As the outreaches take place over this week it has been noted that the vast majority of people have a strongly "Catholic" background. Many people have just finished twelve years of "Christian" schooling and a scathing rebuke to almost every school that claims the name of Christ is that they all seem to have failed to articulate the Gospel.
You can hear in this video Hannah share about the tragedy of some of the conversations, whilst Cobus shares about the joy of others.
Please be praying for those who heard the word of truth that they would repent and believe.
As the team is down on the Gold Coast, for the schoolies outreach, you can hear the encouraging stories coming back.
Hear Natalie, who could only make it down for one night share about the joy she had sharing the Gospel with schoolies.
Hear Arlini share that although english is her second language, she was able to preach the Gospel to a young man named James.
Hear Trinity, share about the last conversation she had during the night, with a man who hear the Gospel, wanted to know more and said he would count the cost of trusting in Jesus.
If you have a spare moment during the week, please consider joining the team. Accommodation can be provided, and any extra voices will be great help!
The Warwick outreach has changed from Tuesdays to every Friday. Rick is now able to join on this day and my work was able to give me this day off. Praise God for the blessing to be together in this beautiful work to share the Gospel in this little town.
Over our first two Fridays we have had many great conversations and given out lots of tracts, we know God will use all our efforts to accomplish His work in hearts of the people. We know the Gospel is the power of God unto Salvation. Only God can save sinners. We have been graced with faith in Jesus and saved from hell punishment and His great love is something we can not keep silent about. 10 out of 10 people need Jesus.
Last Friday the table was being set up and a young man wanted a Bible and some resources.
He told me he had just moved to Warwick and was using his girlfriends Bible. I asked him if he was a believer, to which he acknowledged he is and then told me his testimony. He had been brought up in a Mormon family. He told me how God had shown him truth of who Jesus is and that he was born again. Amazingly i had just watched a mormon testimony on youtube that morning and in God’s sovereignty he had watched the very same testimony the night before. (Micah Wilder Testimony) There were a couple of things that were addressed that he needed some direction in God’s word with, pray he will get on tract with God’s help. He took a Bible and some resources.
Rick had a conversation with a man with a Catholic upbringing. He was encouraged in that it is only the work of Jesus that saves and not anything we can do. The conversation was a good length of time and pray with us he will receive the gift of Salvation or his sins.
We also meet Christians who ask us to pray for particular things so praise God that they are able to have the desire to share their burdens and we can pray for them or with them.
This Friday we came together again and got plenty of conversations short and a couple of lengthy ones. One was with a man who has had belief in dream times. As I listen he seemed to have some understanding of the Bible and Jesus in his sharing and said he was open and teachable. Pray God will use the tracts to help him to understand the Gospel.
A great conversation was had with a young man in year 11. He goes to a Christian College and a local Church and from a family that are believers in Jesus. Both Rick and I spent quite a bit of time with him. After going through the Commandments he wasn’t sure about his salvation. The flip chart was used and he heard the Gospel. Rick stressed to him that he had to own it for himself to examine himself and believe what Jesus has done on the cross to save him. He took tracts and some resources. He said he would look at the Facebook site for the ministry. Pray for his salvation and be given a hunger for God’s Word.
Thank you for your prayer support it is very vital.
We had a great day of outreach in Redcliffe. A group of us from Operation 513 and OAC Ministries met at 11am to share the gospel for a couple of hours.
The waterfront was quieter today, but we still managed to have many great conversations. Mike from Samford Baptist Church seemed to constantly be witnessing to people with his flip-chart, and other team members were busy handing out tracts.
I managed to have a couple of really good conversations, including with a young man from New Zealand. This Maori gentleman told me that he had grown up in the church, but it was very clear that he had little knowledge of Christian things. We chatted for quite some time, and at the end of our conversation he took a Gospel of John so he could learn more about the Lord Jesus.
The highlight of the day for me was the last conversation I had. We were about to start packing up when a young lady came across from a local cafe. She told me that the staff had been watching us, and wondered what we were doing. We chatted at length about our sin and also the Saviour. At the end of the conversation this young lady said, “I’m scared. I don’t want to go to judgment.”
