At the end of last month, NBBCers took turns manning a booth at the Comal County Fair, giving a “Religious Survey” to people and – when the opportunity presented itself, telling them about God’s love for them, and the good news of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. Thousands walk by each year without showing any interest, but hundreds stop by for a rest, a bottle of water, and answer our questions. Some of these stay longer to hear the gospel. The process of setting up the booth, gathering materials and refreshments, and training volunteers to clearly present the gospel takes hours. Making time to man a table in the booth is a challenge. Is it all worth it?
Penn Jillette, of the magic duo Penn and Teller, is an avowed atheist. After one of his shows, a man approached him, thanked him for the show, then gave him a Gideon Bible with the plan of salvation in it (incidentally, the Gideons have the booth next to NBBC at the fair). Although Penn does not believe the Bible, he appreciated that the man would do that for him. In a subsequent YouTube video, he explained why:
“I’ve always said that I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward…how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that? I mean, if I believed, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe that truck was bearing down on you, there is a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that.”
Peter is an apostle that many Christians can identify with, because despite his enthusiasm he often seemed to mess up! Who can forget him boldly walking on the water, only to get ‘cold feet’ and start to sink? Then there’s the time Jesus had to rebuke him with the pointed words, “Get behind Me, Satan!” And of course, there’s his three-fold denial of even knowing Jesus the night He was betrayed. Yes, Peter had his share of slip-ups…but he learned from them.
In 1 Peter 3.15, he exhorts us with these words: But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear (NKJV). We are to always be ready to tell others why we have hope, and especially living as we do in such a hopeless world!
We all feel good when we do a ‘good deed’ for someone – helping a person in need, giving to a care ministry, or just encouraging someone when they’re down. How much greater would it be if we told someone about Jesus, and their eternal future was changed as a result?! The question answers itself. So this week, show the hope you have in Jesus, and be ready to tell someone about it.