Anyone who engages in Christian ministry would soon tell you that once you start doing something for the Kingdom of God, then the enemy will attack. This week has just been one attack after another, and the constant lies that are being told about me, and concern the m inistry are starting to wear me down. But, one has to stop and think about why these attacks? While on one hand it hurts to be attacked by those who are supposed to be your brothers and sisters in the faith, but on the other hand I have grown deeper into God during this time. Something I have noticed is that as you dig deeper into God, then the attacks increase. Some have suggested I turn my back on the ministry and walk away, since the pain isn’t worth it, some have contended that is better for me to lay down my sword and just surrender, since I am loosing friends.
As I think about it, I have to wonder why would I surrender? Why would I give up? My King is the one who humbled Himself and came to earth in the form of a man to save His people from their sins. Why should I leave the ministry when my Master is the one who was rejected and despised by those whom He created? If He can endure all those things, then surely I can stand firm with His help! During this time I have taken great encouragement from the Scriptures, and also from the song “I’d rather have Jesus”:
Praise the Lord, the Skypecast worked from the start! In case you weren't aware, recently our weekly Skypecast have been having major technical difficulties. So usually half our time is spent trying to get it working. But tonight it worked from the get go. Praise God.
It was a rather quiet for most of the night. Although Josh Mitchell did have a pleasant conversation on air with a professing Christian. So Josh tested the man to see if you truely knew the gospel.
We had various questions come through via chat message which we addressed on air, such as, "Why is Islam a false religion?", "Where do we get our morals from?", etc. Josh Williamson and Ryan Hemelaar also discussed various topics such as, "How do we know that is a God?", "Does evolution disprove the Bible?", "What is the gospel?", etc.
At about 45 minutes remaining, the flood gates were opened and people started to flow in to the Skypecast. At one point we had about 60 people in the room at the same time. This was perfect timing as Josh Mitchell was almost about to start preaching the in-depth final closing gospel message. The recording below is that message:
Listen (6.9MB - 30:01)
(To download: right-click link, save target as.)
We will have another Skypecast at the same time next week - Sunday 9pm - 12am GMT+10.
To God be the glory!
Date: 09.03.08 Sunday
Blog Report: Operation 513 Gold Coast City Team
Ryan Hemelaar (our cherished hardworking webmaster)
Nathan (our new friend and labourer in Christ)
Special Credit: This report was taken from Keith Rocheford, as Josh was absent from the field, due to his wife's serious but temporary sickness on Sunday. Big Thankyou to Keith, who faithfully held the line for the gospel in Surfers Paradise on Sunday. May God bless Him for his labour, for Christ's name's sake.
Preachers: Keith Rochford / Ryan Hemelaar:
'For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables' 2Tim 4:3-4.
Today Ryan opened up the preaching and drew a good sized crowd within a few minute's he had some hecklers straight away who were asking "If God made the world, who made God?' this is a classic category mistake question, it is like asking 'what is the smell of blue?' only finite things require a cause, infinite things do not require a first cause, Ryan answered the crowds questions and then delivered a gospel message.
As I jumped up to preach some of Ryan's previous hecklers returned to ask more question's we covered the validity of the Bible, why christianity is the right religion among all the man made efforts and then things started getting very interesting, a Catholic started asking if we need to keep the Sabbath? Which is a strange question from them as you would expect that from a seventh day adventist, I countered the question by quoting Romans 14:5-10 and Col 2:16 we are not to let others judge us regarding Sabbaths/days of worship, he got very angry and said I am quoting the Bible out of context as Paul was only speaking to the Jews, I reminded him that Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles and he left. This gave a great opportunity to preach on the false gospel of the Catholic church i.e Justification by work's infused grace, treasury of merit and idol worship and allowed me to close with the true gospel. Any other gospel preached is 'Anathema' (accursed, eternally condemned) Gal 1:8-9
Ryan jumped up for his second bout of preaching and after about 45mins he wrapped up and had to leave as he was speaking at Church , this left Nato and myself, Nato continued on tracting duty and I stepped up to preach again, things really started to happen here, I instantly had a few excellent hecklers one claiming to be a Physicist another a relativist and finally a new ager, I debated and undermined the theory of evolution based on its own claim as a theory and as agreed by the Physicist Phil its lack of evidence biologically and in the fossil record I then quoted a few world renowned evolutionary scientists that agree they have no evidence but except evolution on faith.
