We had a good outreach in Brisbane city yesterday afternoon, with 6 people on the team.
The "Good Person Test" flipchart keeps working a treat, with plenty of people willing to go through it. We also had lots of gospel conversations with people around, including with an Aussie bloke named Lindsay - he said he was not religious and never thought about where he would go when he dies. But he came to grasp the gospel and said he would seriously consider it.
Ryu was another man we spoke with, from Japan and studying English here for a year. He said he sometimes believes there is a God - some days of the week yes, other days no. But once he heard that just as a building has a builder, so must the universe have had a creator, he said "Of course, that makes sense."
We then explained to him about the coming judgement, sin, heaven and hell, and the cross. After hearing all that, he said that trusting in Jesus is what he should do, but he said that sin has a strong pull on him. So he is going to count the cost of following Jesus. He happily received a gospel of John to start reading.
To God be the glory!
On Wednesday during our weekly outreach in Brisbane city, one of the King George Square underground bus station entrances was closed for repair, but it was interesting to see the number of people who were walking towards the entrance (in the quick city manner) and then come to an abrupt stop just centimeters away from the closed door. They remain there for a few seconds in shock that the door is closed for them, before realising they have to go in the other entrance 50 metres away.
So one person on the team used this as an opportunity to say to a number of them, "Heaven's door will be shut one day too, are you ready?" And it got many people thinking about eternal matters.
It reminded me of the Scripture - "When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’" (Luke 13:25)
People think that they have plenty of time; there is no urgency to get right with God yet. But to the contrary, "today is the day of salvation" (2 Cor. 6:2). And shouldn't this motivate us to want to get out there and share our faith?
Yesterday for our outreach in Brisbane city we set up our "Are you a good person?" flipchart and the very moment it was set up, a group of six teenagers said, "I'd like to try the good person test". After going through it, explaining about sin, the coming judgement and salvation through Christ alone, they were appreciative of the chat and left counting the cost of placing their faith in Christ.
Throughout the afternoon, we took dozens of groups of people through the flipchart, including atheists, agnostics and even an elderly man who belongs to the cult called "Christian Science" (which is neither Christian nor scientific). He said that his religion denies that Jesus is God, and he said that only spiritual is good, all material things are bad. Apparently we created our own body through our mind and our aim is to rid ourselves of our body.
He denied the existence of Hell, and so we spent some time showing him verses in the Bible which showed that Hell is a real place, also verses that show that Jesus is God and how Jesus came to die on the cross for our sins (which he denied too, and instead said Jesus died for our healing).
After hearing the Scriptures he said, "I am just too old to change now." We expressed that it's not too late, by the very fact that his heart was still beating.
Please pray that this man (Wallace) comes to salvation, plus all the others we spoke with or gave a gospel tract to.
To God be the glory!
Last night's outreach marked the first night of our Christmas outreaches in King George Square (Brisbane) during the light show that the Council puts on projecting a repeating 7 minute animation onto City Hall. This animation attracts large crowds into the city to watch it, and it also provides a great opportunity for us to share the real message of Christmas through the handing out Christmas gospel tracts and chatting to people.
And even though there were some big storms leading up to the outreach yesterday, there was still quite a lot of people about so we were able to get over 1,250 Christmas gospel tracts into people's hands. The team also got into some fruitful one to one conversations.
We will be there again each night this week and next week (except Fridays and Sundays), so please be praying for these outreaches that many people will come to saving knowledge of Jesus - how he came to this Earth to live a perfect life and die on the cross for our sins.
Thank you for your prayers for today's outreach in Brisbane city. We had a variety of different conversations, from those who say "that's just true for you", to others who said they want to keep on living in sin, and then also to others who went away from the conversation seriously considering the claims of Christ and are going to start reading the Bible for themselves.
And it is wonderful to know that God is in charge of the results. So even if a person's initial reaction to the message of the gospel was negative, he or she might be the very person who can't focus on anything else until they too have placed their faith in Christ.
