Linger, Linger

It may surpise you sometimes, just how beautifully and wonderfully God moves. But if you give God your explicit permission to do so in your life, my experience has been that he will be glad to do it. That is, he will be glad to move in your life. By “move”, of course, I mean, “do some awesome things that will glorify him and make you feel pretty good, too, since you know he has just used you to impact the life of another.”

Let me wind the clock back, if you will, just a little bit.

The scenario surrounded a visit of some friends of ours, who visited us from a distance. On one of the days, they did some shopping. But one of them “accidentally” left some of the stuff she had purchased at the store. She went back, only to find that the store was now closed. Because of this, the providential circumstance was “set up” for me to visit the store myself, to speak with the manager, on account of the fact that the one who did the purchasing had to go back home and could not do it herself.

I ended up speaking with the manager, and sorting out some affairs concerning the stuff that was left behind. But in the process, the voice of God was unmistakable. “Linger a little while. Share Jesus with that manager.” Now I gave God explicit permission to do that in my life a long long time ago. That is, I gave him permission to do just whatever it was that he wanted to do, at any time that he wanted to do it. Well, God has been taking me up on the offer ever since, because I get things like this happening to me all the time! This time, as always, it was very very clear. This lady was today’s “target” for the Lord!

Her name was Jennifer. And Jennifer heard it all. About how Jesus died for her on the cross. About how God’s justice and mercy met at the cross. About how God, in his love, put the punishment for our sin on Jesus instead of putting it upon us. About how we needed to trust Christ as our Savior. About how it was his work on the cross that saved us, and not what we ourselves could do for God. Jennifer heard it all. From ‘A’ to ‘Z’ in about ten minutes. Now the amazing part (in a way) was that she just stood there, patiently listening to me tell her this stuff, in as much detail as I wished. Not once did she say, “stop,” or, “I don’t want to hear it.” You know why? Because that was a divine setup, that’s why! Praise the Lord for divine setups! When God “sets one up,” no one can “take them down!”

This woman is roughly 35 years old. She is a caucasian, likely “born and bred” in Canada. How exactly did I “open” up the conversation with her? Well, as you know, I had already been talking with her about the items that had been left at the store. I really didn’t know how God “wanted” me to “open up” the gospel, so I just said, “has anyone ever shared with you the gospel, before?” I explained to her what “gospel” meant — it meant “good news” — but her answer was still “no”. This woman, being about 35 years old, had never heard the gospel before! If she had, she didn’t know that it was called the “gospel”. This meant that she was unchurched, untaught in the Scriptures, and certainly not a born again Christian (if she, she had never followed through). This woman has now heard the gospel for the first time in her life. She had been taught the “good news” (that is, “gospel”) in about ten minutes — stuff that has the power to save her soul from an eternity in hell.

My friend, how close are our neighbors and those we meet regularly standing away from the doorstep of hell each and every day? The Bible says that if they don’t hear the good news, and respond to it favorably, then they are “condemned already”. That means that NO DECISION is required in order to go to hell. People are already headed there, because they are born separated from God, on account of the sin nature passed on to us from our first parents, Adam and Eve. If you are not a Christian, you are REQUIRED to make a decision FOR Christ in order to re-establish the lost relationship with God. Jesus said, “no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6b) NO decision for Christ, is the same as a decision AGAINST Christ, which means you are separated from God, for all eternity!

Jesus said, “He that is not with me is against me.” (Luke 11:23a)

“He that believeth on him [Jesus] is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (John 3:18-23)

“He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:31-26)

Wrath on Jesus or wrath on yourself? The choice is yours!