A day of some good introductory chats and some regulars saying they did not want to hear the gospel again. Pray that those introduced to the good news would check it out further. Pray also that God may be merciful to those objectors and give them a desire to seek Him.
Of particular interest;
- Colin, claimed to be a Christian who was 60% of the way there. This was explained as he has given up adultery and is now fighting some physical addictions. He goes to a 'church' that cannot help him! He listened to the gospel and Lee-Anne urged him to get urgent in trusting Christ alone to save him (he had responded well to the Blondin illustration).
- - Sarah, went through creation to the gospel and chatted about her and her partner's last 12 months. Explained that the Bible portrays even 'heroes of the faith' as true to live = imperfect in this life but looking forward to Christ's return to complete what He merited on behalf of His people in His first coming. So she can expect some Christians to be less mature than others. She had already encountered a few judgmental ones. Stating she would read the gospel of John, I gave her one and explained how it emphasizes the deity of Christ and why that is essential.
--- a week-old visitor from Turkey; this man respected all religions. Briefly Lee-Anne indicated that he needed to trust Christ alone. He was given a comic tract that he said he would get someone to explain to him.
Thanks for praying and all praise to our faithful triune God for enabling His servants to get His good news out to more people.
Thanks for praying for this outreach.
- Pray for Allan, an elderly man who used to do door-to-door witnessing for Jesus for 10 years until his wife became very violent towards him because she hates God. At one stage he was chased by his wife with a gun. So unfortunately he stopped his Christian endeavors and gave up on the faith, and as a result his wife calmed down towards him because he no longer was in the faith. He needs strength and boldness from the Lord to get back to where he was. Pray for this, and for his protection.
- Jai, had previous trouble with the judicial system and did not like the idea of being in trouble with God. He has heard the good news now. He is encouraged to read the Bible that he already has and count the cost of following Jesus.
- Marina, a young Muslim woman who had been raised in a Christian home ihn South Sudan. She had had questions that her church did not answer. She had read the Bible and asked God to reveal Himself to her. She said that we worshiped the same God.
After a long chat showing the uniqueness of the triune God, the 2 natures in Christ, and justification by faith alone vs. her own stated 'works' view, she cordially responded that she still believed He was the same God in Islam and Christianity. As we parted, I suggested that maybe God was answering her prayers of a few years ago with what she had heard today. May God stir her to question her present faith stance.
Again we thank God for the pleasure of serving Him and give Him all the glory for the results.
The Lord's work keeps His people prayerful for we know that we need to be fueled by grace. There was a 22 year old man, Braden who was on a 10 minute smoke break. He thought that Lee-Anne had already spoken to him before. She hadn't but then seized the moment and after conversing a while, Braden stated that this had to be a God-appointment.
Last Saturday, his sister had asked him to come to church but he declined. Now, going through the law, the court room analogy then the gospel, Braden listened carefully. He heard the evidence for the reliability of the Bible, received a gospel of John and after expressing his thanks, returned to work. He has the 'way to heaven' tract. Please pray that God grants him the gift of saving faith and its attendant blessings.
Ryan had a chat with Ramia, a teenager, who had been raised Roman Catholic Being taken through the law and gospel, Ramia exclaimed that he should respond to the gospel today. He was challenged to count the cost and start regularly using the means of grace. Pray the Good Shepherd speaks to him.
He also met a young lass who claimed to follow satan's bible. She lives for today to please herself. She said that there has to be a god if one believes in satan. For her, hell was a temporary something or other. She freely admitted to breaking the commandments of God but tried to justify her sins by saying that the bible has been altered and is full of terrible deeds done by believers. Ryan countered her statements. She changed her mind about the Bible, but then, her bus arrived. Pray that God sends more of His messengers to complete the gospel presentation to her.
I had a long chat with Fabian, from P.N.G. His professed faith in Christ was reinforced as he talked about his daily walk with the Lord using God's means of grace. He stated that life without God was meaningless. How true! The sad thing was that he had met very few Christians on our streets since he arrived in Australia. Rom. 1:16,17!!!!!!!
Again we give God all the glory for the above and other events of this time serving Him. How privileged we are to be used of Him as we are in our many faults. Maranatha!
It seemed a mainly 'black and white' day at the bus stop today. There were those who compressed their lips as they indicated they were not in a talkative mood - mainly older citizens. But also. there were teens who confessed to be Biblically ignorant but took tracts and seemed to accept the challenge to take the Bible seriously for it deals with God's way to eternal life or an eternity of personal misery. Pray that they do 'check it out'.
