The hardest part of evangelism at a bus stop is the evangelism. Actually having time to tell of the good news about what Christ has done, with the context of the bad news, the each of us has made ourselves enemies of God by our sin is tough. The more you do it though, the better you become. The added struggle is that at Sunnybank there is usually a language barrier as well and even less understanding of Christianity than normal.
Thursday's outreach started off in a whirlwind of conversations in the first ninety minutes twelve conversations took place back to back. What is exciting though is now instead of getting to the end of the law, which was the struggle, it is getting easier to get through to the gospel before the bus arrives. This afternoon two early conversations too place where the gospel was explained and it was checking question time as the bus arrived.
The first was with Sara an Indian lady who saw her guilt via the law, the judgement that was coming because reincarnation (which she at first believed) doesn't deal with justice. And then was shown that for forgiveness to be given, someone must pay and she came to comprehend what God did to pay for the sin of those who believe. Sadly there wasn't time to expound fully on what it means to believe in Christ or to check that she understood the simple message of faith alone but she took a tract and was encouraged to have a read.
Next with with Zel and Joe. Joe wasn't super keen to hear but he listened where as Zel engaged in the questions. They too were shown their guilt, the penalty sin deserves and were asked if they knew what Christ had done to save sinners. They had some idea but the good news of what Christ had does was explained and they were encouraged to rely on him alone as they didn't get to stay for checking questions before their bus arrived.
There were a mixture of other people, some who tried to defend their innocence by declaring that everyone does wrong things, others who tried to claim that God doesn't exist after the law revealed their guilt and others still who heard what God had said and how one can be forgiven and then chose to reject it on the basis of their own desire to keep living their own way. These people desperately need God to soften their heart otherwise they will never come to trust in Christ!
On the other hand there was one very exciting conversation with Joel. He attends a local church but had never understood the way to Heaven. He said he would go to Heaven when he dies because he's a pretty good guy. Over the next ten minutes Joel was taken step by step through the story of the gospel, seeing that because God is good he is in trouble, that our efforts will never get us to the standard God expects but that God in his grace provided a substitute to take our place so that anyone who accepts his gift of forgiveness by trusting in what Christ has done can go to Heaven!
Joel understood this, he was able to explain back how someone can get to Heaven and therefore said that today he would trust in Christ! He was challenged to count the cost and was shown that those who trust in Christ will turn from their sin out of love for God and was encouraged to start reading his Bible every day!
Praise God for such a wonderful afternoon filled with many opportunities to tell others of the glory and goodness of our God! Why don't you join us sometime?
Sunnybank Team (QLD)
Meets 2-5pm every Thursday afternoon at the Sunnybank bus stop on Mains Road.
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.