Here’s this month’s Gone Fishin’ Newsletter.
Every month a team from our fellowship at Calvary Wellington heads out to our regular fishing hole, the Naenae Market and Hillary Court shops. There we share the Gospel to those in our immediate community.
Once a month I publish a simple newsletter that is distributed to the fellowship (or for anyone else who stumbles across this website), as a way of encouragement, and as a tool to equip us to be better evangelists.
You can read the last Field Report from 15/10/22 here.
Gone Fishin’ Monthly Newsletter – November 2022
“ “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” “ (John 5:24)
I pray that all those who attended the church camp were truly blessed, and are ready to put those hard lessons we learnt from Haggai, into action! It is not only good, but necessary, to do a little bit of self-reflection occasionally. It is often when the Lord can do the most sanctifying work in us!
But we all know that before sanctification comes, regeneration must take place first. And regeneration can only come one way – through Christ and His redemptive work on the cross. Today’s verses speak of how to obtain regeneration. We will study in our verses the priority, the prerequisite, and the promise of Christ’s message.
The Priority of Christ’s message
“Most assuredly, I say to you…”
When you want to stress the urgency of something, you use strong language. And that is the language we see here; not just “assuredly” but “Most assuredly”. Other Bible versions say “verily, verily”, “truly, truly” or “amen, amen”. They all mean one thing: “you better take heed to the next thing I say to you, because it is the truth, and it is important”. Look who is talking here. It is God Himself, in human flesh. And we know that it is impossible for God to lie (Heb 6:18).
Every word penned in scripture is theopneustos, or God-breathed. It is written via the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Tim 3:16). So, when He says that what He is about to say is true, we have can have assurance that it is indeed true; and even more so because His next statement contains the very reason the scriptures were written for us: God making a way to redeem mankind for Himself, through Christ.
In evangelism, we need to stress to people that what they are about to hear is more important than anything else going on in their lives right now!
The Prerequisite of Christ’s message
“…he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me…”
When something like eternal life is on offer, we better listen closely how to receive it. If we don’t, then the alternative doesn’t bear thinking about. Don’t be fooled like the world does, into believing that everyone goes to heaven because God is forgiving and could never be that nasty as to send people to hell. It doesn’t work like that. No amount of goodness can erase the sin that has already contaminated our hearts.
Since we can’t work our way to heaven, then it must come via a gift outside of ourselves. And this is exactly what happened – through a perfect sacrifice via Christ, who offered Himself as a hell punishment for us on the cross.
What a beautiful gift this is! But it is worthless unless we transfer the trust in ourselves (imperfection), to trust in Christ (perfection).
In evangelism, we need to stress to people that they need to believe and trust that Christ has taken their hell punishment for them, and not rely on their own goodness (which they don’t have) to make it to heaven!
The Promise of Christ’s message
“…has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”
When we think of judgement, we get nervous. This is because we know we have broken the law, and for that there are consequences. A judge that will not uphold the law is a corrupt one. More so for God, for He is perfect. And a perfect judge would require perfect law-keeping, and lay down a perfect punishment to those who break those laws. The perfect punishment is an eternal prison-cell called Hell, where the criminal is physically tormented in a lake of fire, without respite. The through terrifies us, but there is hope!
For those who have believed by faith that Christ has taken their hell punishment for them, judgement is avoided. This does not mean God is corrupt and let them off. A price was paid; God has already punished His Son on their behalf. So God can legally let the person go, because the fine has been paid. These can enter heaven, and spend eternity with the one who gave them the perfect gift!
In evangelism, we need to stress that no judgement awaits those to whom Christ has died for, but instead receive the gift of everlasting life in heaven!
Every year, thousands of Australian school-leavers flock to multiple venues around the country, to party up. There they live a life of debauchery for a week. This is known as ‘Schoolies Week’. This year it’s 19-26 November.
This creates a tremendous opportunity to reach them with the Gospel. Yes, even Australians deserve to hear the Good News (some Kiwi humour there!). Operation513 take advantage of this every year, hitting the streets of one the more popular Schoolies hot-spots – Queensland’s Gold Coast. There, they share the Gospel one-on-one with teens that are at the crossroads in their life, and have lots of questions as to what the future holds for them. We know, of course, that the most important question that needs answering is where they will go when their lives come to an end.
This year I have the awesome privilege of flying over to Australia and serving alongside Operation513 for the week. I have witnessed to Australians, and also to drunk people, but a drunk Australian is an entirely different beast. I covet your prayers during this time – for stamina, safety, and strength – but not just for myself, but the whole team. Pray that ears will be opened, hearts will be softened, and lives surrendered to Christ, for His glory!
I’ll try and keep the website updated with daily reports from the outreach. Keep an eye out for them: https://headcountone.net/category/gone-fishin/
In the meantime, I’ll see you at my place this Saturday at 10am for prayer before heading out to share the Good News to the people of Naenae!
Witnessing Tip: Both good and bad news!
Our Gospel conversations should be balanced.
We should be truthful about the consequences of the law,
…but we should also be truthful about how to avoid them!