Tom’s Corner January/February 2018

I was on a Christian online forum tonight reading a question that was posed – “When was the last that anyone came to you to witness?  Have you ever been approached?  I don’t mean to rule out any methods of reaching out here, so has anyone ever asked you out of the blue what you felt happened after death?  Or where you were going when you died?” Here was my response: I have had people come to me to witness in one form or another before I was saved in 1969, but not since.  I think I would feel strange if someone did as scripture says our spirits will witness with each other.  God wouldn’t prompt a person to witness to someone who was already saved from an evangelistic standpoint.  This is what I think your intent is – evangelistic witnessing.  He would send someone to me if I were hurting in an area where the person has experience or is a prayer warrior.

I have witnessed to many people and have led many to the Lord although I do not feel I have the gift of evangelism.  This has brought to mind an incident that occurred somewhere around 1974 or 1975. I was a lay preacher and filled in for a pastor one Sunday morning.  My in-laws were coming to the house for dinner and I was heading home.  I stopped in a service station for gas and felt prompted to witness.  Even though I was a preacher, one-on-one witnessing to a total stranger made me nervous.  I left the station without witnessing.  I drove south to 87th St. and turned right heading toward I-435.  When I was approaching the on ramp I turned on my right turn signal, tried to turn my car onto the ramp, and the steering wheel was non-responsive.  I drove past the onramp and turned into a Venture parking lot.  I stopped the car and wondered what just happened.

I felt compelled to witness to the service station attendant and nervously drove to the station.  The attendant was busy with a customer; I went into the men’s room and prayed until the customer left.  I entered the office and said, (I remember nearly every word) “I owe you an apology”.  He said, “why?”  I said, “I didn’t say hello or acknowledge you when I was in a few minutes ago”.  The attendant responded, “Nobody does”.  I said, “But I’m a Christian.  Have you heard of Jesus Christ?”  He said, “Yes”.  I asked, “Have you ever received Him as your savior?”  He said, “I have committed too many sins to be forgiven.”  I asked, “Have you ever heard of the Apostle Paul?”

He said, “Yes”.  I said, “He murdered Christians and God forgave Him.  Have you ever murdered a Christian?”  “No!” he said surprised, “I have never murdered anybody!”  I asked, “If God forgave Paul for murdering Christians do you think he would forgive you of your sins?”  “I guess so”, he said.  “Would you like to receive Jesus as your savior?”  I asked.  “Yes”, he said.  I led him through prayer and he received Christ.
I drove home and turned on I-435.  I knew the words were not mine.  I knew the power of God.  I have wondered many, many, many times if I was the last Christian that would speak to this man or if God was calling him to a specific work.  I did not ask him his name, nor did I tell him mine.  I wonder where he is or if he is alive.  When I stand before the Lord I want to ask Him what the result of that experience was.  Was that to save a soul or to teach me a lesson or both?  Whichever, I knew after that – when God wants a person witnessed to it is going to happen.  (Re: Jonah)  I still shudder when God tells me to witness to a stranger.

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