Gold Coast Team (QLD)
Meets 7:15-10pm Friday nights at Surfers Paradise on Cavill Avenue.
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.
On Friday evening in Surfers Paradise it was very busy! Due to the holidays and the warm temperatures there were many families out! A lot of tourists were around and as a result it was a much harder time than usual to try and get into conversations. Usually when it is quieter there are just singles or couples walking around and are more willing to stop and chat but bigger groups are hesitant to stop, especially in fast moving foot traffic. With a team of 13 out there was also a bit of competition for space but overall it turned out to be a good night!
Apparently there was some type of "Orthodox" convention or holiday planned and as a result there were many people from the ironically named Orthodox religion. An early conversation was had with a young adult who declared that God would let him into Heaven because he had never done anything wrong. He was shown God's law and denied it and was shown that God says anyone who claims to be without sin is a liar. He didn't take well to God's word and actually said, "I disagree with whoever wrote that". His father joined in but was adamant that his actions would play the primary part in God's decision whether to save him or condemn him. It was scary that these men were so willing to hold onto their own righteousness when God has been clear that the standard of entry into Heaven is perfection.
There was a wonderful encounter with a young man from Christchurch (New Zealand) who was in Aus for his final day. He had a Catholic background and came to see that he is guilty and heading to Hell. He had to head off quickly mid conversation as the rest of his family were leaving and so he took a tract. As you may know from reading the reports, Operation 513 has some teams in Christchurch, please be praying that he would have an opportunity to finish the conversation which was begun here in Aus.
Another encouraging chat was with Casey who was open and willing to chat, he knows God exists and now that he will be found guilty on judgement day unless something is done but was dragged away by friends just as the good news was to be shared. He received a tract as well.
It was a night that it was a little harder than usual but God's word never returns void. Praise be to the one who uses the feeble efforts of His saints to draw sinners unto Himself!
On Friday evening on the Gold Coast a team of 7 headed into Surfers Paradise to declare the glorious gospel to those who so desperately need it.
A few conversations tonight with young men were had and as they came to see that their rejection of God had very little to do with their intellect and more to do with their desire to live their own way. In fact one young man who saw his guilt and that he deserved Hell got up and left the conversation with the declaration, "I just want to live however I feel and I don't want God to tell me what to do".
There was also a really sad conversation with a lady who was coming to see her current eternity and who seemed very interested in hearing the way to Heaven but her sister came over and interrupted. Her sister declared that she has struggled with depression and because of that she shouldn't hear about the way to Heaven.
The sister than dragged away her adult sister away and stopped her from hearing the solution to sin. The strong condemnation was shared with the sister that worse than depression is ending up in Hell and that she could be held responsible for stopping her sister from learning how she could go to Heaven.
In more exciting news the evening finished with a conversation with Bob and Ashley. This young couple had a Church background and yet for the first time they came to understand the way to Heaven. It took Bob a little longer than Ashley but at the end of it all they were left with the very serious challenge, "When will you start trusting only in what Christ has done to save you from Hell?"
Ellie, Cameron, Billie and Carlos also came to hear and be able to articulate the simple message of the gospel and each were left with the serious decision about when they would start trusting in Christ alone.
Please be praying for those who heard the good news that God would us this to draw them to Himself.
On Friday evening on the Gold Coast the wind had picked up greatly. Whilst it was warmer than it had been for the past weeks the breeze seemed to be keeping everyone inside and as a result it was harder to get into conversations as people were dashing between buildings, not as keen to talk.
This didn't stop the gospel from going out, it just meant it was a little harder to be able start conversations.
An early chat took place with a European guy, whilst his friend was talking to another team member. Sadly this conversation didn't last very long because he didn't like being guilty and therefore just tried to distract from God's law. He saw his sin but was not wanting to hear of a solution, preferred to be in denial about guilt. It was a sad conversation and he was challenged to reconsider and warned that he could face judgement at any moment.
This was followed by a very similar conversation with a young Kiwi couple, Don and Ibrahim (a Muslim). They each rejected the gospel without fully hearing or understanding it because they preferred to think their own way, that their goodness would be enough for them to enter Heaven. They were each warned and challenged with the seriousness of this decision and left with tracts.
One exciting conversation took place with Nazal and Lana two young ladies who came to hear and understand the gospel message at the end of the conversation they said today that would trust in Christ and were challenged to not make this decision lightly but that they should count the cost of trusting in Christ. They both took gospels of John and tracts and were encouraged to read what God had said.
About an hour later in the evening they walked past again and still remembered, without any prompting the way to Heaven! It was encouraging to see.
