Saturday, 23 February, 2008
This summer the weather hasn’t been too bad, mostly we have had mild days with a few exceptions, and today was one of those exceptions! Near where I live the temperature was recorded at hitting 44’C with high humidity, and by the time it came around to going out to preach the temperature hadn’t dropped all that much.
This all served to sap every bit of energy from my body before we even arrived to preach. I arrived in the city early since I had a meeting with a mate, and before we had even got out of the lift in the Myer centre he had given tracts to those who were riding the lift with us.
We met in King George as usual, and it was good to have a time of fellowship around the Word of God, and also to come together as a team and pray for the outreach that night. I have been more and more burdened with the necessity of praying for the outreach, while we fully rest on the Sovereignty of God in the salvation of souls, He still commands us to seek His face. I have been on many outreaches in Australia and overseas, where prayer has not been a central theme, and as I look back on these outreaches I cannot help but wonder if we were as effective as we could have been. Before we can preach the King’s message we should spend time talking to the King. Prayer is vital when it comes to evangelism.
The first preacher up for the night was Ryan Hemelaar, it was good to have him back on team since he has been away on a mission trip in Thailand for the past six weeks. At first I thought he would be rusty in his preaching since it had been a while since he had last done it, yet he preached as if he hadn’t ever stopped preaching.
For about forty minutes he expounded the gospel of Christ, and a good size crowd gathered as he spoke about how everyone has the knowledge of right and wrong written upon their conscience.
After Ryan finished preaching, then Andrew Hsu began. Not long into his message a young woman began to yell at him, and state that only 144 000 people will get to heaven, the rest of humanity will spend eternity on earth. By her arguments it was easy to recognise her as a Jehovah Witness. Andrew expounded the Scripture on how the Bible talks about eternity in either Heaven or Hell. But she would not listen, she just kept on shouting the teachings of the Watchtower. It was then that Andrew said “In the Old Testament it says: Whoever calls upon the name of Yahweh will be saved! But in the New Testament it says: Whoever calls upon the name of Jesus will be saved! Christ is the God of the Old testament!” Upon hearing this the woman turned and left very quickly. Just like many of those within the cults they leave when the truth is being presented, please pray for her, that God would open her eyes to the truth of the gospel.
The time was around 10:30pm when I stood up to preach. Before I even began to speak to young hecklers began to open up on how God does not exist, so I turned to them and asked them to present their case on why they don’t believe in God. This caused a couple of Satanists who were sitting on the ground in front of me to start yelling as well.
It wasn’t very long before God had brought a crowd in to hear the discussion, but as I watched the crowd gather it dawned on me that this was going to be a rough open air meeting. The reason behind this was because everyone in the crowd sat down on the ground, and history has shown that whenever you get a large sit down crowd then you can be assured that something will erupt.
I dealt with hecklers for a few minutes when a young woman approached me to ask a question. In her hand she was holding a cup full of an orange liquid, a thought ran through my mind as she spoke, and that was in a few moments that liquid would be on me. Her question was a loaded one, and every time you get this question you know someone is looking for a fight, the question was “What does God think about homosexuals?” I knew I had to answer, and I knew the moment I did the crowd would erupt, but as preachers we aren’t called to please men, but rather we are to please God, so I opened the Bible and pointed out that God views homosexuality as an abomination.
This sent the young woman into a fit, she bean to scream that she hated me and that she would cut me up and kill me. I replied that if God grants her that authority then she can, but until that time God will not allow her the power to kill me. She then turned and threw the whole cup of orange liquid at me. I saw it coming so I was able to turn a bit, this cause the liquid to splash across my chest and then continue on behind me. The only problem was that Andrew and Dan were standing right behind me, so they ended up getting wet as well! It turns out that this liquid was vodka and orange juice, and for the rest of the open air I smelt like a pub!
The action of throwing the vodka then set the crowd into a frenzy, the cry went out “50 points to whoever can hit him in the head!” The crowd cheered and began to throw things at me, they threw bark and rocks. But the most interesting was that they were throwing money at me, the problem was they were aiming at my head. This caused me to duck and put my arm up to shield my head as I was pelted with projectiles.
While people were throwing stuff at me I was able to walk through the complete gospel with a young person who stopped to listen. While I spoke about sin the crowd didn’t do much but throw things, but the moment I got to the cross they began to yell and shout as well. One could clearly see the enemy was all over this situation, and you could see that he did not want the gospel to go out. In those situations all you can do is stand firm and continue to preach the Gospel!
It wasn’t long after this the police came and the crowd quieten down a bit, the police took a man away for drinking in public and as the officer left he held up the alcohol and yelled out “The evils of drink!” This cause the crowd to boo the officers.
The rest of the night was fairly tame, except for the guy who tried to burn me with a cigarette lighter, and the Pentecostal preacher that told everyone that they were children of God, and on the way to heaven. It got a little bit more interesting when that same Pentecostal preacher then physically assaulted Andrew in front of the crowd while speaking in tongues! This event cause the police to go after the Pentecostal preacher in order to arrest him for assault. I made sure to stress to the crowd that the man was not a Christian, since a Christian does what the Bible says. This seemed to get the respect of the crowd.
It was an interesting night in all. Many got to hear the gospel of the good news of salvation in Christ alone.
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.