This afternoon there were a team of ten out at Sunnybank. At this location, it is easy to split up to either side of the road and so the team were able to cover more ground and have many Gospel conversations over the course of the afternoon.
One exciting conversation was with a young man named Richard. He had some memory of the Gospel from a prior conversation and wasn't opposed to it but his family didn't go to Church and he didn't have a Bible. A short conversation was had with him and he was given a Bible. In the few minutes before his bus arrived he began reading in the Gospel of John.
Another conversation was had with a man named Mitchell. He had been spoken to on a previous week and shared that he had been going back to Church again. This is great news.
Sadly Mitchell can't read very well, so he was encouraged again to download an audio Bible on his phone. He said he will when he gets his internet connected at home.
A final conversation was with a young woman named Cecily. She had gone to Church in the past but had stopped going because it wasn't that interesting. When asked if she was going to Heaven after she died, she said she wasn't sure. This lead into a conversation about what God expects from us.
Cecily found out that God expects humanity to be sinless and that the penalty for our rebellion against Him is Hell. She said this worried her. Then she said, "Isn't God forgiving? Can't He just forgive my sin, if I ask?"
This is a very common line that people use. Many people think that God can simply ignore sin if asked. This is not to say that God isn't forgiving, but rather that God's forgiveness comes on the basis of His wrath being satisfied. The question was posed to Cecily, "How has God satisfied His justice for your sin?"
Cecily said she didn't know. It was explained that God will either satisfy His justice by eternally punishing her in Hell or that it has already been satisfied by Jesus Christ on the cross. It was also explained that all who trust in Jesus are forgiven on the basis of Jesus Christ and His work.
Finally the question was posed to Cecily, "Are you trusting in Jesus Christ? Or are you trusting in yourself?". Cecily responded, "I don't know if I was before, but I think I am now."
Cecily was encouraged to go along to a local Church and to become part of a local body in which she can grow in Christ-likeness.
Please be praying for Richard that he will fall in love with God as he reads His Word. Please be praying for Mitchell that he will start to find life in God's Word rather than just living from Sunday to Sunday. Please be praying for Cecily that she will have a transformed life in which she wants nothing more than to see God glorified through her actions!
In Sunnybank on Thursday afternoon the team took out three flip charts and were able to use them in having many Gospel conversations. These simple good person tests have been very effective in reaching people who would otherwise have walked on and it allows them to hear the Gospel. If you have the money to spare, you can pick up one from the online store and use it in your local area. (In the near future we aim to release a video that shows how the flip chart is done).
One conversation with the flip chart was had with a muslim woman named Mah. Throughout the lengthy conversation she declared that the god she worshiped was so big and so holy that he didn't really worry about sin. She declared that humanity was designed to sin and that the god she worships is so loving, that he can just forgive sin.
Sadly, Mah may worship a god like this, but this god is the figment of someone's imagination and not the Holy, Righteous and Just God of this universe. It was explained that God's Holiness and Infinite authority and power is the very reason that sin is so bad. It is the stature of God, that makes rebellion against Him such a problem.
It was explained that true humanity is without sin. We were designed to know God and be intimate with God, on the basis of being sinless image bearers. It was also shared that sin is what makes us unable to approach the Holy God, because sin is finally and fully against Him. Lastly it was stressed that God loves righteousness and goodness, which is why he can not ignore sin. Because he loves righteousness He must hate wickedness.
Mah, was then talked through the glorious Gospel, that God loves the guilty, vile and helpless. She heard that God doesn't come to save, "nice" or "good" people but He comes to save the most broken and wretched of humanity. This is what displays the depths of His love. He isn't just loving those who are easy to love but loves those who least deserve it.
At the end of the conversation Mah proclaimed that she didn't want or need a saviour and was happy to face God on judgement day as she was. It was repeated a final time, that any who stand before God in their own works of "righteousness" will be condemned as guilty and face God's eternal judgement in Hell. Mah said she was happy to risk it.
