Driving up to Carlisle on Saturday morning with a team of evangelists was both exciting and daunting. The weather was predicted to be bleak indeed and I was worried we would be ministering to an empty city, as all the Brits seem to keep indoors when the weather is bad.
Joining Anna and I today were John and Jim from Sheffield, with Rob, James, and Carl from London. We were meeting Dale, Kevin, Allan, Keith and Marion at Carlisle and aiming to minister in the centre of town where Dale, Keith and Marion normally witness.
We gathered in the square of the town and together prayed to the Lord that He would bless our efforts and go with us as we witnessed. The team spread out and started to tract the area as Rob and I sought out a good vantage to preach from, quickly there were many one-to-one conversations happening. As seemed to be the pattern for the day from this point onwards, there was at any point I looked around at least one or two witnessing conversations going. What an encouragement to see the people hearing the gospel and God drawing those who needed to hear!
Dale was the first preacher of the day to preach from in front of Costa coffee shop, he has become increasingly bold for the Lord and it was a pleasure to hear him preach again. Dale confessed that he was fearful before starting, this is normal for any preacher who knows before whom they preach and appropriately Dale went to his heavenly father in prayer about it. The gospel sounded out and some gathered to hear, from these some stopped to talk with members of the team afterwards. We pray they would turn and be saved.
Rob was next up to preach and as he proclaimed the gospel many went past scoffing but few stopped and those seated around us heard loud and clear. Rob works very hard to ensure that he does not obscure Christ when he speaks and the fruit of this is that his preaching is very clear and easily followed.
As Rob stepped down the team swung into action and for the next 45 minutes one-to-one conversations were continuously happening. During this time I noticed two things that made me smile. Paddy (our dog) would effectively be starting one-to-ones when Anna would witness to those that came to say hello to him (she told me later that he also hijacked a few conversations!). Also John seemed to be in constant conversations, he carries a large banner with scripture verses on it, it was great to see people coming to talk attracted to the word of God.
Kevin preached next and he began by pointing to the stupidity of women in accepting the perversions that so many men see as normal now, pornographic magazines and tv shows and even strip clubs. This is truth is an affront to the pride of man, and while true it of course offended a few people and a complaint was made. Part way through the preaching some community officers stopped Kevin and took him to one side. At this I stood up and addressed the gathering crowd, intending to preach the gospel to them while Kevin spoke to the officers. An irate officer also stopped me and after a short discussion we agreed to the reasonable request that the preachers moderate their language. Kevin got up and preached to those who remained and during this time answered heckles from a local drunk and a couple of ladies. Praise God that we were able to continue in preaching the gospel; pray that it would be the righteous demands of God that would be an offence to people and not us as preachers of those demands.
Jim preached next and began by comparing the world and its perishing demands to a luxury car going off a cliff with a humble mini (the Christian life of humility under God) that safely gets you where you want to go. As Jim preached the Lord opened the clouds and down came the hail and rain, unfazed Jim preached on and urged the people of Carlisle to repent and humble themselves before Christ.
When Jim stepped down we headed for the shelter of the nearby mall and spent some time in the warmth in fellowship until the showers passed and we'd warmed up.
I was next up to preach as we went out to witness again, I was interrupted as I was setting up though. A "Christian" lady was with her friends at the coffee shop and came to ask me if we could preach further away, so that people in the coffee shop would not be disturbed by the sound of the preaching. I was saddened and offended by this, a professing Christian coming to stop the preaching of the gospel! I promised her I would take her request into consideration, considering it fired me to preach with passion. With this passion to see the lost saved I poured out my heart to all who could hear and spoke to the people of Carlisle of the disease of sin in their hearts and the eternal death and punishment that would be its deserved end. I pleaded and called them to come and consider Christ and to repent of their evil ways and turn to him in faith.
During this a lady came to speak with me who claimed that through transcendental meditation she could become God! I pointed her to the author of this lie, Satan himself claimed that he could ascend on high and become as God and has been teaching others they can do likewise since the fall. Satan's end will be in the lake of fire as this lady's will be if she would not repent. The discussion ended with her leaving quoting the post-modernist credo "what's true for you is not true for me". Unfortunately for those who trust in the relative truth propaganda it doesn't work in practice. In the same way that it is absurd to jump from a rooftop saying "gravity is true for you but not true for me", it is equally absurd to claim that two contradictory points of view are both true.
As Christians we claim that the only way anyone can be saved from the just and eternal punishment of sin in hell is through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. This is either wrong and or right and Jesus when He said "I am the way the truth and the life no one comes to the Father except through me" left us with only two choices.
