Warren and I met at the usual time of 2pm at the Redcliffe Jetty ready to do some witnessing. We firstly prayed and then started handing out tracts to everyone we met, at the same time trying to get into one to one conversations.
The first conversation I had was with a middle aged man who said that he did not believe that beliefs existed. I've heard many people say that there is no absolute truth, but never heard anyone go as far as he did by saying there are not any beliefs. I pointed out to him that his position is self-refuting, for that in itself is a belief that there are no beliefs. In fact I pointed out to him that he has many beliefs, for example, he believes that the seat he is sitting on will hold him up. He also has a belief that he and other physical objects exist. However he objected to that by saying, "Nothing physical exists." However as the conversation went on he admitted that he believes the inner consciousness exists. He said I should look within myself for the truth, not to anything objective.
At this stage, I knew that this man was massively deceived into believing the new-age cultic material. So I showed the man that we can know there is a God, and I told him of the judgment to come. I then brought him through God's law in order to bring the knowledge of sin to the man. I pointed out that because he had sinned, and he was deserving of God's wrath as the just punishment for his sin. At this stage he just started swearing and cursing at me, so I promptly left the man alone, and helped Warren who was handing out gospel tracts to the hundreds of people that were coming off the Whale Watching boat.
Numerous other conversations were had and many gospel tracts went out. To God be the Glory!
I had been in bed all week with a bad dose of the flu, so I had decided that I shouldn't preach tonight, unless I inflame my sickness. As I drove into the city, I was hit constantly with the feeling of illness and also with head-spins, but the thought of being able to hit the streets of Brisbane was one that encouraged me to keep on going.
The night was cold, and it was surprising that we had such a small team gather for prayer and bible reading. At this stage there was only three of us present, so we were bracing for the fact that it may be a very busy night for us.
After spending time in fellowship we made our way up to our preaching spot, on the journey we ran into the Barnard family and also Peter. So our numbers swelled. We were then joined by a few more team members in the mall.
It was good to see everyone in position, from the preacher to those handing out tracts, and even our regular agnostic heckler Alex.
Ralph was the first preacher up for the night, and he did a bit of preaching, he preached the Word of God, and dealt with hecklers for about fifteen minutes, then tagged me into take over. I had to preach, even though I knew it would be unwise for me physically to preach, I had the preachers itch so I had to get up.
I started by engaging Alex over the creation of the world. He had stated earlier on that he only accepted empirical evidence, yet he didn't have any empirical evidence for his version of how the world came about. Once we pointed that out to him he decided to make some argument to prove how old the earth was (this still wasn't empiric evidence), but the problem with much of his argument was the fact that it was all built on a presupposition.
We debated over the topic of how only God is eternal, and how the universe is not. This then led into the biblical discussion of how God one day will send Jesus Christ back to earth to judge humanity for all their sins.
By now a good size crowd had gathered, and other hecklers had entered into the discussion. We covered a wide variety of topics from "How we got the Bible" to "Does God exist." It was a good open air, and many people got to hear the gospel. God has been gracious once again in bringing a crowd in for His glory!
After preaching for about an hour I started to notice that my voice was getting weak due to the flu that I had. So I tagged Ryan in to continue to debate the atheists. By the time I stood down, there wasn't much I could do as I had some really bad head spins. While I was trying to get over my illness I was approached by a man who had ‘advanced' past Christianity. It was his position that once one grows in spirituality you realise that Christianity is merely a step on the path to knowing the great all wise spirit.
He stated that the best way to be connected to the spirit was by loving and not judging anyone. This was an interesting thought, so I started to ask the man to explain, and he quickly passed judgment on Christianity. This then led to a discussion about how inconsistent his worldview is. The man after a while became rather angry at me, and once again proved how "unloving" he was. It was hard to witness to this man, as every time I presented the gospel to him started to wall up and wouldn't listen.
The rest of the night was spent dealing with one to ones, while Ryan preached. Overall it was a great night.
