Last Saturday, Sarah, my mom and I went to this park to witness. As Sarah was turning off the engine my mom let out a blood curdling scream (believe me, when my mom screams it’s really loud!). As the automatic window closed, it had caught my mom’s fingers in between the window and the top of the door. Sarah quickly rolled the window down again, and we looked at mom’s fingers. They had black indention lines where they had been caught, but Mom said she was okay. Sarah and I were pretty startled ourselves after that loud scream, and Sarah and my mom went home to get ice.
I stayed at the park thinking, This has never happened before, and when does it happen? Right when we arrive at a park to witness. But often enemy attack means something good is about to happen. And that was certainly true this day.
“What do you think happens after you die? Sarah asked one lady, after she and my mom had returned.
“I don’t know but I’m scared,” the lady replied.
“Well, that’s a good start. It’s good to be concerned.” Sarah said, explaining how we are all sinners and God is a righteous Judge.
“Now I’m really scared,” she said.
But just as Sarah began sharing the good news, her granddaughter came up and she needed to go. Now Sarah had to give her some answers really fast! Sarah looked her in the eyes and told her, “you don’t need to be scared about what happens when you die, you can know for sure you are going to heaven if you trust these verses…” she said.
“What verses?” the lady asked.
Sarah showed her 1 John 1:9 and Ephesians 2:8-9 and encouraged her to confess her sin to the Lord and ask Him to save her.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Sarah told her to read the tracts she gave her, and get alone with God to talk to Him about it. Sarah could tell by the look in her eyes that she was taking this very seriously. Wow–we prayed that God would direct us to hungry hearts and it’s so encouraging to see Him doing it.
Then Sarah began a little questionnaire with a young mom who said she believed in Heaven because she has good dreams about her grandfather and she knows that he is there. She believes she is a good person and that she is going to heaven because she gives all her time to take care of her little boy.
Sarah gently walked her through the 10 commandments and then talked about how “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” and also John 3:16 and how it’s not a general belief but a personal belief.
She looked at Sarah in a funny, curious way and asked, “Can I ask why you picked me to talk to?”
Sarah replied that there wasn’t really any particular reason, but that she had been praying the last few days that God would lead her to the right people.
“I’ve seen you at the mall before,” the young mom said, “and you’ve talked with my niece before.”
“Did your niece mind when we talked with her?” Sarah asked.
“Oh no, not at all!” she said. “You come across so nice—and when you talk with people they always remember it,” she told Sarah.
Sarah gave her some tracts and reminded her how every person has to make an individual choice to come to Christ. She asked Sarah’s name and shook her hand with a big smile.
“Thanks for being so sweet!” Sarah said.
“Well, thank *you* for being so sweet,” she responded.
I tell this story as a reminder that often people are very grateful when we talk with them. Not always, but often. But we won’t know that until we take the time to step out and begin the conversation!
I talked for about an hour with some staunch evolutionists. Very interesting and enjoyable conversation. Here’s a quick summary.
“Hey I’m working on a little project learning what people believe. Would you mind answering a few questions?” I asked.
“Sure,” they said.
“What do you think happens when someone dies?” I asked.
“Nothing–you just go into the ground,” they said.
“Okay. So did you grow up with any certain faith or religion?” I asked.
Sam hadn’t, and Naomi had grown up in a Unitarian church.
“The next question is this: If you had a problem with Christianity or an argument against it, what would it be?” I asked.
“Just one problem with Christianity?” Naomi asked.
I smiled. “No, you can give more than one,” I said.
“Well, I guess it would be that I don’t agree with Christians who say the Bible is 100% literal and has to be taken as fact— I think it’s more metaphorical,” she said.
“What about you?” I asked Sam.
“I don’t have a problem with Christianity,” he said. “In fact, a Christian friend just helped me out with something recently. Actually, I hope there is a God,” he said.
“So why don’t you believe the Bible?” I asked.
“Because I believe in evolution,” Sam said.
So we dove into a long discussion about Creation and evolution. Dinosaurs. Holes in the evolution theory. Complexity and beauty in creation which speak loudly of a Creator. And so on.
Naomi explained how they believed in science and I just take the Bible by faith.
“But it takes faith to believe evolution too,” I told them. “Because it’s a story of something that happened in the past.”
They couldn’t disagree.“Yeah, I wasn’t there [when it happened],” Sam said.
“So really, you don’t see any problem between Christianity and Science?” Sam asked.
“No not at all!” I told them, explaining how many of the early scientists were Christians.
