Leicester Square and Tooting Broadway (11th-12th July)
Friday night began at Leicester Square with Carl, Philip and I. Carl had brought his friend Duncan along to listen to me preach. Duncan is yet to become a believer and Carl, who has know him for some time now, is of course eager to see him saved. The weather was simply awful so we were a bit low on numbers. Our hope was that the Lord would hold back the rain long enough that we could have a good night of ministry. And that He did! After handing out tracts and talking with people one-to-one for a short while I stood up to preach. The rain had dissipated and I could see we had a window of opportunity.
Standing up to preach I drew in a small crowd. About five minutes into my message I began to be heckled by two young gentlemen whose names were David and John. It was interesting to note the difference between them. John genuinely wanted to ask questions whereas David simply wanted to be argumentative and disruptive. There were times when John asked David to be quiet so that he could ask his question!! When it comes to God, the Bible, Christianity, etc, England's society is largely ignorant. They no longer have much of a foundation at all. This was apparent with the questions that John was asking me. He wanted to know when man first started to believe in God, as if God was some "invented" concept. I explained to him that man has always believed in God and there has always been a remnant that has remained faithful to Him. It is because we are born at enmity with God that we wilfully choose to forget Him. It is purely down to the grace of God that we are called out of our rebellion to serve Him with our lives.
As I continued to preach a number of people stopped to listen. You can never underestimate the power of a good heckler and David and John were certainly a great help in drawing in the crowd. It would have been nice to speak with the both of them one-on-one, unfortunately they left before I finished preaching. I continued to speak with the people of the area in one-to-one conversations after I had finished preaching. Carl and Phil were doing the same. We left a little after 11:00pm thanking the Lord that we had been able to minister on a night with such poor weather.
The following morning at Tooting Broadway we arrived to see Christians from another church that had come to do a series of dramas. They were using sound systems and varying equipment as well. It was a little strange as there were so many Christians from their church in the small square outside the tube station. It was not possible for me to preach open air so we spent the rest of the time handing out tracts and speaking to people one-to-one.
We'd had a fruitful weekend of ministry. A bit wet and a bit different but still used by our Lord for His glory.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Wednesday: I went out in a down state of mind because of work stuff but was encouraged by Jim. We both preached a gospel message. Michael, a christian, stopped and gave us his support and interacted with hecklers and was encouraged by the work of the gospel.
We had few good hecklers and a small crowd. One heckler claimed he was an ex-christian yet 'had moved away from that' and now agnostic and apathetic. He was keen to listen the whole time and interacted with Jim quite a bit and praise be to God for opening the hearts of the lost. Another heckler was a 'christian' who tried to rebuke Jim for his intolerance of other religions. We respect people of other religions who can often be kind and earnest in their seeking but no other religious figure claimed to be able to take away sin, no other religion promises absolute certainty about whether you will go to heaven and (Acts 4:11-12) This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
It is false love to 'tolerate' other religions and withhold the life-saving cure of Jesus Christ and leave them callously to perish in eternal torment. And what does scripture say, "For God so loved the world....." how??? "by sending his one and only begotten son....." why? "that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." If God can love the world by sending his son, and Christ commands us to preach the gospel to all the world, shall we not also imitate our Lord and point them to the beautiful saviour and awesome love of our God? This does not make us better than anyone else, we too are sinners saved by God's grace alone, but it does mean Jesus is a better saviour and God alone. After Jim finished preaching, we spoke to Michael, the christian. We were uplifted to have him excited about the preaching of the gospel. I preached next. Michael stayed to support. I preached on God's good gifts to us: life first then other blessings. During this David and a friend stopped to listen. I engaged David and we spoke at length about righteousness, sin, judgement and salvation offered in Christ alone. David listened and his friend protested. As the protests continued, I ran out of time for the afternoon. Michael and Jim stayed to speak with them after I left.
Thanks be to God again for this opportunity and may the harvest be fit for a King. How great is our God and how great his message of love to the lost.
