Sunday, November 23, 2008

Gospel As You Go?

A couple of days back, my daughter Jacquie and I took a ride into downtown Freeport, Bahamas, for groceries, a haircut and a bit of an adventure of exploration of our new surroundings.

We were riding our bicycles and trying to remember to ride on the left side of the road; something that’s easier to remember when there’s lots of traffic, but harder to remember when winding through the back streets….’Go LEFT, young man, go LEFT’ is an axiom I’ve invented in fun to help remember this.

Rounding one corner, we came across a neighborhood park with a basketball court; the children (seeing we didn’t look local) began to call out to us and ask us questions. I handed one Million Dollar Tract over the fence, pointing out that it’s had a million dollar question on the back….we rode off to the sounds of one of the boys standing on top of some seats, reading the back of the gospel tract to the others in the park. Sometimes I hand out tracts to everyone & other times I leave just one; making it seem rare and more valuable. Interestingly, hours later when returning from downtown through the same area, the children spotted us as we rode down the street and ran after us for blocks, allowing me to hand out gospel tracts while still riding my bike, to eager hands. When’s the last time someone ran after you begging for a gospel tract?

We passed out a few tracts and talked to a couple people briefly. At the City Market supermarket, I handed a tract to a young man, a young teen….asking him about the million-dollar question. Stephan is a very polite and courteous young man. He took the tract I offered him and engaged me in conversation about the message on the back. He seemed to feel that if one attended church and lived like a good Christian, then one would get into Heaven. We talked in detail of the message of the Gospel, of the Law to bring knowledge of sin, of judgment….using an example of a man standing in front of a Bahamian judge, guilty of a violent crime and asking to be forgiven because one was sorry…he began to understand through this example that if a human judge could not perform his duty while letting a criminal go free, simply for asking for forgiveness, how much more a just and Holy God (Ex.34:7). Stephan, after seeing his guilt before God & see the coming judgment and wrath of God, admitted to ‘shaking’ in fear before God. Pray for this young man, that Satan would not be able to snatch the seed of the Gospel that was sown on his heart; that Stephan would repent and believe the Gospel.

At a fast-food restaurant, I handed out a million dollar bill tract to a man in line behind us. It caused quite a stir as a number of people came up to get one & began reading the Gospel message on the back.

On the way home, on a side-street, I spotted a small barber shop….eying the son, I figured I’d time for a haircut & to peddle back to our dock by sundown. Paying for my haircut & slipped a million dollar bill tract to the barber….he loved it. He began digging through his stuff to find one he’d been given once before….then discovered this one had a Gospel message on the back. Seeing the Gospel message, the barber excitedly asked for more, so he could hand them out (a professing Christian).

In front of the dock where we are currently docked, is a clubhouse, tennis court and park. Last night, elaborate decorations (lights, tent, catering, sound) were erected for a wedding celebration. Sue and I sat in our cockpit, enjoying the spectacle while quietly playing a card game to pass the evening. I looked up to see an apparently slightly drunk man walk near a tree in front of our boat and begin urinating on the lawn. I got a little excited but Sue wouldn’t let me holler at him. As he began to leave, I finally called out to him and pointed out the bathrooms. He didn’t hear me, so I walked down the dock to shore and explained….also explaining that my children play in that park…he was very apologetic. Something came over me & the conversation quickly steered to the Gospel, where we continued to talk for some time. He saw his guilt but figured that if one tried to live a good Christian life, that was what was required to be right with God. He began to see the truth as we talked further and admitted that his mother is praying for him and that numerous others (both Bahamians and foreigners) have been approaching him with the Gospel. We talked until the party was over and the packing-up began. Please pray for him (I’m omitting his name and identity as other who might know him may read this page). Pray that God will bring him conviction; I prayed with him before he left, that God would remove sleep and any peace in his life ‘till he repented before God and believed the Gospel.

There were others, but the point of today’s column is how many people you can confront with the truth of the Gospel, while going about regular life….this was NOT a day where I’d been going out on purpose to preach the Gospel (that’s tomorrow), but simply regular life. How many have you confronted with the truth of Sin, Righteousness & Judgment & the Gospel today?


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