With only a little time left in the day James stood and preached the glorious news of salvation through Christ. This was his first time and he preached well and strongly and I don't doubt that he will make an excellent preacher.
After this when the one-to-ones had finished we joined together to praise God for His goodness and mercy in allowing us the opportunity to witness. We offered up our requests that the people of Carlisle would be saved and prayed that more labourers in the harvest would be raised up. We shared in some dinner together and after our goodbyes drove home, and it was at that point that the heavens opened and down came the sleet and rain. Praise God for such a good day and for His infinite grace and mercy to wretched sinners in desperate need of a saviour.
Soli Deo Gloria!
- [Preachers made to be quiet] - [Money is now the root of all eeevil..] -
- [Young lady says she needs to repent] -
Date: 06.04.08 Sunday
Time: 1:00 - 4:00PM
Blog Report: Operation 513 Gold Coast City Team
Location: Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, Cavill Ave
Team Members: Keith Rochford, Nathan Hermann, Ryan Hemelaar, Josh Mitchell (writer)
ALL THAT WAS DONE IN THIS REPORT, WAS ONLY BY THE GRACE OF GOD.
Memory Verse: Matthew 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
PREACHERS MADE TO BE QUIET
Rain, rain come again.. today the heaven's opened! The ocean swell was a magnificent sight to see. I was soaked wet, by the time I got to the meeting sight, Praise God for the umbrella I had in my hands. We could not preach today. It was a God ordained thing.
Instead we took to the streets with pockets stuffed with tracts, and put them into the hands of those who would accept them. Lots of wonderful conversations were had, with many who might now, at the time of this writing be dead, and in hell...
Please pray for those who yet live, and know the gospel!
MONEY IS NOW THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL...
An Indian man confronted me, as he accepted a big money gospel tract. That didn't go down so well..
"Is this what people are presenting the word of God on, these days.. on money?", he shook his head, and expressed disgust with his face. "sharing the word of God on this evil stuff..".
He stared at me, and said: "don't you know what people do with money.. money is evil!".
His child was licking an icecream, thankfully God gave me the right words to respond with:
"Sir, there is nothing intrinsically evil in money itself.. after all, do you use money to buy gifts for your children?", smiling I continued, "sir, do you use money to buy a bed for your children, and food, and clothing?".
His response was one of shame.. "Don't put that on me".
I replied: "But you can see what I am saying.."
He nodded, and smiled.
Unfortunately, so many people have confused the teaching of Jesus on money, and claim that money itself is evil. This is a wonderful opportunity, for Christian's to do what Jesus commanded us to, and that is to teach all nations what he commanded.
Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
This man had forgotten, that it is the love of money, that is the root of all evil. It is the hearts attachment to gain, advantage, benefit that is attached to means, that is the root of all evil. And you cannot serve God and mammon.
Our friend kept the gospel tract, and so did his child.
YOUNG LADY SAYS SHE NEEDS TO REPENT.. with displeasure on her face
Five young ladies, stood watching the magnificence of the waves crashing upon each other, and the sand being turned up into the water. Five minutes later, they were starting to get really uncomfortable as the power of God's Ten Commandments, began to work upon their conscience. One girl, walked away and came back. Three girls looked away, for something to distract themselves. I asked them, now what does it take to be forgiven by God? I hadn't told them yet.. they couldn't answer, and then out of the blue..! One girl said.. "Repent".
"Turning from sin, and trusting in Jesus good works, and person, instead of your own", thats right I continued. These young ladies were not Christians, but at least one had had a christian influence in her life, so that she knew she had to turn from her sin.
It is nice, when you find the Lord of the harvest, has already sent labourer's to work with a person, and your along the way with them. Please pray for the conversion of these young ladies and those we work with.. you never know who you will see in glory, and who you may see depart from God's judgment seat to that terrible place of punishment.
A final word:
Perhaps the language, in this report, confused you? Perhaps it didn't make sense..
Maybe a cartoon can explain it to you more easily, click on the picture below:
I hope that helps :) Let me know what you think,
Until the next report, have a wonderful week,
For Christ and His Covenant,
For the glory of God,
PS. Big thankyou to the boys who faithfully come out and work with us each weekend, to those brothers and sisters around the world, who faithfully share the gospel as oft as they can. God bless you!
Credit: Raw images (excepting comic) used on this webpage were taken from Wikipedia Commons.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
As I was preparing to leave for the streets, I happened to glance at the news that was on the television, the sports presenter was talking about a big football match that would be occurring that night. Normally I am not interested in the sport, but when the reporter said “Game starts in just under thirty minutes in Brisbane”, I knew that it was going to be an interesting night.
