On Friday night as the team headed to the Gold Coast there were some extra team members that joined us. They had flown in from other places (New Zealand and Adelaide).
Hear Glen share about a conversation he and Andy had with some young guys.
Hear Chris share about the blessing the night was and hear Gloria praising God for a conversation she had with a young man, she took through the flip chart!
This afternoon in Sunnybank the team was out again. Over the past few weeks some new members have joined the team and it has been encouraging to see them grow in their boldness and understanding. Before each outreach the team commits to praying together, presenting our requests before God and asking Him to draw people to us. This afternoon there were a number of conversations that we very exciting!
A few shorter conversations were had with Frank, Zoe, Shaun and Ryan. They each had small issues or reasons that they disbelieved in God but after hearing the simple apologetic that buildings need a builder and therefore the universe needs a Creator they all were happy to engage with the Gospel and took tracts.
One longer conversation was had with Carol. She said she believed there was a God and said as long as she did the right thing God would be okay with that. The rest of the conversation was hard work. Due to the language barrier and many of the words (sin, repentance, faith, grace) being ones that she had never heard before, things had to be explained numerous times in different ways.
This conversation was a test of patience and endurance. It took six different explanations and almost five minutes to explain what sin is. But upon this understanding everything seemed to flow a little easier. Carol, in the end, understood the basics of Christianity and as the Gospel was being explained her bus arrived. Hopefully she understood it and will take the time to read the tract she was given.
Another team member was able to speak with a JW. This man has spoken to the team before and was interested to hear more. As usual this man said that there are only 144,000 in Heaven (misquoting Revelation 7). This opportunity was taken to bring out a Bible and to begin looking at the text of scripture. In the passage, it is clear that the "great multitude" are in the same location as the 144,000.
Continuing on from this some other important points were touched on. Most importantly that Jesus Christ is the Saviour, God in human form and the only hope for humanity.
Finally there was a Chinese lady named Goh. Goh was first asked about what she thought would happen to after she died but said she couldn't stop to talk and had something to do but promised to come back. A little while later she returned and continued to speak with Ann.
She explained that she had only been in the country for three months and had come over to be the bride of an older man. Through this conversation she explained the tough circumstances she is in regarding the situation with her husband.
Through this conversation and the sad circumstances, Ann was able to explain the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. This lady had never heard it but understood it as it was gently and carefully explained. Over a lengthy conversation lasting over an hour Goh came to understand the Gospel and expressed a desire to have Jesus as her Lord and Saviour that very afternoon.
Praise God for the work He is doing in the hearts of those whom He calls! It was a joyful moment as Ann was jumping up and down with excitement and Goh was overjoyed. It was with much rejoicing the that team finished in prayer and headed off to their homes, praising God for His work in Goh!
Who would have thought that God would bring someone halfway across the world, so that they could hear the Gospel and be saved?
These past two weeks have been fruitful in Warwick. Many people continue to approach the Bible table with questions and interest. It keeps showing us God is doing a mighty work. There has been many people, God knows each one. Here a a few to pray for. (We have decided as Warwick is a small town to only refer to people by initials so as to not embarass or dishonour them in anyway).
I was asked to look after a dog while his owner went into the shop where I'm set up, then got to share the Gospel with his owner C afterwards. It was so nice to help him and then get the opportunity to share Jesus with him Praise God. I asked Permission if I could post a Photo of his doggy on our blog at the table. C said his dog H is well known in Warwick.
Pray for L and his carer A.
N is an elderly gentleman frustrated with the state of the world. He has been encouraged to trust Jesus and he took tracts.
Pray for M that his head knowledge of the Gospel will by God's grace give him new life by the power of the Holy Spirit's work in him. Pray for his brother S and nephews T & F as M helps them in their need.
D wanted a Bible. She attends a local Church and goes to bible study. I had a short chat with her but she was in a hurry.
Pray for N who is a christian, pray for her daughter C who is a Jehovah Witness.
R who I have talked with before believes the Gospel and is having a operation soon.
