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Miracle In The Post Office!

4 June 2011 No Comment

Hi, today I was in the post office posting off some evangelism resources. At the front of the shop there is a large, low, square shaped table, with equally low chairs all around. It is designed for customers to sit and address envelopes and wrap packages. This is a new, modern post office!

Anyway, while I was sitting and writing addresses on packages, three ladies in their late teens came and sat at the table.

Remember in the previous blog, The car, the fish, and the wheelchair, Ian Thomson was used by God because he was ready? Well, the following is another lesson about being ready.

With these ladies, my iphone with the gospel video on it was right there so I just said to them, “Hi, can ask you a question?”

They looked up from what they were doing and said, “Sure!”

“What’s the world’s best selling book?”

They all said in unison, “Um…I don’t know.”

“It’s the Bible. Do you know how old that book is?”

Again… “No.”

“It’s 4000 years old, and we have just made a video which summarises the whole book in 11 minutes.”

“No way!” …was their shocked reply.

“Yep. Would you like to see it?”

“How do we do that?”

“It’s right here on my cell phone. Here – just don’t steal my iphone.”

They huddle around the phone, listening and watching.

I kept going with what I was doing. Occasionally, I looked up to see where they were up to in the video.

When they came to the bit about lying, thieving and murder, I stopped the video and asked them whether they had ever lied, stolen anything, or hated anyone. We quickly came to the conclusion we were four thieving, lying, murderers and that it would be impossible for a Holy God to let us into a Holy heaven without being forgiven. I resumed the video, then at the end I asked them, “If you died tonight, where would you go?”

Two confessed ‘Heaven’ …saying they were both Christians. The other confessed she would go straight to hell. I asked her if she would like to be forgiven right then. She answered yes! I recapped what the video said, expanded a bit on what it means to turn and surrender, and then asked her if she still wanted to be forgiven and surrender to Jesus. Again, she answered yes. I led her in a simple prayer of forgiveness. The other two were ecstatic! Their friend had just become a Christian. These two assured me they would look after her and take her to Church.

I always keep a supply of the booklet, How to be sure of going to heaven when we die, handy. In this booklet, there is a section on ‘genuineness’. Basically, it’s a check up for people who say they are Christians to make sure they REALLY are. But it’s also for people who have just committed their lives to Jesus, so they know the cost of becoming a disciple i.e. becoming a Christian is not about saying a little prayer and returning to our old ways.

Here are some lessons from today’s evangelising:

1) Be ready at all times. I hadn’t planned to give the gospel to someone in the post office, but my ways are not God’s ways (Isaiah 55:8). The opportunity presented itself, and I was ready. My iphone was fully charged, and I had follow up booklets with me.

2) Be alert and looking. When the girls came and sat down at the same table as me, many people might have said ‘hello’ to them and left it at that, or just been polite, not seeing them as lost sinners in need of forgiveness and a Saviour. WE CAN’T TAKE THE OPPORTUNITIES WE CAN’T SEE. So, how about praying for God to train us to see all the opportunities which are all around us every day. We just need our eyes opened to see them.

3) Set goals. Because I have set myself a goal to reach one person a day with the gospel, when ever I go into a public place I am looking and watching for opportunities to share, trying to be sensitive to the quickening of the Holy Spirit. My daily goal keeps me on my toes, and watchful, because I know I can’t go to bed until I have reached someone. So, set yourself a goal and stick to it. It will help you get hungry for the lost.

4) Don’t presume when people say they are Christians that they really are. This is why I gave the two girls who said they were Christians a follow up booklet, and pointed out the genuineness test to them.

5) Discern case by case whether it’s the right time to invite someone to commit to Christ. Sometimes it is, sometimes it’s not.

6) Create the opportunity. This is an example of a perfect opportunity. I had to be quick though as they were only addressing an envelope, so I had about 15 seconds to make contact. The girls were not going to ask me if I could tell them the gospel! I had to create the situation.

