Six brethren from the Wilmington church of Christ and myself gathered Saturday in Watts, California to spread the gospel.
Twenty minutes into our time together a conversation was initiated with four adults standing thirty feet on the other side of a five foot iron fence. When the scriptures were pulled out two excused themselves and one came up to the fence. Twenty minutes into the conversation we asked the one who’d come to the fence if she was interested in studying further. She answered not really and that we were lucky she talked as long as she did. We asked why and she said she said that her family can’t even get her to go to church. We assured her our goal was not to get her to go to church but rather know the salvation of the Lord. We asked if she wanted salvation from her sins and she answered yes. We commended her for the time she had spent discussing it so far and asked if she’d like to discuss it more. Her indecisiveness lead us to encourage her to consider it further as we went up the street with the intent of comming back to ask her about her decision. But alas, things worked out in such a way that we were unable to stop back by.
That is however not the end of the story of my part in our efforts that day.
Not ten minutes from the close of the last conversation we initiated another with a young man, by the name of Jose, sitting behind yet another fence. After some discussion about who Jesus said will enter Heaven and if he desired to do so, conversation focused on baptism. Jose had been taught that baptism came after salvation as a profession of a salvation already received. At this point we were invited over to the other side of the fence to take a seat in the shade.
After a number of texts were read and discussed (Mark 16:15,16, Acts 2:36-38, 1 Peter 3:21,22, Acts 22:16 and Acts 18:1-7) Jose said that after reading the Bible about baptism what he believed about it had changed. Now he believed that baptism was the point in time in which a believer is forgiven of former sins and begins a saving relationship with God in Jesus Christ.
We asked Jose if he was ready to be baptized biblically, having previously been baptized unbiblically. He said he believed now that he should be baptized again but wanted to consider it further. About that time Jose’s mother and grandmother came outside. We encouraged Jose to study further and invited mom and Grandma to study with us also. All said they had some interest and contact information was exchanged.
People put up fences to keep others out. Some are willing to talk through their fences but not let us in. Others begin this way, but eventually invite us onto their side of the fence with them.
As you share the best news on earth, the gospel of Jesus Christ, don’t be intimidated by the fences people put up. Be willing to talk through them praying for an invitation to the other side!
Keep thinking souls!