Sunday 29 March 2015
“Every Sunday afternoon, after the morning service at the church, the Pastor and his eleven year old son would go out into their town and hand out Gospel Tracts.
This particular Sunday afternoon, as it came time for the Pastor and his son to go to the streets with their tracts, it was very cold outside, as well as pouring rain. The boy bundled up in his warmest and driest clothes and said, ‘OK, dad, I’m ready.’ His Pastor dad asked, ‘Ready for what?’ ‘Dad, it’s time we gather our tracts together and go out.’
Dad responds, ‘Son, it’s very cold outside and it’s pouring rain outside’. The boy gives his dad a surprised look, asking, ‘But Dad, aren’t people still going to Hell, even though it’s raining?’
Dad answers, ‘Son, I am not going out in this weather.’ Despondently, the boy asks, ‘Dad, can I go? Please?’
His father hesitated for a moment then said, ‘Son, you can go. Here are the tracts, be careful son.’ ‘Thanks Dad!’
And with that, he was off and out into the rain.. This eleven year old boy walked the streets of the town going door to door and handing everybody he met in the street a Gospel Tract.
After two hours of walking in the rain, he was soaking, bone-chilled wet and down to his VERY LAST TRACT. He stopped on a corner and looked for someone to hand a tract to, but the streets were totally deserted.
Then he turned toward the first home he saw and started up the sidewalk to the front door and rang the doorbell. He rang the bell, but nobody answered.
He rang it again and again, but still no one answered. He waited but still no answer. Finally, this eleven year old trooper turned to leave, but something stopped him.
Again, he turned to the door and rang the bell and knocked loudly on the door with his fist. He waited, something holding him there on the front porch! He rang again and this time the door slowly opened. Standing in the doorway was a very sad-looking elderly lady. She softly asked, What can I do for you, son?’ With radiant eyes and a smile that lit up her world, this little boy said, ‘Ma’am, I’m sorry if I disturbed you, but I just want to tell you that JESUS REALLY DOES LOVE YOU and I came to give you my very last Gospel Tract which will tell you all about JESUS and His great LOVE.’ With that, he handed her his last tract and turned to leave. She called to him as he departed, ‘Thank you, son! And God Bless You!’
Well, the following Sunday morning in church Pastor Dad was in the pulpit. As the service began, he asked, ‘Does anybody have testimony or want to say anything?’ Slowly, in the back row of the church, an elderly lady stood to her feet. As she began to speak, a look of glorious radiance came from her face, ‘No one in this church knows me. I’ve never been here before. You see, before last Sunday I was not a Christian. My husband passed on some time ago, leaving me totally alone in this world.’
The little old lady continued . . . “Last Sunday, being a particularly cold and rainy day, it was even more so in my heart that I came to the end of the line where I no longer had any hope or will to live. So I took a rope and a chair and ascended the stairway into the attic of my home. I fastened the rope securely to a rafter in the roof, and then stood on the chair and fastened the other end of the rope around my neck. Standing on the chair, so lonely and broken-hearted, I was about to leap off, when suddenly the loud ringing of my doorbell downstairs startled me. I thought, ‘I’ll wait a minute, and whoever it is will go away.’ ”
“I waited and waited, but the ringing doorbell seemed to get louder and more insistent, and then the person ringing also started knocking loudly. I thought to myself again, ‘Who on earth could this be? Nobody ever rings my bell or comes to see me.’ I loosened the rope from my neck and started for the front door, all the while the bell rang louder and louder.’ ‘When I opened the door and looked I could hardly believe my eyes, for there on my front porch was the most radiant and angelic little boy I had ever seen in my life.