I explained to her the love of Christ towards sinners, but she said that it would be impossible for Jesus to love her. It was clear that she was struggling with something. I replied by saying, “Let me tell you a story. What would you think about a man whose life mission was to kill Christians and wipe out the church. Would Jesus love such a man?” She replied that Jesus would not love a person who hurt Christians.
I then said, “Have you heard of Saint Paul?” She said had. “Well,” I replied, “his mission was to wipe out the church and kill Christians. Yet, Jesus loved him and forgave him. Paul later described himself as the chief sinners, but still Jesus saved him.”
The young lady looked shocked. She said, “Wow! I’ve never heard that before!” She willingly took a tract and a Gospel of John.
Please pray for all those we met today. May the Father draw them to the Son.
This afternoon in Brisbane City the team arrived to see a local business man who is a Christian boldly proclaiming the Gospel on his lunch break! When asked why he was doing it he even clearly stated that he must obey his Master! It was encouraging to hear and an excitement to witness others, in the capacity God has enabled them, to be out there sharing the Gospel with the time God has given!
How are you serving God with the minutes, hours and days he has given you?
What has been interesting recently is the large number of Greek Orthodox people who the team has run into. They have a scary belief system as it declares that one must work at overcoming sin, so that God will see that effort, enable you with the Holy Spirit and in working with the Spirit you will slowly be "saved". The saddest part is that every person who has declared this has ultimately come to admit that they were not able to achieve what they were striving for and had given up in one way or another.
Specifically this afternoon George was spoke to and he said this. He knew quite a lot about history but sadly had completely missed the Good News that Jesus saves sinners, not the righteous. He heard the Gospel and was encouraged to read Romans 1-8 so that he could hear how the Apostle Paul talks clearly and explicitly about salvation.
Please be praying that George would come to a knowledge of the truth and would not die in his sin.
Another conversation was had with a young guy who had studied interpretation. This conversation may not have been handled as well as it could have been in hindsight. He mocked at the Good Person test then declared that God didn't exist because churches were simply a place for "money-laundering, pedophiles". He was pushed back and asked if he had any sin or rebellion in him that God hates.
The conversation went on as this man tried to avoid the judgement of God in all the usual ways of trying to invalidate God as existing or being good. He even stated that he would stand before God on judgement day and that God would have an awful lot to "answer for".
Ultimately he ran away very quickly when he got caught out on a simple point. He was arguing that writings don't tell us how they are to be interpreted (this came off the back of pointing out that Exodus 1 and Leviticus 1 tell its readers who the intended audience is). It was pointed out that drivers licenses, birth certificates and shopping catalogs tell you clearly and simply right at the start their intended purpose. In very much the same way, the books of the Bible record their intention.
At this point, he in anger walked off very quickly seeing that simple point he was arguing for was wrong. His pride had inhibited him from admitting that he was wrong on that point. Sadly the "argument" was won but he didn't get to hear of God's love for him in Christ. Although, despite this, God's word doesn't return void.
Later in the afternoon he actually walked past and was reminded, "We're not hear to just try and win arguments but because we care about you and will be praying for you". To which he angrily replied that he hates the "imaginary sky fairy".
Please be praying for this man that his anger and hatred toward God would be turn to love and gratefulness when he comes to understand what God has done to save him.
The team were also able to have a conversation with a lady named Charlie. She legitimately had no understanding of the Gospel and happily engaged and listened to it. It took a while but she asked some questions and by the end shared that she understood it. Even asking, "So what now, how does someone trust in Jesus?"
She heard what it means to repent and believe and said she would definitely consider it tonight. Please be praying that Charlie would come to know God, as her Lord and Saviour!
Another exciting chat was had with Max a grade ten student who had a Catholic background but was sort of struggling with whether or not he believed in God. He heard of the universal condemnation of humanity and even on a number of occasions noted that no one could get to Heaven on their own. Yet it also took a lot for him to understand that our good deeds have nothing to do with us getting to Heaven.
He heard the Gospel and its promises and was encouraged, this very day to read Romans 1-8 and to consider what God has done for guilty humanity.