Another R who says is starting to read his Bible every night! PRAISE GOD!
D a believer says he will help at the Bible table next week, answered prayer.
B and I talked with two men at the end of the day. They had beliefs that were not biblical. We planted seeds of God's truth.
Many tracts given out as well as Bibles as well conversations with locals and people traveling through. It has been such a blessing. It is a joy to share the Gospel and give tracts to remind them of the truth and to keep pointing them to Jesus and Eternal life and we pray each person be impacted and believe the Word of God to lead them to salvation. God knows each one.
Praise God for giving us the privilege to share in the ministry of reconciliation. All Glory be to God Alone!
Thank you so much for your prayers.
This afternoon in Brisbane City a total of nine team members out! This enabled great coverage of the square and many people heard the Gospel as a result!
A stand out conversation was with Lachy and Maddi. The first thirty minutes were with Lachy. He was approached with the new tract and asked if he knew where he would go after he died. He went onto say that there are many options and ideas and many of them are probably right. This tied in perfectly with the new tract, so we looked at the first few questions on the front, clearly showing that there is only one right answer for each.
Then turning inside the next question was considered, "Which religion is right?". Over the next thirty minutes many explanations and examples of why Christianity is the only true religion and why we as humanity desperately need Jesus as Saviour were given. A slow but careful theology was being built. All the while explaining why other ideas are each wrong and disagree with God. This was going well.
Soon afterwards Maddi came along. She had missed a lot of discussion but was slowly bought up to speed. She wasn't hostile but had a lot of ideas that disagreed with God. At one point, while Hell was being explained, the question was asked, "What would you do to avoid being alone?", to which Maddi said, "I would do absolutely anything! In fact most of our lives is based around us doing things so that people will like us and be with us". As Hell was explained as a place of isolation, separated from God and His good gifts, under His eternal punishment, Maddi said, "WOW! That is unfathomably awful, I definitely don't want to go there! When you talk with people you should start there and explain that!"
The conversation flowed over a range of other topics, mostly centered around why Jesus is required for salvation, how sin is as simple as living according to my ideas rather than God and a range of other details. The conversation drew to a close as Lachy and Maddi had to head off to grab some dinner but they remarked, "This has been a very worthwhile discussion! Usually no one ever wants to talk about the deep things of this life and wants to ignore them. Thank you for taking the time to talk with us!"
Please be praying that Lachy and Maddi will have understood the Gospel, will read the tracts they were given and will call out to God, in desperation, for salvation!
Another conversation which flowed on from that was with Ken. He declared to be an atheist/agnostic due to his study and had listened to almost 30 minutes of the prior conversation. Ken declared to have a basically comprehensive understanding of Christianity but sadly when asked three simple questions stated that Christianity was simply a set of rules, Jesus was just the role model and His death was to show us how we should live.
This was very worrying as it seemed that Ken must not really have been listening to the previous conversation as he had missed at least three clear explanations of why Jesus was not just a role model but was the only hope and Saviour for humanity. Ken admitted to having an Anglican background and was not willing to accept the idea that Christianity was salvation on the basis of Jesus' righteousness and sacrifice. He wanted to hold onto the idea that Christianity simply believed that Jesus is a role model and as long as we do good and follow him, we get to Heaven.
Please be praying that Ken's willful ignorance is overridden by God's love and that Ken will come to understand God's offer of salvation, not just intellectually but personally.
A final conversation was had with two young girls, they mostly just shared their own ideas, talked about what they believed and talked about how "science" had created this world and disproved God's existence.
The Gospel was present in the conversation and many attempts to explain it were made. One girl wasn't interested in it whilst the other seemed to understand but wasn't sure.
Please be praying that these two will read the tracts they were given and seek to know God, rather than simply reject Him so they can live their own way.
We were blessed to worship the Lord at Speakers corner this evening. We were to meet at 17.00, instead of our usual lunchtime meet up. We were unsure about the foot traffic as the University is on semester break.