The relativist Craig was one of the best hecklers I have ever had, he was calm, asked great questions and most importantly was willing to listen to reasonable plausible and logical argument's by the end of our discussion he agreed there is right and wrong and that absolutes exist, more importantly his whole attitude changed when the Law and grace were preached, he became quite emotional, please pray for Craig as he has been through some difficult times recently and really needs God to grant repentance and faith.
My new age heckler Troy was quite amusing, when asked if he had ever lied? He said 'yes', but would not admit that made him a liar, he was very happy for anyone else to be labeled one though, I just kept thinking of what the Bible tells us in Proverbs 'all the ways of a man are pure in his own eye's but the Lord weighs the spirits' Prov 16:2 We can kid others and ourselves about what is right and wrong, but our God given conscience will not tell us what we want to hear, it bears witness to the Truth of God's Law.
After around 1 hour of preaching I wrapped up with a gospel message and covered freedom from slavery to Sin through Christ, there was a large crowd present to hear all that was preached so please pray for everyone present.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Second in Command
Gold Coast Team
This week was cold and sullen in sheffield, and the people like the weather were likewise sullen and unresponsive. We began the day with Anna preaching in the centre of Fargate mall, a couple of people stopped to listen but by and large they just filed past. We pray that those who heard the message even in part would be convicted of their sin and like one fleeing the plague would flee to the saviour Christ Jesus.
We went from preaching to the peace gardens, we have had a good response from the goths in the past but we are now seeing a decided opposition to the gospel arising. Anna had a good long conversation with Preston, many times she gave him the gospel and we pray that he would repent and be saved. I gave out some tracts during this and offering some to scot and his siblings got a very abrupt refusal and “you have some new trash every week don't you?”. I challenged scot as to why he was so against the gospel, this spawned a conversation that went for some time.
As it began to rain we retreated to the millennium gardens and spoke more there. As we spoke others were asking questions and I tried to answer some of these objections and give a reasoned defence for our faith. Part-way through this a council officer came up and informed me that a complaint had been made (from one of the goths as it turned out), and that I could not preach in the gardens. I protested that I was not preaching but merely talking with people, but he demanded I leave. At this point one of the goths decided to gloat and accused me of lying about what I was doing. I left and we will be praying that God would work to bless those behind the opposition and would sovereignly draw them to Himself and save them.
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5:43-45)
Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." To the contrary, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:17-21)
Please be in prayer for Godliness and wisdom for the authorities and that the opposition of the Goths would be overcome by the power of God conquering hearts and minds.
Saturday, 8 March, 2008
Before heading out on the streets tonight I was pondering some things that had been said to me in the week previous. I thought about how some people view street evangelism as not being compassionate, so I prayed that God would give me greater compassion. I thought about how people say this sort of ministry doesn’t show fruit, so I prayed that God would let us see just a little fruit if it be His will.
The whole accusation of not having compassion I freely admit cut me up a bit, because I believe that those who engage in street evangelism are having compassion on those in society who the church seems to reject. Many of us would have heard sermons about going to the poor, since they are the down trodden of society and that they are the people group that Jesus spent time with, but the people that think this way don’t seem to realise that there is another people group that Jesus spent time with also, and that is the part of society that many street evangelists deal with daily, the society I am talking about are the drunkards.
While many people are happy to be involved in the social gospel of helping the poor, there are many who would not take the time to sit in the gutter next to a drunk and tell them about God’s amazing grace. Now I applaud those who share the gospel with the poor, but I appeal to them not to forget the other people groups as well. As Christians our mandate is to preach the gospel to the poor, the drunks, the rich, the upper class, the lower class, the working class, in short we are to preach Christ to all. This I think is a true sign of compassion, when we don’t care who we witness to, as long as we get to preach Christ!
Our job as those who engage in evangelism is not to sit by and wait for the lost to come to church, but rather we are to be pro-active in the gospel proclamation and go out to where the lost are and point them to the Way, Truth and Life! Our primary role is not to engage in social reform, while that is good it is not the main purpose of evangelism. The main motivation for evangelism is not even the salvation of souls, but rather it is that God may get glory!
