Another part in a continuing series on how I discovered my “gift” of evangelism, met Ray Comfort, and had my boring Christian life changed forever. (You can start at part 1 by clicking here.)
I had been sharing my faith for over a year without much success. My daily evangelistic goal seemed fruitless; my witnessing method weak. My Pastor had asked me two questions: “Are you having any conversations? Is anyone getting saved?” Both were answered with a resounding “No!” Then he offered a suggestion: “You may want to get a hold of a man named Ray Comfort. I think he preaches up in Santa Monica each week.”
Who’s Ray Comfort? I mused. How can he help? I promptly wrote his name in my planner with the intention to call him immediately, but forgot about it.
For six months.
I plodded on with my daily goal, continued to write my E-vangie Tales, and considered teaching some sort of evangelism class. I was very zealous for the Lord’s cause, but extremely frustrated that no one would listen to me, at least to the point of making a decision for Christ. Didn’t they know that I had the words of eternal life? Didn’t anyone care? Was no one concerned that they may end up in a fiery Hell for eternity?
Then our church web design guy dropped a name.
I was teaching at a Sunday night service at the time and needed a guest speaker for one of the evenings. “How about we bring in Ray Comfort?” the design guy offered. Ray Comfort? Isn’t he the guy…? Uh oh! I forgot all about calling him. “Sure,” I replied, do you have any information about him?” He handed me a flier for a talk that Comfort would give called “Hell’s Best Kept Secret.” The tag line read: “Learn the lost key that is guaranteed to unlock the heart of a sinner.”
Every believer is familiar with the Christian come-on—books and tips and Cds that promise to make your life better if you will only purchase their exclusively Christian product: A Happier Marriage in Only 30 Days of Bible Reading!; Lose Weight with the Ezekiel Diet!; A Powerful Prayer Life in 10 Minutes a Day!; Your Best Life Now!—all with exclamation points, and the Holy Spirit’s unction. But you know what? None of them work. None. Why should I believe that this guy has the lost key?
I asked our web design guy to book Ray Comfort anyway.
On July 31, 2005, I sat in the back of our sanctuary and listened intently to “Hell’s Best Kept Secret”—for about ten minutes. My mind wandered. I fidgeted, checked my fingernails and looked up at the lighting, you know, like most Christians when they listen to a sermon. Then suddenly, I fixated on what he actually had to say. My eyes narrowed, mind expanding. I never heard this before. It made perfect sense.
The proverbial light bulb when on over my head. I was hooked.
After he finished his message I understood how the use of God’s Moral Law, the Ten Commandments, actually shows a sinner what sin is. When you explain to a sinner that no one can keep God’s Law perfectly, which is His requirement, then the sinner can understand that there is a reason for God to sentence them to Hell: They’ve broken His Law! When a sinner hears the bad news first, it makes the good news, really good news! I got it. By Jove, I got it.
For the past eighteen months I had only given good news, but no one thought they needed it. Without the bad news, my good news made no sense.
I giddily shook Ray’s hand and thanked him. He smiled and gave me a gift: a pack of Million Dollar Bill Gospel tracts. Huh? What are these? He explained during his talk that these were great ice-breakers when initiating a Gospel conversation. “Hi did you get one of these? They are Gospel tracts. The million dollar question is on the back; want to know what it is? If you were to die today, would you go to Heaven or Hell?”
I didn’t have to worry about how to start a conversation anymore; these tracts were the answer.
I even learned how to have a dialogue using a technique called “The Good Person Test.” By asking a few simple questions, sinners would have a clear understanding of where they stood before God. They’d hear about Judgment Day—and Hell. The Gospel would then make sense!
I couldn’t wait to try all this new information out.
On a vacation in Santa Barbara I approached three gang-bangers and gave each a million dollar bill. I was shocked at their response: They thanked me! They were concerned about the fact that they were going to Hell!
This never happened before.
Up and down State Street, people thanked me for giving them a silly million dollar bill Gospel tract.
I was so dang excited, I wrote my 64th “E-vangie Tale” detailing what happened at this water-shed moment in my life.
From here on out, my life would never be the same.