When I woke us this morning, little did I know that the Lord had a plan to help me teach about Evangelism in 2016. It was Monday, and that is the day I do my Bread Run. It’s the day I go with some brothers and pick up bread at the rich peoples Publix Grocery on Southside and distribute it to the poor, homeless, disabled, and mentally challenged people on the Northside of town A new guy joined us yesterday, and immediately I was curious about why the Lord had him cross my path.
He was a very talkative fellow and was more than happy to share his life story with us. As I listened he shared concerning his previous involvement in a church in Tallahassee Florida which had let him down when he needed them. He shared how he had visited other congregations in Jacksonville but wasn’t happy with them either, so he had stopped going. In all his story I never heard one word about Christ and his relationship with Him. Now if you are just interested in numbers and bringing people to a building you would have missed that and just invited him to “come to your church.” Also, if you are just looking for lost people to “win to Christ” so you can add them like notches on your belt, you would have overlooked him a a possible candidate.
- Let the Fragrance of Christ in You do its work.
It wasn’t long before he was agreeing with the things we were sharing and our way of ministering the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They must see Christ in you before you can tell them about Him. People are tired of words, but His creation will recognize the fragrance of the Creator even if they have never smelled it before, much like a newborn finds his mother’s breast for the first time. You are the living example of Christ, not a memorized list of Bible verses called the Roman’s Road.
- Help them see the difference between Religion and being born from Above.
In western society you will find few people who have not been infected by religion. They know it doesn’t work. They just think it’s because they are bad people or they haven’t tried hard enough. Raising you hand, walking forward, and repeating a prayer are all inventions of the modern church. That is why the pews are filled in America with unconverted people. As I explained to him, the difference between being born from above and the usual religious exercises, I could see he was getting very interested, and we had not yet arrived at our first bread stop. Religion is man’s attempt to please God which always fails. The key was to help him change his focus from his religious failures to Christ and his power to please the Father fully.
- Only the Holy Spirit’s Indwelling can change a man
I once heard a man say, “God is looking for God.” This young man was chosen for salvation and the Holy Spirit was working on Him so he could perceive his condition and his need for the Real Christ. I asked him to consider why he was in the van with us and if God had been drawing him. He began to share how God had spared his life recently in an accident. Finally, he said, “Yes, God has been reaching out to me.” I told him Christ would come and live in him to guide him and lead him as Father helps a son. You could see the hunger for God on his face, so what I said to him was you must come to a place of surrender and turn the steering wheel of your life over to God. He said, “I am there now…that’s exactly where I am.” I didn’t offer him a free ticket to heaven; I didn’t discuss forgiveness of his sins, I didn’t mention baptism, and church membership. I didn’t tell him his life would be wonderful from then on; I didn’t give him any of the usual incentives. I just spoke of total surrender.
He looked straight in my eyes and repeated, “That’s where I am right now.”
- Let him speak to God himself
By this time we had arrived at the facilities of a congregation which was our first stop on the Bread Run. At this point most people would just lead him in a prayer. He would repeat it and that would be the end of that. After more than 25 years of serving the Lord, I understand there are many spiritual strongholds that keep people from following Christ. Those strongholds must be broken before a complete spiritual healing can begin. We have all been given the power to set the captives free and to make disciples of Christ, so I always pray for them first. We got on our knees (not necessary but it helps me), and I asked him then to pray for Christ to take full control of his life. The prayer that followed was sincere, honest, and simple, but it was his and from his heart. When we stood up joy was all over him and I knew a heavenly happening had transpired.
- It’s after you TASTE that you can SEE.
At that point I shared about the cross and the work of the Lord to provide deliverance through His blood. I shared of his need to be around the Lord’s family and to walk out his life one day at a time. The rest of the Bread Run went great, and he was a great help. When we got back home, we blessed him with a carload of groceries from the Food Pantry. He was so thankful. From this point on God has him, and he always finishes what he starts.
In Conclusion: Evangelism in 2016
We must realize that this should be normal in the life of every believer. Evangelism in 2016 is not about Sunday mornings. Every day people cross our paths that need Christ. Do we offer them Religion by telling them what a great Pastor we have, or what a great church we are a member of? Or does our life give off the fragrance of the Risen Christ which draws people to want what we have? It’s our choice in 2016. Nothing happens by chance and there is purpose in everything that happens to a Born from Above Child of the King.
We have built fancy buildings, and we have provided every type of religious meetings and rituals and yet our neighbors, coworkers, families, and friends are not changed, nor transformed. It’s time we became the living tract people need to read. May the Lord lead His Church out of the values of the marketplace, out of the funeral services of religious rituals, and out of the deception of Hollywood entertainment and celebrity atmosphere.
“BrotherBosque” on Skype
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