15th June 2008 - Open Air Preaching & Witnessing for Jesus
"Holy Holy Holy is the Lord of Hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory" - Seraphim before the King
The Majesty of heaven, ordained gospel proclamation all over the earth this weekend, and much was accomplished by His order. The hardening of men's hearts as His word was preached, and perhaps even the softening and drawing of some men and women to himself. God only knows, and God alone shall be glorified in it.
The Lord Jesus Christ, is my majestic King, the holy One of Israel, the glorious Saviour and defender of my soul. It is such a pleasure to serve him, and observe his hand at work where I was in the Gold Coast this weekend.
Within minutes of preaching, some Arabic lads approached, whose names will be protected for thier sakes. After professing average goodness in themselves, we began to examine the ten commandments of God together. After a few minutes, our first Arabic aquaintance, began to look around and seemed to want to leave, but he stayed with us, until it seemed to much for him, and he left with his friend.
Sometimes it is difficult for a preacher, when people leave before hearing the good news, but God is Lord, and will accomplish with His word what he intends. Shortly after a Seventh Day Adventist named Michael came along, and he took the good test humbly, and then admitted salvation was only possible by repentance and faith in Jesus alone. I stepped down and had a private chat with Michael. Snowy Barwick, began witnessing while I chatted to Michael.
One of Snowy's three young men that he was witnessing to, handed back a gospel tract, and laughed that evolution could be false. Since he stepped away from Snowy, I challenged him while I was sitting on the concrete block. He laughed and we began to chat, and shortly I was standing and preaching to the gathering crowd that God had called in. From this point in, things started to get interesting. All sorts of people started to ask questions, and challenge Christianity, to which God graciously answered all thier questions and refuted the false strongholds that exalted themselves against His holy throne.
The gospel was able to be preached during the apologetics session more than once, although we began to have some apparently devilish attacks during the preaching. A man with black sunglasses came in, and began to shout very loudly, slandering God and calling Him, wicked. He would not dialogue, and many people thought him to be a very angry harsh sort of person. The older SDA man, began to get very angry with the devilman, and things started to get very heated. While they argued angrily, I answered the quiet questions of a little asian women, who had drawn close to the preaching.
I decided to step down, in accordance to some advice given to me by a kind Surfers Paradise Police Constable, and allow the situation to dissolve. Almost immediately a tall man, whom I have nicknamed Smokey, started putting his finger in my face, and telling me that christians never listen to others. He walked off without letting me respond. May God bless him. I thank God for Smokey, because it reminds me how hard my heart was towards God before he changed me, and made me into one of his little children. God can save Smokey, because he saved me.
The crowd began to dispurse, once I stepped down, and thankfully the devilman having lost his opponent, also dissappeared. The Constable's advice was very effective, and I thank God for it. A number of people accepted gospel tracts, and I returned to chat with the older SDA man. Benjie the young man who had first argued evolution with the preacher, was sitting next to Mr SDA, and even helped hold my bible, so I could put my bag down and talk to this guy. Mr SDA didn't like what I had to say, and was quite mean in the way he spoke to me, but praise God for His grace, I was able to be gentle with him. At this point the SDA man, calmed down and stopped pointing at me. (He was quite an animated character for an older gentleman).
Just then two Senior Police officers interupted the conversation and asked Josh Mitchell, what he knew about reports they had received, that a fight was going to break out. My report of a man with black sunglasses coming into the open air and yelling loudly, and not talking being the cause of the problem was confirmed by Victor Barwick, and two old men who were bystanders to the event. We followed the advice of a Police Constable a number of months back, that if someone crazy or angry arrived near the preaching, we should just step down and let the situation dissolve. This we did.
A lady with her children, encouraged me to keep preaching the gospel, and gave her word to email and pray for the preaching ministry. She is was a lovely Presbyterian lady, whom God used to encourage me muchly.
May Jesus name be promoted high in the Gold Coast,
And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. Deuteronomy 8:3
It should not be odd to the creatures of this world, that the Creator would want to work in the field of his creation. King Jesus, works in the Gold Coast, just like he works in many other places around the world simultaneously, by His Spirit. He surprises me every now and again, with things I would not expect. A simple revelation that God is not an robot, neither one that must conform to our invention, of how He should work. Our God is a sovereign God, who reigns over the heathen, and uses the foolish things of this world for the promotion of the knowledge of His Name.
Jehoshaphat was correct when he said: "O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?"
