A little over a month ago, our evangelism team participated in an outreach here in Montgomery during a weekend long festival we have each year called Jubilee Cityfest. The festival is a music and arts event that draws some what 50,000 people when the weather is right. Seeing all these people gathering meant one thing to our team. An opportunity to share the Gospel.
Our team assembled on Friday night and passed out over 2,000 tracts. We were able to purchase an portable amp and do some open air preaching near the main entrance and around the festival. We preached with that amp for a good four to five hours if not more. One of our team members did some video taping and posted a video on the web and it got a reply very swiftly.
Apparently one gentleman had rented a hotel room near the festival grounds close to where we were set up so he could hear some good music throughout the evening. He replied though all he heard was us hollering. We counted it joy to know at least one responded to our preaching! We had some good one on one conversations with individuals as well as a few sour ones. Not everyone wanted to listen to our message.
Were trying to witness to a Boy Scout troop and was told by the scout master that they were not interested. One lady told us that we were very articulate in our preaching but needed to stop. No one was listening, she said. As we talked with her, a few people walked up to us and told us that they were encouraged by what we were trying to do. She could not say much after that. Some handed our tracts back and said they were offended. Others refered to it as “wasted paper” and refused to accept it.
Living in the Bible belt though, 95% of people will tell you that they go to church. It is good that they go to church but that will not get you into Heaven. Even though my truck goes to church with me, I don’t think it will make it.
When we witness, we hear so much of , “I’m already saved, I go to church, My dad is a pastor.” We stress with others to examine themselves. That a person isn’t a Christian just because he says he is, prays a little prayer, gets baptized or “asks Jesus into his heart.” For someone to become a Christian, the Bible says that he must Repent of his sins and put his Faith/Trust in Jesus alone!
That all their good works mean nothing on the Day of Judgment. That if they are saved that they will bear fruit. The fruit of the spirit (Gal 5:22-23); the fruit of repentance (Matt 3:8); they will obey God (John 14:15); they will know Christ intimately (John 17:3, Matt 7:23) and they will evangelize (Mark 16:15, 1 Cor 9:16).
As well as witnessing we try to encourage the Christian on the importance of evangelism. That ten out of ten people will die. One hundred and fifty thousand die each day. That as believers in Christ, if they really believe the Bible and the teaching that if someone dies and has not repented of their sins and put their trust in Jesus alone will go to Hell, how can they not tell some one.
On the first day of the outreach, when we had packed up and headed to our cars. I noticed these little colorful postcards laying on all the windshields of vehicles. When I got to my truck, I had one as well. After I read it, I became a bit sad and discouraged. It was an advertisement for a family entertainment center described as the City of Hope. It promised fun and games for the entire family. A black light mini-golf course. The latest in video game entertainment, prizes, food and much more.
Now why would I get upset over that. I looked at the location of the entertainment center and it was located over sixty miles away. I thought to myself and could not believe that people came this far to tell us about this center when you have so much trouble trying to get other believers to share their faith right here at home. Was what they were were offering worth coming this far to tell me about it? Was what they were offering worth telling more than the message we wanted to get out? Was it really that good?
The next night on my way to meet up with the team at the entrance. I ran into a couple of people from the center and questioned them about why they came this far to tell us about this center. They did believe it to be that good of a place. I stressed to them that it is over sixty miles away. Did they really expect people to drive that far for entertainment. Yes they did.
If you have caught on, you see the point I am trying to make. It is all about the message. The entire weekend, we had to have witnessed to well into ten thousand people. From those that received a gospel tract to the many that heard us reading from the word and preaching it as if it was our last time to preach.
If not one person got saved, God had to be happy that someone cared enough to go out and share his story with others. None of our team members are pastors or been to seminary and have a degree in theology. What we do have though is a message that is too great to keep to ourselves.
Everyone of us has experienced fear when we share our faith. From, “What will others think of me? I can’t do this. What will I say? I do not know enough,” and so on. I have been stopped by that fear quite a few times and backed down when I know I should have told someone about Christ. But after each failure, I came back stronger and more bolder than before. Determined not to let that fear keep me from sharing the only cure for this lost and dying world.
The Jubilee outreach has come and gone. The seeds have been planted and only God knows the hearts of those we reached. We just try to be obedient to when God says to go, will we go? I was sad and discouraged when I first read the postcard advertising the City of Hope. We have always struggled to get people to come out and witness and the struggle will probably remain. Jesus even said that,” the harvest is GREAT, but the laborers are few.” Luke 10:2
How can we though keep it to ourselves when people die each day and possibly enter Hell? To quote a fellow brother in Christ, Mark Cahill that has a passion when it comes to sharing his faith, he writes in the introduction to his book, “One Thing You Can’t Do In Heaven”
“Three hundred million years from now, the only thing that will matter is who is in Heaven and who is in Hell. And if that is the only thing that will matter then, that should be one of our greatest concerns now. Jesus tells us in Matthew 18:11, “The Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.” If it is of the utmost importance for Jesus to reach the lost, shouldn’t it be a major priority for you? The real question is, what are you doing of significance today that will matter 300 million plus years from now?”
The message is that good. That is why it is called the Gospel or Good News. The main reason we go out and witness is to bring God the glory he so much deserves. We all deserve Hell. Everyone of us has sinned and broken his laws. From telling a lie to taking something that was not ours. Looking at someone with lust or not putting him first in our lives.
But God so loved us more than we could comprehend. So much that he sent his son to die on a cross to pay the fine for the sins we committed. The only way we get the chance to go to Heaven is not by what we have done, but simply by the merit of another man, Jesus. If you have experienced Jesus and know him as Lord and Savior. Do not sit quietly as people walk through this life and straight into Hell. Proclaim his name everywhere you go. Share your faith with others. Give God the glory that he deserves. Only if though you believe the message to be that good.
Lighting the darkness,