Brisbane Team (Night) (QLD)
Meets every Saturday night in King George Square 7-10pm.
Brisbane Team (Day) (QLD)
Meets Wednesday afternoons 1-5pm in King George Square (near Adelaide St crossing).
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.
You can be encouraged from the conversations the team had on Saturday night. Hear Lee-Anne share about a lengthy conversation she had with two Muslims and how they came to hear and understand the Gospel for the first time!
Hear Fynn share about a conversation he had with a Catholic who came to understand that the Bible talks about being made right before God, entirely on the basis of faith in what Jesus did for us.
Hear Matt share about a reminder of the importance to focus on the Gospel in a conversation and to be wary not to be sidetracked with intellectual arguments at the expense of someone missing out on hearing the Gospel.
The Christmas outreaches of 2018 in Brisbane have concluded and we praise God for what He has done through the team over these past 2 weeks.
With 47,000 gospel tracts going out into people's hands, as well as 500 Christmas children's DVDs and hundreds of gospels of John, please be praying that God will save many. Thank God that He sustained our voices, our bodies and that He used us for His glory.
Please consider joining the team for any of our outreaches in Australia, NZ, or the UK: https://www.operation513.com/street-evangelism-teams/
What better way is there to orient your mind to rejoicing in Christ, the Saviour, this Christmas than to spend some time declaring to others who He is and what He has done to save sinners like us?
For this reason, you're invited to join us in Brisbane City tonight, at 6:30-9:30pm for the final Christmas outreach, and you're invited to join us on Boxing day from 1-5pm.
As the Christmas outreaches draw to a close it is exciting to see how many conversations the team has been able to have as well as the amount of tracts that have been handed out! Here are a few highlight conversations from the last few days.
One scary, yet exciting conversation was with a man named Abinar. He (and his wife) are from Brazil and have come to Australia for a while. They have grown up in a Church back where they came from but sadly had completely missed the Gospel. As the conversation began he was asked, "Will God let you into Heaven when you die?" Adinar responded, "Yes, because I have tried my best to be good".
He was then taken through the law, showing the desperate state he is in before God and was lead through the Gospel, that God's solution isn't for sinful people to try harder, rather for a Holy God to deal with sin, so that those who trust Him can be forgiven, on the basis of what God has done.
Abinar after hearing the Gospel said it made sense and said he would read Romans 3-5 with his wife and seek to understand what Paul is saying about how one is made right before God! Please be praying for this young couple, that God would have used this short conversation to bring them to a saving knowledge of the truth, for the first time in their lives!
Another encouraging conversation was with a young man named Luke. He had a SDA background and had left the church there are while back and had ended up in agnosticism, just living his way. The Gospel was prioritized with Luke, so that he could understand what God had done to save sinners and how they can be made right with Him.
This was followed by many of Luke's questions being answered. He came to understand God's judgement and Hell, the sinful state of a human heart, the miracles and prophecies and their role in the Bible, among other topics.
Please be praying that Luke comes to Christ, the Christ of the scriptures and that in doing so he may receive eternal life!
Lastly a conversation was had with Alice. She had a Catholic background and had rejected the Catholic church and was now just living the life of a pagan, doing everything she wanted or desired and living her way. Alice was challenged with the Gospel, left with a clear understanding of what she deserved and God's only solution and was left with the question, when would she give up her pride-fueled rebellion and come to trust in God's Saviour.
These three conversations are quite typical of the Australian streets, people who have some sort of religious background but little to know understanding of the Gospel. This is why is it so needed and such a privilege to be out on the streets, being able to explain to anyone God brings along, what God has done, said and promised.
Please keep the team in prayer over the next few outreaches and even consider joining us yourself on the public holidays!
On Tuesday evening for the first time in a number of days the rain had ceased and as a result the crowds were enormous! This resulted in many tracts being handed out and great opportunities for the Gospel to be shared. If you're wondering about what time of year you should begin sharing the Gospel, this is it. This year, if you've struggled to share about Christ before, could be the first year you do so! Maybe it is by door knocking your neighbourhood, maybe by speaking to your friends and family or it could be by coming out and joining the team these next few days! You will be glad you did!
Four conversations in a row were had with people whose names started with the letter A. Andy the Hindu, Andy the Catholic, Ann the Mormon and Amy the Australian.
