This Friday night at the Gold Coast was a wonderful evening of convesations. Many people stopped by and heard the Gospel from the mouths of the team.
Firstly you can hear Harry share about a young man that spoke to the team during schoolies week and has since trust in Christ alone for his salvation!
Next you can a surprising response Michael had in a conversation. As he spoke with some tourists, over the course of the conversation their hearts softened and at the end the pair asked for a Bible to read.
Lastly you can hear Matt share about a lengthy conversation with a man named Ken, who struggled to understand the Gospel. Plesse be praying for Ken that he would heed the warnings given and the Gospel that was preached and find forgiveness and life in Christ!
Last week in England was Half term for most schools which fortunately gave me a week off, and while having a coffee and bacon bap in the city centre saw two Mormons sitting down for a break after speaking to people in the town. I prayed and managed to start up a conversation asking if the wanted a coffee! but then managed to engage for around 20 minutes about their doctrines and beliefs in what Joseph Smith taught, as supposed to what Gods word actually says, particularly about the deity of Jesus, the after life and judgment to come, our good works and their place in salvation and their belief in people having another chance to believe and respond to the good news after death!
I praised them for their hard work and dedication to their cause, but as per Galatians 1 v 8-9 made it clear to them that if they believed another gospel and had the wrong view of who Jesus was, then they would not be saved, and that our good works come after our salvation, and are not added to what Jesus had accomplished for believers on the cross when He said 'It is finished'.
They listened and took tracts and had a pleasant conversation, and later that day I saw a group of 11 teenagers from St.Austell in Cornwall that had come up shopping for the day. We another great conversations and were intrigued with the intelligence test questions to break the ice. We managed to talk about the afterlife, Heaven, Hell, the age someone may die and if any sin was worth holding onto for this short life, rather than repenting of to be given eternal life.They all took tracts and had some firm hand shakes so I pray some seeds were sown.
On Saturday 23rd, Harry, George and I met up in the city centre for outreach on a beautiful sunny day with no wind and lots of people around shopping to talk to.
George preached about the former ISIS fighter girl wanting to come back to England and related this to our eternities and how we need to be transferred to Gods kingdom from this current one by grace through faith in Jesus alone, and led to chats with people after who were listening intently.
I later preached on gambling and betting and the odds people play against in the hope of winning, and the odds people gamble with their life in trying to believe God does not exist, particularly as the Scientific odds of a protein coming about by chance were 1 in 10 with 164 zeros behind it, and a single ell evolving by chance are 1 in 10 with 360 million zeros behind it! I said that everyone knew God existed, or else where do we get our morality from? Judges talks about when there was no King in Israel in those days, and everyone doing what was right in their own eyes, and therefore when people try to believe God does not exist to allow them to dabble with sin and be the ruler of their own lives, yet people borrow from the Christian world view to KNOW anything is absolutely right or wrong, or else Hitler and the Holocaust and Abortion could be justified if there was no morality for society to live by.
When I left, Della, Laura and Robbie came and Della spoke to girl called Misha who seemed to make a profession of faith, and Laura spoke to a New Ager called Ralph, a Satanist called Terry and Carol an ex Catholic who took the Bible. Harry also preached when I left and as the pictures show was a beautiful day with lots of tracts handed out and conversations had.
In a couple of weeks we are hoping to plan a trip to Exeter again God willing, and pray Gods word was preached faithfully and He would be pleased to save those that were listening that would respond to the gospel that was proclaimed!
2 outreaches over the weekend in Christchurch (NZ).
I had to come out early to the city on Saturday morning as I had a wedding to attend in the afternoon. I suspected this would mean the beginning of the outreach would be a bit slow, so I started with some street walking, politely greeting people and offering them tracts as a conversation starter.
After a few rejections a guy took a tract and he was open to talk. But once he realised I was a Christian he quickly gave the tract back! But he wanted to talk about some of the struggles in his life and share what he believed, so I allowed him to, doing my best to listen and understand what he was saying. After some time, I gently moved the conversation to the reality of death, God, conscience and judgment - and by this stage he was more open to me and this adjustment in the conversation, but he had an appointment to go to and had to move on. I offered him a more in depth gospel tract than the one he gave back earlier - and to my pleasant surprise, he took it! May this conversation be a step the Lord uses to eventually lead him to repentance & faith in Christ. Are you ready to continue that conversation?
I then proceed to Cathedral Square, set up my flip chart, and started handing out tracts while enjoying some time in prayer.
The morning was fruitful with conversations, including a discussion with a young couple - one of whom was a homosexual - both of whom heard of the hope of forgiveness of sin and eternal life - in Christ. I also had a wonderful opportunity to briefly follow up with one of the hecklers of Andy's preaching from the previous day.
