Recently I took my last class of seminary which was on Personal Evangelism. To fulfill the requirements of the course I had to write two verbatim accounts of sharing my faith. I have decided to share those two accounts. I will share the first one this week and the second one next week.
All cliche’s aside, the class changed my life.
So Here Goes Nothing…..
It was getting late. The sun was setting and darkness was beginning to cover the team like a setting straight out of a horror film. Being Caucasian and lacking in fighting skills I was beginning to get a bit worried. The team had one final house to approach. There was a discussion as to whether we should knock or just go on. We decided to knock.
As was the case all week I was not the person who was, “supposed,” to share the Gospel at this specific door. Honestly, I was tired and sadly was a bit more concerned with getting back to the hotel than I was the homeowner’s soul. However my apathy was changed as the team began to speak with a man named Steven. At first I stood there and listened and soon became so burdened I had to speak up.
Steven owned the home and was a Catholic. The team learned quickly that he was more Catholic in word than he was in deed. He could not remember the last time he set foot in a church. Steven seemed very confident that he had nothing to worry about. His soul was nothing to care too much for and he figured that if there was a God he was good enough to let Him in on principle.
I asked Steven if I could ask him a simple question that we had been asking the whole neighborhood. He replied, “sure but I may not answer ya.” I appreciated his honesty. I asked him if he were to die tonight and stood before Jesus and Jesus asked him why he should be let him into the kingdom what would he say? There was a stale pause. There was a tension that could be felt. Steven looked away and said, “Well, I’m Catholic and been a good person, guess that should count for something.” He smiled then took a sip from his cup. Lowering it slowly he commented, “I figure I’ve done alright and if I haven’t, I can’t change nothing anyways.” My heart broke. My apathy dissipated into honest fear for this man’s soul.
I asked Steven if I could share with him how he could know for sure how to get into Heaven. His response puzzled me. He said, “Sure, whatever you like.” There was callousness in his voice. His mannerism gave off an attitude of arrogance. He looked at me as if I was some old movie he had seen a thousands times and was just going to let it play again but wouldn’t really pay attention to it.
As I shared the Gospel with Steven he stood there. The only movement he made was to take slow sips of his drink and eat the ice that was left in the cup. It became clear that he was not paying close attention. When I finished sharing the Gospel I asked him if that made sense. He replied, “sure if you believe that stuff, I just don’t get into all that religious stuff.” I could tell he was attempting to say it as nice as possible.
My heart froze. I didn’t know what to say. For a moment I wished I could give him a glimpse of Hell. I wanted him to feel the fire or hear the voice of God or something. Instead Steven looked at me like I was some poor mentally challenged kid. In his mind he was smarter than me and it was almost cute how much I wanted him to embrace this silly religious stuff. To him I was no different than a cute little girl scout selling cookies in front of the local grocery store.
Then he said something interesting. He told the team that he had accepted Jesus as Lord as Savior. The smile on his face sold him out. He didn’t believe a word he was saying. He explained that he didn’t have to go to church or do the other stuff. He could have church at home and be just fine. I honestly think he just wanted us to leave and figured it was the easiest way to get us off his property.
I closed our time by asking if there was anything he needed to be lifted up in prayer. He smirked and said, “Yeah, I need this house to sell.” So I prayed. I was intentional to ask God if He would sell the house to prove to Steven that God was real. I so desperately wanted God to do something miraculous in Steven’s life. I do not know if I was wrong in asking God to do that. As the words fell from my lips my heart and head battled. I feared what would happen if God didn’t sell the house. I worried how that could change this man’s life.
The team said our goodbyes and we walked off. As we turned the corner to head towards the church I looked back at the house and asked God again to prove His power to Steven. I also repented to God of my arrogance. In many ways I had the same attitude as Steven when I walked up to the door. I didn’t care to share the one thing that could change his life. I was so caught up in my own wants that I forgot for a moment the desire of my heavenly Father. At that moment, on that street corner in Avondale, LA, I asked God to remove my heart of stone for his Gospel and Glory and to give me a heart flesh that beats in rhythm with His heart for the lost, dying and broken.