God also sent across our path today a few Christians who were able to encourage us in our endeavours to reach the lost. Please pray for all those who received the hundreds of tracts that went out today and for those who we got to speak to. To God be the glory!
On Saturday evening the Brisbane evangelism team took up a slightly different location on the edge of King George Square. This location usually has a decent amount of foot traffic and as a result numerous conversations were had.
Two stand out conversations were with a Jewish man named Jacob and a younger man who was seeking for truth, named Alex.
Jacob, who is a Jewish scholar and teacher professed that he was saving himself. He said that humans weren't sinners, we were just people who needed to be taught what was right and that we made mistakes occasionally. When the Old Testament was quoted as saying the direct opposite to this, Jacob's argument was that these passages were being misunderstood but he wasn't interested in engaging with the text.
The conversation stretched on for over two hours and he was quite angry. For a man who proclaimed to know God intimately and to even be one with YHWH Himself, Jacob was incredibly rude. He swore many times, called team members various names and sadly his hostility during the night didn't turn to humility. Jacob was given repeated clear explanations of God's promised to send a Messiah to save the guilty but Jacob didn't want Jesus. At one moment he said, "If Jesus was to come here now, He would be bowing down to me."
We pray that you feel the weight of Jacob's deception and feel compelled to pray, to earnestly and reguarly ask God to change Jacob's heart, that He may have true abundant life and forgiveness of His sin.
The second and more exciting conversation was with a man named Alex. He mentioned that his friend has recently become a Christian (saved out of an addiction to Marijuana) and that as a result he had been searching for the truth. Alex quickly followed up, that he wasn't sure what to believe because there were so many opinions and ideas. The bad news, of human sinfulness and the good news that God came to save sinners, was shared with Alex and he was very open.
When asked, "What is stopping you from believing in Jesus?" He paused and said, "I'm not sure if there is anything". Alex then downloaded a Bible app on his phone and was encouraged to read the Gospel of Mark.
Please be praying for these two men and for the others who heard God's message of salvation. Please also ask God to grant the team boldness that we may continue to be empowered by God's Spirit, motivated by God's love to preach God's Gospel!
On Wednesday, the team headed into Brisbane city for an outreach, and we were blessed to be joined by three new labourers on holidays from Germany. Once they arrived, they said that they were terrified. But I encouraged them by saying that that fear will drive you to prayer to ask God for help, for courage and for strength.
And it was so great to see that it wasn't long before they were handing out gospel tracts to whoever walked by and even got into some gospel conversations.
Over the course of the afternoon well over 500 tracts were handed out. One conversation we had was with a young man named John who was very receptive as he heard the gospel and said, "Today I want to trust in Jesus."
After talking further, I asked him if he has a Bible at home and he said, "No, but I am sure I can get one somewhere." I then gave him one and he was very thankful. I encouraged him to find a good local church, and gave him some tips on how to do that.
To God be all the glory!
Hundreds of gospel tracts went out to people in Brisbane city today. We had 4 people on the team and had some really fruitful conversations.
One person we spoke with was named Kiowin. He was an Aussie bloke who said that he didn't think he would go to heaven because he wasn't brought up believing that, but he said that he was on the fence about whether God exists or not. After showing him how things made have a maker, so therefore the universe must have had a creator, he said, "That makes sense".
So we talked about the coming judgement and how we have sinned and fallen short of God's standards. Therefore we need someone who is perfect who can our punishment for us - Jesus.
Once the gospel was explained to him and he was also encouraged to count the cost of following Jesus, I asked, "So when will you come to trust in Jesus?" He said, "I will really need to consider this." He didn't have a Bible at home, so I gave him a gospel of John to start reading. Please pray that he comes to saving faith.
God is in control and He is building His church even in Australia. To Him be all the glory!
It was a beautiful Spring day as we made our way to King George Square in Brisbane. As usual there were crowds of people sitting around or moving from place to place.
