We were lower in team number's yesterday for our outreach in Brisbane city, but we knew God was with us. And He also saw fit to bring along a new labourer who hasn't done much evangelism before, praise the Lord.
Across the afternoon several hundred gospel tracts went out to people and dozens of evangelistic conversations had.
One such conversation was with Doug. He said he was an atheist, but after hearing that since the universe had a beginning therefore logically it must have had a creator, he backed down on his atheism and said that he was happy to believe in a creator that is outside of space and time, but as long as it's not God.
He said, "You will never guess why I don't want to believe in God." I replied, "It's because you don't want him to tell you how to live, right?" He looked shocked and said, "How did you guess that? I just don't want a God to tell me what I can and can't do." What he said reminded me of Romans 1:18-20 how by nature we suppress the truth that we know about God in unrighteousness.
We chatted further, and I asked him, "What good is enjoying the momentary pleasures of sin if you end up in a place of pain and suffering forever later on? It's like having a cup of pleasure in exchange for an ocean of pain. Definitely not worth it." At the end, he thanked me for the conversation and said he would think about it.
No matter the response, it is always a success when God's word goes out. To God be the glory!
For times and locations of our evangelism teams, see: www.operation513.com/street-evangelism-teams
We had a great outreach yesterday in King George Square (Brisbane). It always amazes me that quite often the typical Aussie hasn't really considered much about what comes after or about God, they've just heard the odd negative thing here or there about God and they've been taught evolution in school and therefore assume that God doesn't exist.
That was evident in a conversation we had yesterday with a man in his mid-thirties named Michael. After being asked whether he thought he would go to Heaven, he replied, "I don't believe in things that don't exist."
I pointed him to the building in front of him and said, "You know that had a builder, don't you?" He agreed. I continued, "Even though you've never set eyes on the builder or shaken his hand, you still know that there must have been a builder. So in the same way, you look at the universe and you know that it had a beginning and therefore it must have had a creator for it. You've never seen Him or shaken His hand, but you still know that He exists."
He then asked, "But what about evolution?" I replied, "That is irrelevant, for evolution still requires that matter exists, where did that matter come from?" He said, "That's a good point, I haven't thought of that." He agreed it made sense that there must be a God and so then I explained how therefore it matters what we do on this earth in that God will judge us one day based on how we've lived.
After talking about how we have all sinned against God and therefore deserve Hell, he asked if there is anything that he can do to fix it. So he then listened intently as the news of Jesus death and resurrection were explained to him and how forgiveness is a free gift through repentance and faith in Jesus.
I encouraged him to count the cost of following Jesus, and he said, "I am going to have to think about this today. Who knows, today might be the beginning of a new chapter in my life."
God has a purpose in everything, and there were at least 3 obvious instances of that tonight during our outreach in Brisbane city.
After praying together as a team, we started handing out gospel tracts and getting into conversations with people.
One young lady we spoke with was open to hearing the message of the gospel and it turns out that she just arrived in Brisbane today from Germany and is leaving tomorrow to tour around Australia. Her friends had told her that there is nothing much to see in Brisbane, but in God's sovereignty it could very well be that the only reason why she went to Brisbane was to hear the gospel. She said she was going to have to seriously think over what she heard and she was happy to take a New Testament.
Later on, while having an extensive conversation with a young guy named Lewis who says he lives for consumerism, a woman with a thick Irish accent came up to us and said, "If the question I am about to ask offends you, feel free to say no. Do you know where I can buy some weed?" Now the person I witnessed said no to her and so as this woman began walking away, I offered her an eternity tract which she took. She then said to me, "I recognise you. You spoke to me about a week ago in Capalaba and gave me this card." I responded, "True! Well maybe God is trying to get your attention". She agreed, as she walked off.
As the outreach was nearing the end, there was a man who arrived from France 3 days ago sitting on a nearby seat. He said that he has been believing in God and also going to church for a long time, but about a month ago he decided to stop going to church and now he was questioning God's goodness. For this man said to me that he has difficulty in walking since he was young and God hasn't healed his legs.
I expressed to him that when we begin to blame God for not giving something to us, we are really forgetting that we actually deserve nothing good. We don't even deserve to have legs at all! For the only thing that we deserve is Hell because of our wickedness, and the very fact that God hasn't sent us to Hell at this point in time is amazing. Plus, God has shown so much kindness to us in giving us rain and sunshine and every other blessing we enjoy.
