There is an ache than never really goes away. Not as long as there are people around me who do not know the LORD JESUS, who may even be convinced they don’t want to know Him.
Most will avoid the conversation altogether. To keep peace, we all know the rule – “steer clear of topics like politics or religion.” BUT, with this ache growing into burning passion in my gut, this longing for those around me to be SURE they are making a truly informed decision about the One who gave everything to be their Savior, I press on to find a way to begin that exact dialogue.
The truth is, the conversation I long to have is not about “religion.” Religion, to me, speaks things like “set of beliefs,” “rituals,” “traditions & ceremonies,” what one might do consistently or repetitively, with commitment and possibly pride in their devotion to those beliefs or rituals.
The conversation I long to have is not about rituals or ceremonies. It is not about what I or anyone else can DO at all. It is about a Person! A wonderful Savior who has already FINISHED what needed to be done to place me in right standing before a holy GOD. Who continually does for me what I am incapable of doing for myself. The One who longs to have an intimate relationship with those who trust Him.
Our LORD JESUS is the One who created us, who redeemed us. The One who pursues our hearts, so He can deliver us from what binds us, and give us the very best of all things – eternal life, light, peace, joy, and love, just to name a few! The One who steps into our hard places and transforms them – and us! – from the inside out. The One who offers us truth that is worthy of our trust, eternally unchanging, a solid foundation on which we can always stand. The One who guarantees lasting security, come what may.
Yes, I press on to have these conversations because I don’t want ANYONE to miss what Almighty GOD longs to give them. I don’t want ANYONE to misunderstand the very real and eternal danger in rejecting Him. He has given each of us the freedom to choose. I simply feel compelled to share the truth that has changed my life, to be certain anyone I come in contact with has heard that truth and given it fair consideration.
Ray Comfort, author of Faith is For Weak People: Responding to the Top 20 Objections to the Gospel, has spent decades pursuing those conversations too! He admits that fear holds most of us back from engaging others about their souls. We truly do not mean to offend or to make anyone uncomfortable. But we believe there is far too much at stake to stand by and say nothing.
With suggestions of conversation starters as well as stories from his personal experience, Ray encourages his readers to be brave and step forward … out of LOVE for those who do not know the Savior. Our genuine concern for their well-being can and will overpower any fear within us.
From those who are willing to engage in these conversations, there can be a wide range of comments and questions to navigate. We may fear that we do not have the ability to debate well, that we do not have the “right answers” or any answers at all for their objections. But Ray urges us not to be paralyzed by those fears, but instead to enter those conversations with a little insight.
Our first lines of preparation are always prayer, trusting GOD’s Spirit to guide our words, and growing our knowledge of His Words that will always speak truth. In addition, Ray also provides perspective and possible responses to his top 20 objections to the gospel.
This book is not written to those who present these hard questions, but it is written with a deep love and passion to reach those people in their objections and find a way to lead them to the Savior! Ray is writing to believers who share this ache. He helps us to understand what thinking or hidden agendas might lie behind those questions, what misinformed assumptions might be creating stumbling blocks to hearing and receiving GOD’s truth and offer of salvation. More than anything, Ray urges us to find a way to move from an intellectual debate to an appeal to the conscience, to trust the LORD to touch someone’s heart and reveal a tender place where He can draw them to Himself.
Some questions we will never be able to answer. But, with GOD’s help, we can still respond! We can always speak the undeniable truth of our own experience of being redeemed and reborn! We can trust the Holy Spirit to bring Bible verses and thoughts to mind that encourage someone else to do their own digging. We can always urge someone else to find out for themselves – to read His Word, cry out to Him and ask Him to make Himself real to them! We can always be confident that He will hear and answer the call of a soul sincerely reaching for Him!
Ray closes with this: “I have the privilege of preaching the everlasting gospel… GOD doesn’t need you or me. Yet He has chosen to use you and me to bring the message of eternal life to this world. The pauper is allowed to speak on behalf of the Prince. Privileged indeed, beyond words. … Therefore, don’t let anything stop you from appreciating this honor. Cast off fear, apathy, discouragement… Fear only GOD, love the lost, cultivate a tender conscience, pray for wisdom, and let your little light shine… prepare the way of the LORD so that lost sinners will one day see His glory!” (pages 207-208)
Ray Comfort’s Faith is For Weak People: Responding to the Top 20 Objections to the Gospel, published by Baker Books, is available wherever books are sold.
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