Soli Deo Gloria!
by David Strachan, fellow labourer on the Gold Coast Field Team
At around midday Josh Mitchell picked me up from the city after my church service finished and we hit the road to drive to Surfers Paradise (we are hoping to get a carload of people with us in the future to drive down together). Usually Josh struggles a lot with lethargy when we drive down, but we have found a cure - I drive (I haven't driven much in the city before!)
So we were pretty alert when we arrived at Surfers Paradise. It was a fine, sunny day and there where many lost and unsaved people out and about. There were tons of people at beach - quite a few people were even brave enough to be swimming.
We arrived at our preaching site (the main stairs leading to the beach opposite MacDonald's at Cavill avenue). Snowy greeted us there and we prayed together at the stairs.
I then started the video recorder rolling as Snowy got up to preach first. While stuttering a bit, he interacted with quite a few people and preached the gospel clearly and well. At one stage wile interacting with a person in the crowd who said that they couldn't hear him Snowy raised his voice - proving that he does have a strong, deep, manly voice accessible...when necessity requires.
Josh Mitchell then got up and preached for the rest of the time. For some reason my Video Camcorder ran out of battery really quick so I had to resort to using the video function on my camera - which worked fine but it uses SD card memory really quick.
Josh interacted well with some friendly Muslims who hung around for quite a while. Overall he had many good conversations with those watching in the crowd and answered well and preached the gospel boldly, urging sinners to repent and put their trust in Jesus alone.
After somewhere between one to two hours Josh finished preaching and stepped down. The sun was well down in the sky by now and the area was starting to be covered in shade. We had some good one-on-one talks sharing the gospel with those who were still around. I met Robert, a middle aged Christian man who actually lives near where we preach. He was very happy to see us out proclaiming the good news of the gospel to the lost and we chatted for quite a while about the Gospel and God's word and he shared his testimony - praise God for bringing Robert to despair in life and then saving him through his powerful Gospel - making Robert His own Child. We serve a mighty God!
This Saturday the weather was beautiful and the opportunities were many as I ministered in the Lord's name in Fargate. I was privileged with many conversations that I hope blessed the other people as much as they encouraged me.
I began the afternoon's work by walking through the court in front of the cathedral and handing out some tracts to those sitting there. It was wonderful to see the groups of people reading of Jesus their only hope as I handed them out. My first conversation was with a lady who accepted a tract despite the jeers of one of her friends. She then went on to not only listen while I shared the law and the gospel with her but she told her friend to pipe down several times as he tried to stop the conversation. Praise God that He opened her heart this much, she left with a tract in hand and I pray that she would be drawn by you my Lord, that your love and mercy would follow her also all her days.
At the end of this conversation I headed up into Fargate and continued to hand out tracts. I found that today there were many people who were willing to take tracts and while only a couple stopped to ask more all of them walked on reading. Having run out of one lot of tracts I then set up to preach God's word to as many as would hear. Today again I focused on the materialism of our modern world and the way that people have sold themselves for trinkets that last less than the measly 75 years we are here for. I began by focusing attention on the passage:
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." (Matthew 6:32-34)
While I preached a couple of people stopped and listened while they sat on the surrounding chairs, some came and went but no-one heckled and I preached with zeal and joy the greatness of our salvation in Jesus Christ alone. Two young men had stopped and listened and I engaged them and a nearby middle eastern man in conversation afterwards. I could not get far with the young men before they were called away to their Saturday pursuits but I had a wonderful conversation with Muhammad the other man.
I was able to speak at length with him about the scriptures that all Muslims are commanded to believe (according to Sura 29:46 and Sura 10:94) and urge him to take a second look at what Jesus said of Himself rather than what he had been lead to believe. One of the greatest difficulties I find when ministering to Muslim people is that they so often will become unreceptive because they believe the bible to be a corrupted book. This is a plain-faced lie that so many Muslim people have swallowed without a second thought. The book that Muhammad referred to in the above sura's is pre-dated by the documents we translate the modern bible from, in plain terms: if you believe that the bible was reliable then you must believe that the bible is reliable now. This young man though he didn't agree with what I had to say, he did stay and talked for 30 minutes and gladly took the tract and Arabic new testament I gave him.
