Battle Log

Brisbane Team

Saturday, 13 December, 2008

Posted by Posted 24 December 2008, 1:03 AM by Josh Williamson. Permalink

Saturday, 13th December, 2008

After a hard day on the Gold Coast, I made my way to Brisbane city. It looked like it was going to be a good night on the streets.

The team was few in number, but the passion to reach out the lost was evident. The regulars were their like Alex the Agnostic, and a few more people who seem to come out each week. It is always good to have the same people come back, it is our hope that God will save them.

Ryan was the first preacher up for the night, and he preached a bit different than he usual does. Normally Ryan has a lot of apologetics in his preaching, but this time he spent less time on apologetics and more time reasoning with people from the gospel. This was really encouraging to me, while I love to hear apologetics, I prefer to hear the gospel more. A couple of hecklers stopped and shouted a few things. Ryan engaged them and presented them with the claims of Jesus Christ.

After Ryan finished preaching, Michael got up and preached. It was his first time preaching with us. The first thing that struck me was his projection, he had great voice control and great voice projection, truly gifted in public speaking. As he preached a man approached, this man was scruffy looking and had most of his top teeth missing. He walked right up to the preacher and stopped about one foot away. With that the man began to rage in an unknown language. The man then began to rant on about people being preachers and him being a trained preacher. His heckling was vile, and his threats of physical violence were hard to ignore.

The heckler began to yell that he could defeat any preacher that we had as we couldn’t answer his questions. Michael was struggling a little so he tagged me in and I began to deal with the mans questions. His questions were very basic however this man I am convinced was full of demons, so his cursing and blasphemy came after every answer I gave.

His hatred for the gospel and for Jesus Christ was coming through loud and clear. He kept threatening physical violence, so I sent a team member off to get the police. The police officer told them it wasn’t illegal for the man to threaten us. Of course the police officer was wrong. So here we were in the middle of the Queen street mall with one of the most hostile hecklers I have ever seen. To make things more interesting another man claiming to be god began to work with demoniac one.

I pushed through their heckles and still presented the gospel, but these two hecklers were manifesting big time. So after preaching I stood down and they quickly surrounded me. The first heckler once again began to abuse me, and this time he put a lit cigarette onto my hand. I challenged him on that to which he just laughed. Again the police were sent for and again the members of the Police Beat near the Queen Street Mall failed to respond.

After awhile another preacher began, but once again the demoniac went after him, finally I had enough so I got on the phone and called the emergency number. I explained to the operator what was happening, and held the phone so she could hear the heckler. She agreed that it was a dangerous situation and the police needed to be there. While I was talking to her another heckler come running in and tried to kick Ryan. But, then help arrived finally two members of the Queensland Police showed up on scene and took away the demonic heckler.

The rest of the night was spent handing out tracts and talking to people. Even though things were hard, God still allowed His word to go forth.


Saturday, 6 December, 2008

Posted by Posted 14 December 2008, 3:00 PM by Josh Williamson. Permalink

Saturday, 6 December, 2008

The word “tired” doesn’t do justice to how exhausted I felt today. All of last night was spent on the streets of the Gold Coast talking to many people about the gospel, and then my morning was spent at church doing my yearly CPR and First Aid training. Finally after all that I was able to fall into bed and get about three hours sleep in the stinking hot weather and high humidity.

  While I would have loved to sleep on, I knew I had to get up and prepare for tonight outreach in Brisbane city. I can’t think of a great privilege that we as Christians have, than that of sharing the gospel with someone else. And, for that honour I would gladly go without sleep as long as I can make known the grace of my Master, the Lord Jesus Christ.

It was good to meet up with the team and spend some time in prayer and Bible reading. It was also good to spend time as a group having fellowship.

Normally when we set up we see Alex the Agnostic walking around, however tonight he was missing. This concerned us and we hoped everything was well with our favourite agnostic heckler. (Alex if you are reading this: Repent of your sins and trust in Jesus Christ alone to save you, He is the one who died in the place of sinners and was raised from the dead, so turn from your sins and trust in Christ)

Andrew Hsu was the first preacher up for the evening and he spoke about the good news of the gospel, and how God gave a gift to humanity, and that gift is Jesus Christ. He did a good job in making Christ known. A few people stopped to listen, but overall the mall was fairly empty.

After Andrew preached for some time then it was time for Ali to preach, I have said it before and I will say it again, I do not think I have heard a preacher fit so much theology into his preaching apart from Ali. He is awesome when he preaches, while he isn’t the loudest open air preacher, he does bring his message with a passion and once you have listened to him there is no room for confusion, he explains his points and builds his case to show that Jesus Christ is the Saviour, and is the only one who can forgive sin.

While Ali was preaching a guy that I witnessed to from the week before was standing behind the preaching talking to me. This week he was dressed up as Santa Clause, and he wanted to know what the preachers would like for Christmas, so in between him taking our orders and giving everyone he could see a hug, we were once again able to make known the gospel to him.

