Gold Coast Team (QLD)
Meets 7:15-10pm every Friday night at Surfers Paradise on Cavill Avenue.
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.
Sometimes an evening of outreach is just a breeze of excitement, glorying in the Gospel and conversations. Today was one of those days. Between 7pm and 10:45 there was hardly a moment's break.
As has been mentioned recently, almost everyone in Australia tries to avoid God's judgement in one of two ways, convincing themselves they're not guilty, by either trying to fool themselves into thinking they're "not that bad" or by trying to assure themselves that there is no Judge. This is regular and usual and the people spoken to tonight displayed this. Often people use a mixture of the two. They will start by declaring that God exists and they think they're good then soon they will say, "I don't think God exists" or "the Bible is made up".
It is evident from conversation after conversation that people have a willful and purposeful bent against God. It isn't that they have believed something that answer all their problems, rather they will believe to or argue for anything that on the surface seems like it could help them convince themselves (and others) that they're not guilty or God doesn't exist.
Two people Wolfgang (German) and Levi declared in their brief interactions that they were going to Heaven because they were good people. Both took tracts and heard that God will hold them not to their ideas of God but rather, His perfect standard and therefore, their only hope was that God would save them.
Caleb, Matthew, Robert, John, George, Jesse and Carl all declared at first that they did not think there was a God. Throughout a range of different explanations given one that was used (yet to be given a name) is based upon pointing out the body at a funeral. (It is made personal by asking if they've even been to a funeral and taken a look in the casket). It is pointed out that the body in there is not the person. Rather, everything that makes up that person is gone, their intelligence, sense of humour, style of laugh, idiosyncrasies. They have gone somewhere else, whilst their body remains to be buried.
They were then asked, "Where did they go?" This was then bought back personal with a few pieces of information, "God, the Creator of this world declares that after death comes a day of judgement, the righteous are resurrected to eternal life and the unrighteous to eternal punishment". A person's soul (ultimately in their resurrection body) will be in one of two eternal locations.
Then it is pointed out that, 153,000 people woke up this morning not knowing that today would be their last day on earth and there are people right at this very moment breathing their last breath. The only breath we know is for sure is the one currently in our lungs, we aren't promised even one more. Specifically in the case of this discussion with Jesse and Carl this was followed up with the question, "If this was the last breath you ever breathed and you died and stood before God, where would He send you, Heaven or Hell?"
This took the foolishness of their past comments and bought the conversation to a crucial point. They both admitted that they would be headed for Hell. By God's kindness they had been bought their to hear God's offer of salvation and they did. They left with this thought, "God doesn't make mistakes, it was not an accident for you to be hear today or for this conversation to happen. You have been offered salvation in Jesus Christ and you should considered it deeply because God may never give you another chance to hear it. So please, whilst there is breath in your lungs and it is on your mind, call out to God and trust in Him that you may be saved".
A Brazilian couple Tassia and Glauco spoke with the team as well and seemed to be arguing that we get to Heaven by trusting Jesus and doing good works. A conversation was had with them and they said they would be interested in attending a local Church. Please be praying that God would use the body of Christ to lead them to the freedom of the Gospel.
Please also pray for Ashley who was very adamant that baptism was essential for salvation. He was given a lot to think about, was encouraged to consider the scriptures and left contact details so that he could talk with the team further.
Please be praying for those spoken to tonight that God would use these simple conversations and tracts to lead His sheep to repentance.
Please also consider, being motivated by the Gospel and empowered by the Spirit, joining the team so that you too may be able to bring God glory through telling people who He is, what He has done and what He has promised!
On Friday night in Cavill Mall on the Gold Coast the team were able to engage many people in conversations and able to share God's Good News.
One early and exciting conversation was had with Sydney. He had a Catholic background and was a native french speaker. Through the discourse of the conversation Sydney heard what God declares about Himself, that He is holy, righteous and good and therefore cannot let the guilty go unpunished. He acknowledged that this made sense and then was shown the problem with Catholicism. It can never hold God as holy, righteous or good, if God lets people into Heaven based in any part on their actions, because all actions that originate from humans are polluted in some part by sin. Only the righteousness that God gives to humans is pleasing to Himself.
Then the idea of imputation and justification were explained so that Sydney came to understand "The Great Exchange", that Christ takes our sin, suffering the Hell punishment we deserve and gives us His righteousness, that we can be made right before God! This is the heart of the Gospel and the greatest news a sinner can hear, that God has done everything required for us to be with Him eternally.
Sydney said it all made sense and agreed that God probably bought him all the way to Australia just to hear the Gospel. He said he would have a read of his Bible as well.
An extremely sad conversation was had with Ali. At first Ali's friends did not want him to speak to the team but Ali stopped. He shared that he is a Muslim and then over the course of the next ninety minutes Ali proceeded to do what seemed like willful misunderstanding. Ali had been taught things about Christianity by his local Muslim leaders and was not really listening to what was being said.
Eight times, using different analogies and examples, it was explain why God, if He really is God, must do everything for His own glory and why He, if He is good and loving, must create humanity to find their greatest satisfaction in Him. Sadly despite the explanations Ali was adamant that if God created us to worship Him, "He must be needy". This was a conversation, if there ever was one that confirmed that spiritual blindness.
Often conversations are with people that can understand the Gospel and Christianity and yet are just willfully rebellious. In Ali's case it seemed rather that he was just so blind and unwilling to understand what was being said.
In finale, even after hearing the Gospel and God's offer of salvation Ali declared, "The only reason we do anything good and worship God is so that He will give us what we desire". Ali had fundamentally misunderstood God's holiness, authority and purpose. It was ultimately in acknowledgement of God's sovereign plan choosing to save some and not others, that Ali was left with a Gospel tract, encouraged to read the Bible and the team has and will continue to pray that God would bring a hard-hearted, spiritually blind man, Ali, to salvation so that He may be glorified.
Please be praying that God is merciful to this man, despite his desperate idolatry and pride.
Finally though as the team headed over for a quick meal before heading home, a man named Peter was engaged. He had some JW beliefs but for the first time in his life heard the Gospel! He said it made sense and wrote down Romans 3-5 so that he would spend some time reading it in the next few days. Praise God that some are open and willing to hear the truth, whilst others are hard and unwilling.
Please pray that Peter would be lead to salvation through the reading of Romans, that he would understand that we are justified by faith in Christ's work alone!
On Friday night at Surfers Paradise, the team showed up and had the wonderful opportunity to declare God's glorious gospel!
Hear John share about an encouragement, that he was able to hand out many tracts due to the crowds and even have a few short conversations. He was continuing in simple obedience knowing that God's Word does not return void.
He mentioned another brief interaction as well, where two young men were offered tracts, one angrily rejected and the other happily accepted, then engaged in a Gospel conversation. It is moments like this that show us God is working in hearts, despite those around us.
Hear Matt also share about an encouraging conversation had with two young men, Tommy and Jarrad.
Please be praying for the tracts that went out that God would use them as He sees fit. Please be praying for the conversations had that God would bring salvation to people through them, leading them to a knowledge of the truth and bringing them out to return to declare the gospel to others!
On Friday night at the Gold Coast, as usual many wonderful conversations were had. It is a real privilege to be able to go to locations that have hundreds of people around who aren't really in a hurry or a rush to be somewhere. This leads to a very fruitful time of Gospel conversations.
The reason there was no video this week is actually because the videographer ended up in two back to back conversations that lasted almost two and a half hours! Praise God for allowing lengthy and in depth conversations.
Some notable conversations were had with Aziz, Rohan and a pair David and Tiago.
Aziz was a well educated man that sadly was also very proud. He had many ideas about this world but at times was unwilling to even hear out and explanation because he had made assumptions before the answer was heard. This was a common occurrence. He heard many things that God had said, done or promised but Aziz would just continually brush things off, simply because he disagreed with them.
Many people have heard of the "elephant" explanation for knowing truth (see picture). Aziz kept assuming that somehow (even though he was limited by his humanity to only knowing a sliver of things that are true), that he somehow was the one standing back looking at all of the other people foolishly misunderstanding that it was obviously an elephant.
It was pointed out to Aziz on numerous occasions that his real problem wasn't intellectual, it was theological. He didn't want there to be a God because he wanted to be in charge. Aziz, heard the Gospel clearly on a number of occasions and was left to ponder God's command to repent and believe. He was also given a Bible which he said he would read.
