Battle Log

Gold Coast Team

Friday, 23 July, 2010

Posted by Posted 1 August 2010, 3:23 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

Ryan preachingJohn preachingRyan preachingStatue man listening and someone else videoingGlenda witnessingBlake preachingBlake preachingTrevor witnessingJosh witnessingRick and Glenda witnessingAs we arrived outside Hard Rock Cafe at the bottom of Cavill Avenue, there was already a busker there playing loud music. So we had a quick time in prayer together and then decided to move more towards the middle of the mall. On the team tonight we had about 10 of us.

Last week at the end of the night we found a great place to preach, because it was an area that was not as open as the stage. So we moved there and I got up to preach and had a number of Muslims heckle me, however they wouldn't stick around for very long.

All the people in the restaurants across from me could hear the message, and a few of them began shouting something in response. It was clear they were against the message of the gospel. One of our team members over heard the restaurant manager call the police to complain about us. However, the police only came about an hour later. At this stage, John was the one preaching. He is a pretty good preacher, but he's not that loud. So that meant by the time the police arrived, the preacher couldn't really be heard at the restaurants at all. So the manager of the restaurant looked a bit silly complaining about a guy who wasn't that loud at all.

But the police went up to John and told him only to move along. We could tell that they didn't want to move him along, but they thought they had to because of the complaint they received. Right after this, we decided to move 20 metres down the Mall to another great spot that wasn't facing the restaurants. Blake then got up to preach. The police did return but had no problem with us being there.

After Blake preached, I got up to preach again. Quite a large number of Muslims gathered round to listen and asked some very interesting questions. Some of their questions and objections consisted of "The Bible has been changed!", "When did Jesus say that He was God?", "When Abraham was going to sacrifice his son, God provided a substitute. Why couldn't God provide a substitute for Jesus when he was going to the cross?", "If Jesus is God, how could He die?"

A number of videos of the interaction I had with these Muslims is below:

Ryan preachingThe Muslims were very appreciative that their questions could be answered, and said they would be back next week.

To God be the glory!


Friday, 16 July, 2010

Posted by Posted 20 July 2010, 12:17 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

Ryan preaching in Cavill AveJosh Williamson preachingJeremy preaching - hecklers pretending to bow downIt's getting to that time of year again, where it seems as though every second person at the Gold Coast is a Muslim. From July to about September, lots of people from the Middle East travel to the Gold Coast for holidays and so that is why it is essential to have Arabic gospel literature on you.

When we arrived outside Hard Rock Cafe, a busker was playing already there with his loud amp. So after a bit of fellowship and prayer together, we made our way to the middle of Cavill Ave. We thought it would be a good idea to begin preaching at the same stage as we preached last week.

Craig Ireland witnessing to bunch of people

I was the first man up, and started off telling a true story about something that happened to someone in the UK just earlier that day. Bekk let me know about it right before I preached. There was a lady in the UK who had been battling breast cancer for years and just today she had been told that she has beaten it. She would have been thinking, I've beaten breast cancer, nothing will be able to stop me now. But on her way back from the doctor's office, she ran off the road in her car and drowned in a river. Death came so unexpectedly. I told this story to show that death could happen to anyone at any time and that is people should be thinking about eternal things.

I transitioned from that to talking about how what we do here matters forever. And since we have all sinned, by breaking God's laws, we are all deserving of Hell. But I then spoke of the cross and how if someone repents and trusts in Christ's death alone for their forgiveness, they would be saved. I noticed there were quite a number of Muslims listening, so I stressed that Jesus is the only way to Heaven, and that in no other religion can a person have forgiveness of sins.

After I stepped down from preaching, a young Muslim man came up to me saying, "I have no problem with what you are doing, but you shouldn't say Jesus is the only way to Heaven. Because I wouldn't say to you Islam is the only way." I responded, "The reason why I say Jesus is the only way is because He is. That means that if someone dies a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Hindu or part of any other religion, they will end up in Hell. For example, imagine if there was a blind man walking towards a cliff listening to some music, would you not go up to him and warn him off the cliff ahead (even though he may not want to be interrupted from his music). I would, that is the loving thing to do. In the same way, the loving thing for me to is to warn you and others who are not Christians that they must repent and trust in Christ alone to be saved." The man seemed to understand my point. I then discussed with him why Christianity is true as opposed to Islam.

