It was a quieter night in Brisbane, but despite that we were still able to share the gospel with many people. It was encouraging to see so many people from different churches coming out to evangelise the lost.
As the night began I managed to grab a conversation with two young men from Papua New Guinea. I asked them, "Why do you think God would let you into Heaven?" They both smiled and said, "We'd go to Heaven because we come from a Christian country and do good for people." Well, this was the beginning of an excellent conversation. We spoke at length about the fallenness of humanity and the need for Jesus to rescue us. Both of the men at the end of the conversation took an in-depth tract and said they'd like to attend church.
Shortly after this conversation it came time for me to preach. Tonight, I decided to preach in an 'old-school' manner, that is, with no sketchboard, and just a Bible in hand. My text for the night was Luke 18:9-14, my topic was, "How to be made right with God." A few people stopped to listen as I spoke about how our works and efforts will never bring about forgiveness of sins and how Jesus is the only way we can know God.
The rest of the night was fairly quiet, however, at the end of the evening I managed to get into an apologetic discussion with a Scottish atheist. His arguments were basic, but very typical of those whom I encountered when I lived in Scotland. His objections were answered and eventually he literally turned and rushed away before I could answer another of his questions. He embodied the man who wasn't interested in truth but rather was seeking to justify his unbelief.
Overall, it was a productive evening. Please pray for all those we encountered.
On Saturday night in the mall, despite the threat of rain, the weather stayed mild and the Gospel of salvation was proclaimed!
A highlight conversation was with Ryan and Erin, a mid twenties couple who had dressed up to have a night out together. When asked what they thought the 'Worlds Biggest Problem' was, the answer was poverty and their solution was giving women more rights. The conversation started in an unconventional way but as usual in the search for the 'root cause' of the problem it was agreed that pride, selfishness and greed were the problem.
It has been observed that in a questioning line such as this, it is common and easy for people to admit they are selfish, proud and greedy and when how this view of ourselves affects humans, the vast majority will readily admit they have stolen, lied, hated, gotten drunk, been lustful and many other things. Surprisingly it is a way to have people let their guard down. Once acknowledging human pride is a big problem and that despite their best human efforts (or lack of) most people often concede that they too are part of the problem.
After not too many questions, the couple were asked if they had a solution for human pride, they both admitted they had no idea. Ryan profoundly stated, "If you had a solution surely you would be out telling people!"
The only answer that can pay for human wickedness and could change a human heart was given, that Jesus Christ fully God and fully man, lived a sinless life, died the death we deserve and rose from the grave so that all who acknowledge their guilt and surrender to Him alone can have their debt paid and can be given a new heart.
Ryan said, "If I could betray my intellect I would definitely believe that". Though his pride was on display and it was more about him wanting to know better than his Creator, this cracked the conversation open and twenty minutes of question and answer time about Christian apologetics was engaged in. The topic ranged from the simple questions of the authority and authenticity of the Bible all the way to, why is there evil and suffering in this world that happens to 'innocent' people. With a number of reiterations of the Gospel they both finally had to leave and meet up with their friends but the seed had well and truly been sown.
Ryan and Erin had no other solution from human wickedness and were left in a position where Jesus was the ONLY answer! Please be praying for this young couple and that God will bring them unto repentance and humble surrender. Please earnestly ask God for the salvation of many souls and pray that He would bring to the outreaches men and women who's hearts have been cultivated and are ready to hear the Gospel!
Please praise God that He is sovereign in bringing people who need to hear the Gospel and make sure in gratefulness for your salvation to courageously step out and share the Gospel with anyone who will listen!
Soli Deo Gloria!
On Saturday night as the team went into the Queen St Mall in Brisbane City it was surprisingly quiet for a Saturday. Whether everyone was at home watching the Olympics or had been up late all week and were now asleep was unknown but a decent sized team headed out and went about their Christ given mission of faithfully sharing the message of salvation.
The team has an 'Intelligence Test' flip chart which is often used as a conversation starter and this evening quite a range of people stopped in over the night and engaged in conversations because of it. Another easy tool used were the 'Good Person' comics, a well loved favourite by many team members, slightly larger than a normal tract but often a easy to talk with people after asking, "Did you get you free comic tonight?".
During the preaching, on the topic of 'True Love', a range of locals stopped, engaged and listened. At one stage there was a young couple out for a night who stopped to listen as the discussion over what really is true love was had. The girl was affected to the point where she was crying as she listened to the message of our sin, guilt the deserved judgment. It seemed as though the weight of the message had struck her.
It was then a privilege to proclaim the message of salvation from sin, through a whole hearted surrender the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and it's accomplishments!
An exciting conversation was had with a man called James, he was a catholic raised man who very characteristically professed the idea of divine scales. As long as his good deeds out weighed the bad, he was right to get into Heaven. When confronted with the idea that a single bad deed deserves a punishment more than infinite good deeds could ever repay James was stopped in his tracks. Unsure how really to respond, it dawned on him the extreme difference between Heaven and Hell. Not whether or not people were just good enough or not but as James said, "that means everyone deserves Hell".