The Esplanade (Crn Cavill Ave), Surfers Paradise (GOLD COAST, QLD, AUSTRALIA)
Report by David Strachan
For the duration of the preaching, I was concentrating on my role as a camera man. I enjoyed the preaching and was delighted to witness first-hand the gospel being proclaimed to many lost and desperately needy sinners. Over time, more and more people gathered so that towards the end of the preaching it was, at times, hard to actually see the preacher properly. Comments could often be heard coming from those in the crowd, ranging from many hecklers to a number of professing Christians who were even complementing the preaching.
It was great to see snowy arrive unexpectedly and watch him greet many people while handing out gospel tracts to them and engaging with them in good gospel conversations.
It was a privilege to share the gospel with a number of people afterwards while the crowd was dispersing. There seemed to be a surprisingly larger number of Christians among those in the crowd. A number of them were Roman Catholics (which made sense as it is currently around the time of world youth day). I warned them plainly that Roman Catholicism sadly is a lie, a deception, as it directly goes against the gospel and therefore dishonors Jesus Christ our Lord.
An excellent website which explains this well is:
The Esplanade (Crn Cavill Ave), Surfers Paradise (GOLD COAST, QLD, AUSTRALIA)
Report by Josh Mitchell
God most High, was pleased to grant the hearing of His gospel to many men, women and even little babies today. What a privaledge to serve the most High God, in the gospel proclamation!
Today, as David mentioned was very busy. Jesus the Lord, was pleased to grant sizable crowds for the hearing of His gospel, and it got to the point where I could get quite relaxed, no one seemed to want to leave hardly. You might find that odd, but God has His way, when it pleases Him!
I got to debate politely regarding a number of intellectual positions including: Islam with a few different muslims, the moral dillemna atheists face in Nazi Germany vs the world, who is the real God of the universe, what Christians really believe, and most importantly an abundance of proclamation and defense of the gospel. Honestly I could not to any of this, without the aid of the Holy Spirit, who used me as it pleased Him. Thanks be to God, for his wonderful grace in this wicked earth.
Please pray for the folk out here, God seems to be drawing more people to hear the gospel and it's defence each week, and I am quite mindful, that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness in high places. May God be promoted in your lives and lips!
For Jesus name,
PS. If you are interesting in joining our team, please be present at Surfers Paradise sign, at the end of Cavill Ave (beach side), at 2PM on Sunday. Talk to the guy holding the camera, and he will tell you what to do.
Events of late have limited our time spent on the street, however this past Saturday we were back at Tooting Broadway to preach the gospel. Philip and I were joined by Antonio, as well as David, a friend from church.
Before I stood up to preach open-air we spent some time handing out tracts and talking with people. I got talking with a young man named whose name I'm afraid escapes me. I reasoned with him of sin, righteousness and judgment, however he did seem quite indifferent. I must admit it was frustrating. Not everyone I speak to is like this, however having spoken to a vast amount of people these last few years it is clear that although some are completely dismissive, there are those who are willing to listen. This was the case with a young woman I spoke to called Ann.
She was willing to listen and so because of this I was able to share the whole counsel of God with her. She admitted to believing in God, which is an important component for all witnessing encounters. When I stressed to her the importance of knowing where you are going to go when you die I could see that she appreciated the seriousness of this truth.
One of things I always stress when I share the gospel is to do my best to help the person understand their need for a Saviour. It doesn't matter if you are a Buddhist, a Muslim, an atheist, an agnostic, a Hindu, a Mormon, a Jehovah's Witness, a Jew or a Rastafarian; everyone needs a Saviour because everyone has committed the most heinous of crimes. They have denied the One who has made them. They have denied the God who has given them life. They have shunned Him. They have mocked Him. They have abused Him. Why is hell reasonable? Because the punishment fits the crime. But there is good news!! No one has to go to hell. No one. God has sent His Son to suffer and die in the place of sinners so that they can be saved. What they must do is repent (turn from their sin) and trust in what Jesus has done. They must put their hope and trust in Him and in doing so they will be saved. Many people today spend a great deal of energy trying to argue away the existence of hell. They spend a great deal of time trying to prove that a loving God would never send anyone to hell. But God is also just and that is why He must condemn sinners to hell. But again, no one has to go there. Instead of trying to argue away the existence of hell the sinner should simply repent and turn to Jesus, because if they do they will be saved. Anne understood this and she left with knowing the truth as well as a gospel tract to remind her should she forget. Praise God.
