How does God go about calling and saving lost sinners? By using His disciples as they proclaim the power of the Gospel through His Word.
Isaiah 55:10-11 says, "As the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."
God's Word is the seed that the disciple of Jesus sows into others. Just as the rain and snow are not wasted but somehow accomplish His purposes, God's Word never fails. Rain and snow come from above and do not return to the heavens without accomplishing their intended purpose. God compares His Word to the rain and snow because God's Word always fulfills His purposes. We never know how God will use even a simple word of witness to plant and water the seed in somebody's heart.
I recently received an email from Richard. I shared the Gospel with him around 1995, and I never heard his testimony until he sent this to me recently. His email reminded me of Galatians 6:6, which states, "Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor."
I was blessed to hear his testimonial and encouraging words. He sent this to me:
Hello Jim, this is Richard from Jacksonville. I wanted to send you a message to say thank you. In a recent church small group, we were encouraged to send a note to someone that shared the Gospel with us.
And I'm not sure if I ever told you, but you were the first to share the Gospel with me. It was at an FCA event at Fletcher High School. My sophomore year. At the time, I was going to play basketball and eat pizza. I remember thinking it was cool that a pastor would play basketball with us.
You shared the Gospel with me when we sat down to eat pizza. It was the first time I had heard that God wanted to have a relationship with me. I didn't raise my hand that night because I believed I was already going to heaven. Still, I remember talking to God and telling him that if I could have a relationship with Him, I wanted to have that. Only a few years later, I realized that was the first moment I accepted the Gospel and could see how God changed my heart and desires towards Him.
And from that time, I sought more Christian fellowship and read my Bible to learn more about Jesus. I have shared this as my testimony and in my sermons for many years. I don't know that you have ever heard that. So, I just wanted to thank you for being so faithful to share the gospel action and its words!
I wonder how many Christians share the power of the Gospel through the Word with others. According to a recent Christian Post article; not too many:
A recent poll finds that two-thirds of American Christians don't know any methods for telling others about Jesus. Most American Christians want to share their faith. Still, only a minority have encouraged others to embrace Jesus Christ in the last six months. According to new data released by Lifeway Research, more than 6 in 10 believers don't know any methods for telling others about their faith in Christ. However, 52% of Americans who identify as Christian believe that encouraging someone to change their religious beliefs is "offensive and disrespectful," and 66% of Christians are not familiar with any "methods for telling others about Jesus." The survey also revealed that 70% of Christians have not shared with others how to become a Christian in the past six months.
Go & Tell Ministries exist to equip the church to share the Gospel and make disciples who make disciples. I always share at our Go & Tell Evangelism Workshop that believers take this class for two reasons: First, to learn how to tell others the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The second reason usually surprises people. They take the course because someone has told them the Gospel and repented and professed faith in Jesus. I then have everyone in the seminar share the first name of the person most responsible for sharing the Gospel with them.
I was truly blessed to receive Richard's note of thanks for sharing the Gospel many years ago. God's Word is true, and His Word will not return empty but achieve the purpose He has for it. Richard's word of affirmation gave me a renewed passion for continuing to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others, trusting it will achieve His intended purpose and that He will use it for His glory.
Romans 10:17 says, "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ."