Saturday, 13th December, 2008
The sun was high in the sky and the temperature was soaring. Another beautiful sunny, hot and humid Australian day. What more could we expect, it is summer and the people were out and about.
We arrived at our usual place of witnessing on the Gold Coast, and to no ones surprise Ryan was already off running around handing out tracts to people and having conversations about the gospel. Seriously, this bloke is an evangelist with way too much energy, he puts everyone else to shame! ;)
Dave Strachan was the first preacher up for the day, he stood to preach in the blazing sun, and began to expound on who God is. Dave has written out some notes for him to preach from, so he went through those a few times. The crowd seemed a bit slow today, I would put this down to the heat. But it was good to see a few people stop to listen to the gospel.
After Dave finished preaching, it was my turn to stand up and preach. I started off by talking about Christmas, and how many people love the idea of having a day off, but they don’t stop to think about why we celebrate. This then launched into a sermon about why Jesus had to come to earth 2000 or so years ago. While I was preaching this man walked by, he had no shirt on and he was really well built. He had so many muscles that his muscles had muscles. He was a tank. This man was furious at what I was saying, so he turned to me and pointed at me. As he pointed he began to yell, “It is because of **** people like you that other **** people don’t believe in **** God!” He then turned and began to walk off, so I challenged him, I called out after him, “Sir, do you believe in God?” The man once again began to curse, and then affirmed his belief in deity. So I asked another question, “Are you a Christian?” The man began to seethe in anger, he turned to me and his face was red. “**** you! **** you! **** because of you people don’t believe!” Again, I repeated my question, “Are you a Christian?” To this the man began to swear and say that he was a Christian. I then turned to him, and declared, “It is not because of preachers that people aren’t Christians, it is because of hypocrites like yourself that people hate Jesus Christ. You say one thing, but your actions show you are not a Christian!” At this all the mans veins began to stand out on his neck, and his friend had to restrain him, the man yelled, “**** YOU! I AM GOING TO PUNCH YOUR **** FACE IN!” A few people stopped to watch, so I said, “Go ahead, punch my face in, show everyone how much of a Christian you are, show people the love of Christ as you beat down a preacher.” The man turned and stormed off. From there I began to preach on how one becomes a Christian, and how we cannot just give God lip service.
After I finished preaching I was able to have some great one to one conversations. One encounter was really good, but the problem was the man I was speaking to only spoke Farsi, so I witnessed to him via his translator. At the end of the conversation the translator declared herself to be a Muslim, and stated that Australia will belong to Islam one day.
Overall the day went quite well, many heard the gospel.
Friday - Saturday, December 5th - 6th, 2008
For the past couple of weeks the local news has been carrying stories about all that was happening on the sunny Gold Coast. It was that time of the year again when all the students who graduated from high school converge on the Gold Coast for a week of parties, sin and regrets. We had already run some smaller outreaches during the Schoolies celebrations, but tonight was going to be our big night, the night in which we arrived at 6pm and left in the early hours AM.
Ryan and I arrived at the Surfers Paradise to prepare for the outreach, and as we began to walk up Cavill Avenue, the heavens open ed up and the rain began to fall. At first it wasn’t that heavy, but it gradually became heavier. We quickly took shelter, and we were a bit concerned to see that the streets were empty. “This is the famed Schoolies festival, where are all the Schoolies?” I thought, and inside of me I began to wonder if tonight was going to be a waste of time and energy.
Since it was so quiet we decided that now would be a great time to go and grab some dinner, and then hopefully, after we finished eating the mall would be a whole lot more busy. As we sat and munched on our chilli chicken burgers we noticed that a few more people started to come into the mall, and most of them were Schoolies. So quickly after finishing our dinner we grabbed some tracts and began to hand them out and talk to people.
Within seconds of handing out his first tract Ryan was engaged in a one to three conversation with some young guys. The guys he was talking to seem genuinely interested in all that Ryan was saying, and after listening for awhile they asked a few questions. Ryan answered the questions of these young men, and after some time they parted company. As the group left I couldn’t help but notice that none of them were offended, in fact it was the complete opposite, these guys were thankful that Ryan took the time to explain the gospel to them, and as they walked past me I could hear them still discussing amongst themselves about forgiveness of sin.
