It was a wet, windy, and cold (by Queensland standard) start to the outreach. Yet, despite the weather we gathered at the pier in Redcliffe to share the gospel. It was particularly encouraging today to bump into several Christians who had been impacted by our open-air work, and who prayed for us.
We set the Bible table up and began to hand out tracts and try to get into conversations. At the start things were slow, but soon people began to listen.
One conversation I had was with an elderly man named George. George has a Czech and Jewish background, but was very confused about who God is, and how to be saved. He started by telling me that he has been to Heaven twice, and that everyone will go there one day. Our conversation centred around the goodness and justice of God, with George openly admitting that God should punish bad people, but at the same time affirming if we punish ourselves then God will let us go.
In reply to this, I said, "George, is there someone you really love?" He replied that there were people in his life that he loved very much; I then stated, "George, imagine someone comes along and murders your loved ones. The murderer later feels bad about what he has done, so each night he beats himself with a stick. One day the murderer is caught, but the Magistrate lets him go because the murderer had been punishing himself..." Before I could go any further George interrupted by declaring, "That is wrong and unjust! The judge must punish him!"
This provided a perfect way to explain how God because He is good must punish wrong doing and that there is a penalty for our sin; George agreed saying that what I said was logical. He also conceded that means that not everyone is going to Heaven. From this point I was able to explain how God is both the just and the justifier of those who have faith in Christ (Romans 3:26).
George listened, and stated it made sense. But, he said he didn't know if he could believe the Bible as what the Scriptures says today isn't what they said in the originals. I countered this argument with a brief apologetic on how we got the Bible, and he seemed rather interested. At the end of our conversation he took a couple of booklets from our table and thanked us for the conversation.
Another highlight of the day came from a bus driver who was driving by in his bus. He saw our free Bible and Literature table, so he pulled over and ran down to get a Bible. I'm not sure if he had any passengers onboard, but this man was keen to get a copy of the Word of God!
Overall it was a wonderful day of ministry in Redcliffe. The Lord is at work. Please pray for us.