On Sunday, the rain came. But it was a surprisingly fruitful time of witnessing. None of the market stalls were out (I guess due to the weather) so Cathedral Square was open for people, and I had many opportunities for preaching, conversations, and tract distribution.
My preaching drew out a heckler early on, who aggressively challenged me on many points rapid fire. He would challenge me with a question, and as I tried to answer it, he would move on to another question. I spent a lot of time listening, trying to understand, trying to respond, and then straight back to listening. I had to keep my patience in check! I did manage to get some points across: how we know God exists, and that there was hope for eternal life. At a point in the exchange it started raining again, and we had to go under a tree for cover. Eventually the heckler decided he had had enough and turned to go. To my surprise, when I offered a tract he gladly received it - this encouraged me that the time spent was not in vain. Are you ready to continue this conversation?
I went back to preaching in the rain. And I knew there were people listening. In particular, one couple who had found some shelter in the distance. After finishing, I walked over to them and one of them gladly took some tracts - I was encouraged.
I finished the outreach with a conversation with 4 German tourists, who became engaged when I offered them the "Intelligence Test" tract. I went through 3 of the questions with them, and showed them how they got all 3 wrong. It amused them and paved the way to swing to the more serious question of getting "what happens after death" wrong. I was able to clearly explain the law and the gospel with them, and finished up with a checking question to confirm they had understood. They wanted to know why I was doing this in the rain. If you knew of the holiness of God, the reality of righteous judgment, and hell, and the amazing God news of mercy, grace, forgiveness, and the hope of eternal life found in Jesus - wouldn't you want to get out and share?
Come and join me, where the harvest is ripe. Laborers required, apply with in!
Despite the strong winds, the team decided to go ahead with the Bribie Island Outreach. A number of people took tracts and several conversations were had. With the wind howling and the tracts flying, Michael found a relatively sheltered spot to set up his flipchart.
Norgan, Jasmine, Shirley, and Charise went through the Good Person Test. They were originally joking and laughing, but by the time they reached the law, they were sufficiently serious and understood their guilt. They presented some very good and thoughtful questions. They left with answers and a fuller understanding of the Gospel. They each took an Ultimate Questions booklet. Please pray for them.
One of the young ladies on our team gave a Gospel tract to an elderly lady and was called back later to be informed of her severe “indoctrination” by her parents through the teaching of Christianity. When she was asked what she believed, she hurriedly decided it was time to leave. In the course of the conversation, however, the woman heard the entire gospel presented.
Also, a gentleman from the fish and chip shop took and read a Gospel tract, and then proceeded to share it with all of his fellow staff, which was very encouraging.
Overall, the weather was not conducive to many people, but please pray for fruit in the lives of those who were there and heard the Gospel. Pray for those also who refused tracts, that God would soften their heart and move them to repentance and faith. We can definitely see the opposition to the Gospel. Pray that Christ would grow His church, and that He would thrust forth labourers with willing hearts to do His work.
Thursday afternoon was a wonderful time of outreach. Many conversations were had, a nice breeze was blowing through keeping the area cool. All around it was a great afternoon.
An exciting conversation early in the afternoon was with Coulson an Asian man. He at first declared that it was his goodness that would get him into Heaven. Through the mirror of the law he saw that he was guilty and did not possess the righteousness to get to Heaven. Then he was asked, "How can you be forgiven, so that God may let you in?" and he didn't know. The Gospel was explained using a few analogies and then the checking question was asked, "What must you do to get right with God?" and he said, "Trust in Jesus".
At this moment his bus arrived and he was left with the question, "When will you do that?"
Later a conversation was had with Breanna. She thought there probably was a God and hadn't thought much further than that. She was shown God's law which revealed her sin and in response she not only looked worried but said she knew she was in big trouble. She was asked what she though the solution was but didn't know. As the Gospel was being explained her bus arrived and she didn't get to hear it all. Thankfully she took a tract.
Please pray that Breanna will read the tract and desire to know what God has done to save her! Please also pray that she will trust in Jesus alone for her forgiveness.
Another conversation was had with Jenny who at first said she didn't think much about God or the after life but then went on to explain that she was a Buddhist. There was a little language barrier so it was a struggle at times to understand what was being said. She was pointed to the Buddhist laws as to why she would never be able to achieve forgiveness in Buddhism. At first went through the laws out loud, three of which are, "Don't lie", "Don't Steal", "Don't be sexually immoral" she said she'd never done any of them.