During this time I was just handing out tracts and having the occasional one to one conversation with people. It was still slow during this time so we were only able to hand out a few hundred tracts. But, during this time of tract work I was approached by two men, as I observed them coming towards me I knew they weren’t Schoolies, and by the way they were dressed I could tell they were Gold Coast City Council officers. One of them stopped me and asked what I was handing out, I replied that I was handing out gospel tracts that explain how we can be forgiven of all our sin. The man looked at me, and said “I have spoken to you before haven’t I?” When he said that I remembered that two years ago during Gold Coast Indy, he had stopped me for preaching, but when he checked the law he found that we had legal right to preach and witness. We spoke for a bit about what I was doing, and he told me that there had been another group of “preachers” in Cavill Avenue who had been causing trouble by abusing people and using a PA to scream “hate” at people. Then this local law officer said something quite interesting, he said: “The problem with Christians is that they don’t read their Book, and they certainly don’t live by it!” To which I sadly had to agree with him. It is such a major stain on Christianity, when those who profess to be followers of Jesus Christ fail to read God’s Word, and if they do read it many of them refuse to live by the standards laid out in the Bible.
After speaking for awhile both council officers took gospel tracts and then left. I continued to talk and witness to people. Not long after speaking to council I noticed this man standing in the middle of Cavill Avenue with no shirt on, but with a red bandana on his head. I recognized this as one of the gang colours from not far from where I live, so I approached him and said “G’day”. The man was friendly enough and it turned out that he was from New Zealand originally, I spoke to him a bit about life, death and life in a gang. He was fairly open and wanted to talk, and he was especially interested in the words of Jesus Christ. So I began to witness to him and explain the gospel, when I got to repentance he didn’t like the idea of him having to turn from his sin, so I stressed to him from the Bible, that Jesus said “Unless you repent you will perish” (Luke 13:3). As far as this man was concerned the conversation was over, he wanted forgiveness of sin, but he wanted that forgiveness to give him license to sin all he wants. It was then that another group of young men approached all wearing the same red bandana. This man’s gang had arrived, and it was then that I found out that I was speaking to the gang leader. As his gang assembled around me, I quickly handed out tracts to all of them, and greeted them all. These guys were quite shocked as I wasn’t scared of them, but rather I was being friendly to them.
The gang leader said to his gang “This guy is a preacher, he is talking about heaven, hell and all that Jesus stuff.” The gang looked at me, so I asked them, “Alright guys, if you were to do die tonight where do you think you would go? Heaven or Hell?” The gang leader turned to me and said, “These are my guys you don’t talk to them!” To which I replied, “Mate, be quiet, you think you tough, but one day you will face God and give an account for all your sins. And on that day if you die without Christ you will end up in hell.” The leader seemed stunned, the gang seemed stunned, so I continued, “Now, you have heard the gospel and rejected it, so I am now going to explain it to your boys, and you will not interrupt, understand?” The gang leader at this stage was in shock, I doubt if he had ever had someone speak to him like that before. As I spoke thoughts began running through my mind, “Josh, you idiot! You just angered a gang leader, RUN before they STAB you!”
The leader turned to his gang and said, “Preacher is right, listen to what he says!” So all the gang turned to me and asked, “What is heaven about, how do I get there?” This opened up a door for me to present the glorious gospel of Christ to those who may never have heard it. While they looked tough, they turned out to be just like everyone else, in that they had done wrong, and they needed a Saviour.
As I was explaining the gospel to them, members from the Queensland Police came and surrounded us, I presume they were getting a bit nervous with having a gang assembled in the middle of the mall. The police formed around the group I was speaking to, and then they all took the tracts off the gang members, the police wanted to know what was going on, so they all read the tracts. The gang didn’t seem to mind as they were all still listening to me present the gospel. The police officers read the tracts and then gave them back to the gang, and for the next few minutes a group of police stood with a group of gang members and listened to the gospel also. This was such an awesome opportunity to have law enforcers and law breakers standing together at the foot of the cross, and hearing about Jesus Christ who died in the place of sinners. The police moved on at the end of the gospel, but a few of the gang members stayed behind and thanked me for telling them about Christ. Please pray for the gang and also for the police. May God grant them repentance and bring them to the knowledge of the truth.
