"But when God changes the heart, we are ready to count the cost..." - J. W. Searle, served at M.B.I.
The Lord gave us 4 on the team today. Natalie and Grace walked over to King Island. It seems that people were relaxed and generally willing to take tracts as they meandered over to King Island; it was low tide. Natalie noticed a lady reading the tract and opened up a conversation with her.
She was one more Christian grandmother happy to relay the tract to her 3 grandchildren. She was given 2 more tracts. Pray that the children come to see the 'sinfulness of sin' and how urgently they need to flee to Jesus and abide in Him.
There was also an atheistic type. Pray that he remembers the gospel message and forsakes his hopeless worldview vis repentance.
Meanwhile on the 'mainland' the other couple were handing out a few tracts. Eventually they were able to chat with 2 students from Colombia; Anna, who later said that no one else in her family was a Christian and Joanna from a Roman Catholic (R.C.) family who later said she did not know the difference between R.C. and Protestants.
Going through the mini flip chart, they confessed to being liars, thieves (downloading music and not paying for it), murderers, blasphemers, and adulterers. On the court scene, one said she would be innocent. Why? God is love and forgives. Completing the good news, they could say that it made sense to them. they could answer the question "Why would God let you into heaven?"
When tested on the case where a Christian 'sins' and dies 5 minutes later, would God let that one into heaven, they failed and one said, "We must have to do something". Further talk on Eph. 2:8-10 and the unique quality of Jesus work ended with them taking multiple tracts, John's gospel and assurance that they would be prayed for. Will you pray for them? They need a good role model to show them how to begin living for God's glory.
How good is God!!! Glory to His holy Name.
Saturday night in Brisbane city was awesome! There were 19 team members that made it out and over 50 conversations about the way to Heaven that took place!
Praise God for providing labourers and for bringing to the team people He had been preparing beforehand.
In this video you can hear Andrew share about a conversation he had with a Hindu couple who have come to Australia to do their PhD's. They had never heard the Gospel before and now said they want to know more.
Lee-Anne had a conversation with a young couple, where the guy professed to be an agnostic and the girl said she was a Christian. Through the law they saw their sin and came to an understanding of how one is made right before God.
Lastly, hear John share about how he was able to share who Jesus is and what He did to save us to a Muslim lady that stopped by to speak with the team.
Praise God for such encouraging conversations! Please be praying for those who heard the truth tonight that they would come to Christ and find forgiveness and freedom from sin.
As the team headed to the Gold Coast last night rain was threatening but thankfully there were only a few short showers throughout the night. The team of six were able to engage in over thirty Gospel conversations throughout the night!
You can hear Ben explain how the night went and share a short encouragement for you to consider coming out with the team!
You can hear David share specifically about a chat he had with a group of late teens and how they heard the law and the Gospel.
You can also hear Fynn, give a summary and encouragement from the conversations he had.
Please be praying for those who heard the Gospel and ask God to give you boldness and time to be able to share His Gospel!
On Thursday at Sunnybank the weather was nice and cool meaning conversations didn't only have to be confined to the shade. This afternoon's conversations were mostly short introductions to the Gospel without much more than that. When conversations are cut short it is often bitter sweet, knowing that so much more could be said but also okay, knowing that God is in control.
Today Janet, a lady who goes to a local church was challenged on the doctrine of justification by faith alone. She at first said it was praying a prayer and asking for forgiveness that saved someone. She was shown how this didn't align with scripture and came to agree, saying she would be more careful when talking about how someone is saved in the future.
Next a short conversation took place with Michael. At first he said it wasn't important and heard why what happens after death is the most important thing to consider, simply because, it will certainly happen, we don't know when it will occur and humans can take nothing from this world with them, the only question to answer is, "Where will we go"? Michael then went on to say that God would only be valuable to him if He made this life better in some way. Sadly his bus arrived and this idea was unable to be discussed.
A lengthy conversation was had with a Muslim lady named Harika. She saw the law and God's judgement and the whole time was trying to lessen the law and its penalties, even at one point going as far to say that any sin committed before one turns eighteen God will not punished because people didn't know better. In the end, although she heard the Gospel of God's justice and love Harika was unwilling to acknowledge that it made sense. She simply kept asserting that it wasn't true, without giving any reason as to why it didn't make sense.