As I was saying this, he began crying as he was seeing how his attitude was wrong. He recounted that he came to Australia just days ago on a working visa, but the job he applied for here in Australia did not want to employ him because of his legs. I said, "Maybe God orchestrated it so that you would come to Australia and not get that job, in order that it would humble you and thus you would sitting here in Queen Street Mall tonight with a heart ready to hear the gospel."
I explained the gospel thoroughly to him. At the end, he thanked me for the chat and asked if there was a church he could attend tomorrow.
To God be the glory!
One team member thought that bringing along 400 gospel tracts would be more than enough for them to personally hand out, but it turned out it wasn't! They asked for more later in the afternoon, going through another hundred tracts in no time at all.
We had three of us on the team and we got to talk to atheists, to others who have never thought of eternal things, and even to professing Christians who had no idea of the way to Heaven.
One chat we had was with a man in grade 12 named Joseph. He went to a Christian school but didn't know the gospel. So after talking about sin, the coming judgement, Heaven and Hell and how the only way of forgiveness is through Jesus, I could tell he was grasping the message. He said that he wants to today trust in Jesus alone for His forgiveness. I encouraged him to make sure he counts the cost because Jesus doesn't want half-hearted followers.
And it turns out that he is in the same grade at the same school with a person who joins us on our outreaches on Saturday nights. So I encouraged Joseph to ask that person any questions he may have as he begins to start reading his Bible each day and begins his walk with the Lord. Please pray for him.
To God be the glory!
It was encouraging to be joined by two new people on the team today for our outreach in Brisbane city. We were around King George Square handing out some of the Happy New Year tracts, which I find a lot people are happy to take one.
We got to chat to a variety of people throughout the afternoon, including one young lady named Nina. She had fluro yellow hair with a gothic type of make up. It turns out that she was at schoolies just this last year and talked to someone about God and it made her much more open to the things of God, but she still considered herself to be an atheist.
Since the Bible says everyone already knows that God exists because God has shown us all in the things that have been made (Romans 1), I knew I should remind her of His existence in that things made have a maker. For example, a building must have had a builder. And since the universe had a beginning, it to must have had someone that made it. That is who God is. She exclaimed, "That actually makes sense!"
She said that she had read the Satanist Bible before, and noticed that it was a very selfish way of living. She said it then started talking about sacrificing and got a bit weird. So we talked about how we have all been selfish and sinned in countless number of ways and therefore deserve punishment, but that is why Jesus died on the cross for our sins.
She seem to be grasping the message and then later asked, "But what about same sex marriage?" I explained that God is the one who defines marriage right in the beginning and it's not up for negotiation. She asked, "What if they can't help being like that?" I responded, "Yes, they can choose not to act on their desires. Just like a heterosexual person has to control their actions as well regardless of their desires." She agreed that that made sense.
She said, "I am going to have to start reading the Bible." Please pray for her and all the others who heard the gospel or took a gospel tract today. To God be the glory!
The storm cleared just in time for the start of our outreach on Saturday night in Brisbane city. We were lighter on numbers, particularly at the start and so we prayed that God would bring in more labourers and he did - by the end we had at least 10 of us there.
Someone on the team preached with the sketchboard on the topic of guilty and innocent, contrasting how we are sinful and how Jesus is not, and yet it was the innocent that died for the guilty. There were some people listening as this was happening, in particular a few young men who said that they were Jehovah's Witnesses. They had just come back from one of their annual conventions earlier in the day.
These men said that only 144,000 people will go to Heaven. So we asked them, "What about the great crowd, the multitude clothed in white robes from all languages and tribes and nations which are also described in Revelation 7?" They said that this group wouldn't be going to heaven. We asked, "But how come it says that this group is also 'standing before the throne and before the Lamb', the very place where it says the 144,000 will be?"
They responded by saying that that is not what the Watchtower says. So we challenged them to check the Bible for themselves and not just blindly follow an organisation, which funnily enough, these young men admitted has been wrong in the past. We talked about the trinity, about salvation by grace through faith alone, the bodily resurrection of Jesus and about the existence of hell. One of the young men was more open than the rest, and he was busily noting down the Bible verses we were looking at to check them out later.
Please pray for them, and also everyone else who was witnessed to throughout the night. To God be the glory!
Before we started our outreach last night in Brisbane city, we prayed that God would prepare people's hearts and bring in people to hear the gospel. And praise be to God, He answered that prayer numerous times throughout the night.