The rest of the outreach was spent in handing out tracts and having many great conversations, the Schoolies were very open to discussing the things of God, and also many of them seemed to want to debate Christianity. This was good because as we provided apologetic answers to their questions many more seemed open to hearing the gospel.
Tonight was a great night with many hearing the gospel, and many thousands getting gospel tracts. All Praise to the Author and Finisher of the Faith!
Ryan and I travelled down from Brisbane to the Gold Coast for evangelism. It was just the two of us today. Schoolies was on so we were glad to have the opportunity to share the Gospel with many who had just finished high school.
We had travelled down during the week on Wednesday and Thursday (joined by Ben Smith) and were able to share the gospel with many Schoolies. They seemed quite receptive. At Caville ave mall we spent most of our time handing out lots of Gospel tracts (each of us handing out somewhere up to 1000 tracts – perhaps more - per day).
Today we were limited by the number of gospel tracts that we had. We probably handed out 600 or so each. Ryan and I had many good conversations. We challenged many with the reality of the Gospel.
We also came across quite a number of Christians and professing Christians. Some of them were very happy to see what we were doing. We encouraged them to share the Gospel.
We stopped at lunch time for some McDonalds and a bit of a break.
Soon, we were back on our feet. We decided to walk along the boardwalk hoping to preach the same place that we did last week. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough people along the path. So we kept handing out Gospel tracts and sharing the Gospel with people.
It was quite amazing to see, yet again, the weather hold off until we pretty much just got in our car and started to drive back to Brisbane.
All in all, it was a very profitable day. The Gospel went forth. We pray that God will be pleased to save many Schoolies (and people from all walks of life) for His great glory.
Saturday, 22 November, 2008
New time, new day, but same old gospel. Today was the first day that we went out and witnessed on the Gold Coast on a Saturday afternoon.
It was good to have a six man team join us today, and it was really good to have a friend from the United States of America come out witnessing with the team. Terry Berg is in country for a couple of weeks with work, but he made time to come out and hit the streets with us. For that we are very grateful, it was good to labour alongside this brother who has such a passion for the lost.
Where we normally preach was shut down today due to the fact that Schoolies was beginning. Each year all year 12 graduates converge on the Gold Coast for a week of sex, booze and drugs. Since, it was the first day it was overly busy.
After arriving I approached two members of the Gold Coast police and asked them where we could preach since our normal area was sealed off, they were very kind, and pointed us in the direction of a location which they believed to be ideal for open air evangelism.
So we headed down to where we were to preach and found it to be very quiet with few people standing around. Ryan preached for a few minutes, and while he was preaching I spotted another location which would probably be better. The new area was located opposite to the Schoolies registration line, which meant that all the Schoolies had to line up where we were preaching, if they wished to get into the parties.
Once set up I preached first, and since this was a high walk through traffic area no one stopped, but those in the lines got to hear a gospel message. I spoke about how Schoolies is all about living it up in sin, but then reminded those who heard that God will call them to give an account for the actions they do in the coming week.
After I finished preaching, Terry Berg got up and preached on “What is Love” , a handful of people stopped but it was a very quiet crowd. He spoke for some time about love being God sending Christ Jesus to die in the place of sinners. It was a good message, and I enjoyed listening to it. No doubt, I will still some of his lines, or perhaps even the whole sermon.
After Terry preached we spent some time handing out tracts and witnessing one to one. Ryan was machine in this time, he would run from person to person, and nearly with everyone he gave tracts to, he ended up in a one to one.
At about 2pm, David open air preached, and did a good job. I really think he should focus a lot more on open air preaching, because the more he does it the more he will develop. Then, it was time for Ben Smith to break the sound barrier, his first time open air preaching. He started off a little slow, but then he kicked into preacher mode, and he did a great job for a first time preacher.
It was now time for Ryan to preach again, as the trend with all other preachers for the day, a crowd did not form, but a few people got to hear the gospel. While Ryan was preaching they closed down the registration line in front of us, and moved it around to the beach. This was still in range of our voices, so once Ryan finished preaching I got up and began to speak.
I spoke on the reality of death and dying, and how each year people will die at schoolies. Not long into my preaching a security guard came over and ordered me to move, I told him that I was busy and would speak to him when I finished preaching, he didn’t like that, so he told me he would get the police, which is something I encouraged him to do since the police had already been past once and had no issues with our preaching.