Then it was raised with her one by one she realised that she had and then instead she started to try and justify the times she had done the wrong thing. As her bus arrived she seemed to see the problem but wasn't ready to admit that she was guilty, nor that Buddhism couldn't offer her a solution. Thankfully she took a tract and said she would read it.
Please be praying for the people who were spoken to by the team this afternoon. Please be praying that God would be using the Gospel to lead them to Himself! Please also be praying that God would lead others who didn't hear the Gospel in person to read their tracts and that they too would come to know God!
UPDATE: Following the conversation with Breanna on Thursday afternoon, the team was on the Gold Coast for the Friday night outreach. As the team headed back to the car right at the end of the evening, much to our surprise, Breanna walked out of a Nightclub in front of us.
The team paused and took the moment to chat. Breanna quickly heard the Gospel, the solution to sin. That Jesus can take the penalty we deserve so that we can be forgiven and be in right relationship with God.
It was also pointed out that God doesn't make mistakes, the very fact that God would align it so that we could see her twice in two days, it was clear that God was trying to get her attention!
Please be praying that Breanna would come to trust in Christ alone for her salvation and maybe even that the team would get to see her again and encourage her once more!
Wednesday afternoon in Brisbane city was an afternoon with encouraging conversations but also a great reminder. Often whilst evangelising we can end up in "apologetics mode", when we are too busy trying to "prove" Christianity is right that we forget, that apologetics don't save people. It is also important to note that until someone actually understands the Gospel, they will be arguing to convince themselves that they are good without God and therefore don't need the Bible's rules.
This was the case during two conversations on Wednesday. The main aim was forgotten and much time was wasted in engaging with someone about the importance of Christianity when in fact, they actually had no idea what Jesus taught. This happens occasionally and it was always a good reminder as to why the Gospel is the most important part of any Gospel conversation.
These conversations happened with Sarah and Luke. Thankfully God is sovereign and can use conversations with purely apologetics to bring someone to a desire to speak to a Christian or to read a Bible in their own time. Therefore, please be praying that these two will consider the many places their current ideas about the world are faulty and therefore come to seek what God has to say. Also, you could take the moment to praise God for using faulty, fallible people to save others and glorify Himself!
A tough conversation was had with a young man. He worked in a local store. Most of the things he believed about God and the afterlife relied on things he had seen or experienced whilst on drugs. This wasn't a good starting point. He didn't care about God and wasn't interested in God's law, instead he loved sin. He happily acknowledged, later in the conversation that his love for the things God hates was the real reason for his rejection of God but he wasn't moved.
He was taken through God's law and at each moment tried to use some sort of argument to change the topic, to take away the sting or the reality of what He had done but at each moment as it was bought back to the law, the guilt was displayed. It reached a point when realised the problem he was in, that the law had revealed his sin and he knew he was guilty. At this moment, he left, in an attempt to flee from the reality of sin. Sadly, he never got to hear the Gospel because he loved his sin, despite knowing it was wrong.
Please be praying for this man that he would not be able to numb or sear his conscience but would be drawn by his guilt to the only one who can take it away!
On Thursday, I took a bit of a break in the morning, but ended up being in the city anyway and couldn't resist going into Cathedral Square to see what was happening. It was great to see a fellow evangelist there, but he was tied up in a conversation with our main Atheist heckler. I headed for speakers "corner" (it's actually a rectangle), and feeling refreshed from the rest I decided I would preach before heading off for the afternoon outreach at the Eastgate bus stops.
To my pleasant surprise, our main Atheist heckler didn't come to bark at me. Even better than that, God saw fit to send 3 other hecklers. This was so encouraging because often it feels like no one is listening and I'm wasting my time & looking like a fool.
I was able to interact with these hecklers, and actually have some reasonable dialog! One was particularly challenging, and would ask question after question. I did my best to answer the questions, and constantly come back to the gospel message and proclaim it.
Because of this, it turned into one of the longest periods of preaching I've done. My throat was starting to dry up. And then the heckler with all the questions smiled and said "I believe too brother"! He was a Christian! He came over and shook my hand and gave me a hug. I was grateful that my ordeal was over, and I felt like I had passed the test. But I was mildly disappointed. I don't recommend any Christian pretend to be a heckler - it feels deceptive to me.
But one of the genuine hecklers had stuck around to listen, as well as some other people. Very encouraging.
On Friday (today), I headed into Cathedral Square early to try to preach before the paid musicians started up eliminating the opportunity. This worked, and I was able to preach again. Later, one from the OAC team preached, and then Andy preached.
Andy preached under fire from our main Atheist heckler right from the start. There were many people around and some other hecklers pitched in as well for some very robust and heated interaction.
