At Sunnybank yesterday the afternoon had a low but steady number of people, we engaged a few as they walked past.
It is a place that has many different people, from Buddhists, to Muslims, to Catholics, to the JW's and Mormons, as well as the skeptics and atheists.
Over all it is a 'spiritual' place, many people think they will be getting to heaven on their own achievement, many people are somehow 'earning' they way into the mercy of God.
Especially the Mormons we talked to, they use many single verses, pull them out of the Bible and use it for the defense of extra biblical doctrines, a previous spirit world, a chance for Heaven after death, baptism being apart of salvation and many other things.
They use the same words as Christians but define them to mean different things.
There are a range of groups of Mormons around and we have spent time talking to most of them on a range of issues but they still valiantly as ever deny Jesus Christ's complete work but have to also show their faithfulness to earn salvation.
I also talked with a young couple briefly about the way to Heaven, they were saying that any God who exists should see their true intentions and let them into Heaven.
I asked them what their true intentions were and they told me, to love and serve people. I looked at them and went through the Law. Then I said why would people who's intentions are good do these things?.
They had no answer, sadly they had to run off before we could finish but may they think about and dwell on that thought.
Please pray for those who heard the Gospel, for the tract takers and those who read the sign, may God use our witness to save lives.
Please pray for the labourers as we continue to evangelise that we will remember from where we came and who our God is that saved us, so that we many humbly preach the truth of God in love!
Soli Deo Gloria!
At Sunnybank on Thursday it was a beautiful afternoon, we were given a display of God's common Grace that all people were able to experience His blessing of good weather.
There was only a few of us at the outreach, but the Gospel still went out, though we were limited in some forms by numbers, God is still supreme and sovereign over who we talk to, who will hear the Gospel and who will take a tract.
I talked to a young man first who was on his way home from school, he has almost finished High School and is excited about finishing.
I asked him where he will spend eternity if he was to die tonight and he said he wasn't sure. He thought Heaven but didn't know.
We compared him to God's standard of perfection and just like me, he too had fallen completely short of God's standard.
He said this worried him and started offering ways to fix it. But after we discussed the flaws in each of his plans he started to feel a bit helpless, having no idea how he could go to heaven or have his sin paid for.
So I offered Him the Gospel, the message of Jesus Christ and His salvific work offered in Christ's perfect life, death, burial and resurrection and though he at first wasn't grasping the magnificence of it, he still wanted to earn it after a little while he understood he could not earn it at all.
That freed him a little but I explained that saving faith will change you and you will want to honour God not to earn salvation but in gratefulness for what He has done for us.
I also talked to a young boy, named Josh who correctly articulated the Gospel, he knew we were all sinners, he knew that we can't do good to get to Heaven and he knew that Jesus Christ was the only way, by asking forgiveness for sin and trusting in Jesus Christ's payment for sin we can be saved.
And surprisingly he was able to very well articulate it, may this young boy grow up and believe what he knows!
Please keep all who heard the Gospel in prayer, for the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation!
Please pray that many more may want to join us! That local churches will encourage their congregations to go out and proclaim the Good News to the lost!
Please pray for the team as we head out around the area, that we boldly proclaim Christ and Him crucified in Love, sanctifying Christ as Lord so that we can give a defense for what we believe and present the Gospel accurately and without offense in the delivery but only in the message.
Soli Deo Gloria!
This afternoon in Sunnybank we had the opportunity of having a some new team members who spoke a range of languages, which was a blessing and we had people engaging with Chinese, Thai and Korean people.
A lengthy conversation was had with a young man who we had talked with before, his name is Tom. He is a professional gamer and has quite a number of sponsors and as a highschool student is spending a large percentage of his time playing this game and is really enjoying the money it earns him. He was challenged whether he would count the cost of being a disciple of Christ and put Christ first ahead of his video gaming and he replied with 'But can't I just keep Jesus as second?'.
Please pray for this young man as he is challenged to consider what 'dying to self' truly means!
