The show is in town! Each year the Ekka comes to Brisbane and the whole city gets caught up in the excitement of the show. Since tonight was the opening of the Ekka we expected the crowds in the city to be larger than the normal winter crowds. This proved to be true. Even though there was a strong, cold westerly wind blowing the people still came out, and this made for a lively time of ministry.
Ryan was out of action tonight, since he had been preaching on the Gold Coast and as a result had killed his voice. This left us with only 2 or 3 preachers for the night. So while Ryan was off handing out tracts and conducting one to ones, I began to preach.
Not long into the presentation a few hecklers stopped and a small crowd began to form. The questions flew thick and fast. They ranged from Islam to Atheism, from Evolution to Textual Criticism. Tonight reinforced my opinion that for some strange reason every drunk is a theologian.
I did my best to answer the crowds objections and then swing it back to the Gospel. I believe it is vital to take the time to answer the questions from the crowds and not avoid them. As this goes to show the crowd that we as Christians do actually care for their concerns. In fact the Bible tells us we must give an answer to those who ask:
“but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you;” (1 Peter 3:15).
One of the stand out hecklers for the night was the son of Wayne our (non-heckler) heckler. Even though he is just a teenager he has some great questions. And, unlike his farther he seems to be prepared to listen to the answers and even admit if he got it wrong. While this young man professes to be an atheist at this stage, we pray that God would grant him faith in Christ, so that he may have all his sins forgiven.
The heckling went of for about an hour, but one of the main points that kept coming back up was the doctrine of Original sin. I explained it from the Scripture and then demonstrated how we all have a sin nature, but even though we may love sinning now, Christ has come to set us free.
After I finished preaching Jeremy got up and had a bash. I have nicknamed Jezza my “big hitter” cause he just stands and delivers the gospel straight and hard. He rarely engages hecklers but just proclaims the everlasting gospel.
The night finished well. Many tracts were handed out and many one to ones conducted. Praise God for such a good night.
A cool breeze drifted down the Queen Street Mall as we prepared for the nights outreach. Already the team had spent time in prayer and bible reading, but now was making sure everything was ready to go for the night. As I set up the Bible table a young lady approached and asked if she could have a Bible. One of the team members got her one, but before she left they had asked if she knew what the main message of the Bible is. This in turn led to a fairly lengthy discussion about the gospel.
The mall was fairly empty, I put it down to the fact that it is cold. While we may live in Australia there are times when the temperature drops and most Aussies stay at home or in the pubs.
Since there was not much movement, we decided to hand out tracts and just one to one for a time. There were some great conversations. I got to speak to one man who had claimed to be a Christian, yet when we examined that claim we found out that he was just a church goer. At the end of our conversation the man turned to me and said, “You know, I have never heard that message in my entire life!” Such a shame that a person can attend a church, yet still have no concept of the Gospel. While to a certain degree it is the fault of the person attending the church, for they should be reading their Bibles and studying the Word, however, a level of blame must fall on the ministers of those churches. If you are a minister, preacher or leader in the church, then I plead with you - Be faithful in preaching the Word. For you as a leader must give an account for the souls of those to whom you minister (Hebrews 13:17).
After spending a time in one to one, I decided it would be a good time to get up and preach. My topic was about the tragic deaths of a family in Sydney. I spoke about how in one instant a whole family was murdered, yet a daughter was away on a school trip. During the funeral the girl said, “I don’t know why this happened, or where you have gone.” I used that comment as a jump off point. Many people have no assurance of where they are going when they die, yet the Scriptures tell us plainly that we can no for sure that we have eternal life.
The Bible says: “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:12-13).
Dear reader, perhaps you aren’t assured that if you died tonight you would go to heaven. The Bible gives the promise to you that if you have Jesus Christ, then you have eternal life. But, how do I get Jesus? First, you must realize you have sinned against God by doing a variety of things like lying, stealing, lusting, getting drunk, failing to give God the glory etc. And, for those sins God must give you judgement, and that place of judgement is hell for eternity.
But, God is love and because God loves His people so much, He sent Jesus Christ to come to the earth, to die upon the cross for the sins of His elect, and then three days later He arose again to life. Because Jesus died in the place of sinners and rose again, He can offer you eternal life and the forgiveness of sins. Right now you need to repent (turn from sins) and trust that Jesus died and rose again for you. Beg God for mercy, if you cry out to Him, He will come and grant you repentance and faith. Would you do that today?
The above message in a nutshell is the central message of the Bible, and it is the message that we preach to all those who would stop and listen. Even though tonight was slow, we did have a great time of ministry.
We rejoice in the fact that the gospel got preached and that God got all the glory. Please be praying for those who do not know the Gospel.
