Australia Day 2016
"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." (Proverbs 14:34)
To celebrate Australia Day, we headed into the Queen Street Mall to share the Gospel. Since, many things were closed today, we found that quite a number of people were just hanging out in the area.
We started the outreach by handing out tracts and chatting to people. After doing this for awhile, we decided it was time to preach. Earlier in the day I had decided that I wasn't going to preach today, instead I was just going to focus on one to one witnessing. However, God had other plans.
As I was chatting to Ryan, I came up with an idea for a sketchboard message entitled, "Good Aussie?" Before I realised what was happening I was painting up to preach this message. But again, God had other plans.
I started to preach using the sketchboard, but I hadn't gotten very far when a man began yelling at me. He was screaming about how the Bible supported rape and slavery. I challenged his position and asked him to show me from the Bible where these things were. The man then began to state that on every page of the Bible there is immorality. He then challenged me to open my Bible to any page and he'd show me the error.
Well, I decided to flick my Bible open and let the man choose where we read from. He randomly chose a passage in Luke's Gospel which declared the greatness of Jesus. He wasn't happy with that passage, but it ended his argument (for now).
After this, the man began to ask about homosexuality and same-sex marriage. I was able to present an apologetic for traditional marriage, but the man kept falling back to the 'love argument.' He said that if two adults loved each other, then they should marry. So, I asked him, "What about brothers and sisters, can they marry? Or how about mothers and sons? Or perhaps fathers and daughters?"
You could see that this man was getting uncomfortable, but he held to his convictions. He boldly declared (to the shock of the crowd) that incest was acceptable and that it wasn't his business to judge. Again, I was able to challenge the man from Scripture as to what the Bible says about this topic.
From this topic we jumped around to people misinterpreting the Bible and to the issue of if someone should be killed for working on a Sunday. After answering all his questions and setting forth the Gospel, the heckler came up to shake my hand. We had a bit of a joke and then he left.
As the man left another heckler rose up. This man was heavily focused on homosexuality. He seemed to have the view that God just singled out homosexuals and that they were picked on. I read to him 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, and asked, "Are homosexuals mentioned in this passage?" He agreed that they were. Then I asked, "Are they singled out?" He answered that they weren't.
From there I was able to show that God is Holy, so He is against all sin. But the beautiful thing about the Gospel is that all sin can be forgiven. The man came up and shook my hand upon hearing this.
I had planned to use the sketchboard, but God wanted an apologetic discussion and Gospel presentation. It was really encouraging to see crowds of people gather to listen and to engage in the discussion.
After, I finished preaching, Ryan decided to preach also. He also saw crowds gathering around to hear the Gospel proclaimed. Overall, today was a wonderful day. May the Lord bless the preaching of His Word, and may our country be blessed.
Special Outreaches (QLD, Australia)
Australia Day (26 January)
ANZAC Day (25 April)
Christmas Outreaches (December)
New Years Eve (31 December)
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.