As the team assembled and headed out to Queen St Mall at the heard of Brisbane City we reminisced of the astounding truth that no matter which government is in power, God is in control. No one has a position of authority apart from it being granted to them by God. Together we prayed committing the night to the Lord and asking that He would bring many along to hear the Good News.
We started the night with the sketch board, our usual PA system was missing in action so we used a small hand held speaker that packs a decent volume. This allowed the preaching to be well heard and a few people stopped in to listen to the message that was being preached. As the preaching took place a number of conversations were started with those slowing to listen, including with a young lady who had just landed from New Zealand and after a while of dialogue took a bible and a Gospel tract!
As the preaching came to an end a conversation was started with Matt and Elle. Matt professed to be a Christian and Elle said she wasn't. A simple question was asked, "What did you think of the preaching?" Which lead straight into a conversation allowing them to set the tone of the discussion.
Elle was fairly quiet and didn't say much but just listened where as Matt was keen to engage. After a few minutes the question was posed to Matt, "How are you getting to Heaven?" to which he replied. "As long as you keep God's commandments you should be okay." To be honest, he was exactly right, if anyone had kept God's commandments they would be able to enter Heaven but as Matt soon discovered, there isn't any human who had or could keep such commandments. In fact by God's standard we all stand condemned, deserving the full weight of God's wrath. When Matt heard this, he asked, "Then why are you guys out here? Doesn't that mean we all should go to Hell?"
Again he had hit the nail, by God's justice, according to our sin, we certainly do deserve Hell. The opportunity to share the saving work of Jesus Christ was there and it wasn't one to be missed, it was promptly explained that our sin does cause us to be damned yet God came into this world, He was in human form, lived a sinless life and suffered the wrath of God we deserve.
Three days later rising from the grave, proving He is God and conquering sin and death. So that if we acknowledge our sinfulness, understand we cannot save ourselves and surrender to Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour our sin debt can be paid and we can be set free from slavery to sin. After having this explained Matt, with a smile on his face, said "Thank you for that, I have never heard or understood that before." He took a Gospel tract and may he trust in the saving work of Jesus Christ!
A man who chatted with the team entered into the discussion after being asked if there was anything in this world more important than money. He answered, with the thought that happiness was more important. This man made comment about where he found his happiness and why it was so important to him but as we moved towards a discussion about eternity he suddenly became a little less sure. He said he enjoyed discussing such a topic but had already made up his mind.
When asked what had lead him to his conclusions of agnosticism he discussed that there was no need for a creator. When challenged on this idea in regards to the certainty that a building needs a builder so a creation surely has a creator, he admitted it was a good point but that humanity had proven there was no need for a God.
Soon afterwards when discussing why one should consider the claims of Christianity this question was posed to the man, "Can you prophesy in highly accurate detail, specific life events about someone who won't be born for another thousand years?" The man readily admitted this, humanly speaking, was impossible. When it was explained that this is exactly what happened in regards to Jesus Christ and was asked how such a thing was possible, he suddenly fell silent then proclaimed, "I don't need to answer you, I was a Hindu by tradition but now I am an agnostic by choice!" and quickly left.
The team also engaged in a lengthy conversation with a young man named Olly, the conversation was filled with discussions, from the deep question, whether truth exists, touching on why we really shouldn't steal, spending some time in the definitive claims of Jesus Christ about His deity and the way to Heaven and dwelling deeply on whether or not one can know if Christ really rose from the grave.
Olly was a very respectful and interesting young man who readily professed to be open minded, which is always a strange claim. When people make such a statement, they often seem to imply that they are able to accept any belief or worldview. Yet forget to add the clause, "as long as it directly agrees with what I believe". Though Olly was different, he simply meant that he was unsure if anyone could ever know something they hadn't personally experienced and therefore he was unsure of such a deep question as to the destination of people's eternity.
Olly made many statements of truth, from adamantly defending piracy as it wasn't directly harming anyone (the producers were already rich enough) or that there is 11 dimensions and infinite possible universes. So there was a range of questions posed along the lines of, "Does truth exist? Where does it come from? How can a human trust their own brain and it's ability to reason? Does an objective standard exist?" These questions took a large portion of the time and it seemed to make Olly think.