Please be praying for those who heard of their guilt and of the way to Heaven that God will use whatever it takes to draw people unto Himself. Please be praying for the initial rejectors, who were in denial about their guilt that God would cause them to remember their guilt over and over and cause them to seek out how a sinner can be forgiven.
On Friday night the team headed to the Surfers Paradise, as usual, right in the heart of the mall to share the gospel of grace. There was as a team of eight out and as a result many people came to hear.
An early conversation was with Sebastian and Adelia. They are a couple from a Spanish speaking country and Adelia was a professing Christian whilst Sebastian was a "spiritualist". Sebastian did most of the talking to begin with and loved his own ideas but suddenly got very defensive as the law revealed his guilt. He was adamant that piracy wasn't really stealing because he thought those movies should be shared for free and was hesitant to acknowledge that he was guilty.
Later in the conversation he kept arguing that God isn't a being, rather a force and that the Bible is simply made up stories not history. It was pointed out to him continually through the conversation that he was showing his hatred of God and his guilt as he kept trying to find anyway that he could to avoid the reality that he deserves Hell for his sin. The pair then came to understand the gospel and were able to explain it back but Sebastian didn't want it. He was adamant that he was going to find a way to avoid Hell without Jesus. Try he may but it will all be in vain. Ironically Adelia was in the opposite boat, whilst professing to be a Christian she was being sexually immoral with her boyfriend and although proclaiming the name of Christ was showing that she really knew nothing of His forgiveness otherwise she would hate the sin in which she was living.
The pair were challenged this day to consider what Christ has to say because they have a very bleak eternity ahead of them if they reject what Christ offers.
This conversation was quickly followed by a conversation with two Muslims. These men didn't know much of Christianity nor did they have many good arguments. They were shown their guilt, that they are in desperate trouble and headed for Hell eternally and that their only hope for forgiveness is if someone else pays. They acknowledged that God cannot contradict Himself and therefore because God is just, mercy cannot be given at the expense of justice.
The pair then were told a simple anecdote explaining how God satisfied His justice to give mercy and were pointed to the cross. At this point these men were gobsmacked. They had no arguments, they had nothing to say except to say, "We don't believe that". To which they were challenged and warned, "Yes, which is why we are telling you because if you don't trust in Jesus to pay for your sin on that cross, you will pay for it eternally in Hell". At this moment they headed off.
The final conversation of the evening was with Tamati, a young man who had done some damage to his brain with some chemicals and really struggled to remember the gospel. He had most of the pieces in his memory already before the conversation began and came out with surprisingly accurate pieces of information about Jesus and yet despite trying almost ten times to see if he could comprehend the gospel with different examples, he was unable to give an accurate articulation at any point without series assistance.
It isn't all bad news because Tamati still has breath in his lungs and took with him a gospel tract and a gospel of John to have a read of.
Please keep these five people and the many others who heard the good news this Friday in your prayers, that as they head away from tonight that they will consider seriously what Jesus has to say and not just keep it as information but trust in Christ alone for their forgiveness and as a result live totally different lives, whole-heartedly sold out for God and His glory!
On Friday night a team of eight made their way to the Gold Coast from various locations to share with people what God has done to save sinners.
Over the course of the evening many conversations were had and many people came to hear and understand the simple message of salvation, to the point that they could answer questions about it correctly!
One such conversation was with Hayden and Liz a couple from America who had some Christian background but little to no knowledge of the gospel and together they had basically rejected God for their own ideas of how they wanted to live. Over the conversation that came to see that their arguments against God were nothing more than an attempt to justify their desire for autonomy and they came to understand that they were in serious trouble, heading for a day of judgement when they will face God's perfect law and be found guilty.
Thankfully, there is a solution and they came to hear what God, in that He Himself came, as a man, lived a perfect life and died took the punishment sin deserves on a cross, offering forgiveness to be received by faith. Hayden and Liz were able to understand this and even in their own words able to explain the way to Heaven. Then the addition of how and why a Christian should live was raised and it wasn't too long until they have a basic and working understanding of the good news and how it will impact the lives of those who trust in Christ.
It was exciting to see them understand and the work of transformation is left in God's hands. Hayden had headed into "spirituality", using tarot cards and talking to spirits and Liz was just living however she thought was best with nothing specific in mind. They were both reminded of the seriousness of this decision, shown the folly of rejecting Christ and were challenged this day to choose who they would trust.
Over the course of the night a range of other conversations took place including at least six others who heard the good news and said that they would consider it, with varying levels of interested.
