This young lady apologized for not knowing more. She shared with me that she went to church when she was a little girl and even went to a Christian School for a while. I told her not to apologize for not knowing and asked her if she would like me to share the Gospel with her. She said yes. I went all the way back to the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve’s disobedience. Fortunately, she was familiar with that story.
It took about 10 minutes to paint a picture of the Life God has promised every person, sins ability to keep us away from that life and the forgiveness of sin that is provided in the person and work of Jesus Christ. She had truly never heard this message. She just looked at me and listened intently. I had to work hard to simplify the message of the cross knowing that what I shared could change this girls life forever. Even in the telling, I became more excited about the ‘purity and simplicity’ of the Gospel. (2 Corinthians 11:3)
My story is not unlike hers. I have vague memories of going to church when I was very little. After divorce and disillusionment, my family stopped going. I did not grow up hearing the Gospel. God was not talked about. I can’t recall any prayer in my home. Later, in my teenage years, my understanding of God, Jesus and church was “…that is what all the ‘prudes’ are in to.” Yet all the while ignorant, I was miserable
My two best friends went to two of the main denominational churches in my hometown. They were both active in their Youth Groups. They knew that I did not go to church and was not a Christian. I was very immoral. Never once did they confront my lifestyle. Perhaps it was because they were living it with me? God was never part of the conversation. Jesus was never part of the equation. I didn’t know the Gospel.
I have distinct memories of spending the night my very best friend and watching him read the bible for a few minutes before we would go to bed after a night of ‘festivities’. Every now and then, I would go to Sunday School and church the next day with him. I would sit there with many others I went to school with. No one ever spoke to me about the Gospel. Did they know I was miserable? No, but they knew I was lost.
I am thankful for my wife, Melissa, for taking the time to share the Gospel with me my senior year of High School. Though I did not understand everything, what seemed to be very clear was, “I am miserably lost, but I don’t have to be!” Two years later, I surrendered my life to Christ. Today, I am privileged to serve God by preaching His Word and helping others live the life He has called them to live.
My encounter with this young lady has reminded me how important it is to offer hope through the Gospel; to take a chance and tell the story. We must not take for granted that those around us have truly heard and understand the Gospel. We need to prepare to share. It is important to be mindful that those we are sharing with may know less than we think about the person and work of Christ.
We must also be patient and pray! It took me two years for me to give my life to Christ, but when I did, it took! I did not pressure the girl in my story to become a Christian right then and there. I gave her a Bible and encouraged her to read the book of John until our next meeting. I also gave her “Ten Steps Towards Christ” by Jimmy Evans and asked her to read that as well. My hope is that she will surrender her life to Christ very soon!
One last thing… a powerful tool for every Believer would be a 5-10 minute telling of the Gospel in a simplified way that includes your personal testimony. Write it out. Keep it in your bible. Read it once a week. Memorize it. Most importantly…Share it!
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;