Battle Log

Woodridge (QLD) Team

Tuesday, 7 May, 2019

Posted by Posted 9 May 2019, 11:50 AM by Matthew Andersen. Permalink

Tuesday afternoon at Woodridge, was filled with many conversations. There were five team members out and a surprisingly hot sun and God was at work in the midst of it all.

The first conversation of the afternoon took place with Cheryl and her elderly mother and it was beautiful to see God's providence on display. Cheryl was interested to listen and was seeking to engage in the gospel conversation but her mother on the other hand was a lapsed JW who still believed their falsehoods. It was a struggle to get through the law and to the gospel as the mother kept trying to interrupt with different JW arguments about things. These were mostly palmed off and the tract to explaining the good news was taken. But it was getting harder and harder, then God in His providence sent the mother a phone call which took her attention for the next few minutes.

This enabled the daughter to hear in simplicity the desperate state humanity is in that each one of us deserve and eternity in Hell for our sin and therefore that the only thing that can solve this is if God Himself does something in order to save sinners. As she was hearing about what God had done her mother got off the phone and started interrupting again but it wasn't even thirty seconds before another phone call came in taking her away again.

In this moments that followed for the first time in her life Cheryl understood what repentance is, that it isn't "cleaning up your life", "stopping sinning" or "asking for forgiveness" but rather a simple change of mind about who God is and what sin is. It was pointed out that this repentance will always result in a changed life of actions but those actions aren't what saves us and nor is repentance. Rather, one is saved on the basis of accepting God's gift of salvation, through trusting that Jesus paid for their sin on the cross. Cheryl was speechless, she almost couldn't believe how simple and beautiful it was.

There wasn't any time for checking questions to give her a deeper understanding of the gospel but it was amazing that God had opened her eyes to the truth despite many years of confusion from the contradictory and works based ideas she'd grown up in.

There were a range of other exciting conversations where people came to comprehend the gospel for the first time but one that was wonderful was with a lady named Moana. She had some Christianity in her background but had basically just lived as though she was in charge. She saw that God exists via the building's need a builder analogy. She saw that she was in trouble via God's law and Holy standard and therefore was taken through a simple explanation of why Christ alone and His sacrifice can save a sinner.

She was then shown that this gift of forgiveness, purchased by Christ is on offer and to those who trust in Him they will receive forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life. In the next few minutes Moana came to comprehend that it was nothing to do with ones good works that saves a sinner but rather simply by trusting in Christ. She even came to understand that it isn't trusting in Jesus, then living a good life that makes someone right before God, rather that it is simply trusting in what Jesus did.

She then was able to understand that the changed life of good works that a Christian lives is a result of the salvation provided by Christ, not a requirement to receive it. At the moment Moana seemed to comprehend it all, her bus arrived. God had enabled her to come to a simple understanding of the essential truth of how someone is made right before God and what role our works play in that.

Please raise Cheryl and Moana up before God that they would not just comprehend the offer of forgiveness but that they would in whole-hearted surrender, trust in Christ for their forgiveness and be forever changed, wanting to know God, to be known by God and to make Him known!


Brisbane (QLD) Team

Saturday, 4 May, 2019

Posted by Posted 9 May 2019, 1:50 AM by Matthew Andersen. Permalink

On Saturday night in Brisbane City the team headed in to share the gospel with those whom God allowed to stop. The night was filled with many conversations but there was one stand out.

Anna, a German lady, was walking past early on and was asked what she thought would happen after we die. She had a range of ideas but mostly about God being a force not a being, the afterlife not being about judgement and therefore each of us could live by our own rules and desires as long as we don't hurt anybody else. She was challenged on this as to God's personhood, God's goodness and God's justice. This opened up an over two hour conversation where Anna came to comprehend the gospel and understood why Jesus alone can offer salvation.

