Count it all joy when you face various trials. --James the brother of Jesus

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Praise God! He Gives Boldness for Evangelism

The Lord did something wonderful this morning. I had two witnessing encounters this morning where God was clearly guiding me and giving me more boldness that I usually have. First, an older man eating breakfast at the shelter started talking to me about the Seminary and saying how “they don’t believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit,” and “they tell you there that the ending of the book of Mark shouldn’t be there.” Then he said, “Yeah, preachers all say that people have to believe before Jesus would heal them, but I think he heals first and then people believe.” Of course for this Calvinist, that was like saying sick’em. I told him I agreed. I said you have to be born again before you can believe. We talked about that for just a little bit, and then I said, “Are you born again.” Immediately he said no, but then backed up and said, “well I might be, I believe that Jesus died and rose again,” to which I responded, “Is he your king? Is he your Lord?” To which again he said immediately “No.” I pressed the issue of Lordship until he eventually finished eating and left the shelter. I don’t know his name. Then another guy which I have been getting to know, named David, had been listening to the conversation, and I had already agreed to give him a ride to a place that wasn’t far out of my way. So when I left I picked him up at the curve, and I didn’t even have to get the courage to say something, he started in saying that what I had said didn’t sound right to him. In a nut shell he told me that he thought that God would forgive people because of his love and that people have to obey to earn God’s favor (not in so many words). To which I clearly told him that each of us is dead in our sins, deserving hell, and we can’t do anything to save ourselves but to cast ourselves on the mercy of God trusting in the payment that Jesus secured in the Cross. Then we obey because we have a changed heart, not in order to earn God’s favor. He told me he could see how what I was saying was different, and said that he would think about it through the day. I went home and called Amy to tell her about it and as I was telling her I began to weep for joy because I don’t thing God has ever given me that kind of boldness in witnessing before, and as far as I can tell I think that I clearly communicated the Gospel faithfully and without compromise.

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