On Wednesday afternoons the team in Brisbane has been meeting in King George square. This brings a slightly different style of evangelism, with faster moving foot traffic in bursts. This means a lot more tracts are given out and less conversations are had.
This Wednesday we handed out around 700 gospel tracts, most of which were the "Easter Tracts". Which pose the question, "What is Easter really about?"
When this question was posed to one man he very hastily retorted, "Oh you Christians, trying to take all the holidays for yourselves." This man didn't really know where Easter had originated but he was sure the Christians were trying to hijack it.
It was explained that Friday is the day Christians celebrate the life purchased by Christ's death and Sunday is the day we celebrate the Victory of Christ over death, so that all who trust in Christ may rise with Him. It was also pointed out that it occurs during the time of the Jewish Passover, just like Christ's death and resurrection this man was a little less sure of his original claim but still didn't want Jesus to be the centre and sadly didn't want any offer of salvation from sin.
As this Easter seasons races upon us may we ALL not waste this God given opportunity to share with those who are perishing, that there is a God who came to save sinners. A God who came to take the justice and penalty we deserved upon Himself, so that we may be given the gift of life, the gift of mercy!
We had a team of 10 of us for our outreach last night in Brisbane city. It was great to see the team in gospel conversations throughout the night.
At one point, a young man named Jarrod approached me at the free Bibles table and said, "I don't know anything about the Bible, can you please tell me, what is the message of the Bible?" So I took him through the law of God to show how we have all fallen short of God's standards, how as a result we deserve His judgement, and then pointed him to the good news of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins and how he rose on the third day.
It seems that the Lord had prepared Jarrod's heart; as he was very receptive to the message. He said, "I need to trust in Jesus as soon as possible." I encouraged him to make sure he counts the cost.
He then asked, "What does sharing this message like you're doing have to do with going to Heaven?" I said, "Nothing, sharing the gospel doesn't save us, neither does doing any other good work save us, because Jesus sacrifice on the cross is the only thing that saves, which we receive through faith alone. But if we are trusting in Christ, our desire will be to do good works for the Lord because he commanded it and because we love Him."
"Plus if you saw a blind man walking towards a cliff, you wouldn't stand idly by would you? You'd want to warn him. So in the same way, people are heading towards Hell, and so compassion should motivate us to warn them and tell them to turn from their sins and trust in Jesus." Jarrod replied, "That makes a lot of sense." He said that he had a children's Bible at home and asked whether that was the same thing. We gave him a gospel of John because he wanted something small, as he had to head off to work.
Please pray for him and all the others who heard the gospel last night. To God be the glory!
As we began our outreach in Brisbane city last night it was wonderful to see City Hall lit up in gold to represent the glory of God. The council had agreed to light up City Hall and the Storey Bridge in gold for that purpose in connection with the National Day of Prayer and Fasting.
It provided us with the opportunity to let people know of that and transition into talking about eternity.
God brought in a team of about 10 of us and it was a fruitful night. As we began walking back to the car at the end of the night, a young man named Mossid came up to us and wanted to find out how he could go to Heaven. It seems that God that had prepared his heart to hear the gospel.
We talked for a long while and he came to profess faith in Christ. He said he wants to come along to next week's outreach because he wants to now share what he has heard with others.
To God be the glory!
It was a fruitful day of outreach on Wednesday in Brisbane city. We had 5 of us on the team.
We got to chat to a variety of different people including Henry who was a Chinese man who said his culture doesn't believe in God so he has never given it any thought. As we talked, he was listening intently and took a New Testament at the end.
I also got to briefly see a young man named James who I witnessed to firstly about a week or two ago in Brisbane city, then on the Friday night following, he happened to be at the Gold Coast so I got to continue the conversation with him.
He has come to realise his sin and says he has been hanging out with the wrong crowd. I encouraged him to make sure he counts the cost of repenting and trusting in Jesus. For it would be worse for him to put his hand to the plow and then look back (Luke 9:62).
That is one of the reasons we don't lead people in a "sinner's prayer", because they need to really count the cost first. Plus we don't want them to think they are saved simply because they prayed a prayer.
Please pray that God will save James and all the others who heard the gospel today.
To God be the glory!
The gospel went out again in Brisbane city on Saturday night. We started with two of us, but not long after praying we had a team of about 15. Praise the Lord!
There were plenty of gospel conversations that were had with people, with some conversations lasting well over an hour. One person in particular had his mates waiting for him as he was interested in finding out more about Christianity and talking with someone on the team.
So I started chatting to his mates - one was an atheist, one who hadn't given any thought to eternal matters, and one who was a professing Christian who appeared to be living life his own way.
After speaking with the atheist and the professing Christian for a while, they went and sat down on a seat while I continued to talk with the man who hadn't thought much about eternal things. His name was Tony.
He came to grasp the message of forgiveness through what Jesus has done for us on the cross and not our works. He had some good questions and wanted a Bible, so we gave him one. Please pray for him as he counts the cost of coming to faith in Christ, and please also pray for the others who heard the gospel throughout the night.
To God be the glory!
We were lower in team number's yesterday for our outreach in Brisbane city, but we knew God was with us. And He also saw fit to bring along a new labourer who hasn't done much evangelism before, praise the Lord.
Across the afternoon several hundred gospel tracts went out to people and dozens of evangelistic conversations had.
One such conversation was with Doug. He said he was an atheist, but after hearing that since the universe had a beginning therefore logically it must have had a creator, he backed down on his atheism and said that he was happy to believe in a creator that is outside of space and time, but as long as it's not God.
