Praise God for a good outreach last night in Brisbane city. We had about 15 of us on the team, and I remember noticing a couple of times throughout the night that every team member was in a gospel conversation with someone.
On the streets, we not only reach the lost, but sometimes also encourage struggling saints that we meet or also sometimes confront those who are professing Christians who may not really be in the faith yet.
While we were first setting up for the night, one person came up to speak to us and this man had a clear understanding of the gospel - salvation by grace through faith alone.
But when I asked him whether he is pursuing holiness, he said no. He said, "That is law, we are saved by grace" and was quite annoyed that I even suggested that we should strive to be holy.
I explained that we agree we are saved by grace through faith alone in Christ alone, but the evidence that someone is truly converted is that their attitude towards sin changes and they desire to live a holy life. This man strongly disagreed and started swearing at me.
I expressed that "Jesus said, 'you'll know them by their fruits', and perhaps the reason you are so strongly reacting to what I am saying is that your conscience is alarming you about your present state." After talking further with him, he said he will have to really think about what I said. Please pray for him.
To God be all the glory!
We had a great afternoon of evangelism today in Queen St Mall, Brisbane. The team was in gospel conversations for most of the afternoon and God brought in a good number of team members.
One conversation that we had was with a man named Sheece. He was a Muslim from India and was happy to hear about Christianity. After hearing about the cross he said, "I can't have someone else take my punishment for me. That's like those Muslims who do lots of bad things all year but go do Hajj (pilgrimage) and say, 'It's all good now for the year.'"
I explained how it's not the same, for if God ignored our sins because of a good deed we have done, he would no longer just as he has accepted a bribe. The difference is: Jesus death on the cross completely satisfied God's justice for those who believe, so that God can be both just and able to show mercy at the same time.
Sheece saw the difference, but said he wasn't ready to come to faith in Jesus yet. Please pray for him.
Praise God for another wonderful outreach!
It was quieter in Brisbane city last night for our weekly Saturday night outreach. But it was so great to see several new team members join us for the first time.
A few people on the team did some open air preaching, while the rest of the team were handing out tracts and talking to people. A number of the team mentioned that the conversations that they had were quite fruitful, with people being receptive to the message of the gospel. While others mentioned that the people they spoke to were quite opposed to the gospel.
In times like these, it is always a great comfort to know that God is in charge of the results and so no matter the response, it's never in vain. God may cause the seeds planted last night to come to growth later on. All glory to God!
Thank-you to those who prayed for the outreach today. It was a very productive afternoon / evening. We started in the Queen Street Mall at 2pm, and sadly the one Brisbane City Council Local Law Officer who has been giving us grief acted unlawfully once again.
After Ryan had finished preaching, the Council Officer issued him a $589 fine. The law protects us, so we have now handed this over to the Barrister and Lawyers that are representing us. Please pray that all this will be resolved shortly, and that the Gospel will continue to spread unmolested.
I was also able to preach this afternoon. I spoke on the first Christmas and how Jesus is God with us. I stressed the Deity of Christ since the Jehovah Witnesses had set up behind us. A small crowd listened to the Scripture being read.
Throughout the day we had a literature table set up. It was great to see many people taking Bibles and other literature.
In the evening we headed over to King George Square to hand out tracts and chat to people. A few good conversations were had, and over 2000 tracts were given away.
Please continue to pray for our Christmas outreaches.
It was a quiet night in the Queen Street Mall, however there were still enough people to talk to. Despite the slowness of the night, a crowd still gathered to hear the Gospel proclaimed in the open-air.
Early in the night we talked with a range of different younger adults, from Marlin and Alexander, who both professed to be going to Heaven based on works; to Shaun a man who attends a local mega-church but also professes that because of his own goodness he will go to Heaven.
Conversations were also had with Bubba, a Hindu man who believed in karma and being good. The talk with Bubba didn't go very far as he would say his view but would deny any countering discussion. He kept avoiding questions in relation to his view of god and justice. Please pray that something did get through to him.
The most encouraging conversation of the night was with Judd, a young man who originally said the way to Heaven was through being good. We spoke about God's holiness and our falleness. We explained to him that nothing we can do could ever remove our sin. As Judd realised who God is, his face dropped. He was convicted of his sin. This led us to the perfect opportunity to share with him the GOOD NEWS; that whilst we were yet sinners, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. He was a little confused but, an explanation was given. We talked about that Christ was punished for sinners and how He absorbed the full wrath of God.
Judd said this was great news and he would have to think about it. We gave him a tract and a Gospel of John.
Please pray for Judd that he may come to faith in the Lord Jesus.