A second conversation was had with Tommy. This young man, shared that he was an agnostic on the basis of there being no "evidence" of God and that no-one can "prove" God. In response, it was stated that people don't have to "prove" God and neither has God tried to prove Himself. God, simply by doing things that only God can do and by acting according to His nature has revealed Himself.
It was about this point in the conversation when a "Christian" woman who had overheard the conversation interjected and "apologised" for such behaviour. Telling Tommy that most Christians weren't like this and that she wanted him to have a really good afternoon, rather than to be stuck talking about sin, God's judgement and Hell. The woman finished off by saying, she hope he knew that God loves him.
In response, it was pointed out that, Tommy was about to hear how specifically God had loved him and then be pointed to the only place where he can find forgiveness, hope and lasting satisfaction.
The conversation flowed a little after that but sadly this woman's intention to "help" out this young man displayed that she didn't really know the importance or value of the Gospel for salvation.
Lastly there was a conversation that was left almost in tears, not by the one hearing the Gospel but, by the Christian sharing it. Young Jordan stopped to engage. He wasn't and atheist, agnostic or of any other religion. He had an American heritage and was in Australia for a short while.
He thought he was a good guy but came to understand that we have all sinned. He heard of God's judgement and sentence for sin, Hell. He came to understand the depths of what Hell is and why it will be such an awful place to "live" in and why it is called "eternal death".
Jordan understood the call the Gospel made on his life, why God offered this hope to sinners and despite everything said, Jordan did not even bat an eyelid. When asked why, he said it was because he couldn't ever go to Heaven and therefore was going to live however he wanted. It was explained that Jesus' sacrifice on the cross has the ability to save any and all who come in surrender to Him.
Jordan said he understood this and then changed his reason, "I just want to continue to live my own way". With tears in their eyes, the evangelist pleaded with him to not choose Hell, especially when God so freely has offered forgiveness but Jordan was not moved, he remained resolute in his defiance against God.
Please be praying that Mah reads the Gospel of John she was given and comes to understand who Jesus is and why He is the only Saviour. Please pray that Tommy will be able to remember the Gospel from the conversation. Please pray that the "Christian" woman is convicted by the Holy Spirit about her apathy toward the salvation of sinners and the importance of the Gospel. Please come before our gracious and merciful God and plead with him to give Jordan a hatred of sin and a desperation for Jesus.
If you would like to purchase a flip chart to help you share the Gospel in your local area, you can find it here.
This afternoon as the team were at Sunnybank, there were many people whom God had prepared to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. These included, Christians who were encouraged, Mormons misunderstanding the Gospel and even an atheists fighting against it. This afternoon was fruitful and exciting.
One encouraging thing when on the street is found in speaking to other Christians. Many are excited to overhear conversations and will support you. When we as a team encounter Christians we often, exhort them to take a couple of tracts and share the Gospel with people they sit next to on the bus or train as they head home. We also then assist them by asking what they would share and how they would share it. This also doubles as a good way to see how they understand the Gospel. Across this afternoon, three of these encounters were had with Graham, Howie and Hannah.
One early conversation was had with a man named Daniel. He professed to know "all about Christianity" and has "been there and done that". When challenged on what he thought Christianity was all about, Dan said it was simply being good, living a good life and God will accept you. This question was followed up with another, "If Christianity is just about being good, what has Jesus Christ got to do with it?" Dan paused for a moment and said, "He has something to do with sacrifice".
And a third and final question was posed, "What does Jesus' sacrifice have to do with, us being good?" Dan wasn't sure. It turns out he had grown up as a JW, which is a religion in which one tries to justify themselves by works. When it was explained, that this was not Christianity, Dan didn't have much response.
He had some other attacks against Christianity, most of which seemed to be a flurry of attacks to avoid addressing the real elephant in the room, his failure before a Holy God. Sadly his bus arrived and he had to leave. Please be praying that Dan is given a hatred for sin and comes humbly to the Saviour.