Standing up to preach my message was much the same of what I had shared with Anne. Some people stopped to listen and so afterwards Philip and Antonio were able to speak with some of them. Our continued presence at Tooting Broadway is very important I believe. I had to chuckle a few weeks back. My brother went to visit a friend he hasn't seen in quite a while who is over from South Africa and is now living in England. As it so happens I have never had the chance to meet her. She and her family live in Tooting just above the Tube Station. Anyway, during the time my brother spent visiting her he showed her some photos that were on his digital camera. One of them was of me preaching outside Tooting Broadway. As soon as she saw it she said, "Hey, that looks like the guy I see preaching each Saturday when I look outside our window." Breaking into a big grin my brother exclaimed, "Yeah I know, that's my brother!" She happens to be Muslim and my brother has spent much time talking to her about Jesus and the gospel. I think it's quite amazing that she should now be living in a place where she can possibly hear preaching each Saturday.
It was a good night and many got to hear the good new. Please continue to pray that the Lord would continue to use us in Tooting for His glory.
Soli Deo Gloria!
As soon as the Skypecast opened at 9pm we had a person who wanted a to have a chat with us. At first he said he was an Atheist, but after I gave him some proofs for God's existence, he acknowledged there must be a God. So I then showed him why there must be a judgment after we die and I asked him where he thought he was going to go. The gentleman said, "Heaven", so I brought him through God's law to show him his sinfulness. This then led onto the gospel and what someone must do to be saved. The guy then asked whether we take the Bible literally. I responded, "I read the Bible plainly, taking into account the different genres. So the poetry in the Bible I don't take as narrative, and the narrative I don't take as poetry." He was surprised to find a Christian who actually believed in Noah's Ark and the Creation story. He tried to contend that Evolution has been proven though, however when asked for the evidence, he was lacking.
After some more various questions about the Bible and Christianity, I tried to steer the conversation back to the gospel. I laid the options clearly out for the fellow, either eternity in Hell or Jesus taking the punishment. The man said he would think about it and was very glad he could have this conversation.
It was rather quiet for the rest of the night, but the gospel still went out to the people that were listening.
Please pray that God will bring in more people next time to hear the gospel preaching.
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!
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Praise be unto the Lord Jesus Christ! Today was quite an interesting day, and we could not have started, continued or finished our task without His Sovereign help. Glen Dibben reported a man undercover recording the preaching in a rolled up newspaper and earpiece. An atheistic heckler, gave me quite a bit of work to refute, and a new ager apparently on drugs caused a big scene. A Japanese film maker, made out to the police there was going to be a fight, bringing out two officers unnecessarily. Muslims debated my pastor, Glen Dibben, and praise be to God's wonderful grace, we preached the gospel to many large crowds.
Adversity seems to be the word to describe this day down the coast. It is amazing to me, how God uses a small number of people to accomplish so much. God's Spirit doesn't need anything but Himself, but he is pleased to the Lord's redeemed in His work. What a privilege!
Also an interesting point for me, was how often our hecklers have live debates, and sometimes get a little emotional, when they realise they had believed a lie, and are found with no argument for their position.. yet they almost always shake the preachers hand at the end of each encounter. It is an excellent example to the crowd, of how to have decent argument/debate, without losing it completely, or causing a fight. In fact, we make a lot of friends down the coast, through this historical method of evangelism ordained by Christ Jesus. Frequently non-Christians from various backgrounds, Muslim, atheists etc, will give out their private mobile numbers, or email address's for further conversations.
Thank you for your prayers friends, may God magnify His name here, indeed in all the earth!
May we be "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel"!