I am glad that God took the foolish men from the world, who are now called by Jesus name, to serve Him on the Gold Coast. This week my friends, David Strachnan, and "Snowy" Barwick, were a wonderful support to the gospel proclamation, in the face of danger and arrest, and I am thankful for their labours. Snowy preached the gospel, and he laboured in vain for a crowd, but gloriously for Jesus name! He will improve with practise, under the Lord's blessing.
Today the fool of fools, stepped up to preach for Jesus, and God blessed the preaching with persons whom he desired to hear the word of God.
Brendan was a young man, who laboured under the law of God. Heprofessed that at death, one became a ghost and floated around the earth. His proof was his opinion, and yet he believed it, rather than God's word. After a while of chatting, he excused himself to take a mobile phone call, and James an older man began to interact with me.
I thank God for this man, because he really made things interesting, which built up the crowd to a considerable size for a good hour. James was by my estimation of Arabic descent.
James taunted and mocked, and tried to psychologically manipulate me to a position of uncertainty, but God gave me the grace and presence of mind, to continue refuting his arguments, and bringing it back to the glory of God, and His gospel. James was joined by a faithful believer in Darwin and the evolution theory, both men attempted to shame God, but God did not let the joining of thier hands go unpunished.
Smokey, our acquaintance, who frequently causes trouble for the preaching, said a few words, but left when I smiled and waved to him. I am really happy to see him keep coming back because, God clearly has some reason for making this one man come back to be near Christians who are preaching the gospel. I don't understand that reason, perhaps it is his salvation.. God only knows.
And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? Daniel 4:35
By faith, a small team assembled to preach the gospel, despite adverse weather conditions. The wind was cold and blowing quite strongly. Clouds loomed above. The Lord God however, is above all things. :)
Chris Rixon joined me this week, and together we waited for "Frosty" Barwick to arrive with camera equipment. He arrived with firm encouragement, and I stepped up to preach.
The area was cold and pretty empty, and preached for about eight minutes, before stepping down to talk to an Asian lady who was listening. She turned out to be from Singapore, and a professing christian. We chatted, for a bit, and went through the gospel message. Unfortunately she was unfamiliar with the teaching of John in the bible, regarding how to define a true convert of Christ's from a false convert who really belonged to the devil. May God help her understanding, for the benefit of those she influences in Jesus name.
In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. 1 John 3:10
Victor and I handed out tracts, and Mr Rixon began to pray for the gospel ministry.
A malasian middle-aged lady, with her children, inquired what my gospel tracts were about, and so I told her about the good person test. She was quite honest and revealed that she understood her sin was evil. The dear lady turned out to be another professing christian who understood the gospel very well, and true and false conversion. After sharing contact details, we went our different ways, and I was back to handing out tracts.
A young Asian man, with two similarly aged women was sitting idly about the normal preaching stage, and God gave me the opportunity to have his attention and present the gospel. Apparently he had been in church before, but he went because they served good food. His confession was that he left church, because he wasn't aloud to sin openly.
All three accepted "Are you a good person?" tracts, and read the ten commandments, while I showed them their sin. It was a nice chat, and he was quite a joker, but he began to be nervous and the girls seemed worried. I took them to the cross, and then urged them to investigate the claims of the gospel, since they were going to die, and it wasn't worth taking an idle approach to the end of their fleshly life.
After a short time, I was able to witness to two young men, who had heard me preaching earlier. One young man was British, who quite a firm believer in Darwinism, but also professed belief in God. The other was an Aussie, who made a few objections during my discourse with our British acquaintance, but mostly stayed quiet. What struck me, was how as the conversation progressed with British and I, Aussie seemed to get very unsettled. I think God let me spend about an hour with these two young men.
It was wonderful to have Chris Rixon praying, and God seemed pleased to answer his prayers, and aided me immensely in witnessing to these two young men. All their questions to my recollection were adequately answered, and a young girl who arrived later to join the men, even took a tract as well. To God be the glory.
Friends, if you study hard, but trust Jesus to use you, despite your weakness's, frailty, or lack of recall.. he can use you wonderfully for His glory.
I will pray for you reader, in Jesus name, that he might grant you boldness and understanding so you can represent Him aright.
For the promotion of Jesus name,
Today was a wonderful day, in which the Lord Jesus decided to give us freedom from police interference from sharing the message of the bible in public. It was a nice break, and the day was quite an exciting one for open air preaching, with interested crowds.
