An Exhortation For Each One To Reach One (And More!)
By: Chris Shroeder
“Do the work of an evangelist…”
He wrote the note. He locked his door. As he walked down 14th Street, heading to the East River, he came across a small group of people gathered listening to someone painting and talking. With his interest peaked, he listened and trusted Christ. In the aftermath, he told the open-air preacher that he was on his way to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge into the East River, but “You were here!” He was saved physically and for eternity.
But a question must be asked: “Do we care?” In light of that, another question comes to mind, “What could be more important than leading someone to Christ?” Nothing!
Think about it! What if someone had not shared with you? With me? I would have killed myself long ago had it not been for two loving, caring, and selfless Christians, who shared with me the gospel. I trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour and was now saved and safe.
Here is another question: “Who can live without hope in this present world?” No one!
Who can live (and die) without Christ? All who reject Him will go to their eternal doom. Oh, they will not be wiped out. They will be first cast into hell, then hell and death will be cast into the lake of fire.
“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away, and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and hades delivered up the dead that were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Rev. 20:11-15)
That passage alone should really bother us. If it doesn’t, can we say that we believe the Bible? And if we say that we believe the Bible, can we say that we care about people, care about their souls? We must answer these questions. We cannot live our lives as if those facts do not exist.
Get these facts:
- Estimated World Birth and Death Rates (2011)
- Average life expectancy at birth is approximately 67 years. Sources: Population Reference Bureau & The World Factbook (Central Intelligence Agency)
It is now 2018, and the changes if any, will be greater. No one lives forever, so they say. Actually, that is not true. All will live into eternity, but what they do with the Lord Jesus Christ will determine their destiny. With Jesus – it will be heaven; without Jesus as Saviour – it is the “Lake of Fire.” In fact, did you know that Jesus spoke more on hell than He did heaven? He spoke more on hell than He did any other subject? He spoke more on hell than any other person in the New Testament. Why? To show us that He was going to save us from it.
But still, the question remains: “Do we care?”
Paul, the apostle, according to his own description was a wicked man, probably the worst. The worst? Yes, the worst! He testifies to Timothy, his son in the faith, “Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious . . .” (I Tim. 1:13a). He also says that he was the chief of sinners when he said, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (I Tim. 1:15). This same man, who tried to establish his own righteousness through self-effort and will power, failed. He realized that his own righteousness was as filthy rags and that he needed God’s righteousness. He realized that only God could provide this righteousness and did through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Sinful and unrighteousness, shocked, blinded, and in misery, he trusted the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, as his Saviour. He then yielded to the Lord everything he was and had to the service of his new Sovereign.
Later in his missionary travels, he journeyed to Athens. While waiting for his fellow missionaries he walked about the city. He was grieved and provoked. Idolatry was rampant and there was no truth in sight. The Greeks, especially in Athens the seat of “wisdom,” were devoid of it. That fact broke Paul’s heart and moved him to action. As he walked through the city, God gave him wisdom. Seeing all the monuments to their different gods, Paul saw a monument to “the unknown god”. He seized on that information. He used it skillfully and wisely employed it in his conversation to the Athenians on Mars’ Hill saying, “. . . I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you” (Acts 17:22b-23).
What Paul did was use a teaching principle called apperception, i.e. taking an individual or a group of people from what they know to what they don’t know. And he did it most skillfully. As Christian witnesses, we should not only have this same burden, a burden that only our Lord can give, but we also should employ the same tactic of apperception. Our Lord did the same with the woman at the well in John 4. But our Lord also employed the frontal, straightforward witness with Nicodemus, when He bypassed Nicodemus’ conversation starting compliments with, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (Jn. 3:3).
We should take a cue from these instances and learn the acquired and developed skill in sharing our faith. Oh, it takes work. It takes thought. It takes the Spirit’s guidance. And it takes a humbled, yielded heart to grow in our witness, but God will work. We must. Lives depend on us! If we don’t go, who will? By God’s will, power, and enablement we can.
So, please, answer the question: “Do we care?”