This Friday Patrisha, Florence, Jim, and Sucraj joined me in the center of town to reach out to the lost of Sheffield. Our new found spot is in front of the town hall next to the war memorial, which forms our preaching post.
We began the night with appeals to the Lord to save people and work through us. From this we walked up to the square (Barker's Pool as it is called) and began to hand out tracts to the passing people. Shortly after arriving we noticed a group of youthes standing nearby and went to engage them.
As it turned out they were more than happy to talk and though they were definitely not receptive to the gospel they were willing to talk and a lively debate followed. Jim and Sucraj both spoke with some of the other youth there while I spoke with Dan, Emily, Flan and a couple of others. We discussed various things including why I believe in God and why they do not and some of the evidence for God. Though they were not convinced they took tracts and went their way after we had a good chat.
Shortly following this a couple of men stopped after coming from one of the local pubs. One of them was quite willing to talk and was interested in discussing the gospel, the second however was hell-bent on disrupting the conversation. The second man was a Muslim and very drunk, it was quite difficult to take him seriously in the state he was in given Islam condemns drunkenness (indeed all alcohol consumption). The first man was engaged by Jim while I tried to reason with the drunk "Muslim", a positive spin off of this was a good conversation with Saltah. Saltah was another Muslim who stopped to listen to the conversation and then spoke with me about Islam and Christianity for some time. I gave Saltah some apologetics on the Qur'an and Muhammad and asked him to think on it. He left with a track and said he would consider what I had said.
After this I set up to preach and noticed at that point just how cold it was getting. I preached on the certain death that we all must face and the equal certainty that one day we all will be called from our graves to give an account to Jesus Christ. During this Chris was standing listening so I called him out and we went through the good person test. Chris was very open and listened closely to every word and stayed after we finished talking to hear the rest of what I was preaching. A couple of other people were nearby and so I called out to all in ear shot to urge them to consider their consciences and see that they too needed a saviour.
Afterwards Chris and I spoke while Jim spoke with a couple who had stopped to talk. Chris as I said was very open and we spoke for quite some time, especially on the topic of good works and what roll they have in the Christian life and being right with God. Many people get the cart before the horses on this issue, thinking that to be right with God they need to meet a standard first. The truth is that works are given to Christians to glorify the God who has saved them and not to get them right with Him. It is by grace through repentant faith that we are saved and that in Jesus' work. After speaking of many other things also Chris took a bible and then shook my hand thanking me for sharing the gospel with him.
Shortly after this a whole lot of theatre goers came out of town hall as we were preparing to leave, so we tracted the crowd and headed away home for the night. We rejoice to see one heart beginning to open to the gospel and pray that God's Spirit would work mightily to save Chris and indeed all those who heard this night.
I found Isaac to be a delight to speak to and a man very mature for his age. We really had a great chat together. I told him about a debate our church is holding next month between a Christian apologist and a Muslim apologist, and he seems keen to attend. We exchanged personal details and so I hope to stay in contact with him as he gives careful thought to the issue of eternity. Do pray for him.
It was a difficult night in some respects. Still, God was in control and through His great providence we walked away from yet another fruitful time of ministry.
Soli Deo Gloria!
The night was going to be a good one, and I was really excited about the prospect of witnessing to the lost tonight, however, I did have one concern, and that was the fact that we were down on preachers tonight. But, my rest is in the Sovereignty of God, and the knowledge that He will provide.
I handed out tracts on my way to King George square, and it was real encouraging to see many people reading gospel tracts and then passing them on to their friends to read also.
Once in King George we met for a time of prayer and bible reading as per usual, and then we headed up to the Queen Street Mall. We were blessed tonight to have a brother join us from Creation Ministries International, he had heard about us for some time, and after thinking about it for a bit, he decided to come out and witness with us.
At about 9:15pm, Ryan got up to preach, and almost in no time flat he had hecklers emerging from everywhere. He had Alex the Agnostic, Muslims, Atheists, Roman Catholics all opening fire at once. One Roman Catholic even began to pray to Mary in order to be forgiven of sin.
