Redcliffe Team (QLD)
Meets on Saturdays 11am-1pm each fortnight at the Redcliffe Pier.
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Providence on Display in Redcliffe
In Psalm 37:23, we are told that the steps of a righteous / good man are ordered by the Lord. Today, I saw a very practical outworking of that biblical truth; the Lord’s providence was clearly displayed in Redcliffe.
We arrived a little earlier than usual this morning, and after having a time of fellowship we set up our literature table and began our outreach. Before too long, we had people taking tracts and stopping to chat about the Lord Jesus.
The first person I spoke to this morning was a man who identified himself as a deist. He believed that God existed, but that we can discover God on our own and without the special revelation of God’s Word. He also told me that he didn’t like Christians, since all the Christians he knew were hypocrites. This objection of hypocrisy is a common claim, so I spent a little time addressing it. I stressed to this man that the standard we need to test everything by is not what people do, but rather by the Bible. If someone says they are a Christian, but don’t follow the example of the Lord Jesus, then we have grounds to question if they are really a Christian or not.
This line of reasoning seemed to strike a note with him, so he asked me to explain more about how someone actually becomes a Christian (I was more than happy to do so!). We chatted about how all of us don’t follow God’s standards, so we all need a saviour. The man told me that if everyone just loved each other, then the world would be a better place. This gave me a perfect opening to talk about personal sin. Using the command of Jesus to love one another in John 15:17, I asked if this man had always loved people in the way that Christ commanded. He admitted he hadn’t. I then asked, if he had loved God perfectly throughout his life; again, he admitted he hadn’t. I was then able to explain to him that none of us follow God’s commands, but Jesus loves sinners. This man listened as I shared about the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. He also listened attentively as I shared with him the command of God to repent and believe in Jesus. At the end of our conversation, he shook my hand, said he had much to think about, then headed off down the street.
I went back to handing out tracts after this, but I noticed Col was engaged in a discussion with a Muslim man who worked at the kebab shop next to where we were evangelising. I listened into the conversation, which by now was about the veracity of the Scripture. The Muslim man believed that the Bible had been corrupted, and that only the Quran was correct. When I heard this I was reminded of an apologetic booklet I had placed in my bag, it was written to address such claims. At this stage I joined the conversation; I greeted the Muslim man and began chatting to him. I have spent time studying Islam, so I really enjoy talking to Muslims. This man was friendly, but was using the common arguments against Christianity. I addressed his claims about the corruption of the Bible, then I offered him the booklet as a gift. He very graciously received the gift and thanked me for being prepared to talk to him. Col and I were also able to share the gospel with this friendly Muslim worker. After our chat, he went back to the kebab shop, and we went back to witnessing.
Since it was quite a hot day, I thought it would be wise to take a break and go buy a cold drink. This is where I saw God’s Providence on display. I walked passed the kebab shop, to a little cafe which sells a Scottish drink I really like. I went to purchase it, but they said they couldn’t accept my card. So, I placed the drink back in the fridge, and walked down to a bakery to purchase a drink from them. Upon arrival at the bakery, I noticed a line of people out the door. I wouldn’t have time to get a drink from there, so I started to head back to the outreach. As I walked back, I decided just to buy a drink from the kebab shop, even though it wasn’t the type of drink I wanted, it was hot, so I needed something to cool me down.
When I walked into the kebab shop, the Muslim man I had spoken to earlier greeted me. He then had to rush off to do something. I took my drink from the fridge, then went to the counter to pay. A lady was standing at the counter, and when I put my drink down she said, “I’m glad you are here; perhaps you can help me in a debate. Myself and the other worker have been debating about if the Bible is true or not, and if Muhammad is mentioned in the Bible.” This was not the conversation I was expecting!
Since there were no other customers in the shop, I was able to explain the gospel throughly to her. I also happened to have a booklet in my bag that addressed the question of if Muhammad is mentioned in the Bible. This whole experience reminded me that the Lord orders our steps, as I had no intention of buying a drink from that shop, yet, the Lord wanted me to be there to proclaim Christ to the worker behind the counter. God’s Providence is a wonderful thing!
By now our outreach was beginning to draw to a close. I had a brief conversation with a pagan who said she was nothingness and that God indwells here. She wasn’t overly friendly towards us. I was also able to hand out a number of tracts. It was also during this time that we saw children come and take copies of a free Bible colouring book that we were giving away. We rejoice that God’s Word keeps spreading!
The team from Operation 513 and OAC Ministries did a great job today. Please pray for all those we encountered.