Josh was the next one to get up and preach. God has blessed him with a really loud voice, and so he could be heard quite clearly even at far distances. However at the end, Josh commented that the stage is not a very good spot to preach, because it is so open and so your voice doesn't rebound. He found his voice was hurting even after 15 minutes. Also people seem to think that they can't heckle when we're on the stage.

We then moved further down the mall, where it was less open and Yarran preached solidly for about three quarters of an hour. After this, Jeremy faithfully preached for about 20 minutes. Since the night was rolling on, he had lots of drunk hecklers. At one stage, a guy who came up to Josh while he was just talking to someone else punched Josh in the stomach. Then moments later he went up to Jeremy who was preaching and pulled him off the soapbox. Josh and I immediately went up to him to get him to stop pulling Jeremy and we told him to move along. Jeremy then got up again on the soap box and started preaching again. At one point, some hecklers even pretended to bow down before Jeremy.

The rest of the team did a great job handing out gospel tracts and talking to people.

To God be the glory!

More photos from this outreach


Friday, 9 July, 2010

Posted by Posted 17 July 2010, 6:14 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

Ryan preaching at Surfers ParadiseGlenda witnessingBlake preaching at Surfers ParadiseRick witnessingRyan witnessingRyan witnessingThe past two weeks we have been hassled firstly by the police, and then last week by the council. But in the end, both gave us permission to be there and do what we do. Praise God! So we were thinking that we wouldn't have to deal with them tonight and we didn't.

For when we met together for a time of prayer, one of local law officers from week was walking around with a different local law officer. That new officer was about to say something to us about us handing tracts, when the other officer tapped him on the shoulder saying that we were alright.

In our usual spot, a busker was already playing. So we decided to move up to the middle of the mall in a big open area and preach there. So I set up my soap box and started preaching. I had a few hecklers, mostly Muslims. One of the Muslims seemed a liberal, not even believing that Jesus existed! After showing him why it is indisputable that Jesus lived, they all got stuck on the idea that Jesus died on the cross. This is strange, because Muslims think that Jesus is coming back in the future and then He will die. So why they get all up in arms about Him dying 2000 years ago is beyond me.

The spot where I was preaching was fairly decent, with lots of people in hearing range. But after I got down, we decided that preaching on the permanent 'stage' was probably a good idea too. So Blake got up and preached faithfully about the cross of Jesus. As did another guy named Ryan after him.

After this, we noticed that there was a guy in the middle of the mall who had decent crowd around him. We thought he must be a busker. I decided that it would be a good idea to preach closer to him, so the crowd could hear the message too. As I was getting up to preach, the man in the middle of the crowd and the crowd too started moving towards me (probably heading past me). But as they were right at me, Rhoi wolf whistled and said, "Everyone, listen to this man" (pointing to me). Then I began preaching, and went through the good person test with the man who had attracted the crowd (he was wrapped in plastic). So this meant I had the man and all the crowd now listening to me. Praise God how it worked out! I was amazed. I preached about how there is a judgement to come, and since we have all sinned we need forgiveness that is only offered in Jesus.

Ryan open air preaching at the Gold Coast

This is a video filmed a little after that happened:

After it all settled down, Luke got up and preached a location further down the mall and almost immediately had some atheist hecklers. This was perhaps Luke's first time preaching in the open air, and he did a great job.

Luke preaching

To God be the glory for another great night!

More photos of this outreach


Friday, 2 July, 2010

Posted by Posted 17 July 2010, 5:32 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

Ryan preachingThis was now the second week having the Gold Coast team on a Friday night instead of Saturday afternoon. We thought we shouldn't have any problems with police tonight, after they gave us permission to preach last week.

It was a drizzly night, however there were still lots of people about. The good thing about the rain is that it kept the buskers away. So this week we didn't have to try and compete with them.