Usually we need to approach people to get a gospel conversation started, but last night, it was different. For not long after we arrived, two young men came up to us, as we were setting up the free Bibles table, and asked us, "Will you go to Heaven when you die?" We responded and then asked them the same question and they said they thought they were going to Hell, because of their sin. This provided a great opportunity to explain the news of the cross to them!
Not long later, a man from Vietnam came up to two of us on the team and asked for a gospel tract. We were able to explain the whole message to him and he was very receptive, saying at the end, "I want to trust in Jesus for my forgiveness today." We gave him a New Testament and also details for a local church.
As we were rejoicing about that last conversation, a young man approached and asked us what we are sharing. These conversations were all apart from all the other conversations that the rest of the team were having at the same time!
Later on in the night, our regular atheist heckler, Wayne, arrived and God used him to draw in a crowd as he discussed with the preacher in the open air on a variety of subjects. He has been heckling us in the city for over 8 years now and we are praying that God will save him soon.
To God be the glory!
"We don't want to read the Bible because we might get convinced of it."
We praise the Lord that His gospel went out to a lot of people on Saturday night in Brisbane city. We had 20 to 25 people on the team across the night including two new people who have never come out before. They both said they really enjoyed it.
One conversation that we had was with two Muslim ladies from Malaysia. They stayed talking with us for at least an hour, intrigued about what Christians believe. They thought that they might have to be sent to Hell for a while, but eventually they will be let into Heaven later on because they are Muslims. They said that is why they are doing their prayers and wearing special clothing to earn their forgiveness.
We shared with them that they won't be able to earn forgiveness since God is a just and holy God and he won't be bribed by any of our deeds. The good news is though that God Himself has provided the payment for our sins 2000 years ago on the cross, and we receive it as a free gift by placing our faith in Christ.
We then encouraged them to read the Bible, particularly because even the Qur'an says that the Bible is from God. After talking with each other in their language for a little bit, one of the ladies said, "We don't want to read the Bible because we might get convinced of it."
We responded, "But if it's the truth, wouldn't you want to be convinced of it?" They agreed and were both happy a take a New Testament from us to begin reading. We praise the Lord we had the exact right amount of Bibles with us on the night, as there were also quite a few other good conversations had where people wanted either a full Bible or a New Testament. Glory to God!
We headed out on to the streets on Saturday night after being spurred on from the Re-Engage conference during the day, and it was a great night. We had a good size team and while someone on the team was preaching, God brought a crowd in to listen and ask questions - some in the crowd stayed for the whole hour and a half!
During this time, the rest of the team were handing out gospel tracts and getting into conversations with people either walking past or those who were walking off after listening to the preacher for a while. We'd simply ask, "What did you think of what he was saying? Do you think about your eternity much?" And that leads into a gospel conversation.
One such conversation was with two young ladies from Germany who are travelling in Australia at the moment. They were atheists, but after showing them how we know something like a building had a builder, so must this universe have had a creator - they began to backslide from their atheism. One said, "That actually makes a lot of sense."
So we went on to talk about sin and how we will all stand before God one day to give an account of our life. They expressed how they really love sin and don't really want to turn from it. So we pleaded with them about the serious consequence of our sin and how forgiveness is available only through Jesus, and also about how any of us could die at any moment. That's when they said, "Did you know that we were at Dreamworld on the very day when those 4 people died on that ride? And one day earlier, we were there again and were on that very ride."
That brought the message home to these ladies. Please pray for them, their names are Joyce & Laura. To God be the glory that His gospel is going out!
“I won't need more than four hundred gospel tracts today”, someone on the team commented. But as the afternoon went on, he came over saying, I actually need more! Praise the Lord.
We met in Queen Street Mall again today to first of all pray, before finding a place to witness. The council has really stepped up their opposition to us sharing the gospel there recently (despite us having permission under a State law). When we arrived last week, there were three council workers and six police officers waiting for us to see if we would approach anyone to talk about the gospel, and if so, they would fine or arrest us. But last week, we had already decided beforehand that we would go to somewhere outside the Mall to witness, and it went really well.
Today, when we arrived the council workers were already there waiting for us again, and this time with four police officers, staring us down. That didn't deter us - we prayed together as we planned to and then found a place to witness outside the Mall. The council officers followed us and remained staring at us across the road from the Mall for a long while, before possibly finding something more important to do.
We had a lovely afternoon of evangelism chatting to various people - from a guy named Carrey who thought of himself as a god, to a young man from Brazil named Jerome who was very open to hearing the gospel and is going to now seriously consider repenting and trusting in Christ. Please pray for all those who heard the gospel today or took a gospel tract.
Glory to God alone!