Andy the Hindu man loved the "freedom" that Hinduism allowed for, people being able to worship any god, how they pleased. He was shown his sin by the law and pointed to the one who came to save sinners. Andy took a tract and said he would read it.
Andy the Catholic was a natural Spanish speaker from Brazil and knew about Jesus and actually was interested in talking and asking questions. It was a privilege to share the Gospel with him both bad and good news and Andy then said, "So how can I apply this to my life?" or in other words, "What must I do to be saved?".
He heard what it means to repent and believe and was seriously left and encouraged to count the cost of following Christ and to trust in Him alone for salvation!
Following this, Ann the Mormon wasn't really interested in talking but she was challenged on one question, "When you read the Bible to you read just a verse here or there, or do you read whole books, whole chapters and seek to understand what the authors meant when they wrote it?"
"Just verses here and there mostly" she responded. She heard that the easiest way to convince someone of something that the Bible doesn't say is by taking pieces of it out of the context. She was encouraged to read Romans 1-8 this coming week and to spend serious time in it, seeking to understand what is the Spirit intentioned meaning of the words!
Lastly Amy the Australian was quite a normal Aussie, she had heard the name Jesus and when pressed could tell you how he died and that Christmas was about Him coming but that was the limit of her knowledge.
That very quickly changed as she came face to face with God's expectations of her, her failure to upload these standards, their due penalty and her only hope, found in God's saviour, Jesus Christ.
It was a rather brief conversation as she had to leave but Amy was encouraged to seriously consider who Jesus claimed to be this Christmas and to take a read of the Gospel of John.
One final conversation was had with Daniella. She too was Brazillian and shared about some of her history, why she had rejected God and why she was angry with the Catholic church (and rightly so). But through the conversation, she was challenged. She was told that it is foolish to judge God on the basis of the evil actions of wicked and selfish people who claimed to represent Him.
She also heard the true message of the Bible and how it was not about being good enough, praying enough, donating enough money or anything like that to get right with God but rather it was about trusting what God had done to save the rebels who had so arrogantly and sinfully rejected Him.
Daniella understood the Gospel for the first time and like many others over these past few weeks was seriously encouraged to consider who this child in the manger is and to not miss Christmas!
As you read this report, may you be encouraged, as hopefully a person who hasn't missed the real meaning of Christmas, to not miss this opportunity to share with others its beauty!
Please can you be praying for those the team was able to speak with that God would continue to use these conversations and tracts to work in their hearts and that they would open their Bibles and come to understand who this God is, that came as a baby!
Please also be praying for the thousands of tracts handed out that God may use each one, exactly as He pleases!
On Wednesday afternoon the team headed into the mall for another long but joyful day of ministry. Starting soon after lunch and finishing up after 9:30, around five thousands tracts were handed out and many conversations were had!
Some notable and encouraging conversations were had and here is a taste for you, that will hopefully encourage you this Christmas season, to take any opportunity and to even "create" some yourself by asking people the simple question, "What do you think Christmas is about?" followed by mentioning that the original Christmas was about Christ coming into this world and then asking, "Do you think God will let you into Heaven when you die?"
A conversation that followed that very simple progression was had with a young lady named Georgia who made some of the team dinner during the break between the outreaches. In less than five minutes Georgia came to understand what Christ was about, why it is such good news and why this year she should strongly consider what Jesus has to say, "Repent or perish".
Another interesting conversation was with James. He is a biologist and as expected, had combined his biology with his desire for their to be no accountability for his actions and had agreed with the common, yet foolish theory that it is normal and natural to assume that we live in a world with no Creator and therefore no right or wrong.
The first point of call with James, just as with any person is the Gospel. So that is what James got to hear, who God is, what God asked of us, how desperately we have failed to obey, in fact, willfully rebelled and the eternal consequences of these choices. James then got to hear what the kind and humble God has done to save rebel sinners, He came into His own creation to die the death we deserve, suffering the Hell punishment in our place that all those who place their trust in Him can be made right before God and be redeemed to the humanity they were designed to be.
James hadn't heard this before and was seriously challenged about it and not left with any wiggle room. As the conversation flowed though, it was time to begin to answer some of James' objections and all the while, pointing back to the Gospel as the questions were answered.
