In this last week we have been joined by a new preacher, Jackson, a young man full of zeal for the Lord. We have also had a time of peace and increased interest from the public in conversation. Many who have come to talk in the past have come to discuss again and we have seen Bibles going out.
Much of the opposition that we faced earlier in the year has now dissipated and those who have been vocal opponents in the past now content themselves with glares and occasional mutters. This has allowed more time to preach the gospel, praise God for His ongoing protection.
The conversations that happen around the Bible table and after the preaching is an enduring joy for the team and I. A selection of the great conversations that God blessed us with:
Mr G. – a young Roman Catholic gent who has been coming to listen for many months. He was very concerned about the shape of Australia and the very secular and aggressively antichristian attitudes that he had encountered. I was able to discuss some of these issues with him and encourage him to look to Jesus in faith. When the whole world is losing itself in faithlessness and sin and it seems that the foundations of all that is good and Godly are shaking; we can trust in Him to be faithful and save us from all our troubles. Praise God Mr G was keen to catch up again, may God use these discussions to draw him into trust and faith in Jesus alone.
A School Girl – she had visited before in the midst of pain and grief, praise God there was a smile on her face today. She had come to listen with a friend while waiting for someone, they had sat listening and even giving the occasional nod as I’d preached. Afterwards she had a limited time but had a couple of Biblical questions and we talked a little. She was eager to talk again and I hope this coming week.
Mr C. – A regular very fun sort-of-Buddhist heckler who has come to talk a number of times. We talked about hobbies and where able to discuss catching up at another time. Please pray that the meet up would be fruitful and friendly!
Lesbian couple – Two young ladies who have been around the preaching previously during the not-so-silent silent protest by LGBTI people during the same sex marriage debacle. They came asking the same questions that they had many times before: why do I preach against homosexuality, what is wrong with the homosexual lifestyle, what do you think about…., and so on. These questions are not new and the attitude to Christians and Christ was about the same as many in their group. So, the question that has sat in my mind is, why are they coming again to talk to a preacher they disagree with so thoroughly? I hope and pray that the gospel preached at speaker’s corner is beginning to work in their hearts and break away at their hard hearts. I will pray for them until they visit again, as I’m sure they will.
As I’ve said there is a new preacher that has joined us, this is another joy, it warms my heart to see young people passionate to serve God and share the gospel. I had heard about Jackson previous to meeting him, he had been caught reading the Bible in the mall without a permit by the council. It takes guts to get up and speak publicly, but to read the Bible alone and unsupported in Hobart mall where there is animosity to spare is impressive! He joined us in preaching and reaching out to Hobart this last week. He has been reading the Bible aloud and making some comments after reading. He does a good job of it and gives a sound gospel presentation and deals with hecklers with compassion. I’ve heard many times from his mouth the love he holds for those he speaks to. Praise God for another worker in the harvest at Hobart speaker’s corner!
Pray for us here in the South, that God would strengthen our hands and give us boldness. May His name be praised!
On Monday afternoon the sun was blazing making a number of the bus platforms warmer than normal. The team due to one conversation ended up spending an extra hour in the outreach. A man who had a Catholic background, hopped off the bus, was asked a question about eternity and said that he doesn't really like talking about it. One hour and twenty minutes later the conversation ended and he had been encouraged numerous times to turn from his self-reliance to trusting in Christ.
Due to the extended time, the team had over thirty gospel conversations during the afternoon! Praise God for allowing the freedom and openness for such a fruitful afternoon to occur. There were many conversations that took place and in the moment they can be extremely sad, for example one short conversation with an elderly SDA man. He was adamant that he must work for his salvation. He would say, "It is by grace alone but we have to earn that grace".
He probably won't survive to live in this world for another decade and if his pride remains in those short years, his eternity will be spent in hell.
It is conversations like this that are gut wrenching. He has every advantage to hear and understand God's offer of salvation. He has the Bible, in his own language. He has the ability to read and time on his hands and yet he prefers the false doctrine that enables him to have pride in his own achievements and abilities.