It then came my turn to preach the gospel, so I started off by talking about Christmas, and talking about how we celebrate the birth of Christ, but so many people fail to realize that the Christ of the cradle is also the Christ of the Cross. Within a short time of starting to preach a man began to heckle me saying that we should not say that Christmas is about the birth of Christ, as some people don’t believe in that. I challenged his thinking, and then tried to swing the gospel. But this man was not interested he wanted to argue politics, he wanted argue everything other than what I was talking about.

After awhile, I was able to move from him to another person, I did a call out on one man who was standing at the back of the crowd. It turns out he was an atheist from France, so I took him through the Good Person Test to see if where he would go when he died. This man went from “There is no God” to “I am going to hell!” I was able to explain to him the gospel of salvation and how he could receive forgiveness of sins. It was then that his new wife fired up and fired a few questions, and as soon as I answered them she ran off. It seems to me that those questions are the reason she refuses to believe, but the moment they were answered she had no defence and no excuse, that is why she ran.

The rest of the night was spent with preaching and handing out tracts. Many great conversation happened during this time. Overall it was a God glorifying night! May He receive all the praise!

Soli Deo Gloria!

For audio of the Josh Williamson preaching in Brisbane go to:

Saturday, 29 November, 2008

Posted by Posted 5 December 2008, 4:07 AM by Josh Williamson. Permalink

Saturday, 29 November, 2008
I was feeling ill this morning from all my work and ministry duties, so I had to take the morning off from witnessing on the Gold Coast. But, as the evening rolled around I found that I was well enough to head into Brisbane for another night of outreach.

The city was surprisingly busy when we arrived, which was a good sign as it meant that more people will get the hear the gospel. As we made our way to King George Square we handed out a few tracts, then we met for a time   of prayer, bible reading and fellowship.

As we headed back up into the Queen Street mall at 9pm, we saw a strange thing, the mall was very quiet. Which is something I had not expected since the car park was full.

The team went about handing out tracts and talking to people as we set up the Bible table and the preaching point. I noticed as we set up that Ryan was already in a conversation with a  group of middle eastern looking men. He seems to have a real knack at getting into one to one conversations.

Andrew Hsu was the first preacher up for the night, as he began to preach Alex the Agnostic appeared on the scene, this week not dressed as a pirate but rather in fairly normal garb. While Andrew and Alex had an open air discussion a couple of police officers rode past on bike, and didn’t pay that much attention to what was happening.

Hsusy kept on preaching for awhile, and then after about thirty minutes I noticed the police officers were back, and by the mere fact that they were both sipping coffees you could tell it was a quiet night. Then the Sergeant got off his bicycle and approached Hsusy and Alex. His intent was quite clear he was there to stop the preaching. He stated that it was a “breach of the peace” to have a discussion like this, and because they were using their hands while speaking that could be viewed as threatening. Both Alex and Andrew seemed rather surprised at this. The police officer wasn’t open to reason, and we tried to show him that what he was doing was actually violating the freedom that we had as citizens of Australia, his reply was “Tough, do you want to take this to court?”

The outcome was that Andrew and Alex were both issued move on orders and told to leave the Queen Street Mall or be arrested. I quickly called our Barrister friend and he stated that it didn’t seem right, but there was nothing we could do. I spoke to the police officer afterwards and told him that we would be continuing to preach and we would be speaking loudly. The rest of the night went with no problems.

After Hsusy was moved on Ryan preached for a while and he did a good job of declaring the gospel. It was then decided to put David Strachan up, and before he started to preach he made the statement that he didn’t have much to say. Well, he preached for about fifty minutes, if that is what he considers “not much”, then I would love to hear him preach when he has plenty to say!

The rest of the night was spent handing out tracts and talking one to one to people. In general it was a decent night, and many got to hear the good news of salvation.

 Soli Deo Gloria!

Full report with pictures:

Do you live in Australia or the United Kingdom? Are you interested in street evangelism? If so then contact Operation 513 to find out how you can join our street teams in either, Brisbane, Gold Coast, London or Sheffield. Also, find out how you can be apart of special outreaches that are held throughout the year. Together we can reach this world for Christ.

Saturday, 22 November, 2008

Posted by Posted 28 November 2008, 3:19 PM by Josh Williamson. Permalink

Saturday, 22 November, 2008

My body was aching as I made my way into Brisbane city, I had already preached twice today on the Gold Coast, and I wasn’t sure if my voice would last long with preaching in Brisbane. The team followed its normal routine of prayer and Bible reading, then we made our way into the Queen Street Mall.

Once in the mall we were met by “Long John” Alex the Pirate. For some strange reason this week he was dressed up as pirate and he was also handing out atheist “tracts” called “The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster”. But Alex wasn’t just dressed like a pirate, he also spoke like a pirate. This turn of events made it hard for us to preach, as it is extremely difficult to proclaim the Word of God while laughing at a fully grown man running around dressed as a pirate.

Andrew Hsu preached first, and while he preached I spoke to Josh the Atheist who was apart of the “pirate crew”. We had a brief yarn about spiritual matters, and also about the atheist pirates.

During the preaching Alex would run around to different people saying “Argg!” then offer them an atheist tract, a few people took the tracts, but we made sure to be right behind offering a biblical tract. Some of the atheists found it funny and stated that Christianity couldn’t be taken seriously, but they stopped saying those things when we pointed out that Alex was dressed as a pirate.

