Gardiner Spring, "If you are the greatest sinner in the world, then you have the greatest need of Christ."
Thanks to those praying for this aspect of the fulfilling of the Great Commission, Mt. 28:18-20.
Acknowledging that 'the battle is the Lord's', we entered the Capalaba bus station expecting anything and so it was:
- A young homosexual couple wanted to know why God targeted homosexuals. This view was corrected and they were pointed to the fact that God holds each individual answerable to Him for the choices they make. Just as a heterosexual cannot commit fornication/adultery and be guiltless before He who is holy, so likewise, a homosexual can choose to disobey God or not. Regardless of where a person is today, by repenting of their foolish rebellion and trusting Jesus Christ to save them from the power, the penalty of their sins, such can ask for and receive forgiveness of their sins and the gift of never ending life.
- A young man who knew much about the gospel but now seems to understand it. He is challenged to close with the gospel offer today.
- An unusually large number of people who would normally say, "Not interested", took tracts and were challenged to read the Bible and find out about eternal life/death.
Praise God that He controls the affairs of His Church working all things for our good and His glory. We love Him who first loved us.
It was an encouraging afternoon of evangelism today in Capalaba (QLD). For after encountering a few people who were quite hardhearted, it was refreshing talking with a family who were very open to the gospel.
One of the daughters of this family, who is in high school, we've spoken to for the past 2 weeks. As it seems whenever she sees us she calls us over and wants to talk about eternal things. This has provided a great opportunity each time, not only to share the gospel with her, but also with whoever she was with each of the times. And today, she was with her mother and sister.
She called us over and so we gave each of them a gospel tract. We then got to share with them about the coming day of judgement, about our sin and also about the good news that Jesus has died on the cross for our sins if we would repent and believe.
They were very receptive, The younger daughter asked her mother, "Mum, can we get a Bible?" Later on, she then asked us, "Do you know where we can get a Bible from?"
So I ran to the car to get one for each of them. They were very appreciative that they could have one. The younger daughter then said, "Can we read it again after we have finished it?" We said, "Of course, keep reading it your whole life. You'll learn new things every time you read it."
Please pray that God would draw this family to Himself, including all the other people who heard the gospel today or received a gospel tract. To God alone be all the glory!
It was cold and windy at Capalaba during our weekly outreach there. One of the usual team members wasn't able to make it, but God graciously brought along two new labourers. So we had four of us in total.
It was great to see the team get into some extensive gospel conversations with the people waiting for their bus, some that went for half an hour!
After someone came off a bus that had arrived, I offered him a gospel tract and asked if he thinks he'll go to heaven. This guy recognised me, saying, "Did you know you spoke to me 2 years ago right here." I didn't really remember him but I asked if he remembers what we talked about.
He said, "I remember realising that I deserved to be sent to hell, and that I need to trust in Jesus, and then start reading the Bible everyday. In fact, after that conversation I started reading the Bible - I actually read half the Bible, but then uni got too busy and then I stopped reading it."
This provided then a great opportunity for me to recap the message with him, emphasizing that it's the finished work of Jesus' on the cross that saves us, and that we need to trust in Him alone, which will result in us then wanting to live the rest of our lives for Jesus. I also encouraged him to count the cost of following Jesus.
He was listening intently and my prayer is that he will come to saving faith in Christ. His name is Zac.
God's word never returns empty, to God be the glory!
Today we met for our weekly outreach in Capalaba. After praying together as a team, we started handing out gospel tracts and getting into conversations.
Occasionally we come across some of the same people week after week and get to share a bit with them each time. Yesterday, something similar happened when I got talking to a young guy named Ryan. I remembered I had spoken to him once before, but I couldn't remember exactly what his response was then.
So I asked him what he thought would get him to heaven. He said that asking for forgiveness would save him and doing good things. So I gave a courtroom analogy, "Imagine if you've broken the law in society and you stand before a judge and say, 'Judge, I have broken that law but you should let me go because I am very sorry, and that same day I also did a few good things.'"
I asked Ryan, "Would that work?" He agreed it wouldn't. So I explained, "Same thing in the sight of God. If we sin against Him, merely saying sorry or doing good things won't erase the history of our sins. That is why we need someone perfect who take our Hell punishment for us - that is Jesus."
I reiterated with him that it is faith alone in what Jesus has done that saves us, and nothing of our good deeds. But he wasn't so sure about that, he had some more questions about that, however his bus came!
He wanted to talk further, but said he won't coming by this bus stop on Mondays anymore. So I just mentioned to him that he can contact me through the website on the back of the card (which is www.operation513.com).