Tara was the first girl to respond by God's grace, and God used Tara's conversation with me, to draw in a small crowd, which eventually dissipated to some degree, at the moment the gospel began to be shared. After a while, as Tara began to hear the ten commandments, she appeared to be a little nervous, possibly because her sin was exposed. If that was the case she was more concerned that human beings knew about her crime, than God knowing, who created her. Such is the state of the human heart, we all have it, it's desperately wicked and deceitful above all things. Tara received a gospel tract, and shook my hand. She was a nice young girl, and I pray God converts her, before she gets too deeply immersed in the wicked ways of the world.
A little later, Keith Rochford, stepped up and as he was conversing with a man, the latter admitted to being an adulterer and a liar. As Keith began to expound on the reality of hell, giving references from the bible, a lady yelled out: "Isn't God forgiving?" Keith smiled, and deferred the question until the man seemed ready to hear the gospel.
Next Keith called out to another man who was present, and asked if he thought he was good, against the ten commandments. Not surprisingly he said, "Yes". Then, as the law was brought to his hearing, he said that he would be OK, because he went to a catholic school. Keith corrected his understanding.
Not a long while after, Keith began his short speech on the Evolution theory, Eugenics, and finally on Nazi Germany being the beginning of the logical conclusion of the Darwinian theory, in an largely unrestrained human being.
Shortly after a lady appeared, who was willing to take the good test. She was rather argumentative on each commandment. Amanda was her name. She didn't want a gospel tract. She sounded like she had heard the ten commandments before, and didn't like them. We all know, that thieves and murderer's don't like the law of the land, so we hope God gives her the grace to see her criminal activity for what it really is, before she passes from this world to the judgment throne of God.
Amanda left, but Riccardo (who had been listening), entered into conversation with Keith. He saw his crimes against God, but professed innocence. Riccardo knew of Jesus death, but professed "being good", was the way to be saved/forgiven. Keith preached the gospel to him, and showed that Christ was crucified for sinners (a substitutionary death), and raised the third day for their justification.
A group of lads in black came up, after that, and started to be foolish with Keith. One of the girls, had a pastor for a father. Keith walked one of the boys through the commandments. The daughter objected, "we all make mistakes! Are you going to hell, because of your mistakes?". Keith corrected her premise and understanding of the scriptures, and then turned to the boys, who kept swearing in front of ladies and children. He told them off sternly a number of times. These boys kept playing on Keith's words, and making fun of him. They all decided to leave, but the lad, which Keith was taking through the commandments, wanted to stay and listen some more.
The daughter who was attached to this young man, was professing to live with her boyfriend and be a christian at the same time. Keith launched into another brief sermon, on the hypocrisy of false professors who put Christ's name to shame. As the young people left, Keith preached the gospel home in their hearing. I believe the young man took a gospel tract from Keith.
I swapped with Keith, and by God's grace drew in another crowd, this time it was bigger than before, and the biggest social type crowd we have seen for a while. God orders these things for His own glory.
Sam a Muslim, who was quite self-righteous, but humorous caused me more than once to burst into laughter, for his jokes were quite funny. He tried to get off the charges of stealing and lying. He tried everything he could, but the Holy Spirit who was my safety net, did not allow his arguments to pass uncorrected. In fact his humorous arguments drew in more people, and gave me an opportunity to instruct the people who were listening, out of God's holy law.
Sam left after a while, he seemed frustrated, but pretended like he had won. It is childishness to trap someone for the sake of trapping them, and this I am not interested in. I was sorry to see him go, but I was told later that Keith has spoken to him before. So we might see Sam again in the near future, especially if God is drawing him to the Son of God for conversion.
Terry a middle aged aussie with no shirt, came in (he had been listening to Sam and me dialogue), and he also began to converse with me. I walked him through the law, but at the end he wanted to go. I don't blame him, when I first went through the ten commandments, I didn't like it either. Terry was persuaded by God's work in his heart, to stay and give me fifteen seconds, in which I presented the gospel. Terry thanked me and walked off, this time with the eternal gospel in his mind to think about. Terry seemed to have a softer heart than most middle-aged men I talk to. Please pray for all these people. I love the Gold Coast, and pray God would cleanse the whole place from crime, for the sake of His Son.
Keith Rochford preached us home with the gospel and a brief apologetics on religion versus Christianity.
An interesting note today, was that two police officers came over towards us and walked around where we preach, and both of them left without stopping us. I was quite happy, and pray God helps them to catch as many criminals as God is pleased to help them catch. They do a tough job, and we appreciate them for it.
David Strachnan joined us from Christ Community Church, and was a real pleasure, he is a nice young man studying at college. He had some good conversations with people around where we were preaching.