Ryan dealt with the Roman Catholic by pointing to 1 Timothy 2:5, and showing that Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man. Then he showed the Catholic that Mary could not mediate for him, the papist ignored Ryan and kept on crying out to Mary. This of course grew a bigger crowd, and by now the Muslims had become even more vocal, so Ryan turned his attention to addressing them, and then pointing out that in Islam there is no hope of forgiveness.
While Ryan was talking a Pentecostal man came in behind and started to say, "He isn't answering them, he should just say "Jesus" to every question." I asked him why Ryan should say that, and the man replied that "Jesus is the answer!" I agreed with him that Jesus is the answer, however, we are commanded in Scripture (1 Peter 3:15) to answer the questions that people ask, and to give people a reason for the hope that we have.
The man didn't buy it, and started to talk about what he termed the "gospel" I was only half listening until he said "Baptism is needed to be born again!" This got my attention really quickly, I asked him to explain, so he started talking about how we must be converted, baptized by water, and in the Holy Spirit in order to be born again.
I asked him to show me from Scripture, where this was taught, he couldn't. But he just kept saying "Baptized" over and over again. It was almost like a mantra for him, so I countered and showed him from the Bible that he was wrong. The man wouldn't listen, and every time I tried to speak he would just start chanting "Baptized in the Holy Spirit!"
In the end, I just said, "it's a waste of time trying to talk to you, you are preaching a heresy and false gospel. But your pride and love of your heretical doctrines have blinded you from the truth of Scripture!" The man laughed, and walked away saying, "You can't answer John 3:16!" Which was odd since John 3:16 doesn't mention baptism, or the Holy Spirit.
It was at this stage that I noticed that Jacob was back, this was the second week that he was present. I was able to once again have a good discussion with him, and point him to the cross of Christ. He seems to be under conviction, and it appears that God is working on him.
By now it was getting late, and Ryan was still preaching. And, you guessed it the hecklers were still going hard. Some of our regular hecklers were opening up with the same old arguments, and Ryan countered them once again and told them of salvation in Jesus Christ.
At midnight, Ryan broke the Operation 513 preaching record, which was set at 2 hours 45 minutes. But, he wasn't finished yet. At the end of the night Ryan ended up preaching for 3 hours and 2 minutes. The great thing was that he had a consistent crowd, and that the same hecklers remained for the whole time.
In all it was a good night, with many people hearing the gospel.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Shortly after church finished at around midday in the city, Josh Mitchell rolled up in his car, and shortly after hopping in the drivers' seat we were on our way to Surfers Paradise once again. We picked up Josh Williamson on the way. My driving was a tad rusty as I hadn't driven for a while, but God kept us safe (and everyone alert!)
It seemed to be very busy at Surfers Paradise and parking was quite a challenge. After a few unsuccessful trips around the block near where we preach, we dropped Josh W off and eventually found a park (it was a fair hike from our car to the preaching spot - the Caville Ave beach entrance). When I arrived, a Christian couple were talking to JoshW. They were keen to come and help out - I think the lady has even worked for Creation Ministries.
Josh M and Josh W took turns preaching. Josh M was the first preacher. He started, as he often does, by exploring the inconsistencies and irrationality of evolution, urging people not to believe in something that does not make sense. He then presented the way in which the Bible teaches that God created the universe. One middle/older aged man in the crowd became very emotional. He started yelling all kinds of abuse at Josh M, pointing his finger at Josh and shouting that out that Josh was lying to everyone and yelling out that the Bible is absolute nonsense. Some people in the crowd started to cheer the man on. Josh was very patient as the man continued to yell. Soon there was a very large crowd. Josh was able to preach the Gospel to the crowd.
Two Police came and they took Josh M and the man away from the crowd to talk with them - the crowd went wild. Josh W then started preaching the Gospel to the large crowd as they looked on. Many heard the Gospel and we pray that God would save some.
We then handed out some gospel tracts and engaged in one-on-one conversations with those who were around. I talked with a ‘Christian' Indian guy who claimed to be a Christian but did not believe that Jesus is the only way a person can be saved. He said that it shouldn't be a person's fault for being born as an Indian into a Hindu family. I tried to explain to him how God created the world with different races and that racial diversity indeed is a beautiful thing. But he was looking very frustrated and started telling me that younger people like me have a lot to learn. I urged him to consider the fact that he doesn't believe the Bible since it clearly teaches that Jesus is the only way (John 14:6, Acts 4:12).
I interacted with a few other people, but it felt like I was not communicating very well. Usually I really do enjoy sharing the gospel and asking what people think and answering any questions that they have ... but it seemed like I was failing to do this very well and I felt mainly sorry for those who I were talking with. I do believe though that God is Sovereign and that it is not up to us to save people, but that our job is simply just to be faithful and do our best to share the gospel with people and pray earnestly to God to make them born again (John 3:3).
Josh M and Josh W preached again for a while. Josh M interacted for quite a while with a young man in the crowd whose name was Darius, after sharing the Gospel with him, Darius came and shook Josh's hand and took a Gospel tract. Please pray that God would save Darius for His Glory ... and that God would be pleased to save many of those who heard the Gospel go forth today.
1 Peter 3:18
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,
We have the best news in the world to share. The Gospel is good news!
Report by David Strachan
The team immediately got engaged in one-to-one's after I finished and we spent the rest of the evening talking with people and handing out tracts. It had been a fruitful time.
Soli Deo Gloria!
I was woken up by the sound of an alarm somewhere in my room, as the noise began to filter into my ears, a thought ran through my mind "Do I have to get up?" As I rolled over to try and find where my alarm was, I saw the clocked and realized that I had only had about four to five hours sleep. Instantly my brain began to create excuses on why I should stay tucked up in bed on this wet morning. But, my alarm was persistent, it kept on bellowing out its call to awake, so after finding the alarm I was finally awake enough to realize that I had to hurry, as I didn't have much time before I was due to leave for the Queensland Baptist Convention. Normally, I don't go to these kind of conventions, but today was the day in which Queensland Baptists were going to have a focus on evangelism, so it was good for me to attend.
The first speaker for the morning was Will Graham (Billy Graham's grandson), he spoke on "Integrity in the Pulpit" and I must admit it was a really good sermon, he focused on how as evangelists often times we can fall into temptation and sin, thus destroying our ministry, but more importantly when this happens we bring the name of Jesus Christ to shame.
After Will Graham finished speaking, to other guys spoke about evangelism. They said some interesting things, but I found myself disagreeing with the whole of focus of "socialize" someone into the Kingdom of God. After their session finished I was introduced to Will Graham by a senior Baptist evangelist. What struck me about meeting Will Graham was the fact that even though he was famous, he was a real humble and down to earth kind of guy. Which was really good to see, and when you spoke to him, you could tell that he was genuinely interested in what you had to say.
I had to leave the convention a little bit earlier, as I had to drive out west of Brisbane in order to pick up 1,000 tickets for the Will Graham evangelism rally that was being held that night. The plan was, that I pick up the tickets, then that afternoon I would go out into the Southbank parklands, and give away free tickets to those who were in the area, and as a result invite them to hear Will speak that night at the Brisbane convention centre.
At 3pm, it was raining, so Fitzy, Andre and I thought that it would be fairly hard to give away these 1,000 tickets due to the fact that no one hangs out in the parklands while it is raining. But, we headed over there anyway, and to our surprise we found the parklands to be jammed full of people. It turned out that there was a large "Save the Planet" festival going on, so we quickly began to hand out the tickets to those we encountered. Within 45 minutes all 1,000 tickets were gone, and many of those who took the tickets promised to come that night.
We then went back to the convention centre where we spent some time in prayer asking God to save souls tonight through the preaching of Will Graham. Since I was on the "people helper" (counsellor) group, I had to stay back till about 10pm in order to help out with those who responded to the gospel. But, before that we had to go once again through the training material to make sure that we were familiar with the material we would be giving to people. During this time, I once again go to see how humble Will Graham was, as while everyone was being instructed on what to do, he came into the back of the room and just listened. There was no "big" entrance like you see with many other preachers, but rather he just quietly stood at the back and listened. After awhile, he was called to the front, and then he thanked everyone for helping and prayed for us.
