The most difficult element in evangelizing the lost for me is introducing the subject of the gospel. In every conversation I’ve ever had with someone who needs to hear the message of saving grace, I have envisioned in my fevered imagination the worst case scenario possible. I could just see the jovial countenance of the individual darken to a piercing glower, his eyes boiling with black clouds and streaks of lightning when I mention the name of Jesus. I imagine peals of thundering condemnation bursting forth from his mouth as the cackling demons controlling him urge on an endless barrage of paint-peeling insults.
But when I actually engage someone in dialogue I often find that is not the case. The person is usually open to the subject, no matter where he might stand. I breathe a sigh of relief and plunge forward. Once a person appears willing to talk about religion that is my green light to gun the pedal, squeal my tires and see how fast I can get from zero to saved! I’m sure some people have regretted granting me audience. I allow my pent up passion for the gospel to rush from my lips like the ocean at high tide. Nonetheless, once the wall of timidity has crumbled I transform into a different creature altogether.
Since my conversion to the Doctrines of Grace I have noticed another difficult part of witnessing now is in proving to people that they are depraved, corrupt and hopelessly sinful. That their only hope lies outside themselves completely and depends only on the mercy of God through Jesus Christ. It can get uncomfortable telling someone how bad he is. I don’t dare present it as my opinion but rather as fact. The perfect law of God embodied in the Ten Commandments acts as a mirror, reflecting the ugly truth of man’s sinfulness. The mortal blow to human pride is blunted by not isolating a sinner’s fallenness as his own personal problem, but as the plague of everyone who has ever taken a breath. It is not a ‘you’ issue but an ‘us’ issue.