The Flourishing of the Gospel in Redcliffe!
What an amazing day! Six Christians from different churches joined together under the banner of Operation 513 to share the good news of Jesus in Redcliffe. Over recent months we have noticed an increasing hardness of the ground, but today was radically different. There was a freedom and openness to the gospel ministry today. One of the team members remarked that they hadn’t see a day like this in over eighteen months. After a hard week, it was truly refreshing to see the gospel go forth.
The biggest challenge that faced the team today was finding somewhere to park our cars as the waterfront was quite busy with people enjoying the last day of winter. Due to traffic problems we were a few minutes late in arriving for the outreach, but upon arrival we instantly got stuck into the work.
As I set up the Free Bible table, members of the team began to hand out tracts. Shortly thereafter, conversations began. People were open to talking; with some asking really good questions and listening intently to the biblical answers.
One really good conversation I had was with John from India. He stopped after I handed him a tract, then asked, “Do you think you’ll go to Heaven?” He smiled, then replied, “There is no Heaven, and there is no Hell. There is just here and now.” John then went on to tell me that he came from a Christian background, and that he believed Jesus to be a very good and moral teacher. I asked him, “Would Jesus be a good teacher, if He told lies or gave false information?” John said that anyone who lied wouldn’t be good. I then pointed out that Christ spoke of Heaven and Hell; and that Jesus said the wicked will be judged forever. John seemed to really enjoy the way this conversation was going, so he started to talk about wickedness and how evil men seem to prosper in this life. He wanted to know why evil existed and why God didn’t destroy sinners. This line of questioning was very helpful as it provided me an opening to present the biblical gospel. I spoke to John about how all of humanity is corrupt; and that we all deserve death and Hell. I pointed out that if God judged us in the way that John demanded, then both him and I would be in Hell right now. John was taken back by this comment as he didn’t believe he was a wicked man. He said that he lived true to his loving instincts, which he believed aligned with the Ten Commandments.
I agreed that the Ten Commandments are a loving standard, so we began to look at them together. As we walked through the Law, it became very clear that all the world is guilty, including John and I. John at this stage was looking for an excuse to justify his sin; to do this he pointed to many of the dictators from history. He said, “They are evil men, yet many of them went unpunished. I am not like them, so God wouldn’t judge me.” I explained to John that all men are guilty of sin, and deserve Hell, as we have chosen to rebel against our Creator; and that by our actions we are born cut off from God, and we continue in a state of war with the Eternal God. John agreed to this, so I pointed out that one of the sins John needed to repent of was his self-righteousness, as he thought himself to be better than everyone else. I was a little cautious in being so direct with John, but in reply he simply he hung his head and said, “You are right. I agree.”
John then said, “But what can we do? We are all just the product of evolution. I must strive to be the fittest to survive.” I answered by saying that he didn’t really believe in survival of the fittest, as if he did, he wouldn’t be complaining about the dictators, as they were just the fittest in their area. I then addressed the issue of Darwinian Evolution, explaining that Darwin would have made John lower than me due to his skin colour. I also addressed some of the scientific arguments that John raised.
As our conversation drew to a close, I reminded John of the gospel. He took some booklets on different apologetic subjects, and also a gospel book. He then shook my hand and said, “Thank-you for talking to me and answering my questions. When I was a child my Pastors would not answer the hard questions, yet you stand here and give me very good answers. If they had answered, I am sure my life would be much different.”
As John left, I was reminded of the command we are given in 1 Peter 3:15 - “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defence to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you…”
Churches and individuals need to be trained in apologetics and gospel ministry. We must be prepared to answer the objections and questions the world is asking. By spending time engaging in apologetics, we are actually not trying to win an argument, instead we are clearing the ground for the gospel seed to be planted; apologetics and evangelism are the best of mates.
The rest of the day was spent in gospel conversations, distributing tracts and seeing many people take literature from the Free Bible table. Today was radically different to what we have seen in recent months. We rejoice in the Lord for answering the many prayers that have been offered up by Christians worldwide. May the Lord allow the light to continue to shine in Redcliffe.
It is a tale of two outreaches, last time we were in Redcliffe it was hard and hostile, but today it was vastly different; today, people were friendly with many good conversations taking place. It is amazing what much prayer can do; after my last report I received messages from Christians worldwide saying they were praying for the gospel work in Redcliffe, those prayers were answered today.
We arrived at our outreach location at 11am. The ‘cold’ Brisbane winter was but a memory as the thermometer showed 27’C (81’F) on this winter’s day. The Operation 513 team was small today, but we rejoice in the fact that several labourers showed up to make much of Jesus Christ.
