Just before Christmas, two Jehovah’s Witnesses who didn’t have strong English skills came to our door, hoping to win converts to their cause. They didn’t, obviously, but it was interesting to talk to them because it gave me an opportunity to start to witness to them. We talked briefly about the deity of Christ (I brought this up) and the personhood of the Holy Spirit (they brought this up) before they decided it might be better to come back another time.
To my surprise, they did indeed come back—this time with a friend who spoke English as his first language. Again, we went back into it. We spoke about a couple of about which we agreed—that the events of recent days—increased natural disasters, and so forth—would certainly suggest that the “beginning of the birth pains” of the new creation are upon us (cf. Matt. 24:8). The new guy initially stuck very close to the standard script, talking about how Abraham is the only man to ever be called a friend of God by God Himself and asking me what one must do to be right with God. I suspect he probably not expecting much of an answer beyond “be a good person.” My response was to trust in the finished work of Christ and proceeded to explain the gospel. He kept coming back to works (not as a response to grace) and then immediately jumping into their classist view of the new creation, that while some will dwell on the new earth, others—the 144,000—will dwell with God (who, incidentally, also won’t be making His home among all the redeemed).
Before too long, they went home since I think they could see they weren’t going to convince me, although I’m praying that the gospel would break forth in their hearts. The thing that strikes me as funny about this situation is that Emily and I frequently pray for boldness and opportunities to talk about Jesus. Evangelizing tends to be a bit of a struggle at times, mostly in that we can be a bit chicken. It’s only fitting then that God’s way of answering that prayer was to literally bring the lost to our front door.
If you’ve been praying that prayer—asking God for opportunities to share the gospel, to be a good witness, to evangelize—do you realize He’s answering that prayer, right now? Unless you live in a commune or in the woods, you’ve probably got neighbors who don’t know Jesus. If you don’t work at a Christian organization, you’ve probably got coworkers who don’t know Jesus. And if you live in a neighborhood like mine, you’ve got people who don’t know Jesus coming to your door to evangelize you. Do you realize that God is answering that prayer in some of the most over-the-top ridiculous ways possible? It’s not like praying that someone would give you a free car (although that happened one time)—this is about sharing the good news of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
While it’s always scary and I chicken out a LOT, it’s not hard to see that there really are opportunities all around us. The question is, will we take advantage of one?