Join us in praying fervently to the Lord on behalf of the Muslim people, pray that He will sovereignly work to save them and that He will raise up people to reach them. Many fear the Muslim people, as Christians we are called to follow our Lord and self sacrificially love even those who hate us and pray for those who would persecute us.
Filled with joy in the Lord at this conversation I went to the peace gardens to speak with some of the youth of Sheffield who gather there every week. There I ran into Dan and a couple of his friends, in particular two young ladies who spoke with me at length. I was able to speak to them by beginning with where they were (one of them had lost a friend recently and hated God for it) and use this to point them to the saviour and to God's justice. After hearing the gospel and the law many times over they left and we pray that the Lord will put that conversation to good use. As it was getting late I headed off, but not before a group of angry young people arrived to ask "We keep telling you to leave but you just keep coming back, why?" and "Do you think that you are doing God's work?". I was pleased to tell them that I come because I want them to know the truth and I want that because I care for them. As for doing God's work, no I am merely an unprofitable servant who is only doing what he is commanded, for it is written:
"Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 16:15-16)
At the scheduled time of 9pm the Skypecast started and it immediately got busy. Right off the bat, a fellow by the name of Eddie from the US wanted to discuss religion. He did not hold to any particular religion and was unsure about the whole issue. However when asked whether he thought he would go to Heaven, he said yes. He thought that God would weigh out the good and bad things he has done. I pointed out to him that a good and just judge will never accept a bribe, so if God is just He cannot be bribed by anything, not even a person's good works. This lead straight onto the gospel, how we can be saved from God's wrath if we trust that Jesus paid the punishment for our sins on the cross. Eddie wanted to know what distinguished Christianity from every other religion in the world. So I laid out one of major differences, between a salvation earned by ourselves (in every other religion), and a salvation by God's grace (Christianity).
However, it was at this point I noticed Skype was playing up. People were strangely being moved up to the talking area without me moving them up. And there was even a person logged in as me having conversations with people via text messaging. But despite these problems, the gospel still went out, and the entire show was even broadcast live on Voice of Truth Radio.
The next heckler we had was a pantheist who believed God is everything. I think Pantheism is just another form of Atheism, because it's just another excuse to say "I are god and can do whatever I want". Nevertheless, Pantheism is easily refuted by showing that it is self-contradictory. However, this fellow explicitly stated that if someone makes a toy car for their child, that car becomes them. It was at this stage I knew I was not talking to a rational person. After a bit of reasoning with the man, I managed to present both the law and the gospel to him.
After a few more conversations with hecklers, I had a good in-depth conversation with Rob Liaison from Voice of Truth Radio about subjects such as, Atheism, Islam, Catholisim, "Does Baptism save?", "Is Mormonism Biblical?", "Do our good works credit us salvation?", etc.
We will have another Skypecast at the same time next week - Sunday 9pm - 12am GMT+10. If you would like to advertise the upcoming Operation 513 Skypecasts on your webpage/blog/myspace, please visit the Skypecast page and that will give you the instructions on how you can do so.
To God be the glory!
I was excited about tonight and as I was preparing for to leave home the idea of being able to stand and preach once again the glories of Christ was really awesome. What privilege we have as fallen human beings to stand and give testimony about our great and merciful God who saved us not because of anything we have done, but rather He saved us by His grace alone, so that He may get all the praise! It is a tremendous honour for any Christian then to stand and declare the good news of salvation to anyone who would listen. And to also plead with them, to look unto Jesus Christ and be saved.
When Andre, Tamara, and I arrived in Brisbane, the first thing we noticed was the fact that the car park was full! Each week for the past few months I have been able to park in the same car park, yet tonight I had to park elsewhere, this of course was a good indication of how busy the night was going to be.