She heard many reasons as to why Christianity can be trusted and why she should place her trust in Christ alone for the forgiveness of her sins. Anna tried to argue for her own righteousness by the way that she treats the planet but was shown that no amount of good deeds can ever take away one's history of sin. She then comprehended that all people deserve God's justice for their sin in Hell and therefore that our only hope is if God Himself pays the debt for out sin. She learned how forgiveness will change a persons life and they will no longer want to live in sin but that they will want to honour Christ as Lord with their lives.

The conversation ended as Anna was challenged a number of times to consider what God had said and how one can be forgiven and to count the cost of trusting in Christ. At this Anna was thankful for the conversation and she headed off.

A few other conversations were attempted, with two young guys mocking God saying that they were "so scared" of Him when they saw their guilt by the law. Another guy said he was good and didn't need God and a third said he was too busy to chat but it was less than fifteen minutes later when Anna returned and offered to buy a coffee. Funnily enough, another team member who speaks Dutch started chatting to her and then offered to buy her a coffee instead and then another half an hour conversation took place.

Anna had some more questions and this time the tone was even more serious. She was encouraged that God didn't make mistakes and He may have even bought her all this way to Australia so that she could hear what He has done to save her. She was talking about being thankful for now understanding others opinions but was challenged strongly that this wasn't just anyone's opinion, this what what God has said, done and promised and therefore it isn't just to be treated as a nice idea but the truth by which life should be live.

The conversation finally came to a close and Anna was comprehending the gospel, said she would consider it and was left with the very serious choice, trust in Christ and live or rely on oneself and be punished eternally.

Please be praying that God would be at work in Anna's heart, that she would hear this good news and trust in Christ alone for her salvation and that her life would be changed, that she would return to Germany as a Christian, wanting nothing more than to know God, be known by God and make Him known!


Brisbane (QLD) Team

Monday, 6 May, 2019

Posted by Posted 9 May 2019, 1:46 AM by Matthew Andersen. Permalink

On Labor Day, a public holiday in Queensland, a team of ten used the day off to head into Brisbane City to share God's glorious gospel with anyone willing to listen.

It was a privilege to be able to use a fourth public holiday, in as many weeks, on the streets.

In this video you can hear Heidi rejoicing in God's grace that even despite her best efforts to share the gospel with Sue didn't come to pass, another team member was able to share the gospel with two men sitting next to her and she was able to listen.

You can also hear Hanno and Zelda share about encouraging conversations they each had as they as a team, took turns looking after their children as the other went to share the gospel.

Lastly be encouraged that like Fynn, who would have been otherwise occupied if it wasn't a public holiday, was instead able to come out and preach Christ and Him crucified.

Why don't you schedule in an outreach on your next day off?


Christchurch (NZ) Team

Wednesday, 8 May, 2019

Posted by Posted 8 May 2019, 7:41 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

On Tuesday I normally go to Riccarton which is west of the City, but I decided to try a new outreach location: Northlands Mall in Papanui, which is north of the City.

I like routine, and so this broke it.  I ended up feeling as nervous as I used to feel when I was first getting involved with street outreach.  It’s good to feel that, as it gives me empathy for all you Christians who are just getting started!  But I went out anyway.  I consoled myself with the fact that I could just hand out tracts, which helps me with my nerves.

But as I walked down the street, towards the mall, and the bus stops, I was surprised at how many people there were.  So I started saying “Hi” to people and working on getting a conversation started.

Admittedly, it was a bit awkward initially, but I was quickly into a Gospel conversation with a young man.  It turns out he was heading to the doctors with heart concerns!  So the conversation was timely.  He was happy for me to walk with him, and I was able to share the law and Gospel - which he seemed to understand and appreciate it.  I challenged him to respond to the Gospel.

The outreach then proceeded from conversation to conversation.  Praise God, my nerves had evaporated.  And I had “broken soil” at a new outreach location.  It seems to be a wonderful location, with more bus stops than at Eastgate (east of the City).  Please join me in praying for this new outreach location.

Wednesday was back to routine, with an outreach in Cathedral Square, and then to the Hospital for a regular (not abortion) outreach.

In Cathedral Square there were two stand out conversations.

