Evangelistic Encounter (Follow-Up): 12/19/08
Two things that the reader should know about me for this post to make sense:
First, I have been trying to follow the example of C.J. Mahaney in The Cross Centered Life, in which Mahaney tells how he uses every day greetings as an opportunity to express gospel truth. That is, when someone asks, "How are you doing today?" Mahaney responds with, "Better than I deserve!" Using this as an opportunity to speak of God's grace. I have been sadly inconsistent in following this example, as I often slip back into just replying with the normal, "Fine," when someone asks how I am doing.
Second, I've struggled with how to continue speaking of Christ and calling my co-workers to faith in Him once I have already presented the gospel to them as best as I could. Should I just re-iterate the truths about 'God-Man-Christ-Response' or about God's Law and our need for forgiveness that I have already stated? Wouldn't that sound artificial and just be downright annoying if repeated over and over to the same people? I want to impress my co-workers with the reality of coming judgment without becoming known as a 'fire and brimstone' type of guy, which would obscure the joy to be found in Christ.
So the other night, my co-worker with whom I spoke as mentioned in THIS POST came into my work area and asked, "How's Drew doing?" (Several of my co-workers refer to me as Drew.) For once, I remembered to respond, "Better than I deserve!"
"How is this better than you deserve?" he asked. (We were being overwhelmed with the amount of packages coming down the chute at us.)
"Just think about it," I replied.
After a few seconds he said, "Because we deserve hell?"
"Right, we all deserve hell due to our sins... that's what the Bible teaches," I said.
He didn't say anything, so I added, "That's real serious."
"Is it?" he asked.
A few seconds later, he was called to another work area, so that's where the conversation ended.
I praise God that through what I had previously said (and, in all probability, what he had heard from others as well), my co-worker at least intellectually acknowledges that the Bible teaches we all deserve hell. My prayer is that God would apply this truth to his heart, that my co-worker would see the seriousness of his situation, and that he would call out to Christ for salvation.