One young man reckoned that he was too bad to be saved. However he heard God's good news. While he seemed unchanged, we pray that as God's word does its work, Is. 55:11; Heb. 4:12, so his conscience is awakened so that he breaks free from his current fatalistic stance.
We thank God for conversations had, tracts distributed and all our imperfect works with all our imperfect prayers made acceptable through the offices of our Mediator, the Lord Jesus Christ, and to the praise of God's glorious grace.
On arriving, I spotted a young lady with a portable tract stand but facing away from me. Suspecting she was a J.W., I asked the Lord to send her to me if He wanted me to speak to her. He did. Nadia from Denmark, a pleasant lass who had multiple Bible translations on her phone, including the J.W. 2013 updated 'new world' version. We agreed that the only source of absolute Truth is the Bible.
- We discussed their addition to Scripture, Col. 1:16 "For by Him all other things were created..." and how this changes the meaning of what God had said and requires Jesus to be categorized as a creature. Of course this is heresy and invokes the curses for adding to Scripture.
- We agreed that Rom. 1 condemns the exchanging of God's truth for a lie and the worship of creatures instead of the Creator. Since I worship Jesus as God and she believes that Jesus is a creature, then I should be sent to hell? She rejects hell as not justice but cruelty from God who is loving. I asked her: If I reject Jesus whom God says "This is My beloved Son. Listen (listen so as to obey Him) to Him, then I, a finite creature have offended the God who is infinite. Surely I can never pay off my debt of sin and so must spend eternity in God's prison?
- The positive challenge came from Jn. 5:23 "that all may honour the Son just as they do the Father..." Nadia stated that she would look into this verse that calls for equal honouring of the Father and the Son. Pray that she does, and although she might do so in order to have an answer for the future, ask our sovereign Lord to overrule this and be pleased to draw her to the Saviour.
There was a young lad whom Ryan saw reading a tract as he approached (none of us had given him one and we had just started but God has His way of getting His word where He wants it). Following a lengthy chat for the lad was full of questions, his bus arrived. Pray the Lord stirs Him to check out the good news.
What will the Lord do with the tracts handed out and the conversations had, even the one Lee-Anne had with a vegan who burst out ranting when she would not accept that she needed to stop killing animals ( he thought her vinyl handbag was leather) or maybe he did not like the challenge of God's good news? God alone does what is righteous in every encounter. We praise Him for using us in our frailties and we delight in ascribing all glory to Him alone.
God is building His Church and when the last of the elect is welcomed into the everlasting kingdom, then...? Glory!
Today there were some people who professed saving faith but struggled to explain why they thought God would welcome them into His presence. So we handed them tracts and explained how Jesus satisfies God's legal requirements on behalf of His people so that as one comes to seek mercy from God, trusting in Christ and His perfect saving work, God is pleased to glorify His Son by granting the mercy of the remission of all one's sins and bestowing the gift of everlasting life.
The idea of not depending in some way on one's own efforts to please God is just as difficult today as it was 500 years ago. The only remedy for one's old nature is the regeneration that God the Holy Spirit alone bestows.
Please pray for Ruth, a SDA lady to whom Lee-Anne spoke last week, asked for prayer. She needs a firm grasp on the gospel.
There were some usual question marks,
- like the satanist who stated that nothing would change her unbelieving mind;
or - like the atheist who did not want anyone controlling him but himself!
God granted us another day in which He went before, and with us, and after us, doing His glorious work and to Him alone we ascribe all honor and praise along with our thanks for using weak vessels such as we are. (p.s. When He has completed His work in us, we shall be spotless, blameless. Wow!)
Another interesting foray into the Lord's harvest field.
- A man of 25 years, Luke, needs our prayers that he would accept God's terms of reconciliation today. He was last seen reading his copy of John's gospel. His response was at the conclusion of a long chat that included many important things that he came to understand besides the way of salvation, e.g. the reliability of the Bible.
- a middle-aged man, Mr. A, who seemed hazy about why God should let him into His heaven. After some well-directed questions, Mr. A said that he did not deserve to go to hell for his sins. Why flee to the Saviour if you do not think God's wrath is upon you? His minister is being contacted to follow up.
- Karen, got the double treatment from two different team members. She claims to have received Jesus 18 years ago but does not understand God's Self-revelation, the Bible. Pray she acts upon the challenges put to her to ask God to enlighten her understanding and/or to see her pastor about joining a beginner's Bible study.