Despite this man's hard heart, we can know and rejoice that God isn't making mistakes. Whether this man remains proud until death and ends up in Hell, or God humbles him and leads him to Christ, the saviour of sinners, God is in charge and does not make mistakes. In our gospel proclamation, of course we want to see people come to a knowledge of the truth but we are called to be faithful in proclamation and nothing more.
There was a man Keiran who was spoken to, who once was a youth leader but had since rejected Christianity declaring he thinks he is a nephilim and has the ability to pay for his own sin. He says he is a spiritual health and wellness coach. Basically, he has foolishly rejected God as He has revealed Himself and then taken some parts from different sources and fashioned an idol out of his own ideas.
Another man Ray declared that we must simply have faith in faith. It was explained that it is the object of our faith that saves, not the faith itself. There are many faiths that are foolish. Many things people rely on and place their faith in, that cannot help. This was pointed out the Ray with some analogies and he was left to consider the only reliable object of faith, Jesus Christ.
Another lady Shirley declared a lot of different ideas, most important was the idea that God does not judge, He just forgives. This was pointed out as incoherent as to forgive someone requires you to judge what they've done as wrong. It was also pointed out that the one forgiving must take the hit. Shirley was a lady who was sure that she was a very good person and has lived a life very pleasing to God.
Another lady Linduca was adamant that she as a Buddhist was going to be fine. Even though in Buddhism one of the steps to enlightenment is to have no desires. The primary issue being, the desire to have no desires, is a desire. Linduca was shown the law of God, leading to a knowledge of sin and was left knowing the we can never be right before God on our own, only Christ can save a sinner.
Three others that heard the Gospel and responded positively were Brooke, Grant and Zane. They each did the good person test, saw their sin and the deserved punishment and heard God's offer of salvation. They were each encouraged to read their Bible and were left with a tract.
Please be praying for all those who heard the Gospel today. These numbers as well as many more. Please bring these men and women before God in prayer, asking Him to have His way with them, whether it be in changing their heart for His glory or hardening it for His glory. Please also be praying for the Lord of the harvest to send out more labourers, maybe even yourself!
Even if you don't feel like coming out, due to tiredness, guilt or even fear. God uses the simple step of faithfulness to bring about His good purposes!
Hear Finn share about a conversation he had with two atheists.
Hear Allan share about how he uses the intelligence test flip chart to lead people to the Gospel and about a specific conversation he tonight.
Hear Bek share how althought she wasn't feel great about coming out, God used her to share the Gospel with a number of people!
Would you too consider joining the team sometime?
On Friday night in Cavill Mall on the Gold Coast the team were able to engage many people in conversations and able to share God's Good News.
One early and exciting conversation was had with Sydney. He had a Catholic background and was a native french speaker. Through the discourse of the conversation Sydney heard what God declares about Himself, that He is holy, righteous and good and therefore cannot let the guilty go unpunished. He acknowledged that this made sense and then was shown the problem with Catholicism. It can never hold God as holy, righteous or good, if God lets people into Heaven based in any part on their actions, because all actions that originate from humans are polluted in some part by sin. Only the righteousness that God gives to humans is pleasing to Himself.
Then the idea of imputation and justification were explained so that Sydney came to understand "The Great Exchange", that Christ takes our sin, suffering the Hell punishment we deserve and gives us His righteousness, that we can be made right before God! This is the heart of the Gospel and the greatest news a sinner can hear, that God has done everything required for us to be with Him eternally.
Sydney said it all made sense and agreed that God probably bought him all the way to Australia just to hear the Gospel. He said he would have a read of his Bible as well.
An extremely sad conversation was had with Ali. At first Ali's friends did not want him to speak to the team but Ali stopped. He shared that he is a Muslim and then over the course of the next ninety minutes Ali proceeded to do what seemed like willful misunderstanding. Ali had been taught things about Christianity by his local Muslim leaders and was not really listening to what was being said.
Eight times, using different analogies and examples, it was explain why God, if He really is God, must do everything for His own glory and why He, if He is good and loving, must create humanity to find their greatest satisfaction in Him. Sadly despite the explanations Ali was adamant that if God created us to worship Him, "He must be needy". This was a conversation, if there ever was one that confirmed that spiritual blindness.
