On Wednesday afternoon there were seven team members out, including local business men (maybe one day a business woman will join us during her lunch break to proclaim the gospel). The sky was cloudy and the cover meant more people than normal took up residence on the seats in the square. After a few short introductory conversations Peter and Terry were approached.
These two men were wearing suits and were sitting down chatting. They were approached and graciously were open to talk. When asked what they thought would happen after they die both said that they would go to Heaven. This is quite common but what was unusual was for Terry it was actually true. When asked why they would be going to Heaven Terry gave a quite extensive but simple explanation of how he was a sinner who had been saved only by the blood of Jesus. But oppositely Peter said, "I think I'm a pretty good guy".
Then the opportunity was opened up and the gospel was shared with Peter. He saw his sin, the penalty sin deserves and therefore that our hope cannot be in ourselves but can only be in Christ and His perfect life. Peter understood and was challenged. This then provided the perfect opportunity to encourage these men, who work together, to discuss this more themselves and maybe even in the next few weeks read John's Gospel together and come face to face with who Jesus is and the challenge he places before us, to trust Him or perish.
The conversation was finished a quick challenge. With Easter coming up it will be a reminder of one of two things, either that God's judgement is coming in Hell or that God has paid my debt so that I can be with Him eternally. Peter was left to ponder what it would remind him of this Easter.
The afternoon was filled with many more exciting conversations where God's providence was on display. Monica came to understand the gospel and said she would consider it. God took away one conversation to replace it with another where three young men came to grips for the first time of God's gospel and were seriously considering trusting in Christ. But one exciting conversation, where God was showing His mercy was with Gen.
She was just sitting on a the bench and was approached and with a few early questions it came out that she had a Catholic background, had once gone to a school that was strongly Catholic but she never really believed it and had been offended at the self-righteousness of those around her who always looked down on her for not being as good as them.
Early in the conversation a lady sit a bit further around interrupted and tried to push Gen out of the conversation. She had been listening and said, "You shouldn't be forcing this girl to believe what you do. She shouldn't have to listen to you!" At this stage in the conversation, four questions in, nothing about Christianity had been shared, only some simple diagnostic questions had been asked. This interrupting lady wasn't really arguing because what was being said was wrong but because she hated God.
Gen responded that she was happy to keep chatting and the other lady went back to her business. For a few moments there it seemed as if God was stopping the conversation and it was a little struggle to get back into the discussion with Gen but it all went okay. The other lady soon left with some loud complaints about how stupid God is and headed off.
This is where God started to work. Gen was shown how we know God exists and she said she didn't think that was true but didn't have a reason. Then she was shown God's law and saw her guilt. Then the conversation went back to the building builder analogy. It was pointed out to Gen, that her incredulity was unwise. It wasn't that there was no evidence for God. It wasn't that we can't know there is a God but rather as she had stated earlier, "I don't want to believe in God".
She was shown why she didn't want to believe. God has standards, we're guilty of breaking them and therefore we try one of two things, to get out of the judgement, pretending there's no judge or pretending we're not guilty. She acknowledged this with a cheeky smile. After this moment there was not one single argument against God's existence rather a willful desire to know what the real solution to her sin was. Gen came to understand the gospel, to acknowledge that she needed Jesus alone and she finished by saying, "Thanks for the conversation, I am really glad we were able to talk, I shall have to think about what you have said". She was left with the same serious reminder about Easter as Peter and asked if she could keep the gospel tract because she loved the picture of Christ suffering the wrath, protecting believers on the back.
Please be praying for those who heard the gospel today that they would come to trust in Christ. Please pray that Peter may come to know God personally, that Terry may be a good witness and have the words to say and that Gen would take the gospel to heart and trust in God's offer of hope, not some human centered ideas.
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.