Sometimes, when we think about evangelism, we believe it is a service that can be started at any time. We can wait until there is grace or we are well-equipped before preaching. Actually, preaching the gospel is more like a spiritual battle where both God and Satan are competing for souls. If a certain opportunity is missed, one may no longer have the chance to meet Jesus.
Not long ago, a pastor shared that he had missed the opportunity to preach the gospel, which made him feel guilty for the rest of his life.
Over a decade ago, he took a train to preach in another place. A woman opposite him stared at him blankly from the minute he sat down. At that moment, the pastor had an idea to share the gospel with her. But because of the woman’s eccentricity, he was afraid that she might not accept the gospel, so he buried this thought and closed his eyes to fake sleep.
Suddenly, that woman stood up and pulled up the window, then jumped off the train. The woman's husband reached out to catch his wife but turned out to fall off the train together. Looking at the empty seat opposite, the pastor shed tears of regret. He could have prevented the accident from happening, but because of the human perspective, he did not obey the reminder from the Holy Spirit, causing irreparable regrets.
Some may only have one chance to meet Jesus in their lives; others may find it easier to know Jesus at a certain stage of their lives. If at the wrong moment, it will be difficult for them to accept the gospel. In preaching, we are actually working together with God. Our efforts and prayers can shake God’s hand and bring people to the Lord earlier.
There is a female believer who has believed in the Lord for four or five years. She returned to her hometown some time ago and was determined to preach the gospel to her nephews and nieces at home. Telling stories from the Bible, she taught them the simplest prayers.
She was surprised that when she referred to "God created heaven and earth," they didn't object but rather said, "Oh, it turns out that God created this world!" Among them was a naughty nephew who kept making trouble and noise when seeing his aunt reading the Bible to others.
At this time, this female believer went over to pray for him and kept telling him, "Jesus loves you; He loves you very much." The troublemaker gradually became quiet and finally cried. From then on, he was willing to listen to his aunt teach the Bible. There is also another nephew who has just learned to pray but gave testimony that he got better after praying for his stomach ache.
I also have regrets regarding the timing of preaching the gospel. In the past, when my younger brother first entered the workplace, I tried to pray for him and preach to him. For a while, my brother's heart opened a little, and he expressed that he did not reject faith. Moreover, the leader of his office, who is a Christian, even preached the gospel to him.
It's a pity that I didn't continue to pray for his faith. A few years later, when I decided to preach to him again, I noticed that, with a hardened heart, he was unwilling to believe anything easily. When it came to faith, he repelled it and just intended to make more money.
When we think that there is still plenty of time for us to preach the gospel gradually, Satan has already built a high fortress in one's heart, binding the heart with deeper control. Let us speak to the people around us as soon as possible, pray for them, and work with God to win back the lost souls from the power of Satan.
(The writer is a Christian from Shaanxi.)
- Translated by Poppy Chan