Snowy Barwick, filmed us again, which we were grateful for, and he had a good conversation with a young man immediately afterwards.
Thank God for you gentlemen.
May God get all the glory from His instruments, filled with His eternal mercy and blessing in Jesus Christ,
See you on the harvest fields, and please brothers and sisters, don't get sleepy when there is so much work to be done,
The young man mocked the preacher, as he kicked his legs out from the concrete pillar he was sitting on. His youthful voice sang out foolish questions, and challenged the authority of God's Word openly. Behind him a young lady from South America, was trying to hold back the tears, as the gospel of Jesus Christ was shared with the crowd.
A little later on, as the preacher counselled the young lady, two police officers approached. The young girl had tears pouring down her face. The preacher was asked for his identification, and then he was ordered to leave the area for twenty-four hours.
The young lady was not seen again, but God is sovereign and will complete his purposes, at his will.
Earlier on, the preacher was greeted by an old family friend, Mr. Victor Barwick. This gentleman, assisted the gospel proclamation, and encouraged the preacher.
Shortly, the gospel was being shared with many who had never understood the gospel correctly.
If you want to know why it was that the people stayed to hear the gospel, then you must first hear this audio:
Click on the picture to load..
The young people, who stayed to hear the gospel, began to ask questions. The preacher did his best, to understand the questions and answer them from the scriptures.
One young woman asked: "Where do babies come from, if it's wrong to lust?"
A simple answer prompted a stunned silence from the crowd of young to middle-aged people.
What happens, when you go with some boy or some girl, because you want to take them to bed? Is that a good basis to build a relationship upon? What happens when he likes another girl more than you, won't he leave you for her? What happens when you get old, and he sees some young attractive girl? Where is your relationship now?
Friendship is the basis of a good relationship, no matter what happens you will love your partner. When a girl comes along, he won't leave you, because the relationship isn't built upon lust.
Then the marriage bed is a precious thing, and one enjoyed by a couple determined to stay together, not matter what the personal cost. If he loses a leg, you will stay by him. If your face gets melted off, he won't leave you, because he loves you.
Time and again, the Lord Jesus brought different people to the preacher. It is a pleasure to serve him.
For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things:
to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
Greetings to my readers,
This week I would like to begin, by first providing a short video message, courtesy of Paul Washer. The title of the video is "You're Mean-Spirited, Proud, and Critical..". I hope you get something from this, as I certainly did.
It was such a pleasure to come back and put my feet back onto the earth of the Surfers Paradise beach front. Keith and I again, had the privilege to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, in a place where we had been banned from doing so, by the Surfers Paradise Police. We thank God for the precious right of freedom of speech, which the magistrate communicated to us, releasing us to share our opinions in the Cavill Ave mall.
To soften our disposition, from the worlds influence upon us during the week, we first determined to pray, read God's precious word, and witness one2one with the visitors to the area. Handing out a lot of gospel tracts, God granted us some conversations with some very gentle-hearted people.
Jim is a Pentecostal who I first got to talk to, he professed to be a christian, and had heard through others local to the coast, of our earlier arrest. It seems the local churches are aware of the light persecution that has been happening on their doorstep.
Shortly after, I met another gentle-hearted person who I will call James (to protect his identity), who is a Muslim. We discussed a number of subjects including:
Please pray for this man, as he seemed troubled, though he pressed his religion as much as he could. I pray God will open his eyes, and give him the unction to step out of Islam, and by God's favor enter into the promise of God in Jesus Christ. He was a nice young man, doing a fairly sophisticated university course of study, and he was quite happy to accept my bible, some tracts and the hope to meet for coffee sometime in the future.
God shortly allowed me to return to the site where I have been preaching each Sunday for the last two years, and I realised it was now close on three pm. Which was very late (we normally start at 2PM), and I was sorry to have lost the time for Open Air, but pleased that it had been used with a man who might well die, and perish without the gospel had God not put a christian in his life this day.
Keith Rochford was shortly freed from his chat with a few Universalists, and "Frosty" Barwick, began to film our labours in preaching for His glory. It's a blessing to have Frosty, as he faithfully provides legal protection in the filming, and he has a very steady hand for doing this work. He also does a good job witnessing with people. It's a real pleasure to have a well-trained gospel communicator on a gospel outreach team.
I beseeched God for courage and the right words to say, and stood up with a introduction which God was pleased to grant and use to draw in a small crowd of about ten to fifteen people. Mark was an aussie, who is quite a joker, and he took the good test immediately. Aussies frequently are jokers, and with some humour you can really see someone open up to talk about the serious things of God's reality.
