The afternoon at Wellington was a typical Sunday in summer with plenty of sunshine and a nice breeze. Two of the team members were still away on holidays, so there was just the four of us. As usual the ladies headed off to the jetty while Ryan and I went to our spot.
For a rather hot day there were not as many people out and about, as we would have expected. So we chatted while we handed out tracts and we were saying to each other how blessed we are to live in this part of the world, when a bloke approached and upon handing him a tract he said "What's this all about?" I said, "It asks you if you are good enough to get to Heaven."
His reply was that this was Heaven right here, just look around. He thought he was good enough, and as he was starting to walk off I challenged him on what the Bible says is 'good enough' - you must be perfect (Matthew 5:48). The guy had to go, but asked for another tract so he could read it, so I gave him a comic tract for a deeper understanding of how sinful we are.
He shook my hand and continued up the path, when another couple walked past saying the same thing that Heaven was right here. Ryan asked them to read the tract he handed them.
Just before 3pm the ladies returned from the jetty and told us of a conversation with a young lad from up Ipswich way. He didn't think he was going to Heaven, but wasn't concerned about Hell. So they took him through the Law and explained how our sin separates us from God and, starting from Genesis, they were able to tell him of our history and fall of man by rebelling against God.
After a long chat with him, the ladies encouraged him to read the book of John and asked when was he going to get right with God, as none of us are assured of tomorrow.
Afterwards, we prayed together as a team and thanked our Lord for His mercy and grace upon us and for the privilege to proclaim His glorious gospel.
Rick got talking to an older lady who turned out to be Jehovah's Witness. She is very active in it, but didn't really know her Bible very well. She was advocating the idea that since the wages of sin is death, therefore no one will be judged on judgement day based on what they've done in this life, since they have already paid for their sin by dying.
So we shared with her some Scriptures like Romans 2:5-6, where it speaks about people storing up wrath for the day of wrath based on their actions now. She responded "You'll never change my mind!" So we encouraged her to be open-minded to what the Bible says and so she eventually agreed to write down these Scriptures we were mentioning to her to look them up later.
But she didn't have a pen. However, at that moment her teenage granddaughter turned up and said she would write them in her phone. She did this and then while Rick was talking with the grandmother, I started witnessing to the granddaughter who was an active Jehovah's Witness as well.
She had a lot of questions, like "How can there be a Hell if God is loving?", "What about the 140,000?", "What about the paradise Earth?" As I was answering her questions, I could tell she was listening intently.
At one stage, she mentioned how she believes the Holy Spirit is merely God's active force. I said, "Why then does it say in Ephesians 4:30 'Don't grieve the Holy Spirit?'" I asked her, "How can you grieve a force? Only persons can be grieved. That means the Holy Spirit is not a force but a person, one of the persons of the Godhead." She actually came to agree.
I then went on to explain how Jesus said in Matthew 5:48 we must be perfect for our whole life, but we are not and therefore deserve Hell. And simply trying to be perfect isn't good enough.
I went on to explain the gospel, and she was beginning to grasp it - that her witnessing, church going and praying couldn't save her, but only faith in what Jesus has done on the cross could.
I also warned her to not believe the Watchtower organisation, but only the Bible. For I pointed out that even the Watchtower themselves acknowledges that they have made false predictions in the past (like when Jesus would return), and so therefore they are a false prophet and shouldn't be believed. She thought that was a good point.
She said she would seriously think about what she heard and read those passages she wrote in her phone.
Afterwards Rick told me that the grandmother wasn't open at all to hear what Rick was saying, but Rick continued the conversation with the lady long enough so that I could talk thoroughly with her granddaughter.
Please pray for both ladies.
To God be the glory!
We had a few brief conversations before we had a close to two hour long conversation with a couple, Arthur and Lisa. It started off just talking to Lisa. She said that she would be going to Heaven because her soul is perfect. However, she did admit that she has sinned and she mentioned she believed in Jesus. I knew something wasn't right because of her answer about her soul being perfect.
After talking further with her, it turned out she didn't believe that God would punish anyone. She thought that two gods exist, one that is good and other not so good. She said that the Old Testament described one of the gods and the New Testament the other god.
So I asked her where she is getting her ideas from - she said from books that had supposedly been left out of the Bible. I knew straight away, she's into Gnosticism. It was an idea that was floating around soon after the time of Christ, claiming 'secret knowledge', and was responsible for a number of supposed 'other gospels' written (eg: Gospel of Thomas).
I pointed out to her that these 'gospels' were not written by the people they are ascribed to, but are later forgeries that came hundreds of years after the time of Christ. They are very different to the actual gospels, which were written not long after the time of Christ, by eyewitnesses of him.
Lisa wasn't comfortable with idea that Jesus bodily rose from the dead, for Gnostics say that matter is not good and ultimately our aim is to perfect our soul by ridding ourselves of anything physical. So we showed her Jesus' statement in Luke 24:39 where he says he has flesh and bones.
Soon after this, her husband Arthur came along and we continued to speak with both of them. We were showing them that there is a judgement Day to come and that God must punish sinners for their sin, unless they come faith in Christ - the only one who can take our punishment for us. We pleaded with them to leave their false beliefs and come to faith in Christ alone for their salvation.
I am very thankful that salvation is in God's hands and that even though they were very stubborn, they have heard the truth now and our prayer is that God would work on their hearts and draw them to Himself. Please pray for Arthur and Lisa.
The tide was up and so that meant less people were walking on the sand to King Island, which meant more people were walking past us.
We got to speak to a Hungarian man who spoke little English. But with the aid of Google Translate we could communicate with each other. He believed that God is everything and that all the religions are the same. After much discussion, we left him with the truth that Jesus is the only way.
Photo: This young man didn't believe in God, even after giving him good reasons, he kept rejecting it off hand. I went through the law and gospel with him. Eventually I asked him what is the real cause of his rejection of God, and he admitted that it was his sin that he loved doing. Please pray for him, his name is Joel.
The gospel went out again yesterday during our fortnightly outreach at Wellington Point (Australia).
I had a conversation with Maria, a mother who attends a Catholic Church with her family and has been doing so for 15 years. She thought had to be very lucky to get to Heaven.
I got to explain the gospel to her but I couldn't tell whether she properly understood it, and she said she had to go.
But the next chat I had was with her son (probably about 18 years old). His name was Isaac. He said that he wakes up each morning terrified that he knows he will go to Hell because he said he has sinned so many times.
He said that he knew that stopping his sins wouldn't get him to Heaven because he still has the history of them that God cannot overlook. He then said, "I need someone who is perfect who can take the punishment for me on my behalf". I asked, "And who is that?" "Jesus", he said.
He had managed to overhear the conversation that I was having with his mum earlier and that is why he understood he needed a substitute.
So I encouraged him to trust in Christ alone for his forgiveness. He said he would and he realised the catholic idea of works doesn't save and so he said he wants to find a good Christian church to join instead.
At the same time, Rick was able to share the gospel with Isaac's brother, Mickah, and he was quite receptive.
The people in this photo are:
Lachlan & Dilan - they attend a catholic school. Rick explained gospel. They were not sure of going to Heaven, one had a bible, other didn't. Listened intently. Encouraged them to read the gospel of John.
Please pray for all who heard the message. We have a great gospel!