Well, it was a wet start to the day today, with Glen, Andy and myself out and about. Glen decided we should spend the day in the central city. I arrived first, and bought a coffee.
It amazes me how much the city changes every time I come home. Little by little, the landscape changes for the better, with one less patch of rubble, and one new building I haven’t seen before.
It is Pride week this week in NZ, and there were rainbow flags painted everywhere – on lamp posts, on the cobblestones, and every business window. Part of me wondered if it was out of support for the LGBTQ+ community, or out of fear of reprisal if they hadn’t acknowledged it.
We started with prayer in speakers’ corner in the square, then spread out from there. Lots of people took tracts, but alas I couldn’t get anyone to stop and converse.
Oscar: He took a tract, but turned out he was a Christian. He thanked me for what I was doing.
We walked over to Cashel St, where there were a lot of people coming and going. Lots took tracts, and I had some mixed conversations…
Emma: She stopped her e-scooter in front to the bank. We got into a long Gospel conversation. She was fighting me all the way, She could not accept why someone would want to pay her hell punishment for her. Although I walked her through the Gospel, her demeanour showed me she was going to reject it, and sure enough, she walked away from me and into the bank when I was in mid-sentence.
Craig: This gentleman was an evangelists dream! He was convicted by the law, and understood that he would be in big trouble on Judgement Day. He knew he needed to repent and place his faith in Christ, otherwise he would end up in hell. I asked him when he was going to do this, and he said right now! I explained the importance of feeding on the scriptures, and getting hooked into a biblical church. We shook hands, and I promised I was going to pray for him.
I was still buzzing form that conversation when I noticed a woman sitting vaping in the court…
Rebecca: She was on her break from work. I took her through the law, and she admitted she would be in bad shape when standing before God. I asked her what she would say if God asked her why He should let her into heaven. She said there was nothing she could do but face His wrath. Then I shared the glorious Gospel with her, and then asked the question again. She said that because her faith was in someone else who took her hell punishment for her. Bang, she got it first time! I asked when she was going to do this, and she said before she went home, but she had to go back to work. Before parting, I asked her to start reading her bible regularly, and get into a good bible-believing church.
I could see that Andy & Glen were in deep conversations as well. We then decided to walk down to the Bridge of Remembrance, but I was almost skipping my way down there after those conversations!
Joseph: Well, he told me his name was Joseph, but Glen gave me a different name. He had a blind person’s stick, and a speech impediment. He said that his name was Joseph, that his late wife was Mary, and his son was Jesus. Of course, this bemused me. From what he said, it was like he had taken a little bit of Mormonism and Catholicism, and smooshed them all together to make a religion of his own. In the end all I could do was press that the only way he could get to heaven was to place his faith in Christ for saving him, and forget all the rest. He was very polite, and I wished him well.
We went back to Cashel St / Colombo corner.
I approached a woman who said she was a worker for a non-profit social service agency. She tried to convince me that because she did all this work that God will grant her entry to heaven. She said that everything before Christ’s crucifixion can be accepted as fact, and everything after his resurrection can only be accepted by faith. I must admit I’ve never heard that one before! I advised her that her goods works will not impress God on Judgement Day, but only faith in His Son. She did not like my answer, but she needed to boarded the tram.
We went back to the square and had some lunch. Andy thought he might do some street preaching at speakers corner, but another guy was setting up. We listened to him for a while, but never heard the Gospel once, just a polemic rant. I couldn’t get anyone to accept tracts near him. I think they associated me with the speaker. So we decided to go to Ara (Institute of Canterbury). On the way I passed a woman walking her bicycle…
Ainsley: I walked back through the square with Ainsley. She told me she went to C3 Church. I asked her how I get to heaven, but she couldn’t really answer apart from to say it’s all about relationship with Jesus. So I took her through the law, and she come to the understanding that repentance, and faith in Christ are the only prerequisites for eternal life. I told her that if she did not hear that from her church leaders, then maybe she should find another church that did? She thanked me, then rode away on her bike.
On the way back through the square I passed a tract to a construction worker talking on his cellphone. He read the back of the tract out loud over the phone to his partner! I laughed and walked over to where the others were just finishing conversations of their own.
On the way to Ara, both Glen and Andy got into long conversations at Cashel / High corner, so I stopped and handed out tracts there. By this time all the workers were going back to work from lunch, so I couldn’t get anyone to stay and converse with.
The rain started to set in again as we arrived at Ara, so we sheltered under the big oak trees at the entrance. Immediately Andy started conversing with a young Jewish student, who was trying to convince him that keeping the law was the only way to eternal life. Andy spent the whole time conversing with him, about 90 minutes in total! Glen was like a machine, having conversation after conversation.
I had some awesome conversations as well, including…
Chin: His English was very patchy, but he managed to get the tract translated via Google, and eventually understood its intention!
Deepok: He told me he was a Christian. I asked him to tell me how to get to heaven, and he said I needed to ask Jesus into my heart. I asked why would I do that, but he couldn’t tell me apart from just to do it. So I went through the Good Person Test with him. He failed miserably, so I gave him the Gospel. Light bulbs went off in his eyes. He told me he hadn’t read his Bible for a long time, so I encouraged him to devour it like a starving man, then to go and tell others the good news he now knows!
Damon: He took a tract, but didn’t look interested at first. When it came to guiding him through the law, he went red when I got to lust. He said that he supports the rainbow community (I had my suspicions). I asked him “What if I took you through this without mentioning homosexuality, would you then listen?” He said he would. I managed to convict Damon via some of the other commandments. I advised him that he was headed for hell regardless of being homosexual. I think this garnered some respect from him. I gave him the Gospel, and he listened intently throughout. I told Damon that Christians don’t hate homosexuals, but actually love them enough to tell them the truth. We parted with a handshake. I think that may have been the first time I have managed to go through a complete witnessing encounter, including the Gospel, with a homosexual!
Sam: Sam was another evangelists dream encounter. I went through the law with him, and I could see his eyes welling up when he realised he wouldn’t make it to heaven. When I told him the glorious Gospel of how Jesus paid his hell fine for him, he was nodding. I asked him what he would say if God asked him why He should let him into heaven. He started saying because he was a good person, but stopped himself. Then he said that because his faith was in Jesus, who took his punishment for him. He got it! I showed him how to download the ESV Bible on his phone, and read the book of John. I also told him to get connected with a Bible- centred church.
We walked back to our cars, stopping in front of the ‘Cardboard Cathedral’ to pray.
It really was a fantastic day of outreach. This week is getting better by the day, and I am so grateful I made the time to do this in my home town!