Please be praying that God would be working in the hearts of Hayden and Liz to draw them away from their sin driven pursuits to a saving relationship with their Creator!
Why not set aside some time next Friday and come on down?
On Friday night there were a range of people who spoke with the team and it was business as usual. God is his kindness enabled many people to hear and the good news and be able to understand that the gift of forgiveness is received through trusting that Christ has paid for their sin on the cross.
There were two early conversations with Kevin and Victor both of whom had a "Christian" background but had wholesale missed the good news. Kevin was adamant that he would enter Heaven because he had lived a very good life and was offended that he would be challenged on that. Victor on the other hand engaged in conversation for almost twenty minutes but struggled to understand that our good deeds have no part in us being made right before God.
This was then followed by three Muslims ladies approaching the flip chart and they were taking through test and saw that each of them were guilty and deserved God's judgement. This meant that if they faced God today they would be sent to Hell for their sin. They were then asked for the solution but all they could suggest was to try harder and do more good. They came to see that just as doing good things doesn't pay for a speeding fine, it also cannot pay for a Hell punishment. They were then shown God's immense kindness that He came, he took on the form of a man, lived the perfect life required, paid the penalty our sin deserves, died and rose victoriously from the grave on the third day.
The girls were then shown the simple means by which someone receives the free gift of forgiveness and were able to respond back with it. At the end of it all they said they disagreed but they took tracts and gospels of John and were encouraged to read and find out more of who this Jesus is!
A few conversations took place with a Christian thinking about how God's sovereign will intersects with human choice and he was encouraged strongly to evangelise on his plane ride home the following day, knowing that God is in control. He really tried hard to defend his desire to not preach Christ to whoever sat beside him but in the end he seemed encouraged and said he would consider to do so.
There was a quick chat with Cameron who had to run after seeing God's existence because his phone rang. There was another with Ryan who seemed to have some issue comprehending the good news and he too ended up leaving.
But the evening finished an exciting conversation with Renae, Morgan and Mike who approached the flip chart. They seemed at first just to be interested in being a bit silly but this didn't last long. They also would probably be the people you'd stereo type as those who are usually angry at Christians for a range of reasons but the conversation incredible!
The law silenced any objections and left them seeing the reality of their guilt. The seriousness of their current eternal destiny hit home hard as they made no attempt to argue with the fact that they were headed to Hell but simply asked, "What is the solution?"
They three came to very quickly understand the beauty and simplicity of the good news. Then they were challenged to count the cost. Trusting in Christ is free, forgiveness and entry to Heaven is free because of what Christ has done but those who trust in Christ will turn from their sin and live for Christ. They each had areas in their lives in which they were currently living in direct rebellion against God and there were gently challenged on them specifically whilst being given an overall challenge that sin is never worth the consequences of Hell.
When asked when they would trust in Christ the Morgan said, "Today". The others had some different answers but the three were left with the seriousness of their decision and encouraged to read the gospel of John this coming week!
Praise God for such an encouraging evening of conversations, please keep them in prayer over the course of this week!
On Friday in Cavill Mall on the Gold Coast there was a pleasant atmosphere and more people than usual were willing to pause and talk. It was encouraging to see team members going from conversation to conversation of the course of the evening.
One early conversation was with a man named Harry who just struggled to comprehend the wickedness of sin and therefore the need for Christ. He just kept talking about all the good things he does. He was shown time and time again the good deeds in the future don't pay for bad deeds in the past but he just couldn't get it. He was blind to his need and therefore didn't get the gospel. Five, six, seven times it was attempted to take him through it but although being guilty by the law he just couldn't get it.
A following conversation took place with Summer. Her boyfriend was talking to someone else on the team, to keep her from dragging him off and to enable her a chance to hear the gospel she was asked the same question, "Where will you go after you die?" and in around five minutes she was taken on a very quick tour of God's existence, her sin, where she was currently headed after death and therefore that faith in Christ alone can save. She seemed to get it really quickly! It was exciting to see that in a very short conversation she was able to understand the simple message of the gospel and even answer some questions that showed that simple understanding.
Then there was a conversation with Reece and Claire who had a Christian background. They professed to be quite the experts on everything Christian but when asked the way to Heaven they were floundering. They were taken through God's existence, the law, what we deserve and the solution and came for the first time in their lives to understand the simple message of the gospel that it is by trusting in Jesus that one is saved.