God was good to us, and He drew a small crowd in. A couple of men who stood to listen are Muslims, and they thanked me for my preaching and said they wanted to learn more. They left with a couple of Arabic tracts and also a tract looking at who Jesus Christ is.
After this we had a quick time of prayer then made our way home.
God be praised for His great grace!
Ryan picked me up from Church and we drove to the Gold Coast, picking up Josh Williamson on the way. It was great to relax and chat with each other as we drove together.
As we approached our destination, storm clouds began to dominate the sky. We soon arrived at our usual place for bible reading and prayer and were joined by Tim and the guys from Helensvale Baptist church. The lifeguard on his megaphone sounded-out a warning for everyone swimming to get out of the water as dangerous weather conditions were imminent. As we finished our time of fellowship, we walked over to our usual preaching site in the hope of preaching for as long as the weather would hold off, but it started raining. I put my camera away and we walked over to the mall together undercover. I was personally disappointed, as I really enjoy watching the Word of God being preached out loud to a crowd of lost people.
Anyway, Josh directed us to take cover from the rain in the mall where we handed out gospel tracts and engaged in one-to-one gospel conversations.
I talked with some young people from Switzerland. While sharing the gospel with them, two of them (a guy and a girl) laughed/giggled. For some reason the gospel seemed embarrassing to them. I kept on sharing the gospel with them and stressed that the gospel is the most important message in the world (all we can do is be faithful and leave the results to God). Another young lady who was listening said that she was a protestant.
I talked with two young men on holidays from Ireland who had a Roman Catholic background (in general, one of my first questions upfront is asking if a person has any religious background at all). While sharing the gospel with them, I initially stressed the judgment of God and ironically at that exact point in time a lightning bolt seemed to hit pretty much right near us. We had a bit of a laugh for a while, but then I said something to the effect that being struck by lightning is nothing compared with facing a just and holy God in judgment.
I talked with an older-middle aged man from China who said that he has some sort of Buddhism background. He seemed to be giving careful attention to the gospel as I shared it with him. I spent quite a while with him as he really seemed interested, and I got to share really thoroughly with him.
I also shared the gospel fairly thoroughly with an older-middle aged guy who said he went to a church which was part of some sort of orthodox tradition. He told me that he didn’t think it was right that we were telling people of other religions that they need to become Christians. I said that if we are to be faithful in following Jesus then we must follow his example in doing so (John 14:6). Those who are without Christ are without hope and so it is love that compels us to point people to the one who is our only hope, so that we might be truly saved.
After some time, we regrouped, and after Ryan had purchased some pizza we headed back to our car. As we drove back home along the highway rain conditions were heavy and there were a number of accidents on the road.
Sunday, 9 November 2008
It was cloudy and overcast, it appeared that the rain from last night was still hanging around, but never-the-less, we headed down to the Gold Coast for a day of outreach.
Today was my first day back on the job as Gold Coast team leader, this is due to Josh Mitchell resigning from the position to spend time with family. Again, we wish to thank Josh Mitchell for his hard work and faithful service, we love you brother, and look forward to working with you again in the fields that are white for harvest.
We had a four man team today, which was made up of Andre, Kyosti, Peter and myself.
After arriving and finding a park, we spent some time in prayer and bible reading, then at 2pm we began to witness for the Lord. Andre was the first preacher up for the afternoon, he preached on how we can trust the Bible, and how Jesus was prophesied many years before His coming to earth. Due to the weather only a few people stopped, which was good considering that not many people were on the Gold Coast.
Andre preached for about thirty minutes, and during this time he did a good presentation of the gospel, and then he pleaded with people to come unto repentance.
Upon finishing his message, we spent some time just handing out tracts and talking to people, it was also during this time that a Christian approached and stated that the preaching was too scary and it made people fear God. Which, personally I thought was good, as the Bible tells us time and time again to Fear God.
After, about thirty minutes of tract work, and one to one I got up and began to preach about how God has put all of creation in place and it obeys, yet as humans we constantly rebel against Him. I also spoke about how many people actually die at the beaches due to drowning, and cautioned the swimmers to be careful unless they do die and meet their Creator.
A handful of people stopped and listened, but there were no hecklers, which was extremely odd for the Gold Coast, we just blamed it on the weather and continued to preach the gospel.