Where we witness in Brisbane is between two major sporting stadiums, and many of the people who attend the sports events walk past us on the way to catching a train. So we are strategically located to witness to many of the fans.
By 9pm we were in position in the Queen Street Mall setting up for the night. It was then that I noticed that two Brisbane City Council officers were present also. In the past the officials have given us a little bit of hassle as we witness but tonight they were friendly, and gave us a wave as they walked by. Praise God for Him opening doors for the Gospel to keep going in our city.
Ryan was the first preacher up for the night, and as we listened to him preach one could tell that he has been spending a bit of time studying apologetics. His arguments for the existence of God were brilliant, and as he spoke he proved how logically one can know that there is a God. He then looked at the atheistic position and how it is a logical false.
It was while Ryan was explaining the flaws of atheistic thought that a British accent was heard to call out from the crowd. Two young British tourists decided that they would have some fun and heckle the preacher. This boyfriend and girlfriend team went into bat on the side of atheism and evolution. While Ryan stood and represented Biblical Christianity.
The debate soon took off with both sides making their cases, and as they debated the crowd began to grow. Ryan did a splendid job in presenting an apologetic case, and the British couple did a good job presenting their view. From listening into the debate it seemed that they just wanted to believe that God did not exist so that they could continue to live in a lifestyle of sin.
Ryan turned and tagged Hsusy in, who went from the atheism debate into the evolution debate. The crowd seemed to be loving the discussion. People stopped to listen, and as they left many of them took gospel tracts. The British couple tried to make the case that there is no moral absolutes in the world. So Andrew gave them a few scenarios to think about. Then he swung into the conscience and began to see if the British couple had a sense of right and wrong. This of course led to the Gospel being presented, which sadly I didn’t get to listen to.
Just as Andrew started in on the Gospel I was approached by two young men who had been listening behind the preacher. They asked me what was going on, and why were they debating. I explained to the two men that the debate was over the existence of God, and also evolution. They both laughed when they heard this and said “We went to Catholic school, we know God doesn’t exist!” These two men hated the Bible due to what the Roman Catholic School had taught them. So I went through some basic arguments showing the existence of God. As they thought about the arguments they admitted that there probably is a God. So from there I decided to swing into the Gospel.
The question I posed to them was “Why should God let you into Heaven?” They seemed stunned at this question and thought about it for a few seconds, and then one said “He shouldn’t!” But the other said “Because I am a good person!” So I reached into my pocket and found a pressed penny with the ten commandments on it, gave both of them one, and asked “Are you good by God’s standard?” From there we went into discussing the Ten Commandments, and how they all leave us as guilty and show us the need of the Saviour.
After they saw their sin they listened carefully as the gospel was presented. They both left understanding the full gospel, and also with gospel tracts. Please keep those two men in your prayers.
My attention turned back to the preaching, and I saw that Andrew was stilling dealing with the same hecklers. He went on for about another twenty minutes then wrapped it up.
As soon as he stood down the team swung into action and began to witness one to one to the people who had been listening. This time of one to one went on for at least forty minutes, and then Kevin got up and preached the night home.
I must say it is an honour to serve with the men and women who make up Operation 513 - Brisbane, they do such a wonderful job, and many souls are being touched by their ministry. It is a blessing to serve alongside them!
Soli Deo Gloria!
A number of hours before the Skypecast's commencement, I advertised the Skypecast at a number of Atheist forums. I asked them to join in and have their say about why they believe there is no god.
At our regular time of 9pm the Skypecast started, and without a hitch thankfully! Praise God for that! And continued working pretty well the entire night.
Our first heckler was a man who said he was an Atheist. So what I did was give him some logical reasons to believe in the existence of God. I did this by showing him that the universe needs an outside cause (using the Cosmological argument), then I explained that the cause must also be personal. Through this logic, the fellow admitted there must be a personal God and thanked us for our time. But I wasn't going to let him go just yet without hearing about the law, then the gospel. So our discussion continued and he had several questions regarding morality. I addressed them and showed him God's standard of morality in the Bible, the Ten Commandments. He knew he had failed at that standard, but he tried using the fallacious objection that because God created us, that when we sin it is God's fault. I reasoned with him regarding that and also showed him that his good works do not merit himself to God. He was then concerned about where he would spend eternity, so I gave him the good news of the gospel.