I went along with 2 other brothers Sam & Albert who had not been to SC before, when we arrived, there was hardly anyone there. Just as the preaching started there were waves of people that walked by & groups that stopped to listen and record on their phones.
There was one lady who stopped to make the comment that what we were doing was not helpful as it's too confrontational and it's why everyone hates Christianity. She made the point that we should seek to make relationships with people. The brother she spoke to offered to speak with her more about this but she didn't want to talk further. Please pray for her and her son that was with her.
As this exchange was happening I was preaching and the son was watching as I preached on Hebrews 4:13. We praise God that she and many others received our Operation 513 gospel tracts this day. By the end of the outreach the brothers were encouraged and are keen to comeback.
Please pray for those who heard the preaching that they would hear the voice of the good Sheppard.
This afternoon at Woodridge the team was made up of six! A significant team and this enabled the opportunity to engage with a larger amount of people.
Some notable conversations included, one with "Bob", a Mormon. Who declared that he was getting to Heaven by his own goodness. Then as the conversation progressed back tracked on that statement and tried to justify just how it worked. The worry was, that he wasn't really sure but wasn't really interested in anything other than his "church" taught. Even when faced with scriptures like Titus 3 and Romans 3, he basically ignored the scripture and declared that it didn't matter.
It was an incredibly sad conversation as a man who really didn't know God or what God has said, declared that he didn't care about it despite trying to hold to the religiousity of Mormonism.
At the end of it all, when asked what his name was, after talking about lying being sin, "Bob" was very quick to declare that was his real name, even though his mate gave away that it wasn't.
Another conversation was had with Saeed. This man is a regular. He is a Muslim but also says he likes the idea of Christianity. He said he was pretty sure they both believed basically the same thing and that even though there were slight differences they were both right. When the numerous differences and basically polar opposite nature was explained, even then Saeed clung to his hope that on the day of judgement God would think he was pretty good and let him in.
He even said, when I stand before God I will argue with him and tell him that I didn't know. To which he was given the answer, firstly, there will be no arguing with God, you will be on your face in dread and secondly, you do know, here we stand to declare to you clearly and simply who God has revealed Himself to be and what He has done and said about the only way to Heaven. Ignorance will never be an excuse on judgement day.
Despite two sad conversations a man named Dylan came past. He spent a lot of the time espousing his own ideas and declaring what he thought but on the end of it all, after some simple Gospel interaction he professed a desire to head along to a Church. A few were recommended in his area, it is our prayer that he goes along and is changed by the work of the Spirit through the preaching of the Word.
Please keep "Bob" and Saeed in prayer also, that they will give up their apathy toward God's serious and important revelation and that they will understand their desperate brokenness, their current eternal destination and call out to God for salvation!
This afternoon at Capalaba was as usual a mixture between exciting conversations and hardened hearts.
To start the afternoon off, Paula engaged in a discussion. She didn't really think there was a God but liked the idea of reincarnation. When Buddhism was explained she was actually surprised by what they believe. Then some simple ground work was done regarding this universe. The building, builder analogy was given and the explanation of God as the giver of life and all good gifts was talked through.
Paula understood and agreed and was happily engaging. She then heard of the problem, that we have taken the things God has given us and used and abused them for ourselves, our ideas, our intentions and this is called sin. We have used our intellgence and our mouth to lie, our body to steal or be sexually immoral, we have abused others and used alcohol and sex to indulge ourselves rather than to rejoice in and serve God. The just penalty we deserve for this rebellion is Hell, the removal of all the gifts under the judgement and punishment of God's wrath.
This all made sense but at this moment Paula's bus arrived! She was given a quick encouragement to read the tract to find out about God's Saviour as she stepped onto her bus.