As I walked along the streets of Brisbane all I could think of was “Lord, I long to see your name glorified! Father glorify your name!” Then coming to mind was the familiar scripture of John 12:28: "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again." (ESV)
As we set up that was our motive, to see God glorified! And as one focuses on that as our purpose for being, one soon realises that what people think about you means absolutely nothing, and that its not our job to seek fruit, but rather it is our job to seek God!
The first preacher up for the night was Andrew Hsu, the mall looked quiet but as he stood to preach one could hear the familiar sound of the call that sounds before any Operation 513 preacher speaks, and that was the call of SDG (Soli Deo Gloria!) This call reminds the preacher for who he is preaching.
While Andrew was preaching I was in back play with Ryan on the Bible table that has run out of bibles (good problem!) During this time I was approached by a man from India, I began to speak to him and it turns out that he is a Sikh. We began to discuss different religious viewpoints and he was very open to hearing the Christian message. So I opened my Bible and began to show him the scriptures that explain the gospel.
Firstly I spoke from Romans 3:23:
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
Then I explained to him that we show that we are sinners when we break the Law of God, and we do that by lying, stealing, lusting, hating, blaspheming God’s name etc. After the man had an understanding of sin I took him to Romans 6:23:
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The payment for our sins I explained to him was eternal death and punishment in hell. This made the man stop and think. He grasped the concept of eternal punishment as I explained to him how a lawbreaker must be punished by a good judge, then I swung around and showed him that God is the good judge of all the universe.
But, I pointed out that the rest of the verse talks about how one can have eternal life, and that is found only in Jesus Christ, this led me to Romans 5:6-8:
“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person--though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die-- but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
From this passage I was able to point him to how at just the right time Christ Jesus came to die for the ungodly, that is He came to die for liars, for thieves, for those who hate, and for those who lust. Basically Christ Jesus came to die for sinners like you and I. But, that is only part of the account, for three days later He arose from the dead and now He lives as King of Glory!
After explaining the cross to the man, and also the resurrection I then turned in my Bible to Romans 10:9:
“… if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
One could see a light go on in the man’s eyes as he realised that there is life and hope in Christ Jesus. He understood how Jesus Christ took our punishment upon Himself, so that if we would trust in Him we would not perish. He also realised that contained in that trust in Christ involved a turning and forsaking of sin, and that in confessing Him as Lord meant that one no longer lives a life of sin, but rather lives a life the way God says to.
The man took our last Bible, and also an in-depth gospel tract. As he left I pleaded with him to repent and trust in Christ alone for salvation, since we do not know the day or the hour in which we will die. As he left I shared one last scripture with him, 2 Corinthians 6:2:
“…Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”
Please pray for that man, pray that the gospel seed that was sown would take root in his heart, and that God would grant him repentance.
During this time Hsusy was preaching to a large crowd that had gather to listen to the discussion between himself and a humanist who was raving on about there being no heaven, no hell, and no God. Andrew did some good apologetics, and then swung in and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the crowd that had assembled. Many of those within the crowd took gospel tracts as they left.
Later on in the night it came time for me to preach, so I spoke about the reality of death and dying. But then old mate the humanist heckler returned to dialogue which I was quite happy to do.
We spoke for a brief time, and then other hecklers began to open up and scream at me. I did my best to present the living Christ to them, and also to answer their questions.
While I was preaching a group of young men approached and asked if I remembered them, at first I had trouble, but as they spoke to me it began to come back. These men had been in the crowd about a year ago, and some woman tried to beat one of them up. I was the one that stopped the fight then witnessed to the men. They remembered the conversation and still had the gospel tracts that I gave them. It was good to be able to share with them again, and this time we exchanged details and plan to stay in touch.
Surely God is great! He didn’t have to show us fruit but he was kind enough to show the team that we are indeed having an impact on our city! May His name be praised forever!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Blow Wind Blow is all I can say for the day.
Know that Warren and Chris were unable to make it I went out any way and was able to take my Bro inlaw, John. We got out there and the wind was blowing crazy. i noticed that there wasn't many people going out on to the pier, and if they were they weren't staying out there for long, So we went out there anyway but very few people were in tract takeing moods, I was able to talk to a big hairy biker guy who happily took "Womens Only Carpark" After having a laugh about it we started to chat. His reply to Godly Questions thanks "I'll read it later".
Because of the wind and the few people out there I decided to call it a day early because there was no one around.
So please join us out there this week 2- 4pm Redcliffe Pier.