Since we were short on numbers for helpers, I assisted with ushering as well, and while I was doing that we noticed a good size group of young people come into the convention centre swearing like troopers. A few people around looked a bit shocked, but I was happy, and excited to see them. As they were a group that earlier that afternoon we had given free tickets to.
The night went well, and before the preaching there was some good music. Then it came time for Will to preach, he instantly connected with the crowd and then began to expound on the gospel of Christ. He spoke about how we as humans need to be in the Masters hands, and we need to be guided by Him, yet, the problem is that our sin has separated us from God. After this, Will then pointed people to the cross of Christ, and showed that it is only by Jesus that we can be forgiven.
At the call of salvation about 60 - 80 people responded. After I finished speaking to those I was designated to "counsel", Andre and I quickly left the convention centre and rushed to the Queen Street Mall to join the Operation 513 team.
As we entered the mall the first thing we noticed was that it wasn't busy, this was due to the rain, and as we began to walk down the mall, we heard the familiar sound of Andrew Hsu open air preaching. As usual Alex the Agnostic was there, then there were some other familiar faces in the crowd, Riley the Agnostic and also Josh the Atheist. Good to see the boys had come out even though it was raining.
After Andrew Hsu finished preaching it was decided that Andrew Caswell should preach, now Caswell and I are old mates, who have been working together for about four and a bit years. Yet, he is only new to open air preaching. He got up and brought the Word of God with a passion and a zeal, that I wish I could even have a small bit of. When Caswell spoke he spoke in away that you could tell that this Gospel was the power of God unto salvation!
While Caswell was preaching, I noticed this young bald man in the crowd going around to different people saying "Ask the preacher this question, he won't be able to answer". As I watched him do this, I noticed that those who would encourage to say something simply ignored him, and kept on listening. So, when the young man got close to me, I said "Why don't you ask the preacher that question?" He just looked at me, and seemed to be a bit embarrassed, so I said "Mate, I am a preacher, why don't you ask me the question, and I'll see if I can answer." The young man agreed, and his question related to ‘Who wrote the Bible & What about the Da Vinci Code?' I quickly answered his questions, and the whole time I was focused on getting to the gospel. So I asked him, "you have heard of Jesus, right?" He replied that he had, so then I asked, "do you understand why Jesus had to die on the cross?" The man said that he didn't. It turns out that this young man's name was Jacob, so I began to talk to Jacob about personal sin.
As I walked through the Scripture, and showed Jacob that he was a sinner in the sight of God, you could see his face change from one of arrogance to one of concern. He had realized that he was indeed in trouble with a Holy God. By now his friends were trying to interrupt, but by God's grace I was able to present the full gospel to him. Jacob took a tract, and thanked me for telling him about salvation in Christ. Knowing that he still had questions I asked, "Now, what questions do you have in regards to Christianity?" Again, he brought up about the Bible, and this time also about the historical Jesus. So I answered his questions (something his friends didn't like), and as he left Jacob said, "that makes sense, thanks for that."
It is encounters like that with Jacob that make witnessing on the streets so worth while. It was such an encouraging encounter to see a young man come to an understand of forgiveness in Christ. Later on in the evening, Andre came up to me and told me that he had just seen Jacob and his friends talking about the encounter, his friends were trying to make him forget our conversation, but Jacob just kept saying "What if the preacher is right?" Please pray for Jacob.
After this, it was my turn to preach, so I began by reading out a passage of Scripture, then expounding on what it meant. I spoke about how God is loving towards sinful humanity, in that even though we don't deserve His mercy, God still shows grace towards us in that He sent Christ to pay the price for our sins if we would believe.
During the preaching I noticed that Jacob was back listening, pray that God's word will take root in his heart.
Alex as usual fired up his arguments, and as usual they were flawed to the highest degree. Each week he comes back, and tries to suppress the truth in unrighteousness, but God's truth will not be stopped!