At about 3:30pm I finished preaching, and then we once again began to witness one to one and hand out tracts. While handing out tracts I was able to get into a good conversation with a man who was brought up in a Christian home, but now rejected it all, because his brother who is an Anglican bishop has a wife and a couple of girlfriends. It was hard to connect with him as he was just solid in attacking Christianity, then he said these words “I grew up in the Boys Brigade and was a Brigade officer, and many of those people in church are hypocrites.” I had my opening as I also was involved with the Boys Brigade, so the conversation changed to a couple of former Brigade members talking to each other. This then led to an opportunity in which I was able to present the gospel.
While the day was slow on the Gold Coast it was a good time of witnessing.
Soon after the sermon at my church came to a close at around midday, Mickey, Yu and I got into Josh Mitchell's car and were on our way. Mickey and Yu are from South Korea and Japan and I invited them along to join us. We met up with Ryan at Beenleigh and got into his slightly more spacious car and traveled down to Surfer's Paradise together.
Today the Indy (car racing) was on again so there were quite a few more people around than normal. Josh, Ryan and I had been to the Indy for evangelism outreach on Friday night as well. Ryan found a park a fair hike away, but it saved us looking for a park. As we walked to our preaching spot, we handed out gospel tracts. We handed out a lot of them walking down Caville ave (the main mall at Surfers). When we arrived at our spot (at the Caville ave beachfront), the racing cars were fairly loud so we had to delay preaching for a while. This gave us time to hand out more gospel tracts and talk with those around us.
When the car racing had stopped, I set up my Camera and tripod and Ryan began to preach.
He preached about death, how we all will die, and that the bible says after death comes judgment. God will judge everyone for all the good and bad things they have done in their life. God has standards which he has given us in the ten commandments. We have failed to keep them. God is just and must punish our sin. Even though God is just, God desires to show mercy. Jesus died on the cross for our sin. We must do two things: (1) trust in Jesus (we're not going to get to heaven because we go to church or do good things or because we are a good person) (2) Repent of our sin (turn from our lifestyle of sinning).
This was the basic pattern which Ryan preached on for about the next half an hour of his preaching. This half hour or so was full of interesting events...
First some funny guys with beer came over and took on their (newly self-appointed) roles as commentators, making commentary out loud as Ryan preached. As Ryan did the good person test with them, they were doing their best to turn it all into a comedy. As Ryan warned them of the wrath to come, they were shouting out ‘ossie ossie ossie!'.
Some guys began throwing money at Ryan. Despite Ryan repeatedly saying ‘I do not want you're money', coins kept flying through the air.
These guys reached a crescendo of shouts, including: ‘Where is God?', ‘We're all going to die!' and ‘Go Kevin Rudd !'
Ryan kept warning them of judgment saying ‘There's nothing more important than eternal salvation'.
One guy ‘stole' Ryan's bag from behind him but Josh Mitchell soon went over and got it back off him.
As Ryan preached on hard about the things of God, they mocked. Ryan warned them that there will be a day when God will not be mocked anymore.
Some other guys started asking a whole heap of questions. One guy was asking if there was fornication in hell.
A little later, two guys armed with beer cans, stood in front of Ryan and began to mimic his preaching.
At one staged a whole bunch of guys and gals rushed over to Ryan and it looked like he was about to be ambushed. But they were simply posing for a Group photograph. Ryan kept preaching.
Some guys attempted to cross-tie Ryan's shoe laces together. Ryan did well to move about swiftly and avoid their attempts which soon ended as Josh M sat in front of Ryan while he kept preaching.
Shortly after, a man came and asked Ryan why he was up preaching. Ryan responded by saying ‘I am here to warn you of the judgment to come'.
Ryan finally stepped down and we handed out a heap of gospel tracts and shared the gospel with people around us.
As we returned to the car, we handed out more gospel tracts.
When we returned to the car Josh Mitchell treated us to some chicken sandwiches and bun loaf.
We pray that God's word will take root in good soil as it was sown today. May those who heard the gospel receive it and bear fruit. (Mark 4).
