Football & Fires; Liars & Laziness

At the Super Bowl party i attended this past Sunday, i was at a local pastor’s house. At kickoff time, our Christ-exalting conversation turned to consistency of living a gospel-centered lifestyle. Pastor Ismael Miranda—whose sermons can be found here (i highly encourage you to check them out)—asked me, “When was the last time you witnessed to someone?” And i answered mostly honestly, “I can’t remember.” He then said, “How quick would you be to witness to the lost if i offered you $1,000 dollars per person you engaged in a witnessing conversation (they don’t even have to profess faith)?”

Now before i get to my answer, i have to clarify why i said that my answer to the first question was “answered mostly honestly.” You see, i can’t remember the last time that i witnessed to someone, but i can clearly remember the last time i heard the voice in my head saying, “Go engage those people in a conversation.”

It was Friday—February 2, 2018 (my 26th birthday)—and i had made a quick stop in Starbucks to get my free birthday drink. I meant it to be an in-n-out trip, and i did not want to sit down and spend any extra time inside the establishment. So after i got my drink, as i’m heading out the door , i saw the very same Jehovah’s Witness that i wrote about in this post talking to a lone woman, and i heard her say something along the lines of, “What you’re saying makes a lot of sense.”

I wanted to rebuke the guy in the name of Jesus and tell him to stop lying to her, and instead present the truth of the gospel to her, but i didn’t. I preferred comfort, and i justified laziness since it was my birthday. How much more selfish can a person get? It’s self-idolatry at its finest (read “ugliest”).

In 2 Corinthians 5:20, Paul writes, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” When that voice inside us tells us that we need to speak the gospel, that is the certainty of God speaking through us. In our own fallen, depraved, sinful state we would never think about speaking the Gospel. To have the feeling that you should share is a sign of Christ in you.

And when you refuse to speak, like i did on Friday, you are—in effect—putting a muzzle on Christ. God can’t speak through you if you don’t open your mouth. God can’t speak through me if i don’t open my mouth. When we are faithful and preach the gospel, it is God preaching the gospel through us. This is why those who refuse to believe will have no excuse on Judgment Day. God Himself declared the truth to them when God’s people declared the truth to them.

This is why it is so sad when we fail to preach the gospel to the lost. When we keep our mouths shut we are actively hating those we refuse to witness to, because we don’t love them enough to give them the good news of the gospel that can save their souls.

But back to my opening story. He had asked how motivated i would be to witness for $1,000 per person witnessed to. Before the question was off his tongue, i said, “I’ll go right now. Forget the Super Bowl.” He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Then you love money more than God.”

It hit me hard. Especially since i had kept my mouth shut two days prior. Who knows if i’ll ever see that woman again? Who knows if she’s even still alive today—just four days later? Who knows if she’s already been cast into the fires of hell?

May we all witness for the sake of Jesus’ name being made great, and for no other reason! May we all proclaim God’s reconciling nature in having sent Christ to earth 2,000 years ago. And may we all be truly selfless and loving by so preaching the gospel to those in need of its truth.

Remember, it is God speaking through you. Don’t silence Him!

Soli Deo Gloria

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