On Friday night at the Gold Coast we had a smaller team than usual, but God was faithful as always and provided plenty of people to talk to about Christ.
In fact, one of the conversations that the team had lasted for an hour and a half with a man named Mario. He was raised Catholic and thought that his goodness would get him to Heaven. He had plenty of really good questions from things in the Bible, and he was explained the right way of salvation.
Please pray that God will soften his heart to realise that no goodness in him will get him to Heaven and that he will instead trust only in Jesus' sacrifice on the cross for his forgiveness. Mario said that he is a postman from Melbourne and he happens to know a pastor from a local Protestant church on his postal route and so he is going to ask him some questions to find out more. We also gave him a gospel of John to start reading while he is on holidays (he has a full Bible at home).
The rest of team had some good chats as well and were handing out hundreds of gospel tracts (in a variety of languages!). The Gold Coast is an such international tourist destination, that is really useful having gospel tracts in a bunch of different languages so that people can read the message in their own native tongue.
To God be the glory that His word has gone forth!
After praying together as a team, we set up our free Bibles table in English and Arabic, and then started getting into conversations with people and handing out gospel tracts.
There was a man named Alan who I noticed was listening to the preacher for the entire duration of the time he was speaking. Then later on, he sat down on a bench which happened to be right next to where a team member was sitting and so they got chatting.
Alan expressed how he is from the UK on a working visa but is leaving Australia in only a matter of days. He said that a few months ago in Perth a person shared the gospel with him. He has been thinking about what he heard, but hasn't done anything about it.
So last night, the team member was able to further explain the gospel to him and answer his questions. Alan said that he can't keep putting it off; he realised that he needs to actually heed the message. The conversation continued for over an hour and a half.
In fact, later in the night he returned and said that after the conversation he had just had, he called up the person who had witnessed to him in Perth and said that he wants to trust in Christ.
To God be the glory!
There were a variety of people that we got to speak to, including some individuals and even groups of Muslims. In fact, one of the team had an extensive conversation with a Muslim who was listening to the preacher as he presented the gospel using the sketch board and then he came up afterwards to us with some questions.
He asked, "If you get to Heaven only through what Jesus has done on the cross, why can't you just keep on sinning?" So I explained that if someone trusts in Jesus, they will want to turn from their sin, and if someone just wants to continue living life their own way, that is evidence that they are not truly believing.
After speaking for about half an hour with him, explaining about how Jesus is God and how forgiveness is not something you can earn, I noticed another person who had been listening to the preacher for a little while. So I asked him whether he would get to Heaven.
This man's name was Israel and he said he was a Mormon but has been living his own way recently. He thought that keeping the commandments would save him, but when I showed him how he (like the rest of us) haven't kept them, it led into explaining the cross. I urged him to count the cost, and repent and trust alone in Jesus' death on the cross to save him before it is too late. But I knew I had to tell him not to go back to his Mormon church.
So I said "Let's say someone comes up to us right now and says 'I have a brand new revelation from God, another testament.' Now we should check to see whether this new revelation lines up with the old revelation, that is, the Bible, right?" He agreed.
I continued, "And if it doesn't line up, it's not from God. Now Joseph Smith came a couple hundred years ago and said he has a new revelation from God, 'another testament' - the Book of Mormon. What we should do is compare this new book with the Bible to see if it lines up and if it doesn't, we know that Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon is not from God." He said, "That makes sense."
I continued, "Now if you look in 2 Nephi 25:23 in the Book of Mormon it says that you are saved by grace AFTER all that you can do, when Ephesians 2:8-9 in the Bible says in essence that you are saved by grace APART from anything you can do. That's a clear contradiction, isn't it?" He began nodding his head. It seems he had never considered this. He didn't have a Bible currently where he lives, so I gave him a New Testament to start reading. Please pray for him.
To God be the glory!
It was another busy night on Friday night at the Gold Coast for our weekly outreach there. We had about 10 of us on the team.
As I was driving to the coast I remembered that I hadn't refilled the box of Bibles for our free Bibles table, and so I thought that there is not much point in setting the table if we don't have any Bibles. But I concluded that I'll bring it anyway.
After unloading the car with all our other equipment, I looked into the back seat and I saw a box on there. I looked inside and it was a box of Bibles. Praise the Lord how He provides what we need! For in fact, every single one of those Bibles went out that night.
Throughout the night some good gospel conversations were had, including with a young man named Tom. He used to be in the US army and while being posted overseas his friends died in combat, and he feels guilty about it. So he says now he just keeps getting drunk to numb the pain.
I explained that all that does is mask the problem, it doesn't actually bring us to any solution whatsoever. The solution is found in firstly recognising all the sins we have committed against God and how for them we deserve hell, but then to look to Jesus who made the ultimate sacrifice for us, dying in our place for our sins.
Once we repent and trust in Christ, only then can we have our conscience cleared knowing that Jesus has paid the penalty for us.
We thanked us for the chat and asked for a Bible since he didn't have one.
To God be the glory for another wonderful night!
On Friday night we had an outreach at the Gold Coast and it was great to see many people happy to talk with us about eternal things. There were still a lot of Schoolies around, celebrating their end of schooling.