After Andrew finished preaching Ralph had a go, and he presented a good apologetic, then Ryan took over and tried to engage Alex but much to everyone’s surprise Alex refused to engage in public discussion, so of the team suggested that the reason for this is that each week Alex’s arguments get smacked for six. So I guess if you can’t beat the preachers, then Alex has to become a pirate to look good.

Towards the end of the night, I began to preach but I soon found my voice was going quickly. I spent about 10 minutes expounding on the law, and pointing out our need of a Saviour, then before going into a grace message, I tagged Ralph in as my voice was nearly gone.

Ralph finished off the night by preaching a good gospel message. A few people stopped to talk, and a fair few took tracts. Overall it was a good night, even though it was a pirate night.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Saturday, 15 November, 2008

Posted by Posted 22 November 2008, 12:46 AM by Josh Williamson. Permalink

Saturday, 15 November, 2008

Another day, and yet another chance to make known the glorious gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Many people look forward to the weekend, as it means time off work, and a chance to go out and party, whereas I spend all week looking forward to the weekend, as I get a chance to preach the gospel.

It was the same routine as normal tonight we met in King George Square, we had some time of fellowship, Bible reading and corporate team prayer. For those of you who read this who are currently serving in an evangelism team or lead an evangelism team, seek to make a time of team prayer, as it is vital to any evangelistic outreach.

The weather this week unlike last week was fine, and hot. The preaching started off with Ralph standing to declare the Scriptures, within seconds of him beginning a few regular hecklers started in. Alex was there shouting out as per usual “There is no god!” Riley was chipping in with his two cents worth. While this happened all around members of the team were engaged in one to one conversations and handing out tracts.

Ralph spoke for about thirty minutes, then it was my turn to preach. I started off by talking about the reality of death, and then spoke about how I as a preacher can often times talk about death, while not actually thinking about it, or believing that it will impact me. A few people began to listen, I stressed to them that no matter who you are, or where you are from, or even what you do for a living, death will one day impact each and everyone of us. Then I told the crowd about how only a few hours earlier I was informed of the death of a dear friend of mine, a fellow evangelist. At this stage even those who regularly heckle fell silent.
This then launched me into the Scripture, and I expounded how our life is so short, and how none of us knows the day nor the hour that we will die. But, when thinking about death we need to also think about another question, what happens after I die?

By now God was being good to us (as He always is) and a crowd was building, all we needed now was a good heckler. God also provided that. A young man at the back of the crowd stood out, he made a few comments so I called him out. This young man identified himself as Teddy, so I began to dialogue with him in regards to the gospel of Christ. He was a very open man, and he seemed to be interested in what I was saying. At times he would fire up and hurl abuse at me, but then he would calm down and listen. God used Teddy to draw in a fairly large crowd.

For about thirty minutes I dealt with Teddy and preached the gospel to the crowd. The awesome thing about this crowd is that it was stationary, that is, it didn’t move. Those who were there from the beginning were there at the end.

As I drew to the close of my message a flock of hecklers opened fire, one young man an Asian began to scream “I am a $#$# Christian! And what you are saying is wrong, GOD IS A BLACK WOMAN!” Immediately I recognized the teaching from the heretical book “The Shack” so I called him out on his heresy but he was raging to much to even talk.

At this stage the crowd was still there, so I tagged in Kevin Bessent to preach the gospel to them once again. During Kevin’s preaching many great conversations happened. After Kevin finished preaching Ryan got up and once again shared the good news of the gospel.

Overall it was a great night, and many people got to hear the Gospel!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Full report with pictures:

Do you live in Australia or the United Kingdom? Are you interested in street evangelism? If so then contact Operation 513 to find out how you can join our street teams in either, Brisbane, Gold Coast, London or Sheffield. Also, find out how you can be apart of special outreaches that are held throughout the year. Together we can reach this world for Christ.

Saturday, 8 November, 2008

Posted by Posted 15 November 2008, 2:37 PM by Josh Williamson. Permalink

Saturday, 8 November, 2008

As I sat in my study this afternoon, I couldn’t help but notice the fact that way out across the western skyline there was a band of long dark storm clouds, this is never an encouraging sign when you do street evangelism. So I quickly logged onto the internet and checked out the weather, and all this did was confirm my thoughts, we were in for a wet night in Brisbane city.

Since rain was inbound, I thought it wise to go check the back of my car to see if we had umbrellas and a tarp to cover our stuff. Wet weather evangelism, never fun, but the gospel will still go forth.
As I arrived in Brisbane the heavens began to open up and some light rain began to fall, while it wasn’t enough to stop anything, it was enough to be annoying. So we took shelter under the local buss stop, and it was there that we held our time of Bible reading and team prayer.

As 9pm rolled around we headed up the Queen Street Mall, which was now being hammered hard by rain, but we set up anyway, and decided that we would preach under umbrellas, which is quite hard as you can’t hear anything a heckler says.

People generally stop when a preacher is preaching in the rain, as they want to know why some bloke is standing in the wet talking, and since both sides of the mall are undercover people can stand in the dry to listen.
Andrew Hsu was the first preacher up for the night, he preached a long but solid message, expounding on the holiness of God and His demands. During the time a couple of hecklers yelled out, but due to the rain it was near on impossible to make out what they actually said.