Another conversation was had with Ali, a Muslim. The team had spoken to him before, he was able to partially articulate the Gospel but was adamant in trying to declare that Christians and Muslims believe the same thing. It was stressed and explained that they are polar opposites. Muslims believe that it is by their good works and effort that they get to Heaven, that therefore in Heaven they are being rewarded and God is serving them. Where as God has declared that He is a just God and therefore the only way a sinner can be forgiven and made righteous is if Jesus provides His perfect life as a sacrifice for us. Therefore, those who get to Heaven, do it only by the work of Jesus and are in Heaven praising and worshipping God for who He is.
They are opposites in almost every way. Sadly Ali's bus arrived but please be praying that God would use this new understanding to begin Ali on the track to life!
A shorter conversation was had with Michelle a Catholic, who didn't really know what Heaven was and wasn't sure she was getting there. The same explanation was given to her as was given to Ali about the opposite nature of Heaven and Salvation. She understood and said she would consider it. Her bus arrived as well and she took a tract as she left.
Finally and most saddening of all was a talk with a very intelligent man who knew an awful lot about the Bible and theology but had one great big blind spot. He argued about the Sabbath, trying to downplay Christ's claim to have "fulfilled" the Law and the Prophets. He spent most of the time while waiting on this issue trying to explain how most Christians had perverted the truth and had "moved" the Sabbath to a Sunday. Even when it was explained that the Sabbath wasn't moved, it was fulfilled in Christ, as our sabbath rest and the Christians simply chose to worship Christ on the first day of the week, this man couldn't understand.
Disappointingly, the Gospel was mostly forgotten in this conversation and with a few moments left before the bus arrived, it was asked, "What do you think is getting you to Heaven?" with which he responded, trust in Jesus' sacrifice and my obedience to him. OH NO! This was a scary moment, a man who on many points of theology and history had great understanding and knowledge had stepped outside orthodoxy with one simple but catacalysmic issue, he thought his entrance into Heaven was based on Christ plus his own works.
With seconds left as the bus pulled up, he was pleaded with to give up this self-righteous, semi-pelagian view and to trust in the Messiah alone to save him. But this man was adamant that he and a very select few of others really believed the truth. It was a sad moment, as this man hopped on the bus and left.
Please be praying for Paula that her understanding of sin and rebellion against God would lead her to find out who Christ is. Please be praying that Ali would for the first time understand why Christians believe what they believe, and turn to Christ for salvation. Please be praying that Michelle will consider the Gospel proclaimed to her and find salvation in Christ.
Lastly please be praying for this very lost man, who for all his intelligence, intellect, arugments and knowledge has completely missed the simple Gospel's message of grace alone.
Tonight you can hear three different John's share about the conversations they had whilst in Brisbane City tonight.
Rejoice with Johnny as he shares the the pleasure he had in sharing the Gospel with Daniel. And hear how Daniel was interested in attending a local church.
Hear John share about a converastion with three asian gentlemen.
And hear John share about the privilege it is to rely on God and His Gospel when engaging with young men.
May you be encouraged by this and as a result step out, in dependence upon God and declare His glorious Gospel, so that the nations may know, that God is in the business of saving sinners!
Hear Miguel share about a surprising conversation he had with a child, who listened intently while his mother heard the Gospel.
Hear Matt share about a conversation with two New Zealanders who heard the Gospel, whilst visitng Australia.
Hear Craig share about the encouraging night he had, including a conversation with adult twins.
May this video encourage you and spur you on to declare God's glory to the nations!
This afternoon there was another good sized team at sunny bank. It is exciting that a group of local Christians are making the outreach their own, and coming to share Christ's glorious Gospel with their demographic!
This afternoon had some exciting conversations, ones that ended in great rejoicing but also periods of tough slog. At one time, over the course of almost an hour, in an attempt to start twelve different conversations, there were twelve harsh responses. But on the back of this came one of the most glorious conversations.
As you may have noticed over the past few weeks there have been a range of very similar conversations with Muslims. In fact, there have been many more had that haven't even been shared about on the battle logs. This afternoon, a conversation was had with a young man (whose name has been forgotten to the team, but not to God). He was sitting waiting for the bus and by God's providence the bus he and his friend were waiting for didn't stop, so their stay was extended by almost fifteen minutes.