Sadly as the night wore on the conversation was drawing to a close and he left recieving on final challenge, "Eternity is an awfully time to, "not be sure", so whilst you still have time, consider and make a decision about the claim, "Did Jesus Christ rise from the dead, proving He is God?" for in answering this claim we must either acknowledge there is a God and surrender to Him or we are truly in this world with no purpose and will continue living like we were created with one."
It was a pleasure to talk with Olly, please keep him in prayer as he walks away from the conversation and takes the time to consider what was said. Please also pray for Matt and Elle, the mystery Hindu and for the many others who were spoken with, handed a tract or exposed to the Gospel this evening. We know God is in control, all things go according to His plan, so let us plead to Him on behalf of those who heard the Gospel!
Please also pray for the team, that more people will want to come out (not just Saturday's but throughout the week) and that each team member will continue seeking God, surrendering to Him, preaching the Gospel to themselves and therefore growing in Holiness throughout the week!
Soli Deo Gloria!
This evening, the team headed out into Queen St Mall, in the heart of Brisbane city. For a range of years it has been a weekly occurrence, each Saturday night, yet without fail each time God brings along new people to hear His message of salvation. Tonight was no different, as the team met up for prayer at seven, there were already a few team members in conversations with passers by and as always we were hanging around for a while after the designated evangelism time finishing off conversations.
The night started quickly, there was a small threat of rain but thankfully nothing came of it. Early in the night we started with some sketch boarding alongside some preaching, a man came along early, who name was Dave and very quickly started engaging, he was very animated and quickly a crowd had formed to listen to the discussion which was taking place. Dave argued that all truth and morality was relative and simply by making the claim that all truth was relative had refuted his own argument. Dave continued discussing but after a a few questions when he had no more objections he didn't want to hear anymore about God and abruptly left.
Thankfully a decent crowd stuck around and heard the Gospel articulated and were given te challenge to consider if they are trusting in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross alone, or if they were relying on themselves to get to Heaven.
The preaching drew in a few different couples who stayed around and conversed with team members for varying lengths of time. One couple even stayed for an entire three hours!
One man the team talked with was named Steve, he was a professing Atheist. He explained that he didn't believe God existed on the basis that there wasn't enough evidence. We discussed a wide range of topics, starting with a quick jog through morality, its basis and why it matters, past the evidence for an intelligent designer in the complexity of creation and finally we spent a decent amount of time on the evidence for the reliability of the Bible.
Steve who a few minutes earlier seemed so sure, was suddenly in a place out of his depth, though he held strongly to an atheistic belief, he never spent much time considering who Jesus is and whether or not Jesus rose from the grave. Steve had strong opinions but we challenged the basis of his belief. Please be keeping Steve in prayer and pray that God will use our discussion with him to bring about salvation.
Just as he was making a move to leave he asked a final decisive question. Why not other religions? Why Christianity? To which we were able to discuss a little more, summarised finally with the simple explanation, all other religions, and proclaimed ways to Heaven teach that humans, in their fallen and evil state can somehow work hard, to improve enough to deserve the recognition of a Holy God. Where as Christianity states that we could never please God, contrarily we deserve punishment for our sin, yet God in His love, became a man, in the person of Jesus Christ (fully God and fully man), lived a perfect life, died a sacrificial death, suffering God's wrath for sin and rose from the grave, so that we can have our sin paid for, if we surrender to Him as Lord and Saviour through repentance and belief.
Steve had never heard this before and said it was interesting, he did have to leave but would consider such a claim.
Another brief highlight was with four young men, Damo, James, Josh and Thomas. Each proclaiming a level of skepticism or agnosticism and one boldly declaring he was an atheist. We started out discussing, what the worlds biggest problem was, with a range of answers, from racism, to littering and even selfishness getting some air time we soon were into a discussion about morality.
Damo, declared that morality was relative and determined by the majority, James (seemingly speaking for the other three), declared that we are taught morality by our parents. We started to deconstruct these misconceptions. Damo quickly stepped back, when we discussed whether or not slavery was wrong because the majority of people for the vast majority of history believed it was. James, continued on with the family structure and your surroundings but soon was denying certain things were wrong on a level higher than parental authority. We got to a point where each attempt at explaining morality seemed to have a hole in it.
Thankfully there was one answer that hadn't been considered, the fact that we were created in the image of God, inherently with knowledge of good and evil. This seemed to settle that discussion and now we were covering ground quickly, again we hit a bit of a bump, "How can we be sure there is a God?", Josh interjected.