Often conversations are with people that can understand the Gospel and Christianity and yet are just willfully rebellious. In Ali's case it seemed rather that he was just so blind and unwilling to understand what was being said.
In finale, even after hearing the Gospel and God's offer of salvation Ali declared, "The only reason we do anything good and worship God is so that He will give us what we desire". Ali had fundamentally misunderstood God's holiness, authority and purpose. It was ultimately in acknowledgement of God's sovereign plan choosing to save some and not others, that Ali was left with a Gospel tract, encouraged to read the Bible and the team has and will continue to pray that God would bring a hard-hearted, spiritually blind man, Ali, to salvation so that He may be glorified.
Please be praying that God is merciful to this man, despite his desperate idolatry and pride.
Finally though as the team headed over for a quick meal before heading home, a man named Peter was engaged. He had some JW beliefs but for the first time in his life heard the Gospel! He said it made sense and wrote down Romans 3-5 so that he would spend some time reading it in the next few days. Praise God that some are open and willing to hear the truth, whilst others are hard and unwilling.
Please pray that Peter would be lead to salvation through the reading of Romans, that he would understand that we are justified by faith in Christ's work alone!
On Thursday afternoon at Sunnybank the team were blessed with many conversations. One noticeable mention is that often older men are scared to talk about eternal matters. Many will acknowledge that they have thought about it but rarely will they be willing to hear God's truth. They will often try and pass off the conversation, through humour, arrogance or anger. This plays out in all locations but was just noticed this past Thursday.
That being said there were some wonderful conversations. One man Frank declared that it was his adherence to the ten commandments that was getting him to Heaven. This was scary to hear as he said he went to a local Church. Frank heard the Gospel and God's real offer of salvation and was challenged to stop trying to convince himself, that he will be okay based on his own actions.
A sad conversation was had with Joan, she was an older lady who was a little hesitant to talk because she said that religion was all about power and fear. This was interesting to hear but she couldn't really explain why she thought that. Although she did say that she would never want to worship a God who had power over her. It was explained to her that God's laws aren't for the purpose of oppression rather, true freedom and liberty is found in the flourishing that God's design brings.
Her bus arrived and she had to leave. But please be praying for Joan that she is stripped of her pride, thinking she knows better than God and is bought to submission to Him.
One encouraging conversation was had with Jesse. He heard the Gospel for the first time, without any arguments and said he would consider it. Please be praying that Jesse searches out the scriptures and is bought to a knowledge of the truth.
Among other conversations Sia a lady who goes to an SDA Church and had been let into some confusion by what they taught, heard the Gospel and of imputation. It has been noted that in America, there is often a strong emphasis on repentance being a "turning from sin". Where as in Australia, this leads people often into confusion. It must be clearly stated that repentance isn't just "turning from sin... and trying to be good". Rather it is turning from sin, to trust God. And that will result in a changed life.
In Australia, legalism seems to be a far more common vice, than anti-nomianism.
Lastly an encouraging conversation was had with Stephanie. She knew about Heaven and Hell and had heard the name Jesus but that was about the limit of her understanding. God as Creator, Holy, Judge and Saviour was explained alongside sin, judgement and righteousness and she was left to ponder, would she turn and trust in Christ, or continue living in sin.
Please be praying for all those who heard the Good News, that they would repent and believe. Praise God for allowing conversations to flow and for bringing people along to hear His glorious Gospel!
The primary reason that Christians think that all non-Christians are hostile and vehemently against talking about the Gospel is because the only people Christians have to engage with are the ones hostile enough to raise it themselves.
Oppositely, when we as Christians start to raise the topic of eternity, we will find out how open most people really are. This shows itself in different ways at different outreaches. In Brisbane city some of the team members use the flip charts on the footpath. Others sit down next to people and ask simple questions such as, "Where do you think you will go after you die?" This sitting down method, has around a fifty percent success rate. One in two people will be happy to talk. Most of those who cannot aren't hostile they just are busy or otherwise occupied.
