Almost a Christian
Almost a Christian?
“You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” These are the words that I read at my Saturday morning prayer meeting and they are from Acts 26:28. The memories that this verse brings back are what a person once said to me after some time of my witnessing to him. It was a person that I knew at work and he told me that I came within this close as he held his forefinger and thumb about an inch apart. I remember that my response was to say, “No, that’s how close you came to getting saved.” In truth however, it was more like a foot than an inch, the distance from a person’s brain to their heart.
As I started my Evangelism Explosion preparations at church for the class last spring, my thoughts went out to the many that for whatever reason they have, would reject the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. There are those that are very righteous in their thinking, as Romans 10:2 tells us, “For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge,” but they remained in their religious beliefs even after I turn them to the Bible and what it says. My message is just as Paul wrote in that 26th chapter of Scripture, verse 18, ”to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light.” For instance, as I wrote to those in the local paper that Jesus gave us the Crucifixion of His body so that we believers, could know we are washed by his blood, cleansed of our sins, by faith in what He did, not by what we do. Yet because their church says baptism saves them, they will argue the importance of that sacrament and that the Lord gave the pastor/priest that power. Titus tells us clearly that it isn’t by what we do, but it’s like talking to the door.
The days of deception are upon us just as the Bible tells us in first and second Timothy. A learned apologist, Mike Gendron, correctly tells us recently about “the Manhattan Declaration.” He adds “that many evangelical people joining with Catholics and this is clearly another attempt to bring ecumenical unity to all of the professing Christianity and blur the lines that separate apostates from true Christians. This blatantly ignores the fact that there can never be unity between true Christianity and apostate Christianity, between believers and unbelievers, or between light and darkness." (See 2 Cor. 6:14-18) And doesn’t Luke 12 tell us clearly that, “Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division.” I have no problem with them joining together against bad morals, abortion, and things as such, but the bottom line still remains, that they aren’t saved and that there is a message that they need to hear, and that until they are saved, we cannot simply pretend to be brothers in the world.
I looked forward to doing this Evangelism Explosion class because I’ve seen the doors open so wide to many of the lost. The Evangelism Explosion is a witnessing method that equips churches for Friendship, Evangelism, Discipleship and Healthy Growth, developed by the late D. James Kennedy in the 1980’s. The better we learn it, the better God will use us to get His message across to the lost with love. The few times that I’ve attempted to use it, well I had wished that I knew it better. That is my wish, my prayer. The Bible also gives us verses to lean upon in this area too. In Ephesians 6:19, we find this verse, “that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the Gospel.” I still am, however, at the point of just, “almost persuading to make them a follower of Christianity."
Occasionally I stress over the failure that I have to save them, but it isn’t our job to save anyone. The Holy Spirit does that, while we are to just spread the seeds of the Gospel. That’s where the Evangelism Explosion becomes so helpful. It opens many people’s eyes to the fact that there comes a time to get yourself ready for meeting your Maker and helps the individual understand the reality of there being only that one way, that one path to Heaven which is in Christ. It comes with the truth but also with a loving method. All I can say is praise God for His enabling us with this procedure and may we continue to be used by Him and in His wonderful ways.