Selfishness and Evangelism

Saturday, April 29, 2006

I returned home from the Together for the Gospel Conference yesterday. We got out on time but had to circle DFW for a while b/c of the bad weather. When we make it inside, our connection changed gates a couple of times and the times kept getting bumped further and further back. We finally got out about 2 ½ hrs late. I got on the plane and honestly, I wasn’t in a bad mood, but just really didn’t feel like talking. I had just experienced a great conference and really wanted to use some of the flight time to process what I had learned (did that sounds spiritual?). So, I find my window seat and I pray the typical airline prayer, “Lord, if it be your will, may this seat beside me remain vacant, and if not, may it be someone very small.” (I know, look at the title this post). Well, neither prayer was answered. An extremely kind older lady comes and finds her seat beside me. She was friendly and I immediately thought, oh no, she’s going to talk to me the whole time. We exchanged a few pleasantries and then I buried my head in a journal with my pen in hand, trying to look as consumed as possible until the long awaited, “you’re now free to use approved electronic devices” announcement. As soon as this happens, I grab my large noise cancelling headphones, my ipod and I lock in. I thought to myself, I’m free now; no one will dare talk to me with these babies on! Unfortunately, I was right. I sat and had a great time of reflection and thinking through the messages taught the previous week.

It wasn’t until the last 30 minutes of the flight that I emerged from my cocoon. Being in full time ministry, one thing that I miss greatly from the secular world is interaction with the lost. I pray often that God would give me evangelistic opportunities. God began to remind me of the numerous times that I prayed that prayer. OK, OK, I’ll try to talk to her, I thought to myself.

Long story short, the lady that I had prayed earlier would not arrive, happened to be a child Holocaust survivor from Poland. She spent 4 ½ years in various concentration camps, finally being liberated by British troops in Germany. She is apparently one of the youngest known survivors. She now lectures on different things from history, racism, peace, etc. Wow, I had strategically limited my time of conversation with this wonderfully interesting woman. The nature of what she did lead to a natural conversation about the gospel. She was somewhat of a pluralist/universalist – denying any form of exclusivity in the gospel. I attempted to show her, starting with the 10 commandments that God demands absolute allegiance to Him and Him only. Man cannot pick his path to God. She did believe the NT but did not accept its claims to exclusivity. Pray for this lady. She was talkative so I had difficulty getting to all the salient points that I felt were necessary in the gospel. I praise God for this opportunity and I can’t help but think that if I had broken out of my selfish attitude over say Albuquerque rather than Palm Springs, I would have been able to impart more truth.

If you are a Christian reading this, please, learn from my selfishness. Think about the gospel each and every day. Everywhere you go could be an opportunity for Christ to be exalted through evangelism.

2 comments:

lutherwasright said...

Thanks Allen, unfortunately I see myself in that situation sometimes. Good to see you last week.

Pastor Troy D. Bohn said...
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