As usual we began by setting up our Free Bible table, then we started to hand out gospel tracts. Soon Col had a conversation underway with a Roman Catholic atheist (I’ll let you try to understand out how that works!), this man was angry at Rome due to all of her scandals and abuses. Col agree with him that Rome was wrong, then he brought the conversation around to the gospel. The man listened, and engaged as Col shared of the love of Jesus.
While this was happening, I offered a tract to an elderly man named Frank. Frank took the tract and said, “What is this all about?” I replied, “It asks if we will go to Heaven one day. What do you think?” Frank smiled and said, “Of course I’ll go to Heaven; everyone does!” I asked Frank if sinful people went to Heaven when they died and if men such as Hitler went to Heaven. Frank replied by saying that since God is forgiving, everyone gets to go to Heaven.
Frank was a really friendly man, so we chatted about the justice and holiness of God. I explained that the Bible says that no one deserves Heaven, but rather we all deserve Hell because of our sin. I then went on to explain that God has shown great love towards His elect by sending Jesus to pay the penalty for their sin, and that it is only by trusting in the Lord who died and rose again, that we could be forgiven. Frank listened, but said, “Yes, but Jesus will forgive everyone.” I then told Frank a story; I said, “Frank, imagine someone you love dearly was brutally murdered. The Police caught the murderer, then took him to court. Once in court, the Magistrate that was hearing the case said, ‘Mr. Murderer, I am a good, loving and forgiving judge. I am going to let you go this time.’ Frank, would that judge be good?” Frank thought deeply, “No, that wouldn’t be good or just” was his reply.
The penny seemed to have dropped for Frank at that moment, the gospel made sense; then he asked, “What church do you belong to?” I replied by saying I am a Pastor of a Baptist Church. Frank smiled at this and said, “I’m a Baptist too! I went to a Baptist Church in Sydney before moving here.” Truly it is a wicked thing for a man to sit in Church for many years yet never hear the gospel of salvation. Frank took some gospel booklets; then I asked him, “Do you have a Bible?” Frank said he has never owned a Bible or read one. We offered him a large print edition, which he very gladly took. He held the Bible in his hand as if it was a precious treasure. He looked at it, then said, “I really appreciate this. No one has given me a Bible before.” He then asked if I wanted to go the RSL to have a beer with him, and asked if I could recommend a local church. I helped him with the church, but I decline the generous offer of a beer.
As Frank walked off, I was reminded that we regularly can have people in our churches that are unsaved. As Ministers of the Gospel, we need to ensure that the message of God’s holiness, justice and grace is always central in our preaching. May we never have people like Frank who regularly sit in our pews who haven’t heard or understand the gospel; we must make sure they know.
Towards the end of the outreach, Col managed to get into a conversation with a friendly young couple. The gentleman was making a few arguments as to why he didn’t believe in Christianity, and why he didn’t attend church. After awhile, I somehow ended up in that conversation. The young man made a few arguments that weren’t historically correct, so I pointed out that his position was not built upon fact. He quickly conceded that point, then went back to arguing against church attendance. I listened for awhile, then it became clear why his argument was being made. This young man had grown up as a Jehovah’s Witnesses, he had always been told that if you want to please God then you must work hard and attend meetings. I explained to this couple that attending church did not make one a Christian anymore than going to Subway made you a footlong. They laughed, and agreed.
Now the conversation was off and running. The young man said, “I don’t want to offend you, but I think all religions are true, and they all teach the same thing,” he went on, “For instance, Subway doesn’t give everyone the same sub, they cater for different tastes, that is what religion is like, they cater for different tastes, but they all believe the same thing.” I replied by, “Look, I don’t want to be rude, but that statement you just made tells me that you don’t know much about all the different religions.” The man laughed and assured me he wasn’t offended. I went on, “Subway does cater for different tastes, but everything is still going to get a sub of some description; there is always going to be that core ingredient. The problem with your analogy is that the other religions don’t even have the sub in the first place; they are giving people that which isn’t bread and won’t give life.”
From there I gave him a few illustrations from Hinduism and Islam showing that what they teach is vastly different to Christianity. The young couple agreed, then said, “We want a religion that is all about loving each other, caring for people, and loving God.” I said, “That is what Christianity is. Jesus said love God and love your neighbour. What you want is what Jesus calls us to do.” I then said, “But think about it, Jesus said we should love each other, but we don’t. He said we should love God, but we fail at that point also,” they nodded in agreement, I went on, “We all break the loving standard, we all do wrong, the Bible calls this sin. That is why we need Jesus. He came and showed true love when He died on the cross for sinners, then rose again. He shows love when He calls on us to repent and trust in Him, and He shows love when He forgives all the sins of those who believe.”