After the conversation was finished with the first heckler, Josh let me know that there was a person who objected to what I was saying because he thought it was illogical. He was an Australian man from the Richard Dwakins Atheistic forum. His objection was that what I was saying is based on the premise that God exists. This fellow wasn't in the Skypecast when I was showing the first gentlemen the proofs for God's existence, so I briefly explained them to him. After some initial objections to my arguments, he finally agreed that there must be a personal Creator to the universe. His next objection was that my argument did not prove the God of the Bible. And that's true, so I then presented some reasons as to why only the God of Christianity exists. I did this by showing that every other religion's god is logically inconsistent because they believe that their god will weigh out your good deeds with your bad deeds. I showed him that is not justice at all. But at this point, everyone was dropped from the room because of a Skype problem. But we managed to get back into the room okay.
Josh Williamson then had a conversation with a man who held some very illogical beliefs. He regarded animals as having the same value as human beings. So Josh asked him, "Do you eat meat?" He said, "Yes." Josh replied, "Do you eat humans?" He said, "No." So Josh then pointed out that he truly doesn't regard humans and animals as having the same value if he only eats animals.
I then had a discussion with a person from Armenia. He believed he was a good person, so I showed him God's laws and that he realised he didn't meet the standard. But he tried using the objection that because everyone fails at that standard, it makes hiim good. I proceeded to show him why that view is illogical. I then told him what Hell is like, so that I could tell him of the wonderful news of Christ's death on the cross for our sins. I explained to him what he must do to be saved and to really think about these important issues.
Josh Mitchell completed the Skypecast with an in-depth gospel message, calling everyone to repent and trust Christ as their Saviour.
All up there was 511 people who listened in to the Skypecast during the course of the night. Please pray God will draw them to Himself.
We will have another Skypecast at the same time next week - Sunday 9pm - 12am GMT+10.
To God be the glory!
After having the last week off, enjoying the sun and the fishing up at Noosa. It was great to get back into the swing of things and boy it was a fine day for preaching the powerful words of God. The sun was shining and the water was like glass. Got there early and was able to send some time in prayer which really helped me to focus on the job at hand.
Warren and Chris turned up and we were able to pray and get straight out on to the field, as there were lots of people out and about today enjoying the great wether. We could spread out more and move around.
Most people took tracks, with alsorts of responses even two ladies took the Carpark track and started to preach it to the 3 kids that were jumping off the pier, they didn't agree and said stuff that and jumped again.
It was about 3:30 and the Dolphin watching Boat came in, Warren and Chris were able to track all the people that came off the boat. I sat back and watched the reactions. most of them had a good laugh at the Carpark track.
Just after the Boat left we had our own excitement of dolphins without paying for it, 3 of the most gorgeous amimals that God made came and started to feed right next to the pier. Quite a big crowd formed to watch them playing so close. Just as the people were coming we started to head back to the base of the pier and as all the people started to move off we were there to get them all with tracks.
Over all the day was great and was able to have a short chat with a few people, which was good.
We are back in full swing at Redcliffe Pier every Sunday 2-4pm so come join us there. Be great to have you along.
Date: 30.03.08 Sunday
Time: 1:30 - 4:00PM
Blog Report: Operation 513 Gold Coast City Team
Location: Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, Cavill Ave
This report will be more of a photo report, thanks to Peter Webber.
ALL THAT WAS DONE IN THIS REPORT, WAS ONLY BY THE GRACE OF GOD.
Team today consisted of:
Keith Rochford, Ryan Hemelaar, Victor "Frosty" Barwick, Nato Herman, Chris Robson, Peter Webber.
In case your wondering what this report is all about.. click here first!
Roman Catholic agrees with preaching, but struggles with repent from sin and religion, to trusting Christ.
One of the wonderful things about street preaching, is that it creates a wonderful environment, for talking to people who are just wondering around, about the things of God.
Please pray for our Roman Catholic friend, who was encouraged by the young men preaching morality, and Christ. I spent a good bit of time with her, and can only trust in God to convert, if he pleases, on his timing.
Young lad, "Ash" returns
Ash keeps coming back. One of the lads had a good chat with him. Please continue to pray for his church, that they will understand the law, and the gospel, and stop inoculating him against the truth.
Kiwi, argues with Kiwi
Well I am the New Zealander by birth, and this fellow was a Kiwi as well. He offered some very good persuasions against the law of God, but he humbly took correction from the words of God itself. Please pray for his conversion. It is a beautiful thing, to see people come out of their shell, and actually express thier opinions, for the purpose of discovering truth, without resorting to the crazy violence that some people seem to resort to at night time. I hope we see more of this.
General Encouragement to the Team
The whole team did a wonderful job, of preaching the gospel as best they could, and the people responded really well. It was a hot day, but the public mostly seemed to enjoy resting on the chairs and listening to the words being preached. Obviously when the law enters, every gets uncomfortable, but people must by taught by God's law of thier sin, and lack of righteousness. It is by this that they see their dire need of Jesus Christ, the greatest substitute in law, that ever died in our unholy world.