As the conversation drew to a close the final point that seemed to have James very stumped came off the back of the explanation given as to why humanity know what is good and yet desire to live selfishly and do evil. It was explained that other world religions try to explain why we know what is good and have some adherence to it but fail to explain why humanity is so sinful at the same time. On the other hand atheism has this idea of the "selfish gene" and tries to explain why humanity is inherently selfish and then attempts to paint it as positive.
The issue is, both have major flaws and do not accurately describe the world we live in, with people knowing what is right and sometimes even desiring moral actions whilst being inherently evil and selfish all the time.
What left James speechless is the incompatibility of selfishness with what atheism claims, that the purpose of humanity is to pro-create. His attempted intellectual argument found one massive flaw, that is not how atheists live.
Rather, we find that atheists don't have enough children to even have a sustainable world, the required rate per is 2.1 children per family (to keep the population growing). What we find is that atheists (in America from a 2015 survey) have around 1.6 children per family and agnostics are even lower at 1.3 per family. Why do the statistics not align with the supposed "belief system" that our sole purpose is to procreate. The reason is because this proclaimed "selfish gene", is not a gene at all, it is just a cover term for sin.
The belief system atheist's claim to have, is simply sinful selfishness disguised as intellectualism. Every person knows that children are trying to ones patience at the best of times. A selfish desire to "pass on ones DNA" is in no way powerful enough to overcome the interruption that children will have on ones own abilities to live however they want.
It was pointed out, with one final serious challenge to James, that His attempts to explain the world from an atheistic perspective will always fail and be inconsistent because it simply isn't true. It is just the latest attempt of proud humanity to convince themselves they are not guilty by attempting to explain away the God of this world.
At this James actually had no response, he was challenged with the truth of sin one final time and was pointed to the Gospel, that Jesus could save him from his rebellion, rejection of God and the consequences of it.
One final conversation on more sad note was with an older gentleman. He was asked where he would spend eternity and initially seemed quite pleasant. He said that he didn't think about Heaven and Hell much because he was just living his best life and said that would probably be enough.
When Jesus in Matthew 5:48 was quoted to him, "You must be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect". He responded by mentioning that no one is perfect then asked, "Are you perfect?"
To which the answer was given, "Not at all, but entry to Heaven is certain for those who have trusted in Jesus' perfection and sacrifice on the cross".
He repeated that he wasn't worried about the afterlife and this moment was taken to stress why that is a foolish position to take, "God has been clear that after death comes the judgement and as you currently stand, you will be found guilty of breaking God's law and you will be sent to Hell, your only hope is to come to this same Saviour who came into this world on the very first Christmas to die to save sinners".
It was at this moment he exploded, declaring that did not want any saviour and dropped a few profanities in his request for the team member to leave him, ironically "in peace".
Please be praying for those conversations had today, the tracts handed out and the opportunities God provided to speak with people. Please praise God that His Gospel went forth and that He will do exactly what He desires with it!
Please also be praying for Georgia, James and the older gentleman who wanted to trust in himself. Please pray that this seed falls on good soil and that it will grow and bear much fruit!
Through the Christmas season, as well as the usual outreaches in the afternoons, there are also nightly outreaches (except Friday) in Brisbane city. You are invited to come along to hand out tracts and share the Gospel with the masses, blindly celebrating the "family time" that is Christmas, missing all together, the King that was born.
Over this weekend, Saturday was a quite busy night despite the rain, meaning thousands of tracts were handed out. On the other hand Sunday due to the rain was almost dead but God, in His usual providence bought around just enough people to keep the five team members in conversations continuously throughout three and a half hours.
Two quick conversations on Saturday were had with Ben a young Muslim and an older man who had created an idol.
Ben the young Muslim didn't know much of the teachings of Islam and knew basically nothing of the Bible.
He left after the conversation with a better understanding of his own religion and serious criticisms of it, explaining why only the Jesus of the Bible can bring any hope. He was left this Christmas to consider the serious question, "How can God remain, good, righteous and just and humanity be anything other than eternally damned?"
The older gentleman on the other hand declared that he did not need Jesus, he was a good guy and if he needed it on judgement day that his uncle in an Archbishop in London. It was quickly shared with him that on judgement day will be alone with nothing and no one to hide behind and this his only hope would be this baby, born in a manger, who came to save sinners.
On Sunday the conversations were far lengthier and there were many more. Three of note were with Joshua, Roman and Dan and Asia.
Firstly, the conversation with Joshua was interesting. He had many ideas and thoughts and was happy to engage. He is a German and so much of the conversation was spent using examples from German history and him being encouraged to read specific German Christians, most notably, Martin Luther.