Tonight, we had many oppurtunites to witness. Please pray that the Lord would save the people of this city.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Saturday night in Brisbane is always an interesting time. Each week the crowds are different, so it breaks the mold of 'normal' evangelism.
In Australia many seem to be closed to talking about the read God. Even though around 80% of our population says they believe in some form of God, they really do not want it to be the God of the Bible. As a result people are happy to talk about general conepts in relation to deity, but the moment it gets the Trinitarian God of Scripture they sometimes close down.
Yet, even though there are many who are closed to hearing, there are also many who are open to talking. Each Saturday night we have the privledge of being able to speak to people from a wide variety of backgrounds about the truth of Jesus.
One member of the team, George, hasn't been with us for more than about six months but over the last three has been very keenly serving God, learning very quickly different ways to share the Gospel. He has been a great source of encouragement to us. It is always great to see new people coming along who are passionate about declaring the wonder of Jesus.
In this picture, George is bodlly proclaiming the truth, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners!
Early in the evening we spoke to a couple of people who were Jewish. When they described to us why they will go to Heaven, it was like we were hearing the Apostle Paul list his former life in Philippians 3. They truested in who they wre, and what they had done. We tried to explain to them that they must be like Paul, in that they need to let go of all that, and embrace Christ. They didn't really like the idea of Jesus being the Messiah, so we encouraged them to read Isaiah 53 and to find out whom the Scripture spoke of.
Another conversation was had with a man named Rhys, this young man was very talkative, in fact he wasn't scared about 'social norms' at all and gladly engaged in conversing about what he believed the way to Heaven was.
Rhys talked about all manner of things, and just like everyone else, he believed his goodness would get him over the line into Heaven.
Rhys was in a similar scenario to most of us, considered himself to be pretty good (judging by his own standard) but like the rest of us, when compared to the standard of God, he fell short.
He said that this was worrying; what could he possibly do to get to Heaven. Thankfully, God doesn't leave us in despair. He tells us of His amazing love through the Good News of Jesus! Jesus came into this world to do exaclty what we couldn't, be perfect so He could take the penalty for our sin, allowing us the free gift of eternal life, if we trust in Him! Rhys said this was great news and that he would consider what was shared with him.
Please pray for the Queen St Mall outreach. Pray that God will bring along people who have had the soil of their hearts prepared for the seeds of the Gospel. Pray that God will allow them to be able to engage in the a Gospel conversation and hear the amazing news!
Soli Deo Gloria!
On Wednesday the 21st, 'Back to the Future Day', Queen St Mall, Brisbane was packed with people, many of whom had prepared for the day, knowing it was coming for 30 years, they organised some clothes to imitate 'Marty McFly' and had scheduled the time to watch the trilogy. Many people were happy to celebrate the time in the future where the characters 'returned to' but what about when Jesus Christ returns?
Will we be prepared for Christ's return? Are the people of Brisbane prepared for Christ's return?
The answer to those questions for most people is a resounding NO. The vast majority of people are not prepared for Christ's return, many believe they are doing pretty good and the 'god' they believe in shall let them into Heaven. And many others just don't care, they are so apathetic that most will say it doesn't matter either way.
For that reason, that if Christ had returned on this day, there would have been hundreds of thousands who had never heard about their sin and their need for Christ as a Saviour so that they too could be prepared for the return of Christ.
We had a little bit of trouble setting up (as we forgot our table but by God's grace we were able to sort out a makeshift table and the afternoon got under way!
Out first conversation was with a lady named Anne, she told us that she knew she was going to Heaven because she was a very good person. When asked where she would rate herself on a scale of zero to one hundred she boldly proclaimed to be ninety-five!
We asked her what standard she was judging by and she said what she thought her motives were.
When we asked how she thought she compared to God's standard of perfection and goodness she said she didn't know. We discussed briefly whether or not a perfect God would have an objective standard of goodness. She admitted that He probably should and when tested by that standard Anne, just like the rest of us fell very short.
We continued talking a little more about ways to get to Heaven if we didn't deserve to get there and what we could do about it. Anne was sure there was a way to get to Heaven because she knew people who were certain of getting there. That provided the perfect opportunity to share with her the Amazing Love of Jesus, that He, the Lord of this world would come down, humble Himself and be the wrath-absorbing sacrifice for all those who trust in Him.
She said it is something she would have to consider.
Please pray for Anne, she now knows the way of salvation, the Good News of Jesus Christ, please pray that she will trust in Christ alone, submitting to His authority and therefore have her sin debt paid for!
