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!
On Monday afternoon the team headed out to Capalaba, with the normal business of the school term there was a decent amount of people around. Praise be to God for providing people to be able to hear the Gospel.
As always Capalaba is the most interesting place we share the Gospel as all conversations must be walk up. You see someone sitting down and you ask them a question, similar to, "Where do you think you are spending eternity?" Or "Do you know the way to Heaven". And with a high chance of rejection, you curiously wait for their response.
We talked to a young man Lachlan, we have talked to him many times and he says that he denies Christianity based on a lack of evidence.
We discussed with him a range of different things, from Historical evidence to observed scientific phenomena and many other things, he said he stilled denied based on a lack of evidence.
We challenged him on how we interpret facts based on our worldview and how there are things that point to a young earth. He also said some things about the Bible and attacked its validity, the problem is he had never read it.
We have talked with Lachlan over and over, please pray for him, may God convict his heart, bring about knowledge of sin and bring him to repentance and trust in Christ.
Over the course of the afternoon we talked with three different women, Sky, Jess and Jenny who all professed to be Christians, the problem was none of them knew the Gospel, in fact they were still very interested in earning their way to Heaven.
We talked with then each individually and shared the one way to Heaven with them, we encouraged them to consider it as Jesus said the only way of salvation was through Him.
They had different levels of rely on works and were from relatively isolated communities.
Please be pray for these women, that God may use the Gospel of Jesus Christ to change their lives, to bring them to salvation and therefore allow them to preach the truth to those in their communities.
We talked with a lady named Hayley as well, she had a few different reasons to reject Christianity, she said she knows God exists but she decided to choose paganism because the Baptist Church she went to shunned her, rejected her and an deacon/elder abused her.
We were very careful in our addressing of the situation, taking with her that those things are horrible, they are wrong and the Church should not be doing such things but we also explained that we can't accurately represent God based on sinful man professing to represent Him.
We talked a little answering questions but in the end she had to leave, she heard the Gospel, the way of salvation, please pray that she will trust in Christ for salvation and be able to return to church.
We also talked with the usual apathetic people, who couldn't be bothered about Eternity, they were content living for now and whatever may come will come. Please pray that these men who don't care will be struck down with the fear of God in their hearts that their sin will be exposed as a disease and that they shall trust Christ.
Please pray for the team, that they will be able to continue to seek God and His Kingdom, being given the strength to deny themselves, take up their crosses for Him.
Pray that we have more labourers and that many are able to join the team preaching the Gospel, and that others who can't make it out will be preaching and the salt and light in their workplaces, their homes, neighbourhoods and at their sporting events.
Please pray that God may use the Gospel we preached to change lives for His glory and that many may be saved and therefore go out and also share the Glorious Gospel!
Soli Deo Gloria!
At Capalaba on Monday, it was a relatively quiet afternoon, there weren't to many around but by God's grace there were quite a range that engaged in conversations.
It is a very interesting location for evangelism as you have to approach people and ask them and talk to them on their terms, which makes for many people turning you down and also quite a few being pretty angry that you'd even ask them about what they believe.
I talked to a range of people, The first guy and listened and discussed the Gospel, he did admit to being a sinner but also said he didn't really worry about it all. I asked him about what he thought Hell was and he really didn't know, I explained to him what it is and he said it didn't really bother him because this world is pretty bad and so he said Hell couldn't be much worse.
We talked about the common Graces of God, things like rain, wind and sun, food, showers and beds and many more things that we take for granted and he still said it didn't bother him.
I asked him why and he said because of the things he gets to do now, it will be worth it. He wants to sin.
I then talked to a lady who pulled up lots of little problems, things like evil, and morality, like 'science' and other things. I answered her questions and she said she wasn't going to believe in God because she didn't want to.
I also talked to a young man (Jake), who I have spoken to a few times, he says he rarely goes to church, he was able to tell me the Gospel but he said he has plenty of time.
I challenged him by asking when he was going to die, and he admitted that he didn't know, so I asked him if he would consider eternity, there is no time like the present.
This week there was a previously angry older lady sitting next to a younger lady, I entered into a conversation with the younger lady and the older one actually joined in.
By God's grace they both engaged and were able to go through the he law, to hear the truth of the Gospel and said they would consider it.
I also talked to two young men, Jeru and Josh, they both admitted to being sinners but when asked about going to Heaven they both said they didn't want to go to Heaven on the blood of Jesus, they were either going to earn it or go to Hell they said.
It was quite sad but our pride is a big reason we don't want to go to Heaven.
Please be praying for the hearts of those who heard the Gospel, may they hearts be softened and made good soil so that they will desire to trust in Christ alone for salvation and serve God.
Please pray for the team that they are able to surrender to Christ, denying themselves and taking up their cross to follow Him.
Please pray for more labourers at this outreaches, may there be many people desiring to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the way of salvation with the lost.
Soli Deo Gloria!
At Capalaba on Monday there were not many around as the normal school traffic was gone, this meant there were less people to choose from but still, by God's grace we were not short of people to talk to, there were still many freely wanting to converse.
I first talked to a man named Brett, he had grown up in the Catholic church and told me that he was too sinful to get to Heaven, he said this had worried him and definitely made him sad.
I looked at him, smiled and asked if there was a way to heaven if he would be interested no matter the cost?
And he said definitely, I asked what he thought it might be and he said always being good and we discussed how Justice works that someone needs to pay for his sin and he got that I was meaning that there was someone but he didn't know who it was.
When I said the name of Jesus Christ he was a little surprised but I explained who Jesus was, God come as a man, perfect in every way without sin and who died the death we deserve.
He said he definitely wanted a saviour but just at this point his bus arrived, I offered him a Gospel of John and a tract and he headed off.
I then talked to a young lady, Dallas on her way to work, she said she never really believed in God, when I asked why she said 'science', we discussed briefly what science is and she said maybe God does exist.
I challenged her with God's law and whether or not He'd let her into Heaven and she admitted that she probably couldn't get in, but she also was still a bit skeptical of God.
I shared with her the Gospel and she said she would consider it but wasn't overly confident in it.
I then talked with a young man who pulled every single reason to not believe in God that he had, many of which contradicted each other.
He said, science has disproved God and we discussed that. Then he claimed that God couldn't exist because there is so much evil in the world, we discussed the problem with that claim.
Then he said God is immoral and hates people, and we discussed that. We continued in loops, me answering his questions and queries and problems until the point where he said, I can't believe in a God that won't let me do what I want.
And that was very sad he had the Gospel, the way of salvation explained to him numerous times throughout the conversation but he wanted his own way and to not be subject to God.
I also talked to two young men, Ryan and Kyle who both go to a Catholic school and I asked them what would get them to Heaven, they said their good works.
We discussed the law, and our guilt before God, then I asked them what could pay for that and they said works, which I then used the court room analogy, do good things pay for speeding fines?
And of course not, good works don't remove guilt. So then we discussed someone having to pay the fine and yeah they agreed, so I ask them who is paying your fine of sin before God?
They weren't sure, I said that the Bible says, the wages of sin is death, in the eternal lake that burns with fire and sulfur.
I said only two people can pay that, either ourselves or Jesus Christ and His work on the cross.
They said they want Jesus to pay for their sin! So I offered them the Gospel and we discussed the urgency of it and the importance of the surrendering to Christ as we don't know when we will have tomorrow.
Please pray for those whom we talked to, may God use the conversations we had about Him to His glory bringing many to salvation.
Please pray that the angry and closed off people who threaten violence or aggression will be convicted of their sin and turn and trust in Jesus Christ.
Please pray for the team as we continue to head out!
Soli Deo Gloria!