While, Andrew was preaching there were may tracts being handed out, and also many one to one conversations occurring. People seemed to want to know about why the preacher was standing in the rain and what he was saying.

After Hsusy finished preaching, we spent some time just doing one to one and tract work. This was a beneficial time as many people were interested in talking. After doing this for some time, we put Ryan up to continue the preaching for the night.

Then, while Ryan was preaching in the pouring rain something strange began to happen… hecklers began to emerge from the safety of the dry and started to heckle. “THERE IS NO GOD!” Yelled Alex the agnostic,    “JESUS COPIED HORUS!” He yelled again. Riley was also in the mix, but was a little bit more subdued that Alex, “Evolution is a fact, you are brainwashed” he chimed into the discussion. Ryan held his ground and proceeded to dismantle the arguments as presented by the atheists.

This week we had to focus more on attacking in the intellect, and show that Christianity is not just based on emotions. The reason for this was because two weeks ago, two Pentecostals came to where were preaching, and began to tell all the atheists about a miracle that God had just done. One of them claimed to have been bushwalking, and while bushwalking a black snake came out of the scrub and bit him on the leg. Both of them claimed to have seen this snake, and as evidence of the bite, they showed us the marks on his leg. My advice was to go to the hospital, but they refused as they were claiming their healing by “faith”. They went from person to person and told this tale of the snake and the healing. All the atheists came up to ask afterwards and asked if they were serious or not, all I could do was point out they weren’t with us, and that I had advised them to seek medical attention.

This display of “miraculous” healing is something that set back the Christian cause, as it makes us all look like a bunch of kooks, now don’t get me wrong, I believe that God heals, but, to run around saying “This proves God exists” is rather silly, as you don’t see any biblical precedent for it.

Anyway, this week they both returned, and one of them (not the one who claimed to have been bitten) came up to me, and said that they had been to the doctors and they told him about the snake bite, upon examination the   doctor said that the mark was from a leech not a snake bite, and that the “symptoms” he experienced were nothing more than psychological. Well, didn’t the atheists have a laugh at this, and I must admit I found it rather amusing as well. So, I questioned them about it, and asked them to explain how come they both claimed to have seen the snake latch onto him. The reply they gave was “See our eyes can fool us!” Instead of just admitting to lying about the incident they proceeded to justify their sin, and last time I checked a leech and a snake look completely different.

The reason I include this in the weekly report is because one of them decided to get into a screaming match at Alex, and at one point began to try and cast out demons from him. Now, if an atheist or someone from any other religion said or did something wrong, I would go after them, and it is no different when a professing Christian does it also. So I broke them up, apologized to the atheists and pointed out that he is not with us. Which they accepted. Then, I turned my attention to the professing Christian and spoke to him from Romans 2. The sad thing is he refused to listen and even said “Don’t reason with me from the Scripture!” He was basing his argument on “the spirit rising up” within him. The problem is, what he was doing and the conduct he was showing was not something a spirit filled Christian would do. He refused the rebuke and left raging.

So once again, I wish to extend an apology to Alex, Riley and any other atheist who had the misfortune to have to deal with this man. Let me stress that what he portrayed is not biblical Christianity.

The rest of the night was spent handing out tracts and talking to people, all in all it was a good night, with many people hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Saturday, 1 November, 2008

Posted by Posted 8 November 2008, 2:54 PM by Josh Williamson. Permalink


Saturday, 1 November, 2008

  “beep…beep…beep…beep…” my alarm sounded all to early this morning, as I rolled over and looked at the clock I saw that it was 7am, which was not cool considering I didn’t get home from work till after 1am, and then time I got to bed it was near on 3am.

Instantly my mind began to give me many reasons to punch the alarm and then roll back over to get a few more hours of sleep. Surely, I could skip the evangelist conference I was planning on attending this morning, after all it is only a “conference” and not evangelism, they would hardly notice me missing. But, as I lay there I began to think about how good it would be to spend the morning with many other evangelists, the work of evangelism is hard enough, but spending time with other people who have the same passion as you, and the same zeal that you have is always uplifting.

So, very slowly I got out of bed, and began to prepare for the day. At 8:45am, I arrived at the church where the conference was being held, and within minutes of entering the building I was no regretting coming, it was such an uplifting time of worship and of fellowship with other evangelists. We all come from a wide background, and we all have different styles and methods of evangelism, however, we all share the same goal and passion, that of seeing God glorified through the saving of souls. As 12pm rolled around part of me wanted to stay in this time of fellowship and teaching with my brothers and sisters in arms, however, we all had to break off and go our own separate ways, and to our own ministries.

The morning served to be a major boost for me, I was really looking forward to getting out on the streets and making Christ Jesus known. The more I think about the gift of evangelism and the office of an evangelist, I can’t help but think that it has to be the highest calling any Christian can have, what a great privilege and honour it is to let sinful man know how Christ Jesus can forgive all their sins if they would repent and trust in Him alone.