The main point of his argument was that naturally a human if their follow their heart will live a good life. This was clearly shown to be foolish and untrue and Joshua was left with a knowledge of sin, the serious penalty it deserves and was encouraged, as his name declares, to trust in God, who saves.
Roman, in a similar boat, thought that his goodness was his ticket into Heaven. When he saw, through God's perfect standard and law that this would be of no use Roman was then open to hearing who Jesus is and what it means that He has come to save sinners.
He came to understand the Gospel after a few different ways of it being explained and was seriously challenged to read the Gospel of John before Christmas and to trust in this humble God, who came to save proud sinners.
Lastly a surprising conversation was had with Daniel and Asia. It was surprising because it isn't often that you deal with people so self-absorbed that they can't even see it.
Daniel (a name that fittingly means, God is my judge) and Asia claimed to be skeptics BUT clearly showed they were nothing but willful rebels. They asked question after question after question and without letting a single answer finished being given they would raise another objection.
What made this all the more baffling was that at the very beginning of the conversation and numerous times throughout it was clearly pointed out to them that the issue was not one of intellect but one of pride-fueled, sin-loving hatred of God. Before they even began asking questions they were told what topics they would raise to try and argue against Christianity. The reliability of the Bible, the prophecies it claims, the miracles it records, the Creation account, the goodness of God, the ability of Christ to save and a number of others.
Sure enough, almost as if they "tried" to argue against these things, despite not really listening long enough to hear the entire list, they then proceeded to raise objections, as many as they could as quickly as they could.
Through the conversation this absolute commitment to rejection of God was pointed out. It was shared with them that this was obviously not an issue of intellect. They weren't rejecting God on the basis of anything they knew about this world or about God. Rather, it was clearly a wicked and sinful heart.
Despite trying to claim that they were simply skeptics looking for answers, they would consistently cut off the answers. It was pointed out to them that they were the people described in 2 Timothy 3, "Always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth".
Daniel and Asia, were left with a very clear and strong warning about God's impending judgement and their need to turn from their foolishness to the Saviour of sinners.
After the pair left, a while later Asia walked past again and was handed a Gospel of John and challenged to read it.
Please be praying for the many who had received tracts over these two nights as well as the many who heard the Gospel, were challenged by it to trust in this Christ and were left with the choice of Christ and life or themselves and Hell.
On Wednesday the team had a longer outreach, the afternoon in the city and the evening followed on from each other. This was a wonderful time filled with many conversations! Some shorter and others very lengthy!
A few of the shorter conversations were had with Braydon, Ben and Stone.
Braydon was a young man that had a few minutes and so he stayed as long as he could. He saw in the mirror of the law how desperately wicked his heart was and was left with the severe and serious condemnation that the law brings. He was able to quickly that Christ came into this world to save sinners and was given a tract and was encouraged to read it.
Ben on the other hand was the man that served some of the team at Subway. He was posed the question about what he thought happened after we die and naturally, as most young Australians are gave a naturalistic answer, about his body going into the ground and that being the end.
Ben was given the simple apologetic, that buildings require builders and so too this universe requires a Creator. He said this made sense and it was explained, that just as everyone, even he in making this Subway had a purpose in doing so, God had a purpose for His universe. It was shared that God's purpose is to display who He is, to show His glory.
Ben mentioned that sounds a little selfish and it was explained that it isn't wrong for God to create a world to show who He is because He is worthy of all worship and praise. It would be the same as Usain Bolt being praised as the faster 100m sprinter in the world or as the saying goes, "credit where credit is due".
It was pointed out to Ben that the reason this is a problem for us, is that as humanity God has given us specific abilities and roles (as image bearers) and asked us to use it for His glory and we have decided that we want to live for ourselves doing what we think is best, in direct rebellion against what God has said is best.
As the conversation had to draw to a close as he finished making the sub, it was explained that the only solution to this issue is found in that baby born in a manger on the first Christmas, as the Apostle Matthew records, "His name will be called Jesus because He will save His people from their sins".
Stone, was engaged with whilst waiting in the line at Hungry Jacks. It was an encouraging conversation were the Gospel was presented and he was left to consider who he would choose, Jesus or himself. One comment of note was that halfway through the conversation Stone said, "I am pretty sure God sent you here today to talk with me, I needed to hear this".
