Black Bear Spotted In My Neighborhood Yesterday
Last night after dinner, my boys wanted to go to our neighborhood pool. I agreed to take them. My wife decided while I hung out with the boys at the pool, she would go walking in the neighborhood. She would meet back with us at the pool after her walk. All went as planned; the boys were having a blast jumping in and out of the pool when I got an email on my phone. I decided to check it. It was from the neighborhood Facebook page. A neighbor wrote a blanket email that she just saw a black bear run behind her house into the woods. Those same woods where my wife would be walking by. I immediately yelled to my boys to get out of the pool and that we needed to hurry up and go. They saw the urgency in my eyes. I grabbed my phone and called Tanya. She answered and I told her the news. The boys and myself jumped in the car and headed quickly down the road to pick her up. She got in the car and we headed back to the house safe and sound. We didn't see any bear and I just may have permanently scared my boys out of ever going in those woods down the road.
I got to thinking about how this relates to evangelism. Several thoughts came to mind:
1) In receiving the email, I quickly realized a real danger to my wife- a black bear that could rip her to shreds.
When it comes to evangelism, do I really believe there is a real and present danger to people in this world without Christ? I believe in a literal hell, a place where Jesus says those will go who reject Him (Matthew 13:49-50). That leads to my second thought.
2) I immediately left lounging at the pool with a sense of urgency to go pick up my wife walking unprotected by the woods. I didn't say to my boys, "five more minutes" or to myself, "she'll be alright." I didn't stay at the pool and pray, "God, would you protect my wife from the black bear while I continue lounging at the pool doing nothing about it."
When it comes to evangelism, it can be real easy for me to fall into the trap of saying "five more minutes" or just hoping someone else comes along to share the gospel with others while I do nothing.
3) While driving back to the house with my family in the car, I saw a neighbor walking with his small dog on a leash. That dog would be an appetizer; that man would be the entree to a black bear. I stopped to tell him a bear had been spotted. He thanked me for the info.
When it comes to evangelism, I interact with people in my world all the time who do not have the information that I have. They need to know it!
One of the battles I must continually fight against when it comes to evangelism is complacency. I know there is a real and present danger for sinners who die in their sins without Christ. I must fight everyday against evangelism procrastination all the while enjoying any kind of lounge by the pool type Christianity.
Not trying to be morbid, but if I had not gone to pick up my wife and she was attacked by a bear, I would be negligent to say the least. The same is true for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with people all around me. God's prophet Ezekiel received a word from the Lord in Ezekiel 3. God told him, "17) Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18) When I say to a wicked man, 'You will surely die, and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. 19) But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself."
When it comes to evangelism, I want to live my life with "no blood on my hands." The loving, responsible, natural thing to do when I heard my wife was in the vicinity of danger was to warn her and get her to safety. As a Christian, the loving, responsible, hopefully natural thing to do is warn the sinner and lead him or her to the Savior, Jesus Christ. Knowing it in my head is one thing. I must continually fight the battle of "ought to" with action everyday.