Sunday, June 24, 2012

Preaching Without Pushing

Long bus rides are not my preferred form of transportation.  Still they provide evangelism opportunities.  On one such trip from Rockford, Illinois to Minneapolis, I got to minister to a fellow passenger who was going to Rochester, Minnesota.  Originally I approached Ross while he was smoking during a meal stop in Mauston, Wisconsin.  I handed Ross a tract and asked a few questions regarding his eternal destiny but he wasn’t receptive to the gospel.

Later during our bus ride, Ross moved up and sat across from me to initiate what became a lengthy conversation.  I found out Ross grew up Jewish but had since become a pagan.  Although he was still resistant to committing his life to Jesus, Ross thanked me for listening to him and not being pushy like other “religious people” he previously encountered (specifically mentioning Jehovah’s Witnesses).  A final seed was planted when I gave Ross a Mark Cahill book explaining the difference between Christianity and various religions.

Jesus did say in Luke 14:23, “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”  Sinners need to be warned of the consequences if they are not born again.  But at the same time, God won’t force people to commit their lives to Him.  When the rich young ruler in Matthew 19 refused to give up his wealth to follow Jesus, the Lord didn’t beg him to stay. 

So whenever you share the gospel with someone who doesn’t want to get saved, you simply need to let that person go.  But if you have spoken the truth in love, that sinner might pray with the next Christian who witnesses to him.  Several people had talked to me about the Lord before I finally committed my life to Him.

“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” - 1 Corinthians 3:6

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