Please commit to the Lord, the rest of the people with whom we talked, that they will also consider what happens after they die. Pray that they will have understood the Gospel message and would not have been able to sleep without getting right with God. Please pray that those who took literature, who asked questions, who listened to preaching and read the signs that they will have this small amount of information about Christ and it will be the seed landing in good soil.
Please thank God for the opportunity we have, under little opposition to be able to openly preach the Gospel in the heart of Brisbane City!
Soli Deo Gloria!
On Wednesday afternoon in Queen st Mall last week, the mall was unusually busy when we started, there were many people out in the mall but over the course of the afternoon things quietened down back to a normal level.
We had the opportunity to talk with and share the Gospel with a range of people, the first conversation which was had was with a lady named Vicki, she admitted to have told little white lies but said she had never, not one done anything else wrong, in fact she claimed she deserved to go to Heaven because she, (like Jesus) had been betrayed.
We challenged her on whether or not tragic or 'unfair' events happening to us remove the penalty for breaking the law? (God's law or Civil law). She said in society of course not but she said God was different. We asked why convinced her that was the case and she said she just believed it.
We tried to further expose the guilt of all mankind, us and her included but she denied it all and even said the times she lied weren't wrong as they were being kind to someone.
She then headed off as she did not want to talk about the 'negative' things in life anymore.
We also engaged Robert in a conversation, talking about the way to Heaven, when asked why he was going to Heaven he promptly responded with, "Because I deserve to go there". When asked why he gave the usual response that he thought he was pretty good.
When we started talking about sin, he very quickly wanted to leave, he said he didn't want to hear about God's judgement because he knew his god was a forgiving god.
Soon afterwards we talked with a young man named Vincent, he was one of those special conversations you have, when God has sovereignly bought someone along to speak with us, when their hearts are ready for the seed of the Gospel.
As I started talking with him we discussed sin, "Are we sinners?", "How bad is our sin?", "What are the consequences of sin?", "How do we have sin removed?"
We talked for quite a while, answering his questions with what God has said about sin, death, life and many more things. He heard the guilt of all men, he admitted that he thought he deserved Hell and it worried Him. He asked what he could do to get His sin paid for.
With the understanding that the penalty for sin is death, we briefly discussed that we are damned, on our own merits we cannot fix sin and there is no way BUT GOD LOVES US, IN THAT WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US!
We explained that God made a way, God made a way for His mercy and wrath to be fulfilled, allowing Him to be Just and Loving, God came as fully God and fully man, lived a perfect life without sin, died the sacrificial, wrath absorbing sacrifice for sin and then rose from the dead three days later conquering Death and Sin once and for all, that all who believe in Him shall not perish, but have their sins paid for that they can be counted as Righteous before God and inherit eternal life!
Vincent was excited by that and said he would be interested in counting the cost, sadly before we got much further he had to leave but God was able to use us, unworthy servants to allow Vincent to hear the amazing truth of the Gospel!
Please be praying for Vincent, Vicki and Robert, commit them to the Lord in prayer, praying that God may have mercy on their souls and bring them unto salvation! Please praise God that they were able to hear the Gospel, to hear the way of salvation and praise the Lord for being sovereign in Salvation, thanking Him that it is not up to us to save!
Please pray for the team, it is never easy to evangelise, no matter how many times we have done it before there is still a moment of vulnerability as we step out to offer a tract and start a conversation, please pray that we may be BOLD! Pray that we will deny ourselves, deny our desire to please the world, lay off the hindrances of pride and understand that if we do stand for the name of the Lord we will suffer 'persecution'.
Pray that we may be strengthened in the Lord, relying on Him alone and living for Christ.
Please pray that more Christians will consider counting the cost, making the time to join us on the streets, to share in their work places and their neighbourhoods being the light of Christ in the world.
Soli Deo Gloria!
On Wednesday at Queen St Mall, Brisbane, it was another scorcher of an afternoon. Thankfully despite the weather many people still flocked to the mall, either leaving or heading to work, finishing uni or school or just generally visiting the mall.
It was quite busy, which was great for bringing a crowd for the sketch boarding and Praise God that we had a team of nine labourers allowing us to cover a good amount of the mall to share the Gospel.
Early on in the afternoon a rather tall man named Arthur came up to us and asked for a Bible, we gave him one and asked him what was getting him to Heaven, he said he himself was, that Jesus died and everyone just has to be true to themselves and they will get to Heaven.
His message was very twisted and skewed, later he said Jesus wasn't the way, that we had to do certain things, then he said Jesus was the only way. He wasn't letting us talk much but was just generally talking about things that didn't make much sense.
His mind must have been damaged by something, please pray for Arthur that he will be able to comprehend the truth of the Gospel, surrender his own attempt and goodness and follow Christ for salvation!
