We needed to get some milk for our use and buns for Sunday night’s gathering, so we popped into Gezina Galleries at midday. After parking, we walked past the Post Office. There was a queue, starting from one counter inside, stretching out of the door, along the side of the Post Office for about 20 meters, then along the side of the building for at least another 20 meters. There was no social distancing and on the outside, the queue was two to three people wide most of the way. This was an enormous amount of the people.
What were they doing queueing like that? The Post Office is a pay point for the government SASSA grants given to the elderly, handicapped and maybe for those receiving the government UIF grant. Many people are really struggling due to Covid. There have been two million job losses and people need to eat and care for their families. That is the reason for this long, three-people-wide queue.
Would it not be great if people were queueing like this for something else … that something else being queueing to get into God’s Eternal Kingdom? This afternoon, a friend and I chatted about the church in general. Although his church has resumed and able to host 50% capacity up to a maximum of 250 people, most churches are struggling to get their people to return to church. Is it because of Covid that people fear mixing with people they have not seen for over six months, or is this the shape of things to come? The friend was very observant, saying that he feels pastors need to become Church planters … to replant their church and reestablish their church in the light of the damage done by Covid.
I would think that irrespective who the pastor is (and this includes each member of his church), he needs to put evangelism high on his job description. Many feel that evangelism is for those gifted in evangelism like Billy Graham … yet every Christian is an evangelist! This is why it is vital that everyone won for the Saviour needs to be trained to share their testimony as a bare minimum.
Let me give you an example. When we were paying for the milk and buns, the lady asked us how we were. I normally respond with something humorous, and today I added that my wife is in good shape as she has just completed mowing the lawn. After she finished laughing, she asked how long we have been married. Jenny answered, saying, “Just short of fifty years.”
The lady asked Jenny, “What did you do to make it last?”
Jen responded, “with Jesus!”
Do you see how easy it is to create a platform to start a conversation about the Lord Jesus? Sometimes it works, and sometimes it does not. The point is that you try … practice. You don’t need to be trained theologically. You don’t need the gift of evangelism. You don’t need to be an ordained pastor … all you need is your personal conversion testimony because then you will know what you were, what happened when you heard the gospel and responded, what you are now and where you are going once you die. Let’s take a short journey to understand why as a Christian you need to evangelize. Look at thisL
1 Cor 15:21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
The first man is Adam and when he sinned and rebelled against God, he sinned substitutionally. He sinned for us. We are recipients of what he did … as he rebelled and died, so we are born with a rebellious nature and we will die. There is absolutely nothing we can do about this. When we are born we already have that sinful streak within us (Psalm 51:5). It is for this reason that Paul repeats what he says here to the Romans in different words:
Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Sin is falling short of God’s glory (standard) and we all–each human born–fall into this category without exception! It is imperative to remind you that all have sinned! No person can stand before God saying he or she has not sinned … has not been rebellious against God. If they do, they are … let the Bible tell you what they are:
1Jn 1:8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
They are lying and the Truth has no place in their lives! The tragic end of a sinful, rebellious life is death:
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The “death” here is not human death but eternal death. That is spiritual death in hell with punishment for eternity! Now you would have noticed in 1 Corinthians:
1 Cor 15:21 the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man 22 so in Christ all will be made alive
And in Romans:
Ro 6:23 the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord
The opposite of eternal death through Adam and sin is eternal life through Jesus Christ. Look at the benefits of the Cross:
Tit 3:3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
From an awful background of depravity and the inability to save ourselves to experiencing mercy, love and kindness from God, who is Saviour, who grants new birth resulting in being renewed by God the Spirit because of God the Son. Without this, each one will die the eternal death and experience the agony of the rich man in Luke 16! Because of who we were and because of what Jesus did for us to save us from eternal death, we need to pray for opportunities to share the gospel or at least our testimony with lost souls, seeking God to save their souls.
Dear Glorious Saviour, You shed Your blood suffering the most horrendous pain and brutality so that I might through faith be washed clean of sin and be fit for Your Kingdom in Glory. Thank You. Help me to share Jesus with people I meet. Give me courage and confidence to know that I serve You and not man. In Jesus’ name, amen.