As you are about to be encouraged in some conversations from this past Wednesday, ponder this, How could you implement this simple question and strategy to engage with people in your life, for the sake of the Gospel?
If you are worried about what to say next, you're more than welcome to join a local team and stand next to someone else, listening to what they have to say and how they negotiate a Gospel conversation.
Wednesday was filled with conversations but for the sake of time here are five people to specifically be praying for.
An early conversation was had with Paula. She had a Catholic background and had "worshiped" the Catholic way, doing all the right things for years. A few weeks earlier her mother (another devout Catholic) had died and as a result she had completely rejected God. She was angry with Him and wanted nothing to do with Him. Please be praying that God would use the simple conversation had to leave Paula away from her self-righteous hatred of God, to a total surrender and trust in Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
Following from that conversation was one with two tourist, Dani and Alexis (male). These two started out saying they didn't think there was a God but ended up hearing the Gospel and saying that it made sense.
Interestingly, as is often pointed out in these battle log reports, most people's problem with Christianity is not found in the intellectual arguments they make. This was the case with Dani and Alexis. They argued for evolution (against Creation). They argued for the corruption of the Bible (against its truthfulness). They argued for the non-existence of miracles (rather than their existence) and they argued against God's law (trying to replace it with their own). On each occasion and in the final summary it was explicitly stated that, it isn't that their main problem was Creation, the Bible, Miracles or God's law rather it was the God of Creation, the God of the Bible, the God of Miracles and the God who gives the law.
They didn't want God and so they were "hell-bent" on using anything they could muster up to try and convince themselves that He didn't exist and therefore wouldn't judge them for their sin. Sadly they were seeking to try and avoid their guilt by pretending they weren't guilty, rather than coming in repentant faith to the one who can actually remove the guilt and save a sinner.
Please be praying that these two will give up their sinful self-love and turn to the sinless, selfless Saviour.
An exciting conversation was had with Shaun. He had almost no Christian understanding, except for Jesus' name. He heard the Gospel simply and clearly. He said he understood it and at the end he even said he would consider it. He took a Gospel of John. Please be praying for Shaun, that he would consider who Jesus is and what He has done and therefore turn from sin, to Christ in total surrender.
There is also a man named Darren who has been quite against talking (this isn't uncommon for middle aged men). A few comments and questions have been exchanged but sadly Darren is currently closed off to even discussing further than his desire to "not think about death". Please be praying that God would bring along an opportunity, for a friend, relative or even the team to be able to speak with Darren, to share with him the words of eternal life.
Lastly, the team spoke with a lady named Tristana. She was broken. Due to a string of recent tragedies, he life was in shambles and she had nowhere to turn. She also didn't understand sin and its consequences or the cross of Christ and its victories. The Gospel was explained to her, a tract was given and the team prayed that God would use this scenario to lead Tristana to seeking and knowing God. as C.S. Lewis wisely said, "Pain is God's megaphone to rouse a deaf world".
The recent rain here in Warwick and surrounding towns have been a reminder of God’s care for all people. The rain falls on the just and the unjust. It’s the same grace that is given to us in the air we breathe. Pray for the people here in the country that they come to know our Father God and give thanks to Him for providing our daily needs. Pray that they know their greatest need is to be made right in His sight by faith in His Son Jesus. The drought is not broken though, it’s green, but the dams are empty. It’s what they call a green drought. Much like how we can look good on the outside and our inward heart be not filled with God’s Spirit.
The Gospel is the power of God unto Salvation!!! We know that this is the solution to the sin problem of our heart. May God’s mercy rain in our hearts and cause us to shine His saving grace in our lives, as we serve Him out of gratefulness and love for saving sinners. Even when we are saved we need the Gospel each and every day!