- a few religious types of the ABJs ( anything bur Jesus ) variety. For these and other who received tracts or had chats, please pray that God would stir those whom He is dealing with at this time, to pursue salvation seriously from now on.
Again we thank God for the privilege and pleasure of serving Him as we render all glory honour and praise to Him alone.
School holidays continue but our great God is always at His glorious work, Ps. 127:1 "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain who build it." His house is unmistakable - bullet-proof and glorious as He Himself is.
Quite a few tracts were received today; many people were not 'our regulars'. Then there were a few scoffers, a few listeners, and a few who could not, or would not, agree with God's Way to reconciliation with Himself. To think that the Son of God willingly bore the wrath of God and so many seem disinterested!
We work. We and you pray and God always has the last word and He is always right. We, by nature, are sinners and if God had not dealt with us in His grace, we would have still been rebels at heart. Praise God for each one He saves and may we join with the angels rejoicing over one sinner who repents.
Praying always, we thank God for using us in our weaknesses and to Him alone be the glory. He is worthy.
It was an encouraging outreach yesterday at Capalaba. The team went from one gospel conversation to the next, with some disinterested people (as expected) in-between.
One conversation we had was with two young people, one initially responded to the question of whether they thought they would go to heaven with, "Oh I'm gay". But by the end of the conversation they were both considering the message of the gospel, and were happy to take a gospel of John to start reading.
Another person we spoke with, Alex, said that he reads the Bible every night but he wasn't sure of whether God would let him into Heaven. He did think he was a good person though. So we went through some of God's commandments, and he began to see his sinfulness and asked what he could do. I explained that Jesus was able to pay our fine for us on the cross 2000 years ago.
At the end of the chat I asked him, "So now, what do you have to do to get to Heaven?" He said, "Trust in Jesus". I urged him to do that today, and make sure he counts the cost of following Jesus, for Jesus doesn't want half-hearted followers.
To God be all the glory!
This afternoon in Capalaba it was a little tougher to evangelise because there were less people around and a more people were vocal regarding their hatred of God and His Gospel. None the less there were still many valuable conversations had by the team!
In this tense time regarding the same sex marriage plebiscite, I asked a man, named Jamie, who was just walking by the bus stop if he thought he was a good person. Jamie responded and said he thought he was a decent guy and then inquired as to why I was asking.
I simply explained that Operation 513 is a Christian group existing specifically for the purpose of engaging with people to share the Gospel. Jamie's response was simply, "I'm probably not your kind of guy, I'm not religious and I'm gay."
I asked, "Why don't you think I would be interested in engaging with you?" He said, "Because churches usually are grossed out by and hate people like me."
This was my opportunity, to share with this man that Christians are still sinners. I started by saying, "Christians aren't a group of people who think they're good, rather they're a group of people who know they're not. We as Christians are united by the very fact that we desperatly need a Saviour."
He said, "Oh ok." He seemed very taken a back that I hadn't even flinched despite what he thought was an "unforgivable" sin. I went on to explain, that Christians are often plagued by self-righteousness. We are still prone to thinking we're better than someone else because they sin differently than us and even stronger every person, Christians included, are plagued with broken sexuality, broken identity and broken relationships.
I went on to explain that, every single person is sinful, proud and selfish to the core. We have all made ourselves enemies of God. We are all rebels against our Creator and that wickedness deserves Hell.
Jamie said, "How do we know we're not living in Hell now?" in reply I simply said, "Hell is a place where God removes all His good gifts, intimacy, relationships, pleasure and comfort and instead pours out His justice and wrath on those who are rebels and will rebel against Him eternally. The very fact that we can stand here talking means we are not in Hell."
That seemed sufficient. So I finished explaining, "Even though we deserve Hell and it is God who should punish us, God Himself made a way of salvation." I explained that God came into this world, in the form of a man, as a servant, in the person of Jesus Christ.
In fact, Jesus willingly volunteered. He is perfect and sinless and went to the cross to suffer the full fury and wrath of God for sin. On that cross Jesus was punished as if He were you and I so that if we turn in surrender to Him we can be redeemed. We can have our sin forgiven. We can have our relationship with God and others restored and we can have our true humanity repaired.
With these last sentences, Jamie seemed to be holding back some tears and was keen to take a tract and said, "I am quite interested, I shall definitely have a read when I get home and consider it."