As the team seeks to use 2019 for God's glory and the proclamation of His name, the outreaches have continued. In some locations there are much larger crowds than usual and in others it is quieter. Gold Coast is the former. There are hundreds of people in the mall during the earlier parts of the outreach, as many families are around on holiday.
This past Friday, the team took the busyness as an opportunity to preach. Some serious messages were preached, with the warning that God has not promised to anyone that they would survive this year. But it wasn't death that should be feared, but the God who all will stand before in judgement after death.
The crowd then heard why this judge is to be feared, how guilty each one of us are and that the only solution to not spending eternity in Hell, is to find forgiveness purchased for sinners by Christ.
During the preaching, around ten New Testaments were taken off the table as people walked up and picked them up. Some came up despite the protests of their friends or family and others came up in small groups. It was unexpected but exciting to see people taking a copy of God's Word.
As usual a time of outreach is filled with a range of different people. Early on a Jewish man, who had rejected Judaism and had subscribed to spiritualism spoke with the team. Next an "atheist" who loved sin, hated God and had no arguments just assertions spoke with the team and an older man, who said, "I don't want to think about death or talk about religion" was left with the serious question, "Will God send you to Heaven or Hell when you die?"
Two encouraging conversations were had with Marcella and Emma.
Marcella is a native Spanish speaker and had a decent amount of understanding about God. Sadly though she had never heard the Gospel before. So, 2019 became the year when she first heard the Gospel and came to understand what God has done to save sinners.
Marcella, saw through the law, how short she fell of God's standard and then came to understand how Jesus' death can atone for the guilt and how we should respond to Jesus. Please be praying that Marcella would read the Bible she has at home and that God would use this conversation and His word to bring her to salvation!
The conversation with Emma was a little different. She at first said she didn't think the team would want to speak with her because she is an atheist. It turns out that she had very little reason for being atheistic, she just decided that is what she wanted. She also had experience in a Pentecostal church youth group, in which her criticism was, "it is just blind following". She recounted how they just would sing songs and jump up and down and it was all about emotional feelings and fitting in with the crowd. Sadly, in her years at youth group, she never came to understand the Gospel, nor did she hear much about Jesus.
Thankfully, God had bought her to Cavill Mall, at the right time, so she could hear the Gospel. Emma as she heard the simple apologetic for God's existence said it made sense. Then Emma saw herself in the mirror of God's law. She came to understand that she was desperately guilty.
When asked what the solution was, Emma didn't know and as usual said, "try to be good". Instead Emma got to hear what God has done to save those who are not good and who cannot be good. Emma heard the good news and in a final serious challenge it was explained that no one knows the time of their death. "We aren't promised tomorrow, let alone another year".
At this Emma broke down in tears, she recently had someone close to her die. Thankfully, Liam her boyfriend had just arrived and was able to comfort her but they were left with the seriousness of eternity and the only solution to judgement.
Please be praying for Emma and Liam, that they would heed God's command to repent and believe and would find freedom from sin, forgiveness of sin and a love for God!
Gold Coast Team (QLD)
Meets 7:15-10pm every Friday night at Surfers Paradise on Cavill Avenue.
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.