CLARKSBURG – Our time in the neighborhood of Glen Elk continues to be fruitful with the lost, primarily the residents of the Clarksburg Mission. This night was no different. The Prayer Stand came through again. As usual, we didn’t even get it completely set up before the first person came over to talk. After a brief conversation, I preached on the corner for about 40 minutes. That Gospel proclamation led to another Gospel conversation.
Gospel Tracts Prove Their Worth, Yet Again
As we were completing the Prayer Stand setup, a man by the name of Harry came over. Though his drinking was obvious from the alcohol on his breath, he didn’t appear inebriated and we had quite the conversation. He mentioned he knew Christ and wished to have some prayer. During our conversation, he proudly pulled out a pocket-sized New Testament that he carried around to tell people about Christ. He admitted it was hard because some wouldn’t listen because he often had alcohol on his breath.
I preached focused on the exclusivity of Christ and against works-righteousness because these people are frequently given the soft, social “gospel”.
We talked about what a transformed heart that truly knows the Lord looks like. He seemed to understand basic Gospel truths, but lacked an understanding of what a regenerate person looks like. After he showed me his Bible, I asked if he would like a full Bible. When I turned to hand it to him, I began to place a Mountaineer Gospel tract in the Gospel of John. He stopped me and said, “I already have one of those…” I thought to myself, “OK this guy is a bit drunk. I’ve never seen him before and I created these tracts so he couldn’t have got it anywhere else…” Before I could challenge his claim he shut me up. He reached in his wallet and pulled out one of our Mountaineer tracts! He mentioned earlier that he was from Elkins. Apparently, when I was preaching at the Mountain State Forest Festival in Elkins, WV, he received a tract from me – 2 years ago! He said he carried it in his wallet to remind him of the Gospel and read it frequently. YES! Gospel tracts are effective!
Christ is the Only Way
After our conversation with Harry, I suited up, Waylon prayed, and I took to the street corner to preach. I preached focused on the exclusivity of Christ and against works-righteousness because these people are frequently given the soft, social “gospel”. Many stopped throughout and one man listened to everything from a distance. After I finished, two of the men that stopped in their tracts came over immediately following my sermon.
Doug and Kevin Refuse to Give Up Their Sin
Our conversation with Doug and Kevin was a real-world example of 2 Timothy 2:24-26. Rather than quarrel and argue with them about the self-admitted sin they both were clinging to, I turned the choice back on them. As we hear so often, they would not give in to the Gospel call because they were holding on to their sin. The enjoyment they got from their sin is more valued than an eternity in Heaven. Thus, I posed the same question that time and again has been a powerful weapon when evangelizing to a person in this situation. I simply asked, “Is what you’re holding on to, whatever it is, that is giving you pleasure in this short life… Is that worth an eternity in hell?” And as usual, you could see the look of concern grow on their face. This is not a scare tactic, just simply a way to confront them with the truth and bring the reality of eternity to their finite minds. Pray for Doug, Kevin, and Harry.
Soli Deo Gloria!