On the team tonight we had: Josh, Blake, Jeremy, Bekk and I. We began preaching the gospel and had a few hecklers. However, while Josh was preaching the rest of us were handing out gospel tracts and then two council local law officers came up to Bekk and I. They said that they have no problem with the preaching, however the handing out of gospel tracts they considered touting. I asked how that could be so and pulled up the Gold Coast City Council local laws on my phone, and went to the one that defines touting.

“tout” means to approach another person and publicise either verbally or in writing a business, commercial or trade activity. (Local Law 5)

So I told them that under the Gold Coast law, handing out of gospel tracts is not considered touting. One of them responded, "But I still think it is." I said something to this effect, "You a local law officer, and so you can only make judgement based on what is the law, not based on what you want the law to say." They said, "Look, get approval from the council to do it and then that will be fine. Then we can know you are not handing inappropriate materials behind our backs as well as these gospel tracts." I responded, "We have tried investigating it with the council, and other local officers we have talked to say it is not illegal, therefore it is not possible to get a permit for something that is not illegal. Moreover, how will getting approval stop the possibility of someone handing out something different behind your backs?" They couldn't really respond and just said, "We are giving you an order to stop handing them out or we will fine you."


I then let Josh know about what they said. And Josh thought it was the silliest thing he has heard! He wanted to go up to them and hand out tracts right in front of them, but they had already left. But a bit later we made a strolled up the mall, and found them in a restaurant. So we decided to hand out tracts outside the restaurant they were in so it would be hard for them to miss us.

They then came up to Josh and Jeremy and said that they couldn't hand out tracts because they thought it was touting. Josh said, "Really? According to Gold Coast law it's not. Go ahead and fine us, and we'll make sure to take it to court. They were like, "Na, we don't want that." In the conversation, they kept changing the reason why we couldn't do it - from 'touting' to 'people could slip on it if they step on it'. Then they decided to call their local law HQ, and they asked the person there about handing out of Christian literature. The person on the phone (who was loud enough to hear) said, "Handing out of Christian literature is exempt from the touting law." At this point the law local officers' manner changed dramatically and they began being friendly, probably realising that we could report them for hassling us and trying to make us to stop doing something that is not illegal.

We were very happy with the outcome, and so began handing out tracts even more fervently in the remaining minutes left of the outreach.

We have now received approval from both the police and council, so hopefully next week we won't have any hassles.

To God be the glory!


Friday, 25 June, 2010

Posted by Posted 3 July 2010, 3:20 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

Ryan preachingJosh and Rick witnessingTonight was the first time we have had the Gold Coast team on a Friday night. We made the change because more people seem to be available on Friday nights than on Saturday afternoons.

The car was packed as we made our way to Surfers Paradise for a 7pm outreach start. When we were trying to find a park, we noticed that there were a lot more cars, so once we finally found a spot, we had to walk quite a bit further to get to Cavill Ave.

Once Josh, Jeremy, Bekk and I arrived, we met up with Rick, Joel, Kyosti, Oliver and Blake. We firstly sought out the best place to preach. For our usual spot is not good at night, as it is not lit up, so not many people hang around that part. We chose a spot in the middle of Cavill, but then a busker decided to start setting up right next to us before we started preaching.

Ryan preaching

Jeremy witnessingSo we decided to go down to the bottom of the mall outside Hard Rock Cafe, and this seemed like a perfect location. For there was enough room for a crowd to gather, and there was lots of people flowing through.

After a time in prayer, Jeremy was the first man up to preach. He did a great job proclaiming loudly the message of the gospel. During this time, the same busker who had started setting up while we were at the other area came over and started setting up next to us here! So Josh went over to him to let him know that we got to this spot first and it wouldn't really work with both of us being here. He agreed, and then went to another spot.

Josh with a hecklerI then got up to preach and a bunch of young girls began to heckle. I asked them whether they thought they'd go to Heaven and they thought they would because they are good people. After going through the commandments with them, they realised that they didn't deserve Heaven and that wasn't good news to their ears. So some of them wanted to leave, but I was able to quickly get the gospel in before they left. Some of the girls returned later however.

After I finished preaching, another busker came and was starting to set up his amps. I went over to him and said that it wouldn't really work having both of us here at the same time. We told him that we'd be here till 10pm. He was only allowed to busk till 10pm, so we made an agreement that we'd stop preaching at 9:30pm, and he'd get a good solid half hour after that to play without us preaching nearby.