In the second photo you'll notice a conversation is being had with a group of guys who chatted with us for quite a while. As they were leaving, one young man in the group said that he wanted to stay around and keep talking with us. And so he did, even though his friends all left. He was under great conviction of sin and was very open to hearing the news of Jesus' death and resurrection for our forgiveness.
Afterwards, we preached with the sketchboard and God saw fit to draw in people to listen to the message. During this, there were quite a few questions that people asked the preacher as well, such as "Why is there suffering?", and "How can Jesus pay for the sins of a really bad person?", and "What about homosexuality?" This drew in more and more of a crowd to listen to what was being said, with the preacher answering their questions and tying it in with the gospel.
To God be the glory that His word is going out!
During our Friday night outreach at the Gold Coast, we noticed that there were already some Schoolies who had arrived, and so we had the opportunity to talk to a bunch of them about Christ.
They are some of the most open people to talk to, because they have nothing to do down there, they're at a crossroads in their life, and they don't have their parents around - so they have to think about the issues for themselves.
We had two people on the team who preached with the sketchboard and God drew in a crowd to listen to the message. During this, the rest of the team were handing out gospel tracts and getting into conversations, including with a young lady named Melissa.
After hearing the bad news that we have sinned against God and deserve punishment, and also the good news that Jesus died for our sins if we repent and believe, you could tell she was clearly pondering the message. She said, "I am going to have to seriously think about this tonight."
God's word never returns void! To God be all the glory!
We had a great outreach at the Gold Coast Friday night last week. It was wonderful to see that all the gospels of John on our English free Bibles table ran out by the end of the night.
We also had an Arabic free Bibles table set up, and so people visiting from the Middle East were able to get a copy of the Bible in their own language.
One stand out conversation we had was with two men who approached the Arabic Bible table near the end of the night - one was from Saudi Arabia and the other from the USA. Martin was the second man's name.
He said he was an atheist until a few months ago when he became a Muslim. I asked what the reason was for changing his beliefs. He said he was worried about death and about what happens after, and he had some Muslim friends who told him what they think happens after death.
He asked us the question, "There are so many religions in the world, how can we know which one is right?" So we explained how there are only two kinds of religions in the world - one kind that says you need to earn your way to Heaven by doing more good deeds than bad, and this encompasses every religion besides Christianity. The other kind of religion, which is only Christianity, says the only way to Heaven is by having a perfect person who can take our punishment for us on our behalf.
We asked, "If a judge in a courtroom accepted a bribe and let the criminal go free on that basis, that would be corruption, right?" He agreed. "In the same way, if God just ignores our sin because of something we offer him (like a good deed), that would be him accepting a bribe and therefore would be corrupt." He said that makes sense, and that only that latter kind of religion would work.
He had never read the Bible before and so he was more than happy to take a New Testament. He had heard from his Muslim friends that the Bible has been corrupted, and so we addressed his concerns by explaining that we still manuscript copies of the Bible in the original languages today from thousands of years ago, and we can compare our Bible today to the ones from then and it says the same thing.
Please pray for Martin as he considers repenting and trusting in Jesus for his forgiveness.
To God be the glory!
Thank you for praying for our outreach last night at the Gold Coast. The Lord raised up about 14 labourers to be on the team, which was really encouraging to see.
The wind was blowing a gale at the beginning of the outreach, and so we were having trouble keeping the resources on the free Bibles table. But as the wind died down, it was great to see that the Bibles were still flying off the table, but this time because people were taking them.
One of the conversations we had last night was with a group of young men from Indonesia who said that they were Muslims. They didn't think that they were good people - they considered themselves to be 'bad boys'. But they thought they would go to heaven if they merely improved their lives, since God is most merciful.
So we got to share with them how since God is a just judge, He cannot simply overlook our sins. We said, "Imagine if an earthly judge had a murderer standing before him and he said to the murderer, 'I am a very merciful judge, so I am just going to let you go free without any punishment for the murder you've done.' That would be unjust of him, wouldn't it?" The men agreed.
We continued, "God is definitely not going to be like that. For God cannot show mercy at the expense of justice. That is why we need a perfect person who can pay the penalty for our sin, and as a result, God can show us mercy." These men were beginning to see how this made sense.
So it lead on to explaining about how Jesus is the one who has taken the punishment for our sin, if we trust only in what he has done for us, and as a result we will want to turn from our sin. These young men were clearly thinking it through, and also counting the cost, since all their family and friends are Muslims too.
They were happy to take a gospel of John each to start reading. Please pray for them. To God be the glory for a wonderful night!
It was a wonderfully busy night last night at the Gold Coast. We had 12 of us on the team.
How exciting it is to see plenty of gospel tracts go out and see the team in many gospel conversations. To God be the glory!
We had 12 of us on the team last night at the Gold Coast. It was a windy night and as the night went on, the wind got stronger and stronger. So much so that the resources we had on the free Bible tables, which we have in English and Arabic, repeatedly were flying away.
But that didn't stop the gospel going out at all. Three people on the team preached throughout the night, while God brought in people to listen to the message, some who were asking questions and interacting with the preacher.
Meanwhile, the rest of the team were handing out gospel tracts and getting into conversations with people. In fact, one conversation that the team had was with a Muslim couple who wanted to know more about Christianity and they continued talking for well over an hour! The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few.
We praise God that He is saving a people for Himself from all the nations! To God be the glory.