It was another great outreach in Brisbane city last night. Since it was ANZAC Day, there were a number of people still in their military uniforms or wearing medals from the marches earlier in the day. We were able to share the gospel with some of them.
Please pray for all who heard the gospel message, including a man named Adam - he is from Papua New Guinea and is in Australia for a rugby tournament, but leaving to go home the very next day.
He was very receptive and came to understand the gospel. Pray that God grants him repentance and faith.
The results are in God's hands. So to Him alone be the glory!
The rain caused people to come undercover and they couldn't but help notice our free Bibles table. Team member Jordan remarked that he found himself in one conversation after another with people as they came up to the Bible and were happy to talk with him about the things of God.
The first conversation I had was with a young lady named Mandy. She said she doesn't believe that God exists and during the conversation, kept bringing up that religion has done many bad things in history. I explained that just like the fact there are some bad doctors out there does not mean that medicine is wrong, so in the same way, having some bad religious people out there does not mean the beliefs of every religion are wrong. She acknowledged that, and so then I addressed her denying of God's existence.
I pointed out that just like a building proves there was a builder, so in the same way we look at the universe and realise it had a beginning and so therefore it proves there was a creator. She thought about it for a moment and couldn't do anything but agree. So now that she recognised God's existence, I asked her if she was a good person. She said yes. And so I went through some commandments of God and she was beginning to see her sin and how like the rest of us, she falls short.
I explained the news of Christ's death on the cross and resurrection from the dead, and about how she needs to repent and trust in Christ. She responded, "Honestly, I am not ready. I want to live life my own way for a bit longer. Maybe later."
That is what it always is, a love for sin is what stops people from coming to Christ. I responded, "What good is enjoying a cup of pleasure in exchange for an ocean of pain and suffering?" She thanked me greatly for the conversation. Please pray for her.
There were many other people spoken to during our outreach, but here are just a few other names to pray for:
• Paul & Trent - heard whole message...going to think seriously about it.
• Richard - goes to Catholic Church, thought works saved him. Appeared to come to understand gospel, realised he needs to find a new church.
To God be the glory!
Since it is coming up to Easter, more people are happy to take gospel tracts because we're able to say to them "Happy Easter!" and offer them a tract.
I preached a message using the sketchboard about the only way we can be reconciled to God is through Jesus. There was a small crowd that gathered to listen.
There were some good conversations that were had too. One such chat was with a guy named Ravi.
His family is Hindu and he thought his own goodness would get him to Heaven. So as I talked about sin and the fact that we have fallen short of God's standard and thus deserve punishment. He began to see that he needed forgiveness.
So I explained the cross, repentance and faith, and then asked him whether he is prepared to leave Hinduism to trust in Christ alone. "My family won't let me" was his response.
I then expressed how having peace with God is far more important than good family relationships on this Earth. Jesus said our love for him should be far greater than even the love we have for our parents, so that if Jesus says one thing and our parents say the other, Jesus is the one we should obey at that point.
Ravi said he understood that and said he had to seriously think about it. Please pray for him.
Please also pray for:
• Liam - said he would think about it.
• Santiago - family is Christian, but he says he is not ready to turn from sin and come to Christ.
• Michael - works at Swatch, really open.
The Easter gospel tract we were using today is available here: http://www.operation513.com/easter
We are nothing, to God alone be all the praise!
It was raining continually during the outreach in Brisbane city last night. But since there is cover near where we witness it didn't really hinder the outreach. Instead it channels people right past us as they are ducking for cover.
We were lower on team numbers but lots of great conversations were able to be had. One person I talked to was a young guy named Steve. He initially didn't want to talk, but we ended up having a long in-depth conversation.
He said he was the owner of nightclubs and he says his life is about the accumulation of money and gold. He pointed to his gold watch and necklace. He said he doesn't think about eternal matters.
As I talked about sin, the coming judgement and the cross with him, you could tell he was intently listening. After hearing of the gospel he said, "So what is the next step?" Later on he also asked the question, "Would I have to give up my nightclubs?"