Another conversation was had with Mitchell. Mitchell had spent most of his life on the streets but had recently started to get his life together and had been going to a local Church with some friends. During the conversation he was constantly getting distracted by his phone and wasn't being all that attentive. Thankfully at times he did pay attention.
Mitchell had been discouraged because his friends had all said they'd been hearing God speak to them and talk back to them as they prayed and he wasn't. He was encouraged never expect things of God that God hasn't promised.
It also came up that he struggled to read. He was encouraged to download a bible app that could read the Bible out to him. Beautifully it could solve both dilemmas, he could hear God's personal revelation and learn more about who God is, at the same time!
Mitchell seemed encouraged by this, he took a tract and headed off.
A final conversation at the end of the afternoon was had with a woman, one other team member had spoken to early on in the afternoon. Marissa, had some Christian-ish beliefs but had largely rejected God because people she loved had died. It was explained that God's intention is not spite or callousness. Rather, everyone has a time appointed for them to die, in God's good plan. The purpose of this plan is for His glory and the good of those who love Him.
Marissa, didn't really understand what it meant to trust in Jesus, so a simple analogy was given. She then understood and when asked if she was trusting in Jesus, now understanding what it meant, she said "No".
She was encouraged to place her total reliance upon who Jesus is and what He has done. She mentioned a few different things holding her back but these objections were answered and she understood.
Please be praying that Marissa, dwells upon the trustworthiness of God and stakes her eternity on His promises and work. Please pray that Mitchell is able to begin to trust God and learn about Him through the audible Word. Please pray that Dan may by humbled by God's Holiness and come in surrender to Jesus as Saviour and Lord. Please be praying that Graham, Howie and Hannah stepped out in faith and, in the power of the Spirit, declared boldly and clearly, God's offer of salvation.
This afternoon in Sunnybank the team took the flip chart and split to either side of the road. This enabled many people to be engaged and numerous conversations to happen.
During the afternoon, one side of the road had only one single lady waiting at the bus stop. This lady had previously been agitated about something but with the love of God and the desire to see this woman know Jesus, a conversation was started. This woman's first response, "Hhahhaa there's no such thing as Heaven or Hell," illuminated her position toward God and His Word. This was followed with the question, "What has convinced you of this?" She was stopped in her tracks. She had no answer.
This seemed to be an opening, so the question was posed, "Do you think God will find you worthy of Heaven?" Sadly, it seems as though this woman has some unknown history and at this moment she got quite aggressive. She started insulting and belittling the team member. The first response given to her attack was, "We're hear as sinners, offering the Saviour Jesus Christ". But she didn't stop and her language declined and her volume increased. When she finished carrying on she was left with one final line to ponder, "You may be able to scare and intimidate other people with your wrath, but on judgement day it will be God whose wrath is to be feared. Please turn to Jesus and find forgiveness and hope."
This woman soon boarded a bus. It is our prayer that this short encounter may be one she cannot stop thinking about until she finds salvation in Jesus.
Another conversation was had with a man named James. This young man mentioned that he goes to Church but when asked where he thinks he will go when he dies, his answer was, "I'm not really sure. I don't think about it". He said that this was because he just lived his life, did what he wanted and ultimately had assumed that would be enough for God.
Sadly, James was living his life thinking that God would love him for being good, whilst unknowingly defying God. It was explained to James that living according to our own standard and thinking that will appease God is foolish. At this moment, James' bus arrived.
Please be praying for both James and this lady, that they will ponder the short discussion that was had this afternoon and come to repentance and faith in Jesus.
This afternoon in the team was 6 members strong. This was a real blessing as we were able to cover two areas nearby each other and reach more people. The team also had two native mandarin speakers who were able to engage with some who had little or no English ability.
One stand out conversation was with a young man named Will. He has had some exposure to Christianity evidenced by his answers but for the most part was simply living as a pagan. He had a Chinese-Buddhist background but even that was more cultural than binding.