Please be praying for Max that he would, despite the self-righteous faith of his parents, come to a total surrender to and reliance upon Jesus Christ!
Tuesday at Woodridge as always was filled with conversations as well as being an opportunity to hand out hundreds of tracts. The conversations were mixed as always with the ultimate shine through of each being that God alone can save. The same sentence can be shared with two people and polar opposite reactions will occur.
An early conversation was with a man who had traveled from Africa and had only been in Australia four months. There was a language barrier but from the conversation had it seemed as if he was trusting in his goodness to get him to Heaven. The gospel was explained a number of ways, with emphasis on the work of Christ as the only reason we are right before God. Even despite trying to explain it a number of ways he didn't seem to understand.
Please be praying for Ikalo that he would understand the tract as it explains it again and that he would seek God and find the truth of salvation in the Bible.
A conversation soon after this was had with a Muslim lady. The problem was, she was extremely proud. She wanted to declare all the things she thought and she knew and couldn't seem to understand despite speaking with two different team members that the conversation wasn't about 'discussing different ideas', rather it was about comparing what we think and how we live, to who God is and what He has said.
She had many ideas and many beliefs, one of the scariest was her belief that John 14:26 refers to Mohammad. She had no desire to actually read the verse, in English or Greek, all she wanted to do was use it for her own argument, completely stripped of its clearly intended meaning.
Please be praying for this lady, that she would consider the challenge she was given that the primary reason she wanted to reject Jesus was because she thought she was good enough to get to Heaven.
An interesting conversation was also had with a young lady. She was a Muslim and was happy to talk and engage with the team. She took and tract and was asked a range of questions about what she believed and why she believed it. What was interesting was that a man named John who had been asked a question earlier was so angry that he actually came over, interrupted the conversation with the intention to have a go at the team member.
He asked a lot of questions in an accusing fashion but was actually stopped in his tracts quite quickly when he started asking about Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen and the Catholic Church. His questions were met with very clear and simple answers, these people are charlatans, abusing the name of God for their own gain and they will suffer the eternal consequences from God for their wicked deception.
It seemed as if he was expecting them to be defended. This was the moment that was taken to point it back at him. It was stated that they aren't the only rebels against God, they aren't the only selfish people on the planet, in fact all of humanity is desperately wicked and has lived their entire lives in direct rebellion against God.
At this moment John's bus arrived and the Muslim lady was also hopping on the same bus. Please be praying that these two will be able to have future conversations with the team about God's offer of salvation.
A number of other conversations were had with various people who were recommended to head along to local churches or were simply challenged in their current incredulity toward God.
Please be praying for all those who heard the word of truth that they would come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
We had a team of 2 and another of 4 with 2 large flipcharts. Before we got the charts set up, Lee-Anne & Railee were speaking with a 15 y.o. named Casey. His countenance lit up after he heard of his alienation from God because of personal sin and the gracious redeeming work of Jesus. How selfless is God? The Lord Jesus Christ, the only one in history to have always done the Father's will, and delighted to do so, voluntarily suffered the wrath of God so as to merit a certain salvation for those that He prayed for - Jn. 17. There is no other way to be reconciled to God except what He has ordained - personal repentance and trust in Jesus Christ as one's Saviour and Lord. God knows His own and they are known by fleeing from sin, 2 Tim. 2:19. God Himself keeps each one who receives His gift.
Have you, reader? Or are you like the Greek Orthodox man we met who does not believe, says the Jews wrote the Old Testament based on Greek mythology, and goes to church because it is something to do!!! Jn. 3:36.
What a privilege to serve Him who first loved us! Glory to God in the highest!
This is a different report to normal but it has been keeping me awake. Please take the time to read of this interaction with Isaiah and raise him up before God in prayer!
Tonight I spoke with a man named Isaiah. He is about my age and was out in the city with some girls.
He professed to have some Christian background but didn't really know the Gospel. Through the conversation I shared the Gospel with him but whilst doing so he mentioned that he used to "trust in Jesus" but had sort of lost faith.
