While it’s true that the Holy Spirit is the One who does the converting, Christians have been called into the harvest field of desperate humanity with His help. But sadly, this is a privilege undertaken by only a small group of people.
Remember my story about sharing prophetic Scripture to a couple of guys on a pier? Well, one thing led to another and now they talk about these things amongst themselves, even while I’m not there. I was just doing what I always do, that is, sharing the Word of God with any and all who will listen.
Last week a couple of the guys extended a hand of welcome. (And to think they might throw me off the deep end was in my thoughts initially!) These are rough and tumble guys with very sharp fillet knives strapped to their belts. Today while I was there an older robust Jewish man spoke to me, asking, “Where have I seen you before?”
This sparked a most interesting conversation that got even more interesting when I gave him my double sided business card with Rapture Ready on the back. We talked at length about the Jewish faith, ISIS, Putin, the holocaust, Netanyahu, Iraq and Iran. This was a well informed individual and I was happy to discuss these things with him. I spoke of one of my latest articles, “Jesus was a Jew,” and his ears perked up. Intuition tells me he’s going to check it out when he gets home.
Earlier that same day a neighbor stopped to say hello as he was driving past the house. I was doing a little yard work out front. I asked why I hadn’t seen him recently and he replied that he was taking medication for depression. Later, after leaving the pier and having supper I remembered what he said about his condition and the Prozac he was taking for it.
I had heard about that medication doing irreparable harm to some, and so I went directly to his house to talk to him. His wife answered the door and hollered out to him that I was there to see him. He came out of the bedroom to greet me. I asked him to speak with me outside. I said, “I’m here to pray for you.”
He was taken aback for a moment (probably because this had never happened to him before). then he relaxed as I continued to tell him that since he was a good neighbor I was concerned about his well being.
I warned him about Prozac and he said that his doctor told him that Prozac use was epidemic. I don’t know all of the ramifications but I know that any kind of medication can’t be good for you in the long term. I prayed a short and to the point prayer for him and quoted Scripture. Then I explained the gospel in a nutshell, telling Him that God cares for him and that Jesus was and is the Prince of peace, and he could find emotional healing through him as well as the restful sleep he desired.
I go to the pier at least once a week and did so yesterday. I’ve always loved the ocean breeze and warm Gulf waters and would eat fish two or three times a week if I could. Jesus ate fish often. (He had good taste.) However, once again the fish just weren’t there and neither were the fishermen. It made me wonder if the prophetic warning of a third of the world’s fish dying out was happening.
In any case, I saw a stranger sitting on the end of the long bench that runs along the inner wall in the northeast corner of the shelter at the end of the pier, and went over and sat near him. He was alone with a pamphlet in on his lap, looking out over the Gulf, lost in thought. Striking up a conversation isn’t always easy, but I try to make my approach light hearted, focusing on the person at hand (since we are always concerned about ourselves).
“Do you remember a guy named Roy Orbison? You bear a resemblance to him,” I said. “He was one of my favorite singers.” He was receptive and we talked about various things and finally I asked, “What are you reading?” “Oh, that’s my Catholic missal for Lent.”
“I’m a Christian too,” I replied.
I steered the conversation to the end times and the state of our nation, after he said with a sigh, “Our young people have lost their way morally. It seems they don’t even believe in God anymore. Our country is doomed.” He continued, “I worship Him because of His goodness toward us, etc.”
I shared some of the warning signs to look for in the days ahead from the Bible. Finally, knowing that Catholics worship Mary more than Jesus Christ I made it a point to quote this Scripture, “Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life and no man comes to the Father but by me.”
I believe he was searching for the answer to salvation. I gave him my business card and went on my way. He seemed to think I was an angel sent by God, from the look on his face. Albeit, I’m just a sinner saved by grace.
Today I stopped by the Burger King for a breakfast sandwich before going to the gym for a workout. God had another divine appointment waiting for me there; a man in his mid-forties waiting for his meal ahead of me where the cream and sugar was placed for coffee drinkers. He saw me get my coffee and asked if I needed cream. I said, yes, and he handed me some. I thanked him and we began conversing.
He told me he had been boozing all day Sunday, yet he didn’t appear to have a hangover. He sat in a booth; as I got my order, I decided to sit in the adjoining booth to continue our manly conversation. He said he divorced his wife when he caught her in bed with another man and that after a year he still couldn’t get over it. I sensed he was drinking to get the image out of his mind.
He said he thought about killing her at first but didn’t because they had a young daughter together. He said he would never forgive her. I then stepped in with the Word of God and told him that the Bible says that we all make many mistakes, and that it was in his best interests for his own emotional health to forgive her.
I gave him my testimony, telling him how I received Christ and God’s forgiveness and how I recovered from a similar situation. Then I gave him my business card, and before we parted ways he shook my hand and thanked me profusely.
Rather than wring our hands in fear over what’s taking place in the world today, we need to care enough for our fellow man to explore new and different ways of approaching them with the gospel to give them hope.
Jim Torres “Towers”