After being away from Brisbane for a week, I was quite excited at the prospect of being able to preach once again in the Queen Street Mall. While it is always a joy to preach elsewhere, and while I loved preaching in Adelaide, there is just something about coming home and preaching in your regular spot.
We met did all the normal things, prayer, bible reading, and then a time of fellowship was enjoyed by those present. Once 9pm rolled around, it was no longer a fellowship time, but now it was a time to go out and witness to those who did not know Jesus Christ.
Ryan was the first preacher up for the night, and he wasn't long into the preaching when a good size crowd gathered around. In this crowd there were a few hecklers, first there were two self-confessed "bad Christians" and also two lesbians. This made for some interesting heckles, as when the lesbians made a case for homosexuality, the ‘bad' Christians would agree with her, and then make a case supporting it also. It seemed to be the night of all the hot topics, first there was homosexuality, and then there was abortions.
For about thirty minutes Ryan held his own against them, but his voice was starting to go (which was a surprise!), so he tagged me in and I began the long task of dealing with the hecklers. First I addressed the ‘bad' Christians, they weren't to impressed, when I stressed that the Bible teaches how we must examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith or not (2 Cor. 13:5) and then told them about how some people think themselves saved, but in reality they aren't (Matt. 7:21-23).
By now the lesbians had left, but a young man with an accent and wearing a New York Yankees hate had taken their place. This man was very vocal, and very opposed to Christianity, he started to rant that it was Christians that killed all the Jews, I tired to counter by pointing out that those who kill innocent people in the name of Christianity, are according to Jesus not true Christians. But this man wasn't interested in listening, he just kept on with his argument, and refused to listen to the counter. By the way he kept talking about Israel and the Jews I presumed he was Jewish, upon asking him, he then confirmed this fact. Since he had been yelling at me for some time now, I thought it proper to at least know who it was that really hated me and Christianity. His name was Noam, and he is a practicing Jew. This led to an interesting discussion about the Messiah, he stated that Jesus could not be the Messiah since he is dead, but I pointed out that God showed that Jesus was the Messiah by raising Him from the dead.
Noam ignored, and kept on yelling his hated at Christianity and Christ. So I opened my bible and asked if I could read something to him, and then get his opinion on it. At first he refused, so I made the statement "clearly this man isn't interested in learning!" This made him stop, and then tell me to read out of my Bible.
So I opened the pages and began to read:
"He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors."
Once I finished reading, I looked up and noticed that he was already scoffing, so I asked, "What do you think about that, who is it talking about?" Noam looked at me and in an arrogant fashion said "That is talking about Jesus from your apostate New Testament!"
I turned my Bible over so he could see the pages and said "No, that was written by the Prophet Isaiah, from your Bible! Isaiah is talking about the Messiah, and you just admitted that this passage is talking about Jesus Christ!"
Noam looked stunned, but instead of admitting that Jesus is the Messiah, he went off on a tangent and refused to deal with the issue. But you could clearly tell that the Scripture had found its mark, as he wasn't as arrogant as before, and now more than ever he wanted to move away from the open air discussion. I wasn't going to let him move on that quickly, so I kept engaging him about Jesus Christ being the only one that could be the Messiah of God. From there I explained how in the Torah it was taught that there must be a sacrifice made for the atonement of sin, and that how that was a foreshadowing of the Lamb of God, who would come to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29).
By now Noam was very uncomfortable, and at the first chance he got, he headed out to the outer of the crowd that had now gathered. Please pray for Noam, that God would open his eyes, and that he will come to know Jesus as the Messiah.
The rest of the night was made up with the normal heckling, I covered issues of evolution, atheism, Islam, the Bible etc. At one point a Muslim became rather angry as I pointed out that the Quran is a book that teaches hate, and killing. The man started yelling that the Quran taught no such thing, so I quoted the Surah for him, and told him to go look it up. It is interesting, the "religion of peace" is so big on covering up the fact that in their book it says kill Christians and Jews. And the problem is so many people in the West has been duped into believing them. As you read this Islam is on the march in every Western country, the United Kingdom is nearly invaded by Islam, and it is to the point where there are no-go zones due to Islamic violence. The answer for this invasion of the demonic religion is not atheism, or even new political laws. The answer is the same as it has been for 2,000 years, and that answer is found in Jesus Christ. The church in the west needs to wake up, and realise that unless they start preaching the Gospel, one day they will wake up to find that Islam is now in control, and that they are facing death for their belief.
The rest of the night was spent for me in dealing with Christians who believed that we should emotionally manipulate people to make a decision for Jesus, and witnessing to some who had been listening to the preaching.
Andre then got up and preached, and closed the night off.
It was a good night, and many people got to hear the gospel. Please pray for them.
Soli Deo Gloria!
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.