On Friday at the Gold Coast the team was able to head out and engage in conversation with the last of the NSW Schoolies as they weren't quite finished their week. This enabled for lots of conversations as the teenagers are usually more open to talk, often because they love their own opinions more. Thankfully, as is clearly the case for all the Christians on the globe, God can overcome the most proud of sinners. He can change the hardest heart and make it new.
An older man early on stopped to talk about the way to Heaven. He first declared he was a really good guy and that God would let him in. Then when Jesus was quoted, regarding the perfection God requires he said, "I am gay, so it doesn't matter how good I am". It was quickly explained that his biggest problem was not his homosexuality, rather, his entire life, just as everyone else's has been an exercise in sinful self-indulgence against God.
Our biggest problem is that God must punish sin, all sin and rebels will not escape the judgement. It was also explained that God has made a way for sinners to be saved, so that all who trust in Him can be forgiven on the basis of His sacrifice for sin.
Sadly this man, heard all this and said he wasn't interested in talking anymore. It was almost as if, he wasn't interested in the Gospel, he just wanted a "fight" and when he didn't get one, he left.
Soon after this a couple Jerry and Elise walked past, when asked, "Will God let you into Heaven when you die?" they said, "We were just discussing this today and concluded that there is nothing after death".
Thankfully this opened a discussion about God the Creator who showed His existence by making a world and then by doing things in it, that only God can do. After a few simple apologetics, the Gospel was explained. Starting with the bad news of sin and finishing with the command from Jesus to repent or perish.
This couple, was left with an understanding of the Gospel and were challenged to count the cost and to turn and trust in Christ alone for salvation.
One lengthy and sanctifying conversation was had with three young men Jayden, Denver and Reese. What made it hard was that Jasper, a drunk guy, was constantly interrupting, not listening and being quite rude with his talk. But despite this, over the course of forty minutes, Jayden, Denver and Reese listened. At first Reese didn't believe in God and the other two thought their goodness would get them to Heaven.
The conversation was lead from Creation, through the fall, the failure of humanity, the judgement of God and yet God's ultimate prophesy and promise that He would come to save sinners. These young men heard what God had done to save sinners, were given the tightrope analogy and were left with the very serious question, "When will you trust in Christ?", knowing full well that they have no idea how much longer their lives in this world will last.
These boys were thankful for the conversation and they headed off, each taking a tract.
Please be praying that God would use this moment, the final night of their schoolies week, to be a transforming day. That they no longer would be considering themselves as "good people" but by the blood of Christ, "God's people".
Lastly and quite humourously a conversation was had with a man named Nati. He spoke with the team quickly as his friends were talking to another team member. He shared about how he thought all religions were the same and therefore you could choose any.
Some simple explanations were given about the differences, primarily stressing the difference in the way to Heaven. All other religions leave its adherents with a law to follow, that can only ultimately condemn. Where as Christianity is about God saving sinners from the curse of the law. At this point, Nati's friends were leaving so he had to head off.
The team member went to give him a tract and realised there were none left in his pocket. So he said to Nati, I shall walk with you quickly, I am sure there is a tract on the ground in good condition for you here somewhere. Sure enough, less than ten steps later, sitting on the ground, under a seat was the, "Which one is right?" tract. The tract specifically designed to explain why only in Christ can a sinner be saved. It was a precious display of God's providential sovereignty.
Please be praying for those spoken to this Friday, that they would heed to Gospel's call on their life. Please pray that God will soften hard hearts and make enemies into friends.
Gold Coast Team (QLD)
Meets 7:15-10pm every Friday night at Surfers Paradise on Cavill Avenue.
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.