Today we had a yard sale and though I was pleased to finally be having it after a delay of several weeks, I was also sorry not to be joining some friends of mine at a nearby park for some evangelism. I was thinking about them off and on through the afternoon and wondering how things were going. Evangelism is something that I love to do, even though I feel timid (read: scared silly) about it at times.
As the sale wound down, an old friend of my husband's came along on his bicycle and customers were so infrequent that we were able to just relax and visit. He did most of the talking* for the first hour but as the second hour was dawning, Bernie started putting the leftovers away. I had been standing there praying through the conversation, asking the Lord to give me an opening to speak to him about Him, but nothing seemed to be happening. As I stood there, I realized that just because the person you are speaking to doesn't say the perfect thing that will allow for a smooth segue into the Truth, it does not follow that therefore you aren't supposed to say anything.** I know very well that I am supposed to say something; God has told me that through His Word in many, many places.
So for the next hour my husband's friend and I discussed an amazing and confusing variety of things that he believes and all the while I kept steering him in the direction of the cross. It took the whole time to finally get the conversation to focus on Jesus Christ long enough for me to be able to present the Gospel to him. He did not jump right on repentance, but before we were finished I did see something in his face I had not seen up to that point...uncertainty. I will take that. My son recently told me that the purpose of evangelism is to get the person thinking about themselves and eternity and that was my target. I wanted him to stop being so sure about the nonsense he had come up with in his desire to make sense of life and realize that there is a sovereign God of the universe to Whom he is accountable. And that through excruciatingly difficult work, Jesus Christ has cleared a path to heaven for sinners who submit to Him. My prayer is that the Lord will soften this man's heart and water the seeds that were planted today and cause them to mature, bringing him all the way to repentance, all the way to eternal life.
*For those of you who know me, you will be doubting this, but it is completely true.
*For my newest sweet little friend, Mady: I think maybe that last click actually worked...no duct tape necessary! Well...for the first hour anyway.
**Through a question and answer session between Phil Johnson and John MacArthur on the sovereignty of God, the Lord has shown me in no uncertain terms that sometimes my perception of His sovereignty has bordered on fatalism (ouch!)...but that is the subject of another post.
UPDATE: My sweet friend Lark asked me to provide a link to the Q&A session between Pastors MacArthur and Johnson and I have found it online (I have a hard copy): Answering the Big Questions About the Sovereignty of God: John MacArthur with Phil Johnson