Another conversation was had with Rohan that was quite similar. Except Rohan was a Baha'i. He was in the same boat. He would happily agree with most things said. But at the moment something was said that he disagreed with, he would declare that the Bible was false and unreliable. Rohan, had the delusion of grandeur. He was so sure, that he knew all that was true, despite many issues with his system being pointed out.
Sadly Rohan, left, too proud to admit that he was a sinner. To self-reliant to admit that he was rebellious against God and needed God to save him.
Please be praying that Rohan would read the tract and that God would turn his hard heart into a believing heart.
A final slightly challenging conversation was had with two young men who were tourists. English was their second language but the conversation flowed well. It was found out that David was a Christian, who knew the Gospel but the hard part was that this fellow made it a real challenge for his friend Tiago to hear the Gospel and to feel the sting.
At every turn David would interject almost spoiling the "surprise" for Tiago and even at moments he was trying to lessen the direct importance of the call to repent and believe (saying it was too strong, even though it was true). It wasn't that David disbelieved but he sincerely didn't want his friend to trust Jesus out of a fear of Hell, rather than a love for God.
Thankfully after a lengthy conversation the guys parted ways, Tiago being left to choose, salvation in Christ or damnation in self and David was encouraged to pray for him and to open up times to read the Bible together.
Please be praying for these two, that on the basis of a common salvation that could begin a friendship that would last an eternity.
Hear two team members, sharing about conversation they had this past Friday.
Matt had a serious chat with a man who was hoping that he would be okay before God on judgement day because his father is a priest. It was stressed and explained that only those in Christ, purchased by His blood are right before God.
George had a really encouraging conversation with a couple, who at first were "offended" even by the thought of talking about the Bible but through gentle words, the common desire for truth and the softening of the heart by the Spirit, George was able to have a lengthy and impactful conversation!
Please be praying for these conversations and also keep all those who receieved tracts, were spoken to or were asked a question to ponder, that God would use these events to bring about His glory, however He desires!
On Friday night at the Gold Coast there was a large team out (even despite some regulars missing). This team even included TWO first timers, who had been saved and baptised in the last month!
Next week this could be you! What is stopping you from joining a local team?
Hear Dan share about the encouragement he has had from studying the Bible to be able to better answer questions.
Hear another team member share about his first ever Gospel conversation!
Hear Mark share about a man named Noah, who he shared the Gospel with.
Please be praying for those who were spoken to and even consider asking God to give you the boldness to join the team sometime! Even that it would become part of your regular week.
This evening with the rain, there was a worry that few people would be out in Surfers Paradise but God bought along many people to hear His glorious Gospel!
Hear Mark share about a conversation with a German man who understood the Gospel and was interested in finding out more.
Hear Harry share about a conversation with a young couple who had never heard the Gospel before, spoke for almost thirty minutes and also wanted to know more.
Lastly, hear Matt share about a conversation he had with Vinnie, a man he had spoken to years prior in Woodridge. Hear how Vinnie had been thinking about it seriously and wanted to head along to a local Church!
Please be praying for the people in these conversations as well as the many more that took place tonight!
On Friday night as the team headed to the Gold Coast there were some extra team members that joined us. They had flown in from other places (New Zealand and Adelaide).
Hear Glen share about a conversation he and Andy had with some young guys.
Hear Chris share about the blessing the night was and hear Gloria praising God for a conversation she had with a young man, she took through the flip chart!
Hear Miguel share about a surprising conversation he had with a child, who listened intently while his mother heard the Gospel.
Hear Matt share about a conversation with two New Zealanders who heard the Gospel, whilst visitng Australia.
Hear Craig share about the encouraging night he had, including a conversation with adult twins.
May this video encourage you and spur you on to declare God's glory to the nations!
This evening hear Natalie share how she is encouraged that so many people are willing to talk about eternity.
Hear Ryan share about a conversation he had with two Indian men, and how he encouraged them to count the cost, to trust in Jesus Christ as more important than family.
Hear Ryan share about a conversation he had with a young lady, who wanted to remain in darkness.
Please be praying for those spoken to, over the course of the outreach that they may come to a saving knowledge of Christ.