A conversation with some local mormons was had, it was quite a lengthy conversation where they were challenged on their view of the infallibilty of scripture, what it means to be 'saved by grace, through faith alone, not of works', as well as being challenged with the truth of the Gospel, with the fact that Christ's atoning sacrifice is the only 'work' needed for salvation. They were against the fact that salvation can't be with Faith + Works but were sure that salvation required works. After a long discussion these two young men left still denying the singularity of salvation by faith. One young man was hearing the points and seemed to be considering them.
This week consider 'Elder Wood' and 'Elder Zou' and may God convict their hearts of their twisting of scriptures.
Around Sunnybank there are many mormons that spend the time talking to the locals and sadly are preaching a man centred, Christ + works gospel. Please pray that these Mormons will read their bibles and come to know the power of the true Gospel!
There were some wonderful opportunities this afternoon and a decent amount of conversations were had, please keep in prayer all those that took a tract, heard a snippet of conversation, were talked to or even saw our presence, please bring these people before God in prayer that they might be convicted with their sinful lives and may surrender to Christ as Lord, through repentance and faith!
Soli Deo Gloria!
It is really exciting seeing people seriously consider the claims of Christ and say they want to start reading the Bible. That happened a couple of times yesterday at our outreach in Sunnybank.
One extensive conversation I had was with a Chinese man named Carter. He said that he had just finished his university degree in Australia and is heading back to China on Tuesday. He knew that God exists. When I asked him why he is going to Heaven, he said it was because he is a really good person.
So I went through the law of God, showing him how we aren't good enough on our own merits to save ourselves, and explained how it is only through Christ's sacrifice on the cross that we can be saved.
Carter replied, "A friend gave me a Bible when I first arrived in Australia about 4 years ago, but no one has talked to me about God since. I have been waiting to hear from God, but now I think this is God speaking to me."
After initially thinking he had to just 'try harder' from now on to be saved, he came to grasp that all of our sins - past, present and future - were atoned for on the cross if he comes to repentance and faith in Christ.
I also talked with him about the cost of coming to faith in Christ. That Christ is not a mere add-on to our life, but that He should be the centre of our lives. We should love Him more than we love anything else.
He said, "I do not want to make a quick decision here. Because this is really huge. This will change everything. I need to seriously think about this and start reading the Bible for myself."
I love seeing that he saw that this is something he needs to count the cost on first. For we don't just want 'decisions', we want people to be converted. Please pray for Carter.
Team member Johnny mentioned to me that at the same time as this conversation, he was speaking to another Chinese university student who was about to head back to China after finishing his degree, and he was very open and had lots of questions.
To the King of Kings be the glory!
We set up the Chinese Bible table and a number of people took Bibles. It was great having Johnny on the team who spoke to those who could only speak Chinese.
One really good conversation that I had was with a young man named Bobby. He comes from China and is nearly finished High School. He thought he would be going to Heaven because he respects God.
He didn't know anything about Christianity and so after explaining the message of sin, the coming Judgement and the cross, he said he wants to trust in Jesus today for his forgiveness. He came to grasp the gospel and wants to submit to Christ.
I got his number and have asked a local pastor who lives near where he lives to disciple him. Please pray for Bobby.
Glory to God!
One of the most encouraging things from today's outreach at Sunnybank was chatting again to a Chinese man whose English name is Butters.
Just over a month ago (see 11th June report), we met him at Sunnybank and on the day we met him he said that one day earlier he saw us preaching in Queen St Mall and even showed us a picture he took of us preaching. Being a university student from mainland China who had only been in Australia for several months, he said he was an atheist. After a bit of discussion, he came to acknowledge the existence of God and after hearing the gospel, said that he wanted to trust in Jesus that day.
Now a month and a half later, it was great to catch up with him and see how he was going. He said he has been reading the gospel of John that we gave him and said he wants to get the rest of the Bible too. He has a hunger for the word of God, and still has a good grasp of the gospel.
Today, I had Johnny along with me to help evangelise, and glory to God, Johnny knows Chinese! So he spent over an hour explaining to Butters further from the Bible in Chinese. Johnny commented that Butters was listening really intently to everything he was saying. We are going to continue disciple Butters in the coming weeks.
God's word never returns void!
It was a great afternoon in Sunnybank. Throughout the day we were able to hand out many tracts, and also witness to quite a few people.