Andy ended up staying to have some follow up conversations, while the rest of the team headed to Cashel Mall for some flip charting.
Tracts were handed out and 1 to 1 conversations were had - through out the day. I thank God for the opportunities to share His precious gospel message. All glory to Him.
On Tuesday at Woodridge people didn't stick around as long due to the heat but thankfully there were some shady areas in which conversation could be had.
A sad reality and a reason that you should be praying for the people of Woodridge is that many of the people have had some level of interaction with a version of Jesus. The issue, most people have learnt about a false Jesus. Jesus that is the brother of Satan or a Jesus that is the first created being. Jesus that requires you to earn His forgiveness.
As you consider Woodridge, please keep these people in your prayers. Those who are hurting and troubled, in slavery to sin and yet are kept in that bondage by people who are proclaiming a false solution and a false saviour.
One conversation that was had along these lines was with Natalia. She said at her "church" on Sunday the sermon was about the closeness of the coming of Christ and said it had been on her mind. She also said, when the team member sat down next to her and started to ask questions, at first she thought, "I hope this isn't a Christian".
But at the end of the conversation she said she was thankful for the chat because she was challenged to see what God had to say in His word.
Natalia, believed that people get to Heaven based on their goodness and sincerity of heart. It was pointed out, both using God's law and God's Holiness that this could never be the case. It was seen that because of sin, God must punish us and that good deeds don't take away the past history of bad deeds.
This seemed to make sense but then Natalia got stuck a second time with the good deeds. She thought that she could earn Jesus' forgiveness by being good. Again this was explained as impossible. The Gospel was then explained as a gift for the guilty, not a reward for the righteous.
Her bus arrived and not knowing if she had understood the Gospel yet, she was strongly encouraged to spend some time reading Romans 3-5. She also took a tract. Please be praying that Natalia would see what God has to say about salvation, through the Apostle Paul's writings and come to a saving knowledge of the truth.
Another conversation was had with a Muslim lady named Zara. She acknowledged that Hell is eternal and that sin deserves Hell and saw through the discussion the absolute predicament humanity are in, that everyone deserves Hell.
When asked what the solution was, she had realised that in Islam there isn't one because she realised you can never be good enough to remove the wrong you have done. She even said, "I want to go to Heaven but there is no way of getting there".
At this moment her bus arrived and the Gospel wasn't shared in person but she took a tract and was given a Gospel of John to read. Please be praying for Zara that she would come to understand that there is a solution to her sin and a way of being made right with God!
Please also pray for the many who took tracts and the many other conversations that took place over the course of the afternoon!
Praise God that His word never returns void!
On Monday at Capalaba the team swelled in size by 50%! It was exciting to see a new local Christian commit to coming to the outreach each Monday! It was an exciting afternoon that ensued when all three team members had fifteen conversations each, whilst each member had a couple of really encouraging conversations as well.
An early and very timely conversation was had with a young man named Jai. He at first was skeptical of God's existence and then heard the building, builder analogy, presented in the "How We Know God Exists and Why it Matters" tract. He then agreed that there must be a God. Next he was challenged on why he would argue why God doesn't exist and it was pointed out that it has to do with God's expectations of His creation. If there is a God, there are things He has asked of us. So often, people argue that there is no God to try and avoid His judgement.
Then Jai heard God's law, like a mirror it revealed his sin and he saw the predicament he was in. The life he had lived had left him with a debt he deserved to pay. Jai's life had earnt him an eternal Hell punishment. When asked if there was any solution other than him paying, Jai wasn't sure.
A short discussion ensued which came to a close as the Gospel was explained. On the first explanation Jai didn't understand properly how one is saved, he thought it was by being good. So the Gospel was re-explained using another analogy and he got it! Showing that he understood he used the same argument that Paul answers in Romans 6, "Isn't the Gospel just a get out of jail free card, where you can do whatever you want but still go to Heaven?"
It was exciting to see he had understood and the explanation was given, using the crocodile analogy, that after being saved by God, out of gratefulness to Him for what He has done, we will want nothing to do with the sin that once enslaved us and instead want everything to do with that which honours God!
It was right at this moment that Jai's bus arrived, he was thankful for the chat and said he would read the tract! Praise God for His timing and providence and please be praying for Jai that he will strongly consider what God has said and will count the cost and choose to trust in Christ alone!
One of the downsides to bus station evangelism is that you don't always get to finish the conversation where you wanted, rather God and His timing decides when the person had heard enough. This means, efficiency in presentation is key but also remembering that God works on His own timeline. From Monday there were a range of conversations where God's existence was established, God's law and the consequences of breaking it was shown and the question was posed, "How can a Hell deserving sinner, get into Heaven?".