It was explained that because of the weight of the punishment of sin the only way one could be saved is by a total surrender to the single perfect, sinless sacrifice that could pay the debt. James heard the news and seemed to comprehend it but wasn't interested in surrendering to Jesus Christ as he wanted to live by his own rules.
The night was a massive success as the Gospel was proclaimed! Please keep the team in prayer as they head into their week, pray that they and yourself will remember that the work of evangelism isn't a specific time during the week but rather the whole week!
Please be praying for the many people who heard the Good News that Jesus Christ came to save sinners! Pray that God will use this proclamation as the means by which to bring them unto salvation!
Please pray that this post will be an encouragement and a challenge to many Christians being the final point in getting them to go out into all the world and to start sharing the Good News!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Thank you for praying for today's outreach in Brisbane city. Being a public holiday, it was very busy. Plenty of gospel tracts went out and some great gospel conversations were had.
One interesting thing that happened today ties back to what happened during last week's outreach in the city. Last week, while George had just started preaching using the sketchboard, there was a man that approached someone else on the team, saying, "Jesus stole my smokes." He kept repeating this, and then changed what he was saying to indicate that the team member had stole his smokes.
This man started getting a little bit aggressive and so the team member started walking away while the rest of team tried to calm the man. He started getting physical and was yelling, before managing to trip over on to the ground. It was only moments before the police were there to arrest him.
This had caused a really large number of onlookers to gather-around, and so once the man was gone, George started preaching again using the sketchboard to the large crowd that had gathered (see the photo below for a sample of the crowd).
It was great to see that most of the crowd stuck around till the end, paying attention to what was being said. It's amazing that what the devil tried to do in silencing the word, actually meant that many more heard it in the end!
And as we were arriving for today's outreach, this man approached us and sincerely apologised for what he did last week. He asked if he could listen to the preaching today. We said, "Of course!"
Later on, we got to talk further with him and he asked for a Bible and we got to share the gospel with him. He was very open to hearing it and seemed to begin grasping it. His name is Justin. Please pray for his salvation.
Glory to God alone!
Thank-you to all those who prayed for the outreach Saturday night in Brisbane. The night for some reason was extremely busy. Normally, in winter the Queen Street Mall is quieter, but tonight there were people everywhere. As a result many people were spoken to about Christ.
I had the honour of preaching in the open-air using the sketchboard and chemical cross. I spoke on the "Way to Heaven" and looked at three wrong ways that people trust in, and then I spoke about the one right way. The Lord was pleased to bring a good size crowd in to listen. I also noticed that the crowd was really engaging with what I was doing on the board, often they would call out and give the answer to what I was painting.
After my open-air, it was truly amazing to see people throughout our area of the mall being spoken to in one to one conversations. Every which way I looked, there were Christians sharing the love of Christ to people who may never come to church.
What was also a huge encouragement was seeing so many people making their way to the Free Bible and Literature Table. Quite a number of resources were given out.
We also had two other preachers share from God's Word tonight. The Lord seemed to be at work on the hearts of many people. Please pray for all those we encountered tonight. May the Lord bring them into the truth.
The gospel went out again last night in Brisbane city. We know that people's greatest need is forgiveness of sins found only in Jesus, but last night a couple people on the team were also able to help an intellectually impaired man who had just arrived in Brisbane but was planning on just sleeping the night on a park bench. They were able to give him a feed and find a place of accommodation for him, but also most importantly, tell him the gospel.
Meanwhile, the rest of team were busy handing out gospel tracts and talking to people about Christ. One young Chinese man I spoke to, whose English name is Frank, was initially looking at the sketchboard, at what was painted on there. So I gave him a tract, but his English wasn't the best. So I ran over to my bag to get a Chinese version of our comic book tract. I gave it to him and he read every page of it right in front of me.
After reading it, I asked him what he thought. As we were discussing, the language barrier was quite difficult. So I got him to come over with me to the sketchboard so I could use the visuals that were on there to help him understand the gospel. On the board was a scale between 0 and 100, and I asked him where he would place himself in terms of how good he is. He said right in the middle.
I asked him about whether he had done certain sins before, and he had and I said, "Where do you deserve to go then?" He said, "Hell." Then he asked, "But what can I do then?" So I explained the cross and how we need to trust in what Jesus has done as the only reason we are forgiven, and as a result, we will then want to live the rest of our lives for Jesus. He was very receptive. I then helped Frank download a Chinese Bible to his phone so he can start reading it.
As they say, 10 of out 10 people need the gospel. Glory to God that some more people heard it last night!
To get some comic book gospel tracts (in English) to hand out yourself, go to: www.operation513.com/comics
Thank you to all who prayed for the outreach in Brisbane city Wednesday. It went well without any hassles, praise the Lord!
As we were preparing for the sketchboard presentations, a bunch of kids were intrigued at was being drawn, even guessing which colour would be next. Once prepared, we used the sketchboard to speak on the subject of the Way to Heaven. As others came by they saw this group of kids sitting on the ground looking on, so a number of them joined in sitting on the ground listening to the gospel. It was good to see the crowd were even happy to interact and answer questions.