The first was a brief chat with a Christian tourist.  Very early on he said: “I try”.  Instantly I had concern, and so I stopped him and explained that, for salvation, we don’t need to try.  It is a completed work done by Jesus, on our behalf, on the cross.  Salvation is a gift.  He then mentioned something about “regret”.  Which is great - we should all regret our sin.  But regret, alone, does not remove our sin: we must place our faith in Jesus.  Yet he still didn’t seem to grasp what I was saying until I explained a third time.  He seemed to appreciate our chat and smiled as he left, after we shook hands.  He gladly accepted a tract.

The second was a complete contrast.  Firstly, the conversation went for an hour!  But the key difference was that the guy I was talking to completely rejected salvation by faith alone, and insisted that works were required for salvation!  He seemed to accept the Bible (including the OT, the Gospels, the general epistles, and Revelation), but he rejected the Pauline epistles!  He insisted that repentance was required for salvation, and that it is a work.  I agreed the repentance is required for salvation, but had the opportunity to explain that repentance is not a work at all, but a change of mind away from sin and to God that leads to obedience (works).  We are saved by grace, through faith and not by works, but for works.  This issue is critical to get right.  If you think you need to do any works to be saved, then you can’t have your faith in Jesus alone to save you!

I ended up getting the guy to say something amazing.  I asked if I needed to be circumcised to be saved, and he hedged.  So I asked if I needed to keep all the food laws of the OT to be saved.  He ended up admitting that we did need to do both!  So I asked him, assuming I knew I was dying in a few day, what I needed to do to be saved.  He seemed stuck and then said: “Well, I would recommend you give $1000 to the first charity you can think of - that should help”.  I was shocked.  This guy was trying to earn his way to heaven by his own effort.  Something Jesus clearly explained that is Impossible to do (see Matthew 5:21-29 and Mark 10:17-31).

It was a very friendly conversation, but at the end, I had to call this guy to repentance (ironically).  He was wrongly trusting in his works to save him, which would lead him to damnation.  I told him he needed to change his mind and only trust in Christ to save him: to accept the gift by faith.

He lives out of town, but I made sure he knew how to get in touch if he wanted to discuss further.  I hope to hear from him.

The Hospital outreach was surprisingly active, with some really good Gospel conversations: including a man who regularly went to the mosque to pray - but had not been there on that fateful day.

Later, while I was talking with someone else, suddenly an angry lady broke into the conversation.  She was angry that I was outside the hospital doing what I was doing.  She stormed off before I could really interact, but she made it clear she had called security.

Sure enough, a security guard came past five minutes later.  He walked up the steps and watched me for a minute (I know because the person I was talking to told me) - but they left me alone.  I’m on the sidewalk, which is public property, and I have every right to be there and talk to people about my religious convictions.

Yet, the intensity of her anger unsettled me.  I need to get used to this, our next abortion outreach will be Friday morning…

As always, your prayer and support is much appreciated.  All this work would not be able to happen without it.  It is truly amazing what God is doing in getting regular outreaches established in Christchurch.  Thank you!
 


West Country (UK) Team

Saturday, 4 May, 2019

Posted by Posted 8 May 2019, 2:59 AM by Matthew Rolfe. Permalink

On Saturday 4th May, there were just two in our team available to go out, was still a really blessed time and God was so good to bring many different people across our path that day.

While I was setting up, a man who had been begging came up to me with a coffee he had been given that he didn't need as had two. He asked me what I was doing and I explained we were a Christian ministry about to speak to people about Jesus and the afterlife and hand out tracts to people.

The man said he was named Phil, and that he was a spiritualist/medium who says he has/can see demons! He took some tracts to read which was good, and I believed what he had said!

Three young people of Primary school age came to look at the intelligence test while I was finishing setting up the gear, and they were eager to try and get them right, and with their Mum and Nan were able to go through the good person flip chart. I was aware I would have to simplify/ explain some of the pictures and what I was there for as the boys were age 8-10, but they listened very well and took some comic book tracts and said they understood the gospel message that wa shared.

