It has been a cold couple of weeks here in Hobart and it is sometimes hard to go out into the mall and do outreach. Praise God that when we are weak He is strong and supplies all that we lack! In spite of the cold it has also been a wonderful time here in Hobart with many fantastic opportunities to share the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ.
Over the last couple of weeks Mr S. our regular heckler has taken to setting up a pro-homosexual marriage table in speaker’s corner. This means that during the hour that he is set up we need to go to other areas. This has been a blessing rather than the irritation I suspect that he intended it to be. It has meant that we have spent much more time in prayer and many more tracts have gone out into the city, as tracting is restricted at speaker’s corner.
The other blessing is that this has been a prompt for us to pray more frequently for Mr S.’s salvation. He is a young man who is blindly committed to atheism in the face of many evidences and has been heavily involved in the occult for many years (he even has the tattoos to prove it). He desperately needs salvation as do so many in this sinful city. Please be in prayer for Mr S., that God would soften his heart and show him the greatness of his sin and the even greater love of Jesus. And if you are reading this Mr S., please be sure of our ongoing prayers and hope for your inclusion in God’s family.
Preaching went well today but was a little quiet as always is the case in winter here in Hobart. At one point a small crowd gathered as I spoke with a man and I could share the gospel with those gathered.
On the other hand there has been a flurry of interest in the bible table today, with most of my bibles taken in the first 2 hours. Also we had a couple of enquirers wanting to talk about theological issues. Both enquirers were utterly committed to anti-biblical positions, one of them parading as biblical.
Firstly was a man from the local hyper-charismatic church, they teach that there is no salvation possible without first baptism and then second speaking in tongues. We have spoken before and today was in many ways no different from previously. I opened scripture to show how their teaching contradicts scripture, and he refused to see what I sought to share. The only difference was a tragic one. Previously people from this church have sought to prevent me from sharing the gospel only by distraction. Today though I was told not to preach the bible message the way I do as it includes parts of scripture that are for Christians only and should never be preached outside a church. This man also told me that I am wrong to tell people to repent and believe only as they must also be baptized and speak in tongues.
These two issues stem from the same root, which is the legalistic rejection of God’s grace. This is a deadly error that the Apostle Paul wrote against in the book of Galations, salvation is all of grace or it condemns us outright. We destroy the gospel and make it very bad news indeed if we say like the legalists of Galatia that we must keep certain laws or do certain things (in this case baptism and supernatural languages) in order to be saved. If we seek to be right with God through law keeping we are bound to keep ALL the law, and none of us do that. Please pray that God will remove the deception that these folks are under and lead them into a relationship with Him of grace. Please also pray for us that we will be kept from this same error of law keeping, we are all bent in the direction of this sin and it is only by God’s grace that we stand.
The second enquirer was a man who believed that the word of God was corrupted and a mish-mash of myth and legend. Yet despite this he appeared quite confident in being able to tell what was true and false in the “mix”. It is the first time I have ever been told that the Cross is a two-dimensional version of the Qiblah in mecca (think folding paper to form a cube…) and that the Davidic star of the Jews links into Revelation chapter 3 and the “synagogue of Satan” in Philadelphia.
Apparently two thousand years after the fact it is crystal clear that the whole bible is cobbled together from previous myths (including Mythras who came after the writing of scripture). Not only that but this man was also certain that Christianity was a hoax and a means of controlling us and keeping certain people in power. I was able to share some reasons to believe the bible is what it claims to be (the divine inerrant word of God) and unfortunately, he was unwilling to listen to much more than that. Please pray that God will open this man's eyes to the truth and bless him with salvation.
Praise God for the many and varied opportunities that He brings us each day!
On Saturday night for our Brisbane city outreach, we were blessed to be joined by students from a local Bible college who wanted to get a bit of experience doing evangelism. We encouraged them each to tag along with a more experienced team member, so they could get a bit of feel for how it is done. And it was great to see a good number of them throughout the night get out of their comfort zone to share the gospel with the lost.
During the open air preaching, God drew in people to listen and watch as the gospel was also illustrated on the sketchboard. This also lead to a bit of interaction with a number of people in the crowd, as they were run through the good person test. And once the preaching concluded, it was a joy to see lots of gospel conversations being had with some of the people who had been listening.
One conversation the team had was with a man named Leo who had no idea on how to get to Heaven, but after hearing about sin, the coming Judgement and the cross, he said, "Oh that makes sense!" He said that he wanted to that day trust in Christ. Please pray he counts the cost.
To God be all the glory!
For our outreach at the Gold Coast we had over 15 people on the team. It was chilly, but still there were plenty of people walking around.
We talked with all sorts, from those who subscribe to reincarnation, to those who admit they love their sin, and even to those who think that whatever anyone believes is true for them. We also got to speak to a Christadelphian family who were not aware that the Bible speaks of salvation by grace through faith alone (rather than through baptism), the deity of Christ, the reality of Hell and personhood and deity of the Holy Spirit.
As they were shown the verses in the Bible about these things, they understood what it said and so had no rebuttal. They said they would read about these things in the Bible when they got home.
Please pray for all who heard the gospel tonight - through the hundreds of gospel tracts that went out, through the one to one conversations and through the preaching of the gospel in the open air. To God be all the glory!
God saw fit to use the team that gathered for the outreach today in Brisbane city. It was school holidays which meant more people were about. That excited us.
When we arrived, the first chat that one of us had was with a young lady who came to Australia six years ago. She was not sure about how to get to Heaven. She listened intently as the gospel was explained to her, and she said that she doesn't have a Bible. At that point, I realised that we had left all the gospels of John in the car. So I went back to the car to get them and then gave her one.