Go Serve Your KING
Saturday 1st March
This saturday we were joined by the newest member of our team and household, paddy the greyhound our new dog. It was a cold and blowy day but despite this there were a lot of people in Fargate doing their shopping.
Anna and I set up to preach in the center of the mall to preach and I got up and preached. Not many stopped to listen but God will do what He wills and we pray that His word would not return void, even when preached so poorly and weakly.
Moving slightly down the mall Anna got up to preach and using the light of the sun and the Light of the world to point to mankind's darkness she preached the word of God. A couple of young people stopped to heckle her and soon a small sized group were there and Anna gave a strong defence of the faith. Though they scoffed we pray that they would be impacted by the gospel and that the impact would shatter their hard hearts and open their closed minds to the truth. That God would save those He has chosen from before time, so they would glorify His name in heaven for all eternity.
Anna continued to preach and while few stopped we pray that there would be souls stopped in their march towards hell by the little they heard. While Anna preached Rob stopped to say hello to me, this is a young man that we have met many times over the last months. He has been recently doing an alpha course and told me today that he is going to be baptised, I encouraged him to take this step carefully and to seek to honour God in what he does. We continue to pray for him and may God draw him closer to Him!
Anna wrapped up and we began to give out tracts, this is always an interesting exercise and people respond in all sorts of ways. Most people are polite, some are dismissive, some are interested and the occasional person will get very upset at us (thankfully few do this). Today a group of young people coming through the mall wanted to know more about the smart cards and I was privilegded to tell Georgia and her friends of the great saviour that died that they may have life. Five of them listened intently for the whole time and another 6 or so listened to parts of the gospel. Praise God that He works opportunities like this into our lives that we can give Him glory and bear witness to His great works!
Sunday 2nd March
This Sunday Dale from Workington came to Sheffield and we had the great encouragement of witnessing to our town with this brother from up north. Again we went to our regular point of preaching and set up to preach the good news to the lost.
Dale was first to preach and I planned that he and Anna would preach and not myself as I was not feeling up to it that day. This I have discovered from others often means that you will end up preaching none the less, I only pray that it is not pride but rather the Spirit’s prompting that causes such things.
Dale’s preaching is very sound and solidly founded on Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection and in the time that I’ve known him his becoming increasingly bold for the Lord. This faithful brother in Christ stood and preached the gospel as he has done in his own town of Workington for a long time now. During the preaching a crowd gathered and Dale was doing excellently to field questions and answer objections. During this Dale graciously tagged me in to chat to one of the hecklers about creation and so I gave a short apologetic on the existence of God and the biblical account of our origins. I closed by urging people to look to the saviour and consider Him.
During the the preaching Anna had gotten into a discussion with Jamie and so while Anna went through the law and the grace of God with him Dale and I distributed tracts. Jamie is very hard of heart and it was very hard work to witness to him, pray for him, that his blindness will be removed and he will see his spiritual poverty and need for a saviour.
While I was tracting two girls took tracts and wanted to know what the good person test cards were about so we went through the good person test together. What followed amazed me, they were: humbled by the law, frightened by hell (as all should be really), shocked at the great sacrifice of Christ, and said there was no reason to stop them trusting in Christ. I encouraged them both to pray and seek God in repentance and trust. They left with tracts and went off (only to stop and play with Paddy :)).
Anna also preached today and again proclaimed the gospel well. Anna has been preaching for increasing periods of time and her voice is becoming much stronger. More importantly as she has developed as a preacher Anna has never strayed in her focus on God's word and the gospel of Christ crucified for sinners.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith." (Romans 1:16-17)
After Anna finished and we had a short chat with a local rastafarian we headed home and to church. Dale had decided to head back to Workington and so left us for home also.
What a weekend, Glory to God in the Highest!
Saturday, 1 March, 2008
The year has gone so quickly, we are now three months into the new year, and looking back to the start of the year I am amazed at the mercy and grace of God. This year has been spent advancing the glory of God through the proclamation of the gospel. It is so incredible and humbling to sit back and just watch God sovereignly intervene in the lives of those who have been touched by the life giving gospel.
We had a small team tonight, and as a result of this I was forced to call in re-enforcements. The city was abuzz with excitement and lust. The homosexual community was excited due to the night being the big yearly celebration of their abomination in Sydney, and the other deviants were excited due to the Sexpo that was being held in the Brisbane CBD.