She was also shown many aspects of her religion that relate to God's Holiness, Justice, Love and Mercy that were incompatible with each other and the claims each of those attributes makes. Sadly she was blind to see these things and was just brushing them off without consideration.
During the conversation there was a brief distraction with an older lady, who said she was a Christian but seemed to be just using the term. She didn't believe Jesus was the only way to God, she was unwilling to talk about how one gets right before God and ironically she declared that the team never speaks to older people, always younger ones. When asked if she would be willing to talk though she flatly rejected.
She was a proud woman, who had done things her own way and made up her own god and sadly was unwillingly to hear what the true God had to say. Thankfully her bus arrived quite quickly and the conversation with Harika was continued.
An exciting conversation was with a tourist named Jonas. He was only in Queensland for two hours and ran into the team at the bus stop. He knew there was a God, came face to face with God's law and saw his sin. He then quickly heard the Gospel before his bus arrived and was given a tract. It was pointed out that God doesn't make mistakes and that God seemed to have bought him to the right place to hear the Gospel during the few moments he would have an opportunity to listen and heed it.
There were also three conversation with Ishant and Meet, Avini and Naomi who saw God as Creator, were shown God's law but then the conversation was cut short by the arrival of their bus.
Lastly the afternoon finished with an extremely proud man who came to belittle and disrespect the team but was angered very quickly when shown God's law. He left without hesitation after admitting that he was a liar and being asked if he had stolen anything. His apparent self-righteousness and criticism of the team for being evil and cowardly was shown to be too ironic to bear when faced with God's law himself.
Please be praying for all those who heard the Gospel, the Law or even some simple apologetics as to how we know God exists. Please consider spending some time in prayer for those who seemed particularly open or closed that God would use this memorable conversation to bring about their desire to know Him more both as Lord and Saviour.
Please also pray and ask God to give you boldness to preach His Gospel in a conversation sometime in the next ten days!
Tuesday and Wednesday saw 4 outreaches happening at 3 locations: in the City, on Riccarton Road, and outside the Hospital.
While on Riccarton Road on Tuesday afternoon, soon after I had set up the flip chart, I offered a tract to a lady walking past. She ignored it and grumbled something under her breath. I asked if she was OK, and she turned around and said something like: "It's because of you my niece couldn't get to sleep for 2 nights!". I was shocked and confused. She added, that I had shared with her about "that hell stuff". And something about her boyfriend being annoyed, and I was lucky he wasn't around. I then understood. I responded, "I'm out to share the good news of hope for eternal life through Jesus" - before she walked off in disgust.
My first thought was that I've become unbalanced in my law / grace presentation. But then, maybe the Holy Spirit is bringing conviction of sin into this lady's life? I hope it is the later, and if so, that this young lady won't shake it off and return to normal thinking, but that it would lead to repentance and faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of sin - to the joy of knowledge of the grace of God.
Later, a man accepted a tract and stopped for a chat. It turned out that this man was a Christian keen on evangelism, and has even open air preached Cathedral Square! Our conversation was interrupted, when a lady stopped at the flip chart and I had an opportunity to share the gospel with her. The man watched for a while before heading off. But later, he came back to say that he would be in touch. I hope to see him again.
The Wednesday morning outreach in the city was busy, with many gospel conversations in Cathedral Square. It was nice to have some cloud cover so it wasn't too hot.
A highlight conversation was with one of my 3 hecklers from the previous Thursday's preaching (one of the genuine hecklers). I was able to have another opportunity to share the law and the gospel with this young man. Part way through his phone rang, and he hung it up. It rang again, and I told him he could answer it, but he just ignored it and asked me to continue! I'm confident he understood the message. I leave him in the hands of God and I hope to see him again.
By the afternoon, the cloud had passed and the sun was beating down as I stood outside the hospital. This forced me to go exploring to find a shady spot to witness from. A number of good gospel conversations were had through out the afternoon, and tracts were distributed.
May Jesus receive the reward of His suffering.