Shortly after church finished at around midday in the city, Josh Mitchell rolled up in his car, and shortly after hopping in the drivers' seat we were on our way to Surfers Paradise once again. We picked up Josh Williamson on the way. My driving was a tad rusty as I hadn't driven for a while, but God kept us safe (and everyone alert!)
It seemed to be very busy at Surfers Paradise and parking was quite a challenge. After a few unsuccessful trips around the block near where we preach, we dropped Josh W off and eventually found a park (it was a fair hike from our car to the preaching spot - the Caville Ave beach entrance). When I arrived, a Christian couple were talking to JoshW. They were keen to come and help out - I think the lady has even worked for Creation Ministries.
Josh M and Josh W took turns preaching. Josh M was the first preacher. He started, as he often does, by exploring the inconsistencies and irrationality of evolution, urging people not to believe in something that does not make sense. He then presented the way in which the Bible teaches that God created the universe. One middle/older aged man in the crowd became very emotional. He started yelling all kinds of abuse at Josh M, pointing his finger at Josh and shouting that out that Josh was lying to everyone and yelling out that the Bible is absolute nonsense. Some people in the crowd started to cheer the man on. Josh was very patient as the man continued to yell. Soon there was a very large crowd. Josh was able to preach the Gospel to the crowd.
Two Police came and they took Josh M and the man away from the crowd to talk with them - the crowd went wild. Josh W then started preaching the Gospel to the large crowd as they looked on. Many heard the Gospel and we pray that God would save some.
We then handed out some gospel tracts and engaged in one-on-one conversations with those who were around. I talked with a ‘Christian' Indian guy who claimed to be a Christian but did not believe that Jesus is the only way a person can be saved. He said that it shouldn't be a person's fault for being born as an Indian into a Hindu family. I tried to explain to him how God created the world with different races and that racial diversity indeed is a beautiful thing. But he was looking very frustrated and started telling me that younger people like me have a lot to learn. I urged him to consider the fact that he doesn't believe the Bible since it clearly teaches that Jesus is the only way (John 14:6, Acts 4:12).
I interacted with a few other people, but it felt like I was not communicating very well. Usually I really do enjoy sharing the gospel and asking what people think and answering any questions that they have ... but it seemed like I was failing to do this very well and I felt mainly sorry for those who I were talking with. I do believe though that God is Sovereign and that it is not up to us to save people, but that our job is simply just to be faithful and do our best to share the gospel with people and pray earnestly to God to make them born again (John 3:3).
Josh M and Josh W preached again for a while. Josh M interacted for quite a while with a young man in the crowd whose name was Darius, after sharing the Gospel with him, Darius came and shook Josh's hand and took a Gospel tract. Please pray that God would save Darius for His Glory ... and that God would be pleased to save many of those who heard the Gospel go forth today.
1 Peter 3:18
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,
We have the best news in the world to share. The Gospel is good news!
Report by David Strachan
We arrived at Gold Coast about 2:30 pm, and it was busy. A man came asking for a light, and seeing a Bible, asked if we were doorknockers. A beautiful day, and plenty of lost souls. As we prayed for the Lord to help us, a fight started, and people gathered to watch.
I spoke to a man from Brisbane who was enjoying his day. He claimed goodness, but upon being challenged, said God would forgive. After sharing the Gospel, he said that Christians he knew thought that they had a licence to sin, and didn't understand the need for repentance.
As he left two young men took his seat, and I offered them tracts. They said they were good, but one refused to take the good person test. His mate tried to talk him into it, but then took it himself. He was found guilty, and without hope, and seemed unaware of the good news
I spoke with a new born Christian lady, who said about the importance of the manifestations of the Spirit. When I challenged the lack of total healing by the power of God, she said that the people healed lacked faith or stopped believing, and were thus left in their state of illness or injury. When our Lord healed, He made people whole. When challenged about evangelizing in the street, she said it wasn't her thing. This attitude has led to the famine in our land, not for bread or water, but hearing the word of the Lord. If we appreciate our salvation, we must surely want to tell others of the grace of God.
I spoke with two catholic men who fled their country in fear for their lives. Claimed repentance, and faith in Christ. They were happy to see us preaching, and have been disappointed by the general apathy of people in our country towards God.
