Sound of the rain greeted me this morning as I awoke, normally if it is raining it isn’t worth going down the Gold Coast to witness as no one is around. But, it was decided that we would still head out, trusting that God would provide opportunities for us to witness.
As Ryan, Joel and I drove to the Gold Coast we once again were greeted by more rain, and the clouds on the horizon promised more rain to come. We started to re-consider if it was wise us going out witnessing today, however, we pushed on. We were joined by Andre and Tamara also, so we had a good size team today on the Coast, all we needed now was a break in the weather.
When we finally arrived at the beach the weather had changed, it was now fine and sunny. Every now and then there would be a sun shower but nothing much. Ryan immediately began to hand out the new Operation 513 Big Money tract, and it was great to see so many people going out of their way just to ask for this tract. Before the day was out we will have gone through thousands of this tract.
The first preacher up for the day was Ryan. The crowds were a bit slow today. He preached and a few people stopped to listen. It was around this time that we were joined by our brother Heath from Western Australia. Ryan preached and explained the gospel to those who would listen, but we put it down to the weather to explain why things were so slow.
After Ryan finished preaching it was time for Andre to preach. He like Ryan began to expound on the law of God to show people that we have all sinned. Once the fact of sin had been established he then moved on to explaining why Christ came. The crowds once again were small, but we rejoiced in the fact that the gospel was preached.
Later in the afternoon it fell to me to preach, personally I didn’t want to preach. I looked around and saw that there were very few people on the beach front and now the wind had picked up so it would make it hard to preach. All these excuses ran through my mind. As I planned not to preach a thought ran through my mind “Did you not pray that God would bring in a crowd?” That was true, we pray that each week. We ask that God will bring a crowd not us. So if that is our prayer, then shouldn’t I preach? As I stood to preach I breathed out a silent prayer, “God, these are your people, bring them in to hear your Gospel.” With that I began to preach, a few people stopped to listen, but not many seemed interested. For about twenty minutes I preached but very few stopped. There was this one young man who had been listening for the whole time so I decided to do a call out on him.
I looked at the young man standing to my right and said, “Mate, if you died tonight, where would you spend eternity?” The man hadn’t expected the question, so he replied “I don’t believe in Heaven or Hell.” Within seconds of the discussion beginning a crowd began to form. For the next hour Andrew (the heckler) and I went back and forth in regards to the gospel. He would pose a question and I would try my hardest to answer.
God was using Andrew and his heckling to bring a crowd in to hear the good news of salvation. Towards the end of the discussion the crowd began to get rather vocal, cheering when a question was answered and clapping at good comments. These all served to bring in more people. The very last thing Andrew declared to the crowd and I was this, “I am glad my sin killed Jesus! I am happy I killed Him!” The crowd fell silent, it was such a shocking statement that even the listeners didn’t know what to say. My heart broke for Andrew so I pleaded with him to be reconciled unto God. Then I turned to the crowd and pointed out we were the sinners that cried “Crucify Him” when Jesus faced Pilate. But, even thought we did that, we are still the ones for whom Christ cried “Father forgive them!” I went over the gospel once more with the crowd, then wrapped it up. Many of those in the crowd took tracts. Please pray for Andrew and also for the crowd, that God may save them!
The rest of the day was spent in one to one witnessing and also tract work. Many people got to hear the Gospel today, and once again I learnt the lesson that I am to trust in God more fully when I evangelize.
Gold Coast Team (QLD)
Meets 7:15-10pm every Friday night at Surfers Paradise on Cavill Avenue.
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.