For him, you could tell that his love of money was stopping him from coming to Christ, but he said he would seriously consider the message. Please pray for him.
Not long later, Michael mentioned to me that he had just been talking to an older guy who is the owner of the strip clubs in the area. This man kept bringing up the fact that he had died before and therefore isn't worried about what comes after. However Michael was able to share the truth with him for a long while.
Please also pray for:
• Anzil - Muslim parents, said he is sinning a lot, gave him gospel of John, said he would think about the message he heard.
• Kieran - too many things going on in life to worry about what comes after. Softened up, took gospel of John.
Many seeds were sown, God gives the increase. To Him alone be the glory!
Similar to last week, when we were setting up we already had people coming up to us wanting to talk about eternal matters. The first person we talked to was from the Philippians and said she was a catholic. But she mentioned she prefers to believe in the sun and moon and worship the universe instead. For she said the universe gives us everything we have.
What came straight to my mind was Romans 1, how people worship the creation rather than the creator.
She thought of herself as a good person, and so I asked her whether she had broken some of the Ten Commandments. She had, and realised she deserved Hell. So I explained the news of Christ's death and resurrection for our forgiveness. She was strongly holding on to her universe worship.
So I left her with, "Wouldn't it make more sense to worship the One who made the universe?" She said she would think about it.
Later on I preached on "The Way to Heaven" with the sketchboard. A small crowd gathered to hear the message. Afterwards, I spoke to a guy who was listening for most of it named Max.
He at first said he didn't believe in God, but after pointing out to him that this universe logically must have had a creator, he acknowledged that God exists. We then talked about sin, but he kept trying to downplay it, saying "It's not that serious. God won't mind."
He wasn't willing to acknowledge the existence of Heaven and Hell, and eventually admitted the reason for his rejection, because he would rather live a life of sin now. Please pray for him.
Please also pray for:
• Vinote - encouraged him to read Bible daily, maybe came to understand gospel.
• Curtis - used typical popular atheist arguments, acknowledged he loves sin.
• Adef - from Egypt. Muslim background, took gospel of John.
Mark - in the photo, he is talking to team member Matt. He said he had been a Christian for 25 years and gave it up 5 years ago. He now calls himself an atheist, and is going to an atheist conference tonight. His understanding of the gospel was a clear indicator he wasn't ever a Christian. But he heard the truth today, so please pray for him.
To God be the glory for another great outreach!
If you are keen to join us on an outreach, please visit: http://www.operation513.com/street-evangelism-teams
Good size crowds & A flying sketchboard!
For a couple hours crowds kept gathering to listen to the preaching of the gospel at our Brisbane outreach.
Someone took great offense at Jesus being the only way that he made our sketchboard fly. Check out the video (please note that the footage is straight from the streets and may contain coarse language).
The message I had preached with the sketchboard earlier was how the greatest gift one could ever receive for a birthday is not any material possession (like a car or a house) but is instead the person of the Lord Jesus who by his death on the cross offers forgiveness of sins to whoever comes to him in repentance and faith.
After that, Joel got up to preach starting off by talking about the origins of St. Patrick's Day, since it was St Patrick's Day weekend. There were quite a number of Irish people who were heckling him asking him all sorts of questions. God used that to attract a good size crowd.
Later on though, Joel had some people who really didn't like the fact that he was preaching about Jesus. One commented that he would stab Joel if he was out in the bush. Then one of them picked up the sketchboard, which is very heavy by the way, and made it fly. He didn't want to stick around after that, as he knew in his conscience he had done something wrong.
No matter what people do to try and stop the glorious gospel from being preached, God's word still goes out. So to him alone be all the glory!
So I asked him whether he has thought further about the message he heard. He said he had been beaten up since then and couldn't remember the conversation.
So we spent some time talking about sin and the judgement to come, and even when some friends of his were trying to distract him and drag him away, he told them to go away because he wanted to keep listening. We then shared the glorious news of the gospel.
