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FIRST-PERSON: In our own backyard

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I recently met a young man in Kentucky who claims he never heard the Gospel. I haven’t been able to get past that experience.

Here’s how the interaction happened:

I was doing front door evangelism with a Kentucky Baptist pastor when we came to this young man’s door.

We knocked on the door and were greeted by three frisky puppies and a young lady who lived in the house. Shortly after, her boyfriend joined her, and our conversation turned to him.

We shared casual conversation and then asked if he had any kind of spiritual belief. He answered that he was an atheist. We gently challenged his atheism by pointing to the trees on the hill in front of his house and talking about the seed in those trees that can produce more trees of the same kind. We talked briefly about the human heart pumping blood and the puppies in his house having all they need to reproduce after their kind and that all of this was by design. After a couple of minutes, he agreed that he was probably not an atheist, but that he did not know much about God.

We talked him through some of the basics of the Gospel message including sin, judgment and redemption. After briefly sharing with him that our greatest problem is sin and separation from God and that God’s solution is reconciliation made available through the cross and resurrection of Jesus, I asked if he had ever heard this message. He said that he had not.

A 20-year-old resident of one of our counties in Kentucky – a state that has one Kentucky Baptist church for every 1,900 people – had never heard the story of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.

His answer sticks with me because we were in a county that has more than 20 Kentucky Baptist churches, one of which was within walking distance from his doorstep.

Southern Baptists are missions-minded people. We work diligently and give faithfully to deliver the Gospel across the nation and around the world, which is exactly what we should do as ambassadors for Jesus. We must at the same time remember that there are people in our own backyards, like this young man, who have never had the Gospel brought to their front door.

Join me in praying that followers of Jesus will be faithful to deliver the Gospel to every home day after day and year after year until everyone has heard. We want each person to have an opportunity to turn to the God who loves them and sent His own Son to take the punishment their sins deserve and to have the life that only He can give.

May the Lord continue to use us to reach the world for Christ. Thank you for being part of the greatest mission ever known to man.

This article has been slightly modified by permission of the author. It originally appeared here.

    About the Author

  • Todd Gray

    Todd Gray is the executive director-treasurer of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.

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