As we approached Wellington Point, we saw multiple police and ambulance vehicles. Accidents happen quite often; some much more serious than others, cf. Lk. 13. There were relatively fewer people than usual but many took Christmas tracts. We noted these conversations for prayer and praise:
- Tom had some Bible knowledge but had a distorted understanding of e.g. "if your eye offends you, pluck it out" = there must have been many blind people in Jesus time on earth. But self-blinding will not heal the sin-diseased heart. he accepted this correction. A more grievous misunderstanding he had was that Jesus death was not sufficient for all sins.
Furthermore, he said that trusting in Jesus was too simple. Also he thought that we might have lost some books of the Bible. Answering according to his needs, about the manuscripts to verify we have all God revealed in the Bible, and explaining the law with God's standard of perfection, Jesus perfect life and death as the Righteous One, and the need to trust Him alone as the only way (Substitute) God has stipulated that one can be granted forgiveness of all his sins and receive the gift of everlasting life today, Jn. 3:36, then Tom was challenged to give serious consideration to the gospel claim: he could live in his make-believe world and enjoy his 'cup of pleasure' or repent today and know that there is a never-ending ocean of treasure awaiting him in glory (as he looked out over the bay to the horizon).
- Mark, a South Korean S.D.A. who inspired us with some missionary techniques and we trust that we encouraged him in his walk with the Lord. He has a sound grasp of salvation. He also has a niece who goes to Handong (Christian) University where we have some missionary friends.
It was the day before Christmas and like every other day, we say "Thank you Lord for using us and we ascribe all glory, honour and praise to You alone".
We had a team of 20 labourers gathered on Friday night at the Gold Coast for an outreach leading up to Christmas. Surfers Paradise was busy as usual with many visitors here for the holidays.
The night started with the team open-air preaching and inviting people from the crowd to take on the "Good Person test". A large number of crowd stopped to listen what the test was about and one young man from the crowd was willing to go through the test. So the preacher used the test flip chart to go through God's law and presented the gospel to the young man including the crowd that was listening attentively.
The team also spoke with two Muslim men who were keen to talk about God. They shared their amazement at peoples unbelief in God. We shared how in all religions (apart from Christianity) a person's good works must in someway out way their bad. They started to agree and said that, the Koran teaches this idea that their good must outway their bad, to which we responded that the bible does not teach this and stands alone by declaring that none are good and all have fallen short of the Glory of God.
We then shared about how Jesus Christ died on the cross as our Saviour, as we could not save ourselves. Moreover, only through faith in Jesus Christ can a person receive this free gift and that it cannot be earned through our good works.
We explained to them, when Abraham went to sacrifice his son Isaac, how Isaac asked him, "Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" (Gen 22:7). Abraham's response to Isaac was, "...God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering" (Gen 22:8). It was explained how God has provided for us a lamb, Jesus Christ, the sacrifice for our sins, our atonement and our Saviour.
Please pray for Muhammad and Beliel as they were both open and challenged by the Gospel. They said they respected Jesus as a Prophet. Yet Jesus says "But who do they say that I am?" (Matt 16:15). May God pour out His grace that they would be among those that believe and say "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matt 16:16).
It has been an amazing week of Christmas outreaches in Brisbane city, with 15,000 Christmas gospel tracts going into people's hands just last week.
But as one week finishes, another begins. This week we have an outreach scheduled for every evening in King George Square from 7pm (except Friday which will be at the Gold Coast). It is such a great opportunity to get the gospel out to people at this time of year and so we encourage you to come along. Or if you cannot, please be praying.
The team have been having some very fruitful conversations with people too, like with a young man named Justin last night who said that he hasn't grown up in a religious home at all so he doesn't know much about Christianity whatsoever. But he said he knew there had to be a creator. So we went through the law of God and he came to realise his sin and his need for a Saviour. He had heard that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, but had no idea what that meant. I explained that Jesus took our Hell punishment for us on our behalf, and he said, "Oh that makes sense!"
He said he was a logical guy and wanted to investigate more, and so I gave him a gospel of John and Lee Strobel's book "The Case for Christmas" which he was very thankful to receive. It has been really handy having the free Christmas resources table, as lots of people have been taking things from it throughout each night's outreach. In fact we have completely run out of kids resources like the "The Beginner's Bible - the First Christmas". We are aiming to get some more for this week's outreaches.