When posed with the question, "What do you think will happen after you die?", he answered by saying, "I am a Muslim". When pushed, "So, what do you think will happen to you when you die?" He answered saying that he hoped God would be merciful and let him into Heaven. Upon this the question was asked, "So what do you think Heaven is?" Sure enough the usual answer was given, a place of reward where good people get to live out their deepest desires.
This was the moment taken to explain sin. It was asked what they thought Satan's temptation was to Adam and Eve. They didn't know. It was explained that Satan's temptation was that Adam and Eve, upon eating the fruit, could be "like" God, determining right and wrong for themselves. Or in other words, living according to their own desires, rather than according to God's will. This seemed to make sense. When asked what the problem was with the Muslim view of Heaven, it was understood. Their view of Heaven was extremely similar to Satan's original temptation. In other words, their place that is supposed to be without sin, was actually a place where there would be endless sin.
It was at this moment when his friend chipped in, "but all our desires will be good." The point was made, and agreed with, that it is our desires that lead us into sin. It is our desire for sexual gratification that leads to pornography, it is a desire to watch a movie for free that leads to piracy. It is a selfish desire that leads to sin. The question was then posed, "When are our desires made good?"
They had no answer. There was no point in which our desires are redeemed to conformed to God's expectations. This was a big issue. The main engager saw the problem. His friend tried to defend their position, declaring that with freedom will come good intentions. This was quickly debunked by pointing out that the people in this world with the most money and freedom are the people who are above and beyond the most indulgent in their sin.
At this moment, he seemed to really get the point and asked, so what are you proposing? What does Christianity think Heaven is and how are your desires changed? It was explained that Heaven is a place where all of Creation will be worshiping God. Because in Christianity, Heaven isn't a reward for the righteous but a gift for the guilty.
It is a place where desperately wicked and sinful people will be praising and glorifying the gracious and loving Saviour who did everything required for them to be present. It is Heaven because humanities greatest satisfaction is found in intimacy with their Creator, not in abusing His good gifts.
This made sense but he still was unsure how a Christians desires are changed. In God's providence, this was the moment when the bus arrived. From our perspective it seemed as an unfortunate moment BUT God was gracious to this man to let him hear the previous fifteen minutes of truth. Very quickly the Gospel, its offer of hope, forgiveness and regeneration was presented and a tract was given to this young man.
Please praise God for His timing, thanking him that this man was open to His truth and able to understand the destructive flaws and lies and what he currently believed. Please be praying that God would lead him to study the scriptures and find God's promised Christ.
On the flip side a very similar conversation was had with a man named Christopher. He wasn't a Muslim but had simply adopted the idea that Heaven was a place of pure indulgence in sinful desires and that everyone would end up there after (ironically) being in purgatory until they had been purged of their sin.
Christopher listened to the Gospel but did not hear it. He was adamant, "I hear what you're saying but I just don't want to believe that". Even when pushed, "Are you really going to disagree with the God of this universe and all that He has said?". "Yes".
It was a desperately sad conversation with a man who was defiant in his sin and hated God.
Please be praying that Christopher will not be able to stop thinking about what God has said and desire to know Him.
Another conversation was had with a young man, whose name has also been forgotten. This guy openly admitted that his family was Greek Orthodox but he was pretty sure he was on the road to Hell.
Over the following twenty minutes, God's Holiness, sin, judgement, Hell, Heaven, salvation, repentance and belief were explained but much of this seemed to be misunderstood, even after repeated clarifications. The Gospel seemed to be lost in the mire of attempts to self-justify before God.
Please be praying that this young man would heed the advice to read God's Word (using the simple Bible study technique C.O.M.A) and with that simple technique and the illumination of the Spirit would come to know God's clear message of hope, the Gospel.
Thank you for your continued prayer support! Please be bringing those we spoke to before God in prayer and make sure you spend some time rejoicing in His kindness to us, that we although dead in sin and slaves to Satan, were made alive by His glorious grace!