His SMILE . . . oh, I could never describe it to you!’ ‘The words that came from his mouth caused my heart that had long been dead, TO LEAP TO LIFE as he exclaimed with a cherub-like voice, ‘Ma’am, I just came to tell you that JESUS REALLY DOES LOVE YOU .’ Then he gave me this Gospel Tract that I now hold in my hand.“
“As the little angel disappeared back out into the cold and rain, I closed my door and read slowly every word of this Gospel Tract. Then I went up to my attic to get my rope and chair. I wouldn’t be needing them anymore. You see, I am now a Happy Child of the KING. Since the address of your church was on the back of this Gospel Tract, I have come here to personally say THANK YOU to God’s little angel who came just in the nick of time, and by so doing, spared my soul from an eternity in Hell.“
There was not a dry eye in the church. And as shouts of praise and honor to THE KING resounded off the very rafters of the building, Pastor Dad descended from the pulpit to the front pew where the little angel was seated. He took his son in his arms and sobbed uncontrollably.”
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER IN THIS STORY
When do the Pastor and his son normally go out for evangelism?
What was the weather like on this fateful day when the Pastor’s son led a soul to Christ?
How would you describe the attitude of the Pastor’s son to evangelism?
What lessons do we learn from the commitment of the Pastor’s son to evangelism?
How would you describe the attitudes of the other people in the story to evangelism?
As we conclude our Month of Evangelism today, I wish to use the above story which some of us may have seen on the Internet to answer the five questions raised above and to admonish us about THE IMPORTANCE OF PERSEVERANCE IN EVANGELISM. Evangelism and soul winning are fast fading from the Church programs. Many Christians spend months and years without witnessing about their faith, not to talk of winning a soul for Christ. And yet, evangelism is the primary task of the Church. We can only experience results in evangelism and soul winning through perseverance. I cannot say for sure if this is a true story, but it offers us a good case study for today’s service.
Today, I will not use a conventional style to minister, but will use a question and answer technique using this story as a reference. There are three persons in the exciting story above, plus the church audience making four. The attitude of each one of them conveys some lessons to us about our different attitudes to evangelism.
First, is the Pastor’s son. His lifestyle or attitude in the story is an example of true commitment to evangelism. He is passionate about soul winning. When his father was not willing to go out for evangelism under the rain, he was undeterred, but spurred to go out by himself. His unyielding attitude is the one each of us should have. The rain did not stop him from going out to share tracts to the neighbours. He was undeterred whether his father went with him or not. He had the option to stay back home on a rainy day but he still went out alone. His perseverance and persistence in reaching out to souls eventually won a soul to the kingdom of God. Not even when he rang the doorbell of the old lady without any initial response did he give up. He kept on banging the door until the old woman who was about to commit suicide came out and opened the door. He gave the poor old woman a tract smiling. He did the job of evangelism cheerfully. Something made him not to be discouraged. It was the Holy Spirit.
Second, what about the attitude of the Pastor of the Church? What lessons do we learn from his attitude? The Pastor is a good example of a man who led his son every Sunday to go out for evangelism. It does appear he could not mobilize his church to join him in evangelism. He seemed like a pastor who lacked perseverance? He was unwilling to go out for evangelism on a day when it rained. Like most of us, he procrastinated on a day it mattered most. He failed to lead his son out for evangelism, but thank God, the son listened to the Holy Spirit. He was not there the very day the son won a beautiful soul for Christ.
Third, was the old lady. She almost committed suicide due to loneliness following her husband’s death. Her experience teaches us why we must not give up in life. The gospel we have is a gospel of hope. There are people out there who are in desperate need of the hope which JESUS Christ gives. If only we remain unrelenting, like the Pastor’s son, we would be a channel of blessing to someone who is desperately in need.
The last audience in our story was the congregation. Other than cheer the Pastor’s son for winning a soul they seemed to be passive in the whole story. They did not seem to participate in evangelism. It was obvious the pastor could not mobilise his members to be involved in evangelism with him. They were observers to what happened.
This interesting story teaches us some lessons on the importance of perseverance in evangelism. It teaches us that God can use anyone, anytime and anywhere. It also teaches us that there is a day of reward for all our labour. Perhaps, the Pastor and his son had failed to win souls during previous attempts, but on this day due to the persistence of the boy, a soul was won. The bible says, “In all labor there is profit, but the idle chatter leads only to poverty.” (Proverbs 14:23).