Frosty videotapes the open air preaching, and Chris handed gospel messages to the lost.
Ryan Hemelaar, our hardworking webmaster, engages a crowd of young ladies, and dialogues with them about evolution, morality, and the personal need of the Saviour Jesus.
Nathan witnesses to a nice lady, while offering free AV New Testaments, bibles and tracts.
Keith shares the gospel with some men, about the gospel.
Josh (me) strikes another strange preaching pose, and Ryan is "caught" giving gospel tracts to people.
That's our report for the week,
Seek God's face, and beseech him for mercy and grace in time of need,
A little servant of the Most High King Jesus,
With the rest of the team away or at work I headed into Sheffield to witness alone. Yet in the words of my saviour I was not alone, for it is written "behold I am with you until the end of the age".
Beginning with tracts I handed out material pointing people to Jesus and calling them to repent and be saved in His name. I was and always am saddened when I see tracts torn up and left on the ground. This is not only inconsiderate of those who must clean the streets but shows the hardness of man's heart toward God. I truly believe that in our natural state man would tear the very presence of God from the world if we could.
I got up to preach and began to proclaim the word of God to any who would stop to listen. Some boys stopped and while they stayed to listen they where very hard of heart and said to me repeatedly "you're just making a fool of yourself". Perhaps the street preacher does appear foolish and I may seem foolish, but oh to be a fool for Christ.
Oliver stopped to discuss what I was preaching and give his opinion. This was focused on a vague love that God in his opinion is for all people. Oliver believed that there is a fellowship of belief that he shares with all believing people of all religions and that they worship the same God. I would be interested to see him try and convince a Muslim and a Buddhist that they worship the same God! With all this focus on sentiment I was not surprised when the loving commands of God for the good of His people produced a very prickly reaction in Oliver. He believes that there is no absolute truth and law in the world except the absolute truth that his opinion of the world is correct, an arrogant position to take. I strived with him for some time for the sake of the gospel but he eventually left unmoved. Pray that God will be gracious to him, his current authority is himself and he is in danger of death and hell eternally at every moment of every day.
A man in a leather jacket had also stopped and told me that he was in training to be a lay preacher for one of the local churches. Unfortunately he evidenced very little of the grace that should be present in a minister God. His behaviour during the preaching was more consistent with a mocker or a judge than a minister, with arrogant interruptions and contradictions. This could only tear down the credible preaching of the gospel and though my preaching is weak in the extreme I was saddened to see a supposed brother tearing me down in public to display his own superiority. To end it all he used foul language, swearing to Oliver and merely smirking when rebuked.
I raise the issues of this man not to shame him in return but in the hope that he and others would consider carefully their behaviour in light of the bible's demands that Christians and most of all ministers of the gospel be above reproach and gentle with other Christians. There is nothing but shame brought to the gospel by exulting ourselves over one-another and living contradictory lives, preaching the word of God but not living it. I pray that in future this man would seek to build up street preachers by approaching them in private to offer help from his knowledge of scripture.
Today was cold and very wet and so we didn't go to Sheffield, pray that God will give us more clear weather that we can preach more regularly.
Armed with the word of God and tracts I walked into the centre of town and began giving out tracts, many people were taking tracts and I think that at least 150 tracts went out! A few people were curious as to what the tracts were about but no one went beyond that today.
Going up to the Peace Gardens I saw Owen, a young man that I have spoken to in the past. Despite the opposition of some of his friends Owen has continued to be open to speak with me about the gospel and tells me that he is considering the things of God carefully. He is troubled by the lack of opportunity for some people to hear the gospel and be saved; at this I called him to consider himself before God. No one can believe for any others but YOU are called to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. I left to consider the things of God and we will be praying for him until we meet again.
In the centre of Fargate I set up to preach and with fear and trembling at the enormity of what I was doing I preached. I preached from the great commission and the commands of the law, calling people to turn from their well-loved sin and trust in God. In as many ways as my weak mind could muster I called the hard hearts of Sheffield to trust in the atoning death and glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ. A few people stopped and listened for a while but not for long. This town is so hard, pray that God will send His Spirit to break their stony hearts and drive them to the saviour!
