At a recent Community Outreach Study of the California Acres church in Topeka, KS, a man said he did not need us to preach to him as he initially began to walk off. But that was the beginning of the story, not the end.
This past Wednesday morning Albert Haag of the California Acres congregation in Topeka Kansas and myself met for a community outreach study. We met in the food court of the Westridge Mall of Topeka. When I arrived Albert was already speaking with a long time a quintana of his. A man in his mid nineties. As I came up to the table this man introduced himself by saying he became a Chistian as a child. From here his conversation quickly moved on to various life experience stories.
When given the opportunity I said I’d like to take him back to where he began the conversation. I shared that when fourteen I had thought I was saved but learned later that I had not actually done what the Bible instructs one to do to be saved. He quickly turned and began to leave while saying that he’d did not need me to preach to him. I responded by saying I did no intend to preach to him, but only point out some scriptures for him to read and contemplate if he’d allow. At this he turned, came back and said ok. I took him to 2 Thes. 1:7-9 and asked him if he had obeyed the gospel. He said he was trying. I asked him what the gospel was. He said that it was living for Jesus and took off his glasses and began to put them in His shirt pocket. I asked him if he’d allow me to share another scripture. He said yes if I wanted to. I invited him to read 1 Cor. 15:1-7 which he did. I suggested that this passage introduced the gospel as the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus to which he agreed. As he was once again putting his glasses in his pocket I suggested that 1 Cor. 15 was not very helpful in answering how to obey the gospel though. I asked how a person could obey the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Then als asked if I could share one more scripture with him. As he put his glasses back on he said, “Yes if I you want to.” We turned to Romans 6 where I asked him to read verses one through seven. He did so. I asked if he saw how to obey the gospel there. He said, “walking in the new life.” I asked when, according to that passage, walking in new life began. Regrettably I did not wait for an answer but instead proceeded to point out that it is in baptism that we are buried and resurrected with Christ to begin our walk of newness of life. He declared that he was baptized and went into a story about getting tetras as a child and being pronounced dead. How a woman prayed for him and he came back to life. I suggested his story was interesting then brought the discussion back to whether or not he was baptized to have his sins washed forgiven. At this he said he needed to go and literally skipped away. Yea, even in his mid nineties!
What do you think? Was this a profitable discussion? Why?
“Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed…” Mat. 13:3-23
I encourage you to read the passage quoted above in its entirety. Was it good that the sower sowed? Yes. Could the seed have found the good soil had it not been sown? No. Where the soils/souls who received the seed/word given the opportunity to benefit spiritually from it? Yes. Was this good? Yes. Should the sower take joy in the fact that he had a part in sowing even the seed that fell on poor soil? Yes.
I suggest that the sowing itself is part of the joy of evangelism and not just the conversions we see the seed produce in the good soil. People’s conversions should be celebrated, but so should the fact that God’s children are fulfilling their commission of sowing the seed, no matter the soil it falls on (1 Cor. 3:6-9).
Keep sowing the seed generously and broadly!