TITLE: Reaching Strangers 7/20/14
By Richard McCaw
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You would be surprised how many people anywhere would willingly hear how to be delivered from Satan’s power. Retired seniors and young adults, who are members of cults spread their gospel by boldly approaching anyone willing to listen. They team up two by two and spend time at bus stops distributing literature, knock on doors house to house and begin bible studies. Their halls are filled with people hungry to find answers to spiritual questions. The perishing are everywhere, like dead men, each step carrying them closer to a future without God and without hope in this world or the world to come! Strangers to you, to God, and to abundant life!
However, fear like a dreadful specter haunts many of us. We shrink back from the unknown and retreat because of ignorance. We feel we need more training in the skills of winning souls. Most of us have no vision of the lost condition of our families, friends, and people living around us. “Where there is no prophetic vision (divine revelation) the people perish!”
Not long ago, a woman who lived in a nearby apartment had lost her key to the community washroom. Knocking on my door she asked, “Sir, do you have an extra washroom key? I can’t find mine!” Later that day, I gave her a key I had made for her at the locksmith. I remember her well, tall and stately, dressed in her floral dress, always hurrying somewhere. She was a hard worker, one of those persons trying to make it by working two or three jobs. She never rested. Perhaps she did get to pay all her bills that way. A few days later she was found dead in her apartment. A complete stranger, gone to eternity! Let us face one fact: we live in a world of dying men and women!
In my teenage years I often approached strangers on the street. One day, I was right outside the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and walking along Tower Street in downtown Kingston. A tall young man about sixteen or seventeen years of age in khaki school uniform was striding in my direction. I had reached the corner of Duke Street when suddenly my eye caught him and deep within I heard the Lord say, “Talk to that young man!” Was I being led of the Spirit? This was a complete stranger in the middle of a street! Quickly, I walked up to him and asked, “Young man, may I ask you a question?”
Politely, he responded, “Sure!”
“Are your sins forgiven?”
“I’m not sure!”
“May I show you something?’
Taking out a small New Testament from my back pocket, I opened to 1 John 1:9 and carefully explained that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Then, I asked, “Would you like your sins forgiven?”
He replied, “Of course!”
I added, “And would you like your sins forgiven, right now?”
He answered: “Definitely!”
Then, I led him in a prayer of confession and thanksgiving to receive Christ. In the following months I sent him literature and we kept in touch. Peter Morris had come to Kingston for that one day from St. Elizabeth Technical High School in the country parts of Jamaica where he was a student. There was no time for him to watch my spiritual life! Because I confronted Him with good news of God’s loving forgiveness, this young life was saved. He later started the Christian Fellowship group in that school and also became an ardent worker in Mandeville Youth for Christ. God had him prepared as a vessel and sent me as the channel to reach him.
Christ Himself has demonstrated that direct confrontation with the Word of God can deliver many hungry souls out of the kingdom of darkness. Remember Zacchaeus! Christ confronted him. As he watched the Lord from the branches of a tree, the Lord called him, “Make haste and come down,” he said. “I must stay at your house today.”
He confronted Matthew, a tax collector and said, “Follow me!” and he left all and followed Him.
Jesus’ last command to his disciples was, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature!”
Confronting someone with the gospel does not mean ‘being confrontational,’ i.e. aggressive or rude in our presentation. “The servant of the Lord must be gentle, apt to teach, patient”
The Early church sprung up out of an explosion of mass evangelism and personal witnessing about Jesus Christ! “Daily in the temple and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” Without modern transportation, technology or communication, early believers like Paul, the Apostle taught publicly “repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Amazingly, person to person, house to house work ‘continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the Word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.’ Early believers had a burning passion to boldly persuade men about Christ. Let us urgently recapture that passion, for the harvest is ripe, and Jesus, the friend of sinners, is eagerly interceding for many who are hungry for the message of deliverance!
If you have become a believer, let us pray for boldness to reach those who are ready to give themselves to the Lord.
Lord Jesus Christ, lead us, Your servants, that with all boldness we may speak Your word!
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