Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:13)

A Heart for the Lost

Monday, February 14, 2005
do you have one???

Compassion for those who are without Christ didn't come easy to me. My attitude, like way too many Christians today, was to be a witness to the people in my immediate surroundings, as in family, friends and neighbours, and that's it! I would wait for opportune times to mention something about the Faith, knowing that, at worst they would respectfully reject what I proposed, at best they would receive my testimony. Then I joined a church that had a MAJOR emphasis on missionary work.

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." (Matthew 28:19)

These verses, known as the "Great Commision", were posted everywhere in the church, and they had an impact on me. I realized that the Great Commission was an unqualified statement directed at all believers...and that included me. I also realized that just bringing the Gospel to the people around me was not the Great Commission; it was more like the "little endeavour".

So I started looking for ways to reach my community with the Word of God. I quickly dismissed any kind of direct mass evangelism, because I was WAY TO SCARED! I figured: anyone as petrified of public speaking as I was, just didn't have the "gift" for that kind of thing. I therefore opted to start a "coffee ministry". Two or three times a week, I would prepare a few thermos of coffee, and would bring the hot drink to street people on cold winter nights. I took the opportunity to get to know the poor souls and would attempt to reach them with the Gospel.

It was a good experience, but there was a problem: none of these guys wanted anything to do with the Gospel. So many Christian groups are involved with street people, that I found myself being the 1,003,349 person to try to reach them with the Gospel of Christ. I quickly realized that I most likely wasn't going to see a lot of people come to a saving knowledge of the Truth through my ministry.

That was a big problem for me. All this was going on before I came to an understanding of the Doctrines of Grace, so I actually believed that if I presented the Gospel right, if I reached out with enough "heart", then I would see many come to salvation. Well, I was going out several times a week, pleading the cause of Christ, and...well...nothing.

After a couple of years, I was really getting depressed over the whole situation, so, I gave up. I went back to my original position on evangelism, and there I stayed for about 3 years.

To be continued...

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