Laurie and I managed to pray before we properly started as usually as soon as we put up the intelligence test questions people start to walk by and stop to read. Teenagers from the school I work at walked past again which Laurie managed to witness to and give tracts and answer questions, as well as a member of staff who brought her 23 year old son to listen after a conversation with her at work about what we did. He listened intently, and his Mum was visibly a bit taken aback at all we spoke of but managed to stay and he took some tracts to read and said he had a Bible to read.

Just before I started preaching I managed to get two University students to stop to talk. As I was witnessing to them, another man walked past, stopped and interrupted us asking what I was talking about. He was visibly on drink/drugs but was coherent and listened intently as I shared the gospel ith the two guys, and when they left he stayed to talk. He was called Dean and said he had been to prison over 30 times before for different reasons.

I managed to share the analogy of his fine being paid in relation to prison and the judge, and he was happy to take tracts and a Bible to read. (I shared this encounter at Church the next day and we all prayed for him as I really felt a strong conviction for his soul and difficulty his life was in.)

I later managed to preach linking Thanos in the latest Avengers firm and his special glove with the infinity stones in and peoples choice of what they would do if they had those powers? Some people had said they would bring back all the people in the world that had ever died, or getting rid of bad people, so I asked if the public would therefore still be around? I mentioned a woman who had recently been in the news filmed secretly on CCTV stealing money from woman in her care with Alzheimer's, and what we do in secret and in the dark is seen by God as if its light, meaning we all needed a Saviour!

It led to some people stopping to listen and more tracts and conversations with people, Laurie notably speaking to another man that stopped that looked like he had been in a bad way with the law, and with the beautiful weather and God's grace we had a blessed day with lots of people having the chance to read a tract or listen to the gospel being preached.

 


Hobart (TAS) Team

Sunday, 5 May, 2019

Posted by Posted 6 May 2019, 5:16 PM by David Gee. Permalink

It has been a hard couple of weeks in Hobart. As many of you may know Tasmania is very keen on LGBTI issues and there is a lot of zeal for all things LGBTI. Since it is election time and since the advent of the Israel Folau witch hunt people have become quite sensitive. Israel is an object lesson for anyone who considers anti-discrimination law benign and modern “inclusion” policies as a protection for all. In the same way, my experiences here in Hobart are a parable of what is coming on our nation.

In this last two weeks I have been assaulted, spat at, physically intimidated, threatened, screamed at, and given a death threat. If you missed that read it again and reflect on this, the people who did this claim to represent “love is love”, “inclusion”, “diversity”, “tolerance” and “equality”. Yes, these things were all done by people identifying as LGBTI or an LGBTI supporter.

My aim, as all my brothers and sisters in Operation 513, is to share the gospel. That is why we go out to the streets week after week. I do not hate or particularly target any one group, rather I speak to the issues of the day and seek to use them to turn people to Jesus in faith. The gospel of Jesus Christ is offensive to unsaved sinners and when it is preached there is a (sometimes violent) rejection that naturally comes to the fallen human heart. We all accept that there are people who will oppose the gospel being preached, Satan hates this work so no surprise. But our Lord told us to follow Him and go preach the gospel, after we have counted the cost.

So, in the midst of all the good things that are happening in Hobart I would ask you please dear reader to pray for safety and grace from God to face these hard things with calm and joy in our hearts.

And there are many good things happening in Hobart! God is good and there have been many wonderful opportunities and blessings. Not least of these I am not injured and the police intervened to limit one of the incidents. Praise God for that!

On Friday this week I was getting set up and noticed a group of young women loitering around the area looking at me frequently. Looking at their climate signs I could see that they were part of the strike for climate change movement, so I began to read from Genesis and speak of the need to care for the world that God had given us and each other. I pointed out that we fail in obeying God’s commands now just like our first parents Adam and Eve. We do not love God as God, nor our neighbours as ourselves, nor care for and keep the world as we should.