The highlight for me was running out of Chinese Bibles as people showed their hunger for the Word of God.
Please pray for all those who heard the Good News.
Thank-you to all those who prayed for us today as we ministered in Sunnybank. We were able to set up the Chinese Bible table, and we were pleased to see that native Chinese speakers availed themselves to the Scripture and literature.
Our hope is that this table will be used to reach those who speak little, or no English.
Throughout the afternoon we were able to have many talks to people, and distribute quite a number of tracts. In particular, I spoke to one man who identified himself as an English gentlemen, however, by his unkept appearance, poor hygiene, and bad manners it was clear that he was no gentleman.
This man declared that he was a man of evidence, and that he carried Heaven around with him. He also maintained that whatever you believe to be true is true.
I challenged his worldview and then asked if he had any evidence to support his claims. He admitted that he had no evidence. The conversation was rather difficult, but I did manage to present Christ to him. Sadly, this English gentleman responded by yelling out "Hail Satan!" as he walked away.
Please pray for all those that we spoke to today. May God's kindness lead them all to repentance.
After a week of rainy days, it was good to experience warm sunny weather on Thursday at our weekly outreach at Sunnybank (QLD).
One of the first conversations I had was with an elderly man who attends a Uniting church. After asking him why he would be let into Heaven, he quoted John 3:16 to me.
But then after probing a bit deeper into what he believed it turned out he denied the fact that Jesus died on the cross or experienced any suffering whatsoever. Instead this man said he picks out the nice things of the Bible and only believes them.
So I spent a bit of time explaining how Jesus said he came to give His life as a ransom for many, and that forgiveness is available only because He died. But not long after, his bus arrived. However it is my prayer that this elderly man would seriously consider what he heard.
I then got into a conversation with a high school student named George. He didn't believe in God, but soon conceded that he would be happy to believe in a deistic God - that is, one that doesn't tell him how to live. I could tell then that it was a love of sin that was the reason for this young man's rejection of God.
But he had a lot of questions. So I spent the next two hours reasoning and sharing the gospel with him. Please pray that God would convict him and save him.
Meanwhile, George's friend named Taneegee was listening for most of the conversation and so after speaking with George I turned my attention to Taneegee. He said he goes to a True Jesus Church, where they don't believe in the Trinity and instead think that God simply takes different forms at different times. So I asked him, "Who was Jesus praying to on the cross?" He couldn't respond.
The discussion went on to about how we are saved, and Taneegee thought it was baptism that saved him. I showed him Ephesians 2:8-9 and a few other Scriptures - that it is only by faith alone in Jesus alone that we can be saved. He said he is going to go home and study the Scriptures I showed him and come back to chat with us another day. This discussion with Taneegee actually helped George who was still listening, as from this he appeared to come to grasp the relationship between faith and works.
During this time, team member Col was handing out hundreds of gospel tracts to all the people getting off at the bus stop.
It was another very worthwhile day sharing the glorious gospel. Soli Deo Gloria!
God's providence was on full display today in Sunnybank! At the commencement of our outreach we offered a tract to a Chinese gentleman who was walking by; he took the tract then looked us. As he looked towards us a expression of shock crossed his faith, he said, "You were preaching Queen Street yesterday!"
This man had stopped to listen to me preach on Wednesday, and he even took a picture of me preaching. Now, 24 hours later Ryan and I were able to talk to him in Sunnybank. The background of this man was atheistic; he had grown up in mainland China so that was all he was taught. However, after talking to him his atheism soon crumbled.
He listened intently to the Gospel as we shared it with him; and before he left he said nothing was going to stop him from repenting. He took a Chinese Gospel of John from us, and also a tract in his language. Please pray for this man.
Today, was also the first time we tested out our new Chinese literature table. We were able to set it up between the rain showers. The purpose of this table is to help reach the Chinese speakers of the community. I can't speak Chinese, but I can offer material in their language. One elderly lady came by and took a Bible. The smile on her face was priceless. There is something special about being able to read the Bible in your own tongue.
Despite the rain many great conversations were had, and many tracts handed out. Please pray for all those we encountered.