To God be all the glory!
God raised up some more labourers for our Christmas outreach in Brisbane city, we had 10 on the team. It was great to see over 2,000 gospel tracts get into the hands of people walking by.
This year we also have a free Christmas resources table set up, with things on there like the Gospel of John, The Case for Christmas, and The Beginner's Bible The Very First Christmas for kids. It's encouraging seeing lots of resources go out to people, including parents getting things for their kids.
Please pray for those who received gospel literature last night, but also for those who we got to speak to, including two ladies from Papua New Guinea who thought their own goodness would save them, but by the end of the conversation they said they wanted to place their faith in Christ.
If you live nearby, join us for tonight's outreach at the same place from 7pm.
To God be the glory!
We enjoyed a great night of evangelism in Brisbane city last night, handing out another 1,250 Christmas gospel tracts to people who came to see the light show. We only had 3 of us on the team, but it was a fruitful night.
One conversation that I had was with a guy named Rhys. He said that he didn't believe there was a God, but after pointing out to him a building nearby, and saying to him, "That building wouldn't be here without a builder, right? So in the same way, since this universe had a beginning, it wouldn't be here without a creator for it, right?" He agreed. (Our new tract goes along these lines too: www.op513.com/GodExistsTract )
Rhys then said that he thinks God is bad (he used a different word). I asked him why. He said that God is judgmental and tells people that they have to live His way. I replied, "Just like a good judge in a courtroom will punish a criminal for the crimes he has done and tell him that he has to live a different way for his own good and those around him, so it makes sense that the God who made us would tell us how to live, as it will be for our good and the good of those around us."
He began to see that, and so we went through the law of God and Rhys saw his sinfulness and listened as the gospel message was explained to him. He expressed how he would prefer to live life his own way though, but as we talked about the reality of hell, it began to concern him. Rhys has had some religious background and had a Bible already. At the end of the conversation, he said that would start reading the Bible again. I encouraged him to start with the gospel of John.
To God be the glory!
Another adventurous day at the 'original' Capalaba bus stop.
- A sad ending to one conversation went something like this: 'This is where you and I differ. Jesus may have died for your sins but He never died for my sins'. This was spoken by a mature aged man who said he was going to heaven. He also had decided that his R.C. priest would go to hell as he had absconded with the parish funds when he retired. How sin hardens the heart so that the good news is not even considered.
- an open door: Tallara, a young lass, was keen to hear God's good news. After hearing the law and gospel, she was challenged to count the cost (which might be for her leaving her friends who were mocking while she was paying close attention). She is armed with John's gospel, the apologetic tract, the Jesus tract and the comic tract.
- encouragement: A lady attending an interdenominational community church and her husband both want to draw closer to God. She needed to hear the gospel explained and after some time she was stating that one had to believe in Jesus to get to heaven. He is spending time in jail but claims he is wrongly convicted. May our Lord draw them to the Saviour.
- a few other chats with Christians helping them to grasp a firmer hold on their faith in Christ.
What a privilege to serve God giving Him all the glory knowing our own weaknesses and inability to regenerate anyone.
The summer months are a wonderful time and there are many opportunities that we have here in Hobart over these next couple of months. There is a long string of cruise ships that come to visit bringing with them tourists from all over the world. There are school kids wondering around earlier in the day and looking for something to do or someone to talk to.
There are the crowds that rush daily into the city for shopping before Christmas and the new year. There are festivals on the river, biggest of these being the Taste of Tasmania next week. This and many other factors make this time of year gloriously busy and wonderfully enjoyable.
To add to these opportunities there is the blessing of opposition that waxes and wanes. As you know there is now a constant angry chorus from homosexual activists who want to shut down free expression of Christian faith. Attacks continue, but they backfire as people gather to see what has happened and walk away thinking more about Christ than they ever would have if nothing had happened.