Upon hearing this they both smiled and said, “That makes sense.” The young man then said, “I am so glad you guys are here. I can approach you and ask questions. It is great that you are here to help me understand about God.” He then went on with a few more questions relating to the Trinity, same-sex “marriage,” and the authority of Scripture. With each answer that was given the couple kept saying, “That makes sense!”
At the end of the conversation, this couple took several gospel booklets, shook our hands, then said, “Thank you so much for being out here today. I am so glad you guys are here!”
As this couple left I was reminded that even though we can face hardship in gospel ministry, there are still people out there who are open to hearing of Christian things. We must press on; we must remain faithful; we must keep making much of the Lord Jesus.
Please pray for all those we encountered today. May the Father draw them all to Christ.
Everything looked brilliant when we arrived at our Redcliffe outreach; the sun was shining, we had four members on the team and there were quite a number of people out and about. We set up the Free Literature table near Bee Gee way, then began to hand out tractsSome days I come home from witnessing with a spring in my step as it had been a good day of gospel ministry… today was not one of those days.
At first things seemed to be running smoothly; people were polite and some even took literature from the table, but as the day progressed things became harder and even hostile. What was surprising was that the rudeness and aggression came not from the younger segments of society, but rather it came from the more mature and grey haired folk.
One older lady walked pass and yelled, “GOD IS DEAD!” Another demanded to know what material we were handing out; when I told her they were Christian leaflets, she launched into a tirade by shouting, “What has God done for me?” I replied to her by saying that God had given her life, breathe and her very existence; her response was to give me the finger and walk off.
Another lady came up to me, who had all the hallmarks of a sweet grandmother like you see in the movies; but appearances can be deceiving. She asked, “Is this Jesus material?” When I told her what the tract was she screeched, “EWWWW…. YUCK!” then stormed off.
The most hostile encounter of the day came when a man took a tract, read it, then returned it. He was an older man, probably in his mid-60’s. He started to scream and yell abuse at us for being Christians, then he looked to the sky and began to curse God. After doing this he followed up by calling us extremists and hate preachers. I tried to engage him in a calm manner, but he wasn’t prepared to talk. I honestly thought he was going to punch me in his anger.
All this left me rattled. I hate confrontation, and if possible I will avoid it. Even though I have been out on the streets sharing the gospel for many years, I still find such open displays of hostility concerning.
I share this because even though things were rough, God was still at work. As the darkness rushed in like a flood, God used their evil actions for good. After all the hostility, a lady with her family came up to me, she said, “I am not religious, nor a Christian, but I want to say that the way that angry man treated you was wicked and rude. You did well in being calm and loving.” Her whole family then took tracts and gospel material. She could see the difference between light and darkness.
Christians also started to appear on the scene to say that they were encouraged to see a stand for Jesus taking place in public. Another lady then asked for directions to a local church so she could attend.
We live in a day where there is a growing hostility to the things of God, but at the same time we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that God is sovereign, and He is still at work. If we have to endure the hardness and hostility so that others may hear of Jesus, then so be it. Christ Jesus is worthy, let us face whatever comes our way with a confidence that all the nations, including this one, have been given to King Jesus. Let us go and make Him known!
It was a picture perfect autumn day along the Redcliffe waterfront. The sun was shining, a gentle breeze was blowing, and people appeared to be in a good and relaxed mood. For our outreach today, we decided to do things differently. Over the past year we have noticed that it has progressively gotten harder, and that people are showing less interest in Christian things. Due to this, we decided to not set up our “Free Bible and Literature Table” as that would give us freedom to be more mobile in our witnessing.
As a team, there were four of us out sharing the gospel, so two decided to walk up and down the waterfront handing out tracts and witnessing; and two of us decided to stay near the busy walkway along the main road.
The ground was still hard, but the freedom to move made conversations a little easier to come by. The first encounter I had was with a young man who could only be described as being completely indifferent to Christian things. He took a tract while asking, “What is this about?” I answered his question by saying, “It asks if you are good enough to go to Heaven. Have you ever thought about that?” The young man simply said, “I don’t know, and I don’t care. I have never thought about it, and don’t want to think about it.” I asked him why he had such a lack of care for spiritual things, to which he replied he didn’t even care about his existence now.
