What is the best way to avoid feeling stale and out of touch with evangelism? Evangelising! It might surprise you to know that even a single day between Saturday's outreach and Monday's outreach is enough to forget simple analogies and explanations. It is also enough time to forget how important it is to be patient and Christ-like whilst evangelising.
It makes sense that as Christian's we struggle to declare the Gospel to people, to find the words to say or the patience to share, if we only do it once a week, once a month or once a year. Thankfully Capalaba is a location that brings a very quick reminder that overcoming evangelism is not primarily about learning more apologetics or memorising answers but it is about trusting in God, relying on the Spirit, fearing God more than men and being motivated by God's great love for us, in Christ.
This Monday as usual was filled with humility, hostility and hope.
A surprising conversation early in the afternoon was had with Erica. She had just the night before stumbled across and watched a Joseph story.
This was unusual but it was a good opportunity to explain not just the Gospel by how the entire Bible speaks of God's sovereign plan to save the human race, through, the Son, Jesus Christ, for His own glory. Erica also heard the bad news of sin and the hope found in Christ alone for salvation.
She said that she would count the cost of trusting in Christ and took a tract. She also was encouraged to read her Bible!
A sad conversation was had with Jeff. He declared that he had tried all types of Christianity, Catholic, SDA and Mormon. This was really sad to hear because somehow in his searches, he had missed actual Christianity. Jeff had a number of arguments against God and also claimed that none of the groups had worked for him.
As the Gospel was explained Jeff was surprised and said that he had never heard it before but then he jumped to his own defense and said, "no Christian wants to help me, they just want to condemn me".
It was pointed out that in the very conversation he was making that claim, a team member was listening to him, was offering him hope and help and was encouraging him to trust entirely upon Jesus for salvation. Sadly the conversation was cut off there as his bus arrived. Please be praying that Jeff was impacted by the patience, remembers the Gospel and turns to God, not just to a set of rules and laws.
Another encouraging (and funny) conversation was had with Kiana and Deagon. Kiana was unchurched and had very little understanding of the Gospel and Deagon professed to be a Christian but didn't know the Gospel either. The conversation was quite straight forward, God as Creator, Judge and Saviour was presented and the two understood it. As the Gospel was explained the pair said they'd never heard it before. As the required response was shared Deagon said, "I already believe in Jesus". To which, without a moment's hesitation, Kiana responded, "Just because you say that you're a Christian and go to Church, doesn't mean you trust in Jesus!"
Ouch! All Deagon could do was try and defend himself but he knew she was right. Then moments later, Kiana who seemed to have comprehended the Gospel and its response, when asked, "When will you trust in Jesus?" said, "I think I will at sometime." She was then asked, "Why not now? If you don't want to trust in Him now..." Finishing the question she said "Why will I wanted to trust in Him later?"
It was clear Kiana understood what God required of her. Please be praying for Deagon that her question was used by the Spirit to cut him to the heart. Please be praying that Kiana takes the truth she has heard and turns to Jesus alone for her salvation!
A final sad conversation was had with Jake. He heard the Gospel and many different explanations and answers to his questions but sadly after all was said and done he declared, "I understand what you're saying but I don't want to trust in Jesus because I love marijuana too much".
Please be praying that God in his severe mercy, would do everything required to strip Jake's foolish reliance on drugs away, that he will be bought unto salvation.
Yesterday afternoon, as is the yearly tradition, many people dress up for the Manly Halloween Festival. As the team usually do, they headed down to distribute clear and relevant Gospel tracts. Over the course of the afternoon a few thousand were handed out.
There were also a range of conversations that were had. One extremely sad chat was with a man named Logan. His parents were missionaries and after twenty years of professing Christ, he had rejected God and the Gospel all together. Sadly he didn't really want to speak for too long but the things he said were extremely heart breaking.
He was a man who hadn't ever really known the love and grace of the Gospel, had rejected all things to do with God based on his love for sin. Please be praying for Logan.
There were many other conversations and simple Gospel presentations. Including one with Rupert and Matt and another with John and Genevieve. These simple conversations started with the question, "Where do you think you will go after you die?"
As a result these four heard the Gospel, had some simple objections answered and were left to ponder the question, "When will you turn from sin to trust in Jesus?"
Please be praying for those who took tracts, that they would not be tricked about their eternity, but would trust in Jesus and have the treat of Heaven!
The Lord blessed our time over the last 2 Wednesday's (17th and 24th October) at Speaker's Corner,
Some highlights was seeing brother Tim engage with some tourist that were from Argentina who stayed to listen to him preach and then talk more about his message & address questions they had from the Scriptures, they were happy to take some tracts with them, also, on this same day I had a young man from the University who stood afar behind me and listened to the preaching, I had not seen him while I was up giving my message but he later came up to me when I had finished to say that he appreciated hearing the gospel, but that he was an atheist and didn't want to engage further, I tried to engage further but he was not willing, though he also was happy to take some tracts.