I arrived on the streets at the usual time, and as I walked through the mall I handed out tracts to all those sitting down, it was good to see a few familiar faces, and it was good to see that those whom we have witnessed to many times still take tracts and re-read them.

The team gathered together around the side of City Hall, and there we beseeched God to have mercy on this city, and to also make Himself known to those who are in darkness, we begged of God to save the lost tonight, and we know that God is faithful to draw His elect unto Himself.

At 9pm, we headed into the Queen Street Mall, and as we were setting up the false prophet of Brisbane decided    to drop on by and tell us to watch ourselves tonight as he doesn’t want to have to save us from being hit this week. We thanked him for defending us last week, and once again we encouraged him to repent and trust in Jesus.

Ali was the first preacher for the night, now this young guy has come a long way, when you talk to him he appears as a softly spoken, quiet, and shy kind of guy, yet when he preaches he preaches with a passion and a love for the lost. The thing I love about Ali’s preaching is the fact that he uses much scripture, and his preaching is dripping in theology. But, he doesn’t preach in a way that is over the head of the listeners, but rather he breaks it down so the common man can understand the great truths of Scripture.

After Ali finished preaching, Ralph got up and had a preach. Ralph is a very smart young man, and sometimes I feel sorry for the hecklers he gets, but something that I love about Ralph and his preaching is that he is so humble. In the realm of evangelism it is so easy to get puffed up and become rather proud, but I haven’t seen this with Ralph, he seems to be content in just making Jesus Christ known. As Ralph preached a crowd began to gather so in engaged them in conversation, then kept pointing them to the Cross of Christ, on which Jesus Christ suffered and died for the sins of His people.

After Ralph finished preaching there was a time of one to one witnessing and also tracts being handed out. Things were going smoothly for a time, until… the prophet (false) Pear stood and began to pronounce “THUS SAYETH THE LORD!” He started by taking a King James Only position and attacking us because Ralph used the NASB, and I preach from the ESV, so I challenged him on what he was saying, and Pear turned to me and said, “I know the King James is perfect because I can read the original Arabic in which it was written!” I tried to reason with him, and show him that the Bible was not written in Arabic, but rather in Hebrew and Koine Greek. But, Pear wouldn’t have a bar of it, he began to rant saying he knew the original languages, and that he could translate anything.

This proved interesting, and since I had my Greek New Testament on me, I decided to open it up, read a verse to him, and ask him to translate. His face went from one of arrogance to just no expression. As I read him the verse, I he just glared at me. The verse I read out to him in the Greek was John 1:1, which is a simple verse to translate (even though the JW’s always get it wrong!), since Pear couldn’t tell me what it said, I translated it for him.
Then, Pear said to me and all those around “I was there when they laid the foundation of the world! I am the eternal one!” I replied back to him, “Only God is eternal, and unless you are God, you weren’t there.” Pear once again turned to me, and this time louder said, “I WAS THERE WHEN THEY LAID THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH!!!”

I decided to ask Pear straight, “Are you claiming to be God?” Pear smiled and said, “I am the eternal one!” This resulted in me rebuking him for his blasphemy, Pear began to back away screaming at me “LIAR, LIAR, LIAR!”
He then returned, saying, “I am the olive tree and the golden trumpet. I am the lamb with the seven eyes, and Jesus goes before me, clearing my path.” Once again I engaged him with the Scripture, to prove that he was not which he claimed. Pear became more aggressive and yelled about him being a prophet, and that he was Moses from the Old Testament. At this stage I was thinking the only Biblical name he could claim was that of Legion. Dan Kent decided to jump in at this time, and try to get Pear away, so he extended his hand to shake Pear’s. Pear yelled at Dan, “I will not touch a Gentile!” This resulted in us pointing out that Moses actually married a non-Hebrew woman, well, that set Pear off, he came running at me, got within an inch of my face and said, “Moses, killed two of Pharaoh’s guards, and I can do the same, so watch yourself!”

So I asked him, “Pear, are you saying that you will kill me?” He turned got right up in my face and said, “If you call my wife a Gentile I will kill you! Do you understand?” I replied that I understood him, and with that he reached out and began to strangle me. Now, this bloke has a good grip, his grabbed my throat so tight that I completely lost all ability to breathe. Dan and Ralph quickly jumped into action grabbing Pear and pulling him off me. This resulted in the police coming and arresting Pear. Please pray for him.

At around 11:45pm, I decided to get up and preach, so I spoke from Luke 18:9-14, and told about how people often trust in themselves for salvation, but this will never merit it. Rather we must trust in Jesus alone to be saved.
God was good to us, and He gathered a crowd into listen, the cool thing was they just stood and listened. As I preached I noticed that many of them were hanging on every word, and that a couple of people in the crowd were crying. God was at work in hearts of those hearing the gospel.
After the Open Air we had a time of one to one, and during that time we had many great conversations.
Please pray for all those who heard the gospel, and pray that God would grant them salvation.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Full report with pictures:

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Saturday, 25 October, 2008

Posted by Posted 1 November 2008, 3:43 PM by Josh Williamson. Permalink

My body was sore, and I was tired from getting in late the night before. While it was an awesome time of witnessing on the Gold Coast the fact that I got home in the early hours AM was not.

