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FIRST-PERSON: One day closer

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EL CAJON, Calif. (BP) – Recently I came across a story about a man who had a dream of standing in his house on an overcast afternoon. Suddenly he became aware of a change in the barometric pressure. Somehow the air felt different. Looking out the window, he saw the clouds pick up their pace. A magnetic pull tugged at him like the suction of a vacuum cleaner. Somehow the skies began parting and the man was drawn into the air, upward, into the sky toward a brilliant light. In his dream, he exclaimed, “Jesus is back!” For a split second he felt exuberant joy that was suddenly replaced by panic as he desperately tried to find a loved one who was left behind. At that moment, he awoke.

Today we’re one day closer to that day.

It is time to tell that loved one or friend of the saving grace of Jesus before it is too late. There’s nothing like the doctrine of the Second Coming to motivate us in our witnessing. Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).

In Acts 1, when the disciples asked about the return of Christ, Jesus told them that it wasn’t for them to know the times or seasons, but while they waited for the consummation of the ages, they were to receive special power from the Holy Spirit and be witnesses of the Lord Jesus.

We are God’s missionaries here on temporary assignment, deployed as ambassadors until He returns. I’m not suggesting we all quit our jobs, apply to a mission board and prepare for overseas service. Some are called to do that, but there isn’t anywhere on this planet that isn’t a mission field. You’re living in the middle of one right now.

One thing to remember is that none of us is engaged in evangelism alone. Virtually everyone who comes to Christ can thank a chain of people who, in one way or another, provided a witness in diverse times, ways, places and conditions.

A pastor in South Bend, Ind., grew up in a Christian home where he received Christian influences as a child, but he never received Christ. He was drafted into the Marines during the Vietnam War. He was sent to Okinawa, and while there, someone sent him cassette tapes of Memphis preacher Adrian Rogers. He enjoyed the humorous stories on the tapes and found truth there. A gunnery sergeant invited him to a Navigators retreat, which led to his memorizing Scripture verses before he came to Christ.

When this man asked Christ to be his Savior, it was because of a chain of influences going back for years. A Christian home, a church member who sent tapes, a preacher who used humor in his teaching, a gunnery sergeant who had an evangelistic heart, a group of Navigators, and 66 memory verses.

We can’t be discouraged when we don’t immediately see a response from our efforts. Our obligation isn’t to be “successful;” it’s to be faithful.

Since time is short, it is important to share Christ now – here are some ways to do it.

First, do it by your attitude. First Peter 3:15 tells us that we should have the kind of radiance and joy that will make others ask about it. “Be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you,” Peter advised.

Second, do it by your actions. In Matthew 5:15, Jesus warned against lighting our lamp and then hiding it under a basket. The light of Christ in our lives should be seen by our benevolence, our good deeds, our acts of kindness and our generosity. “Let your light so shine before men,” Jesus said, “that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16, emphasis mine).

Third, do it by being an authentic witness. While it’s essential to display Christ in our attitude and actions, at some point it is necessary to say a word for the Lord. Share the love of Christ with others by telling them about the hope of heaven. There’s no time to waste. Each day we are one day closer to His return.

    About the Author

  • David Jeremiah

    David Jeremiah is the founder and host of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, Calif. For more information on Turning Point, go to www.DavidJeremiah.org.

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