Later that night, I got an email from Ryan asking some more good questions about how he can be forgiven. So I have been continuing my witnessing encounter with him via email.
Glory to God!
It was cold and windy as the team met this afternoon for our weekly outreach in Capalaba. The beauty of this outreach location is that it's a great place to have chats with people as they wait for their bus.
One of the people I spoke with today was a young man named Kevin. He's a high school student from China, and over the past 3 weeks I have been sharing the gospel with him.
It's amazing how over these few weeks he has really opened up, from initially not wanting to talk at all, to now calling me over when I am in sight of him.
Today I wanted to see if he remembered the gospel I had explained to him. Unfortunately, he still thought it was his good deeds that would save him. So I spent quite a bit of time explaining the gospel in different ways to him so he would understand it. And by the end of our chat today, he appeared to.
I had given him a gospel of John last week and he said he had read the first few pages so far. I encouraged him to start reading the Bible everyday, and to help him get into the habit, I said, "Say to yourself: No Bible, no breakfast. No read, no feed".
I think Kevin got the idea as at the end of our conversation today, he said "No Bible, no breakfast." Please pray for Kevin.
There were plenty of other good chats that the team had today, so to God alone be all the glory!
As we shared the gospel today in Capalaba, the team remarked to me that there were a lot of people that they spoke to who were open to the gospel.
That was great to hear and I loved seeing the whole team in gospel conversations for most of the afternoon.
One man we spoke to was named Jake. He initially was quite resistant to the idea of God and brought up evolution and how he thinks people who are religious have smaller brains and so on.
Regarding evolution, I briefly described how the second law of thermodynamics states everything left to itself tends towards more disorder (that is, more entropy) - which goes against the idea of evolution.
But Jake disagreed about the definition of the word entropy and wanted to look it up on his phone. After doing so and realizing that he was wrong about his definition, it's like something changed in him.
He was really humbled and from that point in time he was very happy to hear from me what the Bible says. He explained that he became a Mormon about a year ago, and he was told he only had to stop drinking alcohol, stop drinking coffee, go to Church and pray.
But then they started requiring him to do home bible studies and help the missionaries and he didn't like that. Then they wanted 10% of his salary. Then his mum died and they wanted to baptise him on her behalf, even though she hated God.
That didn't make sense to him, and he realised Mormonism was a cult and left it. I explained to him how Mormonism is nothing like Christianity and about how salvation is through faith in Christ not of works, and so on.
He was clearly thinking about what I was saying. His bus came shortly after and he was happy to take a gospel of John. Please pray for him.
To God be the glory!
One of the best things about evangelising at the same spot each week means you get to encounter people who you have witnessed to before and ask them whether they have considered the message more since we last spoke.
There were quite a number of conversations like that yesterday in Capalaba. To mention one - Troy. I had spoken to him before and I wanted to see if he remembered the way to get to Heaven.
And he did, he explained that it's through trusting in Christ's work on the cross for our sins. But for him, he acknowledged he just intellectually knew the gospel and hasn't yet trusted in it or repented of his sin.
He asked, "With the distractions of life how do I ensure I keep thinking about God?" I explained that is why we need to be reading the Bible everyday. Just like we need to eat food each day to supply us with energy for our day, we need to have our spiritual food each day (reading the Bible) to keep our mind on God.
He didn't have a Bible and he asked if he could have one. So I gave him a gospel of John that I had with me. I challenged him to repent of his sin and trust in Christ, as there is nothing more important for him than where he goes when he dies. He thanked me for the chat, and I undoubtedly will see him another week, if the Lord wills.
We also had Gordon, Tai and Barry on the team today. It is amazing that God is raising up labourers to go into His harvest. These guys mentioned they had some good conversations and said they have some names they are going to be praying for.
Praise be to God!
We had 3 of us on the team on Monday at Capalaba for our weekly outreach there. It is a great place for conversations while people wait for their buses.
Sometimes we see the same people each week and can continue sharing the good news of Jesus with them. We saw one man who we see each week, but usually doesn't want to talk at all, but today it was a different story.
We were able to have decent chat about eternal matters, getting him thinking about what Jesus has done. Sadly, he seemed to want to just live more for the here and now. But he has heard the truth now, and thus will be accountable for it.
One young man we spoke to said he was a Hindu. We spoke of sin, the coming Judgement and how the only way to Heaven is through Jesus taking our Hell punishment for us on the cross.
After hearing it all, he remarked, "Christianity is more realistic, Hinduism is more imaginary." So when I asked when he was going to start trusting in Christ alone for his forgiveness, he said he wanted to right away.