If your from overseas, reading this report, and feel burdened to come to aid us in the gospel proclamation here on the Gold Coast, or simply are willing to step out in faith. It would be a pleasure to have you serve with us in the gospel!
Mark was quite open-hearted, which was a precious thing to see, and he accepted a gospel tract, "Are you a good person?", and walked off with his girlfriend, thanking us for the preaching.
I asked the crowd if there was anyone who disagreed with what I had just said. A middle aged aussie lady, stepped in with one foot, and said, "YES we are saved by God's grace". She clearly had some emotion about her, and it seemed that the preached had brought her under conviction. By God's allowance, I corrected her understanding of Grace. Grace means unmerited favour, and it comes only by repentance and faith in Christ. Outside of that, we are enemies of God. Furthermore it is God's grace that gave us Christ, and the gospel of repentance and faith in Jesus. Personally, and biblically none of us deserve another breathe of God's air, if God were to judge us by the ten commandments, on our own merits.
The lady walked off, but I pray the truth that was spoken would bring to become God's friend and a labourer in the gospel. I do hope she can forgive me, if I was a little too blunt in my presentation.
Keith Rochford stepped up to the "pulpit" and began to expound on the falseness of evolution, which had been breifly laid out by myself prior to his entree. He did a wonderful job, and shortly had a heckler, who professed to be a homosexual. He was a very good person by his own estimimation, and so Mr Rochford, began to walk him through the ten commandments, beginning with lying, and stealing, and so forth. He seemed to get a bit agitated by this, and was very squirmy; trying to escape the power of God's perfection against himself. Finally Keith cracked a joke to ease the tension, but he was offended it seems, and left the area.
Not too long, and another aussie entered the crowd, and after going through some more of the ten commandments, he stated his unbelief in heaven or hell, rather that when your dead your dead. Keith did a great job, of inquiring as to what evidence had convinced him of this. He had none, and was a little sheepish that his opinion was based upon the shifting sands of the imagination. He began to soften, and confessed to being concerned that if it was true, then he didn't want to go to hell. Keith then preached the gospel to him, and we pray God uses the gospel proclamation this day, to draw those he pleases to His Son, Jesus Christ who is blessed forever.
It was a wonderful day, and I can't help but say, how much of a pleasure it was to return here and share the gospel, especially amongst godly lovers of the Lord Jesus.
Thankyou to our team, who serve under my authority, and are faithful in the gospel. I love you all very much, and pray that God will bless you for your ordered labours for Him.
Until next week, pray for one another, that Jesus might get a big name in the earth, as we die to self,
For Jesus name,
Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry
(Islam and Universalism Quotes)
There was not a cloud in the sky when we met as the team met at the regular time of 1pm. There were 4 of us today, so we firstly read the Bible, and prayed. We then started handing out tracts and talking to people. At 2pm, I stood up to preach about judgment to come and the good news of the gospel. At the 30 minute mark, I tagged Snowy in and he did his very first open-air preaching. He did a very good job for a first-timer, he just has to work on projecting his voice so that it's louder.
I then preached for the remaining hour and a quarter, proclaiming the gospel to a rather large crowd. I had a number of hecklers, the first heckler actually had a Qu'ran and a Bible in this hand and he said, "These two books are the exact same." So I responded by saying that they aren't exactly the same; some of the stories within the two are similar, but the Bible has many things the Qu'ran doesn't, and vice versa. This man was also a panentheist, that is, he believed that part of God is in everything, because he created us. So I asked him, "If I made a piece of pottery, is part of me in that pottery?" Obviously not.
My next heckler was a man who denied that Jesus was a real person. So I explained to him that we have numerous historical accounts affirming his life and death. Four of those are within the New Testament, and not only that, we also have historical accounts by secular (non-Christian) historians that were around at the time. Regarding the question of what happens after we die, the man said we are all going to Hell because we have all sinned. So I said that is true that we are all deserving of sin, but then I used that opportunity to proclaim the wonderful news of the cross, in that God can remain just and yet still show mercy to save some.
About this time, I noticed that there were 6 police officers on the other side of the road walking towards us. I was expecting that they might shut us down or arrest us, like they did 3 weeks earlier. But they just stood there and listened to the preaching. In fact, even had a word to the hecklers that were being too hostile and swearing. One heckler while pointing at me, shouted to the police, "Isn't this a public nausiance?" One officer replied, "No, you're the one being the public nauisance." I discovered later, the reason why the police came over to us was because they were locked out of their station.