The flip chart is a wonderful tool to present the Gospel either in one on one or to a group. One of my opportunities last week was to have 4 teenagers stop and engage in the good person test using the flip chart. They were engaged in the questions and answered with humbleness and when asked if they were guilty the all said they were and they deserve to be sent to hell for eternity. When asked if that concerned them they laughed and had no fear or concern. Before sharing the good news of the Gospel with them I explained that sin keeps us from even wanting to know God and that we need to listen to our conscience and know that sin separates us from a just and righteous God who is the judge of our souls. Hell is not a fun place where you are going to party with your mates. Life is short even though you are young i reminded them many young people die. They acknowledged what was said and I shared the good news how Jesus died on the cross and took the wrath of God upon himself to set us free.
The flip chart is so visually impacting as it shows a ball of fire upon Jesus on the cross and a person being shielded from the eternal punishment. Thank You Jesus! As we flip to the next page there is a cross with no more Jesus there. This is showing that Jesus said it is finished the fine is paid, He defeated sin and death eternal, He has risen from the grave and is alive forever more.
Because Jesus is God and He loves us so much, He took what we what we deserve and offers us a way to Eternal life and not hell punishment. They were given the bad news and the good news and urged to consider the message they had heard. The 3 boys and 1 girl were encouraged to read through their comic book tracts they each had received. Pray they may be brought in by the irresistible grace of God to salvation. Pray for all the people who received tracts this fortnight and for the tracts given out at the Rodeo Street Parade on Saturday. It has been a joy to serve God, All for His glory and honour.
Thank you for praying for the people of Warwick and those in surrounding towns. Also pray for the people visiting the town may receive the Gospel on their travels.
Over the past two weeks on the Tuesday outreach at Warwick many more tracts were handed out. God always leads some to want to stop and ask questions.
Even those who walk past are seeing the free offer of Bibles and resources, it is a beautiful way to reach out with love and share the free gift of Salvation. Last week I was in a conversation with someone when another person tried to hand me a $5 note that they had found on the ground. I told them it wasn’t mine when they tried to give it to me, instead I grabbed a million dollar tract and gave it to them and added “Here is a million dollars with a message on it worth more than silver or gold”. So he found much more than $5 dollars that day!!! Pray the message will be treasure to his heart. It’s great to take every opportunity to share the Gospel. Having a variety of tracts with different ice breaker words and themes helps so much.
Since I have started here in Warwick there has been a handful of people who offer me money to donate to the ministry,. It is a lovely offer and I give them a Gospel tract and show them the Ministry website where they can donate, it’s also good opportunity to give information about the Ministry and tell of the wonderful support of Christians that donate so we can give free Bibles and resources. Praise our wonderful Lord God for the hearts of these givers pray they have or will receive salvation by God’s grace.
One conversation from last week with a sweet young mother and her little baby was a highlight to my day, as we spoke, I could see how much she needed to hear about God’s care and especially needed to hear the free gift of salvation. This young lady was thinking she had to do the best she could to get to heaven. We went over the Gospel a few times and she left with tracts and some Bible verses to read up on about grace and not works. She had a Catholic upbringing and has a bible, pray she will start to read and understand with God’s Spirit’s work to know her heavenly Father through Jesus our saviour. Pray for C and her baby boy J.
Pray for C and L who have a love for the Gospel and share in their little town just out of Warwick. They took a variety of tracts and wanted to know how to purchase some.
This week I had a man approach me just as I was setting up for the day. T was interested in hearing about why and what my purpose was in the resources I was handing out, he said he already has a Bible. I wasn’t able to share the Gospel with him. He was more into psychology and his opinions. I listen and when I spoke I would ground everything in God’s Word. He didn’t like that. The conscience, sin, heaven, hell and our responsibility to respond to God was most of what I tried to talk about, he took tracts and a booklet on where the races come from. Pray for T that he will read the Eternity Gospel tract and for God to open his eye’s.
Pray for a lady who keeps visiting me and always mocks the message. I thank God that He is bringing her back because I always kindly answer her and point to her need for Jesus in her life. Praise the Lord for this opportunity to keep sharing truth in love and pray she will come to repentance and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Thank you again for praying as God works big things in the little we do.
On Saturday 27th October I drove to Exeter to meet George, while Della and her boyfriend got the train to meet us later. Simon was unable to come due to work, and Harry had been at a wedding and so there were just a few of us today. Fortunately though George had made contact with another Indian Church nearby who came out to support us.