While preaching on sin, Riley called out "People only believe in sin, because of that book!" So I asked him about those other religions that don't believe in the Bible, and why is it that they have a knowledge of sin. His reply was to state that because they had religious writings, and only religious writings produced that knowledge. Since Riley studies anthropology, I asked him, "Is there any culture or any tribe of people, that do NOT have a knowledge of sin or God?" He replied that every single culture, and every tribe had that knowledge. So now I asked, "Do all those cultures have a book or writings to tell them about sin and God?" He replied that they did not. To which I said, "So the knowledge of God, and of sin is built in to every single person? We all know there is a God, and we all know about sin!" Riley agreed, and at this Alex started to argue with Riley.
God has given light to everyone, we all know that we do that which is wrong, we all know that we sin against God. Perhaps, you are reading this and you don't think you are a sinner in the sight of God, perhaps, you think that if there is a Heaven, then you are good enough to get there, well lets see:
Are you good enough to go to Heaven? Let's see if you are a good person by the Ten Commandments...Ever told a lie? The ninth commandment says, "You shall not lie." Ever stolen anything? Have you ever used God's name in vain? That's called Blasphemy. Have you looked with lust (sexual desire) at another person? Jesus said, "Everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart." How many times have you been guilty of any of these serious violations? You, like the rest of us are a slave to sin. God's word tells us that all liars, blasphemers, the sexually immoral, thieves, etc. will spend eternity in hell.
The Bible says: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." And, "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." The reason we die physically is because of sin, and this is also the reason we deserve to go to hell for all eternity, because we have sinned against God.
But, God loves His people so much, He sent His son Jesus to suffer and die in the place of sinners just like you. Then He rose from the grave defeating death! You can't earn God's forgiveness; it is God's free gift. To be forgiven of you sin, you must repent (turn from your sin) and trust that Jesus Christ died in the place of sinners. Then three days later He was raised from the dead, defeating sin and death. The Bible says: "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
Soli Deo Gloria!
Also check out the latest Operation 513 - "The Appointed Time" broadcast: https://www.operation513.com/theappointedtime.php
Want tracts at a low price? Check out: https://www.operation513.com/shop
This was the first Friday that I went out in sheffield at night to witness to the lost. Getting into town arround 7pm I waited to see if any other labourers would join me this evening. Praying as I waited I thanked God for the great opportunities that He has given us this last year and for His many blessings.
At the end of the half hour I headed into town a little further to talk with people and search for a spot that would be suitable for a team to work of a Friday night ongoing. I gave out tracts as I went and checked out a few places in the clubbing/pub section of town. A few people accepted tracts and I was glad to see many of them reading them as they went and showing them to friends.
Cyril and Patrisha joined me part way into the night and after praying together we headed to west street to the heart of the clubbing area. We found a good spot next to the tram stop and gave tracts to all the passing people. On arrival Trish ran into an old friend that is on/off the streets continuously and so tried to encourage him for a period. Cyril and I were going back and forward trying to get tracts into the hands of as many people as we could. During this time I had a conversation with an Greek Orthodox girl and confronted her with the need to share the gospel with people. She listened and reluctantly agreed, I may be wrong but it seems that the Orthodox church has little interest in evangelism as a whole.
Cyril managed to get into a great conversation with a doorman to one of the resteraunts/clubs, he asked Cyril to come over and talk with him and his friends about the gospel! Cyril gave them all tracts and got the contact number of the man. We pray that God will use this conversation to bring this man to Him and save him from eternal death.
A couple of young men stopped me while giving out tracts and asked what it was about, I told them that it was a gospel tract. They then went on to say that this was a much nicer way of being approached evangelistically. They had been approached earlier on by a group of Somalian Muslims and told that if they didn't become Muslims and come to the mosque the next day they would find them and kill them (showing them a large knife while saying this). Evangelism by the sword is denied by many Muslims but this is a mild example of what happens in the world (for more information www.barnabusfund.com) and their on scriptures contradict them (Sura 9:5 among others). This opened them to hear about the God who loved them enough to come and die in the place of sinners (which they are) and save them eternally if they will trust in His redeeming work. It was a wonderful conversation and they all left with tracts and thanked me repeatedly for speaking with them. We pray for David, James and Chris that they would repent and trust in the saviour, that they would be saved from the true death of hell.
The night finished well with many people having taken tracts and good times of fellowship as we worked together. We have found a place in front of town hall where it will work to have a regular outreach so I was pleased to have found this also. God is so generous to us and gives far more than we could ask for, Praise His name and all His saints give Him glory for His great work in us and the world!