He said, "You will never guess why I don't want to believe in God." I replied, "It's because you don't want him to tell you how to live, right?" He looked shocked and said, "How did you guess that? I just don't want a God to tell me what I can and can't do." What he said reminded me of Romans 1:18-20 how by nature we suppress the truth that we know about God in unrighteousness.
We chatted further, and I asked him, "What good is enjoying the momentary pleasures of sin if you end up in a place of pain and suffering forever later on? It's like having a cup of pleasure in exchange for an ocean of pain. Definitely not worth it." At the end, he thanked me for the conversation and said he would think about it.
No matter the response, it is always a success when God's word goes out. To God be the glory!
For times and locations of our evangelism teams, see: www.operation513.com/street-evangelism-teams
We had a great outreach yesterday in King George Square (Brisbane). It always amazes me that quite often the typical Aussie hasn't really considered much about what comes after or about God, they've just heard the odd negative thing here or there about God and they've been taught evolution in school and therefore assume that God doesn't exist.
That was evident in a conversation we had yesterday with a man in his mid-thirties named Michael. After being asked whether he thought he would go to Heaven, he replied, "I don't believe in things that don't exist."
I pointed him to the building in front of him and said, "You know that had a builder, don't you?" He agreed. I continued, "Even though you've never set eyes on the builder or shaken his hand, you still know that there must have been a builder. So in the same way, you look at the universe and you know that it had a beginning and therefore it must have had a creator for it. You've never seen Him or shaken His hand, but you still know that He exists."
He then asked, "But what about evolution?" I replied, "That is irrelevant, for evolution still requires that matter exists, where did that matter come from?" He said, "That's a good point, I haven't thought of that." He agreed it made sense that there must be a God and so then I explained how therefore it matters what we do on this earth in that God will judge us one day based on how we've lived.
After talking about how we have all sinned against God and therefore deserve Hell, he asked if there is anything that he can do to fix it. So he then listened intently as the news of Jesus death and resurrection were explained to him and how forgiveness is a free gift through repentance and faith in Jesus.
I encouraged him to count the cost of following Jesus, and he said, "I am going to have to think about this today. Who knows, today might be the beginning of a new chapter in my life."
God has a purpose in everything, and there were at least 3 obvious instances of that tonight during our outreach in Brisbane city.
After praying together as a team, we started handing out gospel tracts and getting into conversations with people.
One young lady we spoke with was open to hearing the message of the gospel and it turns out that she just arrived in Brisbane today from Germany and is leaving tomorrow to tour around Australia. Her friends had told her that there is nothing much to see in Brisbane, but in God's sovereignty it could very well be that the only reason why she went to Brisbane was to hear the gospel. She said she was going to have to seriously think over what she heard and she was happy to take a New Testament.
Later on, while having an extensive conversation with a young guy named Lewis who says he lives for consumerism, a woman with a thick Irish accent came up to us and said, "If the question I am about to ask offends you, feel free to say no. Do you know where I can buy some weed?" Now the person I witnessed said no to her and so as this woman began walking away, I offered her an eternity tract which she took. She then said to me, "I recognise you. You spoke to me about a week ago in Capalaba and gave me this card." I responded, "True! Well maybe God is trying to get your attention". She agreed, as she walked off.
As the outreach was nearing the end, there was a man who arrived from France 3 days ago sitting on a nearby seat. He said that he has been believing in God and also going to church for a long time, but about a month ago he decided to stop going to church and now he was questioning God's goodness. For this man said to me that he has difficulty in walking since he was young and God hasn't healed his legs.
I expressed to him that when we begin to blame God for not giving something to us, we are really forgetting that we actually deserve nothing good. We don't even deserve to have legs at all! For the only thing that we deserve is Hell because of our wickedness, and the very fact that God hasn't sent us to Hell at this point in time is amazing. Plus, God has shown so much kindness to us in giving us rain and sunshine and every other blessing we enjoy.
As I was saying this, he began crying as he was seeing how his attitude was wrong. He recounted that he came to Australia just days ago on a working visa, but the job he applied for here in Australia did not want to employ him because of his legs. I said, "Maybe God orchestrated it so that you would come to Australia and not get that job, in order that it would humble you and thus you would sitting here in Queen Street Mall tonight with a heart ready to hear the gospel."
I explained the gospel thoroughly to him. At the end, he thanked me for the chat and asked if there was a church he could attend tomorrow.
To God be the glory!
One team member thought that bringing along 400 gospel tracts would be more than enough for them to personally hand out, but it turned out it wasn't! They asked for more later in the afternoon, going through another hundred tracts in no time at all.
We had three of us on the team and we got to talk to atheists, to others who have never thought of eternal things, and even to professing Christians who had no idea of the way to Heaven.
One chat we had was with a man in grade 12 named Joseph. He went to a Christian school but didn't know the gospel. So after talking about sin, the coming judgement, Heaven and Hell and how the only way of forgiveness is through Jesus, I could tell he was grasping the message. He said that he wants to today trust in Jesus alone for His forgiveness. I encouraged him to make sure he counts the cost because Jesus doesn't want half-hearted followers.
And it turns out that he is in the same grade at the same school with a person who joins us on our outreaches on Saturday nights. So I encouraged Joseph to ask that person any questions he may have as he begins to start reading his Bible each day and begins his walk with the Lord. Please pray for him.
To God be the glory!