It was a very cold windy day, and unfortunately there were many buskers and sports cars in the square for people to look at, which forced us to move further down the high street to preach. This area still had around three busker within earshot playing drums, electric guitars and a didgeridoo and so it was very difficult for people to hear us, even with amplification. We prayed, and then George preached while people listened in and tried to give out tracts to people who would not stop to listen, and unfortunately very few people stopped due to the nature of where we were and the cold.
However God drew one man to stop and talk to Della about what was being said, who in turn was happy to take a Bible and some literature from her.
Later on I preached with amplification and spoke about the many distractions the devil tries to use to put peoples minds off of God, and that our business in life could not put off the fact of our facing eternity. I spoke for a while about Halloween and people preferring darkness rather than light, less there deeds be exposed, and the reasons why people didn't like acknowledging God's existence unless it suited them because of their sin, and how easy it is to blame God for things in life not going according to our plans, but people seldom thank God for all the good things He gives us everyday that we take for granted.
Again a few people slowed down to listen and various tracts were given out, but on the outside it did not appear such a successful day compared to where we normally set up by the square. However we discussed this afterwards as a team and trust that the conversations we had and where we ended up preaching was for a reason and that just one person hearing the gospel and being saved would be worth it.
We are meeting this week at my huse to hopefully all watch the new film 'American gospel' together which should encourage us to continue to persue God and make sure we persue sound doctrine and teach truth.
Tuesday afternoon in Woodridge was quieter than normal but with less constant foot traffic, there were actually many conversations. The team had around thirty conversations over the three hours.
There were a number of short and simple ones. Josh heard the bad news, that God created us to bring Him glory by obeying Him and we have all willfully rebelled in sin, leading us to deserve Hell eternally. Lawrence's sister was talking to another team member and while that went on he was taken through the flip chart, seeing how God's law condemned him and he too left before he could hear the Gospel. Omar heard of God as Creator, Judge and his bus arrived before he could hear the extent of God's offer of salvation.
A lengthier conversation was had with Al an Irish man who said he had left "Christianity" twenty years earlier as he was Irish. He had a strong Catholic background and shared that Catholicism didn't help his marriage, nor could it help the world as religion causes wars. It was explained that the reason we have no peace between countries, in cities, in workplaces or in our homes is because we have no peace in our hearts. It isn't religion that causes wars, it is the selfish intention of sin human beings who love themselves more than anything else.
It was explained that this causes major problems, firstly, God will not let the guilty go unpunished and secondly this causes everyone to be at enmity with others over their own pride and desires.
The Gospel was offered as the only solution, the one which can change desires and atone for sin but Al sadly wasn't really interested in God's solution. Although he had rejected the Catholic "gospel" that you can work yourself into righteousness, he had left the Catholic church but had declared that he would now work himself into righteousness. It was sad to hear and he was seriously offered the Gospel and given Jesus' command to repent and believe but sadly he was not willing to during the conversation.
Please be praying that he heeds the offer of salvation and surrenders to Christ in repentant faith.
Another exciting conversation was had with Grace. She had been attending a local Church but was sure that she needed to work for her righteousness. When the Gospel was explained as a free gift from God in which He pays for sin and provides the perfect righteousness Grace was overjoyed and said that today she would trust in Jesus alone for her forgiveness!
One final chat was had with two young men, Caden and Zac. They spoke to one team member for around thirty minutes and got quite upset because he wanted to keep explaining the Gospel but they wanted to espouse their own ideas. After they stormed off in a huff, another team member approached them and continued the conversation. It took time letting them speak and answering their objections but by the end, these two men said, "We have learnt more this afternoon about Christianity than we did in our entire childhoods growing up in a "Christian" home." That was encouraging.
They did also declare that they were unwilling to give up their lives of sin, for Jesus' offer of salvation at this point but they certainly seemed less resolute in that position by the end. Please be praying that God would use this conversation and the love and care shown to lead them away from lives of self-reliance to one of total surrender to Christ.