We had very quickly jumped into a much deeper discussion, if God exists, there must be a standard by which we are judged. So we set out onto a few steps into a journey, we discussed the prophetic ability seemingly contained in the Bible, we juggled some questions about displays of the supernatural and we systematically addressed the validity of the eye witness testimony that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead.
The young men had never really discussed this side of the evidence before and were in a world of unknown, Damo tried to stabilise the rocking of his worldview, with a summary line, "Isn't it all about just being pretty good anyway, I think surely if we just try to be decent people it will all work out". This presented a perfect opportunity to in depth explain the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, after hearing the way of salvation through Christ alone, the men seemed to not be quite so sure, of their beliefs. They did have to head off and so they left with one final challenge, "Did Jesus Christ rise from the grave?"
Many others engaged the preaching, conversed with team members or were exposed to the Gospel through tracts and other literature, please keep Dave, Steve, Damo, James, Josh and Thomas in prayer, alongside all others who were exposed to the truth of the Gospel, for we know God is sovereign over salvation and may we plead on behalf of the hearers of His eternal truths that they may come to repentance and faith in Christ Jesus!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Last night, we had a fairly good night of evangelism in Brisbane. We had a good size team. I had decided before arriving at the outreach that I wasn't going to preach, instead I wanted to focus on one to one witnessing.
My prayer was that God would allow me to have good conversations with at least five people. He brought along six.
The first conversation I had was with two young Muslim men from Africa. Both of them had no knowledge of Christianity. We chatted for a bit about Islam and the Justice of God. They told me that they hoped that by doing the best they can that Allah would one day let them into Paradise.
Ultimately, they said they weren't sure if they had done enough. I shared with them that I know with 100% certainty that I will go to Heaven when I die, even though I haven't been 'good enough.'
They seemed intrigued by this answer, so I got to share with them about the Lord Jesus, who He is, and what He has done. Both men said they had never heard such teachings before, and they wanted to learn more. Both took in-depth tracts and thanked me for speaking to them.
During this time members of the team were preaching open-air, or engaged in one to one. It was great to see a number of people from different backgrounds making their way to the Free Bible table and taking literature.
My next conversation was with a group of three elderly Aboriginal ladies. One of them was converted, the other two weren't. The Christian lady was so excited to hear the Gospel being proclaimed in public. The other two also listened closely as I spoke of Jesus and what He did at the cross.
Other conversations I had during the night was with a self-righteous man who thought he had never sinned. I also spoke to an evolutionist who believed that Christians taught that the world only began with the resurrection of Jesus. And, sadly, I also had a conversation with an apostate who use to go evangelising.
Please pray for all those we encountered last night. May the Lord Jesus be lifted high and may He receive all the glory.
God saw fit to bring in a lot of labourers last night for our weekly outreach in Brisbane city. We had about 20 people on the team, which was great because it was busier night than usual.
The team was in constant conversations with people about Christ throughout the night, as quite a lot of people were happy to stop and listen, take tracts or come up to the free Bibles table to take a Bible.
At one stage of the night an angry man walked by and yelled out some profanities at the person who was preaching at the time, and the preacher responded with a "God bless you". An hour later the man returned with a soften heart and wanted to know about God. He stayed around talking with the team for quite a long time, thinking through the message of the gospel. Praise be to God! Please pray for him.
Another man that we spoke to was Matt. He initially thought he was a really great guy and said he has never ever told a lie before. But as we talked about some of God's other commandments, he had to admit he had failed too.
He was absolutely shocked to hear that sex before marriage is a sin, and that to look at someone with lust whom you're not married to is a sin as well. We explained the gospel to him and called him to repent and believe. He said that he considered the cost of coming to Christ is so high, as he said he loves his sin. He then had to go somewhere but said he would return later in the night.
About half an hour later he came back and we got to talk further. He was beginning to see the urgency of coming to faith in Christ. Please pray for Matt.
We're simply unworthy servants and so to God be all the glory!
Glory to God that the gospel went out in Brisbane city.
We had a smaller team at the start, as some of our regulars couldn't make it. So we prayed together at the start for more labourers and also that the council would leave us alone.
God answered our prayers. Not long later, He brought in some more team members and even brought in two new people who have never evangelised with us before! Praise be to Him!
We saw the council hovering around, glaring at us for a while, but in God's providence they did not come up to us at all or fine us!