Will came to understand that God designed us to bring Him glory by obedience to Him but that we had instead chosen to worship ourselves by living how we want. Will seemed to struggle with the idea that God would punish "decent" people. It was emphasised that we're not good people who make mistakes, rather we are rebels who wilfully defy God.
This made sense and he came to understand God's judgement and anger toward sinners. Will was left to ponder the question, "Will I choose sin and God's wrath or will I surrender to Jesus and find life and love?"
Please be praying for Will and all those who took tracts, engaged in conversations or were asked a simple question as they walked past. Please be praying that God would use these encounters to bring about their salvation.
As you read the posts over the coming weeks, would you also consider joining the team if they have a team in your area: http://www.operation513.com/street-evangelism-teams/
At Sunnybank yesterday, God raised up a team of 8 of us for the outreach, which meant we were able to reach both sides of the road very well, handing out gospel tracts and starting conversations.
Two standout conversations - one person who was quite hard hearted and the other person who was very receptive.
The hard hearted man was a man in his 50s or so who said he is a Mormon all the way from when he was young. He was very familiar with all the teachings of the Mormon church, saying that God the Father has multiple wives and lives near the planet Colob. He said that Jesus and Satan are brothers, and that humans were never created but have always existed.
There were so many false beliefs to deal with, so we decided to focus on a main topic - salvation. He said that God would judge everyone one day on their works, and so therefore he interpreted from that that God will weigh a person's good deeds verses their bad deeds. We made the point that the Bible says even all liars will have their place in the lake of fire (Rev 21:8), that means even one lie is enough condemn us forever. And it would not be the just thing for a judge to let a criminal go free based on doing more good actions than crimes, neither can the good God of the universe do that.
We then brought up Ephesians 2:8-9 which describes how we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus and not by works, and he said that belief is from the devil. He then jumped topics on to the trinity saying that there can't be one God who exists in three persons, instead there must be multiple gods. What this man was saying really shows how different Mormonism is to Christianity and the Bible. And he wasn't misrepresenting Mormonism at all, this is what they actually believe.
He didn't want to believe what the Bible said about all these subjects and instead wanted to rely on the modern prophets of his church. So the conversation ended some time after that.
But not too long later, we had a good chat with a Chinese man named Roy who hasn't even heard of the name Jesus before or what He has done. We got to talk about how we have all sinned, deserve God's judgement, but that Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sin if we would come to believe. The evidence that we believe is that we will then start living a different way.
He asked a bunch of clarifying questions, even asking, "Why would Jesus do that for me?" We also gave him a gospel of John to start reading.
To God be all the glory!
At Sunnybank (QLD) yesterday, a team of 5 of us met to share the good news of the gospel with whoever came by. And across the afternoon, a few hundred gospel tracts went out and God brought along some a bunch of people who were open to talking about eternal things.
This included some high school students, some of whom did not believe in God, but quickly changed their mind when given the building/builder analogy. Please pray for Nathan who was very receptive and took a gospel of John to start reading.
Please also pray for Maverick who, after hearing the bad news about how our sin makes us deserving of hell but how Jesus volunteered to take our punishment for us if we come to trust in him, he said, "Today I will do that. This is a great talk."
He saw the importance of what we were talking about, and so he was encouraged to carefully consider what it means to trust in Christ (as Christ doesn't want half-hearted followers). He didn't have a Bible, so we gave him a gospel of John which he gratefully received.
To God be the glory!
PS: If you can, consider joining one of our evangelism teams: www.Operation513.com/street-evangelism-teams
"One sows, another waters, but God gives the growth" was evident during our outreach on Thursday at Sunnybank.
We talked with a man named Lee from China who was taught in school that there is no God by the teachers. And so he had never given any thought about God until he visited Hong Kong just before he came to Australia to study a masters at university.