I wanted to make sure he knew he couldn't just add Jesus on to his existing religion, instead he needed to leave Hinduism and trust only in Jesus. He said he understood that. Please pray for him, his name is Shevam.
To God be the glory for another great outreach!
It was good to be back at Capalaba yesterday, first time for the year, and God blessed us by bringing along a new labourer ready to share the gospel with us.
One of the team handed a gospel tract to a high school student named Edward, and he, for the next few minutes, was intently reading the tract.
I spoke to him and he said he used to attend a Catholic Church, but stopped going when he thought the preacher was twisting the Bible. He then went to Buddhism, but wasn't overly satisfied with it, so he said he has no religion now.
I got to explain the message of the Bible to him, and then challenged him to repent and believe the gospel. But he said he didn't like some things in the Bible. I asked him what in particular, he said "I do not like the parable of the prodigal son".
My mouth dropped in surprise as most people love that parable. So I asked him why. He said, "The older brother in that story gets a really bad wrap. I see my dad as the older brother who always does the right thing but never gets recognised for it."
So I briefly explained how the older brother actually represented the Pharisees and how the older brother didn't actually love his father very much. Edward said, "I want find out more about that parable."
Right then a great idea popped into my mind, I encouraged him to google "A tale of two sons by John MacArthur" - a good sermon series on the parable, as I thought then he is getting some good Bible teaching and hearing the gospel again. He said he would listen to it. Please pray for him.
There were plenty of good conversations throughout the afternoon. Glory to the God of all!
On Monday afternoon at Capalaba, it was fairly usual, nothing out of place, normal levels of people and completely full of people (the team included) who need the saving grace of God, most of the people just didn't know it yet. It was the team's privilege to take this amazing news of the Gospel, that Christ would die for us, despite our sin, to those who would listen and those who desperately need it.
As usual at Capalaba there is a number of people hostile to the Gospel, there are regulars who come to the bus stop at the same time every week who just despise God. Please be praying for these regulars, mostly elderly ladies who just laugh at God, they hate Him and if you even mention anything to do with God they will laugh at you or call you names.
Please commit these lost souls to the Lord, for we know God is the author of salvation and is sovereign over all who come to Him, please commit these regulars bus stop users to Christ as they desperately need the saving work of Christ, just as we all did!
During the afternoon the team talked with a range of different people, one of the more interesting ones was Frank, he was a man who claimed no 'subscription' to any major religion but was also very quick to point out that he reads the watchtower (Jehovah's witnesses buletin). Due to this, our conversation was very end times based, as the JW's take a very apocalyptic approach to eternal things.
Sadly Frank, was very scared about dying, all of the talk about end times made him very jumpy, in fact he actually had to check the conversation wasn't being recorded because he said, the government would surely kill him, if they knew how much he knew.
When the conversation became Gospel based, Frank professed His righteousness, he made claims about his own goodness, that he was surely getting into Heaven. But at the same time Frank was very scared of death, it was evident that he didn't really know for certain because his 'ticket' to Heaven was relying on himself.
As discussion was had about sin, but he was adamant that he wasn't that bad, he was talking continuously about deeds, about good works and was heavily misunderstanding God's wrath and mercy. By God's grace we were able to briefly cover the topic of Jesus Christ and Frank left with a tract in hand but he, like us all desperately needs Jesus Christ saving work!
Please pray for Frank, that he comes to a knowledge of His sin and therefore trusts in Christ alone for salvation!
Another discussion was with a guy named Jason, when asked about his goodness, Jason very quickly claimed to be ninety-eight out of one hundred. That is the highest, sincere claim of goodness that the team had encountered. A brief chat was had about what had convinced Jason that he was so good.
And Jason like us all, started listing off his works of righteousness. So we used the mirror that reveals the sinfulness of us all to show Jason that like the rest of the world, in the sight of God he was actually not good at all. The mirror of the Ten Commandments and sure enough, just like the team members, Jason had fallen short, in fact of all of the commandments he was tested against he fell short.
But there is a reason the law is important, not to prove our righteousness but rather our non-existent righteousness reveals our dire need for a saviour. That was the case with Jason, he very quickly was asking what could he do to get to Heaven and it opened a great discussion further into the fact that humans cannot do anything on their own strength to get to Heaven, in fact the only way is Jesus Christ, we were able to share.
Please pray for Jason, for Frank and for each other person that was talked to or came into contact with the team, pray that God uses these simple things to bring about knowledge of sin and therefore an understanding of the need for a saviour. Please pray that God leads these people to a desire to know about eternal things and allow them to come into contact with the Gospel!
Soli Deo Gloria!