Sam is a young man who calls on the name of Christ and we have spoken a couple of times before. Sam attends a catholic church and his family is catholic in background. With this in mind I sought to encourage and build up the faith that Sam professed. He struggles to see that the word of God is unchanged so I discussed with him the amazing accuracy of the bible we have now verified by the documents of thousands of years ago. I also encouraged Sam, as I do all Christians I meet, to live lives that honour the Lord they claim. Christ calls us to take up our cross and follow him (Mat 16:24-28) or to put it another way, to die to self and live to God (Rom 6:7-11), so I encouraged Sam to kill off the old sinful ways in him and live to glorify Jesus Christ. The apostle Peter called Christians to be always growing in the faith towards perfect love (2 Pt1:5-8), so I encouraged Sam to examine himself to see if he is growing in the faith. Indeed to consider if he truly is in the faith as we are all commanded to do.
Dear Christian reader, do you trust that God is sovereign and omnipotent? Then trust His word in full, it is able to make you fit for all good works (2 Tim 3:16-17). Are you actively killing the sin that remains in your heart and mind and living a Godward life? Are you growing in the graces of God and seeking to increasingly be the savour and aroma of God in this corrupt and sin stained world.
Saturday, 29 March, 2008
The was a sense of idol worship in the air as I made my way into King George Square, tonight was the night in which the world stopped to worship the earth for one hour. While I fully support the idea that we should look after the environment I think we cross a line when we start to think that the earth runs all things. People who are ‘earth worshippers’ are classical Romans 1, they forget that there is a Sovereign One who holds the earth together, the one who sustains life, the one who created all, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.
As I sat in the square waiting for the team to arrive I noticed that there were a lot more Satanists in the area than normal. And with the city turning their lights off I didn’t really want to be a lone Christian in the midst of the Satanists in the dark. So I decided to put a call through to Josh Mitchell, and leave my phone open so if anything happen he would be able to direct the authorities.
While I was sitting there I listened to one of the Satanists talk about calling up the dark spirits, and how he had been having communion with them. It was saddening to see one so deceived by the enemy. The man failed to realise that those dark spirits whom he calls friends were his enemies and hated him.
At around 7:30pm I was approached by a Satanist who I had debated with and witnessed to many times. He was friendly and started a conversation. We spoke a bit about the gospel, and he kept re-affirming the fact that he is wanting to go to hell because he likes pain. I wasn’t interested in getting into a long debate with him, but rather I just kept pointing him back to the Word of God, he stated that he did not believe the Bible, but that didn’t worry me since in combat an enemy solider may not believe in a rifle, but that still doesn’t stop me from shooting him. As Christians we are called to sow seed, so I kept on sharing the Word with him and his girlfriend. He got fired up a bit and started to make obscene comments about God. This drew other Satanists into listen. One man walked in all arrogant, then yelled as he saw me. He yelled “You are that preacher from the mall!” After that he wouldn’t come near me, nor talk to me. By now the team had arrived, so I got them praying while I continued to witness to the group of Satanists. We all parted on good terms, and many of them waved to us later in the evening when they saw the team. Please keep all of them in prayer.
At 9pm we made our way to the Queen Street Mall, and as we set up we noticed a large group of Islanders hanging around. The Bible table seemed to be attracting them, so we sent Ralph up to preach. It was his second open air sermon, and I must say he has good projection of voice, and knows his Bible. There are a few things he needs to tie down, but those small things come with experience.
It turns out that the Islanders were all Mormons. I was able to engage one of them in discussion at the Bible table. He kept talking about how they support our ministry, I pointed out to him that he couldn’t support us, since we preach opposite to what the Latter Day Saints teach, he informed me that we taught and believed the same thing. This then led into an apologetic conversation in regards to what the Mormon church teaches, and after going through a different topics he said “You know your stuff, I am not here to debate” after that he walked off. I noticed that other members of the team were also locked in Mormon dialogue. It was then that I noticed the man I just spoke to come around to Ralph and start to heckle. Ralph asked him if he was a Christian, and the man’s reply was to say “yeah, kinda”. Ralph pressed him for more information but the man wouldn’t give it, but when it came out that the man was a Mormon, he again took off.
By now I was engaged in a discussion with three Mormons, we were looking at the doctrine of good works. They maintained that one had to earn salvation, whereas the Bible teaches that salvation is not of anything we have done but rather it is all of Grace.
We spent some time going through the Scriptures showing that we cannot earn salvation, we looked at Ephesians 2:8-9:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (ESV)
Then we looked at Titus 3:5:
“he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,”
We spent ages on many passages like Romans 4, Romans 5, Romans 8, Isaiah 64, Galatians 2, Titus 3, Ephesians 1, Ephesians 2.
By the end of the run through the Bible one of the Mormons who was doing all the talking asked if we had a note pad and pen, since he had never seen this before and wanted to write down all the passages. We were more than willing to give him all the details. After we built the case for salvation being not of works, we compared it with the Book of Mormon that states that we are saved by works. This stunned the Mormons since they were always taught that the Book of Mormon and Bible align.