It was a grim looking day as Anna, Jim, John, Luke and I all headed over to Manchester for the latest of the Northern outreaches. The rain was coming down and the wind blowing cold. Despite this the fellowship was warm as we drove and continued that way for the day.
In Market street we set up and discovered to our frustration and dismay that the wind was just strong enough to pick up tracts and even bibles and scatter them over the street periodically. None the less we persisted with the bible table to give people opportunity to have the word of God for free. Geraldine (a manchester local) joined us and we prayed together and then began to tract the area.
Jim noticed a little further down the mall that there was a line of people gathered for a signing by "Jordan" (for those who don't know of her, she was a soft porn model for british tabliod magazines). Jim preached to the people gathered using as his theme the proverb "Beauty is fading and charm decieving..." and procede to speak on the process of aging and death. There were no hecklers that opposed him but people unable to leave as he spoke so he was brief and gave an excellent gospel presentation. Afterwards many people took tracts and some people nearby who also heard took them too.
Over the period of the day many tracts went out and it was encouraging to see people steadly taking them despite not wanting to stop and talk. John was keen to preach so he was next up and preached from beside the bible table to the passing crowd. John is a solid preacher and despite people not stopping to listen there were nearby store employees that came out to listen for a little. Next up was Dale who had joined us from Cumbria, he preached well and often referred to the bible to confirm the truth of his message. A couple of one to ones began while he preached but again few people stopped for long. It is encouraging when people do stop but we know that God will use to good effect whatever people hear as they pass.
During this time I noticed that Anna was speaking to a couple that had listened to the preaching. Anna was working hard with him and he was trying in every way he could to show that the law was not applicable to him. He even went as far as to say that for some people it could be ok to commit sexual acts with small children and rape also. It never ceases to amaze me how far the hard natural heart of man will go to justify it's rebellion.
I preached next and spoke on the thought that truth is only relative, most people walked by but a couple of young guys stopped to speak to me. While I was doing the good person test with them we were interupted by a very angry lady who told me to leave them alone and that I was wrong to speak to them about God's law. I said that they and she were free to go if they wanted and rebuked her for hypocritcally condemning me for being faithful to God's word. The young guys left and I continued to preach about the great news of God's salvation in Christ. The guys came back toward the end and though they didn't hear the full message they did take tracts and thank us.
Around this time there were a group of people show up, most of them were from a local evangelical church in manchester. They have been coming to market street for a long time now and hand out literature (mostly using material from J.C. Ryle). Overjoyed to see other evangelistically minded people the others in the team and I went and encouraged them. As it was getting towards lunch time we headed off for a bite to eat and a rest for a half hour.
When we came back from lunch we found another group of evangelists in the mall and setting up a little down from them we had a very productive time and many of us had great conversations with people.
We set the table up again and now there was a little more interest as a couple people came by to ask if they could have some literature. This produced a couple of good conversations and Jim spoke for almost an hour with one man. The young guy was a catholic and was open to speak about assurance of going to heaven and the sacremental system. He and Jim parted on good terms and hopefully many good seeds were planted. I also spoke at length with a couple of young girls and urged them also not to trust in anything they could do to be right with God, rathter to trust fully in Jesus Christ and what He has done.
A couple of Christian guys came up to the table and spoke to us and it turns out that their church in Stockport have been using the law and gospel approach as per Way of the Master as we do. We encouraged them as best we could and pray that God would give great fruit to their efforts. They likewise urged us on in our ministry and I for one was most encouraged.
Dale preached again during this time and did a great job succinctly giving a gospel message and preaching the great news of Christ crucified to redeem sinners. After he finished there were a group of people just loitering around the front of the table so I jumped up and preached to the gathered crowd. Hamish and his two friends quickly came over to speak with me and we had a great conversation going through the good person test and the gospel. They were very open to hear the gospel but despite having broken God's law they hoped they would get into heaven anyway. I reasoned with them that a human judge could never sweep crime ‘under the carpet' so why do they suddenly expect God to be able to do the same? I stood down to speak with them further but as I did so an atheist man interjected and in the strongest terms began to deny the existence of God. This would harden the hearts of the young men to the gospel so I placed aside speaking with them temporarily and debated with the atheist for a short period.