Please be praying for Braydon, Ben and Stone that God would use these short but straight forward Gospel conversations and the tracts they received as the start and beginning of their eternal love for Him!
Three other conversations were had with Noah, Rebecca and Karter.
Noah and his girlfriend were sitting on the bench and were approached with the question, "What do you think will happen to you after you die?". Very soon afterwards his girlfriend left saying she wanted to go but Noah, desiring to hear what was being shared decided to stay!
This lead into a lengthy conversation where Noah came to understand the bad news, the offer of salvation and how he should respond. He was encouraged to count the cost and was left with a tract.
Rebecca was a young lady who worked in a local store and had come out on her lunch break. She then proceeded to engage in a conversation about Christianity. She mentioned that she had a Catholic background and had rejected the church because of the hypocrisy and her frustration with the church was confirmed. The issue being that rules and laws are simply like trying to use a mower to keep weeds out of a backyard. It may externally and publicly be able to make the yard look good but in the end the roots remain and the weeds will always grow back.
As the conversation finished she was strongly challenged to consider what Jesus had done and this Christmas to be able to join with many in history rejoicing that her Saviour had been born!
Lastly was a conversation with Karter, she and her girlfriend (Richel) had left Russian Orthodoxy and JWism respectively. For differing reasons they had left but had ultimately both ended up in the same boat, living life their way, in God's world.
They were explained through the narrative of the Bible, what it tells us about God and about humanity and encouragingly of God's plan to save sinful humanity. To finish, they too were challenged this Christmas to consider God's command to repent and believe because to neglect it is to choose Hell.
Please be praying for the thousands who received tracts today, as well as the many who heard the Gospel! Please continue to raise up the team in your prayers these coming nights until Christmas and if you have a spare evening, consider coming out yourself! The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few.
On Saturday night in Brisbane City, there were some markets on in King George Square, this meant that there were hundreds of people around all flowing through the area. With the increased people came the opportunity for more conversations but it also meant that the area was packed as well. One other exciting surprise was a mens group from a local church came out together to see what it is like evangelising on the street is like, so that they can begin to do some in their area. The guys each partnered with another team member and were able to engage in conversation alongside the others.
One conversation early in the night was with Nicholas, he was french and originally presented himself as skeptical but as the conversation went on he seemed less so. He was shown God as Creator and understood that God the Creator expects things of His Creation. He was then shown God's expectations, the law and saw how he had failed. Then he heard the solution, trusting in who Christ is and what He's done. It was encouraging to see him engage and discuss it.
He left in the end with a tract and said he would read it. Please be praying that Nicholas would give up his rebellion and trust in the humble Saviour.
A conversation following this was with two men that are often in the square. Both are from Africa but one is a professing Christian and the other from a man who worships his own ideas of God. The "Christian" didn't know the Gospel and was relying upon his good works to save him. This was worrying to hear but thankfully as Christian's Operation 513 is equipped with the Gospel to share and so this man heard the Gospel clearly. It was explained a number of different ways until he understood it.
Alternatively his friend was stuck in a pride-fueled rebellion against God. He had made up his own ideas and his own god and by no stretch was willing to acknowledge that he was a sinner, that God would punish sin or that Jesus would be able to save him. It was all about him and his ideas.
Sadly the conversation came to a close and he was left with a very serious warning, "Tonight God has offered you an opportunity to hear and heed His message of salvation but at this moment you've chosen to reject it, God may never give you another chance to repent and believe".
A final conversation of the evening was had with David and Bonnie. David had a Muslim background and Bonnie had a Catholic understanding but both had instead subscribed to agnosticism.
The conversation consisted of different points of challenge to their current beliefs. They were challenged on point after point that they raised in rejection of God.
As their questions were answered it was noted that their issue wasn't really an intellectual one rather it was a moral one. They wanted the ability to live how they wanted to live without any accountability. It was pointed out that pretending there is no judge, doesn't get you out of being guilty.
They were left with the good news of Christianity in comparison to the bad news of all other religions. All other religions give you laws and standards you have to follow by adherence to which you will be "good". The issue is that laws can only ever show flaws and faults. All it can do is condemn you and show you where you're guilty. Leaving you helpless.
Where as God's plan is far better than just a world of lost sinners, rather God came into His own Creation to redeem sinners. He came under the law and fulfilled it. He then took the curse of the law for guilty sinners and He offers everyone forgiveness of sin, they must simply repent and believe.