I spent the afternoon preparing to go out witnessing that night, I still can't understand why God would entrust the eternal message of the gospel to lowly humans, but I am thankful that God has given us the privilege to make him known.

As usual we made our way to the Queen Street Mall after spending some time in prayer and reading our Bible as a group. I was expecting it to be rather quiet tonight due to the Indy on the Gold Coast, but was surprised to fine that the mall was rather busy.

It was decided that I should preach first tonight, my sermon for the night was going to be on "Freedom and Slavery". I started by talking on the fact that people were upset that in a free country they were banned from flashing their breasts at people during Indy, I pointed out that people believed this to be apart of them being free people, since they were free then they could do whatever they wanted. But, then I asked the question "Are we truly free?" Then I spoke how people in society are enslaved to many different things, from lust, drunkenness, drug addiction, love of self, and sin in general. Then I read out these words from John 8:34:

"Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin."

This launched into a discussion about how if we were truly free then we should be able to stop sinning, but the problem is a slave cannot just throw off his master. We are enslaved to our sin, we are bound to sin. We cannot in and of ourselves stop sinning. Our nature is bent towards sin, and we love to sin.
At this one man from the crowd began to yell out that he was a slave to sin, and that he loved it! The crowd erupted in cheers, so I agreed with him, and said that he does indeed love his sin, and he will enjoy his sin for a season. But, the very sin he loves will the be the very sin that damns him. The man stated that he didn't care, as he loved his homosexual sex too much. The man then proceeded to try and hit on me, by making sexual comments to me, and telling me what he would like to do to me. I kept on preaching, and spoke about how sin will damn us all, and that unless we have a Saviour from our sin, we have no hope.

The regular hecklers were there also, Alex the Agnostic, Riley the Agnostic, and Josh the Atheist. I actually enjoy talking to these guys, and it has now got to the point where I actually look forward to seeing them. Some have said I waste my time talking to these men, I but I don't think I am. I think that God may be gracious to them one day, and on that day He will grant them repentance and lead them to the knowledge of the truth, this is something I pray for, and I ask you to pray also.

We went back and forth with a few hecklers, and I kept focusing on going back to the gospel of Christ, and showing that he alone is the hope of our forgiveness. One man stopped and started to yell that I shouldn't be preaching, but rather I should love everyone. I said I do love people that is why I will preach to them, then I asked him if he loved me, the man replied he did love me, and then walked off. I noticed that one of the team had him in a one to one conversation, so I continued to preach.

One young woman next to me began to act all proud about the fact that she was going to hell, so I took the time to describe the reality of hell, she soon went from being arrogant to not wanting to talk about the issue any more. At the description of hell, "Mr. Love" returned, this time threatening to punch my head in (very loving), he was furious that I would talk about hell, and then he ordered me to stop preaching, I refused so he began to threaten me. I stood my ground and continued to preach.

After awhile he moved on (probably due to the police which were watching), and once again I noticed that he was in a one to one conversation. After preaching for about an hour I stood down, and had a few one to one conversations. Shortly after finishing preaching I was called into the conversation with "Mr. Love" he wanted to apologize to me for his actions." I accepted his apology and left him with on of the team. I later found out that he had asked how he could be forgiven of sins.

The rest of the night was spent with the team preaching, and many tracts and one to ones going out.
It was a great night, all glory to the one who died in the place of sinners!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Saturday, 18 October, 2008

Posted by Posted 25 October 2008, 5:22 PM by Josh Williamson. Permalink

The night was going to be a good one, and I was really excited about the prospect of witnessing to the lost tonight, however, I did have one concern, and that was the fact that we were down on preachers tonight. But, my rest is in the Sovereignty of God, and the knowledge that He will provide.

I handed out tracts on my way to King George square, and it was real encouraging to see many people reading gospel tracts and then passing them on to their friends to read also.

Once in King George we met for a time of prayer and bible reading as per usual, and then we headed up to the Queen Street Mall. We were blessed tonight to have a brother join us from Creation Ministries International, he had heard about us for some time, and after thinking about it for a bit, he decided to come out and witness with us.

At about 9:15pm, Ryan got up to preach, and almost in no time flat he had hecklers emerging from everywhere. He had Alex the Agnostic, Muslims, Atheists, Roman Catholics all opening fire at once. One Roman Catholic even began to pray to Mary in order to be forgiven of sin.

Ryan dealt with the Roman Catholic by pointing to 1 Timothy 2:5, and showing that Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God  and man. Then he showed the Catholic that Mary could not mediate for him, the papist ignored Ryan and kept on crying out to Mary. This of course grew a bigger crowd, and by now the Muslims had become even more vocal, so Ryan turned his attention to addressing them, and then pointing out that in Islam there is no hope of forgiveness.


While Ryan was talking a Pentecostal man came in behind and started to say, "He isn't answering them, he should just say "Jesus" to every question." I asked him why Ryan should say that, and the man replied that "Jesus is the answer!" I agreed with him that Jesus is the answer, however, we are commanded in Scripture (1 Peter 3:15) to answer the questions that people ask, and to give people a reason for the hope that we have.