We made our way over to King George Square, and on the way we ran into a good friend of ours who had just returned from a few weeks away on mission trip. Warren has been a real blessing to the team in the whole time he has been coming out with us. And it good to be able to call him a brother and also a friend.
Before too long we were joined by some other team members, and after a bit of a chat about theology, we started to pray for the evening, we prayed that God would be gracious to us, and that He would draw a crowd in for His Glory. We also prayed that He would Sovereignly draw His elect unto Himself.
After this time of prayer, we all opened our Bibles and read the Scripture together. Then once we had finished, we were able to spend some good time in fellowship. And once again discuss theological issues. I have heard other ministry leaders say that one should not talk about theology. I think that as Christians it is good for us to encourage each and other and also challenge each other over different theological thoughts. Of course there is a time and place to discuss such things, and when witnessing that is a time not to talk theology, but when we are fellowshipping together our conversation should be God focused, so it is in those times that we should be talking about the Study of God (theology).
At 9pm, we were in our normal spot in the Queen Street Mall, and we began to set up for the night. As per usual we set up the Bible table, which is a great place to have one to ones, and also to engage in apologetics. Since this table has been set up we have been able to distribute 100's Bibles. This is an awesome privilege, since we have been given the chance to put the very word of God into the hands of people who do not know Him. While it is probably the most expensive part of our weekly outreach, I think it is by far one of the most beneficially to the gospel ministry.
Alistair was the first preacher we had tonight, he has come along way in his preaching. He used to just stand up there and preach for a few minutes then stand down. But now he is preaching for longer periods of time, and he is preaching with a passion. Something I noticed with Ali's preaching is the fact that it is saturated with the Word of God, what I mean is, when he opens his mouth to preach or answers a question he does so with Scripture. This of course is the best way to open air preach, or for that matter, preach in general. As our words really mean nothing, but it is the Word of God that will not return void.
Ali's preached for near on forty minutes, and during that time he was able to engage a few hecklers with the gospel. I must say it is always encouraging to see God raising up more and more open air preachers with the passion to take the gospel to where the lost are.
Just after Ali finished preaching, a drunk man came up and decided to tell us how much God loves him, and how much God hates us. This man was offended and angered at the fact that there were Christians in the mall preaching about Jesus. Even though this man claimed to love Jesus. I tried to deal with this man, but he was too drunk to even have a decent conversation with.
As the drunk man stumbled off up the mall another man appeared to take his place. This man was carrying a Bible, and very quickly declared himself to be a **** evangelist. One didn't need to have the gift of discernment to quickly realise that something was not right.
This man walked up right next to me and said "I've save 200 people from hell!" Then he paused and waited for me to respond. I presume he wanted me to congratlate him on all the people he had saved, yet I couldn't do that. My response was "You didn't save anyone from hell. If they got saved then it was by God's own election." The man quickly replied, "Yeah, I know that but I saved them" then he continued "What has God ever done for me? I hate Him, He does nothing for me!" This is an odd thing for an "evangelist" to say, so I pointed out to him that the very fact that he currently lives, and currently breaths is a sign that God is doing something for him. God doesn't have to give him life, yet it is by an act of kindness that God allows him to live. The man replied rather angrily "If God cared for me, he would give me a job, give me a home, and give me lots of money!"
I pointed out to the man that no where in Scripture does God promise us any of those things. But the man just kept rambling on about prosperity. This man showed clearly the curse that comes from that charlatans on TV that preach "health and wealth" those TV "prosperity pimps" are not ministers of the gospel, but rather they are servants of their own wallet. They cause people to curse God because of their antics, and they are saving up God's holy wrath that will be revealed against them on the day of judgement! (2 Peter 2:3)
The angry and bitter man (who has ever right to be bitter as he was sold a lie) left yelling his hatred for God. So I began to prepare to preach. My opening for the night was going to be on "Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?" As I started in on this topic a few people began to gather in and listen, and as I went through an analogy illustrating how in life bad things do happen, I swung to Luke 13 and explained how when Jesus walked on earth He got asked some similar questions.