These discussions were welcomed by the young women but a couple of them were busting to ask a question: “What does God think of lesbians?”. To answer I took them to three parts of God’s word. Firstly, Genesis teaches that all women area made to reflect the image of God, therefore lesbians too are precious feminine image bearers. Secondly, the Law of God teaches that all sex outside of faithful heterosexual marriage is sinful and deserving of death and hell, lesbians therefore by their sinful actions are under God’s judgement. Lastly, the whole of the new testament teaches that all types of sinful people can be saved from judgement through repentance and faith in Jesus, lesbians then can be saved through faith in Jesus.

So, to summarise; lesbians are precious people made in God’s image, they are marred by sin and under God’s judgement, yet they are able to be saved through repentant faith in Jesus Christ.

This discussion then led to a long discussion with these and a whole series of other teens around many different questions. The questions were many and varied including: How can we know the Bible is trustworthy?  What about Dinosaurs? Are you saying atheists can’t be moral? What about dating of fossils – they’re older than the timeline of Bible? Historical sources can’t be trusted, can they? What about climate change?

Through all these things I tried to give both gospel and answers. Answers to questions are good and they may help people accept the gospel. Ultimately though, it is the gospel that is the power of God for salvation for all who believe.

Later in the day I was preaching on the offensiveness of the gospel of salvation and our need to be disturbed, shaken awake, and shown our spiritual danger. During this a young lady came up who wanted to speak to me. She believed that she was a homosexual transgender man, and due to the things I have said in the past she apparently felt “rage” whenever she saw me. She believed that I should not be allowed to speak as I do and say the things I do because they are so hurtful and discriminatory. She was happy in her identity and did not want me to disturb her comfort in this regard.

I responded that I dearly wanted her and all people to be disturbed and change their identification and who they naturally are. We are all people who naturally do what is morally wrong and have frequent cause for regret due to the things we do (me also!). Our consciences and God’s law tell us that we desperately need change, that there is eternal consequences if we don’t, yet we lack the desire and/or power to do so. God offers to come and change us through Jesus Christ, first to declare us not guilty before Him by grace through faith, then to make us holy through His Holy Spirit, then to take us to heaven to be permanently free of the disease of sin which is our natural birthright.

To round out these good things, I had a great discussion with Mr L and his friend. He has been coming to listen for a period and has even stood up for me a couple of times when others are being quite unfair in debate. He is an agnostic and very open to hearing other perspectives. Because of this he is very keen to see more public discussions occur in the mall and thanked me for the Christian manner that I have behaved in the past. Please God impact these young men for Christ through what they hear. I encouraged Mr L to consider some of the evidence for God that is easily available for those that are willing to look. We shook hands and parted ways smiling.

So, in the midst of difficulties there is always good things that the Lord is doing.

Oh Lord God almighty, please keep our eyes on you in trying times, be our comfort and our joy. Amen!


Christchurch (NZ) Team

Sunday, 5 May, 2019

Posted by Posted 5 May 2019, 5:17 PM by Glen Richards. Permalink

The weekend saw two outreaches for the Christchurch (NZ) team, both in the city: Cathedral Square on Saturday, and Cashel Mall + Preaching in Cathedral Square on Sunday.

I thought Saturday’s outreach was going to be quiet, but as I patiently handed out tracts, God saw fit to bring Gospel conversations.

I had a fascinating conversation with two guys.  One who needed an emphasis on grace, and the other needing an emphasis on the law.  Both of them gave facial expressions at different times that showed they were listening and understanding, but, sadly, both seemed to reject the Gospel.

The first guy clearly stated that he deserved hell for what he had done and expressed a hopelessness.  He seemed to struggle as I explained grace: that Jesus had died for the worst of sinners.  But he soon recovered his composure and raised his mask and defences, and started talking crazy stuff.

The second guy looked into the distance as I explained the law to him.  His self righteousness was being challenged: he admitted he would be guilty and deserved hell, and so I turned the corner and started to explain the Gospel of Jesus, and then he raised his mask and defences by cutting me off.  He didn’t want to hear it.  He then started talking about Islam - he was obviously recently listening to it’s teaching.

