…You know you want to
Something got me thinking about my early Christian life this morning; thinking how far Christ has brought me and how steadfast his love has been despite my unsteady gait in the faith. Ever so often, I think how blessed I am to have met Christ when I did but not often enough do I think of others who have not had the privileged. When Christ came to the world, he spread the gospel abroad. After Him, his disciples before us carried on His work. They won more souls into the Kingdom, including souls of those who preached the gospel to those who preached the gospel to those who preached the gospel to us. Get the point?
The Gospel has the life of God. It will move and work in and through the hearts and mouths of willing vessels. As a young Christian, I was taught very early on that our main charge is soul-winning.
Mattew 28:18- 20
“18And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always , even to the ends of the age.” Amen.”
Knowing that has never been enough to break our tongues loose of their confinement and share the sweet gospel however.
I remember an experience I had some years ago. I was about 19 and had been a Christian for less than 3 years. I had a raw hunger for Christ amidst my many struggles in the faith.
On this particular day, I got on a public bus, feeling somewhat sober. Christ was on my mind and I pondered over a lot of things I wasn’t doing right. The devil was having a filled day reminding me of my inconsistencies. I found a seat at the far back, next to an elderly gentleman. He seemed quite knowledgeable with his serious look, silver plated spectacles and a broad newspaper in hand. I watched him for a few seconds. He must have seen me from the corner of his right eye because he slowly looked up and flashed me a charming grand-fatherly smile. I promptly turned my face out the window and kept my nose in the wind, away from the old man’s gaze.
Then came the nudging in my heart; the type that makes you want to smack yourself in the face to be rid of it. I had done some public bus evangelism in the past but that particular day didn’t feel like one of those days. The nudging kept on. First, it was a small voice saying “share the gospel”. Then I came up with excuses –
“Not today, please. Can you not hear what the accuser has been telling me all day?”
I imagined God saying “Oh, come off it!”
He wouldn’t let me be. Every excuse I gave, the Holy Spirit rejected. Then I heard it clearly that I was to speak to the old man beside me. He alone. My heart started to beat really fast. My palms were sweaty and I felt a lump in my throat like I was about to burst into tears. I knew I would have no peace if I got off the bus or the man got off the bus without hearing what God had to say so I turned my face away from the window, said a silent prayer in my heart and sat up straight.
“I have to tell you about Jesus Sir.” I said with a low shaky voice.
He looked at me, unsure that I was speaking to him. So I said it again.
“What are you saying? I can’t hear you.” He blurted, looking concerned.
Frustration got the better of me and I said it louder, attracting stares from the seats in front of us. I gained some composure and told him in a few words that Jesus loved him and he had told me specifically to speak to him and ask him to repent of his sins and accept Christ as his Lord and saviour. He just looked at me, somewhat bemused. Then he said the words that had me thanking God I had not allowed the devil to keep me silent.
“What do you mean by all that?” he said. “I am a highly educated man and I do not believe in such things. A young girl like you…”
He looked me over and continued.
“My children and my wife are all Christians but I have never believed in such things. The gospel is what the pastors use to deceive people. I can explain everything to you if you have time. I can never believe in any Jesus.”
Needless to say I was shocked. Never before had I met anyone who expressed such a high degree of rejection to the gospel, especially one who had Christian kin. I just listened to him and prayed that God would teach me what to say. I didn’t have to pray too long because a man spoke up from the seat in front of us. From the way his voice boomed and the way he turned around and shook his bible up and down as he spoke, I guessed he was a pastor. To cut a long story short, this ‘our pastor’ did not let the man be. He shared the gospel like the ‘voice in the wilderness’. It turned into a convention of some sort because other Christians in the bus started to speak up. I guess they were all moved by the man’s blatant rejection of the gospel. He seemed to sober up gradually and looked from mouth to mouth.
What happened that day was absolutely beyond me. God was determined to speak to that man that day. As I got off the bus, I saw the pastor climb back to sit where I had been and I knew he didn’t intend to let go until the man had heard everything he had to say about Jesus. I was overwhelmed. I cried all the way home from the bus stop that day. I just kept thinking – “what if I had kept my mouth shut? Lord Jesus, I almost disappointed you.” It was indeed an overwhelming and humbling experience for me that day.
The point of all this? You just never know why God is asking you to share the gospel to any particular person or group. We don’t have to wait until we see tongues of fire resting on our heads before we share the word. He has already commanded us. Make disciples of all the nations, He said! No excuse is good enough. We must continuously tell others about the one who saved us and washed us with His blood. We were not called to hold on to the hope he intends for us to share freely with others.
You might find this song to be a blessed reminder like I have – “If we are the Body” by Casting Crowns
Your Christian walk is not complete until you have won souls for Christ, Get to it today! Please share with as many as you can.
Photo credit: therockofisrael.org