He had no interest in the gospel or anything to do with God but only to assert the atheistic perspective. This is increasingly the case with atheists we encounter at the moment, militant atheism is here to stay it seems. Praise God that there is also so much material available now to show that the faith of the atheist is misplaced. Evolutionary science is increasingly an embarrassment to those who propound it, atheism as a philosophy has an equally embarrassing history, and at it's heart atheism is based on an assumption of absolute knowledge (impossible from a human stand point).
Hamish and his friends were still standing close by as Mr Atheist left and the discussion had an impact on them if not on him. They were more than happy to hear what I had to say after watching the conversation. Praise God that He gives a way into every heart for His word. I gave them the gospel message and urged them to read the bibles they had at home. They took tracts and thanked us as they left.
The rest of the team where still in one to one conversations when it came time to leave and it was a pity to leave such a fruitful field of work. All in all it was a wonderful day's work for the Lord, praise His name and may many be drawn to Jesus as we hold Him both dear and high.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Once again I was blessed with the privilege of being able to head out to the Queen Street Mall to tell people about the good news that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Tonight, I was expecting a smaller team, but, even though the numbers may have been few we could still reach out to those who are dead in sin.
We followed the usual pattern of things, prayer, bible reading and then some fellowship before the outreach. It was good to have Peter rejoin us after he had been away on holidays for a couple of weeks. While we were having a time of fellowship we spotted a sign in the bus shelter that was advertising some breath mints with the slogan "Sins, why stop at seven?" This is really saddening to see that our culture is prepared to live in open rebellion towards their Creator, but what is even worse is that many Christians do not do anything about it. As Christians we have the words of eternal life, not only does the gospel of Jesus Christ save people from hell and the wrath of God, but it also transforms a society. Many Christians will whinge and complain about the fact that society is going downhill fast, yet many of those same Christians will never do anything about it. If you want to see society changed, if you want to see people saved, then be obedient to the Scripture and go into all the world and preach the gospel.
Tonight was also a sad night, as I found out that our Jewish friend who has been coming for the last six weeks to listen was moving up to Northern Queensland, so there will be no more discussions over Jesus being the Messiah. Please pray for this man has he has heard the gospel many times. Pray that God will grant Him repentance and lead him to the knowledge of the truth.
Ralph was the first preacher up for the night, and nearly immediately a man named Wayne began to heckle. Now Wayne was a "backslider" he grew up in the church, and even asked Jesus into his heart. The problem is that now he is an agnostic, and he clearly hates the gospel of Jesus Christ. While Ralph was reasoning with him, two people from the crowd decided to jump into the discussion and try to prove the truth of Christianity. The problem was, that they were using arguments like these, "We know Christianity is real, as the blessed virgin appeared in South America and told us!" This was a first time I have actually heard Roman Catholics come to the debate and try to prove the case from the demonic apparitions.
Ralph tagged me in, and my first job was to wrestle control of the discussion away from what the Roman Catholics were preaching, and bring it back to the Biblical gospel. So I directed a question towards the spokesmen of the Catholics, and asked him how to get to heaven. His reply was "By grace through faith, and good works!" Now, for starters it isn't grace when works are involved, so I asked him "What if the Bible said, works cannot save, what would you do?" Then I proceeded to read out Ephesians 2:8-9.
At this Wayne jumped in and started to argue, that one is only a Christian because they are born in a Christian country. So I went through an apologetic about how people from many non-Christian countries become Christians, and how I was born in this nation, but wasn't a Christian.
There were many opportunities to preach the gospel, as I spoke and engaged with Wayne the crowd grew. Every now and then Alex the agnostic would jump in and say something, but as per usual it was most irrational, and faulty logic on display. It appears that Alex each week only comes out to suppress the truth in unrighteousness. Realistically he only argues each week so that he can hopefully appease his conscience and continue to live in a life of sin.