The crowd during the entire hour and a quarter was constantly large and many people got to hear the gospel. Please pray that God will draw people onto Himself.
At 4pm, I stepped down from preaching and noticed that there was a police officer talking to Peter and Tim. I discovered that he was actually a born-again Christian and he was very happy to see the preaching of the gospel going out in this way.
During the preaching, the other team members were having good one-2-one conversations and a lot of tracts went out.
To God be the Glory!
With all the regular Gold Coast team members unavailable to make it on Sunday, I thought it may just be myself there. However, thankfully, four others joined the team for the day - Kyosti, Ralph, Peter and Snowy.
So after some Bible reading and prayer as a team, we moved over to the regular preaching spot. However, there was man sitting on the preaching box who we had seen in the past. He obviously hated Christianity and so he was sitting on the preaching spot to prevent us from preaching. We tried giving him a tract but he immediately said, "All Christians are hypocrites. Please leave." So we just handed out tracts and had various one-2-one conversations for about 20 minutes until the man got bored and moved along.
After this I stood up to preach first, warning people of the judgment to come, but also explaining to them how they can be saved because of Christ's death. After about 30 minutes I tagged Ralph in to preach and not long after he had some hecklers who said that what he was saying is false because God doesn't exist. So Ralph tagged me back in and I explained to these gentlemen that there is logical proof for God's existence. The hecklers understood there must be a God, but they did not like being under conviction of sin, so they left. However, they came back later on and Kyosti managed to have a good one2one conversation with them.
After dealing with a number of other hecklers who had questions, I explained to the crowd why Christianity is the only true religion and what they must do to be saved. I then tagged Ralph back in and he preached for about 30 minutes, explaining the historicity of Jesus' death and ressurection, which lead into the gospel. Then he tagged me back in and I preached for the remaining 15 minutes we had.
Even though it was a bit quieter on the Coast today, many good one2one conversations were had, and a load of tracts went out.
Thanks to Peter Webber for taking the photos.
Sunday, 20 April 2008
Every part of me did not want to preach today. I freely admit that I was scared at the prospect of being arrested. But I also knew that we had to be faithful in preaching the gospel. Ryan and I were the only team members today, so we knew it was going to be some hard work.
Things got more interesting when we arrived to find that a big international surfing contest was underway right where we preach. At first I wanted to use that as an excuse for not preaching, since the noise would drown us out. But then God showed us His Sovereignty over all things!
A police sergeant walked past I thought I recognised him, so I said "G'day Sarge" he turned looked at me and said "You're Josh, right?" This was a shock, since a police officer knows my name. It was then that I recognised him, he was the police officer that arrested me last year on the Gold Coast for preaching. My first thought was "That's it! We aren't going to be allowed to witness." But the Sergeant was friendly, so I decided to ask him if we could preach. To my surprise he said "Go for it!" What a shock, the police that want to stop the Gospel gave us permission to preach it! To God be the Glory!
So we did just that, we began to preach. I was the first preacher up, and I began by speaking about the soldiers that died to give us the freedom we have in this land. It didn't take long before some hecklers opened up. First it was a bunch of British men, they were vile, and hated the gospel. Yet I loved to speak to them. Even though they were hard to preach to, I love dealing with those from the United Kingdom. We went back and forth on a few topics, and crowd began to grow rather big.
After dealing with them for a time, a ‘false convert' came up and began to heckle. I have dealt with this guy many times. So I opened up on him for not being a true Christian but rather one who lives in sin. This caused a few atheists to open fire, so I began to dialogue with them. They kept claiming that the Bible was full of errors and contradictions, so I handed them my Bible and asked them to find one. For the next twenty minutes the searched my Bible, then they pulled out a book by Christopher Hitchens, and searched it in the hope that they may find something to use against the Bible.
During this time I continued to preach and engage hecklers. The vileness of the crowd was sickening. While you come to expect it you never get used to it. A bunch of children were the worse. They were all around 7 or 8 and the language they were using would make you go into shock. They were cursing out God, and saying how they hated Jesus.
The crowd seemed to love them, so I used them as a launch pad into showing the depravity of man. They served as a perfect example on how we are sinners from childhood to adulthood.
By now my atheist hecklers had given up on the contradiction argument, and began to ask about homosexuality. The crowd caught there question, and people began to ask about it. So I answered it from the Bible, and provided the Scriptures that show it was wrong. I also stressed that God would judge the heterosexual as well for sinning, so they shouldn't think they are being picked on.
