I have a confession to make, I made a personal observation about a person and let that cloud the truth rather than rely on what scripture says about the state of man.
Let me introduce to a person that I’ll refer to as “S”. I’ve known “S” for almost 1 ½ years now. They work at the hotel that I stay at when I travel to my client in the Kansas City. We have the same likes and interests. We both talk in the same tones and have a lot in common. We could get started on a topic and talk for hours. I believe that we’ve become good friends.
One early morning I was prompted to give them a tract entitled: “Are You Good Enough to Go To Heaven?” available at www.livingwaters.com. I politely gave it to them with a gift offering as it was close to Christmas and urged them to take the time to read it during a break explaining that there is nothing more important than where a person will spend eternity.
After I had gotten ready for work that morning and returned to the lobby, “S” saw me and declared that they didn’t know if they were good enough to go heaven but that they thought they might be. As there were many people in the Lobby and it wasn’t convenient to talk at that point, I urged them to read the tract and consider what it had to say.
That is a good thing about a tract, you can leave it with a person and it can say the things that you can’t get to speaking and it never forgets to leave out the important parts such as: Where will you spend eternity? Have you considered or examined yourself against the light of God’s law (the 10 commandments) versus your own goodness? If God judges you by His high standard, would you be guilty or innocent? Would you go to heaven or hell? Given that Bible says that all liars will have their part in the fire and that no adulterers, thieves, blasphemers, murderers, etc. will enter the kingdom of God. A tract then shares the glorious gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the death, burial and resurrection. It asks them in light of their sin, to repent and to put their trust in Jesus and tells them they will be born again. They will be new creatures and have now entered into eternal life. It tells them to read their Bible every day and to obey what they read. To go and sin more, as Jesus said, then to go and share this unbelievably good news with others.
The next month when I went to Kansas City, I made it a point to speak with “S” more directly and we went through the commandments and they could see that against God’s Holy Law, they weren’t good but they still wanted to justify themselves and thought that God would still let them into His heaven. That if they would just confess their sin when it occurs and ask for forgiveness and try not to do it again, that God would overlook their indiscretions. I admonished “S” to really consider the criminal standing before an earthly judge and using this approach, “Judge I know that I broke the law, I hope that you’ll forgive me and I’ll try not to do it again”. “S” agreed that the judge would not let him go free and that justice must be served and that the fine must be paid. Who’s going to pay that fine? Jesus paid the fine and we are set free from the grasp of the evil one and free from the grasp of sin.
“S” didn’t repent and put their trust in Christ as their Savior, but I continue to pray for them and believe that the Holy Spirit is working on their conscience. Perhaps the next time I’m in Kansas City, there will be a praise report.
This brings me back to my faults and raises a few issues when determining of whom we should witness to and when we should do it.
I let how I felt about someone cloud my judgment about sharing the gospel. They were so nice that I made an assumption rather than finding out for sure, which put them at risk. How did that put them at risk you may ask? What if that person would have died without at least hearing the gospel? They would have no opportunity to repent and trust the Savior. Ultimately without that a person will spend an eternity in Hell with no time off for good behavior and no possibility of parole. ETERNITY!
The second issue is that this is the reversal of asking what is different about this person. Why are they the way that they are? Have you ever heard that argument about why people don’t openly share the gospel? I’m just going to let my little light shine at work or in my neighborhood with the hopes that perhaps they’ll ask and I have an open door to share the gospel.
I don’t know about you but I’ve never had anyone ask me why I bother to care, showing it by snow blowing the neighbor’s driveway if they are a widow or are out of town or checking in on someone out of concern for their wellbeing.
We should always show our concern for another person by starting a conversation and sharing what we believe and why we believe it, explaining that we’re sharing because we love the person and are concerned for where they will spend eternity. The biggest reason is, does the person have the next minute? We don’t know and neither do they. Only God knows for sure.
Finally the biggest problem that I ignored was what does God’s word say about the State of Man or the Sinner? I’d like to share with you an excerpt from a book entitled The Ambassador’s Handbook:
State of the Sinner:
In order to talk to the sinner we need to know the sinner as defined in the Bible. This will clarify how we reply no matter what someone says (believe it or not, there are only a few biblical categories of possible replies). This also frees us from having to learn a vast number of possible replies to counter with.
Here’s a snapshot of the lost. The lost person is not seeking God – Ps 14:1, 53:1. He doesn’t care about being saved, about going to heaven, or about obeying God, or anything else spiritually. In his mind he is an enemy of God (Ro 8:7). He cannot understand God nor does he want to. There is no good thing in him (Ro 3:10-22). His righteousness is as filthy rags (Is 64:6). He is in bondage to his sin and enslaved to it (2 Peter 2:19). He loves his sin more than anything else (John 3:19). He cannot understand Scripture because he is spiritually dead (1 Cor 2:14). Some will be offended upon hearing the gospel; others will stumble (1 Cor 1:23, 1 Peter 2:8). So what are you going to say?
In addition, the lost person currently stands condemned (John 3:17-18); God’s wrath is abiding on him (John 3:36); every day he continues to sin he is storing up more wrath for his day of judgment (Ro 2:4); God is angry with him every day (Ps 7:11); and the day he dies he’ll face judgment (Hebrews 9:27).
And it’s your job to let him know of all of this – what do you say?
Contact: email@example.com The Ambassadors Handbook – Page 7
Please pray for “S” and may we stand in our witness with the Apostle Paul and share from the heart without tarrying:
1 Corinthians 2: 1And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 4And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.