I read a lot of comments inside the chat rooms that completely shocked me. People, believing the anonymity of their online nicknames protects them from any real backlash, type comments that might cause a truck driver to blush.
Seeing an opportunity for witnessing to the lost, I became determined to transform myself into an Internet Christian super-hero, single handedly converting pagans, atheists, and agnostics to the Good Side. I logged on day after day, and night after night, and worked to convince the skeptics, cynics, and wayward souls that the Bible was truly God’s instructions manual for the inhabitants of this world. My efforts were met with resistance, ridicule, and rudeness of a magnitude I never dreamed possible.
If I told someone about the Gospel of Jesus Christ while online, I was courteous, cautious, and genuine. In fact, most of the time, I was usually in a Christian chat room when I used my “super powers” to try and reach wayward chatters. These visitors were often only concerned with proving the Bible to be a book of fairy tales. Adjusting to the situation, I studied the Bible’s claims concerning Creation, history, and salvation. I became an expert in debunking the debunkers. This went on for years – too many years.
How many people did I lead to Christ during my chat room super hero days? Not many. But I did learn a great deal about how to use my time more wisely in service of the Lord. Hardened hearts need a real super-hero (The Holy Spirit) to lead them out of the darkness. While I might have had a life changing effect on 1 out of 100 of the people I chatted with during those obsessive days, the stress I put myself through moved my own relationship with God into dangerous territory. I became fixated on leading and forgot how to follow.
Talk to people about your faith. Tell others about the message of hope. Be strong in your faith and worship. But never be fooled into believing that failing to convince others of what you believe somehow makes your faith less powerful. The truth is the truth no matter how is perceived.
“If you hold to my teachings, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32 NIV)
A wise preacher once said, "What makes a sermon great is not how well it was delivered, but how well it was received."
Only God can convict the lost sinner and save his or her soul. But He still loves to use his sheep to help get the message out. And, as you revealed so well, we must not neglect grazing in His pasture ourselves, while we are about evangelizing to get others into the sheepfold. We must remember who the chief and good Shepherd is. Thanks for sharing. Thomas