WHAT mATTERS? Another Opportunity to Share
My wife and I were sitting at an outdoor cafe table waiting for our lunch to be served. Our conversation was around the previous Sunday’s fellowship and how edifying the testimony time was following the sermon. I could tell our discussion was being overheard by a middle-aged man at the next table. When our food arrived, we held hands, bowed our heads, thanked God for the food, and then I also thanked Him and asked a blessing for the man sitting across from us in the name of Jesus. As I said “amen”, I looked up and heard him say “thank you” in response to my prayer. The three of us then struck up a friendly conversation, asking such things as, “Are you from around here, have you visited this or that landmark, done any fishing,” etc.
As is common these days, the conversation then drifted to how crazy this world has become, and he asked if either of us had caught covid, or if we had gotten the vaccine. That was the opportunity I was waiting for. Never wanting to risk arguing or present my personal viewpoints about covid, vaccines, or the politics behind them, I instead shared how I came to a conclusion about those things. I told him I was most interested in objectively looking at all sides of the issues and try to come to the truth, or at least get as close as possible to it by analysis of scientific and medical research. I explained that I realize that both sides of any issue have biases and present their position, either emphasizing or withholding certain facts to make their argument the most convincing. I then shared that I use the same fact-finding methods and cautions when investigating spiritual issues. I gave him a “for instance,” by giving my testimony of salvation, stating that when I was born again 47 years ago, I wasn’t interested in people’s opinions, nor in what any church or denomination had to preach about God, but I wanted to know what the truth was about God. I deduced that if God was as big, and all powerful, and all loving that He claimed to be, then He must also be as big, and powerful, and loving enough to show me directly and personally. There was already enough evidence for me that the Bible was the Word of God and trustworthy, so based on that premise, I began to read the New Testament Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, to see if I could find the truth. I began each reading session with the prayer, “God, show me the truth, and if it is in here, prove it to me.” When I reached John chapter 3, God’s truth was revealed to me personally and supernaturally. I believed it, and He saved me. I had been born again.
The man thanked me for sharing, professed that he also was a Christian, and we shared the rest of our meal together in fellowship around the Lord. What matters is, if we are willing and available to Him, God will provide an opening and opportunity for Him to use us to share the Gospel. Is it important to do so? If we really believe there is a heaven and a hell as most of us say we do, we are all eventually going to end up in one place or the other. Since that is so, we ought to know how to get to either one, and be able to tell others how. To go to hell is easy. You don’t have to do anything. You are already condemned to go there because you were born with Adam’s nature, and you haven’t yet believed the Gospel. To go to heaven is also easy. You receive eternal life in heaven when you believe that the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus paid for ALL your sin and sins. John 3:18; Romans 5:18 Now look for and take those opportunities God presents, remembering Peter’s admonition, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” 1 Peter 3:15