The fines we have received in previous weeks/months are currently on hold, being reviewed by a different department of the council. Please pray that whoever is reviewing them would realise we are there lawfully and drop the fines. We have been evangelising in Queen St Mall now for over 10 years.
The team had some really good conversations with people, with many saying that they will seriously consider the message. The gospel also went out clearly and boldly through the preaching.
All glory to God!
We had a great outreach on Wednesday afternoon in Brisbane city. Despite the opposition we have been getting in recent months, we see that there are plenty of people open to hearing about God.
Throughout the afternoon, the team was in gospel conversations with people, and a few team members preached, while God drew in people to listen.
One conversation we had was with a high school student named Emily. She said "I am a nice person", hoping that that would get her to Heaven. After talking to her about sin, the coming judgement, the cross, repentance and faith, she thought for a moment and said, "I will do that now, you have now convinced me".
I asked her a few checking questions to see whether she had understood the message of grace - that forgiveness is not something you can earn, it's a free gift available through trusting in Christ. She had. Please pray for her, she has a Bible already.
Straight after that conversation, I talked with another high school student named Olivia. The conversation went very similar and she too was open to the gospel. Afterwards she said, "I learnt something today. Wow thank you, I did not think I would learn this today".
She didn't have a Bible, so we gave her a gospel of John to start reading. Please also pray for her.
All glory to God that His word is going out and impacting people!
On Saturday night, the evangelism team headed into the Queen St Mall, Brisbane City. As usual there were crowds of people around, despite the dreary weather. After the heavy rain at about 7pm people still flocked into the mall, walking up and down and seeking after fulfillment in the abuse of the pleasures of life.
The team at first was small and a prayer request was made to God for more labourers but within the next hour the rain had stopped and a team of 11 members were out sharing the Good News of salvation with the passers by, through the means of preaching, tract giving and conversations.
With the heavy rain early on people were hindered from walking in the open area and were confined to walking closer to the team members allowing for some conversations, a young man named Gustav who we talked with early in the night, wasn't a native English speaker. A decent conversation was had and thankfully he did understand what was being said, even if occasionally it had to be explained a few different ways. Sadly the problem was, Gustav is a Catholic, he adamantly defended that it wasn't Jesus alone which saved Him but was also in part His exertion and ability to honour God through His deeds.
Please keep Gustav in prayer and commit him to God, we challenged him to pick up his Bible and take a read as he said he rarely ever did. May God use this small conversation, the tract and the power of the Bible through the Holy Spirit to bring Gustav into the Kingdom.
As the rain died down a little the team was able to set up the amplifier with an umbrella over the top for protection and some preaching took place, there were fluctuating crowds as the rain came and went but generally there was a presence of unbelievers listening and engaging the speaker. The preaching drew a crowd of twenty or so at one stage and some individual conversations were started, one of those was with two young men, David and Rick.
These two men, said they were 'spiritual', they had some belief in a 'Higher Power' but believed that He was no relational being but just some sort of entity. This discussion lead towards one of morality, when there was a back and forth that took place about what is the source of morality? Why are things right and wrong? How can anyone know such things? The conversation continued. A consensus was not reached. Though the two men had been challenged to a place where they weren't quite as sure as they seemed to be when the conversation started.
After a good hour or so of discussion, including an in depth discussion on the claims of the Bible, a sprinkling of what truth is and a meaty piece about the sin of humanity and our collective fallen state, the conversation reached a point where it became less about the team member asking questions and more about David and Rick asking questions.
Rick was fixated on how Jesus' sacrifice can be the atoning sacrifice for sin and how it isn't about personal goodness and David went into the logistics of those who are in isolated areas around the planet and haven't heard the Gospel. By the end of the conversation they were both asking questions and by God's saving mercy, pray they may come to saving faith in Jesus Christ!
This is just a small snapshot of the wonderful night that God provided, a prayer was made that people may engage the team members and that the Gospel would be articulated clearly and we know that God's word does not return void, conversations were had and the Gospel, the power of God unto salvation was shared.
Please keep the team in prayer, acknowledging the humanity of the team and the ease to fall into sin, pray that they stay vigilant in the seeking of God and His truth and are wary to fight the temptations of sin in the power of God.
Please pray for Gustav, David, Rick and for the rest of those who heard the Gospel, engaged a team member or took a tract tonight, pray to God, pleading on behalf of those exposed to the truth that they would come to salvation.
