Apart from the sovereignty of God I’ve found the mysterious hidden knowledge, the deeper secrets, of how to lead people to repentance and a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ….
Just ask. Duh!
I was getting discouraged; two years of evangelizing nearly everyday had not produced many converts to Christ. Don’t get me wrong. I was still sowing seed trusting that God’s Word never returned empty, but still…. I wanted to see people actually get saved! Frankly, I was just darn tired of being a Johnny Appleseed for Jesus. “I’m an evangelist, not a Savior,” I’d protest defensively to naysayers.
Gently and graciously I’d show people that they were sinners in need of forgiveness and explained why they couldn’t enter heaven on their own by being good people; I would—ever so nicely—let them see that they were liars, thieves, adulterers, murderers and blasphemers at heart and that God would punish them for eternity in a horrible, agonizing place of eternal fire where their own personal torture worm would never die.
I’d even say it with a sincere smile.
Of course, when they acknowledged the truth of their lost condition—that they’d be judged and condemned by a righteous, holy God because of their disobedience to His commands—I would then share His love and forgiveness, sometimes pleading for them to repent, “God loves you so much that He sent His one and only Son to die for you; He doesn’t want anyone to perish but for all to come to eternal life.” They’d nod politely and even be distressed that they were hell-bound, but not many commitments were made. I’d thank them for listening and invite them to church.
Then something happened….
At the end of November a woman came into Hope Chapel for prayer. After a short discussion about the gospel she said God had given her signs. “Really? What kind of signs?” I asked.
“I was driving down the road,” she explained, “and a billboard said, ‘This is a sign from God,’ so I came here.”
I asked if she would like to repent and turn to Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. She answered yes. I had her pray and she showed up for church that weekend.
A few days before Christmas, I gave a million dollar bill to a taxi driver taking his break. After admitting that he had broken God’s law and deserved hell, I closed him, “Would you like to repent right now and turn to Jesus for forgiveness of sins?” He answered yes. I had him pray and entrusted him to a church in Downey.
It was Christmas Eve at the florist. While the owner made up the flowers for my wife and daughters I told him the bad news and the good news. I closed the deal, “Would you like to repent now and turn to Jesus for the forgiveness of sins?” He couldn’t run to the counter fast enough to repent and believe. I had him pray. He showed up for service that night.
But wait! There’s more!
The Thursday after Christmas, I asked a vendor at the Farmer’s Market if he wanted to repent and turn to Jesus for the forgiveness of sins. He prayed right behind the bell peppers. I offered him a Bible, but he already received one—in jail!
Just today, I met a young man who said to me, “I want to be saved!”
All I had to do was ask. And yes, I had him pray.
Starting with the next E-vangie Tale, I am going to try to list the names of the people I share the gospel with so those of you inclined to pray, will pray for these people.
Also, my family has suffered greatly, I believe, as a result of my commitment to evangelize daily. (“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against…. the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Eph.6:12) Would you please let me know that you will pray for my family’s protection in prayer? Please pray that I would continue to press on. Thanks.
One more thing: Please share your faith and tell your tale to me!
Want more E-vangie Tales? Go to www.thirst4God.com/evangietales