My Church here in Hobart is moving buildings (please pray that we will find somewhere soon) and the office has also been moved. This has meant a loss of the Bible table and preaching crate for the mall temporarily as we reorganize things. And so there has had to be a change to the outreach in the Hobart mall.
I have spent the last couple of days preaching and reading through the Bible many times through the afternoon and then afterwards speaking to those who gathered. It has been an invigorating change but challenging too. Please pray that God will allow me to speak without too much wear and tear on my voice.
Today I began by reading from Luke 11: 1-26. At the end of this I reflected on the truth of Jesus’s words when it comes to nations. Truly the evil that Christianity drives out returns manifold when Christianity is removed from a nation.
Many of the good things we currently enjoy in Australia (a desire for equality of races and sexes, the rule of law, fair work laws, the value of life, the rights of the weak and poor etc.) have come from our Christian heritage. (On this issue a book worth reading is “The Book That Made Your World” by Vishal Mangalwadi.) Secular activists in Australia are determined to dismantle Christianity, or if that is not possible, then to marginalize Christians so far that they are force into a closet. In this they hope to get the fruit of Christianity without the God that gives the fruit or His people who produce it. If the secularists succeed, we are sure to face the return of many dark, destructive and perverse things from the pagan past as we see the loss of Christian influence.
I finished by appealing to people to come in repentance and faith to Jesus Christ. During this there were multiple people who gathered to listen.
After a short break I read from Romans 1-3, at the end of the passage I was interrupted by heckler who claimed that there is no evidence for God. We discussed back and forth for a period and despite being given multiple evidences he scoffed and deigned the existence of God again. He also protested that there is injustice on God’s part because of suffering if God is real. This is a difficult question for the Christian, why is suffering part of our good God’s plans for the world? But even more difficult is the position of the atheist (like the heckler). For if atheism is true then the universe is indifferent and those who suffer will never see justice, and we are left with an intolerable world that our hearts and minds revolt at. In every way I would rather live with the paradox of our good God and the presence of suffering than give in for a second to the sterile injustice of the atheistic understanding of the universe.
After this discussion I was encouraged by a young Christian couple who were enthused by street preaching in Hobart. Also, Ms M. also stopped by for a short chat it was good to see her again after some time away. Her girlfriend was away today but hopefully they both will be back again soon to chat and hear the gospel as they have in the past.
At the end of the day I read from Genesis 1-3 and was planning to preach further from there but again was stopped by a heckler. This man was more agnostic than atheistic but also felt that God and the Bible were not really trustworthy. One of his reasons was that there is no mention in the Bible of Australia and the animals of Australia. There are many things not mentioned in the Bible, as a book mainly focused on God’s dealings with Israel this should not surprise us. As systematic theologians say – whatever the Bible says it speaks with absolute authority, but it does not speak of all things. I spoke with him for some time but at the end he left saying that God would have to accept him anyway because he was a good man.
This became a springboard to the gospel and I then preached on the need to be made right in Jesus through faith rather than walking the road of self-sufficiency and pride. I shared the great need that we all have to be forgiven and the great weight of our sin and the even greater savior who waits to make us clean if we come to him in faith.
Afterwards there were some Christian young ladies who came to thank me for speaking, one of them said she could not do what I do. I said “me too!”, no-one is able to do the work of outreach alone, this work is God’s work and all credit for it goes to Him.
Praise God for His awesome grace and kindness to us!
Hobart Team (TAS)
Meets every Tuesday and Friday afternoon 12-5pm at the Elizabeth Street Mall.
Contact David Gee for more information.