On Wednesday the team headed into Brisbane city. The cloud cover kept the temperatures down and made for a pleasant afternoon of evangelism. It must be noted that there is great encouragement in a local business man who spends his lunch time out in the city with the team. What a wonderful way for him to use the small amount of free time God allows him to have during the day.
The first conversation of the afternoon was also really encouraging. A local business man, Steve had been talking to his Catholic friend Akshay about the Gospel and even bought him down to speak with the team and he was taken through the flip chart and was challenged on some points. It was wonderful to see that this local business man was wanting his friend to hear the Gospel again, so not only has he been speaking about Christ himself but also was willing to encourage a dialogue with the team!
Please be praying for this pair as they have been encouraged to read Romans 3-5 together!
An exciting conversation was had with a Finnish lady named Taruk. She at first said she hoped to go to Heaven but wasn't sure if she would. She was taken through the law and saw her sin and then heard the Gospel. When challenged on what it meant to "believe" in Jesus, she said that she did. This changed the conversation slightly. It became apparent that she knew about God but seemed to be living her own way. She was challenged on a range of things and ultimately was encouraged to open up her Bible and read the Gospel of John and to start attending a local church with her housemate.
Please be praying that Taruk tonight would be bought into the kingdom of His marvelous light!
A conversation was had with Michael. It was a surprising conversation. He wasn't religious but believed in God. He was shown why God's authority over Creation is important, why God's goodness demands justice and why God's Holiness cannot ignore evil. A very exciting part of the conversation was that he seemed to have no-religious baggage. This meant that he understood the Gospel with ease.
There was no large amount of effort required to explain the Gospel different ways but it was a simple and clear presentation. He heard about Christ's sacrificial death on the cross and asked whether or not that means people can just sin as much as they want. Then he heard that we cannot because those who believe in the Gospel will be changed by it and will out of gratefulness to God, turn from sin. The conversation went like this for a while and Michael had no trouble understanding.
To finish off, the challenge was placed before him, "Who is your God"? (As this is what his name means).
Please be praying for those who heard the truth today. Also for those who took tracts or were even asked questions as they walked by. Please specifically commit these three who heard the Gospel today in prayer that God may work in their hearts and lives tonight.
On Tuesday afternoon at Woodridge the afternoon was hard work at times but rewarding. It was filled with a period of great hostility.
The first conversation was with a young man who stopped, whilst his friend walked on and engaged through the law and the Gospel. He saw his sin, in the law and was pointed to the saviour. But sadly before it could be fleshed out he said he had to head off.
What followed was a very confusing few minutes. The next conversation was started with a man sitting at the bus stop and for the first five minutes it was a normal and simple conversation. He said he didn't think there was a God, with no specific reason and was shown the building builder analogy. He acknowledged it and was taken through the law and acknowledged his guilt but then tried to start playing it down.
He was challenged on this, being reminded that because he isn't the creator or owner of this world, he doesn't get to make the rules. It was at this moment out of nowhere he just snapped and started swearing and said he was going to call the Police for harrassment. He was left alone but please be praying that God would work in his heart. It was clear that the acknowledgement of guilt lead to this outburst but please be praying that God is gracious and enables him to come to know what Christ has done to save sinners.
Next a young couple was approached near the train station and the guy was being a bit silly and was challenged on a few points but he had to leave as his train came. The Girlfriend however was engaged briefly following that but ended up walking off to the bus stop.
The next lady approached basically just ignored the attempts at a conversation and looked the other way at the few attempts to engage and then the next young man swore at the team as the member walked over. Then when asked a quick question if he wanted to chat, he threw quite a barrage of attacks. Things weren't going well but God who is sovereign knew what was going on.
This was then followed by a re-engagement with the girlfriend from earlier. At first she too was being quite hostile, mocking, not engaging and throwing some insults in but persevering through the first little bit of the conversation what followed was a wonderful hour long discussion where Jay-Cee opened up, shared about her life and past in religion and how she had come to her current conclusions, all the while hearing in responses and explanations what Christianity is really about.
She was shown that there must be a personal God because forces don't create things. People using forces do. It was even pointed out that the reason she doesn't want a personal God is because a being creating this world means there are expectations upon us whilst we live in it. At this she made a comment about her goodness, "Well, if all I have to do is be good, I have been".