I quoted Ecclesiastes 12:1, “So remember your Creator in the days of your youth…” to this young man, and urged him to consider his Creator, as one day, he will stand before Him and give an account of everything done in this lie. The young man simply shrugged his shoulders then slouched away.
Not long after this we were approached by an Indian-Australian, who was very keen to talk. The reason he wanted to chat was because he was the local candidate for the One Nation political party. He shook hands and warmly introduced himself. He said he loved what we were doing, took a tract, then walked off. Several minutes later he went to walk past us again, so I called out to him to come over and chat for a few minutes. He readily agreed.
I asked him, “As a politician, what do you think our big need as a nation is?” He replied by saying that as a people we need to get back to traditional values. I followed up on that statement by asking, “How do you define traditional values, and where do they come from?” At first he said these values came from family life, but then he said, “Of course religion, all religions, gave us the values in the West.” I countered that by pointing out that our values and culture stem from a biblical worldview, and that Christianity is the source of the greatness of the West. He agreed with me, but said he was a Hindu. He went on to speak about how we should love and respect everyone, and how Australia would be better if we all did that. I agreed with him, and brought the conversation back to the commands of the Lord Jesus to love our neighbours and our enemies. I then spoke about how Jesus was the ultimate example of love, as He came to serve, to love and to give His life on the cross for all those who believe. I then spoke of the resurrection, repentance and faith.
The political candidate replied by saying, “I don’t really focus too much on religion.” I pointed out that Christ is the only hope our nation has if we ever want to return to ‘traditional values.,’ it was at this point the politician shook my hand, thanked me for talking and then continued on his way. Politics will never solve the issue of the human heart, only Jesus can do that!
During this time, Hanna was engaged in a conversation with a 98 year-old Roman Catholic man, who believed that everyone will get to Heaven not matter what they do or believe. It was sad to see a man at the end of his life still holding onto the lie of universalism. Hanna explained the gospel to him, and stressed that Christ is the only way, but the man didn’t believe it. He did, however, take two tracts. Please pray for him.
The rest of the day was spent handing out tracts, with only one more conversation of note taking place. A man who watched us for awhile came up and asked, “What denomination are you guys?” We answered by saying we are from a variety of evangelical churches, but we are here to share the gospel. The man said, “I was wondering, since I am a Freemason.” Hanna asked him if Freemasons and the Bible were compatible, to which the man said they were. He then went on to talk about the “Grand Architect” who is God.
At this point I joined the conversation. I asked him, “Who can know the Grand Architect?” The Freemason replied by saying, “All those who believe in one god.” I followed this up by asking, “So, if a Muslim joined your lodge, would he be welcome in to serve the Grand Architect even though he would say it was Allah?” The man tried to change subjects at this point, and move on by saying that Freemasonry and Christianity teach the same thing. This claim is completely false, so I pushed a bit harder, I put the question to him, “In your belief, how does someone come to know the Grand Architect, God?” To which he replied, “Through the rites and teachings of the Freemasons, we are the truth and we give light.” At this I pushed back, “Now it is clear that you are the opposite to Christianity, as the Lord Jesus said that He is the truth, and the light. He is the only way to know God, not the Freemasons.” The man was quick to walk away at this point saying we couldn’t know the truth without them. It is clear that that Freemasons are a demonic cult that seek to remove the Lord Jesus from His position.
Please pray for all those we encountered today. May the Lord Jesus save many.
For nearly two and a-half years we have been witnessing along the waterfront in Redcliffe. In that time, we have seen that the area is gradually becoming harder to Christian things. As I look at this community, I cannot help but wonder if we are in Romans 1 territory with God giving us over to a debased mind (Romans 1:28). Yet, even though I believe we may be under judgement, our job as Believers is still to be a light in the darkness. We need to take the gospel to those who are perishing, so that is exactly what we did today in Redcliffe.
Four of us arrived at 11am, and immediately began to hand out tracts and try to engage people in discussion. While the team members were busy with tract work, I set up the “Free Bible and Literature” table. As I was placing material on the table, a lady stopped and asked for a Bible. She then began to browse the other literature we had. She picked up a copy of “All of Grace” by C.H. Spurgeon, “Ultimate Questions” by John Blanchard, and a booklet on why there is death and suffering. One of our team members, Joseph, started to chat to the lady. It turns out that she isn’t a Christian, but she had been thinking about Christian things. She said her neighbour goes to church, and they have been talking about spiritual topics. Joseph lovingly shared the gospel with her, and called on this lady to trust in Christ. She seemed very thankful for the discussion and books.