When talking about the implications of this on a Christians life, addressing the question, "Well doesn't that just mean you have a license to do whatever you want", the answer is yes. But as a Christian what you want is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. They were shown that although good deeds have nothing to do with getting right before God, Christians will love to serve and honour God and give up the sin they once loved. This prompted Reece to say, "I understand that doing good doesn't get someone to Heaven but basically if I want to go there it will require me to give up sin and I don't want to".
He was warned about his declaration of rebellion against God and encouraged to reconsider because the trade of "freedom" to sin here at the expense of eternity in Hell is not worth it. They were given tracts and strongly warned about the consequences of their rejection of God.
Then there was a man who approached the group named Aaron, professing to be a Christian. When asked about the way to Heaven he said, "Be a good person". He was then also taken through the law and the gospel, the problem he was blind to his inability to contribute to his own salvation. He kept wanting to stick some good works here or there into the process of receiving forgiveness. He finally was able to articulate that it is by faith alone that one is justified but it is unclear if he actually believes that.
One final conversation worth a mention is with David and Shine, when asked the way to Heaven they both sort of said, "We know it but we don't like talking about it". They were pushed a little to explain and it turns out they are Mormons. They too struggled to drop the good works from their justification. Even though they were shown that our goodness is nothing more than dirty rags, they struggled to understand why those good deeds can't help.
They were asked many simple things, including, "What can you do that adds to what Jesus has already perfectly done?" they were shown that the Bible talks about good works as an outward result of truth faith in Christ but even though they too came to understand the simplicity of receiving forgiveness they were so stuck with actually believing that because they wanted to contribute.
Please raise Harry up in prayer that God would work mightily in him and humble him, showing the desperate wickedness of his heart and therefore his need for Christ. May the same occur for Aaron and the two Mormons that they would come to understand that they have absolutely nothing to offer God. Please also pray that Reece, Claire and Summer would heed this good news and not put it off another day but instead trust in Christ for their salvation, not just keep living their own way.
This Friday in Cavill Mall on the Gold Coast the temperature was up ten degrees from last week and there were a lot more people out. It was busier evening at times but the showers of rain emptied the area on and off over the night.
Thankfully there were still many conversations that took place and the eight team members out were able to lead a range of people to a place where they now know how a sinner can be forgiven.
There were two Indian ladies, both named Acsheena who heard the gospel and came to understand how they can be forgiven. They said they'd never heard it before and were grateful for the information but sadly that was all that it seemed to be to them. They didn't seem moved by their sin and they didn't have a hatred for it. They just seemed happy to keep living their own way. They were warned and took tracts but were encouraged to think on this more as eternity could be right around the corner.
In this video you can hear Ben sharing about how the night went generally and Grace sharing about an exciting conversation that took place with a Muslim man named Abs. He was mostly unwilling to hear as he quite consistently wouldn't respond with an answer but would just try and say something else when asked questions.
In the end he too understood the gospel and took a gospel of John to have a read of but whilst firmly believing that Islam is true he showed many times his failure to keep the laws even by his words and actions through the conversation.
Why not take the opportunity this coming week to join the team?
As the team headed to Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast the wind was cold meaning that there were fewer than usual people during the later hours of the outreach. This made it a little hard at times to find gospel conversations but thankfully these moments only lasted a few minutes before it was full steam ahead in conversations. Even though there were moments of quietness, the team of seven that were out could have easily had more conversations if they were a team of fourteen. So why not come on out this week?
The first conversation of the evening was with Max He had a Catholic background but a mixture of forgetfulness and poor teaching lead him to have very little idea about God, eternity, sin and forgiveness. He thought that he should probably be good enough for God on that final day. He was quickly shown the serious reality that this just wasn't the case, in fact there was a very serious judgement and eternal punishment awaiting him. Max took this seriously and asked how he could be forgiven.
The gospel was explained, using many questions and back and forth, making sure he was constantly on the same page and at the end of it all when he was asked how someone is forgiven he was accurate in his ability to explain the simple message that upon trusting in Jesus to pay for ones sin, their sin is forgiven and this will drive a person to want to hate their sin, love God and serve Him! Max understood and was then encouraged to count the cost of following Christ, to find a local Church and to start reading his Bible everyday. Please be praying that Max will heed the summons of the gospel and that he will trust in Christ alone!
Whilst this all took place, another team member was talking to his son, Luan who is only around 10 or so years old. He also came to grasp Christianity and together this father and son left, knowing the gospel with the seriousness of this decision ringing in their ears! What an exciting start to the evening as this family walked away with all the knowledge required to trust in Christ. Please be praying that God will work on their hearts and cause them to trust in Him!