By this time, Josh had already started preaching. After not too long, Josh had a vocal heckler that was asking questions like, "If God is loving, why did He make Hell?" and saying things like "Since we've all sinned, we all deserve Hell, so why are you preaching?" Josh was able to repond to his questions and then start going through the commandments with him. But as he was getting to the gospel, two police officers came over and had a chat to Josh. They were wondering whether the hecklers were giving him grief. Josh said no. They said they had received a few complaints, but then said that there was nothing wrong with us preaching here. They mentioned that they could hear Josh preaching all the way down the street. Josh took that as a great complement. They then suggested to Josh to maybe lower his voice level down just a touch.

Thank you to the Gold Coast Police for giving us permission to preach.

Here is a video of the events that took place:

Josh and the crowdJosh preachingAs the police were leaving, Josh started preaching again. However, the busker then just started playing his music, way before our agreed time. So Josh had to preach at his loud voice level again to try and compete with the amp that the busker had. It was very hard to compete with him. And once Jeremy preached after Josh, it was very difficult to hear the preacher. So we decided to just hand out tracts and have one2one conversations until the busker left.

After the busker left, Blake then got up a preached the message of the gospel faithfully, even while having a few hecklers asking him questions.

It was a great night overall! Praise God for His faithfulness. Friday nights 7pm-10pm is the perfect time to have this team.


Saturday, 12 June, 2010

Posted by Posted 22 June 2010, 4:13 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

The Gold Coast team usually meets from 12pm-3pm each Saturday, but today we decided to push the start and finish times one hour earlier. The reason for this was that two people who join us on the streets occasionally at the Gold Coast were getting married today - Dan & Simonie. Congratulations to them both!

So at the earlier start time, we had Blake, Bekk and I who met together. After a time of prayer, we read from Ephesians 1. Since it was earlier in the day, there were not as many people about. However, soon after starting to hand out tracts, two performers decided to do some antics in our usual preaching area. This drew a small crowd of onlookers, and so we were able to hand tracts out to the crowd.

Ryan witnessing to angry manI thought I would take the opportunity of the gathered crowd to preach, so once the performers were gone, I stood up to preach. I started off by talking about the soccer World Cup that was coming up. Many people have been counting down to it for years. Some have bought flags, their team's fan gear, plane tickets to see the matches and so on. The broadcaster who won the rights to show the Wolrd Cup on US TV screens had to pay 400 million dollars for it. Yet while the World Cup is a massively-popular event, there are some people in the world who haven't been looking forward to it. And some may not even know that there is such an event. But there is an event coming up that no one will miss. A day bigger than the World Cup, that every one will know about it when it arrives. And that is the return of Jesus. I then went on to speaking about the Judgement that will occur at Jesus' return, the fact that we have all sinned and deserve Hell, and that Jesus died on the cross for all those who would repent and believe.

Bekk handing out tractsAt about miiday, Rick and Glenda arrived, along with Emma. This was Emma's first time out on the streets after only becoming a Christian not too many months ago. She did a great job for a first timer.

One conversation that Bekk and I was with two young ladies. When I asked them that if they were to die tonight would they go to Heaven, one responded by saying, "No, our souls will sleep until the return of Jesus. Then we'll go to Heaven." By their answer I could tell that they would either be Jehovah's Witnesses or 7th Day Adventists. They were 7th Day Adventists. They had no qualms in admitting that they live in sin and have no interest in turning from that sin. For they said that God does not mind them living that way, for God will let them into Heaven anyway.

Glenda witnessing to man on bikeSo I warned them that Jesus said a person must repent to be saved. They responded by saying that even though they are 7th Day Adventists, they are not born again. They said they plan on doing that later in life, and the way that happens is by water baptism. We pointed to them John 3 where Jesus says that unless a person is born again, they will not enter the kingdom of God. Being born again is not an optional extra, it is required. We then corrected their misunderstanding about what they think being born again is. It is not water baptism, it is something spiritual - where a person dies to their old self and comes to be alive in Christ and they receive the Holy Spirit.

