On Wednesday the heat of summer came out to play, it was a cool 38 degrees, leaving people hiding in the shade. This meant that the team too were able to head to the shade and have many conversations with people.
The first conversation of the afternoon was had with a man named John. Throughout the conversation John shared a number of things about his personal life including saying, "I could never believe in a God who tells me who I love is sinful". The conversation continued about God's reasoning for the law as well as the main point for Christianity. John was actually gobsmacked at this, he had never heard the value of the law or the glory of the Gospel before and actually didn't have a response.
It was at this moment a lady sitting nearby, decided to chime in, "Mate, stop trying to force someone who's gay, to believe in God" She monologue for a moment about pushing beliefs on other people and how he obviously wasn't interested because God doesn't like people like him.
What was sad was that this lady, in her desire to "help" this young man had done two things, firstly she had assumed that he, a grown man, was unable to have this conversation on his own and he was so helpless that he needed her help and secondly, without listening she had assumed the content of the conversation and had stopped the Gospel from being fully explained.
John, a little intimidated by her, finished with a comment about not wanting to believe in God because he was gay and left quite quickly. The lady seemed very pleased with herself, she had won. Sadly in her ignorance, she had stopped him from fully understanding or coming to grasp the fullness of God's love for sinners and she had stopped him from hearing the words of eternal life.
Following this conversation two guys sat down on the same seat. They were tourists named JD and Miguel. Miguel didn't have very good english so JD did most of the talking. He shared about his background growing up in the reformed church in South Africa but how he had left the church and Christianity because, it was filled with people who were selfish that were trying to earn their way to Heaven.
Then, in one of the greatest displays of blindness, when asked, "Why do you think God will let you into Heaven?" he said, "Because I am a good person". He was the very person he had criticised his church for being.
This was pointed out, that Gospel was explained and JD was challenged to consider the Gospel. But sadly, he seemed blinded to his own sinfulness and to the hypocrisy of his pride.
Shortly after JD and Miguel had left, Brad sat down and he too was happy to chat. Brad engaged in a discussion about God and the way to Heaven but he too was thought he was too good to need a saviour. It was sad to see. He really struggled to comprehend the Gospel because he was so soaked in self-salvation. Sadly at the end of it all Brad left to head back to work, being quite sure that he would be fine on judgement day.
Cain was the next man to sit down and he then proceeded to try and avoid the real topic at hand by talking about robots and how that will change our world. It was pointed out that he was just trying to avoid reality by talking about things that didn't exist. He acknowledged this and the conversation continued.
On a number of occasions he tried to refer back to that idea and again it was pointed out as a rabbit trail to avoid reality, rather than a legitimate argument against anything.
Cain heard the Gospel, was surprised that it was all about Jesus' work and took a tract before heading back to work.
Last in this queue of people who sat in the same seats was Tamara. She was talking about how no one should criticse anyone else because everyone has their own beliefs. As soon as she finished sharing her own thoughts and ideas, it was pointed out that this idea is exceedingly flawed. People are not sources of infallible understanding or knowledge, therefore things we believe should constantly be shown for what they are, perversions and distortions of the truth.
It was interesting to see Tamara squirm as her idea was challenged and it was interesting to see that she really was unable to defend her position, rather all she could do was try and say it again, this time with a little more strength.
In the end, she declared that it was her goodness that made her right before God, she too was a "model" human being and therefore she did not need a saviour. She was so sure of this that she didn't want a tract and was quite happy to stand before on judgement day in her own "righteousness".
As you read these recounts you hopefully noticed that the universal problem for humanity is their own sinful, so sinful that they have convinced themselves that it isn't that bad and they are actually good. This is the problem everyone must be stripped of before they will ever see their need for a saviour. This is the reason for using the law in evangelism, it reveals the things about ourselves that we would really rather pretend weren't there.
Consider the people in your life, that are blinded by their sin and look for opportunities where you can declare God's truth to them!
Please also be praying for those the team were able to speak with this past Wednesday!
Brisbane Team (Night) (QLD)
Meets every Saturday night in King George Square 7-10pm.
Brisbane Team (Day) (QLD)
Meets Wednesday afternoons 1-5pm in King George Square (near Adelaide St crossing).
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.