I began to hand out tracts and almost instantly I had a lady stop to talk. This lady is from Eastern Europe and believed that she knew God as she is a good person. We chatted about how there is none good, but she kept insisting that she was. I then asked her, "If you can get to Heaven by being good, then why did Jesus have to die?"
The lady looked at me and said, "He died for our sins." I quickly replied, "Does that mean you have sinned?" It was at that moment the penny dropped. She realised that she wasn't a good person and needed forgiveness. I urged her to trust in Christ, to which she said she would. Please pray for her.
After this I had another conversation, this time with a man who thought he was right with God because of laminin (which makes the shape of a cross). No matter what I said he kept falling back onto the superstitious nonsense that these laminin crosses would somehow save him. Please pray he'll see the truth.
The rest of our time was spent handing out tracts and sharing with people. Over the course of three hours we handed out over 500 tracts.
May the Lord Jesus save sinners!
Many of the usual Brisbane City team members are off on a short term mission in another country and as a result the team was expecting to be smaller on Saturday night. To our great surprise, a whole twelve members made it out and many gospel conversations were had!
Two exciting chats came from eight teenage boys who were walking past. Two team members engaged with them, splitting them into two groups of four.
After not very long, only one young man was left talking to each team member and the rest were waiting in a group. The first young man was named Jack and the other Jacob. The conversation will Jack began a little shaky. He started by being silly.
Jack seemed not too interested by the way he was engaging to begin with but by the end it was clear that Jack wasn't just playing around, His eternity was at stake it was obviously important to him.
What seemed different was that his questions unlike the "usual" mocker or joker, seemed to have much deeper roots than just a desire to ask hard questions.
Jack originally asked about other religions and whether or not they would be going to Heaven. He was given the answer that, everyone is a rebel against God's and hasn't been saved by Jesus Christ will have the same fate, Hell. He pryed a bit deeper, so what about the Jews and the Muslims? And again the Gospel was stressed, salvation is only found in Jesus Christ, He is the ONLY hope.
Jack then moved through a range of other topics. Each answer played its part in filling out the picture of God's ABSOLUTE sovereignty, the problem of sin, caused by human pride and selfishness, the fallen state of humanity and this world. Throughout the discussion regarding each an every topic raised another piece about what God has revealed about Himself and humanity.
This left Jack to his final question, what about people that die from cancer? Tell me everything Christians think about that? Why do people get cancer?
The response was simple, cancer only exists as a product of human rebellion. It is only because this world is fallen that cancer exists. People can get cancer for a range of reasons, for Christians, God uses suffering to bring about their likeness to Jesus Christ, teaching them to trust God more fully (Romans 8:28-29). For non-Christians cancer may be a product of God's judgement (but one should be very hesitate to declare such) or more likely it could be God's call to show people that they aren't in control and call them to turn to Him.
The conversation seemed to be coming to a natural end, with one final reminder of the Gospel. One last question was posed to Jack, "What is stopping you from trusting in Jesus now?"
It was at this moment Jack opened up, he finally felt safe enough to share, "My father died from cancer four months ago and it has put my life on hold. I am sort of waiting to try and sort it all out before I consider God. What do you think about that?"
For a moment, the conversation was halted by the weight of the event that had occured but this answer was given, "God is active in the work of restoring this world and the people in it from the effects of sin. He is the only one who can mend our sin and its effects. He also is the only one that can give real hope of a better future. To say that you can sort out this issue then turn to God is to both, reject the best helper you can have and also to arrogantly declare that you think you're better than God at fixing the effects of sin.
Jack paused and in light of all the conversation that had occured, he said, "I understand". He and his friends hung around for another few minutes or so and he was incredibly greatful in his affections and comments about the conversation that had taken place.
Please keep Jack in your prayers, God is in the business of saving sinners, even those whose life has been overcome with the grief of a lost loved one.
Please pray for the many other people that were engaged with from Rick a man who was scared of eternity, Paul a works righteousness Jew and Chris who wasn't very serious about eternal matters.