Gold Coast Team (QLD)
Meets 7:15-10pm every Friday night at Surfers Paradise on Cavill Avenue.
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.
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!
As this Friday's outreach rolls around you can look back and be encouraged from last week's outreach.
Hear Ryan share about a conversation he had with a mother and daughter in which they both came to comprehend that we cannot be saved by good works but only by trusting in Christ's death on the cross to pay for sin.
Then be challenged as Matt talks about the essential nature of keeping justification by faith alone at the centre of a gospel conversation until it is understood because if you veer off too early before they have understood it, they will be arguing against you thinking that you're saying, "Be a good person to get to Heaven".
Then hear about a conversation he had with two Catholics, Ryan and Vance and how they came to comprehend the gospel of Jesus Christ and said that this day they would consider counting the cost of trusting in Jesus!
Next time you're sharing the gospel be wary to not get distracted by other apologetic questions until the core of the gospel is understood!
Why not join us tonight, we'll be in Cavill Mall (Surfers Paradise) from 7:15-10pm tonight.
As the team headed out to Cavill Avenue there was a large stage and band set up blaring music through the mall, meaning the outreach was a little harder than normal. The team had to speak louder to be heard and this meant it was harder to start conversations.
God is good though and enabled many conversations to take place. The team of eight were able to have over thirty five conversations between them.
You can hear Ben encouraging you that even though it was hard going tonight, you should consider coming out some time!
Also hear from Matt sharing about a funny introduction with Connor followed by a saddening conversation with Aaron. These conversations are sad because the gospel is such good news that it is foolish to reject it but many people will trade almost anything for Christ.
Please be praying for those who heard the gospel that God would use these conversations to bring about their salvation and His glory!
On Friday at the Gold Coast the team as usual headed out to declare God's glory and offer of forgiveness to the nations. But not always does this happen. For some on the team the evening was filled with great conversations, many people hearing and responding positively but for others it was a long hard outreach trying to find someone who was willing to hear.
The evening started with a man who declared that he wasn't sinful and very quickly was shown that was a lie through the law of God. He also declared that God would never punish people and that Hell doesn't exist. He made a point of declaring that he knew God intimately and would definitely be in Heaven and had been saved by Jesus but when asked what Jesus had saved him from he said, "Nothing". Which he was then asked, "So why did you need to be saved?"
It turns out he had been influenced by JW's and had believed much of what they taught and sadly had the pride to declare that he knew everything about God. He was unwilling to read the Bible and ultimately did not want to to hear what God had done to save sinners. He ended up marching off declaring, "You can't tell people that they are on their way to Hell, I could have you arrested right now!"
Next was a conversation with an unbelievably proud man. The other team member that spoke with him was exceedingly patient. This man who declare loudly and forcefully things that he was sure of only to inaccurately represent the truth on almost every occasion. He began by declaring that there is no God and had no great reason for it other than the fact that he didn't want there to be a God. He was asked some questions on that before being asked, "Do you think you're a good person?" to which he declared, "Yes, I am". Then he went on to declare that he was not only good by human standards, by this worlds standards but he declared that he knew if God existed he should let him into Heaven and oppositely if God was to judge him and send him to Hell, "F Him".
This man was unapologetically arrogant. This was gently but directly pointed out late in the conversation. He was shown that his problem wasn't really the evidence around God but from the things he was saying, he had a serious problem with God. He wanted to be in charge and because God exists he couldn't be, so he had done everything in his power to try and convince himself that he really was allowed to live however he wanted. He too left, despite best efforts before he could hear the gospel.
Next came Shane and his son, who followed suit. Their guilt was shown by God's law and they were left guilty but they tried everything they could to avoid God's justice by back flipping between declaring that they weren't that bad or that God doesn't exist.
This pattern followed the rest of the evening, for another thirteen people. The night was filled with seventeen people who heard God's law, saw the guilt and when they realised what they deserved was Hell, didn't want to know the solution but as quick as possible seemed to "run" away. It was almost unbelievable that so many were in the same boat.
Thankfully, even on a night this one, God is in control and His word does not return void! May God use the guilt revealed by His law to bring these people to trust in Him alone, finding a full and free pardon from their sin in Christ!
On Good Friday the team, rejoicing in the gospel, took the opportunity to have an extended outreach on the Gold Coast. Instead of the usual three hours, it lasted over six!
During this time, many heard the gospel and God graciously drew some to Himself!
You can hear Jack share about the afternoon generally and an exciting conversation he had with a Chilean lady.
You can hear Matt rejoicing in a conversation he had with a young man named James, who came to understand the gospel!
And take some encouragement from Fynn as he shares a simple explanation as to why doing good deeds will not take away the history of one's sin!
On Friday evening at the Gold Coast the team was again over ten members! Praise God for regularly raising up labourers so that those at these locations can be reached with the gospel! When will you start coming out?
An straight forward conversation took place with two ladies. They at first said that there didn't know if there was a God, they saw the reason why they know He exists. They were then taken through God's law and standards and shown why they are in trouble by God's standard. They saw the position they were in and were then shown God's offer of forgiveness, paid for by Christ. They understood the gospel, were able to repeat it back and were challenged to consider when they would trust in Christ.
Another conversation was with a named Jack who said there as no God. He didn't give a reason just didn't want there to be one. He was shown why he knows God exists and was shown his predicament via God's law. He didn't really have any arguments against these points other than to try and say that they aren't true. Sadly his girlfriend called him away. He was left with the lingering reality that if he was to face God on judgement day without the sacrifice of Christ he was going to be sent to Hell.
A really sad conversation took place with Jacob, a man who was exceedingly proud. He declared that he was very much like Jesus in many ways and was angry at being shown God's law and his sin. He didn't want a saviour and he didn't want the Gospel because all he wanted to do was to tell the team how good of a person he is. Sadly the Gospel wasn't shared as Jacob had no interest in acknowledging that he was guilty. Finally he started trying to find reasons to get angry and then stormed off in a huff.
Lastly a conversation was had with Andrew and Staril. These two guys were similar, Andrew said he was good enough to get to Heaven, Staril said that he knew there was no God but if there was he was going to Hell. As with each conversation the law was used to display sin, to which these guys tried to downplay their guilt and then the building builder analogy was used, showing that they do know there is a God, they're just suppressing that truth in unrighteousness. These men went on and flip-flopped between the two, either saying they weren't that bad or that there was no God.
They came to hear and understand the Gospel and were challenged to trust in Christ and were left with the reality that to reject Christ is to choose Hell eternally. Sadly these men were more interested in going partying than trusting in Christ and therefore they left to dig a well that could satisfy their desires, all the while leaving a conversation where they were hearing about the one who has streams of living water.
Please be praying for these conversations that God would draw those who are His unto Himself, that they may come to know Him! Please be praying that God would be softening the hearts of those who the team will speak to this evening! Please also consider coming on out sometime, that God may use you, to glorify Himself and save sinners!