I pointed out to the people that had stopped to listen that Jesus answered the people by saying "No, unless you repent you also will perish!" As I expounded on that I showed the crowd that the real question is not "Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people" but rather "Why would a good God allow bad people to live?" This of course then spring boarded into talking about the total depravity of man, and how apart from God's grace we cannot ever be saved.
God showed His favour towards us by bring back the drunk man from before. The man began to heckle, God used this man's heckling to draw a large crowd in for His glory. The man began to really fire up and the louder he got the bigger the crowd got. Some of the members of the team commented that this was either the biggest crowd we have ever had or the second biggest. I am not sure how big it was, as my focus was on dealing with hecklers and preaching the gospel.
More hecklers began to enter into the discussion, and some of them had genuine and good questions but others were just plain silly. I would say that the majority of the time was spent on the gospel, with very little time being spent on apologetics. We spoke in depth about how bad things happen in this world, and how this is a result of sin. Then we spoke about how society as a whole is sinful, but we must always remember that society is made up of individuals who are sinful.
About half way through I could feel my voice starting to go, this was from the fact that I still hadn't fully gotten over being sick. Then a man came running into the middle of the crowd and through a tract that was on fire in front of me. The crowd erupted in cheers as the gospel burned. This man later on professed to be an atheist, and wanted me to answer the question "Does God exist." I tried to engage him in apologetics but he wasn't interested. He was more interested in performing to the crowd. But at least he stayed, and got to hear the gospel a few more times.
One young bloke decided to be a bit of a clown, so he jumped up next to me and began to mock me while I preached. He turned and passed wind into my face while preaching. The crowd took great delight in this, but I kept on with the gospel. After preaching open air for a few years it takes a bit to really annoy me. This young bloke seemed to think that it was his job to annoy me for the night. The problem is he failed rather miserably.
The next trick this bloke did was to get a handful of ice and pour it down my shirt. Now this being the middle of winter, and being cold already didn't really do much to make me feel good. But I ignored his ice antics and kept on preaching. He decided then that it would be funny to throw stuff at me while I preached. This is not an uncommon thing, so once again I ignored him.
But this young bloke had strong willpower and endurance. He then decided to climb into the garden behind me and proceed to shower me in bark. This once again I ignored, and kept on preaching that Christ Jesus can forgive us of any sins we have committed.
The young bloke seemed to calm down for a short while (maybe to think of new ideas), and during that calm in the storm I was able to freely preach the gospel, and also to answer questions from the crowd.
As it neared the hour mark of the preaching, I knew my voice didn't have much left in it, so I was preparing to tag Ryan in, when our young clown decided to do one more show. This time the man let out a loud yell of "I love you!" then came running towards me at a full pace arms spread wide. Then in for the hug he came. The problem is it wasn't your usual ‘drunken' hug, but rather it was a full on tight embrace. This man was so close to me while he hugged me that I felt like he was attached to me. He then started to talk about how much he liked to hug me, and how much he liked to smell me. This led him to start smelling me while I was preaching. The crowd seemed to enjoy all this. I was able to pry him off me and he said he was leaving. He took a few steps and then turned yelling "I cannot be separated from my love!" Once again he became attached to me. Alex (our regular agnostic heckler) then came over and tried to get the man off me by saying "Let's make them look silly by our arguments, and not by our actions." I really appreciate what Alex tried to do, but the man refused to listen. And once again I was engulfed by his full embrace.
At one point I was able to pry him off my left side only to get him to let go and hug me from my right side. I then called in a couple of the team members to come and get him off me. Snowy came across and was able to wrestle him off me, but the man quickly came running back again. So Snowy grabbed him once more, but this time the man didn't let go of me, so as Snowy pulled, I was pulled off the pulpit. Quickly I was able to get back up and continue to preach.