We also talked with Rumel, a young man who has recently stopped practicing Islam, he didn't really have a reason he just got bored with it he said.
We were able to ask him a few questions, firstly we addressed the truth of God, talking about His perfection, justice and holiness. We discussed to a point where he said he understood that God's justice and mercy must be compatible, that to show mercy His justice must be also paid.
We then asked him what could pay for our sin, if God is going to let us into Heaven and knowing that the penalty for sin is death. He said, "I suppose someone has to die". He was right, someone must die.
He talked about that meaning no one should go to Heaven because we all deserve the punishment for sin. I told him he was spot on, not one single person deserves to get to Heaven but thankfully God is loving.
God loved us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. God came into this world as a man, and laid down His life so that we, guilty sinners may have a path to Heaven. He said that was great news.
He sadly had to leave but we gave him a bible and he said, he will have to read it!
Please pray for Arthur and Rumel, pray that the message of the Gospel, takes deep root, that their lives can be changed by the repentance and belief bought about by God's sovereign plan.
Please pray for all the others who took tracts, heard the preaching, read the signs, were asked a question and walked away laughing, for those whom we talked to or who too literature.
Pray that God uses this encounter, however small to change their hearts and minds and to allow them to enter the Kingdom of Heaven by their surrender to Christ as Lord and Saviour!
Soli Deo Gloria!
On Monday afternoon due to the public Holiday, though the mall wasn't overly busy there were many people who stopped as they had no where to be.
Many of the shops were closed, few people had to work and the majority were just casually strolling through. This was a wonderful blessing from God.
We had a decent sized team out and there were moments when you could look around and see almost everyone in a conversation. Praise God that the Gospel was proclaimed!
We talked with Dugal a young man who hadn't heard the Gospel before but when we started talking he very quickly seemed to admit the reality of it. We discussed what sin was and he admitted to having sinned many times, we discussed the way of salvation, he at first offered a few different suggestions about how to get to Heaven.
But we reminded him that God is perfect and just meaning to get to Heaven someone has to pay for our sin debt. We used a few analogies to explain why sin isn't paid for by works, by prayer, by fasting, by baptism or anything like that but that sin can be paid for by one thing alone, a sacrifice of life, either ours (in Hell) or Christ's on the cross.
He continued asking questions for a little while and seemed interested, it was a very exciting start to the afternoon.
We talked with a young lady Hannah, whom said she had grown up in a Christian family and actually professed to be a Christian, she said she believed in God and Jesus and things like that.
When we challenged her a bit on who would pay for her sin, she hadn't really considered it, she professed that there were probably multiple ways to God and she was just on a different one to us.
We briefly discussed who the person of Jesus Christ was and that if He is God (Which He proved) then when He said, "I am the Way, The truth and The life", He couldn't have been lying.
It is often that we talk to people who profess to know the way to Heaven but don't agree with what God Himself said.
we talked with a young couple, Ella and Ollie, we talked with Ella first, she admitted to her sin and she admitted to the reality of needing a saviour if God exists. We challenged her briefly about the things of eternity and she said she would consider it.
Then we talked with Ollie, he was angry and frustrated, he was very against God and claimed to be all about evidence. He said that the Historical person of Jesus Christ might have existed but that He wasn't God but just a magician.
We looked at him and asked him, what evidence convinced him of that? He said because magicians exist and the can deceive people with marvelous tricks. We continued to press him, what evidence convinced him about this man Jesus Christ being a magician. He had none.
There were numerous occasions in our discussion where he would make a claim to logic, reason, evidence or the like and then make a claim about Christ or Historical Christianity that had no support. He had a hole in his worldview, that he allowed things to be illogical just so he could not submit to the authority of God (for this lifetime).
Please be praying for Dugal, Hannah, Ella and Ollie, please keep them on your prayer list this week, maybe make a point to pray for them every Monday, pray that the Gospel that was preached to them may take root by the power of God and that they individually may heed the warning message and surrender to the truth of God and recieve the salvation offered in Christ Jesus.
Please pray for all those who interacted with the team, took tracts, read the signs, listened to the preaching, took literature, conversed with a team member or anything else. Pray that the truth of the Gospel will deeply penetrated their hearts that they would be given spiritual sight and that their lives would be transformed by the power of the Gospel.
Please thank God that we are still about to publically assemble and preach the Gospel, that we have the options to go out in the Mall and other locations to share the Gospel.
Please pray for the team that we are able to flee sin, in conversations may we be reminded of the truth of from where we came and by whose power alone we were saved, may our sinful roots and the power of God humble us that we might be able to preach the truth in love, with gentleness and respect.
Soli Deo Gloria!