You may have noticed from previous Field Reports that I have a close working relationship with the brothers and sisters from the ministry of Operation513 – e.g. the Schoolies Outreach in November 2022.
One thing they do very well is evangelism online. This opportunity arose during the COVID lockdowns, when it was not possible to witness face-to-face. Using the Omegle chat forum, they discovered they can chat to anyone in the world at any time. They promoted this through their social website and all their social channels – and pretty soon, their audience grew. Christians from around the world signed up for training – one person originally came to faith via this method, and is now an integral part of this outreach, so they know it works!
As much as I want to, It gets a bit tricky for me to join the live chat stream on weekdays, as they are usually start around midday NZ time, when I am working at my full-time job. But since they livestream to Youtube, I can listen in occasionally. They also do weekend slots, including team training, but lately my weekends have been full. For this reason, I am re-thinking my weekends, and what I can do to free up some more time to dedicate to this.
Last weekend I had some free time, so thought I would jump online and do some chats. So I jumped on omegle, prayed for God’s help, and went for it.
Saturday 4th March
After a few instant bailouts, I spoke to 3 teens from the UK. They were eager to chat, but when I asked the afterlife question, their interest waned. I managed to get them to admit that there was a creator for this universe using the building/builder analogy. They admitted they had lied, stolen etc., but didn’t like the fact that they would be accountable to anyone for it in the next life. Unfortunately, they bailed before I could get to the good news.
One boy from US said he was going to heaven because he accepted Jesus into his heart. I asked him what that meant, and he said that Jesus paid for his sins. I asked which sins, and he couldn’t really name them, apart from not doing what he was told. So I went through the whole law with him. He came up really short. I asked him where he deserves to go, and he said hell. Then I asked what was keeping him from going to hell? He said Jesus dying for his sins. When I asked on a scale of 1 to 100 how sure he was he was going to heaven, he said about 80%. So I backtracked, asking him how much of his sins did Jesus die for? He said all of them. Then how certain can he be that he would go to heaven, then he said 100%! We talked about the importance of getting into his Bible every day, praying, and going to church – not to get to heaven, but because he needs it to grow in his Christian life. I posted the social media links, and he thanked me for the chat.
Then after the usual “Get off omegle, Grandpa!” moments, I was connected to a young lady from Canada. At first she was shocked to see someone as ancient as me on omegle, but she was relieved when I asked the after-life question, and not something more sinister. She warmed to the conversation, and told me she would go to heaven because she was trying to be good. I asked a few questions, and it turned out that she was bad, and no matter how much she tried, she can’t erase the sin debt she already owed. She went silent for a while, so I asked her what she could do to remove the punishment awaiting. She couldn’t think of anything, so I asked her if someone took her hell punishment, how much would be left for her to pay? She said none. So I used a courtroom analogy to explain how someone could pay her fine, and she could be set free – so far as the judge was concerned, the fine had been paid, so justice had been satisfied. I asked her who would do that for her. She was quiet for a long time, then said ‘Jesus’. Her voice was quivering, and I think she may have been crying. So I shared the beautiful Gospel with her. She was silent, and listened intently. When I asked the checking questions, she got them all right – she understood! She said she believed 100% that she would be going to heaven when she died, because Jesus paid her hell fine for her. I gave her all the links to get a free bible, and find a good church. She thanked me for my time, and said she would follow through with her decision, praise God!
I stopped on that high note, and left clicking my heels, buzzing!
Sunday 5th March
My first conversation of note was with a young US man, who kept questioning my logic – not if it was correct or not, but that my logic was not the same as his. I tried to explain that truth is truth regardless if I believe it or not, and he was arguing that logic is not necessarily true, but just for me. It was a dead-end circular argument that often occurs with post-modernists. I brought up the creation/creator analogy, but that just fueled him more, and tried to trap me with semantics, saying that I was saying things I didn’t, and hoping I would give in. I was not going to bail out of the chat myself, because I wanted this young man to hear the Gospel. In the end, he was the one who gave up in frustration, and politely left. I did manage to attach the needgod.net link, so hopefully he’ll take a look. I pray someone has a re-connect with him.
The second chat was my second highlight of the weekend, with an English man. When his face first appeared, I mistakenly stereotyped him as a Muslim. However, nothing could have been further from the truth. What a refreshing change it was to talk to someone who believed in logic! He had a notion of the afterlife that I hadn’t heard before – that our age at time of death determines how many steps we take to heaven. That seemed a little macabre, as no one, not even the woman in the Led Zeppellin song, actually makes it. I asked him if he was good enough to make the full trip to heaven, and he said not sure – he tries to do what is best to make the world a better place. I took him through the law, and he admitted to lying, stealing, blasphemy and adultery. I asked him if he still thought he was a good person. He said now probably not. He had never really thought of it that way. I asked him if God was to ask ‘Why should I let you into heaven?’, what would he say? He said again that he tries to be good. I said but hang on, we already know you’re not good by His standards. He said “uh-oh, you’re right, I’m in big trouble – everybody is”. I agreed, and asked him if there was any way we could escape punishment of hell? He couldn’t think of anything, so I asked him what if someone paid his punishment for him? He didn’t know what I meant, so I used the same courtroom analogy from yesterday again, and that he could go free because the fine had been paid by someone else. I asked him who could pay his hell fine for him? He thought about it for a while and said “Are you talking about Jesus?”. I said that Jesus was the only one who can take his hell punishment, because He was the only perfect person to walk the planet. He said “You’re making so much sense. You’re blowing my mind right now. It makes sense that for me to go free, someone would have to pay the debt I can’t pay”. So I went through all the checking questions re how much of his hell punishment he would have to pay if Jesus took it all, if good works plays a part. He got them all right first time. So I asked him that just like the man in the courtroom had to accept the gift in order to go free, if he would do the same with Jesus. He said “Yes, absolutely, right now! I’ve never heard this before, again, you’re blowing my mind!” So I asked a couple more checking questions, and again, he got them right. I asked him about his friends and family, where would they go? He said they would go to hell because they thought they were good people. I went to ask him what he could say to them, but he said “I could tell them exactly what you have told me!”. I showed him the ESV download link, and told him that the Bible is the best way to learn about God, and how He speaks to us. Prayer is when we speak to him. He said there was only a cathedral near him that he knew about, so I sent him the 9 marks church link to find a good solid church. He told me the conversation was life-changing, and that he was really excited going forward. I said that if we never crossed paths on earth again, if his trust was in Christ for the forgiveness of sins, then I would see him in heaven. He said “Absolutely you will!”. Sometimes you walk away from Gospel chats wondering if the person was sincere and honest in their responses. Only God knows his heart, but In this case, I think I saw genuine repentance from him!
I gave glory to God for allowing me to talk to him, as well as the others that weekend. What a great God we serve!
I will continue to make more time for these chats, as I can preach the Gospel to complete strangers without leaving home!
If you want to learn more about what online evangelism looks like, check out Operation513’s Youtube page.
If you would like to try this yourself, then Operation513 can train you for free! Visit their website needgod.net and flick them a DM on one of their social media platforms!