The young man then came and jumped up on the pulpit with me and once again began to hug me. This time he decided to act like a dog and try to have sex with my leg. Snowy once again pulled him off, and again pulled me down. Once again I was able to jump back up and preach on.
Some of the team members by now had headed down to the police station in order to get some police to come and assist. And they later told me they could see everything that was happening as the police were watching the situation on a TV in the station (probably having a good laugh!). Once the young clown heard that the police were coming he hugged me once more, said he loved me then left up the mall at a very quick pace.
I looked down the mall and could see two police officers approaching, so I handed a large wad of in-depth tracts to Ben and told him to hand them out to all in the crowd. A large number of the crowd took tracts, and the reason I got him to do that was because I knew that once the police arrived the crowd would leave. This is what happened, so I quickly wrapped up the open air. But before I could stand down Alex decided it was time for his weekly heckle. Since my voice was nearly gone, I told him to wait as Ryan would be next, then I turned to the crowd and told them that up next was the debate "Does God Exist?" Quite a number of the crowd stayed as Ryan got up to engage in debate with Alex.
As soon as I got down I was surrounded by a few Christians who were encouraged about seeing the gospel preached in public. This by far is one of the most encouraging things for me as a gospel preacher. I don't want to just preach so that the lost get saved, but I want to be able to encourage other Christians to go do the work of an evangelist.
The rest of the night for me was spent dealing with Christians, some who loved open air, and others who thought we should be doing "healings, signs and wonders".
Ryan preached for the rest of the night, and many one to ones followed. God truly was gracious in allowing His gospel to go forth!
Soli Deo Gloria!
I made it to Redcliffe shortly after 2pm and met up with Warren. After waiting for a brief time for any others we spent a few moments in prayer then made our way out onto the pier. Warren and I handed out our tracts and were continuing to do so when we noticed the Whale watching boat making its way in. Being low on tracts and only having the two of us I was thinking to myself ... 'we're not going to get as many of these people as we would have liked to. Though praise the Lord that Tim turned up just prior to the boat coming in.
We made the decision to hand our tracts out further down the bridge this week to avoid people dumping them in the bin immediately after having received them. We managed to hand out quite a few tracts which was great. After the 'rush' we decided to make our way up the beachfront and over to the Redcliffe lagoon. We handed out a few tracts on the way down and back but unfortunately the one to ones were scarce this week and we didn't have any good conversations with people. Nevertheless, the Word of God was preached to the many people that received the tracts and we pray the Lord will use this work for His glory and to draw these people unto himself.
After spending a little time at the end of the bridge and continuing to hand out the tracts we decided to call it a day and made our ways home.
Report by Chris Addison
Today was a beautiful Queensland afternoon, but unfortunately a terrible feeling of lethargy had crept over me. I couldn't shake it much, and was further perplexed to find that our normal preaching spot was occupied by persons for almost the entire time we were present. Not wishing to lose opportunities to glorify my Lord Jesus, I made a decision for our small gathering to break into one2one's.
The Lord gave me two young ladies, who both immediately professed personal goodness. As I pressed in with the ten commandments, to show them how sinful they were, you could see the haze was lifting and felt discomfort in the presense of God's commandments. I truly believe men will be so entirely uncomfortable when they are delivered into the holy presence of God, on judgment day. The most ardent, intellectual athiest, will shake at the knees, and desire in every part of his being to be immediately absent, from the presence of the loving Lord who made them.
After God allowed me to share His gospel, with these two, I was able to speak with some young french men, who seemed to make very quick use of their lack of english to escape the test of God's law. However some took tracts in english, and I pray God will grant them understanding of His truth, and a repentant heart with which to believe in Jesus!
God also let me speak to a man, who has been emotionally, and tyranically opposed to the gospel proclamation over the last two and a bit years we have been preaching the gospel in this location. We had a lovely conversation, and we exchanged personal contact details. Please pray God helps him understand his need of Christ, that he might use the rest of his days enjoying and proclaiming the goodness of God in sincerity!