I wish I could say that the whole day continued as it began, but I can’t. Redcliffe is hard ground, and each week it seems to be getting harder, yet, I rejoice in the promise of Scripture, “But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more…” (Romans 5:20).
For around ninety-minutes not much happened. A few tracts were handed out, but people weren’t interested. We had a few people stop to make crude comments to us, but beyond that there wasn’t too much interaction. One highlight during this period of being in the doldrums was a conversation which James had with a lady named Julie. He offered her a tract, but she was suspicious. She asked if he was a Jehovah’s Witness, and upon hearing that he wasn’t she was greatly relieved. James shared with her about the Lord Jesus, and as he did so Julie began to cry. He was able to pray for her, and she left with some gospel material.
By now it was nearing 1pm, so I thought it may be time to pack up, but the Lord wasn’t ready for us to leave just yet. As I went to pack up, four young men stopped to chat.; two of them were Samoan and the others Maori. We began chatting about who they think would make it to Heaven. Of course, they all believed they would be running around the streets of gold, so I asked them, “Why will you go to Heaven?” They paused, then one young Samoan man said, “Because I live decently.” The rest quickly agreed that decent living was the path to Heaven.
I asked if they had heard of the Ten Commandments, which they all said they had, since they grew up in the Samoan Methodist Church; one of the boys said his Dad is a Pastor. I walked through four of the Commandments, “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not commit adultery,” and “You shall not murder.” I also explained that God judges our thought life, so lust is the same as adultery, and hate is equal to murder. All of the boys admitted to breaking these commandments, and it was at that moment that they realised they hadn’t lived decently.
The four seemed really concerned that they were on the path to Hell, and none of them could think of any way to avoid it. I let them ponder this reality for a little while, then one of the young men stopped and said, “Wait a minute! Jesus died.” Somewhere in the far reaches of his mind he had heard the gospel before. I was able to use this information to explain that Jesus died as a substitute for sinners, and then rise again three days later. I stressed to these young men that they needed to repent and trust in the Saviour. All of them agreed, and took an in-depth gospel tract.
This encounter reminded me that just because someone grows up in the church doesn’t mean they know the Lord.
Now it was as if the flood gates were opened in relation to conversations. Two young girls aged four and eleven had stopped at our Bible table. With the permission of the parent / guardian, I was able to kneel down on the ground with them and explain the gospel in an age appropriate manner. We had some children’s tracts, so they both took them, and the eleven year old asked for a Bible.
At this stage Joseph was in a discussion with a very vocal atheist who was ranting against God and saying he is angry at Him. The atheist kept trying to say that God was evil and the Bible was evil, so I joined the conversation. I asked the atheist, “You keep saying the Bible is evil, what is your moral standard for determining good and evil?” He said that morality is determined by the individual. I then asked him, “If the individual determines right and wrong, then on what basis can you say the morality of the Bible is evil, since a different individual said it is right?” The man then changed his argument by saying, “Society determines morality, not the individual.” So I asked another question, “In Saudi Arabia it is against the law to leave Islam. People have been killed for leaving Islam. The society says that is their morality. Are they right or wrong?” The atheist wanting to be consistent said that it was right for Saudi Arabia to act in such a way. I then said, “In the 1930’s Hitler came to power in Germany. Everything he did was legal according to the law of the land. The people backed him. Was the holocaust right or wrong?” The atheist said that what Germany did was wrong. I pushed back against this answer by saying, “If morality is determined by society, and the German society was supporting Hitler, what right have you to say it is wrong?” It was at this point that the atheist changed his argument again, this time he said the entire Western culture determines morality. This resulted in me taking him back to Saudi Arabia, but this time he said they were wrong. So, I asked him why his culture could say that another culture was wrong?
He tried to turn the argument back onto me, but I quickly pointed out that I affirm absolute truth and universal morality. He scoffed at this argument by saying, “There is no absolute truth.” I asked if he was sure, to which he replied, “Yes.” I then pointed out that he had made two absolute statements which he believed were true.
The atheist then tried to attack the Bible, but his attacks were built upon misinformation. It was clear now that his arguments had fallen, and that he wasn’t sure which way to go. It was at this point I said, “The reason I have pushed you on these points is because I want to show you something. You have no basis to condemn anything; you have no grounds to say something is right or wrong in your worldview. You need to a universal moral standard to have right and wrong, which means you need a moral standard giver. Ultimately, the reason you are making this argument is because you hate God, you love your sin, and you won’t come to Jesus because that means He’d be King over your life. You want to be King, that is why you object.”