Blake witnessing to some JewsBut they wouldn't have a bar of it. They expressed clearly that they had no intention of turning from their sin, and yet thought they would still enter Heaven. All we could do is warn them again about what the Bible teaches - that a person must repent and trust not in their baptism to enter Heaven or any other good work, but only the death of Jesus for their forgiveness.

Rick preaching the gospelBlake at this point in time was talking to two Jewish guys, and as the conversation progressed, the amount of people listening to his conversation increased. So he eventually had a crowd of people surrounding him listening in. Blake mentioned that some of them after hearing the gospel were very convicted.

Since I preached earlier in the day, there hadn't been a preacher up for a little bit. So Rick decided to get up on the block and doing some preaching. He did a great job in proclaming the awesome truth about Christ paying for the sins of His people.

During this time, Glenda got in a great witnessing encounter with a man who was riding a bike. She said the conversation went for about an hour and the man was very challenged and was soaking in everything she said. Praise God!

To God be the glory!


Saturday, 5 June, 2010

Posted by Posted 15 June 2010, 5:33 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

Bekk handing out tractsThere was not a cloud in the sky as Bekk and I made our way to the coast. Due to people having weddings and exams being on, it was only us two on the team today. Even so, the gospel still needs to go out and that's why we still do it. And the Lord had provided perfect weather for us to do it today.

All throughout Summer, members on the team had mentioned that it would be so good if there was some sort of shade structure built to cover the area where we usually witness. For last year the council took out lots of trees around the area because of the road work they have been doing, and so there was no longer any shade. But what has been happening for about a month now is one of the new buildings going up in Surfers Paradise actually blocks the sun completely from shining on the area where we usually witness for about an hour during the hottest part of the day. Talk about God being good! :)

Ryan witnessingRyan open air preachingAfter praying together, we started handing out tracts and getting into witnessing encounters. One of the conversations we got into was with three ladies. The most vocal of them was non-religious, one of them was a non-practicing Catholic and the other was just a Catholic. I was speaking mainly to the vocal one, answering her questions and explaining the gospel to her. She, after all that, said "I can get my Catholic friend to explain it me later when I want to think about this God stuff."

It is rare to have someone who is a Catholic who actually understands the Biblical gospel. So when I heard that her friend was Catholic, I asked her friend, "If God was to ask you why you should be let into Heaven, what would you say?" That question does really get to the heart of the issue as to what a person is trusting in to get to Heaven.  And to my surprise, she answered the question by explaining that it is only Christ's death on the cross that can forgive her sins. It surprised me that she answered that way, because that would indicate she doesn't actually hold to the Catholic Church's teachings. So I then focused my attention on the other two again, making sure they understood the gospel too.

I then got up to preach and spoke about the upcoming Queensland Day. I started off by talking about even though there are so many reasons to celebrate our great state, it is not without its problems. Even in Queensland, we hear on the news each night about people being murdered, things being stolen, people dying in car crashes, and so on. Death even happens to us Queenslanders. So we should all therefore think about what happens to us after we die. I then spoke about the judgement to come and how we have all fallen short of God's perfect standard. This makes us all deserving of Hell. But the good news is that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. So that if someone would repent and trust in Christ alone for their forgiveness, they would be saved.

Even though we were few in number today, the gospel went out. So to God be the glory!

Bekk handing out tracts Ryan preaching


Saturday, 29 May, 2010

Posted by Posted 4 June 2010, 5:12 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

Ryan preachingI woke up today to the sound of rain pouring down outside my window and I thought "Oh no, there won't be many people around at the coast today." But by the time I was driving to the coast, blue was covering the sky.

We had at the coast today Yarran, Snowy, Bekk and I. After having a time of prayer, we read a chapter from Galatians. Then we got stuck into witnessing.

One conversation that I had was with someone who had a cryptic shirt. After asking him what it meant, and him explaining to me that it was something sexual, I thought this person needs to witnessed to. He thought he was going to Heaven because he said he was a Christian. I was shocked at that, and so I asked him, "How can you say you are a Christian and yet you love doing the things that your shirt talks about?" He answered, "That's who I am, I like that sort of stuff." He then also explained how he gets drunk very often and yet knows God will forgive him because he is a Christian. So I pointed to him verses that talk about how drunkards and fornicators will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But it didn't seem to change his mind.