With time now passed, we quickly gathered our things and headed back to the car. On the way out, a very old Arabic women, accepted a gospel tract written in her own tongue. Thank God for the Arabic Chick tract, "This was your life". Please pray God converts her, and uses her to win her fellows in her own country!
Friend's I know for certainty that God's, program of gospel proclamation, conversion of His people, and progressive sanctification of His converts, is still marching on.
The question is, what part are you going to play, and working with Him down here on earth..
For Jesus name,
Gold Coast - Team Leader
PS. If I can make a very special and urgent request to my readers. Please if you can, I beg you get some christians in a prayer team together to pray for the outreaches. It does make a difference, Spurgeon used to have 100+ plus prayer warrior's beseeching God at times, while he preached. We are in battle, and if we can't have you on field labouring with us, the next best thing is a humble christian on thier knees, supporting us in prayer!
The Operation 513 Skypecast started at the scheduled time of 9pm on Sunday, and was also simultaneously broadcast live on Voice of the Truth Radio. Andrew Caswell and Ralph Patrick graciously helped out for various parts of the Skypecast, as Josh Williamson was unable to be there.
The first conversation I had was with a gentleman who thought that all religions were just created out of fear for things. I informed the man that that is not necessarily true. I think religions were created because of the fact that through creation we can know there is a creator (Rom. 1:20), yet some religions worship the creation rather than the creator (Rom. 1:25). I also pointed out to the fellow that we all have a conscience (Rom. 2:15), so we know the difference between right and wrong. And because people recognise they have done wrong, various religions have incorporated a sacrificial system (whether it be animals, good works, etc) into their beliefs which they think will pay for their sins. Yet also we know that because pretty much every religion believes different things to each other, they all cannot be correct. So I reasoned with the man, showing him that all the other sacrificial systems (of good works, etc) can never properly satisfy God's justice, only in Christianity through the death of the sinless Son of God. And that is what happened on the cross 2000 years ago.
The next heckler we had on was a self-proclaimed Atheist. He wanted to know why we would believe in a God. So I presented the Kalam Cosmological Argument for God's existence to the fellow, and he remarked, "Wow! You are not like any other Christian I have met as you actually present good reasons to believe the things that you believe. What you are saying makes sense." So then I talked about why we can know there is a judgment after we die, because God is just. Then after a rather lengthy discussion about how we can know God is just and the topic of where morality comes from, I brought him through the law and the gospel.
Next we had a Muslim lady who was very talkative, and as soon as she was moved into the talking area, she stressed that religious discussions need to be had and done in a reasonable manner. She thanked us that our Skypecast did that. She also emphasised the point that we cannot just believe in a religion because our parents brought us up in, but rather we need to have reasons for the things that we believe in. I completely agreed with her, and at that point, I wondered if she would still say that at the end of the conversation we were having. ;)
So I brought up some of the logical inconsistencies within Islam, and the best she could respond with was, "You cannot learn about Islam from reading an English Qur'an; it must be in the Arabic." I find that position rather self-refuting because I asked her if someone could become a Muslim by just learning about it from an English Qur'an, and she said yes. Why the double standard? She also brought up the intriguing claim that the Bible says that another prophet will come, and she said that it was talking about Mohammad. However when asked for the reference, she could not provide one. She said she had just heard about it from her 'Christian' friends. It says that nowhere in the New Testament. Moreover, I pointed out to her that I've met another Muslim lady who said it was okay to worship whatever god you want (even the trees). Should I use her as my final authority to learn what Islam is? Of course not. The same with Christianity; we should look at what the Bible actually says.
At the end of the conversation, she said that Muslims know that Christianity is a religion from God (yet strangely don't believe it?), and she admitted that there would always be these contradicitions within Islam, yet she would not give up her beliefs. Please pray that God will open her eyes to the truth and she will trust in the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
We will have another Skypecast at the same time next week - Sunday 9pm - 12am GMT+10. If you would like to advertise the upcoming Operation 513 Skypecasts on your webpage/blog/myspace, please visit the Skypecast page and that will give you the instructions on how you can do so.