Also, Mr S. will not be in the mall for the next month as God has restrained him through the Council banning him from speaker’s corner. For many years Mr S. has proudly proclaimed that nothing prevents him from doing wrong (ie no God or divine law) but he does good because he chooses to. Last week he foolishly applied this thought. When upset at council requests to stop disrupting speaker's corner he became so aggressive with council officers that the police were called. It will be a blessing to be able to preach without his aggressive interruptions. So, whether there is opposition or restraint of opposition, there are blessings that God brings from these things also!
Some of the wonderful conversations we have had this last couple of weeks include:
Ms G. – A young lady who has come several times and listened to the preaching. In the recent SSM debate she discussed homosexuality and many other issues with us. Lately she has been willing to chat a few times and sits thoughtfully when preaching is happening.
Mr T. – For the last couple of weeks Mr T. has been sitting for the entire time the team is in the mall observing what is happening and clearly listening carefully to what is said. A few times he has approached me after I’ve preached to clarify points I’ve made. Most of the team has spoken to him and he is willing to talk about spiritual things.
Mr F. – A young guy who was listening to me preach about the logical absurdity that is atheism and the need for absolute knowledge to ever be able to confidently assert atheism honestly. We talked about the supports for the bible and the truth that is found there and the profound impact that it has had on my life and the life of Christians through the ages.
Please pray for these and the many other discussion that happen day by day as the Lord draws people near to hear the gospel.
Some substantial chats were had:
- Aldrin understands the gospel. He said that the Bible speaks of 2 genders only but tells us not to judge. So why are some people told to repent of their lifestyles? God knows what is best. God does not target any one type of sin. One needs to trust Him and trust that He will renew anyone who comes to faith in Christ alone to save him. God has delights none but His children can experience.
- 2 young girls who didn't think they would get to heaven. Later on, they said they didn't believe in God. Their first statement was a work of their conscience. Further evidences were presented to them which they accepted. By the time that their bus arrived, they had heard the good news, and one expressed her thanks.
- a young man who had half an hour trying to defend his position, "I'm not religious."
- a young man who had a vague knowledge that Jesus was born to wash away our sins. He proved a keen listener and we trust a seed of faith may have been planted.
The work continues tonight through Thursday night in the city - Christmas lights. Please pray for God's strength and protection and clarity of thought for those involved. To God alone be all glory and praise.
Christmas tracts were generally well received. Here are a few people to pray for:
- Chase had thought he would die and 'return to the land'. He has now heard God's good news.
- Ashley, a Maltese lass who believed in many gods. She heard the Bible statement that there are indeed many gods, but none of them could save her. She has now heard of Jesus only and how delightful God is to those speaking with her. She was challenged to prayerfully seek God as she reads through John's gospel (in her Mum's Bible) and asks God to show her who Jesus is and what He has done.
- Shaun, a J. W. who heard some Scriptures that he was not familiar with, e.g. He posed a philosophic question, "Wouldn't you expect some Scripture to tell of an afterlife if one is conscious after (physical) death?" 2 Cor. 12:2-4 tells us that someone who could have told much was not permitted to. Ecclesiastes is wisdom literature whereas we read a plain narrative when Jesus spoke to the thief who had turned to Him in faith. The Paradise that Jesus spoke of is a present reality cf. the parallelism in 2 Cor. 12:2,3 where the 'third heaven', = 'paradise'. Challenged on Jn. 5:23, he threw up a few obscure points before we parted amiably. May he indeed realize he has only heard a part of God's Word and follow this up. Pray the Lord stirs his spirit to seek the Truth.
We thank God for enabling us to serve Him and we ascribe all glory to Him, our great and glorious triune God.
Last night's outreach marked the first night of our Christmas outreaches in King George Square (Brisbane) during the light show that the Council puts on projecting a repeating 7 minute animation onto City Hall. This animation attracts large crowds into the city to watch it, and it also provides a great opportunity for us to share the real message of Christmas through the handing out Christmas gospel tracts and chatting to people.
And even though there were some big storms leading up to the outreach yesterday, there was still quite a lot of people about so we were able to get over 1,250 Christmas gospel tracts into people's hands. The team also got into some fruitful one to one conversations.
We will be there again each night this week and next week (except Fridays and Sundays), so please be praying for these outreaches that many people will come to saving knowledge of Jesus - how he came to this Earth to live a perfect life and die on the cross for our sins.