For Jesus name,
This week seemed to be about how unpredictable the weather can possibly be, we've had five and six seasons in one day not just the usual four. I walked into Sheffield on Wednesday in bright sunshine to preach with Jim, as it appeared to be just the two of us we began with prayer. Calling on God to work in and through us we submitted to His will in this day and prayed that He would save sinners from Sheffield.
I was first up to preach today and became the only one to preach due to the blessing of the Lord. I began with the fact that slavery is still a reality in our world today. Men and women everywhere are enslaved to sin and unable to free themselves no matter how hard they try and not only that but there are those who joyfully serve their master and embrace him daily. I used this as a springboard to preach the great need all have of salvation from the wrath and just condemnation of God. During this and before I could point to the only and great saviour that God has provided, a heckler stepped up to query me on a minor point. I answered his question from scripture and then queried him in return about his position before God, was he good or evil? I discovered that he was a philosophy student and it was plain that he and his atheistic friend were uncomfortable with the confronting demands of God's law.
There are three distinct ways that the human mind seems to go when confronted with the law that destroys our self-righteousness. First into hopeful legalism: "But God will forgive me because of the many good things I've done...." (or similar). Second into subjectivism and apathy: "Well you may believe that but I don't so it doesn't matter anyway....". And lastly into prideful dispute: "Evolution and science disproves the bible....".
First the philosopher was hopeful of his good works, we looked to see if this would work in the lesser court of man to see if it applies before God. Just as a murderer is no less a criminal for donating to charity, it follows that if we break God's law in any way (lies, lust, hate, blasphemy etch) we are not made right by doing good. We need a perfect life if we are to be made right through legalism, and as the saying goes "No-one is perfect....".
Second the atheist piped up that he doesn't believe God exists so it doesn't matter anyway. We first discussed the philosophical difficulty of claiming to absolutely know that God doesn't exist anywhere at any time Unless this young man was more than he seemed and actually knew all things, "Knowing the beginning from the end...." (being God as such) he could not logically claim to know there is no God.
Second I asked if Adolph Hitler did the right thing in Germany with the Jews? He said no that it was wrong. I then raised the very difficult issue of good and evil for the atheist perspective. If man is just a consequence of random chance then there is no innate value in man, woman or child and if there is no absolute moral law giver then there is no absolute moral law saying that it is wrong to do the evil things Hitler did. Atheism crumbles in the face of both immense moral evil and also immense moral good. It has no reason for no such things as the "good and heroic" rescuer who dies saving the life of a disabled child (the least fit and least worth saving as per evolution) or for the "evil and perverted" torture of such children by men become monsters in the camps of Nazi Germany.
At the mention of the theory Hitler worked out in practice, both these men chimed in with "what about evolution?". There are many issues with the theory of evolution so I tried to be brief because at this stage a crowd was gathering to hear the debate. I touched on the lack of the predicted millions of transitional forms in the fossil record (the missing links are still very much missing!). I also spoke on the implications of a changing speed of light for the ageing of ancient finds. It has been shown to be slowing exponentially by physicists, which means that the "millions of years" in the fossil records is likely to be artificial!
I ended by quoting Sir Arthur Keith who said "Evolution is unproven and unprovable, but we choose to believe it because the alternative is unthinkable....". At this I swung to the crowd and told them that the alternative is true, God made them and they are accountable to Him. Following this I was able to give the great news of hope that comes in the person of Jesus Christ and in His propitiating work of death and resurrection.
With this I had to head back to work and so handed things to Jim wishing fervently that there would be more labourers that would join us in this work.
Praise God that He uses such an unworthy vessel as me! May His name be glorified and His honour be forever more!
I was with my Lord alone on Saturday and rejoiced to go as He has commanded to preach the good news to all the world. In my little corner of this world there was plenty of opportunity in the peace gardens but as I arrived the rain came bucketing down and I ran for cover.
As the rain emptied the gardens completely I then went down into Fargate and preached there on the ultimate statistics, death and judgement. For the length of the preaching the only hecklers I had were scoffers who would not speak but rather preferred to jeer as they passed.