Jay-Cee was taken through God's law and shown that there will be no salvation by the law. Each and every human being is desperately guilty with no chance of forgiveness on the basis of their actions. She then was shown what God has done to save sinners, that it was Him who instigated our salvation. He chose in love to do all that was required for sinners to be forgiven. And she was challenged strongly to place her trust in Jesus for salvation from the wrath that is to come.
A final conversation of the afternoon was with Cassidy. She was a young post modern girl talking about your truth and my truth and how contradictory things can both be true at the same time. She even went to say that people should respect others truths. She was given this analogy, imagine is there was a blind man walking toward a cliff and when you go to tell him he says, "That's just true for you". In that scenario you would do everything in your power to convince him of the cliff that you can so clearly see, that he cannot.
It is the same way with eternity because Christians can see the wrath to come and the seriousness of the judgement they want to warn others who are walking toward that reality.
This lady was then graciously challenged on why she had rejected Christianity, being shown that it was a sinfulness that lead to a suppression of God's existence. She was shown via the law her sin and its very serious consequences and just before her train arrived was strongly warned, that pretending there is no judge will not remove guilty. In the end Cassidy took a tract and was encouraged to read it on the train home.
Please be praying for Jay-Cee that should would consider the Gospel she heard and give up her life of making up her own religion herself and trust in the God who can save. Please be praying for Cassidy that she would give up on relying on her rejection of God on the basis of love for sin and come to the Saviour who loves to make the foulest clean!
And may we also together rejoice that God, despite the circumstances is in absolutely sovereign control over all events in all time, so that even if we are mocked, reviled or disrespected that it all goes according to His plan!
There were good conversations happening during our time on the streets of Warwick.
Last week there were two separate encounters that stood out. After handing out tracts, three ladies stopped. We shared the message of the Gospel, two were agreeing while the other lady stood away from us and was listening in for a little while, then she left.
One of the ladies has been looking on the internet and has picked up false teachings that is clearly going against God’s Word. She was trying to convince us that Sunday Church goers are worshipping a sun God. That was one of a number of things that are leading her away from the truth of God’s Word. We each responded to M lovingly as we defended the faith.
It is the enemy’s lies that wants to divide the church and to destroy the unity in the body of believers. In God’s Sovereignty a Christian friend joined us and was able to help with some of the strange teachings this lady has fallen prey to.
Rick and our friend were still talking with this lady when I noticed another Christian we have come to know on the streets so I said hello and was chatting with him. Then a man that we have witnessed to several times in the past was walking by, my friend said goodbye as he could see there was an opportunity with this man. This man was from some weeks back. He was challenged to believe the good news of Jesus. R had told us he can not read so we had offered him help in setting up audio Bible.
So just as we were talking about this Rick and our friend had finished the conversation with the two ladies and joined us. Our friend that came to help us happens to live in the same street, so he offered R to pop in to get help with getting an audio bible resource for him. Wow!! how wonderful is our Lord God to use our friend to help R get God’s Word. R was challenged again in the Gospel and encouraged to believe and follow Jesus as today is the day of Salvation. So our friend was very encouraged to be part of the outreach. It was a wonderful joy filled day.
This week was really windy, we decided not to set up the Bible table. So we handed out tracts and had the flip chart in our pocket ready for any conversations. Not long after I arrived our friend from last week joined me then Rick arrived. So there has been three of us in the past two weeks.
There were mixed responses as there are on most days an older lady was offended when I handed her “ The way to heaven” Gospel tract. I asked her what she believes will happen when we die then she became aggressive so I didn’t get to talk to her. Not long after another older lady was the complete opposite. She said to me “ I don’t know what happens because I haven’t been there to know” instead she was open as I shared both the bad news then the good news of Jesus. She has been given a tract and has a Bible at home. Pray she will be given grace and saving faith in Jesus alone.
We had a long conversation with a man in which the three of us were able to help share the Gospel. with him. We eventually found out he could not read. We used the flip chart to take him through the law to bring the knowledge of sin and the good news of Jesus more clearly to him.