In Hong Kong he encountered a man who shared with him about God and the story of Jesus, but he didn't become a Christian. Lee himself described that it was like that man planted a seed.
So when we met Lee on Thursday, he already knew there was a God and knew about what happened to Jesus (that ground work had already been laid), but he still didn't quite understand the gospel. So as we explained what Jesus' death on the cross achieved, he said, "Wow I have never thought of the story of Jesus that way before" in regards to Jesus paying our fine for us, satisfying the justice of God so that we can be saved.
He was extremely thankful and said that he would have to carefully consider trusting in Jesus for his forgiveness, for he knew it would change his life. Lee said he was returning to China in 3 days time since he has finished his study here. What amazing timing. We gave him a gospel of John to start reading, which he gratefully accepted.
Whenever we share God's truth with people, God will use it for His glory, and can send someone else who can further witness to that person to water the seed that has been sown. We are nothing, but to God alone be the glory!
God reminded the people in Sunnybank this afternoon of His promise to not completely flood the earth again by showcasing a massive rainbow. This was while the team was chatting to people about the only way of salvation, reminding them of the judgement day that is to come.
And God in His providence, allowed hundreds of gospel tracts to go out and some great in-depth gospel conversations were had. Including with a man named Ricky who said that he was Buddhist. The message of sin and grace was explained to him, but he said that he has to remain a Buddhist because that would be the way to respect his grandfather's wishes.
I said, "But it really matters that what we believe is true. If a person is told that it's fine to just run out on the road with your eyes closed, you'd hope that person would consider for himself whether that is wise to do so, because ultimately his life is at stake. In the same way, even though your grandfather's wishes may be for you to remain in Buddhism, if Christianity is true and by the time you die you've not trusted in Jesus for your forgiveness, the consequences will be hell forever - because God will have to give you justice for the sins you've committed."
He saw that, and came to realise that just trying to do better would not undo his past. He was happy to take a gospel of John to start reading to find out more about Jesus, having never read it before.
Please pray for him and all the others who heard the gospel today. To God be the glory!
The outreach at Sunnybank today went from one extreme to another. At one end of the spectrum there was polite conversation, then at the other end we had a group of drunks decide to start smashing the Free Bible table.
The afternoon began quietly enough with us handing out tracts and trying to engage people in conversation. One elderly couple walked past a person on the team and were rather hostile. Upon being offered a tract, the elderly man took it, and then threw it back saying, “I have a living faith in the Lord Jesus, which I doubt you have!”
I asked the man where he went to church and he identified a local Anglican church. I then asked, “Sir, I’m a Baptist Minister, why do you believe I don’t have faith in the Lord Jesus?” He seemed stunned and replied, “OH! I thought you were a cult!” The man and his wife then apologised, and informed me that they also attend a Bible study at a local Baptist church.
Then he said something that was truly sad. He said in 70 years, he has only ever been approached by Christians three times in public in order to talk about the gospel, but the cults had approached him many times. We all agreed that this shouldn’t be the case, and that more Christians need to take Christ into the public arena.
Shortly after this I was able to get into a good conversation with a Muslim gentleman from Sudan. He was extremely friendly, and was dissatisfied with those who follow Islam in Saudi Arabia and other parts of the Middle East. We chatted about the Lord Jesus, and then he brought up about the Bible being corrupted. In my pack I had a booklet that dealt with that topic, so I gave it to him and encouraged him to read it. He said he would, and we parted with a handshake.
During this time we had a group of white drunken yobbos come by. They were walking in the traffic and generally making a nuisance of themselves. When they saw the Chinese Free Bible table they began to overturn it and start smashing things up. I quickly stopped this, called the Police and then began to clean everything up. As they left the scene, a fellow Christian was able to give them tracts. Please pray the Lord saves them.
It was a productive afternoon with many tracts being handed out and conversations had. It was also encouraging to see that six people took copies of the Gospel of John in Chinese. May the Lord Jesus rescue many.
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