God is kind to me though, at the end He allowed me to see some of the hidden fruit that are not so easily seen as the scornful and hateful passers-by. A quiet young lady who had been standing nearby came over to talk with me. Though she is admittedly heavily influenced by the eastern religions, she welcomed the interaction as we talked through the justice and mercy of God. I urged her to read the bible and trust in it, she left with a smile and a tract in hand.
As I left for the day I handed out tracts to the people passing through the mall, I am always encouraged to see people taking the tracts and reading them as they walk. This is a great opportunity we have in this country, I am sure we will not always have it. Christian readers, are you taking the opportunity to witness while you can, the time is short!
Editors Note (JM): Brothers and sisters please pray for this man, who is willing to go alone for the sake of Christ. We love you Mr Gee, keep up the difficult work for His name's sake. To all of you out there, who witness alone.. know that you are not alone in these endeavours, and we pray God will send more labourers into the harvest with you! S D G
Chris and I met at the Redcliffe Pier at the usual time on Sunday. There had been a festival on at Redcliffe for the past 3 days; though the weather was miserable for it as there had been rain for half the weekend. As a result of this, I was unsure how busy Redcliffe would be today, but God saw fit to hold off the rain for the few hours we were there, and brought out people to hear His Gospel.
After praying, we set off down the pier handing out tracts and attempting to engage people in one-to-ones. A lot of people took tracts, but generally weren't willing to talk for more than half a minute. After we had finished on the pier, we set off down towards the lagoon, where we were able to strike up a conversation with three men who were waiting for their wives. From our perspective we didn't get very far as they were continuously changing topic, and would interrupt and speak over us when we were countering their arguments. Their arguments were of the standard atheist sort (with the standard lack of evidence and/or logic to back them up). For example, one of them claimed to be an evolutionist, but could only stare at us blankly when we asked for evidence to back Darwinism up.
After that, we continued on and met a man who believed, on the evidence of design, that the universe was, well, designed. However, he believed that there were multiple gods, which was interesting as it goes flat in the face of the Scriptures. He didn't stick around for too long, but I was able to explain to him that there is only one God, who expects our worship and devotion, and even though we all have rebelled against Him and deserve wrath, He sent Jesus, who took that wrath upon Himself on the cross, and rose again.
After that, we continued handing out tracts for a while, and then finished with prayer. Praise God that we have the opportunity each week to witness to the people of Redcliffe, and pray that the many post-modern people there would have their hearts softened towards the Gospel. Also, pray that God would rise up more people to join the team, and that His name would be glorified.
Saturday, 5 July, 2008
There was a light rain falling over Brisbane city as we prepared to share the gospel of Jesus Christ tonight. Cold and wet weather is not overl y common in Brisbane and the locals aren't used to such weather. So it was no surprise to see that the mall was nearly deserted when we arrived in the mall. But we don't preach for crowds we preach for the ones and the twos. If we get to share the gospel with one person then God be praised.
We were down a few numbers tonight, but we had enough to man all our normal ministry roles. The first preacher up for the night was Ralph. He started in preaching, but soon became sidetracked by a quiet Alex who was whispering questions to him. So we got Ralph to go to one side and deal with Alex in a one to one, while Andre preached.
Before Andre got up to preach he was engaged in a one to one conversation with a man who grasped the fullness of the Gospel. The man stated that he was going right home to repent and get right with God.
Andre preached for a bit, and there were very few people standing listening. While he was preaching a few one to ones were also occurring in the background. At about 10:15pm, I decided to preach, I had a head cold so I didn't want to preach for very long. But God had other plans.
I started by preaching from Revelation 6:14-17 and Revelation 20:11-15, and I focused on God's judgment upon a sinful society and how His wrath abides on those who do not know the Christ. Alex began to heckle at this time, but he wasn't his normal self tonight. He was yelling that I was lying, so I asked him to please tell those listening what exactly I said that was a lie. Alex couldn't answer, so it appears that he just made it up as he went along.