It had been a big week and an even bigger weekend. On the Sunday I was due to preach a teaching message in the morning and an evangelistic sermon in the evening. But before any of that we had the honour of making Christ known in the streets of Brisbane. We were expecting an interesting night tonight, as we had been tipped off that the Brisbane atheists were coming in for a bit of heckling. So we prepared for that and even looked forward to the gathering storm.
I was the first preacher up for the night, as I preached some professing Christians took offence that I mentioned the words “sin” “judgment” and “wrath”, they moved on shortly afterwards and didn’t hang around the preaching. Not long into the preaching a young man began to heckle. He seemed fairly open and even though he was an atheist he was prepared to talk about issues. His arguments were very basic and I was able to do some apologetics on him and also present the gospel to him.
While I was dealing with this atheist, another one came along. This guy was King Irrational, his arguments consisted of stating that there was no mention of Jesus in any writings until 170 years after Christ died. This of course is absurd from an historical perspective. But the man wouldn’t listen, whenever I answered one of his objections he would jump to another. This commotion attracted in the Brisbane atheist group, they came in and the heckling began. The arguments were as varied as the people in the group, we had everything from textual criticism, evolution, death and suffering and alleged contradictions in the Bible. I did my best to answer all their questions and present the gospel to them.
After the open air I was able to talk to Wayne our friendly “non-heckler” heckler, he was talking about the children of Israel being lost in the desert for 40 years, and then somehow we got onto dinosaurs. I enjoy talking to Wayne as he is very decent and he will let you answer the questions he puts forward. I would ask that all our readers please at this time pray that God would grant Wayne repentance and faith in Christ.
Ryan preached later in the night and once again the atheists entered into the fray. This time they were more aggressive. During the confrontation the police stopped to observe to see what was happening, then after they left an onlooker made a ‘flame-thrower’ and put a blast of flame in the air. I stepped in then and ordered the man to put down the weapon or the police would be called. The man complied and joke about how he was only mucking around.
It was a fairly interesting night, albeit a night where the atheists came in and showed that in reality their faith is just that… faith.
Another slow night, as once again Brisbane shivered under below average temperatures. I had already decided that I would not be preaching tonight, due to the fact that I would be preaching at an evangelistic service the next morning at Rosalie Baptist Church, so it was with that in mind that we set up the preaching roster for the night.
First preacher up for the night was Andrew Hsu, he spoke as normal on the gospel, and he even got a few hecklers. He dealt with the hecklers with the best of his ability even though those hecklers were far from rational. While all that was going on I was able to get into a conversation with a Sikh who had never heard of Christianity. I had the privilege of explaining to this man the gospel message. He was stunned to hear about this One and only God who loved the world and sent His son to save His elect from their sins. The man was amazed that God would have that much compassion on a people who do not deserve God’s kindness. The man soon had to go, but before he left he took a Gospel of John and a gospel CD. Please pray that God would save this man out of an idolatrous religion and bring him into the truth.
The rest of the night was spent with Ryan preaching and also with members of the team reading out the first five chapters of Romans. Even though it was quiet God was still at work in this city.
It was a strange feeling being back in Brisbane after spending a week on the beach front of Surfers Paradise. The city just seemed dirty and as Ryan later commented, you could “taste” the air of Brisbane. But, it is always good to head back into the CBD. As we set up for the night it was no surprise that the city was not very busy. This is due to the extra cold winter we have been having of late.
Due to the quiet nature of the night we spent much time in one to one and tract work. It is always easy to get conversations in Brisbane, and of late we have had an increased number of Arabic speakers. This is good, since we are able to minister to them in their own language, they way in which we accomplish this is by carrying Arabic tracts and Bibles.
It was also good to have the Malyon College team come out and join us tonight, even though it was quiet the team of students seemed to enjoy the night. The highlight for me was having a mate of mine get up and preach open air for the first time. He did a wonderful job expounding on the gospel and also calling men and women to repentance. All I can say is great job Adam, may God be glorified in your future preaching.
I also preached tonight, and as I was preaching a couple of young ladies approached and asked me about lesbianism. This topic is always a sensitive one, so I dealt with it gently. I explained to them that it was a sin and that God would judge them for their sinful behaviour, I also stressed to them that Jesus Christ is the friend of sinners. One of the girls seemed really interested, and she took a gospel of John and a CD at the end of the message.
The night was great, so encouraging to see people come to the realization of Jesus Christ being their only hope. It is our prayer that many would flee to Christ and be saved.
It was a quiet night in Brisbane city, this was no doubt due to the fact that it was very cold. This winter has seen Brisbane having some of the coldest weather in years, and since those in our city aren’t use to it many have been staying indoors.