“I really hope there is a God,” he said again. “The idea of a Creator and afterlife is so much nicer than just going into the ground to become worm food.”
Sam asked, “What actually is God?
As I explained God’s attributes I admit I was amazed by how little Sam knew about the Lord!
Finally, I got to share the gospel—how God, the Creator, became a man, Jesus, to take care of the problem of sin.
“Jesus is God??” Sam interrupted me, very surprised.
“Yes,” I said.
“I thought He was God’s Son,” he said.
Sam mentioned how he had never talked about religion very much with his friend who is a Christian. He said he didn’t want it to breach the relationship.
“Well we’ve been talking about it all this time and we’re still friends,” I told him.
I know Sam was genuinely intrigued and surprised by all I told him. They took the booklets that I gave them, and we parted with a friendly goodbye.
Please join me in praying for Sam and Naomi that the Lord would open their eyes to the truth!! It’s so, so sad to see how our society just indoctrinates people in evolution. Even though they can’t defend evolution, they still believe it because they’ve been taught this all their lives. But God can open the eyes of the blind.
“I am sending you to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.” (Acts 26:18)
What a wonderful testimony! We have such a privilege as stewards of God’s amazing grace to share the gospel with a suffering world.
Thank you for sharing Grace!
In Christ Alone,
Thank you so much for posting such an inspiring article. I am awed by how nice the people were that you talked with. This is such an inspiration to me, because I am so very silent about my faith. Of course, I do as much as I can to be a light for my Lord….but I just don’t go and “make disciples” by approaching random people, which is something I have wanted to do for a while. Grace, if you will, could you give some advice on overcoming the fear of making people angry from witnessing to them, and also could you explain how you muster the courage to just go and approach people….I have such a hard time with this. I am truly in love with Jesus and think others would be too if they knew Him….but OH! How do I go up and witness to them?
A quick layout, Grace. Could you please answer these questions whenever you can:
1. How do you muster the courage to go witness to people?
2. What are some things you suggest saying to people while witnessing to them?
3. How do you come across as loving and not as a doomsday preacher?
4. How do you know which people are saved and which people aren’t? Do you ever have people tell you they’re already saved??? How do you deal with that?
Sorry for all the questions Grace….but I truly think that I COULD do this for the Lord if I only knew to do it lovingly, gracefully, and carefully. I hope you can answer these difficult questions but there is no hurry!!!
I love you and your sister in the love of Christ,
thanks for sharing these awesome witnessing stories. they make me want to learn more about apologetics or something 😉
Hi Emily! You have some good questions there!
Dealing with fear:
2 Tim 1:7 has helped me SO much in dealing with fear. It says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind…”
1 John 4:19 says “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear”
Witnessing it’s usually hardest at first and then gets easier as you practice. It helps to be equipped and to have an idea of what you are going to say beforehand. It also helps to bring a friend.
Starting a conversation:
Sometimes in approaching people I use a questionnaire. Here’s a sample questionnaire that is a pretty easy one to use…
1) In the past 6 months, has your interest in God increased, decreased, or stayed about the same?
2)How would you rate your knowledge of the Bible (from 1-10)?
3)If your friend came to you and asked you how to become a Christian, what would you say?
Some other more opening questions that I’ve used a lot are: What do you think happens when someone dies? Do you think eternal life is a free gift or something you have to earn? Do you have a Christian background? Or How many of the 10 Commandments can you name? You can use a notepad and explain that you are learning what others believe. Another good way to start a conversation is to hand someone a tract. Then it’s only natural to explain what it is you handed them.
Most people will respond postively if you are gracious, a good listener, and genuine. People will respect you for standing up for something you believe in.
If you meet a Christian, that’s great. You can ask them if they share their faith and encourage them in their walk with God! Of course, many know all the right answers but are not genuinely saved. Asking enough of the right questions helps to determine this. Whether they are saved or unsaved, I always still leave them with a tract or booklet, and often encourage them to share it with a friend…
May God bless you as you serve Him, Emily! Don’t forget to be in prayer asking the Lord to open doors and give you boldness! I will pray for you too.
Great post, Grace! It was wise of you to be aware that perhaps the enemy was trying to distract you from witnessing by your mom’s mishap. FYI, that window thing happened to my mom too. And she was on the phone. And she screamed into the poor fellow’s ear. 🙂
Thank you so very much for responding to my comment! I really respect you for doing that!! 🙂
Hey Grace! I just wanted to tell you that your blog is really an encouragement! Thanks so much for posting about your witnessing stories 🙂
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