Operation 513 - Brisbane, followed its normal routine of prayer and Bible reading, then at 9pm we set up in the Queen Street Mall. The first preacher up for the night was Ryan.
Ryan preached on a range of topics ranging from evolution and atheism to the universality of morals. For most of the night Ryan had a good sized crowd listening. Which was quite good since Ryan preached for well over two hours.
He did a good job in handling hecklers, and arguing everything with an eye on the cross. No matter what was presented he would answer the question and then point it back to the glorious gospel.
At around 11:30pm Ryan tagged me to deal with a young female heckler who was dressed in the typical garb of a Goth. She was asking about the Pax Romana (Peace of Rome) and the early church. So we did a bit of church history and I explained how the Christians earned respect by caring for others, then we had to move forward in history to deal with the Crusades.
I built the case that a true Christian will be a follower of Christ, and since a follower does as his master says, then a true Christian is one who keeps the words of Christ. The hecklers agreed to this, so then I pointed out that Christ commanded us to love our enemies, and not to go about killing people in the name of God. We then concluded that the Crusades were a religious war, and not a Christian war.
This then opened up onto the topic of salvation, so I was able to expound the mercy of God, and Sovereignty of God. I explained to the crowd that salvation belongs to the Lord, and He alone is the one who has mercy. Then I built that our good works will never earn out way into heaven. The crowd was receptive, and people took tracts after the open air.
While we were short staffed for the night, it was still good to see God’s name being glorified by the preaching of His Word!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Date: 02.03.08 Sunday
Blog Report: Operation 513 Gold Coast City Team
Ryan Hemelaar (our cherished hardworking webmaster)
Nathan (our new friend and labourer in Christ)
Team Visiting Assistants:
Victor Barwick (long time friend)
Kyosti (hilarious friend!)
Tears were falling..
Your preaching your heart out, but people aren't stopping. Then you notice to the side, a middle-aged women quietly wiping tears away from her eyes. Time stops. We often have no idea what it is God till we get to heaven and He shows us. Preach the word, be faithful.
Sin was calling its servants to obedience..
Two young teenage ladies held each other pationately, and embraced with thier lips.. an attempt to discourage the preachers from thier listeners and the message of Christ: Repent and Believe.
Tutankhamun made an appearance:
While Ryan preached a young man of 24 perhaps, argued that Tutankhamun had revealed truth to him, and attempted to explain some ridiculous and contradictory reason for why we were alive.. stranger things happen when you preach the gospel. This was probably an attempt to distract the preachers from preaching the truth, and get them into a useless discussion over an irrelavent peice of information with no eternal value.
Copies of the written word of God were requested..
Weekly copies of the scriptures are placed into the hands of those who are keen to read its words, and understand its message. This is a free service I offer at personal expense, and by the generous contributions of those who support my personal ministry. None of which I could do of course, without the Independant Baptist Press who subsidise, import and print the resources I use as an Indendant Baptist Missionary to Australia. All this is accomplished by the manifold and diverse grace of God. God's word is relavent today, and is still powerful, able to break the hard hearted rock in pieces.
Ash returns, but completely under the influence of alcohol..
Ash a common participant in dialogue with the Open Air preachers was back today. Sadly he was drunk. Nathan spent some valueable time labouring with him this week.. this is our job. Preaching the gospel in season and out of season... are you?
Man stands at traffic lights, talking to Victor Barwick, while the lights went green ten times..
Victor, or Snow as his friends affectionately call him, was handing out gospel tracts. Then a tattoed man came along, and was about to cross the road, when Snow offered him a gospel tract. A million dollar note.. the lights changed ten times, before the man crossed the road. He listened intently and asked question's as Snow presented the gospel of Christ to him. God only knows the end of this man, and we plead for his salvation.
Lesbians talk to Preacher:
They asked was homosexuality wrong. To which I posed them the question, how do we know what is wrong. They had no answer. I explained that all the in's and outs I could about the athiest's morality, and then showing it flawed with no basis for judgement. Then I moved to show that God was the definer of right and wrong. Then I showed them the scriptures regarding homosexuality. God has made his opinion clear in scripture. I urged them to repent towards God.
There is a theme here..
As I contemplated the lack of people who stayed to listen on Sunday, as opposed as to the large crowds we have seen of late, a thought began to enter my mind and then stayed there for a long time.