To God be the glory!
I was excited at the idea of witnessing tonight, but sadly I knew I would be unable to open air due to the really bad head cold I had. As I prepared to head out on the street, I could feel my voice slowly going, and this concerned me as I had the honour of preaching at "For His Glory Evangelical" the next evening.
When I arrived in the city, the first thing I noticed was how dead the mall was. There were very few people walking up and down the Queen Street Mall. Based on what I saw anyone could be mistaken, and think it was the early hours of the morning, instead of the busiest hour of the night.
As per usual we met in the now drastically smaller King George Square for a time of prayer and fellowship. We spent some time reading through Psalm 119 and then had a time of just general building each other up in the faith. I have found these times of fellowship before the outreach to be very important, as it limit's the "chit chat" during the actually outreach. Which in turn means more people get to hear the gospel.
Tonight we suffered from a shortage of preachers, which is something we haven't experienced in quite some time. Normally we have so many preachers, that we don't all get to have a preach.
Since it was really quiet I didn't expect much of a crowd to gather, and this proved to be true for a little while. Ryan preached first and he did a good job, his apologetics in regards to atheism are brilliant, and each week we have regular atheists who come in and argue. We have found this to be a good way to help the people of Brisbane, as many people like to think "there is no God", but after seeing what atheism offers many people we speak to afterwards, believe that there is a God who created the world, this in turn then creates an opportunity to tell of Jesus Christ.
Alex the agnostic was present from the time we started right through the time we ended. He is more regular than some of our team members, and to be honest most of us look forward to see Alex each week, and also to hear his ‘latest' arguments on why God does not exist.
While Ryan was preaching, I noticed that our regular cranky old Catholic man was present. This man comes past every now and then, and normally hurls some abuse about us being Protestant and then wanders over to the nearest female and starts to get a bit ‘friendly'. Tonight was no different, he began to talk to some of the females on the team, so I walked over and stood near him. Normally that is all it takes, and he moves on, tonight was no different.
The next preacher up for the night was Ralph, he spoke for a bit about the gospel of Jesus and how that can set you free from all your sins. He spoke on the atheism and evolution debate, thus showing how there must be a God who created everything. Then once again he swung back to the Gospel.
The mall was near deserted, so we decided that once Ralph finished we would just hand out tracts, and do one to one for a little while. Then once that had been done for a time, then Ryan would preach again.
During this time many one to ones were occurring. Then it came time for Ryan to preach once again.
This time Alex couldn't control himself and longer and he began to heckle Ryan as he preached. This of course grew a small crowd in. It was an interesting time, we had other atheists heckler, we had two agnostic philosophy students enter in the fray, and also then turn their attention to the atheists and told them to stop arguing theology if they don't believe in God.
Then one loud mouth young bloke was heard from among those listening. He was your typical false convert. He was swearing like anything, and then in the same breath claiming to be a Christian. He then started to yell at us for preaching the gospel, and talking about sin. In his mind he was led by the Holy Spirit, and we weren't. I challenged him on his Christianity, and how he was saying one thing, but then by his fruits showed another action. Every time I used the Bible to show my point, the man would become more hostile. Eventually he stopped heckling and started talking to the atheists.
During this time, I got to have a one to one discussion with Alex. And I must say my respect for Alex as a heckler has diminished. We were speaking about "The Truth" and how there must be a standard of truth. Alex of course believes that truth is not knowable. So I tried to use some basic logic on him showing that from the law of non-contradiction that there must be truth. The reply that Alex gave was rather interesting, his answer was "We could be in the Matrix, and we may not even be here." Then to prove his point he showed us a hole in the back of his head, which could be the socket for the Matrix plug.
Once again Alex illustrated the truthfulness of Scripture:
"The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good." - Psalm 14:1 (ESV)
Soli Deo Gloria!