Soli Deo Gloria!
It was an eventful afternoon of evangelism yesterday in Brisbane city.
Firstly, we had the council worker, who has been for the past 2 months unlawfully trying his hardest to stop the gospel going out in Brisbane, standing around watching us for about an hour and a half from the moment we arrived. Eventually he came over and issued one person on the team a $236 fine for handing out Christian literature, despite the fact we have permission to be there and do that there.
A little later on I noticed a lady with tattoos all across her arms talking to the council worker and his colleague. Then moments later, while the council workers were looking on, she stormed over to our free Bibles table and started throwing all the materials on the ground. She was screaming, "You can't do this here!"
Then she went up to George, who was preaching at the time, proceeded to hit him and snatch the microphone out of his hand. She then came over to me, hit me and then also punched an elderly man who was defending us. There were lots of people looking on by this time.
This lady then went over to our bag area and started picking our things up and throwing them at us. It was only then that the council workers wandered over to talk to the lady and told her to go away. Isn't it interesting to see their inaction for so long while this was going on? And note, she didn't receive any fine from the council workers for what she did, even though they saw it with their own eyes.
A large crowd had gathered by this time and so George continued preaching to all those who had gathered. Quite a number of people went over to the Bible table, asking for materials. What she intended for evil, God used for good!
Once George finished preaching, the council workers then went over to George and gave him a $589 fine for using an amplified device (despite having permission). We will be challenging the fines.
Not long after, the police arrived and they said they were going to go look for the lady. We have a very relationship with the police in Brisbane city. It is great having their support.
As the afternoon progressed, the team was busy in conversations and people kept coming up to the Bible table asking for Bibles.
One man said that he was staying in a hotel and read 100 pages of the Bible while he was there. But he knew the Bible was hotel property so he couldn't take it with him to keep reading it, even though he wanted to. So he asked is there any chance he could have a full Bible? We said, "Absolutely!" and gave him one.
Glory to God that His word is going out!
It was a great night of evangelism in Brisbane. Despite the rain and the humidity, we were able to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with many people.
Since, we would be operating undercover tonight, I thought I would test out my new flip-chart. I wasn't sure if it would work in the environment of Brisbane, but I was soon shown otherwise. In the space of just under two-hours I was able to speak to fifteen people about the Gospel via the flip-chart.
The first person I spoke to was a man named Jerry. Jerry, was just out of jail and was keen to chat. He had some kind of religious background, and in general believed that Christianity was true. We spoke about the nature of God and man. We explored the issue of sin, and the need of the Saviour. At the end of our conversation Jerry shook my hand multiple times, thanking me for talking to him about Jesus.
A little bit later on, I was able to engage a whole family with the Good News. This family of about eight people all gathered around the flip-chart. Dad was an atheist, but the others professed some belief in God. We joked around a bit, and had a good conversation about the Lord Jesus. At the end of the conversation they all took tracts, and Dad's atheism was in tatters.
By now it was clear that the flip-chart was a magnet for conversations. The next person along was Shane. Now, Shane was a wild looking man. His beard was long and grey. His hair was equally as long. It turns out that Shane was a former Christian who had many years ago renounced Christianity. He then embraced Wicca, but was not a Buddhist.
We chatted for sometime about the nature of God and of truth. After he heard the Gospel, I began to deal with the issue of Buddhism. The conversation centred around Buddha versus Jesus. It turned out that Shane didn't have a very good grip on Buddhism, so he changed to topic to evolution. He was very shocked to discover that there are scientists who actually believe in Genesis. We were able to give him some creation material, and he left saying he'd be back again.
Towards the end of the night, once again the flip-chart drew people in. This time it was a group of four young ladies. They seemed quite open to talking, so we went through the Gospel. Sadly, some of their friends came and dragged them away right at the end. At least they took tracts.
During this time, other members of the team were witnessing and preaching. It was truly wonderful to see so many people hearing the Good News of Jesus.
Please pray for all those we encountered tonight.
A storm rolled through Brisbane city last night during our Saturday night outreach. There were some pretty close lightning strikes causing some very loud thunder. That provided a good opportunity to say to people, "Maybe God is trying to get your attention."
Even though the city wasn't as busy, we had a good size team. Two people on the team preached, including one who had never done it before. It's so great to see God is raising up people to preach His gospel in public in this land.
Please pray for more labourers, as the harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few.
To God be all the glory!