At first he said that wasn’t the case, but then he said he was angry at God. This really was the heart of the issue. The arguments he had were just smokescreens to try and justify his unbelief. The man wasn’t interested in listening any further, so we shook hands and parted ways. His worldview was now in tatters, but he had been told of the Lord Jesus who alone gives sense and reason to life.
The day ended with seven conversations in about thirty minutes. We praise the Lord that His truth marches on.
It was picture perfect weather today in Redcliffe; the sun was shining, the skies were clear, and the beaches were full of people celebrating Australia Day. For this afternoon’s outreach we moved down to Sutton’s Beach as the local council had put on a special event that attracted thousands of people to come out in order to celebrate the founding of our nation.
On 26 January 1788, the First Fleet arrived from Britain; with them came the gospel. While many people may debate over our history, I think the arrival of the gospel on our shores is something to be celebrated, and what better way to celebrate than by telling Australian’s about the Good News!
At 2pm the Operation 513 team arrived and commenced the outreach; immediately tracts began to be handed out with people gladly receiving them. Over the course of three hours,
we distributed about 1500 “Good Aussie” tracts. Before too long numerous conversations were underway. One of our team members, Col, later remarked that he had personally spoken to about 20 people in three hours.
The first couple I spoke to were “Religiously Christian,” with the male being of Greek Orthodox background and the female of Roman Catholic beliefs. I asked them, “If you were to die tonight, and God asked you, ‘Why should I let you into my Heaven?’ What would you say?” The man replied, “I am a reformed sinner, I try my hardest.” The lady said, “He’d let me in because I am a nice person.” We then chatted about God’s holiness and how He cannot allow sin into Heaven. As we spoke about these things both of them realised that they were not holy and that they deserved Hell. It was a joy to be able to tell the good news of Jesus. They listened intently as I explained the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. At the end of our conversation they both shook my hand and thanked me for the conversation.
It was at this point that Vesa called me over to the flip-chart. A father and his two young daughters had stopped as they wanted to take the “Good Person Test.” It is always hard to have a conversation with children present, but the Lord gave me the right words.
The most startling and heartbreaking thing for me, was to hear the youngest girl, who would have been about 6 years old say several times, “I don’t believe in God.” She was adamant that God did not exist, but still I persisted in sharing the gospel with her. As we spoke the father made sure that his daughters understood, and encouraged them to listen. The man wasn’t a Believer, but he was really supportive of his girls learning about Jesus. At the end of the conversation the father told me he had a hard time understanding repentance and faith, especially since that means child molesters can say ‘sorry’ then go to Heaven. I shared with him about true repentance, and also the Lord Jesus’ words from Matthew 18:6 about God’s view on those who harm children. The man was content to know that God would judge wicked men and do what is right.
As that family left, it really grieved me to see such a young girl being committed to atheism at 6 years old. This young lady would never go to church, nor would she have ever heard the truth if we hadn’t gone out on the streets to witness. The lost aren’t coming to Church, so we need to go to them!
Many other conversations throughout the day with cult-members, religious people, atheists, and those who were indifferent. It seemed like every member of the team had numerous conversations over the course of the afternoon,
Please pray that the gospel seed would fall upon good soil and that many would be saved.
Today was our first Operation 513 outreach in Redcliffe for 2019. Team members from three different churches all gathered at the waterfront for a couple of hours of gospel work. It is always a joy to work with these brethren as they are passionate about the Lord Jesus. Personally, I find them quite encouraging in the work, especially in those times when I feel flat.
Over the past few months we have noticed that it has been increasingly difficult to get gospel conversations, so today we changed tactics. Instead of having our “Free Bible and Literature” table, we decided to split up into small teams so we could move around the whole area to witness.
I partnered with Mike and we set up his flip-chart and handed out a few tracts. It soon became very clear that our location was not good for conversations so we moved to the other side of the road to witness near the entrance to the pier.
Upon arrival in this new location, we noticed that Sheldon was locked into a deep conversation with a Jehovah’s Witness who was out spreading his heresy. Mike and I set up in the new location, and before too long gospel conversations were underway.
Mike managed to speak to a young man who seemed very open. The conversation went well with the young man taking a Bible. While Mike was talking to him, I managed to get into a discussion with the man’s mates. These young guys were out on the waterfront, just relaxing and planning to play some basketball. Initially I engaged them in some small talk over who was the best NBA player of all time (it is clearly Michael Jordan!), then from there I swung the conversation to the gospel.