Last week myself, Trevor, Graham, Tim and Alistair met at Speaker's Corner, we had a good flow of pedestrians, one particular lady came as I preached and laid down to listen, she stayed for the whole message & also a few others stopped to listen, We praise our great God who has given us this freedom to cry aloud the life-saving message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Please pray for all those who came into contact with us, We plan to head to Speakers Corner the same time tomorrow DV
There was a gentle cooling breeze walking down the hill to W.Pt. Once there, it took 2 of us to hold the flip chart as the breeze became a gale. God brought John and his brother Andrew along to do the test. While John engaged, Andrew seemed to withdraw. Maybe his English was limited? While Ryan continued through a detailed presentation of God's good news, John came to understand what the Bible was all about. He may be able to help Andrew. Andrew had been engaged by Lee-Anne and taken from his disinterest through to where he was challenged to consider his need for Christ who alone can save him from from his sins and the eternal consequence of hell. He 'may not have tomorrow'. Please pray for these brothers that they might each submit to Christ Jesus.
M., a Maltese lady whom Railee befriended years ago (when Sue Paine & Glenda were also present), came and did some of the good person test. Being illiterate and attending an orthodox church, M. would only admit to maybe lying and she maintained that these were not enough to keep her out of heaven. M. has heard the gospel message before and her friends have read our tracts to her but thus far, no angels rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents. May God grant her mercy - somehow!
There were more 'good people' we spoke with, e.g. one man did not acknowledge Adam's fall from grace and was living by the golden rule although he ignored the Bible in favor of Tai Chi meditation....
We thank God for enabling us to tell forth His gospel and give Him all the glory!
Thursday, Chuck Bosio joined up with the U.S. outreach Bobby McCreery's 'To the end of the earth' ministries in Stratford, London, for street outreach. Stratford is a very diverse area of London and turned out to be very receptive to the Gospel message.
Good conversations were had with a man from Bangladesh and Uzbekistan as well as a gay porn actor/director who was hanging out, listening to Bobby preach. I let Luke tell me about his life story as he was excommunicated from the Mormons and kicked out of his house by his father for being gay at age fourteen. He was proud of his wealth and what he had accomplished, but I warned him that his wealth, his health and his hedonistic lifestyle would one day fail him.
I asked him whether he could forgive his father and the Mormon elders, whom he deeply resented. I told him how Jesus first revealed himself to Mary Magdalene at the resurrection. He took my tract and I encouraged him to seek Jesus as his Lord and saviour. I pray that God will grant Luke the grace to repent and the faith to believe.
Andy Noble joined up with Bobby McCreery's U.S. outreach team on Wednesday, October 24th, in Trafalgar Square, London.
This is a main tourist attraction in the centre of London with a large area reserved for pedestrians, street artists, buskers and people hanging out from all over the world. Andy had a lot of good conversations with people and many tracts were handed out while people in Bobby's team preached the Gospel of Christ.
The Essex Team went to Romford on a warm late fall afternoon. Romford is a busy market town 15 miles northeast of London. The High Street is a pedestrian zone and well-suited for outreach. Jacob and I were handing out tracts, talking to people and I preached for over an hour from Psalm 103 and Romans 8. Jacob and a woman named Tem spoke for a long time, both coming from Zimbabwe. We spoke in front of a group trying to get people to switch energy companies didn't mind our outreach and in fact spoke with us at length.
Please pray for Fiona and Kyle that they may receive the grace to repent and the faith to believe in the finished work or Jesus Christ. Jacob said that he would speak next time, so I continued until I couldn't go any further. As I finished, a young woman named Sophie came up to me and said that it was really good hearing Romans 8 from memory. (We say that we love God's word, but I wished to demonstrate it by memorizing long passages of God's word.) Some regulars had to work on that Saturday, but I hope that we'll get more people out next time.
On Friday night at Surfers Paradise, the team showed up and had the wonderful opportunity to declare God's glorious gospel!
Hear John share about an encouragement, that he was able to hand out many tracts due to the crowds and even have a few short conversations. He was continuing in simple obedience knowing that God's Word does not return void.
He mentioned another brief interaction as well, where two young men were offered tracts, one angrily rejected and the other happily accepted, then engaged in a Gospel conversation. It is moments like this that show us God is working in hearts, despite those around us.
Hear Matt also share about an encouraging conversation had with two young men, Tommy and Jarrad.
Please be praying for the tracts that went out that God would use them as He sees fit. Please be praying for the conversations had that God would bring salvation to people through them, leading them to a knowledge of the truth and bringing them out to return to declare the gospel to others!