A following conversation was with a Muslim man and his friend. This man said he is Muslim and God loves everyone so even as a Muslims he eats pork, drinks alcohol and has sex with whomever he wills. He loves his sin and even then said that his hope for eternity is simply more of this. He was so blinded, not just that he was totally blind even to what his own religion teaches and had just fashion another god, similar to Mohammad's ideas but that he was also closed of to hear what the true God of this universe has to say.
At least if he understood God's goodness, in that because God is good he must hate evil he would be rightly scared of the coming judgement but this man was so proud, so blind and just running toward Hell without even a moments hesitation. It was horrific to see his blindness but he was shown God's law, warned of the coming judgement but didn't want to hear of any solution because he declared there was no problem.
There was a man who dropped past later in the night named Connor who has spoken to the team a number of times, one most notably was during schoolies week. Connor was able to respond back with a simple comprehension of the gospel but said that he didn't want to think about it all because he was happy living his way now. He was then strongly warned about the folly of leaving it until another time as his life could be taken from him this very night!
Please be praying for Max and Luan that God would turn their family from one of apathy into a tiny picture of the covenant family! Please pray that they would find a local Church to attend together, where God's word is preached that they may grow in their knowledge and understanding of God.
Please be praying for the Muslim man and Connor that God would be severe in His mercy and do whatever it takes to shake these man out of their folly into reality and cause them to seek out how they can be made right before God!
Lastly, why not ask God to give you love for the lost, that can overcome fear and schedule in a time to come on out and join us!
The evening on Friday at the Gold Coast was an exciting one, not only were than many conversations but there were also many who came to understand what Christ has done to save sinners. There were a range of back to back exciting conversations where people who didn't believe in God came to understand what Jesus has done and how they can be saved.
First was a conversation with a Swedish couple, Tomas and Alexandria. They said they didn't think there was a God but said they thought reincarnation was most likely or that they would just die. They didn't have a reason for believing this except that was what they wanted and hoped was true. They were challenged in this early on by the question, "Is that reason you want that because it gives the perceived freedom of the ability to live however you want?" To which they responded yes.
They were then shown that they know God exists, were challenged by the law and came to comprehend the desperate position that they are in, guilty and deserving of God's judgement. They came to understand what Jesus had done and how they can be forgiven, even understanding the simplicity of the gospel but on the basis of a desire to keep living their way, not wanting anyone else to be in charge they decided at the conclusion of that conversation that they would remain living their way, at least for now.
Next were Noah and Kiara who were very much in the same boat. Except at the end of the conversation they said they would strongly consider it, especially as they'd never really heard about Jesus before. This was followed with a chat with Michelle and Pauline two German ladies who were much like the Swedish couple. Except that had grown up in Christian homes and yet had rejected it. What had occurred was a slow fade, they had slowly over time done more and more things that they knew God said were wrong and then at a point they had realised they lived completely apart from God and just went with it.
They were challenged that they too know there is a God, that His judgement is coming and if they were to face Him this day they'd be in serious trouble. They understood this and heard the offer of hope Christ gives but were warned that we must come to God on His terms of peace, not our own. It was stressed to them that God does not make mistakes and that God may even have bought them all the way to Australia to hear this message.
This was soon followed by a chat with Jayden who had a Catholic background and was a nice guy and saw his guilt, knew he was in trouble but seemed unmoved by the seriousness of it. He was even encouraging the team to keep talking to people because lots of people need to hear this message and yet seemed to completely miss that he was one of the very people who needed the gospel. He seemed to realise the reality of it at the end with some strategic questions about death, when he is going to die and by pointing out that if he died today God would send him to Hell for eternity.
Lastly there was a short conversation with a lady who professed to be a Christian but said she didn't want God to cramp her style. She said she believes that God exists and stuff but she doesn't really want to do what He says. It was pointed out very sternly that it is absolute foolishness, that all she is doing with her belief in God is affirming that one day He will judge her and find her eternally guilty. She remained resolute that she wanted to live her own way and that surely God would bow to her standards of living and let her into Heaven anyway.
She was shown her guilt with the mirror of God's law but remained sure that God doesn't really judge people, even though He said, "You must be perfect as I am perfect". She was warned but sadly went away seemingly still ignorant to the desperate position she is in.
Please be praying for all those who the team were able to speak with. Those listed here and the many more that heard God's glorious gospel this night. Please be praying that there would be soft hearts that would not just understand the truth but that would trust in Christ this day and want nothing more to do with their sin!
Why not come on out next Friday night and join us in this proclamation of the offer of hope for the sinners of this world!