I asked why and he said, "I am not really sure". I explained the Gospel again, stressed that God doesn't make mistakes and that me talking with him wasn't an accident.
Anyway, he went over to hang with the girls again as I spoke to another couple for a few minutes. When I finished talking to them I felt the need to speak to him again and I spoke quietly to him and said, "Am I right in thinking that the reason you lost faith wasn't because you didn't believe in God but rather because you loved sin more?"
He responded, "Yes you're right. How did you know? Did God tell you?" I said, not specifically about you but the Bible says that is why we reject God, exchanging Him for created things.
I read some verses from Isaiah 53 to him (as his name is Isaiah) and explained the cross again.
I challenged him strongly and seriously, yet gently and quietly to consider his choice wisely. "God offers you salvation, purchased by His own blood," I said. "You can be made right with God and be given a new heart, with new desires. God is better than this creation, he is better than money, better than alcohol, better than sex. To reject God is to reject the best thing and it will result in eternal Hell".
I strongly encouraged him to give up living his way this very night, to leave his friends and the girls he was with and to head home, fall on the floor and call out in repentance before God and trust entirely in Christ.
He heeded the seriousness of it. I don't know his decision tonight but can I ask that you pray for Isaiah that God would lead him to salvation.
It isn't often that I can't get a specific person out of my mind but in this case I desperately want Isaiah to know the salvation in Christ.
I finished with a line that I got from discussions at home group on Wednesday night, "God doesn't make mistakes, me talking to you today was not and accident. God is calling you, through my simple preaching, to leave your sin and turn to Christ. He may never call you again, this may be your last chance".
Please raise Isaiah up before God and plead with God to save this man who is chasing sin and missing out on the glory of the Saviour!
Sometimes an evening of outreach is just a breeze of excitement, glorying in the Gospel and conversations. Today was one of those days. Between 7pm and 10:45 there was hardly a moment's break.
As has been mentioned recently, almost everyone in Australia tries to avoid God's judgement in one of two ways, convincing themselves they're not guilty, by either trying to fool themselves into thinking they're "not that bad" or by trying to assure themselves that there is no Judge. This is regular and usual and the people spoken to tonight displayed this. Often people use a mixture of the two. They will start by declaring that God exists and they think they're good then soon they will say, "I don't think God exists" or "the Bible is made up".
It is evident from conversation after conversation that people have a willful and purposeful bent against God. It isn't that they have believed something that answer all their problems, rather they will believe to or argue for anything that on the surface seems like it could help them convince themselves (and others) that they're not guilty or God doesn't exist.
Two people Wolfgang (German) and Levi declared in their brief interactions that they were going to Heaven because they were good people. Both took tracts and heard that God will hold them not to their ideas of God but rather, His perfect standard and therefore, their only hope was that God would save them.
Caleb, Matthew, Robert, John, George, Jesse and Carl all declared at first that they did not think there was a God. Throughout a range of different explanations given one that was used (yet to be given a name) is based upon pointing out the body at a funeral. (It is made personal by asking if they've even been to a funeral and taken a look in the casket). It is pointed out that the body in there is not the person. Rather, everything that makes up that person is gone, their intelligence, sense of humour, style of laugh, idiosyncrasies. They have gone somewhere else, whilst their body remains to be buried.
They were then asked, "Where did they go?" This was then bought back personal with a few pieces of information, "God, the Creator of this world declares that after death comes a day of judgement, the righteous are resurrected to eternal life and the unrighteous to eternal punishment". A person's soul (ultimately in their resurrection body) will be in one of two eternal locations.
Then it is pointed out that, 153,000 people woke up this morning not knowing that today would be their last day on earth and there are people right at this very moment breathing their last breath. The only breath we know is for sure is the one currently in our lungs, we aren't promised even one more. Specifically in the case of this discussion with Jesse and Carl this was followed up with the question, "If this was the last breath you ever breathed and you died and stood before God, where would He send you, Heaven or Hell?"