I could literally list off a long long record of events that occured on Sunday. In every single one of them, you would notice that Christ Jesus by His Spirit was labouring in the Gold Coast for the glory of God.
So often, we get caught up in the unbiblical trap of pragmatism. How strong are we, how many troops do we have, how many people are turning up in the crowds.. and we make the mistake of King David. We count ourselves, to see how strong God is. What fools we are.
God is stronger than all the strength you could percieve with your fleshly eye.. He is greater than ten thousand armies, boasting of millions of soldiers in each. He is more powerful than ten billion solar suns. He is more glorious than all the beauty of the Universe. He is the King who made all things, for the glory of Himself.
Further more, I considered that we could have three hundred men stand and hear us preach.. but I find its better to see one man repent.
For we find the scriptures record that all the angels in heaven rejoice when one repents.. and we find that all the christians rejoice when we get a big crowd. Did you notice something quite markedly different here?
We are rejoicing about the wrong thing.
How many of us get excited, buzzing to celebrate about one person who came to repentance? How wonderful is it to us? Of course we like to see it.. but don't most of us get really really excited about the wrong thing.
When large crowds stop to listen, it can easily be us, a thrill beyond words, and yet the Spirit of God, is grieved. Why? Because we have made the work about us, and not about Him.
The theme of Evangelism, is Christ. The theme of scripture is Christ. The theme of your life, must be Christ or it shall be lost from the sight of the saints, one day, into the fire of His eternal wrath at wickedness.
Jesus Christ is the one who was working today, and if he chose to use Josh Mitchell the worm, or any of the brethren in Christ on the Gold Coast.. he did so for His glory.. and we are grateful to be expended for His name.
Lord Jesus, the Gold Coast is yours, what shall you do with it? Turn our eyes upon thee, and help us to obey your all commandments.
Thank You List:
I want to express my heartfelt thankfulness to those who come out weekly to labour and be made fun of for Christ's sake. I am encouraged every week by the presence of those who faithfully take the word of God to the streets, for the glory of God. God bless you friends.
I also want to thank those who silently, and visibly support the ministry of myself and the Gold Coast Team. Also to those in leadership with me, and web team and so on who labour in the dark hours of the night to get the work done that is so needful. May God bless your sincere efforts for His glory, in the way that pleases Him most.
Also thankyou to the Police Officers who keep the Surfers Paradise region free from criminals, and keep citizens free to do what we enjoy most.. publicly enjoy the moral freedoms we have been given at the hand of God.
Also a thankyou to the cleaners of the Gold Coast. You guy are also an encouragement and an example to me. You do a difficult job, and often at the end of mean people's jokes. Thank you for your work, we appreciate the unsatisfying work you do in attempting to keep clean the Surfers Paradise area, despite the public leaving rubbish everywhere. Thankyou :)
If you would like to take part in the work of evangelism on the Gold Coast, und er the authority of Josh Mitchell, then contact me when you are able. We are careful to make sure trained Christians come out with us, so that we may comfortably give account to the authorities and local churches, that the gospel preached and the attitude by which it is preached is good and godly. To do this, Josh likes to meet with people for coffee, and then suggest a training day, or listening audio's to bring you up to grade, so that you are a workman who needs not to be ashamed. Josh's mobile is 0412 759 536.
Saturday, 23 February, 2008
This summer the weather hasn’t been too bad, mostly we have had mild days with a few exceptions, and today was one of those exceptions! Near where I live the temperature was recorded at hitting 44’C with high humidity, and by the time it came around to going out to preach the temperature hadn’t dropped all that much.
This all served to sap every bit of energy from my body before we even arrived to preach. I arrived in the city early since I had a meeting with a mate, and before we had even got out of the lift in the Myer centre he had given tracts to those who were riding the lift with us.
We met in King George as usual, and it was good to have a time of fellowship around the Word of God, and also to come together as a team and pray for the outreach that night. I have been more and more burdened with the necessity of praying for the outreach, while we fully rest on the Sovereignty of God in the salvation of souls, He still commands us to seek His face. I have been on many outreaches in Australia and overseas, where prayer has not been a central theme, and as I look back on these outreaches I cannot help but wonder if we were as effective as we could have been. Before we can preach the King’s message we should spend time talking to the King. Prayer is vital when it comes to evangelism.