We listened to him as he was sharing with us so many times he came close to death and he kept pointing to someone looking after him. Also he has seen other things in his life that has been drawing him to thoughts of this life and of death. After sharing the Gospel several times he was asked the question why would God let anyone into heaven. His answer was based on works, so the three of us urged him to trust in what Jesus has done to save us and nothing we can do.
Prayerfully by God’s grace he will receive the free gift of salvation by believing upon Jesus alone to save him. We encouraged him and invited him to come see us for any help. He told us his daughter would help him to get audio bible. He has a tract and a little booklet “Who do you say I am” his daughter will hopefully read to him. Thank you again for your prayers and to God be the Glory.
On Monday at Capalaba another new team member made it along! It is worth noting that even though this is (in terms of team size) the smallest outreach, it is a really good training ground. Due to the bus stop environment with the short conversations and the need to approach someone to be able to talk, it trains one in reliance on God for efficiency and boldness. Maybe if you have a chance, you could join the team at Capalaba one Monday?
The first conversation of the afternoon was had with Angus-Lee and it was very exciting. All the way in the car drive over prayer to God for boldness was being had and not only did God answer that prayer He also encouraged the team with an afternoon filled with many exciting responses. Angus was the first.
He at an instant said that he was going to Heaven because he was a good guy. Then was shown God's goodness, why that means He must punish all sin and therefore we are in big trouble because each of us has a long and in depth history of sin. He saw the problem and acknowledged that he was in trouble.
Then the Gospel was explained to him and he seemed to take it on board. To check he had understood, so as not to leave him with a false Gospel by accident, he was asked what he must do to be saved and responded, "believe in Jesus". Although true, it seemed as though he didn't understand it and so the Gospel was articulated another time and a second checking question was used, "If you were to realise today that your sin deserves Hell, understanding that you have no ability to save yourself from that fate and therefore trusted in Jesus and what He has done to pay for that sin, then on your way home today you did one more sin and died five minutes later, would you go to Heaven or Hell?"
This question he paused at, he was not sure but he said tentatively, "Maybe Hell?" and he was asked, "Why do you think that?". And he responded, "Actually you're right, I would go to Heaven because I have trusted in Jesus to pay for my sin". What a joyful moment to witness, someone for the first time understanding the Gospel. Then Angus was posed with the question, "When are you going to trust in Jesus?" to which he responded, "Today".
Some follow up questions about counting the cost and encouragement were given and he was encouraged to go to a local Church. Please be praying for Angus that he would come to know God and will begin to walk in a new life with him.
Another conversation was with a man named Callum. He had spoken to the team before and heard the Gospel but had still rejected it. He said it was because there were so many "gods" in the world and he couldn't know which is right. A few simple explanations were given about how one can know and he agreed that it made sense. The challenge was put forward that the real reason for the arguments, was not because they were questions that had really plagued him and he had been searching for answers but were rather being used as an excuse to avoid thinking about it.
He acknowledge this was true and was once again point to the law and Gospel and left with the very serious challenge that, he could stand before His Creator this very day.
A final conversation was had with Hayley. At first she didn't seem that interested in talking but after a couple of questions happily engaged through a conversation. She had little understanding of Christianity but through the conversation came to understand the Gospel.
When at the closure of the conversation she was challenged to consider why she would reject Christ and she said, "It is because I don't know Him well". She was encouraged to open up the pages of the Bible and come face to face with the God of this universe in His word and was reminded one final time that she can know of the depths of His love because of how far He was willing to go to save sinners.
Please be praying for Callum that he would not reject Christ in an attempt for autonomy and that Hayley would seek to know who God is and as a result fall in love with Him and what He has done for her!
This week in Brisbane City the team headed out and had many conversations. One exciting stand out was a man who returned to speak with Trinity.
In the previous conversations he had mentioned past frustrations from the Church and was against going to Church and reading the Bible but by the work of God, it seems that his past pain is being softened and he was willing to read God's word!
Also hear Andrew encourage you, as he was encouraged and was able to encourage some local Christians to be obedient to God, despite fear of man.
Hear how you can be encouraged to be bold and to be a good witness for Christ, even though you may fear that you don't have the words to speak.