This took the foolishness of their past comments and bought the conversation to a crucial point. They both admitted that they would be headed for Hell. By God's kindness they had been bought their to hear God's offer of salvation and they did. They left with this thought, "God doesn't make mistakes, it was not an accident for you to be hear today or for this conversation to happen. You have been offered salvation in Jesus Christ and you should considered it deeply because God may never give you another chance to hear it. So please, whilst there is breath in your lungs and it is on your mind, call out to God and trust in Him that you may be saved".
A Brazilian couple Tassia and Glauco spoke with the team as well and seemed to be arguing that we get to Heaven by trusting Jesus and doing good works. A conversation was had with them and they said they would be interested in attending a local Church. Please be praying that God would use the body of Christ to lead them to the freedom of the Gospel.
Please also pray for Ashley who was very adamant that baptism was essential for salvation. He was given a lot to think about, was encouraged to consider the scriptures and left contact details so that he could talk with the team further.
Please be praying for those spoken to tonight that God would use these simple conversations and tracts to lead His sheep to repentance.
Please also consider, being motivated by the Gospel and empowered by the Spirit, joining the team so that you too may be able to bring God glory through telling people who He is, what He has done and what He has promised!
In Australia it has been noted that rarely do people outside the Church understand grace. It is rare to hear someone say after hearing the Gospel, "Ah that means I can sin all I want and God will let me into Heaven". Rather, a far more common response when asked to repeat how one is saved, goes like this, "So I have to believe in God and follow the ten commandments". Self-salvation is rampant among Australian's. Everyone thinks they're good and they will get to God by their actions.
This is very much the case amongst the churched people of Australia. Many people went to religious private school or attend church once or twice a year and on the basis of that, and the "really good" life they live, they think God will let them into Heaven.
This Wednesday in King George square was very much filled with conversations of that nature.
An early conversation was had with church-going Tom. He said it was his good works and church going that were going to get him to Heaven. He saw God's law and standard and saw that he was not good rather that he had failed desperately.
Then he was asked for the solution and declared, doing good works and trying harder. It was pointed out that future obedience doesn't pay for past disobedience. The Gospel was shared and Tom was surprised. He had never understood it before. Please be praying for Tom that he would as a result of this conversation seek not just to try harder, but to find salvation in Christ alone.
Soon after this conversation an older gentleman was engaged in conversation. He originally said that he didn't believe in God at all but soon declared that he had a long religious history and had just slowly over time stopped going to church. Through the conversation as he heard of the desperate state of the human heart he tried to argue again that it is all about trying to be good because we're not that bad. But when he heard of God's punishment, that sin deserves Hell, he got up and left very quickly.
This man knew that God was good and must punish sin and so he was attempting to "hide" from God. Please be praying that God leads him not just to hide but to run to God for salvation!
Three others in this, "I'm good" boat were Tatum, Ollie, Shona and Milano and Bryn. It is scary how rampant the works-righteousness belief is across Australians. It would be awesome if Australian Christians, one conversation at a time, could engage with their family, friends, work colleagues and neighbours sharing with them that Jesus' offer of salvation is not one based on our obedience but based on His! Choose one friend this week that you will purposely plan and pray about speaking to this week!
One other conversation was had with a lady that attends a local church and was really struggling with assurance. She wasn't sure that Jesus could love her because of all of her past sin. It was an encouraging conversation as she heard of the depths of God's love for her in Christ and was pointed to a few resources to grow in understanding of the height, breadth, depth and width of God's love for those in Christ Jesus.
Please be praying that she would be strengthened and encouraged by this understanding of God's love for her and would be motivated by it to want to share it with others!
On Wednesday afternoon right as the outreach was coming to a close, the Lord Mayor, who the team had spoken with before was heading by.
One team member briefly asked him a question, "Do you think God will let you into Heaven when you die?" To which he responded, "I certainly hope so!"
After he had finished speaking with someone else, another team member who had spoken to him two years earlier was able to re-engage with him.
When asked what he was trusting in to get him to Heaven, he responded, "being a good citizen and believing". He briefly heard that God requires perfection and therefore was encouraged to read the tract and hear what God did so that sinners could be forgiven.
Please also be praying for our Lord Mayor, that God would bring him to repentance and a saving knowledge of the truth!