One young woman came up with a mouth full of curses, and then threw water over me. This started some in the crowd to throw stuff at me. One heckler threw a full bottle of water at my head, I was able to deflect it before it hit. Others just kept throwing random stuff, but if you ignore it they eventually stop.
I preached for about an hour, then stood down. Many in the crowd took tracts after the open air. But by far the coolest thing was this young woman approached me and said "Are you Josh?" I replied that I was, it turned out that her and I went to school together over ten years ago, and I haven't seen her since. It was an honour to be able to share the gospel with her!
Ryan then began to preach, and he got a few hecklers coming in who wanted to debate theology, and atheism. Ryan went to the apologetic realm and showed the existence of God. A few in the crowd loved this sort of discussion, and they wanted more. So Ryan kept on preaching the Gospel. After 45 minutes of back and forth he wrapped up, and we were able to hand out over 300 tracts in minutes to those leaving the surf competition.
Praise God for All He has Done!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Gold Coast Report this week is in two segments:
Keith Rochford's (2IC) Perspective & then Josh Mitchell's Perspective (1IC)
Firstly, Mr Rochfords Report:
"Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you" Matt 5:11-12.
Sunday 13th April 2008:
Team: Josh Mitchell, Chris Robson and Keith Rochford
Well Sunday was one of those amazing days when a Sovereign God allows you to stand firm in the Gospel, we started with a small team this week due to team members being away and Josh and I were back to back preaching while Chris worked the Bible table, Josh was first up preaching and started out with an interesting sermon on the reasons people don't wash which was quite amusing and he related it to reasons people reject God.
I followed up by preaching on humanistic world views vs. the Christian world view. I covered morality, ethics and human responsibility focussing on the illogical evolutionary position marketed at schools and universities today.
Then I went into the Law and Gospel and engaged a group on English tourists in the Law presentation. These guys were convicted of sin, and completely taken in by the Gospel presentation. They took Bibles from us, and were visibly impacted by the message of grace. These guys were very repentant, and we need to pray that God grants them Saving Faith.
Josh stepped up to preach again and people were buying us drinks and thanking us for sharing the Gospel which was really encouraging, but things took a drastic nose dive. Josh had started preaching to a group of Goth's, when a Police officer gave us a nice shiny set of handcuffs each to put on and then arrested us, we were taken to the local Police station, searched and all of our belongings confiscated and charged with 2 separate offenses. (This was quite interesting as I have been preaching in Surfers for over 2 years and have verbal permission from the local GC law enforcement)
After our arrest we were driven to Southport watch house and placed in a holding cell, I was then taken out of the cell. Josh meanwhile remained, and I began to be heckled by the Police Sgt on prayer. Then he asked if I would like to be placed in a cell with a child rapist, and see where my God is then.
I replied, "I would like that, if it can be arranged" and continued, "It's funny how we are all guilty of breaking God's law, and have no issues with that, but we are quick to judge others if the offense is deemed bad enough in mans eyes."
I was lead off to be fingerprinted and photographed, and shared Law and grace with the officer responsible for this task. He told me he was a back-slidden Christian (even though that's an oxymoron) and became very convicted. He really opened up to me and said his mum always spoke him about the things of God. I reminded him that if he does not repent of his sins and believe the Gospel he will spend eternity in hell. He said he understands and thanked me for being so upfront (he even said he could not believe that I was in here).
I was returned to a different cell than before and prayed for the Police officers and people that heard the Gospel today, until Josh joined me. When my brother Josh arrived we went straight into prayer and the Lord was quick to answer.
Others joined us in the cell and we were able to witness to them extensively (thank you lord) I can really say I felt only joy and peace in this situation, and I am so thankful to God for placing a man like Josh at my side to share in chains for Christ. Our ordeal was well worth it.
Christian's WAKE UP, stop living your life for yourself, and start sharing the Gospel Biblically. If you have the absolute honour of being persecuted for what you believe, REJOICE, our sufferings are nothing, sin is a terrible thing. Look at what it cost God, look to the cross of Christ, how can we sit here as Christians and do nothing?
How can we preach softened FALSE GOSPELS? How can we read our Bibles and not want to plead with people to be reconciled to God? If you have never suffered for sharing the Gospel, are you actually sharing the Biblical Gospel? How will they hear without a preacher? How will they know of the hope that resides in us? The Gospel is the power of God for salvation! Are we going to grow fat feeding on His promises while sinners are sinking into hell? I don't believe any true Christians will excuse themselves from there duty, if you are unsure read 1 John and examine yourselves.
Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself,
and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Luke 9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it:
but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
Luke 9:25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world,
and lose himself, or be cast away?
Luke 9:26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words,
of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory,
and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.
Josh Mitchell and I were then released on bail and met by Josh Williamson, Chris and Kyosti (hope I spelt his name properly).
Secondly Mr Mitchell's Report:
Sunday 13th April 2008
By the unmerited favour of God, through His vessels of mercy, His name was made known: Jesus the Saviour
Talk about open hearts! :)
We started out today with a small team of Keith Rochford and Chris Robson. I stepped up to preach, and launched into a short and sweet sermon, which got a few chuckles from those sitting nearby. Thanks to on the open air preachers from around the globe; I had an article on "Reasons I Don't Wash".
I preached the law of God (Ten Commandments), and then finished with the precious and powerful gospel of Jesus Christ.
Keith Rochford stepped up and began to preach, and as usual, a few drew closer to hear his British accent, and he began to show why evolution doesn't offer credible evidence, to undo the claims of the bible. He preached the law and the gospel, and stepped down to swap with me.
During our time preaching we had young and middle-aged people coming up thanking us, giving us water drinks and offering money.
I began to preach, and after a short time preaching, God gave me about thirteen darkly (gothic) dressed young ladies and a few fella's. They stopped and listen to me. I engaged them and we had quite a fun chat back and forth, during which I challenged them with a question.
Do you think you're a good person? Some thought they were good, some weren't sure, so I gave them a scale.. Hitler at one end, and a good guy at the other end.
One young lady said she was bad and loved Hitler. I responded: "You have affections for a man who killed millions of little children, men and women who were Jewish and then some?" She went quiet. But nodded and said she was a bad person.
So I gave them the ten commandment test, and they were open and honest. Towards the end, I asked them, if you died tonight.. and I hope you life a long life, but if you die, the bible says there is judgement afterwards. Would you be innocent or guilty? They all sang out in unison: "GUILTY!!!" Their voices still ring in my ears.
Just as they did so, a police officer crossed the road and shut down the preaching. A short time later we found ourselves in handcuffs and being marched to the local Police Beat across the road, which we have been preaching in open view of, for almost two years.
Our shoes and socks and belts were removed and all our personal items, and with cold feet we had to wait for a body search.
After that we were driven to lockup, its weird watching your car slowly get locked in by security gates, and then personally escorted into a solid security cell. I began to realise what prisoners feel like.
We were then held in a cell together, while we waited for more police. Keith Rochford was called out of the cell, and I was left locked in. He held a plate up, and was photographed then quizzed.
I had to wait quite a while in this cell, where everyone could watch me from the outside, so I just sang hymns and waited patiently. Being barefoot I was conscious of the stains on the floor, and couldn't help wonder what disgusting material had permeated the floor surface.
After a long while I was released from that cell, given a plate to hold up under my chin. I was told to stand in front of a red line and then a lady officer photographed me. Then I was quizzed on many things, including had I been taking drugs, had I been suicidal lately, etc etc. This was followed by being taken (still barefoot), to a big cold holding cell, and a heavy door slammed shut behind me.
I knelt and prayed, committing the police officers into God's hands for conversion, and then sang hymns waiting for my brother Keith to join me.
After waiting a long time, Keith Rochford was brought to finally join me. An older policeman came and marched me to the fingerprinting room. My fingerprints were taken, and the officer pointed out the tiny little sweat glands on my palms.
People, I was completely amazed at the tiny designed machinery that is even found in our hands! Praise be unto God! We truly are fearfully and wonderfully made.
After witnessing for a short period of time to this gentleman, I was taken back to the big cold holding cell, to be reunited with my brother Keith.
Shortly afterwards, the Lord brought us two more men to share with, and by His grace we were able to do it. One had been involved as a young man in the worldwide church of God, and since had been living a life of sin, and was feeling the earthly consequences of his actions.
God graciously allowed me to share with him, and show him that his greatest problem right now in the lockup, was that he was God's enemy.
He was surprised, and he inquired what I meant by that. This was my opening to share him the Ten Commandments, and how he was an enemy of God, because of his wicked works. He understood, and I pray, that if it pleases God, this young man might be converted and used for the glory of God, in the not too distant future.
Shortly after, Keith Rochford and I were released from the holding cell, and we were ushered out of the building having collected our belongings.
Please pray that God will use our time in lockup, for His glory, and that God's glory might be known well, through the witness he gave by through his unworthy servants.
For Jesus name,