I asked this group, “What do you think someone has to do in order to go to Heaven?” They all replied, “Accept God. Believe in God.” I followed up with another question, “Do you guys have any kind of religious background?” One said he had no religious upbringing, the other two said they went to church. It was then that one of them said, “I am a youth leader at my home church.” He then told me about the large Pentecostal church where he was a leader. Well, this information made me change my tactics. I said to the youth leader, “Ok, let me put you under some pressure. Imagine I have been stabbed in the back, I am bleeding out. I have three minutes to live. I am not a Christian. What will you say to me so I can go to Heaven?”
At this question his face went into a look of panic. “I don’t know!” was his reply. “Two minutes left!” I called out. The youth leader said, “Ummm… Believe in God.” “So, I just need to believe God is real?” “Yes!” was the reply. It was then I turned up the pressure even further, “The devil believes in God. Will he go to Heaven?” By this stage the youth leader seemed to be stumbling over his words and had no response.
The response from this youth leader is not uncommon. I have met many church leaders who cannot explain the gospel, which leads me to believe we have many unconverted men in leadership positions of churches. I cautioned this young man that James 3:1 warns us that all who teach will face a stricter judgement., and then I proceeded to share the gospel with him. As I explained the good news of Jesus, the church leader said, “That makes sense!” I gave him an in-depth tract, I encouraged him to read over it, and then to teach it to those whom he leads. He shook my hand and said he would be explaining to the youth what the gospel really is about.
After this, Vesa and I managed to get into a conversation with a lady who was very spiritual, and very confused. She is one of those lovely people (she was a really nice lady!) that could talk with a mouth full of gravel, so we spent much time listening. When we were able to talk we shared snippets of the gospel with her in the hope that some seed would be sown. She took a couple of tracts and promised to read them. Please pray for her.
At this stage I had to leave the outreach early in order to complete some other work, but as I was leaving Mike was locked in a conversation with a group of young men. I heard later that this was a good conversation.
Praise God that the message of Jesus continues to spread!
It was an extremely hot day today with the mercury rising to 37’C and high humidity. The weather wasn’t perfect, but we still went out to share the gospel with as many people as we could.
Over the past few months we have noticed that Redcliffe seems to be progressively becoming harder ground. People seem apathetic towards Christian things and dismissive of the gospel. Today that ground was as hard as ever; yet we still saw the gospel go forth.
Since it is Christmas in a few days, we decided that we would hand out copies of “The Essential Jesus,” which is Luke’s Gospel, so that people could read the Christmas story for themselves. Over the course of two hours we handed out around 50 books. We also handed out a couple of hundred tracts.
As the day progressed some people stopped to talk. Several atheists expressed their displeasure at us being there, and a group of Jehovah Witnesses gathered to engage us; but they quickly retreated when we spoke about the deity of Jesus.
We also saw several young people come up saying they had never read the Christmas story, so they would like a copy of our book. The West which once flourished with the gospel is now becoming a new dark continent.
Please pray for all those we spoke to, who took tracts, and who received the Scripture. May the Lord Jesus save them.
We had a great day of outreach in Redcliffe. A group of us from Operation 513 and OAC Ministries met at 11am to share the gospel for a couple of hours.
The waterfront was quieter today, but we still managed to have many great conversations. Mike from Samford Baptist Church seemed to constantly be witnessing to people with his flip-chart, and other team members were busy handing out tracts.
I managed to have a couple of really good conversations, including with a young man from New Zealand. This Maori gentleman told me that he had grown up in the church, but it was very clear that he had little knowledge of Christian things. We chatted for quite some time, and at the end of our conversation he took a Gospel of John so he could learn more about the Lord Jesus.
The highlight of the day for me was the last conversation I had. We were about to start packing up when a young lady came across from a local cafe. She told me that the staff had been watching us, and wondered what we were doing. We chatted at length about our sin and also the Saviour. At the end of the conversation this young lady said, “I’m scared. I don’t want to go to judgment.”
I explained to her the love of Christ towards sinners, but she said that it would be impossible for Jesus to love her. It was clear that she was struggling with something. I replied by saying, “Let me tell you a story. What would you think about a man whose life mission was to kill Christians and wipe out the church. Would Jesus love such a man?” She replied that Jesus would not love a person who hurt Christians.
I then said, “Have you heard of Saint Paul?” She said had. “Well,” I replied, “his mission was to wipe out the church and kill Christians. Yet, Jesus loved him and forgave him. Paul later described himself as the chief sinners, but still Jesus saved him.”
The young lady looked shocked. She said, “Wow! I’ve never heard that before!” She willingly took a tract and a Gospel of John.
Please pray for all those we met today. May the Father draw them to the Son.