But, tonight we were proud to be apart of the international outreach known as Project Ezra. This ministry seeks to have Christians the world over to read the same passage of Scripture in the open air all around the world. The passage this time was 1 John, so we as a team took turns in reading the Bible in public. Due to it being very quiet not many people stopped to listen and even less heckled.
After the reading finished we began to prepare for the preaching. It was fairly quiet all night, and now much happened when it came to heckling. But, in the midst of it all there were many great conversations.
It is such an honour to see the gospel go forth in this city of ours. May God continually be glorified.
I was in a great mood tonight as I made my way to the city. This was due to several reasons, first, that morning I was at a young evangelist conference, it is always great to be with other like-minded Christians. Second, I had the privilege of making known the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ to all those who would listen.
Those things combined made me excited about the night. Also, the preaching tonight would all be focused around the one thing that had shaken the world, and that was the unexpected death of the pop superstar Michael Jackson, now while I am not a fan of his music, I myself was shocked at his death, it caught me unaware. My first thoughts upon hearing of his death was “I wonder if he trusted in Christ?” Maybe, you are reading this now, and you have never trusted in Christ for your salvation, if that is the case right now I would encourage you to turn from your sins and trust in Jesus Christ, as He died upon the cross for sinners and then rose again. He now offers you forgiveness of all your sins if you would come to Him.
It was great for the team to once again meet in King George Square, we use to meet all the time in the square, however, with the re-developments we have had to move to Ann Street. But from now on we are back in the heart of the city. We spent some time in prayer and then read the Bible together, it is always great to commit the outreach to Christ before we begin, as apart from Him we can do nothing.
As 9pm rolled around, we made our way to the Queen Street Mall, and began our set up process. I was to be the first preacher for the night, so I began to prepare for my message, my text for the night 1 Peter 1:24-25
“for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.”
I used the Michael Jackson death as the launch pad, but then spoke about the good news of death and sin being defeated by Jesus Christ. A few people stopped to listen, one young man began to heckle a bit. He was rather proud, but he soon saw the seriousness of things. After presenting the gospel to him I called this young man to decision, and his words were heart breaking “I choose to reject Christ!” Before he left I said to him, “Mate, remember this, on the day you regret your sins, know Christ can forgive you.”
I wrapped up the preaching shortly after that. Then it was time for Amy Barnard to get up and read the Scripture, but she did more than just that. She expounded on the verses and preached a gospel message from Genesis 3. It is encouraging for me to see her getting up to preach. She has grown dramatically over the past couple of years. It is my prayer that she will continue in this ministry. She is such a blessing to all those within Operation 513.
After Amy finished, it was time for her brother to get up and preach. Joel’s preaching is going well. He is becoming more confident in his preaching. Other preachers for the night included Ryan and Jeremy, both of whom did very well in dealing with hecklers and making known the glory of Christ.
During the preaching I was able to get a conversation with a young man who was walking down the Queen Street Mall wearing the classic Australian driza-bone jacket. Since I have one that is exactly the same I decided to grab this bloke for a discussion, it turned out that he was a bush boy and he was in the city for a night. He didn’t seem overly impressed with everything in the city, but he was happy to have someone to talk to, and since I lived in the bush for a time, I was able to relate to him. He had never heard the full gospel message before in his life, and he saw the serious nature of his sin and his need for the Saviour, he left me with a Bible a Gospel CD and then he promised he would think about our conversation. Please remember him in your prayers.
The rest of the night was spent handing out tracts and having one to one conversations with people. While it was a slower night due to the cold, it was a great night of ministry. To God be the Glory!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Saturday, June 20th, 2009 - Brisbane
The city was abuzz with people tonight, which is always good and considering the slow day we had on the Gold Coast it was going to be a nice change. Louise and I met up with the rest of the team in our usual spot for a time of prayer and bible reading.
At 9pm we started our weekly ministry in Brisbane city. Sadly I was on high alert since we had credible threats come in from a person who had stated they would come attack the females of the team and rape them. So my night was spent making sure people were safe and keeping my eyes open for this guy.
Andrew Hsu was the first preacher up, he preached for some time and did some good preaching when engaging hecklers. The night was quiet so it was fairly hard to get a crowd and also to get good hecklers, but never-the-less he was able to bring the gospel to those who would stop and listen.
The Queen Street Mall in Brisbane is a great location for evangelism, there are so many people milling about and many want to talk about spiritual things, this was evidenced by that fact that the Buddhist had a large jade buddha set up in Brisbane square. It was saddening for us as Christians to see such an idol in our city, but at the same time we were able to use that idol as a springboard for the gospel proclamation.