The first preacher up for the night was Ryan Hemelaar, it was good to have him back on team since he has been away on a mission trip in Thailand for the past six weeks. At first I thought he would be rusty in his preaching since it had been a while since he had last done it, yet he preached as if he hadn’t ever stopped preaching.
For about forty minutes he expounded the gospel of Christ, and a good size crowd gathered as he spoke about how everyone has the knowledge of right and wrong written upon their conscience.
After Ryan finished preaching, then Andrew Hsu began. Not long into his message a young woman began to yell at him, and state that only 144 000 people will get to heaven, the rest of humanity will spend eternity on earth. By her arguments it was easy to recognise her as a Jehovah Witness. Andrew expounded the Scripture on how the Bible talks about eternity in either Heaven or Hell. But she would not listen, she just kept on shouting the teachings of the Watchtower. It was then that Andrew said “In the Old Testament it says: Whoever calls upon the name of Yahweh will be saved! But in the New Testament it says: Whoever calls upon the name of Jesus will be saved! Christ is the God of the Old testament!” Upon hearing this the woman turned and left very quickly. Just like many of those within the cults they leave when the truth is being presented, please pray for her, that God would open her eyes to the truth of the gospel.
The time was around 10:30pm when I stood up to preach. Before I even began to speak to young hecklers began to open up on how God does not exist, so I turned to them and asked them to present their case on why they don’t believe in God. This caused a couple of Satanists who were sitting on the ground in front of me to start yelling as well.
It wasn’t very long before God had brought a crowd in to hear the discussion, but as I watched the crowd gather it dawned on me that this was going to be a rough open air meeting. The reason behind this was because everyone in the crowd sat down on the ground, and history has shown that whenever you get a large sit down crowd then you can be assured that something will erupt.
I dealt with hecklers for a few minutes when a young woman approached me to ask a question. In her hand she was holding a cup full of an orange liquid, a thought ran through my mind as she spoke, and that was in a few moments that liquid would be on me. Her question was a loaded one, and every time you get this question you know someone is looking for a fight, the question was “What does God think about homosexuals?” I knew I had to answer, and I knew the moment I did the crowd would erupt, but as preachers we aren’t called to please men, but rather we are to please God, so I opened the Bible and pointed out that God views homosexuality as an abomination.
This sent the young woman into a fit, she bean to scream that she hated me and that she would cut me up and kill me. I replied that if God grants her that authority then she can, but until that time God will not allow her the power to kill me. She then turned and threw the whole cup of orange liquid at me. I saw it coming so I was able to turn a bit, this cause the liquid to splash across my chest and then continue on behind me. The only problem was that Andrew and Dan were standing right behind me, so they ended up getting wet as well! It turns out that this liquid was vodka and orange juice, and for the rest of the open air I smelt like a pub!
The action of throwing the vodka then set the crowd into a frenzy, the cry went out “50 points to whoever can hit him in the head!” The crowd cheered and began to throw things at me, they threw bark and rocks. But the most interesting was that they were throwing money at me, the problem was they were aiming at my head. This caused me to duck and put my arm up to shield my head as I was pelted with projectiles.
While people were throwing stuff at me I was able to walk through the complete gospel with a young person who stopped to listen. While I spoke about sin the crowd didn’t do much but throw things, but the moment I got to the cross they began to yell and shout as well. One could clearly see the enemy was all over this situation, and you could see that he did not want the gospel to go out. In those situations all you can do is stand firm and continue to preach the Gospel!
It wasn’t long after this the police came and the crowd quieten down a bit, the police took a man away for drinking in public and as the officer left he held up the alcohol and yelled out “The evils of drink!” This cause the crowd to boo the officers.
The rest of the night was fairly tame, except for the guy who tried to burn me with a cigarette lighter, and the Pentecostal preacher that told everyone that they were children of God, and on the way to heaven. It got a little bit more interesting when that same Pentecostal preacher then physically assaulted Andrew in front of the crowd while speaking in tongues! This event cause the police to go after the Pentecostal preacher in order to arrest him for assault. I made sure to stress to the crowd that the man was not a Christian, since a Christian does what the Bible says. This seemed to get the respect of the crowd.
It was an interesting night in all. Many got to hear the gospel of the good news of salvation in Christ alone.
Soli Deo Gloria!