The story below was first published in 2010. It is being updated today with this paragraph. It is the story of the salvation of my friend Bob. The story was concluded yesterday, January 19, 2012, at the age of 79, with his home-going to go be with the Lord. It is a remarkable story! This is a story of the importance of going out faithfully, and sharing the gospel with others. I pray it will be an encouragement to all who read it.
In a recent conversation with some folks at our church we talked about the importance of being faithful to consistently go into our community and invite others to church and hear the gospel. Mark16:15, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” I Corinthians 4:2 “Moreover it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful.”
In the summer of 1993, my wife and youngest daughter were on our regularly scheduled church visitation on a Saturday morning. My daughter was 16 at the time. She had an afternoon paper route that she delivered for a few years and had saved enough money to pay her first year at Bible College. As my wife and daughter were going door to door, they stopped at the house of the Circulation Director of the local newspaper. They did not know this was his house. He had given my daughter her paper route.
They had about a ten minute pleasant conversation and gave Bob a tract and invited him to the services. He did not come the next Sunday. Fast forward to the year 2008, 15 years later! One Sunday evening Bob came to a service. He enjoyed the service and came to a few more. After one Sunday evening service he asked if we could talk. I had the opportunity to lead this man to the Lord. He was 76 years old.
In our conversation he told me how that down through the last 15 years that visit of my wife and daughter had stayed in his mind and he many times thought about coming to a church service. He wanted to thank me for them coming by and inviting him. He comes to the local church today.
Folks, we live in an impatient society of immediate results. The Holy Spirit worked on the man for 15 years because someone had faithfully went on visitation and invited him to church. Down through the years he had received other pieces of literature on his door from our church. A reminder of the faithfulness of our church. He also said, “It always impressed me that on a regular basis I received something faithfully from your church.”
I am a firm believer and the Bible teaches that God blesses faithfulness not slothfulness. The Scripture is very plain, we have to go engage people with the gospel. We have the words of life and should be willing to give them. We do not have to be rude or high pressure but you never know how God is working in the life of a person.
In a busy society where people can always find a reason not to go, I want to encourage people to realize we must go. God will never bless a church or the life of an individual that the people are not willing to spend some time engaging the lost about their condition. John 6:44, “No man can come to me except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” Salvation is a work of God. The Holy Spirit will works in hearts if we are faithful to go.
In the world of evangelism we have been taught about immediate results. God wants us to be faithful to go. We need to order our priorities correctly and be faithful to give out the gospel to the lost. Remember the friend, neighbor, relative etc. is lost and on his or her way to hell. God has put you in their path to be faithful to give them the words of life.
I pray every day that God will show me who he wants me to witness to today and to be alert to opportunities. I find that you get a lot farther with people if you will just be kind. It opens the door to share what God has done in your life. Faithfulness to go means a heart for the thing that God cares about. The lives of others. Jesus did not come to be served, He came to serve, Mark 10:45. We need that spiritual attitude as well. If your church has scheduled times to share the gospel with others, be faithful to go. Pray for the doors you are knocking on. Ask God to open the hearts of the people on the other side of the door. Remember, always leave the door open for the next person to witness to the individual.
Being faithful 15 years earlier and being faithful to go for 15 years led to the salvation of Bob. I am glad for my wife and daughter’s faithfulness that allowed me to have the opportunity to lead Bob to the Lord.
As our girls were growing up they were taught how to lead another person to the Lord. They went faithfully to our churches regularly scheduled visitation program. Dad and mom have you ever thought about bringing your children with you and talking with them about the lost need of others around them? One of the sad facts today is most children in an Independent Baptist Church have never had their parents pray with them for the lost, go with them to talk to the lost, or given their children an opportunity to care about the lost. It is poor Biblical parenting and ends up with the parents and the child being more concerned and living for the “lusts” than having a heart for God, Romans 6:11-19.
Of course, we wonder why most children in an Independent Baptist Church the children do not go on to serve God? They do not have a heart for the work of God because their parents do not have a heart for it. It is a fundamental heart issue as all issues of life are. Ephesians 6:6, “Not with eyeservice, as men pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.
However, just taking you children on visitation will not be enough, it is only one factor but it is a heart issue. The child must learn to have a servant’s heart and compassion for the lost. Psalm 127:3 Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord: (means given to us by God for safe keeping for Him) and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
Where is your heart today? If you have a real relationship with God you will understand the need to go faithfully. Let God worry about the results our job is to be faithful.