For both of them, I could see that I wouldn’t be able to convince them.  So I patiently listened to them till they decided to move on.

But there is still hope for both of them!

I also had some very encouraging conversations with Catholics.

One was with a guy I had had a long talk to outside the hospital about a month ago.  It was great to see him again and have the opportunity to call him to faith alone in Christ alone again.

The second was very providential.  On Thursday Andy & I were debating whether someone claiming to be a Catholic could be saved.  I was on the side of no, because a “born again Catholic” who believed in justification by grace alone through faith alone would need to move out of the Catholic church which does not teach that.

Well, God sent along a man and his wife, to challenge me!  The man was very keen to chat, and claimed to be a Catholic who emphatically stood against Catholic doctrine in claiming to believe in justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone!  It turns out he doesn’t attend mass too often, and he does have some contact with a local church.  We had a great chat, but I did call him away from Rome completely and to commit to a sound local church.

The Sunday outreach saw a team of 8.

The family of three again joined us for the second time.  And today one of them gave out their first Gospel tracts with some polite interaction!  He was very encouraged.  I captured the moment in one of the photos.

At one point all three flip charts had Gospel conversations running - very encouraging.

And I had a wonderful opportunity while I was taking a photo of two of those conversations.  A young man (you can see his knee in the photo) walked over and stood there with an expression on his face that said: “please talk to me about the Gospel”.  I gladly obliged!  :)

It turns out this man had a Catholic school background, and had a school friend who had suddenly become a Christian.  It’s obvious he had been watching the change in his friend and wanted to understand it.  I had a wonderful time discussing the law and the Gospel with him.

It was clear he was understanding grace as he made the comment: “so I can just keep sinning and do what I want”.  No, if we have received God’s grace, our life will change and we will no longer want to sin, even though we will.  And I was able to continue discussing the concepts with him.

He seemed appreciative, and took a tract.  I hope he discusses the Gospel conversation further with his friend.

We finished the outreach with preaching in Cathedral Square.

All glory to God!
 


Gold Coast (QLD) Team

Friday, 3 May, 2019

Posted by Posted 4 May 2019, 2:09 AM by Matthew Andersen. Permalink

As the team headed out to Cavill Avenue there was a large stage and band set up blaring music through the mall, meaning the outreach was a little harder than normal. The team had to speak louder to be heard and this meant it was harder to start conversations.

God is good though and enabled many conversations to take place. The team of eight were able to have over thirty five conversations between them.

You can hear Ben encouraging you that even though it was hard going tonight, you should consider coming out some time!

Also hear from Matt sharing about a funny introduction with Connor followed by a saddening conversation with Aaron. These conversations are sad because the gospel is such good news that it is foolish to reject it but many people will trade almost anything for Christ. 

Please be praying for those who heard the gospel that God would use these conversations to bring about their salvation and His glory!


Sunnybank (QLD) Team

Thursday, 2 May, 2019

Posted by Posted 4 May 2019, 2:09 AM by Matthew Andersen. Permalink

The hardest part of evangelism at a bus stop is the evangelism. Actually having time to tell of the good news about what Christ has done, with the context of the bad news, the each of us has made ourselves enemies of God by our sin is tough. The more you do it though, the better you become. The added struggle is that at Sunnybank there is usually a language barrier as well and even less understanding of Christianity than normal.

Thursday's outreach started off in a whirlwind of conversations in the first ninety minutes twelve conversations took place back to back. What is exciting though is now instead of getting to the end of the law, which was the struggle, it is getting easier to get through to the gospel before the bus arrives. This afternoon two early conversations too place where the gospel was explained and it was checking question time as the bus arrived.

The first was with Sara an Indian lady who saw her guilt via the law, the judgement that was coming because reincarnation (which she at first believed) doesn't deal with justice. And then was shown that for forgiveness to be given, someone must pay and she came to comprehend what God did to pay for the sin of those who believe. Sadly there wasn't time to expound fully on what it means to believe in Christ or to check that she understood the simple message of faith alone but she took a tract and was encouraged to have a read.