On Thursday at Sunnybank, the afternoon for most team members progressed as usual. They had normal conversations and were able to engage in Gospel proclamation. On the other hand for some it was a tougher afternoon, there are just some days when you feel less bold in sharing the Gospel.
One of the team members often wears shirts with Gospel focused questions on it, for example, "Where will you spend Eternity, Heaven or Hell?" Yesterday at a number of occasions throughout the afternoon, people in passing by traffic actually called out answers as a result of reading the shirt.
Please be praying that many people will have read it, but especially pray for the few who verbally responded, that they would have to ponder the question.
A conversation was had with a man named David. He had some ideas about the afterlife but his predominant belief was that it doesn't matter. He said he was focusing on this life and that whatever happened would happen. This was scary as it was emphasised that because God is good, He will hold us accountable for our sin.
David, heard this, brushed it off and was about to respond with another point when his bus arrived. He took a tract and said he would have a read. Please be praying that David's apathetic attitude toward eternity would not last any longer but that the tract would lead him to the Saviour.
Another conversation was had with Melanie. She similarly said she didn't think there was an afterlife because she had done some "science". A small discussion was had regarding what science can tell us about the afterlife and the conclusion was come to, that it could not tell us a single thing.
Melanie then said she didn't believe in God because she didn't think there was any evidence. It was pointed out to her, that by observation we can see that everything else in this universe, that isn't nature, that has a beginning and a purpose had an intelligent designer. It was then pointed out that the most logical conclusion about nature itself, would be the same, that it too had an intelligent designer.
It was then pointed out, that the creator of an object, determines its purpose. So God, as the Creator of humans, designed us to bring Him glory by obeying Him. Melanie said that made sense and was left with the challenge, "The reason we don't want there to be a God, isn't intellectual or based on evidence rather, we know that if God exists, we are in big trouble, so we try and convince ourselves, either that we're not in trouble or that God doesn't exist."
Melanie's bus arrived at this time and she took a tract. Please be praying that this conversation will lead her away from rebellion, to surrender and trust in Jesus!
On Wednesday afternoon summer had officially arrived, with a warm temperature of thirty two degrees. The heat thankfully didn't deter people from King George square! There were still many people around hiding in the small patches of shade, enjoying the afternoon.
One early conversation was with a man named Kendall. He shared a range of different things about his beliefs but as the conversation went on it was sad to hear that he didn't want God purely because he wanted to live his own way. He didn't want there to be someone that was in charge. He just wanted to live his own way. It was pointed out that desiring there to be no God, especially when there is one, is not a good idea.
The bad news was emphasised, the good news was offered and Kendall was left to choose, himself and hell, or Christ and salvation.
A conversation was with Kate. This was a lengthier conversation but one very worthwhile. Kate joined into a conversation with a young man sitting beside her.
He wasn't really interested and she gladly joined in. Kate said she had a science background and therefore disbelieved in God. A decent amount of time was spent discussing evolutionary theory and the leaps it makes from that which has been observed. Then it was pointed out that the reason these leaps are made, despite there being no evidence for them in over two hundreds years, was that people want there to be no God.
Sinful rebels will adopt anything in an attempt to numb their conscience to God's existence and the impending judgement. Whether it be a religion that convinces someone that they can be right with God just by being good, a belief system that says God doesn't care about sin or agnosticism and atheism which attempts to avoid God by declaring that they don't think He exists (therefore intellectually avoiding His judgement).
This was pointed out to Kate who acknowledged the criticism. At one point in the conversation she even said, "I don't want their to be anyone higher. We should all be equal there should be no authority in the universe, we should all be able to live however we desire". Kate was reminded of what Satan's temptation to Adam and Eve in the garden was and she did acknowledge the similarity. Humanity wants to be their own god.
As the conversation continued other topics were discussed but some decent time was spent explaining while the world is broken as can be observed and that the only solution to human sin is God's offer of salvation, purchased with His own life, for His own name's sake!
Kate said the Christian message made sense of this world from the fall to salvation. She acknowledged that it covered all bases and said she appreciated the conversation and would consider it more. She was left to not just think about Christianity but challenged to surrender to Jesus, trusting in Him alone for her salvation.
One final encouraging conversation was with Rui. He had a Catholic background and as a result had no understanding of the Gospel. The Gospel was explained in simplicity and Rui was surprised, say He had never heard it before.
It was pointed out the Rui, (that was only in Brisbane for one day) that maybe God had bought him all the way to Australia, to Brisbane, just so he could hear God's offer of salvation for sinners.
Please be praying for Kendall, Kate and Rui that God would use this simple conversations to be the moments that set them on an eternal journey of seeking, knowing and trusting in God!