This afternoon in Brisbane city was almost unbelievable. It is usual to have a day with a single or maybe two really encouraging conversations where people respond positively but today it seemed that God was at work in softening hearts.
The first conversation of the afternoon took place with a lady named Dell. She at first said she didn't know if there was a God, maybe just an energy. She was shown how this couldn't be the case because energy cannot create anything, only a being wielding energy can. Then she saw God's law and the universal guilt and understood that there is a day of judgement because a good God cannot ignore evil. She acknowledged that she was mostly just ignoring thinking about it because it was uncomfortable and she didn't have a solution.
She was shown what God had done to save sinners, was given and tract and encouraged to read the Gospel of John. She didn't say she would but she said she was very thankful for the conversation and was glad she had heard and said she would consider what was said.
Next was a short conversation with Juke. Throughout the conversation on a number of occasions he reiterated, "I really needed to hear this today!" He knew God exists, and knew of the afterlife but wasn't sure where he would end up. He was shown God's law and realised his guilt and that he deserved Hell.
Then for the first time in his life he saw the Gospel of grace. He came to understand that it is a gift for the guilty not a reward for the righteous. At first he didn't understand how to receive the Gospel and thought it was by doing good works and being worthy but then came to understand that no one could be worthy and that it was a gift! He was asked a checking question to which at first he said the wrong answer but then corrected himself and got it right. It was exciting to see.
He responded by saying that has goes to church with his grandmother sometimes and said that he wants to have a read of his Bible now! He was encouraged to start in John, then have a read of Romans.
Maybe the most exciting part of this, is that the discussion took place in an area the team normally doesn't visit but "it just so happened" that today, due to the immense heat and some of the seats being off limits that the area where Juke was sitting was approached. God is utterly sovereign even using the heat to bring about individuals to hear the Gospel and respond positively!
A quick sad conversation was with a man named Peter. He was so worried about eternity. He had a Catholic background and knew that he was utterly hopeless at getting himself to Heaven but due to the works based salvation being taught in Catholicism he was left utter hopeless. He heard the Gospel briefly and was offered hope but for some reason he didn't want to hear more. He did take a tract though.
A final conversation was with Josh. He has spoken to the team before and has some sort of Christian background but has damaged his mind with drugs. The majority of the conversation was Josh being dismissive and trying to avoid the reality of God, the authenticity of the Bible, the Creator, judgement, Heaven and Hell simply by saying, "I don't believe that" without really giving a reason as to why. Even when asked why he didn't believe he couldn't give a reason. It was over and over pointed out that it was a sinful bias that leads people to believe anything that can momentarily numb their conscience.
But then in an almost last ditch attempt to get the Gospel out, he heard a relatively short monologue about what God has done so that sinners can be forgiven and at this moment his whole demeanor changed. Instead of being frustrated and dismissive he started asking questions, he admitted that he had been considering heading back to Church because the life he was living was shallow and unsatisfying and he even said when he is on drugs he often hears voices telling him that he is doing the wrong thing.
He was encouraged to have a read of the Gospel of John and was encouraged to head to a local church in his area!
Please be praying for those who heard the Gospel today and were challenged. Praise God that he uses the means of feeble men and women preaching to bring people to salvation! Please pray specifically for Peter that his hopelessness would find a solution in Christ's worthiness and that he would begin to attend a Church that seeks to accurately represent what God has said.
Please also pray for the others who heard the good news today, that God would draw them unto Himself as they began to read a Bible!
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.