A friend asked me to write an article for AssemblyHub on this, so here are a few thoughts for your consideration and input.
“Can you tell me how to get to heaven?” That was the question that was asked me by the manager when I went to the bank this morning! But how did that happen? Why does someone just ask that kind of question? Let me try to explain.
Being a witness from the start
I was saved through a youth work in England that was thoroughly geared to evangelism. Saturday evening we would be on the local market square, just about where John Bunyan wrote Pilgrims Progress, preaching to those going to the pubs and dance halls. Sundays I was out with teams in local chapels, and vacations were spent on beaches around the country preaching the gospel to holiday makers.
The youth work was called The National Young Life Campaign with the two mottos “My Utmost For His Highest” and “Every Campaigner A Soul Winner.” Eventually I borrowed one for myself and made it my life motto: “Every Saint A Soul Winner.”
Back to the “How…” question:
First, the Holy Spirit is in the soul winning business! John 16:8 says, “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement.” Note: He, that is God the Holy Spirit, HE will. Not you, not I, but Him!!
Secondly, how do I fit in? I thought I had to go in armed with ‘the four spiritual laws,’ with all my wit and wisdom and ready for battle! Listen to what the Lord says about every believer at the time in Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”
- The Holy Spirit is the One who will do the convicting and convincing of sin.
- The power will be the power of the Holy Spirit!
- You and I are simply the channels, vessels, old clay pots (or lamps), His witnesses.
What that should do is to take the pressure off of us. We can’t save a person, we can’t even talk knowledgeably to them about their lives because we rarely even know them. What we can do is to tell them what we have seen, what we know, i.e. witness!
So…how do I witness in a bank? When you can, it is important to build a relationship with people. That doesn’t mean being a pain, phoney or acting in a ‘forced’ way. Simply be yourself! The Lord will use YOU with your personality in situations where He won’t use others.
Be yourself. You’re just the clay pot, so don’t try to act like a crystal vase! I have been going to that bank for four years and chose to tell them about my cancer and that I’m currently getting chemotherapy. I was not looking for sympathy, of course, but did see it as an opportunity to develop the friendships I have there. Simply use whatever tools you can. One of the tellers is keen on soccer, so guess what we talk about?!
Witnessing in normal life
This morning I simply went to the bank to pay a bill. I hoped I would see the young lady I witnessed to last week. I did and chose her to serve me. I had given her a tract last week called, “Have you stopped eating because mom once burned the biscuits?” So I asked her if she was still not eating.
As I was in line the manager came to me and asked how I’m doing. This is a bit of a tough time with my cancer treatments, so I told her that and went on to say that ‘there are a lot of people worse off.’ I simply shared how at the last treatment I was sitting between two people who are dying and had told them how to get to heaven.
Being ready to respond
Her serious response was: “Can you tell me how to get to heaven?” What a question!! I simply told her that we are all sinners, Christ died on Calvary to pay for all of our sins and all He asks us to do is to BELIEVE. Believe and you go to heaven, refuse Him and you go to hell.’
Many, many times on planes and all kinds of situations, I’ve simply walked into a situation and watched the Lord open the door to share the gospel.
1 Cor 16:9 “For a great and effective door has opened to me”
2 Cor 2:12 “… and a door was opened to me by the Lord”
Col 4:3 “Meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains.”
One last word – note how many times the word “simply” comes up in my article.