Editor’s note: Earlier this summer I had the opportunity to reconnect with Bob, the Christian layman who first shared the gospel with me in 1976, while I was spending part of one day at week at an elementary school near my high school as part of a vocational program. Bob was physical education teacher and I thought that I might want to be a PE teacher so I was to shadow him for a semester. Not long after we met he turned to me and asked, “Do you know Jesus?” I was puzzled by his question, in part because it was a coded, American, evangelical way to ask if I had recognized the greatness of my sin and misery and trusted in Christ. After that, over the weeks and months to follow, we spent hours talking about the faith and through those conversations the Lord brought me under the preaching of the law and the gospel and to new life and true faith.
I grew up near Houston, Texas, deep in the southern part of the United States. It’s often called “the Bible Belt” because there are so many churches and so many Christians. Presumably, I ran across some of them during those years. If so, not one of them spoke a word to me about Jesus. (While in high school, I did encounter an elderly gentleman handing out Gideon’s pocket New Testaments to students. He gave me one but didn’t speak. I’m thankful that he showed at least that much care because several years later, God used that New Testament to draw me to Christ).
I went out of my way to try to offend people because I hated myself and everyone else.
Perhaps the Christians who encountered me during those years reacted the way we regularly react to the lost today. We watch the news and are shocked to see young people who are without Christ and without hope behaving like the sinners they are. Had you encountered me during my teenage years, you likely would have been repulsed at my attitude, my language, my clothing, everything. I went out of my way to try to offend people because I hated myself and everyone else. When I see young people running away from God, acting in the most offensive ways they can imagine, I see my younger self. I see lost people who are in desperate need of Christ. Read more»
Keith Mathison | “No One Shared the Gospel with Me” | Light In Dark Places | July 31, 2020 (HT: Beautiful Christian Life)
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