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 New Georgia Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Evangelistic Encounters: 8/25/07

When we went out into the community around Kosmosdale Baptist Church this past Saturday, Brian and I spoke with a man we'd met before who said he would visit the church, but never did. He kept saying that he felt uncomfortable coming back to church after so many years. We encouraged him that the people would not make him feel uncomfortable and Brian challenged him with the fact that the church is the only institution Christ personally established during His earthly ministry, that it is through this institution that He is bringing His kingdom into the world, and therefore it is vital that we come together in His church. The man said he would think about it.

We spoke with another man who talked to us through his glass door, without opening it. He said that he was planning on going to South Jefferson Baptist Church, but he did not seem to want to want to speak with us. As we know SJBC to be a Gospel-proclaiming church (the pastor is one of Brian's neighbors), we let him alone.

The next man we spoke with insisted that he was satisfied with his own church- a Baptist church down the road with which Brian and I are not familiar. We tried to emphasize that we are not primarily out to speak with people about a particular church congregation, but about the Lord Jesus Christ, but he would not listen as we tried to engage him in Gospel matters. He simply kept repeating, "I'm satisfied with my own church, thank you," and seemed to be getting very irritated, so we left.

Finally, we saw a trucker washing his truck in the road. We talked to him for awhile about many things. He began to talk about some of the bad weather he had been through, then about different bizarre weather, such as rain storms and snow in Texas, at which point I quipped, "Global warming." He began to talk about how he did not really trust the scientific community when it came to global warming. From this topic, Brian segued into another matter where science is unreliable- namely, issues involving the origins of the world and especially people. (Brian is a charter member of the Creation Museum.) From this topic, Brian was able to present the Gospel. The trucker, whose name is Jeff, started to speak about how there are many more commands in the Old Testament than just the ten commandments. I asked him just to consider the ten for a minute and asked if he believes he has kept these commandments. He said he kept all the commandments except the one against taking the Lord's name in vain, which he does on occasion when he is very angry. Taking him at his word, I quoted the full text of the third commandment, namely, "You shall not take the name of the Lord Your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain." Brian expanded upon the concept of God not holding us guiltless, explaining the biblical concept of God's wrath against sin. Jeff said that he knew we would all face judgment. I asked if he were standing before God in judgment, what he thought he would say for himself in light of his own admission that he had broken the third commandment. He said that he had tried to live a good life. Brian reminded him that God has said he would not hold anyone guiltless who has broken His commands, that just as a righteous human judge will not bend the law, our heavenly judge will not bend the law either, so we all must face judgment. I repeated the question about what he thought he would say. Jeff finally responded, "Then I don't know what I'd say! What would you say?!"

I told Jeff that if I were facing God in judgment that I could say nothing to Him except to confess that I have sinned against Him and that I am entirely deserving of death and Hell- I would confess that there is no reason within my own natural self that God should accept me and no hope in myself to be saved from judgment. I said that I would say, however, that I trust in Jesus Christ alone, who has died on the Cross as a perfect payment for the sins of all who believe in Him, and who has risen from the grave, offering eternal life to all who trust in Him. I told Jeff that Brian and I enjoy meeting new people, but the main reason we were talking to him and others is because Jesus Christ died on a Cross to save sinners, and rose the third day so that we can have life in Him. We can only have this life as we trust in Him, forgetting any thought of pleasing God by our own good deeds, because we have sinned against Him. (I kept stressing how it is the work of Jesus and not our own work that saves us.) By this time, Jeff was though cleaning his truck and wanted to go inside to his family. As we parted, we urged him to think on what we had said, and we invited him to church to hear more of the Good News of Jesus, he said he would keep thinking about it and that he might bring his family to church (though they didn't come last Sunday, the day after this conversation).

Please pray for all with whom Brian and I spoke, and especially for Jeff.

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