After parting ways with the Mormons, I turned around was engaged in another discussion this time with a group of young Pentecostal men, who believed that we shouldn’t preach sin, since they believe all men know they are guilty. Also, they pushed that we must have signs, wonders and healings. While I am a cessationalist in theology, I pointed out to them not the cessationalist argument, but rather how from the Scripture those signs, wonders, and healings followed the proclamation of the Gospel.
This debate then led to one of the group just attacking how we preached the gospel, but he wouldn’t present a better way to preach. He just kept saying “I don’t agree!” We went through the Scriptures one by one, and I asked him each time what he thought that verse meant. After about twenty minutes he got frustrated and walked off in disgust. The others in the group thanked us for taking the time to explain the Scripture to them.
Ryan then got up to Open air preach, and he did a go job expounding on the Scripture, after awhile he got a few hecklers yelling at him. One of them turned out to be a Seventh Day Adventist who wanted to argue over the Sabbath. The man was trying to argue from church history, and he clearly was wrong in his statements. Ryan tagged me in to talk to the man. So I jumped up and began to discuss the issue of the Sabbath. As the discussion went on the crowd grew. So I kept on pressing him from the Scripture to prove his point.
The man stated that we must keep the whole of the Law, so I asked him if he would kill a homosexual (Leviticus 20:13), he stated that he would not since Christ fulfilled the Law. So I asked him, if Christ has fulfilled that law, then why do we have to keep the Sabbath, surely He has fulfilled that one also? The man then claimed that the New Testament taught Sabbath keeping, so I pressed him to show me within the New Covenant where the Sabbath was taught. He couldn’t show any Scripture, so his next argument was “Sunday is pagan! It is the day of worshipping the sun! That proves we shouldn’t worship then!” I asked him “Do you worship on a Saturday?” He answered that he did, so I said “Do you know that Saturday is a pagan day? From the worship of Saturn?” He was a bit stunned, I then explained that these were just days in our culture so it doesn’t matter if we worship on them, but rather we should worship everyday.
Then I saw him, a Seventh Day Adventist ‘apologist’ who I have debated with many times before, but when challenged this man will never reply. He opened up by saying that I didn’t know my Bible because the New Covenant clearly taught Sabbath keeping. I asked him to show where it taught this. His reply was read Luke 23:54:
“It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning.”
He then said “See, Jesus rose from the dead on the Sabbath, thus we must worship on the Sabbath.” This was the first time I have ever heard this argument so I took a second to re-read over the passage, thinking that I must have missed something. As one looks at the context of the passage one quickly sees that the verse is not talking about the resurrection, but rather it is talking about the burial. So I called him out on the context, he quickly started to back track. As he yelled at me the crowd kept on building, and I was starting to eyeball the crowd to see who I could call out to engage in the Gospel proclamation.
The Seventh Day Adventist kept yelling at me that I was following a lie, and that we must worship on the Sabbath. By now I was getting tired of the debate, so I asked him simply “What day does the book of Acts say the early church met together?” As soon as I said that you could see a look in his face that revealed that he was stuck. He answered “Everyday!” So I asked, “The book of Acts list what day it was, do you happen to know what day that was?” He yelled out again “Everyday!” So once again I asked him the question, this time he said rather quietly “The first day”, then I asked “What day is that?” Before he could respond a bunch of people in the crowd started laughing and called out “That’s the Sunday!” The man refused to answer, so I asked what day is the first day, he eventually said ‘Sunday’. The man then got really angry and started to yell at me about how we must keep the Sabbath, this was fine since it was just drawing in a bigger crowd to hear the Gospel.
Then the worse thing that could happen occurred! Four police officers walked through the crowd, and one of the Constables stopped and called me and the SDA apologist to him. I quickly tagged Andrew in to preach, and he started to preach the gospel to the crowd. The well meaning police officer told the SDA guy to back off and walk away, since I had every right to be there. While I appreciate what the officer did, he without knowing killed the crowd.
Andrew then tagged me back in and now to a much smaller crowd I explained the gospel. Many in that crowd took an in-depth tract afterwards, and we got to have some good one to ones.
Ryan was quickly collared by the SDA apologist, so they engaged once again in debate. Shortly after the debate started the man walked away angry, since he had announced that you must keep the Sabbath to be saved, so Ryan slammed him on works based salvation, and how the Bible says “cursed is every man who does not do all things written in the Law”.
The rest of the night was spent handing out tracts, and talking to people.