His response was, "I am not ready yet." He explained how he wanted to keep living life his own way for a while longer. We showed him how that's really not a good idea and so he said he would consider the message.
When we arrived in Queen Street Mall at 7:30pm, we set up the sketchboard and I preached a message on the 'greatest gift'.
Throughout the night, we received quite a few encouraging remarks from Christians who were excited to see the gospel going out. We encouraged them to share their faith as well.
A few other people to pray for from the night:
Barman - came from Iran 2 years ago, said he loves sin, not really religious, "I know Jesus says he is the only way, but I want to go my own way."
Tarlier - thought she was a good person, very receptive. Came to understand the gospel. Never has read the Bible before. Happily accepted a Bible.
Photo: John is explaining the message on the gospel tract to this Sikh man.
To God be the glory for another wonderful night!
We used the sketchboard to present the gospel and after explaining the message of the cross, a very loud vocal heckler in a large black trench coat started asking lots of questions, like "Why is a blood sacrifice needed?" and "What about the laws in Leviticus?"
This man said he had studied 6 years to be a Roman Catholic priest, but had now rejected Catholicism because he didn't know how to answer the problem of suffering in the world. He said he now believes in a different god who doesn't judge and has rejected the Bible.
During this time, many one to one conversations were had. At the end of the preaching, a lesbian lady expressed her disgust at the heckler, but thanked us for the message we shared. She was happy to take a Bible and wants to return to find out more.
Please pray for all who heard the gospel, including Rafael & Daniel - from Brazil, they thought they were Christians, but thought their own goodness saved them. They came to understand the gospel and said they would repent and trust in Christ from today onwards. I recommended a local church for them to start attending.
Here is a video from the night:
To God be all the glory!
A number of people were asking good questions as I preached the gospel. There was one gentlemen I noticed was listening the whole time, but he was standing quite a distance away. So after I finished preaching, I went to talk to him. He was a lecturer at a Catholic theological college.
It was very hard to determine exactly what he believed as he wouldn't give straight forward answers. He didn't seem to align himself with the common erroneous beliefs of Catholicism. But eventually he said that he believes that showing love to people is what will save him. He said it is faith and works.
When I showed him parts of the Bible where it says we are saved by grace through faith, he kept dismissing it saying that that was just for that culture. And he didn't think there was any need for a person of another religion to leave their religion and come to faith in Christ, and he doubted the existence of Hell.
So I pointed him to some Scriptures and warned him that he is in a dangerous position, denying essential truths of Christianity. His name is Shane. Please pray for him.
Please also pray for a lady from Norway who has been employed as a youth worker in her Protestant church for 7 years, and still has that job. She had no idea of how to get to Heaven. When I went through the law of God, she said, "Only murderers won't go to Heaven. God doesn't mind the other things we do."
When I quoted Matthew 5:48 where Jesus says we must be perfect, she said that she doesn't believe the whole Bible. Then she asked whether I believed Jesus walked on water. I said "Of course". She said that she doesn't believe that - he was simply standing on ice. She held on to her pride and wouldn't let go of the fact that she is a good person and that's why God would let her into Heaven.
Please pray for a young guy named Case. He is a Muslim. I went through the commandments with him, he saw his sin, but then pointed to his good works. I made clear that justice doesn't work by a judge looking at a person's good deeds compared to their bad deeds. He seemed to understand that, and so I explained how the only way to Heaven is by having a perfect person who can take our Hell punishment for us on our behalf.
He appeared to get it, but resorted to "We'll find out who is right one day". After reasoning with him further, he was clearly thinking about what he was hearing. And he was willing to take a Bible.
Praise be to God for another wonderful night!
We had a very productive afternoon in the Queen Street Mall, Brisbane. Both, Ryan Hemelaar and I used the sketchboard to present the Gospel, on both occasions a small crowd gathered.
Throughout the day we were able to share the Gospel with people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures. We were also able to connect a couple of people to local churches, please pray that they'll start attending.
Also, please pray for all those who heard the Good News today. Many tracts, and Bibles were distributed.