Next with with Zel and Joe. Joe wasn't super keen to hear but he listened where as Zel engaged in the questions. They too were shown their guilt, the penalty sin deserves and were asked if they knew what Christ had done to save sinners. They had some idea but the good news of what Christ had does was explained and they were encouraged to rely on him alone as they didn't get to stay for checking questions before their bus arrived.

There were a mixture of other people, some who tried to defend their innocence by declaring that everyone does wrong things, others who tried to claim that God doesn't exist after the law revealed their guilt and others still who heard what God had said and how one can be forgiven and then chose to reject it on the basis of their own desire to keep living their own way. These people desperately need God to soften their heart otherwise they will never come to trust in Christ!

On the other hand there was one very exciting conversation with Joel. He attends a local church but had never understood the way to Heaven. He said he would go to Heaven when he dies because he's a pretty good guy. Over the next ten minutes Joel was taken step by step through the story of the gospel, seeing that because God is good he is in trouble, that our efforts will never get us to the standard God expects but that God in his grace provided a substitute to take our place so that anyone who accepts his gift of forgiveness by trusting in what Christ has done can go to Heaven!

Joel understood this, he was able to explain back how someone can get to Heaven and therefore said that today he would trust in Christ! He was challenged to count the cost and was shown that those who trust in Christ will turn from their sin out of love for God and was encouraged to start reading his Bible every day!

Praise God for such a wonderful afternoon filled with many opportunities to tell others of the glory and goodness of our God! Why don't you join us sometime?


Brisbane (QLD) Team

Wednesday, 1 May, 2019

Posted by Posted 4 May 2019, 2:08 AM by Matthew Andersen. Permalink

On Wednesday in Brisbane city the team out to preach Christ and Him crucified to the lost and broken people of this world. The afternoon had some great reminders and was encouraging as well!

One conversation late in the afternoon was with Jemma. From first glance she seemed as though she would be hard to talk with but God in His grace allowed it to be one of the easiest and simplest conversations. Jemma had some Christian background but nothing major.

What was most surprising was not that Jemma used the word, "repent" when talking about how she should respond to the gospel but that she actually had a correct definition of the word! When asked, "What do you think that word means," she responded. "To have a change of mind about sin and then you will trust in Christ".

The reason this is so surprising is that the team a few months back realised that what Australian's mean when they say the word "repent" is usually, "be a good person, stop sinning and ask for forgiveness". Since the team has started asking people what they mean when they use the word, this is the first person to give an accurate definition. For this reason we have stopped using the word and instead started explaining the idea other ways.

This conversation with Jemma was incredible, she comprehended the gospel, she was able to get the checking questions right first time and she was challenged to count the cost and to trust in Christ this very day!

The conversation following this was with Arli, an Indonesian man. The conversation was harder, he struggled to comprehend the gospel as first and more work had to be done to lead him to comprehend what was being said but when he did understand and was able to explain the gospel simply back he declared that he didn't want to trust in Jesus. He said that he was happy living his own way and didn't need the saviour. It was sad to see someone understand the predicament they are in, the reality of judgement but willing to say that they love sin too much to trust in Christ.

There were many people who weren't able to stay for the gospel as they had to head back to work or off with friends. This included Shane an Irish guy who'd never thought about it before, Alamir a lapsed Muslim who had very little idea about Christianity, Tracey who had to head off with her brother before she heard the good news and Jason said he was just going to risk it on the day of judgement.

Lastly was an exciting conversation with Oli, a local homeless man. Usually those on the street aren't willing to chat but Oli was. By God's grace, even though there was a strong hint of alcohol on his breath he came to comprehend the gospel! He said, "I have spent so many years visiting different churches and being served by them but this is the first time I have understood what Christianity is about". What an exciting comment from Oli, praise God that he has now comprehended the gospel!

Please be praying for all those who heard the law and gospel today that God would use the guilt shown by the law and the forgiveness provided by the gospel to draw people unto Himself that they may come and trust in Christ for their salvation!


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