He didn't heckle to much after that, and I had the chance to explain the gospel to those who were listening. A heckler then opened up saying "you don't know the Bible, how dare you say Jesus Christ is God, the Bible says in John 1:1 that Jesus was ‘a god'." This is a common argument of the Jehovah Witnesses, so I countered it, but I was a bit surprised to find out that the heckler was not a JW but rather a Roman Catholic.
After preaching for awhile a small group formed in around me. And then a question got asked that always seems to fire up the crowd. A young woman in the crowd held the hand of a woman next her and said "What does God think about lesbians?" Instantly I knew this was an ambush, so I answered by saying, "The Bible says that lesbianism is sin, but God does not just judge homosexuals, but He will judge all sinners be it homosexuals or heterosexuals"
The women began to hurl abuse at me while I preached, and then from my right a big man came up yelling "NO NO NO! YOU'RE WRONG! THE BIBLE DOESN'T SPEAK ABOUT HOMOSEXUALS!" I replied by showing him from the Bible where it exactly condemns it. He ignored it and kept saying that it was my interpretation, so I read out Romans 1, and asked him what the correct interpretation was. He ignored and just started to make statements to distract from the topic at hand. It turned out that his daughter is a lesbian, so I understand why he was upset, as this man was professing to be a Christian, and yet based on the Bible his daughter was damned. But this man had more of an issue, he was showing much rotten fruit in his life, his language was something that would make you blush. Yet, even though he abused and cursed, he maintained that he was a Christian.
By now I had two young men heckling me who were Muslims, so I was trying to engage them in conversation. But the big man kept interrupting. He started to accuse me of attacking other religions, so I asked the Muslims if I was attacking them or if I was merely asking them questions. They both stated I was not attacking them. The big man didn't like that so once again he became abusive.
During this time a teenager climbed up next to me, and tried to hit me in the face with his skateboard. So I pushed it away, and then he accused me of hitting him. No one in the crowd believed his story so I kept on speaking.
I did my best to deal with hecklers, and answer there questions. The big man kept at me till after midnight, then as I began to wrap it up. He stepped up and started to curse and blaspheme God, then in the next breath say that he was a Christian. So I asked him not to curse God's name, and if he wants to continue in his sin, then please don't claim to be a Christian. The man said he would claim to be whatever he wants. So I replied from the Scripture and pointed out that the Bible says he is not a Christian.
Well that set him off, he stood right up in my face and started to poke his finger at my mouth, the tip of his finger was within centimetres of my mouth. His body language revealed that he was about to hit me, so I dropped my Bible behind me, and put my hands in front of me in an effort to fend off any attack. The man ranted on, and then he snapped. He swung out at me, and grabbed me by my jacket and started to pull me towards him. While he was pulling me he was screaming, so I took the appropriate action to get him off me, and to defend myself.
After a while the police came and spoke to both of us and then done nothing. Although one of the police officers said that they would be watching the man on the security cameras in case he tried something again. Just as we were leaving the man shook my hand and said "You guys do a good job, and I respect that!" A few minutes earlier he wanted to punch my face in, and now he is thanking me. Sometimes I wish people would just make up their minds.
Anyway, it was a good night, and the gospel got out!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Ralph and Chris Addison joined me today for witnessing at Redcliffe. We prayed and then set out with our gospel tracts in hand. Many good conversations were held, with most people proclaiming that they are good enough to get to Heaven on their own (Proverbs 20:6). An elderly lady I talked to was such an example. She kept pointing to the good things she has done in her life to cover the bad things that she has done. Even after sharing the gospel with her and telling her what she must do to be saved, she couldn't humble herself and let Jesus be the way she gets to Heaven. For she understood that if you trust Christ, you must lose your own pride (James 4:6).
Another conversation I had was with a group of people who took great offence to the gospel message. They did not like being called a sinner, nor have their deeds exposed. So they threatened they would do certain things if I didn't leave them. So I promptly left them.
"For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed." - John 3:20
The whale watching boat went out as well today, so when they arrived back we were able to give tracts to all the passengers aboard.