The man didn't buy it, and started to talk about what he termed the "gospel" I was only half listening until he said "Baptism is needed to be born again!" This got my attention really quickly, I asked him to explain, so he started talking about how we must be converted, baptized by water, and in the Holy Spirit in order to be born again.

I asked him to show me from Scripture, where this was taught, he couldn't. But he just kept saying "Baptized" over and over again. It was almost like a mantra for him, so I countered and showed him from the Bible that he was wrong. The man wouldn't listen, and every time I tried to speak he would just start chanting "Baptized in the Holy Spirit!"

In the end, I just said, "it's a waste of time trying to talk to you, you are preaching a heresy and false gospel. But your pride and love of your heretical doctrines have blinded you from the truth of Scripture!" The man laughed, and walked away saying, "You can't answer John 3:16!" Which was odd since John 3:16 doesn't mention baptism, or the Holy Spirit.

It was at this stage that I noticed that Jacob was back, this was the second week that he was present. I was able to once again have a good discussion with him, and point him to the cross of Christ. He seems to be under conviction, and it appears that God is working on him.

By now it was getting late, and Ryan was still preaching. And, you guessed it the hecklers were still going hard. Some of our regular hecklers were opening up with the same old arguments, and Ryan countered them once again and told them of salvation in Jesus Christ.

At midnight, Ryan broke the Operation 513 preaching record, which was set at 2 hours 45 minutes. But, he wasn't finished yet. At the end of the night Ryan ended up preaching for 3 hours and 2 minutes. The great thing was that he had a consistent crowd, and that the same hecklers remained for the whole time.

In all it was a good night, with many people hearing the gospel.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Saturday, 11 October, 2008

Posted by Posted 17 October 2008, 4:41 PM by Josh Williamson. Permalink

I was woken up by the sound of an alarm somewhere in my room, as the noise began to filter into my ears, a thought ran through my mind "Do I have to get up?" As I rolled over to try and find where my alarm was, I saw the clocked and realized that I had only had about four to five hours sleep. Instantly my brain began to create excuses on why I should stay tucked up in bed on this wet morning. But, my alarm was persistent, it kept on bellowing out its call to awake, so after finding the alarm I was finally awake enough to realize that I had to hurry, as I didn't have much time before I was due to leave for the Queensland Baptist Convention. Normally, I don't go to these kind of conventions, but today was the day in which Queensland Baptists were going to have a focus on evangelism, so it was good for me to attend.

The first speaker for the morning was Will Graham (Billy Graham's grandson), he spoke on "Integrity in the Pulpit" and I must admit it was a really good sermon, he focused on how as evangelists often times we can fall into temptation and sin, thus destroying our ministry, but more importantly when this happens we bring the name of Jesus Christ to shame.

After Will Graham finished speaking, to other guys spoke about evangelism. They said some interesting things, but I found myself disagreeing with the whole of focus of "socialize" someone into the Kingdom of God. After their session finished I was introduced to Will Graham by a senior Baptist evangelist. What struck me about meeting Will Graham was the fact that even though he was famous, he was a real humble and down to earth kind of guy. Which was really good to see, and when you spoke to him, you could tell that he was genuinely interested in what you had to say.

I had to leave the convention a little bit earlier, as I had to drive out west of Brisbane in order to pick up 1,000 tickets for the Will Graham evangelism rally that was being held that night. The plan was, that I pick up the tickets, then that afternoon I would go out into the Southbank parklands, and give away free tickets to those who were in the area, and as a result invite them to hear Will speak that night at the Brisbane convention centre.

At 3pm, it was raining, so Fitzy, Andre and I thought that it would be fairly hard to give away these 1,000 tickets due to the fact that no one hangs out in the parklands while it is raining. But, we headed over there anyway, and to our surprise we found the parklands to be jammed full of people. It turned out that there was a large "Save the Planet" festival going on, so we quickly began to hand out the tickets to those we encountered. Within 45 minutes all 1,000 tickets were gone, and many of those who took the tickets promised to come that night.

We then went back to the convention centre where we spent some time in prayer asking God to save souls tonight through the preaching of Will Graham. Since I was on the "people helper" (counsellor) group, I had to stay back till about 10pm in order to help out with those who responded to the gospel. But, before that we had to go once again through the training material to make sure that we were familiar with the material we would be giving to people. During this time, I once again go to see how humble Will Graham was, as while everyone was being instructed on what to do, he came into the back of the room and just listened. There was no "big" entrance like you see with many other preachers, but rather he just quietly stood at the back and listened. After awhile, he was called to the front, and then he thanked everyone for helping and prayed for us.

Since we were short on numbers for helpers, I assisted with ushering as well, and while I was doing that we noticed a good size group of young people come into the convention centre swearing like troopers. A few people around looked a bit shocked, but I was happy, and excited to see them. As they were a group that earlier that afternoon we had given free tickets to.

The night went well, and before the preaching there was some good music. Then it came time for Will to preach, he instantly connected with the crowd and then began to expound on the gospel of Christ. He spoke about how we as humans need to be in the Masters hands, and we need to be guided by Him, yet, the problem is that our sin has separated us from God. After this, Will then pointed people to the cross of Christ, and showed that it is only by Jesus that we can be forgiven.