The night seemed to be going slow tonight, that was until the guy making the threats showed up and began to walk pass and glaring at the members of the team. During this stage Ryan, and Jeremy were able to preach. It is so good to have these two go after each other since they both have a different style of preaching. Ryan’s style is similar to mine, in that he will bounce off the crowd and dialogue with those listening, whereas Jeremy is a stand and preach it kind of guy. These two styles work great together, and when running off each other more people get to hear the gospel.
Overall the night was slow, even though Alex the Agnostic was present, but the gospel went forth and God got the glory!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Saturday - 13th June 2009 - Brisbane
After a great day on the Gold Coast I was really excited about going into the city to witness tonight. We all met as per usual at the point where we have team prayer and Bible reading. It was great that we were joined by a few new people tonight, and also it was great to have other friends return.
The plan of action for tonight was to have Andre and Joel open up the night with a song, they both prepared and decided to sing “And Now My Lifesong Sings” by Casting Crowns, they both did an incredible job. Once they finished singing, I stood up and began to preach, my text for the night was Ezekiel 18, my sermon “The Soul Who Sins”. For about twenty-five minutes I preached, there wasn’t any major heckling, I did however get to engage one man in the open air. He seemed quite open and even hung around after his friend left him. For the most part I found myself focusing on the loving kindness of God in my preaching, this of late has been something I find myself preaching more of, while I believe it is vital to preach about sin, I think it is more important to speak about God’s love and kindness towards sinners.
After the preaching finished there were many great one to one conversations to be had, every where you looked people were engaged in conversation with someone. Some of those who were being witnessed to at this stage of the night would remain to listen to the preaching for the rest of the night. People may say that street evangelism is ineffective, but I would disagree, in fact I would challenge anyone who is anti-street evangelism should actually give it a go and see what happens.
The rest of the night was spent with other members preaching. Joel Barnard got up and preached with passion, as did Nick and the other preachers. Towards the end of the night we were joined by our friendly homosexual atheist heckler named Riley. It is always a joy to have him come out and heckle us. He is actually quite a friendly bloke, and I reckon he enjoys the show. Please keep him in prayer.
To hear an audio of the Open Air preaching visit:
Saturday, 6th June, 2009 - Brisbane
The sound of a car whizzing by brought me back to my senses. I was in Brisbane city and during the prayer meeting I found myself starting to fall asleep. My body was overcome with tiredness. It had been a big day. Preaching twice on the Gold Coast, engaging in blocking punches being thrown by a heckler had all taken its toll. But, the night was young, one battle finished another just about to begin.
After we prayed for awhile and then read the Bible together, we made our way to the Queen Street Mall. Part of me was looking forward to preaching, another part would have loved the night off. We set up and Ryan began the night by preaching. He had been preaching for a few minutes when the heavens opened up and it began to rain. We quickly scrambled to pack down the Bible table and also we placed a tarp over the team bags so that there would be no damage.
Ryan kept preaching, even though it was raining. One of our regular hecklers (Wayne) brought in his family tonight. It must have been a good family night out as they seemed to enjoy heckling Ryan as he preached.
While this was all going on I noticed one young man walk past who we have dealt with in the past. This man is a professing Christian, however, he is now back on drugs and is making many threats to females, including females in the Brisbane team. I approached him to speak to him and straight away I saw that he was off his face. He began to ramble about how he had just beaten up his father, mother and little brother. Since I have dealt with him in the past I tried to help him. But he wasn’t interested. A bit later on he returned and the team was able to buy him a meal and minister to him.
In the past I have spoken to his pastor about him, and I gave his pastor my word that if he comes to the team I will tell him to leave before calling the police. Tonight we let him stay with us as long as he behaved. However, his good behaviour didn’t last long. While I was witnessing to young lady who had been listening to Ryan preach, this guy walked in and abused her. He also threatened rape and physical violence. This young lady ran away and I was not happy. I order him to leave or I would call the police. The man left, only to return later on.
Later in the evening I noticed that he had returned so I approached him and once again told him to leave or I would be forced to call police. He refused to leave, so I asked him again. This time he got up to leave and as he did he put his cigarette out on my chest. This resulted in Queensland Police being called. The man ran when police arrived and after a short chase involving about twenty police they caught him and placed him in lock up.
It is so sad to see this guy back on the drugs and it was hard for me to call the police on him. But hopefully he will learn that there must be a punishment for his crime and also that Christ can forgive whatever crime has been committed against God.
During this time there was quite a large crowd listening to Ryan preach and for the whole night the preacher had a crowd listening to the gospel. Ryan started to preach at 9:15pm and at 11:45pm he finally stood down. After that there were plenty of one to one conversations.
The night was hard, but many people heard the gospel. May God save sinners in this city!
Soli Deo Gloria!