These conversations occurred with Anabelle, Maddi, Jayden, Bruce, Mick, Teagan and Kiara. Please keep these individuals in your prayers, that God would use the law to leave them wondering over and over about the question, "How can a sinner be forgiven?" and ultimately use the tract they took, a Christian they know or even another conversation at a bus stop to bring them to a knowledge of the Gospel. Please be praying that they cannot get this question out of their mind until it is answered.
One final conversation was had with Dewi, a young guy who the team has spoken to many times. At first during the afternoon he made a joke about wanting to avoid speaking with the team but as the afternoon drew to a close he happily sat down and chatted with the team. This conversation went deeper than a usual Gospel conversation and was filled with a heart to heart discussion about why the team cared about him, why they wanted to challenge him and share with him week after week and he seemed moved.
Please be praying for Dewi that he would seriously consider the Gospel and trust in Christ alone for His salvation and as a result turn from his sin, to living a life honouring to God!
After a period away from the CBD, I have begun heading into the Mall on Fridays and Tuesdays. It was good to be back witnessing to the people of Hobart again. I have missed the work and have prayed for the people incessantly whilst I was away.
On Friday I spent about an hour or so handing out “Life is Precious” tracts at the traffic lights outside of Centro and Cat and fiddle and then over near the bus mall outside Rivers and then at North end of the mall. Many tracts went out and there were some interesting conversations that came from it:
Two women went past and the first one said “no no no no” but second one took a tract. As they walked away the first said “…its Christian BS” as she tried to take the tract, the second held onto it saying “I want to know what it’s talking about”.
An older man who was very skeptical of God’s existence, I spoke to him for short time. He said there was no evidence for God’s existence. I responded that there is plenty, from nature! The created world speaks of its creator. He responded that he could not believe that such complexity could come from one God. The truth is quite the opposite, complexity of the level we see in nature clearly demonstrates the need for a designer. We also spoke of the Bible and it’s trustworthy and proven nature.
A young lady stopped to ask me about the tract I gave her. She like the other gent asked if there was any evidence for God. She had been in a Church locally until 12, around that time she was convinced by science teachers at school there was no God. When she asked few people at Church would respond to her questions and she felt no-one gave her good evidence for God. We talked through the supports for the Bible, the message of the Bible, and the great news of salvation in Jesus Christ. I thanked and left her to think things over.
On Tuesday I was in the mall with a few supporting people in prayer and in the evening gave out tracts again.
Mr P. dropped by the Bible table. He is a Christian contact who has been coming for a while, who has been working with the homeless and drug addicts. He is a Godly man in a tiring and difficult work. We spoke together for some time about God’s faithfulness in times of difficulty
An older lady came by the table also, she was a Christian who wanted a Bible. She encouraged me to continue as she could see the Lord coming back soon from the way society was becoming increasingly sinful and lost.
I was prompted to preach from Jn 3:16 after a union protest group came down the mall shouting about better pay for our already well-paid public service. They had a message they thought was important to share and would disturb people to get the message across. I have the same conviction and will shake things up with noisy preaching about Jesus because it is so very important. God is even more set on shaking things up, he has turned our world upside down and changed the course of history through the coming of Jesus Christ. He is the only hope of eternal life and God so loves this broken evil world that He came to die for undeserving sinners. I preached on this theme for some time, towards the end a man listening gave me the thumbs up as he left.
Later in the afternoon, prompted by our country’s abominable commitment to slaughter unborn Australians, I preached from Mat 5: 21-26. God views murder seriously, it will lead to the hell of fire (an eternal reality that should shake and sober all of us, Christian and not). Abortion takes the life of a human being made in God’s image, this is murder and the Bible says that regardless of the motivation it will face God’s wrath into eternity. There were some who reacted negatively to this message but Mr D. sat through the preaching nodding and came up afterwards to thank me for my comments. He said that children were precious and that he wished he and his ex-wife could have had some and he wished that people could see how precious unborn children were.
At the end of the afternoon I had a discussion with Mr U. a regular, this time and last has been mostly catching up as I’ve not seen him for a while. When we parted I headed to office with Bible table and then out to do tracts again.
I handed out many “Eternity” and “Life is Precious” tracts outside the bus mall, with many people taking them with smiles and thanks.
I saw Cap Tasmania who I’ve spoken to previously when handing out literature, his partner is very unwell and he’d come from giving her flowers. We spoke briefly before being interrupted and I continued handing out tracts.
Mr U. happened by again and wanted to know what the tracts say. He has been around for a long while so when he read them, he said it was what he has heard said and preached consistently before.
I then headed home after a good day.