The preaching went for about 90 minutes, and in that time we got to cover a range of topics from homosexuality, right through to evolution and post-modern thought. During the preaching a young English man from the West Midlands, stopped and yelled "I heard you down the Gold Coast" then proceeded to yell abuse about how he hates Christianity.
A few more Englishmen began to yell out as well, one from London, and another guy from West Midlands began to join in. The first Englishman, then decided to get a cup full of lemonade (or at least I hope it was lemonade), and run up from behind then pour it all over my head while preaching. The other two Englishmen didn't do anything like that, except they did argue post-modernism.
Once again this presented an opportunity for the gospel to go out, and many people got to hear of Salvation in Jesus Christ.
The night finished with Andre preaching the gospel, and expounding once again how we can be forgiven of sins.
Soli Deo Gloria!
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Tonight, I was really excited about the prospect of being bale to go into Brisbane city and make Christ known. The more I think about the great news of the gospel, the more I long to tell people of Jesus Christ, while this mindset may result in many people mocking or scorning, I really couldn't care less. Those who mock (some of them being readers) can go on and keep mocking, but I will keep telling you of the love of Christ, and how He can forgive all your sins, if you would repent and trust in Him.
This morning was spent at the new evangelist mentoring program that Graham Sercombe has started, this mentor program that has started appears to be a very good thing, as it will result in more people who have the gift of an evangelist being trained and equipped for the work of the ministry. As I left this mornings meeting I was very encouraged to share my faith, it is always good to have likeminded brothers and sisters to share our evangelistic passion with.
We had a good number of people come out onto the streets of Brisbane this evening with the whole intention of making Christ known. It is such an honour that I get to serve alongside these people who are far more gifted and I. It is a real encouragement to see my Christian family out there telling people that Christ can forgive them because of the cross.
The first preacher up for the night was Andre, he started off by talking about the economy and how it is going down the drain. From there he swung into the gospel, and pointed to those who would stop and listen, that even though they had sinned against God, and even though they deserve the wrath of God, Christ Jesus would forgive them if they would repent and trust in Him.
Right after Andre finished preaching, Ralph jumped up and once again began to expound on the free gift of salvation that is only found in Christ Jesus. During this time I was able to grab a couple of guys and have a conversation with them. By far one the best ways to get a one to one is to simply hang around with an open air preacher. As, when they preach you can talk to those who go to walk away, and often times they are ready to discuss what they just heard.
The night was going fairly well, people were taking gospel tracts, and many one to ones were occurring. By now the mall had become a bit more busy, and as Kevin got up to preach, some hecklers moved in for some close heckling.
A man named Anthony came in and began to open fire on Kevin, about coveting an x-box game. From there this man went on rant after rant after rant. He spoke about how people should care for the poor, and how mankind in naturally good. He then went on to talk about how God is Love, therefore we should all live the way we want to. The problem was that this man was a professing Christian. Kevin tried to deal with him, but Anthony wouldn't let Kev get a word in. As the man ranted the crowd grew, and as it grew more people got tracts and go the chance to hear the gospel.
Kevin tagged me in, so I now had the "fun" of trying to deal with Anthony, initially it looked like we had him under control, when he agreed to let me speak for one minute, and then he would speak for one minute. So we got Alex the Agnostic to time us. Things ran fair smoothly except Anthony interrupted me while I was speaking. But, then things change when it was his turn to speak, he spoke for one minute, for two minutes, and every time I told him times up, he would simply yell "SHUT UP!"
During this time he kept saying that God is love, and everyone is good and kind. Then just to prove the point some random guy walked up and kicked over our flip chart (very loving of him).
When, I finally got to speak again, I was able to talk about the depravity of man. This really upset Antony as he didn't believe himself to be a sinner, nor was anyone else in the world. The more I spoke about sin, the more upset he became, the more I spoke about God's judgment the more hostile he grew. Anthony started to yell at me, asking why I would say such things, and my reply was because I love him, and those listening that I would tell them the truth.
The back and forth with Antony went back and forth, eventually he left hurling abuse (again showing how caring he was). I then tagged Kevin back in. Kev finished the night off by preaching the gospel once again.
Overall it was a good night, and many people got to hear of salvation in Christ Jesus.
Soli Deo Gloria!