't see him again the whole day! We praise God for answering our prayer.
God drew in a good size crowd to listen to the preaching with the sketchboard, particularly when I mentioned the cross and what we must do to be saved. Afterwards Norm got up to preach and interacted with a group of young guys, explaining the gospel to them.
Not long after, Gerhard got up to read the Bible. He started off with Isaiah 53. There was a lady who stood listening to most of the chapter and after he had finished that chapter said, "Keep reading! I want to hear more of the Bible." This was great to hear, as God's word is powerful. So Gerhard then read from Romans chapter 3.
There were a number of really good gospel conversations that the team had today. From atheists, to those who believe in reincarnation, and even to former Christians. Please pray for all those who heard the gospel.
To God alone be the glory!
Amazing night of evangelism last night in Brisbane city! God brought in large crowds to listen to the preaching of the gospel, with some in the crowd staying for at least an hour.
There were three main people from the crowd who were asking questions to me while I preached. The first heckler had some good questions about the gospel, what it means to trust in Jesus, and why there is a Hell. After interacting with him for a good length of time and pleading with him to come to saving faith, he came up and shook my hand, saying to the crowd that everyone should listen to what I have got to say.
Soon after, I had a heckler who was a Muslim who was advocating that there are many paths to God. This allowed me to stress to the crowd that Jesus is the only way, and I spent quite a bit of time trying to get this man to come to understand why his works won't save him, but only by having a substitute for his sins can he be saved.
It was great to be able to focus on this topic, because I knew that I'm not just speaking to this man when I answer his questions, but to the whole crowd who is listening as well. And there is nothing they need to hear more than the message of grace and the cross.
Later on, another Muslim heckler was asking questions about Bible translations and whether Moses spoke about Jesus. I pointed out to him that even the Old Testament points to the coming of Jesus many times.
After I finished preaching, one young lady named Ashley who had been listening for over an hour came up to me, thanking me for what I said. She mentioned that when she was young she used to go to Church, but had since left it. So I reiterated the gospel to her, answering some of the questions she had. And by God's grace, she seemed to come to understand the gospel. Please pray that she will truly repent and trust in Christ. She said she has a Bible and is going to start reading it daily.
We had a group of students with us last night from Malyon College, a local Bible college join us. Some of them mentioned that it was great to be able to speak to people on the sides of the crowd who were willing to hear of news of Christ.
The seeds have been sown, thankfully the results are in God's hands.
All Glory to God!
"I was skeptical of street evangelism" Brisbane Outreach 11 July
"I was skeptical of street evangelism" Watch a short video from last weekend's outreach in Brisbane city, where we also had a group of students from a local Bible college join us, most of whom had not done street evangelism before...Posted by Operation 513 - Evangelism Action Group on Sunday, July 19, 2015
After I preached with the sketchboard on the subject of "The way to Heaven", I noticed there were two young men who had been listening for almost the entire time that I preached and they were still hanging around afterwards.
So I went up to one of them, his name was David. He said he was a Mormon. When I asked him how he thinks he will get to Heaven, he said he was hoping that following the Mormon process of repentance would save him - getting baptised, confession to the bishop, asking for forgiveness, trying to do better, etc.
I pointed him to Matthew 5:48 where Jesus said you must be perfect. That means trying to do better will not undo the sins he has done before. Nor will merely asking for forgiveness get rid of his sins because God is just and will by no means clear the guilty.
He was beginning to understand that and asked what he can do then to be saved. So I pointed him to the cross, that the way to Heaven is only by having a perfect person take our Hell punishment for us on our behalf, that is Jesus. He replied, "But I already believe Jesus died on the cross."
I said, "Yes, but you're not trusting only in His death on the cross for your forgiveness. You think it is Jesus plus your good works." David realised that and as I explained it further, he was coming to understand the gospel. But he also realised his family wouldn't let him leave Mormonism to trust only in Jesus.
So I asked him, "What is more important, pleasing God or pleasing your family?" He replied, "Pleasing God." Please pray for David that he will take the bold step of leaving Mormonism to trust only in Jesus for his forgiveness.
To God be the glory!