Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Evangelistic Encounters: 7/28/07

In the weeks since my last "evangelistic encounters" post on this blog, I have been focused on getting my course-work done for the summer semester here at SBTS. In the couple of occasions that I have been able to go out into the community around Kosmosdale Baptist Church, I have been focused on inviting people to take part in Vacation Bible School. Therefore, last Saturday was the first time in a while that my friend Brian and I have gotten the chance to go out into the community for the express purpose of speaking to people about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Last Saturday we spoke with three people. The first was a lady who turned out to be a member of another church in our area that has a reputation for faithful Gospel proclamation. This lady encouraged us in our evangelistic efforts, saying she would be praying for us.

The second person was a Roman Catholic lady who was quite unwilling to converse with us (we have found this to be typical of Roman Catholics in our area). We were, however, able to leave an Ultimate Questions booklet with her.

The third person we spoke with was a man who introduced himself as "Bigen" [this is how he spelled it when we asked- I'm guessing this is a nickname]. Now, every time I have ever been in an evangelistic conversation with someone, there always comes at least one moment of awkwardness, where I am struggling with what to say. With Bigen, this happened right after Brian and I introduced ourselves. I had already said that we were in the neighborhood talking to people about Kosmosdale Baptist Church and (more importantly) about the Lord Jesus Christ, but then I momentarily blanked about what to say or ask to keep the conversation going. After a few seconds that seemed like minutes, I finally said something to the effect of, "Here's the deal- Brian and I are here today because we are concerned for your eternal soul. Life is so very short compared to eternity, and the Bible teaches that when we die, we will face God in judgment and either spend forever with Him in Heaven or be punished forever in the torment of Hell. Brian and I believe that due to the work of Jesus Christ, we have certainty that we have eternal life. So if we love people at all, we will tell them the Good News of Jesus." This caught Bigen off guard (honestly, I was a little surprised myself, as I was not planning to speak in quite that way), but as we began talking with Bigen, we found that he had been raised in church and had even been a Sunday school teacher for awhile, though he had not been involved in church in quite some time- therefore, I think he appreciated the sincerity of what I said. Brian told Bigen the Gospel message: about God creating the world for His glory with mankind made in His image, about the fact that Man sinned and due to sin the world has become corrupted and subject to death, about the reality that we have all personally sinned against God and earned His punishment, and about the work of Jesus Christ in providing substitution for God's wrath through His work on the Cross for all who would believe in Him. After Brian spoke, I said to Bigen, "From what you've heard, you see that we are all sinful and that we are all in one of two groups: Either we have had our sins paid for by Jesus Christ, and we can know Him by faith, or we will suffer in Hell for our own sins. Thinking of yourself, which group would you be in?" Bigen indicated very seriously and forthrightly that he is in the second group. As we began to disuss the seriousness of his situation, Bigen indicated that he thought the choice was his to make and that he could choose to repent and believe in Jesus at any time. Brian and I warned him about hardening his heart to God's grace and we informed him that we are all naturally God's enemies, loving sin, so that we will never one day just decide to repent. I pointed out that there is always something in us that wants to go our own way, something that wants to do things that we know to be wrong, and Bigen agreed that this was his experience as well. Brian implored Bigen to ask Christ to change his heart and to place himself under the preaching of the Word, which brings faith. Bigen kept saying he would think about it, but he made no indication of actually being ready to repent. Before we left, I asked Bigen if we could pray for him and he said we could, so we stood in his front yard imploring God for His soul. After we said, "amen," we asked if we could stop by his house again some time when we are in the neighborhood, and he said, "OK."

Please pray for those mentioned above, and especially for "Bigen," that he would come to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.

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