I warned him that he may very well be part of the number on the Day of Judgement that says, "Lord Lord," and Jesus will say 'Depart from me I never knew you, you who practice lawlessness" (Matthew 7:21-23). So I pointed him to the only way a person can have forgiveness and that is through Jesus' death on the cross. But if a person trusts in that, the Bible is clear they must repent. The man wasn't very interested after I told him he'd have to repent.

It was evident that people did stay away from the coast today because of the rain earlier in the day. Even so, I did get up to preach. I was encouraged to get up to preach actually by a non-Christian who works at a local shop. He has come out during his lunch break to listen to us preach for the past few weeks now and today when we hadn't started preaching yet, he came over and said he wanted to hear us preach. I had a few hecklers while preaching, and after answering their questions I directed the discussion back to the gospel.

Yarran, Snowy and Bekk did a great job handing out lots of gospel tracts and talking with people. I thank God for each one of them and the desire He has given them to share the gospel.

If you are in the Gold Coast area, why not fulfil the Great Commission by coming alongside your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and sharing the gospel with us? Please contact me for more information. If you're not in the Gold Coast, please keep us in prayer. Thanks.

Ryan witnessing Yarran chatting to a group of people

Ryan responding to hecklers Snowy handing out tracts

Bekk handing out tracts Snowy handing out tracts

To God be the glory!


Saturday, 22 May, 2010

Posted by Posted 29 May 2010, 12:23 AM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

Ryan witnessingI woke up this morning, and I was for an unknown reason thinking that I would speak to some Jehovah's Witnesses today. Lo and behold, the very first people I talked to at the coast today were Jehovah's Witnesses. How the conversation started was like this: I handed them a tract and said that on the back it asks the question, "Do you think you will go to Heaven?". They replied, "No, Heaven is not for us." With this response, I thought they could either be atheists or JW's. I probed them further to discover what their beliefs were by asking, "Are you religious?" They responded in the affirmative, explaining that they follow Jehovah.

I asked them who they thought Jesus was. "God's son," they responded. I asked, "Is he Michael the Archangel?" They said, "We learned about this two weeks ago, yes he is." I asked them what Scripture backing them could muster to prove that one, but they couldn't point to any. So I then went to Hebrews 1 - the chapter where the writer to the Hebrews confronts this heresy square on by showing that the things that were spoken of Jesus were never ever said about an angel. I pointed specifically to verse 8 which is God speaking to Jesus calling Him God.

Chris witnessingThese two JW's did not have their New World Translations on them (they of course render it differently in their 'bible'), but they were content with me reading the verse from the King James. They had no idea how to respond to that verse. Instead they just kept stressing that they think we are all following the same God and believing in the same Jesus. I had to point out that we don't believe in the same Jesus. They were shocked to hear this. So I gave them an analogy: The Muslims say they believe in the same Jesus as Christians, yet they don't consider Jesus God's Son, but merely a prophet. They obviously don't believe in the same Jesus as Christians. They agreed. In the same way, the Jehovah's Witnesses believe in a Jesus who is not God, when basically the rest of Christendom does, so obviously we believe in a different Jesus to the Jehovah's Witnesses. They seemed to understand the point.

Ryan preachingI then pointed out 2 John 9 to them. This verse talks about that if a person does not abide in the teaching of Christ (that includes who He really is), he does not have God the Father. So I stressed to them to make sure they check the Scriptures to see what it sees about Jesus. We then talked about how a person can be saved, and I shared with them that it is not by doing good works (door knocking, going to Church, baptism, etc) but only faith in Jesus' death on the cross.

We then had lunch together as a team. It was a great time of fellowship. There were about 10 of us on the team today, as quite a number from Christian Witness Fellowship came down to the coast today as well.

Dez witnessingAfter lunch I got up to preach, and started off by mentioning the successful voyage of Jessica Watson around the globe. I pointed out that even though this is quite an achievement, and it has earned her lots of fame and money, the fame and money will not last. Within 500 years it is likely that no one will know about what happened on the 15th of May 2010.