It was a day when quite a number of people we spoke with were happy to take a gospel of John to start reading after being shared the gospel, including Jason (from a Christian home but didn't know the gospel), Tivia (grew up Buddhist), John & Harris (secular) and Kat & Talia (never considered about eternity).
A Chinese lady named Summer also asked us if she could learn more about Christianity and the Bible and so we passed her details on to a local church in the area.
Every Christian is to be part of the Great Commission, and we praise God that we had the privilege of being part of it yesterday in Brisbane city. Please pray for those who heard. To God be all the glory!
Today at Woodridge, many seeds of the gospel went out. Even though it was school holidays, we found heaps of people were happy to talk about eternal matters. Our common starting question was, "Do you think you'll go to Heaven when you die?"
When Cliff was asked that question, he said he would because he thought God will forgive everyone. So we explained to him God's character, that is holy and just and cannot just ignore the sins we've done, otherwise he is no longer just. That is why we need someone who is perfect who can take our hell punishment for us on our behalf.
Even though he said he already goes to a local church, he said he now finally understands the way to Heaven, and was going to place his faith in Christ alone for his salvation. He said, "I really needed this. I think God brought you here today and placed the idea in your head to stop me and talk to me."
Another man named Jordan said, after hearing the gospel, that he doesn't want to trust in Jesus is because of "Christians" who have done bad atrocities against him. I asked, "Would it be right for me to say to you 'You are a horrible person' if someone who claimed to be your friend did some bad things to me?" He replied, "No." I said, "So in the same way, we shouldn't judge Jesus based on some of his supposedly followers." He agreed that made sense and as a result was happy to take a gospel of John to start reading. To God be all the glory!
Last night in Brisbane city we had a massive 22 people on the team, including 3 first timers! This provided an exciting opportunity to engage in many gospel conversations. The team even split up and covered other areas of the Brisbane CBD.
The many conversations engaged, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and general western soceity, "unbelievers".
One team member said that during a conversation with a young lady, who originally professed to be an atheist, went from being hard and closed to being open and interested in learning more!
A lengthy conversation was had with a man named Rob, who professed to be a Christian but was trying to mix his "Christianity" with ideas of enlightenment and postmodernism. He said God was love and only love. He rejected the idea of God's wrath or judgement. It was pointed out that God's love displayed in salvation makes no sense, unless we're being saved from something. He said he understood but was happy to declare that the "god" he worshiped would never punish anyone.
Please pray for the team that each would keep having the desire to step out of our their comfort zone and share their faith. Please pray for those who heard and received the words of eternal life tonight, that they may come to a saving knowledge of the truth!
And if you have the opportunity please join us in declaring this great salvation!
We had a team of 14 or so of us this morning that met to get thousands of gospel tracts into people's letterboxes in Springwood (QLD). We started off with brekkie, and then loaded our hands with eternity postcards and set out. It was a great success, with lovely weather. Glory to God! Please pray for all those who will be reading the gospel tract they've received when they next check their letterbox. God is good indeed!
Many people were out enjoying the beauty of the area, but not many were willing to stop and discuss spiritual matters. The ones whom God sent to us were of a different attitude, e.g.
- Lee-Anne had a long chat with a David who believed in God but was not a Christian. Getting to the reality of hell, he expressed a very deep concern that he might end up there. After hearing the good news, he stated that he was checking the message out.
- Railee had a long chat with a Daphne who had attended a U.C. but said she had never heard the gospel. She had no concept of eternal life/death. After being taken through the law and gospel and shown how the Bible is God's Word, she received a gospel of John and a few tracts to consider what she had heard.
- Ryan had an Aladdin who heard it all, said it made sense and needs to receive God's love gift in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ and trust His work alone to qualify him for glory.
- A young man, Brendan, overtook me as we walked from where we were parked down to the Point. He had some head knowledge and now understands how the gospel flows. He is referred to Romans for studying the gospel and John's gospel for the deity of Jesus.
God encouraged us by making the beautiful day even more glorious for us and hopefully some of those He sent to us, "Today is the day of salvation". God is building His Church and His work is always perfect. Praise Him!
School holidays bring a different sprinkling of people to us, but God's good news is always the same. The ones we were speaking to who seemed more 'open' than others, heard the good news, then the bus would arrive. A few prayers please for these especially:
- Aden, had a Bible and had read half of Matthew but was not currently reading it. After breaking a finger, he had met a 'faith healer' who prayed for him. He said that the pain went away so he never went to a doctor. It was obvious that the bone had healed but not in its normal position. Pointing out the unique of Christianity by the fact of Jesus bodily resurrection, Ryan took him through the law and gospel. Aden then understood the gospel. Still thinking that he would commit to Jesus the next time he went to church, he was challenged to act now - one does not know how many are his 'length of days'. He was also challenged to read God's Word daily and get his spiritual food each day. He was also invited to join us at a local church we attend.
- Oscar, a young student who was unclear about spiritual matters. I took him through the questions he needs answers to if he could believe that 'God is' and that 'God has spoken = the Bible'. He gladly took a comic tract and seemed to likely start searching for God. If indeed the Father is drawing him, he will find the Saviour and new life in Christ.
God is good and His lovingkindness lasts forever.
It was wonderful to see God bring along 10 labourers on the team yesterday for the outreach in Brisbane city. This was a big surprise as I thought we wouldn't have many at all since a couple of the usual team members couldn't make it.
Across the afternoon, the team were greatly encouraged by the conversations they were having with the lost, with people being quite receptive and listening. Over a dozen gospel of Johns went out.
We also had the Good Person test flip chart set up, which is something we haven't set up before for our Wednesday afternoon outreach. But we found that it worked well, with individuals and even groups of people stopping to have a look and listening as they were run through the good person test, which leads into the gospel. Please pray for all those who heard.
"What we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord..." (2 Cor. 4:5). So to God be all the glory!