Throughout the afternoon, the team was busily sharing the gospel with people who were interested. We gave a couple of full Bibles out and dozens of gospels of John. Not only that, plenty of gospel tracts went out too. We praise God that He can use all these different things to draw people to Himself.
Despite the Council opposition on Wednesday, it was still a great day where the gospel went out to many. It was extraordinarily busy in the city due to the school holidays. Jesus' statement of "The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few" was particularly evident.
In fact, as I was painting up the sketchboard to prepare it for my message, every minute or so an individual or group of people would come up to me asking what I was painting and that provided an opportunity to share the gospel with them.
But as I was half way sharing with one person, some more people would come up asking the same question. So I had to juggle multiple groups of people at once, and eventually had to call others on the team over who weren't already in gospel conversations to witness to the new arrivals.
The two young people in the photo with the sketchboard in the background were very open to the things of God. They said they were in a rush, but wanted to quickly stop and find out what was being said. I interacted with them in the open air, and they thought their own goodness would get them to heaven.
But by the end, they had come to recognise the only way of forgiveness is through trusting that Jesus died for their sins, and they left counting the cost. They were so appreciative that someone would share this important message with them.
I pray that you would consider joining us out on the street. Many Christians have the misconception that no one wants to talk about the things of God on the street, but actually so many do. And we as Christians have the words of eternal life, how can we keep silent about it?
For times and locations, see: http://www.operation513.com/street-evangelism-teams/
On Saturday night it was a cool ten degrees, meaning there wasn't many in the mall and so a quiet night was had. That being said, the team was still diligently denying themselves and their desire to be at home in the warmth but they went and took the opportunities to share the Gospel with anyone who would engage.
There was one highlight conversation with a man, he was a very decided atheist, proclaiming his certainty about what he believed. This is always interesting to see someone being so sure of what they believe but it had undertones. The conversation went many directions, starting with the authenticity of the Bible and the apparent 'contradictions'.
These were discussed at length but even when an answer was given or the problem was explained he would just bring up another one. He had contention with God's sovereignty and yet humanities accountability. After over an hour of discussion it came to a place where it was apparent.
Though he proclaimed that he was open minded and would change his mind if God was proven, the tenacity and strength with which he held to his arguments even when the logic had holes. It was evident not that he was doubting and not sure what to believe but rather he didn't want to believe because the implications of surrendering to a perfect and sovereign God were something he desired.
Please pray for him, that he will acknowledge the truth of God's Word and surrender to Christ, trusting in the Gospel, the power of God unto salvation!
Please consider the team, those we shall talk with these coming days in your prayers before our creator and even ask God to challenge you to come out and join us! It would be great to have you on the team, declaring that Jesus Christ is the way of salvation!
Soli Deo Gloria!
On Saturday Night the team headed into the Queen St Mall and spread out to share the message of salvation. The sketch board, flip chart, resource table and tracts were all used as helpful tools to share the Good News that Jesus came to save sinners.
As you might know at this time of year many Muslims celebrate ramadan, which is the idea of stopping eating between sunrise and sunset. Meaning many Muslims were out in the Mall, living the night life and eating food.
This means many conversations were with Muslims, though there are a range of other people around as well. A conversation was had with a man named Mohammad and his wife Tarnie. Mohammad is a Muslim and was very quick to acknowledge that God is Good, Perfect, Holy and Just and infinitely so in all cases. Mohammad said he knew that God would judge people and because God is good He MUST judge.
But Mohammad was adamantly defending that idea that, disobeying God's standard is wrong and wicked but God won't punish you for it. He then corrected himself and said God would but not very harshly as long as you are sincerely sorry for doing it.
When pressed on this Mohammad found himself in a loop, God is Perfect, Holy and Just and must judge and punish evil but would then back away from such a claim by saying or implying that God didn't really care about being Blasphemed. That the creator of the universe wasn't really worried by our incredible offence to a Holy God by deny His standard and replacing it with our own.
Mohammad, though he claimed to have a very high view of God, so high that he would never be able to become a man, in the same breath would support the idea that God isn't really offended by sin and that fallen, rebellious and wicked sinners can impress and honour a Perfect God.
The question posed to Mohammad was phrased as this, "How can God remain God and humanity be anything other than eternally damned?"
Sadly the Gospel was never reached as Mohammad had no understanding of the weight of his own sin. Please be praying for Mohammad (and his wife who stood beside him the whole time). Pray that he will be overwhelmed with an understanding for his own guilt and understand his complete inability to save himself therefore surrendering to Christ, the God Man who came to save!
Please pray for the team, as even with outreaching it is easy to fall into the trap that we are out to evangelise and forget that it is only by God anyone can be saved, that it is only by God that we have been changed and greatest of all, it is only by God that anyone will talk with us. Please pray that we will be reminded of our complete need for dependence on Christ and from the great encouragement that Jesus did die for wretches like us, that we will be strengthened to share Christ more!
Thank you for continued prayers, please consider joining with us in person, to proclaim Jesus' saving power!
Soli Deo Gloria!