Overall it was a great night, and many people got to hear the Gospel of Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria!
At the scheduled time of 9pm the Operation 513 Skypecast room opened up. However within 60 seconds of joining, it kicked everyone out of the Skypecast. In fact, it kept doing it for the first hour and a half of the Skypecast. Even though we had a lot of people try join in and listen, it would kick everyone out within 60 seconds of them joining. So Josh and I tried to do 50 second gospels for the people that were listening.
To find a solution, we tried creating a new Skypecast room, but it had the same problem. So at the hour and a half mark it started working properly and now we had two rooms that were filling up very fast. So we directed everyone that was in the initial room to the new one we created.
From then on we discussed important issues such as morality, the judgment to come, the law, religions, existence of God, the gospel. We tried having a conversation with two people, however both their microphones were not working. Josh Mitchell did eventually get to have a chat with a Muslim fellow living in the UK. His objection was that Christianity is logically inconsistent because Jesus could not be God and man. Also, he thought that penal substitution was unfair because the innocent party is getting punished instead of the guilty criminal. So Josh Mitchell briefly gave the chap a few reasons to believe the contrary. He wasn't satisfied with the answer so we encouraged him to come back next week to continue the conversation as they only had about 15 minutes to talk because the closing gospel message was about to start.
Josh Williamson did the closing gospel message. However, about 15 minutes through all of a sudden everyone was automatically moved to the waiting area. Every few seconds it would move everyone to the waiting area, then the listening area. Then every Skype client that was in the Skypecast room crashed. We are definitely suspecting that it was a hacker.
Please pray the gospel will not be hindered in next week's Skypecast because of technical difficulties and hackers.
We will have another Skypecast at the same time next week - Sunday 9pm - 12am GMT+10.
To God be the glory!
TOOWOOMBA EASTERFEST - Friday, 21 March, 2008
The troops gathered at my place at 8am for our trip up the great dividing range to Toowoomba for our Good Friday outreach. This has become a bit of a tradition for us, since for the past three years we have made the journey to witness at one of Australia’s largest ‘Christian’ festivals. This year the Australian Gospel Music Festival had changed it name to remove reference to the gospel, now it is simply called ‘Easterfest’. While the name had changed the false teaching remained.
We arrived in Toowoomba at just after 10am, after making sure we were well stocked with tracts, we made our way to the main tent of the festival. As we walked into the tent, I could not help but think about how Jesus over turned the tables of those who were selling in the temple. This tent was set aside to the god of mammon, many of the goods for sale were religious at best. As we walked through the tent we saw advertising for the upcoming visit of the antichrist. So we stopped at the Roman Catholic youth stand, and asked those who were manning it when the Pope was going to arrive, and also where he was going to be. They gave us some details which was handy since it makes it easier for us to plan our outreach for his visit in July.
After an early lunch we began to hand out tracts and witness to people. One of the first people Ralph got to witness to was a young lady who was attending the festival who claimed to be a Christian that was going to hell, and that she also believed in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Ralph did a fine job explaining the gospel to her, and also explaining how the FSM is not actually a possibility based on scientific laws.
We spent some time handing out tracts, then we decided to get out our recording equipment and begin to conduct some interviews to send to Way of the Master radio. The first couple we stopped were more mature, and it was good to hear that they actually understood the gospel, and they were even able to explain the plan of salvation to me. It is always refreshing to hear a Christian explain the beauty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
The rest of the afternoon was spent doing interviews, and we had some good witnessing encounters. During one of the interviews the young man I was witnessing to turned and began to witness to me using the methods laid down by Way of the Master. This was really encouraging.
One interview that really stood out to me was with two young ladies, they both claimed to be Christians, yet they were not sure if they were saved. So I began to explain the gospel to them. One of the young ladies soon came under conviction, however, the other lady walked away in disgust. It is always amazing how people react when confronted by the enormity of sin, so many people will come under conviction and look to the Saviour, but others will harden their hearts and rebel against God. I continued the discussion and explained the amazing grace of God. Please pray that these two young ladies come to repentance.
Since it was a hot day we moved under the shade of a tree to continue witnessing, again we had an opportunity to speak to two young ladies. Both of them claimed to be Christian, but again weren’t sure if they were saved. So I began to explain the gospel, instantly both of them came under conviction, and one of them was holding back tears as I explained how God showed love towards us. They both took in-depth tracts, and thanked us for being out there witnessing.
The rest of the day was spent handing out tracts, and doing one to one witnessing. Thousands of tracts went out, and many people got to hear the gospel. After 18 hours in the field we finally made it home at just after 2am. Overall the day had been great!
Praise God for His Faithfulness!