7) Guidelines for giving the gospel to the opposite sex. When I am running seminars on evangelism, I am sometimes asked about ‘guidelines’ for giving the gospel to the opposite sex, so here they are. I am VERY careful talking to the opposite sex. However, Jesus commands us to give the gospel to everyone (Mark 16:15), which must mean both male and female. As I look for opportunities to share the gospel, I take whatever opportunity I sense the Holy Spirit quickens to me, male or female.  However, I don’t evangelise the opposite sex if they don’t look at least senior high school age. The same goes for boys. Next, the situation has to be in a very public place with other people around, and there has to be more than one person I am talking to. Older women are different. They can be talked to one on one, but the situation has again to be very public.

Whether old or young, there can’t be any physical touch, not even a hand shake at the end.

With these simple guidelines, we can avoid the appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22).

In my early days as an evangelist, I wrestled with the issue of presenting the gospel to the opposite sex for obvious reasons.

In the end I concluded I didn’t want to be like the Pharisees whom Jesus rebuked for not being willing to lift a sheep out of a pit on a Sunday, heal a man on Sunday, or pick grain on a Sunday (see Matthew 12).

Furthermore, I considered that Jesus talked to a women who was alone, and not just any woman, but a Samaritan! Then he defended a woman caught in adultery. For those watching Jesus, it might have ‘looked bad’ but His heart was perfectly pure. In these accounts from the Bible, Jesus was putting people (in these cases women) before the traditions of men.

Then there is the example of Paul and the conversion of Lydia in Acts 16:13-15. According to Jewish tradition, men don’t talk to women about ‘religion’, especially in public places. Not only did Paul and his traveling companions do this, but after Lydia was converted, he and those with him went to stay at her house.

Conclusion? I think we ought to evangelise the opposite sex, but, like Jesus and Paul, be wise about it. Some people might be critical of my stance, but what’s interesting is that they are usually the very ones who are not doing evangelism to anyone, male or female, young or old. How interesting.

By keeping to these guidelines I have never had a problem in 25 years of going into the world with the gospel.

Notice they are guidelines, not rules. This is because I can think of many exceptions (too numerous to mention here), like the parents who asked me to share the gospel with their nine year old daughter.

7) We need to pray for an awakening. Because the tide of evangelism is at such a low ebb in New Zealand (and the in the West generally), these two Christians girls had no concern for the state of their lost friend (or knowledge of how or why to share the gospel with her). The pastors of these two girls may not have communicated the urgency and necessity of sharing the gospel, and therefore the girls were dead to the desire to do it.

I wonder how many of us have friends, family, and work mates who, if they died tonight, would perish in hell? Yet we appear to have little or no concern to proclaim the gospel to them. Our conscience and heart towards the state of the lost often seems dull, seared, and calloused. We seem to have forgotten the true state of lost people and the eternal peril they face. What’s causing this? How can we reverse the damage? How can we re-ignite a passion for lost souls?

It was thoughts like this that God worked through to inspire the How To Change The DNA Of Your Church To Make It Evangelistic conferences which as a ministry we are running around NZ and other countries. These conferences are about an awakening. They aim to change our hearts so that we will, from a strong internal motivation, want to share the gospel with the lost all around us.

Here are two conferences coming up:
Waipukurau, 18th June. Click here for a registration form.
Tokoroa, 25th June. Click here for a registration form.
What’s does ‘Change The DNA Of Your Church To Make It Evangelistic’ mean? Click here to find out.
To hear a pastor’s 50 second video endorsement of these conferences, click here

You can start by getting hold of some www.biblein11.com business cards. These at least will help you make a start. They are $25 for a box of 100 plus p&p. Just email me at julian@esisite.com and get started. God bless you! As you step out in evangelism, the Holy Spirit will meet you by giving you a hunger and awareness of the plight of the lost. This will be His reward for doing His will. Amen.

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