These two seemed to understand it, they took tracts and they headed back off to work.
Please be praying for Bonnie and David that God would use this conversation as a beginning to their right relationship with God one day.
Please also consider joining the team for the Christmas outreaches over the next few weeks, most nights there is an outreach and it is a very easy time to share the Gospel with people!
On Wednesday the heat of summer came out to play, it was a cool 38 degrees, leaving people hiding in the shade. This meant that the team too were able to head to the shade and have many conversations with people.
The first conversation of the afternoon was had with a man named John. Throughout the conversation John shared a number of things about his personal life including saying, "I could never believe in a God who tells me who I love is sinful". The conversation continued about God's reasoning for the law as well as the main point for Christianity. John was actually gobsmacked at this, he had never heard the value of the law or the glory of the Gospel before and actually didn't have a response.
It was at this moment a lady sitting nearby, decided to chime in, "Mate, stop trying to force someone who's gay, to believe in God" She monologue for a moment about pushing beliefs on other people and how he obviously wasn't interested because God doesn't like people like him.
What was sad was that this lady, in her desire to "help" this young man had done two things, firstly she had assumed that he, a grown man, was unable to have this conversation on his own and he was so helpless that he needed her help and secondly, without listening she had assumed the content of the conversation and had stopped the Gospel from being fully explained.
John, a little intimidated by her, finished with a comment about not wanting to believe in God because he was gay and left quite quickly. The lady seemed very pleased with herself, she had won. Sadly in her ignorance, she had stopped him from fully understanding or coming to grasp the fullness of God's love for sinners and she had stopped him from hearing the words of eternal life.
Following this conversation two guys sat down on the same seat. They were tourists named JD and Miguel. Miguel didn't have very good english so JD did most of the talking. He shared about his background growing up in the reformed church in South Africa but how he had left the church and Christianity because, it was filled with people who were selfish that were trying to earn their way to Heaven.
Then, in one of the greatest displays of blindness, when asked, "Why do you think God will let you into Heaven?" he said, "Because I am a good person". He was the very person he had criticised his church for being.
This was pointed out, that Gospel was explained and JD was challenged to consider the Gospel. But sadly, he seemed blinded to his own sinfulness and to the hypocrisy of his pride.
Shortly after JD and Miguel had left, Brad sat down and he too was happy to chat. Brad engaged in a discussion about God and the way to Heaven but he too was thought he was too good to need a saviour. It was sad to see. He really struggled to comprehend the Gospel because he was so soaked in self-salvation. Sadly at the end of it all Brad left to head back to work, being quite sure that he would be fine on judgement day.
Cain was the next man to sit down and he then proceeded to try and avoid the real topic at hand by talking about robots and how that will change our world. It was pointed out that he was just trying to avoid reality by talking about things that didn't exist. He acknowledged this and the conversation continued.
On a number of occasions he tried to refer back to that idea and again it was pointed out as a rabbit trail to avoid reality, rather than a legitimate argument against anything.
Cain heard the Gospel, was surprised that it was all about Jesus' work and took a tract before heading back to work.
Last in this queue of people who sat in the same seats was Tamara. She was talking about how no one should criticse anyone else because everyone has their own beliefs. As soon as she finished sharing her own thoughts and ideas, it was pointed out that this idea is exceedingly flawed. People are not sources of infallible understanding or knowledge, therefore things we believe should constantly be shown for what they are, perversions and distortions of the truth.
It was interesting to see Tamara squirm as her idea was challenged and it was interesting to see that she really was unable to defend her position, rather all she could do was try and say it again, this time with a little more strength.
In the end, she declared that it was her goodness that made her right before God, she too was a "model" human being and therefore she did not need a saviour. She was so sure of this that she didn't want a tract and was quite happy to stand before on judgement day in her own "righteousness".
As you read these recounts you hopefully noticed that the universal problem for humanity is their own sinful, so sinful that they have convinced themselves that it isn't that bad and they are actually good. This is the problem everyone must be stripped of before they will ever see their need for a saviour. This is the reason for using the law in evangelism, it reveals the things about ourselves that we would really rather pretend weren't there.
Consider the people in your life, that are blinded by their sin and look for opportunities where you can declare God's truth to them!
Please also be praying for those the team were able to speak with this past Wednesday!
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!