Report by Dave Strachan, Photos / Edited by Josh Mitchell
Josh Mitchell, Snowy and I had the pleasure of driving from Brisbane down to Surfers Paradise together. We picked up Snowy on the way. This helps save on fuel...and having more company is a bonus as well. We arrived at Surfers in a little over an hour. Parking was rather difficult today, as the beach seemed to be the place where everyone wanted to be. It's starting to get really warm now that summer is fast approaching. As we walked along the boardwalk, looking out along the beach we could see people everywhere.
We soon arrived at the Cavill Avenue beachfront. We met Tim and some of his friends from Helensvale Baptist there and we prayed with them. I put on heaps of sunscreen - I do prefer coming home coloured white rather than red. I then set up my camera and tripod. Josh was first to get up and preach. He then tagged Snowy up to preach and swapped with me to man the Camera himself so that I could preach when Snowy tagged me up. This was my third time ever preaching. Once again I read Romans 1:16-5:21. I think that the three of us had two turns each to preach.
It appeared that Snowy had two big fans when he was preaching. Two young ladies were interacting with him for quite a while. Snowy went through some of the ten commandments with them, but they did not appear to show any shame over their sin, but rather, they gloried in it. They thanked us and left, saying how they were going to go and "lust some guys".
Given that Josh wasn't feeling very well, it was a gracious gift from God that Josh was given the ability to preach his heart out really well for a long time to finish off. Josh went through the ten commandments with two or three very young women. They appeared to have gotten really embarrassed when Josh asked them if they had kept the commandment not to commit adultery and then told them how Jesus raised the bar of sexual purity such that to look at a person with lust makes you as guilty in God's eyes as having had sex with someone who is not your spouse (Matthew 5:28). They giggled together for a bit and then left rather quickly.
For the last 10 minutes or so that Josh was preaching, some professing Muslims started making quite a scene. They were laughing, yelling out, and making fun of Josh seemingly every way they could. While, over and over, they kept demanding that Josh show them respect, ironically they showed extreme disrespect to Josh. Some of the Australians watching on in the crowd were utterly appalled at their behavior. Josh's patience and love in trying to engage them with the truth was amazing. He also got to preach the Gospel to quite a number of people who had come to watch what was going on. After Josh had finished preaching we handed out Gospel tracts to everyone who was there. Josh talked some more with the Muslims who became increasingly hostile. When one of them struck Josh's book out of his hand, he called Snowy and myself saying that it was time to leave - so we left together.
Later that night I was hanging out with some of my housemates and we reflected briefly on the topic of death. Lachlan mentioned that when a Christian who we know dies we often mourn - but also rest in the fact that they have a certain hope through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was then very sobering, especially for myself, to consider those who die and are not Christians, those who do not believe in Jesus and follow Him and live for His cause. According to God's Word, they will perish (John 3:16) in eternal hell forever.
John Piper Writes...
'The Dreadful, Terrifying Portrait of Hell in Scripture
It is a profound and dreadful reality. To speak of it lightly, or not to speak of it at all, or to speak of it in a way that changes suffering into feeling nothing, simply proves that we do not grasp its horror. I know of no one who has overstated the terrors of hell. We can scarcely surpass the horrid images Jesus used. "Weeping and gnashing of teeth,"4 "their worm shall not die" (Mark 9:48); "unquenchable fire" (Matthew 3:12; Mark 9:43); "eternal fire" (Matthew 25:41); "the hell of fire" (Matthew 18:9); "eternal punishment" (Matthew 25:46); "anguish in the flame" (Luke 16:24). The point of all these is that we are meant to shudder. We are meant to tremble and feel dread. We are meant to recoil from the reality. Not by denying it but by fleeing from it into the arms of Jesus, who died to save us from it.
Revelation 14:11 is probably the most graphic New Testament statement of the eternal suffering of the unrepentant. "The smoke of their torment goes up for ever and ever; and they have no rest day or night." Torment forever and ever. The endless suffering of unrepentant sinners is a reality taught in Scripture'
One of the main reasons that I go out each week is to Glorify God by faithfully echoing Jesus' own warnings about hell, and urging people to put their trust and hope in Jesus and cry out to Him alone for mercy, that they may escape God's wrath and gain eternal life both with and through our great Savior, Jesus Christ, who was raised mightily from the dead (Acts 2:24), who ascended into heaven (Luke 24:51-53) and whose 'throne... is forever and ever'(Hebrews 1:8).