I have no idea why I let my friends talk me into going to the States for a shopping trip. I hate shopping trips. But, they were my friends and I was about 19 with time to kill. After we crossed the boarder we stopped referring to the map because we got caught up in actually being in the States for the first time on our own. I didn’t realize how quickly a small thing like drifting off course could become so virulent until I stopped for gas and found myself in the middle of a shoot out. As bullets were flying and gunshots were coming from multiple directions I immediately understood – drifting can be deadly. That’s precisely why we need to give the Gospel Priority.
As my dad and I were fishing, sitting in his homemade canoe, we allowed the gentle breeze and the current to carry us along. We may have started in a good location, but because we weren’t paying attention we ended up drifting toward the shore and beaching ourselves. On that day, the fish were completely safe as our lures (I’m convinced of this) sat resting on the sandy bottom. Drifting may be good when you want to relax, but when something needs to be accomplished it’s completely unhelpful. In other contexts, drifting can even result in some seriously negative outcomes. In this episode we’re going to find out why Hebrews 2:1-4 strongly warns not to drift.
I’ve got some really great neighbours. We have mowed each other’s lawns, shovelled driveways, helped plant flowers, and helped each other renovate. Truthfully, I really want to see my neighbours in eternity because I’m sure it would lead to a decade long neighbourhood BBQ on streets of Gold. I’m going to guess that you have some great neighbours you want to see in eternity, too. So, what do we need to do about the Gospel to ensure we will all see each other forever?
Everything seemed to be just fine. He knew I attended church, he seemed to be interested in it, so I shared the Gospel with him. What followed absolutely took me by surprise. I wouldn’t say he became hostile, but there was a level of anger in his reaction. The communication of the Gospel flatlined a friendship and caused a person to choose to reject Jesus. I walked away from the conversation thinking, “Man, if I kept my mouth shut maybe things would be better.” But, I know that’s not true. What do I do when a clear understanding of the Gospel is the very thing that causes someone to reject me and Jesus?
I’m in grade 4, again I am one of the last to be standing along the wall waiting to be picked. I don’t really blame anyone for not wanting to choose me, because I really don’t like playing hockey any ways. But, being the last to be elected (or not being elected at all) always leaves me feeling horrible. I see that time is running out and I know that I’ll soon be assigned a team by our gym teacher – which, technically, means that I’m not one of the elected, but I’m still forced to play. At least I can look forward to using the sticks as lightsabers after the game. Being elected by one of my friends to join their team would have been great. However, being elected by God to join Him in eternity would be totally awesome. Thankfully, election works differently with God.
Thankfully we were in my neighbourhood and coming close to my house. I was a young teen, maybe 14, and there I was sitting in the car with my uncle sharing the Gospel with him. He was not happy about it at all. He hit breaks, pulled over, and told me to be quiet or get out and walk home (not a really huge penalty since I could almost see my house from where we were). But, it wasn’t the personal threat, it was the rejection of the Gospel that fuelled my response.
Have you ever heard anyone say something like, “I’m not going to church because it’s just filled with hypocrites?” We can come up with a few good responses to this kind of thinking, but we also admit that it’s true. Good grief, I fail quite a lot, so for all I know I could be one of those hypocrites that’s being referred to. So what’s the solution?!
It was a slow journey making our way back through the neighbourhood to the church where we had started. We walked tall, spoke encouragingly, and did our best to keep each other positive. Door-to-door Gospel sharing is a rough gig, but what we experienced seemed beyond rough. Tonight one of our members took a heavy dose of unpleasantness. This would be her last night on the team.