Present today: Mike, Di, Peck, June. Pastor Jarryd & Josh met us down at the shops.
I opened with one of Spurgeon’s Gospel Extracts:
I once heard a story of an American who declared he could fight the whole British army, and when he was asked how he could draw so long a bow as that, he said: “Why, this is what I would do. I know I am the best swordsman in the world, so I would go and challenge one Britisher, and kill him; then take another, and kill him. Thus,” said he, “I only want time enough and I would kill the whole British army.”
It was a ridiculous boast, but there is something in it which I could not bring out so well in any other way. If we want to conquer the world for the Lord Jesus Christ, rest assured we must do it in the Yankee’s fashion; we must take men one by one, and these ones must be brought to Christ, or otherwise the great mass must remain untouched. Do not imagine for a moment that you are going to convert a nation at once. You are to convert the men of that nation one by one, through the power of God’s Holy Spirit. It is not for you to suit your machinery, and arrange your plans, for the moving of a mass as such; you must look to the salvation of the units.…
We spoke of how daunting the task is when we see the whole picture of evangelism. But we are not to be downhearted at the prospect, but use it as a motivation to share the Gospel with one unbeliever at a time.
We prayed that God will help us to use the tools he has given us to share the best news they can hear!
It was a lovely day down at the shops, and this brought out the people. There were lots of people coming and going. I could see all the team having deep conversations, which was encouraging!
The first people I spoke to was a young couple sitting eating some food from one of the vendors. They both took a tract off me. They didn’t believe in a creator, despite agreeing with the logic behind the building/ builder analogy. They did everything they could do to put me off my stride, disagreeing with most of my points just for the sake of it. They definitely came under the ‘supressing the truth in unrighteousness’ category – deliberately denying the truth they knew to be true. They packed away their lunch and started moving away, so I urged them to think about the afterlife. They said they would, and they left with a couple of tracts each. I prayed that God would cause them to come to their senses!
I stopped a gentleman passing by. His name was Richard. He thought he would go to heaven because he was a good Catholic. So I had to go back to square one with him, and challenge his goodness. He knew he wasn’t perfect, but apparently the Priest absolves any shortfall in confession. He really was blinded by his Catholicism. I was able to slow walk him through how God can’t turn His back on sin without a payment for it. He understood, but it was like he was too scared to let go of his Catholicism. This is the danger of this cult, blinding people to the point of making them believe the lie that they can’t get to heaven without them. I asked him what he would say when God asked him why He should let him into heaven. He again pointed to forgiveness, penance, and his good works. I asked him, do we get to heaven based on what we do, or what Christ has done? He said both. He was very naive with his answers. I really wanted to grab him by the collar, and slap him to wake him up, but knew I couldn’t! I pointed to many verses that pointed out the dangers of relying on good works to get to heaven. He said he had to go, but not before taking a couple of tracts, and hearing my pleading to re-consider. O Lord, have mercy on him!
Around the corner, I called out to a young man named Moko as he was entering the tavern. It turned out to be an awesome chat! He was surprised that I would be talking about the afterlife outside a pub. But he was very open and sincere. He understood that he would not go to heaven if he died. He understood that faith in Christ alone was the only way to get to heaven, and he got all the checking questions right! I gave him a Gospel of John and a couple of tracts. It still gives me goosebumps to take someone through the whole Gospel, and see the change from one of suspicion, to clarity and belief!
The team were in a group talking about some of their chats. I went to join them, but on the way saw a woman named Pare sitting in the sun, so I sat down and engaged her. She said she would go to heaven because her faith was in Jesus. She got suspicious of me, asking what I was doing. I said I was just trying to get as many people into heaven as I could. She asked me if I was saved by the blood, baptised in the Spirit, and could speak in tongues. My insides groaned. I asked her do I need to speak in tongues to go to heaven? She said it is evidence of salvation. She said she was a prophet, and receives messages from ‘Papa’ in the spirit. She asked me if Papa tells me who to talk to. I said sometimes I get a prompting to talk to someone, but I talk to people regardless of it. She said OK. Then she did something weird. She looked away, said ‘OK, alright’ as if on a phone. She said that Papa had just told her to tell me to keep doing what I was doing. I said OK. I asked her how she knew it was God, and not someone else talking to her? She said that when you know, you know. I asked her if the voice ever told her to do something that the Bible tells us not to do? She asked me what the word was. I told her I assumed she was talking about Jesus being the Word? She said yes, and the word speaks to me in my head. Again I asked her if the word she hears lines up with scripture, as the Holy Spirit would never contravene the Word of God. She kept diverting. I didn’t want to waste any more time with her. In the end I told her that in future she should compare her downloads with scripture, and if they don’t match, then really think about whether it really is God talking to her. She said I didn’t understand, but she did take a tract off me and told me to keep up the good work. When I joined the others, I told them to mark and avoid her, as she was a false prophet and probably not even saved. I didn’t want them caught up in her lies.
The last chat I had was with a father and son. The father told me his name was Len, and his son was called Leonard. I must have looked sceptical, because Leonard said it was true. I asked them about the afterlife. They said they didn’t know. I asked them if they believed in God. They said they didn’t know. So I went down the building / builder analogy with them. But as soon as Len saw where the conversation was going, he made an absurdity of it. Everything I said he said ‘what are you talking about? That’s stupid’. I made it as simple as I could, but he was being as sarcastic as possible. It worked, because although I tried my best to be as cordial as I could towards him, I could feel my frustration and anger rising. So it was best for me to end the conversation. They did take a couple of tracts with them, though.
With that, it was time to go. Like that man in the American army, we may not have saved the whole world today, but with God’s help have managed to pick a few of the ‘enemy’ off!
Next reports will come from the Schoolies Outreach on the Gold Coast, from 18-25 November with Operation513. Please keep myself and the team in your prayers!