   At the call of salvation about 60 - 80 people responded. After I finished speaking to those I was designated to "counsel", Andre and I quickly left the convention centre and rushed to the Queen Street Mall to join the Operation 513 team.
As we entered the mall the first thing we noticed was that it wasn't busy, this was due to the rain, and as we began to walk down the mall, we heard the familiar sound of Andrew Hsu open air preaching. As usual Alex the Agnostic was there, then there were some other familiar faces in the crowd, Riley the Agnostic and also Josh the Atheist. Good to see the boys had come out even though it was raining.

After Andrew Hsu finished preaching it was decided that Andrew Caswell should preach, now Caswell and I are old mates, who have been working together for about four and a bit years. Yet, he is only new to open air preaching. He got up and brought the Word of God with a passion and a zeal, that I wish I could even have a small bit of. When Caswell spoke he spoke in away that you could tell that this Gospel was the power of God unto salvation!

While Caswell was preaching, I noticed this young bald man in the crowd going around to different people saying "Ask the preacher this question, he won't be able to answer". As I watched him do this, I noticed that those who would encourage to say something simply ignored him, and kept on listening. So, when the young man got close to me, I said "Why don't you ask the preacher that question?" He just looked at me, and seemed to be a bit embarrassed, so I said "Mate, I am a preacher, why don't you ask me the question, and I'll see if I can answer." The young man agreed, and his question related to ‘Who wrote the Bible & What about the Da Vinci Code?' I quickly answered his questions, and the whole time I was focused on getting to the gospel. So I asked him, "you have heard of Jesus, right?" He replied that he had, so then I asked, "do you understand why Jesus had to die on the cross?" The man said that he didn't. It turns out that this young man's name was Jacob, so I began to talk to Jacob about personal sin.

  As I walked through the Scripture, and showed Jacob that he was a sinner in the sight of God, you could see his face change from one of arrogance to one of concern. He had realized that he was indeed in trouble with a Holy God. By now his friends were trying to interrupt, but by God's grace I was able to present the full gospel to him. Jacob took a tract, and thanked me for telling him about salvation in Christ. Knowing that he still had questions I asked, "Now, what questions do you have in regards to Christianity?" Again, he brought up about the Bible, and this time also about the historical Jesus. So I answered his questions (something his friends didn't like), and as he left Jacob said, "that makes sense, thanks for that."

It is encounters like that with Jacob that make witnessing on the streets so worth while. It was such an encouraging encounter to see a young man come to an understand of forgiveness in Christ. Later on in the evening, Andre came up to me and told me that he had just seen Jacob and his friends talking about the encounter, his friends were trying to make him forget our conversation, but Jacob just kept saying "What if the preacher is right?" Please pray for Jacob.

After this, it was my turn to preach, so I began by reading out a passage of Scripture, then expounding on what it meant. I spoke about how God is loving towards sinful humanity, in that even though we don't deserve His mercy, God still shows grace towards us in that He sent Christ to pay the price for our sins if we would believe.

During the preaching I noticed that Jacob was back listening, pray that God's word will take root in his heart.

Alex as usual fired up his arguments, and as usual they were flawed to the highest degree. Each week he comes back, and tries to suppress the truth in unrighteousness, but God's truth will not be stopped!

While preaching on sin, Riley called out "People only believe in sin, because of that book!" So I asked him about those other religions that don't believe in the Bible, and why is it that they have a knowledge of sin. His reply was to state that because they had religious writings, and only religious writings produced that knowledge. Since Riley studies anthropology, I asked him, "Is there any culture or any tribe of people, that do NOT have a knowledge of sin or God?" He replied that every single culture, and every tribe had that knowledge. So now I asked, "Do all those cultures have a book or writings to tell them about sin and God?" He replied that they did not. To which I said, "So the knowledge of God, and of sin is built in to every single person? We all know there is a God, and we all know about sin!" Riley agreed, and at this Alex started to argue with Riley.

God has given light to everyone, we all know that we do that which is wrong, we all know that we sin against God. Perhaps, you are reading this and you don't think you are a sinner in the sight of God, perhaps, you think that if there is a Heaven, then you are good enough to get there, well lets see:

Are you good enough to go to Heaven? Let's see if you are a good person by the Ten Commandments...Ever told a lie? The ninth commandment says, "You shall not lie." Ever stolen anything? Have you ever used God's name in vain? That's called Blasphemy. Have you looked with lust (sexual desire) at another person? Jesus said, "Everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart." How many times have you been guilty of any of these serious violations? You, like the rest of us are a slave to sin. God's word tells us that all liars, blasphemers, the sexually immoral, thieves, etc. will spend eternity in hell.

The Bible says: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." And, "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." The reason we die physically is because of sin, and this is also the reason we deserve to go to hell for all eternity, because we have sinned against God.  

But, God loves His people so much, He sent His son Jesus to suffer and die in the place of sinners just like you. Then He rose from the grave defeating death! You can't earn God's forgiveness; it is God's free gift. To be forgiven of you sin, you must repent (turn from your sin) and trust that Jesus Christ died in the place of sinners. Then three days later He was raised from the dead, defeating sin and death. The Bible says: "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

Soli Deo Gloria!

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