Jessica Watson may be an easily recognisable name today in Australia, but ask someone a couple hundred years in the future, and you'll find it to be a very different story. What's more than the fame and money not lasting, it's that none of those things can stop man's worst enemy, death. So I then talked about how each one of us will have to face death one day and so we will all have to stand before God to give an account to God on how we have lived our life. No amount of money is large enough to bribe God. I then talked about how we have all sinned (lying, stealing, lusting, etc) and deserve Hell because of it. But Jesus came to die on the cross, satisfying God's justice on behalf of all those who would repent of their sins and trust in Christ's death alone as the reason they will go to Heaven.

I had a few groups of hecklers, mostly young people, asking questions like, "Was Jesus married?", "How do we know the Bible is true?", etc. I responded to their questions, and then brought it back to the judgement to come and the cross.

The rest of the team did a wonderful job again today in all they did. In these reports, usually the many conversations they have and tracts they hand out don't really get a mention, as I simply don't hear about them often. But God knows about those conversations. And so please pray for the people that were spoke to, not only those mentioned in these reports, but even those that aren't. God knows who they are. I praise God for raising up more labours recently who are very eager in joining us at the Gold Coast.

To God be the glory!

Ryan responding to a heckler's question Ryan preaching to a crowd


Saturday, 15 May, 2010

Posted by Posted 23 May 2010, 12:17 PM by Ryan Hemelaar. Permalink

Ryan Hemelaar preaching open airMatt preachingYarran preachingRyan witnessingCrowdThe other Ryan preaching

It was another beautiful day at the Gold Coast and I was excited to be joined by Bekk, Yarran, Blake, Matt, Ryan, Dez and his wife. Also two Christian people from Norway met up with us, liked what we were doing and so stuck around for the entire outreach handing out tracts with us.

One of the conversations I had was with a man in his thirties who had no belief in God or the afterlife. His job was to put up signs. After showing him some reasons about why we can know there is a God, I knew that he wasn't open to the things of God. So I asked him whether he thought there was any ultimate meaning in life. He responded by saying, "No, we're here to just enjoy ourselves." So I asked, "For what purpose though? Those good memories you might have in your brain are simply going to disappear once you die. So living to enjoy your life is meaningless too." He answered, "I guess so, but that is alright." I said, "Is that not depressing? For just say you had the job of hanging up this one sign that no one ever saw every single day because every night it would fall down again. And that is all you did; it would take you the whole day to do it. After a number of months or even weeks of doing this one job every single day, you would be so frustrated and annoyed. For what you have been spending your days doing has had absolutely no meaning, it has had no lasting impact on anything. You would undoubtedly quit that job because it is completely meaningless. So in the same way why would you be content with knowing that no matter what you will do in this life, it has no lasting impact; it serves no purpose?" At this point I think the man understood frivolousness of his position, but for the purpose of his pride he didn't want to admit it.

After this we went to have lunch and had a great time of fellowship with one another. Once returning to our usual spot, I got up to preach. I started on Luke 12:15 - Jesus' warning against coveteousness and his statement that a person's life does not exist in the abundance of his possessions. For just in the news the past week or so, the stock markets across the world had had a massive downturn. Billions of dollars was wiped off the markets in a single day. I spoke about this and spoke about how so many people put all their trust in money for their security. So many live their lives with the main aim of trying to get more and more money. To get a bigger house. Or to get another car. Or to get a bigger share portfolio. But none of these things can stop death. And so after this I read the parable of the man who had such a great crop one year he decided to tear down his barns and build bigger ones, but that very night his life was taken from him. He thought he was secure; he had lots of food to eat for years to come, but he died suddenly. So I spoke about how our trust should be in God because there is a coming judgment. Then I went through the commandments to show that we're all sinners deserving of God's wrath. Then I spoke about Christ and His atoning sacrifice on the cross for the sins of those who would believe.

After I got down from the preaching block, the other Ryan got up to preach. It was his first time doing it and he did a very good job. He had a few people heckle him as well and so he was able to answer their questions. Another first time preacher was up after Ryan, and this time it was Matt. He too did an execellent job in proclaiming sin, Christ's death and resurrection, repentance and faith. And Yarran did a great job concluding the preaching for the day.

To God be the glory for another wonderful day of outreach!


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